Get What You Give

I have a confession. For a while, I felt ashamed that I lived in Atlanta. Yea, yea, yea, I know. “Atlanta is such a great city!”, “So many Black people!”, the fanfare commentary can go on and on but hear me out.

I’m from Atlanta. It’s home.

When I graduated from Boston University the last thing I thought I’d be doing was returning home. Getting accepted into BU was my ticket out of the South.  I wanted to exist in spaces that (in my then mind) had more culture, moved faster, and were cooler than home. I felt I deserved that and after applying for job after job in New York, only applying for one in Atlanta and only receiving an offer for the role  back home I was confused. I didn’t get what I thought I deserved or needed to become who I had envisioned myself to be.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE being a Southern girl from Atlanta. I wouldn’t trade it for anything but coming home felt like failure. It felt like my dreams were being dashed and wings ready for flight were cut. I was going back to something I already knew, which appeared to me as an enemy of progress.

When I returned home, it was only supposed to be temporary (as you already know if you’ve read past posts) but as the years passed and my attempts to leave proved futile, my feelings of failure continued to grow. I was making it work but in the back of my mind I refused to give too much of myself to the city that raised me. Well friends, we are thankful for growth and clarity because the saying “you get out what you put in” is true.

For a while I didn’t recognize that I associated my returning home with failure. It had always existed as the strong undercurrent of restlessness and dissatisfaction. By giving more time to submitting and embracing my circumstances, I was unable to unearth, confront and resolve a lot of these feelings and it was then that life started happening. I was putting in more time and giving more of myself and I’ve been much happier and productive as a result. My wings were never clipped, I was just being too stubborn to open them up. My dreams were still relevant but I had to shift my perspective. I can still become the woman I’ve always envisioned myself to be and am indeed becoming her.

For me, this has been another peg in the greater lesson of submitting and not letting circumstances take control of me. It’s the quickest way to block your blessings. I’m supposed to lived a blessed life but that is not exclusively contingent on my location or where I think I should be. While being in certain spaces can dictate some things, it doesn’t control all. It was on me to shift my perspective.

Y’all be blessed.

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