Mama Said

Money is rearing its ugly head and while there is never enough paycheck for the month I push forward. I used to stress until I created a headache so bad I thought I’d cause myself a brain tumor, which would then cause anxiety because I was worried that was actually possible.

The mind is an awful thing to waste some say and well as for me I think I can afford to waste just a little. Who calculates the cost of living? And if what I’m making is enough, then someone please by all means tell me where I should relocate so that I can live in peace. At the moment my depression is on silent but just because we can’t hear you don’t mean you’re not there. My bank account is always in the red or if not then it’s down to the last 34 cents and I can’t seem to understand what I am doing wrong. Honestly, I should get someone to manage my finances but nowadays everything costs money and let’s face it its money I don’t have.

I’ve got half the people telling me to pray on it and I will receive a blessing and the other half is telling me I need to hustle if I want to make it in this life. Now I’m with the hustlers, so that means tomorrow I have to beg on the street learn how to braid hair, sell weave, be a drug dealer, live just short of a homeless man, and have one full and one part time job. Got it, oh right and don’t have any kids what’s so ever cause while they bring in the money come income tax time I have to figure out how to feed, clothe and house them for the next 11 months. Extravagant marriage is out of the question unless we’re going to city hall, using my mamas’ old wedding dress and your grandmas wedding ring (dead or alive) and having a BBQ on the fourth of July calling it the two for one special (independence day and our wedding reception combined, whether we get married that day or not)! And as for the prayers, well without action prayers don’t do much which brings me back to the hustling.

Honestly,

Mama said there’d be days like this,

There’d be days like this my mama said

Mama said, mama said

Mama said there’d be days like this,

There’d be days like this my mama said

 

…Never looking back, forward, this way and that, both ways looking as I cross the street unknown. She said we’d have things that we could not comprehend, for all the days of your life you will work so be a child now and reap the benefits for in times like these tomorrow is harsh and the elements of the earth break down upon your backs; hail crisp, rain sweet, sun scolding. Think back to a time when bread, milk and eggs were nothing more or less than the little things we think irrelevant. YES mama said! Did we not quite understand exactly the context of what it was she was saying? Did we not realize the times had changed? Don’t judge a book by its cover, yet the boat still sails by the wind: North, South,

Ahhh but merely a compass broken direction unknown. Can we not get back to the times of simplicity, I fear not, yet songs stream through devices telling us that some things never will change. Products of our environment, I play an oldie but goody on the radio and as it streams through my ears I am transported back to a time where futures were most definitely sought out, predicted and reserved. Where simple lyrics defined eternity… mama said there’d be days like; like this? Starving, battered, bruised, broken, the children of our youth. I don’t think this was the days she had in mind but who are we to judge? What do we know? Our milk shake brings all the boys to the yard and they’re like it’s better than yours, what then exactly are we trying to re exam, spread, sprawl, flow flow into the lives of our children, our youth? Mama said, mama said nothing of the sort; cover up: conservative, show your worth, let it be known that we are not embarrassed to vouch for you as a I sit on the dock of the bay watching the clouds roll away I often think to twist and shout and boogie down to a wonderland where earth wind and fire team up and make things shake rattle and roll! Ahhhh the good old days.

Such is not the case and while my mother should, perhaps be at Village Pines living it up and peacefully enjoying her retirement she is taking care of her babies. Depression makes you wonder, what would life have been like for mommy if her babies could have just gotten it together? What would life look like if me, myself, I and all the other voices in my head could have just figured this shit out? But perhaps depression offers that we weren’t given enough. Enough guidance or perspective, and yet as I sit watching myself on that dock all happy and content with the life that mama said or rather showed us,I find it that she only said what she knew and what she knew was never going to be enough for the what I know now. But I was a little girl and while I wasn’t dreaming of Prince Charming coming to my rescue or Ken marrying Barbie I was hoping that I’d at least be happy. Because somewhere on the other side of the rainbow I was for a time and then I lost it thinking that things would be easy.

And before you go telling me that I’m a cry baby and I want the world handed to me, it’s all true. Although not because I expected it or because I assumed I didn’t have to work for it or because I thought I was entitled to it; but because I thought that’s how it was supposed to be. I didn’t see the struggles my mom faced as a single parent. The nights she came home and her feet hurt from work or she had a bad day or she was exhausted. I didn’t experience the corn she says she ate out of a can for dinner because she had to budget bills or what sacrifices she made to buy us Halloween Costumes or send us to camp or Girl Scouts and pay for us to go to the Boys and Girls Club so we’d have life experiences and ultimately someone to watch us in the summer so she could continue to go to work.

I’m working on it though and I am positive that soon I will rejoice in a victory. I look left and I see those still struggling beside me with crystal clear hope in the form of tears in their eyes and then I look right and find myself toe to toe with those I once thought superior. But I still feel alone and cold because I have this inkling that you’re not there, and while you may not be present at my grand finale or rejoice in my triumphant dance I hope that you know: Dear Mama, you are appreciated; Because I am living a life based on my parental income. Every paralyzing step I take toward greatness has been defined by my fall back plan. I should be giving back, creating a life proud without fault or restriction, doing what Mama said…something I love. But as I have not yet crossed the threshold and the red line that separates us seems so far gone, backing down is no longer an option; losing is not on the list, and the cant’s and what if’s are reserved for the back burner. I am changing the reality of this existence and giving new light to what was meant to be understood by what Mama said

 

 

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