Coney Island is and always will be ‘the people’s playground.’ It’s a place where people of all backgrounds come to have a good time. ~Harold Feinstein
Photo credit : google
photo credit: JLozier
There’s a different kind of comfort that comes from knowing that you are putting your best foot forward. It’s called psychological comfort. Look at a picture of the Coney Island boardwalk in 1925. Men were in full-on three-piece suits, hats. They may have only had one suit. But they pressed it. They made it look as good as possible. ~ Tom Ford
When you lose all hope in people. In humanity. The disappointments pile up and the hope is pushed to the bottom of the pile. It’s pushed to the bottom of the pile until you don’t see the hope anymore. Despondency.
Disappointment. It’s an important word. It can be the needle in the haystack. It can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Or it can be the ending of the beginning or the beginning of the ending.
Last year I went to the big sister/ brother organization to try to be a big sister. I really wanted to give back. I wanted to help another kid. Since I was adopted and came from the foster care system I always wanted to help other kids but didn’t always know how. Anyway I tried to become a big sister. People said when your really sad a great way to get out of that is to help others so I tried. I went to the Big Sister/ Big Brother office for an interview and they really liked me. They liked that I was in the arts and was a singer. The girl who interviewed me was super sweet and we really hit it off.
When I filled out the application I felt the need to be extremely honest when the health part came up. You have to be honest so I told them I had bi-polar depression but I was under a doctor’s care.
They said that shouldn’t be a problem but we do have to check with a therapist if you’re seeing one and I had just lost my therapist because she left the office. They reached out to a woman I had only seen once or twice. Well that was a mistake because she didn’t know me.
She told them no. Don’t let her be a big sister. That was so wrong. This ” therapist” was very odd and after I saw her three times I stopped. She didn’t believe anything I told her. I told her I was a singer. She wouldn’t believe it. All she had to do was google my name and she could see I was a singer. It’s not like I was saying I was Aretha Franklin. I mean just google me for God’s sake. How is she going to help me if she doesn’t believe anything I tell her about myself. She kept talking about Jesus All the time, not even knowing if I was a Christian or not which is extremely unprofessional. She wasn’t gonna he able to help me so I stopped seeing her. She didn’t believe me, she assumed I was delusional for some reason. I wasn’t and the prior therapist knew that.
I asked her why she told the big sister people NO and why I shouldn’t be a big sister and she said because it isn’t about you. I said I know it isn’t about me, it’s about the child and I want to help a child. I think I can offer them something good.
So long story short I was told by the big sister organization that they unfortunately had to decline my application because of what this ” therapist ” said. They said they really thought long and hard about the decision and they were so sorry. All because of Someone I had seen twice or three Times. ..I was so disappointed.
They came and often. So much that I decided to expect them. I probably invited them after a while. It became what was comfortable. It was like an old friend that I despised but also kept inviting back to my home. Why?
I didn’t know how to stop inviting this old friend. It was familiar. It became part of my routine, a daily occurrence. They were welcomed along with anger and sadness and loneliness and frustration and hopelessness. After a while I knew no other way. I was so tired. All the time I was tired.
Was my lack of success self-imposed? Something Denzel Washington said in the movie Roman J. Israel Esq. I connected with that statement. Probably partly so although I did try. I did try so hard to succeed. A Great movie by the way if You haven’t seen it yet. So good. Denzel Washington was at his best playing a “socially awkward” on the Autistic Spectrum Character and what chaos that can bring even with a super-sized heart. He said, “I’m sick of doing the impossible for the ungrateful.” I felt the same way.
There comes a time where you realize you break free from your own chains of chaos and destruction or you drown. You have to find a way out or you don’t. It is up to you.
I went to the office for a training for big sister / big brother and I was just as qualified if not more to be a part of this organization. I had more love in my heart than most of the people in that room, I could feel it.
I could have omitted that I was bipolar on the application form but that would be untruthful. Dishonest.
At the time I was so sad about this decision but I decided to let it go and maybe try again at a different time. I still haven’t found a good therapist. It is almost impossible to find one because I have tried. They are over whelmed with patients. There is so many that aren’t very good and the good ones either don’t take your insurance or they can’t fit you in or they are just too expensive. The rise in people seeking therapy has risen dramatically of late and the market is flooded.
Disappointments. I’ve had a few.
I can say at one time I didn’t think I would make another day. Not one more day. But I kept on truckin’.
I had to let it play out because what if one day something wonderful were to happen.
What if one day a dream would come true. Sometimes I stayed alive to please others. I didn’t want to hurt my parents. If I left the earth the people I left behind would pay the consequences and sorrows of my decisions and the complexity of that stayed in my mind. I felt it not fair to them. So I kept on truckin’.
I’ve always been a Robert Crumb fan. Lol.
Sometimes I tried to indirectly end my life in self-destruction and self loathing. That didn’t work. I was still here.
I learned people will disappoint you. Almost always. There were a few who didn’t and I will cherish them to the day I do leave this earth. Very few but there were a few. I had a couple of north stars in my life. Thank god.
But even with that I learned that I would have to pull myself up first. There is no one else really. It’s all up to me.
That’s when it changed for me. The light inside turned back on and I decided it’s me and me. We are either gonna do this or not do this. If we are gonna do this we need to do it right.
As Soon as I decided that I realized another level of internal strength I didn’t know I had. It was almost like a door that opened to a new floor that had been locked all these years. A floor with golden doors and plush carpet and lots of purple and kittens and puppies.
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”
A door so bright and so vivid that I still needed my sunglasses. This floor was there all the time. I just didn’t have the right key to unlock it.
People say it’s only you that can make you happy. I think that is true because you have to love yourself before you can love someone else but once you get to that floor things are clearer. Love is there. Loving someone and having them love you back is an amazing gift. And as Nat King Cole taught us there is nothing greater than to love and be loved in return.
I thank god every day for the gifts I am receiving now. The love I am receiving. The love I am giving. I am so full of gratitude and on some days I cannot stop smiling. I am so happy I decided to keep on truckin’ because if I gave up and gave in I would never have experienced the gold doors and the plush carpet and the purple colors that are blinding me with righteousness and brightness and glory. I have seen the eye of god and the eye of the devil. I have seen them both. I looked them both dead on and saw the reflection of myself in their eyes. I had to choose… more disappointments or more love. I chose love.
I am a big sister now metaphorically and I am so happy to be one! I am a baby sister. I am a friend and a lover and a daughter. I am me. I am in love. I love my neighbors. I love my brothers and sisters. All kinds. I love all the animals and the trees and all that is living and sharing this planet with me. I am so grateful and full of gratitude.
I hope one day you will find the key to the floor with the golden doors if you have not yet found it. It is there waiting to be unlocked. I know. It is waiting for you.
There are many reasons I love Langston Hughes. Many of the same reasons we all love Helen Keller. I learned about Helen Keller in highschool, I didn’t learn about Langston Hughes until I found him on my own. Both are heroes to this world. They both offered such beautiful insight on how they see the world, both courageous , both beautiful, both inspiring. Both could be from a place of Extreme darkness or enlightened walkers of the sun and morning. These two poems were on my mind today. I pray for all the children that are crying and suffering. I pray for them and their parents. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even believe in god anymore but I pray anyway. I am a spiritual Christian and sometimes my faith is tested when I see such atrocities and how the world is going. Sometimes I feel that the churches have been so passive in action when our brothers and sisters needed action. Even During the Civil Rights movement , why didn’t more white churches help? These were and still now our brothers and sisters. They are not illegal aliens. They are US. I hope their darkness ends but I know too well how unjust this world can be but I will pray just the same to any god that will listen for their safety and to stop the cries and suffering as soon as possible. I pray that they have strength to continue the journey wherever it may lead. My eyes are red because children are crying for their mommy and daddy and it is one of the most horrific things to listen too and our world is getting smaller and the news is getting harsher. How can we repeat history? Horrible atrocities should never be repeated. I pray they get to see the light again. I pray for the babies to once again be in the arms of their parents. I pray they find a way to survive together. I pray they have strength to survive. I pray they are walkers with the sun and the morning.
Walkers with the Dawn
Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Being walkers with the sun and morning.
This morning there was a video on the news of: Protesters inside Columbus Circle globe in front of Trump Hotel. All these comments came up on the video where people were saying go get a job, all sorts of mean comments about the protestors. I don’t care if you support Donald Trump but we the people have the constitutional right to protest. You all like to throw the constitution at us all the time. Just because your protesting doesn’t mean you’re not working. Not everyone works 9-5 which backs up my point of this post. Just because you work 9-5 doesn’t mean the rest of the world does.
But what strikes me about these people is their inability to see anything from a different point of view other than their own. The world is s like a prism and it has many angels. viewing the world from only your angle, is short sided and I would say even cruel. .
We need to LOVE from all angles. We need to SEE from all angles. Not just the angles we can see from where we comfortably sit. I try every day to try to see things from other people’s point of view. I make mistakes and I say the wrong things sometimes but my heart is real and I try to walk in the shoes of my brothers and sisters. I try to walk in the footprints of our ancestors for we stand on their shoulders and we should’nt let their sacrifice and wisdom go to waste. If I consciously make a decision to do this every day; then I can truly love our differences instead of being fearful of them. And we already know that there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
“In benighted, incompetent Africa, I had never encountered an orphan: the American streets resembled nothing so much as one vast, howling, unprecedented orphanage. It has been vivid to me for many years that what we call a race problem here is not a race problem at all: to keep calling it that is a way of avoiding the problem. The problem is rooted in the question of how one treats one’s flesh and blood, especially one’s children. ”
Freedom doesn’t really mean we’re Free. There are expectations and even then it’s all a lie.
“And what the white students had not expected to let themselves in for, when boarding the Freedom Train, was the realisation that the black situation in America was but one aspect of the fraudulent nature of American life. They had not expected to be forced to judge their parents, their elders, and their antecedents, so harshly, and they had not realised how cheaply, after all, the rulers of the republic held their white lives to be. Coming to the defence of the rejected and the destitute, they were confronted with the extent of their own alienation, and the unimaginable dimensions of their own poverty. They were privileged and secure only so long as they did, in effect, what they were told: but they had been raised to believe that they were free.”
In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Today I thought I would be honest and share my thought process in making hard decisions. Martin Luther King would have been 88 years today. I always reflect on his birthday because he is so important to me. I like that picture of him above during the Bus Boycott. Two of my favorite things, Martin and PEPSI. HA!
But seriously when I had to make a really important decision in life and I wasn’t smart enough to make an informed decision myself I had a trick. I would find smarter people than I that fit three criteria and I would follow their lead. I am always in search of a Righteous Mind.
1. The first criteria is they had similar beliefs and the principles as myself and led their life with unwavering conviction on what they believed and never stopped believing.
2. They had access to information that the average citizen might not have. For Example. Hollywood folks or ex CIA / FBI . Doctors etc. You can get creative and with all the blogs and info out there on the world-wide web that is easier to find now more than ever.
3. They helped others and often without being really obvious about it.
When I find that person or persons and I don’t know what to do I would look to them and I tried to mimic or do what they did or some form or part of it. We all get lost sometimes so we all need a North Star once in while . I know I did. I look to those people now more than ever. It is a confusing time. I keep hoping the previous first family will be able to do more good now that they will be released from the constraints that politics ensures. No Bi-Partisan Congress wall to conquer daily. I often think about those famous eyes on that billboard in the Great Gatsby. Dr. T. J Eckleburg. I can’t seem to get that image out of my mind lately.
That and that scene in the Jack Nicholson’s movie Five Easy Pieces where he picks up those two lesbian Hitch Hikers and they keep talking about everything is crap …crap, crap and more crap.
Were they the eyes of GOD judging and watching the morally bankrupt wasteland ? Why was he just watching and not doing anything about it. Was that Fitzgerald’s way of saying there is no GOD or that GOD thinks we have to figure it out for ourselves. The people’s distrust of political , Social and Religious institutions were breeding new thought. Is there even a GOD? Is it really just up to us? I don’t know. I don’t know but I know I need to do better and do more.
So what’s next for me and the whole world and how can I help? If you have any ideas hit me up.
I look at 2017 as a year to be a better me than the last. When they go low, we go high. Wink.
Peace ya all. #myprocess #northstar #service #mlkjrday