The Tale of Two Flo's
As I contemplated what to write for this guest blog, I chose to reflect on the last decade of my life. My 28th birthday is quickly approaching, but I can’t help to wonder, “Where has the time gone?” Truth is, I am not sure where I thought I would be by now, or where I wanted to be, but join me as I take a trip down memory lane.
My fantasy at 18: I envisioned being married to a high school or college sweetheart, married at age 21, three kids by age 25, and a white picket fence with a dog in the yard. I would take trips to explore the world with my family and friends. I planned to work in a “people oriented field”, and my husband would be the breadwinner for our family. Most of my kids would be well-behaved of course, with the exception of one. Then, finally, I would be happy!
My reality at 18: I was in a relationship filled with abuse and chaos from both parties. My friends were usually around to witness those tumultuous altercations. I then received horrible information about my health that caused me to go into a state of depression. My father and I also had a horrible relationship, and my siblings were living in different cities than I was. I chose not to go to my school of choice because I did not want to leave my mother behind. Though I was surrounded by friends, I felt alone. I did not love myself, and I hated the girl I looked at in the mirror on a daily basis. I felt she was ugly, and despite what people felt about her still I contemplated suicide. Luckily never attempted it.
I am a 27-year-old successful woman. I am not married, no kids, and I live solo in a cute, quaint condo. I drive a compact car I bought as a gift to myself for graduating with my Bachelor’s degree. I am also proud to say it is paid off. I am in a long-term relationship with my high school best friend who loves me, and gets on my nerves simultaneously. I frequently travel while juggling three businesses, one of which has already launched. I have three degrees, which I consider to be my three “kids”. I am a traveling-happy hour-sophistiratch (a combination of a sophisticated person who loves ratchet things). My love for Christ has grown into a blossoming relationship that has helped me to understand He is my source for all things. I have a host of great family and friends that constantly encourage, and uplift me to reach my fullest potential.
It’s my reality, and I love it.
I was not always comfortable with Flo. “Then Flo” tried to stifle and sabotage “Now Flo” with recollections of the past, and unhealthy behaviors in relationships. The decision to transform to who I am now came with a price: losing friends, wedges between family members, distancing myself from negative influences, and a period of solitude. The process to let go of “Then Flo” was difficult, I mean she was all I’d ever known. As I approach my 30s, I have learned this one important value by which I live:
"You cannot be who you are going to be, and who you used to be at the same time".
There is nothing wrong with having a vision for your life at a young age, but not at the expense of your self-esteem, self-worth, and growth. My value at 18 was based upon adding others to me in order to increase my value; but now I realize that my value is intrinsically motivated, that everything I need to live this life, and make a difference is within me. I am whole, I am enough, and I am all that I need to change the world.
Here are three takeaways from this post:
1. God has a vision for your life.
2. Do what you can with what you have.
3. Everything you need is already within you.
As I end my post, I share my ode to the “Then Flo”:
Goodbye to “Then Flo” who had self-doubt, low self-esteem, was abused, fought God, sought chaos, and couldn’t let go of the past. “Then Flo” harbored thoughts of killing herself to help escape the pain and the past. “Then Flo” held herself to unreal expectations, and tried to play God. Hello to “Now Flo”, the woman who puts God first in her decisions, the business woman, the better friend, sister and daughter. “Now Flo” loves every inch of her imperfections, and is seeing herself through God’s lens. “Now Flo” knows her value, and removes those who do not. “Now Flo” lives in her truth, explores her unknown, and establishes her own. She is here now so these two women CANNOT and WILL NOT exist at the same time. She will not forget what you taught her, but you will now take your rightful position in the past because you have fought for her to be here. Well done “Then Flo”, but we got it from here.
For those of you who knew “Then Flo”, let me formally introduce you to the “Now Flo”. Hello, my name is Brittany Flournoy, my friends call me Flo, and this is the beginning of my reign.
Flo is a self-proclaimed sophistiratch living in Houston, by way of Dallas. By day, she is a Medical Social Worker that loves inspiring others. She is a bartender, travel agent, and entrepreneur who believes in being recession proof.