For Lou. I love you, sis.

What is my purpose? That's the question I keep asking myself. What am I working for? Writing for? Speaking for? Teaching for? 

To enlighten others 
To inspire people to educate themselves 
To promote learning 
To show people who battle with depression that they can find peace in doing what makes them feel whole
Educating others makes me feel whole 
Educating others diminishes my depression 
Educating others has taken me out of poverty and off of welfare 
Educating myself has allowed me to forgive myself and others who hurt me 

For instance: I did not understand why my grandmother used to be so angry and mean and beat me, or why my mother could not raise me because of her addiction, or why my father did not want me until I understood the history of racism in the south, the war on drugs, and systematic oppression. Until I understood the history of mental health in the Black community. Until I understood that colorism and discrimination lives and breathes just as healthy as it did during slavery.

So my purpose is to enlighten others and show them how to heal themselves through literacy and learning. 

I have to continue to heal myself. Sometimes I live in my hurt and that's fine because there's a lesson there too, which essentially, leads to healing. 

Nothing is to harm me. 

But back to my purpose: I go hard for issues like mental health, special education, anger... Teaching people to accept themselves. Understand themselves. Love themselves. And then teach them how to teach others to love and accept them as well. This is not easy work. Not always glamorous at all. But if people understood themselves first, then they could garner empathy and be open to adopting the necessary tools to help others. 

So I stand on the concept of selfishness. If more of us put our needs first and made loving ourselves before we can love anyone else a true priority, we all would be happier. But we live in a society that says to be selfish is to be wrong. When in actuality, when we do things because we feel obligated to, we are giving ourselves many more reasons to be depressed and regretful. 

Other people make us feel guilty for not doing something for them - we are so busy feeling guilty that we don't realize, that person is actually being selfish - they are benefiting from the fruits of being selfish while we are complaining about how hard it is to please them. 

I don't do that anymore. I just live and move at my own pace. I wake up in the morning and my priority is to teach. I tackle the behavioral issues as they come. I live for the laughs of the jokes and silly things my students say. I give them history and watch them create magic. 

I come home. I walk my pup. I shower. I eat. I read. I write. I meditate. I sleep. 

I am an introvert. I recharge alone. I meditate for hours on end. I don't have everyday-friends. I don't hang out. I don't travel like I used to... What happened? I became more content in my space than in trying to go out and spend money. Honest truth. But because of this, I lost bonding time and the core connections to people. It hardly feels like a loss to me. It was more of a burden when I was trying to be around and knew I really just wanted to be alone. The thing to keep in mind here is, that is my personal need. It has nothing to do with who anyone else is or what they do. My decisions are based on my needs. Selfish. 

Sacrificing my time is not an option. If I don't want to do something, I'm not doing it. 

It took my old friends a while to understand this but they get it and love me and that's why I love them too. It's easier to just love me without trying to change me. As far as my new friends, this version of me is all they know, so there was no other expectations from them. They make it easy to love them because of that as well. So now, instead of having best friends or everyday-friends, I have a very selective group of individuals that I enjoy talking to and spending time with. I consider them all soul mates. My tribe. These are people whom I rarely see but when I do, it's so much love and so much enlightenment. No corny conversations about people or frivolous issues. We get deep and find ourselves on a natural high. No distractions. 

Love life is the same. If he cannot stimulate my mind, I have no time. 

And there are days when I want to be the total opposite of myself, as well... When I want to be my childish self and shoot the sh't. And those days I welcome and value. They are far and few but they always feed me with a timeless energy. A joy that is family-like. 

It is my family that made me this way. For years, I cried over not having the family I thought I was supposed to have. Everyone is distant and absent. It took me some time to realize that my family is a bunch of introverts just like me. Even my addict mom. She just likes to be alone in her space, doing what she does. I get it. Completely. And her not spending time with me is not a reflection of her love for me but her love for self. My family and I are one thing for one another though, an example of what making it on your own looks like. I value that as well. 

Now, my only job is to maintain this positive perspective. Not to let my Mood Disorder pull up old insecurities that make me dance with double-mindedness ... revert back to feeling wrong for being exactly who I am, or feeling bad for being a loner, or sad that I don't have a traditional family. I am not a victim. I am complete. Everything is.

 I really just want to keep digging under the surface of my purpose. I know it's deeper than what I can see. But one day at a time. Seasons will reveal all. 

In essence, I am really in a state of valuing all that is me. My way. My thoughts. My people. Myself. 




Comments

  1. I am now 26 years young it wasn't until 2 years ago that I stoped living my life to please others and started living my life for me I know selfish right LOL but I am so much happier and feel so free

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  2. All Blessings all over this Angel. I love you Valencia

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  3. Hi Valencia! This is Maxine, I met you at the For Colored Girls Event at John Jay a few weeks ago. You signed my copy of your book and wrote, " I love your realness, I just love it!" I really appreciated your words because it took me a while to reach this place of loving and accepting myself, because just like you I am an introverted loner.

    For the longest I thought something was wrong with me(This was before introverted/extroverted discussion became so mainstream). Funny enough, my friends have always been extroverted, I wondered, 'why don't I like going out and being social as often as they do?' 'How come I'd much rather be home and chill than go to a party?' 'Why do I feel so enervated after being around a group of people?'
    Even when I started working corporate, all my co-workers would ask me to go to lunch, which I often decined because I just wanted to be alone. I didn't want to spend my energy on conversations I didn't care about, having to fake smile and laugh. I prefer one on one convos anyway. I really thought I had a disorder or something...Until I read the book "Quiet" and started speaking with my family and others about my feelings of finding peace being alone. I had found reassurance in the fact that this is just my personality and there is nothing wrong with that! I need to embrace it.

    I love people like you and me because we are whole just being by ourselves, we don't need anyone else, that is powerful.

    P.S Being introverted comes with great observation skills and I noticed at the discussion, you didn't laugh or smile just because everyone in the room was. If you didn't find something funny, you didn't laugh just to appease the room. I love that you are un-apologetically yourself!

    Would love yo speak with you some more, hit me up: mar383@drexel.edu

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