My last post was July. I am sorry. I sooo meant to share a post from my experience in Chicago in September. Buuuuuut yeah never got to it. But this post is necessary and in the new year I plan on providing more content for you all and get The 365 Project contributors more on here so you can hear their voices more as well. Ok now that is out of the way….
Habakkuk 2:2- “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it”
My vision was written down in the form of a vision board for 2014. It was my first year doing one and I was so excited to gather with my friends and put together the desires and plans I wanted for myself this year. It hangs on my wall in my bedroom currently and before I left to go home to Atlanta for the holidays, I knew that I wanted to share with you all how this vision board has manifested itself in my life this year. Hopefully this can serve as inspiration for you all leading into the new year
This year I knew was going to be something special. I was going to be turning 25. (Quarter Century baby) I was planning on releasing my first book of poems. (Oh yeah) And in general I was just excited.
I remember going thru the magazines and picking out images that would hit home for me. I didn’t put a lot on the board because I was definitely focused on specific things:
3. Hair/Skin Care
4. Financial Discipline
5. Higher Education
Fitness: When you turn 25, your body is just not the same lol. Everything cracks. Everything is sore. I reached my largest weight in this year but I have been determined to not let that get in the way. I have not been as consistent as I wanted to be but my eating habits have definitely changed. They always say this weight loss battle is mostly in the kitchen. I agree. I also recognized that alcohol had to take a backseat this year. So I had to depart from my good friend whiskey a bit and bump up the water. The next vision board will have some more specific things I want to focus on in terms of fitness.
Create: January 14th I self-published a book of poems!! Ahhhhh!! I still find it weird that I am a published author. But in this year I have done 3 book release events in different cities. I definitely planned on going to other places but that is the beauty of all of this. I can see what works and doesn’t work for me. I also have two ideas for other books. Whenever I write, I actually put them in folders in email related to the books. This year in terms of creating has also involved more collaboration with other artists. I tested on this site the artist features section. (Which I promise will make a return in 2015) Being able to showcase these artists helped me see other areas where I want to have a place in. Music? Film? Stay tuned, I got some things in the works 🙂
Hair/Skin Care: I was really serious about this. I started buying more organic skin products and supporting local businesses that sell homemade skin products. I also stepped up my makeup game just a bit as well. There is a shop downtown Athens called Keeping it Natural. I have tried out different products here. I haven’t found my go to product just yet but I love coming inside and picking the owner’s brain about her experiences. In terms of hair care, I have loved getting shampoo from Trader Joe’s and I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with trying different natural styles. The second half of the year I have been #teamweave, but I have just taken out my sew-in. (We’ll see how long this lasts)
Financial Discipline: You know there comes a time when you have to be an adult. Lol. It doesn’t come about whenever you turn a certain age, but rather when you make responsible decisions. I’ll admit I have not always done my best when it comes to being smart with my money. Like the image says, I really made an effort this year to make every dollar count. Do I have to go out? Nah. Do I have to buy that? Nah Can I get this cheaper? Yep. Is there a coupon for that? Yep. Again this section is a working progress, but I am happy that I am getting better in this area of my life.
Higher Education: I had been going back and forth about whether I should apply to grad school or not. And even though I put this on my vision board, at the time, I just thought I would make a decision by the end of this year that grad school was for me. Well actually I did a lot more than that. I got accepted into grad school this year and will be starting January 5, 2015. I am proud to say that I am pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Georgia. I am already in love with the department from the department head to my adviser. It really is a place where I feel as though I will grow and learn. Shoutout to my friends and mentors for helping me in this journey. (More detailed shoutouts will be at the end)
Before I get to the final topic, I definitely have to address this (it transitions well I promise). So I found this image “Avoid the mainstream (People get lost in there)”
It was one of those moments where I was like, “Yasssss.” I cut it out and it was one of the first things I put on my vision board. And more ways than one, this manifested in 2014, specifically it all boiled down to:
Some seasons in life are meant to be spent alone.
I have definitely spent a lot of time by myself and really enjoying it. In general, I have never been a clique person. I get along with a lot of different people and often find myself floating around in different friend groups. This has its advantages, but also disadvantages. There can be times where I am included in every social function there is and other times where I am at home jamming to my music by myself while folks are having functions. Eh comes with the territory I guess. I also mostly go to social gatherings by myself and I am perfectly fine with that. This past Friday was a moment of reflection for me. I was invited to celebrate with a friend downtown Athens for her graduation. I came by myself and met up with her and some mutual friends. We had a great time the entire night. Good laughs and good drinks. At the end of the night, everyone decided to go to the Arch to take pictures. For me, I was just ready to go to bed so I decided to go home. We all walked out of a bar and down the street to an intersection. It was a group of 10 or so of us and they all walked to the right towards the Arch while I walked by myself to the left. It was an epiphany in that one moment for me. Most of this year has been a isolated journey where God has taken folks out of my life or just separated me from the mainstream so that I can focus on myself. I found myself listening to more music, writing more, praying more and becoming a better person for the present and the future.
LOVE: 2014 was the year to find my husband.
I put this at the TOP of my vision board right under “Quarter Century”. I was positive that I would meet my husband this year. Not saying that I was going to get married, but I was going to meet some guy or reconnect with an old friend and we would fall in love. (Hollywood fantasies). 2014 was the year of engagements, weddings, and babies. For 2014, everyone pulled out their calendar and said, “Hey let’s be about this love thing.” Thing is, I wasn’t included in this town hall meeting. I was a bridesmaid in 2 weddings and attended two others. The two weddings I was in were two weeks of each other. It was a lot. But with each wedding God was speaking. I was able to witness some amazing love this year. (Shoutout to Elena and Lavon, Ali’Yah and Charlie, Regina and Ron, and Kascha and Henry) God was showing me the love He wants me to have one day. I remember talking to my mentor this year and she told me “God has put the desire of marriage on your heart, so just know it will manifest.” I wholeheartedly believe that. I know the type of love I want and need in my life. Casual dating is not for me. Casual sex is not for me. I’m preparing to be someone’s wife.
2014 I was supposed to find my husband.
Instead 2014 God revealed His love to me.
As I type I’m crying. (An ugly cry I might add) God’s love is so amazing. It is so overwhelming. And I truly didn’t get it before. But this year God showed me He loved me deeply.
A big part of The 365 Project was the find this woman and if you have read the book, the last poem spoke about I would find myself in Him. 2014 was that. I have never been so happy in love with Christ and what He is doing in my life.
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
I love that God allowed Love to manifest in my life in ways that I couldn’t have imagined.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
So for 2015?
I do plan on doing another vision board. I plan on focusing on who I am in God. I plan on creating more.
With that being said, this new year for The 365 Project will take a different focus: Community Engagement. We will be doing some rebranding (those who are good at this stuff, join us) We will be working with more community partners. I hope to do some traveling. (I just share that with the new vision board though)
Here is to 2015. Much love to you guys!
Official Shoutout section (Just going off the top of my head of folks who have made this year amazing):
Casey, Britt, Kelundra, Alfred, Markel, Josh, Scooby, Kristi, Felicia, Joan, Jillian, Felicia Harris, Justin Smith, Jackie, Broderick, Renita, Candace, Angel, Regina, Sam, Emmanuel, Shelby, Elena, Ali’Yah, Tyson, Caldwell, DOF, RD, Reign, Kascha, Corey Reid, Jamon, Shaquinta, Erin Tatum, Lily Z, Geoffrey G, KB, Kellie, Bobby,Angelica, Anthony,Erica Jones, Patrick, Chandra, Realenn, Brandon Chennault, Niecy, Fran, Ms. Jenn, Ms. Sheila, Pat Huff, Colby and Lauj, Janelle, Erin Mahone, Maya, Neland, Terrence Jones, Ashely Holmes, Omari, Kasondra M., Shiri, Chris Payne, Tracy Bonner, Edgar Sanchez, Ryan Jeter, Monique Constance, Sachel, Jeanine Daniels.