As I was working on today’s blog posting I came across the above picture that I had previously saved in my ‘Inspired’ Dropbox folder, and realized that it pretty succinctly describes the motivation behind the naming of this blog. I’ve always been a little quirky, and tried on several occasions during my formative years to be more like the “cool kids”, but always felt inauthentic doing so. Over time I have slowly become comfortable with who I am (i.e., entrepreneurial Black chica w/an affinity for short haircuts, social justice issues, droll comedies & anything by Shonda Rhimes, who reads personal finance blogs for funsies, loves God and is passionate about seeing others fulfill their purpose), and have definitely been enjoying life ever since. In my experience, the “box” that we may try to place ourselves into due to perceived societal norms, family pressures, the media, etc. can be very limiting. Not only that, but each of us has been created for a purpose that is greater than ourselves. Meaning that who are you – isn’t even about you. And by withholding your authenticity you prevent others from experiencing and receiving inspiration from you. So at the end of the day – do you! Celebrate your individuality and your unique perspective on the world around you, and in the process know that there is someone out there who will be inspired by you to do the same.
I’ve been on mental overload as of late, as many things around me have inspired me to act. What this typically looks like for me is that something will happen (such as the recent occurrences in Ferguson) that will lead me to develop loads of ideas. Some of those ideas actually make it to the production stage, where at minimum a gmail account is created – and if I’m feeling particularly motivated a domain name will be reserved on godaddy. I’ll proceed to share these ideas with others, and use the support from others (or sometimes the lack thereof) to continue to fuel the developing stages of the new project. But over time, things seem to change and that exciting new idea becomes less exciting as life settles in, time and/or resources become limited, and the awesome reality that I originally envisioned seems farther and farther away. That idea eventually fades into the background, only to be replaced by a new idea, and then the process repeats itself. I had a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment on the drive into work this morning as another idea managed to seep its way into my brain. Only this time, the initial response wasn’t excitement as usual. No this time I became noticeably angry and frustrated that I keep having ideas, many of them I believe to be great, but haven’t been able to see many of them through.
Then I came across an article on one of my favorite online spaces (Clutch Magazine) which featured the above graphic tee, and I was reminded that greatness takes time and effort. While I believed I had (and still have) great ideas, I was allowing impatience to steal time away from working at my ideas and allowing them to develop. So I’ve issued myself a challenge, and that is to change my strategy and to work smarter (and more patiently) towards achieving my goals. This idea-generator that I call a brain will be put into good use, even if what it produces does not quite reach Oprah level success. I will be perfectly content strategically working on ideas that are most important to me, and hopefully while inspiring others to do the same 🙂
I recently shared about my transition into my renovation project, and though I posted about a week ago – in real time it has officially been about three months since I’ve transitioned into my #ProjectHouse (said to the tune of Cash Money Millionaires’ ‘Project Chick’… those of us who came of age in the late 90’s and 2000’s will understand). Due to the ridiculously random winter that we had this year in Richmond, it has definitely been an experience. For starters, like many older homes the house lacks proper insulation as well as a central heating system. Added to that, the radiators that were previously installed in the home (…like back in the early 1900’s…) no longer work, and the temperature over the past few months has been a little on the nippy side. So what is an adverturesome, budget-conscious, aspiring home renovator to do? Invest in space saving heaters and large rolls of plastic, that’s what! My beloved man friend and I spent an afternoon draping sheets of plastic over the doorways of the rooms that I primarily use (as I only occupy the first floor of the home, and only 2 of those rooms at that) to retain the heat emitted by the space saving heaters, as well as over the windows. Plastic was also draped around the stairs leading to the second floor, to thwart the laws of physics and to support the maintenance of heat on the first floor. My efforts weren’t entirely attractive…….actually, they’re downright ugly, but they work – especially when paired with a warm sleeping bag, several blankets, and hoodies! And my successfully overcoming an initial barrier to my ultimate goal was so encouraging to me. Like really, my physically staying in the house has served to remind me not only of the home’s potential, but also what I can do when I’m determined to see something through. For that, I have dealt with a little cold 😉 I am so excited to see projects that I start to completion, and during those times when it feels less than convenient to keep pressing forward– I can simply tune up Pharrell’s ‘Happy*’ to bring me back to a positive emotional state. Because really, when I see all that I have been blessed with and the amazing outcome that is to come, I can’t help but become anything less than Happy.
*I love the go-go version of this by the way. I can’t help it, it’s the PG County girl in me 😉
(click pic for source)
The nerve…. I’ve developed several of those in 2014. Not in the physiological sense, but more so in the realm of enhanced confidence. Growing up I had my battle with confidence, and my being skinny and donning both glasses and braces for most of my early years did not help matters. But at some point in my late teen/early twenty-dom…confidence developed in such a way that I’ve been able to navigate through life mostly unscathed and in a manner in which I’m comfortable. But recently things have changed, and I don’t know whether this change should be attributed to the new year or my turning the big 3-0. Independent of the cause, there has been an increased drive in me to unapologetically pursue every dream and passion that God has placed in my heart. Like….it’s so not a game. To place this into context, I’ve traded my more luxurious car for a stick-shift beater that I taught myself to drive in a little over a week and have since moved into a home I’m renovating that’s maybe a step above being a former crack house* because both decisions will further propel me towards my endgame. Needless to say, both decisions I consider to be sacrifices, and have garnered a bit of negative attention and critique from those closest to me. Honestly, I completely understand their concerns…I do. But fear of the unknowns and ‘what ifs’ are minimal in my perspective relative to the tremendous gains to be made.
I’ve been reading a book recently entitled ‘Sun Stand Still’, and a line in the book really stood out to me. The author wrote: ‘Time can talk you out of your dreams. Routine can weaken your propensity towards audacity’. I reflected upon those two sentences and realized that if I wasn’t careful, it would be easy for me to drift towards a life of mediocrity and predictability rather than one that was passion-filled and required an immense amount of faith through which to navigate. That and I was finding myself becoming increasingly bored and unmotivated with where things were in my life. I quickly assessed my situation and realized there were things within my power that I could change……but then I realized that those decisions might require some discomfort on my part. And on top of that, what might people think? Thankfully those doubtful thoughts lacked staying power, and I was able to move forward with a renewed albeit somewhat out there plan, and I can say that I’ve been enjoying the process. It’s a little bit scary, yes. But also incredibly exciting and encouraging knowing that I’m being further propelled towards my purpose, and doing so in a way that requires that I have faith in a power greater than myself. This process has also shown me that I’m a pretty audacious chick-a-dee! That word has stuck with me, and will reflect my theme for the remainder of the year. I plan to have an amazingly audacious year, one that is extremely bold and fearless, and will be using this blog to document my experiences (the ups and the downs) with completing projects and my ultimate pursuit of passion and purpose. Who’s with me?
*more elaboration to come, stay tuned 😉
Happy Monday Everybody!
I love hearing stories of people who are truly selfless in the sense that they are motivated to make a difference in the life of someone else, and who are ballsy enough to believe that they can make a difference as evidenced by their taking action. Such is the case when it comes to Sheen Matheiken of the Uniform Project, who was inspired to challenge herself to an exercise in sustainable fashion (which is very much in line with my minimalist desires) and successfully raised thousands of dollars to educate underprivileged children in India in the process. Stories like Matheiken seriously begs the question: “What ideas do you have that could make a tremendous difference in someone’s life…..including your own?” I have an idea that I’ve been mulling over that I hope to launch next year, and will continue to highlight stories of people who inspire & motivate me and hope that you too receive inspiration. Have a fabu Monday & rest of the week!