At first, it was difficult to sleep peacefully through the night. I grew consumed with the voices of doubt and fear. “I should be doing something else more responsible sounding. I should be saving more money, not blowing through my savings just to live a little. How am I going to buy that house?” the voices would say. Where does this shit come from?  I’ve never wanted to own a house.

Here’s a list of my dark voices:
 1. The death of my loved ones.I live with a “death bed” mentality. Not only am I hyper aware of my own mortality, but I am carry the fear of the mortality of those closest to me. Yeh, much of this has to do with growing up in the South Bronx during the 80s and the sudden loss of too many loved ones to violence. I try to keep the trauma on leash as best I can, but the residual effect is a looming fear of the inevitable truth that the people I love will certainly die, and could die suddenly. Per this, I take the cathartic approach to conflict. Let’s talk about this now and be done! For I am fearful that if I don’t tend to issues between myself and the ones I love with urgency, they will suddenly die, and I will regret whatever the offense I allowed to come between us. Some say that this is a good thing. And as the “death bed” mentality influences how I manage my relationships with friends and colleagues I believe that this is what has allowed me peace from resentment with most folks. But sometimes the leash gets tangled in abuse. At times, yes, I have made myself a martyr, a door mat to a small few who have abused my willingness to forgive and move forward. Ack! It happens. But this particular fear has choked me out of my sleep from time to time on this journey. I wish it would just go away.2. Loss of a limb.

Nuf said.

3. Loss of senses.


4. Poverty.

I’m a black girl from the projects in the South Bronx. And like every child, I found happiness in childhood; I have plenty good memories. Nothing beats an open fire hydrant in the summer, and the elegance of the Mr.Softee ice-cream truck busting the corner headed your way. I got love for home. I still stay with Momz on the block from time to time. But losing my wings, my ability to catch the wind and do what I want when I want reminds me of those barred windows, and the paint from the radiator against my thighs. I’d sit on it for forever dreaming to be free. And for real, money makes that shit happen.

5. Regret.

The omniscient “THEY” say you only regret the things you didn’t do. The death bed mentality doesn’t allow me to sit back and wait for anything to happen for me. In my mind, at the time of my death, I want to say: Self, if you thought it, you did it girl!

6. Falling/heights.

I’m a big fat chicken. Wanna see me almost faint crossing rope bridges between cliffs. Nuff said. 

7. The hamster wheel (hurting myself out of ignorance, fear, stubbornness).

Please God. Do not let me enter another cycle of self abuse. I don’t want to wish upon a star to change anything that I can change myself. And if I’m too blind to see it, bring me to the light and I will certainly race towards it with all my might.

8. Needles.

I’m still a big fat chicken. I was 16 years old at the phlebotomist and burst into tears standing in line for my turn to get pricked. Still to this day, I use the Rudy Huxtable method in the chair. I fill my mouth with air and slowly let it out when it’s time. And they bet’ not show me anything either! Before I left South Africa, I wanted the full works, while I still had health insurance. I sat in the phlebotomist office to wait for my turn. A teen aged girl sat with the band tight around her arm and her mother stood beside her. Next look, and there was blood pouring down the table, on her leg, and on the hands of the phlebotomist, a smoothly dress South African dude bout ready for the club except it wasn’t even noon yet. Nah, man…and I was ouuuuuuuut!

9. Pain.

Despite what some people believe about me, I do not like pain. I care not for physical or emotional pain. Yes, I make choices that sometimes bring me pain, but it is for the beauty of experience. I do not want to hurt nor do I deal well with the hurt of others. I aim to assuage pain, to fix matters that bring pain sooner rather than later, so that I may breathe easily. I also do not wear shoes that hurt my feet, or clothes that restrict my breathing. Nope, pain is only worth it, if there is clearly something tangible and or practical to gain.

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