It was too long ago to even remember what I had done, that caused me to have to stare aimlessly at the dried noodles stuck to the multi-colored construction paper hanging from the ceiling. Left with only the thoughts of what I was going to do after I was released from the classroom turned timeout corner, I sat there. I sat there until the class came back—until the last kid got nice and comfortable in his seat. I sat there until the teacher started to resume the lesson she had probably prepared the night or a week before. I waited until everyone had forgotten that they had went to recess with out me, and thats when I made my exit to the playground. I had somehow decided that since I was robbed of my recess, I would rob them of my presence during class. Without giving it a second thought, I swung on the monkey bars, and the swings. I played on the merry-go-round. I ran, and jumped in dead silence. This was new to me. I had never been on a playground where the presence of other kids didn’t exist. But still, it wasn’t about the play. It was about the fact that my teacher thought she could rob me, Teneisha Ta’shae Franklin, of having fun! Yes, my father was in the military, and yes my mother was as meanest mama I knew. Frankly, she scared the shit out of me. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to receive an ass whoppin’. I gladly accepted it, and continued to play in silence.
With the exception of my mother and father, I was the master of my universe. Despite the fact that when I was born my legs bowed so badly, I was prescribed braces to straighten them. It never deterred me. As a nine year old girl, I was fearless. I ran fast, jumped high and spoke loudly. I was confident, bold and daring. I danced, and I laughed with ease. I loved who I was, and never gave a second thought to who I would become.
Somewhere down the line—through the transition of puberty, adolescence, self-esteem, boyfriends, and womanhood—I lost myself. I was no longer that daring child I used to be. The once loud voice had been turned down almost to the point of silence. My speed had crept to a saunter and my confidence had dissipated. What had happened to me, is what I would assume happens to most people—life. But instead of moving on, it scared me enough to run, hide, and barricade myself, inside of myself. Leaving the potency of who I was trapped and unable to escape. I lost myself and lost sight of my own value. Essentially, my fight was gone, and I had died.
My state of being rested far from that which I had grown up with. I come from a family of women—at the top of the family tree were grand aunts, the HNIC’s—who had an abounding love for themselves. Dark skin, big-boned women flourished in our family—the anti-commercialism of the black woman—Gaps, gold teeth, flashy clothes, long, sharp colorful nails, coupled with slick tongues and foul language. And when they all came together they laughed with such guffaw. Ask any seven of them and they would proudly tell you, with their eyes lowered and their necks wound ready to roll, that they were the finest, sexiest beings on the planet earth. Looking at the shell of the person that I was, It was hard to believe that I somehow descended from this group of women.
Once I had lost sight of who I was, it took me too many years to get that sense of self worth back. To do that, I had to pull out boxes and boxes of shit I just didn’t need. I dug through boxes that still had grudges in them. I had a box that had that bad relationship straight out of high school, and that horrifically depressing pregnancy that lead me to have to fight single parenthood as if it were the cancer of my life. That box with anger, unforgiveness, and brick walls…that shit had to go. The sadder I became, the more these things were like anchors to my soul and in my life. So, what did I do? I followed Jay-Z’s advice. I built a bridge and I got over it. It was only after I had done so, was I able to begin to travel the road that would eventually lead me to reclaim what I had lost.
Looking for yourself is no easy feat—battles must take place inside the mind for sure. It’s like that old philosophical question: How does something as small as the mind control something as big as the body? Shit, I still don’t know the answer to that question—It’s kind of like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Sometimes you only have to walk a couple of feet to find the next piece, sometime you have to walk several miles, and sometimes you may never find it again. Its just gone. Thankfully, so far, I’ve found the laughter and joy she used to give me.
You have fallen, but you have not failed. Understand the difference? Get up.
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I have been rockin’ with her since 2005. Hats off to Shonda Rhimes. She is a shinning example of God making room for your gifts can do. With only her mind, she is holdin’ a multi-billion dollar company together. Just gaze upon what we can do when we as women stop engaging in baffoonery, and start […]
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The reason women should not rear males by themselves, is because women are built to nurture. Not saying that is her only quality, but it is her most innate assest. When a male reaches a certain age, he no longer needs a nurturer he needs a councilor and a leader. A councilor to advise him. […]
I am the laziest writer I know.
I think, it is only in isolation when we are our greatest. In it, we become our utmost selves. The nature of who we are (be it writers, singers speakers or healers) surfaces. For moments at a time we are immortal. We have capabilities beyond our understanding.
It is my theory—one which lacks the substance of any scholarly writer other than my own experiences— that in the moment of isolation God appears. No, he doesn’t show himself in the physical, but nevertheless he shows. And because he built us in greatness we in turn have no other choice but to possess that same greatness. Implanted within each of us is the ability to perceive his presence. Like the infant who knows its father’s voice even when he can’t see him. It is in isolation, when our gifts, our souls or our immortality arises, whether we ask it to or not. It does so only because like the baby, it perceives its maker.
We as a society is fortunate are able to capture our greatness by video or audio. When we are able to capture what we have created in isolation, to our peers it becomes this great thing or item that is revered by many, an anomaly amongst anomalies.
It is when we leave His presence do we become normal and our simplistic ways take over. Our greatness creeps back within the cave inside of us and is once again dormant. It is then our fallacies shine the most. Man falls prey to temptations’ sisters drugs, and adultery. They run us a hot bath. We bath in imperfections. We have the tendency to disappoint because the greater we lie dormant in the presence of others. It is only in isolation am I great
When seclusion becomes solace, fear becomes safe, tears become the bed you lay your head on. Disconnection bares no fruit, yet contently, you run your feet through its soil. When pain is pleasure, and rain is the sun. Where grey skies are blue, hard floors are soft and air is scarce. Closets are atriums, When […]