New Years Eve 2014
I wasn’t going to do this. I actually never do this, but I started thinking back over 2015 and thought about some of the amazing things that happened to me and figured, I should write a list.
2014 was an epic year for me. I discovered a lot about myself, did some informational life work and met Oprah for Christ’s sake. How could 2015 live up to that? It did. Here’s 15 awesome things that took place in my life this year. I look forward to what 2016 has to bring!
- Rocked My Natural Hair: I’ve always loved admiring other women and their natural hair, but even when I was brave enough to rock my own, I’d exclude myself from that sistah girl praise. “They can rock it because of their texture,” or “She takes really good care of her hair.” I would always say I didn’t have the time or patience for it. While that’s still true–I taught myself this year that not only do I have the confidence to rock what’s coming out of my scalp, but if I want beautiful, healthy hair, I have to pay attention to it.
- Left A Job I Loathed: I am very blessed. I am not a girl who has to clock in and out of a dead-end job. I have a journalism career that I love. But it’s a career that’s still growing and exposing me to different avenues. In 2012, I landed what I thought was my dream job–I was a writer at a major website dedicated to Black women. From there, I went up in ranks to Associate Editor and then Lifestyle Editor, where I was able to spearhead an entire section all my own, filled with content around culture, food, fitness, travel and more. I was happy…until I wasn’t. After a few years, the job became a labor and I found it hard to be me: bubbly, upbeat and generally joyful. I needed to get out, but I was too afraid. The proverbial leap of faith became a push and I was out of that job. Once I left, I found that the other side was indeed scary, but fruitful.
- Landed A New Gig: I’d only been out of work for about a month when a friend emailed me about working with the website she worked for–still a Black site, but not just for women. I was elated when her boss called me and told me more about the position. They wanted to bring on someone to create sociable content. It sounded perfect! I no longer wanted to regurgitate the news everyday. This was giving me a chance to be a content creator! They hired me on the spot and I hit the ground running!
- Created Two New Video Series On The Root: I thought long and hard about my unprecedented position and decided the best way to do the job was to create video content. From those thoughts came Out Loud and Growing Pains–two new franchises on TheRoot.com that allow me to tell the stories of my people. They have both been very well-received. One of the Growing Pains video, centered on adoption, has had over 100K views and the most successful of the Out Loud series, is around depression and it’s up over 80K views!
- Went To Jamaica: I love a good trip honey and when a company reaches out and wants to pay for you to go? Yes please! Strength of Nature invited beauty and lifestyle editors and bloggers on a trip to Jamaica to reintroduce us to the Soft & Beautiful brand and to say thank you. I felt very appreciated, getting a chance to luxuriate with some of my favorite girls in the media space. More of these please!
- Hosting The Red Carpet At The Soul Train Awards: Strength of Nature is a brand that I’ve worked with when I was at HelloBeautiful. However, I thought that when I departed there, my relationships I built would crumble as well. They didn’t! This was a very big lesson for me this year because it taught me that I had strength in networking and that it was more about who I was than where I worked. They reached out for me to cover based on who I am.
- Explored My Comedy Career & Made A Reel: I discovered my love for comedy in 2014. This year, I got a chance to explore that passion. I thought it would only be me doing stand up on various stages–which I did, but I realize that comedy is more than 5 minute sets. I was asked to be a part of a comedy pilot alongside people like Rip Michaels, Cardi B and Brian Hooks. I also took many of the on-camera clips and commissioned an editor I worked with at my former job to create a comedy and hosting reel.
- I Started My Own Podcast: Earlier in the year, I started a podcast with a comedy school friend of mine. We had a falling out over out consistency and dedication to the podcast, so we stopped. I loved doing it, so I developed another one. This time, I’d only have to rely on me and that’s where Golden Brown Girls came in. It’s an audio celebration of amazing women of color from each and every walk of life. So far I’ve had everyone up there from my amazing friends to a porn star to Adina Howard and Omar Tyree. I am very proud of the stories I get to tell with this podcast. It’s my favorite baby of 2015. I’m on iTunes and Soundcloud!
- Fed The Homeless On My 31st Birthday: I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for my birthday, but I knew I wanted it to be special. After talking with my mommy on the phone, I decided what better way than to give back. I told my friends that they’d be spending over $40 to eat, drink and be merry, why not give me half of that, I can buy supplies and we can feed 50 people who wouldn’t have had a meal without us that night. I purchased supplies and assembled bags and a couple of my friends and I hit the streets to feed some hungry souls. I felt inspired by my friends and they said the same about the night. I hope it’s the spark that ignites them to continue to be the change they seek. I also met a young girl living on the streets earlier this year and I was able to raise over $2000 for her. One of the biggest amounts I’d ever raised and biggest chances I took in helping a stranger.
- Put Amber Rose’s Boobs On My Boobs: Y’all should know by now that I’m a fool. Around the time I started on Snapchat (my big addiction), I was leaving a party and literally ran into Amber Rose. She obliged me in being on my Snapchat (follow me: Rhapsodani), and we put our boobs together. The moment was glorious.
- Got To Be A Talking Head Because Of My Writing: I’d written a piece about why Cecil The Lion received more humanity than slain Black lives and it went viral on HelloBeautiful. Huffington Post reached out and asked me to do a segment about the topic. It was such a nerve-wracking experience, but it proved that my writing goes beyond the blinking cursor and that I can be a thought leader.
- Started A Relationship Column: Now keep in mind that I didn’t say, “advice” and that’s namely because I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to dating. I just try. But I do know that my horror stories make for great entertainment, so I share those every week with the MadameNoire.com audience in my #RelationshipGoals column. My tagline is, “Because it’s easy to get a man, I’m trying to keep one.”
- Found My Self Worth: For so long, I sought validation, always asking permission instead of just slaying…like my friend Jovian says, “On purpose.” Now that I have stepped into my own power, I know what it takes to have true confidence and to walk in that without shame or fear. 2016 is about to get it…GOOD.
- Developed A Stronger Bond With My Dad: It wasn’t important to me growing up because he never really tried to be a part of my life. The older I got, the more I wanted him around. One day, he reached out to me and we talked and talked and reconnected, then fell off again. Over my Christmas vacation, I let him know I would be back home and I wanted to see him. He made it happen. I went to him and he showed me his cabin in the mountains, among many of the other homes he built. It was a beautiful thing to see his eyes light up when he told me things. A week after I left, he called to let me know he was still on cloud 9 from my visit. I didn’t know how much it meant to him for us to be connected and now I know.
- Stopped Being Broke: One of the biggest reasons I loathed my first salary editorial job is because they did not pay me what I deserved. I work pretty much 24/7 and had to freelance in order to keep my head above water. I often didn’t have the time, no energy to write more once I got home, so bills went unpaid, brunches went unattended and tears stained my face more than I care to remember. My new day job pays me twice what my old one did and on top of that, I have the energy to freelance! I am no longer letting the words, “I’m broke” escape my lips!
What awesome things did you do this year?