As I vibe to the rhythm and flow of Solange’s “Seat At The Table” Album, I feel a sense of subtle satisfaction and fullness. There’s something rich about knowing and loving who you are. To me, It’s the equivalent of knowing exactly why the caged bird sings. Now, at this point in my life, I’m learning to trust me more. It’s like chile, please. Just go with it, you’ve got this!
This sense of completeness is sweeter than buttercream icing. This completeness that I speak of, It isn’t something that was easily obtained. It required effort and great practice. It required vulnerability, and discomfort. It required self exploration and admittance. Admittance that I didn’t necessarily love me, unconditionally. But rather, with conditions… conditions that were rather shallow too, now that I think of it.
Conditions along the lines of… “I’d love you just a little bit more if you were skinnier, maybe if you were prettier, you know, in a more commercially beautiful kind of way. OR, maybe if you were even smarter, because book smarts, now that’s sexy. AND, now that I think of it, maybe, just maybe if you were a little less brown, like in a pecan tan kinda way. For good measure, lets tone down your coarseness too, try being softer and sweeter, and clear some of that raspiness from your voice because honey, people like soft spoken and sweet, right? And while you’re at it, try being a little less damaged, cause right now, Gurrrl… you’re just used and abused– the epitome of damaged goods. Like, if you were just a little less you, that would be good for business too…”
This is a glimpse of the unwarranted conditions that I’d blindly placed upon myself. Often times during that long, silent, judgmental stare. The one where I’m alone in the bathroom, glaring at my unclothed body in the mirror. It was in those moments that the personal, self-afflicting convictions occurred. It was in those moments that I lost grip of the woman I truly am.
This is the part where I learned to reintroduce myself, to the more accepting, self-loving version of me. The crazy thing is, this precious, priceless, freedom that I flaunt so graciously…I cannot recall with distinct precision, or exactness the time or place of our acquaintance. This freedom, It found me, not I it.
Maybe it was the silent whispers and prayers of my ancestors that guided me to this place of self-assurance and enough-ness. Maybe it was the hand-written affirmations that served as subtle reminders that “I am Strong, I am Worthy, I am Complete”. It may have been less complex than that. Namely, that moment of reflection where I openly and willingly embraced the fact that I didn’t just “wake up, flawless”. BUT, that my very flaws are and were what made me one-of-one, unlike any other…a refined rarity that knows no price nor boundary. That those flaws are simply marks of distinction. Identifiers, placed strategically upon my precious temple, like art etched upon stained glass of the chapel of life, placed there for all to marvel and adore its many wonders. These flaws tell a story of triumph and resilience. These flaws, they belong to me. They are mine to celebrate, love and embrace. They are equivalent to the wings of an angel, for they carry me. For each flaw is simply a reminder of that of which I have so fiercely conquered. So please, journey with me, as I propel forward on this path to self actualization. Never looking back at what once was, but rather pressing forward to what shall be. If thirty-five has taught me anything at all, it would be that there is absolute beauty in being unapologetically imperfekt. These are my ramblings, my open letter to self. My permission slip, if you will. It’s my way of proclaiming, in the most public of forums… that I have decided. Her mantra is simple with limited instruction and endless possibilities.
“Girl, just go with it!”
Her word of the now is “Free”, what’s yours beloved?