original post date - april 14, 2019 #Grownish - Growing Up vs. Getting Older
Hey good people. If you came here thinking I was gonna be talking about the show, then you are in for a surprise because that's not our topic of discussion for today. A LOT of life has been happening these last couple months and I've barely had time to clear my own head to sit down and write. I’ve been in a space that I don’t fully understand, so I've had a whole lot on my mind that I've been trying to figure out. Nevertheless, a few weeks of midterms, mental health dips, a pageant, and wisdom teeth removal later, I'm back. This adulting thing is a scam that no one told us about as kids, and as a result, I feel like I've been learning a lot more that I thought I would. There are a lot of people out here that scream 'I'm grown" on a daily, when in reality they're just getting older. This growing up thing is NOT easy, so I just wanted to talk about some of the things I've been learning along the way. There wasn't really any one specific thing I wanted to talk about in this post, so it's just going to be a general overview of a few of the things that have been weighing heavy on my mind lately. I feel like I've been in a transitional type of place for a while now, and even though I'm not fully out of the haze I'm currently in, I've arrived at some new (or refreshed) conclusions about life. This is definitely gonna be a long one, but y’all know the drill by now. Here we go. Take care of business & heal thyself. I read this in the book I'm currently reading and my exhausted spirit leaped. For weeks I've been trying to pinpoint exactly how I'm viewing myself and my life right now, and this author did it in the short time it took for me to read the sentence. I'm really digging this new mindset I've been settling into lately. It’s taking some time to adjust and get at home here, but I like it. Granted, I also feel like I’m in a haze when it comes to a lot different things I’m learning about myself or trying to get a better understanding of, but I’m still grateful for it. I'm at a point where I'm working on being all about me and I have every right to be. I have a lot going on, and I’ve finally reached the place of unapologetically minding the business that pays me and doing what makes me feel good. I have to make myself my first priority and stop feeling guilty about it. This is easier in some areas than others and a helluva lot easier to say than do. Lately, I’ve just had the desire to be more private, and that’s across the board. Good things and bad things. I’ve gotten to where I feel maintaining a degree of privacy is important to maintaining my peace. I mean, how worried do you think Beyoncé is about us commoners? Exactly. It takes a lot of energy to keep track of and take care of myself, so I don’t have time do anything but that. It’s an adjustment for me to get used to not talking about certain things, but it’s a change that I feel is necessary for the stage of life I’m entering. I have to stop being concerned about everybody else’s feelings, opinions, and my impulse to compare myself to others. In all transparency, it’s a real weakness of mine. It doesn’t do me any good and none of these other people are worth my self-esteem and security. If I’m ever going to become the badass woman I see in my head, I need to be focused on my own growth, my own healing, and protecting my own peace. Mirror Missy has friends. As I’m putting more effort into keeping things private and focusing more on me, I’ve learned that Mirror Missy has friends. I told y'all about her in a previous post, but by now, she's brought her friends with her. Idk all of their names yet, but their presence is definitely real. For a while I didn't want to acknowledge them because it felt like I was giving them more power than I should, but I can't overcome something I don't acknowledge. The first friend she invited to the party was her sister Doubting Donna. Donna and Missy are a lot alike, but not exactly the same. Missy is more of a critic and Donna just brings a lot of self-doubt. She began making her appearances around the beginning of this semester. I was still in my MCAT class and things with the pageant were just getting started. As I'm continuing to prepare for my next steps (i.e. graduation, taking the MCAT, and med school applications), I have been doubting myself A LOT. I can honestly say I've never doubted myself as much as I do now. It's like I feel like even when I try and even though I do my best, it won't be enough. I don’t want to end up feeling unfulfilled or disappointed in myself when this is all said and done. I've worked extremely hard, and part of me is just scared I won't see the fruits of my labor. The other friend I wanted to mention is Stagnant Stacy. Sometimes people get in ruts where they feel like they haven't/aren't doing much in life, and I've been in one of those ruts for a while. I've been feeling like I'm putting a lot of energy into things and not getting a lot out, so idk what I'm doing. I just feel stagnant and don’t really know what changes to make or what more I can do to feel like I'm doing something that matters. The last friend that tends to make a cameo from time to time is Comparing Casey. I've already told y'all that comparing myself is also something I'm working on, but this friend still comes up from time to time. Before I even realize it, I find myself feeling unseen by society/my surroundings and end up comparing myself to people who are. Or I sometimes feel like I'm measuring myself based off of what I see in other people or how people react to them. I'm getting better, but I'm still not where I want to be. When it comes to Mirror Missy and her friends that I've been acquainted with, my mental health has definitely been affected. Some days I feel their effects more than others, but most of the time there is a hint of them present. The best things I've been doing for myself are being grateful for the support I have around me, encouraging myself the best ways I can, and reminding myself to stay in my lane and stop swervin' because if I'm honest, I'm doing a damn good job even when I can’t see it . Some days I feel more like Sarah Jakes Roberts and some days I feel more like Megan Thee Stallion. Balance is key. Anything that’s not balanced is determined to wobble or fall at one point or another. I’m still struggling with this balance, but part of growing up is figuring out who you are and fully embracing it. Nobody is just one thing. Do I love God? Yes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy going out and having a drink with friends. Am I an intellectual? Yes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good twerk song or have fun at a party. I can feel sexy and still be saved at the same time. Trying to put myself in a box didn’t hurt anybody but me. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to maintain a certain image because I didn’t want people to have anything bad to say or think I was something that I’m not, but I didn’t feel free and I didn’t enjoy myself the way I do now. I've been basing more of my decisions on what I want and what makes me happy, and I wish I would've started doing this sooner. I had to give myself room to grow into who I am without being afraid of what would be said about me. If there's anything I've learned from being in college, a small one at that, it's this: as long as people can form words, they will find SOMETHING to talk about. I don’t have to be pressed about people liking me because if they don’t, that’s not my problem. I don’t chase down every lie or rumor I hear, but I will defend myself if and when I feel disrespected to the point where it needs to be addressed. I’ve worked too hard on my self-love to just be talked to any kind of way by somebody just because I stay to myself. I let myself be other people’s doormat for too long, and all it did was hurt me. Most of the time I let stuff slide, mind my business, and carry on, but there are also times where I say what I need to say. I’m saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost, but I can and will be sophistiratchet if necessary. And that’s that.
It’s not always me. Sometimes it’s them. For me, grasping this one is a biggie. In previous blogs I’ve discussed that I haven’t had the best luck in the romance department, but here lately I’ve been working again on not blaming myself. I’m currently feeling really discouraged. Nothing ever seems to work, no matter what it is I want. Some days are a lot harder than others, especially since the fact that I don't have sex always seems to make things more complicated for me, but I just have to take this one step at a time. I feel like as a Black woman, a lot of us have been made to feel like our own strength as a woman comes from how much hurt we handle, that our self-esteem (or lack thereof) is the reason things don’t work out sometimes, or that it’s our own fault guys treat us the way they do just because they’re men. I’m not completely denying it because I’ve definitely made more than one bad decision about guys due to where I was with my own self-confidence, but that is NOT the only reason things go south with guys and I have to stop seeing myself as a failure in that part of my life. The “boys will be boys” approach to dealing with guys has got to go, and it’s in more ways than just one. They need to be held more accountable for their words and actions because “boys being boys” grow into men that hurt and abuse others and don’t see it as a problem, but I’m gonna leave that there because that’s a blog post for another time. As I’ve grown in my self-love journey over the last year or so, I’ve come to realize I’m worthy of and deserve what I want when it comes to love. There’s no reason I should have to settle - I'm a great catch and I know I could make someone very happy someday. Sometimes guys just don’t see it, and in some cases they don’t see it until it’s too late. I recently came to terms with the fact that I don’t have to feel like I owe them something when they do finally see it. At that point, it’s not my problem to deal with anymore. Accepting that low self-esteem and my own choices aren’t the only reason I’ve had misfortune has been a good thing for my outlook on myself and future relationships, even though I still have days where I'm discouraged. It gets challenging to not make excuses for guys who don’t treat me how I want and hard to not always find ways to blame myself when things don’t go as I had hoped, but it’s something I’m still working at constantly. My singleness and the loneliness that comes along with it sometimes don’t make me any less of a woman or any less deserving of the love I want. It’s not always my fault. Sometimes guys aren't good guys and it doesn't have anything to do with me. It just is what it is. Beef or no beef, friendships are bound to change. As people make different decisions for their lives, they may draw closer to some while becoming more distant from others. It can be a hard change to get used to, but that’s just life. Over the past year or so, I've watched a lot of my friendships change and even watched some end, but it took a long time for me to realize that it wasn’t because people didn’t care or that I wasn’t important. Everybody just has different paths for their lives and sometimes those paths diverge based on where people are. People grow and change within themselves, meet new people, and enter new phases of their lives, so people’s roles in their lives are bound to change because of it. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt to lose people. That doesn't mean I don't wish things were different. That doesn't mean I don't miss people that were once a very large part of my life, because I do. Sometimes things happen and it doesn’t mean anybody did anything wrong. Friendships can just end and you never really have a concrete answer about why. On the other side of that, there are also times where one or both people in the friendship have to reckon with a series of decisions and actions that led to the current state of the friendship. This can be a lot easier to recognize than it is to deal with, especially for me lately. Even though part of growing up is changing and people hurting you in one way or another, part of growing up is also acknowledging your wrongs, apologizing for, and aiming to correct them. It gets difficult for me to accept and deal with some of these changes in my friendships because sometimes it feels like people keep choosing to leave my life or like I mess up good things, but it gets a little easier when I approach it from the perspective that everyone has a time and reason to be in my life when they are and in the capacity they are. I just have to keep working on my friendships as I work on myself so that I make sure I foster healthy relationships with those around me. Everything doesn’t have to be a flex - real G’s move in silence like cognac. It is okay for everybody to not know all my business. Not announcing every good thing I do doesn’t negate the fact that I’m making moves or have good things happening. Sometimes I just want to keep my moments for myself and not give myself the opportunity to compare what I have going on to things other people are doing. I’ve honestly gotten to the point where I don’t wanna talk much about some stuff I have in the works. Everybody doesn’t need or deserve to know the details of my life. They’ll see it when it comes to pass and becomes official. I don’t really think I have clout, at least not too much, but I have mixed feelings about it as a whole. I see no problem with it if it’s used for something of substance or if it’s well-deserved, but that’s not always the case. It’s gotten to a point where I’ve noticed that clout chasing has become so important to people that they do things for the hell of saying they did it instead of actually caring about what they do and why. That’s not how I want to live my life, nor do I wish to get caught up in other people’s clout chase. I’m more concerned about fulfilling my purpose and creating the life I want than I am with posting about it on social media. If you’re really making the moves you say you are, you don’t have time to talk about them 25/8. There’s nothing wrong with bragging on yourself or a slight social media flex, especially when you work hard for something or have a lot of good going on, but everything doesn’t have to be on the internet for everybody to see. Make the moves in silence and let the manifestation make the noise. God’s promises are not microwaveable. Nothing worth having comes easily and nothing big happens overnight. We have to trust the process. There are lessons we learn in the process so that we don't fumble the product. Some things are easier for me to get than others and even though I'm a Christian and my faith is important to me, trusting the unknown is still something I struggle with. I like to plan every detail of everything, so not knowing how, when, or if things are going to work out is extremely difficult for me. Me and God talk often, and He continues to remind me that He's got me, so keeping my brain from overthinking is something I have to be aware of constantly. We hear people say trust the process all the time, but it’s a lot easier said than done. I told y'all earlier that for the most part, the stage of life I'm in right now feels like a haze. I feel like I'm in a lot of different processes at once, and it's easier for me to trust God in some of those processes than others. There are several big things I'm waiting on and there are things that I'll be the first person I know to do them. It's hard to not feel overwhelmed and some days I feel overtaken by a sea of negative emotions. It's not always pretty, but neither is coal before it becomes a diamond. Going through the process of something for the first time can be scary. So when I multiply that by the different things I'm waiting on and working toward, I have some serious anxiety. Where I am right now, my anxiety is the worst it's ever been. Again, I know God's got me, but Mirror Missy and her friends that I talked about earlier seem a lot more apparent to me at times. I'm human. There are going to be times where my flesh and feelings feel stronger than my faith. Being in this haze, sometimes I feel like I don't know anything except the fact that I don’t know anything for sure. Breaking generational curses, stopping cycles within myself, and being the first person I know to do some things are all intimidating in their own right, but I do know this: If I never allow myself to become the example, I am going to be the status quo. I may not feel like I know a lot about life right now, but I do know that God didn’t put me here just for me to be like everybody else. I just have to keep trusting the plan He has for my life and remind myself that what’s supposed to happen for ME will happen FOR ME. One day all of this will make sense, and everything I currently feel will be worth it. I just have to take it step by step and keep trusting God in the meantime. He knows what He's doing. This has been longer than I thought, so if you finished it, you're a real one and I appreciate you. I've said a lot in this post, but I'm hoping I said something that you can relate to or something that helps you in one or more aspects of life. I definitely don't have all the answers, but I'm taking this journey one day at a time and I encourage you to do the same. This becoming an adult stuff isn’t as fun as I thought it would be when I was younger, but I hope all of us are taking the steps to becoming the best version of ourselves. As always… Live life. Be great. Flourish.