I remember my Great-Grandmother being more than sure of herself, she was confident and she had a presence about her that demanded your attention. I was close to her, undeniably and inexplicably close. Her passing more than sixteen years ago now gutted me. I felt as though my world would crumble. Her mind decided to give up on her. She had a form of dementia that beat her to a pulp and shrunk her overwhelming presence to one that we needn’t cower from.
I do not want to ever know what it feels like to lose your mind, your sanity, your ability to make vital decisions for both yourself and others. When my Great-Grandmother’s condition worsened, her children agreed to have her placed under the watchful eyes of an appointed caregiver. There, in someone else’s home, she was monitored and cared for accordingly by professionals. It was there on my visits to her, that I noticed how aggressive this illness was. She didn’t know me anymore. Oh, she knew that I was family, but she kept referring to me as my older cousin. It pained me to watch her wither, to witness her become someone I did not know.
Even though she was no longer as smart as a whip and her memory began shifting and leaving her day by day, there was still a sense of groundedness in her. I looked at her and she appeared centered. Was it the fact that she was in her eighties and had been the epitome of strength and tenacity for our family for decades? Was it because I still saw the confident and self-assured reckoning of a woman that she was? I am certain that it was a combination of these things, but now, when I feel as though I may fall or am falling, I think of her. I remember who she was and…
I tell myself that I am of her blood and I am centered, grounded, confident, and sure.
I LOVE love. I love it even more when I believe it has forgotten me. I love it even more after that when I remember that it never will. As long as I keep this as the center of my thought-process when it comes to love, I will overcome my fears and feelings of loss at love.
Since my coming out, I’ve been blessed to have those who have not flinched or wavered or faltered in any way, but slowly, steadily, those who have misguided feelings are showing themselves. They do not need to open their mouths and speak or tell me plainly how they truly feel, they are showing me with their actions. Discovering others’ disdain of another based on their sexual preferences or orientation regarding intimacy and love as the one on the inside looking out is… well… quite poignant.
I need nothing from those unwilling to be by my side. I want nothing from them, either. Colors are truest when words are left unsaid and actions can be monitored from afar. Responses to text messages cease. Phone calls dwindle. When before, you exchanged letters, now, those fade into the sun. Reciprocity is a thing of the past. I knew it would happen. Fear of this has kept me tight-lipped for years because I did not want to lose those I love, but life has other plans.
People hold fast to their beliefs or they slowly sink into an abyss of comfort that drags them away from you. Their vision becomes cloudy. They may have a million questions and they may yearn to understand and instead of actually creating an environment for you to educate them, they push you away. They run away.
Listen And Hear Me Loud & Clear!
I Have No More Space For Unrequited Love.
So if you plan on being shifty, wade someone else’s waters. I have no use for you. I do not need hanging hands trembling in the bay unsure of where they should be. I need strong hands sturdy enough to help me along when the waves come crashing. Do not disguise your discomfort with the busyness of life. Ain’t THAT MUCH busy in the world! If you love someone or something, you make time for them or it. Simple and plain. Plain and simple.
People have feelings. They deserve to be treated fairly and acknowledged when they reach out to you. Being a jerk doesn’t win you any prizes. You have something burning inside of you about me and I know…
And, it’s okay. My misery does not want your company.
By design, we are all different yet beautiful. Coming out is teaching me what unconditional love is. What life outside of a box feels like. The more I share with my family and friends, the more I am finding out, “but you know I knew that already, right?” And no, I had no idea my family knew the inner-workings of my heart, of my soul. I am rather private. For the most part, I keep to myself. I am significantly older than all of my siblings, so much of what I experienced growing up, they did not.
They looked up to me, yes, I knew that. But, I did not know how closely they were watching me. According to my brother TJ upon me asking, “When did you think you knew?”
“I don’t mean no disrespect sis, but I knew when I was little. I mean, I ain’t never really seen you with no boyfriends except that one dude that everybody liked. I thought, maybe my sister likes women. And then later, when you started dating that bald-headed guy like three years ago, I thought — oh, my sister still likes men. I see no difference in you, sis. I’m gonna love you anyway.
To this, I laughed. I am nine years older than TJ. He and I are quite close. Most people say, he looks a lot like me and really, I think that as well. Most of us have strong features that link up, however, I am told he and our kid sister looks most like me. I found his comment the best way of his expression. Of how he began thinking his big sister was not heterosexual. He has a big heart too and is sensitive in ways that my other brothers are not. As a toddler, he was one who would cry at the drop of a hat. I knew then that he would sincerely be connected to his emotions, unafraid to share, or one willing to listen when listening is of the utmost importance. I was hoping I would be right.
I Am Right In My Assessment.
I know there will be hills that I will ache from climbing, someone will voice their opinion, will Bible-thump me with scriptures they have twisted to fit their model of beliefs and display not one modicum of common sense, but I am in a position to not let that keep me from being me. I have no control over the thoughts of others and my journey into this new life is not the responsibility of anyone but my own. I am tired of limiting myself to being with who I want when I want, yet “in the dark,” cut-off from everyone else. I am tired of waving happiness away because of a way of life that most of my religious upbringing planned for me.
I Never Fit Into That Box
So, why was I constantly trying to keep myself there?I created a war within me.The battles I fought needed heavy armor and up against myself, I was not winning. I was only breaking and withering away. A revelation hit me, that caused me to say, “You know what? You want to be happy, be who you are. Do not think about it, Tre, just do it.” And after that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of FINALLY! My heart slowed down its beating. I could breathe better.
And it is okay to fully be me. I have made a pact with myself. A personal declaration that I intend to stand by, to etch into my skin. I will make my life easier by being who I am and nothing more. I looked at myself in the mirror and declared that. I meant it.
I Am Focused.
I carry the strength of powerful women in my bones, women who will cut you with their eyes then tell you to get over it without a trimmer in their voice. Women who have been fighting for me without my knowledge. Women who will look you in your eyes and tell you while they stand on flat feet and shiftless legs, “you’re lying.” A long line of women who have stepped forward and said,
“You better be who you are while you still can.”
Just bees and things and flowers
Just bees and things and flowers
Just bees and things and flowers
My life. My Life. My life. My Life
In the sunshine
Everybody loves the sunshine.