Bitch Is Back.

Well, it’s only been a few days into this NY visit and things have already gone to HELL. Honestly, I’m not surprised…but you’d think I’d have learned by now that things are never EVER going to change around here and that my family is just as messed up–if not more–than they’ve always been…and yet, it doesn’t seem as though I’ve learned. At all.

 

It all started Friday morning. I literally drove straight through from Tennessee, starting out  about 4am or so (C-time) Thursday morning and didn’t get into New York and my family’s until sometime around 10pm or so. The kids didn’t have school Friday, so they waited up for me. Naturally, I was exhausted and crashed. Then bright and early Friday morning Emma gets up (poor thing conked out before I got there),  sees my truck outside and of course, had to come running upstairs to see me. I was exhausted, but I stayed up to play with her for a little bit. My grams comes up to give Emmie her morning meds and mentions that she wasn’t feeling well. So I thought I’d be nice and keep the kids occupied for a bit while she went back to bed for a little while. So she goes back downstairs and not 10 minutes later, Avie is climbing the stairs to tell me “the bitch is here”, meaning the aunt I hate more than anyone and cannot stand AT ALL. And she knows it. So when she saw my truck out front did she turn-around and leave? Hell no. The bitch came right in the house anyways. And my grams didn’t tell her to leave…as usual. So, I was pissed-off. Livid. And with good reason, I might add. I mean, seriously? She’s literally at my grams’ every damn day, pretty much from 7ish in the morning until well into the afternoon. EVERY DAY. It’bullshit. I mean, what in the hell do two people have to talk about for hours at a time, every single day? Nothing good, that’s what. But it’s frustrating as hell. Especially considering I’d just driven nearly 16 hours, they knew I was coming, and not 7 hours in New York, she’s starting trouble and being there even though she knows damn well that I can’t stand her there while I’m there. She’s a bitch, plain and simple. And my grams’ does nothing. She lets her do it, even though she knows I hate it. She’s always telling me to “get over myself” in regards to the situation with my bitch aunt and her even more of a bitch, my cousin Jennifer…which only serves to piss me off even more. There’s nothing to get over with. My aunt has spent the past 30 years competing with and resenting my siblings and I for my grams loving us more (than her kids) and treating us better when we were all growing up. She acts like just because she was my grams’ first-born that she’s entitled to every damn thing there is. She acts like a spoiled fucking princess. Always having to be the center of attention. Always pissing off members of my family because she does and says whatever the hell she likes with no regard for anyone else’s feelings/wishes,…or even common decency, for that matter. She acts like she does and gets away with it, yet my grams’ is telling me to get over myself. There’s nothing to get over. My aunt is a conniving, vindictive bitch. Always has been. Always will be. As for her daughter, my cousin, well that bitch can go you-know-where, right along with her mother after the shit she pulled on me years ago. As far as either of them are concerned, they don’t exist. And I’m not the one who needs to get over myself, it’s those two. As for my grams–she’s the pot calling the kettle–seeing how she’s still PO’ed at my estranged aunt that ran her mouth years and years ago, convincing my uncle to sever all times with the family when they got married over 20 years. He’s had nothing to do with us since and my grams can’t stand that woman, still….and it’s the same damn thing with my aunt/cousin and I. But she refuses to admit the connection. Of course…it’s her. And she’s always right.

 

Even though she’s not.

 

Anyhow, I got mad and left. Then the next day I get a text from my sister warning me that she’d invited them to the family cookout for Memorial Day…thinking she was doing the decent thing by texting me and letting me know. Which was, again, bullshit. She knew I was there. I was at her place visiting the day before and she didn’t say a word about it. Had to tell me in a text. I told her off. She can’t even stand them, yet she was going to let them in her house? She’s a hypocrite, and I told her so. That was pretty much the final straw…so I left. Ended up driving out to Indiana and seeing my dad/meeting my stepmom. Cooled off a bit.

 

Just got back from there late last night. I don’t have to be down in Nashville until the 10th, so it was the smartest option to go back to NY. So I did. And my mother claims to have told my aunt/cousin they are to leave if they ever see my car out front. Yeah right. They’ll never follow that. They don’t give a damn. And then they wonder why I don’t consider NY home anymore. It’s because it’s not. It hasn’t felt like home in a really long time. They throw out the word “love”, yet they don’t have a loyal bone in their bodies…and that’s part of loving someone.

 

Anyhow, Ryan plans on moving back down with me when I go back next month. We’re getting a place. Hopefully it all works out.

 

So, that’s my update. Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

 

xoMESSIE

 

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How Is This Still A Conversation.

So I got just a tad bit annoyed with the Bestie earlier. We were chatting on Facebook while I was making the drive back to New York and when she found out about my last-minute travel plans, she sent me a message saying she was going to the first Saranac Thursday show of the season tonight and suggested that I meet up with her there if I got in early enough. As in Saranac Thursday…a summertime concert series held in the courtyard of the brewery where Mr. Wonderful (sarcasm) works. Yeahhhhh. I don’t know if she was kidding and thought she was being funny or what…but I didn’t think it was cute. And maybe I’m being just a bit too over-analytical about it…but if I am, it’s because I’ve just about run out of patience for that kind of thing these days–those smart-@$$ little quips about HIM and that ENTIRE situation. It’s gotten old. Like really, really old.

 

As for the Bestie, she knows better. Or she should know by now, rather. It’s not funny. Not to me. Which is the point I hopefully made perfectly clear in my replied text to her afterwards. I wasn’t mean. I simply told her how I felt. Which was that it would be in a cold day in HELL before I ever stepped foot in that courtyard for one of those events–or anywhere in the vicinity on one of those nights–ever again. It really is that simple. I have zero interest in being anywhere that place or seeing any of those people–especially HIM. And chances are, with it being the first event of the season, he most likely will be in attendance. That considered, I don’t want to see him. I just don’t. And not because I’m still naive and ridiculously hung up on the guy. Believe me, I am soooo not. At all. I got over him a long time ago. Years ago, in fact.

 

Still, that doesn’t mean I want to see or run into him. Just because I’ve moved on doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten all that happened or the hell he put me through. I haven’t forgotten any of it. And maybe it shouldn’t, but it still hurts a little, even now. And for that, I’m still angry. I still hate him. I haven’t forgiven him. And I might sound like a bitch for it–but I don’t want to forgive him. I don’t. That’d be too easy…and he doesn’t deserve my forgiveness…not when I know damn well he doesn’t feel the least bit sorry for any of the things he did and what he put me through.

 

It really bothers me that people think it’s okay to bring him up in conversation…for the Bestie to even think it’s okay to joke about something like that and actually suggest I go somewhere where there’s even the slightest chance he might be. I don’t care that it’s been well over 5 years now. And I can’t stand how people assume I’m just supposed to smile and go where he might be and not feel physically sickened at the possibility of catching even a glimpse of him.

 

I love the Bestie to death, but it’s something like this that is exactly one of the reasons why I stopped talking to her for that year. Her complete disregard for the fact that I want nothing to do with him. That I don’t want to hear his name or talk about him in any way, shape, or form. I didn’t then. And I don’t now. I feel bad for saying it, but it’s almost like she doesn’t understand or know who I am anymore.  If she did, she’d understand just how messed up it is for her to even suggest such a thing, whether it being in jest or not. Nothing about what happened between him and I is funny. Nothing. That period of my life was–hands-down–one of the worst of my life. I was a broken, ridiculous mess. And I nearly let it all destroy my life.

 

But I didn’t. I didn’t let that happen. I held it together. I picked up the pieces of my heart and my life and glued them back as well as I could. And it was hard. It was hell. It took everything I had to turn my life around, but I did it. Metaphorically speaking, my moving to Nashville was in a sense, the final act. The final step. I picked up my life and moved it 900 miles away from everyone and everything I’ve ever known. In part–yes–because of that whole situation. The way I see it, moving to Tennessee was my way of closing the book–one and for all–on that horrible chapter in my life. Those events, that place, those people, HIM–I put it all behind me the moment I pulled out of the driveway that day back in January. And not once did I look back. And I’m certainly not going to do it now. I’m not going to open that can of worms. People don’t get it, but even something as simple as going to one of those events would be a huge step backwards. And I’m done going backwards. These days, I’m moving forward. Just forward. And I’m making no exceptions.

 

But it’s not just him. It’s that whole scene. The drinking–all of that–it’s just not me anymore. I have no interest in any of that behavior I used to engage in. After all, where did it ever get me? Nowhere but in trouble and heartbreak, that’s where. I’ve moved on. Physically, emotionally…in every way. As far as I’m concerned, he no longer exists. He disappeared, probably to the same place as the girl I used to be disappeared to. And I have no desire to go searching for either of them. I don’t particularly like talking up Nashville to the Bestie or bragging about how well things are going in my life down there, but it’s the truth. I’m happy there. Content. I went looking for a clean slate and I found it. And I’ll be damned if I’ll give it up for a mere couple of hours of wasted socializing.

 

Above all that though, I’m only going to be here for a couple of weeks. I came here for some down-time and to spend time with my family and friends because only god knows when I’ll get the chance to visit again after this. I want to enjoy this time. Not spend it miserable because I had the misfortune to run into the last people I want to see at this point and time in my life. It’s just not worth it. They’re not worth it. They never were.

 

If the Bestie wants to hang out in a different setting, one that doesn’t involve alcohol and individuals I despise with every fiber of my being, then I have no problem with it. If not…well, then that’s her choice. Like it or not, I’ve changed. And though it saddens me to admit it, so has our friendship. Honestly, it was inevitable. A fact of life. We grew up. We’re not teenagers anymore. We’re adults with completely separate lives. That’s just the reality of it all. And while it’s bittersweet, part of me thinks it’s kind of a good thing. By that, I don’t mean that I don’t want us to stop being friends–I want nothing of the sort. All I’m saying is that my decision to move to Nashville was a good thing in that it forced me to grow up…to stop leaning on others for support. Moving 900 miles away was pure insanity and outrageous. And there was a point in time when I never would have been able to do it…when I was too scared to be without my family. To scared to not have the Bestie joined at the hip like we’d been for years. Sometimes I wonder what it’d be like if she’d followed my suggestion and moved down to Nashville with me on one of the numerous times that I suggested to her that she should–and I think that while it would have been nice to be able to share these experiences and this incredible success I’ve found there with her–I also think that doing it on my own made me stronger, more confident, more assured. I did something I never thought I’d have the nerve to do. I left. And all this happiness and success–I worked hard for it. Just me. I earned it. No one gave it to me or did it for me. I did it all. And I’m pretty impressed and proud of myself, I have to admit.

 

Everyone always says that the best revenge is letting those people in your past that hurt you see you happy. If that’s so, well, here I am. He can look all he wants. I’m happy, in spite of all he did and all that happened. I did this. I figured out how to be happy. And the great part about it is it that it had absolutely nothing to do with him. Nada. Zip. Nothing. I’m happy because I want to be. And because I know that even with all the mistakes I may have made, I’ve earned the right to be. Most importantly, I deserve it.

 

And knowing that he can’t touch it, ruin it, or take it [my happiness] away this time…well, I’ve got to honestly…it’s pretty much the best feeling in the world. Truly. The. Best. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

xoMESSIE

There. Then Back Again.

So it’s been a busy past couple of days, what with having to pack all of my things up again and load the truck in preparation for that horrible 14-hour drive to New York. I was planning on leaving Saturday, but completely forgot about Memorial Day weekend, so to play it safe and skip the rush, I’m just going to head out early tomorrow. I’m excited to see my family and my little loveys…but that drive–ugh. And then I’m going to be making it again in a couple of weeks from now…yeah, it’s going to really suck.

 

Anyhow, I’ve been busy with editing audition pics for my friend’s film that I think I mentioned in one of my recent posts. Today I met up with Kelle at Centennial Park over by West End–she’s the producer–for a head-shot shoot to use for hers and my friend Allan’s production company’s website, as well as the film’s. It went pretty well, actually–in spite of the fact that Kelle wasn’t sure how she wanted them to done or what poses to do…AND that I’d never done head-shots before. It went great, though. And it was good practice for me. I mean, I worked at a photography studio so I’m used to taking portraits and close-ups and what not, but I’d never technically done any actual head-shots involving the film industry. As it turns out, I was all worried and nervous for nothing. There weren’t any problems and Kelle’s just plain awesome, so it was good. It was a fun. I admit, when I first met her at the Auditions Day 1, I was a wee bit intimidated. She does this serious look that’s kinda scary. But she’s actually really nice, not scary at all. She’d be fun to hang out with, especially considering how during the auditions she told me and this other guy in the room that she will not drink or go out clubbing with white people. She didn’t mean it in a racist context or anything. She just thinks us “white folks” do crazy @$$ crap when we’re drinking. To her credit, she’s not too far off-base. We do some pretty crazy crap…or I have, I should say. When I get back in June, I’m gonna make it a mission to get her and the rest of the crew to all go out…just for the hell of it. CMA fest will be starting around that time and seeing how this is my first CMA fest in Nashville…I want to make it memorable. With the exception of the time a bunch of us from class went out a few months ago, it’d been well over 3 years since I’d had even a drop of alcohol. Or gone out bar-hopping. Nothing like that. I’ve been really good on those fronts. I don’t even miss it, to tell you the truth…the going out, the getting drunk, the passing out in random places (like the time I passed out wasted in a snowbank–um, yeah…), the drama, the hangovers…yeah, I don’t miss any of that. But this is the CMA Fest! And everyone down here says it’s absolutely insane during the festival–and I can’t wait. So, so excited. Can you tell? 🙂

 

Any who…I have some good news. Alan told me today that his boss wants to hire me to do photography and some of the promotion for the International Black Film Festival that Nashville hosts downtown every year. This year’s will be held in October. I know it’s months away, but I’m excited and anxious already. In terms of my photography and work, this is a HUGE deal. It’s kind of funny actually–the direction my life has gone and how it’s going right now–seeing that I never in a million years would have expected that I’d get involved in the film industry…let alone end up liking it. Unlike Alan and a good majority of the student population here at Watkins, I have no desire for fame or recognition…or anything else. I just want to take my pictures and have as much fun as I possibly can. That’s all I want. I now have so much respect for my actor/actress friends–and actors just in general. I mean, it take a hell of a lot of confidence and talent to do what they do–to get up in front of everybody and pretend to be someone else. I wouldn’t and couldn’t do it. I’ve never been fond of public speaking–in fact I loathe it–and I definitely wouldn’t want the world knowing and watching my every move. That celebrity lifestyle–yeah, no thanks. I think I’ll just keep my insignificant, mundane little life if that’s all right.

 

Surprisingly–and I think its safe to say–I’m really starting to like this whole film thing. The auditions, the casting, the production–it’s all so fascinating. I’ve literally learned something new each day. And the best part is that my role in it all is actually my own craft. I get to learn, observe, and discover new nuances of the industry while doing something that I love. Photography. Even better, I get to work and do it with a pretty great group of individuals that I’m also so incredibly fortunate and grateful to be able to call them my friends.

 

There’s no longer any doubt in my mind that I made the right decision in moving here to Nashville. None whatsoever. It was one of the best decisions I could have made. I’m happy here. I have friends here. Connections that I’ve already made. I’ve built a life here in these past 6 months. This is home. At least for now…

 

xoMESSIE

** And so I thought I’d share some pics I took in Centennial Park after the shoot with Kelle today…SPOILER ALERT–there are trees…lots and lots of trees! 🙂 🙂 **

 

IMG_5582                   IMG_5603

 

IMG_5626                    IMG_5631

 

IMG_5646                                        IMG_5664

IMG_5659           IMG_5676

IMG_5704                    IMG_5714

 

IMG_5731                       IMG_5739

 

 

Going In Circles.

So, I’ve decided to take a little unexpected trip back to New York. Planning on leaving at the end of the week and making that horrible, HORRIBLE 14-hour drive. It’s not a permanent move, much to the disappointment of my family, I’m sure, but rather kind of an extended visit of sorts. Just a couple of weeks. I planned on trying to make it back for my niece’s talent show at the end of the month anyhow–she’s singing–and things are a little…well, complicated here at the moment. Work is well…work. I can’t complain though. As a freelancer, I have the freedom to literally work from anywhere, so I’m fortunate in that respect. This whole living situation/arrangement I managed to get myself mixed up in…it’s not the greatest. I know, I know…it’s my own doing. And I was crazy and just plain dumb to think that moving in with two men–two total, complete strangers–that I met through Craigslist–of all places–would somehow be a good idea. Not surprisingly, I was wrong. As usual. Guess I can just add this to my list of all the many, many reckless/ridiculous decisions that I seem to have a penchant for making. That’s w me. Impulsive to the bone. Sometimes I reflly do wonder how it is even possible that I’ve made it to 27 years old. No joke. I swear, one of these days, my stupidity/recklessness is going to get me killed or something. When I’m in one of my dark and twisted little moods, I sometimes wonder why I do crazy things like this. Why I’m so impulsive. Part of me can’t help but wonder if deep down in the dark recesses of my being, if I’m doing I’m doing it on purpose. Like I’m knowingly–yet un-knowingly–playing some game of Russian Roulette with my life. Heck–people have been telling me for years that I’m asking for trouble by doing some of the crazy things that I’ve been known to do. Maybe they’re right. I don’t know. I mean, it’s not like I’m deliberately putting myself in these unsafe/doomed from the onset situations. I’m messed up…but I’m not that messed up. I don’t think. I think I’m just way too trusting. I guess I want to believe that there are still good, honest people in the world, I really do…and maybe that’s being too naive…something, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush…like I’m addicted to the danger so I unintentionally, subconsciously seek it out. Who knows.

So yeah, that’s that. As much as I really don’t want to go back to New York–for any length of time–I think that, for the moment, it’s probably the best/safest solution for me. So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to spend some down-time with my family and the kids for a couple of weeks and work out a place down here in Nashville while I’m there. It’s not the easiest task–finding a place in Nashville when you’re physically in New York–but I was able to find that place over in Brentwood where I was originally going to lease when I moved down…before my last-minute decision just to stay on campus in the res hall. Sooo I think I can do it again. It’s gonna be tough, but it’s do-able. I’ve got to be back anyhow, at the latest, by June 10th. That’s when production and shooting starts for the film I’m working on. Andddd the timing couldn’t be better seeing how that’s right around CMA Fest time…and there’s no way I’m missing that. No freakin’ way.

So yeah, here’s to me making that 14 hour drive unscathed, keeping my sanity in the time that I’m in New York, and some much needed down-time to reflect and start making “RESPONSIBLE/SAFE” choices…or at least making an attempt/effort to… 🙂

xoMESSIE

i believe.

We all have those moments when we feel hopeless…that everything that could go wrong, has…that there’s no hope in the darkness, no end in sight to the misery. We’ve felt the pain of a broken heart, rejection from that one unrequited love you wanted so badly to believe in, while knowing somehow that it wasn’t meant to be–never would be–for it was doomed from the start. We’ve all felt the ecstasy that comes with falling…have seen how quickly it fades and turns instead to pain and heartache. We’ve all been betrayed, disappointed, and let down by the last person we expected would ever hurt us. We’ve all faced the struggle between right and wrong, the pull of temptation. We’ve all made mistakes–ones that have changed the course of our lives in ways that we never could have imagined. We’ve all faced evil, felt the callous sting of tragedy, lost someone we’ve loved. We have all faked a smile and spoken that little white lie of “I’m fine”…though we’re dying inside. We’ve picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off, gathered just enough nerve and strength we needed to get through. We don’t have everything we want, but we make do. We persevere. We laugh, we cry, we love, we hate…we survive.

 

We’re human. We’re flawed and imperfect and vulnerable. We all have marks and scars. And all those mistakes we made–we have a  choice. We don’t have to let them change us. We don’t have to let them define us. We just have to have faith that it’ll all make sense one day…that we’ll be okay…someday. We can have it all…if we just believe. We can have everything. If we believe…

 

xoMESSIE

 

**You can thank this little ditty for this brief, reflective post… song is called “I Believe” by Christina Perri**

VERSE:

I believe if I knew where I was going, I’d lose my way
I believe that the words that he told you are not your grave
I know that we are not the weight of all our memories
I believe in the things that I am afraid to say
Hold on, hold on

VERSE:

I believe in the lost possibilities you can see
And I believe that the darkness reminds us where light can be
I know that your heart is still beating, beating darling
I believe that you fell so you can land next to me

CHORUS:

‘Cause I have been where you are before
And I have felt the pain of losing who you are
And I have died so many times, but I am still alive

VERSE: 

I believe that tomorrow is stronger than yesterday
And I believe that your head is the only thing in your way
I wish that you could see your scars are linked of beauty
I believe that today it’s okay to be not okay
Hold on, hold on

‘Cause I have been where you are before
And I have felt the pain of losing who you are
And I have died so many times, but I am still alive

This is not the end of me, this is the beginning
(Hold on, hold on)
This is not the end of me, this is the beginning
Hold on, I am still alive
This is not the end of me, this is the beginning
This is not the end of me, this is the beginning

Where Is The Love.

Since moving here to Nashville, I’ve had the pleasure to meetsome amazing, incredibly talented individuals. Of which, one of whom I consider a close, dear friend is my friend, Allan. We met in the 2-D Design class this past semester and well, to put it colloquially, we essentially bonded over our kindred dislike of the class professor, or as I might have called her in previous posts…the professor lady from HELL. Anyhow, he’s just this amazing, funny, super-talented guy…who also happens to be black. While I wouldn’t normally make the distinction, for the purpose of this post, I’m going to. And you’ll soon know why.

 

I’m not racist. Far from it, actually. Which is kind of an incredible thing considering the way I was raised, and more specifically, whom I was raised by. My grandmother is, well…she’s a tough nut to crack, to put it nicely. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an amazing, loving, strong woman–quite possibly one of the most selfless individuals I’ve ever met–and I respect her immensely…but she’s a little set in her ways, if you know what I mean. She was raised in a predominately-white rural area in upstate New York, the daughter of a full-blown Italian, Catholic emigrate who–from stories I’ve heard–was an even tougher woman than my grams. Considering the era my grams grew up in, it’s not altogether surprising that she has a narrowed view or perception of people of color. While I don’t condone her somewhat-skewed views, I do understand it. That’s how she was raised. It was ingrained in her–and the rest of generation–early on that there is a distinction between white people and people of color. She was taught that black people can’t be trusted…that they’re lazy, ambition-lacking–and for lack of a better word–criminals.

 

While I wish I could say that we’ve come a long ways since those flawed times…I honestly don’t believe that we have. Sure, slavery was abolished. And through the work of brave souls like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and the list goes on and on–we have made some strides and some improvement on the front-lines of racial equality…but not by much. We still have a long, long ways to go, a reality that we’ve been so blatantly reminded of in recent years. It just blows my mind when I hear people say things like “racism is a thing of the past” or “America’s not racist…we have a black President…”…things like that. It’s just so unfortunate that so many people are that naive…and that oblivious of an issue that, for all intents and purposes, has essentially turned into the human condition. And it has. It really has.

 

Personally, I don’t understand the obsession with the color of a person’s skin. I mean, it’s just skin color. That’s all. It doesn’t define a person. It doesn’t make a person any less worthy of respect and/or societal acceptance. It doesn’t make some less of a human being. And yet–that’s exactly what a lot of people think and believe. And they think that way because of how society and the world portrays those with different skin colors. And the bottom line of it all is that it’s wrong. It’s just so completely and utterly WRONG.

 

Despite her set ways and opinions and skewed perceptions, I don’t remember my grams ever being openly racist and/or prejudicial of people of color…with the exception of one issue, that being interracial dating and marriage. Her views on that particular subject have always been quite open and vocal. She doesn’t condone it at all. And while I’d never pass judgement on a person in a bi-racial relationship–to each his own–I personally have no interest in getting involved with a black man. Not because I’m racist or prejudiced or on some kind of “WHITE POWER” power-trip. Nor does it have anything to do with attraction. I mean that are a lot of good-looking, attractive black men out there that I would not at all mind spending 5 minutes behind-closed-doors with. Umm Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds?? Hello, that man is hands-down, out of this world gorgeous. Even so, it’s not a relationship I see myself entering in to at any point. A large part of my reasoning behind that has very much to do with the fact that it’s simply not the best or safest time in which to be a person of color right now. Especially here in America. It’s just not. And as much as I’d like to, I honestly don’t hold out much hope in that situation changing any time soon, or in my lifetime, for that matter. And while it might sound a little selfish, I have to be thinking of my future and the things I want. A family, for instance. Not right this moment, but in a few years…yes, I want to settle down and hopefully start a family. Eventually, at some point, I do want that. And honestly, as a mother–I’d be terrified of bringing a mixed-race child into the world being the way that it is. It’s hard enough as it is to be a parent these days and having to protect your child from the monsters that exist in the world and to keep your child safe without throwing in the racial, social stigma of a mixed-race heritage into the mix. I mean, people are just plain cruel and evil and yes, racist…even now. Even after the progress that’s been made.

 

These days, I can’t go a day on social media without reading about some racially-infused shooting or similar travesty of some sort. There’s just so many stories like that. From Trayvon Martin, to Michael Brown, to Eric Garner and hell, even just recently with Freddie Gray in Baltimore. It’s sad and tragic and utterly disheartening for me to read these stories on just a basic, human level.  I don’t condone what’s happening, at all. I think it’s abhorrent and disgusting and it just makes me so furious that there are people out there who are so corrupt and prejudiced and evil that they literally have no disregard for human life because of some age-old, inherited misconception of skin color. That officer who shot Michael Brown should have been indicted on murder charges. He murdered an 18-year-old, unarmed citizen in cold blood, in broad daylight. Whatever Brown might or might not have done…whatever the events were that led up to what happened…whatever poor judgement Brown showed in arguing with and assaulting a police officer…it’s all irrelevant, in my opinion. Only one detail should have mattered and been solely relevant in that case and that is that Brown was unarmed and running away when he was gunned down. Let me reiterate…he was running away. It’s that simple. Or it should be, I should say. People can make excuses for and try to justify the officer’s actions…but there isn’t one. There just isn’t. There’s no justifiable excuse for chasing after an unarmed, fleeing suspect and shooting him half a dozen times in the back. If the officer was truly fearful of his life, the logical and rational thing to do would to have remained in his vehicle and called for back-up. There was no longer a threat. The threat was literally running away. Not indicting the man was a bad call that sent the wrong message…which is that not only are police officers are above the law, but their lives are worth more than that of a person of color. And people can deny it all they want that the Michael Brown case wasn’t about color ’til they are blue in the face…but I will not and do not buy it. I might not have been there, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that the race card was definitely played in that case, in some way or another. I think the most unfortunate thing about what happened in the Brown case is that no one saw it for the lesson and wake up call that it was. People talk about change, but no one does anything to make that change happen. I mean, people complain and condemn the riots and the violence that followed–and to continue to follow–these incidents–white people especially it seems–but I get it. I really do. I completely understand the feelings of anger and frustration and distrust in the black community–and I’m not even black. There’s a big problem with racial inequality in this country…a rising epidemic that’s not going quietly away any time soon. Not until people stand up and stand together, united as human beings rather than white people and black people. There shouldn’t be a distinction between the two. We’re all human beings. We breathe the same air, we walk the same streets…we shouldn’t let society or anyone else dictate or pass judgement based on something as inconsequential as the color of a person’s skin. We’re better than that. That is, we’re capable of being better than that. But first we have to want to be. We need to break through those vintage perceptions, expose their weakest roots, and band together to make a change, to make a difference.

 

And that’s exactly what my friend Allan is trying to do with the film he’s currently making…a project that I am absolutely thrilled and beyond humbled to be a part of. He wrote the script and is directing the film…and it’s going to be just phenomenal! The script itself  and the story is just incredible and intense and most important–it’s brutally honest. It’s essentially the story of three black men with diverse backgrounds and their struggle/journey towards finding their identities and figuring out what being “black” means to them in a world that is–for all intents and purposes–predominately white. We just wrapped up the auditions tonight and I can’t tell you how excited I am to start production next month. It’s such a beautiful project and eye-opening in respect to current events that I know it’s going to be nothing short of amazing. I’m just truly blessed and honored to become friends with such a talented, incredible guy like Allan and to be a part of something that means something…something that I truly believe will have an impact, somehow. It’s a short film, but it’s going to be huge. They already plan on entering it into Sundance…that’s how serious and confident they are about the message the film is going to send. As they should be.

 

It has to be said. Someone has to say it. Granted, I do feel a little uncomfortable at times to be working on a film (I’m doing the BTS photography, etc. on it, by the way) that is portraying a world as seen through the eyes of a black person…my being white. It’s hard sometime to not feel guilty or feel ganged up on, like I’m representative of the whole white race or something…it really is hard. And there have been moments when I’ve wanted to point out that the way the film is portraying a stereotype of the black race is the same way people are stereotyping white people like myself…but it’s really not my place and I’m sure it’s not intended. Sometimes, I do feel like black people think white people are to blame for all the inequality and injustices they and their ancestors were subjected to…but not all white people are bad. We don’t all have some secret KKK hood hidden in our closets. We’re not all judges. We’re not all racist. Again, it’s all about perceptions. And those aren’t going to change unless we try and do something to change them. It starts here. It starts now. Not just for blacks, but for whites as well. We’re all the same inside. And we’re fighting the same fight. We’ve got to come together as a whole and stop making destinctions and building new barriers between our races. There’s only one race that truly, truly matters…and it’s the human race. Not the white race. Not the black race. Not Asian or Middle Eastern…not anything. Just human. And it’s our responsibility…on all of us to do our part…to make a difference. All of us.

 

xoMESSIE

 

P.S. Here’s the KickStarter link to my friend’s incredible project/film. Please check it out, contribute in any way that you can, and share the message with everyone you know.

All In.

So I did something incredibly crazy/reckless/pick an adjective…basically. I moved in with a couple of guys that I literally met on Craigslist. Yes, I know, totally insane. And yet…so typical MESSIE. Although it sounds kind of sordid when I write it like that…I assure you that it’s not. At least not in the way it most likely sounds at first glance. Anyhow, here’s the back-story…

So, the semester ended this week, with Wednesday night being my last class. With the semester over, that meant time to move out of res hall that has served as my “humble” abode these past five months. While I can’t express my elation over the fact that I no longer have to live in the same quarters as the two most ridiculously inconsiderate/rude and unbelievably lazy individuals that I had the misfortune of having to be roommates with–the moving itself wasn’t exactly the best of timing. Mostly for the fact that I’m an idiot and waited–literally–until the very last possible minute to find another place to live. It’s not that I was being deliberately obtuse…I’m just (admittedly) a huge procrastinator and somehow was convinced I think that I had all the time in the world…until obviously, I didn’t. It just kind of snuck up on me–the end of the semester, I mean. In fact, these past five months as a whole seem to have gone by at lightening speed for me. You know the whole “time flies when you’re having fun” adage…yeah. Major YEAH. Anyhow, stupid me didn’t think it’d be tough at all to find a place, considering I was already in Nashville and all. Yeah, BIG assumption on my part…big FAILED assumption, I should say. Real estate down here…it’s kind of ridiculous. Especially when it’s a week and a half into the month and every place that at least seems decent on a paper won’t let you sign a lease until the first of June, at the earliest. So, to put it nicely…I was screwed. And not in a good way, either.

My family–not surprisingly–thought I should go home to New York for the summer. An option that wasn’t an option–and was dead-set AGAINST, for that matter. They didn’t get it. They thought I was ridiculous when I told them that I just knew that if I went back, it wouldn’t just be for the summer…that I knew that if I did go back, I’d never get back to Nashville. I can’t explain how I know it, I just do. I know how crazy it gets up there. I know how persuasive my family can be. More than that, I know how damn hard it was for me to get the nerve to leave like I did back in January, hell, even when I left a few weeks ago when I visited. It was so hard. I spent that entire drive back to the airport the day I left to come back to Nashville and the majority of the flight just second-guessing myself and wondering if I was doing the right thing. I mean, there’s only so much a person can take and I know my limits. Everyone thinks I’m fearless and so brave for doing this on my own, 900 miles away from everyone and everything I’ve ever known…and they couldn’t be further from the truth. I may look and seem fearless on the surface, but inside…hell, inside I’m an absolute quivering mess. I’m scared. Hell, I’m fucking terrified…every single minute of every day. I feel like I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Like I’m just making it all up as I go along. And in a lot of ways, I guess I am. And yeah, part of it is exhilarating and thrilling…but mostly, it’s scary. It’s really, really scary.

Anyhow, so in my near-desperation to find a place, I happened across an ad some guy had posted on Craigslist for a room in his house he was renting out. For the hell of it, I reached out to him and it just so happened that the room was still available. The morning of the day I had to check out of the res hall, we made plans to meet up early–as he was going to be leaving for the weekend and going back to visit his family in Missouri. I literally hadn’t even known him for 24 hours before that meeting took place. I was totally taking a chance on nearly everything. My mother, sister, grams–even my Dad–were all like hell no…don’t do it…you don’t know the guy…he could be one of those psycho Craigslist killers…just don’t do it…don’t even think about it–they all warned me and said. It was crazy–not gonna lie–and probably one of the most rash decisions I’ve ever made–and I’m made a few–but I was in a corner. It was either take a chance and have faith in the fact that not everyone in the world is out to screw you over or harm you…or go back to New York. And while it might seem crazy–at that moment, going back to New York seemed a hell of a lot scarier than meeting up with/moving in with some complete stranger right then.

Now that I’ve had a minute to really process it…I’m beginning to wonder if maybe this was a little too rash–even for me. I mean the guy seems like a perfectly nice guy. He’s just a few years older than me and did kind of the same thing I did by leaving my family and moving hundreds of miles away. Like myself, he comes from a pretty large, close-knit family and also like myself–he’s the only one out of the bunch to take off for lands unknown and not live within a 10 mile radius of the rest of his family.  He seems like a nice guy, at least from my first impression of him. He’s a bartender–wouldn’t it figure–and so he’s rarely ever home, he claims. He’s also a big outdoorsy type guy with like hunting and fishing and going out on one of his several boats. I think there’s got to be at least 4 or 5 deer mounted on his living room wall–no lie. But all in all, he seems like a normal guy. There’s another roommate that’s been in and out a couple of times in the past day or so, but I have yet to actually meet him. I’m hoping he’s an okay guy as well. Time will tell, I guess.

So far, so good. I’m going to play this all by ear and hopefully not end up in a bad situation that I can’t get myself out of. I have faith that this will all somehow work out in the end. I mean, I have to. It’s really all that I’ve got left at this point. Faith. Which is kind of ironic…but what the hell. You only live once right?

Until Next Time. (And crossing my fingers that I won’t end up in pieces scattered along the banks of the Cumberland that there will be an next time…)

xoMESSIE

Un-fixable Me.

So I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of months now. He’s nice and funny and overall, a genuinely great guy. Nearly perfect, even…maybe a little too perfect, I sometimes think. He’s nothing at all like the guys I’ve known. And everyone is telling me that its a good thing…that he’s the type I guy I should be looking for, rather than the bad-boy jerk type I tend to be attracted to and gravitate towards in the past….but I’m not so sure. Which is absolutely crazy because he’s so nice and so sweet…a real, in-the-flesh Southern gentleman. And I know it makes absolutely no sense–it kind of scares the hell out of me. In my experience, just when things start to go well and everything seems perfect…that’s right when the bottom falls out and everything just goes to hell. It always happens, without fail. As much as I like being with and spending time with him, I’ve got this nagging feeling that won’t go away–that’s telling me to end it now, to just walk away before it’s too late…before it goes any further. Before one or both of us get hurt. It’s a little ironic actually, considering that for so long, I’ve been the one that’s scared of getting hurt…but this time is different. This time, I’m worried that I’ll be the one to hurt him.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, but I can’t help but think that I’m going to ruin him. I mean, he’s just this genuinely sweet, nice guy…and me, well I’m just 50  shades of fucked up. I don’t see the point in sugarcoating it. I’m a mess…a disaster…jaded in more ways than I thought possible. Especially when it comes to relationships. And I blame the jerk from 6 years back for that. For making me lose my faith in love, for proving to me– in the worst possible ways that he could– that the only person in this world you can truly trust is yourself. At this point in my life, after everything that’s happened, I just don’t know who to trust anymore…so I trust no one. I know it’s not fair to hold the mistakes of that one jerk against every other guy I come in contact with, but I can’t help it. I guess that’s just the unfortunately reality and consequence of having been hurt and used and wrecked by the people in my past…people I never for a second thought would ever hurt me like they did, like HE did. I was so wrong…so wrong.

When I think back on it all, I realize just how naive I was. I wasn’t some Cinderella-type looking for her Prince Charming or anything, but I believed in love. And I thought that falling in love would be the greatest feeling–and it was…for about 5 minutes. If that. Then, as if on cue, it all went to hell. For fifteen months I stayed on that emotional roller-coaster. Fifteen long, wasted months. I took a chance, let him in…then he wrecked my life. Or tried to, I should say. Either way, I don’t think I’d ever experienced that degree of hurt until then. Until Him. I still don’t know why him. It just was. The only way I can really describe it–being with him–it was like I couldn’t breathe or function without him…while at the same time, I felt like I was drowning. Suffocating. Turn into someone and something that I despised…had always sworn I’d never become. He broke my heart and shattered every ounce of trust I’d had for him…for anyone. Even when it was finally over, for so long afterwards, everyone treated me like I was this fragile, heartbroken girl who still carried a torch for him. They couldn’t have been more wrong. It took me a long time to realize it, but it had nothing to do with him. All those nights I cried myself to sleep, all those months I shut everyone out…it wasn’t because I was pining away for him. It was that I’d felt as if I’d suddenly taken off the blinders and could see everything in crystal clear, blinding bright lights…and that reality was what truly broke me. Not him. He might have started me onto the path, but the rest of the journey was all me. Just me. I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. Every time I looked in the mirror, it was like looking at a stranger…and I hated her. Despised her. I felt like everything I’d ever been taught, all the values that I’d ever held–had been stripped away. Just gone. I felt used and degraded, covered in a filfth that not even the most abrasive scrubbing or soap could wash away. I hated him. But the truth is, I hated myself even more.

That’s all part of the reason why I left and moved here. To escape all of that. All the lies and rumors and those hurtful accusations. And the memories. Especially the memories. It was as though I had all these images playing over and over in my head and there was no pause button for me to press. So I did what I do best, I ran. And for the most part, it’s worked out fairly well for me, believe it or not. Until now. Until this guy, this sweet, awesome guy who wants far more than I think I’m capable of giving him right now. I just feel like it’s all happening so fast. Too fast. And I’m not sure I’m quite ready to take the next step. Honestly, sometimes I’m terrified that I never will be.

I don’t want to hurt him and for that, I feel like I don’t have a choice but to end it now and walk away. It doesn’t seem fair of me to let it continue when I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give him what he wants. He deserves the truth, but I haven’t–I can’t–tell him mine. I mean, how am I supposed to tell him about my screwed up past and the choices I made? What will he think? I mean, when it came down to it, nearly everyone chose HIS side and believed him…what’s to say that if I tell him everything now that he won’t do the same? I’m not sure I can–or even want–to risk that. I spent 5 years feeling ashamed, feeling guilty for things I didn’t do, of avoiding the glares and ignoring the whispers. And now that I’m finally free from it all,..it’s back again. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I have the strength to go through that again. I really don’t. I barely made it through the first time. I won’t survive a second round. That’s not me being melodramatic either. That’s just me telling the truth.

I don’t know what the future holds or what life has in store for me. I don’t know if I’ll ever get my old self back. If my faith in love will ever be repaired…or if I’ll ever be able to trust a man again without seeing HIS face and feeling that overwhelming pain again. I don’t know if I’ll ever be “fixed”…or 100 percent whole again. Who knows. Maybe this new relationship will work out. Maybe it’ll be okay. Maybe this sweet guy will be the one to heal all the hurt and glue all the pieces of my broken heart back together.  Maybe I’ll be his Cinderella after all. And maybe we’ll have the fairy-tale and a chance at our own Disney-version happily-ever-after.

Maybe I just need to make that leap of faith and set aside all this fear. Maybe I just need to forgive myself. I think that maybe it’s time. Right here. Right now. Because the truth of the matter is, right now is all we have that’s guaranteed. The rest–is a coin toss. But we’ll see what happens….

xoMESSIE

“Because Of You” by Katy McCallister

[VERSE ]
Before you it’s been awhile before I slipped up
Before you I never thought to give a f*&#
And before you I was satisfied on my own
Before you I never let myself go
Before this I was always on the wrong side
Before this I was always bad at
hanging onto pride
But before this I was professional
about how to hide
What was goin’ on on the inside

And before you I was so content
Yeah before you I was unaware of it
I was unaware, of my loneliness

[CHORUS]
Now because of you
I remember why I have no self respect
Because of you
I remember why I always felt hopeless
I remember why
My perception of love was demented
I remember why I’m such a mess
Why I’m such a mess
Because of you
I remember why I was satisfied with lust
Because of you
I remember why I will never truly trust
Before you there were more yous and I know now why I will never expect much
Thought I forgot, but thanks a lot
Cause now because of you
I remember why I don’t love
I remember why I don’t love

[VERSE 2]
Before you I had control of this
Before you I never let my heart win
Before you I was on my way to freedom
Before you I never let myself give in
To the disappointment of unrequited love
To the mislead illusion of mutual trust
I was unaware, of how bad love was

[BRIDGE]
When somebody walks away
And you feel replaced
Left with your own embrace
A part of you gives up hope
Once you let it go
You never wanna go, back again
I look at you and I see him
All over again

I thought I forgot, but thanks a lot
Cause now because of you
I remember why I don’t love
I remember why I don’t love

 

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