Time to Get Down (get it down on paper)
December 21, 2011, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Human Potential, Society, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Haven’t felt as interested in posting here. I’m starting to feel like I might really have something worth writing about for a writing career, starting with my memoir. I’m someone who’s always felt like I wasn’t worth much to this world, just being who I am, different. I’m starting to see I mean something in another way, the same way anyone who’s born into a society that tells her she’s less than because she’s black, or mentally ill, or too negative, or too blunt/offensive. The way I’m referring to is believing in something greater than this world (like black slaves did). Another way is to kind of live in my own world, and believe whatever I want to believe. Believe I’m beautiful, even though all my life I’ve seen the men I find most attractive choose women who look nothing like me, the women society says are most beautiful. Believe huge chunks of my life are worth something, are meaningful, even though they’re considered something to hide and “shameful,” like having a mental illness or sexually transmitted disease is.

At the end of the day, all anyone has is his/her beliefs, whatever one chooses them to be. We all live in our own worlds, but too many of us obviously shape our worlds with society’s beliefs. Why should I make my world so much like our world? It’s natural that I believed in the only reality I knew, but doing so only distanced me from really being in (speaking, writing) this world.

Since I was a little girl I enjoyed unfolding love stories in my head. (I didn’t want black girls in my stories, even though I was one–so I kind of understand when I see only white women in perfume and Victoria’s Secret ads.) As an adult, I look back and see I had it partly right from the start. When the world you find yourself in tells you you can’t have what you want (like being pretty, or the white boy on the other side of the playground), dream it up in your head, and have it there.

And when the time was right, I could let all the dreams go and the stories go, and watch them materialize in front of me. This is what I hope to do, bring my world to the world I was born into, and hopefully make this world warmer.

I understand people hear the black side of racism all the time, but maybe it’s because white people (and others) don’t know how to tell their side. How can calling one witch “good” and one witch “bad,” hurt the “good” witch? To find the answer, look at whose schools are plagued with school bullying, school shootings, eating disorders, suicides. Telling someone he’s valuable only because he’s rich and white hurts a lot, probably just as much as telling someone he’s less than because he’s black and poor, and poor because he’s black. I know partly because I felt it one day in a vision I had while dozing off to  sleep of small white children in an all-white school.

I’ve written more than I intended. I’ll always believe in the power of harmony/balance, that what one human being suffers from is not so different from what ails another. The happiness of each of us is wrapped up in the happiness of all of us, and so I doubt very many of us have been happy in the history of mankind, considering segregation, slavery, and (hmmmm…) maybe what happened to Julius Caesar. I’m no history buff.

A poem for yeh:

I’m a human in the world God made

A misfit in man’s world

I’m an evil spider

A nigger

A dairy cow

A buffalo

Perhaps the last of my kind

Unless I’m a cockroach.


Cain I Say What’s Hard to Say?
December 16, 2011, 3:57 am
Filed under: Race, Society | Tags: , , , , ,

I concluded earlier that I’d earned the right to treat death lightly in my writing. Why? Because I accept that death is a part of life, even though people avoid discussing it.

That’s when Herman Cain popped into my brain. Had he earned his casual approach to race conidering he denies race’s significance in American life, even as it obviously drives people’s marital and education decisions?

People pretend everything’s fine race-wise, but doing so really just shows that people are okay with some forms of racism, such as sending their kids to all-white schools, like my black parents did. The message to black children is similar to what it was before Brown v. Board (1954). They know something is wrong with them… in society’s eyes. I did. Has anyone seen a black little girl choose the black Barbie, yet?

I saw a white guy with a bumper sticker on his truck a couple of weeks ago, on the same day Cain resigned from the Republican primaries. It said: “Yes We Cain!” a play on President Obama’s slogan, “Yes We Can” in 2008.

It would’ve been different if it were a black Republican because black Republicans probably have to be unaware of racism to support a party that abandons social reforms aimed at equality. I doubt a black person would use that sticker, though, considering its purpose.

Translation of “Yes We Cain”: “We have an Obama, too. So, yes we Cain! elect a black president.” Republicans claim racism doesn’t exist, but at the same time wave the race of candidates like a flag that shows Republicans aren’t racists.

This is just another example of people reaching for the trophy after taking naps during the race. (Republicans have very few black leaders in the party, and Herman Cain was never one until he suddenly decided to run for president.)

Americans are the same way with race relations. Just because we gradually had mandatory integration after Brown v. Board, doesn’t mean that, “Voila, racism is fixed!” Hello?! White flight started back then and continues today. And racial divisions such as the income gap are as bad as they were in the 1960s, probably before interracial marriage became legal. (You can barely tell today it’s legal.) Just because it’s the law doesn’t mean people value integration and equality.

Part of the reason I know Americans’ napping game is because I play it. I think it’s human nature to want to fast forward through a struggle, especially because we’re insecure from suppressing socially unacceptable, yet natural things about ourselves, such as our sexuality, and  body hair.

I have done very little of my life’s work (writing), yet I expect my soul mate to show up on my doorstep, especially when times get tough.

BUT as I read a woman heard God say when she tried to kill herself (but survived), “You have to earn what you receive.” Maybe this will sink in by my next life time, or by the time I finish something that means something to me.

Hence the need for work that is meaningful for myself and for all. Doing what we’re called to do may be the only way to fix our race mess, which, like death, can be hard to face when we’re not really living, i.e. working jobs we hate, and counting down every minute til the weekend.

On Feeling Abandoned

When I first quit my job in July, it was weird. I didn’t know what I was doing. I would just wake up in the morning, and feel like I didn’t have to go. I felt caught up in a fantasy land/nightmare I could easily wake up from. I also felt sometimes like something was urging me to quit. One morning I woke and was staring at the ceiling when suddenly I felt presented with the idea that everything I wanted was waiting for me if I quit: a book by me; my soul mate; a cute, chubby baby.

At first, I had this idea that God (or nature if you’re an atheist), and real (real) life were on my side. I figured they supported me in my belief that human life is too valuable to squander “working for the weekend,” or being a “slave to the money/ then you die.” I thought I might be rewarded for believing in something more than the Matrix, where money is valued above all else.

That first couple of months, I thought I’d win some money or my rich (and miserable) soul mate (he’s a doctor/king in America) would help me out, and I’d never have to work a job I hated again. I guess I hoped more than believed. Some days I cried, and prayed for God to help me rewrite my story, the story of a person who’d quit a job. America had defined that person as an outcast and a loser: People were shocked when I told them I was quitting without having another job. Two months ago, a former co-worker asked me sarcastically, “Did you find the happiness you were looking for?”

Five months since I quit, I finally feel like I’m writing what will be my memoir about my fight to be Somebody, not just a stereotype/follower. And (frown) I’m lookin half-heartedly for jobs simply because it’s required for me get a deferment on my student loan payments, and possibly to get some other benefits I won’t name.

Then today I saw some comments on another Web site, in which people were complaining about others getting food stamps. And I’m like, wow: Money is everything to Americans, and people should apparently do any kind of work to avoid getting government help, maybe even prostitution–they wouldn’t care. Why? People act SO UGLY all for money, a man-made creation that defines success in America more than helping others or following your dreams.

The site required people to put their full names to comment and the people commenting wouldn’t even do that. Wow.

It’s irritating because their “human beings are nothing” attitude is sticking with me (I’m very impressionable), and I’m totally feeling like a piece of crap. This attitude people have makes life seem like it’s worth nothing. And that people aren’t worth helping, even temporarily, like they can’t turn their lives around. And they wonder why people kill themselves when their money runs out. We teach people that being broke is the end of someone’s value, practically spitting on people who use government help.

Of course, my situation’s different from someone who’s lost his job. But I feel the only reason I am where I am right now is because all my life I bought into America’s standards that put marriage, and race and money ahead of character in determining someone’s value. I’m rebelling against a society where human life is just about pushing a rock up a hill and getting a break after five days. I’m not okay with that. Sorry. Whatever consequences there are, are better than suicide. Whether you jump off a cliff, work another lowly job, or go to school to become a nurse only because they make lots of money, you’re doing one thing: Pushing yourself to do something, that deep down, you’re pleading with yourself not to do.

NOTE: This post was previously titled “America: Jump Damn It” because I was upset when I wrote it. I changed it because I felt the title was unfair.

The Voices in Me Head

I hear voices all the time, especially as I’m dozing off to sleep, like last night I heard, “Because you were looking for her,” which I’m unsure about.

But there are two regular voices I hear throughout the day:

“You’re pregnant,” is one. I heard this as I wrote the title for this post. Sometimes this voice makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. But I think it means I’m holding in creative talent that I’ve never used, and a life story I’ve never told. It also relates to a psychotic episode I had four years ago, in which I thought I was pregnant.

Another voice I hear says “trapped.” And sometimes I feel like the life I see as real (me sitting on my bed right now writing, aware of my money struggles) is not as real as it seems. Money (a man-made reality) is an illusion, and the sense of being less than because I have little money is an illusion created by man.

I’ve considered a couple responses to the voices: One approach was to accept the voices as a socially unacceptable part of my life, like having nappy hair. As part of that approach I try to accept that the voices have meaning, but still rely on myself (not the voices) to make decisions.

A second approach was telling myself I’m not considering what the voices mean because they’re just a useless chemical imbalance that I find bothersome. Sometimes I have yelled at the voices.

A third approach may have resulted in two psychotic episodes. Things were happening to me that I didn’t understand (being awoken at night, and hearing voices and songs such as one I’d never heard before saying “More than Chance”). Eventually I believed I was pregnant with the second coming of Christ. I drove from Virginia to New Jersey to save the “baby” from someone I believed was chasing me.

My approach now is mixture of these. I disregard the voices and focus on writing my book. I believe writing my book (my baby) will solve a lot of my life’s problems, like fulfilling my purpose and reaching my soul mate.

When I write and have my soulmate the voices will concern me a lot less.

I believe that’s why I needed schizophrenia. It was my wake up call. It also let me know that to someone/something I was special, not just wierd. Sure the doctor will say it’s a chemical imbalance. But it’s more to me.

I had been living a typical American life, believing the things I wanted were too amazing to have. Then I came face to face with something I wanted all my life. And of course, I thought I was too broke and too wierd to deserve it.

Perhaps I had to learn that the most real things are my dreams and finite presence on this earth. Do I want to spend it worrying about money, or how less than I am because I have no income, no wedding ring, or flock of friends? No.

Perhaps this is how I can finally escape the villain trying to hurt my “baby,” my dreams.

On Fakeness
December 6, 2011, 1:52 am
Filed under: Human Potential

I thought of this post tonight while listening to “Nasty Boy,” by Biggie Smalls. Aren’t we all nasty? I thought. I will explore this more later (12//9/11, 8:58 p.m.)…

I was really excited when I saw I got a comment on my blog saying my content was great. But it was just a spam-ish thing inviting me to a Web site to pay to see writing jobs. See? Not much is real here in America (or probably anywhere on the planet, except maybe China I’ve heard).

If every action results in an equal and opposite reaction, I wonder what reaction fakeness calls for. More fakeness?

Slavery was fakeness; so was Jim Crow and segregation. And I bet even today’s racial separation (reflected in movies and commercials) is more fakeness, people denying their true desires, which is for… togetherness, of course. I’ve liked white guys all my life, but I’ve had almost all black men in my bed and in my company. Tis’ life: Fakeness, a.k.a. racial separation, the result of years of fakeness. And we continue to put out more fakeness, pretending our desires make us freaks. That’s why we judge gay people so harshly; they’re uncommon sexual preference is openly expressed. I believe we all have some preference that’s unique and uncommon (my desire to be dominated, for example–not with a whip), but we hide it.

Do people really think that does no harm?

Different Kinds of Endings
December 5, 2011, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Society, Writing | Tags: , , , , ,

It’s getting very unpleasant where I live. I feel unwelcomed, burdensome, and like a nobody piece of crap.

I quit my job in July. I didn’t really feel great about it at first, but I feel more and more like it was the right thing to do.

My first job out of college was closest to my dream of writing. I was a newspaper reporter, but I was still very unhappy. In writing I made people angry a lot. Good reporters, and successful people in general are great at handling that, but I wasn’t. I felt like I was doing something wrong, and I probably was, but in hindsight I feel the questions raised and details in my writing were not what was wrong. I could have talked more (been braver) with school officials (I covered education) when I included details in my stories that were controversial (such as negative comments from others, or data showing the racial makeup of schools).

But, in the end, the change I made was being more careful, and safe in what I wrote. That made reporting a lot less enjoyable. My best stories ended up being ones I wrote earliest in my three years as a reporter.

The job I quit in July was as a teacher assistant at a school for kids with violent behaviors. The kids hit and scratch (mostly just at first), but that’s not why I left. Six months since I quit, I believe no one should have to work jobs he hates, not even while he pursues his dreams.

I believe working for a living sends the wrong message about the value of human life. When I am suicidal I start feeling like nothing matters in this world, that people’s actions don’t matter, that people are nobodies and that nobody cares. And so it doesn’t matter whether I’m here or not.

In working a job I hated, I was spending huge parts of my life doing something I didn’t want to, so what was the point in being here? In my time off I was dreading going back. Twice, on my drive to work, I considered stopping and jumping from someplace high to avoid going to work.

Lately my thoughts are very similar. Sometimes I really hate living where I’m living (with my mom). I feel very, very unwanted here, and I don’t want to live here, but I have no money to live any where else.

I’m working on a book, but I don’t feel that excited about it, so I’m not sure whether I could get money from that. I have considered living out of my car. Lots of people have done it on their road to success, such as the singer Jewel, the woman who owned the gym I used to work for, and I’ve seen other people on television who’ve lived through it to find success.

I have a laptop to write my book and the library for the Internet. I thought about just trying living in my car for a few days to see how it goes. I don’t want to live out of my car, but maybe I’ll feel less like a piece of crap, and more like one of the strong people I’ve always admired.

Now that You’re Rich and Famous….

I was watching “Sunday Morning”on CBS this morning, and it bugged me that the interviewer asked both Charlize Theron and Harry Belafonte in separate interviews whether they were happy or grateful.

Of course, they both said yes. It’s more satisfying for me to hear it from people who are penniless, or physically disfigured, or chronically diseased. Satisfying because I might be finally hearing the truth that I believe we all know in our hearts (happiness is about more than looks, or money, or marriage), but rarely hear–anywhere.

It’s just an extremely stereotypical  question and I felt both actors (and singer in Belafonte’s case) probably felt pressured to answer stereotypically for rich and famous people or risk sounding ungrateful. I could be wrong.

Yet, Charlize Theron said earlier in the interview that she was a very troubled person when she explained why she enjoyed playing troubled characters. In answering the question about feeling fortunate, Theron mentioned a charity she organized, saying she was more fortunate than the people she helps in her home country of South Africa. She also mentioned having great friends.

I just think it does more harm than good to reinforce the idea that being rich and famous is what makes people happy. This plays a big part in suicidal thinking, the idea that one doesn’t have or is unable to have the things that America says proves someone is capable, unbroken, things such as marriage, money, friends, or social acceptance.

I would love to see more ungrateful people, as I believe Americans have a bad case of settling-for-less-ism. How many times have you heard, “At least you have a job!” or So and So’s “Mr. Right…Now,” or, “It was just time to settle down,” as football player Chad Ocho Cino said (not verbatim) in explaining why he was getting married. Even these explanations are better than people pretending they enjoy their job or being married, when they don’t, which is what people do when I start saying they shouldn’t settle.

Yeah, it’s enough to drive someone crazy… And I am. I’m schizophrenic, and I think living in America had something to do with it. Almost nothing here is mentionable, and it makes it almost impossible to put your finger on a problem no one is willing to talk about. Sometimes I feel nothing here is real, except me and The Wizard of Oz. I hope that’s not true.

I wrote another version of this post but I went back and added tags and wordpress didn’t have time (I guess) to retrieve my post content so it came up with zero words once I hit update. I wasn’t into retyping this, so it’s not as long or, perhaps, as good as my first post. This sucks, WordPress, in case you’re listening.

Anyway, I liked Belafonte and Theron a lot from their interviews and wish there could be a less stereotypical world for them to live in. Stereotypical expectations, I believe, make people feel alone and misunderstood. Just because someone is rich and famous doesn’t mean he’s happy.