In 2014, I made up my mind to start a blog. I hopped on the the cheapest platform I could find (blog.com - simple, right?), picked a name that's been in my head for a few months, and started hacking away at the keyboard. No, I will not list that site here, because it was garbage lol. My message wasn't, but the domain wasn't my own, the site design was the standard template and the planning, or lack there of, was slick whack. That's what I mean by garbage. But the only reason I knew that was because I took the time to research. I invested a little money and time to it. I talked to a designer friend of mine who recommended Wix. It was better. I changed the name, made a logo with a little help, and wrote inconsistently for a few months. I realized, still, that I was doing something wrong. So I signed up for a blogging course by one of the most successful and popular blogging coaches out there in these online streets, and started realizing how far back I really was. That's not all of the story, but that's enough to set the background.
I spent a good deal of 2015 not being where I wanted to be in life. I spent days hating my job, hating my blog, hating my ideas, and just putting everything around me down. I would start positively, get a tiny momentum going, but then someone would come along all bright and better, and here I was throwing everything out of the window. I gave up more times than I would like to count. But I'm still here trying to do more than I thought because of this pull I keep feeling to do more than I deem capable of myself. That feeling, by the way, has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with God wanting me to step into position and, well....get over it.
You know how towards the end of the year, everyone starts getting ultra reflective and deep? I mean, let's be ratchet for the Christmas party but then we going in on our souls December 27th. That was a joke...kind of. If it's not putting your new year's resolutions on blast on Facebook or Instagram, then it's choosing your defining word for the New Year. I came across many bloggers and online dwellers that did just that. I admit, I did too. In 2014, my defining word was FOCUS. I coupled that with Philippians 3:12 and 13
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus made me his own. Brothers [and sisters], I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But what thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead"
In 2015, I'm not sure I had a word. It was more like a feeling. Like, yes, I can...of course coupled with Philippians 4:13, which I'm sure everybody knows "I can do all things through him who strengthens me".
So naturally, I wanted to keep with tradition and find a defining word for 2016. But somehow that was harder than I thought. Until a few weeks ago when I watched a commencement speech given by none other than The Miss Shonda Rhimes. (Can I just say that I've come to sort of stan for her a little? I mean, Bey's cool, but Mz. Shona Rhimes...no contest...to me)
And I realized that the word was inside of me the whole time.
This word is my mission.
It means that I have to put myself above every negative thing that I ever thought about myself, or any negative word that anyone has ever spoken against me. And every negative action, feeling or behavior that hinders me from giving my all to myself. And with that, I couple it with Acts 10:34
"...God is no respecter of persons [meaning He shows no partiality. He doesn't compare]. But in every nation who fears Him, and does what is right is acceptable to Him"
I'm rising up against doubt, fear, and comparison.
I'm rising against distractions, unnecessary interactions (on and offline), and procrastination & laziness.
I'm rising above my personal, physical and vocational limitations.
I'm rising above myself. Everything I do in the next year, I want it to be on purpose...intentional. I'm choosing to not only believe that I can have everything I've ever wanted, but I'm choosing to make it happen for myself. Not waiting for validation or the thumbs up from friends or family or any "higher ups".
That's all gravy, honestly. But I've also dedicated that word and I am applying it to other people. Although we are our own worst enemies, other people can come pretty close. I'm not talking about "haters". As real as they are, I smell them from 10 miles away and I've never been the least bit interested.
Sometimes, the people that are the closest to you can become a hindrance to your progress and your success. Some by choice, others by mindset.
I'm rising above their doubtful advice and sheltered mindsets. The ones that want the best for you but have lived in fear for so long that they believe the only way to succeed is to play by the rules, just like them.
I'm rising above those that don't want to grow and learn anymore. Those who are too afraid of experiencing new things and discourage doing things out of the ordinary or status quo.
I'm rising above unsolicited relationship and marriage advice (yes, I threw that in there).
I'm rising above people who want something different from their lives, and don't really understand, or want to understand my choices.
I'm not better than anyone. I'm just different. I think differently, love differently, get excited about different things and want to make my life as different and exciting as possible. I have family and friends that can support THAT, and that's enough for me.
I've spent too much time in my life wondering, dreaming, overthinking and analyzing...everything. Making lists and checking them 10 times, only to rewrite them to make them look more efficient. I know what I can do and I know what God can do for me. When He gave me this word...Rise...he could have just said 'Move'. Because I felt like I have been stagnant my whole life. But time never stopped. I did what I was supposed to do. Went to school, got a doctorate, paid my dues. I WAS moving. I was drifting. Going with the flow of the status quo. Of other people's expectations. I was in motion. Drifting is motion.
But it doesn't require much faith. It doesn't require much action. It doesn't require much effort, momentum, or discomfort. God told me to RISE. And that requires much more than what I've been doing. She Is Kelechi is going to be the catalyst for me to reach heights I've never thought of. I don't know how, but I trust in God to guide me along the way.
Rise will cause me to leave a few people on the ground, I might assume. But that can only be for the better. Because it'll cause those people that want to be in my life to Rise with me. Rise will force me to take off some heavy burdens that I've carried (Heb 12:1) so I can be free.