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Sis, Who's Defining Your Happiness?

Updated: Feb 8, 2019

Art by Vitelo

Oprah recently wrote an article entitled “What Oprah Knows For Sure About Happiness.” Halfway through the article it got me thinking, about my definition of happiness. Oprah answered it by saying, she knows she made it, because when she looks at her life (her house, her dogs, her job), it reflects her version of happiness. I write a lot about “What is your goals?” and “Are you living your best life?” But, I don’t want this to be confused with being ambitious. I’m only asking, are you living your version of your best life? Or are you just letting life happen to you? 

When I first launched Honestly Sis, I didn’t have a vision. I didn’t have a plan. I just had these opinions, that were too much to put in a Facebook status. So, when people took to it quicker than I could imagine, it was jarring. I had people giving me feedback, some giving me praise, others telling me what they loved and didn’t like. With all this noise, I found myself no longer writing from this pure state. I was writing with the opinions of others in the back of my mind. I brought into the hype and allowed that to influence my work. 

However, being in the hospital for three weeks, walking away from an organization (that I’ve been tied to since high school), trying to really become the woman I envisioned for myself; put things into perspective. The purpose of this space is not being everything to everyone. It's also not to tell my "business" for entertainment purposes. If you can't tell, I want to make a difference in the world( especially in the world of "black" woman).  This space is to help someone like me, who woke up and felt trapped. And of course, it’s for my nasty hoes! Because I can be that sometimes! 

No, seriously, this space to embrace the complexities, of being a young black woman in 2018. The word “woke” has become synopsis, with being well versus in all the issues going on in the Black community. But to be honest, I’m not interested in that. (Don't side eye me!)  If I spent my time thinking about all the injustices going on in the world, I would never get out of bed. My version of being “woke”, is more along the lines of: Are you aware that have the power to create your own reality?Like seriously, have you ever thought about it: Why are you in this world? At this current time? In your current body? 

I am convinced, society has us use to having these set metrics( college, job, married, kid etc.) that we must achieve, to meet society standards.  Just so we can go into auto-pilot and forget our true power. Speaking from first-hand experience, I was in auto-pilot until my first year in Public Accounting. I was so focused on getting this great job. That I never asked myself “Is this what I really wanted for my life? Or is this what my Mom wanted?” I lost all my interest and passions. Until, I was just living for my job. It came to the point, that I had to realize, there had to be a bigger purpose for me,than sitting in a damn audit room. 

Oprah answer was on to something. I believe the key to life, is finding your definition of happiness. Then to base your life, off those things. What are the things that makes you feel good? What makes you lose track of time? What is something you would do without being paid for it? Sis, how you can start doing more of the things you love and less of the things you tolerate?

It may be uncomfortable at first, but trust me, happiness is on the other side of the valley. Often, I talk to my peers and hear things like, “I’m too old for that,” or “too bad I missed my window.” But who defines what’s “too old”? If your only responsibility is you and perhaps a pet: Sis, stop making excuses! The Real Housewives franchise, have taught us that you can literally do anything, if you still have the body for it! 

So, who’s really setting your timeline for you? Society?  Your parents? How are theyliving? Are they living a life you would envision for yourself? If the answer is no, then what would they know, about the life your trying to live? I’m not saying fuck your parents. I’m just saying, they are viewing life, from a very worn lens.  Most parents don’t have a clue, about what’s it’s like to live in 2018. Careers that are hot now, didn’t even exist then! They simply don’t understand, that the internet really fucked up the game. I hate to sound like a broke record but: Anything is truly possible.

This may make you uncomfortable, but I’m going to say it anyway:  The time limitations you place on yourself are self-imposed. And if we are being honest, it’s just another excuse, to not live your life for yourself. Think about it: What would your life look if you were 100% confident in who you were? When I say “Live Your Best Life”, I’m challenging you to define happiness for yourself. No matter how strange, crazy or outlandish it may seems at the time.

This newsletter started as a thought, a Facebook post and now we're here. Since then I've been published on the web multiple times and my writing is only getting better. I had a goal of a hundred people and now I'm well over that! Allow this to be a testament, that you can do anything that you set your mind too! So go for it Sis! Give yourself permission, to dream bigger than your circumstances. Identify what you want, figure out what gifts you have to get it, and don’t stop until you get there. Because honestly, if you’re not bettering yourself or world, what are you really doing? Killing time? 

There’s an old proverb about a man who reached the age 30 and he was struck dead by God. When he got to the gates, he asked God, “Why didn’t you give me a warning? Couldn’t I have had just one more day? I died so young.” God look at him and said I gave you thirty years. No one knows the day, time or place when life as you know it will end. So use your time wisely. In the end, all you have is yourself. So why not, define happiness for yourself


Until next time: "Hardship and suffering are things that people tend to try to avoid, especially since we all experience them. But God uses any hardship or suffering for our benefit,even when the human mind can't fathom it. Instead of avoiding hardship and suffering, I find myself embracing {it}, knowing God will restore me and provide strength I didn't have prior to my hardship and suffering."- Carvell Goodlow

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