Sometimes I realize I’m not worth the trouble. A lot of my interactions, especially with men and potential friends, boils down to that. It’s not worth the headache for one reason or another, cool ass personality or not.

I’m getting that.

I hear over and over and over how great of a personality I have. How I’m ‘cool as hell’. How I’m interesting, how someone has had a better conversation with me than they have with anyone else, ever. I hear that so much I should get it tattooed in my ear.

You’re amazing, Trey.

You’re so funny.

You’re quick, you’re smart, you like the coolest stuff.

And then they follow it with all their buts and uh’s and um’s and I blank out a bit.

… … …


I’m not so bothered about being trouble anymore. Not in a real sense. It might jerk a tear of two and then I just kinda sit with my back against the wall and laugh. I’m too much or too little or too big or too small or have too many kids or not enough manners or this or that or the third.

I can’t make you cum or I can but that’s all.

I make you feel awkward or I make you feel nervous.

I’m ‘ambiguous’ or ‘intense’.

I get a lot. But I give a lot, and I’m kind of tired of regretting that giving. I’m starting to think I like giving a lot. And being a lot.

I’m starting to think I run people off for a reason.


And it’s okay, I think. Being trouble. Having those long gaps of time when I am no one and nothing and if a Trey falls in isolation, does anyone hear it? And if Urijah closes his door again, am I alone in the house?

And if Rajesh loses his phone again, am I not his mother?

And if everyone forgot I was here would anything be any different?

… … …

I’ve been going through water bottles. They’re everywhere. I drink them like I’m a worried alcoholic and they’re whiskey, and they’re scotch, and they’re buzzing in me. I’ve never had so much water in my life. I think about breast cancer and cervical cancer and liver failure and I sit with my back against some wall. There’s a lot of thought involved in this.

But I really like mirrors again, all of a sudden. And cameras. I like smiling really big and picking Urijah up and showing him that he can smile, too. I like listening to lofi hip hop and complaining about my life to myself. I like seeing that door as a wall, these windows as walls, this isolation as an opening.

I am okay with being trouble.

Maybe I am not enough. And it will always be just that way. But it’s really okay.

I’ll live until I don’t.


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.


Ohhhh, it roared last night.

Some part of me felt like the sky was caving in, the acorns were cracking against my windows, and the trees were bending and swaying because my world was ending. One story was ending. It was like the gods were trying to tell me that this was chaos, that something new was coming, and that I needed to pay attention.

I sat outside in it for quite awhile. Breathing out all the fear I’ve been accumulating. It didn’t rain until much later, after I’d moved the house around, decorated a bunch. I made this place feel like a real home. The Young Sir woke up and was absolutely amazed.

“Wow…you did a lot!”

I did.


Somehow, I woke up. Being to blame for something helped me wake up. I realized I didn’t work my hardest in my last relationship. One foot out the door. I did him a disservice and the confusion was terrible. It hurt. And I know it hurt him a lot more, my selfishness. I acted as if his pain and hurt, his scary nights in hotel rooms and his trying and trying to no avail was nothing. Like it didn’t mean anything. But it did. And Wuff is as strong as I am. So, his walking out the door for what is 100% surely the last time made me reflect. I reflected on the growing selfishness I’ve been wallowing in. The fear. The flailing. The confusion. And this has been years and years and years of it, building up.

I cried a bit. I laughed. I tore down things and put stuff up in their place. And I got over myself.

Looking for love like my Daddy gave my Mommy is stupid. They are two individual people. My dad is dead.

Looking for love in general, as a way to feel accepted, is selfish. Because it’s not what I really want. I just want something to tell me what I really want, to give me a purpose before I’m crushed to death like my father.

Looking for a house in the woods, to get away from everyone, for the exit in every situation, it’s hopeless. I want to stop jumping from wanting on thing to wanting the next.

So I took things down and put things up and sat in a storm. I watched the sky bleed. I made my kids go to bed at a reasonable time, and I will from now on.

I cleaned the kitchen before I sat down, and I will from now on.

I made tomorrows loose schedule before I took a shower, and I will from now on.

And I reflected. I thought about things instead of blaming everyone else for my problems. I thought about every fight I had with Wuff and how I could’ve reacted better. Not made problems out of thin air. I thought about why I’m so calm now, now that he’s away, even as I ache terribly from missing him.

I wondered why I suddenly blame myself for things that were his fault, too. I wondered why I do that. And I realize that we were bad for each other in our current states no matter how you swing it. Just fear/anger/tiredness towards the world outside and mounting tension inside. He needed so much space. I needed so much closeness.


I’ve written more in the span of time since he walked out that door than I have in years. Because that was my fault. This time was my fault and it really woke me up.

I don’t want to be selfish. I want to enjoy things. I want to teach my children how to think, how to enjoy, how to be fearless in this world that very well might eat them up no matter what they do. I want to love my life, and not just because I’m loved in it.


This is a nice feeling. It’s a true feeling. It got me up and cooking. Sweeping. Mopping. Taking things down and putting things up.


I reject the fear that turned me.