And just like that 2019 is coming to a close. Whatever happened, happened. Whatever was said, the words have been spoken. Whatever has not been completed, remains unfinished. But either way, the world is being reset for a new era. 2020 marks the alignment of all dreams to manifest; reunions of connections that were meant to be but somehow fell apart...karma has already cleared a path for a new beginning, a new chapter and it is up to all of us on how we move forward.
I have learned a lot this year. Most of these lessons were hard learned, but because of these trials and tribulations, I have transformed. One of the key things I have learned over the year is the importance of protecting my peace. For most of my adult life, I have allowed the most broken of the broken to come into space, to come into my heart, to enter the gates of my mind with their baggage all in the name of love and healing. After spending sleepless, tear filled nights purging my insecurities, my sense of worthlessness and finally coming into alignment with myself, I realized that I have to be selfish. I have to put me first. I am important. I am special. And I am not an emotional rehab center for those who refuse to do their own inner work.
It takes a great deal of strength to face your inner demons. To admit to yourself that you are broken too because of the lies that other people told you...and the lies that you told yourself, is no easy task. I wanted to be loved so badly that I compromised my inner being, my wants and desires and rights as a human in exchange for little from mediocre individuals. That's right, I said it: these folks were mediocre. Looking back, I was the teacher. I was the bold one. I was the one who took the "L" so the other person wouldn't have to. I listened. I sacrificed when I really didn't have to. I was the person that I know I deserved.
And that is ok. I know what I brought to the table even during those moments when I had very little that was tangible to give. And to lose that kind of person with kind of character is a serious loss.
Which is why now, I sleep well at night.
But aside from the personal and spiritual growth, 2019 brought opportunities that confirmed me being on the path that I am supposed to take.
In March, I participated in the Black Writers on Tour which was my first time operating as a vendor. This opportunity opened the door for me to introduce myself as an author of color who writes about vampires, myths, legends, gods and goddesses, etc... to a community of readers who never even considered the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance genre. I was able to put a face to the black sci-fi community.
August brought with it The Leimert Park Book Fair which brought with it success. I sold out! I networked with a variety of authors and readers who supported my work. And once again, being that I was the only author present who wrote in the Sci-Fi genre, I stood out. People demonstrated interest. I engaged. By the end of the day, I was too exhausted to count my earnings, but I walked away ecstatic knowing that I made an impact. Let me say that one more time: I made an impact. And I cannot wait to return to next year's book fair.
In September, I boarded a flight to Atlanta for the LitEvol event. I introduced myself to a few readers and authors, but what was most important is me meeting my stepmother for the first time. She is such an amazing and strong person and pieces of my father remain with her. After many years of feeling alone and burying my longing to reconnect with the man I mirror, this was the moment when everything just fell into place. This is the moment where I accepted everything that makes me, me. I spent years, allowing others to try to mold me in their image- none of it felt right by the way but that is what happens when you have no idea of how great YOU are.
I also fulfilled a vision of having my books placed in a book store. If you are reading this and you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, head on over to Malik's bookstore located in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall.
October and November were months where I began to put into perspective the things that I want out of the rest of my life. I refuse to go into another decade carrying with me old hurts, negative thought patterns, and to put it simply: bullshit. During this period, the old skin that I struggled to fit in finally fell off. I have a new set of wings to fly. And this time, I am ok with flying solo. I don't need a group of friends that I have to support in order to keep. I don't need anyone in my personal space that will not be contributing to this better version of me.
I am ok with being alone.
My table has been cleared and space is reserved for those who deserve to sit with me; to eat with me; to laugh with me; to love me. And as I stand at the edge of the horizon, watching the dawn, I am prepared to take that first step into my new beginning as an evolved version of me. I am powerful beyond measure. I am strong enough to fly above whatever storm that comes my way. And most importantly, I am who I am and I refuse to live another second not being unapologetically me.