“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life”. Job 33:4
There is nothing more precious and delicate than a life. Our breath is one of the greatest gifts that God bestows on us, the first and the last breaths are the most important ones we will take. We are celebratory at the birth of new babies, at the newness of it and the promise that life holds. However, as it begins so shall it also end; and death is seldom celebrated. More often than not it is mournful and painful. I can understand why. We mourn for the end of a relationship that can no longer be continued, fixed, remedied, nurtured and enjoyed. Its abrupt nature leaves us grasping for comfort outside of the memories we hold. If it is sudden or due to something beyond our control, we feel as though this person has been ripped from us and we were unable to process or prepare for this transition. Grief is a personal process, no two grieving processes look the same. A few days ago, I saw a post online that said and I am paraphrasing her…instead of asking why this is happening to me, as yourself what is it trying to teach me.
On December 15th at 12:45, my mom took her last breath. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on September 3rd and the disease was aggressive and took her quickly. I am struggling with her passing. I don’t even think if I am being honest with myself that I believe it’s real. When I try to wrap my head around it, is when I break down. Today I am asking myself what is this experience trying to teach me? Cliché as it may sound…life is so fucking short. Logically speaking, we know our parents will no longer be around but then it happens it’s a hard ass smack in the face.
What am I doing with this one precious life that I have???? That is the question and the answer. This year for me is about living my best life, the life my mommy would have wanted me to live. I can get bogged down in how I feel and my anger or sadness about trivial matters and since my mom has passed all of that has fallen away. All of a sudden, I have a new purpose and mission for my life. Old goals have resurfaced and my focus is near clearer than it has been in a long time. My mother’s death has taught me, to do everything in the time that I have and not to take for granted each day that I have been gifted, to chase my goals, share the gifts that I have, love fiercely those who I love and never for a moment allow them to think that that I don’t love them, take risks, see the world, eat and be well, don’t succumb and get bogged down in lower feelings, they come and go and some of them are my own fears creeping up around me but to always push through.
I will forever mourn the loss of my mother but I choose at this time to hold onto the valuable things she left me with.
I purchased my journals for 2018 and got them in the mail today. I’m so in love with them. Shinola Detroit had free engraving and I believe free shipping for the holiday season. I had to have them engraved because… who doesn’t like personalization. The pages are lined and thick so when I go ham between the pages with colored markers it doesn’t seep through to the next page. Which is such a major plus to me. I like to write in color, staple, paste all sorts of things in my journal and the pages hold up so well. And then, for me the hand written thank you note….ahh the devil is in the details. I have had a few colors and these two are my favorite thus far.
My first Shinola journal, I purchased from a shop located close to my job and when I went back to purchase a new one, I was speaking to the clerk and he told me that he had a friend whose father had passed and his father had kept a journal before he was even conceived. When his father passed passed he read through all the journals. His father had chronicled 30+ years of his life, taking the time to write something each and every day, even if nothing spectacular happened. He noted it. He was able to see all the things his father went through, and their similar struggles and got lessons from his father even though he was no longer around. There is something so priceless and special about that. A written word is infinite and holds such weight especially to those who are bare and transparent between those pages.
I have been pouring myself onto the pages of my journal these days. More now than ever before and it feels good to look back and see all the things that have happened, challenges I have worked through and truths about myself….and the work I have been putting in. It makes me proud of myself, that I am always striving to be the best version of myself. Even if its not always in ways that can be quantified and qualified to the outside world. I have been working on my interior, the part of me that counts the most. And at the closing of this year I can honestly say, I am strong as fuck.
How do you journal? What do you write about? What do you explore? Chronicle?
My lesson this week is to get out of my own way. In one way or another this message has been presenting itself to me and it has been resonating with me on so many levels. I tend to be in my head about a lot of things. Thinking of different ideas and artistic endeavors that for the large part remain untapped or unexplored for varying reasons. The major reason, I am ashamed to admit is fear. Somewhere in the back of my head, I am fearful that my creation or expression will not be received in the right way or that I will be revealing too much of myself and my private nature cringes at the thought. I have been working through some content in my head, but for the large part it has been in my head. Which needs to change. It’s about to be a journey down the rabbit hole my friends; with with many twists and turns and seemingly unrelated topics, might just be plain random at times but there is a point somewhere.
I have been in contemplation about life. What motivates me? What do I want and need in my life? What makes me happy? What makes me sad? My mind constantly going over my life and putting events into perspective. What do they all mean to me at this stage in my growth process? My wheels are decidedly turning and I can feel a shift in my life…call it maturity, call it growth…but I am curious to know how many people ponder on these things and what their outlook is.
I got my first rejection letter yesterday and of all the things to feel, I felt excitement. I usually write for myself and I am very sensitive about my work so I rarely share it with anyone. This year I decided that I was going to submit work to writing and essay contests and put myself out there and I submitted a piece to Creative Nonfiction. The topic was “The Dialogue between Science and Religion. I enjoyed writing it and I bummed it wasn’t chosen but it has sparked an interest in me to keep going. You lose 100% of the chances you don’t take as the saying goes, so I’m gonna shoot my shot!
Happy New Year sugar babies!! 2017 is going to be an amazing year. As the kids say it’s going to be LIT!
It’s a time for new beginnings and resolutions; there are a few things that I want to work on this year. I won’t bore you with the details but I will be posting about it as the year goes along.
Last night I met with my writing group and with the holidays and everyone’s busy schedule we have been unable to all meet up. There is always one person missing so tonight the fab 5 was in full effect. We have some amazing plans for this year concerning our writing and I am amped to get it started. Won’t give away anything just yet but we are going to work. We met at The Grey Dog in NYC to hammer out the details of our work for the upcoming months and planning and alot of wine and food.
The food there is pretty good. They have soups, sandwiches, nothing too crazy. I ordered hummus toast on sourdough, hummus and chickpeas with spicy kale and sweet potato fries and it was tasty. They have happy hour up to 7 pm and you can get half off on a bottle of wine. BUT beware if you arent at that register by 7, they won’t honor the happy hour prices no matter how long and slow their line is which is a bit off putting. One my group members brought a bottle of coquito which I love and I got my own bottle so this weekend is definitely going to be litty! And we planned for the coming weeks, what writing we will be doing and set up a structure for our work. Lately we have been doing more socializing than writing but it’s all in good measure because when I leave them I always feel so relaxed and inspired that I am usually ready to write right away
I voted on election day and for awhile it seemed like my vote didn’t matter. I was upset by the results. And I have to admit, I felt resentment to people in my life who I knew voted for Trump. Betrayal even. But since then, I have been thinking and trying to put everything into perspective and trying to look at the positive side of this outcome.
There was initially shock that Trump had won. Primarily because OMG how could a person who spat so much racist and sexist rhetoric win the vote. But the reality is, he did because the ideologies that he has, more people have those same ideologies than we realize. I do believe that because I live in NYC, there is a heterogeneous mixture as opposed to more secluded areas of the country. My idea is that in order to fix something, it has to be broken. And I do believe that this election will break out country open and expose all the things it has hidden to its core and its the only way to fix it. We have to acknowledge that it exists. I believe the next 4 years will be a difficult journey but maybe its necessary.