When One Moment Ends, Another Begins

2016. The “awful” year that seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. I don’t mean this in the same depressing memes and posts I’ve seen, in which everyone is lamenting about 2016 being the year of pain and suffering, about it being the worst year ever. It wasn’t a horrible year. A trying one, yes. One that engulfed many in heartache, most definitely. But I’ve been viewing it mostly as the year that the wool was lifted from the eyes of many, where the reality of life and the world finally seeped into the forefront of the social media circus, permeating the shallowness of so many with a hard dose of truth. The idealism that we may have felt on 12/31/15 has been chipped at a little, but it doesn’t mean that the year was lived in vain. Some of us attained knowledge of self and others, in ways that made us question everything around us. It was a year of growth – uncomfortable growth – that served the purpose of revealing our strengths, and our weaknesses.

chicago

As I reflect on all of my experiences throughout the year, I feel accomplished, and at peace with everything I’ve gone through, good and bad. I traveled a lot – including my first trip to Europe. I met my favorite hip-hop artist/activist, David Banner. I saw Beyoncé give an amazing concert in my favorite city of all time, NYC. I took a chance with my writing, and although the dream hasn’t come to fruition yet, I am a step closer to realizing it. I rekindled precious friendships that I believed were all but lost, and I came to terms with the fact that some are sadly lost forever. I learned patience, and loving even when the love isn’t returned in the way I desired. I realized that kindness should always be the first choice, and when it’s not an option, then silence is best. And most importantly, I learned that I am not for everyone, but it doesn’t make me any less unique and beautiful.

aer-lingus

Tonight, as you get closer to the countdown, I urge you to give a little reflection as well. Many of you will be out partying until your hearts’ content, but before you do, be thankful for all that you have gone through this year. If you were the same person you were this time last year – hell, if you’re the same person you were yesterday – then you have failed your goal of living and evolving.Be kind. Be loving. Be positive. You made it through, and if you made it through with scars, remember that they can still be healed. Make some real plans – not resolutions, but goals that you can etch away at each day. Look forward to everything that’s ahead of you, because it will be an amazing time. Every day is a gift just waiting to be unwrapped, so make sure you’re present for every moment of them.

at-the-ball

The Power of Positive…Nevermind

A few weeks ago, I posted a couple of great posts about rainbows and unicorns and buckets of glitter. Well, not exactly, but it was damn near close. In my last post, I talked about maintaining this aura of positivity, you know, changing my outlook on life and whatnot. I discussed not taking things so personally, about pausing before reacting, all of that good stuff. And you know what I learned? Changing bad habits is just NOT THAT EASY. I’ve had a few setbacks, mostly due to my impending move. As much as you want life and situations to go smoothly, it doesn’t always happen that way.

Unicorn and Rainbow

Being positive is so much more than verbally vomiting motivational quotes and tweeting something “inspirational” (I’m a notorious twitter philosopher – hashtags and all). It isn’t smiling when all you feel like doing is crying, and it sure as hell isn’t fronting like everything’s peachy-keen when your world is slowly falling down behind you. No, it’s more about how you deal when the shit hits the fan. I’ve spoken about how we shouldn’t be impulsive reactors, but that doesn’t mean you don’t react at all. On the contrary, it’s having the right reaction that counts.

Uh-oh

It’s easy to be angry when things don’t go your way, and curse the person or persons who screwed it up for you, but guess what won’t happen? Yup, you guessed right…it’s not going to change a darn thing. The only thing that will result is that you end up feeling worse, you end up more depressed. Stop letting other people’s actions control your feelings. I’m reading this book David Banner recommended I read (he told me personally…no he didn’t, but let me have my dreams), The Writings of Frances Scovel Shinn, and this is some tough stuff. She’s all about sending out positive energy to reap positive results, and I’m all about that baby. She also has a great quote, which pretty sums up my own internal struggles: “You can control any situation if you first control yourself”.

David Banner

So, this isn’t to say that I failed my little 21-day change experiment; on the contrary, I think I did pretty damn well with it. But changes like this shouldn’t just be for 21-days…it’s a lifestyle. Stop falling back into your old bad habits, and keep moving forward, even when it seems impossible. Don’t pretend that everything’s all good, but stop believing that everything’s all bad. Start looking at negative situations a little differently – find that spark of hope to hold on to. Because once you have a spark, you’ve given yourself the means to start a fire.

Spark

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