The Simply All In Life

Photo courtesy of Norman Parkinson

I was on Twitter  as I am from time to time and a few women were talking about deciding the day was a good day to pay it forward. It just seemed like a good day to do some random acts of kindness. My feed was starting to fill with the voices of women who were  completely on board with the idea. In fact the mobile tweeters were already sharing things like “Just paid for a guy’s gas” and another “Just paid for the grande machaito behind me.” As I read the responses the one that struck me the most was a simple “I’m all in.”

Just like that this woman was committed to doing at least one randomly kind thing for someone. There were no excuses. No lists of things to do from the day before in addition to that day. No “I’ll try” or “I’m in a bad mood today, maybe tomorrow I’ll feel like being kind.” There was an  “I’m all in” and quite a few “Me too’s.”

The “I’m all in” comment had me thinking.  “What does an ‘I’m all in’ life look like?” What does it look like to give life 100% every single day, pushing past feelings of fear, rejection, loneliness, depression, or inadequacy? What does it look like to not do things because someone is watching and to do things whether no one  is watching or a thousand people are watching? What does it look like to be willing to be uncomfortable instead of reassessing your commitment to something because you experience discomfort? What does it look like to quit a job, not side with your best friend this go round, move away from your family, say “no” or even scarier say “yes” in order to give your all to something?

I closed my Twitter window. That was enough I thought.
I was mistaken.
It was only a mere 24 hours later that I found myself in church and the pastor talking about this idea of giving 100%. In fact, he used the same “I’m all in.” phrase.
I gave God the side eye.

Photo courtesy of CatherineLaura Photography for Vogue

This time around I thought more about what does “I’m all in” mean for me. When was the last time I was all in for anything and more importantly what was I currently willing to give my all to and stop holding back and acting like I was giving 100%?

Well if the answer was sent via US postal service, it was overnighted and on my doorstep at 6am. Writing a book. I have always loved to write, and I do mean always. I was ecstatic in kindergarten when homework was tracing letters, took lots of writing intensive courses in college, and in addition to writing this blog I write for another blog and an online magazine (and for no pay),  I have several past blogs under my belt, and the blogs that I really enjoy and are on my Links to LIVE By page I am a pretty regular commenting contributor. You’d think with all of my love for writing I was already “all in” right? Yeah, not so much.

In fact there has been a book I’ve been wanting to write for some time yet I’ve never made the time to sit down and  write it. I’ve taken all the shortcuts instead. Granted I have held off on because I’ve worried that as I share my own story and some of the unhealthy and hurtful things I’ve experienced I’d be telling other people’s story, other people who may not be ready for their story to be told.

Recently when a friend asked me why I find time to write everything but a book and I shared my fear about telling other people’s story her response was “Tell it through someone else. It doesn’t have to be an autobiography or a memoir. It can be fiction. Or, write a book that is focused on helping and encouraging people who have a story similar to yours. Get that book out of you Ahyana.” she said.

So readers, I’m all in for writing a book. For telling my story. I’m all in for making time to work on it consistently, to work through my what if’s, to craft the book that allows me to release and share my own experiences. When it comes to my writing, especially this book…”I’m all in.”

Photo courtesy of
When was the last time you were all in? When’s the last time that you just made up your mind that come what may you were going to be committed to whatever it was you were asked or chose to pursue? How can I help you be “all in”? xxoo

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