Welcome! No disrespect to 2017. We had our problems. You know this. For a minute there, I thought we weren’t going to make it. It started November 8, 2016, and I just knew that we wouldn’t make it much past March. Despite the challenges, you held it down even though things were really rocky…especially those last few weeks. So, I’m not going to chunck you the deuces; I’m simply going to say, “It’s time I moved on.” On to new challenges and adventures. I must face what lies ahead in spite of how things look around me. I don’t have any “new year, new me” declarations or resolutions. I’m not dissing anyone who does. I’m just focused.
I’m 46 years old now but when I was a kid, I had dreams. I left college with a bag of ambitions, ready to set the world on fire. Then, I entered the real world and lost my way. I forgot about what inspired me and motivated me to be great. How sad! No time for regrets though. It’s time to do this thing and just focus, grind, and hustle despite how ridiculous those dreams may seem. So I’m giving a shout out to 2018! She deserves it. She patiently waited on me to get my shit together, tapping her foot like a MeeMaw looking at you as you clean up your room and pressing, “You know what you need to do.”
In the distant past, 2018 has watched me during my formative years stop and start, over and over again with this writing thing. But she has believed in me when I doubted myself and allowed self-talk to stop me from being great. “It’s time,” she admonished. Shout out to 2018 for speaking to 2017 and all the other years and telling them, “Let her go. You’ve allowed her to be lazy and indecisive. No time for that anymore. She has work to do!”
Furthermore, I nod my head to 2018 for allowing me to enter it with great mental health. Listen, the news cycle in 2017 almost drove me into depression; yet, 2018 holds the promise of a brighter future. She is here now. In great form. Like a grand diva ready to grace the stage. This is my moment. And so, it is yours also. This is the year to rise to the occasion. To look at that vision board and tackle it head on. To realize my dreams. This is THE year of accomplishments. “Don’t talk about it, BE about it,” as the old heads used to say. Yep! This is that year.
However, before you go forth ready to conquer 2018 like Khaleesi on her dragon ready to fight the Night King, remember there are a few things you need to do as you travel this journey:
1) God is first—nothing in my life gets done without His blessing. “Not my will but His”. Pray with expectancy but without expectations. 2018 knows this. She knows that God is who is He says He is, and He will do just what He says He will do. Remind yourself that He will answer in due time, yet be mindful that His answers may not look like what you think they should. “Not my will but HIS!” AND HE is in complete control.
2) Expect to fail—When I was in college, one of my friends pledged a fraternity. Each night, he and his line brothers went through a series of tasks and games given by the big brothers that taught them lessons but sometimes left them humiliated. The idea was to break you down to build you back up and make you stronger. I’m not advocating hazing AT ALL; but I do recognize that although misused, sometimes the purpose of such activities was to make you stronger mentally for a world that was often waiting to celebrate your demise. Anyway, one night after a long list of entertaining the big brothers, my friend was standing in line and one of the big brothers took an egg threw it at my friend. It cracked, and he had egg yolk dripping over his entire face and white t-shirt. My friend was furious. He was ready to quit and step out of line to open up a can of whoop ass. His line brother firmly put his hand on his shoulder and urged him to step back. The big brother then explained, “Look, man, I know you are mad. You should be. But sometimes in life, you are just going to end up with egg on your face. You can’t let it stop you though. You gotta keep going.” It took a minute, but he eventually calmed down and stepped back in line. Later that night, he crossed the burning sands into full membership into his fraternity, accomplishing a goal he had long had as a young boy. He was overjoyed, realizing that he had almost stopped just short of his goal. In 2018, you will fail. You will. Embarrassment, shame, and sometimes guilt. They are all waiting on you. But don’t let them stop you. Keep at it every day. Eventually you will succeed. Or, you run the risk of stopping just before you reach the goal. PUSH THROUGH!
3) Remember…YOU. ARE. A. BAD ASS! People will try to make you think you are not. Don’t believe it. You are the SHIZNIT. Why? Because God made you, and He “don’t” make mistakes. When He formed you before the beginning of time, He knew, “This one right here ‘bout to do some thangs!” He knew what He made was good, so He sent you forth to set the world ablaze. Your doubts and fears are just signals to your soul that what you are doing is DIVINE! It’s a good thing to be humble. What’s not okay is allowing a false sense of humility to prevent you from fulfilling your purpose and dreams. My pastor, Rev. William T. Glynn (HeYYYY, PASTOR!), always says that it’s a sorry dog that can’t toot his own horn…or is it wag his own tail? Anyway, you get the point. Recognize that you have something to offer the WORLD. And it’s only something you can do because you are special. Own it and celebrate it! Do it! 2018 is ready.
So SHOUT OUT 2018! The year of my dreams. And so is 2019…and 2020 and beyond, as long as I walk this earth. LEGGO!