The Plight of Positivity | Art Undone

Art Undone- The Plight of Positivity

I’ve always been known as a pretty positive person. I would say that I’ve always described myself as positive and optimistic. Always smiling and strong. Never letting anyone really see my sweat. It was never a role, it just felt like who I was. Little did I know a lot of the positivity was a survival tactic. You don’t have time to be a Debbie downer or sad when shit has to be done. You just have to figure it out and keep it moving. However, as I always say, life has a way of life-ing, and I found myself questioning positive thinking and if it was all a lie.

I got sick. I thought I was going to die. I was ready to give up. I was actually planning how people would find me. Dark, right? Yeah, I know. I couldn’t believe this was me myself. I was so defeated and the only positive I saw was waking up the next morning. Now, no need to worry, I wasn’t actually dying, it just felt like it. I was taking some information my body gave to me and amplified it times 1000 in my mind. It was bad and I didn’t know how to get out of it.

What was even more frustrating to me is that I felt like this wasn’t me. I wasn’t a negative Nancy. I was a positive sunflower so who the hell was this girl preparing for her death? In the words of the undeniably talented icon, Mariah Carey, “I didn’t know her”. All I knew was I didn’t like who I was and all I wanted to do was get back to positive rainbows and sunrays because this was for the birds.

So, positivity is great right? Of course, but not when it’s a shield to protect you from your real feelings. When I got sick, all I could do was deal with all those thoughts I had been suppressing for years. I felt so defeated. There was only the end and I just wanted to be prepared for the worst instead of ever thinking there could be a happy ending. I went in the complete opposite direction.

I hated the fact that this version of me existed. She wasn’t supposed to be like this. I felt like a complete fraud. Was being positive a scam? Was I a scam? I was going through it.

So, what happened next? I went to therapy because what else could I do? I needed help and I couldn’t figure it out alone.

After many sessions and much-needed help, I realized that me in my raw, negative form was just as much a part of me as a person as the positive version of myself. It didn’t mean I had to like it, it just meant I had to acknowledge it. Once I was able to acknowledge that version of myself, I was able to work on her. It didn’t mean she would ever go completely away, but I could work with her better.

The plight of positivity is the dismissal of everything else that doesn’t fit into that category. It can be just as lethal as the plight of negativity. I had to disconnect from my ultra-positive social media followers and holistically accept myself for who I was at that moment. It wasn’t easy but worth it. I’m still working on all of this, but I wanted to share my current relationship with positivity and myself. Here are a few takeaways as well:

  • You should strive to find a silver lining when it’s available but know that when you dismiss all things negative just to get there, those same things have a way of coming back around in the worst way.
  • It’s okay to feel negative feelings and let them out. It’s okay to not always be positive. That doesn’t make you less strong. It’s commendable to acknowledge all your thoughts and place them as you need in order to be okay.
  • Sometimes in order to survive, we do what will get us through the best. That may mean ignoring every bad thing in your life and only focusing on the positives. Just know that you shouldn’t always be in a flight or fight mode.
  • You must be willing to accept yourself for exactly who you are in order to start changing in any way you deem necessary. Just because you don’t like a certain part of yourself, doesn’t mean it’s not you. You can always learn to manage or fix it as much as you can but be willing to accept yourself as you are and that will make the work a lot easier.
  • Always, always give yourself room to breathe. Any internal work you do is not going to be easy. You’re putting yourself to a test of exposing the true you. It’s okay to just be as much as it is to grind towards your internal goals.
  • There’s always work to be done, so it’s also okay to be content in being undone.

Signed,

Art stay Undone.

I Didn’t Lie This Time! | Art Undone

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Yes, this is the energy we are coming in with because it is the truth! I didn’t lie this time. I didn’t lie to myself or anyone else. I kept a promise and it feels really good to say that I actually did it! It feels even better when it feels like I’ve lied to myself for such a long time. Let me explain…

explain tv land GIF by YoungerTV

Ever since I graduated from college, I’ve had a plan. I was going to work for two years then go to graduate school, specifically at the University of Pennsylvania. It had been my dream school in undergrad, but afraid to transfer, I decided to defer the dream instead and attend for graduate school. I was going to go to an amazingly elite graduate program, for FREE. That was it. That was the entire plan. After that? Well, of course, get a good-paying job. Doing what exactly? Didn’t matter. I just needed to get into grad school and say it was all paid for.

So, what did I do to make this happen? Well, I took the GMAT twice and failed miserably twice. I then postponed taking the third test I bought THREE times before I finally got a “refund” after I realized it wasn’t going to happen.

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Me to all my wasted money

Let me tell you, that was an anxiety-induced time in my life. I was telling all my friends how I was “studying” so hard for the GMAT to get into grad school, while privately having this internal battle inside that made me keep on saying myself “why?”. Why did I want to go to grad school? Why couldn’t I shut up about it? Why couldn’t I stop lying about really studying? Why couldn’t I focus?

over it no GIF by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

With so many unanswered whys, came even more lies. So, why the hell was I lying so much about grad school? Well, honestly that shit sounded so good. It gave me the next step. It gave me a purpose, a pathway. It also gave me a great acting role. Acting you say? So, who was the audience? The audience was truly me. Every time I could convince someone to believe in my “dream”, I was one step closer to believing it myself. It was a great show, but afterwards, there wouldn’t be an applause because when the curtains closed, I had to face myself and the truth always comes out. I didn’t want grad school. I just liked the fake audience applause it generated. I didn’t want to really lie. I just appreciated the fact that people believed in me. So, yes, I did lie, but this time I didn’t, and it feels so good.

On July 17, 2018, walking down W Montrose street in Chicago to go to get breakfast at a bagel shop, I stopped to take a selfie to commemorate a promise I knew I would keep. That day I decided I was going to move to Chicago. It felt right. It felt like home. It felt like the truth. I didn’t know exactly when I would get there, but I knew that it would be. In some ways, I don’t know how it all happened, but I can say I didn’t lie. Two weeks short of a year from that day, I’m sitting in my bed, a street over from W Montrose, in Chicago with all my belongings, gladly able to say that I didn’t lie this time and I kept my promise. Oh, what a feeling this is.

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Signed,

Art Simply Undone.

The Free Breakfast Podcast | Episode 9 | This is TEW Much! Dealing with Stress/Anxiety

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Beyoncé, Therapy, Battlefields, Off-Pitch notes, & a few sprinkles of Spiciness are all on this week’s menu of The Free Breakfast Podcast. Let’s Eat!
Stress Vs. Anxiety Article: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2018/06/stress-vs-anxiety/
Therapy Resources: https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/ ; https://www.talkspace.com/

Join in on the fun and hashtag us! #FreeBreakfastPod🍳

Email us questions or feedback at freebreakfastpodcast@gmail.com.


Free Breakfast Podcast Episodes

The Free Breakfast Podcast is free, fun and fulfilling conversations between a granddaughter and her grandmother. We’ll discuss topics such as boundaries, pet peeves and so much more. No matter your age, we believe you can get something worthwhile from the Free Breakfast Podcast. We hope you all are ready for a good time because we are!

The Free Breakfast Podcast | Episode 8 | Signs & Sighs of Getting Older

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This episode, Art & Nanny discuss signs of getting older, doctor visits, acting like your mom and more. Let’s Eat!

Join in on the fun and hashtag us! #FreeBreakfastPod🍳

Email us questions or feedback at freebreakfastpodcast@gmail.com.


Free Breakfast Podcast Episodes

The Free Breakfast Podcast is free, fun and fulfilling conversations between a granddaughter and her grandmother. We’ll discuss topics such as boundaries, pet peeves and so much more. No matter your age, we believe you can get something worthwhile from the Free Breakfast Podcast. We hope you all are ready for a good time because we are!

 

Dear ART at 26

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Dear Art at 26,

Whew, Chil-lay! 25 did NOT go as planned in more ways than one. But, you made it here and you DESERVE to be here. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to smile. You deserve to thrive. Why? Because with all that life has thrown you this past year, you’ve still managed to find the silver lining in a lot of crazy experiences. Also, you deserve everything just for simply existing. That’s one new lesson that you’ve definitely learned this past year. Surviving IS doing something. It takes courage to just make it through the day when everything and everyone seems to just not get it. You survived 25 and I’m so proud of you for that because at times it did not seem like the easiest thing to do.

I don’t know if we would call this stage “getting old” or “shit happens”, but a lot of all that has happened, and it was A. Lot! Life will life. Don’t forget that. Also, don’t forget that Art will make Art out of the materials she is given. It wasn’t and won’t always be easy but it’s necessary. It is essential that you don’t forget who you are because of what has happened in your life. It is important to remember that while you will change in the coming years, your core essence still remains the same and always get back to her when you feel like you have lost your way.

So, yeah, as much as we thought we grew from 24 to 25, 25 to 26 kind of took the cake. We’re not in competition or nothing, but 25 showed out with the tests and lessons thrown our way. But, made it from the bottom, now we’re halfway there! Whatever there is… So with all that growing, please, please, please find ways to document, document, document! Because you WILL need reference materials as you continue to go through life. Think of it as your personal life cheat sheet J.

Oh, yeah, that thing you do where you find little pockets of time and space to be selfish, even in the times of storm, continue to do that. You’ll need that. You’ll need those moments of clarity and solace to be able to operate effectively. This year has been a little more bearable because of those moments of selfishness. You can’t take care of everyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself.

That brings of a very great point… Trust. Your. Growth. You’ve come very far. You have to trust who you are now. You’ve worked hard to get here and it’s important not to revert back because you continue to look back. I know it’s easier said than done, but while we appreciate who you once were, it’s time to celebrate who you are now and where you are going. Just because you may go through a period where you aren’t actively moving forward (Because of life), doesn’t mean you are going backward. You have to trust your growth more than that.

Give yourself space to think AND listen. Sometimes your body is simply trying to talk to you, but if you don’t have the ear to hear, you can miss out on some important information. That also brings me to an important point that you should never forget. Your peace of mind is PRICELESS. If something doesn’t feel right, it is better to be safe than sorry. You know when something is not right. Always be your strongest advocate and make sure you keep records of everything. You never know when you may need them.

Don’t forget that there are people waiting for you to let them in. You don’t always have to be the strong one. You have more support than you know if you’d allow yourself to be open enough to accept. I know you and I know you won’t even go overboard (It’s not our style).

This year has been crazy, but it’s felt good in a lot of ways. I want you to know that God has you, your family has you, your friends have you and most importantly, you have you. You are on a winning team. You are the winning team. I can’t tell you what to expect this next ART year, but I can tell you that I have full confidence in your ability to make it through and doing a great fucking job because I believe in you.

Remember just how much you rose to the occasion this year. Honestly, you showed out. The growth jumped out! It wasn’t easy, but you found a way and made it work. A resourceful queen! I’m so very proud of you for everything you’ve done.

Also knowing when to ask for help and when to make it on your own. That’s a gift to know yourself that well. It’s a blessing. Keep on using your wisdom in those situations.

Just because this year wasn’t the easiest, doesn’t mean you have to have a tainted idea of this next year. Instead, I want you to be hopeful. Careful, but hopeful. This year will manifest greatly.

One big takeaway I can’t Thank God enough for you going into a new ART year is the vision! You found out what it feels like to really want something and that’s a beautiful thing. This year Will Be the year a lot of your hard work pays off. The vision is clear and what is yours, is yours. You know this all feels different and it’s a blessing to be able to pass the baton to someone so ready for all these blessings ready to rain on you.

So, go into this new ART year with great expectations, an open mind, determination, graciousness, faith and love.

I love you soo much.

P.S. Back-up EVERYTHING!

Love,

Art at 25

The Free Breakfast Podcast | Episode 7 | Getting To Know Yourself

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This episode, Art & Nanny discuss their journey to self-discovery. How exactly do you get to know yourself? What does it mean to have a relationship with yourself? How do you hold yourself accountable while trying to grow? These are all questions they explore on this episode of The Free Breakfast Podcast. Let’s Eat!

Join in on the fun and hashtag us! #FreeBreakfastPod🍳


Free Breakfast Podcast Episodes

The Free Breakfast Podcast is free, fun and fulfilling conversations between a granddaughter and her grandmother. We’ll discuss topics such as boundaries, pet peeves and so much more. No matter your age, we believe you can get something worthwhile from the Free Breakfast Podcast. We hope you all are ready for a good time because we are!

 

The Free Breakfast Podcast | Episode 6 | An Extra Side of Confidence Please

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This episode, Art & Nanny discuss their relationship with confidence and what it means to them. Does building confidence mean you start out lying to yourself? Is it necessary to have confidence to live a fulfilling & successful life? These are some of the questions Art & Nanny explore. Let’s Eat!

Join in on the fun and hashtag us! #FreeBreakfastPod🍳

Free Breakfast Podcast Episodes

The Free Breakfast Podcast is free, fun and fulfilling conversations between a granddaughter and her grandmother. We’ll discuss topics such as boundaries, pet peeves and so much more. No matter your age, we believe you can get something worthwhile from the Free Breakfast Podcast. We hope you all are ready for a good time because we are!

 

The Free Breakfast Podcast | Episode 5 | The Suggestion Box (Taking Criticism)

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This episode, Art & Nanny discuss their sometimes complex relationship with criticism from the giving and receiving ends. When is the right time to close the suggestion box? Do you consider the source when taking criticism? These are all questions Art & Nanny explore. Let’s Eat!

Join in on the fun and hashtag us! #FreeBreakfastPod🍳

Free Breakfast Podcast Episodes

The Free Breakfast Podcast is free, fun and fulfilling conversations between a granddaughter and her grandmother. We’ll discuss topics such as boundaries, pet peeves and so much more. No matter your age, we believe you can get something worthwhile from the Free Breakfast Podcast. We hope you all are ready for a good time because we are!

 

The Free Breakfast Podcast | Episode 4 | A Trip Down Memory Lane

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This episode, Art & Nanny take a light trip down memory lane and visit their childhoods, including some embarrassing stories. It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself and others from looking back.

Join in on the fun and hashtag us! #FreeBreakfastPod🍳

Free Breakfast Podcast Episodes

The Free Breakfast Podcast is free, fun and fulfilling conversations between a granddaughter and her grandmother. We’ll discuss topics such as boundaries, pet peeves and so much more. No matter your age, we believe you can get something worthwhile from the Free Breakfast Podcast. We hope you all are ready for a good time because we are!

 

The Free Breakfast Podcast | Episode 3 | Petty Peeves

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This was fun! This episode we explore what really gets our goats or,  according to the Gettin Grown Podcast, our petty peeves.

Join in on the fun and hashtag us! #FreeBreakfastPod🍳

Free Breakfast Podcast Episodes

The Free Breakfast Podcast is free, fun and fulfilling conversations between a granddaughter and her grandmother. We’ll discuss topics such as boundaries, pet peeves and so much more. No matter your age, we believe you can get something worthwhile from the Free Breakfast Podcast. We hope you all are ready for a good time because we are!