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It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the last four months of the year. While most look at it in shock and fear, I stare at it in reflection. In January, I wrote about how I’d done in keeping with my word of focus for 2014 and ended the post stating my word of focus for 2015:

Con·scious·nessˈ (kän(t)SHəsnəs) [noun] - The state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings; the awareness or perception of something by a person; the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.

I dedicated myself to being fearless in 2014, so it felt fitting to take my new found boldness and put it into safe practice by being actively conscious in my life. How have I been doing? Allow me to explain.

After just eight months I can say that 2015 has been, for lack of a better word, a lot. The first two quarters of the year were marked with fleeting happiness and a return to the pits of depression, fiery love and the anguish of a thousand heartbreaks, and an overall allowance of disrespect from all angles of my life. I wrapped up the month of May with the realization that I wasn’t going about this word of focus thing the right way. I remember turning to the mirror and not recognizing the woman staring back at me. I could barely see my soul through puffy eyelids and wet lashes. I didn’t know how I had allowed myself to get so deep in despair. I didn’t need a wake up call - that was it.


In order to introduce myself to consciousness, I realized that I had to revisit fearlessness. So I showed up and showed out. I fearlessly ended my relationship, left my straight-out-of-college job of four years and sought help in the form of mental therapy. Again, a lot, all very quickly and under no one’s direction but my own. It was like ripping off the dirty band-aids I kept sticking back on and disinfecting my entire life. It burned of course, but only temporarily. I had to teach myself to heal healthily under brand new conditions. Although new, it didn’t feel as refreshing as one would think. I was terrified. For the first time in my life I had a completely blank slate and all the time in the world to decorate it. The biggest test was doing so without granting access to the soul-sucking entities that filled it before.

My life’s banalities no longer present allowed for the spring of a new version of myself. This one is honest and has a doe-eyed fixture on the the future. She is still learning to take calculated steps, but if she happens to slip and fall, picks herself up hastily. This version of myself wears her truths proudly in an effort to be a model of positive influence. She is actively learning to tread through feeling deeply without drowning. She stands with purpose and lives every day as it comes. She is aroused, not only by moments of cognizance, but also learns from the lack thereof. Everything is accounted for, if not in writing, by deep thought. Every feeling, every lesson, every moment of change. As she grows, I am learning to love her.


As I fix my eyes on the horizon and see the last quarter of 2015 quickly approaching, I brace myself. Not because I’m frightened, but because there is still much work to be done. 

This is an ode to refocusing, because if I’ve learned anything through this process of staying woke, it’s that sometimes it’s necessary. 

Embrace change, but embrace being the change you want to see. The only way to move forward with conviction is to learn yourself in an out. Uncover where you thrive, what weakens you, scares you, moves you, motivates and limits you. Actively discover yourself in appreciation for whom you were created to be. The universe has responded quite graciously since I recommitted myself to consciousness and I have no doubts that it will do the same for anyone inspired by my expressions.

Do better to be better.

Photography by Kevin Eusebio

Melanie SantosComment