Be Careful What You Wish For.

The idea is notto live forever,but to createsomethingthat will.-2

Second grade. Ms. Donaldson’s class. I waved my hand ferociously for her to call on me so I could answer the question. I wanted nothing more than for Ms. Donaldson to call on me so that I could share the answer with the rest of my seven-year-old compatriots. She called on me. I proudly, boldly, and unabashedly said the wrong answer. Joseph Lee laughed at me. I didn’t raise my hand for awhile after that.

See, sometimes it feels like I’m still waving my hand ferociously for the Universe to call on me, and many days I reply with the wrong answer. Some days, I get called on and then I suddenly don’t have an answer. I draw a blank. I fall silent. But, even by raising my hand, I make it easier for others. In a classroom of people waiting to hear the answer, some days I am still audacious enough to offer one–even if it’s completely and utterly wrong. Most days, I am comfortable blazing that trail. Some days, however, I wish someone would unroll the blueprint for me.

Recently, My sister told me she doesn’t read my blog that much anymore. I told her, “Yeah, most people I know (like close friends and family) don’t read my blog anymore.” She said that’s sad. I replied that it’s not; it’s exactly what I wanted. The minute I saw and felt my words reaching women I’d never met, I knew that was the path I wanted to hike. And, while accolades and attention from my closest tribe always mean something special, it’s more important to me to reach the right people in the right places.

This is what I wanted.

But, with that comes great responsibility. Great scrutiny. A bevy of people who stay on my jock.

Yet, this is what I wanted. It’s not a question. Not a second thought. I don’t stumble over those words. Yes, this is what I wanted.

However, if there’s any lesson to extract from growth, it’s that you do not get a bed of roses without a few prickly thorns. Sacrifice is the price of admission for success. That is a ticket that you can’t bootleg or knock off, as much as some people will try. Pay it or move away from the gate so someone else gets a chance to step up. If you want greatness or influence or simply for someone else to give a damn about what you say, you will reap both the benefits and the consequences. The benefits are usually apparent upfront; those are the things you fervently pray for. The consequences are typically the lessons that don’t come until much later, when you are already knee deep in the blessing and 20 miles down the path.  We don’t usually know or realize the full scope of what we ask God for. How could we? This life is best experienced in the moment, but only ever understood in hindsight.

I’m knee deep in the blessing. I’m at least 10 miles down the path. God has already called on me, so I can’t put my hand down now.

Xoxo,
Tyece

No Resolutions, Just Evolution

year end post 2015
2015.

I peeled the workaholic label off of my forehead, ripped it up, and let it fall on the sidewalk. April’s rain poured all over it. I lifted the perfectionist boulder from my back, dropped it under the hot July sun, and watched it bake. I abandoned a fear of change somewhere around September and listened to it crunch under freshly fallen leaves.

See, this year has been about letting go. This year has been about making room. This year has been about gracefully falling into failure. This year has been about planting my feet in purpose and standing on solid ground. This year has been about turning a blind eye to everything the experts say about branding and building and boosting my name. This year has been about mastering my craft. This year has been about embracing autonomy, breathing authenticity, and writing without apology. This year has been about creating work born from sunshine in my spirit and tear stains on my pillow case. This year has been about getting to the heart of the matter.

I can’t quite put it all into words. I can’t scoop up 365 days and plop them into paragraphs that relay a complete narrative. This time around, I do not have a list of neatly packaged lessons. Like most of us, my story is far from complete. The ends are still loose and the bows are not tied. Because it does not matter how much I let go. And it does not matter how much room I make. I will wake up on my friend’s hardwood floor on January 1, rosé and pinot grigio still alive and well in my system, and my evolution will still brew. The Universe will still be in the middle of whisking my perfect blend. I will still be building my dream from the ground up. This life is a boundless lesson in shedding our layers and facing our demons and making our way.

And, still, the stakes are high and fear nibbles away at my ankles, sometimes making it tough to walk. Still, I fight the urge to plan and steam the imperfections out of every detail. Still, I battle what feels like a natural inclination to shovel out my own path without leaving much room for the Universe to have its way. Still, I have to remember that rest does not reflect weakness, but rather radical self-awareness. Still, I have to remind myself that sometimes my plans are simply promises to myself that I easily break. Still, I have to recognize that there is something bigger and more beautiful out there, somewhere, that believes in me. There is something bigger and more beautiful out there, somewhere, that I absolutely have to believe in.

I can’t make any promises for the year ahead. I know I will continue to tell the stories and write the words that rise from that temple at the bottom of my belly. I know that rain will pour, and sun will shine, and wine will still fill my glass. I know that I will lament love lost and stare at the ceiling remembering all of the words I never said to the men I can’t quite forget. I know I will twerk off beat and cackle with my mouth wide open. I know that I will cry and laugh, sometimes in the same day, and occasionally in the very same breath. I know I’ll search for God in the corners I used to overlook. I know that this thing called life and these things called dreams will still tug relentlessly at my tiny beating heart. I know that purpose will still stream through me and the Universe will not allow me to cower or play small. I know that I will continue to be a spark. A blaze. A voice that stirs souls and sets passion into motion.

So, for the year ahead, I do not have any resolutions. But, I fully believe in the unfolding of my own evolution.

Xoxo,
Tyece

The Perfect Storm: She Who Believes Recap

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The Tribe at She Who Believes

The storm has brewed inside of me for some quite some time. Winds have roared, rain has poured and entire houses have been blown away. Everyone likes to say there’s a calm before the storm. But this is the storm before the calm. That day I walked into She Who Believes was the day thunder shook everything in my not-so-distant past. It was the day I couldn’t summon my storm to be quiet any longer. It was the day I had to toss my umbrella aside so I could get drenched once and for all.

But, first, rewind. Rewind to Wednesday, July 1 in the “living room” section of Founding Farmers when I sat with Roconia having dinner. Rewind to a moment when She Who Believes was simply an idea penned across several pages in a notebook. Roconia and I sat at dinner for almost two hours before she started divulging the gems about what she planned to do and precisely how she planned to do it. I quietly applauded her for protecting the vision that long. I rooted her on and I did that thing I do where I get way too revved up in a public place. I remember telling Roconia that I planned to attend another event on that same day, but I promised to be there in spirit.

Little did I know on Wednesday, July 1 just how much my spirit would need to be there on Saturday, September 19.

Fast forward to She Who Believes, an event with a simple objective: help women visualize our way toward our ideal lives. A simple objective, but a boulder of an undertaking when you consider the complexity of womanhood, the fragility of our dreams and the moving target of our ideal lives. Fast forward even more to halfway through the event when life coach and motivational speaker Ayana Coston commanded the room’s attention. I instantly liked her. Her energy. Her pacing. Her bright orange pants. She was someone I wanted to listen to. So, I did. And when she started outlining her idea of a successful life, I noticed just how much her definition contradicted my own empty one. I wanted the kind of success she alluded to, the kind of success rooted in peace, joy and freedom.

Ayana locked eyes with me for all of five seconds, and that is when I felt the storm.

I let the wind roar. I let the rain pour. I let all of the houses blow away.

I let myself be that awkward girl at the event who cried her hideous cry and required someone (thank you, Yetti!) to bring her tissues. I let myself buckle over and feel shittier-than-shit. I let myself finally acknowledge that the way I’ve done things hasn’t always worked. The things I’ve believed haven’t always yielded happiness. The goals I’ve fought for simply haven’t always been worth it. I let myself surrender to the storm and I told myself that it’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.

There are moments that allow us to break chains we didn’t even know existed.

I gave Roconia the nickname R Squared for Revolutionary Roconia a few weeks ago. What she created with She Who Believes was nothing short of revolutionary. Since those few hours on Sept. 19, things in my life have been set into motion. I’ve felt a new blend of courage getting stirred inside of me, one that has propelled me to grasp things I shied away from just months ago. I I said yes to a spoken word opportunity that only a month ago I deemed myself unqualified for. I sit with my legs crossed in the dim hours of each morning silently preparing myself for the day.

I’ve committed to living my most fulfilling and creative life. Not an entrepreneurial life. Not a powerhouse life. Not a boss life. Not a life that looks great on the outside but feels hollow in the middle. But a solid, vibrant and creative life. With family. And friends. And things that make me feel good even when they’re not tethered to any sort of perceived success. A life rooted in the things Ayana mentioned–peace, joy and freedom. So, I wiped the slate clean of many of my upcoming plans in favor of spending autumn focused on just being happy. Creating the things that mean the most to me. Spending time with people who mean even more to me. Not holding my feet to the fire. Not kicking myself in the ass. But instead, enjoying the calm after the storm.

Thank you, Roconia, for starting a revolution and sparking my evolution.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Clear The Runway, I’ve Only Just Begun.

clear the runway

I have this thing about dates.

July 24, 2011. August 18, 2011. October 21, 2014. April 27, 2015.

Those are all dates I can’t forget. See, some days are bad days, and some days are rock bottom days. Those were all rock bottom days, for reasons ranging from minor to mammoth. They were days when I took voyages to the most doubtful, dim and demonic places in my head and camped out for way too long. They were days I pitched tents on every insecurity and uncertainty I ever had. They were days when I told myself I would never make anything out of my dreams and I would never make it out alive. Those were days I could not walk away from unscathed.

There are other dates I can’t forget.

March 12, 2013. March 1, 2014. April 8, 2015. July 16, 2015.

Those are dates that catapulted me to new places. Dates that wrapped duct tap across the mouths of everyone who ever uttered one phrase of doubt about my capacity and calling. Dates that put a full tank of gas in the machine that is Twenties Unscripted. Dates that reflect conviction, sacrifice and resilience after the rock bottom days.

There will be more days like March 12, 2013 and April 8, 2015. I do not hope, and I do not wish, but I know. And I know because there will also be other days like October 21, 2014 and April 28, 2015. They will all balance one another out. They’re all fuel for the engine. Life is very cyclical that way–it’s all about riding the high when you’re up and banking on the comeback when you’re down.

So, I’ve learned to say a quiet prayer of gratitude. I know that it all stitches together the fabric of my journey. I know I am on a journey worth taking. I’m on a path worth trekking. I am in a deep sea worth treading.

That knowledge about my purpose is scary for some people. Unnerving. Off-putting. Planting my feet firmly in the very reason God put me here is not something everyone can handle. I’ve learned that. People love you when you’re up-and-coming. When your words are free. When you can be their protégé and don’t establish yourself as the prototype. When that thing you do on the side is simply a “hobby.” When you still blanket your words with self-deprecation. When you hope and don’t know. When you wish and don’t do. When you wait and don’t act. When you will still play in mud. When you focus on the drama. When you waste your days tweeting away.

People love you then.

People love it when you’re up-and-coming, but they don’t quite love it once you’ve come up.

They are worried you are going to arrive and leave them somewhere in the dust. You’ll surpass them. You’ll take their dream deferred and turn it into a dream done. You’ll manifest the very thing they have sat on for years.

What they don’t realize is that you may leave them in the dust, but, you will never arrive. You should never arrive. If you arrive at one destination, there is always another one to turn toward.

I don’t want to arrive. I want to keep pushing, keep driving, keep thinking, keep inventing and keep expanding.

Publishing the book anchored Twenties Unscripted. That’s how I saw it–an accomplishment, sure, but also an anchor. I’m proud of it. But, nothing for me is ever one and done. Tomorrow ends a month that has been a behemoth in the lifespan of my work. But, I’ve only just begun. Everything is strategic. Everything feeds the next thing. Everything is just one more anchor. You want to know my secret? There it is.

If you see something drop, I’m planning something else. If you see something launch, I’m on to the next thing. You should always be wondering what’s next. There is always a next. Everything clears the runway for me to keep going and see just what the end is going to be.

Thank you for everything this month–congratulatory notes, book purchases, shop purchases, showing up to the book party, texting me, tweeting me, saving me from myself and having my back. It could not have been a colossal month without your love and loyalty. I mean that from top to bottom, beginning to end. Thank you. And thank you again. One more time–happy third anniversary to Twenties Unscripted.

Xoxo,
Tyece

book blog tour promo

 

August is all about a Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity blog takeover! Join me and 14 other bloggers as we dive into everything about the book–everything from the writing process to finding an authentic tribe to root for me. Head over to the blog tour page to learn more, follow along and buy the book if you haven’t done so already!

Guest Writers Week | Closer Than We Realize

biggie quote
By Christopher Wallace

I graduated from the University of Maryland and thought I had made it. I figured that the world would be handed to me on a silver platter, and that the end of a journey I never thought I could finish was done. Soon after, I realized that the journey was only just beginning.

At that moment, I started going off into this really weird depression and surrounding myself with the wrong people. I never thought I was going to be able to do anything worthwhile. I could barely get a job or get any of my personal projects going. I let the sadness get the best of me, but I knew I needed to hustle in order to make my situation better. After working some connections, I was able to find work, and then I was able to use that to help fund my projects. I cannot say that I am exactly where I want to be, but I know I am closer than I was then. I gained a lot more positivity and happiness through that part of my journey.

I measure journeys by relativity–where you are, what you are around, who you surround yourself with, what things you do, etc. All of those are factors in how far along you are in the journey, and how close you are to the goal.

There are things in life that even have markers of relativity. If you are reading a book, you can look at the table of contents to see how much you have read and see how much more reading you have to do. Some video games have percentage values that track the progress you have made. In school, you know what grade or what year you are in, and you know how much work you have to do to get to the end.

Life, however, is not that simple. We all have wants and needs, goals and desires, but we have no idea how close we are to getting them. We can set plans and work diligently, but we have no way of realizing when they will come to fruition. And maybe, that’s a good thing.

Consider the possibility that we did have some system of checkpoints or markers that let us know how far along we were in our respective journeys. Could it make us lazy? Could it make us complacent? Would we take breaks? And with that, is it possible that we could lose out on the end through them?

It would provide some level of comfort maybe, but it is important that without these metrics we continue to push on and go after our goals. But there is a metric that we can use on our journey, and it is called happiness.

It’s no secret that realizing our dreams is something that can make us happy. Whatever work you do, always make sure that turns into some happiness for yourself. I try to take one little victory with everything that I do. Write a song, make a new beat, whatever. it may not be the end-all-be-all. It may not put me on a private jet. But I am better off and further along on the journey than I would be if I didn’t do any of those things. And that is what truly makes me happy.

Honestly, our goals are probably closer than we realize. That moment we may feel like giving up or quitting can be the moment we are about to break through. And no matter what, never compare yourself to others. Remember, it’s all relative. Be who YOU are. Stick to YOUR goals. And make yourself happy. The journey then handles itself.

Christopher Wallace is a budding rapper, producer, writer, and filmmaker out of Hempstead, New York. Connect with him online @csbigsby.