I know what I was on, I had a Pilot Jones. She took me high, then she took me home… f.ocean
As Hip Hop Asana, a yoga class done to hip-hop, came to an end and I was lying in Savasana (shah-VAH-sah-nah), the final part of a yoga class where you lie still like a corpse (but it’s so much more than that!), I followed her lead, “deep breathe in and deep breathe out, HAAAAAA….” The tears began to stream down my face. I always cry in Savasana. “And again, deep breathe in and deep breathe out, HAAAAAA….” I swear that I can go a whole day without breathing. “Not possible!!!” you’re thinking, and I’ll admit you have a point! But, MY point is that if I feel like I haven’t breathed all day, then I haven’t BREATHED all day. “HAAAAA….” And as the tears fell, a million thoughts ran through my head… “stop thinking! You’re not supposed to be thinking in Savasana!!! HAAAAAA…I seriously underestimated Hip Hop Asana! HAAAAAAA…How did I go from loving every minute of life to slamming that hard bread onto the counter and screaming ‘I’M GOING TO SET THIS BREAD ON FIRE AND THROW IT THROUGH PANERA’S WINDOW!!!’ HAAAAAAAAAA…How did you get here Kenya!? I always ask myself that after a big crash.
I was so high! Happiness is like a drug to me. I love the way happy feels. I get a taste and I need to feel it more! I figure out what makes me happy and I surround myself with it! I know how to choose happy when I’m angry or sad because who wants to feel down? I’m hooked on happy and I know exactly how to get it. Before I know it, I’ve booked every minute of every day with someone or something that gives me that feeling, that high! I give myself no time to recharge, no time to rest and no time to breathe! I love to make the people that I love, happy! That’s the ultimate high! There is no better score! What happens is that I eventually confuse someone else’s happy with my own happy and begin to make choices that no longer make me happy but make me feel resentful and obligated. At some point all this feeling becomes exhausting and this my friends, is how I crashed.
It began two weeks prior on a Friday. I got off work and was making the trip from Nashville to Atlanta to host Curls & Cocktails. It rains every time I leave Nashville. I’m not talking about the drizzle kind of rain that makes you sleepy. I mean RAIN! The kind of rain that makes you pull over on the highway and say old lady things like, “these trucks are going so fast!” The universe begged me to stay put, but when I’m high…I’m no one to be reasoned with. As the rain let up, I took a call with MonicaMarie and rattled off my weekend agenda to her, “get into town and slumber party with the girls, dinner with Erika, Lala’s recital in the morning and then I need to get a wax and my nails done, I’d like to stop through H&M, meet Dani for lunch or drinks, relax for at least 2 hours before C&C, C&C, then drive back at 8am to meet his parents in Nash for brunch!” I don’t even remember what she said, but I remember replying, “I know… I’m going to crash soon…” She was worried and I was too. So, I can’t lie and say I didn’t see it coming, but once its coming…its as good as here. Now, I’m not blaming my break down on Beyonce or anything, but I did begin to unravel that afternoon in the car as everyone tweeted, IG’d, and text me about her pregnancy rumors…I mean, she knows I have tickets for July, right?!! She should! I @ her on Instagram! For the love of God, use protection while on tour! I swear if she doesn’t show up in a bedazzled onsie and a kitten heel with that big tummy, I will ragggggeeee! I digress. The crash was coming and I did nothing to help matters.
My weekend went just as I planned, like one big, beautiful, run-on sentence! Now let me take a moment to say that I was happy while doing and to do every single one of those things that I mentioned. I’m blessed beyond measure that my life is crazy busy and filled with all those moments and people. I’m not one of those assholes who don’t know her blessings! I have more love than my heart can hold. There are no words for the feeling of gratitude I have for my lot in life. The problem is not that I have too much love or too much happy, it’s that I, me, Kenya, do not do a good job of balancing life…because I’m a junkie! “Hi, my name is Kenya and I’m an addict. I’ve done insane things to feel happy!” So, I made it home and was exhausted. I reached the point I like to call “thin.” Thin is the moment where I have nothing left to give, anyone. Thin is the moment right before I break. Thin is quiet.
I knew I had reached my limit and I made concessions. I took a step back from things that did not need my immediate energy like social media and my phone. I took a couple nights off wifey duty, turned down dinners with the girls, and watched as many episodes of “Say Yes to Dress” that a DVR will hold. I was on the road to recovery…or so I thought! Part of my 12-step program was finding a yoga home! I needed to get back to a balanced me. “Kenya, you’re a dancer, why don’t you dance?” you ask. Well, as much as I love dance, I have realized that it does not balance me; it keeps me high! Other dancers can attest to this, when I get home from class, I am higher than Whitney Houston (too soon?)! I can’t sleep. I can’t stop moving, I’m like the kids from B2K, twitching to every sound I hear and creating choreography while I walk, shower and try to sleep. So I knew dance wasn’t the answer. I hadn’t taken yoga since my move and I was just getting to a point in my practice where I was really growing. I knew in my gut, that it was part of my solution. When I walked up to my new yoga home, He was the first thing I saw. A boxer. He was barking at me & he looked like a smaller version of my Titan. His name is Clark and he is the resident pup at Shakti Power Yoga. Without taking a class, I knew this was where I was supposed to be. I loved on Clark and felt the love back, took class and cried in Savasana.
The next couple days were rough. I was still taking it easy, but I wasn’t happy yet. Why was this crash taking so long!!! I had rested. I had cried. I had raged. WTF!!! I wanted to be happy again! So I did the only thing left, I wrote. I began with my journal…
Don’t be so hard on yourself beloved. It took you years to find your physical balance & over time you learned tricks like growing into the ground, focusing on your core, and to breathe when you wobble. Learning to balance emotions, thoughts, and life is going to take time. Sometimes we must put a leg down, if nothing more than to give our other leg a break. So at times you will fall apart, only to give your heart, your mind, your spirit a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself beloved*
Then I wrote in my “All About Me” book and if you don’t have one, I suggest you get one (they sell them at Urban Outfitters & I’m sure all over online). I read my past entries and began to cry some more because even though I felt so lost, I was the same girl with the same answers to the same questions I asked myself eight years ago. And finally, my love had enough of my tears and made me talk it out. I admitted that I was seriously struggling with finding a balance, acknowledged that my addiction to happy had caused me to not deal with feelings of sadness and loss over my Titan, and said out loud (because that makes it real!) that I did not have to do it all or do it alone. This is a side note about love, any kind of love, not just romantic, but especially romantic (figure that riddle out! Ha!): Love and choose to be loved by someone who isn’t afraid to go up against you and all of your flaws. Any other kind of love is not worthy of your energy or time.
The halfietruth of it all is that: Happiness is one hell of a drug! And like all drugs it can easily have you thinking you can do anything and do it all! And you can, just not at once or you will crash, like me! Happiness is not the only feeling you should experience. Let them all in! I’m a firm believer that in the valleys is where we grow. I know it doesn’t feel good, but it makes you appreciate the happy moments so much more (see…I’m always thinking about the high). I know this won’t be my last crash; I’m addicted to the high life! But, I learn something new after each break down and have a deeper love for myself. I will continue to find kind ways to take care of my spirit and manage my Dealer/Stoner situation. Now when I lie in Savasana and cry, I understand that it’s just my spirit’s way of telling me to breathe. “HAAAA……”
* Beloved is a term that I call myself when I’m hurt. I usually accompany it with a big self-hug. I learned this kind, self-soothing technique from a very beautiful friend & I’m forever grateful for it.