No One Gets to Make Me Be Someone I’m Not

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I have to resist the urge to stop people midsentence every time I hear them say that something “made” them react a certain way.

Example: “You made me mad when you…” “He made me yell at him cuz he yelled at me first.”

Ya’ll with me? The reality is this, no one can MAKE you do anything.

I have heard this sentiment expressed by my therapist and professors innumerable times since I’ve been on this counseling journey.

As a result, I find myself taking more responsibility for my decisions. No one makes me do or feel anything. Everything I say, do and/or feel is a direct result of a choice I have made.

And I’ll be honest and say that I’m a better person because of this new awareness. When I could blame my reactions on others, it was easier to excuse it. Now that I’ve decided to take ownership of my choices, I tend to make better ones.

It has been hard because not going with my first mind leaves me feeling like I lost, but then I realize what I actually won. I won my life. I am in total control of me. It feels good to not be anybody’s puppet.

And She Was Beautiful

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I hadn’t seen you in quite some time

I didn’t realize how much I missed you until you walked by

Something about you looked different, but I couldn’t place my finger

But I was trying not to be rude so I didn’t let my eyes linger

That’s when she walked over

A teeny tiny version of you

I would’ve known that face anywhere

She looked like she was about two

Those eyes

That nose

Her hair

Oh, her jet black curly hair!

I wanted to stop you

I wanted to talk 

But I couldn’t get my feet to move

They had forgotten how to walk

No words would come out

I gave talking my best try

All I could seem to get out was a soul cleansing cry 

Because I saw you today and

You’re a mommy now. 

I figured you would be, but of course I was cynical. 

But for myself, I saw your baby girl

And she was beautiful. 

  

Not *JUST* One, Just… One

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single

A friend of mine offered to give me tickets to a game before.
She offered to give ME ticketS to a game.

A couple years ago I won a contest. I sent in my application. People voted for me. After voting results came in I was given TWO passes to a festival.

When I was a kid, my friend called the radio station at the perfect moment and she won a PAIR of tickets to a concert.

I thought about all these instances recently because I have been trying to figure out why is that when I go to restaurants I get the strangest looks when I request a table for one. “JUST one?” they ask. “Yes,” I reply with a gentle smile. “YES!! Isn’t that what I said?Why is that so difficult? I’m only one person. Can’t I go eat by myself?” I scream in my head.

outside inside(google didn’t have a better picture conveying happy on the outside, irritated on the inside but anyway…)

I guess it’s not so weird when I consider the fact that our world clearly expects us to come in pairs. I think that’s why we see so many people who battle sadness and depression that is brought on by the fact that they are *cringe* single ESPECIALLY¬†as they get older.

This year I turned 25. Someone called me on my birthday and said “Wow, 25 huh? You’re about to have a Master’s. You have a good job and you’re living on your own. You go to church. Now, all you need is a man.” #SideEye

single-woman

Why do we accept a world that tells us that we are not enough alone? Think about some of the language we use to talk about significant others. “Other Half” is my newest favorite. That basically communicates that at my very best, until I am in a relationship with someone else, I can only be HALF of who I really am. Um… whet? It took a while for me to realize it, but truly I’m a pretty awesome person, by myself.

Starting from my childhood days, I’ve been Claricha and somebody else. I’ve always had cousins and friends by my side in every social situation. It was great, but I’m learning to get used to being by myself and still being happy about it. There are plenty benefits to being by myself and dating myself. I always want to eat what I want to eat. I always want to see the movies that I want to see. I only want to go where I want to go. I only stay as long as I want to stay. Honestly, it’s a pretty good set up.

So, no hostess at my favorite restaurant not JUST one, just… one.

ASK

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When I was 17, I was in the Michigan State University Gospel Choir and we had an engagement at the Kellogg Center on campus. In the vestibule T-shirts were being sold for $15. One of them said “ASK” and had the Ask, Seek, Knock scripture on it.

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Me being the smartie I can be at times put my hand on the shirt, closed my eyes and said “Lord, can I have this shirt for free?” When I opened my eyes the man at the table asked me “What size do you want?” I still have that free shirt today.

I pray that I never forget that moment because it was such a simple situation that reminds me that if there’s something I want from MY Father all I have to do is ask!
If there’s something you’re desiring, by faith, put your hand on it and ask.
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I composed this post in 2012. Here I am two years after posting this the first time and nearly eight years after that moment and I’m still afraid to simply ask for what I want!

What is it about life that teaches us that asking is so bad? The worst that can happen is whoever we’re asking will tell us no. I’ve had innumerable experiences that have collectively shown me that rejection is not so bad and sometimes it’s actually good!

The hardest thing about being an emerging adult during the Great Recession is that it’s super hard to start a career. Millennials are the most college educated of any generation. Competition is everywhere. I have no idea how many jobs I’ve been turned down from and it’s even harder to know how many I never even received a call back from. What I’ve learned over the years since finishing my undergrad career is that it’s ok to be ambitious and it’s ok to be told no. Every opportunity is not a good opportunity and there’s often something better coming.

There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. And just like with my shirt, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!