Today I Drove to Work

Today I drove to work. Just me, in my car. I listened to the radio station I wanted to listen to, drove to route I wanted to take. All of this sounds ridiculously ordinary, right? Something everyone does, every day. For me, however, it was anything but ordinary. Today was the first time in over 14 years that I was able to do this incredibly ordinary thing.

I got a drivers license today. The reason I haven’t had one in over 14 years is a long and sad story for another time. I don’t want to think about anything sad or unpleasant today. Today is a happy day, one to truly realize how amazingly blessed I am.

I owe all of this to S.G. Not only because she gave me my car, the most amazingly generous gift She could have possibly given me, but because without her support, and encouragement, and unwavering faith in me, I never would have had the courage to try.

For all the years I lived without a car, I worked really hard to convince everyone that I didn’t miss having a car and I was perfectly happy without one. For the most part, I was happy. For most of that time, I lived in Baltimore and I could take a bus anywhere I needed to be. It worked. It meant always being about a half an hour early to work, standing for up to an hour in all types of weather, late at night, early in the morning, at a bus stop. It meant never buying more groceries than I could carry home myself. It meant lots of little inconveniences that I pretty successfully convinced people didn’t matter. Everyone but S.G. She will not hesitate to call me out on my bullshit, and she never bought my act from the day I met her.

Last night, she called me to wish me luck today. When we finished talking and were saying goodbye, she said “Good luck tomorrow. I know you can do this.” I will never be able to describe to anyone, including her, how much that sentence meant to me. I heard it in my head the entire time I was taking my test today, like a mantra. Know what? It worked.

Tonight, I am super tired, and filled with more gratitude than I can explain.Today I drove to work. And it meant everything.

Terrence Crutcher

I have started and deleted this post four times. I know there will be fallout. I know people I love and respect will disagree with me. I don’t really have a problem with that, exactly. I have very strong feelings about a ton of things, and a big mouth to voice those feelings with, so I am pretty used to people disagreeing with me. The thing is, this time, it’s too important. It’s important because people are dying, and it just has to stop.

On Monday, I watched a video of yet another innocent man die in the middle of a street at the hands of people sworn to protect him. He was unarmed, he had his hands in the air, and he was shot and killed. Hands in the air mean surrender. Hands in the air mean I have nothing to hide. Hands in the air mean peace. Terrence Crutcher died because his car broke down. I don’t care about past arrests, I don’t give a shit about prior convictions. An unarmed man had car problems and because of that his children will never see him again and that is horrifying.

I am a pretty blessed woman. I don’t have a lot financially or materially, but I am a white woman, I live in a “desirable zip code”, I have food to eat and clothes to wear. I also have a family. My daughter recently married a black man. They have two children, my grandchildren. I worry about them every day because being a black man in America is apparently punishable by death and I can not see another one of my family members die for no reason. My beautiful grandson Jayden is seven years old now, but one day he will be seventeen, and I don’t want to have to tell him that because of his color, he can’t go to the store dressed in a hoodie and buy a bag of Skittles.

This country collectively lost our shit because of Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during our anthem. The thing is, haven’t we always promoted peaceful protest? Isn’t that our right as Americans? Maybe we should stop screaming in outrage and listen to why he is protesting. Maybe we can understand. Maybe we can bring change.

There is an attack on a gay bar, and you feel badly, but you don’t take a stand and fight because you aren’t gay and it doesn’t affect you. Undocumented citizens are sent away to face unspeakable atrocities, and you feel badly, but you don’t take a stand and fight because you aren’t undocumented and it doesn’t affect you. A black man dies at the hands of the police, and you feel badly, but you don’t take a stand and fight, because you aren’t black and it doesn’t affect you. The problem is, one day, the vitriol and violence will be turned on you, aren’t you going to need someone to stand up and fight for you?

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my meditation practice. When I first started meditating, I honestly didn’t see any difference in my life, but after the first month or so, I really did start to see small changes. Now, almost four months into daily meditation, it has become a vital part of my day. For me, meditation brings peace and balance to my entire day. I don’t get angry as quickly. I don’t respond to people trying to incite anger. I am learning to let things go, to breathe.

I am thankful for Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc  after a long, trying day. Perfect.

I am thankful for Sam, my youngest son, my ride or die, my reason for living. He has been such an amazing blessing to me from the day he was born, and at fifteen, has become a sweet, sensitive, and hilariously funny young man.

I am thankful for my Chloe girl. She is so much more than a dog. She is my confidant, my best friend, my bed partner. She is an awesome dog, and the greatest “person” to come home to!

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OK, yes, she needs a haircut, but seriously? Look at her face!

I am so grateful for my new car! I don’t even have it here in New Jersey yet, not until next week, and I am still beyond excited. Every day, I think of more things that are possible for me now, that never were before. My head is still reeling from the shock! Mostly, I am eternally grateful for the sweetest, most genuine friend I have ever had, who is responsible for all of this excitement. I have learned so much from our friendship, and from her, and she continues to amaze and inspire me more every day. I hope she truly understands how eternally grateful to her I am, not only for the car, but for her friendship which is invaluable and irreplaceable.