"Some days I'm an incredible mom and a sucky businesswoman. Some days I'm a great businesswoman and a terrible wife. Some days I'm perfect in all roles at home and barely available at work or for friends. I'll never able to evenly divide my attention to my hats. I'll never be perfect, but everyday I'm good at something, and I have to look for that." | Lisa Price
Lately, I've been feeling a lot of the body consciousness that I had when posing for this photo almost two years back. However, my past self did something my current self is grateful for. This photo reminds me that even when I am not fearless, I can be damn brave. I am damn brave, y'all. As affirmed by sister friend Sasha Banks, "If I am afraid, I will do it afraid. Courage is not beyond me."
My leisure time is pretty limited these days, so every second counts. I've very much been honoring my vibe and asking myself "WWJamilaDo?" (note: Jamila is my MOST carefree girlfriend, who makes a point of never involving herself in something she doesn't want to be doing.) Though I'm missing the abundance of down time, I appreciate it requiring me to be intentional about how and with whom I invest my energy. My thoughts haven't been coming to me in ways that I can't properly relay in a succinct post, but before forgetfulness wins and I blink and find myself at Zora's next party, I want to document the little things happening these days that make me feel full.. or make me say, "Damn. I'm really raising a little human."
As I'm gearing up to enter a different classroom this Tuesday - to make room in my heart for another group of students - I couldn't do so without properly acknowledging the blueprint of my experience with you all and how much it means to me. Ya'll gave me purpose at a time when I was only guessing at what I should be doing. Ya'll were a constant confirmation that there is value in pouring into others, without expectation of return. That the return, is inevitably and undeniably, of greater value. And that relationship building is worth the effort, no matter what differences may suggest otherwise.
I am filled to the brim with so many feelings.
But they’re only that: feelings.
They aren’t permanent fixtures or proclamations of my being. I have been feeling them for some time, and now I’ve simply made room for them to exist outside of my mind. Hence, I am releasing all the ones that don't suit me. That don't bespeak an assurance in my ability to do what God has tasked me with doing. That doubt my tribe and their capacity to adjust and provide support. That reveal fear where faith should reside.
Traveling abroad with my husband and daughter is legitimately a family goal manifested. I’ve always wanted to be the mom who wasn’t afraid to get dirty. Who played with their kids in the rain and didn’t have a fit when they ate something that fell on the floor. I wanted to show my child(ren) the world from the comfort of a carrier strapped to my back.. and traveling is not a luxury only afforded to those who are well off. It’s a matter of making a series of decisions with intention. I’m intentional about where I spend my money, and I am willing to spend money on curating an experience.
Never mind that strong, black woman is a redundant term in and of itself. Strong Black Woman (SBW) Syndrome dictates that I should be able to handle it all, on my own. SBW don't need help. They don't need counsel or guidance. They don't need nurturing or affection, because they can court, support, and heal themselves. They've got God to get them through and make ways when there aren't any. That is the gift and the curse of being a SBW.
I didn’t care to change my name. Black America places value on becoming a wife and receiving your husband’s last name, but I only connected with that sentiment in theory. Yes, I wanted to get married. Yes, I wanted a family. Yes, I wanted the implied honor of another man giving me his name. However, the daddy’s girl in me (not to mention the carefree black girl inspired feminist), recognized it as an alternative. Not a mandate.
So, you want to know how Chris and I got over? I'll tell you.
We spit venom, temporarily. We wagged fingers, temporarily. We cried (a lot), temporarily. We called it quits, temporarily. We sought vengeance, temporarily.
Then we recalled the permanence of what we agreed to (before ever making it down the aisle), and we stood in our choices.
Chris and I aren’t walking into “marital bliss” unscathed. We have not always been faithful to each other. We’ve hurt each other deeply. We’ve made poor choices, regretted them, and still found ourselves demonstrating the same behaviors. We didn’t get it right the first, second, or third time. That’s not the way our story unfolded. When opportunities to start over and come clean presented themselves, we often dug deeper ditches. We had to have our trump cards pulled. Things had to blow up in our face and come full circle before healing made its way to the table.
I was scared and feeling a mild sense of panic. I had been wanting a boy, because I love the doting, mother and son dynamic. Though I had yet to acknowledge it, I also wanted a boy because ignorance really is blissful.
I don’t know much about being a man. Though not at all true, I rationalized that my unfamiliarity would equate to less things to worry about.
"Chris and I's relationship timeline is anything but conventional. Hence, the honeymoon phase probably began and ended long before we were actually newlyweds. No less, we spent the last week wandering through Thailand with little to no cares. At present, it was 4AM, and our reality was a stark contrast to the one we had been living abroad."
"The effort it requires. Every woman you see nursing didn't happily waltz into an easy rhythm w/ her feeding baby. Zora latched well from the beginning. That doesn't negate the 3 painful weeks it took for my breasts to adjust or the horror stories I heard prior to that created self doubt. Never mind engorgement, blocked ducts, pumping, timing alcohol consumption, & going back to work."