grown - the current soundtrack to my life.

original post date - august 1, 2020

Lots has changed since my last post and the last month has been interesting for me to say the least. I moved, started school, and I’m basically grown now. Not college grown anymore, where all my basic needs were met through outside sources but I still had most of the freedom to do what I wanted. Grown grown. All the freedom, all the responsibility. This is a huge transition for anybody but doing this transition in the middle of a pandemic takes it to a whole ‘nother level.

I’m not gonna lie – I should be studying right now. I’m gonna do my best to avoid talking about school since I have a whole separate page for that, but I had to mention it so I could make a point. I started about two weeks ago, a week and half with actual classes, and immediately let it consume me. After talking with some friends and some mentors, one of the things I realized I wasn’t doing was making time to just be Brena instead of just being Sebrena the medical student. I wasn’t journaling. I wasn’t writing. I wasn’t really getting enough rest either. That sent me to a low place for a couple days and I’ve been doing what I could this week to pull myself out of it and I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. In the name of me taking the time to do be Brena, I’m taking a break from the books to get some things off my mind. Not only will it help my focus when I jump back in, but it helps get me back to being centered, which is something I told y’all I was making a priority for me way back in post twenty-eight. I fell off for a while, but I’m getting back to it. I love music and I feel like there’s a song for everybody, every stage of life, and every mood under the sun. A song can be good on its own, but it hits different when the lyrics describe part of where you are. Welcome to the current soundtrack of my life. Hey Siri, play “New Apartment” by Ari Lennox. I finally have my own place, and I absolutely love it. It’s the perfect size for me, my bathtub is phenomenal, I have a nice view, and it’s all MINE. All 874 sq. ft. of it. I don’t have to answer to anybody. My things stay how and where I put them. I don’t have to wear pants if I don’t want to. I finally have a bed that’s bigger than a twin XL. This has been nice. Around September of last year, I wrote out a list of what I wanted in an apartment when it was time for me to start my next chapter, and this apartment checked ALL of those boxes. My apartment search was stressful, especially since I couldn’t see many places in person, so I did a lot of praying and had to make some faith moves. The first time I set foot in my apartment was the day I picked up my keys and started to move in. God really came through and I’m so grateful. Blessings. I’m not gonna lie, as much as I love being by myself and enjoying my own company, I do get a little lonely sometimes. I haven’t had too many guests outside of family and two of my friends, and there’s plenty of reason for that. 1) There’s still a whole pandemic outside, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. I’m doing my best to stay safe and not go a whole lot of places if I don’t need to. My COVID test came back negative and I wanna keep in that way. 2) I moved to a new city, and even though it’s close to home, I still don’t know many people outside of the classmates I’ve met so far. It takes me a minute to warm up to people, so I’m not just gonna be inviting people over after just meeting them. 3) I am an introvert and I do not want people all up in my space all the time. I’m big on protecting my energy right now, and one way to do that is by controlling who is in my space. My apartment is my little sanctuary and I don’t want to threaten that. Of course, as I continue adjusting/settling in and making more friends that’ll change, but right now it is what it is. Hey Siri, play “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child. I’ve always said I’m not gonna really be grown until I’m paying my own bills. Well guess what? I’m grown now. There are so many costs that go into everything. I was prepared for some of them, but there are some I still feel disrespected by. The first one – grocery shopping. It’s not technically a bill I guess, but it’s a regular expense so I’m counting it. Grocery shopping is literally my second least favorite thing about living alone lol. Out of all the things, it really just blows me. Finding the right time to go, the store actually being stocked and having what I need, and then unloading my car and putting it away afterward makes the whole process a chore. It wasn’t that bad before school started, but now that I’ve jumped in headfirst, I think it’s gonna take a while for me to find my sweet spot. I wish somebody would’ve told me about this before lol so that’s why I’m telling y’all now so you can get ready when your time comes. For the first time in a minute, I feel like I’m in a stable place with my finances. I achieved a financial goal I set a while back months earlier than expected and I’m happy about it. I just have to make sure I’m disciplined enough to take care of the others too when the time comes. I told y’all small wins matter too and I’m celebrating this one. I finally nailed down the budget I need to stick to, and this is my first month with it so far, but I’m doing well. I’ve been putting my monthly budget workbook to good use, if I do say so myself. It has everything I feel like I need to stay on top of my finances, and that part of the reason I designed it the way I did. If you’re interested, you can check in out here. Hey Siri, play “I Get Lonely” by Janet Jackson. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I was single when I started this blog in 2018, and nothing has changed yet. There has been an entanglement here and there and other times where I was the only one entangled, but right now I’m coolin. I’ve been learning more about myself constantly, and even though I enjoy being alone, I still get lonely. I know I’m not ready for a relationship yet, but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes I still want someone around to cuddle with or just spend quality time with in general. The song starts by saying “I get so lonely/ Can’t let just anybody hold me”, and even though she immediately directs the lyrics at a person after that, I just wanna take a moment to pause and appreciate growth. Those two lines right there are louder than they’ve been in the past when I’ve listened to this song. At one point I would just welcome the attention or companionship of anyone who was willing to offer it, but I’ve gotten past that point. Now, I’m in a place where I’d rather just be alone and in my feelings than with someone and put myself in a situation that I don’t want to be in or do things I’m gonna regret later. Part of that goes back to me not wanting to let just anyone in my space, but part of me is also just tired of wasting my time and energy on things that don’t go anywhere with people. I jokingly say the next man I catch feelings for has to be my husband, and that just because I’m tired lol. I know that I’m only 22, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I want. Things will change and I’ll meet my forever thang when the time is right, but with so much newness going on, I don’t want to add catching feelings for someone on top of all that. Right now, my focus needs to be me. Hey Siri, play “Ass Like That” by Victoria Monet. I think I read into this song a lot more than I should be, but it’s okay. I’d never heard it before one of my LSs said it made her think of me, so I gave it a listen after she said that. Usually when someone tells me a song reminds them of me, I listen to it a few times and actually read the lyrics to see what the song is actually saying. I listened to the song about 3 or 4 times in a row that day and I really liked it. One of my favorite parts of the songs is the part that says, You know what they say about the grass What you water, that’s gon’ grow So I made it grow ​Having the time to focus on me has been one of the best and worst things about this new phase. I’m learning good things and making progress toward where I wanna be, but I’m also learning the areas where I still need to do some work. I can’t run from these areas either. I have to look them in the face and deal with them instead of trying to distract myself with people and other things. I plan on starting therapy soon, so that’s a plus too. I still just want to be more private and about my business, and that business is just my life in general, whether it’s my personal growth, mental health, this blog, learning how to establish and maintain boundaries, etc. Cheers to watering my own grass. Hey Siri, play “Like That Bitch” by Flo Milli. If you don’t know who Flo Milli is, look her up. I will gladly tell anybody that she makes bad bitch music because that’s the vibe I get from her. Anytime I listen to her, I feel like I am indeed THAT GIRL and that’s the energy I want to maintain for myself. Whether it’s from me getting back in the gym after about 6 months or just me taking more time to appreciate myself and my body, my confidence is growing, and I love it. I’ve wanted to look good and feel good in my own skin for a LONG time. Now that it’s happening, I can’t get enough of it. Certain things don’t bother me as much as they used to. I’m getting more comfortable with saying “no” or nothing at all. It basically goes back to what I said earlier about protecting my peace and protecting my energy. I’ve been taking more of an active role in doing that and I can feel the difference. Between that and what I said earlier about being about my business, I feel like I’m getting closer to achieving and maintaining THAT GIRL energy and it’s lit over here. To wrap up, I just want to say a few quick things that I say often, to myself and to others.

  • It’s okay to deny and restrict people’s access to you without an explanation.

  • The person you want to become is gonna cost you something. Invest in yourself and pay the price.

  • Walk in what you’re supposed to be doing and you’ll end up exactly where you’re supposed to be. Stay in your lane and stop swerving because you’re comparing yourself to other people.

  • Use the privilege you have to advocate for people in the same way you want others to use theirs to help you.

  • ALL Black lives matter, not just the cishet ones.

Catch y’all in the next post. Much love. - Brena.

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