To Live A Long Way


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I came around again.

This isn’t the whole story.  I’ve come to mull over this horrible year and I have to admit – yes I’ve come a long way. The past months I’ve shown myself how brave I can be in the face of torment – falling off a longboard and feeling my ankle shift out of place and hearing something pop. I lived this so many times in my head; flip flop between regret and living life. I was brave as I told my friends in a calm state of mind and voice to call the ambulance as I couldn’t get up.

I came a long way.

I’ve been having to survive, nearly homeless if I didn’t have people in my life who would open their doors to me. My income vanished in a blink of an eye and my roommates were battling between being loyal to me as I have them or being loyal to their money. I had to use a manipulation tactic to see where the psychological factor would lead and somewhat hope they wouldn’t call my bluff or speak about interest later.

And then the biggest turning point wasn’t the quarter-size cyst under my arm giving me hell or the gallstones giving me brutal pain through my workouts a couple of months ago. It was the moment I’ve been waiting for since the age of 9; my mother once again – dying. This time it was true. This time it happened. There was no lie, no prank, no do-over. All the things that shaped my life, that made me cynical, that made me envy happy mother-daughter relationships, become accustomed to tough love, detachment and desensitization have all made me who I am today because of this inevitable day.

I came a long way.

It only took a month and fifteen days. It only took me having to deal with the courage to face my mother’s wake and burial. It only took numerous hops up and down funeral, church and house steps. It took my anger for my brother having the audacity to not show up at the funeral knowing he was the favorite and had all of my mother’s love. It took not being spoiled at my friend’s house where I was safe and sound – to get out my comfort zone and back into the mobile world I’ve been so frightened of.

I had zero choice but to deal with the outside world more than what I cared to without crutches and a side of wheelchair. There was no looking back, no time to be scared, no time to waste. I was dealing with death and countless complicated emotions. Suddenly, my prayers became deeper. There was only time to woman up and act the way an adult should – courageously courageous without a shadow of doubt.

I came a long way.

I deal with sadness in the form of anger because sadness is weakness to me. But this all trickled on as I was happy my mother was no longer suffering on earth with her incurable disease. I felt a big weight lifted and suddenly nothing else mattered in this world. A final came. A final of everything. So I finally painted my nails a color that would brighten the rest of the days of the week. I bought a shimmer nude lipstick for my neutral and/or depressed days and bought a dark berry one for days when I feel vibrant or stirred with sexual desire.

I no longer felt the fear of going outside. I didn’t rely on a hoodie to conceal myself or my hair or my beauty. I didn’t only feel like coming outside during moonlight hours to catch a moon tan. I wanted the sun on my face for once – the thought seemed to comfort me.

I guess because I wanted to look at the sky because I picture my mother high in another plane of existence. I want her to know that I live like she did – strong! Life is too short to be weak. Life is too short to stand still. This world is bitter, cruel and dark with glimpses of beauty – and when this world hits you, you have to punch it back with greater force because you have to brave on even when you’re not sure what it all means.

-Pennington

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