Happy Early Birthday

They tried it, they went for it, all year and you’re still here, just ignore it. If it ain’t the real thing, you don’t want it”

– Drake

November 5, 2019

365 days have gone by and sometimes it feels like a blur yet at other times, there is so much clarity and crispness. Well before I tell you what I’ve learned, let me tell you where I’m coming from…

This time last year, I was sad, depressed, broken and pregnant. I was in the middle of a toxic and abusive relationship and was literally holding it all together with a thin ass piece of string. My finances were in shambles, my body was in shambles and my life was in shambles, yet no one knew. I was struggling and in pain, yet I continued to show up in the world, pretended that I was ok, but I was not, I was NOT FUCKING OKAY.

I realize now that I was lying wholeheartedly to myself because I did not want to face some hard truths about myself.  I did not want to acknowledge the shit show that was my life and my choices, because then I would have to take responsibility for my contribution to the show. Ummm yeah no…. I wasn’t ready to do that.

So I’m two days away from my 34th birthday and sitting in an abortion clinic, to get rid of a choice that I made that was counter productive to my survival. Now the baby wasn’t the problem, nope babies are a blessing, but it was the circumstances that surrounded my life that were the problem. I KNEW that I couldn’t bring another child into this world, into my physically abusive, financially struggling, no self accountability taking world. Like come on… let’s be realistic.

Anyways, as I wait in the clinic for my name to be called, I had a chance to really think about some deep stuff, I would have been scrolling Instagram but my data was cut off, so I guess it’s just gonna be me and my thoughts (it’s funny how life will get you to pay attention by any means necessary LOL).  As I am reflecting on the state of my life and how I even landed myself in this predicament, it crosses my minds’ eye that I had been minimizing myself and shrinking myself to fit in spaces that were no longer serving me. I knew that I wanted to take my coaching business more seriously, I knew that I wanted to start writing more, I knew that I wanted to be more intentional with how I was parenting my 8 year old and I knew that my relationship was over. You ever have a moment when everything starts adding up and finally 2+2=4 and then you are faced with making a decision. It’s that pivotal moment when your entire existence is screaming at you to DO something! I would like to say that on that day when I experienced that feeling, when I experienced the urge to move, that I did, but we’re both gonna keep it 100 here… I did nothing.  

I completed the procedure, I lied to the nurse that my ride was downstairs to drive me home (I drove myself and wasn’t supposed to be operating a motor vehicle due to the medication they had given me) and went to pick up my son from after school care. I did nothing, because I was too scared to do SOMETHING. Putting action to a plan would require me to be uncomfortable, would require me to do something that I hadn’t really done for myself before. I would have to actually love myself and recognize all the ways that I wasn’t loving myself. Wait what? I didn’t love myself. I don’t love myself. Nah that’s not true, that’s crazy, of course I do, look at how strong I am, and how motivated I am, I mean I think very highly of myself. Don’t I? Well I think I do…

This conversation I was participating in with myself was very confusing for me and that made it uncomfortable, so I avoided it and went right back to pretending all was well in the neighbourhood. In doing nothing, I was actually doing something, I was making the decision to not show myself love. I was choosing to remain in “comfort”.

Let’s quickly unpack the ways we remain in comfort:

  1. By staying in dead end relationships, jobs, friendships and interactions that we know aren’t propelling us to a better version of ourselves.
  2. Not creating, enforcing and maintaining boundaries with the people in our lives
  3. Actively denying our feelings and emotions for what’s more suitable or pleasing to others
  4. Overextending ourselves to point of physical, mental, sexual and spiritual exhaustion
  5. Discounting the ways our body has manifested our pain, hurt and stress… (“it’s just a cold, or “I always have heavy periods” to name a few)

There are more ways, but I think you get the gist.

Alright back to the lecture at hand, so we’ve established that I wasn’t loving myself and we’ve also established that I was afraid to make a change, I didn’t want to rock the boat so to speak. I was pacifying myself to stay in shallow waters, I didn’t want to go out too deep, out in the deep was where stuff could get bumpy and unsettled. I needed to stay where I was “in comfort”. Let me know if you’ve ever experienced this, or maybe you’re in the thick of it right now, believe me it gets worse before it gets better. (Thought I had something inspirational for you didn’t ya? Nope.)

Understand this it is ALWAYS darkest before the dawn, the series of events that happened in the next 3 months were very likely the absolute worst time of my life. I’m talking about fearing for my life, leaving my job, looking for a new home in the middle of winter and having my car stolen and vandalized. Yet now I realized that those experiences were meant to strip me naked of all the bs, they were meant to make me face the harsh realities of my choices, they were meant to make me uncomfortable AF.

I could no longer live in oblivion, I could no longer continue to mistreat myself and I had to look at why I had felt so undeserving of unconditional love and respect. I came to the conclusion, that since not loving myself had landed me in the mess, then I better start loving on myself with a vengeance because this shit wasn’t it.

I began unpeeling the layers and really dissecting my inner stories, I started analyzing the relationships I had with others and how the relationships truly made me feel. “Could I be myself? Or was I living up to a standard and ideal that was set by the people around me” Do you know how hard it is to set healthy boundaries? Why does nobody talk about that?? I took sex off the table (and that’s saying A LOT for me) but I wanted to connect more deeply with myself and others in a way that was transformative and pure. No more half stepping, ya know. Ask yourself, how you feel after an interaction with someone close to you? Are you drained or does that person metaphorically fill your cup?” In the last 365 days, I have had to get real honest with myself and Sis…. There will be some people, situations, ideas and things you will have to release from your life. The gag is…. You gain yourself.

When I woke up today November 5th 2020, the feelings that I was filled with were joy, peace and gratitude. Those feelings can feel foreign when all you are used to is conflict. Internal conflict. External conflict. So much can happen in a year, in 6 months, in one month… just don’t get caught up in the timeline of healing and just heal. Start a checklist of what you need to heal from and get started. Life is waiting for you, the world is waiting for you, YOU are waiting for you. Get real with yourself and how you show up in the world, ask yourself “what are you afraid of?”, “are you journeying through life “in comfort?”, “do you truly love yourself?”

 As I opened my eyes this morning I immediately thought back to this day last year and took a deep breath and felt the warmth of love coursing through me. That love wasn’t present last year. It feels so good to feel it and I am not ashamed to say it.  

One thought on “Happy Early Birthday

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