It has been a long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog post and to be honest, I haven’t been inspired. I had all of these ideas that I wanted to write, and I keep being told that “if you’re a writer, then you should be writing everyday.” but nothing moved me to sit in front of my computer (or even pull up the app on my phone) and jot any of this down. I even started to believe that I have Impostor Syndrome when it comes to my writing.
But it all comes down to me not being focused. In my writing and in my life. I am trying to figure out my next move while having family and friends tell me what that move should be. Being unemployed, I’m applying for jobs like crazy, but lately it’s been feeling like I am trying to fit into a world I no longer belong to. If only I could tell my bills this revelation. I feel a tug to do something more, something greater with myself and the spaces that I hold, but that answer eludes me. So I’ll bring it back to my blog. I feel like it’s suppose to be going in a different direction.
I have been blogging for over three years and this is the first time that I’ve thought of this as being my bread and my butter. That I could spin this into something I do full-time or at best, to write about the human experience. I started visualizing a logo and a tagline. But as soon as the vision comes, it quickly goes away and I feel like maybe writing is just a hobby of mines; and not my passion.
I’ll figure it out, eventually. But right now, I have to take more of a step back.
Happy New Year! While everyone is gearing up to head back to work and get to putting their new year’s resolutions in action (I know you didn’t actually start on the 1st), I’ve been summoned to jury duty. As far as first things to do in the new year, this definitely isn’t it.
In fact, in the 20 minutes I’ve stood in line to sign-in, nobody wants to be here. Even if they wake up this early for work, the majority of the people I’ve encountered feel that the 7:30 a.m. check in time is just too early. One CFO in line even talked about bribing the clerks to get out of serving. I get it. Even I prefer to be snuggled in the bed, watching a Living Single marathon. But a lot has changed in the last five years since I last served.
Trayvon Martin happened. Jordan Davis happened. Michael Brown didn’t happen. Eric Garner didn’t happen. Freddie Gray is happening. My views on jury duty have changed tremendously. Yes, I’m still nervous about having someone’s fate be solely in my decision to sift through the facts presented to me. Yes, I still feel annoyed by the summons. However, this is my civic duty. Who knows what will happen today but I know I will serve with purpose.
But being able to catch that Living Single marathon would be great, too.
Editor’s Note: Yes, I’m starting this back up, or rather…I’m here to finish what I started. My thoughts have been all over the place lately and thanks to the morning meditation I’ve been (consistently) doing, I feel more centered and ready to answer these questions again. Also, with bringing back me answering questions, I will be replacing the Tarot Card of the Day, for an Adventure Card of the Day. Courtesy of the deck I was gifted with: Anywhere Travel Guide. So, on to today’s answer!
I want to live a life that I love. A life that feels right for me, not one that looks good to others. And sitting here, I realized that I’ve denied myself that simple pleasure because of how uncomfortable it made other people. My trip to South Africa was something for me, but it made my parents anxious. I use to explore the city all the time; going into random restaurants, strolling around. I stopped doing that for a few reasons: the guy I was dating at the time hated any form of change and the downtown area even more, and I just stopped enjoying taking the Metro home late at night. I started telling myself over and over, “you’ll go to that restaurant next week when you get some money” or “we’ll see what the weather is like”. I love to indulge, be it on a small or large scale. I’m a firm believer that life is meant to be enjoyed…and here I am, denying the one thing I believe in. I love traveling. I love live music. Eating with my hands. I love laughter. Watching the sun rise and set over each new day. Driving with no destination in mind. To enjoy sweets without worrying about how the scale won’t tip in my favor. These are just a few things I really want. So, I have to work on getting them. Regardless of how it makes anyone feel.
(Editor’s Note: Please excuse my inconsistency with my posting. I’ll be back on schedule Monday. Now…on with the answer!)
This question feels like a list…because there’s a lot of things that make me feel the most alive, you know, besides the obvious being alive. But even in that revelation, you’d be amazed at how many people are just “existing” and not really “living” or “being alive” but I digress.
Running outdoors. When my feet hit the pavement and my breathing begins to quicken, and I get to feel every breeze. Sunday mornings are perfect times for me to run outdoors. When it’s just me and the birds and an occasional squirrel outdoors, I feed off of it in a organic way.
Dancing. Doesn’t even matter what type it is. I love to dance and anytime I can put my body into motion, I come alive. If I’m at a gym, you’d probably catch me in a Zumba class or even Belly Dancing if they offer it. Recently, I took up Pole classes and even with the horrible stereotype attached to it (not every woman who takes this class wants to be a stripper…in a club), I loved every spin and trick I mastered. Dancing has always been that creative outlet for me that has allowed me to be as expressive as I want to be and to move how it feels right for me.
Sex. Driver, roll up the partition, please! Yes, I feel alive during good sex ( I should emphasize GOOD here because….) and in the days afterwards. When you connect with a good partner and you’re both in sync with what’s going on intimately between you two, it can be almost otherworldly. Being that present and in tune with another person can be frightening for some but for me, it’s an intensity that I feel in every cell of my body.
So those are the top three things that make me feel alive, with food (eating food, cooking food, shopping for food) as an honorable mention.
Tarot Card of the Day: The Hanged Man. Many people talk about the art of “letting go”. But what does it really mean? How do you achieve it? The Hanged Man has all the answers; he’s the master of non-attachment. This card implies a sacrifice, a difficult or painful situation coming up in your life. Though you naturally want to resist and struggle through it, be more like the Hanged Man. Find stillness, open your eyes, and use this new perspective to learn something. You’re stuck either way.
How have I been cheating on my future by thinking thoughts of my past?
The person I see myself becoming is comfortable saying what’s on her mind and how she feels. Trying to be everything to everybody has made me resentful and burnt out. I want to be more of a free-flowing, free-spirited woman. But there’s a hesitation there. I’ve been everything that everybody else wanted…but what if they don’t want the real me?
In my past, who I was…my truest self….was ridiculed, teased, and criticized often. I believe that’s why I took to acting so well; I can pretend to be someone else because who I really am isn’t good enough. I struggle to shake that notion, and often I catch myself feeling less than whenever I meet a new guy or don’t perform so well at work or cancel plans with friends.
I’m still trying to be my most authentic self.
Tarot Card of the Day: Ten of Wands. The Ten of Wands is a difficult card to face. Mental or physical burdens have been weighing on your spirit. Over time this leads to hopelessness and depression. You simply can’t “get through” to what you want. You can’t see the way.
Where have I been forcing myself to heal faster than what feels right?
This is another question that I can’t seem to see the answer to. I thought about relationships and realized I do allow myself the time. It was especially important when I went through my heartbreak. I thought about the ego, and reconciling with that…which I am learning. I even thought about myself, how I’m healing from years of negative talk and perception. I’m still on that journey.
I sat with this and decided to just take it to the tarot. After pulling my card, I know that this answer won’t come to me in a day; this requires more inner work.
Tarot Card of the Day: Two of Swords. The Two of Swords depicts two opposing forces that have reached a stalemate. You cannot progress forward…either with a relationship or a life decision. There’s an answer being blocked, maybe by choice? Many times this card will indicate you do not wish to face the truth the light will reveal.
For the past two days, I have been consumed with the situation in Baltimore. I know I’m suppose to give some lenthgy response to this question but honestly, I don’t have the strength. Social injustice has always struck a nerve with me and because I’m a passionate person, it drains me. So if I had to answer the question right now, without giving it a second thought, here’s the answer:
Whatever you do, you are supported. It’s going to be okay.
Now, I need to do some grounding work so I can stand with my Baltimore neighbors.
Tarot Card of the Day: Six of Wands. From the dark and entangled branches emerges a butterfly. New life is taking flight. This card is a card of victory, of rising up against the odds. The obstacles have been relentless, but now is the time to look back on them. The more pressing question is: where will you go with your new set of wings?
So I’m at work covering for a co-worker like I typically do when anyone at my job is running a little late. So mainly what my co-worker does is to assist guest in making payments in our parking facility. So I was going on with the shift when I saw a white Ford Mustang pull up to the window and honk his horn quickly. I didn’t pay that any attention because that could’ve been for anyone. Then the guest got out of his car and said through the thick glass, “Can you please assist me?” It was then that I was just in awe at the man standing in front of me. His smile was wide, which always catches my eye. I love a man with a beautiful smile. Then it was is brown skin. His round, full lips. His shoulder-length, Jet Black dreadlocks. I just stood there. Stuck. This was the first time in a long time that I was speechless.
I wish I could tell you that I mustered up all of the guts that I had and asked this man for his phone number. I wish I could write that I caught the hint when I felt he lingered a little longer after his exchange with me. Like seriously, we made nothing but eye contact with each other. Maybe because in some areas, I’m old-fashion. I was always told if a guy really likes you and wants to get to know you, he’ll approach you. That he’ll make the first move and all I have to do is wait on him. But that’s not what stopped me today. What really stopped me from saying anything outside of the pleasantries of the job was a fear of being rejected. What if I was reading his signals wrong? What if he was just being nice because that’s just who he is? I stopped myself before anything could even happen. It’s not like I haven’t been rejected before, it’s just that residual ego bruise that I haven’t been able to get completely over.
One day, I’ll be able to quiet the inner critic who sees beautiful women all over social media and feels “average” compared to them. Hell, maybe the Universe will see fit to allow us to cross paths again (I mean, it is possible since we did meet at work) and I’ll be so bold as to say how I really feel. Maybe he’ll have a girlfriend who is expecting their first born son. Maybe he’ll have a boyfriend and they’re expecting to go to Miami for the weekend. Maybe he’ll be cordial, but only see me as a friend. Maybe I’ll see him again and we’ll completely hit it off and take road trips together and get in fights about not listening to each other and then have the best make-up sex we’ve ever had and find an amazing apartment together and get married on the beach.
I tend to make decisions in my life that most people don’t understand. Like the time in the 8th grade when I thought it would be dope to wear black lipstick. Or the time when I drove to New Orleans on a whim with no money and no place to stay. Oh, and my desire to go skydiving. I’ve always been a “I’ll try just about anything once” girl…and being a woman has played a primary role in where a lot of opposition to my decisions come from. So imagine my (not so) shock when my recent decision to fly halfway around the world alone has caused a lot of concern.
Recently, I told my parents about my trip and their response was that of any protected parent over their baby girl: they were concerned. Visibly upset. They even began to convince me to not go on the trip. I appreciate my parents and people like them; they care about me. I feel and reicieve that energy. I also identify that their concerns are just that. Theirs.
I’m doing something so daring, so bold, so out of the ordinary that it causes concern. I understand it, but I’m learning to trust my impulsive guy decisions more. So for this sit-down, I want to leave you with a quote from my favorite book.
In the book, The Dream Giver, there’s a passage that has always stuck out to me (and I’m paraphrasing here):
When you decide to step outside of your comfort zone, you unknowingly force others around you to step outside of their own comfort zone. Many will resist because they are comfortable where they are. Others will realize that they need to change and begin the steps to leave their Familiar.
I find myself in an experience that I have never had before (or cared to be aware of until now). I’m dating myself. No, not in that “I take myself out on dates because no one can love me like I can” way, but in the “I’ve finally met the male equivalent of me” way. And I don’t like it.
I’ve never been a person who believed that opposite attract. Unless you’re a magnet, you’re pretty much seeking out a person who has certain similarities as you. So when I met HomieLoverFriend almost a year ago through a mutual friend, I initially knew why she felt that we would be a perfect match: we had the same sense of humor. That kind of witty, sarcastic, often times dry, I understood his jokes and he understood mines. Our first date was at a pool hall; very relaxed environment and something fun. One date became several and text messages evolved into sitting up for hours just talking about any and everything. I was taking things one day at a time and staying in the moment and I thought he was too. I felt that this would be the relationship that I would be able to move around in and really get to be myself. But, unlike my HomieLoverFriend, I actually paid attention to our conversations and body language. There was a hesitation there. He wasn’t taking his time with me; he was afraid. He wasn’t trying to “get to know me” (like I said, he rarely paid attention to our conversations, instead listening to the negative voices in his head); he was waiting for me to fail. Plus, he was in a rough place in his life: he was starting over….and I knew what that was like.
So I’ve been giving advice that I’ve learned over the years and maybe that’s been my problem, because he has met me with opposition. I tell him to pursue his passion, he tells me he’s too old to be successful in it. I tell him to start a website for his business, he tells me that it’s too much work. I tell him to appreciate where he is now, he tells me how he’s more talented than the person who’s more successful than him. I began to feel drained around him; it seemed that I was constantly pouring into a person who had nothing to give to me in return. I was encouraging a man who just wanted to read from the “victim” script. I wanted to expand the mind of a man who chooses to be closed-minded on a lot of subjects. Sure, he says he’s “trying”, but even those words are beginning to feel like an excuse he tells himself in case everything goes to shit. I know the late Maya Angelou said, “If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” but what is it saying about me?
I could sit here and go on and on about how his negative, limited views on life is weighing me down, however, there was something in him that attracted him to me. HomieLoverFriend really represents the worst in me. The fears he has, even though they’re not to the letter, are also mines. There’s a reason he only wants to “date” me and “get to know” me….and I’ve been okay with that. I’m not that much better than he is; I’m just more aware of it. And every time we have a discussion or he does something that upsets me, it’s a way for me to check myself. Just recently, he’s cancelled on two dates in one week. One of the reasons was because he was low on gas and out of money, but I knew, as well as him, that he was already low on those things prior to agreeing to the date. The excuse he gave was to ease his conscious into flaking out. But, I do that with my friends. I say I’ll be somewhere and then bail out at the last minute. When things get hard for him, he gives up. So do I, instead of finding another solution. Relationships are a great way to getting to know yourself and ultimately, if you’re willing to do the work, grow as a person.
I don’t mind dating myself. But I’d rather date a better version of myself.