Yes, the title of this post is a play off Wale’s forthcoming album, The Album About Nothing. I felt the need to write something considering my last blog was in July 2014. I clicked on this draft from September 9, 2014 that was originally titled “Lessons,” made a few edits and viola.
Truth is I’m not ready to write (let alone publish) what’s bubbling inside my soul begging to bleed out on the page. The words doing gymnastics in my head, the ones that keep me up at night, are still too raw for public consumption. Most of it needs to be saved for The Book anyway. When I penned this post back in September I wrote:
I’m in a state of self-reflection. A transition period. It’s painful. Wakes me up in the wee hours of the morning. Sends me into fits of tears at any point during the day. Tears rolled down my face last week as I sat on the subway. “It’s going to be all right,” a black woman said as I exited the subway car. “Thank you,” I murmured. She was the only stranger who hadn’t pretended to not see me crying.
I’m in my head. All the time. Over-thinking. Replaying conversations. I’m a ball of emotions that range from rage to severe sadness sometimes all within 15 minutes. I’ve started journaling every day. This probably should be a journal entry. Whatever.
I’d do anything to rush the process, to be out of it completely. Patience, my dear, my inner voice whispers. Growth takes time. I already see the shift. My perspective has changed. Confidence in myself is at an all time high. The belief that no matter what I’ll be ok is constant. I’m doing the things I’d put off for too long. I’m being kinder to myself through my thoughts and words, and it’s all mad uncomfortable. Discomfort now for greatness later? I hope so. God I hope so.
It’s March now; so much has changed. Thankfully I’m in a much happier space. When I first jotted down these 30 thoughts I was hoping they’d serve as the equivalent to Rihanna’s tatted reminder: “Never a failure, always a lesson.” Reading over them now I laugh at some, others I think, ‘That’s so basic.’ Coincidentally there’s 30 “lessons” for a lack of better word. I’ll be 30 in 23 days. I feel amazing about turning 30 and where my life is in this moment. I’m grateful for change. I’m thankful for progress. I’m humbled that I can, on occasion, pour out 1400 words that hopefully mean something to somebody.
1. “You should forgive yourself. There was a deliverance that came out of your mess.” – Tera Carissa
2. I am valuable. That doesn’t change based on circumstances or other people’s failure to see my worth.
3. Don’t do what you can’t handle others doing to you.
I hate being ignored by people I love. One day I was sitting in my fury at being ignored until I was forced to think about family members and friends I’d ignored in the past. I can easily act as if you no longer exist once I’m hurt. How could I really be annoyed at being ignored when I had done the exact same thing to people I cared about? Yeah. Shit doesn’t feel too good when you’re on the receiving end of it.
4. You’ll be fine. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next month. But damn it, you will.
5. Read all things warsan shire. Whenever. Always. She will help you get through.
6. There is a divine power in women sharing our stories. To hear them, to know we’re not alone in this journey, to have another woman understand, is healing. Being a woman is truly one of the greatest gifts in the world.
7. Let go. Edit: In your own fucking time and not a minute sooner.
Do you know how much insignificant crap we hold on to that doesn’t matter? If the doctor told you you only had a month left to live would it really matter that your former boss threw you under the bus? Would you really care that some some chick called you a bitch? Will it matter you fought with your lover because he got so drunk he didn’t come home and ended up passed out in a cab? Before 30 I addressed old wounds. I was still picking at the scabs leaving them unhealed. I definitely let go of ill feelings for people who are no longer significant. I cleaned out Gmail drafts I had typed to people who I believed had wronged me. I stopped disliking people who I felt had crossed the line for whatever reason. Let me stop lying. A few of you bitches I still don’t like (I’m no Deepak Chopra). Point is: I don’t care anymore. There is no room for unnecessary baggage for where I am going in life. It’s too heavy to hold. Please let it go. It’s weighing you down, love.
8. Don’t lose yourself in a relationship. Never, ever.
9. Do what you keep putting off now.
10. What do you want? No, seriously. Stop thinking/worrying about what everyone else in your life wants, needs or expects from you. Live for you.
11. “Stop letting these n-ggas have so much power over your emotions.” – Me, 2012
12. Get off social media. And live.
I got off Twitter for a total of two months in the past six months. I was hands down happier during the periods I wasn’t on. I was 100% more productive too. The minute I slowly got back in the Twitter vortex I noticed the change in my mood. I rarely scroll my TL these days. I tweet randomly, and from my mentions. Knowing what everyone else is thinking and doing all the time pays me exactly zero dollars. Less social media has improved my quality of life significantly.
13. You only have control over you. Your thoughts, your actions, your feelings. You cannot control what anyone else chooses to do.
14. Fear is the thief of joy.
15. …and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love
– warsan shire
16. Don’t be unnecessarily difficult.
17. You can’t treat people badly and expect them to stay around forever. They will leave you. And they should.
18. Whatever you put in the Universe will come to fruition—good or bad. If you’ve already sown bad harvest then you’ll have to live with what’s to come. Stop now if you’re speaking venom and hatred and brokenness and negativity.
19. Love doesn’t conquer all. Sorry. It just doesn’t. Best you learn this now.
20. Life is long or short depending on your outlook. Make amends.
21. Get a therapist. You were dealt a bad hand in life. Ok. Now what? We all have our own version of hell on earth. No one cares. I certainly have a story that will either bring you to tears or cause your jaw to drop. Your life is your own to fix. Work it out in therapy.
22. You are who you are. Make tweaks to what you want to change, but don’t go trying to be somebody else. Warrior women, don’t you dare go contorting yourselves into being pleasant, jovial women who speak less because that’s what he wants. Fuck.That.Shit.
23. Call your parents and grandparents more. You’ll wish you had slowed down a little to cherish them when they’re gone.
24. Some things are worth fighting for. Others are not. Decide wisely which is which.
25. Your truth is yours to do what you want with. If your story involves someone else? Eh. It’s still yours. They kind of will have to deal.
26. You will feel like dying. (If you’ve never felt this way consider yourself blessed.) Death is such a final solution. Keep living. And see #21.
27. “The best revenge is living well [or success].” No. Fuck that. That’s too much negative energy toiling over revenge or hoping others see you shining. Live well for yourself. Don’t give a damn about doing it as “revenge.”
28. Find something to be grateful for. Every single day. It helps. I get a daily alert on my iPhone that reads, “Say five things you’re grateful for.” I stop whatever I’m doing in that moment to do it. Puts things into perspective.
29. This is most important: Fall in love with yourself wholly. It makes life so much easier. The sooner you do this the better.
30. “Life is too short to spend it at war with yourself.” Insecurities destroy everything. Self-doubt is a colossal waste of time. Don’t believe everything you tell yourself. Stop being at war with yourself and get on with the business of loving who you authentically are.
Bonus: Lean in. You listening? Everything you lose is not a loss. Feel me? I know you think it’s a tremendous loss. It hurts. You’re wondering if you’ll ever have something that feels so good. You want to know why God didn’t see fit to let this thing or person stay. Well, it wasn’t meant. Let go of the plan you had and what you think you’ve lost. Hold tight to all there is to gain. The Universe doesn’t remove anything from our lives without replacing it with something better. Believe that. Tattoo it on your forehead. Put it on a sticky note on your mirror. EVERYTHING YOU LOSE IS NOT A LOSS.