IMG_0459To say the past few days have been difficult would be an understatement. It’s been an uncomfortable replay of last year. Feeling rejected, drowning in silence, tears and feeling invisible. I told a classmate of mine earlier that I could feel myself almost wishing someone would bump into me so I could just feel someone else. Be acknowledged if even by accident. I likened myself to Mr. Magorium’s Sock Monkey.

The difficult part and the part people keep telling me (I hear you, please stop) is that it will all work out. I am worthy I am enough I matter blah blah blah. Sometimes even the most well meaning mentions feel like bullshit. Because you’re not in a place where you can FEEL utopia, why the hell do I want to see a postcard?
That’s how I feel right now.

It’s so incredibly difficult, still, for me to ask for help. It is even more difficult when you can’t ask for a thing. It’s not a specific favor not an exchange of anything tangible. How do you ask someone to just love you? Love you gently because you’re feeling raw? Be tender with me. Ask me how I’m doing and be prepared for any combination of words tears and silence. Ask anyway. Hold my hand. Hug me like you mean it and don’t pull back until you’ve given me all you think I need. Rub my back. Sleep with me. Literally if you can, figuratively if you can’t. Include me in your prayers, I feel that warmth. Be my friend.

Is it that simple? I try in my own quiet way. Reaching out, but never feeling I have the right words. Peculiar problem for a writer. I gather up all the gumption I have left and ask for time. Usually, the people who know me best know what that means. But there are others. With whom I wish I were closer to…with whom I want to have deeper connections…But they don’t speak the language of my silences. So they miss the meaning in my words.

Still I reach. And on nights like tonight, human after human…the thing I remember most about depression was how isolated it made you feel. Everyone felt so far from reach, like you could see and hear everyone around you but you just couldn’t touch them. As if you were enclosed in thick glass. It was sadistic. To reach every time sharply shooting your hand outward towards an open hand only to have your knuckles cracked by the pane.

But I relied on the connections I do have. In my way, I gave my Hurt voice. I still struggle to share. Be bare. To not just name it and speak of it as separate from me but to own it as a part of me, and squared up. Because I can’t say what I need, I simply asked for time and maybe that IS exactly what I need. Intentional, quality time.


Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Do they say about you the things you want to communicate to the world?

Yesterday was Boo’s white coat ceremony up in LA, so I went to support her and a few of her friends from Howard were there. As we were walking back to the car she said, “I love that everyone looks so nice. It’s a nice reflection of me seeing the company I keep be so supportive, successful, and happy.” I thought about her statement off and on for a long time. It is a nice reflection of her and it was definitely clear after being with her friends for just a few hours what kind of person she is just based on the company she keeps.  It’s like that quote that is often attributed to Will Smith, “You can tell how far in life you’ll go by the 5 people you spend the most amount of time with.” So I started thinking about my own “5”.

Because some of my very best friends are not physically present I based my assessment of “spending time” on frequency and quality of time spent, be it physical or not.  Jennie (My Person) was #1 because typically we talk all day every day in some form, and it covers the span of conversation from online shopping to life goals and choices. Next is my friend Alex and same thing, we talk the majority of the day in some fashion and at least 5 days a week if not more. Annie is physically here and spend more time with her than most people in my life. One she’s my writing partner and two she’s a left brain to my right even though both of us had a fair amount of the other.  Lastly Rox and Nick. We have a group chat and usually when we hang out its a triad. I’m in other group chats but Rox and Nick are top 5 because we actually talk about the complex, difficult, and unsolvable stuff too.  While I have many other relationships these five are the ones that contain the most frequency and quality time spent.

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2014_12_15_11_05_28Then my next question, do [these people] say the things that you want to communicate to the world?  Absolutely without a doubt.  Maybe within the last three years or so I’ve been supremely intentional about with whom I invest my time. Such that, I cannot take certain attributes for too long: selfishness, inconsiderateness, complaining, entitlement, or rudeness. I’m sure there are more but those things in particular were characteristics in people I had to separate myself from. That being said, the relationships I did keep and do nurture are ones that allow me access to my full self. I can be the me who quotes Kanye or the me who quotes Carroll. I can be in deep thought about leadership or love and hip hop. I can be crying over Black men dying or Black men being assholes. No matter the situation, I can be however I feel. What does that say about these people? That they allow the space for authenticity. I will never have the groups of friends who all look alike or dress alike despite when I met them in life.I’m not attracted to a certain kind of person in that respect. I am, however, attracted to people who have a bit of “I don’t give a fuck” in their cups. People who are daring and bold; living exclamation points. They may not be wearing the same brands or trends, but they dress to express themselves. AND they appreciate self-expression in others. In fact, there is a certain amount of disdain for pleasing and in-authenticity OR indecisiveness which can sometimes look like inauthentic behavior. I will own that. These people are hard-working and successful, brilliant minds who make me want to work smarter, harder, and be better. Similarly, they expect that of me and others. There is really no room for mediocrity, but a deep sense of patience and support for those who are willing and trying in their becoming. Oh, and wine and whiskey. We all have that in common.

Sometimes people think that your family is the one that holds your context, that once you meet someone’s family you can understand their quirks, and charm better. I do not dispute that. I simply offer that maybe if you look at their 5 you can see the same thing. I think our people frame us; they provide a space of reference that we sit in that gives great meaning to who we are. I could not be in a relationship with someone who my mother did not like. I could also not be in a relationship that someone in my 5 did not like. That is how much I value their opinion and insight. I should mention, each of them also is an intuitive being. They have a strong inner voice and listen to themselves. They are each “doing their work” and have been for a long time. It is not to say I would immediately break up with someone but I would give serious pause and consideration to the relationship.

I certainly pride myself in my ability to choose good people and maintain quality relationships. If I expanded my 5 to 10 much of the same things could have been said about those five people, and the five after that. I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I do not want superfluous relationships or people around me. The friends that I have could have, at one point, all been considered “best”.  While Jennie is still my first phone-call, I really am at the point now where I can share my whole self with anyone I call friend and if I cannot, then it’s likely I limit my time with them.

My favorite word is freedom. It is what I work for and what I cherish more than anything in this world, perhaps even more than love though I think in many ways the two go hand in hand. And that’s what is communicated to the world by my 5. Freedom to be yourself. Freedom to live fully and on purpose. Freedom to laugh too loudly. Freedom to cry when it hurts. Freedom to make mistakes. Freedom to fall in love. Freedom to fly away when you need to.  Those are the people that frame me, and I am so thankful for their willingness to hold me up. I do hope that I add the same amount of joy to their lives that they add to mine.

My Person Our Morals

down_the_rabbit_hole_by_fit51391-d5m5uk0My best friend, whom I refer to as My Person (as does she for me) has always been judgmental.  I say this matter-of-factly, she has always had an opinion and a very clear view of right and wrong.  Mine definitely used to be stronger and we shared our judgy ways, but I abandoned clear-cut opinions long before she.  As much as other people and sometimes I wanted her to abandon her strict judgments, she rarely ever did.  As we grew closer it was something I came to rely on, her moral compass always pointed North, so to speak.

However, as we have grown older we have often found ourselves in situations that we never thought we would be in.  We have been the women we said we would never be, I have done things and put myself in situations that I thought could never happen to me.  Through all of it, we were witnesses to each others’ lives and if we were judging, we suspended it in support of one another.  Never were my feelings as hurt as when she told me how she left out details of a past relationship because she didn’t want me to judge her for being naive or dumb.  I, of course, had felt similarly at times but figured that we have already seen each other at our worst, nothing I could do could be any uglier than that.

Lately, I’ve been indulging my ID.  Knowingly engaging in not-so-good-for-me behaviors in an effort to not feels so consumed by the P2AD situation. I do not enjoy ruminating or obsessing not even over the good things.  I can feel myself get annoyed when yet another journal entry or blog post becomes about him.  So I’ve been living other life. Life that is perhaps more questionable and murky.  I’ve been telling My Person and when I most needed her to publicly shame me into snapping out of it, she’s been amazingly supportive.  You don’t understand, I’ve told her, I need you to tell me its wrong!

I realize how this sounds. Damn my best friend for not judging me and understanding my situation…but no, literally, damn her.  As I slip down the rabbit hole she was the one person I could count on to tell me not to go, to turn around, to remind me that none of it was real.  I wish I could say that I was strong enough to tell myself.  Well…part of me knows. The parts of me that sound like the old her exist and voice their opinions, “You should be ashamed of yourself…” “You should know better…” should should should. I ignore it.  And she’s let me.

Now, as the pin on my moral compass dances wildly, the lines of right and wrong have become debatable.  Start and Finish look the same, and any and all action can be justified. All but one. The want I want most and have to keep reminding myself I can’t have. The shoulds haven’t stopped me from wanting it and I’m hoping if the opportunity ever presents itself, my morals will return to me.  Something tells me they won’t. Just the guilt of, after the fact. Just like last time, and the time before that…


I’m up late. Or early I suppose, depending on how you look at it. I just finished rereading The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I’m feeling some wordless emotion. There is this one part where Sam and Charlie are talking and she says to him:

“It’s just that I don’t want to be somebody’s crush. If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don’t want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too. I want them to be able to do whatever they want around me. And if they do something I don’t like, I’ll tell them.” She was starting to cry a little. But she wasn’t sad. “You know I blamed Craig for not letting me do things? You know how stupid I feel about that now? Maybe he didn’t really encourage me to do things, but he didn’t prevent me from doing them either. But after a while, I didn’t do things because I didn’t want him to think different about me. But the thing is, I wasn’t being honest. So, why would I care whether or not he loved me when he didn’t really even know me?”

Excerpt From: Chbosky, Stephen. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

And I thought, yes, that is exactly it.

I googled ‘Carrie Bradshaw pearls’ because I am looking for inspiration for my birthday outfit. I ran across a fashion website counting down Carrie’s worst fashion mistakes. Her visible bra, her short shorts (which they called ghetto–which made me cringe), her hats…and I thought “they missed the point of her.”  Carrie, and really every woman, is beautiful because of her so-called mistakes. They make up a significant portion of who we are, I think. And for someone to want to clean Carrie up…means they don’t know her. Like Sam and Charlie.

Then, I thought of how many people know me. A handful maybe. I used to be a lot more self righteous. I thought I knew better. It took my friend and a suicide scare for me to realize how wrong I was. I have another friend who’s pregnant right now and lies a lot. To everyone, but mainly herself. We all know she does it but its not hurtful so we never say anything about it. But I wonder if she thinks we want to clean her up. I wonder if she thinks we don’t really get her. Maybe we don’t.

I guess sometimes in our heads we have reasons as to why we hide parts. Reasons we tell lies or stay quiet or omit. Sometimes its easier. You feel like people don’t really want to know how you are. They are just being polite. But what if they do?

I think people get uncomfortable when they can’t help. Like when you tell them a story and they start giving you advice or feedback you didn’t really want. My married friends do that. So do mom friends. And it always cycles back around to them and how you don’t understand because you’re not a wife, or a mom. But that’s an excuse too.

I’ve been an insatiable sleeper lately, very quiet and very contemplative. Also, selective of how I expend energy. I don’t feel melancholy, exactly, but I do not feel as exuberant as usual. That never felt like a lie. I guess the best thing is that people are letting me be. Maybe that speaks to the quality of relationships here. My classmates are the best people on earth. People who can love your sunshine and your rain. Those are good people.

I had a friend who’s husband was unfaithful. I was one of the few people who knew and when they stayed together she stopped talking to me. Because I knew, I think. I told her that I don’t think she’s a bad or stupid person and we started talking again. Sometimes people can’t look at you because they see too many things they’re trying not to see. And sometimes its because they think you see something they don’t want you to. I try very hard to “zoom out” and see the person. Not the stuff. Because we’re not our stuff. Truth or lies.

I got my fill of holding my tongue when I took Terri’s class. But when I spoke, my voice had too much magnetism and it kept bringing people to me that I didn’t want. I didn’t really get it then. I think I get it better now. My honesty, truthfully my vulnerability, sounded a lot like permission. Which is what a lot of people are waiting on. That its safe to come out.

I’m like Sam now. I don’t want to be a crush or some eloquent being you’ve deified in your head. I’d much rather be me; the mess. Not in a self depreciating way. But in a way where you know you don’t have to be anything other than you. Because I’m nothing more than me. The god in all of us makes us all equal, I think. She just wanted to be seen clearly. Honestly.


I’d like to do that. Be more honest. Not worry about people thinking of me differently and just being. I’d like to give myself permission to do that. Because I thought Carrie looked great no matter the outfit. Bra showing or not. There’s a lot that’s beautiful about loving yourself past other peoples insecurities. They try to give them to you, you know. I loved that she never accepted them. I think Carrie is a lot like Sam.

View from high horses

Its been a week riddled with judgment. In my classes as student, in my classes as teacher, in my life outside of academics. A friend of mine asked me how, as a teacher/counselor, you stop yourself from being reactive. I said, you get comfortable with being uncomfortable…and you make peace with looking at yourself this close, and I held my hand inches from my face. I may not be perfect, but I certainly know my flaws.

Sometimes judgment takes my breath away. As in, I am literally gobsmacked and the things that come out of people’s mouths. My knee jerk is always shock, and then I ask myself why am I surprised and then I consider their context. Being who they are, is it any wonder they hold these opinions? If I had lived through their life experiences, perhaps I would feel similarly.

I think I have gotten better at not necessarily internalizing other people’s judgments. Especially their judgments of me. Probably my harshest critique is my dreamer tendencies. And yet, its something I love about myself. To me, if its the difference in an imaginative beautiful fairy tale that exists only in my heart or a crushing reality bemoaning a Jean Valjean solo…I’ll take my fairy tale.

Developmentally speaking, its quite difficult for most people to find value in others who do not “operate” according to the same rules and values as them. Admittedly, I have been one of those people especially when I was younger…I had a very opinionated moral compass. However, as I’ve gotten to know myself better I can definitely say that it alone has changed my view of the world.

Yesterday I went to a luncheon and we had to write on nametags a strength of ours. I wrote loving. When asked why I said, because I’ve noticed that people are mean or rude or judgmental when they are starving for love. So I try to remember that and always answer every call with love. And truly, that is my continual work.

So in those moments where I am seeing intolerance, judgment, whether its directed at me or not, I take a moment and send love to that person. That comes from being able to love myself, though my own mess, through my own scars, through my own flaws. Not in spite of, but because of.  My mom always reminded me of this. She always says everyone has a story. She never writes people off. Whether she would admit it or not, I can see she is all heart. I’m glad of all the things I got from her that I got her heart. Fiery, passionate, and clumsy but love nonetheless.

It is a true challenge to, when you feel triggered by someone else, think about why. Why does the idea of someone living life differently than I’ve chosen to live mine upset me? I had a reaction to a classmate once where I got angry because she placed women of color in the role of the victim. Something, upon later reflection, I realized I’m venomously averse to. I had to apologize to her for my reaction and explain to her and the class where my anger came from. It was a humbling moment for me. But significant because I took the time to figure out why. Mastin Kipp says, the truth is in the trigger. I strongly believe that. When someone else’s life choices upset you, you’re really upset at your own life. How dare they live audaciously when I did not have the ______(courage/means/access/knowledge/support/love)______ to do the same. The truth about ourselves lies in the things that elicit an emotional reaction from us. Study it. Learn from it. Love from it.

I came full circle with a friend last night after an argument we’d had months ago. He understood what we had triggered in one another and he said, you made me realize its not about right or wrong its just about validating the other person’s experience. It was such an endearing moment, but so spot on. None of us is really a foremost authority on anything, and all of us just want validation that its okay to be who we are. Some need it more than others. But we all seek it from one another. And I guess that’s good. Because it means we need one another. To be accounted for, to exist.

Ubuntu indeed. From Archbishop Desmond Tutu: a person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or dimimished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

A little 20-something perspective

Often I feel like…OMG I’m 28 and I need to ____________. Fill in the blank with various material indicators of adulthood, i.e. buy a car, own a home, have a life partner, have children with said partner, etc. The list goes on.  But yesterday when I heard the news that one of my childhood friends (literally we met at 10 years old) had died, suddenly 28 seemed lightyears away from adulthood, 28 is just the beginning.

I tried to wrap my head around what this constant sense of urgency that I and my peers often feel. Keeping up…we’re all playing that game, sometimes unknowingly. So and so just bought a house, I can barely afford rent, what am I doing wrong? So and so got a promotion and is celebrating with dinner at a restaurant I can’t even afford to park at, what am I doing wrong? Its endless. And while I’d like to think I have infinite amount of time to get all these things accomplished, the reality is…this is a Monday morning my friend won’t get.

It made me realize just how okay with myself I need to be. If I never own a home, buy a new car, make 6 figures, take fancy vacations, it does not add or take away from the life I lived and the love I gave. Those things are just things. They are inconsequential and we’re massaged into giving them copious amounts of control over our lives, but that just isn’t the point of it all. I was not put here on this earth to buy Louis bags.

So while my heart is heavy for a family who misses you and friends who cherish you, it is also full of gratitude for Quoneshia, because through her passing I gained perspective. Its not about the stuff, or even the accolades…its just about the hearts, the relationships, the people…the love.

Living a good life

I was sick and hadn’t eaten so I was feeling weak, yet I was out shopping for storage containers because I had to move the next day. I was feeling resentful towards a very unaccommodating housing office, and doubly so now adding this sickness.  My cohort, classmate, and friend the Col. came to pick me up and take me shopping and after I told her I couldn’t afford dinner she was buying me dinner.

That is why you life a good life… she explained, “So that when you need help, people are more than willing to be there for you.”  I thought earnestly about her words and decided that they were unwittingly the spoon full of sugar that I needed.  I really wish I knew why it is so incredibly difficult for me to accept help. However, I think I better learn to do it graciously because I keep being put in the position of having to do it. Mara joked with me yesterday that I wasn’t just on the struggle bus, I was at the struggle bus stop because I’d missed the three that I needed.  It made me laugh because its so incredibly true.

All summer I had to deal with a lack of funds, since I’ve started my job, payroll has messed up my check, financial aid took away fall aid, I’ve had to spend my last few dollars paying for a place to live (deposits) and moving supplies when really I didn’t want to be moving for another week (after pay day)…not to mention this class that I have been in for the last two weeks. When you add that, plus an unexpected cootie that zaps your energy, steals your appetite, and makes you just plain old uncomfortable you have me over the past two days.  But I couldn’t forget the Colonel’s words.

That is why you live a good life…

I texted a few friends yesterday and told them the situation. Not wanting help, just to vent. I expected the responses that I got, a bunch of “Oh no, it’ll all work outs” which really in a time like yesterday felt trite and kind of just like…the thing you say when you don’t know what to say.  I am not sure what I was looking for in terms of response, especially since I am not the complainer friend. But it wasn’t very comforting to hear. Then  LT…

And I was. I was smiling and in that moment I said to myself, you know–this is going to work out. It always does and it always will. A few minutes later I got an email from financial aid saying I had money on the way. I thought to myself, wow…you really do only need the faith of a mustard seed because that’s about what I was down to, but that’s all it took.

I just thought about my mother. She has this amazing ability to draw people in, and she has not one oz of shame when it comes to asking questions or asking people to share knowledge/give help, etc. I want to be more like her in that way. My mom has voice that is sure of itself. I want more of that. Maybe I will think of her in those moments…the moments when there is opportunity to reach out and yet I stop myself. I will think of her, and her “nothing fails except not trying” attitude. And I think…that IS why you live a good life. So that you can be a blessing to others, but also so that you can receive the blessing when its your time to.  This cyclic life of service.

I just really heard what LT said…”your testimony is going to save someone.” Those are the same words the woman in Target told me after my accident. Not similar, not close to, but verbatim those words and added to never stop sharing. Wow…
If I really believe that in this life I am meant to do that, to save others, then its not just about being okay and talking about it like I do here, its about being open in general…even (and especially) when I am down.  Namely because my story is not solely mine. So many people have been, and will be in the places that I am in. There is a collective learning and understanding that exists if only we are courageous enough to share.  To speak. To ask. 18 hours or so later, but I got it.

I Princeton California?

The first night of Adult Development we took an offering. A gift that symbolized some significant point in our own development. I took my Princeton hoodie, and I explained that while I didn’t go to Princeton, P2AD did and when I wear it I feel love. It reminds me of the point in my life when I made the decision to do everything from love, rather than fear. Ironically that is when I left him. Yesterday we had group projects and one group did a montage (holon) of our gifts. When I tell you everybody was moved…everybody was moved. And many of us were in tears. The thing for me is that I was slow to even get it until I saw the Princeton crest and I thought oh how serendipitous…oh waaaaiiiit. Then it clicked. It was so thoughtful and meant so much that they even remembered our gifts and our stories. One member later explained that she didn’t want to mess up the gifts and she changed mine from the hoodie to the crest but I still got it; oddly enough for me, Princeton emotes love. I was hesitant to share that with P2AD because its not about being in love with him or wanting him or anything like that. And I didn’t want him to think anything deeper into it that what I was offering. I did tell him. He didn’t react much. At least not openly. But I didn’t expect him to. As much as the hoodie is about him, it isn’t. Even when I wasn’t speaking to him I wore it. I probably always will. Love isn’t monopolized by one person, and it can’t be. Thank god. In class last week (I don’t event remember the day, because they all blur together) we had to think of a part of us that is underdeveloped, name the barriers in development, the loss that would come, and then an action plan to develop it. I listed my physical/somatic being as underdeveloped. No surprise here, I can’t seem to get going on this goal… the barriers were time, but not because of my schedule. I found myself telling too much truth lol. When I wake up early I have a bunch of people to talk to because I still live an east coast social life. Before I moved, waking up at 6 to go run is something Janika and I did for months! Now waking up at 6 means people I love are at 9 and can chat with me. Also when I get off work, I come home. And I mostly engaged with those same east coast people. The loss, then, would be that time with the people I love. That hurt so badly to write. The reason it would hurt so much is because at home I have a system of support and feel embedded in it. If we’re talking Kegan, I am in interpersonal and so much of me is defined by my relationships. But the reality is, I left. There is this Plotkin wheel which places late adolescence in the south and early adulthood in the west. The early adulthood phase is called wanderer in the cocoon and is categorized by this idea of leaving home and moving into the unknown. Even though I had read the words before, I wasn’t reading them from a place of me, Jessica. They felt so heavy in my arms this time. I literally moved from the south to the west, I left home, I am surrounded by so much unknown I don’t know which way is up sometimes. I am establishing myself in a career and in a new city. I need to behere. I cannot continue to live in San Diego but not live in San Diego. Much of that tension comes from my social/relational needs. Many of the people I am closest with are in committed relationships here. I am not, and so they don’t have as much free time as a single, and often engage with other couples or really, with each other. I am close with Fenway and Mass Elle, but coordinating our lives is a bit challenging. We’re all balancing a million different things for school. I really think that’s why I was so excited about Sorority X. To give me a homebase again. My plan to overcome my barrier was given to me by a classmate. She said to make working out social. It made me miss M3, terribly, and then think how hard its been to make any kind of quality friend and now I’m supposed to find one to work out with? I will put it out to the universe. I often say that my life is not about me, and I believe that to be true. However, I cannot let my calling to serve be an excuse to neglect myself. I can only give when I am healthy and able. I have to remember that. The best of me is needed. That means prioritizing my health and physical well being. My system is still t(here), but I need to start living in California.

The last thing from Chuck

I had a professor in college, my first year actually, who ended every class with, “See you tomorrow, if any of us live that long.” We all found it morbid and strange of him to constantly remind us of our mortality, but he saw it as a reminder to LIVE while we can.  I never got the sentiment in that way until the day I returned back to class in my neck brace after my accident and then I got it a little too well.

I got out of class last night and had a missed call from Fenway. I thought it kind of strange because I know she knows I’m in lock-down for the next few weeks because of my Adult Development class.  I called her back immediately and she told me that a friend and coworker of ours had passed.  I didn’t really know what to think or feel about it, but I asked her if she was okay and she felt the same as I did.  She told me the story of the day and how she found out and everything that happened after but it just felt so far away.

there are some who bring a light so great to the worldI could say lots of things about the random (always random) conversations I had with Chuck while hanging out in the SLIC offices.  I could say a lot about him and his story and how sad it makes me that he didn’t get to see so many of his goals through after working so incredibly hard to just get to USD.  I could say a lot but in times like this it always feels so trite.

I think about Holls and Jewels…and how I was there at the funerals and in the midst of all the sadness just feeling completely….I don’t know what the word is.  Its a mixture of helpless, sad, overwhelmed, contemplative, and raw.  Whenever someone passes I think of them. I don’t know how they did it…do it…

I woke up this morning and the thing on my mind was those old cliche words that feels so befitting: tomorrow isn’t promised.  I had the urgent thought, “Do the people I love know how much I love them?” I haven’t cried until just now.

The thing I got from Chuck was the amazing resilience of the human spirit.  Here is a guy who was determined on another level and despite every judgement or stereotype or odd against him, he was DOING IT.  In a very sacred way, his life was his testimony.  I can’t recall the last conversation nor do I have pictures or trinkets or notes or anything tangible. I do have this gift of knowing a man who accepted no excuses and touched everyone around him with his spirit.

Sometimes we get wrapped up…in all the wrong things. We get caught and tangled like lines of Christmas lights in worries and day-to-day activities that won’t have meaning or memory in the long run.  I just don’t want to do that. I don’t want to forget to live.

Life Reflections

The single most certain way that I know I am a good person is because of the wonderful people around me.  I do not believe that you can attract and maintain such rich and intimate relationships with amazingly brilliant people unless you have a little bit of their pixie dust too.

Currently two of my very best friends are pregnant, BFFK and KSO. K is pregnant with her second and I am hoping it is a boy (she knows why) and KSO is pregnant with her first and really I am so over the moon for both of them I don’t know what to do with myself.  When BFFK had her daughter we were younger and I was in college and living such a wild and reckless life that even though I should have been there more, I wasn’t. Granted our physical distance did not help that situation.  I have tried to make more of an effort to check on the both of them (and the countless other friends who are preggo) and ask about the pregnancy and the morning (noon and night) sickness, and the names and the birthing plan. Because that is what is important to them and most of all I care!  It is important to me because it is what’s going on in my sisters’ lives right now and I am just happy to share in their joy.

I have already written about BFFT’s recent engagement to B which I am so excited about for many reasons…the main one being that I have seriously never seen a man grow in the way that I have seen Ty grow in this relationship. It shows me the other side of the game and what love can really do.  More than that though, as they take this journey together I am just happy to be involved in whatever way they want me involved–unless of course that is not at all.  We can’t have that because I have already written a speech.

I’m all in my feelings because I have a trip planned to go to Tennessee and B has made this trip feel like such a homecoming. You would think that she was my best friend rather than her fiance…but see that’s the thing, we’re all family.  And I know that Ty didn’t pick her thinking, well she fits in the grand scheme of thing, but she does (another lesson) and it just makes me happy to have yet another loving person in my corner.

I’ve learned so much from them all…Tiff and KSO teach me about financial prioritizing, BFFK teaches me how to stay in touch, the importance of family, and to never give up on people you love, LT makes me want to dream and reach for the impossible, J makes me accountable, My Person shows me that looking the part can make you feel better, and believes in the healing power of a good cry, Ty showed me that real true love will only make you better, G reminds me to have fun, Cre tells me not to get caught up in the BS and to cut the people who can’t support you, Tiek shows me how to think outside the box and make a way out of no way…the list goes on and on and on of people I love and things they have taught me and if I continue to be as blessed as I have been many more lessons are sure to come.

Its just the fact that right now, at this time, in this place in this space I am happy.  Because the people around me are happy, and that makes me feel good as a person…I guess it goes back to that one day in church (yall know I rarely go to church…) “My friends don’t call me no mo’ since I laid my burdens down.” Meaning that when you have something to truly celebrate people will often disappear and not be happy for you and not celebrate with you, especially when they have their own issues. Well I can say I certainly have my own drama but I can’t even find space for sadness or worry about it because I am so uplifted and encouraged by the joy of my loved ones that it carries me through.

I think of my little nieces or nephews (or both) and I get giddy.  I think of standing witness to the love of two wonderfully amazing people and my heart smiles. I think of seeing Ne be a PA, and Kendra fulfilling her baking dreams, and Tiek kicking off Smith Media consulting, and Carms being a Pediatrician, etc. and I smile from a place deep on the inside that is unscathed by worldly concerns.  As I reflect and look around me I see them in all their glory and am so grateful to be a part of them.   I am thankful for the company I am in, I am grateful for their love support and existence.  I am just in awe of the players.