Today I turn 34, and the only thing I can do is reflect. The first thing that comes to mind is how grateful I am that God chooses to favor me and continue to allow the sun to shine on my path to purpose. But mostly on how far I have come. Life has always been a battle between good decisions, morals, values, and understanding. Accepting the blessing or consequence in my choice, and I have made every bad decision imaginable. I have grown to understand the process of learning. I enjoy the pace that I choose to learn on MY journey because it has shaped me into a woman that 10 years ago I never thought I would be.
I took a hiatus from my purpose to embark on another journey which was my College Degree. This is one journey of mine that I knew that I wanted for ME, to identify myself as an individual. Outside of a friend, mother, and sister. I wanted to have something that I worked on that was just for me and no one else. And I DID IT !!! And now I find myself out a stand still, and I ask myself how did I get here.
The answer to that is not a magical one to say the least. I fought hard for this with tears in my eyes, a heavy heart fighting through the emotions of possibly losing mother to multiple brain tumor surgeries, ( not be shady but I am) dealing with what I perceived to be my Childs father doing anything that was necessary to dim my light and having to battle with whom in my circle was fit for my journey. Not to mention moody teenagers and clingy toddlers. It was a true battle of worthiness that I still sometimes question, a battle of my mental health because truly, I was not mentally able to handle the load that I had on my plate. I struggled more than most know not to give up every single day and I mean it. I really want to drop my classes on the last day because I did not have the mental strength to finish my finals.
I went through a serious battle of questioning why I was even here in the first place and wondering if all the blessing that I had received in the last two years were even meant for me. I had to come to the realization that my worthiness was not based on the things that I had or even the degree that I obtained but it was truly about getting to know Vontress. I needed so many more tools for this next journey ahead and my path needed to be clear in order for me to embark on my next level of greatness. I cried real tears ( and IYKYK) I DO NOT cry. I had to yell, scream, I even sat in a jail cell ( another story for another blog). I finally was brought to my knees and had to allow God to take control of my path and guide me to wherever was meant for me.
Starting my 34th year I do not have any expectations. I plan only to do what makes me happy no matter who agrees with it, I plan to be honest with my feelings and express them when necessary and I intended to stop allowing others and even myself to dim a light that only God can stop from shining. But truly I want to say thank you to ME for not giving up on me when I almost did. I only hope to do what leaves an impression of peace and kindness on others.
This year will be hard just like all these others but I will celebrate every small victory.
How do I explain to my sons that the beautiful black skin they are in won’t be loved by others?
How do I explain to my sons that their strong – chiseled physique will be intimidating to those who don’t poses the same features?
How do I explain they will be feared for merely educating themselves with knowledge of where they come from and who they are destined to be?
How do I explain to sons the difference between cooperation and complacency?
How will I explain to them they are at risk of losing their lives for reaching for their phones and wallets?
How will I explain to my daughters they are valuable in A world that sees them only as objects?
How will I explain to my daughters they will be pushed against one another because one will be more “ desirable “ due to her fake skin and the other ridiculed for being dark chocolate like her matriarch queen ?
How will someone explain to me my son being shot dead in the street , a knee on his neck while he screams he can breathe , being gunned down while buying skittles , executed while complying all because they are BLACK!
Lately I have been having a hard time with my faith. Not my praying or my conversations that I hold with the man above but faith in myself. The faith that you carry that helps you keep pushing in the midst of a season where things just are not going as planned.
Just the moment when you have no clue what to do. In this moment I am having a hard time figuring out where I, Vontress went wrong. with loving someone who NEVER loved me ( per his words) . Why am I doing my best as a mother and I am putting forth all the efforts I can and it still doesnt seem good enough. Why my blessings of my new car , and other things don’t feel as special as they should. ( Now this is where my conversation with the man upstairs came in)
I simply asked , ” Where did I go wrong to deserve this horrible break up and these horrible feelings that I have been feeling?” I sat and waited because HE is usually good about quick answers because I know, I be getting on his nerves with the questions but the answer I got was ” YOUR FAITH IN YOOURSELF”. I did not feel deserving of love so I chose a man who would never love me because he does not love himself! I have never been big on material things so my new car doesnt feel like an accomplishment of hard work and stability but a necessity of an adult. I dont feel like a good mother always because I can’t give them the moon and the stars in their hands when that’s all I work for.
I lacked the confidence in all of the things that I was doing because I lost faith in ME! My breakup was the most hurtful thing I had experienced in a long time beccause he was someone I thought I would marry and to know me than you know I have NEVER had that feeling for ANYONE ! I was looking to my kids to tell me I was a great mom for the things that I did for validation and I was looking for fulfiment in my “things.”
I lost all the things that made me who I was becuae I was so focused on givng everything I have to others. It was not a lack of self love , or doing what I needed in order to care for myself it was learning to trust ME and my decisions. I had to trust that separating from a man that only meant me harm no matter how much I loved him was ok to d. No matter the ways he tried to change that feeling. Being a parent and not a friend to my kids would make them into the best adults possible, and the things that I gained in my hard work were meant to be celebrated.
See having faith is not always about leaving everything in the man aboves hands ! We have to do a little work also. It is about trusting YOU, and that the things that you do and decide for yourself are RIGHT ! No matter if it feels a bit awkward at the beginning. I don’t ever try and get holy on yall but I pray for anyone going through a turning point and needing to know , HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF !
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term mantra. It is a statement or slogan that is repeated frequently. I chose accountability because for a long time I have not made others accountable for the things that they have done to me in the past or present but I have grown to realize that if I want others to take accountability then I need to start with myself. I need to be the one who points at myself and accept the things that I could do better, the actions that I can take in order to be at peace with the things that are going on around me and just over all being honest with myself. This means being honest about the things that I want and need even if that means I have to lose things and people along the way.
I came up with a list of three things that I will practice when analyzing a situation where accountability needs to be taken;
ASK FOR CLARITY ! – If I am in a situation and I am assuming , then I need to immediately check myself and ask questions in order to know whats going on and possibly stop a problem before it happens.
UNDERSTAND MY FEELINGS ARE VALID – If I am feeling some type of way SAY IT! Don’t let those around me be in the dark about how I feel. If I am not OK; I need to be sure to speak up and be HEARD.
EVALUATE IF THIS PERSON/THING IS DOING ME HARM OR GOOD – Take a step back a ask myself if the things or people are causing me harm and can I learn to love them from a distance.
There has been such a long process in my journey to self love and healing and this has been the toughest part yet. Sometimes we don’t want to hear that we just ” AIN’T SH*T”.
We want to hear all the good things people have to say about us even if they aren’t always true. We want to believe that 10 years from now we are going to be happily married with the spouse we have now even if we know deep down they are cheating little boys who refuse to grow up. We want to believe my friend would never do that. But we all know he/she WILL.
Accountability is about WANTING to be honest no matter if it hurts. To take the burden of holding in secrets or not acknowledging that fact that we are not perfect. It is about knowing that we are TRYING !
I don’t know who needs to hear this but sometimes I just DON’T ! LOL When I mean I don’t , sometimes I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to leave my house or do anything and I definitely don’t want to wear a bra or pants.
I just want to sit in my house turn off my phone, turn my music up and chill alone. I have always been a person who enjoys solitude which may seem odd to some being that i’m a mother of six. But I have always been a loner. I like to enjoy the silence, when everyone is asleep; I like to get up early in the morning and look out the window right before the sun has fully risen. There is something about being alone that brings me peace.
Having an already hectic schedule there are times that I just don’t want to be the ” go to person,” and I don’t want to talk to friends about pointless things. Although they know me well enough to know when I am not feeling anything, and when to leave me be until I come out of my shell. It took me a long time to learn what peace and solitude was and now that I have found it and have the courage to keep it I cherish it.
Most people think that I’m mean and irritable but for a long time I ran myself dry. Giving love advice every five minutes when my life was in shambles, cooking and cleaning for the kids and doing pointless favors for whomever needed it. I did all of this KNOWING that I didn’t want to most of the time. I got to the point that when I say LEAVE ME ALONE I damn well meant it.
I used to be so afraid to speak up and take time for myself or let others know that being physically drained from giving so much is a real thing. Understanding that people need to recharge and take time for themselves has to be understood. I need my time to gather thoughts, to find my sanity through my meditation and sometimes isolate myself from the world and outside noise in order for me to be OK ! We are so consumed in chaos and drama that we forget to take care of ourselves and preserve our peace. I always encourage people to spend time with themselves in order to connect with what their soul needs in order to be at peace.