Better Directions

Hello, 2017!


I am one of those corny people that believes the New Year embodies New Beginnings, Clean Slates, Fresh Starts. Even as a child, I remember walking the aisle to the altar in church just so the priest could make sure my soul was clean for the new year too. Now as an adult, I don’t patronize churches (mostly because they make my skin crawl) but I still believe the chance for a “new start” is an important feeling.


The goal is for every morning to feel like New Year’s morning, though, right? To wake up, feel energized for the new day, ready to make better choices than you did the day before. I don’t trust people who wake up grumpy in the morning. After all, there is only one side to the bed, and trust me, it’s a good one. Folks who allow themselves to carry negativity from the day before leave muddy footprints on the possibility for a better day, and that, to me, is more choice than chance.


Don’t get me wrong – I am the queen of understanding the nuances of positive living. Inevitably, one day I will wake up after a hard day, somehow still consumed by the negativity of the day before. However, allowing that spirit to consume the day ahead is wasteful, selfish, and lazy. It’s hard work to sit down, take a deep breath, and let it go, especially when it feels you have a million things on your shoulders weighing you down. But like lungs that get tired while running, it’s better to push through than to stop. It’s better to engage the idea that things will get better, than to wallow in your own self-loathing.


Again, don’t get me wrong. I’ll admit – I indulge in negative emotions. Somedays I sit at home and stare at the wall for hours drowning in whatever feeling it may be. I forget what it is to be unconsumed by that emotion. I call the emotion “valid” and I engage with it, too long, and too hard. I remember that I despise folks who champion “positive thinking” as the end-all-be-all of mental health and well-being, and then I spend hours nursing pain that isn’t always wholly mine.


Today, as I finish this article I started writing 20 days ago, I am in that place. I got into a fight with a lover of mine who insists on wearing cornrows in his hair even though he is not included in the African diaspora, of which that hairstyle originates. I was having a good morning. After explaining how each step towards the finishing of that hairstyle was a step away from me, a step in defiance of what we had discussed in relation to white privilege and authenticity, and a step towards who he used to be before I invested my wisdom and knowledge into his personal growth, he told me that he was advised “not to let people tell him what to do with his hair”.


[It’s better to engage the idea that things will get better]


2017 is the year I stop trying to inspire those who do not wish to change.

2017 is the year I stop letting my carnal desires drive my decision-making.

2017 is the year I choose loneliness in place of compromise.

2017 is the year of building where I am asked to build, and not where there is room.


[Everyone has room to grow.

Not everyone wants to.]


I’m entering this year differently than before. I’m entering with the firm knowledge that PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT FROM ME.

Not everyone subscribes to my Truth, wonderful and beautiful as I think it to be.


2017 is the year that things get better, because I act in the direction of my own betterment. So far, that’s meant ending stagnant and toxic relationships on the hope that they’ll catch on to my path and succeed, checking my ego at the door because it illuminates insecurity and private traumas, and being more deliberate in the steps I take towards my life direction because greatness is there for me.


Believing that every day is a chance to take a step in the direction of a better life is helping me to make the hard decisions that will help me get there.

I invite you to join me.


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