Back in 2010

Happy_New_Year_2010

It’s bittersweet to be back.

In the year since my last post, I missed blogging, and the many drafts I began – then abandoned – are my proof. There would be times when I had a thought I’d want to share, and somewhere between work and home, the motivation would be lost (one of the reasons I long for an office with unrestrictive Internet usage). But I’m back, and hopefully for a long while.

The reason I say being back is bittersweet is that a lot transpired  in 2009. Family issues took some of my inspiration to write, and I felt as if my mojo had dried up.

While I lost my grandmother in August, the most significant event was the death of my father. I hurts just to put into words how this tragedy has affected me, especially since it’s still fresh. This is the first time I’ve been able to write about it, even to myself, to get those feelings down. He was sick, but we never expected him to go so soon. In the past few months, he was in and out of the hospital, and it was difficult to see the man who had always been my hero become helpless to the cancer taking over his body. To erase those negative images are the memories of him teasing me mercilessly and our long talks at the kitchen table just me and him talking about life. Even now there are times I’ll think about something funny he said (my father loved to make people laugh), or remember his smile, and the tears begin to flow. I cry as I write this now, but every day it’s been getting better – or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Thankfully, with a loving family and my girlfriend, Lebron, I do have a support system. I’ve laid in her arms and shed tear after tear, happy I have her in my corner. Was everything perfect between us in 2009? Not by any means, but we’re still together after three years. I still feel attraction, in love, and like she’s my best friend, yet I know we’re at a crossroad. Three years is a long time, and I ain’t getting any younger. (In fact, shhh, I have a birthday coming up.) As everyone keeps pointing out, to my chagrin, I’m in my 30s with no kids on the horizon; and as I always say, I’m not married yet. I’m not in a rush, because things happen when they’re supposed to.

Last year also proved that my daily grind of a job is makes me wish I was doing something that truly made me happy, as well as paid the bills. The thing that makes me happy: reviewing books. That’s why I run Sistahs on the Shelf. I’m embarking on another adventure in reviewing, and hoping to have it up and running by summer. I’ll post more about it later.

Because I’m back. Sadder, wiser, but full of hope for 2010.

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Advice My Parents Gave

Like most teenagers, I didn’t think the advice my parents gave would be my life lessons as I grew older.

My parents, the almost 40-years-married couple who’ve seen each other through some rough times, dispensed some wisdom that was looked at sideways at first.

Mom: “Be careful what you do. You never know who’s watching you.” Paranoia at the time it seemed, but it turned out to be true. Whether on the job or in the streets, I learned to keep my business to myself.

Dad: “See, you don’t have any real friends. In your life, you can count the number of real friends you have on one hand.” Harsh it seemed at a point when all you want to feel is accepted, but that turned out to be true, as well. Especially as I saw the people who I thought were real leave my life and I was left with no answers. The friends I rely on now I can say will be there for me.

Mom: “Always get the person’s name who you talk to.” Unexplainable at the time, my mother was a stickler for writing down the names of telephone representatives, bank associates, etc. Cause she said if there was ever a time when it came down to who said what, you wouldn’t have a name to back it up. Comes in handy when trying to figure out your Sprint phone bill, cause them jokers will lie about anything. (I also get an employee number, too, if necessary.)

Dad: “See y’all think times have changed. Times ain’t changed. One day you gon’ recognize that. These white folks ain’t your friend and ain’t gon’ give you a damn thing.” Growing up on an all-white block, the choices were limited to who I could play with. Yet, I just knew I could count on Shelly and Angie, my two Caucasian sidekicks. That was until I discovered they were having secret slumber parties–that I wasn’t invited to.

Mom: “If don’t tell you nothing else, you better pray. And know the Lord.” At 16 I was just waiting for the chance to be released from going to church on command. And at that age I hadn’t been through anything that tested my faith. Now I recognize that, as hard as it is, you should worry about nothing and pray about everything.

Dad: “Be proud of who you are.” This was spoken on so many subjects and on so many levels. Being Black, being smart, being their daughter, being yourself. It’s a daily struggle, but one I think gets easier.

I do look up to them. They’ve been the best parents a person can have. Just looking at the news today, not every child can say that. They’ve helped shaped me into who I am, and for that, I’m grateful.

Back then I would tell my mother, like all children when believing they’re being mistreated, “When I become a mom, I’m never gonna treat my children the way you do me.”

I’ll never forget my mother’s words when she said with a straight face, “Yeah. I said the same thing to her, too.”

Deepdiva Update

Judging by the lack of comments around here, I guess there’s been a little love lost. But I’ve been trying to take care of situations on my end that require me to be away from the computer more than I want to. Here’s a little sample of what’s been going down:

apartment.jpg

Apartment Search: Well, I found one. Surprisingly, one I really like. And it wasn’t even my first choice. It was actually one on the bottom of my list. But when I took a look at it, it immediately felt like home. Oh, except for the very large cockroach staring at me on the sink counter (apparently they just got through spraying for bugs that morning; I haven’t seen another one since, by the way). Despite the auspicious meeting, I love my two bedroom, one bath haven. If  I could only find time to get it in order, which leads to…

Sister’s operation: I had just moved, was finally feeling good about getting my house together, and I find my sister is in the emergency room with excruciating pains. After much discussion and attempts to find a cheap flight in less than 24 hours, now I had to now pack a bag and prepare to take a last-minute flight. It’s all good, cause my sister is out now and doing a whole lot better. It was worth it to be around her especially since I see her twice a year. She made it through with flying colors and is home resting comfortable. I’m on my way back home tomorrow. What really helped through this time was…

My friends: I must say, my peeps came through for me. While I was waiting for the plane to take off, I sent a mass text message explaining that I was leaving at the last minute. Within seconds of that message, one of them was calling. The others sent messages back, saying we were in their prayers. I’m glad because as soon as I got to my layover in Atlanta, I found out my sister had to have emergency surgery. Their calls this weekend meant a lot. Another person that meant a lot, of course…

LeBron: We’re still plugging along. As a matter of fact we’re celebrating our seven-month anniversary.  The relationship has its issues but none is perfect. With my apartment issue settled, things have been a lot easier. It’s just hard being without her. Except for my sister’s illness and her dealing with her own family issues, things are straight. It’s just a matter of trying to balance our time and figuring out where we’re headed. In due time, everything will become clear.

Other than that, life is still divalicious. I’m getting ready to take my nephew for a walk later.

Yes, life is truly divalicious.