Facing Forward

Bobby Kennedy Moments

Today I spoke with the founder of the Oliver Program, John Hoffman, and he told me that he has had 3 Bobby Kennedy Moments – “If not me, who, if not now, when.”

I’ve never actually had a Bobby Kennedy moment but listening to him speak his inner desires spurred my own.

I’m going to stop fighting what I know to be true – I AM A WRITER, and WRITE I MUST!

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Facing Forward

From Where I Sit

from where i sit

A Life Imagined

I vaguely remember being young and dreaming of what my life would be like when I was older.  At this point in my life I imagined I would have more money and be further along in my career.

I imagined I would be something of a hermit because that lifestyle seemed appealing to me.  As a young person living in the projects I just wanted to get away from everything and everyone.

But now that I’m older and still so much the little girl with big dreams but now also the adult with adult issues I face my future with the dreams of a young girl and sometimes from certain angles it seems like those dreams might still come true.

Facing Forward

When You Change Your Mind

Sometimes when I get really mad at someone I decide that I’m not going to forgive them no matter what.  I think to myself that what they did to me is so awful I could never forgive them.  At times I try to tell myself to just let go of the pain they caused me but every time I see them I’m just reminded of that pain.

But sometimes people put in the effort to make amends.  I’m not really used to that happening but it has been happening recently.  And so I’m faced with a dilemma – to forgive a wrong or hold a grudge?

They say forgive and never forget.  I don’t know how to forget pain but I know now I have to learn how to be more forgiving.

Facing Forward

It’s Official

So my birthday happened and it’s official – I’ve been living with bipolar disorder for twenty years.

My ten year mark came and went and I didn’t even notice but twenty years (2 decades) is a long long time.  I have now been sick for more of my life than I have been healthy.

Now I don’t want anyone to think that I am actually sick at this time because I am not.  It’s just that as long as I have the illness (which is forever) I’ll always think of myself as sick.  I still believe healthy people don’t have to take medication or see doctors on a regular basis.  But I am a self proclaimed healthy sick person.

Twenty years in I still deal with stigma and wonder if people think of me as weak or less than because I have a mental illness.  Twenty years in I still hate taking medication and seeing a psychiatrist (even if only 2x a year).  Twenty years in I’m still writing about being sick because it helps me cope.  And twenty years in I’m ready for the beginning of my 21st year when I have no idea what to do with myself because I never thought I’d get here.

Brownsville, Facing Forward, Fearless Thoughts

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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This photo has hung in my dad’s apartment for as long as I can remember.  I’ve never asked him about it because it’s presence always seemed self explanatory.

Recently as I’ve been thinking of my aging parents and how they’ve lived through so much of the Black history I’ve studied, I pause when I think of Dr. King the man and Dr. King the leader.  He was quite exceptional at being both.

In my past few years in NYC I’ve learned that men should not be judged by their mistakes because there is no human being past present or future who can live without making them.  I see men in terms of the lives they touch in a positive way while they’re living and after they’ve past.

I wasn’t alive when Dr. King gave his I Have A Dream speech and like Jerrod Carmichael said the speech might be easier for people of my generation to remember if Pharrell had produced it.  But Dr. King continues to touch our lives in a positive way because at the beginning of every year we stop and remember his Dream and we’re reminded of all the work we have to do to fulfill it.

Facing Forward

Needs & Wants

I used to blur the lines between my needs and wants to justify spending money on the things I wanted.  Shoes used to always be a need even if they were only for one night.

But at the end of 2017, I came to the conclusion that there is little left that I need and also little left that I want.  The only thing left to spend money on is what it takes to work towards my personal and professional goals.

I do not place these expenses in a need or want category.  To me they are in a miscellaneous category that serves a different purpose.  The goal is to try to make my future a little easier and a little brighter.  The investment requires a bit of work on my part but the effort will hopefully prove to be worthwhile and if not, if I fail, having made the attempt will bring me some sense of peace.

Facing Forward

Happy New Year! – From Where I Sit . . .

John Chatterton MITF

2017 was an amazing year for me –

  • My first off off Broadway show – It’s Not Stamped On Your Forehead – debuted at the Midtown International Theatre Festival

  • I wrote & published my first book – Project Chic to Paulie (a memoir of my high school days)

BUT. . .

2018 looks promising –

  • It’s Not Stamped On Your Forehead – will be in the Strawberry One Act Festival – May 16th 7pm & May 17th 8:30pm at the Shelter Theatre 244 West 54th St bet. 7th & 8th

  • I’m releasing my second book – Between Love & Time –  (a collection of short stories & poetry) – June 2nd

AND . . . .

  • Brownsville2Concord is back!

LET’S GET THINGS GOING!