“stop being so creepy!" my boss exclaimed as i took a picture of some stowed luggage.
“i’m not being creepy, look at this precious luggage tag!" i forced while showing her a picture of the pilot’s bag.
we continued to board the plane feeling good about the pilot in charge— i felt so good about it, i tweeted American Airlines to express my happiness.
two hours later & a flight with some minor turbulence, we safely landed in indianapolis to the news of Malaysia flight #17.
if you don’t think i was saying my “thank you’s” for getting to point A to B with no complication, you’d be very very wrong.
over the years, my feelings on flying have changed.
it used to be such an enjoyable experience—i remember my first flight, sitting toward the front of the plane in those two rows of three seats, the ones facing each other. my brothers and i would fight over who could sit backwards, every time.
and now, flying feels different. i look forward to a safe landing and a smooth ride more than i ever have.
yesterday, when i boarded the plane, i had no idea, obviously, how the rest of the day would turn out, but i’m so grateful for Pilot Elvis.
i’ve never had anxiety when it comes to boarding a plane and i know how many flights travel safely from one side of the country to another, but it’s hard not to think about the possibilities that exist.
i hope my child-like memories connected to the luxury of flying remain, but as more uncontrollable tragedies occur, i’ll be sure to wholeheartedly commend those who are able to take me safely from departure to destination.
i knew i’d moved on when his birthday happened without a disruption to my day. his words no longer affected me and his presence no longer felt. the man i hoped would be in my future, now a boy in my past. dreams filled with desire and anticipation turned to revenge and ignorance, and the present reality filled with adoration and kindness, two things needed but never had.
i knew i’d moved on when hearing his name no longer triggered a gut reaction of disgust, and when i finally accepted the time spent to be a learning moment instead of a waste. perhaps there was too much value on what could have been, because nothing is worth more than the dissolving of an emotional roller coaster and a fresh start on stable foundation.
“Now for the most exciting news of the month! Jupiter, the Santa Claus planet that brings heaps of gifts and luck, will move into Leo on July 16, and light your tenth house of honors, awards, achievement, and fame (tenth house) for a full year, from July 16, 2014 until next year, August 11, 2015. You’ve not hosted Jupiter in this part of your chart since August 2002 through August 2003, so it’s been a very long time since you’ve had cosmic help with professional matters. You are now poised to enjoy your best career year of the decade, starting this month.”—
“There are two people you’ll meet in your life. One will run a finger down the index of who you are and jump straight to the parts of you that peak their interest. The other will take his or her time reading through every one of your chapters and maybe fold corners of you that inspired them most. You will meet these two people; it is a given. It is the third that you’ll never see coming. That one person who not only finishes your sentences, but keeps the book.”—
it was one of the days i don’t want to remember yet somehow cannot forget.
you were all so kind in the days following the news— it was an outpouring of kindness & love i will never forget.
the late night walks with mama when i’d let tears stream down my cheeks, the question of “what’s next?" that remained unanswered, and the sour cherry on top of it all— the turmoil of a “relationship” gone south that seemed to take over life as i knew it.
there were so many conversations about what i really wanted personally and professionally.
i kept teaching while simultaneously collecting unemployment, and yet somehow, the thought of how to pay a mortgage was never a worry, because for once, my biggest concern was for improving my well-being.
for me, being laid off was the opportunity to re-start in a way i never knew possible. it was for scouring job ads for the one that not only sounded great on paper, but sounded great for me.
for almost three months, i lived through haphazard emotions, withdrew from a lot of activity & successfully convinced myself to take another step when all i wanted to do was get back in bed.
tomorrow marks one year since i lost my job, and there’s no way i’d rather say thank you to my former employer than to soak in each & every minute of this opportunity that keeps providing, day after day after day…
I did not dream of being a TV writer. Never, not once when I was here in the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, did I say to myself, “Self, I want to write TV.”
You know what I wanted to be? I wanted to be Nobel Prize Winning Author Toni Morrison. That was my dream. I blue sky-ed it like crazy. I dreamed and dreamed. And while I was dreaming, I was living in my sister’s basement. Dreamers often end up living in the basements of relatives, fyi. Anyway, there I was in that basement, I was dreaming of being Nobel Prize Winning Author Toni Morrison. Guess what? I couldn’t be Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison. Because Toni Morrison already had that job and she wasn’t interested in giving it up. One day I was sitting in that basement and I read an article in the NY Times that said it was harder to get into USC Film School than it was to get into Harvard Law School. I could dream about being Toni Morrison. Or I could do. At film school, I discovered an entirely new way of telling stories. A way that suited me. A way that brought me joy. A way that flipped this switch in my brain and changed the way I saw the world. Years later, I had dinner with Toni Morrison. All she wanted to talk about was Grey’s Anatomy. That never would have happened if I hadn’t stopped dreaming of becoming her and gotten busy becoming myself.
i drove past the diamond tonight. it was all lit up— score board a’blazin,’ just like i remember. on a night like tonight, with an unexpected chill in the air, the dirt still looked the same. on the northeast side of the park sits the field were i first fast-pitched a ball. with the help of a man named denny and many hours spent practicing in the back yard, the windmill would go ‘round— the quicker, the better. staring out onto the field, the feeling of elation comes to surface much like it did when a batter would swing and then so quickly miss. that ball diamond was the same place i first broke my nose. a line drive was all it took to lay me out cold— hearing the crack and knowing that time, it wasn’t from a bat. i can still feel the breath that escaped my lungs when sliding into home, the sense of accomplishment when a double or triple was hit, and the joy when i’d spot my mother in the stands and see my father standing, arms crossed at third. for years and year, this chalk-lined haven was my part of my identity. it was the place i first fell in love with the game, the place i learned how to truly be me, and the place i made many memories not quite realized until tonight. i drove past the diamond tonight, and tonight it looked different, it looked like someone else’s second home.