Learning To Celebrate Yourself.

When I was younger I was the center of attention and I loved it. I would show up and show all the way out. You want a dancer? I will be the best. You want someone to cuss? There will be no other. You want a singer? Mariah Carey who. And all of this before I was 10 years old. But the older I got the less I showed out until I stopped showing up.

So, slowly as I got older I learned to have a filter, until I had filtered out everything that would make me stand out. I started to doubt myself, when I did not get the response I expected. Then I started to think maybe if I was real quiet things would work out better for me. I no longer wanted attention because there are the wrong ones that will get you into so much trouble. Then maybe if you are too bright there will be more to pick a part.

But when then will you celebrate your life? Whether you achieved all you thought you could, would or should achieve, it is important to celebrate yourself. We must learn to celebrate who we are and where we are at that moment knowing that we will not remain there. There are many lists on offer out there on how you can celebrate yourself. However, there is no right formula, no specific recipe and no set timeline. But each day we get up, we need to celebrate ourselves, we need to regain the confidence we once had and be grateful for all we have been through and enjoy the journey we will be on that day. Take along those who will celebrate with you and let go of those who will not.

Life is beautiful only if you see the beauty and not only the pain, but both. Life is transformative, only if you are willing to grow. We may each have a reason not to but celebrating who you are ensures you never lose yourself.

So…I wrote a Book.

When I was a child and asked what I wanted to be, I chose the most popular at the time. I wanted to be a nurse, a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer. Then when I got older I wanted a glamourous job, a flight attendant (at least it was marketed as glamourous), super model (though I barely reached past five feet), an actress (though I never joined drama club), a singer (though I did not develop on my natural singing voice). Then I wanted something related to the subject I loved, I wanted to do journalism, travel the world and write about these places. Then I went to university and wanted to be whatever could pay for my student loans.

So, I ended being a teacher and have been doing this ever since. Along the way I have been inspired to write for different reasons and seasons. I write when I am happy, sad and mad. When I think I have something to say and when I know I have nothing to say but want to get out what is in me before it explodes from me. Writing has been something I have always done. Being the only child in a household of adults, great grand parents to be exact, I really did not have much option. I use to read four books in one day, write in my diary every day and read every box, bag, tube or bottle with words on it. Writing has always been my friend.

So when life throws something at me I have to write it down but in my own way. I had to tell my stories as I saw fit and poetry was the most beautiful way I could.

So I wrote and published a poetry book with poems that I have been writing for over ten years. Over the years I had promised myself I would write a book, but it was not gonna be a poetry book. It was gonna be novels like the one Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote or Toni Morrison or Edwidge Danticat or Jamaica Kincaid. However, all I ended up writing were my poetries. I would read them to myself and be amazed that I wrote them. But that was all.

Then people saw them and told me I should publish them and I was mystified as to what they saw that gave them the idea that I could write anything great enough to be published. Then, much later, I realized that I was only finding excuses not to try. Excuses based on my own insecurities.

So this year I finally found the courage – with the support of some great people and dear friends – to learn more and grow, to put myself and my work out there and leave it there. I have a long way to go but this book is the step I needed to get out of my head.

The Purpose of Regrets

There are many videos on YouTube around the issue of regret. There are videos about things I regret from my 20s, 30s and so on and so forth. However, I wonder if laying out those wounds, past hurts and disappointments really accomplishes much. Maybe for many persons, regrets from their past have given them the impetuous to work harder and push further. But, there is the real danger that regret can become our lifelong companions and deprive us of the joys of now.

There are many things in my past I wish I had done differently that at the time seemed perfectly sane and absolutely necessary. There are things I knew was wrong but did anyway, because life is complicated. However, does it now make sense that I allow those past decisions to control my decisions now through a sense of making the same mistakes or having similar results?

I have determined thus far that no one can every make the right decision for you and nobody wants to. Therefore, the decisions that we make must be in our best interest if we aim to do something anything along the lines of our purpose here on earth. When I tell you I regret not having financial literacy, not listening more to my intuition and not getting out of bad relationships quickly, ask me what am I doing now having learned those lessons.

It is easy to get stuck on our regrets, especially when what others think of us matter too much to us. When we compare ourselves with everyone and wonder why we are not further along. When instead of using our past as a blueprint to live the rest of our lives, we find ways to relish those disasters by taking them out from time to time and having a “poor me” party.

ACT NOW

  • I wish I had spoken up for myself – you still can begin now
  • I wish I’d let myself be happier – you are still alive BE happy, do what makes you happy
  • I wish I had the courage to life a life true to me – you can it is not too late create moments where you do
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with more people – if you can’t reach out to them now treasure the ones you can and make it a point to keep connected
  • I wish I had not been so focused on what others thought about me – it may be hard but start taking that approach now, work towards being as unbothered as you can be!

Regrets are a part of life, we all have them, but do not let your regrets overshadow your life.

The Try Hard Olympics

I thought since the much delayed and controversial Summer Olympics in Tokyo Japan, is about to begin, we could talk about the try hard Olympics. Now this is a game we try to disassociate from but end up being drafted into. In all areas of life there are many of us who are or have been a certified try hard.

There are many who fake their way through life and never realize how they are selling themselves short by doing so. We try to fit in whether at work, school with friends or any where, with any group that we think we should be a part of. We take the mantra, “fake it till we make it”, to heart and end up trading in who we are for the opportunity to be anything else, as long as that other thing we become is validated by others. So we swim through murky waters, when we cannot swim in those waters safely. We jump high hurdles that threaten to lead us to breaking our necks and we try to scale mountains with out the proper support. Then, the worst thing that could happen is that we end up wondering – because all our efforts have failed so far – how much harder we should try.

Well from what I have gathered, entering the try hard Olympics does not often (99.9999% of the time) lead to great results, like a gold medal, but rejection. Now, working hard is a good think but it should be done in the spirit of being authentic. People will pick up on your insecurities and lack of confidence in yourself, your abilities and in who you are. Instead, I am trying to work with what works best for me and trying to be myself, neither good or bad, but an imperfect balance of both – though sometimes the bad overpowers the good . I am working hard on coming to a place where I refuse to continue to try to be too many things, while seeming to drift from one event to another but never being good at any. This approach can be a way to discover who I am and what I want and how I want to be seen. It may help me come to truly accept that I do not need to do it all and for all that I can be happy with what I can offer whether anyone sees it as too much too little or none at all.

What are You Building?

I know we talk and think a lot about building wealth, building our lives and securing our future. However, sometimes we forget to really check in with ourselves to find out why we are doing all of this. Is it because it is what we should be doing or is it because we are trying to, “keep up with the Joneses?”

Is the foundation on which we build our lives shaky or is it firm? Are we operating from a place of genuineness or jealousy and envy? These are questions that we don’t want to even think about let alone try to answer. But we must. We must, because once we start making progress and begin to see the manifestation of what we worked so hard for it is too late to go back to sure up the foundation, and we know what comes next:

Beetlejuice Falls Off Of Billboard GIF | Gfycat

Now, going back to the issue of building. Building our lives is important, but what that is, is going to be different from person to person. We cannot build off the energy, ideas or lived experiences of others, but from our own knowledge of who we are, what we can accomplish based on that and what we have to work with. This idea came to me literally as I was minding my business by minding someone else’s – a terrible human condition – and came across a bible scripture. Now the section that really caught my attention and took me off someone else’s business and onto my own, is Psalm 127: 1: Unless theĀ LordĀ builds the house, They labor in vain who build it. From that verse I started wondering how many of us really think about what goes into the base, the foundation of our lives. When we make decisions that affect the rest of our lives do we think about why we are making those decisions and can we even be truly honest with ourselves about that. Are we building to be validated by others or are we building because we see ourselves as valid enough to operate from a place that is at the core of who we are?

I’m Designing My Life

I'm Designing My Life

I'm Designing my life
after all I've been through
I'm Designing my life.
Don't see me as "the good person"
Anymore
I never will be.
I quit the mimic squad
and I'm starting my one woman band.
A band where when you see me
it is me
and not who you want me to be
nor who I think I should be
to please you.
I will sit this one out
no need to try to be
I simply am me.
I didn't know I saw me so small
Until my hardest fall.
I now know I am not God
though I tried to be
I can save no one
so let me save my sanity
and stop.
Wait a minute.
Let me step back 
take back control
find my blueprint.
let me create
free of your tongue
your pen.
Let me
place all the ts and dots
where they should be.
I'm actively
waiting and watching.
Let me truly be a blessing.

What is Love?

What is Love?

I don't give a damn who you are
I'm gonna love you.
I don't care where you come from
I'm gonna love you.
I don't care if you make me uncomfortable
I'm still gonna love you.
I'm gonna love you 
when you disappoint me
when I can't understand you
when I think I cannot find 
who you are.
I'm gonna love you 
when you don't ask
want 
or feel you need it.
I'm gonna love you loud
love you proud
in the quiet times
in the dry seasons
in those valleys that have no reason. 
I'm gonna love you 
and see you
and let you do you.
Whether you see me
I see you
and whether you love me
I will love you
and nothing
nothing can change my love,
because you did not ask for it,
but you deserve it.