This year I grieved something unexpected, myself. I have come to terms with I can no longer hold on to the old version of me. I didn’t understand until recently why this year has been exhausting mentally. Yes, the world we live in has been chaotic, but this internal battle within me has been even more taxing. I’ve been afraid to embrace the updated version myself. She is new, we don’t have history, and I don’t trust her. However, the old me I know her very well, how she maneuvers, her thought process, etc. But no one puts new wine into old wineskins (Mark 2:22). I’ve been trying to do that for some time, and you can imagine my frustration. This is why I have to DIVORCE myself. I have to divorce my old mindsets, unlearn bad habits, and reprogram the way I think. Change is never easy. Even when you know you have to but knowing and going through the process is different.
I have to admit I’m scared. It’s frightening—the mere fact of taking a chance on me. Investing and Believing in myself has been the scariest thing. Why y’all didn’t tell me, it’s new to me. I didn’t have the luxury of witnessing this as I was growing up. It’s something that has to be developed. The baby steps I take are giant steps for me that may be minor to other people. Moving to Atlanta was a culture shock for me. Atlanta was intimidating. I have never seen so many people who looked like me going after their dreams, goals, etc. It peeped my interest. It took away the factor of it not being possible for me. It also made me self-conscious of where I was in life. It appeared everyone knew what they wanted, but I was still trying to figure out what that looked like for me.
This year, the question echoing in my head is what have I accomplished in my 35 years of living. Comparison is a killer. Be mindful of comparing your life to others. I didn’t picture my life being turned upside down like it was, but yet I’m here. I learned a lot about myself after my divorce. I had to deal with myself literally. I had nowhere to hide or run. I was fully exposed. This exposure allowed me to tackled the things I didn’t like about myself, which started me on this journey of healing and becoming the best version of myself. I have to admit meeting myself has been rewarding and scary. I’ve seen a glimpse of her and somehow began to question could I possibly be all I have seen. I automatically disqualified myself. I start to doubt myself. “FEAR” has played a significant role in my life. Fear and I have been in a long term relationship. I’ve allowed “FEAR” to talk me out of my dreams and kill them. Afraid of what if this works. Fearful of not having what it takes. Afraid of success. What does that even look like? Do have what it takes to sustain. It’s crazy to want success but at the same time be afraid of it.
People have the capacity, but it’s just not reserved for you.”Paris Preyear
Another thing I was afraid of was finding out who was really for me and who was not. This year has been eye-opening. I’ve been paying more attention to how people treat me, and if they’re putting forth the same efforts I have. Especially when it comes to their dreams and what they are building. It has been heartbreaking. I’ve had some hard conversations with my friends. I’ve been more vocal about what I need from people as a friend. I couldn’t hold them accountable for something they didn’t know I needed. It becomes hard once you’ve expressed what you need and no change. Support is more than just words; it requires action. It amazes me the people you’ve invested so much in, and they don’t reciprocate it. You would think it would be easy because of what you’ve given them. However, what I feared became a reality. I’ve watched people give what I asked of them/needed to others so freely, but that wasn’t the case when it came to me. I begin to ask myself if I did something wrong and what made me different. I started focusing on who wasn’t supporting me instead of who was. One of my friends said something so profound to me. She said, “People have the capacity, but it’s just not reserved for you.” It was difficult to hear, but it was a hard truth. How do you move past this? This is something I’m still working through. I will admit I was stuck here for a while. It was something I had to grieve and accept to move forward.
Looking back over this year, I’ve accomplished some remarkable things. I couldn’t see it because my focus was elsewhere. God has a way of getting my attention. I was having a bad day, and he had me make a list of the things I’ve done this year. I’ve done things I said I would never do, dreams that died fulfilled, and I started taking a chance on myself.
In March, I was asked to speak at a Youth event at my church at the time. It was to talk about mental health. Why is this so significant? Never in a million years did I ever think I would be in speaking in front of people. I never felt I had a voice, and I felt invisible. Some of the people I wanted/needed to be there wasn’t. Although I understood why they couldn’t make it, I can’t say it didn’t bother me. Speaking for me was a big deal; I wanted to feel supported. After I finished, the reaction from the crowd was overwhelming. I cried because in that moment, my “VOICE” meant something and I felt heard for once. This day was a glimpse of what’s to come for me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y64Z_mr2XLQ I posted my video, and the response I received from it was more than I expected. Someone even reached out to me about a speaking opportunity.
In May, Tasha Marie Styles was birth. I had my first Virtual consultation. It’s funny because this a dream that died. I found myself comparing my style and how I styled people to others. Although people would ask me to style them or compliment my outfits, I talked myself out of it. I felt my style was just basic, and there was nothing unique about it. As my confidence in fashion grew, I still didn’t pursue it. I didn’t take people seriously when they inquired for multiple reasons. I started doubting my abilities. This young lady was serious and sent me her deposit the same day. (Lol) I had a blast. But May wasn’t finished with me yet.
I still get teary-eyed when I think about this day. Did you know that God still fulfills unspoken dreams? This year I was asked to be a model for Art & Souls Magazine. For the majority of my life, I’ve heard, “You should be a model.” I never pursued it for several reasons. (That’s a story for another day) If you knew my story, you would understand how significant this is. My heart was overjoyed. I was overwhelmed with emotions. I was surrounded by people that didn’t doubt whether I can do this or not. They encouraged me. With each affirmation, my anxiety decrease, my fears of not doing a good job dissipated, and I begin to bask in the moment. They catered to my every need and made me feel loved. It’s something I will forever cherish. This day will forever be engraved in my heart. It was more than just pictures. Hair: Adrian Tabb, Make-Up: Armondis, Dress: Sir Algernon, Photographer: Macy Lemar
August I was a guest co-host on a radio station Hits 92.3 “The L.I.C.K. Morning Show,” I volunteered; who would have thought. After I did, I remember calling my mother, Asking why did I do this. What am I going to talk about? (LOL) I surprised myself. I wasn’t timid, and I had a fantastic time. Being a guest co-host was indeed a highlight for me this year. It showed how much I’ve grown because a couple of years back, I would have never. The love shown was tremendous, and people even said I was natural. I believe they were just gassing me up, but it was good times. You can tune into “The L.I.C.K. Morning Show‘” Monday -Friday from 6am to 10am.
September, Tasha Marie Styles was booked for its first photo shoot. It was for a book cover. Talk about frightening. I won’t lie and say I didn’t doubt myself. There were times I wanted to pull out, but overall it turned out great. My client was happy. I appreciate her for trusting me with her vision.
October I was asked to be a model for Char’s Boutique. Y’all, I thought I was killing in these pictures (LOL). When the pictures came out, I didn’t kill them as I thought. I’ve discovered that I pose weird, and my facial expressions don’t differ. Please don’t get me wrong; I did have some great shots; however, I know what I’m capable of as well, at least when I take my own pictures. This experience helped me realize what I need to work on. There are more things I’ve accomplished this year, but these were few highlights.
After reflecting on all I’ve done this year, I realize how hard I’ve been on myself. It gave me a fresh perspective because I’ve accomplished things this year. My focus was misplaced. I wasn’t giving myself credit for pushing past my fears. I had to say to myself, Tasha, look at what you’ve done. You’re doing it. Why can’t you see it? I couldn’t see because all I hear are the lies I’ve told myself throughout my life. Have you been there? Where no matter how far you’ve come, you’re unable to see your progress? For me, it has always been my voice. Things like, No one wants to hear what you have to say. To be honest, I’ve quit my blog more times than I like to admit. In my mind, nobody cares about what I have to say. Sharing my journey isn’t helping anyone. No one is sharing my post, liking it, or commenting. I was getting caught up on what wasn’t happening and the numbers. I was getting discouraged and wanted to walk away from it all. Something in me wouldn’t allow me.
I have to BEcome her. I have to become the woman I envisioned. Yes, it is scary. No, I have never seen it done before. This is why I must DIVORCE myself. The old me can’t go where I’m going. I can’t afford to hold on to her anymore. I can’t blame anyone but myself because the only person holding me back is me. I have to push past the doubts, uncertainty and keeping myself bound because I’m afraid of what’s on the other side of it. I have to set myself “FREE.” I have to grieve me. This has been the most challenging thing because this space is unknown and unfamiliar. I don’t even know how to navigate through it.
I’m building, and it’s not for anyone else but me. I never pictured this for myself. It’s something that is currently being developed. I have to learn healthy boundaries and how to be selfish with myself. Imagine that, a giver learning to say “NO.” I’m learning to be an advocate for myself because no one else will. I can no longer accept what people are willing to give me when I’m giving them my best. I have to demand the same in return. For me, unlearning, this has been the most challenging. I’ve always been afraid of losing people if I expressed myself. Truthfully, I lost people whether I said something or not. So, if I have to lose you because I speak up for myself, I have to accept it. Maybe you weren’t for me like you lead me to believe. I’m learning that if people can’t see my value, then that’s on them. I’m no longer going to try to beg or hope they see me. These are all the things I’ve allowed, and now I’m DIVORCING them. I deserve more, and I’m worth it. I’m worth the investment. I spent most of my life investing in others and helping them build their dreams. I’ve supported people to no end. I’ve invested time, money, and energy, all the while putting me on the back burner. It’s my turn now. It’s my turn to put that same energy towards me. The same way I cheered for others, I have to do it for myself.
I have to show up for myself now. I messed up and expected the people I cheered loud for to be as vocal for me. Learning how to be selfish when you’re selfless is hard. I’m unlearning it. As you can see, guys this has been a hell of a roller coaster. I’m exhausted and tired. I know you ask yourself how someone like me that is so encouraging and supportive has difficulties believing in themselves. Trust me that is a question I ask myself. I know when I stop believing in myself. Now, I’m in the process of healing the little girl that stop dreaming.
I want to admonish you to take some time to have an honest conversation with yourself. Ask yourself the hard question of what’s stopping you from taking a chance on yourself? I want you to know your worth the investment. Let’s Divorce the old mindsets and become the best version of ourselves. Someone is waiting on you/me. Let’s Become together. As always, thanks for reading my blog. I know this one was a little lengthy. If you haven’t read the letter, I wrote to myself called Divorcing me. Be sure to check it out. Maybe it will inspire you to write one for yourself if you decide to let me know. Please keep me in your prayers and leave me some encouragement to help me along this journey.
Until next time. Happy Holidays Tasha Marie.