“Don’t Save ‘Em”:The Problem with the Black Superwoman Syndrome (feat. Jermaine Cole)

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I went to a session, and someone noted that people were saying that maybe Kanye wouldn’t be Kanye if he had the support of a black woman. But, when did that become the black woman’s job? When did it become my 9 to 5 to drown for the very beings that wouldn’t swim for me? That won’t give to me…that won’t heal for me…that go through extraordinary lengths…to shame, victimize, and silence me.

Don’t save ’em.

Let’s not get confused. I’d never draw a divisive line between me and my black men. I love women. I made this blog for women. But, I love men, too. I had amazing men show me what a father should be. I have a brother that calls me just to tell me I’m pretty. And I had a couple men that even…broke me. Because I tried to save them. But, who’s gonna save us? Who’s ever…gonna save me?

Don’t save ’em.

My first boyfriend was a Crip…he stayed wearing blue. But, I dated him because he actually thought I was pretty…and he had potential. He told me he wanted to be a Psychologist. So, I ignored his constant slip-ups because he had a dream. And my own ignorance wasn’t his fault. But, his desire for my “understanding” was. His desire for my unwavering “forgiveness” was. His ability to make me feel like…nothing…was. He quoted “Boy Meets World” always to me, saying “You are you. I am I. And if in the end, we end up together, it’s beautiful”…and that became my dream.

Don’t save ’em, they don’t wanna be saved.

See, the problem with the Black Superwoman Syndrome is not a mystery. Historically…we had to hold it down..had to work, had to accept abuse, had to watch our husband’s get beat…but we had to remain respectful…we had to hold it together…we couldn’t ever fold…had to remain happy. Had to work, had to provide…had to “save” our families. Time never healed our wounds. Black women still carry this “S”…still risking our own happiness for family…to please everybody…to make good money…to stay married. I made a vow…as I finally decided to go to counseling…this would not be me…because I can’t save everybody.

Don’t save ’em. 

It’s hard to not go to the rescue when you’re such a good counselor. It’s hard to not take off when you’re such a good service rendered. You heard me correctly. I realized, unfortunately, to some people…that’s all we’ll ever be. Friends. Family. And even people you haven’t seen in years. They’ll call you…and not even ask how you’re doing. They’ll ask for money. They’ll slide in your DM’s just because they’re lonely. And the problem with the Black Superwoman Syndrome is if you’re not careful…you’ll think you have to be kind, you have to respond, you have to help…But, you don’t. You were never required to be loyal to anyone who was never worth your loyalty. And that’s hard, I know, trust me. Because when you have so much energy to put out, you’re eager to give to everybody. But, baby who’s going to pour into you? Who’s gonna pour into me? So, I ask…is your glass half-full… or half empty?

Don’t save ’em.

My best friend who I thought would never leave…up and left me. And I think through this, I learned that some things are just not meant to be. Because the day she left…I found myself constantly blaming ME. I tried and tried to save our friendship that was hanging on by a thread. I tried to pull her closer and shut out the drama that existed between us…but the more I tried to CPR..the more I realized…our relationship was dead.

Don’t save her. She don’t wanna be saved. 

My second boyfriend was heavenly…a match made in heaven. At least it should’ve been…because who’s going to give up the man that treated them like an absolute Queen? Who’s gonna trade in the life full of glows, highs, and being happy? He even had me saving money. But, it was too late. His love scared me…because I know now…I was used to misery. I was used to…being the one doing the “saving”. I was never the one vulnerable. I was always the one playing God…doing the fixing. I was used to being abused emotionally, mistaking that love. Superwoman…was me. So, when he opened his heart and tried to give me a wedding ring…I had to leave.

Don’t save me. I don’t wanna be saved. 

It absolutely sucks to have a big heart…because you don’t know when too much…is TOO MUCH. You don’t question anything. You just give the one thing you want back..badly. So in that way, life has sucked a lot for me. But, those were my choices…to be on  the front line to stop friends from walking out on life and calling it quits, listening to everyone’s problems, supporting everyone’s dreams, helping every child I could to succeed, thinking I could change a hoe to a husband…this was all me. And I can’t quite say it’s all been stupidity…ready to kill for people who wouldn’t lift a finger for me. Trying to be kind…trying to be “godly”. Do you know what that will do to you? Do you know what it feels like? It’s depression. It’s anxiety. It’s emotional eating. It’s gastroesophogeal reflux disease. It’s running around, without eating, and nearly fainting. It’s going…to bed at night and crying…not feeling good enough even after people profess they’d be nothing without you. But, what about you sis? Who’s going to save you?

Don’t save em. They don’t wanna be saved. 

I hope you read this and let this sink deep. Because this was me….This is my big heart…and that’s a part of my soul. That’s the creator at work and the whole universe within me. And I accept that. I love that about me. But, here’s what happened…and here’s how this Superwoman reached peace. It’s simple.

I was drowning, but I came up for air…and I saved ME.

Read more about the Black Superwoman Syndrome here.

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Single, Not “Alone”: What Happened Once I Shifted My Perspective

I told myself I was going to write this post for weeks now. But, here I am. And I don’t want you to read this and think, “Adia has it all together” or “She’s so inspiring” …and all the other stuff I get from readers. Most importantly, this is not a guidebook. I am not your therapist. This is in no way, shape, or form…a map to guide you from point A to point B through your healing. This is none of that. This is, however, evidence…that perspective means…EVERYTHING. How YOU see your life..how you SPEAK can either build you up…or be your downfall. So, let’s get to it.

Abandonment issues. Can anyone tell me what that means? The fear often stems from childhood…maybe from a traumatic event, maybe from not getting enough emotional care. But, for whatever reason…abandonment can arise in relationships, causing unwarranted anxiety…and more fear. This….was me. And it was more than just me. I mean, I sat on my counselor’s couch earlier this year…and it hit me as I was pouring my heart out, that my intimate relationships only grew from “abandonment” seeds. I was talking about how my mother left, how my father never wanted me, how my best friend just ghosted me…and there I was in a relationship…staying in a bad relationship…because I didn’t want him to “leave” me. I started my life in Atlanta, and it seemed as though…I had no one. In my eyes, that was my reality. My girls were miles away, my family could only do but so much, and I…was alone. That is what I called it-alone. I didn’t use the word single…ever. I used the word “alone”…all.the.time. Then, my counselor challenged me. I’ll never forget that day…before I poured it all out…that’s when he asked-“Do you recognize how often you say the world ‘alone’? I looked at him dumbfounded. I’m sitting asking about how to either leave my relationship or make it work..and there he was asking me about my vocabulary. He asked me again, “Do you recognize how often you say the word ‘alone’? You don’t use the word single. You say you’re alone. Why?”. That’s when it happened. I had to shift everything about what I thought about singleness and turn into something else.

So, that was it. It wasn’t the “best” way to handle ending a relationship. But, I fell off the grid. No break-up via phone call. No break-up via text. No, “I need space”. No, “It’s me, not you” (even though it should’ve been “It’s you, not me”). No…”I need to do this for me.” No…anything. I left. I boarded my plane to Africa, thinking about how low I allowed myself to stoop…about the mistakes I had made. I boarded my plane, crying. But, nonetheless, I boarded my plane knowing I wasn’t returning as the same woman that left. And that meant everything.

I spent my whole summer….reflecting. I reflected on the definition of single and what that means FOR ME. I reflected on my reasoning for getting into my previous relationship…and the one before that…and the one before that…and the one before that. I reflected on why I never spent adequate time just being single…and enjoying it….and living. I thought about each and every wrong turn I have made over these years…at the expense of simply being “with” somebody. If it wasn’t the crappy relationship to begin with, it was breaking the one guy’s heart who actually wanted to marry me…It was running from him and not wanting to be alone to compartmentalize what I’d done to him and just jumping right into it with another body…then it was saying “I’m not looking for a relationship” and leaving that “situationship”…and jumping right.into.another.one. It was always me…running.

Through all this reflecting,  I became more comfortable with saying “single”. And that’s when my skies opened up. I recognized my own strength, my own voice, my own capabilities, my own…freedom. I recognized…well recognize..that in all these “relationships”, I was ALWAYS better off single. I was ALWAYS the best version of myself, single. I was always fine…with just me.

I became free…and I began doing everything. But, this time around. I’m doing things…and smiling, doing things and laughing at my damn self…doing things….completely happy. I’ve done more, HAPPILY, in the matter of just of couple of months than I managed to do in the past year after placing myself with the wrong person.

Now, I’m human. So, now’s a good time to confess to my humanity. I said this isn’t a road map or your therapy. But, I’d be doing you and myself an injustice if I don’t admit that…I still reminisce. I still miss “moments”. I still miss being “held” and/or “longed for”. These moments of “reminiscing” come in waves. Once again, we’re human. and healing? It doesn’t happen overnight. But, you keep trying. You don’t numb the pain. When I find myself reminiscing, I allow the pain back in. I let it creep in…how I used to feel…how my previous relationships made me feel…and I remind myself…I will always be worth more than that.

Single. I am single. I was never alone. I am not alone. And you aren’t either. Shift your perspective. I challenge you to shift your perspective today…and you remember you are justified in HOWEVER you feel at this moment. FEELING…is important. But, remember, those “feelings” are only temporary. You are a ball of wonderful, magical, marvelous, and incredible power. The moment you make the decision to own that…no one will take that away from you. Your singleness is not a time of…isolation…or depression. Your singleness is a time to celebrate, girl…your strength…your femininity, you SEXY-NESS…your power. Your singleness is your time to do everything YOU want to do…and how YOU want to do it. Have fun…read books…go to the movies….laugh after falling…cry while watching TV…and fall in love with all of your little quirks…or the odd mole on your thigh. These are all of the things…that my singleness in this short time so far has afforded me. And as I pray…to learn about myself…As I pray for my future “partner” (emphasis on partner. I said “partner”, not spouse, or boyfriend), my singleness becomes more and more purposeful…and exciting.

I wake up each day, proud to be..independent. Proud to have my own money…and not having to relay on any to “take care of me”. Proud to be free. Proud to recognize…that I’m not ready or mature enough to be with anyone else…Proud to recognize, however, that I deserve someone that WANTS to be with me. Proud to be…me. And I still wake up some days…I look in the mirror..and some times, it’s still a struggle to see “me” for ME. But…it only takes a SHIFT to know…I am perfect…as the IMPERFECT me.

 

You are perfect…as the IMPERFECT you. SHIFT today.

 

 

WHEN A LADYBUG FLIES INTO YOUR LIFE

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Picture Source: Spiritual Animal Totems

I was doing my usual-sitting in bed, watching Penelope and Morgan on “Criminal Minds” and it happened. I saw something dash across the room. My eyes are known to play tricks on me, but could it be? Was this the moment I had truly gone crazy? With the paranoia settling in from watching countless serial killers at the BAU, I scan my room. Then I saw it…but I got up trying to confirm the rarity before my eyes. A ladybug.

Now, I know ladybugs aren’t rare at all. In fact, I think I’d grown so accustomed to seeing them inside my grandmother’s church where she grew up. But, this occasion was different. 1) I live in Atlanta and I never noticed a ladybug….since moving to Atlanta…ever.  Or perhaps the more appropriate thing to say is…I’ve never been looking. 2) I never, not once, have had a ladybug in my own place or residence (or any pest for that matter). I don’t like bugs…So of course, I killed the thing. But, then it got me thinking. Why…now?

So, I did what I normally do…I took it to Google. I’ve been vaguely interested in spirit animals in the past. I was happy to read the ladybug spiritual animal meant amazing things.

If Ladybug has flown into your life;

The appearance of a Ladybug heralds a time of luck in which our wishes begin to be fulfilled. Higher goals and new heights are now possible. Worries begin to dissipate. New happiness comes about. This insect also cautions not to try to hard or go to fast to fulfill our dreams. Let things flow at their natural pace. In the due course of time, our wishes will all come true. Alternatively, she could be signaling that you can leave your worries behind and that new happiness is on its way. This species of beetle signals you to to not be scared to live your own truth. Protect your truth and know that it is yours to honor.

(Spiritual Animal Totems 2018)

I needed this, because after a tumultuous first year (emotionally) of graduate school, I felt like I was taking hit after hit…loss after loss. But, lately….life has been great. And life wouldn’t be life without the down’s right along with the up’s. But, my perspective of those “downs” has still brought me immense joy. And there has been a new happiness….I’ve chosen that happiness. I’ve chosen..not to be liked…but to focus on me, my own growth, and my own healing. I’ve chosen my career and my dreams…and I am ready to sacrifice anything…and even if that means everything. I’ve chosen…me. In addition, I am still learning to leave my worries behind me- worries about my past, worries about my future, and worries about doing “everything”.

Thank you, ladybug. You may not have lasted long with me. But, I’d like to think you had a purpose with me- showing me my blessings. And I intend to relish in them all, enjoying my life to it’s max capacity…and living my life in my own beauty.

Define your life today. Define your happiness. Find the things that bring you utmost joy and satisfaction, and hold onto them. And then….live freely.

-Queen Dia

Purpose for the Purposeless

Well, I did it. I walked out of this conference that I should be more than grateful to be at. But, amongst all the faces that seemed so enthusiastic about social work…and medical care…and making sure women breastfeed…There I sat, just thinking….”I’m really just one step away from ‘Magic City'” The truth? It is so easy for everyone to look at my life and say, “She’s so gifted”, “She’s talented”, “She’s so beautiful”, “She’s confident”….or the kicker-“She makes it look so easy.” In actuality, it is so hard for me to be ALL of these things. Sometimes, I’m not beautiful. I’m big…and I’m average. Sometimes, I’m not gifted…I’m simply going through the motion of things.

I started graduate school at Emory, really excited about a lot of things-a new degree, a new city, a new start. But, Emory…in the midst of my 20s has yielded nothing but confusion and turmoil.

Purpose. What do you do when you have no clue what it is? What do you do when you have no clue where to go? What do you do when you’re up against battling so many…identities? Moreover, what do you do when you don’t know whether to stop…or keep chasing a childhood dream?

“The race is not awarded to the swift nor the strong…but to them that endure to the end”~ Ecclesiastes 9:11

My grandmother is a firm believer in my journey being…different. A believer that in order to get to MY destination-a stop where I’ll change the world-I’ll fall more…I’ll strugle more….I’ll be hurt more than anyone else. But, I’ll end in victory…I’ll end in inspiring…and an amazing story. Now, my grandmother (Nana) is a wise woman. I believe every bit of this. I do…I just don’t know how to stomach a life like this. I tell her all the time…ya know…anybody can read Dialosophy…or like my pictures on IG…and think I’m funny on Snapchat..but what about when my mind is literally driving me crazy? And the only thing that helps…is writing. To that, my grandmother would say…”No one is supposed to know. It’s YOUR struggle.”

So, I was in this conference facing a common struggle-feeling purposeless. I find myself asking a very familiar question-What am I doing? This year has been of complete…obscurity. Struggling to find what I want to do-Is it writing? Is it medical school? Struggling to come to grips with dating, my sexuality-can I be free? Why did I want to wait to get married? Struggling…to understand me-why am I feeling what I am feeling?

But, nonetheless…I can’t help but to hold on to optimism…hold on to…happy. Hold on to hope…that I’ll be found in my wilderness. Hold on to truth that there is purpose…for the purposeless.

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Featured: Asia Massey. Instagram: _asiaa_nicolee
  1. Purpose for the Black Girl: Queen, your only purpose is that you are capable of amazing things. The world will never understand the things you must face intentionally. Your drive to win is not just for you…it’s for a whole community…for the people who never made it past middle school…the lives lost as victims to the streets. You feel like your purpose, black girl, is to be everything. But, you’re not. You are not everything. You are…a human being. And you deserve someone that’ll take “wins” for you, too. Black girl, I see you going through all that highlight…but underneath, you’re still and already beautiful. Black girl, you’re so smart….I don’t believe you’re meant to do just ONE thing. So, black girl, go to medical school, pursue photography, become that nurse, write those books, own that business on the side…Live your dreams, black girl…Baby, live your dreams.

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    Featured: Joi Roberson. Instagram: joiiser
  2. Purpose for the Big Girl: Big girl, your purpose is to love your body…right here and RIGHT now for what it is…not for what you think it should be. Big girl, you are to move your hips in your body-con or one piece…not caring about the wide eyes or whispers you get. It is your body…it’s NOT everyBODIES. Big girl, look at your smile. That’s the best curve you’ll EVER have. So, don’t stress how much you’ve gained…r the body you think you should have. Appreciate exactly where you are, reflect where you want to be…and make a plan if you don’t like what you see. Work for whatever results you want, big girl, and know they’ll come slowly…but surely. In the mean tie, wear what you want, big girl….do what makes you happy. Big girl, you were made to make a manifest for big girls everywhere. Delight in your OWN glory.

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    Featured: Adia R. Louden (me), Hannah Hart (Indiana University), Jenna Washington (Brown University) Instagram: adiarlouden, haveahart_hc, rosegoldenratio
  3. Purpose for the graduate student: Here it is again…another day you may not know what you’re doing. Grad student, I know you may question what the hell you’re gonna do with this degree. But, your purpose is not to stress…your purpose is just to…wait and see. I know that can be hard..because I see you…worrying about jobs…worrying about money. But, there’s so much more than that, grad student. There’s so much more to fulfill you within other people and in a community. Grad student, they’re people that look up to you. If you make it, so do they. So, make it. YOU WILL MAKE IT. So, grad student…your only purpose is to keep going.

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    Featured: Curtis Patterson. Instagram: ayooocurt
  4. Purpose for the 20-something: So, you just turned 20-something again? And I’m sure you thought this year would be way better than the last. But, it turned to be shit…again….and you’re just as lost as before. 20-something, you’re not ever gonna have it together, so why are you worried. 20-something, I understand…you want everything to go your way. When you want to get married, when you want to have kids, what career you have…but 20-something, you don’t have control. Let’s face it….life does. 20-something, I see you…working by day, rolling a couple blunts by night…trying to escape your own fears…trying to make life a little less lonely….Be careful 20-something…don’t find yourself constantly running. But by all means, do what you gotta do to ease your heart break, 20-something. Take those shots. Go on that date. You’ll find your way, surely. But, 20-something, don’t rush…just wait and see.

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    Featured: Indiya Simpson. Instagram: naturallynicole_
  5. Purpose for the singles: Singles, do you ever find yourself using the word “alone” instead of single. Stop it. Because your purpose is not to weep in the midst of being “lonely”….Your purpose is to use this time to HAVE FUN and be the best that you can be. I’m sure it’s not promising, looking at your peers having kids and getting married. But, that’s THEIR happy…it’s not your happy (yet). You’ll get Mrs. Right. You’ll get Prince Charming. And it’ll be amazing. So, be single…figure out what you like…what you don’t like…and just do you. Be you. And it’ll be fine. Just hold on.

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    Featured: Jamaica Miller, Claflin University Class of 2018 Instagram: crucial_beauty
  6. Purpose for college grad: Congratulations. You made it…and you’re about to enter a world full of opportunities. For some of you, it may be exciting. For some of you, it could be scary. Whatever you’re feeling, decide today…that no matter what…you’re gonna keep trying. Because you will be tested. And some nights…you will spend crying. You will have to call home….and you will find ways to finesse extra money. Rent will be due…and you will wish for a time machine for a blast to the past…maybe for just one night…to be in the safe haven of a free dorm with the people who made it safe for four years…to be drunkenly leaving a party, praying everyone survives the ride back to campus WITHOUT throwing up….to be mixing illegal drinks for the freshmen who’s NOWHERE near 21. At times, you’ll miss it all. But, don’t give up. Don’t live too much in it. Because fun still exists. Memories still happen with everything. College grad, promise to keep trying.

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    Featured: Dante Hibbitt and Ebony Boykin (Columbia High School, Class of 2013) Instagram: imjustmeeb
  7. Purpose for the high school grad: This is simple, high school grad. And I know you may be nervous about what major to choose…CHOOSE WHAT YOU LOVE. A job will come. Choose what you love to do. Go to class…and have fun. That’s your purpose, high school grad. Ravioli, ravioli…here is your formuoli. This is it. Choose what you love. No matter what, go to class. And have fun. You’re in for a wild ride, high school grad. You’ll meet people and make memories you’ll NEVER forget. You’ll pass a class when you were for sure failing. You’ll fall down…but luckily for you, high school grad, there will be a bunch of people around to pick you up. So, you made it across one stage, high school grad. Don’t rush the time it takes to walk across another. Enjoy the wave…and ride it every late night and early morning. Make it last forever!!!

 

Purposeless. Are any of us ever “purposeless”? Nah. There’s a purpose in a storm…purpose in the wilderness. Purpose in…not being together. Even the best artists can turn a mess into a masterpiece. Purpose. You have it. I have it, too.

 

Remember…every mountain needs someone to climb it. Every ocean needs someone to dive in. Every dream needs someone to wish it. Every adventure needs someone to live it. So, what’chu waiting on? Who you waiting for? If you don’t take a chance, you’ll never know what’s in store.

 

 

“This is for them 20 somethin’s”: KEEPING YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER

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You see the video above? Gon’ head and click “PLAY” and listen as I take you on the ride of your 20 somethin’ life today!

I have gone my whole life pressing towards one thing, one goal, and one desire- going to medical school. Everything was ALWAYS lined up and “planned for” in my head…It was ALWAYS supposed to be …

  • College
  • Grad School
  • Medical School
  • Marriage
  • Travel
  • Work as a BOMB OB/GYN
  • Kids
  • A dog
  • Write Books
  • Open My Own Practice
  • Write a New York Best-Seller
  • Get into Motivational Speaking
  • TRAVEL MORE
  • Retire…in love and happiness
  • TRAVEL EVEN MORE

 

And now look at me. I’m fresh out of college. “Freshly” 21. And everyone always tells us life after college is different. We’re always told to treasure “the best four years of your life.” The four years where all you had was- late nights and early mornings, procrastination, shot after shot, sneaking your guy friends out at the “wee” hours of the morning after co-ed visitation is clearly over…parties in sketchy places, the house parties you only go to for the free food and alcohol, the parties you finesse your way in for free, the horrible parties, endless movie nights, and we can’t forget the inevitable stress during midterms and finals…and so much more. During this time, no one ever told us…this wasn’t the time to “find us”. It was just time to “be us.” It was four years full of freedom, fun, pain, regrets, and joy. It was pure bliss. No one told us that in the midst of all the college magic, there was no “degree” that could ever prepare you for what would come next.

While I like to plan, I also like to prepare. But what happens when you prepare…and you STILL fall? I thought I had the perfect little set-up. I studied hard (EXTREMELY HARD), got a good GRE, and got into a top graduate school. And I was going to study even harder to “prepare” for an even better medical school. That was the plan. Fresh out of college. Fresh 20somethin’. I was headed to graduate school AND medical school. And then it happened.

The summer started . I started my summer internship, and most importantly…I started studying to take my first Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). And time after time…each day got worse. Each day got more stressful. Each day caused more pain. Each day caused more heartache. Each day brought little to no results in my studies (and that was ON TOP of little to no results with my summer research). Sure, this could’ve been the result of my laziness post-graduation, my tired state post-work everyday, or the simple fact that it was summer. But, I was living. This summer was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to me OUTSIDE of MY “preparation” for applying to medical school and my new chapter after graduation. I learned more of my weaknesses, I was tested, I cried, I fell AND got back up, I loved, I met awesome new friends, I turned 21, I loved more, I took risks, I despised, I compartmentalized, I destructed, and I met, cherished, and loved a new ray of sunshine…perhaps even a new soulmate- my dear friend Monty. 

“I’m not a teacher, baby, but I can teach you somethin'”  Push. Push. Push. I push myself harder and harder. We’re told these phrases “Work Hard, Play Hard”, or as I say “Work Hard, Play Harder.” I even pride myself on my favorite motivational song, “I Don’t Get Tired” by Kevin Gates. The point is…the stress, the breakdowns, the unhappiness, and the lack of motivation this summer…it brought me to two questions. Two questions I didn’t stop to take the time to just reflect lately. What am I doing? And why am I doing this? There you have it. This “motivated, driven, ambitious, and creative” 20 somethin’ that everyone likes to say is “so inspirational” is now so lost. THAT’s the truth. And I don’t run from my truth anymore. I live in it. Let me take the time right now to say…Live in yours.

“This is for them 20 somethins’. Time really moves fast. WE were just 16!” If you’re lost right now…STOP. STOP RIGHT NOW. Now, breathe. Because guess what, my friend? You’re not alone. I’m lost, too. We’re 20-somethin. So, why are we worrying about the career that we want to thrive in at 40? Why are we stressing the man/woman who didn’t call us back? Why are we crying at night for friends that are no longer there? Why are we PITYING ourselves? Why are we holding back? WHY ARE WE LIMITING OUR POTENTIAL? We’re 20-somethin. Something that we’re going to WISH for within the next decade or two. So, how are we going to play this? Do you want to look back at the shots that we missed? Or….do you want to look back at all the SHOTS you TOOK? The shots that went in the basket…the shots from the free-throw line…the BOMB three-pointer…and even the sloppy lay-ups. And you can’t tell me you won’t appreciate the stumbles, the blocks, and the foul plays. Time does move fast. How are WE going to spend it? Or we going to spend it depressed over the degree WE’RE getting and may never use? OR are we going to trust time and trust the universe? Here’s how you really school life…lean in. You ready? WE CANNOT BE IN CONTROL. WE CAN’T. THERE’S NO FUN IN LIFE IN YOU ARE. And take that from the girl who let go of control this summer. Take that from the WOMAN who was reborn this summer, from the woman who doesn’t mind getting on stage and embarrassing herself dancing, from the woman who managed to find her way when she was lost on a hiking trail, and from the woman who’ll make you smile even through your tears. So cry, my friend…it’s okay. Because you didn’t imagine 20somethin’ to feel so “independent” all at once. Cool. I didn’t either. I thought I even “prepared” for the independence and the loneliness. But even my preparation for those failed. 

“Not a preacher, but we can pray if ya wanna!” But who says you have to be “alone” as a 20-somethin’? See, the thing about us 20-somethin’s. We want to swim and not drown. We want to swim without having a buoy to float. Our damn pride kills us. But, listen up…each and every 20somethin’. Give it up. It’s not worth it. This past week, I broke again. And I broke in my school’s bathroom at that. Not once, but twice. And I called no one. Not my mom. Not my girlfriends. No one. It was just me and my silent tears, literally. But tell me “20-somethin'”, why does it have to be like that? What? For the sake of saying “You can handle your own?” ? For the sake of saying you’re an “strong, independent black woman”? For the sake of “being a man”? Well, you do that. I’ma call a spade a spade. Sometimes, I CAN’T handle my own. Sometimes, I need to call home to ask mama to send me money. Sometimes, I need to call one of my guy friends and ask what’s wrong with my car. Sometimes, I just need someone….to hold me. Sometimes, I’m not okay. And often, I call home or my newly very good friend…and pray. Our pride is a problem, and I can understand it. But sometimes…maybe not all the time…WE have to let it go. And if you don’t want to call anyone…well then call someone (or something?) that will ALWAYS answer. Don’t forget to pray. Tell God what’s wrong. Expel into the universe what’s hitting you. Ask for the positive vibes you need. Life will fail us. But God?! But the Universe?! WILL NEVER FAIL US! 

Last but not least“There’s not a real way to live, this for real. Just remember, stay relentless….Don’t stop runnin’ until it’s finished. It’s up to you, the rest is unwritten!”  So what now, Dia? What’s next? I don’t know…and as bad as this sounds…I don’t care. I canceled my scheduled MCAT test that was set for September 2nd, and I decided to stop “pushing.” I decided…to choose me. I decided….to school life. I decided….I don’t want to live my present life stressing over something that I have a LIFETIME to do. And for what? Because I was constantly looking at my fellow 20somethin’ classmates who were headed to medical school, young, and…20something. I wanted that. I wanted it and I wanted everything I said above…all before the age of 50. And don’t get me wrong…I still do. This is not some epiphanic post to say I no longer want to go to medical school. Nah, that’s not it at all. I’m Superwoman, remember? At least, that’s what everyone tells me. CURRENTLY, it’s still MY end goal. But, I’m not just “going” there. I’m “growing” there. So….there’s no more time limits. There’s no more pushing. I could apply at 25. I could apply at 29. I could apply at 35. Butt, from now on, I’m going to constantly answer my questions. “What am I doing?” and “Why am I doing this?” If you ask me this NOW, well…I don’t know what I’m”doing” in a degree that I’m finding it hard to adjust to. But, I’m being light and being love….I’m going to inspire women and children. I’m going to advocate for women. I’m going to learn…and I’m going to learn all that I can about gender, and healthcare, and gender rights, and gender equality. I’m going to change a community. I’m going to help people LIVE…and live fruitful lives, healthy lives…a life with equality and freedom. I’m going to write, and I’m going to keep writing. And why? Well, Because God! Because the Universe! I think this is my own storm to mold me, to form me, to build me….into a mother of many…many crowds…many populations…and maybe even many nations of women and girls. No matter where I go, no matter how far, this is what I’m doing NOW…I’m SCHOOLIN LIFE… for a voice….for my voice…for a voice that can’t be heard. I’m….sparkling. I’m sparkling with all my might. I’m…being light. And I will go….in whatever career, serve in every capacity, and write everywhere in what I’m called to be. I will continue to spread love…and spread ME. Will you join me? Here’s to our 20somethin’s! May they write our stories, grant us love we’ve never imagined, break our hearts and piece it back together, and show us EXACTLY who we’re meant to be. As you wake up each day, realize our “purposes” are always changing. Above…you just read what I currently “feel”. This life..these feelings…these purposes…they’re all obligated to change. Change. Something we can’t stop. So, what now 20somethin? Don’t let life SCHOOL you. KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER. Live. “Go out” when you have class the next day. Take a risk with that girl who’s “just a friend”. Binge watch that show when you have work due the next day. Love without the worries of “defining the relationship”. Meet new people. Make new friends. Take a girls trip to New Orleans and get SMACKED on Bourbon street. Get lost in a new place by yourself. Take yourself on a date. Workout every day. Drink more water. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Live AND prepare. Not one without the other. Work hard, but don’t neglect the play. PLAY HARDER, and don’t forget the work. BE….YOU. Live and love. That’s the ONLY thing you’re going to want when you’re no longer even “somethin'”. You’re going to want a life WELL lived…and a life well loved. Live, give, and let love in today. And then tomorrow…live and love even more. Because before you know it, we’ll be at this door…and no longer 20somethin’ anymore. 

 

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Undergrad Student Research Portraits
Godspeed My Fellow 20somethin’!

 

Sincerely,

Your Present/Future Superwoman 

“I know that you can do all things and NO purpose of yours will be thwarted” – Job 42:2

Breath

“Pause. Breathe. Repair YOUR universe….Proceed”

The purpose of this blog is not to “hide” from anyone. What you read is what you get…the raw-raw, cold, hard, and ugly truth. My truth. Because I’m not afraid of hiding anymore. I’m not afraid to admit that my insecurities are my love and my enemy at the same time. Furthermore, I’m also not afraid to admit…I realized this week-I was neglecting an essential need in order to keep “living”-breath. And here I was wondering why my heart was steady racing, why I had chest pain that often exacerbated, and why I was constantly panicking over the resting heart rate readings on my FitBit. Breath. I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t giving it. I wasn’t loving it. And it wasn’t until this week that I realized I was literally and utterly…holding my breath. So now, not only am I holding back what I truly want to say to people…I wasn’t breathing. And my universe? It was crumbling. I felt under water again. I felt dependent on someone else to pick me up. I felt…un-pretty. I felt like God wasn’t hearing me. I was just an empty sarcophagus. There was not body, no heart…and no breath.

So, how’d you make it through the week Dia?

Simple. I started breathing. And I starting inhaling good air, too. I started breathing everywhere. In my shower. On my shuttle. Naked on my apartment floor. In my bed, sleeping at night while waiting on phone calls from a man that never came. In class, surrounded by more white than cotton fields. In the mornings when I was worried about what life would bring next. And even now, as I write and listen to the Carribean vibes of Sean Paul. Breath. That is what life taught me this week.

Once I started breathing this week, it was the other amazing results that I saw that mattered more than my heart rate lowering. God. The Universe. My Own Voice. The three became so much clearer, because for the past few weeks, I felt so utterly alone. And in my loneliness, I was leaning on so many other things and another person to make me “happy”. But my own breath this week filled me with my OWN happiness this week. I suppose breath brings clarity. I suppose breath brings peace. I suppose my own breath allowed me to start seeing my own passions. Breath. It saved me this week.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Life still brought it’s worries this week. Life still brought it’s trials this week. Life still has my heart wrapped in someone that I’m making it so hard to leave. But breath? Breath lets me know everything is going to be alright. Breath allows me to think rationally about the next step. Breath…allows me to piece MY universe the way I want to piece it and not based on what anyone else feels or wants.

Therefore, take this today. It is YOUR universe. And the vibes you attract…depends on your breath. The decisions you make….depends on your breath. So, breathe. Piece together YOUR world, and realize the atmosphere will work in your favor. And what you see today…doesn’t matter tomorrow.

Breathe…and be the best breathing Queen you can be.

 

XOXO and Cheers to the Weekend,

Queen Dia