Thursday, January 9, 2014

7 lessons in 7 months

7 months ago, I heard the words, "Djuan, we're gonna have to let you go." It was a hard pill to swallow, but it was a pill I had been staring at for a long time. I wasn't proactive about it, so I was fired. But...I believe that may have been the best thing that happened to me last year. I've had a lot of time to think and explore and learn, and I'm still thinking and exploring and learning...but for now, here are 7 simple lessons I've learned.

1. Fear not.
What does fear do??? It stops us. And that's about it. NEXT.

2. Be happy.
If you're not happy with where you are or what you're doing, I have just two words to share with you: FIX IT. Whatever it is that you need to do, do it. Does Drake have young people all over the world making seemingly poor decisions as a result of the "YOLO" epidemic, prompted by his song? Yes. But you know what? It's the truth. You only live once (that's what "YOLO" stands for, in case you were unaware). And when you're're dead. "Oh, I'll just do everything I always wanted to do when I'm dead", said no one ever.  Being unhappy??? AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FA' THAT!

3. Be okay.
Have you ever looked back on your life and laughed about the situation, person, or thing that you were so stressed about at one point, but you realize now that you made it? Look back and learn. You're okay now, and you were okay just didn't know it.

4. Sit still.
You'd be surprised how much movement actually happens when you sit still. Sometimes we're so busy trying to move or make moves, that we miss the move we're actually supposed to be making. It's okay to be still sometimes. It will come to you. Life will come to you.

5. Listen: trust your gut.
Within a month of being fired, I had been offered two jobs that I really wanted. I turned them both down. I initially told everyone that it was because it wasn't the salary that I wanted, but that was just an excuse. I had this deep gut feeling telling me not to accept either job...and it was hard to trust that feeling because I really wanted those jobs, and quite frankly, unemployment just wasn't cutting it. But I listened...I trusted my gut, and I am okay. I am great, actually. Intuition, the spirit, the universe, the gut...whatever you want to call it... it is a strong thing and it is very real. Listen to it. Trust it. It won't lead you wrong.

6. Accept yourself.
Many of us have yet to learn to accept ourselves. We focus so much on the acceptance of others, that we forget the most important acceptance of all- self acceptance. Getting to a place where you truly accept yourself, can be a very slow and sometimes painful process...but it's totally worth it. And it can be made easier when you surround yourself with those who truly love and support and accept you and your journey. I am still on my own personal journey, and I know that my journey is not the same as everyone elses, but for anyone who can relate, I am glad to say that I have finally made it out of the closet, and I must say, it feels good.

7. Be unashamed.
The other day, in the beauty shop, we were all sharing uplifting stories of what we had learned over the course of the past year. We all had very different stories, but we shared the same sense of enlightenment from our experiences. And at one point, one of the women kind of wrapped it up with this, " To live a life with no shame, that's freedom." And that just stuck with me. Think about it...why do we ever have to feel ashamed of anything?Where does shame come from? Our fear of what others will think or how we will be perceived??? Who cares. Be free. Be unashamed. Just live, man.

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