Jernee is eleven years old now, almost twelve. Her bladder, as expected, does not hold liquids as long as it used to. Thus, I make trips home during my lunch break, wake up in the middle of the night to take her out, and have resorted to putting “puppy pads” down once again to help my baby girl if I know I am going to be away from home much longer than expected. This is what aging is all about, eh?
There are some gritty parts of me that I find, of late, bring me no pleasure to share. Isn’t that what this is all about, though? Releasing, removing everything from the system that clings to the depths of my bowels and makes it hard for me to handle life accordingly? I can vocalize this now without actually sly-giggling while I state it, but I have a problem with relinquishing control, especially if I feel a situation at hand will crumble if I do not have my hands somewhere in the mix. Ego knows when the right time is upon it. I take on quite a bit of responsibility, but I always have. I am the eldest child, the first great-grandchild and grandchild on both sides, so naturally, I was given the green light to make a few decisions before I truly knew what decision-making was. The problem is, that stuck . . . And it did so a little too well.
Ego knows when the right time is upon it.
While speaking to my therapist during our last session, I informed her that I can feel a lot of tension fall away from me because I am letting things go — things of which I have no control. There have been so many events that have happened recently that would have seriously made me break or lose my cool, but for some odd reason, I am regaining balance. I want to say that I can pinpoint when it took place, but really, I cannot. I just know that it feels good. At work, I am one of the “go-to people” and when I am not there, things do not typically flow the way they should. But, I feel the brunt of it too whenever anyone is out or away from work. We are all a part of a great team and each of us brings something incredible to our facility. We play our roles and we play them well.
What has been hardest for me, recently, is separating work-life from home-life because I have begun to get rather close to my teammates. So when the workday ends, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am no longer in touch with the members of my team. When one works closely with others for over a year, bonds take place — feelings mature. You become sad if something happens to one of them, if they’re ill, have been in a car accident, or if the stressors of life begin to wear them down. I am learning to feel what I need to feel for them but to not feel like I have to solve their problems or find a solution.
Some things do not require our input.
And in learning this, I can continue to move forward with self-care and self-love. It is not my duty to hold the hands of my adult loved ones. It is not expected of me to center around them and jump onto every little case that causes a bit of friction in their lives. I have to learn to step out of the way and only be available when asked — if asked. Some things do not require our input. They simply require us to be present in that moment when we need to know what is going on and nothing more. Making room to pull this piece of me away from my skin is opening up new doors for me to be able to focus on self-care and self-love more. But, it will take time — years, I am certain.
My therapist notices that I would rather handle someone else’s problems and ease their pain than willingly acknowledge mine and work on regaining my own balance. I admitted to her that it is easier to help someone else than to help myself. That I have been in the nurturer/caretaker role for a very long time and this — this taking care of myself, is all relatively new to me. Taking time away from work to go on adventures, mini-vacations to places on my bucket list, and to spend time away from the electronic devices that can cripple me have been the best methods in ushering me to a place of centeredness and understanding.
I want to understand how to better care for myself but not to completely shut out or cut off the problems of others. The hard thing is finding a happy medium. When is it okay to step in? Is it ever okay to step in to ease someone else’s burden or pain? Should I wait until asked or use my heart to continue to guide me to know when the time is best? I like to say, that “I am a flawed piece of life still learning how to live,” and there is much truth in that statement. The quiet space of my therapist’s office is the circle of openness that I need. I am shedding and although it is scary, this is necessary. We are not meant to remain the same throughout our lives. Age ages. It keeps going and I am making it a point to go along with it — to grow along with it.
“I am a flawed piece of life still learning how to live.”
None of it is easy. I have turned the mirror on me and who I see when I stare into it is a beautiful being who needs tender love and care. I also see someone who can be so much more if she pushes fear to the side. The main thing is the fear of noticing how much of me needs changing — how much pruning I require in order to stand up straight and sway passionately in the sunlight. I take at least an hour or two out of my day and I read. I unplug. No television. No cell phone usage. No laptop or desktop usage. I simply sit in silence or I read. Is it helping to shape me into a better person? I think so. I feel as though the opportunity to embrace peace and quiet daily when my world is so full of noise is going to further help me on my journey.
“You have to know when to let go, Tre. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be.”
Her final words to me during our last session — the light that needed to be shined on my face still stings . . . “You have to know when to let go, Tre. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be.” I am fully aware of my path and I know it will be hard to stay on it, but I want to move forward. I just hope that what I see of me as months pass will pull me closer into loving me instead of shifting me even further away.
Because I have made a HUGE move and I want to share that here as well. My publication A Cornered Gurl via Medium has been the published work of myself, any Writer who has collaborated with me, and a number of challenge posts. Today, I decided to open the pub up to all Writers on Medium. Here is the official announcement:
“I have been toying with the idea of opening up A Cornered Gurl to Writers here on Medium. And, I think the timing of toying with it any longer has reached its end. I would like to welcome you — those of you interested in being a Writer for A Cornered Gurl to come along on this journey with me. There’s room. We will be comfortable. Creativity will run rampant here as well as all of us gaining the chance to learn from one another.
What is the theme?
A Cornered Gurl: Where Writers Break Out of the Box
What will I publish?
•Heartwork (to include fiction, non-fiction, & poetry) •Tales of the South •Micropoetry •Challenges
When will I publish?
Mondays and Fridays by 7:00 pm, US EST.
Every three months, there will be a focus on the Young Writers of Medium, and on Mondays and Fridays during that month, ACG will publish the work of Writers from the ages of 15–25. I do not know where we will be going, but I do feel like traveling with some creative company is best.
How do you become a Writer? Email me at email@example.com using “Please Add Me” as the subject line or respond to this letter by stating the same (“Please Add Me”) and it shall be done. Since I am a fan of variety and quality over quantity, I will publish a total of two pieces from the same Writer on Monday and Friday (meaning, a Writer can have one piece published on Monday and a new piece published on Friday.)
•Tomorrow, Sunday, January 6, 2019, will be the first challenge post and will kick off the opportunity to add new Writers and publish the content from the challenge announcement on Monday, January 7, 2019, and Friday, January 11, 2019.
Important Notice: I will not publish content disrespectful in nature to anyone’s race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, social and/or financial economic status, or anything else I regard as insensitive rhetoric/discourse. This is our community. Grow with me in 2019 and beyond.