Control Freak

The beginning of Sza’s song Supermodel includes a clip about control.

That is my greatest fear. That if I lost control. Or did not have control. Things would just, you know. I. It would be fatal.

Sza, Supermodel

It resonated with me.

I admit it.

I’m a control freak.

I don’t even think I mean to be. 

My obsession with being in control is directly connected to my childhood.

The adults around me failed to take charge when and where (I thought) it was necessary. This resulted in me being forced to function normally in chaos and dysfunction all of the time. I felt helpless quite a lot. 

That fear of feeling helpless impacts almost all of the relationships in my life. I prefer to have control of most of my interactions with people. 

I’m not a bitch about it or anything like that (I don’t think) but I do prefer to be in charge when I can. I enjoy planning things and trying to account for any deviations from the plans. If I’m planning a road trip, I’m going to account for traffic, accidents, flat tires etc. If it’s a celebration, I can almost guarantee that I’ve accounted for the caterer to show up late or not at all. 

Being in control keeps my anxiety and panic at bay. 

But I learned a very valuable lesson recently.

Last week my car wouldn’t crank.

I just got the car at the end of May.

What the fuck could possibly be wrong now?

It was so random. I was stuck in a Ross parking lot on my lunch break. Midday. In hot ass Texas. 

There was no way I could have planned for this. However, I was somewhat prepared. I had jumper cables. I had access to roadside assistance. That’s as far as the preparation could go. I had to accept that head on. I simply had no control over the car not starting.

Instead of freaking out this time, I paused. It wasn’t the appropriate time to fall apart. It was time to strategize so that I can get back up and running until I could get to a mechanic to figure out what was wrong with it. I asked a stranger to jumpstart my car and then I drove it back to my apartment. I got another jump from a friend and was able to get it to the dealership. The dealership arranged my transport to and from the dealership. There was a screw missing on the battery and a clamp that was loose. Easy fix. I didn’t have to pay a dime for the “repair.” 

2 year plans are nice. Vision boards are smart. Following all of the directions serves its purpose most days. But they are simply preparation and the unexpected and unexplainable are simply bound to happen. Everything is temporary. Nothing is permanent. Shit happens. Things fall apart. Plans fail. People fall out of love. Friendships end. Loved ones die. 

As harsh as it sounds, it’s the reality of things. 

This isolated event served as a simple reminder that life is fluid and control is truly an illusion. 

JUST OUT OF CURIOSITY……

Do you consider yourself a control freak? Where does it stem from?

When do you feel most in control? When do you feel least in control?

How do you adjust when unexpected events happen in your life? Do you adjust in a healthy manner? If not, what could change?

It’s My Party……

And I cried because I NEEDED to,

You would cry too if you walked in my shoes.

Yesterday was my 31st birthday.

It was yet another year of celebrating life in the middle of this pandemic. Unlike most birthdays before last year, I wasn’t genuinely excited.

I knew that this year would be somewhat different since I now live in Texas and most of my family and friends live in North Carolina. 

It began as one of the most “un-birthday-est” birthdays ever. 

I’m used to celebrating throughout the week amongst friends, family and strangers alike. 

Karaoke.

Dinners.

Bar hops.

Vineyards.

Smoking cigars.

Kayaking.

Connecting with nature, 

Hood rat shit with my friends.

This pandemic forced me to do some serious shadow working.

I have had breakdowns galore. 

I have had some rough wild nights.

My support system is A1. 

This revolution around the sun is propelling me forward. I feel it. 

Leering go of the things that torement me. The things that kept me bound. The things that lived rent free in my head for far too long.

It was hindering all that I was trying to manifest.

And on my birthday things changed. 

There was shift. The good finally about to outweigh the bad. 

I got that message very loud and clear. 

Yesterday was an entire party just for me.

And dammit I cried!

Thank you all for allowing me to share this space with you in this lifetime. 

Time to rebrand.

Escaping Survival Mode

According to Psychology Today, “survival mode” is an adaptive response of the human body to help us survive danger and stress. 

From the outside looking in, many people would assume that I had an overall healthy childhood and adolescence. I was raised by my grandparents in the country. I got good grades. I never came off as disobedient. My yes mams and no sirs were always polished. Despite being a “good kid” raised in a super religious household, my life has never been exempt from trauma and dysfunction. I am almost certain that I’ve suffered from depression for years undiagnosed. 

I recently read and shared an article that discussed the immobilizing effects of depression. I recognized myself immediately. I wasn’t in a position to get out of the environment that I was in so I mentally became immobile. I don’t remember how I learned to control my rage. How to play along. How to seemingly “fit” into that world until I could get out of it.

Fast forward to now.

At 30. Far removed from the people, places and things that brought the trauma and dysfunction into my life, I still catch myself functioning in survival mode.

It is very difficult to escape this mindset.

I’m constantly reminding myself. I question my decisions alot. Why am I doing this? When it’s time for me to make important decisions I ask myself if I’m doing what I want to do or what needs to be done? Anything involving money and I’m asking if I’m buying an item from a headspace of lack.

Whatever helps right?

To the person that resonates with this blog:

  1. How are you or have you been working on escaping a mindself of survival mode?
  2. What has been your biggest challenge?

They Say

This week, I spent quite a bit of time in my local used bookstore. Honestly, it’s more of a happy place than anything else and I often find myself getting “lost” amongst the shelves for hours at a time. 

One book in particular has been calling to me for quite some time and I’d done my best to resist it up until this week.  

If you’re a bookworm like myself, you know exactly what I mean about books “calling.” That book was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. 

Yeah that one. Every millionaire, finance expert and money guru has preached about this book in particular. Personally I didn’t think I was ready to have that conversation about myself as I was seriously (not seriously) enjoying the financial pity parties that I was throwing for myself. 

But alas, I got my hands on a copy and even got my boyfriend a copy as well so that we could read together and discuss it. 

I started reading it in the car and before I knew it, I had spent fifteen minutes in my car reading. 

I COULD NOT PUT THE DAMN BOOK DOWN.

So I’m reading and trying not to highlight half the damn book as I go and I stumble on a quote that triggered me. 

If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dream across, and never mind what “they” say if you meet with temporary defeat, for “they,” perhaps, do not know that EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS.

I think that sometimes we are conditioned to seek counsel from others before making steps forward. 

I remember all of the “theysayers” in my life as I was figuring out my plans post high school. 

Plan A was the military. 

“They” told me not to go into the military because I would be killed (as if I couldn’t be killed as a civilian just as easily).

I spoke about how my corporate job was taking a toll on my mental and physical health. 

“They” told me to “play the corporate games” because I didn’t need to quit my job without six month’s worth of savings or a new position lined up. 

I could go on and on. 

The point is, hardly ever will “they” tell you to do what you want to do or what’s best for you.

Who are the “they” people in your life?

Are “they” holding you back? Are “they” pushing you to go forward?

Be mindful of the “theysayers” in your life.

Most times “they” don’t know what they’re talking about.

Nine times out of ten, “theysayers” operate in fear.

“They” also have their own concerns, fears, and insecurities that “they” are wanting to project onto you. And the moment that you go against the grain and things fall apart, they rush to remind you that “a hard head makes a soft ass, or I told you so” or whatever the fuck else makes them feel good about being right about your situation. 

But they are nowhere to be found when things go right. Or, they change up the narrative to give you a faux congrats and the “I knew you could do it” bullshit. 

It happens. 

But as Napoleon said, EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS. 

I’ve tried and failed at many things. The things I’ve failed at provided tools and resources that led to my successes. The things I’ve succeeded at were the very things that “they” didn’t believe I’d succeed in. But then again, who the hell sets the standard for success anyway?

YOU DO!

Perhaps you find yourself surrounded by “theysayers” who also function as the “naysayers” in your life. I’m here (along with Napoleon) to remind you to pursue that passion that keeps you up at night. 

FUCK WHAT “THEY” SAY