Tag: growth

Love

Recently, I was told a magnanimous love story without a storybook ending.

The two in love did not end up together or reunite later in life.

The love the shared was interrupted by life and personal decisions.

The love story never grew beyond the beginning stages of love. There’s no way to know if the love was lasting.

From that love story I learned that love is not enough.

One must make concerted efforts to let love grow.

It was a beautiful love story, although I’d heard it before.

To survive the often harsh realities of life the beauty of the love, needed so much more.

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…seriouslyūüėę! 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!

Finding My Way…

I am unsure about any of you but I remember a time when I could tell you exactly what I wanted to do with my life as far as an occupation is concerned. I enjoyed career days in elementary school; at my small, Midwest, rural United States school from the time we were in preschool until we were in 6th grade we would dress up in costumes representing the careers we aspired to. So from the time I was at least 4 years old until I was approximately 12 years, I participated in career days!

I was always ready for those days, during some of the earlier career days, I, like many other youngsters simply wanted to be whatever the latest craze was on the biggest cartoons….but I often ended up being whatever costume my parents found at the local department store! I did not care because we were having a party for career day for most of those earlier days. It also never occurred to me that career day in preschool through third grade often occurred during Halloween!

I was a child and I did not realize my first few “career days” were simply¬†excuses¬†for Halloween parties! Plus I did not know that my small, lovable town had a few religious groups who were absolutely opposed to the celebration of Halloween, but not career day!

But once we made it to 4th grade, career days became real! I recall distinctly that this was a time when those of us who were labeled high achieving were separated from our peers and told about the importance of careers.

For all three years I wanted to be an Attorney.

Not just any attorney, I wanted to specialize in child advocacy and juvenile rights. I did not know if such a thing existed but I knew that this was my career choice!

To convey the message to everyone that I wanted to be an attorney, I would wear a suit! Without fail, every year during those three years, I wore a “power suit” that was usually some shade of gray.

I felt that gray was the color that any¬†good attorney¬†would wear! I am certain that I got that idea from Andy Griffith’s Matlock!¬†My young mind felt that Matlock always wore a gray suit, and he was the closest I’d ever been to an attorney.

My desire to be an attorney felt like a dream conceived in my wild imagination that was impossible because of my humble beginnings!

Let me explain, I am Black from a small town in the United States of America and at that time, the majority of my extended family thought of college as something that wealthy people did. This is not a bad thing, it simply highlights the issues with access to higher education…so when I suggest that become an attorney felt like a wild dream, I am serious.

Well once I finished high school, I no longer wanted to be an attorney; however, I continued to tell people who I was interested in attending law school. I did not know how to tell individuals that I was not interested in a legal career anymore (side-note: my perception of what was meant by a legal career was drastically limited at the time so it probably would have worked if I knew more) so even once I graduated from my undergraduate institution – I continued to tell people that I wanted to become a child advocate attorney.

It sounded much better than – I want to help underrepresented groups attend and graduate from post-secondary institutions! Yes, telling someone who I wanted to be a child advocate attorney sounded much better….because I had an actual name for that position and it was readily familiar to most people.

I am still actively looking for a job in the real world, but when I think back to the young me who was always ready for career day – I am thankful for the opportunity to even begin thinking about a career. I may no longer want to be an attorney, but I am still in the market to becoming an advocate – young me would be proud!

I am presently finding my way to my future through an exploration of my past. Keep watching!

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