Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
—excerpt from “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes
These past few years have been a rollercoaster for me and my personal growth. The last four months of 2021, I moved to another state to pursue a great opportunity and when I came back, I was rejuvenated and refreshed. Then reality set in and I had to come to grips with some items that I had to rectify. (with a quickness).
As Langston Hughes wrote in one of his most prized poems, Mother to Son, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” I know that life has been rough for each of us, especially these past few years but some of the traumas that I was holding inside of my mind and body began to overtake me and I almost didn’t make it out BUT by God’s grace, I am able to share just a bit of my testimony.
When I was seven years old, my brother died two weeks before my eighth birthday and my life was forever changed. I would say that his death was when my battle with depression and anxiety began but I just didn’t realize it. All I knew was that my favorite person in the world was no longer in the physical realm and my seven-year-old mind could not process that. All I ever thought about was the fact that 19-year-olds are not supposed to die. That was my reality, and I didn’t know how to deal with it, and I packed up that trauma and adult responsibility “to be strong” and took it with me for 26 years.
I began having weight problems because I was sad and depressed, and I would just eat junk because I didn’t know what else to do. When I started to gain weight, I had some of the people that I was close to criticize me and publicly embarrass me by making my weight the main topic of their conversations. I carried that with me as well and I now realize that my feeling of inadequacy that I felt (and still sometimes feel) were deeply rooted within my childhood. I was hurt by some of the people that were supposed to be in my corner and protect me from this harsh life, but the fact of the matter was that I was not.
I now realize that I don’t have to deal with that and that I never needed to deal with it. I just wanted acceptance so bad that I was willing to drive myself crazy to try to fit into a place and environments that I was never meant to fit into. I now know that my compassionate heart and spirit, smile, natural beauty, and intellect could not be touched and that’s why I never fit into those environments. I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, and it can be intimidating if that’s not what a person is accustomed to.
I separated myself from foolishness, drama, and mayhem and began to go to therapy, work out, lose weight, meditate/ pray, and put my talents to work and that’s when I began to see a major change. Some people will say that I have changed, and they would be correct. I am UNAPOLOGETICALLY Brittany and I have boundaries. I say NO, I call people out on their foolishness, I am accountable when I fall short, I am driven, I am reclaiming my time, I refuse to continue to pour from an empty cup, and I know that I am a quality person to have in this world. I no longer compare myself to anyone because I am me and there is no one like me.
So, I say this to anyone that has struggled with feeling accepted, loved, or wanted, God loves you and I do too. Don’t waste years of your life being a beautiful circle trying to fit in with a bunch of squares. It just doesn’t work but love them anyhow because God sees and knows all. Hit me up if you ever need to talk and I love each of you that have taken the time to read this piece. There’s more to come…