To The Year That Almost Broke Me (And 5 Things I'm Going to Do to Conquer 2017)

Oh wow. Wow, hi there. Long time no see/hear/ write. Happy New Year everyone. Sorry, I've been MIA but boy has a lot happened. In the next few weeks, some changes and announcements will be coming your way so please stay tuned. But without further ado, here's a super personal blog post. 

It’s hard to believe that we actually managed to survive the dumpster fire that was 2016. You probably don’t need to hear it from me, in fact, the coverage of 2016’s suckery was more than sufficient, but can I please go on record as saying that this year of our lord 2016 was absolutely and utterly devastating? We lost Hollywood icons, legendary musicians, intergalactic royalty, and freedom fighters. We learned that sometimes love is Trumped by hate. And personally, professionally, macro-ly, micro-ly - 2016 tore through my life like the merging tornados at the end of Twister.

My 2016 started like most resolution filled Januarys; Doe-eyed, optimistic and convinced that I was going to simultaneously exercise, drink more water, and moisturize all while building my fempire brick by brick. I put my personal and romantic life on the back burner, in the pursuit of bettering myself professionally and financially then settled down for what I thought was going to be the best year of my life.

"It was a time of profound depression
but also radical self-discovery."

Queue the record scratching noises because it only took a grand total of four months for my life to go from hopeful to hopeless then completely implode. After a tussle with imposter syndrome, chronic millennial guilt, and a client that was dead set on ruining me professionally, I realized that my doe-eyed optimism wasn’t going to be around for the long haul.

That’s when the struggle REALLY started. With nothing but this blog, an outdated camera, and a five-year-old MacBook Pro to keep myself warm, I stayed really busy but I didn’t stay happy. Quite the opposite in fact - I slipped into a deep depression. In my free time, thanks to my newly found unemployment status, I tortured myself via over-analyzing every single personal and romantic relationship I had ever been a part of. Then, I ranked them on a scale of how demanding, close-minded, and/or cold I had been. I joined Tinder, I deleted Tinder, I went out dancing, I stayed in bed for days, I only drank wine and then I only drank Green Tea. I read self-help blogs and even wrote a few self-help posts myself.

It was a time of profound depression but also radical self-discovery. Through the haze of semi-well-deserved self-doubt and (if I’m being honest) self-pity, I made a realization that the only way through it was going to be through it. But, being the stubborn fire sign that I am, I still wanted to do it on my terms. Despite telling everyone that I was giving up my "lofty" consultant life working from home for a full-time Working Girl-esque 9 to 5 job, I could never actually bring myself to apply for one. Instead, I went to work finding something that would allow me to work AND work on me.

But with the dollars in my ever perishing savings account dwindling, I knew that I had to find something quick. This part of the autobiography I’m writing in my head will totally be called “Odd Jobs” because I took every single one that came my way. Paying my rent was still difficult but at least it was something, at least it helped me feel like I wasn’t treading water and dwelling on darkness.

So I kept finding odd jobs and working on myself and finally when the heat of summer finally broke so did my bad luck. I got a job taking street style pictures for a local news website, then I got another job hosting at a restaurant (an experience that teaches me more about the human condition than a master’s degree in psychology), then another job at a PR agency. In a matter of months, I went from jobless to having so many jobs it's hard to keep track of time.

my new years resolutions for 2017

1. Work Harder and Work Smarter
2. Remember that Balance is Key
3. Ask For Help
4. Be Kind to My Body
5. Be Kind to Myself

Now, just because I got to the other side of this particular hardship doesn’t mean that I’m off scot free. I want to be VERY clear on that. This is not one of those stories where I get to the end of the rainbow and write a tell-all book about the millions of dollars I have in the bank and stuffed in my mattress. Because, even though I’m doing better, my bank account still needs to be resurrected from the ashes and I still have a lot to work on in 2017. 

This year I want to work harder and work smarter so that I can banish imposter syndrome forever. Balance is going to be a *DJ Khaled voice* major key; I now know that I can work on myself and connect with/help others. Next up, asking for help - this one’s a toughy guys. This year I’m finally going to see a psychiatrist and I’m going to do my part in getting rid of the cultural shame that most black women feel about admitting it. On that vein, I’m going to take care of my body too. Let me tell you, feeling like you don’t have enough money for healthy meals really puts your body through the ringer I’m not falling into that health trap ever again. Lastly, and this one is important and I want you all to join me in this as well, in 2017 I'm going to be kind to myself. I'm going to stop comparing myself to others, telling myself I'm a failure and using any and all self-deprecating words

So here's to 2017, which I'm now deeming the year of the Phoenix because, after the dumpster fire that was 2016, we deserve to rise triumphantly from the ashes.

What are you working on this 2017? What was the hardest part of 2016? Tell me that and more in the comment section!