When the bottom falls out…

… something that suddenly fails or becomes unable to continue in a normal and effective way. That’s the definition of the phrase “when the bottom falls out”. I have known this feeling almost consistently in my life as a Black American woman. Especially, when it comes to people. I had to learn that some people come into your life for a reason, season, or a lifetime. I also had to learn that if you don’t let go of people, situations, and things when it is time to let go, YOU WILL GET DRAGGED emotionally, physically, and/or mentally. The very person, place, or thing that brought you joy will be the source of your sadness, stress, and anxiety.

I was around 42 years old when a former romantic interest said those words to me. He said “with you, it feels like the bottom won’t fall out”. And at the time I felt the same way. I was also really glad he used that phrase because it made me feel seen and heard. Plot twist: bottom fell out of that relationship like the can had been tossed from the top floor of the Sears Tower.

Deep in my heart, I know that the bottom always falls out, eventually and always. There will be very few people in your life that stand the test of time. And though I know this truth, I struggle with letting go. The pain of it all is a lot to bear. I often try and let go prematurely to ease the intensity of the sadness and it never quite works. My super power is finding wonderful people and some how sharing their space. So everyone is special to me in some way and letting go hurts because I still feel like they are superstars in my heart.

As I approach 50, I don’t want the bottom to fall out anymore. I want to choose people, places, and things that will last this second half of my journey. I want to stop being in “flight or fight” mode all the time in my heart. I want to stop living in fear that people or situations will harm me because I’m Black, or because I am a woman, or because I am intelligent, or because of all the -isms that plague Black Americans.

I want to magically carve out a place for the bottom not to fall out. Naive of me. I know.