What Consistency Taught Me

I watched March Madness for the first time two years ago 🏀

For context, I grew up in an NBA-loving household. Game days were family time. We would gather around that old 1990s tv set (I'm pretty sure this is the exact model we had) to cheer and laugh and cry. I learned to love sports by watching them with my family. 

Yet, I never really got into college sports until recently. In 2022, after the NFL season ended, DeMico and I were looking for some sports entertainment to fill our Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays in the absence of football. He asked me, "Do you want to watch March Madness?"

I loved it! I was so impressed with the discipline, courage, and work ethic of these young athletes. To have one of the biggest moments in your college career play out in real time in front of millions of people is not for the faint-hearted. I left that season (proud and cheering for South Carolina!) hooked and ready for the next one.

Since March Madness 2022, I've cultivated a discipline practice of my own. That summer, I got sick with COVID for the third time in three years (sigh) and I knew I needed to make a change. I met with my doctor to make a plan for building my immune system, and part of that plan was to move my body more consistently. To expand my lungs and grow its strength back post-COVID to support me in fending off illness. I'm not gonna lie to yall - I was nervous. Sure, I worked out. But he was talking about daily workouts, especially cardio. Could I do that? Did I have the discipline? Could I have that discipline consistently?

It's been almost two years since then, and I'm proud to say that the answer is yes! I consistently meet my cardio goals weekly, monthly, and annually. The goal has not been to change my body, but to increase my body's capacity. My body has grown - physically and mentally - because of this discipline. I am more present with myself. I can move with more ease. I can trust my body and my body can trust me. 

"Discipline taught me that I can do hard things and consistency taught me I can do those things long-term."

It has not always been easy. Just like South Carolina after that winning 2022 season, I have had some setbacks and some major comebacks (come on undefeated 2024 champs!!!). Today, I'm proud to say that discipline and consistency have been a worthwhile investment.

Yall know I no longer believe in before and after pictures. I have none. Instead, I just have my current joy, shared in a photo from vacation recently below. Wherever you might need some consistency in your life, I hope you find it. Slow and steady, friends. You're worth it and I believe in you.


It's Time We Celebrate Ourselves

Today, I am celebrating one whole year of No Unpaid Passengers being out in the world! 🎉

When DeMico came home with this (huge) surprise canvas, I felt mixed emotions - joy, happiness, overwhelm, and...imposter syndrome.

I worked really hard for this book. The writing of these poems over two years (and the way some of them like "How to Build a House" vulnerably cracked me wide open). The editing process, the cover design, the press & interviews, the BOOK TOUR...and yet, when I looked at the magnitude of this beautiful canvas...I felt like I didn't deserve it.

"Why is the cover so big?!" I nervously asked DeMico.

He cocked his head and looked at me curiously. He paused a beat before simply replying, "Because this was a big accomplishment and you deserve to be celebrated."

*cue the waterfall of tears*

I don't know about you, but my brain is hardwired to minimize good news. It's as if my brain believes that if I pat myself on the back too hard, I'll break. Which often translates to not patting myself on the back at all. Not celebrating the milestones. Just keep moving forward to the next thing. Complicating all of this is the fact that I'm an internal processor - it takes time & deep reflection for me to really grasp when I've accomplished a thing. With life moving at a nonstop pace, it can be difficult to sit down & take the time I need to really understand a moment.

DeMico was right though. I deserve to be celebrated! No Unpaid Passengers is not just a title - it's a mantra. A commitment to shedding the people, places, & things that don't have good intentions for me. This includes imposter syndrome! In fact, imposter syndrome (or Nancy, as my bestie L'Oreal calls it in her new book Stop Waiting for Perfect - out now!!!) is, in and of itself, an unpaid passenger. It clings to me and whispers - "It's not that big of a deal, calm down, no one likes a showboat." BYE NANCY! This is a BFD, and I'm going to love on myself today.

Friends, how often have you achieved something HUGE (buying that house, getting that degree, starting a new job, writing a BOOK) and then downplayed your success? What "unpaid passengers" are you still carrying that prevents you from acknowledging the fruit of your labor?

If you've accomplished something recently, big or small, and you haven't celebrated yourself - here's your reminder to do so. You deserve it. You're worth it. Pop those bottles, dance in your living room, and feel free to send me a pic or drop me a line so I can celebrate with you. We earned this party 🎉


Let's Go on a "Road Trip"

Friends, my new single "Road Trip" is out now on all platforms!

I am so immensely proud to share this song with you all. It's perfect timing, as well, as we celebrate the close of African American Music Appreciation Month! "Road Trip" celebrates the legacy of Black American musicians and their roots in the foundations of country, soul, folk, and R&B music. You can hear a blend of all these genres when you listen. 

This song is also very special to me, personally. Road Trip is my "freedom anthem" from a very specific time in my life. I wrote it in 2016, a few months after I settled into my new home after experiencing homelessness, divorce, and career changes for three years. I was still finding who I was after losing so much. Many of the titles that I tied my identity to at that time were gone, and I felt like a toddler trying to navigate the world. Everything was new, everything was loud, and I was trying to figure out how to be a human in all the newness. 

I was in my room one night in November 2016, and I started hearing this melody and humming the lyrics, "Take a breath, take a step, open up to the view. Take the leap, remember to breathe, don't close your eyes..." I sent a voice note to DeMico with the musical idea, and the rest was history. Seven years later, and these lyrics still call to me. They encourage me to try new things, to breathe fresh air, and to become all of myself. I hope you'll see some of yourself in this song, and love it too. It's here for your listening pleasure!

After listening, leave my comment or drop me a note & let me know what you think! Happy Road Trippin' yall

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