So many realizations.

Ooo yes, it has been a minute.

No excuses coming from me, though. I will mention that all is well in the grander scheme of things.

In the meantime of that minute (of almost two months) since my last post, I have had so many realizations. Realizations related to past entries. Realizations that are the same to previous, but with depth and clarity.

These realizations are mostly tied to my responsibility of others’ emotions. Now, I’ve written about a realization like this before. Within the last month I’ve been challenged by two separate incidences to identify what old reactions I felt compelled to have.

The first was on Monday, September 24th. That day is my grandfather’s birthday. He and I have been cordial for the past year, but for two years prior he made a point to not see or speak to me because he disagreed with my relationship (to the man whom I’m marrying next month by the way). Nonetheless, things are not the same since he chose the silent treatment route and, frankly, I don’t care for them to be. I feel way more freedom to be myself since the dynamic shifted.

The Saturday prior to the 24th, Bill and I drove up to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday with him and family. My grandfather and him seem to get along, mostly because Bill is a master at making anyone feel accepted and at entertaining others–not because my grandfather is especially warm and inviting. It was a good enough time and the 10 of us all got along just fine.

The morning of the 24th, I received a text message from my grandmother suggesting that I remember that it’s my grandfather’s actual birthday and that I call to wish him a happy birthday. I was extremely irritated by that text message for several reasons. Firstly, I don’t need a reminder that it’s his birthday because I already remember it. Secondly, I don’t like being told what to do (I’m an adult). Thirdly, he never remembers my birthday (and if he ever has, it’s most certainly not thanks to his own selflessness). Fourthly, didn’t we just celebrate his birthday? (Wasn’t that enough?) Fifthly, I simply didn’t feel compelled to do it.

Every cell in my body felt disgust toward that message. I felt even more disgust that I was inclined to step away from what I wanted to do and just jump to my grandmother’s request upon reading it. Instead of jumping to it, I ruminated. I sat, thought, felt my icky feelings and wondered why I felt them. In thinking, I realized that this message came from her because of her relationship with him. She feels responsible for his emotions and she’s doing what she thinks she has the power to do to take care of his emotions. In addition, her understanding is that we (me and probably my whole darn family) are responsible for her emotions–why else would she ask me to do something I quite obviously wouldn’t (nay, shouldn’t) do? I texted with a friend who wisely reminded me my wedding day was around the corner, and that in her current situation which has sometimes been uncomfortable for her she’s been told that she sometimes has to make sacrifices to keep the peace for a certain amount of time; doing so would be in her benefit until there’s a safer time and space for her to bring up things. So, I decided what I would do–I still called him, but I did it on my time.

My grandparents seem to have an issue when someone calls them later in the day to send good wishes–whether it’s for Father’s Day, birthday, or other celebrations. I’ve called later in the day before and they’ve made a point to say, “I had a good day, yes.” That “had” is strongly emphasized in a negative, sassy tone. It’s laughable how immature it is. Or maybe it’s poorly executed humor on their part as I’ve always taken it as a personal affront. This information given, you better know that I called my grandparents’ house at 5:30 in the afternoon to wish him a happy birthday. At that point I still didn’t want to do it, but was way calmer than I’d been in the morning while ruminating about the text.

In the midst of ruminating and being proud of myself for recognizing old thought processes and toxic expectations from relationships within my family, I also wrote a poem. I cried while writing it, but not a sad cry.

I am Becoming

 

I am becoming

the person I’ve been wanting to be.

I am becoming

the work I’ve been trying to do.

I am becoming

the woman in the mirror who’s been hiding.

I am becoming

the girl who fell down and cried

but is now standing up.

I am becoming

the canary set free from the cage,

singing in a tree.

I am becoming

the woman smiling and laughing out loud,

with friends.

I am becoming

the person grinning from the inside out

as they cross the street.

I am becoming

the pink lips, unsealed.

I am becoming

the tree with branches spread wide

greeting the sun.

I am becoming

the sun with rays reaching

to give.

I am becoming

the moon gazing down on growth

that occurs even in the dark.

I am becoming

the star that sees other stars

and sees the beauty in its own twinkle.

I am becoming

the dancer who leaps

and doesn’t worry where she’ll land.

I am becoming

with no need to understand.

It’s a cheesy poem, but I have to admit I like it. I’m proud of it because of what it means to mean on my journey of self-development.

After writing the poem, I realized another thing–in the same text message in which my grandmother reminded me to call him, she also mentioned that she will be giving me money for our wedding. This realization made me feel disgusted as well, but also sad. The implication there is that she’s “buying” my time, that she acknowledges my call to him would be (and was) feigned affection toward him. It was feigned, but not in an exaggerated way. I didn’t act like a little girl and talk baby talk nonsense like I’ve seen people in my family do once they get back on the “good side” of someone. It was much like a friendly adult, talking to a disinterested adult. The buying my affection part I’m not terribly fond of. The friendly adult part–frankly, I’m okay with it.

This entry seems to be a bit long (guess that’s what happens when your words and thoughts are pent-up for two months). I will reserve my other challenging incident for another entry not so long from now. Until then…

May good things come to you always.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s