I pulled into the driveway, switched gears into "park" and let out one long breath. Exhale. You made it. I closed my eyes for a moment, opened them, closed again, stared at the garage door. That door, so far away. My body wasn't willing to make the steps. I could feel the exhaustion creeping through my bones, who am I kidding...that exhaustion had already settled into every crevice of my body and made a home there. I was tired.
It took many months of reflection and healing to get to a point where I could begin to authentically share my story, publicly.
I am not ashamed, surprisingly I've been extremely open about things with people face-to-face...but often times the internet can take on a life of its own, so I wanted to be ready, come what may. Not to mention, the public nature of my career, already, and how this might conflict.
I also wanted to honor the place both my ex-husband, children, family, and friends have in my life. Taking special care not to be exploitative, gossipy, or use this venue as a diary, spilling out my darkest hour in a way that isn't productive.
No, I wanted this to be a space of healing, not only for myself, but for others. I remember, on the worst days, searching for stories where I could relate...at some point I realized I had to tell my own story, and it has truly been cathartic.
Yesterday, I clearly acknowledged my divorce, both here and on social media. I've done it in a more subtle way before, but not boldly. What transpired after pressing "send" was nothing short of beautiful, stories of pain and survival, and love and encouragement from people all across the country, those who know me well, and those who simply could connect. Heartbreak, of course, is universal. Love, loss, fear, devastation...we all know those feelings.
That moment of vulnerability for me was so powerful, and it's exactly why I began this project in the first place. God gave me this platform, and I know my story is meant to bring hope, and inspire others. I look forward to continuing to share, and hearing more of your stories as well.
Divorce is hard. Yes, I am divorcing. Yes, I am happy, at peace, content. Yes, I put in a long 12 year, good fight. No, there is no chance at reconciliation.
Back to my point. Divorce is hard, but even moreso for the children.They don't deserve that type of burden. Yesterday, I spent my GOLDEN birthday alone. I was not particularly sad about this. The kids are visiting family for the summer. I have sincerely enjoyed my time, spent on me.
And before I knew it, time slipped away...
If I had a dollar for every time someone lovingly stared down at my first little bundle and whispered, "enjoy it, time goes by fast," it still wouldn't have been nearly enough to capture this feeling.
It's something you comprehend intellectually, but it doesn't hit the heart until you run across that tiny pair of pants that no longer fit, or the "I love you mommy" handprints you'll get a dozen times in preschool. You miss it because each milestone, the first words, first steps, the first day of kindergarten brings this immense pride and excitement for what's next. You live for those new developments with your first child, especially, until you look up and they're no longer babies anymore. Where did the time go?
Moment of vulnerability...I didn't slow down enough to savor the moments with Samara. I'd become so intent on proving that I was a woman who could conquer societal expectations of wife, mom, and career woman that life became a series of check-marks, hell bent on proving my worth and ability to thrive, rather than living in the moments in between. It's those experiences, not accomplishments, I'm learning, that create the fullness of life we all seek.
It's also what I wanted to impart in my daughter as she celebrated her 8th birthday, to create and fully enjoy experiences. She can always get stuff, she can always buy gifts...but that is fleeting, she will remember and look back on a life that she intentionally created with joy.
In turn, we had a blast this past weekend.
Exploring and lounging in an amazing five star resort, with a cool view of the Atrium from our balcony, complete with Koi fish and alligators inside. Outside was a huge waterpark, Sam splashed and played her heart out with friends. We enjoyed the sights and sounds of the brand new Planet Hollywood restaurant, eating under a massive 3D screen with all sorts of neon lights. And we laughed, hysterically, and danced at Blue Man Group, the girls were so happy and carefree.
(Might I add, we did all of this on a budget, happiness does not mean breaking your bank account.)
It's what I owe to her, for being so resilient. For making this parenting "practice run" a completely fulfilling and amazing life. Samara is a kind, brilliant, loving soul. She deserves all the best the world has to offer. I hope to give her a sliver of it.
Happy 8th Birthday Samara!!!
Journaling holds you accountable, keeps you true to self.
But somehow, the words keep escaping me. The inability to form sentences or paragraphs, my heart holding my hands hostage, can't set pen to paper, staring at a blank screen. Because when it's released, my heart can't deny it. My brain cannot override those authentic feelings spilled out, a stain...my story staring back at me.
So I stopped.
If I do not write it, it does not exist. Until it suffocates me. Truth swelling up, invading every part of me until I cannot breathe. I must be free.
Freedom is in living my truth, in sharing my truth, in writing my truth.
I've been in bondage a long time. So much so, that it hurt to even write it out.
Recently, I looked back at the last year of my journaling before I quit, again, and I could not "unsee" it. I could no longer deny that I had not been true to my self. I could not rationalize the pain, say it "wasn't that bad."
If I hadn't written out the little bit that I did, I most certainly would have continued to make destructive decisions. I didn't realize the importance of that self reflection, and how much it tied into recognizing my worth. I also could no longer make excuses for what I'd been dragged through. My writing in a lot of ways set me free.
I abandoned this blog because life had become overwhelming and it was important to me to be authentic, with you. I still am not sure how I will go about sharing parts of my life while also maintaining some privacy and trying to make sense of all the things that seem to be happening to me. I know this blog is a vessel. I know my story is meant to help someone.
Stick with me, and I'm going to try and stick it out. In the meantime, start writing! Save your writings, self reflect. Sometimes the deliverance is already in you. But you can't see it because it's all convoluted inside your head.
Just told my son to get dressed, he said he didn't want to.
I told him he doesn't get to tell me what he does and doesn't want to do.
He told me he wants me to go to jail.
Dear fellow Believer: Stop accusing other Christians of abandoning truth just because you disagree on a single topic. It's so condescending. - @brandonhatmaker
This is the main reason I've been fighting for the other side. How dare you question a person's faith, relationship with God, ability to hear from him or understand, or make sweeping assumptions that they are being directed by the devil, confused by him, or anything else, just because of YOUR understanding/misunderstanding of the Bible or Christianity!
People get on their superior Christian high horse and then try to shut down any conversation that questions them, in the name of "God is not the author of confusion." Maybe it is you who are confused... Maybe it is not. However, YOU are not God, so don't put him in your box. His ways have always been higher than ours... So to think you have him all figured out is PEAK human narcissism. We all do it, I'm just learning to admit it.
You know what I stand on? The word of God. Yet, I somehow get different interpretations from the scriptures than other Christians. Kind of how we got so many denominations, kind of how we can hear 15 totally different sermons on one scripture.
Fact is, most people interpretations of biblical text is based on current culture, nationalism, generational storytelling, heirarchy, personal agendas, etc...
The thing that bothers me about the religious, and especially about the black church that I know and grew up in, is that if anyone disagrees, if anyone has a different interpretation on a text that is highly subjective (if you want to be real), then they aren't as "saved" or this is the "end times" or whatever else they want to say to set themselves apart and seem "more holy."
Bottomline, no one has it right, and you won't get it right everytime. But, it won't hurt your righteous a** to love somebody, that can never be wrong.
The thing I LOVE about social media, the conversations we used to have in barbershops, and around coffee tables, that would otherwise fall on deaf ears... Are now being heard loud and clear.
We are writing our own narratives, we are directing and impacting the media in ways that would have been ignored even 5 years ago. We are leveraging what little power we have to say that we will not continue to be marginalized and misrepresented.
There is a LONG way to go, but people of color are starting to have a VOICE, that reaches beyond a whisper.
I am broke right now, my job is acting weird, my relationship is messy, and we won't even talk about the national events of last week.
Yet, somehow I am at peace.
Anchor yourself in something this world can't give you, anchor yourself in Christ. I'm not talking about the evangelical/western/American christian-ish version that rules in fear, and the oppression, humiliation, and hate of people. Not the Christ where you can never measure up, that expects more than you can give, that left you hurt, broken, or abandoned. Not that one. That wasn't real.
There is a God though, that is bigger, that can't fit in the fake box that this world has put him in, that you put him in. He is here, he is waiting, and he can give you peace. The kind where everything around you can go to pieces, but you are standing.
Somewhere in the last few years, I lost faith in the system...in religion. Best thing to ever happen, because I latched on to something infallible, and no doubt I have had times where I questioned, and fought, and wrestled with God. However, he still blesses me. Sometimes, the blessing is peace. I am at peace.
We were searching for Halloween costumes the other night. Abram stumbled on this "sexy" costume.
He points it out to me and says excitedly, "Oh mommy, you can buy this for you!"
I smile. "Yep, Abram, okay put it back." The woman next to me laughed.
He then says, "You can wear it on your privates!"
The lady is cracking up at this point, and I am turning red underneath this brown skin of mine, lol. Oh, Abram...