It's that time of the year when everyone does their annual reflecting on what the year consisted of and what they did and didn't do. Most, come into the year with big plans and dreams. You probably made a vision board, printed goal setting sheets from Etsy, and purchased one of those big planners from Hobby Lobby filled with tabs and sections that we never touch or write in, yet we still purchase it yearly. You most likely have a saved folder on Instagram and TikTok of all the places you told yourself you were going to travel to and visit, and a ton of screenshots in your phone for reference and inspiration that you never looked at again. Yeah, I know.
That is exactly how I usually spent my months leading into a New Year, doing everything I just describe with all the motivation and determination of a toddler destined to play with something they shouldn't. But not this year, the way I spent 2023 is exactly how I planned for it, by doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. If you've been following me for a while or familiar with my journey as a creative or entrepreneur, you're probably thinking "that doesn't even sound like you" and you're right, it doesn't and that's because I haven't felt like myself in a very long time. I came into 2023 burnt out, depleted, uninspired, over-it, and every other negative adjective to describe someone who just simply hated it here. This year came with a lot of emotions, lessons, and grief. The crazy part, even with all of that, it still wasn't a "bad" year. Just the kind of year that I never want to experience again. I can't quite put it into words, it's like I spent my year feeling everything and nothing all at the same time.
There were a few highlights, though. Here we go:
• I decided to close up shop with every business and brand I started for a hiatus, with no timeline or date in mind to return. During that, bills still needed to be paid, so I decided to work in my county's school district (one of the biggest regrets yet blessings of 2022-23). During my time at the school, I pitched and spearheaded a 6-week program called Little Miss Red & Blue where I planned weekly activities for the girls of an elementary school and ended it with a scholarship pageant to allow them to showcase all they learned during our time together. My time with the school board was one of the weirdest experiences ever yet came with many rewards. Getting a job felt like failure for me. It felt like I was giving up on myself and nothing made sense. I spent many days being sad and upset with myself, but it allowed me to see what I really wanted to do and what I should've been doing (more on this to come.) Not only that, but working with the school board allowed me to create relationships and friendships with people I pray last for a very longtime!
• Then comes May 2023, I assisted my father in making one of his dreams come true and helped him start a Gospel Entertainment company, where we produced an original gospel stage play. And spoiler alert, this was the most creative thing I did all 2023, I wasn't designing, directing, or hosting events. I was out of my element.
• August 2023, this is when the year got real and where the pivot happened. A New Era. The month of my birth. August! This is when reality had set in that I really came into this year with no plan and was watching my life, gifts & talents, and youth just slip between my fingers. Yet, by this time I was so disappointed and felt so defeated that despite having plenty of time to grab a hold of my life and get to work, I allowed the lies of the enemy (yeah, its about to get a tad bit churchy cause I need yall to get this) and that invisible clock that a lot of us like to keep up with that tells us when and where we should be by a certain time in life, convince me that I was running out of time. That others were so far ahead of me, and that I would be spending the rest of my life playing catch up. It was getting real, y'all. A couple of months prior to this, grief was running rampant, and it's almost like I could feel the exact moment where my brain just clicked and everything started making sense. From grieving my old life, past relationships, and people. Not doing what I know I'm passion about, and just not walking fully in the calling that I knew was on my life. I didn't like where my life and mentally state was heading if I didn't take control, immediately.
Because I am an avid journal-er, and sometimes I just have to talk it out, I spent a lot of time writing in my journal and pouring into myself through my voice memo app. Doing that, came with a lot of revelation and clarity.
Though I came into this year with no plan, it set me up for something bigger. The motivation and drive that I feel now is unmatched to any feeling I've ever had for previous years. This is the first time in a long time, where I was excited about living and doing more. And here is where I'm going to make the previous paragraphs make sense and bring it all together. Stick with me.
It's okay to do nothing.
I strongly believe if I would've come into 2023, hitting the gas, hustling, grinding, & trying to create, all while ignoring every sign of burnout and depletion, I would've lost my love for creating, people, entrepreneurship, and living-all together. Doing nothing forced me to sit with myself. Doing nothing allowed me to properly process grief, learn how to love my body the way it is while I work to get it where I want it to be, and pick up real hobbies that I didn't try to monetize. Doing nothing allowed me to rekindle my love for young girls and my desire to create and foster community. Doing nothing allowed me the headspace to actually dream again. When August came, I prayed the month in because I knew that with this new year of life, it would be the beginning of my New Era. Which was crazy in itself because despite feeling so low, I still had so much hope for who I would become and how I would turn ashes into glitter when the time was to come. Doing nothing showed me that I wasn't trying to "find myself" but that I was still developing and loving on who I wanted to be so that I could create myself. Though I came into this year with no plan, goals, visions, or dreams, by the grace of God I'll get to leave this year finishing what I started, revisiting old dreams & visions, and being excited about my life again.
So, if you had a year like mine where you did nothing and the pressure of the world and those false narratives that we create in our head when overthinking had you feeling like your time was up, remember that it's okay to do nothing sometimes. What is for you will always be for you. And it's never too late to start over, do something new, pivot, or dream again. You have time.