In my old drinking days I would always tell my friends when I was at my crossroads. Now let me say that I have not quit drinking, when I refer to these days I am referring to my “partying” days. I still enjoy an delicious Old-Fashioned from time to time, I just now have one or two as opposed to 6. Now when I referred to the crossroads I was speaking on the exact moment when I could make the good decision of going home and the bad decision of continuing on with my debauchery. I’ve always have been a person that has tried to be conscious of what I was doing or had the capacity to do, so the idea od the crossroads is one I hold dear. Except for right now, because I feel like I am at a crossroads in my life but instead of the option of staying or going, I’m standing at a point that has 72 different ways to go and I’m stuck.
I now find myself weeks away from my 35th birthday, and perhaps that’s why I’m in such contemplation mode right now. Yet here I am nearly 35 and I feel like other than my amazing children I haven’t much to show for myself. I’m at a place where I’m yearning to pull away from family and reconnect with family. I think about going back to school but can’t fathom putting myself in even more debt. I feel like I’m getting ahead but then another bill shows up. I miss the stage but dread the idea of performing yet another piece about myself. I have spent most of my life comfortable with my mixedness and only start to question if I’m black enough when someone else brings out their own insecurities with my background. I so badly want to dance again but the only thing around me are clubs that play top 40. I think of nothing else but to get involved with a cause but feel overwhelmed by the fact that our world is in turmoil and everywhere I turn there is a “cause”. The walls that I once found as my salvation have become my prison and I can not think of a single thing to get out. I sat here with the intention to speak of the light I found but yet again have gotten lost in darkness and then I remember this morning.
This morning I woke up in Turkey Run State Park, I made my coffee, stepped out of the cabin and read. What I read rang so true and loud that I cried.
“It was like being in the forest in the daytime when the sun is shining and everybody’s having picnics and laughing and playing ball, and then suddenly it’s night and you’re alone. You’re running through the pitch-black cold, running away from something that’s whipping down on your head and shoulders, maybe running in the wrong direction, and your legs hurt and your stomach hurts and it starts to rain, hard and cold, and finally you can’t run any more and you lay down and say:” All right, catch me.” And suddenly the rain quits and the sun comes out and you see you’ve been running away from the branches of trees that look so friendly and beautiful in the sunshine again… And you ask yourself. What was I so afraid of a few minutes ago? And then suddenly its pitch-black cold again, and you’re running again and you know the answer.”
I had started to read “Nigger: An Autobiography” by Dick Gregory only because it’s been in my pile of books to read for months. I had no idea that this book would truly inspire me at a time that I was trying to act like I didn’t need any help. Yet, as I sat there in a place that I was very aware of my color, my singleness and my feelings of discontent with my life… I cried. And as I am back home I cry, because I know I am destined to do more with my life. I in no way regret making the decision to be a hands on parent, but in doing so I have lost sight of myself as a person. With this trip and this book I have figured out that no matter what I’ll always be at a crossroads and on a occasion I’ll even have to make a U-turn but nothing will get accomplished if I don’t make a decision. Just like I made the decision to go on that trip, take that book and write this to you… it’s time for me to get moving!