Because Life Is: Putting one foot in front of the other

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How do you handle hard situations without losing yourself in your problems? It’s always hard when you have an idea of where you feel your life is going, where your steps are taking you, and thinking that you have control of it all. But, I learned very quickly that I do not.

I never quite knew how to answer that question. And with being so young, there’s a lot more that I will experience in life that I won’t know how to handle. But, I’m learning the hard way that it’s all about embracing the journey. Embracing the hard steps, and never giving up on myself before I show that I have something to prove.

This month alone has really tested the way I see myself and how much I feel I’m personally capable of.

Being a creative, an entrepreneur and a journalist sound like they aren’t interchangeable or could mesh well together, but they find their ways. I could flourish in all aspects, dive head first into my works and not have a problem doing so many things at once from sun up to sun down. I’ve always been involved with so much, and I always feel the need to act on every idea that comes into my head (However, I have quickly learned that is a recipe for disaster!). But when do you make time for what’s happening personally? To deal with the personal emotions that make their way into your everyday life?

That is something I hadn’t quite figured out, just went with the flow. There’s nothing wrong with not having a strict plan, but there is a problem with ignoring the very things your mind needs to take care of.

As business creatives, we tend to develop this machine like mentality that we can push off things, conversations and conflicts and channel any negative energy into our works.

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Looking at this month alone, I have lost way more than I gained from not being real with myself.

It’s so easy to get caught up in answering “I’m fine” to every “How are you?” question. But what happens when you’re not and more things continue to happen?

There was a moment I had this month where things just kept happening. And it was never really anything that people have done towards me themselves, but it was mostly the act of knowing what I deserve and making some hard decisions. But I thought saying “I’m fine” would just alleviate the need to deal with those things head on. But you only do yourself a disservice when you don’t.

The same effort and energy you put into making sure a plan is carried out and it works in your career is the same effort, time and energy you need to put into your personal life.

Show people around you how much you really care. Have those hard conversations if it’s on your mind and you know you can’t be your best self until those feelings are expressed. Be intentional about the growth you want to make and get real. Because at the end of the day, you have one life to live and you don’t want to go through life feeling stagnant and in the same place years from now.

There’s nothing wrong with needing to deal with the hard stuff.

And when it’s all said and done, make sure you continue your walk and put one foot right in front of the other.

 

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Because Life Is: about being humble

All about being humble.

It’s almost the very end of 2016, and it feels like I have nothing left to give to the year.

It almost seems as if I don’t have the energy to rejoice for 2017.

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This year was a very hard fought year. Meaning, I fought for everything I earned and took no prisoners: (schemers, leeches or negativity) along with me. This year was full of learning lessons that needed to be learned at the perfect time. While I think it’s important to focus on resolutions and things you want to attain for the next year, sometimes it’s necessary to sit back and look at all of the things you accomplished right now, and even placing a focus on the things you needed more of that could better serve you in the year to come.

What I realized about 2016, and almost every other year prior, is that I’m really good at being there when others need me. I’m also very good about being in 5 different places at one time. But what I didn’t realize is how unhealthy all of those things really were when I wasn’t inserting myself into the equation.

College fed into my need to multitask. I felt like I always had to get everything done in a timely fashion. Most of that meant sleepless nights or writing out works in the car, in other classes, or avoiding sleep at all costs. Now, cheers to adulthood where none of that is possible! Literally – try producing a show in your sleep. You’ll be very disappointed when you prepare for the day and breaking news happens.

I have a weakness even while adulting that allows me to believe I can still do those superhero things and not feel any consequences of it. But how I was wrong. In college, you had an idea of how your day would go, and it wasn’t uncommon to sprinkle things in where you felt they were the perfect fit. I wake up daily now and I never know how my day will go (even this blog post was unplanned). It’s just the nature of life.

But just because I can’t tell the future, doesn’t mean I have to ignore making rest and happiness a mandatory objective in my daily life. I realize that lack of sleep is not quite what I need to thrive if I want to succeed and grow daily. I need to give back to myself in the biggest, but smallest ways. I can’t ignore those moments when my body tells me, “you’ve done enough.”

What exactly is enough?

That’s something I could never really define, and I’m having a hard time figuring that out even in this very moment. Because I know the path I’ve chosen to take with my career and passions, I should be content, right? Things should be good, right?

But what happens when others around you take a different path?

I have friends from all walks of life, many of them with the most creative spirits. They’re not aspiring to be journalists. They’re aspiring to get their art off the ground. They’re aspiring to have freedom. They’re aspiring to travel more, enjoy life a little more. Maybe become doctors, lawyers, attend graduate school. Become a nomad?

All of these journeys have their influences, but what many people don’t quite tell you is that they also have the ability to make you doubt yourself and your own passions and your own path. I can’t tell you how many times this year alone that I thought I wanted to quit because things weren’t quite going as I expected. When things just didn’t seem to be worth it anymore. But then I realized why those feelings were setting in.

It goes back to humility. The act of selflessness. The act of appreciation. I wasn’t separating myself from my past life of college fun, freedom to be a journalist and a poet and an artist all at once. I wasn’t allowing myself to transition into the now moment of my life to really appreciate what’s happening and how blessed I truly am. If the people around you don’t motivate you to want THAT kind of lifestyle, it could either be one of two things:

  1. Check your friends, boo.
  2. Check yourself.

In this instance, I knew my friends were DOPE. I needed to check THYSELF.

Going forward, I want more humility sprinkled into my daily life. I want more joy and peace with my journey and more of an appreciation for what God has blessed me with. Someone posted a question on Twitter, asking their followers to reflect on the things they accomplished this year, and encouraging them to celebrate themselves. When preparing my answer, I realize my track record is a high one and very groundbreaking. To graduate college and almost immediately get my dream job in my desired career field is nothing but the grace of God. To live in a new area that is filled with hope, light and love is the icing on the cake. To be in a position where one day I can better provide for myself, soon enough giving back to my family all they’ve given me in the simplest gestures. It’s very encouraging.

2017 is a promising year, but honestly, I can’t even bring myself to focus on resolutions when I haven’t quite yet finished up celebrating me making it through this year.

So cheers to 2017, but also, cheers to the journey of 2016 that is preparing me to move into a better way of life.

“Always stay gracious”

  • K

 

Because Life Is: a second chance.

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Life is a beautiful journey you have to go back and rediscover time and time again just to really appreciate it. I found myself at times during these past few months being so invested in the perfection of having a lifestyle that I could be proud of. When I say that, I mean that I began to think very superficially about things I felt I needed and things I feel like I should accomplish. I wanted everyone to acknowledge that I was putting in work, and with that comes the need for constant likes and compliments. I got lost in the idea that if I helped and supported others, that eventually the same due respect would be given.

But life serves you up lessons in unique ways.

I questioned a lot of things, the most consistent being whether or not I was good enough for much of the very things that I wanted to accomplish.

I’m so grateful for the reassurance that many of my greatest friends and family have surrounded me with.

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I’ve had to ask myself countless times again and again how much my dreams are worth, all while reminding myself of my worth and that it means something.

This series, #BecauseLifeIs is going to be very transparent and very real.

Everything that you could think of — from parts of my life I rarely discuss to love and relationships to career journeys.

Stick around for it all, and thanks for the support, always.

-KD

Queen City – The Beginning of a Platform

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It’s the last summer of my undergraduate career.

Soon, it will be time to think about career opportunities and what lies ahead. The past few months have been filled with lots of decision making, reflections and risks. As my future practically stares me in the face, I am left with no choice but to pursue something that will set things up for a more concrete future.

Alas, my road to Charlotte is born.

Coming here, honestly was by chance. My good friend recommended me two places to reach out to. Without a breath, I reached out immediately, made my connections, and traveled out to take a chance on a few interviews to see if anyone would find me a good fit. Not having any sort of idea what I would be doing if the interviews didn’t work out at all, but just feeling that if I didn’t do anything about these opportunities, something would be passing me by.

The exact same day as my arrival, I was hired.

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For the next few months, I will be serving a videographer role with the Metro Proponent news studio of Charlotte, NC. The platform itself is a great one – non profit organization giving back to local businesses by providing free marketing opportunities in their newspapers, presenting news to the people of Charlotte in a unique way, and just really providing a different platform that, I would argue, is one I’ve hardly ever seen.

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As with any opportunity, there is always questions about whether or not you’ll fit in, you’ll live up to the expectations of who hired you, etc. And I’ll admit, I definitely had my fair share of those, and often times still do. Here is a person who believes in me and my work without even fully knowing who I am, but just trusting in me to be there and get the job done.

When I think about what I would like to do with my career, I envision myself serving on a platform that gives back. Something that really shows the public why it matters, and really taking pride with the news it delivers to their audience. I’ve always been a little unorthodoxed in my approach with news and journalism, and at times, it can be intimidating for me to explore certain platforms and not get discouraged along the way that I won’t get hired by a company, or fit in with the brand.

These next few months, I tear down those barriers as I continue to explore the voice that I have in media and today’s society and really showing the world what I’m made of. My advice to anyone that is pursuing an internship, or currently has one – definitely don’t take the opportunity lightly. You honestly never know when a door will open and release an opportunity your way.

– KD

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The internship series will occur all summer long featuring video, behind the scenes and editorial features of advice and activity happening during my internship with The Metro Proponent. For more of the fun stuff, be sure to follow along with my blog, “Truth Be Told”! Share your thoughts and connect with me!

Twitter: @KDennis94

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