Memoir: An Introspective Look at 31 Years of Life
PREPARING FOR BIRTHDAY 30
Two years ago birthdays took on a different meaning for me. I was 28, quickly approaching 29, and knew that before I hit 30, I had some things I needed to accomplish in order to maintain my dignity (j/k). You get what I’m saying, sometimes life doesn’t go exactly how we plan it. Be it a lack of solid plans, bad plans, or no plans at all; sometimes we end up drifting along with life, instead of living and controlling life. I had major dreams and had yet begun to really try to work them into a plan. Not in several years, that is; I’d settled quite nicely into wife & Motherhood. But God had different plans! The Universe delivered the message for me to start a blog, but before I could get very far with the conception of the idea, my sweet Nana unexpectedly died. And so my plans and focus were temporarily derailed. I had yet to theorize what this “blog” would be, what it’d be called, or the nature of its content. I don’t even know that I realized that I’d be becoming a content creator with the development of this site. At the start of that year (2014) I’d thrown myself into learning about the blog world, but it all came to a screeching halt when death came knocking at my family’s’ door.
However, the way the Universe would have it, part of the purpose of my nana’s death was to birth new life and ambition into my destiny. Very shortly after we’d buried her, I was reflecting on all the spiritual and emotional growth I was making and how meditation had changed my life. Meditation singlehandedly walked me through that transition and served as a source of clarity in all my decision making. My perception of life and death, and circumstance had matured, and an intense yearning for knowledge of all things cultural, spiritual, or life altering strapped itself to my sense of interest. I became more sensitive and attuned to all things LIFE, CULTURE, OR PEOPLE, and my path became clear to me.
During deep reflection I realized that I’d made early decisions in life that altered the type of adult reality I’d live, as well as the possibility of the types of accomplishments I’d dreamed to achieve. In order to help my grandmother and great aunt continue to care for my younger siblings, I had to put my college plans on hold and move to Birmingham, AL, in order to afford my siblings the same upbringing I’d had: one in a home w/ Gama & Nana, surrounded by their own full-blooded siblings, safe, happy, loved, and healthy. For the good of my family, I chose to forgo the 4 year collegiate route, (even though I graduated (2003) with a 3.8 GPA) and put my education on hold for a year and a half while Gama’s health got better and an approval on Nana’s permanent shift change petition at the hospital. By this time I’d settled on going to a Birmingham JC with intent to transfer to a University. While acquiring my prerequisites I stumbled upon a program that spoke to my soul: television programming and broadcast production. I was floored to find a non-degree program here in Birmingham that would teach me all the things I longed to know— how to create productions from conception to post production. Would this hold any clout on a resume? HELL NO! Did producers choose me for production work over 4 year mass comm graduates? HELL NO! Did I even qualify for half of the listings I’d come across? HELL NO! (lol) Has it ever allowed me to make more money in the traditional corporate world? HELL NO! (luckily, I’m a salesperson that can sell ice to an Eskimo, so commission sales and high end retail has worked out (fairly) for my livelihood.) Did that program and the selfless choices I made for my family do me any good in life? Has any good karma come my way? Have I discovered the silver-lining in my life? HELL YES! ;)
DISCOVERING THE SILVER-LINING?
While dreams of being a broadcast/print journalist were now repositioned, I’d known for a long time that didn’t have to have a journalism degree to be a New York Times best-selling author. I also knew that now, since I’d accumulated the skillset of script writing, treatment development, and the pre-production and post-production process, I would inevitably be able to utilize these tools to further my creative ambitions in life. I’d also be able to develop and sell screen and stage plays. In my collegiate years I’d also discovered a knack for poetic writing. So surely I could become a world renowned poet, and Pulitzer Prize winner before the end of my life time, right? (lol) And with an innate, journalistically-inquisitive state of mind, surely my dreams of owning my own magazine could somehow manifest in the blog world, right? DAMN RIGHT!!!! And all the years of helping raise babies and children, where did that get me? Well for starters, it was the best damn birth control in all of the land (hahaha), and I have a squad of babysitters to help my husband, and I with our 5 year old son. #Winning
OWNING MY CALLING
My writing talents were discovered at an early age, as young as 2nd & 3rd grade. I’ve been writing since I learned to fully conjugate a verb! (lol) I used to get in trouble in grade school for sneaking my journal back out and trying to finish the story I had been working on during class journal time. I was 8 the first time I’d written my first 20 page short story, and that Friday for circle reading time, my teacher read my story aloud to the class and told everyone it was written by me at the end. I’ll never forget the feeling of euphoria I felt from hearing my words read aloud, and the high fives I got from my classmates for such a “cool story”. That same teacher also told my Nana and I that she was so happy to have taught and nurtured my writing talent because she is sure that I will go on to use my big imagination to write movies & books someday. I can’t tell you how impactful that statement was for me in my life, and the seeds that it planted early on. In 7th grade, my class was given the assignment to create an “All about Me” magazine. We were given a format, and told how to position ads in our magazines. We were given a table of contents that we could add to, or use as is (of course I added to it), and we were instructed to get interviews and all kinds of cool things to create the magazine. I, of course was THRILLED by this assignment, while my classmates loathed the idea of the creation process. I was ecstatic and immediately began planning my content (lol) and I remember taking the project very seriously. I put so much energy into the esthetics, and even bought a fancy binding contraption from Kinko’s to put it in. I received very high remarks on that assignment, and my magazine was shown off in all the 7th grade English classes and used as the prototype the following year. Opportunities to utilize my God given gift continued to present itself time and time again in life and so I knew that my voice, thoughts, and creativity would float around the world someday. I’ve always been told that I walk in light, and that I am called to present thoughts and philosophies to the world. I have been told that I am anointed by Christian pastors innumerable times, and that God has called me to do great things on this green earth. I have been stopped and told by 2 different mediums in random places that my life has a big purpose, and that I am a gift to the world (their intuition & thoughts, not mine J). A Reiki energy master tells me how multifaceted my energy is, and how purposeful my existence is to humanity. As life has gone on, I have discovered the meaning of all those premonitions and prophecies. I walk in light, I am of light, and I attract light. I am not disturbed by the sources of the message, as it is linear to the messaging the universe sends me and reminds me of daily. Multiple sources providing the same message further exemplifies the complexities of the spirit world, and that there are other sources of light that exist in that realm. This is why my spiritual advancement and open-mindedness is one with my calling, and aids me in my day to day life. After all of these discoveries, what do I do with them now? What did I accomplish by the year of 30?
THE YEAR OF 30
So, did I enter my 30th year of life with dignity or disgust? #DIGNITY! J At the onset of my 30th bday I was brimming with creativity. I had co-produced, co-directed, and co-written my first stage play, 3 mini film productions, and was developing the rebirth of my beloved platform LCP. I had learned a lot in the business world in the year of 29, and knew how I was going to change things for a more prosperous, harmonious 30th year of life.
A few months into the year of 30, things in the blog and journalism world had picked up for me. I had learned the mechanics of my website like a pro, and had successfully converted all the learnings from 10’s of seminars into tangible existence. I revamped and recreated LCP to stand for more, provide more, and be more than tabloid fodder for the black cyber community. I created a haven for other young black millennials like myself to explore LIFE, CULTURE, & PEOPLE from our perspective. A place that researches and provides valuable information on African heritage, higher living, African spirituality, and cultural understanding of the position of the black community in America. We aspire to excellence and to live above the status quo of life. We are about creating good vibrations. We are here to provide insight on the mental benefits of meditation. We are here aid the black community in maintaining mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. I designed the niche perspectives that I wanted LCP to be able to provide to our readership, and brought on a team on contributors to fulfill those roles. That has been a learning experience all in its self. Because of the magazine style editorial changes, I stepped into 3rd year plans much sooner than I expected to, and it has been phenomenal for my experience.
WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED THE YEAR OF 30
#TheYearOfTheGrind circa 2016 has been #Lit!!!!! Ya girl has been moving and grooving! I got my first magazine publishing in B-Metro magazine, I got an exclusive interview from a New York Times best-selling author that will be published in print in the Fall J, and I got to pay homage to Queen Bey and the beautiful work of Lemonade in a major newspaper! I have since been writing regularly for The Birmingham Times newspaper, and your girl is collecting them checks!!! $$$$$ I hosted my first event for a major brand (Saks 5th Ave), and have partnered with a few local businesses in the city. I ran a campaign for a west coast company to spread the word on their brand in the south, and the gates of opportunity are wide open!
I’d say that ambitions of journalistic endeavors have definitely been reborn, and I am achieving that which I thought was unattainable to me, due to a lack of a universities declaration of intelligence (a degree). I have grown in more ways than I can count. My outlook on life has developed into a matured, optimistic, “controller of your own universe” state of mind. I am self-motivated, self-made, ambitious, and persistent, and those qualities have begun to prove to me just how much control I really do have over my own destiny. You don’t have to wait for people to give you opportunities, you make them! You don’t have to sit and wait for the universe to give you advancement, you declare it, demand it, and go get it! The Creator will always do its part to provide avenues and gateways to advancement and promotion, you just have to be willing to put in the work and #Grind. Your tongue is powerful, you have to declare what you want the universe to yield unto you, and speak the connections you need to make into the energy of the atmosphere. Call me crazy if you like, but life has surely been showing me goodness and mercy and has been rewarding! J Spirituality is not cookie cutter or one size fits all. I don’t believe it was ever supposed to be the uniformed act of religion that it is today. I believe spirituality is a way of life, not regularly scheduled programming. Don’t be afraid to explore other spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, or energy work. If your pineal gland is un-calloused and you have a soulful yearning to learn more and explore, take your right to do so and figure out what spiritual practice(s) works for you.
The best thing the year of 30 did for me, was free me spiritually. The Universe had been priming me for years to understand the varying dynamics of the spirit and the soul, and has prepared me for the acceptance of truth.
The year of 30 set in stone for me, that which I am called to do. It connected me to deeply rooted trees, with healthy, strong, long branches, and a harvest of good fruit. I am nowhere near the finish line, nor have I even reached the middle of the ocean of life. I am only getting stated and clarity of my destiny has been carved out for me. A path has been paved, provisions are made, and I am on journey to complete evolution.
A MESSAGE TO MY 31 YEAR OLD SELF
As you take on this year Je’Don, be fully intentional in all that you do. In order for you to rock out this 31st year of life, and enjoy the type of Birthday vacay that you have outlined below, you have some work to do girl!
· Meditate every day, no matter what.
· Make a list of all that you want to achieve this year, then create actionable plans to bring those goals to fruition. Implement #TheYearOfTheGrind so that you can have an outlined, clear, and concise course of action planned out
· Start to calendar your growth markers, and where you should be in your planning and execution on a physical calendar.
· Create a new vision board.
· Remember, this is the year you grow into your role in the universe, and this is the year of enlargement and expansion. We are going for larger territory and opportunity. In order to do that, we must stay on track.
· Fun and free time will come, but right now you got shit to do. Less distraction this year girl! Carve out your time, work your ass off, and prosper. After that, fun and free time will fall into place.
· DO MAKE FUN TIME FOR KACEN & JONATHAN! Please take time to enjoy your family, and make new memories.
· Don’t be in such a haste every day. Commit to getting up earlier EVERY (week) DAY, so that you can have a moment to stop and smell the roses each day.
A MESSAGE TO MY 32 YEAR OLD SELF
Happy 32nd Birthday, girl!!!!!! Today is your day, and I hope you are somewhere exotic, on a beach, in a bikini, with your sun kissed melanated skin popping! I imagine you to be in something very Egyptian and chic, all white errrrrthang! I hope that the year of 31 was all that you planned it would be. I say planned, because I know you had some major things that you wanted to accomplish last year, in order to be closer to the lifestyle you dream of living. Where are you today? Somewhere in Africa, or in the Tropics? I know wherever you are, it’s not in America, because you declared on you last birthday that you and the hubby would be someplace isolated and sandy on your next b(earth)day, and I believe you are.
A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER TODAY