It’s a motto I worked to follow in 2016. I’d like to think I was considerably successful in doing so! All things considered, it was a massive step into the unknown with ALL the nouns imaginable. Initially, I thought that this would be something that’s a setback, but once I started to approach the year with a mindset that working with you have is all anyone really can do, I stepped into the year with something close to confidence and didn’t look back.
The result? Well, if you ask others, it was a big year of loss from the election to celebrity deaths and a crazy amount of fuckery that can only be described as something close to inexplicable (I’m looking at you, Mariah). However, looking internally? This was a year I was determined to make a sea change for the sake of the life I envisioned. I didn’t think I’d accomplish everything I aimed for, but the list is still pretty impressive TO ME, anyway:
- Moved halfway across the country to the state I’ve dreamed of living in nearly 2 decades
- Started my life over completely with no personal or professional connections whatsoever
- Built upon my business idea
- Churned out 9 episodes of a podcast (and a 10th on the way!)
- Built a new network of friends (and growing)
- Cosmically entered a new opportunity in a job with amazing people
- Reconnected with the inner child that I silenced for so long; Silent no longer!
The list continues, but these are high marks. All this isn’t to say that there weren’t struggles, of course there were! But, the struggles are what make these joyous milestones so much more enjoyable and appreciative. Am I where I want to be? No. I still have so much more to accomplish. I’m simply at a checkpoint at this stage in my life, and now that I’m approaching my 30th birthday, I look upon this year of transition as a pivotal moment where I feel within my spirit that I’m on the verge of something truly incredible. I have no idea what the future holds, but I pray that this growth I’ve experienced is something that those of you that care enough to read this can relate to, understand, appreciate or even find for yourself.
I’d be lying if I said I had no “stuck” moments throughout 2016. Are you kidding me? One setback in itself (getting laid off after only TWO MONTHS at a gig) had me feeling completely stuck as though I was just a useless individual, but in shifting my mindset to one of being purpose-driven, I realized that what I was going through wasn’t happening TO me, but FOR me. I was being prepared for something pretty awesome, and I look back on THAT moment as MY door that needed the right time to be seen. Upon that discovery (and a LOT of prayer), so much began to click for me.
No, I have not quite found my purpose, but I think those of you that know me understand that I’m certainly on a course to finding it and once I do, I intend to embrace that, build upon it and make a life that not only improves myself, but those that I cherish most. Because what is success and joy if you don’t have your flock of genuine like-minded individuals to share it with? That’s what I aim for in 2017 – to SOAR, improve and bury the worst year of my life (2015) as not only a memory, but a lesson. The petty side of me also wants to make those naysayers of that year or those that didn’t bother truly regret it, but that doesn’t serve me any longer, and I want to get beyond those emotions altogether.
Speaking of purpose, it’s a term I’ve explored thoroughly over the past several months. And it’s hard to narrow down just where it thrives when I have a myriad of interests:
- Pop Culture
- Music (singing)
- General Ratchetry
- Helping others
That last one – helping others - has always been at my forefront. Somehow, I intend to connect Motiv8 with that. It’s not crystal clear just yet, but the wheels are turning in my head and I have a larger scale idea that I’d like to center around helping people. In time, I will see it through.
In the meantime, though, I have a massive fish to fry right in front of me.
Many of you do as well: building the resistance to the Trump Administration.
November 8th has come and gone. I get it, the result was not an easy one to swallow and it is what it is. Whatever your feelings are of HRC, Russia, Wikileaks and the like, all I know is that the agenda that stares us in the face is one that stands vehemently against just about everything I believe in for this nation. I intend to continue being the fearless individual you all have known me to be. I may be distant from those of you that I’ve known over the years. Chances are that you are perhaps the most vulnerable to this agenda, but just know that despite that, I will only grow louder.
I refuse to stand by idly as an agenda of bigotry, sexism, intolerance and xenophobia starts to apply itself on this country. It’s just as much ours, and too much work has gone into making this “a more perfect union” for me to just let it slip through our fingers. We’ve had 2 months to grieve, and now it’s time to get to work. I started just the other night by downloading a guide for resisting this hate-filled agenda that I recommend to you all if you haven’t already read it: Indivisible. It details how you get involved and what you need to do to make a difference. I think the events of Day 1 of Congress speak to just how powerful our collective voices are. Don’t let distracting voices lead you to believe that they’re not. We have power.
The biggest thing to remember, if you agree, is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE here. It may feel that way, especially if you’re a blue dot in a neverending swath of red, but there’s a few things to keep in mind:
Remember that this is a President who does NOT have a mandate.
Remember that this is a President who had more of the country vote AGAINST him than FOR him:
In case you’re wondering, that’s a total of 74,074,037 (54.05%) of Americans that did NOT ask for this agenda. So, do not be discouraged, friends. I’m surely not! This is an opportunity to get involved and be heard – especially to those that think you are not heard.
After reading the previously mentioned guide, I took steps to make sure I remain more engaged in the political process than ever before. I used this website to get the information on my Senators and Representatives (both National and State), and now: they’re in my phone and I even have a Google Doc of their info:
Granted, there’s a higher chance that my reps are reflective of my values moreso than my previous locales, but the point is that I intend to keep them honest and hold them accountable. As my mom said, “closed mouths don’t get fed” – and I say the same to all of you. I’m ready at the drop of a hat to make sure I do my part in ringing those phones off the hook, loading up some email boxes, showing up at events, organizing or even Twitter dragging if needed to make sure my truth is known.
This is our chance to be the generation I always knew us to be, and we’re gaining an awareness, a consciousness that I worried we never would. But I feel a shift in the air and I’m genuinely excited. Maybe Chad 2024? Who knows! More to come on Episode 10 of the Podcast – expect it on MLK Day!
Regardless, I hope you’ll join me.
2017 holds some fear, but so much promise. I’m glad the past year is behind us, because I have a hustle to continue on, and most of you do too! I still have self-discovery to do. I still have growing to do. I have a milestone of a birthday to enjoy! There’s so much life to be had, guys! I intend to focus on living the best life I know how, so not even the orange one can get in the way of it :)
May your year be bright, my friends. Happy 2017.
With Love Always,