Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gotta Make Those Moves

I hate it when I do this.

I get super fired up about an idea that I KNOW will benefit me in the long run if I just do it. Or I read a self help book and am ready to change my life, to be successful, to have a better understanding of the world. And then, halfway through, I lose steam. Suddenly the why nots outnumber the whys and I leave the project hanging, only to come back to it later and abandon it again.

I'm tempted to blame it on laziness, but I know I'm not lazy to the point of stupidity. Besides, laziness is an assumed trait and one that can be very much controlled. No, there's some greater emotion that's keeping me from starting a self-enriching project and actually seeing it through.


What I'm scared of, I don't know. I'd like to say it's easy to point out, like a fear of rejection or a fear of failure. The fear I speak of is different: it's the fear of losing something when you've got nothing to lose. It may not seem like much of a fear, but I believe it's what holds me back now.

If you've ever read a self-help book such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Don't Sweat the Small Stuff or even Think and Grow Rich, and you read it seriously, you may begin to develop this motivation to get out and be a better person. I know I do, every time I read one. I always want to start fresh and wake up a new person. And for a while, my new ideals will stick. I'll make goals, have dreams, and become determined to be in control of my life.

Then something happens. It happens when I try to write certain blog posts. It happens when I have great ideas. I just lose steam, suddenly and almost irreversibly. I either forget what major goal I'm aiming for, or I determine that my steps won't lead to that goal and I just give up. And I'm ashamed that I do that.

I say this because right now I had the goal that by January, I'd be employed at a law office in Dekalb. Never mind not having a law degree. Never mind my lack of formal legal training. I just know that I want to work in a law office so that I'm sure law is what I'd like to pursue. And so I started the task of looking online to find law offices relatively close to campus that I'd be able to get to relatively easily. And I found some.

Then I thought of reasons to whittle down the list. I'm not interested in family law, though I'd probably be a sympathetic listener seeing as my own family situation hasn't been the most ideal. Strike out those lawyers. I can't travel too far away from Dekalb, so strike out those lawyers. An 11 firm list went down to 7, and by the time I was done reading through the limited information I could find online, I had only written down information for 2 offices. During this time, I started berating myself. This is a stupid idea, I started thinking. It's not going to work. And that's what I'm always doing. I wouldn't apply for a certain loan because I was convinced beforehand that I wouldn't qualify. I wouldn't ask for help because I was sure I either wouldn't get it at all or that the help I did get wouldn't be helpful. I won't take chances, because I'm afraid to fail.

But enough is enough. By not trying, I'm essentially failing worse than I would have if I tried and got a "no". At least I would have the satisfaction of knowing I'd tried my hardest, and if it's not meant to be then it's not meant to be.

Now I'm off for a midnight snack, and then to get the information of EVERY SINGLE ONE of the lawyers on that list. I'm also going to research the clerical duties required of the job, and find out what it is that paralegals do with the hopes of shadowing one or becoming an assistant, just for job exposure. I'm going home tomorrow, and drafting a letter that I'm faxing/mailing to each law firm. I'm also revamping my resume (not lying, just adjusting) for the position I'm looking for. With luck, I'll hear from the firms within a week, and I may be able to work something out for the rest of the year and even beyond that.

I just hope this time, my resolve doesn't wear out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Welcome To My World

That's what I would have said to him if it were me.

I was sitting on the train on my way to work, my headphones in my ears, blissfully minding my own business. First let me explain the CTA a little for yall. We have different colored lines; my train goes south into downtown. From the first stop to downtown, all you see are black people with a few mexicans and fewer white people. Once the train hits downtown and heads to the north side the demographics flip and there are all white people with few blacks and mexicans.

A white guy had gotten on the train with his bike, and was partially blocking the entrance to the train so if someone wanted to get on he would have had to move his bike. But I resumed my world watching out the train window. Suddenly there was this huge commotion, and as I turned I saw a black woman slap the mans bike out the way, throwing a huge thermos down the aisle of the train that splashed everywhere (im so glad I wasn't sitting over there). Apparently shed asked him to move and he didn't so she pushed the bike out the way.

Im not an advocate of force, so I felt a little bad for the guy. But the fight was not over. The woman stood up to exit the train and the shit really hit the fan. They exchanged some heated "fuck you"s and he called her a few kinds of "bitch" and THEN he said it:

"It's hard being white in a black man's world!"

Yall, when I say I was dying laughing, I mean Im sure I was red from trying to keep from bustin up out loud. Im laughing now as I write this, and it definitely happened like two days ago.

On the one hand, that's the funniest shit I've ever heard, and something I never thought id hear. On the other hand, Im insulted. I immediately thought about how we have a black president now and I don't appreciate the thought that just because we have a black president this is a "black mans world". Because the truth of the matter is, we're still the minority. We still get persecuted, we still have stereotypes, we still are, in some places, oppressed. People are still prejudiced against us.

However, that was just so funny and random that I had to share it.

Work has been good. They taught me how to work the register, and hopefully they'll start putting me on it more. I like working with money. I don't like walking the sales floor as much, but my coworkers make it fun sometimes and often the customers are nice.

And by the way, partying and working retail do not a very happy Demiera make, so Im spending today recovering my feet which are rebelling from being stuffed in 4 inch stiletto boots and nursing my very empty and very unhappy stomach back into full health WHILE fixing the knees that give out every other day.

The things we do for money.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Out of the Darkness

Life is one hell of a roller coaster.

There are two roller coasters that I've rode that would perfectly describe my life. One, the Raging Bull, is at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. The other is El Toro at Six Flags Great...Adventure (?? maybe) in New Jersey. The Raging Bull, the tallest roller coaster at the park, doesn't go upside down but plummets you from high, high up all the way underground. The first hill was so high I screamed at the top of my lungs as we dropped but NO sound came out. That should tell you something. And as for El Toro: I had a huge panic attack and almost passed out when we got to the front of the line and it was almost my turn to get on, so that alone should tell you how bad THAT ride was for me.

So for me to compare my life to these, you know some crap is going on.

Yesterday I called the city college close to my house to find out what my status would be if I applied to be a student. And you know what they told me? I can't apply. Because I have that balance from Northern I can't get my transcripts. And I MUST submit transcripts from any institution I've attended to apply. Therefore, unless I pay that balance, I'm stuck out of school.

On the one hand, I can understand the system. They don't want students going around stiffing schools and then coming to them and possibly leaving them a bill. I'm not angry at the policy. I'm angry at the system that made school so GODDAMN expensive that helped get me to where I'm at today.

When I found that out yesterday, I cried for an hour. Disbelief and shock turned to pure anger and hatred, and I raged about the system, the government, and greedy educators. i cursed the whole world. I cried and raged myself into a pounding headache.

But I woke up today a different girl. And when I showered this morning, I prayed. Sure, a shower is a weird place to talk to God, but I just wanted to be cleansed from head to toe and I figured that was the best place to do it. I asked God to help me, to find a way. I told Him that I knew he was trying to tell me something, and that I was ready to listen. And the bathroom seemed brighter, and I felt lighter. I came out of that shower ready to fight. There's no turning back or giving up now.

My aunt told me last night that everything happens for a reason. There's a reason I found out that I can't apply to Chicago State. To go to a city college would be to run away, to allow this problem to fester and wait for dealing later. I need to challenge this beast head on. I've even started to think of it as a blessing in disguise. Things fall in place for a certain reason. There's a reason I happened to walk into DSW with an application when the hiring manager was there, and a reason I started training four days later.

And there's a reason I'm happier in Chicago. My uncle knew what he was talking about when he said to come back. I have emotions, emotions that run deeply for Dekalb and the people there. For my boyfriend, who I didn't want to leave the most. For my best friends, my roommates (who I feel excluded from sometimes but honestly, they're good people), the world there. But in Chicago, I'm removed from all of that. I've been able to focus on myself and on doing what I need to do to make things better. I still have my connections to Dekalb. I miss Amardo and my friends terribly. But for once I needed to put my business and life ahead of emotions and others, and I needed this distance more than anything I've ever needed. I've always felt that focusing on myself was selfish, and that I should spend as much as my time making other people happy, because I get joy from bringing happiness to others, from knowing that my influence has made some change in their lives. But in order to give happiness you must possess it within yourself.

And I've also learned it's time to let go. Of the past, of what happened before. Letting go doesn't mean forgetting; it means learning the lesson to be learned and moving on. I've made a lot of mistakes. I carry physical scars but my mental scars are much more numerous. But it's time to heal. The time for grieving has passed. The time for depression has passed.

I'm ready to fight.

Friday, December 5, 2008

We Need A Resolution!

Its time for my annual writing of my New Years Resolutions list. Yes, its a month before the list is due, but I like to have a rough draft handy in case I procrastinate and have to rush at the last minute to do some much needed reflections. So today, I present to you my resolutions for bettering myself.

My first resolution is in 2009, im gonna be the shit to ME. Fuck what everyone else thinks. I spend so much time concerned about how someone else is gonna react to decisions I make about my life that I forget to do what makes me happy.

In 2009, im letting my inner strong black woman come out, that woman that somehow managed to get buried somewhere in my many facades. The strong black woman that is Demiera does not take nobodys bullshit, will not be taken for granted, and will command not demand respect.

In 2009, I will find myself a theme song. And I don't mean no stupid songs I just happen to like a lot. I mean how like girls adapt Beyonce's songs runnin around dancing and screaming "if you liked me then you shoulda put a ring on it!". Kirk Franklin's Imagine Me was doing the trick for a while, but I need an upbeat song for 2009.

In 2009, I will come to terms with my own inner gangsta. And I don't mean the fitted lovin chain wearin gangsta. That's comin to terms with my inner ghetto. My inner gangsta has more of a Scarface appeal. So in essence. Im gonna be more powerful. And gangsta.

In 2009, Im gonna stop worrying so much about the past. Its history and I cant change it. What's done is done. All I can change are my actions here and now. Im just going to focus on that and forget the other bullshit.

Whew! Okay, im tired now. Its been a longer day than I even care to think about, and tomorrow promises to be longer. Ill come back with the next installment of my resolutions...whenever =P.

First Day Jitters

Last night I bustled around, making sure everything was perfect. I tried on my outfit, shoes and all, to make sure it was the look I wanted. I even styled my hair while wearing my clothes to further complete the look. My bag is packed. Funny thing is, its 7 am, I've been awake since 5:30, and I don't have work until 10. Sounds like a good case of the first day jitters to me.

Unfortunately, I've awakened in a hoooorrrrrible mood. And the bad thing is, if my mood had a description it would be "fuck you". Fuck you, fuck you, I don't know you but fuck you too. I think the caffeine I drank before I went to bed had a negative effect on me, prolly cuz ur not really supposed to sleep after you drink caffeine. And it doesn't help that when I woke up it was butt ass cold in my now I don't wanna get out of bed at all.

I mean, we're all entitled to these days. I just wish mine had come any day BUT today, when I didn't have to wake up and go smile in people's faces and tell them how gorgeous the shoes on their feet are.

Although I have to admit, waking up wanting to fight somebody is far superior in my mind to waking up nauseous and hurting, which I've done quite enough of (out of depression, guys, not pregnancy. Lord knows I couldn't handle THAT at a time like this).

The time for me to get up and start getting ready is inching near, which is actually what I wanted, and Im pleased to announce that Im back to nervousness and excitement for my first day, not anger and violence. Ill keep you posted.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rollin The Dice

If life were a craps table, I'd be rolling straight 7s.

My phone rang, and it was a 312 number, so I figured it was from DSW, maybe to announce a change in schedule or something. So I answered. But it wasn't DSW at all. It was GNC (gotta love the acronyms lol) asking if I was still looking for a position. Hell yeah I am! One job is good but two, especially when they are 2 minutes apart, is phenomenal. They asked me to come by the store after Im finished with my shift at DSW.

If I thought I was on cloud 9 when I found out about DSW, Im in heaven now.

This throws a rather difficult monkey wrench into my plans to return to Dekalb, though. For about a week I've been wrestling with whether or not I should just swallow the cost of my apartment and stay in Chicago, or whether I should go back to Dekalb and leave my job. At first, both were on an even keel. But now I just don't know. Going to Dekalb is a blind gamble, and id be sure to crap out. Staying in Chicago is safer...and certainly looks smarter.

But I just don't know. I've really gotta think this through, and quickly. I just hope I make the right choice.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Been So Long...

I know its really only been a week since the last time I wrote, but it feels like forever. I still don't have internet =( so I'm still trucking it on the sidekick which means I cant comment on anyones posts. But I am still reading!

New Development #1: I HAVE A JOB!!! Im now a sales associate at DSW. Its a designer shoe store, but it sells its shoes at discounted prices. Im EC-freakin-STATIC about this, mainly because I need a job, but also because I love shoes and purses and I get a 30% discount not only at DSW but also at Filene's Basement. If I were able to upload pics I'd show yall my pretty name badge but I can't yet so I'll work on that later.

New Development #2: Amardo and I are talking again. I hadn't blogged about it but two weeks ago we got into a horrible fight and broke up. It took days before we could even speak civilly to each other and it wasn't until Friday that we really made up, since Friday was the first time we saw each other since the fight, seeing as he's in Dekalb and im still in Chicago. I just hope things stay the way they are because I really like where we're at right now and I don't want it to change.

New Development #3: I have revived my faith. For a time, I didn't want to believe in anything God related. But Tuesday, I decided to pray. It wasn't to God...I was really having a talk with my grandfather, who passed away when I was conceived (so I never met him but feel some strange connection to him). I prayed for wisdom, guidance, and strength. The next day I got the interview at DSW, and by Saturday I was offered the job, with yesterday being my official hiring date. In addition, after praying, my relationship with Amardo got much better. I could say its a coincidence, but I like to think Bigdaddy is my guardian angel and that he's looking out for me.

Things are finally getting better for me.