One of the most cliche sayings is “Rome wasn’t built in a day…” and I swear to you guys, patience has become a daily struggle for me. I often wonder when am I gonna finally stop trying to make it and just make it already?! I realize why I haven’t made it yet though, my life has been full of so many detours some that life has caused and others I’ve caused myself. I hate struggling…I mean who does right? But, I’ve noticed that I tend to jump at the first thing that comes along that seems like an outing from my struggles, but that thing usually turns out to be worst than what I left and full circle, I always find myself back where it all began.
Struggle is good. Being uncomfortable is good. They both create the motivation to keep going towards what you should. I was having a conversation with a friend and I told her I feel like giving up sometimes and she asked me why. I said because it seems like the things that I want are so far out of reach. She told me to remember my mission, she said remember why you quit your job and went back home. In doing so, I had to ask myself are the things that I really want for me or are they just someone else’s things for me? It was a tough question to grapple with, but it’s been on my mind all week. I quit a job in youth development and education and moved back home to focus on my writing which included two fiction manuscripts (still writing), this blog and the other media sites I write for in the hopes of building a portfolio dope enough for a magazine company to actually hire me full-time. So why was I pulling all-nighters, spending money on study guides and sitting through a three hour exam, twice to get back into the same field I had left, the same field that made me unhappy eventually? Because I got tired of struggling, but I wasn’t even enthused about it. I wasn’t even excited about the whole process.
Joyce Meyer once said patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you’re waiting…for me it’s panic, stress, anxiety and overwhelming anticipation, but in retrospect all the times I have faced extreme struggle they have also simultaneously been associated with some of the happiest times as well. I’m learning to see each new opportunity that I land, each blogging, speaking or writing gig that I get as a brick contributing to the building of my Rome…because after all it wasn’t built in a day.
So I challenge you all to look at the bricks that’s laying your foundation.
I’m not myself these days, I’ve been going through changes, but such is life. I think about where I was mentally, emotionally and spiritually just a few months ago and I’ve decided that I’m in a better place. I found myself in a quiet place yesterday even in the midst of all the noise and chaos at my grandma’s house. I sat in the living room listening to an artist I had discovered on Spotify named Roo Panes. He’s a really awesome folksy, indies artist. I had my mug of tea and a big brown comfy couch by the grey fireplace. For some reason I felt compelled to look up some scriptures and for once in my life I felt a strong sense of contentment.
When I was living in Newark for the past three years I had built up a very social life for myself. I had a large circle of friends that I rolled with and there was always something to do. I had adopted the reputation of being a busy body and my friends would always laugh that I can’t seem to sit still. I was always somewhere, but truth is, I was struggling living on my own and I was miserable working at my job, but I had to stay there because it was the only way I could afford to barely pay my bills. Moving back home with my parents was NOT an option. The city I grew up in is one of those cities that when you leave, you don’t come back voluntarily. For a while I danced around figuring out my calling and how to juggle that of being a writer and the politics of working in non-profit. I thought about what I would be giving up if I moved back home. I would be leaving behind a life that took me two years to build. I would be giving up my social life, time with my friends and my job. I would have to start over. Back to the drawing board. I sat in the living room at my grandma’s house and I thought about starting over. It’s been four months since being back here and I found myself researching scriptures on new mercies. I thought about how low I felt coming back here. I thought about being jobless, but writing my ass off. I thought about letting go of the old Deja. I thought about a scripture in Job that read “And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great (Job 8:7).” I sipped my tea and thought about the amazing job opportunity that presented itself to me in another city and I decided that God’s word never fails.
Making the decision to move back home was something that I HAD to do because honestly, I couldn’t afford to keep struggling financially like I was. My family was ecstatic that I was coming home, I wasn’t. I had accepted that my city was a no mans land and it just wasn’t a place for dreamers with big plans. I was missing the bigger picture though. While I focused so much energy on the fact that I hated being in this city, I was missing that for the first time in three years, I’m really around my family. In the years I was up North, I found myself missing out on a lot of things. It wasn’t until my cousin’s funeral this past week I realized how much I missed my family. My cousins, the people I grew up with all in one house for an entire weekend. I hadn’t seen them in ages. So many years had gone by and I decided that I didn’t want time to go by again like that until we speak again. Being here didn’t seem so bad. My entire outlook had changed. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you too his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (1 Peter 5:10).” (more…)
What a weekend it’s been of pure comedy over these Patti Pie’s. When I saw that video by James Wright Chanel I had to watch it over and over again because I was just in awe of how he had the ability to channel Ms. LaBelle so effortlessly. Speaking of chaneling Ms. LaBelle, I read my horoscope every Sunday at noon from Refinery29 for the week and even though I don’t live my life accordingly, I do believe there are some coincidences and some great advice given in them. My horoscope told me that as we transition into the Sagittarius season, it’s time for me to de-clutter and clean house. So lately I’ve been rummaging through bins of clothes and cleaning out my closet. I’ve donated bags of clothes to the Salvation Army.
My horoscope also told me it’s time to purge myself of those toxic friendships or relationships that have been affecting me too much emotionally. That’s pretty simple, as my fall back game has always been strong (ha!), but I woke up on this Monday morning with a new attitude and an overwhelming excitement for all these opportunities coming my way. So I thought what better way than to channel my own LaBelle?