I think I’m growing in the weirdest ways…
My “identity” has never been attacked more. I’ve learned I have taken on what others have assigned to me. I thought that I was an independent thinker but truly 2019 was the culmination of everything that began in 2018. So much was attacked but what was most precious to me was my creativity-how I presented myself to the world. I’ve never had more people be offended by what I put on my body, how I did my hair or my weight than recently and I couldn’t deal with it.
For half of the year I was literally floating through life like Denzel in Malcolm X (see above)… nothing mattered. I didn’t care about anything or anyone, days and months ran together. It’s like I was on cruise control and it didn’t occur to me that everything was going to hell in a hand basket. I just didn’t care about anything. Things that I would care about typically, I didn’t anymore. My bills and everything…should’ve been overwhelming but no one would’ve known because I was so at peace. It wasn’t a facade though. There was no inner turmoil. I just checked out.
Now on the other side of it, I’m embarrassed. I used to be a stickler about my bills so to “wake up” and see the notices and to witness weird numbers calling is beyond. I didn’t want to post because I am honest with you guys and I knew I would have to confront my carelessness. I feel like I have to admit this to move on. I checked out of life which is why you didn’t hear from me. The second half was spent trying to figure out how to recover and I still am.
The weight of handling everything on my own for so long, waiting on the Lord, caused me to disassociate. I stopped praising, I stopped writing what I was thankful for, I stopped sharing. All while I was posting on Instagram beautiful, thoughtful, faith driven post, I was hurting. It’s not that those posts weren’t truly how I felt. I knew those posts registered with me deep down but on the surface I was hurt and didn’t know how to apply those things. Truth doesn’t stop being truth because you don’t know how to apply it. So here I am. You probably are disappointed that this isn’t a glow up or wondering how it ends. I don’t know how it ends because I’m still pulling myself through it.
So I’m walking into 2020, knowing that there must be something great in me. Attacks only come when something or someone else is provoked. I don’t know how just being me provoked anything but I know it was for my good. It was to show me that even when I’m stripped, I am valuable. What was meant to destroy me, the very essence of me, has caused me to see that I am more than the labels I’ve associated myself with whether consciously or unconsciously, even the good ones, because when they are stripped you feel like you failed.
My success isn’t in the label and I know you may think I’m being elusive and I am because it can be whatever, but freedom comes from transparency so I’ll share some labels. I was told I was successful because I was the friend who had it together without having help (being single), told I was a distraction because of how eclectic (not inappropriate) I dressed, constantly told that i was single because of how I looked whether it was because I shaved my head, wore flannel jacket and combat boots, etc. or because I was too nice and men like women who aren’t. But when I lost the house, that admiration of my success vanished from their eyes and when it did, I lost it for myself. When I was told that I was a distraction, I didn’t fight for my creative outlet, I simply hid in plain sight by deciding to wear a uniform and I felt my spark die. When I felt the most beautiful, I was told that no man would want me and because men weren’t checking for me, I believed that no one would. Not only that, but when one negative thing happened that someone put on me, it affected my perception of everything that came after it.
It seems so small in retrospect but when you believe this is who you are and then it’s taken from you, who are you? Those were great parts of me but it wasn’t the essence. In 2020, that’s what I’m going after. Now, I’m just focusing on trusting myself again to discern how to re-cultivate what was good.
What did 2019 teach you?