Name: Melanie Yvette | City/Town: Brooklyn | State/Province: NY
Sincerely Syreeta: When did you have your #ATOEpiphany and what were the circumstances that preceded it?
Melanie Yvette: March 9th, 2016. I will never forget it because that’s my besties birthday. I was sitting on my couch, mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted from dealing with a crazy lawsuit, to dating someone I just really didn’t want to be with, to feeling overworked. I needed to stop, reset and restructure my life. I was on the couch, finishing an article for a publication. I closed my laptop and canceled everything for the week that had nothing to do with work. That was my epiphany: I had to pull myself together and start taking care of myself again.
SS: What did you find to be most challenging or painful about all of it?
MY: I really had to accept that some people had to go. The guy I was dating had to go. I needed to find a new job. I needed to also let God do what he was going to do in regards to the lawsuit. I needed to clean my plate of everything and everyone and start over.
SS: What did it teach you about yourself?
MY: It taught me to trust myself, fully. I had been feeling most of these things for a while: needing to end a relationship, knowing that the lawsuit would turn out fine, etc. But, I couldn’t allow myself to trust that I would be OKAY. I trust myself so much now.
SS: What did it teach you about life and people?
MY: Life goes on. Everything is temporary. Everything. Also, that work is work. There is so much more to live and enjoy if you stop taking things so seriously and LIVE. With people, I learned that [those] who are supposed to be there, will be there. Period. Don’t stress that.
SS: How did you get to the space where you could honestly say, “this happened…and that’s okay” without feeling any negative emotions (or at least significantly less)?
MY: I guess I just decided to look at life differently along that “journey”. Like, I made it through and I’m the happiest I’ve been in a few years. Plus, I find it kind of cool that I came out on the other side better. That let’s me know that in the future, I’ll be straight no matter what happens.
SS: What words of wisdom would you pass along to someone else that is experiencing something similar?
MY: If you’re going through hell, keep going. But, if your spirit is telling you to slow down, do it. Forget what everyone else is doing or saying. It’s okay to break down, just to rebuild yourself back up. Sometimes the breakdown is the breakthrough, and sometimes you have to put on your big girl panties and get through it.
SS: Since having your #ATOEpiphany, how do you now live your life differently?
MY: I legit do NOT let most of the things that used to bother me do so. Work is work. I go, get stuff done and go home. I cherish time. I’m very specific and picky about who I give my energy to. If it’s something I want to do, regardless if I’m scared, I do it. I just don’t have time to waste on the small stuff. I refuse to do that.
SS: In keeping with the idea that things don’t happen to us, rather for us: Why do you think that this may have happened for you?
MY: With the lawsuit, I needed to learn how to fight for my brand and literally learn how to boss up and be a business woman. With the relationship: I needed my final reminder of what I deserve and desire, and that push to STOP dealing with men who don’t offer it, no matter how comfortable I am with them. I also needed to stop living my life with fear. That 9-month journey sucked all the fear out! I’m literally not afraid of anything anymore.
“I had to go through a long storm to find my best self, and that’s okay. I’d do it again too.”