Loving Your Life When You’re A Late Bloomer

 

Sometimes loving my life is a fight.

I am not at the place I wanted to be at this time in my life. It took some time for me to find my passion and even more time to find the courage to begin to go after that passion. I look back and I wonder what life would look like if I’d believed in myself back then. My peers are firmly planted in their careers, getting married, having children, pursuing post-grad degrees and me? I’m pursuing a bachelors degree, something I’ve been doing off and on for the past 9 almost 10 years. There’s nothing wrong with this, my rational brain knows this, we’re all on our own journey’s. But I can’t help but scroll through my Facebook feed and wish I’d done things differently. I can’t help but wonder, as I go everyday to a job I don’t love how did I get here?

I’d love to play the blame game, blame my parents for not pushing to me enough. Blame the public school system for my so-so education that didn’t prepare me at all for college. I can’t even really be upset at myself because there’s no way I could’ve known how the decisions I made when I was 18 or 19 would have affected my life today. This is where I am, I can’t go back and I am making moves to change my situation. I’ve never stopped pursuing my education and trying to better my life. That is something to be proud of. Where others might have given up, I haven’t. Because I refuse to be unhappy forever, I refuse to be stagnant. I want my life to have purpose and meaning, not mundane drudgery which it seems it’s always has been.

So how do I love my life in the meantime? How do I love the climb when it’s arduous? How do I look at myself and not see someone whose failed to launch when my peers have left me behind? How do I stay focused on the bigger picture, when the devil is the details?

 

Photo by João Ferreira on Unsplash

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When A Writer Isn’t Writing

Writing is a part of me. And just like any other creative pursuit it has to come from a real place to be impactful. I can’t edit certain parts of my life to please anyone.

Me: "Dear writing gods, forgive me for I have sinned. It has been five months since I last posted on my blog."

Writing Gods: "My daughter what has caused you to leave your creativity to gather dust?"

Me: "Fear."

Ernest Hemingway once said that there is nothing to writing, you just sit down to the typewriter and bleed.

I find myself with a fear of blood.

There was a time when I bared and bled the pains and humiliations of my life on this blog, sometimes at the behest of my family. I felt no embarrassment because I believed I was giving a voice to things that others felt but never had the nerve to say out loud. But even in my transparency I was still writing through the lens of what certain people would think.

In the spirit of honesty I’ll just say who those “certain people” are, my Christian friends and acquaintances who have always been so great with reading and supporting my blog. So I made sure to stay conservative. But some things have happened in my life that felt too raw to share. Things that could possibly offend or concern my Christian community.

I used to revel in the task of organizing my thoughts on paper and getting them out of my head, however there is finality in writing. Once I write something down then it’s real, and I can no longer deny that this is how I feel or what I’ve decided. Blogging is a public forum and there is potential for negative commentary from others.
Despite these facts I’m still driven by this need to comfort those who might be experiencing the same thing and find vindication for myself.

Writing is a part of me. And just like any other creative pursuit it has to come from a real place to be impactful. I can’t edit certain parts of my life to please anyone. It’s my experience and no one can take that away from me.
So I guess this is me apologizing to the writing gods, this blog, my readers, and most importantly myself for not using my gift. I will do better, promise. ♥

I Will Remain A Soldier Until The War Is Won.

Being black in the world is difficult, no matter if you were raised rich, poor, or somewhere in between. At some point, the fact that you are black will become a thing. I admit that in the past I have wished that I wasn’t black, because of the racism I experienced. I wished that people could see me, not just my skin color. Leaving North Texas for Atlanta, I got to see black people thriving in a way I’d never seen before and it has given me a sense of pride in who I am.

For the entire month of February, Black History Month, I challenged myself to post a picture and a few lines on Instagram every day about a great person in black history. I’m 16 days in and it’s been an amazing experience. It’s easy to think about Black history month in those first few days because it’s everywhere in the media. But as time rolls by I find myself just going to back to business as usual. I am my ancestors wildest dream so taking a moment to reflect on their sacrifices is the least I can do.

So many times throughout history black people could’ve given up accepted their lot, but they never did. When the arms of the oppressor had them in a choke hold they kept fighting for what they knew was right. There’s this incredible strength ingrained in African people that won’t let us stay down. That’s not to say that the war is won. Injustice is still rampant in America and beyond but I know that we won’t stop striving for equality. Through racist politicians, tiki torching white supremacy, police brutality, or whatever else this insane world throws at us we will still be here.

And for your viewing pleasure I give you The Roots performing Civil Rights freedom song “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”

 

Here’s To My Girls This Valentine’s Day!

As a long time single person, I could choose to be bitter about Valentine’s Day. I could roll my eyes saying: It’s a cheesy commercial holiday created to line the pockets of greeting card companies and drugstores.
While that may be true, I am looking forward to Valentine’s day because I’m spending it with good friends and good tequila.

These ladies have been the keepers of my secrets and the voice of reason in my madness. Though new jobs and new places have moved us around a bit we’ve managed to hold onto each other. We’ve all known a heartbreak or two, loving the wrong person for too long. We drink tequila not in mourning for those relationships but in celebration that they no longer have control over us.

The love I have for them isn’t romantic but it is passionate, it is steadfast, and it is forever. It deserves to be celebrated just as much as the lovers out there.

So here’s to the platonic loves of my life! May we always tell each other the truth, encourage each other, celebrate each other, laugh together, cry together, drink together, and be there for each other.

xoxo,

Tawni ❤

 

Photo by Levi Guzman on Unsplash

I’ll Be There For You…

I confess that I’ve been writing this post for months. I’ve stopped and started several times. I was afraid of sounding like a pathetic loser and maybe I do sound like one. However, I know that there are other people who feel or have felt the same way I do

Out of all the areas in my life where I haven’t felt completely fulfilled, my social life is in the top 3. I have never had what I wanted when it came to my friendships. I’ve always skirted the edges of social circles but was never really in them.
I’ve wondered over the years if maybe I had unrealistic expectations of others because of my ability to make and keep close friendships is lacking. I know my social anxiety and shyness have played a part, but I think I’ve overcome that mostly. I have a good amount of acquaintances and casual friendships but those truly meaningful ones elude me. Even in the few close friendships I do have it feels I am the one whose more invested. I’m the one making plans and wanting to hang out. It seems if I stopped texting them they wouldn’t text me either.

All I want to do is spend time with the people I care about and share new experiences with them but I find myself spending a lot of time alone. When will I be a priority in any of these relationships? A side of me just wants to quit, quit trying and just accept my lone wolf status as a part of life. But another side of me won’t quit. It keeps searching for Meetups with people who share my interests. I want to find someone who enjoys indie pop rock as much as I do and wants to go to concerts. I want to find a book club who shares my reading interests. I want to find people who share my love of spending their nights in. I want to find people who value my companionship.

The older people in my life want to see me “living it up” while I’m still young. Still, it’s hard to live it up on your own and it’s even harder (at least for me) to find people to live it up with. It’s not that I am unable to enjoy being alone. I am a tried and true introvert, I love being alone. But when you’re alone too much it weighs on you.

I confess that I’ve been writing this post for months. I’ve stopped and started several times. I was afraid of sounding like a pathetic loser and maybe I do sound like one. However, I know that there are other people who feel or have felt the same way I do and that’s who I want to hear from. Anyone else feel they’ve missed the boat on social connection? And if so what did you about it?

Love, Liberty, & Little Tragedies

I’ve had this blog for 3 years now, though it feels like much longer. This blog has been a best friend to me, giving me space to share what’s in my heart. 3 years ago I named my blog “Free Indeed” after a favored Bible verse, but I have changed so much since then and I think it’s time my blog reflects that.

Love, Liberty, & Little Tragedies

It was important to me that the new name represent what my blog means to me.
Love: I share all the things that make my heart flutter here. My favorite books, music, and whatever else is my current obsession. I love being able to share what brings me joy with others.
Liberty: Creative expression is my life’s blood. And even though we live in a world where internet trolls are plentiful, I love that on my little slice of the internet I am able to freely express myself in the best way I know how.
Little Tragedies: This comes from a piece I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago. I have dealt with anxiety, depression, and this constant feeling of being an outsider in this world my entire life, which I’ve shared here. In speaking to other women who deal with these same things I’ve found often times they can attribute their mental health issues to one event, one experience, or one person in their life. But I could never do that. I had no big tragic event, only little tragedies, little heartbreaks that happened repeatedly over my life. And that’s what I post here, the little tragedies that mark my path.

My 20’s so far have been a roller coaster of great heights and deep valley’s and most likely will continue to be. I felt that the former feel of the blog just didn’t reflect the woman I am now. So if I am going to continue to write here that must change. I hope that you dear readers enjoy the new look and feel!

Love Always,

Tawni

P.S.
Check out new About Me page here!

Photo by Ethan Hover via Unsplash

Hey 2017, Thanks for Nothing

2017 was a year that the entire world couldn’t wait to begin after a tragic 2016. But little did we know that while we sipped champagne and sang Auld Lang Syne, or if you’re like me nursed a cold and binge-watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer to bring in the new year, that 2017 was not going to be that much better. 2017 brought more mass shootings, more hate crimes, more disasters, a truckload of sexual misconduct allegations, and let’s not forget that Cheeto puff who leads this country showed us just how awful he is.

This worsening of the things in the world was mirrored in my personal life. Everything that cracked in 2016 crumbled in 2017 and I find myself headed into 2018 with very little hope. This is unusual for me, I may not get into Christmas or Thanksgiving but I actually really like New Years. All that hope and excitement of a new beginning usually warms my heart. But this year a cold wind passes through me where my heart used to be.

Honestly, I’m scared of 2018. I’m scared that the Trump administration will continue to step on the necks of the marginalized. I’m scared that another disturbed person will take a gun to a crowded concert, or mow down pedestrians on the street. I’m scared that white supremacists will find new and terrifying ways to spread their message of hate. I’m scared that wildfires will continue to ravage southern California. I’m afraid that more people will die in the Middle East. I’m afraid that I won’t find hope again. I’m afraid that my depression will worsen. I’m afraid that 2018 will be just as heartbreaking as 2017.

So how do you respond when the world is a garbage can rolling downhill?

Some of us will run to our faith and hold on for dear life. Some of us will throw ourselves into some kind of human service. Some of us will turn to drugs and alcohol. Some of us will take our own lives.

How will I respond? Not sure yet.

So here’s to you 2017. Thanks for showing us that things can definitely get worse. And 2018 for God’s sake please have mercy.

Photo by Kristopher Roller via unsplash