Why My Freshman Year Was Better Than Yours...

In a few days, I'll be celebrating the end of my freshman year as a professional companion. *Gasp* I know. I still have the messages from Eda Blackwood telling me she thought I was a "Grandma Heaux" because when I caught her eye, I "had my shit together". No, ma'am - I most definitely was and most likely still am, a Baby Heaux. And while there is still so much to learn and experience, I have been reflecting on the various ways I've already wised up.

Last year I went on over 20 flights in addition to the ones for my day job. I cried tears of happiness in the middle of Paddington Station. I was literally standing there, right in the middle of Paddington after getting off the Heathrow Express. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can laugh at me, but it was my first time in London and I was grateful AF. My date also laughed at me because "It was really cute." I digress.

 October 2016 | London in London. 

October 2016 | London in London. 

I flipped off Trump Tower & made a political statement in Chicago. I danced into 2017 on the white, sandy beaches of the Dominican Republic with another lovely gent, and handed him a TKO in karaoke. And when I noted on my Twitter that I missed my motorcycle, a gent took me out riding. Thank you, Mister for paying attention. Also, before I left my previous position where I helped people do better and be better, I was able to fulfill my other dreams of public speaking, jet-setting to provide consultations for organizations, and finding a great PhD program. Oh, and I became an escort. No big deal, am I right?

 December 2016 | In Chicago letting Darth Cheeto know what's up. Now you know my political leanings.

December 2016 | In Chicago letting Darth Cheeto know what's up. Now you know my political leanings.

Maybe you saw this past year of my life via posts on Instagram (ya know you wanna add me). Or perhaps you read about some of the awesome things I did, or hot topics I immersed myself in via Twitter (I'm a hell of a follow). Did you catch my Snapchat Stories (join me)? Cool, cool – I watched them, too. Looks like my freshman year as an escort was hella lit!

But, let's throwback to the 90's for a moment and "stop being polite, and start getting real." What you did not see were my tears as they flowed freely in the presence of my therapist. You missed out on me confinding to some of my sex worker friends the self-loathing because at times, as a plus size provider that is also a woman of color, many folks and many men on twitter & the boards make it clear, they do not find me worthy. Also, while you were celebrating Valentine's Day with your loved one or your companion, I had to take a break to deal with some debilitating thoughts. While this industry has made me more confidant in myself now, it was definitely difficult at first. You didn’t catch how ashamed I was that I had allowed myself to be in an abusive relationship and ran to my sister on the East Coast to clear myhead. You didn't have to feel my anxiety when I was outed at work. Nor did you have to witness my stress as I tried to navigate the consequences of being outed. All the while, friends were dropping like flies, and only certain members of my chosen family stood by me. 

Not once did I allow you all to see my shame, my defeat, or at times when it was hard, my low self-esteem without my consent. I guess social media is funny like that.

 If you're not listening to J.Cole... start. 

If you're not listening to J.Cole... start. 

During my month and a half sabbatical from escorting, I spent some time traveling. I met up with one of my close girlfriends and we had a life altering conversation. We graduated from college together and she hasn't left since. Whenever I'm within a quick one to two hour drive, I give her a call and we get together. She usually posts photos of her dog, food, and her family. Most people would argue her life isn't too exciting. At dinner, she was telling me about her life, her dating issues, how work was grinding her down, and how she's just an old lady in a young woman's body. There was a moment at dinner where she said, “I’m sorry, I know my life is boring.” It was then I had to stop her and let her know that her life isn't boring, it's just different.  

My life is hella different than hers. It may very well be different from yours. However, what I do know is this: it is not better nor is it worse. It is just different. Just because she is cool kicking it in the same city and I am too restless for that, or because she is a homebody and I live for adventure, neither of our lives are more fulfilling than the other’s. Social media has given us an exceptional platform to compare ourselves to one another. Let’s keep it eight more than 92 though, this isn’t healthy.

Social media cannot set the standard nor be the guide to determine our self-worth.

The beautiful-ugly (or terrible-awful) thing about the internet is we can be whomever we want to be. People are so quick to stunt for social media, to snap photos in shoes that they don't own, or boast about items bought by folks that they bought themselves.

If this feels like a personal attack, I need you stop and check yourself before you wreck yourself and in the words of POTUS 44, "Pop off [at the mouth]." I added that "at the mouth" part. Funny right? This is not a personal attack. I am certain we are all guilty of "stunting for the gram" one way or another. So, no shade, but shade... towards all of us. However, what we all have to realize is it makes it more difficult to determine what is real and what is fake. The question we must ask ourselves then is, “Am I really happy with the inauthentic choices I made/make?”

My friend is going to continue living her life the way she wants. She will continue to post what she wants with no concern of making an impression. Most of all, she will continue to be super happy living that life. And while we as providers sometimes have to concern ourselves with the likes, retweets, comments, or followers for our brand & business, I am sometimes jealous because for my friend, it's not about all that. The point is, she is happy! What more could any of us want? I would love to be that happy in life and I am quickly getting there. However, I still have some growing to do. But hey, I'm mature enough to recognize it and at least be honest about it. 

My life is better than yours because you think your life isn’t as exciting, busy, productive, successful, or beautiful enough when compared to others. So yeah, my life is better than yours but only because you think it is, not because it actually is! Keep doing you, boo.

Until the next,

LJ, xox

P.S. There will be no such thing as a Sophomore Slump for me. 

Care to comment, ask a question, or chop it up? Comment below or sound off via twitter!

Twitter: @MeetLondonJames