one year for christmas in barbados,
the primary school i went to threw this huge event for us before vacation.
i remember seeing tons of presents in the school yard.
i went to a prestigious private school so kids were upper middle to rich.
so the presents were big and beautiful wrapped.
i didn’t want to get my hopes up that i would see anything for me.
all the kid’s parents had shown up but i didn’t see anyone there for me.
was on a plane headed somewhere.
my father didn’t show up.
none of my other family member showed up either.
it was just me alone in that school,
watching proud parents cheering on their kids.
so i go to the pile and look through to see if i see anything for me.
i see one little box with my name on it…
“To Jamari from Mum”
i was so excited to see that.
when i opened it…
It was this little Raggedy Andy figure.
i asked my mother for a raggedy ann doll but she curved that.
she learned her lesson after “the doll debacle” with my grandmother.
i’m still mad over that shit.
everyone else had gotten g.i. joe,
teenage mutant ninja turtles,
remote control cars,
and one kid even got a battery powered toy truck he could drive.
so when the other kids saw me with this raggedy andy toy,
i remember many of them laughing at me.
they could laugh because i was happy to get something.
I cherished that toy for a long time.
i was talking to my therapist because i remembered that experience.
i told her:
“I grew up with no one showing up for me.
Me going to school sports,
and no family in the stands cheering me on.
So if this has always been the case,
with me feeling like I never mattered:
Why should I feel sad if people don’t show up for me now?
I have had to live a life where I watched others get the applause.
It hurt me to the core but I have had to show up for myself all the time.”
that’s growth for me because before,
i had an unhealthy yearning for the acceptance of others.
i’m finally accepting that this has been my reality.
so as i did as a kid,
i continued to keep showing up even when others don’t.
I don’t have high expectations but genuinely appreciative when others do show up.
It’s like getting a dope surprise in a Cracker Jack box.
i’ve learned that has been my power and anointing all along.
i’ve always been raggedy andy all along?