I’ve always wanted to be the woman who could just pull out a credit card or head to an ATM machine without calculating current balances in my head.

In an unbothered manner, I’d be able to take care of emergencies or the urgent needs of my children and grands. I’d fuss, but not because I was digging myself into a hole. Just a little prodding about being better prepared to combat life’s emergencies. You’d think that a series of hopeless dead-ends and stressors would quash that fantasy. It didn’t. No matter how bland and mundane life seemed, I never lost that ache for real life stability.

Financial independence doesn’t represent wealth or status for me. Just security and stability. I’ve never desired the flash of materials. All I’ve ever wanted to be is comfortable. Revel in the joy of not having to rob Peter to pay Paul. All bills paid on their exact due dates or before. Or how about this one, months in advance! That would knock my socks off.

I always thought that once the nest emptied, I’d be able to squirrel away money and live a carefree life of comfort. I stress the word comfort because that is the heart of what I desire.

I said to my coworker yesterday, “If I had a partner at home, today would be the day that I would march through my door and say look I can’t stomach that place anymore. I need to leave and I need you to support my decision. Are you with me?” She nodded knowingly. Just a few months before, she had said the same thing to her spouse. And he supported her decision. It gave her the gusto she needed to walk away from corporate misery into her heart work, non-profit work. She was also able to invest more energy into building her design business.

Nest empty and I’m still robbing Peter and hiding from Paul. I’m uncomfortable. The good thing about being uncomfortable is that it is my reminder of discontent. I’m not in La-La Land, pretending that mediocre is cool for me. I wasn’t built for it. I have an innate need for peace. As each day passes with more news of loss and devastation, it feels like I’m struggling to take in sips of air to focus on my big picture.

I want to get back to the zeal and spark I had just a few short months ago, project planning and living. Seeing a nest egg form just a bit. I mean, the bitch was scrambled but hey, an egg is an egg, right? I felt energized and inspired. Motivated and moving. An unexpected emergency turned that scrambled egg into an empty shell. One month off track can derail you for an entire year. So my projects get shelved, my social life goes on pause and I go into renegade survivor mode. Work and worry, work and worry, work and worry until I see my way clear.

This time is different though. I’ve been trying to G.I. Jane myself, activate my warrior, get ready for battle but it ain’t happening. It’s not that I’ve given up, it’s that warrior mode is exactly what I’m tired of. I’m tired of putting amazing projects on the shelf in the name of struggle. Starving artist isn’t really a look I’m seeking at fucking 45 years old but aren’t we all standing in the midst of a new world virus-filled order asking ourselves that one universal question that determines the getters from the gotten – If not now, when? When do we make time to build the dream? If not now, WHEN?

I can’t quit a job and invest full time into my projects, as much as I want to. I’d be homeless in three weeks. I cannot take a paycheck and purchase supplies and equipment and invest in adequate technology that I know will result in a major come-up. That would mean no transportation, no food and none of that nice, soft toilet paper I like. Like most of us, I can’t afford to invest in myself monetarily. But even if I did, what’s the point of having the money to do it if my mind ain’t ready? I still think and act broke.

When my nest emptied, my bad habits should’ve gone out of the door with them. Disclaimer before continuing: I don’t want anyone reading this to think that I’m floundering in a crisis. I am fine. What I’m flipping around in is accountability and command decisions.

People see the mission of my full time work, with formerly incarcerated individuals and instantly align it with fulfillment and reward. Service is my heart. Working with members of our community who are disadvantaged and in need has always been important to me. Not because it is my passion but because I believe that it just the right thing to do. It’s life work for me, something that I’ll never retire from because it’s not work, it’s just right. And we need all the people we can get to consign to that idea, so that so many more missions in this world are fulfilled and aligning people with any opportunity they need to be well.

When people say that my line of work is what I’m supposed to be doing I want to sometimes scream that they couldn’t be further from my truth. That is not who I am, that is what I do. It is what we’re all supposed to do. Our work should always be about springing forward and I’ll always be in line for the movement. But this is my truth: If I were struggling to make ends meet and working in my sacred calling, I’d live out of my van tomorrow and be as happy as a pig in mud.

“You’re an artist, Mr. 51 said matter-of-factly. Look around, it’s obvious. It’s all over your walls, it’s all over you. Anybody can see that’s who you are.” It was as if he’d gotten on bended knee. Everyone else sees the person standing center stage, performing. In his way, he was acknowledging one of the things that I always felt separated me from most women of my age and race.

I don’t hear, see, feel or experience things like most. I’m not alone in that. There are millions of creative spirits out here, bottled up, pretending to be ok with the mundane ways of this superficial ass society. We are not the pretties or the big booties. We don’t know a damn thing about selling hair or eye lashes. We cook our asses off, but we ain’t doing it as a hustle, and we’ll leave the clothing game to people who actually give a fuck about it. We are platform creators. Ink spots on canvas, to quote my friend’s movie. A beautiful blend of peace and controversy, we think it, we say it and if the movement is right and the money matches, we gonna do it too.

Hidden from the world are my sketch pads and notebooks. Clips from old articles and interviews with Cathy Hughes, Keke Wyatt, Christina Milian and so many others. Books, plays, songs, observations and musings. Fiction and non-fiction, girlfriend guides, The Golden Book for Little Black Boys and Girls, Wee Baby the Great, SE7EN Magazine, Wee-Baby Family Magazine.

Tucked away, or incomplete because the rent was due, kids needed things and mommy was bad at managing money. Didn’t I say something last week about telling old stories? Remember, “So what happens next?”

Fellow creatives, what happens next? I’m sure Tyler Perry asked himself the same thing when he walked out of a half-empty theater after acting, writing and directing a play and entering his car that he slept in. Did he ever look away from his canvas, put it away until the money was right? Can’t tell looking at him. He was committed to his art. Didn’t matter if it was a no, an empty theater or criticism. He listened to himself! I don’t know what that push is, but the only space between it is now or never. Maybe I won’t know it to that degree but I’m hungry to know what happens if I just keep going, in my own direction to my own beat.

Whatever that it is – from writing, blogging, podcasting; novelists, playwrights, songwriters, painters, actors, designers, the cubicles and desks ain’t for us. That’s not our canvas.

I’ve watched mine sit incomplete for so long. So many years of feeling like a wilted flower on the inside because all of my energy went into fanning out the flames associated with single motherhood. I’ve served my time in the space but took my methods of surviving in it with me.

There’s no longer a need to make sacrifices for school shoes and haircuts, groceries and school supplies. I can pull myself up by last year’s bootstraps(and stay off of Torrid and Forever 21 looking at this years boots.) and I can commit to a budget that is all inclusive- some for the bills and some for the projects. It is time. The new world order won’t be televised, but if I have anything to do with it, it will be blogged, published, podcasted and on a stage coming to you. That’s who I am. A creator of dope experiences for my sisters. I’m tied to the movement of seeing our faces all up in the place, following our own rules in the arts, especially literary and media circles and more.

I’m an artist. I create. A creative, complex force of sho-nuff. Chance and trust are my two best friends. Take a chance and trust yourself.

As one of my favorite quotes suggests, “Maybe it won’t work out, but maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever.”

One thought on “Wilted Pussy.

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