I’ve been trying to find a way to tie in my birthday, move, what year 25 meant to me, my career and what the future means. I have a lot of drafts saved and none of them are conveying what I want to say properly until now.
Today is my last day at Mattress Firm…and I guess to tell you how I got to where I am now, I should go back to the beginning. I love that my birthday is in December for many reasons! It’s the beginning of the winter months, you get to celebrate Christmas, everyone seems to be joyful and generous, and it’s the perfect end to the start of a new year. You can turn the page in a new chapter of life while also starting over fresh for the new year. You can reinvent yourself and set your intentions for what the new year has in store for you.
Last year, I had one goal and one goal only. To live. How sad would it be to die and not reach your full potential; To not see how glorious the stars and all of creation is and not have experienced it for yourself? Don’t get me wrong, as hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to go full on wanderlust and drop everything to leave the country, but I did what I could locally. I saw what I could see in my control.
I’ve started to come up with intentions for the year starting with last, 25 and alive. I wanted to take 2018 to regroup and focus on my career and to figure out what I want. I wanted to heal myself before I found myself in another dead end relationship. And it almost worked…? I think for the most part I stayed focused. Regardless if I strayed from my path my intention was set into the universe and it always brought me back home. (Literally). I found myself complaining a lot this year about not having a boyfriend or never finding anyone. I realize how dramatic that sounds. Some of it came from the pressure of all of my friends getting married and part of it came from me. I feel most comfortable in relationships and sharing life with someone, but I also know that’s an excuse to not wanting to be alone. You have to get familiar with the unfamiliar.
I feel guilty for not sticking to my don’t-hook-up-with-anyone-until-they’re-your-boyfriend rule and I feel like I failed when (my human-self) was scared and clung onto anyone who came along, hoping they would save me. My higher-self, my true-self, knew that I could get through this year. I wanted to stop living in the past and being nostalgic over old relationships. I wanted to be able to look back on this year and say, “Wow, I made it. I saved myself. I am whole.” And I did.
2018 was the best year of my life. I woke up and chose every. single. day. that NO ONE or ANYTHING will ruin this year for me. No matter how bad it got, and it got really bad…….I chose to not let evil win. My mistakes do not define me.
I woke up one day in March and said I want to go home. Words I never thought I would hear myself say and neither did anyone else, but LA was always temporary for me. When I was finished, I would know and it wasn’t to be rushed until then. The day came and I tipped toed into it slowly and then all at once. I sat on the idea and by summer I was looking for apartments and taking my new/old adventure head-on. Would I be accepted back? Am I really friends with my friends? Where will I work? Will this long distance relationship work out? I knew in my heart that it wouldn’t, but it was still nice to have fun with someone. I know it’s silly to ask if my friends are really my friends, but I’ve realized how absolutely guarded I am 24/7. I keep everyone at a distance. If I’m crying over a situation, it’s because I long for connection and can’t understand what’s so wrong with me. But there’s nothing “wrong” with me. It’s not my time. I absolutely can not under any circumstance handle people leaving. News flash: No one makes it out alive. We all leave. Do you see my dilemma? So when you say that I like you more than you like me, you’re wrong, but that is a post for another day. (In the works!)
Someone told me once that I can’t live my life based on feelings. This is where you’re wrong. All I have are feelings. Maybe you can’t, but I can and when I have the burning desire to do something I do it. My intuition is never wrong and it’s time I stop denying it out of fear of hurting someone. Don’t worry I’m not that dramatic to where I do things on a whim, but I’ve been in enough situations to realize that things eventually work themselves out.
So, while I was in the process of packing my things to move, yet again across the country, I got a phone call. My friend told me she had the perfect job for me and to apply. I said that it sounded cool and figured no harm no foul in applying. At least I’m putting positive energy into the universe and am open to what happens next. I wasn’t expecting anything! After a month-long process and making it round after round, I was finally in the top three for my dream job. I couldn’t believe it. I was on a completely different path of pursuing real estate (I failed my test five times by one point. Each test was different….. hmmm 🤔 Wasn’t meant to be) and had to come back home to pursue what I initially went to LA for. When I thought my dream was lost, it found me. How funny is that! I heard a sermon once from Judah Smith saying that sometimes you have to back in order to go forward. I am back but I don’t feel like I’ve regressed in anyway. I don’t think of LA as a failure either. It was truly the best experience of my life and I will forever write about it. That beautiful place teaches me something new every day.
Los Angeles brought me lifelong friends, creative freedom and most importantly, I found myself. Every day I feel more confident in my purpose. I probably wouldn’t have believed you a couple of years ago if you told me I could have the life I’ve always dreamt of. Some people need a near-death experience or a second chance to realize how short life is. Some of us just need a chance.
I believe God sends us angels. I met Gené a little over a year ago. I was kind of scared of her at first if I’m being honest. I had the complex of “I’m too damaged to be her friend.” LOL, that is so stupid! But she was patient. We turned out to be great friends and even though our time in LA together was short, our friendship still teaches me something new every day. I’ve worked at Mattress Firm for months now and all of a sudden, on my last day, something clicked. In all of my 26 years, I’ve never met another Rhea-let alone work with one! Meanwhile, there is also a G’Nai on my team. Sounds familiar- Gené and Raya, G’Nai and Rhea. Sometimes if you aren’t paying attention you will miss the signs.
This is where I was meant to be.
While working with Mattress Firm, I was able to be involved in our Foster Kid program. My fellow colleague and PR intern got an opportunity to team up with Jonathan’s Place to redecorate their rooms while they were at school. She said she asked the children what they wanted for Christmas. She said, “a family.” My co-worker looked at me while bawling her eyes out and asked, “Could you imagine that’s all you wanted?! No toys, no clothes, nothing. Just a family.” I said, “Yeah. I can imagine.” If any of those kids ever read this post, I hope you know this: it’s not where you come from but where you’re going. Your circumstances do not define you and you are not unloveable because you feel tossed aside. All you need is a chance. I hope you find the strength to hold on so someone can take a chance on you like people have done for me. I used to google foster care facilities near me as a 10-year-old child, and almost called a few. I wanted to ask if I could volunteer to come in. I figured there had to be life outside of the cards I’ve been dealt. And although I don’t fully understand what it’s like to be in your position, I can relate to it so hard.
I am grateful for every path that has lead me to where I am now. I’m glad I’ve worked at a company that is so transparent through and through and lets you be you. The last few months have been an answer to a three-year prayer in regards to my personal life and career. I am so grateful.
So to wrap this up, yeah, I’ve had a great year. 25 brought me a lot of successes and opened many doors for me. I’m fortunate enough to be able to live another year and make another wave. Something so many this day and age are not able to say.
26 is the year of patience. I am open and optimistic about the future and grounded in myself and faith.
To my readers: I hope you get everything you want out of this life. I hope you take risks and make mistakes. I hope you love hard and unconditionally. I even hope you get your heart broken so you can rebuild from the ashes. I hope you move if you have a burning desire to do so. And most importantly, I hope you never settle for anything less than you deserve. Please always listen to the voice in your head telling you something is not right. The best thing could be waiting for you around the corner but all you have to do is be brave enough to let go of the past.