Becoming Stephanie Renee

It’s insane that it’s that time of year again. You know… that time when everyone is eager and bright-eyed, listing out their goals and gearing up to live their “best life” in the new year. I love the energy the season brings! But this year, I’m not making “New Year’s Resolutions” per say. Why? Well, to me the phrase implies something kind of finite and temporary. In the blink of an eye 2019 will no longer be the “New Year.” It will be yet another year that brings us love, joy, pain, sadness, peace, heartache and all of the other emotions on the spectrum. Most who know me, know that I have an extreme admiration for Auntie Michelle (Obama that is). In her words

“…becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

Now, I do have very specific short-term and long-term goals that I’ve written out for myself (I feel everyone needs to do this). But today, I think it will be a better use of everyone’s time if I talk about three of several underlying principles that will govern my life in the year 2019 and beyond. The idea is for this to be a living list of commandments that I revisit throughout each year. Let’s get it started!

Firstly, I vow to Prioritize Stephanie! As a single 20 something, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made the mistake ofacting as if self-prioritization just happened by default. And sometimes, we’re made to feel like the state of singleness is all the self-prioritization that we need. Wrong. It requires effort and thoughtfulness of one’s own accord. We’ll go extra hard to complete a project at the office, leave it all on the floor when planning an event for a friend, then turn around and neglect our own initiatives and self needs. I hear too often from married people with kids how the needs of everyone in the house come before their own and that’s no good. I’m conditioning myself differently right now as a single person, so I don’t find myself in that situation down the line. Some things I can’t help. I enjoy being a high achiever at work, and per The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman “Acts of Service” is one of my top three so I like to do things for my friends and family. But, one thing I’ve vowed to start doing is penciling in my “me-time,” and sticking to that task. Whether I’m working out, enjoying my tea/wine and reading, going to bible study, praying/meditating, getting my hair/nails done, cooking a Pinterest recipe, decorating the house or anything else I love to do, I will block off the time in both my personal and professional calendars. In a time when we are so accessible, it’s important for me to also put my phone down. No checking emails or texts. I’m also planning my first solo vacation in 2019. I’ll go exactly where I want to go, stay where I want to stay, do all the things that I want to do, and just enjoy my own company. (Stay tuned for more on that.) All in all, self-prioritization is a key component of self-love and self-respect. If our friends are thoughtful, they’ll understand, and work will have no choice!

Next, I’d like to make it a point to Foster Relationships. How many times have you texted/called someone and they didn’t respond/pick-up, then you go on social media and see them liking pictures and posting on their story?! Y’all know what I’m talking about. As Tami Roman would say, “let’s get into it!” Social media gives us a sense of connectedness that we didn’t have before, which is great! However, it’s not enough to like a picture or slide in a DM. I’ve been blessed with amazing family, sisters and friends. If you’re reading this, you know who you are! I want to make it a principal to call more, drop by their house or plan a weekend trip to see them when I’m free. People are going through real issues on the daily and it’s our jobs as friends and family to be there…I mean really be there for one another. If we’re not doing that, then what pray tell are we doing?! Don’t fall victim to the illusion that is social media. I will never post a picture of me looking busted and tore down on the gram (my friends know this all too well because I make them snap until I find the perfect one). But readers, there are moments when I don’t have my shit together! That’s life. And in those moments, it’s my friends and family that hold me down (and I them), not my Instagram likes/views. As a rule, I plan on doing a better job of fostering the old and new relationships in my life. Now, I understand that reciprocity is key here. I can’t be doing all the fostering and reaching out. Besides, when it is reciprocated the product is love manifested in its purest form.

Lastly, I plan to practice Positive Manifestation on a regular basis. I believe God created the law of attraction. The Secret by Rhonda Barnes is one of my favorite reads! While I know the power of manifesting positive things into my life, sometimes I lose it in the whirlwind of work, side hustles, traveling, daily responsibilities etc... I’ve been working on making this a constant baseline for my life and it really does work! Have you ever had a bad start to your day, then you’re in a funk for the entire rest of the day? This happens because energy is so real. A couple of years ago, my sister and I went to a restaurant in uptown Dallas that we’d gone to previously. The time before our waitress was slow, rude and dismissive. This time, I talked to my sister about how “we better not have that waitress this time. I swear I’ll go off if we have her and she’s disrespectful.” Readers…not only did we have the same girl, but I called myself checking her, speaking with a manager and making a whole fiasco of what was supposed to be a lite and fun sister date. While it was all quite funny to my sister, I realize that my energy from the very beginning was ‘Negative Nancy,’ not positive and loving. My energy was picking a fight. Whatever her reasoning for being nasty, it really had nothing to do with me. I didn’t know her from Adam. Furthermore, manifestation is a testament of our faith in God. Anything that our hearts desire that we don’t currently have, we need to pray for and start to move as if we have already received our blessing. This will open the flood gates and allow us to receive everything God has for us. 

These are only three of many principles that I’ve indoctrinated for myself. If you’re interested in discussing any of these further with me or you’re interested to know what my others are feel free to shoot me an email, DM or comment! I also want to learn more about the principles that govern your life! I’m claiming health, wealth, prosperity and love for every last one of you in 2019 and beyond!

With respect, love and well wishes always,

Stephanie Renee

Stephanie Brown