How others almost stopped me from celebrating my blessings
For those of you who may or may not know, I am married to an ex-NFL player. My husband worked his a$$ off for ten years in the NFL, crushing goals and exceeding expectations. Being an all-pro cornerback, going to the Super Bowl and being an all-around superior athlete comes… MONEY.
I came into Marcus’ life as a young woman. I was twenty-one, pretty broke, working as a barista, going to college and living the straight up club life. I wasn’t looking for a man, let alone an athlete. When I went out with my friends, we took our paychecks, bought outfits from Wet Seal and had just enough money left to club for the weekend; I wasn’t looking for someone to buy me a drink, I had my last $32.50 to buy my own. First and foremost, my friends and I only went to the club to DANCE. If my friends and I met a guy and thought he was cute, we talked to him. Plain and simple. There were no expectations or requirements for a “rich man” or an “athlete.” I honestly didn’t even know what a “gold digger” or “groupie” was until I started dating my husband…
Because, all of a sudden, I became one.
When I met Marcus, my world was rocked in a very short period of time. We got pregnant, engaged and married all within three years. While we were dating, and even after we had our first daughter, I would hear things like:
“They won’t last.”
“She’s a groupie.”
“No one likes her.”
“He doesn’t love her.”
“She’s a gold digger.”
“She trapped Marcus.”
The more chilling part is, these nasty words were not coming just from outsiders; we would hear things from people we knew. How dare this young girl come in, get herself pregnant and then force this man to be a father to his baby? Then to top it off, he falls in love with her?
Hearing these bothered me and made me insecure, but that didn’t stop me from being who I am or from being happy. It most certainly didn’t block the plan that God had for Marcus and my life.
Then, Marcus gave me a ring.
For some, this shut them up and they jumped on the “Team Trufant” bandwagon. For others, it ENRAGED THEM! See, it was okay to be the young girl working as a barista, struggling in school, living from paycheck to paycheck. Don’t get me wrong; I was still happy. But, hey. Life wasn’t exactly a piece of cake at twenty-one. To others, when I became engaged to an athlete, I became a threat.
How dare this girl have a baby with someone that actually loves her, wants to spend the rest of his life with her, and who makes her happy beyond her wildest dreams? How dare he share his hopes, dreams and money with her. How dare her to have a nice car, a big house and nice things; “the nerve of her to change.” She was supposed to stay the young, clubbing barista with $30.50 to her name! She was meant to get dogged by Marcus, return to work and struggle to make ends meet with a daughter.
At one point, it got so bad. Some of my family members ALMOST broke my spirit. It still pains me to this day to relive the things they would say about me. I was “on a high horse.” I had “changed.” I was “bougie,” a “bitch,” a “slut,” a “bad mom,” and apparently all I did was brag. They accused my fiancé of horrible things, and they tried to tear me down in every way.
I kept pushing on.
I have to admit, I am human. Wait, aren’t we all? After all that I went through, I became too ashamed to celebrate my life with others. I am very cautious with what I share because I don’t want to be torn down for being the “rich bitch” that brags all the time.
I don’t want to share when something exciting happens in my family.
I don’t want to share my highs.
I don’t even want to share my kids’ highs.
I don’t want to share when I buy something that most would celebrate buying, like a new car.
I don’t want to share that I am building a house.
I don’t even want to talk about how happy I am because I know that I can be perceived as bragging.
I’ll never forget, one day I was stressed out because I was going to be around some of my family and I didn’t want them to see my new bracelet my husband bought me. My husband looked at me and said, “What’s wrong with you? If you’re ashamed to share the blessings you have, then maybe you shouldn’t have them at all.”
That’s deep. *In my Kendrick Lamar voice.*
This really struck a chord within me. Why should I have to hide my blessings? It is one thing to brag about the things you have, (I know a serial-bragger or two) but I didn’t even want to share happiness of any kind. I had realized it’s not my problem if they aren’t happy with my happiness; it’s not my issue if they think I’ve changed and I’m bougie; it’s not my cross to bare if they think I’m a “rich bitch.” You know why?
Chances are, the people that talk negatively about my life are unhappy with their own. Remember, misery loves company. When I was the young, less-polished Jess with boy drama, little money and barely making it through school, I was cool. I was relatable, and my struggle was all good because I was “normal.” Normal is okay with everyone.
But give a girl a little happiness, not even in the monetary sense, and I become all the things stated above.
I have had several people mention to me how I’ve changed or how I wasn’t the way I am until I met Marcus.
In closing, I have changed. Thank you, Jesus, for my changes. I am no longer twenty-one, I am thirty-five. I have changed from a young woman to a woman; I am a mother, a wife, a blogger, I help in the community, I’ve changed the way I think, I’ve changed the things I have, I’ve changed the things I do. Oh, and starting my blog was an added bonus. It has given me even more of a reason to celebrate my happiness and changes with everyone and not be ashamed.
So yes, you’re right, I have changed. I’ve changed for the better.
No matter what, my changes will never stop my blessings from overflowing. So either roll with it or go find your own happiness, come back and we can celebrate our highs together.