Hard Reset

It is June and I’m at an impasse.

I started my writing journey years ago when I was taking ballet after school (and on weekends). I started writing a story called, “The Secret Affair”. It was my version of Dynasty with black folks. The girls in my ballet class caught me and started asking for updates and chapters to read when we took breaks. I hand wrote everything.

I decided to make it into a comic. Not as much success as the written word, so I abandoned it. And our classes were becoming more consuming. Not to mention I had to ride my bike for about 30 minutes downhill and 45 minutes uphill, without having anything but an orange.

Cut to high school, which I despised. I was miserable when I was taken out of public school and put into suburban school. It was mostly black. I shut down more and my writing took a darker turn. When I did write, it was about vengeance and being an outcast with friends elsewhere. My folks divorced and at one point, I thought being a homeless street urchin would have been better than my life. Trust me.

I did what people told me. Take a year off. Get a summer job. The only thing I didn’t do was have sex with this guy that super pressured me and I came to the woeful realization that my high school left me grossly under prepared for college life.

I flunked out.

I worked and wrote. Met some people. Made some memories and ran into old people I knew from high school. We all lived the lie and hugged, said where we were going to school, but I hated all the fakery.

I kept writing. I really got into reading about dystopias because I figured the end of the world was better than the world I was living in now. I felt like an orphan. Parents were focused on other pursuits. Other people thought they were helping by telling me how they failed and how I was smart and knew I would succeed, if I just worked.

What they failed to realize is not having friends or a support system really doesn’t do much for an already depressed person. I felt like my life was slipping away. After the divorce, my parents took away the one thing I had and believed in-ballet.

I imagined myself as a tall, regal, thin black ballerina dancing all over the world. I would have been the only one on stage and hope another little black girl saw me and got inspired.

Instead, I just survived. I didn’t live. I just survived.

Skip a bunch of years to now.

Now, I have awesome writer friends I can reach out to for advice online. I’m closing in on 500 twitter followers and maybe 60 of which I communicate with weekly. I have this website. I’ve been published in the US, Canada and the U.K. I have a mentor ship with a reasonably famous person. And I’m finally getting that degree in writing that has eluded me all this time.

It’s time for a hard reset. I’m old enough to think about my past and see where I can right my wrongs. The problem is the past keeps snaking its way into my brain. I actually told my shrink, “If you could hypnotize me and make me forget from this year to this year, I would be glad. I would never want to know because I would know there’s a reason it’s gone.” They want me to work through it as we cry together.

So, here I go. Everyone makes New Years Resolutions. This seems more feasible. It’s been six months and I’ve done a lot. Not as much as I should or could, but enough to exhaust me. Change begins with me and by writing this down and publishing it, I’ve made the first change.

See y’all on the other side.


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