Butterflies and Fireflies

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Aside from wondering where I’ve been, I’m sure the title of this blog post is throwing you off as well LOL.

I know its weird. Bare with me.

This summer, I took a much needed hiatus from creating to work on myself– I mean really work on me.  

Compared to other summers (especially last summer), Summer 2018 wasn’t as bad as I slightly anticipated it to be. My summers are always humbling and while I of course had my normal bout of the broke-ass-millennial blues, these last three months were filled with laughter, love, and lots of twerking of course.

Around the last two weeks of July, a shift happened. Some may say it’s because all the planets went into retrograde but even if you aren’t into astrology, you can’t deny that the latter half of this summer (may have) shifted something inside you, too.

Ironically, it was the falling out with a lover of mine that helped me start this process of becoming my best self. A process that in the past, that I either avoided or simply put off time and time again. I decided that before I would point the fingers at anyone else, I would first start putting a mirror on my own self.

I’m not sure why the hell I would do that, because boyyyyyy did I learn some shit about myself that I didn’t like!

I’ve always been naturally self-reflective, but the past six weeks have been mind-boggling. I learned that not only do I possess toxic tendencies but I also have unresolved trauma just like everyone else.

Shocking right?!

I spent all of August going through lots of learning and unlearning a bunch of different shit. This process was similar to the transformation process that a caterpillar goes through to become a beautiful butterfly.

While it seems effortless, I’m here to say that transforming yourself is hard. It’s hard secluding yourself for days and weeks at a time. It’s hard having difficult convos with the ones you love. It’s hard creating, sticking to, and maintaining boundaries. It’s hard to call yourself out on your own shit.

But I did it. And I’m still doing it.

In July, I was finally able to write about a traumatic situation that happened last year. Not publicly on this blog, but within the pages of my journal, which was a difficult task. But on the anniversary of the situation, I wrote. I talked about it with loved ones. I was able to acknowledge my feelings about it and for once, I didn’t suppress my emotions. This is HUGE for me!

From then, I decided that August was a month of becoming better: I was focused on releasing, resetting, unlearning shit, speaking up, taking accountability for my own part in shit, being intentional, healing, expanding my mind, getting out my comfort zone, getting out my own way, resting, and finding ways to develop better habits.

Aside from journaling in my mental health journal (a journal I made strictly for the things I think, revelations about my healing process, etc) I also have been reading two books: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Universe Has Your Back. I got these from my local library but y’all can find them on Amazon or whatever.

None of this happened overnight and a lot of this is still a work in progress. But for once, I’m genuinely proud of myself for the changes I’ve been making. I never felt this way about myself before. It’s like I’m rooting for myself even when shit isn’t going my way. I FEEL like a different person and to be honest y’all….. it’s such a great feeling.

Of course though, my life is merely just a rollercoaster ride lol. It’s been moments where I’ve felt totally stuck and confused, it’s been moments where I’ve known exactly what to do and when to do it.

September is finally here and I’m most excited that I have inspiration to write again. Not only that, I’m excited about the things I’ve decided to focus on. While continuing the work that started six weeks ago, I recently tweeted that September is also about:

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It is so important for me to not only pray on these things but also put the work behind it.

Things ain’t perfect but they don’t have to be when you are truly doing the work.

I am allowing myself to transform into the butterfly that I know I am, while maintaining hope like the fireflies of the world symbolize.

If that’s not something worth celebrating, then I don’t know what is.

XOXOXO,

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To Sisterhood and Friendship: My Growth As A Woman

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I’m pretty sure that most of us have seen the above picture before and if you’re anything like me, I’m sure it made you smile as well.

There is nothing better than having a group of like-minded individuals around you that bring out the best in you. I’ll admit that I haven’t always thought like this, but I’ve grown.

And through my growth, I’ve learned a myriad of timeless lessons including:

Everyone ain’t yo friend
Even as an adult, my mother’s words prove to be true. Some people aren’t your friends. Some people are associates, some people are in your life to teach you things, and some people mean you absolutely no good. Something that separates the real from the fake for me is that I look at your character. Then I look at how you treat your other friends, specifically what you say about them when they aren’t around. I also look at how you treat someone you are no longer friends with. Is their business suddenly all over social media once the friendship ends? Lastly, I look at whether or not you are secure in yourself, or are you insecure and negative? If you don’t pass those few tests, then you don’t get the opportunity to get called my friend.

Just because you know someone, doesn’t mean you can grow with them
Some people are truly in your life only for a season, meant to teach you things. Sometimes, we think we will be friends with people forever, not realizing that you can’t grow with everybody. However, I don’t look at not being able to grow with someone as a bad thing, I look at it as a life thing. There are a few friends of mine that I once had that I don’t speak too often simply because our lives are not on the same page anymore. No longer being on the same page with someone doesn’t mean that you dislike them, it just means that you weren’t meant to grow with them.

Maybe it’s YOU
Everyone loves to talk about how people aren’t trustworthy and are bad friends, but no one ever likes to put the mirror on themselves. If you have this mentality that women can’t be trusted and you are constantly cutting your friends off left and right, then maybe it’s you. I’m a firm believer in that you get back what you put out in the world, so while you’re busy pointing the finger at other people for being the reason why your friendships end, just remember that there are three pointing back at you.

Everyone isn’t out to get you
For a long time, I struggled with figuring out who my real friends were, and pushed a lot of people away. Then I realized that it isn’t healthy to isolate yourself, and if I didn’t try to have healthy relationships with other women, I wouldn’t be able to properly grow as a woman. One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that everyone isn’t out to get me, and that I could afford to be trustworthy with people again. I feel that once you open your heart, the possibility for positive friendships is endless.

REAL friends communicate
Sometimes, there will be drama. There will be disagreements and there will be arguments. But something that is very important to me in all types of relationships is communication. There will be no arguing over Twitter, I will not talk to other people about my issues with you, and I require the same behavior from those I call my friend. If we can’t communicate about major or minor things, then we have no business being friends.

As I grow further into womanhood, one thing will never change: I need other women and other women need me. We have to push each other to succeed, hold each other accountable for our actions, lift one another up when we are down, be a sister to one another when we have no one and most importantly, help each other grow into better women.

 

Vent to the comments:
1) How has being friends with other men or women grown you as a person?
2) What is something you’ve learned from your circle?
3) How do you keep your friendship(s) strong?
4) How do you and your friends handle conflict?
5) Have you ever had to cut off a toxic friend?