It’s a shame that life never came with a rule book.
It could have been filled with so many incredible bits of knowledge and wisdom, that if followed correctly, could in fact save you from embarrassment, pain, and heartache that can sometimes come with life’s challenges. Some would probably argue that it would be a very boring life if such a thing existed but, I would definitely argue the contrary. I mean how could knowledge be anything but powerful? It would be like being on a sports team and knowing all the plays of the opposing team. Your performance would be unstoppable and so much more strategic. After all, isn’t life just a game, anyway? A friendly match of survival of the fittest – and you could be the fittest of them all. Wouldn’t that be a trip?!
If you ask anyone who knows me, family, friends, or lovers, they will certainly tell you that I have never played my life by the rules. To be fair, I didn’t always know what the games were that I was being thrown into, most of the time. And I listened to a lot of unworthy bullshit from bull-shitters that always proved to have everything to do with my fall than my best interest.
Don’t be too smart – boys won’t like you
Never be too good at sports – people will think you’re not feminine enough
Don’t gain weight – No one could ever really love a fat girl
Don’t be too skinny – boys love curves
Don’t wear make-up or loud jewelry – It makes people think you’re slutty
Never speak your mind – It’s not ladylike
Don’t complain – The world will think you’re negative
Don’t ever ask for help – People will think you’re weak
Never tell a soul you suffer from sadness or get the blues sometimes – Everyone will think you’re crazy
Don’t analyze things that are said or done to you – People will say you think too much and are looking to make trouble
Never talk about your feelings – It’s just not done. Normal people keep things bottled up inside and deal with problems on their own
Never voice your opinion – People will think you’re a troublemaker
Never show fear – Nobody will ever treat you right
Just a few juicy rules that I was told to live by growing up. That’s some good old-fashioned kind of fuckery right there!
Luckily for me, the younger me rarely gave a shit about what anyone ever thought of me. But somewhere along the way, all that changed. For reasons unknown to me, I let people think it was ok to judge me, to disrespect me. To point fingers at me and tell me that I wasn’t a good person. That who I was didn’t fit the mold. That I was only meant for some things and not others. There was a lot of noise back then. A noise that I regretfully say still can be heard today.
It’s funny how powerful other people’s words can be. How easily they can make you feel less than. How the actions of others can diminish you to nothing. The saddest thing of all is that you learn at a very young age to adopt this line of treatment for yourself. To the point where you don’t even need others anymore because the things you repeat and believe about yourself supersede anything, they could ever say about you. Although, what I am slowly beginning to realize is that I have no control over what others think of me or how they see me. What I do control is how I see myself. It’s not the narrative of others that I need to change – it’s my own. Because you see, what others believe they know about me or think they see is none of my business, nor my concern. Let them think what they want. The only thing that I am coming to understand now is that I need to be the best version of me, for me, and no one else. The rest of the world has a choice – join me or go to hell.
But, there comes a time when all the noise stops. Somewhere along the way, something divine happens and you can’t explain it. No rule book, no reasoning as to why it happens, it just gets real quiet. This is the day when you catch a glimpse of your reflection in the mirror and you see something. A tiny speck of light, way off in the distance, almost behind you. And you stare at it for a long time, mesmerized but also confused. What is it? Intrigued you keep watching, waiting for something to happen. You know that you should be afraid but oddly, you’re not. If anything, you’re the calmest you’ve ever been. Then you hear it. That voice deep within you saying: “It’s time to let go and trust in the divinity of your spirit” And at that moment you somehow realize that you had it all wrong. THEY had it all wrong. You both had no idea who you were, nor did you have any business believing what you did about yourself. That glimmer of light you see – that’s your light, your strength coming to claim its rightful place in your life.
This is where I am in my life. The fire has started and there is a small glow that I can see – in the distance. It’s a very slow burn but, it’s been steadily showing itself to me, every day.
I am in a season of change, of this I am certain. A change that will encompass my entire life. There was a time that this would have scared me but, oddly enough, I feel pretty calm. Come what may, for I am ready!