I’ve concluded that the Vtine (theBpum as you know me) is a spoiled, fortunate, truly privileged young whiner! Yes, it is true, I am one of those people who is so blessed, so favored, that when things don’t go exactly my way I crumble. “That sounds completely insane right?”, I ask with my legs crossed as I sit at my comfy kitchen table. Drinking my $1.06 Arabian bean, partially burnt (I swear) McDonald’s coffee, complemented with six teaspoons of sugar and three Coffee Mate original creamers.
Being favored and loved deeply is a blessing and a curse! It has created a little Frankenstein and the more I am favored, the more the little monster inside me feeds and grows bigger (clearly Halloween is still on the brain).
From the time I was a child, I recall being adored. First by my parents and family members, then by my incredible church family, and later by those whom I encountered who rooted for my success. I have been blessed with so many opportunities. Opportunities that I did not always deserve, but others saw otherwise－millennials are crybaby “give me this, give me that, where’s my trophy” beasts because society has made us this way!
I’ve become so used to doors opening and people yelling from the frames, “come this way” as I’ve stood clueless looking up at the sky, counting the clouds and looking for marshmallow-shaped figurines to glide by in glee, from the hall leading to the door, where the person stood with a bullhorn and neon sign, waving for me to enter and receive.
I am uber blessed you guys. I have a boyfriend I almost don’t deserve (because he is just that awesome), a family that adores me, a grandmother who is wise and my number one cheerleader, an uncle who loves me like a daughter, a cousin who is an amazing example of what it means to be selfless, while navigating how to also nurture her own dreams and aspirations, siblings who look up to me and appreciate all the things I accomplish while supporting my goals and ambitions, an expansive slew of relatives who are successful entrepreneurs, a flock of Milwaukee leaders who are truly my friends, and still I manage to find a corner to sit in and complain about having to put in the work to be a BAOS (translation: a boss, not just any boss but a woman who is recognized for her great work ethic). Yes, I want the crown and the glory, but I just want it to fall into my lap and fit my head perfectly, frame my face well and accentuate the golden undertones of my brown skin. “The nerve,” you think, as you shake your head and roll your eyes at me. But boy, in this world of instant gratification, THE DEVIL THAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA, and the “participation certificate” I have been groomed to want it all simply because… I desire it.
I woke up today thinking, “Ashley, damn, black people do really get sunburn (my forehead is peeling from an amazing 6 day birthday trip to Key West, FL). What am I going to eat for breakfast? Don’t check Instagram, don’t check Instagram－5 minutes later I was on it for AN HOUR! Are you really 100% committed to this tutoring thing? Did you honestly think it was going to be easy－to be completely honest, yes I did (puffing out my chest). Now that you see that it isn’t, what are you going to do? How can you create a market? Do you really want to work a job? Are you going to get to said “job” and start acting entitled and like you don’t want to be there?－No, I don’t want to work a job. Yes I am going to act like I have a sea salt covered saltine on my shoulder because I’m not using every ounce of my energy to grow my own dreams. Are you in a position to continue building without making a consistent, livable wage income? (Long hard reflection). No. Ash, we aren’t in a position to continue at this rate and maintain. What chu gon’ do Ash? 1. Get off of Instragram－I am honestly considering a hiatus from social media because I am not controlling it, it is taking over (I am melting, melting). But really, I am not getting depressed and jealous as I did in the past, it is just a trap and I feel pressure to keep up with maintaining it and growing a following. It doesn’t feel healthy and contributes to my decline in happy hormones 2. Get out of the bed 3. Take a bath 4. Go get coffee 5. Blog 6. Find that Beyoncé Album, turn it on, REPEAT, crank up the volume, all your neighbors are AT WORK, MAKING MONEY (sad face－mentally slapping myself out of it) 6. Make another set of flyers 7. Call Digicopy, get them printed 8. Go to the coffee shop, ask to post it 9. Follow-up with potential customers－crap my forehead looks worse now that I’ve washed my face 10. HOMEWORK! 11. Keep reflecting on how blessed you are 12. Find a meditation or yoga class－I need intrinsic motivation. I keep relying on other things or activities to motivate me and this could be why I dip between happy and “the world is crumbling around me”.
It is so easy to get down about things not going according to plan. Worrying about money will put you at the lowest of lows and you start to lose focus (at least I do). I can’t produce good work, stay true to my product and the brand I am building, or even appear content if I’m worried about a bill. But if I don’t work this dream until the wheels fall off, I won’t be able to make money. We all have highs and lows, but I was sitting at a low and setting up furniture in a space of funk. I can’t be succumb to feelings of worry and doubt. I must continue to WORK for what I want because contrary to what I have internalized, I am not owed favor.