April 29, 2006 started almost like any other day. Except for the King sized luxurious bed I had engulfed myself in the night before. It was a day that had seemed like it would never come but there it was. And later before 275 of my closest friends and family, I was married, we partied and started a new life together officially. Today, exactly ten years later, my morning started in almost similar fashion as the one a decade ago. Except for my less luxurious Queen sized bed, my desires and needs have not changed much. I still find myself desiring love, or should I say the right kind of love. The most important kind, that I can’t get from anyone else except from within.
Over the course of my existence, I didn’t grow up hearing the most affirming of positive self images. Not that my parents were not loving and kind in their own way. I just think that maybe they took something for granted that was very delicate and still needing nurturing. My mom’s arrogance and my dad’s ambivalence were enough to make me recognize character traits that I didn’t desire to have. Now, at 35, I continue to struggle with confidence because it’s so dangerously close to arrogance. Even at work, where there are some things I need to improve on and learn, my ability to do my job and do it well are things that my team acknowledge. So much so, that I have been recognized at my last two store meetings and received $200 in gift cards for my performance. I have a love affair with my job that I have used to replace the love affair I should be having with myself. Interestingly enough, it isn’t that I don’t like myself. I think if I met me on the street, we could be friends. I’m honest, friendly and funny and loyal. Customers come in all of the time and usually leave entertained by my antics. Even though I am an introvert, I enjoy the connections I make with people at work and it has become a sanctuary for me when the rest of my life seems to resemble shambles.
Speaking of the rest of my life, for several months, many of my friends were worried about my mental state and I would be lying if I didn’t agree with their concerns. I was admittedly depressed. The worst part of it was that I couldn’t tell anyone what triggered it because I didn’t know. Part of my recent living under a rock was one part depression and one part simple inadequacy. I’m not sure when it happened, but I sometimes feel like I don’t have much to offer. I’m always living in my head. In my head, I don’t have to worry about how articulate I sound. Friendships included. The people that love me most are always curious about my insights because they know I have an opinion or five on whatever is going on. In this process of personal re-birth, I am so thankful for my friends that have checked in daily or weekly to help me with my confidence, awareness and try and uncover exactly when the little confidence I had evaporated. It wasn’t a solitary experience or interaction that made me feel like a sad wet blanket. I couldn’t even articulate it to McBeantown, which led for me to take the mindset of explaining that I wanted to dial back on our relationship a bit. Our friendship still remains in tact and I still talk or text with him almost every day. I just couldn’t nurture a healthy love with him when the love I continue to think I am ready for refuses to settle in my own heart and soul. I’ve tried reaching out for spiritual guidance, read books and wonder if something really is wrong with me and my inability to love myself. Everyone else makes it look so easy! Another thing I’m observing about others in real life and on the Book of Faces. So much energy that I have wasted worrying about and looking at the wrong things this past year, which has only continued to delay me finishing the novel in the manner I desired. But, all things in their own time and space.
After my last meltdown of sorts about a month or so ago, I’ve shaken off a few of the cobwebs and am in a much clearer head space. I can honestly say, I am deserving of the love I seek while I still work on rebuilding the fragile foundation of my self-worth. That same foundation, was strong enough for me to leave a marriage that wasn’t working for me. This weeks release of Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade triggered so much more in me than I was expecting. Let’s be honest, I had zero expectations. I can say I have seen it about five times and am still processing the imagery and messages as they relate to my experiences. So much negative talk has been focused on the innuendo of Jay-Z cheating on Bey and while I don’t care, I felt the most important messages were that Bey actually told a truth so many Black women never have the platform to. There was hurt, there was pain, there was re-birth and acknowledgment. The most important image for me was the inner strength on display along with her vulnerability. I was here for all of it. Anger isn’t a word I would use, maybe disappointed that I’m no longer married although he clearly wasn’t the right one. It’s hard to think he was, even if you asked me ten years ago, my answer may have been the same. I got married for al of the wrong reasons, because I focused on the wrong thing. I refuse to make the same mistake twice. Now, I am working on knowing myself. Loving myself.
Now, I am entering a realm in which I hope the relationship I so desperately desire will be worth the sacrifice. It seems to be my lot in life to love and desire emotionally unavailable men. Some days I wonder if McCoach was right about me wanting to find someone just like me. He and I have had our share of conversations these past six+ years. While less frequently now, I still appreciate his insights and acknowledge the truth that neither him, McDad and maybe even McBeantown are the loves I desire. I’m on the fence with McBeantown a bit but feel, it is best to be prepared to let them all go if it means that something more perfect may come along. And while on paper and in my heart, McBeantown feels more perfect than any guy I have known, we still have the challenges of distance. Most importantly, the ball is in his court. If he wanted to seriously make us a thing in the future, he would make steps to do it and he hasn’t. That hesitation makes me feel that I shouldn’t expect him to want more than what we already have.
Part of my recent living under a rock was one part depression and one part simple inadequacy. I’m not sure when it happened, but I sometimes feel like I don’t have much to offer. I’m always living in my head. In my head, I don’t have to worry about how articulate I sound. Friendships included. The people that love me most are always curious about my insights because they know I have an opinion or five on whatever is going on. In this process of personal re-birth, I am so thankful for my friends that have checked in daily or weekly to help me with my confidence, awareness and try and uncover exactly when the little confidence I had evaporated.
It’s day 85 since my personal hostage situation ended. It’s been a life long battle that I have waged internally. Mentally, never feeling good enough or pretty enough for ______. I’m sure many of you have the self-doubt talks with yourself more times than you can count. I usually don’t have or allow anything to counteract those thoughts when they begin to take hold. But, I still find a way to push through and carry on. Back to the hostage situation… I cut off about 5-7 inches of hair from my head. The act itself was long overdue. I scheduled it and waited. And after the appointment, of course my biggest critic continued to criticize. In this case it wasn’t the face staring back at me in the mirror, it was my mother. Who still, somehow wonders why I would do something so crazy with my “long, beautiful hair”. Well, my damaged, inconsistent hair needed TLC and chopping it was the first step to a healthier head of hair. It’s already grown so much since that which let me know that my gut instinct was accurate although difficult to overcome. It would be one thing if she had nice things to say other times, but for those of you that know me best, you know positive things never leave my moms lips about me. Well, unless you count the time she did praise the novel. Or tells people her daughter is a genius at Apple. Otherwise, silence is golden. I’m used to it really. Her reminding me about the biggest failures like my marriage and subsequent divorce are par for the course. My current mantra is to ignore the hate and negativity, get out of bed, try and inspire others, be a good friend and live my life the only way i know how.
Thanks to all of you that have been on this journey with me for several years and continue to care when you haven’t seen a blog from me in a while. I’m still here. Just navigating this roller coaster called life and hanging on. Until next time, stay open, honest and loving to yourself and the most important people in your life!
Love & Light,