Category Archives: what i’ve learned

Approaching 40 Without Fear

Years ago I decided that I didn’t want a mundane life of a 9 to 5. For years that’s how I lived. I’d worked for Hidden Beach Recordings at the rise of Jill Scott. I’d traveled to SXSW with Cornerstone Promotions. Exciting times. I was in the midst of it. I had great ideas, but I didn’t know how to be loud.

Maybe my presence was loud enough. I was a masculine of center woman. I always thought my masculine presence was always judged. I didn’t want to extra attention for my appearance. I wanted my creativity and work to shine through. Therefore, I dimmed my light.

By dimming my light I denied myself the life I deserved and dreamed of living. Time doesn’t want wait on anyone. I remembered waking up realizing that I was 35 and hadn’t accomplished anything.

Don’t get me wrong I traveled. I shopped. I loved. There was a semblance of freedom where I moved how I want without boundaries and barriers. I could pick and leave as I did to DC and then to New York. I loved that freedom, but I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t living that life I wanted. And then I moved back home again believing I failed again.

I looked around, and my friends were leaving me behind. I realized that I didn’t own my dream house. I wasn’t in a relationship. And maybe it was time to settle down. Maybe it was time to get that 9 to 5 that I desperately didn’t want. Just maybe.

being fearlessI looked around me and realized that I didn’t own my house. I wasn’t in a relationship. Maybe it was time to get settled. Maybe it was time to get that 9 to 5 that I desperately didn’t want. Just maybe.

Or maybe NOT. Maybe I hadn’t believed in myself this whole time. I did enough to get by, but my soul knew that wasn’t enough. I could have it all. I could be creative, make money, have a relationship and that house I dreamed of. If only, I could get out of my own way.

In August I will be 40. Yes, the big 4-0. I am finally figuring out that I was scared. I was scared that I wasn’t enough. I had to heal the past wounds of body-shaming, not being the typical beauty, or bullying. I never dealt with how they affected me. I have to let go of the negative thoughts in my head that say:

“I will always be fat.”

“I am crazy to think I can revolutionize the world.”

“I am not praise-worthy.”

I have to combat that with affirmations of how awesome I am. I have to speak up to be heard. I cannot allow this fear to stagnate me. I am not living the life I’m supposed to live. I’ve simply existing.  It is time to live in my truth. It’s time to be fearless.

2016 has to be the year I shed my fear. It’s the year that I create and make money. It’s time to travel the world. It’s like 50 said, it’s time to ‘get rich or die tryin’. My riches are loving myself and believing in my path called life. My path is not like anyone else. And as J. Cole said we have to ‘Love Yourz’ as I am learning to love mine.

It’s time to take off these layers of fat and uncertainty. It’s time to do Insanity again. It’s time to get fit to be healthy because I have shit to do. It’s time to acknowledge the past to heal.

In the year of my 40, it’s time to dance like no one’s watching. It’s time to make my dreams come true. It’s time to be free. It’s time to be me. No more words. Just watch.

What I’ve Learned about Relationships

Lately, I’ve been seeing these memes about relationship goals. Maybe it’s me, but I thought relationship goals shouldn’t be the obvious. Maybe society is too jaded that we haven’t figured out that what’s best for us individually is not what’s always promoted. Maybe I am old school. I don’t know, but I’ve seen long-term relationships work. I believe in cultivating a relationship.

Lately, I’ve talked to a few friends about what we all want in relationships. We’ve talked about the nitty gritty of relationships which require hard work, patience and trust. We’ve talked about how our past relationships and experiences sometimes affect our present and future if we allow it. But what I’ve learned there are no easy ways to maintaining and growing as individuals and as a couple. Relationships Are

I am fortunate to see my maternal grandparents happily married for 46 years until my grandfather died in ’90. I have an aunt & uncle close to that mark with celebrating 45 years of marriage this past August. Another aunt & uncle will be celebrating 39 years of marriage in November. And the youngest aunt on my maternal side has been married to her husband over 25 years, and I remember when they were just dating. So I have great examples of what long-term relationships can be.

In my 39 years on this earth I’ve realized that nothing is perfect. And nothing worth having is easy. This includes a loving, sustainable relationship. Two years ago I met an incredible woman who is perfect for me. That doesn’t mean we don’t argue or we don’t have our problems. We do, but every day we wake up, we choose each other. We choose this life together. For love is a choice. It’s not something that just happen to you. It’s something that the both of you decide to cultivate.

I’ve come up with a list to help you (the ones who say they want a good relationship) to not only maintain but grow a loving relationship:

  1. Pay attention to your relationship with yourself. You have to take time out for yourself. You’re an individual first. Before you can love anyone else, you have to love yourself. That person you want this relationship with should a person you can be your true self:. It doesn’t matter if you’re goofy, silly, honest, passionate, emotional, educated and/or lovable. Whomever you are that person will love your authentic self.
  2. Communication is key. Be honest and clear. You have to talk about everything not just the good but the bad, uncomfortable and down-right ugly. This is the best way to build trust and know if you can deal with each other. You also have to communicate to determine if you are compatible. Do you both want to get married? Do you both want kids? Do you both want to live in the city or in the suburbs? Are you both financially stable? You have to be honest with yourself if you can deal with a ‘no’.
  3. No one likes a bag lady. It’s time to leave your past in the past including your ex’s (girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, booty buddies, etc) and the baggage that goes with it. You should definitely learn from your past, but don’t keep bringing up your ex in conversation. If you want a relationship to grow, you have to include her (your current) in your future.
  4. You cannot have a relationship without any fights, but you can make your relationship worth the fight. Please know that the honeymoon period fades. Yes, your partner will get on your nerves. (I’ve told my girlfriend that I always love her, but I don’t always like her. She responded with “That works both ways” with an devilish grin.) Let me tell you a little secret: love is not always “happily ever after”.
  5. You can never stop trying to show her how much she means to you even after you have her. My grandfather told me once, “It’s easy to get her. The real work starts when you have her.” You cannot forget to continue to date your lady. When’s the last time you took out pen and paper and wrote her a letter of how you feel about her? When’s the last time you surprised her with a home-cooked dinner? When the last time you wrote her a poem? ‘Roses are red/Violets are blue’ will still get a smile. Don’t get comfortable if she’s worth it.
  6. You have to love that person for who they are not the potential. You cannot fall in love with potential. Live in reality. You have to accept them just the way they are.
  7. Relationships last longer when everybody doesn’t know your business. I am not saying that you should hide your relationship, but intimate details, good or bad shouldn’t be on social media or shared with your friends. The only folks who should be in your relationship are you and your partner.
  8. There are no right or wrong way for a relationship. It’s what work for the two of you. Your relationship have to fit the needs of you and your partner not society, family or social media.

Again, love is choosing that special someone everyday as is. Choose wisely. Everyone deserves love, but are you willing to ask for what you want and then work for it when you have it?