Thirty-Five

Things I know for sure on my 35th Birthday (AKA what i’ve learned about life by falling on my face and fucking up a ton….)

– The only thing that is TRULY equal in this life are the amount of hours we have in a day. No other equality exists.

– Envy is a waste. I can be anything I want to be. However, getting there will not be easy. People will try and sabotage me or stonewall me. I will probably fail hundreds, if not thousands of times trying to be “that,” whatever “that” may be at the time. However, when the going gets tough and scary, I need to remember that there is always someone similar to me that has done my “thing” before, with probably even more stacked against them. It helps me know that if they can do “things,” I can do “things” too.

– If someone tells you not to do something, it’s most likely because they’re too afraid to do it themselves and they’re projecting their shit onto you. If you decide to not do something, make sure it’s you (and YOUR fear) that’s driving your decision. I let several really cool opportunities pass me by because someone came along and told me, “You shouldn’t be doing that.” When I think back in retrospect as to what their reasoning was, it was all bullshit. Never again will I let others deter me from doing what I want.

– And speaking of fear? The thing that you are most afraid of is the thing you must do. Even if the mere thought of doing it gives you the shakes and makes you want to throw up. Suck it up, take a puke bucket (and some mints) with you and walk through that shit. You will thank yourself later. Don’t ask me how I know this for sure….I just do, okay??

– People are going to call you crazy. They are going to dismiss you and think you have no friends. They’re going to think (and probably tell you) that something is wrong with you. All of this because you don’t fit into some bullshit paradigm in their minds about how you are supposed to live your life.  Fuck them. While they are obsessing over why Kim Kardashian has butt injections, you’re out there experiencing (mostly good) shit. Which life would you rather have?

– Regardless of my situation, I always have a choice. Even if that choice is to be happy despite my situation, it’s still a choice. No one else has to give a shit about this except me.

– Family is not always born by blood….it’s also created by connection. Sometimes, the people that understand you most are the people who you are related to the least.

– When people tell me good things about myself, I am not being conceited by accepting the damn compliment. It’s okay to believe them. Just smile and say thank you.

– Comparison steals your spirit. I fully admit to wasting too much (precious) time comparing myself to others. It’s how many of my friendships were built. It’s how I chose my education path and my “career.” It’s how I decided whether I was happy or not. And it was the easy way out. Learning to stand on my own and deciding who I am and how I work has been one of the most painful experiences I have ever gone though. It’s also been the most rewarding. I’m not 100% there yet (and may never be), but I am on my way. (Thanks, Matthew.)

– It’s okay to feel my feelings. They’re all valid. Even the feelings that guarantee me a one way ticket to hell.

– Follow your gut. When you receive advice and/or someone tells you something and your inner self screams, “That person is so full of shit,” regardless of who that person is or what they do, RUN. Your soul will thank you later.

– Having a boyfriend/husband/fuck buddy/Dom will not make me feel any more beautiful or whole inside. Only I can do that.

– Keep saying no to things.

– Wine is really fucking amazing…..even if it comes from a box.

– My donkey booty and nice boobs are assets, not liabilities. The sooner I accept them (as well as who I am overall – mind, body and soul), the easier it will be to get over the fact that buying pants and jeans will always be a pain in the ass and I will never be able to wear button-down shirts without exposing a little side-boob.

– Never stop having the balls to question things. I find that whenever anyone gives me shit for doing this, they either don’t know the answer and don’t have the balls to tell me, can’t tell me the answer and don’t have the balls to say that, or is blatantly hiding something. Either way? It’s their insecurity, not mine. Moving on to someone else willing to give me the answers that I need is better.

– Perfection is so god damn overrated. Holy shit. So is being strong. I question what being “strong” even means, because me not being afraid to be vulnerable has prevented me from losing my mind. Women (especially Black women) need to stop this shit. Compassion, especially with yourself, is everything.

Pro Tip: the person you are talking to that is having a rough time doesn’t want your sympathy, they want your empathy. Once you learn the difference and can express this accordingly, your words (and friendship) with this person will mean so much more.

– I only like the people who like me. What does this mean? Does this person check in with me to see how I am doing more than once every three years? Do they invite me to places? Do we laugh together? Are they truly supportive? Do they offer to help? Do they call me on my shit? If not, they’re an acquaintance, and that’s okay. If they react negatively if I change in any way (i.e. call them out on their shit, respond passive-aggressively to me in the guise of “i’m just joking,” cut me off if my beliefs are not the same as theirs, kick puppies and kittens), maybe I need to let them go.

– If anyone in your life expresses great joy out of telling you “See? I told you so!!?” Cut those motherfuckers off. If you can’t cut them out of your life, significantly limit your contact with them. No one needs that sanctimonious bullshit. I’ll even take it one step further and say that they’re saying that shit to you because they KNOW they don’t have the balls to do what you’ve tried and failed.

Yeah, that’s right. I said it. We all deserve people in our lives that support us, even if what we want to do sounds crazy to them….and even if we fail miserably.

As It Is

There’s something to this “small steps lead to big results” mantra i’ve been applying to my life over the past couple of months.

Living.

Loving.

Learning.

Laughing.

Sometimes, that is all I want to be good at. Sometimes, this is all I need for my goals to fall into place. I am not sure why it is so hard for me to live in the moment and, more importantly, love myself as I am RIGHT THIS SECOND, but I am getting there.

Like, for instance, I woke up this morning really loving my bed. It’s so god dam comfy. I typically look at the time, freak out about getting to the gym before 9:00 to get a spot for my Crossfit/UXF class and looking like I lost some damn weight this week. But for some reason, this morning I grabbed a mirror out of my purse and stared at myself. I noticed that my skin was a little dry, my hair looked like a cat nested in it, I have a new pimple, and my pores by my eyes were more open than usual. But I also noticed that despite all of this, I still looked pretty…and even a little hot.  I even remarked to myself, “I look like I just had fantastic really satisfying sex and no one’s been in bed next to me for a while.”

Progress? I think so.

So I guess what I am trying to say is…i’m having a decent morning. I don’t hate myself, I look great (even with a dry face and nappy-ass hair), and I haven’t given up on myself and my goals. For today…that’s enough. 

Musings From My Friday Mind….

I hate you.

I hate the way you make me feel when other people’s shit that has nothing to do with me throws me off course.

I hate the way you make me question every decision I have ever made. Everything I have ever achieved.

I hate the way you make me feel unpretty. I hate the way you make me feel like I am not enough.

I hate the way you creep up when I least expect it….when I am working towards my goals…when I am kicking ass at weight loss or dating or work or dealing with my family or just living my life…

You come back with that smirk on your face or that creep over my shoulder or that touch on my arm or on my lower back to remind me of some imaginary “place” where I am supposed to belong – some “place” that is lower and lesser than anyone deserves. That place where I am forced to settle. The place where I feel like less of myself. The place where I allowed outside shit to define who I was and who I am meant to be. 

I hate you because you’re a complete fucking lie, yet I can’t get away from you because you always linger. And, even more than anything in this life, I hate you because, despite my best efforts, you will never truly die.

 

I hate you, Insecurity. You can seriously kiss my ass.

Rough

I have had a very rough few weeks. 

Trying to put myself together again after falling off my “life” wagon. 

It should not be so hard, but it is. 

 

Gah. 

 

Embrace

While every year I learn something new about myself, 2013 was different. 

I spent a lot of time saying I was going to do things, pushing myself to do these things and not feeling good about the results of said things.  I then went through a series of events that changed my life in ways I am still getting used to.

I discovered that I was living my life based on how others told me I was rather than who I actually am. Discovering this was freeing. Understanding this was really fucking scary. Facing myself after figuring this out? Mortifying.  I began to acknowledge that some of the people in my life don’t truly know me because they only fit me in when it was convenient to them. I would turn on Facebook and see that 80% of the people who were on my friends list I either no longer see eye to eye with or don’t suit me anymore. I realized that maybe I’ve always liked certain things or to be a certain way but I turned that part of me off because someone in my life told me that being that way wasn’t good enough or, dare I say “appropriate.”  I have so many feelings around this, but I was mostly angry with myself for letting this happen.

At the end of the day, it’s okay. Part of understanding change is having the courage to peel off the skin, look at what’s left over, then throw it away.  And, while I feel really weird and extremely vulnerable, I haven’t been this settled in years.

I’ve been spending the last few months tiptoeing through this experience – feeling when I need to feel and ignoring what needs to be ignored. Getting rid of people that don’t suit me and trying to build (or re-build) and nurture the relationships that do. Spending time with people that support me and ignoring those that don’t.  Doing whatever the fuck I want to do and not feeling guilty about it.

(I am reluctant to say that I am happy because every time I do, shit always goes off the rails. So don’t tell anyone I am happy okay?) 

So, what do I want more of in 2014?

I want way more of what I am experiencing: Discovery. Contentment. Joy. Being grateful for the good and the bad. Feeling a little more cemented each day. Not asking for permission. I want to continue to stop waiting for the “right” moment to do things and just do them. I am already ambitious, but I feel like I am not using my full potential. I am not quite sure what that means yet, but hopefully in the future I will figure it out. I want to spend less time on social media and more time having actual conversations. While I have met some of my dearest friends via blogging life, I feel like face-to-face conversations are a lost art. Most of the time, people use their phones and tablets as a barrier so they don’t truly have to deal with folks – at least I know I did.  I want to connect with people more on a personal level.  I want to be more vulnerable with my life and my relationships.  I want to concentrate on being around people who love me because of who I am and not despite who I am or what I represent to them.

Whenever I get hung up on whether people like me or whether my progress is not fast enough or I become insecure about “the new me” or whether I measure up, I (politely) remind myself that I am going through this growth process for me and only me – that everyone’s journey is their own and that they deserve to go through their “stuff” the way they need to – that reactions towards the changes that I am making (especially the negative ones) are all about “stuff” that has nothing to do with me – that the only person who could label me is me.

And (most importantly) I deserve this change.  Anyone who doesn’t like it or appreciate it can exit stage left. I could be setting myself up for a very lonely life; however I would rather be 100% me and be alone than try to be someone else and be lonely.

 

I hope your 2014 is full of positivity, growth and change for the better. Happy New Year!

 

Shifts

Who knew Facebook statuses can uncover breakthroughs? A friend of mine just posted a Facebook status asking the following:

“You just won the plastic surgery procedure of your choice in a contest OR ten grand in cash. If you choose the surgery, it can be Any procedure you want, but it can only be ONE (ie: you can have lipo, but no tummy tuck). Would you take the cash or have the surgery…and, if you chose the surgery, what would you have done?”

I chose the cash. Now, this may seem like an innocuous question to some, but for me it showed how far I have come mentally this year, and it was all in how I chose to talk to myself.  When I chose the cash, I asked myself, “Is there anything wrong with me that I would need surgery for?” The answer was a resounding NO. 

Even though I am still overweight.

Even though I don’t fit into what society deems acceptable.

Even though I have dark skin.

Even though money is tight.

My default is that nothing is wrong with me. Six months ago, I wouldn’t have said that about myself. Hell…three months ago I would have said I was okay as I was but with conditions. Today, I have accepted what is. 

Being a work in progress has never felt so fucking good. 

Now, I just need that cash…..