“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.”  ― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Lately, I’ve had to have conversations with friends explaining where I’ve “been” and why I’ve been “absent.” I’ll offer that explanation here too.

First, I love blogging. The creative outlet of freely expressing my thoughts on subject matter that appeals to me, and that I believe will impact others, is a process and product like no other. Every time I publish a post, I have produced a work-product. I have an end result that I can look at to gauge my level of activity and my progress. Publishing a blog post is akin to the feeling I get whenever I go to the gym: a feeling of success. It’s a wonderful experience to feel accomplished every time I do small things like go to the gym for 30 to 45 minutes, or publish a single blog post. Now would be the time that I say that I have not been working out as regularly as I would like, nor have I published to the blog regularly, or, at all in the past 6 or 8 weeks.

Yet, I still feel successful.

Over the past three months, I have accomplished goals and lived experiences that produced feelings of happiness and sadness, peace and conflict, fear and insecurity but also boldness and confidence, and love and severe dislike. I have lived.

I just completed the third month of my dream job. I have worked harder and learned more in the last three months than in the last three years, and I am so thankful for the experience.

Fulfilling a goal that I’ve carried with me for the past three years or so, I also submitted seven applications to Ph.D programs in Sociology. I feel good about my applications, but I also realize that there is nothing more I can do about whether I am accepted. I pray on the outcome, plan for the event of rejection, and remind myself to live in the moment – and, in this moment, my applications are submitted and my focus is on my job and my personal relationships.

Another reason why my focus has not been on publishing to The TJ Way is because I have been nurturing a new relationship. This is completely new to me, and I have been overcoming a learning curve. But, it’s been the best learning curve I have ever experienced and I’m looking forward to every new experience that my relationship brings.

Even though I have not gone to the gym consistently over the last 3 months or so (…or more like the last 9 months), I hired a personal trainer in mid-September to help me get back to the physical condition and endurance level that I once had. Due to my schedule, I have struggled to make it to the gym 3-5 times per week, as I would like. But when I do go, I maximize my time with my personal trainer.

I also completed two photo shoots and am eagerly planning the publication of those photos.

I have been writing. A LOT. I just haven’t published here. Also, I’ve been talking about writing. Recently, I served as a panelist for the Young Lawyers Committee of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago to discuss how to use writing to market and brand yourself within your profession.

In sum, I have been responding to life’s opportunities and manufacturing my expanded definition of success, for this moment in my life. Rather than continuously degrade myself for not publishing to The TJ Way, I decided to intentionally consider the other things that I have accomplished, the experiences that have not resulted in readily available and tangible results, but instead represent the planting of seeds for future success. And when I engage in that process, of expanding my definition of success and reflecting upon the experiences that have been successful, I can say without a doubt, that I have been AMAZING.

I encourage you to reconsider your definition of success and to applaud yourself for the things you do – big, medium, and small. Leave a comment letting me know what you’ve accomplished lately.