The past year has been a test.
Had this been a real emergency, instructions would follow of what to do and where to go . . . Right?
Where do I begin? I don’t even know. My life has been full of closed off doors, up to this point. The kind that say, “back off, I’m a private person and I hate the world knowing the real me.” Which sucks because the public face is the real me as much as the not-so-public face.
Too many predators, though. I’m still of the mindset of some things needing to stay private because it’s none of your fucking business. You only know me based on what I allow you to see. I can create anything I want and for all you know it’s real.
So why not be real and let others wonder?
Did I mention I really have issues? And no, it’s not the pretend kind that make me trendy. I had issues back when we hid them in shame and didn’t talk about that shit.
My demons swim and fly.
But that’s not what this is about. This post is about how strong I am, and how it took today for me to feel it.
When the heart attack occurred in September, I was shook. I was angry and I was depressed. At that point, I was still searching for who I was, and thanks to COVID, forced to do that in isolation. In a time of global pandemic, when people were staring outside their windows and even social recluses were climbing walls just to connect with someone…I wanted to reach me.
I’ve been through Hell. I won’t lay it all out here. I won’t compare my Hell to your Hell. Why? Because your pain is just as real. There is no qualifying amount you have to prove you’ve gone through to feel validated. If you’ve gone through Hell, you know it.
I’ve been in dark places emotionally, spiritually, physically. For whatever reason, I’ve come out of it and I’ve done so having learned from the experience. Has it made me wary? Yes. Has it made me distrustful? Yes. Has it made me jaded and closed off? Damn right it has.
The heart attack happened at the age of 48 and when I survived it, I was reborn. I’m not saying I’m doing crazy shit like having a midlife crisis. Fuck that. I don’t have time for teenage mistakes in a mid-life body. No thanks. I have enough anxiety and a prescription for that. I’ll pass.
What I have done though is quantified what is what in my life. I’ve redesigned what is important to me and what is bullshit. I speak up for myself and I give myself permission to feel what I feel.
I can happily say I’ve loved being a mother and have no regrets about it. I willingly gave up so much to be a good mother and though I made mistakes because — well, who the fuck knows how to do that shit? Everything we thought was good and healthy turned out to be a huge therapy bill during the pandemic, so whatever…but I digress.
I love being a mom. I love being a grandmother just as much. What was lacking in my life was how much I loved being me. After my kids grew up, I continued to live in anxiety and fear of not succeeding, of missing something, of “what if I can’t?” Or, “what if I fail?” I fell into the trap of feeling “average.”
Man, I can go into the hot mess of why but that’s my trauma, not yours. What I’m writing this for is to tell you about this moment. Right here and right now.
Did I fail? Absolutely. And quite often. As much as it pissed me off, I am grateful for it because I learned so much. People flock to me and walk away with sound advice because of it. Dr. Phil who? Gimme that Mic and let me lifecoach you into the new you.
I’m kidding. Sort of.
Okay, Okay…I’m rambling, sorry.
I have so many things I want to say when more often, I sit in front of my blog with empty brain syndrome. Now, I have to try to reign them in.
I had the heart attack, yeah. It was a life-changing event. How could it not be. I was healthy, I worked out all the time, blah blah blah…
Here’s the deal. The real point of this all … I got another chance to live. So I am. When your phone doesn’t do facial recognition because you’re smiling it’s a sad kind of funny. I used to pride myself on resting bitch face. I’m the Darque Queen for hades sake. It doesn’t mean I can’t light up the night with a smile. It doesn’t mean that my life has to be a continuation of the Hell I survived.
I built a brand in 2016. I created a home for independent authors and successfully mentored a lot them. A LOT. I’m not name dropping because it isn’t why I am mentioning it. I bring it up because I am proud of this accomplishment. I see them now and I’m amazed at their growth and tenacity. Since September, the legacy and brand I created has struggled and I considered for a long, hard minute to retire.
Luckily, my writing family held me up. They stood beside me and created a circle of healing while I worked through what I had to. I have the added support of those people to step into trusted roles and share the load because they not only believe in the brand, but they know how much I’ve bled into it with purest intentions and undying devotion to the craft and community.
They … are allowing me to shine just a little bit. I mean, I typically like to hide in the background but sometimes it gets lonely in the dark. There are rare occasions I like to peek out into the light.
I’m strong today because I made it to almost a year. Within that year, I went from 30% EF Function to 44%, I started a new career at a well-paying job working for a company that invests back into me. On June 8th I’ll be starting school at Purdue to finish off my BA in Business and begin my scholastic journey because I’m not stopping with one degree. I know that if I want to, I can. I’ve prove it to myself over and over again. And now I believe me.
The whole point of this long rant is to tell you it’s been an incredible journey. Life IS what you make of it. Your choices matter and you can change things. You have to fight for it, though. No one else will fight harder than you if you truly want something. The more you allow your inner voice to say negative things, the more the negative shit-talking will become reality.
Every day, do one positive thing for yourself. Things that will pave the way for real change. Learn something new. Make real decisions.
I want you to follow me because you believe, “you can.” Because you are sick of the bullshit and you want to surround yourself with people who will empower you and support you with real motivation. If it doesn’t get me where I want to go, it’s in my way. Words have real power. Inspiration is only going to get you so far. Endurance wins the race.