Monday, April 6, 2015

Writing Challenge, Day 11: Seeing Red

You all will notice I took off a few days. It's hard to write when you're stuffing your mouth with greens, chicken & dumplings, bundt cake....

'Scuse me. I had a flashback. 

Today's topic is supposed to be whatever is currently on my mind, which is a slightly provocative topic: anger. Let's see what comes out today! 

Last week, I had a few situations going with paramours from the past. You know how it goes: you haven't heard from them in weeks or months or even YEARS, but somehow they magically find your number and try to immerse themselves in your world once again. In the most snarky nicest way possible, I told them I wasn't interested in conversing with them. 

I got called a "seven-letter word/five-letter word."

I was told I was selfish and close-minded.

My favorite? That I should be glad that he thought of me four months later. 

EVERYTHING in me wanted fire back, which I am completely capable of doing. When my mental wheels start turning, no one is safe. I turn into the black Julia Sugarbaker, hurling insults and tirades and salacious monologues that literally cause jaws to drop. 

I've had that effect on people since kindergarten. I'll never forget the look on Mrs. Seller's face when I informed her that I would cuss her out if she didn't let me go to my daddy's job...and then promptly followed through on that promise. 

At a Christian school. *facepalm* 

Just when I was stretching out my thumbs to fire off one of those three-message long text messages, I realized that this was indeed a test. In my Tilling Time (Bible study), the topic has consistently been about dealing with anger. I would highlight passages, nodding my head and thinking about other people who had that problem, but "not me!" I'd pray for God to help all these people who were dealing with anger issues, while giving myself a little pat on the back for not being like them. 

I should have seen this test coming from a mile away. 

I had a choice: keep holding onto this rage growing inside of me....or let go. I had to let go, y'all--there's just not enough room for anger and hunger in my stomach. 

I prayed a lot, taking the time to really acknowledge my anger. That's important, because I tend to play the synonym game with God and with others: 

I'm not angry, I'm  just a little offended.
I'm not angry, I just wish you would try to understand me.
I'm not angry, I'm just tired. 
I'm not angry, I'm just hungry. 

All of those sentences mean I am just angry...even the last one. ESPECIALLY the last one if I've been hungry for more than an hour. 

I forgave them and myself because, let's face it: so much of the things we hold onto are a reflection of us. But that's another topic for another time. 

I punched the punching bag at my gym until my knuckles started bleeding. I played my PMS playlist (yes, I do have one and it's pretty dope) and I frequently thought of something my Pastor/Dad has said:

It doesn't make any sense for you to sit up all night thinking about the people who hurt you. You're seething with rage while they are sleeping like a baby. Turn it over to God and get some rest! 

Before I even settled into my bed to watch The Cleveland Show, I was totally cool...and no verbal missiles had been launched. 

Not even a single passive-aggressive Facebook post. 

That's growth, baby. 



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Writing Challenge, Day 10: Back To The Future

Dear Future K. Marie,

The number on the scale won't matter, neither will the size of those jeans.
You won't remember all the times you nervously tried to predict the outcome of something that seemed 3,000 times more mortifying or heartbreaking than it actually was.
Your memory simply isn't big enough to remember every single time you were irritated because the coffee wasn't ready, your favorite dress was at the bottom of the hamper or somebody refused to let you over on the highway.

You have my permission to forget all that stuff.

What you will remember are the times you danced barefoot in the sand to no music at all. You'll laugh as you think about the hours you spent laughing with your sister-friends, even if it was past your bedtime. Your heart will glow as you think about all the advice your dad gave you...and you'll realize he was 100% right, every single time. You will remember those moments when man told you it was impossible, but God grabbed hold of your situation and turned it around so fast, you still can't quite put together all the pieces of the puzzle.

But it worked. For your good.

You're not too old to have children. Your parents had two babies at a time when everyone said they were "too old." And your grandmother was in her 40s when she had your dad--her 12th child!

Don't get cute though. You're not about that minivan life.

Keep running, even when you think it will feel so much better to sit on the couch and watch American Greed. Girlfriend, it's all about that ten-minute window after the run--when your mind and body are both kind of quietly state the obvious: Dang. We did that. 

Despite what Shayla says, you're funny. Keep telling your silly jokes.

Stop being so cheap!

In every single way possible, love yourself.

The only thing stopping you is you.

See you at the finish line.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Writing Challenge, Day 9: Speak Those Things

“Show it to me.”

Sierra abruptly stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, causing a pedestrian pile-up during the lunch hour traffic. She snatched off her glasses, narrowed her fiery brown eyes and prepared to unleash a verbal tirade that would surely cause grown men to blush and mothers to cover their child’s ears.

“…your heart.”

“I beg your pardon?”

As the attractive man stepped closer to her, her sense of smell was lured in by notes of bergamot, lavender, amber and vanilla. Prada Luna Rossa. Sierra inhaled, struggling to keep the stoic look on her face. Girrrrrrrl, don’t fall for it.

“I was just talking to God on my way back to myoffice…you’re not offended by that are you?”

“Not at all.” 
A Christian who wears Prada. Two points.

“Great.” The man smiled at Sierra and continued. “Like I said, I was talking to God about this whole dating and relationship thing in today’s world. It seems like no one is really out here to get to know each other—I mean beyond Facebook quotes and filtered Instagram pics. I’m frustrated and I told God as much.”

Is this some kind of joke? 
Sierra’s heart threatened to jump out of her tightly secured pea coat and run down the street like Scooby-Doo in a haunted house. How many nights have I cried out to God about the same thing? 
She nodded, motioning for him to continue.

“I asked God to help me find someone who would speak to my heart. It’s nice to hear about your favorite movie and how long you’ve been single; but I want to know how you got that childhood scar. Or who your hero is. What made you cry the last time tears fell from your face? What is your first thought when you wake up every morning?”

“I want to tell you the same things about me and more….so much more. I don’t have time in my life for the superficial. I’m ready to grow with someone. Build a life with someone. Face the world with no fear because I know someone is praying for me and I will do the same for her.”

“So, I’m asking you again: will you show me your heart? Will you let down your guard and take off your mask?” The man extended his hand to Sierra, who was still speechless.  “Will you believe God with me that all things are possible…even us?”

Sierra’s mind whirled a million reasons to run:
He could be a serial killer.
What if he uses me?
I can’t take one more heartbreak in my life.
Should I mace him?

Her heart spoke two words to make her stay:
Trust me.

“I will.”