New Year's Eve on the rooftop downtown Charlotte
We finally made it into a new decade, and so much has already happened! But before I can even focus on that, I have to reflect on last year. While discussing the challenges of the prior year at work one of my coworkers said some of the wisest words I’ve heard in a while. She said, “Some years ask us questions; other years answer them.” If that’s not a word right there!! 2019 definitely was a year of questions, and one of my most challenging thus far. It seemed like every day I was faced with something new to consider: How do I find my purpose? Why am I not happy? Will I ever figure it out? I was undervalued, and unhappy at my previous job and it was starting to affect other facets of my life. I knew I wanted and deserved more, but was having no luck with getting a new job, let alone an interview. I was desperately searching for a way out. I got my wish when I got laid off and spent the entire summer unemployed, finally having to face feelings of discomfort and fear for the first time head-on. Enter more questions: Who am I outside of this job? They didn't like me enough to fight and keep me...do I really deserve more?
If I had to sum up the last year in a song I’d have to choose one of my all-time favorites, J.Cole’s “Love Yourz”. For those that aren’t familiar with the song the chorus sums it up perfectly:
“No such thing as a life that's better than yours,
No such thing, no such thing…”
Cole goes on to give examples about no matter how big your house is, how much money and worldly possessions you have, there’s always going to be something better out there. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, it’s about learning to be happy with your life and loving yourself through all of the struggles and changes.“Don't be sleepin' on your level, 'Cause it's beauty in the struggle…”. As much as I hate that idea, it’s a hard fact and he’s right.
I couldn’t see it at the time, but the time spent out of work set the stage for all the things that happened later in the year. Granted, I wasn’t just out here on completely ass out and on my own — I had my family to support me through that transition — but not having a steady income made me tap into my inner hustler and get serious about some things. It allowed me to lean into all the creative parts of me that had taken a backseat and laid dormant, and I discovered so much about myself and my process. It was during this time that TAWKS: the Podcast was created and I was able to work with some AMAZING, and crazy talented people on collaborative projects of all sorts.
My best friend Terrell called me the other day after going through my Instagram page. He said, “You know you did a lot last year. I’m just now really going through your feed and, WOW!”. I hadn’t sat down to think about it, I’m always so focused on the next project or idea, that I don’t sit down and reflect on where I came from. But you have to understand your past to create a clear future. All the lessons and triumphs, the setbacks and successes; they all prepare you for the journey ahead, and as corny as it sounds, 2020 is truly a year of clarity for me. For the first time in a long time, I have a clear vision of who I am and what I’m capable of. I can look back on everything I went through and appreciate the lessons learned and be prepared to face any new challenges that come my way.
So here’s to 2020! May it be full of clarity and growth.