It’s 2019. Congratulations! We made it!
As we start off the new year, I have been reflecting on the conversations I have had recently. About a month ago, I stepped into ‘Holiday Mode’, which for me was leaving my new team and creative space (yay!!!) in New Jersey to visit my family in Ohio. The energy almost overwhelmed me. I couldn’t help but wonder, why was everyone so anxious? The Uber. The NJ Transit. The Airport. EVERYBODY IS ANXIOUS… and I don’t like it.
Managing My Anxiety
I spent 6 months of 2018 living in Freetown, Sierra Leone. I originally thought that I would be there for only 3 months. Essentially, I had 3 months (really 2 months and a few days) of funds that I managed to spread across 6 months… Anxious behavior. Thank God for family and friends believing in me. My tribe enabled me to stay beyond my original timeline.
Why was I so pressed to stay?
- Cold Weather Avoidance (I HATE WINTER)
- Creative Juice Flow (AMYANG.COM)
- Curiosity of African Politics (Election Season)
- Spiritual Growth (Life-changing Moments)
- Love of Family & Culture (So many questions answered)
In hindsight, if I had not discovered REAL peace in Zanzibar, and practiced manifesting it while traveling with Koku Gonza and Crew in Tanzania, I probably would have died from a heart attack due to ANXIETY while I was in Sierra Leone. It’s true. So much happened while I was there. So many emotions.
I share my inner thoughts about personal moments during my time there on my podcast. Feel free to listen. Real peace is priceless.
It was time. I decided it was time to return to New York City.
Anxiety? A Little.
I had very little money and was dependent on family and friends for the basics. Yep. The basics. However, anxiety levels were light. Surprising right? Here is why.
- Leaving the ‘comfort’ of a paycheck hitting my bank account every two week that easily pays for a mortgage, car note, living essentials, travel, shopping and potential little emergencies for ‘a full life’ is daunting to the average person. I left ‘comfort’ in 2016.
- I learned how to HUSTLE in 2017.
- I learned how to live on a REAL BUDGET
Basically, I grew up.
For me, life is uncomfortable at times, yet fulfilling. I travel a lot. I literally live out of a few suitcases… and I have my belongings spread throughout various cities and Sierra Leone. It’s not always easy, but I am genuinely a happy person, often on the move. My life has changed drastically since 2015, and it’s definitely a different lifestyle from many people that I know. I have A LOT less commitments than you probably do. I get that. However, no matter what your lifestyle is, we all go through highs and lows. Those highs and lows can create constant anxiety… unless you learn how to live a more balanced life…your way.
My way is practicing faith.
Fight Fear with Faith.
Before I left for Africa, I had to take a moment to realize that I may die on this trip. No plane ride is guaranteed to land safely, boat rides on the sea could tip over, and God knows what else. I kept thinking, what if my family watches the news and I am on it because my plane crashed???? I was going to be in at least 6 countries where I do not understand the main language spoken. I had to trust STRANGERS with my life. I wasn’t staying in 4-star resorts. My itinerary included villages in Africa. What has American Media taught us about African Villages? DISEASE. The truth is, I had a meltdown while I was walking back from Chase to my apartment in Brooklyn. The ladies at the teller line noticed that I used to work for Chase and congratulated me because I chose to lead a different life. I got about 1000 feet out the door, fresh ‘OBAMA HUNDREDS’ in envelopes, and I cried for joy. Koku and I were really doing this! Wooohooooo!!!! Then it was… Oh God. Fear hit me in my chest and I choked. Since it’s Brooklyn, no one interrupted my tears.
I ugly cried while walking down the street and called Mom. It was like she was expecting my call and me in that condition. Probably because…she knows I am an emotional bag of bricks. Instinctively, she just prayed with me on the phone until I calmed down. After we hung up, I asked God to have mercy on me for all of my mistakes and bad attitude, and then I caught my breath and got on with living. I didn’t realize it until recently but in that moment, I broke my chains of anxiety. In that moment, I realized that I didn’t have control over much of ANYTHING. I was going to have to have faith, or quit everything that I want for myself.
I believe that the antidote to anxiety is inner peace. The public dialogue about anxiety has evolved tremendously since my return. Traveling through 8 countries on The Continent allowed me the privilege of interacting with people who live in ‘poverty’ EVERYDAY. I also interacted with people who live in absolute ‘wealth’ EVERYDAY (like…legacy wealthy). Regardless of the financial situations, I noticed a person’s inner peace when I came across it. Guess what didn’t matter? Account balances. So many myths were dispelled during this trip. We need to re-examine what really defines wealth and poverty. I met some folks with large account balances who are spiritually impoverished. Nothing to envy from my perspective. Nowadays, moments that seem unbearable, I bear without panic. Moments that seem amazing, I celebrate with a full heart of gratitude. I am now in a space where I really try to take every moment, by the moment. I aim to stay present, even as I write this. It feels great to share these deep thoughts with you. Also, my kid sister just treated me to a late lunch at Old Bag o’ Nails so it’s and even better moment!
Travel Changes Perspective…For Real
My travel binge last year changed my life. I know I am a better person because of it. I am a better sister, friend, colleague, entrepreneur, creative, and foe. I am. I can only share what I know. If you are interested in reducing your anxiety, traveling to the unknown may be your solution. It may not be. However, if it peaks your interest, do more than look at everyone else’s social media, even mine. I know without a shadow of doubt that traveling helped me to overcome daily anxiety and practice inner peace. Consider what traveling could do for your life. Then start planning.
Inner peace is the antidote to anxiety.
A travel binge could help you find your inner peace.
Congratulations! You read this whole thing. You made it.