“Imma savage…classy, bougie, ratchet…” I’ve heard these lyrics, coupled with the visual of the same dance routine a good 100 times in the past few weeks… Not just on Instagram, but also on my Tik Tok home page. Yes, my old ass created a Tik Tok. Have I posted myself doing the savage dance? No, but that’s because I’m not completely confident in my leg raise on the “nasty” part. Do I have me doing the dance at 3AM saved into my Tik Tok drafts and phone camera roll? I absolutely do lol. If I’m being real, these lil Tik Tok routines have been one thing getting me through this quarantine bullshit.. But I’ve been doing other things to fill my time…I’ve read a couple of books. I’ve meditated and worked out everyday (minus the weekend… you know… rest days), been cooking nutritionally balanced meals, and I’ve even gotten fully dressed for “virtual work” so it really feels like I’m doing something every day and not just video chatting in my living room…I’ve been sleeping great… I’ve been doing pretty good overall (insert upside down smiling emoji)..
Sikeeeeeee…. You thought….
I haven’t read shit but the subtitles of “All American” and maybe like two pages of a book. As far as working out goes, I tried to do the “push up challenge” to put on my Instagram story, but I couldn’t get through one push up… sorry to those who tagged me. I appreciate the motivation though! Ummm… I thought about meditating... does that count? My cousin has been clowning me because every time we Facetime, I’m eating black eye peas and cabbage. I mean... it’s high in iron… I throw in a bagel or a PB&J sandwich here and there. It’s balanced enough to keep me full lol… As far as this virtual work shit goes.. first of all… Fuck Zoom!! I hate it so much… sitting still looking at people for an hour has opened up a realm of anxiety that I didn’t know existed… but I appreciate only having to get dressed from the torso up.. I just can’t stand up because my coworkers would get a glimpse of my boy short collection. There are somedays I sleep most of the day and pop a melatonin gummy at night.
Instagram has become a toxic frenemy… sometimes full of knee slapping entertainment (yeah, I said knee slapping…it’s the first thing that came to mind lol) and sometimes full of people reminding me of how I’m not doing shit… how I lack discipline… how I’m wasting time because I’m not starting a business, or working out, or anything else I’m not doing… And at first I jumped into full throttle mode. I wrote out a workout plan and even redesigned this site a little bit…I was even ready to hop into outlining my first book.. I was motivated as hell. Then eventually, it hit me…I really can’t do shit… my friends will tell you… I’m a free spirit and very spontaneous. I love to do random things, even if I’m alone. Not only that, but I’m a 10 hour drive from home and I had to wrestle with whether or not I should be with my family or stay here in Jersey during this time... Control over my life was dwindling without me even realizing it.. At about day 6 of quarantine, I wasn’t here for it…My anxiety and depression started playing double-dutch in my brain and I started to put pressure on myself to do things. In a matter of 3 weeks my life became 99.9% virtual by force, which is a different level of draining…
Some of ya’ll might be like.. “Taylor, you’re on that first world problem, privileged shit.” And you know what… I might be… but acknowledging that doesn’t erase my feelings...it doesn’t erase my grief… If you’re also feeling fucked up through all of this, you shouldn’t beat yourself up for it. It’s taken me a few weeks to realize that this whole quarantine experience is traumatic as hell…and like any other traumatic experience this one takes the same steps of processing. We’re all fighting to maintain our physical, mental and spiritual health. It’s okay to say that this is some bullshit…because it is… it’s some bullshit… And we don’t know when it’s truly going to end…the unknown is scary…not having control over all of the facets of our lives is scary…having to sit with yourself can be scary… especially when your hair isn’t done or you need a haircut. No Remy bundles…no fresh line-up…no acrylic fill-in… feet crusty as hell because you can’t get a pedicure…no gym…no brunch with your friends…a new job title as a full-time home school teacher for your kids…no church…no NBA...no banana cheesecake from the Cheesecake factory or therapeutic trip to Marshalls (just me…ok)…you fill in the blank… we’re all stuck inside…feeling and looking dusty as hell… I know because I’m feeling dusty too… and not just because I’m forgetting to put on lotion lol.
Despite the acceleration of change and after a few weeks of processing this experience, I’ve began to find some positives in all of this… For one, I have so much to be grateful for. To be able to have my own apartment, still be getting paid despite having to be at home and having support through Facetime and social media are things that I don’t take for granted. For some people this time is deeper than not being able to take a trip or get their hair done… For some people this time is hitting them in unimaginable ways. When it’s all said and done…shit could be so much worse… which again, in no way dismisses my feelings, but adjusts my perspective on things and gives me some sort of light to get me through this shit…What are some things that you are grateful for that has been getting you through?
Second positive… I get to spend time a lot of time with myself…while if I’m being honest doesn’t always feel positive… I talk that “be present” shit…but sometimes I’m not about it when it comes to facing certain things… This time has led to forced self-reflection… it’s shown me who and what are truly important to me… it’s stopped me from packing up and road tripping somewhere to run from what I need to come to terms with… it’s revealed some of my triggers and brought to light some of my strengths and growing level of internal wholeness.
I have had to truly tap into the gifts of humanity that I’ve been depriving myself of… kindness…grace…love towards myself…actually naming shit for what it is and not trying to avoid it…and when the time comes…I might get a workout routine going…strong ass might…I might read a few books…strong ass might…I might get into the groove of writing blog posts more often and building my brand…another strong ass might…I MIGHT do some other shit that I don’t feel like doing in this moment…but what I will do is what the hell I’m getting paid to do right now and that’s my damn job… if I want to do some shit on the side I will.. today I decided I wanted to write and share a blog post…no pressure attached… And I applaud everyone for grinding this time out to plan out businesses, work out, and do other dope things. I’m here for it… but there are some of us who are doing some internal grinding to process, sort shit out and make it day by day… and one doesn’t trump the other…the way you get through this is your own personalized journey and should not be attached to the pressure of others…so if doing a Tik Tok dance at 3 AM brings you even an ounce of happiness…do that shit…do whatever you need to do to get through…do whatever brings you peace during this time…no pressure attached.
Love and light,
***WARNING: SENSITIVE CONTENT***
I’ll be honest, after I posted my “I Love to People Watch” post, I said to myself, this is feeling a little “woe is me-ish...” mixed with a little co-dependency.
Yes, community is important.. Yes, it’s sometimes helpful to have people affirm your struggles, especially when you’re like me and think that dysfunctional shit is normal... It’s ok to not be ok..I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be here without leaning on my family, friends and therapist, but also... that shit can become unhealthy.. cause what happens when everybody’s busy with their own shit and can’t pick up the phone? How are we gonna handle that? Cause right now, the only person that I want to talk to is inaccessible right now and I’m having a hard ass time, but it’s also pushing me to deal with shit like an adult and calm all the dramatics down and fucking breathe without somebody holding my hand..
There’s a difference between leaning on your community, family or partner to hold you down with love and advice and desperately seeking co-signers to keep you from facing and processing your shit.
Co-dependency is nothing more than a dark hole, with us standing at the bottom, waiting for people’s crumbs of affirmations to keep us from internally starving.. it can easily be undetectable... so what are the signs?? “Hey Google, what are the signs of a co-dependent relationship?”
As usual, Google came through and I found an Everyday Health article that also came through with a solid list:
Here’s what I have learned in my short ass 25 years of life..reposting quotes about healing is not gonna heal you.. writing blog posts about healing is not gonna heal you.. pouring your soul into others is not gonna heal you.. serving in a church is not gonna heal you..money may lift the load (let’s be real lol) but it is not gonna heal you.. choosing not to trust people is not gonna heal you.. fancy ass shit is not gonna heal you.. likes on social media is not gonna heal you... a degree is not gonna heal you.. another person cannot heal you.. they can walk with you, but ultimately you’re responsible for your shit and it’s not fair to anybody to invite them to bask in your unhealthy shit with you..
One of my sisters checked me yesterday after she read my last post and said, “Taylor, you’re a really good bullshitter because you say things that you don’t embrace for yourself.” That is what holding a friend accountable looks like...calling me out on my shit in a loving way. Call your friends out on their unhealthy shit.. That is what pushing a friend towards healing looks like. That is what a healthy relationship looks like.. Yes, life is hard and peeling back the layers of it may be extremely difficult, especially if you’re currently dealing with some inconvenient, hard shit. I’m for damn sure am not gonna sit here and act like I’m living like Ghandi and that my life is perfect, but I’m not gonna sit here and erase how much I’ve healed from and how far I’ve come... and I have a long way to go and grow.. but I’m also not about to play paddy cake with unhealthy, negative ass shit and people and diminish my growth.. and you shouldn’t either.. that’s also some co-dependent shit..
It’s time fucking out.. No more sulking in shit, no more toxic relationships, no more blaming, no more embracing dysfunction, no more talking about healing but not putting in effort to do that shit.. Clean your damn house.. go for a walk.. talk to God.. scream.. turn the TV off.. go to the gym.. eat better.. put your phone down.. put the bottle down.. put the drugs down.. get help if you need to.. grieve loss (don’t block that shit.. give yourself permission).. write.. look in the damn mirror and pour into yourself.. appreciate the good around you.. change what you can control.. y’all are probably like gurrrlll, shut the fuck up lol but I’m passionate about this healing thing.. my bad.. and imma keep going.. be confident in what you produce (I stay down playing my writing—time out for that shit).. stop depending on people to save you from your shit and hold your damn hand.. and if you’re already on an intentional healing journey, please share tips and coping skills that help you.. I’m going to post a list soon.. as in next week.. so please share!!
We are all dope as hell and deserve all things good.. deserve to walk lighter.. but it starts and ends from within.. and sometimes it takes being alone.. don’t be afraid to be alone.. but you gotta start somewhere.. unclog the shit.. it’s not helping you or those around you... and it certainly isn’t going to magically disappear... Now I need to see what’s good with this insomnia lol. It’s now 6:42 am... Alright, peace.
...to wonder how every walking world spins on its own axis. Is it wobbly like mine, or is it perfectly balanced and centered? I'm currently sitting in the cafeteria people watching, curious about this idea of everyone trying to balance their own world in the big ass one around them.
Then I quickly find myself, quite dramatically, retreating into my own little world, staring out of the window, writing this unexpected blog entry in my journal. I am now holding back tears as my mind is near combustion as I try to compartmentalize my issues, secretly hoping that someone will plop across from me and be like, "Sis, you good?," while also hoping no one will cause I might burst int... Oh shit, somebody's walking towards my table and making eye contact..Dammit...**insert a plastered, smile** Now I want to crash through the window that I was just staring out of... My good sis, Gail (if you're reading this, hey guurl), whom I love so much asks if I want to be alone for lunch.. As much as I want to be alone, I know that I shouldn't, so I reply, "Nah girl, come sit."
My journal is now closed, resting on the window sill.....
Aight..we back lol.. so Gail went to grab her food and came back to the table.. She saw that I closed my journal and said something like, "girl, journal if you want. I can show love in silence." So, instead of keeping my journal closed and forcing a conversation that would be laced with courtesy head nods and basic "I'm not really listening phrases" like, "how's your semester going" or "that's amazing," I opened my journal and am now writing again..
I'm about 3 minutes into silence..feeling a little awkward..should I say something? i don't wanna say anything lol.. so I don't.. And now a wave of gratefulness has hit me.. Gail chose to see past my glasses shielding my bags and a fake ass smile and sat with me still and started reading a book... she didn't ask me what was wrong..I was literally slipping in a unhealthy mental state that I was bracing myself for and God met me, through Gail. And while my world is tipsy turvy as hell, God still meets me in some way to keep my world from completely crumbling. God, I see you... Anyway...I'm not sure where this is going.. I honestly wasn't planning on this being a blog post lol. I was just writing and here we are..
Whoever's reading this (warning: I'm about to get on some corny shit lol), even though your world may be tipsy turvy like mine, and it seems like it's about to fall off of its axis and roll into a shitty ass sewer, don't be afraid, or like me, too prideful as hell to lean on those around you...Although we may all be consumed by our
own, sometimes, really shitty worlds, we don't have to navigate them alone...you are cared about...your life matters.. your shit matters.. you are valuable..we are valuable..
It's a big ass world out here full of communal opportunities..I don't know..join a church if God is your thing, or a book club, kickbox..I don't know, do Comic-Con..that shit looks really communal..Whatever you need to do to keep your world from tipping into an abyss of nothingness, do it (I mean, unless it's a harm to yourself and others.. its a thin line lol)..Some of us might need a lil therapy to get the ball rolling.. Don't be skurrrred of therapy ya'll.. it's gotten my world moving in a healthy direction..shoutout to my therapist.. You're a real one, sis! And shoutout to Gail for sitting with me without expecting anything in return (sn: don't be afraid to be that friend who sits along another in silence.. people don't need solutions all the time.. what I've learned is that sometimes simply being present is enough..but it can be hard when you really love somebody..I know lol)..also, shoutout to my dope ass community that loves on me despite my pride and mood swings. I love ya'll.
I kind of went all over the place with this one..but, life goes all over the place.. if, you've seen my face, I am now looking at you sincerely in the eyes lol. It's going to be okay..you're still alive and breathing..that counts for something..I promise it does.. And when shit hits the fan and negative thoughts start to drown your brain.. lean on somebody.. go for a walk..mediate and pray it out... you are not alone.. your life is valuable..it's time we value our lives and take control of the negative bs.. alright..let me calm down and end this post..
As my good brother, Kendrick says, "We gon' be alright." Woahhhhh.. that felt corny as hell...but we will..There's most likely gonna always be something going on, but lean on the lights in your life, place yourself in a loving community, get some therapy if you need to develop healthier ways to process the negative stuff.. it's actually possible to balance the trash with the beauty of life.. just know that you're not the only one juggling problems in your world... but there's no sense in us juggling it alone..
.....is what I want to scream from a mountain top..put in a CAPS LOCK Instagram caption. I scream it with my whole being when Big Sean's song, "I Don't Fuck With You" plays on the radio or at parties. I've made New Year's Resolutions, written journal entries, meditated, cried my eyes out just for the sake of not being paralyzed by what others thought about me. I've written extensive social media posts about how I'm so damn free, then turn around and have mini anxiety attacks when I'm asked to say anything in front of a group of people... Or I'll post a picture expressing myself and instantly delete it cause I'm afraid people will think I'm doing too much or not being true to myself... and don't let me not get at least 5 likes within 2 minutes on a Instagram picture!!! I'll immediately make up in my mind that I've posted the worst picture in the world..no matter how much I liked it...
When people look at me, they see this accomplished, "spiritual" woman, appearing free and nonchalant. What they fail to see is me dying on the inside... often obsessed about every move I make and every breath I take (**insert Bobby Brown dance moves** lol). Ya'll are probably like, "GIRL, why you crying?? Chill all that out." Well... I'm sure somebody can relate, so let me cry for a minute.. Ya girl gets internally stressed. And if you're reading this and you too have a mask or a part of you that you hide from the world, I wanna simply say "BE YOU!!" but the shit isn't that easy.
I swear, I feel like I'm constantly trying to live up to something that I can't even describe, but ironically desire... This idea of freedom served on a dirty fucked up platter that appears shiny and entices the hell out of me.. this idea of freedom with fine print that nobody tells you about.
"How does one truly not care?" is a question that I ask myself almost everyday. Like, do people who announce that they don't give a fuck really not give a fuck? A question that I've recently been wrestling with is do people even really give a fuck about what I have going on? Do they care if I trip over a word in a speech or about a picture I post?
Or are they like me, struggling with some insecurity... caught up in their own anxiety as they face the world, sifting through their pain, trying to redefine their narrative because they had a fucked up childhood... secretly depending on people to affirm who they are and their accomplishments, posting pictures that would certainly appease some kind of assumed appetite of their friends and family.. so wrapped in trying to make their life look lit and carefree as fuck, cause you know..they don't give a fuck..cause you know.. I don't give a fuck..cause you know..we don't give a fuck.. and it might not be revealed on social media, but in the way we operate in the world..
If the shoe doesn't fit, congratulations, you have mastered the art of not giving a fuck..please share your wisdom... cause I give so much of a fuck that it's becoming ridiculous.. like.. it's not cute at all.. and I can't figure out why.. but I'm committed to trying to figure that out and for those in the same "giving a fuck" boat as me, I challenge you to do the same cause when it's all said and done, and I'm quoting my mom here, "ultimately, nobody really gives a fuck. Who are you to think that people really care about what you have going on? Everybody is wrapped up in their own shit".. so we might as well do what we want... Right? Sure. (***insert awkward smile***)
I honestly lost my point for this post and I've said fuck at least 15 times and this was way longer than I intended it to be lol. I'll probably never post this because ***DING! DING! DING!*** I give a fuck about what you're gonna think or say.. and that you'll never come back... I just had to type this shit out and this honestly is distracting me from this boring ass lecture that I'm in right now.
You know what..fuck it.. I'm gonna post it.. cause you know what.. it just hit me.. a key to not giving a fuck is to actually start not giving a fuck.. right? I guess the proof will be you actually reading this lol so if you've gotten to this point, first, thank you so much for reading!! Second, you have just joined me on my journey of not giving a fuck lol.. you tryna roll or nah?