WOMAN’ing: Chapter 21, Pt II – The Pussy Police Officers *updated

A casual stroll down my Instagram feed ended with me being stopped dead in my tracks at one of the posts from someone I follow.

I’ve been following the young lady that I once helped raise when she was barely able to read on her own for the last year or so. She’s so beautiful. She’ll be twenty-one on November 21st, which is ironically the birthdate of my partner now. She has an incredible singing voice and does feature spots quite often from what I can tell. She has a Soundcloud page too. On this day what popped up on my feed wasn’t her singing or somewhere with her red hair blowing or smiling. She was ……posed – in what looked to be a professionally taken picture of her in nothing but her panties. She had some type of coat covering her breasts but she wasn’t ‘wearing’ it. Her face was stunning. Makeup was done nice, hair simple and cute and her features are just beautiful. I really hope beyond what the world is telling her in order to be next to her, that she knows she is gorgeous!!!! When I saw that picture, I felt so many different feelings and the first being ‘where the fuck are your clothes?’

But ….the last thought I had, as much as it bothered me to see her like such, was who have I become that  I think I can be on the pussy patrol, stopping and frisking women for their right to do whatever makes them happy, at that age, at that moment on that day. She’s a twenty-year-old young woman who has been to college, is no one’s mother yet and talented AF ! Kendria, stop cyber-side-eye  policing this adult young woman, especially when you were quite similar at her age. #letherlive #GetOffHerAssWithTheSideEyeBeltsAndExtensionCords

Whew! What juxtaposition.

…and on that note, FUCK THE POLICE.

NO, I’m not talking about the boys (and girls) in blue right now (but really, they can get it too). I mean fuck the PPOs. Who and what are the PPO’s?

*foul language ahead*

The Muthafuckin’ Pussy Police Officers. The people who really think it’s their job to dictate who a woman is and what she does and whether or not she’s still ‘qualified’ in PPO’s eyes to be considered a [respectable] woman. Still don’t get it? How many times have you scrolled past a meme like this:

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Or have you read about how black women who get their hair dyed blonde don’t like being black and secretly want to be white?
Have you ever scrolled past a long thread of heauxteps and friends that are going in on black women for the choices they have made about their lives and how those choices somehow equal a diminished sense of black pride? What about the folks that talk shit about strippers but make no mention of the skeletal remains that are stinking up their walk-in closets? Or the folks that are constantly talking about what a woman can wear and be acceptable? Or how long her nails can be before she is considered ‘too ghetto… or how she wants attention when she wears a short skirt, breastfeeds in public or wears colored contact lens and hair weave … the list of reasons people sign up to become card-carrying PPOs is forever growing and I’m sure there are new instances added daily that speak on what makes a woman and what breaks one.945868_969728873082675_3146413067454980451_n

To them – I say fuck you.

yes

Let’s divide this part into three sections:

  • -Woman 
  • -Thou Art
  • -Assumed to be Loose …..But I’m going to start from the end and go up.

 

“Assumed To Be Loose”

I live for word definitions:

loose

lo͞os/

adjective

  1. not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached.

synonyms:      not fixed in place, not secure, unsecured, unattached

  1. (of a garment) not fitting tightly or closely.

synonyms:      baggy, generously cut, slack, roomy

verb

  1. set free; release.

            free, set free, unloose, turn loose, set loose, let loose, let go, release

 Boyshorts as outside clothes, twerk videos, ass shots and pumped up breasts aren’t anything ‘new’ so to speak, but with the continued rise of social media, they’ve gained some traction because everyone is wearing it and doing it for all to see. Pole dancing is more acceptable today than it was when I was wrapping around one and girls holding blocks of money and making it rain on each other, themselves or a random brown kitchen table is part of our society’s norm. But these things, while coveted to the sight, are things that get women labeled as a certain type of woman. Because only a THOT would come outside in short shorts and only a stripper hoe would have desires of learning how to work the pole. Right?

  1. LOOSE – the adjective definition #1. – not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached.  Synonyms – not fixed in place, not secure, unsecured, unattached

– Women are considered loose as much as society can loosen us up. We are’ not fixed in a certain place’ according to the #PPO Academy graduates. We are INsecure (which leads to our off the cuff, loose behavior) and unattached. Perhaps if we had a man, we could fix ourselves? Or if we went to church and prayed our hoe away, we could come back out as saved and great –

-but wait. …

You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife, right? Ok so women who are hoes, thots, loose ones, fast ones, etc. are forever lost causes but that’s already been discussed in a blog by me. You might recall from a previous blog, I discussed ‘hoes’ and how ironic it is that hoes still get fucked when so many men don’t respect them. But if you don’t respect her and you’re fucking her, does that not speak to what you think of yourself? Idk….this blog isn’t really on that again. This is about the fact that any one person, male or female, thinks they even have the right to label a woman anything aside from her name or a name she’s given herself. I can’t believe I’m about to use this woman as an example but she’s a really good one: Kim Kard.

She’s always called a hoe and a thot and a host of colorful other names that don’t sound like Kim, Kardashian, West or Woman. Why is this? Because she did a sex tape with Ray-J and made bank from it? OR is it because we know she had sex with Ray J and women can’t have sex without being whores? Clearly (if you saw the tape), they had some type of relationship that extended well beyond that garbage hotel action and Ray J’s lack of knowledge of what to do in such a situation (you thought it too) so it has to be something else right? Ok well, she got married for 72 hours. She also dated Reggie Bush. She now is married to Kanye West. Let’s toss a random person in there for shits and giggles….we’ll call him Arnold. So let’s do the math of what we know – KK has slept with at least four different men, two that she married, one who is the father of both of her kids, one who she made a sex tape with and then turned it into an empire (no matter what anyone thinks of her) – Yep, she’s a certified loose, thot dressing hoe.#Sarcasm

Can you see the tom foolery or is it just me? But the policing doesn’t stop at our panties. It is a head to toe makeover that the #PPO are constantly (pa)Trolling women to give them. Now apply this to women all over. If you sleep with X-amount of men, you are a hoe. If you wear X-type of clothes, you are a thot. If you’re black and you die your hair blonde, then you want to be white. If you’re a bigger woman at a buffer, you’re obese with an eating problem. If you wear heels all the time, you’re ignorant to the natural needs of your feet. If you still wear bras, you haven’t done your research and need to retrain your mind to think bra-less because that’s what real women do. If you take too many selfies, you are too confident, stuck up, narcissist and need to chill. If you aren’t smiling in public at all times, you’re mean, evil looking or mad at the world when “come on babygirl, it really ain’t that bad.”

The #PPO can strike their badge authority anywhere. They are loose with it. They aren’t attached to any one woman; these rules apply to all women everywhere and especially the ones raising up future women. The Pussy Police Officers will come for your neck the minute they think you have dropped the ball on being a card-carrying woman, ESPECIALLY if you are a BLACK WOMAN. I believe ALL women are subjected to the PPO, but black women just seem to have it worse (of course). People like Trick Daddy, Kanye and various other rappers who’s tracks get twerk’d to by the same women they tear down, are brutally insensitive and downright disrespectful to black women as if it were a sport. It’s nothing to see a black man do an interview and speak some vile shit against black women as if his mother were born lily white as the snow. We’re fine as long we’re their fucking fake ass  video props but when it comes to real life, we are worthy of their PPO disrespect.  So they’ll fuck us, make us into hoes to talk about, use us in their videos for low wages and ass smacking but then call us out because we’re not living up to what they think a real woman is? Geeez, some men really are looking for a daughter to fuck. They want a girl they can tell what to do for 12 hours and a woman they can fuck ‘like a hoe’ for 12 hours. Who lives up to this? #PPO nellyThere’s a guy whose name I can’t remember (why would I) who has a YouTube channel dedicated to stereotyping us and talking against us. He has millions of followers and believers. As much as my fellow sisters and I ignore this shit and try not to let it bother us, it’s hard not to feel something from that type of shit. Simply put: it hurts. But we superwomen and know our strength so we keep pushing regardless…and the #PPOs continue to patrol our city and cyber streets to teach us, not from experience, how to be good, wholesome, society-accepted women. I reject that shit and say fuck that and fuck you! And while there are plenty of women PPOs lurking (I have some on my FB page), the men seem to have this position on lock! I guess considering they started off as girls, they CAN tell us a thing or two…I just don’t know how accurate it would be. I have never understood how the saying ‘a woman can’t raise no man’ can be accurate when speaking of a single woman raising her little, growing boy but somehow a grown man CAN re-raise a grown ass woman?

As my girl Naz would say, MUTHAFUCKAFORWHAT??!?!?!?! Kinda like the hoe concept – it’s as if she’s doing it on her own, but we all know she can’t be a hoe without hoe-ish assistance.

Yes, woman is often assumed to be loose. I use this phrase a lot and even have it in a poem. Of course, it stems from the movie title of Woman, Thou Art Loose, but it’s missing the ASSUMED so I’ve added it where it goes. Our bodies are the topic of discussion daily. We are told what we can and can’t do with them and even had a governor who is now running for VP of  the USA try to force those who have abortions and stillbirths to BURY the remains. We are often punished for having sex – Punished for how we look – And told what we can feel. Welcome to the Academy for PPO. The Muthafuckin Pussy Police Officers. Oh how I wish they would use LOOSE in the verb way and let go of us. Just let go. Set us free. Let us fucking be the types of women we WANT to be. Hoe or otherwise dammit.

We all eventually wake up from our slumbers and it’s hardly ever because this harsh society tried to guilt trip us about our decisions… Women go through so many phases of living before they get to the woman they want to be. No one can dictate what those phases are or when they will happen (although there is a projected set of ages for some stuff) but you can bet your pointy little finger that her experiences will make her the phenomenal woman she is growing into. Do I want to see a girl I knew when she was illiterate on IG in her tshirt & panties? Nah. But do I have the right to tell her to sit down? Nope.  I don’t have that right. I can stop it from showing up in my  feed but I don’t have the right to PPO that young lady like I work for Sagamore.

PT II – THOU ART – Tomorrow.

“THOU ART”

art

/ärt/

noun

  1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

  2. The various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.

Ahhhh…..When I tell you I adore definitions, I really mean it. I teach using the dictionary and definitions as inspiration when I do workshops because sometimes, seeing the meaning of a word can create an entire poem. Or maybe it’s just me.

Thou Art – I decided to break this blog up by way of the title because all three separations hold their own accuracy and worth. When women are LOOSENED (verb – let go, set free), we are given the reigns and rights to embrace our art. Even when walking through the valleys of the shadows of wasted breath and opinions, we are art. We are living, breathing art and that in itself is intimidating to many. Looking at both of the ART definitions, it’s easy to fit a woman into that which is art. But are we really appreciated for our beauty and/or emotional power? Our beauty, that thing that is always on the chopping block for the local PPO to dissect for accuracy, seems to always fail to be good enough for others. Which is perfectly fine to most of us but quite honestly, as many of us as there are that are confident and who we are and what we look like and don’t care what outsiders have to say, there are just as many who are still fighting the good fight for their self-esteem and self-worth. Everyone wasn’t taught confidence and there are plenty of women still wrestling with their beautiful who just don’t need the extra bullshit voices of folks who get hard dicks and clits from tearing down others. God forbid we were weave (self-hate), fake nails (fake woman), or enjoy watching television/television shows that are primarily white cast. Either we aren’t woke enough, black enough, woman enough, angelic enough, flat stomach-enough, virgin-like enough, Christian enough, lkjd;lajfol;disajropweuifopjadl;fjkasl; j OMG THIS LIST GOES AND GOES AND GOES!!!!

But isn’t that the point of art? Isn’t art supposed to be dressed up or dressed down? Doesn’t art make people look? Doesn’t it capture your attention and curiosity? Art is abstract. It is unconventional. It breaks rules…carves its own lane. Women are art. We are similar to pieces that hang in local museums for people to gawk at and ponder over. No two just alike, we are all these unique pieces of creative works and the fact that there are people who still don’t know how to appreciate all of our differences (and similarities) is proof that there is much work left to do regarding the right to be a free woman. One of my fondest NYC memories is from my first trip there. There was a black girl walking to the corner to wait for the light to turn. She was dressed head to toe in things that didn’t make sense to the average eye. She had tennis shoes, leg warmers, leggings, a couple of shirts, a mini skirt, and a funky hairdo. Initially, I did a double take. Then I smiled because I realized something: She was free. No one was staring at her and no one was questioning her mental ability, her womanhood, her sexuality, her discernment, choices or otherwise disrespecting her. That’s when I instantly secured my ‘I will love you forever’ attitude towards New York City. And while we may always get funky looks, ignorant questions, and pointed fingers, if you can just be ok with YOU, when you see YOU, then fuck this society and it’s flagrant opinions:

  • ” I saw some gray hair in your head old lady grandma” * followed by laugh*
  • “looks like you’ve gained more weight. You need to diet” * followed by laugh*
    “You need to stop eating so much” * followed by laugh*
    “Why you got that shirt/dress on when you know you’re too big for it” * followed by laugh*
  • “Sooo you’re 30+ now…when are the babies coming” * followed by laugh*
  • “That’s a cute guy I saw you with for the first time…yaw getting married?” * followed by laugh*
  • “You know you can’t afford that baby” * followed by laugh*
  • “Ewww put that cleavage up, don’t nobody want to see that” * followed by laugh*
  • “Honey you need to stop losing weight. You look sickly” *followed by laugh*
  • “Cover up” * followed by laugh*
  • “I saw some dents and pricks in your thighs….better leave Long’s alone girl, * followed by laugh* “

Everything isn’t always a damn joke and some jokes are centered around true thoughts. Do people ever tire of making a woman face whatever they think she hasn’t already seen before they did? Whether it’s weight or children or her hair or who she loves – do the #PPO ever stop to wonder that they might be bringing up a very sensitive topic? Do they ever wonder if they are hurting feelings? Or just straight pissing folks off?

No they don’t.
Their sole job on earth is to police the pussy until its all out of 9 lives.

For some people, women as they are, are simply never enough.

But to me, Thou [is] Art.

WOMAN

I’ve written this blog several times. If you look around my site, you will find this type of blog written in several different forms. I had that epiphany as I started to finish this blog up. I’m always talking about this and I  guess it’s because it irritates the FUCK out of me. Like seriously, I never go around trying to teach men how to be men and for that matter, I don’t even try to teach other women how to be them. I discuss the basics that typically stretch across the board for all women and especially black women. I talk about being free, being yourself and embracing who you are in this moment of your life. My standing is pretty solid: I think women should have the freedom from other opinions to live their lives as they see fit and to change/grow as they deem necessary. There is always room to grow and the right loving people will call you out on your bullshit, so any faults undiscovered by self are often aired out when dealing with your relationship to others. It is so complex to be a woman – we have to smile while we walk around bleeding and feeling like crap. We still have to work while our breasts are leaking and lactating all over the place. We are the nurturers, the mothers, the sisters and the lovers. We must remain in touch with our emotions but not so much that others see us as emotional. O.o #MFFW

We have to dress pretty while not dressing slutty while remembering to cover up while breastfeeding but also to show cleavage when we go out but not too much or you’re a thot, but not so little where you are considered a prude. Lol.

I do not subscribe to this bullshit.

You cannot tell me how to be a woman.

You cannot try to be my daddy and my husband.

You cannot out-woman me.

You will not change who I am.

Only the course of my life’s journey can do that.

WOMAN – Thou Art [yet] assumed to be loose, but I see you.

I see us.

Simply put – We’re the shit. Keep doing you love and let’s all raise our middle fingers in solidarity to the PPO!!!!

Woman, thou Art.

The only thing loose is the lips of the passerbys.

WOMAN’ing: Chapter 37, Pt I – When Seasons Change.

“I’m kicking bitches out like Pam nigga/Go ham nigga/Me and Jigga.”

Recently, Kanye West took to the stage at his Seattle concert and began to air out the relationship between him and JayZ. Not only did he rant and release to the crowd of thousands of people about his issues with Tidal (or because of Tidal or…whatever Kanye found beef with), but he also spoke with a bit of vulnerability on how Jay called him in regards to Kim K’s robbery instead of just coming over. When the  tirade was over, there was no denying who he was talking about or the fact that at the very least, he was standing on hurt feelings and Ye Tears. He also shared how much he hates to hear/perform Niggas in Paris, their breakthrough hit from the Watch the Throne album, because it reminds of him of ….idk. It reminds of Kanye of something. I’m not sure about everyone else, but when I finished listening to the video, I was a bit disappointed. Not only was this a bad choice of places to air grievances and dirty laundry, but the fact that it was so unnecessarily public and mid-concert (temper tantrum-ish even), almost guarantees no possibility of getting the friendship back to the Big Brother stage it used to sit upon.  While Jay has yet to make an official comment in retort, I find it highly unlikely that he will do so like this. Perhaps on a guest verse, we’ll get a smoke signal acknowledging this happened. In fact, the irony of Ye being mad at Jay for not coming by but rather calling to check on him is laid thick by the smoke and lights of the arena he (Kanye) choose to address these topics in. In fact, if I were being honest, I would say that I think Jay has been trying to distance himself from Kanye since before he married Kim. I don’t know if Kim was a factor but I believe that Jay-Z has wanted to distance himself from the flashing lights Kanye keeps in his vocal chords. Sometimes when he opens his mouth, all I see is strobe lights blinding and confusing me and I suspect Jay, with all his privacy and low-key moves, was over it. Sometimes you don’t want to pull people to the side and say something. For whatever reason, you’re just too tired and as a result, distance is created. I think as much as he loves Ye, and I believe he does (this is all strictly opinion based btw), I believe he wanted to love him from afar, and as a result, his actions, efforts, and conversations began to reflect such.

Sometimes you have to let go of people who no longer serve to make you feel joyful, empowered, inspired, better, good, great, beautiful, love, etc. . . . And once your mind locks in on this notion, your actions will soon begin to follow so if you don’t end the useless friendship (useless if it’s not bringing positivity…no sugar for today’s tea), you can rest assure that your subconscious will affect your behavior. And with that said, I would like to welcome you to Chapter 30 of my #WOMAN’ing series. Today’s special is friendships and letting go. Because fuck complicity with people and really, fuck explanations too!

We all know that seasons change and that some people come into your life, you fall in love with them, and then without warning sometimes, they have to leave because the season is over. This might occur due to a fallout or bad argument between the two of you or because of life itself: death, moving, new relationships that put distance between your friendship. The reasons why a friendship has come to an end are plentiful. Even like Ye & Jayz, sometimes it was already a simmering fire that just needed a pinch more of gas. But the trial of ending friendships and letting go of someone you once held so dear to your heart, whether in life and especially in death, can be one of the hardest things you will be tasked with in your womanhood. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen to men. Kanye is proof that it does, but being that I am a woman, I am speaking from my experiences so I hope I don’t come as if women are the keepers of friendly attachments.

I said no sugar right? Ok well let’s go.

There are two very basic parts of friendships:

  1. The type of friend you are
  2. The types of friends you have

I assure you, if you are not aware of these two things (meaning CONSCIOUSLY aware), you are bound to be surrounded by a plethora of differing energies that will also affect YOUR energy, thus leaving you open to changing into the type of person you otherwise wouldn’t enjoy. They say you are the company you keep right? Birds of a feather . . . This is real. Women’s periods are known to sync up the more they are around each other. I know this for a fact. So you need to know who’s around you because they are affecting you. Does a feather feel it’s fall?

Probably not. It’s too soft. In other words, sometimes you will be impacted by the company you keep and not know it until it’s too late. So you better know who got around you…and you damn sure better know who YOU are! I have a line in a poem that goes:

“I’m the strong type of woman that knows that everybody I meet, really ain’t my friend.”

I am always surprised by how much this line gets to people.  As a performing poet, you tend to know what lines and stanzas will get audience feedback and this particular line came as a surprise to me in regards to reactions. Every time I perform it and speak that part, I see women move in their seats, high-fiving, oohing, shouting, etc .. . I’ve even done it at schools and received the same exact reaction from girls in middle to high school. Apparently knowing that everyone isn’t your friend is heralded as important and me declaring that about myself in a moment of poetic honesty, gives women and girls a reminder or maybe confirmation they needed, or just a boost of good advice. But trust me; I haven’t always been that type of woman. Lol. I’ve never been shy about struggling to make friends growing up and being bullied or fucked with a lot, but what it did to me was intimidated me from all people. I was picked on by boys and girls, so I grew to be immediately intimated by everyone when I would first meet them. I was so overwhelmed with going to cosmetology school in high school because I expected to be in a room full of girls that would not like me. It turned out to be a room full of girls that were cool AF.  It helped change my outlook a bit, but even as an adult, I still felt fearful of new people. When I started making ‘friends’, I did think everyone had my back. I thought I could share everything with everyone and perhaps part of that was having spent so much time alone (aside from my sister til the end, Lydia and my girl Candace who rode w/me from 7th grade on) that finally being able to have folks I thought I could trust meant I could be free. Well here’s the lesson from this paragraph: You cannot be free in a friendship until you know what type of friend you have and what type of friend you are.

I’ve had my private business shared. I’ve been talked about and of course it got back to me. I have had a ‘best friend’ slip all four of her lips on my man. I haven’t seen her since I found out but I happened upon his Facebook page and couldn’t help but notice her precious profile picture next to a comment. Some things and some people never change. But learning who you are and who you are surrounding yourself with (notice I didn’t say notice who you are surrounded by) are the keys to the Mercedes-Benz in the parking lot with your name on it. At no point in my 20s did I know who I was or who was around me. I stayed surrounded with people. When I was dancing, I had smoke parties and cookouts and hung with people who pulled knives on me, fucked other women while I was in the living room, stole from me and otherwise didn’t regard my life or my life’s possessions with respect. But on the flip side of that, I talked about folks, gossiped and even slept with an old friend’s ex without blinking. Looking back, I can’t believe that was me but for the memory that I know it really happened. In short, I wasn’t a good friend and therefore, my energy did not allow me for me to have good ones. I got what I put out and it was all mediocre at best. Friending takes practice; it takes listening and learning how to act outside of your own thoughts and desires. Befriending someone doesn’t mean you put them before you; it simply means you add them to the list of people I should consult before making a decision XYZ. It means you take into account how they feel and even if you want to go against what they feel, you don’t because you value them and their emotions. This is why people say the word FRIEND has so much meaning. It absolutely does!! There is love and effort put into that word so it is an honor to be and to be called such, but consciousness is necessary. #StayWoke #OrWakeUp

“My Enemies Yo’ Enemies .  .  .”

Friendshipping isn’t for the faint at heart and I believe that’s why so many people do a sloppy ass job of it. Folks will pretend to be your friend for life while casually using the knife in their hand to give you deathly kisses. Some people will actually THINK they are doing a good job at being your friend and they aren’t but what I have learned is they won’t know (ever) until you SAY SOMETHING! Some folks will simply not care about how you feel and do whatever, whenever with no regard to how you might receive it. Some people are extremely selfish. Sometimes, YOU are that ‘some people.’ And if you are not carefully checking yourself, you won’t even know that you are being that person to someone else.

I know I have failed friendships over the course of my life.  I admit that and find myself in a continuous cycle of questioning whether or not I’m accurately portraying the type of friend I think I am. And honestly, sometimes I’m not.  Don’t get that wrong – I’m not insecure in my befriending; I’m just always checking. And even at checking myself, if someone doesn’t directly tell me their grievances with the type of friend I am, everything is a guess from my perspective. But I can say I’ve friended many a people who had no problem writing me letters, sending me inboxes, emails, face to face and phone conversations that discussed where my failures were and what was expected of me in the future. Lol. It can be hard to receive criticism but if we’re being honest, it’s so necessary.That’s how you become better or become the person you are striving to become – by someone else calling you out on your shit so you can correct it (if they are correct…which is not guaranteed). Again, otherwise, you will continue to be who and how you are and not realize why your turnover rate is so high.156531-jocelyn-wildenstein

There’s no blueprint on being a friend and this blog is not me trying to tell anyone HOW to do so. This is me Woman’ing. I’ve been doing learning more about what type of friend I am and what type of friends I have [had].  After Queen passed, I was forced to deal with the type of friend I had been to her in a way that crushed me. I didn’t feel worthy of new friends or even the old friends I had. I had stopped talking to her, and it must have seen abrupt in her eyes, but to me, I had just had enough of her trying to fix some stuff that was broken. So I put lots of distance between us. And in that distance, I wasted four months of the last six months of her life that I can never get back.  Even though we started back talking and had started to hang out again, I stood in front of her casket and couldn’t figure out if she knew how much she truly meant to me. It hurt me to put that distance between us. But I let my ego win that race. The SISTERLY response would have been to talk to her as opposed to the distance. Shutting down is a flaw I own up to. Instead of speaking what I feel, I just shut down and drift away slowly. When in a friendship that means something to you, there is no ego. There is conversation, compromise and understanding . . . but there isn’t and cannot be EGO.

Ego will make you sacrifice everything for nothing. Don’t wait until it’s too damn late to figure out who you are to your people and vice versa. Check yourself as necessary. Be honest with yourself – Are you mistreating the ones you love in any way? Are you pushing your friends away or do you act as if their love and friendship is not necessary? Do you know what level of importance friendship is to you? Not everyone desires friendships. I’ve been around several people who have adamantly stated that friendships are overrated and unnecessary stress.

Well…..to each their own. I tend to believe that sister-circles are sooo necessary, especially for black women. We need other women and other like-minds to decompress with, laugh and interact with.  We need circles of love and trust that we can count on, depend on and pray with/for. We need sister perspectives that differ from ours and help empower us and grow us as individuals. Friendship (imo) is NECESSARY. We cannot hold the title of superwoman and the weight of the world plus the stresses of day to day living and mothering (where applicable) and NOT have someone or (preferably) at least a few people to exhale alongside. My friendships are very necessary and needed. I cherish them because I realize these are people who make a conscious CHOICE to be my friend, as do I to them. I have no option but to step back sometimes and ask myself, am I being the friend to them that I need them to be to me? If there is room for upgrading self and thus our friendship, then it’s a job I surely signed up for when I decided I wanted friends. You have to check who you are being to other people because it will shed quite a bright light on why people are who they are to you.  You have to love others enough to ask yourself the tough questions. To apologize when necessary and sit your reflection on the shelf for a second while tending to the friend in need.  YOU HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU ARE TO OTHER PEOPLE!!!!!

Because although that won’t be the only determining factor, it will definitely show you what you deserve.  After all, you can’t expect the best from others if all you are willing to give them is the rest of whatever is left of you.  It’s not about 50/50; it’s more like the Legend of Billie Jean: “Fair is Fair.”

Know who you are.

And know how you treat people.

“You Ain’t Neva Had a Friend Like Me”

A noun is a person, place or thing. You will find a noun in every complete sentence, as every sentence needs a noun to be legit. Otherwise who or wtf are you talmbout???  Proper nouns are nouns that sit on pedestals with their pinky fingers pointed up and a plate of French crumpets in the other hand. Proper nouns always have their first initial(s) capitalized no matter where they are in the sentence; they demand to be noticed and respected.  Our circles often need grammar checks. We need to run through them with a fine tooth comb for updates of information, fragments, run-ons and to make sure our nouns are placed properly and that our proper nouns are draping in respect.  Over the course of my woman’ing, I’ve had several different women that I referred to as my best friend.  I’ve never sat down and noticed the similarities of these women or even their differences, but I can say that I only have one person in my life that I would call my best friend and to me, calling her that is an insult. We’ve surpassed friendship so it feels like I’m dumbing her down when I call her my best friend. Best friend has a twang on it to me. A curse even. Any time I have attached to that title to someone, something happened and seasons changed.

I remember being introduced as someone’s best friend once years ago and thinking to myself “ok so you just introduced them to what type of friend I am to you, but what type of friend are you to me?” I wasn’t even looking at it with a negative light, I simply paid more attention to words that night than average. I went heavy on the meanings of things and realized when you introduce someone as your best friend, you are not saying that you are theirs; simply that they are yours. In other words, this person does a great job, in fact, the best possible job, at being my friend. But again, it speaks nothing about what you are to that person. I’ve been wondering about the best friend title and friendshipping ever since then. Do some friendships really need to be proper nouns? Are you/am I capitalizing  the wrong people, places, and things? Shit, am I proper to someone else and that’s the extent of it? Or are they proper to ME …and that’s it? Am I just over here collecting and getting advantages but giving nothing (or little) in return –  Sorta like a beneficiary??? Lol.dsc_0135

What type of friends do you have is not a question that is meant to box everyone in under one label. I have several different types of friends.  Some who are computer techies, some artsy, some outspoken, some shy and introverted. I have friends that hit above the line only and friends that live below it. I have atheists and Christians, Muslims and Excommunicated friends on my roster. So it’s not about having the same type of person around you. It’s more about being aware of the type(s) of people you are around. You allow these folks into your space as well as your mental and emotional health so the truth is; you better fucking know what you are around!!!

I learned that it would take other friendships to teach me about friendship and what I wanted, deserved and needed. It took other people doing the things I thought I deserved, naturally, to show me when I was tripping vs. when I wasn’t. That won’t be the case for everyone I’m sure, but for me, it certainly was. Once I found a melting pot of friendships, I was able to swim around and see what everyone offered in common vs what was different about each. When it came to the negative traits, I was able to see what was a personality glitch vs what was a result of something (i.e. conflict in friendship, something I said, etc.…). I was able to prune as necessary and say goodbye to ended seasons after that. It’s not about comparing friendships; it’s more about noticing what needs are being taken care of where and why? Whenever you get through with it, you have the right to evaluate the folks in your life and decide or say ‘you are not loving me in the way I need” and move on or try to fix it. If all you need is your friend to call and check in you once a week, and they never do, but you meet someone else who does it without you ever expressing the need, it might show you a different perspective. You might think ‘ok I need to tell this person how necessary it is that they call’ or you might think ‘ok this need is covered so I’m good on it” or you might think “I’m ready to let go of you not meeting my needs.” I mean, it really is an individual experience a with all things. I’m simply saying, check your circle and make sure it satisfies you.

Checking your friendships is necessary. I know that as I have aged, my needs have changed as I have. So what was ok at 15 was not ok at 21. And what I accepted at 21 is not what I would condone at 32 and so forth. I had a good friend I used to work with. I have done things for her and she has done things for me, outside of work. We weren’t best friends, but we were what I would consider friends. She attended some of my shows even. But she’s voting for Trump. And that means she’s NOT my friend. Unfortunate but in checking who I love and who I let love me, that type of energy that is detrimental to me. So I am letting her go from my life. I’ve had other friends that were much closer that I have distanced myself from completely. It’s not a knock to someone else that you all’s season is over. It is a reality check. I’ve had people dismiss me from their lives. Shit.fucking.happens. Truth is, there are some lonely days ahead when you let go of [a] friend(s). The phone stops ringing and you stop texting.  The visits end and there will be days when you are tempted to reach out and see if that person wants to hang out or go eat or simply talk on the phone. Ending friendships means accepting that someone who got you in certain ways is no longer applicable in your life or you have to introduce parts of yourself to new people and you don’t know if they will even ‘get you’ like others. But it’s a sacrifice for the greater good of your well-being (both of you). If you don’t like how they are or who they have become (I’m looking at you Kanye) or if they are just fucking not doing it for you anymore, it’s ok to want to love them from a distance. If you want to talk about your issues with them, it’s ok to do that. But this social media driven age of public all-access passes to your dirty laundry is not the way. Do not make a concert of your issues. Make a phone call. Neither Kanye or Jayz seem wrong from my perspective in what they feel (using this term loosely because who knows what Jayz feels), but Ye’s approach would be the casket drop for many folks. Kicking people off the tower of your excellence is ok and acceptable and let me tell it, not requiring an explanation. But don’t wait until you have an audience to decide to prune your friendship gardens. Sometimes goodbyes are unspoken and no love is lost but life moves on.

No matter what your friendly decisions are, know that it’s ok to decide what’s necessary for your growth. But you can’t do that if you don’t know you or the people closely attached to you. Get in the know…stay there. And do frequent safety checks. Don’t wait for soundcheck to decide to speak your heart.

And don’t ask them to drop you off if it’s time for you to move on.

Hitchhike instead.

Blogtrack (it’s back!):

“I’m down for you so ride with me/my enemies your enemies/cuase you ain’t never had a friend like me/nobody knows where we’ll be/my enemeies your enemies/cause you ain’t never had a friend like me.”

~Pac, Friend Like Me

~J

Impossible to Love: Sex, Security & Trauma

For those unaware, I was molested when I was young girl. I would guess my age to be around 8 or 9 years old. I don’t remember my age as much as I remember the pleated green skirt I had on the night it happened. My molesters were twins; teenagers that my grandmother agreed to watch while her friend and their mother set about on some journey that she couldn’t take them to. I don’t remember the exact reason why they stayed with us but they were supposed to be there for two weeks. It was four of them: Two twin brothers, one older brother and one sister. They were all older than me but since I was an only child and they were just teenagers, no one really thought much about us ‘playing’ together. The twins took turns molesting me although neither ever actually penetrated me. The words “Don’t that feel good” are still in my head from one of them rubbing his penis on top, up and down my vagina. The other one would sit me on his lap until he got hard and then rub me up and down on it in clothes burning fashion. I wonder if it was because they were twins that they shared the same affinity for taking advantage of a young girl.

I remember so much about the night they both violated my childhood that you’d be hard pressed to get me to say it never happened. I never told anyone and I don’t really know why. The last day they were at our house happened to be the same night as a card party at my mom’s house, where their mother was returning to pick them up. Although I had been molested, I didn’t fear them. I was on the porch when the older brother, a lighter skinned young man with a low ceaser fade, went and jumped off the side of the house and tried to lure me back there with him. The side of the house was dark so no one would see anything that was going on over there. He always knew what the twins had done to me but never participated. That night, their last night, he decided to try to get his kicks in. I wonder was there a conversation or did he have the same electrical connection to the twins that traveled back and forth across all three of the synopsis. I don’t think the sister knew anything but then to again, I could be wrong because the most I remember about her is that she stole my mom’s flip flops during that stay and my mother and I walked up 40th street, past Pennsylvania and a little bit further to find get those back. My mom has always hated a thief. But back to the porch and the older, lighter skinned brother. He was motioning for me to join him on the side while all the adults had their attention occupied and no one else was watching us. I didn’t go. He pulled his penis out right there and showed it to me. I remember looking at a long, skinny, light penis and telling him no before running back in the house. That was it. I never saw them again after that night. I don’t know their names or what they look like. I could be in front of them at the grocery store and not even know it. But I will always remember the innocence they stole from me.

It changed me right then and there. It shaped so much about me sexually that there was no way I could stand a fighting chance unless I told someone of my dirty little secret and received some help as a result. Since I kept this quiet, the only thing I could do was grow up. I was watching porn shortly after that and really couldn’t understand why. By the time I was a teenager, I was into boys and sex and couldn’t understand why. I was talked about, fought, picked on and fucked with and despite the challenges that all that presented on my day to day life, I changed nothing while at the same time not understanding why I was doing the things I was doing when they were almost always not my desires. I wonder if I thought they didn’t need my permission as much as they need for me to assume the position?

My life has been a never-ending battle of permission VS positioning ever since.  In the predecessor to this blog, AMuseD, I spoke a few times on battling my ability to SAY NO and then to stick to it. I would have sex when I didn’t want to because I felt powerless. It took a life changing situation between me and a man I respected greatly to help me learn how important my NO was when I said it…and how even more important it was for ME to stick to it. I was in my late 20s when I learned I didn’t OWE my body to men just because they were men. I’ve written poems and blogs about my struggles because I knew I wasn’t the only person who understands this life but I would be one of the few who would be this transparently vocal about it.

So exactly how should a man handle a woman who’s been molested?  NOTE: Not EVERY man will be privy to this sensitive information. I am speaking this blog from the perspective of a relationship where secrets and past vital information is shared knowledge.

This question has been something I’ve wondered for YEARS and have never spoken aloud or received voluntary information in regards to. So we all know you can’t let the past ruin your future right? We know that we can’t stay stuck in the past and things that have happened to us; you must fight and find your way to healing and understanding (if there is any…sometimes there isn’t). But being molested isn’t something that folks just ‘get over.’ Being molested effects EVERYTHING about you and there is no exception to this rule. While we all might have different ways of reacting, we all greatly and profoundly affected for the rest of our lives by the actions of child (and adult) predators. The younger you are, the more of a determining factor it might have on your life. I didn’t even know why I was watching porn or what I got out of it but I was watching. I even got caught watching it one day and received an ass whooping and punishment but no real questions on what the hell would make an eight or nine-year-old little girl be interested in watching the Beverly Hills Humpers. #TrueTitle Having your innocence taken usually comes at the expense of who or what you change into as a result. Did you hear this line? Let’s think on it for a second:

“…cause men take my no with the proverbial grain of salt

Like I don’t have the right to not to want to have sex

I am but an extension of man

And if he needs to plug into me to become whole again, then there I should be

Legs spread like country crock

Waiting on his city cock….

………….but I don’t want no thing sometimes….and I don’t say nothing sometimes….”

Think on those lines for a second. I had to experience a man making me feel like I consented to him raping me before something actually clicked and said ‘this can’t continue.’Do people really think a woman just jumps out into life with sexual issues this deep? This has to start from somewhere. This type of mentality, this type of belief of one’s sexual freeness (free meaning able to say yes OR no at your will) can result in death of self in many ways including but not limited to physically.  So as the woman who dares not to live a life as a victim, what do you do? What do I do? What have I done so far? Because truthfully speaking if something is NOT done, if this is not confronted in a way seeking to break all chains, it will rear it’s head in any/every relationship the woman finds herself in. She will have to deal with the damages done to her soul eventually – the question is do you deal when you ‘cross that bridge’ and realize there is no choice but to confront your truth OR do you try to take care of this before you dating (ideal way) and if that’s the case, how can you be sure that nothing about your prior abuse will create issues in the future? Do I think too hard or doubt too much? I’ve been told so by many.

On the flip side of that coin, men love sex. They just do. There is no way around this equation and although I’m sure there is a man and his gang of single friends who is not overjoyed with the thought or act of sex, the truth is most men (IMO) love sex and lots of it. When in a relationship, married or otherwise, the man’s subconscious tells him ‘if I’ve made it official, then I officially get unlimited pussy.’ Pussy gets a break when the bleeding comes in. All other times should be open to fuckfest (insert year).  Am I saying men are driven solely by their penis? No. But I am saying that while both men and women enjoy sex, men have more of an urgency for it than women. This isn’t always the case and I know that. Please understand this blog is not generalizing everyone. I’m only able to speak from my perspective and my life experiences, which is why I use myself as examples all the time. I stand to be corrected when I am wrong and I could be wrong here but this is my current perception of the world from my nearly-38 years of wheeling and dealing around here. Now, let’s talk some brief stats real quick.

I’m not a fan of statistics, but every now and again, I believe they are on to something. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime One in Five girls is a victim of sexual child abuse whereas one in twenty boys is a victim. It also goes to say that self-report studies show twenty percent of adult women and five-ten percent of adult men recall a sexual assault/abuse during their childhood. Those are large numbers and that means that when it comes to women, out of every five women you meet, at least one of them has been molested. I believe the odds are higher than that. I’ve sat in a circle of five women on more than one occasion and there was no one with their hand up for the ‘raise your hand if you’ve never been molested’ call and response. This isn’t even including women who have been sexually assaulted as adults and all that comes with that (police reports – to file or not file, rape kits – more trauma, trying to move on, fear lurking, etc)

With all this being said, let’s double back to relationships and dealing with each other.

How does a man handle a woman sexually who has experienced sexual trauma in her life? How do they, as a couple, manage to not let that past trauma affect their current relationship, specifically in the bedroom? You have to know that there will be some issue or another.  Should a man ask himself if he can truly deal with, or if he’s willing to attempt to deal with, a woman who’s been sexually traumatized? Because the thing is, it’s no small feat. It’s not an easy thing to do. There are feelings that victims have that can’t be explained away in a conversation or an argument about sex. There are emotions that victims try to hide and think they are safe and healed from that only during an actual relationship are they called to confront again.

A woman, when she has sex, lets someone inside of her. Penetration  opens that woman up and puts her body in a vulnerable position: she can and will take in more than a penis. She also takes in energy, good or bad. She essentially takes in the DNA makeup of the person she is sleeping with. Penetration, at its nucleus, is demanding. It is masculine (IMO). It is dominant. This physical submission in the form of open legs and relaxed body is supposed to come with the permission of the woman. But when she has experienced someone take from her as a child –

  • her right to give permission
  • Her right to say no thank you.
  • Her right to have closed legs
  • Her right to no desire or even know/want to know what sex is
  • Her right to be left alone

– sometimes that submission can be a challenge. Listen, it’s not about letting the past control your life. Victims of sexual trauma would love nothing more than to not be led by the memories that haunt them. But sexual abuse is and the effects of it can stick around for your entire life and a woman can have ‘flair ups’ or ‘triggered’ reactionary moments because of them. Penetration can sometimes feel so intrusive and unsavory and it will have nothing to do with the person. It’s the woman. She needs….something. But what? Patience from him? Understanding? A counselor? Sex therapy?

What does the woman, who’s in a relationship with a man, need to do in an effort to keep a healthy, vibrant relationship that doesn’t lack sexual appetite when she was once a victim of sexual abuse that at times rears its ugly head? Who does she talk to when the man is fed up with not being pleased sexually? Does she risk him cheating? Does faking it work? Does she need to try harder to forget the things that happened to her if they have any effect on her physically and how does that happen? Exactly what does that look like?

And then to that point, what is the man’s job? Does he continue to push her to have sex? Does he love her right where she is and go get sexually pleased by someone else and use this as the reason? Does he have a point if he does that? Does he suggest counseling and if so, should he go with her? Sometimes or always?  What if he’s tried to be understanding, timid, and respectful of her needs but is now at a point where his needs are being all but forgotten? What should he do? Leave her?

Album Cover for ErynAllenKane
Album Cover for ErynAllenKane

I don’t come with answers to any of this. I’m here with nothing but questions. Sex is such an integral and necessary part of relationships and it can’t be avoided. But sometimes, for some women, there isn’t always that burning desire to have sex and as much as of it as possible. Sometimes, women want to chill. They don’t want their bodies penetrated but they would love to kiss and touch. For many people this is NOT acceptable; or at least not in large doses. Does she owe her man her body? Is it really a woman’s JOB to have sex with her man as much as possible? Should she expect to have sex in between each period because the period is your ‘break time?’  Is that REALLY a fucking thing?

There are so many questions when you are a victim of sexual trauma. Sexual abuse is the type of traumatic event that occurs to people that others who have never experienced can’t always understand why one hasn’t moved further along in the healing process. They don’t [always] understand where all the questions you have come from. People also tend to think if you were abused as a child, it shouldn’t have any effect on your day to day living, and if you were abused as an adult, some folks believe you should be thick-skinned enough at this point to be able to deal with it in a healthy way, which is an interesting way of thinking considering the act was not healthy so how is the response to it expected to ever be? Folks want you to play by the same set of rules as everyone else when your truth is different from the healthy norm. Your moments of remembering aren’t controlled by you and for some of us, we’ve spent a great deal of life on emotional auto-pilot so we definitely aren’t in control of what has some triggering effect on us or when we will close up and need to be left alone until it passes.

I guess that’s where doctors and therapy come in. 

Again, this wasn’t a blog that you would find answers in; nothing here but questions this time around. I never think about the twins that molested me or their brother that tried to join in on the fun. I really don’t. I don’t think about being violated or what happened. It’s not something that sits in my immediate consciousness. I’ve placed in that brain space that is not ever accessed.

But that doesn’t change my physical reactions, which sometimes, I don’t control even when I want to. Idk. I just have nothing but questions. . . What happens to the sexually traumatized woman who wants a healthy relationship with a man but can’t feed his sexual appetite as necessary?
Does she give up on love altogether?

Does her partner hold any accountability for being patient? And let’s say the answer to that is yes, how long does one expect he can just be patient before he becomes a patient in another nurse’s bed?

The juxtaposition of love and life are often a collision course of lessons learned and bridges burned. In order for even the healthiest of relationships to work, both parties must be secure in each other. He must be feel secure that his sexual needs will be tended to and that’s fair. No one likes a cheater. She must feel secure that in the midst of enjoying and taking care of sexual needs, she is not treated like or left to feel like sex is the end all, be all of their relationship. She shouldn’t feel pressure and he should balance his need with understanding. For someone who’s been molested and someone who hasn’t been, how does that work? What exactly does that look like Sway?kanye-west-week-in-quotes-4-1385904923-view-1

But for real tho, who actually makes it out of this life shit alive?

 

The Real Tea…No Sugar Added

I have to come to believe that we all have two births.

I’m probably not the first person to point this out. While you can only physically die once, you can be reborn as many times as necessary in your lifespan. But I think we all have two births for sure:

  • the one our incredible mothers saw us through
  • The one where we give birth to ourselves.

People experience rebirths for different reasons, often after some life changing event –like the [first] birth of a new child or moving to a new city & state. My rebirth was a result of something less awe-inspiring and more lifey. Lol. My second birth came as a result of forgiveness (The Art of Forgiving), healthy friendships, letting go of unhealthy practices and people, and of course love… with a special emphasis on learning how to love the QUEEN in me; not just loving myself. I’ve learned the two are slightly different, at least in my life. I didn’t lack love for myself, but I don’t think I loved the Queen in me like I do now. Actually, I’m positive of that. Loving the Queen in you means being bold, unafraid and aware of what you think, feel, need and want and speaking on it when necessary. If I loved the Queen in me, I wouldn’t have let this guy play me out like I did. If I loved the Queen in me, I wouldn’t have thought it better to remain silent on what I felt regarding Queen and the state of our friendship at the time. I would have spoken to a Queen like a Queen and all would have been well. 14724576_1109609329130106_5784931531067443625_nInterestingly enough, after the heartbreak I experienced days before moving on the Clif, I wrote a poem called “Check Ya’self Que”, which was a play on the letters QUE. The guy I had stolen permission to love was a Que and the poem was about a woman finding the queEN in herself.  I dedicated my first show of 2014 to our ‘situationship’ and one of the flyers I made said “I had to lose my Que to find my queEN.” That show was Feb 7, 2014. 20 days later, Queen was hospitalized and just three days later, she was gone for good.  By March 2014, I had lost ‘my’ Que and my Queen less than two months apart and I was well on my way to my living casket from there. These two back to back love losses helped propel me to my death and not because I couldn’t live without either of them but rather because I couldn’t live with the anger and guilt and couldn’t forgive myself. My process of forgiveness, which if you click the link for that blog it will go into more detail about, was not solely about forgiving him for being him or forgiving Queen for dying. I had to forgive myself for a lot of transgressions that I felt I brought to myself. I hadn’t been the best of friends to Queen towards the end of 2013 and we had only been talking for barely a month when she passed. I had to forgive myself for taking her for granted. For not talking to her about the things that were going on in my head, which when we did finally talk, everything made sense to both of us. That made it worse when she passed; I reread our conversations and realized how easy it was to avoid all the time I spent creating this distance between us. And I cursed myself for the 3-4 months of her life I missed out on.  As far as the guy, I had to forgive myself for praying and not listening to my answer. I had to forgive myself for settling and accepting the bits of attention he gave me when I knew it wasn’t right and that I deserved better. I had to forgive myself for disrespecting myself in the name of a man and in the name of my ego. And it took a looooong time for me to recognize that needed to happen (forgiveness of self) and for me to be able to do it once I knew I had to. I began to die away and honestly, what choice did I have? How on Earth after such a massive failure at loving someone and being a sister to another person could I remain alive? I had to die in order to forgive myself and so I did. Right there in the confines of my quiet home in the center of the hood, on the edge of the clif, I began to die slowly.  My death was a loud silence. A secret burial that bore no obituaries or formal services. I passed away, perhaps in my sleep one night, and when I finally woke back up, I came to discover that not only had I died, but I had been reborn. Reborn onto the same Earth, in the same body and under the same name and lifetime.10991256_767040150053694_8684426554625428606_n

I didn’t cheat death; I was figuring out how to live this life.

I’m currently in a new season of my life. One where things have changed so dramatically from what they once were that at times I find it troubling  to believe in all that is happening. Sometimes I look at the man I love, who loves me BACK, and wonder if he’s real. Having lacked in this department for the majority of my life, it can be hard to believe that this man finds ME lovable and wants to continue daily to show me how much he loves me. I’m moving into a new house. It’s not far from where I am already and, to be honest, I don’t like the neighborhood. It’s busy AF. I don’t like busy and I worry about it often, but I keep putting my prayers up and trusting in my faith in God not to lead me anywhere that is detrimental to me and my family.  This house is beautiful. It’s probably the last house I will rent before buying. My guy is great. He’s going to marry me and I don’t suspect 2017 will get too far before he makes it official. It feels weird to even type that with the air of belief I have, but it’s the honest truth. I’ve been able to take trips to LA and DC and I’m headed to the Bahamas for my first time out of the country in just a matter of weeks. I have much to be excited about and much to feel alive for.

My rebirth went well. Everything was heavenly blessed. It was a long process; I don’t know how long I was dead. I know I walked around in a fog for a long time. 944942_448486685242377_1055525323_nBut at some point, a chrysalis formed around my corpse, protecting me from the harm and leeches that feed off of the dead. As vulnerable as I was, I was conscious enough to try to protect myself so I closed myself off from nearly everyone sans a few people, and even they had to fight to get to ME sometimes. But as one year ended and another began, I began coming to life, stretching the cocoon to its capacity like a growing balloon. The burst was inevitable.

Have you ever seen one of those videos where folks send balloons with cameras attached floating into space until it pops and sends the video spiraling back down to earth? The balloons can get 3xs their size by the time they have left Earth and eventually they pop. The camera captures the visual of what looks like huge chunks of glitter that sprinkle around the darkness of outer space. That’s my chrysalis.

My rebirth.

Quite the same in many ways except a camera attached to a balloon has to travel upwards to its highest potential and then it plummets back to Earth once at capacity. I’m human.

I have the choice to not plummet. When my security releases me (chrysalis) back to the wild Earth, I can fall OR ….I can fly. #ItsNotSuicideIfYouCanFly #Rebirth

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My rebirth included me finding a reason to be inspired by myself; my own strength, although tested, it was not buried. I got through 2014 dammit. I made it!!! That might not be impressive to anyone else, but it impressed TF out of me. My rebirth is me changing the direction of this blog and becoming intent on my intentions for it and no matter how many hiatus’ I have to take or unexpected gaps in writing, I return because I know what I have here. Shit, writing this blog right now – opening up and showing my doubts and fears – is part of my rebirth.  My rebirth is me being invited to be a keynote speaker and being able to use my life, the pretty and the ugly, to inspire rooms of women and young girls!  It has been a glorious coming of self that has included everything from death to Balls to burning evidence and seeing myself in love with the Queen I know myself to be, right now at this very second…all while knowing there is much more growing left to do.

But so much has changed that I wonder whose happiness am I living right now and am I sure that it’s mine?

Back in 2015, when I had finally found my footing again and had started blogging on a regular basis, I had a plan to execute that I expected to grant me the most peace of mind I’ve ever felt. I was going to quit my job in the last quarter of the year, give my 30-day notice to my landlord and move to whatever city I had decided on. Just me, my dogs and my shit – the plan was to leave Indy and only look back when I was coming to visit my family. When I left off, I was locked on Sedona, AZ. The desert. I wanted to be close enough to the ocean that I didn’t have to travel forever to get to it but far enough to still be warm. I wanted to see the stars and not have to deal with snow and cold winters anymore. I wanted to backpack with my dogs up and through mountains and smoke high-end marijuana in the privacy of me and whatever cactus I sat next to. I hadn’t figured out the way I would make money and I knew that I couldn’t just insert Januarie in a new city with the same ‘heat’ attached to my name. It would be like starting from scratch. But I was dead set on leaving and that worst case scenario, I would have to put all the available belief I had into myself and step out on my faith in writing and performing and being a public speaker. It didn’t sound like I couldn’t make it work; it would just take work. As I my legs stretched and my arms began to feel the world around me, my rebirth continued until I was healed from the broken heart and I was in a solid place where I could look at a picture or speak Queen’s name and not be ready to run to a corner and scream.

It was right about then that I crashed into love again. I walked face first into this story we’ve created and have experienced no regrets in doing so. We were definitely meant to share a life together and that is visible to anyone that sees us in person. We are compliments of each and it’s effortless. I feel like he sometimes feels my thoughts and then acts on them. We have a true divine, spiritual connection and it’s priceless. He’s a great guy with solid intentions, God on his side and love in his palm. It would have been a shame to not have met him so I’m glad that we did.

But I have been having this burning question on my heart for some time now. . . is our love another death of ME? 

We love each other vividly, in private and in public. His love is limitless to a woman who is used to dealing in teaspoons. But there are some things even he can’t do. . .

He can’t leave Indiana. He has two children here and they are not even teenagers yet. Who am I to expect him to pack up and leave Indiana? Although I was very vocal about my intent to leave when we first started talking to each other, IDK, I guess I still didn’t expect to fall in love and we be together planning this new life. This new life is where I become a wife and a step-parent and let go of my dreams and desires to leave Indiana, at least for the foreseeable future. Is love enough to sustain me in a state I’ve been yearning to leave for ten years? I’ve always thought there was something else out there for me to go get, even if it was just the experience of really leaving the nest but now, despite me not feeling any different in terms of Indiana, I’m grounded here because of love.  And honestly, as much as I love him and there is no question that I do and that he loves me, I don’t know how that makes me feel.

Actually, yes I do. It makes me sad. It makes me scared.

It makes me feel like . . . I’m doing it again: I’m living for a man again. I’m living for someone else’s happiness and pretending it’s all mine.  Listen, I’m not unhappy.  This guy is my heart and I love him with all that I am. But I don’t want to hate him or resent him. I don’t want to wake up ten years from now in Indiana.  You know why? Because that’s not what I planned. I’m ok with plans changing but no one else can tell me what I need for ME and I’m not ok with what I need being put on the backburner while I go out and chase love and build a life that I was not even searching for. Is that wrong?

I’m just being honest. I’m scared I’m dying again.1378773_516459778445067_1432962191_n

And although my last death led to the rebirth of a newer, freer, happier me, I can’t help but feel like this death is going to leave me in a morgue full of regrets.  I don’t fear cheating, I don’t fear violence in our relationship – I don’t fear any of the shit I’ve feared in the past with these less than stellar dudes that have fallen in and out of my heart. I am the most confident that I have ever been in a relationship. He looks at me and touches me like I’m the most beautiful woman on earth and I love it. It’s more than enough for my heart and ego. But what about my passionate life? Because um, I know I’ve gone on and on about love all these years but there is more to me than the desire to share love with someone or to get married and try our best to make it work.

I’m no longer going to be responsible solely for myself and therefore, I can’t just up and leave anymore. I can’t decide ‘today is the day’ and pack my shit and bounce these state lines forever. I can’t even entertain the thought. Every part of the plan that I had for this exact time of this exact year has been dismissed and thrown away. And as much love as I have for the person I love, I can’t help but wonder if I’m living his happiness and not really my own.  Will this part of me have to die in order for US to live?

Will I have to let go of everything that has been building up and that I’ve been working towards over the years in order to be in love?

I’ve been trying to blog for weeks now and have only been able to conjure up the one blog on forgiveness in the past month plus. I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me, I’ve experienced God in ways I’ve never experienced before, even went on a working-vacation by myself and went to sleep (real sleep) on the plane there and back. That was a first for me!  There was the Cali trip and the DC trip and the Bahamas is just a few short weeks ahead of me. I’ve spoken in places that were completely out of my comfort zone and I’ve been part of or at least witnessed some of the most inspirational events I’ve seen in years.  Needless to say, I’ve had a lot to talk about and a lot I’ve wanted to blog. I still have notes from D.C. that I took to remember to write on and a notebook from Cali.  Then there’s a blog that I’m actually pretty excited to pen, which I foolishly dropped a flyer for (because I thought I was about to get it done) and then never released. My unreliability has, in turn, contributed to my absence. . .

I just haven’t been able to get my words out. I’ve felt locked in this strange battle of ‘my life is going great’ and ‘my life is overwhelming and I wonder what part includes ME.’ I would have never seen this coming my way. I had come to accept that I would spend my life alone, as a nomad and then I met someone who saw a Queen in me and made sure I knew what he saw.  You don’t just turn and walk away from that. You don’t just leave someone that loves you like they love air and go off trekking across the country in search of the unknown.

Do you?

And then there’s my faith. My belief in God. If I believe so much and have so much faith, how is it that I would believe God wouldn’t bless me with everything I need and want? I mean, his youngest is 7. I can wait 11 more years, right? Well, that’s considering I don’t pass away first in the physical sense. And keeping it real, that’s the part that brings forth my fear. I have spent a great deal of my adult life living in the name of other people and feeling bad when I tried to live for myself. I’ve fought the great fight for love many times over and gave them everything except the blood from my veins to prove how much I was down. Now I have finally found someone who is reciprocating it all and I love him without pause, but I fear to love and to marry him will be the death of Januarie York.

Which brings me to the next question: how much must one die to get to live their best life yet?

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not UNhappy by any means. But I am a bit concerned about some parts of my life that are of great importance to me. Specifically leaving this state and working on my own. But leaving tho…..leaving is such a big deal to me. I get it – God has me here for a reason. My mom even requested that I not leave just yet.  If one thing was different, EVERYTHING in our lives would be different. Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever realized that if anything in your life had of gone a different way, absolutely everything would be changed? This is why I try not to think things like ‘if I had just gone to school’ or “if I had just [insert whatever]’ because I know that any progress I would have made in a different direction would have changed the outcome of my life as I know it today. That means it’s possible that I would have never started performing poetry or writing blogs or I wouldn’t have met all the beautiful souls that I have been fortunate to come in contact with, including the man I love, which would have been a shame.

So ….I tend to avoid dabbling in IFs. Still, as I pen this blog, my mind wonders a few of them. I’ve only craved two distinct things, both tied to feelings: Love & Freedom. I’ve wanted to be loved and I’ve wanted to feel FREE. For me, that freedom comes by me setting my fears aside and experiencing a life outside of Indianapolis, Indiana and pursuing my ability to be a performer/public speaker.  But I would be a lie and honestly a contradiction to all these blogs if I didn’t admit that LOVE is as great a need as FREEDOM is. I used to wish I didn’t want to be loved so badly but upon receiving it properly and daily, I understand that it was never about someone saying they love me. It’s bigger than that. It’s the feeling that I have a friend in the person I love, lie with, sleep with, hug and share things with. It’s the support – not the bullshit panhandled support but a support that you feel even when they aren’t there. No matter what it is you do, to have someone who sees you at your worst and still says I love you is huge. Not everyone will be that person or like that person. Not even everybody wants this but I do. So I do not treat him or treat this feeling I have with a grain of salt. He is a huge part of my life and a direction contribution to my rebirth. This last year of our relationship has shown me myself in ways I have NEVER seen before and quite frankly, I adore his ass.maybe-some-women-arent-meant-to-be-tamed-maybe-they-just-need-to-run-free-until-they-find-someone-just-as-wild-to-run-with-them

So…am I tripping?

Nigga NAW. I’m concerned about my life outside of love and guess what?? That is OK.

My dreams are big, vast and deserving of me seeing them to fruition. I deserve to live somewhere else. I deserve to leave corporate America. I deserve to live the life I was created for and I deserve to have love at the same fucking time!!!! Says who that I can’t have both?

But …but but…

*insert temper tantrums*    But but …i liked this new me God !!

You is Kind. You is Smaht. You is impo'tant chile.
You is Kind. You is Smaht. You is impo’tant chile.

Do I have to die again to get to that? Do I have to let the here and now, the urgency, the NEED and the passion die out before I can see all that is coming my way or before I can trust the future and keep my faith sustained?

DO I REALLY HAVE TO DIE…AGAIN?

Yeah. I do. I do have to die…again.

I have to let my ME ME ME party die out and bury my urgency.

I always have the option of being alone or at least tossing this relationship aside and doing my thing while hoping to find this same exact man, somewhere else. LOL.  #GoodLuckWithThatBruh #HOVQuotesForEverything

But it’s not a trade; it’s trust. First and foremost, it’s trust in the God I believe in. It’s also trust in the man I believe that same God sent me. He knows what’s important to me and how much leaving this state means to me and why. He loves me and would do anything for me. For once, I’m not making this up in a blog or a poem. It’s real. He’s shown and proven it repeatedly. I can’t believe he loves me on one hand and then doubt that he will help me get to the rest of my blessings on the other. He has stronger faith than I do and we are connected through our souls – we both know this. I can but I don’t necessarily have the right to doubt him AND God. 

I have to believe. Trust. Have faith.

Well, again, I don’t HAVE to. I can worry or fear myself into anxiety and panic attacks but for what? Why for the guy who keeps his word. I can’t doubt him because everyone else was just a loose dick with a dude attached. I can’t make him pay for the sins of the liars that helped shape me prior to ‘us.’ If ever there were somewhere for me to trust, it’s the man I’m with now. And I do. I said I wanted to move from the Clif; he went and found a house. And it’s beautiful! Now I have a new house that I am currently painting, a washer (my washer broke back in the spring), dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal and a fenced in backyard so my dog doesn’t have to be on a chain. Might be small potatoes to some but to me, it’s quite grandiose. Especially because for once, I DIDN’T MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!! Someone else brought the magic to ME.

Oh! And I have an office; a place for my concentration and to ward off writer’s block. I have a new Cali King bed that I didn’t have to pay for and blog readers that have been vocal in supporting me in my absence and parlor doors to my living room!!! I know, I just went all over the place but it’s so exciting.

I am recommitting myself to weekly blogs every Wednesday through the end of the year but only after I get all moved in, which is only two weeks from now. I have a lot on my plate that I’m doing and one of my faithful readers brought up the fact that maybe all of this is affecting my ability to concentrate on writing and think she made a great point. So after I’m all moved in, I will post a new blog from my new office!!!! I’ll be posting links these next two Wednesday’s of stuff new to you all but my new content will be here November 2.

Right now tho ….I’m dying again. img_8530

It’s ok not to cry. This is good. There will be no services necessary. I’m not stopping or letting go of myself or my goals. Writing this blog answered a lot of questions I’ve been asking. I needed to see my thoughts in 3rd person and man did it shed a light on me during edits. I’ve altered and removed quite a bit in lieu of it. I’m ok tho. I’m not letting go of moving. I’m respecting where God has me. My mom needs me and who am that’s so important that I can’t be here for the woman who’s ALWAYS had my back no matter what? I will move and live in another City and State. I will be in warm climates. He wants Arizona and asked me about it randomly one day without knowing that’s where I last left off. So he’s down. I know it. I believe it. And I have to allow myself to trust the process. He’ll go to great heights for me…so why not great lengths?

I’ll get there; close to the ocean and able to see the stars. AND it will be even better because I won’t have to learn a new culture alone.

But dying…..

Dying and being reborn is a solo act. Right now, I’m shedding my solo plans and taking the biggest chance on love I ever have. I reckon (lol) my chrysalis is nearing 3xs its size. When it pops, I will not plummet; I.Will.Keep.FLYING.

By Halloween, my mom’s birthday, it will have popped and I will sit behind my new desk, in my new office, in my new vintage home, in the hood – and exhale.

Here’s to the future.

And that’s the real tea. . . no sugar added.

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~j

 

 

************** UPDATED 10.18.18

Well now.

this relationship is over.

Another death is upon me and it hurts.

But i’ll make it.

Glad i wrote this tho.

this one killed me. I’m definitely leaving Indianapolis in spring/summer 19. And I’ve come to believe maybe that was the point of meeting this person; to propel me to leave.