The other day I spoke about my birthday quickly approaching. I'll be 33 on December 14th and while I'm excited, birthdays always cause me to reflect. Last night I laid in bed contemplating what I would blog about today. And while I laid there reflecting I thought about a post I saw on Twitter.
If you could compare Covid to something or a time in your life what would it be?
Disclaimer: This is in no way comparing my life to anything remotely close to the level of COVID and the lives that have been taken from the pandemic. I'm still in constant prayer that the pandemic doesn't take any more lives!
However, I could compare my twenty-somethings to Covid. No, I wasn't physically ill but my twenties were mentally taxing and exhausting. But the good news is, it shaped my thirties for something spectacular.
First, let's take it back to childhood. I've always been a people pleaser, co-dependent, hella responsible and the middle child. ( My middle children feel me.) I can remember getting in trouble as a kid for apologizing for every little thing. Even, when I didn't understand what I was sorry for. I used to think mom was tripping, who wouldn't want an apologetic child. I believe now more than ever she saw a trait in me that she wanted to cut at the root. A trait I didn't understand at such a young age.
Approval! The need for approval started as a kid and followed me into adulthood. I never could figure out how to turn it off. I don't have an answer as to where it came from because I had a wonderful mom and childhood. No, we didn't always agree on everything but I know if I needed her she was coming and Kisa D hasn't changed.
The people-pleasing and pick me tendencies followed me into my twenties and into my singlehood. Chasity in her twenties wanted everyone and everything to be happy with her at all times. She wore a cap and was saving these hoes left and right. Chasity, struggled so others wouldn't have to. She was the go to person if someone had trouble. She wanted to bend for everyone, show up, and show out for everyone. I don't know if I thought this was going to get me into heaven or what. But I knew I was willing to work myself for everyone around until I was dead tired and depleted of all things good. That means I was hurt a lot in the process. That means I allowed a lot of things and people that had nothing to do with me to stay close and leech.
And believe me, I was hurt, disgusted but never learning my lesson. Always putting my hand back on the red hot burner, waiting for the burn. I was relentless with my co-dependency and people-pleasing. I mean I've been evicted before, for giving my last to other people. I lost a lot of time, money, and sanity being this way. I even gave myself the bad mother title before. My kids had to move around a lot and for that, I carried a lot for many years. A lot of sadness, anguish, and a hardened heart. I believed people would do the right thing, pay me back, and look out for me one day. Those days never came! I learned eventually that the only person that had me was ME!
While I'm writing this I think about being a fatherless daughter in a world full of men that also grew up as I did. None of us knowing how to truly love. None of us seeing a father provide, protect, and serve. That could be one of the reasons I am the way I am. I don't know, it's an excuse I don't like using because I made choices even when I knew better. Even after a person showed me who they were I was still sticking it out thinking my superpower was going to kick in at any minute. Newsflash: I don't have not nan superpower!
If you haven't figured it out I'm an empath to the core. The term empath comes from empathy, which is the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others outside of your own perspective. ... You actually sense and feel emotions as if they're part of your own experience. In other words, someone else's pain and happiness become your pain and happiness.
And while I still fill from an empty cup sometimes my twenties taught me a few things that had I not gone through a storm, I probably wouldn't know in my thirties.
I learned to put my peace first. Even when I don't like it. Even when I want to turn up and let the confrontational side of me take over. I move around and back... all the way back. I had to figure out how to put my peace in front of everything. Because when I'm at peace, I'm a better person. When I'm not moving on heightened negative emotions I can see clearly.
I learned that I had to allow people to find their own independence. I'm not God. And I can't fix everything for everyone at all times. I have a family that relies on me and I vowed to give them 100% of me. That doesn't mean I don't help or still move with compassion, that means that I may have to get back with you. Some never find independence but I won't be the reason you don't thug it out. This means I won't be taken advantage of.
I learned to open my mouth and say what I needed, wanted, and didn't need. I used to allow people to give me the bare minimum. I used to allow people to come and go as they pleased into my life. Not anymore, it's on me to make sure my love isn't in vain. I learned my worth and if my worth threatened you or made you move funny, you were cut. SIMPLE!
I learned that you can't please em all. While I would love to see a smile on everyone's face that I reach and I know that's not realistic. Everyone won't love or understand you. Everyone's not meant to. When we started searching for acceptance from other people we've lost the race before we begin.
I learned that my thirties started the grey hair, body aches and etc. LOL, this is self-explanatory but guess what I'm fine with that because while my twenties was something else I still enjoyed a good turn up during them.
I learned to experience different things aside from myself. I'm into crystals, sage, meditation, and oracle cards. Might be weird to others but I'm unapologetic about a lot these days and this practice is one of them. I meditate, pray, pull a card for deeper understanding, and still play gospel music. A conundrum to some is a simple stay out my way now. Live and let Live! I'm into it so much that I created a t-shirt line for it. Check it out here: www.authorcmonet.com/shop!
So while you ask what this has to do with my authorship, I would say that it might not but for me it does. I used everything I experienced whether it was good or bad in my stories. While one of my female characters may seem weak, understand that she was me. While another may be blossoming a little too quickly understand that she was me. While one character me be on some Megan thee Stallion type stuff understand that she was me. While one's heart may be hardened beyond belief understand that she was me.
Sometimes we give the female characters a hard time but I believe if we all remembered how human we are and how someone's story isn't just for entertainment it's for healing, we would be able to cut the female leads some slack. I was never really a cry baby but please believe me when I say that at one point in my life I needed understanding, love, and someone to cut me some slack. I DID and sometimes still do. Grace shouldn't be hard. And this isn't about me telling you what to enjoy or how to digest I ask that you remember the stories we share are just that, something we share.
While this is about me, it's also about my fellow authors that have and will take a hit for sharing a part of their life that they didn't think they'd make it through. You shared it and healed from it. Rejoice and be unapologetic about it. Because baby, you made it through.
If you'd like to share what your twenties or maybe thirties taught you, please do. But understand you may end in a story!