2017 hit like an agitated exposed nerve of a broken tooth! It was painful, relentless and determined to abruptly end the euphoric vibes still lingering from 2016. You see, 2016 was mildly brutal but a very rewarding year. I literally locked down the entire year to finish a goal... A goal in which I started nine years prior.
Humbly exiting 2016
I successfully crowdfunded over 9k, published my first book titled "Dreams Bigger Than Texas," produced three unique video trailers and did a mini book tour. I also threw an epic release party back home in Chicago, finally met with a potential career mentor, raised my credit score beyond 735, cut my hair, did a photoshoot, got a pay raise and was preparing to be a guest on The Yolanda Adams Morning Show and Majic 102 in Houston during Super Bowl 2017 week. Whewww!
I was also laying the ground work for a nonprofit, organizing a spring book tour and t-shirt line. I planned to do an 8th-grade commencement, be a New York Times Best Seller...be on Oprah's couch (whaaat? You know, I like to dream big), visit the Steve Harvey and Tavis Smiley show. I wanted to be a vendor at Essence Festival 2017.
Most notably, my single self-planned to start dating again (after four long years). I mean... I planned to be more lighthearted, visible and intentional at least :). Shoot! It's hard dating in Atlanta and my "no nonsense/direct demeanor" comes off intimidating — I hear.
Exiting my Magic Johnson year, I didn't want to enter my 33rd bday completely single. After all, I said (three Thanksgivings ago) I wouldn't be home eating pizza and watching football again by myself the holidays.
Needless to say, I had a great deal of 2017 planned out. Yep, that was until 2K17 decided to show me who's boss. It all started when I learned exactly how ill a very special aunt of mine was. She withheld her illness primarily to protect the family. Long story short, she forfeited her battle with lung cancer. It was very abrupt for me. She was gone as soon as I learned she was ill. I didn't have time to process her being sick let alone about to die. I saw her as the point guard and quarterback of the family. She did everything! She was glamorous, a wife, mother, chef, seamstress, entrepreneur, nurse, guardian, business woman and domestic goddess. Losing her was tough, and the aftershock was grueling.
It's only been two months since she passed. I can't lie, I haven't accepted the fact that she's gone. You see, my aunt played a critical role in who I am today. She meant so much to me. I can't even begin to think about where I'd be without her. My selfishness is consistently at war with her resting in peace tho I'm sure I'll be okay someday.
Rewind: While my aunt was dying, two beautiful little children were fighting for life. My little brother and sister to be exact. They belong to my father who I do not have a relationship with. It is only because of my Aunt I learned these kids existed.
In short, they were about to be taken into state custody with nowhere to go and no one to care for them. "Bastard! I hate him," I mentally declared in rage. That is the same sh*t that almost happened to me growing up. Thank God my Aunt was there to rescue her drug addicted brother (my father) once again. She helped to raise and support all of his kids. That's what my Aunt did. She rescued, served, helped, cooked and took care of people. Did I say how AMAZING she was? There she was helpless and incoherent laying in her hospice bed as I learned the potential fate of the kids.
"I can't take them. I'm in Atlanta with no support, and I'd have to quit my job," I exclaimed in the family meeting. We were all trying to figure out what to do with the kids and planning my aunt's homegoing. Guilt, turmoil, and hurt started to set in the middle of my chest. I needed to make a decision ASAP. Just a room away, my Aunt groaned from pain while radiating so much strength in her final moments.
Everyone disbursed for the night. I stayed at her bedside crying tear after tear. I didn't have time to think through anything truly. I visualized my little sister and brother's smiles and heard their voices. From the moment of introduction, they admired and always inquired about me. They needed me. They needed an advocate, help and a safe space. Ironically enough, the last seven years of my life; dedicated to mentorship and youth advocacy. How hypocritical would I had been to turn my back? I knew my Aunt would have been proud if she knew what was about to happen. After all, she would have taken the kids (like she always did) if she was healthy.
Ambitious career woman to single mother of two
All that said, days later I became an instant single mother of two. Putting everything I planned and hoped for on pause. Yes, I am still wrapping my mind, heart, and emotions around all of this... Nope, I don't have a clue what's next. But, I'm doing the best I can to raise these beautiful brown children. I am committed to being to them what I wanted and needed growing up.
At times, I can't believe this script of life that God chose me to act out. Idk what 2017 now holds, and I've given up my desires to plan for it. I'll just coast, protect, raise, lead and be led in whatever direction my creator takes me next. Cheers, to a very RErouted and unimaginable 2017. God directs the BEST story lines hands down even especially when they're uncomfortable. I'm delighted to have you journey with me through this process. I promise to candidly share the highs, lows, and rewards to serving as Sistamom.
Enjoy, share, support and most importantly be inspired!