Today, I am 23.
Wow. At 13, I always wanted to be 23. I knew exactly where I’d be and what I would have accomplished. God had other plans. I think he was laughing when I was trying to write my own destiny. We do that a lot, you know? Create expectations and think we can meet them all, specifically and not a second late. Sometimes, we project those expectations on the people around us without understanding they’re human and permitting them to be just that. Human. Just like I’ve fallen short of the expectations my 13-year-old self had, the people around me will fall short of the expectations I have of them sometimes and I’m learning to be ok with that.
In class last week, I learned that people don’t expect much from their friends and their friendships rarely go beyond surface level. I’m not one of those people. I thrive on the depth of my friendships. I have very few friends but, they’re family and they mean a lot to me.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m not doing enough. Not being enough. Not being a good enough friend. I know Maya isn’t mad at me but I should call her more. I should reach out more. The depth of our friendship doesn’t require that but I do. I just feel like there isn’t enough time in the day and my sanity is constantly being tested. At 13, I wasn’t aware of how difficult life could get. I wasn’t aware that I could feel like I’m drowning in challenges.
In my thoughts. In uncertainty. In sadness. In disappointment.
Love gives me shelter though. Baby’s love. He’s my anchor. He keeps me stable in this hurricane of a life.
(I pray peace encompasses the hearts of those that have lost love and stability in the last few weeks)
Nikky. Ijay. Serena. I love my sisters. I’m always willing to go to battle for them. Most times I feel like I’m not doing enough. Our worlds have been turned upside down and I can’t do anything to protect them from it. It hurts. A lot.
I’m 23 today. Not 13. I’m where I should be and that’s ok.
x C. Allison
I have waited
I have prayed
I have searched within the wrong people hoping to find
I have you
I have your love
I have your tender affection
I have your unwavering support
I have a hard time coming to terms with the reality of you
I have everything I’ve always wanted and,
I have a smile I thought I would never find
Because, you, my darling, are everything I’ve always yearned for.
I have consciously taught myself to stop apologizing for my ability to access and understand my emotions. It isn’t over-sensitivity. It is strength that a lot of people wish they have.
Thank you for teaching me unconditional love
Through you, I learned that love is a lot more than how a person is
or how happy they are
or what makes them tick
or what they look like
Love is a feeling of content when souls connect
I’m very content with your soul
I love it unconditionally
I love you unconditionally
For a long time, I was fighting for a seat at the table of a familiar stranger’s life
I crawled, I scratched, I begged, just to be seen
Just to be worthy
I was working overtime to prove myself
Because, they told me,
‘You have to fight for love, darling’
But when the right love walks in the door, you wouldn’t have to fight
Your only responsibility would be to open your arms, embrace it and keep it safe
All my life, love hurt
So, I began to measure love with pain
The more it hurt, the more certain I was it was real
Then you walked in
Calm, free of pain, offering love
I couldn’t understand how that was possible
In the spirit of trying new things, I let you in
I let you teach me what love really was
With every lesson,
I wonder how I lived without it for so long
I’m learning not to apologize for choosing myself
Facing the reality of the growing pains
But enjoying the process
I’m always expected to consider everyone’s feelings
But when my feelings spill across the floor, they get trampled on
Don’t let them project their inability to love themselves on you
Broken people always find a way to make you feel less of yourself in order to keep you in their corner
I wonder where he’d be if you changed your mind as often as he changed his
If you made him cry as many times as you did
If you paid no attention to his reactions
If you weren’t mindful of how your words could weigh on his heart
I wonder if he’d still love you as much as you love him