In the logistics of HerStory month, Carmel said “I chose you because, at some point in this lifetime, you’ve caused me to feel inspired, motivated, and a sense of admiration for the work that you do.” It’s an honor to be featured for HerStory month on this very platform for many reasons. But the most important reason is that I am being honored, simply for being myself.
Thank you, Carmella, for seeing me. For always seeing me.
And just like myself, I worried my little loc top about what direction to go in for this literary piece. “Share your story,” she said. “Share a challenge you faced that helped shape the woman you are today,” she said. And while my mouth said , Yesssssssss gurlaaa!’ My mind said, ‘Girla … no!’
The woman I am today? Like, today-today? Girl, nah. I don’t know, girl. I can’t even look in the mirror without crying, child. Girla … no!
There I was, in the middle of a life storm, and I’m listening to this woman asking me to share my story. At this point, I was tired of sharing my story. I didn’t feel like it. And maybe because many of our stories are similar in some fashion, I couldn’t help but to think “What’s gonna be so different about my story?” And the more I kept mulling over what story I wanted to share, the more I realized it wasn’t a significant story or challenge that helped shaped me to be who I am today. That’s because the challenges I’ve faced never mattered. It was my ability to not get lost in the challenges that helped me become the woman I am today. You see, we all go through similar things, but we all don’t rise the same. And that’s my secret sauce: rising.
So many people look for validation from an outside source to make the decision to get to the next level of their life. Always looking for a sign as a way to determine what they should do next. Fuck all of that! BE YOUR OWN DAMN SIGN! I had to give myself permission to rise to the occasion. It wasn’t depended upon an Instagram post or what a friend had to say. I gave that validation to myself first. I give myself permission to rise again and again and again. (Again and again — indicating I fall often.) But no matter how hard or how many times I fall, I always make my way back to “the upright position”. Here’s how:
I had to first die to my [former] self. Meaning all the bad habits, unproductive relationships, and anything I was outgrowing had to exit my life. In order for me to continuously evolve, I have to take inventory of who and what has been around me recently. I then identify the toxic things I possibly inhabited over the course of time that does not align with who I need to be in the future—who I am called to be. With each new level of life, I have to bury my former self.
Destination Alvania. In order for me to understand who I need to be in the future, I have to identify characteristics that would demonstrate, who I like to call, Destination Alvania. What does she look like? What does she feel like? How does she sound? What are her favorite podcasts? How does she dress? Does she still love French Toast? These are all the questions that need answers, bro! Today, most people wouldn’t get in the car and drive across the country without turning on a GPS. You gotta know where you’re going, right? Well, you gotta know where you’re growing, too.
Realize. Remove. Replace. Repeat. I recognized very quickly that if God ain’t there, then I can’t go. PeriodT! Whenever I realize that my behaviors have been way outside of my character, it’s usually when I have strayed too far away from the God within myself. So what do I do? I take inventory of my current toxicity levels. Remove the bullshit. And replace it with what feeds Destination Alvania to bloom gracefully. And I repeat this process as many times as I need to because it’s a requirement if I’m going to rise.
Rising: it’s my secret sauce. And I legit just gave you the recipe.
I give myself permission to rise in love again. I give myself permission to rise in life again. I give myself permission to rise in dopeness, daily.
So before we leave let’s look at the definitions of these keywords and do what you will with it after today.
Gave – [geyv] – simple past tense of give – freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to
Permission – [per-mish-uhn] – defined as -authorization granted to do something; formal consent
Rise – [rahyz] – to get up from a lying, sitting, or kneeling posture; assume an upright position
Freely transfer the possession of your life and hand it over to YOURSELF. Give yourself formal consent to assume the upright position. Proudly reclaim your place on the throne. And if you shall fall once again, don’t trip. Just assume the upright position. Rise. Give Yourself The Permission To Rise.
Or as Solange said:
“Fall in your ways. So you can crumble.
Fall in your ways. So you can sleep at night.
Fall in your ways. So you can wake up and RISE.
Walk in your ways so you won’t crumble.
Walk in your ways. So you can sleep at night.
Walk in your ways. So you WILL wake up and RISE.”
Until next time,