My Life in Words
The Definitive Collection | Blog writings of Janelle B.
My Life in Words
The Definitive Collection | Blog writings of Janelle B.
This whole time I thought I was Miranda Hobbs. Which (in retrospect) I definitely still am. Like Miranda, I'm always the "cynical" one in the group. Sometimes pessimistic. While constantly have something sarcastic to say.
But right now....in this very moment...I am Carrie. More specifically, I am Carrie when she moved to Paris. Minus Alexander Petrovsky... And Paris... And Big... & high fashion. But nevertheless, she is me lol. I’ve made this huge leap (a few leaps) believing I was moving towards a new and refreshing chapter in my life. I even convinced myself I was making the right decisions about them, but not really knowing what was ahead of me.
Like Carrie, I packed my bags and moved across the ocean (state line), leaving my friends and job behind me. You remember how Carrie’d gotten to a point in her life that she didn’t have another move to make and was at a major standstill. She’d been engaged once before, but that didn’t go through. & In love with a man for 10 years, but could never commit. She knew half of the people in NY and visited every restaurant at least twice. When an opportunity (Alexander) knocked on her door and she opened it because she thought that was the obvious choice to make.
And it was the route to take. It was right for Carrie to move to Paris. To travel outside of every comfort zone known to her, to do something she had never done before. But unbeknownst to her, the real lesson she needed to learn was leaving NY to realize that’s exactly where she needed to be. Her love and her life were right there waiting for her.
Sometimes it takes removing yourself from a situation to know that’s where you belonged the whole time. Taking some time apart helps us to remember why we fell in love with [insert thing/person you care the most about] from the very beginning.
If I changed my perspective and attitude on my hometown and utilize what I already knew, could I really find what I have been looking for this whole time in other cities? I think it’s time for me to move back home and be there. I’ve been in 3 cities, searching high and low for my big break and made every excuse to move away; Not realizing what new adventures I could find in my own backyard.
Because I’m channeling in my inner Carrie Bradshaw, I can’t help but wonder...when is my Mr. Big going to come to my rescue and bring me home?
The older I get, the more and more accomplishments I see my friends, associates, and coworkers celebrate. It makes me genuinely happy to see them succeed and win! (Shoutout to ya'll!!) However, when you’re not in the place you thought you would be, it’s extremely difficult to remain positive and not grow impatient.
I've heard all of those cliché quotes about how “everybody’s journey is different...” and honestly, even I have shared that same rhetoric with others. But even though comparisons are natural acts, I’ve started to change the narrative...MY narrative.
Time is important to me. So I try to remind myself that I have only been on this earth 26 years. But I have grown so much. I’m obviously not the same person I was at 16, and I won’t be the same person I am now at 36. Growth never stops and I have so much ahead of me. Caught up in this whirlwind called life, it’s easy to forget that our life's accomplishments don’t have any specific age limit to them. Nothing in the “Manual of Life” says I should have ‘x’ amount of ‘y’ accomplishments by ‘z’ age. Everybody’s life equation is their own to create and solve. As crazy as it sounds, I’m really starting to look forward to 30. I look forward to seeing where I am and who I’ve become, and what lessons I will learn. The thought of aging is becoming less of a fear and more of beautiful and eventful journey.
When we hear the word “Spring,” we may think of the beginning of warm weather (or rainy days), flowers (maybe allergies) and bright & vivid colors. We can’t wait to get out of the house and enjoy the sun and fresh air because winter has completely overwhelmed us. Breaks are notorious during the spring to momentarily take a step away from reality (unless your Spring Break vacay ends up going viral, yikes!). “Spring cleaning” may also come to mind as you recollect memories of the days when your mom woke you up on a Saturday morning to do some all-day, deep cleaning around the house. Spring consists of so many positive feelings, but it prominently brings the idea of rebirth or renewal.
As I get older and self reflection becomes part of my daily routine, I feel like I’m always looking to find meaning in things or figure out "what’s wrong". But somewhere in between the thinking and reflecting, I realize that I rarely take action. Don't get me wrong, I’ll journal, read books, and discuss the issue in depth with my friends...but that’s where it ends. Action is the most important step. But why do I leave it out?
Honestly, taking action is scary. It means facing your fears. It means coming to terms with a situation and actually do something about it. It means realizing that its been YOU all along holding you back. No one else. And ultimately realizing, that YOU are the solution to the problem. And this is when reality hits that there is only so much reflection a person can do until it becomes futile without action.
Recent occurrences in my life have taught me that I can’t sit around and wait for change to happen. Especially if I’m not doing anything about it. I can’t wait for the perfect time, because timing is never perfect. If I continued to wait for somebody else to tell me what to do or wait to take action based on any other schedule but my own, I would be waiting forever. Faith plays a big role in this season because I don’t know what’s to come once I make that leap...but we have to have faith that everything will turn out alright.
A way to enhance this overall theme of renewal as we enter Spring, is to focus on how you can take control of your life, in that moment. Being intentional with making reflection lead to action. What Spring is not is the season of pleasing others, being afraid of change, and creating more excuses. If there’s something you have been complaining about or unhappy with, do something about it. You are surrounded by a season brimming with pure motivation! So as you take control and walk outside to see the blooming, vibrant flowers reviving themselves from the past season, let them encourage you. Take a rejuvenating break from work/school or spend an entire day devoting yourself to decluttering the space you’re in.
Take control. If you’ve been wanting to pick up a hobby to better express yourself or do something during your spare time, quit making excuses as to why you can’t. I’ve always loved writing, but had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. But here I am...writing this blog. And here you are (hopefully) thinking of all the ways you can begin to take control of your life this Spring season. 😊🌸
I often reminiscence on the innocence of teenage love. When we would stay up all night and talk on the phone, despite having to wake up for school the next day. The times when we would spend the whole week looking forward to the weekend so we could see each other. When our dates consisted of meeting up at the mall with our groups of friends. Back when we would write each other’s initials in notebooks with a heart around it. And “I love you”’ was said one month into the relationship, and we knew we really meant it. When we would smile all night after a simple kiss on the lips. When we would "take" their last name and name "our" kids. When we were completely smitten and thought this person would be in our life forever....Remember?
The older we get, innocence becomes a thing of the past and responsibility takes over. We have to be mindful of the roles we play (and those others play) in our lives. People have been hurt time and time again and carry that baggage along with them. We remain skeptical and are less willing to give of ourselves to others. The image we once had of our “ideal” lover slowly fades away and practicality sets in. We are on a perpetual audition, looking for the best addition to our lives. Our time is more sacred, so we have to be positive others are worthy of it before giving it up.
Dating is full of ups and downs and can go really good or realllllllllly bad, rarely with any in-between. We are often faced with back and forth, contradicting emotions such as discouragement, excitement, confusion, and contentment. There are often gaps in our lives where our love life is either non-existent, right-person but wrong-time, or just overwhelming. We often consider any and everything before making committed decisions involving our love lives such as location, children, family dynamics, etc. Compromise becoming the core of each relationship.
I’m not sure which era of love is better. I miss the innocence of high school love, but I remember its naivety. I welcomed everybody making myself more susceptible to heartbreak. But what that type of openness taught me was the importance of standards and understanding my worth. Yet, it's exhausting feeling like though I know what I want, I'm always searching for love. I wish it was just as easy as going to the mall or a basketball game and leaving with multiple numbers from potential boyfriends. I don't know where and I don't how to find it, but I think the lessons I learned, whether desirable or not, during this era of innocent love has prepared me for the era of responsible love. Neither one of them has to be better. And though that era of love was reflecting where I was personally, as I continue to grow, my era of love will grow wholly.
5, 4, 3, 2…” The clock strikes midnight. Everybody screams “Happy New Year!” You hug the people around you. Gulf down your glass of champagne. There's a huge smile on your face because the energy in the air is invigorating. Fresh. Alive! Your mind is full of all the things you plan to accomplish for the year. New body. New hair. New attitude. New bae. New job. New me. Yassss!
The days pass. The time ticks. Then April rolls around and here you are. Still being 2017 you. Maybe even 2016 you too. After a week of going to the gym, you've found excuse after excuse to ignore the alarm you set to go to the gym. You kept saying you would make an appointment with your beautician to cut your hair, but haven't. Still messing with the same person you "left" in 2017. AND you haven’t filled out any job applications. Your attitude is just as it was on December 31; Then it hits you that nothing is really new at all.
You get frustrated with yourself because you always do this. What happened to that energy you felt when the clock struck 12 on January 1?!
As each year goes by, I find myself making plans for a new me in the new year. When, in reality, I was hoping each new year would bring newfound happiness and fulfillment. Believing the key to discover those things is changing who I was just hours before.
From the outside looking in, one would think I’m currently excelling at life. I just graduated with my Master’s, moved to a new city, and started my first full-time job. Despite all of this, it feels as if happiness is out of reach. Maybe because I’m too focused on the other “failing” aspects of my life like my nonexistent love life, terrible eating habits, money that’s always disappearing, or hair that never seems to cooperate. I constantly dwell on my areas of improvement instead of counting the blessings in front me. Perhaps if I felt the positives outweighed the negatives, this empty feeling inside would seem half full rather than half empty...
Therefore, it’s time for me to regroup.
As I begin this new year, I will put more emphasis on figuring out what defines “fulfillment” to me. I hope to shift my focus away from surface-level resolutions that aren’t directly correlated to my definition of happiness. I will seek out things I can control that will ultimately add to my growth. Then when 2019 rolls around I won’t be looking forward to the new year but, rather continuing to live “my best life” that I began creating in 2018. Those areas of improvement will fix themselves and become my blessings. Then everyday would feel like the first of January.
Iʼm 26 and Iʼm tired.
In my 26 years of living, I’ve dealt with my share of bullshit from men. I’ve dealt with so many commitment issues, so much wasted time, so much infidelity, number of ghostings, and so many lies. Through both my friends and my own experiences, it’s a lot of commonalities when it comes to men. Itʼs like at puberty they were given a book on how to be careless and clueless with others feelings.
I want to pause for a second and state for the record, that I’m not whatever you think I am which has caused me to not be worth a damn. Iʼm not an “angry black woman,” Iʼm unfulfilled. I'm not bitter, Iʼm just tired. Iʼm tired of feeling like Iʼm not worthy of being loved. Iʼm tired of feeling like Iʼm never enough. Iʼm tired of feeling like Iʼll never find somebody I can be on the same page with while building together. Iʼm tired of feeling like Iʼll never have somebody that will go out of their way just to see me happy.
In my opinion, men don’t realize that the buildup of constant miscommunication, constant letdowns, constant pain that many of us women experience causes these emotions. We 're often called “crazy” or “petty” when we react to a situation, not realizing that this conversation or situation has happened before. And weʼre tired. Tired of repeating ourselves. Tired of giving you multiple chances. Tired of seeing your potential that you canʼt see for yourself. Tired of wanting to give you the world but you hesitating on accepting the offer.
For once, I would like a man to listen to me express my feelings and try to understand, instead of listening to respond and being defensive. Next time, it would be nice to see my efforts and level of care reciprocated. For a change, it would be nice to know my feelings are validated and normal. Iʼm aware not every woman goes through these things, as well as, some men do appreciate women. I see evidence of that and it makes me so happy. I also know that I'm nowhere near perfect (Godʼs not done with me yet!) and I have my own faults. Iʼm just a 26 year old trying to live my best life and make a connection with someone. But in the meantime, Iʼm gonna text this guy I have no business texting to temporarily fill my loneliness and get back on Tinder, attempting to convince myself that this could really be a happy ending....
Until next time!