Living Your Best Life
When it comes to defying the odds and really living your best life, black women have been doing their thing on a totally different level lately. From our girl Cardi to the Queen Bey herself, black women and girls have been killing it. So, what is the secret to living your best life? Is it just black girl magic? Do you just go to sleep broke and hungry one day, then wake up with your life all the way together the next? A woman close to me has recently been struggling with the life she’s living versus the life she wants and it motivated me to revisit the topic of living our best lives in a world that tells us what our best life should look like and how much we do or do not deserve it. How do we find our own happiness in a world where our happiness is governed by mass spread illusions and unattainable ideals? Well, it took me a long, hard twenty-five years to figure out this secret myself and I’m here to let you in on what a sister has learned.
· Stop comparing
You’ve heard it a million times and yes, you’re about to hear it again! No matter how it’s remixed this simple life rule really holds true. In a day and age where every woman you see looks like an Instagram model, has 5 degrees, a baby mansion, a new range rover, and a cult of internet followers worshiping everything she touches, it’s easy to feel less than. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to better yourself whether it be physically, intellectually, or financially but make sure that you are aspiring to be a better you. Not Bria Murphy, not Lupita, Rhianna, Jayda, but YOU! Breaking this cycle is hard when it is all around you but this concept is so detrimental to securing your own happiness. When you compare yourself to others you will always seem to fall short because you are only getting a superficial view of their lives. Everyone’s journey is different and realizing that with give you a totally different perspective on EVERYTHING. You will walk different, talk different, and garner a whole new appreciation for everything you have accomplished.
· Love you FIRST
Yes, before your mama. Yes, before your boo. Yes, before your job. Yes, before EVERYTHING. Loving yourself first does not necessarily equate to loving yourself more. You must love yourself to properly love others. So many of us are raised with the idea that our happiness lies within objects or people outside of ourselves that we get caught up in the practice of giving more than we receive. You are the source of your own happiness. Do not measure yourself by the account of others or your resilience to mistreatment by those you love and do not subject yourself to the toxicity of relationships simply because of relation or history. Like they say self-love is the best love!
· Treat yo’self
This is my twin’s motto! Don’t let the world shame you into not enjoying your life because you don’t fit some mold. I don’t care if you’re broke, or in between blessings as we call it, do something nice for yourself. Take yourself to dinner, get a mani/pedi, buy those damn shoes, just whatever! Self-care is the little sister of self-love and baby, you cannot have one without the other. Now, I am not endorsing financial irresponsibility but dropping thirty bucks on a mani is not going to stop you from becoming a millionaire. Stop guilting yourself into not enjoying the small things because your worried a seventy-dollar pair of shoes is going to drive you into poverty. Maybe if you buy a pair every week but trust me, going to see a movie or spending a little change on a cute dress is not going to stop you from being great. Some of us like purses. Some of us like weaves. Some of us, like myself, indulge in experiences. Whatever you enjoy, don’t deprive yourself. Be wise in your choices but don’t suck all the fun out of life trying to stick to the script.
· Find your happiness
You do not have to go to college or follow your childhood dreams, although those are sometimes the best, to be happy. I wanted to be a pirate, construction worker, police officer, ballerina, scientist, and starving artist (Yes, even the starving part girl. It was feeding my art, don’t judge.) Fast forward a good twenty years to today. I am now a full-time Kinesiologist, business owner, and part-time artist. I honestly couldn’t be happier. I went my entire life trying to find the most lucrative career instead of following my heart and doing the things I was passionate about. I, like so many of us, was jaded. Thank the ancestors for growth! I wasted so much time and energy trying to become something I never really wanted to be. Don’t be me sis, be better. Don’t promise yourself next week, next month, or next year…YOUR TIME IS NOW! Chase that dream and if you don’t find the right opportunity, make one!
I just want all our 2018 to be half as good as Cardi’s 2017, full of success, growth, and legendary clapbacks! Can we do that!?