More

Okay.

This little break, this move in general, is definitely serving a purpose. I felt like bags of rocks were sinking me the past few days. No work, no games, no nothing. Just Astrid and various people existing in my head. And I thought this was something bad.

But now I have a plan and a better understanding of what I want. What I need to do. Where I left off.

I’m not on the good side of young anymore. Not for long, at least. I’m somewhere hanging on the edge, a bit toward that part where you have to fight a little harder for people to notice and acknowledge you. But being 28 is not a bad thing. Being a hermit isn’t either. But working this business I hate and enjoying everyone else’s existence but my own is not exactly great.

So I’m moving forward.

When I sit and think about it, I want to do creative things more often than not. I will probably end up either back in Atlanta or in Seattle or in Cali somewhere. I’ve been thinking about these things. I want to brand myself with my own personality for once, and to actually keep it up.

Lose weight. Gain skills. Buy things I like. Find a place to BE for me and Urijah. Stop daydreaming about real people and leave it to characters.

Evolve.

Stories

I’m missing a story. That’s what it is.

No matter what happens, I surround my mind with stories of characters. If I’m lusting after someone, real or imagined, it’s Astrid who gets to meet them. To enjoy them. To hurt from and with them. It’s an Astrid fantasy and I remove myself from the equation completely.

I do this often and have been for a long time.

Astrid has lived a million lives and died a million deaths and loved a million loves. She’s my go-to. Yeah, sometimes it’s Chaunce or a Astrid/Chaunce hybrid. For the most part, though, Astrid gets to be the center of my mind when I wish I was part of things.

I do not have a story. Not really.

Even growing up, the story was never about me to me. I push it on others. It’s a story about my Mom being depressed or my Dad dying. It’s a story about men who didn’t treat me well, about how women were harder to talk to, etc. But it’s very rare that the story is me. I ignore my reflection in real life – that’s not a size thing. I did it when I was 100 lbs smaller. I did it when I was a teen. I ignore my reflection and I pretend I’m someone else.

My personality is pretty cool but I have detached it from me completely. Pretty much everything that is the actual Shaquana Amanda Briggs is rotting somewhere in New York or in my dad’s grave.

It’s interesting to figure that out. Things happen to me but I don’t feel like I have an actual story – just notes. Car Accident. Break ups. Big moves. It’s all just written in the margins and there’s a blank body, a blank page, that I haven’t even tried to fill.

Knowing this made me feel better. I got out of bed today (late as hell but I did). I’m sitting and planning out this year. I know I’ll keep denying myself a story if I don’t unmuddle my mind. I have to understand and appreciate myself and this is the year I’m going to do it. Skill building. Solitude. Writing. Taking photos.

29 is going to be the year I regroup in case I make it to 30, to 31, beyond.

I’m going to use this Bama solitude to get the story back on course.

Quarter Life + Three

This solitude makes me a bit obsessed.

It’s been three days since I’ve actually done anything for work. Technically, I’ve been listening to music and daydreaming from sun up to sun down. It’s an odd stasis and I’m seriously stuck in it.

Also, lots and lots and LOTS of listening to porn.

Before about ten minutes ago I couldn’t even get up. My mind is completely content with existing inside itself. Seriously and completely content. Right now, Shaquana Amanda Briggs is just a vessel for Astrid Snow and Chaunce and all those merry characters in my head.

And then I realized why I’m back in my head again after getting out and living for so long:

This isn’t what I want.

It’s never been what I want.

And by ‘this’ I don’t mean Alabama. Bama’s pretty okay so far, actually. We’re unbothered. I guess the biggest problem is that I still don’t know what ‘this’ is, just that I am getting further and further away from it. Part of ‘this’ is probably unraveling because of my acceptance that I don’t want to be with anyone. I like being a single mom.

Maybe I would like friends? Some people who are like me, have kids, are rough as hell and not into living this normal life? I definitely think so. Some outcasts who aren’t part of the outcasted, who got lost along their way. I want to link up with some people like that and live a certain type of way. I miss my brother in that regard. I wonder who he is now and if he’s the answer.

I seriously wonder that.

There’s also this lust I have over a very certain type of person. See: GETTER. See: Danny (GG). See: Jontron. See: numerous others that are in gaming or music and are super talented or super lax.

 

Probably, the biggest problem is my lack of prospects in a number of areas. This has been the same for some time. I don’t enjoy many things – as it stands: daydreaming, some gaming, some writing, flowers, dark things, sexy things, the constant promise of death. Those things are okay. Other than that, I drown a bit. I don’t know what I want out of other people so companionship is a dead thing.

When I write stories, or even when I read them, there’s always a hue. A color. A tone. The people in stories and in real life are aligned on a certain path and then they deviate. The color changes when they change paths. My path is pretty much dirt and it is either a blend of too many colors or no color at all.

 

This isn’t really depression. Maybe I need to recuperate from the shit end of year stuff. But I am definitely missing something and it is definitely weighing heavy in me.

 

I feel more sudden changes coming soon.

Roots

So.

I like Alabama so far. At the moment we’re nestled in Forestdale, which operates kind of like East Point, GA – it’s not IN Birmingham but it’s kinda considered Birmingham. It’s quiet as hell here. Quiet enough to make me nervous, fill me with dread at night, but absolutely enthrall me.

I’ve not met any neighbors and I don’t plan on it. Well, maybe eventually so I know when things aren’t quite right outside, but for now I’m good.

I don’t think I’ve met one unpleasant person here. There’s an air that comes about when someone WANTS to be unpleasant, yes, but it’s an underlying thing. I’ve never been one to care too much about indirect hostility. If you can’t spill your venom like a normal person then I guess it’s a personal problem. I actually really like the feel of people being too polite to burden you with their animosity, though.

Driving, it’s like no man’s land. At least in Forestdale. And there’s this odd smell that I keep recognizing as gasoline but, eh, it’s everywhere. I smell it as long as I’m in Forestdale and then it just goes away.

So much possibility for that scorched Earth I’m always thinking about.

This is more of an update than anything. I purchased Scrivener and have been busy pulling my stories into it. My business is picking up in a very real way at the same time, of course, and I’m mapping out the life I want.

I’m thinking about setting some roots somewhere and then taking this young sir and traveling.

I’m steadying up.

 

We Ain’t Die…

I’ve been busy. Well, not really. But shit has happened.

At the end of 2016, Urijah and I were moving. We moved. Alabama, which I like very much at he moment, now claims us as official residents. I’ve moved everything over except my business and the homeschool stuff (you have to homeschool ‘through your church’ in Alabama, and that’s not happening).

On the way to Birmingham, Atlanta tried to deny us access. Some moron ran a light and I t-boned him. Totaled my fucking car. The smell of the air bags was potent, and stuck to me, for almost a week. I remember driving and then suddenly my wrist hurt, my ears were ringing, and Urijah was screaming his fucking head off. Absolute chaos. There was a vicious anger/disbelief there as well, one I haven’t felt ever. And when I got out and saw all the shit, OUR shit, sprawled across the ground…

When I saw that two week old car, 400 miles on it, the one I got to peel the plastic off of, mangled and broken…

When I thought about the fact that we hadn’t even gotten out of Atlanta yet (thanks Metropolitan and Ralph David Abernathy)…

I fucking just crumbled.

A lot happened. Naaman came through for us in such a real way, and would again in coming days. I wrote this on Facebook:

Well. We ain’t die.

And I still go get the keys to this big, beautiful house in the morning. I have money to re-buy Urijah some clothes, and Rajesh some clothes, and me some clothes. I can buy ointment for our wounds. I still have my hands to write and my brain to create.

We’re still doing better than ever. Totaled 2 week old car, yeah. But it wasn’t my fault, and the guy explained that to the police.

I have a bit of faith restored in the amount of people who stopped, who jumped out to help push the guy’s car out the road, who grabbed Urijah out the car when they realized I was stuck. With the officer who went and searched through the car and all our things to find Urijah’s tablet when I told him Urijah was autistic and wouldn’t calm down without it.

My heart is beating a bit thicker. 28 and something new happened. There’s always that.

And I still got here. I’m sitting in Alabama right now, waiting for tomorrow, waiting for tomorrow to snatch me or throw me or guide me gently.

By now it’s obvious, you know. We’re still here no matter what happens next. At that point, at least, we ain’t die.

… … …

And now we’re here in Alabama and I’m thinking about life. Had a shit client call with Marge and a shitty client that reinvigorated my passion for becoming a novelist – that’s where I belong. Fuck business. Seriously, I truly hate business.

So I’m moving forward. I’m finding my own clients that don’t suck. I’m going to write my own stories every night, no matter how tired I am. And I’m going to keep Urijah and I happy. Well adjusted. Bathed in solitude but not alone.

We damn sure escaped.