This is me so please accept me for who I am
And please accept me for what I do
I'm just doing everything that I can
'Cause all I wanna be is true
So here we are year 33, still in the “Pursuit of Happiness” - oh wait I forgot you don’t know that part of the story we just met, so I’ll bring you up to speed. A couple of years ago, like every optimistic person with 31 days left on the calendar, I made a vision board and the title big-as-day read “ Pursuit of Happiness”. Let me just tell you it was nicely crafted and designed, the dopest pictures, inspiring quotes and scriptures, accompanied by ambitious goals all represented by some of my favorite Brown Gurls like Oprah and Michelle, let’s just say 2017 was going to be my year. And just like Habakkuk 2:2 instructs us to do, I wrote the vision and made it plain. But, you’ll just have to take my word for it, because I destroyed it because the unexpected happened and I was thrown off course! A near-fatal car accident left me with a broken ankle, no car, and a mandate to sit on my behind for almost 5 months, how in the heck was I going to complete my 30 before 30 lists (Oh I didn't tell you there was a list, yea there was a list). Let’s just say I’m still working on it.
Ok, now that you’re caught up - it’s time for some transparency. For the past 32 years, I’ve been doing a lot of what I heard makes people happy, not sure who these people are, but they said I’m supposed to be tied up in the milestones of life, landing the perfect position at work, building an empire, getting married, starting the family, do I need to go on - you get the picture. It’s the Black woman’s curse if you are not married with kids by a certain age. Somewhere down the line someone made it a rule that a part of the Black women’s success is tied into being married with kids living the dream by something crazy like 30, and look at me 33, no ring, no man, and still figuring out life as a professional. I can’t tell you the amount of stress I put myself under to meet these unrealistic expectations. If Build-A-Bear had a husband section, I’d be set (But that’s another story for another day), we’ll get to that later. And don’t get me started on happiness with work (head slap), I was recently told that working and being happy is not a thing. Say’s who, because at the ripe age of 31, I took my old behind back to school to make a career switch. 11 years in education and in less than a year, I’ll be a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Here’s the thing, I was so tied up in what the world had to say that I didn’t know what it meant for me to be happy. Was it a perfect home? Was it the perfect job? Was it the perfect family? What was it? It took some time but I figured it out - it’s legitimately whatever I need in the moment!
This is what I’ve learned:
Whatever you do, in whatever role you play, give yourself permission to not be perfect, you are not a machine and you are not wired that way.
It’s ok to celebrate you! You can’t wait for the world to define your success, acknowledge your dopeness and throw your damn self a party.
Being unapologetically you comes at a cost sometimes, everybody is not going to be on board, but saying yes to you is saying no to others!
Being single at 33 is not a death sentence. Listen - the Jesus factory has different shipping dates for different people, just be patient and don’t waste your time with the knock offs in the meantime.
This is what I know - when you want to start making changes, you can’t do it all at once. As I’m setting new goals, I’m becoming intentional about it. Funny story - My friend called me a fraud the other day. Her words exactly “How you out here telling people to provide themselves with grace” and you out here talking about you about to have a mental breakdown. I guess this past week I had a Black Momma moment “Do as I say, not as do,” But it was true I was talking the talk and my walk was a little shaky. Grace is important, but it’s not always easy! But just like when you learned to ride a bike, for most of us, you didn’t just hop on a bike without training wheels. You rode that thang for a while, and then some “Big person” took the training wheels off, and then you started riding without the extra support. But until I can start ghost riding the whip, I’m going to take it easy! You do the same friend!
BGH Tip # 9 Write down the things you have determined as milestones for success, define why this is a milestone for you, and shed what doesn’t serve you and fit into your definition of happiness! Do this as often as you need to!