After surviving the terror of high school I came haughtily into my twenties arrogant and convinced that I knew who I was and had life all figured out. I wasn’t waiting for happiness to find me, I was walking straight up to it, grabbing it by the balls and taking it home with me to reside. However, my twenties turned out to be one giant snowball of disaster until I was forced to discover that I didn’t know jack shit about life. I wish I had gone on some enlightening trip to Tibet or had an epiphany from God in a vivid dream, but I learned the truth about my life and it’s direction from the most boring and vacuous source of all: heartbreak.
Marrying at the ripe old age of 21 slowly brought out the worst of my depression and shined a spotlight on the fact that I not only had no idea who the hell I was, but I was also waking up to someone who was even less familiar to me. I lost pieces of my soul everyday, but in spite of it all I believed I would emerge from the fire like a phoenix with a singed but glistening wedding band still on my finger. As everyone knows, the marriage fell apart and so did most of my resolve and sanity. I wasn’t just a stranger trapped in my own body, I was a depressed woman discovering the absolute worst about life and my own limitations.
In hindsight, I probably just needed some time to recover, but my raw heart needed healing fast and I sought refuge in a man more broken than I was. Because we were so fragile, disillusioned by life and so monumentally fucked up all we managed to do was devastate each other and irrevocably bind our separate dysfunctions together for life. This isn’t Shakespearean times, star-crossed lovers no longer drink of the poison and escape the reality of love that can’t be. Instead, we are forced to be adults and we look that person in the eye everyday if we need to…and we hide our love away. The end of my marriage was a fracture, an aching—something that time and God could eventually heal. The second thing was a shattering of all the bones in my body, a holocaust of everything that I was made of and because of how these events were juxtaposed the damage was enormous and I truly have no idea as to whether I will emerge from this ok. But I’m trying…
I’m not a doctor and I don’t like to self-diagnose but I know how I struggle. I think that more time will reveal my absolute truth as to whether melancholia is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life, or if it’s been triggered by a series of events that I can’t shake. Whatever the case may be, I have made the personal decision to steer clear of mood-altering medications and to make life my drug of choice. To quote my favorite artist, Salvador Dali, “I don’t do drugs, I AM drugs!” Throughout my twenties I feel I’ve been constantly struggling with identity, cocking my head toward whoever was whispering in my ear telling me who I was supposed to be. I no longer want others to define me or my truth—not even my family. These very personal and intimate heartbreaks I’ve experienced have taught me secret things about myself and now no one can say they know me and know what’s best for me.
In my quest for healing, I only know that I want to be free. I want to laugh loudly, dance awkwardly, give freely and love openly. Just as I fear my emotions being muted by anti-depressants, I fear my heart being muted by tainted love. The concept of Embracing the Crazy is simply that; having no fear of love in any of its forms. I know that I’m a little unconventional, maybe self-absorbed, maybe abrasive but I am choosing to love myself at the bottom in a last ditch effort to rise to my full potential. I’m embracing myself as I am and trying to take life as it comes. In spite of pain and hardship I laugh and have learned to just BE and enjoy myself anyway. A few jobs, several quarrels with family and friends, countless eviction notices and many many tears later, I still feel the happiest I’ve been in a very long time.
I’ve opened up about a lot of really personal things on this blog, so it’s really a shame that this topic makes me most uncomfortable. I don’t have a self-esteem issue per se, but lately I realized that there is something not quite right about how I see myself. When it comes to attraction and the opposite sex I learned early on that looks aren’t even the half of it. A lot of it has more to do with the vibe you give off and a rockin’ ass body doesn’t hurt for some people. Because of my strangeness I’ve never had a problem attracting the opposite sex, but the older I get the more I see the importance of wanting to be able to look in the mirror and seeing myself as appealing and pretty. When men refer to my sexuality or my weirdness I get that, but once I hear the word “beautiful” or “pretty” I tune it out as random flattery. My nose is too big, one of my eyes is smaller than the other and I think my lips are too small. But you know, I’m not that into plastic surgery nor do I have the funds, so I simply work with what God gave me.
It was all fun and games until I started comparing myself to other women. I am normally not the jealous type but lately as I’ve been struggling with my weight, and dating again, and emerging from my own world and back on social media I’ve been exposed to hot bitches everywhere! I didn’t know that so many of my friends were models, or had such tight abs and fat asses! Here I am dorking it out on my computer, writing these posts and hoping it gets one comment or one “like” from someone who understands or is moved—meanwhile, a hot chick changes her profile pic and instantly gets 100 “likes”—well damn! This made me livid—honestly, fuck these vapid bitches for bringing nothing to the table but hot bodies and the Valencia filter. I am about so much more! Then I have to laugh at myself and get a grip when I’ve realized I’ve posted just as many selfies, I just didn’t get any likes :-/. What is this? This need or want to be desired by others and for others to approve and validate me?
There is nothing wrong with my desire to be attractive, but it’s hard to want other people to perceive you in a way that you don’t even see yourself. I don’t think I was ever at a point where I truly appreciated my looks or my body (especially since I can’t keep up with it as much as my weight fluctuates). Right now I’m just at the point where it’s no longer that big of a deal to adversely trigger more depression. I know what I want to fix, I just need to fix it and that’s all there is to it. If I died tomorrow I wouldn’t want to die hating myself over something as superficial as body type and looks. I don’t want to have to wait to love myself until I achieve my personal goals—I get enough of that from external sources—I want to love myself NOW. At the end of the day I just want to be pretty, look good in clothes and look good naked and that’s all vanity anyway. My body may change but my smile will always be the same—so I may as well smile and accept how I look through all stages in life.
There’s a song on the radio now called “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” by Portugal. The Man, that’s super catchy, and I find myself singing it in my head because I think of it as me, personified. “All I wanna do is live in ecstasy, I know what’s best for me.” Whenever I hear it I turn it up because I do believe I know what’s best for me compared to other people. That is the kind of life I am trying to live. Then one day, I listened more closely to the lyrics and realized that the full lyrics were “All I wanna do is live in ecstasy, I know what’s best for me–I just want to be evil.” Whoa! Pump the brakes—that is NOT what I want for my life. To desire a free soul treads on dangerous ground because it opens you up to all sorts of potentially dark things—if you seek and wander aimlessly. I don’t want to be a child’s helium balloon that detaches from the small hand and drifts into the sky without clear path or direction. I wish to be more like a kite that gets to experience the freedom of the wind but can be reeled in by a stronger force when necessary.
Though my religious friends probably think I’ve gone completely mad with my language, revealing pics and outrageous stories about casual sex; I have not. I have a relationship with the God I worship and I’m building on it throughout this journey and I feel safe and loved in it. My soul quests for freedom but not to run amok and to seek self-serving opportunities. My ties to God is what allows me to bounce back, what allows me to forgive and what allows me not to feel so alone when I’m lying awake at night tears streaming down my face and contemplating the worst. For me, a free soul is to break away from the mold of “single mother” “Christian” “young black woman” and just be what I am most comfortable being at the end of a long day. I just want to live in ecstasy, I know what’s best for me—I just want my freedom.
I share my story so that maybe even one person can find freedom in it, and know that they aren’t alone in their efforts navigating through life while embracing all the crazy that comes along with it…