I was born and raised in the hood. Harlem, New York City. I was raised to be an over achiever and go after my dreams because if I just put my mind to it I could do anything. And I believed that. And I still do. But the anxiety, the stress and the pressure that comes with being a New Yorker fighting to be on top of the world is too much. Last year I was on the verge of panic attacks. No matter how much yoga I did, no matter how many walks in the park I took, I just couldn't seem to relax. Always, in the back of my mind was my hustle, my work, my schedule, my goals. Last year, I was rushing everywhere. Last year, I was so stressed and anxious I couldn't even sit down to write. And my dream is to write. And at some point I asked myself, if my dreams bring so much stress, are they really my dreams?
Then I moved out of NYC. I took several deep breaths. I read a lot of Lao Tzu and even watched a few Oprah's. And most of all I did a lot of thinking. I didn't discover anything I didn't already know. I mean, intellectually, I knew what it meant to slow down. I know about being in the moment, and the importance of staying present. But I failed to internalize it, partly because it's hard to remain calm on the A train in rush hour. Partly because I hadn't reached a breaking point. And partly because I am NYC, I am the hustle and the bustle and I love it. However, I've recognized that stress stunts my productivity, my creativity and my growth as an artist. I now realize that anxiety doesn't energize me, it breaks me down. So, I'm going with the flow now. I moved to So Cal and I love it here.
Now, I'm not saying it's not possible to be totally zen in midtown Manhattan. I'm not saying I'm totally zen now in So-Cal. But it took me changing my life just slightly to reassess things. This blog is my way of documenting my journey to slow down, to live a more quiet, peaceful life, a life of purpose, a life that I love and along the way I'll achieve my dreams.