“And it feels as if someone finally cracked open a window that had been jammed“.-Anne Lamott
Be yourself they say, but not like that. We’ve all heard that before. My 30th birthday was this past weekend. What a decade it has been. Somewhere between letting go and gaining everything needed to live my best life. I arrived at a crossroad in my mid-twenties. A domino effect of my daughter’s father homicide. His life cut short by gun violence. Mine unraveled because that was the straw that broke it all down. The mask I wore and the walls I built around myself. A place that required unpacking the things suppressing my authenticity.
I was drowning in the weight of other peoples wants and opinions. Overcompensating and attracting nothing but takers because of my need to be validated. At my core, I am an outspoken, mellow hippie that takes no crap. Or so my husband puts in that way. I had to do some real painful digging to figure out how I got to the opposite end of the spectrum. All the signs yelled childhood trauma. I was afraid to call a thing a thing. My family already doesn’t support or deal with me. I didn’t want to rock the boat. But what the heck, right?
My father was an excellent provider and he gave his all. I am eternally grateful for that. But I was emotionally abused for most of my childhood and teenage years. They normalized it but crowing me the problem child. What you don’t learn by skill or catching on. Gravity will grab you and drag you on your face. Sometimes in the midst of running the maze with the rest of the zombies. You wake up and come undone no matter how together you try to keep it.
I lived in fear of failing so I did not try. So use to crying and afraid to get comfortable smiling. Failure, mess, and confusion have served as the greatest teachers. Those moments felt like a breakdown but served as a necessary breakthrough for your girl. For a new beginning. So that I could become who I was before everyone else’s pain was on my plate. Did I see that lesson at the time? Not at all, I felt lost, confused and purposeless for a long time.
Life taught me what I hated a lot. I learned who I was by unlearning all that I thought that I knew. Alot of what I saw growing up was crap. And it made sense that was the thing I was attracting. I’ve noticed that my assertiveness and awareness of self-has heightened. My ability to care about trends, fitting in and opinions of others is complete trash. I don’t know how we got to this place where people stand on their tiptoes and look down on others but its weird. Happy to be on the other side of what was the worst of times.
I like my communication direct without a side of the shade and hold the glass of subliminal. People sleep on communication like it is secondary. We are in this pretend culture online and while the positivity is great and needed. But it is ok to experience the different range of emotions.
It is dismissive for someone to tell you that you must only look on the bright side. Not allowing you the space to grow through whatever you are going through. It is delusional not to sit with feelings and feel it. You’re entitled to the full range of emotions. I would only suggest not setting up a tent and choosing to live in those feelings. Which brings me back to mind an Erykah Badu song:
“Bag lady you gone hurt your back Dragging all them bags like that I guess nobody ever told you All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you”
Stay armed and ready with wit and humor. The general population is actually full of it and this is actually the social norm. This took me a decade to realize. Everyone goes around flexing in the name of charm, perceptions, and persuasion. I know everything and nothing at the same time. To align with your purpose you must also be in alignment with your authentic self. Be yourself and if they aren’t down with you living as your true self. Thoes are not your people.