Monday, August 3, 2015

The Glow Up: Ten Things I Did, To Get My Shine Back


Blue, my best friend, and I were drying our pedicures when we started visiting Instagram pages for hair inspiration.

"We're almost done with the glow up. We just have to do a few more drastic things."

I laughed at her phrase, "The glow up? What's that?"

She smiled at my ignorance. She began to explain the term that'd made its way into pop culture earlier this year, via Drake's transformation. We talked about the things we'd been through within the last year and we both agreed that we had undergone the beginning phases of such a transformation. I glanced at her locks that were no longer starter and touched my afro that'd recently made its way out of the faux hair I'd used to keep my head warm, during colder months. Blue continued to scroll through different IG pages, while I expressed dissatisfaction with a smudge on one of my toes. 

She gasped when she came across a girl, with gorgeous locks, that she'd been eyeing for a while, "Ugh. Her hair is so freaking dope."

I leaned over and looked at the young lady. Blue was right, her hair was super fly. She looked so familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on how I knew her. I took Blue's phone, when she was done perusing, and scrolled through the woman's page. It hadn't been three seconds, when I came across a picture of her with her Man-Crush-Monday and current boyfriend. 

It was my ex, Micah. The young woman, with the hair we loved, was his new girlfriend. 

I felt a pang in my heart, that I hadn't felt in quite a while. Blue noticed the change in my mood and asked what was wrong. I told her what I'd discovered. She took a second to think about it and that very instant we both decided that it was the last amount of energy I'd ever give to the situation. 

It was time to complete the glow up. 

Since I've completed my dating series and I was extended a huge promotion, at work, a year ago, I've undergone a revolution. I'm incredibly self aware and have become cognizant of several things in my life that just did not belong. 

Friends. 
Foes. 
Career Choices. 
The Power of No. 
Dating.
Solitude. 
Spoiling Yourself.

After eradicating a ton of negative things from my life, things I didn't necessarily see as toxic, I have definitely seen my happiness increase, tremendously. 

1) Change your # and/or exercise that block button.

How many of you have the same number you had in high school? Yep. I know that number is everything to you. I know they don't even give out that area code anymore. I get it, you're sentimental. But guess what?  EVERYONE HAS YOUR NUMBER. The guy you broke up with when you were sixteen, the horrible date you had last month, and the crazy ex friend you'd prefer not to communicate with. 

I changed my number a few months ago and it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. My phone is silent. When it rings, it's someone that I love, someone that I've given my number to, because I know they have good intentions and they are genuine. Whew. 

Also...get familiar with Google Voice. Get you a fake number for the shady folks you are forced to deal with. Copy? Cool. 

2) Try something, do something, shake off that comfort. 

Can you stop looking at social media photos of all the things you'd like to try/do and just do them? Yeah! It's that simple. Book that yoga class today, buy that cute number and take yourself to the restaurant you've been meaning to go to, and cop those Comic Con tickets and get your cosplay on! There are so many of us saving links on Facebook and pressing favorite on tweets, that we'll never revisit. We say to ourselves that we'll get to these items, but fail to pursue them.

I've been going back through the items I've saved and writing bucket/to-do lists. I've also been checking things off of the list. I'm taking Adobe Illustrator and DSLR classes,  trying new recipes, I'm painting again, and I've started studying non-profit management. 

3) Go with the flow, sometimes.

I know this is cliche, but you NEED to hear it again. I used to be so bad at this. I've always had expectations, intentions, and more lined up, for most situations. I'm extremely organized and I was applying it to parts of my life that didn't need it. I had a really great friend, *cough* freaking gorgeous friend, point out the flaw with this. He's a scientist, that's always on the move, and it was so difficult for me to keep in touch with him, when he's traveling all over the world. I found myself becoming frustrated with a situation that clearly couldn't be held up to the same standards as "situationships" that are right in my backyard. 

After a long talk, we both agreed to work on our communication and express our feelings, no matter how difficult it might be. Let's just say...he's no situationship. 

File Under: #bae

4) Get rid of those illumination thieves or their notions. 

I really thought I'd gotten rid of all toxic friends. I truly weeded out a lot of folks these last few years. But I've still got a few folks around me that make sly comments and/or have made me uncomfortable. There was one guy, that I hung out with, every time I went to DC. I was always nervous around him and I couldn't maintain my composure. After several visits and backtracking through our friendship, I realized that he'd made commentary that rubbed me the wrong way. When I was around him, I felt like I was being critiqued. Those instances were far and few in between, but I didn't owe him any explanation. I ended the friendship, the moment I came to that conclusion.

Real quick, listen up: YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAINTAIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH ANYONE THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.

Longevity doesn't matter. 
Proximity doesn't matter. 
Mutual friends don't matter. 

You deserve to be comfortable in your skin, in all aspects of your life. 

5) Figure out what the issue is and DEAL.

Every job, friendship, union, opportunity is going to have a downside. Nothing is perfect. I found myself reiterating and whining about the same things over and over again. It was irritating the folks around me and I started to catch myself doing it. I acknowledged the things that I could change and started to mend where I could. I accepted the things that I could not change and found ways to overcome them. 

6) Shake it up.

I cut my hair off. It was hot and I needed to do something different. I love my new look. Do something momentous, surprise yourself.

7) Let go.

Truly letting go is accepting that there are folks/things that will exist on this planet, for as long as we are here. The universe does what it wants. You can live in a completely different city from someone that broke your heart and run into them again, in the most unexpected places. The key to letting go is understanding this. You will confront things you didn't want to, over and over. Letting go is swallowing this notion and regurgitating confidence, when you find yourself in the predicament you already expected.

Expect the unexpected. Let it catch you, after you've already brushed your shoulders.



8) Crank that five year plan. Revisit all of your old plans.

I wrote one of these, for the first time, five years ago. I put it in the back of a planner that I haven't seen in forever. The other day I was cleaning and was getting ready to throw the planner away, when I decided to look in it. I put question marks next to almost every goal; I must've felt like I was being too ambitious. I said I'd be a Program Director, publish two books, and start working on my third book before I was thirty. I'm twenty-seven and I've done all of those things. I was so amazed at what I'd done. Sometimes we get so caught up with life that we don't realize we're living out our dreams. Remind yourself, smile, and start all over again. 

9) Do what's on your heart.

I spent most of my years contemplating an extraordinary author debut that would take the literary world by storm. (Fellow writer Britni Danielle did a GREAT piece on this, the other day.) I'm still working on that book, but I was drawn to writing narratives about love, in the meantime. My mentor recognized this and pushed me to release them. I finally took his advice. Although it isn't what I planned, I've recieved overwhelming support for my first two novellas. 

Imagine if I hadn't followed my heart?

10) Self love.

It's so necessary. Love up on yourself. Take yourself out, shut everything down and take a bubble bath, indulge in your favorite read, light candles, ignore the world. See a therapist, get your physical done. Buy something see-through, buy something tomboy. Love yourself.

Promise you'll glow up? Cool. I'm waiting on your shine.




1 comment:

Elle Sunnie Mac said...

This post was so on time! Really needed to read this. I actually booked the yoga class earlier this morning.Lol. Thank You