It’s December 31st.
I’m sick to my stomach. I’m nervous, extremely nervous. I have no clue as to why?
While everyone is out preparing to ring in the New Year, I’m dreading it. I’m fighting back tears every second. What in the world is wrong with me?
I’m known to not adapt well to change, but this…this feeling is different. I’m fearful. I’m fearful of the new year. I’m even more fearful of the new year with business as usual. I’m no longer comfortable, I’m no longer content. I’m realizing I’ve had enough of the norm.
Midnight rings in and I feel the same. The year has changed, but my mentality hasn’t. My Godfather says: “Without a new mind, you won’t have a new year.” I have to have a new year!
In my quest to having a new year, I decided to take some well-needed and deserved me time. I put my phone down, only answering emergency calls (also known as my mother) and business emails (because bills still needed to be paid, new me or not.) Everyone else was told “I need a minute.” Apologetically, I need a moment. I’m not explaining, I’m not considering feelings; I need a minute to myself doggone it!
My minute lasted 7 days. Seven days of praying, meditating and engaging in society’s latest trend: #ReadBooksAndChill! Yes, for 7 days I found myself lost in Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes and boy did I need it!
A critically acclaimed and award-winning creator and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes is indeed #BlackGirlMagic! In a 300-page biography, Rhimes opened up about her years of unhappiness despite success and why she decided to say “yes!” for a year. “Yes” to fears, happiness, inner peace and embracing her own skin. In essence, the same things I needed to learn how to say “yes” to!
Though I took away many life-changing lessons from her book, I have to say five lessons stood out the most to me. Mind if I share? (Of course you don’t, you’re on my blog!)
1. Yes to my Body
My body is a temple, I must cherish it like so.
Late last year, I was on a mission to achieve an Angela Simmons-like physique; mainly because I was going to Jamaica with my best friends and had to be SNATCHED in my bikini! Muscles, thighs and all! So, I grabbed me a hot-off-the-press gym membership and began training. Boy, did I hate every last moment! I was determined to be fit. Yes, I’m slim but I’m also totally out of shape. (like running-for-the-subway-and-wheezing-for-20-minutes out of shape) My new routine taught me the beauty of discipline. Discipline in my eating habits, exercise schedules and all-around health and wellness. To be good I needed to feel good and I needed to continue this practice well into 2016.
2. Yes to Difficult Conversations
I hate conflict. If we could all learn to get along, the World would be a much better place! The truth is, conflict at times is inevitable. Some people live off of it, I don’t. I’m one to avoid telling someone they hurt my feelings, or telling someone they were wrong in a situation because I hate the possibility of backlash. However, I know that without having those difficult conversations I allow room and opportunity for more conflict, more disagreements and more down-right confusion! I’m learning how to say how I feel and stand in my truth. You know, talk like this cause I can back it up! (insert Beyonce bounce here)
3. Yes to People- the Right People
We can all learn from this! Relationships on any level are to be assets to your life, not validation. Allow me to explain. I think often times we believe that as long as this friendship/that relationship lasts it means I’m ___. (insert your blank here) I admit, growing up my self-confidence was foolishly placed in the hands of others. They controlled whether I believed I was beautiful, intelligent, phenomenal, or not. Huge mistake but I had to learn!
At 23, I still have my moments but I’m better than I was. I’m learning to love myself for me, regardless of what people are in my life. (Try it, it’ll bless ya!)
4. Yes to Who I Am
There are a list of things that I am and a list of things that I am not. 2016 is my year of saying yes to all the things I am! I’ve taken full ownership of my confidence and beliefs, no one can take it from me.
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”- Proverbs 23:7
5. Yes to Beautiful
Beautiful on the inside and out, that I am. I’ve heard it at award ceremonies and read it in yearbooks, but I still didn’t believe it. But now, I’m dedicated to saying yes to my beautiful and consistently embracing it by any means necessary.
Thanks, Shonda for igniting my Year of Yes!