Chapter Twenty: If It Makes You Happy

Let me just start by saying that two weeks ago I was empty and today my mind is blown by the things have taken place since then. So please, let that serve as a great testament that it truly does get better!

I never doubted it would.

Two weeks have brought upon transformation with my personal and work life. Maybe it was the full moon and the wonderful full moon ritual I was blessed to take part in. And maybe the Universe saw fit to shine down on me a little more than usual.

I can breathe.

These last couple of months have been full of bouts of being stuck and figuring out just what I’m made of. I’ve been a supervisor before, but I’m in a different setting now that pushes me beyond my limits. I’ve been tried and tried again. I have remained constant, direct, and immovable on things that have caused great push back. Y’all I’m stronger (in my Christina Aguilera voice).

In my personal life I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do. What makes me happy. What I can make time for. And that is why this picture is important. While I’m still taking donations for a new camera set (via cash app using $plberry), I was able to purchase some lightly used cameras. I’ve discovered just how happy photography makes me. Playing with lighting and shadows. Catching nature in moments where it’s vulnerable and most beautiful. Man! Y’all I’m hyped. Yeah it’s not the best camera, but it’s definitely a start.

You gotta start something to be able to finish it.

I also purchased two film cameras that I’m going to learn to work with. They’re classic and I’m ready to take on the world!

These things make me happy. In the next couple of months I will be diving deep into guitar now that I’ve found a couple of people, and even a friend, who are willing to teach me.

Do things that make you happy! The happiness you create for yourself can’t be taken away. Do things for yourself, not for others. Make sure you’re okay before you make sure someone else is okay. Love yourself. All of you. Every crevice. Every flaw. Discover your passions.

Be unapologetically you.

Two weeks ago I was empty and now I’m so full I just may burst. Because so much is happening. I didn’t allow life to kick my ass. I acknowledged what was going on with me. I addressed it. I allowed myself to feel. And then I didn’t give up.

It wasn’t easy by any means. And it definitely takes practice. I’ve had to realign some chakras and meditate. Do some yoga and take time to myself to be by myself and acknowledge my issues. I had to rebuild the confidence that was slipping away and create some new tactics to deal.

If it makes you happy

It can’t be that bad

If it makes you happy

Then why the hell are you so sad?

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Chapter Sixteen: Keep Choosing Yourself

I've never really fit in with anyone or anywhere.  Today I'm totally okay with that.  However, when I was younger I clung to people and things that seemed to fit and accept me.  I refused to let go because it always felt great when I felt chosen.

Years went by with me feeling this way.  My adolescent years were crazy plus more crazy with a little crazy on top.  The internal struggle I went through, just to accept myself, was beyond tiresome.

We won't go to the dark places today.

Over the last seven or so years I've learned to be okay with who I am.  I've learned to make decisions for myself.  I've learned that it's okay to be weird (or as I used to say, creatively different).  Y'all I was weird before it was cool.  All this "in" stuff now used to be territory you did not discuss with others because you'd be labeled crazy real quick.

The more I began to choose me, the more people and things I realized served me no purpose.  I've lost a ton.  I've lost people who I thought would be there for the rest of my life.

The last two years have been especially hard.  I've gone back and forth with who I used to be and who I needed to be.  I was trying to hold on to -ships I knew weren't healthy.  I was holding in feelings and making myself crazy.

I lost more people.

It's a weird feeling to lose so many people and to initially panic but then realize you still have yourself so it's all good.  I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror.  I have to be proud of myself.  I have to be my biggest cheerleader.  I have to have my back at all times.  Yeah, it's cool if someone finds their way into my life, but I know that doesn't mean they're staying.  I have to be okay with that.

No more, people are here for a reason and a season.  That's a given.  What we need to learn is how to let go.  Let go of others without losing ourselves.

So we have to keep choosing ourselves.  It will make others angry.  It will make them leave.  It will make them give you ultimatums.  It will hurt.  It will hurt like hell.  But we choose ourselves today so that we don't regret it tomorrow.

Chapter Twelve: Find Your Root

Why do you do the things you do? Why are you the way you are? Learned behaviors play a key role in figuring out the answers to those questions. 

About a week and a half ago two important things happened. The first was my twenty-seventh birthday. The second was my friend graduating from her master’s program. Well two months ago we decided to celebrate them both simultaneously. I wanted to go to Miami, but was open to other locations. A month later nothing solid had been put into place. I had basically given up on going anywhere or doing anything. She started to really look into locations and prices. She chose New Orleans and I was upset. I wanted to go but how could I when this was so last minute?

After some back and forth I agreed and purchased my plan tickets. I still had some reservations because I felt like I wasn’t prepared. And I was still a little angry because people know that I am a planner. 

The day before my birthday I spent time on the lake front. I did some yoga and laid out. I felt so much gratitude. I saw twenty-six as the year of reflection. Twenty-seven had to be the year of manifestation. 

After I left the lake front I went to see my mom at her job. We talked about my plans to go out of town and what I had done that day. I invited her to come do yoga with me. I said we could plan be night before and she said, “You know I plan my life in advance.”

That’s when it dawned on me. I said, “Yes I know. And you’re my root. My friend wakes up and goes places while I wake up and plan to go places months from the day.”

Guise, we gotta live life. 

A learned behavior. I learned that planning is essential, so much so that I was unable to budge without a plan. That day I thought about all the learned behaviors that make me who I am. While I wouldn’t change who I’ve become, not every behavior is good or positive or beneficial. I realized that in order to really tackle an internal problem like this, I had to figure out when it started. Why it started. I had to evaluate how it could be holding me back from achieving greatness. 

We went to New Orleans. While I may not have found my great great great great great great grandmother, I found a feeling of excitement, opportunity, growth, and belonging. The tours we went on. The people we met. The history we learned. Every aspect screamed, “find your root.” 

Who am I? Who will I become? What will I achieve? The answer is limitless. I am limitless. I will be limitless. And I will achieve unimaginable levels of greatness. 

But first, I have to find my root(s).


📷: jywilson

Chapter One: Love Isn’t Conditional

There are so many ways to love people.  You can love someone in several ways or one way.  The way you love someone transitions as your relationship goes through certain stages.  But love should never be conditional.

Love should never be, “I’ll love you if…”  It should never be, “I loved you when…”  When you love someone, in whatever capacity, it should remain.  That’s not to say you stay with someone who continues to treat you badly because you love them.  Love shouldn’t hurt physically, although emotionally we cannot avoid it.

I’ve struggled with understanding this and am just now coming to terms with it.  Love should never be conditional.  And just because others who don’t understand that choose to love you in a conditional way, it doesn’t mean you stoop to that level.

Love.  You can fall in and out of love but if you truly love someone you love them either way.  Love. Sometimes we have to learn to learn people in a different space because we grow in many ways.  Sometimes you have to love someone from a distance.  Wish them the very best in life, but understand that you are not meant to be in theirs.  

I think that’s what we forget.

Loving someone is not always wanting to be intimate or share moments.  It’s about wanting the best for them.  It’s about sending them good vibes even if you no longer talk.  It’s about thinking about them every now and then hoping they are in a good place in life.

Love can’t be conditional.  Because if it were we would be unable to love in any capacity…in every capacity.

And I know it’s hard to do, but unconditional love starts with us.  Stop looking for the light and start emitting it.

Let love be free and pure in every way possible. Give it without expecting it in return. 

Chapter Ten: When Enough AIN’T Enough

I’ve been pretty stuck on this one. Partly because I’ve had to have several revelations on the topic. 

First, what is enough? As someone who majored in psychology, I often ask what is the operational definition of words. How can we measure “enough”?

You see the initial complication?

Right. 

So for all intents and purposes, we will measure enough by what one person wants and how well those needs and wants are fulfilled by another person. 

So let’s switch up the question a little. What do you require?

I don’t think I require much. I tend to list broad things that, if fulfilled, will trickle down into the smaller details. For example, honesty is on my list. If you can be honest with me you should care about whatever friendship or relationship we have to always tell me how it is, or isn’t. If you’re honest, I can trust you. If I can trust you I will allow you into parts of my life that most aren’t privy to. If I let you in, well you’re in there like swimwear lol. At this point I know I can rely on you or lean on you in times when I would normally keep to myself. 

I like broad terms. 

But, what happens when what you require isn’t something another person can give you?

More complication. 

Are they unable to give what you require because they don’t have it to give or because they don’t want to give it?

Another example. 

When people enter relationships they have to compromise a lot. More than they think. But when you get together with someone who is used to roaming the land and doing as they please, how willing are they to give up that freedom? Not to say they are tied down or that you want to act as their parent. No, in simple terms, how willing are they to go from being a single person acting within the realm of “me” to acting in the realm of “us”?

Each relationship or friendship or any -ship comes with different requirements. Keep that in mind. Each person and situation is different. Never treat someone like someone else based on the -ship. 

If they are unable because they aren’t willing or because they don’t have it, that’s the end. No need to go further. Either you will accept this shortcoming or walk away. Either you will re-evaluate just how important this requirement is and decide it doesn’t hold much weight, or you decide this is something that is important to you. 

You have to establish the value of your needs and wants. Never sit around and wait for someone to develop some need or want you desire. Never wait for anyone to develop for you. That’s not what we are here for. We are here to develop for ourselves, into ourselves, and change the world. 

Bottom line, sometimes enough just ain’t enough. You gotta learn to grow and go. If you can, avoid bad feelings. Love and appreciate every person and situation for those great blissful moments and for what you were able to learn about yourself and the world. 

Chapter Six: You’re Where You’re Supposed to Be

I’ve been searching for my place. In life in general. In the lives of others. Even in my life. 

I have somehow gotten out of the habit of taking time for me. Doing things I enjoy. While I continuously surround myself with people who have my best interest at heart, I need to have my best interest at heart as well. 

Today, I contemplated where I stood in the universe. [Allow yourself to feel] Things are bottled up. They are trying to find an exit, but I won’t allow the breakdown. The inevitable. 

My sister is actually pretty great. I shared these things with her and her response?

Just because today isn’t great doesn’t reflect who you are. Maybe today the Universe needed to show someone else where they stand in life. It’s going to be okay. 

Wow. 

I haven’t heard such great words in a while. 

You’re right where you’re supposed to be. And when you feel displaced, remember that your situation isn’t a reflection of you. You’re great. Beautiful. Strong. And you’re going to make it. 

You’re right where you’re supposed to be.