Earlier this week, I dreamt of a conversation that I had with my Grandma Sykes during our tri-weekly phone conversations. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, we would stay on the phone for at least 45 minutes to an hour discussing all of the “tea”. Whether it was about past memories of our childhood, major accomplishments, to the down and dirty details of our family drama. Our convos were the highlight of my week…
In this dream our phone conversation took place in person, sitting at her kitchen table. The place where all of our summer encounters took place. We were talking about me wanting to do something wild and crazy, but I didn’t know exactly what it was. Keep in mind, I was planning a summer trip to Puerto Rico during the time of our real convo. This trip was going to be my first time outside of the continental United States. She asked me, “isn’t going to Puerto Rico’wild and crazy’?” I told her, “no, it’s something else…I just can’t put a name to it.” Puerto Rico was so much fun…just wasn’t that “thing” I was longing for.
It wasn’t until I woke up from my dream and looked myself in the mirror that I realized what that “thing” was. It was loving myself! I know, it doesn’t seem that wild or that crazy, right? But for me it was! Looking back at my teenage years and my early twenties, I did A LOT of things (well maybe not that much, but enough) to make others happy and ultimately showing people that I didn’t love myself like I love them… “I wished I loved myself like I loved those men, jobs, organizations, church members, friends, and everything else in between.” It wore me out, I was suffering from anxiety and depression. I was always on edge. Loving everyone and everything before yourself is tiring…
My grandmother always taught me to live my life for now. In a way she told me to be selfish. She would say to me, “do all that you want to do before getting married and having children”. Every time she spoke these words, I would look deep into her dark brown eyes, lined with the fairest blue, and feel the sense of regret dressing her tone with a trim of a warning that only a loving grandmother could give. I knew I needed to take heed, but all I wanted was to love someone, get married by time I was 25 and have babies. Yeah, I missed that deadline…but the beautiful part of it all is, I still have time!
I. Still. Have. Time…patience is so necessary. God willing, I still have time to love the man of my dreams, get married, have babies, and build a home that I could be proud of; but loving me had an expiration date. Well in my mind. Being single is the time for me to learn who I am. There have been plenty of days when I would say, “if it [falling in love] hasn’t happened by now, then it isn’t going to happen at all..” It hadn’t happened yet because I didn’t love me! I hadn’t taken the time to fall deeply, passionately, wild & crazily in love with ME! We’ve all heard the cliche, “you have to love yourself before anyone else will love you”. It is so true!
On this day, Valentine’s Day eve, I can undoubtedly say that I love me. I’m wild about my happiness and I am crazy about my peace. Loving myself has brought on a new found confidence, trust, and overall change in my mood. Once I decided to really take my grandmother’s instruction to heart, my smile became brighter and I was able to enjoy my life more than I’ve ever done before.
Sooooo kids,the lesson of the day is to love yourself with that wild & crazy love. Don’t be stingy with it now, you deserve it!
-with a capital M