Man, it’s been a hell of a year, for sure. We said we were going to try out things we haven’t tried before and had the opportunity to. We had the opportunity to start our healing process, to perform our art, to show our coordinating skills. There was so much growth happening that it was overwhelming at times. There were times where we got tested, like people really were trying to get us out of character so bad that, if it wasn’t for God, we would have definitely moved based off of our emotions. Man — that shows growth.
I know this year has been a rollercoaster, from being able to move into a new apartment to losing people you just didn’t expect to lose. From being able to perform our art to feeling exhausted and drained. Most of all, there were so many accomplishments this year that I’m so proud of. That for the first time in my life I’m unapologetic for. Caring for other people is great but making sure that you’re good is a priority.
Currently working on my legacy. Being the example and leading the way. There is so much need in this world but the biggest need is LOVE. There’s too much hate going on that people forget their purpose in this world. So I hope the impact we leave resembles love. We have been vocal about our feelings and teaching the family that they don’t need to move in toxicity. Breaking the toxic habits and generational trauma. Unlearning in order to learn. We got to write out our goals and take the steps that we have been doing, slowly but surely.
The goal is to be financially stable and to buy a house where I will create the family I’ve always wanted with the man of my dreams. I can’t wait to buy the block so I can provide a safe space for our youth. Teaching them things our families never knew. Building up their confidence, teaching them life skills and passing the baton. Because it starts with the youth, and we gotta invest in them — they’re the future.
So… Dear 34-year-old self, I hope you’re at a place you want to be at or even better. I hope you continue to choose you and what makes you happy. You’ve been setting up your boundaries. Have you stopped and taken a deep breath? How is your clothing line doing? Are you still performing? Did you finish that book you said you were going to write? How’s the family?
I know we talked about planning and doing instead of talking about doing something and not doing it. I hope as you continue to grow that you stay open minded to learning from others. Don’t be afraid to continue trying new things. Continue to move in love. Don’t allow yourself to turn cold hearted because of the way other people choose to move. You don’t gotta move that way. Spread the knowledge, and don’t dim your light for no one. More importantly, continue to seek God in the midst of it all.
One Love, Self
Mae Dinero is a leader, community organizer and artist who works on the Youth Consortium leadership team.
Read more of the Jan. 4-10, 2023 issue.