Who Am I?

We are constantly evolving. Everyday I try to be a better person than I was yesterday. I admit some days I do better than others but being that I am my worst critic at the very least I make it a point to be conscious of my actions and decisions. Over the years I have developed this sort of code of conduct for my life.

  1. God First
  2. Don’t Stress
  3. Don’t Complain
  4. Don’t Quit, Commit
  5. Don’t Second Guess Yourself
  6. Love You

This code helps me stay focused on self-improvement.

As my grandmother got sicker she started to remind me of my aunt Jessie when she was losing her battle with cancer. I remember looking at my grandmother one day and literally seeing my aunt’s face on hers. I was a wreck during both experiences but I like to believe that my code got me through.

The first reason was because I put God first. I decided to trust in whatever his will was for their lives and mine.

I won’t lie and say I mastered number two. I did stress about them being sick, the normal amount of self-pity that one feels when they are watching someone close to them die. However the code kept my stress level down to the minimum.

I didn’t complain. I was actually thankful that God had set it up each time that I was able to be there in their last days. I was able to spend quality time with them and have serious heart to hearts and laugh and cry and love them more than I ever did before.

I never quit on them. No matter what the doctors said about how much time they had left, I knew that God had the final word on that so I lived with them everyday and didn’t mourn them until they were gone. I was committed to doing as much as I could in their last days to make them forget that it was their last days.

I never second-guessed my commitment; I valued every moment I had with them.

Lastly, and most importantly, I loved them because they taught me how to love, what love was and what love should be. So every single day I made sure they heard me say, I love you.

Who am I? I am a product of love. I am a believer and a fighter. I am determined and strong-willed. I am gracious and kind. I strive to live my life stress free, I never quit no matter how hard it gets I sometimes get lost but I always find my way back. I am romantic and outspoken. I’m a hard worker and I live my life wide open. I am a seeker of truth. I am constantly striving for perfection while understanding perfection will never be reached but as long as I continue to aspire to it I will be sculpting myself closely to its mold.

Who am I? I am a better Shireal Renee than I was yesterday!

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Complete

After five years, three months and eight-teen days I have finally reached a new milestone in my writing career, I finished my first novel! I have worked so hard to get to this day. This was by far the most challenging goal to reach that I have set for myself to date. Now, 507 manuscript pages later I can finally say it’s done!

This book has taken over such a huge piece of my life. It has taken me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I have suffered from sleep deprivation and coming from me a person who doesn’t sleep much in the first place please imagine what that must have taken to make me sleep deprived. I have felt unworthy, I have doubted myself as an artist, my self-esteem began to drop, I’ve underestimated my own abilities, missed self-imposed deadline after deadline but never once did I ever consider quitting. Giving up was simply not an option.

I don’t often feel proud of myself but after accomplishing this goal I think I am. I know this feeling won’t last long because there is still so much more to do. But I will allow myself to take a deep breath and appreciate this moment while it last.

Shondaland

As a writer there is really no other way to express how I feel about Shonda Rhimes except to say I am absolutely blown away by what she has been able to accomplish.  I won’t use the word obsessed because obsession tends to hold a lot of negative connotations but I will say she more than impresses me.  She has definitely set a precedent in the writing world that we all can aspire too.

Tonight ABC was taken over by two of her hit shows, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” and a new show created by her protégé Pete’ Norwalk, “How to Get Away With Murder”, produced under her company Shondaland all of them running simultaneously from 8-11pm.  The Washington Post says, “There is not really a serious contender that can take on Shonda Rhimes for the role of most powerful show runner.”  I have to agree with them.  Especially as Grey’s Anatomy debuts it’s 11th season.

Now enough with the statistics let me speak from the heart for a moment.  I have the up most respect for Shonda Rhimes because as a writer I think about how hard she had to work to get to where she is today.   I have read some articles about her success and it is commonly mentioned that she is successful as a black woman in the industry but lets be clear her success stands beyond her being a black woman.  Her success is what writers of any race, orientation or background would aspire too.  She has set the bar so high that for me it makes me want to put my work ethic in overdrive.

I was watching her commencement speech that she did at Dartmouth College and in her speech she said, “stop being a dreamer and be a doer.”   As much as I’ve always classified myself as a doer more so than a dreamer hearing it come from her made me think of all the things that I have been procrastinating on.  I am not going to pretend that I don’t procrastinate on things and sometimes find myself sulking over all the things I haven’t accomplished yet.  I believe I have what it takes I just have to work a little harder and if Shonda Rhimes advice to me is to just do than I am damn sure going to take it.  So thank you Shonda for being such an inspiration and a positive model for writers and creators to follow.  I’m taking off my dreaming cap and putting on my doer cap so that I can one day look my dreams in the face and realize they have made it to the gates of reality.

Living In The Real World

Sometimes you have to fall off the grid to find your place in the world. I’d rather work everyday and fight for the woman I see in my dreams than to willow away in a land of confusion pretending to be someone that I’m not. My grandmother passed away last week.  Her passing has changed me.  It’s almost like she passed along her strength to me.  I feel like I can make it through anything.  I can stand up against any obstacle overcome any adversity that may stand in my way because she was a survivor.  Just knowing that I come from her makes me feel so powerful.  I will not allow anyone to walk over me or make me feel lesser, insecure or unworthy.  I have absolutely zero tolerance for drama and confusion.  I will trust my instincts and stay on the path to my destiny because if I am not staying true to who I am then I may as well kill myself.

I was watching a show called, Parenthood and one of the charters said, “When you find your purpose it’s like a life raft in the stormy sea of life.” Those words really resonated with me.  I totally understand how your passion can carry you through your darkest moments.  In all of my writings I talk about how my artistry has saved my life and my sanity time and time again.  No matter how low I find myself I can always find my way out through the gifts that God has given me.  My passion keeps me alive.  My passion keeps me pushing forward to see another day in hopes that I will one day be that woman that I see in my dreams.  As long as I have breath in my body I will keep pressing on.  I know that sometimes I can find myself living in this little bubble of safety to protect myself from the horrors of reality but it is time to live in the real world and conquer it like my grandmother did!