Music has a habit of giving me insight I never knew I needed. Healing has a way of humbling you and I had to take a few breaths and talk to myself, but not the talking to you would imagine. I had been doing the “you know better, do better” speech. “Don’t let them talk to you like that”, “say no '' but never the “go easy on yourself” speech.
I was washing my hair and felt I needed some music to help me along. Our soulful cousin Adele is about to drop her third album entitled 30 on November 19, 2021, and to say the tribe and I are bursting with excitement is an understatement.
She recently released a single from the album and when I first heard “Easy on Me”, it reminded me of Bloom by 30 — If you’re new in these parts, Bloom by 30, The Miki Chronicles was my first book — Or, the time when Bloom was fresh and I was oozing with hope and purpose. They are still fresh, but I must admit, life gets a little harder when the purpose is clearer and hope sometimes drifts in and out.
I have been thinking about friendships that drifted away and lovers who never cared enough to stay, but mostly about how they all, in retrospect, had agendas. I get angry at myself all the while, preaching that it and they served their purpose. So, why do I feel like I could’ve done better to myself? Why do I feel so used? Then, cousin Adele sweeps in with a melody or two, reminding me to go easy on myself.
Bloom by 30 was my coming out season. My epiphany of sorts, but the real awakening happened a year later. I appreciated my twenty-something years because they helped me become the person I was at thirty. But I’m not that girl anymore. I’ve read some pre and early post thirty writings and that girl could use a little talking to. She gave too much of herself and found excuses for people who treated her poorly. Still calling them friends very well, knowing they couldn’t give a rat's ass. But knowing her, she probably would’ve wanted to ride things out. She did and got burned so many times for being good to people; But worse, standing up for herself.
I fear in all this growing. I've developed a cold streak. I was nice; that was my kryptonite. I’m still nice, I think. I’ve snapped too many times, only to realize in the middle of snapping that there’s no use spending all that energy. I never used to speak up or defend myself against other people’s disregard. Also, I have a little tone issue, so my delivery needs a little work.
I think about my current associations and partnerships and maybe that cold streak is protection. My ability to care didn’t leave me, it woke me up. I realize I can be both protective and caring and it wouldn’t be a threat to anyone with an ounce of respect for me.
So, in between the shampooed curls, deep conditioner, and Adele. I decided to go easy on myself, especially the girl I was. She was doing her best.
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