Daily affirmations

i have to keep reminding myself that things are better than my untrained eye can decipher.

I feel cold at night but there’s a blanket on top of me, my heart feels wary and my mind is dreary but I remind myself that just 2 months ago I was worried about any and everything that would cost money, and losing the closest person that I’d ever let next to me.

The battle to recognize my triumphs is a daily affirmation for me. I am too familiar with lonely and it makes me think of who I’ve lost recently but then the daily affirmation continues…
I continue to chat in whispers, I consciously exercise my breathing.

I’m just not for everybody.

My next move is so strategically planned that I scare myself, nothing else can go wrong or I’ll blow up like a building full of terrorists who are trying their hardest to prove something…

In fact,

I am a terrorist too. My mind is full of bombs created in my own bedroom, restless nights of roaming the internet trying to research the tools needed to create my own explosive changes, I want to blow up myself into tiny pieces, come back to life with a whole new set of eyes, thoughts, and cares, that would be my prize for my martyr sacrifice. Paradise; it would be heaven…

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Love extinct

She was asked about love…

“what do you remember?”

“No words” she replied.
“No faces” she continued…

“Feelings, tears, hope, the sun blazing, my eyes burning; my heart yearning. I’ve missed her. She melted me. Enough to write an entire book in my head. Kept me walking backward into an abyss, the unknowing, hurting, trusting her with only love to draw our painting. No practice, petrifying teachers leading us to failing, but we were trying to save ourselves from drowning, save ourselves from doom.”

But love died around us, died inside of us…all that was left, was the mourning.

I am smoking

Smoking

I am smoking past myself
Hoping that I outlast the path of my past
Smoking the last
Dream I’ve had
And watching it burn away;
It’s going away-
Not
Becoming what
I’ve tried speaking into existence
I’m walking hopelessly away from a distance
Reality shows no mercy when you don’t
Take advantage of your second chance
Second-hand
Smoke leads you into a cloud
Cloudy judgment
Leaving you asking
Where’s my passion?
Doubts, have to run past them
Until they disappear, into the smoke
Regain hope,
Until it all clears away.

Jack In The Box-Smalll excerpt from Auto-Biography

I stared ahead to stop myself from staring too hard.
This man, looked to be in his late 80’s, walker and all-
just sat there eating his sandwich from Jack in the box,
looking hollow and pained. I wasn’t sure if he was homeless
or not, his aura spoke of someone who was alone, I felt
like I was violating his space when looking in his direction,
something about someone eating seemed so intimate to me,
though that didn’t stop me from wondering if this was his first or
last meal of the day.

I waited for my number to be called. I looked up at the “Jack in the Box” sign.
it reminded me of a time where my meals were limited, living in motel rooms
and scrounging up change to get something off of the dollar menu from Jack in the Box.
Heavy memories came rushing through me. It was about 2 a.m, not sure what day it was,
but I know that I was just released from jail. Somebody was on their way to get me,
wasn’t sure who, but whoever it was…they had to buy me the Bacon cheeseburger
at jack in the box. I thought about that thing the entire time I was in jail (about 36
hours) I see a mini-van pull up, a red one. It’s my aunt Stacy. She rolled down her window
and screamed out my name “Kimberly Renae!” I laughed out loud. She was drunk. I suppose
I should have felt afraid or upset to see my intoxicated aunt pulling up to drive me away from
the jail drop off location, but I wasn’t. She was a pilfered individual, lost in a sea of dysfunction and
struggle, much like myself. People like that gravitate to one another, so I understood her. She was
hungry for the pain of failure to go away. I got that. I was hungry too.

I felt like a martyr when I got into the car. “You are a gangsta, kid!” one of her friends says. “I
can’t believe you got locked up! Were you scared?” says another. I shake my head no. I wasn’t scared.
I was starving. “Can you guys take me to Jack in the box by the house?” I open up
my bag holding my items from when I was arrested, still had the same $5.00 from yesterday.
At least I have something.

When we eventually got back to the house, my mom was there, my brother, cousins. They all
sat and looked at me. They were all so curious how the smart and structured Kim had wound
up in a cell, wanted to know what kind of people I met in there, if they tried to hurt me. Who I’d met. “Prostitutes” I said. Told them that a lot I’d met were there because of a man. Domestic violence, selling their bodies, drug charges. They were amused, I was ashamed. I had gone in there a poor yet intelligent girl, and came out a poor yet intelligent girl with an arrest record. I walked upstairs and sat on my cousins’ floor, took my food out of the bag, and started to eat.

I was about 2 bites in before I slowed down. I looked at my food with tears in my eyes. I was breaking down. At that moment, I realized that I was at my lowest of lows. Don’t know if I can
put it into words that will express it, it just feels…empty, yet at the same time like my body was filled
with cotton balls. Each bite after that felt like I was choking it down. Choking down my reality…it was difficult to swallow.

Years beyond years have passed, yet this memory is still very vivid. Weird, I know…but watching this elderly man slowly eating his food reminds me of myself. I wonder what his memories are, what he thinks about as he is eating, if he is still that struggling person that I used to be (and sometimes still am.)
They call my number, and I go to get my order.

Jack In The Box…If you only knew.

For Real,

I am not real.
I am just really inexplicable.
Really human,
really.
I am not real.
Real is relative,
irrelevant,
unimaginative.
When really,
I’m just trying
to make it
in the real world,
and the expectations
aren’t reality..
But really,
what can I expect
in a place where
the real me
is created by
the perception
of someone else’s
reality?
So, no. I am not real.
I am just really,
another stain
on this planet,
and no. I didn’t plan it.
really.
-honest.

Ambition.

Can’t really say what hardship teaches.
We all go through our own versions of it. Some of us never see the end.
I remember the evening I had realized that my hardship was happening; I was about
16 years old. Me, my brother, and my momma had just unpacked our rented car
and placed our belongings into the room of a seedy motel in Chino. My momma was
relieved; temporarily it seemed—could see the wear on her face with a message
saying “Okay, we got through today.” But my young mind all too-curiously wondered
“Well, what about tomorrow?” Ambition.

I saw that she had given up on me. This woman, working tirelessly and trained regularly,
an army of one—looked as if she wanted no more of this battle, her eyes diverted to the
telephone as if she were waiting for it to ring. No, mom. No. I’d think. I knew she was waiting
for my step dad to call and say “Come stay with me”, he’d never. We’d never, because I knew
that would be an unstable thing, and though the motels were never supposed to be permanent, they became
a permanent thing, why burden ourselves with the responsibilities of a broken family, when for $47.95 a night
we could sleep without the full-time job of others expectations? At least that is what I was thinking.

I was awake that night. Long hours, long thoughts, short fuse. Family, what did that mean? I remember
feeling angry because I knew what would become of me, I was a hardened kid with a past no one knows of
but me, and who has time to whine about where I’m sleeping? I had just hoped that my mommy would carry
me…no…I’m too old for that now, time to take care of the family. It was clear. Ambition.

I woke up the next morning, time to get moving. OK. Who can I call? No one. Fine..let’s see what I can sell. Can never
sell drugs, not my M.O- how do I know? Because I thought about it. We can get through this, and we did. We do.
My most prominent memory? Getting the call.. “Hey, good news. My friend got locked up, said we can stay at her place for a few weeks until she gets out…come stay over here!” The caller? My cousin. By this time, I was 17 and this made me happy because I could focus on getting a job. I knew that we were squatting, but I didn’t know we were SQUATTING, in a tiny one bedroom apartment with about 6 or 7 methies, They’d say “All the kids, go in the room…its adult people time.” Then out comes a smokers laugh. I felt challenged, what has become of me? My life? I despised them all with every fiber of my being. Ambition.

The job search intensified. Applied at Kmart. Next day, no call. It’s okay, I’ll call them. “Hi, My name is Kym and I applied for an associate position yesterday?” “Sure, Kym..come on in” they say. I go in dressed as nicely as I could for a 17 year old homeless teenager, I turn on my charm. I am well-read. Made sure I was eloquent. Smarter than my age represents. I’m  hired. I walk back to the squatting apartment in tears. Amazing what both hardship and ambition can get me.

Months flew past, and I found that I had created a pattern. I woke up at 5:30 a.m to go to work. I was ambitious, yes. But I was running. I knew that I had to get away from where I was, I knew that I had to get my family away from where they were. Landlords were knocking on the door threatening us, and understandably so- the eviction process in motion. Me, my brother, my momma, and our little dog Gege- all in that little bedroom. Prisoners to crippling situations, but not crippled, not me. I was finally able to find a way out of the apartment. Told my momma, “I’ll be back for you guys, I’m going to go to San Diego and get us an apartment”, and it took me months. But I did it. Ambition.

12 years ago, 12. My life has gotten better, that problem went away. But thankfully so, the Ambition…it stayed, and it never goes away. I am solid because of my Ambition. I am weak because of my ambition. Life has shown me things I’d NEVER expect to see, but I did…you’d be surprised what it’s taught me. My biggest weakness is the expectation of my family. Ambition. I love them all..I want to see them cry the same tears of accomplishment that have blurred my eyes. In due time…