For the past year or so, I’ve been getting called out about how unavailable I’ve been and how “boring” I’ve grown to be. I’m simply just tired of feeling guilty about it. I’m pretty sure I’ve been called everything from “washed, lame, fake, boring,” everything but my damn name. In my defense, my unavailability is not due to pure laziness or dismissiveness, but the goals that I aspire to reach now that I’m closer to 30 require more time, attention, and discipline. All the memes on social media state that your twenties consist of turn ups, trial and errors, and #teamnosleep, but this twentysomething would like to rest on the other end of the spectrum. I can honestly say I don’t fit the mold of many others around me and I simply don’t have the energy to force a temperament that just isn’t me.
I still know how to kick it and have a good time and engage with people when I’m out, but my priorities have shifted since college where I was easily swayed by the $1 Jager Bombs and Dirty Shirley’s. The roles I play have also shifted and each requires different areas of attention and activity from me.
It’s a shame that I felt the need to explain my frequent absences but to eliminate the possibility of future misunderstandings, here are the reasons behind my “washed up” behaviors:
- I’m a mother. My child will be 7 in just a few months. Her schedule is becoming more demanding, thus, requires a lot more of mommy time. As a single parent, the time that I have is (AND SHOULD BE) spent on ensuring that my shorty is straight. Should something ever happen to me, I’m ensuring that my child will not need for anything nor should my family have to create a GoFund me page to pay for my funeral because I didn’t take care of all of that while I was still here (I have life insurance). I’m thinking about others outside of myself and handling my business as a parent. I don’t have a line of people offering to babysit nor contribute to any school tuition, school clothes, or sports fees so that’s where my focus is. Plus, I’m a firm believer in children adding years to you much like dog years. Right now I am 25 but since my child is 6, I am really 31 years old. All of my parents understand exactly what that means.
- I am a full-time graduate student. I’m taking between 12-18 credit hours each semester because a woman is trying to GRADUATE. Anybody who has been in and graduated from college knows how heavy coursework is – now add a dependent to those responsibilities. My Friday nights have switched from happy hours to hours of reading articles to keep up with class while Lion King is on the screen. I refuse to be that student in class without any thoughts/opinions on the previous night’s reading.
- I have a job. In fact, I have a few jobs. Bills still need to be paid, food still needs to be bought, and savings still need to increase. Employment demands time and limits the already limited time I have to self.
- I’m building a brand. I really can’t even put into words what all goes into this alone. It requires much patience, ability to accept constructive criticism, money, focus, resilience, etc. I want to build a legacy. I want to develop something that will last beyond myself and that will have a great impact. If that means sacrificing a family reunion, birthday party, or a baby shower, so be it.
- I got a man *sticks tongue out and laughs like Cardi B*
- Hell, I’m tired. If you read 1- 5, you should have an understanding as to why. I already have a bad habit of shoving things on my plate knowing I don’t have the room for it but I have such a busy spirit that I don’t know how to say no all the time. The older I get, my body says no for me.
This one is for all of us who get called lame and washed up by close friends and associates who get frustrated when we turn down an evening at the club; for those whose coworkers roll their eyes when you say no to happy hour after clocking out at 5pm because you would much rather caress your living room couch and eat chocolate covered raisins; for those who have to pacify parents/grandparents about not stopping by multiple times a week to check in because you’ve already carved out time to catch up on reading articles for class; for those who feel the need to make up a story as to why they’ve missed Sunday service the past 3 weeks because Sundays are the only day you get to sleep in; for those who get chewed out about not responding to a text when you didn’t intentionally ignore it but you honestly forgot due to your busy schedule; for those who want to tell people no without following it up with an explanation and feeling bad about it.
We are often misunderstood and in a state of confliction because our hearts mean well but it doesn’t come off that way to those who feel neglected by us. We need to be supported during these seasons and even if our habits are not understood, at the very least it should be respected.
This is for those of us who are washed up and proud because we are in a season of sowing, and at the end of every sowing season comes reaping. I’m working towards my harvest so either get beside me and help plant these seeds or gone about your business (or lack thereof)
Sow on. Sow on.