The Year of my Biggest Growing Pains. The Highest Highs and Lowest Lows.
THEME: I've noticed since 2013 that my years naturally start to take on some sort of theme. 2013 was prioritization. 2014 was self-worth. 2015 was competition.
1. Brittney 2. Theresa 3. Kali 4. Airis 5. Fedler 6. Danny Simmons 7. Issa Rae 8. Adrian 9. Tricia
1. Mastery of Love 2. The Big Leap 3. Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl 4. Assholes: A Theory (still reading)
1. Amy 2. Dope 3. Selma 4. Straight Outta Compton 5. He Named me Malala
1. "Chandelier", Sia 2. "Gimme All Your Love ", Alabama Shakes 3. "Waste Away", Black Bear
4. "Flawless" Remix, Beyonce Feat. Nicki Minaj 5. "Stay Ready" and "W.A.Y.S." by Jhene Aiko
6. "Coffee", Miguel 7. "GOMD" and "Apparently", JCole
1. Caye Caulker, Belize 2. Johannesburg, South Africa 3. Augill Castle, UK 4. Chiang Mai, Thailand 5. Harlem, NY
1. Jubril Agoro in the restaurant across the street from Central Park. Just....wow. It was the culmination of four years, over a meal.
2. Tiffany Budgetnista over the phone last month. A venting session that, again, allowed me to realize that we all are going through our own rendition of the same things,, while community building and dealing with a slew of various personalities.
3. Kali over the phone while I was in Los Angeles, talking about the self care that our fellow entrepreneurs need in our lives, and how to cultivate it.
4. Necole Kane (formerly Necole Bitchie) via email, on where we are in life and love, and how it's time to pivot towards what we want personally. Thank you for letting me know that we ALL are going through the balance beam of career and desired family.
5. Issa Rae at her apartment in California. Kicking it with a house full of dopeness, but us talking in the dining room, about vulnerability, meant a lot. Will never forget how I laughed internally at the question 'Can everyone read your posts?' Thank you for being a mental mentor, that turned into a real life partner in creative this year. Your support means a lot.
6. Paul Carrick Brunson on the phone last month. Dude...the way he started that call, before any business was tended too, blew my mind. Thank you for noticing the work, and being a supporter of Nomadness.
7. Theresa on the phone with me during my hour long emotional breakdown about the frustrations of not finding love, and losing hope. Thank you for being there for me on that specific day, because I had truly given up.
8. April and Bukky in Chiang Mai, during the Nomadnessx trip. We revealed a lot in a short period of time, in that room. I appreciated the safe space for us to be ourselves, and to just be women.
9. Marjorie in Thailand. The private conversation in the bedroom about how I take care of me amongst all the dynamics. I appreciated your inquiring.
10. Bogdan and I in Chaing Mai, drinking our fruit smoothies in the city we used to live in, and catching up on everything! Man has a full salt& pepper beard and a wife. I loved every second of it. Talk about coming full circle.
11. Meeting Jazmine at Peace Village and hearing about her son's battle with cancer, and how she stopped working to be his full-time caregiver.
12. Random 'Stay Up' messages from Simone Williams and Amanda Por Favor on Facebook
13. Nubia and her Mom at Angel of Harlem.
14. The Mastermind session that Glenda hosted at her Harlem apartment on the killings of our youth. Powerful minds. Powerful night.
15. Dave and I at Art for Life. Man....this conversation will be held with me for the rest of my life. For my words to inspire this man....for him to be like 'Whoa! Wait, you come back. You can't just come up to me, say that, and walk away. Who are you?'.....and everything that came before and after that moment. Thanks Dave. Thank you for your time. Thank you for the compliment on Nomadness. I look forward to our next one-on-one.
1. I never want to lose myself in what I created.
2. I give a little bit of myself, to a lot of people and that's how I balance.
3. There's a lot of ego involved in crisis. A lot. And I'm not here for it.
4. Nomadness is equal parts community & business. Sometimes I have to make business decisions that piss the community off. And that is ok. The people who get it, get it.
5. Dating is a marathon, not a sprint.
6. I have no patience for blatant attention seekers.
7. I felt really misconstrued this year. I felt like the person I am got lost underneath moves I had to make, to preserve what I have built. That fucked with me the better part of some days in 2015. One thing I'd like to set the record straight on is...I have no problem whatsoever with people progressing, even in the same arena. What I have have issue with is people taking from my plate in order to fill their own. By all means, do you. But if people, ideas, execution, style is taken from me...yes, both as a person and a businesswoman, I'm going to have a problem with it. Period.
True Story: If I'm on the phone with someone talking about regular life, and the conversation gets interrupted with the question on my receiver, 'Who is _____?' I inquire why. 'Because I just got a prompt saying he threw me into _______ travel group. I never asked to be put in here.' When that is a reoccurring scenario...yes, I take issue. Nomadness takes from no one. Our members are all of their own accord, as are members of other groups. We'd love the same respect in return. Thanks in advance.
8. This year I got over wanting to be 1st, and focused more on wanting to be #whatsnext. It's about innovation, fuck competition.
9. Fame still scares me.
10. My therapist is my time capsule of ups & downs.
11. Approach men you find attractive and interesting. Men do not need to always approach.
12. MAKE ROOM FOR WHAT YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE!! Trim fat where necessary, You cannot accumulate unendingly and think you have space to receive more. Clean that mental, physical, and spiritual house out!
13. I am not responsible for someone else's life. They must man and woman-up themselves. I can only do what I can. But my process is not their process. And if they are relying 100% on my process, they need their own new process. That is their responsibility, not mine.
14. You have to grow. Innovate. Sitting in bed, in Belize, alone, I watched the show length version of this clip, and I believe that it prompted the change I decided to make with Nomadness to go from trips to creative pop-up international events. It was time.
16. Playing off #7, I had an epiphany that really put some of the less desirable aspects of Nomadness in perspective for me. We were first in this arena. Not the first to do trips, etc....but the first to zone in, laser-like on the millennial generation (and beyond because we love our Tribe wisdom as I call them) and create a group home for them to connect. We were the first to create a community within this niche. .There are nuances that come along with being the 1st in something, that literally NO ONE, can relate to or understand unless they to were a 1st in another arena. It takes hella deep breaths and ego checks to be aware of this. People will be inspired by you, and create from that. Others will be slippery as f%$k, and want to just come up off what you created. There is discernment necessary in trying to navigate the two. One comes from the heart. The other comes from ego. BOTH WILL, AND DO, HAPPEN. So for anyone chartering new path, prepare your ego and your business vision for this. Most of it won't be personal....some of it will be. Be prepared for it. Your friends list may look mighty different from the beginning to end. And it's fine. Stay true to you. Chase the dream, not the competition.
17. It may just be me, but I've had this issue with society as a whole in which I feel boys/men are taught 'Win, Win, Win' and girls/women are taught 'Share, Share, Share'. I don't like this. I also don't subscribe to it. Why do women have to share everything in order to feel like that's the way to the next level? There is NO BLUEPRINT. I also feel women share way too early in their building process before they've established themselves and their brand to it's full capacity. I didn't start really partnering with Nomadness until 2015.......and I lived by one rule...........partner UP!
18. Just get in the room.
1. I can't. (letting go of this one in 2016, even though it wasn't in the negative context. I just never like these worlds coming out of my mouth.)
3. Petty. (Didn't subscribe to it in 2015 and really hope people let up in 2016. It showed me a real undesirable part of many people this year.)
4. #familybychoice - Created but theTribe after the Panama accident and became a staple through the year, and forever.
5. Thank you! - Talk about a year full of gratitude. I said thank you more than I ever have and appreciate all the scenarios in which it was brought out of me. Thank you!
- Starting the year off with the Daily Beast article that Charlise Ferguson wrote...setting the stage for the rest of the year
- A guy flying to another country to take me on a 1st date
- Bringing Akil to Tacogate in Oxnard, CA....poor thing is probably scarred for life
- 31st birthday in both Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg, South Africa....thank you Lynzi!
- Beautiful artistic/erotic shoot with Genesis
- Getting Geraldine as a new mentor....whoa this woman is gold
- Shooting my first gun in Portland, Oregon with Chris
- New Tattoos... 1310, and my Sank Yot Thai blessing tattoo being some of the most prominent of my life
- Getting that manuscript to my agent!
- Going to Peace Village for my personal time out, and the convos I had with Tonya while there
- Going to my 1st sex club in Toronto...fun times
- Getting the first round of our app deliverables to my cell phone....that is crazy
- Kim having a baby!! The first one of my best friends...the babies are getting closer, pregnancy shockers in general
- Getting my blood pressure down without pills
- A 12-hour first date, with my now boyfriend...was so divine how that night played out. Still can't get enough of this man.
- Having Nomadness' 1st LGBTQ Trip to Toronto Pride....man, that meant a lot to me!
- Staying in a CASTLE with Nomadness!! Augill was amazing
- Saving Dee's life, with Roz, after she had an allergic reaction in London.....and finding out London's emergency room visits are FREE99
- Going inside Google Offices for a meeting...one of the coolest places on Earth
- Interviewing at and seeing the digs at Huff Post LIVE....dope spot!!!
- Speaking to 100 High Schoolers in Portland about Nomadness and then resonating just the same, despite the room being 90% White
- Angel's show at Blue Note
- Meeting Enovia.....lawd!!
- ART FOR LIFE, giving me all the life. Thank you, thank you, thank you Danny!!
- Lauching our BATING SUITS with RUE107...OMG!!!
- Launching The NOMADNESS Project, co-Executive Produced by myself and Issa Rae in May 2015!! Season 2 editing now!! So proud of this partnership!!
- Moderating the #NMDN Keynote Panel with the homies Pharaoh Monch and Simone Amelia....adding to the awesome vibes was ridiculous French artist Leonard Combier
- How about simply getting through and BODYING our first #NMDN Conference, the same day as our 4 Year Anniversary Party!!! Nailed both of them, but this conference changed the game forever. The 1st travel conference in the US targeting urban millennial travelers....CHECK! (we will be opening early bird tickets for the next one before Feb 1st...be on the look out!)
- Can we talk about press for a second though? In July 2015, I hit three press goals that I had for my life, in 1 WEEK!! Going to share them all, but a Sista has got to start with The New York Times, Melissa Harris Perry, and Mashable.com
The most flawlessly executed, personal interview with me done by XONECOLE.COM
Haimy BODIED this CNN.COM piece on us as well!! Just stellar work from people this year!
Thank you to all the press. XONECOLE, CNN, NY Times, Mashable, MHP, Entrepreneur, NBC4NY, PIX11, OURS, Marie Claire South Africa, Daily Beast, Madame Noire, bloggers....everyone. Just thank you, thank you, thank you!
.....and to end the year, 3 weeks before 2016 reared its head...
- Panama Accident- Jan. 16, 2015.... I remember so much of this in snippets. I think that's how my brain allows me to register it. Getting the first messages. Tricia being my first point of go to. Talking to the Embassy. Arriving in Panama City. The hospitals. Walking into a funeral home trying to find out where Nigel and Nneka's bodies were. Being in the hospital seeing Diana with Kali and Noonie, and literally ending up on the floor, shaking. Seeing Jasmine for the first time after her surgery, and her knowing who I was. Bringing Nneka's mom to the room and giving her Nneka's bags. Macario walking into room 1310 with Nigel's bag. Seeing Kenna for the 1st time and wanting to wail in tears...her seeing it in my face, and stopping me with two words 'Not you. I can take anyone else falling-out in here, but not you.' I found some power in my gut, and saved them until I left. Kali holding me like a baby in bed as I just cried in her arms. The self-imposed guilt I held inside that actually had me vocalize 'maybe if I never started Nomadness, these people would still be alive.' The funerals. Looking around, and being surprised (yet not) at who wasn't at the funerals, nor on the ground in Panama to help Nomadness, help OUR people. January housed a thread of some of the hardest moments of my life together. How I kept it together....I may never know. But I thanks the Tribe, High Council, my homeopath Erika Simonian, my therapist Tara Goodrich, my close friends and family who checked in to make sure I was alright. Most of all....to all the people who donated their money to help us get families into Panama, bodies out of Panama, and to immediately reimburse our members that were involved in the accident, to make sure they were cleared to fly home. You all, as a collective, were the MVPs of this entire situation. Without you, none of the work we did on the ground would have been able to have been done. None of it. Thank you! My love to the Panama 13. Forever and always our heroes and angels. I love you.
- Thomas' untimely death. Everytime I edit an episode of our web series, or even think of Berlin, you live again. Thank you for shaping my mine and confidence as a filmmaker at 21 years old, and thank you for the friendship you gave through this year. You are a hero of mine. I love you.
- Being super close to falling for a married man. Dodged karma's bullet with that one.
- Tribe member Dana's abrupt death. You never know what people are going through.
- Going to the hospital in Bahrain...and seeing how it was handled.
- Letting my head have way too much of a playground space to second guessing and negative thoughts. Focus on the dream...not the competition.
- Book published, now that it's done.
- My TV Show green lit, signed off on, and pre-production/production phases for season 1
- $1,000,000 year
- Partnering UP! on lucrative projects both pitched already and still festering in the brain
- Busting through the gate something epic with the pivot from international trips, to international events!! I can't wait!!
- Calm in uneasy times. Know who I am and my work.
- To allow my new love to flourish, be the best woman I can be, for this man and our future.
- App out by year's end (it looks so cool)
- #NMDN 2016 getting all the sponsorship our heart desires
- Attending Black Girls Rock, Art for Life, Root 100, and the NAACP Awards
- New web series idea through The Source
- Continue being #whatsnext in urban travel
- Buzzfeed, Washington Post, Nowness, and to solidify a travel expert 'go-to' status on a nationally syndicated news channel. I'm aiming for MSNBC.
- Having a sit down with Oprah
- Some others I keep to myself............ have an amazing 2016 y'all! Love, Evita