Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Here I sit at my desk. I had just put out of my mind some information I had received regarding child support -- information that instantly triggered a headache -- when I witnessed a woman in an abusive relationship at my library. It was subtle and to the untrained eye, it looked like a normal dispute. But because the hushed tones and sad faces were right by my desk, I was right there in it.
Sitting at my desk, I am often an innocent bystander in so many lives as an anonymous librarian. I heard the woman's frustration as her man refused to engage her son and his need for attention. I saw her man stomp off in a huff because she wasn't focusing enough on him and his quiet disregard for her children who wanted to check out their games from the library. I saw her sad, defeated nature when she gave into his behavior by rounding up her children and telling them that they couldn't get their games and now had to leave because he was in a bad mood.
I watched her daughter mount her legs into their braces so that they could follow the man who had already stormed out. Her disappointed toddler not understanding why their trip had ended so abruptly. What was most disappointing of all was that I saw myself.
I remember the wreckage of trying to appease someone who was insatiably unhappy. I remember compromising my mothering in order to be more of the nonexistent person that my ex wanted. I often wish that I never have to run into that version of myself again. Sadly, time and time again I am greeted by her when I hear stories of women who can't talk on the phone too long, go anywhere, or that have to rush home for fear of World War III visiting their home otherwise. My Nonna recently told me that if you live long enough, you will meet yourself. Sadly, that is too true sometimes. I look forward to a time when domestic violence is not the norm.
Monday, July 16, 2012
As the lights on the pretend streets dimmed and people gathered behind ropes to get a closer view, we sat on an otherwise unoccupied porch to watch. I was teleported to our trip to Disneyland in 2008. That was when things were normal and my mom wasn't present only in my head. Back when my daughter smiled as she peed into a Pull-Up so that she didn't have to get out of the line for riding Dumbo. Back then, we stood in the mock up of New Orleans French Quarter that had been popped down into California for our pleasure. We drank mint juleps and marveled as fireworks lit up the night sky at Disney.
But in 2012, it was different. As the parade passed us by, I felt like the loneliness was only amplified by those around me. I felt like Disney World was the loneliest place on earth without my mom there to laugh. I sat there on the wood planked porch and allowed the tears to flow as I felt an indescribable isolation in the presence of hundreds of people gathered in my immediate area. As the lights came up, we headed into a shop to purchase our trinkets and when my daughter turned to me and asked if I was ready to go, I could not have more positively said yes.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Today, I watched them close the casket on a 21-year-old young man whose only crime was to ride a car with his girlfriend when she was sleepy.
How would you begin to expect something like this? So how do you close out something so shocking that no one in the room wants to see? You roll his airtight casket out with the hood classic, It's a Good Ass Day, as the processional soundtrack. After all, it was he would have wanted it that way.
Funny thing was when it came on and the doors to the outside where opened, it did feel like a good ass day. Despite all of the hurt of the previous year and the pain of facing this one, it will be okay.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
At my largest, I was more than 200 pounds. I swore that it was the baby weight. Problematic when the "baby" is more than a year old. Even more problematic when the baby is seven. So here I was not at 200, but not that far removed either and not so happy about it. My good friend says you should try the Sadkhin Complex and that it shouldn't be hard for me because I'm a vegetarian.
At this point, anything short of eating sand day and night sounds appealing. What have I got to loose except some unwanted weight. Hell, I can do anything for a month. So I went. That was about 26 days ago. Also, 12 pounds ago. Two days on fruits and veggies. Two days of milk products (soy or almond for me, thank you much).
The catch is keeping myself motivated and coming up with vegetarian specials that don't include my favorite indulgence, beans. It has been worthwhile and I won't sell you a bill of goods and say that I haven't had anything deemed illegal by the program. After all, it was my bright idea to partake of Hungry Howie's three cheeser bread -- a bold move that landed me on my bathroom floor overcome by the sickness that results from the shock of grease in a clean system.
I will tell you that it is a process of mentally unpacking all of that food-related baggage that I have. So let's go on and get this last 19 pounds off. I can't wait!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
I stand amazed that my daughter has been growing for seven years and has the height, vocabulary and beauty to prove it. Have I weathered seven years of single parenting and come out alive? I toss my short, sleek hair back and laugh. Yes, I certainly have. *At this point, my daughter would remind me that my hair doesn't move when I toss it, but I digress. I feel like Picasso as I step back and say that I created that young lady.
Times have changed. I have changed with them and even when it was at its bleakest last year, I pressed on. I had to and couldn't afford to crumble. I have seven-year-old eyes watching my every move to figure out what position she was to play. She played it, too.
When I returned from my nine days in the hospital at my mom's side, my daughter watched me renew myself as a domesticated and humbled parent. She also watched when I didn't eat my peas and made sure to fuss at me until I did. It's funny how the roles reverse and sometimes the adult becomes the child.
I've learned to be even more skillful and resourceful. I guess you can say that I've sharpened the saw. I emerged a greater person, not because I was confident, but because my mom would have wanted me to. I couldn't falter.
I hadn't stumbled when my relationship with my daughter's father crumbled into dust. I hadn't stumbled when I took a leave from my employer after the loss of my mom and my supervisor was not feeling it. I simply didn't give a shit. My mental health had to prevail because I have seven-year-old eyes watching me. 2011 showed me that I inherently know what to do in every situation that comes my way. The answer is right there inside and all I have to do is listen to it.
That is how I made it through these seven years. That little voice inside.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
What can I say about this past year that does not include the words bombed-out and depleted?
My mom? Gone.
My uncle? Gone.
Stability in the hood? Gone.
Retreating to the safety of a gated condo? Indeed.
I found out a lot about myself in 2011. I discovered that I really had been living all this time. When my mom died on March 1, I looked at myself in the mirror for a while trying to figure out what remained. I guess all that remained was me. A bit thinner. Worse for wear. But I was still in there.
I thought I would never laugh again. Sometimes I do. I thought I would never eat a good hot meal again, since my mom loved to cook. I have. I thought I would die. I'm still here.
Then the fools broke in to my home. Again, thought I would die. Thought life was continuing on it's downspin. It wasn't. It was making me stronger. Prepping me to pull myself together. Then I found myself questioning my then relationship. The realization hit me that I needed not question what I was staring at. Instead, I needed to question whether it was useful. It wasn't. I unpacked it.
So here I stand with the wreckage of 2011 right behind me. Present and accounted for.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
I know that it has got to be happy hour somewhere! Sheesh! Today is the last day of my daughter's Girl Scout troop for the school year. And every meeting day is the same for me as the leader of the troop. It looks a little something like this:
Step 1: Wake up.
Step 2: Volunteer at the school
Step 3: Run around prepping for the afternoon scouts meeting
Step 4: Meet
Step 5: Breathe
Step 6: Carry on with other runs for my daughter
And today was no different. The only thing was adding work at the library into the mix. Can a sistah catch a break?!
I spent the morning hovering over the reference desk while sorting out Girl Scout cookie sale incentives. Talk about multi-tasking! Tomorrow is the free movie day for the girls who sold more than 300 boxes of cookies and I cannot wait. Maybe that's because it will signal the end of the scouting year. Just in time, too, because I am exhausted!!!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I have missed the grievances and the negotiation process. So now I will be back in the fray. There is no time like the present because the library is in a state of peril.
Peril? Did someone say peril?
Otherwise, my life seems to be righting itself. The drama seems to be slowing and my tolerance for it is building back up I suppose. I feel like I have something that looks like a plan in place after my mom's passing and the pillaging of my home space.
I feel like I am done. I have stuck it out in this place through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't owe anyone else anything else. I gave it the college try. I can no longer afford to suffer and make my daughter suffer as I see the community crumbling around me.
The schools here suck to say the least. I cannot even tell you what I pay for my daughter's tuition. They want to pare down library services to the bone. Not to mention that there aren't even adequate street lights on my block. So I have some decisions ahead of me.
In the words of Diddy... Now let's work.