Yesterday I turned 34. Like most birthdays, while trying not to be overly pensive and internally dramatic, I ended up instead being overly pensive and externally melodramatic, which (while not as bad as it could have been) resulted in me laying in the middle of the floor around 5 p.m., tears welling, looking like I was waiting for the music to cue in a really bad early 2000’s-ish R&B music video.
I’m not the type of woman who likes to be seen as weak, whiny, annoying or overly emotional. I despise it actually,
its one of the primary reasons I’ve never had a lot of female friends, but I’ve noticed that given some situations, I cannot control my emotional responses and I beat myself up about it continuously. On this particular day, my birthday, I was fed up more than usual. I woke up feeling like everything I had been internalizing, all of my unhappiness and frustration, all of my confusion and fear, only existed because of me. I’ve been told my whole life that you are what you allow, and even with the best intentions to be optimistic and patient with myself and others in my life, I had allowed far too much of myself to feel weak and lost again.
Ever been in a cycle you didn’t know how to stop? Thats the feeling I had. Gazing at my ceiling fan going in circles, glancing at my iPhone 5 every other minute or so, I was reminded that I wasn’t where I wanted to be, or with who I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to be doing, living how I wanted to be living. I could no longer dumb myself down and placate my desires. So I did the only thing that made sense to do when you’re crying in the middle of the floor on your birthday alone…
I turned on some music and acted like I was the silent subject of its music video I prayed.
God has a sense of humor and impeccable timing if you truly pay attention. My cell phone is on its last legs. Recently it has started shutting off on its own and resetting by itself, deleting certain pictures and memories at its own will whenever its storage limit is reached. Funny thing is, the content that deletes is always something I have been hanging onto that I really didn’t need any longer. And when the phone restores itself, its battery and storage is better than before. As annoying as it is, the way my phone now force deletes what’s not needed and makes me take priority in saving all that’s meaningful to my iCloud (while I still can), its teaching me a lesson about holding on and letting go. Just like in my life, I realized I had been holding on to fears and feelings I no longer needed to keep, and the empty feeling in my soul was the indicator that I’d reached full capacity and I needed to restore. The irony. I told myself that before this point, I just hadn’t found the right time to get started. The truth is, I have probably been too afraid to do what I needed to do when it was.
Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning “the right or opportune moment”. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a period or season, a moment of indeterminate time in which an event of significance happens. It is presumed in that moment, your life and/or situation will change. My dad, however, has always had a saying when my mother or I would complain to him, “When you finally get fed up, you’ll do something about it.” Its his way of saying you can change your situation whenever you are ready to, if you’re ready to. His idealolgy is that we’ll never feel we are ready but if you take the first steps necessary, the rest will come. God wants to see our efforts; our blessings are preordained. It doesn’t always happen overnight, but God never gives us more than we can handle, we just choose to make excuses as to why we can’t do things; why we won’t change. “If you think you can’t, you won’t, not until you realize everything you’re waiting for to do so, he’s already provided you with”. Maybe there is no such thing as a perfect or opportune moment. Or maybe that perfect moment exists when we stop waiting for it to be, well, “perfect”.
I thought about all the times I ignored the signs I was given, good, bad and indifferent, and all the time that I’d wasted because I allowed it throughout the years. I thought about my 16 year career that never gave me half of what I put into it back before I finally let it go. I thought about the 8 years I put into a marriage and relationship that broke my spirt and my self esteem because of its abusiveness, games and lies. I thought about the divorce. I thought about the kid. And my near fatal car accident. And my body. I thought about all of the years and all of the work and the money I spent trying to finish school, the leaving and sacrificing my wants and needs for others who would never do the same for me. I brooded on loneliness and being alone for 6 years, untouched. Un-kissed. Unappreciated. I thought about Chai tea spinning in a cup I stirred while smiling at a man in a coffeehouse who made me reconsider vulnerability almost 12 months prior. I thought about the time I had spent with this same man over the course of the last 3 days and wondered if he even wanted me anymore. I thought about sacrifices and changes. Time. Moments. Energy. Love. Faith. Hope. And what did I have to show for it all? Fear. Fear of failure, fear of being hurt, fear of commitment, fear of loving, fear of moving forward. Fear I’m not enough. There has always been that insecurity. I’ve never been able to shake it.
My mom tells me frequently, “There is no living when you’re living scared”. So I’ve decided to stop running. I decided to stop having excuses and making excuses for others. I decided to stop shutting down. I decided to get fed up, start making changes and for the first time ever, document it all. And now you know the reason for this blog.
Yesterday I turned 34. I don’t know what is to come in this new year of life for me but if I were to die tomorrow, I know I would want my life and love to say more than it has. I know I’d want to feel and receive, smile and live more than I have and it shouldn’t take a “perfect” storm for me to allow it. Consider this an effort to hold myself accountable to facing my fears and finally, myself.