I Believe In Me Sometimes, But Not All The Time — And That’s My Struggle

MUSICAL SELECTION: GIL SCOTT-HERON|WINTER IN AMERICA

When a bird sings, it is lending its heart to you

Photo by kevin turcios on Unsplash

I am a purposed woman. I know I have a purpose. I am inclined to believe we all have a purpose. However, I struggle to recognize, grasp, and embrace exactly what my purpose is. I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I can tell you all the things that make me uncomfortable and put me in deep states of anxiousness, yet I can’t quite place a finger on a solitary thing to cause me to erupt more than something else. I have faults and flaws — upswings and downswings — brave moments and fearful ones. I am a walking contradiction who lives down the street from super-inflated candidness wrapped in a slice of humility.

The seasons blur. I cannot find my way through spring shifted from winter second-removed from autumn or passed down by summer. Every season carries its own pain and its own special directness as they enter my realm. Who should I be now? What should I learn today? Where will any of this lead me four to five years from now?

It is the tail-end of spring and the birds sing their joyous songs just outside my window — a congregation of like minds willing to harmonize their thoughts and feelings.

When a bird sings, it is lending its heart to you.

I tell myself this . . . that birdsong is God’s feathered creatures sharing their heart. Am I a great keeper of it? Can they trust me with it? I am not a bird person, per se, but I enjoy listening to their musical offerings. I carry their songs with me throughout the day. Sometimes, they are the only thing that can lift me out of a frigid mood — warm my soul. These days, I’ll take what I can get.


I have a mean gift of gab — I do.

If I am not willing to point out what I do well, who will? Without boasting or sounding arrogant, I remind myself occasionally, “You are an incredible words-worker. You can create anything using words.” And I can. I have. I hope to continue to do so as each year passes, but the world is shifting from what it used to be, and I fear many of us no longer want to sit with words. We want to be spoonfed by two-minute reels of one’s forty-year timeline or audiobook everything, including the Bible. We want the diet version of a memoir and the cliff notes to epic poetry and . . . I fear I will move out of my league with this new normal.

But, I have a mean gift of gab. I can land a poetic punch or comedic comeback in a heartbeat and not blink an eye. One thing I love most about working from home is sharing with my co-workers via Teams. At roughly about 11:10 a.m. every workday, one of my Workforce Managers will tag me in a Teams group chat casually blaming me for the call queue increasing because I took a break. I, of course, upon returning from break, will see my name tagged with the statement of blame and our tit for tat in comedic exchanges will begin.

Several co-workers will say in the chat, “I wait for this every morning! It’s one of the reasons I’m excited to log on!” or “Y’all two are so funny. This is better than my soaps.” I have to admit, on some days, this same Workforce Manager will give me a run for my money via a verbal comedic lashing, and I’ll humbly bow out. If I had to guess, though, I’d say we’re neck and neck.

But these exchanges and how good they make my co-workers feel are reminders of what I have done and can do with the English language.


I motivate others to be better versions of themselves

When I am at my highest level of confidence, I can motivate others to be better versions of themselves. It is not finger-pointing, and it is most definitely not, “Look at what I did — you can do it, too!” It is more like me simply listening to them, knowing what they can do and how often they have overcome obstacles to get where they are in life, and reminding them of this. It is me sounding a bullhorn in their ear that they have the power to be exactly who they wish to be. They must recognize it.

I take what I say to them and turn it back on to myself as well. I am not a stranger to self-reflection or honing in on integrity. We all have a little of something in us others want — they may even need it, and most times, it makes them happy for us to share whatever that little something is.


I struggle with my gifts and talents — with believing in myself

Knowing all that I know about myself and how I operate, I still struggle with believing completely in myself — with feeling as though I can be more — do more; provide more for my life. I have goals I would still like to meet and I aspire to be a better version of myself, too, but the weight of the world and some of my negative thoughts can create a conflict within me, and I play tug of war with myself.

Although I’ve been down the road of my life and have seen my many accomplishments, there is always this nagging voice poking its way into my thoughts if ever I stumble upon a new idea. It creepily says, “Are you sure you can do this?” And sometimes it gets rude with its statement and spits a, “But you’ve already failed at this before” at me, and I stutter-step with my next moves. It is up to me to continue to pour positive energy into this being of mine as I grow older — as I seek opportunities out there I know are meant for me.

I am going to be just like the birdsong — soon, a piece of my heart will be with you.


Originally published in CRY Magazine via Medium.

NaPoWriMo #26

Jernee, sitting in the car while I gathered our things so we could leave the Vet’s office.

Aging Has Its Place (a one-lined poem)

The cataracts have fully-formed, her hearing is sub-par, the cystic tumor on her back, right paw coupled with her age aren’t the best candidates for surgery, yet she continues to give me joy and affection on the roughest of days; she always forgets her pain for me.

NaPoWriMo #24

Changes in Time

My friend, Angel and her handsome son, Jonathan. Photo used with her permission.

It had been years–how
many, I don’t know, but I
had missed her voice–missed
hearing her infectious laugh
pour itself through the phone.

We shared short stories,
little tales, and snippets of our
lives instantly. The first few
seconds of the call
flooded us in giggles and
questions drenched in,
“Are you still there?” “Did you
do this?” and “What age did you
get a car?”

We were trying to remember
our childhood days–the times we
shared that connected us
decades ago. She is the sister
of a friend who is the sister of
another friend and it amazes me
that after all these years, I still
know and love all three sisters.

Isn’t it funny how changes in
time grip us and pull us into
its grasp clenching on until
we acknowledge its presence?
We can move on to different
places, don different faces, but
our hearts remain the same.

A phone call led to an
overflow of positive recollections
and positive experiences.
And I needed that more than
I thought I did.

NaPoWriMo #23

throwback meal

had a taste for a
throwback meal
conjured up the
sloppy joe–added some
Brussels sprouts . . .
green on the scene.

persuaded the palate to
downplay tater tots or
fries . . . decision was a
solid one.

one bite into a burger
that’s really not a burger
and I remember playing
Super Mario Bros. on
Super Nintendo and
Sonic the Hedgehog on
Sega Genesis, staying up
past 10:00 pm on the weekends
at the clubhouse while overlooking
the pool we swam in hours
before.

good times every day,
fun could be found
everywhere we looked–even
on a bad day.

#NaPoWriMo #19

power three: Photo Credit Tremaine L. Loadholt

digging in the crates

went album hunting
on my 42nd, filled
with excitement to
dive into hundreds of
crates with artists’ smiles
or avant garde masterpieces
marking up the covers.

I hunted for The Isley Brothers,
Hall & Oates, and Moonchild,
but found the Commodores and
Leonard Cohen, instead.
my time was not wasted
as I increased my collection
by three more good
finds for under thirty dollars.

I paid my fee, shared my
store credit with the college-aged
woman standing behind the
plexiglassed station, and loaded
up my new babies in
my motivated arms.

I fell in love with music
all over again when the needle
licked the first record of
choice. I spent hours
replaying the feelings and
emotions building a tower
in my heart.

I’ll go again next weekend.