In my relationships I’m saying “no” to red flags. But, like, really this time! Yes, I’ll continue to listen with an open mind and trust with an open heart. But, from now on, I’ll for damn sure observe someone’s actions for their truth and trust my intuition. Someone’s “potential” ain’t enough for me anymore. I’m keeping a close eye on character, habits, behaviors and lifestyle. What they value. How they treat people. How they manage conflict or handle stress.
When I say “yes” but wanna say “no” I feel an instant pang of regret. I’ve failed myself by ignoring my needs and my intuition. It’s that all too familiar pattern from my childhood that I swore I’d never repeat. It stems from being raised in an environment where love felt conditional, which created this persistent fear of disappointing others and a constant need for approval. To be self-sacrificing was considered the “righteous” thing to do. Putting myself first was considered selfish. So, I’m a recovering people-pleaser.
When someone tells me “no” my first reaction is to get all up in my feelings. Yep, I feel disappointed, butt-hurt and wonder “How could they possibly say “no” to ME!?” And then I do the psychological dance in my head which looks like a technicolor play-by-play of our most recent interactions to understand what I could’ve done to elicit a “no”. It’s crazy how a simple “no” can feel like a personal attack that sends me spiraling.
If I were to attend Summer school I’d study acting. Yep, ever since the days of “Fame!”, “Cosby Show” and “A Different World” I’ve secretly (or maybe not so secretly) wanted to become an actor. But because there were so few Black folks in TV & film, it didn’t seem like a dream worth fighting for. And back in the day, I always thought there were prettier and more talented Black girls out there. So I never pursued it. But I’ve always been intrigued by character development, storytelling, and artistic collaboration.
Five things that make me happy? Easy-peasy.
1.) Learning/Teaching: When it comes to learning, I’m like a 2yr old who constantly asks “why?”. Not to be a brat but, if I’m intrigued by something, a superficial overview simply ain’t enough. I got questions. I wanna dig deeper. I wanna understand the nuances. And the more I understand something, the more excited I get about sharing it with others. And that’s why I love teaching so much. I love the challenge of finding effective ways to communicate concepts, ideas and skills to others; especially in ways that inspire curiosity and excitement in them too.
I believe that authenticity is the foundation for everything. I’ve gotta feel comfortable in my own skin; knowing who I am, what I believe, and what I stand for. Plus what I want, need, and desire to feel successful and fulfilled. And those things shift because life lessons build wisdom, life circumstances show me the impact of choice, and relationships serve as mirrors. So it requires constant self-awareness. But without being grounded in my truth, I have no integrity or sense of direction. And as someone who was raised in a cult, with a value and belief system forced upon me, I know how disempowering that feels. Because I was raised in a high control religion, I believe