In New York, no one calls me Ayo. They all call me by my birth name, Paris. I am surrounded by my blood sisters their pets and their routines and schedules. I did not fully intend on ever coming back to New York, for personal reasons I won't bore you with, but I am here.
I had plans - other plans. They included living, somewhat isolated, in a glorious Southern city vibrant and overflowing with an odd blend of colonial culture and modern circumstance. That didn't go well. The culture was bliss-inducing but the circumstances were adrenaline-inducing in an awful way and I fled.
Now, being the God-obeying (sorta) woman that I am, I pride myself on being adaptable and flexible. I strive to be self-aware and self-controlled. Being in New York or anywhere my immediate family lives, has been a challenge for many years now - one that I avoid. It seems, though, Life and my Spirit are conspiring to help me transcend these weaknesses in my emotions and psychology. In doing so, I was promptly delivered to my Mother's doorstep after a solid decade of being mostly away.
My siblings respond to me the way you respond to a relative that you know well of, but can't honestly say you know well, period, or know intimately. They love me, but there is an acclimation process that is happening, that cannot be avoided, if we are to attain any semblance of joyful cohabitation. So, I take it and I press myself for patience, kindness and understanding as much as I prayerfully can.
Now, my mama runs her home the way she runs everything else in life - as business. It's a nice shift, really, after many years of non-follow-through and "free" living. There are calendars on the walls, schedules, chores lists, clocks in every room and a very mind-relieving flow to the way things go around here. There is communication and everyone knows where everyone else is going to be, and there seems to be mostly a spirit of willingness to assist. I feel this more so from my mother's boyfriend, brother - Cameron and sister - Maya. Since being in this city (for one week now), my mother's boyfriend materialized a truck, for himself, out of thin air and easily handed over the keys to his Honda van, to me. I am pursuing one temp position and otherwise, hitting libraries, taxying siblings about, spending time with my baby sister Jada and reading late-night at coffee shops in the gay part of town (affectionately known as the Gayborhood).
Although, I have everything I need to pursue any number of my personal goals: a home gym, home office complete with office machines and resources, including a new iMac computer; transportation, time, money, a comfortable bed, garden, nature (there's a river just behind the house), recruiters hunting for a gig for me, software, training programs, endless books, online classes, friends, an army-tough international support system, entertainment and so on...I have a subtle feeling of displacement and discomfort.
Surely, it's all mental, but that makes it real. One of my friends, with whom I have much in common personality-wise, insisted that living at home would be great for me and I can definitely see the advantages of being here, but I cannot say I feel them just yet. This should not be misconstrued as meaning I am not grateful. It's rad having a mother who is rich and also good-looking, and businesslike and young and God-loving and tithe-paying and protective (the way a pit bull is protective). :) Yes, there are definitely advantages to this thing. Advantages that make me feel like a princess coming home to the castle where life can finally be easy and smooth, except where the Queen of the castle...is the Queen of the castle. My gangster has definitely taken a hit, all external and non-vital struggles have vanished and the only stressors that remain are the ones that exist inside of my own mind. Those are the harder ones to deal with, in all honesty. Perhaps, even, the reason I've manifested external challenges for so long - to distract me from real issues like: commitment, discipline, clarity of vision, focus, consistent action, devotion, persistence, faith...and so on.
Same-time, Spirit tells me to focus on all the things I have manifested, though.
(Spirit, be like: This car though, Ayo).
She tells me I have not gone even ONE day without personal transportation since my car was torched by a carjacker 8 days ago. I have reduced my bills to less than $100/month. I have spent 7 orgasmic (sadly, no pun intended, even remotely) hours with the love of my life. I have spent time with my blood sisters and enjoyed time with sister - Maya, in particular. I have regained clarity and understanding of what my dreams REALLY require of me. I have began a necessary process of self-evaluation and I have rested easier feeling safer in a city full of my crazy uncles. God love em!
All this to say, when your desires manifest RECOGNIZE them and praise God. All of my personal prayers have been answered recently, though not in ways I would have predicted or chosen for myself. God's ways are beyond my ways and I feel intuitively that this time with my family is a gift...one to cherish and appreciate and to give great focus to and to not even THINK about taking for granted.
Thank you for reading.