Whenever my sister and I talk on the phone we always end the conversation with, “One more story,” which then leads to another story to one last story to ten more “last” stories an hour later. It would mostly be about Riley and Aly (her kids) because they’re freaking hilarious or stories from back in the day.
Like how I cut my own bangs when I was three,
or how I didn’t want to ride my bike when my sister took off my training wheels,
or how my kindergarten teacher made me take ESL classes because she thought I was born outside of the U.S.
I remember sitting in a little classroom with five other students wondering why I had to retrace the alphabet and learn the English language again instead of playing with my friends during the last hour of the school day.
I was five-years-old and confused, but I went through it anyway.
I’m still a little bitter toward my teacher, but at least I have awesome handwriting.
Right now I feel like I’m retracing the alphabet again, only this time, it’s to learn the love language of my soul. Even though it’s the same letters and words I’ve been using my whole life for other people, reaffirming myself continues to be a fluctuating and difficult process. I allowed negative energy and situations define me to the point where my lifestyle revolved around the expectations of others while throwing out self-care altogether. I got stuck in this funk of not knowing the words of my true self in a positive light and it made me disappointed because I knew those words like the back of my hand.
Like the lyrics to “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls.
You know how that can be, right?
Recalling the lyrics to a song that you haven’t heard in ages and then singing and dancing like a weirdo in the middle of the grocery store aisle as if you’re performing live?
Didn’t think so.
I’m 28-years-old and confused, but I’m going through it anyway. I’m learning that when I’m at a loss for words my village will be there reiterating my love language until I’m ready to do so myself. I’m realizing that although showing my vulnerable side might drive others away, it will also draw those who really matter closer to my heart.
Overtime my village gets smaller, but grows stronger.
My best friend (Tiani) and her family (Bailey-Jae and Tony) sent me a heart-shaped container that overflowed with positive thoughts and memories from various friends and family members to remind me of who I am and, mostly importantly, how loved I am by them. It took me forever and a day to open it because I was afraid of the messages that was shared even though I knew it was only good things.
I read one note and it was over from there.
Water works like no other as I read one note after another.
My throat was dry from crying and laughing.
The kindness and encouragement was overwhelming (in a good way of course).
To those who continue to support me personally and professionally whether it’s in person, by phone, email, text, memes, social media, videos or dark chocolate, please know that your time and investment is very much appreciated.
To those who contributed to the gift:
This meant A LOT to me more than you could ever imagine. I am forever grateful.
I say this time and time again, but I fully believe that it takes a village and I have a great one.