I see them. A good decade behind me. Making mistakes I’ve already learned from. Learning lessons that are already ingrained into my psyche and my heart. I want to save them from themselves but I can’t do it from where I stand. How do I tell them that the path they are going down will only lead to further damage to their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. How do I explain that trying to undertake such an act at this point in their life could ruin them, possibly forever? How do I tell them what they perceive as harmless fun can have irreversible consequences to their lives ten years down the line? How can I show them these things without telling on myself? The truth of the matter is that I can’t. They wouldn’t believe me. In their mind, I couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like and how they feel. The truth of the matter is that I understand all too well. And I’m afraid for them. I’m scared that they’ll ruin their lives in such ways that nobody can help them. I’m scared that they’ll cut their destinies short. I’m scared for their husbands and their children. Because even though these imaginary people are ten to fifteen years into the future, the actions that they are undertaking right now could jeapardize them. I don’t know how to help them without showing them my own battle wounds. If I thought it would make an impact – if I thought they would change – if I thought they would come to the realization of just how dangerous their actions are – then I wouldn’t mind showing them my scars. I wouldn’t mind telling them of the consequences of such action. The consequences I had to face at eleven, nineteen and twenty-three. Even if they end up judging me. Even if they end up resenting me. Even if they end up shunning me – if it saves at least one of them. It would be worth it. But I can’t tell them anything from where I stand. I am on the outside looking in and in their eyes, I couldn’t possibly understand how it is and what they feel. Little girl, I understand all too well.
I remember when you were everything to me. I remember loving you past my heartache, my jealousy, my insecurities. I remember when the happiness you brought me felt like heaven on earth. I remember when you were everything to me. I remember when I didn’t get pangs of regret or guilt or hate or anger when I saw you. When all I got was joy. I remember whe you were everything to me. I remember when we could joke and laugh about the stupid things people said or did when it came to us. I remember when we were like-minded individuals. I remember when we were more alike than twins. I remember when you were everything to me. I remember when love was enough. That you loved me and I loved you was enough to get us past the BS, the past hurt, the past backbiting, the past rumors. I remembered when you were everything to me. I remember when I use to get something just so you could have it too. When people didn’t even recognize us if we weren’t together. When your life and my life were so intertwined, I couldn’t tell one from the other. I remember when you were everything to me. Now, you’re nothing. At all. And I’m still trying to adjust. I find myself forever saying goodbye.
I think I have good intentions. With almost every situation and almost every person, my intentions are good. And when they are not, I know it from the start. I don’t lie to myself. A couple of times recently that thought process has been tested. A few months ago (a little more than 3 months) I discovered a blemish on someone’s life, someone I don’t necessarily care for. Well, let me retract. It’s not that I don’t care for this person, it is more that we don’t see eye to eye and I don’t trust this person. So, discovering just how imperfect this person’s life was gave me some pause. I will admit, a part of me did a little happy dance just because there are times when this person has made me feel lower than low. Another part of me was genuinely concerned about this person. That concern made me feel good though – like regardless of how others have hurt me I am still compassionate enough to care when they go through rough patches. So the concerned part of me and the happy-dancing part of me were butting heads. Everytime someone brought up the person in conversation, I fained oblivion because regardless of how I felt, if this person’s struggle was not yet common knowledge, I had no right to express my opinion about it. It took a good two and a half month before it finally became common knowledge and I felt free enough to speak when others speak about this person’s situation. But even then I was conflicted. The part of me that never stopped caring about this person does not want to say anything that could be labeled as mean-spirited. The other part of me, the part that is still seething – wants to drag this person’s name through the mud. So with those two extremes pulling at me, I find myself committing covert sabotage – giving what I now recognize to be underhanded compliments. So despite my good intentions of showing genuine care and concern, I still end up saying something untoward because there still some hurt lingering in me. The second situation happened more recently. I have a firm belief that honesty is the best policy and that honesty must be coming from a place of kindness. In my opinion there is no moral good in telling a truth that is only meant to destroy another person. I pride myself on being honest with my loved ones. But a part of me now wonders if I’m misusing that policy. Yes, one should strive to be as truthful as possible with the ones he/she holds dear but I have to wonder, if not knowing something is preserving your loved one’s peace of mind and telling them everything would only turn their world upside down and cause them pain, is honesty truly the best policy? I myself know that I don’t always want to know everything people have to say about me because I know that I will internalize it and drive myself crazy, whether it is justified or not. So, what gives me the right to think that I should dump all the truths out there on those I love simply because doing so would be honest. If that honesty isn’t doing them a kindness, then maybe I don’t have a right to say anything. I would hate to watch loved ones make the same mistakes over and over again without someone bringing it to their attention. But on the other hand, is it my place to point out what may or may not be flaws in someone’s perception on life or whatever else? When the things I undertake with the best of intentions end up genuinely hurting someone else, I have to re-evaluate what I’m doing.
Honestly…it takes too much time to worry about every person I encounter in life. I can’t spend my entire existance worrying about why I can’t get along with one out of 100 people in my life. I just have to let it go. Our spirits simply do not mesh. No more no less. Honestly…the realization of how much I have to carry to achieve success scares the hell out of me. My grandfather started a tradition of wealth and influence and in their pursuit for a better life for me, my parents have made a lot of sacrifice. I can’t be content with being average because my family won’t let me. The realization that I can open doors for them won’t let me. Honestly, sometimes I just pray that I can be virtuous and single for the rest of my life because relationships are not easy. Falling so deep in love with someone then having others throwing shots at your happiness…it’s hard to take. It would be easy if it were coming from those who know nothing about you…but coming from loved ones? How do I shake that off? Honestly…honestly I just want to throw my hands up and say F IT, I’m out! But I can’t. Quitting now would be disastrous because I feel like I’m at the edge of my breakthrough and I can’t give up before I get my blessings. Honestly, honestly I wish I could stop caring about people once I start because some are simply not worth it. Yet and still I worry and I pray for their good because I can’t help it. I can’t help but reflect on better days. Honestly? Honestly I wish some people will find a better outlet for their delusions of grandeur instead of projecting it onto others and calling them haters. All criticism is not without basis, especially if you’re getting the same ones over and over again. A little self-evaluation never hurt anyone. Honestly? Honestly sometimes I am just sick of life and people.
I can’t do it like you did it or she does it, if I did then I wouldn’t be me. I can’t do it any other way than the best way I know how. I know you’re scared. I know you want to lock me up in a little box and carry me only where you want me to go but life doesn’t work like that. If I make a mistake, guess what? It was my mistake to make. This is my life, not yours. You can help, you can advise, you can pray but you can’t live it for me. I am not dumb to the fact that every other woman you know of my same age is along that path. That’s because it is their season. What exactly do you want me to do with my life, put my wealth and prosperity on the back burner and chase after another human being? For what? The sake of a piece of jewelry I can buy for myself? A lifetime committment neither one us are financially ready for? Please don’t suggest that because it is out of the question. I can’t do things your way because this is not your life. It’s mine. God gave it to me and only He can direct me where I need to go from here. You can help, like I said before, but you can’t live it for me. I can’t do it like you did it because it makes absolutely no sense. Trying to make a square box fit into triangle opening makes no sense. You should evaluate the way you did and then ask yourself, HONESTLY, if it would work for me, right here and right now. The answer I assure you is no, it wouldn’t. Because we are not the same people. We are not in the same situation. I don’t have the luxury of being fifteen again. I am who I am at this point. I have to live my life from this point on. I can’t dwell on the past or how things should have gone. Things are what they are and I’m making the best of them. I understand that you’re concerned. That’s your job. But for the love of God, please, draw a line between being concerned and being smothering. If I don’t even have room to breathe how am I suppose to grow? If I don’t get to try new things and possibly make new mistakes, how am I suppose to learn? If you trusted the job you did then why are you treating me like I don’t have a mind of my own. I can’t do it like you did, and as a matter of fact, I won’t. Because if I did that, I wouldn’t be me anymore, I would be You, The Sequel. And Lord knows, I can only be me.
Somewhere in the past 25 years, I have managed to unwittingly train myself that things are suppose to come easy for me. That the things I want should be just so because it is the desire of my heart. Regardless of what my Heavenly Father has promised me, I don’t think I can wait idlely by for my blessings to be delivered. In this past year and two months that I have fallen head over heels in love with this man I believe to be wonderful in so many ways but still far from perfect, I realize that I have been walking around with a sense of entitlement. That because this is what my heart desires, everything should fall into place. That because I believe that this is God’s Will for us, nobody would dare be against it. I realize now how very narrow-minded and selfish that view point was. God’s very Word says that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Right there tells me what I need to do to make this journey through my relationship a great one. I have to pray, and not just any prayer. My prayer has to be effectual – based upon God’s own words and promises; within His will for my life. My prayer has to be fervent – without ceasing and with a sincerity and desperation for God’s will to be done in my life. Lastly and most importantly, I have to be righteous. I cannot accomplish anything without righteousness. I must strive for righteousness in all of my ways. Often I feel like as long as I’m using the gifts that God has given me to grow His ministry, everything else that I do with my life is up to me. WRONG! Everything in my life needs to give glory to God. Having realize my talents and my ministry doesn’t mean that all that is required of me is to work within those confines. I must do all I can to show the world the light of God shining within me. And here is where I have failed. From this point on, I’m realizing that just because it is promised to me, doesn’t mean that I have no part to play to release my blessings.