Tag Archive | Reflection

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.

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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.

Dear 2015 . . . Thank You!

Happy New Year!!! Before I can talk about 2016, I want to write a love letter to 2015, as she treated me exceptionally well. So here goes . . .

Dear 2015,

Ino-one-said-a-relationship-would-be-easy-quote-1 started my year laying in bed with someone I thought I loved.  I was looking forward to exploring that relationship, and seeing where it would take me.  I ended this year in a bed in a hotel room, sleeping.  I consider that progress. BTB, as he was referred to via text, was a great person, who just wasn’t the greatest person for me.  Thank you, 2015, for teaching me what I really need from a relationship.

11226a69ba8bcfcff240192ffe7267dfSpeaking of relationship needs, 2015, thank you for giving me closure with MM.  Thank you for allowing Adele to create Hello, which gave me the in to make the phone call. Thank you for the tears, the dropping of all my walls for the first time in 4 years, and understanding I’ll never get over the loss of him, and finally being okay with it.  Thank you for helping me to finally be adult enough to deal with him, and understanding me not being in his life, is HIS loss, and no longer mine.

12068774_10156193040040613_5727737327877461904_oAlso, 2015, thank you for all the travel I’ve been blessed enough to have this year.  Thank you that most of it has been not at my expense.  Thank you that I’ve been blessed enough to explore new places, and experience new food, and open myself to new people.  Thank you for the single serving friends I made while stranded in the Dallas airport, who stayed awake with me and shared their lives for that brief 16 hour clusterfuck.  Thank you for Seattle, and Tiffany.  Thank you my trip back to Detroit, and the $1300 in Travel Vouchers I earned by simply taking a later flight.

11890334_10156032907620613_7158217206638298298_oThank you, 2015, for finally finding my career.  For showing me, almost every day, that I CAN make a difference in the life of a child in more than one way. Thank you for combining my greatest life skill, Stalking People on the Internet, with my passion for helping children and making them work.  Thank you for giving me jobs which provided me with the autonomy I’ve always needed to succeed when working for others

11058219_10156449265155613_4546870432011955837_oThank you, 2015, for my God-Children, and all the children I’ve ever taught or worked with, who still remember me and are a part of my life.  Thank you for my Parents, with all their eccentricities.  Thank you that they are still alive, and well, and a part of my everyday life.  Thank you for the blessing of being able to call them when I need them, but also being able to call them without needing a thing.  Thank you for my family, immediate and extended, in all shapes, colors, ethnicities, and ages.  Thank you for the family I’ve created, and the family God gave me.  We are a work in progress.

dca470a731a288455632a65bf85058b1Lastly, but most importantly 2015, thank you for my Friends.  Thank you for reminding me who they are, and who they were, and that they love me.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see 85% of them while I was in Detroit/Dayton/Cincinatti, and spend quality time with them.  Thank you for the astonishing realization that all of us are ADULTS, who make adult decisions every day, and are happy in our lives.  Thank you for helping us to navigate life together, and sometimes apart, and still be able to look each other in the eye with pride.

Thank You 2015, even for the earth shattering losses of this year.  Thank you for all the tears, and fears, and self-doubt, and bad times.  Because I’ve grown so much more than I even knew until recently. Thank you for Everything, 2015. You’ve definitely made me a a better person.

Sincerely,

Mz. Joy

 

 

 

Free Write: Souled Out – Jhene Aiko

*This album just appeared in my dropbox.  We don’t ask questions.*

 

48 Minutes of Goodness

Track #1 – Limbo

I got off work early, and felt the need to write. I got home, packed up all my stuff and made my way to my local Starbucks.  The minute I say down, all my motivation left me. I’ve never had that happen to me.  Starbucks in my safe place, my writer’s Haven as it were.  Suddenly the smell of coffee did nothing to entice me.  The creative juices refused to flow.  I tried so hard to get in the groove, looked at blogs I had left in my drafts, and NOTHING. Immediately I was unsettled.  Does this mean my writing talent is gone? Do I hate Starbucks now? WHAT IS LIFE?

Track #2 – W.A.Y.S

Clearly, as I’m currently sitting here {in my Living room} writing, it’s not gone. But I think the need to escape to Starbucks to write had more to do with escaping the clutter I lived in at the time.  A place where I could stretch out and just create.  NowI have that, at home. Crazy! Sitting on the couch in my living room is just as peaceful to me as sitting at the table at Maple and Orchard Lake used to be. I can finally write at home.  That hasn’t happened in . . . 5 years. The last time I wrote at a place I was living was my first Apartment in Arizona.

Track #3 – To Love & Die ft. Cocaine 80’s

I’m currently on a Celibacy Quest until January of 2016.  It’s a Quest because penis’ seem to throw themselves at me.  I’ll be minding my own business, and one will just pop up in my face. I had to fight them off in Michigan! The two years I spent in Michigan – was like Bad Decision Amusement Park.  I tried out all the rides, had entirely too many ups and downs before I landed on my own two feet.  I opened new doors, closed one or two, and tried my best to put my past behind me.  Admitting that you ruined a friendship with sexual tension sucks.

Track #4 – Spotless Mind

I regret some of the choices I’ve made in the past 2 years.  Maybe regret isn’t the right word.  I wish I would have been as mature then as I am now.  I was hurting, and male attention is – and always has been – my coping mechanism. {Read: Daddy Issues} What was supposed to be a one time escapade, became something that somehow cheapened our friendship. Sex really does ruin everything.  He was the first person I’ve ever had sex with, that I felt an actual emotional connection with. It meant something to me. It shouldn’t have, I told him it didn’t. We swore it wouldn’t change our friendship, one that we’d had for 10+ year.  It did tho.  Suddenly, I felt like he wasn’t paying me enough attention.  I wanted to see him all the time, I wanted him to comfort me when I had a bad day at work. Sex is stupid. It ruins everything . . . and I really really really miss my friend.

Track #5 – It’s Cool

Admitting all of that felt good.  So let’s just keep admitting things.  I’m attracted to at least 2 people I shouldn’t be.  Not JUST because they are in relationships, but because liking them violates my personal – although twisted – moral code.  We don’t like our friend’s ex’s.  Ex HumpBuddy, Ex Boyfriend, Ex Fiance, Ex Husband. You don’t do it. But every time I see these two people, I try to justify stepping outside of the boundaries I set for myself in 1997. {Yes, I know the year, it was a very traumatic one for me}

Track #6 – Lyin King

Back when I was a Jezebel . . . I used to call guys I liked, and tell them I had a dream about them in order to peak their interest.  Then say, “Hey, why don’t you come over for dinner, I can tell you all about it.” This usually lead to Bow Chikka Wow Wow.  Best trick ever! In the last 4 days, I’ve had 6 . . . six . . . seis . . . dreams about men in my life. Some very graphic, some super awkward, some very comforting . . . but all of them made me want to reach out to these men, and just talk to them.  However, my current Sabattical restrictions mean I can’t.

Track #7 – Wading (Played this Twice.  It goes)

This whole learning restraint, and practicing it thing . . . I’m kind of proud of myself to be honest.  Most of my friends don’t think I will or can last until 2016. But it’ve done it before . . . of course that was because I didn’t know anyone in AZ and I wasn’t actively trying to meet anyone.  The goal is to focus on self.  To accomplish my goals – the reasons for moving back here – on my own.  Without being able to attribute any failures or successes to anyone but myself. “I was sad because so and so didn’t come over; I missed that deadline because I was hanging out with so and so; etc.” I used to do that all the time . . . blame events/feelings/emotions on other people.  Now that I have acknowledged it, I have to stop doing it, right? That’s the plan anyway. I’ve been here about 100 days, and stayed focused.

Track #8 – The Pressure

That’s not to say shit hasn’t come out of the woodwork since I’ve been back.  People have showed up out of the blue, people I thought I would never talk to again.  Funny the things you choose to deal with, and what you won’t.  When I decided to be celibate, I lost male friends. Because they tried to test me . . . CRAZY to me. When I was 12, my best friend at the time told me, “Boys and Girls can’t be friends for real.  Someone always likes the other one, even if they know it’s just a friendship.” My best friend was a Boy. AWKWARD. I mean, sure I had a crush on him but it’s not like I acted on it.

Track #9 – Brave

Consciousness has ruined my life.  Most of the behaviors I used to put up with/act on/ allow others to justify currently annoy the SHIT out of me. This is another reason I’ve kept to myself.  It’s unfair to assume everyone should think like me. It’s not their fault they don’t see the world the same way I do.  Ferguson brought that to the forefront for me once again.  I had already lost interest in certain movies and music and people when I became conscious of how prevalent Misogyny and Sexism is in the world around me.  Now, once again, I can see all the Systematic Racism in America.

Track #10 – Eternal Sunshine

I’m annoyed easily now.  I want to do more to change the world.  I judge myself that I’m not doing more to help those less fortunate than me.  It’s difficult to put into intelligent words this feeling of . . . Do Better, Be Better. Someone asked on twitter tonight what kind of volunteer work people were doing, and I couldn’t chime in.  At least when I was working full time, I had an excuse.  But now . . . what is my excuse? I can justify my lack of involvement  . . . but it’s a lazy and self righteous justification.  My life isn’t hard right now, so why aren’t I don’t something?

Track #11 – Promises

I refuse to commit to or admit to – on paper or on screen – my true goals.  I’ve become very paranoid about letting people know my wishes and dreams.  I once spoke them freely, and not only did “friends” try to tear them down and destroy them . . . I really think they wished/prayed for me to fail. This lack of trust that lives inside of me is new. It’s unfortunate as well, at least to me. But it’s needed.  Another layer of protection from hurt.  But I need to start working on my plans I made when I first got here.  I’m afraid to fail, because I’ve finally figured out what I want to do.

Track #12 – Pretty Bird

If you had asked me at the beginning of this Free Write the goal . . . I would have said a poem of sorts.  That’s what is so awesome to me about doing a Free Write to music.  I’ve always said you don’t pick the music, the music picks you. This album was a great one to listen to while I tried to sort out my thoughts/feelings.  When I couldn’t write at Starbucks, I felt a way. I had on the wrong type of music. I also wasn’t in my safe space.

But I’m Home Now, and my mind/soul is clear. If you got this far, thanks for reading.  Cop the Album too.  It’s pretty good 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Story of My Life . . . or Holy Shyt! I’m 32

*Editor’s Note: I started this blog in January.  Actually finished it, then never published it.  I know why now.*

Every year, I TRY to post a blog about what I’ve learned over that previous year.  With my Birthday being so close to the New Year, it’s usually just my yearly recap as well.  This time, I’m going to do it a little bit differently.  After another one of my “I haven’t gotten any sleep in the last 48 hours” Epiphanies, I realized that I can actually pinpoint the times my life took a direction I wasn’t expecting.  The first 17 years of my life aren’t going to be discussed here . . . mostly because I’m lazy.

All Denim Outfit . . .No One Loved me.

All Denim Outfit . . .No One Loved me.

The University of Dayton

No, we start with my first step into adulthood.  The moment I decided I was GROWN! I stood at the West Bloomfield post office, mailed that acceptance letter, and that was all she wrote! I was going to be the female Bill Gates, and change the world of computers.  *Mind you, I didn’t visit the school, didn’t know what it looked like, they just gave me the most money. So they won.* But I MUST admit, best decision I’ve ever made. The friends I made there, the people I met, the experiences I had . . . wouldn’t have had it any other way.  University of Dayton lead me to Zeta, and my Degree in Education (more on that later), my closest friends, love, hurt, fear, anger, and most importantly – Understanding of Myself.  On May 3, 2003, I graduated knowing EXACTLY who I wanted to be.

13 Years Ago . . .

14 Years Ago . . .

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

It SHOULD be common knowledge that Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is the Greatest Sorority in the Nation.  But if you didn’t know, now you know, sucka! I joined ZPhiB because I wanted to be the kind of woman ZPhiB represented.  What I didn’t expect, could have never imagined, was the Family.  The Women I call Sister, not just Soror. The two women who grew up right beside me.  Who dealt with my Sophomore Year Depression, who dried my tears, and had numerous sleepovers with me.  The Women who taught me how to create a Programme, and put on a Dove Ball, and STEP.

Ryders of the Storm

Ryders of the Storm

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Even more unexpected (and judge this next statement if you want) The Men I Call Brother. R.O.T.S changed my life. Not just because LeRoy was the scariest dude I had ever met in my life, but because they PROTECTED us.  From Greek Life Bullshit, and everyday Bullshit.  They knew how Naive we were, and they shielded us from so much more than we ever knew.  The Blu Bond is so sacred to me, and is still very much prevalent in my life. What I’ve learned, and cherished the most in these 14 years, is that Family can come out of nowhere.  These 3 Men, will forever be referred to as my Brothers, not my Frat.

2nd Best Kitchen I've Ever Had

2nd Best Kitchen I’ve Ever Had

My First Apartment

Having my own place was so freeing! I FINALLY had my own space.  I didn’t have to fear my mom randomly knocking on my door. You mean I can have HOUSE PARTIES. Kait and I entered in that adventure with the best of intentions.  We were going to be the only Best Friends that moved in together and didn’t hate each other.  The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions… The loss of that Friendship shook me to my core.  Not because I had known her forever, or because it was unexpected. But I saw that for the first time Money and Friends should NEVER mix.  We weren’t fighting over anything emotional, it was about her breaking her lease. *To move in with the man she eventually married but still…* Add to that, I spent 3 months without a JOB! As my support system from age 13 to 24 was leaving me high and dry rent wise, I had no idea what I was going to do.  Moving home wasn’t an option. So I began to hustle.  I had 3 part time jobs, 2 that were under the table (gotta collect that unemployment), and I babysat whenever I could.  I learned then, I’ll never be unemployed.  Because the Hustle is STRONG within me. I worked my way out of that rut, got a porn star roommate – no really, she did Porn – and Lived It The Fcuk Up.

These Two Ladies Saved My Life . . .

These Two Ladies Saved My Life . . .

The Triad

Words can’t even . . . The Triad is the Polyamorous Relationship everyone wish they had.  These two Women showed me what Friendship is supposed to be.  No Judgements, No Fear, No Regrets.  You live your life, you learn from the pain, and You Move On.  Diamond and Aaliyah were my anchors in the storm that was my early to mid 20’s. We Drank, (they) Smoked, and we Loved HARD. The nights/weekends/days we spent laying on someone’s floor crying and bitching about Men and Women! The Ex’s that we still talk to, the tradition of emailing each other all day, the Wearing White in public the day after Labor Day.

The children, and road-trips, and music that happened from 2005-2007. I don’t even talk to them every month. Doesn’t matter, the minute we are on the phone it’s like nothing has ever changed.  I’m my true self with them.  Not the woman I wanted to be post Graduation, but somehow better. Nothing seemed out of reach, everything was a great idea.  If later I found out it wasn’t, didn’t matter. We Laugh/Drink/Cry about, and Move The Fuck On.

To See a Mountain is to See God

To See a Mountain is to See God

Moving to AZ

And I did . . .right to Arizona.  With intentions of going back to school, and getting my teaching certification.  I was gonna fix my relationship with my Dad, so I could finally get rid of those Daddy Issues, and find love . . . Arizona started out as a peaceful place to me.   Instead of teaching children, I found a job teaching Teachers how to teach Children. I found my professional voice in AZ. In Michigan, I’m surrounded by family and friends who discount my knowledge of children because I don’t have any of my own. In Arizona, people assumed I was an expert. Took a little while to realize I actually kind of am. My love for children was confirmed there.  My life path was made certain.  Arizona was everything I didn’t know I wanted.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I thought I had also found the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

 

The Mexican

me and eric

Loving you is the best thing that ever happened to me.  It’s also the worst.  You changed me, turned me into a person I didn’t even know I could be, or wanted to be.  The last thing you said to me, in anger, was “You are just a faint memory. I’ve almost forgotten you existed.”  Even with that much hate in your voice, I remembered when it was beautiful.  When the love I saw in your eyes made every day worth living.  If I never see your face, and never hear your voice again, I Loved You.   In a way I had only read about in romance novels and Donny Hathaway songs.  For everything losing you took away, it gave me twice as much.  So for that, I saw Thank You. For showing me who my true friends are, and because you helped me stop hiding behind my weight. You were Loved Sir.

When I think of Home

My Mommy and Me

My Mommy and Me

I left AZ because I was devastated and I couldn’t be there.  Up until the point, the House I Bought was the Reason He Wasn’t There. Everything about my house reminded me of a loss I still can’t began to describe.  Emotionally, I was a 17 year old girl who had lost her 1st Love. I needed my Mommy.  I’m okay with admitting that.  I needed a break from those last 18 months.  My Mother Saved Me. I’m just glad I was Woman enough to admit I needed to be Saved. What I didn’t know is that I had been in a Domestic Violence relationship, and I needed to understand and forgive myself for letting it happen in the first place.

The Job I got once I moved back to Michigan healed me. I took the job thinking it would be just another opportunity to help children.  I was part of a team that worked everyday to save lives.  We worded to heal people who have been hurt/violated by people they love. We educate women (and men) about Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  My clients, these brave and frustrating women taught me so much about how Trauma follows you your whole life if you don’t address it. My job taught me Accountability.  Owning up to the choices I’ve made in my life and their impact on me and others. My co-workers brought back my happy. In the completely emotionally damaged world we work, I smiled more than I cried. I looked forward to seeing them, and hopefully they felt the same about me.  We are a Strange Group of People, those of us who choose to do Social work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have to take a second to shoutout TIITC.  Never shall he be named, but he helped me realize that not all men are assholes.  He found me beautiful at my ugliest, and he let me cry on his couch when my Nephew died.  I wouldn’t have made it without him.  Thanks TIITC, you are loved as well 🙂

Finally, MJ has come BACK to 3013!

Finally, MJ has come BACK to 3013!

Which leads me back . . . to Arizona. Somewhere in the 4 years I lived there, it became Home.  I felt displaced in Michigan. I didn’t have my own space, I couldn’t live the life I wanted there.  I now crave warm weather, and mountains. I want two dogs in my backyard and Sundays at Mt. Lemmon.  I want Holiday dinners at 4 different houses with at least 3 different cultures represented.  I want to be called Aunt Marisa and ‘ARisa and Mz. Joy by children playing in my front yard. It’s time for me to stop licking healed wounds.  I’m finally stronger than that Pain. I leave you with an Eminem Lyric that perfectly illustrates my current mindset…

 But you won’t break me, You’ll just make me,

Stronger than I was, Before I met you

 I bet you I’ll be just fine without you

And if I stumble, I won’t crumble

I’ll get back up and I….

And I’mma still be humble, When I scream fuck you

Cause I’m stronger than I was – Marshall Mathers

 

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 – cowering 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.

Soooooooooo, Here’s the Thing…

 
*For the purposes of this blog, the following definitions must be stated*

Choice: the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : the opportunity or power to make a decision

Validate: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of {something}

Suffer: to become worse because of being badly affected by something

While in the process of writing this book – thanks to a challenge from my sisfer Erin – I’ve been looking over lots of my old writings. Sometimes, I’ve shared with people the stuff I’ve found.  I am, in a very real sense, a digital hoarder.  I save most emails, AIM/Yahoe Conversations, even drafts of text messages I never sent.  I pay for Handcent Premium so I can save my text messages in the event I have to get a new phone.  It’s a serious issue.

Since I started using MySpace to blog, I’ve made a very conscious decision to save things I felt mattered to me.  Or would mean something in the future.  95% of the time I was actually correct.  I’m tell you all this because after spending all this time looking at my past – and trying to figure out why I make certain life choices – I’ve come to several decisions/conclusions/realizations.  These are some, not all. The list is actually quite extensive.

1) With Adulthood, Comes Censorship

I used to curse all the time.  Every other word was shit or damn or fuck. It was in my every day vernacular, and I didn’t care how it affected anyone around me.  I wish I still felt it was okay to speak that way.  It’s easier when you aren’t thinking about the ramifications of your actions/words.  I wrote whole blogs about how much I hated people and their actions.  I even used full government names.  I so didn’t care.

July 2009, I got my first professional job. People could Google me… I was on the first page.  I locked my Twitter Account, made my FB unsearchable, and never used my name on this blog.  People were looking to me for a very specific kind of thing, and them searching my name and finding Save a Horse – Ride a Big Girl wasn’t exactly what I needed to happen.  My blogs become much more broad, and lacked lots of personal details.  In real life, I was still expressing myself. I just chose to do it a different way.

It should be noted, I’m tired of censoring myself. This means, I’m not going to spare your feelings if you have hurt mine. I’ve always been an asshole, I had just started to be more tactful when I said asshole things. That’s gone.

2) Accountability is a thing now . . . 

Another major change in my life is my current job.  The fact that it saved me notwithstanding, it’s taught me what it means to be fully accountable for the choices you make.  Good/Bad/Indifferent you control your life.  No other human being can make you do anything, without you at one point giving them permission to do so. *DV/SA/Trauma Situations excluded of course*

Even if you are traumatized by something that happens in your life, it’s your CHOICE to wallow and suffer afterward.  Everyone has the right to recover, process, and deal with our lives.  Suffering is a CHOICE. Stop blaming shit on your friends, and your parents, and your ex-boyfriend. You made a choice to drink that night, you made a choice to borrow that money for the loan, you made a choice to stay with him/her after they cheated.

I don’t do Victims anymore.  Because I am NOT one. So we can talk and make a plan about how you are going to deal with your issues, but I will NOT help you be sad/mad/angry/sad ever again.

3) Own Your Shit

Right along with #2, stop trying to seek validation from other people for your choices. “It was just weighing down on me, I had to say something.” What the FUCK for?!?!?  I didn’t want that guilt, it’s not mine to have.  Why must you spread the shit that’s killing you inside? That’s like making Cancer an airborne disease.  Do we do that now? If whatever it is you “need” to tell me isn’t going to make me money, or save my life . . . Please keep that shit to yourself.

Yesterday, I had an existential life crisis about my past relationships and their functionality {or rather, that they only served one function}. I was emo all day. But I dealt with it.  That’s what the FUCK adults do.  You can’t be 32 damn years old, blaming other people for your body count. You just can’t. I had to come to the realization that I was judging myself, based on society’s views of where I should be at this point in my life. FUCK Society tho. She’s a dirty foul whore, who can’t make up her mind.

4) Set Your Own Rules

Live your life the way YOU want to live it. Not the way your parents told you to, not the way your friends think you should, not the way you were taught to in catholic school. Rules are put into place as a guideline, not to be shackles to stop you from being happy.  When you start feeling bad for a CHOICE you’ve made, ask yourself the following questions:

1) Am I Hurting anyone in a way they won’t be able to recover?
1a) If I am hurting someone, does this mean I will lose this relationship and/or can I deal with the loss of it?
2) Am I making this choice to please someone else, or myself?
2a) If I am making this decision to please someone else, is this going to change my life in a positive or a negative way?
3) Am I seeking Validation for this choice?
3a) If I am seeking Validation, is it to be absolved of guilt about this choice?

Live your life on your own terms.  The same people we frequently seek approval from, aren’t doing the same thing when it comes to us.  People make choices that affect our lives everyday, and they didn’t and/or don’t care how you feel about it. As callous as that sounds, it’s very true. I’m not here to validate you.  I’m not here to save you from your bad decision, or the regret you have because of it. I do that everyday at work.  I have taken off my cape, please react accordingly.

5) Trust is Earned, Not Given

I don’t lie. I may omit some truths when meeting people, but, more than likely, if asked I will tell the truth.  For the majority of my life, I thought everyone did the same thing.  The realization that people don’t think like me, and/or live their life with that same philosophy was mind-blowing {only child syndrome}.  It should be noted and acknowledged, as I jump with both feet into the puddle that is my 30’s, I don’t trust you.

Everything that comes out of your mouth is a lie until you prove otherwise.  I’ve seen/heard people lie on and about me to my face in the last few years.  Sometimes people are so used to lying, they forget it’s a lie.  That is their CHOICE. I get to make choices too, and I choose to think everyone is a liar.

Call me jaded, hurt, bitter, etc. I’m okay with that. Because I’m right.

As of right now, I can count the people in my Circle of Trust on 2 hands, and one foot. I’m over giving people an elevated position in my life, and they aren’t living up to it.  Instead of calling them and whining about it, I just made the cut. So That Happened.

*Trust no one who hasn’t earned your trust.
*You only know what people allow you to know.
*Judge yourself by your standards only.
Thank God for granting me this moment of clarity.

Thanks For Reading!