Ain’t No More Shame Bih.

Yesterday my brother called. The one I’m closest with. Who is directly underneath me in birth order. The one I probably speak to the least. He makes mistakes frequently which end up with him paying prolonged visits behind bars.

We talk about a lot of things. Or he mostly talks and I mostly listen. To his excuses. To how proud he is of me. To how he’s especially proud since I dropped out of school and blah blah blah. He doesn’t mention that I dropped out of traditional high school because of bullies and because I was a teenager and everything that happens to teenagers is the end of the world. So I left traditional high school, went directly to Job Corps and before I would have completed traditional high school; graduated with my GED and CNA.

He doesn’t mention that after that I kept moving up. Went back to school. Got my nursing degree. That in between there I had a baby and got married. That I’ve never lived with my mother after the age of eighteen. That I’ve pulled myself along to who I am now without the help of social services.

He doesn’t know how difficult being a business owner is. That managing a home, and a family, and dogs, and a writing career are the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. I just don’t quit.

He doesn’t think about how we came from the same home, in the same city, with the same mom and dad. That the city and circumstances that he blames for his downfall are the same ones that I credit for my toughness. My tenacity. My ability to code shift. My ability to barter and negotiate. To think outside the box. To always try to be two steps ahead of danger. To be myself. To discern whether someone is genuine or not within the first few words. To do so many nuanced things that I use to run my business and my life daily.

After we hung up, I realized that his call, which was totally about him was actually ALL about me. Somewhere deep inside of me I’ve been carrying these things around in shame. The GED, the baby at 18, the divorce. Even the roughened edges which help me get through most days. My annoyance that he was throwing my life in my face as if it were such a bad thing, was actually annoyance at myself for whatever lingering shame I carry from my upbringing and subsequent bad decisions.

It made me realize how I’m often annoyed that people occasionally treat me as less than and how that annoyance has nothing to do with those people and everything to do with me. His call, – which lowkey annoyed me at first since it was late and I was busy working in bed- was just what I needed to grow pass some of my hidden shame. Like I told him on the phone, the Universe always gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

 

Also, God is from Brick City and the best roses grow from concrete.

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When The Driver Says Fxck Your Life and Means It.

I’m in a shuttle traveling from NYC to Stamford CT. The driver is rude or maybe he’s just “I don’t give a fuck about you.” but whatever it is I’m impatiently counting the seconds until I get out of his vehicle. Weirdly enough I’ve heard him be rather nice to customers who call and request his services over the phone even using his professional -read white- voice.

He drives like Fuck your life is his motto. Within the first 5 minutes of being in his death vehicle I began praying to all of the ancestors and all of the Gods. ALL OF EM. Especially when he said Fuck the bus and just drove in front of it. 

(In case you can’t tell what you’re looking at the red and white stripes are on the bus mirror that he drove in front of who had the right of way.)

His breath smells like when you leave organic waste in your trashcan for too long and it gets wet. Which isn’t the only reason that I’m happy he’s not a talkative friendly driver but it’s at the top of the list. But when he blows his breath at the other drivers my life passes before my eyes. He’s an angry driver so this has happened quite a bit on this 50+ minute drive. 

I guess he is who people are talking about when they say “Rude New Yorkers” he eminates his rudeness from his pores. I knew it from the second he walked up to me at the airport as if the mere fact that I needed his shuttle (which he gets paid for) was the entire bane of his existence. And though I HATE not tipping people it’s not looking good for this dude. And although I REALLLY dislike tipping people who treat you like they think that you’re not going to tip in the first place brother man from the dumpster has like 20 minutes to at least act like he has some customer service or imma have to keep my pennies in my purse. 

My travel day has been pleasant up until this point but now I’m really wishing I would’ve bought some Tequila in the airport. 

Mantra for today: That was then this is now. The past is the past and the future is everything.

Gratitude List 12.13.16

Today I’m thankful for you. For contrast. For warm blankets and my salt lamp. For going with the flow. For resisting the bull. For discerning thoughts that help me decide what’s real, what’s fake, and what’s worth my time. 

For books. For love. For my parents who instilled a work ethic in me that helps me deal with my current entrepreneur/writer/mom/wife/all other duties as assigned lifestyle. 

For sleep. For great wine. For pie, wine, and ice cream for dinner eaten in the kitchen in the corner besides the fridge because I have no more in me for that day. For insane workouts that keep the aforementioned from catching up with me.  (I know I said wine twice. I’m extremely grateful for wine.)

For Darian. For Ashley. For everyone who’s always checking for me. For light and love. For my breathe and my heart. For leather driving shoes, red blouses, and comfy yet professional jeans that I can wear to networking events when I’m too tired for anything else. 
(Photo courtesy of MadKittyMedia)

On Taking A Break

Lately I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed with the state of the world. I’ve always been really sensitive about what’s going on in my community and in the world. Like most little girls I planned to change the world by solving some major human problem when I grew up. Fast forward to now and I can honestly say that I am doing the work. On a daily basis I am making strides to help solve issues in my community.

The work of an activist of any kind can often be emotionally tolling. Many activists suffer from burn out, nervous breakdowns, and even suicide. So it’s very important to take time out to relax, treat yourself and get your mind focused. Which I’ve been trying to do since Girl Talk in The Park was completed. The event was a success but very challenging and heavy to pull off.

Except, my social media accounts don’t really allow for mental breaks. I’m constantly bombarded with the ills of the world, America in particular.

I don’t watch the news because it is inundated with the negative aspects of what humans do to each other. For many years this has been my stance and my salvation. Besides most of the news stations don’t really share the news. When’s the last time you heard a real report about global warming?

All of the stations seem to share the same things that humans seem to love, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and Police Brutality. Throw in racism, children being arrested for being children, and any new technology that’s on the horizon and you’ve got yourself a piece guaranteed to bring in the ratings.

For me, That’s what my social media accounts have begun to look like, click bait. High interest topics designed to elicit a reaction. And honestly I’m cool with it. I strongly believe that people should share what they want to share on their accounts. However, It doesn’t work for me. I don’t always want to read about the horrors of the world. In fact I would much rather go back to the days when people filled their pages with pictures of their new babies and their latest vacations. Anything to get me away from the many many social media activists. People who sit behind their computers and thoughtlessly share pictures and videos of people being horrible to each other. Who share news articles about politicians being straight out racists without talking a quick jaunt over to snopes to verify that tmz- anything is a bootleg version of The Onion. All the while being noticeably missing from doing the actual footwork in their community. I.E. Tampa peeps what have you done about the widening of 275?

I’m not judging… just asking

So I’m taking a break. I won’t be back on my personal Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter Accounts until May 1st and prior to that I’m going to go on a massive unfollowing spree. More than likely if you share fight videos or old news about something the KKK did ten years ago claiming it happened last week,  we’ll still be friends but I just won’t have your shares clogging up my news feed.

I’m also going to take the time to work on my novel, take lots of naps, work on my house, spend REAL and PRESENT time with my family, go to the beach, and read sooooo many books. If you have my number I hope that you’ll reach out to me and connect with me in the real live world.

In the mean time I wish you peace, love, and loads of laughter.

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Adrien