The narrative of the good girl always seems to find it's way into my conversations with people about who and what is acceptable , so i'll start this rap session by stating that I hate it.
It is restrictive and causes us to creep into safe spaces for the comfort of others . It pushes us to tell lies about ourselves before we can discover our truths . This narrative leaves no space for error which can almost destroy those that it is pinned to . So for the sake of sanity , stop calling women "good girls". To be honest , I think that the good girl narrative is a little boring and I'm glad that I grew out of the need to feel secure in it.
I'd pride myself on dressing more conservative and being exclusive in a sense. I would never go out and God- forbid someone knew about the times that I did a little underage drinking ..and stuff.
I'm sure adulthood and binge watching Sex in the City made me realize how much of life I was truly missing.
I decided to stop being a prude and life happened.
Of course all that glitters isn't gold , and that of course is fine because my decisions of being a bad gyal doesn't allow me to buy those kinds of luxuries anyway. I'm okay with that . I'm finally at a place in life where I can admit that I've played footsies with the devil and I enjoyed it because without those times , I wouldn't be the woman I am today or have nearly as much knowledge of my strength.
This post however , isn't so much about WHAT I did because I don't think my life is that interesting , but more so about the lessons that I learned behind it.
I would almost always cringe in church when people talked about celibacy and submissiveness...and sobriety because I always always inquisitive . I hated when people told me that I dressed modestly because to me it sounded like , " you look old". And as the years went by the reiteration of how different I was from other girls went from a compliment to me realizing it wasn't a compliment at all. I don't want your respect for a woman like me if it isn't inclusive to all women. You feel me ?
And so , I blew that pop sickle joint and never looked back again .
Along the way , I've run into one issue of course . That being acceptance of self. See , when you live within the margins of someone else's paper , you don't leave yourself any space to write your own narrative. I however , decided to write a whole book dedicated to how much of a "good girl" I wasn't and how it ate me up inside that I tried so hard to be .
I used to be so self conscious about what I wore and who I was with when I wore it until I realized that people's perception of who I am is solely based on their depth of analysis.
"I used to go out to parties , and stand around 'Cause I was too nervous
To really get down .But my body yearned to be free" - Marvin Gaye
I always laughed in my head when guy's approached me and mentioned that i'm never on the scene which always implied that I was unfairly awarded the epithet "good girl" , because I usually am ...tucked away . In the bathroom throwing up . In the cut with shades on . In my phone because the host is corny . I'm there though. Prior to my going out days , Circa Freshman Year , I wanted so badly to be that girl. You know the girl who stays in and watches SVU while the others stumble in at 2am. I quickly was reminded that I was too young and while partying isn't the greatest part of my 20's , I was missing out on moments and experiences that I could never get back - all to be desirable.
Now , what i'm not saying is for you to be a rebel and go out doing things that you've never done - just to say that you did it. I am however , challenging you to find , and embrace her. Fun fact : I've found myself taking up a little more space on public transportation where I would have usually let a man spread into my personal box and it felt damn good to stop accommodating others . If you read too deeply into that last sentence , you aren't as innocent as you may think .
I realize now that I've said a lot, but ultimately what I'm trying to relay to you is that it's fine to be cut from a different cloth , but don't fabricate your true being.
I'm no relationship analyst or professional , at all , for that matter. However , I will not downplay the experience that I've had , even at just under 21 years old. My long-time childhood sweetheart and I have seen some particularly interesting ...struggles and well , they've taught me tons about relationships as a whole and how to contrast and take on different perspectives . Prior to opening my computer , I had a very soothing conversation with my brother who assured me that my thoughts on this topic are not just some egotistical and biased assumptions about love. In fact , I think that it's on everyone's mind's and very few are willing to say it. Here goes:
We've all wanted the love that says , "you are my everything" with gestures as well as words. We also want that you-make-me-better love that Fab talks about when he says , "your boy a good look but she my better half" . I wanted it to , no front , but when I began to see how destructive that could be to both parties , i retracted and analyzed this theory further.
In Christianity , we are taught that Eve was created from the Rib of Adam , making her apart of him. So , where do we come up with these calculations of half and half when a rib is an entire organ ? Follow me.
In part , it sounds joyous , to complete someone and be their everything. It also has the other side where women like me see this as an evil ploy , not created for long term relationships. Take for example , the man who has success , healthy relationships , and financial flexibility. He is , to the societal norm , considered well off and "the full package " . He finds a woman who has never had the time to concern herself with ..herself because life has happened. She finds comfort in his money , family and success , leaving her as what I would call "an actor in his production". To some , this may be what love is , making up for what another lacks.
However , to me , true love is allowing the other to grow mentally , physically , and spiritually strong . I've witnessed the decay of relationships that were built on the idea that it is okay to bring yourself to someone undone. Now , I do believe that in time we continuously grow , but as Warsan Shire has said "you can't make homes out of human beings". Are you picking up what im putting down ? Be sure to feed yourself , nourish yourself and water yourself because you cannot possibly be a great mother/wife father/husband without first being the very best at being..you.
Never Stop Evolving. . fo' nuffin.
I've abstained from this kind of post because I am no good at these metaphors . Somehow , I woke up at 4 am this morning and words began to flow . So for the sake of a lost soul , and sometimes my own , I have decided to give it a try .
You have three favorites out of the 100-something pair that you own and have collected over the years . There is one for comfort , one for business and a pair for a night-out. Sound familiar , ladies ?
All of these shoes serve a special purpose and you love them differently for that reason . On days where you just need to chill , you wear shoe #1 , otherwise known as comfort. As comfortable as they are , you know that you need a new pair but the hole in the front-right hem is only as large as the amount of time you spend staring at it. It's time to take them out to the trash but you hold on because the sole is good. They are so plush on the inside that you don't mind how others feel when you go out with them on. They are for sure worthy of the , " Are you actually gonna wear those?". Noone understands why you refuse to rid of these , but they are your go-to's ..always.
For business purposes , you keep the pointy-toe brown 3.5 heel pumps that you picked up from Zara . They are the perfect addition to any dress-me-up or dress-me-down and sometimes they say "undress me" . These shoes , on the surface , are everything . When you take the faca..I mean shoes off , your feet are aching , red and blistered . But , you looked great wearing them...right ?
Finally - The trusty dusties , you can always depend on these to put the cherry on top . They are what Amy Winehouse consider "f* me pumps" . They make you feel good ... they do nothing else . It's all about what you feel like and who you feel like when you put them on , they lift the booty and make those calves of yours look am-a-zing. Still , when you remove them , they don't give you that glass slipper feel . You're left feeling empty and betrayed by what you felt like when you were in them .hmph.
By now , you're probably thinking of your own favorite shoes , and most importantly , you know that I'm not talking about shoes at all.
For anyone in the 20 and over club who has ever had a pair of these shoes , you know what and how they made you feel when you were in them .
What I've had to learn is that each of these shoes held a cost that was far more than what I paid in the store . My comfortable shoes - I walked the sole out of them , lord knows I didn't mean to be so selfish. My business heels were cool until I seen what they were doing to me . They were perfect and I couldn't let them go but they left so much damage which was not what they were intended for . I entrusted myself to these shoes , knowing full well that they could never be both aesthetically and internally fulfilling . And finally , my night outs . They were such a thrill . My , how all great things come to an end . They could make a t-shirt look like a runway exclusive , but still - when I took them off I was back to looking like plain Jane . What a joke . They were just for the moment , a mask over the true hurt that I was enduring , another unfulfilled pair of shoes .
So what is the benefit of your favorite pair ? Are you running the sole out of them for your own comfort ? Are you convinced that happiness takes an immense amount of pain ? Or are you okay with the chance that the heel may break on your "night outs" and you will be left ... with just the shell of what was ? What a sick and twisted new meaning to "favor ain't fair " .
Birds were my inspiration today .
I thought about how frustrated they must get , waiting for their mother to return to the nest to bring them food. When they get tired enough , they go to the end of the nest and attempt the steps they'd watched mother perform , day in and day out.
Wobbles , falls and fails later , they find the air beneath their wings to fly . Other times , the mother will force the gentle bird out of the nest and watch it clumsily fall . Once that bird finds it's rhythm , they discover their freedom.
So how did you forget to fly ?
Mental Health is something that I am all too familiar with and still so unfamiliar. I struggle day to day to understand how to make it better , how to help , and what the right things are to say . Unfortunately , these issues plague several women of my life , these women hold a significant place in my heart because they are my friends , my family and my sisters. There's no feeling that compares to not knowing what to say but also understanding that both depression and anxiety are battles that are not easily won by words.
Having this experience , I've learned just how one minute everything can be "okay" and the next minute nothing makes sense. I've also gained an understanding of how powerful prayer can be when you don't know what else to do. Oh but my greatest lesson, is one that has helped me to no end. These women embody the true meaning of self perseverance .
If you are reading this , I know that you've heard me say this alot - but you are "much stronger than what you give yourself credit for". I've watched each of you overcome obstacles and escape the dark places that mental illness has hid you . Because of you , I have found strength in my darkness . I understand that to truly bloom , you have to be planted and the soil is most times cold and dark . Still , I can only imagine the frustration you must feel when the nest (bed) is the most secure place for you , the sun hurts your eyes , crowds bring you fear , and just a little of anything is far too much.
I've fallen so many times and I got up and tried again because I saw you do it. So , do you remember how to fly ?
I love you
Dedicated to K.I , S.A , S.J ,K.J., S.C and M.J ...my favorite birds.