Tag: adulthood

Reveille

Listen to your body. That’s advice I give often to my friends and family.

Somehow I don’t believe it applies to me!

Ok, pause! I’m not suggesting that I’m immortal and I have no reason to listen to my body

However I am suggesting that my actions often suggest that I do not have to listen to my body.

Here’s the craziest part about this dismissive attitude I possess when it comes to listening to my body…wait for it…the same body that I refuse to listen to is filled with chronic, autoimmune illnesses.

To me it’s laughable that I actively don’t pay attention to the glaring signals my body gives.

It’s laughable because individuals like me whose bodies possess chronic, autoimmune illnesses are often and always told to listen to their bodies.

My stubbornness decides to ignore my body. Part of this is because living with chronic illnesses some which cause chronic pain individuals learn to ignore their bodies. We honestly cannot react to every single signal our bodies send out

But we have to find a balance to know when to pay attention to the signals our bodies give

And this is where my resistance is strongest.

It’s nothing for me to make an appointment 10 weeks after experiencing abnormal swelling that gets worst during that time. Health professionals often look at me in amusement and disgust when I tell them how long symptoms X started.

Maybe it’s a signal from my body but I’ve forgotten what I planned to place here so I’ll just end it!

Imposter syndrome

Many articles are available about individuals experiencing the imposter syndrome.

The imposter syndrome is basically the idea that an individual feels he is unqualified regardless of the credentials he holds,

That’s the dirty version of it…trust me there’s more to it. For instance, certain individuals with certain group memberships are more likely to experience the imposter syndrome.

Right now I’m in a waiting season…seriously😫! One phase of my life has ended; yet the next phase has not started. So I wait.tick, tock, tick, tock…time continues to pass.

The more I wait, the more I have to confront my inner feelings about everything.

Let’s just say, on paper I’m qualified to do many things…but I struggle to feel that I’m qualified to do anything.

I’ve dealt with the imposter syndrome before, many times. However, never to this extent.

I have no answers but I acknowledge that I feel like I don’t belong in spaces that I’ve worked hard to gain the access papers to join.

I’ll grow personally and professionally during this time.

One day I’ll realize that I’m not an imposter. I indeed belong.

Until then, I acknowledge that I struggle with the imposter syndrome.

Romantic relationship role models

Ok that’s a mouthful but coming of age I did not have couples that I could model my future romantic relationships after. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that everyone around me were in bad or toxic romantic relationships; but, I am suggesting that I didn’t see enough of any romantic relationship that would eventually serve as a model.

This is partially because I was raised under the ideology that “children should stay in their place” which led to me never really knowing anything that was happening in the adult world.

For much of my youth, outside of weddings or other special occasions I didn’t observe adult couples being affectionate. Occasionally, I eavesdropped enough to hear the adults discuss finances or household responsibilities that were often gendered based.

Until I was an adult, I don’t recall my parents ever having date night and I definitely never heard about how any of the adult couples came to be a couple!

I can’t tell you how my parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles met their romantic partners. It’s funny. I watch a lot of cheesy romance movies on a popular television network that’s known for the cheesy!

I am glad that the adult couples I observed when I was coming of age didn’t try to present the cheesy television network’s version of romantic relationships; however, I do wish I would’ve received a more full picture of romantic relationships.

Fortunately, I know that even if I observed a detailed version of romantic relationships when I was growing up; I would still have many of the same issues. Quite frankly, every relationship is different and the individuals in the relationship are unique; therefore, no roadmap or model would ease my issues with relationships.

I do believe that the privilege of observing real life romantic relationships can help or hurt your development as far as your receptiveness to love is concerned…but I know that relationships take work regardless of your starting position!

Some people have a healthier idea of relationships than others. Others have fanciful ideas of relationships and then there’s people like me who are simply going with the flow because we really don’t know!!!

It’s ok to not know what you’re doing in your romantic relationship – no one really does or else there wouldn’t be so much “help” available for our consumption!

If this love is real, my relationship looks like…

Many of us are led to believe that there’s someone out there for us; waiting to embark on an adventurous romantic relationship with us.

There are so many popularly held beliefs about love that it’s easy to become confused by it all.

We are taught that it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved; that love will find away; that if someone loves you they will do [fill in the blank].

Sigh.

No one really likes to discuss the hard part about relationship or even how every relationship has a different course.

I recall when the popular craze about how to know if a guy is into you was all the rage. I remember trying to pinpoint things that expressly signified that Mr. was into me.

I often came up short, or at least with a mixed message.

Needless to say…I became confused!

The researcher in me now knows the fallacies in the popular arguments about how to tell if someone is into you or not…but at that time I just knew that these articles, books, movies would provide the answers that I oh so desperately needed.

I’ve loved before, it wasn’t all sunshine and smiles. For a fact, it was downright difficult to love – for me!

Be easy, I’ll explain! Loving someone romantically often led to me thinking of that person and considering their opinion.

Yeah! That was no fun and far from any vision I had of myself.

The love was reciprocal; although, even that was difficult – for me!

I didn’t know how to let myself be loved. I mean, this person had no obligation to care for my wellbeing so I often wondered why? I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what’s the catch?

I’m not suggesting that I am by anyway unworthy of love; however, along with those messages I subconsciously picked up about love – I also learned that no one just does something without wanting something else.

I’m sure you’ve been privy to those messages also. They are also in our television, movies, books, and conversations.

I didn’t know at the time why I continually questioned the validity and reliability of the love being given to me. I understand more now.

Thankfully, I decided to get to know myself more without the pressure of improving my relationship or my ability to accept love.

I simply desired to be a better version of me. This is why I am acutely aware of the messaging we receive in so many facets of life.

At the moment, I love someone romantically, and I’ve loved this person for quite sometime. I am careful about what messaging I allow to enter into my relationship.

Some times I find myself searching the web for someone’s opinion on relationships or specific questions pertaining to the relationship.

Without fail, I leave that search I thinking oh this individual might love me or he might not.

I also leave those searches thinking that I might have low self esteem and need a swift intervention or I might be a strong independent woman who knows what she wants out of a relationship.

After I stop stressing over my internet search (yes, as intelligent as I am – an internet search knocks me off of my sanity rocket) I remember that although the information presented by all of these great minds is good in its own niche – none of the authors are able to generalize my relationship because everyone is unique.

Don’t get it twisted…I do appreciate advice but I refuse to be consumed by the advice.

I am unique, with an interesting set of characteristics & the Individual I love is unique also.

It’s important that I don’t cheapen our relationship with the confusion that is the opinion of others.

Where’s my fairy godmother with her wand of happily ever after? Romantic relationships would be so much easier that way!

Life’s Journey

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by your personal struggles, whatever they may be. Well, I’ll say that it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed by whatever is or is not happening in my life at any particular moment.

I’m one of those people who actively evaluates their life and their worldview. I do this all the time, sometimes to a point of annoyance. I’ve accepted that it’s a part of my quirky personality, but still I strive for balance.

I don’t just evaluate my life and my worldview; I address my issues and my concerns openly and honestly.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that every issue I have I broadcast it for an audience in order to address it; however, I’m saying that I’m open with myself about my issues and sometimes this means admitting that I’m not ready to address it, yet.

I don’t pretend that the issue is fails to exist; however, I acknowledge that I lack the necessary tools and resources I need to properly address the issue at that time.

Some of my friends prescribe to the notion that someone is worst off than they are, therefore they should refuse to complain another their predicament. Umm…that doesn’t work well for me!

I’m cognizant of the fact that many of my “issues” are rudimentary compared to someone else’s, but what gives?

Seriously, who is the last person who has the absolute worst lot in life and can not find anyone in worst shape?

Plus, what’s wrong with admitting that my problems/issues are a big deal to me? Regardless of how petty they may appear on the grand scale of problems faced by people!

I work hard not to allow my problems to encapsulate me and deplete me of the very resources I need to address them properly. Yet, I refuse to deny the impact that my problems/issues have on my life simply because they are not what books are made of!

My parents made me attend a Protestant Christian church while rearing me in their home. This was one of the value system that my parents felt was important to instill into me so myself and my siblings had to attend church until we finished high school. Once we finished high school we could move out of my parent’s home and decide whether we wanted to continue attending church.

I bring this up, not just to paint a picture about who I am but also to explain another point…

as mentioned I think the belief that one should not complain about their lot in life because someone else’s is worst, is flawed.

I recall as a child, using this same type of logic I thought I needed to have some “major life crises” in order to truly be “redeemed”…the argument never quite made sense but my young mind assumed that in order to truly shine I had to “go through” some heavy stuff!

It was obvious to me that a testimony about making good grades on my report card paled in comparison to a testimony about overcoming drug addiction! You see this is why it’s flawed logic to compare your plight to anyone else’s

We all have our personal crises that impact our very being. Sometimes these crises overwhelm us and yes sometimes I know that I personally can be very dramatic when dealing with a crises…however, even with that it’s important that we don’t undermine the impact of our personal crises. It’s also important that we don’t depreciate our crises by comparing them to other’s crises.

Everyone’s journey is unique.

Remembering Me

While refining my job search I’ve thought a lot about myself as a child. Particularly, I’ve thought about the things that defined my personality as an adolescent.

One thing all of my family and most of my friends would agree on is that I was the very definition of weird.

I was always that odd child who embraced my oddness, which made me weird according to many.

Rewind – I was born premature and spent a lot of time in the NICU, this impacted my early life. Furthermore, I suffered many illnesses as a child which endeared me to many.

I point this out because it explains why all of my cousins and my sister had to go outside to play but I had a choice. It explains why I spent so much time with adults and often out of school during my entire elementary and secondary school years.

My beginning impacted the advantages and disadvantages of my life as a youth. I wasn’t exactly a spoiled child; however, I was possibly a bit sheltered. Specifically, due to the health related challenges I faced during my youth, my family made exceptions for me often.

I spent a lot of time with adults because I was unwell and receiving medical treatments. I also had a lot of doctor’s appointments that interrupted my childhood.

My cousin who is only a few months older than me taught me how to read and ignited my love of reading. We would enter the annual reading challenges hosted by our local library and attend storytelling sessions. Our parents and grandparents enjoyed this particular hobby of ours.

Not only was reading one of the least expensive hobbies at the time; my family was certain that our love of reading would translate into us pursuing and obtaining higher education and eventually careers that would spare us from many of the financial challenges they faced.

I loved reading everything…but I only stayed in the library for hours because my cousin (at the time she was the closest thing to a hero that I had) enjoyed the dusty place!

Really, she loved reading books in the library and then checking out other books to take home. I preferred to go to the library, choose books, return home, read books, and return them the following day.

She was my hero-peer mentor so I stayed at the library many times pretending to read the book I would check out to read in the comfort of my room.

This doesn’t sound weird to many of you I’m sure, but loving to read alone was not exactly cool!

Let’s talk about how I read. I mentioned reading in the comfort of my room, well there’s more to it than that. I sat in the corner – same corner every time – to read. I also put headphones (initially ear muffs) to block out the outside world while I read.

I still like to wear headphones when I read. Partially because people think I can’t hear them and I saw it on tv as a child and thought it was cool!

I didn’t like the outdoors so reading in the park – also something I saw on tv – was not remotely cool to me.

Another consistent theme in my youth is that I always spoke out for people especially when I felt that they were not being heard.

I spoke out for my family members regardless of their age in comparison to my own. I spoke out for my peers when I thought the teachers or even their parents ignored them.

I wrote letters to agencies when my snack cake wasn’t good lol! I’ll have to tell this one particular story later.

To be continued…remembering me

Stress induced flare

Ok so here’s the deal, in less than 10 days my dissertation defense will happen and my angst is high

I’m not nervous about what I know as it pertains to my dissertation; but I’m concerned about the what’s next questions that are flooding my mind

This is bad because the illnesses that reside in my body react badly to stress…really bad.

My thoughts are jumbled; I’m frustrated and I’m ready to scream

I must find a way to calm my mind and balance myself.

I must relax or else I won’t make it through my dissertation defense because I’ll be nursing a flare.

Why are my illnesses stress- sensitive ?