Part 6: Serenity
It has been quite difficult for me to finish this pursuing purpose series for a few reasons. One, I’ve been so busy and pulled in many directions. Two, my sleep schedule is completely nonexistent. Three, I’ve been under a heavy stress load and four I have not had much peace or serenity at all.
How could I write about being a “business woman” to pursue peace, when the chaos in my life was only amplified by my ambition?
I’ve never been particularly “easy” on myself. Lets not sugarcoat it, I am my worse critic. Its almost as if no matter how hard I work or what I do I still feel like I could do much better. I also tend to give 100% of my time and energy to one thing at a time and neglect other people or parts of my life.
For example, my best friend Alexis hated me from the fall of 2014 to around mid 2016. Why? The only thing that mattered to me was AKA, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. I missed family events, going home for breaks, birthdays, and much more to make sure I was available to put on programs, attend events, choreograph yard shows, etc. I wanted to be known as the most involved, influential, and dedicated person on the campus. I went to an academy that only twenty collegiate sorority members out of thousands were invited to. I joined the executive board. I sat on sacred panels with the most prestigious members of the organization. To me it was worth it.
Once I graduated and started to transition into life after college, even my active status in the organization was not enough to fill the hours of time not spend on reading research articles and writing essays. I had no idea who I was outside of the status in the organization. I needed to figure out how to cultivate relationships again, what my hobbies were and ultimately who I wanted to be. People always say “I am finding myself” but I think that is the incorrect way to look at it. We create ourselves and the way we want to be perceived. It was not easy and still is not . To cope, I isolated myself from a lot of people and things. I wanted to find “peace” but I lost it in the aim to find it.
Fast forward to now, two years post grad, and I did it again. Until recently, I was fully engulfed in the pursuit of becoming a leader and success in the financial services world, that it was all that mattered. And being the self-defeating person I used to be, I could not handle when things were not going my way. The more things went contrary to how they played in my head, or my work ethic was not immediately gratified, the further my self esteem declined. I felt horrible. I left my clients at my ABA clinic, lost relationships, uncovered traumas I thought were buried, and I wasn’t where I thought I should be. Every motivational speech I’ve heard about business being hard couldn’t have prepared me for the reality of how hard I was taking things. But again, the problem was, I was associating serenity with perfection. “If I just accomplish this, I’ll be at peace” “If I just make this much money in a month I’ll be happy.” I was allowing the external to completely alter my mental state. I was allowing negative thoughts to steal my dreams and my passion.
It was not until I saw an interview with Moniece Slaughter, yes from Love and Hip Hop Hollywood, that I got a new perspective. She was speaking on a conversation that she had with a pastor about peace. He basically said that peace was not the absence of problems, but the ability to be strong in the face of them and not allow things to destroy you or take you out of character. Those words did something to me. It made me realize that seeking serenity did not mean I had to be an overnight success or that all of my woes did not exist. Peace meant that I stayed positive, optimistic, and kind to myself regardless of what was going on. By far, 2019 was the worst year of my life. BUT it pushed me to seek the creation of a person that I never would have. I have been forced to seek joy, peace, and ultimately serenity internally. I have my days, but I’m stronger and more authentic to the person I WANT to be everyday. I am truly seeking serenity and confident that what God has for me, nobody can lay claim to.
There are still numerous things I know I need to work on. I still will never stop seeking ALL of my dreams. There is still a mission I must accomplish and an amazing business platform I can stand on to help me achieve it. Yet, I am thankful for the pain that taught me what peace really means.