Welcome to 2017, Prizms! I know it's been a while (I swear I'll get better at this) but I took a little break from writing for the blog so I could enjoy the holidays with my family. We all need a little down time, right? No more breaks though. 2017 is in full swing and I have so much to do. We all do honestly. In 17 days, we'll be forced to watch The Orange Idiot take over The White House and...yea, not happy. But then again, they ain't never cared about us anyway so, this is just another daily walk in Amerikkka. I digress.
I know that 2016 was a rough year for everyone. Like, yo, we lost Prince. How could you leave us in this wretched world, o Purple One???? I mean, look, I knew we were doomed when hours after the ball dropped, Natalie Cole went on home to the Lord. That set the entire tone for the year. I feel like 2016 was a landslide that wound up in a landfill. Straight tumbling trash. The only good thing about 2016, as radically apocalyptic as it was, was that, personally, I learned a lot. I think life is funny in that way, that it takes you on unexpected twists and turns and you have to just flow with it. In learning, another important part is being able to effectively reflect on those lessons. So, I've come up with a little list of those things I've learned...
Here are 5 things I learned in 2016 and below I have 5 things I'm looking forward to in 2017:
Lessons Learned 2016:
- Live more in the moment:
Call it cliche but I believe in my astronomical sign (Capricorn). I am very much a stubborn, goal-oriented, high-functioning individual. Because of this aspect of my nature, I tend to think way ahead of where I am because I feel the overwhelming need to be prepared for anything. Part of what I learned in 2016 was that, life just doesn't work that way. You can't be prepared for anything and that's just the beauty of it. I'm learning to appreciate the moments and not to think too much ahead because you can step in the way of your own blessings sometimes when you do.
2. Do less procrastinating - accept daily victories:
I also learned that I have to do way less procrastinating. We all do it, it is NOT just me. Once I'm in my silk pajamas and fuzzy socks, you can guarantee I ain't doin' shit else! However, in order to have the life I seek, I gotta put in the time and effort. My time management skills were wack in 2016 and I vow to do better this year.
3. Working out really does help:
Okay so, other than the fact that moving my body a little bit and lifting some weights helped me LOOK much better, it also made me FEEL much better. I dealt with a lot of stress in 2016 and in June, I had actually signed up for a membership at the Equinox by my job (the fact that it is so expensive is my motivation to go). Since I've been there, I've taken consistent classes in barre, yoga, pilates, boxing, and weightlifting. Ladies, the abs are poppin'! It's dope because seeing my process is motivating to me and lets me know that I'm doing something to better myself. I will continue this in the new year.
4. Love has no bounds and is unapologetic af:
The greatest damn mystery of the world. I promise you, I will STILL be trying to figure this love thing out years from now, however, I learn bits and pieces here and there. In 2016, I lost a man that I deemed was the love of my life. My absolute twin, partner in crime, and all that mushy goodness that romance novels and fairy tales are made of. Things went sour and I thought leaving him would free me immediately and I'd be twirling around like wack ass Kenya Moore (or those girls in the tampon commercials, take your pick). How wrong was that prediction? Let's just say I ate one small meal a day and cried every morning for 3 months straight. I lost about 10 pounds (because I kept working out but ate a lot less) and I felt like a shell of myself. I was pissed! I started to wish that I had waited until I met someone else before I left him. That's how much I dreaded being alone. I needed to be alone though. I needed time to focus on my goals and God pushed me to the bottom of my valley so that I would have to work hard to get back on top. But back to the point: love is unapologetic in all aspects. Even when you beg for an apology, for closure, you may never get one. There are also ZERO boundaries in love. True love doesn't need a face, a body, a kiss, a fuck. True love lives inside of you and is forever awakened through sub-conscious thoughts, dreams, and connections. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel his currents coursing through my body on a regular basis, even though I have new interests these days. I've learned how to be okay with that and keep stepping through my life journey because that's the beauty of it.
5. Melanin praise is at an all time high:
Aside from all the negativity that the world has seen this year, Black excellence has been at an all time high. It was amazing to watch the 2016 Rio Olympics (which I was supposed to be at...currently kicking myself for missing that opportunity) and see such high-scoring performances and winning titles taken home by the likes of Claressa Shields, Allyson Felix/English Gardner/Tianna Bartoletta/Tori Bowie (ladies 4x100m team), Simone Biles, Dalilah Muhammed, Kerron Clement, Christian Taylor and so many others I can't even name. I mean, we KILLED that! Also, some of the top albums this year were by Black artists (Solange, Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, etc.). Musically, we slayed as usual. And then we took over the large AND small screen with amazing movies and TV shows for US curated by US. Issa Rae with Insecure (and her fabulous cast), Donald Glover with Atlanta (and his amazing cast). It was beautiful to see and be a part of. I feel a renessaince coming on. I always find it amazing that in the midst of persecution and devastation, Black people always rise to the occasion and set the standard. It was magical to see.
Going forward, these are the things I am looking to learn, do, and see in 2017:
- Forward moving progress for marginalized people in America
I know this is a tough one. Especially with Mr. Flaming Hot Cheetos getting ready to be in office soon. Yet, something tells me that this will be the best time to put forth the strongest effort in mobilizing our community and resisting against the system. Why? Cuz' we ain't got no choice now BUT to be aware of the bullshit. Being aware is the first step, which I think a lot of us are doing now. The second step is getting together with devoted friends, family members and building up our community step-by-step. We can definitely thug this out and change it for the better.
2. Writing more blog posts, poetry, and music
My mind is all over the place naturally, as a creative. Therefore, I have to make more of an effort to plan ahead and use my time more wisely to do my creating. I promise more blog posts for you. I would also like to start sharing some of my poetry and music that I will be making under my new artist name Blaquephrodite. Definitely look for that coming soon!
3. Starting a podcast
So, I used to HATE hearing myself talk (sometimes I still do), but apparently, people love to hear me speak. I'm looking to branch out and start a podcast soon (hopefully by mid-year) so be on the lookout for that. Relationship realness, Black excellence, Black owned businesses...all the things that matter to my melanin brothers and sisters. Sorta like what I do here. :-) My personal favorite podcasts that influenced me are The Read, Tax Season, The Friend Zone, Last Call Podcast, and Angela Yee's Lip Service. So if you like any of those, hopefully you'll be diggin' mine too.
4. Falling in love with myself again
This is definitely some key shit. Loving others, loving what you do, loving your journey always starts with loving yourself. You can't get to that big break, or that awesome man (or woman), or that dream house (fill in the blanks with me here!) without truly loving yourself. You have to love all the versions of you. The sweet version, the scared version, the happy version, the sad version, the undeniably angry version. All of those versions of you work to make up the full picture and that is what you need to fall in love with. I am working this year on falling in love again.
5. More fitness/body goals and working towards them
Part of that is keeping up with the gym. I'm lifting weights now so my tone level is about to be ferocious! The one thing I know I have to do is get the nutrition part of it down. Growing up, my mom never let us build unhealthy food habits anyway (shoutout to all strict West Indian parents lol). Like, we couldn't be "normal" kids and eat Trix, or Fruit Loops, or any of those delicious, mouth-watering cereals. It was Corn Flakes, Rice Crispies, and damn Corn Pops (IF she was feeling generous). Anyway, you get the picture. So I don't snack out regularly or do anything like that but I just have to be a little more conscious. So the goal is better nutrition.
So, what are some of your goals and aspirations for 2017? Let's work towards them together. Share your thoughts below!