Bringing the table

Don't Focus on What You Bring to the table, Focus on Bringing the Table

Handcraft your table, add all your special touches to it. Pour your heart and energy into your table and do not stop until your table is as beautiful and sturdy as you dream to make it.


My dad and I had a conversation the day I moved back home for the summer that really opened my eyes and broadened my perspective on success and raising the bar.

This is what he told me, "You know the phrase "what you bring to the table," one day I realized it is a load of crap. It is not a matter of what you bring to the table, you have to bring the table itself."

Initially, I was a little confused and missed his point completely. What does it even mean to bring the table? Why would I want to do that? After he elaborated, things became clear and his words grew on me and left a lasting impact.

Bringing the table means never throwing out your values and what is most important to you for anyone for any reason.

It means to set the bar as high as you possibly can, or simply as high as you would like it to be. That part is completely up to you.

If you are content with setting the bar low, settling, and making lots of compromises - set the bar low. If you want to set the bar as high as possible and live a life you are proud of and always dreamed of, set it high and never settle for less than you know you deserve in all aspects of life.

Sometimes I doubt myself and my abilities if I do not receive any approval from others. Sometimes I wonder if I am good enough for a certain guy or if a certain guy is good enough for me. Sometimes I wonder if I am creative enough and good enough at art to be in the School of Art and Visual Studies at Kentucky or if I should pursue something more inside the box.

What I learned from my dad is that it is normal to doubt yourself and forget what you deserve. It is okay when you feel as if you are not living the life you want to be living. You cannot get there overnight.

Dreams are not instantaneous. Often times dreams are drawn out and require a lot of work, many successes and failures, and times of doubt and uncertainty before the end goal is reached.

That being said, do not worry if you feel you derailed and got off track. It is okay if you are not with the man/woman of your dreams yet. It is okay if you are feeling unsuccessful in your pursuits knowing you have this big goal and dream in the back of your mind. It is okay if you are unsure if the career you are pursuing is best for you.

Feeling a little lost is normal but you have to focus on bringing the table and making a mental note of what you deserve, what you are capable of and what you are not willing to compromise and stick to it! Do not give up and settle for less just because you are not receiving the approval, praise, recognition, or a physical manifestation of the work you are putting in.

Even if you are putting in no work at all, relax. Some point soon you will, and you will take baby steps. Do not compare yourself and your journey to that of those who seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of you.

We all begin our journey at different times and even restart a time or two, so no worries on that end if you are not "there" yet.

Be patient and focus on what you want to become rather than whether or not you and 'what you have to bring to the table' is enough. Know that all that you 'bring' is enough, but it is important to push yourself to strive for better and resist settling no matter how tempting or hard it may be.

Handcraft your table, add all your special touches to it. Pour your heart and energy into your table and do not stop until your table is as beautiful and sturdy as you dream to make it.

Cover Image Credit:

Nik MacMillan

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Working On My Emotional Health Is At The Top Of My To-Do List

I'm finally realizing the importance of my mental and emotional health.


The month of April has been so eye-opening for me. For the first bit of the year, I felt like I was in a slump; like I was just going through the motions and not fully living my life.

I was letting boy drama, school stress, and my poor actions to deal with those issues take over my life. I was allowing the anger and shame from those mistakes bubble up inside me until I was just about ready to explode.

I was allowing myself to go back to old ways of coping with problems that I knew weren't healthy, but I knew would be a short-term fix.

I simply wasn't living.

Then, one day I woke up and told myself I needed to change, and that if I didn't, I'd be on this same path ten years from now... or worse. I told myself I needed to get my life back on track with the Lord and with who I want to be as a rising senior in college.

After meeting with one of the leaders at my church (btw, everyone needs a Mrs. Jenny in their life!) and with my therapist, I'm starting to realize how important my emotional health is. My way of dealing with problems hasn't been working all that well, so I know it's time to try something else.

It's all going to be a huge learning process (and at times, an uphill battle), but I know working on my emotional health now will build me to be the best I can in the future.

By learning to become more open to healthier ways of dealing with issues as they come up (like not avoiding problems and actually facing them head-on), I know I can become my best self, and that is something I'm willing to work on with my whole heart.

So, I'm learning to let go of needing to control everything in my life because honestly, wanting to control everything puts me more out of control than when I first started.

And, I encourage you to do the same.

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