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Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Days

I stood there in the bathroom where I grew up. It was single handedly the most familiar place in my life. It was the mirror that I had used daily for most of my life to decide how I felt about myself. It was the mirror I first watched myself brush my teeth in. It was the mirror I used to shave off my eyebrows (long story). It was the mirror where I spotted my first pimple. It was the mirror where I put on makeup for the first time. I was home; the place where honesty and humility lived. Somehow, I ended up concluding my year at home which was no coincidence. I was in Arkansas on NYE 2022 serving up my best helping of ugly because family can handle it, right? lol...

As I stared into my own deep brown eyes, I wondered what they spoke. Did they carry the evidence of all the tears I had cried over the past three hundred and sixty-five days? Did they behold the pain of loss or did they boast the strength in victory? Perhaps they did both. The longer I stared to find the definite answer; one way or the other...the more I realized that a woman was staring back at me. Strong and Tenacious.

The little girl was gone.

Until I turned the corners of my lips into my wide signature grin...the one so big that my mama would say, "Girl put your teeth back in your mouth!" When I smiled, I saw the little girl. Hopeful and Dreamy.

And for the first time, I saw two versions of myself; not preferring one over the other. I liked the strong and tenacious grown woman Brittney and I liked the hopeful and dreamy young Brittney. Then I wondered to myself.

"Can the two versions of me exist simultaneously in this world?"

The last three hundred and sixty-five days had challenged my strength, tenacity, hope, and dreams. Yet here I was still feeling each of these prominent traits and seeing them clearly in my eyes and within my smile. Surely, this is me. After a year filled with a wide spectrum of life changes from horrifying phone calls to paying a person monthly to watch me crumble, this was me.

Brittney. The perfect blend of experience and childlike hope.

A lot happens in three hundred and sixty-five days.

I began to brush the tip of my chunky fingers, which were in desperate need of a manicure and full set, across the newly developed moles around my eyes and I asked myself the hardest question.

"Brittney, do you like yourself?"

It was after a full assessment of my face that looked like perfect blend of both sides of the family that I looked into my soul. I considered every success and every failure. I considered every aborted vision and every unkept promise to myself. I calculated every moment of the last three hundred and sixty-five days when I finally held my head high and let out my signature wide grin; the one that would make my mom say, "Girl, put your teeth back in your mouth."

Then I spoke aloud. From me to me. "You gotdamn right I do."

You see, in the last three hundred and sixty-five days I did a few things:

  1. I prioritized God in my life. Like, P R I O R I T I Z E D... and listen, I felt the difference. It didn't stop the bad days, but somehow I stayed on my square when they came.

  2. I went to therapy. I mean sat in front of a stranger and laid out all my trash. I took accountability for things of which I had blamed others for years. I extended grace and forgave people (even though I didn't mean it the first one hundred times).

  3. When married or committed men slid in my DM, where I would typically ignore them...I asked them to stop embarrassing their spouses because it's not cool to be that girl who's committed to the guy that me and my girls are laughing at in our group chat. And I meant it genuinely like for real, stop embarrassing this woman who you've made a covenant with before God. I don't just felt like me sowing a good seed cause Lord knows...I don't want my husband to embarrass me like that! Whenever that time comes, ya know lol

  4. I didn't beg people to stay in my life. If you wanted to try me like you don't know me...then I just prayed that the door knob didn't hit them where the good Lord split them. I'm not talking small relationships. I mean the ones that it hurt to let go of. The "I thought this was forever" people.

  5. I learned the beauty in silence. Some people just didn't deserve a rebuttal.

  6. When I made mistakes, I forgave myself quickly.

  7. I hired independent contractors for my business -- which was my biggest fear professionally.

  8. I gave anxiety the middle finger. It had been plaguing me since December 2018 and I vowed to fight it with everything I had.

  9. I loved and was loved well in return.

  10. I did what I wanted to, just how I wanted to do it.

None of those things may mean much to you, but I had made a vow to myself that I would do what I needed to do for me even if I had to cry while doing it. Ooooh, I cried while doing it.

"I gotta put me first Luscious" lol (Enjoy the clip below)

So,! I didn't get my first Mill this year. I didn't even get close. lol I did eat what I wanted everyday...and if you know me, you know that's the real WIN for me! lol But really, what I did get this year was the greatest sense of self so I just believe I am THAT much closer to being able to sustain the promises that God has made to me. He will never give me (or you) anything that our character isn't prepared to manage properly and with integrity.

So he makes us wait. He develops us as we wait.

And #inthemeantime over the last three hundred and sixty-five days, I fell in love with myself in a way that I have wanted others to for a long time now. Every flaw. Every fault. Every bit of crazy. Every bit of insecure. I fell perfectly in love with the most imperfect version of myself.

I'm so sure the story only gets better from here.

Happy New Year to you and as you journey into the next three hundred and sixty-five days of your life, remember I told you this: If people make you choose between them and you, choose your gotdamn self.


P.S. I did, in fact, go through a lot in the last three hundred and sixty five days..."gotdamn" is the least of the words I could use. If it offends, pray for me but by all means...don't come to me!

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