Team TAMB

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There are a lot of things I need to write in this post, but I’ll just touch on a few.

First, I changed the blog visually. I wrote this before, but I’m not really on the recipe and DIY bandwagon anymore. I’m not saying I won’t ever post those again, but right now it’s not my thing. To separate from that, I felt the blog needed to change to reflect this phase of my life.

I still love and live by the moniker Honesty’s Protégée. When I first chose that name for an email address more than a decade ago, I was going through a major life change. It still fits to this day because I’m always evolving into who I want to be. I’ve grown more into the protégée part of honesty because I will admit that I wasn’t always honest with myself and others.

So that brings me here. I finally realized that I’ve stripped down to some very basic aspects of me. I joined Team That Ain’t My Business (TAMB) some months ago.

Let. Me. Tell. You.

When you ask yourself if something is your business and realize that it’s not, there is so much freedom in that. Case in point: y’all know I love The Kid like my next breath. A lot of my anxiety focused on him being safe, sane and sanitary. It must have been a particularly trying day when he was violating the trifecta because I made the mistake of saying something to the Church Pastor about him. And that’s when she introduced me to the team. Life changed.

Let me explain. In no way have I turned my back on The Kid. He is still and always will be my child. Team TAMB required me to consider a few questions:

  1. Is this what this person wants for him/herself?
  2. Will I be responsible for this person or the outcomes?

That first one made me stop cold. The Kid freely made all his choices. While some choices are uh… different, I have not been required to bail him out, take care of him or be responsible for those choices. I did something right in that aspect of raising him.

And when I realized that he wanted to make choices, and being legally grown, about 99% of them wouldn’t require me being responsible? Go. Live. Be. I’ma be right here living my life until you ask for help.

Want to know how that’s working out? Fantastically. He got his diploma and is working on going to college in January. The less I impede on him and his choices, the easier we get along and the faster he comes into manhood.

Joining Team TAMB freed up a lot of time and energy for me to really look at me. I found all these complexities right on the surface. All that striving to be better? I don’t feel that anymore. I feel like being alive. Breathing. Enjoying my skin and celebrating how I show up. I finally learned how to be gentle with myself.

I’m always magical. Sometimes that looks like crazy, silent, loving, grateful, silly, a loner, the life of the party, elusive, an open book, bitchy, sad, exuberant, full of awe, and cruising the zero-fucks zone. I once thought resistance was the way, but it’s futile. I am all these things. I still love myself and the people who matter love me too.

I also learned that becoming aware of something doesn’t necessarily mean I need to change it. While I know a lot of great people, I recently realized that I have maybe three people that I would consider friends. That is a me thing. I didn’t spazz out though when I realized it. I made no elaborate plan to change and be more open or accept more invitations to hang out that I would find a reason to cancel. I simply said ‘huh…’ and kept it moving. Life will present me with the opportunities to make different choices when the time comes. But right now, I’m not going to look into the crystal ball future and force myself to do something.

And it was not until this 42nd year that I realized advice from respectable sources isn’t necessarily good advice for me. We all have our own lenses and when I wasn’t fully in tune to who I was, I would take this advice and not think twice. These days, not so much. If it don’t fit, I have to quit.

What else I realized? My life has not been as hard as I thought. Yes, I’ve gone through things, but there are very few things that felt like they would break me. And even those things, looking back, were the doorways to beautiful new experiences. Without losing my mother, I may not be who I am today. Without heartbreak, I wouldn’t have been ready to love The Hero. Without The Kid dropping out of high school and all that entailed, I would never have found the next level of my strength. Living through those moments were tough, but I find value in them now.

This is getting long, but I have to give space for my favorite spa because it was by changing my mind about self-care that I am here. I am and will always be grateful for replenish. I don’t know what made me go the first time I went, but going through those doors changed me. It allowed me to find space to say yes to my femininity and womanhood. It allowed me to look at myself and see how beautiful I am, even on the days I don’t feel like I’m stunning. It helped me realize that there are days I am not going to breathe through it, I’m going to lose my shit and that’s okay too. Perfection is not the goal. Self-care is crucial, and in order to give to those I love or do anything for my community, I have to get myself right first. It’s a ritual that I will never give up again. Ever.

On that note, I’m done. I’m about to vibe out to more of my Women I Love playlist and enjoy the rest of my Sunday afternoon.

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