Ordinary People/Acceptance

So I’m sitting at work, attempting to be productive and John Legend’s “Ordinary People” came on. Now, this is the LAST song I need to be listening to right now. Relationships and me are like oil and water, WE DON”T MIX. I felt myself starting to get into a funk, when I really started listening to the words of the song.

 “We’re just ordinary people, we don’t know which way to go, cuz we’re ordinary people,
maybe we should take it slow.” –John Legend, “Ordinary People”

How many times have you gotten mad at a person because they are not doing something you feel they should be doing? Or how about a situation is not working in your favor, you get pissed? **Raising hand**. Yes, yes, I am guilty of this. All of us are. We just can’t take a person where they are at that present moment or deal with a situation in the present moment. We want to change, fix or alter the situation so that it’s in our favor, so that we’re satisfied. Listening to this song made me think about: ACCEPTANCE.

ACCEPTANCE: an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound.  (Merriam Webster definition).

I have a hard time accepting things at times for what it is. Why is my hair growing so slow? Why can’t I lose this last 5 pounds? Why? Why? Why? We get mad at little children for the many “why” questions they ask, but as adults we act as if it’s okay for us to do. I know I would be mad if someone said to me, “Because it does” or “God made it like that” or trying to come up with a ridiculous answer that makes no sense (My famous responses to my son’s questions).

Acceptance is difficult for people because some see it as giving up a sense of power or control over another or a situation. Rather than seeing it in a negative light, we should embrace it. Accepting a person allows you to get to know them, understand them, grow with them, and learn about yourself. We spend so much time trying to fight the inevitable, but we don’t look at all the pain that is being caused by the fighting. I always tell people I accept them for who they are, but I have to question if this is really true. I may get upset by something I perceive them to do and they are looking at me with the crazy look. You said you accept me and my situation, but now you’re getting upset. So I have to ask myself, do I really?

One of my goals I hope to get out of this writing journey is learning to accept me for me. I am making a personal pact with myself that I will love Tamera and all the positive and negative attributes about me. Those things that are within my power to change, I am going to try to change. Those that I can’t change, well, I am going to have to accept them and figure out a way to deal with them.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”—author unknown.

Simplicity

I wish I could go back to the days of having no responsibilities. All I had to do was go to school, get good grades, and complete my chores. I took it upon myself at age 12 to get a job (paper route) simply because I wanted my own money. Getting those $30-40 checks made me feel so good.

How about passing a letter to someone you liked and asking them to be your boy/girlfriend and telling them  to check yes or no. Every now and then, you had the one that had to be difficult and write maybe with some sort of condition. I remember telling this boy in the 5th grade that I would be his girlfriend if he brought me a honey bun and quarter water to school every day. Hee hee, I know, that was wrong :-)

Things were so simple when we were younger. The smallest things made us happy. When I look at my son playing, he has no idea what I go through daily to ensure his safety and to care for him. Life to him is toys, playing with his friends, watching cartoons and occasional trips to Chuck E Cheese. I can take him to Dollar Tree and let him pick out something and that one little thing means the world to him. The simple things.

As adults, we tend to forget about the simple things. We’re so focused on planning, what’s not occurring, what someone is not doing, etc that we don’t take out time to enjoy those little things that can make us smile. Remember how you felt when you received a  text from that special someone saying ‘Thinking of You’ or a random flower from your significant other or a compliment from a coworker on a job well done or just taking a walk and enjoy the sun, breeze and hearing the birds chirp. We get so caught up in life’s mishaps that we don’t take time to see or appreciate these small tokens of affection or the beauty of nature.

I’m a worry rat and a ball of nerves the majority of the time. I’m always in the planning and “what if” state of mind, that I forget to think or look at what good is happening around me. Small tokens of affection have gone unnoticed due to my own insecurities. I overlook the simple things because something grandiose or outlandish wasn’t done. I question other’s motives and think too much into their actions, rather than just appreciate what they did.

Instead of making everything into a complex situation, take it for what it is. Sometimes, the simple things are the easiest to fix, less stressful and will make you the happiest it.

“It’s the little things, And the joy they bring.” —“Little Things” by India Arie

The Cookie

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Not Jason, Mike, Adam, Aaron, damn then who was it?

I was having a discussion with 2 women from work (Hey Old Wisdom!) about sex and female and male responses.  Both of them are always telling me to stop giving the cookie away and make men work for it. I’ve heard this plenty of times before. My great-grandmother, Nan (God rest her soul) called me one time in college and told me to make a man work for it, they’ll appreciate it more. Male friends joke about how easy women give it up and how they walk away like it’s nothing to it.

Why don’t we appreciate our cookie? Why do we allow men to come in and steal from the jar and then get mad when they give it back half eaten? Why don’t we let them wait and earn the right to have the cookie? Why don’t value our cookie?

Now, let’s be real, I love sex and if I had my way, I would have sex every day and with whomever I wanted. But I also know that there are times when I form an emotional attachment to the man that is getting my cookie. There I said it!! I get attached when I give the cookie away. Now, let’s get something straight, I don’t get attached to everyone. The ones that I do, there was always a budding interest there and once I gave a piece of myself away, the interest got deeper. And now that he has had the cookie, I’m like, so where do we go from here? The majority of the time, they are off to the next cookie jar and more than likely, their hands were already in there.

As a young African American woman, I notice that there is a lack of respect amongst our culture for our body. The media glorifies sex through music, videos, advertisements, etc. How many people have been on Facebook and seen groups dedicated to women with the biggest butts? Sad, I know. This is what we have allowed our culture to see us as….sex objects. We are nothing, but a body. A male friend of mines told me the first thing he notices on a woman is her butt and body, and then he looks at her face. Uh, what about her personality? Can she talk? Nah, that doesn’t matter. How do we teach our daughters that they don’t have to have sex with a boy in order for him to like you when they watch movies and hear songs where they fall in love after they’ve been sexual? How do we teach our sons that they can’t go around having sex with “every girl in the world”?

We have to accept that we are more than just a body and sex. We have WAY more to give. We need to start valuing ourselves more.  Make men wait to get the cookie. Let his true colors show. Trust me; your cookie is not going to get burned up by waiting. Steal your cookie back and let others know it’s yours .

A Moment of Honesty

I try to ask myself when things changed in my life. Was it graduating from college, moving away from home, graduating from grad school, or the birth of my son.  Somewhere through all this, I lost me. The vibrant, outgoing, social, carefree person I always was. The sun was shining in my life and slowly the light started to flicker, dim and eventually went out. You would think with all the changes that occurred I would be happy. I earned my degrees, I had my own apt and car and now I’m a mother. But for some reason, this did not happen.

I have to be honest with myself, I’m not happy about being a mother. It’s so difficult to write that, but it’s the truth. I never wanted children until I was marriage (and even that was questionable). I allowed myself to be a statistic. Another single black mother. My family beat me up about my decision to have my son. I was everything from stupid to irresponsible. WTF!! I’m doing something with my life and I’m all these horrible things for deciding to have my child. And let’s not talk about the verbal beat down my son’s father gave me. Your just doing this because you want me back, you know I don’t want children, I don’ even like you why you going to have a baby. I spent many days and nights crying because I had no one in my corner. I went to the abortion clinic 3 times to just end the agony and pain my pregnancy was causing me. I was emotional drained. Every time I went, I would see women who looked sad and in pain due to the decision they were making or made. I remember being in the room and talking to the nurse and them telling me the procedure. I remember asking a million questions about the process. Every time, I broke down and started crying, because I knew I couldn’t go through with it. After the third time, I knew what my heart wanted me to do. I had him, my baby boy. I can’t say it was a joyous event. My family was there, but the comments were still there. And my son’s father, well, that’s another story in itself.

It’s so hard to acknowledge this. I’m unhappy about decisions I chose to make with my life. What if I chose not to have my son? Would I be happy? Would I still smile and mean it? Would I still laugh and enjoy life? How do I find the person I use to be while being something I never wanted to be?

Dragonflies and Turning 30

I’ve never been a “great” writer. If you ask me, I tend to talk too long and have a hard time just getting to the point. There are times when I want to write what’s on my mind, just to relax and release. So I decided to start, this being my first attempt at my thoughts.

For the past 3 weeks, every time I am at a red light, a huge dragonfly is in front of car. It generally only flies there when the light is red and when it turns green, it flies away. Yesterday, I was having a conversation with my best friend and she noted that there is symbolic meaning to dragonflies. Jokingly, she stated it was my great-grandmother, Nan, trying to get my attention. I brushed it off and was like, “Whatever.”  Three more times yesterday, was there a dragonfly in front of me. I decided this morning to look up the symbolic meaning of dragonflies and this is what I found (courtesy of The Dragonfly Site):

  • Maturity and depth of character- “almost every part of the world (dragonflies) symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.
  • Power and Poise- “The dragonfly’s agile flight and its ability to move in all six directions exude a sense of power and poise – something that comes only with age and maturity.”
  • Defeat of self-created illusions- “Iridescence is the property of an object to show itself in different colors depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it. This property is seen and believed as the end of one’s self created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life.”
  • Focus on living “IN” the moment- “By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis. This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.”
  • The opening of one’s eyes- “it symbolizes the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. It also in a manner of speaking symbolizes a man/woman’s rising from materialism to be able to see beyond the mundane into the vastness that is really our Universe, and our own minds.”

Ok, I know this is a lot to take in and I had to read it several times to think how this applies to me. Plus, you have to know a little about the life cycle of dragonflies to even understand these symbolisms.

Over the past few months, I’ve really had a hard time. I’ll admit, my self-esteem is nonexistent and there are days when I want to just give up. It seems things never work in my favor and I am generally on the losing end of the stick. I’ve several people in my ear telling me all things wonderful things about me, that I just don’t see. I’ve prayed to God and asked for him to talk to me, help build me up, to lead me, and to help take this pain away. Maybe God is sending the dragonfly to me to help me these things. As I approach my third decade (that sounds so official lol), it’s time to make changes and be the woman that I know I can be. Self-esteem is built when you are in a healthy mental and emotional state. Sure, we see people that act confident and think they are “the shit”, but when they go home, they break down because they are trying to put on a façade and they are really unhappy. I don’t want this to be me. I want people to see me and know that I love Tamera and it’s not ever going to change. I admit, I have self-created illusions. Ever since I was little, I knew that when I reached 30, I was going to be married, living in a nice house when 2 children ( a boy and girl). Um, yeah right. We create illusions or fantasies to give us something to look forward to, but we never consider what is going to happen when these illusions or fantasies don’t come true.  We’re crushed. We think our life has no meaning because our fantasies didn’t come true. We overlook all the other successes we may have had in our lives because this one thing did not happen. It’s time to change that and accept life for what it is. Yes, I’m not married, no I don’t have any prospects, but I have a great job, family and friends who love and the best son.  This also connects to living “IN” the moment. Hey, sometimes we have to follow the motto, “It is what it is.” I’m guilty of stressing over things I have no control over. I stress over things that may be 3 months in the future. It’s life. Things happen. As a good friend said, “Change occurs every day.” Just because you can’t pay the bill right now, doesn’t mean in a month you won’t be able to pay it. We got to learn to just roll with the punches.  So, this is just the beginning of a new journey for me. It’s time to stop feeling bad for myself and accept and love me for who I am.

Hello world!

Thanks for taking the time out to read my blog. I’ve been struggling with depression for some time now. When I look in the mirror at myself, there are some days when I hate what I see. I knew it was time to make some changes, but I didn’t know how. ONe day, I decided to write. I wrote about the first thing on my mind and that was the birth of my son and how I felt during my pregnancy. I shared it with a friend and she noted how honest it was and how hard it was to acknowledge all those feelings. She stated there are probably other women who felt the same way as me, but didn’t want to expose those feelings.

The more I started to write, I noticed how much better I started to feel. I’m using this blog as 1) a source of therapuetic relief for myself and 2) to share my experiences and hopefully help others.

Again, thanks for taking the time out to read my thoughts. I am on the path to a new found self-discovery, learning to love myself and accept me for who I am. Pleave leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Mera—– :-)