An open note to my pain…
Let’s skip the montage of childhood memories and get to the point. 2015 was hard. I mean really, REALLY hard. I have never been one to exploit my personal business on social media for likes. My closest friends and family know that I am introverted and keep to myself for the most part. Usually sitting back and observing the crowd versus engaging in it. During 2015, I experienced many losses which inadvertently caused me to show emotional pain in front of others. Before the halfway point hit, I found myself grieving the deaths of loved ones almost monthly. It was paralyzing and I was left feeling numb. Everyone grieves differently, but a common theme is reflection. We all tend to re-evaluate that one thing that may be lacking in our lives or what we wish to improve. A monumental loss in 2015 was my mother’s twin brother, John Sweeney. He rarely showed any struggle despite having Leukemia, and my favorite uncle was a brilliant artist/designer. He embedded his creative soul into everything he touched and made a lasting impression on all to “keep it fabulous”. While the pain of losing him is still unbearable most days, it sparked a flame in me. What I didn’t realize was that same flame would save me from my own grief the following year.
Love is a battlefield…
People always ask me what I would change in my life, if had the chance. To be quite honest, I wouldn’t change a damn thing. I didn’t have as many boundaries as a young woman which led into a carefree, reckless lifestyle. Let’s say my moral compass was off. I learned about boundaries and discipline on my own through trial and error. A few years ago, I initiated a journey on how to love myself. I had to open my eyes and confront all the pain that was lurking inside. Hurt can wrap its cold arms around you and suffocate the most resilient individual. Most people have a WHY or a breaking point in which they have this grand epiphany about life. Mine was more like “death by 1000 cuts”. Years of smiling on the outside, but loathing myself. Unforgiving of my mistakes and isolating myself from the world. I learned three things in this process.
A) Your past does NOT define you. There is not one person that can say they have never made a mistake. We ALL do. Walking through the storm shows true strength, and I always learn something from experiences (good/bad).
B) Not everyone will like you. This lesson coupled with “all attention ain’t good attention” was a hard pill to swallow and comprehend at the time.
C) Everything will work out as it should. Each mistake and accomplishment served as building block that created the foundation I needed.
That infrastructure was put to the test in January 2016, when my life became a tornado of quiet chaos. What I thought was a near perfect reality, became a fantasy land I had submerged myself into for years. I came to terms with what was, and retreated into my own creative world. This prompted the birth of The Urban Wallflower.
Allow me to reintroduce myself….
Life isn’t easy, but you can always turn that pain into purpose. Start by building a newfound relationship with yourself. It is important to go after your dreams and surround yourself with POSITIVE people. Ask yourself this – “What is my passion and am I pursuing it?” It’s never a bad time to dream big and make an action plan.
So why now? Life is about connecting. Society has a way of categorizing everything into boxes. The pressure to fit into a certain box or label can be overwhelming. At times, I was clueless and longed for the road map of finding my own identity and navigating towards my purpose. This blog is created for those wallflowers that aren’t sure where they belong. Individuals that may be in that trial and error phase of life, and the ones that feel content or too comfortable. This is a platform to show everyone has a voice, and courage can open up your world.
I’m an advocate of empowering, encouraging, and inspiring others to cultivate their passions. There are so many people who ask me “how do I move forward and be happy in life?” There isn’t one answer. The solution has complexities and depends on the individual, but I will be transparent about what makes ME happy. As they say, happiness is a journey and I hope mine helps someone because being creative has led me to so much joy.
So here’s to leaving a virtual footprint for others to follow and enjoy. Take a seat, kick up your feet, and let’s touch on all things trill….
Dope photography courtesy of James Hicks. Check him out here.