“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you will have.”
One half of me wishes someone had said this to me when I was younger. The other half of me understands journeys and divine timing, so I learned it exactly when it was needed. I haven’t always had the best relationship with myself. I knew that self-esteem was a thing, but there is so much more to being one with yourself than loving what you look like. You have to love all of your layers. How do you do this after the world has beaten you into submission? It has said to you that you are not worthy or good enough. It has told you that you are not beautiful inside or outside. It has judged you and stomped on your character.
This is what I have for you. I’m about to tell you some real shit and some cliché shit. The real shit and step one is to stop giving a fuck. I’m serious. Turn the world off. Family, friends, and lovers. Turn them off! Their thoughts about you and their feelings stop mattering right now.
Now the cliché shit. Call out your flaws and the things you don’t like or love about yourself. Get comfortable with them. If they are physical, stare at them everyday until you can find what you love about them. I’ll tell you the physical things I hated about myself since I was a kid. I hated my nose, my teeth, my hair color, my short nail beds, and my toes. I actually could pick myself apart from head to toe and I measured my beauty by how many boys had a crush on me. Zero. Now, you can’t tell me I’m not the finest thing walking. You also can’t keep all the same people that passed me by-men and women--out of my inbox. I found beauty in myself by realizing that I was the reflection of the things my parents loved about one another. One day they will have to leave me and all I’ll have to do to see them again is look in a mirror. Lion King was on to something showing Simba as his dad through his reflection in the water. Both of my parents are beautiful and I have their features. I’ve watched men and women fall at the feet of my parents and they never changed a single thing about themselves. They fell into temptation a lot--story for another day--but never changed.
It also helps to know that you won’t be beautiful to everyone. I dated a boy in high school that thought Halle Berry was the ugliest woman he’d ever seen in his life. He had to be mentally ill or some shit. Either way, it proved my point.
Aside from that, the people who are meant to truly love you will do it from the inside. I mastered beauty on the outside. You could point out something I used to hate about myself and I will respond with “I know” or “Okay and?”
It’s my insides that were fucked up for the longest. It was my inside that needed to be triggered. I was selfish, mean, insensitive, judgmental, all the things. It’s the way I thought I needed to be after constant betrayal and disappointment. I’d become a sponge for negativity and toxicity. It was an if you can’t beat them, join them type of situation. I stayed on that side of ugly for so long that it became my norm. I hadn’t even realized that because I had these behaviors, I’d attract the worst of the worst types of people to me.
So how do you fix yourself on the inside?
CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR!
“Mastering Ego” is part of the divine lesson. Magic happens when we move from our true divine self and lay Ego aside. Ego can cause blockages and stunt growth. Ego is also the “living room” where all the traumas congregate and discuss how they will mask themselves in Ego when in fact it’s trauma that is showing up in the cracks of interactions. We should always reflect as to why Ego has a need to show up now. Why is my Ego being “protective or defensive”? What does that stem from and what is the root? When we move from a constant state of awareness, we then start unraveling unhealthy habits quicker and reprogramming healthier habits.”
Healing and forgiveness. Healing and forgiveness are such broad terms. We hear them often, but the how is often lost upon us. I’ve had family, friends, therapists, and lovers tell me that what I needed was to heal and to forgive. It would be the only way for me to be thrust forward in love and life. I’ve always been good at healing others and taking in their forgiveness if and when I was wrong. Now I’ve found the guide within myself to give forgiveness and heal my own wounds. I’m a woman that’s full of pride. A pride that can make me not speak to you for the rest of my life or yours. I may have pushed my pride aside in this life a time or two for people whose presence really affected me, but that has been my limit. I think, too, for me I didn’t know real loss until my Great Aunt died. So saying things to me like love people while their still here rolled from my back and shoulders. I’ve never allowed myself to get close to very many people. My lovers can tell you a lot about me, but I can promise you, only one ever really knew me. Pain and anger can keep you thriving and I’ve fed off of it for years. It was my energy source and motivation.
My pain has allowed me to play victim and blame everyone who hurt me, except myself. My anger kept a fortress around me, but it also made me detached and petty.
So again I say, step out of ego. This part is hard, but trust me, it’s not the hardest. If this was the only thing that I needed to do then I would have done it years ago.
The thing about me is, I knew what the blow-back would be. I knew that stepping out of ego would mean I’d open the floodgates to every single emotion I’ve tried not to feel for over a decade. You can run from a lot in your life, but you will never be able to outrun yourself. Trying to hide from yourself will be the reason you can’t make a decision or sleep well at night. Your stress and your struggle will haunt you, because you become a prisoner of your on thoughts and unresolved emotions.
A very deep and passionate relationship that I was in ended. I tried to treat it like I did all of the other ones. I moved on, I stuck to my life’s routine--going to work and the gym--I saw other people, even started to have feelings for them. But, I was still unsettled. I didn’t want her back, but at the same time something between us felt unresolved. Then I realized that I had finally hit a wall. This was the place where it was time to grow, to learn from my past mistakes. My relationship pattern has been to meet someone, date them, grow feelings, in comes the toxic shit, break up, and then meet someone new again to restart the cycle that I couldn't see. I was running instead of resolving. There are better ways to walks away from people and situations that no longer serve you.
I called my sister to tell her I wanted a new start. I seemed to always believe that change is the solution for every life problem. My sister said to me, “You can move, but Tiana no matter where you go, your problems are coming with you. So, you can either deal with your problems there are deal with them in the new place you chose. Either way, you will deal.”
I’m sure I called her a few names, because that’s just the way we talk to one another, but in the same breath, I told her she was right. I hated it. My sister is younger than me, but I swear she is some wise entity from some place in my past life and she is guiding me.
I got off the phone with her and sat in the middle of my bed just staring at the wall. What do I do? How do I deal? Where do I begin to deal?
You begin with honesty after checking your ego. Now you have to stand in front of the mirror and face the ugly truth that is you. Who are you? Truly? My ego problem made me a gift--I mean, I am--but the kind of gift that I presented myself as was not a good one. I wasn’t the gift of peace and grace. Why? Because I was not giving those things to myself. We’ll get into the deeper parts of it in a second, but first I want to tell you what needs to be healed and in what order.
If you’ve been keeping up with my Power of choice blog “series” then you’ll see a pattern and all of those blogs will make more sense. So first, the mind has to make a decision to heal. You can burn all the sage and carry all the crystals in the world, but if your mind isn’t right, none of it will matter. Healing the mind means filling it with positivity consistently.
“Stop speaking negatively about yourself or your life, even as a joke. Your spirit doesn’t know the difference.”
Be intentional about what you read, who you follow on social media, and who you engage in conversations with. My bookshelf has changed, the way I use social media has changed, and well, my circle has always been small and ever changing because I myself am an energy that moves. In real life, it’s just me. I call my Mom and sister when I’m in distress. I’m still working on being comfortable enough to express my deep cuts to a partner. Taurus's, like Scorpios can be secretive. A lot of people don’t know that.
I knew that my mind needed some reprogramming because I’m hard on myself. Sometimes I’m so hard that I forget how amazing I am. Other people shouldn’t always have to pull me from dark places. It was my routine. It was empty and somewhat void of positivity. Now I wake up in the morning and play a motivational speech. Three of my favorite people to listen to are Dr. Miles Monroe, Jim Rohn, and Les Brown. I do wonder why there aren’t more women that do motivational speeches or maybe I just haven’t sought them out. I’ll make that my next task. I do have some dope women that I listen to for a different type of inspiration. The three men that I named feed my spirit to keep me hungry in my career and creativity. They keep me hype about life. If you know anything about me then you know I need that.
After I listen to a motivational speech, I listen to Dr. Joy. She created the Therapy for Black Girls network. It’s the most amazing thing in the world for someone like me living in a city where my heart was broken, I have no family, and I have two people that I can tolerate. Dr. Joy’s podcast changes me each time I listen to it. She makes me be gentle with myself.
After I get my life with Dr. Joy, I move on to the HoodXHolistic podcast. Listening to Cort and Ash keep me gentle as a lover. They are so honest about their lives and their relationship. They keep me human and allow me to see others as human, which brings me to forgiveness.
I’m going to get back to healing because it’s a process, but lets touch on forgiveness and why some of us, I.E. me can’t or won’t seem to do it. I can honestly only speak for myself. I’ve self-proclaimed myself as unforgiving for years. And the sad thing about this is that I was proud of it. I was proud that my feelings and mind about a person could remain unchanged. How is this okay? It’s not, because this meant that people were not redeemable. This also meant that I carried a lot of hurt, bitterness, and anger with me that leaked over into every relationship that I had as I waited for people to do exactly as I predicted they would--disappoint me. I counted people out before they even got a chance to prove me right or wrong.
This is where that honestly came in hard for me, because in realizing this truth, I had to accept that I was that woman, making every new partner pay for the mistakes of whoever came before them. The worse the previous lover was, the harder I was on the new one. God help them.
Being unforgiving makes you hard on the inside. You think you are giving and receiving love properly, but all you’re really doing is transferring dysfunction and trauma. The most recent example I have is my ex-wife and the woman that came after her. My ex-wife would spew venom and say the most hurtful things to me. That was never my style of arguing, but I for damn sure adjusted. I carried this with me and my new girlfriend called me out on it. Her love language was Words of Affirmation so it would make sense why this would not fly in our relationship.
It sucks the way that our relationship ended, but it was necessary. Necessary because a pattern needed to be broken. I needed to end the tumultuous and addictive relationship that I had with toxicity. It was almost like I needed some level of abuse to feel loved. Pain was my love language. UNhealthy attachment was my love language. In knowing this about myself, I had to sit with the darker parts of me that was attracted to it because it was those parts that needed this dangerous nourishment.
“I found healing when I told ego to lower its voice and sit in the corner, while I asked my wounds important questions.”
Who are you? Ask yourself. Are you the envious or jealous lover or friend? Are you a liar? Are you manipulative? Are you sneaky and secretive? Are you controlling? Are you mentally, physically, or emotionally abusive? Are you constantly wearing a mask out in the world? Are you a people pleaser? Are you mean? Are you petty? Are you spiteful? Do you use silent treatment as control? Do you ghost people? Do you always have to be right?
I can list out a million questions that pull out the unhealthiest of things, but ummm, some of this work your going to have to do on your own. These were things that I had to ask myself to start identifying the holes inside of me that needed filling. My foundation was weak.
Unpack. Unpack. Unpack.
Once you identify those negative things about yourself start to learn how they can be changed. Here we are back to books, Podcast, and the company you keep. I started taking care of myself y’all. The mental makeover was real. I was meditating in the morning and even in my sleep with “I am” affirmations playing to my subconscious. A mental makeover is about finding balance and peace. It’s ending the war with yourself, giving yourself grace to exist even when you mess up. It’s owning your mistakes, but not harping on them. Learn and move on.
Forgive yourself because once you do, you can start to forgive others. You can see the fault and intentions of others and know who is worthy and who is not. I’ll be the first to admit that’s it’s scary as fuck, because you have to be the one thing none of us want to be---vulnerable.
This was the hardest part for me. I had to open myself in places that I never had before and I think for a week straight all I did was cry. No. I broke the fuck down. All my trauma came bubbling over and every part of me ached and cried. I felt paralyzed and some days I couldn’t go to work. Shoutout to sick time in the Matrix. I could feel the breakthrough in my bones. This is why people like to remind you that healing and self-care is not just bubble baths and spa days.
“Self-love is more than basking in your light. Self-love is identifying where you’re fucking up, being accountable for it and correcting it.”
I will say that I knew something inside of me was cracked after I left my marriage. I had no business trying to love anybody but myself, but that ego is a motherfucker. It will not let you tell it what it can or can’t do.
I also made the mistake of believing that healing meant I could be my old self before I was someone’s girlfriend or wife. No.
“Maybe you’re not healing because you’re trying to be who you were before the trauma. That person doesn’t exist anymore, because there’s a new you trying to be born. Breathe life into that person.
I’m in a new place in my life. A place that requires me to vibrate at a higher level. The old me did not vibrate this high. Granted there are parts of me that are still here, but that’s because they too, have evolved and kept up with my new emergence.
Being mentally strong has put in a position to grab the other parts of my stubborn bull by the horns. I’m healing and training my body. I’m healing and guiding my spirit. I’m choosing better people for my life and mission. I’m learning that yes, love is a risk worth taking and deserves my presence and healthy attachment at all times, not just when it convenient for me. I’m drawing lines and boundaries. I’m speaking louder and clearer. I’m handling my depression.
We can sit here all day, but the bottom line is that you have to give yourself grace. You have to be gentle with yourself.
Mind. Body. Spirit.
"A lot of people are terrified to heal. When your whole identity is based on fear and pain it can be terrifying to know who you are without it. Don't become so accustom to pain that you forget freedom from it is an option." -Soul Whispering Healer
Love and Light.
I found myself in Roseberg, Oregon this weekend. Doesn’t exactly sound like a place to rave about, huh? This is why they say not to judge books by their covers. Only an hour away lies the hidden gem that they call Umpqua Hot Springs. Simply put, it’s nature’s natural hot tub.
Don’t we all sit on Facebook and Instagram scrolling our timelines with envy when influencers post pictures of exotic places? I’d just like to say that I for sure have a new found respect for them. I’ve lived in cars and planes this year and I have to say, I forgot that there is work that goes into those perfect shots. Of course, this blog is not about pictures. I honestly didn’t snap everything that I could, because I was too busy living in the moment and reveling in the beauty that was Earth.
Roseberg, Oregon is about a seven-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle where I’m located (with traffic). Without traffic, it’s about five. Fuck you Tacoma and Portland. I would say fuck the GPS too, but it does come in clutch when it’s needed, even if it does tell you to take a bogus exit, only to send you right back to the direction you were going anyway.
I didn’t expect much from this little town. I can remember going to see Palouse falls in Eastern, Washington back in 2016. There were no gas stations, houses, phone service, nada, nothing. I figured this would be the same experience. Well, no, I take that back because the Redwood Forrest was, for sure , in the middle of nowhere, yet people thrived around it. Umpqua Hot Springs was a mixture of the two.
We stayed at the Comfort Inn just one hour out from the Springs. We spent the first night watching TV. Yall, I sat and I WATCHED TELEVISION. That, to me, is a successful vacation in itself. I’ve been consumed with writing and some other forms of art, so sitting and mindlessly watching television felt like a relaxation milestone.
Just this past month I became an Elite Yelper. I said I would and I did (Power of the Tongue). I’d barely written thirty reviews, but here I am, which brings me to manifestation. I set a lot of intentions this weekend. I did some magic and some manifesting and some seeds were planted. I won’t say much because not everyone is rooting for you and who knows who’s reading this blog. Your enemies pay more attention to you than your friends.
I will say that my old wedding dress is now in the ground. I left it and all my ill feelings about marriage with the Earth. I refuse to be bitter or ashamed anymore about something that led me to the best place of my life with some of the most amazing people. Whatever you got next universe, I’m ready!
Back to these Springs though. They don’t sit out in the open where you can just get to them. You have to hike, which I’ve fallen in love with since being in Washington. Now I go through withdrawals if I haven’t been out in nature in a while. The hike wasn’t long, but it was pretty steep. Once you get there though, man it’s worth it. I undressed (my bathing suit was beneath my clothes), I picked a Spring and eased in. I closed my eyes and sat with my own thoughts. Everything felt good and right. I’m getting my do-over in life. 33, my Jesus year: new career, new love (reignited), new adventures. I don’t have a complaint in the world right now, even with the problems that I do have. I’m learning to endure, to be patient, and to trust. I’m learning that I’m enough for everything that I desire and that desires me. And all this time all I had to do was accept what was different about myself. Going back to trust, the springs were not an easy find. The GPS failed us and the signs in the area were incorrect. Shoutout to whomever typed out the sign to let us and others know that the springs were not down whatever that road was. We went in blind, because the whole point of the trip was to see the springs. Along the way there were people that pointed us in the right direction. That is what trust does.
While sitting with nature and myself, the universe saw fit to send Emily. She came and she talked non-stop. She and her husband were newlyweds that took a 19-day trip across country for nature, food, and music. She snapped a few pics for my memories and shared more of her life. She had two dogs that were wanderers and her husband had his guitar. They were just two free spirits living and loving and it was beautiful. That’s all I want to do and be for the rest of this time until I’m taken and sent back again. Even after leaving she resurfaced in our path bring those barefoot free-spirit that she is.
I asked her if the way way she was going was the way out and she said yes. I said okay I’m following you. She laughed and said, “Don’t do that, no telling where I end up. It’s the beginning of all of my chapters.”
Me. Literally me.
Then we got Daniel. Loud and proud with his entrance and knowledge. He talked about not seeing the springs since he was little. His parents had taken him. His story made me realize I was breaking curses. My mother tried her best to give my sister and I unique experiences, but poverty stood in the way of the rest. I still applaud her. That woman never made over $12.00 an hour with two kids and we had most of what we needed. Her blog is coming.
We were surprised to learn that one of the springs that we chose to sit in (the hottest one), had just revealed itself when a tree fell over. It had been there for years. The spring was also good for healing the body. I took a nice dip and can I just say, I don’t have a single ache in my body. I can’t explain the level of relaxation that environment offered. I could do that once a week. We left when it got way too crowded, but were blessed with rain to wash away any residual bad energy we may have traveled with. There we stood with our joy and arms outstretched. We were grateful.
Me, I was super emotional. I’ve been on a rocky road for the last five years.
Today, I feel free.
The cherries, yes cherries with an “s” on top was the free breakfast at the hotel and all the yummy eats. Y’all know I LOVE food. My Earth, my Air, and my Fire had everything that could ask for and I am shook.
I seem to have completely disregarded Toketee Falls. Don't get it twisted, it was a "pretty" waterfall, absolutely amazing actually, but it wasn't the mission. It was more like an added bonus on a dope ass trip. It was a hike to get to that, too. We went, we saw. We conquered.
Power of Choice (LOVE)
Y’all knew this one was coming eventually. I know I’ve been away for a minute so I truly apologize to those that come here hitting refresh only to be disappointed that there is nothing new. July has been rough my loves. Rough. I’m powering through it though. Shoutout to that three hour workout last night.
How do we choose the person best for us? It’s said that love finds us and we won’t be able to help whom we fall in love with. I’m going to have to agree to disagree. The love we attract literally mirrors who we are and I can say this because I’ve dated enough people to analyze the exact moments these people came into my life and why. It takes willpower, but we can manage the connections we make, because not all of them are healthy. Truth be told, our strongest ties are usually toxic. Note: most people don’t even know that they are toxic. Relationships will continue to fail at an alarming rate. Take y’all asses to therapy.
Love should create a freedom not a prison. If you are going to choose to love someone on purpose ignoring that their role may be temporary in your life, at least choose someone who can evolve to love you better. Despite all the rules, opinions, memes, and whatever else (even me) tells you about love, you always have FREE WILL.
As a teenagaer, I attracted anybody that could give me attention. My daddy issues were deep and the void that needed to be filled was huge. I wasn’t taught to have standards having a mother that would date any man that would pay her bills. My view of love was date who gave you what you needed. At that point in my life, what I needed was attention and that’s what I got--good and bad.
In my twenties I attracted people that always needed me to take care of them financially and emotionally. I had bad boundaries and lots of trauma. They told me their sob stories and I opened my heart and my wallet, because in exchange I could cry on their shoulders about all that I’d been through.
Trauma Bond: A Trauma Bond is a bond that forms due to intense, emotional experiences, usually with a toxic person. Similar to Stockholm Syndrome. It holds us emotionally captive through physical or emotional abuse.
Nine years. For nine years I jumped from one toxic relationship to another until I myself became the toxic person. I’d picked up so many abusive patterns that I was drowning in darkness and fear and negativity. You'll have to wait for my healing and forgiveness blog to learn how I climbed and am still climbing out of that pit. Right now, I want to talk about knowing love and choosing it for yourself.
The focus on love in my life has always been in romantic relationships. It’s probably why I’ve crossed a friendship line with four people that have been closest to me thinking they had to be my partners in my life because they “got me” and “loved me” and I trusted them. I was wrong. Again, this comes from only having a one-dimensional view of love and bad boundaries, which I’m still learning to place. I miss each of them as FRIENDS.
Now in choosing love for myself I’m paying attention to all the types available to me. If you don’t know what they are, don’t worry I got you.
With that small explanation evaluate your connections. Decide what you choose to achieve, not only what you require, but what you can give. A lot of us sit with what we desire without ever thinking of the counter offer. This is how we meet perfect people and fail. I’m fully guilty of trying to love people when I didn’t love myself enough. I was pouring from an empty cup. Learn yourself and know your deal breakers.
For a long time I didn’t draw a line between myself and my lovers when it came to their insecurities and how that affected me. Them not loving themselves caused them to lie and cheat. I took this on as my own fault as if there was something that I I lacked. When in fact, the void was inside of them. One problem, one argument would lead them to someone else in some way. Not only does it reveal their insecurity, but also their maturity level. I had not been choosing women with high levels of emotional intelligence, which also spoke volumes about me. I had to ask myself why I was accepting this and why was it a pattern in every person that I’ve met? I had to understand my own worth and value. I should not want anyone that could easily seek out and share their time and attention with anyone else for quick validation when they knew it was me that they wanted to be with. This is not to say that I have not checked my own behavior, but even still I’ve learned not to match energy.
In a recent podcast with one of my favorite couples right now, they talk about matching energy and how it’s the worse thing you can do with anyone. Why? Because you lower your vibrations and you always want to vibrate high. I’ve been taking the high road with a lot of things and it has given me better results with people. We’ll talk about ego soon. Just know that nobody has more power over me than me. I want to deal with people that have that same type of control, platonic or romantic.
Romance again. I have a little note on my wall at home that says stay single until it feels like Alchemy. For me this means Eros + Ludus + Pragma + Philautia + Agape. All equally. I want to be loved for me on every level, not just the idea. I meet a lot of people who fantasize and I’ve dated a few only to be disappointed because they’ve already fallen for the fantasy they created instead of getting to know all of me: my fears, my flaws, my insecurities, my triggers, my traumas. I’m not a woman for small talk or egg shells or secrets or surfaces, but I also get why most people don’t like to dive deep. This, for me, weeds out the unworthy. I won’t sit here and lie and say that I’m 100% ready to commit to someone because I don’t think I am. My spirit will tell me when I’m dealing with someone that understands both my darkness and my light. What questions do you ask yourself when choosing a partner?
My questions--13 because it’s one of my numbers--and this is just a prerequisite (LOL):
She spilled all on me. SPILLED.
This obviously went over an hour. Some things my intuition always knew and it was conformation and others I had to brace myself because the impact could knock me from my seat. We sat and we talked about it until damn near three in the morning. Was I hurt? Yes. Was I upset? Absolutely. But I had to keep up my end of the bargain. I didn’t have a problem with it because I only wanted to be married once in life. I wanted to be the person that kept their word. I wanted to endure. I also appreciated the fact that she told me her truth and I was allowed to react. I’d never seen her that vulnerable or afraid. I knew that fear was due to me being able to go back on my promise to stay after the horrid things she’d confessed. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I respected her. We promised to be no less than 100% honest with each other after that.
Why are we not together?
Well, she continued to do fucked up things. There was no way for me to heal there, but I did come out of that knowing that I always wanted someone who could tell me their truth and not rob me of my choice to decide if I want to keep going. That is how I believed that some form of love was there for me, because the selfish thing to do would be to lie. She laid all her cards bare knowing the consequence and she let me choose. Staying after that was all on me. I had regrets. I don’t anymore. I learned. I thank her for a lot and it’s odd, but I now understand why diamonds are created from pressure. I also learned not to sit in discomfort with a person. I’m not afraid to argue. But I will say I probably should learn to ask questions, because I’m good at coming with the accusations without discussion. I know what I know and that’s it!
I want a fair lover and I want to be fair. Anything else is manipulation.
I’ll also tell you this. Meet truth with gentleness, because flipping out will only make a person fear being honest again. I’ve been sitting with my gentle spirit. She was hiding for such a long time because I’ve had to defend myself in love more often than not, but I want to enter love from the other side. If you chose love and to love, be in it, all the way. Don’t do grey areas and don’t quit when it gets boring or hard because it will.
“Neither of us knew how to love, and so, we went to war instead.”
Sit with that.
Patience. Loyalty. Consistency. Honesty. Trust. Unselfishness. Communication w/ comprehension. = Longevity and Love.
Let me know when y’all are ready to have the conversation about how love works when your poly. I got you.
I moved to Washington in 2014. I’ve been on a crazy path of growth and learning since I crossed this state line. The first thing that I started to miss while being away from home was the food. I ranted about it in Facebook and one of my Facebook friends suggested I try a restaurant called “The Quarters.”
This one hurts y’all. It hurts bad.
It took me almost a year or so to actually visit the restaurant because well, I never believe people when they send me to places that are supposed to taste like home—New Orleans.
December 15, 2016 my ex had stayed over because well I’m needy like that and she would always oblige. She came straight from the gym and the next morning for some reason I wanted to try “The Quarters.” She was always down for a food adventure. We stopped at a Goodwill—one of my favorite places—dressed her up and went on our way.
I felt at home the second that we pulled into the parking lot. The restaurant sits in the middle of a quaint space in Auburn, Washington. I walked through the doors and was instantly amazed by the art and music. We were instructed to sit wherever we pleased, so we did.
There were notebooks in the middle of each table. My nosey behind grabbed one and started thumbing through the pages. It was nothing but love and raves about the food and atmosphere. This place was home to many.
Then she came… Jade. Like the light she was, she smiled at my ex and I and made us feel like we were having a conversation with our favorite cousin. She was so full of life. I don’t think there was a moment she was never not smiling.
She had the perfect name. “Jade (crystals) is said to bless whatever it touches, serving mankind across the globe for nearly 6,000 years. Jade is most valued for its metaphysical properties. It is the ultimate "Dream Stone," revered in ancient cultures, as well as today, to access the spiritual world, gain insight into ritualistic knowledge, encourage creativity, and dream-solve. It is cherished as a protective talisman, assuring long life and a peaceful death, and is considered a powerful healing stone. An amulet of good luck and friendship, Jade signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility, dispelling the negative and encouraging one to see oneself as they really are.”
$40.00 would get us the best breakfast I’d had since I’d been in Washington. Jade would check on us as often as she could. She steal time to talk with us, telling us about her wife Chef T and their kids. She’d share her struggles about their restaurant and stepping out on faith and she’d fill us with love and encouragement for living life to the fullest. She was an open book like myself, which I found odd since she was a Scorpio. We’d leave with full hearts and belly’s and I’d never stop thinking about her. Some people just leave lasting impressions.
We promised to visit again.
A year later, on the same date we’d visit again and she’d remember us like she’d just seen us the day before. She’d give us free dessert and bad news that cancer was trying to beat her down. We’d both shed tears and hugs—Jade and I— because I know this pain all too well having a Mom that had to fight it twice. Jade was a fighter. She had so many reasons to just be alive. Her wife, her kids, and their business that was much more than a place to make food and money. “The Quarters” was/is a safe space for communion. So, what is it with a missing piece?
She’d always make it her business to spend as much talking time with us as she could. She was a walking blessing, giving to others even when she didn’t have much. She always reminded us to let the poor and hungry know they were always welcome to eat at her family’s establishment for free.
So here’s that age old question. Why do awful things happen to good people? She was a good people. I’ll always remember that smile on her face when we saw her for Easter and stayed for an Easter egg hunt, which I was bad at by the way. She told us where the good stuff was and well, epic fail. Still, one of the best times I’ve had in Washington. She and her wife are always doing things for the community. That’s why this hurts.
I’d been off social media for the longest and today I log in to see that she lost. I’m still processing. Watching her wife in pain was a stab to the chest. Jade’s energy has faded into the universe and I can’t imagine what life will be like for her wife and her children. What do you do when you lose your heart, you’re backbone, you’re air?
For you, I’ll learn to take more risk.