It has been quite some time since my last blog post but for good reason- life. I am learning to be more present, to move with true intention, to show myself grace too. But, this Saturday morning, I feel inspired to write a little bit so here I am , sitting in my favorite chair, coffee at my side, laptop in my lap.
Today, I realized, or maybe observed just how much of ,my life has been spent making myself more palatable to everyone outside of myself. I don’t really know when I started this. I have always been told that I was too loud- by my mother, my godsister, my teachers, and so on. So, I started speaking more quietly. I was told that my imperfect smile was not “pretty” so I practiced smiling without showing my teeth. I was told that I was “hyper” so I stopped being as active as I desired-for a time.
Years later, this pursuit of feigned palatability continued. I desired to dress like a mother of Africa but was told that my dress was “too much” so I chose dress shirts of white, blue, light pink and khakis and black slacks as my uniform. I wanted to dance and laugh and curse and do what I wanted to but was told that those things were “unholy” so I swallowed myself down.
And then one day, I woke up and hated what my life had become. I looked in the mirror and did not know the woman who looked back. I would sit on my bed and just cry. The joy of life had been sucked out with every single compromise I made in watering myself down for others folks acceptance. I had literally betrayed me. Little did I know that my inner me had begun to fight back against the prison of palatability a year or so before when I decided to (what I felt was a whim) to cut all my hair off on December 24th, 2010. It was an outward expression of the inner rebel. She had grown tired of the same ole same ole.
And then, I began to run every day, think about seeking work in a different city, and now almost 10 years later, my life has been transformed. I know that I may aggravate people with my renewed sense of self. But, I was dying a slow death and I had to save what was left of me. See that’s the thing about life- it is truly yours for the taking if you so choose. And I made a resolution to never ever shrink myself down again. Naysayers can choke for all I care. I will forever choose me. And you should certainly choose you.