I wrote the following over two years ago and I have only shared it with my mom and sister. But as I sit here in my Miami hotel room, I decided to share it with you.
~ October 15, 2015 ~
My trance abruptly ended as the aircraft’s obnoxious seatbelt signal dinged and its captain notified the flight crew and passengers to prepare for landing. One could have easily attributed the decrease in pressure I felt to the flight descent into my hometown’s airport. But, I knew better.
Less than three hours earlier, I felt as if I was suffocating under the weight of my proverbial baggage prior to boarding. I mindlessly stared at the one-way boarding pass my fingers loosely gripped wondering if I’d ever purchase a returning ticket. Only a handful of loved ones knew the truth behind my hasty return home. To everyone else, my social media beautifully masked the pretense that I was extremely happy and living ‘the’ dream in the big city. It never once revealed what I was struggling with while pursuing my dreams.
Whether it was because of pride or the fear of being vulnerable and judged, I chose to hide the depths of my struggle. Yes, I was proud that I had won a national contest, met a celebrity fashion stylist, attended wonderful events, and worked during the coveted fashion week. But, truth be told, I felt lost in the Bermuda Triangle of trying to find myself in a city of millions and making a name for myself within the fashion industry. I felt alone. I felt unsure of myself and I began to question my decisions, my identity, and my self-worth, which isn’t normal for me. And not to mention that I felt drained mentally, financially, physically, and emotionally.
I yearn for the moment life’s pressures and turbulence would cease and my ride would be nothing but smooth and clear skies. But, deep down I knew it was not meant to be so. Moments of turbulence will occur and moments of intense pressure may cause you to feel as if you’re in desperate need of an oxygen mask. Don’t lose hope or become discouraged! You’ll survive the bumps and will regain your ability to breathe. In these moments you learn more about yourself: your needs, your wants, your truths, and most importantly your strength. Persevere and focus on your final destination! You can do it!
It’s been two weeks since I left the city. I spent my time home being surrounded by the people, places, and things I love. Through being vulnerable with my communications and my interactions I continue to learn more about myself. I was inspired by many. I learned things I didn’t know and related to their journey pursuing their dreams and some of their personal struggles, which made me realize I wasn’t alone.
As I stare out of my aircraft’s window, I can’t help but replay all the moments that have lead to this moment of returning. In this moment, I have come to appreciate life’s pressures and turbulence. It has made me stronger, more confident, and even more resilient and independent. I am encouraged, inspired, and know I can accomplish my dreams of becoming a well respected and renowned fashion stylist not only in New York City but internationally. Take flight, soar high, and enjoy life’s ride.
I’ve had many conversations with different friends who are following their dreams and we’ve all concluded that we don’t feel like we share the turbulence we experience. I believe we should share some challenges because even the greats faced challenges. Failures aren’t really failures. They are lessons and evidence that you’ve tried. So keep trying and pushing. And don’t worry if everything isn’t social media perfect either.