During my final semester in college, I was draining out. My son was being evaluated for special needs, I had completed three major event programs and I was a senior in classes that devoted too much of my time. I was stretched thin, working, had to kick my cousin out again, let go of friends and my car axle had snapped. Talk about some EXTRA shit, I encapsulated that phrase.
I set my alarm to ring Earth Wind and Fire’s Shining Star. It got me up without fail. There were times where I would turn it off, feeling depleted all ready. One incident in particular stands out in my mind. It was a Thursday. I had failed an exam and was exhausted from dealing with my two year old who would not eat. It was like pulling teeth. I was so angry and frustrated with him. I was tired from tossing and turning. As my alarm went off, I threw my phone and cried until I fell asleep again.
When I woke up, my son had his chubby arms wrapped around my neck and was asleep in my hair. He was so precious, so beautiful. To him I was a shining star. All he knew was me and him. I stumbled with him, made mistakes and witnessed a lot of wins. I graduated, walked and when I got out, I held him all the way home. Getting to that moment was tough. As I watched people walk with their families, I remembered how we all were stars to our loved ones. My walk meant something to my friends, my siblings, my mama, my son and so many more.
For 30 days I have struggled with thinking how could I turn my lemons into Lemonade. Shit has not been easy but I have practiced the following 7 things:
- Reading — whether its a news article, blog post or book. Reading is essential to the soul. It improves your vocabulary and eases your mind. I’m currently reading It Starts With Food. I am sure you will witness my journey with my health and I will post about how this works or does not
- Talking with loved ones — a week or so ago, I walked off my job in pure emotional rage. My baby sister answered the phone as I deliriously cried to her. She was calm and loving and patient and told me “girl! do whatever you have to do to feel better”. So I left my job, went to a friends house then rode the train to see more friends. My baby sister rocked out for me
- Laugh when you get mad. Literally, when someone makes you mad, shaking mad, crack a joke. As Dustin from The Friend Zone would say “on a petty note”! Laugh at em! Most of the time people are hurting and looking to hurt and that’s why they come at you sideways all up out the blue.
- Listening to The Read, The Friend Zone, Another Round. These three podcasts are made from a black perspective and they offer a plethora of advice and have fun while doing it. They’re inspiring and honest in more ways than one, but its helped me get my shit together
- Taking hot showers with the door closed has been new for me. I’ve been a single parent from the conception of my child and always had to shower with the door open to make sure nothing happened. You know how toddlers can be. But now my son is nearing 4 years old and the most he’ll do is leave the fridge open when hes jackin strawberries. Taking this moment to myself has been doing wonders
- Meditate and praying. I don’t do them often or at all. In fact as I’m typing, I just realized I missed my meditation moment. DAMN IT! O well..which brings me to my final gem
- Practicing not beating myself up for not being my ideal human being. I use an app called SuperBetter and it really helps me navigate my emotions. I’ve always struggled with who I’m supposed to be and who I am and what I want to become. I’m still working on it.
I hope that everyone reading this enjoyed this past month. I’m looking forward to more lemonade than lemons. In the meantime, stay tuned! My journey is not over yet…
“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” – 2pac Shakur