2016 has been quite a year.
I lost love, I gained love…but most of all I’ve learned to create love.
It took me almost two years to realize that there was more out there for me...that there was the love that I could give myself waiting for me. It took a friend yelling at me over the phone, while I was sitting in my car on U Street in DC on the Friday before Valentine’s Day of this year, to remind me to love myself a whole lot more. It was maybe the anger in his voice and disappointment from watching me love a man more than I was loving myself and not receiving the love he knew I had been long overdue…maybe it was hearing that. Maybe it was him asking me what I was going to do if my ex at the time went off and actually married his current girlfriend…maybe it was everything hitting me at once that finally got to me—that finally hit me to love myself more.
And so I did. I started doing more for me and putting me first. I even started dating someone, which was like the ultimate scare and little speck of happiness all at once. And even though it didn’t grow into what I had hoped, but it grew something. It also inspired something. I learned a lot with him—I learned to take chances and to jump even if you’re not sure where you’ll land. I also learned to stand firm in what I believe and what I represent—A single, celibate woman living for Christ despite all odds and despite emotional infatuation. I also learned to ask for what I want and if a man isn’t willing or capable of giving such, he’s not it and that’s okay. My experience with him taught me that and I'm forever grateful for that.
I became thankful for all of my relationship mishaps this year. Instead of crying over what no longer was or didn’t happen, I thanked God for clearing the way for me. And not just clearing the way for the man for me, but clearing the way for me to create the love that I had been robbing myself of. This year I got to know me like I had never known before. I got to try things I hadn’t before, noticed things about myself that I didn’t before.
- I filmed a short documentary on black barbershops and it was decent,
- I filmed a short documentary on black vets that made it to WTOP,
- I graduated with my masters at 22,
- I wrote a 22 page law paper that I am still very proud of,
- I wrote for Blame Ebro,
- I gained a following on both of my blogs,
- #TheRibLifeJourney became an even bigger thing,
- I let go of what hurt me,
- I saw Beyonce!!!,
- I saw Drake again like I had always wanted to,
- I saw Bryson Tiller,
- I wrote an article on Bryson Tiller and he liked it,
- I took so many chances,
- I moved into my own own place,
- I tried pork again...and still hated it,
- I started a career in my dream field,
- I produced quality newscasts,
- I became an asset at my job,
- I produced a 2-hour morning show on my own,
- I produced a national live-shot with a CBS news correspondent,
- I found a new church home and joined a ministry,
- I threw a successful Christmas party at my new place,
- I went on a wine tasting,
- Wine and popcorn became an official food group for me ,
- I met new people,
- I got a second job as an adjunct professor,
- I gained even more wisdom in the Word,
- I developed my relationship with God,
- I trusted God more,
- I trusted me more,
- I trusted the universe more,
- I loved harder on me,
- I loved men less,
- I still loved infinitely,
- I found my art again,
- I drew a portrait,
- I started writing again,
- I finally finished reading through a few books,
- I finally listened to Chance 3 thoroughly before the year ended,
- I finally got my Frank Ocean, Jay Z and Beyonce fix,
- A Tribe Called Quest dropped their last album & it was AMAZEBALLS,
- I finally watched all of A Different World, One Tree Hill and 90210,
- I thoroughly participated in the evolution of black girl magic by being magical every day,
- I maintained better hair habits and my fro FLOURISHED HONEY!,
- I went to my first beer and wine fest and it was the SHIiiiiizzzziiyyyyeeee,
- I started and stuck with my yoga practice,
- I perfected by head stance,
- I started my chapbook,
- I went to my first Kennedy Center Show,
- I drew art on the National Mall,
- I reconciled with friends,
- I developed an even deeper friendship with someone,
- I dropped some friends,
- I started living for me,
- I told my mom about my testimony,
- I told the world (maybe kinda sorta) about my testimony,
- I used my words to speak my emotions,
- I started living fearLESSly,
- I healed from broken relationships relentlessly,
- and I realized more dreams.
2016 was my year. It may have sucked for a lot of people (heck we loss so many people in 2016...like Prince and Debbie Reynolds, the grandmother from Halloweentown man!), but for me it was a year to get me back and to work out of faith. And GOD…it feels great to be here. It feels great to love myself relentlessly and unconditionally. It feels great to look myself in the mirror and love every part of that human being staring back. I may not like everything physically, but that’s because I like carbs and I like Cold Stone…and that’s not going to change. So in 2017, I may need to do more gym than yoga, less carbs and more protein. But more than anything—no matter how different this body may look 6 months to a year from now—I love me and it feels so darn good.
I don’t really have major plans for 2017. Hit New Orleans come August for a conference and enjoy the food and culture, finish furnishing my apartment, and plan for a February 2018 trip to Paris...but more than anything, I’m dedicating 2017 to creating more love within myself and to finding the hope, possibility and magic of love in romance, work, and marriage and holding on to it. I lost some of it…a lot of it. I gave up on it over and over again in 2016 because of disappointment. It made me harsh and cold in some ways; I want to believe in being in love again with a man…I want to believe in the undoubting possibility of Adam again…I want to believe that. I want to rid the fear and apprehension of vulnerability in 2017.
So…here’s to it…on the eve of the eve of a new year.
2017…I’m ready for you.