Hey guys! It’s been a while since I last checked in, but believe me when I tell you I’ve been hella busy knocking out some goals that I’m pretty proud of! Honestly it felt a little awkward typing that, but sometimes we take this #behumble thing too far, and dim our light unnecessarily. So in 2017 I stopped playing it small and tiptoed into the spotlight I’ve avoided for far too long.
I spent the majority of the year following the lead of Auntie Maxine, and reclaimed my time to refocus my energy on the stuff we all neglect – our personal dreams and aspirations. Those things we really want deep down, but don’t bother pursuing because they seem selfish compared with major responsibilities like work or family.
Prior to last year my approach to everything outside of work/career was pretty passive. I would hope and wish and pray and fast and be a generally good person and expect God to just make it rain blessings. While that does happen sometimes, I think He got tired of throwing singles and wanted me to put in some work.
Wait. Did I just take God to the strip club? Let me start over.
I wise person once said, “you won’t hit if you don’t swing”. Faith without work is dead, so when I realized I wasn’t putting in the work, I (reluctantly) got off the couch and made a few things happen. Here is a short list in no particular order:
- Publicly launched my agency and built our website (Show & Tell Creative)
- Paid off my student loans in their entirety ($22,500)
- Went on some awesome dates! Well, most were awesome. Almost fell asleep on one. Touché.
- Put $60,000 in savings for my future family (house, wedding cookout, diapers, daycare, and lots of wine)
- Hired a few dope women to support my business and reduce my workload
- Went to Curacao, Panama, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, and every trip was an assignment or partnership opportunity that was partially or fully covered. Hashtag blessed.
- Launched Purpose Driven Passports, my travel nonprofit that has stolen my heart and given me purpose again.
- Met someone. Here’s my fave pic of us. #goofballs
- Redesigned the CURLFEST layout to accommodate more people with barely 6 weeks till the festival. 20,000 people showed up to fill it. If you build it, they will come.
- Raised my credit score 84 points #700club #BlackExcellent
- Planned and executed a fundraiser in less than 5 days, and lived to write about it.
- Raised over $10,000 for children in Jamaica and Kenya in less than 2 weeks.
- Won a WeWork Creator Award for Purpose Driven Passports, which includes an $18,000 grant to fund our 2018 programming.
More water poured out of my eyes in 2017 than I care to talk about, but it took me being EXTREMELY uncomfortable on multiple levels, daily, to take control of my life and see the changes I had been praying for.
So what does that mean for 2018? I get to do it all over again! I’ll keep milly rocking all up and through my discomfort zone, and finding new ways to push myself purposefully. One of them is writing more, so you’ll be hearing from me a lot more this year. And despite my comfort behind the camera, I’ll get in front of it more often. This year I’m headed back to Trinidad (because #carnivaladdict), Haiti (first time!), Jamaica (volunteering), Bali (my dream) and a mystery trip in March (#suspense). The list may grow, but as full as my life gets, this is a start!
So what does that mean for readers like you? More stories, more videos and more opportunities to get involved! Since juggling travel, a business and multiple hustles is no easy feat, here are a few ways you can help your girl out in 2018:
- Join the Purpose Driven Passports community on Facebook, and share your photos/stories from service projects abroad. If you’re shy you can DM/email them to me and I’ll share!)
- If you know of a service project abroad that needs support, please email me! Purpose Driven Passports is accepting proposals, and our community has plenty of people interested in volunteering!
- If you know of a brand or company looking for influencers/content producers let me know. And if Anthony Bourdain’s team is hiring stop reading now and call me!
- If a story I write inspires you, please share with your networks. I don’t promote my writing much, so I love when you guys pass on my stories!
- Stay in touch! Whether it’s comments on Instagram, replies to IG stories, or comments on these posts, I love hearing from you guys. It gives me life and keeps me going.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for some resources to live out your travel dreams this year, and a video from the African city I’m threatening to move to part time!
Love, Hugs and Smothered Chicken,