I’d be lying if I said that I see myself better off without you. There were too many lessons that I learned from you that I will take to the grave. The financial literacy and ability to network with purpose. I found belonging in the cultural events and discovered they joy in a well-timed swag surf. With you, cigars were appreciated not opened and restructured. Houses were purchased, higher education was encouraged if not expected and I felt that I had found the space in which I was meant to be.
This is the black that I am meant to be. Excellent. Its what I thought you were.
I marveled at your careers, your homes, your full edges and vacations with friends. I wanted nothing more than to truly belong to this new crowd of people that I had found and wanted as mine own. To belong to this tribe and reflect the greatness that I saw in it. The Cosby show built descendants in comparison to mine, which was a more entertaining show but less… affluent. I no longer saw happiness in simply being great with my life and yearned for ownership and acceptance among the “elite” but fell into the hole of the black bourgeois.
In English, the word “bourgeoisie” (a French citizen-class) identified a social class oriented to economic materialism and hedonism (this is a diff blog all together), and to upholding the extreme political and economic interests of the capitalist ruling-class. In its literal sense, bourgeois in Old French (burgeis, borjois) means “town dweller”.
Town – dweller, and this is exactly what I had become, looking at humans as a standard.
I’m laying here fretting over an insecurity I’ve never had before.. and then realized it’s because I let someone project these insecurities over me. They handed them to me and I accepted them like candy.Michelle WIlliams
I read this quote on Michelle Williams Instagram story and I cried. I cried because for three years I had not been able to appropriately articulate what I had been going through. Why I had been feeling what I had been feeling and why I continually found myself looking at myself disapprovingly not even sure as to who I am and represented in this world. Something that was absolutely new to me.
Gregarious, this is a word that I learned to love. My teachers started using this to describe me in elementary and it followed me into my adult years. It accompanied my extreme level of self-esteem and care for others. Unswayable in my opinions and feelings I lived a life that was admired as I stood firm in my belief in myself and abilities – as a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
As the first to the dance floor and quickest to speak up or sing loud. The solo traveler unafraid to explore third world countries on her own. The employee that initiates hard conversations with leadership and doesn’t fret losing her position in the company how does someone like myself find herself struggling with other people character flaws. I had to trace back my negative self-talk and locate its origins and found it based in lack.
Lack by definition is to be without or deficient in. Though I had all the characteristics that are pleasing to maintain a life of favor from those who meet me it lacked the things that I (emphasis on I) saw as successful and admired in others. My first mentor is a woman who is surely one of the most successful relators between Dallas and California and an absolute frontrunner at self-mastery. After a bit of getting to know each other she asked me what I wanted and I made it clear that I wanted to belong to the elite. I wanted the education, the money the materials and everything that came along with it. I was done with simply having a charmed life and wanted to own the charms. She ran down a brief overview of what that life could look like removing the things that I could see and asked me if I was willing to trade what I naturally possessed, what so many people desired for these.. things. I responded with a resounding YES!
You know what they say about hindsight. Freaking 20-20
And here I stand years later pleading with Jesus, using therapy, real conversations and conviction through freaking Instagram posts to disassemble the insecurities that don’t belong to me. Dismantling relationships that never served me yet benefitted greatly from what I had to offer, stripping me of value. Separating myself from friendships with people who used what they saw as my lack to affirm themselves. People who fed me veiled insults and projected causation so that they could feel better about themselves. I stood within all this negativity and endured it because it connected me to what I thought I wanted to be. Instead it stripped me of who I was and just as my mentor had said, the trade wasn’t worth it.
So here I stand, well sit, writing you before fully healed so that you know that you are not alone. What you lack is nothing and that even your happiest people go through it struggle with what they have been given. That the gifts that God has given you are specific for you and there is nothing that you cannot accomplish within them.
I was aware but didn’t believe it.
External success is limited. It leads us to into competition and the seeking of things that are fleeting and forever changing. External success creates the illusion that once we make it, and once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness. Nonetheless, there will always be someone with more money, a better home (with heated floors cause.. warm feet!), thicker edges and a higher degree, maybe even from a better University. Seeking to fulfill lack in external areas of your life will not bring prolonged satisfaction.
True success is a state of being.
Our healthy thoughts, beliefs and perspectives eliminate the feeling that lack provokes. No one can take these away from you and they cannot fit into a comparison chart.
I apologize to those who met me during my season of confusion. You were not awarded the full Courtney experience. I am thankful to you who knew me from before and stuck with me through my transitions. And I am thankful for those who have come into my life and helped me to regain it.
Amen (it is so.)
My life is like a movie!