Get Up & Grow

"We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop? "

You Can’t Hide

I remember being a teenager and deciding that by the age of 25, I would either be married or in a serious relationship and headed in the direction of marriage. I decided that by age 30, I would have my first child and I’d have the perfect career. At that time, I didn’t want to avoid growing up, I was looking forward to it.

As the years went by, I quickly discovered that things don’t always go as planned and I’d have to be flexible. 25 came and went and I’m still single. I will be 30 next March and there is no child. I think that as I came to understand that I wasn’t always going to get what I wanted out of adulthood, I stopping looking forward to it. It’s kind of like the child who is losing the game or not getting his/her way and all of a sudden doesn’t want to play anymore.

I have to work to support myself. Plain and simple, that’s the truth. I have yet to find that dream job and honestly, I don’t even know what exactly I want to do at this point. What I do know, is that I wake up 5 out of 5 work days dreading going to work. I’ve taken more than my share of sick days that were actually ” sick of work days”. This behavior has been tolerated up until now….not in Korea. I know find myself in a situation where my ” I don’t wanna” days are noticed and used against me. I’ve learned my lesson for sure and I’ve adopted  new attitude. Nobody said this thing was going to be easy. Nobody said that it was all fun and games. I have got to learn to get up and push through even when I really don’t want to.

I know that my attitude toward working in the past has been effected by my depression as well as the people around me. I’m not going to find a perfect work  place where nothing ever goes wrong and where people are always kind of considerate so I’m the one who has to change. I can’t let people who are really NON FACTORS have that much power over me.

As for the depression, I am also working on that. I refuse to go back on meds. I’d rather find a therapist because I have been working through this for almost a year without meds and I’ve made a lot of progress with it.

I don’t exactly know how I have made it this far without taking full responsibility for myself but it has to change NOW.

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A lesson in Letting Go pt.1

I was awake at 3:30 this morning. I woke up from a disturbing dream and automatically reached for my phone. What I found there was equally disturbing and it brought me around to realize that I needed to finally let go.

AJ has been my friend since I first moved to Arizona. I met her at a local club honestly, I didn’t like her. She was drunk and obnoxious and had a hard time keeping her hands to herself. I refused the drinks she offered to buy but the friend I was with gladly accepted. “You know your friend is just selling you to me, right?” AJ slurred in my ear.

At the end of that night, I was feeling a bit differently about her. Maybe she wasn’t always like this. Even though her friends had warned me that she was an a**hole, I could see something in her eyes that told me otherwise. I thought that maybe she was friend material. We ended up becoming friends and soon we were inseparable. The only problem was that sometimes AJ got a little weird.  There have been about 3 or 4 times during the course of our friendship when she has just kind of gone crazy. The first time, it was because I ended up not going to a concert that she invited me to because I was sick. She called and texted me during the concert and called me every name in the book. She basically told me that I was worse than scum. I was totally confused about what had happened.

So we didn’t talk for a long time. I was convinced that she was unstable at first. Later on, I started to miss her friendship. She was funny and loyal and I needed that in my life. I soon started to blame her behavior on alcohol. She has always been just a little too dependent on alcohol to alter her moods. ( Along with marijuana…but that’s a different story…) I started hanging out with her again. It took a while but her strange behavior came back. This time she snapped because I was trying to get her to talk to me about her upcoming time in jail. She’d been arrested for drinking and driving and she’d run into the back of a car in front of her. She was having a hard time because in her mind, jail was just like the horrible times she’d had in the military before we’d met. When I tried to be there for her, she snapped. Again she called me names and suggested that I was the worse friend in the history of the world. This time, it was about a year before we spoke again. I missed her again.

So this morning,when I looked at my phone, I found her response to my last message. I had commented about the pictures she posted on Facebook of herself and her girlfriend at a Turn About party. She is a stud and her gf is a femme. The point of the party was for them to switch roles for a night. We were always joking around about how doing something like this went against a stud’s sense of identity. It wasn’t unusual for us to express our feelings about such things. For some reason, after I told her that she looked nice but didn’t look comfortable or natural…as we usually say…she snapped on me. I woke up to two long messages about how even overseas, I’m a rude bitch. She said that I was use to being inside a box…me..of all people.  She said that it was one of many reasons why we don’t work.

That was the last straw. I decided then and there that I would let go of her friendship because with it came the pain from the things that she says when she gets drunk and angry. It’s hard to let go of someone who you’ve been through so much with…someone you care about so much. I have decided that I care about her but I care about myself more and I don’t deserve to be treated that way. I will not put myself through this anymore.

March 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Things I’ve Learned About Myself Lately

The past few months that I’ve been here in Korea have been full of growth and realizations. I have learned some things about myself….some good things…and some things that I need to work on.

1. I am highly sensitive to anything relating to being a Black person and what that means. I have come to dread any lessons in the book that have Black characters in them because I’m afraid of what the kids might say and how I will react. Today, there was a lesson in the 4th grade where a Korean boy went to visit his Aunt and her husband, who was Black. I totally expected the kids to make a huge deal out of it or at least call the Black man in the animated clip “Obama” but they didn’t do either of those things. I heard nothing. It seems as though my students are growing and changing. Looks like it’s time for me to do the same and learn to trust them.

2. I am entirely too old for playing hookie. I am that person at your job who takes the concept of “mental health day” to the extreme. There are days when I wake up and I just don’t want to go to school….so I don’t.  I was always using up my sick days in the States and I started out doing the same here. I am starting to see though, that me being absent from school does effect other people. I realize now that sometimes you have to do those things that you don’t feel like doing. There are plenty of people in this world ( hell, in this SCHOOL) who wake up in the morning and don’t want to leave the house and come here yet I’m the only person who is consistently taking those “mental health days”. I need to take them only when I really need them and stop making my co-workers so concerned for my health!

3. There aren’t many people in this world stronger than me. I am working my way out of depression and anxiety without therapy and without meds. The therapy I wouldn’t mind but I’m pretty sure that I will never take another antidepressant in my life. I can pretty much do anything I set out to do. I know that sounds corny but as someone who used to have so many doubts about herself, I take it as a big deal. When I think about my options from here….staying in Korea for another year or leaving to go to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, UAE, or Saudi Arabia…I am amazed. I could even go back to the States and I know that I have options. While I am weak in some areas….I am strong in others like school. I have given myself so many different options for the future and I love it.

4. I really f*cking love my parents. The other night, I was waiting on my order at a local chicken joint and I sent a message to a friend about how much my Mother loved that place when she came here. That got me thinking about my parents and how much I missed them. By the time my order was ready, I had to duck out of the place quickly because I was fighting tears….and losing the fight. I guess I hadn’t really realized how much I missed them until then. I spent 4 years in Arizona and I didn’t seem them much then but that’s really not the same as leaving the country and knowing that it would take at least 12 hours to get to them if I needed to. They aren’t getting any younger…and sometimes I worry about that. Sometimes I feel selfish for taking off and doing all of this as my parents are getting older. The Skype calls, the words of encouragement, and the care packages have all shown me that they love me and they support my decisions. I can’t wait to see them this summer.

5. I don’t need a relationship but I would like one. Something that I’ve noticed lately is that I have become less desperate to find someone and more hopeful. I find that I had more success with people that way too. Something about the way desperation makes you act…it just runs people off.

So…there’s my short list! It’s 3 minutes until 4:30 so I’m going to get the hell out of work!

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

30 Days of Truth: Day 13

A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days:

Dear Miss Jill Scott,

I was introduced to your music in high school. I was in love for the very first time and I liked to throw ” Who is Jill Scott” on and just dream about the possibilities.  It wasn’t until I got older that I really started to appreciate the meaning in your other songs….the songs that were about walking away when things are working out and being lied to and hurt. As I started to experience those things, I started to TRULY understand those songs. Freshman year of college, that same high school sweetheart of mine ( though we were off and on) took me to see you in concert. I’m not going to lie, I fell out twice in all of the excitement….when you first appeared on stage and then at the end of the concert when you sang MY song.” He loves me ( Lyzel in E Flat).” That song got my heart and my mind going every time. It got me thinking about the way love really could be…should be because I deserve it. ( I also won $500 in a Karaoke contest with that song! )

I know that everyone always says that they feel like their favorite singer is singing to them but what I feel is a little different. I feel like you have peeled back all of the layers of me and turned what you’ve found into beautiful, meaningful music. My heart thanks you a million times over.

I was in college when” Beautifully Human” came out. I rushed out to Best Buy to pick it up as soon as it came out and played it on the way back home. The first time I heard “The Fact is ( I need you)”, I cried the rest of the way back to my apartment. I hope you understand how powerful your music is!  Just like before, I fell in love with the entire album and it stayed on repeat in my car, in my home, and in my head.

“Experience: Jill Scott” took me back to the concert that night and gave me a new song to get me through the tough days. I programmed my stereo to wake me up to “Gotta get up ( Another Day)” every morning. I definitely felt like I didn’t want to go to class or work every day and could think of a million other things I wanted to do but your song reminded me of my responsibilities and my strength to get through the day even when I really just wanted to crawl back into bed. Sometimes I was just tired and some times I was struggling with the depression that had plagued me since high school.

When “The Real Thing” came out, I had made a big move across the country from North Carolina to Arizona and was going through a lot of changes. ” Hate on me” and ” Wanna be Loved” became my favorites on what turned out to be yet another amazing album. I heard it for the first time in Vegas when I was visiting one of my sorors and of course I ran out and bought it ASAP.

While I was in AZ, I saw you in concert a second time and again, I found myself getting overly excited and falling out in my seat. I had seen you in  Why did I get Married and in my opinion, you are the best part of the entire movie. The part toward the end when your character came in with her new husband, looking great and rejoicing for the new life she had found, it made me cry. It still makes me cry every time I watch that scene in the lady’s room. During your concert, someone in the crowd yelled out a comment about the movie and you talked briefly about the experience. One thing that I love about seeing you in concert is how you interact with your audience and your amazing energy. I came away from that concert with even more love for you, a t-shirt with your face on it, and a tote bag with the tour information on it.

I know that you were disappointed when your album ” The Light of the Sun” wasn’t nominated for some awards ( I follow you on Twitter.) but I want to tell you that the album changed my life! When it came out, I had already made the move here to South Korea.  I felt like I was listening to the same Jill that I knew and loved but something was definitely different this time. I loved the collaborations you did with Eve, Anthony Hamilton, Doug E. Fresh, and Paul Wall!!! I also loved hearing the things that went on in the background while you created the album. This album made me feel like I knew you better…almost like we were girlfriends having lunch and talking about life. The song, “When I Wake Up”….I can’t say enough about how this song has impacted me! When I am going through something that hurts…something that confuses me…I listen to that song. I made it the tagline for my blog and one of the other songs on the album inspired the name of my blog. I live in an officetel building that has a small convenience store built into it. A couple of weeks ago, I was inside the store buying bread and I heard what I thought was the beginning of “When I Wake Up” come on. I was thinking…no way…these people don’t know anything about that. I got to the cash register and sure enough it was MY song! I got so excited and started talking to the cashier about how I absolutely LOVED the song. He just smiled and asked me again for the money I owed him. There I was in a random store in South Korea and that song came on. It was such a beautiful moment for me because I felt like it was a sign that I was doing something right….that I was on the right track and I was being encouraged to keep it up.

What I really want to say Miss Jill Scott, is THANK YOU……a million times, THANK YOU for the music, for the inspiration, and for being someone whom I can look up to. You are a powerful and amazing woman and I know that my life would not be the same without you.

Love,

A Fan for Life

 

January 1, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Less than 3 | , , , , , | 1 Comment