How to be independent of my parents. Before I moved, I was dependent on my parents for my financial and social life. I made a great deal less than I do now, so anything I wanted to do, I had to have my parent’s financial assistance for. Don’t get me wrong, they help every now and again, but I am not dependent on it. I can have a conversation with my mother without it being a precursor for a loan. This has helped improve my relationship with my mother since there is now a boundary between our relationship and my finances.
I have reestablished a relationship with my daughter. Miss Beasley and I have spent the last 5 years experiencing periods of separation ranging from two weeks to six months. There was a time when I never thought that I would have a chance to repair my relationship with her. Since the move, she and I spend more time together and I am learning so much about her that I missed. She is a wonderful young lady with a great sense of humor and love of music, like her mama. She is also a sensitive soul so I am learning I can’t talk to her or joke with her the same way I do with her brother. She is going to spend the summer with my mom, and there was a time when I wasn’t necessarily bothered by her being gone that long, but it occurred to me last night I am REALLY going to miss her, so I don’t think I can do the whole summer.
Way better work ethic. Man listen…..before I got here I had a HORRIBLE work ethic. There I said it. There were times when I would go to work and do eight glorious hours of nothing work related, and I reveled in that. I was the “slacker.” As I have gotten older, I am realizing that shit is not cute. So when I got here, I hit the ground running. Anything at work I was asked to do, I did it to completion. All the assignments my co-workers turned down because it wasn’t in their job description, I jumped on it. One year later, I am being promoted. Someone believed in me enough to let me put together a Diabetes and Vascular Disease Education program. Yesterday I had the honor of doing rounds with one of the surgeons. I thank God for all the opportunities that have been placed before me, and I thank God for maturing me.
Financial Responsibility. Back home, I would spend money like water, and my income was way below the poverty level. I never really had to be responsible because as stated in #1, my parents were a phone call away. Gas is low? Call mama to fill up the tank. Can’t afford the sitter this week? Ask mama to pay for the sitter. See the running theme? My financial irresponsibility was running my parents into the ground. So, I have something I call the “magic number.” The Magic Number is the lowest I will allow my bank account to go at all times. I have to be ready for emergencies, like missed days from work, medications, doctor’s visits, car repairs, etc. If something goes wrong up here, there will be no Papa Page rolling up in the F150 to save me.
A unicorn is just a horse with a horn on its head. My mama always told me, “Never put someone on a pedestal so high they can piss on you.” I never understood what she meant until now. I really like J, and I fell into a bit of a “hero worship.” It was bad. Anytime he disappointed m e, it hurt the most because I had him on this pedestal. J is just a man. He is going to fuck up, he is going to make mistakes. I believe I did this same thing with Rev. I held both of these men to impossible high standards that they were just not realistic.
My sister swearing off chain restaurants. When my sister came back home to visit after living in Atlanta, we were going to take her to dinner and she replied, “No chain restaurants, please.” I thought she turned into the Queen of all things bougie. Well, if she is the Queen, I am the Princess, because I too, am not a fan of chain restaurants. Before you all drag me in the comment section, let me explain. There are a MILLION places to eat up here, and some of my favorite places to go, are the only location….in the WORLD Craig! I could not imagine having a Ruby Tuesday’s brunch when the Carlyle in Alexandria or Crème Café on U street make some of the best brunch food on earth.
There is an actual Five Year Plan. Five years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I did, but it was just a bunch of clicks and whistles. I have taken the time to sit down and think of where I would like to be in 2017. There is power in writing down your plan, because when you feel unmotivated, it is a good tool to help keep focused.
The Art of Being Humble. If this past year didn’t teach me humility, I don’t know what will. I have had some highs, but there have been some low, low, low points. Never knock people when they are low, because you will never know when it will be you couch surfing.
Appreciation for Little Things. Simply put, because I know what struggle is, I can appreciate abundance. I almost broke down crying in Children’s Place when I was buying spring clothes for Miss Beasley, I haven’t been able to do that in the last three years. Every day, I am appreciative. I hope I never start feeling jaded or entitled.
I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me! Enough said.