I have been creating a world of different characters as I grow my blog’ality series Look At My Fabulous Life! and I have truly been enjoying the process. I have noticed though that recently I haven’t been engaging that much with me. Of course I get up each day with an intention and most times I follow it through, but I’m not tapped into the most center of myself. I know why too.
I do not resemble the person I thought I would be at this time in my life. If I look too hard and too long I might start to nit-pick, analyze and dissect why the image in the frame looks so very different than the one I painted of myself so long ago.
Let’s back-track a little. Picture a shy, wide-eyed girl carrying an over-sized backpack. In it were way too many books, a Sony Walkman, packs of Now and Later candy, notes from boys scribbled on legal pad paper, pencils of all shapes and sizes, a pen that burst which created a super-sized ink stain at the bottom of the bag, a diary with a purple cover and a red and black heart-shaped charm.
The book-bag hung on the shoulder of a girl who wrestled with ambition and often got body-slammed by her inner emotional condition. Debate team member, editor of the school paper and yearbook, drama club standout and choir girl. I was on the radio as a teen and wrote articles for the local paper. I was what you called gifted. I even took a test that gauged my gifted’ness and put it at a high level. Proof.
On the surface of my life I was set. I had a loving boyfriend and was college-bound. Cue the afternoon movie music. But there were secrets, some known and others hidden. Only my close friends knew that I was adopted and the horrors I sometimes faced at home. I hid my feelings about my biological and adoptive families. Stuffed them like cotton in teeth whose fillings had fallen out. My smile was effervescent. I walked with pride knowing that despite my fragmented existence my intelligence would take me places.
Years later I would move to the Big Apple and become a college graduate and work in journalism and public relations. I still carried a book-bag of sorts, but it was more fanciful and paraded as a purse. The questions I had about family would slowly be revealed over time and are still being answered. I learned more about how I came to be, looked into the eyes of the woman who gave birth to me and to this day she is still a mystery. The woman who raised me who once was my tormentor has now become a comfort and a friend. I had searched for so long for a substitute for my “substitute” mom as it were and the original has not lived up to the hype. Life is funny that way.
I know I am strong and a survivor, that I have proved many times over. I know I am a writer of merit and getting better by the day. I know my value is worth more than my paycheck and my legacy is still being written, but I can’t help feeling that I’ve fallen short of my goals. I was supposed to be a published author, an accomplished actress, a wife and mother and a jet setter by now! What happened?
I am a writer with a blog that I cherish, single, no children and a unpublished novelist. My last “date” was on a park bench with a “enchanting” stranger whom I lost interest in the very next day. I pray each morning as I wake and it gives me peace, but I still feel the pangs of being incomplete. I know I am a work in constant progress and that fact is also a comfort. I see myself as a whole package, not in parts and know that I am very close to my destiny. I can feel it so strong on some days.
When I see myself through others eyes I’m reflected nicely back to me. Although I feel the sting of unspoken questions in their expressions. Why is your book not yet published? Why are you not married? No children? Why? Who are you living for? If you have no family, how do you spend your day? What on earth do you do? I know the economy is bad but why haven’t you found a job yet?
Here are some answers to the questions that linger in my mind and those of others:
Even though my portrait looks a lot different than expected after it’s development, I walk with confidence from the dark-room. The frame is still beautiful, youthful and sturdy and the contrast of my curvature is vibrant and strong. The shadowing and contours of the lines of my life jump, stop, fall and rise just as sun and shade reflect their rays and darkness over the world. My angles are ambient and my tint has great tone.
I can be anything I want to be at any given time. My photograph will be measured by it’s depth and ability to extract feeling and provoke passion and thought. I don’t mind being a multi-layered question as there will always be the possibility of an ultimate answer.
Who am I?
Each day I discover who and what and why and how. Today I am breath, light, air and song. Tomorrow I may be texture, stone, feathers and clay. I am in this moment defined and undefinable. God’s ink blot. Pixels and colors on earth’s canvas. Me.
© 2011 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
A very deep study of self. I love the way you describe you in the last paragraph. Perfect.
Thanks Jan. This question has been nagging at me a lot lately.
You’ve given voice to an exercise that I think we all go through. Some of us probably do it daily and take it to very harsh extremes, the self-judgments, the flagellation, the recriminations, the “Why?/Why not?” questions. I, too, experience disappointment with where I am currently in my life path. I, too, was a gifted child who was “supposed” to succeed at epic levels, with parade fanfare and celebration. I haven’t reached that success yet, and sometimes I wonder if I need to, or if I should. Part of me still wants and desires great big bags of success with lots of bells and whistles. Other moments, I am content, as I see the success being that I continue to survive, continue to prevail, continue to persist, continue to laugh and continue to love. Tomorrow, I may feel impatient for the fanfare to trumpet forth. It’s an endless cycle, I guess. At least on a personal level, I find it to be so. You’re not alone, sister. I think the same thoughts, feel the same questions and yearn the same yearnings. Dare I say that I believe we’re in good company? 🙂
Namaste’, dear one.
Dawn thanks so much for getting me. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my life’s query. Good company indeed… Namaste’ to you as well my sister.
Oh you have touched me deeply and I felt that at the core of my being, something beautiful has emerged…
While doing this soul inner viewing, I also had the same questions formulated in my mind. Again, the famous “Why?” and somehow I couldn’t answer all of them in one sitting. I lay myself bare and allow God to fill those empty spaces in my life.
My wise friends would often tell me to not regret any decisions I made in my life. My dad would constantly remind me how I’ve chosen the path of anonymity instead of success so there goes all the answers to all my questions.
I loved how you’ve described yourself. You are, for me, an artist with a soul and I guess that makes the difference 🙂
Love you Tameka bella!
Melissa thanks so much mamita. It means a lot that you did the soul inner view. I’m glad it touched you. Your presence here is always welcome…
We all want the answers to questions, who am I and what am I doing living? why is all that is happening in my life , happening? The only truth is we dont know and some power does know. We have to trust that power, and the trust will give us the happiness we so much need…
I love that you brought an encouraging conclusion at the end, Tameka. God bless you. 🙂
That was beautiful, especially the last lines. God’s inkblot. You touched me deeply with this one. I feel the same way you do Tameka, something I could never express so well as you did. It is amazing how we keep transforming from what we were, how life unfolds and throws us these curves to deal with and emerge better people. Beautiful Tameka, you are truly gifted my friend.
Damn gal…i wanna hug u right now!!
This article is no less in anyway in comparision to d articles i hv read by celebrity authors.
I loved it TAM…Wanna say keep that attitude n confidence in u TAM….ur novel s gonna get published. I will pray!!
N dats u TAM…deep brown eyes …beautiful!!!
Jerly, so true. Even when we trust, we must remind ourselves to not break it. Life’s questions can be so strong that we may sometimes forget past blessings. That is my daily challenge to always remember those blessed moments.
Thanks Irene. There is always a positive even in the negative, we just have to find it.
Rimly your comments have touched my soul. Thanks so much dear writer.
Manisha! Your words are most welcome at this time. I will not and can not give up on my publishing dreams! Your support is so meaningful! Thank you!
Whew.. This was one of my favorite blogs of all time!!! I feel like I know you but don’t really!!! You are a breath of fresh vibrant air, with a wonderful light that shines out and it is clear you are full of texture!!! A pleasure to read and a greater pleasure to know you even in the limited blogsphere way!!!
Jim, you have touched my heart today! I have at times in my life tried to hide my most inner and precious feelings, but I’m learning so much about myself and others when I share. It is cathartic and a needed release. I’m glad you feel you know me better through these posts. That is the goal! For if I can be laid bare, I can better create more believable characters and craft more poignant poetry!
Moved, edified and inspired, Tameka. You are YOU – beautiful, creative and inspiring Tameka.
Thanks dear Corinne. Overwhelmed with the intensity of the feedback. Blessed and honored.