When It All Seems Impossible

It’s a dangerous thing sometimes to be left alone with your own thoughts. That’s the position I found myself in late on Sunday night/Monday morning driving home from my friend’s housewarming. I had just left a fun and much-needed night with friends, some I had not seen in many weeks. I had the chance to escape the everythingness of my life–the worries, the anxiety, the upcoming move, the barely-there bank account, the non-stop thinking. But, then I found myself back in the driver’s seat with an hour-long trip ahead. I tried cranking up Beyoncé in a futile effort to drown out my many musings, but there were not enough beats to crush what was on my mind.

I’ve written about my ongoing quarter-life crisis in jest because it really does strike me as melodramatic and unnecessary to have a crisis at (almost) age 25. The world does a good job reminding twenty-somethings that we’re sometimes entitled and way too cemented in our own self-imposed histrionics. Because of the unavoidable popularity of television shows such as Girls and websites such as Thought Catalog, the microscope is now fully focused on twenty-somethings, ready to expose us for the breathing bacteria we truly are.

So, it’s somewhat difficult to take myself seriously when I type a blog post title called, “When It All Seems Impossible.” Come on, Tyece, you are twentyfuckingfour. Nothing is impossible. The world is your oyster and you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. You’re doing great, kid!

Right?

Except, it really all does seem impossible. I could pretend I’m above my generation’s bullshit and shrug off the minuscule anxieties biting away at my confidence, but I am not capable of such. I am at that strange, inevitable spot where everything is OK but it is not quite good. Things could be better and they could be worse. And, as much as it embarrasses me to admit, there are times when I mistakenly assume it would all be easier if I had that partner-in-crime.

I am at that point where I’ve become all-too-aware of the world around me and the injustices, disparities and sheer ugliness that world constructs each day. I’m now old enough to have been on the receiving end of some of those injustices. Some of those disparities. Some of that sheer ugliness. Those injustices, those disparities, that sheer ugliness remind me that sometimes the world does everything in its power to truly make it all impossible.

I’ve finally decided to pop my head up and notice some people living a life I do not want. For better or worse, I am the product of a generation that wants creative and personal fulfillment at the helm of all we do. I could settle for being happy because I am surviving, but this is my life, not an award-winning CBS television show. I want more and I am tired of feeling guilty for that. I have also done myself an injustice by popping my head up a little too much and focusing on the life others have that I think I want. I’ve got this vague and smeared idea of what I want out of this life and no clue what’s the next step to getting there. So, it all seems impossible. It all seems too grand, too unachievable, too far away.

When it all seems impossible, I rub my temples. I stop typing. I look at the screen and the cursor blinks back at me, demanding that even if it all seems impossible, that blog post still deserves to be written. I turn on Leela James’ rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come” and let myself melt in the lyrics that are too lofty and yet perfect for how I feel at this moment.

When it all seems impossible I remember the pit of 2011 and how I never thought I would become a well-adjusted adult in the face of unforeseen adversity and damage. I remember the nights spent slumped over on my studio floor, curled into an inconsolable ball of grief and pain. I remember a time when it all seemed impossible, and somehow, it was not. Somehow I made it through.

When it all seems impossible, I remember the practical advice of my blog fairy godmother Maya Francis to make lists each day, to crack away at my ambitions bit by bit.

When it all seems impossible, I remember the timeless advice of my other blog fairy godmother Bené Viera to just keep writing.

When it all seems impossible, I remember life BC-before business cards. I remember when Twenties Unscripted received 20 hits a day. I remember when I had no idea what Google Analytics was.

When it all seems impossible, I remember that there is promise in the overwhelming impossibility of it all. I remember that without it all seeming impossible, it does not give us something to work toward to prove just how possible it really is. I remember the many, many times it all felt impossible. Then I take a look at my life, at the people in it, at the experiences I have been fortunate enough to have. I look at these things I’ve built, the relationships I’ve developed, the friends I’ve made, the family that supports me. I look at the hurdles I’ve jumped through and the bridges I’ve crossed over. I look at this blessed and beautiful existence I have. I look at this lucky ass life. I take a look at those things and they all serve as a testament to the overwhelming possibility of it all.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Goal Setting With The Timeline Project™

By: Tyece Wilkins 

Perhaps Brian Tracy said it best when he declared, “People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” I would probably doubt Brian’s words if it were not for The Timeline Project™. 

Dream it. Visualize it. Realize it™. That is what The Timeline Project does regarding your dreams and goals. It is a space that allows you to make sense of all the ambitious swirl dancing through your head by nailing down your goals in a visual and tangible way. The space serves as an online tool, mood board and information hub dedicated to helping you capture, develop and accomplish your goals. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I was initially terrified to map out some of my goals on The Timeline Project. I am a goal punk—meaning I am perfectly OK having goals until I have to attach dates and deadlines to them. Then I freak out and worry that I will suffer defeat if I fail to accomplish my goals according to the timeline I set. So, I keep my ambitions tucked away in my head, a false sense of security should I not accomplish what I set out to do. 

But, I chucked my fear in favor of adding five goals to my Timeline on The Timeline Project. And, there it was, staring me square in the face the moment I clicked on the “Work and Education” topic: Get Out of Debt. 

I’ve secretly held this goal in the confines of my brain for about a year now. But, seeing it there on my screen in such a plain yet non-invasive way finally made me take the plunge and commit to it. I was grateful to The Timeline Project for making it easy to dedicate myself to this goal without forcing me to conjure up all the ways in which I’ll do it, nor pushing me to attach a date to it other than “age 30.” The Timeline Project makes it simple for you. 

I added four more goals to my Timeline—unplug, stop using credit, start a side hustle and avoid negativity—and I already feel like I’m on a path to achieving this vast array of things. They are now on a screen and that is a start. I’ve wanted to do many of these things, but up until now, they have just resided in my head and heart. Now, they’re on my very colorful and awesome Timeline! 

While goals are for everyone, The Timeline Project places a special emphasis on women, the many choices we elect to make and the myriad of paths we choose to follow. The Timeline Project was developed by Bayer HealthCare, a leader in women’s health for over five decades, and a proud supporter of modern women everywhere.  

And, when it comes to the paths we forge and the decisions we make, one of the significant choices is what we do with our bodies and when (or if) we opt to create a family. Goals aren’t just about career or personal relationships, but they are also about making deliberate decisions about important things. To help you take control and decide where and when (or whether) you’ll build your family, The Timeline Project will also share some information about birth control options to discuss with your doctor. It’s your path, your body, your mind, your choice. Like anything else, it is your goal. 

It’s your turn. I encourage you to visit The Timeline Project so that you can also visualize your goals. What’s one thing you would like to do this year? Next year? In the next five years? Let us know what that goal is and then head to The Timeline Project to map it out! 

Keep Going.

“What the fuck am I doing?” is a question that dances the tarantella through my head pretty much every day. You would think that as I creep up on the halfway checkpoint of my twenties, I would have gotten used to this. You would think I now know how to ward off all the anxiety and doubt this question brings. But, if you think that, you certainly thought wrong.

“Driven” is a word people have used to describe me. Except, some days I do not know what I’m driving toward. I’m behind a steering wheel and I don’t know where the hell the car is going. I have some vague idea in my head of the destination, but I still feel like I’m on this tree-lined highway, unable to see much of anything else. And, while I trust myself enough to know I’m building something significant, it’s not always easy to recognize exactly what that something is.

Today, I was picking my coworker’s brain about ideas for Twenties Unscripted’s second birthday in July. Yes, July. But, Twenties Unscripted’s birthday is ten times bigger than my own, as it should be. As we started to discuss options, she asked me a lot of business questions about my brand, questions to which I had very few answers. I’ve made serious investments in this brand, the recent showcase being the biggest one so far. But, there are still times when I’m dropped back to the ground of reality and I think about what all of the work is ultimately supposed to become. Is it just a body of work and memories that I’ll have to reflect on? Is it a brand that can translate into cool shit like a book deal one day? All of the above? None of the above? And, then this icy feeling of dread shoots through me and I wonder if one day, the darts will finally stick. I believe, I hope, I pray that they will.

keep goingToday I used the term “treadmilling” to describe your twenties. There are few conversations I have with friends my age, especially when it comes to career, that don’t involve the topic of feeling as though you’re on some sort of non-stop treadmill. You’re running and you’re sweating and your stomach feels like it’s about to come right out of your body and fall on the ground. You’re tired and you’re dizzy and sometimes you can’t see straight. Where is the end and why is it not in sight? When does any of it ever come together and just make sense?

Well, I don’t have those answers. If I did, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post. Hell, if I did, I wouldn’t be writing this blog at all. But, all I can tell myself when my feet feel like jello and I want to jump off the treadmill is keep going. Keep writing. Keep working. Keep juggling. Keep dreaming. Keep producing. Keep creating. Keep driving. Keep wanting. Keep wishing. Keep waiting. Keep fucking going. It means something. It means more than you know, more than you could ever expect, more than you could ever dream in that tiny little head of yours. It means something. It all adds up. The dots connect, the stars align and every other cliche you can think of that means this shit does come together. It does mean something. It is worth your work and worth the wait. But, you have to keep going.

Xoxo,

Tyece

2014: No Resolutions, Few Expectations And A Lot Of Faith

More. A word that plagues my vocabulary. I should make more money. Save more money. Write more. Go to church more. Call my friends more. Date more. Travel more. Read more. More, more, more. The word that zeroes in on life’s voids without actually addressing them.

Less. Another word that infiltrates my vocabulary. Spend less money. Worry less. Care less about what other people think. Spend less time on social media. Less. The word that magnifies your hedonism, your self-indulgence, your insecurities.

April 2013
April 2013

More and less, two words in constant competition when it comes to how we spend our time and carry out our lives. They are probably two words embedded in the New Year’s resolutions of those who are opting to create them. But, I stopped believing in New Year’s resolutions awhile ago, instead converting to the school of thought that any day is a chance to change how you do things. I sometimes think New Year’s resolutions are a quick detour to disappointment as you proudly proclaim “New Year, New Me” on December 31, only to revert to your old ways by January 31. I don’t think there’s anything inherently more transformative about January 1 than say April 30 or June 16 or September 22.They are all days where you can choose to commit, to let go, to change.

Even so, I’m still in reflection mode like most of the world today, looking back on my year, what happened and the people who crossed my path. I could say the year was amazing or I could say it sucked and it’s all relative. I feel more inclined to say it was an amazing year, but the truth is, it was probably both great and not-so-great. There were days so good they deserved more than 24 hours and days so terrible I couldn’t see straight through my tears. Because, that is what a year is. Maybe some years, the good outweighs the bad and other years, the demons overrule the angels. But, no year is really complete without both.

August 2013
August 2013

I’m heading into 2014 without any resolutions and with few expectations for the year. That is how I came into 2013 and this year continued to surprise me in that holy-shit-is-this-really-my-life (good) kind of way. All I really have is a lot of faith because of what I’ve learned, seen and experienced this past year. I have faith in whatever bits of wisdom I’ve gained along the way to help me steer my life’s tiny sailboat without becoming completely shipwrecked.

I’ve learned that if you want much of anything in this life, if you want to interview someone for your blog or you want to get a chance to spotlight at your favorite poetry spot or whatever it is, you have to fight. You have to email people once, twice and maybe even three times. You have to be somewhat of a relentless pain in the ass when it comes to your goals because nothing comes easy and the world owes you nothing. People do not care, emails go to the junk folder and your dreams only possess that antsy level of urgency to you.

I’ve learned that you can find friends in the most unlikely places and under unforeseen circumstances. Every year, I learn more and more who are my life’s allies, associates and assholes. And, every year I weed out the latter two and focus on the first group, the people who have my back in this life 24/7, no questions asked.

I’ve learned how good it feels to stop letting my night-time schedule revolve around

October 2013
October 2013

what’s on TV. It seems absurd that I used to spend Sunday through Thursday basing my evening activities on whatever was coming on Bravo. It doesn’t mean I don’t have my must-watch shows or that I don’t tweet incessantly through some of them. But, I’ve learned the beauty of on-demand and re-runs in exchange for spending more nights with a glass of wine, Lenny Kravitz or Norah Jones or Joss Stone and just my thoughts.

I’ve tasted the sour sweet bite of cutting someone out of your life. I’ve seen unrequited feelings from both ends, earlier this year being the person far more invested and later this year being the person whose feelings did not quite match the other’s. I’ve learned the pang of admitting to yourself when the feelings aren’t congruent and the sting of knowing your only option in those situations is to walk away. Because no one deserves to be another person’s bookmark. No one deserves to be the crease in the page, abandoned there until the other person decides to return and continue the story.

I’ve learned a lot this year and I will pocket those lessons for next year and the many other years when I know I will need them more than ever.

Happy 2014, Twenties Unscripted kinfolk. Thanks for all you have done to support me, this blog and all of my antics.

Xoxo,

Tyece

 

 

 

 

Writing, Goals And General Musings About WTF I’m Doing With My Life

Tonight I’m not inspired. I’m actually quite tired.

Oh, hey. That rhymed.

But, it’s true. People aren’t supposed to know when your writing is inspired and when it is not, at least not if you are a good writer. But, whether or not I’m a good writer is a point of debate. So, for tonight, I will announce that I’m not inspired. I love the days when a blog post strikes me right at the start of the morning and I spend the rest of the day jotting down sentences here and there. Today was not that day. I’m at peace with that as I have not had a day like that in awhile. I’ve still managed to string together coherent sentences.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind year when it comes to my writing. Perhaps I should reserve the grand reflections for the last days of December, but whatever. Last night I told my sister I was reaching out to bloggers to sign on for panels I’m pitching for 2014 blogging conferences. I rattled off the lofty credentials of the bloggers I wanted as fellow panelists and she replied with, “No offense, but who are you relative to them?”

I love you, Alexis.

tightropeBut, her point was not completely invalid. There are certainly days where I wonder WTF I’m doing, especially when it comes to this online space that I created and nurture night after night. I’ve wondered if I’m living in a petri dish of self-obsession or if I’m actually saying shit that matters and sticks to people. I’ve obviously hoped for the latter. But, if there is anything I have learned since launching a sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up, it is to follow Dory’s words and just keep swimming.

When I started the blog in 2012, I spent a year having just my family and friends read it. This year, when people whom I had never met started reading, it tripped me out at first. It was a bit surreal that anyone outside of my immediate circle really gave a hoot about what I had to say. Over the year, I’m sure I’ve pissed people off. I’ve gained followers and certainly lost a few. But, I’ve just kept swimming. And my literary laps have led me to people and opportunities I never anticipated, but have been so blessed to come across.

Before I dive into a writer’s lovefest, I should say that I get tired. I sometimes doubt myself and my work. Not too long ago, I changed the title of a post about ten times before I clicked publish. I worry about teetering the fine line between using my life as my material and keeping enough of myself private. I try not to drop a plethora of f-bombs per my parents’ suggestion. (Hey, Mom and Dad.) I work hard not to exploit my friendships or relationships. But, I also try to give enough of myself so that people, especially women, connect and see themselves. Because I know that no matter how tired I get, every day I work at this, I am doing something I adore. Few things in life can replace a feeling like that.

I’m no expert at what it takes to create a successful blog as this blog is still blooming. But, if you want to write and truly rally people around your words, you have to do it when you’re tired. On the days you feel like it and the days you don’t. You have to do it because it ignites something inside of you that nothing else does. You have to write the posts that people love and the ones no one cares about. You have to know that every comment, favorable or scathing, means only one thing: at least they read it. You have to keep yourself open and observant, imprinted by every experience in this life. You have to let your mind run on a hamster wheel. You have to believe in your product and always work to refine it. You have to respond to the people who reach out, and not just by “liking” or “favoriting” a comment. But, you have to really hear them. Consider them. Think about them and thank them. Because, no one owes you a damn thing.

I both know and don’t know what’s ahead for the blog. There’s a pretty confidential list I have with my writing goals for next year because I don’t believe in announcing goals; I believe in accomplishing them. Suffice it to say it’s an aggressive and ambitious list and I hope we all see the results of it unfold. I am excited for whatever is ahead. And, I plan to continue to bust my ass in the beautiful and bizarre world of writing.

Xoxo,

Tyece