The Internet can be a cruel and unusual abyss of half-cocked opinions and bargain basement analysis, especially when it comes to Black wom...
Rebirth Under a Microscope
Certain things have been occurring lately to really make me think about who I am TODAY. I had gotten very used to being a certain kind of person, able to consistently describe the woman I thought I was based on the re-occurring trends in my personality and my responses to the world around me. Things change, sometimes, without me being aware.
For instance, when I finally started to develop, I barely slid into an A-cup bra. I was sad, but my mother isn't busty so it was to be expected. As a matter of fact, I expected little breasts so much that I stopped paying them any mind once they finally arrived. For years I kept putting on the same little bras; I came from a little woman, mine were obviously destined to just be little too. Then, the summer of ’96, years after the nubbins had come in, I made a drive down the East Coast with a girlfriend, going from D.C. to New Orleans. I was 21 and this somehow made sense to me then. Youth….go figure. We stopped in Atlanta and stayed at my aunt’s house for a night to regroup. I’m getting dressed the next morning, putting on one of my little bras, and my aunt is looking at me funny. She asked what my bra size was. I told her matter-of-factly that I was an A-cup. Her exact words were, “my ass…” She asked my girlfriend and road dog what her size was. My aunt asked her for 1 of her bras and told me to put it on. Amazingly, her B-cup was too small. My aunt disappeared into her bedroom and returned with a C-cup and said, “I suspect this will work.” Still not actually looking at my own breasts but thinking of myself in the context of my mother, I scoffed at my aunt as I put on the bra, sure I would drown in it. C-cup it is.
I hadn’t given my body any credit for evolving, developing rather, and I don’t always give any other aspect of my person credit for evolving either, or devolving such as it is. Things admittedly look different after the age of 30, and my older sister told me they would. Until you’ve experienced it, you can’t really know what that means. I see now that I can’t really bank the woman I am on the young woman I used to be. Phrases like, “I’ve always been like this,” don’t really ring true anymore. Some of my newer friends have had a good time pointing that out to me as they try to tell me the person they know is NOTHING like the person I keep trying to convince them I am, based on what once was. Some things have stayed the same, but a lot is different these days, I can’t even keep track ‘cause I’m still dealing with the old manual.
These days I run a lot more hot and cold than I did before. I like what I like, point blank, and I’m VERY CLEAR on who and what I don’t bang with. The list of 1 has grown a lot faster than the other, but I accept that about myself. At the same time, I’m discovering what a lot of other people discover as they age—my positions on some things have softened, while other positions grow more staunch. I believe wholeheartedly in absolutes, and then get mad at myself when I do some ol’ girly shit and move them aside for—you guessed it—boys. I let a lot less pass than the other women I see and know, but the things that I have let go have pissed me off. I don’t regret any of them; I just get a little hot under the collar when I have to admit I caught myself sleeping on the job.
Another change in me is that I resist routines. I HATE being predictable!! I’ve always been the model for consistency and responsibility. You could always count on me to get the birthday card to your house the actual day of your birthday. You knew where I was Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-10 p.m. On Fridays I was going to Comets, as long as I had some money. You didn’t have to worry about me showing up at the function wearing heels. During the Playoffs I’d be hoarse. When I was suddenly responsible for no one but me, I tried to abandon routines. No, I’m not coming to the thing I’ve always shown up for annually. I started hanging out with different friends, or none at all depending on how I felt. I showed dance classes and rehearsals my ass. Has this exercise been fruitful? Yes, and no. It has given me the sense of freedom I was looking for, not to be beholden to anyone’s schedules or expectations. What it also did for me was allow me to come undone. There are certain mainstays that I need in place to keep me from unraveling. It IS necessary that I go to sleep on time. It IS necessary that I dance no less than (but preferably more) once a week. I have to have activities in place that keep me sane and on track. If not, I’m out here free-ballin and things that need to get done simply don’t.
So…now I’ve got to assess what’s changed, what’s for the good, what’s not, and what I don’t feel like changing right now (even if it’s wrong). Then I’ve got to accept that I need some routines in my life and reinstate the ones required for this machine to run like it’s well-oiled. In those routines I’ve got to be sure to schedule time to come back to the table with my self and make sure I do a better job of tracking my changes and making the necessary adjustments so that I’m not the one who’s out of the loop on my own movements. This life thing moves at its own pace. Unfortunately, the things that fund this life make me too tired sometimes to pay attention to what’s really happening instead of recognizing that something is going on.
There’s more, but I won’t bother…
Kiddies, take your time. Adulthood has its perks, but they are NOT what you think they are. Take your time because eventually less and less of your time will actually belong to you. It would be sad for you to wake up one day, having missed your own journey.
Watch me move.