O is for Obligation
There have been multiple cringe worthy situations that I have slept in, way passed the snooze button.
Remained at jobs that shredded my quintessence
Kept friendships that expired like 2000 year-old strawberries
There was always some lack luster excuse to remain in septic situations. Whether it was due to the length of time, because I felt as though I had to, or I already attached myself to the situation/person, I slept in it. I committed myself to things/people and felt stuck in that commitment. I made myself responsible for conflicts, issues and burdens that had NOTHING to do with me. There have been so many times I’ve felt like I owed a person, company or situation.
I had this passed down thought that a solid 9-5 is the only way to obtain income and without it- I’d be on the streets. I was urged by various people, during my younger years, that once I get a job, keep it, because they’re all the same. I needed a job, and I had to stick with it. I clutched on to those wise words and carried it with me during my career. However, every time I was at a job (corporate ‘Merica), I would end up leaving. I couldn’t stay longer than a year. By the third month into the positions, I was itching to leave. Nonetheless, I would stay because I felt I had to. I had responsibilities at those jobs and I felt if I left, then things may be disorganized for a while. Or, I felt as though if I left, I would let the company down. Meanwhile, I wasn’t initially happy with those jobs. They didn’t create an environment that allowed their employees to feel safe, the pay was low, I didn’t feel appreciated and work life balance was off as a mutha (Shut yo’ mouth!). The longer I stayed at these jobs, the further I felt away from my goals and dreams.
I eventually had to face the fact that I don’t owe these companies anything. Attaching myself to these companies that I authentically didn’t want to be a part of or didn’t align with my purpose- would continue to end abruptly. I realized that I chose imaginary obligation over authenticity. I chose to sleep under a blanket of “survival mode” only to jump out the bed and sleep under it again shortly after. It was a cycle that I couldn’t do anymore. I was getting dizzy and I couldn’t recognize my dreams anymore.
Now, if I ever work at a job (of course accepting it means I like it and it aligns with my purpose) and it becomes toxic, harmful or growth stunting, I will throw the blanket of obligation off like it’s 92 degrees and the air conditioner isn’t working. I still deal with feeling obligated to stay at jobs that I ain’t got no business lingering at, but I have gotten better. I faced the reality that I’ll be replaced, life will go on and that will be that.
I used to take pride in having long-term friendships. Although it’s a beautiful thing to watch my friends blossom over the years- not everyone in my circle was rooting for me to be my honest self or even satisfied that I was happy. After de-converting, reflecting, going within and dealing with my own mess, I realized I needed to be honest about my circle of friends. My life went upside down and shook heavy during 2014-2017. My version of happy was peeking its head into my room and authenticity was already at my bedside. Some friends tried to “witness to me” back to Christianity DESPITE ME REQUESTING THEY’D CEASE THAT MESS. Some friends did not tolerate my evolution and hid behind their religion to justify their mistreatment towards me. Some people, the damage that was done over the years, on both sides, was growing high like weeds. STILL, I tried to make amends, communicate and ignore the fact that the friendship had expired. I felt obligated to stay connected because of the history. Nope, nope, nope. I learned the hard way that it’s not about the history. It’s about the growth, the present and acceptance of who someone is. I don’t owe people vacancy to my heart just because of the history. I cherish them, I love them from a distance and wish them well. I still have some dope close friends though ( Dominique, Muffin, Biscuit and Alivey).
Life is way too beautiful to waste it on entertaining feelings of obligation. You don’t owe anyone anything. However, if you should ever decide to commit to something, make sure it feeds you, and you feed it.