2021 Reflections

The past two years have been so unkind to a lot of people. So much so that it almost feels wrong to recap all the positive things that have happened in my life. That said, one of those things is that I've learned that celebrating a win is a good thing, even if not so good things are happening simultaneously.

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I was invited to become a part of the IamMichelleRena family, which in turn led me to finding my voice. Most people know that I am a talker. I can talk shop with the best of them. This little experiment was different though. I share my innermost thoughts with very few. Mainly because I'm not a fan of criticism, but also because I don't trust people like that. Once people have that kind of information they can use it against you. Even when you stand in your truth, you still run the risk of being misunderstood, and up until this year, that fact alone was worth keeping silent. But with every passing week, I turn to the sun a little bit more. I worry less about what it may illuminate in the shadows, because I've spent time there so there's nothing about me that you can tell me that I don't already know about me. I let me light shine through a little bit more, and with that came a freedom that I hadn't felt before. The thing about freedom though is that it's scary. Baring your soul publicly requires strength that I truly didn't know I had. And I am forever grateful that Michelle felt the urge to call on me.

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I leaned hard into community both real and virtual. I have made friends through this blog and living here in Japan. Like-minded and not so like-minded which both served as a mirror to how I've been selling myself short. Sharing my experiences and how I heal, or intend to heal from them, may give someone else the courage they need to start their journey. Knowing that we are not in this alone, even though we may feel like it, is one of the biggest blessings we stand to gain. The moment you feel like throwing in the towel, your sister or brother is right there to say, "hey, the only way out is through, so when you feel ready, get back at it."

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My body talk became less of "what's wrong" and more of "girl, you big fine!" I realized that it's ok to go the gym because you want to, and all the side effects are great, but there isn't anything inherent wrong with my body. My body has been there through all the hardships, trauma, and frustration, both self inflicted and otherwise, for 39 years, and I love it for that. That mindset shift allows me to rest when my body needs it without feeling guilty because I not hitting my 4 days a week FitBit goal.

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So....I wrote all of the above on Thursday, I'm going to leave it because it ties in. Like I've said previous, redirection happens often over here. I start writing what I think I should write, then my heart and spirit course correct.


I'm in the shower, and this song comes to mind. Changed by Tremaine Hawkins


"A wonderful change has come over me"


Now if you didn't know, I grew up in the church. I'm talking 'Chuch'!! If you are familiar, then you know that if nothing else moves you, the music will move you. And this song is a pretty dead on synopsis of 2021.


The way I parent.


Changed!


I had to start letting natural consequences take over when my oldest decided she just wasn't going to do her homework. All the yelling and hovering was just giving me anxiety and causing me to shift into the ogre space that I have been slowly pulling myself out of since 2018. I didn't like that "Mommy", and I'm not going back.


The way I friend.


Changed!


I'm learning to give advice when asked. Otherwise, I just let my friends vent because I know that sometimes I'm not looking for a solution. I just need to let off some steam. Sometimes the best way to be a friend is to not answer. I've changed my availability simply because if I'm not in overflow, I'm not going to be able to give you what you are looking for.


The way I love.


Changed!


There is no cap to my love, but there are boundaries. My heart hurts when I try to restrict it so I stopped. There is no such thing as loving too hard, but there is such a thing as loving with no boundaries. Imma love you to the capacity that I am able...and if that's not enough, you decide to walk away, so be it. That's the freedom of love! A captive will never want to stay. No more manipulative tactics to prove a love that should just flow.


The way I walk through life.


Changed!


I still have my moments of self-doubt, but I tell that inner critic to find some thing else to do, because I'm on a mission. I know the power of words. I know that power that lies within me to do anything I set my mind to, so any doubt has less to do with what I know to be true and what I think to be true.


The way I communicate.


Changed!


There is no value in being petty or using my words to hurt people. I can express my feelings with love, and if the person takes offense that's their deal to sort out, not mine. Being vulnerable is something that I work at daily, and it shows up in different ways. This blog being one of those ways.


When I tell you that it's no wonder that I this has happened during year 38/39. I couldn't walk into 40 living the way that I was. It wasn't healthy and it wasn't sustainable long term.

Evolution is on going. Triggers pop up to see if you learned the lesson. Sometimes I have and other times I'm taking a test I didn't study.


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I legit say 'Yall ain't gone make me cry up in here!' But that's something that has changed too. I cry when I need to. It's a purge, and it's needed. So, in abundant gratitude, I let them flow. (I'm still a thug, though.)


Thank you for joining me on this ride. It has been eye-opening in so many ways, and I can't wait to see what 2022 brings.



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