Nichole's self portrait

My 7 biggest lessons from 2017

Nichole's self portrait
My silhouette and words that capture my unique identity

One of my biggest regrets in 2017 (and I try not to have regrets) is how much I neglected my blog this year. Believe me, this year more than any others since I started the blog in 2007, there was MUCH to talk/write about especially in the political landscape. Yikes! I mean DAMN! Really? I started so many blog posts but because they went off the rails because I began to rail on people (you can probably guess who those people were) I chose not to publish them. Was I venting in these unpublished post? Yes, to some extent but mostly I was calling people, a lot of people out on their bullshit.  BTW, I am still very much a Christian, working diligently to live a Christian lifestyle but sometimes curse words have a place to punctuate and express exactly how I am feeling. Judge if you will. I am very OK with your judgment. Which leads me to what I learned or was reminded of in 2017.

  1. My faith and my relationship with God is non-negotiable.
  2. My voice is worthy of being heard because
    1. I have something to say,
    2. what I am saying comes from experience or insight or deep reflection or from the knowledge I have gained, and
    3. I don’t speak just to hear myself talk but because I have a deep compassion for helping others and making a difference.
  3. I am a great leader. Letting the past or what someone has said in the past about me being a leader has NOTHING to do with my present or my future. This year, my leadership skills were put to use like never before and I know I was able to make an impact in the lives of others because they told me.
  4. Women, especially African American women, are incredible. Of course, I knew this being an African American woman myself (wink wink), but this year…we ruled and reminded the world of our greatness. In my circle and community of African American women, I have seen them do some incredible things this year and I am excited about 2018 because they/we are not done. This isn’t just about the Senate seat vote in Alabama, although that was part of the icing on the cake. As Auntie Maxine said, “WE ARE RECLAIMING OUR TIME!” Women such as Maxine Waters, Ava DuVernay, Angela Rye, Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, Lena Waithe, Tarana Burke, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Issa Rae, Symone Sanders, Vi Lyles, and Jemele Hill, are only a few notable African American women who not only took the spotlight this year but dominated the field whichever one they played on. We are not done!
  5. An individual does have the power to create change. Sometimes people will talk themselves out of doing something because they feel they can’t help everyone or what they do won’t make an impact. That’s just not true. Every little bit helps because that “little bit” to you is “a lot” to someone else. Plus, all you have to do is help one. You never know how that help for one can create a domino effect that will move mountains for others.
  6. Hamilton is AMAZING! Like other people followed the Grateful Dead and Phish around the county, I need to follow Hamilton. Looking forward to Costa Mesa and Dallas in 2018.
  7. Because someone else is afraid or places limitations on their life does not mean they have the right to place those limitations on mine. “No thank you. You can keep that crazy over there.”

As with any new year, I have an expectation for greater things. One of those great things is a dream deferred and now coming to fruition. Before the end of 2018, I will have my Bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership. I’m excited and looking forward to sharing this accomplishment with my family and friends. But more importantly, I want my experience to be an inspiration especially to women of all ages. That’s part of purpose God has been showing me this year and in 2018 I expect to fully step into what He has called for me to do and those He will send to me to lead.

Cheers, to an incredible 2018 and all that it has to offer.

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