I’ve been on a break from most things this summer. Like…there was zero motivation to do anything regarding the blog or anything that required too much energy. I just didn’t have it in me. I didn’t come to fully appreciate mental health really until this summer when I could feel myself falling back into depression. I am immensely grateful for family and friends who checked on me, who noticed when I was too quiet or too absent, who could read my moods or my facial expressions and could tell that I was internally fighting for peace of mind. When I first found out that I would not be able to work Summer School this summer at the last minute, I was so bummed. I had money constantly flowing out of my pockets with several important things coming up and I could have used all of that little bit of extra money. The thought of how tight things could possibly get made me so anxious. After a day or two of worrying, I decided to consciously be OK with not working this summer. There was already enough going on.
I traveled more this summer than I think I ever have during a summer. Virginia Beach. Miami. Myrtle Beach. They weren’t major trips but usually I’m…working…during the summer. In between times, I was planning events for friends and running away from planning my 30th birthday event. In between those times, I was sleeping or simply in bed. I had been here before; I knew that I was fighting off a depressive episode. I think I had been on the go so much that once I finally gave myself a pause to breathe, I gave myself permission to feel all the things that I had been desperately trying to convince myself I wasn’t feeling – the mood swings, the emotional eating, the constant fatigue, the crying spells, the neediness. I knew what was happening and I still didn’t know how to communicate it. Plus, with so many good things happening around me, who had time to be depressed? Except…it doesn’t work like that. None of this works like that.
So…I knew this summer had to be about giving myself space to get out of self-preservation mode and into a mode of living, and celebrating, and loving…and giving myself room to do all of those things imperfectly and in my own way. It was about not depending on others to love me the way I should be loving myself and not waiting for others to celebrate the things in me I know are worth celebrating. It’s been about being OK with outgrowing what I know about people and settling into new normals in friendships and relationships. It’s been about fighting for my physical health, as my body began to give me some very loud precautions that it was tired of going full steam all of the time. It was about not being afraid to acknowledge the complications about myself and working to allow people to see who I really am. It was about admitting that I am a sensitive person and no longer letting that be a label of shame; it’s been about seeing how my sensitivity has blessed others and allowing it to do the same for me.
This summer has been just as much about not letting bitterness set in as it has been about appreciating my own accomplishments. It has been about embracing 30 and also not throwing away the 20s. This summer has reminded me that God has given me an incredible ability to see and discern with clarity (even if it doesn’t kick in in certain instances…lol) and that I can trust what I believe or what I’ve seen. This summer showed me that it’s not the amount of people who are there to celebrate with you; it’s about the actual people who show up. This summer TAUGHT ME TO SHOW UP FOR MYSELF and CHALLENGE YET SUPPORT myself. I am the girl with black pearls, green hair, white teeth, deep brown skin, and a red heart of flesh and goodness. I
learned am learning to love all of that.
This summer was like my green hair a day after putting a black rinse on it – it wasn’t simply peaking through; it bust through all that feigned normalcy and forced me to confront the reality of who I am.
This summer made me into a woman again with fresh love on the horizon and the reminders that love “lost” was never really lost, the manifestations of it were mistimed. This summer has allowed me to admit about myself that I am the girl who throws glitter over the “little things” but still wants you to make a big deal over her. I’m the girl who is sensitively strong, the quiet writer, the sagacious fool, the romantic stonewaller. This summer showed me I have a little bit of Issa, Molly, Tasha, and Lawrence in me and that’s just life. This summer taught me that I can be honest about my wants and needs because not being honest will frustrate the hell out of me. This summer showed me what reciprocity looks like and that my cup really runneth over with love from family and friends who have no problem sharing moments. I don’t have to be coy about my personality because those who love me will still love me. Period.
This summer has been the one to save my life.
…and it’s not over yet (I’m stubbornly holding on even though I return to work tomorrow).
What a day to come back to the blog; today is its 4th anniversary! I hadn’t even realized it until I came on to write this post. August 8, 2013 was the day I decided to start The Girl with Black Pearls blog in order to help heal my heartbreak. I’m glad that hasn’t been what has defined what I’ve had to say over these four years. What a ride it’s been! THANK YOU to everyone who has read or supported in any way; my life has been so enhanced by having this opportunity to share my heart with you! Cheers to greater growth, authenticity, vulnerability, and empathy. Keep believing in me; I promise I’m going somewhere.