Removing the Cape

So I was typing up the discussion for Black Girls Must Die Exhausted. 

Bumping Maxwell’s MTV Unplugged album- track 4. This Woman’s Work. Despite being tragically placed in the sex scene in Love and Basketball and many a first dance wedding song, the song is actually about death. 

In case you didn’t know. Go back and listen to the lyrics. And watch the video. 

So yeah.

Between the book, the music and the incense I was burning (which happened to be called “Black Woman”), I got in my feelings.

I got to thinking.

Finally, I have a job I don’t hate. An amazing apartment. Clear skin. Edges……..and in therapy. 

The insurance that I have through my job allows me to access for as little as $35 a session. I’ve been going weekly since December 5th. I went to my first session fully equipped with a plan. I wanted to commit myself to weekly sessions for at least one year. I even started a “therapy journal” last year to write down specific things I’d wanted to tackle when I finally found a therapist. 

We’re quite a few sessions in and I’m making a ton of progress. I’m telling y’all I came prepared to do “the work.” And I make sure to review all of my therapist’s notes after each session. 

The first culprit we’ve identified is PTSD (post- traumatic stress disorder). Primarily from childhood trauma. Now if you know me personally, this comes as no surprise. I’ve been pretty transparent about my upbringing. But I genuinely didn’t understand the extent to which it’d negatively impact every facet of my adult life and all of the relationships I’ve built within it. From family, to friends and lovers alike. 

The truth is. I’ve been tired for a very long time and now I’m fully coming to grips with why it’s understandable. Growing up being applauded for ensuring the wellbeing of others was not a badge of honor that I should have earned. Strength should never be rooted in anyone’s ability to put up with bullshit.

Frankly…….

I’m tired of being the strong daughter

I’m tired of being the strong sibling

I’m tired of being the strong niece

I’m tired of being the strong friend

I’m tired of being the strong colleague

The strong everything for everyone else.

And thanks to therapy, I realize that it’s okay for me to feel that way. I had to be responsible for so much at quite a young age. Just juggling everyone else’s SHIT in addition to my own. Almost to the point where I don’t even really know where anybody else’s shit ends and mine begins. Lately I’ve been working on distinguishing between the two and creating more boundaries to protect myself….FIRST.

So moving forward, I won’t be available in the same capacities that I used to be. 

I’ve taken the “strong” cape off.

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.

And the award goes to…..

In spirit of one of the podcasts that’s kept me afloat this year, The Brilliant Idiots, I think that this quote is reasonable.

If you think 2020 was your best year ever, you’re absolutely right. If you think 2020 was your worst year ever, you’re right too.

Many of us don’t even have the words for what 2020 was. 

Nothing I did was on my vision board. 

My planner looked like a kindergartener had scribbled through it.

I started a new job as a middle school teacher. 

I quit that new job and moved to Texas. 

We got hit with the pandemic quarantine. 

I made $1000 Instacarting one week. 

I got fired from Instacart. 

I had to ask my friends to help me pay my bills.

I finally have a bed after sleeping on a blowup mattress for months. 

I worked at the IRS for 2 days and quit. 

I worked at a hospital for a month. 

I fell in love again. 

If that isn’t Oscar worthy, I don’t know what is. 

2020 showed its ass. 

I’m actually eager to see what 2021 has in store. I’m rather used to this Jordan Peele production we’ve been in for 90% of 2020. 

I’m looking forward to all of the creative ideas being birthed from this pandemic. All of the healthy conversations that are taking place. People are reading again. People are writing again. Strangers are networking. Folks are finally pursuing their passions. 

I love to see it. 

Please do set intentions. 

Please do the shadow work. 

Manifest that shit!

2020. Deuces!

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