At exactly 6:40 AM today, my son officially turned 5 years-old. Being his mom has been nothing short of an adventure. When I was pregnant with him, I never worried about the pain of labor and delivery. I braced my mind with the thought of “just get through it.” I was more afraid about what would happen once he was placed in my arms. Would I be a good mom? Would I know what to do? Would I be able to fully uphold the responsibility of this blessing? There really was no turning back. But arrive he did, and I’ve been figuring it all out every day since.
Motherhood has been quite the journey; single motherhood more so. My son and I became a team when he was only a year old and raising him almost single-handedly has been no easy feat. However, I am thankful that I was chosen to be his life vessel. I am probably learning more from him than he is learning from me. My son is a sweet, loving, compassionate, funny, inquisitive, stubborn, hard-headed, strong-willed, beautiful young child who is already a die-hard fan of Michael Jackson. Since his arrival during that early morning of May 24, 2007, life has been interesting to say the least.
When he was born, 5 years-old seemed so far away. But here it is. I thank God. And I pray for many more happy years. Mommy loves you. ♥
Growing up, I believed in a fairy tale love just like many of my female counterparts. In my 20s I believed it was about what a man could do for me. Now that I’m in my 30s, I am learning that “real” love is not any of those things. Of course it’s great if the person you are with treats you like a princess, but we shouldn’t expect such things. Love is about mutual respect, trust, communication, patience…amongst many other traits. Most importantly, it’s about not losing our individual selves while in the process of sharing our “selves” with another. Love should complement. Not complete.
Check out the article for some great insight into this thing called “Love.”
A homegirl that I met through the Red Tent (see the related earlier blog “Pitching a Tent”) has an AMAZING ear when it comes to music. In my secret life, I am many things: a reporter for “People” magazine, a powerful community development executive, an artist of sorts and a DJ. I admire, without envy, those truly talented folks who know all kinds of good music and when and how to play it. If I could, I’d have a really cool brownstone in Brooklyn and I’d be a go-to DJ for various events. Music is the soul of life and I love to make people happy, so what better way to do so than through the gift of song?
Earlier today, this homegirl sent me a list of some of her favorite tracks on SoundCloud. There are 93 tracks listed, but I went straight to this one and have played it multiple times already. I feel like it describes exactly where I am in my life right now.
Check it and enjoy. “Live Your Life” by Yuna.
When I went through my divorce a few years ago, my dad said to me, “Rachel, you must always remember that love should feel like an old shoe. It should just fit.” I understood exactly what he meant on the surface, but it took me living a little more life to fully grasp the meaning behind my dad’s words. Since my divorce, I briefly dated one guy (a bad pair of shoes, to be honest) and then I was fortunate to receive a true gift of love with the man who is in my life now. While we have had to grow and understand each other, the overall dynamic of our relationship feels like my favorite pair of flats. They are worn over, but they still have enough shine for me to rock any day of the week (I’m wearing them as I write this). It feels like an old shoe.
Giving some more thought to my dad’s shoe analogy, I realize how much our love relationships really are like shoes. Dating is like shopping for shoes. You try on a few pairs, walk around in the store to see how they fit and look, and you either find ones that you’re willing to purchase or you have to keep on looking. Sometimes, you find a pair or two that just speak to your soul (like these yellow ones I purchased recently, but that’s for another blog). Those shoes are like love. They fit, the breaking in period isn’t too difficult and they manage to go with just about everything in your closet. A favorite pair of shoes can almost be a like a best friend…just like a person you share a love relationship with.
Yet, even with our most favorite and comfortable pair of shoes, there can be moments where they hurt like a new pair and we have to discern whether it’s worth it to continue wearing them, or if we have to let them go. This is where there has to be a willingness to leave those old shoes in the box and take a chance of stepping out in a new pair. That new pair doesn’t necessarily have to represent a new relationship, but rather, a new walk or exploring a new path on your relationship journey, as well as your own individual journey.
It’s always a scary feeling to let go of something that is comfortable and familiar, but in order to continue evolving and discovering our truest selves, we have to be willing to face this fear. You may come back to those old shoes or in time, you may discover another pair of shoes that will eventually become your new old shoes. The most important thing, though, is taking the chance. While love should feel like an old shoe, we also cannot live our lives like shoes and always be stored in a box. Life may be easier this way, but it’s not the way of living. We only become who we are by embracing all of the twists and turns and remaining steadfast through the cycles of change. I call it “yielding to the journey.”
Every person’s journey is different. Some people seem to always have an easy path, while others seem rife with trials and tribulations. And we all fall victim to comparing our journey to others: “Why does she always have a man when it’s so hard for me to find and/or keep one?” “Why does he always seem to win no matter what, when I always try my best and am still struggling?” “Why are they rich and I’m not? I’m a good person. I deserve riches, too!” What I have had to learn…what I continue to learn…is that every person’s journey is unique and what we see is just that. What we see. We don’t know the true intricacies of another person’s journey. Recognizing this, it is ever important that we keep our eyes on our path, while reaching out to support, love and encourage others on theirs.
The journey will not always be easy, but there will be ease. It’s just like a favorite pair of shoes; they can’t really become your favorite until after you’ve broken them in. Always be willing to take a chance. Believe in your “self.” Embrace your path. Trust the Universe. If we do these things, then we will find our way back to those old pair of shoes…or the new old pair will find us.
For those reading this, I wish you love, peace and happiness on your journey. And a great pair of shoes to rock along the way.