Let me make one thing clear. I aint &*#@! And while that may sound self-deprecating, it kind of isn’t in this context. All I’m saying is that I’m still getting it together … and will always be … because there will always be room for improvement (I mean, that’s what this blog is all about). I’ve done some great things in life, but I’ve also done so not great things and I have no problem talking about any of it.

But this post …

this post is about how dope I am.

Take it or leave it!

———-

“Maybe you should stop telling people about your education and things you’ve accomplished.”

Someone said this to me not too long ago with the greatest intentions, linking it to the possibility that it may be off-putting and intimidating to people.

And for a while I took the advice.

Then I had one of those days.

You know, the kind when you think about your entire life at the same time and your brain goes into overload? Yea, one of those. Doing this is a habit I’m trying to break because it usually leaves me feeling overwhelmed, but this time, it was different.

This time, I thought about how hard I had worked to get to where I was.

There was a time when I was working 2 jobs, taking care of 2 kids on my own, and going to grad school. To say I was tired is the understatement of the century. When I look back on it now, I really don’t know how I was able to pull this off – I was literally running on 3 hours of sleep a night for two years straight.

So I did all of that …

ALL OF THAT …

Finished school, walked across that stage;

And I can’t scream that mess from the mountain tops because it makes YOU uncomfortable?

I can’t post about how proud of myself I am for chasing my dreams because it makes you feel bad about the things you want to do in life?

I have to slow down my pace because you can’t keep up?

I can’t walk and talk in my truth because that makes me a threat?

Nah, son.

There are going to be some times in life when you come across people for whom you shine too bright. Your shine (whether you’re just fanning the flame or are in full burning sun mode) can bring negative emotions out of some of the people you come into contact with.

Ever meet someone who you can tell just doesn’t like you, even though you’ve been nothing but pleasant and accommodating?

Usually these folks can see your potential oozing out of your pores, leaving its mark on everything you touch, and they feel threatened, afraid, and intimidated. It almost physically pains them to see someone doing something they want to do and living the way they want to live. They’re mad at themselves and instead of projecting that energy inward to address their issues and figure out what they need to do to be great, they project it outward onto you.

I’ve had this happen to me with managers at work,

in romantic relationships,

with close friends;

all people who should always have my best interest at heart like I had theirs, but a lot of the times it just doesn’t work that way.

Now, here we go coming full circle again …

While this blog is about not being afraid of claiming your dopeness, regardless of how it makes others feel, I also know what it’s like to be on the other side.

I’ve met people who shined too bright for me in my lifetime. I didn’t understand why I didn’t like them at the time or why I pushed them away or why I wasn’t being kind; but over the years I have come to learn that I felt their greatness somehow made me feel like my life’s failures and regrets were exposed.

But I think this all goes back to the central theme of this series.

YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT YOURSELF.

Who I am?

What do I want?

How do I get there?

Take inventory of the things you can control (yourself) and don’t bother with the things you can’t (other people).

Purposefully train your focus exactly where you want it to be, whether you’re the one doing the shining or the one still trying to dust yours off.

Regardless of where you stand right now, you can learn how to get your &*#@ together, shine as bright as your heart desires, and allow others the space to do the same.

Until next time, be kind to yourself.

Love and light,

Erin

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