Who Are You? 

Nobody could have told me this is who I would be ten years ago. I had to find myself through all of my ups and downs. I had to retreat from the noise and search for the best me many times. I had to look at myself in the mirror and face my weaknesses. No one can tell you who you are. People can speak life or death over your life, but you are the ultimate connection between whether you will succeed or fail.

Never take the words of someone and use them as the catalyst to your success or the excuse to fail. Do not quote someone else in your weakest moments. Listen to what God is saying to you. The message is personal and will get you out of that dark space much faster than quoting others who have succeeded. 

The truth I live is mine to profess and to share. I hope that it inspires you to find your truth, share it, and inspire those around you. Many of us are hanging on to the tailwinds of successful people’s words instead of searching for our own deeper connection. You cannot get to the top off of someone else’s fumes. Create your own path and see how easier it is to navigate to the next level. 

When I ask who you are, I am not asking for physical attributes, personal characteritistics, or family ties. Those things are a piece of the puzzle, but who you truly are lies in your purpose. The greatest and only reason you were created on this earth. You have to find that reason and live it. The confusion we have at forks in the road is because we are trying to follow someone else’s path instead of knowing who we are and following the path created for us. 

I stopped praying for material things many years ago. I never asked God for a house, a car, or money. I asked that His will be done, that favor rain down upon me, that my steps be ordered and for peace and wisdom. These intangibles have opened up more doors than having tangibles that weren’t going to get me closer to my truth and purpose in life.  The material things will come when you are where you are supposed to be. 

Many people want the manifestation of the work before they put in any labor. You want to look the part, but refuse to live the part. Who are you mirroring yourself after? Who are you trying to prove yourself too? Why must people see you? When you have a gift and you are walking in your truth, your gift should be the priority. Like a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. When you are walking along your own path, everyone will be able to see you. When you are walking down the crowded path, you have to fight for attention. You have to talk loud, you have to dress loud, and assimilate to those who surround you. 

I realized I did not have to fight when I was where I was supposed to be. I did not have to break down doors and compromise my vision to be in a room full of shells. I could run in circles of power without feeling uncomfortable about where I was and where I was headed. There was no hierarchy. We all deserved to be here as can only help each other go higher. 

Everyone will not believe in your dream, but the few special people who do are the ones you have to cherish. The amazing souls that can see the flicker in your eye and sense your heart beating faster when you speak are your assets. The company you keep should reflect where you are going, not where you came from. Know who you are and focus on fulfilling your purpose. Everything else is a waste of time. 

Who are you? Who am I? Ask yourself. Accept the answer. Ride to the moon. No limits. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms. 

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Every Year Aint Your Year

In 2012 I got engaged, bought a house, got married and had a baby. It was my year.  Everything that could go right, did go right and I was so excited. I got hundreds of likes on my Facebook page (that’s how success is defined amongst the millenniums) and despite the minor bumps along the way, I had very little to complain about.  I have always been blessed, but I have been through some tough times along the road, but 2012 was different. The year 2012 gave me things I never dreamed of and brought me so much joy and happiness.  It was MY year.

I did not start off 2012 feeling particularly blessed.  I had just found out I was pregnant a few weeks earlier, halfway through my first year of law school.  I had not planned this, but I did not resent the idea of having a child.  I felt that I was not ready at that moment and that I had not done everything I wanted to do prior to settling down.  I was also super sick and extremely tired.  The beginning of my pregnancy took a toll on my body that was not conducive to being in law school.  But through it all I had a great support system, great friends, and a great partner.

I did not know what 2012 was going to bring, but I knew that I had to prepare myself for what was to come.  After we planned to stay in our apartment another year, our landlord suddenly decided that he wanted to reclaim his apartment for his personal use.  This surprise left us scrambling trying to find an affordable and safe space in DC.  Anyone who has ever looked for an apartment in a rush, in an expensive city knows that is no easy task.  We weighed many options and decided to test the housing market.

We had a great realtor and everything seemed to fall perfectly in place.  We found a home, had a settlement date, and moved in  within 2 months of beginning our search.  We decided to get married before we had the baby and then awaited his arrival in our new home as newly weds.  No one could have predicted how my year would turn out and I basked in its glory.  I did not claim 2012 as my year but everything I had worked for up until that day seemed to perfectly work together for my good.

I went into the following year and went back to work, building on my foundation and preparing for my future.  I came into 2014 with a plan and goals.  I had a vision and it did not involve anything but being in a better place at the end of 2014 than I was in the beginning of 2014.  I expected that this year would be tough.  I did not expect to still be searching for a job this late into the year, but here I am.  Despite my minimal expectations, I am still content with knowing that I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing.  My next full-time position will hopefully be the position that I want or one that will lead to greater opportunities.

Many churches and pastors proclaim that “This is your year!”  They say this every year and people are let down many times because every year aint your year.  Some years you have to go through some things to grow.  Some years you have to learn patience.  Some years you have to prepare for what is to come.  After another few seasons, after you have gone through some things, you finally hit your geyser moment and everything you have endured, prepared for and prayed through finally culminates and your season of harvest arrives.  The window of heaven opens up and floods you with blessings.  This season may last a week, a month or even years.  Through all of this you still may go through some tough moments and the next year may bring tragedy or heartache because that is life.  You just have to believe that greater is coming.

Our expectations of only great things does not help us prepare for those moments when things are not so great.  We are here praising instead of preparing.  Sometimes we have to learn to listen, to meditate or to just keep pushing.  We have to learn that pain and pressure will come and we have to have appropriate coping mechanisms to work through those moments.  I believe in dreaming the unimaginable but I also believe in being firmly being grounded in your truth.  You know how hard you have worked, how much you have prepared and how much you have endured.  The road to success is not a straight line of nothing but great moments, but one riddled with failure, loss of support and dreams deferred.  The payoff is worth sticking with the process.

Dream big dreams.  Live life out loud.  Be great in everything you do.  Know that today may not be your day, this month may not be your month, or this year may not be your year but YOUR moment is coming.  Until that moment comes, you have to do everything that you can to be prepared.  You can miss out on your blessing by not being where you are supposed to be.

Every year aint your year.  But when it is, know that we will celebrate with you as you have celebrated with others.  Proclaim it.  But more importantly prepare for it.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.