I’m a black woman…clearly. But that poses a problem for me when it comes to expressing vulnerability or failure. Not because I’m an angry shrew hell bent on making others miserable. Not because I don’t deserve moments of complete openness and time to express my pain and obstacles, but because well, it’s difficult to shake off a generations-old belief that as a black woman, I’m suppose to just accept that I have to be tough at all times to make it in the world, even if I never receive the respect I deserve.
Forgive my “digression” into my ever present clarity around the fact that black women deserve self-care but we sometimes don’t know how to go about it. What prompted these thoughts and feelings for me is that I’ve a hell of week full of highs and lows in my personal and professional development. In the past 2 weeks actually. I officially titled myself a teacher, instructor, facilitator, and journal maven on top of being an empowerment alchemist and balance guru. I started a pretty deep journey into journal writing for the purpose of great personal and community development by creating and teaching a class called, “When We Journal, We Journal Hard” which is apart of the larger Shy Peacock brand. I had a REAL professional high for the first time in my entire life by launching something that I experience COMPLETE PEACE while doing. I’m participating in a few communal learning situations that have blown my mind all the way open, and caused a few epiphanies to come front and center.
While all of that was happening, I started experiencing what felt like some serious lows as well. I’ve had to become nomadic in my living situation because I chose to stand up for myself against a BS-ing landlord and at the same time learn to trust my co-parent all over again due to the entrance of a new member of the family while he takes more of the day to day responsibility for our men children. Not to mention mounting financial concerns and other normal obstacles. The individual setbacks aren’t so bad, but when they happen simultaneously it feels crushing.
I’ve been faced with some deep, life-altering questions this week. Do I move back to Alabama and go for the traditional job situation? If I do, do I go back alone, or should I take the boys with me? Or should I go back with the intention just to regroup and then return to the DMV? Should I flow with the boys living with their dad while I chase a dream AND work on getting stable in the city I chose to move to? How do I shut out the well-meaning naysayers and continue working toward my goals? Am I close to a breakthrough of some kind, both professionally AND personally? Did I really just lose everything? The questions…
I’ve had moments of going from feeling like the biggest failure on the planet to feeling like I’ve conquered the world. Believe me, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions, thoughts, and even actions that have led me to being able to knock out every opponent I’ve been faced with, but then needing to sometimes hide my head under the covers. I even said to a friend, “I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.” I had never suffered such blurred vision before last week.
As I write this, it’s hitting me that I know what this is all about. Purging. I’m trying to completely define my life on my terms, and any definitions that don’t come from me or the Creator are being DESTROYED. Not knocked down bit by bit, but absolutely struck down with the strength of a natural phenomenon (think a fucking tornado or hurricane) and that shit hurts. Breakdown before breakthrough I guess. It sounds good on paper and in those visual quotes I like (see The Shy Peacock Feather Drops), but living it is something different. For instance, I really want to hang on to my car because of the convenience and the possibility of emergency situations with the boys, but the truth is, I can’t really afford the note and the expenses that I come along with it right now. That thought, not incorrect or unreasonable, is a direct result of my mother’s voice in my head telling me all of the things that could go wrong with me or the boys if I don’t have a working car. Notice I said my mother’s voice IN MY HEAD, not in my ear. So I know that it’s not her at all, but my retention of a belief that holds true for an area like Birmingham and not necessarily the DMV where public transportation is pretty convenient. The way that things are looking at the moment, I might have to accept the possibility and go with the idea that if I have to let it go, another, better alternative will replace it. I’ve experienced that a number of times, but it’s still hard to let something go that you feel like you worked really hard to get in the first place.
I’ve had to stop and take a deep breath a few times as I type this because the weight of that realization is heavy. I’m literally being stripped of everything that doesn’t serve me no matter how many excuses I come up with to prove the opposite. Let’s just pray that in the future I’ll be writing about how this time was just what I needed to really propel forward into what I want to do. I guess some material losses won’t kill me at the end of the day. It’s hitting me in all of the major areas of life so it should make my life a dream come true sometime soon (lol).
Have any of you experienced monumental breakdown that led to breakthrough? Let me know.
***Don’t forget to sign up for “When We Journal, We Journal Hard” by clicking here.***