I sat there crying during what was supposed to be my last set of dumbbell exercises.
I was too emotional and overwhelmed to do anything more than let tears fall.
It was the strangest thing. On the one hand, I felt the sudden urge to run into the locker room before anyone else saw me. And on the other, I couldn’t do anything more than sit in the huge ocean of my feelings, processing everything that had brought me to this moment.
Strong & Independent
“Always be a strong independent black woman.” – words from a wise grandmother who wanted me to be more than someone else’s responsibility, something more than just a wife.
I think I was probably six the first time I heard her whisper it to me, a resounding echo she’d repeat until it was apart of who I was.
As a mother and wife at 17, she dreamed more for me. And more, I accomplished.
“I’m soooo proud of you!” she’d remind me when I did the smallest things like reading her mail or making good grades.
I owed it to her to make her proud. She’d been everything I needed right when I needed it. And as I grew, my little accomplishments turned into bigger ones she could brag on. Her pride exuded through me, making me work harder for everything I wanted and more.
“After all I’ve done for you?” and “You owe me!” By far the most hated phrases of my life. Phrases that motivated me to work 3 jobs throughout grad school, buy my first new car, and over draft my account for groceries when necessary. Phrases that crept into my psych and made it hard for me to accept anything from anyone.
But then you came, constantly giving to me when I didn’t ask for it.
I thought to myself that I needed to be sure I “paid you back.” I attempted being tough and hiding because I didn’t want to be permanently indebted to you. Yet there you were, ever present and persistent in your efforts.
So I cried in the gym, unashamed and overwhelmed because I’d waited and waited for the day to come when you’d make me feel less than for needing you, but you still haven’t. And you probably never will.
It hit me like a ton of bricks that it was finally my time to accept the pure unconditional love that I deserved.
I cried out of utter disbelief that there are really no strings attached.
Who ever knew such a thing existed these days? Or that by luck of the draw, I’d be blessed with someone who never stops going the extra mile even when it benefits him in no way.
Thank you for being hope.
I thought the toughest part of our first year was learning how to be a good bonus mom, but it turns out it was learning how to accept an overwhelming amount of love.
With the best intentions, we mold ourselves into resilient beings who are self sufficient and capable of handling it all.
We are women. We are strong and mighty. But we do not always have to be.
I pray that you will find love that allows you to embrace the softest essence of your femininity. A love that frees you to be vulnerable and clingy when you want to be.
I pray for you a love that heals the pain of let downs and disappointments. The type that says, “I know that you can carry the load, but I’d prefer to do it for you if you let me.”
And when it comes, I pray that you can receive it without guilt or hesitation.