You know, they say time flies. I didn't believe it until my time came.
It has officially been a year since I became an alumna of my illustrious institution, thy noble tri-color, Clark Atlanta University! Though I'm glad that I have achieved this milestone in my life, I'd be lying to say I don't miss the environment, the safety net that college afforded me. & life is completely different!
May 16, 2016. I remember it like it were yesterday. Getting up at 4 am, all in preparation for the longest ceremony of my life, but it was all worth it. My smile had never been so wide. I attribute that day to being the happiest day of my life to date. I was surrounded by so much love and positivity and light and laughter; I spend everyday trying to get back to that level of happiness. I was so high on life and optimistic for what was to come, ready to blaze a path and embark on my new career in the fashion industry. But, my goodness, I wasn't prepared for all that actually followed.
This year has been full of ups and downs, to say the least. Shortly after graduation, I was knocked quickly off of my high horse. Applying to countless jobs, hearing no after no, feeling stagnant, working jobs where I felt unappreciated and underpaid, working just to pay bills, working a job I hate, dealing with people's advice that meant well but didn't really help and so much more all took a serious toll on me. I went through bouts of depression and struggled with my self-worth, but I knew there had to be more to life than working for someone else just to pay bills and rushing through my days just to get to an off day. I'm at a position where I'm teaching myself to fight for my dream, to take charge of my own life.
Here are some things I've learned and relearned along the way.
Parents just won't understand the journey.
They mean well and definitely want the best for us, but the truth is that generation gap is real. What worked for them back in their day is plausible advice, however, it's not necessarily applicable to our current situations. I don't want to and can't settle; my dreams won't allow it. I've always been a creative, and my parents would've loved for me to go the nursing or political route. Seeing me struggling to find a job, I was met with advice to just take any job or that this is how life as an adult is or to basically suck it up and deal with a job I hate. I was always trying to get my parents to understand my perspective, but that generational gap and different outlook on life would be the issue in getting through time and time again. I had to realize that they just won't understand, and it wasn't my job to make them; my job is to do the best that I can to do better, achieve more than the generations before me did and make my parents proud. They have to respect the hustle, right?!
Adulting is hard, but [my] life is so much more than work and bills.
Bills, responsibilities, sacrifices, having to punch "the man's" clock everyday...I am over it! We can all agree that we long for the days when we didn't have a care in the world. Adult life is stressful! If I could just stay tucked away in the safety of my bed all day, I would. But, you know, bills have to be paid.
Between the stress and the mental breakdowns and the anxiety that the world brings, you need something to look forward to, something to keep you going and motivated. I had to relearn how to wake up everyday and choose happiness, choose to make the most of each day, choose not to fall victim to a less than desirable situation or negative thoughts. We thank God for waking us up each morning, but the real work is in finding something meaningful to dedicate our days to once your feet hit the floor. Your passion is fuel.
Take risks and work with what you have!
Point, blank, period! We sometimes get so caught up in what we don't have and where we should be that we forget to appreciate what we have in front of us. Not everything needs to make sense; not everything has to align to a plan. The time and circumstances will never be perfect. This realization was especially hard for me. You have to just go for it! It's so important to utilize the gifts God gave us. I've learned that instead of asking God to bless us with more, we should ask for the wisdom to do more with what we already have. Take what you have and be a good steward over it, and it will grow into something you never imagined. Faith makes you take a risk. God expects us to do something uncommon with what we already have. He can't get involved unless you change how you think and act.
God got me!
Such a simple phrase. I've learned to take my hands off of things that I have no control over. It's okay for me to not have it all together right now. God has a plan for me, and it's a plan for success, not failure. I have to be patient in this time of transition and trust God. I find solace in the fact that everything will be alright; things will turn out exactly how they should. My part is just to give God something to work with, in the words of one of my favorite Youtubers Vicky Logan! Just like I'd expect someone to meet me halfway in a myriad of situations, I have to meet God halfway and not sit around waiting for things to change. Bottom line: God got me!
This year has been full of breakdowns and breakthroughs, lessons relearned and realizations discovered. In the words of Lauryn Hill, "Life is peaks and vales, but I think it's learning and mastership." I'm learning something new everyday, about myself, life, my craft, etc. As I reflect on this past year, I'm glad I'm not where I was. I'm making plans and making moves, putting my happiness first and living for myself only. I'm looking forward to what's in store, to seeing what dopeness I create in the near future.
Tis all. xoxo
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