Advise Lifestyle

the Five Lessons I’ve Learned in 2018

I’m sharing the lessons I’ve learned in 2018

December 31st, 2017, I woke up earlier than usual and headed to the city with my baby girl. Growing up, my New Year’s Eve (NYE) tradition required welcoming the New Year with a clean home, a cooked meal, and a night of church services. The kids are now familiar with my childhood tradition, which is extremely essential to me. But, it was necessary they knew I was open for change. 2017 was a challenging year, and together we experienced changes none of us anticipated. It was important to me that my kids felt comfortable exploring different ways of bringing in the new year. So when Sid asked to go to Barnes and Noble, I quickly obliged. We headed to the @barnesandnoble location in Union Square, to browse the book aisles but left with two daily devotionals. Remember when I blogged about them here? Before heading home, we stopped by Whole-Foods, which happened to be directly across from the Barnes and Noble we visited. With Apple Cider and sage in hand, we made our way back home around 6:00 pm. This was our first year we were going to spend it away from my son and their father. 

Before 2017, each New Year’s Eve was spent under the same roof. Due to our separation earlier in the year, this would be the first time we would spend the day in two separate households. I was scared for my daughter and the questions she would ask that I wouldn’t have the answers to. In some ways, my experiences as a child prepared me for that moment. I remembered hearing my parents conversations around a variety of “grown folks issues.” I could picture my mother’s face with the look of disgust and anguish. I recalled her being angry all the time, someone you dare not ask a question. I vowed to never be like her; instead, I chose to reflect only on the great moments during our thirteen years together. They instantly made me happy and hopeful for the future. This shift our family was going through prepared us for greatness. See, the past 13 years their dad and I committed our lives to provide them with a life we didn’t have growing up. Part of that included making sure we made decisions that would allow them to thrive. And, parting ways wasn’t going to interfere with that commitment. It wasn’t always easy but it was essential that we maintained that in our new roles as partners in parenting.

All to say, January 1st, 2018 we woke up in separate homes. And for the next few months, I experienced emotions I never knew existed. I vividly recall two consecutive weeks waking up with anxiety, stressing and fearing the unknown. Had it not been for reading the daily devotionals and affirmations, weekly trips to the therapist office and intentionally surrounding myself with the right individuals, I am not sure how things would have turned out for me. The combination of intentional acts healed scars I did not recall having. As I close 2018, a year I consider full of growth and revelations, I want to leave you with key lessons I’ve learned during those moments:

  1. Don’t wait for a storm (i.e. a New Year) to start something new. I find that sometimes we are so focused on what we were taught as children, that we believe that’s the only way and absolutely no other way. And therefore we don’t challenge ourselves to explore beyond. Do you realize there’s no real excitement in doing things the same way for the rest of our lives? I’m not encouraging you to be disregard traditions, all I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to adopt new ones. There’s beauty in doing so and with intent – don’t wait for the storm, get in front of it with preparation.  
  2. Change is inevitable and important for us to grow. While ours wasn’t peaches and vanilla ice cream (my favorite btw) we found ourself at parallel roads working (we would come to understand this later in our journey) on our individual healing. We needed to learn how to love our selves first, how to let go of people that no longer served us, and for those that we couldn’t get rid of, how to limit our interactions with them.  Bottom line, we’ve learned (I know for sure, I did) how to show up for ourselves as our best selves. As a result, we are now able to teach our children how to do the same. I believe it was in those dark moments we learned how much of a disservice it would have been for our kids had we continued on the path of mediocrity. #alignment
  3. Embrace Discomfort – it’s part of your journey, it only shows up to teach you important life lessons. Therefore, whenever you are faced with challenging times, I encourage you to ask the universe for the ability to overcome instead of removing the discomfort. Otherwise, you could be robbing yourself of important life lessons. Think about that for a second. 
  4. Accept and operate in the season the universe has put you in. Acceptance for me did not mean that I was comfortable or content with where I was, it just meant that I was grateful for the abilities to see this as part of the journey. #discrement
  5. Live the life you have and stop wishing for the life you had. Bottom line, be grateful for what you have before you go asking for more. #Gratitude

In addition to the lessons I’ve learned, here’s what 2018 did for me, it contributed to my spiritual growth, helped me to discover my purpose and equipped me with the knowledge that will serve our children on their journey of discovering their purpose in life.  As Oprah Winfrey said “..the highest honor on earth that you will ever have is the honor of being yourself. The only true job you have is to discover why you are here….” and, I agree wholeheartedly. As parents who have committed the latter half of 2018 to doing just that for our children, we now understand that this journey was always bigger than us, and what we do from this moment forward – while we are living and thriving – will be crucial to their success. 

I am looking forward to continuing living a life full of purpose, to invest in my children and our future – mentally, spiritually and financially – to pouring into relationships that are only of significance, to cultivating and procuring new ones.  Wishing you all a purposeful New Year and encouraging you to embrace change and live life fully while you are still breathing. 

Thanks for reading…

With Gratitude,

Ken

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  • Virginia
    January 2, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Love love ..welcome back ..Happy t new year .

    • Ken
      January 2, 2019 at 2:46 am

      thank you for reading and being patient with us.

  • Danielle
    January 2, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Thank you for sharing this side of yourself and your family with us. Nothing but success and love for the new year💓

    • Ken
      January 2, 2019 at 3:32 am

      Thank you for reading. And, same to you and your family.

      Ken

  • Jay Taylor
    January 2, 2019 at 3:15 am

    Powerful dear. Such a heartfelt read. I enjoyed your daily devotional stories. Wishing you guys a beautiful year ahead. Happy New Year! ❤️

    • Ken
      January 2, 2019 at 3:33 am

      Wishing you the same, Jay.

      Ken

  • Nelle
    January 2, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Happy New Year cuzo 😘 #wisdomatheart that was an awesome read💯 cant wait for more!

  • Chioma
    January 2, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Wow. Another great writeup. Thanks for continually inspiring ladies like me. Its crazy how we go through stuff as women and feel shame because we think we are alone. Thank you Ken for speaking to me through this post today.

  • Sivu
    January 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    ” I encourage you to ask the Universe for the ability to overcome instead of removing the discomfort”
    Wow! I never thought of it this way, thank you for this. Have a happy 2019, all of you.

  • Keisha Thomas
    January 2, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Wow! What a powerful and insightful read, continue to do great and thank you for the inspiration. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Mani
    January 2, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    POWERFUL!

  • Kenya
    January 3, 2019 at 6:11 am

    This is absolutely beautiful and inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Wishing you a happy, happy year filled with love and peace.