Chasing Time: A Reflection of Thanks(giving)

19 Nov

Time flies whether you are having fun or not.  My childhood seemed to linger like thick molasses while my twenties flew by like short school days.  Before I knew it I was post-30, highly educated, minimally motivated, hundreds of miles away from home but finally at home with myself.  When I turned thirty I had all kinds of epiphanies.  I woke up loving myself some myself, and intentionally purging negativity (thoughts, people, pain) out of my life.  For the first time in what seemed like forever I wasn’t afraid of what that might mean.  Affiliations be damned.  So-called friends be damned.  Popularity be damned.  I was going to speak my mind, tell my truths, and let the chips fall where they may.  They fell, but there was no destruction.  Coming into myself was a beautiful process that I am still walking in unapologetically.

On the brink of another year it seems like just yesterday that I was ringing in 2012 in my mother’s living room.  There was no wine, no fireworks, no benediction , no kiss on the lips at midnight, just me and my family staying up long enough to say we did, and greeting each other and the new year with hopeful anticipation of realized dreams…finally!  This would be THE YEAR (just like 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, you get the picture), which was the echoed mantra I internalized year after year at New Year’s Eve church services and sermons that promised me a renewal of my dreams if I just believed…and waited.  So I have believed and waited, but I am shifting my expectations because the process of waiting is exhausting.  And sometimes when you  have been waiting what has been years and feels like lifetimes you think that perhaps you have been doing it wrong.  Maybe I didn’t believe good enough.  Maybe my waiting was not good enough.  But in reality it was.  I have had several accomplishments this year, but they are not necessarily the ones that “count” in the eyes of others.

I have been struggling lately with not knowing what to hope for when throwing borrowed pennies in wishing wells and laying on bended knees begging for something I don’t know I really want or need.  The world tells me I am supposed to want what they say I should want as a woman (i.e., marriage, children, etc.).   Society prescribes the things we are supposed to hope for, pray for, wish for, and wait for.  But what happens when the hoping and the praying and the wishing and the waiting never yields results, or is different from people’s expectations?

Despite my successes, a lot of times people feel sorry for me when they realize I am single with no babies.  When I say I am happy, they don’t believe me.  They feel sorry for me.  They assume that my extended singleness must have me tripping ‘cause they don’t know of any blackgirls who aren’t checking for marriage or being somebody’s mama.  I guess I’m different.  I didn’t grow up fantasizing about weddings or picking out baby names.   But then again, I was a morbid child, and marriage and pregnancy was too ubiquitous to mean anything significant then.

I am at the age that when  I go home and see folk I haven’t seen in a while they ask if I am married.  No.  Engaged?  No.  Seeing somebody special?  Not really.  Well, what am I waiting for?  I’m not waiting for anything.  Don’t I want children?  Maybe, not necessarily.  Don’t I know time is running out?  All the time.  My biological clock ticks like a time bomb.  So, can I introduce you to somebody?  Hell no. I’m good. Folk don’t know what to do with me and my progressive ideas.  My answers don’t sound quite right, they say with expressions, not words.  Well, what does your Mama say?  Nothing, I’m grown.  I can’t help but look down at myself when I remind them that I am not a child, to make sure the grownasswoman body I walked in with was still the one that was visible. I love the way countryfolk think children, regardless of their age, can be admonished into submission and/or compliance by a parent.

As we near the end of another year, and I brace myself for the curious questions and inevitable disappointment in my responses, I am reminded that the things that make me feel most significant and/or uncomfortable are part of the process of growth.  I don’t have to feel like something is wrong (with me), or that my life doesn’t measure up because it is different.  This year, like last year and next year, I am going to be fully myself and see what happens.  A lot can change in a year’s time.  Love, marriage, and having babies doesn’t take a lifetime, but self-love, inner peace, and stability has taken me every year of my life until now.  I am going to focus on the latter.

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9 Responses to “Chasing Time: A Reflection of Thanks(giving)”

  1. Pam Smith November 19, 2012 at 8:48 AM #

    Right on. I go home (at 67 years) and the ladies of the church still expect me to be married and pregnant soon.

  2. focsimama November 19, 2012 at 9:06 AM #

    It’s it a curious, beautiful thing that happens at 30? I can definitely relate, at 30 I realized that marriage and the house in the suburbs wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and that life was slowly killing me softly everyday. So I got a divorce and took several positions that allowed me to travel and just be.

    Nothing is more fulfilling or soul stirring as being yourself and being comfortable with whoever she is. Knowing that your validation and self worth comes from within, and not from other people. Your best life is just that “Your Life”. So do what feels right, makes sense, and puts a smile on your face.

    After having done that for a while, and finding a someone I wanted to be married to, and not in a traditional sense of marriage, but in a way that allows us each the freedom to be our quirky, nerdy, weird, artsy selves without apology. We are raising our daughters in the same way by allowing them the freedom to be who they are, grow into who they are, change (which they will), and nurture their interests while building their self esteem with all the love we can give.

    Mistakes are allowed. Living your life the way you see fit is allowed. Being free is admirable, and for all those question your choice, know they are simply questioning their own. You are the mirror to their fears, wants, wishes, and dreams of what life can potentially be when you unload that baggage and walk away unburdened.

    Good For You!

    You Are Beautiful Just As You Are (YABJAYA)

  3. focsimama November 19, 2012 at 9:06 AM #

    Reblogged this on Focsi Mama Speaks and commented:
    Self Love is Beautiful in all it’s forms!

  4. harriet November 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM #

    A much needed post, a sigh of relief I’m not alone I have never been interested in marriage and kids yet I’m still normal. Why can’t people get that? It doesn’t matter anymore self love self worth affirming yourself and desires that’s what matters and really counts

  5. TrevLove November 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM #

    Wait until you hit 40! You will have a much deeper understanding and appreciation for yourself. I have cut myself some slack. I let myself fail. I encourage myself to ignore the white noise that surrounds us.

    I loved reading your piece…what resonated with me was the inevitable conversation you are forced to have with folks who seem put off by the fact that you don’t have the “typical American dream of kids, marriage, etc. Life is not one size fits all. People need to accept that. I encounter women all the time who should never have had kids (including some in my own family). I’m a mother of one (who is now 7) and got asked just yesterday when was I having more despite the fact that I have made it clear that I am a one child kind of mother. “But your child needs a sibling!” Oh really, and are you going to feed, clothe, house that extra mouth? Yeah.

  6. jusRhae November 19, 2012 at 11:07 AM #

    It is true, “As we near the end of another year, and I brace myself for the curious questions and inevitable disappointment in my responses, I am reminded that the things that make me feel most significant and/or uncomfortable are part of the process of growth. I don’t have to feel like something is wrong (with me), or that my life doesn’t measure up because it is different. This year, like last year and next year, I am going to be fully myself and see what happens. A lot can change in a year’s time. Love, marriage, and having babies doesn’t take a lifetime, but self-love, inner peace, and stability has taken me every year of my life until now. I am going to focus on the latter” the entirety of this paragraph, this entry.
    Over the past few years I have been doing the same. Making sure that one is true and honest with self is the best beginning healing one can start with. At 33 I have managed to have ceased most the questions from family. My being queer is quite an anomaly, the questions that surround my me. Who I am dating or not, male/female (or other range of spectrums), babies, marriage, travel, being a person of color and so on and so on? I have begun to not answer some anymore. It, for me, is inappropriate for one to ask me about things most hetero normative ppl aren’t being asked on a daily. My understanding and my happiness lay on the foundation that everything happens in due time. My time and my journey will be like no others.
    It is great to know of, read of someone who is experiencing similar things. It allows us to connect and heal in a way very necessary for the persons we are. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Invisible Man November 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM #

    I’m ducking as I write this so I don’t get hit. The world tells us a lot of things, which is why a lot of us end up dead and in jail. You can have all the babies you want. I fact I think babies should be forced on the black community, all those black babies that are unwanted, unloved, running around feral (idolizing chief Keef with more value as fodder for the prison industrial complex. Seriously, I think successful Black folk should have to adopt one for every baby they bring into the world. Me, I can’t fathom brining in a child in this world were so many other children need love and homes. Frankly I don’t want any children. But one day I will adopt out of an obligation to my race and the fact that as a Black man, I’ve been lucky- knock on wood. Needless to say I’m gonna have to take parenting classes.

    Hotep and down with the biological clock, it’s nothing but a tool of oppression

  8. amelieroseb November 19, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

    Reblogged this on collective failure and commented:
    something in the alignment of the stars, my most recent entry was on the same sailboat as this writing.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Chasing Time: A Reflection of Thanks(giving) « thefeministblogproject - November 29, 2012

    [...] Chasing Time: A Reflection of Thanks(giving) [...]

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