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You probably don’t know about the issues I carry around with me. You probably have no idea that one of my biggest deficits is in the shape of a loving maternal figure. So you probably have no clue how much those pet names you called me during our short interaction meant.
How could you? You’re taking orders in a fast food place, working your ass off for a paycheck. You see hundreds of folks a day. For all I know, you might really fucking hate your job. But somehow, I don’t think you do. And dollars to donuts, everyone is “Sug” “Hon” or “Babydoll” to you.
I’d be willing to bet, some people get snippy over that. There are some assholes that feel that it’s a personal insult for a stranger to speak to them in a familiar sense. I’d also bet a lot of them are other women who get mad that you call their significant others a pet name out of hospitality. A lot of people don’t understand sweetness like that. They are all so busy tripping over their ego that they see your kindness as a threat. I know it isn’t.
Even though I don’t know you, I know you. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Like sees like, and all that. I think people like us want to make others feel good. We want to give them a little bit of happiness to take with them on their way around this crazy world. Like a sugar cube in their pockets, there just in case they need it.
More than seeing the hidden good in others, you see the good in yourself. And you act with that goodness spiralling around you like summertime fireflies. The world is short of people who hand out their happiness freely. People usually keep their happiness to themselves because they rarely see it in the world. But it’s not seen in the world because people are keeping it to themselves. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You break that with your smiles and downhome endearments.
That brief moment we interacted set the tone for the rest of my day. I was able to go home and happily hand out the breakfast to my pack of sometimes savage, mostly hilarious kiddos. You made my day better and that in turn made other’s day better. Your sweetness was the spark that set fire to a day of positivity.
You probably won’t read this. We might not cross paths again. While I am all about chilli cheese dogs for breakfast, my leggings only have so much stretch. But from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. Please no matter where you are, keep on being you.
You’re an absolute treasure, Sug.
I don’t know how to start this. Perhaps my hesitation is from this not being easy or enjoyable to write. So here goes.
This is my goodbye.
This fragile relationship of ours is no longer good for me. You are no longer good for me. Your passive aggression taints every conversation we have, like second-hand smoke in a sweater. Somehow, no matter what our conversation is about, you warp and bend it until it reflects light onto that one time, more than a decade ago, when I fell short in your eyes. Our friendship does not make me feel good about myself. If anything, it makes me feel like a scapegoat. I’ve worked really hard to grow as a person and to cast off the shame, guilt, and self-hatred that I carried from my childhood. I can not allow you to undo what I’ve accomplished.
I’ve tried to be a good friend. I’ve tried to honor your feelings and allow you to hold them. But you used your feelings as a weapon. It’s obvious that you still hold on to the anger and pain that befell you in the past. It’s obvious that this hot coal burned its way inside your body and took residence in your heart. While I am not one to tell someone to let go and move on, I feel that for us to have worked, you needed to calm that burn. I supplied apologies as a salve, but they never seemed to soothe enough for you.
You throw shade (as the kids say these days) and make remarks that seem to have no other point than to paint me as a villain and you my victim. They seem to suggest that all your hardships are because of the perceived slight you think I performed. Just to put it to bed, my actions back then were never malicious. You know this. I acted on what my soul called me to do. It was what I personally wanted for once, instead of what was wanted for me. I explain this to you so you understand, I was just trying to live my life. No one should be kept from that OR be made feel bad because of that. Its exhausting explaining time and time again that my actions were not personal attacks. I just wanted sovereignty.
I understand your life has had ups and downs. So has mine. Everyone’s has. I will not say that anyone has had it easier or harder than anyone else. We’ve all made choices and we all deal with their consequences. That being said, you really seem set on winning some imaginary Misery Olympics. I do not support and will not take part in such games. We should be celebrating each other’s successes, not trying to impress others with who hurts the most. Pain is not something that is measurable like that. While I am sorry that your experiences haven’t all been positive ones, I don’t feel that they should be things you wave at me in an attempt to make me feel bad for or to discredit my own.
For my own mental health, I can not allow you lay your sins on me and send me out into the wild any longer. I do not hate you. I do not dislike you. I would very, very much like for us to be close again. I would like for us to have the relationship we assumed we would. But I simply can not with things in their current state. I’m sorry we can’t be the friends we imagined we would always be.
Please have a good life. I wish nothing but the best for you. But I can accept nothing but the best for me.
My husband had been vomiting for six hours. I had been on hold with the medical helpline for twenty minutes. In the living room, the two youngest kids were going to war with each other and the older one was trying to mediate. The dog was barking at the cat who was drinking from the dog’s water bowl. All of this played over a soundtrack provided by the whichever annoying Youtube Play-Along video the kids had previously been watching. The automated message telling me someone would join my call in just a moment repeated over and over in my ear. And for some reason, there was suddenly not enough air in the room.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no pause button on life. If there were, this would have been when I hit it, went outside, and screamed all of my worries and frustrations right into the face of the sun. Since that didn’t happen, I did the only thing I could. I took in a breath, put on the crown and started handling the shit in front of me like a Queen.
Obviously, this was no a real crown. I’ve got some beanies and maybe even a baseball cap or two, but I do not own a crown.
Or a Queenly dress.
Or fancy shoes.
Or anything else you’d imagine a Queen has.
That’s because for me, being a Queen has fuck-all to do with outward appearances.
Being a Queen means taking a stand against the forces of self-doubt. It’s about bringing sovereignty to a world of chaos. More so, being a Queen is about justly, fairly, and fiercely reigning over your world. Most importantly, being a Queen also means not giving into and becoming incapacitated by fear.
I’m afraid a lot. In fact, I think it’s my factory preset is to be anxious. I have always been a Chicken Little type of person. In the last few years, I’ve realized that letting this fear and its anxiety rule my life is unfair. It’s stolen moments and relationships. Its made me dependent on the wrong people. I have put myself in the hands of people who have not had my best interest in mind because I was afraid. When I look back at my life, there are so many times when instead of inspiring me, fear clipped my wings and locked the cage door.
As the primary caregiver for three young children and a husband with multiple health problems, I can no longer allow this fear to exist. By acknowledging my Queenhood, I rebuke the helplessness that fear brings. It gives me the confidence I need to accomplish the things I think I can not. I have people counting on me. And I can not let them down.
So when things get tough, when I feel overwhelmed, and when I’m certain the sky is falling, all I have to do is reach for the crown. My self-professed royalty lifts me up and turns me into the type of woman who bows the head and bends the knee to no one. Especially fear.
2018, so far, has shown me that my family needs a Queen who is not afraid to stand, back straight and chin high, in front of the adversaries in life and tell them to sit the hell down. Heavy may be the head that wears the crown, but someone needs to slay these dragons.
So since it doesn’t seem that this year is going to get easier
Note to Self:
Queen up, Buttercup. It’s time to reign.
P.S. The Husband ended up being taken to the hospital for a four-day stay. As a Type 1 diabetic, complications can strike at any moment, especially when battling other illnesses. We are still all recovering from this hectic and frightening start to the new year. The week of this posting, he will be returning to work. We’re hoping the bad times are behind us. Even if they aren’t, I’ve got my crown on.