Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Follow Through

I almost feel like I'm being tested. Like they want to see just how much I want their assistance. As if they are judging whether or not I'm really willing to go that extra mile. Of course, it could just be a matter of timing, a matter of the amount of business that can get done in one day - dates and times are more important to me than ever these days. Will they call today? Will they want to move forward with us? Will they deny us access to their collective? I hope not.

Chasing Understanding

I haven't really been feeling all that great lately. I had to reserve a crying day to rid myself of some of what's on my mind. And I felt completely stripped afterward, needing a few days to recover. Deep in the throws of re-evaluation, hard pills have been swallowed. The conclusion: I need to walk away. That just isn't something I do. I don't just throw in the towel the first, second or third time around. I stick shit out, fight to the death, and even when its clear that I've done all that I can do, and been all that I can be, I still hold on for a little while longer. However, there isn't just a thin line between love and hate, but also one nestled between loyalty and stupidity. Like I said, hard pills.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rock Your Natural Bay Area

Natural Selection is getting ready to do it again! Time for all of the Bay Area kinky curlies to come together in celebration of our natural glory. The last event was so much fun. Meeting all of the ladies, networking, supporting each others businesses, and exposing my daughter to sisterhood at its finest. I am so glad that we had the opportunity to attended. I am going to make an effort to rearrange my work schedule so that we will be able to do it all over again.

If you are a Bay Area natural, we'd love to see you there!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Getting Back in the Game

Ok, ok. I've really gotta get back to work. Folks are really interested in the hats. Wasn't I just talking about how I really needed to get them in the shop! The inquiries are lighting a fire beneath me. I hear ya, I hear ya... I'm movin', I'm movin' :)

I was just telling myself how I need to cure my yarn withdrawal with some new projects. I've been getting my research on. Looking into different granny square patterns, thinking of ways to bring new exciting pieces to Baby Squares. Also, thinking a lot about the ways that I want to present my shop. When people visit, what do I want them to see? What do I want them to find there? What exactly do I want to offer? So many have been in my ear about the things that I should be offering - just because they are crocheted, but I started this project with a specific focus, and deviating too much from that is a little overwhelming. And not that the suggestions have been bad or waaayyy off, they've been quite cute actually, I just have to really evaluate and figure out how/if I will incorporate them.

The more settled we become, the more time I can devote to growing and improving my business. Thank you all for your continued support, and for your interest! Please know that I really do love what I do, and am happy to share it with you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is That a Light?

Its been 8 years since I've had to sit under the radar of a panel of eyes. I felt like I was being interviewed for employment. I get nervous when I have to convince someone why they should like me well enough to let me into their circle, but I tried to remind myself that all I needed to do was be myself. There were a lot of why's, how's, and what's, but I tackled them with complete honesty, and in the end, the panel was able to appreciate that. I'll find out by Tuesday if they appreciated it enough to welcome us. For now, its back to were I started, submerged within my academic community, amongst my academic family. What can I say, its a place that has consumed a big chunk of my life, and one of the only places that always embraces me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chasing Transition(al)

I followed through on a transitional housing resource today. Its one that houses single parent families in particular, offering various on-site supportive services, mental health being one of them. It would have been nice to save up during a shelter stay, but the one we stayed in over the weekend was not a good fit for me. While Emma was pretty oblivious to our experience, I wasn't really feeling the twice daily forced bible study and the den-mother-esk woman who kept shouting out HALLELUJAH and shhhhhing every crying, whimpering child in the building. All the talk about death and eternal suffering if one did not drink the Kool-Aid made me wanna cry too. It was kinda nice to be off the couch and in a big bed though.

If all goes well this Thursday, we could have beds of our own soon. Depends on what they decide after our interview. I can't imagine a reason why they wouldn't wanna move forward with us, but we'll see what happens. We need this to come through for us. I don't know how much longer I can survive couch hopin', having our things and mail at various different addresses, invading other people's spaces.... I literally came apart at the seams last week! When I say we really need this opportunity to come through for us, I really mean we need this opportunity to come through for us.

Thinking positive thoughts, thinking positive thoughts...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Still Trying to Figure It Out

Thank you Luna of Nappy Like Yo' Papi and thank you Janelle Monae for asking!


They told me it'd take me a couple weeks to get used to these babies. Aside from the urge to step a little higher than usual on my way out of the eye center door, I'd say that we made fast friends. They also told me that it'd take a couple weeks for these babies to be ready. How about a couple days! Because I was called to pick up another Henry's prescription. Error on the part of the folks in charge will scoot you up to the head of the line every time.

So now, minus the blurry letters, plus the first in a lifetime stylist frames, equals a proud wearer!

Now Taking Applications for the Mental Breakdown Club

Maybe it'll be a win-win, because, you know, most of the greats were/are mentally disturbed in some form or another...

I've always said that, if I could have chosen my mental illness, I would have chosen to be either bi-polar or schizophrenic. No, really. Once you're able to recognize your manic states and decipher the who's who of the voices in your head and the friends in your circle, productivity and creativity take the forefront. Very few productive or creative moments are bore from depression, and those that are aren't necessarily arrived at organically, but rather dug from deep within. Deep rooted expressions of pain are painfully beautiful. Unfortunately, mental breakdowns are not.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pet Peeves

I guess sports are to men as soap operas are to women.

I don't think I'll ever understand the logic behind amplifying the television in order to quiet the voices of children. Noise only begets noise, it sure as hell doesn't silence it. And I'll tell you what else it does, it beckons migraines. My head is much happier with just the sounds of intense play. I'm quite crazy with the bellowing sounds of baseball coming from the idiot box. I can't tell you how much I despise sports. Not just baseball, and not just any one sport in particular. All sports. I don't get excited for playoffs and superbowls. I don't huddle around the television with snacks and team spirit. I'd rather just be excluded all together. Every single day, since His return, the television has blasted sports in some form or another. During a time when I'd rather unwind, process the events of my day, and prepare my mind for what lies ahead, I am instead trying to drown out the sounds of static noise, and plot my move. The exact moment when I will snatch all the pillows off the couch, put our pajamas on and "go to bed" - because that is the only indicator that we are ready to settle in for the night. The time on the clock doesn't mean shit.

I was waking up every couple of hours last night as a result of one loud month or another. 2am - 3am - 4am - 4:50am - 5:20am, eyes peeking open at 6:29am, and alarm ringing at 6:30am. I yawned through my training at work today.

I asked if there would be headache-free days ahead, and was told yes. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In Baby Squares News...

Samantha Gregory, of Rich Single Momma, and her daughter rock their new slouch hats

I've got to get busy on these little guys. They have not been listed in the shop. I honestly don't know what I'm waiting on. Fall is approaching. The versatility of this hat makes it very popular. Its stylish as hell. So, what's my problem? Well, I kinda feel like my shop is a little all over the place. It has a little of this and a little of that in stock. I need to buckle down and start thinking collections, signature pieces, different square patterns... I need to get on it and get out there. That is the goal.

I recently took note of some really cute square patterns from Teresa of Art of Crochet by Teresa. I'm gonna give them a try soon so that I can add some newness to the shop. Keep an eye out for it!

Writing From the Heart

Newness is forthcoming.

The wonderful designer behind the blog Adori Graphics offers free makeovers to folks who are writing for therapy. I put in an order and my time to be re-designed has finally rolled around. I've seen some proofs and I am in love. I'm looking forward to unveiling the finished design soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Time Is Now!

She had had another unexpected inspection that day. She hates when they just pop up without notice, or give a same-day notice that an inspection is imminent. No time to clean (read: no time to hide shit behind other shit), just a forced reaction to authority figures and their clipboards. She's always angry after they leave. Mad that they've seen all that there is to see around here, even though their notes are for the purposes of making things better around here. Embarrassed by a cramped space, again, reactive, throwing things out over there, pointing and yelling about things over here. And when she almost knocked over a glass collector's plate she had been given as a gift, catching it in her hand, and attempting to put it back in its place, she completely lost it. "DAMMIT! You can't get to ANYTHING around here". Apparently, my things were in the way. She snatched a bag of crochet supplies from a larger tote when she grabbed for the tote. With both bags in hand, she slammed them back down to the floor, repositioning them. I thought I was gonna have a panic attack. I couldn't stop the tears.

Then I got caught. My effort to disguise my sniffles, took away from my efforts to wipe away the tears before they fell. Emma noticed my glassy eyes and asked me if I was crying. I told her no. I lied. The anxiety swelled up in my body, and radiated through my left hand like an electrical current. The left side. I am so unkind to the right side of my brain. I took my episode to the shower, were I could cry without being made.

Today, I went out in search of something healthier. I collected some resources on transitional housing, mental health services, and homeless shelters. I printed some affordable housing applications. I fantasized about having a place to think clearly, without the sounds of screaming, fussing, bickering and frustration hammering away at my sanity. I want to be content. I have a job that I enjoy, am excited that Emma is excited about her new school year, I am trying very hard to be happy. Happiness shouldn't have to be this hard to hold on to. Its time to move on.


I wonder what it feels like to want to live...

Chasing Romance

For the most part, the whole honeymoon stage of a relationship can be one of the most annoying phasing when you're on the outside looking in. Witnessing two love birds who can't turn or make a move without each other, finishing each others' sentences, replacing each others' actual names with nick names... its enough to make you wanna puke and... its something that I miss having.

I remember, way back when, when My Guy and I used to talk on the phone multiple times a day, when I arrived home to find flowers waiting for me on my doorstep, when we used to laugh together, when we went out on dates, when we fell in love. I want that old thang back. Back before he became law enforcement, back before his life became so stressful, back before he met her. Back before I forgot what it is that I really wanted, back before we let life get the best of us and our relationship. And even upon starting over, it seems that the honeymoon phase escaped us. We are forever chasing romance, chasing "us" time, chasing a deeper understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a unit, chasing what comes after "this". Seems that the 'easy' is always made so incredibly complicated.

I just want one, amazingly romantic date. Just one. I want to feel like I'm the center of his world. Like nothing else matters. I want to be wined and dined, showered with affection - none of which has to involve over-thinking whether or not we can afford it. Just one romantically charged night is definitely not too much to ask for.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Its Been a Long Week

I'm exhausted.

Each car ride home from school I find the reflection of my sleeping daughter in my review mirror. Obviously she's pretty exhausted too, although she usually refers to this feeling as boredom. I've started getting up at 6am instead of 6:30am. The extra 30 minutes gets us out the door 20 minutes earlier, and through all the traffic that stands between us and the school. Its a loooong drive. I honestly wish we were closer to the school. Its insane to make an hour drive out of the way just to get your kid to school each morning, but I will continue to do it for as long as I have to, because I have to. My daughter's academic progress is proof that this sacrifice is completely worth it.

On the fluke, I landed another job this week! Two days a week, I'll be paid to snuggle with an adorable 4 month old. This opportunity was very unexpected. I happened to just be in the right place at the right time. Today was our first day. It was a crash course. I took in her cries and her coos, becoming accustomed to exactly what she needed and when. Fortunately, I'm a fast learner. We ended on a beautiful note, and will spend more time together next week.

This makes (paid) job number 3. And the irony is that I'm still broke. I'm coming up on my second paycheck from my office job, which will undoubtedly all go toward bills. Business at Baby Squares is slowly trekking along, and I am not 100% sure when payment for baby will begin. I'm going with the flow though. Slowly but surely.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Place Where Nobody Knows My Name

I'm so irritated right now that I can't even organize my thoughts. I'm 100% sure that I'm not cut out for co-habitation. I often wonder if I'm even cut out for co-existence. There is nothing I hate more than being subjected to other people's lifestyles. I can't survive for too long in a space that belongs to someone else. Having to be a part of their routines, their house guests, their retarded ass kids - all with no retreat. Point blank, I'm not a people lover, especially when I have to deal with them day in and day out. Too much time with the same people and I'm bound to go fucking nuts! Factor in irritating habits or shit talking and I'm bound to go the fuck off. I like to stay to myself and socialize when I deem its appropriate, not when someone else deems its time to be all up in my space. These are the moments when I need rapid progression. These are the moments that make me crazy. These are new moments that will forever be ingrained in my memory.

I'd have a house out in the country if I could. Where I could breath in fresh air and where interpersonal relationships would require driving into town. If you can't tell, I get burnt out really quickly. This is such a torturous time for me. I absolutely HATE living in an environment in which I'm extremely uncomfortable. I'm gonna try to save as quickly as possible so I can get the fuck away from here as quickly as possible!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Just For Fun

I managed to whip up a new hat, before whipping up the two that were recently requested. I'm considering handing this one off to a friend to sport, in hopes of generating some more interest off line. I'm trying to get in the zone. I need to sell more, I need to push more. Too many urgent things around here that need to be done for me not to sell more and push more.

On a side note, I'm looking forward to the days when I have some hair to tuck away in one of these hats. They fit quite differently on me, but I still like them.

Closed for the Holidays

There is a very big part of me that wishes that the office was open today. Not because its an extremely stimulating place to be. I could have seriously fallen off my chair yesterday, overtaken by sheer boredom. I just simply desire to be there. I'm not thrilled that I will have a day of less pay on my next check. I want it all. This is how it is in the beginning. Completely dedicated to being comfortable in your new role - dedicated to making that new money. Unfortunately I wont be returning until Wednesday, where I will find a slightly different experience. Hopefully weekdays are just as low key as weekends.

This Labor Day, there wont be any grilling or gathering. Holidays haven't been the same for this family since 2005. I actually don't really know what a "real" family holiday is all about. Even when my great-grandmother was the center of family gatherings, they weren't really happy family gatherings. They were more along the lines of, "boy, I can't wait for them to leave" type of gatherings. I've always had the sense that my family is a collection of individual families, who work independently and only come together under circumstances of force or loss. We have never been a cohesive unit, at least not in my lifetime. Its even more evident now as I am planted in the home of my grandmother. All I want is to be away, back to my own.

So, instead of the traditional, I'll be spending the day getting this prepared for the week. Business as usual.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Got This!

Well, I've almost survived the entire day of my first official day in the office. That's right, almost, as in I am coming to you straight from my desk, at my new office, surrounded by my office supplies, typing on my computer. I'm owning this moment ya'll =). As I sit here staring into the screen, I am reminding myself that I really do enjoy being bored half way out of my mind underworked as opposed to overworked. There is a lot of down time here, which would have been fabulous back when I was taking classes and had stuff to read and papers to write. I'm content though, since I am still free to read books that no one is making me, and write blog posts... and read blog posts, and check out the latest Facebook status updates, and repeatedly check my email, while saying hello to the few co-workers who peep in throughout the day, and answering the few calls that come through. Life is pretty NON-STRESSFUL here - just what the doctor ordered.

I've been nervous all week about having my first official day here, alone, but I came right in and dived right in. The instructions that I was introduced to during my one-day training were simple and the day's mandatory stuff was accomplished quickly. I was nervous about the phones. So far so good. Requests and inquiries have not been out of the ordinary, I have not had to phone a friend, its been great. With a little under 3 more hours to go in this first work day, I am already looking forward to getting back here tomorrow for the second half of my first weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Week in Review

- I've gotten requests for 4 slouch hats this week. All stemming from the slouch hat and neck warmer that I made for Emma.

I'm excited about the possibility of this hat becoming a favorite at Baby Squares. I enjoy making them. I am going to start making more of an effort to promote Baby Squares. I need to start growing my brand, and a huge part of that is to start viewing it as a brand! Good thing I have great women artists such as Tameka of Pretty in Peace, Tie of Fly Tie Clothing, and Rachel Steward of Rachel Stewart Jewelry to look to as great examples of how things in the craft world should be done! Thank you ladies for leading the way.

- My 2 eyes are about to become 4. According to the findings of my eye exam, I have a renegade left eye. I figured that much, since my vision is a little blurry in that eye, and my migraines also start there. I have astigmatism, and a couple of tiny holes near the retina and blood vessel, along with Sarcoidosis. The doctor says that it appears to have been there for a while and wants to see me back in 6 months. Guess that's what happens when you go 10+ years without having your eyes checked. Ooops. I got a prescription for some glasses, which I am looking forward to. I have been dying for some cute readers (although the doc didn't recommend any reading glasses for me).

- I braved Back to School night and I'm glad I did. Emma's teacher is great. Its going to be a very different year than last. Her teacher this year is experienced, and is very confident about her curriculum. It doesn't hurt that she has a degree in Botany either. Emma loves science and math, the placement couldn't have been more perfect. I think she is going to walk away with some tremendous growth at the end of the year!

What have you been up to?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Losing Battles

When you're mothering under the roof of a parental figure, why does said parental figure feel that s/he can undermine your authority? If I remember correctly, it was me who carried Emma those 9 months, and it was me who laid up there on that table while the doctor cut her from my womb. I don't mind advice, but I do mind when I give a clear and direct, "NO, you may not", and then grandma comes along with a powerful YES that kicks the shit outta my NO. Sigh. Is it really just a losing battle?

I did not chime in when the grand-folks allowed their 9 year old to go to bed and wake up playing video games. I did not chime in when he screamed, cried and lost it whenever someone came in between him and the video game. It wasn't until they made the decision to take it away from him that I gave the advice that, given the fact that he is obviously addicted, not trusting him to put it away and play with it at appropriate times was a good idea. All I ask is for the same authority. Please don't go over my head, suggests things, give your opinion - trust me, there is a difference. One more reason for me to fantasize about our future home away from this home.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cash Today, Gone Tomorrow

My first paycheck has come, and has already gone. Granted, it was under $100, and didn't add that much to our other income, its still always such a momentary gratification. I paid some immediate car-induced bills, got a few school supplies that were on the class donation list, filled up my gas tank (no more running out of gas and sitting on the side of the road for 4 hours!), and got a few snacks for Emma's lunchbox. The well is already almost dry, and we still have 2 more days of running around to do this week + I am working all weekend (YAY!) + 2 days of work - in addition to the commute to school next week. I am going to try to preserve gas by trying very hard not to make a double commute. With nothing to do in my old city, its kind of hard to just hang around, but I will pack up my computer and head to campus to try to kill time. Whatever I can do to stretch my dollars and my fumes.

A change will come soon enough. I am looking forward to the days where being in survival mode is not a requirement. Looking forward to the days when everything just flows.