I have spent over two years just working on staying alive and in the past week I almost let a horrible situation cause me to lose a lot of ground.
Then I started remembering my classroom and the inspirational posters I plastered around, figuring if the kids weren't listening maybe they were still learning just by reading the walls. I am reading the walls. I learn from them.
Eleanor Roosevelt: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
The cause of my hiding is immaterial to readers at this point, but as to my rising... it is a mistake I know I made, it is feelings I know I hurt, it is a situation I know became ...what it is and I am not going to rehash it for the four people who read this blog. Every apology just digs my hole deeper, and it's pretty important that I don't fall into any holes because I have a hard time getting out of them.
But what is important to this blog that has become a memoir of a clinically depressed, rapidly cycling girl trying to still the waters of my life is that I rise.
You see, I nearly drowned in this mistake. Those old feelings of wanting to disappear reappeared. But through cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness I have learned to observe those thoughts and let them go by instead of feeling compelled to believe them or act on them. "People would be better off without me," "there goes a thought."
So I remember that no one can make me feel inferior without my consent. I contemplate the double entendre of that statement in this situation and I focus on my side. I do not consent. I am good enough at making myself feel inferior. I have had 33 years of practice. I cannot let e-mail attacks based in anger grown from hurt drown me; especially not when I live so close to the beach.
Last night I renamed this blog and I almost went into hiding.
This morning I am back.
I am back for the four people who want to know that I am alive.
I am back for the one friend who wrote, "I got worried about you when you were not blogging for a few weeks, but was glad that you had a great time with family in Virginia." I am thrilled that the outside reader got it--that I was so happy there and felt so much a part of an extended family yet also observed cultural differences between cosmopolitan Los Angeles and rural Virginia that I did not understand (but that one cousin did explain to me in her graceful response, for which I am grateful).
I am back because not writing is a death for me, and I cannot afford to die.
I rise from my mistake.
I rise from the duck and cover I assumed to try to protect myself from the fallout.
I rise, I rise, I rise.
My sister-in-law who also happens to be from the South is visiting. She sheds further light on the differences as she observes the cultural phenomena of Los Angeles. I am grateful for her perspective.
I rise, I rise, I rise.
I am thankful to be back.