i quit 2015

i think it just dawned on me that today is the last day of 2015. i’m not sure how this happened, especially since my birthday is january 3rd, and without the last day of december which is the last day of the year, the 3rd of january can’t come…but it happened. the forgetting. so here i sit, in starbucks on a rainy, dreary thursday morning, waiting for my flat white to cool and writing to you about something.

in 2015, i experienced some things i wasn’t sure were real. scanning my journal, i notice that i didn’t really have a lot to say about a lot. lots of doodles and lists and random thoughts. and then, in october, i apparently started rereading iyanla vanzant’s peace from broken pieces and decided to close read it and chronicle my reactions to things. i did that for a few pages, delving deeply into my relationship with my grandmother. the tumult and the semblances of triumph. something broke in me. i realized that i had been taught to fear. everything. and i wanted out. so i made a decision, and yes, it’s taken me recommitting to that decision almost daily, but, i’m happy.

in 2016, until i’m up in flames, i’m saying yes (and sometimes no).

this may seem small and maybe even cliche, but i’m saying yes (and sometimes no). shonda rhimes has a book out now about her year of yes. i haven’t read it. but i did watch an interview that she did with oprah about her year of yes, and i was inspired. nothing happens in a vacuum. sometimes we only see the last straw, or only recognize the tip of the iceberg, and ignore the massive body floating beneath the surface. but that interview, the part that i watched at least, opened a new door for me. i started saying yes to things. anything. i bought a lot (9) of canvases and they just sat in my den, naked and despondent until the word came to paint them and give them away. i’m no scrooge, but i’m always afraid to do things like that for people because i fear they won’t like it and they’ll judge me for my ambition and lack of talent. this thing is deep. but since i decided to say yes, and commit to my yes, i started painting. and some people will be surprised that they got something from me. hopefully they like it. if they don’t, the trashcan is ready. but i worked really hard on the paintings, because i committed to them. and they came out beautifully. which was so rewarding. not because i’m a perfectionist, but because i could see the physical manifestation of my commitment. and that is so necessary. do i think that every decision will have that much of an impact, or that the return on the investment will be that quick? no. but i think for me, the fact that i said yes and committed to it and saw a result is enough for me to commit to yes. and sometimes no. because let’s face it, sometimes, a well placed no is necessary. especially when you’re one who likes to overextend yourself unnecessarily.

in 2015 i saw my value and worth bloom. this is not to say that i didn’t see it before or that it was so minimal that it was unrecognizable. what i’m saying is, i realized things about myself in many facets of my existence that i’d never paid attention to, and once i saw them, i started nurturing them and so, they in turn began to color my life with a different kind of beauty. and that is a dynamic experience. i asked for things and the universe delivered. i’ve been waiting on that kind of protection and provision for a while. maybe (MABEY*) i had to get my car out of neutral.

2015 has made me much more introverted. part of that stems from my semester as a teaching fellow. i felt unsupported in many ways, and found myself relinquishing what i believed to be my purpose: teaching english on the collegiate stage. i’ve fallen back in love with the idea, but with several caveats. which is where the no comes in. no, i don’t want to be in a situation where i feel voice/powerless. no, i don’t want to overwhelm myself with feelings of inadequacy. no, i don’t want to silence myself when i know the truth is necessary. either way, i missed the deadline for my backup georgia school so i kinda have to say yes to some other things so i can eat this summer. the extrajudicial and cold blooded killings of so many of my skinfolk has made me wary of people who lack melanin. because you just never know… so i’m at home and reading. and brooding. and planning. and saying yes. and no to that bullshit.

i said no alot before i decided to commit to yes. some opportunities have passed me by. but i believe that other ones are waiting to replace them. and i’m okay with that.

i guess the real marrow of this post is to encourage you or challenge you to say yes, and sometimes no. step out of what’s comfortable to you and commit to doing some shit that scares you. give yourself a chance to be amazing. even if the only person you amaze is you.

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