Urban Girl Mag | Falling and Failing Beautifully
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Falling and Failing Beautifully

When it all,
When it all falls down.
When it all,
it all falls down.
I’m telling you it all, it all falls down.

©Kanye West and Syleena Johnson

All Falls Down, The College Dropout, 2004

 

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I had children in my 30s and everything fell apart!  EVERYTHING. There deep cries, tears, and cries with no sound or tears. There were cries with clenched teeth and cries with clenched fists.  But, it wasn’t the children that caused it. Nor was it the sicknesses or the love affairs I encountered. It was everything on the “negative spectrum” that seemed to fit those gut-wrenching moments.

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In American English, the emotions produced in the darkness were nothing short of anger, resentment, confusion, defeat, panic, disillusionment, weariness, and shame.   I fought for a revelation as to why the structures I believed were secure my entire life, afro-patriotism, college education, career, home life, and health were falling now. I assure you it was not postpartum unless I had been in postpartum for years before having children. That clue alone was heavy.  Contractions before impregnation. Once I accepted that there must have been an undercurrent swept over by productivity most of my life, then I received some clarity as to my pains. The only thing close to what I could logically connect with was the grief cycle.

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A friend visited my home after I reached out when I saw him in a dream.  I learned he had recently lost his wife to cancer, and I longed for the “right thing to say.”  I didn’t dare have the afterlife conversation, I just researched grief and its phases, and helped him prepare for his own last days on earth since he too had a rare form of cancer.  What were the odds?  He didn’t want prayer and I wouldn’t even know what to pray for, Strength to endure?

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Instead, I went to his home to vacuum, listen to his stories, and music he never released.  I went to just be a comfort in the void but he left me something.  He said in it all he needed me to see how degrees, certifications, marriages, etc. were not the quintessential things.  That when all is gone, memories remain while someone is here to hold them.  It was the artwork left behind, clear timeless instructions left behind by the institutions left for the visionary’s cause that were important.

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How could we bond in grief?  Noticing that I had time to address most of my void and breakdown, and he would do as much as he could in his remaining time for his own.

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He encouraged me to keep teaching and teaching in a way that was true to who I was.  I thank him for that morsel of wisdom. Because it was the unit I taught on how the Earth balances itself that saved me. It was the awe and fascination of why our planets are deemed planets and not rocks or stars. Why the outer ones are gaseous uninhabitable by our life form.  Why I was able to connect with the chaotic formation of our beautiful galaxy and know that my formation of an afroliberated family in America would be an amazing feat.

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It was the specific lesson on decomposers that validated, supported, and the scary feelings of “ending.”  It was the times I was immobile, and in bed preparing science and math material where I learned that energy has its own kingdom.  Natural and man-made elements have properties.  Some we love, some are deemed cataclysmic and cannot sustain life as we know it for even a brief moment. Those rules cannot be altered.  We can work along with them, encourage a speedy result or attempt to create shields to extend a lifespan; but for now, we at most can help by observing the detailed processes reserving judgment until the end, tactfully begin engineering instances of removing dirt, dust, and clutter, or what we can do is at least try classifying the reactions taking place after gaining unbiased data.

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I will share with my family is that “Decomposers convert the nitrogen found in other organisms into ammonia and return it to the soil.” There are things in place to breakdown and release nitrogen in a form that helps our planet remain life sustainable.  Be not afraid of the dark, or the dirt.  Make room for the healthy, helpful, new inventions, innovations, movements, pedagogies, philosophies, coming to encourage life.

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Remember we kinda worship the water cycle and the oxygen/carbon dioxide cycle.  But why?   All this talk about growth mindsets, blooms, budding, spring, and booming. When we kinda focus on one component, and in this case ” visible growth.” Therefore we cry when it’s time to breakdown and be transformed into another great function.

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I had to ask myself…while everything I knew crumbled, relationships, resources, younger body, and finances…..before Thanos and the team snapped their fingers with Infinity Stones on film,

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“Is this idea I have or former result worth the universe replenishing it?  If yes, just let it grow and this time with my daily tending to it.  I will learn its seasons as best I can, its weeds, and its requirements for sustained growth. Can I do my best to let it run its cycle?

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If not,  can I peacefully let the breakdown of it ensue?  Can I look closer to the things that will cause reactions that others will benefit from.”

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Can I still call the slip fall beautiful?  Isn’t that when we learn the way our bodies will walk? One uniquely our own. Can I say I failed that test beautifully?  This time I learned the style of the test writer and my proclivities to respond a particular when questioned in that fashion? Can I say I bombed that interview beautifully? And for these specific reasons, and I learned why that position will not fit who I am anyway?

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Can I say this season I learned more of my limits, constraints, boundaries, acidic environments to outcomes I require? Can we agree that it’s arrogant to tell the rhinoceros that it must fly, an insect that it must use human words, bacteria that it must operate in the Dead Sea?

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Everything had to fall apart.  It is the other lesson of Twilight, what happens when you fall in love with Immortal beings?  We would have to change to be with them.  Would we really want to entertain some centuries old customs in the later times? Some must fall as a whole in the universe, and in the things that orbit in your own world. For a species to survive, it adapts.
Will you remember that you are someone’s/something’s closest star in that galaxy.  Things are rising, shining, reflecting because of you and your adaptations.

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There is a beauty in my fall.

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I went slower.

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I observed more.

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I made statutes for my TIME invested.

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I measured the returns/reactions with a better model that I know of now.

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What about you?

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Manejay
mvivlewis@gmail.com

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