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The Love We Had Stays On My Mind

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this blog. The 1st blog after I lost my WHOLE Heart. My whole world is different, because my Mother died.

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I had a plan for this summer. It didn’t include this. I made the dopest playlist ever {See Below} . . and made my plans to travel all over. Then . . .

Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.

The foundation I’ve rested on . . . started to crumble. I reached out to my people . . . because we had decided we were going to just . . . Live the Best Summer Ever.

Together. Me and My Mommy.

  • Life got in the way.
  • Other peoples issues got in the way.
  • 600ML of Fluid on her Lungs got in the way.

She started saying her goodbyes. She left messages for me with her friends. Directions on how to function without her.

She was tired.

I gave her permission . . .to stop fighting. To Stop being a Warrior for me. I told her everything. My plans, the back-up plans, and the people who were going to help me meet those goals.

Now She’s Gone.

  • Moving on feels like the Worst Thing Ever.
  • Being Happy feels like the Worst Thing Ever.
  • Because she’s Gone . . . and That’s the Worst Thing Ever.

thank you

To My Brothers: Thank You. Thank you the calls, for coming, for sitting right next to me as I said Goodbye to My Mother. Thank you for the Hangouts conversations, the cards, the everything you’ve done.
To Stacey: I’m so Grateful for the way you Loved My Mother. Thank you for being ME, when I couldn’t be there. I’ll never be able to repay you for the last 2 years.
To Emmanuel: Thank you for picking me up off the ground. Thank you for helping me pick up the pieces. Thank you for being You.
To Kaitlyn, Raji, Diamond, Aaliyah, Chavi, Jo, Nisha, Dom, and Michelle: Thank you for being my Sister Circle. For answering every text and call . . .for letting me cry, and vent, and breathe . . .for the Spanish Inquisitions, Disney Adventures, and Gourmet Meals.
To The Cousins: Thank you for surrounding me with Love. Thank you for the arguments, and chicken wings, and bottles of liquor, and stop overs, and UFC Fight Nights. For loving my goofy ass dog, and checking on me daily. I promise to be around more, because If i don’t, Joyce will haunt me.

Thank you to anyone who sent a prayer, positive thought, text, message, smoke signal, edible, hug, emmisary on their behalf. I don’t have enough words to say it. So Just . . .

Thank You.

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2018: (A Series) Maybe Its Time…

If you’ve read a blog I’ve written this year, you know my life is crazy as all the hells. It’s become this thing I couldn’t have planned for if I tried. More frequently than I’d like to admit, I’ve had to stop myself and say, “This is Real!”

I had this conversation with my Blacko-Rican Best Friend, about us being ‘Late Bloomers.’ We seem to be living our lives about 10 years behind. Changing careers at 35, having major adult epiphanies right now. After we’ve watched almost everyone else we went to college with, seemingly prosper. They have great jobs, and happy families.

Yet we, just aren’t there yet. And we’ve finally accepted it. Without shame, or fear of judgement. We are becoming the Best Versions of ourselves, with the knowledge gained from 10+ years of ‘not living up to our potential.

That recognition, that we’ve paved our own path is so….freeing. It’s a weight lifted off our shoulders, that we were so used to carrying, we forgot it was there.

I dance, all the time. In public, around people I don’t know. I Sing Again…I found my voice again.

Because, the weight has lifted.

I’m not trying to get my shit together anymore, I’ve actually done it. When my car broke down, I didn’t scramble and cry….I looked at my budget and figured that shit out.

Maybe Its Time, To Let The Old Ways Die…..

I’ve lost 82lbs this year, with minimal effort. In 12 months, I went to the gym 3 months out of the year. Now, those 3 months were INTENSE, but it was just 3 months. The rest of the time, I’ve just been moving.

Teaching 6th grade, having to work around that big ass classroom everyday, I was averaging between 13,000 to 17,000 steps a day. When I lived in AZ, I struggled to get 6,000 steps a day.

I should have done this 10 years ago!

I think if I had, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much.

The Best Benefit of being a Late Bloomer….you’ve actually made all the mistakes. You’ve learned from them. You’ve struggled, and worked those emotional muscles….you already know you can make it through anything…because you already have.

I had to make the decision, to stop doing things the way I always had. It wasn’t working for me. I was beating a dead ass horse (FUCK YOU PETA). My arms got tired.

The minute I did something different, every single thing in my life changed.

While No One was Looking . . .

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Kindergarten MJ

Everything made sense in my life at this age. Every day was the same, and so were the people around. Occasionally, my mom would attempt to introduce me to new environments, with varied results. What I remember about my life at this time, was all positive. I don’t think I understood any negative things in the world. I just wanted my rabbit (security blanket) and my Mommy. This was a Happy Ass Lil’ Girl. Everyone used to tell me how smart and pretty i was. I was always the teacher’s pet. I was friends with everyone I encountered, because I presented well. I was a very articulate, polite, well put together, petite little girl. I didn’t understand that any of the “isms” even existed.

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Middle School MJ

My grandfather introduced me to Pork the summer before 6th grade.  I know that sounds random, but most girls in my family can tell you when they started gaining weight.  I spent that summer with my father in Pittsburgh, and it was spent at my grandfather’s house. He had a freezer full of food in the basement, and every night he would cook some kind of greasy ass meat.  Joyce didn’t cook like that, we had baked chicken every night.  My grandfather would let me eat any and everything while I was there.  I gained so much weight that summer my cousins in Detroit didn’t even recognize me.  I wasn’t ashamed of my weight, I just saw that people looked at me differently.

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College MJ (I looked like an Auntie)

By the time I got to college, I was used to being fat. I was used to being the fattest person in the room, and used to chairs being uncomfortable.  I still lived my life. Just slower than most people.  I went to parties and danced my ass off.  I made friends of all sizes, but my main ones were smaller than me. I started hating going to the mall with them tho.  Because we didn’t shop in the same stores.  When I was with them, the staff in those stores looked at me like I was beneath them.  Because I was fat. So I stopped shopping for clothes.  Everything came from Lane Bryant anyway.  I had brief moments of “Feeling Myself” but it was mostly because all my friends were gay men Junior/Senior year and they made me stop wearing turtlenecks even in the summer. I started wearing colors other than blue and green. I started buying sexy bras and showing off my chest.  It wasn’t all the time, I grew into my body.  I stopped thinking it was this thing, and realized I could control how I felt about it.

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Post College MJ

I lost my virginity at 26 years old.  This matters.  Boys in college weren’t checking for the Big Girls, they just weren’t.  It was already weird I was a virgin in college, the conversations were just so damn awkward after college.  A Grown Ass Man, 11 years older than me, was the first person I slept with.  It was the 1st time I had felt pretty in a long time.  Desired or wanted. It was a one time experience, but it gave me hope.

I was just gone have to find more men who knew I was fly regardless of my size.  That was the goal.  I started trying to be cute on purpose.  I wasn’t trying to lose weight, just look better in the clothes I had on. Then I went to a conference in 2009, and meet the most beautiful BIg Girls.  They were well dressed, wore makeup, and looked GOOD. There was no shame in their game, they knew they looked good and were HAPPY being Big. What if I didn’t let my weight make me sad? What if I stopped thinking I could only be loved by men who liked BIg Girls?  What if, I just lived my life?

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2012 MJ

This is me at my heaviest and Happiest (until now).  I was in all types of love.  I worked from home, and lived a homemaker’s existence.  That man would never love me back tho, because I couldn’t keep up with him. I couldn’t dance at the same speed he could, I couldn’t join him for a quick run in the morning.  I could barely walk our dog. When we broke up, I wasn’t surprised.  A large part of me felt like I wasn’t good enough for him anyway.  Because I was Fat.  So I came up with a plan.

It felt like my weight kept me from being happy for the last time!  I worked out every day for 8 months after we broke up.  It was the first time I’d ever made an effort to lose weight.  I lost it to prove him wrong.  To show him I was attractive, and cute, and worthy of his love. Thank God I finally realized he was just an asshole. I think I was a Size 20 at my smallest back then.  I lost the weight, but I didn’t learn anything from it.  So I gained it all back, and more.

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2017 MJ

In July of 2017, my mom was diagnosed with cancer for the 2nd time. I was 2000 miles away, and unable to travel freely because of my job/finances. I stopped eating.  It wasn’t a conscious choice, it’s just how my depression choose to manifest itself.  Before I knew it, I’d lost about 20lbs.  People were telling me how good I looked, and asking me my secret.  When I answered, “Depression,” they didn’t quite know how to take it.  Before I took 2 months off work to come back home and see about my mom, my therapist said to me, “What if you actually made the effort to keep losing weight?” It was a simple question, but the answer changed my life.

I had stopped making an effort to do anything.  Because my weight was a burden.  I stopped going to public events, because I didn’t want to have an issue with the seats/bleachers.  My body was my depression manifested.  I got to Michigan, joined a gym, and worked out for 2 hours every day. I lost an additional 30 lbs in the 1st month.  I made an effort, and I didn’t let myself make excuses.  I held myself accountable, and let others do it as well.

I figured out so much shit, released so many traumas that were attached to my size/weight/body along the way.  3 weeks ago, I bought a pair of pants at were a 14/16.  My original goal was to be a size 18 jean, so I can buy jeans at Walmart. [Because cheap}

While no one was looking, I lost a whole person. 

While no one was looking, I figured myself out.  I found out who I loved, and why I loved them.  I see this new girl in the mirror, and she’s so damn cute. I was so used to looking one way . . . I didn’t even notice when I stopped looking that way.  It’s only when I put on clothes that used to fit I realize how much I’ve changed.

I’m this . . . sexy girl, with a Phat Ass, and everything is real.  Imma BAAAAAAAAAAAAAD BITCH, and proud of it.  I can walk up stairs without running out of breath. I can park at the end of the parking lot and not be sweating by the time I get to the door of Target. I don’t have to ask for a seat belt extender on a plane. People don’t move over if I sit next to them.

Society sucks.  The fact that fat people aren’t accepted as “normal” is bullshit.  People who never used to pay attention to me, talk to me all the time. I’ve lost friends because of this weight loss. I’ve also gained relationships I wouldn’t trade for anything.  My size has been part of me my whole life. It’s not anymore.

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While No One Was Looking, I became the best version of myself.

You’re Welcome.

 

 

Talk to Me Nice . . .

6 weeks ago, my whole world turned upside down.  Not as a euphemism, but like actually turned upside down.  I left Arizona, headed to MI on a plane on March 30th, with a job and a home. 10 days later, I was going to be homeless because the house I was renting was going on the market. “But we will of course honor your lease,” said the white woman.  My lease was up for renewal at the end of June.

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So I flew back to AZ, and packed up my entire life in less than a week.  Followed by DRIVING 2167 miles from Tucson, AZ to West Bloomfield, MI. Because, why not?  Did I forget to mention my 70 Lb dog . . . whose favorite thing in LIFE is to be in a car with me.  I had to drug him . . . because just NO.

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This is just here to set the scene for the actual point of this blog, because it’s important to know my mindset on this journey from AZ to MI. I was doing what I HAD to do, not what I wanted to do.  My life was in AZ. I started a business, I had friends (well like 10 of them, but still), my life wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either.

Or so I thought.

I’ve been a Social Worker for 6 years.  Which means I understand things like “Survivor Mode,” and “Secondary Trauma,” but some kind of way, I didn’t know I was dealing with that, and in all honesty probably had been for at least 2 years.  Basically after my seizure, I just went into survivor mode and I haven’t stopped.

So much shit – good, bad, and horrible – has happened to me since I had that seizure.  Gained and lost friends, gained and lost family members, discovered Medicinal Marijuana, fell in and out of love with several people, dealt with my mother’s illnesses, got a dog, etc.

But I’d just been going full force.  Working 12 – 18 hour days, with one off day during the weekend, and usually I had stuff to do so I didn’t get the chance to just de-stress.  I’m actually slightly surprised I managed to function that long without having a serious mental breakdown.

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Looking back, I was in a rut of my own making.  I wasn’t very social.  But then again, Arizona is NOT very social.  There is nothing to do that doesn’t require hiking or swimming in extreme heat.  Which is bullshit, because FAT. Thus leading to the theme of my 2000+ mile journey: “Why the FUCK did I ever think I was Happy in Arizona?!?”

Click here for my definition of Happy

I was miserable.  I was irritable all the time, and I put up with bullshit because it was the best I could get.  I put up with a nigga (and the sex was garbage) because at least he was a Black Man in Arizona that liked me. I ignored my feelings for the only otha Black Man in Arizona that liked me, because I didn’t want to ruin it. I lost myself in AZ.  I forgot I was cute.  I forgot I was sexy, I forgot that I was a GOT DAMN UNICORN.

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I”m a 36 year old Black Woman.  I have 1 degree, and enough professional knowledge to have 2 more.  In multiple disciplines.  I’m the GOT DAMN Autism Whisperer.  My Vagina is a got damn miracle.  It could change your life, if you let it. I’m smart, capable of doing anything, and a cunning linguist. Driving cross country I realized several things about my life going forward.

  1. You never know how people view you.  You can have this thought, that the way you present yourself to someone lands the same exact way, every single time.  It doesn’t. One of the men I love {or am In love with, depends on the day}, (because I’m allowed to love more than one person at a time, SOCIETY) he sees this strong and resilient person, who never gives up and always perseveres.  He thinks I’m a strong person, even though I feel like I call him and cry like once every 3 months.  About completely different things, and I always feel so damn stupid for crying about it, because I’m supposed to be an adult at all times. So I feel weak, and less than for being vulnerable to him. And his take, “You may feel you’re not where you wanna be in life, but you’re right where you are supposed to be.” *thug tears*
  2. Love is Love is Love is LoveIt doesn’t have to look like anything other than something that makes you happy every single GOT DAMN day of your life. You don’t have to choose between the person who makes you laugh, and the person who makes your lady parts tingle.  No one has the right to tell you what your love HAS to look like.  Talk to the people, tell them your preferences.  If they aren’t down with the Get Down, that’s okay.  But don’t compromise yourself, to settle with what other people think is good for you.  We are living in Trump’s whole ass ‘Murica.  The world could end tomorrow, don’t waste it being sad because your needs aren’t being met. 
  3. I’m done apologizing for the way I’ve lived my life thus far.  I’m done feeling ashamed for the missteps I’ve taken.  I’m done trying to make up for the fact that I didn’t feel like I was an adult until a week ago.  I’m over anyone who tries to tell me how I should live my life, and navigate the world.  Be they Family, Friend or Foe – GTFOH with your rules and expectations.  I get to walk through the world in this new body I’m creating for myself.  I get to eat whatever the hell I want, and also RUN A FUCKING MILE for the first time in my life. The only people in this world who get to dictate how I live my life, are the people I choose to listen to.  I’m in charge of this ship now.  No more letting the wind take me wherethefuckever. 

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I’m sure I’ve written in the past that today is the day my life is different.  I’m sure at the time I wholeheartedly believed it.  Maybe things did change, in a way. But this version of MJ, the one writing this blog has already won.  She is living in her GOT DAMN truth.  And it’s Sofa King Fabulous.

Please, join me. 

Let’s live our Best Whole Ass Lives for the rest of 2018. 

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