Oh boy. This one is tough to write, it’s tough to admit. But as always, writing is cathartic and sometimes you just have to get ish out on “paper”. And so here it goes…
This morning was not what I expected. I slept well. It was a lazy morning. But damned if that wasn’t overshadowed somewhat quickly and without warning. A punch. Straight to the gut. Part of me felt excited; most of me just felt sad. Cue the instant grief. Cue the instant reaction in my body. Cue the throwing my phone down forcefully. Cue the brink of waterworks (that never actually came).
I’m not one to ignore others. I don’t write people off easily. I don’t know that I ever truly stop caring about someone no matter the happenstance of our situation or how long we’ve been part. It’s just not in my nature. But it also doesn’t mean that I constantly think about them. There is a time when people flow to the back of my brain and no longer hold residence in my consciousness.
But when they resurface, whether in person or virtually or whatever, they definitely get yanked from backstage and thrown into the spotlight. And today that instance came with lots of emotions, lots of feelings, no questions but a few wonderings. I remind myself that it’s okay and necessary to show up and feel what I am feeling. It is also imperative that I don’t get stuck in the land of “what if’s” because those aren’t real. I’ve grown. I’ve moved forward. And I show up differently these days. I will be responsible for my words and actions of the past; I won’t be defined by them. I choose to do better. I will extend olive branches and lean in to being me in each moment.
And I will listen to my own needs and not fault others for their needs. So when I felt overwhelmed and jittery and uncomfortable this morning, I laced up my shoes and went for a jog. Fresh air, body movement, and processing. All of which were good for the soul. I think a nap is in my future. And maybe a bath. Self care is essential. Boundaries are essential. Keep showing up even when it’s hard. Even when you think the odds are against you. Just show up. Name what you are feeling and keep going forward.
Today I take back what you took from me. I take it back, and I no longer let you have presence or precedence over these things. These. Are. Mine. It’s been a long time coming, and some of it I have avoided. But today I am facing the last few pieces head on with a brave face. Perhaps it’s ironic that a big piece of this is allowing myself to watch the “real people” version of Mulan. Because there was (and is) strength found in Fa Mulan and the stories that are told about her. This irony is not lost on mee. I am a warrior. I am tenacious. I am my own. And I own the strength and fire within me. I own the magic that lives within me.
There are no words. Instead I’ll leave you with these photos. You can’t say I’m not hers (and she’s not mine). Just look.
Twelve hour days are not my favorite. But I pride myself on being able to jump in when things seem chaotic. And I LOVE every opportunity to be with my kids in person. So I’ll take it. (And now I’ll crash).
Sometimes what you need is a break. Yesterday I didn’t post, at all. It was a busy, productive, rewarding day. And I chose to spend my energy elsewhere. I know I committed to posting every day during Lent. But this week I need to listen to my emotional and physical needs. As such, I don’t plan to post again until Holy Week. Too much time to myself is needed as we head towards the anniversary of mom’s passing. Introspection. Grace. Time for self. An energy assessment.
Give in to rest. It does not diminish you. It does not make you any less. Acknowledge what you need and be straightforward with where you are.
Me. It. Everything. All.
This never ending cycle. We keep living it. And the overwhelm circles back around.
Sometimes you need to listen to what your body and soul needs. And slow down. And take care.
**NOTE: The upload of this failed yesterday (booo). I didn’t realize it until this morning. Thanks, Tech. Youdda Best!!!!!!!!** Today is International Women’s Day. And so I feel like I should take the opportunity to do something related to that (I know, my birthday is National Margarita Day and I didn’t touch upon that, but I digress). I want to thank certain women in my life who have helped me in one way or another. Note: this is not an exhaustive list, just what comes up right now. Strong women are important, especially in the lives for girls and other women. And I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
- My mama, too many words to fully express what that woman has given to me over the years. I’ll stick with goofiness and tenacity and a heart for service.
- Aunt Nan, the lesson that experiences are so much better than physical things.
- Grammie, a love of sewing and knitting and crochet.
- D, for reminding me that no matter how many years go by I am always me (and can always be identified by my curly locks).
- M, the encourager of lifelong friends with those not my same age.
- E, one of my biggest cheerleaders from the earliest of times.
- S, that year on ASP together will always be one of my favorites.
- E, because even though our friendship was short lived, it was so necessary and essential in those moments.
- C, no one shares as much history as you do with me. I could either worry about this or relish in this. I choose the latter.
- R+D, my voice became my own, and became stronger because of the two of you.
- P, because no one loved my mama or our family the way you do.
- A, you have definitely seen me at my worst, and yet you stay.
- R, no one can match our crazy and our joy.
- S+S, the journey continues.
- A+S+W, sisters forever, even when we stammer.
- A, what an ebb and flow over the years but thankful we’ve found our rhythm.
- C, fateful connections and deep conversations and always showing up exactly as we are.
- B, the realest of the real.
- C, oh my…when did we become so normal? (We didn’t). Hahah.
- S+S, my forever people.
- MRJ, life is a struggle but you make it better.
- S+T, my little sissies. 🙂
Lent: Day 19?
I had the opportunity to be a part of a fellowship program in 2013. It’s one of the things in my life that I am most thankful for—it has helped me grow by leaps and bounds during that year but also every year since. Thanks to J, T, and M for their presence in that growth. But this fellowship has brought many wonderful people into my life (not just in my fellowship year). My two closest friends from that 2013 group, though, ironically have the same first name and both of them spelled non-traditionally.
My friend S is someone who is very different from me. If we had met at any other point in life I’m not sure that we would be as close. I know we would not have run in the same circles in high school or college—she’s way too cool for me. But at these stages in our adults lives (admittedly she’s older than me, as are most of my closest friends) we connect deeply. I can’t tell you what it is, but something about her makes me feel seen and heard and want to share my story in the most vulnerable of ways. I knew she was a kindred spirit early in our meeting of one another when we found ourselves paired for an activity and we were laughing LOUDLY at every little part of our interaction. I don’t remember the task at hand or what was said. But I sure as hell remember that laughter: that “belly hurts” you’re laughing so hard, that “I can’t breathe” kind of laughter, that “my humor and my joy is matched in this moment” type of experience. And this was the first of many many moments like this.
She makes me laugh a lot. She has my back. She wants the best for me. We’ve shared deep pieces of our lives that few people know, we operate from a place that is completely judgement free (and there are few people in this world I feel truly allow me to operate this way), we see each other on this really unique level. In the last 6 months (maybe 12?) we’ve reconnected and it has made life so wonderful. She has seen me through ridiculous dating stories. I’ve supported her through doing what is best for her own heart. She’s tried to set me up with men who are WAY TOO THIRSTY (or just too thirsty for me).
I am so thankful for the joy and richness she brings to my life. It’s a gift beyond words. And I’m eternally and continually grateful for her continued support and rallying behind me. Youdda best, S. I love you.