Lost child

My Papa went to heaven a week ago today. Before anyone chooses to question whether I truly believe that, the answer is yes! I am and always will be a daddy’s girl. My fondest memories are walking across parking lots holding his hand at the ages of 5 or 6 or long talks about life for hours on the phone at age 25 or 26.

My father had a series of illness and disease in his life but the latest being cancer. He lived about exactly one year past his diagnosis of stage 4. But I’m not here to talk about that. I would much rather run off a list of things I have to reconsider in my life now that he is gone. I accept his death and I accept the grief that is to come with it. What I am having trouble coming to terms with are the simple things.

I often told myself that when I brought my first house it had to have private parking or an immense amount of parking on the block. I knew how protective my father was of his car and if he couldn’t see if from the door or top floor window he may not have come visit me often. Now, he’s gone and I have no idea what I’ll look for in a house.

I used to fantasize about having children and smiling at the fact that he would of course, as the head of our family recite the ATHAN in the ears of my children after birth. Now, I can hardly picture myself having children.

Some of the simple things I think about now that he’s gone become even more far fetched. I hated the strong aroma of the massive amount of Muslim oils that he would splash across his beard, face, and neck. Now, I want to visit my mother’s house and take them all with me. I want to smell him each day I wake and sleep.

I know that all of these things are a part of my grieving process but I find them somewhat humorous. Not realizing at the time when these thoughts were created just how crazy I was and am about him. I think about the accomplishments that I will have and the ones that I won’t. And my brain becomes tangled and puzzled. I have grown accustomed to having two people celebrate for me or two people tell me that a better try is yet to come. Those two people being my mother and father. Now, I question whether or not I will truly learn to celebrate without him.

I had a dream about him last night. I knew that it was him even though his figure was dark and shadowy. He was there and it was clear to me. 

At this point I am a wandering child looking for my father’s image in every waking moment, every phrase, every tv show and all things in my daily life. I do miss my Papa dearly. But, I am proud of the man he was. I am proud of the person he helped me become.
To Papa Haqq himself: I know you see me. I know you will read this. You were always the first to read my post and tell me how good my writing is. People are surprised at how quickly I went back to work. Or how much I’m not crying. That’s because I’m too busy smiling at the great memories you’ve given me. I love you. 

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Money for memories 

This past weekend I found myself in the mall admiring and buying expensive memories. My partner recently celebrated a birthday and I wanted to gift her some jewelry that would not only mark the new age but show my appreciation to her. As we walked past the casings of diamond, gold and silver most of it seemed reasonably priced.

But I found myself hopelessly gasping at the prices for the gifts that were specifically listed as memory collections. There were your typical lockets, rings, and charm bracelets. Anything gold ran well over $1200 dollars. I started realizing that people are paying $100 for a single charm or clip to a bracelet. All of this money in the name of love, family, friendship and memories.

People often say that when something comes to an end whether it be relationships, friendships or a life, all we have left are the memories. Those memories aren’t always good memories but the ones that are we like to preserve though keep sakes.

Is there a limit to what we’ll spend? Personally I have a limit. The memories I want to keep are embedded into my mind. I don’t need anything materialistic to remind me. It’s nice but not necessary. I would much rather take the money and spend it on new memories. That being said I’ll probably be taking my partner on a trip for her next birthday so that we can make new memories that we’ll both be able to hold on to and keep. 

One Nation Under Black

Often we refer to our second coming or our second wind as the rebirth. We constantly hear about how something needs to be remade or redone. This weekend I saw ‘The Birth Of A Nation’ and indeed it did reflect what so many of us know and what so many others wish to deny. A nation built by the ancestors of our brothers and sisters. A nation that reflects the true Queen and King status of each and every one of us. 

As brothers and sister we stand side by side with one another and face to face with adversity. 

She bore us all. Brown skin of all shades, strong bones and tough hair. Kings and Queens from birth. We built and grew a land all our own. We had become one with our land and others grew jealous. With force and weapons they stole what has always been ours. With shackles upon our feet and whips across our backs we continued to preserve and make beautiful the land that they said did not belong to us. Slavery was determined to be a weakening of the black mind, body, and spirit. But not all. Some ran through dark forests and swam through treacherous waters to escape the devastation that had fallen upon them and their families. Running not only for freedom but for inspiration. With the intent to encourage others to see that hope is as real as night and day. She bore us. And with our birth came the birth of a nation. We need not be reborn for we have always existed.  

Success loading…

In August I got a job that required me to almost always work 7 days a week for 8-12 hours a day. I was exhausted everyday but I had never seen my bank account look so good. I was making and saving so much money that I no longer had to do the shameful login to my mobile banking app on Monday morning after a weekend of spending. The fact that I was able to save hundreds of dollars each time I got paid kept me from continuously complaining about how sleepy and over worked I was.

About two and a half months in the contract for my position was negotiated and we were awarded a raise. However, the supervisors began to treat the staff like slaves. And looking back I’m sure they had always treated us that way but money had kept me blinded. I didn’t want to complain but going into the third month I started to feel like I was selling my soul. I talked to my coworkers in my office and other offices and they too shared my feelings. I felt like less of a human and I felt under appreciated for all of the work I had been contributing.

I found another job and put in my two weeks. Although the money was good I had a goal to become a teacher. I had to make a decision on whether I wanted to follow my passion and take a major pay cut or continue being over worked and well paid. I choose to continue my path to become a teacher.

Every week that I get my paycheck I’m extremely dissatisfied. I’m not saving as much nor making as much as I did a few months ago. This situation I’m sure happens to so many people. Where we come to a point that we have to choose whether to be successful in terms of making a ton of money or being successful in a way that means something to us. I chose the latter. As crazy as it sounds being successful for me isn’t a union job with great negotiations of pay and benefits. My definition of success looks like reaching the goals that I set and feeling well worth the work that I do. On my road to becoming a teacher I already feel that this sacrifice of money has been worth it. I have a classroom of young boys who I absolutely adore and who I feel benefit more from my presence than I could have ever imagined. My road to teaching is far from over but I’m glad that I chose my version of success for right now.

Why is it that so many people are forced to chose between doing something they love and doing something that pays well? I miss the money but I damn sure don’t miss the abuse. 

A note to a writer

I’ve always considered myself a writer. I’ve never needed anyone or anything to validate my success as a writer or my title as one. However, lately I’ve been thinking about what I could do to help improve my talent and craft. I started reading blogs and articles on how to become a better blogger and it appears to be somewhat helpful. Advice from bloggers included things like: 
1. Reference other bloggers

2. Follow other blogs and comment

3. Post frequently 

4. Post about topics that are interesting

5. Don’t forget to use tags

All of those seem pretty easy to follow because I genuinely love writing. My biggest obstacles when it comes to completing a post are time and prompt ideas. I never know exactly what I want to write about, ever! I spend a lot of time searching for topics and then grow tired and just neglect to post altogether. Time is an obstacle because of school and work and writing space. Almost all of my post come from my phone. While I’m working on getting a laptop I hate how time consuming it is for me to type a post and format it from my phone.

Hopefully, in due time I can pick up on my audience, my attention to other writers, and increasing my ideas for writing topics. Here’s to becoming a better writer!  

Crazy in love? 

Dictionary.com defines crazy as [krey-zee] 
adjective, crazier, craziest.

1.

mentally deranged; demented; insane.

2.

senseless; impractical; totally unsound:

a crazy scheme.

After reading a blog post from fellow blogger Jahlil Tahree I have to say that I agree with his definition of crazy but I think there’s more to it. Let me elaborate a little.

I think there is an extremely thin line between “good crazy” and stupidity. “Good Crazy” in terms of relationships is going on adventures with your partner even when they seem out of place or believing in his/her dreams even when they seem far fetched to the “normal” person. “Good crazy” for relationships could be the thoughts you have when no one is around and you even think to yourself “I’m losing my mind” but somehow your partner relates in every way. The “good crazy” in a relationship is sticking by a person because somehow life just makes more sense together.

Stupidity begins to enter that scenario when those adventures or thoughts become damaging or somehow negatively impact the relationship. For example, you shouldn’t be stuck supporting someone who has caused you to miss out on your dreams or go into debt. That’s not crazy that’s just dumb. Like I said, thin line.

Good crazy has everything to do with a person’s state of mind though. On the other hand, I think the bad crazy is a mix of state of mind and actions. Negative, destructive actions and a mind set that sees absolutely nothing wrong with them. Where’s the good in that?

I will be the first to openly say that I am crazy. In a relationship crazy is best matched with crazy. But, I’ve heard some people say there’s levels to it. Are there?  

90s baby 

At my age I’m what many people would call a 90s baby. The generation of real RnB and nickelodeon when it was at its peak. The 90s were the greatest years of my life and the lives of most of my peers. No true responsibilities, no bills, no politics and penny candy was still a thing along with 25 cent bags of chips. One thing that I realize about the 90s is how straight forward the music was. The lyrics to some of my favorite songs were as simple as my life back then. Love songs were exactly that. There was no misconstruing a man’s confession of love because he blurted out the word “bitch” when he said it. I can’t say the same for half the stuff on the radio today. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to some of the new age RnB but 90s music is the true definition of feel good music… for me at least. Make me a 90s playlist and put it on repeat.