Individuals who want to believe that there is no fulfillment in love, that true love does not exist, cling to these assumptions because this despair is actually easier to face than the reality that love is a real fact of life but is absent from their lives
—bell hooks (via changingmydomain)
I read Okwiri Oduor’s short story that won the Caine Prize and have been mulling over this since:
“Everyone has people that belong to them.”
The old man laughed. “Only the food you have already eaten belongs to you.”
I sometimes think we are obsessed with belonging. With owning (people… things…). I truly wonder why.
He said “You’re a flight risk and I can’t chase you anymore. You’ve run too far and I can’t follow.”
I couldn’t blame him. He was tired. He didn’t have the miles in him like me.
Too many doors left cracked open at night. Too many candles left lit in bedrooms empty.
We tried. You can’t say we didn’t try. But the truth is, we were broken long before we ever fell apart.
- You don’t have to achieve great things by the time you’re 25
- You have intrinsic value above and beyond your perceived utility to other people and society at large.
- You don’t have to have sex, or have sex in any way that you find uncomfortable or unpleasant, to keep anyone’s love or good opinion of you. They didn’t love you or think very well of you to start with if they demand it.
- You don’t have to stay with someone who isn’t meeting your emotional or sexual needs because they need you, or you’ve been with them for awhile, or you need to be in a relationship. You need you. Your time is your own and it is finite.
- It’s ok to work at a job you enjoy that doesn’t make you miserable even if it’s not a career and it won’t “lead to anything.”
- Your life is not a narrative. It is not leading to anything, there is no overarching thesis, it does not have themes beyond the usual shared cultural experiences of your time and place. This is ok. It does not mean that your life is without purpose or meaning.
- It’s ok not to like or get along with the vast majority of people you encounter, so long as you afford them the same respect, courtesy and dignity that they afford you.
- Expensive is not always better.
- Failure is temporary if you’re still alive.
- People are both much better and much worse than you’d suspect, but usually not all at once.
- Stop thinking of your future self as a different person and it will be easier to prevent money and health problems.
- Let people help you, lean on them when you need to, and be available to help, but don’t swing too far in either direction. Try to carry your half of the life basket as evenly as you can.
- Set boundaries, and do not be afraid to kick people out of your life who disregard them. You will not end up alone and unloved. People who love you will be ok with your boundaries.
- Your power does not come from money or beauty, but from seeing life steadily and wholly, from a curious and thoughtful mind, and from your ability to say no when you want to, and yes when you want to, and I don’t know when you don’t know.
- There will be bad times, maybe lots of bad times, but not only bad times.
- Love will not heal the wounds in your soul, but love can give you the impetus to begin the work of healing yourself.
- Life might be a long series of starting over, and that’s alright.
- You’re really cool, you’re really beautiful, you’re really special. Really. Not to everyone, but to a lot of someones sometimes.
T.D. Jakes being anointed by Tyler Perry. Behind Jakes is Kirk Franklin, whose body becomes a support beam because Jakes is overcome. So overcome, he even convulses. Perry apparently has the “holy spirit” in him, because he starts speaking in tongues, and was able to transfer it to a preacher, rendering said preacher man incapable of standing. Amazingly, the thousands in attendance all applauded. They got a fine show alright.
Remember the time when Tyler Perry anointed T.D. Jakes and Kirk Franklin had to physically support Jakes because he was overcome and started convulsing? T.D. Jakes lost control of his body and Tyler Perry started speaking in tongues! Serious business.