Looking Back, Looking Forward

Hello beautiful people!!

I’m terrible at this. I tend to “micro-blog” on social media because it is more accessible and has a wider audience, but why on earth am I paying yearly for this domain name if I am not going to actively blog? I need an accountability partner, y’all. 

2017 has been a doozy. Full of highs and lows—uncertainties about the health of my grandfather that made the holidays tense, but then came moments where he seemed so HIMSELF (for better or worse, haha) that I couldn’t help but feel giddy. With the help of good people at work, I basically created a position based on a need that I saw—and was successful. I contemplated leaving school to be a traveling merchant more often than I cared to admit (lbvs). I took a step back from a position that I loved—that I thought was a part of my identity—because of heart hurt. I found new sister friends.  And so on and so forth. 

At the church that I attend, People often speak on having an anchor verse or biblical statement that has kind of carries them through the year. In the past, my favorite book/chapter has been John 4–specifically the portion about the Samaritan woman. The TL;DR version is that according to the laws and culture of the time, there were several reasons why Jesus and this woman shouldn’t have conversed the way they did: Jews and Samaritans were at odds, the woman was alone and shouldn’t have been talking to a man, AND she had a bit of a reputation. Nevertheless, while she focused on all the why nots, Jesus talked with her, she stated her faith, and (HERE IS WHAT I LOVE) an entire town believed in Jesus because of what she did. I love the idea that the way we live our lives in spite of our imperfections is our biggest ministry. 

Another year, the repetitive message seeemed to be “Wait and See.” Patience, my child. As we go into next year, I KEEP seeing some form of this:

I mean OVER and OVER and OVER again. So either I keep colliding with a whole bunch of people whose lives are not progressing at the pace they dreamed about as kids, or God is trying to tell me that His timing is sovereign. I definitely wanted to be a homeowner by 30. I definitely wanted to be married and either 1 kid in or *practicing* for the privilege. I didn’t envision at 18 that I would be 30, 30 some credits away from my BA, single(ish?), and watching my friends go hard in the paint two degrees and two kids in. But in the words of Ledisi, it’s alright. Even though my path on paper looks like a drunk toddler drew it, I am convinced that I have connected with enough people small and large and convinced those people of Gods love for them, of grace, of forgiveness and of unconditional love for this to not have been a grand waste of my time. 

So, for 2018 and beyond, 

I’ll finish my degree when I am supposed to. And with it in my hand I’m gonna run straight into my mom’s arms who left Towson because of the racial climate 30+ years ago and never went elsewhere—and then I’m going to go to every person over the age of a typical college student who secretly wants to go back but thinks that there is no room in the lecture hall for a 30-40-50-60+ adult with bills and responsibilities. I’m going to tell them that I failed developmental math over and over and I had teachers who told me to just quit but I also made deans list a couple times and even when i didn’t, my cumulative GPA never went below a 2.8 with a full time job and by God, it is finished!! 

I’ll get married when I am supposed to. I feel very strongly that I am meant to be someone’s wife. It may be while I still want to bear children, maybe it won’t be. Hey, maybe I won’t marry—even though I want to strongly for reasons spiritual and—ahem—otherwise, maybe I’ll be the fly single auntie on all the line dance cruises who has grown to love her peace and quiet. Maybe I’ll hit 40 and adopt one of these girls I’ve taught who desperately need to be loved beyond reason and knocked upside the head occasionally. 

I’ll have a house when I am supposed to—but maybe what I am supposed to craft is a HOME—with a spare bedroom in case someone is down on their luck and a dining room table that can sit whomever and a kitchen where magic happens and the soul food and cocktails flow. 

Even in the midst of the mess, 2017 was good to me. I found new friends to love. 

My daddy is holding and maintaining. 

I got to celebrate friends birthdays. (Not pictured…my first time at the gun range right after this photo). 

My high school keeps on winning the homecoming game! (#cityforever)

A reminder when life gets hard. 

Randomly went to a concert on a weeknight at the spur of the moment. Daniel Caesar 😍

Gained a new friendship of my own with someone that I’ve always known as “a friend of a friend”. 

Goddaughter turned four and started preschool!

It pays to have friends in your profession. Teacher comedy tour!

Also pays to have a community of faith at work. They’ve moved on, but they went to/performed at my fave open mic this year!!

Saw some of my favorite Christian poets. 

Sat in class with this dude. Axel is over 50 (I believe—he has kids my age) pursuing his undergrad degree. People like him give me hope. It CAN be done. 

The woman to the far right is my “work best friend”. One of the most dedicated and intelligent people I’ve met recently. She deserves so many good things. 

Dyed my locs purple and pierced my nose—just because I felt like it. 

I love that we can be silly, serious and sanctified all within the same conversation. Get you a HER!

This photo is actually from last year, but it’s meaningful because this year, my principal came out of remission and is battling breast cancer again. (#effcancer!!). But the way that my professional community comes together to stand in the gap while she goes through treatment is something to be proud of. 

Traveled alone out of the country for the first time. Celebrated my 30th birthday surrounded by 30 women that have guided me along the way. 

I commit to trusting the process, even when it gets difficult. I hope that you do as well. 

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