Is Having A Man A Luxury?

Independent

As a woman, a black woman at that, I am first to admit that the quest to “have it all” is not an easy one. Juggling career goals, chasing my writing dreams and aspirations outside of the 9 – 5, involvement and engagement in the lives of my children, maintaining relationships with friends and family, carving out time for myself, and finding the time to affirm and cater to the man in my life is kind of like a never-ending whirlwind. At best it is an extremely fulfilling and hectic life; at worst it is enough to make me scream and pull out all of my hair. When the going gets tough—what on that list of things should go?

Last week’s episode of Being Mary Jane gave us a closer look into the life and times of Mary’s best friend and co-worker, Kara. Enter Kara: savvy career woman, part-time single mom trying to make time for her kids, navigate her strained relationship with her ex-husband and maintain a sexy affair with the generous and considerate man in her life. She flubs a school parent/teacher meeting, screws up her work schedule and has to stay late missing out on her date with New Boo who was kind enough to bring takeout dinner to her place of work, along with a shoulder to lean on. THIS is a good man. However, in the eventual reorganization of her life goals and priorities, at the end of the episode HE was the first to get rifted. I….do not get this.wpid-img_20140930_081126.jpg

All the ladies, independent—put your hands down, have a seat and listen. I suppose it is nice to tout things like, “I don’t need a man,” “I take care of myself” etc—I get it. But it’s also REALLY nice to lay on a warm, hairy chest (or no hair, whatever you like) and vent about your stupid co-workers while shedding tears of sheer exhaustion. It is wonderful to be down to your last two dollars and have someone hand you a twenty dollar bill and make your broke ass some dinner. Dare I even mention the joys of sexual healing? Moreso than that, does anything beat the comfort and security that comes along with sharing intimacy with a person who has seen you naked in body and in spirit? We have friends and family that we are close to, but it doesn’t get any closer than the person who leaves a wet spot on your sheets after lovemaking, who talks to you about deep life events while taking a massive shit and snores softly in your ear some mornings—the smell of their morning breath fresh on your nostrils. All these things are not a luxury to me…they are a gift.

I struggle so much. At peak schedule I try to do at least two poetry open mic events a week, I scrape in time with the kids—and honestly most of that time I spend curbing my irritation at the things they didn’t do, or the last minute homework or project or doctor’s appointment that is being thrown my way. The morning is a flurry of activity getting the kids ready, the painful commute to work, the pretending to be a nice person at the job for 9 hours, the hustle home—and somewhere in between there’s maintaining social media accounts to advertise the blog and actually writing and posting original content for the blog. By 10pm I am lying in bed fighting back tears because I know I need to take my out of shape ass to the gym. So I go. I am sweating on the elliptical, hating life and wishing for death –when I get the text that my man is finally home from his 12 hour workshift. I push a little harder on that last 15 minutes of cardio, I leave the gym with pep in my step and I drive 20 miles up the highway to get to him by 11pm at night. Just before I see his face I feel this tension in my forehead and I think to myself, “Why am I doing this? I can’t live like this—something has to give!” He opens the door smiling brightly, immediately makes me laugh and gathers me in a hug every time. Weight=lifted.

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Never under estimate the life that a loving relationship can breathe into your soul. I am barely sleeping trying to maintain it all but when I leave him I feel a hefty deposit has been made into my zeroed out bank account. Even if I just make it through his door and pass out on sheets that smell of him—it is enough to be that close to his comforting presence. The grind life, the busy life, the super single mom life is overrated to me. We are so willing these days to sacrifice interpersonal relationships when I truly believe that these are the only things we can actually take with us when we die. Companionship is awesome, and we allow ourselves to forget that because we are lonely and don’t want to admit our true desires or because we are so busy filling our time with being busy that we don’t have time to realize we might be missing something. In this day and age, having a man is not a necessity but I surely don’t see it as a luxury as it is sometimes perceived to be—especially to single moms. I love my children and somewhere along the way I learned that it’s ok to love myself and take care of my needs as well. Companionship–relationship adds to my life and who I am as a mother, writer, friend… person. We treat men as if they are expendable accessories then wonder why they have so much trouble committing to us. We want to parade them around on Instagram, have them buy us things and tell us we’re pretty then the moment life gets rough we try to drop them for fear of being abandoned in time of need or maybe because deep down we truly believe that they are a luxury that we don’t deserve to have in our lives.

If anyone has never told you: you do deserve to have a good man in your life if that’s what you truly want. You deserve to have help and affection and attention from someone who cares about you and your busy life. If you are willing to sacrifice sleep and time away for the sake of having it all, why not do the same for a person on your team whose goal is to help you along the way? Is a dependable, supportive, consistent and loving man in your life a luxury to be given up when the going of life gets tough? I think not…

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Believe

I am growing a bit tired of myself. Every single day of my 30s it seems I am subject to experiencing something—even if it’s a minor occurrence—that has the potential to upset my world and rock my little foundation that I so carefully put together in my self-righteous 20s. For example, just last night I was perusing a love and marriage blog out of curiosity and boredom. After reading an article about the concept of “soulmates” (romantic or otherwise) I realize that I don’t believe in the idea of soulmates and the hype that goes along with it. Coming to that realization was a little surprising to me and one my friends even said, “Really? You being more of a free-spirited type I would think that you would…”As it turns out; NOPE

Does God really predetermine our lives and place us in the position to receive/meet this soulmate(s)? Or along our path, are we given the free will to make the choice of who to love and how much we will allow our bond to grow and endure with that person? I am not sure. I remember my two most meaningful relationships feeling as if the universe sanctioned our coupling. I felt the satisfying “this is where I belong,” and “this is where God wants me to be” emotions but in the end I feel like those same feelings made the breaking up process that much more difficult. Those very phrases turned into “Why would God do this to me?” and “Now we are not together where do I belong?” In the long run, I ended up fighting so hard for relationships that were not meant to be—and that’s not because the stars didn’t align the right away or I was outside of God’s will—but because it was time for me to choose better and move on. The action and effort that went into moving on emotionally from persons that I believed to be my true soulmates ended up being one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. It nearly killed me.

I still remember sex and intimacy with these men that I felt I was destined by God to be with. It felt impassioned and frantic, exciting and maybe a little scary. On some level, which I could never identify at the time, it felt out of my control. I am only 31 now but I feel I’ve gone through some things; as far as my romantic relationship goes I feel more settled. I am a willing part of intimacy and it is not cosmic forces and divine intervention. Love is not happening to me, I am not falling but I am making the choice to leap. Closeness and sexual acts no longer feel like a chaotic smorgasbord of unbridled emotion and sensations and love is not a place to belong. I always have a place within in me that I can call home. Life is all the more better with him in it but were I to lose him, were we to lose each other, I believe we would be able to find survival in the homes that we built inside of ourselves without missing the remnants we may have left inside of each other.

Regarding love and relationships, all of the things I thought I had such passion and belief in are so far behind me. The special wounds and empty spaces in my heart I never thought would heal or fill are an afterthought. I don’t have a soft spot for these past “soulmates”; I was able to move on and love again. I was able to choose love again, and I am happy that I didn’t succumb to the despair of my past thought processes that maybe I didn’t have much choice about who to love and how. It makes me wonder– what other ideals have I always used to define myself that have since fallen away…?

Urban dictionary

Soulmate: A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet — a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior. Your soulmate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them. And when you are not around them, you are all that much more aware of the harshness of life, and how bonding with another person in this way is the most significant and satisfying thing you will experience in your lifetime. You are also all that much aware of the beauty in life, because you have been given a great gift and will always be thankful.

Welcome to the Friendzone

I just don’t know what the big deal is about the friend zone. Back in my savage dating days, out of the pool of losers I involved myself with there was maybe 2 or 3 I actually liked as people and would want to continue to keep in touch with. Apparently, the truth of the matter is that no guy wants to be your friend. EVER…Period.

He Used to Call Me on My Cellphone…

Help me out with the rules, please! I think I’ve been chastised enough and have found out the hard way that apparently you absolutely CANNOT try to be friends with a dude after sleeping with him—no matter how casual the sex was. Not to sound whiny, but I don’t think that’s fair. *stomps foot*

For example, I had a man casually dragging me along in a situationship/cuffing season arrangement. It was clear to me that he wasn’t interested in making me his girl, however he did want to call and yak on the phone about his new job and his baby mama getting on his nerves. Can I say that this is my pet peeve? If you are objectifying me in a situation that is only about sex then I don’t want to see cute pictures of your snotty nosed little kids. FOH! When I told him I was seeing someone else and it was becoming serious, he was not a happy camper. When I extended the olive branch of maintaining a friendship (because he was fresh out of jail and didn’t have a support system (I know, I need to get my life together– but that’s another post) you would have thought I shot his dog!

I mean, I get it BUT my real feelings are: get over yourself and your busted ass ego. It shouldn’t be a huge wound to your pride that someone you were using for sexual purposes no longer wants to be USED FOR SEXUAL PURPOSES! It has nothing to do with your skills in the bedroom—what If I told you that women don’t like wasting a lot of time with men with commitment issues? So let’s cut out the sex stuff and just kick it if we enjoy each other’s company. The problem with that is, niggas these days don’t want to choose you but want to get chosen by you, then want to boo hoo about the friend zone. How did you get there, homie? And is it the friend zone or the “she ain’t ever going to give me no pussy zone”. It’s a cup half empty or half full kind of situation, and just wanting sex from a woman is not the same as wanting to be her dude and/or being interested in her as a person so I don’t feel sorry for you.

The Weeknd

Have you really earned sex with a woman just because you spent time with her?

I’m not trying to sleep with you anymore but if you want to talk sometime to vent about life or meet up for a drink, cool. Otherwise, kick rocks because that means you were operating off the ” I don’t want you but no one else can have you” plan and NOW you want to wait in the wings periodically texting for relationship with new nigga updates so you can swoop in when times are hard. Ok… I can see why we don’t get to be friends.

Build A Bae

On the other side of it, there are men that I’ve met while out networking and wanted to build friendships with but it’s nearly impossible because no matter what I believe, society believes that men and women are incapable of platonic friendships. I’m trying to get over what others may think but the stigma makes things a little awkward. How do I go about things without it looking like I’m playing the slow game to build a Bae?

In the spoken word community, the places I’ve been so far it seems to be a bit of a boy’s club. If I connect with someone’s writing or personal story while they’re on stage it feels a bit uncomfortable approaching anyone after a show, much less someone of the opposite sex. As an adult woman I don’t see anything wrong with building a network of friends that share common interests. Especially since I am a mother with a full time career and relationship with my own man to maintain; it’s not as if I have plans to be giggling on the phone with this person into the late night hours. It’d just be nice to form a bond with someone without it being perceived as a come on, but I get the distinct impression that as an adult we aren’t really allowed to have opposite sex friends; so why bother?

ATTENTION

Mature women will not waste your time simply to get male attention

This isn’t high school (at least I hope it’s not) mature women don’t plan to attach themselves at the hip to someone who they know harbors feelings for them and force them to cuddle and paint toenails while rejecting their romantic advances for the sake of attention. However, when we attempt to find friendship with a male we automatically run the risk of entering into a friendship, while he is entering into a “friendship”. So, after a hangout you think you had fun with your homie, while he’s nursing his blue balls wondering what he has to do to climb his way out of the friend zone. When did it become a zone as opposed to a ship? And my real question: when did men lose track of their self-control to the point where they can’t even relate to women unless sex is either on the table, or at least slow simmering on the stove to later be served on the table?

The Age Old Question

I suppose maybe I’ve turned into one of those ridiculous people that are offended by everything on the internet but I truly resent the jokes about the friendzone. As a woman I have much more to offer besides bomb ass sex (dammit!) and I don’t want to think that every male is ultimately and secretly after that. It’s safer to just not even attempt to be friends with men at all, and befriending a woman in the area I live in is hardly worth the effort (but that’s yet another post. I’ll just stick to my current roster.

FEMALE DOG

I guess you really just can’t trust a bitch these days…

Recently, I lost a close male friend of mine because our friendship made his wife uncomfortable–in spite of the fact that he doesn’t live near me, I see him once every two years or so and when we do talk we encourage each other about family life and he gives me the guy perspective on my love life. I no longer get to enjoy that friendship simply because our connection was misinterpreted. I have dealt with cheating men who juggled suspicious female “friends” so I completely understand the wife’s point of view and I know why our friendship had to end. Even if your man is not prone to cheating, there are women out on these streets who don’t have boundaries. My ex-boyfriend’s best female friend used to ring his phone off the hook when he didn’t answer– umm fall back, hoe, he’s not your man! I appreciate and try to stay within the boundaries of maintaining a platonic co-ed friendship– but at the end of the day if the siginificant other ain’t down you just have to let it go. It feels a lot like cutting ties with a family member and if allow myself to think about it, it actually makes me pretty sad. Perhaps society itself has lost trust in the bonds that bring people together outside of sexual relationships. So, maybe I shouldn’t bother lamenting the lack of male friendships in my life because who really wants to go through the loss again when that new friend gets a serious girlfriend and has to cut you out of his life as if you’re some home wrecking whore and not just a person who has made a genuine platonic connection…?

Undive/Middle River: Salvador Dali Tribute

Happy Birthday to my favorite artist, Salvador Dali!

To honor and celebrate this day, each year I try to collaborate with my best friend (another favorite artist and painter) Traci, and I’m really excited about our plans this time around!

Tune into the blog all this week as we combine the world of creative writing with modern art, as I’ll be sharing poetry and writing pieces to go along with her visuals. I feel honored to be involved in this collaboration. Traci is an up and coming artist who produces bold works that never cease to pull at my heart strings and inspire me to be better, work harder and feel all the things. Please please follow her blog: A Purple Paintbrush, and visit her website www.tracilturner.com to view and purchase more of her works.

Undive

Undive ~ Traci L. Turner

I swim, to the middle of your river and
Stop
Let me drown
In my own expectations and frivolities– all the lies you’ve said to me
The scent of you all over me
Washed in these waters; I can’t get clean
Or rid of the stink of reality
If the illusion of truth lies on the surface
I choose to sink
Never to emerge from underneath
Too broken and damaged
Irrevocably

What About Your Friends?

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In my adult life I am finding that I’m struggling with how to juggle friendships more and more.  I mean, when you’re younger things are fairly easy: who you spend most of your time with is usually your best friend. Following by those rules, I suppose a few months ago my brother would have qualified as my best friend. He is my roommate, we are forced to coordinate schedules and plans and he was the first person I debriefed with when I came home from work. But now, through no easy transition, the person who knows most about my daily thoughts, opinions and emotions as well as gets most of my time is JW. Do I consider him my best friend? Definitely! But where does that leave everyone else?

Letting Go of Luxuries

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Here I am again, saying what no one else will ever admit or say: friends? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Of course I am only joking. I just believe that it’s not only nice but very necessary to have low maintenance friends. For whatever reason, I seem to be a magnet for the, “You didn’t respond to my text,” or “We haven’t hung out in a week,” type. Quality time = yay! but its frustrating to be categorized as a bad friend because I just simply can’t put in alot of facetime. The legitimate excuse is that I’m a single mother with a full time job, writing side hustle and relationship to maintain. Perhaps the illegitimate excuse is that more often than not in the free time I do get all to myself I just don’t want to be bothered with trivial things like putting on clothes let alone hanging out.

In my younger days I was that flaky asshole that disappeared from the face of the Earth for long periods at a time, then returned to the friend circle when I felt I had the energy to properly engage. Now I just tell people what it is straight up and make no excuses. I love you but I simply cannot give 100% at this time. It is not in my budget for dinners and movies and catching up and I am in the process of finding a larger place to live but because of space issues I don’t even feel comfortable having company at my apartment.  In those rare moments when the stars do align and I find myself having sufficient funds, the energy to socialize and the free time, I do hit my friends up for a hangout and am immediately given shit for only contacting them for quality time on my schedule. Sighhhhhh, this is so confusing! Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do! I don’t know how to win and I’m losing friends left and right because of it.

Blurred Lines

I know that society as a whole is made up of a bunch of hardcore gangstas that continue to do remarkably well in highly intense emotional situations. I am truly impressed by all the Internet memes I see carrying a tough and calloused message about a past relationship or boasting of cutting off people you don’t fuck with. Kudos to all of you but I have to say for me personally, the past 18 months of watching my friends list dwindle down to the low single digits has been hurtful. My thirties have already been tough. 

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I’m smart enough to have learned that not everyone is your friend. The people who make you laugh and loan you $5 for lunch and the co-workers that you keekeekee with in the break room can be the same people that would refuse to spit on you if you were on fire. What I wasn’t smart enough to know or realize until recently is that sometimes you grow out of friendships or have to give it up because of unforeseen circumstances.

Not long ago, I had to make a painful decision to let go of a friend that was basically a sister to me. To the outside world looking in I am a complete douchebag for doing so but it was a decision I had to make for my psychological well being. I made a bad decision to be messy and became romantically involved with her close relative– that was a mistake on me. One rambunctious child and a whole world of heartbreak later I realized that a major reason I couldn’t break away from the depression the situation put me through is because I was too close to her (and his family) and I was struggling with the blurry lines and fuzzy boundaries. It is already a difficult task to heal or forgive someone that has broken you but I was making my life more tumultuous by surrounding myself with my ex lover’s biggest fans every single day. I knew too much information about his personal life and it was nearly impossible for me to ignore the position he had put me and my child in by continuing to lie and not taking responsibility for shitty actions. The tension within me began to build.

I eventually reached a breaking point and every time I spent time with this friend I wanted to scream, “HOW IS THIS OK? HOW CAN YOU CONTINUE TO LET YOUR FAMILY DO THIS TO ME AND MY CHILD AND YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MY FRIEND? DOESN’T ANYONE GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ME?!” The painful answer to that is: sure, but only to a certain extent. Blood is always thicker than water for most people so when it came time to battle, draw a line in the sand and to choose sides I was out on a limb by myself. That’s totally fine, but it wasn’t something that I could cope with– I am on the side of my wellbeing and I choose to stand with people I know are rocking with me as well. I made the controversial decision to cut ties with her and the entire family. You can’t always get what you want…

Shout out to all of those people who feel nothing when they have to completely delete someone out of their lives for whatever reason. As for me, I feel the pain of it everyday.

No New Friends

As a whole, I don’t think anyone is really aware of just how much friendships change and grow over the years. Furthermore, I don’t think people understand that this is ok. The days of slumber parties and all night talks are pretty much gone and juggling life goals, dreams, CHILDREN, etc. adds in extra complications. I feel like I spend the majority of my time with friends apologizing for not being a better friend and this may sound terrible but: I don’t want to do it anymore. I  narrow my friends list down to those that understand that I love them very much and am willing to bend in times of need but for the most part I can’t be a Gayle to anyone’s Oprah until I achieve a little more balance (and/or the kids grow up and move out of the house!) I don’t know if this is the right way to handle things but I’m not sure of how else to go about it.

I am thankful for the people in my life that understand that I am simply doing the best I can to achieve balance. I pay it forward as much as I can, I’m just too exhausted to do much more :-/

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Dialing it Back Part V: Things To Do While Your Man is At Work

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My very best friend in the world is also one of the most independent women I know. In the early stages of our adulthood she was known to attend concerts alone, while I was known to beg someone to go to the bathroom with me because I couldn’t stand to be alone for three seconds. Now, after observing her independence for years, I realize I don’t need to form a posse to go to the restroom or wait for a companion to go out to dinner, see a movie, tie my shoes etc. I believe I’ve learned to enjoy and take pleasure in the solitary moments of life.

Even still, if you had told me a year ago that I would be in love with a workaholic I would have laughed in your face. Not a chuckle but a full-on spittle everywhere, obnoxious guffaw. I enjoy way too much attention to be attached to someone that works 10 – 14 hour days! Plus, it’s 2015, NOBODY works that hard and furthermore, those sound like mythical hours that a man that clearly leads a double life works. But alas, here I am with a crazy workhorse dude and I’m finding that it’s kind of super perfect because apparently I’ve grown up and am quite the expert on how to occupy my time. I have no desire to wait on top of the refrigerator.

*Btw, this may read as advice but goodness no! How could I give anyone advice…I’m a disaster? ! This is just a few things I do*

Picking my nose

Watching paint dry

Staring into space

Writing: I stopped writing for years when I got married and it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Writing is my outlet. Period. When I don’t make time to organize my thoughts onto paper, write poetry or blog it does nothing to help me manage my stress. JW knows the importance of this and because he works so much I am able to budget in plenty of time for this without sacrificing time with him.

Surfing the Internet: Part of coming up with interesting topics for the bloggity blog is surfing the internet to stay in touch with and find what everyone is talking about. Also, it’s just plain entertaining! Usually when I come upon a fun article or post I forward it along to him and in some way it makes me feel closer or if we’re bonding. (He says he reads everything I send him but I don’t even care if he does—it’s just nice for me to share)

Exploring with kids: This will get better when winter is over. I normally like to spend my days off lying in bed and procrastinating about things I need to do but don’t feel like it.  When I do this I am susceptible to becoming “annoying text you all day while you’re at work”, girlfriend  SO, I dress the kids and we hop in the car and literally figure out our adventure for the day. The kids love it now, and I’m hoping when they get older they will be well versed in the art of entertaining themselves. God forbid they turn out to be one of those unhappy, surly girls that complain about being bored all the time.

Pampering: Thanks to the new pay increase I can actually afford to get manicures and pedicures.

Working Out (Pffffft!): Ok, so this doesn’t quite happen as often as it should BUT, a regular workout schedule is definitely doable and necessary to handle the pent up stress from trying to juggle all the moving pieces of my life. I’d like to get on this because summer is coming, and while my jiggles do not go unloved and unappreciated, it WOULD be nice to be a little slimmer and fit for when we decide to emerge from our homebody cocoons and start to go out and socialize more. In layman’s terms, I want to look hot for myself and don’t mind being a bit of eye candy he can show off 😛

Dating(myself): This is a tough one. Part of having a man is dragging him to all the movies I want to see and being taken out to fancy dinners, right? Well, not so much when the schedule doesn’t allow for much free time so if I’m craving something or there is a movie I want to see I have simply learned to go by myself. Also, we don’t have the exact same interests so it makes sense to save all the crap he doesn’t want to do for when he’s busy working.

Trusting him: Sometimes my insecurity starts working overtime and the more time we spend apart the more I believe that he is definitely cheating. I mean, how do I really know that he’s at work? Well, I don’t, but because I choose to trust that everything is what he says it is. Making the decision to trust based on his consistency and communication has helped me to accept the reality of his busy schedule and be ok with pursuing other activities. During those painful moments of doubt I’ve even trained myself to text him a compliment or a kissy face emoticon to help keep my negative thoughts at bay.

The overall point of this ridiculous list is that in the past I never understood the importance of occupying my time and maintaining my individuality. These days, I find myself so busy that I don’t even notice that JW works long hours and we don’t get to spend as much time together as most couples. Dramatic as I am, I genuinely used to believe that being in a relationship meant complete consumption and absorption of the other person. I would fret over unanswered text messages and blow up when plans and schedules couldn’t align the way I wished. Now I am finding that I have no desire to get lost inside of anyone, I am more interested in occupying the space comfortably at his side by continuing to do what we can to make time for each other and choosing not to sweat over the small stuff.

Believe it or not, I have come a long way from the crazy, obsessive person I used to be!

 

 

 

 

 

You Better WERK!!!

Working Girl

It is with great relief I can finally say, I am working at a full-time job once again! Take THAT, US Government—because contrary to popular belief, it is not my wish to live under the thumb of government assistance forever. I do admit that it will suck having to pay for my own groceries (like some kind of ANIMAL!), but I’m happy to regain my independence.

Unfortunately, working again is going to eat up a lot of my blog time. No more late nights writing whilst spilling Pringles crumbs all over my keyboard…However, this job does give me access to more sources that pertain to the subject matter of the blog which will eventually help me to take things in a more broad direction. I appreciate talking about myself immensely, but I do plan to learn and grow enough to start providing more resources and practical applications as well as entertainment for those who follow the blog.

Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe

ANYWAY, I titled this entry the go to mantra of most drag queens everywhere because I just wanted to pat myself on the back for once, dammit! I’ve thought long and hard about my goals and life direction and I finally feel like I am at least in view of the path that’s going to lead me in the right direction. I am fully aware that I am not perfect; I am poor, indulgent, irresponsible, messy, selfish, I snap at the kids when I’m tired, I cry in the bath tub, I drink too much and I should probably re-evaluate my sex life—I HAVE ISSUES!

Be that as it may, I am an adult that knows where I am lacking and I am working—however slowly—to get my shit together. I think the worst thing anyone can do is pass judgment or make a comment about your progress just at the moment when you think you have it all figured out. I had a family member come to town and (I won’t drag this story out) she basically gave me a “talking to” and told me that I was too old to have a messy house and that I needed to get myself together for the sake of my children. Ummmm…excuse me? (…not to mention that the apartment was particularly messy at the time because I had just thrown a birthday party for my brother the night before). I confess, I am messy. People who are sort of anal retentive about keeping things neat and clean don’t understand the lives of people who just don’t give a shit about that sort of thing. As a good hostess I always have things clean for company, but when it’s just me and the kids my peace of mind is more important to me than a vacuumed floor. PLUS, there is nothing more disheartening than constantly having to clean up after two small children—I am convinced it is the lost chapter of a cycle of hell in Dante’s The Inferno. You can walk into the house of a devil worshipping crackwhore prostitute and assume she has it together simply because she puts her Swiffer to good use—who are you to judge? It takes concentrated effort for me to keep my apartment immaculate; effort I just do not have at this time. BUT; it is just that: MY APARTMENT!

I can’t express enough what a struggle it has been for me to simply keep from being evicted from aforementioned apartment while making so little money on unemployment. It also hasn’t been that much fun looking for work, wasting time in ill-fitting suits and wondering if something is in my teeth on job interviews that ultimately amounted to nothing. Even with landing this job, for me, the transition back into the workforce has been stressful and managing my fears about being mentally able to even keep a job is full-time work in itself. I am positive that somewhere in America sits a CEO that used to be a homeless woman in Alaska, barefoot in the snow and living in an abandoned igloo with her 17 kids—but whatever! That’s her story of triumph, not mine. You can never evaluate someone’s hardships and come to the conclusion they should “get over it” because there is no way to determine just how a particular situation can adversely effect the outcome of someone’s life. I am accused of being dramatic all the time (-_-)  and it has been insinuated by more than one person that I use mental health issues as a crutch to keep from doing better– but none are qualified to say as much because no one but myself is even aware of what my definition of BETTER is…I’m not letting any more bitches kill my vibe. I know what I’m doing.

Babe, I’m Working

Sometimes people come into your life and examine it from the outside looking in and proceed to project their own personal beliefs, experiences and successes onto you. I cannot handle this. My initial reaction to the, “get your shit together” talk was to be sensitive. I retreated into my feelings, opened a beer but was too emo to drink it, and I cried. Will I ever be good enough? I’ve been fired TWICE, living off unemployment and the government—but I managed not to lose my apartment and not even a year later I am working full-time again—is that not enough?!

As it turns out: it is for me. When I lay in that bath tub at my parent’s house a few years ago (what IS it with me and bath tubs?) absently swiping at my wrist with a razor blade and daring myself to go through with it, I never imagined that I would be here. I feel like I have completely imploded and I’m now in the middle of the rubble slowly picking up pieces and rebuilding. I don’t need any outside construction companies to come with their heavy duty machines to try to speed up the process and “help” me along the way. I got this.

As I told a concerned friend a few weeks ago, don’t worry about me. I am definitely taking the the long way around but I’m positive I will get there. I am employed again and I am constantly working on myself to be healthier and stronger for my children, to be happy, and to be able to proceed with my life without getting derailed by the negative perceptions and comments of others. I think I’m ok if my kids grow up and say, “The house was never clean but Mommy sure worked her ass off to provide what we needed.” I eventually wish to go back into Super Mom status with home cooked meals, soccer practice, clean floors and cupcakes at the PTA meeting—but I’m not going to rush things and overwhelm myself at the moment. There was a musician I semi-dated, and whenever I would go to his gigs I could never understand why he wasn’t more social and ready to party after the show. He would sometimes calmly say to me: Babe, I’m working. It really didn’t seem like it to me, it looked like he was having a nice, relaxing time doing something he loved but what the hell did I know? From the outside looking in I may appear idle or unmotivated or as if I’m doing nothing at all, but I know that I have a plan; I’m working. 😉