Isn’t it funny how everyone thought 2020 was going to be so live and that this was going to be THE YEAR? 2020 has been ripping everyone a new one, some for the better and some for the worse. If I had to come up with a perfect name for the year 2020 it would be called Hindsight because hindsight is 20/20 and the year 2020 has been revealing on so many levels. However, in the midst of 2020 ripping everyone a new one and handing their rear ends to them, having the willpower to remain resourceful and strong in times of unrest and adversity is the key.

I mean 2020 sat me all the way down, but that was probably something I needed to do anyway. Sit down, decompress, and re-evaluate.

February 4, 2020, ten days before thirty, something happened to me. My divorce was final final and it was like experiencing a death except the other person is still alive. It’s true what Michael Todd says in his book, Relationship Goals (which has helped me tremendously…#TransformationNation), “divorce is a perpetual death.” I then began to relive everything that I had gone through that no one was privy too but the walls in my apartment. I was like how can I grieve a person who treated me so badly. I began to second guess and question myself and I still do at times.  (Work in Progress) However, I knew that when I made a run for my own money by betting on myself, I was essentially doing what was best for me and I was giving myself an opportunity to finally be free and do things my way.

That particular week I cried and cried on the phone with my mom and this was the only time that there was no one who could help me, literally. Some times you just have to fall.  I had to allow myself to feel my emotions and I had to fight my way out of it. A storm of emotions came down like the historical 2016 flood in Baton Rouge. I began to toil with whether I was enough, did I do all that I could to fight for my marriage, did I deserve this, will a man ever want me for ALL of me, did I fail, and what happens next.  I am not a person who believes in divorce, but I also don’t believe in abuse and so I knew that I had done the best that I can do for me, but the dark feelings of being made to feel like I wasn’t enough kept coming.

Quite frankly, I will never be able to defend domestic abuse without biases because emotional and financial abuse is worse than physical abuse and there is no justice for women like me because the abuser always walks free, while we are left picking up the pieces. I truly believe the laws need to be changed for victims like me, who don’t suffer outward bodily injury, but we suffer internal injury for years and some for a lifetime.

Abuse never has anything to do with the person being abused, it always has to do with the person who is doing the abusing and this person often has insecurities and issues about themselves that they have not taken the time to work out and so they project their anger onto the people who are closest to them.  I realize that I am fortunate because many women don’t make it out of these situations.

So why am I saying all of this? Well, I am getting to it.

February 14, 2020, I turned 30 and I had a nice appreciation dinner for everyone who had been a positive and motivating force within my life (Isley Brothers…Yass), because at my worst and at my best the people at that celebration LOVED me. If all of these people love me, how can I not love myself as fully as they loved me? At my 30th Birthday celebration, I learned not to allow the negativity and past failed relationships and even friendships have any power over me. That’s just too much power to allow people to live rent-free in your head when they probably could care less if you were alive or dead.  Seriously, most people are not down for you the way that you are down for them and you have to be able to discern that and once you do, don’t ignore the red flags. Often times we ignore the red flags. There is always a warning before destruction. 

February 29, 2020, my whole world crumbled, I lost one of the few constants and consistent people in my life, my cousin, LaTaurus Richardson.  When I was grieving through this divorce stuff, he was over the tears because I had suffered enough and he had a front-row seat to all of it. He got me through all of that for years and then he up and left me. But oh, there are some blessings in the rain and my blessing in the rain was COVID19 Quarantine.

COVID19 and Quarantining was probably the best thing that ever could have happened for me and many other people. Let me tell you, Jesus, Michael Todd and Relationship Goals, Quarantine, and my constants were just what I needed. I have been able to reflect, re-evaluate, and make necessary adjustments for myself without any consideration for anyone else (Praise!) but myself.  We use these terms like Self-Esteem, Self-Confidence and Self-Care, and Self-Awareness, but often times we are depending on other people’s definitions of who we are to define our own self instead of looking in our own mirrors and defining who we are. No one should have the power to tell you who you are. You tell others who you are and you let them see who you are. The other side of that is that when people show you who they are, go right ahead and believe them and make a decision to run or stick it out.

I agree with Michael Todd, that, “The relationship that you have with God and with yourself, sets the tone for every other relationship that you have.”  I have lost some people, some people have lost me and that is okay. Not every relationship in our lives is meant to thrive forever.  Most are meant to teach you a lesson about yourself or about something. Yes, you will grieve some relationships, but the main relationship that I grieved in the midst of all the relationships that I have lost (God heard conversations, and saw actions that I didn’t hear or see in most of them)… was the relationship with myself and getting back to living for Attorney SouthernBelle.  So I have made the conscious decision to be intentional about everything from my finances to family to friends to the shoes on my feet and most of all me. We sometimes get caught up in the hype of everyone else, that we forget to get caught up in ourselves. Every now and then, tell yourself that regardless of the adversities you have faced, you are still a show-stopper.

So the short of this…Quarantine allowed me to get caught up in the hype of my own self. I will clap for myself and do everything that is necessary to make sure that I am working toward my goals, my purpose, my happiness, and my peace. Peace is expensive and now that I have it, it is too priceless to lose again. So here’s to thirty–thank you for hitting me with your best shot…because I am so on! 2020 has been a vicious storm, but there were so many blessings in the rain – I challenge you to find your blessing and hold on to it.

Like an Azalea and Tupac’s Rose in the Concrete…. I dare you to prove yourself and others wrong by making the decision to BLOOM.