11) Relationships have to either end or evolve. There’s a distinct difference between exercising patience and wasting your time. It’s hard to separate the 2 because feelings get attached. Fortunately, I’ve seen both sides of the coin. When a person pushes you to be a better version of yourself, even if there’s bumps in the road, that’s someone you want to invest time. When you see no progress over a certain amount of time, you have to be honest with yourself and get off that ride.
12) I’ve shared with you guys my thoughts about my writing. I hope this doesn’t come across as ego or hubris, but I go back and read certain posts like “wow, I wrote that?!”. I’ve felt like I’ve been holding back a lot though. I never want my words to sound like someone else is saying them. I choose not to curse or talk about sex because it’s such a gimmick. However, I do curse. A Lot! I guess there’s a balance to be discovered. Expect me to a bit more candid in 2014.
13) There’s never a need to be angry about things and situations that a) don’t directly affect you or the greater good or b) you’re not willing to apply a solution. The case of GZ was thrust into the national spotlight after the story broke on Global Grind. There was a significant push via social media and Americans, regardless of color, answered the call to action. Now clearly, the jury got the verdict wrong in terms of morality and emotionality. George Zimmerman is still on the streets being an asshole. But the significance in that case is that we all got behind something and brought attention to injustices happening right in our backyard. Many people get outraged and complain about things that they don’t actually care about. Some people seek to support the cause of the moment. Going forward, I hope we don’t exhaust our energy and further division.
14) Between street harassment, “rape culture”, unnecessary pregnancies, domestic violence, and mental health, there’s a clear disconnect with black women and men. I’m not saying that we’re wrong and don’t support black women. Nor am I saying that black women are to be coddled and doted upon. What I am saying is that as men, we’re so quick to turn the other cheek. As much as men preach submission, many of us aren’t equipped to proficiently lead. As with any other culture, we are own protectors. We have to remind ourselves that we came from black mothers and will eventually have black daughters.
15) Over-thinking will talk you out of awesome opportunities and relationships. I’m all for YOLO, living the dream, going for yours. Somewhere in the planning process, we start to ping-pong thoughts of negative possibilities. Over-thinking can drive you crazy. If you spend too much time trying to think about every possible outcome, you’ll get so unfocused that you’ll forget to take that first step.
16) Stop talking about what you’re going to do. People always talk about how they’re making moves and handling business. They Instagram signs of conspicuous “wealth” and what parties they’re attending. We all have this illusion that the more a person is on the scene, the more progress they’re making. That’s not always the case. I’m one of those people where I hate talking about a project or announcing big news until I know it’s for certain. When you move in silence, you’re less likely to have to eat your words later.
17) The “grind” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I hate quotes that promote a “no sleep, caffeine only, sunglasses and Advil” lifestyle as the way to attain success. I used to live that life. When you’re young, you don’t think about your health. Your mind can’t conjure up the instances in which you won’t bounce back from illness or injury as quick. Don’t sacrifice your health for a taste of success. You need your health to enjoy the fruits anyway.
18) When you try to force something, it’s going to be a battle if God doesn’t have it planned for you.
19) Applicable to any life situation.
20) One of the most invaluable pieces of advice I received this year is to follow after peace. Life is going to be hard. You’re going to have moments where you question “am I cursed?”. When those moments of pure confusion are trying envelope you, know that one thing you deserve is inner peace.