I don’t like a lot of clutter in my life. I keep my bedroom pretty neat, make my bed every morning and bring down my dirty clothes to be washed morning and at night. I can’t go asleep with a dirty clothes’ pile in my room still, the energy needs to be cleared before I go to bed. Hence, the reason I always shower before I head to bed, to rid my body of all the gunk, energy bad or good and then settle into bed. My car, although needs some vacuuming right now, is pretty neat and clean too. I tend to throw away any trash if I stop somewhere so it doesn’t linger too long in my car space. My desk at school is clear. Only my desktop and laptop reside on there. I don’t have a cup of pens and pencils, no file organizer, or a desk planner that takes up the majority of the desk space. I also wipe down my desk multiple times throughout the day to get rid of potential dust, lunch remnants, or just because I teach middle school students that tend to lack personal space. My classroom, well my students know me. Chairs pushed in, table straight, and tables wiped down with Clorox wipes before and after every class period. Trash is picked up and if I have time I’ll sweep the floor in between periods or if I just can’t wait, I’ll sweep during class, sweeping around their small groups on the floor. Mr. Castro, our janitor even praises me for being the best teacher because I keep my room so neat… well, and he has also seen my students’ work on the walls. So, yes clutter is not something I enjoy or even tolerate… which is kinda a 180 since I spent most of early adult life in clutter, physically and mentally.
Right after my undergrad in Austin, Texas I fled to NYC. I have always wanted to head to NYC… well, my independent study in film had me setting my sights on the east coast. I was… I am quite impulsive and stubborn. When I get an idea in my head I grab it and run! I was 21 and was ready to take on the world and honestly had the gumption that I would take over the world. At the time, I wanted to re-do BET. I wanted to be Oprah. I wanted to be media mogul, which is why I studied Media Studies in grad school. I was focused on learning all that I could.. well, to be honest I think I lost my focus on being that media mogul because I got clouded with such confusion and BILLS! My first year was spent in the dorms and I rarely went out to explore The Big Apple. I remember watching Medea’s Diary of an Angry Black Woman and Daddy Day Care every day. Those were the only DVDs I had at the time. My roommates were 3 Asians. One was from California and other two from Korea. All three were majoring in Fashion and spent most of their days out and about. They were a few nights when we were all together and it was nice to have company. No drama, just a kind and chill environment. I still can’t believe I spent most of my first semester watching those movies over and over again. By second semester, I had met more people from classes and started venturing out in the city and even out of the city, I mean at night .. to clubs! I even visited my friend in D.C… and a friend of mine from school took me to my firs HBCU Homecoming… HU (Howard, not Hampton University) I also got a job on campus so I started to meet more people and even started to date in New York! So yay! I’m getting acquainted with the city and by my 2nd year, I decide to share an apartment with a friend from Austin. He was playwright, had residency at a reputable NYC theater, a social worker, and a native Houstonian. He was the perfect NYC roommate.
Our first year was cool. I met his friends and I introduced him to mine. We spent a Thanksgiving together, shared long conversations before bed and gave each other encouragement when things got a little overwhelming. It was a good time. I was teaching at a children’s art museum in Soho, and even started nannying. I even ventured out to a few shows, auditions and took an improv class too! It was the typical scenario of an artist just getting their wet feet. Yet, things started to change and my focus started to get clouded, distorted. I didn’t know where was I going. It honestly felt like I was going in circles. I started to just focus on money, more shifts at the museum and more families to nanny for. I was hamster in a those wheels, moving and moving but going nowhere. It didn’t hit me until my mom and sister came to visit me. My mom had noticed how my room looked… troubled. I had bills pinned on the wall. I had my clothes in a suitcase… I never got a dresser or any real furniture. Piles of books and magazines on the floor. The only thing that looked decent was my bed. It was made, but the comforter had no color or pleasing prints. It was black and white. My mom suggested I take down the bills. I remember her saying it with such calmness and concern at the same. It was time to let go.
The visit then catapulted me to change a few things. I started to pull away from friends and spent a lot of time on own. I would walk the city streets alone. I would sit on the bench and watch the tennis players at Fort Greene park to clear my mind. I spent most of my days in downtown Brooklyn. I would ride the B38 down Dekalb, headphones in my ears. I listened to a lot of Talib Kweli, Roots, and Kid Cudi at the time. I remember one day riding the bus, I was looking out the window and saw vision of myself saying good bye to my coworkers at the children’s art museum. I started to cry and knew deep it was time let go of NYC.
Fast forward to 10 years later… I am feeling that need to let go.. again. This time I need to let go of people. People that have drained me. People that seek my light, grab it and leave me in dark. In the dark, I am lost and clueless of my calling. Recently I have realized I have always had these people in my life since elementary. They were always a dear friend of mine, always made me laugh but in time I would always be left depleted or betrayed. I would let them go and then find another, and the cycle would continue. Honestly, I can’t put all the blame on them because in some point in the friendship I needed them. I needed their validation to know my worth and to figure out my calling. Yet in building the friendship, the time spent in the friendship, I was slowly but surely losing myself. I was using all of my energy to make sure they secured their worth and losing mine in the process. Funny, I am… well I am not 21 anymore nor 31 and have just figured out this trend in my life and… NO MORE! In looking back, God had always shown me their true colors in every friendship but somehow someone else would take their place. As if… maybe the enemy had a part in this… blocking my vision and wasting my time. 2023, I’m done with empty friendships and people draining me of all my energy. I will not tolerate those people. I will keep the door closed. I will walk away. I will avoid them. I have wasted too much time and have so much coming to me. I will focus on those friends who pour into me and I into them. The friendship is mutually life-giving. The light is being added, multiplied… The light is ABUNDANT. The light is FULL. The light is RICH. The light is PURE. I want, I HAVE only these people in my life.
Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:7-14 NIV