I had to put down my iPad for a minute b/c these thoughts started filling in my head and I had to let them out.
In yesterday’s blog entry entitled Thanks, I talked about my everlasting journey to find myself, find what it is that I’m here for and thinking that I may have heard that whisper I’ve been patiently waiting for.
I also touched on my reasoning for starting a blog, telling you guys that the main reason I had gotten into it was because it sort of “fell” there, if that makes sense. A few people told me what I’d be good at and so I just did it.
Tonight, I’m doing some reading. The book is called Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words by Kevin Hall. I started the book several nights ago but ended up falling into a benadryl induced sleep that made me completely start over because I had no idea what I had read before.
Within the first couple pages, I begin shaking my head…and then crying. The first thing that stuck out for me was the word Genshai, which means that you should never treat another person in a manner that would make them feel small.
Although I haven’t gone into depth about blogging, I will go into a little bit of detail now. I joke and laugh about things on Twitter that some people find quite humorous while others have absolutely no tolerance for. I get that; I have said since the beginning of time that I’m just not for everybody. While I don’t have any plans of molding myself to be that “thing” for everyone, one thing that I will say is that there have been instances during my stint in blogging where I felt as though I did too much. One such example was a blog post that I wrote back in 2010 about a ‘situation’ where a guy was allegedly dating an Atlanta based Athlete. I remember this story being my first “major” scoop. I had no idea who this athlete was, but everyone else in the world did. Lots of major blogs (non urban) picked up on the story and it just grew a set of legs. I remember being contacted by radio shows specializing in sports, attorneys telling me to shut up…the whole nine. It was the first “major” thing for my blog that landed me on the radar, so to speak. Initially, this person’s attorney contacted me and threatened legal action. After a while, however, he decided to let it all go and said that he wouldn’t worry about it. About a year or so later, I decided to remove all traces of the story from the blog. Why? Well, I felt bad. I didn’t know if I had ruined this guys current relationship, I didn’t know what business deals I could’ve screwed him up on, I didn’t even have 100% solid proof of what the other person alleged happened. What I DID know was that I was determined (then) more than ever to really make people know about my blog by any means necessary. After I removed those blog entries, I promised myself that I would do my best to stay away from rumors as much as possible. Admittedly, there are some stories that require an ‘allegedly’ or some type of sourcing that would sort of virtually wash your hands of it. But if these things aren’t verifiable in some regard, I do my best to stay away from them. I just always try to imagine myself in some of these situations. I don’t consider myself perfect in that. I’ve since posted sex tapes and naughty photos of some of your faves….but I later find myself asking what IS the purpose of that? Do you really have something to say that’s just SO damn funny that you have to potentially ruin someone else’s day? Again, ask yourself….how would you feel if it was you in the situation that you’re blogging about. I’ve been the ‘story’ of the day. Some lies, some truths. But it never felt good. And this was always a conflict for me.
The next thing that came up in the book that stuck out to me was a quote that Hall posted by writer and Nazi concentration camp survivor, Dr Viktor Frankl. He talks about Frankl’s will to survive in spite of some of the horrible things he had experienced. From losing his family to his dignity, you’d think that this man wouldn’t even spell the word positive, let alone live it.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms…to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
I think that it’s safe to say that many of us at some point or another have fallen victim to our own circumstances. Rather than picking up and fighting as we should, we often lay down and accept defeat. It’s ‘easier’ to blame the masses and any other elements that may have gotten in our way. But not too often do many of us accept responsibility for what and who we are.
A couple weeks ago, I had a LONG conversation with a friend of mine and that conversation caused me to reposition how I start my day. Instead of waking up and saying ‘I’m so tired,’ or ‘OMG I do not feel like beginning my day,’ I would wake up and say out loud, ‘Today is gonna be a good day…no matter what. God loves me and I love myself. Even if someone tries to get in my way, I won’t let that person/thing be the victor of my emotions.’ ONLY after I said this would I get out of bed. I would literally leave any doubts, worries, or problems resting while I made the most of the day God blessed me with. And it works. There have been days, admittedly, where I had to get out of bed quickly and neglected it, but for the most part, I’ve stayed on the up and up. I said all that to say that people can attack you from every angle. They can call you names, doubt you, say that you won’t ever be anything but a _______. It’s what you DO with those words that makes the biggest difference. With the internet, people have tons of e-courage that allows them to say and do things that they would not be privy to otherwise. But how you handle it is what makes the difference. I’ve been trying to teach myself that I am the captain of my emotions, and to let someone else dictate my mood, how my day goes, etc., automatically means I lost. How can one ‘lose’ when it comes to their own feelings or thoughts that you can easily control?
The third and final thing that I read in the book was a quote that he posted that literally made me start bawling like I was two.
He who holds a lantern to light the pathway of his brother sees more clearly his own.
And just like that…instead of a whisper, I received my yell.
I know that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record these days. Although I may not seem like the ideal candidate to some (because trust me, I’m not Mother Teresa), I do know in my heart of hearts that my purpose on this earth has been to help people with my own experiences. I have gone through so much and there’s so much to share. I’ve been somewhat guarded with some things because I didn’t know how to start. At what point do I pick up a pen and just…write? What do I say? Where’s the good starting point? Will it make sense to anyone? These are all questions that I’ve had before. So I put the idea of writing a book to the side (for now), but the thought always sat in my head….I was put here to help.
*pause for the broken record* Sometimes I look at my life and some of the things I’ve done (mostly the bad ones) and I sigh to myself. I use to get into a nasty funk, asking why did I do this, why did I do that? I eventually took some of my ‘thoughts’ to Youtube, maintaining a personal blog, and more recently, Twitter. I’ve amassed a decent following. No, I’m not on the level (followers wise) as some of your other favorite bloggers, BUT I feel that I’ve been given a platform. I feel that I’ve drawn people in…be it because they care about my growth and want to watch it, they’re entertained…or hell, maybe I’m that girl that people want to follow so that they can take my tweets, and laugh about it on their cute little message boards. But no matter the reasoning for the following that I’ve amassed, the fact is is it’s there. And there are days in the week where I struggle with just how it is that I’m using that following. Again, I’m not perfect…I get in on the jokes about reality TV, trending topics, and whatever else is the flavor of the moment. But I’ve always felt that there was a reason why there are so many people who pay attention to what I have to say. And because I feel that I’ve been blessed with that, I want to give back…and use it in a positive way.
The reason why I say that your path is yours is because I’ve felt that for MANY years, I’ve had a nice little ride on the wave that others have prepared for me. For example, MANY moons ago, I was tested for the academically accelerated program at my elementary school. This was…first grade, I believe. After being tested, the teacher had a meeting with my parents and me where she told my parents that I would make an excellent lawyer some day (if I could somehow remove my country accent…but that’s another blog within itself). She said that my reasoning skills were superb, I had the ability to ‘convince’ anyone that I’m ‘right,’ and that I was a natural leader….all at the age of 6. Once I heard that, I stopped having dreams of being a ballerina and said that I would focus my attention on being a lawyer.
I went to college in 1998 several months before classes were set to start. I was put in a program that basically allowed minority students to get a ‘jump start’ on learning about college life before the actual semester started. I remember standing up during a “Hi-my-name-is” type ceremony and saying ‘blah blah blah…and I’m gonna be either a corporate or entertainment attorney.’ And it was settled. I chose psychology and English as my major…not because these were things that interest me, but because my high school guidance counselor recommended psych in order to learn how to ‘get in people’s minds,’ and English because my English teachers always talked about how I had a way with words, and always excelled in these classes. Nonetheless, I ended up hating it and my junior year, I quit. Just like that, I quit.
Looking back on some of the choices that I’ve made in terms of education, new hobbies, etc., I now realize…at 32 years old….many of those choices were based off what others felt was the best for me. I figured that since I wasn’t blessed to be Oprah, an R&B singer, or something else of magnificence, I might as well listen to other people and their suggestions because maybe they know better than me….
At the end of it all, however, I was left unfulfilled and extremely unhappy. It’s easy to smile on the outside and pretend like everything’s okay, but when you’re not making the moves that YOU want to make for YOU, you’re absolutely going to crash and burn. It may not happen right away, but once you get hit with a ton of bricks with a message stamped ‘live your life for you,’ you’ll get it. Your path is your own and no one can really dictate that to you.
I’m not done with the book. I have well over 100 pages to read, but these are just a few of my thoughts that I’ve had while reading it. I’m not an overly religious person, but as I always say…my relationship with God is very close and personal. I don’t always carry myself as a child of God should, but I’ve also never set out to be perfect. I just know that I’m being spoken to right now and in hearing what I’m hearing, it’s moving me to share with you. Some of the things are subtle…others are loud as day. Right now, a lot of it seems like a bunch of confusing noise. A lot of things coming at me at once. I’m being overwhelmed with the emails and messages that I’m receiving…the scary ‘dreams’ that friends are having about me that definitely speak to what I feel that I’ve ‘heard’ my purpose to be, the way the words in this book are literally speaking my entire life right now. It’s a little scary. But that’s what I set out for, you know? And I’m going to roll with it as much as humanly possible. If any of this can help any of you, I’m definitely fulfilling at least a small portion of the bigger purpose that’s out there waiting for me.
Just a few thoughts that I had to share…..
PS: errors may be in this post but I’m trying to get back to reading before I get sleepy.