The end of the year is always a time for reflection.
That trip down memory lane may take you across some good times and bad times but it’s guaranteed to remind you of what you don’t want or want more of in the new year.
As I sit here and reflect on the year, I’m faced with riffling through this mixed bag of emotions.
Don’t misinterpret these emotions as an overall bad thing.
While I didn’t become as rich as Oprah, fly as Beyoncé or acquire that Teyana Taylor body (I just don’t understand how she does it!!) I did come into my own.
I dreamed big enough to scare my damn self, and maybe a few others, in an attempt to accomplish whatever it was I wanted to do. Let me insert here that it was nothing like the glamorization that you see in the films when the main character pulls themselves up by the bootstraps and gets it done.
It was messy. There was sweat, tears, self-doubt, disappointment, anxiety, apprehension and numerous amounts of Ben and Jerry’s when the above became too much.
I quit. Started again the next day. Quit the day after that. Cussed myself for quitting. Started again the next day…. I think you get the pattern here.
I raced against the clock. I raced against myself. I just raced until I couldn’t anymore. Then I would stop for a minute and lace my sneakers back up.
As I sit here typing these words, I can honestly say that between the crying, mental breakdowns, self-doubt and 15 pounds (give or take a few pounds. Seriously, take a few pounds. Please.) I feel accomplished.
Even if I didn’t knock every goal off my list, I feel better being able to say that I knocked one or two out of the ball park and laid the groundwork on several more.
Dare I say that I may even be proud of myself. Just a little. The first step is to believe that you can achieve, right?
It’s a nice feeling.
Even better are the butterflies I feel in my stomach in anticipation for the great things I have planned in the new year. I look forward to becoming and doing so much more in 2017 as I continue to forge my own path in this crazy world.
Perhaps even 25 pounds lighter.
I’m Just Saying.
Every few months I get this feeling of restlessness.
I feel as if I’ve fallen down on the job. The never-ending job of mom, journalist, sister, friend, daughter, professional, citizen and woman.
What qualification chart or performance review am I holding to feel that way? None, yet the feeling remains.
Whatever that reason is, it causes me to stop and take stock in all aspects of my life at that moment. Sometimes that’s a good thing (and a morale booster) and at times it causes me to face some ugly truths.
I’m sure that I’m not the only person who’s found themselves feeling this way. There are too many people getting paid off of self-help books for me to be the lone wolf in that forest.
As I get older, I’ve come to appreciate that period of time. I don’t feel worthless. I don’t feel as if I’m not useful.
Oddly, this time motivates me. It’s a challenge to be a better me. Or to at least try to be the best at whatever I happen to tackle that day.
That could be taking on two stories for publication and posting a blog or deciding to wrestle three loads of laundry, while making sure dinner’s cooked before the 6 p.m. PTA meeting.
It’s a push to pour my heart, soul and sometimes anger into whatever I’m doing.
Ultimately, it’s a sign of growth.
It shows me that I’m no longer content with being content. It shows the need for evolution. It shows the need to challenge myself mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally on a quarterly basis.
It shows that I still have the urge to learn, teach, explore and care about others.
Finally, it shows that this is not the end for me. Far from it, if I say so myself. I still have somewhere to go, something important to do, and someone important to say it to – whether they want to hear it or not.
My only problem is which challenge I’ll tackle first.
It wouldn’t be right to expend all of this awesomeness all at one time.
It just wouldn’t.
I have to learn to space the greatness out.
I’m Just Saying.
Speaking with a friend the other day about her current man-child situation she uttered these words “If I could learn to be lonely like you, I’d be just fine.” This of course led to me telling her a few things including that her word choice was wrong.
I’m not lonely. Instead I’m learned.
I’ve learned it’s okay to have standards and morals that you won’t compromise in order to keep a man in your presence.
I’ve learned it’s okay to expect a one-woman man and eliminate the custodial issues that come with sharing him with Trina and Jasmine.
I’ve learned it’s okay to have hopes, dreams and aspirations without putting them down or on hold to make some man feel better about those he doesn’t.
I’ve learned it’s okay to be stingy with what I have at my table if that person isn’t upgrading the menu.
I’ve learned it’s not okay to settle for someone else’s crap in an effort to have someone lying next to you at night.
I’ve learned my peace of mind is much more valuable than the drama that comes from being mistreated by some man who doesn’t love me.
I’ve learned it’s okay to walk away from situations that don’t improve my status, life, health and overall well-being.
I’ve learned my self-worth, crafted my own opinions and executed my ideas and why all that should be valuable to a man.
I’ve learned that in those rare times that I am lonely, I should be cautious of who I surround myself with and their motives for being there.
I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong to listening to silence and that it’s better than listening to someone nag, fuss or fight.
I’ve learned that knowing and expecting all of these things makes me a better Queen when my King comes into play.
I’ve learned that doesn’t make me a crazy, scorned, bougie, bitter or high-maintenance.
I’ve learned myself.
In that process, I learned how to LOVE myself.
So if it takes me being alone until I find someone who loves me just as much as I do. I’m okay with that.
I’d prefer it actually.
I’m just saying.
On Feb. 24, I celebrated my 31st birthday.
It caused me to reflect on this last year.
I’ve lost friends and gained new ones. I’ve changed my address, jobs and my lifestyle.
This last year has really thrown me some twists and turns.
So much has happened this last year and I was starting to feel like I hadn’t accomplished anything.
Then I thought about what I learned from all of those tests and trials that came with the year of 30.
I became a better individual in so many ways. I became stronger- mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I’ve become more independent. Projects that I would’ve waited for someone to do, I’ve begun doing it myself. I admit it might not be with the right tools and with a mini hot pink tool set instead but I can tell you that I semi know my way around Home Depot now. Even if the put together objects fall apart.
I’ve become more determined. While I haven’t crossed out everything on my short or long term list, I’ve discovered that I hit some of them and I’m okay with that. I’ll just roll it over onto the next list and make sure that I get to it.
I’ve become more dedicated. The focus that I’ve given some projects this last year is astonishing coming from the ultimate procrastinator. I have a habit of either waiting until the last minute to do something or getting halfway through it and never finishing. For some projects, it seems like I’m going full speed ahead. So close to the finish line that stopping is no longer an option.
Most of all, I’ve become more accepting of myself. I’ve learned so much about myself, my limits, what I will put up with and what I won’t, what I can accomplish in one day without killing myself and what I need to allow to roll over onto the next.
I’ve learned about me and I’ve loved me.
Without needing anyone to validate it.
With all this new knowledge, the year of 31 should be one hell of a ride.
I’m just saying.