Sunday, August 1, 2010
I recently celebrated 35yrs of life. When the idea entered my mind to have a party, I struggled with who to invite and who not to invite. I had placed certain people in my life in different groups and was debating within myself if it was time to merge them all into one group of people that I love and loved me back.
Celebrating life should be a joyous occasion to be enjoyed by all of the people that have contributed to your life in some way or another. Whether it’s a friendship of 6 months to 15yrs, it doesn’t take long for someone to make a lasting deposit into your life. Some people may have thought a small intimate gathering with a few friends would have been more personal, but being the person that I am I know that there is nothing small about my life and it took LOTS of people to get me to where I am today.
So I merged the list and invited everyone that I knew I could look in the face the day after and not feel one single ounce of judgment or regret. I knew that the only thing to talk about would be how much fun was had. The only guest I was nervous about was my family, but I knew I wanted them there. I have been away from home for over 12yrs and have grown tremendously. I left Richmond, Virginia a boy, but developed into a man. I didn’t party much and couldn’t hold my liquor to save my life. I was wondering if my mom would think that I was living the wild life as she once stated many years ago (Hey Ma). I was wondering if they would think I was no longer a Christian, but I had made up in my mind that they needed to see and meet the other people that love me and that have helped me along the way; people that have kept me safe and sane, people that have provided shelter for me when I didn’t have a place to live, people that fed me when I was broke, people that made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry and people that have prayed on my behalf even when I didn’t know it.
So, I sent out the invites to several people including my family and was all ready to celebrate like a rockstar until a few days before the party my mom said my uncles were coming….*Faints* This surely threw me into a mini shock. Who told them about the party and why did they want to come? When I said family I only had my aunts and my cousin in mind because I didn’t think anyone else would have wanted to come, but I was so wrong. I love everyone in my family, but in my mind I had put up a wall between myself and a few people for no reason other than stubbornness.
The party came and guest arrived including my uncles and to my surprise they had a blast being at my party and seeing all of the people that make up my life. There was a genuine embrace that took me back to my childhood when I looked up to my uncles. I was proud to show off my beautiful female and male friends, but I was mostly proud to introduce them to my friends of over 15yrs. I don’t think I have had a more special moment in my life and I will never forget it as long as I live.
The lesson I learned from this scenario is that when you allow people to see you for who you really are then they can love you for who you really are. Many of us live secret lives outside of and separate from our families, but how many of us have really taken the step to show our families who we really are? When we do this we help others to learn how to love outside the box. I encourage everyone to open up the box and allow the contents of what’s on the inside to be loved on the outside.