Synchronicity

I was just having a conversation with myself while making a cup of tea.  You see I had a meltdown of sorts at work yesterday and was going over the events again wondering what I could have done differently.  And I was telling myself to let those events go, which is hard for those of us who live under the sign of Cancer because that is what we do.  Then I read my horoscope for today:

“You could be licking your wounds today, but the crucial issue is not about anything that occurs in the present moment. Your obsession with a past event can actually block the flow of feelings. Gently bring your thoughts and fantasies back to where you are now. Keep in mind that you don’t want to miss the good stuff that is right in front of you.”

Talk about perfect timing….

The Week of Firsts

As someone born under the zodiac sign of Cancer, I am not a super adventurous person.  I’m also finding that as I get older, I’m less willing to take risks and this is holding me back from a lot of things.  There was a time back in the day when I thought nothing of packing all of my stuff and moving across country (sending my boxes there for free using a hijacked shipping account from a record label, but I digress…). Because the tedium of my life is really starting to f**k with me, I find myself longing for those days. Now, I’m not packing up and moving across country (really tempting, though), but I am making do with small changes.

For the first time ever, I made the perfect pot of brown rice. I found the recipe here at Saveur.com and I tell you it worked great.  The secret is to treat the rice like it is pasta.  You boil it in large amounts of water, strain it, return it to the pot and just let it steam for 10 minutes.  There was no clumping (Deanna) and every grain was separate and perfect.

This morning, for the first time, I used an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse on my locs.  I’m not sure why I’ve never done this before.  The vinegar acts like an astringent and clears out all of the product buildup and flaking from your hair. I’ve been having some problems with dry scalp and itching, so I tried it out.  You’ll have to check with me later for the results, because my hair is still wet and up in a towel as I type this! 🙂

So, its only Wednesday (I think. Working in retail messes up your sense of days.), and I’ve tried two new, albeit small, things and will hopefully fit in some more before the week is over.

Oh, last week I tried something new, too.  I turned 45 years old for the very first time! And now I plan on aging backwards….

Synchronicity

Yesterday I was on LinkedIn scrolling through the profiles of some of my college classmates (maybe found an ex, too. Not really sure if it is him, because I can’t remember his last name. So bad!).
Anyway, occupation-wise, they are an accomplished group holding various impressive sounding titles. Looking at where I was in comparison made me a little depressed.
Then this morning I awoke to this horoscope from DailyOm:

March 4, 2009
The Right Pace
Cancer Daily Horoscope

Your impatience can interfere with your progress today, leaving you feeling blocked and unsure of yourself. You may believe that you should be farther along in your journey of personal or professional achievement, but it is likely that your existence is unfolding at the pace it was meant to. Easing your frustrations will likely be a matter of looking critically at your pace to determine whether it is indeed lagging. Be aware that you may discover today that you precisely where you need to be at this point in your life as there are no doubt many lessons you can learn from your current circumstances.

Perfect timing!


Where Y’All Been

In Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (which I saw 3 times in the theatre and then watched everyday for a month straight on dvd) during The Fugees’ Reunion, Lauryn Hill asks the audience, “Where y’all been?” As if it was the audience who left and she hadn’t disappeared to have babies, go through intense Bible study and learn to play guitar.

I haven’t gone anywhere, but I have retreated into my mind where, as a Cancer, I tend to spend a lot of time.

Last week a signed a lease to stay in this apartment another year, once again telling myself it will be the last. I stay because my rent is insanely cheap (I pay $200 less than market value, because of a tax credit program I’m eligible for). The management company has gotten much better over the years, but the quality of residents has declined. When I first moved in, it was families and students of the nearby Atlanta University Center (Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta, Morris Brown). They are still here, but there is also an added element of thugs slowly moving in. Last night the men in the apartment next to mine had a full-on brawl in the bedroom with furniture overturned and everything. Screaming things like “You don’t know me! Bankhead, nigga! Westside, nigga! Recognize!!” Really. People say that in real life. I got out of bed and slept on the couch because, while they were fighting with their fists, you never know when someone will pull out a gun and sometimes bullets penetrate walls.
Also, 2 weeks ago there were several home invasions in one day in this apartment complex, including an apartment under mine. The crazy thing is I was home and didn’t hear a thing! Atlanta is getting crazier and crazier, and I know I say it all the time, but I am ready to move on.
The financial issue is holding me back as I don’t have money to move. So I got a lot to figure out.

On the work front, we are hanging in there. Retail is floundering right now and we are seeing less sales everyday. Our payroll hours are being cut and we are having to make do with less people and the people are having to make do with less hours. We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop and that can be stressful. On the plus side, I work with some amazing, smart, funny people and we spend the day laughing and keeping each other’s spirit up. Need to start working on the resume though. I keep putting it off because I don’t have the energy to make a lifetime of retail experience look appealing to another industry. And I have no idea what else I would like to do career wise.

Anyway, that’s what I have been up to. Read a couple books. Crocheted a couple scarves. Ate some stuff that’s not good for me. Watched a lot of tv. Talk to y’all soon.

Time to Move!?!

I have lived in this apartment community for almost 7 years now. It is in the city and across the street from the Marta station, which is extremely convenient. My friend Imara was living here and was a classmate of the apartment manager, so I was able to get an apartment without being on a waiting list. Also, I was able to get a tax credit apartment. When the Olympics came to town there was a lot of development and they displaced a lot of residents. So, some developers that built new housing had to set aside a number of places for low-income residents in order to get a tax break from the government. So that means that I pay $541 for an apartment that normally rents for $760. Sweet deal and I don’t have to have a roommate (which I am against at this point in my life unless they are calling me wife or mommy).

So the community has gone through its changes. When I first moved in there was a good mixture of folks. Lots of students (since we are down the street from Clark, Morehouse, and Spelman), families and singles. It was pretty quiet, except after finals when the students would sometimes wild out. The management has changed and they are a little more involved with the residents.

Lately though I have been thinking it is time to move on. The booming music is getting louder. The people congregating on the stairs to talk to each other is getting on my nerves. The cigarette smoke wafting through my windows is making me ill. Having to step around the brother on the stairs with is laptop (stealing someone’s wi-fi) is uncomfortable. Listening to the girl on her phone complaining to her friend that her children’s father won’t give her money for the kid’s back to school clothes. Then she actually talks to him and wants to know why he can’t help her. It sounds like he is in jail (“I’m in this with you. I put money on your books!”), but he got money from somewhere because he is helping out his other baby’s mama. I don’t want or need to know this.

Maybe I am getting more bourgie as I get older, but while I love the hood, I don’t want to necessarily live in it anymore. My problem is that I don’t make much money and moving to a comparably sized place will cost me $200 more a month – that I don’t have. Should I start looking for another higher paying job (doing I have no idea what)? Should I leave Atlanta and seek greener pastures elsewhere, like I have been threatening to do for 10 years? Should I try to squeeze out more rent on my current salary and give up cable and Internet? Should I just stick it out and be thankful for this cheap-ass rent?

My lease isn’t up until next spring, so I guess I have a lot to think about.

The End of Birthdays

***Beware somber birthday post ahead***

Today is my 43rd birthday.
Can’t get excited about it. I tried to.
It is very difficult for a “glass half empty” depressive to get excited about anything. But society (and possibly my friends, although they don’t say it to me) says “snap out of it”. So I try.
I always request the day off from work, and this year my boss gave me an extra 4 days without me asking.
Wednesday, I went to see Hancock and had my favorite salad from California Pizza Kitchen. I can’t afford either, but people always say “do something nice for yourself”. So I try.
Thursday, I spent some time with a friend who is moving to China. Giving her a scarf I crocheted for those harsh (I guess) Chinese winters, and a meditation journal. She gives me a cute “go green” t-shirt for my birthday. That makes me happy because all my current t-shirts advertise Chee.rios or some vacation one of my co-workers went on.
Friday, is 4th of July. By weird coincidence, I throw on a t-shirt of the American flag in the Black Power colors of red, black, and green to leave the house (get strange looks for rest of day). I go out for groceries and get stuck on a packed train with sweaty runners high from completing the Peachtree Road Race. All those people cause me to have my first anxiety attack and by the time I get off the train my heart is racing and I am as sweaty as they are. That night I watch the fireworks at Centennial Olympic Park from a cozy spot on my couch.
Saturday, I run some errands to Target and Hancock Fabrics (shouldn’t have gone there, although I only spent $15 telling myself it’s okay, it’s my birthday weekend). Gorge myself on ChikFil.-A.
Sunday, my actual birthday is here. Decide to go get some salmon cuz I love it. Go back to Target for printer toner. Credit card declined. Had to pay cash. Annoyed. Needed that money for other things. Went to grocery store, too early for fish department to open. Really annoyed. The packaged salmon doesn’t look too fresh. Super annoyed. Take my friends Ben & Jerry home to help me celebrate because this is Georgia and you can’t buy alcohol on Sundays! (I don’t drink, but for some reason the only day I want alcohol is on Sundays!)

So, I give up trying (we depressives are good at this) It is not going to happen. For the time being, my birthdays aren’t going to be the huge celebrations that others have. With my parents deceased and all of my close friends in other states and countries, I am not going to be showered with surprise gifts and special dinners from family and friends. In the future, I will treat this as a regular day and not promote it at all. If you happen to remember my birthday next year, I will be happy and graciously accept your greetings. But from now on I will treat it like I do all other holidays – with indifference.