‘I feel it deep in my bones. I don’t know who I’ll be on the other side. I hope she’s someone I can live with.’: Woman feels change in times of protests and Covid-19, ‘It’s scary but full of hope’

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“Something is happening to me. A shift. I feel it, deep in my bones that I’m changing. I won’t call it growth. This implies maturation. I’m grown. Fully developed. But I am changing, again. I fear these shifts. And welcome them.

I fear I don’t know who I will be on the other side of them. I welcome them because I’m always better than I was before.

I sense them coming. The transition isn’t an easy one. I feel the weight of everything at once.

I recognize myself but I don’t know myself. I see my reflection and I know those are my eyes but they don’t quite see the same. These lips don’t quite feel the same. The song that springs from my tongue doesn’t quite sound the same. I am me, but I’m not me.

Courtesy of Tiffany Hammond

I am lost within myself because all that I currently am is fighting for a place within the person I’m becoming.

I find comfort in the constants of my life. The scent of fresh pie takes me back to when I used to sit at my grandmother’s table and listen to her tell us, ‘What y’all know about that’ whenever a new song came on the radio. When I take in my oldest son’s face and realize I live within his smile.

Courtesy of Tiffany Hammond

These moments allow me a bit of pause. It’s in the calm I notice I’m crowning. Preparing to birth a new version of myself.

I’m nervous, but I’m ready.

And I rest a lot more. I take those moments between the contractions of my writing, life, racism, pandemics, advocacy, parenting… and I rest. But those moments are few these days. Those calming constants slip further from my grasp. There’s pain in this shift.

I can numb it with hugs from my husband.

Those are rare because we both don’t care for them. But I crave them when I ache. I yearn for touch when I shed old skin. I find this odd sometimes because I am raw and soft when old strips away, preparing for new.

Courtesy of Tiffany Hammond

Touch is often painful for me. But as I shift, I invert pain. I crave touch because it soothes.

There’s promise in this shift. I don’t always recognize it. In those small pockets of stillness, I crave soul food. You know? Sunlight, giggles from my boys, the feel of the grass after the sky cries underneath my bare feet. Food for my soul. I chew truth backward because I need to see where I have been because maybe I can tell where I’m going.

Soul food, craving the touch of my husband to dull my pain, living within the scents of my childhood, finding myself in my children’s faces, and resting more than usual. All that lets me know I’m changing. All that lets me know the person I am today will soon be no more. I don’t know who I’ll be on the other side of this. I always hope she’s someone I can live with. And every single time, I am satisfied with the person I have become. Until I’m not… at that point, I’ll shift again.

Courtesy of Tiffany Hammond

This is always scary for me. Always.

But I am learning to listen to my body. These hands know when it’s time to write a new page. These lips know when it’s time to sing a new song. These feet know when it’s time to walk a new path.

And even though I shift some, I change who I am a bit, I am still fundamentally me. With all the phases of the moon, the moon is still the moon.

Courtesy of Tiffany Hammond

Change is scary and sometimes painful. But it’s also beautiful and full of hope. I experience so much hurt, scared for the person I am becoming… but I am also healing in these moments. I don’t ever question the transition, I welcome it, pain and all. I allow myself to feel everything. If I don’t know the pain, how can I appreciate the pleasure? There’s inspiration in my struggles. There’s power in my scars, they remind me I’m a survivor. I confront that pain and examine my scars.

The process of change, is in part, an act of healing.”

Courtesy of Tiffany Hammond

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tiffany Hammond from Abilene, Texas. You can follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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