Holding on during that ride…be calm

I was once told by someone close that I never seemed stressed. What???!!!!!

He shared that with me many times. Obviously he did not know me or pay attention to me. The first time he shared it was when I was studying for the bar. I was stressed because of so many things during that time.

The second time he shared it was … well when they truly stepped out of line and disrespected me. I was outwardly calm, but inside I was screaming like Fred Flintstone would do on almost every episode. But I would not show it. This pissed the person off more because I would sit and watch them with a calm, cool, and chill demeanor.

It takes a lot for me to show my anger. I think and reflect, and hold it in to process every single detail. I try to figure out why people do certain things. At one point or another I have challenged why about so many things. We all do. Why does happily ever after seem so easy, but extremely impossible? Why do hurt individuals hurt others? I’ve gone as far as challenging myself about decisions I’ve made and how maybe I was the one that was wrong even when it was common sense to see the truth. Why am I so cool and chill about things when I should be angry when I should behave like Fred Flintstone. Why? This is normal, right? Of course it is! We want to challenge everything. We also challenge whether our behaviors are normal when we are hurt or sad or bothered.

To answer that though, who knows! I remember reading books that I had no business reading when I was a young teen. I mentioned them before. I read Michael Baisden, Carl Weber, E. Lynn Harris and I would be in awe with all of the drama. My grandmother and so many of your grandmothers and aunts and even those ladies at the hair salons watched the “stories.” Those stories are REAL and filled with things that I thought to be taboo and definitely a part of the journey of life. I had NO idea that this would happen to me though. And I’m sure you didn’t expect much of what has crossed your path to happen to you. For some reason or another (I sound like and old lady with that phrase) we feel as if our journeys should be different and filled with peace and tranquility. What has happened in my life is NOT what I envisioned for myself! Nope! Not me, but it happened.

I was recently texting my friend and shared a horrible memory that keeps coming back to me when I’m reminded of something. So, yup it happens and for me, I do my best to be rationale and calm and hold tight to my seat, and be Fred Flintstone in my mind lol!

When we encounter such moments, I believe it’s healthy to get it out.

Still focusing on Black women, it is us that are prone to accepting men who are not necessarily worth our time. I listened to a random stranger walk into a gas station bathroom with me the other day and yell “men are stupid and should die…” whoa….whoa… I am NOT making this up. I was in West Virginia and I was like whoa…..that’s a bit much, but she stood their crying. (And yes things like this only happen to people like me. I’m on a road trip and I’m in the bathroom consoling a woman who claims to be battered and taken advantage of by a man she truly loved. ). I reminded her that every man was not bad and she shot back, “have you been married before?” Of course I was thinking to myself and embarrassingly thinking two times, but I just nodded my head and told her to have a beautiful day. Will she take him back?

I don’t know, but I remember one of the hardest stories of a stranger I heard when I was in a solo trip. She shared that her husband brought in two children during their marriage. They had been married for many many years and he always cheated on her. He didn’t just bring in those children, but he also brought her STD’s, her own pregnancies, and a lot of his fists. When I looked at her beautiful face and extremely amazing body, I was truly speechless. I am a woman who compliments beautiful women and she was gorgeous. I was a lot younger than I am now, and was in shock. How can this beautiful woman have a man who treats her like that and doesn’t she know she can get any man that she wants?? She shared with me what she did for a living. She was paid very well, had two degrees from well-known colleges, but she kept taking him back. We all have been here and done that.

She told me that I had a spirit and a face that welcomed her. She sat beside me and cried and before she finally left, we hugged; not knowing what to say to her or even do for her, I just told her to be strong or something that I don’t remember. I realize that was not my job to do anyway. I cannot help everyone. You cannot help everyone. Our stories mirror each other’s so much. Often, Black women allow so much to happen to them. Or is it that we are so kind and nice and trusting that it happens because we become oblivious? Or is it just human nature to treat people wrong and only certain people are blessed or cursed with treating people fairly? Yeah, that makes no sense. But my thoughts don’t always come to the forefront making sense. And don’t judge me…yours don’t either ..🤪

But as I thought of that story, I thought of me. I remember how many times I forgave in my life. I remember how many times I lent money. I remember how many times I said “oh it’s ok!” Or how many times I trusted so much that when I saw the wrong I don’t think it was that I’m naturally calm, but I was in so much shock I couldn’t say or do anything.

As I reflect I am those characters in the book. I am those Black women I have these random encounters with. I do make every attempt to hold it together, and while my outside demeanor looks so well put together, inside I might truly be acting like Fred.

To avoid such, we have to take care of ourselves and remember that we have control over things. No one has to allow a liar back in their space. Forgiving does not mean you have to accept them back in your circle. It’s ok not to have it together. There is no need to feel embarrassed about something because it’s ok! Remember this thing called life is filled with so much of that thing; imperfectly perfect.

I ran into so many people on my recent trip to celebrate with a good friend. When someone asked about my relationship status (they actually asked how is your hubby) and I said oh I left him about two years ago, they said what everyone says. “I’m so sorry!” Please don’t be! I’m fine! They hugged me and said the above to me. ” You know it’s ok not to be ok. ” and my response was, Yup! I know this, but I am ok! I can’t say this all of the time, but in this instance I am.

So to be ok means that we must accept life.. accept that no one has their crap together. Accept that we all go through so much stuff. We are those Biblical icons I shared earlier, we are those characters in those books, we are those women that we tell to stop going back to that deadbeat. If you have yourself together than why do you keep settling? It’s ok to just be ok and focus on making self happy! Go travel, go run (I’m talking to myself), go play loud ratchet music, go to a spa, go get your nails done.

Black woman, why? Who knows, but your life should only be filled with the greatness that you deserve!

Find your inner peace…

#BlackAndAbroad

If you decide to travel, take a look at this site. I am so happy that I was able to share a couple of my travel stories on their space!

https://www.weareblackandabroad.com/

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