What a difference 4 years can make. In the midst of the storm … I somehow gained another strength within myself that I never knew I had. 4 years in Houston. WOW. Time flies. Let me just say that the “Grown Woman Au’Vonnie” would not be who she is now without having moved to Houston. Within that time I have fallen but gotten back up many times. Lets see… what have I been through in that time ? Well … went from a great relationship to a not so great one. (But learned to love myself A LOT more during that last little one) 2 car accidents, one which was serious. Took public transportation for a year and a half in the sun, rain, storms. Moved 3 times. Lived with rodents just so I could have somewhere to lay my head. Got my house broken into. Lived off of peanut butter and cup of noodles for months at a time. Made 5 bucks stretch in the bank accounts when deemed necessary. Had some negative bank accounts just so bills could be paid. Denied to my dream school … and then some. However, since then, the come up has gotten much better. I have gone back to school. Written a book. Begun the process of my non-profit and scholarship fund. Traveled to different states and countries. Met new friends. Lost a job but gained a “career” and honestly became a better me. A stronger me. People always tell me that it seems that I have it easy now, but don’t know what is has taken to get here. Lots and lots of tears and setbacks. I still have a long way to go to be exactly where I want to be but I am forever greatful. Greatful that after living in Orlando 5 years ago; me choosing to leave California after that; picking up and leaving everything I was comfortable with and all that I knew to start aknew; All within a span of 9 months. I still laugh at telling my parents “Yeah. I’m moving to Houston, gotta go”. Folks were so mad. That period of time was hard. Best decision I have made to date though. Being stagnant and complacent have never been me. I have always been ok with traveling alone and just up and leaving. The world has so much to offer. Life has so much to offer. I never want to be that person that looks back in years and say “I wish I would have done this or that.” I say all of that to say, seeing the growth of self is dope. Change is dope. Being scared is dope. Living life and learning is dope. I wouldn’t change my experience(s) in my life for anything in the world. It may seem hard during the times when you are going through whatever it is, but the outcome is so much greater.
I love you. Broken. Bruised. Insecure. Scared. These are the things that eventually made you who you are.
Once a blank muse and now a beautiful creation. A masterpiece if you will.
Who knew that within your years of living, you would have gone through so much to mold you into who you have become today.
It wasn’t always roses and beautiful sunsets, yet dark clouds and storms all the way around.
Cold nights and empty spaces.
Cold nights and empty heart.
Lost and confused not sure of what to do.
You made it. You’ve grown.
I love you.
I love you because you are smart. Intelligent. Important. Someone who may have fallen down 10 times, but stood up twice that.
I love you because in-spite of the negativity that may come your way, you choose to fight on. You choose to be prosperous in the middle of the storm.
Although things may not always be easy, you make a way to push through and let nothing stop you.
You are strong. You are more than a conqueror. A concrete rose if you will.
I love you, continue to fight on.
“In the end she became more than she expected. She became the journey, and like all journeys , she did not end. She simply changed directions and kept going”
Before 2016 was up, I decided to do one thing that I never thought that I would do. I mended a relationship with my Biological Father. After 15+ years of not seeing him, giving excuses as to when I would, why I would not, and giving the “maybe one day” speech a billion times, I decided to give in and do what I preach about all the time. I decided to let the anger, the past, the hurt, the frustration go and just give the guy a chance.
For years I was hurt because 1. I was embarrassed. 2. I wanted the father like you see on T/V. You know, a Cliff Huxtable, an Uncle Phil, a Carl Winslow, a Lester Jenkins, you name it. I wanted this life that I saw on T.V rather than what I actually had. 3. because I really had no man around growing up to tell me how it would be dating, how to deal with men, how to deal with heartbreak, I never went to a father daughter dance, so on and so forth. After letting all that go, and talking, it was … a breath of fresh air.
I am not saying things are perfect, however … I am saying that it can get pretty close to it. I told myself that this year would be the year to just go all in with every aspect of my life and see where it takes me. That was only the beginning.
I can say many cliches as to how this year will turn out. I can name many New Year Resolutions .. but I wont. Because well, let’s be honest … who sticks with those the whole year anyway ?
I will however say, I plan on making this the BEST year yet ! This is the year of Can instead of Can’t. Will instead of Won’t. This is the year of Speaking up and Speaking out. This is the year of not dwelling on the past but making room for the future.
Last year, we all know was hard for me, but I am choosing to look forward. I do not want to die and people remember me for the hardships that I spoke of, but yet making it through them and choosing to live in my truth.
So with all that being said, Cheers to a New Year. Cheers to life. Cheers to change. Cheers to peace. Cheers to painful endings. Cheers to new beginnings. Cheers to Self. Cheers to mending. Cheers to finding love and keeping it. Cheers to whatever and whoever God throws my way. And Cheers to starting anew.
For years, people have told me that I have a gift when it comes to speaking to people, motivating people, encouraging people, being a breath of fresh air in a sense for some. I guess you can say … it’s just been in me forever.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been one to want to help people. To lift people up. To make them feel good. I have always said … if I can’t make myself happy, that’s fine … but if can make someone else’s day, that’s even better.
I took this idea almost a year ago and just started writing. I was going through a really hard time and felt like I had no one to talk to. I was at my most vulnerable state for the longest time. I was really sad, crying everyday and felt like the people I wanted to be there for me were not. I was losing friends, relationships, self-love … you name it. Then again … maybe at that time I was so used to helping others, I forgot how to help myself.
Anyway, that’s when I kept writing, and writing, and writing. My life stories, my good times, my sad times, the times when I couldn’t help myself, the times when I got a good talk from someone that helped, I wrote it all down.
After that .. I let it sit for months. I got sad again … I lost my drive.
Around Mid to late summer, after taking a break, staying off of social media, going to therapy, figuring out why I was lost, why I wasn’t happy … something clicked and I said ” I’m tired of being miserable and sad” that’s literally the moment I decided to “let go and let God”. Once I did that, I promise everything began to go in the right direction. That was my healing moment.
Finally, I asked around about how to create a book. How to turn my stories, my life, my moments into something great and share with other people. How to turn my most negative moments/situations in life into positive.
Now, I’m not saying my life is perfect at all … I still cry. I still think back to my lowest and most heartbreaking moments. I still think back to times where things seemed easier and I had nothing to worry about. However … I am also saying that through it all I am still standing and I am still fighting for continuous peace, love and happiness.
I continue to tell myself that through it all, I am making it, I have made it and will continue to do so. I will not regret where I have come from, or where I am. I will not apologize for pushing myself through and finding my happiness.
God has more in store for me, and this is just my new beginning.
It’s amazing how God works and how things come in full circle when it’s time. Someone once said to me “Timing is Everything” and ” life’s three best teachers are : Heartbreak, Empty Pockets and Failure.” TRUE.
This time last year, believe it or not, I was going through one of many hardships. From November of last year to November of this year. It was not all bad, however … it was quite close.
Emotionally, I was drained, Physically, I was out of it, Mentally … tuh … barely there.
People who know me know that when I am happy, I am HAPPY and it shows, but when I am going through something, I am much more quiet and reserved. That was me all year. Here and there you would see a smile, but majority of the time, you barely saw me at all.
I did not know who I was, I lost myself, I let myself go, I questioned myself multiple times and I was at the point to where I did not want to be seen or talk to anyone anymore.
I hated my “job” and got too comfortable, too stagnant and complacent. I was upset because I didn’t have the “Career” I wanted and quite frankly, I stopped working to reach it because I was just so tired. A relationship that was near to my heart ended and that happened at the worst possible time. I lived in a place that I was not comfortable in and had so much negative energy I could barely think straight. I started to act out, be out of character and did things that I regret because I was in a space where I felt I could not reach out to anybody because I was ashamed.
How could this woman who preached and teached to others about positivity, being happy and letting things go, letting go and letting God, speaking on letting time take it’s course quoting every cliche and bible verse you could think of do this ? … Why is it when it came to myself, all of that was out of the window ?
It took a lot of self – evaluation, a lot of reconnecting to God, a lot of crying, a lot of realizing you can’t allow yourself to fall, a lot of letting go of blaming others, a lot of self- forgiveness, a lot of meditating and praying, a lot of conversations with myself saying “you got this. it’s not the end” a lot of, “you’re more than this, you’ll be ok” a lot of, “ok, no more moping, get up” … and then some.
I say all that to say, one year later … I have a new Career, I have a new home, I have a book on the rise, I have new relationships, I have new found Confidence and I have Peace with where I am. Never allow yourself to stay down for long. Allow yourself the time you need to heal and get back up and keep going. It may feel like you can no longer go on, but you can.
Things may not be in the exact order in life that you want them, things may happen unexpectedly, but … You are more than your fears. You are more than a Conqueror. Keep fighting and keep believing that no matter how many times you may fall you can get back up and know that greater is coming.
I am a fighter. I am a survivor and I will keep on going until I take my last breath.
So, cheers to closing my eyes to old ends and continuing to open my heart to new beginnings.
Most of us understand the foolishness of trying to compare ourselves to others. We would readily admit that no good ever comes from it. Yet, whether we are comparing our home size, paycheck, physical features, or any number of measurable (and even unmeasured) things, we do it all the time.
Even though we know there are inherent problems contained in the process:
- We most often compare the wrong things. Because we can most easily compare the things that we can objectively measure, we live in a world that is great at measuring and comparing externals. Somewhere along the way, we decided that we could determine who is living a more valuable life by comparing clothes, cars, homes, paychecks, beauty, or Twitter followers. But externals are rarely a good measure. Net-worth has never been a good indicator of self-worth.
- We always compare our worst with their best. Comparing your life with others is always a losing proposition because there will always be people who “appear” to be better off than you and seemingly live the perfect life. After all, we always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best assumptions that we make about others. Be advised, their life is never as perfect as your mind makes it out to be.
- There is no end to the comparison game. There is an infinite number of categories upon which you can compare yourself… and an almost infinite number of people to compare yourself to. Once you start down that road, you will never, ever find an end.
- Life isn’t graded on a curve. How you measure up against others holds absolutely no importance in your life anyway. It simply makes no difference. The goal of life is not to be better than 50% of the other people on the planet. The goal of life is to be the best you that you can possibly be.
- Comparison puts your focus on the wrong person. You can control one life – yours. When we consistently compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.
- Comparison robs you of joy. Comparing yourself to others will always cause you to regret what you aren’t, rather than allow you to enjoy who you are. It will always steal the joy and happiness that is within your reach… and place it just outside of your reach instead.
Many a contented life has surely been stolen by the unhealthy habit of comparing ourselves to others. Comparing ourselves to others will always rob us of gratitude, joy, and fulfillment.
But even more than than, it prevents us from fully living our lives. It calls us to envy someone else’s life and seek theirs rather than ours. It is robbing us of our most precious possession: life itself. And while the temptation to compare may never be completely eliminated, there are certainly some practical steps that we can take to move past it. Consider a few of these:
1. Recognize the inherent problems in comparing yourself to another.Take a good look at the list above. Why would we want any habit in our life that promotes feelings of inferiority? Or consistently promotes envy, competition, and strife with no end in sight? Sometimes, just a reminder of the foolishness contained in the habit is the most important step in overcoming it.
2. Celebrate who you are. There are many wonderful things about your life. You are an artist… or a businessman… or a mother… or a good listener… or a generous soul. You have much to celebrate and are entirely unique. Any comparison between you and another person is like comparing apples to oranges. They aren’t living your life, you are. Therefore, you should expect the results to be completely different.
3. Focus inward. Value generosity, humility, goodness, kindness, and love. Begin to focus on developing the inward qualities of a simplified life and the externals will lose their beauty. And the quicker we find beauty on the inside, the sooner we’ll stop comparing things on the outside (skin-deep beauty, paychecks, or power).
4. Realize life is not a competition. There may be times when competition is appropriate, but life is not one of them. We have all been thrown together at this exact moment on this exact planet. And the sooner we stop competing against others to “win,” the faster we can start working together to figure it out.
5. Remember that nobody is perfect. We live in a society that glamorizes perfection. Consider that magazine racks are full of models and celebrities with perfect faces telling one-sided stories of great triumph and fulfillment. One important step to avoiding the lure of comparison is to remember that one snapshot in time never tells the whole story. The story is never told of the hours in a make-up room or the photo editing technique to cover the blemishes. The story is rarely told of their insecurities or failures (except to mention how they overcame them). That story doesn’t sell nearly as many magazines. But the truth remains: there are no perfect people – including you and including me.
6. Live as intentional as possible. Too many people live their lives without intentionality or thought. They rarely find a quiet moment to sit in meditation or solitude and examine their life – who they are and who they are becoming. As a result, lives are lived as a reaction to the events around them. But when a life is lived intentionally and thoughtfully, the comparison game becomes less attractive.
As humans, it is in our nature to compare ourselves to others. But nothing good ever comes from it. So let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. We were not born to live their life. There is no sense wasting our life (or energy) being jealous of theirs. Instead, let’s start living our lives. Let’s determine today to be good at it. After all, we only get one shot.
Life is all about progress, growth and change. Who wants to be stagnant and complacent ?? Not Me.
This year has been a true roller coaster for me and I am finally at the point of my life where I have my peace. I have moved on from life’s disappointments, failures, heartbreaks and ultimately found myself.
Moving on from these things have not been easy, yet it has been something that has been a long time coming. It has taken Days, Weeks and Months of tears, of sadness, of reconnecting with God.
I have learned that in life, things may not always go the way we want them to, the road may not be exactly the way we imagined it, but in due time, you are where you need to be. You learn, your grow, you take these things as life lessons and make way for growth and prosperity.
That’s where I am. I no longer have to lie about being happy when in reality, I really am. I don’t have everything I want, but I have what I need right now, and that includes my peace. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s great to have.