Although I should know better by now, I cannot help but to feel as if I am doing this thing called life all wrong. It seems as if everyone has an opinion on what it means to be a good woman who is deemed worthy of love and respect. Over the last few years, I have fallen victim to the unattainable expectations of others. I felt as if I had to be a good daughter, a good sister, and a good aunt. A good church-going Christian who keeps her body count low. Be “in the know” about the latest fashion and makeup trends. Keep my stomach and thighs in check. The list goes on and on. 2017 has given me clarity on why 2016 was so rough for me, and it was simply because I forgot to define for myself what it means to be good. I forgot to define me; on my terms. While my intentions were respectable, the burden was too heavy because it wasn’t mines to carry.
As a sister-mom, I felt as if I had to be a good example to my boys. I needed them to have a good Christmas every year and memorable birthdays regardless of what my bank account told me. I needed them to not be bitter because of the perceived short-hand that life had dealt to them. I needed them to understand that awareness was critical to their survival because of the pigmentation of their skin. It was more probable, and highly likely, that they would be judged as criminals and could possibly be murdered in cold-blood no matter how “good” they tried to be, yet I needed them to know that it is still imperative to strive for goodness. I wanted to give them a solid, biblical foundation because I wouldn’t always be there to guide them when life becomes confusing, but I know the word of God could never fail them. I wanted them to understand that they would do asshole-ish things in life simply because none of us are perfect, but the true value of a man depends on his ability to own his asshole-ish-ness and make amends. I wanted more for them than I have ever wanted for myself.
As a girlfriend, I tried to imagine myself as that wife with that husband and those kids who are involved in that church. But I could never make it fit. Similar to season three of SATC where Aiden was the epitome of every girl’s dream, but Carrie vomited at the sight of an engagement ring and broke out in hives the first time she tried on a wedding dress; I just couldn’t make it fit no matter how hard I tried. It doesn’t mean that there is a problem with the image, or with people who choose to live that lifestyle. The real issue was in me not being true to myself. I was a good woman in that relationship, but it made me question my purpose in life. In my heart, I knew that I was created for more but I had allowed fear to convince me to settle for less. I am thankful for the opportunity to get it right this time.
In life, it is easy to be pressured into creating and living a life that was not made for you to live. I challenge you to trust your instinct and live life on your own terms. No matter what. I look back on 2016 with gratitude. I began that year with no hope, no faith, and no courage. Fear is incredibly destructive and I hope that the next time I come close to letting it ruin my life again, God will just send me an email before the crap hits the fan. I never want to go through life numb again. However, I can say that everything I went through is the catapult for me to believe in myself, and to chase after the desires of my heart so fervently.
I stand now, in Minion house shoes, in love with this season. I love those who still continue to love me unconditionally. I am inspired by the new people that God has strategically placed in my life. I’ve never known how to properly hold a grudge, but I do understand that my season is up with many of you. And that’s ok. But I will say this: If you feel as if I owe you an explanation, or an apology; if you feel as if I have harmed you in any way over the last two years, then out of the goodness of my heart I would like you to know this: Fuck you and everything you stand for. I owe myself an apology. That is how I am starting 2017 and I am so excited about it!
Sorry, not sorry.