Bookmark.

Before I start, LET’S CHECK IN! How are y’all? Y’all know I missed you, right? I will give many apologies for the unannounced hiatus. Some of y’all been beating me in the head about writing and producing new material and I have been dragging ass, LOL. I had time and inspiration today though so … here we go.

If some of you didn’t know, I am an avid book reader. I’ve loved reading since I was younger and would actually look forward to my school’s summer reading list. Getting lost in the stories I found myself engulfed in is what inspired me to pick up my own pen and write. A good book helped me escape from reality and my own life to dive into someone else’s story. Have you ever come across a book that had a highlight chapter? A chapter that you had to either dog ear the page (I despise this) or use a bookmark so you can hold your place? That’s where I am right now in this chapter of my life …

I want to bookmark this chapter. I want to “Add to Favorites” this chapter as there’s peace here. I’m sitting in an airport writing this in the Notes app of my iPhone as I’ve realized I just crossed another country off my travel list. The second country for the start of the year with many more to go. When I return home, I’ll be starting a new supervisory position that I randomly applied for, thinking I didn’t have the qualifications when I actually exceeded them. I’m receiving the highest paying salary I’ve ever had in my life and I am still filled with amazement. (Before y’all ask, I still ain’t got it.) I’ve worked two jobs since 2014 when I was in grad school and was doing my best to get by. Almost 8 years later and I must say, I’s tired boss. Feeling that overwhelm and stress made me break and ask God and the ancestors to release me from the shackles of thinking two jobs is security, and I’ll be damned … they answered.

Along with placing a bookmark in this chapter, I’d like to name it as well, “Damn right I like the life I live”. And Biggie said it best as I went from negative to positive and it’s all good! Life isn’t perfect but hell, it sure is good at the moment and I want to cherish this space I’m in. I truly have no complaints whenever I sit back and reflect. I think my only complaint may have been all the shit I let slide in the past because there are quite a few people I want to spin the block on and open hand smack like our good brother, Mr. Will Smith. And before y’all come with your “viOleNce iSn’T aLwAyS tHe aNsWeR” comments, I said what I said.

When it comes to living the life you want to live, you have to make changes. Changes are scary but necessary. You have to move things around, people as well. When trauma is no longer apart of you or your story, you have to take a look at some of the trauma bonds you established and let them go. They are no longer serving you and while some may start kicking and screaming, leave them right where they’re throwing their temper tantrum at. You got things to do baby, and you can’t waste time and energy treading water next to someone who’s insistent on drowning.

On that lovely note, I will come to a close as this was a spur of the moment freehand and is not going in the drafts like many others I’ve started and not finished. Life is beautiful when you aim to make it so. Life is worth it when you focus on your own story. I appreciate you for reading mine and I hope it’s blessed you with some fire under that ass. Now get up and go live! Until next chapter … Shay 💜

Lessons.

Hey y’all. I know, I know … where the hell have I been right? Listen .. ya girl had a moment, relapsed and got her little feelings hurt but I’m back now and ANOTHER lesson has been learned. When I finally came out of my funk, I realized I had neglected the thing I love to do most and that’s write. Hell, I didn’t even know what I wanted or needed to write about until now. 

I celebrated my Freedom Anniversary (as I like to call it) on May 28, 2021 as it had been a year since the day I finally chose myself. Since that day, I have been up and down emotionally but learning consistently. I’ve decided to share a few of those lessons with you.

Lesson #1: Nobody is coming.

Listen y’all as this is one of the toughest lessons I had to learn … 

NOBODY IS COMING. 

Nobody is coming to save you, nobody is coming to help you, nobody is coming to pick you up. Nobody. YOU have to be there for your own self. YOU have to be the one who picks themselves up off the floor after you fall. It’s YOU, baby. YOU have to be your own savior. This was one hell of a lesson for me as someone who has been a savior all her life. I was always the one who was quick to jump whenever someone needed me. It took me being in the darkest chapter of my life to realize that it was up to me to free myself. It was up to me to love myself. It was up to me to heal myself because unlike the fairytales, there is no knight in shining armor.

Learning that nobody was coming to save me helped me learn how to depend on myself and not others. It helped me to rely on myself and have faith within myself. It taught me that I was capable of doing much more than I believed I could. It taught me that I was stronger than I thought. It taught me to focus on my cup, my plate, hell MY table, only because at this moment in life, I’m the only one who I’m worried about having a seat at my table.

Lesson #2: Be Patient.

If anyone knows me, they know one of my biggest flaws is my impatience. Soon as my Freedom Anniversary hit, I was like YES, I’M HEALED! Let’s date. Chileeeeeee .. thee absolute ghetto. Who said the dating pool has pee in it? On everything, they did NOT lie but let me elaborate on this a bit before I sound like I’m bashing men.

After spending an entire year with myself and Ace’s ass (my puppy, for those who do not know), I was ready to venture out and meet new people. Unfortunately, I rushed myself and literally forgot everything I had learned because bayyybeeee, those rose colored glasses were on AGAIN. It was in that moment that I opened myself up, forgetting all boundaries and no sooner than later, God was poppin’ me on the back of my neck with his chancla while saying DIDN’T I TELL YOU through gritted teeth.

That setback woke me TF up. I had to check in with myself and realize I was rushing again. You know how hard it is to want something so bad but you keep getting told you can’t have it yet? Trust me, I know this feeling all too well. This feeling and my impatience led me to a lot of the fuck shit I’ve dealt with in my life. I finally told myself to take my foot off the gas and just coast for a bit. I needed to continue learning myself and what it is that I truly want and don’t want because I do want to be a girlfriend again. I actually want to be a wife one day … I just want to be a happy one.

Lesson #3: Establish boundaries and BE FIRM with them.

Boundaries are something that have been foreign to me my entire life. It was because of my lack of boundaries that I’ve experienced some of the hardest lessons. In my codependent and abandoned mind, I felt boundaries were a bad thing because they kept people away. After being abandoned by my biological father as a child, I held tight to people … no matter how unhealthy their presence was. I feared being left but that was all that had been happening after individuals got what they came to receive.

It was at the tender age of 32 that I realized boundaries weren’t a wall that kept people away. Boundaries were indeed a wall but they were a wall of protection. For so many years, I neglected to protect that bright eyed and innocent four year old. It took exploring my inner child in therapy for me to realize that I’ve been conditioned to this behavior because I’ve never felt safe.  It was at this moment that I realized I had been living in survival mode for so long. What I thought was my personality was actually a full blown defense mechanism. I’m not a “hard” person. I’m not an “angry” person. Sure, I’m quite the asshole at times with my quick wit and sarcasm but in all actuality, I’m sensitive as shit. Like a true Aquarius though, I’d rather die than be that transparent, LOL.

I still struggle with holding tight to my boundaries but lately, they have been doing me justice. I still feel like I’m in survival mode because the only time I feel safe is when I’m in the comforts of my own home with myself. Boundaries are my security blanket as of right now. They’re keeping me and allowing me to be me as I continue to learn me. The best part about this journey has been finding myself and loving myself, being attentive to my needs, and being in control of my emotions. If you say I’ve changed, my response to you would be … about time.

Stranger In My House.

Day in and day out, I wake up to this woman. I fall asleep to this woman. I leave my home and return to her presence. Hell, she tends to even tag along at times. She’s like a fly in my ear at a barbecue, just buggin’ TF out of me. Her walk. Her talk. Her high yellow ass walks around like her shit don’t stink. Head all high with that damn smirk on her face and that one eyebrow raised. Phone rings, she got the nerve to look at the screen and put it back down like she can’t be bothered. The moment she opens her mouth, you’d assume she was a sailor. Cuss words coming from both sides of her mouth without a filter in sight. She has this confidence about her that’s too loud for me and I believe others are starting to feel it too.

Truthfully, she seems like a woman who’s unapologetic in who she is. She knows she’s made mistakes in her life and she’s held herself accountable. From those mistakes, she’s learned. She’s learned who is really there for her and who isn’t. She’s learned how to say “no” without further explanation. She’s learned to set boundaries and stand firm in them. What really trips me out is how she acts like she doesn’t need anybody. I guess you can say she’s learned how to enjoy her own company but if you ask me, I think she’s just gotten to be “too good”. She done removed the wool from her eyes and started seeing people for who they really were … now she’s out here, just cuttin’ everybody off. I mean who does she think she is? We all need somebody, right?

Honestly speaking, she’s who I’ve always wanted to be … who I was scared to be. I used to make myself smaller for others to feel comfortable. I used to belittle others with false confidence to make myself feel comfortable. She exudes love yet leaves plenty for herself. I admire and envy the way she loves herself loudly whereas I’ve looked for love in all the wrong people, just trying to fill that void. What I envy most about her now is her lack of fear. Whatever she thinks or feels, she does. She doesn’t ask for validation. She doesn’t look for reassurance. She just does it. She seems so free and that’s what I’ve always wanted out of life … freedom.

I always kept myself so confined in my comfort zone, never thinking I was able or capable of the things she’s accomplished. I was scared to go through the things she went through to get where she is now. I can only imagine what life came to look like for her once she removed those rose colored glasses. I cringe at the thought … it sometimes even brings tears to my eyes. Yet still, I wanted to be her.

It wasn’t until one evening, I was having one of my crying sessions, locked away in the bathroom though no one else lives with me. The bathroom always served as my safe space. She opened the door without knocking and I saw her hand reach into the darkness where I was. I sniffled and she said, “it’s okay little one. Come on out.” As I crept closer to the light, her face came into view and the stranger was …

Me.

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.

It Couldn’t Be Me …

How many of us have ever heard or seen someone in a situation and have been quick to say, “couldn’t be me?” Let’s be honest because I’ve been one of those people as well. There have been plenty of times where some of my friends or coworkers have vented to me about a situation and I’d say girl, you’re better than me because I couldn’t deal with it. I’ve had this way of thinking until it actually was me …

Read Moore

Apologetic.

im sorry

Every now and then, I like to take time for some self-evaluation. During these moments, I affirm myself, choosing things that I admire and pinpointing when I’ve done something good for myself. Also, I find things that I’m not happy with and do my best to work towards changing them. Instead this time, I’m not conforming myself to fit in where I never was meant to. I’ve tried and failed plenty of times when it comes to being someone more acceptable, more normal, more lovable but there is something I’ve always failed at to which I’ve opened my eyes abruptly:

I’M ALWAYS APOLOGIZING.

Read Moore!