Originally published February 2nd, 2017.
2016 caught a bad rep. From dead celebrities to backward politics, 2016 just couldn’t get right in the mind and eyes of a lot of people. My 2016 was no cakewalk either.
I dismantled the life my children and I had known for over a decade.
I took up hobbies I never dreamed of enjoying.
And I broke myself to my lowest point in hopes of rebuilding myself in the I image I wanted free from the meddling of others.
It has been a long, painful, winding road with no indication of straightening anytime soon. I find myself clinging to the moments of joy, the times that reaffirm my choices and my life, because I know moments of sorrow, unexplained, and from the far reaches of my soul will creep up to remind me I’m still not whole yet. And will I ever be? Well, only time will be able to answer that.
But being broken doesn't have to be hopeless. While I’ll admit, there are moments or even whole days where I feel like a prisoner in my life I know those feelings are a symptom of a larger issue that’s treatable through self-care, self-awareness, and time. Time. The double edge sword. It's all we got but, we don't get the pleasure of knowing how much time we got. So what are we to do with the time we have? However much that may be. I don’t know about you, but I want to spend mine continuously becoming the best version of myself by setting goals, fighting my demon, and having the courage and strength to get back up when I enviably fail.
Once I knew what I wanted, I had to figure out how I would do it. That's where the conglomerate known as my friends list comes into play. An interesting collective of freaks, geeks, tree huggers, Menorah lighters, Bible Thumpers, Sagan quotes, and Johnson voters all carry the label of my friend. Their thoughts, opinions, and ideas dot my Facebook life. Ideas come and go, some with more frequency than others. One idea that has seen its share of traction is a vision board. I always thought it was a lovely idea but never lovely enough to make the time to create one until it danced across my feed again during #snowpocalyspe.
Having nothing but time, nowhere to go, and a house stocked with necessary #snowpocalypse french toast-making supplies I decided at that moment I would make the time to finally put that lovely idea into action. I made it a family affair, with the boys each making one, theirs turned into a reflection of where they are developmentally more than a life-altering embodiment of where they want to go over the course of 2017. Mine, on the other hand, became a poster board full of the work I still need to do to become whole. All of which I carefully affixed with homemade glitter glue.
When I first sat down to create my vision board I had my goals in mind. I thought to myself, “I'll seek out the words and images that convey what it is I want to achieve this year”. I began with lofty ideas of what I wanted to gain in 2017, practical dreams that didn't actually lead to personal growth. As I flipped through our massive collection of old magazines I failed to find what I was looking for, what I thought I needed to focus on in 2017.
So, I stopped and switched my focus. Instead of looking for what I thought I needed, I decided to only pick what spoke to me. Looking at only the words and images that truly meant something to me and my journey through this life. I poured through the magazines and walked away with more items than I could fit on both sides of the board. I had to eliminate some and leave only the ones that I thought would keep me focused on my growth through 2017. I told myself, “The agents of growth I chose would have to touch me to my core”. They would need to be the best words and images to help me mold myself consciously and subconsciously through 2017. As I carefully placed it I felt the weight of each affirmation the piece of paper contained.
As I stared at the completed board, I realized that the vision I have for 2017 isn't about the new car I long for or the take-home salary that would bring us above the poverty level. Yes, I want those, I need those, but I know they can’t be my main focus. I'll achieve those things, I already know that. What I have to focus on is deeper than those things. I am striving to be happy, healthy, and healed. That has to be my focus. To care for myself so I can care for my children. To realize my own potential and live it. The other stuff, that will come with time, patience, and continued hustling. But the Rayven hiding behind the self-doubt, that's what I fear never finding unless I make myself aware and do the painful work to meet myself on the other side. That’s my vision for 2017. To take on the wall of self-doubt, self-hate, and fear; and finally, free the woman trapped behind it.
What’s your vision for 2017?
Copyright(c) 2017 Rayven Holmes