I haven’t been writing. The most creative thing I’ve done lately is to come-up with several excuses about why I haven’t been writing.
“I haven’t been sleeping well”
“My real job”
“I’ve been travelling a lot”
I don’t know if anyone around me bought these excuses. I certainly did. I believed myself completely and wore my excuse like a warm, wool scarf thrown casually around my neck: it was fashionable and it protected me.
It’s quite fashionable to be “too busy” these days; so my narrative was quite stylish. I remember complaining to one of my friends—and thinking that I was actually rather witty because I rhymed off the cuff: “It’s just too much. I’ve got the kids, the man, the job, a dog, two cats and a blog.”
My lie also protected me from the cold hard truth, as most lies do. With this lie, I got to comfortably be the victim. I was a distressed overworked woman, who had no time to get to her true passion: writing her blog. Someone, please pass the tissues.
But, somebody told me a long time ago that all shit stinks; and my bullshit became a bit too pungent, I suppose, because the universe forced me to put a stop to it. *Side note: I believe that if you listen, the universe is constantly taking your hand and guiding you. In my case, the universe slapped me upside my head—but I’m the type of chick who needs that now and then.
My slap came this past Saturday, while on a trip to New York for a dear friend’s 50th birthday. She had arranged for her birthday group, comprised of an amazing array of women from across the world, to meet with a Life Coach. The session was to start at 10:00 a.m.
My hotel roommate and I woke up that morning with the dust of last night’s New York shenanigans all over us: middle age, vodka, wine, too many hours in high heels and a 3:00 a.m. bedtime. We wanted coffee, eggs, and one or two more hours of sleep—not a life coach. But, we stumbled into one of the hotel’s meeting rooms—trying to put on a good face—though not yet caffeinated.
I was tired, yet open to whatever this fast-talking, profane, New Yorkish, petite woman would throw at me. She, dressed in a blue shirt, high heels and a white shirt was actually the universe’s postman—there to deliver the slap upside my head. *Did I mention that the universe is sneaky. You never know when or from whom your message is coming.
The session encouraged us to take ownership of everything that is or isn’t happening in our lives, and to determine what excuses you are using to block getting to your ultimate dream. In other words, your marriage can no longer suck because your husband is a jerk; your career isn’t stuck because your boss is racist; and the reason you aren’t writing your blog is not because you are too busy.
This information is uncomfortable because, let’s be honest: there is nothing more convenient than an excuse.
So, if the kids, the man, the job and the dog aren’t stopping me from accomplishing my dream, what is? The life coach directed us to answer the question (on our notepads): “Without using excuses, why aren’t you where you want to be.”
I wrote down without hesitation: I don’t believe I’m good enough.
This was one of those rare times that I wanted to cry for myself. I am an accomplished, educated, married mother of two. I’m bold. I’m happy. I’m a really good friend. I’m intelligent. But, at the end of the day, the same fear that held me back from trying out for cheerleading as a skinny pre-teen, and the same fear that stopped me from asking Lance McCardle to the Sadie Hawkins dance in 6th grade still echoes: “I’m not good enough.”
When I started writing my blog, I did it solely for me. It was a way to celebrate and honor the creative side of me.
Then people let me know that they were reading the blog, my writing, my thoughts (which in theory, was the goal-right?). Initially, I was so touched by the emails, texts and messages. People became genuinely interested in the characters. People actually cared about these imaginary people that I was creating or related to a feeling that I was expressing. And it was incredibly validating . . . until it became paralyzing.
I’m good enough for me—for my private musings that I have scribed since the 2nd grade. But, I realized that I don’t feel good enough for you.
So now, the lie and the stink is gone. I am standing in my truth (or rather sitting at the computer with it). No one, nothing is responsible for my lack of writing, but me—my fear. My fear isn’t gone, but I am going to write through it—one blog entry at a time.
Courage is looking fear in the eye and saying, “Get out of my way, I’ve got things to do.” Unknown
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more