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.
One of my goals in life has always been to Inspire people. To Motive people. To Encourage people. To Captivate people with my words and my stories. To remind people that they are important. They are valued. They are able to do anything that they put their minds to. Remind people that they can overcome any and every obstacle that may come their way.
My goal, One of my main goals, has always been to have my presence felt and always remembered in a good way.
I have always said, when I leave this earth, I want people to remember me for the things that I have done without a doubt, but more so for the things that I say. I can only hope that when one meets me and engages with me, that they are elated and take something from me. That my words are felt and not taken lightly.
God puts us all here for something, and I believe that he truly put me here to bring joy and to be the light that shines bright in peoples lives the same way people have done for me.
I say all this to say … You may be going through something, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may be feeling low, but that feeling doesn’t last always. You may not have everything that you want right now, but you are living and have what you need.
Continue to press forward and let nothing or no one stop you in your journey. We all are here for a purpose. We are all here for a reason. Let your light shine, and you will go far. Sometimes, that may mean standing alone, but that’s ok. Because later … you will be able to look back and say, I DID that. I made it.
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.
She was Unsure. Insecure. Not Reassured. The opposite of everything people assumed her to be.
I just want to say that I’m glad you’re gone. I know that might sound harsh, and please don’t take this the wrong way because I am really proud of you. I’m just glad that you seem like a different person to me now. You grew up. You changed. You found yourself again. I hope that you’re proud of who you have become because I finally am.
I’m really glad that I can look in the mirror and smile now. I know that you were never unhappy with yourself, but you weren’t really happy with yourself either. I’m glad that I can see more than the breakouts and split ends when I stand in front of the mirror in the mornings. I’m glad that I can look at myself and see someone smart, funny, caring, and genuine.
You are independent. You are beautiful. You are worthy. I know you never felt that you were — I remember that feeling. People care about you, so don’t worry about where you are now. You will have a few friends that you can talk to for hours, who will stick with you after anything. At the end of the day, you don’t have to worry. Take each day by stride. Live. Laugh. Love. When it’s hard to get up, get up anyway. It’s a new day for you to conquer the world and show what you are made of. When everything around you seems to be falling apart, laugh because that’s the best type of medicine for those who feel broken—you aren’t. When those who try to hurt you do, show them love. Give them the grace that they may not deserve; it may just shock them.
Recently I have learned a lot… I learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.
I know that in life we do things. Some we wish we had never done. Some we wish we could replay a million times in our heads. But they all make us who we are. And in the end they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn’t be the person we are today. So JUST LIVE. Make mistakes. Have wonderful memories. But never ever second guess who you are, where you have been, and most importantly where it is you are going.
I am beautifully bruised, scarred, and a much better version of myself. So my friend, I hope you understand I had to let go of a huge part of myself, but that was only to let a better part in. You will be missed, and I will always remember the person I used to be.
But still, good riddance, old me.
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.
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.
Sometimes getting a little lost is the best way to find your true self. You can discover new paths you would have otherwise missed if you stayed in one direction, stumble onto new ideas you would have never imagined, reignite a spark you once lost and even recognize what you love and what you hate. During this time you can learn to understand what you’re truly capable of as well as face your deepest fears and insecurities. Sure, getting lost can make you feel angry, scared, uncomfortable and confused, but it can also be an eye-opening experience if you let it be. Realize that because you chose to carry on as the unrelenting hero and not the victim, you have already won.