Not having a job all Winter gave me plenty of time to think about what I wanted to do once the weather warmed up. The choice was fairly easy. I decided to plant a garden; after listing all the pros (save money on vegetables, getting extra excercise, enjoying the fresh outdoors) & cons (there are bugs outside, it’s the South in the Spring/Summer and that = HOT) I could think of, I began planning what to plant & sketching where it would all go. I chose the usual suspects: green beans, tomatoes, okra, peppers (mild & hot), squash, cucumbers, herbs, watermelons, & cantelopes.As soon as the weather warmed up enough to ensure the frost had passed, I began to start working the ground. First, I had my father-in-law till up my space. Secondly, I raked out the large clumps of dirt, mixed in the fertilizer, and figured out where each row would be.
Prepped & ready for plants.
Excitedly, I purchased the seeds and slips. I dug and planted. I watered and weeded. And I began the hardest part of all; I waited. Considering how impatient I am, it’s a miracle I didn’t say to hell with it . Finally, I began to see some results of my labor; a little sprout here, a little sprig there. Some things, like my tomatoes, parsley, and peppers, took off; while others – okra, cucumbers, cabbage – had to be replanted. The other herbs were also hit and miss, but I’m not too worried about them. They grow pretty quick, so replanting isn’t a problem. I find myself watching these plants for milestones like I did when Beana was a baby. Crawling=beginnings of blooms, first steps=the little veggie/fruit emerging right before bloom falls off and walking=actual tiny tomatoes, and whatnot.
- Result of hard work
My baby tomatoes.
This garden was a way to jumpstart the climb out of the void I’ve been in. I can’t wait until I can start cooking with and eating what’s growing in my little patch of dirt.
+++Things I’ve lost: My job. Last fall the company I worked for closed its office in my town. We all knew it was coming, eventually but eventually came sooner than expected. I received a call from the home office telling me that I had a week left. They were phasing out everyone & I was the first to go. So I spent the week packing my things, deciding which office supplies were coming home with me, and telling my co-worker bff that I did not want the office self-proclaimed party planner to do the dreaded farewell potluck.
My way. For months I got up in the mornings only because Beana had to get to school. I didn’t want to leave the house, didn’t want to do much of anything other than catch up on old episodes of Supernatural and Charmed. I’m a homebody at heart but even I could see this was borderline hermit behavior.
+++Things I’ve found: Or in this case rediscovered: Photography. As a kid I was known for always having my camera with me, (that and the fact that I enjoyed sneaking up on you and snapping a picture without your knowledge). Well, I decided that I would dip into my “one day I’ll be able to afford this camera fund,” and get a new camera. While it’s not my dream camera, it’s definitely better than the nothing I had. I’m loving being able to just take pictures of the Irises in my header that were planted by my Grandmother over 30 years ago, other things that catch my eye, again.
Luckily I wasn’t the carrion these vultures were after.
Gardening. I planted a small garden in my Mom’s backyard for us to share, and I’m thoroughly surprised at how much I’m enjoying the planting, weeding, watering, & composting of it all. Next year I plan to increase the size and try something other than the basics.
A passion. The courage to go after a dream. I’m taking two things I love to do and taking the plunge to turn them into a career. If all goes to plan after about 2 years of school, I’ll be trained and ready.
I still have my doubts and worries but I can see a the path in all the brambles.
Motivated by my favorite blog, Oh Hell Nawl, I’ve decided to write my own letter to Mother Nature.
Dear Momma Nay,
I appreciate the concentration it must take to make flowers bloom, make the wind blow, and the seasons change. I’m sure it must be quite the challenge trying to please everyone, but isn’t that your job? See despite the fact my calendar says it’s Spring and the forecast for this weekend is a high of 70 degrees both days, it’s supposed to snow Monday. I don’t know if you know this or not but it’s Spring Break and I’m taking some vacation time to enjoy not having to get up at the ass crack of dawn to get Beana ready for school. So what I really need from you is for you to get your ass in gear, make it and keep it Spring. If you would just do that, I’d be willing to forget about the Hurricane Force Winds we had last fall (although I would like to remind you that I don’t in a Hurricane zone), and the worst ice storm in the History of my state you sent in January.
Everybody has them. You start out as child/student, then on to adult and end as the deceased; currently one of my titles is Receptionist. I never really planned to take on the title of wife & mom. As I’ve said before I was raised by my mom & grandmother and neither of them placed a high importance on having to have a man in their lives. Grandma was widowed at a fairly young age and my mom’s never been married. Anyway, the husband and kid thing wasn’t part of my future goals. Plus, after a harrowing summer babysitting a younger relative (I wish someone had warned me in advance that my cousin had matted with Satan) and unlimited free birth control called working in a retail store shoe department, I swore I would never have any children. What I did have were career goals and even though I was a pretty good student, I didn’t make a great college student. So despite our best efforts, time moves forward and here I am; married for 11 yrs and a mom to an 8, almost 9 year old.
I need to add a different title. I know that my current job won’t be around much longer; it’s going to move to another place and I’ll have to figure out what it is I really want to do next. The catch is, I don’t know what that is anymore. However, I do know that if I want to make use of my passions, I will have to go back to college. I’m ready for that; I’m ready to be a college student again. It’s the steps needed to get there that’s fuzzy. Since becoming a wife/mother, I’ve stopped making myself a priority. Recently, I was called a martyr due to the fact that I almost automatically put everyone’s needs before my own. It’s not like I do it I can have someone pat me on the head and tell me what a nice girl I am; It’s just I don’t know how to give to myself anymore. Relearning to carve some me-time out will be interesting. Re-adjusting my vision of what titles I see for myself will be thought provoking. I just want to enjoy/love going to work. Hell, I’ll just be happy to know what that is.
Yes, we can
Yesterday, I hopped online to check out what some of my favorite reads had to say about the election results. It was inspiring to see so many people celebrating this historical moment. The funny thing is I couldn’t come here and put into words just what I was feeling. I have commented before an Obama Presidency will mean to me that despite all the campaign negativity & racially motivated ugliness most Americans can see the truth through all the lies. This country has made great strides towards racial harmony, but the road ahead is long and treacherous. Barrack Obama is a courageous jumping off point for the next leg of this journey. That America is finally sick & tired of being sick, tired & BROKE. We are ready to do away with what’s been in control for the last eight years. We see someone that is compassionate enough, intelligent enough & willing to get the job done. We have someone that is not blowing hot smoke up our asses and promising to do the impossible but someone that promises to everything in his power to make it better for as many people as he can. That our children (Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and even White) have someone to look up to that started in a single parent home, worked damn hard through school to become lawyer and community organizer. Maybe our children will stop looking to athletes, rappers, and actors as their main source of role models. All of that is true but when I try to vocalize what I feel deep in my gut, it becomes a lot harder.
The first time I was called “nigger” I think I was in the first grade and someone I considered a friend called me that for some reason. Even at the tender age of 6 (maybe 7) I knew that word was meant to hurt and degrade. I remember going to the librarian crying and telling her what Pa.cer (yeah, he wanted everyone to call him Pa.cer like the car and he was calling me names) had said. Of course he was disciplined and I believe there might have been a classroom talk about words you shouldn’t use. The details are fuzzy, but the feeling I had from that word will probably stay with me forever. There are two other times I can remember being called that and one time where someone wrote nigger go home on a wall by the school cafeteria but each of those time I was stronger (although one time I did cry because I was so angry). Its easier to stand up for yourself when you’re 12 than when you’re 6, and it was easier at 15 & 17 than it had been at 12. Overall, despite the fact that I went to a semi-rural school my brushes with racism were infrequent. I didn’t have to fight for my right to go to school there; I was not left out of school activities because I was black and I didn’t have to fear for my life because of my skin color. Even as an adult I’ve experienced prejudice. I’ve been told that “you’re not like most blacks” or the famous “you don’t talk like you’re black.” Now I’m able to react not just out of anger but rationally (but if I’m truthful my comebacks are usually made to make the offending person feel small, heh so sue me).
It’s been 25+ years since that first time and the world has changed for the better. Beana now goes to the same school I went to and has made it all the way to the 3rd grade without being cut to the quick because of that word. I’ve wondered when I will have to have that conversation with her about why some think they are better than others because of skin. It came up a little bit during the election but the “buzz word” was Muslim not black. To me it’s a half dollar of one 6 of the other. So Tuesday night as I was crying during Obama’s acceptance speech I realized that although I’m only in my early 30’s I didn’t think I would ever see this in my lifetime. So as I celebrate the achievements of President-elect Barack Obama, I also celebrate the achievements of those that came before us and now when I tell my daughter (and any future children we might have) that with hard work, perseverance, and a thick skin anything is possible; I can & do actually believe it.
I guess since this is supposed to be about my journey, we’ll go back…… way back. Most of my memories as a kid are happy ones. I was raised by the most amazing women I know – my mom and my grandmother. My father (a term I use loosely) has not been any part of the 30+ years I’ve been on this earth. My parents were never married and my mom worked her ass off so that I would never feel deprived.
**I planned on telling you stories of being a kid growing up in the country, but instead I will tell you how I just made a co-worker VERY uncomfortable (this story still deals with my childhood).**
What started off as office celebrity gossip on An.jelina Jol.ie & Br.ad Pi.tt turned into me schooling her on the use of the word “Bastard”. Please allow me to have a Gold.en Gir.ls moment here.
Picture this; my job, 2008. Coworker stops by to talk about the Million Dollar pictures now out of the Pi.tt/Jol.ie twins. Really all she wanted to do was talk how they are “to perfect”, “to pretty”, and how weird they are. To be perfectly honest I could care less about those two, but I know beautiful kids when I see them. All those kids are beautiful and the outrageous amount of money made from those pictures is going to great causes. Anywhoooo…….she turned the conversation from their weirdness to “you would think they would get married for the sake of the kids because right now they have 3 bastards.”
My first thought was “well I guess I am to”, and since the filter between my thought bubbles and my mouth is almost non-existent, (I said almost, I do have some control) I looked at her and said, wait for it………”I guess I am to”. Yes, she knew about my parents and yes I know she didn’t mean any harm. No, I’m not mad; she’s the one that put her foot so far in her mouth she’s tasting kneecap. She back peddled and said that people don’t really use that word anymore and tried to tell me stories about her divorced parents. That damn filter must be turned off because once again my thought bubble “you just did” was said out loud. *I know I really ought to have that look at but I’m pretty sure its genetic.* Luckily for all involved coworker #2 came into my office, so CW #1
escaped headed back to her desk.
*Hey, Sophia. Does this story actually have a point?
Why yes, my child it does. The point is don’t say something stupid to someone with a genetically defective thought bubble filter.
Ok, here it is….my first post. I debated on whether or not to start a blog because there are millions of them out in the blogsphere. Hell, I read hundreds of them at work. Lately there has been a lot of shi* going around about Mommy Bloggers. Will this be a “mommy blog”? Probably, I am a mommy after all; but this will also be a blog about being (and staying) married, about being discovering who I am besides wife & mom. Most importantly this will be about what I’m going to do once the company I work for closes and moves to another state. the one thing I do know is that I NEED to find something that will not only provide a paycheck but also provide satisfaction. That sounds kinda dirty, doesn’t it??
So grab a chair & a snack. It’s going to take me a while to figure out who I want to be when I grow up.