Commitment has been hard for me. No, I have never cheated on anyone or cheated on anything. It’s been hard mostly because the examples of commitment I have seen have made commitment seem like a trap, not a choice. You all know by now how I feel about choice. I’ve seen commitment as the result of being coerced or hoodwinked into something awful ising leavinmg people feeling invisible and powerless. Who would choose to be trapped, freedomless, voiceless, invisible, or powerless?
However, it’s been through this blog, committing to it, investing in it, committing to myself, investing in myself, committing to using the gifts I have been gifted, and investing in those of you who read this blog with the hope that you will choose similarly, that I don’t view commitment as a trap. I see it as a choice and a choice not to be taken lightly.
It less than 24 hours it will have been a year since I made the commitment to tell the story that’s been mine to tell and LIVE out that commitment through this space. I couldn’t be more proud, humbled, and excited to make that commitment again for the next year.
Since June 3rd, 2013 I have…
- Traveled to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Clement, New York, Washington DC, New Orleans, Denver, Indianapolis, and flown a total of 11 times, flying 6 times since the start of 2014!
- Moved and bought the house I lived in from when I was 12 years old until I bought my first apartment in November 2005 and moved out.
- Got a new job that would have allowed me to relocate but did not take it due to a combination of unfinished business and fear turned it down. Yes I regret that choice but I own it and am working towards a new opportunity since my business is definitely finished and the fears that held me back before have lost their power. Fear is NOT a reason to not LIVE abundantly. I will say it was amazing getting the offer and having an employer see all that you bring to the table and can bring and then saying we are so going to pay you that because you have VALUE!!!!
- Lived with a mentally unhealthy family member and it’s been painful as hell. It hurts to basically be a bystander due to how the mental illness impacts the person’s personality which can vacillate between bullying and verbal/emotional abuse. It’s also taught me about respecting other people’s choices and owning my own choices. It hasn’t rendered me powerless, but it’s left some wounds that are still healing.
- Spoken at a national conference for the first time and rocked it!
- Designed and executed a half day women’s conference. I organized everything from the thee, speaker selection, booking rooms, designing the registration process and evaluation and assessment of each session and the entire conference, selecting the menu, advertising and marketing on social media and print, etc. It was work. let me tell you. It was ridiculously energizing and I am doing it again this year.
- Experienced loss. One of my client’s died ad a few weeks later so did a woman who was a mentor of mine and instrumental in helping me understand forgiveness and grace. They died within weeks of each other.
- Learned how much I love supervising and that I am awesome at doing so– just ask the people I have had the joy of supervising.
- Advocated for myself several times. That was everything from advocating for anew job title and salary which got denied, so no one be surprised when I say I got a new job alright. I also advocated or myself when a campus community member thought they could speak to me any way they chose because many other campus community members accepted his behavior. Well he figured out that doesn’t work for Ahyana King and given that human resources had to get involved I don’t think he’s be forgetting how to speak to me. This was truly empowering. The hard work I have done on finding and using my voice was wonderfully validated through this uncomfortable but necessary experience.
- Cut my bangs.
- Organized, directed and performed in my university’s first performance of The Vagina Monologues.
- Acted in my first Philadelphia community performance of Eve Ensler’s A Memory, A Monologue, A rant and A Prayer.
- Said “no” and didn’t melt down afterwards.
- Met some amazing people including Dr. Bernice King and the guy I met this past weekend while in Indianapolis at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.
- Cooked quinoa for the first time and have been cooking it frequently ever since.
- Fell in Like. xxoo
- Learned more about what I like in a man and what I don’t. I definitely definitely DEFINTELY don’t like guys who use Facebook as a free online dating service, refer to themselves as “daddy”, are all about sending and receiving selfies, share they have “tried to take you out” but never once asked you out, or lack self awareness. I have leaned this through guys who have done these things and the wonderful sweethearts who haven’t!
- Been challenged as to how I give and receive grace, love, and forgiveness.
- Ate fried alligator.
- Counseled more young women who’ve been sexually abused or assaulted than I wanted but remained and remain grateful that I have the privilege of counseling.
- Redefined what being a counselor means to me. It’s way more than being behind a closed door and sitting with someone for an hour trying to “fix” their life. I can’t fix it, but I can help if they desire that help.
- Learned to embrace the present and the power of showing up. Fully showing up.
- Gained new appreciation for the people who see and appreciate the A. King package for exactly what it is. It’s not “too” anything.
- Relearned the power of prayer.
- Made drinking a cup of tea in the morning a daily habit.
- Made Sabbath a priority…although in full disclosure sometimes I struggle with keeping it one.
- Begun to see God and my faith differently and accepted that my attendance at church doesn’t make me a “good Christian.” In fact I find myself closer to God through art than I do in any church building. But don’t worry mom and dad if you’re reading this, I still go to church. I still find being in community with fellow believers important.
- Considered myself a writer first.
- Learned to dream and hope again.
- Ended up in the ER twice. Clearly I LIVEd. Both trips were allergy related.
- Seen and spent time with all of the older adults who helped me survive undergrad except two.
- Got professional head shots taken. Obviously these aren’t them. Lol.
- Laughed so hard I snorted.
- Hosted everything from cocktail parties to happy hours to welcome home parties ad birthday parties. I have been a lean mean gather the troops let’s celebrate machine.
- Become a better saver. I’m still learning how to be even more fiscally responsible and it’s not my favorite thing but I simply refuse to settle for the paycheck to pay check lifestyle.
- Been a better version of myself than the year before.
- Received the gift of new friendships and have been forever changed by those individuals.
- Started this blog which has seriously gotten me through some awful times in the past year. This space has allowed me to continue to discover who I am, am not, and desire to be. I’ve been more honest on this blog than most of my relationships. In fact I’ve probably been more committed to this blog more than quite a few relationships. I’m surprised I still have the blog.
This week may you take a moment to reflect on your life in the past year. Acknowledge the moments of pain, heart ache, and ugly as well as the moments of sweetness, hope fulfilled, and triumph. Sit with the forced resignation, lay off, lowered GPA, ended relationship, divorce, death of a child/sibling/parent/friend/pet. Hold the new job, launch of the new business, making dean’s list, birth of a child, marriage of your own or someone dear to you, traveling outside of the country for the first time, perfecting your grandmother’s recipe for lemon cake, that first kiss in a new relationship, starting your own blog, etc. Embrace the past year for all it was, the good, bad, hideous, and mostly “the was.” Embrace it for what it was and then…look at the next year like I do- a new beginning to choose to committ to LIVE-ing.