When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2012, I declared it a “New year, New me”. I knew that 2012 had to be different, better, more amazing than 2011. I went through an insurmountable amount of stress and anxiety when I was working for my last corporate job & made a decision to never go back to that. At the time, I had a lot of anger and resentment. I knew I needed to let go of that and focus my energy on pursuing my purpose. I couldn’t get these words out of my head that I’d heard a speaker say: “God will place you in a holy discontent in order to get you out of certain situations.” This hit home for me not only when it was time for me to leave my job, but at any time I feel that things are out of place. This year, I got out of my comfort zone in more ways than one, and really embraced change for probably the first time in my life. Sometimes that “holy discontent” will force you into situations that you need to experience.
1. I embraced & reflected on the leap of faith I took in 2011. Certain sayings like “have faith” and “take a leap of faith” tend to sound so cliché because they are used so frequently. But the bible says, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We had not planned for me to leave my job when I did, so we didn’t know just how much it was going to impact us, or how we were going to manage (especially with our third baby on the way). But it didn’t matter that we didn’t know, because God knew. He was just waiting on us to take that first step. When I say that I left my job almost two years ago and we haven’t missed my paycheck since, it’s not to brag. It’s to emphasize what taking a leap of faith really means – to have complete and total trust in God regardless of the circumstance. God has indeed blessed us and our faith was strengthened once I made the leap and walked out of that corporate door.
2. I cut off my hair. I know Indie Arie wrote the song “I am not my hair”. But the truth is, I felt like I was my hair. There were a lot of things that I didn’t like about myself but my hair wasn’t one of them. I took a lot of pride in my hair. While transitioning to become natural, I ended up having to give myself the “big chop” after a wash left my hair a tangled & knotted HOT mess. I literally cried and hated every bit of my teeny weeny afro. I wanted to immediately go to the closest braid shop and get my hair braided not to be seen again until I grew it back out. But time constraints permitted me from doing just that. I had no choice but to face the world and embrace my new look. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. It forced me to look at myself beyond my hair, and I jumped into a newfound confidence that I didn’t even realize I was lacking.
3. I learned to say no…and mean it. I’m a woman of my word. So if I feel like people are depending and counting on me, I feel a lot of pressure to come through for them. When I realized that I was burnt out and stressed out because I was saying yes to everyone else, and saying no to myself, I knew I needed to make some changes. I set boundaries and I blocked “me” time off on my calendar. I can’t be everywhere for everyone at every time. So I also stopped doing for others who were always too busy to lend a hand or ear during my time of need.
4. I lost 20 pounds! Many people know that I have a serious love affair with sweets. But when I was struggling to lose my baby weight after our last born, I came to the tough realization that my metabolism is not what it was 10, 5 or even 3 years ago. I used to be able to eat absolutely anything I wanted, and barely gain a pound. I still enjoy my sweets now, but it’s all in moderation. I no longer buy cookies, cakes or doughnuts every single time I go to the grocery store. When I eat, I’m very conscious of what I put into my body. I’m now fitting into clothes I hadn’t been able to wear since before I started having kids.
5. I invested in myself & started my own business. As a mom and a wife, it’s natural for me to put everyone else’s needs above my own. But I made a decision to start my business this year. So I invested money and time into going to a lot of workshops, and hired a business coach – best decision ever. By investing money up front, I was able to identify and iron out a lot of details that would’ve otherwise taken a lot more time for me to figure out.
6. I learned that everyone does not deserve the title of “friend”. I am blessed in that I have a lot of real friends. But there were times where the line between friend and acquaintance was a bit blurry. I also realized that some of the people I had mistakenly given the “friend” title to, were definitely not my friend at all. A friendship is a two-way street. I learned that “some people come into your life just to teach you how to let go”. And this was definitely a lesson I needed to learn in 2012.
I have started on my list of goals and resolutions for 2013, and can’t wait because I know it’s going to be a phenomenal year!
BMWK: What are some lessons you learned this year that have made you grow as a person? What are you looking forward to in 2013?