“Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.”
– Ajaero Tony Martins, Entrepreneur and Investor
My mother was always hard on us. She made sure we got the most out of our education. She never settled for poor grades and kept us busy. I resented the strict nature of my mother and I grew up overlooking the support that she exuded. My mother carries herself extremely well; I’ve never seen her defeated, actually. I grew up never witnessing her shed a tear, not even once. That in itself was pure evidence that she wore a firm armor of no sentiments, just commands.
Now that I’ve been living away from home for about 2 1/2 years now, it has given me time to reflect on my life in all tenses: past, present, and future. No longer under the overprotective care of my mother anymore put my life into perspective. I’ve always been an unsure child; I don’t have favorites because I could never make up my mind. Even when I go out to eat, I’m always unsure and end up picking some random dish last minute. 9 times out of 10 I’m satisfied with my order, haha, but still it’s a quality that I praise and criticize.
I guess that’s why I’m so unsure about tomorrow; who will I be or what I want to commit to, because I can never decide. Being abroad forces me to be honest. As I’m traveling, experiencing life experiences, I’ve constantly inquired myself: What am I committed to? The question of what drives me each day is a cold mystery; a mystery that no detective could uncover or Scooby episode could unravel, only me.
I was surfing the internet at a local cafe while in Barcelona, and I stumbled across a blog post that I saved for leisure time on Black Girl In Om, one of my favorite online publications dedicated to black women. The publication focuses on 4 categories within self-care: mind, body, soul, and space. This is where I unwind and strip the disguises I wear and confront my truest self. While enjoying café con leche, I decided to read a piece from the ’soul’ section and found myself gagged by the piece “This is the Journey: Commit to the You that Sets Your Soul Ablaze” by Chelcee Johns. After fully reading it for the first time, I felt violated – literally. I didn’t have any words to describe how I felt at that moment because it took my breath away. It was relatable. It was riveting. It was moving. But it also brought out a frightened part of myself to light: I don’t know what moves me. I am a woman of many talents and aspirations that soar beyond the status quo but what sets my soul ablaze every given day?
We don’t ask ourselves this question often. Knowing thyself becomes more and more of a mystery as life picks up the rapid pace of routine. Before I went abroad, I felt so lost in that “daily routine.” I was just going to school, workin’, and stressin’. I felt as if I was suffocating in this “packed schedule”; I could barely breathe in my social stratosphere. I yearned for escape, freedom, and complete carelessness. In the piece, Chelcee Jones challenges her readers to define their own version of commitment, which isn’t a term that’s alien but often overlooked. Commitment can be defined as:
the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.“the company’s commitment to quality”
It’s the work ya’ll. The work it takes to commit to your passion. The excitement and anxiousness simultaneously intertwine in your conscious as you attempt to figure out what your journey asks of you. It’s challenging, but tangible. We must give ourselves the credit that we deserve. I did a lot this year and I cut myself short all the time. I traveled to live in Europe for a year, which was frightening; but I did it, which I didn’t even give myself a pat on the back for. I just moved through the motions while carrying fear consciously.
Commitment shouldn’t be scary; it should be enlightening. I guess that’s what I’m learning to incorporate that into my daily ritual: writing, reading, dancing, exercise, travel, making others laugh and simply keeping my creative juices flowing. Hence, doing the things that I love to do. Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m merely a character and I feel that my character, my energy, and my talents can take me far in life; as should you. You have so much to offer in your community and to the world even. It’s all about the commitment, ownership, and knowing of thyself. My work on this earth isn’t over until God says it’s over. So I’m gonna keep aiming in all directions and as RuPaul would say, “If you can’t love yo’self, how in the hell you gon’ love somebody else?”
All the best,