Did you ever want to change the world? Did you ever think that one day, you were going to be important enough to make decisions or have enough to survive on doing something that you’re passionate about in order to impact as many people as you possibly could?
I really did have the belief that I was going to change the world.
Recently, I was reminded of a good friend from college. We shared the same major, had many of the same classes and spent a lot of afternoons together, talking about social issues and topics that only two BIPOC people could truly have with each other. She gave me a nickname, a title of sorts, that made me feel like one day I would change the world. That, or that I was already trying. Either way, it made me feel valued, seen, understood.
While I was talking about her and telling stories, I got choked up, especially when I explained my nickname. I didn’t expect it to happen. It surprised me as much as it surprised my husband I think. We were in the car, and when I started crying he said, “You have changed the world and you will continue to do so.” Very kind of him.
But it didn’t help. The reason why I’m writing this anonymously is because if you knew me, you’d try to make me feel better, tell me everything that I’ve done, and how many people I’ve impacted. You, along with all the other hundreds of friends I have on Facebook, would throw me a pity party, without even knowing it. I would probably do the same in the most empathetic way possible to make you feel seen.
But this is different. I’m not satisfied. Could I tell my husband that? No way. Because he’ll just think about it from his perspective – sexually, most likely – get defensive and take it personally. I don’t need that. That leads to an argument. No, I keep this to myself because it’s an issue I have with MY LIFE, not the people in it.
I feel like I’ve jumped over hurdles, have made things happen, have been stabbed in the back and yet, I’m doing just fine. I also feel like I have nothing to show for the passion that I have for things outside my career. As much as I take my career seriously, I’ve been feeling that I’ve turned my back on that young woman I was in college, the one that my friend saw and believed in.
I feel like I’ve tried to live that life free from “the man” and yet, I’ve failed. And maybe not in the actual business, but in trusting people and being a relatively decent judge of character. I missed the red flags; I wasn’t a judge at all. It was somewhat of blind faith, because I believed in my ideas and projects. And people trusted me. I feel like I failed them. I’d deflate, but somehow, I’d come back again with a new idea and revitalized spirit.
This time, though, I’m tired. I feel like the energy for anything outside my career and my family doesn’t exist and isn’t a priority. I don’t want to trade my life for anything because I love it. I’m truly blessed. But I miss the younger me, too. It’s odd to feel such a juxtaposition. I don’t wish for a “never happened” or a “if I could change history,” or even for a “redo.” I wish I had more time. I wish I could have a single lifestyle and a domesticated family lifestyle. I’m not just a member of my family, I am more than that. I dress for me, do makeup for me, lose weight for me, be a powerhouse for me – not for anyone else.
I think I cried over the truth that I can no longer be a younger me with that same vision of changing the world. I cried because I have to let that go, even though I miss that life and that fire I had. But I have to come to accept what I have done and how much I’ve accomplished, even though a part of me does feel like I wasted my time because things didn’t come to full fruition as I had envisioned them. I couldn’t make it work for reasons I could not control.
A waste. Sometimes, that’s how I see all that time thrown down the drain. I’ve learned a lot, no doubt. I learned who I could trust. I learned that time and taking a couple of shots was fulfilling my passions, but without the right guidance, it’s really hard to accomplish.