Tag Archives: growth

Everything I Learned…I Learned From Fast Cars & Toretto

I remember sitting in the theater, packed and hot–teeming with anticipation, waiting for the first glimpses of tricked out foreign cars and mysterious macho actors. From the first scene to the last, I sat on the edge of my seat wishing I, too, could rip through city streets and zip under 18 wheelers. That night, I learned about the Rush.

The Rush is a feeling you get when your body is crackling with electricity. The smile on your face is pure joy. The palms of your hands are sweaty with anticipation. The beat of your heart is beyond normal. The Rush reminds you that you are alive. Every idea, every dream, every ‘what if’ spins around until they blur and you realize you are capable of everything.

I remember sitting in the theater, all of us feeling the sting of the loss of Letty, feeling so heavy in the seat. From the moment she died until the end, nothing quite felt the same. None of it felt….good…except Toretto’s love. That night, I learned about Love & Loss.

We all know Love & Loss–no further explanation needed. That was the night I actually questioned Love…what it was and what it really felt like…if I actually had it. I knew Loss, or at least some version of what I envisioned Loss to be, but I did not know Loss as it was connected to Love.

I remember standing in the isle, shortly after the credits finished rolling. The theater crowd was thinning but when we heard voices, we all froze. Something more was happening. Life was changing. Letty was alive and everything as we knew it was about to be turned upside down. We all stood, frozen, mouths agape at the thought of what was to come. That night I learned of what Possibility felt like.

I buzzed about the Possibilities of Letty for the rest of the afternoon. Possibility is endless. I started to see the Possibility in everything. What if, What would happen if, Where could, How should, Why…. With Possibility, Life becomes much more exciting and unpredictable. The end never seems so fixed when Possibility is involved.

It all sounds kinda nerdy, I guess, but when sitting in the theater watching silver screen friends (who happen to be real life friends) say good-bye to one of their own it didn’t feel nerdy at all. It felt incomplete. It was sad. I was sad. Everything I had learned over the last decade, I had learned through fast cars, corny one liners and bad ass drivers….and here it was….finished yet not on their/our terms.

I walked out of the theater neither interested in staying past the credit roll or bothering to see if there would be a ‘what’s next’. I took the experience, a decade and some change long, and packed it away. I packed away the Love & Loss, the Possibility, the Unfinished, and the Rush and put them on a mental shelf to be revisited later when in need. I smiled to myself thinking of something Toretto said (by which I currently live), “I live life a quarter mile at a time…” That’s all we have really.

~SM

Writing. That’s It.

I went on a job interview yesterday. A simple job, yet a little different from where I am now. The tasks are basically the same. The money just a few dollars more and the hours are greater than the 20 I work presently. The interview went well. I spoke properly. I looked him in the eye. I shook his hand. I looked professional (afro included). As I said my good-byes and thank yous and headed out of the door, I knew it wouldn’t make me happy.

I went on a job interview yesterday. I need to make more money. I would like to move. I would like to save. I would like to send the kids to college and a part time paycheck just does not cut it–so….I went on an interview yesterday. But it isn’t what I want.

Not the job, per say. The job was neat. I would learn a few new skills, meet some new people, and perhaps add another 5+ year employer to my resume….but it isn’t what I want.

What I want is this. Right here. Right now. A desk. A phone. Converses on my feet. A cute shapeless dress on my body. A computer. A keyboard. And words. I want the creative license to just….be. I want words and enlightened thoughts spilling out onto blank pages. I want this.

When I told YG my thoughts on the interview yesterday, he fell silent for a moment and finally said, “Want to know what I see you doing? I see you writing. That’s it. Writing.” Me too. I see it too.

I went on an interview yesterday and by the amount of “Thank You for Your Resume Submission” emails I receive daily (due to my job applying marathons), I will likely go on more. I have to be realistic, right? We need to eat and bathe and live with lights. So, I will go on more interviews and apply for more jobs just as a cheating spouse would continue to go home and pretend to like their partner—all the while dreaming/loving/fantasizing about something (someone) else.

~SM

Its Tough Being Good To You

Right now I am sitting in a nail salon, in a pedicure chair trying to ignore the petite Asian lady with the sparkly pants pick at my toes. I’m watching the girl about ten feet from me getting her nails filed and painted. We decided that while her brother was at practice, we would do girly things. But this girly thing is giving me a heart attack…slowly and quietly.

My mother is the best. She has a straight line to God’s heart and His ear. She often knows just the right prayer to pray and at just the right time without a word from the person she’s praying for. She often sends cards and small amounts of money for us to just spend on things other than regular life. For the kids it’s often candy and for me it’s usually gas, even though her instructions are to use it on myself. Last month, I opened up the mailbox to find an unexpected card with an unexpected blessing in it. How did she know I needed it? I immediately put it up in a safe place and managed to make it to pay day without spending it.

It has been my goal to save it and keep it until I find something worthy to spend it on like a broken pinky toe cast…light bill…bail (just saying), but this afternoon I decided to spend it on me.

So here I sit, getting my toe nails painted practically having a stroke because this seems frivolous and irresponsible. Sure, the rent is paid and yes the power bill is finally caught up. The Boy’s extra curricular activities have a 0 balance and I even managed to get an oil change. But getting your toes and nails painted doesn’t help with putting food on the table or gas in the car (unless you are a porn star). I should have run like the wind when she patted the chair. I should have thrown up the cross and backed out of the door when she told me to pick out a color. I should have been more responsible.

The saving grace…the only thing keeping me from keeling over in this stupid, vibrating chair…is seeing the girl flash me her nails and smile. The anguish, the self-imposed guilt, and the continual running list of better things to do with $30 sorta fade away seeing her pampered and happy. Maybe she’ll remember this moment one day. Maybe she finally feels the boy’s shadow moving out of her sunshine, just a little. Maybe she just feels good about feeling good. It is tough being good to yourself, but sometimes it’s ok to be good to you even if it feels heart attacky in the beginning.

~SM

What IS This, Exactly?

I am not one for a bunch of emotion. I think these past two years have been the most outwardly emotional I have been in quite some time (or maybe ever). I know what those look/feel like. I know what fear looks like; I know what joy feels like; I know what anger says….but as of late I am a walking cesspool of butterflies and smiles. WTF is that???

I caught myself smiling at the ceiling at work one morning–lost in thought. I found myself battling butterflies and squishy insides one afternoon. I called Brooklyn yesterday and literally screamed in her ear for no reason other than just to get whatever this crap is out. What is happening to me?

I left my car keys hanging in the car door. I left my office keys hanging in my desk drawer. I can barely string together a sentence or comprehend what people are saying because my brain is like scrambled eggs (gosh that sounds good right now…I’m starving…see what I mean…lost focus). My heart skips beats and I swear I blush about 50 times a day. I am a walking, barely talking skin bag full of squishiness and fog.

Even now I sit with butterflies in my belly, floating from one end to another. Do I have some sort of disease? Is it Shingles? I have had chicken pox, you know. Scarlet Fever? The Flu? It’s not crabs because my gentiles don’t itch. And, no, I am not with child–this uterus is on lock down. Perhaps the Zombie Virus is a real thing and my body is fighting it with a vengeance? Whatever is happening, it feels funky but it feels good. I feel like I am floating beyond Cloud 9.

~SM

The Nutty Professor: Step 3

With The Kids pulling the growing up move on me and with my life starting sorta over from scratch, I took an inventory of where I stood and where I wanted to end up. Clearly there was a gap. I work a part time job that does not quite capture my attention. My bank account sees more negative signs than a false E.P.T. My debt to income ratio is hysterical and I don’t see any of this getting any better without some work on my part. Enter the never-ending BA quest.

The first step in changing anything is to actually want to change it. The second step is to plan to actually change it. Step three is holding your nose and jumping in (with intention that is). I recognized something had to change. I had the opportunity to re-do somethings and rearrange some others. I had a second shot at this and I wanted to do it right.

I pulled the trigger and stepped back into the classroom–virtual anyway. I decided it was not too late for me to move into the educational system (teaching adults…not kids….I shudder at the thought). And, sure, I had attempted to go back to school before, but this time it is different. I have no partner to hide behind. No kids to use as an excuse. No more years to waste. There is just me and the goal. That is it.

So for weeks I have been reading, studying, doing homework and making a real effort to be an intentional student. I have kept up with assignments, read during baseball tournaments, spent off days writing papers, and stayed late at work to finish up homework. Presently, I have purposefully made room for obtaining a degree so that while The Kids are off doing things college kids do, I will be settling into The Beach House teaching at a University.

Plans change. We know this. But I am willing to take the steps to make the plans possible. It is exciting and rewarding to know that if I keep pushing there is an obtainable goal at the end of the yellow brick road. Dr. Van Dunk never sounded so good 😛

~SM

PTRR: New Found Independence Like A Motherf***er

I have probably told this story 90 million times, but for those who do not know I was pretty fat (293 lbs to be exact) for my height and I needed to get rid of it. I had tried everything on this side of the sun and figured the only thing that would get me moving in the right direction was to challenge myself with something way outside of Zone Comfort. So…I did. I decided to run.

I got picked for the Peachtree Road Race that year. I trained. I ran. I wobbled for two days. I ran the following year and the year after that. The third year was the most emotional year. During this time The Marriage was in undeniable trouble and my life was coming apart at the seems. That year, I ran the entire 6.2 miles and Cardiac Hill (killer hill at mile 3). I ran to the finish line with Kay who pushed us and when I crossed I broke down. If I could have laid in the road and wept I would have. I was happy because I had beat myself and won, yet I was sad because I knew that at that moment everything had changed. The Spirit never lies.

The next year I didn’t get in and I didn’t really care to run either. I was sad and angry and I did not have the energy, nor the respect, for the process of running the Peachtree. But oh what a difference a year makes. This year I am celebrating my new found independence the only way I know how. Running. Running my race.

When the email came through congratulating me on making it in, I leaped out of bed and squealed with joy. I get to celebrate independent Me from where it all began. I get to do this not to prove someone wrong or to lose myself. I get to do this on my terms, for my reasons and be present for it all. When I cross the finish line this year, I cannot guarantee I won’t break down again, but I can be sure of one thing: nothing will be the same.  I can’t wait to see the amazing things in store.

It is cool how Life works. It is even more astounding how the Universe rises up to meet you where you stand. This phase of my life is about celebration and enjoyment and pacing and exploring. I cannot possibly see tipping my hat to this phase in a more fun, liberating way.

~SM

Freestyle Friday: Ideas Are Scary

B7Hi7fmIcAErU5F

I had seen this commercial a while ago and intended to write about it then, but light bulb moments are fleeting in my brain on a daily. I usually have trouble figuring out why I walked into the bedroom (to get….what again?) let alone remembering an idea. Anyway, I had to share, and it fit for a Freestyle Friday topic. Go into the weekend being inspired to do something. Even if you end up not doing anything, at least your weekend won’t be a sad countdown to Monday morning 😛

~SM