When I wrote Presence last year, I had just finished crying under a dimly lit lamp in my living room, swaying back and forth in a swivel chair with an empty wine bottle between my legs. I wanted to be hugged, feel loved, and more importantly, understand what the hell was going on in my life. Blood on the Leaves got me through the hours I spent alone in my house and I drunkenly sang out We Could’ve Been Somebody until I couldn’t tell the difference between the taste of my tears and the Merlot. In all of my intoxicated slumber, I’ll never forget two of my closest girlfriends coming over to help me through a really rough time for me and my family and my best friend asking me,
Do you regret any of it? Forgiving? Staying?
She thought I had looked at her like she was stupid. If I were looking at myself from the outside, I would’ve thought I was about to fall off of the chair any minute from a wine-overdose but what happened was, I had my moment of clarity and I stunned myself. Thank God for wine sometimes; it doesn’t cloud my judgement, but rather improves it.
No. This needed to happen.
I surprised my girlfriends and when the words flew out of my mouth, I fell back into the chair and felt a calm come over me. It’s as if someone else inside of me, took over and spoke what I’ve been yearning to utter for so long but couldn’t fathom myself saying. That ever happen to you?
You get to a place where you’re tired of fighting, making excuses, giving yourself and others chance after chance to get it together and get it right. When you’re tired, and I mean, really, really tired, you sort of just throw your hands up and give in. But something interesting happened that night; I had one more excuse to use before exhaustion and that voice inside of me negated it. It’s as if it told me, you’re excuses have gotten you so waist-deep in your situation, that you don’t get to have control anymore.
What you’re running from, needs to hit you head on right now. What you’re ducking and dodging and fighting and praying will be prevented, doesn’t matter anymore. This needs to happen. You will deal with this because you need this.
And I broke it down, in bits and pieces to the two women that watched me grow up and what they witnessed was a moment of metamorphosis. It felt like it happened instantly but what I didn’t know was, everything traumatic and earth-shattering that occurred, the things that I tried my hardest to avoid, was to get me to that point. Life smacked the shit out of me and took back the wheel I had no business steering from the get-go. Having total control of my life was like a joy ride – it was fun while it lasted. But now I see how much more relaxing, how much more I can see and take in, from the back seat. I let the Universe have its way which was the scariest thing and the most courageous thing I could do.
So here we are, a new year and some months later, and one of the two girlfriends is at my house in the same dilemma I was once in. She weighed all her options and ask for my opinion. While I referred to her an old post, I did tell her that she needed to let it go – not her man or her trust issues, but desire for control. She was in her predicament because it was time for her to be in it. When you do dirt, you get dirt. When you do good, life will still give you dirt to frolic and plant yourself in in order to grow.
He left you so you could learn to love you. There’s no love like self-love.
You lost that job because there’s something better lined up. Some place where you’ll actually be happy.
You got pregnant because you needed to learn responsibility. I’m checking myself here.
She lost her place so she could learn how to hustle for something bigger. Lose something to gain more.
You saw something you didn’t want to because life was tired of you acting blind. Ray Charles to the bullshit? No girl, stay woke.
You overheard words you wish you hadn’t because you kept turning a deaf ear to what your grandmama & ’em been telling you. You either heed to the signs or get humbled.
So I told her flat out, what I told her (and myself) in the fall of 2013: Girl, this shit needed to happen. Stop fighting the inevitable.