“I was leaving the South to fling myself into the Unknown…I was taking a part of the South to transplant in alien soil, to see if it could grow differently, if it could drink of new and cool rains, bend in strange winds, respond to the warmth of other suns and, perhaps, to bloom.”
If you’ve visited my spot with any regularity, you should know by now that I’m a maverick. I won’t spend an extensive amount of time discussion how my choices to march to my own drum brought forth strange results. My life was my life, and though it’s heavy with mistakes, I try my best to not exist in regret. Recently, I’ve had clashes with the present and past that seem to have triggered an evolution within me. Confronting my demons and challenging my own ideas have become what I do in my down time. After years of observing and learning about people, I’m taking the time to learn myself. I’ve cracked myself open and viewed my frailties and fears for what they are; part of me.
I’m a child of warrior women. Women who would see the world crumbling around them, and stand stock still and hold it up on their shoulders rather than run. If asked why, I would imagine their answers would be much like mine: it’s all they’ve ever known. Part of me dares not put out my hand for the softer side of life, because beneath the surface, having that denied to me seems unbearable. In short, I’ve chosen to be a warrior, because the alternative represents the unknown, and the unknown scares me in ways I can’t verbalize.
I feel that as a result of my defenses – my ability to shake it off and adjust – people don’t think I have real feelings. Or if I do have feelings, that I’ll just ultimately get over it. Those moments make me feel like a fraud, because I hurt just as much as anyone. Sometimes more so. My pride that comes with my strength though, won’t allow me to say, “Yo, I know it doesn’t seem like big deal, but you just ripped me in half.” There’s no shame in strength. But to make it an obsession, and deny myself those moments when I need gentleness, is cheating my spirit. So I’m learning to speak on my vulnerabilities and those moments where I need my heart touched. They deserve protection; not to be treated like shameful secrets.
There’s something freeing about confronting my actual fears and frailties. Rather than wishing them away, I’m working to own those too. In so doing, I have become braver and stronger than I ever believed I could be. I feel myself becoming, not a reinvented stranger, but rather my true self, fully realized. You can call it whatever you see fit; I call it blooming.