Love

She. Just. Left.

277474BE-17F4-4E23-810C-AC28EE15E514She. Just. Left.

Left with only what could fit in her car. Although she has accumulated a lot over the years, nothing was worth more than her peace. Days before leaving even a few miles away from her destination, she was afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of failing, afraid of people having the ability to say “I told you so”.  One thing trumped her fears, and that was her faith. Her heart was set on another destination, another love, and just waiting things out. They were her comfort. A blanket to her fear of doing exactly what she always wanted to do. She took all that was necessary, no longer what was just important. As we sometimes fail to see what we believed was important was not a necessity. Her tower was a blaze, and all she could do was save her son and herself. Many things have been taken from her. Loved ones, money, mostly material things. The more she lost, the more she realized she had everything she needed.  The fear behind losing things silenced its screams within her ego. As she realized she was the power behind manifesting it all. She realized what was meant for her will be. Destiny.

Clothes being worn on repeat, ramen noodle dinners for a week, what are you willing to sacrifice for your peace. The beach. She had a dream of always living closer to a beach. Finding her sanity and relief. Everything around her was good enough for the old her. Imagine being placed in a box where your wings cannot spread. Instability was her concern as the main question was “Do you have family there?” “Who is down there?”.  She had no idea what was waiting for her, yet something tells me she has outgrown her current space. Every item of clothing she packed could not be worn in the new season she was stepping into. She couldn’t bring the lovers of her past she spent years chasing, nor her same old views of herself. When the sun shines, and the temperature rises, she is allowed to be stripped of the layers she once covered herself for warmth. She now has a clean slate, where she can be herself. Meet new friends that are on the same path, gain new experiences, and be renewed. Letting go of what was once holding her down in beliefs of unworthiness, and accepting and tolerating what was given. Everything flowed. People tried to find ways to block this season, but they couldn’t. It wasn’t when she felt she had enough from the place she was in, that she manifested the new location. It was when the work was done within, did the new place call for her. Wherever she went, she took herself with her. With just herself and her six year old, no man, no house, no dog, no white pickett fence, no saved funds, no plan, and just faith. SHE. JUST. LEFT. That she was me!

This post is inspired by @she.just.left post on Instagram yesterday as she reminded me of my current journey. Choosing a life driven solely by my own desires as well as my sons. May this inspire you to chase your dreams and face your fears.

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Love

This is America?

This is America was considered an award winning song, but what about those that feel the pain of what the video depicted. Racism, adversity, and segregation of our people in a collective is very prevalent in our present moment. People like to think of this as a thing of the past, however the story remains the same, just different characters. As I have stated on multiple occasions I am a single mother to a six year old BLACK boy. I am learning that as his mother I can’t prepare him or protect him from everything this unfair world may throw at him. Today, his innocence was broken to fear of an instutuionalized system we believe is for growth, but actually stunts growth. As a black woman there are things that I will not experience that my son just may. Today was one of them, and all I could do was hold him and let him know he was supported.

Growing up black the ideal thing to do was get out the “hood”. Uproot your family and upgrade to the suburbs where they will experience culture shock. As a child, we were taught that predominately white schools were “good schools”. They had the best of everything, due to the fact that the school could afford the proper resources to enhance the education experience. Anything that was “White” was right. If you move to a “white” neighborhood, that is considered a “good” neighborhood. As black people, we would work our asses off to award our children an education that does not consider their heritage or background. No one ever really talks about the affects on a minority child in a predominately “white” school. This is a very sensitive topic because many fear losing their token or golden ticket to the “American dream”. For me, today was the last straw of being the token black girl as I seen my little black boy in fear of what his future may hold at the hands of his school’s administration.

In my 33 years of living I have never been to a principles office. Never. However, I got a phone call today in reference to my son that they love to call the “Mayor of Royersford”. They love to be entertained by his unique personality but that is the very light that they are trying to dim. My cousin brought this to my attention many years ago, but I was oblivious to the fact since it wasn’t currently happening to me. Oh, how we love to disregard or empathize until something happens to you. Well that day has come, and my mother bear instincts went through the roof. We woke up this morning with the school district having a two hour delay. Which meant that my son would be heading to school around 11am.  My son wasn’t even at school for a full hour, and my phone rang. “Hello, is the parent’s of Micah? I have Micah here in the office and your son has himself in some hot water.” She stated. That hot water statement alone had sent me through the roof. I had no clue as to what could have transpired in less than an hour. She proceeds to tell me that Micah had exchange a Nerf gun with a fellow student in school and was being disciplined as a result of bringing a weapon to school. “Wait what?” I replied. “You have got to be kidding me, you’re telling me you’re reprimanding my son for a Nerf gun.” She proceeded to tell me that according to the SpringFord School District policy, weapons are defined as even toy guns and could lead to my son being suspended from school. First off my son never even put the Nerf gun in his back pack, his Godmother gave it to him as a gift from our recent travel to our Hometown. Prior to leaving, I had stuck the gift in his backpack in a compartment of his bag and completely forgot about it. The Principle tells me he exchanged it with another student, and that student returned it today. I was confused as this was something that children do. However, from the principles perspective this was considered an act that a 6 year old should have known better or made better choices or decisions.  This was not the first time I had issue with the school, as the third day of school my son was called a Gorilla. A racial slur from a fellow student. The counselor called and spoke to me about it a told me the student and his parents would be addressed. The following day, that same child punched my son in  the stomach and I was in the school once again.  How innocent was it for the little “white” child to say what he said. But my little black son with a nerf gun was considered  as a school offense of bringing a weapon to school?

Rules are funny and so aren’t the policies of the Springford school district. There are so many gray areas and many times rules are not enforced until circumstances occur that require them to be reactionary as opposed to proactive. Also the handbook is for all ages across the board within the school district, which is very interesting to me. The principle stated to me that toy guns were considered a form of a weapon however the policy does not directly state this. According to the Policy:

Springford school District Weapon Policy

  1. To obtain possession of weapons or other objects deemed to be dangerous in the judgement of the teacher and/or school authority.

 

Weapons

Spring-Ford Area School District Board Policy 218.1

The term weapons shall include, but not be limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku (stick), metal knuckles, poisons, drugs, ammunition, firearm, shotgun, rifle, replica of a weapon and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of or designed to harm, threaten or harass students, staff members, parents and patrons of the District.

I had to define the key term here as this would be the only reason as to why the administration would even pursue this level of disiplinary action towards a six year old.

Replica: an exact copy or model of something, especially one on a smaller scale.

She told me she wasn’t going to go back and forth with me over the phone, and I told her neither was I. I made my way up to the school in a flash with my girlfriend to keep me sane. Between the phone call and the ride to the school I could not hold my composure. Upon my entry to the administrative front office, I realized my son was in a back room standing in the door. I told them I was there to speak with the Principle, and I was directed to her office. I asked who was in the room with my son, and she proceeded to tell me no one. My son was in a rear room, alone, with no school work, no book or no additional school staff. What the fuck does this remind you of? She attempted to ease my concern that her office contained a door linked to that room. I proceeded to ask her was it open and she stated she just closed it. She claimed that she was willing to work with me and not submit or input my sons incident into his school records. She didn’t realize she wasn’t doing me a favor. The schools lack of documentation, awareness of bullying, and non existent representation of diversity really concerned me. How did such a light in the school from an excited six year old boy turn so dark by a Nerf gun.

I have worked in Law enforcement, and was laughed at by a Montgomery County judge during a custody hearing while mentioning my concern about the lack of diversity in the school system. This is America! Where your child is being taught to be institutionalized and preparation for jail or employment. Where a toy, phone, or hair brush can give people in power the authority to take your life or condemn you as a criminal because they felt threatened by the presence of an object that could be observed as a weapon. Parents of all children especially minority children, you have to advocate for your children and their education. I didn’t cry the first day of public school for my son because he was beginning a new chapter of his life. I cried because I was feeding him to the wolves of the world. His sense of innocence will be broken in a class room where showing too much enthusiasm for learning needs to be turned down, and too little needs medication. Schools are teaching our children to not be themselves. That the very things that make them unique they need to rid themselves of.

After the conversation with the principle, I called Micah over to me and he wailed out a cry on my chest. I felt the anger, fear, and frustration release from his body. I shed a tear myself as he experienced another adult moment in his childhood. I was glad that I was able to console him, but thought about the many young black boys with little to no support. Our job is to protect our children. I wish I could save him from what life may throw at him but all I truly can do is help him prepare. My job is to build him strong in his character, to be reminded that he is not who others say he is. That he is allowed to be strong and have a voice. You see in America a black woman with a voice is angry or bitter, and a black man is a threat. This is the land of the free, where or children are being taught to prepare for danger in schools, and people are justified to shoot at the shadow presence of what they believe could be potentially a weapon. I think I’m more excited about the school year ending so we can relocate toward a more diverse school system. No it won’t be perfect, but representation is key and fundamental to children’s success. At 33, the impact of seeing someone that look like me with a title or life I desire empowers me. I have many more years of parenting to go, but don’t want to have a talk with my child about how he should handle himself around law enforcement, or the fact that his 6’2 football figure may intimidate someone to the point they may believe he may cause them harm. This is America where all men are created equal.  Behind every rule or policy there is a gray area. Only those in power have the ability to manipulate it and become numb to those who remain powerless.

 

 

Love

Dream Chasing Mom…

Pure guilt was the feeling I have felt over the past few days. I had to absorb some positive vibes and perspectives from some of the mothers I admire. Yesterday and today the devil was in full affect trying to find ways to attack me. First it was my social life through the failed attempt to date, and now my son. Now when I say devil attacks and when others speak of it, I no longer perceive it as an outside source. Instead, like the God in me, there is also the complete opposite. The worry, stress, anger, and darker emotions I control, are the shadow self/devil. I’m sure many will disagree but I am entitled to my opinion. On my current journey to finally get us relocated, I have had to make some sacrifices with the support of amazing friends. In my space of my unknown, I wanted to check in with my son to see how he felt about everything. This has become very important to me that I incorporate his opinion as it truly matters. Back in the day, children had no voice. Now don’t get me wrong, he is not responsible for the final decision, but his voice matters. Yesterday was the first day that he asked about his father and that caught me off guard. I was the one checking in with him about his father just to see if he missed him. The good thing about the situation is his father distanced himself months prior to being incarcerated. I told him that I will work with his grandmother to allow him to speak to him. He has no clue what’s going on, but then again I’m sure he has an idea. We as adults don’t give children enough credit, they really know more than we think. I started googling research articles on children with parents in jail, and the affects of relocating on a child. According to one of the articles, children have no chance at life due to those type of situations. This meaning they are pretty much screwed because of their parents choices. They have very minimal chances at becoming successful (to society standards) and have higher suicidal rates, drug use, and life expectancy. I couldn’t go to sleep thinking about the fact that this is what society believes of children that come from these unfortunate circumstances. This is what motivates me. This very fucking statistic or box they want to put on me as a black single mother and my black son.

Dreams don’t cease when you become an adult, they become blurred by the illusion of life. Most people are distracted and have become complacent and comfortable in their day to day. I have always strived for different and even more so now with my clarity, I no longer have the desire to conform to that which is considered norm. In my family when you get pregnant the women tell you your dreams and goals are done. I have decided to challenge this. One thing that I have found is that chasing your dreams becomes twice as hard, but not impossible. I have also found that women fall into two extreme categories and very few have found their balance. There are the women that sacrifice their lives for their children to the point they have no clue to who they are. Many sacrifice to the point of resentment or spend their child’s life force feeding them their own dreams.  Then there are the mothers that are so selfish that they don’t take time to get to know their children. They spend so much time to themselves that their children grow up to resent them for not being available. Next life I want to come as a man. I have never seen a man feel guilty or a burden for chasing his dreams. He may do so alone with minimal support, but without guilt. If women are single with no children chasing their dreams they are told they are incomplete without a family. My mentors and mother reminded me today that me chasing my dreams teaches my son to think big. Right now he wants us to have a big home, big family, pets, and to travel. I want to show him the world. To show him that he can create his own dream job. I want him to see our current environment is not all life has to offer. He has seen me walk across the stage to obtain my degree. He constantly raves that his mother is an author. I can’t wait to show him the beauty of this world. “Make his dreams bigger than what he sees.” she told me. “How does a child that hasn’t experienced the world know what they want?” This very question made me realize the importance of balance. I am taking the baby steps to achieve this life of freedom for both of us. It may not make life easier for him but it will show him that life truly is the best university. Ladies remove the guilt of chasing your dreams. We nurture everyone and everything outside of ourselves. The greatest way to show our children love is to love ourselves. That includes nurturing the very things we love…our dreams.

P.S.

The guilt-free dream chaser

Love

Shoot your shot…

“I miss you.” He said via the blue text box on my iPhone. We hadn’t spoken for at least a week, and the timing of the message immediately left me suggesting he was out drinking. I just finished an event in Philadelphia feeling empowered and healed. It was nice to see the gesture, but I was on a high of self-love. It took me a while to respond, but I shared I missed our conversations too. The text ceased as he was only compelled to share what was on his mind. We didn’t know each other well, but I had recently invested every ounce of my very spare time attempting to change this. I try not to get attached to any of the new men in my life as they all have had the same track record of leaving as soon as I show an ounce of interest. This guy seemed very invested, goal oriented, and interested in my life as a single mother. He was from my hometown, and the age differences showed as our associations were not connected. Keeping in contact with others when my schedule was busy can be difficult. He was different, so I gave it a chance.

Rewind two months prior, I receive a direct message from a man in a blue suit looking  sharp as a GQ cover model. Not my usual type, but what woman can turn down a man in a suit. The image he sent was a man jumping into a pool head first (also known as a GIF). I can’t usually tell when a man is flirting but this was clear he was diving head first in “shooting his shot”. “Shooting your shot” is the new informal way of trying to grab someones attention and letting them know your interested. This is done by connecting through social media outlet’s direct messenger. I was not even thinking about men at all due to the recurrent issues I have had with my situationship. No matter how many attempts I have had to show this man I was the one, he showed me I was one of many. Needless to say this guy caught me off guard. I have had a lot of young guys show interest as if I was still in my twenties, but age doesn’t always mean maturity. He was five years younger which was a red flag for me. I found out later he had a real mans aspirations, with little boy behavior.

“Are you okay?” He asked via the blue text box on my iPhone. The morning I received word from my ex-husbands, ex-girlfriend the news about my son’s father. I was confused as to how this man could know what was going on as soon as I found out. I was on an emotional rollercoaster and couldn’t believe the news I had just heard. I was angry, disappointed, and embarrassed. I knew the guy I had been talking to was aware of who my son’s father was but I just didn’t understand how he knew ahead of me. “How did you know, and when did you hear?” I asked him confused. “I knew since Saturday, the day I had text you about missing you. That night I was out drinking because I lost one of my friends.” He explained. At that moment I was confused and empathetic for his loss. So many people from my past resurfacing, my phone ringing off the hook with concerned people about the nightmare that occurred. Everything seemed a blur. My trust and sense of security was disrupted. My son is half of this man, and I was married to this man. I have seen him in his darkness but never had I ever believed he was capable of this. “I’m so sorry about your friend. ” I responded, not putting the pieces together. “It wasn’t my place to tell you. I’m sorry your going through this.” he replied. The man I was getting to know was the friend to the man who lost is life at the hands of my ex-husband.