Bruh, 2014 Was One Hell of a Learning Session
By the end of each year, we flip back on old blog posts and diary pages to look at what we were so adamant about changing (or not changing) about ourselves. Praying that some inner or outer transformations occurred, trust circles shrunk and expanded, and that we know an ounce more about ourselves than we did 365 days ago. It's fun to wonder and revisit the mindset you left behind or lifted off with before all the confetti fell.
I was flapping my gums about honoring and focusing on me this year, and I think I've lived up to that more or less. I've experienced some serious highs and lows this year, channeling both sets of emotions into understanding not only my needs and wants, but how others factor into creating said emotions. A year of focus on myself turned into even greater lessons about the people I'm surrounded by. Whether I liked it at the time or not, outside elements and personalities really helped me learn about my abilities, my distractions, my limits and my lack thereof.
My professional life was an even bigger part of my personal life than I expected it to be, which had an equal amount of pluses and drawbacks. Spending nearly a year working from home, staring at glowing computer screen in my lap every evening while all my friends went out and formed new bonds and relationships without me, put a huge dent in my spirit. I felt like an outsider. In addition to loneliness (borderline depression), I struggled to find my identity as a writer because I just didn't feel connected to the greater vessel from where I was standing. I felt like an afterthought. It wasn't really anyone's fault, just a byproduct of circumstance, but it had me clamoring for a way out. Chess pieces moved around and my work scenario switched up, my mood revived with the presence of physical bodies around me more. I truly need the energy of brilliant minds around me to function, not just the idea of them and a Wi-Fi connection. I'm happy to say I feel more like family while on the clock and am less afraid to speak up while there. I have a personal agenda to fill, and it won't get done with me moping and sticking to the script in solitude.
Aside from work victories, I learned just how much support is out there between friends and "strangers." You don't know who is watching you, who is supporting you and who is cheering you on from near and far, not because they necessarily KNOW you, but just off the strength that they believe in you and your dreams. What an amazing feeling that is to have! I've been blessed enough to see it more than once this year. First of all, when I started writing this blog, of course I hoped people would read it, but I didn't understand HOW many people would read it. Or why they would read it. I've made friends I would've never expected to simply because of support. I've made wonderful international friends who've reached out simply to say how much they've been reading my blog and looking at my site and affected by it. I, in turn, have supported their creative endeavors and goings on and I'm oh so happy we've met, because they're amazing (heyyyy Ra'ed and Raheem and errybody over in Londontown!). Then thanks to a last minute invite to a blogger brunch, I connected with women writers and creators and dreamers who have been SO SUPPORTIVE of me, it knocks the wind out of me every single time. Women who only uplift, who didn't know me from a can of paint before, but always embrace me as part of their writer family, letting me know that my craft is respected and admirable. As is theirs! And it's amazing to have been scooped up and adopted by such a caring network of people without having first "prove my worth" or whatever competitive barriers our people/women put between each other. Nono, Tyece, Erica and EVERY one of you lovely ladies that I've come across from the top of the year til now, I love and appreciate you. Keep on shining and I can't wait for us all to kick ass with our pens, purpose and influence in 2015 and beyond.
Thennnnn, at my first ever art show, I was floored. I was nervous as hell and couldn't believe I convinced my shaky self to work up the nerve to showcase my art—something I wasn't sure about because I had no degree or professional practice in, just passion—to the world. The turnout could've made me cry. Aside from people actually financially supporting my vision (which I was over the moon about), the fact that people I never expected to be there were there, people I didn't know, old friends, new friends, loose friends, blood family, fake family, church family, braving the July heat to share such a major moment with me was blissful to say the least. I'm more than encouraged to take my creativity to the next level because I know that so many people believe I have the ability to. Even months after the fact, speaking about my past projects like the show and #30DaysofSELF to friends of friends. It's an out of body experience. I pushed my limits creatively, stepped out of my comfort box, and was rewarded with unexpected praise, excitement, encouragement and even folks saying how inspired they were. That speaks immeasurable volumes. And Julien and Charley, I am forever grateful for you!!!
I learned not to be afraid to let myself be happy just because the situation doesn't make sense immediately or wasn't predetermined. Happiness can come with spontaneity sometimes. As open a person as I think I am, I have a wall around myself in the form of checklists and precautions (I can't be alone on this one). But sometimes joy comes at you sideways, rapidly, and you're not sure what to make of it. How to process it. What does this mean? What about x, y, and z? This year taught me to let this question interject the internal interrogation: But are you happy, though? I answered yes, and I've remained happy. Imagine that! Allowing people into your world that you didn't expect to is fleeting and fun and scary and confusing and exhilarating and life. Just a part of life. A life is meant to be lived, damnit.
Finally—and least importantly—people I thought were friends exited my life sooner rather than later. And that's okay. I've learned to be unbothered by left field purges and see it as the lifting of a burden. No need for individuals with a trash sense of morality and concept of companionship to stay around and stink up my aura. Au revoir.
Yeah, I guess I was rambling a bit there, but it's amazing how much one year can teach you about shit. I'm amped and ready to school myself again in 2015.