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 Nine: Level Up 

I have a close friend who is really like a brother to me. He’s been through hell and back but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of thee most inspirational people I know. He’s had some beautiful babies, been through a divorce, took a pay cut with a new job, and worked two jobs five days a week. He did all of this while still managing to stay humble, pay his bills, save, and provide for his family. Now he’s a supervisor at both jobs. He just bought a car. And was able to move to a better neighborhood. 

While working with him I saw his struggles. We laughed and talked. He gave me some of the best advice. He motivated me. And he continues to do so. 

A few weeks ago he shared a picture of a list of goals he made a while back. The amazing thing about it is, these were long term goals to achieve over a span of years. When he bought his car he was able to check everything off on the list. Everything. That means all his hard work and sacrifices weren’t in vain. Every time he chose to keep going, even when he didn’t want to, put him one step closer to achieving his goals. 

Sometimes we want to fast track our success because we are too busy watching those around us. By doing so we start to feel incompetent or like we are being left behind. You have to remember you’re in competition with yourself. The part of you that wants to give up. The part of you that doubts your moves, thoughts, and actions. 

When it’s time to level up, you have to do it at your own pace or you’ll end up sabotaging your future. 

My brother Jason is one of the greatest examples I can give you. He used to tell me all the time that there are ways to get what you want, right and wrong, but if you’re going about it the right way you’ll have nothing to worry about. If you go about it the right way you’ll have to push beyond those moments of despair and believe in yourself. Believe that God has you and will make sure you’re covered. You have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, and in some cases, choose to set the standard for your kids. 

So level up the right way. Go at your pace. Don’t become consumed with what your friends are doing or what your parents think you should be doing. Be consumed with being better than you were the day before, the month before, and the year before. Be consumed with progress. 

Thanks to my brother for giving me permission to share some of his story. Thank you for being you, unapologetically. And thank you for always inspiring me to realize my growth, especially when I think I’ve been stagnant. 

Chapter Two: “Stoop Kid’s Afraid to Leave His Stoop.”

When I came up with this title I had no idea how much it resonated with me. For years I was working a job that was supposed to last long enough for me to find something “real,” meaning a career. 

Three entire years. 

I had tried to quit several times. I even picked up a second job hoping it would turn into a full-time position. But I did that with no luck. 

Three entire years. 

I hardly thought about moving up because I didn’t want to be there. I learned all the things that outlined my position as we well as those higher up than me. I learned policies and procedures. I worked in high stress situations with a calm head. I found solutions to problems and suggested improvements. I even transferred locations and began to adjust all while getting in the groove of achieving everything I had achieved at my last location. 

Two years in and I realized how valuable I was and began talks about a promotion. 

—Don’t wait too long to realize how valuable you are or how much potential you have and want to invest in leveling up. 

The promotion never came. After being overlooked countless times for something I felt I deserved and worked hard for, I had the final realization of, “Lol I don’t even want to be here.”

I, however, realized I was stuck. I had been working at this job for three years. This was how I met most of my friends. I had found a groove in how I worked. In many ways, this job helped shape certain parts of what makes me who I am. 

But I was over it. 

So I put in my notice. I had decided that if I wanted something different I had to make room for it. I thought, if I stayed different wouldn’t come. But if it did I would continue to be comfortable and let it pass me by. 

It’s been roughly two weeks since my last day and I am pleased, excited even, to say that different has come along. I landed a job doing something I’ve always wanted to do. While some aspects aren’t super great, I think back to three years ago when I didn’t have this opportunity. I think back to two years ago, or even one. I think about how, had I stayed and counted to wait I would have passed this new opportunity up. 

Be afraid of different, better, and new. But don’t be so afraid that you close yourself off to it. Think about what you want to achieve and what’s stopping you. Move that mountain! Cross that road! 

Don’t be afraid to leave your stoop. You just might find the very thing you’ve been looking and waiting for.

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. 

Book Two: Two Thousand Seventeen

I refuse to do the, “New year, new me” spill that people feel the need to do every year.  What I will say instead is, new year, new feel.

While I have been slightly less than consistent with posting (please note the name of this blog), that was never my intention. My intention was to be unconventional in following a format, in following the content, but never the amount of content.

So what should you look out for this coming year?  Some minor things.

I originally decided to post every Tuesday.  You can now look for new posts every other Wednesday.  Along with those posts there may be an additional post, when needed, on the weekend.  Guess you’ll have to subscribe to know when those are published 🙂

It’s the look.  It’s the feel.  It’s tired.  So within the coming weeks be on the lookout for a different look and feel of this blog.

Tags!  I’ve been kind of consistent with these, but in case you haven’t noticed:

uprootedflowerchild, qwoc, qpoc, lgbtq, [key word from post], be gentle with yourself

And this is just the beginning, honestly.  The more I develop, the more I will open myself up to different things, including tags.  

As a final note.  I will be sharing.  Before now I haven’t shared this blog with people who know me.  It’s been a struggle. People tend to see different parts of you and not see others.  I’m composed of several parts.  I’m composed of several people.  Sometimes I go by a nickname.  Sometimes I go by my given name.  Sometimes I don’t go by a name.  

My goal has never been to spread more negativity, but to start being the light.  That may not reflect in my every day actions, but know it’s something I meditate on daily.  We are all evolving and, hopefully, becoming better versions of ourselves.

I look forward to going into the new year with all these changes and more.  I look forward to more growth.  I look forward to YOUR growth!  I know 2016 sucked some major monkey balls, so let’s give all our positive energy and prayers to a better year for everyone.

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 Nine: Let Go

You know how you struggle with a message that you know is just for you? Like when you’re going through relationship problems and your friends tell you what you need to hear but you just aren’t in the place to receive it? Actually, maybe you are in the place but you choose to fight it from every angle. 

Don’t be that way. 

Now let’s use some cliches so you know it’s real. 

Life is full of seasons. People, places, and things all coordinate with the seasons of our individual lives. A lot of people who believe this tend to think that the actual division of weather aligns with their individual season, but that isn’t always the case. 

I don’t have those answers. Just some insight to how it works for me. 

Letting go is like the wind. It blows every which way and you have to know which way so you don’t get knocked down. It’s ever present in every season. It’s sometimes more calm in one season than in others. 

Let go continuously. 

We tend to hold on to things and people we think benefit us or that/who we benefit. That’s simply no reason to hold on when it’s completely untrue. 

Evaluate the things and people who you give your time and energy to. Evaluate the things and people who steal your time and energy and leave you ragged, restless, and empty. 

I used to hold on to everything good and let go of everything bad. I would consciously sort out the events in my life to make sure I remembered all the details of things that made me happy. So here I am, twenty-six, trying to figure out how I really felt in certain situations because I only chose to keep half it. 

 You cannot appreciate the good without the bad.

All the sayings are true.  So just learn to continuously let go.  You may not be aware of all of the things you’re holding on to.  All of the things that are stopping you from doing something or being something.  Let’s just stop with the self sabotage.

While writing this, a friend of mine asked me what I was letting go of.  I said nothing.  How can that be?  How can you write about something you aren’t actively engaging in?

Well, I’m continuously letting go of fear.  It keeps me from speaking up and speaking out.  It keeps me from really being my authentic self.  I’m always worried about hurting someone’s feelings or coming off too harsh. I’m always worried about sounding too crazy or being too silly.  Fear is preventing me from really living.  And I’m the one allowing it to do so.

Let go, daily, even if it’s in a small way.  Don’t allow things to irk you as much.  Don’t feel obligated to people you don’t want to be obligated to.  

Let go.  It’s okay.  Things will happen just as they are destined to.  But we must let go to make room for change and growth.