35… This is 35.
As I sit back and reflect while I consider all that has allowed me to arrive at this very pivotal moment in my life. It is at this very moment, that I commit to taking up space fully, and authentically. After all, it has taken me 35 years to get here… thus the importance of honoring the space that I am in is essential to the very core of my being.
“Honoring the space that you’re in.”
The phrase alone brings me to such a climactic capacity. Digesting the elements required to honor and present agency over in my current territory, encourages me to be cognizant of every experience that has guided my ability to honor the space that I occupy, admittedly and, fully.
First things first, I…made it! I, me, she, HER! I made it. I have reached, achieved, and sustained levels that are unheard of for a young black woman, raised in a single-parent household, exposed to sex, sexual abuse and molestation, drugs, guns, and violence at early age should not have. When I reflect on the very beginning phases of my life, it is almost impossible for me not to be in awe of everything that I have overcome to get to where I am. I mean honestly, I should be a basket case and sometimes I feel like I am. So when I glorify the fact that I ‘made it. The term ‘making it’ has less to do with materialistic components of success and everything to do that I quite literally survived EVERYTHING that was meant to break me.
I have reached, achieved and sustained levels that are unheard of for a young black woman, raised in a single-parent household, exposed to sex, sexual abuse and molestation, drugs, guns and violence at an early age, should not have.
Exhibiting the courage to navigate the deep and sometimes even dark remnants of my past, I am elated that not only have I overcome them all, but I have truly worked through them. Gone is the notion that by age______, I should have______, should be______. I cannot express the amount of duress I created for myself by c doing my best to emphatically stick to this timeline of what I imagined my life should be. I recall a time in my early 20’ specifically, when I was married to my planner and overly attached to my schedule. I had to have every minute and every detail of my life mapped out.
My retail banking career was just beginning to thrive and because I was determined to adhere to a certain lifestyle, I also worked overnight at a group home for mentally challenged adults. My ‘day job’ at the bank consisted of me working from 11-8 Sunday and Monday. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off and then resumed working Thursday and Friday. I simultaneously worked overnight from Sunday- Wednesday. Eventually, I shifted my overnight schedule so I could begin taking classes at NCC.
I was determined to adhere to a certain lifestyle.
It was December 2008, I had my first apartment on Fairfield Ave in Bridgeport. Before moving out I saved just enough money to purchase a Queen mattress and box spring from Macy’s. I couldn’t afford the bedroom set before moving out so I purchased a metal frame from Goodwill. Because I had vision and foresight for my bachelorette pad, I worked incessantly to afford the $1,100 four-post, wooden bedroom set that I had my eye on. The bedroom set was beautiful! I went by the furniture store every week until I could afford it and kept my eye on it. It included a spacious dresser and mirror as well as a five-drawer vertical chest. When I was finally able to afford my dream bedroom set I was elated! I felt an assured sense of confidence! in setting a goal and accomplishing it. Moreover, a sense of self-set in. Self-reliance and self-sustenance grew as integral components of my personality. The next goal I set for myself was furnishing my living room. Given that I had earned the title of Supervisor at the bank, I was able to enjoy the sales incentives that came along with it. As such, I leveraged one of my bonus checks to purchase my dual reclining sofa from Jennifer convertibles. Next, it was my desk and chair that served as my make-shift office in the far right corner of my living room. Finally, at the end of my first year, I was able to strategically purchase a living room TV as well as a laptop for my office. My Mother knew how hard I was working and wanted to gift me a dinette set to compliment my cozy apartment. It was all coming together so wonderfully! The sense of joy and happiness that settled in as I recognized all of the efforts coming to fruition was unmatched! Honing in on the skills required to carefully craft and adhere to a schedule that would optimize my finances and ultimately ensure that I was able to succinctly curate the life that I knew that I deserved was and has remained a fundamental component of my livelihood.
There was one specific moment during this time where I did everything within my power to have consistent productive and perfect days. I was having lunch with my mother during a rare few hours off, and I was on the verge of breaking down because I couldn’t hold the toxic relationship I was in, together with any longer. Chile. I got the man that I thought that I wanted as well as all of the turmoil that came along with it. (The irony in getting what you want, I know.) He claimed that I was the woman that he wanted, however, he just could not stop having sex with other women. Because he was so sloppy and careless, I caught him on numerous occasions. On this specific occasion, I was reeling in the misery that I felt that I perpetuated. I had recently discovered a homemade porn video starring the man that I lived with and a woman he was engaged in a sexual relationship with. Yes, Hunny! He recorded himself having a full-blown session with what I believed to be a random young woman in our apartment!
I found homemade porn starring the man that I lived with and a woman that he was in a sexual relationship with,
So as I sat across the table from My Mother trying to hold it all together… she reached for my hand and told me that she could see my world of perfection crumbling all over my face, I lost it. I cried a river of tears that I thought could absolve me from this interminable state of perfection that I aimed to create. To me, the failure of said relationship translated into personal failure. I felt that being a good woman wasn’t enough, working hard wasn’t enough, being intelligent wasn’t enough, having a great job wasn’t enough, being a goal-setter and goal-getter wasn’t enough, presenting myself well wasn’t enough…ultimately I wasn’t enough. It was a challenging space to occupy, to say the least. By refusing to allow me to feel, or process what I was experiencing, I caused myself far more damage than healing. I stayed. I continued on this relationship because I thought that if I could fix something within myself, that I could fix us. That self-diminishing thought process couldn’t be further from the truth. The harder I worked, the further I climbed up the corporate ladder, and essentially the more money I made, the more egregious his behavior became. Eventually, I found myself and in doing so, I discovered the courage to walk away….
Fast-forward to a decade a change later. Several failed relationships, friendships, jobs, business ventures, experiences later. I now realize that much of who I was and what I experienced is all a culmination of who I have journeyed and continue to journey to become, Kacee M. King, MBA, a 35-year-young woman, Momprenuer, Boss, Mom, daughter, lover, creator, author, blogher, fashionista, business strategist, etc, etc, etc. A testament to me occupying and honoring the space that I am in, showing up abundantly, flawed, imperfect, authentic, boisterous, and joyously flat-footed in all that I am. I have made the executive decision to stand on just that! Understanding all that it took for me to learn to love myself for who I am, rather than berate myself for everything that I am not. I am allowing myself to take up space just as I am. Not when I lose 15 lbs, not when I become a millionaire, not when I become a Wife, not when my daughter starts walking (Yes Chile! She is 15 months and taking her sweet time!). I am celebrating each milestone as they are presented. I am not holding space for anything else that stands to come to fruition. I am honoring the space that I am in now because I deserve it. I worked hard for it. At this present stage, I refuse to self-sabotage and admonish myself for all that I am not. I will not beat myself up for everything that I did NOT do. I won’t assume any more responsibility for my shortcomings than necessary. I’ve made poor decisions, I have said or done the wrong things, I’ve kept quiet when I should have spoken up, I have lashed out when I should have taken a moment to gather my thoughts, I have done many things wrong, but I have also done so many things right, I won’t create any space for Mommy guilt, I will celebrate every beautiful moment that my daughter and I share. Most importantly, I will celebrate any and every minute form of success, because I deserve to.
I am honoring the space that I am in presently. Namastè.