Saturday, January 13, 2007
2007: Building Foundations
Okay...I've just recently come out of my seasonal "period of reflection". Ever so often I'll sit myself down, withdraw from everything (and unfortunately everyone) in my periphery, and brood. I use these times to think out loud, organize my thoughts, pray, reconnect with "me", and formulate a battle plan for the future.
2006 was a very INTENSE year for me. I knew going in it would be crazy, but I never would have imagined the year would be so...so....volatile. I can honestly say that 2006 pushed me farther emotionally, spiritually, socially, and intellectually than I have ever been before. Of course, the journey has strengthened me in those areas, however I walk away from 2006 feeling disconnected in a way. So many things have changed, it feels as if I stand in the aftermath of a tsunami. It's a weird feeling.
I'm thinkin 2007 will be the year to build or re-build several foundations in my life that have been compromised, altered, or thrashed by the tsunami of 06. I'm a true believer in the power behind having a strong, stable foundation to live on...you have too much to lose if you don't have solid ground to stand on before you put in some serious work. So yes, it's time to build some foundations baby!!!
Let's start this off with the foundation of FAMILY....
OHH LAWD 2006 had me fucked up as far as family is concerned. The death of my mother DRASTICALLY changed the dynamic of our family. You see, on both sides of the family we have this thing I like to call the "Matriarch Complex". Every generation, there is always one person that serves as the glue that holds the family together. Family reunions, holidays, birthdays, weddings...this person coordinates all that stuff. Everybody in the family looks to this 'matriarch' to handle all the family details, serve as the peacemaker, offer guidance when their shit goes awry, and unload responsibility upon when things get 'too hard'.
Now, once the matriarch passes away (and the scary thing is that the last 3 matriarchs didn't live past 60...a coincedence?) all hell will break loose in the family until somebody steps up to become the new Matriarch (or patriarch in my case). And the cycle continues. Now I've known since grade school that I've been groomed to become the next leader of the family. My parents made it very clear that I was the "one". I was the one that stayed out of trouble, had common sense, went to college, blah blah blah. They invested time and money to develop my skills, dare I say more so than the rest of my siblings. I accepted the responsibility early on, feeling obligated to reciprocate for all the support my parents offered me.
I thought I knew what I was getting into....shieettt! I never would have thought all these negroes up in my family line would act so damn trifling and irresponsible once the shit hit the fan. At the present moment, I find myself having to deal with a grieving father on a daily basis, handling the business of not one but two households, serving as a legal conservator for my schizophrenic aunt, and co-coordinating the effort to sell my grandmother's house. I'm starting to think this whole "Patriarch" shit is for the birds. Who the hell finds themselves as a "Big Momma" (Poppa) at age 25? I don't think I have what it takes to be the sole H.N.I.C., so I gotta find a solution.
The first family FOUNDATION will be to establish healthy boundaries between my personal life and family obligations. I don't mind being the representative for the family, but I'll be damned if I do all the work behind it when there are able bodied, grown ass adults that can pitch in. In 2007, I'll focus on organizing all of the details, dragging folks out of the shadows, and appointing them to handle a piece of the puzzle. If they don't feel comfortable with their role, I'll work with them until they get it. My sister has already stepped up to the plate, which has been great. Now I gotta work on my father and brothers...lawd help me.
The second FOUNDATION will be a physical separation from the family. It is pretty clear that I CANNOT live in close proximity to everybody. Right now I live at home with my father, and I am way too accessible. I've committed to staying in house until June, at which point I'm movin my ass to my own apartment in Los Angeles. I need my own life, my own living space, and a TRANQUIL living environment...especially if I'm expected to handle all this family ish without shooting somebody or resulting to the crack for escape.
Up next...the SOCIAL foundation.