growth + wellness

The Year That Was

December 31, 2015


Today is the 365th day of 2015. The final day of the year. Day 1 of the new calendar year awaits!

In some respects, 2015 was pretty crappy and I think most are relieved to see that combination of numbers disappear. The world completely showed its ass and there was a lot of collective heartbreak watching humankind be so… fucked up. Over and over. And over. And over again. Often with the cameras rolling, for all to see. We were constantly bombarded with images and audio of horribleness – on our TVs, in FB and twitter feeds, around the water cooler. Many – myself included – “called in Black” from work (and sometimes life in general), got lost in the hilarious well-timed hashtags of Black twitter, and began to make a serious investment in self care to keep some semblance of sanity. To not let this [white supremacist] world destroy us even more. 2015’s motto was basically, “just make it through as best you can.”

Additionally, I certainly had my own struggles. I allowed myself to be mistreated and disrespected for the first quarter of the year, and spent even more time blaming and chastising myself for being weak and pitiful. I thought I deserved it. Combined with being overworked, under-appreciated and underpaid, the intense emotional turmoil I was experiencing started to drive me crazy and sent me right into the arms of a therapist’s couch for the first time. Therapy began to swiftly change how I considered myself and I began to rebuild my confidence and learn to control my control issues. And accept that it isn’t noble or healthy to accept responsibility for anyone other than me. Where I once felt like a prisoner of my own mind (something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember), I now feel like I have many tools to clear my head of the junk that’s there and feel relief. These days, I’m constantly checking in with myself and trying to be transparent with myself about how I’m feeling. Every day isn’t a happy-go-lucky day. In fact, I’ve had some of the worst days/experiences of my life this second half of the year. But I wouldn’t have been able to make it through (praise Him) had I not begun this “rebirth” of sorts. I have gotten better about letting myself just be, just feel. Followed by action of taking care of what needs to be taken care of. If I’m not good, I know how to pick myself up and get back to my happy, get back to handling business. I experience the world in a new, more appreciative, less stressful way.

I am now my top priority. It only took 32 years to get here. But I’z here!!

I ended 2014 and started 2015 feeling very uninspired, unworthy, and melancholy. Perhaps I knew what awaited me. Or maybe my attitude served to catalyze the year’s events. Either way, I turned it around and took a much more optimistic and joyful approach to the second half of the year. I am so proud of myself! For all that I accomplished, for all that I sowed into myself – I am truly reaping the benefits! There were a LOT of shitty parts of 2015 but I won’t look back at this year with bitterness or disdain (OK, maybe a little bit when I talk to my children and grandchildren about how terrible people can be). Because so much good happened, often as a direct result of the bad.

2015 is just… the year that was.

And I can honestly say, on this here 31st day of December in the year of our Lord 2015, I am the best me I have ever been. And I’m only going to get better. I am so thankful to be in such a beautiful place mentally, emotionally, and physically. And I am thankful for the transformation that has come with the trying and tumultuous landscape of 2015. And I am thankful for all of the people who supported me on this journey and showed me love in its purest form.

So I am entering 2016 with eyes and arms wide open, ready to embrace new accomplishments and adventures. I don’t have unreasonable expectations of this new year – I know it’s just as likely to contain as many downs and ups as this past year. I just know I’ll be more prepared to overcome the trips and tumbles, and welcome the wins with grace and appreciation.

With that, I have a few resolutions to share:

  • Learn the art of a good night’s rest. I’ve been struggling with sleep lately. Thank God its not the kind of mind crushing insomnia I suffered from at the beginning of the year. But nonetheless, I don’t feel rested when I wake each morning. Gotta figure this sleep thing out – even if it includes spending money on expensive pillows.
  • Be intentional. About practicing yoga, practicing meditation, being present. Though I’ve made it a point to get to yoga (or do it on my own) at least once a week, I’m resolved to making yoga and mindfulness more regular in the new year. They’ve helped tremendously this past year when I’ve actually bothered to do them. Must make time to practice.
  • Use my Passion Planner. I love my Passion Planner but I really started to slack off on using it. I kind of got afraid of some of my goals and the accountability of getting ish done. Fear cannot stop me from moving forward.
  • Get chose (professionally). The new job prospects are looking very, very promising so I have no doubt I’ll get chose this coming year. But I need to make the best decision for my career and my mental wellness. Ideally I’d like this new job to be closer to family and/or friends, but I also want to grow and be fulfilled. So this will require lots of soul searching and planning (see above resolution).

I wish all of you reading this a very HAPPY NEW YEAR – filled with self love, self care, and biscuits!! Be safe and be great!

With hope and happiness,

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  • Reply Anjuan December 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I’m wishing you the best in 2016! The honesty in your Tweets and blog posts are very appreciated and needed. I’m sure your other readers feel the same!

    • Reply Gem December 31, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      thank you so much, Anjuan! for the support, for reading, for sharing, etc. wishing you and your family a wonderful 2016!!

  • Reply Wu Young December 31, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    2015 has been so so personally. I’m good but I want to make sure my family remains that way.

    Keep working on yourself, homie! It’s a fight you can’t lose.

    Happy new years!

    *I high key hope SC has a better year.

    • Reply Gem December 31, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      wishing you the best in the new year, friend. you are an inspiration 🙂

  • Reply BnB December 31, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Come THIS way! We will adopt you and share meals of LOVE!?

    • Reply Gem January 4, 2016 at 9:33 am

      lol i would love to be adopted!!

  • Reply Steph December 31, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    You finished this year strong like the champion you are! Congrats Gem. I had a rough last half of the year but God, therapy, my husband, mentor and BFF brought me through. It really takes a village some times. I had several high moments but quite a considerable amount of lows. In 2016 I plan to conquer a few things, including getting chose for a new job…. I wish you happiness, peace and love in the new year.

    • Reply Gem January 4, 2016 at 9:34 am

      thanks chica!! and im glad you had a great support system to get you through a rough patch. praying for you to conquer those goals you set and wish you the best in this new year xoxo

  • Reply miss t-lee December 31, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    So proud of you Gemmie! Onward and upward! 🙂
    Working on yourself is something you’ll never regret. I’m preaching that to myself, as well.
    Happy 2016 chica!

    • Reply Gem January 4, 2016 at 9:35 am

      thanks chica!! happy 2016 to you too xoxo

  • Reply She traces July 7, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Wow. It’s been quite a turn-around for you and that is awesome. It’s great to look back and see how far one has come, as we easily forget sometimes the way we’ve come out of what seemed like desperation. I’ve never heard of a passion planner, I will def look into it. I do have a vision board that I keep visible but there’s no deadlines on goals… Which is good for some things, not for all things. We are halfway through 2017 and I’m super excited to make the best of the remainder of the year, thanks for inspiring me.

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