Tag Archive | Friendship

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 ūüėÄ. 

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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.

Words and Sounds of My Life: The College Years

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So thanks to Spotify, I had the best flashback to my college years today. Some of the best memories I have in life have been associated to college, and the music that was popular at the time.¬† Since I can’t just comment on all the songs that were in thei playlist, I’m going to talk about 5 of my favorite. Let’s get it started.

 

If you can listen to this song, and not HAVE to move your body, you are not only dead inside, but you might actually be dead.¬† This album came out my Sophomore year, and I can tell you right now, my suitemates probably hate Limp Bizkit to this day! Cuz this was my wake-up music . . . For my 8:00am classes.¬† Every day. For an entire semester.¬† I was an asshole, I’m able to admit that now.¬† I was also going through a DEEP depression at the time.¬† Limp Bizkit was all about the angry white girl who lived inside me – Meeghan – needing to yell and scream and be angry about her life.¬† Plus, this song GOES. Every single verse on this song is A+ . . . And the BEAT!!! I mean really!

 

Remember the first time you heard this song? For me, it was the summer before Junior year, riding in Jigga’s car on the way back to campus.¬† I was working in the UD Bakery, and HAD to have this song on the next Mix CD he was going to make for me.¬† The fact that she was so young, and so talented, we all knew she was going to blow up.¬† I went to Napster (DAMN YOU METALLICA YOU RUIN EVERYTHING!) and searched for any and everything she had out.¬† When the album finally dropped, we played it non-stop.¬† I knew every song on that album by heart – the vocalizations, the harmonies, the ad-libs – and tried to sing every song perfectly.¬† This was before the cyst on my vocal chords cock-blocked my quest to audition for American Idol. This was also the summer I was dumb enough to fall back in love with TBTLINY . . . Ahhh youth.

 

Again, Sophomore Year.¬† When we watched TRL relentlessly, just to see if *NSYNC or BSB was going to be in the top spot. This album was when I realized a) there were 5 people in the group¬† b) but I only knew what 2 of them sounded like and c) That Justin had to date Black Girls on the Low-Low.¬† He had WAAAAAAAAY too much soul on Just Got Paid.¬† That Just Got Paid was even on the album in the first place…. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the Holy War my suitemates and I had with the Girls down the hall, who were HUGE BSB fans. Like, they had posters on their front door counting down until Black & Blue came out, then when it came out they made a Birth Announcement.¬† Those girls were crazy,and we messed with them the whole year.¬† Walking down the hall singing *NSYNC songs at the top of our lungs, or moving stuff on their door.¬† I don’t think we did actual damage . . . I don’t THINK we did.

 

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.¬† I STILL love this song.¬† My favorite memory of this song is actually tied to a kid I used to babysit that went to the child care center on campus.¬† One day, while I was changing his diaper in the room, the radio was on.¬† Of course I was singing, and when I got to the chorus, he thought the Whoooooo was like the best thing to ever happen in his life! He laughed and laughed, and any time I saw him for the rest of the year he would look up to me, waiting for me to say “I’m sorry Ms. Jackson. . .” Just so he could do the Whoooooooooo.¬† That kid was awesome!

This goes out to Santos Santiago Manuel Pabon.¬† This was HIS Favorite Song, like of ever of life.¬† At every Greek party, Meringue Night, BATU House Party, Santos was going to request this song.¬† I’m not quite sure WHY it was his favorite song, but the smile on his face every single time it played was EVERYTHING. This beautiful kid from Puerto Rico, with more hair products than most girls I knew, was one of my BEST friends while he was at UD.¬† I sometimes wonder where he is, and what he’s doing with his life.¬† I picture him as a Doctor, working with his dad, changing lives.¬† Every time I hear this song, I say out loud, “Awwwww Santos!”

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Thank you for joining my on this trip down UD Memory Lane.¬† I’m sure I’ll be doing this again some time in the near future.

Late Nights & Early Mornings

So insomnia is a thing. I’ve been dealing with it for about 9 months now. But that not the purpose of this quick blog. I had a dream last night.

In this dream I was living in the house I grew up in, as an adult. I was on the phone with my best friend, listening to her troubles about her girlfriend. While talking to her, my other line rang. When I checked to see who it was, TFN popped up.

No one currently in my life has the initials TFN or the nickname TFN but I felt very strongly in this dream I had to pick up. I told my friend, sorry this is important and pick up my other line.

Turns out, it was MM. After a conversation about nothing, I said to him please let me come over so I can lay with you and solve my best friends problem. He said sure. At this point in the dream I rushed out of bed, threw on clothes and ran out the door, yelling at my mom where I was going.

I woke up smiling. Then I was sad. Then I was pissed. Cuz it wasn’t real. He and I still aren’t friends and never will be. I still dontnhave access to him. And what kind of person am I that I would still drop everything for him. 4 got damn years later. I felt so weak. I judged the shit out of myself. Because I’m really afraid that if that really happened, I’d do the same thing.

So yeah, that.

30 Day Writing Challenge: 10 Interesting Facts about Myself

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#10 – I’m kind of Obsessed with Hello Kitty

So here’s the thing. I grew up poor. Not hungry, but poor. So when Hello Kitty was 1st popular in the US, (early 80’s) my mom couldn’t afford to buy me all the cool stuff. So now that I can afford it, I buy Hello Kitty stuff all the time! Because….trauma.

#9 – I used to wish Mariah Carey and Ronnie Devoe were my Secret Parents

Okay, I know that sounds crazy…but just listen. So I used to get in trouble ALOT in 1st-4th grade. Like, all the time! Cuz I wasn’t being challenged enough, and I had a really active imagination. So whenever they made me stand in the corner, I would imagine that Mariah Carey pulled up in her Limo to rescue me and then Ronnie Devoe would be there and life would be great. Okay look, reading that back to myself, I was a lil special. But whatever, we don’t judge.

#8 – I am Both an Only Child, and The Youngest

So I was raised as an Only child, my mom’s only child. However, I have 3 older half siblings, 2 step siblings,¬† a slew of foster brothers, and frat brothers galore. But I’m the youngest amongst them. So basically I’m the Baby. And I was usually treated as such. So I’m THE WORST. At least I know that now. I used to be in denial.

#7- I used to own every book written by Nora Roberts

I tried to sell my collection (140+ total, 50 Hardcovers) when I moved back to MI and I was told they would give me $10. For the entire collection. That was THOUSANDS of dollars worth of books. And they said ten damn dollars. I no longer buy books. If it’s not on the Kindle, I won’t own it. AND I found out how to get ebooks for the low low cost of not a got damn penny! Never again, never again!

#6 – I don’t see myself giving birth to a child or children of my own

It’s just never been something I longed for, with the exception of two VERY brief periods of my life. Besides the fact that it’s super yucky, I’ve raised SEVERAL generations of kids at this point. Plus, I work in the Foster Care System, there are plenty of kids out there who need parents. You don’t always have to give birth to your family. Sometimes you can create it.

#5 – I’m a Spoiled Brat

This might not be a surprise to people who know me. But back to that only child thing, my entire world revolved around me growing up. It’s still very hard to convince others that it still should now.

#4 – A Different World made me become Greek

If I hadn’t seen college life, and the relationships and trials and tribulations they all went through, I don’t think college would have been on my radar. My mother insisted I go to college, so I knew of it only as this thing after high school. Then A Different World came on after the Cosby Lie Show, and I was hooked. It had a much larger impact on my life than any other show on TV at the time, or frankly since.

#3 – I Wear a Size 12 in Women’s Shoes

That’s not really interesting. I just need to put that out there because cute shoes are hard to find.

#2 – All of my Close Friends live elsewhere.

Anyone who has known me more than 5 years doesn’t live where I am now. It’s a really difficult thing not being able to see all or any of your friends face to face. They are spread all over the world at this point, NYC, MI, D.C., Dayton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Colorado…. Just all over the globe. Which is WHACK. Cuz Social Workers don’t make enough money to be traveling all the damn time! This also leads me to my last “Interesting Fact”….

#1 – University of Dayton was the best choice I’ve ever made in my life.

If it had not been for the Flyers on my side….where would I be?!?! Seriously, I was kind of floating around until UD. I become sure of myself, created a me I wasn’t ashamed of or afraid of, and kind of came into my own.  Dayton taught me to love everyone, be adventurous, try new things. Maybe put myself out there every once in a while.

Without Dayton there would be no Zeta Phi Beta Sigma, no MJ the teacher…pretty much no me as I am today. I’m forever grateful they sent me my first acceptance letter!

So that’s a sneak peak into what makes me tick….

Free Write: This is My Temporary Home/Fix You

So, I’ve been in Arizona for about 6 weeks. ¬†The move was frantic, but the energy it required to move back was enough to keep me distracted. ¬†Getting settled and job hunting has taken a while. ¬†I’ve kept myself busy. ¬†Purposefully, it seems. ¬†The first time I saw this house, I knew it was for me. ¬†It had everything I’d ever wanted for myself. ¬†I prayed for this house every day, until I put in my offer. This was MY house, I wanted it for me. ¬†I was only thinking about me when I saw it. ¬†People say all the time, make plans . . . then listen to God laugh at them.

Somewhere along the way, this House lost it’s luster. ¬†I’d be stupid to say, I don’t know the exact moment that happened. ¬†But even acknowledging that an ‘entity’ had the power . . . nay, I gave an ‘entity’ the power to take that away from me . . . is disgusting. ¬†I ran away from home, that’s what moving back to Michigan was. ¬†I told me truth to very few people, because it was embarrassing to me. ¬†But, God and Ernestine helped heal me. ¬†I stopped judging myself, and blaming myself for everything that had happened in the past 3 years.

I was able to forgive myself for the part I played, and the choices I made that lead me to where I was Рcowering like an abused puppy in Michigan.  But along the way, I lost one of my Best Friends.  Forgiving myself meant I had to place the rest of the blame on all parties, and them not acknowledging their part was a deal breaker for me.

This new me, that Haven built, holds people accountable. ¬†Its a huge disappointment to me that I lost the one person who I could share my secret hidden thoughts. ¬†There was no {to my knowledge} hidden agenda, jealousy, or lies. ¬†My most outrageous thoughts were heard without me being told they were wrong. ¬†There is something freeing about that. ¬†I don’t have that many female friends who don’t judge me, or preach to/at me, or want to lead me down a different path.

I miss that freedom. ¬†I miss the days when I didn’t think my words were going to be used against me. ¬†The betrayal I feel, isn’t because she ‘chose’ him over me, it comes from the feeling that everything else in our friendship might have been a lie. ¬†Every thought I shared with her about him, things I couldn’t say to his face {and there wasn’t much} he ended up knowing. ¬†He used that knowledge, those secrets to break me. ¬†She helped him. ¬†And for what? Feeling that a man is more important than a friendship . . . it’s alot.

I thought I was ready to be back here, in this house that had begun to feel like an Island I had been exiled to as punishment. ¬†The majority of my friends live at least 200 miles from me. ¬†The one person I want/need is too far away. ¬†Maybe that’s whats wrong. ¬†I’d gotten entirely too used to having access to people who made me happy. ¬†I can’t call TIITC and say lets go to dinner, and I can’t text The Boy and ask What’s the Haps. ¬†I can’t go stalk Astacia at Jimmy Johns . . . It’s lonely starting all over again.

The worst part is, I haven’t been idle. ¬†I’ve been reading, and discovering new truths about myself. ¬†It hasn’t been all bad. ¬†In fact, it’s been kind of awesome. ¬†But on a night like tonight, I wish I could dial her number, and give her all my secrets. And I can’t . . . and that makes me hate her all over again. ¬†It’s been worse though, this feeling. ¬†So I know it’s going to get better.

Tears Stream . . . down your face
When you Lose something you can not replace.
Tears Stream . . . down your face

Lights with Guide You Home,
And Ignite your bones,
And I will Try . . . To Fix you.

Tomorrow is another day, a day to look into the sun, and feel the warmth that is Arizona. Because this is MY HOUSE, and if it takes a few for weeks, and a few more thousand dollars to make it feel as such, so be it.