Titles mean a lot in my life. I like to live out my titles. I prioritize my life by them. Everyday when I wake up I'm a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a business owner, and an employee. I am wearing all of those hats every day, constantly. They never come off my head. I never have the convenience of just being Leandrea. Even in the moments when I would like to just be Elle Monroe, my alter, I first have to be everything else, Leandrea, and then Elle. It's tough, but it's my truth.
I am constantly prioritizing my life around these titles. First thing in the morning I start being multiple titles. I wake up to an alarm, on my iPhone, that I purchased to make it easier for me to be a business owner on the go. I check the weather and my email. I'm a business owner, employee, and mother that needs to know how cool or warm to dress her child. I wash my face. I brush my teeth. I get to be Leandrea briefly behind the closed bathroom door. Then I'm a mother. I get my son ready. I prepare his breakfast. I take him to school. Then I turn into an employee. I dress for success while hoping that I'm noticed as a business owner while I'm being an employee. I give my job a minimum 8 hours of my life daily. But, keep my business owner and mother hats near by.
Mother trumps everything. Mother always trumps everything. Mother can stop me from making jewelry for a customer, putting out a fire at work, being the perfect daughter, a listening friend, or a supportive sister. Mother trumps everything.
I eventually leave work, but because my business owner phone doubles as a employee catchall, I'm never without the employee hat it seems. I switch back into a mother primarily. I pick up my son, talk, play, prepare dinner, do bath time, and dress for bed. I juggle being a listening friend, a supportive sister, and a perfect daughter during this time. I try to cram in business owner while avoiding being an employee. It's difficult.
Then at the end of the day. When the sun has long since retreated and quiet is surrounding the house. I go back into the bathroom and close the door behind me. I get to be Leandrea again, briefly.
My little story is true, but this is more about how our titles can rope us into situations we don't want. I'm a sister. I'm the sister to an incredible woman who I think the world of. She is the woman who wakes to let the sun out in the morning, :). She's a powerful force that pushes me to be better without ever saying a word. I love my sister.
I have this brother who I realized, recently, I don't really like. The day came in my life that I had to take his "I love you because you are my brother" title away and just look at him as a man. If he was just any man, I wouldn't allow him in my life. I would consider our relationship toxic. So how do I separate myself from a toxic relationship that I'm supposed to be committed to? I feel bad, and this has stressed me out.
He's never done anything tangible that would cause me to hate him. It's the opposite. He's done so little it's caused me to question what his worth is in my life. I was the little sister that thought my brother could do no wrong. I thought he was the smartest, funniest, and best man on the planet. I excused the fact that he never desired to build a relationship with me. Then I realized that if this man were to prove that every excuse he'd made about his availability in my life were true, he would still not consider my worth in the same league of his. He would never value my opinion, feelings, or intelligence. He would always use me until his needs were met. Wow! I would never allow this from a man I dated. Why am I allowing this from my brother? It's similar to the old saying that you shouldn't meet those you idolize. They can never live up the image you have have of them.
Now, am I bitter? Absolutely, but more at myself than at him. I allowed this. I walked into this situation time and again. I would tell anyone else that if you cannot respect who I am, you aren't allowed in my life.
I will not settle in relationships. I will not give a title more power than I give myself. He is my brother. I love him. I will do anything for him, but allow him to make me feel like I'm less than what I am.
I am obsessed with titles. I think about them daily. I prioritize them to death. I will always juggle them in my head, but I will not allow a title to give someone power or purpose they don't deserve.