That Wasn’t Your Place.

Stop asserting yourself into a role you weren’t asked to fulfill.

In figuring out my purpose, I’ve played many roles in life that were not meant for me. There is one role that I reflect on most. I was never asked to play this role. I never auditioned for it. I just asserted myself into it. My childhood trauma impacted me to the point where I was scared of conflict … even the ones that didn’t concern me. I always remembered myself as being the peacemaker, trying to make sure everyone was happy because things were good when everyone was happy.

Now that I am in my 30s, I realized these circumstances led me to become a “fixer.” I was someone who was broken … so in return, I ran around trying to fix everything and everyone I came across. This tied into my relationships as I attracted some of the most broken people. When we become young first time daters, we don’t ask the person we’re dating, “what happened in your childhood that has made you the person you are today?” We don’t ask, “have you any demons that you haven’t addressed through therapy?” In our teens and 20s, we weren’t thinking about things like that even though we were setting up a beautiful life with this person in our minds already. Fixers like myself saw all of your past trials and tribulations that hurt you and thought, “I can fix this.” I thought with this big and generous heart that God blessed me with, I could love away another’s trauma. I thought I could affirm away their insecurities. What I didn’t realize was picking up someone else’s broken pieces only cut me.

Hurt people hurt people, especially when hurt goes unacknowledged. You obsess over proving yourself as the fixer, not realizing that this stems from your own trauma. You’re doing your best to prove your worth and you’re far different from the disappointments that this person has experienced.

Fixers feel like they get what they deserve. If they have been treated like shit then obviously it’s something the fixer is doing wrong. In true fixer fashion, fixers try to “fix it” in the hopes of being loved again. Being a fixer is a toxic trait that many of us have to let go of.

Boundaries are important when you’re overcoming being a fixer. When you’re a fixer, you’re also a giver and you have to be mindful of your limits because these takers have none. Don’t let someone guilt trip you into believing you’re obligated. You are not responsible for the broken pieces of others … just your own.

As for me, I don’t consider myself as broke anymore. I spent a lot of time falling in love with broken people. I spent a lot of time being a fixer and a healer for others. To combat that, I am spending plenty of time alone so that I could fall in love with myself and receive a taste of my own medicine. No longer a fixer, I am now a potter … someone who put the pieces of her broken pottery back together with her own hands.

Without a Purpose.

The chapter of life I am currently in right now is learning to manifest the life that I want. I’ve always felt that my life was meant for more than just working a 9-5. My life was meant to be remembered. My life was meant to leave a mark. Though I felt all of this, a question always lingered in the deep crevices of my thoughts and feelings. What is my purpose? In my 31 years of life, I’ve yet to figure out what it is I am here for.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be many things. I remember watching “Harriet the Spy” and thinking that I wanted to be a writer. At a young age, I was already into journaling but after watching the movie, I dove deeper into my writing. I would either people watch or use my own life experiences to write short stories. I began collecting notebooks and pens, and still do to this day. Besides Reese’s and a nice bag of Smartfood white cheddar cheese popcorn, the way to my heart was a beautiful notebook with lined paper and a nice writing pen.

There was even a point in time where I felt I could be an influencer. I wanted to influence an audience who related to me on some of life’s daily and personal struggles. In 2017, I accomplished my weight loss goal for the first time ever out of all my attempts throughout my life. I accomplished this victory with the assistance of Herbalife products. My weight loss and the reactions of others to my transformation motivated me to become a distributor. I was also watching people like my sponsor achieve financial freedom and take trips to places that I had only dreamed of. I only managed to get 3 people on my team before I became discouraged and gave up. I felt I wasn’t receiving the support I needed to keep going. Now here we are in 2020 and the same people who told me “no” are now the same people who are promoting Herbalife or the new craze, Iaso tea and Nutraburst. No judgment whatsoever. By all means, get your coins and go off sis! My point is imagine where I’d be three years later had I not stopped. Imagine if I had believed in myself!

Now that I am older, I am searching for what truly lights my soul on fire. Is it still writing? I can say that Moore or Less is my baby … something I created of my own free will and creative mind. Who knows where this blog will take me, what potential it holds? There are days where doubt sets in because who am I to think that my words matter or are worth reading? That was a thought until one day my mother, who supports even my wildest ideas, says that she’s waiting on a book one day. This blog may just be the beginning.

I say all of this to say, don’t let life pass you by without chasing what it is that brings you true happiness. Do not let anyone detour you from your purpose. Be mindful of people who are comfortable and content in their stagnancy. Not everyone is going to share the same ambition as you. Not everyone is going to see your vision. Realize that not everyone can go with you. Pay attention to yourself. Focus on your mission, your goals. This is a process, a rough and sometimes ugly one that will reap fruitful benefits … if you believe. Let’s continue to heal and grow together because growth …

 

… to be continued.

 

Life.

Life … we come into it not knowing a damn thing to expect. Lately, this pandemic has offered me the time to actually sit and be still. It is in these still moments where I reflected on self and how I’ve navigated the last 31 years of my life. Though I have many accomplishments that I am proud of, I still feel as though I have not lived life. I feel as though I have only been existing. During this pandemic, I realized that there were so many things that I’ve wanted to do but never done and the thought of not being able to do those things has made my anxiety go haywire.

I have always been the type to have an idea but would refrain from executing it because I thought too much of what others would think of me. I would start a new journey and would abandon it because of my own negative self talk. I mean hell, y’all haven’t heard from me on Moore or Less because aside from writer’s block, I felt like no one was even taking the time to read what I had to say. It wasn’t until recently that I finally decided to stop being concerned and learned that even if only one person reads, the message is still received.

Have you ever played the game of Life? The object of the game is to navigate your way through life, making decisions, building a family, and earning money … while also paying some, too. Whoever has the “highest value” at the end of the game wins. If you ask me, none of those things constitutes a high value of life … at least not for me. I define my highest value of life differently. I feel that there is more to life than paying bills and following a daily routine of just eat, work, and sleep. Now that I’ve considered what is going to make me happy in life, I’ve decided to run for it at top speed. Have you ever thought what you define as the highest value for your life?

Too often we occupy our time just scrolling and watching, scrolling and watching. Some of us watch in awe, some of us in admiration, and some of us in envy. Life is a gift and everyday we are given an opportunity to enhance that gift. Stop hesitating. Figure out what you want and write that shit down, then create an action plan. Remember that faith without works is dead. Tighten your boot straps and proceed to fuck shit up.

 

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Friends Break Hearts, Too.

It’s weird how time changes things. Growing up, my childhood trauma and codependency lead me to establish friendships that weren’t always meant for my higher good. I’m an only girl and being an only girl had me looking for sisterhood anywhere I could find it. As a young girl, I was always looking for acceptance and validation … but that wasn’t always what I found.

I remember every connection I’ve ever had with certain individuals with whom I’ve considered to be a friend. There are so many times where I begin to miss them and take a trip down memory lane but these memories also caused me to remember the disrespect.

In the past, I’ve tolerated the highest levels of bullshit and disrespect for the sake of keeping a friend. Trust me, I had all of the excuses for these ain’t shit friends:

”They didn’t mean it.”

”They said they were sorry.”

”We’ve known each other for so long.”

Nikkie’s Thoughts said it best, “Time don’t mean shit! Time is a man made concept. You can meet someone tomorrow who has better intentions and supports you wholeheartedly more than somebody you’ve known all your life.”

I had to learn to accept this harsh reality because I was keeping too many people around straight off of longevity and the love I had for them. Things always started off good in the beginning. We’d hang out and have a good time. We’d laugh and share jokes. Hell, we’d even partake in some gossip together. Soon after, the tables turn and now you’re the topic of conversation when you aren’t around. You start noticing differences in behavior towards you when y’all are around other people. Snide comments are made about your achievements or they’re disguised in sarcastic compliments. You’re left out of certain events and outings because “they forgot” or “they didn’t think you’d want to go.” You realize you’re the one always reaching out and once you decide to no longer extend the effort, y’all no longer speak.

I can’t say how many times this has happened to me in my life. I’ve honestly lost count. I used to grieve and mourn as if I’d just ended a romantic relationship. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized not everyone you lose is a loss. These friendships had to happen and they had to end because I wasn’t holding them or myself accountable. These “friends” were only doing to me what I allowed. As I grew and matured, my tolerance for half-assed friendships lessened and my friendship circles grew smaller.

I’ve experienced my share of friendship heartbreaks, one being recent, and the impact still weighs heavy on my heart to this day. I’ve had people whose opinions I’ve valued point out unhealthy behavior and toxicity in the past that I completely ignored. When you think you know someone, you feel there’s no one who can speak about them to you. Unfortunately, true colors tend to show when situations change. I think as our stories unfold and we write our chapters, never do we think that someone we considered a friend would be written as a villain.

I recently attended a retreat called The Mending Space where I met and connected with women I had never met before. With these women, I felt safe. It was there where I learned that your true friends must provide you with a safe space. Space to be yourself, space to release without judgment, and space to be vulnerable. Friendships are a different version of love. If you can’t comfortably tell your friends you love them or receive it back, spare yourself the heartbreak.

Venture out. Build new connections. Establish healthy boundaries. Love yourself first and everyone else second. Don’t hold or carry any hate in your heart because it’s too heavy of a burden for YOU to bear. Hell, I still have love for old friends as I had loved them before. So to wrap this up, shout out to those “friends.” I still wish the best for you. I still have love for you.

 

Stay away from me though.

 

 

What makes you a good friend is not doing something that you know will intentionally hurt another person.

Secret Warfare.

I woke up this morning but I continued to lay in bed. Eyes wide open, basking in the darkness, hitting the snooze button repeatedly. I tossed and turned, fighting the urge to stay where I lay. Here we go, my feet are finally touching the floor as I sit upright at the side of my bed. Inhale, exhale. Fuck … I have to go to work today. I want to be alone. I want to stay home but I have to go to work today. I stand up … that’s progress. What will I wear today? I don’t like that because it makes me look fat. I can’t wear this because it no longer fits. Now I’m back on the bed, crying as clothes are scattered everywhere. Screw it, I’ll just wear something black. Black is slimming, isn’t it? It’s time to shower so let’s stand here under the water for about an hour and just … THINK. Let’s cry a little bit in the hopes of feeling better. Now let’s put on my smile like I put on my makeup and push through the day.

I made the drive to work while having several mini episodes because of traffic. I knew I should have stayed home. I walk in the building and force a decent amount of smiles and good mornings even though I don’t want to. Well damn, Jane didn’t speak … the fucks her problem? Why was my supervisor’s greeting so lackluster? Did I do something wrong? Let me check my emails. Nothing there but a few requests from my clients in need. Let me start a to-do list. “Hey Shayna, can you help me with this?”

And it begins … my cellphone goes off. “Hey, do you have a minute? I need to talk.” Sigh! Okay, I never leave a friend hanging. Let me find somewhere private to talk. 15 minutes later, I need to make my tea. I finally have some time to breathe … *tap on cubicle* “Hey Shayna, can you…?” Let’s force a smile. I knew I should have stayed home. Two hours later, is it lunch time? What’s for lunch? I need to be mindful of what I eat. I can’t gain any more weight. “Shayna, the team is having lunch together. Come on.” I don’t really want to but whatever. Another forced smile. Why can’t we just sit here in silence? Why did I choose this career path? I’d rather be traveling. Let me get back to work. *Checks phone* No messages. Where’s my fiancé? My mom is taking awhile to text back. What’s my dad doing? Probably living that retired life. Shit, my weekly report. Ugh, I need a job that pays more money. Why can’t my life be different? When is it going to be my turn? I’m so sick of this. I deserve better. No, I don’t. I never finish what I start. I’m a failure. Nothing I do is good enough. Is it 5:00 yet? *checks* THANK GOD!

Finally time to leave. Fuck, there’s traffic. I want to call someone and just … talk, but I don’t want to bother anyone. No one’s called or text to check on me either. Oh well. Traffic’s moving. I have to cook dinner, I don’t feel like cooking. Damn, I need to exercise but I’m tired. Traffic is at a standstill again. *Checks Instagram* Another Herbalife post, a SlimTea and FlatTummy tea promoter, and a new body fresh out of surgery. *Sigh* I‘m finally home. Where’s my bed? I’m exhausted. Thoughts, pease be quiet … I need to sleep.

Fiancé is home and I’m finally asked … “Are you okay?”

NO. I’M NOT OKAY. NOT AT ALL. I’M DEPRESSED. MY LIFE IS FALLING APART. NOTHING IS GOING RIGHT. I WANT TO TELL YOU. I WANT TO TELL SOMEONE BUT I DON’T WANT TO SOUND LIKE I’M COMPLAINING OR CRAZY. I REALLY NEED TO LET THIS OUT. TELL ME EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY PLEASE EVEN THOUGH I KNOW IT’S NOT. WILL YOU JUST HUG ME? I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING TO ME BUT … *smiles*

”Yes, I’m fine. I’m just tired.”

 

 

Depression is not a choice. Depression is not always dark rooms and silence. It’s not always ignoring calls and not answering text messages. Depression is putting on a mask. Depression is forcing yourself to show up. Depression is constant. Throw a little anxiety on top and you have a beautiful clusterfuck. Depression and anxiety are not easily noticeable. You can’t see them but they are felt constantly, consistently. Having depression and anxiety can be best explained as feeling like you’re drowning but not having the motivation to swim up for air. This is why they’re called the silent killers. People are at war every single day and you would never know as some of us are high-functioning. Be kind. Be patient. Check on your friends. Check on yourself. If you’re still here, I’m proud of you and I love you.

 

#NationalSuicidePreventionWeek #February24th #ImStillHere

Turning 30 has taught me …


Distance and shutting the entire fuck up.

 

It’s been about five months into my chapter 30 and I’ve learned so much already … currently still learning and growing. Distance is one of those lessons that I learned. I’ve learned to stop asking for advice and to stop listening to other people. This way, I can’t blame anyone for my decisions and I can celebrate myself when I make positive decisions that are beneficial to me and my future. With that being said, I mind my business, hold on to my business, drink my water and talk to God, A LOT!

I began to create distance in my relationships with people. I started looking for people less and started looking for me more. As selfish as it sounds, I stopped checking in with people to see how THEY were and started checking in with myself. I came to this realization when my therapist asked me how things went once I wrote and posted “Black Girl, Interrupted.” I explained the reactions I received with some pouring love in to me while others judged me. My therapist confused me by asking how I was when I thought we were talking about my blog. I looked at her funny and answered, “I’m fine.” She continued starting at me and asked me again, “How are you?” Before I could answer, she cut me off and told me to tell the truth. After a brief moment of silence, I shrugged my shoulders. She then asked me when was the last time someone asked me how I was and when was the last time I gave a genuine answer. Silence again. She said to me, “Being transparent isn’t easy, is it?” Especially when you’re screaming in a room full of people but no one acknowledges you though they hear you.” BITCH!!! This is what led me to shutting the fuck up!

Anybody watch Grace and Frankie? That’s my damn show, first off. But anyway, it wasn’t until season 5, episode 12 where I had my STFU epiphany. Shorty was at dinner, TURNT and her husband tried to shit on her good time and say, “It’s time to take you home!” Let me tell y’all … Goldie wasn’t having none of that! She slammed her hand on that dining room table and said, and I quote:

“Vince … look at me. Look at me in the windows to my soul. SHUT THE FUCK UP! Shut all the way the fuck up until you reach the top of SHUT FUCK MOUNTAIN where there are no more fuck ups to shut!”

After I finished laughing my ass off, something in my head said:

message

Shut the fuck up, Shayna! You don’t have to tell everybody everything because honestly, THAT WAS ME! I was always telling my business whether it was personal, professional, family, friends, or relationships, I TOLD IT! I felt like I had nothing to hide so why not? It wasn’t until a wise woman said to me, “There are people who ask how you are because they genuinely want to know and there are people who ask how you are to see if you have anything bad to say.” Ma’am, lower your voice, you ain’t have to holler. This was very true though. I had to learn that my life was not the latest gossip, it wasn’t the tea of the day, and it wasn’t ammunition for those who had better talk shit about my life instead of sweeping around their own doorstep.

Taking this advice has helped me to listen and observe more than I spoke. I realized how much I didn’t know about others. I realized that social media was how a majority of the people in my life kept up with me so I started posting less. I realized how at peace I felt with keeping things between me and God. I also began to realize who was who. With all of these realizations, I’ve realized most of all that I’ve grown in so many ways. I’m not perfect, I fuck up and will continue to but I’m accepting of it now. I take care of me so much better now than I used to. I say no. I ignore phone calls when I don’t feel like talking and find no obligation in having to call anyone back. If it’s an emergency, call 911. I got my own shit going on, and that shit is my mental health.

I have depression and anxiety, and they are my disorders. I’d rather use “disorders” than diseases because I don’t find myself to be “sick.” But they are MINE. I find strength in claiming them because I fight these hoes every damn day, SINGLEHANDEDLY. After February 24th, I got “STRENGTH” tatted on my forearm because I beat depression that day. I went Arya Stark on its ass.

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There will be more days like February 24th, this I know. I find comfort in knowing that I am built for this fight. So when you come with negativity, bullshit, lies, and anything that is disturbing to my spirit … keep moving because turning 30 has taught me … I’M WAY TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT!

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Cord Cutting.

Be the type of person that people always come back to.

If this isn’t thee worst advice I’ve ever seen in my 30 years of life. This quote inspired me to write this piece and I called it cord cutting for a reason.

First off, don’t be that person! As someone who has been this person (and still working on it), I used to let people come back into my life that had no business ever getting close to me in the first place. I’d let people come back time and time again before I finally started realizing, “Well shit, why do they keep leaving me?” Then I started thinking, “Why in the hell do they feel that they can keep coming back?” BECAUSE YOU’RE STANDING THERE WITH OPEN ARMS, STUPID!

T.D. Jakes said it best: “When people can walk away from you, LET THEM WALK!” Myself and T.D. don’t want you to spend another second talking someone into staying with you, loving you, calling you, or caring about you. HANG UP THE PHONE!

That person left for a reason! And that person came sniffing back around because you’re not loving and respecting yourself enough to close that damn door! Stop holding on to that “What if?” factor! I’ve extended some people’s parts in my story because I was thinking, “Well, what if …” Nope, stop that! Well Shayna, I was told “if you let something go and it comes back to you, it was meant to be.” FALSE STATEMENT! Honey, you didn’t let anything go, it left you! I’m pretty sure if you let something (in this case, someone) go, you don’t want it coming back as you let it go. That’s what happens every time you allow someone access to you again after they done left you. They’re bringing nothing back but the same sadness, same stress, and same bullshit they left you with the first time.

Stop allowing yourself to play the fool more than once. Y’all know the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice,shame on me!” The same person who hurt you can’t heal you. I know, I know. You love them and obviously if they keep coming back, it’s because they need you. And we all know it feels good to be needed … but what feelings are you left with when they leave? Where are they when YOU need someone?

Do not let people place a revolving door on your life! Set boundaries. Let people know what you will and will not tolerate. If certain individuals bring nothing but chaos, stress, and drama … CUT THE CORD! Learn to love people from afar. Being selfless doesn’t benefit you, just them.

Rant over. OH and before I go, let me leave you with this …

If they aren’t holding onto you as tightly as you are them, with the same tender grip and tingling anticipation, THEY can be let go.

– Melissa M. Tripp

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