When The World Wants You To Be One Thing And You… 

 Image Credit: Dylan Spitz

Image Credit: Dylan Spitz

“Cause sometimes this city is nothing but smoke”

There are two people in this world who know me with such depth that they could translate my energy without me needing to speak any words. One of them is six feet under, one of them is not. Both of them taught me a thing or two about the power of intuition. 

My mom was a short, brunette with consistently long, red-painted nails. I take after her in size. I take after her in stance. I take after her in understanding that sometimes there is no rational explanation, there’s just a feeling. 

I’ve had a lot of those feelings lately, nothing but my gut to sit with and nothing but my used heart to learn from. In the quiet I realized that I’d been deliberately ignoring all of the lessons she’d taught me about the power of trusting my own inner voice because it’d become easier to sit in the backseat of Ubers and be led by the motion of a city that thought it knew me, then to exert energy in trying to teach my world all the ways it actually didn’t. 

A city like New York has more hanger-ons than there is space in closets for actual hangers. So often you find yourself outside of the spaces you call home and into the spaces that call you other. You try to fit into molds that were pre-made with average in mind and therefore hadn’t even considered the existence of a being like you. 

Yet, we try so hard to fit into these molds, to become less…less emotionally intelligent, less intuitive, less sure of what we want. We trade in our souls for a night of lights and a day of skyscraper dreams, but at what cost?

My mom taught me the importance of protecting the spaces you call home and the people you call family. I’ve used her foundation, and this season of my life, to learn about the importance of protecting the person you call self. Because I thought I knew and then castles crumbled and values were the only thing that could help rebuild my self-worth. 

Around my neck is a necklace that was around hers until the day she went to the hospital. It’s a necklace I’ll give to my daughter one day, one that will come with a story and a lesson. The Bleeding Heart of Jesus on the necklace speaks of unconditional love for others, I’ll add to it the importance of unconditional self-love, something I am actively learning. 

The world asks so much of us sometimes. It asks us to be successful, to be grounded, to be in a relationship, to be a player, to be a witty, twenty-something with enough money in the bank to support a lifestyle we shouldn’t even want to afford. Yet, we enter our four digit pins into the ATM at the bodega, at the bank, in the backroom of the club, just so that we fit in. 

I enter the four digit pin into the emotional ATM that exists in my mind every time someone wants me to show up in kindness, in heart, in optimism, because it gives them more permission to be reckless, to breakdown, to be themselves. Because as long as I’m strong they can be human. 

As long as I’m strong, they can be human. 

There are two people in this world who know me with such depth that they could translate my energy without me needing to speak any words. One of them is six feet under, one of them is not. Both of them taught me a thing or two about the power of intuition. 

Some of my mom’s words were the catalyst behind my dysfunctional relationship with anger and apologies. She never expected them and taught me not to either. I’m sorry for the ways she was failed by the people in her life and the way the world pushed her to teach her big-eyed daughter the same thing. It took me 25 years, but I’m jumping off that ride. My intuition, and the second person who knows me without me needing to speak, taught me to value myself and the space I take up and the apologies I know I deserve. 

The world has used me as a crutch. As long as I’m strong and steady, they can be human. The formula fails to acknowledge my own humanity, my need to also show up in my wholeness. It’s not sustainable to expect me to speak of feelings, but not actually let me take up the space I need to feel them. I know how unsustainable it is because I crashed in late October. I walked into therapy with an identity crisis that turned into a rough patch that turned into a need for solitude and time to learn myself. 

When the world wants you to be one thing and you let it force you into that corner you end up with fractured relationships and a distorted sense of self. You end up having to fight yourself back from the ground that birthed you. You end up having to trust your intuition as you navigate redefining yourself because it’s the only real compass at your disposal. I know, because it’s where I am right now leaning on my own intuition as I rebuild and invite love and life back in.

The problem with the two people who know me with such depth is that they know me. They know how I tick, how I’ll fight till the end, how I show up, the dreams that are on my heart. My mom used to tell me I would be a lawyer one day because I couldn’t let my argument go if I felt it would move us forward in a positive direction. I can assure you that he would echo her statement.  

Both feel my energy and when it started to shift they both tried, in their own ways and for their own reasons, to push me back into the space that allowed them to keep knowing me as I was. 

There are now three people in this world who know me with such depth that they could translate my energy without the need for words. The third one is now me.