Missing You

A few days ago I found the note you left me on my door, that night you came back. I remember wondering, am I strong enough to do this again?  Can I deal with this pain again? Because I knew, even then that losing you was going to be painful. 

About 5 years later, I can still say I miss you. I can still say I wish I was sharing my life with you. Maybe not as my life mate, but certainly as my friend. You were such a good friend, when you weren’t breaking my heart into 1000 pieces. 

But I miss you. As I’m going back to who I was before I met you.  As I’m exploring new boundaries, and trying to take these fantastic leaps of faith. Trusting complete strangers with my life’s goals and plans.  I wish you were here. To lay with me as I express my fears that most people don’t understand. 

I miss feeling so safe. Sometimes, I can be strong and say Thank YOU God that I even got to experience that feeling. So I know it can happen. But tonight, I just wish I had it back. I even called your number….even though I know you changed it. I just…..Do you remember that night we laid in bed, and planned out what our business would look like. All the ideas we had and how we actually prayed for it to happen. 

I kind of hate the fact that I’m doing it without you. Even as I’m afraid of what’s going to happen. Even as I know that I can do whatever I set my mind to, even as I look at what my life has become since you.

I miss you. And part of me always will.  I guess that will have to be enough. Writing you letters in my blog, because I know you will never read them. You didn’t read my blog when we were friends, I’m quite sure you don’t read it now.  But someone in Tucson misses you. 

And I hope that’s enough. I pray that’s enough. It kind of has to be enough. 

2016: A Year In Review

Usually when I do my end of the year blog, I have a set list of things I want to talk about.  This year it’s going to be kind of a free write.  Spotify did this great thing, where they put together a list of the Top 100 Songs you listened to this year.  For me, it’s been a true portrait of what this year has done to me.  Yes, done to me.  So I’m going to let the music guide me in what I write about.

Be Alright – Ariana Grande

Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
That every little thing is gonna be alright

This part of my “I Will Survive” Playlist.  I needed songs this year that took me to the After place.  After all the bullshit, After all the tears, After all the pain.  This song is the perfect vibe for that.  You are going to be alright.  It’s not gonna be like this forever.  Sometimes, when you’re stuck in the middle of a storm that seems to be pulling you down, musical lyrics can be the life preserver that pulls you up to the surface.  I still think Ariana is wasting her voice . . . but that’s a whole ‘nother blog.

Rise – Solange Knowles

Fall in your ways so you can crumble
Fall in your ways so you can sleep at night
Fall in your ways so you can wake up and rise

A good reminder that you can rise above.  Even when you don’t want to, or you feel like you can’t.  You have to rise above.  Even if the only satisfaction or acknowledgement you will ever get is from yourself. That’s what it has felt like this year.  I’ve been patting my own damn self on the back. Cuz the hater’s been hatin’ like a muthafucka in 2016. It’s hard, to not just fight everyone in the face. {Maybe that’s just me…} This song is a great way to calm myself down when I’m ready to fight, which has been frequently this year surprisingly.

Needed Me – Rihanna

Don’t get it twisted
You was just another nigga on the hit list
Tryna fix your inner issues with a bad bitch
Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage
Fuck your white horse and a carriage
Bet you never could imagine, Never told you you could have it

When you have to explain on countless occasions that you are NOT like these other females.  I can be attracted to you, even see a future with you, and not be trying to tie you down.  I can understand that we want different things right now, and either I can take what you wanna/can give, or I can move the fuck on. A Bitch has Options.

If I tell you I’m trying to engage in some Hump & Go type action, why do you THEN feel some kind of way? Especially if you told me that’s all you have the possibility to give me.    It’s just a matter of us being HONEST. Why must people lie and placate?  Or tell people what they THINK the other person wants to hear.  9 times out of 10, we are thinking the same thing, or want the same thing.  But you are too scared to be honest.  Weak People Suck. Like SO MUCH.

Better ThanGretchen Parlato

This precious heart, broken apart
just leave it there and let it go
cuz all i know’s there’s nothing better than

how it keeps beating
it keeps repeating
a blessing in disguise
dry my eyes and realize there’s something better than

So like, I know a guy who told me a story about his friend trying an edible for the first time. Supposedly, this album was the music in the background while this friend of a friend was trippin’ balls. Which lead to some major life revelations.  My friend told me that his friend heard the lyrics to this album for the 1st time, and realized why it was her favorite album to fall asleep to.

This friend of a friend felt like she was having a private conversation with God while this album was playing.  And after she got done trippin’, she was seeing her whole life in a completely different way. At least, that’s what my friend told me happened.  I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what’s the truth.  That’s only what I heard when someone told me the story.

F**kin’ Wit Me – Tank

Every time I lick it, you be losin it
These young boys didn’t know what to do with it
You got it all on my face, I love the way that it taste
When you put it all on my plate
It won’t go to waste

It’s rare that I don’t know about songs like this.  My sexytime playlist is quite extensive. But this song . . . This song reminds me of a promise made, but never kept. Folks be talking so TOUGH, beforehand.  Then, in the heat of the moment, they lose their nerve. Cuz once again, I’m not like these other females.  I bring my A game all the time, and people don’t know how to hang.  Let me stop . . . I’m supposed to be working on being subtle, and not blaming or shaming people . . . 

Perm – Bruno Mars

You need activate your sexy (activate your sexy)
Silky, smooth and snap (silky, smooth and snap)
Now lean with it (lean), throw a lil sheen in it (sheen)
Then pat, pat, pat ’til it’s flat

Yall know this song goes.  This whole album – minus Versace on the Floor & Callin’ All My LoveliesGOES. This is the new getting ready to hit the club and be fly album.  It’s so much 90’s fun.  My chair dancing routine to this song is intricate, and makes people so jealous when they see me doing it . .. in my car . . . on the way to work. Bruno put his FOOT in this album. Also, you know your girl loves any song with a good Diva Finger Snap {no seriously, I have a whole playlist of songs which inspire the Diva Finger Snap} in it. I almost made this my ringtone . . . then I remembered my phone is always on vibrate because I work so much.

Alright – Kendrick Lamar

When you know, we been hurt, been down before, nigga
When our pride was low, lookin’ at the world like, “where do we go, nigga?”
And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga
I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak and my gun might blow but we gon’ be alright

Aye look . . . . this is my current morning alarm.  I gotta wake up every morning, remembering my people have survived some shit in the past.  The current political climate of the US might be leading to the worst shit since Slavery.  That’s not even hyperbole on my part.  I really believe that shit.  When it becomes a bit much, when I can’t seem to get out of the bed in the morning, so I can’t face another person telling me to give that asshole a chance, this song can get me through.

Ultralight Beam – Kanye West feat. Chance the Rapper, The Dream, Kelly Price, & Kirk Franklin

I’m tryna keep my faith
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war
I’m tryna keep my faith

This is the only song on his new album I listened to.  Legit, I didn’t go past this song.  There was no need.  This is Kanye West’s best song {maybe ever} . . . not because his verse was great (cuz it wasn’t) . . . but because of everyone ELSE’S verses.  This song is such a beautiful way of expressing what I think we all go through with our faith.  Sometimes it’s so hard to keep the faith, and trust that God really has your back.  Especially when you see people who are supposed to have  your back {read: family} don’t.

I was raised in the church, and taught I should have unwavering faith in God. In all honesty, it took me awhile to get there.  My issue, I don’t have faith in people AT ALL. There are lots of people in the world who don’t have faith at all.  These people are hurting and for whatever reason, the way they cope is hurting other people. This song got me through the first part of 2016. It was played on repeat at loud volumes every morning. Because having faith isn’t hard, keeping it is. 

Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough.
This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up.
For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times.
You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again.

So that’s my year in review.  Hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Awaken My Love…

I had two goals for this trip home. To see the people who matter to me, and get all the food I’m about to give up for the rest of my life. The latter isn’t working out all that well. But this blog is really about the former goal. 

I’ve stated since college, that I created my own family.  I’ve picked and chosen who I was going to rely on and trust.  I’ve actually been doing it since high school though.

My freshman year of high school, I met my best friend. Our relationship has been through so many things, sometimes I’m in awe that we’ve made it this far. But during this trip home I realized she’s my sister. We don’t even have to talk to have a whole conversation. We became a Triad our sophomore when I introduced her to a friend from biology class. From that point on, there is no picture that I could find that isn’t the 3 of us. 

We were always together, even after I changed schools. We did everything together. I was a triplet for about 6 years.  As friendships do, folks starting fighting over dumb shit (read: boys, drugs, and money) and I was the friend in the middle for a while.  Then I was the friend alone. We made up, in some shapes and forms after college, but that closeness from high school seemed to be unattainable.

In college, Zeta brought me my brothers, and another 2 sisters. They looked out for me, even when I didn’t know they were. Even though some of us didn’t develop our relationships fully until 7 years ago, the foundation started there. It’s hard to meet people, and instantly connect. Let alone if that connection stays through kids, heartbreak, marriages, and location changes. 

This trip, I got to finally introduce my high school best friend to some of the other people who make up my core. And it brought me so much Joy. Cuz she gets it now.  Why these people matter so much to me. Why I am who I am now, because of these relationships. 

In October, I sat down with the other triplet and just talked it out.  It wasn’t pretty but it was necessary. Because we let something small become something huge that changed our lives forever.  This trip, the 3 of us went to lunch. 4 hours went by so fast! It was like old times, a conversational ebb and flow that I’d forgotten could exist. 

I’m so glad we did that. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I know that friendship isn’t stuck in the past anymore. We are grown ass women, which grown ass lives, who can still make each other laugh, cry, and think. I had missed that so much more than I probably wanted to admit to myself.

In the past, I refused to mix friend factions. Everyone had to stay in their proper lane, no merging.  I can totally understand why I did that, because I wasn’t secure in those friendships. I had yet to realize that I mattered to them as much as they mattered to me. But now…I want them all together all the time!

This trip for me has firmly solidified for me why my core group of people are so important to me. It’s also shown me, that if thrown in a room together they would probably all love each other. The mix of personalities and humors and world views would always lead to good conversations and adventures. To road trips, and girls weekends, and grown ass sleepovers. 

Cuz it’s all love. I can bask in being the hub for all this love, being the person who could bring them all together, and not be worried that I might lose them to each other.  I think they all kind of like me at this point 😀. 

New Moon Free Write

I’ve been trying to get myself together for the last 6 months. Actively trying to be mindful of the consequences of my actions. It’s hard as fuck. Because, at least for me, when I’m intentional, it’s much harder to complain about the outcome. I like complaining. It’s kind of my thing. 

That’s not really what this post is about. It’s more about how hard this is for me. How I feel like I’m taking 3 steps forward and 7 steps back. It feels like when 1 thing is working, the other 168907 are not. I decided in June I was going to have weight loss surgery, only to have my company not allow us to do it with their insurance. 

I have finally gotten to the point where I want to do something permanently about my weight, as well as acknowledged that I can’t do it alone, and It was like that world was yelling at me, SIKE! GOTCHA BITCH! So now, I have to do something different. 

That seems to be the theme of 2016 for me: Do Something Different. And I’m trying, Lord knows I’m trying. But again this shit is HARD AS FUCK. Depression is a real thing for me. Therapy helps, I won’t deny that. But thanks to my high ass deductible, I can only do it 2x a month. I need like daily therapy sessions at this point in my life. 

I’m still angry. On June 2nd, when I thought my anger was going to kill me, I said okay girl, talk to somebody. And he’s great. But he’s not there at the local Fry’s at 10pm when I discover some asshole adult has taken wooden letters and spelled out KKK in the craft section on every shelf. He’s not there when I’m trying to not yell at random assholes with Trump stickers on their cars. 

This shit is HARD AS FUCK! By this shit, I mean life. It’s kicking my ass this year. Not to say that it’s been all bad, cuz it hasn’t.  But that’s not the hard part. The good stuff is easy. 

The hard part makes you feel like God doesn’t listen to you. Or maybe he’s just mad at you cuz you happen to be in love with someone you shouldn’t be. Or maybe God doesn’t care cuz there are people in Aleppo with a much harder life than you right now.  So stop being a selfish whiny bitch and deal with your shit. Cuz it could be worse. But this shit is HARD AS FUCK right now. 

So yeah….that’s where I’ve been for the last 2 weeks. Just needed to get all that off my chest. I’m better now, I think. 

Put Me In Coach….I’m Ready to Play!

I’ve spent this year on the sidelines. Sometimes, because I was forced to be there. Other times because I’ve put myself there. I’m trying to figure out how and why this has become my permanent state of being all of a sudden. And what has kept me on the sidelines for this long? 

I started 2016 with so much hope and vigor. It was going to be the best year of my life, and I was going to live all my dreams to the fullest! I was going to be more active in Zeta, and go out on the weekends, and travel my ass off! I had everything planned out. Then, January 25th, God said ‘Girl, You THOUGHT!’ 

So okay, nothing went as planned. Everything was slowed down, and in some cases stopped completely. 

I’ve tried not to be angry about having this seizure. I’ve tried to accept that everything happens for a reason. I’ve tried to rationalize my frustration at how people treated me and/or ignored me after it happened. Sometimes, I’m really good at it. But today, I’m fucking pissed!

Because I feel like I’m starting all over again….AGAIN. I had my hopes set on weight loss surgery in 2017, only to find out my insurance doesn’t cover it. And I had started the process, the doctor’s visits, and the everything else. I had 2017 all planned. You would think I would have learned from this year. But alas….I didn’t. So now what….

Where do I go from here? My anxiety won’t let me just fly by the seat of my pants anymore. I need to have a plan to feel safe. But I’m also terrified of making yet another plan, only for that to fall apart too. I can’t take too many more disappointments. Let it also be known that the world in general is disappointing as fuck right now. 

Like, I’m 98.3% sure I’m going to spend the next 4 years high as a kite. Cuz just NO. I reject that man, that racists and ignorant people elected, with my whole entire being.  REJECT REJECT REJECT. TRY AGAIN, DO OVER! 

But whatever, back to my original point. (This is all over the place. Judge me not, it’s 4:30 in the morning, and I couldn’t sleep.) 

I want to stop feeling like I’ll never be a part of the crowd. I want to stop being terrified to put myself out there, and/or let other people in.  My life mantra of “No New Friends,” has really gone on long enough. [Well maybe, I’m still not sure, because there is that part of me that really doesn’t trust people. Because of that whole, no one is genuine or honest about who they are and what their motives are anymore.] 

See what I mean! Conflict. 2016 might have just ruined me. But yeah, I want to not be afraid to reach out. I really do.  But Anxiery/Depression is also a thing. 

Adulting is hard as FUCK. 

These are My Confessions Part 3: Open Windows

I chose my Therapist. Purposefully. He had worked with a former client of mine, and he struck me during our interactions as a smart man. Who understood the dichotomy of being black in Tucson, and how it would affect a child in the foster care system. 

So when I made the decision to seek out some profeasional help, I called him first. I crossed my fingers, and hoped he was accepting new patients. I know it was God that opened up that spot, cuz the day before I called him he had closed out a case. 

Today, was the first time I laughed and smiled during a session. Last week was 30 minutes of tears, because the world is so scary. But today, I laughed so loud and long. Because I’m figuring shit out, finally. My emotions are no longer taking over my rational mind. Which is beautiful. 

I laughed because he is so quick to call me on my shit. Sometimes he can just do it with a look. He doesn’t allow me to be ashamed of anything, he makes me address shit. I’ve been living in survival mode for so long, I’d forgotten how good mental clarity felt. 

Today, I smiled and laughed and talked about my feelings without fear. I caught myself speaking some truth I wasn’t expecting. I’m changing the way I interact with people. I’m letting people in, and it doesn’t terrify me….as much. It’s progress. 

Therapy is frequently my favorite part of the week. For an hour, it’s all about me unpacking my life. It’s dedicated time each week to do the work. Part of me still thinks it’s hella selfish. That I could be spending that money on something else. But that’s a VERY small part of me. Because I’m finally starting to see the results of the work. 

Confession #3: I leave windows open for those people I’m hoping will come back into my life. 

I don’t usually announce I’m leaving the window open, but it’s there. Cuz I’m quick to block people I no longer want to have access to my life. Be it via Social Media, or by blocking their phone number and/or email addresses. When I’m done, I’m done. 

My laughter in today’s session came from the realization that I blocked my family on social media….but I didn’t block the Unicorn. Cuz I’m hoping he comes back. I’m not done with that yet. I’m not done with him yet.  Do I want to just tell him off, or am I hoping there is another chance somewhere in there? I don’t know. I know, up until he started liking my pics on Instagram recently, he wasn’t on my radar. But I hadn’t denied him access, I just took away MY access to him. 

Truth be told, he hurt my feelings. Deeply. Until I get to say that to his face, I’m going to always feel a way. And that’s okay. Maybe next week, I’ll unpack that a little bit more. But I’m still smiling, cuz everything for a reason and in its own time.  

A Letter to My 17 Year Old Self

Dear MJ,

By now, you’ve been in college for 3 whole weeks.  Enjoy it, this is the best time of your life.  This is where you meet the people who change your life forever.  Savor the geographical closeness of friends, and take full advantage of every new experience.  Try everything at least once, take pictures of everything.  It doesn’t stay like this forever.  There are some very dark times ahead.  You will use the happiness of this year to get you through some of those times.  Be Glad I warned you.

On Friendship . . . 

The people you meet in these 4 years, are your family.  Not just friends in passing, but the shoulders you will cry on when life is falling apart.  You will leave college with Brothers would would fight a bear for you.  You will leave with Sisters who will fight that same bear, and probably send evil text messages to that bear’s whole family for years, just because they love you.  Some of the people you start this journey with, won’t make it until the end.  You will lose great friends, but find them again  . . . even if it takes 17 more years to reconnect. MJ, these friends are lifetime friends.  Don’t take them for granted.

On Your Hair . . . 

MJ, you are going natural in 1999.  A full 10 years before the Natural Revolution.  Good Job being a pioneer.  Going natural for you was a necessity, and not a protest of the white man’s wish that you assimilate to European standards of beauty.  You just don’t know how to do your hair, and that’s okay.   But your hair is beautiful, enjoy the texture.  You are Beautiful, MJ. Everything about you is Beautiful. Sadly, no one is going to recognize you need to hear that from time to time.  You won’t feel beautiful until your 20’s,  But I’m telling you now.

On Your Career . . .

Right now, you are probably sitting in your programming class, wondering how the hell you are going to program a damn computer to play Rock Paper Scissors with you.  You are going to get your first failing grade on a test.  Don’t worry, it’s going to get better!

You are going to find your calling, Children.  You are going to go through a few different phases.  Education, Tutoring, and you are going to land on Social Work.  God put you on this earth, MJ, to help children.  You are great at it.  You will make a lasting impact on hundreds of children.

Sadly, the profession you choose isn’t gonna keep them pockets fat.  You are going to end up being the poor friend.  Except, you won’t figure that out until you are 34.  You learn to survive with what you have.  Some years are going to be much worse than others, but as you get closer to your true purpose, you will figure out how be handle your money better.

Money is going to cause you to shed some tears, some ugly ass tears.  But MJ, you will survive it.  So keep going, even when you feel like you can’t.

On Love . . . 

People are going to break your heart.  Remember those dark times I was talking about . . . The first time is coming in about 10 months.  Don’t try to stop it.  He’s your soulmate.  That kind of love is going to stay with you for the rest of your life.  He’s going to stay with you the rest of your life.  But losing it, is going to break you.

I mean, devastate you, and no one around you will see it.  No one around you will recognize the signs of depression, because Black People Don’t Get Depressed.  It takes about 10 years, but he comes back, and he’s one of your best friends.

True Love is something you are going to look for in almost every person you meet, which is stupid.  Nora Roberts fucked you on that.  There is no such thing.  It’s just emotional connections that work out or not.  The other two guys, who will both break your heart by the way, they aren’t bad people.  They just couldn’t handle you, and how intense you can be.  Calm the fuck down, MJ. Take it slowly.  Stop trying to make every guy your future husband.  Calm the FUCK Down.

On Sex . . . 

You are going to waste your college years.  This is the time in life, when you should be whoring it up. But you won’t, because they told you men only marry the good girls.  THEY LIED. Men marry the Jump Offs.  You are going to be SO PISSED once you figure that out.  Sorry girl, you should have been a heaux. You had the PERFECT dating app, Greek Life. And what are you gonna do, MJ? Be friends with everyone.  Dumb Ass.

However, your greatest sexual encounters are going to be with people you’ve been friends with most of your life.  So that’s something, right MJ? You can hold out for that, you’ve only got like 13 more years to wait.

On Your Sexual Identity . . .

It’s okay that you like girls too.  It’s okay that you have crushes on girls in college.  Even though you grew up in church, and they told you something was wrong with you because you liked girls . . . It’s okay. Even though people in your family drop the F-Word with ease, and try to shame their male children for being sensitive . . . it’s OKAY.

It’s perfectly NORMAL to be BiSexual. You will be happier once you stop hiding it.  And you are going to meet some amazing people that help you get there.  Let Your Flag Fly MJ. It’s okay to be Queer.

Finally, MJ . . . 

These plans you have right now for your life, on who you are going to be, and where you are going to end up . . . WRONG. Stop trying to be like everyone else.  You aren’t.  You are so Different, and Special, and Beautiful, and Unique.  There is no one in this world like you. Your personal freedom will come, when you embrace yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to your friends, it won’t bode well for you.  Be Proud of who you are, in that moment.  Every single tear is going to be worth it.  The pain won’t last always, MJ. You are going to make it.  And it’s going to be Spectacular.

I’m Proud of You MJ,

34 Year Old You.