I was a weird kid… to say the least.
Growing up an Army brat was kind of like being a nomad, in a sense. Every three
to six years, I found myself in a new city. A new environment. A new way of
living. Because of the constant changes, I missed building meaningful relationships
that last. Relocating made it extremely difficult for me to have consistent
friendships. Being one of the few black students in a wealthy community made it
easy to see that I was not like them. This suffocating relocation created insecurity
so deep that it has taken over two decades to identify and change. I felt like such an
outcast and had this desperate desire to be seen. Therefore, I did what I thought all
popular kids do: bully those seen as “less than,” play the mean girl card, and act
like I am untouchable.
I was an average athlete by high school, which gave me some sense of identity, but
my insecurities were still running rampant. I always wanted what someone else
had. Even though I had a group of girls I could relate to (the select few black girls
on campus), I still was not content with my life. Everything was a mess, and every
day, I had to see all the kids and their families with their BMWs, fancy clothes, and
jewelry. I am not saying I was not blessed; we just did not have an unlimited
amount of money like some of my classmates. I had all these harbored emotions
about who I was and how I felt about my life that I refused to communicate.
Eventually, I started to feel as if everyone was against me. I did not feel loved or
liked, and I created this false reality that hindered me from building relationships.
Looking back, I have come to understand that I ruined many friendships solely
because I did not want to deal with my issues. Trying to figure out why I am the
way I am, has been the most challenging time of my life, but I am thankful to God
I was able to trace the roots back to the source. It took years of me lashing out,
being angry, and wrecking every relationship in my life to realize I had severe
When I joined the Army after college, I finally felt like I had accomplished
something. I knew what I wanted to do, and I felt like I finally had the influence I
craved as an adolescent. I came into the Army for Military Police, and not only
was I one of the oldest people in my class, but I was also ranked higher than most.
Within my first assignment, I was immediately put in charge of my own team
based on my rank alone. In addition, because of my lack of skill and experience,
everyone hated me, but I did not care. I won! I was finally on top, and humility
was not a word that I knew. I reinvented myself to be the person that I always
wanted to be by living above my means, putting on a front, and treating people like
straight garbage. It was not until I got pregnant with my daughter that I was
humbled to my fullest capacity.
While I was in Iraq, I met a guy, and I got pregnant. I lost all opportunities of a
promotion, I was sent home alone, lost all respect that came with my position, and
just like that, the life I built came crashing down to hell. The remainder of my time
in the Army felt like I was living in bondage. I felt crazy and stuck, and like there
was no way out.
Like all the other relationships in my life, my marriage failed. After my divorce, I
moved to Denton, Texas, where no one knew me. The first few years were solid. I
felt good about the direction my life was going. I had given my life to God, and He
was providing and keeping me. I found a church about a year after I had moved to
Denton, and it seemed as if that was the community and friendship that I needed,
that I longed for. Therefore, I began to model my life after theirs. No one in the
church really had friends outside of the congregation, so I cut mine off. No one in
the church really focused on financial gain, so I gave all my money to the church. I
was a leader almost immediately and had some level of influence (sound
familiar?). I so desperately wanted to belong somewhere; I started doing things
that I was never called to do. As a result, I lost my voice. Before joining this
community of Christians, I was very assertive and stood up for what I thought was
right; I had a backbone. Over my time spent, I found myself developing into a “yes
man.” Members would call me for counsel, and I would give them advice that only
benefitted the church per the request of the leaders in charge.
During this time, I was still insecure, and now, I was also voiceless. My moral
compass seemed to point nowhere. I was financially depleted and had to rely on
others in unfamiliar ways. I had no confidence and low self-esteem. On top of all
that, I no longer felt called by God. I lost all perspective of my purpose. It was not
until 2019 that I realized what I experienced in my life was caused by the root of
insecurity that was not addressed: wanting to fit in, no matter what.
Newsflash: you were never born to fit in; you were born to stand out.
I went through many traumatic moments in my life because I was not vulnerable
enough to voice the issues I needed to work out. I was angry, depressed, anxious,
lonely, and desperate. Eventually, I found myself in counseling, and it was the best
decision I had ever made. I was finally able to discover the root of my spiraling
So, what changed? The shift began when I gained a Spiritual Father who affirmed
me and challenged me daily to be the best version of myself. It was not as easy as a
one-liner sentence. I screamed, I cried, I complained, and I wanted to quit a
numerous amount of times. Even so, he and his wife never stopped loving me.
They were consistent. They revealed to me the gift of vulnerability and how free I
could really be if I am honest with myself and God, about how I am truly feeling.
They taught me that authentic vulnerability with myself leads to a life of
transparency and openness with others.
It has been a long process to get to this place of being mentally, emotionally, and
spiritually whole. More goes into a healthy lifestyle than having a consistent
mentor. I talk to my therapist twice a month, I invest in a personal trainer, and I
decided to have meaningful relationships with friends that push me towards my
purpose. Some days are easier than others, and there are some months where I
completely withdraw. Insecurity may try to creep back in, but vulnerability stops it
at the door. Vulnerability is my saving grace.
It works for me, and I know it will work for you too.