I said this to someone today, and what I mean by that, is the Universe is fucking testing your resolve. That’s why everything seems so tough right now. That’s why you’re being pushed and challenged by people you loved.

It’s why you feel yourself pulling away from people, places, and things that you used to love and need. They no longer serve your purpose, and while it’s uncomfortable, it’s absolutely necessary for growth, do you know what I mean?

I used to think that the way to happiness was to have the same friends, settle down and have roots, and have the same job for the rest of your life.

Until I realized that I hated my job, I no longer liked being around the same people, and the places that used to bring me joy, started to feel like a prison.

When I worked in the church, I used to go for a smoke in the backyard, and honestly, it just felt awful. I would stand there, staring at the fence around the property and wish that something or someone would come and change my life so I could escape.

I no longer feel that way anymore. I no longer feel like I am trapped by my life or the people in it, and it’s a wonderful feeling, but it wasn’t easy getting here.

It takes a lot to walk away from your old life, and I remember when I first started pulling away from the people I would have died for in my past, I felt the need to ask for permission.

That was a huge clue that I no longer needed to be a part of that group of people. No one should have to ask permission to live their lives, no one should have to ask permission to be happy.

In the life that I led however, that’s precisely what was expected of me, and to this day there are still people who try to pull me back into a world filled with toxicity and negativity.

Resisting the urge to go back to what was the comfortable norm is difficult, but it’s also healthy and that’s my focus these days, remaining healthy against all odds.

I am, and have been described as, far more normal than I deserve to be, given what I’ve been through in my life time and that’s absolutely true. I am exactly where I should be, given my experiences and my past.

But it could have easily gone the other way. Many women, especially women of color, who have far more experience than I have, have ended up living on the streets and using drugs to deal with their pain. I made the choice not to go that route, and while it’s not a choice for everyone, I got lucky in that for me, it absolutely was.

I chose not to pick up hard drugs, I chose not to engage in activities that would land me in far worse situations than I would have been in, because I have seen what happens when you pick up hard drugs. I know what it does to the body mind and soul, and I want no part of that.

Deciding that you are going to change your life is more than just physically cleaning out the stuff, it’s emotionally divesting yourself of the crap that you’ve been holding onto for years.

I think this happens to a lot of people in their thirties, you start to realize that while you spent your twenties discovering who you might be, in your thirties you start realizing who you could be, and sometimes those two people are not always the same.

This is not a bad thing, it’s what self discovery is all about. I spent my twenties working in poverty and homelessness, but I also spent a lot of time hanging out with gangsters, or wannabe gangsters at the least.

My friends chose a different path than I did, and lived a life that was filled with chaos and toxicity, that toxic chaos started to affect my life in ways that were pulling me apart at the seams.

It wasn’t until I was gang raped that I realized I had had enough of that world. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t interesting, it wasn’t exciting. I spent most of my twenties and early thirties hanging out in a strip club every weekend staring at half naked women until it was time to go home.

When I wasn’t doing that I was trying to get people in recovery and being told what a bitch I was every day, by both staff and volunteers as well as guests of the Church I worked at.

There was literally no room to just be “Devon”. I have that room now, this pandemic has given me the space I need to just be me, in all my messy chaotic ways, and in that messy chaos I have discovered talents I didn’t know I had, and exercised creativity in ways I didn’t know I needed to.

When you ask the Universe for help, it will absolutely step up and help you, but don’t be surprised if that help comes in unexpected, challenging ways that push you out of our comfort zone.

Change is not comfortable, it’s not supposed to be, if it were easy everyone would do it and not everyone is capable of getting out of the mess to find the light.

I wish that I didn’t have to say that, but some people make the active choice to go back to the darkness, even when they’ve escaped, because the darkness is comfortable and easy.

It’s a never ending cycle of sickness that pulls us back, and every time we get pulled back we have to fight ten times harder to find the light again and some people just can’t find it.

It happened to a friend, a man I barely knew who had my name. He couldn’t find the light, and so because of his death I remember that every day I have left is a gift. That it does get better, because I want my children to know that it’s hard, but I also want them to know it’s worth it.

Because I want to be alive to have children.

These are the reasons that I keep on keeping on, it’s not just the brand, it’s not just helping other people, it’s proving that it can be done, so that “I” can believe, that it can be done.

I used to think that I could hold onto the people that I loved and would die for, because we were family. But as more and more people began to drift away and I began to find myself more and more alone, I started to realize that I was growing and evolving too and it got really fucking scary for awhile.

I avoided it with strippers, men and drinking, as best as I could, but getting raped again changed everything for me. I wanted out, I wanted the life that I should have had growing up and now that I finally am in a place where I feel somewhat safe and happy, I will never give it up. Not for anyone.

It’s too easy to go back to the darkness, way too easy, and at any time I know that it’s always there waiting for me, but going back won’t serve my higher purpose. It won’t inspire me, and right now the one thing I am trying to do above everything else, is inspiring myself.

I am a fucking inspiration to myself, I deserve to be. After everything I have been through, the fact that I survived is a miracle. I shouldn’t have, statistically speaking.

Yet I did. I owe it to the universe to give this second chance everything I have.

So do you,

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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