Being told to trust the process is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever heard.
I’m not sure if this is because I grew up in the boom of the social media age but when I want something, I want it instantaneously. I put my work in dammit, now where is my reward????????????????????????????
But, that only works on Instagram.
Instant gratification is defined as the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment.
And we all deal with it at some point in our lives, whether we realize it or not. For example: I once knew a guy who started a t-shirt line this summer. He had all these big plans about how he would sell out instantly, because so many people knew him and were already familiar with him because of his photographer/videographer skills. Well, when he released the shirts, imagine his shock, surprise, and denial when he sold not one shirt. I mean he was pissed! He started calling people around him unsupportive and instead of brainstorming ways to market his shirts better or find his niche audience, he quit.
He and I had a talk about it, and I told him “Ya know if you gave up your need for instant gratification, you’d enjoy this process much more.”
He wasn’t trying to hear all that though!
He felt like if he wasn’t selling out from day 1, then he might as well quit while he was ahead. He considered himself not good at his new business venture, and then he started comparing himself to other entrepreneurs who were not only popular on social media, but had also been in the t-shirt business for years.
Raise your hand if the need for instant gratification has ever made you give up on something because you didn’t see instant results.
Anybody else guilty of comparing ourselves to others when we don’t even have even half of the work ethic? Or talent? Or clout?
The reason why we do all this is because of instant gratification.
I remember a couple of years ago, my dramatic ass considered stopping as a writer because I once had a blog post go viral and then everything I wrote after that didn’t go viral which led me to believe that no one was paying attention to me or my content.
Instant gratification had me thinking that after blogging for 5 years at the time, all my content needed to have a big reaction because I had been working hard for yearssssss and dammit I wanted that validation. The applause.
People posting me all over their social media. All that.
But again, that’s not how any of this works.
When something is created to last, there’s never a moment when you’re not working hard.
I saidddddddd: WHEN SOMETHING IS CREATED TO LAST, THERE IS NEVER A MOMENT WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING HARD.
It’s like I told my friend with his t-shirt line, once we get past our need for instant gratification, we can then enjoy the process even more.
Also, did ya’ll know that instant gratification is a form of self-sabotage? For example: You might procrastinate on completing a task or goal because you don’t see the immediate pay off or you might get distracted by the short-lived attention you receive from something and then don’t have a clear plan on how you want to expand upon it.
But I guess you’re wondering, how do I get over my need for instant gratification? For me, I’ve tried:
- Unplugging from social media ~ Sometimes you just gotta delete the apps from your phone for a few days and just get to work. When used responsibly, social media can be a fun place to connect with others. When you spend too much time scrolling, you’ll find yourself consciously or subconsciously comparing yourself to other people and you still not getting work done. Unplug, go outside, and sit with your thoughts for once. You’d be surprised on how much clarity and direction you can gain once you sit with yourself.
- Remember that everything is a stepping stone ~ This is something I struggle with. The process truly fucking sucks at times, yet we are still supposed to find joy in it?? While I could dwell on that, the truth is that struggle is temporary. Trust that whatever roadblocks you had to endure is absolutely necessary, so no sense in resisting it.. even though you’re not wrong for wishing things could be easier.
- Think about what type of success you want~ A Drake song once said: All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” so think about what type of success you want! Do you want timeless success or do you want overnight success that’s here today and gone tomorrow? As I said, when you are creating things to last a long time, there’s never a moment you’re not working hard.
With that being said, instant gratification is nothing more than another distraction, sent to see how you are simply gonna act. Are you gone push pass this distraction? Are you gonna fold and succumb to the comparison trap? Or are you gonna get caught up in wanting things now that you don’t even look at the blessings in front of you?
Trying to turn dreams into realities is not easy, but I do know it’s worth it.
And if you wanna build something that’s gonna last, just remember:
All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.
Have you ever had a moment where you’ve wanted instant gratification? What was it about?
How do you overcome or manage it?
What advice would you give someone that struggles with instant gratification?
Accountability only sucks when you aren’t ready to own up to your shit.
I learned this lesson the hard way when a home girl of mine called me out on some shit I was doing and instead of deflecting and trying to bring the attention back on her….. I had to sit with that shit.
And reflect some more.
And then make the necessary changes.
And lemme tell you, my ego was bruised and pissed!
Cuz what the hell you mean I ain’t perfect and I be fuckin’ up and sometimes I lack self-awareness, and my actions don’t only affect me?
But yeah, it’s true.
And I do be fuckin’ up. Like a lot.
And sometimes I am so focused on me and what I want and how I feel about things, that I rarely take the time to pause and think about how my actions impact others.
But one thing I do know is this: when people take the time out to hold you accountable, that means they love you. Because if they didn’t give a fuck about you, they wouldn’t say a word. They would continue to watch you self-destruct and mind their business.
So the next time you find yourself getting defensive because someone is calling you out on your shit, or making sure you finish what you start, or even asks you to pause and reflect on your behavior, remember this:
- You are NOT perfect.
- They are NOT wrong for saying something to you.
- It is better to be corrected by someone who cares for you than to be corrected by someone who doesn’t.
Accountability is what separates the adults from the children, even though there are some incredibly childish adults out here.
It’s easy to blame everything and everybody else for your fuckups but if you truly want to grow, you have to cut that shit out eventually.
Self-accountability is not something you develop overnight. Like most things, it starts with you having a particular mindset. Once you are able to program your mindset from victim to a more mindful person, everything starts falling into place.
As I’ve said throughout this series: You cannot run away from yourself forever. Holding yourself accountable may uncover some harsh truths about yourself, but I’m learning that it makes you better in the long run.
- Would you rather hold yourself accountable or would you rather have someone else close to you do it?
- What about accountability is hard for you?
- What tips would you give someone trying to develop accountability within themselves?
Have ya’ll ever met a mf that no matter what, it’s ALWAYS some shit going on in their lives? Like no matter what, you can always count on them for a wild story, wild situation, just complete CHAOS?
I got a confession though:
It’s me. I’m that person I just talked about above.
My name is Kia Smith, and I am addicted to creating chaos in my life.
It’s like when my life is a bit too peaceful or “boring” I’ll do shit just to keep it spicy…. which is well, sick.
Cuz what sane person would just purposely try to create mess in their lives as a form of entertainment and excitement?
Me and my therapist discuss this often….. I was born in chaos. Lived through chaos. Never really knew what peaceful times were and deep down inside, I may or may not be afraid to figure out what peace looks like for me.
So when things get a little too quiet…. I’ll purposely shake shit up.
But that creates an unhealthy cycle because once the fire burns everything, it is me who has to pick up the pieces. Ain’t no superheroes coming to save me.
One would think that if I know that, I wouldn’t create chaos.
But ya’ll know how the saying goes: A hard head creates a soft ass.
But…. I wanna do better. I wanna be better. My life is already difficult enough at times…. No sense in making it even harder right?
So where do I go from here, is the million dollar question.
A while ago on my Instagram, I posted a graphic about how peace is my new normal. This is a concept I learned in therapy. Essentially, it relates to this: Just because you’ve been accustomed to doing something a certain way or living your life a certain way, does not mean that you can’t change it whenever you want. This is called “creating a new normal”
Another thing I am learning is that I am deserving of a peaceful life. I don’t have to settle for the chaos I’m used to. So many of us choose to engage in chaos because deep down inside, we feel like we don’t deserve good things. But that’s simply not true.
It all starts with our beliefs, we have to change them in order to change the trajectory of our lives.
We do deserve all the goodness life has to offer us, we just have to actively choose it.
Speaking of choices, this brings me to my last point: I have to remember that I ALWAYS have the power to choose. I am in control of where I go, who I allow in my life, discussions I engage in, boundaries I want to maintain and cross, etc. It’s all on me, no one else. Every choice I make is followed by a consequence whether good or bad.
Breaking addictions is hard, doing the work is fucking hard.
All in all though, you gotta know that life doesn’t have to be chaotic all the time, it can be chill too and still worth living.
Since I wrote all this down though, I am committed to kicking this crazy addiction to chaos once and for all. Wish me well on my journey, I’m gonna need it.
- Are you guilty of creating chaos in your life? If so, why do you think you do it?
- If you removed all the self-inflicted chaos in your life, what would you replace it with?
- Do you think someone can actually kick an addiction to chaos? What are some tips you may have to manage it?
It was once believed that to have someone was better than having no one. Because, who wants to live and die alone?
This is a society that prizes partnership and being with someone, and truth be told, we do need people. I personally don’t think that life is meant to be spent alone.
When the desire to not to live or die alone is powered by fear, that’s when it becomes a problem.
That’s when you start accepting just any-old-body into your life, because for some reason you believe that having someone in your life is better than having no one– and not just for romance but all types of relationships– friends and family members too.
Fear of being alone creates a lack of boundary setting.
Fear of being alone creates the inability to do things by yourself.
Fear of being alone can cause you to settle.
Fear of being alone can prevent you from developing self-awareness.
To keep it real with you, nobody really LIKES to be by themselves but its necessary at times.
If you fear being alone, how you gone find out what you do and don’t want?
If you fear being alone, how can you develop discernment?
If you fear being alone, how can you decide what type of people you want in and out your life?
You cannot be dependent on other people to help you figure out who you are. You can only learn that by being alone.
We all have fears, but being by yourself shouldn’t be one of them.
- Are you afraid of being by yourself?
- If yes, what scares you the most about it?
- If no, what makes you comfortable in your loneliness?
- Do you think there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely?
We all have vices, especially when we want to escape ourselves.
One thing for sure and two things for sure, you can’t run away from yourself forever. When the realities of our life get too tough, we turn to different methods to cope — most likely drugs, alcohol, or even sex. How we abuse those things is called escapism, which refers to purposely finding things to distract you from the unpleasant realities of whatever you’re facing.
Keep in mind: I don’t think alcohol is bad.
I don’t think sex is bad.
I don’t think drugs are bad. (Well, I don’t think weed is bad. All that other stuff ya’ll do, I’m not sure about that pal lol)
But, the way we indulge in these things matter. It is not inherently bad or good, but more of a fact of what is the WHY behind all of this? Why do we choose unhealthy coping mechanisms? Isn’t there better options out here to help us deal with our shit?
The short answer is yes, but because I don’t speak for everyone on this earth, it varies on who you ask.
The reason(s) behind why we choose unhealthy coping mechanisms varies, too.
Some of us may be trying to heal from a traumatic event that’s happened in our past.
Some of us may be really thrilled by engaging in risky behavior.
But all of us are seeking to fill a void.
You know that the mechanisms you use to cope are becoming unhealthy when they no longer help you feel that void.
When even the drugs enhance how shitty you feel.
When the bitter taste of alcohol won’t even make you forget what happen.
When you internally scream whenever you sexually enter someone or when they enter you.
The adrenaline rush of chasing whatever made us temporarily feel better is what makes us keep coming back to the unhealthy coping mechanisms. The cycle continues over and over and it’s not just through drugs, alcohol, or sex. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can also be seeking social media attention, dealing with toxic people, and even overeating.
I say all this to say: I’m not here to judge you, because we all have vices.
Eventually, drugs and alcohol and sex and whatever we use to cope won’t be enough to distract you from the pain you’re feeling. At some point you have to stop escaping and actually focus on actually healing.
I know it’s not easy. But you must gain the strength to try anyway.
With love, I wish you well on your journey.
I was 18 years old when I realized that I needed to address my mental health.
Freshman year of college kicked my entire ass and honestly, I wanted to die.
Honestly, I tried to die. But, that Spring of 2013 I finally said to myself that I needed to do something about this.
I remember leaving my dorm room and venturing off to the health center, whose walls I had been in numerous times between that first and second semester of freshman year, but this time was different.
I wanted to conquer myself.
But things didn’t quite work out that way.
I walked into the counseling center where I had to fill out paperwork, then they had me sit down with someone who did what is called an intake interview, where she asked me a series of questions about my background, my family’s background, and ultimately what brought me there.
I answered her questions as honestly as I could, but then was cut off. This white girl, who I later found out was a graduate student in the counseling program, looked me square in my eyes and said, “Well, it doesn’t LOOK like anything is wrong with you.”
I got quiet and I remember my stomach twisting in knots.
At 18/19 years old, I didn’t have the language to describe that I was processing trauma and that regardless of how strong I looked on the outside, I was hurting bad on the inside.
That’s the problem. We assume that black folks, especially black women don’t hurt. They assume we don’t suffer from trauma or pain. They assume we can endure so much and not break.
But there I was, in that office, trying my hardest not to break. When she said that, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Well damn, maybe I am making this shit up in my head…..”
Needless to say, I left that office. I never went back.
And I just thugged it out with my mental health for the rest of the school year, then the summer, then the fall and winter, and then for about 3 or 4 more years until 2017.
Those years saw a lot of pain.
I’ve never been diagnosed, but maaannnnnnn those depressive episodes I experienced often took a huge toll on me mentally and emotionally.
A couple of emotional breakdowns and rounds of self-sabotaging destructive behavior later, I figured I needed to try counseling again.
This time though, I wanted to try spiritual counseling with the pastor I had at the time. Every week for a couple months, we would discuss my issues and he advised me on how to approach things from a spiritual standpoint.
In our sessions, I learned a lot about building an authentic relationship with God and how to turn to prayer more often rather than unhealthy coping mechanisms. It was during this period that I started keeping prayer journals and casting my cares on the Lord (1st Peter 5:7)
I’m not sure when I stopped going to spiritual counseling, but I do think the decision to stop was a mutual one.
Everything was fine for a while, but towards the end of 2016, I had another emotional breakdown.
The irony in this is that I am known as someone who keeps a smile on her face and is somewhat known as the life of the party. People typically come to me for encouragement, so it was mind boggling that I had sunk so low.
But I did. And once again, I had to figure out how to pick myself up again.
During that time, Solange released A Seat At The Table and those mornings and nights when I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t eat, wasn’t sleeping well, damn for sure wasn’t cleaning my room it was that album that pushed me to keep going and do something about this.
But, I didn’t do anything. At least not right away.
Senior year of college rolled around and I anxious as hell about life post grad. However, it wasn’t just the future I was stressed about, I was also exhausted by the toxic relationships I engaged in, my self-destructive behavior, and struggled hard with loving and accepting myself fully.
By then I had figured out that I wanted and needed a Black female therapist in my life and if I had to walk my ass back into my school’s counseling center then that was what I was gone have to do.
Now most people, (self included) tend to stay away from places where they had a negative experience. But my school’s counseling center was convenient, affordable, and plus the white girl who judged me freshman year no longer worked there, so it was a win.
Things had changed. First of all, the assessment they had me take was online now and I now had the option of picking the race/ethnicity of the therapist I wanted to see. Talk about autonomy and control!
A couple days later, I was back in therapy and went every week up until I graduated.
I learned so much about myself during those 5 months AND it was refreshing to connect with a Black, female, therapist.
I learned that the key to peace is acceptance.
I learned what boundaries were and how to set and maintain them.
I learned the importance of being present.
After I graduated, things took a toll on me mentally.
Post grad blues, working jobs I hated, a pregnancy followed by an abortion, more self-sabotaging and self-destructive behavior. I didn’t take the time to stop and process anything. All of those different things going on affected me greatly. But always the one to never stop smiling, not many knew what I was going through at the time.
The unfortunate part was, I knew I needed therapy but what stopped me was that I couldn’t afford it. The health insurance offered by my job at the time was public aid health insurance and I wasn’t sure if I could get a black therapist again and didn’t wanna risk it. In hindsight, doing some research would’ve saved me from a lot of suffering.
Instead of going back to therapy, I self-helped as best as I could with:
- Books on self-development
- Podcasts, such as Therapy 4 Black Girls
For a while, it worked. I learned how to name and regulate my emotions.
I learned why I acted the way I did in certain situations.
I learned healthier coping mechanisms for those anxious and depressive moments.
I got comfortable talking to myself + trusted friends.
I still would’ve rather been talking to a therapist, but getting in debt behind my mental health wasn’t something I wanted to do. And that fear, along with the stigma of seeking mental health services is what stops a LOT of us from going.
2019 came around, and everything was fine at first.
But then May came and I knew I had to stop putting it off and go talk to somebody. I was watching myself slip back into self-destructive behavior, my attachment style to certain people was getting out of hand, I was self-sabotaging and bending boundaries, and to put all that simply, I was sick of my own shit.
So, I took to Instagram and found a therapist and had my first session on May 15th and have been going as consistently as possible every 2-3 weeks.
Life since May has been a damn roller coaster, and if you read Exploring Celibacy then you know why.
Therapy is helpful when you do the work. And you gotta be committed. And you gotta be disciplined cuz this shit is not fun, not easy, and is exhausting. But, I am thankful for therapy. Being in control of my mental health both intrigues me and makes me feel liberated.
Thank you, therapy for teaching me that my mental wellness is important.
Thank you, therapy for teaching me that I truly do deserve peace and should not have to fight for it.
Thank you, therapy for giving me safe spaces to process trauma and cry about it.
Thank you, therapy for letting me know that there is strength in vulnerability.
Thank you, therapy for showing me that I have the power to create a new normal.
Thank you, therapy for showing me that mental health is not cookie cutter or black and white.
Thank you, therapy for helping me forgive myself.
Thank you, therapy for helping me strengthen my self-love.
Thank you, therapy for helping me become secure in my decision making and to trust myself.
Thank you, therapy for giving me the tools to have those difficult ass conversations I’ve had to have with people all year long.
Thank you, therapy for teaching me the importance of boundaries and how to respect others’ boundaries as well.
Thank you, therapy, for helping me gain clarity on what I want in a partner, out of a job, out of my life.
Thank you, therapy for making me feel empowered enough to write, tweet, text, talk, and Facebook about my experiences with you. Those messages I get often about how I inspired someone to take control of their mental health never get old.
Thank you, therapy for making me no longer ashamed of what I’ve been through.
Needless to say, therapy is awesome to me.
I think everyone should go at some point in their lives, even if you think nothing is “wrong” with you.
If you’re thinking about getting some therapy in your life, here is your confirmation that you should go.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and even though processing trauma can be exhausting AF, you can take a nap afterwards.
Take care of yourselves, loves.
- Have you ever been in therapy? What was/is your experience like?
- If you haven’t been to therapy yet, what is stopping you?
- If you’re currently in therapy or have been in the past, what are some things you’ve learned about yourself.
- Why do you think there is so much shame associated with seeking help with our mental health?
- What can this world do to make mental health services more affordable and accessible to all?
- Have you experienced any negativity from friends or family for seeking help about your mental health?
- Leave a message for someone who is struggling with their mental health.
I had this dream once.
A person who really hurt me sat me down, grabbed my hand, looked me deep in my eyes and apologized for everything they put me through over the years.
They profusely apologized, asking for verbal confirmation that I forgave them. In the dream, I didn’t say a word. I just stared into this person’s brown eyes and processed what they said.
And then, I woke up.
As much as I know bitterness is unbecoming, forgiveness is really hard for me. Especially when I love you. Especially when I trust you.
And yet, people fall short all the time and hurt us– whether it’s intentionally or not and then what? We are the ones left to pick up the pieces.
Picking up the pieces wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel confused about it all the time.
Why haven’t they came up with a word yet for when you’re in the in-between? In between holding a grudge and letting it go?Tweet
The space between the bitter taste of the past and the unknown of the future? The paranoia of the present. Will our souls ever be truly settled after betrayal?
Does this mean I reconcile with you?
Does this mean I have to act distant towards you?
Does this mean it won’t ever happen again?
Why am I debating this shit anyway?
Maybe forgiveness would be easier if the dream I described at the beginning of this came true.
Forgive You Not
I’m comfortable here.
Bitterness is a defense mechanism for my vulnerability.
Sometimes, we all want something to hold over someone’s head…. especially if they ain’t verbally told us sorry.
If I don’t forgive you, who am I really hurting here? The answer is me.
The bottom line is this:
Forgiveness is an act of fearlessness.Tweet
Sometimes you’re not going to get an apology.
And that’s okay.
Life will go on. They will go on. And you too, will go on.
Forgiveness does not mean you have to reconcile.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you heal in the same environment you got sick in.
Let me say that again: FORGIVENESS DOESN’T MEAN YOU HEAL IN THE SAME ENVIRONMENT YOU GOT SICK IN. (I’m yelling because I am talking to myself)
With that being said, if you struggle with forgiveness like me, just understand that it is something that you will choose to do……
- What’s hard for you about forgiveness?
- Have you ever been in the in-between before?
- If you hold grudges, what makes you do so?
- Are you afraid to forgive because you’re afraid that you’ll be taken advantage of again?
I have been having sex since I was 14 years old. As you read this, please understand two things about that: 1. That is not something I am flexing about. 2. That is something I no longer live in shame about either.
It is just a fact. And like most facts, mine come with a story. The story goes like this: It was never my idea to begin having sex so early. But, I had a boyfriend at the time who was older than me. He wanted to have sex. I wanted to please him.
The rest was history.
I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what the last 11 years have been like for me. Outside of therapy, I never took the time to process the years of recurring trauma and how it impacted me. I guess you can say that I am unpacking it here with you. If you’re still reading this, then I should be transparent and let you know that the last 11 years
has left me with I’ve experienced:
- Countless heartbreaks.
- A couple trips to the clinic because chlamydia is real, and not being safe sexually is real too.
- 2 pregnancies followed by 2 abortions 2 years apart.
- Being treated like a sex object.
- Being summed up by my sexual ability.
- My discernment just not being used.
Still reading? Alright, let’s keep going.
Back in May of this year, I started therapy again. What brought me back in there was a combination of things, namely the emotionally draining interactions I was having with men and how I was worried that I would break. If you know me, you know that I am an advocate for mental health and I know myself well enough to know when things ain’t right. May was a crazy ass month in itself, but I knew something was going to happen. And lo and behold, I missed a period and I was pregnant for the second time.
Then it was like a domino effect of inconvenient shit happening, a lot of poor decisions on my behalf.
After deciding to terminate this pregnancy as well, I found myself back in my therapist’s office, processing things. The beginning of the summer was difficult on ALL levels, but a source of my unhappiness was definitely my choices in men. While I won’t place all blame on them, always remember that you have the power to choose.Tweet
And I kept choosing wrong. I noticed a pattern. While every guy I’ve been with was NOT emotionally draining or toxic, I particularly found myself attached to the guys who were emotionally unavailable. Or the guys who only liked fucking me, but never wanted to BE with me. It was crazy, because how could me, Ms. #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge be so…. adamant in not loving myself? In choosing wrong? For a while, I felt fraudulent as fuck, because:
I was choosing chaos over the peace that I rightfully deserved.Tweet
It was as if self-sabotage was my middle name. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I needed a reset. I wanted to reset my mind, my body, and most importantly my spirit. Because whether it was self-inflicted or not, how sane would you be if you kept experiencing recurring trauma?
It was per my therapist’s recommendation that I “be still” and not date. At first I was resistant to it, because I ALWAYS had someone to talk to. Go out on dates with. Have different forms of intimacy with. And yes, have sex with. So when she recommended it, at first I was like
Like girl what do you even mean?! For 11 years, damn near my WHOLE identity was wrapped up into who I was dating, and now I gotta be by myself?????? I stared at her for what seemed like an eternity, and agreed.
It was me who decided to take it a step further and be celibate.
While the words celibate and abstinence are used interchangeably, my definition of celibacy is when you intentionally decide not to engage in sexual acts with other people.Tweet
A special note to add is that celibacy is NOT when you simply don’t have someone to have sex with. Celibacy is more deliberate and intentional. Not a lil dry spell.
The interesting thing about all of this is that I’m not even a person who has a “high” sex drive (whatever that means to you), but I can seriously go for months at a time without it. In fact the longest I’ve been without sex was this one time for 9 months in high school.
In fact, a lot of guys I’ve been sexual with always complained that I never wanted to have sex as frequently as they would like. There’s reasons behind that.
What’s interesting to me, is that many religious people would say that me enduring all this shit is probably my “punishment” for engaging in sex so early. I’m not sure about all that, but I will say that I’ve learned from every decision I’ve ever made.
Anyway, another reason I am choosing to intentionally pursue celibacy is because I wanna snatch my power back. As I said earlier, I ain’t NEVER not had someone. I may not be big on sex but I am big on intimacy and companionship. And while I’ll always be big on intimacy and companionship, I am curious to know who I am and learn what I can accomplish when the focus is 100% on me.
Ask yourself, who are you when you remove distractions and pour energy into yourself? Get to know that person. Get to know them well.Tweet
Many are curious about how I am able to survive, and with 2 months in, I can say so far so good. This is partly due to me:
- Not having a high sex drive in the first place
- Intentionally setting boundaries, cutting off, or simply blocking ALL the guys I was dealing with. When it ain’t no prospects, it makes things a lot easier, lol. And at this point, if you got a crush on me… just keep it to yourself lol.
I’ve even become vocal with guys I meet at social functions who seem interested in getting to know me further: I am single and celibate and I won’t be changing that any time soon. That usually keeps them away lol. But I don’t mind.
The part that has been hard for me thus far, is definitely the lack of companionship and intimacy. I’ve had a lot of lonely days and nights (which I’m sure I’ll have more of) but this piece of mind is wayyyyy better than the bullshit I USED to be on.
I look at celibacy in a positive way. It’s not that I can’t get laid. The problem is, I nor majority of the men I chose to lay with valued me…like ALL of me.
While the decisions that led me to be celibate for at minimum of a year was dramatic, I do believe that things had to happen in the way that they did for me to get it. I also knew I had some areas in my life where I wanted to have more discipline. When I put my mind to it, I can be pretty impulsive and I knew I had to control my impulses in order to clear my mind.
Keep in mind, I don’t think sex is bad, it’s just that for me, sex was a distraction. Sex was a crutch. I was using sex as a tool to get some niggas to like me. Sex gotta go. At least for right now.
I think denying yourself of that instant gratification you get from busting a nut clears up a lot of things for you emotionally and mentally.Tweet
Now that I am intentionally taking a year long hiatus, I am amazed at the things I’ve accomplished and the clarity I’ve gained in these short 8 weeks. I’m excited about my growth a year from now.
What’s funny is that ever since I’ve declared my celibacy, things instantly started changing around me. First off, I never knew there were so many rules surrounding celibacy. Just because I am celibate doesn’t mean that:
- I don’t think about sex, because I definitely still do. In fact, I had a flashback the other day that made me wanna — nevermind!
- My celibacy exploration is me trying to convince YOU to be celibate too. Have enough sex for the both of us if you can, we ain’t all gotta be dry out here like me lol I just hope that you are being safe, intentional, and laying with someone who cares about you.
- I’m not gone masturbate when and if I please, because I am. I personally believe that bringing myself to orgasm is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done AND it stops me from making terrible decisions, which is the reason why I’m here in the first place lol.
In true Kia fashion, I like to go on journeys in my own special way.
Understand this: just because I am single and celibate now does not that I don’t want that romantic love, because I definitely do. But this time around it HAS to be healthy. I want a love where I don’t have endure suffering first, and those desires start with me. Searching for those things through sex ain’t it and hopping from person to person ain’t it either it. Remember ya’ll, I don’t think sex is bad I am just in a space where I have to be more discerning and careful with it. Plus, piece of mind and clarity are better, right?
As much time and energy I’ve spent these last 11 years pleasing others, it’s time to pour that into me. And while I don’t expect this journey to be easy, I do know that it will be worth it.
Send me some good luck and good vibes as I try this thang out!
Here’s some questions I posed to my Instagram followers a couple days ago. Feel free to answer in the comments below:
- Have you ever been celibate?
- If you are currently celibate, what influenced you to do it?
- What’s the longest you’ve been without sex?
- If you’ve never been celibate, what’s stopping you?
- Do you think there is a difference between being celibate and just not having someone to have sex with?
- What have you learned about yourself in your time of celibacy?
- What advice would you give someone who is currently practicing or thinking about practicing celibacy?
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of facilitating a session for 7th grade girls while my coworker was out of town. Something I really enjoy about working with young people — and black girls in particular is that I see a lot of myself in them. Thought processes, mannerisms, and of course boy drama entertains the hell out of me.
As I was facilitating the session, questions about my personal life came up and I didn’t mind answering.
“Miss Kia are you married?”
“Do you got a boyfriend?”
“Well danggggg. You must be lonely! You ain’t got no man, nothing”
We laughed. They didn’t mean it in a disrespectful way. Hell, when I was about 12 or 13, I felt the same way.
I asked, “Why I gotta be lonely just because I don’t have a boyfriend or husband?”
They didn’t really have an answer. I didn’t expect them to.
It’s something interesting about what we teach girls about finding fulfillment in other people, particularly boys. It starts young. And then those girls grow up into women who think they “need” to have a man or kids just so they won’t be lonely.
So when you don’t have those things, what exactly does society paint you as?
I pondered on that for weeks. But instead of questioning my own self-worth, I decided to think about what type of messages are we communicating to our daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins, etc. ?
What lessons should we teach to the generations after us, so that they can make better decisions (and mistakes) than we did?
LESSON #1 – YOU DON’T “NEED” A RELATIONSHIP TO BE WHOLE
I remember when I was about 12, and I got in trouble by my mama because I wrote in my diary about how I wanted a boyfriend sooooo badly lol. Like, I’m not sure who’s son rejected me or wasn’t paying attention to me but baby, I just felt as if my life wasn’t complete if I didn’t have a boyfriend lol. My mama sat me down and explained that I didn’t need to have a boyfriend to validate me. And THAT, that is a message I wanna yell from the mountaintops to the ears of every little girl that I know who grows up under the male gaze. Meaningful connections with others are important, but you don’t have to spend your whole life pining away for it. And you’re not a weirdo if you don’t yet desire (or never desire) those things either.
LESSON #2 – BENCHMARKS ONLY EXIST IN YOUR MIND
“By 25 I should have ______”
“I wanna be married by ______”
Benchmarks. As a 25 year-old, I’m not sure why having all your shit together by this age is stressed to us by society, but I am learning that putting benchmarks on WHEN you should accomplish your accomplishments is bullshit.
This is not to be confused with goal setting, because making realistic, obtainable goals is important of course BUT life does happen. When we push the narrative on girls that they need to have this and that by the time they are a certain age, they’ll likely work their whole lives trying to obtain it, but what happens if she doesn’t? What will society say about her then? What is she going to say about herself? Let’s make sure we tell our daughters to worry only about the things that she can control and whatever is meant for her will happen in its own perfect timing.
LESSON #3 – DEFINE YOURSELF FOR YOURSELF
So many big and little girls don’t know who they are yet. They haven’t went through the process of destroying themselves and later building themselves back up over and over again. When we are in that state of unknowing, we rely on outside forces to tell us WHO we are, HOW we should act, dress, think, etc. Young girls such as the 7th graders I mentioned earlier in the post are quite impressionable. If I stress nothing else in this post, I want us to teach our girls that being an individual is key. Like Audre Lorde said, we have to define ourselves for ourselves and I think the best way to promote that to our daughters is by modeling that behavior of individuality. Let them know that it’s okay for them to be different. Let them know that it is okay for them to stand out from the crowd. Let them know that society will try and force them to conform but they should always push back and stand firm in their own beliefs, fuck who doesn’t agree.
- When you were younger, in what ways did society pressure you to conform to certain standards or beliefs?
- Why do you think girls are trained on how to be partners for men but boys aren’t trained to be partners for women?
- What do you think when you see a highly successful woman who is unmarried, single, with no children? What does society say about her?
- What lessons would you want your daughter or other young girls in your life to know?