Poem: It is what it is…

Lost with no direction to the space and time we’re in, a perfect escape from the overstimulated mind and skin.

Taken to new heights and left on the streets below, unable to come to grips with the way things are – so we go.

Down a dark path and left in the light of day, some of us work for nothing while others get everything for play.

Struggles with faith and believing by sight, because we all know what comes of knowing the darkness of night.

It hides there in truth and it’s there for the world to see, but we’re blind to facts and that truth so we just let it be.

Can’t trust what the eyes see,

Can’t trust what the heart feels,

Can’t trust what the mind believes,

So how do we know what’s real?

Brought low and name dropped by our own tongues,

Felt high and bets are placed but we’ve won none.

Spoken into existence by our own desires,

burned by our  passion through our own fire.

What it’s meant to be and know it never will,

so we take what we need and leave the rest to kill.

Burdens are a burden so we lift our skirts to fly,

lightening the load of life, we’re not fit to die.

The Struggle is Real (PT. 2)The TRUTH

So, when I envisioned this blog, I talked about wanting to talk about the truth of the struggle we each have. I’m not sure that I truly understood the meaning or ramifications of the word ‘truth’. I know that it is a word that we toss around a lot but I don’t think I have ever really considered the word, not in any strong way.  I just used it as a synonym for fact. But, while it may be slightly true, that doesn’t really capture the word. Not in its entirety.

Fact: Until recently, I was homeless and have just recently gotten an apartment after almost 5 years of living on couches and streets. Truth: In my head, I’m still homeless. That’s just an example.

The fact is I’m not homeless. I’m sitting in my living room, writing this blog post with my cat, High King Margo, Destroyer of Worlds, laying ever so peacefully under one of the chairs taking a nap. But I’m still that homeless guy that slept on benches and bathrooms (when I needed to escape the weather) and sat at libraries or movie theaters to pass the time while I wasn’t at one of my jobs. And I sit here, my second month of being in a home, and I haven’t really done anything to make it a home.

Because I can’t shake the feeling that it’s temporary.

I haven’t filled my refrigerator because deep down, in parts that I don’t often visit, I’m afraid that it’ll all go to waste. Because somehow, I’ll screw everything up. Like I often do. I haven’t bought any real furniture. Just enough for me to get buy. No bed to lay my head on, just blankets on the floor or a comfy chair to lay back in. Now, if you ask me, I’ll say it’s because I don’t need the amenities. But the truth, the thing that is so hard to admit, is that I love sleeping in a bed. But if I get a bed, I can lose that bed.

Harder still to admit: that terrifies me.

That fear is paralyzing. It causes me to sit in the apartment with Margo as company. I say it is because I don’t really like people. I don’t. Not most people. But the truth is that I’m afraid to try and lose everything again.

That truth is at the root of many things. My depression, which on the surface looks like laziness but the fact is, I’m not a lazy person.  Apparently, I’m a scared little wuss.

Oh, how the truth does hurt.

But, I’ll let that be for today. Tomorrow, I won’t have time for fear. When the sun rises, I’ll get up. I’ll take my shower that I have not done in days, saying that soaks in the bathtub are just as good. I’ll give Margo a quick play and run out the door, leaving my fear in the back of my mind. And it won’t be courage that propels me out the doorway. No, it’ll actually be Margo. She doesn’t have time for my bullshit. She’s utterly dependent on me. And I have to wake up tomorrow to make sure she has cat food and a roof over her head.

Tomorrow is a new day.

The Struggle Is Real pt. 1

the-shining-jack-nicholson

Who’s  there?

Norma Lee…

Norma Lee who?

Norma Lee I don’t knock on random doors, but I had to meet you! Hello world aaaand Welcome to The Struggle!  Yes, it’s real, even on WordPress.

sisyphus
The losing battle of Sisyphus… He is us, we are him.

How are you? You guys enjoy the weekend? No? Funds low? Had nowhere to go? Money spent and don’t know where it went? Been there. Thus the struggle… even in our time of Corona, we seek entertainment and peace and camaraderie and all things wellness… but are relegated to spending an evening alone on the sofa with Netflix or what have you… Not a bad time but it’s not watching your friends sing drunkenly to Bon Jovi’s, You Give Love A Bad Name either. Comedy is comedy and entertainment is… relative, I guess. 🤷‍♀️

If drunk karaoke was never your thing… then maybe bar hopping, bowling, or movie going is. Still these are things we have to be super careful about participating in …in the here and now. The struggle seems to have come knocking on our doors telling us it was our new room/house mate and to move over and make room for it. We just had and depending on where you live… have to deal.

Struggle thy name is Corona!

But we aren’t here to harp on Rona. Though she definitely embodies the struggle (Side bar- I feel like Rona might be a Gemini… she has various other forms with which to deal some damage…) we are here to talk about other variants of The Struggle…not Rona.

Where are my manners…. I’m just babbling away and haven’t introduced myself. My name is Tyronica Smith, I go by Ty, and I am just one of the fine minds behind this blog. You’ll meet others a little later but right now, you should know who is yapping on about all things struggle.

I am presently 45 years old and and have been in the midst of the struggle for 25 years now. Yep, I got the grey hair (a little) and stretch marks (a lot) to prove it. It is so deeply engrained in my life that it is a part of my fabric. Struggles the  Kitty knows that I love a good cup of coffee but not necessarily from the ‘bucks’. I have a secret source from which my coffee arrives and I will not give them up no matter how much chocolate you offer! Nope!

*Update* I have to give up coffee… well the caffeinated stuff. I’ve been told by my doctor to let it go and go to decaf. The struggle just gets deeper and deeper and apparently can be anything from medical to that of relationships.

I am a mother of two lovely tributes to society. They are 25 and 20. The eldest is male and he and his sister give me reason to love life and on some days I ask life…”Wtf, man?”. It gets hard at times but we make do. Single parenting is a struggle all on it’s own and is definitely a learning experience. I was freed from the bonds of holy matrimony in 2013…and dating after divorce will have to be post by itself. Oh yeah…  we’re gonna talk about it and other things that give me gray hair at later dates.

I am an author all day every day – that is my profession. I claim these things because that is what I do. I write novels, blog posts, non-fiction, short stories, fiction, and poetry. I have been published in four anthologies and one online magazine. I make it a point to post my stories, poems, and other works to my personal blog regularly at Bloggish, where I talk about my life as a schizophrenic who also deals with mental illnesses and the peculiar relationship I have with God. Juggling mental illnesses and your personal beliefs is indeed a struggle that doesn’t get talked about enough so we’ll touch on that at a later time as well.

I am a functional mess and am very aware of everything and everyone. I am able to speak my mind, feel what I feel, and help others in the process. Life has taught me to look outside of myself and see others as I would want them to see me. To treat others as I would have them treat me. And to extend a hand where I can.

There is beauty… I’m told…in the struggle. With 25 years of this under my belt I feel like I’ve scratched at the surface but have yet to be wowed by this beauty people speak so fondly of. So with this blog, my friend Greg and I hope to find more of it and to see it in its full capacity. I feel as though, it’s something that eludes me on a daily basis. Like it’s there but I’m blinded to it… maybe it’s a faith thing. Have to believe it’s there in order to experience it fully? Or maybe it’s a tangible thing escaping my grasp? Maybe it’s just as plain as the nose on my face. Hmmm… we’ll see.

Today, however, we are here to find out what the struggle looks like.

What does the Struggle look like to you? To me, it looks like my poinsettia left over from Christmas – it’s all but checked out here in the beginning of April but is trying it’s best to hold on.

Meet Hugo… Hugo was this huge-mungous plant when we first got him and he was big and beautiful and very red and a little itchy to me… I wonder if that’s cause I was a lil allergic. Hmm…anyway, he has certainly seen better days and he became my personal mascot for my own personal struggle.

Frail Hugo
Hugo has certainly seen better days

But to have seen Hugo in his youth way back in December… You don’t believe that poor thing ever looked beautiful? Ah…  let me show you…

Big Hugo
Hugo is on the left in the silver foil.

This was near the beginning of December. Such a beauty…but now he is a living moral. Nothing lasts forever – even beauty fades. It has been mentioned several times over that I should let Hugo go as he is on his last leaves, anything else would just be cruelty.

Yeah… It’s not a hard decision. I’m no monster and I’m glad plants can’t talk. The things they’d say, the secrets they’d spill! It’s all fun and games until your plant is giggling in the corner at the things they’ve heard you say or mention about someone else, while they are in the room! They say you’re supposed to talk to plants but I don’t know man… one day that’s gonna trip us up. Someone will create a device that will give voice to plants and animals and we’ll all be up a creek.

Enough of my nonsense – it’s April and I am in the midst of Lenten season and I’m feeling one struggle in particular. I have decided to fast until Easter and  I’m in trouble. I wanted to give up sweets and profanity and sex and caffeine and pretty much everything that is good, feels good, or seems good. I’m in trouble because I can feel myself wanting to bend the rules of the agreement I made up in my  mind. But that is the way… that is always the way.

I don’t know how I got through this before but this year in particular has been ridiculous and. I’m also very hard on myself when it comes to these things. I want to succeed at this, I’m not doing it just for the denial of things but for clarity and closeness to my God.

I am without a support system this year. Usually, my church has a study group or support group for those of us that are fasting but since we are online this year, it’s really hard to get people together. So… that also makes this more difficult to get through. But  I won’t harp on this much longer. I just wanted to share a bit about this particular struggle.

It’s the things we do to ourselves in the hopes of becoming better humans that is a struggle. The things we hope to achieve when we are nowhere near the goal that is a struggle. And the judgement and negativity we face… not from others but from ourselves that is the struggle.

Your biggest adversary and only enemy you will ever have is the one you contend with in the mirror. It took me a long time to come to grips with this bit of truth. I my life easier now? Hell No! 😂 I’m finding that it’s… umm…a process. Knowing a thing and knowing what to do about a thing are two totally different things. But with the help of therapy, I’m well on my way to dealing with myself. LOL

It sounds crazy right? But it’s  true – we keep ourselves from doing the things we want and need to do. One of my favorite actors once said – “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” And who is responsible for fear and how we react to it?? US!

The struggle is real, my friends.

We’ll talk more later but until then… I am signing off.

The next person you’ll hear from is the author G. Dean Manuel… or Greg, as you will come to know him on the 2nd part of The Struggle Is Real.

So… I’ll see you soon! Oh and hey, just because I’m writing here as well doesn’t mean I’m releasing you from the duties….you know the drill peeps!

Be good humans! ❤

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