So, I up and moved to New York. NEW YORK!!!! Why would I go to New York out of all places? I was looking for peace and quiet.
"Lele, you know how busy New York is?" "This is where you want to go?" Yes. I needed to go somewhere where I was not recognized. My own family didn't know me. Even when talking to family about my parents, the version of them they knew... I did not know. There was stuff I heard of my parents that I never heard of. For example, one of my first cousins told me as I was bowling with her and her kids: "Yeah, you should know how to bowl because your mom had your sister in bowling." "Whose sister?" "Yours." "My mother had my sister in extracurricular activities?" "Uh-yeah, why you act like you don't know?" "I literally never knew that." This conversation had me texting my sister and asking her about her extracurricular activities. I was literally like, so our parents believed in that. Because when we came to St. Louis, things changed. I am not saying my parents were not active in my brother's and mine's life, but there parenting was different. My parents were excellent, and they did the best they could with what they have. As an adult, I now understand. As an adult, I realize, my parents needed to provide the love they gave to everyone else to themselves. So I am in New York, and people are asking me, "Have you looked for a job?" "What are you doing?" "That's weird that you're not doing anything." Why is it weird? Because I am not abiding by societal norms. Listen, I moved for a break. I took months of saving and paying things off just so I would not have any bills. I lived with the family so that I would not have to pay full rent. And with family at least I know that I will have a meal. I even had a cousin who I had not talked to in months say, "let me pay your phone bill. I'll let you know if I need money. But let me spoil you for a minute." And that cousin, her sister, and mother spoiled me my first Christmas in New York. It was what I needed. I am not saying I was looking to be pampered. I was looking to rest and not have to worry about life for once in my life. I would have paid the phone bill, rent, and Christmas. But it was given to me, and I accepted. Hearing these questions and listening to people's opinions on me. I had people telling me to go and be a hustler.
I NEEDED A BREAK Y'ALL. I don't have any kids, no spouse, and now no parents. I can do what I need to do. If I want to be homeless, then I can be because, at this time, it is only me that I need to take care of me. I traveled by myself and caught flights around the world to figure out who I am! Why? Because I can. Because I needed to focus on me the way yall was focused on me. I forgot that I had a plan! I had an idea of what was going to be done during this mental health break. I was blessed and able to take a 1-year mental health break, and I am forever grateful for that. I get to do what my parents didn't get to do. I know most people did not mean harm, but sometimes our fear get put onto other people. Some people were giving me answers to questions I never asked. Some people took on responsibilities for my life that I never even spoke to them about. Was it out of love? I believe so. But did I need it? No. Because I needed to do that for me. Now some people might say well at least people checked on you and supported you.
Absolutely. But sometimes helping hurts. Not everything requires assistance. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just answer the phone or text when I call to tell you about my journey. Sometimes I just need to tell you how it feels to not work. Sometimes I just need to share my ideas and timeline with you, but I don't necessarily need your financial support. Now, if you are called to bless me and send me some money or items, I will not argue with you, but I never asked you to live this life for me. And that's not to say that I will not seek wisdom. However, this was my journey. I needed to put that energy into myself.
You can't tell me what I needed in life when I didn't even know what I needed. My mom had died, and I had to get to see the woman in the mirror again. This move was strictly about me. Not about anyone or anything else. I didn't care what anyone had to say or think, I just had to heal. People say, "Well, if you didn't want to leave St. Louis, why did you?" Because I had to. I had to getaway. I was drowning because I never had a chance to be okay with me. I was at every event. I had no boundaries. I had to step away from my comfort zone to learn what boundaries are and to learn how to love me the way I love the world.
My beautiful people, I hope that you endure through this journey called life. I hope you love you the way you love the world. I love you, and I encourage you!
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