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21 more things = 42

The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...


BRING IT ON!! Welcome, 2014!

Dear TwennyFo'teen,

It's our 1st day together & I can't even begin to tell you how ready for you I am. This time last year I had done the same thing--worshiped for over 5 hours straight at the church of African dance--& woke up in a body coma, unable to move without great pain or assistance & had the most ridiculous neon pink knees where the swelling & inflammation had set in. This year, I questioned my better judgment, did a 2-hour workout the night before this anticipated dance worship marathon, & not only didn't die on the dance floor or have to crawl to my car, but I woke up this morning fresh & refreshed.

Back to last year for a moment. They say the way you walk into a year is the way your year will go. I literally crawled into 2013, barely able to stand & not wanting to when I could because everything hurt. I'm not so sure how much truth there is to this notion all the Coloreds I know perpetuate, but in hindsight & my personal year end review, I managed to kick 2013's ass, even though it often felt like it was kicking mine. I was the victor, standing straight & tall at the end of it, & ready to dance it on out. This year, I'm starting off on my feet, ready to SET & GO!! The year I had in 2013, feeling like I was on my knees for most of it turned out to be incredible. & SO MUCH was packed in it.

Moving forward, YOU (2014) feel wavy, as though I'm Jeanie & I'm only dreaming of you. The resolve I feel right now, the ABLE I feel of mind, body, & spirit is in-FREAKING-credible. 2013 showed out on it's last day to show me some loose ends that I must take responsibility for tying, despite feeling like some of these ends ain't tied cuz others haven't previously allowed it. As a friend said, sometimes the moral high road has tolls & sometimes I find myself paying for more than 1 vehicle. Life is telling me to handle it so...I will. The final hours also reminded me to honor my thoughts & feelings. I've gotten better at it but 1 or 2 pesky things lurked in the recesses of my mind & then decided to take a seat at the table & force me to stare them in the face. Phone calls will be made. I listen in English & pay attention to road signs.

The work I have to do with you, year two thousand fourteen, is deep & intense. There's no need to see if I can make my words dance like some others I've read thus far, or if I can get dig deep down into my soul for that which will move the 1's & 2's of y'all who hang out with me. I've decided that since I have no choice in that I'm just going to commit to a couple of things for myself to help make all this work bearable.

1. I'm going to take my bra off as soon as I get home. I've neglected to do so lately, feeling like if I stay fully dressed I'll maintain my working energy of the day & continue to be productive. Eff that! From now on, I'm relaxing these puppies so that if nothing else is breathing easy, my girls are.

2. I won a free year of Core & Stretch & ASA! on Monday nights. Shout out to the Adinkra Cultural Arts Studio! Time AND money have been a challenge as a grad student who was unemployed for 14 months, & then becoming a grad school student working full time as a teacher. On top of the time commitment required to do both & the strangeness of having a paycheck again but no money due to playing catch up & the stingy salary...it's made exercising the way I need to very difficult. Well, in the interest of self care, folks will have to just deal on Monday nights cuz I'd be a fool to "look a gift horse in the mouth." (What the hell does that even mean? The visual offers nothing toward my understanding.) Now I'll also work on squeezing the money out to still make Saturdays as often as possible for consistency & peace of mind.

3. Use my passport at least once. I've been stationary since December 2011 & it's starting to give me a rash. I need to breathe some different air--hopefully some that won't give me a respiratory infection like Venezuela did--& see some different sights while eating some different foods. I wanted to be greedy here & claim twice, but if my dollars haven't stretched to cover my exercise needs, I assume finding a way to pay for international travel twice might be more than a damn notion.

4. Get my 3rd tattoo. 2013 had a theme that rang LOUD & CLEAR about halfway through. It was always the theme but I hadn't articulated it til halfway through. Now, I can't get it out of my head. It struck me to get it as a tattoo the moment I was able to articulate it. This year, this message WILL become a permanent part of my person because I'm sure that the theme is NOW a permanent part of my life.

5. ROCK THE FUCK OUT FOR MY BIRTHDAY!! My birthdays are always good but they're not always LIVE! The work I've been doing, working toward this master's in counseling & the work I've been doing with my students, the work I've been doing on me as a person...I deserve to celebrate. I've taken humility way too goddamn serious & need to relax already. It's time to let my Rock Star out of the closet. I don't suspect I'll suddenly take to being all Live & In Living Colour all day, 365, but it's time to step into my glory & own what I do out here in these womanly streets. & I gotta practice with 39 cuz I intend for 40 to be both EPIC & epicurean (please don't just think food here).

6. Budget. I'm making chips again. But this bag they're coming in is filled mostly with air. For some reason, I'm struggling with keeping any of 'em in my hand, letting the figurative grease & salt linger for a minute. With a new job, I haven't gotten right with my pay schedule & the bill schedule that was set to the job I held for 5 years before that. I feel like the speed bag in a boxing ring & getting pummeled fastly. It's too much. Me & my bank account are reeling.

7. Buy a house. Once I figure out where my money is going, I can redirect it. This stacked living is for the birds. I'm tired of the voices in my head not even belonging to me. It's time to say good riddance to disrupted sleep, distracting phone calls, & space starting to close in on me. Plus, I'm a big girl now (in years) & it's time to make another big girl move.

8. ACCEPT GIFTS! If you offered me something as seemingly small as a compliment, I squirmed like a live specimen under the light of a microscope. In my grown up relationship, I'm often offered things that will make my life easier. Initially, accepting them WITHOUT my participation has been difficult. I have to direct or even accidentally block it, feeling like no one should go to the trouble to do for me that which I can & have ALWAYS done for myself. BUMP. THAT. with 50 inch hips (which I do NOT have)! Riding to my evening class after work, I mentioned to The Beau that it would be nice if I didn't have to cook for myself on class nights &/or workout nights. When I got out of class I had a text saying to call him immediately. When I called he let me know to figure out what I wanted to eat so he could handle it for me. The gesture gave me pause. To consider someone was on my team enough not to just walk next to me but create rest stops for me along the journey...that right there made me pull over for a minute & call my mama. I just opened the door to my most recent gift. Swallowing my pride for a cleaning service to come survey the land & get into what feels like slovenliness. In truth, I'm just not used to not having time or energy to stay on top of my space the way I have in the past. It's wearing on me because I function best in order--& I have none at this point. The Beau is going to bring order back to my world & I had to step out of the way to let it happen. You know what? I am.

There's more, but 8 is a nice round number & I'm not going to bore you with what all is happening in my head. Do what you do to commit or recommit this time of the year. I prefer lifestyle commitments to resolutions, but do it how you do it. I ain't out here tryna be a different person, just a better 1. You got my back? I got yours.

Happy New Year!!

Watch me move!

Post Script-I wrote this earlier today. Since then, I realized I forgot my 9th commitment.
9. Create! Make things & share them. As gifts. For profit. Because I can. Because I should. Because I need to.
Over. Out.

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