Stephanie, I love you and I know that you’re trying.
I beat up on you pretty hard a few moments ago because I was scared for you.
I now know that what I was really feeling was love for you.
I was hoping for your highest good to manifest in all areas of your life.
I was scared because I thought about your mom’s unexpected passing.
I couldn’t imagine what I would do if something like that were to ever happen to you. To us.
I must commend you for being brave.
Though you didn’t know exactly what the feedback was going to be, you were certain to expect to hear something that later turned out to be helpful.
We both knew.
But we showed up anyway. Scared and flawed as we were; we showed up anyway today.
We attempted to be brave as we sat in a room that has seen people at the their best and at their worst…partially undressed. How apropos?
We sat there in a stripped-down version of ourselves with not so much as having the safety net of our red lipstick to distract attention away from what was.
We received the information we needed to make us better. Yet I chose to focus on the negative. I needed to assign blame for us being here. I needed to blame someone because the tactics didn’t allow us to hide.
Stephanie needs help sometimes.
And it is okay. Yet, I’m not okay with us needing help.
I think it makes us seem weak.
As if we don’t have our stuff together.
In a world of mere mortals…even still, we are supposed to know better and do it.
Our secret is out.
We have been exposed:
We are regular like everyone else.
We are human.
Like everyone else.
I didn’t know how to be okay with that. So, I refused to let you.
I needed someone to blame for exposing us. For seeing us.
No one is supposed to see us.
We are supposed to be the wise one.
We are supposed to be able to fix it. Everything.
Quietly, so as to not disturb the lives and fun of others.
People will come from all over to help us and come to our aid.
Our gratitude would be arrested by embarrassment for needing to be saved.
For needing a modicum of anything that we give to others without judgement. Or is there?
The Sun is bright. The rays hurt our eyes.
We surrender into embraces; we quietly accept help.
We allow ourselves to be fully infallible. And human. Like everyone else.
We are now real.
We will be just fine.
All is well.
Sometimes we get so deep on the final day of the calendar year that we become a bit too overzealous. We’re going to lose all of the weight, pay off all the debt, heal all old wounds, get married, have a baby, earn a promotion, etc. Most of what we find unsatisfactory about our present situation…took time to become that way. We can make significant progress in 365 days…just give yourself a break and breathe first before diving in.
If you commit to being grateful, happy, at peace and awesome in this very second, you’re already on the right track. Goals and resolutions are indeed necessary when you know that more is required of your life. Sometimes radical changes are eminent, inevitable and unavoidable. Only you know if you gave this calendar year 100% of your efforts or if you played yourself too small.
If you only existed through most of 2021 versus living your life beyond your own definition of fullness, I ask you…are you satisfied? If you have more issues than Vogue; are you part of the problem? You are definitely an integral part of the solution. As a dear friend once told me in love…”be gentle with yourself.” Love yourself. No, seriously fall IN LOVE with yourself. Most of us do not really like ourselves, let alone LOVE who we are. And this is evident in how we interact with the world.
You can not love me or expect me to love you, if you can’t find one solitary reason why you should love you. I am just a mirror projecting back to you what you are sending out into the world. Are you satisfied with that?
Happy New Year, Happy New
Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Are you afraid of change? https://anchor.fm/rymarkablesteph/episodes/Are-you-afraid-of-change-e1c6kr3
The South Side
East 79th Street
The CTA(#14 & #6)
The Regal Theater
Leon’s BBQ chicken
White Castle’s on Stony Island
Jackson Park Hospital
Harold’s Chicken Shack (87th & The Ryan)
Long John Silvers
Lake Shore Drive
Visiting the zoo
The Sears Tower (no asterisks needed)
Riding the El; the Blue Line
Carson Pirie Scott
Walking to and from school
River Oaks Mall in the late 80s & 90s
The Chicago Bears
The Chicago White Sox
These are some of things and places that remind me of home
These are some of the experiences I shared with my mom
These are some of the reasons that I love my hometown
Yet without my mom’s physical presence,
It’s only the Second City now
It’s like going to the front door of your home only to find that the key no longer works
Another family has now replaced yours
The show goes on
As do my memories
I visualize her riding the train seated in an empty car
Starring out the window
She looks content and at peace
Does she realize that I still look for her
Devastated that I wasn’t there when she boarded
I am in the process of mastering that two-way communication is the gateway to receiving and giving one of the greatest gifts of all…understanding. Assumptions keeps us barricaded on our side; lost in our own wonderland called perspective, thoughts, experiences and beliefs. Extending the opportunity to understand another’s point of view can be akin to the journey to the Land of Oz. Who knows what we will learn by being open to another level of awareness? Who knows…maybe we will even discover that our original perspective was erroneous or lacking critical information. It’s not about being a judge or jury. It is about cleaning out the cobwebs of ignorance and immaturity, and bravely exposing ourselves to another level of consciousness; void of the inherent need to defend anything, or anyone…including ourselves.
Grief is not a mental health issue. It is the acknowledgement that a meaningful presence and Soul has transitioned from this Earth plane. It is the acceptance of things that you can no longer do or say. It is a painful adjustment period. Grief makes you feel like shit and not giving one most of the time. That said, crying, screaming, mood swings should be anticipated. Everyone can’t handle it. And that’s okay. You have the option of taking a time out when the emotions crescendo to an unbearable level for you.
The person in mourning is unable to tap out as easily. So save yourselves if necessary. Grief is a process that forever changes you. There is no cure for “normal” reactions when someone who matters transitions. Period. There is no feeling better about any of this. It’s more realistic to feel less sad as time progresses.
And though the suggestion is well-meaning, please do not recommend therapy unless unless I’m refusing Starbucks, M.A.C. Cosmetics, or have sworn off wearing red lipstick forever. All is well otherwise. When there is nothing left to do or say please pray.
I’ve decided to be happy about the snow
Rather than thinking of the pain in the arse it is to drive or commute in
What about the way snowflakes used to dissolve on my tongue when I was a child?
I remember the flakes falling out of the sky, sometimes disappearing as if by magic, never landing on the ground
Perhaps I should care less about how the snow, like rain, can turn my silk press hairstyle into waves in an instant
Now that I’m older, perhaps I get to change the scene
Delete narratives that no longer serve me?
Many of us have never removed the costumes we’ve outgrown
Maybe it’s time to change my mind about certain things
Maybe even about people
Just like I’m choosing to do with snow
Magic and wonder are abundant
Yet these beautiful creatures will only reveal themselves to those who believe and therefore can appreciate their gifts
When I’m in New York City at Christmas time, I secretly believe in a presence often called Santa Clause
I’m convinced there is some semblance of truth to the fairytales
This belief can help us to serve others more generously and compassionately
Or even ourselves
Maybe we were the ones who possessed the magic all along
This could be the true spirit and intent after all
Just to think these revelations were received as a download while watching snow fall
This poem is dedicated to the loving memory and everlasting legacy of my mom.
When a mother needs rest
God knows what is best
When a mother has fears
He is the one who hears
When a mother has doubt
He reminds her that she was chosen by Him to nurture the precious life in her care
When a mother loses her way
He illuminates her path
When a mother loses hope
He is her Lily in the Valley
He is the only one who can separate mother and child
Yet only doing so in the flesh
He weeps for her children’s broken heart
Knowing that they often forget
Understanding that in times of grief we don’t realize how much love grows unendingly
Only He can care for a life so well lived and cherished as a mother
She is now safe in his care
A beautiful Angel in the Spirit world
She is everywhere
“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.”