Create, Don’t Just Consume.

Clean, concise, powerful.

No, not really but it offers hope to this Brown femme that cannot seem to find her place sometimes. Create. That’s it! Hope. Really, it is the conviction of creating a space where I belong. How promising! And it is much deeper and complex than that. It is an escape, an uncharted territory where I allow my imagination to fill the vast emptiness of solitude and confusion in this beautiful and oh so cruel world. There is beauty in the struggle. There is a depth I’ve acquired that both scares and entices me. How do I control my cynicism when I have seen so much ugliness and watch its reemergence on a daily basis? How do I allow this vast optimism that surges from my heart in the most challenging of times to break free and provide sound advice to those going through a rough patch? I wish to make you feel it as intensely as I do when it takes control over me. Truly, it’s transcendent. I suppose it is all by design, a mechanism with which I learned to cope in the harshest of environments. I accept these gifts as a part of the process that is my life.

It isn’t always bad, but it definitely isn’t rosy. It is my struggle for a reason and I would never want it any other way. Sometimes it merely overwhelms me, so I write; I share it with everyone and no one simultaneously. (Thanks for reading, you’re magical and I love you for it.) BUT, it isn’t all that bad, anymore. It should not be that difficult to overcome, I suppose. A few days ago I discovered that this uncharted territory was comprised of thoughts, fantasies, daydreams, unsung victories and gut-wrenching love dramas I imagined when I needed to escape my reality. Thing is, I always went to this hidden land of mental treasures. That is how I coped with the trauma of growing up alone.

You ever been completely alone while surrounded by everyone you’re supposed to love? It’s quite a talent really, to hide in plain sight from those who know you the most. You should try it one day. It comes naturally when you do not have the basic tools like language, or really, an ear that acknowledges your need of real human connection through affection and conversations. That or those that cannot understand your depth and lived experience. It is easy to be alone when you feel deeply misunderstood.

All because all you wanted to do was talk about the way in which that one unknown man out in the street spoke with so much passion to the wind. “What did he see that I could not see? Clearly, he’s powerful!” But not you, you were power-less because you were just a silly child with too much imagination that felt too much, too intensely, too often. Stop staring! Even if he was magical, everyone else was unworthy of unlocking the secrets of his super powers.

Ok, I will not romanticize the traumatic ways in which mental health issues impact the most impressionable of us, mainly the little brains not yet fully developed that absorb everything within their grasp as absolute truth. How was I supposed to react when those that were supposedly more seasoned and sensible felt uncomfortable and visibly shaken when approached by someone with mental health issues? A lesson I later learned on my own was the adverse effects caused by the denial of healthy and educational dialogues on the importance of providing sound solutions to those battling any mental disorders. The ignorance and stigma surrounding mental health warrants further attention and assessment as a whole. Simply put, ignoring it won’t make it better, it will not fix itself.

But I digress, and I focus here on the obvious realities that are my personal issues with trauma and the subsequent silencing of its manifestation. In all honesty, however, it’s tough sharing something you never knew existed within you. It’s daunting allowing others see the ugly truth of not always ‘being as confident as you look,’ as someone known as ‘the natural leader’ within various circles. BUT that’s just the beauty of it too! You CAN be confident and broken at the same time. It’ You just keep it pushing. I know I do. (Also, I never have the answers so this ‘natural leader’ notion is silly and I find it odd as I am a huge advocate of autonomy.) Sure, I have moments of despair but I taught myself to cope. I learned to offer myself pep talks, and an appropriate amount of time to grieve or sulk in my own misery. If all that fails, I write it out. If that fails, I talk to a friend. Well, that last one is a newer process not yet perfected but it’s coming along nicely thus far. If that fails, I have enough confidence in my own process and do not hesitate to seek help from a neutral party, most commonly read as professional help. Sure, I recognize the privilege that is ‘seeking professional help’ and we all need to understand that this looks different to various folx. I’ve learned of various ways in which communities aid each other in a healing process. Mainly by hosting social events where folx share space and offer advice and useful techniques to those facing severe trauma. Again, create! Forming a community or a safe circle of closely-knit friends is one of the most important and effective ways to heal. So, create a community if necessary!

Turns out that all that solitude in crowded spaces helped me learn that it’s all right to be vulnerable. It’s ok if you are judged. I know what I am made of now, and the perception of myself will not change based on the assumptions made by others. As I recently found out, I’m not that impressionable anymore.

But back to the point of this messy realization where I lose myself and write in third person. Create. Allow yourself to trust your process. Believe in your own greatness when no one else does. That magic is there; it always was and will be. Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper. But please, always create. Create what? Yourself first. Anything else afterward. You cannot consume someone else. You cannot absorb the assumptions and judgment of others. It never works for you. NEVER. Create, edit, destroy if necessary, but never stop creating yourself. It is the best choice I have made and will continue to make for myself. Understand that even if we are not always stable, our minds are meant to manifest and create. Pay attention to your thoughts, those little electrical signals are constantly creating without you even knowing. Pay attention, control them and create.

Ok, so that last part is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But seriously, once you control your thoughts, or at least learn to recognize your own thought processes, you will begin to create and live in your own magic. The beauty of it all is in the struggle. We cannot always be happy or stable in the ‘good feeling.’ You have to learn to accept a balance. In this life form, it’s important to recognize the inevitability of struggle. Without, of course, forgetting that suffering too passes. Create a better outcome for yourself or a better reaction. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed. Just create. Much love and light.

*********But please, if you are battling any mental disorder or issue, seek help. It should never be taken lightly!