Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Alright y’all. I have a confession. I’m at this age where “Who Are You?” is still one of life’s hardest questions for me to answer. Just coming up with the little bit of an “About Me” section for this blog was a struggle, and I barely watered my interests down to a paragraph. So many people brand your twenties as time spent “finding yourself,” so with only two years left I figured it was time to make sense of my past, present, and future. I’ve spent years reflecting on the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to uncover the core traits that make me the sensitive thug I am today lol. And while I was looking for direction, I also knew I needed the courage to follow it. Here’s what I found.

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If I remember correctly, my discovery came about randomly one day while scrolling Facebook (of all places, I know). I came across a link asking me to take a “personality test”, and with time to kill, I figured why not? What could it hurt? And believe it or not, it actually helped. Growing up in a culture dominated by materialism and good looks, it is all the more important that we celebrate our personalities, and to also understand that we are much more than our jobs, titles, or responsibilities to others. We often search for things outside of ourselves because we had yet to realize our own worth and abilities, but unless we know who we are now, we will never become the person we are truly meant to be. It’s actually part of the reason I’ve stayed single so long. Not only did I need to take time to rebuild my career and my self-esteem, I refuse to enter into another relationship until I am sure of who I am and what I want.

So you could only imagine my surprise when I found out that my personality type is classified as ENTJ (extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment) and that only 2% of the general population think the same way I do. That number is even lower for women at just 1%! After reading through each section detailing my strengths and weaknesses, romantic relationships, friendships, parenthood, career paths, and workplace habits, I gained so much understanding over my life. The accuracy was unbelievable. I mean, it was almost like a psychic typed it.

Not to say I was ever lacking in the personality department because that is certainly not the case. I could identify things I did well or could stand to change for quite a while, but the results from my test helped fill in the “why.” When they pretty much summed up everything I already knew to be true about me in the introduction I knew they were on to something. It was like all of a sudden my whole life made sense. Seriously.

They call me “the commander” and for a reason. I own my strengths like being efficient, charismatic, and inspiring, and have come to learn how this can sometimes overwhelm others. I can also admit that some of my weaknesses are my stubbornness, impatience, and the fact I have a hard time processing mushy emotions, which can sometimes make me come off as cold and ruthless, even to those I love (tried to tell y’all I’m a thug).

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Although I will say the one aspect of my life I questioned the longest up until this point were my friendships. I’ve acquired a lot of “friends” out of circumstance, or better yet, convenience, and would later be left questioning why they never lasted. What the hell was wrong with me? After all I was the common denominator so I had to be doing something wrong. Afterwards I was always left feeling like the disposable friend no one really valued, thus was never afraid to lose. I even went out of my way to befriend new people just because. One of the best decisions I’ve made came at the start of this year when I took the pressure off myself to make friends and put more energy into appreciating those already in my circle. Most importantly, I’ve learned that by surrounding myself with other creatives, I am so much happier. So if you want to discuss some deep shit about goals and the universe then holla at me. But don’t waste my time with gossip and bullshit.

Another big part of my life is my work. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, to the point where other people can see it. Aside from my desire to write full-time, my dissatisfaction from working dead-end jobs also stems from my craving for leadership, responsibility, growth and opportunity. I was pegged as a leader at a young age. My earliest memory of my influence stemmed from my 5th grade teacher Mr. Larson pulling me aside while the rest of the class was at recess, and asking me to set an example for the other students since he felt they would follow me.  I can only hope I’ve done a good job.

Curious about your personality type? All you have to do is go to https://www.16personalities.com, answer the questions and don’t forget to share. And while one test might not have all the answers, it can get you closer to it.

#formymisses Who Want That Old Thang Back: Why I Had To Leave My Old Self Where She’s At

#formymisses Who Want That Old Thang Back: Why I Had To Leave My Old Self Where She’s At

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I miss you.

Sometimes it can be hard to admit when we miss someone especially when we are talking about ourselves. And I don’t know about you but for some strange reason, my mind always tends to drift toward the past more than it does the future, especially when it rains. So if you live in Michigan then you can understand why this past weekend was one of reflection for me. I have come so far and have accomplished so much in 28 years, but there are still times where I wish I could go back. Back to when I was more open and trusting of the people around me. Back to when the idea of falling in love didn’t completely terrify me. Before I cared about book sales and book reviews. Before I was made aware of my body’s flaws and started questioning my worthiness. . .

For years, I felt like something was “missing” – not just in my life, but from me. And I’ve had this same feeling echoed back to me in conversation with some of my closest girlfriends lately. I’ve even caught similar messages while scrolling different timelines. And I am so over it!

Please know that I’m not ashamed to say I was weak for love before. I’ve been betrayed and lied to by the same person I slept next to every night. I’ve run back to friendships/relationships I knew weren’t healthy or beneficial out of loneliness and uncertainty. I stayed loyal to someone even though I was unhappy long before I was confronted with court cases, baby momma drama, and the possibility of adding “Felon” at the end of my description.

I was just entering into my early 20’s when a nightmare of a break up made me realize that even though I could identify certain characteristics I possessed, I never really knew who I was to begin with. I wasn’t prepared to lose him, but it wasn’t until I was alone that I realized I had lost myself in my relationship long before then. So many of my good qualities had laid dormant for so long, I almost forgot they were there.

It also helped me realize that by trying to get to know the girl I used to be, instead of the woman I am becoming, I would be ignoring all of the parts of me that are begging to be acknowledged, if not celebrated. Instead of seeking my old self, I had to find my true self first because there were so many parts of my past where I wish I had done things differently, that if I didn’t, I would continue to rob myself of every moment or possibly my future. So trust me when I say there have been plenty of instances where I wished I had spoken up. And times, I wished I hadn’t. Like most young people, my needs easily overrode my instincts until I couldn’t ignore them anymore. I knew something had to change. I just didn’t know it was me.

So my question for all of my ladies who miss their former selves is; what happens when you do finally get past those feelings of doubt or inadequacy? Will you be stuck on the fact that you remained stagnant during that time and turn that into another reason to be angry at yourself? How often will you wonder “If only. . .?” And if you answered yes to any of these questions, where is the growth in that? I had to ask myself the same thing.

But for those of you who are REALLY determined to back track to the girl you used to be, even if you do “make it back”, what if your old self does not serve you anymore? What do you tell her? Would you even recognize yourself? Through my own experiences I’ve found that a major source of unhappiness came from not accepting who my pain made me. Because let’s face it – pain changes people and in more profound ways than joy unfortunately. No one stays the same, and if they did, would that really be a good thing?

In all honesty, I have absolutely no desire to be the girl I once was because if I would have stayed that girl I wouldn’t have made it this far. I damn sure wouldn’t be blogging and telling y’all my business like this lol. But I am much more confident now. Even in the first pic I posted on this blog you notice I’m facing forward. I’m done looking back. There is nothing for me there. All of the things I’ve endured have made me stronger and smarter than I’ve ever been and I am much more accepting of myself – including my mistakes. Instead of fighting my disappointments, I’ve allowed them to guide me back to the right path. Back to the real me.