Growth is Seldom Linear



‘As you are.’ says the universe.

‘After…’ you answer.

‘As you are.’ says the universe.

‘Before…’ you answer.

‘As you are.’ says the universe.

‘When…’ you answer.

‘As you are.’ says the universe.

‘How…’ you answer.

‘As you are.’ says the universe.

‘Why…’ you answer.

‘Because you are happening now. Right now. Right at this moment and your happening is beautiful. The thing that both keeps me alive and brings me to my knees. You don’t even know how breathtaking you are. As you are.’ says the universe through tears.

As you are | you are the prayer
― Nayyirah Waheed

I cherish early mornings on weekends. The rare moments we have nowhere to rush to. Just time to reflect, while most of the world sleeps in. The only sounds breaking the silence, are the birds chirping. I spent my Saturday morning glossing over my old journals. As I embark into this new chapter of officially being in my late 20’s I wanted to explore the evolution of my thoughts. As I flipped through pages of my old writing I found myself amused by how heavily I weighed in on moments, that I can now barely recall. I can’t tell whether I’m dramatic in the present, or just apathetic about the past.

I’ve been fascinated by side by side comparisons of the past and present expressions of thought. Whenever I read a book I love, I like to follow up and read the book which inspired that author. Whenever I listen to a song I love, I go to to discover its roots or its branches. One of my favorite hobbies is creating music playlists of samples following the originals, especially in the genre of Hip-Hop and R&B. I’ve found that thoughts are nothing but iterations, small tweaks and refinements that fit the political climate of the present and our individualized tastes.

Two of my former free writes that stood out to me were called “Lessons.” One was from 2014, and the other from 2016. I enjoyed seeing the development of my mentality, and the kind reminder of myself to hold on tightly to these lessons. Even more interesting, as I develop so does technology and the mediums in which I express my thoughts. My 2014 post was shared on Tumblr, and my 2016 post was shared on Facebook. Now, my 2019 rendition will be shared via Twitter and WordPress.

As humans living in a digital age of hyper-stimulation and instant gratification, I’m trying to be more cautious on not rushing the process and taming my desire to fast forward through the slow moments of my story. I’ve been listening to the Everything for Sale album on repeat by one of my favorite rising artists, Boogie. He rapped, “Don’t let no nigga tell you that you slept on. You better take the blame that you progressed wrong.” Reflecting, my growth has been far from linear – there have definitely been instances where I could’ve done things a lot differently. Regardless, I take pride in growing more like ocean waves – what force could be stronger?


Lessons 2014 has taught me so far:

  1. Soft can be strong, there is strength in fragility.
  2. Resilience is measured by your ability to navigate through chaos.
  3. Don’t take anything personal everyone is on their own pursuit of happiness.
  4. Introversion is a superpower.
  5. The heart and mind will always have conflicting agendas.
  6. No matter what age you are you’ll never truly have life figured out, enjoy it.
  7. Insecurities manifest as pride.
  8. Friends are valuable they will remind you who you were, are, and can be.
  9. Most promises have an expiration date but true loyalty goes beyond the duration of any relationship.
  10. Activism is in loving others, but loving yourself is revolutionary.
  11. God can heal you in areas you never knew had been broken.


Some things I’ve learned lately:

  1. The biggest barrier to learning is anxiety.
  2. Fail, fail again, then fail faster and smarter.
  3. Jump off a cliff and you’ll learn how to fly.
  4. The best business you can build is one where you’re the customer.
  5. Losses should be devastating and wins should be intoxicating and if they’re not the stakes aren’t high enough.


Ringing in 27 with 27 lessons:

  1. Distance, whether the metric is minutes or miles, amplifies everything: love, indifference, hate. Distance expedites the life-cycles of your relationship with self and others.
  2. The body is a physical representation of your mind state, it’s the accumulation of what you feed it. Be mindful of the fruits or poison you consume.
  3. Self-doubt is the watering of internalized hatred.
  4. Approach travel like drinking, both should be done to feel more better – not just better. You can’t escape yourself.
  5. Overindulgence implicates a lack of direction – never lose sight of what you’re working towards.
  6. It’s okay to openly dislike what everyone else claims to love.
  7. Anger is grief left untreated.
  8. Language is powerful. What you say you believe, what you believe you become, what you become you project.
  9. People will find healing in your wounds.
  10. Honesty, especially when not self-serving, doesn’t get enough credit.
  11. Don’t make attention or applause the bane of your existence. Invisibility is a luxury, harness it.
  12. Wear a mask too long and your face molds to it. Don’t lose yourself trying to please others. Being true to yourself pays off, always.
  13. Moving on and moving forward are two completely different things.
  14. Be careful what favors you accept from others, some are debts without terms.
  15. Growth is a constant state of learning and unlearning.
  16. Tribalism is trauma masked as pride. A survival tactic that became destructive.
  17. A large house means nothing if it’s an empty home. A nice car means nothing if you have nobody to drive with, or to. Awards mean nothing if you have nobody in the audience. Don’t get so consumed by your grind that you devalue your relationships. You’ll have nobody to shine with.
  18. Nobody is more dangerous than a person who has nothing to lose.
  19. Align incentives, be worth more alive than dead.
  20. Conduct yourself in a manner where if 10 others mirrored your actions the world would be a better place.
  21. Value is subjective, just because someone can’t see your value doesn’t mean your worth-less.
  22. Contentment is the enemy of fulfillment. There’s no greater juxtaposition than to be full, yet not satisfied.
  23. Expectations are shackles.
  24. “Yes” and “No” are complete sentences.
  25. Assumptions fill the gaps of communication.
  26. God meets you where you are.
  27. To love, is to practice.

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