Blues, Funk and Aniversaries

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I was blue, truly and honestly blue. I couldn’t put my finger on it, couldn’t identify the source but yesterday I was blue.

Yesterday, my energy levels were low and I was inspired to do nothing. Absolutely nothing inspired me, with the exception of finding a cave, crawling into it and pulling a rock over the entrance.

I could not find a reason for my ennui; thinking it was just the past three hard weeks at work. The long drive back and forth from Dallas to Houston was wearing me down. The twelve hour days resulting only in, ‘not good enough, not what I want’ feedback from leadership that seemed to have a constantly shifting agenda. Still through all of this, yesterday I was blue and I could not focus on the cause.

7-February-1992

It came to me, this morning, as I was checking the date or simply looking at a calendar for some reason or maybe trying to prove it was past now. Yesterday was a red-letter day and I ignored it, did not give yesterday its due. Ignored the date, did not sit down and allow my heart to wash over me with all the feelings I was having, instead I attempted to pretend there was nothing special and I was simply blue.

The truth is, yesterday wasn’t special, not in the way, most of us think of ‘special’. Yesterday did mark for me a day of transition, change or transformation. Yesterday did mark the anniversary of the day that set my feet on a different path and made changes to my body, my spirit even my brain there would be no turning back from, no matter how I might wish this to be different.

Yesterday I was blue and rather than acknowledge why I blamed it on everything, including:

  • My current job, client and bosses
  • The fact my house is a mess
  • My finances after a six month hiatus from work, but which are not as bad as they were or as I think they are or as bad as some people who are truly suffering
  • My loneliness, that is somewhat self-imposed
  • The lack of physical touch in my life, that I find I miss a great deal but which has also been self-imposed

Yesterday I was blue and what I didn’t blame it on was the date, the anniversary, the three bullets and the three young men that changed me forever and sent my life on a different and unlooked for trajectory. Yesterday, I was in a deep funk with tears settled right on the edge waiting to spill at slightest hint I would allow blue to turn into a crying jag (I didn’t) and I wouldn’t look at a calendar because instinctively I knew what day it was and simply didn’t want to say it out loud.download

So, I distracted myself with walks in the park, which honestly I needed anyway. I distracted myself with talking to people who love me, but I didn’t tell them I was hurting and why. Then when the sun was down and the house was dark again, with sitting quietly staring at a blank page in my journal unable to pick up my pen, because I was blue and I was in a deep funk. When the bedroom was dimly lit with the nightlight I never turn off,  I rocked myself to sleep finally because I was lonely and I miss physical touch, I was hurting and I simply refused to acknowledge it was an anniversary of sorts, one that had changed me in fundamental ways and at my core.

Now, today, this morning I acknowledge I was blue because it is hard not to remember, it is impossible not to be triggered no matter how hard I try to avoid calendars and other reminders. It is hard not to remember and be angry. It is hard not to remember and be sad. It is hard not to remember and then wonder sometimes, what would life be like if I hadn’t have stopped for gas, if I hadn’t have stopped for cigarettes. What would life be like if I had just been five minutes earlier or later, just five minutes that is all. Sometimes I can’t help myself, I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better if I hadn’t survived, hadn’t have been quite so strong. It isn’t that I am not happy to be alive 97% of the time, but I can’t help but wonder sometimes if it wouldn’t have been better, when I am blue like yesterday or when I am hurting or when I have a seizure.

Yesterday I was blue, I know why. Yesterday was the twenty-third anniversary of my carjacking / kidnapping and shooting; where I nearly lost my life and most certainly lost my belief I was invincible.

There, I said it.

Today, I start the first day of my personal new year. I am determined to get back in the swing of things.

Comments

  1. Here’s to the rest of your tomorrow’s Val, and I know you will make each one count.. xx Love and Hugs my friends… as I send you some Pink! thoughts .. xxx

  2. The ending of your post gave me shivers, Val. Your genuineness shines through. Congratulations on your new year officially beginning with a new spirit – I know you will be more beautiful than ever, my friend. ❤

    • Each and every year, as this passes I think to myself I will try to get better, do better, reach out more and touch more people. Each year I think, I will let go of a little bit more, tell more of my story and help more people. That is what it is, why I survived and why I need to be better, a better woman and a better human.

      Thanks Christy.

  3. V. I just wanted to pass by and send you a giant hug. I send you much lover and support. 🙂

    • Thanks, more than you know. This day, hell this weekend it was difficult. Now you know my reasoning around what I said on your Living Multiple Lives. Climbing these mountains, well sometimes it takes more breath out of my lungs than I expected.

      • V. Just know that you have a community of people with you, and supporting you along the way. This is just a phase. Great things will come from this time. Just hold on. I send you much love and blessings.

  4. Wow … you were one down lady … but the ending actually made me smile … you know, the personal new year. 🙂 Be strong!!!

    • Yeah, it was a terrible day. Kind of really a terrible weekend. I am coming out of it though. This happens every year, you would think after so long the anniversary wouldn’t trigger this reaction, but it does and there doesn’t seem to be a damned thing I can do to stop it.

      But life does move forward and I do as well.

  5. Wow, what a funk you had, Valentine. And for good reason. Maybe the blues came in to take the place of the anger? Very glad you pulled yourself out of it. You are strong. You are Valentine. And there’s plenty of us out here in the blogosphere who care for you. We share ourselves in the hope of unburdening the things we fear, the things we’d rather not have going on in our lives, but also, to help relieve the burdens of others. We are simply people who need to be for ourselves, but also be there for others. That’s the bottom line. Wishing you a lovely week, Valentine. 🙂

  6. You had a right for your mood to be even black! But I trust that you are better today. Don’t ever think it would have been better not to have survived. You have much joy and passion left in you.

  7. {{{ ❤ }}}

  8. Blue? Jeez, Val, you have the right to be any damn color you want after having gone through that forge and come out the other side, strengthened by the ordeal. Do something nice for yourself today.

  9. Val, you’re blue because you’re human and you’ve been hammered by some heavy trauma in your past. You’re not a robot who can program yourself to forget. I hope that writing about it was cathartic for you, the blues are fading as quickly as they appeared and infinitely better times lie ahead for you.

  10. Val . . . I really didn’t want to “like” this one because I don’t like what’s happened in your life. But I admire your strength and your honesty, and I’m glad you were able to face that anniversary eventually. You are an amazing woman.

  11. Val, I too feel funny “liking” a post so sad and painful. My heart breaks for you, and I send you hugs and well wishes for a brighter day. You are a conqueror, an overcomer, and I know that your incredible strength will triumph over the blue. You WILL get back into the swing of things.

    • Thanks E. I am okay, truly I am. It was / is a momentary lapse into a well of blue. I will climb out and traipse through the day today with only a residual remaining.

      I will take the hug though, it is needed.

  12. Well Val, you are gonna just have to wash that blue right out of your hair and put on a lovely shade of gold.

    If I was over there I would have given you a hand to clean up all the physical stuff and maybe even helped you spread some manure on the garden. See, everything needs a little shit to grow into something beautiful. Oh, but you would have had to supply the beer… just saying 🙂

  13. Sometimes we need to remember, and to feel. But right now I would like to give you a hug and keep you safe.

    • I am good Elyse, even remembering I am good. This one, I don’t know why it caught me so off guard and unprepared. Strange, usually I am pissed off but not so terribly blue.

  14. It’s amazing the way a body knows things and the way a brain remembers things, no matter how hard we try to ignore them. I hope that you allowed yourself to feel the sadness. The bullet from that gun changed your life forever. I understand the lament. Had I not taken that stinkin’ medication, I wouldn’t have all these leftover physical symptoms, some of which are very uncomfortable. I’m thinking of you.

    • Renee, we find ourselves in the strangest positions with the most terrible and sometimes tragic results. From those we gain strength, power even. I am thinking of you and knowing you will find yours.

  15. ***Today, I start the first day of my personal new year. I am determined to get back in the swing of things**

    Applauding and loving you in MN. xxx

  16. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  17. Here’s a hug … along with some love.

    A note about a comment you made to totsymae — ‘I simply let this one slip in without being prepared.’ Actually, that’s a good thing. It means that it’s beginning to lose its hold. An experience like that will never go away, you’ll always be a different person. But, it can begin to relax its grip on you … it’s another step in the healing process.

    Here’s to Day One of the New Year. May it bring good things your way.

    • Thanks John, maybe you are right but I think since it cost me so much yesterday the reality is I simply wasn’t prepared for the impact. I knew the day was coming, truly I did. I just pretended I wasn’t going to be hurt by it.

  18. recoveringwomanofadultery says:

    Wow. This was at once both beautiful and heartbreaking. What an awful experience to go through, but what a strong, beautiful, courageous woman you are today. I am grateful for you. Thanks for writing and sharing this.

  19. Someone in my life a long time ago said, “There is no answer to the question why.” So I stopped asking him. Now he’s dead. I’m finally to a point where I won’t ask why anymore.
    I love these blues tunes. Makes me want to write lyrics like “Weeds gonna grow. Hidden below the snow, waitin’ on you to go, I know, baby, the weeds gonna grow.”
    Pull some weeds, lady.

    • I often find myself listening to the Blues, they resonate. I like the lyrics Honie, they are perfect. I continue to pull the weeds, most times I get the roots, seems though there are still a few left behind.

      I rarely ask ‘why’, well sometimes I ask ‘why did you color on grandma’s walls’.

  20. Dear Val,
    I can identify to your ‘blue’-ness lately. I find that even today I want to stay under the covers! One level is my job. I just got my MBA that I wanted so badly to use to be promoted from the Admin pool. But my company has a glass ceiling! Of course, my company is right by the GWB, on the Jersey side, and they deny it. But I have applied to many job above my level and nothing happens. It is so disheartening to wake in the morning and know that you are very overqualified for a job and getting no where while paying a huge student loan debt. I never talk about it in my blog, but I wanted to tell you that with all the trials you have been through, you are still here and kicking! Celebrate your blueness because you will enjoy the days ahead when this is over. I have to thank God I have a job, but it is hard being the ‘Oliver’ of a man’s corporate world and beg to put my MBA to use. BTW- my hubby got his MBA at the same time and he got a promotion right away while I am still stuck under the glass ceiling! Lots of love, Emily. – your biggest fan!

    • I can only tell you Emily, sometimes you have to shop your new credentials outside of your current employer. I know I did. For us, that is for women, sometimes our employers will never see us as anything but what we are ‘right now’.

      Congrats on your MBA! That is a great accomplishment.

  21. Oh damn girl, wish I could give you a big hug. But will have to settle for this half-arsed cyberhug instead, hope it will do for now. Kisses and hugs sweetie.

  22. I just love you ❤

  23. I imagine no matter how hard we try to keep it submerged, a traumatic event like that will fight to resurface. Even when we try our best to forget the date or find other reasons for our feelings, our brains have a way of holding onto things and presenting them when we really wish they wouldn’t. So sorry for the day you had and for the awful tragedy of your past. I think you show courage and control by writing about it.

    • Thanks Carrie, I think though I just show ‘I am really pissed off you ruint a perfectly good weekend’.

      Know what I mean?

      I suspect you are right, some things simply hang on and shake us like dogs now and then. Normally I am ready, this year I truly wasn’t. Ah well.

  24. Wow, Valentine. I don’t actually ‘like’ this post. First, let me share that work is a bugger on this end too. I think a lot of professionals don’t have as many opportunities in the job market as we once had and we stick to what we have, trying to find happy somewhere in the process. I absolutely feel your weariness on that.

    So sorry you’re dealing with this kinda anniversary. I can’t even begin to know your suffering. You’ve been through so much in the last coupla years. You’re so strong and have been successful despite what’s happened. Those blues have a way of easing in but I know you’re gonna kick them blues in the badoonka and be lifted from this funk.

    Blessings and Peace.

    • I will be Totsy, I know. I simply let this one slip in without being prepared. I don’t know why I wasn’t paying attention.

      Agreed on the professional front also. The problem in sticking with what we know and have, we also I think are allowing some really bad behavior. At least in my industry. I know some comes from different cultural norms becoming the new normal, but dammit right now? I think we should be asking ourselves, is this really what we want, what we should be accepting?

      Thanks my friend

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