What If Every Sickness Has A Cure?

I looked within today and was forced to admit, I’ve been sick. I’ve been feeling it mentally, emotionally and spiritually and now I’m starting to feel it in my body. I’ve been doing my best to hold it together but it’s become unavoidable. Often, when we’re sick, we have the tendency to to go to a doctor and have them figure out what’s wrong and often, they treat our symptoms. We do the exact same things emotionally and spiritually. We’ll try to counteract the sadness with thoughts of gratitude instead of finding the root of the actual problem. Being emotionally sick is a real thing for people like me (and maybe all of humanity) and I realize today that I have to find the root cause if I’m going to get any better.

I don’t believe there are inherently bad people but I do believe in unhealthy spirits and emotions. We have to be conscious of the places and people we  interact with and we have to be conscious of the ways we let them interact with us. We can be affected by anything. Certain places can make us sick. Memories can. Rejection or unfilled desires. Staying in places longer than we’re supposed to. Holding onto people we’ve outgrown. Ingesting opinions and embracing them as truth. Allowing negative words and emotions to stay in our hearts. There are so many ways to contract sickness and if we aren’t aware of them, it can take a huge toll on our minds, bodies, and spirits.

I decided to take a sick day today. A day to not only treat myself, but to dig deep within myself to find the root. I have to think back to when it started. When did I start feeling this way? Did I interact with someone who was sick? Did I ingest something that is fighting against me? Did I take on someone else’s burden or pain? I need to deal with whatever has been effecting me before it takes over my entire body and renders me incapable of performing at 100%.

Being spiritually, emotionally, or mentally sick isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It’s a reality that we all deal with. If we were more in tune with ourselves to detect our inner sickness, maybe we’d have less physical sickness. Maybe we’d have happier people. Maybe. ‘Maybe not. I don’t know much. But what I do know is, I can’t continue to ignore this feeling anymore. I have to find it and stop it before it gets worse. My wellness is worth a day away from anything that isn’t helping me heal. I care about myself and my health and I care about the people around me that could possibly get sick because of me.

Finding the root of our sickness and treating it is the only way to feel better long term. Otherwise we’ll be self medicating for years and years; never actually finding a cure. Take a day. Assess yourself. Have you been feeling sick lately? If so, you’re not alone, we can find the root and kill the sickness together.

Fall Teaches Sacrifice & Spring Brings Reward.

For months, I’ve stared into my closet wondering why the hell I have so many clothes I loathe. I sift through them daily, looking for something to wear; only to land on the few pieces of clothing I rotate each week. I hated my closet and I knew eventually it would be time for a real purge. A few friends introduced me to the KonMari method and after some research, I was convinced it was time.
I spent an entire day cleaning out my closet, shoes, and drawers; only keeping the pieces that felt good to me. The pieces that made me smile. The pieces that gave me excitement. Every and anything else had to go; even when I didn’t want to let it go. During that process, I realized a lot about myself and I began to see this purge as more than just a closet thing. It was a life thing and I learned a few things…
1. You shouldn’t hold onto things simply for the sake of holding on. There were items in my closet that I kept putting in a “just in case” pile. I knew I should let them go but I wanted to keep them just because. Just in case. I had to ask myself questions. Why are you keeping it? What value does it have? Do you actually like/love it? The answers to my questions proved to have very little depth and for that reason, those pieces had to go.
2. You can let go of something you once loved (And at times, you probably should). How many times do we hold onto things because to let go means letting go of the memories we once had? I came across pieces that I once loved. Pieces I wore over and over yet they no longer have a place in my life. I wanted to keep them because to let go felt like abandoning our love affair or something. I’m learning, you can still love something even while letting it go. Hold on to the memories, relish in the great times. And then move the hell on.
3. Give people their shit back. I’m not sure how many other daughters do this, but I steal things from my mother all the time. Like…weekly. Somehow, her stuff just seems better than mine. As I was sifting through, I began curating a “give back to mommy” pile. I had a bunch of her clothes. Some that I had worn and some that I had not. Either way, all of them were taking up space in my closet and it was time for them to go. I thought about my life. I thought about the spiritual and emotional things I carry from other people simply because we somehow exchanged energies, thoughts or insecurities. I realized how much other people’s pain can effect me at times and I decided, it’s time to give that shit back to them.
5. There’s a difference between getting rid of and letting  go. As I was speaking about cleaning, I kept saying “I’m getting rid of…” and it had a negative connotation. It felt harsh. It felt as if the things I was removing had wronged me somehow. It felt like there was something wrong with them and there wasn’t. I just didn’t need them anymore. So I began replacing “I’m getting rid  of…” with “I’m letting go of…” It felt better. It felt lighter and it felt like I was releasing things, as opposed to trashing them.
4. You’re making room for new things (for you and others). I’ve always understood that you can’t have new things until you make room for them. The concept of making room is a pretty simple one in theory but so hard for us to embrace. For me, it’s a trust thing. How can I trust that when I let go, I’ll get something in return? What if I don’t? What if I’m just left with an empty space in my closet and my life? The truth is, we’ll never know until we just let go. As we do so, we’re not only making room in our own lives for new things, but we’re creating the opportunity for others to gain something as well.

Broken Salsa, Jumper Cables & A Pop Up Shop.

Murphy’s Law says that anything that could go wrong, will go wrong.

Well. I never met Murphy or anything but I’m a little angry with him for putting his stupid theory into the atmosphere.  A few minutes before midnight on Friday, my husband and I were up ironing skirts and placing price tags on my Ankara skirts and dresses for my very first pop up shop. As we loaded the skirts and other items into the car, we realized the battery in our truck was dead. We deiced I would wake up early and purchase jumper cables the next morning. Well, what I didn’t know, was that my son would have a rough night and would wake up from sleep every couple hours; leaving me with very little sleep. Saturday, I  woke up around 7:30 am feeling like a zombie.

I stumbled out of bed, took a shower, and got dressed (in between entertaining my daughter, who has become oddly obsessed with showers and shower caps recently). I rushed out to the store to grab jumper cables with no problem. As my husband jumped the truck, I opened the refrigerator to pour myself water and the next thing I knew, the shelf had detached and released several bottles onto the floor. One of those items included a broken salsa bottle which meant there was glass and salsa all over the floor.
“Cool,” I thought. That’s fine. I cleaned it up and left for the pop up shop. While on my way, I was informed I wouldn’t have any help setting up. This is when I took a deep breath. I was desperately fighting the desire to go into “woe is me” mode. I was fighting the enemy. I was fighting worrisome thoughts. In that moment, a good friend sent me a video encouraging me and loving me in the right way at the right time. (Thanks DawnMarie)

I pulled up to Kupcakerie, spoke to the owners and began setting up my shop. Immediately, two girls saw me setting up and began inquiring about my items. Their enthusiasm and desire for my pieces was enough to put a smile on my face and energy in my heart. The next few hours were filled with people coming in and out, some  buying, some browsing. The atmosphere was electric and beautiful as people talked, connected and inspired one another. As we ended around 2:15, I was still taking payments and directing friends who were helping me pack up my things.

When it was time to leave, I went to start my car and realized the battery was dead yet again. After several attempts to jump it, I gave up and decided to just get it towed. Four hours later, I was still sitting in Kupcakerie waiting on my tow truck. I was in tears as I reflected on the day and all that I’d accomplished in the last few months. I was overwhelmed by my change and even more overwhelmed by the support. Even with all that went right, I could feel something inside of me pushing me to focus on all that went wrong. But I didn’t. I refused.

A few things may go wrong as you grow and take steps towards new life; but all you have to do is keep your eyes on what’s going right. And as you take those steps, I promise,  God will meet you and lead you right along the path created for you.

 

Face the Mirror

A few weeks ago, I went to my good friend Aaron’s dance class at the YMCA in Dunwoody. I had been wanting to take his class for months and had finally found the right day. I went with a friend and we eased into the class 30 minutes late (because that’s what happens sometimes). We jumped in and enjoyed Aaron’s sweet spirit as it poured into the women he was leading in dance. It was poetic the way he was able to use his love of dance to inspire and instruct us to let loose while also working our bodies. At the end of the class, he lead us in a fierce walk towards the wall of mirrors in front of us. He told us to look ourselves in the mirror and stare at our beauty. That. was hard. It was so hard to simply see myself, let alone compliment myself. Aaron noticed our struggle and instructed us again. “Actually look at yourself in the mirror,” he said.

This morning, I had a similiar experience. I was avoiding quiet time because I was afraid of what my emotions may reveal. “Face the mirror” I heard God say. “You can’t be healed from your hurts if you’re avoiding them.” As hesitant as I was to delve into the world of deep emotion, I knew God was right. I knew I couldn’t be healed or happy unless I allowed myself to discover the root of my discomfort.

Facing ourselves is often difficult. However, the longer we avoid it, the worse it becomes. It’s like a physical illness that is ignored over time. It worsens until it becomes too late to treat. I believe all our emotions and insecurities are redeemable, but we won’t find them or feel better unless we face the mirror.

What are you avoiding?

Losing My Religion

There was a time I was anxious for a change in my life. I needed something different and I needed different to be everything that “current” was not. I was sad and alone, despite my friendships and active social calendar. I was looking for an answer and I found that answer in Jesus.

But not the actual savior. I found my answer in the perception of “the good christian.”
I promised God I would never smoke weed ever again. I stopped having sex. I stopped cursing. I started going to church every Sunday. Praying. Reading my bible. I was committed to being a Christian. I was committed to different because that old life just wasn’t working for me anymore.

I figured that If I let go of my heathen ways, I’d find happiness. And I did. I formed amazing friendships through the small group in my church. Women who became sisters who became bridesmaids and aunts to my babies. I learned how to have fun without weed and partying. I distanced myself from my past by deleting wild pictures from Facebook. I learned how to discipline my body and my mind. I was perfect.

I got into a relationship with a man who loved all of that perfection. He loved the good Christian girl and I loved him because of it. We became inseparable and I became obsessed with who we were as a couple. I wanted to be around him all the time and I wanted to embrace his world. I started going to his ministry meetings and events. I started hanging out with him and his friends. I started to immerse myself in his world because I wanted to be everything we represented: A young, black, Christian couple in love.

Then I began to feel it, the indication of outward expression without inward change. The “old me” that I pushed away began to resurface just months after our wedding and I had no idea how to tame it. So I hid it. I started smoking again but I did so only when my husband was away. I cursed when no one was around. I started to do the things I used to do and instead of exploring who I was and why it was happening; I just tried to suppress it all.

After months of hiding it, I began to feel ridiculous. “I’m a grown ass woman,” I thought. “Why am I sneaking around to do anything?”

One day, I couldn’t hide it anymore. I told my husband. I felt ashamed. I rebuked myself and treated the resurfacing of my habits as a phase. Just a moment I was having. I didn’t think to look inward in order to decipher my feelings and actions.

In 2014 the war began. The war between my spirit and my flesh. My spirit — the inundated reminder of how I was created and my flesh — the carnal desire to be perfect, liked, and respected; my desire to be “right”.

It took two years of suffering, fighting, self discovery, reflection, depression and more to discover the truth about myself. Back in 2009, I thought my actions were the problem. I thought that changing what I did would change how I felt but that only lasted for a season. Like a temporary tattoo or false eyelashes, that shit faded over time.

In 2015, I started a journey towards authentic transformation. One day, I was writing in my notebook and I began a conversation with God.

“I changed for you. I did all the “right” things and I’m still right back where I was before.”

I was met with a very striking response:

I never asked you to change.”

It wasn’t God who asked me to change my actions. I realized God never cared about my cursing, or smoking, God didn’t even care about my sex life. God cared about my wholeness. God cared that my spirit was in tune and healthy. God cared about my inward change, not my outward appearance. God even revealed to me that while I promised to never smoke again, that was based on my own understanding of why I was miserable. I thought I was miserable because of WHAT I was doing; I didn’t realize it was because of WHO I was pretending to be. I was insecure. I desired to be accepted and because my only reference point was church, that’s where I sought validation. I sought refuge in my religion.

It’s almost 2017 and I’ve finally figured out who I am.

I’ve finally changed the right things. I’ve changed my desire for pity and turned it into an acknowledgement of power.

I’ve begun to say yes to myself. I’ve stopped fighting life and instead, I’ve begun to go with the flow. I no longer seek validation from the high saints and super Christians of the world; I’m seeking life in God and following the leading of my spirit. I’ve changed my standards. I’ve changed how I handle conflict. The overall source of my happiness, is putting action to faith while learning to stay true to who I am at my core.

I’m crazy. I curse. I dance. I say ratchet shit. I love myself. I love people. and I really, really don’t care about what anyone has to say about who I am. I don’t need to be validated by anyone and I’m also not afraid to be wrong. I make decisions everyday the best I know how and sometimes, I get it wrong.

I’m OK with that. I’m OK with being human. I’m open to constructive, loving criticism. I’m open to growing in areas where I’m weak or wrong. I won’t apologize if I don’t change my actions immediately but I will promise to work on myself so that my actions are a reflection of true transformation and not a desire to please others.

The issue so many of us have is that we change our actions without actually experiencing a heart change. Changing your actions without actually changing the source of them will leave you in an annoying, repetitious cycle. We have to not only take the time to look inward but allow ourselves the grace and time it takes to experience change naturally and authentically.

Not everyone likes who I am. I’ve faced a lot of opposition from others around me but I’m happy.

I’m. Happy.

I didn’t love myself until I found God. I didn’t truly find God, until I lost my religion.
and i’m not going back.

 

Walking Up Life’s Stones

As I walked up Stone Mountain the other day, there was a girl in blue Nike’s walking ahead of me. We started at the same time but as I would stop to rest and write, she moved forward and remained about a 1000 feet in front of me. Every time I felt myself wanting to give up, I looked at her. I let her progress inspire mine and she became my motivation but I had to be careful not to compare myself to her.

While weathering the terrain, I saw a man walking back. He looked as if he was hurt. I wanted to ask him what happened. I wanted to ask why he was walking back down. I wanted to help him back up and tell him to walk with me but I realized in that moment that I didn’t know his struggle or his pain. I didn’t know why he was walking back down, so I left him alone. Just as I got distracted by him, I looked up and the girl in blue Nike’s was out of my sight. So I pushed myself to walk more; my heavy breathing the soundtrack for my journey.

On the stones were little messages and words that had been carved in over the years. I likened them to the things left behind for us by those that have gone before us. I looked up at one point and I could see the trail as it slid upwards. It looked scary as hell. It looked like a lot. It looked like I should turn around. But I realized I didn’t even know how far I had come. There were no signs telling me of my progress. I just had a goal to get to the top. And I held onto that goal as tightly as I could. When the sun came out, I felt like God was encouraging me to keep going. So I did.

As I walked, I noticed there were lines of yellow paint, letting me know I was going the right way. Some were faint, some were strong but they were all signs that I was still on the right track.  Halfway through my walk, I came to a place where the view was beautiful. It was clear that I had reached a significant part of the journey and I was almost convinced to stay there. I was almost satisfied with my progress and I could envision myself resting in this place. That desire to stay put almost became reality when I looked up at the next fleet of the climb. It was the most steep climb I had seen in my entire life. And I thought “I’m not doing that shit.” But I remembered my goal and I clutched it even more tightly to my chest as I stared that climb in the face. I was going to finish. The goal was to get to the top and I wasn’t stopping until I made it there.

I made it past that hard moment. And I took a moment to dance to my music and enjoy the view. I mean, I danced foreal. I danced like no one was watching because I wanted to. I took that moment to not only rejoice in my victory but to have fun and remind myself that life, and even this climb, is not that serious.

As I got tired, I was tempted to ask those who were coming down just how far I was from the top. But I discouraged myself from doing so. I wanted to enjoy the journey. I didn’t want to anticipate the end. As I approached the top, I saw the girl in blue nike’s standing at the top. It was as if she was waiting on me. She was a representation that I wasn’t far from my goal. And just as I reached the top of the mountain, a huge smile came across my face. I did it.
Life is like walking up Stone Mountain for the first time. The terrain is rough. You have to watch each step. Pacing yourself and resting when necessary but also knowing when to use the momentum you’ve built to propel you forward and up. Knowing when to take the easier side and being smarter about how to move. Most of all, in life you have to keep going as you hold your goal tightly to your chest until you make it to the top

Stop Pushing People Away When They Hurt You.

“Stop pushing people away when they hurt you.”

That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I was thinking about a friend who I wanted to reach out to and remembered that I was low key upset with him. I was upset because he hurt me. He made me feel a certain way about myself and even after expressing myself, I was still ill about it. And then I had a moment where I wanted to talk to them. I wanted to have a conversation with him. My hurt reminded me that I wasn’t supposed to reach out to him because I was angry. Then my God spoke to me. “stop pushing people away when they hurt you.”

Well damn.

I was halted in my thoughts. I literally stopped and held my chest. Like “oh!”

You know, those moments when someone says something to you and you have to just step back a little and acknowledge that it happened? That was me. For so long, I really thought I had stopped doing that. But I found myself doing it again and I was sad. I was upset with myself for doing it and I was apologetic in my spirit about it.

This is the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever written about. For years, I’ve struggled in relationships for so many reasons. And for years, I’ve spent time and effort trying to prove that I’m worthy enough of a true authentic, close relationships. Over the years I’ve wandered to and from looking for home. And over those years, I’ve learned a few things about relationships:

  1. Let people be exactly who they are.   

                  1a. Love them anyway

  1. Be who you are. And hope that people will love you

                  2a. And if they “don’t”, love them anyway. And love yourself, still.

                            Don’t withdraw yourself because you’re hurt.

                            Think the best of people.

                            Do the next best thing.

I’m on 2a…and I’m working on it. I hope you’re doing better than me but if not, that’s OK too. After writing this, I texted my friend and opened up about how I was feeling. I told him about my moment with God and I apologized for withdrawing. He forgave me and we kept it moving. I’m grateful for friendship that will love me even when I’m busy protecting myself. People want to love you. Let them. And even when they don’t love you the way you desire, love yourself and love them anyway.

 

I Never Loved This Country

I rarely write about political and current event issues because it often seems pointless. But today I’m so infused with righteous anger that I couldn’t keep my mouth closed. I can’t say that I’ve ever said the words “I love this country“. I love the city of Atlanta. I love Barack Obama. I love God. But I’ve never really loved this country. The only time I’ve ever seen us united was when tragedy struck us all and we were forced to acknowledge that black or white, rich or poor; were all humans who love our families. We’re all humans who want our children and loved ones safe. Unfortunately, the foundation of this country is rooted in desire for power and selfish entitlement. We’ve seen everything from slavery to theft of land and identity. We’ve seen the marginalized struggle to breathe and the oppressors stick out their chest in an irrational attempt to prove themselves.

While I’d love to be surprised by this ridiculous mans actions, I expected nothing less. When you fail to see the motives of a leader because you’re hopeful for selfish gain, Donald Trump happens. People didn’t elect him because they knew he’d make a difference. He wasn’t elected by a people who desperately wanted to see good change happen in our nation. He wasn’t elected by Christians who believe in love and equality. He showed the people exactly who he was and the people chose him anyway.
This country is filled with people who desire a better reality for themselves and their loved ones yet time and time again we fail to adequately see representation of that fact. Somehow, someway, power, control and hate run the narrative of this countries history and its not only exhausting; it’s depressing. Overwhelming. Like a person in a really abusive relationship, I find myself looking for a plan; a way out. Then the other part of me rescinds and is hopeful for change and a new wave of saviors to attach to the movement of grace and heroine, divine intervention.
I can’t say I ever loved this country. It’s always been a little fucked up in my opinion. What I do know, is that what makes this country great, are the people who’ve come from every corner of the world, diversifying and illuminating the possibilities of new and loving culture. As a daughter of immigrant parents, I’ve seen the opportunities this country has afforded others who may not have seen possibilities of a bright future in their home countries. I’ve seen stories of love and unity. I’ve seen countless moments of triumph and record breaking genius. I’ve seen people of color rise from their beaten state to take control of their deserved spotlight. I’ve seen us embrace others when they needed prayer and affection in times of tragedy. I’ve seen love here. I’ve seen compassion. I’ve seen redemption and most recently, I’ve seen a man stand in a house for 8 years and declare change. A house designed to keep him out. A house built by his own people who weren’t even considered whole human beings. I’ve seen this country change the world with its intelligence and deliberate ability to set captives free.
That is who America is.
I just wish she knew it.

Stop.Listen. & Be.

 

Have you ever woken up from a dream wondering what it meant for your life? Was it relevant or just a dream? Should I heed its warning or just chalk it up as another figment of my imagination playing games as I sleep?  

Well, that's how life feels right now. Every moment, I'm asking myself if that little detail mattered. Should I consider today's events a coincidence or look deeper into them? Did Trump really win or are we on some game show that'll last for the next four years? Before I know it, I'm deep into a rabbit hole of my own thoughts and I've over-thought myself into the hands of stress and anxiety.

This morning, I was thinking about the phrase "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade." We hear it all the time. Great. That sounds great. Smart. Resourceful. Lemons to Lemonade is an obvious equation.  My question for God, the universe, life...Cleopatra (basically whoever has the answer) is, what the hell do you do when life gives you brussel sprouts? Or when life begins to feel like one big crazy dream that you can't find the meaning of. What do you do when it seems as if life is handing you a completely useless experience?

In the last few weeks of feeling this way, I've spent so much time thinking. So much time wondering and asking. This morning, I thought maybe I should stop asking so many questions and thinking myself into oblivion.

Maybe, there are times in life where you aren't supposed to think. Sometimes, you're just supposed to listen.

Yesterday, I woke up with a desire to sit with God and enjoy the Heaven that comes with him. The desire was strong but my mind reminded me that I needed to get work done. With logic residing, I ignored my desire and set out to find a restaurant where I could eat and work. I needed a place with healthy food and outlets and i figured that wouldn't be so hard to find. Except, it was.

I drove around and as I got from one place to the next, I was hit with different challenges. First place, No parking. Next place, nowhere to sit. Ok. Cool. Next place, doesn't exist anymore. ALRIGHT.  This was when I decided to take a moment to look at what life was giving me; because it absolutely wasn't giving me a place to eat and work. I was being reminded of the desire I had when I woke up and I decided to follow my first mind and go somewhere to be with God. As I was driving, I started thinking again. Ok, one more place. No parking. Finally, I had had enough with myself and I ended up at some restaurant I'd never been to, sitting outside in the beautiful 70 degree weather while I ate, wrote and enjoyed God’s presence. As I took deep breaths, I realized how stressed I was feeling because I had been driving around for an hour, overthinking. I was tired and hungry and all I had to do was listen to life and pay attention to what it was showing me.

We want life to go right. We want to be successful. We don't want to fail. We don't want to waste our time. We want to understand. So we over-think in efforts to figure it out. We over-think until we're confused and misguided. We ask hella questions in order to come to the "right" conclusion and most times, we're wasting our time. Most times life, the holy spirit, and God are telling us what to do and we're just not listening.  

In the latest Blackish episode (which you absolutely need to go watch), the characters are up in arms about the latest U.S. election where Donald Trump was elected president. There is a scene towards the end where Dre gets everyone together. He submits that instead of being angry about the results of the election, maybe we should stop trying to understand why Donald Trump won or why people voted for him. Maybe, instead of thinking, arguing, and asking, we should start listening to each other. When life gives us Trump, maybe we shouldn't try to understand why.

I think life is trying to teach me that sometimes my expectations and desires just will not happen. I didn't design life, therefore, I don't know exactly what's going to happen and when. I can plan and schedule my day all I want but if I'm not open to changes, I'll suffer. I'll drive around for an hour trying to make my plan work when my plan just doesn't fit.

Join me... take a second to evaluate what life is teaching you. Are you fighting against life's will right now? Is life/God trying to tell you one thing and you're forcibly trying to manifest something completely opposite?

Stop. Listen. And then be. 

2016.

2016 was a bitch.

Yes. A real bitch. Like, the kind you can’t stand but need, all at the same time. It was crazy. It was fun. It was sad. and it was really hard.

But it was so beautiful.

Sounds of the end of the year are clashing on my eardrums as I’m trying desperately to find my balance. I want to be firm and sure going into the new year. I want to be understood. I want to be strategic and aware. I want to be strong. With all of these expectations of what I want, I’m finding myself more and more unbalanced as the clocks strikes January 1st.

I’m panicking because I realize the days don’t have enough hours and daylight just doesn’t stick around long enough for me to be as productive as I’d like to be. No matter how many breaths I’ve taken to try and resuscitate normality, I find myself trailing behind my to-do list.

This morning, I took a moment to stand on the dock of my parents home (which is heaven) and stare out into the lake. I felt myself trying to rush my moment with God and myself and silence and the trees.I felt myself wondering what was going on inside and if i needed to hurry up to get back to my kids and I felt God’s words like the breeze on my neck. They were so real.

Don’t rush the moment. Don’t rush life. Be present.

And that’s what 2016 has been trying to teach me all year.

Don’t rush the moment. This year gave me pain and love, and self awareness, and self confidence and a lot of other really dope stuff. I lost my sense of normalcy this year. I gained the self confidence to be completely myself, in any arena, no matter the consequences. I loved really, really hard and I also lost some really amazing friendships. I took some things off of my bucket list and I read books. A lot of them.

I fought with my husband, a lot, and I also grew to love him deeper. I had my baby boy and I started a business. I took a huge leap of faith and I didn’t let fear keep me. I kept going when I was really tired and I learned to say yes to my dreams. I wrote resentment a farewell letter, sent that shit and actually stuck to it. I had the best Thanksgiving ever and I learned to lean on my creativity as opposed to stifling it.

I came to terms with the reality that I’m right where I need to be and I always have been. Wherever I am should be embraced, not hated and I should never ever rush the moment.

Life seems short but it isn’t. It’s beautiful one day at a time and for some reason, we get it in our minds that we need to see the end of it. Or 10 years from now. Or tomorrow. Then we look back and realize, 27 years has felt like 5 minutes. Don’t rush life. Let life be what it wants to be so that you can be what you want to be. Let life love you and discipline you and teach you what you need to know. Let life take its time and be itself in every moment.

And be present.

My biggest struggle as I approach the end of the year is to find the balance between being in the now and being in the future. enjoying each moment yet planning for my next. Wanting to be prepared but also wanting to be led by my spirit. It’s a hard balance and one I’ll probably spend the rest of my life perfecting. But what I do know is that the moment I decided to be as present as possible, I found joy. I found joy in looking for God. I found joy in basking in the beauty of each moment. I found joy in embracing the lesson that life was teaching me. As soon as I learned to be present, I discovered the key to removing myself from the revolving door I had been visiting day in and day out.

2016 was a bitch. A real one. Like, the kind you hate but the kind you need. I never thought I would get to the end of this year and be joyful about its existence. I feel like I struggled my way through and somehow found my way out. Like when you drive yourself home really tired and pull up to your house trying to remember how you even made it there. That’s how I’ve felt all year.

As I reflect, my frontal feeling is that of gratitude. I’m grateful for every moment that made me who I am.

2016 was crazy af…but I loved it.