A World of a Difference

A World of a Difference

Hello all ๐Ÿ’—

I’m writing to you guys today with the grounds of feeling particularly hopeful, but of course, painfully anxious for my academic future. I truly see you all as beautiful and empathic people, who are dedicated to my page, and this is the one reason why I feel even the slightest bit comfortable coming to you all right now.

As I’ve said before, my mother passed just this May after suffering, and not recovering, from a severe cardiac arrest. What I didn’t say is that my family is struggling quite severely. ย It has gotten to the point where my father has suggested me taking a year off from university because at this point, it truly isn’t something we can even dream to afford.

With my mother’s passing, as well as ย the loss of her income, there’s no way we can bear the expense of on campus housing, and because I go to school in Chicago, and that’s 2 hours away from where I live, it isn’t even possible for me to commute from home.

As it stands, if I would like to stay in school in the pursuit of my bachelor’s degree, my only real option is to opt for off-campus housing, and subsequently rent an apartment.

This stillย isn’t completely feasible without my mother still here, and you all know how “helpful” our friends Fafsa can be.

With the price of rent and my tuition looming over my head, I’ve reasoned that because my father has two other children to care for, this is something I need to work for on my own. As of right now, I’m picking up a second job, but it’s still nowhere near enough.

Because of all this I have finally convinced myself to create a gofundme and admit to myself that I need help. I’m coming to you guys to simply ask for just that. I couldn’t survive without school. Loyola has been this beautiful home away from home for me for the past year, and it’s an environment that I feel truly enriches my pursuit of happiness, education, and success. I’ve met so many amazing people (like my best friend Joce, hey Joceyyyy), manifested important connections, taken classes that I’ll never forget and always appreciate, and have joined organizations that I honestly feel I can make a significant difference in (shout out to BCC, the Black Cultural Center โค๏ธ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ’š). I’m now on the Black Cultural Center’s e-board, elected as their Publicity Chair. I’d hate to bail on them, and the plans I had for an organization I care so much about.

Aside from my family, it’s honestly the only thing I have left, and it means the world to me. It’d be a true blessing to still be able to stay.

 

I’ve provided the link to my gofundme here.

Anything you can give would not only be immensely appreciated, but remarkably life-changing.

Sending all my love,

Ya fav Sagittarius, Mena

Refocusing My Intention

Refocusing My Intention

Before I left school for the summer, I made a promise to myself that I was on the verge of breaking until now. I had fallen into a dark place spring semester, and I hadn’t been to the gym, I hadn’t done yoga, and I hadn’t been myself since the semester before. I lost weight and fell to the lowest I’ve been since before high school. I made a promise to myself that over the summer, I would commit to all three meals a day (yes, even breakfast), I would resume my daily workouts, and I would start yoga again. When I made this promise to myself, my mother was still alive; someone I envisioned myself doing these things with. When she passed, I lost all motivation to better myself, and my yoga mat kept its place at the back of my closet. My mother and I had many things, but yoga was one of the most important that I shared with her, as she was the one who introduced me, and was the reason I fell in love with it.

I’ve been telling myself that before this summer is over, I need to fulfill my promise to myself, that I need to stop using my mother’s passing as an excuse, because she was worth so much more than that, and she would want me to continue to complete my goals in life–that’s just the kind of person she was. I also knew that getting back into my routine, and starting up yoga again would allow a smoother grieving process. Yoga is powerful in that way, especially for me.

Up until last night, I was entertaining a possible relationship with a man that I just recently realized is wrong for me. Even at two years older than me, he lacked a maturity that I found I needed from someone I wanted to be in a relationship with. Although, he made me learn a lot about myself, he couldn’t be there for me in the way I needed him to be. He was great at speaking sweet nothings, but that’s all they really were. He made me question myself, my appearance, my feelings, and my own way of thinking. I’ve always had self-esteem issues, but I envisioned being in a relationship with someone, was about being with someone who loved, or eventually would love, you for who you were. Someone who thought you were beautiful exactly the way you were, and never made you question if you were deserving of love. And really, all I’ve ever wanted is to reciprocate that kind of love. But I began to look in the mirror and dislike what I saw more than I had before I’d met him. We had been coasting for about 6 months, and the topic of an actual committed relationship never came to head unless I was the one bringing it up. Even at that, conversations were avoided, questions were deflected, and I began to ask myself why I wasn’t enough for him to commit to. I began to question my own self worth more than I ever had.

Yesterday, something in me finally clicked, something that hadn’t in a while. I realized who the fuck I was, and who I had forgotten I was striving to be. For the longest time, I hadn’t remembered that the most important opinion of yourself, should be from yourself, and that you cannot expect someone to love you, if don’t learn to fall in love with yourself. I had been thinking about this for quite sometime, but I ultimately decided that I needed to leave him behind to be able to take myself forward.

Even though my mind was made up, and I was going to break it off, a part of me still wanted to see if he would say anything that could possibly change that. A part of me still wanted to know if he truly saw a future with me. This was the same part of me that couldn’t help but remember the good that a happened in the last 6 months. But even at that, I still couldn’t ignore the bad, because it wasn’t something any healthy relationship, especially one that had never been established, could or should entertain. Not one that I wanted to be in, at least. After awhile of senseless conversation, and him avoiding the true issue at hand, I understood that he wasn’t going to say anything that would change my mind, even if he knew the true depth of what was on it, or the decision I had come to (he didn’t). It was almost as if him not saying anything, told me what I really needed to hear. I hung up on him mid-sentence, moped about it for a bit, and then began drafting what I’m now calling my goodbye letter. I won’t say what I put in it, but Lord was it long.

I sent it, deleted his number, every picture of us on my phone, and unfollowed him on all social media. As sad as this may sound, as soon as I accomplished all of this, it’s like this weight was lifted off of my chest. I felt freer than I had in a very long time, and I smiled.

I put on some music, and literally sang and danced around my room. I got the random urge to re-organize, so I ended up cleaning my room. Sometime during the process of putting everything back into my closet, I glanced at the yoga mat I still hadn’t touched. Something in me finally made me bring it out. I laid it down, found a 20 minute yoga instruction, and belatedly began the fulfillment of the promise I had made to myself a little over two months ago.

At the beginning of the instruction, the video instructor asked me to commit to an intention for the session, and at the end, they asked me to return my focus to that purpose.

My intention was to find, manifest, and believe in a better me. To tell myself I’m beautiful even when I feel ugly, to smile even when I feel sad, to write even when I feel uninspired, and to keep pushing forward even when I feel I can’t go any further. To keep promises to myself, because I deserve kept promises. To appreciate myself for all that I’m worth, and to never settle for anyone who treats me less than my immeasurable value. This summer, my objective to myself was to do what was best for me, and the people I love, and now, even though I still have a lot to rewrite and rebuild, I feel as if I’m on my way to accomplishing that.

I took a deep breath, exhaled, and said a silent “Namaste”. I thanked my mom, and I thanked myself, for giving me the strength to remove toxicity from my life, and to refocus my intention.

Today marks exactly two months since I lost my best friend, my rock: my mom. It also marks the day that I decided I deserved better than how I was being treated, and how I was treating myself. I want to be unconditionally loved for my authentic self, and I want to strive for being the best version of myself that I can be. Even though that will take quite some time, I’ve found that that’s worth the wait.

I’ve found that I’m worth the wait.

Sending my love,

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