It’s been a while since I’ve done a #TransformationTuesday so I thought this before and after would only be fitting since my modeling career is blooming right along with me. A lot has changed since the pictures on the left so let’s take it back a couple years to 2017 and I’ll paint the context. I was fresh in my #BloomingUnapologetically journey. I filed for divorce that January, which for me was the key that released me to fully pursue me. It set the tone for me to step outside my box or better stated, crawl from under my rock. Modeling was a childhood dream of mine that I buried because I was told being plus sized wasn’t something I should celebrate or acknowledge. Due to that belief, most of my life I battled with my weight and hid behind clothes that would downplay my curves and plus size figure. Modeling didn’t even cross my mind again until I chose to pursue my dreams and conquer my fears as I began this healing journey. The end of my marriage served as the catalyst that I needed to propel me to be the best me. I decided that I would face my biggest battles with my fluctuating weight and address the root of my lack of confidence.
For Transparency Tuesday I’m going to let y’all in on an internal battle I’ve been fighting recently. Although I am #BloomingUnapologetically and have undergone much healing, there are still wounds that are tender. I’m brave enough to admit that I am battling some insecurities. Believe it or not it's not about my body image or self perception, the specific wound I want to uncover today is my trust in men. Now I want to qualify what I mean. Do I think all men are dogs, no. Do I think it is impossible to be honest and faithful, no. All I’m saying is that I haven’t seen any of my ex’s and the devil in the same room. I’m joking but you get the gist. I merely haven’t had many positive experiences with men and in order to generate positive experiences I have to be open to them. This is my point. I swear I’m open but I’m really not. The simple thought makes me retreat with my white flag up. The thought of trusting someone again scares me. Like literally gives me anxiety. I become distant. I may even run away. I realize this is a problem and this is me openly admitting it. Now one thing I know from experience is to overcome fears you have to openly address them. I know there is no way to conquer this or get on the other side of the mountain except to go through it. This is where my analytical mind is getting the best of me. There are too many what ifs and unanswered questions. I literally would have to take a gamble with my heart and pray I don’t come up with the short end of the stick again. That is where the letter I posted on IG last night stemmed from. I was in that moment, writing to my future soulmate letting him know the battles I am fighting to get to him.
I remember the days when the separation from my ex husband was still new and I had just found additional proof of infidelity. My emotions began with devastation, reached infuriated and settled down with a interjection of maturity. If I could’ve quoted how I felt at that moment I’d title it “Somewhere Between F*** You and Forgiveness”. An array of emotions between dumbfounded and pettiness all crossed my mind and there was no resolution but to work through how I felt. I admit, it took a few months to process but it was my responsibility to heal beyond that. Staying there would’ve only prolonged my healing and I refused to let him or his actions have any more power over me. So cold turkey I refocused my energy. I removed my attention from the pain of what he did to me, to achieving peace. One thing I’ve learned over my #BloomingUnapologetically journey is that healing comes in waves. It does not happen all at once. Some days will feel unbearable. Some days will feel absolutely liberating. But most days will be a balance of both in between. I’ve had to adapt to taking days as they come. No feeling or emotion that you feel is wrong, it is just your truth at the moment. It is your responsibility to own it, embrace it and continue to level up. Even if you are the victim, healing has to begin and end with you but to even get to that point you have to uncover your hidden wounds.
Yesterday on my way home from work a feeling that I've never felt before crept over me. I was standing on the subway a few stops in when I began to notice all the young husbands and wives around me. They weren't coupled up but as individuals on their commute home from work. My mind wandered as I imagined what their marriage was like. Would their spouse be home waiting to greet them at the door. Would dinner be on the table or is tonight an impromptu date night. I began to think of my experience as a wife. I actually loved being a wife and might I add, despite the outcome of my marriage now, I was damn good at it too. I remember anticipating my ex husbands arrival home. I would be there waiting for him with open arms ready to embrace him with my love, hugs and kisses. I remember the surprise gifts I would give him and particularly gummy worms being his favorite. Our weekly date nights were Tuesday evenings which also happened to be my favorite day of the week. I remember being excited to come home to him and snuggling up to his 6'4 frame and body heat. I remember mornings being the hardest. I'm always cold and his warmth was preferred over any blanket. I enjoyed hearing about how his day went and his excitement as he shared with me his new music. I made it a habit to pray over him as he slept and I addressed him as a king so that he'd never forget. I prided myself in being his peace and voice of reason whether he utilized me or not. Even on our darkest days from the outside looking in you couldn't tell we were falling apart. I vowed to be a demonstration of love even in the midst of our hardships. I loved the hell out of him and I vowed to the rest of my life. By the time I got to my stop, tears had welled up in my eyes and I came to the realization that I miss being a wife.
So the gate is open and the chains have been broken, but where does that leave me? Honestly, I'm in the doorway looking out at my freedom and its vast possibilities but stuck between dreams and reality. It’s been a week since my divorce has been final but I can't say that it has really hit me yet. I am still a bit numb. Like it is officially over? Like really over? Like I'm really done!? I know I did a good job of concealing the depth of the troubles in my marriage. I know that God's grace made it look like what I went through wasn't a big deal and maybe didn't even warrant a divorce but the truth is the depth of my marriage woes were ugly and painful. I never thought I would leave. I never thought that I would stop trying. I never thought that I would move on and at a point in time I couldn't even fathom what that looked like or how I would even take the first step. I was under the impression that all that I was going through was what I deserved and it ultimately became my normal. I began to think that I didn't deserve love and that I would never know what love from a significant other felt like. At my breaking point, I remember asking God this can't be all that you have for me. This can't be all that I deserve and this definitely can’t be a reflection of your love. I felt unloved, I felt neglected, I felt worthless and I was emotionally tapped out. I had poured out all that I could to save our marriage the first time and he still hadn't changed, he still hadn't forgiven me and he no longer wanted to try. Despite my unbreakable demeanor, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and being on the receiving end of his bitterness. The little hope left in me led me to believe that I deserved more and the truth set in that I wasn't going to get it from him. He tapped out long before I did but I had finally mustered up enough courage to throw my towel in too. I didn't care that it made me look like a failure. I didn't care that people to this day would be saying I told you so. I was dying inside and desperate to live.
I’m going to be real transparent right now. There is one thing that bothers me from my divorce. It's a pain that I try and ignore and today I was required to address it. Breydan woke me up routinely with his morning cuddles. He told me good morning, he loved me and that I was beautiful all while laying on my back, cheek to my cheek and his arms around my neck. I think that was him prepping me for the blow he was about to dish out. He saw my phone on the edge of my bed, sat up and asked me if we can call his “bald headed daddy.” That is what he calls my soon to be ex husband. Caught off guard and wanting to retreat under my covers, the first time he asked, I ignored him. The second time he asked I looked around for my sister who usually comes to rescue me and divert his attention when he asks questions like this but she was in the shower. The third time he asked I finally mustered up the courage to address him. I told him that daddy and I are no longer together. That we weren’t going to be married anymore and he won’t be coming back. That’s when he hit me with the punch in my throat, figuratively, but might as well have been real. With sadness in his eyes he asked me if he was still his daddy and for that I could only answer, only if he wants to be.