"When the place that you were born is not where you belong.
Tell me baby, what stops you from wearing a crown"
This is how my birthday kicked off this year.
In NYC. At 4am. In the sidewalk shadows before sunrise.
With these soulful lyrics by Ms. Alicia Keys that almost made me cry.
Because (vulnerable moment alert): This. Is Me.
The place where I was born, is not where I belong.
(And trust. No one mentioned anything 'bout any crown.)
So, how do become your own queen? The empress of your own kingdom? Especially when there's roadblocks at every turn? Easy (in concept): Learn to love your damn self. Fiercely. Passionately. Above anything else. In spite of everything else. With wild reckless abandon.
And while it's a simple concept, the journey to get there isn't.
That path is incredibly hard. And so rocky most don't even try to scale it. Often times it's littered with the broken dreams of others and their truths (read: falses) for themselves, and you.
But you can, and need to claw your way beyond the negative voices. The ones that put down your choices. The ones that say that you're not good enough. The ones that say that you don't matter.
Because, dammit, dear girl. You do!
You deserve to wear that crown, polished to a blinding brilliance, with your head held high. You deserve to stride away from any negativity that binds you to the past. From the hurtful lies that kept you from growing. And achieving. And owning the fearless one of a kind Y-O-U.
You deserve to shine. Brighter than any damn diamond.
Years after embarking on this journey, here I was, in the darkness right before the dawn. On the Today Show Plaza: Whole. Healed. Happy. Proud as hell of who I am now, and what I've already accomplished. But more importantly, who I have the potential of becoming. 'Cause that chick? She got mad untapped potential.
And then, that song, ironically called 'Back To Life'. A truly beautiful birthday blessing.
A reminder that not only am I wearing that sparkly crown that I designed myself.
I'm working it like a boss.