Each week on my Instagram page, I set out to focus on a particular word, depending on where I’m at with tasks, goals, expectation or simply life. Coming out of 2022 was very difficult, and it was challenging for me to be hopeful about the New Year. Everywhere you look there’s bad news, terrifying news and discouraging news. Along with other things that went on, it was difficult to focus on the things that mattered. I fell off track with some of my writing assignments and that made me feel even worse.
This is the word that started off the new year for me. It was time to reassess and move things around because there was this sudden feeling of “clutter” all around me. Everything and everyone was getting on my nerves, and it had nothing to do with hormones. Relationships that dragged on for years with no fruition needed to be questioned and dealt with. I had a job situation that was bringing nothing but feelings of doom and gloom. I tried to make moves throughout 2022 after so much disappointment and toxicity, but didn’t get far, which made me question my ability to make necessary changes when needed.
With my current work in progress that I’m focusing on, I can’t help but to think about Asuma, who’s marriage was dragging her into a pit of heavy darkness and depression. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to be married, she just realized that she was with someone who had zero happiness in their life to begin with. A lot of times when people don’t deal with their issues, their issues usually end of dealing with them. That’s why I took the time to lay out certain things, give them a fresh look and to move forward the only way I know how – without looking back. This may affect friendships, and in Asuma’s case, an entire marriage that she put her heart and soul into. But such is a life.
January also felt like someone took a big scoop of opportunity with both hands and dumped it into my lap. There was a renewed sense of hope and excitement and I got back to work on all my current projects (well, most of them…). I also learned how to pace myself so that I wouldn’t get burned out so easily. If its one thing I learned over the past couple of years, its creating healthy boundaries. While facilitating a work shop at the job one day I heard a term that has been near and dear to me ever since – self advocacy. Don’t expect someone to speak up for you – you have to learn to do it yourself if you don’t already. For me, that started with creating boundaries and learning how to say no.
Having boundaries in place helped me to focus on setting regular expectations on myself without being harsh or judgmental if I didn’t stay on course. The things I chose to invest my time and energy toward felt worthwhile and profitable. Tending to my spirituality was a huge step in building self-advocacy. I took time figuring things out, working on things that were productive for me, which in turn brought so much hope and encouragement. That is also why you are reading more recent blog posts from me. 🙂
Incorporating the concept of self-advocacy brought on increased episodes of delight. I recently reconnected (that was another word – but in 2022) with an old friend who is notorious for showing me the ropes in moving up the career latter, being forgiving and being smart with money. We talked for hours and I have to say it was one of the best conversations I’ve had in a while. It felt like I was welcoming in a new round of excitement and expectation that I didn’t have for a few years, which made it difficult for me to accomplish certain goals I had set.
Lesson learned – don’t get mad when certain things don’t go your way after you chose not to speak up about it. What’s the old saying? Closed mouths don’t get fed. The more I’m speaking up, the more things are happening to my advantage.
I closed out the month of January with a renewed sense of responsibility, but that’s only because of the boundaries I set in place earlier and tapped into my fighting side. Shaking off dead weight was not very easy to do, but I’ve learned to become more confident in that process as well.
In a recent conversation with my editor, I was super excited to learn about upcoming writing events and conferences. One thing that will definitely help me reconnect with my work is being around other writers. As we all know, opportunities to connect with people have been extremely limited over the past couple of years. I’m just now realizing how much that affected me and my productivity and love for writing. I had a beautiful trip in Ithaca last year that was very helpful, but it reconnected me with reading more than anything else (it is also a very beautiful place if you appreciate nature). Now that more events for writers are starting to happen again, I am already making moves to be a part of those events – making them a priority. If you’re a writer reading this, you know that one of the main motivators to helping your creativity flow is connecting with other writers.
I’m looking forward to these events, along with the change of scenery. Yeah, I love to travel and meet new people.