A letter to all my failures
I finally found the courage to reach out and tell you what's on my mind. It's been almost a year since we spoke - not counting that holiday email back in November.
I'll start by saying, I've changed. Life will do that to you. There have been many twists and turns since 2017, from losing my job, losing myself, and my ability to find gratitude. I know, shocker!
Today, I am setting myself free. It's time. So, I've decided to create a list of failures based on a list popularized by a Princeton professor. I consciously choose to share my shortcomings in hopes that you will see you're not alone.
I fell out of gratitude. My fears slowly started to eat away at me, and I invited them to the dinner table when I didn't have the heart to keep them away.
In 2017, I was laid-off from my marketing job. There were signs, but I ignored them. I was too focused on pursuing my passions, that I did not focus on establishing a strong foundation.
I was reactive to (paid) speaking opportunities but not proactive. Being laid-off without the business acumen led to a lot of sacrifice and hardship.
My ego imploded. I found myself asking "why me" and "why now." I had lived through homelessness and single motherhood, all before the age of 30. I am 28.
I was not financially prepared to weather unemployment. I joined Uber and Lyft to pay bills. This was not a failure, but a reality. I've given over 500 rides and have held a 5-star rating, which I am proud to have. Although I stopped driving in 2018, I found some of the riders active in my healing, learning about their experiences and sharing kind words to lift each other's spirit.
I applied to over 100 hundred jobs; I received 25% of the interviews; all the positions I thought I had-in-the-bag did not work out. I took it personally. Again, my ego.
I was offered several positions, which all paid below my desired income. I took them knowing they weren't the best fit given the company culture, but what's a mom to do - my child needed to eat. I felt isolated, under-trained, and abused. One of my managers asked me who I liked and disliked the least in our office and I didn't know how to answer; I was let go from my position shortly after, he remained.
I signed a work agreement that stated I wouldn't work for another company which included myself; this was not my brightest idea. This clause only benefited the employer.
I chose car insurance over health insurance. My self-care days included not getting sick and crying in the shower as a form of therapy. Just an FYI, healthcare should be universal, but I digress.
After months of searching for a job, I found a position in my field. The salary was liveable with an hour-commute. Two months into the job, I was told I lacked integrity and common-sense, because I wrote for a popular website offering women of color advice. Additionally, I used my LinkedIn profile for my endeavors, and I didn't change my job title quick enough. There was no first offense, just an ultimatum and I quit under duress.
My love of social media and forging connections became a point of contention. I allowed it to trigger my insecurities and felt stifled by a season of drought. How could I be a life coach and need help with figuring out my issues? Easy, I'm human. We all have blind spots.
Some friendships with women in my life became cantankerous. It hurt me more than they knew. My intent was never to create complicated situations. I didn't know how to handle them, so I fell back. I acknowledge there are some folks meant for a season and not a lifetime, but it still sucks. I wish them well.
Authentic Convos, my baby. It is a panel discussion series that has served over 1,200 people. I am no longer in love with it, at least not in its current form. My last event took place on September 15, 2018, and I needed a break. There were times that I couldn't sleep from pure excitement and other times I was exhausted and mentally drained.
The popular saying of "work your 9-5 and then your 5-9" was a myth, at least to my potential employers. I became a threat. Years of hustle brought some clout, but not a sustainable income. I was overlooked for positions because they thought I didn't want to be there. To prove them wrong, I silenced myself.
I became a hater. Yes, it happened and I'm not proud of it. It was hard to be happy for others when I couldn't do it for myself.
There are plenty of things that could go on this list, but I'll end it here. I am giving myself grace and setting myself free of any constraints. I am working on cultivating gratitude by taking stock of my blessings and giving people their flowers. Along this journey, I've gained new friends and reestablished communication with others, created partnerships with brands that I love, obtained a role that came with an increase in pay and responsibilities, and started a vlog with my family. I've also worked with my coaching clients to help them achieve their goals of self-love, sponsorship’s, and new jobs, having one person secure a $20k increase in salary after our sessions. I was overjoyed by each opportunity to change lives.
This is my season of plowing, preparing my seedbed for growth and development. The sacrifices have been made and my faith restored. The harvest of blessings is on its way.