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I can’t wait to get to the other side. I want to go through all this learning stuff and come out a better version of myself already! But I have to remember that life isn’t about rushing through the moments; it’s about living every moment, whether those moments are good or bad.

I started this new position four months ago and it’s had its fair share of challenges. Though I have varied skills that have prepared me for this moment, I’ve flat out never done it before. As a Manager for three Walk to End Alzheimer’s events, I’m working in this cycle of fundraising.

Though I’m becoming very comfortable in the role, every month is met with unique experiences or phases of the cycle that I’ve yet to go through.

Today as I sat to write this post I couldn’t help but see the parallels between my career and my personal life. I’ve never been here before, personally either. I have never been 26, back home, single, learning a new career, family sickness, issues with my own illness, friendship struggles; everything that culminates this particular moment is a new challenge.

Most days I’m up for it, and others I whine. I throw a good ol’ fashion temper tantrum.

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I scream(usually to myself) how unfair it is that my body won’t cooperate or I yell about how I need more hours in the day. 

On Saturday I had a great talk with a friend, though we aren’t close we have stayed connected throughout the years, much more now that I am back in town. She is even a member of my planning committee for one of my Walk events. Saturday, she gave much of her day to help raise funds for this devastating disease. We decided to grab dinner after. We talked about men, school and career. This conversation reminded me that many of us in our mid twenties are going through the same life struggles. The circumstances might be different but we are all trying to figure it out.

Others might seem like they have it all together but most likely they don’t. Even if they do, its not about comparisons anyway. It’s about living your life and following your true path.

After having this great conversation, I became motivated to write again. I want to continue to share my story in hopes of connecting others facing similar battles. 

But there has been times that I have been motivated over the last few months but I just haven’t put pen to pad. Sunday, I woke up feeling nauseous and just plain sick. We had sushi for dinner so I texted my friend and asked how she was doing. She said she felt fine, so ruling the sushi out, I thought maybe it was the cold stone ice cream I had after sushi that was my problem. No Cold Stone after sushi, note to self!

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Forced to stay in bed, I started to write. So the above rambling is just a long winded way of saying, I’m back. See you here every Monday morning 😘

A Woman in Process

 

 

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Bob Marley famously sang, “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.” I can picture him now; guitar in hand, locs flowing, the sun beating down on his face as he thought about those words. They are simple but difficult to master. I think we all have this incessant need to worry. We worry what our boss thinks of us. We worry how we’ll make it through this fight with the bae, bestie, or whomever.  It is something that happens to all of us but when it does, do we have to give in?

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was reading the book, Fearleass by Max Lucado; well, I’m still at it.It’s a great read but I have this terrible habit of starting a few books all at once, naturally it takes me a while to finish.

About fifty or so pages in, he shares his “worry-stoppers.” I’ve put most of these strategies into practice, I am not worry free but it no longer rents space in my mind. Here are a few!

Pray, first. “Don’t pace up and down the floors of the waiting room; pray for a successful surgery.” Here he says, don’t let worry consume you, take it all God in prayer. I understand, not all of us may be at a point where prayer feels comfortable. For me, it wasn’t until August of last year that I reconnected. Or maybe, you’re not a believer. Whatever your reason, it does not stop you from shifting those moments of worry to that of meditation. Stop, breathe, control your thoughts and let positivity guide you.

Easy, now. In this one, he urges us to slow down. Many of us are going a mile a minute. It is no wonder that we are worried about this thing or that thing. What if my car breaks down? What if I don’t get that promotion? All these thoughts running through your head. Easy now, and assess the problems as they arise.

Act on it. “Be equally decisive with anxiety.” This one has been the hardest for me and requires constant effort but its been the most rewarding. Lucado says, as soon as a moment of concern surfaces, just deal with it. Don’t sit there and let worry take over. “Don’t waste an hour wondering what your boss thinks; ask her.” Why waste time?

Compile a worry list and Evaluate your worry categories. Write down all the things that take up space in your mind. What troubles you?  As you compile this list, “highlight themes of worry.” This will allow you to gain insight into where exactly you put your concern, then you’ll be able to deal with them specifically. Is it, “what people think of you, finances, global calamities, your appearance or performance.?” What are you spending your valuable time worrying about?

Lastly, Focus on today. I would even argue, focus on the moment. We have no control over what is coming. All we have is this moment. When you focus on being gracious and appreciative for every moment, there is no time for worry.

I leave you with Bob.

A Woman in Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems that this year has been a series of difficult decisions. I may have stuttered in my steps but ultimately I always had the courage to do what was/is best for me. Some how in all the mess of it, I feel like I’m getting back to me. Not that I want to be the old me but I do miss her confidence.  She knew what she wanted. And I feel similar now.

I’m moving back upstate, by next blog post I’ll be back where it all started. I mean it all started in Montego Bay, Jamaica, technically, but Poughkeepsie is home. I used to say that I’ll never go back there. Life sure does have a way of humbling you, I’ve been back twice! Never say never, I guess. I’ll still be working in NYC at least for now, so long commutes on the Metro North will be my new reality.

I won’t love the commute but besides that, I see this as the best decision. Financially it allows me to put myself in better standing, and I feel it also allows me to wholeheartedly focus on my writing. All the decisions of this year led to this opportunity. I won’t lie, I grappled with feelings of failure. And it does feel like a regrouping. But then I remembered , I came here to get a masters degree, I got it. I came here to start a career, I got promoted within 18 months. I’m leaving it all because I am not willing to compromise my health or my happiness. I refuse to participate in the rat race of it. I want to write, hopefully for a living one day but until then I want a low stress day to day living. A life of effortless ease. I’m blessed to have parents that will allow me to do that, at least for now.

Life is going to send you on twists and turns. Through it all, you have to do what you have to, for you. Its never easy to do what is necessary. I had a headache for days before I finally made my decision but immediately after I made it, I felt this weight lifted. We drive ourselves crazy wondering what if. You can spend hours or days wondering what if or you can trust your judgement and go for it. Even if it is not the right move, the experience gained will make it worth it.

A Woman in Process

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People are still asking me why I don’t blog as often as I used to. My response is always paused because there are many factors. The major one is time of course. But all of the factors, time included, are really just excuses. It comes down to discipline and habitual effort. I just haven’t caught my grove or learned how to balance the many things that are taking place in my life.

I work full time again, I’m writing my first book and I have commitments to my best friend and her management company, among other things. There are many reasons why after a long day, blogging is just not what I want to do. I just really want to sleep and most days that’s exactly what I do. There is some good in that of course because I’ve mastered how to listen to my body and what I need.

However, there is a pitfall to that as well. Sometimes, will power is needed to force yourself to do something that might cause slight discomfort in the moment but is ultimately necessary for growth. My blog has taught me so much. My dream of writing a book came out of this hobby. A year ago when I started, I couldn’t have imagined the impact that it would have on my life. Back then, I wrote to you because I was in such a bad place mentally. I was frustrated with my job, frustrated about my illness and terribly unhappy with my weight.

But the transparency that developed in dishing my deepest and darkest to you, helped me to learn who I am, who I’m becoming and who I strive to be. I gained the courage to change my life completely. I left the job that made me unhappy. I stopped looking at my illness as a curse and now practice strategies that have helped me to be the healthiest I’ve been in almost four years. Telling you all about my struggle with weight not only led to remarkable weight loss but the number on the scale is minuscule compared to the healthy habits that are now apart of me.

I started to attend church again . My spiritual journey has taught me a lot about discipline. Whatever or whoever your God is, you’ll find that when you choose to live differently, you will be faced with challenges. Your former self will battle constantly with the new you. It’s takes time and strength to develop new habits.

So as I approach my blog anniversary, I’m asking you to bare with me as I transition. I’m working to ensure that this blog, the words that I thought no one would read, the words that catapulted my new way of life,  remains at the forefront of everything that I do. About a month or so ago I made a pledge to blog on Mondays and Wednesdays, that proved to be too ambitious. Hopefully I will reach a point where twice a week is something that I can maintain. But for now, I’ll see you every Monday morning. Because “motivation gets you started but habit keeps you going”
A Woman in Process

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As I was walking to the gym this morning, I noticed all the parents hand in hand with their children. It’s the first day of school. It made me smile as I saw parents snapping pics and kids shying away from picture number 10, as if to say mom that’s enough!

I really thought about how amazing that feeling might be, to bring children into this world and properly care them. Growing up I didn’t really want children. I didn’t because I thought there was no way I could be as good a mother to them as my mother is to me. I felt a pressure and it scared me. She truly is an amazing woman and has remained the backbone for all of us.

I was going to hold off until her birthday in a couple of weeks to write about how amazing she is. But I can’t wait. I know everyone says this but I have the most incredible mother in the world.

You have to understand what these last 4 years or so have been like for me. At 21-22, when parents hope for their children to have finished college, moved out the house and started their lives; that’s when I was diagnosed. I turned into her baby all over again. I couldn’t get out the bed, I was completely dependent on her. In the hospital she stayed there with me, every single day. She wouldn’t leave until she had spoken with the night nurses and made sure they knew my needs.

Years removed I’m not nearly as bad but you all know I’ve had my moments. At every issue, health or otherwise, I call her. She is there faithfully and always knows what I need. When I made the recent decisions to basically revamp my life, she supported.

She knew that it wouldn’t be an easy road for me. On Saturday I called her, stressed out about everything. Fearing the idea of finding a new apartment and trying to live comfortable in what seems to be the worst of times.

I said to her “why is this happening to me, I did everything right, I have the degrees, I worked really hard. If I didn’t get sick” She stopped me right there and said “I understand that but look how far you’ve come.” She wanted me to remember my progress, she refused to have me give up or even relish in negativity.

And just like that I got up, took a shower and got on with my day. But what gets me is that, she does this for all of us. My brothers and I, with such conviction and passion. She is my source and my strength. Please understand that if I become half the woman that she is the world will be a better place. I love you mommy. Happy almost Birthday!

A Woman in Process

 

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Smiling on a good day isn’t hard, the struggle is finding that same resolve on a day when everything seems to be going wrong. Tuesday and even into today seem to be just that.

I woke up in a pretty decent mood. I had late meetings Monday night, so I slept in a bit on Tuesday.  When I finally got going, my roommate told me that potential buyers were coming to see the house. I didn’t love hearing that and pretty much had a breakdown in that moment. I don’t think I’ve fully dealt with all of it; her passing and them selling, it just seems to be going so quickly. All that frustration came out yesterday.

I stormed out the house vowing to never come back. But all I did was walk around the corner to get bagels. I did slam a door or two on the way out, so the world could know I was angry!

I started my new job which I love by the way. I got in, sat down and I went to adjust my seat. I hear this sound, I look down and my pants ripped. Ripped in that area that leaves nothing to the imagination. How embarrassing is it to rip your pants on Day 2. I mean ripping them in general isn’t an ideal thing but I haven’t gotten to know my coworkers yet, it’s just far too soon.

I make my way to the restroom to make sure things are okay down there. A fellow bathroom user noticed my concern and assured me I could make it through the day.

I felt better and made my way back to my desk. They day continues pretty uneventful until I feel this tickle in my throat, I start having cold and hot flashes. I’m thinking this is a cold setting in. I get pissy all over again because my colds don’t just last a few days they are weekly spectacles that usually require doctors visits and me being out of commission.

I dread the possibility of that. Today I woke feeling much of the same. I had to make some administrative calls, which are never fun. You’re on hold for 20 minutes just for somebody to say you have the wrong department.

I said, “you know what, that is it!” I’m not doing this again today. I put my gospel music on! I have a playlist called “feel better?”. I refuse to have a day like I did yesterday. Those things that happened to me were not major, in fact some are funny! But the attitude I had during them is what determined the result of that day. I let those moments get the best of me. Today regardless of how I’m feeling, I will smile!

A Woman in Process

 

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They’re selling the house. A three family home in Park Slope, Brooklyn sure goes for a lot of money. This entire process has really opened my eyes to the amount of wealth that is truly in the world. In a matter of weeks we’ve had people ring our doorbell and literally propose cash offers. My mouth usually drops and I tell them I’m not the owner, but I wish I was. God knows that these days I could use the money.

Even though I am more at peace with my life and I am healthier. Life isn’t perfect, I am facing challenges. Since the house is up for sale, we have to think about finding another place to live. This couldn’t have happened at a worse time because as you know I just resigned from a position that gave me a pretty decent living. I will be starting a part time job today. It is a great role but it doesn’t bring in nearly as much as I received before. I’m blessed to say that with my freelance work, it will be enough for me to be okay.

J. Cole is one of my favorite rappers and I was listening to his song “Love Yourz” as I wrote this post. In the song he profoundly states “no such thing as a life that’s better than yours” Here he is reminding us to simply appreciate life! I speak a lot on gratitude and I don’t want to be repetitive in my posts. But this is heavy on my heart. I was moments away from being sad, sacred and pissed off at the fact that I couldn’t make the financial decisions wanted. But I remembered quickly the things that I do have.

I have battled headaches for the past few days, but I’m healthier! I really feel better, if you’ve been on this journey with me, you know how remarkable that is. You know how much I have wanted to wake up and feel “normal”; now it happens all the time, like all the time!

My point is that things change quickly in life but regardless of your situation, you have to love yours. I think it starts with that overall appreciation of where you are. I know it’s hard but it’s necessary. There is nothing wrong with wanting more, in fact that is literally what ambition is but appreciation is a worthy complement.

A Woman in Process

 

I’ve been discussing my most recent decisions with family, friends and colleagues. Being the caring, loving and most certainly opinionated people that they are; I’ve heard things that are warranted and things that I could have gone without hearing. Just in case you haven’t read my most recent post, I’ll update you a bit.

Within the last few weeks I have resigned from a city government job that provides great benefits; healthcare and otherwise. A job that provides an okay living now and possibly a quite comfortable living in the near future. I have also left a relationship with someone that I saw myself being with forever. Someone who was worthy enough for me to break the vows that I had made to myself earlier this year.

My mother asked me recently, “are you being influenced.” I said to her “sure, I don’t think anyone makes any decision without enlisting the advice of others.”

The difference for me now is that, I am only considering my feelings. I’ve spent much of my life thinking about others before taking my next steps; often so concerned about what people will think or how they will react. You know what, right now in this moment, I don’t care. I am making these decisions on my own accord and I will deal with the consequences accordingly.

Why? Because I am the only one in my body. I am the one who has to wake up most days thankful that I am alive, yes. But nervous for the ensuing headaches, the dizziness, that not too good feeling. That feeling that even though it happens most days, I never get used to it. I rely on a tiny pill for life.

I’ve enjoyed this job but most recently, I’ve felt overworked, stressed and just plain sick. What good are the health benefits if the job is a part of the reason why I’m sick?

I’ve heard more comments recently about my relationship. People weighing in on both sides. Please make no mistake about it, I love that man and I know he loves me. He is loyal, honest, caring; all the foundational things that I think quite frankly are rare in our current dating environment. I know that.

But again I ask, what good are all these things if I am not happy? There are things missing in this relationship. Things that I don’t think I can go on without. But most importantly I’m not ready for a serious relationship. That is why I made the promise to myself a few months back to stay away. I’m in this place, not finding myself but creating the woman I want to be. I am fighting for her, I refuse to loose her.

My one year loc (dreadlocks) anniversary was a few days ago. Last year when I made that decision, I heard the comments good and bad but I forged ahead because it was what I wanted.

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It is no coincidence that these decisions are running parallel to each other. I am living my life, the way I envision. I may fall, I may even loose sight but I will never give up.

A Woman in Process