Real Stories : Wisdom
I would tell my 30 year old self not to judge myself so harshly. I think that sometimes as young people are growing up, people say things to them that are criticism but they don’t mean for the person to take it on completely. But we do. When someone criticizes us, it hurts. And therefore we try to be better, or try to be perfect.
Nobody is perfect and I think I was working to be perfect. We all work to be the best we can be but I had this need… I don’t know if I was always thinking for myself clearly. And I would just say to not be to so… life is not that serious. I mean it is serious (laughs) – we’re going to die. None of us are going to get out of here alive and everything we do is important – but I don’t think we’re all being judged as harshly as we think we are. And as time passes, all of that evens itself out anyway.
Whatever was happening to me at 30, those people are gone on. They weren’t thinking about it but I was still thinking about it. I remember I said something to someone recently about something we did, and they said, really? I don’t even remember that. The things you think that you did were wrong or difficult or you stepped out of line – oh, you beat yourself up about it, you wear your hair shirt…it’s a biblical reference. When people grieve or they feel that they’ve done something wrong, they wear a hair shirt.
I get the impression that its sheep’s wool or something turned inside out and it’s itching you, rubbing you. Bothering you. Because you’re paying penitence for anything that you’ve done. So yeah, I would just tell my 30 year old self that, it’s going to be ok. Don’t worry so much. Do the best you can.
In my 40s I was in that second marriage. I probably, based on all that happened – because a lot of things happened to me between 40 and 45 that were heart breaking and upsetting – and you know, that marriage broke up. I lost my house. One of my daughters was having a lot of difficulty. I think I probably would tell my 40 year old self to reach out more. Try to be more honest with your friends and family. And don’t be feeling like you brought all this on yourself. Don’t feel guilty about any of this. This is just life happening. So reach out and get some good advice. Let people help you through it. You don’t have to take that burden on alone.
If you were to look at the day as a man and the night as the woman, both have a place in the world and both have to make room for the other, and both are important. So if we don’t value ourselves, first of all, before anything else, then we are really not doing our part within the community. It’s important that balance exists.
So first I would say our part is to understand that we do have a part. And not to be afraid to take on whatever role – to say the things that we need to say, to bring light to whatever we need to bring light to. And when nobody is listening to us, we can’t be afraid to do what we feel should be done. We don’t have to wait for nobody to tell us what to do. I think that’s our role. And to teach, because most of us are mothers in one way or another and we have a role as teachers.
And teaching is not just telling somebody what to do but it’s actually being an example of what to do. So that’s a very huge, huge role because we have to stand strong when other people fall. And that doesn’t mean we don’t give ourselves permission to be human and make mistakes, but it means being honest about those mistakes so that people can learn from them.
And we have a role to respect ourselves so we can set the balance straight on how men and women relate. I really feel strongly about – and some of this, I’m speaking to myself because I’m not all the way at this point either. But I believe this is a role we do have. Because I think roles change at different times depending on your stage of life.
And I think at this present time with how young sisters see themselves and how they’re treated, and how prostitution and rape are rampant and our bodies are not our own, and all these other things – we have a responsibility to treat our bodies in a certain way and to just have respect for ourselves so that other people will have respect for us. Mainly men, but also our daughters. We need to value our bodies and question our impulses, like why are we doing this? Why are we engaging with this person? Why are we sleeping with somebody who’s married, or why we let this man between our legs, period?
It’s just all these things that get in the way of the real work, when really if you just respect yourself from the beginning, we can cut off some of these things and really show brothers that naw, this is how you have to act. This is where you have to come up to in order to get with us. This is what has to happen. You have to be an official man and do the right thing in order to be with us and that’s what it is.
You can pretty much call me a prude now because the stuff I’ve been through, I’ll be damned… I ‘ll never go through this again. I need to know your family, I need to know who get drunk on holidays and go crazy, I need to know before anything happens between us. I’m so serious.
Because a lot of this could have been prevented if my loins weren’t hot and he didn’t look so sexy to me and I just wanted to have sex. But I would have known that he was schizophrenic and that he needed to take medication and that if he doesn’t take medication, oh boy, you’re gonna be in a lot of trouble, whoever around him, when he gets on his psychopath rants.
So, needless to say, why I’m no longer in that relationship is because I’m not a trained therapist and I’m not trained to deal with mentally ill patients.
You take a lot of your childhood into your relationships, so understanding that, I’m just really cautious about who I allow in my life. That’s the thing I learned from it. I would get little red flags… as soon as I see something I don’t like, I’m cutting it off. People don’t get second chances no more. I don’t have time for second chances. If I see anything that reminds me of any of my child’s fathers, you’re out. That’s it, you’re out! (laughs)
Really, I have a low tolerance for a lot of things. I probably shouldn’t base my future relationships on that but if I see any sign that reminds me of it, I can’t move forward. That’s pretty much it. I’m at a place where I don’t want to hear no bullshit. If it sound like bullshit then nine times out of ten, it is.