#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 15 - Rivers
The foreverness of water amazes me. The same waters that flow from the creeks to the rivers to the sea have been here from the moment Earth began to exist. It’s overwhelming if you think about it. How small we all really are. How many generations of people have made homes near these same rivers. How much we rely on the fresh water that flows there.
One of the best memories goes back to the summer before 6th grade. My mother, the Summer Camp Queen, shipped me off to this two-week adventure out West. I’m probably the only little black girl from Atlanta that’s been to Montana, Utah, or Wyoming. We were hiking in Wyoming, I believe, when our guide let us take a break to wade in this river. It was perfectly quiet, untouched, and surrounded by these soft pink butterflies. Three or four decided to rest on my arms, hands and fingers, before flying back into a field of flowers.
#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 14 - Obsession
Her eyes dart back and forth to the clock. The minute hand hasn’t moved a bit. Her stomach feels full to bursting with agitated butterflies. She mutters a few dirty words. Stop looking at the clock, she says to herself. It won’t make it go by any faster.
She slips her hand beneath the desk and pulls out her phone, careful to angle her body so that her teacher won’t see.
She’s read these messages so many times that she knows them by heart. It doesn’t matter. She still feels a satisfying shudder work it’s way over her when she gets to end of each text.
The bell rings. She propels herself from the blue plastic chair and rushes into the hall. He’s there. She can see him in the corner of her eye. She wipes all emotion from her face, and studies her notebook like her life depends on it.
She can feel him watching, grinning because he knows that she knows he’s there. It’s stupid, it’s cowardly, it’s foolish. But they both enjoy it, knowing that they consume each other’s thoughts.
#AugustWritingChallenge – Day 13 – Clarity
For me, my sense of clarity comes from my new-found self-awareness. That’s my goal. To be perfectly honest with myself about my abilities, limitations, motives, and the effect I have on other people. (And shout out to me for remembering the difference between affect and effect on my own for the first time in my life.) When I started to put aside all of my pretensions and the little white lies people tell themselves in order to ease their own guilt, I began to see my life more clearly.
I began to see those around me more clearly.
People always say, you need to know/love yourself before you can get to know/love anyone else. Before I thought that was stupid. Something single people who aren’t content with their relationship status say to keep themselves from feeling down.
Back when I was so busy trying to tell others who I was, that I didn’t know the answer to that question. I adapted to every environment and group, making way too many compromises.
#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 12 - August
This is the first time in 18 years that August doesn’t mean back to school for me, but it still feels like the wheels are turning. Things are changing, as summer ends. As a child, I used to fall into a pit of pint-sized depression when those back-to-school commercials started to air. This year, I started to wax nostalgic about all of those Augusts come and gone. The sadness that summer’s adventures were gone, the excitement of a new wardrobe, and uncertainty about what was to come.
This August is the official start of a new phase in my life. I’m not headed back to anybody’s school. Instead, I am striving to make the most out of the 18-year investment we – my parents and I – made in my future. It’s exciting, challenging, and a little sad. But I’m a real grown up now.
I still might do some back-to-school shopping, though.
#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 11 - Loyalty
My loyalty has been tested in ways that I never thought it would be this week. It’s one thing I take pride in, my ability to be loyal to even those who have hurt me. To remember that some bonds must be respected, even after they are broken, because without my loyalty, my word, and my self-respect, I am basically nothing. That’s just how I feel.
Few will know how I truly feel about what has been said, done, anything. Because we were tighter than that. It is not something I will share with the world, and if you ever need me, I will still be there. Because some things are more important than a grudge – even a grudge rooted in something valid.
#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 10 - Green
The color green sends off so many little triggers in my head - money, growth, life - but most of all, it makes me homesick. Well, everything makes me homesick these days. Now that I’ve decided to stay away just a little bit longer, I have this irrational fear of never being able to live at home again.
#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 9 - Rhythm
(So, I’ve been completely M.I.A. from this challenge this week. Blame an intense work schedule and moving. I could probably come up with 10 more excuses, if you give me a minute.)
#AugustWritingChallenge – Day 9 – Rhythm
I’ve settled into a groove, a rut, a rhythm. Every day, every week, and every month – it is all planned for me. I pry myself from bed, rush through my morning routine, walk past a gang of pervy construction workers on my way to the train station, and then settle in to work. I walk the 30 minutes home, catch up on my shows, scrounge up some dinner and go to bed way too late.
I can count the “fun” things I’ve done in the past few months on my hands. But here’s the funny thing about this rhythm I’ve settled into: it’s comforting. It’s like falling asleep in the backseat of a car. You feel incredibly dull and childlike, allowing yourself to be rocked to sleep, but when you get to your destination, you’re refreshed. Ready to tackle what is ahead.
I’m steadily working toward a goal. I won’t even write it here. It’s too close to my heart. And right now, I don’t really want that many adventures. I just want to land on my feet.
My world was rocked when I graduated in May. I never thought it would be that big of a deal. It was just the natural progression of things. I started college knowing that I had to be out in four years, when my scholarships ran out. But for some reason, I was still shocked to realize that nothing was really mapped out for me. Eighteen years in school, and suddenly, I’m expected to start a life? It warped my mind for about two months.
This rhythm I’ve settled into helped give me a sense of purpose, and something concrete on which to depend. I’m not afraid to have the adventures, or to make the changes, but sometimes, you just have to learn how to chill.
#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 4 - Physical
Thank you, Natelege, for providing me with the hardest word ever for today’s challenge. Lol
The only thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “physical” is exercise. And unfortunately, despite my attempts to eat better, recycle, and just try to live a healthier life, I just can’t get out there and do it.
There were a few failed attempts at running, but I kept getting harassed by bored men in the little hood pockets of my neighborhood. And I hate treadmills.
Fortunately, the new trabaja has a gym, and membership is dirt cheap, but my lazy butt has yet to make a trip downstairs and join.
I spent my college years (it still feels weird that I’m done) doing so much ripping and running that I was able to excuse myself from working out. I mean, climbing up those ridiculous hills on Howard’s campus was enough right? It should be. Cause that 6th street hill used to kick my behind every. single. day.
To make myself feel like I’m doing anything that resembles physical exercise, I’ve taken to walking home from work. It’s about a 30-minute walk. I try to take a different route every other day, explore parts of the city I would never see, otherwise.
I feel like someone’s Nana, walking for exercise, but by the time I get home, I’m worn out.
Here’s the weird thing: I’m actually losing weight. Like, in the places I want to, and getting a little, teensy bit of tone around my calves. Getting good results without the hard work does not give me the incentive to exercise.
But eventually, I need to do some jumping jacks, or something. I can feel my metabolism slowing down as I type this. And I like mozzarella sticks too much for that to happen just yet.