Note to Self: Gone Too Long

Me and My Gorgeous Sister Keyya 12.8.18

Robin, You’ve been gone for quite some time now. You’ve disappeared into the deep recesses of your mind. You have drifted off again and forgotten who you are, again. Again, we are on this never ending cycle, but you always come back. You always come back to self. So, accept these cycles, expect these cycles, and know for sure that you always come back to self.

I’ve talked about never pretending. How I could never pretend to be something I am not because it just does not work for me, but I lied. I do pretend. From time to time, I pretend I am alright and a lot of the times I am not. Because I often leave myself and forget who I am and in those moments, I die. I die to my true self trying to morph into the person that society wants me to be. So, I become confused and frustrated, upset and then depressed. I hide away in my room trying to make sense of it all. I am always trying to make sense of it all. Trying to make sense of life and who I am and where I stand. A friend of mine once told me that too much introspection is not a good thing. I disagreed. I still disagree because when I am my true self that is when all the good things deep within me come to surface. I truly believe that I cannot be my absolute true creative self without digging deep down inside of me to find the cause for the feelings I experience.

For far too long, I have buried myself trying to be what others expected I should be or even being what I thought others expected me to be. Trying to be what you think others want you to be is worse because truth be told its just ideas that you have in your head. Sometimes, yes, people will legitimately say to you I like when your hair is like this, or when you act like that, or when you wear this. That is legitimate ways people try to get you to be who they want you to be. But there are those other times; a lot of times, when those people are just voices in your head. They are not psychotic voices, but voices of people whose opinion matter to you. You ultimately care what this person or these people think of you. I myself have identified three voices. There could be more, just not as significant. One is actually a voice and the other two are just their faces. I always wonder what they would think or feel about something.

The first voice is my mother. I am sure most people can hear their mother in their ear at any given time of the day. It has driven me crazy for years living up to my mother’s expectations that live in my head. Of course the voice is a real one. It is the voice from my childhood, from my teenage years, my young adult years, and if I’m honest up until a few months ago. There are many times in my life that I hear my mother in my head criticizing me for something I didn’t do, mostly house chores or doing something for my daughter that I’m sure she felt I should have done. Living up to the voice wasn’t easy because it wasn’t just a voice in my head; my mother was actually still criticizing a lot of my ways until recently. But we talked it out and I think we see more eye to eye now, so the voice has taken a back seat. However, she still pops up from time to time. From doing some reading, I learned to acknowledge when that negative self-talk starts to happen, stop it in its tracks and then replace it with positive talk. If gone unchecked, the voices can incite fear, they can be debilitating, demeaning, and diminish your confidence.

I will not share who the other two voices or people are, but one is female and the other male, both my about my age. They are people from my past, people that meant a lot to me at one point. I think these two individuals are in my head because at one point I was just like them, very popular, well-known, put together, and knew where I was going. I think when I became a mother, I lost that person and I have been trying to rediscover her for many years and to me, they are what I should look like. Or at least I thought they were what I should look like. However, I am realizing that I am unique and if I might add that I have always been unique, we all are. So, my job now is to identify what makes me so unique and continue to build myself up from there.

I have to learn to quiet my mind and stop worrying about what other people are going to say. There have been many times in my life that I worried about what other people had to say to a fault. On my best days, I know there is nothing they can say. I look good, I feel good, and I am good. On my worst days, I feel like tissue at the bottom of someone’s shoe again basing my worth on what society says about me or what the voices say about me. Society wants me to be, Perfect. I have been trying to be perfect and not even realizing it, but it’s definitely a losing battle. All I can do is be my best self, every day. Lay everything I have on the table for myself and love it for myself. I may not have everything I want, but I have the capability to get it. I can’t let society or the voices define me because on my best days I know I can do something of meaning and I know other people see it in me too and that’s not validation that is verification.

I want to get back to the little girl in me that loved to climbs trees and fences and run around hard outside nonstop. I want to be the little girl that her mother had to call into the house after the street lights had already come on because she couldn’t get enough of the openness, the vastness of outside. She was wild. She was care free. She was me. Every once in a while she resurfaces and shows her beautiful face, graces us with her intellect, showers us with her love, and amazes us with her style and confidence, but it’s almost as if as soon as she arrives she’s gone again. And sometimes she is gone too long. I am working hard to get her stay permanently. Whatever it takes and it is possible. I need her. So, I keep digging.

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