A few months ago, I threw a party for myself. This party, however, was a bit different from my other parties. There was no mass e-mail sent to my 895 contacts. There was no Facebook promotion. I did not even send a text to friends and family requesting that they show up. In fact, this party was a party of one. And I liked it that way.
This party included myself, my laptop, and my thoughts. At this party, I reflected on my career goals and personal goals. I thought about where I thought I would be at my age and where I actually am. I thought about all the things that have gone against my plan. I thought about the broken hearts, the rejection letters, the disappointments, and the setbacks.
And I did what I hadn’t done in a long time. I cried.
Now, for those of you who don’t know me, Yaa Yaa does not cry. Crying is a form of weakness. And Strong Black Independent Women do NOT cry, for crying is for babies.
But on this particular day, I did not care. I decided to cry, and once the tears started rolling, I could not stop them. It was almost as if these teardrops had a mind of their own. I released every frustration, every hurt, and every regret in those tears.
When people asked me, “Yaa Yaa, are you okay?” I offered an honest response. I said, “No, I am not okay right now. But I will be okay later.” I was tired of lying. I was tired of pretending like everything was okay when everything was not okay. My close friends and gave me the space I needed to weep. They did not judge or label me for showing my emotions that had been masked for a long time.
After five days, the tears dried up and my smile returned to my face. Today, I am ready to tackle the world and strive to reach my goals with more fervor than before.
Life has a way of breaking us down. She has a way of making us feel discouraged. Even the strongest of us become depressed and unmotivated due to life’s circumstances. Another punch is released when we are at our lowest or another setback arises after a series of disappointments.
What keeps me going is my belief that everything happens for a reason. The setbacks, detours, heart breaks, breakdowns, and stop signs lie on a pathway towards our dreams. I rest assured that the tears will dry up; our situations will turn around. Our hearts will be mended. Our job prospects will come; our promotion will come. That dissertation will be defended successfully; that exam will be passed. Our children will be born healthy. Our loan will go through; our dream guy will ask for our hand in marriage. Exotic vacations, debt payoffs, and expertise within our respective industries will all come. Our dreams will eventually come into fruition.
We must not give up.
Tired? Take a moment for yourself, but don’t stop there. Our journey is not finished yet; we have a lot more to accomplish. Our best and brightest days are still ahead of us.