Updated: Feb 9, 2019
" And there's love of humanity. That's the love that is right now needed most. "
- Lenora Antoinette Stines
We’re officially in the New Year! Staying true to the name - I must be honest and admit, that the last few weeks of December- did not go as planned. I had an idea, of how I wanted to end the year-but as you know- life happens. I don’t know if it was all the energy work, the holidays or reaching the end of my book- but I’ve been in an emotional tailspin.
I didn’t expect the emotions that came over me, when I was nearing the end of my book. I imagine it’s the equivalent of being stranded in a desert for months. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things that could go wrong. At one point- I may or may have not- had a full breakdown in my truck because I didn’t know how to end it. Nonetheless, somehow, I got over myself and finished the damn thing.
On the other hand, my energy work was bringing up stuff from my past. Things I thought I forgot. Things that were keeping me in an emotional loop. What I realized, is avoiding a situation, is not the same as getting over it. To truly get over something- you have to face it head on. So, I wrote a few letters. When I admitted the truths, I was too afraid to say out loud- there was this weight that seem to lifted off me. I felt free from the baggage of my past.
Thinking back on it, it feels like those last few weeks of the year was an emotional purge. To bring me to this place of contentment. Looking back over my life, made me realize just how far I’ve come and just how different my past is from my present. I have this quote from Rob Hill Sr on my phone that says, “Whatever you lost wasn’t yours.”
I planned on spending New Year’s cleaning, mood-boarding and preparing this great meal. Instead, I spent it around friends - laughing until my stomach hurt. As my best friend husband set off fireworks in their backyard, I cheered and screamed at the top of my lungs like a child. I ate crab legs, steak, ribs and mac and cheese, until I couldn’t eat anymore. It felt like a celebration, but a normal day at the same time. It wasn’t my plan, but by the end of the night, I knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be.
What 2018 has taught me, is that despite me plotting, planning and having these made-up deadlines; the best moments in life happen when you least expect it. The moments that leave your cheeks hurting from smiling so much-are moments that you couldn’t have planned in a million years. What I realized is, I may have plans but the universal plans, are far greater than I could even imagine. I noticed these magical moments happen when I just say fuck it and show up. So, my mission this year is to do just that! In the exact words to my therapist, “I’m going to free fall and go with the flow.”
If you follow me on social media, you know that I have been putting out a call for more stories. The first person who reached out to me, was this poet from Africa. I immediately went into “overthinking Amber” mode. I was thinking that I had to turn this into “something”. The good thing is, now I’m able to see when I’m overreacting. I am now able to talk myself off the ledge. These women came to me, for what I had to offer. This is something I must remind myself often- because the women just keep coming in. And it’s exciting. I have so many ideas for this newsletter, but for the first time in my life, I’m not going to force them to happen. I’m going to allow this space to grow organically and from the heart. For the first time in my life-me- Amber C. Sillmon- is vowing to go with the flow.
The other day, I was watching Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade baby interview with Oprah. When Mama O asked “Why are you sharing your story?”. Gabby said it’s because so many women- black women- suffer in silence. And it’s true! It’s not just with something as serious as infertility or sexual assault. But something as simple as knowing soap doesn’t go in your vagina or how to be a responsible adult. It seems somewhere along the line- us black women- stop talking to each other. We stop sharing our wisdom and traditions. This in turn build up shame, guilt, depression and isolation. But Sis- we are so much stronger together. There is hidden wisdom locked in the stories that we feel ashamed to share. My hope is that Honestly Sis, will become one of those scared spaces. My hope is that we can continue to grow and shred old versions of ourselves together.
Because whether you’ve grown up in the United States or in Africa- one thing we have in common, is this thing called woman. I realized this reading the first article from my Sis Linda. Even though our upbringing was different. We both experienced the pain of not being protected. “Different” is just an illusion, we are truly more alike than you know.
I don’t know the future of this newsletter. I do know my ideas- dreams- and hopes- but this time around, I’m curious to see what the universe has in-store. I hope that you will continue to embark on this journey with me and maybe even send in a story. (There is always the option to submit anonymously.) My sole mission for Honestly Sis is to share as many stories as possible. So, if you know a girl that would be great for it, let me know. I’ll track her down. I’m not too proud to beg. As for my personal goals- the only two things that I will be focusing on: is securing an agent and Jack Jones writing retreat. Anything outside of that would be a pleasant surprise.
I’m driving my dream car, living in an amazing building with the cutest dog and the most patience boyfriend ever. And my relationship with both parents are moving in the right direction. Sis, there have been times when I’m walking Cudi and I’m just overcome with this surge of happiness. In the words of Nas - Life is good. Really good. And I am not ashamed to admit that, because as you read last year- things have not always been this way.
This summer my brother and I, cleaned out a storage unit with my Mom. And I found one of my High Schools scrapbooks. I was looking at a senior picture I received and on the back, the girl wrote “I didn’t like you at first because you let people walk over you.” When I read that I was embarrassed then sad; because the truth is I have allowed so many people to walk over me. But, I’m learning that if you don’t like how someone treats you- you can always say something. That person can either change or they can move out of your life. And if they leave- it’s ok. When God takes things away, he’s normally making room for something far greater. Life is so short and honestly it could be over at any moment. So why are you spending your time trying to “play it safe?”
The worst thing that can happen is that you fail or it doesn’t work out. But the bestthing that can happen, is all your dreams come true. With those odds- it doesn’t hurt to try. Either way, despite what you think- there won’t be a group of people running out to boo you (or cheer you on). Let me be the first to tell you- no one cares. Everyone is too busy trying to figure out their own shit. And for the ones that are busy watching- they are doing just that in life- watching. And who gives a fuckabout what they think? The thing is, you have to get in the game to play or lose by default sitting on the sidelines. The choice is yours. I hope this year is one of your best ones yet. And if it isn’t- then I hope it at least provide you with lessons to led you to your best year yet. Thank you so much for reading these emails, forwarding them to your friends, sending me words of encouragement, or simply liking an Instagram post. Your support truly means the world to me- thank you for being a part of one of my dreams come true.
Until next time:
“Dream them dreams. Then man-up and live them dreams, because a life without dreams is black and white. And the universe flows in technicolor and surround-sound.”- The Late Great Combat Jack!