Honestly…this too shall pass, I promise

As much as I embrace the beauty that is me
and live as vibrantly as I can

It has not come without a price
Nor has it been without its moments of doubt, delusion and denial

I am here for a reason

It pains me to write this particular thought

Yet I believe its one of the most significant reasons I’ve allowed myself to be so honest

In the past 18 months I’ve read stories of vibrant, active people whose lives were tragically touched and they slipped away from friends and family seemingly almost instantly.

The moment to commit suicide
Is a long winding lonely and thoughtfilled road

That no one ever truly wants to talk about

To be honest one who considers suicide doesn’t really want to die

They simply don’t know how to live through the pain

Its too hard

It hurts too much

But ending life is NOT the objective

Making the ache go away is the goal

In all truthfulness
We are afraid to let the feelings wash over us

Because we believe it will take us even further into the depths of hell than we already are

I don’t pretend to speak for all those who have felt this way and every single ache is different

When I was younger

I didn’t understand being in so much physical and emotional pain was a part of my growth
and with help
Would pass

As I said
I was young…er

I’ve lived a bit since then

I’ve cried a lot

My heart hurt when I breathed

I’ve felt the world close in on me and I had no idea of how to hold it up without crushing myself beneath the thought of living in another day

I’ve forced myself to think of 2 reasons why I should go on and keep trying

Diva

Jah

there wasn’t anything after that

only a large black hole of emptiness that sucked the very energy out of me just opening my eyes in the morning

It came quickly…I never once thought about it as it was happening

It was just there

On Monday my only worry was what could I teach in my poetry class today

The next morning I woke up
I couldn’t remember a single thing that had happened to me prior to the call I received at 2:15am that morning

I couldn’t remember being happy

I couldn’t remember how I liked my eggs

I couldn’t remember the songs I liked on the radio

I had no recollection of myself prior to the moment I was told my mother was dead

I  truthfully didn’t care about anyone or anything

My brain was stuck on repeat of a moment in my life that changed me forever…

I was alone in the world

the woman I loved more than life itself

lay breathless on a hospital bed

her head still warm and sweaty

her fingers still curled slightly

her eyes closed

her pocketbook laying next to her head

waiting

Like I was

for her to open her eyes and tell me she was just a little bit tired

I remember every moment of that day

but I couldn’t remember if blue or red was my favorite color

That moment for me

lasted for 7 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 3 days

I know this because I can’t forget it

Because I fell into the arms of someone who told me that I was ok

that the tears I cried every waking moment
for a woman I argued with so much
that I had a permanent headache
whenever I heard her call my name,
that I resented for babying me,
That I was afraid of disappointing yet again and again because I just couldn’t do it the way she had done it before me

I know what its like to live in a constant circle of fearfilled dread of moving forward

to want to smile but the thought of doing so only makes you even more upset at the thought of trying too hard to be different

the only reasons I did not allow my pain to be all consuming

I was too afraid my children would find me and I wouldn’t be able to answer the million questions they would have, I couldn’t make them feel what I did. I hadn’t made them strong enough to let go of me yet.

in the past 18 months I have read the obituaries of no less than 5 vibrant, loving people whose lives were tragically touched and they couldn’t find even one reason that made them get up one more day

No less than 5 people whose pain was so real and so all consuming that the only thing they could do was make it stop…permanently, they didn’t want to die they just wanted to stop hurting every moment of every day

My brain tells me that I am here telling my story in the only way I know how

but my heart aches with each tip tap of the keys on this computer because I remember

praying in rhythmic tones so it would take my mind off the hospital scene I relived every time I closed my eyes

and it drowned out the voices of the doctors telling me the only woman who ever truly loved me would never again yell at me from the top of  the steps or call me at 6am even on my day off and tell me good morning and ask me what I was going to do today

Walking through her house and touching all the things she had picked out to make it our home

I could have been number 6

of a nameless 

faceless

insistently quiet

difficult to comfort group of people

but I wasn’t

because even in all my pain

I saw a light

I crawled

and I called out in the tiniest voice I had

I know how they felt

and if you have even the slighted idea of where we were

Please find someone

anyone

and talk

until you can’t breathe anymore
Until your mouth is so dry that the words are like cotton

TALK

Until your mind runs out of that endless string of painfully difficult moments you relive

TALK

AND WHEN you don’t have any more words

TALK

to the 911 operator and tell them you need to talk some more

let it all go

so you can find some light

so you can tell the next person

I know exactly how you feel  

Dream Big Dammit (Sexalicious in Paris anyone?)

I’ve ALWAYS been afraid to dream big

You know the kind of big I’m talking about…

Living your dream life for real

The one where your happiness isn’t dependent upon your status or your ability to make do

I come from a pretty humble bunch of folks who lived their version of “The American Dream”

But my version was always more international and more complex

And mos def more FABOULOUS

I didn’t dream of a particular kind of life…like the two kids, the house and the dog

I was more of a “World Watch Out Here I AM” kinda chick

But only in my mind

My stage fright kinda got me stuck for the formative years

Ok so here I am looking at 50 in my window shield

(DO NOT ask what exit it is, I’m not there yet)

I was having this in-depth conversation with a drug rep about my next phase of life

Paris or Luxembourg

That’s what I call my lifestyle change

My sun will be graduating from high in a few short years

I have prepared him well by letting him know that as soon as I drop him off and get him settled in his dorm

Mama is outta here

Six months, a year, two years

who knows

But I’ll be in Paris or Luxembourg

Trying to figure out if my cell phone carrier will beat me up on text messaging charges

And if my Twitter account will overload from me tweeting every single moment of my day

Being Sexalicious is a state of mind

So here I am talking about what I want but do I really believe I can do it

Lets be honest

Most of the time we bullshit ourselves into saying something nonsensical 

about where we want to be in our lives

because we want to believe its true

After that conversation I set out to make it a reality

What’s the worst that could happen

I’ll go for six months, love it and run out of money

Egads how horrible for me

O well

Getting yourself back to your original self takes guts

It takes time

And it takes an awful lot of conversations in the mirror

On the bed

In the bathtub

On the phone

In your car

Talking to your toast in the middle of night because you can’t sleep

because you’re not quite sure if you’ve got what it takes to be YOU

WELL

Folks what can I say

After thousand of meaningful minutes with myself

I finally decided

I could live on planning for Paris

or I could send you pictures from across the pond

Even if I’m there for a moment

its a moment I live my version of Paris or Luxembourg

for real

I’ve spent too much time planning

It took me 10 years to plan a project

It did what it was supposed to do and then it went away

But I learned a lot about me and my attention to detail

and my procrastination, my inability to keep my eye on the ball

my inferiority complex, my drive, my passion,

my desire to be more than my body will allow

Bringing my Fierceness back has been revealing in so many ways

In ways I’ll be honest I hadn’t even imagined

because I thought I didn’t need to stand up

Stand out

Be different

But being different is what made me so unhappy to begin with

I was unhappy with not being  true to my self

Not being realistic about who I am

As a woman

As a human being

As a mom

I always thought I had to be in this box

I had to be Marsha Brady in my mind

Designated rolls, fixed to me by socially acceptable icons of my imaginary community

But lets just be honest

I am no more a Marsha Brady than Marsha Brady was

Opening that door to my reality

Was only a means of communicating to myself that it was time

To get off my ass and move

Sexalicious is different to every person and to me

its living my honest self in my best frame of mind in a way that honors who I was created to be

Phenomenally Fierce…

no explanations necessary

 

 

Phenomenally…Alive

Somewhere around 1 in the morning
After several Mexican cervezas
and a rousing night of seafood, 
Scandal
and thanks

I realized
that this version of me
was not an apparition

This was
and is
Me

I wasn’t going anywhere
I wasn’t fading away
I wasn’t reverting back to another time or place

I wasn’t dying to become a better me than I already was

My greatest fear has always been that somehow
At sometime for no other reason than because
The other shoe would drop
And POOF
I’d be gone

I kept waiting to go back
and be all the things I disliked about myself
AGAIN

But laying there
Rewinding through my evolution
The universe showed me everything

I saw myself
sitting on the train platform on my way to my new job
Praying every other moment of the day for the universe to help me make it through the next moment
And the next moment
Until all those prayers in all those moments added up to a whole day and I would get out of bed and begin my prayers again

I saw myself
in my new truck that I’d spent my last dime on
all loaded up with all my worldly possessions,
moving from a neighborhood that threatened the safety and mental health of my children and into a house I could barely afford but it offered the possibility of more

I ran toward it

I saw me
making decisions based on what was best for my child even though it wasnt what I wanted to do

I saw me
sacrifice nearly every paycheck for a year to get out of a debt and still give my family a vacation of a lifetime where for even just a few days they didn’t worry about a thing
They and I fully relaxed and let go of the “real world”  and had the best time we’d had in years

We breathed

In the midst of struggle,
I gave me the peace of mind that time was on my side and not running out on me

Then I realized for the first time

The REAL reason for my panic attacks

I kept waiting to die

DING DING DING DING DING

My dying was not the physical death
I kept waiting for

Far from it

My old self HAD died

O snap

I HAD ALREADY LIVED THROUGH IT

That me
That I was so afraid of reverting back to
Was already dead
Gone
Buried
She doesn’t exist anymore

I no longer thought like she did
Did things the way she would have

I was free

The memories I had with her
were no longer haunting me

The universe made me see in each of these moments
I had CHOSEN to live

In those prayers I repeated constantly as a mantra
I was choosing to live through to the next moment,  the next prayer…the next minutes of my life

As sad and depressed as I was
I had chosen NOT to live in that pain any longer
By reaching for an anchor
I hadn’t given up
I had held on
I looked for my footing on solid ground

At every moment over the past several years
I had willingly changed who I was
I changed everything about myself
My mind
My hair
My attitude
My life

I didn’t have to worry about losing this “version” of me
Because I wasn’t a version, a piece of the new me waiting for the rest of me to appear.

Softly
Subtly
Definitively
Concretely
Passionately
Most Definitely

I had
ALREADY arrived

I have spent so much time trying not to go backwards
That I hadn’t realized I was already moving forward

I was alive
Preparing for the rest of my life
Making plans that enhanced every aspect

So many things about myself and my life are different now
I don’t remember alot of what I used to be like
I just know the choices I make now are based on an entirely different set of guidelines
On purpose

I saw who I used to be
And I was who I was because it was who I needed to be at that time

I have ALWAYS been a fighter
Even when I was at my lowest point
I looked up

A LA Whitney Houston…

I was not built to break
“I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”

So here’s to
Being the
Fiercest
Sexiest
Amazingly creative
Truly happy
Gorgeous
Smartest
Determined
Most Gracious
Me
I have ever seen

I look damn good on me
Cheers
To living…
                                                   PHENOMENALLY

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My Spidey Senses are Tingling like the Dickens

Most times when we start listening to our better selves
We tend to overlook some important points of interest

When we’re being bulls&*÷#d
When people arent saying what they really want to say
And my personal favorite…
When you know what’s best for you but you’re too scared to do it

Years ago someone told me never to respond right away

Being the Original Beckalina Twirlalot
(that’s clueless to the 8th power for all you lay men)
I tend to need those moments to revisit previous events…
In case I have said, done or went somewhere I shouldn’t have

But that’s a WHOLE other story I’ll never tell you about

This delayed reaction has on occasion saved me from certain foot and mouth inserts that would be quite embarrassing
AND reactions totally unnecessary to my personal goals
Yet it has given me insights that I otherwise may have missed

In my former growth
I wasn’t very honest with myself (or anyone else for that matter)
about who I am,
What I like,
What I will accept in my life
And
Where others should get off

But  this 10.7 version of me is a lot more in touch with herself than you may think

Except
When it comes to friends…sometimes
I mean those I think of as family
I still want approval, love and comraderie
And I still look to them to be unassuming and all inclusive

Unfortunately not everyone is where I am

But that’s ok

Sometimes its the universes way of making you separate yourself
So that you grow beyond your comfort zone and become the person you must be in your own life

Most of the time
you don’t know what’s holding you up
(or down)
Until you bump into it

Revitalizing and rebooting your Fierceness isn’t just on the outside
Its all around
Inside and out
And it means
Knowing when to be you with out the us

Recognizing your truth and your light
Without standing beside some ones shadow

Listen to your body
It tingles when something isn’t right
The nagging voice in the back of your thoughts
Is NOT your imagination trying to shame you into submission

We know

But are we choosing not to
So that we stay ignorant
So that we feel safe, wanted and a part of the clan

Making you over isn’t just about new attitudes
New clothes
New ideas
New looks

Its also about
New ways of thinking
New ways of living
New ways of stretching you past the point of your limitations
Your familiar being renegotiated by your true self
And it means letting go of the idea that others, even those we love, have to be everything to us

Simply put
Rebooting yourself makes you realize

You’re secure in yourself
Yet stumbling
In who you will be in your life
Not seeking your definition of yourself
In those you care for most

Your spidey senses are your compass
They save you every time
Use them OFTEN and REPEATEDLY

Without censorship or sparingly

Let YOUR inside voice out

Every Once in a While just Kiss Yourself for the Fun of it

Did you ever have that moment
When you’re not quite sure if you really think you’re £&%kable
Yes I said it
I mean really
We as humans can be RA THAR critical and mean about our looks

Especially around midnight
After a great romantic movie and Ben & Jerrys…
ALONE
With the dog
For the fourth weekend in a row
After you just dumped the guy you sorta kinda didnt like anyway but at least he was mildly interesting in that…”What the hell” kinda way

Yes
There is nothing like a good look at Paula Patton, Taraji P. Henson and
the crushing knowledge that winter is almost over and sundresses are waiting impatiently

Its at that moment you MUST do something impulsive
And strictly forbidden by your children

Stand in front of the mirror
Naked as the day you were born
Scent yourself with your best body butter
Smile seductively
And KISS yourself

Laugh go ahead
I did
Out of fear
Nervousness
Amusement
Self defined loss of womanhood

But if you dont kiss you
WHO WILL and WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO

Looking at you, in all your glory
Smelling good
Feeling a bit vulnerable
Discovering you

Lift your arms
Wrap them around you
Tight as you can
And KISS the hell outta them shoulders
Arms
Hands

It gets a bit intoxicating
Because you realize
Its what you’ve been missing

A sincerely loving touch upon your skin
Yes it sounds weird
At first
But I guarantee you
After a few minutes
The Kate Upton’s of the world and all the others won’t be able to hold a candle to how you feel about yourself

TRUST ME….

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Sometimes its just your glasses that are fat

I love Erma Bombeck’s view of life
The armpit moments of life are the most fun and interesting

I took a few selfies a minute ago and lets be honest
I’m really kinda nerdy cool and geeky cute

It took me years to accept this about myself and I’m good with it.
My version of cool looks a lot like Rod Stewart in spandex in the 80′s

Yeah the visual is not good
But Rod was there, taking pictures and smiling
You couldn’t tell him NOT A THING
If he was self conscious nobody knew it

I get it now

So in response to this I decided to take more of them
Who cares if I’m not perfect

I’m DAMN sure perfect for me
Its the rest of the world that needs to get over it

Someone said recently “well you know you could stand to lose a few”
It took me a minute of thinking (you know I’m really slow) and this is my response

If I look a little too chunky for you…I suggest you get slimmer lenses in your glasses so YOU can see me better

WOW that felt refreshingly good
Chicks just don’t know how good it feels to be me

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The Resurrection…Sort of, Kinda, ok maybe a little bit

There are some things I’ve discovered now that I’m 40something
I don’t like television as much as I used to
I do love coming home and listening to absolute silence
I don’t like people randomly dropping in
I do like having a whole group of new friends and experiences

Its the latter that I’m most surprised about though
I’ve always been the “stay at home” chick
Always did stuff with the family
Always went to every family event…whether I was invited or not

I was most definitely a Sylvia Plath poem wanting desperately to be a Nikki Giovanni statement

I was bolder in my imagination
Than I was in real life

I was smarter
More vibrant
Than I gave myself credit for
Yet I lived quietly so no one would think I was trying to be something I wasn’t
I sucked the air out of my own room so nobody would accuse me of being too much to handle

I have always been more fun than I displayed
For me it was always a matter of propriety
I grew up with the stern looks my elders gave me out of the side of their eye that could make you choke on your own saliva should they catch you doing something inappropriate

But now that I’m older
Had a few kids
Been married a bit
And smoked regularly
I think I’m passed that now
Although occassionally when my grandmother clears her throat in a certain way, the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention
“C’est la vie”

Yet in the middle of all this newly acquired understanding in my life
I’ve found something old
Me

I rediscovered the chick that liked doing the dare in spin the bottle
The one who comes through the door with a gregarious how the hello are you and a smile so huge a 1000 watt bulb has little effect on a room

I love the fact that when I walk in to a room I could suck the air out with my presence if I wanted to

No more Miss Mouse

Drab colors
Tightly pinned hair
Form fitting shoes with appropriate heel height

I’m more of a couture shoe girl
Bright
Colorful
Textured
Classy
Sexy
Wildly Designed
And
Outrageously hard to ignore
And
Everybody wants to get to know us

I am nothing if I am not memorable

Which brings me to my recent love of Thursdays

The beautiful thing about waking up in your life is that you’re open to new things that everyone told you was bad for you
But I’ve always lived with the idea that everything in moderation is best
That way you don’t miss anything and you’re pretty okay with how your life has turned out thus far

Thursdays are Scandalicious Thursdays
Yeah its what your thinking

Remember back in the day when you had a bunch of family/friends over and you ate and drank and laughed and were loud and fun and just you

Well that’s Thursday

No pretense
Lots of food
Lots of drinks
Kids
Television
And
Noise

I love it
Its like my mothers Christmases only I get it more than once a year

I can be loud and no one says be quiet
I can say totally outrageous stuff and nobody says mind your manners
I can be me and nobody says go sit down and get yourself together

That to me is beautiful
Its all I’ve ever really wanted
Its what I drove back and forth to New York for but could never really capture often enough

I shine brighter when my space is filled with everything I love most
Ok Tequila doesn’t hurt too
But friends acquired by running around with people who don’t ask alot of questions about what’s next, why’d you do that and how come you’re not…
You don’t have to be anything special

Just you
In what ever flavor you come in

See when you’re 40something
I believe you resurrect yourself
You shed all the clothes other people gave you to wear that didn’t fit you in the first place
Your not completely naked to the world yet but your closer to your original true self than at any other time before this and your not so apologetic about it anymore

Its different than being older or younger because you remember more of what you lost in your life
You fight harder to be exactly who you want to be because it means more to you than it did before
And lets just be honest
You’re more likely to cold cock a bitch when their outta line without worrying about the consequences of your friendship
Its more of  a Take me or Leave me persona
But either way
I’m already here

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Its Time for a Revolution

I must really like ya’ll
Two posts in one day
How dare you get me all wordsmithy

I’m in the middle of finishing my first novel
Before you go all YAY and slap me on the back
Notice that I said finishing
I have several…ok maybe more than several manuscripts in varying states of incompleteness
I recently reached out to a friend who is an editor and forced her to commit me to task
it was not pretty people let me tell you
I actually have to write every day (ok maybe every three days but who’s gonna know)

I used to envy people like Pittershawn Palmer, Steven King and others for committing to the process of writing a novel, publishing it and garnering their skills to go again.
Now I’m kinda like… I hate you all…Why am I doing this…this sucks…I want my blankey

Last night I actually cussed out one of my characters for not going in the direction I envisioned them going. They had the audacity to add to the words I put into their mouths

Damn characters don’t know who they’re messing wit…umph

Yet as I sit here spilling my guts about it I’m already trying to figure out how to move the story along

I guess that’s what writers do…keep it moving

uh Z does this qualify or do I still have to write more tonight…I’m just asking

In the Middle of the Beginning

Its been one of THOSE moments…

you know the one where you’re kinda stuck in the beginning of your transformation and you don’t exactly know how to get out or if you’re really trying hard enough.

So its like this…

I have never met a piece of fried fish I never liked

Walked pass a Sea Salt Caramel ice cream gelato that didn’t yell out my name

(We do not mention Ben & Jerry’s Carmel Sutra for fear of retaliation from hips uninvited)

or

Met a Boston cream doughnut that didn’t lust after me

This is serious people, you don’t know what I have gone through these past 148 hours

I had to go to sleep so I wouldn’t eat, there were leftovers and a bottle of red that chased me down the hall…I swear honest to Little Debbie’s

I believe I have will power, it just gets lost sometimes on my way to the kitchen.

But fear not

I have had a long talk with my inner self and we discovered that my self sabotaging methods are habits which can be broken and we are actively seeking ways to avoid them.

I am determined and confident that by summer I will have lost at least one dress size

Being over 40 and fabulous has its challenges

But the fact that a 20 something with rippling muscles and the cutest smile this side of heaven put me back on track

there were severe thigh warnings out there because there’s a blizzard expected on Friday

Thank god spring is almost here… one more snow fall and we are gonna have to go guerilla monsoon style on this Fabulousness Refresher course.

Now if I could just find my ruby slippers and fast forward to the beach scene I would be so happy

When your gorgeousness needs a refresher course

Remember in high school when you had health ed class and the teacher went over the “inner” workings of the body.

We were amazed that out bodies could do so much grossly cool stuff

how our adrenaline could keep us going and block out pain for a period of time

how our cells carried little messages to attack foreign bodies.

It was awesome…(do people still use that word now days….I feel so old right now)

but there are a few things I’d like to point out that our well meaning health education teachers forgot to mention

No disrespect but I think its only right that you should warn students of the inevitable deflation tactics your body issues.

1. Our hair…for some reason when you reach 40 your hair needs a lot more attention than it used to

Seriously…I distinctly remember being able to pull off a wet do in the morning and look glamorous by noon and last til 10.

NOW my hair limps in at 4:30 and leaves at 6:15

No matter how many times I talk to it…one side is poofy while the other side is DOA

2. Our feet… remember the cute shoes we wore all day, you know the ones with the spiked heels and pinched sides. we could smile through the moments when our feet swelled from the wear and tear of the days errands and walking in and out of stores. We could tip ever so gently through the day so we looked svelte and sophisticated to the guy walking in behind us.

NOW my feet look at those shoes and get a serious attitude if I so much as put my big toe in one.
We recently had a falling out where I went to put a pair of 3 inch heels on and my feet immediately got a headache. I distinctly remember them calling me out my name as they ran in the other direction, headed for the Birkenstocks.

3. Height….Remember how tall you used to be in middle school, you were taller than most of the boys in your class and then when you got to high school those same guys were now 5 feet taller than you.

NOW what they don’t tell you is when you reach your 40′s you SHRINK. That 5’10″ you used to be suddenly becomes 5’8″ because your spine contracts…

THAT is so cruel, I mean really that is just so unnecessary.

Not only does your hair take a powder on you and your feet bale but now your statuesque body goes on a permanent vacation where you NEED those stilettos but you can only be your old Julie Newmar/Beverly Bond self for 15 maybe 25 minutes if you sit down half the time and just swing them every now and again for effect.

and finally

4. Your eyes…do you remember when you could read a trashy novel in the dark while skimming your chem notes…
yeah me too
NOW I need two pairs of glasses sitting on top of each other just to see the newspaper ad for eyeglasses

Obviously when you’re a teenager this stuff isn’t really important. We were really brainless assholes of a dying breed, Young, Clueless and Gorgeous who would never allow themselves to grow old.  But I think for the benefit of those of us who choose to be sexy at 40 it should be an addendum to the course so we know how to prepare ourselves for these inevitable body changes.

Waking up one day and finding yourself shorter, less poofy, in need of stronger eyeglasses and shoeless is NOT on the Vogue Italia website.

I mean honestly these are things you need know and someone should be obligated to tell us about it.

If I hold my breath I could work this look for at most 10 minutes…after that it gets a little tricky