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.

IMG_7611
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.

    IMG_2384
    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.

    girls7
    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.

    IMG_2425
    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.

    artlanta3
    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.

    IMG_2385
    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.

    954821_579083052113315_266400976_n
    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.

 

 

Advertisements

Ode to Side Piece

 

Side piece…oh side piece…where art thou, my side piece?

Let’s talk about something. Something along the lines of being a side piece…a side piece tryna’ become a nine piece….a side piece that becomes for everybody. That side piece was me. That side piece is me.

I remember my first relationship. I was just so excited that someone actually thought I was pretty. I looked at myself as just a big girl. I never saw someone “being with me.” So, I got my confidence up to shoot my shot. I got my confidence up to see if someone who I thought was just so fine…would want to be with me. Confidently putting my number in his phone, it seemed like three years instantly became history. That’s right. You read it right-three years. Three years of broken promises. Three years…and still no ring (LOL). Three years..I allowed myself to be nothing…but a side piece.

And there it goes. We want to keep it real with our women. We want to empower our women…yet we still wanna shame our side chicks by simply saying “Know you’re worthy.” Everyone wants to say they know their worth, but no one wants to share their “unworthy” story. This is real life, real situations, and real things. Am I yelling to “Go out and be a side chick?” Am I saying being a side chick is a good thing? Are we right, as side pieces, to stoop so low to think we HAVE to stay in the side piece position? Are we pathetic for believing someone when they say they love us? Are side chicks not queens? The answer is “No” to all of these. Some of us just want to have fun. Some of us think we have the right person at the wrong timing. And some of us…some of us are just trying to figure out everything. I am/was a proud side piece…because maybe….just maybe…being a side piece taught me a WHOLE lot of me.

Here are the side chick keys:

  1. Silence. As the side chick I was, it’s like….there was NEVER any talking. I saw “my man” kissing another girl in the curtains at my high school talent show. And oh, “It’s okay.” That’s what I told myself when he told me he was so high off of weed. He said he didn’t know what he was doing. I was young. I was dumb. But if you think it gets better…think again.

 See, things like this happen often being the side chick. Not knowing when to say things…not knowing how to say things…and always questioning, “Can I really say this if we’re not together?” Silence. Being a side chick showed me not only how much I silence myself in fucked-up-relation-situationships, but it also showed me how much I silence myself as a woman overall in society. I like…making people happy. And I think…at some point…if people REALLY knew what was on my mind…they’d look at me like I’m crazy. I’d be the fool…for standing up for me. I’d be looked at as mean. Silence. It was better for me to be silent that to ruin this “good,kind,smart girl” thing I had going. So, essentially…I stayed in my lane. I let my first relationship…dictate to me who I was…for the sake of feeling pretty…and for the sake of having somebody.

2. Insecurity.

After a whole year of “breaking up to make up”…a whole year of antics to “prove” to my Mr. Know-It-All that I was something…a whole year of flinging myself at other guys to make my Boo Thang jealous….it was time for college. And within the first month, it didn’t take long to meet a stranger…that completely swept me off my feet. This time…when I was called pretty…it wasn’t…manipulating, It brought me peace. It made me…a main piece. But, I played side piece so long…I didn’t know how to be the main piece (that relationship is another post and another story).

I’ll never forget when my ex called me thunder thighs once. Living behind my weight for so long, that sort of hurt me. But, of course, I laughed, and I didn’t say anything. In my eyes…I had to dress it up and make it real for ’em. In order to really become his main piece, I had to “fuck it up one time.” So he KNEW I was pretty. Then, this man comes along…and he tells me how he didn’t understand why I felt so un-pretty…why I wore so much make-up…ALL THE TIME (he’s the reason I stopped). He told me I was beautiful…he listened to me and my dreams….he constantly told me to live without any worries. He cared about me. He uprooted my insecurity…and put me on a pedestal. I graduated from being a side piece. I became a Queen.

3. Queen.

Of course being the side chick made me learn I was a queen. When begin playing #2 when the person who says they love gets a WHOLE girlfriend…you’ll slowly but surely come to know you deserve to be #1. I didn’t realize this until someone showed me. That’s the thing about being the side chick…you can scream and scream “Know you’re worthy” all day. A side chick will only elevate herself when one of two things happen: 1) she reaches a breaking point or 2) she’s figured out who she is, what she wants, what she’ll stand for, and she’s completely ready. So, my “Should’ve-Been-Husband” made me his #1. But, what did I do? I got so ahead of myself. I became very…demanding. I began doing a lot of…overthinking. Every time I saw him with a girl that was a friend, I drove myself crazy. But, these were things I had seen. These are the games I was accustomed to playing. I ruined a good thing. This “new” love. This “make you better, make you feel glow, make you want to do better” kind of love was so…different for me. So, I was back to square one-with nothing. I think my constant struggle is having success in every other area of my life, but relationships have ALWAYS been far from “amazing”. I just find myself…wanting something. So, I went back to who and what I knew how to do-being #2.

4. Dreams.

I live a lot in my head…and I ALWAYS get caught in writing and thinking of this dream-where I’m this successful doctor, with this successful husband, six or seven kids, a dog, and a stable family. I think what traps me into some of my “side chickery”…is men can be quite talented in fading reality and selling these dreams. Of course, I take full responsibility for overthinking. But, it’s me….I’m always dreaming. And there I was with somebody who wanted to rap and go into the military. But, nowhere….NOWHERE did that fit into my dreams. They were his. He showed me potential…and I just wanted to see him live it all at the expense of me.

5. Potential.

Let’s get this straight. There are levels to being a side piece. We immediately put this negative image around being a side piece. We immediately shame women for it. As if we don’t hear constant lyrics about men being okay with being “boyfriend #2”, a “boo thang”, or the constant references about calling when your real man not around. Let’s get to it. For the vast majority, everyone has either been a side piece or made somebody one. You’ve had a guy you really liked, but entertained someone else until it “became” something. You had a girl you “chilled” with when your girlfriend was away for a while (and you never told her either). We often equate being or making the side piece bad. But in actuality….you know how it goes-Boys will boys and girls just wanna have fun. Every side piece has potential though. Which is why I have problem with the following statement…”Know your worth”. I get it. I say it. I do my best to TRY to live by it. But, damn, when I’m shamelessly and intentionally “getting to know” a new, young grasshopper…I don’t want to hear that. Secondly, how am I to “know my worth”…when the person telling me is doing the same thing? As women, we are so quick to say this…so quick to slut shame the side piece…but just with anything in life-there are levels to everything. I was a sad side piece, gleaming with hope. I was a proud main piece, a born again woman, beaming with confidence. I became a main piece that wanted to have her cake and eat it too. In my efforts to avoid love, I made a few prospects side pieces and ended up being the one doing the same thing that my heart breaker did to me. Potential. Every side piece has potential. Potential to become a main piece. Potential to get dumped. Potential to get married. Potential…to be happy. Plenty of side chicks get married. Plenty of those who get married…go on to be fine…and happy. We’ve got to empower the side piece and stop making the term so…problematic. Believe it or not, some side pieces are actually…TRYING. Life tosses us in unfortunate situations, people we don’t anticipate falling in love with, and lessons that only WE can learn individually. Instead of saying “Fix your crown”…and making a side piece feel less than the queen she is…can we start leaning in first by saying “Sis, how do you feel? Why do you love him/her? Are you happy? What are your intentions? Are you growing? Are you free?” Most importantly…like Killmonger said, sis…IS THIS YOUR KING?

In all phases of my side chickery…the worst side chick role was being a side chick that just desperately wants to get married and falling for potential. Once again, everybody has potential. Every ho’ could possibly be a housewife. And every dog can be a husband. BUT….YOU aren’t the one to do that changing sis. I’m not either, and I’m still learning. We side chicks mess up when we think like this…Thinking like superwoman. But listen to J. Cole sis…DON’T SAVE HIM. HE DON’T WANNA BE SAVED. As much as some women may be okay with being the “side action”….some men may simply not want to settle down. STOP TRYING TO SAVE HIM. Believe me when I say, this part is a struggle.

6. Hope

Wherever you are…whoever you are….if you’ve been a side piece tryna’ become a nine piece…you know this struggle. You know those questions that wrack your brain- Should I stay or should I go? We lean onto hope-hope that the person we love will change…hope that maybe, just maybe..it’s a real thing. As much as it hurts to say this…as much as I still have to go through this myself…sometimes you will never know. Sometimes, you just won’t…maybe, until you let it go. There’s this big world around us…and people evolve every second, every minute, every hour, every day. Who’s to say you knight in shining armor now won’t come back around one day? He “might”. But, only the universe knows and until then….we have to constantly face this decision- Should I stay or should I go?

My struggle? Perhaps the struggle of every side piece. It’s like what Bow Wow said…Every time I try to leave…something keeps pulling me back…telling me I ’em in my life. Well, for this…sis, I can’t help you. I’m still trying to learn for me. I’m just a piece…trying to put my own pieces together. But, if you’re reading this…here’s the optimism in me- I am you. And you are me. There is hope…and we’ll figure it out one day. If you’re single, enjoy it…you have no worries. You can have TONS of side pieces. If you’re happily taken..well don’t risk keeping your significant other happy for one moment of glory. And if you’re a side piece having fun…I see you too, boo. I’ve done that and somewhat succeeded. I’ve done it and had to break hearts, too. So, be careful. You could be walking a thin line with somebody’s emotions…between love and hate….exchanging soul ties…and allowing someone too infiltrate you. Be careful, but do what makes you happy. If you’re a side chick aspiring to marry…you’ll get there beautiful. This is a season. So, what are you going to do? What is he doing for you? Do you think you should leave? Can you still be friends? Should you cut him off? These are questions that constantly arise for me…so I know these must be questions for you. No matter what…no matter what “side chickery” you’re in…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

7. Accountability.

While being a side chick afforded me to learn all of these things thus far, I also had to take a look at ME. What was MY ROLE in the side chick? Did I want to be? Was I happy? Was this a pattern for me? At every point in my “side chickery”, I’ve done reflecting. I learned: the type of guys I fall for, what that says about me, the type of husband I want, my sexuality, and the big one-my impulsive patterns. I enter my “side chickery” out of boredom and/or being lonely. You know…some days, it’s fine…I’m focused on my career, ambition, and family. My triggers? Living in the past, boredom, lust, revenge, resentment, and validation. Where am I CURRENTLY in this side chickery? Well…lost…as any side chick should be.Some days I’m free. Some days I’m single. Some days I’m excited, thinking about being married. And some days, I just want a best friend to cuddle me. Most days? Most days…I’m simply okay with just me. I’m okay with just being a chick who KNOWS she is worthy, but still trying to figure out what she wants and what that means.

 

From one side chick to another, we all wanna be free. And we all wanna be happy.

 

Be free. Be happy.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

DISCLAIMER: If you’re a side piece aspiring to be married…this piece is in no way, shape, or form advocating for you to STAY a side piece.

Forgive…It’s OK to Not Forget!: Lessons from Lent

IMG_2017When I told my gay best friend what I was doing for Lent, his reaction was priceless…”Dia, you’re not even Catholic!” While true, growing up with my VERY God-fearing, Christian, grandmother…it was just a “thing” for us. While we didn’t “give up” something every year, she always took the time to recognize the season and made it clear to me, the importance. So, why do I NOW “do” Lent? Well, no, I’m not Catholic…and I very much so identify with being a Christian. But, my reasoning for Lent has become less about sacrifice…and more about discovering something God has for me…or NEEDS for me. So, what’s up? It’s Good Friday…and these past (roughly) 40 days…have been TORTURING.

Initially, Lent started…I was out of this “situationship”. I was pissed. I was heartbroken. I was scared. I was lonely. I felt stupid. I felt like I wasted time. I felt like I played myself. I was…angry. And amongst all these things, I finally picked up this book that was collecting dust on my desk, The Wait:A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love  by Meagan Good and Devon Franklin. I’ve had this book for months. But, let’s just say…when enough was enough…I guess I finally knew it was time.

I read this book and I was sold out! I said, “Great. For Lent. No sex!” My girl, Meagan, sold me! In order to get my life together, I had to stop a habit that I recently started. My friend brought me clarity when he said, “How dare you give WIFE DUTIES to a friend?”. And my girls? They were there there through every group text message, every SnapChat, every tear, and every time I was on this emotional roller coaster and kept asking, “Do I just block him?”, “How can we stay friends?” or the kicker…”I thought he was the one for me.” So, Lent? Lent was no sex.

And this was all good. It was a long 44 days and 42 sexless nights. I think my mentality was that…as long as I wasn’t having sex…I was going to be okay. I would get over everything. I could FORGET everything…and I could just move on? But, was it that easy? OF COURSE NOT. There were many nights crying..many phone calls with my friends I spent fronting/bashing…many fits of resentment…and most importantly…MANY MANY MANY times, watching Girls Trip. Let me say right here: “Girls Trip” got ya girl through EVERY DAY. Ryan Pierce got me through EVERY day. I started saying affirmations. I started LISTENING to affirmations. I started to see myself in Ryan. I started to learn that…”I am strong. I am powerful. I am beautiful…and if I will it…I CAN HAVE IT ALL.”

This was my life for a two weeks-solitude, “Girls Trip”, working out and crying. I was trying to just forget the past eight months existed and rushed to “get back to being me.” Then, it hit me. And this is where I will go ahead and say…BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR (because I prayed and said “Lent was about forgiveness and healing.”). But, it hit me. And as obvious as it should be…I realized…I had to forgive. I realized in this very moment, I had to forgive him…and I had to forgive everybody. Most importantly, I realized why this “situationship” meant so much to me…why it carried so much for me. It reminded me of my very first boyfriend- “the one” that I loved and the one that broke me. And while quite comical now, like “Dia, how was he the one’? It was HIGH SCHOOL!” But, when it lasted as long as it did…I was so…invested in someone…who was never invested in me.

Forgiveness. The moment I realized what I was harboring….I realized it didn’t just start or stop here. I had to do a LOT of forgiving. My best friend-the one who just left me high and dry…and forgot me. My dad-the very first man who left me. My granddad-the man who gave me everything I wanted and would give everything I’d need…but neglected to remind me that he loved me..and that I was worthy. My mother-the woman who I  (deep down) internalized as the woman who just up and left me. Every boy I ever gave my heart to-for never giving their heart to me. And then…the hearts I broke-because the people who wanted to love me…Well, I didn’t know what the type of “loving me for ME” love was. So, it was unfamiliar to me. I was chasing the “kind” of man I saw in my dreams…I never stopped to think of the hearts I, myself, left behind me. So, I put this right here and right now…Please, forgive me.

Forget. I think before all this…forgiveness to me was all about, “Okay Adia..this happened…you can’t do anything about it. Let’s just forget it.” And that’s easy. Because surrounded by a culture where all we hear is “Fuck your feelings.”, I found myself…constantly just trying to scoot by these things. I found myself adopting a “Play or GET PLAYED” line of thinking. Essentially, and in short, I was always running. I would “spend time with myself” for a while and then jump right back to “talking” to somebody new, opening my vulnerability, and finding things (be it people, groups, money, achievements,;etc.) to validate me. I was just…forgetting. I was forgetting everything..and I was forgetting me.

But are we really supposed to “forget” everything? Are we really supposed to forget the very features of the picture that makes a masterpiece? I started reflecting on each “bad” situation and each person I was playing victim to saying “broke” me…and I started thinking about the GOOD things. Examples? My mom, being the young, selfish 21-year old she was…leaving me was the BEST thing she could have done for me. My grandmother…she needed me. The relationship we have…is more than just “family”. I make her happy. She keeps me happy. She’s been through a lot. The best gift my mother could have ever gave me…was my grandmother…because she needed me. The best thing my mother could have done was KEEP me..not when she at once faced a decision to get rid of me. My father? I wrecked my brain many nights during this season. I remember like two or three years ago, my mom, dropped his name on me. Occasionally, ever since, I’ve been looking him up on Facebook. I learned I have three sisters out there somewhere. I thought…maybe I write a letter..maybe he’ll write me…wanna see me. Maybe we can finally be a family. After days of this, I realized…the more damage than good that could happen with this. Like, what if his wife doesn’t know? His kids don’t know? I could ruin his family. And nah, that wasn’t me. So, I just started praying.

Forgive. It’s OK not to forget. I thought the only way for me to get through Lent…for me to get over that this relationship didn’t work… was through forgetting and resenting. Well, God had something for me. And when this was revealed to me…I literally looked up and was like, “What the hell? God…how am I supposed to be kind to someone who damn sure wasn’t kind to me when he played me?” And before I get to what I learned…I had to stop. And I had to accept my accountability. I think it’s important…in every situation (ESPECIALLY in situationships/relationships) to analyze your role in it. The reality of it all…I played me. The truth was before my eyes all along…but I didn’t want to believe it. I thought I was in control. I thought I could change…everything.

So, I feel like God was like, “Okay Dia…let me holla at you. You have to show your offenders kindness and compassion…if I am to forgive you. You have to forgive them if you want me to heal you. You have to think of my love for them…JUST like my love for you. They are not perfect…and neither are you. stop and think about YOU. What if I didn’t forgive you.” I learned.and even questioned…what if…just what if…God uses US, the light, the inspiring, the awesome people that we are…to help and even heal the very people who hurt us. I unpacked all this. It was hard. It IS hard. But, I realized…I do a pretty damn good job of crying wolf, playing victim, and dwelling on “This is what they did to me.” But, I never take into account, “Dia, girl…let me holla at you…THIS is what YOU did to them. You lied. You manipulated. You used them. You lied to them. Do you want me to keep going?”

Healing. Healing is about looking in the mirror and being able to look at what you’re facing. In order for me to “learn” forgiveness, I also had to ask for healing. I had to look at…where and why I was hurting. And it, by far, has been the BEST thing that has happened to me. Now, this is not a process that is ending. I’ve also learned that forgiveness and healing is ALWAYS, ALWAYS ongoing. These past 40 days have afforded me to learn so many, many, many revelations about me- about how I internalize love and money (ie. gifts), love and lust, self-love, insecurity, and the big one? As I’ve reflected over the years…while I am a woman and I’ll always have “one of them days”, I am FINALLY at a point in my life, where I am COMFORTABLE in my body…right here and right now. I learned that in a previous season of my life…I lost a lot of weight…for the WRONG reasons…and I was never honest with those around me. On the inside, it was never about “loving me” or being “healthy”. I was trying to “level up” and show my first boyfriend what he was missing. And while that may be okay to be ONE of the reasons, it definitely should NOT have been my primary.

I learned that these relationships..these people who I always “think” I’m going to marry. Truth is…they always start from this certain lust for me. A lust I am dealing with. A lust I’ve been surpressing. A lust I’ve been forgetting. A lust…I have to set a part from knowing if someone “loves” me. My reality? There is a large desire within me…a craving. And I’m currently wanting to understand myself, this desire, it’s wants, and it’s needs. But, this I do know for sure. I can’t be tamed..and regardless of if I grow to be this woman who’s 40, single, and successful…or this successful doctor/writer/speaker with this bomb husband and big family…I can’t be boxed in. I’m AFRAID of being boxed. I NEED to be free. If I am to be “married”, I need to be understood.

Healing. Lent opened my wounds again. I had apologize to a few people when I’ve been wrong, and learn…that hey, I’m learning. And this…is what life is about.

Forgive…It’s OK not to Forget! Because believe it or not? You needed that person to leave. You needed her to leave you for your best friend. You needed that friend to betray you. You and your homeboy needed to always argue. You needed to find out she was only using you. You needed you father to leave you. Forgive…but don’t forget. Forgive…but don’t forget. Forgive…and keep on lovin’. Because this is YOU. This is ME….and we’re beautiful.

And we’re still learning. This was Lent for me. And this a process that is still going. I thank those who I’ve opened up to and have shared in these moments with me. I thank those who have said “Dia, what’s going on? You are where you’re supposed to be.” when I’ve called crying that I’m lost and failing. I thank my family…because for the longest I think I’ve felt like I had to put on this facade so I could fit into ya know “being a woman” and “being classy”. But, I unapologetically switch it up sometimes…I love loud music…and I laugh loud most of the time…and you guys love and accept me.

They say home is where the heart is…Thank you all…for reading this…for supporting “Dialosophy”…for supporting me…for being my home.