“Lord!!! I didn’t even know all that was over there.”


That’s literally what I thought to myself a few weeks ago. After quite a bit of internal conversation and asking Stedman a few real questions, I made a crazy realization.

Five years ago, I thought I was pretty damn fly. I lived through my experience and degrees. I thought those were such amazing characteristics. I didn’t know it at the time but I valued myself based on my degrees, career, and travel experiences. I thought I was a great catch. Then I got into a relationship and realized that there needed to be more to me than what is on my resume.

I had spent the first 30 years of my life evaluating myself only on my academic accomplishments and professional experience. I spent decades hearing people say wonderful things about my academic accomplishments, international travel, and professional experience.  Somewhere along the road, all these comments indirectly told me that those accomplishments are where I should focus my time and energy. Those comments also unfortunately told me that because I was smart, well-traveled professional woman that I didn’t need to focus on my emotional stability.  There was no discussion of what would make me happy to do with my time. There was no exploration of imagination and personal dreams. In fact, of all the things that were told to me, not leading with my emotions was the most common statement.

In theory, that was correct. I shouldn’t make decisions based purely on how I’m feeling. And I know that the people in my life wanted me to focus on the things that they were deprived of for various reasons. But the fact remains, I do need to factor in my emotions to planning my life. And that includes making decisions. Especially making decisions. I need consider the desires of my heart when making decisions to create the life that I want to live. Approaching academic and professional decisions from a place of logic only has left me overeducated, drowning in student loan debt, and most importantly personally unfulfilled. And if that wasn’t enough I also felt like I have no clue how to develop myself as a person. How to balance my intellect with my instinct.

This realization gave me new focus in my life. It gave me a new challenge and many new things to learn. I’ve made an intentional decision to approach this realization with a positive outlook. I know that the way I digested all the things of my past is no one’s fault. My village gave me the best that they had to give. And I’m grateful for that. In fact, if they hadn’t given me those things, I wouldn’t be the patient introspective person that I am. And it’s that person who has made these positive revelations that have unlocked a new world for me to explore. I look forward to including all of myself in the calculation of how I value myself and my contribution to the world.