This has been the wildest of my nearly 50 year existence. Australia was on fire. Kobe died. A freaking pandemic. The west coast is burning. Ten US named storms (with almost two months left in hurricane season). Worldwide protests. A rogue president. Bounties on the heads of American soldiers. These are all events with a mass effect- stuff felt all over the nation and the world.
Personally, I was almost evicted. “May” have had Covid-19 (before testing was widely available in the States). Lost at least 10 family members and friends since April. Traumatized from watching the deaths of Black men at the hands of the police. Can’t get my anxiety and blood pressure meds refilled because I’m POOR. EVERYTHING is triggering- simple things- like social media notifications literally- OVERWHELM me. Last week, I had an allergic reaction to something- I’m still not sure what.
But, guess what?
You and I? We’re still here! We all could compose a list of just how crazy this year has been- yet, we’re still striving and surviving. There’s less than 90 days left in 2020, we just have to hold on. Things have got to get better.
This isn’t just a pep talk for me. If you are anxious, depressed, sick, tired, sick and tired, or all of the above -just take a breath. First, know you aren’t alone. Second, it’s always darkest before the dawn. Dawn is coming.
This has been such a roller coaster. Looking forward to the ups is truly how I am surviving the downs. We got this. Everything that we have overcome the first 9 months of this year has prepared us for this moment. So, start a countdown. We’re less than three months away from a new year and clean slate. Stay the course!
I’m not sure who needed this- God knows I did! I hope my ramblings are helping someone. ((Here’s a hug to go with them)).
Now let’s get out there and SLAY the final quarter!
Being in this predicament made me think of how poorly I treat myself. The few minutes I take to put my thoughts down have become exponentially important to me. In these moments, I force myself to think about ME. Well, not only to think about me, but to consider alternate ways of doing the things that matter. I get to imagine a life that has me earning money doing what I love, taking better care of my health, and maybe even falling in love (who knows?).
In years past, it was admirable to put any and every one first. Single mother, doing everything I could to raise my son. People actually congratulated me for that when I should have been taught to balance parenthood with placing some priority on myself. Now that my son is grown, I find that the only thing I know how to do is be “mama”. Of course, I am coming around to again finding out who “Tasha” is through creative outlets like blogging and podcasting. Oh- and being ill. I have had an abundance of time to figure out what I like, dislike, and everything in between.
So as my favorite First Lady put it: I’ll take control of my time. I’ll take control of my life. I will prioritize myself. I will put myself at the top of my list.
Today, I feel like crap. I spent the whole day dragging, my body very sore, and longing to crawl under my covers. Like many others, I have an immense amount of anxiety surrounding Covid-19. I believe that I have fixated on this disease so much that I have begun to manifest symptoms. Now, I have to stay off work (my symptoms aren’t severe enough to be tested), and assume that I have this thing that I fear.
I guess I shared that because this is going to be a lazy post. It also reminds me about the power of suggestion, the power I give a thing or thought. Covid-19 isn’t imaginary, it’s a real enemy. But, I can’t tell you how many times I handed fear my power. How many times I allowed myself to be paralyzed into inaction.
Even the movie “IT” ended with the Losers finding out that Pennywise the (horrific) Dancing Clown was only so terrifying because he fed off their fear! I read the book, watched the miniseries, and later saw the movies. I NEVER applied the “moral” to myself. I continued to power my personal demons with my fear. My demons are quite gluttonous as well- I fed them big Thanksgiving feasts, yet they were never full.
I realize that I can simply stop giving my monsters my energy. I need to face my fears and recognize them for what they are. Pennywise was just a clown. The things I fear hold no power. Tangible or intangible, I give everything permission to either help or hinder my growth. Fear is power- I will be afraid, but I must evaluate those fears and devise a way to overcome them. Lazy post over.
“You become what you believe.”
My goal is to become a professional content creator by 2022.
How could I talk about success without mentioning Oprah Winfrey? I can’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, and won’t! I remember watching Oprah as a child on a show called A.M. Chicago. Even then, her personality was enormous. Her presence was magnanimous. A young black woman with ambition. I was inspired by her journey from morning anchor to mogul. I saw myself when I saw her.
Somehow, along the way, Oprah stopped being an extension of me. I stopped believing that I could follow in her footsteps. In fact, the responsibility of “expectations” began to weigh heavily upon me. I didn’t know its name, but anxiety was still my constant companion. I actually intentionally underachieved so I wouldn’t be expected to do more. I always thought I was lazy, but I now know that I was afraid.
Fast forward 30+ years- Oprah is a self made billionaire. She imagined herself as the queen of a media empire, believed it would happen, and executed accordingly. In the same span of time, I talked myself out of chasing dreams. I did raise a son, work in different fields, and learn a lot. As far as believing I had the tools necessary to do what I love full-time, I didn’t.
Suddenly, I realized that I have to take a leap of faith. I wanted to start a podcast and I actually followed through! In November of 2018, I launched “After the Snap”. There are about 70 episodes in the archives, but I discontinued after I started True Crime: By The Book. I also have “Gifts of My Ancestors” as a third show idea. I have been talking myself out of attempting to revive “After The Snap” or start “Gifts”. I realize now that my inner voice is telling me that I can produce three podcasts. Now, I have to convince the rest of me that I do have what it takes to generate $35000/yr through podcasting. I know it won’t happen tomorrow, but I need to start laying the groundwork today. My goal is to become a professional content creator by 2022.
“You become what you believe.”
When you believe something, you move like you have a purpose! I’ve shared my long term goal; it’s time to break down what smaller steps I need to make to get there. By 4/12 I will have outlines to determine what I have to do and when I have to do it. I have to begin to believe that I can podcast for a living. Everything else will come.
That’s what jumped out at me when I saw today’s mantra. That could honestly just be the post.
I am enough.
I am present.
I am smart.
I am beautiful.
I am funny.
I am loved.
I am LOVE.
I am safe.
I am a leader.
I am a nationally ranked podcaster.
I am a teacher.
I am a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.
I am where I need to be.
I am the right person.
I am possessing the right gifts.
I am here at the right moment.
This is my time, simply because I AM. When I really meditate on being, everything looks different. I feel bad about not loving myself when I center on not just WHO I am, but THAT I AM. I am is a complete thought- a noun and a verb. I am a complete person. I have come to realize that all the things I conceive I can BE. I am here because this is where I am meant to be. I will achieve what I am meant to achieve. If it’s for me, it will be mine. Simple shit, right. I can unburden myself of worries and self doubt.
Feeling stuck in relationships, my hometown, jobs I hated- all that fell under the “I have no choice” umbrella.
Today’s mantra is a little something I heard in the season 1 finale of Star Trek: Picard. Just like every other iteration of Trek, there are some pearls of wisdom to be found in this series. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone about life letting things happen and copping out with “I have no choice”. The truth is, there’s always an alternate choice.
I may have been presented with two options in 1999 and my present lot in life is a result of the decision I made, but I had a choice. There is a proper way to look at the choices I made- I mean, I just took the scenic route to success. Had I not chosen the I did way back when, I may have forgone the lessons that I’ve learned. I chose an indirect route to TODAY. If I could recalibrate and start the journey over I’d definitely choose to do things differently, but I would also lose the knowledge that I have gleaned from making “mistakes”.
I have let the phrase “I have no choice” become an excuse for not daring to dream. It’s a lazy person’s wild card. Feeling stuck in relationships, my hometown, jobs I hated- all that fell under the “I have no choice” umbrella. I understand that there is a difference between making things happen and things happening to me. Now that I have learned the lesson, it’s time to put the knowledge into action.
How do I turn the lemons I’ve been handed into lemonade? With the right ingredients and a little imagination. Releasing my limiting belief that “I have no choice” transforms me from victim to hero. Today, I will dare to take the first step in improving my life by using my imagination. Even in this period of global uncertainty, I can choose to put pieces in place to assure success. I DO have a choice.
This particular mantra jumped off the screen and into my heart. It truly felt as if Jean Luc Picard was speaking DIRECTLY to me when he (oh, so elegantly) uttered these words. I wasn’t even sure why it meant so much to me in the moment, but I wrote the phrase down and pondered over why I connected with it. I’m sure I can come up with more interpretations as it pertains to my life, but knowing I have a choice makes me feel empowered.
Does the phrase “To say ‘I have no choice’ is a failure of imagination” inspire you as much as it did me? Do you at times recall limiting yourself with these words? I hope you’ll share. Catch you tomorrow for Day 4!