"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart..." Linda McCartney

Archive for the ‘Emotional Intelligence’ Category

The World Is Closed

In Animals and Pets, Death, Emotional Intelligence, Unemployment on March 24, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I’m a very private person. I don’t put too much out there about myself. It’s easy to talk about feelings or to react to current events, or the arts and entertainment, politics, The View. But for the most part my life’s experience has taught me to be on my guard. Anne Frank wrote while hiding with her family in an attic during the Holocaust that she believed people are basically good at heart. I think she’s right: People are basically good at heart but the caveat to that is they are mean as well.

I’m discovering daily over the past twenty years I am just angry. I have cognition around my anger so I pray about it, I cogitate over it, I devise coping strategies and try very hard to act on these. I smile, I try to be nice, I’m effusive, helpful, knowledgeable, funny, ( I’ve read the bible from Genesis to Revelation), but mean people are not invested in me, my success or my future. It’s their mission in life to rid the world of people like me; to expose me as the fraud that I am. I am an angry person trying to look like I’m just like everybody else.

My anger has been reflecting back at me by my recent experiences at the dog park of all places. Before I got ThatOne, I could go whole weekends without parting my lips to utter a single sound. On Friday after work, I’d drive back to wherever I was living, shit, shower and shave and lie in bed where I remained until Monday morning. I have no friends. If I suddenly died tomorrow, no one would care or notice or come to my funeral. Now, I enjoy whole conversations with people who actually touch me, hug me, laugh with me and who call me by my name.

For Christmas 2008,  I saved $200.00 to entertain my son and his girlfriend. I invited them here where I planned for us to relax in the hot tub out back, swim in the pool out back, have breakfast at the Buffet at the casino a minutes drive from here and to show them around the Inland Empire.

It is really quite beautiful here, surrounded by black, craggy mountains with snow capped mountains off further in the distance, the historic old town, the ducks, the lake, the fountains, the ducks. Only it rained buckets Christmas day which was a Thursday, so out of concern for my son I suggested they come Friday instead.  I waited and waited and waited and waited. No one ever came. No one ever called. Part of the reason I hoped I would give birth to a boy 25 years ago was because I believed then that they’re more loyal to their mothers.

Finally I texted my son and told him I was disappointed. He acknowledged in his response that he should have called but that he just didn’t. I told him I was a big girl and that I would get over it. What do you think?

He came here for the first time this past Saturday. He said he was going to celebrate our not seeing each other in over three months by treating himself to a big meal. I took him to the dog park. He met Sharon, and Nancy and That’s doggie friends. Then we went to Claim Jumper. I had the gigantic chocolate cake and milk. He had top round and lobster tail and the crab cake appetizer, cheesy garlic bread and a mixed greens salad.

I recalled how in November I begged him to lend me $130.00 so I could pay my rent. He couldn’t help me. But he and his girlfriend took a trip to Puerto Rico and in April, (the same week as my #52), they’re going to New York.

All of these things and the crushing sadness I feel daily over my unemployment has made me more verbal than usual about my present circumstances. I have been telling everyone that will listen that I am unemployed and passing out my resume to any and all takers. So you can imagine my elation when I got an email response from a lovely woman I met at the dog park suggesting there may be a place in her office for me. But my experience did not leave me totally gullible. This was too good to be true and it was.

You see, it turns out this woman is trying to organize a team under an MLM opportunity called 5Links (http://www.5linx.com/opportunity/index.html). My heart broke in a strange way. I know now what Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath , Ray Combs, David Foster Wallace, Spalding Gray, Vincent Van Gogh, Jean Seberg, Donny Hathaway, Marilyn Monroe, Phyllis Hyman, Kurt Cobain knew at crisis time. They all knew just like I know now: Your arm’s too short to box with God.

“…But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them, otherwise you may perhaps be found fighters actually against God.” Acts 5:39

If  this  pain and decades long misfortune is in fact from God, I may not escape this destiny. The lifelong struggle to escape will only make matters worse as I  become then a fighter against God. Clearly that’s a battle I cannot win or even hope to enjoy a modicum of success at during the brief, fruitless struggle. I’m a fighter against God. How can anything I ever do succeed?

The world is closed. I’ll never work again. I cannot publish a video resume. The world is closed. Like Zack Mayo said in An Officer and a Gentleman: “I got nowhere else to go! I got nowhere else to g… I got nothin’ else …”

“I’ve always taken ‘The Wizard of Oz’ very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I’ve spent my entire life trying to get over it.”
Over The Rainbow | Judy Garland

“And now you know… the rest of the story.” Paul Harvey

The world is closed.

Say It Loud!

In Current Events, Emotional Intelligence, Life, Politics on June 3, 2008 at 3:00 am

I am Black.  I am an American. I am a descendent of slaves. I am not African American.

I will never know which of the 150 countries that comprises the African continent my ancestors were imported from. I will never be able to perk up with recognition and joy whenever I hear an immigrant from Africa speaking their native tongue. The only information I have about my family and my history comes from my experiences with my maternal grandparents. Neither of them were immigrants. Both were born in this country. I suspect their parents were as well. There are no records and there was never any discussion, not even after Roots.  I have no information about my father or his family, but I suspect his parents  and his parent’s parents were all born in this country.

The search for an identity and an identifying moniker has become something of a pop culture joke over these past twenty-five years. For Blacks, so much confusion, and for hundreds of years, because we as a people were forced to endure being called whatever derogatory name White people wanted. Negro, Niggra, Darkie, Coon. Nigger.

Fredrick Douglas and W.E.B Du Bois and others of their contemporary thinkers reasoned starched white collars and an education would mitigate the predominate social climate of hate, derision and physical disgust directed toward us. If we could just look, act, and sound like them, then they will like us.  The NAACP was so named to “uplift the race,” increase awareness and respect for colored people,  and elevate the public perception of the Negro.

My maternal grandmother was born in 1908. The NAACP was founded the following year in 1909.  Since its inception, the philosophical imperative of the NAACP has been challenged on several fronts, including by one of the pre-eminent co-founders: W.E.B Du Bois. It’s a philosophical debate that continues to this day: Integration or African nationalism? People who continue to poke fun at the various name changes that have been put forward over the years appear neither to fully appreciate nor understand this fundamental divide within our culture.

Those of us who remember when we were Colored recall those times with a mixture of emotions and nostalgia. Colored people endured and lived through the reign of terror in this country known as Jim Crow (the system of legalized segregation and disfranchisement from 1865 to 1954). My grandparents lived in Charleston, South Carolina all their lives in a segregated section called Charleston Heights. There Colored people established an infrastructure of schools, banks and businesses and built strong, vibrant, stable, family oriented communities with the Church at its center.

I grew up among Pentecostals, Baptists and Methodists. There was a juke joint, a beauty parlor and a grocery store on just about every corner. My grandparents home, which they owned, was across the street from the community funeral home.

In the late fifties and early sixties, when Blacks began to appear sporadically on TV, people used to rush to their windows and doors calling out “Colored on TV! Colored on TV!” A Colored person appearing on TV was a cause for excitement. People stopped whatever they were doing to see who it was:   Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll, Ivan Dixon, Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr.

When we were Colored we were self actualized and self sufficient. We cooperated with each other. Young people respected their elders. We looked out for one another, protected one another and supported each other materially, economically, socially, and spiritually. By the time James Brown* released his anthem and clarion call for Black pride, Colored people were already Black and Proud. I recall that period as the most moving, self affirming period of my life. I still get emotional just thinking about it. I am proud I am Black.

Which makes all that has gone on in the political arena over the past eight months, and in my life as it stands right now, all the more poignant and sad. This country is poised to nominate the first Black man for the highest elected office in our land. This should be a cause for national celebration, introspection– an affirmation of a collective national pride unprecedented in the history of our nation. That many support Hillary or McCain should not detract from what’s happening here. We have gone from 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow to witnessing the first Black person not only aspiring to the nation’s highest office, but having a real and credible chance of actually achieving it.  At the risk of channeling Oprah:  This is big.

My grandmother was born in 1908. Her daughter, now age 77, still lives. Now her daughter’s daughter and her great-grandson, age 24– three generations– together are witnessing the triumph of the resolute and resilient, ever hopeful Black American spirit. Hell, yeah, I’m saying it loud. I’m shouting it from the roof tops. I’m Black. And I’m proud.  I am an American.

*Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)

Uh! Your bad self!

Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud
Say it louder! I’m black and I’m proud
Look a-here!

Some people say we got a lot of malice, some say it’s a lotta nerve
But I say we won’t quit movin’ until we get what we deserve
We’ve been buked and we’ve been scourned
We’ve been treated bad, talked about as sure as you’re born
But just as sure as it take two eyes to make a pair, huh!
Brother we can’t quit until we get our share

Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud
Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud
One more time, say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud, huh!

I’ve worked on jobs with my feet and my hands
But all the work I did was for the other man
And now we demands a chance to do things for ourselves
We tired of beatin’ our head against the wall
An’ workin’ for someone else

Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud
Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud
Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud
Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud, oh!

Ooh-wee, you’re killin’ me
Alright, uh, you’re out of sight!
Alright, so tough you’re tough enough!
Ooh-wee uh! you’re killin’ me! oow!

Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud
Say it louder! I’m black and I’m proud

Now we demand a chance to do things for ourselves
We tired of beatin’ our heads against the wall
And workin’ for someone else look a-here
There’s one thing more I got to say right here
Now, now we’re people, we’re like the birds and the bees
We rather die on our feet than keep livin’ on our knees

Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud huh!
Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud huh!
Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud Lord-a, Lord-a, Lord-a
Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud, ooh!

Uh! alright now, good God
You know we can do the boogaloo


Lyrics provided by Gracenote

Mood: The Agony of Defeat

In Blogging, Emotional Intelligence, News, Politics on May 27, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Stress builds up right in my abdomen, the top part. Inside, it feels like a horrible, twisting, scrunching that’s quite painful after a time. I have to take deep breaths then sit bolt upright in my chair with Denise-N-Debbie pointed toward the heavens while I arch my back to relieve the scrunching, grabbing pressure in my upper abdomen. Walking briskly for at least forty minutes offers some relief, but lately, (well not since May 2 anyway), I haven’t been walking.

My stomach has been tied up in knots like this for at least six months. This happens whenever I am stressed. What brought on this internal tummy turmoil this time?  iTunes.

I love technology and all the stuff.  Yes it’s frustrating sometimes.  Blogging has become almost a full time job for me because:

a. I have to stop and read and learn as I go   and

b There are so many, many, many, many roads down which to travel with so much to say and so little time.

Then there are the Times Square like attractions: the widgets, the downloads, the animations, the ads. As I’m passing through I stop to study other peoples’ blogs. I am amazed. Objects are looping, spinning, spiraling, flashing. Colors are fading in and out. And the noises and music– luring you to Facebook, and MySpace and Friendster– the sensory overload is like trying to read a Dorling-Kindersley Eyewitness picture book .

Some people have multiple blog sites and web pages and still have time for “social networking.” I’m still trying to wrap my brain around del.icio.us. One can really begin to feel like Alice in Wonderland if one wanders aimlessly about in the blogesphere for too long. And with so many people talking, I wonder how many people are really taking the time to listen. Moodz depends on people listening. People who need people are rarely in a mood for disco balls and flashing lights.  It’s like a cyber-arcade–  a fun place to visit but I wouldn’t wanna live there.

Then there are the times when things go wrong. Now I have a low threshold for heat, pain and mean people. My sanctuary is my music. Sometimes you just need to plug in and crank it. Yesterday, I was compelled to download RealPlayer. I have enjoyed it in the past, after all it is one of, if not the pioneer Internet music players, but since I got this notebook about a year ago, I hadn’t bothered to download it. I have an iPhone and as you all well know, you have to have iTunes if you have an iPhone. Apple says so.

Today I double clicked on the iTunes icon on my desktop. Spinning blue circle. Then, poof! Vanish. I clicked on it again. Then again. Then, quite inexplicably, my stomach lining began to turn in on itself.. My world was rocked because I couldn’t open my iTunes!

It took several tries. I had to restart my computer twice, then download iTunes from Apple all over again. About a half hour later, I was whole. I haven’t synched up my phone yet. Film at 11.  Was it because I downloaded RealPlayer?  I wonder what happened?

As my stomach gradually began to relax, (the tightening sensation even now is still subsiding), my thoughts turned to Hillary. My tenacious spirit worked me up into a lather. Hers, too. Why else would she be coming out with all these ghastly verbal blunders? Only she is fighting for– Working class white people? On an otherwise successful trip to Bosnia, only she is fighting to– dodge sniper fire? Now this. Having read and listened to what she said about Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June I get the point she was trying to make and I want to believe she really isn’t secretly hoping Senator Obama gets assassinated. That would be wrong.

Hillary is exhausted. She’s the only woman in our nation’s history who has ever campaigned this hard and for this long.  Even Shirley Chisholm didn’t have to last this long. Maybe that’s why no one is really paying much attention to the downside of this badger-like tenacity. Would anyone in the world community be able to negotiate with her on any level, or will it always have to be her way or the highway because she can hold her breath the longest? Obama’s breezy, breathy, quiet control looks like a cool drink of water next to Hillary’s stinging desert sand. Too bad.

Fierce competition sometimes strengthens character, hell it may even build it. More often than not, though, it simply just reveals it.

Mood: Belong

In Blogging, Emotional Intelligence, Life, MoodzStrike, Unemployment on May 22, 2008 at 9:54 pm

baseimage64cAhh look at all the lonely people (violins, violins, violins, violins, violins)

Ahh look at all the lonely people…  Eleanor Rigby/Paul McCartney, 1966

I remember back in the ‘80’s, someone coined the phrase “The Me generation.”  Anybody else remember that?  Well, I dunno if all that’s true* when you page through the vast and seemingly endless numbers of people self publishing through blogs and see that many have gone uncommented on.

People, young and old, smart and not so smart, poor and not so poor…  every kind of people busting out all over with thoughts and feelings, baring these to the world (or so they think).  So much for the “me” generation.  All these invisible, unreciprocated, un-listened to, not-responded-to “me’s” out there just hoping to connect.  What do they all want?  I mean, what do they all really want?

Well, I’ll tell you want I want, what I really, really want…”  Spice Girls

I want to feel belong.  No… not belonging.  Belong.  Belong feels effortless.  It’s like “Ahhh…”  It feels like always being in a state where giving others joy is not only more important than receiving it yourself,  that distinction doesn’t even come to mind.  No quid quo pro. No unrealistic expectations.  Automatic-pilot joy in giving.  The upside of this unconscious, unmanufactured, unselfish, un-self-centered, un-me oriented mindset is reciprocity.  Glorious, emotional needs fulfilling, not too hot, not too cold, but just right– reciprocity. 

I have a sense that people– that tiny percentage of the human population that is not overly preoccupied with me/ego snuffing daily pursuits like oh, not being car bombed, for example or sleeping through the whistle of scud missiles firing in the night, or picking through hard, cracked, barren soil for a seed to eat, or walking bare foot 20 miles to fetch a pail of water, or battling AIDS, or homelessness, or joblessness– who have it all just about covered in the life sustanance department– just want to feel belong.  Not belonging.  I said Belong. 

Like going to work every day.  This is the place I come to every day.  Belong.  Like managing the home and caring for minor children.  Belong.  Like not having to perform because these strangers that you’re lunching with may be potential new friends.  Belong. Like crying out “Help!  I need somebody.  Help!  Not just anybody.  Help!  You know I need someone.  Help!”**  And it arrives.  Belong.

People are blogging.  People are writing more than ever before.  But are people reading? 

“Is there somebody out there?  Is there someone who hears my…?”     Dear God/Midge Ure

This is how it feels not to have a job…

*I Got You, Babe/Sonny and Cher, 1965

**Help!/The Beatles, 1965

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