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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. 

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.

White Picket Dreams or TAMC Part 2a

I’m sitting here looking at this old canvas
And the picture looks so different from you
Yes it does, yes it does
Maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board
Cause it’s likely that the man I drew is fictional

Here’s the thing . . . I haven’t listened to this album in a while.  I can’t tell you why, I just haven’t.  But thanks to my Spotify Discover Weekly, this song popped up, and Solange changed my life again.  Cuz I’ve been painting over the same canvas for years.  That image of the perfect family, the perfect life, the perfect relationship.  I continue to try to make people (men and women) I meet fit on one of the canvases I created in college, that was supposed to represent what my life should be.  Even while knowing the canvas is bullshit.  Because it is.

For five long years
I thought you were my man
But I found out
I’m just a link in your chain

It took me 10 years to get over my first love (TBTLINY). Through mostly no fault of his own, I was just holding on to the hope that we could make it work.  Because the connection was so deep, and the love was so strong. It just HAD to work. But in real life, he was just meant to be my friend (I think). {I might still be holding out hope that he will come to his senses, so sue me.  You don’t know my life.} But he’s been the prototype, for everyone that has come afterward.  They have to make me feel like I did when I first heard his voice, I have to want to be with them like I wanted to be with TBTLINY. The connection had to be that strong. Repainting on the same canvas.

If I could… could forget him, I would… please believe me
And I know that I should throw the towel in
But baby it’s not… not that easy
You treat me so much better than him, And if I was sane there’d be no competition

But… but I’m in love with someone else (ooh)
And I’m so sorry hey hey
I’m in love with another man
And I know it ain’t right

Instead of trying to heal, you tried to move on.  Even though you weren’t ready.  You might have even found a good guy/girl.  But you were still staring at that old canvas.  Longing for the life you had created in your head and your heart.  It’s so hard to let go of the image, once it’s been solidified in your mind.  That painting is stuck to the walls, and it’s not coming down until it wants to.

I used to cry myself to sleep at night
But that was all before he came
I thought love had to hurt to turn out right
But now he’s here
It’s not the same, it’s not the same

So then you meet this new person, and they can do all the things.  They make you smile all day, and you feel all the feelings, and they fit the mold.  Finally, you can take that portrait off the wall, and start making a new one.  But instead of starting over, you use the outline of the last painting to create this one.At first, it works perfectly.  Slowly but surely, it’s the little things that don’t quite fit.  The painting starts to go outside the lines. They don’t quite seem so perfect, you start to see the flaws, the colors start changing, lines get blurred.  Once again, the picture in your head was wrong.

Some of you know what it feels like
Caught up just in his life
Don’t wanna try again, thinking what’s the difference?
Why am I not interested?
Cause when you’ve been broken, you feel like no one can fix it

I’ve decided to stop painting.  I just . . . Quit. And I’m okay with that. Clearly, me trying to control every bit of this isn’t working. So I’m done now.  I just needed to say that.  Cuz yeah.  That’s the conclusion I reached yesterday. Just stop trying, cuz Adulting is hard enough without trying to be a master painter.

My need to control every little part of my life is driving me crazy.  I can say that now, probably because when this blog is published, not that many people will read it.  I wrote this a few months ago, but then I didn’t publish it.  At the time, it was because I couldn’t get the Spotify links to work right . . . But you know, everything in time.  So I’ll post it now, and let this be another part of Confession #2.

 

 

 

Truth Is . . . . I’m Tired

I used to tell everyone what was going on with me.  My Facebook used to be a minute by minute detailing of every emotion, action, and life event.  I didn’t expect people to wonder where I was, I told them . . .often.

Slowly, I’ve become the opposite.  With every Black Child/Man/Woman who has been killed at the hands of the “authorities,” I’ve slowly shut down. I’ve kept my problems to myself, because they seem quite trivial in the face of Systematic Racism and Murder.  No one told me to stop talking, I just don’t.

With every new hashtag, and every new addition to the “Dangerous to do While Black” list, I’ve become more and more reclusive.  I seem to have collapsed inside myself, and I’m not even sure if I want to come out at this point.  It’s hard at this point, when every single time I open my FB or my Twitter, I’m seeing pictures of people being killed by police, or videos of the aftermath of someone being killed.  Or watching a press conference where a family member breaks down.

Black Pain has become fodder for all to consume.  Even when you try to ignore it, someone is tagging you in a post, or sending you a link.  I tried to escape to Instagram today, and all the Black Celebs that were a day late, and several dollars were posting the videos, or even still pics of crime scenes.  That shit HURTS.  It causes my body to cease up in pain, because I feel every bullet.  I can feel the pain of every mother crying out for their lost child.

This . . . situation . . . has been weighing on me since the Trayvon Martin Trial (We don’t say his killer’s name). I thought about all the children I’ve taught, and the smiles on their faces, and just felt lost. Because I can’t save them.  I can’t hold them close, and make sure they are going to live forever.  I can’t even guarantee that a trip to the pool won’t end in abuse.  I can’t tell them walking to the store won’t end their death.  My crew is driving now, I can’t guarantee they won’t get pulled over and killed during a “routine” traffic stop.

That existence, the fact that I live in a world where this is the Norm, TERRIFIES me.  Since my seizure, my emotions have started to work differently.  I don’t understand them.  In addition to that, and I know this sounds crazy, I’ve been having prophetic dreams.  Nothing normal like, “so and so is pregnant,” or “you should play these numbers tomorrow.”  No, I wake up in tears, trying to stop screams from escaping my mouth so my mom doesn’t hear me.

On  the morning of June 12th, I had the scariest dream to date.  My mom and I had gone to a club to see someone perform, and we were having a great time.  All of a sudden people were running and screaming, “There is an Arabic Guy coming to kill us!” We guided everyone into the bathroom, and we were all huddled in one stall.  As he walked in the bathroom, I turned to my mom and told her I loved her, because I knew we were going to die.  Then I woke up.

I checked my phone to see news of the Pulse nightclub shooting.  I haven’t been right since.  Because, What the FUCK?!?! If that’s a Gift from God, I’m not sure how he expects me to use it.  Since that dream, I’ve only been able to remember parts of.  But I’m still afraid of where my mind will take me some nights. This World . . . This World is stressing me OUT.

I haven’t even talked about what’s been going on in my LIFE this year.  I probably won’t. Because my burdens are small compared to those of others.  Problems have come up, I’ve solved them, the best way I know how.  Maybe, when I’m famous, I’ll talk about how my life changed in 2016.  ‘Cuz it surely has.

This post is all over the place. It’s not very coherent (in my opinion). But I promised my Therapist (yes, I have one of those now) I would take at least 15 minutes to write. And I try to keep my promises, especially when they are basically homework toward healing.

The Moment My Musical Childhood Died . . .

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Michael Jackson was the voice of my youth.  I distinctly remember how each of his songs made me feel the first time I heard them.  I remember going to see him in concert. { More on that experience in My MJ is Gone Blog} When he died . . . I was completely inconsolable for DAYS. Like, I sat on the couch, and just stared at the TV and the Computer screen.

Whitney Houston was the voice of my adolescence.   I sang The  Bodyguard in the car listening to my DiscMan.  The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack is STILL my favorite Gospel Album. I stood outside my house, and cried while talking to my best friend.   When Whitney died, so did the last vestigaes of my childhood.

Prince was the Voice of my Womanhood.  When I was 23, I saw him in concert, when he did the Musicology Tour.  I remember being at awe of him, on stage, with just 4 guitars, a piano, and his amazing band.  I knew I was seeing a genius at work. 

The first time I heard Purple Rain as an adult, was the day my soulmate broke my heart.  The words struck me in a way they never had before.  I’d seen the movie all my life, loved it and the soundtrack.  But something about him singing about the failure of that relationship, when all he had was the best of intentions . . . It tore my soul. I curled up in a ball, in my walk-in closet of my first apartment in Tucson, and cried for HOURS. I listened to Purple Rain, the song, not the album, until my phone died . . . About 5 hours. 

Music has always defined how I felt about life.  It’s always been the background to major  life events and crisis’. April 21, 2016 . . . The day all my music was finally dead.  I feel like I’ve lost a part of me, that still hadn’t healed from losing MJ and Whitney. I might never be able to listen to Purple Rain again without crying . Just like I can’t listen to Man in the Mirror anymore, or The Greatest Love of All.

Today, when I’ve heard people talk or read about this loss, those three people are held in the same stature.  “This is worse than when MJ Died,” or “This is just like when I found out about Whitney.” Or “He’s the last on the list of my childhood musical heros.” I feel like we are a generation lost at this point. I was 2 years old when Purple Rain come out, yet its in my top Five movies that define the 80’s for me.

My musical heart is broken.  And there is nothing, and no one who can fix it. Ever.

Why Hello Depression . . . You weren’t Missed at All.

It’s hard to explain to people how your attitude can change with a look, or the lack of one.  I started out this morning on a good note.  I was happy, and I had just received some great news.  I haven’t had another seizure, and I might actually be losing weight.  There is no reason for me to be on the verge of tears. And yet, I am.

Something as stupid as not receiving an email, made me feel stupid and ostracized and unwanted. I feel unvalued, and unimportant.  I feel less than.  And that’s a slippery slope.  Because usually, the way I deal with that is reaching out to someone to make me feel special. Usually, the best way to do that is sexually, or eating. Both of them, at one time or another, were my go-to methods of self-help.

I’m sitting on my* porch, and trying to figure out why I’m in this place again.  The only real trigger is the fact that I walked into a chapter meeting, and I didn’t get the “Wear Black, we are taking chapter pictures,” email. I looked unprofessional, and unprepared.  I felt stupid.  And how VAIN is that.  That was my trigger, not looking perfect.

This seizure has changed so much of my life.  More than I can even speak on at the moment. But not having the control of my own space, my own transportation, my own schedule has been such a struggle for me.  I’m used to only having to rely on me to get things done.  I’m starting to feel the pressure of depending on others.

And it’s not even pressure from the outside.  It’s me telling myself you have to do and be all the things.  You can’t be weak.  People are expecting you to fail, get it together. And I can’t. It seems like around every corner is yet another obstacle getting in my way. My emotions are out of control almost all the time.  I miss my friends. I hate when people talk to me in my free time. I’m going to make people hate me soon, just so that I can have some peace in my life.

I’ve been in Arizona for 7+ years.  This is home to me. But I MISS MY FRIENDS. I miss the ability to go see someone whenever I want to.  I’m trying to navigate new relationships, and I don’t know where I stand in them.  I don’t know what I want, and at the same time, trying to figure out if I still believe in the word Hope. I’m miserable when I get free time.  I hate thinking, I hate my idle mind.  I want quiet  . . . with someone else there.

Nothing I’m currently thinking makes any sense.  That’s what my depression looks like.  One bad day, followed by several good ones.  Pushing everything down, because I have to work.  People are counting on me, get it together.  But that one day . . . it hits when I don’t have something in front of me to distract me from my inner voice.  That voice used to be my mom.  It kept me motivated.  That voice has become my own, and I’m sad. I can’t seem to find the words to get out of these funks.

I need my support system here, in Arizona.  I need A support system in Arizona. The only person who has had my back my whole life is my mother, and I just . . . she’s getting older. She’s spent my entire life having my back, and I should be working on having hers. And I’m not, because I’m in this place. The place that won’t allow me to let go and have faith. This place that makes me sad, and attitudinal and RUDE to her. Because I’m so afraid of losing her. I don’t know what my life would be without her here. And I’m so afraid, this fear is nothing i’ve ever felt before. I just watched my siblings have to say goodbye to their mother, and I’m so AFRAID.

Maybe that’s the base of my whatever the hell this is.  That every day, I’m looking at my mom, and realizing how blessed I am having her in my life. Maybe that’s it.

Whatever the hell it is, I’m not in the right place. And it’s easier to write that here, and share it with strangers, than ask my friends for help. It’s easier to post this, and pretend it’s just another blog post, and not a cry for  . . . something.  Not help, because I’m tired of needing help from people. I can post this here, and be selfish enough to be this emo, and not interrupt people’s lives crying and being sad. This depression thing, it comes in waves.  It hasn’t crashed down on me, yet.  I’m not drowning, yet.  But I’m soaked right now.