As I Used to Be

I caught you staring at me,
as if I were a thing of beauty
as if these scars didn't maul

the silk of my skin
as if you weren't afraid 
to freeze in the blizzard
of my gaze,

as if there wasn't blood
smeared from my chin 
to my cheek

as if my lungs weren't soaked
with the tar
of my angst

I saw you
see me

as I used to be

- B. Brown

Another 10 Years?

That was made all the more apparent when I lost my uncle on Saturday

Hello Reader, welcome back to my blog. How’s is hanging? Doing pretty well? I hope so. If not, maybe you’ll find something you can use in this post…

Last week, on Monday morning before work, I took a sticky note and scripted what I wanted out of my week. I took that sticky note and this is what I wrote:

Fancy, I know. You see that penmanship? Realness. It was supposed to be written with a special pen and on pretty paper in one of my countless of notebooks but you know how these things go. At least I did it.

The week before I found myself overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities. I wanted to grow two or four more arms so I could put together a lesson plan, work on my poetry, update my websites, braid my daughter’s hair, help her with her fourth grade math homework (which, btw, where was I when they decided to change math?) and clean my shambled home.

And nothing changed this week. I still got pulled in a bunch of different directions. I wasn’t on top of things. My daughter’s braids gave up on day 2. The campus had an open house and we didn’t get home to like 8pm on day 3. It was just a very busy week like all the others. The difference this time is that The Most High heard my petition and gave me a little extra grace and my Ancestors must’ve upped my security because again, no weapon was able to touch this mama.

Anxiety was hesitant to constrict me the first few moments after I woke.

I did not fear what I couldn’t control and I didn’t stress myself for not reaching other’s expectations.

I consistently reminded myself that I am only one person and I’m doing a hell of a lot better than most.

I’m still Favored and Protected.

That was made all the more apparent when I lost my uncle on Saturday. It just really put my life into perspective and made me think bigger.

None of this shit is promised, ya’ll. Steady income is not promised. Friends are not promised. Family is not promised. Health and shelter: not promised, homes. Everything we’ve been blessed with in this life time is not guaranteed to last forever.

I already knew this, of course, because I lost my mom out of nowhere all those years ago too. She’d have been 49 this year. She died at forty.

I am 30.

I adopted a few of her unhealthy habits so naturally, I’m thinking, does that mean I only have another 10 years?

It’s a scary thought but no, that’s not what that means. But, you guys, we have to pay attention to what’s being whispered to us with real life events. We have to acknowledge these reminders so we can keep going and be better than we were the day before.

This week, I will script a page for what I want out of my week and I think you should too. Reflect on what your Ancestors were trying to communicate to you last week and try to live accordingly this week.

What were some messages you received last week? How are they going to help you this week? Let me know in the comments.

My Lady of the Night

She comes to see me more, lately. She taps at my window at night, peering between my half-opened blinds, to see what she’s caught me in the middle of. She’s slender and I can never tell if she’s dressed in all black or if she is all black. The wavering shadows from the neighborhood evergreens distort where she begins and where she ends. 

So the focus always comes to her eyes. They do not glow as light does in the evening sky or a scorpion does under UV light but they glow like sap running down a tree or running coffee into a mug. And they never look at anything that’s not necessary to look at. What or whoever she looks at better have a good God-damned reason for taking up space.

I don’t always hear her immediately. There are times she’ll knock hard, as if she knows I’m up to no good, and I better act like I know who’s descendant is coming through the door. Other times, she makes me wonder how long she’s been watching me through the slits of my blinds before I realize she’s here to take inventory. To see what I’ve done and didn’t do, who I’ve called and avoided, what I’ve produced and what I’ve neglected. And then my heart hammers as I rush to pick up evidence of anything she wouldn’t approve of. 

This didn’t happen often. She used to go about her own business elsewhere, allowing me to fuck up as I please in peace. She knows I’m the type that has to make the same mistake a couple of times, just to be sure, just to make sure all variables were accounted for. She doesn’t like having to witness the bullshit though. It makes her cringe because it wasn’t what we initially planned when we were younger. Just like she wasn’t the plan when we were younger. The last time she visited, she smelled of someone else’s sweat and her hands were stained with blood. I never guessed she’d become so ravenous.

I’d think about her in the midst of fucking my life up. And I know she’d think about me while she was off exploring the universe, about how long it would take me to get to her, about what she had to get me to do to get just a smidge closer. She never forgot about me because eventually, making the right choices got easier and easier. That’s how I know she’s close. We’re close that way.

Now, soon after my daughter is down for the night, I hear her coming up my concrete steps. It’s not footsteps I hear or the gentle brush of clothes. I hear her, humming from her diaphragm, giving me time to get my shit together before, she opens my front door herself. Right before I submit to my helicopter toxins, she calls me by my full name for all The Ancestors to hear, and demands, “What have you done for me lately? When will I see the light of day?”

-B. Brown

Let Me Stop You Right There

I navigate with shriveled, dry eyes

and a limp on a good day,

the walls of my skull spiderweb

from my mind working double time

and you want more fight

from my body without catering

to my spirit; declined

– B. Brown

Just Drained

Hey Reader. Ready for a rant? So, I work at a middle school teaching 8th grade English. I’m going into my third year but my experience has been completely different from what I expected. 

As a disclaimer, before I continue, I love teaching, the children give me life and I’m always proud of myself for making it through the week with my spirit still intact. I’m also honored to be the mother of such a sweet, beautiful girl.

But ya’ll this has not been for the weak. I had no idea what I was signing up for when I started that ACP program to get my certificate. 

Yo, who could’ve seen Covid coming?

Even more importantly, who knew it would have such a grandiose effect on us emotionally, mentally and spiritually?

The shut-down part wasn’t that bad for me. I made it out more blessed than others because I’m salary and the education system did its best to adjust to serious influences. I honestly believe if I were working any other job at the moment, I’d have been screwed. I thank my Ancestors for guiding me to this point. It’s what I keep telling myself when I feel like my brain is going to explode through my skull, my eyes are feeling shriveled and my body feels like it has just been in a physical fight. 

I’m at work from 7:30 until 6 some days and in that stretch of time, so many things are happening at once. The children have regressed and have to learn all over again how to conduct themselves in a school building. My coworkers and I are scrambling to manage extra children because just like the rest of the world, we’re severely understaffed. Admin have their hands tied and can only smile and maintain organization as best they can. Every day is demanding and draining, especially for a single parent trying to balance those work days with my mommy duties.

I know that some of you reading this are single parents too, so I’m sure you cringed in relation to what I’m saying. I read somewhere yesterday that a 40-hour-plus work week was created with the idea that somebody else would be home to take care of the house and the children. I don’t know how accurate that information is but we live in a world where not everybody has a partner to help balance out the demands of life. 

I am stretched thin in more ways than one. When I come home, all I want to do is lock myself in my bedroom just for a moment of peace, so I can hear myself think and be an individual. I don’t want to talk to anyone, go anywhere or make another damn decision, I’m so exhausted. I cook every meal, clean the house, run every errand, fix hair and homework, and thensome. 

Lately, I’ve really been feeling the stress of shouldering so much responsibility. 

But I don’t want the stress to stop me from reaching my goals outside of my teaching career. As fulfilling as this is, I’m not trying to do this forever. I was not put on this planet just to work all of these crazy hours. I know The Most High has higher expectations from me. I can be better. I can be more. It’s just… finding the strength…

This week, I’m setting my intentions so I can restore a little balance in my life. I’m tired of being tired all the time and not having enough energy for the things I enjoy doing. I plan to script my intentions, do some spiritual work and then tape my script to my bathroom mirror so I can see it everyday. I’ll let you guys know how my week went in next Sunday’s post.

How do you plan for a spiritually long week? Let me know in the comments below. 

A Different Me

Hello Readers. My name is Bre and welcome to my blog.

I just turned 30 you guys! And I feel like a different woman, like for real.

I’m in a weird state, as if my spirit, my higher self, stepped outside of my body and I’m reviewing myself and everything that I am and everything that I want to be. Then my spirit turns a 180, thinks about my goals and looks at the ahead of me.

And I have a lot to do. But more on that in later posts.

I really want to talk about this awkward transition I’ve found myself in.

I look at my earlier writings and they feel so… foreign. As if, they were written by another person, a person that wants to retire but I keep her here because I don’t want to let her go.

See, that former me, I love and respect her. She’s been through so much pain, struggle and confusion, that I want to continue to nurse and love her. I don’t want her to leave this production of my life! I mean, she’s one bad b**** to have survived all the challenges I’ve met.

But it’s like she’s tired and ready for someone else to take over, that someone else being the 30-year-old me with a different mindset, different needs and different, brand-spanking new emotions.

No seriously, I’ve been feeling a range of emotions and influences that are so new, I’m still trying to define them. As an empath, it’s like I’ve leveled up and discovered a new world, and my Spirit is just like, “Whoa. Can I get a map or something?”

At my birthday, one of my dear aunts told me when I got here, I was a little caterpillar and over these passed few years, she’s watched me change into a butterfly. It made my heart swell that she was even paying attention and felt that way about me. But personally, at this moment, I feel like I’m struggling to get out this damn chrysalis. My damn wing is caught on something and my wittle foot is stuck in caterpillar goo that won’t let go and this chrysalis was made so well it doesn’t want to f***ing open all the way and the other butterflies are like, where’s Bre?, and I’m like, hold on! I’m coming! I just… this f*** goo!

LOL, I’m just saying.

But yeah, this transition, this different me that is trying to emerge, is going to change some things. I don’t even write with the same conviction, my dear Reader. This novel that I’ve been working on for the passed 5 years doesn’t feel the same. Caterpillar Bre was in such pain when she started writing it and Butterfly Bre wants to move on to other stories and poems.

And honestly, I’m excited to write again. It only took another damn rebirth, I guess.

If you’re in a similar state like me, you’re probably being all weird about your writings too. Well, my boyfriend told me that I should feel satisfied that my caterpillar writings served their purpose: to help me cope, survive and learn. He helped me understand its okay to rebrand my writing style and purpose. And I’m okay with it, especially since I know The Most High and The Ancestors have my back.

Have you ever had to rebrand your writing? Are you in a transition with your passions? Please let me know in the comments. I’d love to start a conversation about this.

Tuesday Tinker Words

It’s time to tinker with some words! Sometimes it’s necessary to step away from our projects and do some writing exercises. Writing exercises help keep our writer’s wheels nice and oiled so we can keep on creating. Feel free to share what you came up with in the comments section. Let’s inspire each other 🙂

Inheritance

Parts of me were gathered 
from all over the planet, 
from all periods of 
sweat-kissed black skin, 
knuckles and torn feet, 
taken back to the heavens 
with the sacred elements, 
the air, the water, the blood, 
ground and sunbaked into dust 
within the palm of His hand 
to eventually settle here on Earth 
until He makes conditions right, 
crashing heat and cold fronts 
until lightning strikes and splits me 
down my middles, assaulting me, 
it's all smoldering pieces 
to reassemble and practice as He does, 
my pilgrimage, my service, 
my passion, my inheritance

- B. Brown

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