This is my first post of the new year and I thought it would be a good idea to share my theme for the year with you. This year it’s all about fighting the good fight. A bit of a strange theme? Maybe, but it’s perfect for me. Let me share a few things so this can all make more sense for you.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Although I now live in the suburbs of Maryland and I have a husband and two young kids, that Brooklyn girl is still a huge part of who I am. I’m a fighter. I know that may have nothing to do with being from Brooklyn, but just let me believe that (New Yorkers need to believe that).
I hate giving up. I hate feeling defeated. I don’t compete much against others, but put me in a competition against myself and I will fight a damn good fight. Being able to fight my way into or out of something is at the core of who I am.
Now, let’s be clear: My fighting doesn’t involve punching anyone in the face. Wanna know a secret? I have never been in a physical fight in my life. No one has ever placed their hands on me and I have never placed my hands on another person. For a girl that grew up in Brooklyn during the 80s and 90s (and attended public school), I consider that a blessing. I’ve been close to fighting a few times. but it never went down. I was always relieved. Getting physical isn’t my thing.
But I can be pretty slick with the tongue. I will set someone straight in a minute if I feel like they are out of line. Disrespect me or someone I love and I will have a few words for you (okay, maybe more than a few). I’m fiercely loyal, I hate seeing anyone get hurt, and I have a fire burning inside that helps me make things happen. It’s part of my design. My husband says I’m feisty. I agree. My friends say they can count on me for the truth–no matter how unpleasant it may be. I agree with that, too.
So with all of this background, I hope it makes a bit more sense that my theme for the year is about fighting. And not just any old fight, but the good fight. I plan to fight a fight that ends with me winning.
I’m in a full-blown 12-round fight this year. This ish is so real for me. I made progress in 2015, but I came up short in so many ways. You, as my readers, may not see all of my shortcomings, but I see them all. As a matter of fact, I am sure they are magnified from my perspective.
And I’m not one for beating up on myself, so I won’t write some sob story about how 2015 sucked. It didn’t suck. I laughed, I loved, I cried, I learned. It didn’t suck. But I can also be real with myself and tell you that I came up short. I didn’t fight hard enough. The fighter I have within lost steam. My resolve to fight the good fight faded. I let life get a few punches in, and I didn’t even hit back. That makes me sad.
That’s not me, though. That’s not who I was meant to be. I don’t like to fight, but I will hit you back. I will always defend who I am and what I stand for. You may knock my ass out, but I will always get back up.
So January is round 1 of my good fight. This is my year of faith. I believe in the invisible.
That first round isn’t hard because you feel so good. You are feeling yourself so much, you’re certain the win belongs to you. You aren’t injured yet and you have a ton of energy. In round 1 you feel like you can conquer the world.
But the thing is, that the feeling from round 1 doesn’t last. Not only do you have to fight your opponent, but you have to put up one hell of a mental fight so you can still feel like you can win this thing by the time you get to round 8 or 9. Feelings of doubt start to sink in. You start to wonder if you made a mistake by even entering the ring.
But I am as sure of this as I am of anything else in my life right now; I was built for this moment. I was built to fight this fight in 2016. This will be a monumental year in my life. A year that shapes me in countless ways. I know that because the feeling is deep in my soul and when I feel anything that deeply, I know the message is coming straight from God. I believe that with every fiber of my being.
What am I fighting for?
So you may be wondering what I’m fighting for. That’s a fair question. Well you see, I believe that the closer I get to reaching my highest potential the more the devil decides to mess with me. Typical, really. But I have a clear vision for my life. I know what my gifts and talents are. I know how I have been able to touch peoples’ lives and serve the world. I know what God expects from me.
So first I am fighting for my life. I know that sounds melodramatic, but with such a strong family history of stroke, I have to do better when it comes to my health. I deserve it and my kids deserve it, too. I want to stick around for all of us.
I am also fighting to achieve financial freedom. I am so not there yet. I have bills to pay off, and I need to increase my income. I know it’s possible but getting there is not easy. There is no stability in entrepreneurship, but frankly, I don’t think working for someone else my whole life is all that stable either. I am prepared to stay in faith and fight when needed so I can reach my financial and business goals.
I am also fighting for my peace of mind. This world we live in is full of noise. If you let it take over, it drowns out the sounds that really matter. I have a history of depression in my family. I’ve seen it take a serious toll on people I really love. I have had moments of deep sadness but have been fortunate enough to avoid the abyss of clinical depression. That’s a place I hope to never visit. And if staying mentally and emotionally healthy means fighting against the beast that depression is, I will be fighting that beast until the day I die. That I know for sure.
Should you always be in fight mode?
I do believe that in some instances, what we fight we strengthen. Entering a battle has to be made with a clear and steady mind. You have to know why you are prepared to even fight. You have to know what the result will be if you don’t, and why that result is not an option for you.
Sometimes there is no need to fight. Sometimes patience is your best weapon. Sometimes you have to be willing to let go of something and move on because the fight isn’t worth it.
So don’t think of my theme as my way of saying that we should always be in fight mode. I’m not some crazy Brooklyn chick that wants to fight for the sake of fighting. We shouldn’t stay in fight mode. If we do, we have very little energy left to fight the fights that we must fight–the fights that matter. Even in a boxing match, the fighter isn’t just throwing random nonstop punches. The fighter’s approach is strategic. Sometimes they just have to bob and weave. Part of the fight is knowing when NOT to fight. It’s knowing when to chill out, settle down, and carefully avoided the punches coming your way.
Are you Joining me?
So what’s your plan? Are you fighting this fight with me? Are you ready to take on all 12 rounds, no matter what they might bring? Do you know what you need to fight for? Do you know what’s worth your energy?
And listen, it’s okay if the idea of fighting isn’t for you. It isn’t for everyone. But I know myself well enough to know that I view some situations in life as a straight up battle, and for me to survive and thrive, I know when I need to throw my gloves on and fight back.
Whether you are fighting for something or not, I am here to support you. I want you to have a great year. I want you to be in a different place — a much better place — on December 31, 2016 than you are now. I want to help you figure out how you can get from where you are to where you want to be.
I just want you to find happiness. That’s all everyone really wants. We may all have different journeys, but happiness is always the final destination.
And before I leave, I have to share my theme song for 2016. Thanks, Rachel Platten. *Round 1*