It Takes Strength To Be Strong
I’ve been away from Afrologik for the last couple of weeks, and I apologize for that. As I’ve written in former articles, I was in the process of moving to Los Angeles. The weeks leading up to that transition kept me very busy (as I’m sure you all can imagine). As of September 18, 2019, I am now a resident of Los Angeles, California! YAYYYY ME! Right? I don’t know…
In true Brandi form, I go into things with unrealistic expectations. I expected that I’d hit the ground running in one of the biggest cities in the country. (I didn’t even know that I expected that until I noticed that I expected it.) That kind of mindset is a recipe for disaster, as I would find out.
I know better than to have expectations, but rather, take care of myself, always do my best, and remain true to myself. As long as I do those things, I’ll never have to expect anything from anyone. With that knowledge in tow, I still expected to land in California — Los Angeles at that, and absorb sunshine, live in perfection, always have something to do, and people will gravitate to me (as they always have) instantly. Why? Because I’m Brandi Badd Ass and that’s how I roll (snap!). Yeah, so uhhh… Los Angeles was like, “Brandi who?”.
I’m a big girl. I can climb the ladder one rung at a time, no problem, I got this. I must have “this” because people keep telling me that I got “this“. That many people cannot be wrong at the same time. I had resources. I had help… at least a little. But I’m Brandi Badd Ass, and I don’t ask people for help. Anyway, whenever I ask for help, I get frustration instead. I asked for help once since being here and it went totally south. “Okay, I get it. I’m out here by myself, so I will just figure things out on my own. Who needs humans? It’s not a big deal. I can do this, I’ve done this before. After all, I got “this“.
Getting Around/ Getting Frustrated
I rented a vehicle and started spending time in different parts of town, while looking for work — mostly in the West Hollywood area because I like it over there and it would be a cool respite from where I’m living. I’m not exactly in love with where I am currently living, but I am grateful for four walls and a ceiling. Sometimes I’d ignore GPS so I would learn more about how to navigate in various areas.
Not having a job, not really having a car, not caring much for my current living arrangement, and I really, REALLY miss my kids, only made me more frustrated. Since I had no way releasing said frustration, I’d isolate myself. And eventually, I’d lash out at people that I care about and those who cares about me. A very bad old habit that I thought I had kicked. This was really bad because I never intend to hurt or anger anyone. That hair trigger temper of mine has always been a personality flaw the source of a lot of heartache and pain for me. Also, I’m in no position to lose resources. “Okay, with all of that being a fact, I have to keep moving. This move was a goal and a dream of mine, I have to see it through. If I’ve lost a resource, I’ll have to get out here and find some new resources”.
What Do You See When You See Me?
I spend a lot of time at a health food store and restaurant called “Simply Wholesome“. That’s where the afro’s, dreadlocks, and conscious people hang out — that’s my kind of crowd! I met a few people there. One is a guy who reminded me of a Black “Shaggy” from Scooby Doo. EXTREMELY ANNOYING! (I think he might be a stoner). He would also be the first person in LA that I had to check. All of this happened during the less than half an hour I spent in his presence. Another guy that I met there was cool, but he looked too much like someone that I had a bad experience with. I couldn’t get past that. The next guy was super cool and I enjoyed talking to him, so I gave him my phone number. That man called 7 times in less than an hour. Needless to say that I blocked him.
When I go to Simply Wholesome, it’s not necessarily to meet guys, but to make friends with people that I share common interests with. However, instead of people meeting me, they meet my hair — and that’s all they ever want to talk about (as if I never get tired of talking about my hair, or that I don’t have anything else to talk about. Surely these people don’t think that they are the first people to ever speak on my hair, or that they have something unique to say about it. But I digress). “Love the hair“, “Nice hair“, “Your hair is gorgeous“, “Rock that fro, girl“. I say “Thank you” and “I only use coconut oil” about 20 times an hour. I’ve actually considered having a t-shirt made that says “Thank you” on the front, and “I only use coconut oil” on the back.
Disheartened by that repeated reception, I started hanging out at the beach. (But I still hang out at Simply Wholesome often. I like the vibe). I love the beach, and I love beach people. They’re so relaxed, so cool, and so…enthralled with my hair. DAMN! What is everyones fascination with hair? It’s HAIR! Why are people so easily impressed?
I began to feel as though I would be invisible were it not for my hair, and that doesn’t feel good. Can you imagine being jealous of your own hair? I hope not. Take it from me, it’s not a good feeling. I started entertaining the idea of cutting it. I don’t mean just to make it shorter, I mean shaving it all off and donating it to “Locks Of Love“. This would force people to have deal with ME! But there was one thing about that: I LOVE MY HAIR! I don’t mind that other people love it, but I just wish they would recognize and/or get to know the person underneath it.
One morning while laying in bed and trying to figure out my life, I sent a text message to one of my very best friends of about 30 years. In this text, I basically bum rushed him with everything that I had been through in the past… 4 days. I love, love, love, my friend, Chris, because he’s blatantly real. And also, he doesn’t give a damn about hurting my feelings. In response to my whining, Chris had this to say:
“You built the hair and made it you, now you’re sad about that. You lost weight, now you’re sad about that. You left Tennessee because you didn’t like it there, now you’re complaining. I’ve got no sympathy for a woman who does what she wants, the way she wants all the time, yet complains about it. Just be you and do what’s important”.
What could I say to that? Even though I know that every syllable of what he said is true, I still managed to return his message with some gibberish (that probably made no sense), mostly due to injured pride. I did, however, take his words very seriously. I even took a screenshot of that text, in case I need a reminder moving forward (even though I’m sure he’d be happy to check me again. LOL! Out of love. Always out of love).
Putting Things Into Perspective
So, I’ve been here for 11 days. Around the 6th day, I thought about going back to Tennessee, but I stayed. I’m still tripping over my own feet, making bad decisions, becoming unnecessarily emotional, and speaking ahead of thinking — but I’m still trying. My living situation drains me of energy, and I often feel like NO ONE UNDERSTANDS! And then, I got a text message from a friend informing me that one of my favorite Facebook friends had passed away suddenly. She had a serious health condition and she was aware that she didn’t have much time left on this planet. She never shared this with anyone. She had passed away days before her body was discovered in her apartment. She was only 52 years old. I’ve been sick since receiving that text. Even though we never physically met, we talked often and I considered her a true friend. She was always supportive of anything that I was doing — especially moving to California. She was supposed to come and visit me.
Losing my friend, and knowing the way she passed away, really put things in perspective. The little things that I was complaining about were all futile. Every bit of those things are completely fixable. If I don’t particularly care for my living situation, save up and move or find another arrangement that I can afford. If I miss my kids, get my shit together so they can come out and visit, or maybe even decide to stay. If I can’t find a job, keep looking. I’m bound to find something sooner than later if I’m persistent. If people notice my hair first, find a way to make that work for me. So, I haven’t met any new people, go out and introduce myself. Mingle. I do it on Facebook all the time. I can certainly do it in real life. Regardless of how things have gone historically, people will not always come to me, sometimes I’ll have to go to them. And most of all: STOP BURNING BRIDGES! Shut up sometimes. If my friend was strong enough to battle her illness in silence, knowing that the end was near, then I have nothing to complain about — ever.
Here’s Where I Fudged Up…
I know and understand how things went south for me. In preparing to move, I got caught up in making the necessary preparations for myself and my kids that I abandoned the things that kept me grounded. I wasn’t meditating or chanting positive affirmations. I had dropped all of the good habits that were working for me, replaced them with my old bad habits such as: being quick tempered and bratty, complaining, feeling as though no one understands, isolating myself, being judgmental, mean, and negative. Because of all of this, I landed in Los Angeles a scared and nervous wreck.
When you find that thing which provides you with peace, never stray from it. It’s like not taking all of an antibiotic. If you don’t take it all, the infection will come back. Negativity is an infection, and the antibiotic for it is not made from chemicals and unnatural substances — you don’t even have to pay for it. Just believe that it’s already yours, and then act like you have it in your hand right now. Pray to The Source of all things, and know that nothing happens by accident. Everything happens for a reason, even if we never learn the reason. Meditate to receive peace and to hear the answers that The Source has for you. Believe that what is best for you is in front of you. Trust your power. Stick to your regimen and never let anything or anyone interrupt that time. Even if you cannot do it at the same time of day everyday, still make the time. As with the case of me, it’s very easy to slide back into despair and negativity, so it’s important to find what keeps you in good spirits and protect your energy. #LESSONLEARNED
PS: Should any of you comment on this article, please do not say, “I’m sorry you’re having a hard time in LA” or anything to that effect. I’m not having a hard time at all. I’m just taking my lumps, as is part of any major transition. Things will balance out because I believe they will, and I know they will. They already have.
Peace and love to my Purple Sister 0(+>
“Go out into the world with your passion and love for what you do, and just never give up.”
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