What A Time.
It's the first of the last 24 hours before I have to change the calendar on my wall. There's a hole in the left underarm of my sleep shirt and my sweatpants are borrowed from my sister, who's fast asleep across the home. Even though I have a cozy Brooklyn abode of my own, I'm in my home home with my nuclear family, in my big bed swaddled in linty, overly fuzzy blankets, thinking about how wild of a ride 2015 was. And I am smiling. A lot.
The last time I even checked into this blog was damn near eight months ago. Absurdity. I thank God that I was so busy living that I hardly had the time to reflect outside of Twitter and inconsistent pen-to-paper diary entries. Living as in doubting, believing, struggling, seeing, crying, flying, moving, doing, being, succeeding. I've experienced every emotion and every sensation there was to be had, which is an amazing feeling.
At the top of it all, I am grateful for life. To be aboveground. Breathing, unassisted. Unscarred and unscathed. America and the world at large has been some sh*t when it comes to the humanity, especially when it comes to cowardly law enforcement and trigger-happy translucents snatching the lives out of brown bodies left and right. I say a prayer for Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, the Charleston 9, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Samuel DuBose, Eric Garner and the many more who aren't as privileged as I am to witness the ushering in of a new year.
And then a say a prayer of thankfulness to God for taking me places I never expected to go. For reasons I can't exactly explain, I'm extremely hard on myself. I'm not sure if I've always been this way, but ever since college, I'm much more aware of how I behave (towards myself). I'm never satisfied with what I'm doing currently, because it can always be better. I see better all around me, and I can always spot where I'm falling short, even if others don't see it. I realize my missteps and I hate them. I'm hyper critical of my projects and impatient with my progress. I want control of my process so badly and I easily slip into a funk when things don't come out in the grand and "perfect" way I want them to, and I beat myself up inside. I don't celebrate anything because I never feel like where I am is worthy of celebration. I have so. much. more. to do to be "great." And I want to be "great" more than anything. Not even for anyone, just for me. I have some internal things to work out with confidence and all that jazz, so my work ethic is all I have and I'm very protective of it.
But during a staff retreat earlier this month, my boss Datwon—I'll come back to this—said something at the end of our pow wow that stuck to me: "Yes, we have improvements to make, but let's celebrate the successes we have had. We have to celebrate the little wins." I fussed and fussed so much inside that I didn't stop to smell the roses until people pointed out the size of my bouquet.
I've been to five countries—Mexico, Costa Rica, England, Spain and the Bahamas—five states and on 22 flights (with a flight fear!) since the top of the year.
I was stranded in one of these countries by myself with an active volcano for a few days and made it through just fine.
In mid-2014, I can remember standing at the elevator with my co-worker, Mikey—who's been flown all over the country and beyond to cover major music events—telling him that I wanted to be so much like him. And he said, just wait on it. It'll be there quicker than you know it. In the warm months of 2015 alone, I've six music festivals I never thought I'd ever attend.
Oh yeah, and after spending two and a half years interning & permalancing for a brand I love, I joined them full-time in April.
I moved out of my parents house and into my own place in Brooklyn.
I had my second ever public art show.
I met a friend who showed me how to be unafraid and confident and free, and then gained him as an angel.
I wrote some features that tested my limits as a writer and strengthened my pen.
Even though I gained some weight =(, I started going to the gym more and understanding my body better.
I worked hard as bloody hell, sacrificing sleep and going out time to make sure that a package I cared deeply about came into fruition in some way.
I've had people I've never met before (and people that I have and are near and dear to my heart) tell me I inspire them. Me, who constantly seeks inspiration to get through things I saw as failures, inspiring someone else. That's insane.
It's too exhausting to sit here and think of resolutions and things like that, but there are a few things I want to start implementing in my overall lifestyle. Stuff that I basically started a week ago because I couldn't wait and shouldn't have to. I have to love myself more. Enjoy the flavors of life more. And in doing that, that means I have to make more time for me. Find a work/life balance. Respect my personal time. Allow myself to feel worthy of a break. Of self-praise. Of a recharge. Of a pat on the back. Of attention. Of compliments (without deflecting them). Of some sexy time (like, being girly and not being so ashamed of my body and just own it and flaunt it and not care what people think or say). Of thinking I'm awesome as fcuk without backtracking and second guessing it, just letting it radiate outwards instead of being modest/humble to a fault. Basic stuff that seems like a given but I was too busy trying to impress myself to allow it.
I don't really know if I met the "goals" I set for myself in 2014, and I can't find the diary entry where I listed them all. But I would change nothing about 2015. Not the people. Not the experiences. Not the fears. Not the triumphs. Not the failures. Because the sum of it all was worth it. I'm happy with what I accomplished this year, and I can't wait for the new year to show me even further the woman I can (and will) become.