It’s My Party……

And I cried because I NEEDED to,

You would cry too if you walked in my shoes.

Yesterday was my 31st birthday.

It was yet another year of celebrating life in the middle of this pandemic. Unlike most birthdays before last year, I wasn’t genuinely excited.

I knew that this year would be somewhat different since I now live in Texas and most of my family and friends live in North Carolina. 

It began as one of the most “un-birthday-est” birthdays ever. 

I’m used to celebrating throughout the week amongst friends, family and strangers alike. 

Karaoke.

Dinners.

Bar hops.

Vineyards.

Smoking cigars.

Kayaking.

Connecting with nature, 

Hood rat shit with my friends.

This pandemic forced me to do some serious shadow working.

I have had breakdowns galore. 

I have had some rough wild nights.

My support system is A1. 

This revolution around the sun is propelling me forward. I feel it. 

Leering go of the things that torement me. The things that kept me bound. The things that lived rent free in my head for far too long.

It was hindering all that I was trying to manifest.

And on my birthday things changed. 

There was shift. The good finally about to outweigh the bad. 

I got that message very loud and clear. 

Yesterday was an entire party just for me.

And dammit I cried!

Thank you all for allowing me to share this space with you in this lifetime. 

Time to rebrand.

And the award goes to…..

In spirit of one of the podcasts that’s kept me afloat this year, The Brilliant Idiots, I think that this quote is reasonable.

If you think 2020 was your best year ever, you’re absolutely right. If you think 2020 was your worst year ever, you’re right too.

Many of us don’t even have the words for what 2020 was. 

Nothing I did was on my vision board. 

My planner looked like a kindergartener had scribbled through it.

I started a new job as a middle school teacher. 

I quit that new job and moved to Texas. 

We got hit with the pandemic quarantine. 

I made $1000 Instacarting one week. 

I got fired from Instacart. 

I had to ask my friends to help me pay my bills.

I finally have a bed after sleeping on a blowup mattress for months. 

I worked at the IRS for 2 days and quit. 

I worked at a hospital for a month. 

I fell in love again. 

If that isn’t Oscar worthy, I don’t know what is. 

2020 showed its ass. 

I’m actually eager to see what 2021 has in store. I’m rather used to this Jordan Peele production we’ve been in for 90% of 2020. 

I’m looking forward to all of the creative ideas being birthed from this pandemic. All of the healthy conversations that are taking place. People are reading again. People are writing again. Strangers are networking. Folks are finally pursuing their passions. 

I love to see it. 

Please do set intentions. 

Please do the shadow work. 

Manifest that shit!

2020. Deuces!

Escaping Survival Mode

According to Psychology Today, “survival mode” is an adaptive response of the human body to help us survive danger and stress. 

From the outside looking in, many people would assume that I had an overall healthy childhood and adolescence. I was raised by my grandparents in the country. I got good grades. I never came off as disobedient. My yes mams and no sirs were always polished. Despite being a “good kid” raised in a super religious household, my life has never been exempt from trauma and dysfunction. I am almost certain that I’ve suffered from depression for years undiagnosed. 

I recently read and shared an article that discussed the immobilizing effects of depression. I recognized myself immediately. I wasn’t in a position to get out of the environment that I was in so I mentally became immobile. I don’t remember how I learned to control my rage. How to play along. How to seemingly “fit” into that world until I could get out of it.

Fast forward to now.

At 30. Far removed from the people, places and things that brought the trauma and dysfunction into my life, I still catch myself functioning in survival mode.

It is very difficult to escape this mindset.

I’m constantly reminding myself. I question my decisions alot. Why am I doing this? When it’s time for me to make important decisions I ask myself if I’m doing what I want to do or what needs to be done? Anything involving money and I’m asking if I’m buying an item from a headspace of lack.

Whatever helps right?

To the person that resonates with this blog:

  1. How are you or have you been working on escaping a mindself of survival mode?
  2. What has been your biggest challenge?

They Say

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. 

It happens. 

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?

YOU DO!

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

A Not So Hot Girl Summer

It is approaching the end of the summer. For those of you that don’t know, I am a high school teacher. I too, was under the false impression that summers were reserved for trips around the country, binging on Netflix series and waking up at 5pm from hangovers. This summer has been the furthest thing from that.

 

This week is the first week back for teachers. And although I’m excited, I’m also saddened. This summer whooped my ass!

 

Yes! Whooped my ass!

 

What had happened was…….

 

I started teaching later in the year. Most teachers begin the year at the end of August. I didn’t get offered a position until mid August. That being said, I didn’t start teaching early enough to disperse my payments throughout the twelve month pay schedule and had to settle for the ten month pay schedule. 

 

Now fast forward to the end of June. Thanks to a few scatterbrained folks who shall remain nameless (y’all know how I am), I was under the influence that I’d be paid my final check at the end of June.

 

So when June rolls around, I wake up with full intentions of paying all of the bills.

 

But when I looked at the bank account, my stomach dropped into my ass. A solid $200.

 

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I struggled holding conversations for the rest of the day. 

 

Avoided eye contact with everyone.

 

Had a panic attack followed by a full blown meltdown. 

 

All before I could pull my shit together enough to figure out why. 

 

Well turns out May was the final paycheck and there was some “miscommunication.”

 

My face: 

My mind: I’ll knock all this shit over

 

The rest of the summer went downhill from there. 

 

My car broke down.

 

Had some outrageous family issues.

 

Fell short on rent and car note (and had to fully rely on my support system).

 

I had a book launch coming up and hadn’t purchased a single book to sell.

 

The one relationship that seemed hopeful crashed and burned. 

 

My body started shutting down and I had a medical situation that required me to have a catheter in for a little over a month. 

 

The uncomfort of it prevented me from adequately training for my part time job. 

 

I quickly spiraled into a heavy depression all while walking out of the house with a smile on my face. Not because I wanted to, but because I HAD to.

 

I couldn’t let anyone see. Cause who wants to see sad people? So on my way home from driving Uber til 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning…..I would just cry. Not just any old cry. That “what is life” cry. That “I think this is the end” cry. No matter how many songs I added to my “You Got This” playlist, nothing seemed to help. The advice of friends was always supportive and positive but when you are in such a feeling of powerlessness and helplessness, even that encouragement goes in one ear and out the other. 

 

I tried to drink it away.

 

I tried to write it away.

 

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Instead of fighting the depression, I decided that this time I just needed to go ahead and allow myself to go under. I always come back up right? I had nothing else to lose or prove. It was probably one of the best decisions that I could make for myself at the time, especially with everything that I had going on. 

 

The day I went to have the catheter removed, the nurse asked me about any depression. And I lied. Like most people do. Like most women do. Like a majority of black women do. 

 

It reminded me of a time that another nurse said well it looks like you’re happy so I’m sure you’re not depressed. Telling people that they can’t be depressed because they look happy happy is such an ugly stigma. 

 

 

So when I say that this breakthrough is personal it is overcoming my obstacles is super selfish I take so much pride in knowing that I’m tougher than I think and way more temper then I gave myself credit for and now that I know I have all the tools and resources to be stronger I feel that I have a better grip on how I can control my depression. 

 

I have a much deeper understanding of who I am and how I got to this point there’s also a list of things and thoughts that I need to decondition myself from. 

 

I know who my friends are and who my friends aren’t. 

 

Always being the lender and never the borrower makes it hard as fuck to ask for help when needed. 

 

Your support system can legit make or break you. 

 

Hustling is mad uncomfortable. I legit didn’t think that my body could function on less than 6 hours of sleep. But here I am….functioning and shit. 

 

The feeling of powerlessness and helplessness is only in my mind. 

 

I needed to break down. I needed to fall apart. I needed to sit down. I needed to be lost. I needed to find myself again. 

 

So while I didn’t get the summer that I wanted, I got the summer that I needed.

 

A not so hot girl summer.

 

P.S. If you’re in this boat. Reach out. You’re not alone. I promise. People just aren’t transparent because it’s painful to admit. You’re loved. You’re valuable. And most importantly, You’re more powerful than you think!

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

 

1-800-273-TALK

1-800-273-8255