2017: The Year Of...

Wardrobe: Thrifted, Photography by Clint Blane

 

2017: The Year Of No Fear
2017: The Year Of Letting Go
2017: The Year Of Self-Acceptance
2017: The Year Of Accountability
2017: The Year Of Reclaiming My Voice
2017: The Year Of Magic

No Fear

I brought 2017 in with a lot of discomfort, anxiety, and uncertainty. I had no idea what I was doing with my life and in turn, had  subconsciously found myself wrapped in a cyclical whirl of self-destruction. I was juggling a few unbalanced relationships, searching for love and affection in believable illusions that I was convinced were my reality. My work life was convincingly thriving, in yet completely unfulfilling. Money was flowing, but it wasn't honest. My heart wasn't involved in the work I was doing and it started to project. Making money was my main focus, so I took any and every paid gig that came my way. There came a point where I had to admit to myself that I was living in fear: fear of failure, fear of loneliness, fear of being broke, fear of brokenness...Once fear was acknowledged, my actions immediately had to change. I had to break my own cycles and take control of my own life. This involved ending all business and personal relationships that no longer served me. I decided that I would no longer worry myself with the inevitable. Whatever I could control, I would by acknowledgement followed by action. Whatever I couldn't, I would accept and move on with my life. This mentality would carry me throughout the rest of the year.               

Letting Go

At the start of the year, I was involved in a couple of toxic "situationships". I was unofficially involved with a public figure in my community, who happened to also be secretly involved with a woman I'd once considered a friend. We were inconspicuously together for almost two years, until around March. This said "woman friend" revealed to me that he was indeed HER man; accusing me of imposing upon their relationship. Her entitlement was mind-boggling to me, considering not once had either of them mention to me they were together. Considering there were a plethora of opportunities for them to have disclose this information, I was completely blindsided. Having been harshly approached and wrongfully accused of being an antagonist. Had I been aware, I would have never been involved. I did not consent to participate in any of this, in yet I was the one being blamed.  

     This woman was someone I'd considered close, though there were always signs that I needed to keep a close eye on her. She'd strategically watched my every move and abused my trust in what I believed to be a genuine friendship. When in actuality, she wanted what I had. I was never intimidated by her, nor could I find any reason for her to be by me. In yet, she still managed to manipulate her way into my life and spread a negative portrayal of my character to other people in the community. This made me question the integrity of everyone around me. There were personal and professional boundaries crossed and [even still] no accountability has been taken for the damage done. The reality was that she was never really my friend.

   My issues with him (the public figure) were separate, though there was leniency given by the fact that he is notorious for creating these kinds of dynamics between women in the community. He was charming and led me to believe he had genuine feelings for me, but I should've known better. I knew his track record and inability to engage in the kind of relationship that I deeply wanted. Nevertheless, both relationships triggered some of my deepest insecurities and forced me to spend the rest of my year processing...ALONE. I wrote about it, isolated myself, took myself off the social scene, spent days and nights in tears, in and out of depressive episodes, blaming myself, feeling worthless... until I got to a point where I was tired of feeling that way.

   I transferred all of the energy from that toxic situation, into intentional healing with myself. It wasn't just going out on solo dates or taking hot candle-lit herbal baths. It was spending quality time with my thoughts and validating them for myself. It was being more mindful of the company that I kept and practicing discernment. It was finding comfort in solitude and silence. This lesson taught me how to accept what is and let go of what no longer served me. I learned that there may never be closure in a situation, but knowing and understanding that is closure within itself. I learned that in order to truly let go, I had to first forgive myself. I have moves to make, and there is no room for any excess baggage.       

Self-Acceptance

This year, I found myself in the healthiest most fulfilling relationship that I'd ever been in...and it was with myself. I learned how to love myself. I learned how to save space for my own growth and accept that fact that I can only be ME. I'm known to be highly critical of myself, setting unrealistic standards of perfection for myself. I thought I needed other people to validate my truth and capabilities. This was the biggest lie that I could have ever believed. I'm grateful to have had several kindred spirits grace my life this year; shining their light on me, helping me reclaim my own, and challenging me to spend quality time looking inward. I found peace in stillness, ancestral spirituality, and holistic healing. This expanded my creativity and self-confidence. Turning 30 was the switch I needed to signal my brain to no longer give a fuck about the bullshit and get my whole life together to receive these blessing I'd been blocking.       

Accountability

I'm grateful for the many influential peers, mentors, and ancestors that have joined my journey this year. One person in particular, (a very beautiful man whom I adore) taught me the biggest lesson of the year, ACCOUNTABILITY. Before, I would question other people's actions toward me or events that were not in my favor; feeling victimized or like I was treated unfairly. This man though, compassionate as he is, challenged me with a question: "What role have you played in the situation?" As firm of a believer as I am in the idea that we manifest our own destinies, I'd overlooked the idea that this also applies to the actions we put into our lives. Every action encourages a reaction. "So-and-so" may have "done me wrong", but how did I allow this to happen? How had I contributed to the outcome of the situation? This was when I realized my pride had been my crutch throughout my life. I've finally come to the understanding that I will never be able to maintain relationships with people, if I continue to lead with pride. If I'm going to hold everyone around me accountable for their actions, I must also do so for myself. I'm still working on this lesson, though the first step toward progression is acknowledgment, right? Right. 

Reclaiming My Voice

2017 translates to the Universal Year one, in numerology.

"A UNIVERSAL ‘1’ Year represents the start of a fresh new cycle – a new 9 year cycle of creativity, learning and growth.... [this] is a time to plant the seeds of intention for the forthcoming cycle – your deepest heartfelt desires, dreams and visions for every area of your life – relationships, health, finances, career, lifestyle, spirituality etc."    -UniversalLifeTools.com

On January 1, 2017 I started a daily log, documenting thoughts and feelings that I take away from each day. I used my Facebook profile to share my personal journey of self-healing. Every night I share a Facebook status, describing my day in one sentence; worded as a present action (i.e. Day Three Hundred And Sixty-Four Of Year One: Collecting Thoughts, Feelings, & Opportunities). This was my way of checking in with my emotions in those present moments and also being more transparent on my social media platform. It's been quite challenging, though I've managed to spark an inner more vulnerable voice that I hadn't shared with my audience before. This kind of expression inspired me to share more personal stories and views on topics that strongly resonated with me; such as feminine identity, dynamics of black masculinity, sexual trauma, mental health etc. I have since become more expressive and accepting of my position in the world around me.            

Magic

This was the year I learned the power of manifestation. I learned that being intentional with my thoughts, my words, my actions, my craft, is the quintessential formula to achieving my dreams and living my most authentic self. And having transparency with myself, contagiously spreads onto every other relationship in my life. And when I truly want something, intentionally speak on it, intentionally think on it, manifest the hell out it, actually do the work that could potentially lead up to it, I am witness to it coming into fruition. This is that magic I'm referring to. I feel so much lighter without worry or doubt, without the excess baggage in the form of guilt, pride, or even other human beings. There's no more room or space given to any of that. My magic is conditional to the mental and emotional capacity I allow myself. My words are spells, my actions are rituals, my thoughts are my spirit. This is my magic. 

 

2017 was the year, that changed the game for me. This was the year, that I reintroduced myself to myself. I'm so happy to be this acquainted with myself and am excited to meet the woman I am becoming. Thank you everyone for following my journey...Happy New Year!  

 

Love Me More

Jumpsuit: Madewell, Earrings: Thrifted, Photography by Sharita A. Sims 

   Thus far in my adult life, I've spent a lot of time searching for love outside of myself. While channeling most of my energy into nurturing and fostering relationships with others, I've subconsciously put myself through toxic situations. I've been in, what I’ve believed to be love, twice and both times I was completely consumed and later crushed by it. I’d put all that I could give into relationship, after relationship; bending over backwards, spreading myself thin, making exceptions, excuses, giving my heart, soul, and body to be left feeling empty inside, 75% of the time. I didn't grow up seeing much displays or exchanges of affection in my home environment, yet I knew...I still know that my family loves me. As natural and comforting as affection comes to me, I thought it was a measurement of love and felt it was the way I needed to be loved by others.

    Throughout my life, I’d been under the impression that love was something you "fall into" or instantly know, feel (a spark if you will), and exchange with another; for your life to then be completely validated and spent finding new ways to share it. I knew love to be something that could be shared, though until recently I had not learned how crucial it was for me to first love myself. Spending most of life so caught up in other people's lives, I seemed to have lost perspective of self. I only saw my significance as measured by the way others would treat me...or rather, the way I allowed them to treat me.

   In the most recent years, I've discovered the value in giving myself the kind of love that I wish to receive. What that looks like for me, varies from day-to-day. I'm still learning. When I think about what makes me happy, I now also think about ways to achieve that happiness. For instance, the color yellow (or more specifically, goldenrod yellow) has been my favorite color since childhood. It brings a smile to my face whenever I see it. I make it a point to keep goldenrod yellow around me at all times, whether it be the screensaver on my phone or buying myself yellow flowers. I find that I'm happiest near water. Another act of self-love is spending as much free time as I allow myself near bodies of water; whether it be sitting near a a lake, sticking my feet in the ocean, swimming in a pool, or submerging myself in warm bathwater. These are things that mean love, to me.

  

   

On Purpose

Photography by Sharita A Sims

 

What is our purpose in this life?
Is it offered to us from an outside source?
Or is it discovered from within?
Are our purposes inherited?

I'd like to think that my purpose is something I was born with.
That as a child I had gifts wrapped inside of me that I would spend the rest of my life opening.
I'd like to think my ancestors knew who I was going to be, before I ever took my first breath.
And that since I've been here [in physical form], they've been guiding me [in spirit] through to the discovery of my true purpose.

I don't try to be deep or profound in my words.
I only speak as my heart tells me to.
I only do as I'm spiritually guided to do.
I've found that if there's something that I naturally feel or crosses my mind, it is something that I need to look further into.
If there's something that happens to or around me, I believe it is divinely timed and whatever I've done leading up to that moment has prepared me to face it.

I believe once we start to live in our truth, we start gradually discovering our purpose.
I also believe our purpose is not limited to one or two or three or a million things.
I believe our purpose is an infinite number of positions, characteristics, stages, opportunities, gifts, expressions, etc. that have already been planted inside of us.

This is just my theory...
What do you believe?