The Feels

“I am such a fool. How did I get here? Played by all the rules, then they changed.”

So, this past month/week/days have been crazy tough. I’m bubbling over with emotions. Most days I want to ball up and cry, or fight, scream, run a few blocks or sleep all day. Some days I want to do it all at one time. It feels like I’m going through a never ending PMS cycle, and I’ve had enough already.

Yes, I know life is hard sometimes, I know that other people have it way worse than I do. Yes, I get it. However, this is me, my life, my crazy ass over the top emotions and my feelings that I have to finally acknowledge, or risk the chance of (another) breakdown. Talking helps, it does, but most days I don’t want to burden anyone with my shit, so I keep a tight lid on things. I let some in, but as is a bad habit of mine, I tend to only reveal what I want you to know. Which, I’m sure is the most unhelpful thing ever, but alas… I wish I could pinpoint what exactly started my ride on this emotional roller coaster. But the truth is, it’s a culmination of things. Friendships that have unexpectedly ended, job stress, family issues, and don’t even get me started on that thing called love. Fuhgetaboutit!

Writing helps tremendously, it’s cathartic and I can vent uninterrupted. This is my outlet, and though I don’t publish regularly, I’m always writing. I’ve started meditating in the morning, it’s a struggle because getting my mind to be still is…difficult, to say the least. I’m hoping this is a phase, and that it will soon pass. Seriously, it has to pass.

Until next time..
Elle

Life Without The Box

This past fall and winter I became quite the hermit. My day consisted of getting up, going to work, coming home and vegging out in front of the TV. Most of my interaction with people outside of the co-workers came through social media. I spoke to and saw my local gang of girl friends occasionally, but I didn’t hang out with anyone for months at a time. This behavior was not like me. Yes, I treasure my solitude and can function going solo to almost anyplace I want or need to go. At times, I prefer it vs going out with a group of people. But this was different. I let the solace of my cozy apartment and the TV keep me company and after a while, as I tend to do, I got bored and restless. Then I started taking into account my finances, which truth be told was another reason I didn’t hang out much. I was living check to check only able to cover the essentials with no discretionary funds set aside for fun. Fast forward to early March, I opened my cable/internet bill and it was literally 90.00 less than my car note. I was floored to say the least. I let go of all of my movie packages some time back because I never watched them, yet here was a bill that was over 200 dollars. 200 dollars for the same five channels I always watched. 200.00 for re-runs that played online the next day. 200.00 for the freaking golf channel and about 30 other channels I didn’t ask to have and that I never even watched! I was being robbed and I was pissed. I started breaking things down and doing some research about how I can curb this bill, how would I be able to get my TV fix if it weren’t for this cable box?

Then I thought about that money, and how I had been struggling and cutting corners for months just trying to make ends meet. I always knew cable was a luxury and it would be the first thing I cut off if it ever got to that point. So I did it. And I didn’t just do it for the sake of my pockets, but as I said earlier I was becoming a hermit. So my decision to let go of the cable was two fold. Save some money and get out of the freaking house! I used TV as a crutch to cure boredom, but 9 times out of 10 the TV was on out of habit, unless it was something specific I wanted to watch, it just served as background noise. Now that spring is here and summer is fast approaching, my decision to “turn off that darn idiot box and go outside and play” (my mother’s words) is working in my favor. All of the fun festivals and art shows, outdoor concerts are all happening now. And with a little extra change in my pocket, I can go and explore my city, and maybe meet some new people. I’m curious to see what all I can get into this summer, let the fun begin.

 

From somewhere outside these 4 walls,

 

Elle.

The Search For Satisfaction

The other evening as I was completing an online job application, I was required to take a brief survey and assessment at the end of the process.. One of the first questions on the survey was “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life?” The options to check were; Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Dissatisfied or My Life Sucks Balls. Okay, that last one was a paraphrase, but you catch my drift. I don’t quite feel that my life sucks major balls, but I couldn’t honestly check ‘satisfied’ either. I chose dissatisfied, and I was being completely honest.

I’m in a weird space in my life right now, whatever I do, I cannot seem to find a happy medium. My life feels off balance and is nothing but struggle. As a Libra, let me tell you, trying to find a balance is extremely important. I often use the analogy of the game Jenga. One wrong move and things will come toppling down. I’m trying to figure it all out and get back to the place where, though i may not have everything my heart desires, I at least felt content with my life.

I understand to some folks being content is the same to them as settling. I don’t see it that way at all, in my eyes, contentment means stability. I miss the days where I got up and went to work, knowing it wasn’t my dream job, but I enjoyed going everyday. I knew I could do bigger and better things, but in the meantime, I am aright. Seeing as we spend the majority of our adult life at work, job satisfaction is at the top of my list. I have bigger dreams that do not involve  cubicle, of course I need to earn money to make my dreams a realization. While I’m doing that, I need to be alright making a living in an environment that respects me as an employee and a human being.

I’ve heard of life being rich and fulfilling and beyond one’s wildest dreams. I believe it is possible, I’ve seen and been around people who are genuinely satisfied and happy with their current state of being. Not worried about the future as they are too busy being pleased and living fully in the moment. I look and wonder what that feels like, and pray that I will indeed get to experience this one day. As the song says “this can’t be life”. I know it is possible for me to have that as well. I have to keep believing that. I’m greater than my circumstances now, and know that I am meant to do bigger and better things and that it is for me to live a fulfilling life. I won’t stop reaching for it, I absolutely cannot do that. I’m doing all that I can right now to improve my situation, and praying that He will remain true to his word and give the increase.

That’s all I can do right now, and I’m hoping that is enough.

 

 

Elle.

 

RSVP

Picture it; a cold January morning around 9 am, I’m awakened from a very peaceful sleep to the sound of my text message chime. I look at the phone, the message is titled, “Good Morning”. I thought, hmm, how sweet, a good morning text. I open the message and there pops out an ashy black dick.  Sigh…here we go again, yet another unsolicited dick pic from a man I am not dating. I didn’t ask for this morning “greeting” and I’m pretty sure unsolicited pictures were to be left in 2013, no?  I didn’t even have it in me to respond to this foolishness, I just deleted the message and decided that today is a no phone Sunday. I don’t want to hear or see any messages from anyone today, turn the power off and put the phone in the nightstand, yes, it’s like that.

Listen, I am so, so tired. These last couple of years my attempts at “dating” and playing the getting to know you game have been futile at best. I’ve been beyond disappointed, lied to in abundance, and countless time been caught up in someone’s mess as they’ve tried to “figure out’ what they really wanted. I’ve written before about the Invitations to Crazy that men have tried to extend to me, and I’ve gladly RSVP’d with a resounding NO THANK YOU! I’m beginning to think I have a stamp on my forehead that only attracts the unavailable, the liars, and the ones who want to know how my p*ssy works before they know my last name. But then I come to my senses, it’s not me, because once I see what it is that you’re about, I bow out,  I don’t want to play in your reindeer games.

If you are unavailable, meaning married, involved, living with, got a girl (but only when you want to claim her) please, exit stage left. I am not interested in getting to know someone else’s man. If you’re that unhappy, why do you stay? And more importantly, why do you think I would be the one to help you make the decision to leave your shitty situation? NO, work that out with your priest, your therapist, your mama, someone else who is not me. Karma is a mutha, trust and believe I know this. I have not always said NO to unavailable men, and it has come back to bite me in my ample ass, I know better, so I choose to do and be better.

I love sex just as much as the next woman, but that is not all that I have to offer. Let me repeat this, SEX IS NOT ALL THAT I HAVE TO OFFER. It is not what I put on the table and present to you first. I do not expect for a man that I am interested in to whip it out and show it off after the first conversation. Please, stop this. What else do you have to say, other than how sexy I am (duh, like I don’t know this already). If we’re having a conversation and every other sentence is about my lips, bro, I need you to step it up, please and thank you. Have you any idea how appealing and sexy it is to be able to have and hold an REAL conversation with someone? How intoxicating it is to spend time with someone who has a brilliant mind? Stop asking me what “that mouf do” and ask what do I THINK? Getting to know me mentally and emotionally will open up so many other doors, trust me on this.

Please don’t get all that I said confused and think that I am done with men, and I’m over them etc… .that is not the case at all. I BELIEVE in love, in true honest to goodness, from the soul love. I know it is possible, I see it every day in couples that I know have that kind of connection and friendship. I know it is possible for me to have as well. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions; this isn’t what’s happening here. What this is is me realizing that what I may have entertained in the past has gotten me nowhere, and the game gets old after a while. I want something more, something big, something different. I have to adjust my mindset and make it known to those who come my way with their sh*t that I’m not here for it.  I’m opening myself up to the real thing, not just the temporary something to do in the meantime thing.

So, here is my RSVP, for the “I bet you taste good, um, what did you say your name was again”, the “let me come chill at your house on the 1st date ninjas”, the “I don’t have a girlfriend, per se”, the “she’s my wife but we’ve been having mad problems these last few years” kind of guys, No thank you, I don’t accept.

I Care

Sometimes I write posts out of anger. Sometimes I write posts out of hurt and frustration. Most times I write posts because I can articulate best how I truly feel by putting pen to paper. This is one of those times. I am irritated, frustrated and hurt (Word to Mint Condition).  I am being pushed to my emotional brink by giving my time, attention and affection to people who I care about, but those same people don’t care to give me the same in return. Friends and potential loves alike, it seems as if those that I care for could give a rats turd about me. I was even told that I care too much, yeah okay. Well here’s a newsflash, I, as a human being, CARE about the people who I have let into my life and into my heart. Yes, I show care by reaching out to you, without being smothering, being concerned about your well being and overall showing genuine love for you. And that’s a bad thing? Since when?

Even though it hurts me to think that someone I love or care about thinks I care too much, it’s in my nature to give. It’s my nature to love, and I will never ever apologize for that. At one point I tried to change it by acting aloof, trying to be cool or whatever you call it. But I can’t do anything but be myself. I love, out loud and on purpose. You can play all the games that you please, I can’t do it. I was always taught, if you care or love someone, you let them know, in words and in deeds. The thing that hurts me the most is when that is thrown back in my face, and the first thing I want to do is retreat and vow to never care again. But, being the person that I am, I can’t do it. I trust that the love I give will be reciprocated properly, and those who don’t appreciate it, well, your loss.

Basically, I’m done apologizing for being caring, for showing the ungrateful ones love. I will love in spite of it all. And even though you don’t care, I do. And you will deal.

 

Elle.

When Things Got Real

For a long time I was the person who kept a tight lid on my emotions. If I needed to cry, it would be done privately away from any judging eyes, or the need to explain what was bothering me. If I was angry, I kept it bottled in for fear of rocking the boat, or hurting feelings, even though my feelings were trampled on. I was taught to be strong, vulnerability was not something I witnessed too often. When I felt vulnerable, I felt powerless and losing control of my emotions scared me more than anything.  I wonder now, what was I so afraid of? Would people look at me differently? Would I be perceived as weak or crazy?

I suffer from anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I recently went through an episode so severe that I was on disability from work. It happened on a Monday, and I remember feeling weird the previous weekend, actually for the last two weeks before this episode. I was uptight, snapping at everyone, crying at the drop of a hat, and generally having a bad time at life.  I knew it was coming, I got that familiar feeling of panic, and shortness of breath, and then came the tears. I could not stop crying. Eventually I had to get to the emergency room, the shortness of breath was scaring me more than anything, and I couldn’t stop shaking.  My anxiety was on ten thousand by that point and i wanted some relief. I thought to myself, if I die now, it would be a blessing, I simply cannot take this feeling of lost control, panic and fear any longer. This was not my first anxiety attack, but it was by far the most severe. I knew then that things were bad. For the first time in a really long time, I was seriously concerned about my mental state.

I had been holding so much on my shoulders without any relief in sight, trying to keep up when what I really needed was to lay back. Things got real.  I got tired of being strong all the time, and before I could admit it to myself, my body did it for me. I was so ashamed for so long of these attacks, I barely told anyone about them. This time, I was tired of holding in the shame, because I have nothing to be ashamed of. Millions of people suffer from some type of mental health issue, and anxiety is one of the common mental health issues that people deal with on a daily basis. I was ready to get the proper help that I needed, meaning medication and therapy. I took time off work, that was frowned upon by those in charge, but I really did not care. My health is more important than some crappy job. I had to take a breather, I needed to rest, to let my meds work the way they were supposed to and for the first time ever acknowledge my disorder and get proper treatment.

Mental health is such a taboo topic in the black community, it’s often brushed off as stress, or someone being “special” or “touched”. It’s real, and it’s beyond time that it we acknowledge this. If someone is telling you they are feeling overwhelmed, they can’t cope etc…Pay attention. This could be their cry for help. Don’t overlook your own symptoms, I can’t stress it enough, get the help you need. I have to remind myself, there is NOTHING to be ashamed of in getting help, taking medicine and being OK with not being able to handle it all, all the time. Life has been better every since.

Till next time,

Elle

*Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

*www.thesiweproject.org*

A Teenage Love

High school was a crazy, lame, dysfunctional time for me. I went through three and a half years of awkwardness and just barely managed to have some semblance of cool by my senior year. I mostly hung out with my cousin who was a grade ahead of me, and some of her friends became my friends. Then at the end of my Freshman year, I met Him. He was an upperclassmen, and if I remember correctly we shared the same Spanish class. He was a jock, but not an a**hole, goofy, but not a geek. Somehow we ended up friends, and even though I had a major crush on him, the friendship was stronger than anything. I hung around his best friend so much, he thought I liked him, but really, it was just to be as close to Him as possible.  I was never bold enough to tell him how I felt, so I settled for the friendship, and I’m so happy I did, because during that time He was a confidant and a protector.

After he graduated, I still had two more years to go. I missed him something awful, everyone that knew me in school knew how much I did. He went off to college, and I didn’t see or talk to him for months until he came back for one Christmas break.  He came up to the school to visit me during a lunch period and we talked for so long I was late for my next period class. Again, I never told him how i felt about him. By that time, he was in college living a different life, surely he would have no interest in his little buddy from high school, right? Another year passed and another Christmas break came where I got a chance to see him. This time, I was grown, 19 years old and full of myself. Forget letting this chance pass me by, He has to know that I’ve loved him for the last 4 years. This was my shot, and I was going to take it. We were sitting in my living room talking about something random and I just blurted it out “you know I’ve had a crush on you since like, forever”.  Awkward silence, and his response was something like, oh? I didn’t know that, and that was it. *Insert devastation and heartbreak here*. I was crushed, but at least now he knew. We spoke a few more times after that, even shared a kiss, but we lost touch, and that was the end of it, so I thought.

Fast forward to 2013, and thanks to the internet gods, I was able to locate him. I thought about him off and on over the years and wondered what he was up to. It was fairly easy, as with social networking, you can find just about anyone (ask Nev and Max, they’ll tell you).  My first message to him was “Do you remember me”? And boy, does he ever. 18 years later and it feels like yesterday. The easy conversation, catching each other up on our lives and what has been happening in our worlds since we last saw each other. The connection is strong, it feels like no time has passed at all. I can’t really describe it, and I dare not label it, but I’m just so happy that whatever it is, we still have it. Life is funny that way. I never thought I would see or hear from him again, and yet here we are.  I’m not sure what happens from here, all I can do is lay back, kick it and enjoy the ride.

 

 

Til Next Time,

Elle

 

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