I attended Demetria Lucas’ Cocktails with Belle event a few weeks ago in Midtown Manhattan and found myself overwhelmed ten minutes into the event. I was alone, with no plus one or arm candy like many of the other attendees that flooded The Chester, off Park Avenue. I ate at a candle-lit table by myself and glanced at the fans and “big media people” arrive in packs, quickly filling up available seats and leaving late-comers to stand against the wall. I sat at a table for two, solo. As awkward as that was in the beginning, I began to grow comfortably in my seat towards the kickoff of season two of Blood, Sweat, and Heels. I’ve grown used to being alone since this journey began. There are no available slots for Rob or my girlfriends to attend events with me. No one is up with me at 3:15am, after a two-hour local commute, assisting me in writing an article that’s due before clocking in at the job that’s the bread and butter in six hours.
Late nights and loneliness – that’s what this has all been. But you want it, so you grow accustomed to it, hoping your boyfriend and your bestie that couldn’t tag along with you, understands. You pray your kids know that, “Mommy’s just chasing a dream,” and cultivate that same hustling spirit when they get older. You pray. You pray hard, sometimes a little too loud on the train, with someone side-eyeing you and questioning your crazy. With all things transpiring and aligning itself for you, you think just that: am I going crazy?
At the end, I snag my second photo with Demetria and head to the bathroom before proceeding to the train station for my commute back Uptown. I think about sleeping in the last car, in a corner where no one will spot me, mouth open wide with the highest possibility of drool trickling out.
I bump into Christina, Demetria’s publicist, who says hello and tells me she meant to say hi earlier. I feel good. I feel good because in a sea of people, Nikon flashes, celebratory glass clinks, and waiters pacing through a tightly-packed room, someone spotted me. In a moment of solitude, my presence was noticed; how ironic.
The game of hide and seek has been a reoccurring theme at 27. It’s during the times I try to bury myself, my insecurities and fears, that God and the Universe conspires to make sure the best parts of me is exposed and I not only prove unbelievers wrong, but myself as well.
This entire year as shown me that no matter how much I want to tuck myself under my covers, bunch up into a ball, cloak myself and my issues in a blanket of invisibility, someone spots me. Sends me an email for an opportunity; calls me with some shit; texts me more information on something. It doesn’t stop. Twenty-seven has shown me that you cannot run from your gift, your calling, your passion, your purpose. You can try to sleep it off, drink it away, curse it heavily, and kick the hell out of it into a corner, but when it’s for you, it’ll wake you up, sober you up, ignore your profanity, and drift right back into the scene of things because you can run, but you can’t hide.
Visiting my alma mater last weekend, I sat down with one of my sorority sisters, a licensed social worker, and read some of last year’s most popular posts to her. She sat there in awe and in tears in her eyes, and I even stunned myself revisiting the memories of yesteryear. I was informed that a lot of the language in some of the posts were similar to that used in counseling. How odd was it that I am somehow living out my college dreams twofold; writing and helping women, simultaneously. How could I continue to run from this? Everything manifested itself in due time, after hesitations and hard work, after the tidal waves caved in and somehow I had enough in me to keep swimming.
I don’t know what else to say that hasn’t been said from last birthday year’s post to this year’s, but I’m out of my shell, no longer finding comfort in my cocoon, and not afraid to be out there and shine in the world – even if it means I have to stand alone for quite a while.
Thank you to Stacy-Ann Ellis for making me believe in chances all over again.