In honor of wisdom Wednesday I decided to enlighten you all with an excerpt from my book, 26 & Selfish.
Dreams Versus Reality:
“I realized my life had gone in no way, shape, or form according to that plan.”
When I was a little girl, I grew up watching every possible Disney movie: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella…the list goes on and on. In those movies, some problem or tragedy always occurred, but in the end, the girl always got her Prince Charming, and they lived happily ever after. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a two-parent household, where I witnessed powerful black love between my mother and father. They did literally everything together—anything you can think of, from finishing each other’s sentences to stealing kisses, going on dates, and taking trips. They even double-teamed me when it came to consequences.
From a very young age, I had an idea of what I wanted to happen in my life. I had it all planned out. I had a list of things I would accomplish by age twenty-five. By the time I was fifteen, I’d created this ten-year plan. I would become a business owner, attend a historically black college or university (HBCU), and meet the man of my dreams (Of course, he was going to be a Morehouse man.) After we obtained our degrees, we would get married in a huge wedding at a church. We would move into a ridiculously oversized home with a three-car garage, a huge backyard, a white picket fence, and a family dog. I would have four children, and the initial of each of their first names would be the same letter. We would grow old together and take family vacations.
Fast-forward to January 2015. Now, for a dose of reality. Four months away from twenty-five, I realized my life had gone in no way, shape, or form according to that plan. I did not become a physical therapist, I did not attend an HBCU, I still lived at home with the two lovebirds, I was in and out of a relationship, and I had no children. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”? Well, I’m quite sure that when God heard the plans I had in store for myself, he laughed hard enough that it caused an earthquake, or moved a mountain.
Some may say that some of my plans seemed very reasonable and definitely could’ve been accomplished. The real problem with those plans was that, as I grew, the goals I created stayed the same. Another key point that caused me to fail was I wasn’t basing my plans off what I wanted, they were based off what I’d thought I wanted at the age of fifteen! Think about it. Who’s still the same person they were at fifteen? Maybe some of my character traits are the same. The values and morals that have been instilled in me are still there. Throughout the years, those values and morals have gone from being force-fed to me to being a foundation that I can build on through new experiences. My point is you can plan, prepare, and pray, but you have to be willing to accept yourself first.
A person doesn’t only grow in age or physical stature. The mind grows, and spiritual growth also occurs. In order to grow as a whole, you must be willing to accept who you are; change your goals, routines, and habits; and progress. You have to be willing to follow your heart, not the “in” crowd. At the age of twenty-six, with all the Disney moments, my own parents’ model of love, and my precious plan behind me, my life is nowhere near what I thought it would be now. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Here’s how I went from a fifteen-year-old Disney princess with a plan to twenty-six and selfish.
Thanks for reading. Stay Selfish.