I can come up with hundreds of explanations as to why I'm feeling a bit "underish" lately, or often, or maybe even daily. My highs & lows are incessant. Maybe it's because I'm an artist who dramatically makes choices in life, I'm not so sure. It's certainly not because I was diagnosed by some doctors three years ago, with Multiple Sclerosis, or Multiple Superbness as I like to call it. I didn't create that, or did I live a lifetime lifestyle that caused my autoimmune system to shift from offense to defense? It couldn't be that! I don't think of myself a person with any disabilities or problems at all. I'm completely based on possibility, which is related to ability. I eat as "clean" as possible without growing my own food, I walk instead of riding, & practice yoga every day when I can. I meditate to connect to my true self when I'm calmly quiet, & practice being grateful for the smallest of moments as often as I remember to think THANK YOU... only the most awesome of things I do with myself.
That's good stuff! But still, I find myself sadly in the doldrums that constantly lurk, always in silence. Even after singing — in Japanese — in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, last night with the award-winningly famous Folk/Tango artist Graciela Susana after completing a grand tour telling stories in private schools all throughout South & Latin America for the last month — 'eh' creeps into my day. I'm just under the line of being content enough with myself. I'm just under the point of completely forgetting that the doldrums is a constant part of me that sometimes helps to motivate my spirit or crush my best intentions. I need a skosh more room to feel rested after a long night of non-rest. Almost there, but not quite. Tomorrow is not promised, but most likely, based on my odds so far, gonna happen, so there's hope. Until I wind up at this same point 24 hours from now. Ugh :-(
I know I'm not the only one that goes thru this ridiculousness. Internal conflict, I call it. I'm outing myself for the benefit of others that may relate. I hope I'm not the only person that lies to themselves like it's gonna be a great day even though half the stuff I committed to no longer appeals to me in any way. If I keep my commitments, I'm frustrated! Maybe I changed my mind, or just don't feel like it, or broke my toe, or maybe I'm just tired! Without fail, my mind helps back me into a corner by second-guessing myself. I spend time considering the choice of disappointing someone else, or myself. Am I living for somebody else? Are they, too, living for me, in return? Is it selfish for me to be spontaneous by choosing me? After all, nobody would miss me at the party, or meeting, or show. Honestly, how many people were you expecting to see today that didn't make it? Hmm... maybe that somebody is you, too, like me. I made no plans for today, after such a magical night of music. But yet, I'm feeling... under-ish. Under the weather + under par + under-enthused + under-rested + under-loved + under-appreciated but never understood.
Living my life has become even more confusing than emerging technology can be; I mean, doctors have one message. Families have beliefs & habits. Messages we learn in our homes during childhood shape us. I'm African-American with a painful-happy story of survival. There's conspiracies & philosophies regarding science, region, politics, education, dating, marriage, love, work, my job, culture, race, family, fashion, artistry, being your authentic self, corporate greed, incarceration, redlining, gender, poverty, patriotism, overcoming, succumbing, sports, music, diet, depression, genius, & idiots. As much as I think I can take it all on, I really don't care to. I'm searching for the path of least resistance, you might say. Every day I spend time in the pursuit of it, and I don't fit in. I'm drawn to be alone for reasons that perplex me, the people-person. When I opt for that, I feel like life might be passing me by, there might be something somewhere meant for me — I gotta show up. Intentions, momentum, time of day and physical state of weighing into the decision and battle together. Seriously? I'm battling with my intentions, my flesh?
Lucky for me, my ego intervenes in the convo and my mind helps me out of the corner. Or just deeper into it. The lies start or just pick up where they last left off. I remember when grabbing a glass of wine, or a joint would help. In reality, they're just another diversion of the dilemma and slip me deeper into the corner. I first tasted wine during First Sunday, Communion Sunday, at church as a kid. Wasn't' sure if I liked it or not. It was so bitter & sharp, but since Jesus drank & made it, my mind processed, why not? I was like 8 maybe, 'taking communion.' I was baptized as an infant first, but as a young girl, watching my brother before I asked to be baptized, I created my first ME TOO#. An early age #metoo, I'd say. My brother hated me for that, even more than he already disliked me, the family brat. I was not invited into his space, ever. Normal sibling shit, but how does that friction happen between siblings when they're so young and new? What kind of 0-7 did my brother learn from? WTF?!!
Six years older than I, he made that decision after reading the Bible, attending Sunday school, and enduring the typical AME Zion indoctrination of the youth in summer camps, and I jumped on board his ship. I was there, too, at church with my age group that mostly played games and sang songs. I was bored in between songs; I didn't always like to sing & coloring pictures of Moses, Jesus, or the Devil. Wait. I never got to color pictures of the Devil! I did get the incredibly dark stories of Hell & evil the fire & brimstones sermons. The church was no sanctum for me as a child, even though I believed it to be a great space. It was greatly loved by my family with weekly regularity. Even relatives practiced the rituals in other church buildings. My parents were faithful, prayerful, & hopeful that God would keep them safe because of their devout behavior. Wow. A powerful lesson taught not just based on words, but daily actions as well. There is something because I'm here typing my story for you to know and read. Being baptized seemed logical from what I was experiencing. My parents trusted me when I asked to be baptized alongside with my big bro — I wanted to be liked by him, but not be like him. He was an unhappy, inconsolable, scared child who was really smart, had massive pimples as a teen, and no friends. As much as I wanted to be close to him, being in the presence, to this day, makes me terribly uncomfortable. Maybe my parents got a 2-for-1 deal on the ceremony and saved money. I did a good thing for them all perhaps; it was a family reunion. It was a major event, I wore a specially-made dress of a crisp, white sheet and after my brother, I was dunked. I felt special in the middle of so much contradiction. Maybe that's part of my ish-iness?
In addition to religious words being said that I can't quite remember verbatim, I do remember that day as the day I lost my love for water. I, a Pisces, lost my love of water. Committing to Jesus was a freezing cold, unwelcoming event. In that instance of submerging, I felt tugged between believing that now baptized and loving Jesus, I was saved from the Devil. Or was it all some ceremonial bullshit gone wrong? Such a sacred practice facilitated by, well, people. Old people at that, with their inherited belief systems intact bringing me to a new, adult point of view to live from? Full of conflict, disappointment, complicity, and fear? Deep dish shit, for sure, if you care to take the time to reflect upon your past.
Don't get it twisted, this sole experience during my 0-8 isn't why I'm feeling underish at all. Nor is it about Jesus, or any one thing in particular. Maybe I feel underish because I've been dealing with internal conflicts for so long that I've become fully aware of who I am in the torment of becoming accustomed. It's the parts of me that repel all the bullshit, all the stuff I thought was paramount. It gets superseded by the moment of now. That's all we really have, isn't it? The past is a heavy bunch of suitcases, a full set with added components for accessories that require bags of unique sizes even. I've all the colors offered, more than you can buy on QVC. I know I'm not the only one with a past that still haunts & wants to linger. Am I? Can you relate?
The future? Well, that's an optimistic or pessimistic crapshoot, depending on how you conduct your NOW. Maybe that's why I'm always fluttering in a state of ISH, because the reality for me is to embrace both dualities of myself to be present, sincere, and cool with my NOW. I have to be optimistic while dealing with that pessimistic crap that is well packed in my life's luggage just to imagine a future that I won't feel stuck with, a future laden with things I don't believe in or want. It feels impossible when I first wake, but I start being okay with my solitude during my yoga practice and glass of lemon juice first thing in the morning. I meditate, chant, sing, walk, smile, & do what my parents taught me. Be grateful for what is.
I'm not alone in the world, after all. I'm just dealing with other people, possibly also in their moment of NOW, that's also under-ish. Good thing I'm an optimist and creative, flowing with the ups & downs. I'm cool with it all. Especially with me, just as I am, without one plea.