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

How We Treat Single Men Vs. How We Treat Single Women

I read somewhere recently that we assume men are single by choice and women are single by force. The entire quote was really dope, but I’ve been digging through the thorns of Tumblr for ten minutes trying to find it to avail, so suffice it to say that was the main point.

The title of this post sounds like I’m about to get really angry and condemn the modern rules of dating. So let me dilute it a bit with the disclaimer that I have made a lot of the assumptions about single men vs. single women that I think too many people are guilty of. There is a lot that I could write in this post. I could talk about how single men having lots of random sex are labeled players and single women who do it are labeled whores. I could talk about how men staying single until age 50 are lifelong bachelors, but women who do it are lonely cat ladies. But, there are a host of dissertations you could probably read on either of those topics, so I won’t belabor those points.

Instead, something I’ve considered a lot recently is how men who hate being single are perceived up against their female counterparts.

I know a lot of men who are serial daters–some of whom I’ve dated and others who I just know. They jump from one relationship to the next. If they find themselves inhabiting single status, they can’t seem to survive without at least one potential interest to text at any given moment. They require a consistent source of attention (in addition to other activities) from the opposite sex.

What’s strange is that I never really considered men who serially date as being insecure, desperate or clingy. But, those are the same words we would probably sling at women who possessed those same serial dating tendencies. When men say how much they love relationships and being in love, it’s very easy to go, “Aw, he’s so sweet!” But, when a woman says that, the natural reaction is to raise our brow and feel compelled to hand her a self-esteem pamphlet. Women get out of relationships and we encourage them to take some time for themselves. Men get out of them and we don’t think twice if they are in another one six months later.

I haven’t called someone my boyfriend in four years, so for all intents and purposes, I’ve been single for that amount of time. Do not ask me about one-sided infatuations, “talking to someone” or other forms of millennial romantic connection because those don’t count. What I’ve learned during these four years is that there is an enormous difference between not liking to be single and not being able to be single. It’s one thing not to enjoy being single; I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with that. Despite the “Being single is the best thing since sliced bread” rhetoric that runs rampant, some people are just relationship people–they function better as part of a unit. (I am not one of those people, but I get it.) But, it’s another thing to not be able to gather the patience and independence required to be single.

Because, that’s pretty much what being single is about at its core–patience and independence. Most of us are made to love (cue John Legend), so I assume we believe that there is someone out there for designed for us. That’s the patience. And, the independence is obvious. You have to carry those groceries up the stairs by yourself a hell of a lot. Beyond that, you have to collect and maintain your self-esteem, your interests and your entire life independent of another important person cheering you on, challenging you or validating your choices.

Whether you are a man or a woman, I take issue with someone who requires attention from the opposite sex constantly. Attention is nice and cute and all of that other cupcake-y stuff, but it’s also sickeningly ephemeral. Usually. The same people who we have marathon text sessions with become irrelevant specks in our history. First we’re driving into them in a head-on collision and a few months later, they are mirages in the rearview mirror. That is why when I get worked up about men, I remind myself that this, too, shall pass. It always does. It always has. And, until I settle down and hyphenate my last name, it probably always will.

So, I see it as a problem if you can’t make it through a week without someone jumping into your DMs or blowing up your phone. Begging for attention invites a lot of shallow characters into your life, people who will capitalize on every insecurity you have. They’ll eat away at your self-doubt and try to disguise it as love. Building your core based on the shiny object of other people’s attention ensures it will never be able to stand on its own. It will always be rotten. And, that’s a promise, no matter what shape your genitals are.

Xoxo,

Tyece

 

The Poison Of Low-Hanging Fruit

“I hope you have the courage to pursue someone who is worth pursuing, and not someone who is convenient. Convenience is impatience disguised as your desires, you are worth more than what time has told you, you are worthy of finding someone who will wait for you; don’t settle for what is easy, settle for what is good.” T.B. LaBerge

Really, I could just drop that quote and we could all go home.

This year is the year of many of my friends’ 25th birthdays as well as my own. With that has come the request to shell out a shit ton of money for each individual’s celebration. But, we can save that blog post for another day.

Instead, as I begin to inch toward my 25th, I’ve started to think about the first half of my twenties and the mistakes I would prefer not to repeat. One of those mistakes is my propensity to grab life’s low-hanging fruit. It makes me wince when I consider the many instances where I let a situation’s convenience outweigh my resolve or desires. There have been times where I’ve fooled myself into believing the things I wanted just happened to be the things that were also convenient. There have been times when I’ve known so precisely what I wanted from a person and once I realized that person could or would not provide that, I instead settled for the lowest common denominator of the relationship. I let the interaction transpire on their terms. And, I always left those situations feeling even less satisfied than I was before.

That’s the thing about low-hanging fruit–it’s accessible and that accessibility entices us. It’s easy to get caught up and start to believe low-hanging fruit is more satiating than nothing at all. Except, it isn’t. Half the time, it’s the kind of diet that will poison your insides and rot your confidence if you consume it long enough.

Perhaps the most piercing sentence in the LaBerge quote is “You are worth more than what time has taught you.” There are certainly moments when I’ve gotten locked in my own head, tallying up the years that I’ve been single up and wondering if my capacity to mutually connect with another person has expired. But, life has taught me that good things take time. I’ve learned that from my blog. I’ve learned that from the friendships I’ve had for years. I’ve learned that from the tiny fraction of a career I’ve had. The things we truly want are more often than not very high on the tree. So, it’s up to us to either climb or patiently wait for that fruit to fall.

To echo the sentiment of LaBerge’s quote, there are people who are brave enough to pursue the things and people in this life that are truly worthwhile. Because it does require a certain level of courage to trust the cosmos and believe that good things will come. There are also people who are content with the low-hanging fruit; they are OK when life serves them a half-filled plate. In my head and my heart, I have always been the person who only wants the things and people that are worthwhile. Now, almost halfway through my twenties, I know it’s not enough to think it in my head or believe it in my heart. Instead, I know I have to embody it. I have to live it. I have to act it. And, I have to embody it even on the days when I’m starving and the low-hanging fruit looks delicious as hell. Perhaps those are the days when I have to embody it the most.

Xoxo,

Tyece

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

I Want It All And I Want It Now.

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 25: My Vices

So I realize I have done an abysmal job of keeping up with the very writing challenge to which my blog’s name is attached. I suspected that would happen. But, I didn’t want the month to end without me at least trying one more time. Plus today’s topic fits pretty perfectly with where my mind is. So, there’s that.

“I love how you’re already planning another event before the first one is even done. Lmao.”

That’s what my best friend said today on Gchat when I explained that I had secured a venue for an upcoming DC Bloggers Brunch. (Get excited, DC people.) I’m three days away from what is the largest event I’ve done on behalf of Twenties Unscripted. And, what do I decide to do? Start planning another event.

In my mind, Saturday is done. At least all of the important details. Now we just have to get there and not royally screw up the entire thing. In my mind, I have done everything I had to do and now I just have to get there and see it come together. So, naturally, it’s time to start thinking about what is next.

Or is it?

My number one vice is that I am one very impatient being. It is that very vice that has me itching to get to the next event before I have even seen the fruits of my labor for this one pay off. In theory, I should be focused on what I’m performing on Saturday night and how much Chardonnay I’m going to consume after the night is over. In actuality, I’m now preoccupied with the next event.

My impatience has stung my relationships, punched my self-esteem and forced me to abandon shopping carts in stores where lines are too long. My impatience has caused me to snap at people and doubt myself when I don’t see something immediately pay off.

I want it all and I want it right now. I have always been that way. I want the world and everything that comes with it in sixty seconds or less. But, let me explain. Because, I think there are a lot of people who want the world and don’t want to work for it. You’ve read my stuff. You know I have less than an iota of respect for people who don’t work hard. So, I want to do the work. But, I’m still a product of the microwave generation where I think the ROI is supposed to be this immediate present that falls into my lap after I’ve done the work. And, life has this way of reminding me often that it does not just happen like that.

More often than I let on to others, I have giant and bone-crushing doubts about what I’m doing with this blog. Am I doing the right thing and why am I even doing any of it? What is the ultimate payoff? Those are the questions that tango around my brain and those are the questions I poured out to my best friend earlier today.

“If you enjoy what you’re doing right now, then it’s for the right reason,” she said as I spilled out my writer woes.

She’s right. Sometimes I forget that the reward of things isn’t always in the form of accolades or money or bylines. Sometimes, the reward of things is the very comfortable and content feeling I get from coming home every night and spilling out my thoughts. Sometimes the reward is knowing I have a space to always fall back on, whether my day is amazing or horrendous. Sometimes the reward is the very thing you have, not what you ever expect to yield from it.

I still want the world. I want the stars and the moon and the sky. There is a lot I want to do in this life. Maybe that’s why I’m impatient because I always know there is more I could accomplish, more I could see, more I could conquer. But, there isn’t a point in having the world if you can’t quiet your mind long enough to enjoy it.

Xoxo,

Tyece