Worrying About Myself

So, I’ve been doing this thing lately, where I’m figure out the parts of my life that need to change for the better and then work on changing them for the better! Well, I’ve made yet another discovery about something that needs to change! I need to learn how to worry about myself. Funnily enough, Bible Study of all places is where this epiphany happened.

I have this habit of applying something to other people, that I should first and foremost apply to myself. It’s so easy to point out who else isn’t doing something right. I should first point out what I’m not doing right. A spade is a spade and I need to learn how to call it on myself before I try to start calling it on someone else.

Now, I don’t feel like writing more on this subject because I’m getting a little touchy and sensitive about it.

 

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Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me,

Life is not as hard as you think it is. You’re going to think it’s hard and some days you feel like you cannot possibly go on anymore, but you always find the strength to go on. Why? Because you’ve always been stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Take plenty of naps. You’re going to need them. One, they’re awesome. But secondly, sometimes you annoy yourself to the point a nap is the only solution.

Stop being scared to take risks and be daring. Stop being scared to dream. It’s going to take you awhile to figure this out, but once you do, it’ll be amazing at how much you will set your sights on to accomplish. A day will come where you participate in this thing called National Novel Writing Month and you will complete your first novel. You will hate it, but it will give you the motivation you need to keep aspiring to be the writer you really want to become.

You will fall in love one day. And the man you fall in love with won’t be like any other man you’ve encountered before. This man you fall in love with will love you for all of who you are. And because of his love for you, you will learn to love yourself more and you will learn to love others more. And when you become a mother, you’ll have a love for God you never knew possible and a love for life that goes beyond comprehension!

Your biggest challenge will still be your temper, but between being a wife and a mother, you will start to mellow out on the things that upset you. And you will continue to mellow out because marriage and motherhood show you what’s important and what’s not. And a lot of things that aren’t important, that you made important, will be put in their proper place.

I will write you more letters in the future, so don’t worry about that. But where you are now and where you end up when I’m writing this letter is a night and day difference. You learn to realize and believe that you are beautiful and you stop becoming afraid to let that beauty show.

Always and with love.

 

Out of the Darkness

I always find it funny how people talk about going back and changing things about their past they considered mistakes. That’s just me personally. If I had to choose between changing my past and receiving $10 million, I’m easily taking the ten mill! If I go back and change what I’ve done, then I’m ultimately changing who I am, and I know for a fact that I would not be where I am today. And I am very happy with who I am and what I have today.

I’ve been in some very dark places in my life. And many times I didn’t think there would ever be any light at the end of the tunnel. But by the grace of God, I’m here today. Funnily enough though, I didn’t always feel God’s grace though. When I was 18, I contemplated suicide for the first time. It seemed like the easiest solution to all my problems. The second time I contemplated suicide, I was 19. I still felt the same, that life wasn’t worth living and nobody would miss me. That was my rock bottom, but that was the rock bottom that led me to accepting Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. Sure, I grew up in church, but that didn’t make me a Christian. And no, my life situations didn’t turn around overnight, but my outlook on life did. Eleven years later, I’m happily married, with a beautiful baby girl and a beautiful baby boy due this coming December. Do I wish that I had never reached a point in life where I didn’t think about suicide? Yes, absolutely. But had I not reached that point, a major change in my life for the better probably wouldn’t have taken place.

There are many other decisions I’ve made in life that I wish I hadn’t. Some were minor, some weren’t. But I managed to find ways to grow and learn from those decisions. Some lessons took years to learn. Some lessons didn’t take that long to learn from at all. However I look at the darker moments of my life though, I find ways to be thankful for the experiences because who I am today is a lot better than who I used to be.

 

Great Pretending

It’s amazing how easy it is for us to show up and be a carbon copy of who we really are…

I am 30 years old and for most of my life, I’ve been a version of myself. I’ll be who I think I need to be in order to fit in whatever environment I’m in. I keep many masks, like people keep many hats. I don’t want people to know the real me because I don’t want to show up and be seen. I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to subject myself to the reactions of others about who I am. But is that really the way to live a life?

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I’m a Christian. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m Black. I’m a female. Those are concrete details about myself, but I won’t really pull back the layers beyond those details. For instance, I don’t always go to church, I don’t always read my Bible, I don’t always display the love of Christ, I get mad at my husband for dumb and petty things, I’ll forget to pay attention to my daughter because I’m caught up in housework, I don’t always write when the words are there, sometimes I hate being Black because of the social and political climate we live in, and sometimes I hate being a woman because I just need a dumb reason to be upset.

 

From my mother to some random person on social media, I’ve let people have too much control over something about me. My mom has always gotten onto me about my hair and wardrobe if it’s not to her approval and that has been something that has made it hard for me to just be myself without being self-conscious. If my own mother gets in an uproar because I’d rather a ponytail and sweatpants over curls and a skirt, h

ow will the rest of the world react? If I take a chance and share some of my not serious writing and someone dumps all over it, how will people react to the writing that shows the serious side of me? I double down on the notion of not being known and just continue pretending to be something I’m not.

But again, that’s no way to live a life. Being vulnerable and transparent (but not too transparent) is a part of living. I actually feel alive when I’m just being myself. If I’ve been made to feel a certain way that I don’t like, I know not to do that with other people. I will never make my daughter feel about her hair and wardrobe the way my mother made me feel. My daughter is not a clone of me and I cannot expect her to conform to who I want her to be. My daughter is a gift from God. She is not mine to twist and mold into who I think she should become. My daughter is to be raised according to thepurpose God has for her and however her journey in life goes, it’s my responsibility to steer her in the right direction, not set up detours and roadblocks that suit my fancy. When I stop pretending, I start seeing reality and the reality is no one is perfect, so I’m learning to get over past hurts and be better as a person.

For me, the mask is coming off. The pretending is going to stop. My experiences in life are a part of my story and they contribute to who I am as a person. I can be a jerk, but I can also be sweet and thoughtful. I can be random. I can be sarcastic enough people think I’m actually dumb. I can be funny and silly. I can be serious. I can be sensitive. I can be controlling. I can get unrighteously angry.javardh-740705-unsplash I can flat out be rude and mean. I have good along with the bad. I’m constantly learning!

Sharing about my mother wasn’t easy. But the reality is, I’m not the only person on the face of this earth that has had a parent do something that has a serious effect on them into adulthood. And telling a person to get over something is no way to go in life. Go through that something, process it, learn from it, forgive it, and then move on in life for the better. Share your story. Be seen for who you really are. Be vulnerable. And show other people it’s okay to do the same thing.

 

An Abundance of Words

I tend to do this thing where I convince myself that I have nothing to write about. I act like it’s a massive dread to sit down and start punching away at the keys on my laptop and just type one word after another until, viola!, I’ve actually written something. I just don’t get myself sometimes. But whatever, I’m still growing up.

The best thing I’m learning for myself is to jot down my ideas. And even if I don’t do anything with that idea in the moment, it’s written down and not forgotten. I can work on it over time and eventually turn it into something more. Not forcing the words is always the best case scenario. And I’m finally figuring that out, but like I said, I’m still growing up. So, some of my blog posts will just be “dump posts” in which I’m just writing for the sake of writing, but I still like it enough to share with the world.milkovi-444287-unsplash

So this is my first official “dump post”. This is a reminder to myself that I am capable of writing something because I’m never truly in short supply of words. I just need to remember to take the words that are swimming in my head and just type them out or hand write them out, depending on what suits my fancy in the moment.

As time progresses and I get better and more comfortable with my writing, I won’t consider any of my writing “dump posts”, but in the meantime it is what it is. I want to write because I love writing and I love finding ways to inspire people or just make them laugh. I’m working to become a master of my craft.

The Writing that Scares Me

I was driving home from the library today, when I realized that I need to become more serious about my writing. Even if I don’t share the writing, I need to start taking the time to write the things that scare me. One big reason why I love writing so much is because it allows me the freedom to be whatever voice I want to be. And while I’ve grown comfortable with the many different voices I can be in my writing, the voice I’ve come to fear most is my own. It’s not so much that I won’t like what I have to say because I’m with my thoughts all the time. I’m perfectly fine with what I have to say, it’s just the fear that others won’t like what I have to say. But being fearful of the opinion of others should not keep me from taking a more serious approach to my craft.

So, even if I don’t post anything serious for a long time, I can at least start practicing. And when I get comfortable with balancing being a goofball and being serious with my writing, it won’t matter what I write, when I share it, or the reactions that I get. I just want to become more comfortable with every aspect of who I am as a writer.

 

Fear(Less)

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” -Marcus Aurelius

I am presently 17 days away from my 30th birthday and for the first time in my life I have reached the realization that I don’t hate working, I just hate working for other people. I hate having my schedule dictated, I hate the politics of the workplace, and I definitely hate the unnecessary drama that seems to take place from time to time. I always opt to play it safe and with each passing day, I grow more and more frustrated. As my family grows, what I realize is that I have more to lose by remaining fearful of taking a chance on what truly matters to me.

I realize that it’s natural to be fearful in life. Not knowing what to expect when taking a risk is something to fear. But I have been fearful to the point that I start something and then don’t finish it. I have been that way for years. But now, I’m realizing being at a job that I don’t like is taking me away from my daughter. And with baby number two on the way, I definitely don’t want to be pulled away to work somewhere I don’t like. I have to get over my fear (and my impatience) and start doing the work that’s necessary to get to what I truly want to be doing with my life. I want to be home with my children, but I also want to work from home. So I need to figure out that balance and thankfully I have a husband who is supporting this goal of mine! If I’m going to work, I may as well take a risk on what I love because I’m already failing at what I don’t like!  

So I need to come up with a game plan. A generic, foolproof plan to follow would definitely work in my favor. And off the top of my head these are the things that come to mind:

  • Pray
  • Patienceclark-tibbs-367075-unsplash
  • Trust
  • Patience
  • Positive thinking
  • Patience

I have never lost sight of what I truly want, but I have never maintained the patience that is necessary to get to where I want to be. But I realize now that I have far more to lose

 by staying where I am in life. So scared or not (mostly scared) I’m going after the things that truly matter. I only have this one life to live. I spent my twenties being young, dumb, and scared. I can’t afford to take that mindset into my thirties. If I want my children to live their best lives and believe that can achieve any dreams, then I need to set that example for them. 

Life is meant to be lived. It’s time I start living!