Why I Am Here: My Third Blog Anniversary Post

 

The past year has been one hell of a ride for Twenties Unscripted.
The past year has been one hell of a ride for Twenties Unscripted.

I would leave at lunchtime to go to therapy. The therapist they recommended to me didn’t have evening hours, so every other week I would sneak out under the guise of going to a “doctor’s appointment.”

That was November 2011.

You remember some years because of how lucky you were, and you remember other years because you are just grateful you survived. I’m grateful I survived 2011.

Without 2011, there wouldn’t have been 2012. There would not have been me sitting in an apartment in Texas after attending Blogging While Brown. Shit, there would not have been the courage to even attend Blogging While Brown. There would not have been me deciding to stop blogging on Tumblr and electing to get a real dot com. There would not have been me being so happy that I survived 2011 and finally being ready to bear the untold stories inside of me.

It wasn’t serious back then.

I called my sister on a Sunday afternoon and we kicked around ideas for a tagline. “Sincere” was a no-brainer. “Sassy” came soon after. She conjured up “smart-assy.”  And it was a sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up that underscored the things I would write, the words I would choose and the path I would take.

But, never ever did I think that path would bring me here.

Here. To a place where I have been called to be a voice and vessel for truth, honesty and courage. Here. To the space of reconciling so many of my past demons and feeling prepared to slay all of the future ones. Here. From blogging on the couch to asking for a desk as a Christmas present to finally getting a home office come September. Here. To a point where I have been blessed to connect with hundreds of women who see their own reflection in my work. Here. To a juncture where I have amassed nearly 600 posts, and plucked the leading ones to curate a book. Here. To a place I did not set out to be, but one that I am so grateful is now my residence.

That path brought me here. And that path brought out the best, bravest and boldest parts of myself.

I used to think revealing a mission statement was corny and short-sighted. But, it is important to verbalize exactly what you have set out to do. Today is the third anniversary of Twenties Unscripted, and I want you to know exactly what I set out to do.

mission statement

Cultivate.

Nurture. Take care of. See something through to its full potential. Leave it better than it was before you came. Not here today, gone tomorrow. Not “let me see what’s trending and write about it.” Not just when I feel inspired or energized. But, take care of it even when I don’t feel like it. Even when it’s past my bedtime. Even when what’s on my mind is not the same as what’s trending. Take care of it, and see it through.

Personal blog.

I’m a personal blogger through and through. I’m not a DIY expert. I don’t have recipies. I can’t tell you the best lipstick or where to shop. I can’t offer you pretty pictures. But, I can offer you myself. My stories. My truth. My battle wounds. My mended heart. My courage. My fallouts. My fuckups. I can offer you words that rise from the pit of my belly.

Community.

Reach up. Reach out. Reach back. Reach to your left, and reach to your right. See, somewhere along the line it got so much bigger than me. It got bigger than my sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up. It got bigger than venting and whining and screaming. It got bigger than just me. It is bigger than just me. It will now always be bigger than just me.

Spark.

Reading Twenties Unscripted shouldn’t be a passive experience. Twenties Unscripted ain’t for everybody. If you can’t read without accompanying pictures, then you shouldn’t read this blog. You should come here so that something inside of you gets and remains ignited.

Women.

Oh, women. Fragile, complex, beautiful, smart, observant, cerebral, introspective, opinionated and inspired women. I love you. I thank you. I honor you.

The best parts of yourself.

The parts that make you feel good and make you want to dance. The parts that you whip out on first dates and job interviews when you are trying to impress someone. The parts that you know are beyond amazing. Feel those parts of yourself.

The bravest parts of yourself.

Tap into the vulnerability. Pull up the roots of your sordid past. Make your way to center stage to tell the story. Face the fear. Stand close to the edge. Throw your hands up on the roller coaster. Seize the courage that’s been buried underneath what you handcraft for social media. Expose those parts of yourself.

The boldest parts of yourself.

The badass in the leather jacket. The girl who wears the red lipstick. The one who takes no prisoners. The woman who laughs loudly in public. Listen to those parts of yourself.

This year’s post isn’t about collecting quotes or reminiscing on past events. The quotes are all in the book. Just go buy the book. This year’s post isn’t about confetti or balloons. This year is about honoring my call to cultivate a personal blog and online community that spark women to connect with the best, bravest and boldest parts of themselves. This year is about owning that it is bigger than me. This year is about stepping into my purpose. This year is about acknowledging the gravity of what I have been put here to do. This year is about celebrating how good it feels to be here. This year is about understanding that Diane Sawyer quote: “The moment that carries you forward can also mean no turning back.”

Here’s to being carried forward. Here’s to not turning back.

So, thank you. Thank you for being a part of this journey by reading. By reaching out. By emailing. By tweeting. By liking. By sharing. By showing up. By texting. By direct messaging. Thank you for bringing me to a place and moment such as this. Your prayers, support, connection, confidence and understanding have been the bridges that carried me over and carried me forward.

Happy 3rd birthday, Twenties Unscripted.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Do Not Surrender Your Twenties Pt. 3

This post is an excerpt from Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. The full essay is available in the book, which is currently available for pre-sale here.

Do Not Surrender Your Twenties

Do Not Surrender Your Twenties Pt. 2

 

Do not surrender your twenties to sitting on your dreams. Do the real work. Do it while everyone else is at happy hour. Do it when you’d rather sleep in on the weekends. Do it at 6 a.m. and do it during prime time television. Make the connections and do the work. Dreams do not materialize from fairy dust.

Do not surrender your twenties to a relentless grip on your past. Let it go. Let them go. Reconcile. See a therapist. Kneel at an altar. Heal. Forgive. Stop tallying the wrongs against you. Move on. Your scars are gorgeous and you would be nothing without them.

Do not surrender your twenties to running away from yourself. Quiet your mind. Clear the clutter. Let it be OK because you said so.

 

Library Cards and Lost Love Letters: Traces of Life As I Pack My Apartment

Two things in life force you to unnecessarily reflect: moving and birthdays. I have both of those occurring within the next month. Suffice it to say I am already worn out by my own unnecessary reflection.

This past weekend, I could no longer avoid the inevitable so I figured I should begin cramming all of my world possessions into boxes. I started with my books, a decision I soon regretted as I later worked on research for an upcoming series I’m writing. I thought of at least three or four books that would come in handy. I jumped up to grab them until I realized they were buried deep in some box labeled, “Books (heavy).” I then moved on to my kitchen–a room whose contents are scarce and inconsequential. No loss there.

My worldly possessions
My worldly possessions

But, in between packing my treasures and a few pots and pans, I came across traces of my life that had fallen into corners and been tossed inside my ottoman. (It also sounds way too fancy to call the piece of furniture I’m referencing an ottoman because it’s hot pink and was found in the college section of Target). Next to one of my bookshelves, I found an old wallet–I’m talking high-school, maybe-early-college wallet. I wondered how the hell this thing had survived all of my college moves plus three post-grad moves (four if you count that time I lived in a roach-infested apartment for 48 hours before leaving). I opened it up and found my old library card.

Nostalgia took over and I spent part of the afternoon looking up the requirements for getting a card at the local library in my neighborhood. I then quit and took a nap. After all, Amazon and I have a beautiful marriage; I can’t really cheat on him. But, for that quick moment, I missed going to the library. I remembered how significant trips to the library were when my sister and I were little. We stood in the children’s section enthralled by all of the colorful covers and the ounce of responsibility we received to check out our books. I remembered not-so-innocent trips to the library in high school to make out with my then-boyfriend in the non-fiction section and pretty much every setting imaginable. I remembered falling in love with Curtis Sittenfeld’s “Prep” after stumbling upon it unintentionally in the fiction section. I remembered this long history of always being surrounded by books, a history evidenced by the five boxes I packed housing my current collection.

Later during my personal packing party, I started trashing a bunch of papers stashed inside my “ottoman” when I found a few typed pages. I first thought they were a post or poem I found reason to print out until I read a line that said, “I know you deserve more.” I realized the sheets were an email I received from a former love interest. I skimmed through the pages and noticed my own handwriting on them, annotations of what I wanted to say in response during the phone conversation to address the lengthy email. I laugh, chucked up a peace sign to my pathetic 2013 self and threw the pages away.

I thought packing would be a royal pain in the ass. And, well, it is. But, it’s also a sort of catharsis to see all of these little bits of your life and deliberate which ones you want to keep. While my hoarding tendencies don’t rival those of the people who make it on TV with cats living under stacks of newspapers, I do hold on to more than I toss. I always think that maybe something will have meaning months or years down the road. And, those things usually do. But, now I’m seeing they can still host meaning without having to be physically present in your life. Maybe it’s the same for people. Or, maybe I’m just unnecessarily reflecting.

Xoxo,
Tyece