This year brought me to my wits end. As we speak, and as I am writing this I am at my wits end. Exhaustion mixed with overactive thoughts and anxiety has been my cocktail the last few months. I lost my Mother 4 months ago and my world crumbled but also came together in different ways. It’s been bittersweet and melancholy to say the least. Life plays tricks on you, or at least that’s how I feel. I learned and am learning so many lessons this year and at times I feel like it’s at my own expense. That’s life though and as I walk into 2019 and half of my 33rd year on earth becoming an adult and growing into yourself is not easy.

This year, I would like to find beauty in my hard moments. I want to make a mantra and affirmation to start the year off with even if I am not feeling my highest self. So tonite I will write that for myself in my spare moments. Right now, like most holidays I am cooped up with my family enjoying our time together and fighting occasionally. That’s real, right? Today I have really had to check in with myself, catch myself and say to take the time to review all that has transpired the last year and the rainbows that followed the storms.

Lessons occur whether you’re ready for them or not

Flying home back to America the morning after my Mother passed has to have been the hardest thing I have gone through this year. I don’t know how I got back to America from Amsterdam. I don’t remember the car ride from my apartment in Amsterdam or how I wheeled my luggage in. I remember the night before, vomiting and crying and screaming all night until I was able to sleep. I remember my friends who were there for me giving me food, wine and weed while I was in and out of my own version of a nightmare. I wasn’t ready to go through this. I was ready to fix things with my Mom finally, I was moving home in a few months, I had so many plans.

But life had other plans for me, and my family. Unlike other times that I have faced family problems, or life problems- I didn’t feel like I would not be able to handle this. I just stopped feeling anything. I lost my memory. I started to live with love only and almost feel love as a survival mechanism. As someone who feels almost everything already from everyone, my anxiety and emotional balance went a little awry.

I learned so many lessons, that I am not quite ready to share out loud yet, but my heart broke and I am still here kicking, screaming and trying. I’m weird, I’m scarred but I am determined.

Manifest your goals without trying

This summer after traveling to several countries a lot for DJ-ing and turning 33, I decided prior to my mom passing that although I loved Europe so much and wanted to make my life there realistically I desire deeper goals in life which would require my partner in life to be by my side. Staying abroad living like a freelance college student wasn’t something I wanted anymore aside from how “me” I felt abroad. I needed to be closer to my family, to stop missing milestones, and to have stability only my country could give me.

I began months ago to dream about what was next for me. I knew that I wanted to continue working creatively, freely and most likely for myself but that I needed to learn a lot more before being able to be disciplined enough to do so. I had a lot of hopes in my mind, inquired within my network, heard a lot of no’s, maybe’s… was placed on hold, got excited by some things but nothing moved.

It wasn’t until months & months later, after giving my hopes and dreams up to the sky after losing my mom that some of the things I thought about only as faint possibilities appeared clearly in my sight and reach. The day I signed my contract and got my title at VFILES, I knew. I had seen and hoped for all of this and it came true. I didn’t know then how and in what shape it would but it did. The day after we wrapped the first Pass the Aux in my hometown of Atlanta, in which I produced, planned, DJ-ed and co-hosted I cried because I just had dreamed of this for so long. I never knew how it was coming, but it came.

You have to make time for self care, it’s serious

Sometimes, I can’t sleep. Sometimes, I want to cry. Sometimes I just don’t know what this world is coming to. I just know that I have a purpose to be here creatively and to take care of the people I love. Even though our relationship was very complicated since my Mother’s passing, I felt even more than I had in the past the urgency to take care of my brothers, dad, aunts, and my grandpa that she left behind. I suffer from extreme anxiety so sometimes making decisions for other people causes fights or extra energy/emotional drainage. I have a hard time letting go of making sure everyone is alright all the time.

So I have to check in with myself. By going to the sauna, reading, writing, going to the Korean spa or even getting my nails done. When I really have time I try to dedicate one full day to doing nothing. Those days are few, and far between but I try.

In 2019, I’d like to try harder. By getting back to my exercise routine, and making a spiritual & self care routine for myself that reaches a bit further inside that I am currently. I even am considering getting back into therapy even though holistic therapy is rarely covered by insurance.

Some people will let you down, don’t change but also watch who you keep around and go out of your way for

Part of my growth has a woman has been my self awareness especially in the way I am able to relate to other people and where they fit in my life.
I am not perfect, I will say that but once I find someone close to me doesn’t match my standards of life I distance myself like the crab I am out of protection. This past year, I hit my rock bottom emotionally and while I didn’t particularly want to be around people when my mom passed I NEEDED to be. I needed my friends help to get my stuff packed up to move back to America within a week after 6 years in Europe. I needed someone to sleep with me those nights. I needed my “best” friends to reach out and check on me. Most of them did. Some of them did not. And I do not fuck with those people anymore. I wish you well kiss kiss, but you are not for me.

I want the kind of friends, to be the kind of friend I am. I don’t have time for jealousy, gossiping, envy (I say this because it exists – people look at your life and try to mimic it because it was easy for you in their eyes), and last but not least I do not under any circumstances surround myself with people who keep questionable company. If you want to get burned get burned on your own time.

Our Mothers do more than we know

When a parent dies, its an indescribable feeling. You review their whole life from birth until the end, and realize how short life really is. You begin to remember only the good things and wonder why you wasted so much time ever fighting. And more than anything you are reminded of how much that love is worth. I was the only person who didn’t see my mom before she passed. I hadn’t seen her in two years. I tried to make it home from Europe, maybe not as hard as I should but I tried and she passed the night before my flight.

After getting back to Atlanta with my family I spent two weeks looking at photos and thinking back. Hearing real stories of my Mothers life through people who really knew her. She and I didn’t have it so easy unfortunately together but one thing that I learned about two days before her funeral was that she was very afraid all the time. When she got pregnant with me she was afraid. In fact she was so afraid, she wanted to put me up for adoption. Something I had never known. It hurt to hear that but it also made me realize how much she actually loved me. She fought against a big fear and kept me after I was birthed sending away the couple I had been promised to. At 23 (which is a baby to me now) she tried to be a Mother even without being sure quite how.

I used to pity myself for not having a normal relationship with my mom. And now I am just grateful. She was human and made mistakes but that never took away from the love even if we had it from afar.

Fear is inevitable but use it to your advantage, push beyond

I am afraid of everything. My anxiety scares me sometimes. My mind runs a million miles an hour. Something I learned about my mom was that she was also afraid of everything. It held her back sometimes. For me my fear has been what has driven me. Every time I overcome a fear I become stronger and my goals get bigger. Going into the new year I want to work on comforting my fears and anxieties more and trusting the process.

Happy New year!

photos: Jordan Kelsey Knight

body suit: VFILES

sweats: Los Angeles Apparel

boots: Timberland