Today is a really cool day for me, for a number of reasons. First, and most importantly, today represents the first step of many that I’m successfully taking “for my demons”. So, what happened exactly, and why for your demons? Here goes:
Today, for my demons, I experienced B*ING. The most obvious substitute for my crafty * is the letter L, for BLING. Yes, I did it. I bought myself a life present! A “big boy” gift of BLING. The Cartier Pasha tank that now sits on my wrist is something that I’ve wanted since I first became In TransIT way back in October 2009. I put a picture of this watch on my bedroom wall because I love it, and knew that I had to have it someday. To me, it’s a life present that very much symbolizes a goal achieved, an old era gone by, and a new one beginning and taking beautiful shape.
The second part of B*ING is the letter E, for BEING. My BLING very much represents an important and hard lesson I’ve had to learn over the last two years in BEING. Back in 2010, someone said to me that I needed to learn how to just “BE”. He said that BLING like my Cartier watch on the wall kept me from BEING, which in effect rendered me a bad and unworthy person in his eyes. Sadly, I’ve really struggled with that statement and concept for the last two years. I internalized what was seen by one set of eyes and assumed that I had no value in all sets of eyes. Even as my self-esteem took a prolonged nosedive, I continued to try and understand - when we are BEING, what are we actually doing?
Sadly, the answer to this question did not fully resonate with me until March 29th, when my paternal grandmother died. Her death, while logically not shocking, really struck me because I believed she was invincible. My grandma Missy was essentially my primary caretaker until I was three years old, as my mother and father were finishing their medical residencies. She in effect was like my mother in my earliest days, and her death broke the bottom of my heart.
As I grieved and prepared the eulogy I delivered at her funeral last week, I also began to celebrate. I ceased grieving a seemingly invincible woman pulled into death by age and circumstance (she was 82). Instead, I celebrated a woman who raised 14 children BY HERSELF, who was the foundation of East Baltimore’s religious community though she never had a license or a car, who received a Master’s degree in Theology at 80 YEARS OLD. I celebrated a woman who had mastered the art of B*ING.
For those who knew my grandmother - and I know there are many, since there were 300 people at her funeral (!!!) - she loved fashion. While never monetarily rich, she was always rich in spirit, love, honesty, and STYLE. She adorned herself with what B(L)ING she could - and looked GOOD! More valuable and lasting, though, was her commitment to B(E)ING. My grandmother Missy was always and undeniably HERSELF. Her spirit will last forever for its unconditional commitment to BEING. She was a woman who was always true to herself and to others - even when they didn’t want her to be!
So, what does a Cartier watch have to do with my grandmother? Actually, a LOT. In her lifetime, her commitment to BEING brought her family up from the aftermath of slavery and abject poverty to a place where her 26 year old grandson can buy Cartier. That is TRULY a miracle, a blessing, and such a testament to what her unwavering spirit has done for me - and my entire family.
They also matter and are related because her death was my first real and heavy reminder that we are only temporary visitors on this Earth. It finally hit me, by reflecting on my grandmother’s life, what BEING actually means, and what we do when we are BEING.
While we are here, we have no choice but to master just that - BEING. If a part of BEING is having BLING, then DO IT. Work hard. Pursue dreams. Explore. Travel. Live. Love. But most important of them all - BE. Be true to your gifts that are unique to you. Share them. Cultivate them. Be true to your spirit that is occupying your body for this earthly journey, because, if you’re not - then what really is the purpose of B*ING?