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Why It's Important To Celebrate Where You Are Today

When you're 16 you have your entire life planned out. You know what you want to do, who you want to be and how much you want to make. Life is good, the biggest bill is your cell phone and your largest worry is graduating from high school. And then suddenly you’re 24 and trying to figure out where the hell has time gone?

Trust me, I’m an adult. I know.

It seems like at age 24 there’s a light that comes on in your brain that screams “YOU'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!” “DO SOMETHING WITH YOURSELF BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!” “LIFE IS ALMOST OVER!”Let me be the first to tell you, none of that is authentic. The truth of the matter is, if you’re still struggling at 24, you’re actually on the right track. I’m 27 and still not a hundred-thousandaire like I planned to be 10 years ago. Not a triple platinum recording artist like I planned to be, none of that.

But when I want to pull my tracks from my scalp by hand I have to stop and remember all the great things I’ve accomplished to get to this point. Being a first-generation college grad set me apart from the whole hood. Relishing in the opportunity to attend a prestigious historically black university was a milestone, not just in my life, but in those before and after me. Making it to even see 27 and understanding the benefit of making the right decisions for my life has probably been my most proud moment.

To date, I’ve lived in 3 of the biggest states in the country; Illinois, Louisiana and now Georgia. I’ve been all through the south, met and worked with some of our favorite television names and have had the pleasure of being on my own for a while without too much error. Reflecting on this makes me think of how depressed I was during graduation weekend, I cried to no end because I felt like I had failed. In my mind I believed that I should have been further, I felt like I had struggled enough to not have to continue and it was slowly but surely ruining my life.

I didn’t enjoy a second of my commencement because I was extremely sad and worried about what's next instead of enjoying the now. Making light of the fact that I was actually graduating. My family didn’t understand and I didn’t bother explaining it to them. It was just difficult. I carried that sadness right out of Louisiana and harbored it. Then one day I woke up and realized that my entire destiny is in my hands and that no one is going to rescue me from my life.

It is at that point that we as dreamers have to understand that life is extremely short. One can literally be loud today and forever quiet tomorrow. What I've noticed in those that were around me before was they allowed their surroundings to dictate the moves they believed they could make. Mere products of their environment. A child that hasn't witnessed their parents go out and live life, they don't comprehend the severity of the damage done when you don't live life to the fullest. Its very easy to lose faith, where it seems that hope is not present. Imagine, a young girl from a project on Chicago's west side making it out. BUT I did. I grew up right down the street from Krucial Konflict and Do or Die, big dreamers. Clear indication that making it can happen if you want it to.

As you venture out into the world applying the life lessons that were taught to you while at home can be rather difficult. Don't mind what the world tells you, I'm 27 and I'm here to set the record straight. Adulting is hard. Ensuring that you're making the right decisions is hard. Taking responsibility and being accountable for your own actions and taking them on the chin like a champ is hard. But you can do it and as you get older the weight of the adult world gets lighter. While writing this I'm thinking what was my toughest adult lesson. A few very important ones come to mind. Any of you that have read NINE are aware of the roller coaster relationship between my mother and I, for a while I blamed a lot of my issues on her.

I had to come to terms with my own happiness and accept the apologies I don't feel I've ever received. I struggled with men and their value because of the lack of strong, pure commitment around me. My idea of what a man is has been misconstrued for a long time, but as life progressed I was able to learn the difference between men and the latter. But I have to say my most important lesson has been this latest, YOU NEED OTHERS TO SUCCEED! I repeat, YOU NEED OTHERS TO SUCCEED! In this life and every sector of it, people who believe in your dreams as much as you do are absolutely necessary. I suffer from what I like to call a Superman Complex and those who also suffer from it know exactly what I mean.

We’ve gone through some sort of experience where we needed someone and they didn't come through so now we exhaust all possibilities before asking someone for help. I still struggle with it to this very day, but I'm as generous as they come, I expect reciprocity and people don't always know what that means. But we’re only human, and life isn't life if you're not learning right?

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