That’s FOMO!

Over the weekend, I had a taste of what it was really like to disconnect.  I talked about how I would be more present in my life and I even started implementing a few ways to just connect back to myself:

  • I stopped using my cell phone as an alarm clock.
  • Actually, I stopped bringing my cell phone into the bedroom, period!
  • No social media app will be opened until 8:00 a.m.
  • No reading or responding e-mails until 9:00 a.m. (my inbox overwhelms me on a daily)
  • No text messages, unless it’s an absolute emergency, until 8:00 a.m.

I did all of this in an effort to put myself first in the morning and it worked.  That is, until I woke up Friday morning just not caring.  I didn’t care what the trending topic was.  I didn’t care to know whose aunt was coming in for the weekend or what holiday party someone couldn’t stand to be at.  I just felt out of alignment in a sense.  So I went throughout my day, at work (which is where I’m always on social media) not on any site.  I wasn’t connected….and didn’t miss it at all.

Saturday was a sweet repeat of Friday: I spent time with friends off the phone (they, on the other hand…..) celebrating a birthday and having a good time.  Sunday was spent in bed with Netflix, the perfect combination. I felt clear minded and refreshed  Then Monday came, and I broke my digital fast.  I saw tweet after tweet and felt completely out the loop on whatever topic was up for discussion for the day.  I’ll admit that I did miss some of my more mystic tweeters (because they’ve been so inspirational this month), but I didn’t get a big case of the FOMO.  What’s FOMO?

Fear. Of. Missing. Out. 

The biggest hurdle in most people putting their phones down is that we feel we may miss out on something.  What that thing is?  I don’t know.   Technology has made is so convenient to stay informed 24/7 about any and everything that we become overwhelmed.  Seriously, have you ever been in the middle of a meeting and have a notification go off on your phone?  Why do I need to know that there’s a 30% off sale on flights at 3:45 in the morning?!  But I’ve been a victim of FOMO before; I’ve scrolled down a page to see what was talked about while I was away.  I’ve clicked on a hashtag to find out why it was started or what people were saying.  I’ve glared at my phone in the middle of the night and refreshed a page more times than I can count.   Last weekend taught me that I can survive without checking my app.  Next year, I’ll probably go longer without being connected.   Maybe a week.  Maybe longer.  I’m sure I won’t miss anything.

 

 

Image

Dash

Life isn’t about the day you’re born….or even the day you die.  It’s the dash.  The line inbetween is what matters most.   – Mayor Marion Barry

 

Source: abcnews.go.com

Source: abcnews.go.com

Two things you should know really quickly:  I’m from DC and this is the only mayor I’ve ever cared to know.   If you’re really from the District of Columbia, then you know Mayor Barry because you’ve met him.  Several times.  He genuinely loved Washington, DC.  Washington, DC loved him.  Even in the midst of the scandal and the infamous “This bitch set me up!”, we still embraced him as ours.  He cared about us.  He fought for us.  He created jobs for us.  He was just a larger than life man.  So his passing yesterday really hit home for me.  Funny, I’m beginning to cry over people’s passing that aren’t my immediate family or close friends.  When I heard of his passing, I immediately remembered his quote about the dash between the day you’re born and the day you die.  “What do you do with the dash?  What’s in that dash is what defines you” is what I remember hearing him say, and it has stuck with me to this very day.  So, in memory of Mayor Marion Barry, I’m going to add to my dash.  Hopefully, you’ll add to yours, too.

The Devil. . . Is A Liar? (Conclusion)

Three-part blog.  Crazy, right?  But I didn’t want it to be too lengthy, so thank you for letting me get this off my proverbial chest.  And if you haven’t read Part One or Two, I suggest you do.  It’s not necessary or anything, but it would be nice! 

Source: miista.com

Source: miista.com

I had prayed and set my intention on one thing for a while: to meet and be a part of a sisterhood.  I’ve always wanted more female friends and felt like I’ve missed out on what women did around each other.  I had always befriended men easily and became “just one of the guys” but I wanted a group of women that I could laugh with, cry with, heal with, drink wine (if that was their thing) with.  So I looked to Twitter as that unofficial sisterhood.  I learned a lot about holistic medicine and natural care practices.  We share recipes and concoctions from green smoothies to whipped shea butter mixtures.  My astrology sisterfriend gave me a reading on my birthday and she told me that this year, to pay attention to my desires, especially when it comes to the occult.   That my interest and creativity would come from this exploration.  So is it a coincidence that through my Twitter timeline that I came across two modern witches?  Not necessarily.  It was my intent all along.  So here is where I am today; a novice in the occult.  Being swept away in healing crystals and cleansing baths.  Lighting incense for the first time since college and using candles during my meditation.  Just recently, I purchased thee most beautiful tarot cards and have found myself wanting to get to “know” my deck by using a card a day.  In fact, it was today’s card that caused this blog.

Don't be scared.

Don’t be scared.

After my meditation, I now incorporate a card from my new deck.  This is how I will familiarize myself with the deck and possibly start doing readings (on myself, for starters) next year.  So this morning, this is the card I pulled.  My heart froze.  For the past few days, I’ve been getting the pentacles; which represents harvest, generosity, prosperity.  Why would The Devil show up today?  Then I thought about what my friend told me over a month ago: that I was going down a dangerous path and further away from God, but I didn’t understand it.  My cards, like everything else I’ve been doing, was my way to communicate with God.  I invite Him into my practice all the time.  I still pray daily, but even that was beginning to feel empty.  Was she right?  Was this card right?  My mind was all over the place and I felt like crying.  This whole time, I felt I was on the right path.  Hell, I felt like I never got off it but here I was; derailed like hell.  I stared at this card for the longest time and then took a deep breath.  Usually with cards like these, they have a particular meaning that you have to dig deep to find.  This card?  It deals with addiction, negativity, toxic relationships, materialism.  Whatever has its claws (or hooves…thanks, goat!) sunk into you has to be addressed.  So what was it for me?  I sat silently and let the answer come from within.  From God.  The Source.  The Source I never left.  The Source that never left me.

Guilt.

My entire life, I had been made to feel guilty about being interested in the occult.  It started with my aspirations of being a medium (and a gypsy, which I’ve talked about before).  With wanting to look into crystal balls and read tarot cards.  People that have identified as Christians have told me that these things are wrong; that even the curiosity of it would allow the Devil to come in and destroy your faith.  Don’t even think about doing any rituals, because doing so just solidified your reservation in Hell.  Wanting to learn more was met with judgment and shame.  My friend constantly telling me that I need “deliverance” comes from a critical and judgmental place; she has spotted something within me that is “wrong” and it has to be made “right”.  But…there isn’t anything wrong with me.  Just like there’s nothing inherently wrong with her.  My mom, either.  This is what they were taught, so this is what they know.  What do I know?  I know that we’re all on this journey together.  Your path may not look like my path, but it doesn’t mean we’re not on it together.   This year, I’ve been feeling guilty about reading the spiritual texts that I have been reading; they contradict everything I was taught in the church, but they made more sense to me.  I felt bad for not seeing the elitism in Christianity anymore; that we were just like everybody else.  Spiritual beings having a human experience.  I stopped seeing our differences and started connecting to strangers.  Even pointing out that at our core we’re the same seemed to agitate my friend, who quickly dismissed my revelation by bringing up extreme examples of rapist and murderers (I wanted to challenge that, but I learned a long time ago that you let people like her just talk.  You simply nod your head in agreement).

 

Maybe my friend is right; I could be doing this all wrong.  Maybe I’m right; this is all a part of re-defining who I am.  What I do know is that I’m done feeling guilty about it.  The desire is in my heart and so help me God, I’m going with it.

 

 

 

The Devil. . . Is A Liar? (Part 2)

If you missed part 1 to this, feel free to catch up here. 

I started to go to church on my own as the years went on, but during church services, I would start having visions.  Strong visions of events that hadn’t occurred yet with people I’d never seen before.  When I would tell the people in church, they called it my “discernment” but never went further than that.  That had become my frustration with church at that time: a lot of broad answers to questions I felt were really direct.   This continued all throughout college when the guys I would date.  If we found ourselves alone, a vision would come up.  I’d feel like I was in a trance; watching this movie play out and the guys ultimately freaking out because they don’t know why I’m staring so intensely.  Still, I considered myself a Christian woman who was just blessed by God with a strong spirit of discernment.  So time passed and I continued on my Christian walk, but that’s not to say I didn’t have distractions, which included me flirting with the idea of becoming a Buddhist on and off throughout my 20s.  College was the time that I really had no idea of who I was, so I stuck to what I knew and what I knew is that God was the answer.  So I started trying to find a church home and became increasingly frustrated.  I even went to a few non-denominational services with my college friends (all of whom identified as Christian) but nothing ever felt too right with me.  The guy I dated throughout college, which I found was a lot of people’s mentality, was “spiritual, but not religious”.  I never truly knew what that meant, except that people felt connected to God or Source, but didn’t necessarily care for the corruption of organized religion.  I started leaning that way, but never allowed myself to go fully there.  It felt like a betrayal; that I was turning my back on God.  It was during this time that yoga became a real force in my life.

bliss

Yoga introduced me to a world of stillness and Sanskrit.  I learned to trust my body, quiet my mind, and be focused.   It was truly an oasis for me to just go within and find that calm and peace that I was looking for in church and scriptures.  They did help; I would use my meditation time to really talk to God and listen.  I still practice that to this day, honestly.  Each mantra that I learned and recited felt like vibrations in my heart and soul.  I ended up watching church services online, but something had awaken in me.  Soon, that led me to reading other religious texts, like the Qu’ran.  One thing I started noticing was the similarities in a lot of beliefs, values and even their creation stories were sounding the same.  But I was young and arrogant; Christianity was the only way and those who didn’t choose it were inherently wrong.  Then life came at me fast where I was humbled in the only way I could; by starting from scratch.  I leaned on God more than I felt like I ever did in my life; I was lost and needed guidance.  But I was also finding my way.  I knew that by losing everything that I thought I was, I was on this journey of becoming the woman I’m suppose to be. I was finding my place in this world again.  The biggest helper in that. . . was Twitter.

 

Source: 3qdigital.com

Source: 3qdigital.com

 

This was a platform that I used to escape my bleak existence when I first tweeted in 2008.  I was depressed.  I also didn’t know how it worked and for the first few months of being on this platform, I mostly talked to myself.  Which felt no different than a prayer, except I felt that God was listening to me.   The joy and beauty of Twitter for me has always been that this was a community of my choosing.  Yes, the app can “suggest” who you should be friends with, and for a while I let them do just that.  But as time went on and I started to really do some work on myself, my interest began to change.  Soon, it was less about following Diddy and more about following Denise, the quirky artist.  My timeline became a source of information as well as laughter.  I was re-shaping the way I thought about a variety of subject.   This app, and the people who used it, helped me to grow up.  To become more confident and comfortable with myself.  Even in isolation, I never truly felt alone.  As my followers grew, I started to see women that mirrored what I thought and wanted to accomplish.  Some of them were entrepreneurs.  Others were writers.  A few of them were bohemians and health gurus that I instantly connected to; two in particular.  The more I read their tweets, the more interested I became.  My book library expanded to Osho and Ekhart Tolle.  I began to exchange church for Super Soul Sunday on OWN; learning from women and men just like me.   But then I started to notice something with the two women I had particularly grown found to.  They weren’t bohemians.

 

They were mystics.  Modern day witches.  That spoke directly to my spirit.

The Devil. . . Is A Liar? (Part 1)

To be receptive to what the universe brings to us, we need to have an open, fluid, and infinitely adaptable awareness.  This flexibility of awareness is the third component of the art of desiring.  Having full awareness does not get stuck on preconceptions about how the desire is suppose to manifest.  By remaining receptive and free, awareness can move and adapt to whatever the intention needs in its development. – excerpt from Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation: Day 11- Flexible Consciousness

 

About a month ago, my best friend and devout Christian, called me; needing to speak with me urgently.  She had a dream about several people, myself included.  Now, her dreams are something of a folklore among our circle of friends.  According to her, God speaks to her in dreams at times and usually what the dream is about is a window into what’s going on in someone’s lives.  In other words: if she dreams about you, you should pay attention.  Anyway, as I’m speaking to her on the phone, she gets to the part of the dream about me and she sounded particularly hesitant; as if she’s looking for the right words to say to me about what she saw me doing in the dream.   According to her, in the dream, I was moving further and further away from God.  That the path I was taking and the message I was spreading was “dangerous”.  I sat and listened to her talk about how she felt I needed to be “delivered” and she doesn’t know my “spiritual walk” anymore, but in the back of my mind, I was upset.  Angry.  But not at my friend.  I got angry with myself and with God.  Before I continue, I have to explain my spiritual journey up until now.

 

Growing up, I lived in a dual household.  My mother gave her life to Christ a few years before I was born, so she is your classic textbook Christian.  My dad, by contrast, is an Atheist.  I remember my mom trying to pass my dad off as Agnostic to family friends and acquaintances in church who would question her why her husband never seemed to accompany her to Sunday church services. I just assumed my dad enjoyed the extra sleep.  But me?  Going to church was something I had to do, otherwise I couldn’t go outside and play with my friends.  So I was raised as a Christian because my mom was one and her way trumped my dad’s way of Atheism.  But as a kid, I was fascinated by the unknown; the supernatural world.  I wanted to be a clairvoyant and a medium; someone who was able to not only see into the future (or past), but communicate with the people there.  I would beg my mother each year for a Ouija board to no avail; that was “black magic” and discouraged me from even having such thoughts.  But it never went away.  As a kid, I would have dreams where I was “outside” my body and visited spiritual realms that terrified me so much that I slept with the lights on until I was 12.  So I told my mom, who in turn told me to pray.  So I did.  For years, I prayed to not be strayed by the devil for the desire to tap into the unknown.  Then, my senior year, in Deliah’s clothing store, I saw this:

the-fortune-telling-book

The book literally grabbed my attention, and with the money I made from my part-time job, I bought it.  Of course, I couldn’t let my parents know, so I did crystal ball readings in secret.  It was this book that sparked my love for tarot cards.  I loved finding out the meaning to what I was doing. I was becoming an alchemist and for a girl who hated Science (no really, that was my least favorite subject in school), this felt completely right.   I felt not just in control, but I felt connected to a higher source.   But like anything when you live in a religious house with a parent who go through your things, my mother found the book.  She was livid.  She accused me of doing witchcraft and she would not have someone inviting evil spirits into her house and if I decided I was keeping the book, then she would throw me out.  I was scared.  My mother had been angry before, but not like this.  I was just trying to see what I should do next week via tarot cards, not casting some spell.  I wasn’t doing anything evil; I was tapping into my spiritual side.  But I felt defeated in that moment.  So with a lowered head, I told my mom she could get rid of it.  I was hurt that my mom saw me as some evil spirit conjurer.  My best friend didn’t make it any better, when she told me that what I was doing was “demonic”.  I felt stuck: how did something that I enjoy be so terrible?

 

 

 

Chapter Three: WYD

Six Months Earlier. . . . . 

 All day, I was looking for a sign about if today should even happen.  I watched the news to see the weather. Clear skies and sunny.  While I was in the limo, it seemed as if everyone went on vacation.  Or decided to not leave the comforts of their homes.  The streets were clear.  We were even getting nothing but green lights the whole way to the church.  Soon as I got in, much to my surprise, everyone was dressed and ready to go.  Even my style team– which was just my cousin who does make-up part-time at the mall– was waiting for me!  Everything was going exactly how we planned it.  Our wedding day would go off without a hitch.    Maybe it was the nerves or I was just sabotaging my own wedding, but I couldn’t keep still.  My cousin was growing frustrated by the minute.

“Relax.  I can’t put this eyeliner on you if you keep moving your eyes.”  she said.  She shot me a look that said that if she happened to stab me in the eye with this pencil, then I’d better not  say anything to her.   “What is it that you keep looking for?”

“Probably her phone.” my best friend and Maid of Honor, Patrice said over my shoulder.  “Where did you put it?”

I pointed to my purse that I had flung on the floor in frustration.  “Right over there.  I just want to see if I have any missed calls or anything.”

Patrice walked over and grabbed my cell phone.  I happen to catch that she was staring at the screen for a while with a puzzled look on her face.  “You got a text message. From ‘My Heart'”

Immediately, my whole body tingled.  I knew who that was because I had always saved his contact number as such.  He was my ex-boyfriend.  My first love.  My heart, and I was his rib.  It was a cute musing that we had decided to call ourselves after we had seen Baby Boy at the movies.  Everything about our love was young, pure, and innocent.  But we were getting older and graduation was coming sooner than later.  We had to get serious.  Everyone around us told us we should get serious.  I wanted us to get married, but he only cared about his career.  So I let him go; convinced that if he loved me the way he said he did, then he would come back to me.  We kept in touch via phone and messages and I would hint at a reconciliation since he was working at a advertising agency, his dream job.  But it never came.  I even told him about my boyfriends and it never seemed to phase him that I had moved on; in fact, he was always supportive of me.  Which drove me crazy.

“What does the message say?”  I inquired.

“It just says ‘WYD’, whatever that means.”

What are you doing?  My Heart was reaching out to me on my wedding day.  I was on his mind.  I motioned for my phone so I could see this message for myself.  Sure enough, in all caps was the three letters. This was my sign.

I hesitated on what to write to him.  Should I tell him what I’m really doing?  What will he say?  So, I sent it.

Getting married.

I instantly regretted it when I didn’t see a response back.  Then the three dots showed up, then disappeared.  Was he shocked?  Jealous?  Hurt? 

Oh!  Congrats!

My heart sank and it felt like one of my lungs collapsed.  Why wasn’t he hurt by this news?  It must’ve been written on my face because Patrice rubbed me on the back in a rather pathetic manner.  “He’s not getting cold feet, is he?”  she inquired.  I looked at the screen again.  The three dots appeared on the screen again.

Are you ready?

I felt a hesitation.  Maybe it was my mind trying to stop me from saying how I truly felt.  But then again, I didn’t win listening to my mind, anyway.  I was going to do things my way for the first time ever.  I was going to tell My Heart… my heart.

No. I’m not ready.  Truth is, I don’t even know why I’m here when my heart is somewhere else.

All of my bridesmaid were in the room, laughing and chatting amongst themselves.  It began to sound like white noise.

Damn. So…are you really ready to get married?  You shouldn’t marry anybody you don’t love.

*Sigh* You’re right.  But I can’t break his heart.  He loves me.

Do you love him?

*deep sigh* Not as much as I love another.

So don’t get married.  It might be fucked up, but it’ll be more fucked up if you trick him into thinking y’all are going to be happy together.

He was right.

You’re right.  I just wish I had the courage to do this before.

You got it now.  So use it.  Maybe you can send some to me, lol!

LOL! What do you mean?

I’m going to need some to propose to my girlfriend tonight.

All I remember is screaming; startling everyone.  “What did you say?” one of my bridesmaid asked me sheepishly.

“I SAID EVERYBODY OUT!!!”

Patrice ushered everyone out of the room and locked the door.  She rushed over to my side with a carton of tissues.  I pulled one out and wiped my eyes; smudging my make-up.  “What is wrong with you?  Are you okay?  Did he…”

“No, it’s not him.  It’s someone else.”  I said through my tears.  “But I need you to help me with something.”

Patrice looked concerned.  “Sure, anything!  What do you need.”

“I need you to help me write this letter, deliver this letter…” I wiped my eyes again. “…and tell everyone that I can’t go through with this wedding.”

Chapter Two: The Message

Joi had a million and one thoughts going on in her head, and the last place she wanted to be was at this restaurant.  The Chinese restaurant that Darryl picked out for them to host their bridal dinner.  The same restaurant that he proposed to her in six months ago.  Back before everything became so hectic.   She always thought in the back of her mind that the conversation they had at the table, after the joy and the excitement had worn off, should’ve been the escape she needed not to go through with this.

“So, I want us to get married as soon as possible.”  Darryl placed his hands over Joi’s; a wave of relief washed over his face.

Joi smiled. “I do too!  I can find a nice white dress at the thrift store; we can go down to City Hall….”

“Joi, I don’t want that kind of wedding.”  Darryl sat up in his chair.  His eyes began to widen and Joi knew that he had a vision in mind.  “I want our wedding to be the wedding of the year.  I want a reception.  I want all of our family to be there.  I want the ceremony.  Joi…I want to do this the right way.”

“Getting eloped isn’t the right way?  Dee, you know I don’t like big spectacles….”

“It’s your wedding day.  All eyes will be on you.  You should want that.  All women want that.”  Darryl was always about the theatrics and the glitz.  Joi stared at the paper lantern in the restaurant.  But I don’t want that.

Joi snapped out of her thinking when her mother came over.  She could sense she was anxious.

“Joi, where is he?”

“I don’t know, Mama.”

“Well…did you call him?”

“I haven’t been able to…..”

“Well, do you THINK that’s something you should do?!”  her mother was being condescending.  “He’s your soon-to-be husband and it doesn’t look good that he’s not here.”

Joi looked past her mother’s shoulder to see Jay, Darryl’s best friend, on the phone.  Probably with Dee.  “That’s fine.  I’m perfectly fine with it looking however it looks, because that’s what it is.

This was Darryl’s idea to have the party.  It was his idea to have the dinner here.  He’ll be here. I’m not worried.”  Joi looked at the door and saw Rashad, her client, coming through the front door.  She always enjoyed when he was around.   He quickly spotted her and flashed a smile.  That smile.  He has such a beautiful smile.

“Who is that?”  Joi’s mother looked back, inquisitive.

“Just a friend.  Excuse me.”  Joi walked over to Rashad and went in for a hug.  Joi’s nose was filled with the smell of sandalwood.  A scent that she couldn’t get out of her mind lately.

“I didn’t think you’d come.”  Joi said, breathless.

“I told you before that I’d be here to support you, so that’s what I’m doing: supporting.”  Rashad’s spoke in a low, deep voice.  “So, where is he?”

“Your guess is as good as mines.”

Just then, Jay walked up to Joi and Rashad.  He looked to be in a panic.

“Joi, I think you should speak to Darryl…..in private.” He extended the phone to her.  She looked at Rashad as if a child was getting permission from her father to stay up later to watch the Tonight Show.  He nodded and she took the cellphone and went outside.

“Darryl….where are you?!  You should’ve been here an hour ago.  Do you know…”

“Joi.” Darryl sounded weak.  “I can’t make it.”

Joi was furious. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘YOU CAN’T MAKE IT’?!?!  THIS WAS YOUR IDEA, DARRYL! YOURS!!”

“Something…….something happened….and….” his voice began to crack.  Is he crying? “Something happened last night and…..Joi, I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry about?  Baby…what is it?  Tell me.”

“I can’t.  I can’t make it tonight.”

“Look, tell me what it is.  I won’t get mad but…..you have to tell me, Dee.  How can I help if you don’t tell me what’s going on?  I’m going to be your wife.  You should be able to trust me.”  Joi was pleading on the phone.  She wanted to be upset, but she didn’t know what to be upset about.  Was he having second thoughts?  Didn’t want to go through with the marriage anymore?

“I can’t tell you right now.  I have to go.  Just know that I love you.”

Click

The tears began to stream down Joi’s face like a waterfall, each one burning hotter than the next.   She attempted to pull herself together, but everytime she attempted, the tears came out heavier.  Her breathing became uneven.  She felt her body begin to collapse underneath the weight of it all.

“Joi, are you alright?”  Rashad had come outside to check on her and held her by her arms.  My safe space.

“No.  I’m not alright. “Joi wiped away tears with the back of her hand.  “He’s not coming.  He says he can’t make it and that he’s sorry.”

Rashad held Joi’s face and wiped the tears off of her cheek.  Joi grabbed his hand and kissed the inside of his palm.

“Joi…..”  Rashad looked into her eyes.

“I can’t do this anymore.”

“So…are you really about to do this?”  Rashad’s tone was serious.

Joi weaved her fingers with his.

“Yes.  It’s time that I tell the truth to not only everyone in there, but to myself.”

Rashad kissed the back of her hand and led his soon-to-be wife back into the restaurant.

 

Chapter One: Pulse

The thumping of Darryl’s head was more for him to bear.  Nor was the pounding on the front door of his loft.  Groggy, he reached for his watch on the nightstand and attempted to look at the time with the help of a slither of light coming through the drapes.  “How long have I been sleep?  7:48?  Is that a.m., or p.m.?”  Darryl tried to make sense of what happened to him, but was distracted.  The pounding became louder and louder.

“Darryl, bruh.  Come on and open the door!”  He heard the sound of his frat brother and his best man, Jay, on the other end of the door.  “D open up!”

Darryl heard the buzzing of his cellphone coming from the bathroom floor.  How did that get in there?  He went in and picked up the phone. “Yeah?”

“Bruh, I’m outside your door.  Where are you!?”

“I’m just waking up.  What…..what happened last night?”  Darryl flicked on the lights and tried to adjust his eyes.

“What do you mean ‘What happened last night?’ You need to be worried about what’s happening tonight! Did you forget your bridal dinner party is tonight?  Dawg, I can’t keep lying to Joi….”

Darryl swallowed hard.  His entire mouth had a wax-like taste to it.  “…and you won’t have to.  Look, obviously we had one hell of a night last night, and I just need to get myself together.  Just go down there and cover for me.  Tell her….I don’t know…that I had a late meeting or something.”

Jay huffed on the phone.  “Alright.  If you think that’ll work again.”  and then hung up the phone.  Darryl turned on the shower and quickly undressed.  As the water hit his chest, he felt a burning all over his body.  He quickly turned the temperature down and allowed the water to cascade from the top of his head down his muscular frame.  It had been a long time since Darryl blacked out and he felt a rush of excitement.  This was what he felt was missing from his life for the past six months; the feeling of letting go.  What attracted Darryl to Joi in the first place was her free spirit and spontaneity; she would be down for anything and anywhere.  Literally anywhere, as he learned when they first met at an art gallery opening.  He remembered the faint smell of honeysuckle and a pair of the largest, softest breast he’d ever felt on his back.

“I like your energy.” she whispered into his ear, grabbed his hand, and led him into the coat room…..

But something happened to Joi once the engagement ring got onto her finger: she became all business.  Now their random sex acts were replaced by bridal conventions and looking at Pinterest boards.  Darryl picked up the peppermint soap and began to lather his body.  He immediately regretted doing so as the burning came back.   As he let the water rinse off the suds, he heard his phone vibrate again.  “It’s probably Joi.” he thought “Ready to chew my ass out over not being there.”  He got out of the shower and noticed that the missed call wasn’t from his fiancee at all.  It was from Jay.  He immediately called him back.

“So…what did she say?”

“Nothing.”  Jay said.  “Her phone is off.  I’ll see if I can beat her to this restaurant but you got to come down here NOW!”

Darryl turned on the main light in his bedroom and saw a woman in a wedding dress.  The same dress Joi had on her Pinterest wall.  He only knew this information because she made him see the dress 50,000 times.  So that’s why my chest and back burns.  I got scratched.  Me and Joi had kinky sex again last night!  And in her wedding dress, too?!  “No need to worry about Joi.” Darryl said, calmly.  “She’s here with me.  Sleeping.”

“What are you talking about?”  Jay sounded confused.

“I’m looking at her right now, in bed.  Obviously, we did some kind of role playing last night and…..”

“D.  I’m looking at Joi right now.  She’s talking to her mom.  Who the hell are you looking at?”

“What?”  Darryl walked over to the mystery woman.  In his bed.  Wearing Joi’s wedding dress.  He placed his hands on the woman’s shoulder and the body rolled over.

It was Candace.  Darryl’s ex-girlfriend.

She was dead.

 

Go Date Yourself

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.

Source: plussizebridetobe.com

Source: plussizebridetobe.com

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?

Source: positivesayings.net

Source: positivesayings.net

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.

Top (sorta) Secret Mission

The voices just keep on rolling in.

 

So after I decided to listen to the whispers of my life and finally act on them, I was wondering what was next for me.  Oddly enough, it came from me complaining about television shows. One thing I’m a huge fan of is comedy television, and thanks to Netflix and now Amazon Prime, I’ve been able to watch shows like New Girl, Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23, and now…..

Source: splitsider.com

Source: splitsider.com

I had already went on a rant about how I felt that while I enjoy Mara Brock Akil (who I’ve secretly wanted to be my mentor and work on a project with) and Shonda Rhimes, they mostly deal in African-American drama.  And yes, there’s ABC’s “Black-ish” which I enjoy as well, however there should be more on television.  There should be people who look like me, talk like me, who enjoy witty humor writing shows and having them on network television.  Dare I even say, cable television?  So in the midst of my complaining, I started thinking: Hey.  Why don’t you write a television pilot?  Why not work on a television script?  Isn’t that how most entrepreneurs succeed: supply a demand that isn’t there?  Duh!  The answer was wrapped in the question.  I want to work in television.  I want to create a script.  Develop a character.  Be a voice for several characters.  Go on to create my own sitcom.  Possibly even star in it shamelessly.  To say all of this aloud felt exhilarating.  I feel for the first time, I’m on to something big.  There are just three hurdles I have to get over first.

 

Hurdle #1: What will my family/friends think of my decision?

I’m addressing this first because to be honest, it’s the least of my concerns.  I’ve mentioned ad nauseam that I’ve lived my life for the approval of others; my mother moreso than others.   Plus, having a daughter will inevitably bring on the “You have responsibilities that you can’t run away from” speech (much like the one I got for going to college out of state……which was her suggestion).  Then I think about my daughter, who I don’t want to feel abandoned or that I don’t care about what happens to her, but she has been my biggest supporter…even when she doesn’t “get it”.  Then there are my friends, who will have their reservations because they deal with security, and I’m entering uncertainty.  But, if they’re good friends, they’ll understand as they are probably on the same path of following their passions that I am.  On the other hand, they could project their fears onto me and point out everything that could go wrong or why it wouldn’t work or even mimic the speech I’d get from my parents.

 

Hurdle #2: Aren’t you a little too old to be doing this?

I’m 32 and starting over from scratch in my life.  This has been a 5 year journey and counting.  Where “society” tells you to have it together by 30….I’m just now making sense of this world.  Still, I’m entering into a profession that is very youth-driven.  Even writers and producers that I’ve read up on and admired their work started in their late teens-early 20s.  They’ve put in the hours, they’ve had the fresh ideas.  They had youth on their side.  I have student loan debt and a teenager.  But maybe, just maybe, that can all work out for me.  Maybe it won’t be easy and yes, I’ll have to start off somewhere small, but it’ll be worth it.  Even if I fail….I know what “starting over” looks like, so why not go after what I feel is right for me and my own life?  I’ve been writing short stories and plays since I was 10.  Surely that counts for the “10,000 hours”, right?

 

Hurdle #3: Wait, WHAT did you go to school to do again?

This one makes me feel unworthy of chasing after my dream at times.  I’m not formally educated in this.  I didn’t go to college to work in TV/Radio/Film.  The most I did in college was star in an indie film and wrote a one-act play in Creative Writing course.   I feel that I have no business sitting at the table with people who actually went to school for this.  That somehow, being inspired to create something great doesn’t compare to a formal education on the technical side of  being a television scriptwriter.  And because of that, who will let me in the door?   Where would I start?  Who could I even reach out to?  My resume reads as a woman looking for an office job….not a woman who would love to write for an office sitcom.  So at times, the inner negative chatter comes into play and I think about just starting over and going to school for it officially…even if it’s just a class here and there.  But then I think about Sallie Mae and if she’d even allow me to have such a lofty dream.  Then starting over seems too crippling.  The feeling of lack starts to drown out the excitement of finally being on the right path.

 

But I’m still going for it.  This is my plan.

 

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