Dear Alden

To all of my beloved readers...excuse me, reader...Alden.  

Dear Alden,

This past week was so stressful for me.  I mean, I stressed myself OUT.  I was staying up super late, sleeping for like no hours, I had bags under my eyes, and on Wednesday at 9am I thought it was Friday.  You saw me lol.

I just had gotten so fed up with our teacher being so vague and then wanting to see so much out of us for the final presentation on this ridiculous due date that I was just ready to pull my braids out.  But being the person I am, I accept the inevitable, and I decided that whatever was done, or not done, by Friday's due date, would just be what it is.  So I bought $90 worth of party/event tickets to Howard University's Homecoming that weekend.  Presentation files due EOD Friday, presentations on Monday and Wednesday...all of this was out of my hands so...YOLO.  

But YOLO I did not.  No YOLO was had.

I put my best efforts forth to YOLO.  I did not sleep Monday through Wednesday, but by Wednesday, I felt like it was Friday.  Then I decided I needed sleep and then I decided the need to adult; i.e. the opposite of YOLO.  Fortunately for my conscious, Hurricane Joaquin put a damper on the logistics for me to get up to Howard.  It just didn't make sense for me to drive up four hours alone in a storm to party in a storm for a day and a half.  So...I adulted...and sold one of my tickets and charged the other two to the game.  

I felt relieved now that I had more time.  I had gotten so much done and now I could actually make what was needed for the presentation without stressing.  Surprisingly, I was enjoying myself doing so.  I was proud of the work I was making, although there were some more things I wish I could have done, I was pretty content.  I had tried my hardest with the skills that I now at this point in time...and I was happy.  

Then that got me thinking...yall know I be thinking.

Normally when you are doing a project, you are trying to please the teacher.  Of course you want to be proud of it, but at the end of the day, if the teacher is grading it (approving it, verifying it, justifiying it), you would want them to be the ultimate voice of affirmation, right?  Well, I actually didn't care what my professor had to say.  He did say good things...but he also said good things about everybody.  I'm not sure one piece of constructive criticism came out of his mouth in his efforts to not deflate anyone's self esteem.  And that annoyed me.  Don't give me the same feedback that you gave a person who spent 1 hour on their project as compared with my weeks of work.  

But I quickly stopped myself with this thought, because I wasn't actually doing this assignment for him.  He didn't require out of me what I required from myself.  I nurtured it, created it, polished it, refined it...that was me, I did all that...and I did it for myself.  I gave myself the positive affirmation that it was a good project, could be better here & there, but I said that.  Not anyone else.  So no one's criticism, or lack there of, could take away the work that I put into it, and the room for improvement that it has.  

Then that got me thinking...AGAIN.

When is the last time you have done something for yourself?  For your affirmation?  Verification?  And no one else's?  Often, in life, we do something and look for someone else to pat us on the back.  Especially as women.  We dress up for a man's verification that we are pretty, or we cook/clean for others affirmation that we are "domesticized", or we strive to do great in school or our job for affirmation from a co-worker or our boss that 'yes, I have a mind too'.  But when is the last time that you have done something for yourself?  So that you can say, 'yes, I am beautiful', or 'yes, I worked hard and it shows here', or 'dang, that meal was damn good and it will be damn good for my banging body'.  

Like, I'm serious.

It's awesome when others can see our greatness, but if we don't recognize that for it really there?

Well, i challenge myself to exceed someone else's expectations today because mine are much higher for myself.  I challenge myself to make myself better make myself proud today...and to sow into myself today.  

Hey Alden, I challenge you to do the same :)