This series was supposed to start a little differently.
I was supposed to go into some background on why “Unwritten” exists. I was supposed to tell you how I’ve had a lot of pent up feelings and situations that I never really spoke about, and how being more vulnerable and transparent has been my thing lately. So, I wanted to be open and honest. Not just when things are good, but when things are rough too. I wanted to open up more about fears, and how scary mine are, but how I’ve been working to not let them define me. I wanted to be transparently motivational (we’ll coin that as a term for now). But then, I lost my car. And to be honest, the world around me stopped for what feels like 10 years.
I want to preface this by saying – It’s not about the car. If I had to choose between my life and my car, thank God for breathing. But that’s the thing. I haven’t been breathing. I haven’t been living. I haven’t just been for the entire year. If I’m being honest, life has been extremely hard for me. I’ve lost something, or have gone through something, every. Single. Month. In the year 2018. So losing something that I’ve worked so hard to get at a time where, in my eyes, I had not much more to lose, really did something to me.
I’ve been trying to find the words for those feelings, while silently piecing together everything that’s been happening to try and find myself again. To find the lesson. But I haven’t been very good at it.
Back in February 2016, I made a down payment on my first car. This comes years after broken promises from someone I’ve been trying to establish a consistent familial relationship with for years that it would be coming “soon”. But, soon never came for me. After becoming friends with the clerks at Greyhound stations all over the East Coast, to finally making enough to “upgrade” to Amtrak, maybe picking up a few rentals here and there, I got her. Miracle. I found my Miracle.
From long evening drives and loud speakers when my mind just didn’t want to process my day to day life, to surprise visits to my mom or brother, to just getting out and seeing parts of the United States and helping to make curating random events easier. Miracle has been a lifelong treat, and a great start to my adulthood.
But then I lost her.
October 11, 2018 – I was heading into work after a hard conversation with a friend about how hard this year really has been for me. How things are changing before my eyes in my then relationship, my family life, and even down to my career. I was dealing with change after change after change that I knew I needed to take action on and finally figure out.
When I walked away from that conversation – I had a little more confidence. Perspective.
And then I pulled out – and I was hit. Directly. Hit and knocked unconsciously for what felt like hours.
A few weeks prior, I wrote a sticky note with wise words from Pastor Michael Todd: “Your hardest hit will be the one you don’t see coming.”
And that was my hardest hit of the year.
That was the icing on the cake for me.
And internally I lost it. At that time, I wasn’t even thinking about how I would even get around. I just couldn’t believe that after what was a year of me constantly LOSING – there was still MORE for me to LOSE.
Those who knew gave me a lot of reassuring messages and helpful words. And then there were some who I expected to show up a little more – and they didn’t. And that hurt. To lose again at a very tender moment of my life.
After the accident, I only had about 3 days to only focus on the accident and affairs (which is a whole other internal battle). And then it was back to work, but I wasn’t present. Suddenly, this entire year started to take over my entire life and I couldn’t catch a grip.
I found myself waking up, and immediately crying. Every. Single. Day. It became a routine, or I should say it took over my routine. I would force myself to take extra time out to find something positive to focus on. Whether it be a few things I was looking forward to each day, having tough talks with God which never ceased, or focusing on a quote or message that could get me through. But it was hard.
I couldn’t find the motivation to work at my best, which made things even worse because I am my own worst critic. And in some ways, I felt like no one around me could understand what was happening. I began secluding myself – shutting off my social media, breaking my phone (on accident) with no rush on having it turned on to further silence things around me. I was no longer making regular appearances at events. While I couldn’t force life to stop for me, in doing those things, I felt I had a break.
In my break down, I’ve learned so much about myself. The biggest being I can and will overcome any obstacle that comes my way. I am the light that shines through in my darkest times. Though I may feel alone, I will always have the love and care of God by my side. And thankfully, He’s blessed me to have a strong support system even when I do feel too down and out to notice.
I’ve learned that there is no such thing as pity in the work force. It’s a great disservice to me to be off of my game because it gives people ammunition to think that I cannot handle what comes my way, and that is simply not true. I have also learned that it is okay to be human and communicate. Communicate with your team and your bosses, no matter what you feel. Your feelings are important.
My focus has increased much more on what my needs and priorities are. In eliminating distractions and zoning into my feelings and emotions, I was more able to acknowledge and accept that right now, I am not my strongest self. That it’s okay to step away from anything that doesn’t allow you to take care of yourself. If it is meant to be, the opportunity will be there.
As we enter the new year, I encourage you to place self-care at the top of your goals. I encourage you to be honest with yourself about where you are, and what you need. I encourage you to be honest with your friends, your loved ones, and even those around you in the work force. You don’t have to be this all powerful supernatural being. My “in my head” mentor, Myleik Teele made a very big point on her October podcast “How I’m Learning to Ask for Help”: “Accepting help is hard because it requires you giving up control.”
This year, I had no control over any aspect of my life. And that was very hard for me to accept. I was prideful when it came to asking for help, and in some ways, I still am. I have the idea that asking for help equates to me being a burden. But, in having help from others, I could have probably avoided a lot of situations made worse due to “fear”. In 2019, we’re breaking up with “fear” and we’re entertaining “confidence” and “joy”.
In the coming months, my new blog series, “Unwritten” will unfold into spirals of transparency and hard conversations. I will be my most honest, and I hope you don’t mind having a seat at the table and taking off the mask with me. Thank you in advance for your community.