For most of my life I have been Ms. Nice and  Miss “let me make you happy” and “Mrs. Let me agree so we don’t have any beef.

I am here to tell you that shit sucks and because of all of my PG traits, I found myself always in limbo between by true emotions about people and things; and what I allowed myself to project. My past has been filled with instances, where I was too afraid to say “NO!” Or too afraid to step on any toes or make someone else feel un-comfortable. To be honest, I hindered my own growth and success, always trying to dumb and dim myself down. Guess what? Nobody cared whether they offended me.

I am not sure when it happened. Maybe it was my time living in Brooklyn and seeing people everyday loving their personal freedom that I became aware that I was stifling my own freedoms. I wouldn’t wear things because of what people would think. I spoke a certain way. I carried myself in a particular manner. When people asked me for my opinion I always tried to not be too blount. I stayed in friendships, long after their usefulness and in situations with men for comfort although it was far from convenient or comfortable for me. Instead of asking people to pay their dues and their fair share, I always paid. Literally and figuratively.

Well that was then and this is now. For the first time, in a long time I feel whole & tremendously free. I give no fuxs. After time and time again, being disappointed with he expectations and lies of others, I have lived a great year just telling myself damn truth. Even if it meant clowning myself or sharing something that wasn’t popular.

I’ll admit I over-share. But I am ok with that.

What’s the point of hiding your shortcomings? What, you didn’t know people can see right through it? What’s the point of pretending like everything is serene and secure? What’s the point of fronting till you make it? Whats the true reasoning behind your inability to be your true self? Flaws and all.

I had to confront these things within myself. Why was I afraid to cuss someone out?  Why was I afraid to tell people I liked art, museums and theatre? Why was it not ok for me to be different? So many of us adults have a very difficult time  being genuinely ourselves, because sometimes it feels better to be our representatives.

yeah , I said it. You want to be what people think you are. You buy clothes way above your means, you live somewhere just for the zip code, you drive a certain type of car to make the impression it’s all good. But is it? Don’t get me wrong, some of us really have it. yet, having it doesn’t make you less likely to feel pain of any kind.

Most of what we see and put out there is only to continue along with perceptions.

Since its 2012, I decided to let you know its ok to not let perceptions speak for you.Set yourself free.

 Here are 32 things I realized it was “ok” to love, to do and say while I was on my year-long journey to find some truth in my life and redeem my own happiness.

1. Its ok to offend others and not always agree.

2. Its ok to want to have sex with whomever you want, as long as it is legal, consensual & safe.

3. Its ok to love where you are from, but want it to be better. You can live and love the hood & refuse to be hood fabulous.

4. Its ok to befriend someone you used to dislike, because the reason you disliked them was probably not good enough. Making amends is liberating

5. Its ok to be sad and cry. Happy 24/7 is a goal, but ain’t for real. Its human. However, anger is a wasted emotion.

6. Its ok to be smart and successful and not have to apologize for it every time someone else is intimidated.

7. Its ok to Love GOD & yet be a fraction of the godly person you desire to be.

8. Its ok to not spend more than $20 bucks on anything,  to not match, to wear whatever  you freaking feel like  and not wear trends. it ok to not want to wear NEON and feathers.

9. Its ok to not have all the answers, be confused and distracted and get up every morning and still work hard toward something.

10. Its ok to have values, principles and standards that other people don’t understand.

11. Its ok to change and change your mind.

12.Its ok to not give any fuxs what people think, who didn’t give you life & not giving you a better life.

13. Its ok to love Hip-Hop, even though some of it is ignorant, some people sound illiterate and they be dissing women hard.

14. Its ok to still love your ex and never stop loving them, but allow yourself room to move on. Its ok to love anyone from a distance.

15. Its ok to not be a fan and yet not a foe. Not liking someone’s music, or personal style or life is cool- but you don’t have to force your life on them either.

16. Its ok to travel a lot and not care if you have to do it alone. It will always be worth the price-tag.

17. Its ok to laugh and smile more often than what others deem normal.

18. Its ok to not have a lot of friends. Its ok to know that you can and should become a better friend. Chances are, there is room for improvement in this category.

19. Its ok to speak proper Englisha dn to expect others to do such.

20. Its ok to hold someones hand, be a shoulder for them to cry on & still feel like you need therapy. There isn’t a pre-requisite to helping someone else.

21. Its ok to have big dreams and take lots of risks . Then  fail and have to start over.

22. Its ok to not appreciate the single life or dating. To yearn for someone to kiss you on the forehead & rub your feet. This  doesn’t make you weak, it makes you a person.

23. Its ok to love soda, fried chicken and every other food item that is bad for you. Like everything else, moderation is key.

24. Its ok to be silent. To not share. And its ok if you choose to speak and share, that your words make an impact.

25.  Its ok not to like reality tv or commercial music and rather spend your evenings watching HGTV, the cooking channel, the History and Discovery channels; while listening to Jazz or Rock. Even if people think you are corny because you don’t want to life of a Basketball wife or be a mass consumer.

26. Its ok to do multiple things at once and do them all well.

27. Its ok to not to have to explain shit.

28. Its ok to be scared and wonder “what if,” but don’t let fear make a life for you full of “if only I …”

29. Its ok to feel defeated and still remain determined.

30. Its ok to compete. To make more options and take more opportunities. Its not ok to always be an opportunist.

31. Its ok to make a mistake twice, but its not ok to not take responsibility for it.

32. Its ok to be a woman. To be feminine. To walk with a mean strut. To hold your head high and swing your hair around. And not give a damn about who is watching or critiquing.

I hope after reading this you learn to let shit go and live a  life not caged in other people’s opinions.