It was my birthday last Saturday as well as the blog’s anniversary (I did that intentionally). This blog started as a birthday post. Life was very difficult then and I felt I had to write my feelings down somewhere. I’ve had a lot happen since that first post. I have faced many more difficult situations but I have also learned many lessons and had many good things happen. Basically I have lived.
Last year was a good year for me. For many 2016 was a horrible year (that was 2015 for me). For me the year was good. It had some ups and down but overall a very good year with many new experiences and opportunities.
One major thing that happened last year was I enrolled in a Creative Writing Program. Since I was a little girl I have always loved making up stories. I loved writing them down. My first memory of writing a story was in Grade 2 when at a particular time no one wanted to be my friend in class and my teacher Mrs. Irwin would let me stay inside during recess and work on my phonics and reading comprehension. During that time she would also let me write stories for her to read and I loved it.
As I got older I would always write for fun. In Grade 5 when we were asked to write about our summer holidays I made my story up because it sounded better than my real summer. When the Teacher found out I made the story up he was impressed. I didn’t take it serious and told him it was just something I did when I was bored.
In High School I would write stories for class and had a few Teachers praise my creativity, but I didn’t take it serious, it was just something I did for fun. I was always told you couldn’t make money in writing and I should be more realistic. Being the child of West African Immigrants I was told that we didn’t come to Canada to play but to get serious jobs and succeed.
So I decided to not focus on writing. But the desire and love for writing would always show up. In Post-Secondary Education, I took programs that require a lot of writing, because I knew I was good at it. I would add a creative writing element to all my assignments even if it wasn’t required.
I would read Fiction and always say “I wish I could do this, I want to write an amazing book”. I was (and still am) obsessed with writers and the way they could tell a story and transport me to the place and event they were talking about.
So at the end of a difficult 2015 I decided to finally follow my dreams and enrolled in school again. It was very difficult and doubted myself often. At one point I thought they let just anyone in the program which was not the truth. The program had been around for 25 years and has less than 200 people enter and graduate from the program. Even with that information I still couldn’t believe I had real talent. I just thought this was something I did for fun when I was bored.
I am so glad that I enrolled in the program. It helped me focus on old and new dreams. It helped me to learn not to doubt the God given talents I have and to have more faith in myself and the things I could accomplish.
Last year some doors opened for me and I am very grateful to God for the new things that are happening in my life.
I am still in the test phase of life, but some of the tests are shaping me into the person I am supposed to be and helping to write my glorious testimony in the future.
I say this every year when I write my birthday reflection post, I’m not where I need to be but I am glad that I am moving in the right direction towards my dreams and my destiny.
What I learned last year:
Work hard for what you want
The things that you want in life might not come easy to you. Writing for me can be fun. Applying for a Creative Writing Program, finding the extra money to pay for the program and going to school while still working full time was not easy for me at all. But I wanted to be in the program and knew I would have to work hard. Have to basically become a hermit and ignore a lot of friends and fun activities in order to complete my goal. But in the end it was worth it. Striving for the things you want in life, the life you have in mind is worth the struggles and having to work hard.
Try new things and don’t be upset if they don’t work out for you. You are learning.
You won’t know if you like something or it is suited for you unless you try.Last year I tried something that I thought would be good for me and I was miserable. Being miserable helped me to find out what works for me and what doesn’t. It helped me move in a different direction and focus my efforts on other things.
Not everyone is for you.
As you get older you learn that having a big group of friends like in High School is not essential. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. You can be nice and cordial with everyone you come in contact with, but they cant come over to the house and chill on your couch and discuss Part 2 of the Reunion of Love & Hip Hop and how crazy it was when Yandy’s sister swooped in there and molly wopped Samantha. Not everyone will be there for you when you need them. You have to start putting people into categories: Those who would bail you out of jail, those who would come out to the bday party but wont drive passed an ex’s house with you at 3am and those who you can chill with once a year at AfroFest. Jokes aside you have to learn who are your real friends and the ones you can count on no matter what. When people show you they arent really your friend, thank them and thank God for exposing them before the friendship went too far and real damage was done.
Don’t give up on every person when a misunderstanding arises.
I know you are thinking, ‘you just told us to group people and not be made if people bail on you’. Yes I did say that, but there are exceptions. Life is hard. Some people don’t know how to handle life and can disappear for awhile. I’ve done it before. I just wasn’t in a good space and didn’t want to be around people bringing them down with my bad energy. I’m thankful I had a few friends who were willing to hang around and check on me and give me time. If you know your friend is going through a lot give them time and space if needed. Once things are better they’ll be back. If you can help them out to the best of your ability even if it’s just texting them once a week to see how they are.
Be thankful for your life
Life is precious. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. Having my cousin and grandpa die a month apart in 2015 really hit hard. This year I turned the same age my cousin died. He didn’t to accomplish many things. He was smart. He could have gone far. Enjoy your time here. Appreciate the life you were given. If there are things about your life you don’t like take the time and steps to change those things if it’s possible. Be grateful. You woke up today, someone else didn’t. You get the chance to try and make your day better. That right there is a big blessing.
Keep the faith and trust in God
Things in your life may not look like you expected. Trust me I know all about that. I have had so many delays and setbacks that I sometimes wonder how im able to get out of bed and go about my day. It’s because I have faith that things will be better. My faith in myself can be nonexistent at times, but my faith in God is always there. God has seen me so many difficult times that I don’t know how I could ever properly show my thanks. The important thing about faith is that you must have works to go along with it. You can’t say you want to be a dancer and never go to a dance class. Faith is propelled when we being to work and believe that good things are in store for us.
There’s nothing wrong with being a good person
Many times I feel like not being nice to people. Being a good person can be hard in this world we live in. People will constantly try to take advantage of you because you are nice and they think that means you are stupid. Don’t stop being the good person you are. There are people who deserve to have a good person in their life. Find those people. When you find genuine human beings that will appreciate you and all you bring to the table they don’t exploit you and don’t see you as not being smart. Eliminate the users and keep the honest people around you. Be nice to the users but don’t let them take you for a ride.