In Two Places
Have you ever stumbled upon a photo that brings up so many memories? Have you ever entered into a space that energy felt familiar? Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that brought up so many familiar emotions that it was hard for you to be fully present? I have, and at times it feels like I am living in two places; focused on being present in the moment, while still carrying the heavy suitcase of the past.
Most days, I am trying my hardest to be present. I am working on my mind, working on my body, and working towards my business goals; but every so often something comes up that I can’t seem to put down. During a conversation with a friend, we were talking about carrying the burden of guilt for our choices. How we seem to blame ourselves for doing what we feel is best for our life. We victimize ourselves, looking for sympathy in every corner. We overanalyze the situation, make others out to be the villain all so we can make ourselves feel better for choosing what is best for us. Why aren’t we taught it’s ok to make hard choices that may hurt other people, but protect ourselves? Why are we taught that we have to bring everyone along for the ride instead of being taught to bring the people that fuel your fire, not the ones that darken the road? Why are we made to feel guilty for building and creating the life we want, instead of following the life we have been shown.
A part of me believes that most people can’t see or fathom their greatness, so it is hard for them to recognize yours. Instead of celebrating your accomplishments and journey they criticize and make you feel bad for doing you. As children, we learn most from what we see. We listen to the unsaid words, mimic the unconscious movement, and adopt the mindset of our surroundings. Naturally, we do what we know. But what happens when what we know contradicts what we feel and believe in our hearts? I’ll tell you what happens; we live in two different places.
Yesterday, a memory came up in the phone of my gender reveal three days ago. I saw a video of my daughters’ father and I find out the gender of our baby with our closest family and friends. My first memory was a happy memory, after all, I just found out I was having a baby girl, but just as quickly as that happy memory came, so did the sad ones. I remember feeling like a fraud, and putting on this big show! Trapped between living the life I was shown, and doing what I was “supposed” to do, and feeling guilty for wanting something different. I remember looking in the mirror and giving myself a pep talk, saying this is where you are supposed to be and everything will be fine. I also remember pushing past the most horrible anxiety for over three years, because I wanted to do the right thing. The funny thing about living in two places is you are never fully present in either.
After watching the video a few times, I thought about where I am today. I thought about how I decided to live the life I WANTED, not the life I was shown. I also thought about how guilty I feel almost every day for choosing to live my life my way. I think about being a bad person for not carrying folks along that were too heavy to carry. I think about my daughter if she will be mad at me if kids will look at her like she is less than because she doesn’t live with mommy and daddy. I think about my future family when we don’t have all the same last names and not everyone is calling the same person daddy. This wasn’t the life I was supposed to live, but this is my reality. After stewing over this for a bit, it dawned on me; just because I choose to live a different life doesn’t mean I need to live them both.
I can permit myself to put down the past. To forgive myself for what I didn’t know and move forward with grace. I can let go of the guilt that seems to drown me and start to live freely. I am understanding there is no right way to do anything, and what may work for me, may not work for others and that’s ok. A memory doesn’t have to keep me stuck in the past, but it can be a reminder of just how far I’ve come. That living two places doesn't serve anybody. And lastly, that living my life on my terms is the only way for me to be truly happy.
Xo- Krystal A Phillips