Tag: adulthood

Let’s talk about today…

I’m in the land of the living; however, most of my residence today is in the I Am Chronically Unwell camp! That’s no problem!

Well it’s a bit of a problem…let me explain.

I’m what most people would consider invisibly unwell. Meaning that there’s not many external markers that give away my membership in the club of chronically unwell and/or sick individuals.

There’s millions of individuals who have invisible illnesses so that’s not the problem.

The problem is that at times my acting skills are so good that even I forget that chronic ailments take up residence in my body. Yes, acting skills! Day in and day out I purposely put on my best face and I muster up all the strength I can to downplay my membership to the chronically unwell club.

Through the years I’ve worked hard to not allow my ailments to define me. We’re not going to get into how psychological, physical, and emotional damaging this mindset can be when it has limited impact on the true state of illness.

I won’t say that this acting is a bad thing, neither will I declare it a good thing…I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. I’ll just say the acting is what I do on a daily basis. Acting as if I am free of any ailments despite the fact that my body is riddled with ailments became my way of life decades ago. So much so that presently acting well is simply a habit now.

Sigh. So when I have days like today when my illnesses outweigh my acting skills and I must pause…I struggle.

I struggle because I’ve spent so much time pretending to be well that I forget how to tend to my illnesses.

I struggle because no one is used to me saying no or being unable to participate in whatever activity they want me to.

I struggle because on those days (today) I’m forced to look at myself and see the illnesses that I fight so hard to ignore.

I struggle because the illnesses impact my entire being.

You’d think I’d only experienced days like today once every three years, the way it seems to knock me down. You would think that there’s no warning signals and that I’m always caught by surprise based on my reaction to days like today.

None of that is true.

I frequently experienced days like today. There’s generally always warning signs and I even take steps to prepare for the life interruptions. Yet, I’ll never get used to the toll days like today take on me.

Days like today will be familiar, yet foreign.

Yesterday

The first thing that comes to mind when I consider the word yesterday, is Boyz II Men’s cover of The Beatles’ song Yesterday.

One of the most vivid memories I have of that song was at one of my relative’s celebration of life or what’s more commonly known as a funeral. The song was covered by someone at the service, I recall thinking that the song the individual sung could not be the Boyz II Men song that I use to pretend I hate a fight with my fictive husband!!!

Pause — I won’t reveal how young I was at the time but let’s just say that I was not even dating, let alone married!!!

Oh and I loved to pretend to fight with my fictive significant other because that meant I could be single again. Lol! Even then I was eager to not be attached to anyone or anything that would potentially hinder me receiving an education.

Hey! I didn’t realize that I could be in a relationship or even married and still get my education. Those things felt like they did not belong together.

Anyways, back to yesterday…this post is not about the song or the beautiful rendition of it at my relative’s service…no! It’s really about yesterday.

Here’s another thing – yesterday is not referring to any particular timeframe other than before the time of writing this. You know some people want you to be specific! Like I’m writing this post about an event that occurred at 1400 hours June 5 2010!!! Lol

I may be a bit goofy…stay with me I’ll make a point and if I don’t you’ll at least enjoy my silliness.

Yesterday, I thought I had everything figured out. I knew what I wanted in life; but most importantly I knew who I was.

Like the song says, “it’s hard to say goodbye to yesterday” but I have to say so long, farewell to you my friend, goodbye for now, until we meet again — Yes I just referenced Out of the Box from Playhouse Disney.

I had to say goodbye to yesterday’s image I’d created of myself and all the things I thought I had figured out because today I realized I’m still learning.

I’m changing everyday I’m becoming who I am…that sounds weird but I believe that I will never arrive as long as there’s breath in my body. I don’t mean that in a bad sense but just that I am unaware of what the future holds and how events will shape me so although yesterday I had it all figured out…there’s a great chance that that configuration doesn’t work for today.

I am always becoming who I am. Yesterday I thought I understood who I was going to be today…but today I realized that I’m still learning.

I’m Walking Away

Walking away from everything and everyone sounds so effortless and effective…it may be. I’ll never know.

So much of my identity is tied into things and people that walking away from all of it seems like an awful lot of work. I’m not interested in recreating me.

I refuse to walk away from everything and everyone

However I am placing everyone and everything in an appropriate position in my life.

I’ve noticed that I’ve given too much to some and too little to others. I’ve used some things too much and other things not enough so balance is what I strive for.

Balance in my relationships with people and relations with things.

At times it feels like walking away from everything and everyone is exactly what I should to remedy my situation. But rarely is the seemingly easy, easy.

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!