I feel like this might be in contrast with what I wrote yesterday, but I don’t think it is.
If you follow me on Instagram, you would probably know I went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for my spring break last week (which is part of the reason why I didn’t write on here for an entire week). Myrtle Beach is slowly developing a bad rep, but that didn’t stop me from going with my friend and having a good time.
During this trip, I fell in love with the ocean. There is something about standing next to a giant body of water and taking in the sights and sounds of your surroundings that I find so peaceful. I went on this trip with one of my dear friends I’ve made in college, and she accidentally captured this picture of me standing by the ocean. I remember this moment. At this time, I was taking in the tranquility the ocean provided and receiving a lot of clarity about a lot of things.
- I realized I’m not thriving; I’m simply surviving. I’m going through each day mundanely. I’m not doing stuff I’m passionate about, like my writing and fashion and etc.; I’m not excited about life anymore, and I want to be. There hasn’t been much spontaneity lately to spice things up. Literally, I’m floating day-by-day with my eyes half-opened (because I’m sleep deprived). I whine and complain more in conversations than excitedly discuss stuff I actually love. People are constantly like, “Jamilah, come do this with me” or “Jamilah, I want to go here; go here with me.” I go with them like a mundane potato who is just sitting in the sack waiting to be chopped up; I don’t want to be a mundane potato. I envision so much more for myself; sometimes I can see a future where I am full of vivacious energy and am inspiring others with what I do/who I am. How can I inspire others when I’m not thriving and making strides towards creating the life I have envisioned for myself? I’m surviving, and I want to do more than that.
- My body is sexy; I need to own it. Not everyone is going to think my body is sexy, and that is perfectly okay. That little patch of fat that sits at the bottom of my torso that I can easily use as an arm rest? Yeah, that’s sexy; I freaking love it. I fell in love with my body a couple of years ago, but I didn’t realize how I lacked body confidence until it came time to take the white bathing suit cover-up off; it would be my first time wearing a bikini set in public. My friend could do it with ease, which was so inspiring and had me awestruck. As I was staring at the water, I had to talk myself out of my insecurities, so I could take the cover-up off. As the days progressed, it got easier. Still, owning the sexiness of my body in public is going to take some time.
- My body is my temple, and I need to take care of it. As I took in my surroundings, I realized how much I have slacked off in taking care of my body. I’ll tell myself to work out and then never do it because I don’t set aside a simple hour to workout; I started prioritizing my work over my temple. If I don’t take care of my temple, I won’t be able to keep working. My temple is really dirt right now; I’ve been eating anything instant, which has recently consisted of vending machine chips, frozen burritos, pasta, and hamburgers from a food truck. I need to transform into the best custodian ever and clean my temple. Then I need to turn into a security guard to make sure it stays safe and doesn’t get disgusting again.
- Toxic people will try so hard to get back in your life after you’ve kicked them out. Sometimes they try to guilt trip you into crawling back, and they try to make you seem like the problem. You’re not the problem. Before the trip, I received something from someone I deem toxic in my life. I tried not to let it affect me as we continued our journey to the the beach, but it kind of did. It wasn’t until this moment when I was lost in the waves of the ocean that I really allowed my brain to respond to the situation and was able to sort out my thoughts. Toxic people, even if they are family, are still toxic; there is a quote I once heard on The Fosters that went a little something like, “DNA doesn’t make us a family; love does,” and that quote sticks with me. With the toxic people in my life, I need to figure out a way to get them out for good because they are simply tearing me down with them, and I don’t want that for myself. I wouldn’t want that for anyone.
- You can’t connect intimately over social media. To be straight forward, I used to post certain things on social media to get a certain guy’s attention. I wanted to spark intimate conversations with him and used social media posts as a catalyst. I don’t talk to that guy anymore; in fact, I unfollowed him on everything. Still, as someone who strives to get married and be in a relationship one day, I often think back to that time. During this moment at the beach, I received clarity about the whole thing and realized any intimate conversation I want to have with someone I’m interested in needs to happen face-to-face; I used social media as a clutch because I fear rejection.
- Falling in love is a tricky thing, especially if the other person doesn’t know. This is a recent romantic situation I’ve experienced, and while staring at the ocean, I realized just how complex falling in love with someone is if the other person doesn’t know. Going along with the last learned lesson, it’s even more complex if you haven’t had an intimate conversation with said person and don’t actually know what he/she is like. Trying to throw signals at this person does not do anything (actually, it has the potential to send you straight to the friend zone). I preach patience to others, and when it comes to falling in love and finding my life partner, I too need to be patient.
- Old habits do not belong in a new era. For a few moments, I started thinking about the Jamilah before college. I began thinking about how she would handle certain situations and how she would dress and if she would be daring enough to agree to go to Myrtle Beach with someone she’s known less than a year. As if I was in a trance, I snapped out of it (or maybe I have the squawking bird to thank for that). Then, the first line of this paragraph came to mind, and since we’ve been back from Myrtle Beach, that sentence plays on repeat in my mind, among many other things. It doesn’t matter what I would’ve said or done; I am evolving into a new, better version of the Jamilah before college. She still lays deep within me, but I’m not the same person I used to be; I’m better. I need to remember that next time my brain wants to travel to the past.
- At the end of the day, numbers don’t matter. If you can’t tell, many things floated through my head while I listened the beautiful sounds of the ocean. In the midst of this, I started breathing very heavily, almost like I was hyperventilating; it felt like the beginnings of a panic attack. What brought this on? I started thinking about how I’m going to turn twenty in three months. To not freak my friend out, I started calming myself down. Then I started thinking about how numbers don’t really matter; the only time they slightly matter are when you have to pay your bills, and there isn’t enough money in your bank account. Age is just a number, and it doesn’t matter; I’m not going to turn into someone completely different when I reach the day for me to turn twenty. If anything, I’ll probably fall into routine with a new job and have to go to work. There are so many numbers in the world that simply don’t matter. Instagram followers? Doesn’t matter. Likes? Doesn’t matter. Followers on any other social media platform? Doesn’t matter. Pieces of candy you got out of the candy jar when you grabbed a handful? Doesn’t matter. Pages in the book you’re reading? Doesn’t matter; don’t focus on the numbers, and just finish reading it. The experience or the quality or the memory of something or literally anything is way more important than numbers you had to learn.
- You have to let go. This was the last thought I had while standing on the shore before turning back to chill with my friend. Death is incredibly hard for me, especially when it comes to my family. There are a couple of relatives that are getting up there in age and have health problems, and I often get severely anxious (sometimes I have anxiety attacks) about when they will pass. Of course, I don’t want to see them go; in my ideal world, we’d all go at the same time, but I know it won’t happen that way. I can’t get stressed and worried about it now. When the time comes, I have to let them go and trust that I’ll see them again.
Needless to say, a lot went on in my head while I watched the water and took the tranquility my surroundings provided. The clarity I received on so many issues and thoughts I had is reason enough for me to go back to the beach. It was so incredibly peaceful, and if you are able, I recommend going to the beach. Stand at the shore where only your feet can get covered by water and simply take in your surroundings. Be in the moment, and mentally free yourself.