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9 Signs You're Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Inspiration

We all enter seasons in our lives where we feel like everything is coming to a head – life just won't let up.

I, for one, experience this period of “WTF" every few years, or so. Most recently – last May to be exact – I had firmly set my feet back on the ground (financially) following a drought of sorts due to job loss, followed by inconsistent freelance work, and countless financial emergencies, which drained my life savings.


Following a move from the west coast to the east coast – I was now surrounded by family and friends – a longing I had carried for several years prior, as a young single mother. My daughters were adjusting nicely. I felt as though the storm was over. Only, within eight months of returning to my hometown life knocking at my door was a fresh basket of lemons. Once more, I was faced with uncertainty as both a mother and provider, after receiving a pay cut of 50 percent – with but a week's notice.

As you can imagine, my life changed overnight. How would I stay afloat – even more, keep a roof over my family's head? Would I have to surrender my vehicle? After being without a car for over a year following the birth of my youngest child two years prior, it just wasn't a reality I was able to stomach, again. Lord knows with childcare costs, picking up another job wouldn't even cover the bill. So, what was next?

Despite the urge to withdraw and submit to depression, I surrounded myself with loved ones who kindly reminded me of how far I had come over the years. Others revealed that my resilience was something they coveted – and if anyone could do it, it would be me. While in the back of my mind, I thought “easier said than done," after weeks of soaking my sorrows in Starbucks, I realized like many times before, I had to get it together and quick. Within five weeks, I had drawn up a plan to sublease my apartment and move back to Phoenix where I could both stay afloat financially by slashing my cost of living, as well as finish my Bachelor's degree – something I put on pause for over a decade.

By June, I had found a lovely couple who not only took over my lease, but handed me a check in the amount of my deposit and some for leaving the space in pristine condition. My boxes were packed and my car, cross-country travel-ready. Now, approaching a year back in the desert, I must admit, I've never been more at peace. While it's true, less than a year ago, I felt like my life was unraveling at the seams, fact of the matter is, we are all in the same boat – just trying to make it.

So, as a reminder that everything is going to be okay, here are 9 signs you're doing better than you think you are:

You've got a roof over your head…

Now, you may not have the means to splurge on this season's hottest bag. But you're capable of providing, putting food on the table -- you've got clean water, the lights are on, and, occasionally, you've got a little extra to spare on a "good morning" latte. Because it's the small things (we often neglect the most) that make all the difference!

You've got a solid support system…

I'm not telling you to squad up, a la Taylor Swift. Your "support system" could be a trusted teacher, neighbor, childhood friend -- anyone that'll hold you accountable -- but more importantly, will pray with you. Often, when we face hard times, we neglect the many blessings we currently possess. This person will kindly remind you that you're doing better than you think you are! Everything will be okay.

You've got a little something to look forward to…

While you may not be in the best mood, drowning in bills, or worse, thrown in the towel altogether, holding on to that ONE goal – for example, finishing your degree -- will provide you with the ammunition you need to just keep swimming.

You've learned from your mistakes…

While I certainly don't have all the answers, one thing I've learned (countless times), is that there is no one way to approach this little thing called life. Remember this: as long as you make the conscious decision to get up when you fall, failure is nothing but a fallacy. Anything is attainable if you never give up!

You've become somewhat of a chameleon…

Change is inevitable. It's how you approach a new season that makes all the difference. If you're able to approach life's disasters with a little grace – not saying it'll always be easy – you've nailed it. Coping skills are crucial when it comes to success. If you don't work at developing these skills, failure will eat you up repeatedly, honey!

You know there's more to life than material things…

In today's social age, it's easy to get caught up trying to Keep Up with the Joneses. Only, truth is, genuine happiness doesn't come by way of material things. Fortunately, knowing is half the battle. If you're aware that joy doesn't lie in that Birkin bag, a new car, or a bigger house, you're prioritizing areas of your life that are lifelong and hold real value: family, friends, or your career.

You've chosen happiness on your terms…

You've stopped chasing the world's definition of happiness, and have begun to define your own path. It's not about the chase, but recognizing that happiness is right at your feet – if you just take a minute to stop and smell the roses.

You've got some stories for the grandkids…

What's life without taking a few risks? Much like taking a leap of faith, jumping head first here or there is a great learning tool, which will equip you will the skills necessary to take on whatever hiccups the universe throws your way. Even better, you'll have an arsenal of stories to tell.

Last, but certainly not least…

You remember who you are…

These words are ones I've heard since I was a child. Since I can remember, my father would yell, “Remember who you are," as I ran out the door to school, basketball practice, hang out with friends, start my first job – you name it. While I didn't quite understand the meaning as a youngster, as an adult, I get it.

As I stated earlier, life is chock-full of transitioning periods. Nothing is set in stone. You will encounter all kinds of people, face all kinds of hardships, and you will fail from time to time. Still, you don't let a little fork in the road, disappointment, or loss change you. You are resilient. You are strong. You are someone who, when knocked down, responds with a quick upper cut. You remember who you are and where you're going. Trust, that alone will help you sleep better at night.

Keep going, sis!

What is one thing that you're grateful for of life right now? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Originally published December 19, 2017.

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Amira Unplugged / MTV

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A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

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