Finding Your Happy: When What You Can Get Isn’t Good Enough!

 

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Photo cred: Michael Butler Jr. of one901

 

“You made this choice, so you have to take what you can get.”

When you’ve been hearing this your whole life, you start to wonder if you’re making the wrong choices. But you were also raised by a strong woman who taught you to go after what you wanted and to never take no for an answer.

But there’s nothing wrong with telling yourself no sometimes, especially when it’s for your own good.

We go through life wanting to be accepted. When we’re not, it hurts. It also hurts when people misunderstand you. You spend time getting to know people and you show those people your surface. After all, everyone isn’t built to see your heart.

Everyone won’t understand how you can love so deeply even when people don’t love you back. They’ll turn your good deeds into selfish acts. They’ll diminish who you are. They’ll misinterpret your nonchalant nature that protects your open heart from getting damaged for lack of care. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You actually care too much, so much that you’ve sacrificed a lot of your dreams for friendships that didn’t last more than a month.

You’ll cry, you’ll pretend not to. You’ll spend most nights feeling like that fifteen year old girl who no one liked. The girl who fell in love too quickly and gave too much. You’ll wish those memories didn’t exist. You’ll be reminded by your best friend that those memories remind you to never go back to that place. You’ll cry on their shoulder. You’ll send them messages in the middle of the night because you know they’re not awake to read them. You’ll wake up the next morning to a love letter in the form of praises and honesty from one of the few people who actually get you.

“You’re beautiful,” they’ll say. “You’re important and forget anyone who thinks otherwise. They may not need you. But you need you. I need you. Fight through this!”

You’ll feel embarrassed because as hard as the night before was, you’ll find joy in the sunlight. You’ll find joy in waking up in the morning. You’ll realize that your emotions are real, even the fleeting ones.

You’ll find your happy in small moments, in passing smiles. You’ll find a smile in your dreams. Peace lives there. You’ll learn to wake up with your dreams still on your heart. Because most days it’s the only thing that’ll keep you going.

You won’t accept “take what you can get.” Because whose right is it to tell what to take. People will force themselves into your thoughts. They’ll try to tell you that you’re less than everything you know to be. They’ll point out your flaws in hopes that they will overshadow the good in you.

You put good things into the atmosphere. You give all the love you can, in hopes that it’ll come back to you. Even when it doesn’t, you’ll know it wasn’t in vain. Because one day there will be a moment when all of the happy that you were looking for, will show up out of nowhere wearing your hopes and dreams proudly. It’ll show up dressed in confidence and beauty. It will be all that you prayed it would be and then some. It’ll remind you of all those nights that you spent wanting to feel accepted. And you’ll see that it never mattered. Because in the end, you found your happy and what you have now, is everything you’ve ever wanted.

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The Diary of A Homeless Romantic

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Dear Diary,                                                                                                                          October 16, 2009

I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. This was reminiscent of the time when dad bought me those candies. They were delicious. They were even better because I didn’t expect them. I was coming home from school one day. I had to be about 5 or 6. He had it wrapped up neatly and tied with a pretty purple bow. I couldn’t wait to get to school and show the other kids what my daddy had bought me. But things didn’t go the way that I had planned. I was robbed. Karen, the class bully stole the candy right out of my locker. I’m not sure how she got in. Maybe her lock had the same combination. But it was more likely that the key she used unlocked my lock too. The lock didn’t cost much at all. No wonder, it was so easy for her to steal from me.

The same way that she took my candy, she’s trying to take the man of my dreams. It’s been ten years and she’s still taking things that don’t belong to her. She should be ashamed of herself. I know that they taught us to  share when we were in school, but I never thought I’d have to share the love of my life. No one should have to do that.

James has no clue that I like him. He’s the most popular guy in school. Everyone wants him. But this is different. We’re friends. He looks out for me and I help him with his homework. I’m not allowed to date, so I don’t. But he spends time with me anyway.  Usually, we’re somewhere public. We’re not alone too often. But I guess we’re not supposed to be.

Karen has no remorse. She couldn’t care less about how I feel. She just wants to make sure he sees her. She does things that even my mother wouldn’t do. I’ve watched her bend over in front of James in skirts as short as her attention span. She lets him look onto her papers during tests.

I’ve never liked small skirts. Mama always told me that boys value what they don’t see more than what’s thrown their way. I make him work for the answers to tests. Why give him all the answers when I can teach him how to come up with them on his own? She’s known as the easy-going girl. Ya know, easy… going… Everyone seems to notice this but him. Boys can be so naïve.

He deserves better than that. Hell, I’m better than that. I hope he sees it. Maybe he only sees me as a friend. Maybe we could be more. I guess I’ll never know as long as Karen is around. She will keep throwing herself at him and he will never notice little ol’ me. I refuse to be that girl. If that’s what he wants, maybe they deserve each other.

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Meanwhile ma is having another one of her episodes. They seem to be getting worse since we lost the house. I’ve officially been homeless for 32 days. I haven’t slept in my own bed for 42. Some men in white suits came and took that first. Then they came for the car. Before you knew it, all of our clothes and furniture were outside. Ma said that we ran out of money. She hadn’t worked in a few months. She would leave the house as I left for school but it wasn’t for work. I wish she had told me what was going on. I may have been able to get a job working at the grocery store or a fast-food joint. I just hate that her anxiety affected her ability to talk to me.

We’ve been living in a homeless shelter for women. The people there are okay. I don’t talk to them much. I’m rarely there. I hate seeing ma like that. I spend most of my time at school and hanging with James. His mom is cool. She lets me come over whenever I want. I don’t stay long. Ma told me to never wear out  my welcome. I usually go back to the shelter around 10pm. Then I go to sleep. I wake up around 5:30am, shower, and go to school. I come back to the shelter, go to sleep and do it all over again. It’s a constant cycle that I’m just about sick of continuing.

Ma hasn’t done much since we lost the house. She’s been depressed. She doesn’t talk anymore. What’s going on in her head? Why won’t she talk to me? She stays at the shelter most of the day. The shelter provides meals, even if she rarely eats them. All she does is sleep. If she got out more, she would probably feel better about herself. I don’t even want to see the place, let alone stay there all day. Thank God for school. Hopefully things will get better. Maybe I’ll get a job. Living homeless and free is definitely not a good look. No one wants that kind of freedom, if they can help it.

 

 

 

 

For Scott Mescudi, Other black men who suffer, and the ones that didn’t make it.

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I know that it’s difficult and that sometimes it’s hard to find the words to say how you feel. I know that when you finally get the courage, it’s hard to find someone who will listen. You should never be ashamed of your truth. Get help when you need it. If not for anyone else, do it for you.

It’s hard to focus on your mental health when the world only focuses on your gifts and talents. It’s hard to wake up, put on a cape, and be a hero, when you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning.

If you don’t feel like getting out of bed this morning, Don’t! The world will not collapse on the account of you missing a day.

If you don’t feel like talking to anyone today, Don’t! Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, place it inside of a box. Don’t open it until you’re okay. Do something that makes you smile. Do something that no one else knows you enjoy and do it alone! Spend time focusing on you.

If you don’t feel like going to work today, Don’t! Call in sick. Tell them that you need the day off. Take a mental health break. Let someone else do your job for the day. You deserve it.

Stop taking care of everyone else for once. From now on, do what makes you happy. Do what satisfies you. Do the very thing that brings you peace.

You’re forced to look out for yourselves in a world that doesn’t care whether you make it home or not. But we need you to make it home. We need you to be okay. When you’re not okay, we’re not okay.

I’m sorry that no one noticed your sadness. Oftentimes we’re too busy dealing with our own issues, our own depressions, our own grievances.

We’ve all lived lies. We’ve all kept secrets that we didn’t want people to know. No one wants the world to see our scars. We cover scars in hopes that no one will notice. Then those scars turn into phantom aches begging for our attention again. But those scars make us strong. They don’t make us weak. When we develop a wound, it heals itself. That self-healing mechanism causes our skin to grow back tougher and more capable of enduring a stronger force that may hurt more next time.

There is strength in acknowledging that you need help. I pray that you get all the help you need. I pray that you do nothing else without, first, taking care of you. I pray that you’re able to find your peace.

Find peace in knowing that we’re here for you. We’re standing in the gap where you feel that you fall short. We want you to be okay, we need you to be okay. We need you here. For the ones who didn’t make it, we need you to survive. We need you to overcome the stereotypes. Depression is killing us faster than old age, faster than natural causes, faster than racist cops on the street.

I know that there’s a lot to make you depressed. There’s a lot for you to be anxious about. There’s a lot to make you think. But the next time you’re sad think about all of the things that make you smile. Think about tomorrow. Today may be bad. But tomorrow will be better. If you’re not here to see it, you’ll never know.

So, for me, for us, for all of the people rooting for you, for all of the ones who didn’t make it, let’s make it through the day. Make it through tomorrow. Let today be a test. Let the nighttime bring you rest. The sun will be brighter in the morning.

We love you!

Sincerely,

A Queen who suffers, but made it!