Sunday, October 1, 2017

Latinx Heritage Month: #FemmeInMourning 17

One of the things about not having the skill of driving because it's always had a cost attached to it that you cannot afford is that traveling takes a while. Traveling as in running daily errands. Traveling as in going to social gatherings. Traveling as in figuring out a plan to/from an airport. This was one of the main reasons I chose NYC to live in at 20 years old. Sure NYU had one of the only programs in Human Sexuality in the country at the time, and who doesn't want to "go study sexuality in NYC?" especially since I had been awarded the Token POC Scholarship titled Dean's Opportunity Scholarship.

Here's the thing: when grief comes and all of your homies live in Brooklyn and 98% of them don't visit you who lives in the Bronx unless of course they have to be in the Bronx for work or a paid gig already to consider seeing you, until they realize how large the Bronx is and what they thought was the Bronx is not where you live. The Bronx is massive and I lived off the 1 train in the west Bronx, Kingsbridge, take the 4 train and get on a bus to get to me. At least an hour and a half ride to Brooklyn if I transferred to the A express or the 2/3 express. NYC and a lot of places where you don't have reliable transportation (and busses are not reliable according to all those job openings I've seen...) means travel is intense and sometimes a social event even when you don't want it to be.

I had to remind folks to invite me to things even if I wasn't going to attend. As my grief kept shifting so did my mood and capacity to show up for and with other people. It comes and goes. Right now I can manage to get out of my home a few times a week on my own. Yet I'm not really going anywhere that I cannot be productive because I'm not being productive at home. Plus all this writing I'm behind on doing means I can be social and out/about but also quiet with other people!

The other part is that when I did go out to more social events I had to do it with homies. I needed a handler. Someone who was my point person, who would make sure I had a cup of something to drink and was comfortably situated in a social enough environment watching people and thinking nothing.

Sometimes I had a more present experience, but mostly I still feel like I'm a shell, some kind of person haunting others like a ghost reminding them how fragile we are because if this is how I look and I'm a strong ass broad in all the ways, their tender tails are gonna really get it hard! And sometimes I show up and leave the house to remind folks they too will survive it even if they dread it and we just may have less to offer others.

And other times I feel fuller and can be around more than two people and try to soak all of that experience up. It drains more quickly but it helps remind me what is possible.

Read post 16 here.

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