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Unbox Me!

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

If I post a sexy picture on Instagram, I am still a wife! If I go out with my girlfriends and have an absolute ratchet blast, I am still a good mom! If I like ratchet music, I am still a spiritual being.

Can we normalize taking our own expectations off of other people? Whatever it is that we’ve identified as what a wife looks like, what the perfect parent should do, whose a thot, whose not Godly enough….like honestly it’s all just way too much. I remember one time someone pissed me off and I posted on social media about it and allowed a little tiny bit of my ratchet side to show. Lol Someone said to me in my DM, “you’re a businesswoman, you shouldn’t act that way.” While I understood the intent, it is simply just not what I subscribe to.

Regardless of if I have a bad day or not, lash out or not, get pissed or not, I’m still a businesswoman! One moment doesn’t take that away. If I post a sexy picture on Instagram, I am still a wife! If I go out with my girlfriends and have an absolute ratchet blast, I am still a good mom! If I like ratchet music, I am still a spiritual being. Like who made these rules that once you become one thing, every other part of who you are gets stripped away? We elevate and grow, sure, but the contents of our character don’t really change that much.

I don’t care how much money I make, how many board rooms I sit in, how many contracts I secure, or how many white people I live around, I’m still going to be part ghetto, and I ain’t sorry. I’ve made all of these strides being exactly who I am and I don’t intend to conform now. If YOU decide for yourself that you want to change certain things about YOU as you grow and advance, that is wonderful. But what you will not do is decide what changes about me. I am the only person who decides that, and catch this, in my own time.

I was having a conversation with a close friend recently and he mentioned a girl who had posted herself in a thong bikini on Instagram shortly after she posted a major accomplishment. His comment was “I just don’t think she should’ve posted that with all the good stuff she has going on.” My response: First of all, she can post whatever the hell she wants! Second, her bikini picture takes absolutely nothing away from achievements. She STILL achieved it. And we’re STILL proud of her. And now she’s on vacation living her best life and there is nothing wrong with that.

None of us are all of one thing. I don’t care who you are. Everyone has layers to them. I think it’s perfectly fine and really should be encouraged to explore all of those layers. I’m boujie and ghetto. I’m sophisticated and ratchet. I’m a Christian and I will still curse you out. I’m from the hood and now live in the suburbs. My neighbors hate to see it! LOL I speak proper English and fluent Ebonics. I buy expensive high-end things, and I also shop at the dollar store. I’m a gym rat and still sneak my sweets in. I love to wear heels and sneakers. I wear weaves as well as 10-year natural fro. I’m super liberal and a registered gun owner. I’m a wife with a lot of male friends and I hate all things domestic. So to all the unmarried rule givers on social media of what a wife has to do, I’ve been married over 10 years without playing by any of your rules. Take that! LOL

We get so wrapped up in what other people are doing and I’m just questioning the productivity in that. What are you getting out of it? You know the type that every time you do something they feel the need to say “ I would never.” My response is always weeeellllll, that’s why you’re YOU and I’m ME. And guess what, everyone still lives! You see how that works?

For my own sanity, I’ve been cutting people off as soon as I hear anything that might irritate me. Ok friend, gotta go. Bye! I don’t mind hearing people out, but once I’ve made a decision, if you know me, you know there is no changing it. Further, I only trust and invite very few people into an intimate space like that where I actually care what they have to say. VERY FEW! They know who they are and if you’re not one of them, quite frankly I don’t want to hear from you. #respectfully It’s not because I can’t take criticism because I definitely can. It’s just that everyone is not called to be an intimate part of your life and letting the wrong people into that space can be damaging. My discernment never steers me wrong on that so if I don’t trust your insight and your intentions, I will kindly tell you to mind your business.

I’m in a place now where I challenge everything. I want every single thing I do to be authentic to who I am and not who society says I should be. I find that any time I do anything against the norm, I always have to explain myself because most people’s brains can’t fathom a person who thinks and makes decisions for themselves. For instance, when women say they don’t want children, people chastise them like crazy. I’ve seen it way too many times to count and I’ve never understood it. They begin drilling her and once again, she finds herself having to defend her own wants out of life. That isn’t fair. The answer should be, I don’t want children because I don’t want them. The end. And while we’re on the topic, a whole lot of other people shouldn’t have wanted children either.

When we’re born we’re told what religion we are by our parents and also what to believe in. Then we go to school and we’re taught all the fake history that they’ve decided we should know, nothing authentic about who we really are or where we really come from. Then society tells us that we have to go to college, get a good job, get married, buy a house, have children, and work for someone else for the rest of our lives until we retire. When we get excited about the idea of full-time entrepreneurship and run it pass people we love, they often try to talk us out of it. Let me be clear on this part, they’re not talking you out of it because they don’t love you. They are talking you out of it because of the limitations that they’ve put on their own selves, their own fears, their own insecurities, and their own experiences.

I woke up one day and decided that I was tired of just going along to get along. I decided that there had to be more to life than just going to work, paying bills, and raising kids. If we’re honest, many of us made certain decisions because it was society’s idea of what came next for us in life. Or it might’ve been mama’s plan and we always want to make her happy. The question now is, what about YOUR happy?

My happy means freedom. That means freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of expression, freedom from labels and even freedom to blaze my own trail. I accept nothing less than the freedom to make my own mistakes and learn from my own failures. In other words, I WANT OUT OF YOUR BOX! I am no longer playing by societal rules or adhering to limitations placed on me by other human beings who aren’t my God, be it family or not.

I am in an exploration phase of life and I am challenging EVERYTHING! I challenge everything that I was ever taught growing up. I challenge religion and where I really stand on it. I challenge my belief systems, including my political beliefs. I challenge my friendships and those I choose to invest my time and energy with. I challenge the societal constructs of marriage and what it should look like. I challenge gender roles and how much of it I allow in my space. I challenge my motherhood and the way I choose to raise my children, what I choose to expose them to and how I encourage them to express themselves.

Too many parents have a life mapped out for their children before they even enter the world and the first time they move in a way different than YOU had planned for them, you don’t know how to handle it. You ever think that they have a mind of their own, even if you did conceive them?

We have this sense of ownership over people, especially those closest to us (spouses and children) and we expect them to perform in the ways we envision. When they don’t we end up heartbroken and disappointed. Hear me, we do not own anyone! You may have a level of authority over them temporarily but eventually they are going to do whatever it is that they want. I’d rather help to shape their perspectives while I have the influence so that when they leave my house, they are prepared for life, not busy trying to undo all the constraints I’ve placed on them. Oooohhh I hope y’all didn’t miss that!

Every day I make intentional decisions to reshape my life so that it is exactly what I want it to be. The only approval necessary is God’s. I love that I always have the support of my husband, but even his approval is not required. I challenge you to ask yourself why you just go along with whatever other people think you should do as well.

Why are you a Christian? Why are you a Muslim? Why are you Atheist? Why are you Democrat? Why are you Republican? If the answer to any of these is because it’s how you grew up, you have some digging to do. Trust me, I’ve been digging a lot myself! Because I was raised that way simply isn’t good enough for me anymore.

Why did you get married? Why are you single? Why did you have children? Why did you choose your career path? What are your next steps in love and life? Why? These are questions you should ask yourself and be sure that everything you did was for the right reasons and with the right intentions. If not, it’s not too late to acknowledge it and correct it.

I challenge you to challenge yourself. Don’t get me wrong, everything does not need changing. If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix. But please dig and make that decision for yourself. I am free from unhealthy boundaries, other people’s limitations, relationships that no longer serve me, and the need to be anything other than me authentically. Ironically, as selfish as it sounds, I’ve become a better wife, mother, sister, and friend because of it. I’m doing 2021 my way. Will you do the same?

From One T.U.F.F chick to another,

Michelle L.


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