The summons was waiting for me as I came in from my hectic day at work. My fingers furiously dialed the number to my lawyer’s office. The sweet paralegal was on the receiving end of my profane disbelief that I was in the middle of this. The City required my presence at a hearing complete with a magistrate because my lawn was not replaced in a timely manner. If a growl was possible from me, it would have been heard around the world.
The morning of the hearing brought my existence to a nervous state. Why exactly was this happening? One of my newer outfits was chosen to adorn my person for the appearance…over my lawn. I even went early so that I could relax in the garden. Just before the stroke of doom, Natasha, my fierce lawyer, appeared ready to slay. It was obvious that she was not about to take any prisoners on this day.
She summoned the officer and engaged him in conversation. I sat off to the side thinking of how he once gave me a violation on my birthday. My name was called to go to the magistrate. It felt amazing to have someone else represent me and handle the legality of it all. The discussion was short, and I was free of the predicament with a $50.00 check. However, the experience made quite an impression on me.
Abandonment is something that has become a resurrected theme in my life which leaves a girl quite speechless. However, Natasha made me feel like I was supported by an entire company. It went beyond a job for her. It was more than her professional responsibility. At that precise moment, she embodied what all of us should be doing for each other. We should show up. We should speak up. We should represent and complete the village no matter how small or large the task. I gave her flowers to show my appreciation but it does not begin to explain the bold act that she executed.
It was the second time that someone came to escort me to the massage room. This struck me as odd. The first time with the therapist was not as smooth as it could have been. It felt as if she was nervous. The massage was decent, and she told me that her English was not that good. That was forgivable and I simply allowed myself to sleep. However, the second time with her this morning brought to light my odd feeling.
I did not understand why she did not know what I meant when I pointed to my upper body as the area of focus. She soon informed me that she was blind. There lay the communication issue. This was my second time with her and not once did that ever cross my mind. That is how good she is. The session was fine after that. All sorts of things went through my mind while my body lay on the table. She lives in a world of darkness and functions just fine. She has to rely on her other senses to live in a world that includes sight. How many other people did not know that she was bind and felt as if something was wrong?
My intuition was not wrong. My next session is with her next month after Mother’s Day.
Normally, I do not see my family on Christmas Day because I am working for long hours. This particular holiday found me with time off. I contacted my mother that morning and told her that I was coming to spend the day with her. The response was ordinary enough, “I did not know that you had the day off. I shall prepare something..”. A text alerted her to my departure from Miramar to her place which would take at least half an hour. My phone rang as I approached the airport. “Meet me at Jessica’s house. Oh, and by the way, if you get there and you do not see me, its because I went to the movies with Robert.” Red flags flashed in front of my face. My mother already had plans when I called, and she conveniently kept that to herself until I was on my way to her. I calmly informed her that if she was already busy, it was fine. My home was waiting for me. She begged me to go to her friend’s house because I was welcome. When I arrived, all hell broke loose.
Upon entering the home, my mother told me that she was leaving. My anger boiled over as I asked her what would possess her to put me in this uncomfortable position. She saw nothing wrong with leaving me with people that were sitting down to Christmas dinner with their families while she went to a movie with her son. I read her her rights as two friends intervened so that she would not end up in the pool. There she sat. “I messed up. Someone has to let me off the hook..” I told her she could go to the movies but I was leaving. She wanted me to stay. Finally she spoke to her son and they stayed for dinner. Great.
While I was sitting there trying to figure out how on earth I was related to these people, a breath of fresh air revived my faith in humanity. My godmother texted me wishing me well. My eyes stared in disbelief. This woman was sitting in a hospital at her family’s bedside and she was worried about me. I got up from my chair and packed her plate. Soon, I was on my way to the very same hospital to be with her. She made me feel like someone did care about me.
I do not celebrate Christmas. For me to make time to spend with my family on this day only to be treated in this manner has not left me. My view on the holidays is already sketchy. Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful times for people to come together and say hey, life is grand. I now spend Thanksgivings performing in a nursing home followed by dinner at the homes of friends. Christmas Day is spent watching Netflix. What will this Christmas bring? A nice meal I hope…
The renewal of my life cycle is the most important day of the year for me. I tend to surround myself with friends and feast with various forms of entertainment. I start planning in December. Many people informed me that they were attending. However, little did I know that it was not true.
One by one cancelations started streaming in within an hour of the dinner. At least some people informed me that they were not coming. Others did not even say anything to me. They simply did not show. There I sat for thirty minutes awaiting company that never manifested. The lovely chairs looked back at me with their emptiness. One friend appeared. She was the only one that kept me company all for a while.
After the sub standard meal, I went home and became a puddle on my floor. Alone. In the darkness. I did not want to be alone on my birthday. Yet, there I was. It was a cold reminder that my importance was secondary yet again. I was thankful for the text messages, fb love, and phone calls. A card even came in the mail. The tears have yet to dry from my wet face as I try to nurse myself back to a rational state. It was the worst birthday of my life.
When faced with adversity, you have decisions to make. More than likely they will be major decisions that affect your daily life. Where should you start? What should you do? How do you process everything? You may want to throw yourself on the floor and have a complete and total nervous breakdown. This is perfectly normal. It is better for you to honor your true feelings as opposed to keeping them bottled up as a toxic bomb awaiting explosion.
At some point the dust will settle. The stress will even out. The chatter will stop. Everything will stop coming at you if only for a minute. That is when you have to develop a game plan. Life does not allow anyone to rest on her laurels. There is too much to be accomplished. You have to decide for yourself what falls into the primary and secondary category. Develop a plan of action and then execute it. Sounds simple enough, yes?
Well, on paper.
Life is very much like a body of water. It does not always stay the same. The beach may be calm today but once hurricane season arrives, you are told to evacuate for your own personal safety. It is cleaned and finally cleared for relaxation once again. It is beautiful and lethal all at once. If you are able to place the different facets of your responsibilities and goals into these two categories, your list becomes easier to manage.
Forty plus pounds have literally vanished from my lilt frame. My nicknames include Flaca and skinny minnie. I have shared my diet with women all over the country. My closet is still a work in progress and I throw away underwear on a daily basis because they are too big. This diet was not a choice that I made. It was a lifestyle that my body demanded. After years of eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without any regard for nutrition or portions, chronic symptoms made me uncomfortable on a daily basis. It took a former acupuncturist to sit me down and explain that my diet had to change without question or hesitation. It was cold turkey or face a lifetime of having a disgruntled body.
Wine, sugar, and starches vanished from my plates. At this point I feel as if a slice of cake would be a serious shock to my system because that amount of sugar is now foreign to me. Feb 17th began my exploration into a life of protein and veggies. The addition of a personal chef during the summer made life easier, but I still have a gut. My weight was not the only thing that changed.
The better part of my closet had to be replaced. My body was a size 10 while my mind still thought it was a size 14. People started giving me loads of attention. Chairs that were once comfortable became unbearable. Pine Sol can no longer be used in my home because the fumes are too much for me to handle; switched to an essential oil mix. My sound sensitivity increased to immediate annoyance. People overwhelm me with their constant talking and general noise. During conversations, I lose track of the discussion often. My eyes have loose skin and there are ripples on my sides. The boobs that made me famous now look like the site of deflated balloons. The black woman’s signature looks more like initials. My metabolism started sending me off into naps midday. Medication has now been prescribed because my body no longer produces a certain chemical that is required to fight off issues.
All of these changes contributed to a rocky year. New people became resources for new situations. A stylist helped me explore new styles. A new boutique fitted me with trendy wear. Friends have been swift to meet the demands of my strict diet while dining with me. The chef goes out of his way to provide me with meals that are delicious, varied, and based on what I need. I am hoping that 2018 will bring more stability to what has become a life filled with drastic changes.
2017 is coming to an end. The year of multiple changes and intense moments is about to run out. I am curious as to where my guidance resources shall share with me as a New Year approaches. How do I feel? Tired. My belly is full this evening. My thoughts wonder to different places including an international vacation. It is important for me to check in on the three major points: physical, mental, and spiritual. The mighty triad makes for a well rounded individual with balance. In truth, at this particular moment….the ground beneath my feet is shaky.
This last week was extremely exhausting for me. Between late rehearsals and performances, I was a complete wreck. It made me realize something that has never been considered before. I have spent the better part of my life investing in other people; their children, their dreams, their futures. When I look around, there is no one at my side. There isn’t anyone for me to take to the museum or the Halloween orchestra concert for kids. At this stage of the game, there are resources at my fingertips and ideas that overflow. However, there isn’t a child of my own to reap the benefits. It makes me sad.
It was around this time last year that I announced to my mother that I wanted to have a baby. Her “supportive” nature enabled her to advise me to adopt because pregnancy may be difficult for me. The statement fell on deaf ears given that I am a premie and wasn’t expected to see the ripe ole age of 40. The early part of this year was spent choosing nursery colors and browsing baby clothes. Apparently, the little bundles of joy can be quite stylish.
My 30s were spent enjoying my freedom and glasses of white wine. After my father died, family took on a new meaning to me. As 40 hit, I knew that my own personal unit was something that I wanted. A significant other and a baby. Experiences, love, living, and joy. The whole package is of great interest to me. Life changing is an under statement. I guess that a decade can change a woman’s mind about previous goals.
It had been a long week of work. My body was exhausted. I canceled the tree removal and lessons for the afternoon so I could rest. There was an African Pop Up Market that I desperately wanted to attend, but only if I was able to get myself together. The long hours of the days had certainly taken a toll on me. My bed engulfed me whole.
Traffic was bad. The weather was not helping. Parking was easy to find. I sauntered up to the 8th floor and there they were. Three lovely ladies from the Motherland; Kenya. These business women create crafts along with others in their group, and they travel here to sell them. I wanted to attend for so many reasons. Women from Africa represent a part of me that speaks to a strong ancestral connection. I imagined that they would have many stories about life to share. An international circle made itself present in my mind. They treated me like family. There was singing, laughter, and lots of fellowship. When I saw the jewelry that they created, and the fabrics that were brought….my creative side took over. I asked if I could take nude pictures with their crafts.
We went into another room so as not to be disturbed by the sole male member that traveled with them. You would think there were little girls playing on the playground. Different necklaces adorned my neck. Pose after pose simply flowed from my smaller frame. Wine and Italian appetizers soon appeared to complete the gathering. My Friday night gave me inspiration for my entire life. My heart was filled with joy and gratitude for the experience that was now a part of my memory.
1.)Situation #1: Mother invited me to a Harvest Festival at church one fall while I was in college. It was not something that I had an interest in, and I politely declined. Approximately 72hrs before the event, she informed me that she purchased my ticket. I politely reminded her that I told her that I did not want to attend. The Saturday of the festival, someone gave me two tickets to the orchestra. Happy did not begin to describe my feelings about the concert. Once my mother was informed with joy in my face, she told me to reimburse her for the ticket that she bought in spite of the fact that I told her not to do so…..if anyone has an explanation for this one, please let me know.
2.) Situation #2: It was a cruise to the Bahamas. I went with my sub standard boyfriend and friends. Both parties turned out to be colossal mistakes on my part…moving on. Because I would have to return and go straight to work, my transportation plans were made ahead of time and with great care. When I asked my sub standard boyfriend how he was going to get home, his response was that he was a grown man and could take care of himself. Please keep that in mind.
The morning of our return, my ride was patiently awaiting me. Unfortunately, the grown man that could take care of himself was calling his sub standard friends that could also take care of themselves since 6am, and not one person answered the phone. There he was. Stranded. He turned to me and asked if he could borrow $10.00. I asked why.
He responded…read: “To catch a cab…”.
3.) Situation #3: A handy man came to fix a few things in my home. While he was present, he mentioned that he could fix a few more things for an additional fee. I responded that since I was also having my patio cleaned by another company, his current work was all that was required. Nevertheless, he insisted on giving me quotes for things that I did not request, and left once the job was complete. I told him that I would be in touch regarding the other work once I reviewed the practicality of it. A few days later, he texted me asking if I was still saving towards hiring him. One follow up is fine. However, a few days later, he texted, “rescreen?” in reference to my patio. I promptly deleted his number as his desperation for money was seeping through the cell. An actual screen company that charged a hefty fee completed the screens for me, and they look wonderful to this day.