The Cost of Moving So Much

Friendship is like a delicate, but favorite recipe. It requires time and effort, loving care, and to be present to make it turn out right. But it’s worth every effort, because it’s the sweetest, tastiest cake you’ve ever made (all my favorite recipes are cake). But without those things, it is difficult to make it come out right. And sacrificing that favorite recipe is one of the biggest costs to moving and following your heart and dreams.

I make no qualms that I am career and ambition driven. I have moved *gulp* 4 times in the past 6 years, all for career, none for heart. Each time it gets increasingly harder to make friends and maintain friendships. Things get lost on translation, I am confronted with more demons, other people in the past tribes get closer, you become a pleasant visitor to the party, but not a regular. You have a lot of friends, but no bridesmaids invitations nor a secret holder, because no matter how hard you try, moving and shaking has a cost each time. And each time the cost deepens.

You try really hard to hold on. You love them and they love you, but never knowing when you’ll return, and in some places, never returning, it changes. And what’s hard is that no one can quite grasp what that means unless they have been there too. So it may even seem to them, nothing has changed, but you feel it.

Today, I scurried quickly out of a banquet dinner for a bunch of first year students in a summer program, practically in tears. Because in five short weeks, you could feel the community they had built, and I felt like an intruder with no home. I haven’t had a full blown tribe or community in years – like I belonged. I am craving that. And that craving is oddly burdening existing friendships because I simply feel tolerated at times, but not included. And it’s rightfully so! Some of it is because of my own tendency to withdraw and become quite cold when I’m feeling misunderstood or outcasted. This is probably from being unmercifully bullied as a child and so spending a while searching for belonging as a young adult. I learned to shut off and shut down. Never let them see the real you (I totally identify with the queen in Frozen). Other parts of not being included is that you simply cannot be included. You dont exist in that time and space.

Many women can live without that tribe. I am not one of those women. I have learned this painfully the past year. While I struggle sometimes to understand why someone may want to spend a ton of time with me, I’m grateful for having women and men who have cherished me as part of their group. Who have welcomed me. I don’t need a large group (actually prefer it to be smaller), but I need it. And I need it close to me. I need to feel included.

Lately, I feel more of a burden than anything to my friends. I also think having a group allows for shared connection among one another where you don’t feel you need to hide or go silent. It also gives you multiple reality checks that I think is helpful. I am optimistic that it can be developed again. I’ve developed it a couple times in my life, and hopefully, in my older age now, I haven’t become so far gone as to not be able to create it again. I’m rusty, sure. But I hope I can find that community, rather than feeling like a stranger in my life.

Moving and change is wonderful. But everything comes at a cost. I’m hoping to buy back some of this one.

A year of reflection…

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, and needs help, please don’t hesitate to use this number. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

This time last year I kind of made a decision to change my life. I felt that I was suffering from possible mild depression (self diagnosed) for at least 3 months, maybe longer. I had been about 8 months out of a serious relationship and about 3 months out of a situationship I thought I wanted to be in at first but then realized I didn’t want to be. And during that time I tried to do things to keep my mind busy. Visited friends in Wisc. and Seattle, WA. Took a trip to Ft. Lauderdale. Took a random road trip with my bestie to help her get her car situation handled before her move to NYC. I felt like I was handling it OK.

And I was, kind of…but it was all just a distraction.

Heartbreak Hotel…

The break-up was one thing. I mean, people go through break-ups every day, but after you’ve lived with someone, even for only two years and they are no longer a part of your life that way, it hits you. Especially when it feels like no one else wants to be with you. Which that couldn’t be farther from the truth, but that’s just how it felt. I just felt lonely most of the time, and not wanted. I mean, the depression did start a little bit before the break up but I wasn’t really aware of it, and it got worse afterwards. I got through it, but that was only one stage of the whole process.

During that phase, there were times where I felt like being alone a lot. And yeah, sometimes you need your alone time, but I got to a point where I felt better off alone, like I didn’t need anybody. Fortunately, that didn’t last too long, because I have amazing friends who I tend to miss on occasion now. lol

Friends

About this time a year ago, my ex-roomie (now best friend) moved in, and this is where I felt a lot of my anxiety and depression started to go away. I had the whole house to myself for almost a year after it being occupied by someone else for two. Just having her there helped a lot. I mean, I still liked being in my own space within the house, but I didn’t feel lonely anymore, even though we were in separate rooms a lot of the time. She helped fill the void of emptiness in the house. It was a great start to getting control back to my life. And even though we never really talked about my depression much, it’s almost as if she knew. She just had a great way of communicating and just being there for me. I mean, she’s a wonderful understanding and knowledgeable person and I’m glad I opened my home to her.

And we all know about my BFF LeAnna. I’ve opened up to her about how I felt a lot and she is always there to help talk me through things (even though I don’t listen sometimes, lol). I know I’m hard to get along with sometimes, but I’m glad she doesn’t give up on me. ūüôā

Work work work work work work

Another source of my mild depression and anxiety came from work. I wasn’t feeling successful at my current position at the time and I’d unsuccessfully applied for at least 3 other positions over the last 4 years before landing my new job. I felt like no one wanted me. I got to the point where I didn’t know where life would take me next because I wanted to move up in my professional career, but without any connections or experience other than what I had, I felt as if I was stuck, and that kept me down for a long time. I love my company (gawd knows I do), but it was hard to deal with being turned down so much. I almost let myself not apply for this position, due to just not feeling like I was what they wanted. I almost let it get the best of me in that situation and almost talked myself out of it, but I’m glad I didn’t. A promise I made to myself, that I would work towards bettering myself continued to live on.

Dating, is the worst

I know I’ve said this many times before, but yes, a lot of my uncertainty and depression came from dating. Not necessarily because nobody wanted to date me, but because I felt like nobody I wanted, wanted to date me. This prompted the “I think I’m over white men” post back in March. This, along with how easy it is to ghost people, the fact that most people just want sex and then they are through with you, the fact that you think that nobody likes you; It brings a lot of bad energy to your soul. And after going through that song and dance (myself even, being the lead in it, sometimes) just does a toll on you.

BUT…

It started in October of last year; that was the last time I seriously dated anyone. After dealing with someone for months, and feeling like there was something there, only to be told that there wasn’t, I refused to let it affect me anymore, and I slowed down actively dating. I mostly turned to hooking up (responsibly!) as it was less of an emotional connection and I can easily forgot about bob from tuesday rather than talk to Scott for months and then all of a sudden, nothing. So yeah, I still have Tinder, Hinge, Grindr, Scruff, whatever you call it, but I decided to just not put my feelings out there anymore. So all in all, I turned into some sort of a fuckboy, but it helped ground me a little bit. May not be the healthiest way overall to do this, but it works for me for now. And while I have met people throughout this time, it was more so a casual thing that could have turned into something, but never did, and I’m OK with that. Not saying that it’s right, but that’s what I needed to do at the time for me.

So what prompted this blog post?

July 30th 2018 was the beginning of not letting all of this crap above control my life. On this date last year I made a decision to work towards bettering myself. I dealt with a lot of depressive situations and anxiety prior to early last year and it just got worse over time. I knew I was going through something, but being the hardheaded person I am, I didn’t seek out help. Well not in a general sense, anyway, but my friends were there to help with it, even if they didn’t know I was going through something.

When I woke up and saw this post, it was almost like a weight was lifted off of my chest. Well, the weight was already gone, but it made me realize how heavy it was this time last year. Little by little, I was freeing myself. This, this was everything I was wishing to work towards. I owned the fact that I wasn’t OK and I dealt with a lot. I put it out there for the world to see, and that’s when I decided to work towards a healthier me. No, it wasn’t an easy process and I still deal with many moments to this day, but I refuse to let that hold me down. I have to remember that I can’t let it win and with this new job offer, I feel like it’s a sign. Confirmation that everything I worked towards changing and bettering about myself was finally coming to fruition. I’m still no where I want to be, but I’m better.

Everybody’s story is different. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. One of the ones where depression doesn’t completely control their life. My experience is nowhere near what others may be going through and won’t mirror someone else’s experience. I am fortunate to have a wonderful support system of family, great friends, and a stable job to help keep me grounded. I realize not everyone is fortunate to have this foundation or even fortunate enough to only need this type of foundation to lift them out of depression. It’s real out there. Everyone goes through this in different ways and I just hope that they are getting the support needed to overcome. Please don’t be like me; reach out to someone.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-273-8255

My Dirty Little Secret

I’m going to share a terrible secret with you all that I’ve tried to share in 3-5 different draft posts and have not gotten far. When I try to write it, it never seems worded right and I can’t tell where I am going with it. So, it’s possible this post makes zero sense and I guess that’s ok.

I’m a really jealous person. And especially around love, but it shows up in other areas too. But when people close to me are going on dates, getting laid regularly, meeting nice men, getting flirted with – I feel devastated. Like a complete failure and I dont understand. I just don’t.

I know. This isnt what good people do. You support your friends unconditionally, you are happy for their successes, and you wait your turn, but never enviously. Thing is, I’m so tired of waiting my turn. The jealousy thing I’m sure is a by- product of being utterly tired of it. I wasn’t always this terrible of a human.

I decided to examine my jealousy, get to know her, and understand why she is present. When I get close enough to her, she tells me we are very wounded by the world and universe. Y’all. I try hard. I might be a terrible, jealous human, but I really try to be the best human I can be despite my flaws. I try to give selflessly, for many years I’ve been the supporter and cheerleader (without jealousy), I’ve worked on myself, I try to be the kind of woman someone would want to date and marry that isn’t absolutely crazy, I am extremely self aware, I put myself out there, I’ve endured being cheated on, I’ve helped exes get better, I have forgiven, I’ve made no excuses from my past and each day, I renew a commitment to myself and the world to thrive despite any trauma or abuse that has happened to me. And you know what, I still lose sometimes. Life is like that. But there are those that only of the half work, or do the same work, or no work, and they win. Every time.

They barely work out and don’t exercise – no or minimal health issues. Put in a reasonable amount of work or minimal – either way, get promotions. Treat significant others like crap – get into relationships with the most amazing people and are happy. Lie, cheat, and are wholly awful people – get rich and run an entire country. Do half the work, put themselves out one time, make stupid choices, exist – find relationships, get laid, and/or find people who aren’t insane who want to share their time. There is a meme floating around the internet that asks, “what is the hardest lesson you learned as an adult?” One answer was something to the effect that you can be a good person and do all the right things, and life still not treat you well. I cried the first I read that.

I am sure at times that my jealousy now keeps me from being or getting certain things. Part of me truly believes that… it motivates me to want to change that and then just die from the fact that it is still there. I keep doing the work though. I know I’m incredibly lucky in some ways. When I think about how unfair life is to some people, I think about those who can’t climb out of poverty, who’s governments are murdering their family & friends, who can’t catch a break, and that many of them likely have purer hearts than mine. Trust me when I say, I know my life is so charmed at times, although by no means has it been an easy life. I feel a bit ashamed, but later, I’ll see a smiling friend engaged, on a date, with their s/o, and I know I’ll be crushed. I know how stupid this sounds. This is my dirty little (not so much now) secret. I know how it sounds.

I am continuing to sit with my jealousy. Trying to figure out what she wants me to learn. It’s hard because she brings me back to the pain and I’m not exactly sure how she wants me to address that yet. The pain is connected to an underlying feeling of being inadequate, not as good as everyone else, and that I am broken in some way. I’ve been working on that – it’s tied to some deep shit. As I write that, it makes me think – maybe I just have to go through these feelings. Endure them. Check them. Try not let them ruin me, but instead build me. I don’t know.

But what I do know, is now you all know, my dirty little secret. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you, but I hope someone else doesn’t feel so alone. I think we can figure this out. We can be better and ok.

Change is the only constant…

Change is inevitable.¬† It’s something we all go through in life whether we want it to happen or not.¬† In most cases, our idea of change is an unwanted variable that comes along, ruining good things and making things worse over time.¬† But change can happen for the better, and most often does.¬† We don’t like to openly invite change to make things better, but it’s only because it’s unfamiliar; And everyone tends to be a little scared about unfamiliarity.

So, as I go through one of the biggest changes of my life, I have to remind myself that change is a good thing.¬† To want change is to know that you desire more from life, and that where you are has become to stagnant and complacent.¬† Sometimes, change is desired, and sometimes it’s needed.¬† In this case, I think it was a little bit of both. I can only hope that it will bring good and positive things to me in the future.¬† So with that said, here are a few reasons why I think change is good and something we should all embrace and strive for:

Change gets you out of your comfort zone

I’m some sort of an introvert, so I know all about comfort zones and being in them.¬† ¬†But, doing things that are unfamiliar to you builds confidence.¬† Without confidence, you won’t get too far in life. With confidence, you are more willing to put yourself out there and take chances.¬† I’ve had to learn this and still am trying to get used to being confident in/with change.¬† Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to spread your wings and show the world what you can really do outside of your normal comfort box.¬† And no, you don’t ALWAYS have to get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s good to go back and chill, but don’t stay there.

Change allows you to grow

Change is life.¬† It’s how this whole ‘life’ thing works.¬† Getting you out of your comfort zone is the basis of change, and allows for you to grow, and as you grow, you learn.¬† And as you learn more, the better off you are in life.¬† Growth from change allows you to experience so much more than you ever would staying in your comfort zones.

Change and being adaptable are seen as positives

We all know that things at work never goes as planned.¬† As a bag-boy at the local grocery store I learned that being open to change is how you get recognized.¬† Work itself, is just one big ball of Murphy’s law ready to explode on your hour after hour. And being susceptible to change allows you to handle these situations like a BOSS.¬† Adaptability and change go hand in hand.¬† If you allow your resistance to change to keep you from taking charge or handling a situation accordingly, this is definitely seen as a negative.¬† Change allows you to be creative in solving a problem. A plus in many employer’s eyes.

Change can help spice up your life

In more ways than one…lol.¬† I am very accepting of change for this reason alone.¬† Doing the same things over and over for an extended amount of time got me into semi depressive moods many times, because it felt like I wasn’t doing anything or going anywhere in my life.¬† The same routines of my day to day allowed me to focus on why I felt like I wasn’t successful, or why my life was “boring”, and contributed to a negative aura and thought process.¬† Change, just in your daily routine, can help with these types of thoughts and maybe a big change could help as well.

Change allows you to experience new things

As we all know, change presents opportunities.¬† Without being open to change, I wouldn’t be making the biggest move of my life in 31 days. Simple as that.

You have to put yourself out there.¬† We as humans get to the point where we’re just really comfortable and complacent and just refuse to embrace change because we’re so familiar with the constant. Be open to change and all of the good impact that it may have on you.¬† Who knows, it could lead to great opportunities that you would have never imagined.¬† It could change your life.¬† To fear change, is to fear the unknown, and that totally understandable, but how long are you going to let the fear of change dictate how you live your life?

It’s Official…

746 Elders Story

Why do I feel like I’m about to throw up? The room is spinning, I can’t have a concentrated thought to last more than a minute and I think I’m becoming a big ball of emotions.

I saw it… The MLS listing for my home, and it may be the first real sign of “wow, this is actually happening”.

I’m on the verge of picking up everything and making the biggest change of my life that I don’t even know I’m ready for.

I know that when I wrote my other blog¬†A First-Time Home Buyer‚Äôs Confession‚Ķ, I mentioned that my house never really felt like a home.¬† While that is still true, I can’t forget about all of the memories I’ve had there.¬† Too many to go through, but I’ll share my first one.

I have this thing about when I move somewhere new,¬† I go in, open the door, blast the Air Conditioner, turn on the fan (if there is one) and then lay down in the middle of the floor.¬† Alternating between having my eyes closed, feeling the aura of the room, and then having them open, staring into the void of the ceiling fixture. I’ve always done this, ever since I’ve owned my first apartment back in 2009, but this time, it was different.

This was mine…

As I laid there, I thought about what I would do with my own space.¬† How I would treat it. My first housewarming party for my first home.¬† Where I was going to put all of the furniture. Buying all of the furniture to be put in there.¬† My mind was just racing to have this opportunity given to me.¬† No, it wasn’t given, it was earned.¬† Then, my mind goes blank, and I just lay there.¬† I just am.¬† I feel the air from the AC and ceiling fan blow on me, and I’m just happy to call this new place my home.¬† After all the time and effort spent on buying a home, I was relieved.

It was a culmination of hard work and an awesome bank that would basically give a loan to a dog as long as it had good credit and made enough money, lol.¬† No, buying a home isn’t easy, you definitely have to be vetted and go through a long ass process before anything happens, BUT I survived. That was good enough for me to be proud and feel that I’ve beaten a negative statistic about people who look like me in society.

3 years ago, I moved into a place that I could call my own.¬† Again, hindsight has let me know that right now this isn’t what I want in life, but back then it was a great feeling.¬† I truly felt like an adult.¬† Like, I did something amazing.¬† To own a home at 27?¬† Especially since I felt like I was sort of failing at adulting at that point in my life. Everything just started going well for me, and I feel like owning a home at that time in my life was a great decision.¬† However, people and things change, but what won’t change is how grateful I am to have been in a position to buy a home (as little as it is) and also grateful that I have the opportunity to sell my first home to be a part of something better, in my professional career.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again.¬† Life is hard.¬† It comes with good and bad, happy and sad, clear-mindedness and confusion/uncertainty, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Now, I’m off to DC tomorrow to go apartment hunting…I hope I don’t cry.

I… Am… Tired…

I’m tired of black people getting the cops called on them for no reason.

I’m tired of black people dying from scared ass police

I’m tired of innocent people, let alone kids, dying

I’m tired of school shootings

I’m tired of people not understanding why people want to change gun laws

I’m tired of hearing about this on the news

I’m tired of being looked at as a threat to White people

I’m also tired of being the “cool” black guy to other White people

I’m tired of being seen as not enough

I’m tired of bullies

I am tired of fat shamers

I’m tired of the internet

I’m tired of Facebook

I’m tired of Twitter

I’m tired of my lgbtq+ community being treated unfairly

I am tired of people not standing up for what’s right

I’m tired of you thinking everything is ok

I’m tired of racists

I’m tired of Donald Trump

I’m tired of Sarah Sanders

I’m tired of seeing my people systematically being pushed out of their neighborhoods they’ve lived in for generations

I’m tired of you not caring

I am tired of overly Christian people who refuse to live outside of their Christian beliefs.

I am tired of being judged

I am tired of people saying “no offense but…”

I’m tired of you saying “stop making this about race”

I am tired if you not realizing that this is ALL about race

I am tired of you not talking about it.

I’m tired of you not acknowledging that this is reality

I am tired of you…

I… Am… Tired…

A First-Time Home Buyer’s Confession…

house-for-sale1

Owning a home is pretty easy.¬† It’s down right smart, honestly.¬† It’s like putting an investment into yourself, you know?¬† Making sure that you have something to show for your hard earned money. AND, it’s relatively cheap, I mean, when you compare it to renting.¬† You can do anything your little HGTV inspired mind will let you.¬† You own it! Live it up!

So why do I feel like owning a home isn’t for me?

Being a homeowner for the past 3+ years has had it’s ups and downs.¬† More ups than downs honestly, but over the past year or two I’ve had this feeling that I was ready for something different (I get like this a lot).¬† Earlier this year, I was in the process of trying to figure out my next career move.¬† Along with this came the thought of if this career move would include an actual MOVE move.¬† It was basically because I didn’t know if I wanted to live in Charlotte anymore.¬† I’ve gotten into a mood that it was time for me to spread my wings and be a part of another experience.¬† As much as I love it here (I mean, I have a tattoo of the skyline), I felt like my time was up.¬† It’s a part of my personality where I tend to get bored and I start to feel complacent.¬† It affects my mood, and eventually starts to effect my life socially and professionally.¬† So as I contemplated about the next stage of my life, I could only ask myself, would I end up staying in this same area and grow my professional career in a city I’ve grown to love but essentially have outgrown, or do I make a change now.

There is also this other thing…

Over the past 3+years of owning a home, I’ve yet to feel like I was “home”.¬† Is this something I’ve done subconsciously to ensure that I don’t get too comfortable and keep myself constantly on the go? Who knows.¬† My home was OK though.¬† It was somewhere I slept and chilled out, but never really felt homey.¬† I don’t know if “homey” is even a feeling that I’ve ever really felt in my home.¬† My house first felt more like a home thanks to my old roommate who helped rid the extra bedroom of silence.¬† I mean, my house is pretty bland.¬† No colored paint on the walls, no pictures up anywhere that actually mean anything.¬† I didn’t do many projects to make the place look better.¬† It’s just a dwelling that I decided to buy because I thought that’s what you were supposed to do.

Not owning a home isn’t bad…

I’ve come to realize that my personality and buying a home, isn’t really a match made in heaven. For someone who tends to get a new car every 3 to 4 years,¬† switch jobs about that often as well (not companies, jobs).¬† I like to think that I’m an ambitious fellow, and that this type of ambition, shouldn’t be tied down. Or maybe I just don’t want to be in the same spot for too long, who knows?¬† And for the longest, living here in Charlotte, in my wonderful 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome next to the nicest neighbors I’ve ever had in life, was a great experience. But I think that this experience was only for a season, because something was missing.¬† Maybe it’s the fact that I lived out in the surburbs of Charlotte, without a family, and that living closer to the city is probably what I really needed.¬† But I did live in the city right before moving to the suburbs, so maybe moving was a mistake, or maybe I just needed a change of pace at that time, and now I need a change of pace again.¬†¬†Luckily, my company, that I LOVE to work for had an opportunity I could not let slide by me and I am ever grateful that I am able to start my next journey in life because of them.

Adulting is hard folks.¬† You never know if you’ve made the right decision for yourself until you go and do it.¬† Listen to your friends, take in their advice but you won’t know how to deal with life until that hurdle comes rushing towards you in that moment.¬† Then and only then will you realize what you have to do.

So yeah, while I have enjoyed owning a home, and having a place to call my own, I don’t think a traditional home is made for me.¬† Maybe a condo in a city built like a big community is what I need.¬† Maybe we’ll find out when I move to DC in two months.¬† Only time will tell, and I’m so ready for this next adventure. Maybe a little hesitant at first, but I’ll eventually get going at my own pace.