Category: Self Discovery
This week, I spent quite a bit of time in my local used bookstore. Honestly, it’s more of a happy place than anything else and I often find myself getting “lost” amongst the shelves for hours at a time.
One book in particular has been calling to me for quite some time and I’d done my best to resist it up until this week.
If you’re a bookworm like myself, you know exactly what I mean about books “calling.” That book was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Yeah that one. Every millionaire, finance expert and money guru has preached about this book in particular. Personally I didn’t think I was ready to have that conversation about myself as I was seriously (not seriously) enjoying the financial pity parties that I was throwing for myself.
But alas, I got my hands on a copy and even got my boyfriend a copy as well so that we could read together and discuss it.
I started reading it in the car and before I knew it, I had spent fifteen minutes in my car reading.
I COULD NOT PUT THE DAMN BOOK DOWN.
So I’m reading and trying not to highlight half the damn book as I go and I stumble on a quote that triggered me.
If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dream across, and never mind what “they” say if you meet with temporary defeat, for “they,” perhaps, do not know that EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS.
I think that sometimes we are conditioned to seek counsel from others before making steps forward.
I remember all of the “theysayers” in my life as I was figuring out my plans post high school.
Plan A was the military.
“They” told me not to go into the military because I would be killed (as if I couldn’t be killed as a civilian just as easily).
I spoke about how my corporate job was taking a toll on my mental and physical health.
“They” told me to “play the corporate games” because I didn’t need to quit my job without six month’s worth of savings or a new position lined up.
I could go on and on.
The point is, hardly ever will “they” tell you to do what you want to do or what’s best for you.
Who are the “they” people in your life?
Are “they” holding you back? Are “they” pushing you to go forward?
Be mindful of the “theysayers” in your life.
Most times “they” don’t know what they’re talking about.
Nine times out of ten, “theysayers” operate in fear.
“They” also have their own concerns, fears, and insecurities that “they” are wanting to project onto you. And the moment that you go against the grain and things fall apart, they rush to remind you that “a hard head makes a soft ass, or I told you so” or whatever the fuck else makes them feel good about being right about your situation.
But they are nowhere to be found when things go right. Or, they change up the narrative to give you a faux congrats and the “I knew you could do it” bullshit.
But as Napoleon said, EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS.
I’ve tried and failed at many things. The things I’ve failed at provided tools and resources that led to my successes. The things I’ve succeeded at were the very things that “they” didn’t believe I’d succeed in. But then again, who the hell sets the standard for success anyway?
Perhaps you find yourself surrounded by “theysayers” who also function as the “naysayers” in your life. I’m here (along with Napoleon) to remind you to pursue that passion that keeps you up at night.
FUCK WHAT “THEY” SAY
Here’s my “perfect” day:
- Wake up
- Walk Milo
- Check accounts
- Start work (reading, writing)
- Check accounts
- End work (reading, writing)
- Walk Milo
Two years ago, I was in a completely different headspace than I was now. This was when I had quit my corporate job. I was fully convinced that I wanted to pursue writing full time and that me quitting and writing down this perfect day was exactly what I wanted for my life. I wrote them down like all the gurus said. I set my intentions under every moon in high faith that this would some way somehow become my life. You know the old cliche, if I knew then what I knew now, I would do xyz differently? Well. Looking back at these intentions and my current state of life, I’d say I’m exactly where I wanted to be. And as frustrated as I am with what my life appears to be right now, I can’t be upset at anyone outside of myself.
I wasn’t specific!
In any way, shape or form.
I left myself completely open to interpretation and influence of whatever else was going on in the world.
Ask and ye shall receive, right?
I had to mentally walk myself back through these intentions that I set FOR MYSELF. What the hell was I thinking? Why didn’t the author warn me?!?!?
I had no sense of what time I wanted to wake up or why I wanted to wake up at said time. At the crack of dawn? Catch the sunrise? I didn’t know what kind of meditations I was interested in or even how to practice mindfulness in said meditation. Walking meditation? Shower meditation? With singing bowls and palo santo? Did I want to have enough time for a hearty homemade breakfast or did I wanna hit somebody’s drive thru line? What kind of accounts was I checking? Social media? Bank accounts? In terms of work, was it ONLY reading and writing? And did the reading and writing pay the bills? I mean, I knew I hated my job because it kept me away from my reading and writing………
Moving forward, I began detailing my goals, intentions, and prayers etc down to the number of times that I am going to have to pee each day.
If you feel like you’re in a funk (like me), I challenge you to go find old notebooks, prayer journals and buried sticky notes and revisit some of the intentions that you have set for yourself. What manifested? What are you currently waiting on? Are you where you said you’d be? Maybe you’ll discover where you are is where you wanted to be after all.
Although it took two years to fully manifest, this is truly the life I thought I wanted for myself. Truth be told, it’s not. I’ll preach to myself first before I preach to the masses but hear me loud and clear.
WHEN WE ARE NOT SPECIFIC WITH OUR GOALS, ANYTHING GOES.
My former chittlins and pig feet eatin ass is vegetarian. Damn near vegan but still struggling with cheese.
I’m on the cusp of my three month mark of missing bacon.
Growing up in Townsville, NC, I was raised on chicken, fish, rabbit, squirrel, opossum, pig feet and stankin ass (all pun intended) chittlins. All of it. You name it, we ate it. Super Southern. Smothered in gravy. Doused in Texas Pete Hot Sauce. Paired with cabbage cooked with ham and string beans. Saying no to food wasn’t an option. It was a high level of disrespect especially since I wasn’t contributing to the groceries NOR was I “big enough” to tell anybody what I wasn’t going to eat.
Despite the diet that was accustomed to as a kid well into adolescence, I’ve always maintained a very petite frame. The “biggest” I’ve ever been was a size 13 and the smallest I’ve ever been has been a 00 in high school.
I’m currently struggling to hang tight to my size 6 Levis without them trying to fall off the bone (get it? Fall off the bone? Nevermind).
My diet had been pretty much the same my entire life except for the three months that I went pescatarian. That was fun yet short lived. At the time it worked because I was kickboxing and it helped me get my abs faster. When I stopped kickboxing, I went right back to Cajun chicken trays and fried pork chops.
But then it all changed.
I moved to Texas.
Not just Texas.
HOT ASS TEXAS.
DRY HEAT ASS TEXAS.
Things were cool during the beginning of spring when I arrived and then it started getting hot. Not only did it get hot. It got hot right when COVID caused me to lose my full time job.
I decided to become an Instacart shopper, in said heat. If you’re not familiar with Instacart, it’s a grocery delivery service that allows someone to shop for your groceries for you and have them delivered to your door.
This coupled with my diet and Texas heat proved disastrous. I’d notice that I always felt sluggish no matter how much water I drank. No matter how many naps I took. NO matter how much sleep I’d gotten the night before. My body still wasn’t adjusting properly. And I ain’t like that. I just couldn’t maintain the energy levels that I needed to Instacart.
Naturally for me, when I feel like my body is off balance, the first thing that I evaluate is my diet. In my mind, everything physical stems from there. I considered going back pescatarian or limiting myself to chicken and fish. But then when so many of the employees at Tyson Foods started testing positive for COVID, I knew that meat NOR seafood was going to be an option.
The true icing on the cake was shopping for Instacart. I saw countless customers buying pounds of meat- raw, cooked, processed, soda, candy, junk food………just all kinds of shit. It started making me sick to my stomach because it was so much of it EVERY FUCKING DAY. Many repeat customers. I could count on one hand how many meatless deliveries I had or even deliveries that included fresh fruit and veggies at one point.
Talk about a weird way to fully and abruptly change up a diet right?
May 2, 2020 was the last time that I had meat. I went all out because I knew how serious I was…..THIS TIME. I ordered curried goat, steamed cabbage, red beans and rice from a nice Jamaican spot.
Since then, I can definitely smell meat from outer space. I accidentally had mashed cauliflower that had bacon in it (on accident) and some string beans that I had been prepared with ham. It ripped me an entire new asshole.
My body has never felt better. I have more energy. No more sluggish days despite the 100+ degree weather. No more catnaps. I sleep better at night. My concentration is A1 and my anxiety and depression are super manageable. Going out hasn’t limited my ability to go out to eat either as more vegan/vegetarian options are becoming available on menus.
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add fuel to the fire. Not only did I cut out the meats, but I started doing research with the support of a few Facebook friends pointing me in the right direction (thanks Demetria).
The more I learn, the more I’m appalled, disgusted, angry and sad. The information has been overwhelming at times and at other times it’s been very encouraging. At this point, I’m trying to convince as many people as possible (especially black folks) to GET OFF DA MEATS! I’ve never met so many black vegans and vegetarians before in my entire life! It keeps me energized to continue educating people of the benefits of embracing a plant-based diet, so much that I’m actually going into plant-based education and advocacy work!
For many, it should take COVID or a doctor’s death sentence for change (although there’s a 90% chance that it will). There’s so much shit happening with our foods that we aren’t even aware of. The transition into a plant-based lifestyle inspired me to analyze how our food affects our wellness- mentally and physically especially in low socioeconomic black communities. I have ideas for launching plant-based education initiatives and even maybe launching a non-profit. Who knows? One thing I know for sure is that many unhealthy eating habits and patters have been passed down from generation to generation and my goal is to stop them as much as I can. Toxic perspectives about clean eating have also been passed down from generation to generation, and I plan to help stop that too. Plant-based diets aren’t just a “white people thing.” Hell, it’s not even a healthy people thing. It’s a simply a more conscious decision. Oh and don’t get me started on how embracing a plant-based diet is a direct approach to fighting systemic racism! That’s a different convo for a different post!
If you’re interested on learning more about weaning yourself off of DA MEATS, feel free to reach out. If you’ve transitioned and did a bit of backsliding, START OVER AS MANY TIMES AS YOU NEED TO BUT NEVER GIVE UP. Then, tell me how you feel.