Deep In The Heart of Texas

*clears throat

I was born and raised in Townsville, NC.

At one point I thought I’d die there, but that’s another blog.

I have survived 17 long and excruciating winters on occasion.

I have some beautiful memories of hs having no power, no water for days at a time,

But still being able to beat thanks to the wood stove

Or filling a bathtub with water

Pipes bursting

Well water frozen solid

Silence and only the sound of Mother Nature

Swarovski diamonded snow with the reflection of the sun

Made snow families with my own family

Frigid times for sure.

BUT I AIN’T NEVER SEEN NO SHIT LIKE THIS!

Museum of Thought: Poetic Perspectives from Adolescence Volume 1

I remember being 13 and experiencing my first thoughts of suicide. I remember bouncing back and between thoughts of hanging myself or overdosing on prescription painkillers. It would be safe, clean and painless. Self-inflicted pain was never my “thing.”

 

Museum of Thought: Poetic Perspectives in Adolescence is a poetic time capsule of my depression. My words sometimes served as a therapeutic release. It was my outlet, but oftentimes I felt that it wasn’t enough. I cried a lot in silence. When I wasn’t crying, I was writing. When I wasn’t crying or writing, I was reading. All the while, nobody in my immediate family knew. I had a few friends that knew how I felt but could only offer the type of support that kids could offer, friendships. I harbored more than my share of negative feelings and emotions.

 

If I allow others to tell my story, they’d assure you that I was happy. I was always smiling and being silly. I was always the “pretty and smart girl that’s going to do well in life.” That’s always been and unfortunately continues to be the narrative that people tell about me. I grew to hate it. It was the image of a person that others created for me, with good intentions I’ll assume.

 

Pretty and smart girls don’t fuck up. Oops, I said fuck. Taboo. Pretty and smart girls do well in school, decline peer pressure, drugs and alcohol (ALWAYS), go to church religiously, don’t have sex casually and marry the guys of their dreams. That’s a whole lot of pressure to be under. A pressure that I never asked for.

 

Oh yeah. And pretty and smart girls damn sure don’t deal with depression.

 

img_2110

 

I’ve never been one to complain and I’m still not extremely comfortable with sharing things that bother me. When you’ve voiced things that bothered you and nothing changed or you’ve been punished for your voice, it forces you to go dormant sometimes. When you’ve voiced things that bothered you and you’ve been judged, it forces you to keep them to yourself and figure it out on your own. That was me for 18 years. For the past 10 years, I’ve been trying to determine exactly how and when to use that voice. 10 years.

 

I’ve held onto some of these poems for well over 15 years. I’m sure that there are more that have been lost or destroyed out of fear that someone would find them, read them and I’d be punished for my thoughts.

 

To be honest, it wasn’t until 2015 that I began to take a look at how all of these factors played into my current mental health. In November 2015, upon suggestion by a psychologist, I voluntarily committed myself to a behavioral health observation unit for 24 hours. Here I was with a whole degree in Psychology sitting there trying to “figure some things out.” Within these 24 hours I learned a lot. I learned that what I had been dealing with was in fact depression along with anxiety. I also learned that if I didn’t deal with it properly, I’d either end up back in the observational unit or worse. It was a chance that I wasn’t willing to take.

 

Deep diving into depression isn’t an easy task. Everything has a root and most of the issues that we face go back to childhood. Reflection forces you to not only hold yourself accountable but it requires you to confront those that contributed to your depression. They don’t get a pass. I forgave myself and them as well. I understood that I could no longer use this as an excuse. I had to move on. Everything needed to be unpacked.

 

Luckily for me, many of these poems were of great help. They were reflections of where I was mentally. I hadn’t looked at these poems in 12 years and here I was digging them out of a bin in search of understanding. I found a binder and began organizing them.

 

 

I debated on how and when I wanted to share my thoughts with the world. I reasoned that if I could help myself, just imagine how many others could possibly be inspired to tell their stories.

 

Over the past 3 years, I’ve been slowly leaking a ton of these poems on my social media and at open mics. It amazed me how much people could relate. There were others who had been journaling and battling with depression for years as well. Some even had the same fears that I had.

 

The universe has a funny way of letting you know it’s time for a shift. I’ve had the ISBN number for Museum of Thought since August but didn’t start typing until I had a private mental breakdown and quit my job. I knew then that the time had come. It was time to release my collection and to be transparent.

 

As you read Museum of Thought, I ask that you reflect back to being 13 years old. Where were you mentally? What mattered? What shouldn’t have mattered? At 16, what was pressuring you? At 18, what decisions were you making? At 21, who mattered and who didn’t? What was the vision that you had for your life?

 

Museum of Thought is a deep dive into what depression felt like as I transitioned from 13-21. It’s an example of what depression looks like for some of us- the strong friend, the happy go lucky person, the go getter. The nerd. The bookworm. The social butterfly.

 

Museum of Thought is a message to my younger self that I never needed to be perfect. I needed to be me. Beautiful things can truly come from broken places. Regardless of what happens, these things remain constant:

 

I am deserving of good things

I am my own light in dark spaces

I am not a victim of circumstance

The universe is aligning things in my favor

This journey is my own and I choose what to accept

 

What does your Museum of Thought say about you?

Fear

11/7/17

I fear

I am afraid

I fear that folks will find out that I’m not really okay when I say that

I’m fine

(Sometimes)

I fear that laughter and lungs full of loud won’t ease the hurt anymore

I fear that I wont be able to keep my fantasies at bay

To prevent from turning men away

I feel that you’ll feel my personality is too impulsive

Because I fear that if I don’t express myself soon enough you’ll fade into a memory

I fear of needing and not having again so I buy everything in bulk and sometimes the same shirt in every color

Fear drives me to work every morning

Logs me into my computer

In my cubicle functioning like the robot that I am

I fear that if I risk it all

I’ll fall

 

Seventy Moons- Ezekiel Walker Book Review

If you haven’t already, please go back and read my blog titled Black As I Wanna Be: Chopping it Up with Ezekiel Walker. There you’ll find a detailed recap of our first encounter. Since then, we have kept in touch, kept each other motivated creatively, shared laughs and a multitude of ideas.

In this book, Ezekiel puts us in the backseat of his car accidentally turned mobile home as he transitions from a life he comfortably knew in North Carolina to a series of misfortunate events in Indiana. He describes the journey through all five senses using carefully crafted language and humor. While reading I felt raw emotions and shock at the conditions he was willing to be in for the sake of chasing a new opportunity. I was just as frustrated as he was being “sold a dream” in Indiana.

Now I wont spoil the book for you but you already know how I am. I singled out a few of my faves and I’m giving you a basic recap.

It was the first time in my life when I truly felt disposable and insignificant

Prior to his move to Indiana, Ezekiel informed his family and friends that he would be moving to Indiana for a career and living with a “mystery line brother” until he was able to get on his feet. He knew that if he would have told his family that he didn’t really have a plan in place, they would have discouraged him from leaving. He knew that there was no other way.

In Night On the Town we get the firsthand encounter of what it was like for Ezekiel to sleep in his car for the first time. We see how he determines exactly where to park and sleep and the precautions he takes to ensure his safety.

In I’m Just a Nobody and Ye, pt III, Ezekiel admits his feelings of having the tables turned on him going from being an intake coordinator for a Veterans homeless shelter to needing shelter himself. This experience allowed him to reflect on his performance as a former coordinator and reexamine if he truly was as helpful and attentive as he should have been.

Skeme is by far my favorite poem in the book and I have received Ezekiel’s permission to post it here. This poem set the mood for how I want to continue in my very own journey.

Tonight I

Smile without shame

Laugh without pain

Recall without regret

Sigh without stress

Joke without pause

See without fog

Speak without stutter

Plan without clutter

Feel without despair

Live without care

Eventually (a few poems later) Ezekiel is able to secure a job that puts him on his feet again. He proves that the willpower to survive will give you the strength to endure anything that life throws your way.

This collection of poetry serves as a reminder of the light at the end of the tunnel. Life is about taking chances and stepping all the way outside of our comfort zones and into the unknown.

You’ll soon find out once you read it for yourself.

https://www.zekewrites.com

Days Ago I Met the Sunrise

Days ago I met the sunrise

He had dreadlocks and Carolina blue eyes

It was as if my imagination was running from me again

His intellect matched mine

His words were like music

Passionate and full of soul

I was ready for whatever journey we were about to begin

I explained to him that I’m an orange moon

An orange moon

Because I reflect the light of you

According to Ms. E badu

But even before then

It feels like the universe asked mr Hathaway to write a song for you

Days ago I hesitated

Before we meditated

Because sometimes I can’t control my hands

I danced with ideas in my head

That I’d get to play with your trumpet

And you’d banish the other soul ties to distant lands

Days ago I kissed silk

Well not real silk

It was just YOUR lips

The sunrise and the moon kissed

Some would call that an Eclipse

Days ago I slept beside a king

It was everything that I’ve dreamed

You worshipped my body like royalty

We danced to an intimate tune

Then you made my body sing

Days ago two worlds collided

What the universe conspired

For Facebook to be inspired by an add

Days ago the sunrise met the moon

When this woman met this man

11/7/17

You’re Not Communicating

There are a million ways to communicate

And yet you choose the one

We go from everyday to nonverbal to every now and then, then straight to none

 

The I’m busy

Oh i forgot to send the text

I’m adding them to your collection of excuses

And wondering what’s next

 

We make a conscious effort for the things that we want to make time for

Perhaps you don’t wanna make the conscious effort for me anymore

 

We used to say good morning

Now we say nothing at all

We used to say how is your day

And now you don’t even answer my calls

 

The message you’re sending

Is that i should probably cut and run

Because I’m not high enough on your priority level

And we all know that’s no fun

 

Being put on the back burner

While everything else is on the forefront

But as soon as your dick misses me

Communication with me is priority level one

 

Oh wait it’s not like that

Don’t be like that

Don’t do me like that

It is what it is

It’s just x it’s just y it’s just z

No, i get it kid

 

Communication requires a sender

And a receiver

And right now this communication

Has neither

 

We were so excited in the beginning

When we exchanged numbers

And now you seem to struggle to remember

To even send a smoke signal

 

Are you alive

Wait let me check my own pulse

I’ve been dying waiting

For you to “hit me up”

 

Please don’t let our communication die

Don’t let the lack of communication lie

Don’t go the extra mile trying to prove the why

 

You’re not communicating