I am free to be me, the woman that God created with intent with all of my imperfections & all of the things that are not right about me per your standards & I stand here, covered in more than just designer cloths broken hearts & scars from past pains that I’ve allowed to infiltrate I am a woman of faith that has prayed prayers that you cannot even begin to fathom. my life is not dictated by your approval ratings and I am not here to appease you. I am a woman with gifts. my God gifted me in such a way that mere words, when articulated as He placed them upon my heart can part mountains. I am mounted in spaces that I never even dreamed of. I’ve withstood wars against myself, my home & my children. I’ve maintained through flames of hatred meant to burn the skin from my bones & I stand here strong. resilient. carrying the weight of a million no’s & not yets, doors that have closed in my face again & again. I’ve laid my head upon tear stained pillows most nights, crying out to God that if He puts one more burden upon my shoulders I am going to break. & each morning, the breaths that I take with His sunrise I am reminded once more….that I am HIS DAUGHTER & HE is my FATHER & there will not be any shattered pieces of me that HE wont mend. I remain whole because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I was woven together in the depths of this earth, a secret place that birthed the heart of me. & I will praise Him beyond disappointments from that of man, I will praise Him beyond tears that were meant to saturate my strength, I will praise Him beyond the worries of this world I will praise him beyond monetary losses & gains I will LIVE in my every truth in His name. I will be me. scarred, flawed & fully covered by His glory & I will always use my GODSENT gift to forever tell my story. the path that I’ve traveled upon this journey that has carried me will NOT be in vain. No, I will stand tall my head held higher than my heels, with my tattered denim & painted lips, my coiled tresses & I’ll bless every woman that crosses my path by being the reflective image in which she sees herself. WE are VIRTUOUS WOMEN.
Stop trying to wrap us in packaging deemed suitable by YOU. Our layers of femininity can't be dictated by men in suits with a lack of our female counterparts in the room defending our truths & our right to choose whether or not we want to give birth and/or become mothers in the event of a preventative mishap, mistake....or, I don't know, RAPE.
You Can't Make Us.
We are NOT made by Mattel & our limbs do not bend at your discretion & if уσυ think I'm simply asking for too much when I politely ask to be left alone, ignore your cat call or reject your request for an opportunity to "get to know you better" while en route to wherever I'm going, then with all due respect Mr. Man....SCREW YOU. I should not have to cover my Godsent curves to appease your appetite to be a jerk & my skirt is not an open invitation. & no matter the language in which I speak it, NO MEANS NO. & I don't give a damn how far we've reached, when I say STOP, you have no other options but to do just that. There are NO excuses & if you attempt to pursue your "happy ending" after the fact, then you are deserving of a jail cell. But here I am, in 2016 reading a piece that took longer to write than Brock Turner's served time.
We Are Not The distraction required for you to acquire the masculinity that lacks within. We Are Not Your Scapegoats. & It is ok that I am not JUST a wife & mother. Surprisingly enough, we have the mental capacity to grasp & be ANYTHING our heart desires. If crockpot recipes & fast food drive-thru's play a role in assisting with dinner whilst we are off saving lives, prosecuting crimes, filing paperwork, writing poetry, telling stories, advocating for our sisters, flipping burgers, maintaining a company, overseeing production or RUNNING FOR U.S PRESIDENT We don't have to explain how that does not take precedence over the PERSONAL confinements of what resides in OUR HOMES. I mean, HE never has to. & We can wear our hair how ever the hell we want. If our kinks & coils offend the sensitive aspect of your tainted character that has nothing to do with us. & if these fluffy, straightened, long, short, shaved brightly colored, braided, loc'd, or twisted tresses stresses уσυ, then go see a therapist, Because Our Crowns Fit US just fine.
We Are Not Pretty Paintings Of Perfection to hang upon your distorted walls, we are pieces of unattainable art in our own right. & Your attempt to maintain this packaging that you have seemed to adapt for me is null & void. I've outgrown every piece of the wrapping & I am allowed to do so without your permission & my submission.
We are Godesses. We are golden. We are young, we are old, we are flawed We are triumphant, we are troubled, we are educated & intelligent. We struggle. We are survivors. We are tattooed. We are dainty. We are strength. We are weakness. We are light. We feed from our breasts. We are mothers. We are wives. We are partners. We get tired. We stress. & still we rise. We Are The Epitome Of Everything The Human being Is meant To Be.
When I plan something for myself and my family to do, I have this picture perfect day in my head. I swear, it's like I seem to set my expectations at an all time high when anything outside of our norm is involved. For instance, during the holiday season when it came time to put up the Christmas tree and all of its glory there wasn't anybody that could've told me that it wouldn't be an evening fit for a Christmas special. We'd have the fireplace lit with Destiny's Child Christmas playing on Pandora in the background. My children would be dressed in their footed pajamas, dancing around the tree as they strategically placed the ornaments on its artificial branches. I was even deadset on trying egg nog for the first time because that would have just been everything! But did it REALLY happen like that???
It took us almost forty minutes to get an actual crackle in the fire. My oldest daughter, Cherokee's footed pajamas were too small so she could only pull it up to her torso and wrap its sleeves around her waist. My baby boy, Lil Meech couldn't even find his and my two other heathens, ahem, children, Chance and Brooklyn decided that THIS would be the evening that they hated one another the most. They irritated my OCD when they insisted on hanging all of the ornaments on one side of the tree, my 4G service was being erratic so Beyonce' kept pausing mid-ballad & the egg nog was the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted in my life.
But ain't that how it is?! It's like when you've been planning to take family photos for forever and you've seen all these amazing pictures on Facebook, hyping the anticipation, and when ya'll get there noone even looks at the camera on the same accord and totally disregards the photographers direction. And then someone starts crying...yea, it all goes down hill from there. Noone cares that you've picked out coordinating colors for everyone to wear, made sure the boys had fresh haircuts and that the girls were flawless, and after hours of dysfuntion and utter humilation, you get maybe one (and a possible) presentable, frame worthy photo??!!!
But then you get your uncooperative family home (after you've expressed your dissapointment with disheartening silence the entire ride there) & settled in for the night. Once the chaos calms, you kick back with a glass (bottle) of wine and pop in the disc full of dysfunctional photos that the photographer provided you with as he all put pushed you out the door....and your heart melts.
Those photos that you've paid an undisclosed amount of money for, that you considered to be a waste, cursing yourself, are not exactly what you expected, but MORE. There are moments captured within each photograph that seems to take your breath away with every click. You watch, in old school "flip book" fashion, as your eldest child is caught, through the lens of the camera, consoling the bratty, spoiled one by kneeling to her and using words that seemed to calm her fiesty spirit. You're able to bear witness to the most genuine smile you have ever seen on the middle child that you wouldn't have seen otherwise because he had been standing beside you the whole time. You notice, in several of the pictures, that their father has his hand at the small of your back, something he hardly ever does, as if he were trying to subconsciously soothe your stress.
And then you realize that it's these photos, the real life moments that happen in the midst of this picture perfect fairytale in our heads, are the photos that you want to Facebook, instagram, tweet, Flickr and frame. These are deemed worthy of the chaos because they've captured an essence that we are all too eager NOT to see.
It's not that I that I feel the need to lower the expectations that I set for myself and my family, but that I need to simply let moments happen. They won't always be pretty, nor will they be "picture perfect"....but they'll always be exactly what they are, MOMENTS. I still have a long ways to go before I'm not just a little bit upset that I didn't get to capture my son petting a goat at the petting zoo, or when my pinterest recipe doesn't look anything like it did on the website. But I'm learning to be okay with the memories, minus the photographic evidence, being enough. I'm learning to accept that the moment still happened sans scrapbooking material and that ugly food tastes just the same!
I challenge each and everyone of us to simply allow these moments to happen in their true form, without our expectations of what they should be altering their authenticity. To bask in the chaos that we would feel incomplete without and to simply become a part of the madness....until it's time to shut it down and clean house!! LOL!
But seriously, what good are "captured moments" if we never seem to be in them anyway?