I think I’ve sung SZA’s “Normal Girl,” “This time next year, I’ll be living so good..” into existence.
My life has done a complete 180 within the past year. I’m happy, healthy, paid, vaccinated and blessed. Last year was a struggle. My mental health and health were awful. Acclimating to pandemic life wasn’t very easy for me. Sure, getting those unemployment checks weekly was great, but other than that, I was going through the motions.
Recently, I quit my day job that was like my current career path and few months ago I dropped out of one graduate program to pursue a completely different one. I told my friends about quitting my day job, but I struggled with sharing switching career paths with friends and family. I felt like I would look like a failure in their eyes, but inside I knew I made the best decision for myself and my mental health. Still, I was too ashamed to tell everyone, but maybe 10 people. I questioned myself daily, debating on if I made the right decision or the easier decision.
What this pandemic has given me was TIME. When the world stopped, I felt like I could pause and breathe. Before then, my days were the same.. school, work, school, work and so on. I never gave myself the time that I needed to “relax, relate and release” my favorite quote from my favorite tv show, “A Different World”. During the pandemic, I didn’t see or talk to my therapist as frequently. I felt depressed for a good part of quarantine, like many others. After a while, I dug myself out of the dark slump that I was in. Thankfully, I started my blog right before the world shutting down; finally I could sit, write and share my feelings, thoughts and life with the world. I healed myself from heartbreak through writing and sharing on my blog. I ran every single day of the second half of quarantine, skateboarded and picked up new hobbies while at home.
While bettering my mental, I was also growing my savings and had the income to buy just about anything I wanted (spending responsibly). I felt like I was moving into a better space in every capacity during these times. I got to learn new things about myself and learn how to cook lol. Gratefully, I also built a safe space, my blog, where I’ve made amazing friends and met so many beautiful people.
On to the better part.
A year into my new graduate program, I’m at the top of my class. I have received hefty scholarships and a few nominations. Through my work, I’ve met the best mentors and peers and access to life-changing opportunities. I could not be happier to study something that is a passion of mine and something that will always be something I find interest in, through a change in society, evolution and human development/behavior. Though I do plan on resuming my former program, I am so blessed to be where I am now. Fear was the reason for not pursuing this program initially. But you know… fuck fear!
Before quitting my day job, I picked up a part-time job as a server at a Black- WOMEN -owned restaurant. What was initially passive income and something small has become something greater. After being there for a bit, I fell in love with the environment, co-workers, customers and the BEST managers. Things at my job started going downhill for me and I quit. I was nervous at first, of course, because I was leaving a guaranteed check for a job in the service industry. (Business can be great one week and the opposite the next week). Not only was I nervous, I felt less than. This is just me, but I’m 25 and it’s not like I WANT to be a server but I just want to focus on school and this is a low stress job with flexibility. I had a bit of a fight, internally, trying to be okay with my decision to leave my job and become a server.
Anywho, two weeks in and I fell in love with this job. My second week working, I made what I would make in two weeks in less than a week in tips. I felt like a drug dealer with all the cash I had. Truly, I love everything about my job. I have/had a few insecurities and sometimes I lack in confidence. My customers built me up. I’m not being shallow or boastful, but I have never received so many compliments in my life. Everyone telling me I was beautiful, etc, really did things to and for me lol. It was strange at first, but over time I believed them and it really built my confidence. Honestly, this job has built me up. Even in the beginning, everything felt so right.
After being there for about a month, they gave me a promotion and a raise. Two weeks after that, I received another. I went from server, to lead server/shift leader, to becoming a manager. I have never felt so appreciated in my life. No job has ever shown me this much love or value. I think the best part is I get to be myself and I have been myself and people like me for me. I’m usually nervous going into new spaces and/or jobs because I never know how I’ll be received as a gay man. You never know how others may treat you (I’m no bitch) but it can be very uncomfortable and upsetting because it’s unnecessary. I’ve had a few problems before with people being put off simply because I was gay. But not with them or anyone at my job.
I appreciate my managers and the effect they’ve had on me and my life during the short time I’ve been there. This job has also played a part in the betterment of my well-being, confidence and pockets. For the last few months, I’ve felt like I’ve been ascending. My life has shifted. I thank the ancestors and God for guiding, loving, pushing me. These days I feel like I’m becoming who I need to be and also who want to be. Finally, I feel like I’ve found my voice, my footing and my light.
I wanted to update you all. Forever grateful for each and everyone of you and your support means the world.
Until next time & with love <3,