Looking Back to Get Ahead. Here's What I've Accomplished at 23.

original photo by snapmeoh

Back in January 2019 I wrote an article titled, Do You Feel New Yet? 3 Keys to Improving Your Future. I talked about this research that I had come across on the efficacy of New Year’s Resolutions and what I found is that more often than less, a New Year’s Resolution is essentially a trap. Year after year people set a variety of new goals for themselves only to feel later as though they had been set up for failure from the start. For some, these findings may deter you from even taking the time to establish new objectives for yourself, however, I think that acknowledging these statistics is really just an opportunity for us to widen our awareness and understand that in order to accomplish new goals in our lives, we need to step outside of the norm and actually do something different. Part of the reason people failed to meet their goals in 2019 was because they only set them to be in step with the societal tradition of doing so. I can definitely say that I’ve been there before myself, and what I learned is that in order to break the cycle of resolution to disappointment personally, I have to understand two things about the changes I am looking to make: 1) I have to understand the purpose of the change, 2) I need to know the benefits of making the change. Overall, I determine the value of a resolution by looking back at the issues that validate a need for change, and looking ahead to see what good will arise from making the change.

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution? Answer this week on my IG Stories @highaski.

Coming into my Jordan year, I pretty much had one purpose -- increase courage. The year prior had been all about being more transparent about the things I want and feel with others, and since that went pretty well, I felt pretty good about this being the next step for my life’s journey. Honestly though? What a fucking challenge. If I had to list out every situation I’ve faced in the last year that made me feel like my commitment to courage was either questioned or tested I guarantee we would have been here all night before I was through. Can I tell you something even crazier though? That’s exactly how I knew this was the right challenge for me.

What exactly does it mean to “increase courage” anyway? Well, perhaps it’d be good for us to start with the definition of the word. According to the Oxford Dictionary, courage is “the ability to do something that frightens one,” or in simpler terms it’s “strength in the face of pain or grief.” Thusly, increasing courage must be to gain capacity in one’s ability to face experiences of pain and grief with strength. This is certainly something I’ve struggled with in the past, and yet for some reason it felt like the moment I decided to be courageous, that’s when the struggle became more real than ever before.

This resolution of increasing courage has been the foundational purpose of my 23rd year of life. It wasn’t to become my own employer, or to expand the collective with new projects, or even to direct a show for New York Fashion Week, but in each of these experiences, it was important for me to have strength. Strength to look someone in the eyes and assert my value-- strength to know that I am capable of facilitating invaluable experiences that articulate vision and bring people together-- strength to be free from the various thoughts and words of others on who I am and what I’ve done. The resolve in me to increase courage has opened my eyes to see how even in moments of sadness and opposition, strength can be embraced in a way that is entirely unique to the characteristics of generally negative elements such as pride and arrogance.

Looking back, I would absolutely say that courage has opened some doors for me. First off, due to my intentional efforts to increase courage, I’ve had the strength to be vulnerable and upfront in communicating sensitive differences I’ve had with people in both my personal and professional life. Moreover, I’ve had the patience to discover collaborative solutions to those differences. Of course, those solutions aren’t always found, but one thing I can say for sure is that when others went left or swung low, I stayed right on track and continued to focus on that which is above because I value consistency in word and deed, and (as I wrote in my article back in January) I live grounded, surrounded, and free- just as I encourage others to do. Even in moments when I feel overwhelmed (like back in June when I wrote an entire article about it), it takes courage to respond in a way that communicates value for my health and well-being.

As I’ve said so many times before, I do make an effort to keep these posts as to the point as possible, so I think it’s only right that I close in this way. In less than a month from today I will have published my very first book and announced the official release date of my next album, and still, if you were to ask me what exactly it is that I’ve accomplished in the last year, I could sum it all up in two words-- increased courage.

I am KIRU.

Artist + Entrepreneur.

Christian minus the Dior.

If I said it then I meant it.

28 October, 2019. Jordan year complete.

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