Growth.

Ever drove by a garden and saw there was one flower that was taller than the rest? Ever sat at a table and realized you no longer had an appetite for what was being served?

In life, we go through many phases and most of the time, we don’t have a name for these phases … these chapters. Hell, I can’t say how many times I’ve named this current chapter that I’m in, LOL. First, it was self, then it was healing, and then it was self-love … the list goes on. Ultimately, I landed on “Growth” today so bear with me because the shit might change tomorrow.

Lately, I’ve been catching myself in moments where I look around my place and I think to myself, damn … you’re alone again. It’s not too soon before those moments change and I bask in the feeling of my own company. The truth is I love being alone, I just don’t like feeling alone. Through these moments though, I have come to realize that I wholeheartedly enjoy the solace and peace my own company brings.

See, the “old Shayna” as I like to refer to her as, didn’t like to be alone. She didn’t like to upset anyone but she consistently did herself a disservice when she would lie and tell everyone, “I’m fine”. She often wore a mask of the woman she aspired to be … a woman who was strong, witty and took no shit. I think that’s the Shayna everyone had come to know and love until I lost myself. The “old Shayna” began to sink deeper and deeper behind the mask, keeping up a facade of strength and bravery when she was really scared, fragile, and tired. She stayed behind that mask for as long as she could until the pieces began to chip away the more and more she broke. She was hoping for a savior … for someone to help her with her own broken pieces but she’d worn this mask for so long that everyone thought she was fine. She finally realized that it was time to take the mask off, it was time to put the cape on and be her own hero.

Healing requires growth and lately I have been standing firm, damn near wiggling my toes in the dirt as I root myself. The “old Shayna” is buried beneath my feet and ain’t no resurrection for little miss “I don’t have boundaries because I want people to stay around.” Well let me tell y’all, the “growing Shayna” (ooo, I like that) has established boundaries and there are some people who absolutely HATE it!!! What “old Shayna” didn’t realize was a lack of boundaries invited a lack of respect. Having no boundaries caused people to take advantage of her and mistreat her, and there are some people who really believed that shit was going to continue. Well excuse me but this growth applies to YOU too! When someone is growing, you’re not exempt from the newness that they’re walking in but to those people, the old you was easier to manipulate and manage. Who the hell do you think you are letting them know what you won’t tolerate anymore?! What’s that quote say y’all?

“I don’t care what I allowed in the past … TRY ME TODAY!”

I tell y’all this because it’s time to start advocating for ourselves, being there for ourselves, and pouring into ourselves. It’s also important to start being honest with ourselves. Pretending to be okay when you’re not doesn’t just hurt but it’s absolutely exhausting. When you’re growing, you will realize that you are outgrowing old habits and even people but please be advised that you are NOT wrong for that. It’s not your fault if there isn’t anyone who wants to grow with you. Some journeys are best taken alone. 

Take your mask off and don’t be like the “old Shayna” because …

I was a caterpillar talking butterfly shit when I hadn’t even begun to spin my cocoon yet.

Disappointments.

I know, I know y’all … it’s been awhile since I’ve dropped a few words but the real can’t be forced. When I write, I usually grab a notebook and write my thoughts down as a rough draft before I type and publish my work. Tonight, I decided to set the mood by lighting some of my KullturedKandy candles and pour a glass of wine … then sitting myself down and just flowing.

I decided to title this piece, “Disappointments”, because in life, we all have experienced them. They say having expectations leads to disappointments and damn, if that ain’t the truth. In this chapter, not only am I learning that I can’t control the outcome of situations in my life but I am also learning it is okay to be the disappointment in the chapters of others.

Having someone disappointed in me used to unsettle me. I wouldn’t feel as though I was performing as my best self unless I was doing something for someone. Previously I mentioned to you all my issues with codependency and in unlearning this behavior, I am also learning to wholeheartedly not give a fuck … just flow (April Nichole, @NikkiesThoughts). I used to care so much that it would be to my own detriment. Now, I am so focused on the betterment of myself that I truly do not have the urge to please anyone.

When you are becoming comfortable in being a disappointment, you realize your interactions with people will change. Lately, I’ve noticed in my interactions with some people, many of them are still stuck on the “old Shayna.” The Shayna from the past who was apologetic even though she had nothing to be sorry for … the Shayna who consistently poured into others though her cup was empty … the Shayna who accepted apologies she never received … the Shayna who loved others more than she loved herself.

I recently had someone tell me that I had a history of not telling the truth and to their credit, they were right. Did I get upset with that statement? Not at all because honestly … that was the past. I can’t be mad at someone who is still stuck there and doesn’t want to take the time to see my growth. 2007, 2012, 2016, 2019 Shayna is not the same woman who now sits in 2020. I recently had someone tell me I was a horrible friend because I don’t answer calls or text messages anymore. Honestly, they’re right. If I know there is something coming to disturb my peace, I will not receive it … at least, not until I am ready to. If I know there is someone coming to receive and not reciprocate, I do not accept them into my space.

I am learning it is okay to not always show up for everyone. It’s not okay to not show up for yourself. I am learning that it is not my obligation to fix nor heal everyone. I had to wake up and realize that I was slacking in my boundaries … slacking in using my voice to acknowledge my wants and needs. I was so used to being a giver that I wouldn’t voice when my cup was empty and needed a refill. RECIPROCITY … I’m not giving you no more than you giving me. This isn’t to say I no longer care about certain people .. this is to say, “Yes, I want the best for you but not to my detriment!” (April Nichole, @NikkiesThoughts).

Some people aren’t going to accept your growth. For most people, it’s more comfortable for them leaving you right where they left you at … in the past. Especially when your past self was easier to deal with .. easier to manage and easier to use to their benefit. There are some people in my life who have noticed my growth and have acknowledged it. I have been told on many occasions that the light has returned to my eyes and my smile. I thank you all so much but please believe me when I say, this is only the beginning because …

 

I’M ABOUT TO LIGHT THIS MUHFUCKA UP!!

Being a “Yes Woman” …

I’m a people pleaser. I think it’s honestly one of my worst flaws other than my impatience. I’m a “yes woman.” I’m codependent. I tell people “yes” because it makes me think they’ll like me. I said yes because I knew it made others happy and in turn, I thought I’d be happy too. I said yes even when I knew making others happy was at my expense and I was sacrificing my own happiness and peace.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union. The episode was originally about friendships but Gabrielle Union made a few statements that spoke to me. When Jada was talking about herself being a people pleaser, she asked Gabrielle how does she deal with that to which Gabrielle responded:

I SAY NO! And no used to be so terrifying because no means a boundary and if you put up boundaries, maybe people won’t come back.

This is me, scared to say no because of how others would react and how it would affect me. Scared that they would leave and I’d be alone again. See, being codependent is unhealthy and it’s even unhealthier when you’re codependent on people. I’ve had to come to the harsh realization that at some point, everyone leaves. Nothing lasts forever … or so they say. I’ve also had to realize that not everyone you lose is a loss.

During Therapy Thursday with Nikkiesthoughts, (check out her IG and podcast), I asked her about my people pleasing dilemma and boundaries. She kindly read me for filth and let me know my boundaries are for me and all I’m doing is getting in my boundary’s way. She asked me how do I feel after I say yes to someone when I didn’t really want to? What feeling do I go to sleep with at night? What feeling do I get when I look in the mirror? She advised me to surround myself only with people who would do the same for me as I would do for them. Matter of fact, be around people who would go above and beyond for you.

I realized I needed to reach a level where I only concern myself with people who believe in reciprocity. I should not concern myself with how others might take offense to me when I tell them no. My main focus should be me and my peace. I’ve come to realize that your growth tends to weed out the bad seeds you were letting sit around while they tried to steal and absorb your light. These people need to go. I’ve always tried to hang on when I needed to let go, not realizing I was only hurting myself more in the process.

It’s time for me to enter a new level where I let go of this fear of people not liking me. I’m letting go of caring and putting others before myself. These changes may anger a few but like Gabrielle Union said, “It’s difficult to take control of a healed, evolved person.”