Daughters, Relationships

She’ll Remember 28. What’s Your Number?

I was speaking with my coparent a few weeks ago when he eloquently shared the importance of prioritizing, finding purpose and exercising time management to our teen, who had opened up another social media account without our permission. The first attempt was on Snapchat earlier this year but this most recent one was on TikTok when both he and I knew the narrative about the pros and cons of being on social media had to change. First, we acknowledge and are aware that our teen (like others) is curious about the world around her.

Why can’t I have a social media account,” she asked? “Sweetheart, we are not saying you cannot have one ever but rather waiting until you are mature enough to handle its content is the preferred time,” was my reply. I could clearly see how my reply was welcomed, yet she was not satisfied and the reasoning did not appease her curiosity nor her desire because the ‘outlier’ status she has among her friends isn’t a good feeling. So, as to avoid piling on more sentiments atop what is happening in her friendship circle, her Papa shared a correlation to put things in perspective.

Photo by Black ice on Pexels.com

He said ‘Today my number is 28; I added a year since I turned 57.’

We waited, knowing an analogy would follow. I then silenced my voice and joined forces with his because I knew he had a message that I could endorse. He continued, “I recently asked God to grace me with 85 years. Now at age 57, I have 28 years left. If given the opportunity to see you mature, grow and blossom, you will be 44 years-old. Just imagine how that might look and feel for us, your parents, to witness your adulthood and reflect upon how you manage time, navigate challenges, tap in to your emotional intelligence and accept responsibilities – most, if not all of these milestones, happen when we are teens.”

Before he finished making his point about his number 28 (the balance of his life), our Butterfly understood the message and so did I. It was then she interjected with an emotional whisper, telling us how much she valued our time, while understanding that having a social media account requires a level of maturity she hasn’t reached; appreciated our love deposits; understood the importance of parenting and how finding the balance between being a friend in the parent realm is a delicate balance. Her feedback was clear and unambiguous! It was like an Aha! moment for us all, including he, who had not expected such a reaction.

Conversely, the takeaway for us is to instill, deposit, share, teach, instruct, display and illustrate our walk in parenting. And because my ex- and I are products of the ‘hush-hush’ generation where responding to parents is nearly prohibited, we vowed to break the cycle of remaining mute when God gave us our daughter because a silenced voice or expression will invite neglect, confusion or worse, may lead to unacceptance among other things. Therefore, our 3-person conference call was a discussion, and is never an ultimatum to our daughter because our intent is to rear an independent thinker, who will attempt at opening up another social media account – that is no doubt – but at least in doing so it will be a conscience act and not a trivial one.

Photo by Eugene Shelestov on Pexels.com

What will you do with the balance of your time? As for me – my number is 34. I am also asking God to grace me with 85 years. And at age 51, I have more years behind me than in front, which is why I chose peace over drama, simplicity over complexity, valued relationships instead of quantifiable acquaintances and the list continues. Therefore, although our Butterfly will adopt the habits that may not be to our liking when she becomes an adult, we will always stand by her decision to choose what she believes is correct, which will be in a couple of years.

Hopefully, it will be awhile before we have another ‘social media’ discussion at which time our teen may be preoccupied with something else to hold her attention. Nonetheless, we will continue to give thanks to God for guiding us through challenging discussions and for showing us the importance of validation because the takeaway was just that – our teen’s feelings mattered. And she further learned about why we do what we do and how its done, i.e. coparenting to the best of our ability, while living in different states.

What’s your number?

– Blossom

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Emotions, Healing, Self Esteem, Women

Don’t silence your voice. Ever. Control the volume.

Allowing ourselves to become vulnerable is a challenging pursuit, yet arriving is liberating. To start this blog and tell my story, which is full of faults, self judgement, difficulty and self-disclosure takes a lot of courage. But the interesting thing about my ability to do this is my awareness of how shared knowledge, passed on from and to others, may be the indirect courage another may need to release themselves from suppression.

Prejudices

Remain mindful of your personal story and dare to release anything that is causing a disturbance for you to have a balanced and fulfilled life because the common factor that connects me with you is the one word called life, which is without a map or compass – only historical data to guide us forward, often by learning about the mistakes as we journey along. Thus, I am no different. I choose to write for a public audience in unfiltered territory at the risk of individual prejudices.

Everything we do comes with choices. I chose to share, exchange, encourage, inspire and entice. As with many, I thought I was a somewhat private story until I realize that every experience I have had in my life is in the public domain somewhere for later retrieval. And it is until I digested this reality I began to relax in my trusted environment called writing, which I am committing to do more of each day.

To some, I am perceived as a cordial and cool person. To others, I have been told I am reserved. To persons unknown to me, I hear that I can be unapproachable. Yet, on this Blog, you are offered authenticity! I am me. In the raw. In my comfort zone. In my thoughts. Therefore, to understand me in a face-to-face environment is to know me in different situations at different times because I am not quick to undress my thoughts unless I know they are in good company.

Don't silence your voice. Ever.So, I too, have had to confront fear and judgement and I’d rather be criticized, if at all, for my truths instead of my untruths. So, thank you for helping me to become a better me with the follow and share of my Blog! Remember, whatever you decide don’t silence your voice because it is your sound piece – just be sure to control the volume!

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Relationships

Block Her instead

Heading to see Stephan Speaks to better understand how to rid myself of toxicity for a better me happened yesterday, October 17. I was fresh and ready after arriving home from a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas. I thought “this is freaking cool” to finally witness in person how this phenomenal speaker-, relationship coach could deposit nuggets for me to use and apply to my personal life.

Heading to a ‘Stephan Speaks’ event

I left with a resourceful takeaway that will help me to understand ‘why it is that my headaches recur’ when I am among certain family? The throbbing mostly seems like a constant when her repetitive calls go unanswered that regularly results in unexplained confusion, hurt, and frustration because when I do decide to answer the phone it’s stress about the ‘why, where, what, how and when’ and never about how we can heal us or our family to function in normalcy. Conversely, when I don’t answer the phone it’s the constant voicemails from her about how I need to stay in my lane and not question anything she says or does, although her actions systemically and negatively impacts others. Yet, she never forgets to tell me how my life will be “shortened” because I am that child who supposedly talks back. Ahem.

I can never win with this petite, 5’2″ lady, who is my mother. Therefore, I find it therapeutic to block her phone number instead to exercise peace of mind for me and mine, who stands witness to this dysfunctional relationship. So, attending the function yesterday reaffirms the importance of healing, which “is an emotional detox,” while the other nugget I find useful is to “learn that life is happening FOR you and not TO you!”

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