Let us all press on- Lessons I have learned on the journey to becoming me.
I can still smell the stale fabric samples and see the stained yellow curtains in my home -economic class. I can still hear the teacher’s drill sergeant tone as she held up a copy of a “ladies” magazine and instructed us on how to keep our home and husbands happy. I began to memorize how to lift stains from carpets, to cook a perfect roast and to perfect a hem.
I recall sitting in various houses of worship and being told that my calling in life was to be a servant to men. My heart still beats extra fast when I think of the lessons I was taught and even more the shame that I carried throughout my life. From an early age,I was groomed by society, my education system and religion to believe that my purpose was to become a base in someone else’s foundation.
Twenty-Seven years later , I am finally starting to realize that I am so much more than that. I have learned that I am a complex human being that has dreams that are worthy and sacred. In the last year, I have learned that each of us is on a journey to become the greatest version of ourselves. The greatest version of ourselves is not perfect,without emotion ,devoid of anger or avoids confrontation. The greatest version of ourselves is one that includes authenticity, self-advocacy, allyship and self-love.
The process to obtain this kind of life has not been easy for me. I wake-up every morning and go to bed every night with self-doubt, insecurities and at times wishing to have someone else’s life. I do not claim to have the answers ,the questions or the response for what we should be doing to become the greatest version of ourselves. I can only speak from my truth through the lessons I have learned in the journey to becoming me.
- There is NO wrong way to turn – I have learned that my life is not a map or gps system. I cannot simply follow a certain set of directions and be guaranteed the outcome. No matter what direction I go in, I will be the recipient of learning and developing myself. No matter what experiences I am having ,I can choose where I will go and how I will get there. In other words, I have to realize that there is NO wrong way to turn.
- Turning my yearning into earning – I have spent so much time throughout my life yearning for what I did not have . I did not realize that I had the power turn my yearning into earning. I understand now that it is ok to want things in the future and to even set goals. What is more important for me is to focus on turning my yearning into earning. I want to have a family and partner. Right now ,I do not have either and so I am working on myself so that I will be a recipient for those things in the future. I have learned that you cannot pour water in a broken glass. Likewise, I cannot expect a direct deposit from others if I am not willing to first open a personal account. I no longer live waiting for what I don’t have ,rather I live with what I do have and enjoy the journey.
- Just because someone is related to you doesn’t mean they are family-
Many years ago, a therapist on a talk-show said something that shook me to core. She said “Just because someone is related to you doesn’t mean they are family”. I have many ,many relatives but a small circle of those in my family. My family includes those connected to me by love and acceptance. If I truly love,accept and honor myself I can only be around those who do the same to me. Just because someone is related to me doesn’t mean they have the right not love,accept or honor me. One of the hardest things I have to do is to let go with love. Once a relationship is toxic ,the toxicity spreads into the other parts of myself and I can no longer live the best version of my life . It is not failure to let go with love, but rather healing separation.
- I was always ok all along – I have spent much of my teen-age years and my adult life wondering what I did wrong to be treated so poorly. I wanted so badly to find the solution to this mystery that it completely consumed me. The solution I found was to build my life like the blueprints of those around me. On the outside ,my structure and frame matched the measurements I was provided. On the inside, everything in my soul was broken, empty and gutted out. A few months ago, I began to create my own blueprint and burned the other plans I had failed to copy. As I rebuild myself, I now know I had the power all along to create a beautiful masterpiece. I was always ok all along but I got blindsided by the cruel injustices that plagued me. Today, I no longer let the judgement of others sentence me to death.
- It’s ok to put it down,walk away and let it go- I am a survivor. I am surviving trauma from religion,racism,abuse and homophobia and more. I carry so many weights on my shoulders that at times I find myself stumbling through life. I find myself in despair and in clouds self-doubt. These weights keep me in a constant cycle of entanglement and pain that nevers goes away. I cannot free myself. I cannot do it alone. Therapy has taught me the skills to put it down ,walk away and let it go. It does not mean that I should forget what has happened or that it was justified. It means that I can find healthy ways to cope with my emotions and heal from the inside out. It is a life -long process that brings peace to my life and has restored my sense of being.
- Stop living a photoshop life– I no longer keep with the Joneses. I no longer try to present the world a photoshopped version of myself. I no longer feel guilty when dishes stay in the sink too long, if I don’t meal prep and order pizza or I take time for self-care . Tomorrow is promised to no one and I intend to live my life regardless of others approval. I no longer want to live in deceit ,I will live only in my truth.
Becoming the greatest version of myself is not easy, is not instantly gratifying and not without sacrifice. These self-realizations are but a few steps in the vast journey that is my life. I cannot wait to add to my blueprint and to create a new foundation of freedom. I am on the journey to becoming me.