Category Archives: Acceptance

Whatever Happens, Love That

“…you need a mantra…Whatever happens, love that…”

~Match Making for Beginners

 

For a few weeks now, the thought of settling into mediocracy has become more appealing. Even hamsters get off the wheel sometimes. The barrage of ideas, plans and what-ifs can make a person weary in their well-doing.

I have been wrestling with mediocracy. I tell myself I just simply cannot be ordinary or I must dream big, but really…do I? What if all we were ever meant to be is exactly what we are? Not everyone was built to be an Oprah or a Michelle O or a Bey. Some of us are just meant to be exactly what we are, and that is okay.

We are taught from a very young age through various channels we should go beyond where we are. If you are fat, be skinny. If you are as flat as a teenage boy, buy body parts. If you are poor, get rich. If you are uncoupled, be coupled. In the years between vanilla life acknowledgment and the colorful just out of reach, we claw our way up. But should we though? Think of all the energy wasted on trying to be something not meant for you. Was it worth it?

Last night I watched a group of young men and women sing and dance. They were all amazing. The courage to stand in a crowded room and leave their talent spent on stage was beautiful to see. Afterward, I thought about what would happen to them in the next ten to fifteen years. How many of them would ignore the present and fight to get a toe onto the promise land? How many would be still be talking about making it when really they have already made it? How many would be satisfied with church on Sundays, meatloaf on Wednesdays, and a 9 to 5? My guess…hardly any.

They have been taught to pursue dreams and strive to get from their present point A to the magnificent point B. And that is not entirely wrong. We should dream, but we shouldn’t ignore the regular. And we shouldn’t abhor staying there (some of us). Some of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing lived normal lives. They paid their bills on time, punched a clock every day, loved others and were as full as a person traveling the world with millions in the bank. Who says greater is better? Shouldn’t it be more about loving what comes your way than trying to climb over it for the unknown? What if what is right in front of you is all you are ever going to have? Is it worth missing?

As I start the descent to cuarenta, I am coming to terms with vanilla. Whatever comes my way will just come. I am no longer in need to push the mountains. There is nothing wrong with setting up camp at the foot. I will sit there, outside the tent watching all those who dare to push or climb. I will gladly offer water to the thirsty and nourishment to the hungry. The homemade of flimsy canvas and dirt floor will offer rest to the weary. I will offer a smile and perhaps even a word of wisdom. I will be the cheer squad for those who need it. I am waving the white flag and surrendering to taking it down a notch. Finally, after all this time, I will accept what is present. I will not overlook it for the sake of something better. What I have right this moment is enough. And whatever happens…I am going to love that.

~SM

Settling Into Oldish

Whenever I would tease Mommy about getting older, she would smile and say she was happier to be getting older. At twenty years her junior, I could not understand. Older meant things were falling apart and wrinkles. Older meant menopause and drooping everything. Old age meant walkers and medicines. Why be happy about that? Seventy-four days away from the big four-oh, I think I get it.

As you age, you settle more into yourself. The tightly wound ball of confusion that once was you at twenty is now settled and relaxed at fifty. She was excited about the relaxing part. The settling. I get it.

Now that it is my turn for ribbing from youngins, I find myself thinking about Mommy. She hasn’t quite embraced the housecoat (with the snap buttons, ‘member those?) but she has settled in. She isn’t wearing weaves and lashes, but upon suggestion (from The Boy) she will listen to a little Chief Keef. She often proclaims her ‘too old for [insert foolishness here]’ motto and leaves it where they land, but she can entertain an in house Nerf gun fight foolishness, too. She is where she is and that is okay. As I slide into another year, another grey I find myself working toward okay as well.

I’m is what I’m is, all greys and droopy whatever. It takes a minute to remember things and I can’t handle too much nonsense (my patience is -5). I own a housecoat with snap buttons and side pockets. I listen to Young Thug religiously and I live to binge watch Riverdale. Yes, I know what Bitcoin is but I also remember when pay phones were a thing and they took actual coins. I groan when walking up/down stairs, and I swear when it rains my bones hurt. But as I come ’round the mountain, I am quite all right with all of it. With every year I am blessed enough to see, more wisdom and more comfort are settling in. Thank God.

~SM

I’m A Whole Grown Up Out Here

I stopped licking my fingers (recently I might add). It was an automatic thing, me eating/touching something which left a residue of goodness on my fingertips and I would put them in my mouth. Then, one day—not sure when—I picked up a napkin and wiped off my fingers. Just like that, I suddenly saw what I had lost sight of so many, many times. Hot damn, I am an adult.

I am a grown up. I can come and go as I please. I can tell someone to kiss my ass and care not what they say/do as I bend over to make said ass more accessible. I can make choices and decisions and let that be that (take that kids!). I can speak or naw. I can pay bills or naw. I can say ‘or naw’ and not care how played the wording is or how old it makes me sound (take that children!). I can blast Young Thug on a Thursday and Beethoven on a Friday. I can clap each word like a Maury guest, and I can correct terrible speech (mines is not a word people). I. Am. Grown.

Being grown is a little rough. There’s a balancing act taking place we were never privy to growing up: being oneself yet appearing to fit into the world. Pfftt…I’m refusing to fit. I hate fitting in anyway. Fitting in is for suckas (take that jive turkeys!). Yup, we know this shit is hard AF. The Boy and Girl think its all Forever 21 and loud music, but nope. Its bills, balancing acts, arguments, eff you’s, make ups and breakups. It is lacking the understanding of the surroundings. It is watching body parts stretch and drop…but…on the flip side…

It is being who we want to be (fist bump!). It is allowing ourselves the moments to really sit into who we are and be okay. I know who I am, honey, and I’m aiight with all of it. I get to be who I want to be. I get to hold my mule or smack his ass and let him go. I understand the power held in every fiber of my being. I can bring humans into this world and still rock on like it’s nothing (she bad). I can be self-reliant. I can change the world or….naw (tee hee).

Hey, if you don’t know, now you know, Adults. Get with it. Understand your responsibility to yourself first, family second and give all props to whatever god you serve. Stand tall and be you. Take the blows. Absorb them and learn the lesson. Now is the time to adult. When it seems the roughest is when you are at your bestest. Grind until your fingers bleed. If you lose sleep, lose it. If you don’t eat, starve. If you have to drag yourself across whatever finish line lay ahead, get to draggin’. JUST DO SOMETHING. Do everything. Do what you have to do to make it. If you don’t even try, you will have wasted your power on excuses. No one stops you BUT you…you are grown after all (wink).

~SM

Ms. Don’t Wanna Be Right

I am not right 100% of the time. I wish like hell I was, but I’m not. If I was right I would be pretty close to perfect. I chuckle at the sight of my know-it-all eighteen-year-old self believing that all was right because I knew it. I was it. Having matured just a tad, I realize it takes more courage to be wrong than it does to stand in rightness. Take that, younger me.

In my first marriage, I made mistakes—one of which was always being right. Or, appearing to be. For any given question, I always gave The Ex and The Kids three options. No matter what they chose, it would be my version of correct. I took what I knew about life and made it make sense, and me being correct about everything made sense (duh).

Don’t get me wrong (pun completely intended), more often than not I was actually right, but I never wavered in the moments when I was unsure. I never once said I didn’t know what to do. The words “I told you so” were hovering over every mistake or misjudgment everyone else made, never spoken but always to be implied.

Fast forward twenty years, divorce papers and some growth later and I find myself saying less. Oh, really? I say. Hmmm, I hum thoughtfully. Well, if that’s what you think you should do, I shrug. I am not sure when it happened, but I found out I wasn’t always right. My way was not the way. I also realized the need to be correct was just my fear of not being enough. If I knew what I knew and it was right, I was right. I was perfect.

Nowadays, I don’t bother being much of anything. I just sit back and watch the chips fall where they may. Ask me a question, I will certainly give up the answer—popular or not—but I won’t worry if it is right. There are no “I told you so’s” hovering above.

So, hey, I am not always right. Yup. It is true. I am riddled with wrongness, and I stand in it proudly. My way is, indeed, not always the right way. And that’s okay. I am okay.

~SM

Freeeeeeeee!

There comes a moment, most often a small one, when we realize our freedom. There is this notion we are free 100% of the time, but in all actuality, we aren’t. We are held by our own chains. We chain ourselves to people, places and things without knowing. It could be because the constant fight for independence courses through our veins–the high coming from the spillage onto battlefields of wars never meant for us. Perhaps we have been captive for so long we continue to hold ourselves prisoner. It could even be that we don’t feel worthy. We all have them, these chains. Yet…we all believe we are free. That is until the day we realize we never really were.

Talking to YG about a discussion he is dreading, I recalled the day my invisible jail cell door swung open. Nothing major happened–no Amistad “give us free” moment occurred. The thought just sparked something in my spirit. I was free. I was free to come, go, say, do as I pleased. I was a grown-up. I didn’t have to eat what I didn’t want. I didn’t have to go where I didn’t want. I didn’t have to speak to whomever I chose not to. The small thought passed through me leaving behind a sonic boom cracking the walls of the self-imposed prison and open the door. I was free.

I smiled across the bed at YG, Cookie’s diaper in hand. I stood in my freedom and was comfortable in it. Up to that moment, I had moments of complete imperfection, lack of discipline, and a shitload of selfishness. Up to that moment I had been free to do it all and not regret too much of it. “There’s going to come a time,” I said looking down at Cookie–speaking more to her than her dad, “when you realize you are grown and don’t have to answer to anybody. You won’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

The only chains holding us are our own and our notion of freedom isn’t really real until…it is. The day I decided to be free free was the day I got to decide everything for myself. I fastened up Cookie, kissed her fat slobbery cheek and glanced at my husband. I saw he hadn’t noticed his cell door was open, but he would. We always do. We just have to be willing to walk through it.

~SM

Getting Naked

I, sir/madam, am f@#% awesome. I live with millions of ideas in my head and I am not afraid to dream. Yup, I can be a tad bit selfish and self-absorbed and, yes, those are flaws o’mine (aside from a few others we’ll work on later). I am a mess (you should see my sink and my brain) and I am an aspiring neat freak who can’t quite seem to get the neat part right. I am a tumbleweed on this path called Lost and I am in a sea of many. I am up. I am down. And all of that, each little nuance, is a-effing-mazing. But…who gets to see it?

No one. God, I suppose. He sees all but mainly because He’s all up in through there regardless of what I want. I only allow people to see who I think is appropriate. Common sense tells us our parents shouldn’t see the person we are with our friends. Common sense tells us our bosses shouldn’t see the person we are under the covers with our boo. But outside of common sense…who’s naked? Like all the time—naked?

Me. Today at least. I am naked. I am stripping off the proverbial clothes and dancing in the streets (butt) crack out. If anyone does not like what they see, they have eyelids…they can close em. Today is the day I awaken from this terrible slumber—I pull back the fog of dreariness and the black hole of to-do’s and uncover.

I am a beautiful, twisted mess. I eat too much, am kind too little and drive too fast. I bust knee caps in daydreams, save babies in love and hoard paper in greed. I crave naps, swim in coffee and aspire to tri. I am a bad friend, so-so daughter, and weirdo. Where there is darkness, there is also light. They say there can’t be both but I am living proof there is. I am living proof that there really are two sides to every individual narrative. I live in proof there is a fine line to be walked and a good fight to be won.

I am f@#% awesome. Period.

~SM

Do Your Boobs Hang Low?

Can you tie them in a bow? I can’t quite do that, however, if I am laying just so I think I can toss one over my shoulder. Hey, listen, age happens. Things drop. Hips hurt. Knees remind you you are definitely mortal. Of course, there are always plumpers and fillers, doctors and knives to fix those sort of things. But why bother? I figure, if it hangs low—let it. If you can throw it to and fro—do it. Its all temporary anyway.

Acceptance. It is the first stop on the journey to find 40. I cannot be flip with everything in life, flicking a boob and middle finger. There are some aspects of life I have to accept, and the most important item on the list is my body. Like, for real this time.

This soft ol’ gal has helped me run twenty whole, real (slow) miles (and crawl the other six). She has held three kids and spit out each one healthy. She has looked the other way when Patron shots were aplenty and she has kept on pushing when the tank was below E. She has endured weight lifting, Insanity, hiking, biking, and running when the scale (and knees) said it probably wasn’t a good idea. She has kept me when day turned to night turned to day and no sleep was had. She has fed babies and barely fed herself. She has managed to continue to love and provide for me and those around me when all I could do was point out her every, miniscule flaw. She wore the white hat. She was the gladiator when I couldn’t be. She kept me standing in the sun.

Looking back, it breaks my heart to remember the things I thought/said about myself. I was always so busy trying to look how I thought beauty and comfort should that I neglected what was already wonderfully made. I was so worried about revering what I didn’t have, I neglected who I had.

On this first leg of the journey, I have got to carry as little as possible. I have got to step onto the path with only the necessities in hand. I cannot possibly expect my body to carry burdens never meant for her to carry. She has enough to handle. She will have her hands full, anyway. She’s got to learn how to tie these boobs in a bow 😉

~SM