God has been doing some wonders in my life this past week, month, and year. Wonders! He’s been helping me to lift so much weight off of my shoulders, giving me the strength to carry more purposeful loads. It’s kind of interesting, though. I had spent so much time fighting each battle in the war against my past, that I definitely lost sight of what’s ahead.

I’ve been getting too caught up in the here and now. So focused on surviving today, that I forgot about living tomorrow. Or, I suppose I never knew. I suppose I’ve never truly lived, in the real essence of the word. I’ve only always survived. I am a natural-born survivor. As for a liver, meh, I only know about that word in reference to that gross portion of the animal, I never cared to eat. I’m not a liver. A doer. At least I wasn’t. I’m a survivor. More than a conqueror.

I suppose that’s where my discomfort with the latest place of High, God has planted me on. I know nothing about this place. The perfect way to explain this is through the analogy of my being pregnant. I was telling my mom and my home skillet Ms. Clarke, that I made up this fantasy in my head about what it would be like to be pregnant (particularly, this far along). In my head, it would be simple. The changes in my body would be slowed down, perhaps even subdued by my willingness to stay the same. If that makes any damn sense.

I wish you all knew me personally, so you’d get it more. I am and always have been, an on the go person. Moreover, the Leo in me has these undying need to control everything around me, particularly me. My pride is through the damn roof, on most days. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Throwing in my very young age in human years, inexperience with giving birth to a child, and natural youthful arrogance, I’m a ticking time bomb y’all. I have it all figured out, all the damn time! Can’t nobody tell Shaquana nothing. Because of course, she knows everything there is to know about anything.

Now, obviously this is not true. Ugh! If only you all knew. I’ve been down this road indefinitely, too many times. I get to learning about things I have yet to discover. I reach a point where I foolishly tell myself that I know everything I need to know. And then, at some ubiquitously inevitable time, it all comes crashing down. My understanding, that is. Reality hits. I am forced, even smacked in the face with the fact that I do not, did not, and most likely will not, ever have it all figured it. That the person who knows it all, knows that they know nothing at all. That the more answers I get, the more questions I will have.

It’s always quite the humbling experience. Quite, quite humbling. Especially for a roaring lioness like myself. This pregnancy thing is noooo different. I have decided, at some point (not even sure when) that I know it all. Not about pregnancy. About my pregnancy. My past traumas and losses have helped me convince myself of this. People’s inability and unwillingness to approach me for me, as opposed to a non-existent essentialized pregnant woman, helps with the convincing as well. No one understands me and my story. No one sees what I’ve been through. Only me. So, like everything else in my life, I must go this road alone. Like the lone ranger.

This mindset is obviously no good. I keep reminding myself, per introduction from #TheQueenCode, that I need to do heart work, not hard work. And per the universe, that I need to work smarter, not harder. In such, there’s no room for me to remain my hard-headed, stubborn behind. I gotta stop lying false truths into myself. It’s just no room for that, where I am right now. Let alone, where I’m headed. I am not on my own. God has encircled around me, the most beautiful essence of souls one could know. I just need to remain open to them and their loving light. If not, I’ll be damned back to the darkness I had to spend over a decade working to get out of.

This is where my mommy-to-be status becomes even more important. We all know that saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ God knows its significant truth! My incessant need to isolate myself against the whole damn world, stands directly in contradiction with that saying. Thus, all the while I am looking to create and/ or fortify a very much-needed village for my butterbean, I am closing every door and denying every application that comes through. It’s just straight up foolishness. Might I add, it takes mad friggin’ energy that I don’t even have.

You see, I got so caught up in fighting to get to this stage of my pregnancy, that I forgot to plan for what to do and how to live, when I did. I never expected to be this far along, as I am about six months folks. Even saying that freaks me out. I truly got so caught up in surviving, I forgot to plan to live. How to live. What to live. Where to live. So, God did His part. I did some of my part. And now, everyone is looking at me like, ‘what’s next Shaquana?’ And I have no idea. I’m looking back at them like, ‘you tell me!’ Haha! I’m a hot mess, for real, y’all.

How am I gonna block everyone out, shut down their ideas and refute their support, only to turn back around and be like, ‘you still standing by me, right?’ Where they do that at? Haha! In Shaquana world, that’s where! So yea, I’m clueless. And very uncomfortable, might I add. I live my life focused on having a plan. On knowing which way to go next. On not only having a map, but in fact, creating the map my damn self. I don’t do well following the road of others. But remember, life is all about balance.

It is important for me to be able to create my own road and path to glory. It is also important for me to be wise enough to know when to take heed and follow the steps or blueprints of other’s paths and roads to glory. It’s a fine balance. It takes much finesse. But, who would I be if I didn’t have finesse? Excuse my confidence, if I might say so myself.

Being a mom requires the best execution of balance, possible. For the downsides of living on any extreme, not only affects one now, but two. And that’s nothing to play with. I tell you, I keep having those moments where I’m asking myself and God, ‘what the hell am I doing working to be a mom, Lord? This is Shaquana, we’re talking about here.’ But more and more, I’m realizing that’s the whole purpose here. This little butterbean is doing something no one in the whole wide world could do; she’s humbling Shaquana Gardner to the umpteenth degree. She’s taming this raging and roaring lioness.

I am so used to being Charles in Charge, ya know? Which is cool. I also need to learn how to get comfortable with taking a back seat, though. How can I be in the driver’s seat all the time, and still have time to be a mom? I can’t, that’s how. Or rather, how not. That’s why it’s so important for me to really take hold of the help and security of the supporters I have around me. I just don’t know how yet. Or rather, I know how and I am just not comfortable with how, yet. That’s a better and more honest way to put it.

Which gets me into my last point. I am sad and alone. Not for long, though. I haven’t taken much time to digest what it actually means emotionally, to be a single parent. I got so caught up on the logistics, like having a safe place to live, money and other material “security” and being set up professionally, I conveniently forgot about the emotional health of my lonely heart.

I haven’t been and still am not able to process the father of my child being gone. That’s why he is and will continue to be (for as long as God permits), ‘HeWhoShallRemainNameless.’ I’m heartbroken. So heartbroken, I haven’t even said it out loud until this post. I made peace with it, before I acknowledged it. Hoping it would make this part a little easier. I’m not gonna lie, it did. I don’t have the physical or mental energy to hate him or even be angry or disappointed. That’s why I had to write that letter to him. I needed to take myself back from the situation.

Now that I have, I don’t know what in the world to do with myself. I am forced to deal with all of my emotions. No longer enabled with an outlet to project them onto. Which of course, is the whole point here. I’ve just never made it this far in the emotional health section. This is uncharted territory for me. I don’t know how to do this part with experience or excellence, so to speak.

How am I supposed to be heartbroken and joyful at the same time? How I am supposed to be free from the shackles of regret and chained to my guilt, simultaneously? How I am supposed to smile and cry, at the same damn time? I mean I know how, as I am doing it right now. I just don’t feel comfortable. If that makes any sense. This is such a place of discomfort.

Which in and of itself, is truly comforting because I know I won’t be here for long. Discomfort is a sure motivator for me to get things moving. I don’t do discomfort well. I’m also not one to lie myself into believing discomfort can become complacency. I don’t do well complacent either. I’m just not that into being mediocre. Half ass. Barely there, but who cares. Ya feel me?

That’s why I’m so big on being positive. I know some people gotta wonder, can a person, a whole real human being, be this damn positive? I’d have to say yes. As, I am a whole real human and I truly am this positive. And optimistic. (Side Note: positivity and optimism are in fact two different things, but I’ll get into that in another post).

No gas, you cannot live the life that I have lived, being anything other than positive and optimistic, and make it out alive. You’d be dead, literally and/ or figuratively. That’s why so many people in the ‘hood are addicted to something. So many people everywhere are addicted to something. But in the ‘hood, it is the norm, not the exception. It’s the way of life. There’s steel ceilings all around us. We can only dream about glass ones.

There’s no hope. And that shit sucks. That shit hurts, real bad. You’d only understand if you lived it. We’re human beings. Yet, we’re raised and farmed, as dreadfully as the livestock people fool themselves into believing, are being raised on grass farms, instead of factory farms. We’re as bad off as the pigs, cows and chickens of America. Real talk.

That’s why alcohol, any “illicit” drug, cigarettes, food, television and now especially, technology becomes our poison. Our drug. Our way out of no way out. That’s why I have to be so positive and optimistic. I had to make that into my drug. Or else, I’d still be apart of the walking and living dead, or worse, the dead dead.

I think I’m rambling now. I don’t know if I am doing the best of job at connecting my thoughts. I just know that I am lonely. Not alone. I have people. God is showing me more and more everyday, that I truly do have people. I’m just trying to figure out how to not feel lonely anymore. I don’t want to be in that place again, where I am in a room full of people and still feel lonely as ever. It’s much easier to just be alone, in that case. But I know better. I don’t need to be alone. I’m not alone. So, I don’t need to feel lonely.

I just wish I had someone to hold me. To make me feel un-alone. To kiss my cheek and smile at me because I’m beautiful. Someone to rub my belly, to show they’re as excited about being in my life, as they are about being in my butterbean’s life. Someone to rub my very achy and often painful, lower back. Someone to love me real good. Real, real good. Someone to share the love of this beautiful blessing with. I wish I didn’t feel like that was so far-fetched. Like I am dreaming of flying to the moon, on the backs of a fork and knife, to sing lullabies. It can’t be that far-fetched, right?

The addictive positive and optimistic in me, says ‘Hell no Shaquana. That ain’t nothing but a thing.’ I just gotta keep faith. I gotta figure out what it is I am asking God for. I know it’s right in front of me. I can feel it. I can feel them. Him or her. Whoever it is. I just need to name it and it’ll come to fruition. I gotta figure it out.

On a brighter note, this post just made me 2,000+ words closer to it. And for that, I give God all the glory! A’se!

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