New York, Year Two: Building + Growing + Gathering My Tribe

I had an uber special day with my business coach, Ivy, last week and I shared with her that I hope that everybody gets to have an experience like my New York, Year One—writing two amazing New York Times best-selling books, growing my business, witnessing the birth of my goddaughter, finding an amazing brownstone apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, falling in love, and unfolding my dream of creating my life and career in a place where I’ve always wanted to be. There are days when I look back at my journals and FB posts from my first year and I’m like, “For real, God, whose life is this??” I don’t think my head, my heart, or my feet came anywhere close to Earth during 2014.

As I began my descent back towards the planet in 2015, I ran into some hard truths—there’s a HUGE difference between being just another freelance writer and creating an editorial company, everyone who wants my services is not worthy of my time and my dime, falling in love is easy but breaking up is hard, New York winters are cold and brutal as hell, and furry creatures sometimes sneak out of corners in your apartment wanting to #Netflix&Chill. There were quite a few days where my relentless optimism was no match for the harsh realities of living in New York.

But in the process of skidding my knees hard on this concrete jungle, one of the biggest things God showed me in 2015 is that I am NEVER alone. I am grateful that Howard and Ida Mae’s brilliance shines through me in such a way that I have attracted some of the most AMAZING human beings I have ever had the honor of calling my family of friends. I have big brothers in Brooklyn who will kick your ass on my behalf and remind me that I am a queen; sisterfriends who will let me celebrate my victories, talk me through my pain, and help me put my heart back together; wonderful creative comrades who inspire me and always make sure that I’m working on my own books; and wicked-smart mentors, advisors, and coaches who help me sharpen my business acumen (and make sure that I’m earning my worth!).

I can say now that 2014 was my year to discover the city, and 2015 was my year to find and grow with my tribe. As Billy Dee Williams noted in his famous line from Mahogany—“Success ain’t nothing if you don’t have anyone to share it with.” I can testify that it is so much sweeter to take my hard-earned bites out of the Big Apple with a great family of friends to love, support, and lift me up even higher than I could ever do by myself.

As New York, Year Three comes over the horizon, I’m exceptionally proud of the PHENOMENAL woman who stares at me each morning who now knows how to layer her clothes and wear thicker boots, can expertly navigate the New York Subway system; has a deeper knowing of her worth and value; raises her bar for excellence and lowers her tolerance for bullshit; and always remembers that WITH GOD absolutely NOTHING shall be IMPOSSIBLE.

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