"Now that you're gone it hit us. Super hard on Thanksgiving and Christmas, this can't be right."- Kanye West, Family Business
Family. Friends. Tribe. These things have been on my mind heavy. Lately, I’ve been feeling this loneliness that I can’t quite explain. I don’t feel connected to anything. And I’m at this point of my life where I am in deep need of connection. I’m in deep need to talk, to be heard, understood and mirrored.
I know that most of the lack, comes from me needing time for myself and my writing. It just sucks, when family, especially your Mom and Dad, don’t understand your dreams. Or seems to support your dreams. My Dad has told me several times that I should be doing taxes. He was even upset with me because I “didn’t know how to hustle”. My Mom. When I sent her some of my writing to read, all I got back was “There’s typos”. It’s hard craving this attention from my parents and not getting it. It makes me feel like I’m a 10 year old girl again, begging for someone to notice me. I’m sure this is where I got this need for attention.
Recently, I’ve gotten a promotion at work. It was earned but unexpected. I was overwhelmed with joy. It wasn’t just the fact that I got promote. It’s the fact that I did it my way. See, when I started my new job, I vowed not to play the corporate game. I promised that I would remain true to myself. I didn’t talk to people because of their title. I made genuine relationships. I came in when I want. Left when I want. But I worked above my job duties. All while, still managing to write and do everything else on the side. For me, the promotion was a personal win. It was like God (or my Manager) was saying just keep doing you.
However, when I began to spread the news. It was only really friends that were happy for me. My Dad told me that I should ask for a company car. (WTF) My Mom moved the topic to my brother and potentially having a party for him. But the little girl inside me keep saying “What about me? Why aren’t you proud of me?” Trying to be the evolved person I am. I looked at the situation in another point of view. I asked myself: What is this situation trying to teach me? I concluded that my celebration of success should not be dependent on others. And stop searching for this outside praise that will probably never come. Getting this promotion taught me that no one is going to celebrate your wins. So, you must do it for yourself.
Before you say it, yes, I’ve spoken to my therapist plenty about my parents and their lack of interest in my life. And she told me in some many words, that my parents have done their jobs. They really don’t have to be a parent to me anymore, I’m grown. She helped me understand that all I can do is accept our parents for who they are. But the little girl is wondering, “What about me?” Why can’t I have the Mother who not only helps you move, but unpack you and helps you set up the new place? I feel like I did something wrong to not get this treatment. To have the parents who wants to be a part of my life.
The very next day. I moved into this nice building. I told my parents about it. Even asked my Dad for help. (He said he’s too old to move). The moving was a total disaster. Thankfully, I had my boyfriend and best friend by my side. My other best friend called to check and see how it was going. But as the day turned to night. I got nothing from my parents. I don’t know if it was silly of me to expect something from them. But I kept thinking, if I just had some more people to help me. I would be fine.
On top of that, I had people asking me to attend Holiday Parties. Now, if you have ever moved anywhere, you know firsthand how stressful a move could be. I hated to disappointment people, but I had to think about my own peace of mind. That’s what self-care is truly about. Fuck the bath salts, massages and cheat days, it’s about doing things to make sure you are ok. For me, that was not spreading myself too thin. I was genuinely torn about the decision to go to the holiday parties. Then I thought about this quote Oprah said, “You cannot live a brave life without disappointing some people.” I have suffered from the disease to please. I have put myself in shitty situations. For people who wouldn’t do the same for me. I refused to continue that cycle.
The stress of this move shifted something in me. It happened while sitting on my floor surrounded by boxes. I experience this great sense of loneliness. Like there was a physical pain in my chest. I realized that the people I was worried about disappointing, didn’t show up for me. It was then I realized this feeling of anxious was silly. If those people were disappointed or truly upset, it couldn’t possibly be because they cared about me as a person. They only care about me and what I mean in their life. Not mines. That freed me.
I’ve found myself envying the Kardashian’s. Their Mom would help them pack, help them achieve their dreams and party with them. When I think about what type of Mom I want to be, I often think of Kris Jenner. I know people would think that’s crazy and probably think there is so many “better examples”. But in my eyes, there is none. To me she is my Mom goals. I pray that when I have kids my kids never gets tired of me. That they want me around all the time. I pray that I’m able to be there for my children not only financially, put spiritually and emotionally. I want to guide them to know their place in the world, to love and embrace themselves. To go after their dreams and to live life with no fears.
I know it does me no good to wish that my parents where different people. I know that all I can do is just accept the hands I’m dealt. But it has forced me to find new ways to define my family. New wants to be a parent to myself. New ways to please the little girl in me. For the New Year, I plan on nurturing her and giving her all the love that I wish I was receiving from my parents. As for my relationship with my parents. On Christmas morning, I had a long overdue talk with my Mother. I now feel like we’re on the road to recovery. I attempted to talk to my Dad but now I think I’m just write him a letter. It’s not going to be you’re the worst parents ever letter. But just a letter to get everything out with. I hope this letter will help me find a new normal. If not, I will be fine. The truth is I had a pretty decent childhood. My parents taught me values and morals that helped my become the woman I am today. But now it’s time for me to turn that need for attention inwards. To be the parent to myself and continue to build meaningful friendship, until the day I find my tribe.
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