Clarity

I was so enthusiastic to share my blog on another platform of social media. I created my Facebook page and Instagram in attempts to reach other people, discovering their new single.  It’s barely been a month with my new all-encompassing social platform, and I’m happy that I took the leap because it has increased my blog exposure.  While there are many benefits with social media, you also have to expect risks and eccentricities that come along with opening yourself up at that level.

I’ve been on Facebook for many years and to me, its purpose has somewhat changed. I was used to accepting Facebook friendships by confirmation.  That was the extent of acknowledgement until you commented on a post that provoked you.   I was not familiar with this new expected two-way communication on Facebook messenger.  My “new friends” actually want to communicate or video chat.  I did not know that was even possible considering my telephone number is not public.  Then there are those people who are persistent with trying to meet you.  They don’t understand that this is just your platform in which you express your creativity.

There was an individual who would leave several messages for me daily.  He included his email and telephone number insisting that I contact him.  He had apparently read my blog and noticed some of the places that I had visited from my Instagram and Facebook accounts.  Therefore, he expressed commonalities that he assumed we shared.  He continuously complimented me until he did not.  Perhaps because I would not respond to his advances.  He then left a very mean message on my Facebook page basically calling me fat and comments about me having self-esteem issues.  I, of course, deleted him as a “friend” and his comments were also deleted.

The next day, I noticed that he had posted a comment on my Instagram account. I had posted this lovely picture of the sky, before dark, illuminating warmth with zig zags of orange, red and yellow running through it.  I noted that the sky was simply beautiful.  He wrote something to the effect of how he would “rather be looking into my beautiful eyes.”  This is after he tried to humiliate me on my new Facebook page.  I did what was necessary to prevent him from viewing any future Instagram posts.

The day after, I realized that he had written a very long comment on my blog.  I did not approve the comment, and blocked him from future comments.  It was comforting to know that social media had measures in place to prevent harassments from becoming permanently public.

I disclosed this because this is someone who thought he could “help” me and was very persistent with getting to know me.  Although I did not know this person, he believed he really knew me.  Therefore, he attacked me on social media because, I presume, he felt that I was vulnerable and had ignored him.  As a result, I thought I would use my artistic platform to clear up any confusions.

My blog is a great outlet for me to express my creativity and my uniqueness in hopes of benefitting myself and others.  According to the American Psychological Association, “In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50. However, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.”  Therefore, I am not alone in re-experiencing what it is like to be single again.

In doing so, does not mean that I have self-esteem issues. Quite the opposite because I am not afraid to face and expose my vulnerabilities to the world.  It does not mean that I am a weak person.  It means that I am strong.  I’m apprehensive, but in a good way because I’m doing new and exciting things. I am discovering what makes me happy and fulfilled at this new stage in my life.  I’m not the insecure person I used to be who would have felt obligated to respond to persistence.  I am a secure woman who knows the difference between a man and boy because a real man does not insult women.  I am not someone who is threatened by someone who calls me fat, ugly or whatever adjectives that gives you a release.  When I look in the mirror, the soul of that reflection stirs emotions, chills because of the beauty within.  I am not someone who can be bullied.

As I continue to embrace my singlehood and arousing life experiences, please don’t ever confuse it or me with being fragile.  I am empowered!

Happy Birthday

I just celebrated my birthday on December 1st, my second since I started my blog.  This past year provided me with some insights to discover who I am at this point in my life.   So often and so normal for us to live our lives being defined by our association to others – somebody’s daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, mother, boss and friend.  Those depictions are often starting points and only a glimpse into the mystery of our identities.

Birthdays are an interesting phenomenon; an exciting expectancy of looking forward to milestones when you’re young, and a reluctant anticipation as you get older, but you certainly don’t want them to stop. When I was young, I looked forward to celebrating my birthdays and was eager to age.  I so envied my older siblings who were going out to parties and enjoying life.  I would watch my mom pack food for my brothers and their friends as they went to Coney Island and on other overnight trips.  I would listen to my dad yell and scream when they would return home late as they hardly ever made curfew.  We already had a large family, and my brothers’ friends practically lived with us.  I thought the life of a teenager was full of parties, fun and laughter.  I idolized my brothers and adored being their younger sister.

When I turned 16, I thought I would be able to hang out like my brothers and have fun. It didn’t happen mostly because I was a girl, and we did not have the same privileges as the boys.  Instead of going to the school discos, I was in church.  Tuesday night was Bible study, Friday night church services, and on Sundays, Sunday school first and then regular church services.  I couldn’t wait to get out of school, and I certainly did not miss the “L7” tag that came along with being a “square” for NOT partying.  But, I was being a good daughter.

At 18, I had all of these dreams about what I would do as an adult like vote, and it did not include having a baby, but hey – it happened and no regrets. At 21, I could officially drink.  At 25, I finally felt like a real adult.  I had my own apartment and did what I wanted to do.  At 28, I bought my first home and was travelling all over the U.S. for work.  In my early thirties, I got married and had children.  I prided myself on being a good wife and mother.

My children are the joy of my life. I used to be referred to as somebody’s daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, and now I am referred to as somebody’s mom.  Honestly, my heart warms with that designation because it’s an exertion that I continuously try to perfect on a daily basis.  However, my children are my center. They keep me grounded. Some people, unknowingly, get trapped in those representations without ever finding their own identities.  They look in the mirror and a branded reflection stares back.  Your individuality is defined only by your association to somebody else and you have to hold on at any cost or else, you’re lost.

Last year, I wanted to do something to uncover my own uniqueness which is why I started this blog. I knew I was different from the person I was over 20 years ago, when I was last single.  I had my foundation and I had my center which concealed the ambiguity of my new identity.  The underlying obligation of doing something to write about forced me to be engaged in my life.  In doing so, I figured out my likes and dislikes.  In retrospect, I would take this any day over being a couch potato and continuing to define myself only through my work and by my children, who have their own lives.

In the words of one of my favorite poets, E. E. Cummings – “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” To re-enter into the world alone after floating around as an incidental shadow in another’s creation is a challenging fete. There is an acclimation period for everything, including being single.  This year, my birthday gift to myself was finding myself.  For the first time in many years, I felt comfortable in my skin.  I recognized that it takes courage to find and live in your own identity.

Peace and Blessings,

Lee