Monday, October 13, 2014

Six Month Check-in: From Heartache to Healing

When babies are born they go in for a six month check up. The doctor analyzes their cognative and physical development. We continue to have annual check ups as we grow, recieving vaccines to develop immunities to sickness, going to ERs and walk-in clinic for emergancies, and as a girl you get an extra special doctor once you reach a certain age resulting in not one but two physical check ups a year. Today I counted, April to May, June, July, August, September, October; six months. It has been six months since I got my heartbroken, since I learned that the man I thought would marry had begun a relationship with another woman, since I moved out of our apartment and began to live on my own, six months since I last cried, and six months since I began to heal, it seemed like an appropriate time for a check up or rather a check-in.

The process has been long, sometimes painful, but mostly good. No doubt, with the 2014 NFL season in full force and living in Kansas City Chiefs territory, there are constant reminders of him everywhere I turn. I strategically avoid bars on game days, refuse to listen to the radio, and turn past the "sports section" in the KU newspaper not knowing if I might see his face or name staring at me.

Thinking about how I maneuver the world intentionally avoiding all things him got me thinking about emotional control, forgiveness, healing and moving on. Thinking that if I truly forgave him and was truly healed I wouldn't be triggered by all that I have been avoiding. So I have had to ask myself, what does forgiveness look like and do I need to forgive to heal?

I don't know if I have answers for these questions yet and I don't know if I ever will, what I do know is that I have spent the past six months returning to myself. Heartbreak has changed me, for people trying to get close to me it has been challenging as I remain closed off, skeptical, and a tad pessimistic; yet, at the same time I have developed this amazing strength and fearlessness in commanding my voice, naming my wants, and unapologeticlly advocating for what I need- personally, professionally, physically, and emotionally.

While I work to figure out if I am a forgiving person I have always known that I am not a forgetful one. As mother Maya said, "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" My sentiments exactly, except with text messaging and social media the words are there, recounting the decietful actions that linger in my memory.

A young man has recently been attempting to "court" me and recognized some of the changes that I had not yet realized were apparent to the outside world. Driving around town, I probably said some mean snarky remark and he quickly, honestly, and sweetly said "I don't know who hurt you in the past but..." the rest of what he said is a blur. He knew, I have been wearing it around, my heartache and it was showing up in the form of sassy disregard, unkind criticism of others, and a closed heart and mind when it came to this young man who just wanted to take me to dinner. So I began to share my story, I told him that one day I was sitting in the jewelry store with an engagement ring on my finger thinking this is going to happen and a month later I am homeless, carless, broke, and alone. So how does healing even begin?

I figured this break up would break me or I would use it as a catalyst for personal growth. I am so grateful for the relationship I had, out of that one I have developed amazing friendships, been a part of a wonderful community, traveled around the country, found the best job, and learned so much about myself. I became complacent and comfortable and this break up forced me into an uncomfortable space where I was either going to fail or take on the world head on. Six months later, I am still broke but I love my job, I have a car, a beautiful home, and wonderful friends. I am writing for the beautiful and equally intelligent Toni Munoz-Hunt, who I would not have met had I not been in this relationship and who I probably wouldn't be working with had I not gone through this break up.


I got to witness the union of my beautiful friend Jaid and her hubby Eric Reid, who I would not know had it not been for my move to California and my unwielding dedication to developing and maintaining friendships. 

I am transforming lives daily in my work at KU, most memorablly thusfar hosting the first KU Women of Color Retreat, which was a necessary and fulfilling space. My job has not just been work but has contributed greatly to my healing; being around people who believe in and understand self-care and self-love as a process of liberation. 

So six months later, the wounds are still there but not as deep. Day by day I become more and more myself. My process of healing from this break-up is intertwined with healing the wounds of my identitiy as a Black woman: broken, alone, damaged and yet so resilient, strong, and beautiful. As I continue my journy towards liberation I know that no pain is in vein, it all will mean something in the has to.