-A collection of my journal entries throughout the month of February
It’s February 1st, and I’m turning 25 next week. I keep wondering if I am doing enough. I have a car in my name. I have two degrees. I have a great job. I have wonderful friends. I am beautiful. However, I keep wondering “where I should go from here?”
The quote on my wall reminds me to, “live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Be fearless in the face of adversity… Recognize the beauty that surrounds you. Remember where you came from, but never lose sight of where you are going. I guess 25 is causing me to reflect on my own growth. Instead of asking “where should I go from here,” the better question is, “how did I get here?”
It’s February 6th, and I’m on a plane to New Orleans, Louisiana to celebrate my 25th birthday. As I return home, I can’t help but ruminate on how much I’ve grown since I jetted off to college at 18. Back in those days, I remember being angry and anxious all the time. I’m not sure who I was angry at or why I was even angry in the first place. Perhaps I was angry at the world. Perhaps I was frustrated with social “-isms” that seemed to manifest in my life. Perhaps I resented my own inability to articulate my trauma and process my emotions. I left for college with little emotional regulation and ready for confrontation. I DAMN SURE WASN’T AFRAID TO POP OFF IF A B*TCH CAME AT ME SIDEWAYS. In hindsight, I think I entered college looking for something or someone to help me move toward emotional intelligence, and perhaps, in some subconscious ways, I majored in Psychology so that I could embark on this journey.
It’s February 9th, and IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, BIHHH!!!!! I’m thankful for all of the birthday wishes. One of my best friends since freshman year of college is driving from Baton Rouge to see me tonight. (We’re about to turn up like it’s 2011, and we’re at Vibes jiggin’ to pieces to Boosie’s “Turn the Beat Up!”). Although we used to have fun, I’m not certain why she and others remained in my life after all these year… I mean, I did a lot of shitty things and said a lot of fucked up shit back in the day. I was a proud, unapologetic a**hole to my friends. I was an a**hole to protect my own feelings, and perhaps they saw right through me. Maybe they caught a glimpse of humility and empathy that I didn’t even see in myself.
It’s February 10th, and I am on a plane back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Last night was LIT AF! This birthday was different. It wasn’t like the rest where I feel more of the same. I suspect that 25 has bewitched me with her Black Girl Magic. I’m not sure how to articulate it, but I am mostly at peace with myself and who I’m becoming. More importantly, I am feeling confident to be my authentic self and live my best life. IT’S LIVE-YOUR-BEST-LIFE 2018!
It’s February 14th (Valentines Day), and I am okay. Just a couple short years ago, I would have had severe anxiety about being single and alone today. I’m sure that 25 would have exacerbated that anxiety. I would have thought: If I meet someone then we would have to date at least 6 months before entering a relationship. Certainly, we would be in a relationship at least three years before an engagement and get married the following year. It’s going to take forever! I’m probably not going to meet anyone in the first place. For along time, I believed that I needed a romantic relationship to help me feel whole. This led to a few toxic, unhealthy relationship dynamics. I lost pieces of myself hopping from relationship to relationship. Each one seemed to rip away another layer of my identity. I lost myself. However, I found myself when I leaned on my village of sistas. The Black women in my village help me to embrace my pain, be gentle with my pain, make peace with my pain, and transcends my pain into happiness, kindness, and compassion. I am grateful.
It’s February 27th, and I cut my hair. Seriously, I cut 7 inches of my hair (& yeah I’m still fine AF). Perhaps the cut is symbolic of letting go of the splits, the damaged, and the downright neglect. I feel liberated. I am happy. There is magic the process.
-Natasha M. Lee