Sick and Sorry

Sick and Sorry

“Is it too late now to say sorry?”
Abraham Lincoln
(or Justin Bieber. I always get those two confused.)

I felt sick for all of February. Every single day. And I’m pretty sure it actually started sometime in January, possibly even December, but February was when I actually noticed that I consistently didn’t feel good and hadn’t for a while. And it was nothing major or unbearable – no pain, just a constant feeling of being slightly nauseous. All. the. time. Hungry, full – didn’t matter. In fact, the only time I didn’t feel sick was when I was literally in the act of eating. It was like my body would think “Ooh! Maybe this will help!” but it wouldn’t. And within 5 to 10 minutes, I’d be back to feeling BLAH. And so, naturally, like any reasonable adult with health insurance and a will to live, I thought about going to the doctor. I thought about it a lot. I even looked up my insurance card and spent a fair amount of minutes on the interwebs trying to find an “in network” provider, but the doctors with the best reviews and most human-like photos were booked solid until April, May, 2019 and the other ones were a little too available (why is your next available opening at 11am when it’s 10:45 right now??) So I did eventually book an appointment (for April 14th, I do believe. hashtag: adulting) but in the meantime, I figured I’d keep soldiering on, bravely, nobly. Handling all the stresses and responsibilities of life in New York, all the while suffering. Silently. Bravely. Nobly.

And then I figured out what was wrong. And I’m sitting here today feeling absolutely fine. As fate (and probably genetics and age) would have it, I do believe I have become lactose intolerant. So now that I’m not having milk in my tea, eating ice cream like it’s my job or downing Chai lattes, I’m feeling a-ok. Which is great. But in looking back, this whole experience has been fascinating because it made me realize how easy it is to get used to functioning at a sub-prime standard. To be feeling sick while carrying on as if its normal. Because as far as anyone else knows – everything is normal. You’re normal. And doing just fine.

But I wasn’t. And I’m still not. Because it wasn’t just my stomach that was bothering me. My soul has been sick for all of 2017 thus far. The poor thing feels like she’s wasting away. Actually… no. Wasting away sounds like a problem of lack, so I guess my soul is actually on the verge of imploding from the weight of everything that I’m not doing.

I came into 2017 with solid ideas of things that I wanted to do, goals to accomplish, endeavors to… endeavor. And here we are with the first quarter of the year very nearly over and what have I done? Basically, nothing. I hosted one disaster/reading in January and have been fixated on everything I don’t have and can’t do ever since. And it’s ruining everything. I can’t enjoy anything because I feel convicted all the time. I went to see a friend in a show last week, a terrible TERRIBLE show (my friend was amazing) and I was so mad. Not at the show or the writers, but at myself. Because what the hell am I doing? The team of people behind that terrible (TERRIBLE) show actually sat down, made a plan, found supporters, held auditions and produced something. Middling talent and absolute terribleness, be damned – they did something. And people came and saw it. I know because I was one of those people. Because my friend, my insanely wonderfully talented friend, was in it. Because my friend just wants to work. And those terrible (TERRIBLE) writers produced work. And meanwhile… I’m sitting over here fixated on what I don’t have and can’t do.

And my friends deserve better than that.

So I probably owe you an apology. And please believe, if you have talked about/asked for prayer re:/mentioned in passing any of your audition stories/struggles, you wouldn’t have known it, but I have felt convicted. And if you have joked/not been joking about auditioning for me someday (which an annoying number of you have recently, #jesusbecreeping) please know that I probably went home and cried about it. Which is exactly what I deserve.

Earlier today, I saw that quote about strength being for service and not status and it just hit me how that covers all the different kinds of strengths it takes to step out and do something – not just the talents and skills, but the strength of will it takes to face possible ridicule, failure and falling short – because somebody has to do it. Whatever talents we have, aren’t just for us and us alone, they’re supposed to find their place and fulfill their purpose in conjunction with others. For others.

So I have to stop living with this sick feeling of holding back. And I don’t know… but maybe you do to.  We all want to whatever we do to be the best thing ever and the easiest way to stop ourselves from moving forward is to imagine all the worst case scenarios but we’ve gotta push past all that. Done is better than perfect. Something is better than nothing. And honestly, this moment – knowing that I’m not really doing all I can to push forward the people and the causes that I care about — this is the worst case scenario. Well… the second to the worst. The very worst case scenario would be to live quietly with this sick feeling for the rest of my life. But ain’t nobody got time for that. Not me. Not you. And not the people waiting on us to move forward.

So let’s not let this month end and this quarter close without offering some sincere apologies by making some moves.  And cutting back on the fears and excuses that have been keeping us sick. And, hopefully, we’ll all feel better in the next quarter.

I Did A Thing…

I Did A Thing…

I actually did a few things over the past few weeks, for example…

one.
I did a spoken word piece as part of Black History Month observance at my church.

two.
I made my first guest appearance on a podcast.

few.
I started writing a book of poetry, thoughts and essays on race in America. (And I only added that to this list to make my claim of doing a “few” things true and to force myself to finish said book by publicly announcing it. And thus opening myself up to public disappointment and ridicule if I don’t finish it.)

Myself to me:
“Thanks a lot me.”

Me to myself:
“Anytime girl. I gotchu.”

Anyway… here are proofs of two out of the few things…

The podcast… TBD with Ky and Vee features two minority millennials giving their unfiltered opinions on everything under the sun while searching for a way out of the “friend zone.” I’m a guest on the last half hour or so of episode 34.
NOTE: Parental Discretion Advised. For real. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Because I just did.

The spoken word piece… “AS IT IS”

Hashtag Goals

Hashtag Goals

So here’s what happened. I was at connect group and we were talking about taking steps. Moving towards the big hopes/goals/dreams step by step. And as a practical challenge, we each wrote down three things that we want to accomplish or at least make significant movement towards accomplishing in 2017. And then for each person, someone would call out a number from one to three, the chosen person would read whichever goal that was and we, as a group, would help decide the next practical steps to take towards that goal and ways that we, as a group, could help and/or provide encouragement. Make sense? No. Okay, well maybe this will help. My list of three things was something like:
1. Run for a political office
2. Buy a house
3. Date
I say “something like” because I kept scratching 1 and 2 out and replacing them with things like: Go back to Australia… Visit Barbados… Lead a political rebellion… You know – things I really want to do. And number three was the throwaway. Because honestly… who cares? I don’t. I mean, I didn’t. I really didn’t. I only wrote it because I’m dumb. And as I wrote it, I was thinking, this “This is dumb. You don’t even care about this.” But then (as I so often do) I started to Jedi mind trick myself — “Maybe you do care. Or should care. And that’s why you’re writing it. Maybe you really do want to be challenged in this. Or maybe God wants you to.” So having sufficiently overthought it, I decided that in the 33% chance that it was chosen, I would take it as a sign that it was something I should be thinking about. And you know what they say:

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.
Ask for a stupid sign, get a stupid sign.

Because when it was my turn, the number chosen for me was three.

Great.

So now I’m supposed to be dating. And it’s just really lucky that it’s so easy for me. #AlternativeFacts

UGHHHH. It is the worst. Because nobody likes me. And I say that with my self-esteem fully intact and a pretty healthy sense of self. It’s not even hurtful anymore, it just is what it is. And I don’t mean “like” in general, I do have friends. Obviously. (I do, you can ask anyone.) I mean “like like“.  For whatever reason, I am just not the girl who guys see from across the room and/or dating app and think “Wow! Let me find out more about that.” Nah. They see me and think… I don’t know “I wonder what the temperature is in Central Park right now.” And that’s totally fine. (Literally, it is currently 51 degrees.) I just didn’t need the daily reminder.

So what’s a girl to do? Well… I tried fulfilling my contractual obligation, I was on a dating app for almost over two weeks. I went to a party with a friend on a Saturday night and danced. And let some guys dance up on me.  We out here. And we still out here alone with no signs of that changing. And that’s actually okay.  Thanks to Jon Hamm.

I don’t remember exactly how or why, but a few months ago, I just decided that I’m going to marry Jon Hamm. And I know that’s crazy  (so I know I’m not crazy because I fully understand and acknowledge that that is crazy) but for whatever reason, I haven’t had a true what-if-I’m-single-forever-?! panic attack since. I think it’s the unknown that freaks us out so much, so I just subbed in a known placeholder and it’s working for me.  Because the fact is that life and time are going to keep marching on and my life is going to keep unfolding and I have to trust that things are happening and are going to happen right on time. And I have to stop treating dating and marriage like some mystical category of life where God is completely capricious except for when He’s being punitive.  He’s not leaving that answer blank to torment me or because He’s still deciding whether or not there is an answer. He’s just doing what He always does and taking His freaking time.

So while 98% of me wishes I had chosen a different #3, there is 2% of me that is glad that exercise went the way it did because it has just reinforced for me how unbothered I am right now. And it’s kinda nice. I was talking with a friend last Sunday and he asked me if I had someone for Tuesday (aka Valentine’s Day) and i said nope, but then I changed my mind and said “Actually, it’s only Sunday – I don’t know.” Because I don’t know when things are going to change for me but I do believe that they will. Because I’ve seen it happen in other areas of my life. I’ve been surprised by things in my work life, in my creative life, in my church, in my friendships, in my finances… I have seen God open doors, make crazy connections, do the impossible… and I don’t see why this area should be any different.

So I deleted that app and I’m back to minding my own business and not bothering with things that aren’t bothering me. Because Lord knows I have enough other things to think about, worry about and work on. And I’ll bet that you do to. So what is on your list of things you’d like to accomplish this year? Because finding love might be the number one thing, but it had better not be the one and only thing. It can’t be. Because, believe me, you don’t want to be with the person who wants to be with the version of you that is doing nothing but pouting and waiting around. When you find/are found by your Jon Hamm and he asks “Where have you been all my life?” I hope you have such a full list of people, places and things to tell him about, that he quickly realizes how much fuller his life would be with you in it. But first, I hope you realize how full your life already is. And keep doing whatever you can to keep it that way.