Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy valentine's day

i've been thinking a lot about loss lately. not just any loss, but the loss of love that comes from a life partner... it's a word with such sad connotations,  evoking feelings of pain and angst, and can also be a trap to self pity if not checked and dealt with head on. when someone loses a person that they see as dear to them or precious to the heart, it can cause a lot of confusing and conflicting emotions. people blame themselves for mistakes that were made and repeat mantras that can lead to dead ends: "if only i had acted differently...." "if only i had thought through that course of action..." "if only i had foresight when i needed it...". we all, as humans, have the ability to ruminate on past mistakes that can lead to loss, and in some cases, it is good to reflect on the "if only's"--if only for a little while--to gain clarity and perspective on what could have been done differently so that these same mistakes aren't made in the future...

not so recently, i lost a person who was very dear to me, not through death or deportation but through disappearance--his willing disappearance from my life. for a while, i thought nothing could be greater than the loss of him as my lover and partner. i sunk into my own despair and depression over the "what if's", and "maybe's" that accompanied my profound sense of longing for what  no longer existed; and i thought i would not heal from the terrible pain that accompanied his strategic exit. 

for a while, i blamed myself for what i saw as grave misgivings in who i was as a person (his leaving rattled me that much), i would think about the reasons why he left and what i could have done to have prevented it (a torture that went on for more than a year). it took a lot of work to get to the point where i could see clearly that what i'd lost only brought to the forefront deeper issues that needed to be addressed by me, and so i began the long hard journey of unpacking my baggage and airing it out.

it's been a rocky road, but now that i can see the light glinting off the branches of my tree, i feel more at peace with myself than i've been in a long time. i've started to do the things that i need to to take care of myself, first and foremost: quitting smoking (very recently, this is going to be a daily battle for a while lol), exercising, going to therapy, concentrating on my friends and family--the people who have truly been there to support me--i even have a crush (which is an accomplishment for me...)

it's been almost a year and a 1/2 since the departing of my ex partner, and in that time i've had the chance to break down to my core and grow up from my roots, sprouting new flowers on my branches. i am in the early spring stages of a revised outlook and perspective on myself and on life in general, and i find that loss has helped me to become a better me. someone more capable of living and loving to her fullest.

i no longer blame him for leaving (he was in a tough position), and i no longer see him as my enemy, just someone who didn't know how to do what he needed to do for himself without hurting me deeply in the process. i can now say that i still love this person without the anger boiling over into rage or the pain stabbing me so that i can feel it physically. and i can wish him the best on his path called life, hoping that he finds his own peace.

loss, for me, has been challenging and revealing. it's opened my eyes to perspectives and ways that i would not have seen had it not been for someone else's decision to leave. and for that, i am truly grateful.  now, when i think about loss, i think about winning. i think about how sometimes we don't process the ying with the yang, the good and the bad,  the fact that there is no right and wrong in these situations, there is just growth from adversity and triumph from struggle...
i am so glad for this particular loss because i realize what i learned in this relationship all happened after the fact, and maybe that was the point in the first place (they do say some people are only in our lives for a season). he was that. a seasonal lover. but i am me, permanently :)

i haven't changed that much (no point in getting all lost and "switching up"), but i have grown and developed in ways that i didn't think possible, and it's all due to loss. sounds funny to say it that way, but it's true.

so big up to losing, dusting off, and growing from the experience...

there's nothing like losing, to win you. ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

haiti, oh haiti...

there has been  much running through my mind in regards to the terribly powerful and utterly devastating earthquake that hit  the country of haiti on january 12th, 2010. 

much of my connection to that part of the island and its people is a direct result of the connections i created while in undergraduate as a member of my university's haitian american student association (better known as hasa). the black student center (bsc) and hasa were connected to each other in ways different from some universities, solidified as one by the fact that members of the administration from both organizations were of haitian descent. hasa and the bsc worked closely with each other: raising money for orphans in sub saharan africa, hosting tchaka night, putting on fashion shows to benefit the childcare center at the uni., and creating a journal entitled nubian notations. beyond the work though,  there was a sense of comraderie amongst folk, a solidarity in spirit that could be felt tangibly in the air. 

i had a dyasporic experience in undergrad., one that would not have been possible without the haitian americans i met amongst my encounters with so many diverse groups of people. true, there were the cultural differences that inevitably came into play (mainly location and language), but i felt like part of  a community, a member of a collective,  an active participant in a center of creativity at a time when creative juices were tipping the top of the cup; people were quick to get on board with multiple initiatives: protesting the unfair treatment of a professor on campus for his beliefs about the iraq war (and his getting physically fucked up by the staties), fighting to keep the job of the one, full time, female professor in the africana studies department... we were quick to move on things and proud to take a stand for our beliefs.  i became a de facto member of the haitian community, if only through college and transiently, because of shared ideas and goals.

it is partially through hasa that i learned about struggling in solidarity for higher purposes and loftier ideals, that there is strength in unity and power in numbers, and that people working together can achieve what seems the impossible...this summer, i was supposed to travel to haiti to learn more about the culture and the people that helped to pave the way for my own emancipation here in the states (study your history, kiddies). obviously, that trip has been derailed, but the desire to give back what has been given to me, has not been...

i will be going, now, to do just that.

1luv haiti.  and thank you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

new year, new things

i decided to start a blog to express some of the things that have been on my mind in regards to some changes that need to be made by me in the new year. i still haven't figured out if this is the best venue in which to do it, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, and i'm about to cancel the websites i haven't touched in months and do some writing right here, for free, amongst a community of bloggers gettin busy. i feel home. lol :)

this past year was a tough one for me so let me just get straight to the point(s). for one, i almost lost my mind. and for two, i had the kind of heartbreak that one only reads about in gabriel garcia marquez novels. both were intertwined with each other and mixed up with a lot of other fluff that i decided not to sift through, just left behind. so here i am, blogging, and trying to keep some of my challenges under wraps at the same time :). we'll see how far that gets the curious reader lol.

i've decided that i'm starting of the 2010 fresh:  new decade, new outlook, new energies. and i figure, the universe has to come into alignment for me at some point and now is as good a time as any to bet that it will do just that...i'm keeping my fingers crossed for one full time job, one new pad, and one new homie to kick back with and relax lol (though i'm not as keen on the last, anymore, as i am on the first two desires)

so my list of things to do includes...(bear with me, i'm still thinking about it...):

a) cleaning out the clutter. this includes anything that's clogging clear pathways to positive thinking and action, could be family, friends, people you semi know, or those you fall head over heels for. don't let anyone or anything stand in the way of your forward progression.

b) thinking and acting like a souljah. by this i mean, concentrating on how the spirit affects the everyday world around you and the truths you manifest through your actions. if there's something you are hesitant about or feel would be beneficial to you, focus on what's deep down in your soul and then decide  what is best for you to do (some people call this relying on gut instinct, or the conscience. i call it "getting to the root").

c) doing more for those around you. by this i mean helping out your homegirl who just had a bambino. or jumping out your bed on a whim to make sandwiches and distribute them to homeless people. whatever floats your boat, make sure you do the do. (i've been thinking of volunteering some time tutoring students who are learning to speak english, among the many ideas floating through my head).

d)  back your words up with actions. that's pretty self explanatory, but is what it is.

hm...that's all for now, but it's a (lofty) start. bring on 2010...the chinese year the tiger...time for swift action and no lax attitudes, oxen. lol  :)