I don’t know about you, but whenever the end of the year approaches, it sends me straight into reflection mode; borderline reminiscent. Knowing me, I never checked in on myself throughout the year to see how I was doing so consequently, November and December have become my annual “evaluation months.”

Blogging has actually been one of my struggle areas this year so this post alone is my way of holding myself accountable to keep adding to my successes.

It’s one thing to entertain thoughts and then ignoring them when you no longer feel like dealing with it, but having your thoughts written down on paper, tangible and convicting, it moves you to action.

Below are things I have identified as successes and struggles within my life throughout 2017. Here goes nothing:


Student loans:

I knew I would be in repayment this month because that would have made 6 months since I finished graduate school. It’s a topic I willingly choose to avoid and if I don’t wise up, could have very serious ramifications on my credit in the future. In a nutshell, I didn’t plan ahead of time for this inevitable expense that I know would be coming to disrupt my life. I DON’T WANT TO GIVE THEM A DIME! But that’s not an option (not if I want to live a peaceful life at least). I figured if I ignored them long enough, they would disappear. I know. I know. Childish but real as hell.

Quality time with my daughter.

I’m always up on my toes; always on the move. I told myself (and my daughter) that once I graduated, it was going to be more of her and I. Instead, I found other things to busy myself with. While my projects are not bad in them of themselves, I have yet to develop healthy discipline habits and boundaries with myself so I continue to make my daughter a ride-along with all my endeavors.

Spending habits.

Oh I’ve been bitten by the spirit of gluttony all year (life) long. I stay spending money on fast food. I justify my habits by saying to myself “I’m too busy to cook throughout the week so it’s fine.” NO ALANA! IT’S NOT! I know I have a spending problem (because I have a discipline problem). But knowing don’t mean nothing if I’m not willing to do anything about it.

Family turmoil.

With the loss of yet another close family member this past summer, that was the last straw for a lot of my family members. So much discord occurred not even hours after the funeral, and many of us have yet to speak to each other to this day. I’ve become privy to the generational trauma that has impacted my family and finally able to identify and articulate it now. Especially, since it is affecting me now more than ever. Severing ties with certain family members and coming to terms with the fact that some relationships will no longer be as close as they once were (in addition to mourning over the death of a loved one) has taken a toll on me emotionally and spiritually. Apologies need to be given. I just don’t know how and when.

Letting go of Mae’s Closet.

After being honest with myself and understanding my capacity to do (or not to do) everything that I’m currently doing, I made the decision to pause Mae’s Closet in the upcoming year and work solely on my documentary, The Kinloch Doc. That decision was extremely emotional for me because of my reasoning for starting Mae’s Closet in the first place. I had to face my priorities and realize that Mae’s was not at the top (at least not at this moment). I’m going to miss the hell out of it though.

On a more positive note….



On May 17, 2017 @ 7pm, my daughter and I walked across the stage for the 2nd time. I’m the first in my immediate family to get a Bachelor’s degree let alone Masters. Anyone who is a first generation college student understands the weight of that burden. Creating roads as you walk because there wasn’t a guide laid before you. No shade. Just facts. But that was by far one of my proudest moments. I don’t ever want to stop “wowing” myself.

My job.

My place of employment is well aware of my other endeavors and fully support me as I work on them. My job provides me with the flexibility to work on my passion and for that I am grateful.

Alana Marie Productions, LLC

My production compant was birthed (in addition to Mae’s Closet, LLC). I want The Kinloch Doc to be housed under my own production company as I know I will be evolving in the field of media production. Makes me feel all official or whatever.

Paid off my credit card

and increased my credit score. I feel a certain way about the establishment of credit (like who created it and what is its true intended use) but since we need it, might as well work it in a way that will make my life easier.

My baby started second grade this year.

I can’t believe I have an entire 8-year-old. And she reads at the 5th grade level. I want her back in my belly…. sometimes.

Began production

for The Kinloch Doc this past April

I was accepted

into the inaugural media production program with Continuity, a local non-profit working to expand diversity within media production. Out of over 100 applicants, I am one of ten who was accepted.

One of the successes that I am most proud of, I started going to therapy

this past October. I’ve never been to therapy before and I always told myself I was too busy to ever go. I have a lot of unsettled issues that have grown to be excruciatingly bothersome over the years and I honestly feel like I am becoming stifled if I don’t get them addressed. People who know me know I don’t like asking for help (because I don’t always know what I need help with), so this is a big step for me.  

I have a desire to be intentional about my growth and progress, my healing. While I am grateful for my accomplishments, I have enough discernment to know that there is more in store for me and there are many areas of my life that are in need of improvement. I am appreciative of every occurrence and circumstance from this past year and I’m looking forward to going into the new year with a renewed mind and grateful heart.

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