Monday, December 12, 2016

The Gospel of The Unbothered

It has been along and eventful four months, y'all.

Several eras have ended and trials hung. The world as we know it is on the verge of anarchy or renaissaince, depending on whom you converse with. Seven years is a mighty long time to have come around to the spot where I now find myself.

Much can be said about the meme above that a Facebook friend so lovingly fashioned from a photo my cousin so artfully took of me. Some sayings that come to mind are: "No me molesta", #worryaboutyoself, "Next".

I'll tell you this: I said at the beginning of 2016 that it would be a #yearoftravel, and that I would not see the year end in my current field of work. Done and done.

 I am proud to say that last Wednesday was my final day at my place of employment for the past three years. I learned a lot at that job: how (and when) to ask for what I want without fear, because I know how valuable I am and what I deserve; how to make managerial procedures for those that will come after me (basically leave things better than I met them); how to be assertive in the face of micromanagement; how to deliver for clients with my head held high, with confident resolve twinkling in my eye; how to know when it is time to have difficult talks; how to be patient. Oh, Goddess, how to be patient!

I left friends there, people I intend to keep in contact with and meet again in a more relaxed and honest environment. I don't like to burn bridges, and understand the supreme value of making and maintaining connections.

Regardless of what specific events capitalutated me to the decision I made to leave, the general idea I had upon entering my last job was that it would be temporary, not a career, but a goal post of sorts. Life always has other plans for us, of course, and every now and then requires us to be honest and self-reflective about the choice we have and will make, especially as it pertains directly to our well-being, mental, physical and economic futures. Its that "adulting" thing that keeps popping up in various forms.

To recap a bit:
1- I went to my first Caribbean island (for more than a layover transfer) in January, even survived being stranded an extra two days with my sister, and learned the value, generosity, and resourcefulness of the #familybychoice Tribe. Thank you Nomadness! Thank you bestie!
2- I won tickets through application for and in support of She's Wanderful, making it for the second year in a row to the WITS (Women In Travel) 2016 conference in Irvine, California in March. I figured out how to get around in a vast and convoluted (read: Not pedestrian-friendly) set of transportation systems between Los Angeles and that city, meeting some great ladies via carpool. I made the commitment then and there to make sure that I can stay involved with this group, and will be going to the WITS 2017 conference in Milwaukee, whatever it takes.
3- Through friendship and targeted determination, I placed myself in the midst of a destination wedding (my first ever) with a group of flight attendants in Antigua, Guatemala in April. We shared lovely rooms at a villa, swatted mosquitoes, bartered with colorfully dressed women in the town square, shared meals and witnessed love amid ancient ruins. We also climbed a live volcano that last erupted in 2014. I have never felt so welcome amongst a group of virtual strangers that I still connect to months later!
4- July was a brief yet satisfying jaunt up north to Montreal, to see my cousin and her growing family, to ride the city on its superb bicycle lanes, zone out in a Scandinavian Spa, and to take in some jazz music at the annual festival. I also scored a flight voucher for a return visit, through fortuitous circumstances (getting really good at this travel game).
5- I started delving into my music and singing project that has long been ignored, being more acclimated to raising my voice in the bowels of the New York City subway, and open to connecting with people that want to collaborate, and create. I'm that much closer to having a finished piece that I composed, arranged, wrote and sang myself!
6- I let myself say yes more. I was more open to crazy possibilities, and am currently reaping the rewards of that courage and resolve. Thank you, Kenna for the influence of #YearofYesManifest, and Catrice for being a consistent guiding light in unleashing my own significance!
7- I refuse to let other people put the fear of the unknown in front of my dreams any more. This has come from well-meaning friends, relatives, even people I've just been introduced to who have their set opinions wrapped around them in a comfortable cloak of authority and experience with the familiar. They don't live my life. They have not made my sacrifices and deferrals, and they won't have to face the consequences of regret. #worryaboutyourself.

The point of all this is to say that as many things that have gone wrong this year, that I, myself and so many others would love to press a "redo" button, or black out this whole year from their personal history accounts, I have much to be thankful for and excited about.

I am reaching out into unknown territory, and finding my voice is not as rusty as I thought, my wit is still sharp and focused, my resolve, thought latent for so long, is as stubborn as ever. My imagination and creative spirit has not deserted me under fluorescent lighting. I can still run and lift weights with my back and hips the way they are, and I still got the rhythm of my ancestors (20% Dahomey, #blackamazonian, indeed!).

I am #unbothered and I am #seldom_settled. Bring it, 2017!

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