Motherhood, Uncategorized

Slowly~ Surely~

 

My soul is changing. I can feel it. I’m a couple of months completely out of postpartum and it feels nice but now my brain feels bogged down. My heart feels heavy with the ways of the world. My soul feels elevated yet trapped in a desolate space. It’s no fun living like this. In a constant need to break free. I try to figure out ways to walk away from things that no longer serve me but the challenge is hard when you have so much time invested in them.

Things have changed in my world completely. Last year I joined an amazing program that brought me together with women where I was able to interact and express from a safe space. I graduated from that program in the spring. I’m celebrating 3 yrs in an amazing book club that is truly my safest space to allow my artistic self to flow. My husband became disabled causing him to be out of work & inevitably quitting his job. My mother abruptly sold my 2nd childhood home that I resided in with my family. It sold the day of my graduation. I was still in mourning about watching my 1st home burn to the ground only 6 months earlier. I’ve lost family members, newborns and adults alike. Funerals and tears, anxiety and despair, hope and commitment are all things that I had to endure. I’ve spent too much time consoling others. Leaving just enough for me to get up in the morning. I’m tired. 2018 had me tired.

From it all I’ve learned that it’s important to just let some things go. That when things burn up sometimes they were meant to. There’s this freedom that my spirit is yearning for. It feels like it’s trying to play with the child within me. Remeniscent of the innocense of my youth, I’m fighting for it’s freedom. It’s like my ancestors are trying to reach out and tell me it’s okay to leave the baggage behind. The action alone will make my walk into the future much lighter. I’ve been trying to free up some space but my mind, soul and heart have this war going on between them. My mind has been winning alot which is not good. It then turns my love and attention into silence and rejection. It’s unhealthy and I can see it because my mind is just that alert. Meanwhile, my heart tells me of loving actions that I could be doing to fix some of my egotistical issues.

As I find pieces of me laid out underneath old clothes I haven’t worn in years I wonder what specifically am I holding on to? My thoughts are all intact yet I don’t seem to have it all together yet. The plans for my life are but mere dreams that I’ve conjured up to get started on tomorrow but tomorrow never comes & today looks like it’s about to end.

I’m laying in bed trying to fall asleep but truthfully I’m just trying to escape my 2 yr old son because he’s the wildest creature this side of my atmosphere. I love him but he tends to subconsciously (or moreso consciously) make me want to escape. It’s just so I can clear my mind of all these thoughts. Get my ideas out. In order to live out this life in the most untraditional of ways I must be allowed to be the artist I always knew myself to be. Sometimes it may involve hurting someone’s feelings. Other times it’s just about being brutally honest with myself.

Brutally honest Jwa would say that this year of 2019 began with me watching an R. Kelly docuseries that triggered the shit out of me. It’s a strong individual to own the trauma they’ve endured and choose to work through it. I have now gotten to a space where I have to accept who I am and the culture I come from. The two are not far removed from one another. I also have to accept my parents for who they are and who they are not! Brutally honest Jwa would say that my daughter broke my heart into a million pieces last year & it’s been rather difficult trying to put it back together again. Fear made me stop writing about it because I didn’t want to share something so personal. It’s like allowing someone to abuse you over and over again. Mental, Spiritual, Emotional or Physical abuse should never be allowed. Is it ok because they are your child? Is there a standard if they’re your stepchild and they came with their own set of baggage from broken people with broken souls?

There’s love that I need & a certain love of things I need to walk away from. I’ve been trying to reclaim my time lately and I think it’s beginning to come together. I just sit back and hum alot.

“Slowly… Surely… I walk away from
That old desperate and tainted love
Caught up in the maze of love, the crazy craze of love
Thought it was good
Thought it was real
Thought it was
But it wasn’t love
I just don’t know where I should go”

 
Who u gonna be today?

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Childhood, Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

The Hump

Sometimes I wonder if I’m settling in my life.

I look at where I am and I question alot of things. I wonder if I had gotten a better education for myself would I have still been in my predicament. If my parents had shown me better tools and a bit more love and understanding would I have been better off in life? Sometimes the most realest part about coming to terms with your outcomes is realizing that there isn’t anyone else to blame for who you are except… yourself.

I know many women in my life who are beautiful and successful in their fields of work, yet still looking for love, still hoping for children. Not everyone needs those things to be whole but it’s definitely force fed to us that life isn’t life without marriage & procreation. I believe that it gets redundant dealing with idiots all day, hoping to find the right idiot for you. It begins to feel like having it all isn’t real. Something has always got to give. If you work the job you love (or don’t love), with long hours most of the time, there’s no time for the kids or spouse. If you’re home with the kids, there’s a possibility that you never see anyone but the kids with barely any love life. If you have kids there’s a probability that you may not have much time with your spouse. In order for it to all work, you hire a nanny or an au pair or a maid to help keep it all together. So you get someone to help take care of your children and the children are then being raised by someone else while you work more hours to pay for the extra services. There’s just no winning. And now I’m tired.😥

It’s always been easy for me to find a reason for someone else to be at fault for my shortcomings. It’s been my “go to” when I failed at life. I didn’t finish college because no one helped me learn how to spend or save $ correctly. I didn’t focus on my writing completely because I didn’t have the support from my family to see my futuristic vision. I spent my entire 20’s stressing about credit because I put myself in extreme debt by 20. I’m in debt because no one taught me the economics of money. You begin to realize there’s a common denominator. I’m not interested in playing the fool to myself anymore. Even that job gets tiring. We’re all here fighting about so many issues. It’s the poor vs. the rich, the black vs. the white, the man vs. the woman yet we fail to realize that life is inevitably about the wins & the loses. You learn some of the greatest lessons from your loses & it makes the wins that much sweeter.

Everyone wants a say, in how we choose to live our lives, especially the government. They govern our lives. They’re quick to defend the embryo, with a thousand words of protection yet there isn’t as much concern for a child’s well being when they’ve been born. They spend all that time being concerned with what’s growing in a woman’s womb yet the concerns diminish when that child is born, or becomes 6 months old, or 5 years old, or 10, or 15, or 19. If a child is put into the system ran by the government it isn’t a good thing. No one feels at ease about putting children into a government program ran through oppression. Yet we allow them to tell exactly when they should become involved in a dynamic (called family) that they know nothing of. We’re at this point where children are marching for their lives to matter. My inner child watches in awe. I am the silent misled youth of the past looking on and wondering if they’ll make a difference this time.

I never expected much to change in life. I figured men would always be allowed to have the upper hand, people of color would always be dealt the wackest hand & I’d probably fall somewhere in the middle.

Yet now I’m raising a little black boy and I’ve all of a sudden, seen the wrong in my ways of thinking. I see how the world has changed. I hope to be the change I see in the world. It’s scary out there but I’m not as old as I feel. I saw over 10 gray hairs on my head this morning. I guess my hair is showing my age along with my knees.😔 My little boy though, he’s here to show me growth, in the most astounding yet silent way. I just can’t see it yet. It’s like standing on the ground and when u finally get to look at the entire picture, you finally see the Earth, the stars & the universe possibly. What’s really amazing is that the universe is living individually within each of us, we’re just too busy to notice.
I’m just ready to get to the bigger picture. Because this hump I been living on has got me feeling like the ground is too soft & I’m beginning to feel like it’s quicksand turning into the concrete. Something’s sparking change & I’m quite interested in seeing where it’ll take me.

 

#WhoUGonnaBe2Day

 

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Peace of Mind~

I stopped fighting myself recently. I thought I’d missed out on something. Some party or concert I was trying to get to that motherhood was pulling me from.

I used to go out alot. So many excursions became a normalcy. There was no reason for me to mourn the lost of the single life, I technically haven’t been single in over 7 years.

I thought I was having a mid life crisis after having the baby. Welcome to Postpartum
Depression with a side of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome with a garnish of Persistent Depression Disorder. My husband said he never met someone who constantly said “I need to find myself.” until he met me. He still doesn’t completely understand what I mean by that. I used to write so much poetry that I’d perform it all over NYC. In those poems were writings of being lost. Constantly, I would write about being lost. Lost in love, lost in life, lost in a mixed up bag of bullshit. When you write a particular fate into your existence, you can easily become that. I skimmed through my older writings to find something that explained me to a tee. It read “I came with a brokenness that I had been working on mending throughout my entire life. I had moments where I was healed and then other moments were the wound would be reopened to be bruised & hurt all over again. “Who were we to ourselves first?” was a question that I forgot to ask myself but it would eventually find its way back to me soon.”

So here I am again. Asking myself if I did everything I could do to be a good role model to the children. Wondering, am I enough for my husband? I have been neglecting myself the entire time just by pondering about the well being of others. It seems simple to comprehend as I write it but it’s not as simple as it seems.

The new normalcy of my country is an extremely triggering one as a Black Female. In my shoes in 2017, I saw manhood come crumbling down. It’s no longer just about wondering if my husband will make it back home to me everyday. It becomes about teaching my little man child the importance of survival, respect & boundaries. I watched women reclaim their time as men became rapists AND victims. I had to explain to my teenager why it was imperative that she comprehend how her body can be perceived to older men while still teaching her to live free. I had to watch large sums of people fake being shocked about sexual harassment in the world when many of them condoned it or just turned an eye from what they encountered. As if it wasn’t blatantly there. Quietly escaping each thought of being misled, I held my son & vowed to teach him better. I stare at my husband sometimes & wonder how he loves me so much. My pent up frustration leads to less affection for him but he loves me none the less. Where I won’t kiss him, I’ll replace it with a meal. Where I won’t touch him, I’ll replace it with a smile. When I won’t speak to him, I’ll replace it with my ears to hear his woes instead. I push past my shortcomings for him. He is the guiding force that helps me create amazing children. We do it together. Yet I know I stumble over my pain on the way. And my knees have scars that have healed yet left horrible marks that cut deep within my soul. So I get lost.

Lost in those emotions & unanswered past notions is where my soul roams. It hurts alot to be that Black. Unapologetically. My skin may not be of the darkest hue but my lips, nose and eyes can get no bigger. My features say more & it’s like my ancestors are screaming at me to do better this time because I sometimes don’t hear their whispers. So I look to my babies & then back at myself & I say… “Jwa. Be You. Unapologetically You. And the children will be their best selves because of it.”

I dedicate this writing to my friend, Jennifer Lawrence-Love, Erica Garner and the 12 people who lost their lives plus the 4 in critical condition from the Bronx fire on Dec 29. This last week of fatalities & mistakes has been an eye opener into not allowing stress to run my world. When you allow your fears to take a front seat in your life, it tends to kill u slowly from the inside. A Jay Z quote resonates for me going forth into the life I have left and that’s “I Will Not Lose!”

Who you gonna be today?

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Childhood, Parenthood

Yes 2 Today~ (T.R.O.Y)

My childhood home burned to the ground last week. It was demolished within 48 hours. I lived there from the day I was born until I turned 15. My grandparents moved out less than 5 years ago. I’ve spent the other half of my life moving back and forth from NY to NJ. I always ended back at my second childhood home throughout my life. That home is only 8 blocks from my first home.

I didn’t walk past my old place as much as I could’ve. I did however walk past it one day after having Baby Light. It was a dreary day in June and the sun was going down. I’d just realized that my step child had skipped school and hid in their bedroom for the entire day. With the anger and frustration from the situation I strapped 5 month old Baby Light to me and just began walking.

When I ended up on my old block I immediately ran into someone from my grammar school on the corner. At this point my husband had met up with me, I’d been out for awhile. During our journey, I told him many stories about my childhood & growing up on the block. Reminiscing of chalk stained cement from hopscotch, trees that I hid behind during hide & seek, tied rope to porches to utilize jumping double dutch with only two people & getting my bike stolen, a slew of memories had gone into an abyss of happiness & mystification.

Some people don’t get the comfort of having things stay the same for such a long period of time. It shaped my adult life. Dreams always related back to those times inside of love, despair, trauma, pain, excitement and every multifaceted area of my life as a young person. I’d always looked at the house as if it had more meaning than it should. It appeared to have a soul when it did not. Two entire decades from the last century were spent there. I guess the memories gave it life. If those walls could speak, they would know to hush.

It burned so badly that it connected to the two other homes it stood next to. Those 2 homes carried many memories of me running in backyards to different cookouts from my neighbors. I enjoyed tons of conversations straight from my windows with best friends. I knew every family on the block & had been in every house. The 80’s and 90’s still had this family aspect where everyone looked out for everyone without a second thought. The intuitiveness of just being genuine came from not having WiFi or so many shows to watch, news to influence & social media to judge.

The home burning to the ground though…
Feels like a person I forgot to speak to for a long time but still fantasized about. Feels like someone I told myself that I’d forgiven for any pain they caused but the scars still keloid. Feels like the walls had too many secrets to hold and the happiest of times couldn’t reconcile what was to come. The karma of it all seems quite sad & coincidental that it would burn down almost a year to the day after the living owners passed on. Maybe some things are suppose to die with people, die with the secrets, & just burn.

It’s like having a planet to move to that was void of pollution & only dwelling in love, yet a tear still sheds to watch the Earth explode. They say home is where the heart is but no one’s heart is ever stagnant. It beats just like the rain against my window used to in my old bedroom on stormy nights.

I feel like I lost a member of my family. And I did. It was a 3 family home. My grandparents lived on the 2nd floor. My mom, brother & I moved from the 3rd floor to the 1st. My aunts & uncle grew up there and I had a plethora of cousins and friends to run up and down the stairs with. My last living grandparent passed on 11 months ago, my aunt passed on 3 wks before him & my step grandmother passed 4 yrs ago. My cousin who I grew up with took care of them all & buried them one by one. (Pray for her as  you read this.) The house had it’s time & so did we. So as I mourn it’s cement and walls, I become very clear on the memories it gave me & the stability my mother enforced within it.

As a mother myself I see ways to recreate my childhood with my children. Things that I want for them come directly from having special moments that mainly my mother conceived from thin air. We intuitively purchased a small Xmas tree to celebrate Xmas for Baby Light this past weekend. In the 7 years that my husband and I have been together we’ve never celebrated Xmas. All of a sudden though, I reminisced of colorful lights illuminating the corner of my old living room. The nostalgia of it all feels good. With time, my memories may fade a bit but I’m fortunate to be able to instill new memories with my newly created family. So as I reminisce over yesterday, I say yes to today to live better & brighter. R.I.P 661 we had an AMAZING run.

Who Are You Gonna Be Today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

It’s Been A Long Time..

I stopped praying at night many moons ago. I began to realize that I spoke with God all day throughout my travels so it became less needed (in my mind) to pray before bed. My soul has always had a spiritual connection to the world so I take heed when warranted. Tonight, I prayed. My mother taught me ‘Our Daily Bread’ at such a young age that even if I never said it again for decades, I’d still remember all the words. I used to say that prayer every night. Then I’d follow it up with blessings for my loved ones who’d passed & everyone else in the world who was alive. I always liked the feeling that I was praying for the world.

I stopped posting for awhile because I didn’t realize that I was about to experience my first summer with children. It’s amazing how you can just take subtleties of life for granted. It’s like one moment I’m in pain, unbeknownst that I’m falling in love. One day I’m in love unclear that I’m about to get married. Next day I’m married unaware I’m about to have full custody of my stepchild. Next month I’m a parent to one, oblivious to the fact that my womb is growing. And poof!!! There’s the family I dreamt of having ever so magically. Summer came & went. I had no forewarning that summers with children of your own could be so merciless! 😳 Finding extra meals to cook, having to listen to continuous blasphemy, all the extra funk, doing extra chores & that’s not even dealing with the children yet. 😋

Trying to comprehend a 15 yr old & 6 month old boy had it’s downfalls & it’s triumphs!!! I thought I lost my mind at many different intervals of the hours turned to days, turned to weeks, turned to months. My hair has grown out my blonde dye where deep dark black roots show. The stress from the children (I like to include my husband in with them) has added about two more gray strands. As Halloween creeps up, the summer just seems like a blur of days that rolled into my past. Seemingly, the boy has grown larger, he’s began his first steps & life is having this mundane effect.

I look forward to getting a chance to floss my teeth, take a long (uninterrupted) shower, wash my hair & possibly do a facial. I know better than to ask for a nap or good sleep. I know I won’t see that for some years to come. Something told me to get back to writing though. Get back to meditating. Get back to yoga. I knew somewhere I’d find me hiding… waiting to see what’s next. Women always have this moment where after they’ve had their children the question becomes “Who am I?”. It’s quite similar to a man having a midlife crisis. If I weren’t a wife, if I weren’t a mother, if I were not a daughter or relative or friend of any sort… Who would I be to myself for myself?

Sometimes when things seem too repetitive, too ordinary, just humdrum, maybe…

Maybe it’s just time to hibernate or as I believe, wait for the change to ‘ vibrate higher’ #Evolve. This caterpillar is sitting & waiting for wings. For now at least… I’ll sit quietly and pray.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin

Who you gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Yea This 1 Right Here Goes Out 2 All The Baby’s​ Daddies, Daddies, Daddies, Daddies…

It’s 4am & I can’t sleep. My son is using my arm as his pillow & the lethargic humidity has finally knocked my husband out. But I’m up unable to fall back asleep. Maybe the reason I can’t is because it’s Father’s Day.  It’s the 3rd Sunday of June & it’s an underappreciated day. So many bitter mothers have made this day seem as though they deserved it along with Mother’s Day or that it was a day undeserving of celebration but on the contrary it’s not.
My father was born in November of 1953. He had a different story than the one I could imagine living. He was raised in Jamaica & lost his own father to a frivolous event at the tender age of seven. I’m not quite sure what he made such a tragic event in his life mean but who he became as a father during my childhood was very special.
I remember many days believing that I needed to defend my father’s honor if anyone ever spoke ill of him. I remember the days I hung out in his arms with no cares in the world. He would come & take me to Brooklyn NY every weekend & summer. I got to experience NY in a completely different way. I was way more advanced in traveling than most of my class men. Getting away so often was a such a great experience for me as child. I think one of the best things he gave me were my older brothers. I had 3 growing up. Watching those boys getting into trouble inevitably turned me into a tomboy. I watched my father scold them about sagging pants. I watched my father try to be  a role model that inspired love, fear & respect to us as children.
It takes just one wrong move during that adolescent stage for a young person to become disappointed by their parents though. Sometimes as adults we can spend a lifetime never forgiving them for the story we made up in our minds about why they failed us. As the story goes on I’d forget all the times he said “I love you”  when no one else’s made a difference. All the times he picked me up when I fell down. All the times I wanted a dollar just to buy a ton of teeth rotting candy. All the times he let me roam free when I wanted to explore.  All those experiences of the rural 80’s in NYC that now look like the best nostalgia to me. I say thank you. For the mistakes that were made, the journey it took you on & the breakdowns on the way, I say thank you. For the effort that was given, the times I didn’t notice, the fights you put up as I became an adult, thank you. For the lessons you learned from your first little girl & the struggles you worked through trying to let me be free, thank you. For those times were I felt “safe!” Thank you. Thank you more than ever for giving me the chance to be a mother & bringing your grandson into this world. I could never repay you for giving me life but I’m grateful.
I know I don’t say it enough or show it enough but I luckily still have time to make up for those moments that I took for granted. As luck would have you’re still around and those flowers that you deserve will be coming soon. I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.
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