Natasha Bedingfield

"I gave you volume after volume of my work so you can feel my truths"
-Jay Z

So... sometimes... life feels like it likes to play games with your emotions. Sometimes, it feels like no matter how you try and play your hand... she will come along and say "ah, ah, ah... not so fast...". I used to be all too phased by life and her fickle and inconsistent ways. Nevertheless, growth has taught me to try and just ride the waves and still have joy. For the most part I am pretty happy with what God has helped me to cultivate within my soul. Though I am quite sure that I will always be emotional... I have pretty much been able to erase the word "basket case" that used to follow me around like the plague. However, in the words of Usher: "situations will arise in our lives". Though I know that Usher is talking about relationships, that lyric seems to sing it's way into my head even for things that have nothing to do with relationships. The truth is... situations will and do arise in our lives... but as Usher continues to say: "you gotta be smart about it". And, so, a couple weeks ago the rug felt as though it was being snatched from underneath me (situations arising). I try not to worry about things the way I used to. I try to shove things to the back of my mind. It is not that I am not dealing with them. It is more like I realize that I have no control over certain things. I learned long ago that life is only so stable. It wasn't the easiest lesson... but a lesson I learned nonetheless. At some point, the rug snatching did prompt me to break down from stress and exhaustion. Sometimes, it is not so much what is happening around you. Sometimes, it is just the exhaustion of living life and continuously fighting different battles. Sometimes, I feel so worn out from this and that. My little crying session was actually quite cleansing and much needed. Sometimes, you just need to get it out. After that, I prayed to God the next morning... and decided that I was going to be open to whatever was going to happen in my life (I know I'm being a bit vague... it's just some stuff I don't like to talk about in this super open manner online). While the rug seems to have secured itself again... I still know that all of my trust must be in God. I have grown to a point that not much can truly destroy me. I have not been through everything that I could go through in life (and I don't want to) but I've been through enough. I have learned that rock bottom has NOTHING on the restorative power of God!!! Remember Job in the bible (not trying to push my beliefs on anyone)? Job literally lost almost EVERYTHING!!! Then... God gave it all back to him doubly.

Anyway, one day (I believe it was a Sunday) during my tedious time, I was in the shower talking to God. I told you that the bathroom is the place for revelations because of the cleanliness factor. I felt myself reverting back to my old self in the sense that I was playing connect the dots with the past. I used to be guilty of attaching unpleasant events to different circumstances from the past. I am sure you know what I am talking about. You start saying things like: "if only this would have gone differently" or "if that had not happened I'd be in a different place". I went through a period in my life where this was my conversation almost every. dang on. day. The truth is, there are things that truly do affect us in life. Nevertheless, you must give it up to God and let him heal you. For me, that is the only way to move on. I think that sometimes people don't like to acknowledge hurts that they have experienced. I was kind of like that for a while... then I went to the other end of the spectrum and became a basket case for a while. You come to a point where you must fight for your life. I think when it comes to emotional and mental matters, we tend to sweep things under the rug. It's crazy to me how I read stories where people are literally ashamed of being depressed. I understand it... but it's still crazy to me because depression is so real. I feel like we do not deal with our mental health the way we should. BUT we WILL go to the doctor if something is wrong (well some of us do... some don't) physically. People fight physical illnesses with a vengeance all the time. We take preventative measures for our physical health. Well, the mind is just as (if not more) important. Sometimes, the illness that comes to call can actually come from an unkempt mind. Anyway... I am going around the mulberry bush... where was I again... hahaha.

So... I'm going to play connect the dots with the past... when all of the sudden I stopped. I stopped and changed my conversation to something that reflected me not wanting to go back into the past anymore. I could not do it anymore. I felt like I really had to let all of it go and face life from where I was at that moment. NO more attaching the past! And something in my mind just faded to black. Like... I'm not even being dramatic... I think it was in that moment that I decided that I was closing the book on everything. I felt that closing the whole book... shutting down my whole story... was the only way to let it all die. And... honestly... I really don't dwell on certain things anymore. I think that is why having that relapse in the shower made me say that I had to be done once and for all. As the day went on, I thought about how my life really could not be a one book story. Who I am today looks nothing like who I was 10 years ago. I really feel that I am not even in the same book anymore. If you think about it, so many stories are multiple book stories about one person's or one family's life. I should know, I used to read them. Even some of my fictional work is meant to be a series of sorts. I broke my life down into where certain periods. I came up with 2 volumes... and right now I am living in Volume 3. Volume 1 is birth to December of 2005. Volume 2 is January of 2006 to April of 2017. Volume 1 is called: "The Years of Wonder". Volume 2 is called: "Into The Forest". Volume 3 is called: "Natasha Bedingfield". I honestly feel like this is the only way for me to rid myself of the past. This is my Jedi mind trick to myself. I was explaining this concept to a friend the other night. I was telling her that I will only open the past books to teach others. The past volumes of my life are reference points and nothing else. It's funny because I had that scripture that Paul talks about when he is saying something along the lines of pressing forward to the mark of the goal. Then, I was talking to a relative of mine on Easter who recited that same passage to me (without know anything that was really going on with me). No one has time to be looking back... especially not in some "woe is me" fashion. Close the book... fade to black... keep it moving to the next volume. And it is not to say that every volume will not have it's share of trouble. It's just that some things are so far removed from me (us) that I just don't see the need to keep allowing them to make a cameo. As I said, I want to use my life as a point of study and reflection for a greater good... but I am done living in those spaces. 

The reason that I am calling this volume Natasha Bedingfield is because at this point, I am finally okay with my life being unwritten. I have tried it my way. Some things worked... some things did not. I see where my plans was innocently flawed in some situations. I just really am open to whatever comes. I don't know it all... at all. And honestly... I am tired of trying to do what only God himself can do... and that is lead my life. I understand that I must work with Him... I just don't really have all of these concrete plans or answers anymore. I feel like life is better that way because I can't be completely devastated when the eggs that I put in one basket gets knocked over. Life can still hold it's level of sadness... but I am just opening my heart to whatever it wants to bring. I kind of want to bask in the element of surprise. Of course, some things are permanent fixtures in my life. I will always be a writer. I will always be looking for ways to better myself. I will always stalk God. I just don't know if I believe in 5 year plans and things like that anymore. I believe in rough outlines. I think what makes me the happiest is that I am not afraid of life the way that I used to be. I am learning not to shadowbox so much. I have learned and accepted that life will be life. Unexpected. Random. Joyous. Crazy. Cohesive. Unstable. Beautiful. Sorrowful. Mundane. Colorful. Lackluster. Exciting. Raw. Sparkly. Scary. What will tomorrow bring? Well... me going back to work... hahaha. But honestly... as Natasha says: "the rest is still unwritten"... and right now... I wouldn't have it any other way. And  as Jay Z would say: "Thank God for granting me this moment of clarity".




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