So I’m in the middle of an identity crisis. Allow me to explain…
My life looked totally different just a year ago; I was a self-sufficient burgeoning young professional working in downtown DC living very comfortably. I thought I had it fairly together. I had my own place, car, money, means. No, I wasn’t necessarily totally fulfilled; I loathed my job but was grateful that it provided me with the means to live a lifestyle that appealed to me. I could afford to pay my bills, put gas in my car, and most importantly buy the shoes I wanted.
I wasn’t totally overcome with joy all the time, but I was very content knowing that I had a plan and this plan was beginning to come to fruition. I was in the process of furthering my education which would give me the type of career I had always wanted for myself. Professionally, I was becoming the person who I had always wanted to be and this gave me satisfaction.
People? Nawl. I didn’t really require too many people or a close social circle. Through my ‘hard knock’ type of upbringing I had been conditioned to not depend on others, for anything, ever. EVER. Because eventually, in one way or another, they will end up leaving you. -Abandonment issues much? So this had always translated to me treating people like they were disposable to a certain extent. Hard core right? I know! Sure I had my close inner circle and I still do have them. But I would not hesitate to ‘cut you off’ if you were detrimental to the mirage of a world that I had built for myself.
What a way to live, right? I know, don’t worry it get’s better.
Fast forward a year later: I no longer enjoy the ‘comfortable’ life that I did just 12 months ago. Much of my identity is gone yall. Although I still have my own, I’m no longer as self-sufficient as I would like to be. I have to practice a level of restraint that I haven’t been accustomed to doing in my adult life. I can no longer go out and blow a ridiculous amount of money on shoes, clothes and food. My new job is to be a grunt. Nawl not really (but yeah kind of tho…). I’m a full-time student, which for me is new. I’ve never not worked a full-time job since leaving undergrad (yes, even in my Master’s program), so this is definitely a first. Losing Mollie meant losing the epicenter of a lot of things, mainly my source of support and a portion of my identity. A lot of motivation can be driven by the need for us as children to make our parents proud and see them happy. When you lose all aspects of those defining details seemingly overnight, it can be mind-blowing.
This puts me in a foreign position. I’m vulnerable yall, and I don’t like it. Suddenly the one who almost took pride in the fact that she [thought she] didn’t need anybody found herself needy? That ain’t right. When major life changes happen like this another funny thing happens: your outer circle (and sometimes inner circle too) start to drift away. I have never felt more alienated than I did after Mollie died and I started school. I understand that people don’t know how to react to both situations, so they tend to not act at all and that’s fine. But through all of this I’ve come to the re-realization (is that a word?) of what I knew all along. I can’t do things on my own. I don’t know what I’m doing, hell most of us don’t and that’s ok. It might not feel good all of the time but it’s still ok.
I always knew that this shift needed to happen in order for me to become my best self; my identity last year may have been built on the false perception that I had “it” all under control, but deep down I knew better. Inherently I knew that I was not an island, but baye-by I was a peninsula tho. Looking back, that level of arrogance (yes, it was after all some form of arrogance) is hard for me to comprehend now.
What a difference a year makes.
Sopapilla cheesecake Bars
So I was in NC and my friend actually hipped me to this recipe. It was actually like really good. I’m not a huge cheesecake fan, but trust me this is worth making and it’s really easy.
- 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 c sugar plus another 3/4 c
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 8oz cans of refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 c butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 c honey
Preheat oven to 350°F
Spray a glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with 1c of the sugar and the vanilla until smooth.
Unroll the cans of crescent dough using a rolling pin so that they are large enough to cover the baking dish. Press one can of the dough into the bottom of the dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough and cover with the other piece of the crescent dough.
Mix the butter, the remaining sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl and spread it evenly on top of dough.
Bake until the dough has puffed and turns a nice golden brown, about 30 mins. Allow to cool and and drizzle with honey if desired. Cut into small bars and serve.