- I am moving on to the next stage. I’m not really sure where things are going and I’m not receiving as much feedback as I had hoped but I can feel that I am on the verge of something great. Really good feelings about all of it. I guess you can call it intuition, but I have definitely been feeling inspired lately. I have been listening to Lena Dunham’s “Women of the Hour” podcast at work, and she invites a lot of really dope women with such diverse backgrounds to speak on a lot of really important issues. If you follow any of Lena Dunham’s work I would strongly suggest you take a listen.
- So far as writing goes, I am in a strange place for sure. I have attempted to reach out to different writers for guidance and quite a few publications for possible freelancing opportunities and have heard absolutely nothing. At this point, I almost feel like I would rather receive a response telling me just how wrong my approach is. It makes me feel unsure if I’m in the right spot. I constantly regret. My thoughts are choppy. I doubt myself. I think the most confusing question is where do I start? I’m not sure if I should continue to pursue freelance writing for different publications, or if I should trust that will come at a later date. I want to write a screenplay and look into writing some more short stories (still want to do that book of short stories) but I’m not sure. Okay it’s not that. If I’m completely honest I tried once a couple of weeks ago to come up with a plot and it was terrible and confusing and I needed some better guidelines for myself and I gave up. I can try again. I will try again.
- The Raid. (continued from a few weeks ago)
“Raid.” I let the word escape my mouth as if I had been holding it hostage underneath my tongue.
It had been nearly three years and I still didn’t know how to process the situation or my feelings.
It was the morning after Glen’s birthday and I was laying in bed watching daylight slowly creep into Glen’s room. I hadn’t committed myself to going to work, not because I felt sick, or even had a headache. I was stressed. I drove to work daily having mild anxiety attacks, thinking about all of the horrible people I would be forced to talk to. Working in a call center is probably one of the worst places someone with anxiety can work. You’re placed in a call queue and don’t know when a call will come through, if it will be an easy call or take 3 hours and what kind of character you will be speaking to. Some started off as sweet as Mississippi Mud pie and as soon as you explained why you couldn’t accommodate them would grow horns and curse your unborn children.
The more I thought about this as I lay in bed, the faster my heart beat. I became terribly frustrated, and felt helpless. If only I could just do follow up work for the day. But there was no way I could have a day off of the phones. I witnessed someone have an anxiety attack in their cubicle and our supervisor did nothing but waited a few minutes before demanding they get back into “the queue.” I felt helpless. I started to become more upset and without thought my breathing pattern sped up. Soon I couldn’t control my heavy breathing. I was trying to calm down and stop myself from shaking. I put my hands over my head and tried to slow down my accelerated breathing.
Glen heard my panic attack and instantly woke up and tried to start calming me down.
“Take a deep breath like me, Adrienne. See. It’s okay.”
He rubbed my back and simultaneously wiped away my tears until I calmed down.
“Stay here Adrienne. I really want you to. You need the day off.”
It was that simple. I would stay at Glen’s house and watch Netflix, and then probably leave and pick up groceries so I could have dinner ready before he came back home.
“I’ll just tell my cousin you’re staying here. Just chill in my room ’cause he will probably have his boys over. You know they get rowdy sometimes.”
At around noon, I decided to start getting ready. I ran into the bathroom to shower quickly, put my pajamas back on and head into Glen’s room to finish dressing. I wanted to be done in the bathroom before his roommate’s friends arrived.
Glen’s roommate could be considered cordial, but not friendly. We never made small talk but he always acknowledged me whenever I came to visit. I think we both preferred it this way.
“Hey, Andrea,” he would say with a light head nod. That was it. No smile, no eye contact. He always mumbled “Andrea” as if he knew that wasn’t my name. It was like he was too polite to ask me and possibly appear rude, but too non-chalant to ask Glen what my real name was when I wasn’t around.
I started watching a “Hustle and Flow” on Netflix until my nose was interrupted by the harsh smell of cheap weed. Then the ridiculously sized speakers in the living room started to blast. The guests had arrived.
“CUZZO! What’s up with dem Dominos?”
I could tell that it would be a loud and long afternoon and it was time to leave.
As the credits for “Hustle and Flow” started to roll, I quickly started to undress from my pajamas so I could change and get out of the house. The music started to get louder. I couldn’t hear anything.
I finished putting on lotion and stood up to reach for my clothes when I heard a loud noise.
It didn’t quite sound like a gun, but it was too loud to be anything safe.
I heard Glen’s roommate yell.
I heard an unknown voice mumbling as they turned the music off completely.
“MAN, WHAT ARE Y’ALL DOING?!” Glen’s roommate sounded completely distressed, which worried me more.
“SHUT.UP.”the unknown voice said.
We were being robbed. I couldn’t believe something like this would happen on the day I was supposed to be relaxing. The day I decided I couldn’t deal with an anxiety attack.
I froze. Suddenly I forgot where my clothes were. I forgot where my laundry basket was. I forgot which movie I was watching. I glanced at the small bedroom window, wondering if I could quietly slip my clothes on and sneak out. That wouldn’t work. Though it was a small house, it would still be considered two stories. There were about 4 steps between the first and second floor. They creaked as you ran up them.
I considered jumping out the window again, and then thought about how hard the fall would be. But I had never been shot before. And if I died, I would rather be found dead, with clothes on. I could rush and put clothes on. Maybe my lack of association would get me somewhere. Maybe I could reason with the intruders. Whatever they were here for, I didn’t have any.
But first I needed to be dressed. I spotted my laundry basket and started to creep towards it.
“Go upstairs and see if anyone is up there,” the unknown voice said.
I immediately stopped moving. My heart jumped into my throat. I had a decision. I could A.) Grab Glen’s homemade bat (made of a steel bar and black duct tape) and hope for one good hit, B.) Rush and throw on any clothes, or C.) Lay down.
The problem with choices A. and B. were the possible results. If I came on the offensive with a homemade bat and they had a gun, what would I do then? My aim is terrible and just my luck I would swing and miss. If I chose to hurry and dress, the intruder might rush into the bedroom and think in my haste I was rushing to grab a weapon and attempt to attack or shoot me first.
I said a quick and small prayer, unsure if it would be my last.
I silently climbed into the bed, naked, and pulled the blankets to my neck with my hands visible.
I listened as I heard the stairs creaked from the heavy footsteps nearing me.
The door quietly swung open.
*I will continue next week.
4. Does anyone have any New Year’s resolutions? I try not base my goals on the new year and instead gear more towards making resolutions around my birthday, because it feels more personal. Then, as we get closer to the new year, I reevaluate and reflect on how my goals have been going since my birthday.
I think my main goal to continue into the new year is self-care. I think it is so important for women to practice on a routine basis. There are some things I want to do to take care of myself but I have been avoiding them because I have convinced myself that they aren’t necessities. They ARE. I want to go to spas, get massages, get mani/pedis and have my feet rubbed. I want to go to therapy and exercise on a regular basis so I can feel like my mental health is in tact. I don’t have to apologize for wanting to do these things or even explain why I do them. I deserve to take care of myself.
I want to keep pushing toward my career goals, whatever those are. I can’t pinpoint exactly where I want to be, but I at least know which direction I want to head in. I know if I just get to that point, I’ll eventually run into what it is I’m looking for.
Do you have any goals/resolutions?