How can life feel so good but so bad at the same time? How can life take you so high only to snatch you so low? How can I be so damn smart but so damn dumb?
I don’t have it in me to be funny or even clever this morning. This hurt mandates writing with 100% honesty, and even as I’m writing, I’m not sure I’ll post it. Not because I’m afraid of being judged, but because people love to take your lowest point and extrapolate that to define you as a person. To individualize you as your mistakes. To create an entire story about your life from social media posts and rumors from those supposedly loyal to you, instead of calling you and listening to your words. It’s not fear of someone knowing my errors; it’s knowing they will CHOOSE to never see you as more.
You ever want to scream “Hear Me!,” “Be There For Me!,” “Know That I Cry When I’m Alone Just Like You Do?”
I know my life looks like I have it all, that I got my shit together. Trust that I fought and studied and failed and struggled and failed again to claw myself to get here. So I will not diminish myself and say my life is not as great as it seems. My life is good. God has me. This is all His doing with my faith and perseverance.
But make no mistake. I am a fuck-up. As brilliant as I may be from 9 to 5 (and I have my not-brilliant days weeks), my stupidity is in its truest form from 5 to 9. I want what everyone wants – a sisterhood that empowers me, a man that cherishes me, a career that uplifts me. I want my bad days to be minimal and my happy moments to be amplified. But when those bad days hit, I find my pleasure in temporary moments/impermanent salves instead of fighting my way through this pain and trusting that there is real joy waiting for me. I know who I am, but hurts, disappointments, loneliness make me momentarily forgetful.
I know what I see in the mirror each morning – a strong woman who has endured. A woman who was in the bottom percentile of her 1st year law class, a woman who once weighed nearly 300 pounds, a woman who in 2015 made really bad decisions when her back was against the wall. I’m a woman who has talked shit about her friends and ruined some great friendships. When I say I’m not shit, I mean it. Growing up, I used to tell my mom that I was meant to be GREAT. I felt it so strongly that it intimidated me. So whenever I failed, it took me low because I knew I’d disappointed everyone around me. Most importantly, I knew that I’d disappointed God because He had an assignment on my life and I wasn’t excelling at it. Still…when I look in the mirror, I see that once again He put me on my feet, and I try to right every wrong I made. And I do. I fought my way to my degrees. I burpee’d my way to better health. And I apologized when it was necessary, no matter where the fault lied. I do not always get it right, but I will. I’m not faultless, but I try. So I won’t hang my head no matter anyone’s opinion.
Because I am a masterpiece, as imperfect as I may be.
But life and relationships and work and friendships…when those things which live on the other side of my door enter my psyche…my confidence and self-worth suffer hits hourly. And it takes all my strength to not falter, to not seem wounded. And I overcorrect sometimes because I don’t want to seem weak or stupid so I harden myself. I lash out; I stop caring. I retreat into myself and behave like I need no one. That isn’t true. I’m just somewhere licking my wounds. No one is an island. And we need to have people around who we can share our faults, our stupidities, and just BE THERE. You don’t need them to fix it. You just need their presence next to you.
And I try to be that for others, but I don’t always succeed. I am as susceptible to weaknesses as anyone else. I try to be who I project myself to be. I try to be a loyal friend, a devoted daughter, a reliable sister. But I fail my family, fail God, fail myself. And I go to sleep with that every night and I wake up the next day to try again. And I have to constantly remind myself that I have survived all of my worst days. That those who love me, they see me. They are THERE. They will not turn their backs.
Thus, when my battery runs low like it is at this moment, I know in a couple of days, maybe even a couple of hours, the love I have around me, the love God has for me, the love I have for myself will recharge me. Because until I take my last breath, I still have a chance to get it right. To find the man who celebrates me, not takes from me. To rediscover friends who know me inside and out and are loyal when I’m next to them and when I’m not. To make sure my mom never worries about how something will be paid. To support my siblings in every dream they have always having somewhere safe for them to land. To laud every victory my friends have, big and small. To prop up those who need it until they can stand on their own. To not be afraid to say “No.” To believe in me no matter what public opinion is. To know that I can have the life I envision. It may not have the people I want there, but it will have those I need and the love and support and celebrations I deserve.
Because I am imperfect. But I am a masterpiece.