I don’t know about you guys, but 2017 hit me like a ton of bricks. And while I won’t share every twist and turn that occurred in my life last year. I’m sharing my top 10 lessons I’ve learned about myself, life, family, style, and friendship. Plus, I’ve written a letter to 2018, because I refuse to revert back to old ways, old attitudes, and my old mentality. So, let’s get into it. Shall we?
- Comparison isn’t just the thief of joy, it’s the thief of everything. In this fast-paced world it’s so easy to get wrapped up in social media and start comparing our lives and our situations to everyone else’s up and down our timeline. Keep your eyes on your own purposeful path, celebrate others instead of racing to keep up with them. Celebrate your progress, not perfection. Cultivate gratitude over comparison. Gratitude turns what we have into more than enough.
- “Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to value yourself.” – Alice Walker So many of us spend so much time seeking validation from others, trying to get praise for the things we’ve accomplished in our lives. I’ve learned in 2017, to clap for my damn self and stop waiting for others to give me a “you’re good job mama” or “I’m so proud of you, keep up the good work”. None of that stuff matters to me anymore. If I’m not giving the love and praise I deserve, why should I expect it from someone else…right?
- Everyone doesn’t deserve your vulnerability. You need to look before you take the vulnerability leap and choose carefully who you open up to. I was drowning in a deep depression last year and couldn’t commit to things the way I wanted to. My mind was constantly racing yet, simultaneously in a complete standstill. I dropped the ball, and I wasn’t quite ready to pick it back up. I tried, don’t get me wrong. But, it just ended up overwhelming me even more and prohibited me from moving forward and actually heal. So I would cancel meetings, shoots, miss phone calls. You name it. I felt bad for canceling and backing out on these things and felt like everyone needed to hear my story and everyone needed to know the struggle I was going through in order for them to understand why I had to back out. But, here’s the thing. I didn’t owe anyone a damn thing. I was going through a very tough season in my life and honestly, I didn’t owe anyone an explanation. A simple, “my apologies, I thought I could but I can’t make it or I can’t commit to this right now. I’ll get back to you when it’s a good time” will do. BOOM, it’s done. The key thing to remember is, you share your story with those who DESERVE and have the right to hear your story.
- Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. You can’t control everything that happens in your life. But you can control how you react to those situations. Our reaction to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself. Like I’ve said before, I’ve got hit with a LOT of unexpected twists and turns in my life last year and prior to having this revelation, I allowed those things to defeat me. I allowed my situation to control my emotions and my life. Needless to say, that shit was draining the life out of me. Everything begins and ends with your mind. What you give power to has power over you, if you allow it.
- If you’ve dropped the ball, pick it back up. Keep it moving. I am a mother, girlfriend, entrepreneur, daughter, friend, and I carry so many hats. But, I often forgot one important thing: I AM A HUMAN BEING. As much as I want to be superwoman, there’s only but so much I can do. Repeat after me: I can do anything, but not everything. It’s okay to have a breakdown here and there. But, don’t stay stuck in that moment. Cry it out, refocus, and keep it pushing babe. So often we forget that it’s okay to let our guards down for a moment. I have endured. I have been broken, I have known hardship, I have lost myself. But, here I stand still moving forward, growing stronger each day. I will never forget the harsh lessons in my life. They have truly made me stronger.
So with all this being said, and without further ado, here is my open letter to the new year:
This is the part of my life where I flourish. I will define success on my own terms and achieve it by my own rules. I am building a life that I want to live. I will seek what sets my soul on fire. I’m leaving mediocrity behind, and giving it all I’ve got. I’m coming for everything I thought I couldn’t have — stability, joy, and peace. Whatever you throw at me this year, I’m ready for it. I won’t let whatever circumstances or adversities you may bring defeat me. So bring it. You don’t scare me and you damn sure don’t intimidate me.
You are a still a blank slate. A collection of days not yet trodden, so let’s do it right this time. I will enjoy every precious moment you present me. I thank you now for my growing family. I know you’ll bring me lots of smiles and new adventures in this new transition of motherhood. I will not find peace by engaging in excessive planning, attempting to control what will happen to me in the future.
I am taking responsibility this year for how I handle everything that comes my way. I will focus on the big picture and always will begin with the end in mind. I will create healthy habits, and get rid of the ones that hinder me from becoming the woman I want to be and creating the life I want.
Oh yeah, I’m reclaiming my style. I will stay true to myself and who I am and will express that to the fullest extent with what I wear and how I LIVE.
So cheers to you 2018. Cheers to new beginnings. Cheers to fresh starts. Cheers to clean slates. Cheers to greatness!