It occurred to me almost immediately after hitting publish on my last post that I need a reevaluation of myself. I imagine the quizzical look of Jason Bateman to Ellen Paige, “how do you think of me?” As if I were split in two and separate rather than one being.
Yesterday I gave a guest lecture to a class of budding marriage and family therapists and I remarked to them about examining what we hold in the “Black” bucket. Meaning that you sometimes have people who force you to stretch your definition of whatever limiting title you have given them; woman, southern, black, poor, etc. Incidentally I have issued the same challenge to myself for myself. How do you think of you?
Well, I suppose I am intelligent. Determined. Stubborn, foolish, idealistic, childlike…a writer, a fierce friend, loyal, selfless, loving, nurturing, honest…tall, charming, charismatic…intentional. And physically? Well I mentioned tall right? Down to brass tacks–I do believe myself to be attractive, but admittedly I find it circumstantial and conditional. I am pretty when my hair is neat and my make up is minimal, and my clothes are flattering. So many caveats and if/thens what’s underneath it all is how those standards are rigid and unforgiving. How on earth did this happen?!
You’re only as heavy as the shit you carry…and sometimes that shit is an anchor drowning you in a sea of expectation and dreams deferred. When I think of what I want for myself physically the best word I can come up with is strong. Not thin. Not modelesque. Not fit. Not curvy. Strong. I see it as congruence as I know how strong my spirit is, I know how strong my mind is, I just want to match. Today j asked why can’t we tell ourselves how great we can be? I responded that it is because failure is much more familiar than the success. I might be drowning, but I knew I was going to die.
Stepping out of the grasp of any self fulfilled prophecy, I decided I needed a makeover. I as in Jessica and Jessica as in all my details. I have to be able to see myself as strong rather than a prisoner, a weakling, a victim, a loser, and a failure. I have to visualize victory and know that success is something that is Of me. I have to fill myself with new words. Powerful. Beautiful. Capable. Determined. Captivating. Steadfast. Sexy. I have to give myself new light.