JILL SCOTT couldn’t have stated it more simply and in the last days of 2015 her words resounded beautifully and on repeat.
“I just wanna be prepared…”
It was the opening line of the song that first caught my attention.
“I been reading my old journals…checking to see where my head has been.”
All I could think was How brave! I have been so many versions of myself over the years with written stories, prayers and journal entries capturing each flawed line of reasoning, trip, fall, adjustments and rise. Do I want to relive those aches and pains? But I have to admit she has me curious about what I thought then, how I moved then and how I arrived at this moment.
Even more importantly, I am curious about which ideas, hurts and wishes I am afraid to revisit because they are ingrained in my every day and have to be discarded. They have to be left to yellow and fade so I can truly prepare for what is coming for me.
Because it is coming.
I stall the progress at times like this when the sources are right in front of me and I refuse to look deeply into them. Into myself. Fear barring me from the freedom that will allow me to return to the little girl, the teenager that may not have always known how to keep still for small talk, but could wind one sentence into a story exposing the soul.
Everyone cannot manage that. So I know it’s coming because it is what I was designed for.
I am and always have been a storyteller with the ability to influence and inspire. My passion for history and making sure people are seen, feel seen is all I have ever known. But my insistence on my own truth, or my own lies, resulted in receiving and inflicting bumps and bruises that are scary to revisit. I know I didn’t get it right the first time or the third and reading the episode as it unfolds, or recognizing the moment it all went awry–well, I’m not sure how ready I am to face it, but something is drawing me besides Jill’s wisdom.
See. You invent a doctrine as you negotiate ups and downs. You decide what things mean for you so you can keep going, but secretly you know they are words to get you through. Not the answers that would free you. These words galvanize into ideas to help you shrug off the offense or the question or the pain. And without a real answer. And without real peace about the blank spaces, I simply adorn these wounds of unmet needs and haunting shoulda-woulda-couldas and sprinkle them over pages of prose and poetry to make them the silver lining to the ache.
And whatever this hurt is is soothed in the clever dialogue of characters or the measured cadence of free verse lines. The pain has no specific name in this realm. But it exists. Pinning me to this moment and keeping me from manifesting what I know is coming.
So I guess I’ll be reading my old journals. Checking to see where my head has been.
And I’ll be lettin’ some old ideas go. Making room for my life to grow…
I just wanna be prepared.