You ever get to that point in your life when life suddenly has a way of pulling back the mask and shows you how hard it really is. Well lets just say that life has shown its true colors. I graduated college back in May and then all of a sudden life got REAL. God was sitting up in heaven like “Those past 21 years were cute – but now it’s time for the real stuff.” And what’s crazy is, I felt like I was prepared for the beginning of the rest of my life. I had finally established a solid family of friends, had gotten close with an amazing guy and the cherry on top was that I had secured a full time job at an huge entertainment company after starting as intern. It seemed like the blessings were just pouring in and hey if this is what life was about to be like, then I was already a pro.
All of the jokes were on me. Looking back, there are two words that I can use to describe that way of thinking – foolish and naïve. But the issue was, I had become comfortable. I have this abnormal fear of change – I do everything in my power to make sure that things don’t switch up too much. It could be the smallest of changes and there I was thinking that the sky was falling and everything that I knew to be true was all to be damned.
One of the first (and major) changes that I experienced was the extreme change in my environment. I had gotten really close with the people who I had lived with during college and they had literally become my family. After graduation, many of them went back home and we all became physically distant. Of course we had made those promises to visit each other but we knew due to money and resources, it wasn’t going to be as frequent as possible. There is something about being able to wake up next to someone or wake up and see those familiar faces every morning that bring you comfort and security. Living in a new apartment with different people really overwhelmed me at the onsight of it – especially when you have no idea who roommate is until the first she walks in the door. And on top of physically not being together, we had basically all just graduated so that naturally brings its own issues. Whether it’s moving to a new city, starting a new fellowship, not being able to find a job, not being accepted into graduate school – individually, we all had our new sets of problems to worry about. This transition had been (tbh still is) difficult for me because I had to realize that life hadn’t just got real for me, but for all of us. I’ve had to learn not to take things personal if they come crazy at you, or don’t want to talk, or just need their space because life can be a lot to swallow, especially when everything is happening all at once. The hardest thing that I’ve learned from this is that sometimes you have to be there for someone else from afar – and give all your worry to God and trust that he’ll work in not only in your life, but in theirs as well.
With this change brought the next (and hardest) transition of this summer – accepting myself. This summer has been my summer of “the crucible” – getting out all of the impurities so that I can move forward in life. To me, impurities represent all the things that I believe are holding me back from living, loving and doing. These could be things you don’t really enjoy about yourself, it could be past hurt or it could be the very same things that you can’t seem to let go of. For me, it has been dealing with the constant feeling of rejection or not understanding my worth. For much of my life, I’ve never really felt like I’ve been accepted. From high school to college, being in certain friend groups that I knew I had no business being in to devoting time & attention to guys who didn’t know what the hell they were doing let alone trying to make me feel loved. It’s like my whole life I’ve been searching for that “you know what Tori you do matter” moment. But what’s crazy is I’ve always had it – it’s been sitting right in front of my face, it just wasn’t wrapped in that nice silver bow like I wanted it to. I’ve been searching for redemption from the wrong places for so long that I didn’t realize that I didn’t need it. Drake once said “Certain people need to tell me they’re proud of me; that sh*t mean a lot to me.” Those “certain people” included my dad who never has told me that he loves me, to my fathers children who treat me with resentment, to an old friend who made me pay for everything bad that’s happened to her, to that guy who couldn’t straight up tell me that he had moved on, etc. Those people never told me that I mattered, those people never told me they were sorry. And it’s like, I had been crippling myself for a great portion of my life to prove to them that I was worth it. I was worth the conversation, I was worth the apology, I was worth the explanation. And because I was pining for it from them, I was damaging the life that was around me. I was projecting my insecurities in new relationships, I was complaining about feeling alone around the people who love me the most, I was doing just enough in different opportunities. I wasn’t living, I wasn’t loving, I wasn’t doing. I was being stagnant and I had gotten way too comfortable in a place of contempt. This summer has really exposed me to what has been holding me back. Me and God fought to have a relationship this summer and with the help of some lady named Joyce Myers and this other guy I believe by the name of TD Jakes, I had began to do the digging to get to the rock that I needed to move forward. This period of my life is yucky and I still have a whole lot of work to do but someone special to me said “You’re allowed to be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time.”
I guess the reason I decided to write was to first heal myself but to bring light in the midst of someone else’s storm. This past summer I really thought life was over and that feeling of wanting to die often felt so much sweeter than continuing life in the dark, but God was like “nah sis, it’s time to put in work”. To the people in my life who see the world of me, I apologize for the amount of time it has taken me to see that you all have accepted me and I want to personally say that I am incredibly blessed and grateful to have you all. I’m so glad summer is almost over cause sixteen 16 was actually trash. I realize that this yucky period had to happen, I had to not talk to people in order to realize what they truly mean to me, I had to be alone this summer so that I can begin to believe that I was enough. I had to cry myself to sleep several times so that I could wake up the next morning and try again. To all my graduates, we got this. We’re moving and we’re doing the things that people told us we couldn’t do – even if we feel like we aren’t doing anything at all. Just hold on a little longer, have hope, trust God and all of that jazz. Chance The Rapper said:
“You got it, you got it, you got it – it’s coming. So are you ready for your blessings, are you ready for your miracles?”
So get ready my friends, it’s happening.