Chrysalis: Stage 2

This post is about what I learned over the last three years and the importance of the messages in “Fade”.

Fade is about relationships– the relationships outside of Ada and Ezra. Of course, these two main characters are the focal point of the story; but, if you’ve read any of my previous works, I never build a world without support beams. In the first book, “Clear”, I wanted to present Ada and Ezra to you as the raw clay they were. They are who they are in the first story because of the relationships they have experienced from childhood into adulthood.

I chose the titles of these books very carefully; I chose them for personal reasons. In fact, the reason why each upload to Fade was delayed was due to what I was experiencing internally, and I have to say I don’t regret how slow this story has been to come out. Why?

Majority of the time, we write what we know. Ada is the embodiment of my thoughts to a tee. I do not live vicariously through her, but she is actually living vicariously through my life. The events she has experienced, thus far, do not run in parallel to the exact events in my life; however, the emotional journey, feelings of love and how sudden it is, the fights (internal and external), the struggle with identity in herself/career/friends– these events are derivatives of the last three years of my life. So, I’m sharing my emotional journey through Ada, Ezra, and many other characters you meet on the way.

But now… things have changed in a way where I have been able to find peace and confidence within myself. Every single chapter– and I mean every one– in Fade has its reason. These are experiences I want to share and discuss with the readers because I’m not sure I’ve ever come across an individual who has not hit a point where they have wanted to fade into an oblivion that has left them feeling like there was nothing left.

But then there were tunnels and there were lights.

Many of my emotional trials and tribulations came from where I was in my career. Where I was was not the issue; it was with whom. The relationship was not romantic, but it was just as disparaging as if it was. I entered into a domain, completely open to sharing my happiness, time, talents. But in no time did I want to escape from clutches that were already too deep. I wanted to go, but I would easily conclude that I was the problem. I wanted to prove that I was literally worth having around. But no matter what I did, I was made to feel that I was never going to be good enough. Truth is, I allowed myself to think this way.  

One day, during a one-to-one sit down, I heard, “We give raises to people who prove themselves to be a valuable asset to the company.”

I looked them in the face, and took a long pause.

I felt ill, and I can still remember the feeling.

Yet… they kept me around. I was making no progress to them, but they felt constant reminders of a higher title were effective and threats of termination were better than the actual execution of it.

For the following two years, a dear friend sent me job application links almost every day. I would open them, but never follow through because I was scared to be told I really was not worth much of anything outside of where I already was.

When I was finally too tired to keep it in, I shared the lack of confidence in myself, and I saw how much I disappointed and saddened the people closest to me. They couldn’t believe it because I never shared how deeply ingrained my lack of confidence rested within. I was seen a pillar, and it didn’t make any sense to them. The flood of support was incredible, but there was a problem.  

What I was receiving sounded familiar; it all mirrored the words I’ve said to them before.

I could dish out the love, but I couldn’t take it and believe it? Things had to change. I saw how quickly my sadness became theirs, so I adopted their hopes and wishes to make sure that I could find a genuine happiness that would not let me see them be hurt that way again.

I had to truly be happy with myself and happy with what I could provide or else what I gave to the people I loved wouldn’t match my inside. I worked with being alone with my thoughts. I worked with shutting down the ego that made me doubt everything I wanted to believe, and I discovered the relationship with myself that I had been pushing away for my entire life. Regularly, I said aloud, “I’m better than this.” Because I was. I was better than the nine-to-five power play that directly and indirectly affected other aspects of my life.

If I didn’t believe in myself, who else really could? How you think affects what you say and especially what you do.

After months of me going within and cementing my worth, I suddenly heard a long-winded translation of, “You’re a bad designer.”

I looked them in the face, and took a long pause.

I felt nothing, and I can still remember the feeling.

Despite the conversation in that meeting, the true fear was not with me. In fact, it never was. I knew exactly why they said what they said and why they did what they did. My lists of strengths were too long for insecurities, that did not belong to me, to mean a single thing.

This week I able to put in my resignation notice.

After three years, I did it. I fell down, I stayed on that ground, but then I finally got up. I got up because I couldn’t believe that I was letting someone else’s obvious hurts affect my life in a way that made me believe I could not do better then them.

And trust me, I have definitely done better than what I thought I could ever achieve. Not only have a found a new place that wants my creative offerings, but also they want the contributions that come from my brain. They want me to speak, to be heard, and to shine.

The cement has dried. I can’t be moved because I know my worth, have shown that I know it, and they love it.

I believe that mental health should always be taken into consideration. We have to take care of ourselves as best as we can. I want to take care of myself because I understand the power in believing in myself and how it can lift others around me. I was surrounded by help and love for so long, but it wasn’t until I turned around and sat with myself to figure things out that I was able to free myself.

All of the people who wanted me to rise had their own stories to tell. Their journeys and expressions of them permitted me to feel unworried about the path I was on. And with that comfort, I feel safe in sharing my personal stories with others.

With that, I hope those that have decided to read about Ada and Ezra understand the importance of “Fade” and why I’ve decided to let these caterpillars enter into their next stage.

*

Not long ago, I read a comment that said, “You really like 3’s”.

And to be completely honest, after all of what I’ve been through, “3” is truly divine. I can tell many stories with that number…

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