Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Excited

Life is ever evolving. So much. So soon. To say that I went through a rough patch is a bit of an understatement. But I'm better. Much better. Up until recently, I still felt ready to meet my end. I can say that I'm still ready now, but I'm ready and willing to live every moment until my end to the best of my ability.
So many things I have experienced recently have me finally looking forward to upcoming things. I will have the chance to serve people the way I wanted and not how they wanted me to. I can take that opportunity to make money for myself. I can start writing again and focus on the topics I want to focus on. I'm ready to party. I'm ready to travel more.
Steve is still in the mix (I fell back from the other guy) but this isn't even about Steve or any man. I'm not depressed, I'm excited and optimistic. I'm ready to see what life has for me next. I'm finally ready.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Impasse: Why I Need My Therapist

Life is pretty good. Overall, no complaints. The job is well. My son is doing absolutely amazing to the point where I'm damned near wondering if he's really my child. Steve is still in the mix. He absolutely adores me and this is quite a new feeling. It feels good to be with him. So natural. Except-
I recently exchanged numbers with a guy, whom I like. I don't have nearly the connection to him that I have to Steve. He actually reminds me a lot of Freeman, in D.C. He's professional, together, logical, practical. Everything I've needed in my life up to this point. Before my total reset with Pete's death, this guy, Daniel, would be the first guy I'd be trying to marry. Sometimes I feel like I need a man like Daniel in my life. Someone strong, organized, a planner. A man who knows that I'm bat shit insane, but is willing to just ride with that.

He's not Steve. The idea of a Steve didn't come to me after Pete's death. A woodsman, nature lover, easy going, good ole boy who is all about going with the flow. No need for rings and titles, we just do what is. Sometimes I feel like I could spend a lot more time with Steve.

I met up with a guy friend yesterday who reminded me that I have until roughly the age of 45 to figure out what the hell I want. Do I want to be the eternal bachelorette, afraid and unwilling to settle down, but deeply alone underneath it all? Or do I want to be settled and trying my best to make myself happy, despite wanting to just date around? I don't know.
I can't help but to feel like these two men represent various parts of my psyche. Part of me is a raging hippy, who just wants to sit by a lake barefoot and watch the days stroll by. The other part of me wants to progress, organize, save money and have the next 30 years of my life planned out. It isn't just about the screwing around, its about the other stuff too. Do I want the big house, the plans, the guy who is going to hold me accountable and make me responsible? Shit yeah!! Do I want the guy who goes swimming in the middle of the night, who I can call with the most random and weird of stuff, who seems to actually enjoy when I fall further into my web of weirdness? Absolutely!!

This all goes back to my therapist. Its funny that when I was meeting with her, we were there because of my deep-rooted mommy issues, but she was able to observe my inability to commit to one man. Then I went back to her after Pete's death. Its been over a year, but I'm ready to go back. She warned me that if I saw her afterward, we'd have to deal with my parents. I think I may be ready.

I happened upon my therapist in a Facebook group that I'm a part of, and I took it as a sign that its time for me to tackle this shit once and for all. She doesn't take insurance, and despite it all, I'm willing to pay cash for her. I'm comfortable with her and she knows me. She knows my quirks. Knows what I need to work on. Knows that I have so much resentment toward my mother, that if I focus on it too hard, my whole life falls into a shambles.

But I can't walk this tightrope forever. Or can I?

Monday, August 6, 2018

In the Now

Holy shit, have I really been blogging for 10 years?! My God!! Welp, its official, I gotta keep this going. Life is, well, its life. The job is still here (thank God) although I may be falling back from my part-time job soon. The biggest transition is the car accident that I was in on June 8th (coincidentally, Pete's birthday).

Leading up to that point, Steve and I had restarted our friendship, but barely. I was skittish and still feeling some kind of way about the fact that I had to practically beg him to enter a relationship with me, yet 2 weeks after we broke up, he had a new girlfriend. I knew that he still carried a flame for me, but I refused to play the side-chick, so I kept him at arm's length. He'd always promised to take me fishing one day, so out of no-where, I texted to ask him when he'd take me. That was when he broke the news that his grandfather had been killed that morning in a house fire. My heart broke for him. Sure, I may have been kind of salty about how things happened, but I knew that Steve adored his grandfather and he spend most of his waking time at the family home. Like I tend to do for friends in crisis, I made myself available for Steve during that time. He was surprised that I was there for him.

The same day of his grandfather's funeral, I'd just gotten paid and decided that I needed to buy a few things for my son. On my way home, I saw a truck veering down a hill, with sparks flying from it. I watched as a tire rolled down the hill and hit my car. It knocked the front bumper off and really shook me up. My arm was achy. Thankfully the kid was okay, neither of us had real pain at the time. As we went to the hospital, there were two people I wanted more than anyone- Steve and my stepmommy. Stepmommy was at the hospital when we arrived.

While in the hospital, I was given a muscle relaxer that did me right. Steve came by my home with his cousin and chatted with me about the whole thing that night. They both chuckled about how clearly out of my head I was from the muscle relaxer. When it was time to part, Steve put his arm around me and walked me down the steps into my apartment, to make sure I didn't trip and fall. That's the thing about Steve- he's always been the kind of man to make sure I was okay. I'd always felt that if I ever got sick or injured, he'd be the man who would help to take care of me. Now there he was, in his own little way, making sure that I was good. The next day, he followed up by asking me if I needed him to send a pizza over for my son. Not even for me, but for The Boy. I'm not sure if Steve knows how much that will always warm my heart.

As time went on, he and I just continued to kind of lean on each other. I was without a car, and he grieved. Two days after the accident, I also realized that I'd had a concussion when I developed a deep stutter. I hated it. I was so depressed and angry. I was just driving down the damned street, and suddenly my car was gone, I was achy, and I had a brain injury. I felt useless. I hated that I couldn't have a conversation without getting tongue-tied. I felt like a moron. Steve made me feel beautiful.
We definitely got closer, but I remained conscious of the fact that Steve had a girlfriend. He never thought it was much of a thing, but I saw how much his children needed him, the mothers of his children needed him, compounded with a girlfriend to answer to. A constant statement I made to him was "you don't have room for me."

He eventually broke up with her. We still spend time together. Sometimes I think about getting back with him. But then I remember that things fell to shit when we got together the first time and it makes me nervous. So we stay in limbo. I battled a stomach bug for the last two days and he came over last night and gave me an i.v. drip (he works in the medical field). I flinched like a bitch, but he looked me in the eye and he was firm but gentle. I needed that.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Moving Forward

This isn't getting any easier. Her name is Celeste and I went to high school with her. Although she was only there a number of months before she transferred elsewhere, we bonded and kept in touch even after she switched schools. She got pregnant right after high school, and had her daughter the following April. Celeste and I were pretty thick. Running the streets, chasing boys, she was my road dog, even after she had her daughter.

Eventually Celeste got pregnant a second time, and the family she had here sent her back home to Illinois. That was the last I'd seen of Celeste for a long while, even though we managed to stay in touch via social media. She got heavily involved in activism in her area, and I was pretty impressed and amazed that even though we'd led separate lives in separate cities, we maintained similar interests. She began the Clear Book Bag Initiative, which sought to give children clear book bags, filled with school supplies, all while I worked toward the food pantry at the Atlanta University Center.

A little under a year ago, I'd seen posts on Celeste's Facebook page, in an album she created called C-Journey. I called her immediately and asked what was up. She told me then that she'd been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Coincidentally, about 3 days before she told me, I'd read an article about what to say if someone tells you they have cancer. The article suggested not making the patient's diagnosis about you (so no getting emotional and focusing on your own sadness and potential loss as the other person has to console you, despite them being the one with the actual sickness). Also, no offering examples of the person you know that was magically cured from cancer. Essentially, let the patient talk, let them lead the conversation. So that's what I did. I didn't cry while I was on the phone with her. I didn't offer miracle solutions. I just listened, told her how sorry I was and offered my help. Her words were then, "I've made peace with it."
I spent about 3 days in a funk. I cried, I was angry. I planned to drive up to see her one day. At the time, the job I had paid shit, so there was no way I could have afforded to miss work AND drive up. I was robbing Peter to pay Paul. I swore I'd eventually find a way up. Like it always seems to do, life got in the way.

I'd occasionally text Celeste to check in. She'd text back, but not really say much. Her posts on Facebook got fewer and fewer. People would post on her page, and there would be silence. No response from her, no likes or anything. I observed this, and hoped for the best. One day, I decided to call her. Her phone was disconnected. I knew how to find out what I needed to know. I typed "Celeste ### Obituary."

She was gone.

She'd been dead for about a month by then. I guess I'd gotten all of my tears out by then. I didn't cry much. Just focusing. How could a woman my age get Stage 4 breast cancer? She's not old because I'm not old. Also focusing on her children. She left 4 daughters. When she gave birth to her first daughter, she made me a god-mother. I had no earthly idea that I would be called in to step up to the plate one day.

Over the years, her daughter and I didn't communicate at all. I'd see her pictures on her mother's Facebook page, but being that she was graduating high school and I hadn't seen her since she was an infant, I thought that contacting her before would be a tad out of place. But now things are different. Now she is a 19-year-old young lady in college who's mother died a couple of months ago from cancer. Yeah, this is a good time to reach out to her.

As all people do when reaching out to new people in 2018, I inboxed her on Facebook. I introduced myself, telling her that I was a good friend of her mother's when she was born, and asking to meet up with her one day. She reached out to me and said that would work for her.

It was kind of odd initially (for her, I think, not really for me). I picked her up from her god mother's house (lol apparently I was replaced over the years). She was as beautiful as I remembered. Very sweet. Mannerable. Reserved. We sat down, and I told her that I knew her mother from high school and that I was hanging with her mother around the time that she got pregnant and asked if she had any questions for me.

She did have a few. I had her do the math and explained that her mother got pregnant with her essentially right after high school. I explained to her the situation regarding her sister's birth. She asked about her sister's father and I told her what I knew. The daughter told me how she'd lived with her father for the first few years of her life, before she moved back with her mother. She shared that things were rough with her mother. I explained to her that being a single mother of 4, who started having children at a young age, was probably a challenge and that at the end of the day, we all do the best we can.

I teared. Her daughter teared slightly, and admitted that our conversation was the first she'd had about her mother in depth, since she died. I laughed and told her that I'd just put all of her mama's business in the streets. Then I started to wonder, did I do the right thing? My intention wasn't to be gossipy. I just knew that her daughter would want answers. My mama is living (she's dead to me, but that's a different story entirely), but yeah, I'd want answers.

So Celeste is gone. No more impassioned Facebook posts. No more plans to drive to Illinois. Now I have to do everything in my power to make sure the young lady gets out of college. Celeste would have wanted that. That's why I'm the god mother.



Thursday, May 31, 2018

Trapped

I'd set my trip to Cali for July. I've wavered on this, so I bought the damned ticket to force me to go. And now that I'm roughly 6 weeks away from this trip, I get a lump in my chest whenever I think about it. I need money. I need time. I need this fucking vacation in the worst way possible.

I've blogged extensively about my dating life, to the point of where I'm bored talking about and reading about it. I'd dated my neighbor, Steve, for roughly 3 months, and it fell about after we'd been official for about 3 weeks. I just couldn't deal with some things. So he asked me what I wanted (he really should have just given me time to sort out my thoughts, but he demanded an answer, and my answer was that I wanted out). Crazy enough, I know he still likes me. We're still in communication, but that ship has sailed. There was another guy I'd liked and we were seeing each other for a month. Then he pulled some bullshit. So I got the hell on and won't look back (at least after he fixes my car).

One of my good friends has decided that she's going to keep this one non-essential bullshit relationship going because she can't stand to be alone. And while I love my friend, I just don't know if I can do this. Its one thing to cheerlead a friend through the bumps and bruises of getting to know a new person. But its a whole different monster to listen to a friend cry for the 30th fucking time over someone who has proven time and time again that they are not able to be who and what you need them to be. I'm really torn here. As a person who has spent many years of my life chasing non-available men, I get it. But as a woman with this newfound clarity regarding not wasting my life energy on vampires, its hard as hell to watch and continue lending time and energy to this. I feel fucking drained.

As of late, I've found myself extending my self to people that are emotionally in need. Some are dealing with mental illness, leaving abusive relationships, physically ill... and I love each of these people immensely. I'm just finding myself unable to give as much as I once could. A part of me feels guilt, because I wish other people had this same level of clarity and I'd like to bring them here with me. But a part of me feels like my own load is pretty heavy, so I can't get you where you need to go.

Plus I work in the field of mental illness, which can be exhausting itself. I took myself off of Facebook for a while. I just need to figure me out.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Current Struggles

It has been a year since he died. I was good. Not quite great, but pretty freaking good! Then that damned anniversary came. That day was like ripping off an old bandage. My pain isn't quite as raw, and I'm not having to limp through a semester of grad school this time around (thank God), but this is still rough. This time of last year, he was gone, and I was grieving. I was starting to give a long, hard look at my whole life. The men I was seeing, the goals I'd set for myself, career objectives... and most of those things are in a better space, but my fear of commitment continues to linger.

I'm blessed in many ways. My job could be better, but my bennies are awesome, hours are great, my boss is a godsend, my coworkers are incredible. The clients can be challenging, but the good news is that I have decided that the next leg of my career needs to be a focus on clients with substance abuse. I currently work in mental health, and while some of my clients are easy to love, others take a bit more patience on my part. My previous job allowed me to work with clients in substance abuse, and I loved watching them process their emotions and grow. My current clients have a different set of challenges, so I'm having a hard time mustering the same amount of passion. But nevertheless, my goal is to stay here and do my very best.

So from this point last year, things are great. But I still ache in some ways. I've had a few admirers. I know, good men, are available to me. The problem has been that I had such passion with Pete. I lit up every time I saw him. My colleagues ragged on me like we were in high school. One of them knew something was up before I even said anything. She said that she spotted us talking one day and could feel the energy between us. Dating was easy before I had that. I had no clue what I was missing. It was nice to be with a man who could show me bits and pieces of his life without being condescending and snotty. I get sick of having to dress men up and explain things, or being talked down to. Why can't we just share mutual interests?

My friend Portia has been beyond patient in listening to me rage on about wanting to finally meet the man I can share my life with. The issue is that every damned time I tell myself that I'm ready, my fear of commitment rears its ugly head. I've really fought this part of my existence, but it may be time for me to get some therapy. My mommy issues run DEEP. I knew I was fucked, and I've dealt with it in various ways, but it may really be time to take this head on.

I told myself that I was ready to get back on that horse and try again. I was wrong. So wrong. I need to emotionally retreat again. I need to recenter. This time isn't about Pete though. It's about me. I need to design my next step in life. I need to focus on me.

Friday, March 16, 2018

I Made It

I made it. One year since he died. Life, did what it does, it went on. I feel like I should be more reflective. Lord knows I was a mess on the actual day. Like a dummy, I scheduled myself to do a CPR training at work on the anniversary. I left the room crying, explained to my trainer why I couldn't possibly stomach talking about heart attacks on that day. He let me go and agreed to reschedule for next month.


I've been sort of in "fuck you" mode lately. I ran into a guy that managed to stop talking to me TWICE when he got married to different women. Wasn't my dude or anything, just a good friend. He tried to hit me up recently. I curbed his ass and blocked him. Things went well with Steve, and then he admitted to me that the whole time we were dating he was torn between me and his ex. I put his ass on ice and blocked him. I suspected that my former stalker was trying to go through someone else's page to see what I'm up to. Blocked bitch.


My life is no longer about keeping up frivolous relationships and friendships. I'm possibly going to lose someone I really adored over some foul shit she did. And how do I feel about it? BYE. The time of reflection after he passed showed me where I was fucking up. The people around me were more quantity than quality. I'm okay with my own presence. I'm funny. Fun. Smart. And all around an amazing individual. I see now that there is nothing wrong with blocking out people who just don't serve me, especially when I've always served them. Yep. I finally get it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

bleh

Things are looking up. So I should be happier. I'm just in this constant state of wtf, wading on through, waiting for it all to make sense.


I met a guy in early November, who happened to be a neighbor of mine, in a different apartment complex. We hit it off immediately, and were as thick as thieves. After 2 months of dating, I started to lay the pressure, and told him that we should kick it up a notch. He heed and hawed. For a week, he went back and forth. During that week, I was sure I'd had enough. I remember Jarronn's last words to me where he told me that he knew his wife was the one because things with her were "just easy." That became my reaching point for a relationship. I needed it to be "just easy." Perfection was never my goal, but I needed us to be on one accord. And this dude going back and forth for a week told me that this wouldn't be easy. If a dude needed a week to figure out how he felt about me, I already knew to keep it pushing. My time in reflection after Pete's death only strengthened that notion.


After the week was up, he came back and told me he wanted a relationship. Unfortunately by then, I had checked out. However, because I'd lain so much pressure on him to do the damned thing, I felt I owed it to him to see how things would go. Roughly 3weeks in, I knew it was a no go. The issue was that he wasn't a bad person. No, quite the contrary. I just felt like he had some personal shit he had to work through (common theme among men I seem to be attracted to). I wanted to stay friends while we just worked on getting to know one another more, and check back in later.. He didn't like that for an answer and pretty much forced me to choose him or stay away.




I chose the latter.


There have been things going on with him since then. But I remain firm in my faith that I don't need drama. I have faith that there is a man who isn't riddled with personal problems who can hang out without insecurity, guilt, mommy/daddy issues, and low self-esteem.


In the other part of my life, I'm loving my new job. My boss is awesome, my coworkers are amazing, the clients are adorable, and my schedule is outstanding. I love getting my ass home at a decent time. My "nigga we made it!" moment came when I walked into my new office. The job I was fired from had cubicles. The job I just left had us sharing offices and bouncing from office to office on a daily basis. But I finally got my own office. I have a door. A full fucking door! Okay, whatevs, I'm easy to please. I'll own that. The key to this office has me feeling like I run this place. Clearly I don't, but still.


On another note, I'm rounding out the time of the first anniversary of Pete's death. Last winter was a rather tame one, so whenever I experience warm winter days, I think of seeing Pete in passing at work, on the walkways that connect buildings. When I got my office, one of the first things I did was print out a pic of him to keep on my wall. I know it sounds crazy, but I like the thought of feeling like he's here with me, especially since he was so passionate about the field of social work and mental health. I often practice in my mind what I'll say on Facebook on the first anniversary of his death.


Will I talk about the first time he and I met? Will I talk about that time he saw me in a colleague's office and came in and chatted with me for 15 minutes? Will I talk about the time we admitted to being attracted to one another? Will I talk about the moment my world shattered and I learned he was gone? Or will it be how my life has completely deviated since then? Maybe it will be a combination of all? I honestly don't know.


But I'm in a space now. An odd space. Sometimes I feel like I'm just floating till I get this shit in order.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New... I Don't Even Know Anymore

Last year kicked my ass so much. A man I loved died. Found out via Facebook that an old college friend had died from cancer and was buried two weeks before I read her post. Learned another girlfriend of mine currently has Stage 4 cancer. I lost a job. Broke my ankle. Finally over my shiznit with Fred. Got another job that I love so much, yet recently realized that I'm paid way less than I thought I did. Met another guy, a great guy who I had a whirlwind romance with a man who made me feel like a princess. And now, despite me liking what we had initially, I'm starting to wonder if I should let this go and move on to something a better fit for me. *sigh*
I try to spice things up in my life around the New Year and set new goals, as do a lot of people. In the past I dedicated myself to eating healthier, exercising more, etc. This year, for the first time in my life, I'm trying to focus way more on my money. Not just the pursuit, maintenance of it as well. I've got some major changes to look at in the next few years, and I need the money to be right for those to go as planned. Not only that, I'm so tired of being the broke friend. Granted, my support system is amazing, and I'm blessed to have people that understand that I'm doing the best I can. But still, I want to be able to give back to them what they've given to me.

I don't know what to expect with 2018. I sure as heck didn't expect 2017 to go anywhere near what it did. Quite truthfully, even with the broken ankle and lost job, what marred most of my 2017 remains and always will be the death of Pete. I can't help but to marvel at how one of the worst things to ever happen to me, as also been one of the best things to happen to me.

Pete's death brought not just anger, tears and confusion, it also brought clarity, insight and peace. The thing is, had Pete lived, we would have had one or two nights of passion and gone about our merry ways. I would have kept doing the same mindless things, seeking happiness in a shallow existence.  Before he passed, I used to imagine us meeting up in some old cafe, 15 years into the future and sharing how our lives had been over the years. I never could have imagined that I only had a few months with him.

When I met him, I really was a different woman. Flitting from casual relationship to casual relationship- no thoughts or ideas of real commitment. Which, also ironically enough, is part of what drew he and I together. Neither wanted kids or marriage. We just wanted to have a good time. My future consisted of political pow wows. Had he not died, I'm pretty sure I would have been front and center of this year's mayoral race, gathering support for Vincent Fort, or at the very least, championing for affordable housing in Atlanta.  
Once Pete died, as the dust started to settle, my goals and priorities shifted. Didn't give a shit about fancy purses or politically connected friends. I started to think more about what I wanted for my life. Now I have a completely different agenda, a whole new outlook on life even. I may still get my hands wet in the political activism arena, but in a different way.

In a way not quite as Pete related, losing my job also was a huge blessing, although I didn't see it at the time. Truth is, I'd only taken the gig because it was there. After years of plugging away in graduate school, I didn't want to spend months and months of interviews and selling myself. I wanted a job and by that point, I knew I'd take whoever took me. I'd even interviewed where I interned and was rejected. I was hurt, even a tad embarrassed. Crazy enough, when I interviewed for that job, their fear was with my degree, I'd leave for a therapy job the second it opened up. I assured them that was not the case, as I had no interest in therapy. I thought it was too much work. Shit, I just wanted a job and assured them that if given the chance, I'd commit for at least a year, which they'd requested. Still I didn't get it. Enter the next to job, where I was fired unfairly. Which led me to interview for a case management position, which then promoted me into a therapist anyway. With a renewed interest in substance abuse because of Pete, I was able to have and obtain more insight on addicts in recovery, which most of my clients are. See how that all worked out? Enter Malika, the Therapist.
So yeah, what next? No damned clue. Keep a closer eye on making, and keeping my money. I may have another job lined up, only because it pays more. But I'm crunching numbers to see which one benefits me more. Which lines my pockets now, and gives me the experience I need for the next branch of my career journey? I'm also keeping an eye on my new guy, Steve. For 2 months, it was a fairy tale. Last two weeks, not so much. One of my girlfriends posed, "what if you only met his representative?" Which is a possibility. And if it is, I'm out. No need to stay in an unhappy situation. And what if shit was just thrown because of the holiday? A possibility too. I'm not all that vested either way. I'm too busy chasing coins.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Malika the Therapist

In my previous position, and seemingly, my previous life, I was a case manager. In my current role I have a different title. I am a therapist. I get to conduct groups, as well as have one on one sessions with clients. I act as a case manager as well. I use a lot of my Buddhist teachings to guide me in practice, much as they do in life. What blows my mind is when I say something, matter-of-factly, to a person and I can watch their wiring connecting in their head to apply what I'm saying to their life. Like damn, I'm really able to make a difference here, and I get to watch that difference play out.


Last month, I met with a client who'd told me early on that her previous husband had died, and she even fell into tears when talking about him. I asked my supervisor and others if they knew anything of this. None of them did. Last week, we started discussing her husband, and I explained to her, point blank, that she was not the reason her relationship went bad. I explained that many women who were far more successful on the surface were also guilty of picking horrible partners. She smiled and said "really?!" She had no clue that it wasn't just her, it was a common occurrence across races, ages, educational and income levels. She even admitted to me that she'd made up his death in her head, to ease the pain of her abusive relationship and its demise.

I had another client, who'd started telling me about his time as a drug user in the streets and how other people only came around when he had drugs to share with them. He talked about the pain of losing his wife and he cried, right there in my office. When our session was over, he said that was the most he'd talked about his life in years.

I was charged with running a group about grieving and I showed a YouTube Ted Talk video where a woman talked about allowing people to grieve and live as they needed to in order to heal. Of course no one knew how much that video helped me in my personal life. After the group, members shared how much they appreciated hearing the woman say that there is nothing wrong with grieving and using that grief to spur happiness within ourselves and others.

I did that. Me. I even found myself able to help a girlfriend who's mother stopped talking to her after a huge family situation that involved her brother stabbing her husband to death. It feels so good to have purpose in life. To finally be making sense. To take my personal turmoil and use it to help other people that are able trying to get their lives together. In no way am I taking credit for the work that other people are doing for themselves. But it feels damned good to be a "peace" of their puzzle.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Time's Justa Flying

I was vague in my last post. I had to be. I was embarrassed. Pissed off. Ashamed. And more. But now I can share. I was fired from my last job. Not only was I fired, I was fired for some shit I didn't even do. Talk about mind blown. There I was, less than 3 months after I walked with a master's degree, and I was canned for some political shit to cover my former boss's ass.
A few of my friends knew, but none of them knew just how far down the pit of despair I was. They didn't know how much I struggled, not just financially, but mentally. The only thing that kept me getting out of bed was the fact that I had to go pick up hours at my shitty retail side gig to keep my home afloat as I took care of my child. Stuff was starting to look bleak. Upon my firing, many of my colleagues at my former job said they had things they could get me until something else landed in my lap. None of them panned out. I was stuck. I even started driving for Postmates, trying to make extra coins.

It was a perfect cherry on an already bleak year. I'd literally started to compile a list of how much this year had been kicking my ass. George Michael died (I know it was last year, but this just stared my streak of a bad year). Next Nivea died. Then of course, Pete. I broke my ankle. I lost my job. I found out a friend from high school has stage 4 breast cancer. Shit was downright painful. I felt like a dark cloud was following me.

Coincidentally, I'd started chatting with a former classmate who was also looking for a job and told me that she knew nothing of the services in Atlanta. I'd started looking around for her, when I saw an ad for a job in my neighborhood. The zip code was the same as mine, so I figured 'what the hell?' and sent in an application.

A few days later, on a Friday, I got a call for an interview and asked to come in Monday. I went. I was asked to attend a second interview on the following day. I went. I was asked to start the following day. I did.
I got it! I did it!!

So I went from a bureaucratic job, one that required me to work nights and weekends. A job that, truth be told, can be quite dangerous and stressful. To a therapeutic environment where I work with people with substance abuse issues, many of whom have mental illness as well. I work Monday thru Friday, 9 to 5. My job is literally an 8 minute drive from home in the mornings. And 15 minutes in the evenings.

To make things even better, the training that I'm getting right now is incredible. I'll be much more qualified than many of my former coworkers whenever I decide to move on to another job. An added bonus is that in working with substance abuse addicts, I'm able to get another view of the issues that Pete battled. Things I wish I'd known previously, I can now use to help other people. Things I wish I'd said to him. I wish I'd empathized more, or acknowledged how much I really did not understand about his journey with addiction. I still may not completely get it. But at least I get it more now.

I plan to get licensed this spring, something I really wasn't leaning toward previously. I'm a therapist. It is amazing. I honestly look forward to attending work each day. I love looking thru my closet to see what cute outfit I'll put on daily. I love putting on makeup. My coworkers and I get along well. My only gripe is how often we have potlucks, because my ass is getting chubbier.

August 16th, I felt like my life was a mess. I cried. I was angry. I worried. And now here, on November 22th, I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And it is good.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Figuring It All Out

So my life has taken a turn I damned sure did not expect. I'm okay, and I'm in a good space. I'm having to be more strategic than ever before, which has certainly never been one of my strong suits. But I like this new me. I'm learning new things about myself, and every day I impress myself by seeing how much I've grown. I'm like a whole new woman. I like this Malika.

On the dating end, some how, yet again, Ted has made an appearance. Its kind of wild that he and I are seeing one another again. I thought about it and I realized that he and I have been seeing one another for 2 and a half years now. Sure, its been on and off. But we seem to have an undeniable connection. Lord knows he pisses me off, but he's always on time. I needed him in a real crunch lately (like some borderline life threatening ish), and he came thru like only he could. I love him. Certainly not in love, but love never the less. And as much shit as we talk to one another, I know he loves me too.

I'm getting to see how much this master's degree truly came in handy. I'm currently really grinding to get a better job in my field and I'm amazed how many people are calling me back 1 or 2 days after I submit a resume. So here I am. On my grown woman ish. In demand. Handling it all. Loving my son. Loving myself. I'm finally going to be all right.



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Searching For the Bright Spot

Smh. I'm in trouble. This time, it honestly wasn't my fault. Granted, I could have and should have done things differently, but I didn't do anything bad or malicious. I just ended up putting myself in a position to be fucked over majorly. This is some bull. I was hopeful initially. Then it fell into anger and rage. I swear, its like I'm going through the stages of grief or something. As I often do as a last resort, I called my father. He told me to look for the bright spot and know and do better next time.
All I could think was "easy for him to say," but then I thought about it. He was right. *sigh* I gotta take this one on the chin.

What would have been a really crappy position for me to be in, encouraged me to look around, and save my own neck, before things got bad. And then lo and behold, a wonderful opportunity opened up that I wouldn't have thought to look for otherwise. I don't think y'all understand how much I freaking hate it when my father is right. So now, I gotta regroup and plan.

I'm going to take advantage of what is in front of me. Yes, I'm being cryptic and I kind of hate cryptic posts, because they reek of "look at me and ask me how I'm doing!" but this isn't one. I've just learned to keep my business to myself. I come here to vent away, so here I am. But I need to get on it. I spent the last day and a half wondering what my next move would be and now the wheels are in motion. Here's to hoping for the best.

Friday, August 11, 2017

It Finally Hit Me

I swear I feel so old lately. I'm sitting here at work in my khaki shorts and sweater (because I work in a building that feels like the Arctic Circle in the middle of August), combing an Anthropologie catalog. I've been on my reflective/old lady ish lately. I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying this. I'm enjoying this subdued life. I think its because I did so much when I was younger, and had so much energy, that I'm more than okay just sitting home and just being.

Yeah, I compared myself to Maya Angelou. What of it?! Anyway, I found myself in my head (yes, AGAIN!) the other day. This one wasn't about Pete though. Well, not as much anyway. I started reflecting on my journey. I mean seriously, it's been a hell of a ride so far. Between my education, my diverse friends, my rambunctious son, the many lovers and loves I've had. My journey has been pretty effing fun. That's when it really freaking it me- none of this would have happened if I'd stayed with my ex, David. Holy shit!

All that time begging, pleading, planning, being mad, hurt, angry, et cetera, et cetera! The woman that I am, the strength, the wisdom, the understanding, the compassion, the bullshit meter, it all came from loving and being let go by the wrong damned man! Like, I'm legitimately THA SHIT because I went through that. I never would have imagined 12 years ago, when I was at my breaking point, that I'd look up and be this wonderful confident woman that I am!! I have so much peace and insight into my life!

I look at who and what I'd be if I was still with him. I look at the opportunities I would have missed out on. So maybe, just maybe, things really do work out for the best in the end. At least they did for me!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Real Love- I Get It Now

So while I don't consider myself "dating" at the moment, I consider myself open to the idea of it. I chatted with a cohort today about a bit of a snag I encountered recently. A gentleman caller and I have been sniffing around one another lately, and he asked me for a favor that I could have easily come through on. I took a moment to consider, but after some deliberation, I declined. I lied to alleviate him expecting me to come through on it. I felt horrible lying, but I realized that in far too many relationships in the past, I started a precedent of being a savior. I'm no longer pulling that shit.

I talked to a female cohort about the situation. Initially she urged me to pull through on the favor, but once I explained my grand lesson of not doing too much too soon, she understood. We both then lamented on our pasts of being superwoman to men that didn't deserve such behavior. As often happens in most conversations about relationships these days, I took it back to Peter. While she said that she still feels that her "one" is out there, I told her that quite honestly, I'd be okay being single a lot longer.

I told her that my time with Pete wasn't about hugs and kisses. It was about how he made me feel. This evening, as I drove home thinking about him, it really hit me- I loved him truly. It wasn't about me being hooked on how good he was in bed. We only got close to having sex once. Our schedules never quite synced up. He wasn't calling me for quickies. We'd agreed that whenever we did link up for coffee, if we got it in, cool. If not, cool too. We never got to have coffee though. Quite honestly, Pete was the first man I'd ever fallen this hard for, who I can say that I never had sex with. Hell, we only even kissed once.

Still, it hit me. I loved how he made me feel. How he hit my spirit. I loved and adored that man, even having never slept with him. He came to see me at work, with that beautiful smile. And he'd sit down across from me and our laughs would fill the hall we shared. And we never got physical. We uttered the words "I love you" but never had sex.

Tonight, in my car, as I shed tears, it occurred to me that the reason I hold him in such high regard is that he was the only man I've ever loved without the manipulation of sex. Our love was real because it wasn't physical. It was spiritual. It wasn't about the urges. Its about how it hits your heart and strikes you. That was when I realized that the next man I love has to be amazing. Wack pickup lines won't do. Dicking me down won't matter. If his soul doesn't speak to mine, then I'd rather wait for the person who will. Pete was the man who taught me what real love feels like. Thank you, Peter.