Vulnerability is a B*tch

I struggle with vulnerability. The word itself makes me uncomfortable. The idea of having to subscribe to “the state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally” is not a comfortable feeling. I always believed I spent enough time with someone or in place, it would ease my customary anxiety but just a comment, an action, or even a location can send me back to a space where I felt nothing but vulnerable. I have seen how the distance I create causes others to feel weary of me . It causes distrust, resentment, and ultimately avoidance. I may try to explain all but it never seems quite enough. I write this at a time where I feel more exposed than I have in years but I lend these words to images that made me feel seen positively. Hopefully, they balance each other out.

Images by Asiyami Gold

The Road to Girlfriends

I have always been surrounded by the guys. As mini Maame, I quickly became the trailer to my cousins. They found me annoying but I got to tag along one way or the other. I spent most of my afternoons playing wall ball on my street and trading my older brother’s “vintage toys” for whatever I found useful that day. Most of the girls that lived nearby were just out of my age limit, either too young or too old. I knew I had my mom for girly conversation but every time I saw a moving truck on my street, I always prayed they had a girl just my age.

After a while, I got older and started to venture into activities that were meant to breed sisterhood like the Girl Scouts. It was an experience I detested at the time but it first sparked my desire for an organic group of girlfriends. Feeling let down by my troop to have the true American sense of sisterhood, I opted out of Girl Scouts and took the streets to find my own clique. I tried a few times in middle school and high school but saw how jealousy could quickly turn best friends into each other’s victims. I made mental decisions to leave the gabbing and clothes sharing to Joan and gals. The crazy part was that every part of my being still longed to have the right group of girlfriends. I had seen my mother build a group that laughed and cried together, as if they had been born to be in each other’s lives. With no biological sisters and uninterested extended family, I initially struggled to find women who felt like home to me. Many times insecurities and inability to communicate cost me the chance to build and grow with certain women. I thought I had been cursed  by the Girl Scout gods to roam the rest of my life without my Miranda, Charlotte, and Sam. It wasn’t until I was completely myself that I was blessed with some of the most beautiful relationships of my life. Women change your life. And the women in my life do nothing short of that.

I could write for days about the impact that each one has had, starting with my mother but my words could fully never express any of it. The women in my life are the smartest, most stunning, witty, ambitious, rude, petty, and selfless people I know. Dressed in grace, humor, and wisdom, I’ve gained the honor watching their brilliance while being in their corner. As overly emotionally as it comes off, it’s completely necessary and overdue. It takes very special people to pour into others without searching for anything but friendship in return. It sounds simple but it’s something a lot of people, including myself, forget to do. But when someone or something betters a life, the right thing to do is to pay homage.

Thursday’s are for Yaa’s

A week is honestly too long. It’s seven whole days, which equals 168 hours or 10,800 minutes. It’s exhausting. I was quite used to finding myself so worn out by Friday that I would choose to spend my weekends locked away, trying to regain the energy that had been sucked out during the week. And then I would turn right back around and have to do it all again Monday. It made me miserable and even more annoyed when Sunday came around.

One day, while sitting with my dad, I mentioned being over the week before it even started. He asked me how I spent my special day, Thursday. I simply stated that I tried to power through them so I could really deal with the expectations of Friday. He laughed and asked me why was I always in a rush.

“You will always get to Friday Maame, but why put that much pressure on it?”

I knew that I was mentally and physically exhausted by the end of the week and that needed to change. So I came up with Thursday’s are for Yaa’s. Every Thursday is set aside as a personal day. Thursday’s are the days I do exactly what I want, no matter that obligations. It sounds extremely risky but it’s beautiful to have one day that I get to control to the best of my abilities. Depending on the way I feel, the activities may vary but in an ideal world, this is how my Thursday would look.

I wake up in my pure white sheets whatever time I see fit, usually before 10:30AM. I sit and contemplate whether I would like to be around people. If yes, I try set up an activity that I really enjoy, like enjoying a meal with good friends. That makes the experience that less stressful. I find myself a meal for breakfast that I haven’t enjoyed in a very long time and I eat in my beautiful bed before jumping into the shower or taking another nap. My Thursday can be used as a ‘Get it Right Get it Right’ day or to just veggie out in front of my TV or laptop and write about my feelings. But the day is mostly about me. I pour into myself so much of what is stripped out of me during the week. All the early wake up calls, long nights, and disappointments of the week don’t matter because Thursday’s are for me.

I tried to write this for Thursday but my day told me take a break and rebuild from brokenness that I had suffered during the week. Nothing hurts and everything is beautiful on my Thursday’s.