Soccer Dad Chronicles

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So after how last week went down Cydney had to practice.  She isn’t in preschool so the idea of following rules in the way that her coaches had instructions isn’t really part of her lexicon.  In our backyard or while my nephew was at baseball practice we would do the drills that she’d learned the first Saturday so that she could be ready this week.  I think that Cydney is pretty good for a three year old; but she’s out there playing with four and five year old girls and of course my pride says that I want her to be the best girl on the field.

When we got to the field on Saturday Cydney was ready.  When they did most of the drills she was participating much better and following instructions.  She wasn’t here for the “Put your [body part] on the ball” game but that wasn’t one we’d really gone over much.  It will be added to at home practice, though.  When they introduced a new game which was teaching the girls how to roll the ball backwards on their field she wasn’t quite getting it at first but eventually she did.  She even stayed on her field as opposed to kicking the ball all the way to another one.  She’s slowly becoming one of the girls out there.

Then it was scrimmage time.  At first they put Cydney at goalie.  She didn’t quite understand this yet.  Neither did the girl on the opposing team as she tried to block kicks with her feet.  I think the idea of using her hands at this time may have got a little confusing since they were taught they in fact aren’t supposed to do so.  Cydney stood there and danced at the goal.  I tried to get a video of this because I was once again thoroughly entertained.

Then it was Cydney’s turn on the field.  She still was behind the ball.  If the ball went one way she’d go the other.  She was trying her hardest.  She got one or two kicks in.  When the ball would come her way she would freeze.  One of her coaches and I would say “Cydney!  Look, there’s the ball!  Kick it!”  She is just a little slower than the other girls because of her age.

Eventually Cydn had enough.  She ran over onto another field of girls with different jerseys.  She wanted to play with them.  The coaches and I called for her but she didn’t want to listen.  I went over to get her.  I ran on the field and apologized, picked Cydney up with one hand on my shoulder and tried to scurry off.  Just as I was scott-free another little girl came from nowhere.  I tripped over her and Cydney fell with me.  I broke most of the fall but Cydney caught a little of it.  She started crying.  I checked to see if the other girl I tripped over and she was okay.  We walked back to our own field and Cydney was still crying even though she was upset.  She was hurt that I’d fallen with her.

Then the real reason why she was upset came out as she moped on the field.  She was upset that she wasn’t getting the ball.  It seemed like no matter how hard she tried it just wasn’t happening and this was why she had left to go play in another game.  The coach made sure she got the ball once or twice.  But the way that she dribbles the ball up and down our yard or at home she wasn’t able to do and was getting upset that it kept getting taken away from her.  I have tried to work on this at home with her and she does it pretty well.  I think she may do better if there were two of us trying that she was trying to take the ball from.

With all of that said, Cydney was still enjoying herself out there and having a good time.  We’ll keep practicing and I’m sure her next game will have some surprising stories as well.  They’re off Saturday because of Spring Break.  Maybe I’ll have something to write about next week because of our practices.

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The Weekend In Pictures: Soccer and Little Italy Edition

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A Post About The Ultimate Warrior: A Piece About My Childhood

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I think I related to him unconsciously because the name Chad means “warrior.” That just about sums me up…

It feels like just yesterday I wrote something like this.  I woke up yesterday morning and heard that The Ultimate Warrior had died.  The remnants of the seven year old in me that’s left after Michael Jackson and Chris Kelly from Kriss Kross passing away  gasped said said “Oh no!”  

Of course I googled old matches, relived some of my favorite moments, and laughed as an adult at how ridiculous some of the things this man said actually are.  He was my favorite, though.  While I loved Hulk Hogan there was a rebellious spirit and even though he was a fan favorite was still the underdog at the peak of Hulkamania.  He growled, snorted, and flexed as he talked about crazy shit.  I didn’t know what any of it meant and I can’t even quote it to you.  All I know is that I did it too.  I tied shoelaces around my arms, wore a mask and t-shirt of his chest that I got as a gift, and put many-a pillows into a gorilla press slam during those days.  Good times.

I remembered when my father bought tickets to SummerSlam ’91 at Madison Square Garden.  We took the train into the city and I was too excited.  My father still talks about that night to this day.  I left with a Hulk Hogan bandanna and there’s a picture of me somewhere with it on and flexing on the F train back home.  Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior were taking on Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa, and the other guy whose name I didn’t remember but I didn’t care.  After that night he’d disappeared from Wrestling for what seemed like forever.   I would watch WWF of Fox (Remember when it used to come on right after Gladiators?!?!) hoping he’d return.  One night he did.  Hulk Hogan was getting his ass kicked my Sid Justice-who in an interesting turn of evens is my friend Kofi’s workout partner-and he came out of nowhere.  It was awesome.

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As an adult who is jaded my life’s ills we tend to focus more on the hurt that has accrued since childhood.  We think more about the things that people have done to wrong us as opposed to the good times.  A day like yesterday made me smile thinking about how awesome my childhood was.  I had my real-life hero take me to go and see my fantasy heroes.  While my father does almost all that he can to help me out and I’m sure that can be frustrating he still thinks of and remembers those moments much more often.  He sees me trying to do the same for my daughter.  No matter how old I get, married, have other kids, be a grandfather or whatever–I’ll always be the kid who loved The Ultimate Warrior.  I might see if the toys are under the house somewhere.

What I will part with were the last words that the public heard from the guy who legally changed his name to Warrior because they are very true and honestly the only real thing I’ve heard him say that made sense:

“No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own,” he said. “Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others, and makes them bleed deeper and something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. By the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever. You, you, you, you, you, you are the legend-makers of Ultimate Warrior.”

That’s some real shit right there…

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Unique: Why I Let My Daughter Be Great

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Yesterday my nephew had baseball practice.  The baseball field is in the harbor about three miles south from our house; so it’s much cooler and windy down there.  It was gorgeous outside, but Cydney needed a hat.  Cydney opted for this wig that belonged to my nephew from an old Michael Jackson wig.  I laughed and obliged.  We went to the soccer field right next to the baseball diamond and kicked the ball around like we normally do.

Because it was quite windy out, Cydney didn’t want to play soccer for too long.  She wanted to run around with her hands in the air reminiscent to an airplane and pretend to fly around.  It was about 6 p.m. and there were many people jogging around the track looking at this toddler pretending to fly around in a wig that made her look like an old lady or Jerome from the TV show, Martin.  She didn’t care and neither did I.  She was happy and I was happy.

I let my daughter do all kinds of things.  If she wants to walk around with a princess dress while we’re going to the mall?  Fine.  She believes she’s actually a princess queen.  Do we practice soccer with a tiara on if she feels like it?  Why not.  The whole purpose of this is that my child is unique.  I facilitate this by letting her be whoever she wants to be.  It’s the key to letting her become an awesome individual.  It lets her imagination develop.  It will give her the courage to do whatever she wants to do in life without worrying about obstacles, hindrances, or others who may look at her negatively.  It will in fact encourage her to take risks that others won’t and is the bedrock of leadership.  When she walks outside happily with two shoes that don’t match but says they’re her tap dance shoes then I just look at her, laugh, take pictures, and post them on Instagram.  

The result of this is that Cydney has a ton of personality.  This is how I was raised I think it works.  People tend to gravitate towards me because I tend to look at life differently.  I’m candid, honest, and have a sense of self that even in times when I don’t feel the most confident I can and will find a way to make a way out of no way.  

Many people didn’t “get” me growing up.  I was the kid in Pre-K who grabbed his crotch and imitated Michael Jackson during the pledge of allegiance every day.  I’d come into class some mornings and just lay on the floor because that was how I felt.  For a short spell of time I changed my name and would write my name on my heading as “Blue Milner.”  Some teachers thought I was crazy; some kids did too.  Oh well.  The teachers who understood I marched to the beat of my own drum were the ones whose classes I emotionally flourished in because my grades were always good.  

This kind of pattern always made me seek out people who were accepting of me being me.  Timile saw who I was deep down and while I resisted for a little bit it was the thing that made me crazy about her.  She got me.  It is the most important quality I look for in relationships these days.  It speaks volumes to acceptance.  If you can see past someone’s “crazy” and know there’s an incredible upside to it then I feel like I’ve got a winner where we can both be weird together.  

There are adverse effects to raising this kind of person.  I’m kind of a rebel and for what many would consider to be “normal” is not for me.  I remember growing up and thinking that my dad was the coolest because he didn’t wear a suit to work.  That shaped me into aspiring to be just like that one day (Note: Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind wearing a suit to work; but I want to continue to do things that make me happy as well as paid).  

The key to this is balance.  I do discipline Cydney.  When she does something she’s not supposed to do I will tell her she can’t wear something that she requested and this is the reason why.  Eventually she’ll get the gist of it.  I also think that once she is in school she will become more balanced as well.

As of now, Cydney’s got a fairly free reign to be whoever she wants to be.  People can and will flock to her because of this.

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Cydney reading in her wig while my mother made copies at Staples.

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Soccer Dad Chronicles: Week 1

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This picture sums up Saturday at soccer…

Yesterday I wrote for Mommynoire about Cydney being the only black girl on her soccer team.  Of course I wanted to share the full experience with you guys.  I was very entertained.  

The morning started off with me getting all of Cydney’s things together.  I was pretty geeked about the whole thing because this was my first time getting to watch my baby be a little girl and do an activity that had nothing to do with me.  Cydney has been getting ready for this for quite some time.  She’s been kicking the ball around the yard for some time, we watch soccer when it comes on TV, and as often as we’ve been to the field to watch before Cydney couldn’t wait until it was her turn.

I woke Cydney up and said “Guess what?!  We’re going to go play soccer today!”  She beamed with anticipation.  As I got her dressed I took pictures of her in her new outfit.  Because I don’t currently own a car we took the bus to get there.  When we got to our stop, I put her on my shoulders and I walked the rest of the way there.  It’s about a mile from the bus stop to the ball field, but I knew we’d get there quicker and she would be kinda tired if I let her walk the whole way.  When we got there, the coach handed Cydney an option of jerseys and I gave her number 7.  She got out on the field and was ready to go.

Cydney definitely marches to the beat of her own drum.  The coaches had the girls doing a drill where they would kick the ball around and yell “Freeze!” and the girls would do so, put one foot on the ball and then switch a few times before kicking the ball around again.  Cydney would kick her ball all the way to the next field.  One of the coaches had to constantly guide her and stayed with her the whole way so that she could get used to this.  

The next drill was the coaches introducing dribbling by what they called the penguin walk.  They would walk like a penguin alternating the ball between feet and then they would freeze.  When the coaches told the girls to dribble, Cydney picked up the ball and proceeded to dribble it like a basketball.  I cracked up laughing because what she did was technically right.  The next drill was a listening drill.  The coach would tell the girls to put a certain body part on the ball and they’d do so.  Kinda like a “Simon Says” of sorts.  Cydney participated at first.  Eventually she just stood there and looked while the other girls followed instructions.

Then came the scrimmage.  Cydney wasn’t getting the idea of following the ball too well.  She’d get a little confused and thenw ould be happy just twirling around on the field.  A few times she subbed herself in and out.  She took water breaks while she was supposed to be on the field.  There was lots of me saying to Cydney “Follow the ball!” or “Go that way!”  The whole time I was laughing and taking pictures.

Then Cydney’s friend Neighbour came by to check on her.  Neighbour is one of the coaches in the academy which is why Cydney signed up.  As soon as Cydney saw her she yelled in excitement, ran over, and gave her a big hug.  We were both telling Cydney “Get back on the field.”  One time when Cydney subber herself out she came to the sidelines where we were and Neighbour gave her a pep talk.  She told Cydney that she had to go and kick the ball high in the sky and that if she did I would buy her ice cream.  I gave Neighbour a side eye for volunteering this without paying but that’s how she rolls.  Needless to say Cydney got a few kicks in right away.  When she would run to make a stop on the opposition she would run right up to the ball and stop and not actually make a stop.  Eventually Neighbour left because she had to get back to work.  But Cydney was happy to see her and participate.

Cydney had such a good time out there.  This was her dream come true.  After the game the team got snacks and I signed up to do so during the last week in June.  I thought that was cool because that made me really feel like one of the soccer parents out there.  That’s my badge into the club.  The coaches and the girls decided to name themselves “Team Frozen” which of course got the girls really excited.  They put their hands in and yelled “Team Frozen!”  One of the parents laughed and said “I hope they don’t start singing the song!”  Of course I shared their sentiments on this.

After the game I put Cydney on my shoulders and walked a mile to Baskin Robbins to get her some ice cream because I was so proud of her.  We walked back to the field and hung out there for a little bit.  I let Cydney play on the playground.  As I pushed her on the swings I couldn’t help but smile.  I already know that whenever Cydney does something major I’m going to think of Timile.  I’m going to have a brief moment of sadness that she doesn’t get to see these experiences and be a mom on earth.  But I smile knowing that she would be proud of me and the job I’m doing.  We talked with Neighbour for a good fifteen or twenty minutes because deep down one of the reasons I signed Cydney up for this particular academy was because Cydney wanted to be there and Neighbour wanted her to as well (If you’re reading don’t think I don’t know).  We then left; I put Cydney back on my shoulders and I walked with her for a mile to the bus stop.  

We got off the bus and I walked another mile with her on my shoulders again.  By the time we got home she was resting her head on mine and was knocked out.  I put her down on the bed and let her sleep for an hour as I made my phone calls and told everyone how it went.  When she woke up she wanted to put her cleats back on and wanted to go out to kick the ball around some more.  Needless to say we will be practicing this week so that next week will be a little better.

Until next Monday…

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Cydney Quotables: Late But Still Great

I was about to pick something up while sitting down:
“Do it with your feet. You can’t with your behind.”

No sheets on the bed:
“The bed is naked.”

“The other pillows are boring.”

Doing pushups with me:
“Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, eleventeen.”

My Godmother: What do you want to call me?
Cydney: The Lady that rang my doorbell.

“I want a stepmommy.”

“I want to find my Prince Charming. Does he wear a bow tie?”

“You need to buy _____ a princess gown. So you can make her your princess and I’m gonna be your Queen!”

Cydney: You have to take me to the soccer field so I can score goals and impress your girlfriend.
Me: Who’s my girlfriend?
Cydney: Neighbour. (Note: she always says “Me!”)
Me: That’s not my girlfriend.
Cydney: That’s unfortunate. *pats me on the back*

Me: Cydney, did you go on yourself?
Cydney: Ummmm.
Me: Do you feel bad about it?
Cydney: *shrugs*

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The Weekend In Pictures: Cydney Starts Soccer Edition

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Two Years Later: What I Have Learned After Regaining Custody of My Daughter

On April 3, 2012 my mother and I left New York around midnight to drive to Hampton Virginia to get my daughter Cydney who had been in her grandparents’ custody since her mother Timile passed away months earlier.  For my new readers, this story can be read in detail here. We got to the Hampton Sherrff’s Department at 8 a.m.  I called my lawyer and told him that I was in Virginia to pick up my daughter.  Virginia law states that if a father has evidence that he is a biological parent then he can take his child.  Timile’s parents didn’t have legal custody of Cydney; she was just with them.  My lawyer said that if there were any issues to give him a call.  That wound up happening.  Cydney’s guardian as litem-court appointed lawyer to oversee what is in her best interest-was contacted and scheduled an impromptu temporary custody hearing for April 4 until the final hearing which was May 21st.  

I’ve had Cydney since the guardian ad litem granted my visitation the afternoon of April 3rd.  Ever since then things have been much sweeter.  Looking back on how the last four years have played out there has been a lot to think about.  The stress that has come along with it has began to overwhelm me recently as I have been running without too much time to process what has transpired or even just to grieve.  It’s been one thing after another.  I looked at myself in the mirror while getting my hair cut yesterday and didn’t like what I saw.  My barber 360 is a good friend of mine and he looked at me and said “Are you alright?”  He knows what I’ve been going through and has been someone I’ve talked to through these last couple of months.  My eyes aree always red, the bags under my eyes are dark, I’ve lost a lot of weight because I don’t even eat regularly–I look a mess.  I look like someone who is in need of a vacation and when I get one just turn my phone off.

With all of that said would I do everything again had I known how things would turn out?  Absolutely.  I will never forget the first time I cried to Timile.  It had been maybe three weeks into when we started dating.  Out of nowhere I was just overwhelmed with sadness.  She asked me what was wrong.  My response was “I think I’m gonna lose you.”  I didn’t know how or when but I had just felt that one day she was going to be gone.  I was right and for the last two months having that conversation after watching The Godfather 3 on my couch in Atlanta has been ringing in my head and I have pictured the moment as vividly as the day it happened.  If I knew then what I know now I would still follow almost all of the same chains of events.  I wouldn’t change the arguments, the breaks, the good times, or even all of the struggle and stress that came along when she got sick and after she passed away.  They defined me.  They made me a man.

I may not be anywhere near my goals in life, but this process has made me a very strong individual.  While I am much more cynical and I am still a big kid who is optimistic and faithful that things will turn out for the best.  I am hardened a little more but I think that since I haven’t lost all of myself or even faith in people is a testament to my resilience and is something else.  I don’t think God would have placed me through the things that He has if I wasn’t built for it.  I am very self-aware and a healthy paycheck every two weeks from fully being self-actualized.  

Honestly, I probably would be much worse off if I didn’t have Cydney through all of this.  Being the father to a little girl makes me smile more and has brought out my inner teddy bear because I really love to hug, kiss, and cuddle with my baby girl.  I would have lost the rest of me that is silly if I had a son because I would be seeing the world as a cold place and would have tried to make him a man way too young.  I smile more than I used to (I didn’t really smile at all before).  My laugh [sometimes] is more than a nonchalant smirk that comes out of the corner of my mouth.  I make an effort to communicate way more than I did before.  I have a patience that just might rival Job and the spirit of Nehemiah .  Sike; they got me beat by a long shot but I feel like it in my head.

From a relationship standpoint I have all of the confidence in the world.  While I am still very shy I am fearless.  I’m pushing thirty but I can say that I have lived every vow one takes on their wedding day.  While most people I still interact with or have dated are still figuring out how to sustain a relationship or get married I know how to do it.  Sure everyone is different but the process is always the same.  I’ve lived through pregnancy, and I am a father.  I am thankful and blessed because I can say that God made someone for me to learn how to love, the unconditional service that comes along with it, bore me a child to learn responsibility and how to make things happen for her.  This wasn’t just for me…it was for whoever I choose to marry.  Not that I think super highly of myself but that person is incredibly blessed that God made all of this happen for that woman.  Cydney and I will be handfuls but it’ll be worth it.

Two years ago today I had no idea what life would be like.  I didn’t even know what Cydney really looked like that morning.  But I say all of this to say that adversity may seem like a hindrance but it is in face defining.  Another conversation I had with Timile when she’d told me about her childhood was I explained to her the process of gold.  As a mineral it first takes millions of years to develop.  Someone recognizes that it as something potentially of value and then plucks it from it’s natural habitat.   It has to go through the fire, be melted down to liquid, molded into shape, and then polished before you see what we consider valuable.  Gold may melt but it does not fear the flame.

The process is in fact perfect even if we do not see that while we’re going through it.  That is what I have learned these last two years.

 

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I Don’t Think It’s Mean To Be: The Break [Up]

“I don’t think it’s meant to be, be/But she loves her work more than she does me/And honestly, at twenty-three/I would probably love my work more than I did she”

The second verse to Jay Z’s “Lost Ones” summed up a relationship I had perfectly.  Well, maybe it wasn’t really a relationship, but it was.  I don’t believe that titles and making things official are what make one and they often put restrictions and limitations on things.  If there is a dynamic, give and take, tons of fighting over miscommunication, and when things go awry a need to make amends then that is in fact a relationship.  Anyways, in said relationship this verse was our dynamic.  Like most people who listen to hip hop, I forgot all about Jigga’s Kingdom Come until out of nowhere I heard this song and this verse.  I listened to it over and over again and that was because everything I wanted to say to someone and myself Hov did so adequately.  “I don’t think it’s meant to be.”  Given her busy schedule and how hectic my life is this was and is it.  

“So we, ain’t we/It’s me, and her/’Cause what she prefers over me, is work/And that’s, where we, differ/So I have to give her
Free, time, even if it hurts/”

I’m all about drive and ambition.  I think it is an attractive quality and said person’s was one of her best ones.  I even found it to be sexy believe it or not.  She was the type of person in which her get up and make things happen spirit made me want to push even more because I wanted to make almost anything she wanted to happen come true.  I appreciated that.  Even if things were to work out one day she would never know how much of an influence she’d been on me.  

Everything happens in the right season.  When you truly love someone you put their needs before theirs.  At a very low period in my life I needed something more than she could give: time.  Normally I’m not picky on how that time can be given.   However, at this particular point I let it be known that more or less I was in dire straights and required a break from my stress even if it is just for an hour or two.  I got to a point where I realized that this just isn’t going to happen.  I stopped asking because I felt that her space to process things was more important than my need to get away from the stresses of my own life.  It hurt like hell; but love is all about sacrificing one’s self.

“So breathe, mami, it’s deserved/You’ve been put on this earth to be/All you can be, like the reserves/And me? My time in the army, it’s served/So I have to allow she, her, time to serve”

While I may not be in the place that I’d like to be I do feel like I’ve paid a good portion of my dues in life.  There will always be adversity and people are constantly evolving.  After all I had been through by the time she and I had started hanging out I was very self-actualized and aware of who I was.  The twenties are almost all about finding one’s identity.  It’s the time when we are first learning how to make things happen on our own, make mistakes where they aren’t very costly, really just figure out who we are, and what we want.  I know all of these things about myself.  I still am a piece of work but I do know what works for me and what doesn’t.  She still needs this time to do so.  She wasn’t at the place to give in the ways that she would like to and I times that I would have as well.  So I gave a little distance to do just that because she in fact deserves to get on her feet and make herself the best person that she can in order to serve whoever is lucky enough to for her to choose to be a help mate.

“The time’s now for her/In time she’ll mature/And maybe we, can be, we, again like we were”

If you love something enough, you have to let it go.  Sometimes it comes back.  Mr. Carter said all of this to say (about Beyonce) from experience we all need time to grow up.  More or less it’s the “I’ll put this in my back pocket until things work out” philosophy.  I am the kind of person that makes things happen.  She was the kind in which she’ll wait for things to happen organically.  The place that we clashed was in as my friend Kofi would say “Finding middle ground and things would be beautiful.”  That in itself is something that takes time.  I wouldn’t want to be like we were, I’d want to be better.  Last June in a moment of reassurance I told her that I wasn’t going anywhere….I still mean that even if I “do” for a minute.

“Finally, my time’s too short to share/And to ask her now, it ain’t fair/So yeah, she lost one”

I too am a busy person.  However, I’m never too busy to make time.  Conflicting schedules and lifestyles require lots of giving.  We both would give what we could.  Because of our needs we’d both ask for more.  That’s a healthy thing to do in any relationship.  We really would do the best that would could.  Arguments and frustrations at one point happened frequently because while we were doing the best that we could it wasn’t enough or what the other person wanted.  It wasn’t wrong to ask for more but it wasn’t fair for either of us to expect more, either.  Arguing is healthy.  When done right it means that one wants to express their thoughts and address something that it bubbles over into frustration.  Even in being frustrated we’d both just back off because we cared too much to say something hurtful [yet].  In an effort to be fair we both needed to just breathe for a moment.

 

…She didn’t lose one though and neither did I.  In fact, we’re still good friends.  Truth be told that’s more important than anything.

 

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Being A Flawed Individual

This week was a very rough week for me.  I knew that a mental breakdown was brewing for some time and I have been actively been seeking avenues to remedy this before it got too hectic.  Friday night I almost got close again.  Cydney cried until she was horse, went to sleep, and woke up two hours later.  The sound of her voice going sore, my head and heart both pulsating to the point of pain I yelled “What! What! Cydney WHAAAAT?!”  She got quiet for a couple of minutes and then began to cry some more.  This time telling me that she’s sorry.  That made me really feel like shit.  By then I was awake and restless.

So at 3 AM I wrote a long series of text messages to a three of my friends; two of them single mothers who I know have been there and the main people I go to when I’m upset about all that is going on in my life.  It was a moment of reaching out at a time when I’d felt the most vulnerable.  A lot of weight has been on my shoulders recently and after four years of just continuously going I’d reached my brink.  Upset about these years, frustrated with trying to find work, problems at home, not seeing eye to eye with my girl on a myriad of things I just had to write out my thoughts and feelings for myself to see and I sent it so that they could as well.  After I wrote it I turned my phone off because it felt like the only thing I could control at the time.  Control is something I’m big on so doing just that was big.

The next afternoon I finally turned my phone back on.  My single mom friends had sent me texts back asking me if I was alright and what were my thoughts that morning.  The other friend had left a voicemail saying they’d try again later, called a couple more times, and then sent me a text letting me know that they were checking up on me (I’m laughing as I write this because I could hear the tone behind the text).  I responded back to them respectively letting them know that I would be alright.  Immediately I called my friend Kia who was one of them that I’d reached out to the night before.

Kia and I talked for nearly six hours.  About everything.  We talked about our lives, our current “situationships,” and after hearing each other out were able to give needed perspectives.  We spoke again Sunday for a good hour or two as well.  What I took away from a lot of this was that [as I wrote about last week] while I am very stoic when I am comfortable I am okay with showing that I am in fact flawed.  One of the things about being a strong and nonchalant individual is that things either come off like they don’t affect me at all.  People will continue to take from you or associate you as this kind of individual.  I have seen in relationships that being this way gives off the impression that when I do in fact show some kind of emotion that it is intense.  I probably am not mad at all; but I am aware that this is the vibe that I give off.  I’d been seeing someone for a while and they would often joke that I am mean, but what they really wanted from me was to show that I was excited to see them and to be around them.  When I would actually say something it would seem like a rousing profession of love or something but it was me just trying to give them a peek into that I am in fact not devoid of emotions.  They could see me show my daughter all kinds of love, joke, and smiles but when it is just her and I or when she would talk to me I came off uncomfortably reserved.  Definitely not a good thing.

In said relationship I wanted to show that person that I felt in fact very deeply for them.  Kia had facilitated a process in which I came to the realization that by the time I was able to actually show them which was in a time of need I’m  hurting it was a lot for them to handle.  In their mind and heart they wanted to be there but they couldn’t.  In retrospect that was a good thing.  I am able to take this into the next thing that comes along.

I also learned through her experiences that I am at the point where I am ready and willing to share more than I do.  People like to know that we all have things that irk us.  We all have questions that we’d like to have answered and many times we have to read beyond our own thoughts and wants to be there for those that we care about’s needs all while balancing our own.  When trust builds over time eventually you can rely solely on your partner to take care of your needs and vice versa.  When its done right, the trust builds the dependency; not your insecurities or what have you.  In my case I think or I know that slowly showing I have fears and things that I get upset about can actually help a relationship.  Even in doing so I can learn to follow someone else’s lead and they can do the same for me.  This isn’t just in the context of romantic relationships, either; but with all friends.  My friend Kia showing me that she is a flawed individual made me comfortable with doing the same to her and others as well.

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