Why Wait?

why wait

You should stop waiting for permission.

Stop waiting for someone to tell you to go or do or act or start or begin. Stop waiting for some flag to wave and mark the beginning of this race. Stop waiting for “ready, set, go!” and stop waiting for some cosmic sign that it’s time to do whatever it is that your heart wants to do. Your heart is ready. She’s pumping blood, and she is ready. Listen to her beat. Go. Move. Act. Do.

You should stop waiting for the right time.

There is no right time. There is always an excuse. There is always something else that you could do or some other responsibility to which you must tend. There is always a reason why you shouldn’t do it, and there is always someone with just enough doubt that if you listen to them, you won’t do it.

Stop waiting for it to feel right.

It shouldn’t feel right. It should feel scary and nerve-wracking and ridiculous. It should feel like you aren’t ready. It shouldn’t feel comfortable and it shouldn’t feel like a sure thing. If it does, you are doing this whole dream thing wrong. It should make your heart race and it should make your blood run and it should make you feel like maybe you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.

Let the uncertainty feed you. Let it charge you. Let it nourish you. Dreams never have periods, they have question marks. Or ellipses. Or commas. But never periods.

Stop waiting for the money.

If you’re anything like me, anytime you get your hands on the money, you will find 4,000 other things to do with it aside from making this dream happen. Stop waiting for the tax refund or the payout or the fairy godmother you’ve been praying for. Stop delaying dreams because of dollars. It’s amazing what you can do with just one dime and a shitload of relentlessness.

Stop waiting for a milestone.

Stop waiting to hit one year or five years or ten years. Decide what a milestone is for you and only you. Only you know your evolution. Only you know when the next step is the right step. Only you know your growth and trajectory. Do away with the arbitrary markers of success.

Stop waiting for validation.

Everyone doesn’t have to like it. Everyone doesn’t have to listen. Everyone doesn’t have to buy it. Everyone doesn’t have to attend. Everyone doesn’t have to stand in your corner. You want some haters, spectators, and soul graters. Every successful person has a few.

Stop waiting for it all to be perfectly in place.

There should be some jagged edges. There should be some gaps. There should be some missing pieces of the puzzle. You should account for some of Murphy’s Law. If it all went well and it all was right, your journey wouldn’t have any dimension or depth.

Stop waiting.

Stop waiting.

Stop waiting.

Go.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Protect Your Vision.

protect your vision

When you go quiet, people should be worried.

When you are on timelines a little less and inundating Instagram feeds with fewer pictures, people should assume that you are in the lab. You are in the war room. You are prepping for the next match, ready to return as the heavyweight champion. When you have gone undercover, it’s so that you can work and write. Curate and create. Cultivate and produce.

When you go quiet, people should be worried.

They should take notice. They should expect some sprinkling of your magic dust to appear. When you go quiet, you aren’t telling the world you have left. No, when you go quiet you are telling the world that you are getting ready to conceive something that is next-level. You are preparing to unveil something powerful. You have traded in the noise of daily chit chat for the boom of a longer, more lasting monologue.

When you go quiet, people should know that is exactly when your vision is being fully executed.

Maybe they won’t know the vision. But, they should bet their ass that whatever the vision is, it is being brought to life.

You are a blogger so you’re expected to live out loud. Every little thing you think is supposed to reveal itself in 140 characters or less. Or on an Instagram photo. Or, above all else, in a blog post. You’re supposed to write your goals on pastel stationery notes and share them with the rest of the world so they can validate shit that you’ve already been convicted about. The nature of what you do as a blogger is public. Accessible. Communal. Reachable. Attainable. People are supposed to be able to leave their sticky fingerprints on the things you think. The ideas you believe in. The work you have set out to do.

Except you have learned that everyone can’t know everything.

Everything isn’t for everybody.

Dreams are very private things. Your vision is a very sacred thing. The work you have been put on this planet to do is cherished, and it isn’t always meant for everyone to know about.

You don’t want to write your goals on pretty stationery. You don’t want to share what you’re conceiving with just anyone. You want to protect your vision because you know how spoiled it could become if it’s handed off to the wrong person. Few people are good at following through on their own dreams, but many are adept at assassinating the dreams of others. Few people are capable of conceiving their own vision, but many are skilled at stealing someone else’s. If the wrong person catches even a glimpse of what you’re doing, the entire thing could be ruined. The sacrosanctity of your beautiful plans could be demolished. The beauty of what you’re creating could be destroyed.

Your dreams have been planted on holy ground. Not just anyone is allowed in that place.

You have spent sizable fractions of your life living out loud. Confessing your plans. Letting people know what’s in the works. Divulging your dreams. Sharing your blueprints. You have made so many chunks of your life accessible that sometimes you have to fight your instinct to blast off an idea to the Twitter airwaves. There was a point where you were addicted to the likes, drawn to the validation of strangers cosigning ideas that you already believed in with your whole head and entire heart.

That time has come and gone. Now, you know just how much you must protect the vision.

You know just how patient you have to be in order to protect that vision. You know that some days will come and go without you even saying what’s up to Twitter or scrolling through Instagram. You know that it’s not always fun to put your head down and work. You get antsy and maybe even insecure when everything you’re doing isn’t prime for the rest of the world to see. You worry that maybe people have forgotten that you and your work still exist.

But, “protect the vision” is the proverb you live and create by, even at the expense of your impatient heart and antsy spirit. You have come to trust your gut and the wisdom of your inner tribe. You have learned to rely on a select group of friends and mentors when you want to filter your thoughts. You know that your most significant ideas are often times the ones that you can’t ever reveal until the final product is ready, until you have seen the idea through its final trimester and birthed a masterpiece.

When you go quiet, people shouldn’t count you out. No, when you go quiet, people should anticipate that you have aimed your missile at something that it’s sure to destruct. When you go quiet, people should get every single one of their ducks in a row. They should cross all of their t’s and dot every single one of their i’s. When you go quiet, people should remember that your steps are ordered and you are focused as a motherfucker.

When you go quiet, people should be worried.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Bloggers And The Beat Recap: You Can’t Be Afraid To Fly

 

(Left to right) Karen Civil, Brandon "Real T@lk" Williams, me and Matcy and Breeze of Tha Shipmates
(Left to right) Karen Civil, Brandon “Real T@lk” Williams, me and Matcy and Breeze of Tha Shipmates

It felt sort of like an out-of-body experience. Sitting at my desk on Tuesday night with a bottle of wine next to me and my hands shaking, I didn’t recognize myself. The apartment was too hot. My bag wasn’t packed. I still had no idea what I was going to wear for the event. I could barely get myself grounded enough to write. That night I didn’t recognize a woman whose confidence, bravado and sometimes pure audacity were her signature trademarks. I felt like a scared puppy, unsure of myself and what I was getting ready to do.

Then I heard about the Illinois plane crash, and I felt myself crumble. The nerves that had been festering for weeks about taking a regional plane for the first time swung into high gear. I transformed into a piping hot mess. So, I called my best friend.

“Don’t think about it for an hour,” she told me. “Don’t pack, don’t prep, don’t do anything related to the trip. Just decompress.”

Surprisingly enough, I took her advice. And while the nerves didn’t fully subside on their own that night, a cosmic signal finally put them to rest. While digging through my disaster of a closet for a tote bag, I found my first tattered notebook. I’m on my third one now. You know, those books writers just carry and keep to capture any and every note so a thought never escapes them. I took the notebook out of an old bag and flipped through it. I saw a page from a coaching session I had with Demetria Lucas D’Oyley–years before she had appended D’Oyley to her name and weeks before I had started Twenties Unscripted.

I looked at the page and realized that the notes from that conversation had come to life. There was this little diagram with my blog as the center and things like events, collateral and speaking engagements as the spokes coming from the middle. There was a bullet that said, “No one is ever going to be as invested as you are.” And the final bullet said, “Don’t judge your start by someone else’s middle or end.”

I packed that notebook and took it with me all the way to Southern Illinois University.

The Universe always has these beautiful and unexpected ways of reminding us we are on the right path. And even though I was still scared shitless to board that tiny regional plane from St. Louis to Marion, IL the next day, I am more scared to think about a life without that opportunity.

IMG_1867I could say a lot about Bloggers and the Beat, a panel discussion I had the chance to speak at, hosted by the Student Programming Council at Southern Illinois University. I could say how refreshing and reaffirming it was to listen to the other panelists recount their early days as artists and entrepreneurs, and drop some powerful words of wisdom. I could say how much I loved the students, from the moment I was greeted by Quiana and Kia at the airport, to the second I sat down at the open mic event prior to the panel, to the post-event meet and greet. I could say how much each of them, full of such life, energy and passion, inspired me to continue on this beautiful and wild ride. But, most of all, I could say that you can’t ever be afraid to fly. And, sure, that goes for tiny and claustrophobia-inducing regional airplanes. But, really, it goes for taking that next step and leaning all the way the fuck in to what you are being called to do.

Witnessing your dreams manifest is an amazing, frightening and surreal sort of thing. Even as recently as January of this year, I was dying to start speaking at events, while simultaneously stomaching the rejection I had gotten after having panel pitches turned down. I was starting to think that maybe it wasn’t in the cards for me and the Twenties Unscripted brand to begin translating my work in that sort of way. And, then, poof. Here we are. And, it’s not really “poof” at all because it’s not magic. No, it is years of work and writing and days dating back to that coaching session with Demetria. It has been a long and trying road just to get here. But now that I’m here, my God, am I ready to fly.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Be sure to check out the work of my fellow panelists, Kia Smith–the amazing young woman who surfaced this opportunity for me–and SIU student Tierra of My Future Is Chic who did a great job recapping the event.

Fellow panelists

Karen Civil | www.KarenCivil.com | www.LiveCivil.com

Brandon “Real T@lk” Williams | www.realtalkraps.com

Tha Shipmates | http://www.audiomack.com/album/kid-breeze/tha-shipmates-present-the-ride

Kia Smith

Kia Smith | www.KiaSmithWrites.com

Tierra of “My Future Is Chic”

Tierra’s recap | “10 Lessons I Learned from “Bloggers and the Beat

All Things In Due Time

all things in due time

I don’t know exactly where this story begins. I don’t know if it starts somewhere in 2013 when I grew a pair and decided I wanted to speak at BlogHer 2014. I don’t know if it starts somewhere after that when I grew another pair and decided I wanted to speak at Blogging While Brown 2014. I do not know if this story starts after both of those pitches were rejected and I sulked and shook my fists at the sky. I don’t know if this story starts earlier this year, when unbeknownst to everyone, my friend Erica and I were pitching to speak at Blogging While Brown for a second time. Maybe this story starts a few weeks after we submitted that pitch and got another rejection. I don’t know if this story starts the day after that when my good friend and writing soulmate GG Renee Hill asked me to join her on a panel she was pitching for DC Bloggers Week. Or maybe this story started that same day when I reached out to Erica for us to pitch our personal blogging workshop for a third time to DC Bloggers Week. I don’t know if this story starts where both the panel and workshop got picked up for DC Bloggers Week.

Or, maybe this story starts a really long time ago when I bookmarked a post from Thought Catalog, a site I no longer frequent, entitled, “When You Are Always Waiting.”

“People tell you all the time that you are impatient. And you know you are. You know that you are filled with nothing but desire, and are often incapable of understanding the great privilege that is being you in this very moment. But it is only because you love, because you love so much that your very heart hurts and you don’t know what to do with it. You want everything to go from 0 to 60 immediately because 60 is the only place you feel truly comfortable, and everything else just feels like foreplay. You know that impatience is the mark of immaturity, of ungratefulness, of petulance. And perhaps you really are all of those things. But for now, you only know that you are waiting. You are waiting for the city, the job, the person that will make everything feel at once instantaneous and somehow pleasantly slow. Because when you’re finally able to slow down, that is when you’ll know you are happy.”

This is not a story of persistence. This is a story of impatience. This is a story of a character flaw. This is a story of a ravenous appetite for success and how no steady diet of accomplishment ever seems to satisfy it.

Sometimes I am insatiably, stupidly, selfishly hungry for the next thing. There is this pit in the middle of my stomach that is never quite full enough, so I grasp for what is next, what will follow, what will be my new idea. It’s not a comfortable way to live, but it’s the only way I really know how. I am always at 60, always going, always on overdrive. And it’s exhausting and it’s frightening and it is debilitating in ways that I try not to show. I have to fight to quiet my mind. It doesn’t shut down or relax on its own. It screams and it roars and it’s always shouting at me to work on something else, come up with something else, do something else, focus on something else. Open a new tab. Draft another email. Tell another motherfucker just how you feel. Clawing at what is next does not allow me to live fully in any moment, not even the moments I fight so hard to create. That makes me sad and I sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it, or if I’m missing out on just how good and delicious it feels to be Tyece right here and right now. I keep trying to strike a balance between focusing on the future and enjoying the present, but my Libra scale is the most deceptive sign I have ever seen.

I wanted to speak.

People ask what I want to do and I am careful never to fully display my blueprint. But, I want to write and I want to speak. Those are the modes of expression that feel most familiar to me. Hell, those are the things I do well. Of course I like doing them. I knew for awhile that I wanted my voice at conferences, on panels, in dimly-lit theaters and on stage. I knew that. I believed I had something to say. I believed I had extracted enough from this bizarre blogging journey to finally talk about it and share the bits of this voyage. But it wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t like an open mic night where I could just get up on stage and spew my truth because I had a platform and a few friends to root me on. And I kept shaking my fists at the sky because I did not have the foresight to understand that it wasn’t my time.

I don’t know if it’s my time. I am not going to go all Nicki Minaj and declare that it is my time.  But what I do know is all things happen in due time, all things happen when the Universe is ready. I suck at seeing that. I am as impatient as a motherfucker. I want it all and I want it now and you can’t tell my heart or head any different. But, I have seen the beauty in holding on and standing still. I have seen just how much the Universe can and will do with a little bit of patience and a shit ton of faith. I have seen it because of the places I’ve been, the pits I’ve traversed, the people I have met and the experiences I’ve had. And I do not say that simply for a speaking gig, I say it for all of the things in my life that I have been insatiably, stupidly, selfishly hungry for. I remind myself that for all things in my life–for love, for fulfilled dreams, for breakthroughs, for new friendships, for the ability to let go, for burdens lifted, for forgiveness, for anxiety reduced, for a sold-out show, for a bank account that doesn’t make me wince, for a clearer understanding of my path, for a firmer foundation in my purpose, for a partner who loves me fully and unwaveringly, for the beautiful things, for the small things, for the big things, for the good things–all things in due time. All things when the Universe is ready.

Xoxo,
Tyece

50 Blogs To Take Into 2015: WriteLaughDream

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Throughout January and February, I will be featuring several of the bloggers from my 50 Blogs To Take Into 2015 list. Today the series continues with Ashley of “WriteLaughDream.”

I’ve never had the chance to meet Ashley in person, but she was one of the first people to respond back in November when I reached out to various bloggers asking for donations to contribute as gifts at my NYC Bloggers Brunch. I know it isn’t easy or always doable for entrepreneurs to offer up their products for free, so Ashley’s generosity really struck me. That spirit of generosity comes through on her blog “WriteLaughDream.” where she writes for the “thinker, the music lover, and the person looking for a little reassurance and inspiration in their life.” Meet Ashley.

Name: Ashley Coleman
Location: Philadelphia
Age: 28

Tell us a little more about WLD. Why did you start the blog? How has it changed since you started?
Funny enough, I started the blog actually somewhere around the end of college. But it had a completely different name and focus. It started as “Music’s Chess, A Pawn’s Story” and it was all about my adventures in the music business. Because let’s just say, it really is some type of alternate reality. But it wasn’t until four years ago that I came up with WriteLaughDream. It started as a central place for myself as a writer with my music and freelance stuff and then grew into focusing mostly on content for the blog. It started with a phrase … I write, I laugh, I dream in color and that’s what I wanted to be able to share with people, each part of that mantra.

Love serves as one of the main sources of your content as well as for your book. How would you define love? Where is love most prevalent in your life right now?
Well it’s easy for me to define love now. Before I probably would have stumbled over exactly what to say. God is love. So everything that surrounds God incorporates love. He is our greatest example of what love is and how to love people. I spent so long thinking that love was this feeling as opposed to an action. It’s something you have to do all the time, something you have to make a conscious decision to do and something that doesn’t always make you feel all buttery and warm on the inside.

Love is all around me. From my significant other, to my family, to my church home, to my love for what I do. I am enveloped in love. I’m really blessed and grateful because I know not everyone has that. I’m not lacking in sources of love.  Funny enough when writing the book, my mom told me a story about my Dad. My brother was born first and of course little boys are close with their mothers. So my dad said to my mom “I want a daughter so I can have someone to love me.” So our joke is that I was essentially created to love.

In what ways is the word “love” misconstrued in today’s world?
Aw man in so many ways. We think it’s what we see on TV or Instagram or Twitter and it’s not. So many people are lost because they don’t know where to look for love. Or they know where to look but they don’t want to because it changes the idea of the feeling of what love is supposed to be. And when that idea changes, love is a lot less glamorous than society and TV tell us it is. Often we think that love is all about us when really you have to be so unselfish when it comes to loving other people. Not just romantically, but across the board. You have to learn that love is a choice first of all. You have to choose love instead of which is often easier, to hate, to be mean and to be selfish. Second, you have to learn that it is an action. It’s in what you do and how you react, not in what you say. And believe me, I write about love but I am still in the journey with everyone else. I am still a student. I still screw it up sometimes. But I always know where to come back to and that’s really important, in my opinion.”

What 3-5 posts best represent your work on WLD?

These posts at the core represent the space that I am working to create with WriteLaughDream.

Dear Love – I beg to differ, Love is a choice.  This was a good one because in all my talk about love, I want people to know that it’s a choice. It’s not something that just magically happens to you.

DREAM – Sometimes it’s just about being in the room. We all have dreams. It’s my mission to manifest the big life I see for myself. So I love these posts because as I work to achieve my dreams, I’m hoping someone else will be inspired to take the next step toward the rest of their life.

WRITE – Holding Your Breath – I love this because I try to impart on my readers that I am figuring it all out too. I don’t have the answers, but I enjoy exploring life with others through my writing.

WLD Edit

 

Tell us more about your “Bold, Brown and Beautiful” series. What is the goal of the series and where do you see it going in 2015?
The BBB Series is like this little baby that I love so much. It started out with two events in 2013, one in Philadelphia and one in DC. The focus was to bring women together to talk about colorism in reference to two films, Imagine a Future and Dark Girls. As a lighter skinned black woman, I wanted to be able to create an inclusive environment to talk about these very real issues. And apparently so did a lot of other women. It was really important to me not to create something else divisive, but something that would bring us all together. The series promotes that our beauty can co-exist, whether light or dark or in between, we can all be beautiful without putting anyone else down.

What I also found was that this wasn’t just a black issue. This was a woman of color issue. And so we wanted our campaign to be inclusive of many other races and shades. Our goal simply stated is redefining brown girls: what you think about us, how you see us and treat us. In that it’s helping define our own images of ourselves instead of being held captive to what media, society or men say about women of color. And to promote confidence, self-esteem, and healthy body images.

For 2015 we are planning an awesome event series based on body image that will include a writing workshop. We’re going back to DC and Philly and hopefully adding New York. I’m hoping to be able to put together more video content for BBB. And eventually I would like to see us be able to honor brown women of diverse backgrounds for their contributions to the world.

 

What is the best advice you have received as:
A writer?
If you only write when you’re inspired, you have to learn to be inspired by everything. I’m sure that came out somewhere in my poetry as performance class at Temple University with Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon.

A lover? Real love is for adults only. My Pastor, Lester Brown said this one Sunday and it blew my mind.

A dreamer? A head full of fears has no space for dreams. We let fear stop us all the time, in so many things. I’ve learned to do things afraid.

Ashley Coleman_No Watermark (7 of 10)

What’s next for you?
Total world domination? No, I am just so excited about all that’s in store for the year. I am doing some speaking engagements with the book, which is cool. We’re working on the BBB Series events for spring. I’ll be hosting the next Dear Love brunch in March. I’m editing my second book which will be completely different than Dear Love. It probably won’t be out until very late in the year or next year. I just want to be God’s muse. Wherever he takes me, I will go.

What inspires you?
Everything. Literally I feel inspired sometimes by the fall leaves on the ground. I’m inspired by happiness, by love, by perseverance, by faith. I’m inspired by words’ ability to make you feel. I’m inspired by people finding the most eloquent ways to express the exact way I was thinking. I’m inspired by the wonderful people in my life who keep me going in ways they’ll probably never fully understand. I am most inspired by the design of our lives to impact others, to change something and to leave a mark in this world that will last long beyond our physical breath.

Ashley Coleman is a writer, pen and paper enthusiast and love advocate. Her book Dear Love is available for purchase on Amazon, Kindle and Createspace. 

Twitter and Instagram: @writelaughdream

FB: /writelaughdream