Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Truth be told...

It's been quite a long time since I have written a blog post - 10 months to be exact.  I guess you could say I lost interest or did not feel inspired and nothing of substance came about.  In my mind, I've concluded that you could say that I've been reflecting- reflecting upon and growing in a life full of somethings, yet for a long while as of late, I deemed to be full of nothings- nothings you'd care to hear about at least.  I haven't felt worthy of or pointed in your attention.  Yet, as I was lying sleepless in bed, I kept feeling as if so many words needed to come out, like I was going to bust if I didn't get pen to paper and spill many of these thoughts that are swiftly circling through like a tropical typhoon.  I kept going over things about myself- things that sicken me, sending shudders through my frame, and chills to my bones.  Questions circled my brain like a conspiring hurricane of disdain and shame: Is THAT who I am?  Is THAT who I was?  Is THAT the character I wished to portray myself as in my first chapters of life and the memory I have tattooed of myself in so many minds?!?  And is it too late?  Suddenly, I am angry... all encompassing angry.  I am swollen with fury like lava beneath the opening of a volcano, threatening to erupt.  But who am I angry with?  Who am I fuming with fire like the thick bowels of hell for?

Me.

You see, things have changed drastically in my household over the course of a year and that has enabled me to do some serious analysis of who I am as an adult, as a parent, as a spouse, as a friend, as a daughter, as a sibling, as a colleague, as a citizen of mankind, and as a person in general- and to say that I am less than pleased with myself is a great deal more than a significant understatement.  I am not proud of myself in the least little bit.  I do not know what brought about this epiphany, but it has been a long overdue affair and has been a looonnngtime a-coming.  I just didn't know how to adequately convey my innermost thoughts and feelings in a way in which it'd be best understood.  I can proclaim, though, that becoming a parent has been a HUGE life altering experience for me and it has been an all encompassing one at that.  The minute that precious ball of baby boy was placed in my arms, a love I've never known washed over me and it suddenly became clear, I am responsible for a life other than my own.  And with that meant I am responsible for raising him to have exceptional character... the hardest job of all, as any parent can attest to. While many an outside stress were consuming me and altering my full comprehension of this gigantic feat then, I know now what wasn't glaringly obvious at that point: I have to be the best role model I can be...and it started years before his conception.  And with what I had to build off of from personal experiences and triumphs?  Yikes.  I have a less than stellar resume with that, to say the least.  

As with most to all women, motherhood came naturally and I caught on quick, but all the while, I kept feeling sick about who I was and the sickness never came to pass- like the omnipotent sequoia tree, it kept growing and growing, overshadowing all else around us and was a force to be reckoned with, protected by years of self-absorption and pride.  I was slinking back into a dark place within myself- a place I've seen many a time before.  I've always preached the good gospel and old proverbial adages and such to the masses of my students year after year: "Now now Jimmy, you treat others as you wish to be treated!  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! Would you like it if Sally called YOU ugly?!?  Yadi, yada."  BUT...now that parenthood is thrown in the mix and life begins to imitate my working art of teaching, that conscience in the back of my mind is positively screaming with disdain in my eardrum: What if some other person treated MY sweet son in the way in which I had treated others in the past?  What if my "so-called" sweet son portrayed the often poor, self-absorbed, less than tolerant, better than others character I so carelessly and thoughtlessly exhibited?  What if a false sense of entitlement that I get so disgruntled with now came about from him? (ugh!)  What would I do then?  Guilt began taking over me like the current in an oceanic tide.  I was drifting out to sea atop the USSGuilt and no amount of self-loathing or self-deprecation was bringing me back...something had to change and that something was me- a holistic approach to healing mind, body, and soul, is what was to be on deck.  It started with me and it will end with me.

What you must know, is from the time I was very young, I can remember being called a leader, being called bright, charismatic, outspoken...and I truly cherished and relished in those praises. While confidence strengthening, reflecting now, I see it as a death sentence for poor character...for me, at least.  Don't get me wrong, those are marvelous accolades to receive over and over again at a any age that every parent should and would be proud to hear, but embarrassingly enough, I took them and molded myself into something and someone who disgustingly (and misguidedly) viewed herself as "better than others".  I was not to be deterred and I had to have the best and be the best at everything and if I was not, I was outwardly disgruntled, taking it out on others in the form of gossip and brutal, hateful, vengeful verbal assaults. With that, it must also be said that I've always taken being a role model lightly.  I was always called one so I just thought it was an entitlement and absolutely NEVER appreciated it for the compliment it inherently was.  I was more than full of myself.  I cherished being "cute" and "the center of attention" and a "tiny little thing" (body outgrew that one, yet took my mind years to catch up) and "funny" (others' words) and did my damnedest to fulfill those roles constantly.  I was an actress.  I put ridiculous expectations upon myself and because of that, created an ugly monster.  I am so ashamed to admit that I most definitely thought I was God's gift and many a folk had something to learn from me.  How was I going to do that?  By just being me, of course, and everyone else could catch on or catch my wrath.  And honestly, where did being popular, the party-girl, the outspoken beast, and the obnoxious entertainer who had to be "constantly on" get me different from anyone else?  Aside from a raunchy, bitter aftertaste in the minds of most?  No where!  Is it the most important thing now like it was then?  Oh my goodness, NO, NO, NO.

It's abhorrent, really.  There are no excuses even worthy of thought or mention and I am so dumbfounded and compunctuous with my misguided beliefs, aspirations, and actions. Who was I to dish out hatred and unkind revelations to others? Where did I get off treating others as if I was better than them, however injudicious I was?  Where did I get off believing and acting upon the ideology that I was the center of everyone's universe?  Where did I get off being so incrediblyself-absorbed?  While at the time I thought nothing inaccurate of myself, I see it now that I was so commiserable and so shortsighted... absolutely nothing like the character I reflect on and remember fondly in so, so many of my friends. I had so many beautiful, wonderful people and friends in my life and to you...all of you, you know who you are, I must apologize profusely.  I am so, so sorry for being an atrocious person and appalling friend.  I often blamed you for the dissipation of our friendship, but it is glaringly obvious that it was and it IS me. Me...ME...ME. While I didn't see it or recognize it then (or even just a few recent years ago) your exceptional character prevails most because you were still my friend, even though I didn't and haven't always reciprocated anything close to those same qualities.  Up until recent times and as of late, my often poor character is most likely what shines in your memory bank of me. Those thoughts of horrendous words and actions are tattooed on your brains and how I wish I could go back and change them altogether.  What I wouldn't give to have Will Smith's "flashy thing" from Men in Black to just erase that part of me from your minds...but reality is not that easy, actions speak louder than words and I must live with what and who I once was and work to be a much better version of myself here in the present and in the future.  My longing for a resurrection or building upon what's now a faltering and distant friendship with you depends on it, as does my son's well-being.

To all of you reading, once in my life or presently still, I must proclaim to you my sincerest, most obsequious apologies.  Whether I've said something ugly to you, belittled you, or treated you in a way in which I made you feel negatively in any capacity, I cannot say enough "I'm sorries" to adequately convey my feelings of ignominy and disgrace.  These malfeasances are inexcusable and I have been long deserving of your opprobrium.  Truth be told, I am legitimately humbled by these revelations and while I'm engaged with building admirable and favorable, upstanding character in my son, I must first be processing internally and exhibiting these traits myself.  I am constantly working to display a new form of confidence- a way that shows my son to be proud of yourself for who and what you are and for having a balance of humility, and noble, unapologetic qualities that strive to reflect and radiate good character.  Truly for the first time in my life, I am absolutely beyond honored and appreciative to be a role-model- it is a job I do NOT and refuse to take lightly.

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