I'd like to open 2019 with a sort of report. Of loss and gratitude. Of progress. Of things coming together and that I'm well. I haven't been here to write since May of 2017 - and all of you still stop by to read and say hello, send emails and for that - I appreciate you. I'm thankful for your presence in the social media spaces and for those who I've met offline.
I believe 2019 is a year of action. A year to do things. A year to stop telling everyone the plan and executing the plan. A year to stop explaining ourselves when we want to do something good for ourselves, our families and our communities. Across my circle of friends this has been the constant theme - DO. Make. Build. Action.
I'm still working on my vision board. I'm working on my word for the year. I don't have it yet but that's ok.
2018 was a monumental year in several ways. Rites of passage took place. Getting to a place of acceptance took place. The beginning of coming into my own took place....
My mother passed away. There's no easy way for me to put that in writing. I just have to say it. There was no easy way to tell my friends and family what was coming. There's no easy way to tell you here. It's a rite of passage. It's a great loss. While she had been a trooper with a series of illnesses (I called her a tank very often b/c not much could take her down) for a long time, not much can prepare you for those moments. You know it's coming. It's the when that fucks with you. It's the how.
Nothing can prepare you to sit with a parent as they leave this earth. Even when the relationship is difficult, you'll miss them. Even through the regrets you'll wonder if maybe they saw the real you. I think she did. I hope she also felt seen and loved. I'm thankful she's not suffering. I keep thinking she's likely on the other side smoking Kools, in a fabulous wig with her face beat to the gods, drenched in expensive perfume and drinking a Pepsi. Best clothes. Music playing. Bracelets clinking to the movement. Dancing. Laughing. At her peak. I'm sure this is how I'll see her when I cross over. I'm also certain my grandparents were waiting to see her. I'll forever be thankful for her being as difficult, as talented and beautiful as she was. The lessons learned from her have been priceless. The lessons - while hard won, made me much of who I am today. By fire and reluctance but here I am. She was tough as fuck. I can tell you that for sure. She happened to make me strong and creative and I'm thankful for her life. I'm still processing this loss. Mostly processing what I believe I missed out on, but I press on. But know that I'm ok and healing (from all of it).
Work was tolerable and it’s been good to me. The projects were crazy, but my team was the saving grace. The hours remain ridiculous. However, the raise and the skills I've acquired have made it worth it. I actually got this raise that made me ask them “Wait. How much?” I’m thankful. Honestly the job has given me more confidence than before and has honed my ability to take a large scale idea and break it down. Note to self: this will come in handy later.
Acceptance. I wholly accepted the idea that no matter how badly you may want a situation, a thing or a relationship with a specific person - it may simply not be for you. It may never happen. Trying to keep it or maintain it may do more harm than good and you'll have to unravel it all - or just burn the bridge entirely. As they say "did you burn the bridge or clear the path?" There's a way to resign from things, be thankful for the moments and walk away. I did. Quietly. With no fanfare.
New spaces and exploration. I rented an art studio. Yes. You read that right - an art studio. While in some random epiphany processing some level of anger, it came to me I should be making more art. I haven't been working at home on my shit. I've been recovering at home I needed a new space. I needed a new place to create. I took part of the raise and put it towards another version of self-care which for me is moving forward towards my dreams. So I rented a small art studio. At some point I’ll do a series of photos and a little video tour but I’m still putting it together and finding my way. I spent part of my weekend in there organizing and pulling it together. I'll spend part of tonight looking through the IKEA catalog and plotting for ways to make a space that invites me to create. A space where I can tinker and fuck around and figure shit out. I've been anticipating what I'll learn in this next year from this space, from my interactions and how I’ll grow. I expect miracles.
Breakfast with Minutes. Me and one of my friends have been going to breakfast (breffis around here). These breakfasts have saved me. We go to all sorts of random spots. Is it open early? Is the food good? We take meeting minutes. This is the shit moguls are made of and I’m thankful for these moments. We talk a lot of shit and then get to planning and bouncing ideas. We also turn these into day trips and cases of wine.
Commercial displays and shit. My photos are being featured soon in a commercial space. **more to come later on this one. can't give it all away*
I completed something. whispers “the book is done” *soul clap* I finished the book. It's small and sweet. And it’s fulfilling. I think it’s bigger than what I understand but we’ll see when you get your hands on it. Final edits and layout are taking place but I truly am looking forward to sharing it with you and what it means to me. Don’t ask me when it’ll be out. I ain’t got that date. I’m going to quietly drop that shit on the TL or here one night. (I highly recommend you sign up for email updates - shameless plug).
Rapid Fire List. I started painting again and working in mixed media. I bailed on planting in the community garden. (planning to try again). I made lots of amazing food, drank cases of wine. I hit the wineries (see cases of wine above). I swam in the ocean for the first time in many years and am officially addicted. I brought home shells I found. I got into oil diffusers and oils - life changing. I took a metals class and made shit. I took a cooking class and finally used my 70 year old cast iron skillet my grandmother owned.
I rearranged my apartment several times. I decided on the things I wanted and didn't want anymore.
I laid on my yoga mat a lot. I made new friends. I rekindled old friendships. I hope to do more of that this year too.
Travel. I went to Jamaica and believe it's where part of my soul was created. It reminded me so much of Lagos - but closer and I can't stop thinking about it or trying to figure out how to get back there. I made it to Philly a few times and realized the importance of good friends on road trips and kidnapping your friends some days.
Reluctance. I admitted to myself there are some dreams I have that are going to require me to be vulnerable. I also had to admit those dreams and goals were still something I wanted and not just a fleeting idea. That the dreams themselves were worthy of light and acknowledgement.
Lofty ass goals, dreams & shit. In the coming year, I've set some AMAZING LOFTY ASS BIG FUCKING GOALS and have new projects to share. I'm not about to give it away now but just know - BIG AMAZING SHIT IS COMING.
Gratitude. In this moment, I feel nothing but gratitude. Above all else, I'm thankful. Thankful for it all. I'm thankful for this moment. I'm thankful for the moments to come. I'm getting back to myself, coming into myself, becoming myself.
Freedom. Here's to a year of peeling off the layers and getting and being free.