There Is Power In Being In The Presence Of Women

You know, it’s one thing to connect with someone over a social media platform but it’s another to meet that same person and vibe with them on another level; Tyece and Yetti are prime examples. This past weekend, I headed down to Washington D.C. again to attend and support Twenties Unscripted’s second event of the year, Brunch, Blogs & Books. My Saturday night was full of laughs and drinks (check out Eatonville if you’re in the area), stories of the up’s and down’s of personal blogging and stories from our personal lives that’ll never see the light of day on a blog. We were women with different personalities who shared the common goal of wanting nothing more than to write the God’s honest truth about who we are and the lives we live on our platforms. We found nothing wrong with the profanity in the posts. We loved the group of people who rocked with us from day one and stuck it out with all of the revamps and redesigns. We told the truth and shamed the devil on our feelings on internet trollers and “you-really-ain’t-anonymous” comments on our work.  We knew that we had to continue to support one another. 

There are millions of people who blog, undoubtedly, but there aren’t many people who do what we do – blog the nitty gritty shit and support other women. It’s always a competition, when it doesn’t have to be. You can learn from other women without being catty. It is possible to walk away with something useful from someone who is doing more or less than what you do. Surrounding yourself with people who have dreams, stay up late at night jotting down ideas and goals just like you and who are making moves is one of the best things you could ever do for yourself. There is power in being in the presence of women.

This was also apparent and present in Sunday’s event.

I didn’t know 98% of the women in attendance but we bonded over mimosas, exchanged business cards and Twitter names. The volume in the conference room went up in a matter of minutes, the air full of questions and excitement – “how long have you been blogging?” and “I’ve been looking for a blog like yours for a while.” The audience asked questions and the panelists, The Frenemy’s Alida Nugent, USA Today’s Lindsey Deutsch, and All The Many Layers’ GG Renee Hill, answered them openly and honestly. The panelists’ work was in your local Barnes & Noble and published on the world’s biggest websites but they never once acted too big for their britches. No one woman in the room was more superior than the woman next to or across from her. 

We all write. We give it our all. We nodded in agreement at Alida’s statement, “there’s something you have to say that hasn’t been said yet.” Despite what the world says about us, we do matter. Our voices mean something. If it were a church service, we would’ve lifted our hands and wiggled our fingers to the ceilings at Lindsey’s point of it being hard to stand out and how necessary it is to talk about the impact we made. As bloggers, it’s hard for people to take us seriously. As women, we have to keep proving ourselves. It is not selfish – talk yo’ shit. If the feedback is positive, good. If the feedback is negative, good. Promote yourself. GG said it’s supposed to make you uncomfortable and if it doesn’t, you aren’t doing enough.

There were so many gems in the room; in the women and in the words spoken. We left with new names and numbers, blogs bookmarked in our smartphones and wisdom stored in our spirits. I felt enlightened and refreshed. I’m going keep pushing and keep promoting, but more than anything, I’m going to continue to remain in the presence of women who are feminists at its finest – women who empower.

Check out the #BrunchBlogsBooks hashtag on Twitter for more of the gems & re-caps from some of the women in attendance.


Presence – Part V

The two lines stuck out at me like headlights on the darkest night. I could close my eyes and still see it, the palest powder blue, radiant as daylight. I read the package to make sure the newly discovered news was indeed a reality, hoping that the more I scanned the words, a different result would appear.

I said it slow, one line – not pregnant, two lines – pregnant.

Skim. Check stick. Close eyes. Skim. Check stick. Close eyes. 

I covered a line with my thumb. The truth of the matter couldn’t be erased or wiped out. I started shooting up prayers and promises to the Universe that I won’t go back to you for another fix if it would somehow turn this moment into just a dream. 

Nothing.

I hugged the toilet seat, regurgitating the Chinese food from the night before and praying to whichever deity would answer first, to aid me in throwing you up out of my system while I was at it. You were sitting at the bottom of my stomach, annoyingly chilling in the pit of my pelvis, sickening my spirit.

I tossed it. Out of frustration and anger, confusion and denial. I don’t know where the test landed and at the time I didn’t care, I just needed to not see it. I just needed this to not happen right now because the timing wasn’t right and I just needed to get me right because we weren’t. A child? Another life to focus on, worry about, and be consumed by when I couldn’t even focus on me… because I was worried about you… which consumed alllll of my time throughout the day? I couldn’t. I wouldn’t even dare.

And so, nights later, I sat on that floor with the stick in hand, found beside the sink, and I cried. I didn’t even wait to hear the front door close behind him. I didn’t even care if the creaking of the floors failed to cover up the wails that came out of my body, him hearing me on his way out and shaking his head once again knowing it was over you.

I cried for you. I can’t save you. You told me she contaminated you. Girl, he spent his evenings lamenting over you. Mourning over the time that was invested that were now part of the yesteryears. I had to be the one to cleanse you whole. I came and acted as your band-aid, mimicked the ways of a shaman, imagined I was the answer – to all of your doubts and questions and fears. I (stupidly) swore to give you the love you craved from your mother that the last woman couldn’t fulfill either. I was up for the challenge but her presence floated in your being when we were in bed and your presence provided me life and served me a death sentence at the same time. 

I have tried and I have tried and I didn’t succeed. My knees are bruised and my hands are scraped up from crawling towards you, hoping you’d see me, help me, help us. And my arms are strained from reaching up to praise a man I was certain was a God. I worshiped your existence. I cried out to no one else but you for help and revered your entire essence. But I am starting to fall into a slumber in which, if I delve any deeper, it’ll be impossible to get out. See me and save me. See. ME. and save me. 

But you hang on your own cross with your demons and you can’t even save you. You are no savior. 

I felt bad for myself. A baby formed in my womb and I was here in a bathroom giving birth to trust issues and bringing to life a tainted view of love. A child conceived from late night fucks I misconstrued for love-making. We created this when you were thinking of her – our baby would be born with a unification of our features but her spirit would lie within the anatomy. I vomited more. Must. Get. Rid. Of. You. You never got rid of her. 

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Dammit, we were really going to be that family we drew up in our heads and on scrap paper as children. A mommy and daddy in the house. A place where we’d feel safe and love would dwell in the air and in the Sunday dinners and in how we spoke to one another. A figment of my imagination that wouldn’t see the light of day.

And we wouldn’t see his or her face. 

__________


9:03am

Planned Parenthood, Aisha speaking, how can I help you?

Uhh, hi. I need to make an appointment. I’m pregnant and I need to terminate my pregnancy.


Silently, you stood behind that bathroom door, struggling to keep tears back and the taste of agony down your throat. I felt you there. I just had to leave you there.

Presence – Part IV

I sat there pressing letters and punctuation marks on a touchscreen as if I were playing with the thorns of roses. Nine where are you and where’d you go’s later and still nothing. Eleven calls that would show up as missed on your end and not one return on your part. I looked under furniture as if you were some childhood blanket I needed immediately to help suppress my anxiety. I threw back the curtains yearning to see you outside smoking a cigarette because you know I’d throw a tantrum if you lit one in the house. Or I’d hope to see you coming back from the shop because you remembered I liked the buttered croissants only Louie could make at this time in the mornings. But really, all that happened is we fucked and you played me. Just up and left me. And broke me again when I was on the right road to recovery and rediscovery. Breaking backs and breaking hearts. That’s all you’re good for.


I should be calling Krys but I can do without the snarky “See bitch, I told you so” comments and I could do without the painting I’d have to design with such detail in my mind for her when I tell her how you made me feel like I touched heaven while sleeping with Satan. So begins the guessing game that turns into the crying game and that to resentment and anger. There’s no cigarette that could calm my nerves or no text full of computer style kissy faces from girlfriends to cheer me up. I need a glass of something strong. Pouring myself a shot of whiskey at 9:50AM, I pick up my phone for the umpteenth times and then, I called the rebound.

––––––––––

I felt okay having him there on the same couch we fell into hours ago. He cradled me in his arm knowing you had something to do with the wail I let out from the bottom of my soul when I couldn’t let the words out. He palmed my face, stroking my cheek with his thumb so delicately I could’ve fallen asleep. He actually had the decency to stay. And you – you just dipped during one of my most vulnerable moments.

From eleven-something AM to ten at night, in the comfort of the living room, he laid out a blanket and we had PB & J sandwiches that he knew I liked cut diagonally. He perfectly cut off the crust and grape jelly dropped from pieces of the bread that he scooped up with his pointer and placed in my mouth. Small giggles made him smile and gave him hope. Made him feel like he was somehow winning over a heart that would never belong to him.

Late in the afternoon, we found ourselves spooning, the television watching us and the memory of what happened in the wee hours of the morning fading behind me until it became a speck to the imagination. He attempted to make me a mini-Thanksgiving Day dinner, reminiscent of holidays back home, minus the burnt skin on the chicken and the overcooked white rice that tasted gummy. I appreciated all of it, I did, but something happened that blew my mind, my high, and I needed some time alone.

May I stay over tonight? his voice raspy and deep but soft and comforting.

I heard him but I didn’t hear him when I saw it and closed my eyes and saw you. A-fucking-gain.

New Text: JR, 10:10PM. “We gotta talk”

Before I knew it, I got up. Without looking at him or back to him, I took seven steps to the bathroom. Seven. The number of completion. Totality. Deadly sins. I close the door to turn on the shower and just sit on the cold floor, in front of a mirror. I let the water run just so a fog can form on the glass and I can see you in the mist. If I touch the glass, I touch you. If I touch the glass, I’ll erase you. And as he comes in the bathroom to check me and tell me, he’ll be going home for the night and he’ll call me in the morning, I want nothing more than to erase the two faded blue lines I saw on the stick days ago that you found before you left.