I’m going to share this “live-writing” stream-of-consciousness post as it is happening.
Here is my attempt to unpack a big ol’ cry that still has my eyes feeling that tired, slightly cool sensation that lingers, like a reminder.
K. For context, I was just watching an episode of Queer Eye where a girl of about 11 years old nominated her dad for the show. The little girl ice skates and is damn good! Her dad is working on showing up for her so Johnathan brings him to the ice skating rink to watch her practice and get tips from none other than Olympic figure skating icon, Michelle Kwan! And it’s an unbelievable, magical moment for the girl, for her dad, for Johnathan and... daggonit... who gets swept up in the emotions? Me.
But my joyful laughing/crying, happy-for-this-lovely-young-lady, morphs ever so smoothly into tears of grief, tears of pain for my own missed opportunities during childhood.
Ugh. Is this because my birthday is coming up in about a month? Again?! Good lord. And the waterworks turn into a full on wail as I go through the moments I felt so alive and connected to gymnastics and dreamed of being an Olympian... All of which was all but shattered by my own father’s words: “It’s too late, you’ll never go to the olympics. Do you know how early those girls start training?” I think on how many times I’ve played that conversation over in my head. I acknowledge that this tape runs through my head even today, and often, and has become a fully realized inner voice applicable to so many of my goals and dreams now.
I cry for my 6 or 7 year old self. I weep for the adult who wrestles with the fear that I’m always too late. That I’ll never achieve it. That I’m not good enough. That I’ll never EVER catch up.
I mourn for the little me that had time, a supple body, a limitless reservoir of possibilities. I wish I could go back in time. Give her everything she needed. Say all the right words, shower her with encouragement and resources, and mentors.
But I can’t go back in time. I have to make it work now. I literally cannot change what’s already happened. And it breaks my heart. It makes me angry. It hurts. And the shittiest part about it is, that’s just the way it is. TIME KEEPS A-ticking. All I can do is move forward now, and I can’t seem to find any solace in that anywhere. Ugh.
I wish I didn’t remember. I wish I didn’t feel it. I wish it didn’t matter. But it does. Ugh.
I forgive him. I forgive both my parents for everything. They were babies themselves just trying to figure it out. They won’t even remember, and probably hardly realize. It’s my burden to bear now. I’m a whole entire adult... and have been for a while now.
E as in elephant
In my own words.
T I M E
T I M E WASTED
T I M E MANAGEMENT
T I M E IS RUNNING OUT
T I M E IS FLYING
T I M E TO FINALLY FIGURE IT ALL OUT
T I M E AS A CONSTRUCT
T I M E IS ON MY SIDE
T I M E IS MY BITCH
T I M E WITHOUT BEGINNING
T I M E WITHOUT END
T I M E
Today is my mother's birthday. Naturally, our conversations in the previous days have been reflections on the passage of T I M E. She and I share similar feelings these days about birthdays coming and going and piling up as they do. So consequently one begins to ponder how exactly the years have been spent, how one has succeeded, failed, survived, thrived and well...wasted countless hours, years, and precious T I M E on fruitless pursuits. But my mother is a survivor! She is a hero, a heroine in the truest most literal definition of those words. She deserves every comfort, every joy; and if I am to be a testament to her indomitable strength, and master the T I M E that I have as Enisha in the pursuit my own version of distinguished success, than my mother will know more comfort and know more joy.
Last night heading from our rehearsal in Beverly Hills, a castmate of mine and I were ruminating about the nature of disagreements. She offered some sage wisdom: "If it's not going to matter in 5 years, why let it bother you for 5 minutes?" I'm pretty sure I have heard that one before but if so it's been years. She is right. It's a wonderful way to diffuse any situation and get back to the heart of the people involved. I put that one in my pocket for a rainy day. But I have to admit, I started thinking about the things that have mattered 5 years later. And how fast 5 years go by. And how much T I M E I have wasted in the past on attempting to hold on to a relationship that was eclipsing my priorities and clouding my judgment. I was thinking in that moment that I am also pretty damn proud that I have learned from old mistakes and have since had the wherewithal to acknowledge a bad thing coming. Ain't nobody got T I M E for wasted time. Not anymore.
On Saturday I made a new determination to wake up earlier. Listen, I am a morning person only when necessary. I typically have no problems waking or being alert and ready to face the day once I am vertical. But maaaannnnnn, I really love sleep. It's delicious. My skin loves it too. However, I am aware that I can accomplish more daytime things with more daylight hours. So, I have been greeting the day about 2 hours earlier than normal, feeding the 4-legged princess of the castle, saying my morning prayers, studying some literature for the sake of my own human revolution, and then getting the day poppin! Yes, I have reclaimed my T I M E!
In April, my grandmother turned 80. I am only allowed to write that because it's only now becoming obvious that she is a grandmother. That she is in fact aging. But the truth is, this woman is ageless, T I M E less! Effervescent and magnificent! Hysterical and glamorous at the same time. I call her by her first name, as do her children, this having been established as the only way to address her long before I came into the world. Trust me when I say, it is the best way to show her the respect that she commands. Man, I love that lady! Anyway, none of us discussed really age when it came to her before now because the number never made sense. It never matched. And frankly it didn't matter. She has managed to make T I M E her .... you know. And I like to think I've got just enough of her in me to be confident that I needn't worry about a thing. Afterall, T I M E might just be a construct of the matrix.
enisha b jane
In my own words.