I was at a friend’s house the other day talking about healthy eating habits, losing weight, and all that other girly stuff, and she starts to tell me how lettuce makes the stomach stretch. I was totally baffled because why would I want or need lettuce in my life if it’s going to stretch my stomach. Shoot, I’m already trying to get rid of 5-year old baby fat, and yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Your child is 5 years old. How can that possibly be baby fat?” Well listen, until he’s 18 years old, I will continue to blame him for this fat. 😊 Anyway, I’m thinking to myself, “Why in the world have people told me to eat salads as a healthy alternative?” “Did they somehow secretly know it only makes more room for you to add weight?!” “Were they intentionally trying to keep me this way?” Yea, I was thinking all that paranoid hoopla. So, being the person, I am, I started to do a lot of research. What I found was a lot of conflicting views, however, unbeknown to you, this blog isn’t about the truth of whether lettuce stretches the stomach or not. It isn’t about me being a lil’ round in my belly, either. This story is about life, my life.
For years, I lived with this innate fear of expanding or going beyond my norm once I conquered an initial fear I possessed. I’ve always been adventurous, so to get something started is nothing. I am like the gasoline that is poured on fire, but never sticks around for the explosion. In other words, I can jump start some ish, but I don’t like to stick around in boredom or be stagnant to sustain it. So, my norm would be no matter how tortured, demeaned, or belittled I felt in a situation or circumstance, I would stick around until I would have no other choice, but to move. Nobody likes to be termed disloyal, but what if “loyalty” is the very thing holding them back. With these new-found discoveries about myself, I started to dig a little deeper, and what I found out was, was that I was a people pleaser (NOTE: I’m speaking in past tense because this is no longer my reality). My fear was not being able to please the folks that supposedly cared about me. If others were pleased with what I did or was doing, then the way I felt about it simply didn’t matter. I was “validated” by their superior way of living & thinking (yea I know….). So, there I was, a gasoline can stuck in the box of people’s opinions with not enough power to explode, but enough power to slowly suffocate. Without their approval, I became fearful of stretching and adding new things in my life. To add new things would be to compromise their approval of me and infringe upon their fears and limitations for me. Stepping outside of their comfort zone would mean stepping out of their boxes and being my own person. That’s when it hit me and my eyes began to open! Why in the hell am I allowing them to set the standard for my life when they haven’t figured out life yet, either? Why would I give a person that much power over me? None of it simply made sense.
So, I set myself on a three-year journey ridding anything that made me feel less than what God called me to be. I was proud of myself because of my tenacity and willingness through those tough times, but to my surprise I fell right back in that slump after those three years of consistency. However, this time I caught it before it truly settled down in my psyche and wrapped its deceptive fingers around my destiny. I had to defeat this self-destructive cycle some way and somehow. One night while riding down a long dark self-reflecting road alone, I managed to muster a good and hearty anthem .•♫•♬• within the depths of my soul that rang through the corridors of my mind and out of my hesitant country mouth…I revved back and yelled, “Man, fuck these folks!” Like for real, for real. How can I continue to live with myself and say, I didn’t do what I was purposed to do or use the gifts that were bestowed upon me because of other people? That could not be my excuse. Then, I thought about the lettuce. Yes, the lettuce, and how I wouldn’t allow myself to stretch cause it would add more weight to my already normal situation or add more people that would make life that much more hectic. Despite any of my excuses, I decided to face my fears and reflect on why I wouldn’t allow myself to stretch and expand. I know that adding more comes with great responsibility, but it also comes with more blessings, more insight, and more knowledge which will eventually lead to one’s life’s “purpose”, my life’s purpose. Stretching and expanding the mind to cultivate and harbor new ideals and new experiences can lead to a fulfilled life, and a life that transforms your purpose from your mind’s blueprint into reality. No more need to imagine how your life could be when you can actually create how your life should be. Change is good, but once change is put into place there must be room for it to work its magic or the magic dies with the idea. I have allowed myself, even in the midst of discovering who I am, to stretch, expand, widen, and embrace all the universe has to offer. There is a lot that the universe has to offer, and trust me it’s more than your closest friend or confidant can give you, can offer you, or even phantom for you. So, take my advice as we go along on this life adventure together. Remember to stretch, to expand, to widen your mind and don’t forget to eat lettuce.