Archive for April, 2017

Be Still

Posted in Uncategorized on April 9, 2017 by Veronica Graham

I woke up from a deep sleep, in the middle of the night, last night with thoughts of my experience in Georgia. I got up, got some juice and started crying some type of relief cry? It felt like letting air out of an over-inflated balloon– I said a little prayer mid tear, sat on my son’s stool in my itty bitty kitchen and let the moment flow. A little weird and the timing was random but I needed that cry in that exact moment. It has been a struggle but it’s mine-We all have struggle. Some are experiencing much worse than me at this very moment. All I can say to those who are in the thick of it is to be still, look up and try to turn it over to the God of your understanding. That’s kind of a loaded statement yet I’m not sure how else to say it…. No one has it easy in this life. We all have little nuances that try to keep us down or tear the light away from our darkest days. It’s refreshing for me to know that I believe in the spiritual realm and in Hey-Zeus aka Jesus.

When I was working at Aladdin’s Eatery in 2011 there was this waiter that would walk in every morning, look me square in the eye and say ‘Fuck this life!’ He was incredibly funny and was Muslim. We would have long conversations during the slow periods at the restaurant about the differences of how people are governed in Morocco versus the States. He would insist that we’re all the same- looking for the same stabilities in life. The catch was that life would never be stable. So in regard to the physical, money-driven world, we live in he would shout ‘Fuck this life!’ when he arrived in the mornings. It was his way of staying positive and knowing that his end goal wasn’t just in graduating the school he was attending but in finding peace with his life and knowing that the afterlife was what really counted for him.

Once I realized that I wasn’t going to flourish financially in the South I switched gears into serious mom mode. I needed to establish a routine because I hardly had work and becoming more dependent on others for financial help was driving me crazy. Moving to Georgia was like stopping a freight train at full speed. I had a lot of work and connections in the DMV. I literally crossed my fingers, held my breath and jumped into an unstable environment with someone I knew was not healthy for me…Personal reasons topped with bad advice and empty promises pushed me against what had taken me years to establish in the DMV. I left and tried to start over without a solid plan. WHO DOES THAT?!!!

My mornings would start with pumpkin squawking away in his crib to be picked up for breakfast. Every morning was the same and it worked for us. I would pile snacks, toys and extra clothing into a duffle bag to prepare for whatever each days adventure would bring. We were out the door by 9:30am daily. I would find places that were free and outdoors, stopped at visitor centers along the way for maps and the inside scoop. Once a month we would drive to Atlanta to visit Piedmont Park and Trader Joes. On special occasions, we would meet my god mom in Dunwoody. The Southside of Atlanta, we were practically living in a bubble. There was so much wide-open space and places weren’t really within walking distance.

The Phantom of the Operas original soundtrack was a hit in the mornings for us. Little one, barely able to speak would chime in from the back seat to sing. For close to three months it was the number one pick on our playlist of baby approved music. We visited “our” pond almost daily, sometimes even twice a day. It had a few benches, a long row of pine trees with plenty of cones for collecting, a paved track that circled the pond, two playgrounds and a huge open field for little legs to explore. It had a couple baseball fields and a soccer field for the locals who participated in those sports or just needed to practice. This place was funded by a church for the public with a sign that read, ‘If you like our pond you’ll love our church.’ Now, I did not like the church after my one and only time Sunday morning spent with them but I LOVED their pond. It was a habitat-friendly pond with ducks, geese and fish for fishing. There were plenty of little patches of grass missing that had been replaced with buttercups and violets too. It’s where pumpkin learned to say the word purple one day after a light misting of the rain. He was in his rain gear and waddled out into the field- plucked a violet and said in his sweet little voice ‘poi-pull’. My heart melted.

Some kids have grown up with a dog but my little one got to see and almost become one with the family of geese and ducks that lived at this pond. He saw two generations being born here. He would waddle-run towards the banks of the pond with a bag of cheerios and entice his friends to eat. The ducks and geese would flock around him and soon accepted him as one of their own. They allowed him to get very close and on the rare occasion, he could pet them. He would squawk at them, laugh and leave a trail of fallen cheerios behind for them to chase him. Pumpkins feathered friends chased him quite often and he loved it. Our favorite mama duck lived under a tree and we both watched how overnight some eggs would disappear from the nest. On a perfect day without the blistering heat, the wind would cause a ripple effect on the water that was picture perfect. A family of turtles on days like that would come out to soak up the sun on a little island in the center of our pond.

I would walk laps to stay active and keep my mind clear. I always had pumpkins stroller ready to roll- I put miles on that damn stroller. I was juggling daily outbursts from SG whether through text or after a rare weekend visit and needed a healthy release. You see, I was in the Deep South- ALONE. I chose to refrain from drinking and socializing with certain folks out of loneliness because I had too. I did become friends with one person, my neighbor Ms. Brina. She and I are still close today. I had to face shit in the South, sometimes I would allow myself to sit in my own mental shit a little longer than required to actually purge myself of my wanting to escape reality. I ended up facing my demons and I hated it. I had been in repeat mode like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day since high school. I had given way too much power to others over my emotions and life choices and moving to a slow southern town caused me to kind of burst into flames. Looking back, it was necessary for me to step back from people and vices, show up for my son and learn to find and trust my instinct entirely when dealing with others. I also realized that short encounters with a toxic person could be just as damaging as a 7-15 year tango with one.

Georgia is was where I found the best version of me– the dorky and totally relatable me who doesn’t bend to what others say but follows her internal guide and not just in a blog entry. The old version of me that certain people enjoy holding a mirror up too fell by the wayside and that bitch ain’t coming back. All that’s left of her is the knowledge of how to survive in a den of thieves and have the faith of Daniel in the wake of a beast.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind booking a flight back to Georgia just to sit in the stillness of that churches pond. Life has its daily challenges. Work has been picking up and I’m pretty excited about the opportunities in makeup artistry I’ve had lately. I have gotten to meet some pretty influential people. Also, I was finally able to find another profession to earn added income to support my family duo. I have an amazing almost 3 year old and am finally able to see my short-term goals come together. My mind is better today and I will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Just for today, I am OK.

—-Life has a way of humbling every creature in it to allow room to appreciate the rare beauties it possesses.