Interviewed by Calynn Lawrence
These last few years I’ve learned that some of the people you love or would want to love (enjoy and keep around) can be so fickle, and the people that are constants in your life can be the most difficult. Of course, being in control over the people/or type of people we love is very unrealistic. Love on its various levels family, platonic, romantic etc. can be perplexing. It took me such a while to learn my love languages and for the larger part of my life I hadn’t known what love languages were. Who really goes around saying “A, B, and C are my love languages and this is how I respond”. Even if those conversations are had it doesn’t mean the person will either understand, comply and/or reciprocate….and if they did would that really solve our problems of life, communication, and/or intimacy. At some point if we all do some evaluations we will see the type of love we chase after and the type of love we have but don’t fully appreciate are patterns that may indicate something deeper about ourselves. This post may be more for me than any other person but I’d thought I’d share it anyway. In my case I’ve decided to be grateful for the love I already receive and put my intention out into the universe to send the love that I’d like to have. I truly believe that the people we are attract the people who will surround us. If I set my goals to enhance my person then the community I will gain will also be enhanced. In the meantime there is no definite answer in this constant changing world we live in and there’s no need to solve the world in one day. Step by step and inch by inch life balances itself.
“If you treat happiness like a goal it will always be elusive, and if you practice gratefulness happiness will be a lifestyle.”-tnahpele.
Do you ever find yourself feeling restless? In a since of wanting things and people to stay the same? I’m learning that in life we have these comfortable spots (time periods) in life that seem to good to be true or almost perfect. I’ve been waxing nostalgic lately. My mind has been drifting back to the day where I felt I had so many friends and my support system was HUGE! Those were my college days. I seemed to be around so many positive people that were almost always available and things and times change and eventually we as people change with them. Even though we adapt and are used to the set we currently find ourselves in its only human to miss those (good days). I have taken nostalgia as a sign that there needs to be some improvements to my current situation. For me this simply means that its time to strengthen the relationships that I already have. Sometimes its good to go over things like this and instead of saying “ah life was so good then” it just simply means “what can I do to ensure that life is good NOW?” We all want to be whole and loved and that’s human. My question to you is what are you doing to ensure that you are whole and loved? What we want doesn’t always just falls in our laps sometimes we just have to put some effort into the matter. The times change and so do we, but how do we change with the times effectively? This question has been one of my biggest because I’ve always been disgruntled when change would knock on the door in some area of my life. My mentor would always be there to remind me that the only thing permanent is change. Its up to me to deal with it in a healthy way.
This month has been a whirlwind! They say that a lot can happen in a year. A lot can happen in a day, week, or month. In my case I guess you can say I suffered a loss. I felt defeated and lost confidence in myself. I let my circumstance speak to and influence my identity. I realized after this loss that my circumstances will be just that!!! Circumstances! I’ve learned through this loss that it doesn’t change my identity and it doesn’t invalidate my talents, my gifts, and my purpose. I’ve been so blessed to say that I have amazing friends and family that pushed and challenged me to get up and continue to walk my path. DON’T MARCH TO THE MADNESS! Madness is all around us and it encourages us to live and judge ourselves by it. I can honestly say that this loss or I should call it “Lesson” has strengthened me and made me realize that I must in every way live life on my own terms. Doors that you walk through are there for you to do just that…you’ll never stay in that room because there is always another door. There is no arrival point only the progress that will build your character and shape the person you are destined to become! I have written a song that speaks to the very point of this blog. The song will be released within the next week and I’m super excited to share it with you all because I know that it will touch someone somewhere. Don’t MARCH TO THE MADNESS….LIVE ON YOUR OWN TERMS!
I recently joined an amazing jobbing band and we were blessed to receive the opportunity to fly to Panama & play for a wedding. I had not been out the country (excepting Mexico) in years. I was surprised to learn that we had time to explore and enjoy the things panama had to offer before required to burn up the stage! in my solitude in another country I was able to look at my life and its current happenings with a birds eye view. Traveling is amazing and healthy for broadening your mindset and horizons. I sat in my room and realized that I have so much to do. This is the life I have decided I want: to sing and travel. Not to say I didn’t have any plans in place but I almost felt as if Panama itself was asking me….”are you working as hard as you can/should? I looked at things in my life a second time and realized how unimportant they really were. Are the things that I value helping propel my dreams and desires forward? Are the people I’m around or seeking validation from monumental in things I’d like to pursue? The beauty of Panama helped me see more clearly the superficial things in America I decided to worry about. At sometime you have to decide not to be bothered, phased, or concerned with things or people or ideas that don’t add to or complement you and your vision. It took this trip to prompt me to do some re-prioritizing. However this is a great question to ask yourself in your life. Don’t lose sight and stay true to your plan, be sure your actions and your circle are also complementary to your passions.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu
Every time a new year comes it’s common to hear the phrases “New Year New Me” or “New Year’s Resolution”, although half the time when we are well into half of the year those concepts and ideas have become distant memories. Every Year I give myself the 1st month to take a break from social media as a lot of what is on there around this time are those commonly said platitudes. Although I’m all for self-improvement I think that most of the time we try to jump into change and into new behaviors because we’ve entered a brand new year. In my opinion change doesn’t really work that way. I never believed in going cold turkey on something in order to change. It’s also been said that it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit or to break one. Walking into this New Year my mind is still on the last few months of the old one. I use this time to evaluate what’s been working for me and what hasn’t. A lot of times when the new year comes around we are so ready for change that we don’t take the proper amount of time to really appreciate our situations for what they are whether good or bad. I take the 1st month to actually marinate in all the glory of the good and to feel all the emotion of the bad. Here’s a question I always ask myself & this is food for thought. Can you really take that first step to change if you haven’t really recognized your current state? We may be uncomfortable with ourselves and as soon as the 1st of the year comes around we want to take on a new identity. This really is just a masquerade and a way to not deal with our real hurt, pain, and issues. The key to making a lasting real change is to confront what we feel makes us uncomfortable with ourselves. If you can’t say goodbye while looking it in the eye it’ll come back around. I’m not downing new year’s resolutions or even your commitment to being a “new you” I just hope that in your process to change you are aware of everything you need to be and not just pushing your bad habits or vices under the rug trusting that they will stay there.
|“I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference.”-Robert Frost|
It’s the final month of the year and midway through It I decided to leave my job & pursue my passion. Each month after my leave I’ve faced financial challenges but I’ve also experienced a liberty that is bigger than the financial. I’ve obtained a joy and peace I don’t think I ever would’ve obtained in my previous job. I’ve received so much confirmation that I made the right choice in leaving. Growing up I’ve always been into the arts. Growing up it was also ingrained in me that pursuing the arts was not a way to live successfully. Pursuing one’s passion comes with roadblocks, tests, and trials but the road you take to living to and beyond your potential is a much more exciting route to take than the road where your life becomes mundane and unhappy. This mundane and unhappy road is the road that most of us take because we see security and we fear failure. I’ve also learned this year that failure is healthy, failure is a necessary growing pain to our character it can build us to become fantastic people. I’ve learned not to be afraid but to embrace failure and look at how it has/can shape me to become a better version of myself. What I found to ring true is when in position and taking necessary steps “what’s meant for you will be for you”. I’ve made some real amazing life connections this year. Each person has helped to contribute to my dreams and goals even if they haven’t realized it. In one of my toastmasters meetings I was told that “it’s never a mistake to follow your passion”, and as each day passes I understand this to be so true. Had I not left I would definitely not have made the strides and moves that I have in the past 5 months. Even before I got my job I constantly put off making investments in myself (such as this website). For the first time in my life I’m doing something to advance myself and the feeling is indescribable. In my endeavors I have had some amazing support from friends and family. I also have had friends and family going through some of the same transitions of similar decisions and we pass encouragement and insight around more than the plate of yams on thanksgiving. My community is awesome because it’s filled with other entrepreneurs, freelance workers & passion followers. My community has made my journey that much more enjoyable and bearable. It’s one thing to walk the road less traveled alone and it’s a world’s difference when you can walk it with friends and loved ones. The consequence of my choice has brought pain but more importantly its brought joy. I’ll end this month’s blog off with a moving quote by Jim Carrey and he says
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
“Give time, give space to sprout your potential. Awaken the beauty of your heart – the beauty of your spirit. There are infinite possibilities.”- Amit Ray
I decided to name the November blog “Potential Beauty” not only because I release the single this month but also because I’d like to put a spin on the phrase to address something else important. This month I’ve been thinking a lot about this song and even though it deals with a love story that never fully played out. The spin that I’d like to put on the phrase is a spin that addresses some of the thoughts I’ve had along the lines of somethings being potentially beautiful.
Even though the song “potential beauty” has a tone of finality and closure, not everything that is beautiful should be left or given up on. It’s important to know when it will serve you to continue to fight and/or pursue something and when it no longer serves you.. Creating music has not been easy, not writing, arranging, or even recording has been a walk in the park. It has been a journey that I had been pondering giving up on. Yes music is my passion but passion isn’t the only thing that we have to address as human beings living on earth. Outside influences and factors have dampened my mood and my determination, but I can’t let my goal just turn into something that was potentially beautiful.
So even in the thick of it, I dedicate this blog post to all of you out there who haven’t quite just made it yet. Keep pressing and you will complete the work you have begun. Most times we want things and we want it now. Do not let your goals wither into just “potential”. Sometimes you need to pause and pick things up with fresh eyes and a fresh attitude. Your goals are beautiful and be sure to see that beauty fulfilled and realized.
Until next time
The things I have learned…26
Know thyself/Edit thyself: I have made mistakes, broken some trust, lost some people, and offended some people. I know I’m not perfect and I also have learned not to take responsibility for some things as well. Sometimes you lose people because they aren’t meant to stay, and sometimes you lose people because of actions you’ve taken. I’ve learned so much about myself these past few years. I know that everyone can’t/won’t like/accept me. I have to live in my truth anyhow; Even though I have to live in my truth I also know how to be honest with myself. Sometimes I do ask myself “Was that necessary? Was that kind? Or “Maybe you should change your attitude about this”. I have learned to keep a balance with knowing who I am and also changing who I am. This is one of my lessons so far.
Know others/Create Boundaries: Sometimes people cringe at the phrase boundaries. Some people also confuse boundaries with not letting people in or being vulnerable. Bob Marley once said “The Truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” I take this quote to mean “its okay not to be vulnerable with everyone”. I only let down walls when I trust someone and when it comes to meeting new people trust takes time to acquire. Sometimes you have to learn (sometimes the hard way) that people will be themselves. It is your job to accept them being themselves. Your job is to navigate how to be you and how to be you in the same world (where others you may dislike) will be themselves. This is not an easy task but the more you practice the better you become at being a SOLID you. Knowing Others and creating boundaries most times go hand in hand for example….If I know that my uncle is a “Tell All book” that constantly updates others when it comes to my life then I probably won’t share many things with him. This is a healthy boundary. It would take me to know things in order to set healthy boundaries. I can’t take this personally and I have to understand that this is who my uncle is. (I really don’t have this kind of uncle…just an example)
Move/Speak/Do with purpose: My Mentor Charles Brooks has always told me to ask myself “What is the purpose of this.” This question can be asked of every action, every statement, and every belief, everything I eat. If you don’t have an answer when you ask yourself, chances are there is no purpose and it’s time to do something, think something (etc.) else. So many times I will find myself doing, saying, or thinking something and then I realize later that there was no purpose for any of it. One of my daily prayers is “Lord let me live intentionally today” Sometimes we take actions and say things without even thinking it through. Don’t let your mouth or your feet move before your mind. Be Intentional.
What others think of me is none of my business & I need to forgive myself: Actually these two things a lot of times go hand in hand for me. I’ll have an embarrassing moment or not filter myself as much as I should/could and I end up reliving every word said and every action said that I realize I probably shouldn’t have done. I think on what others may have thought or how they could’ve interpreted me. YES I am a very overly analytical person. What I realized over time though is things happen that sometimes I don’t mean to and sometimes there’s nothing I can do about them once the moment’s passed. In that effect I’ve learned to forgive myself. So I can’t keep saying in the car ride home “Daniel that was SO STUPID HOW COULD YOU?” lol I give myself a chance to say it once and then I remember that I’m a beautiful flawed human and it’s time to let it go. Tomorrow is a new day. What other people think about me is none of my business. Whether people think I’m awesome, funny, cool, sexy, horrible, etc. It’s totally their opinion and I can’t rob them of it. At the end of the day I’ve got to be happy with what I put out into the world.
Walking into my 26th year…..I’m overall happy of what I’m INTENTIONALLY putting out into the world. To my haters and lovers thank you and –(peace&love)-