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Not This Sh*t Again! - The Side Effects Of Breaking Cycles




If you’re like me, 2023 tried it. 


It gave us a “spades tournament” while holding the Joker, Joker, Deuce, Deuce, Ace. It gave us a poker face while having a full run. It gave us all the phases of Phase 10. And if you weren’t twisted like Twister, then you got out lucky. 


But, BayBey, I was a mess. And it was a bit surprising. 


2021 nearly took me out. You may have heard or read that I wanted to close Onyx in 2021 because I was lost in the sauce of entrepreneurship and just couldn’t see a way out. I didn’t know what I didn’t know but I knew it was a lot…that I didn’t know. 


I didn’t feel like that in 2023, but I definitely felt the side effects of breaking cycles. One in particular is, being lonely and misunderstood. They are one and the same in this situation, for me. 


So, earlier, I wrote about breaking cycles and how powerful and beautiful it can be. It’s hard too. But we tend to focus on the beauty of it. 


But in breaking cycles, it’s lonely too. Like, you may be the only one…or one of few, in your family, trying to do things differently. And that means there are less people who have known you since your birth, who still get/understand the many aspects of who you currently are and what you’re trying to do. They love you but don’t understand. And in some situations, they love you and don’t want to understand. Both are lonely because love is usually about connections. And misunderstanding is a divider. So when breaking these cycles, it feels confusing. 


A few weeks ago, Deuce said his teacher asked the class about holiday family traditions. He didn’t have much to share because he didn’t think about the things we did as “traditions.” But when I was growing up, my paternal family had a few holiday traditions. We would collect goods and make things for the “sick and shut in” or the elders. We would walk around singing Christmas carols. And we would end up at my Auntie Jerry’s house and gather and have a good time. On my maternal side, we would go to my Big Mama’s house and color outside or walk to the local store. We would double Dutch and play jacks and we would open one singular gift the day before Christmas.


We had traditions and things to look forward to each year. 


But, because I made the choice to move and live on the west coast, away from most of my family and childhood friends, there was a lot that I had to establish on my own. I was 23 when Alyssa was born and 26 when Deuce came along. I was so focused on making a nice life for them, free of poverty, homelessness, fear, or sadness, that I didn’t keep up or transfer the family traditions. 


We opened a gift on Christmas Eve and played outside on Christmas Day. We decorated the house and gave gifts to children in need. We did the things and made the memories but it felt different because it was just us. No other family to solidify it as a tradition or verify that it was an extension of generations prior. 


And even now, as I embark on the holidays, I feel the loneliness of being a cycle breaker. I have to consider: Will I go home to Cali? How will I feel? What if someone judges me? What if I judge someone else (transparently, I am cringing right now)? What if…what if… 


And these are possibilities because when you are the one breaking the cycle, you don’t know what’s on the other side. You don’t know what to expect or what things will be…you just operate in faith and accept all the things.


I miss my family. I miss the traditions. I miss the connections. I miss a lot of it…and I know that I’m breaking a cycle too. 


Inasmuch, I told Deuce that I was the one to break the cycle and he and Lys are the ones to make the traditions. He accepted the challenge and this year, as we decorated the tree, he put on some music and said we would sing and do line dances. That’ll be one of our traditions. And it didn’t feel so lonely anymore. He got it. 


I did my part and now he is adding to it. 


So, which role are you in? Breaking cycles? Making new traditions? Continuing legacies? Creating legacies? Just doing your best to make it through? 


In each role, there are thoughts and feelings…and I’m feeling all the feels as 2023 comes to an end and I set a trump 10 on this game of life. 

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