Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pity Party of One: It's Gonna Be Okay

"Good morning, Averill!" She chirps cheerfully from behind me as she's placing her lunch in the break room frig. 

I stop fiddling with the coffee filter I am trying to separate from the others and slowly turn my body all the way around to face her, "How did you know it was me?"

Incomprehension, excruciating headache with throbbing pain living behind my eyes, wishing to alleviate the pain in my teeth were as easy as removing dentures, equilibrium off, dizziness, ear drums reverberating every pin drop like a cavernous echo, an inability to complete simple tasks without intense extensive concentration, and utter exhaustion. It explains the uncontrollable crying last week continuing into this week. 

I have another Sinus and Ear Infection. 

Dec 6, 2014 vs Nov 14, 2015

I've been told multiple times in the past few weeks that I look happier than I've ever been, that my shrinking body is proof of my happiness. The truth is I'm devastated. In the past year I've been sicker than in my entire life. But that's not everything. 

I exercise so vigorously because the doctors say, "You're less likely to get sick if you exercise." Yet, I cannot even be physically well for six consecutive months. I have been terrified of getting sick again, living accordingly, and dreading this moment. Half of my life has been taken away by allergies, an unwarranted punishment. 

I am betrayed and furious at my body, even more so that I've lost the last year of my life. I only remember certain aspects of it: being sick, Indian lunches with my best friend, given no other choice but to leave - he left me long before I walked out the door, the breakup, hurtful words "Your relationship with her is meaningless and worthless because you never made her your wife" and lies sewn together in manipulations by a lonely, bitter, angry, intrusive individual only seeking to tear apart relationships, I've lost the rest - it's not there! I am devastated that I still feel like I've lost everything. I've lost Jeff; we lost each other. I've lost the kids; I resent being forced to leave. It hurts my heart. 

Some days are better than others, but I am mostly miserable.

Everyday I'm down on myself. 

But I deal with it. Am I going to cry? Better walk it out. Do I miss him? Better walk it out. Do I want to call, text, or email him? Don't let him see my vulnerability, better walk it out. Do I hate my job? Better jog that one out to deal with it. I need a hug from him and to hear him confirm that everything is going to be okay; we can work anything out. Maybe we can't work everything out but I'm willing to try, instead I walk. 

There are so many more people that are dealing with real problems. All I suffer from are severe allergies and a heartbreak. Get over it already, so I push through. 

A new waterproof mascara to combat the tears and a new shade of lipstick #becauseSTARWARS #becauseMARKETING. 

On social media you are privy to see my adventures and my smiling selfies. Nobody sees my tears because I sell happy. I sell it hard. Until happiness is true, I'll continue to count my blessings, wear waterproof mascara, try a new color of lipstick, and sell you the joy I have. 

#happinesscampaign #breakupdiet #exercisemotivation #weightloss #severeallergies #ifeelallofthethelyricstoallofthesadsongs

On most Saturday nights you can find Averill at home taking her extensive allergy medication regimen, snacking on edamame in bed while watching sad Hallmark Christmas love stories that are full of lies and false hopes, and sometimes letting her feelings slip out of her eyes. Averill believes in the powers of: telling the truth, the unnecessary hair flip, a new shade of lipstick, and bargains while shoe shopping. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Best Compliments, 2

The saga with Nate the Salad Chef continues. 

Yesterday, Nate asked my coworker and I what we wanted for Christmas. I replied, "One karat diamond solitaire drop pendant necklace," because my parents taught me to tell the truth. 

This afternoon when I walk through the doors he hollars, "ALL HAIL, my woman is HERE! " All of the boys behind the counter and in front of the grease pit start whoopin' and hollerin'. Nate tells me, "I can't control myself when I see you coming." He looks at the kid behind the register, "She's beautiful! I've been trying to mess with her for seven years! Dogit, seven years since we opened!" 

The kid quips back, "Ya'ain't gotta tell me nothin' I got eyes too."

"Now wait a minute, son." He looks back to me, "I ain't want no mess outta you, this year we exchanging Christmas gifts!"

Wait! What? That escalated quickly. 

I guess #wegotogethernow #bestcompliments2015  #Properetiquettedictatesdonotacceptdiamondsfrommenyoudontdate #itsashamethatImemotionallyunavailable #hedoesntwantemotions #hejustwantsthecat #meow


Dodging Bullets

He came on so strong and eager to love that it scared me. I ran away by disappearing off of the face of the Earth. He continued to pursue me while I was in another relationship. On breaks we dated, off-and-on between the ages of 18-26. Eventually I believed us to be in a serious long distance relationship, until I was texted from a friend that he bought a ring for his real girlfriend. 

I was just somebody to waste time with on the phone. I was devastated. 

He continued to call, "I want to invite you to something special. If I send you an invitation will you attend?" 

"If it's your wedding, no."

"But you're special to me and it would mean a lot."


"I understand."

The Silver Fox stood there listening to my side of the telephone conversation. As soon as I ended the call she cradled me as I collapsed in her arms.

In the ultimate form of flattery he continued to call, to beg "Please run away with me," "Let's get married."

The night before his wedding I had him on speaker phone while sitting on the bed of my best friend. He asked me to agree to be in a relationship with him even after the vows were exchanged. "Michael, you've made your decision. You are walking down the aisle tomorrow; tonight, you just have cold feet. Marry that girl." I hung up. 

To save face in front of our friends he began spreading rumors about me. He told them that I have an over active imagination and a propensity to tell lies. He told them that I forced him to have sex with me. <insert WTF Black Girl meme> When I confronted him in front of the rumor recipients he unfriended and blocked me. 

It has been years since I have thought about these incidents. If I think about him at all I remember him fondly from high school, when I'd attended the secret parties he or my brother used to throw, flirting while working together at the Y, the way his eyes softened before we'd kiss, or how he sent me a love letter on the first day away at summer camp. Those memories shine brightly. 

In the spur of the moment those bad memories can be triggered. Today, I received another text. He's getting divorced. He's been caught cheating on his wife. 

It really is no surprise to me. 

Pardon me for a moment as I'm over here reveling. It has taken some years for the truth to come to the light, but like Keanu in Matrix I've managed to dodge bullets. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Best Compliments

My second cousin always says, "You get the best compliments."

Today is no exception. 

On the average of twice a week I walk up the road to the local joint to pick up a salad. For years my friend Nate, behind the counter, hooks me up with the salad. He always says, "My Boo ain't gonna go hungry."

I walk up the road today and he tells me, "Somebody ordered your salad. They asked for me so I jus knew it was you. I gave you my phone number on your salad box last week. Said for you to text me. It wasn't you that texted back - it was somebody said, 'This isn't who you think it is." I tried to be slick and get you to talk to me but it wasn't you." 

He leans forward, "Can I have your number?" 

But before he got 'number' out of his mouth he knocked over an entire display on the check-out counter.

"Mane, you make me so nervous talking to you I knocked everything over."

I am beyond flattered. It's funny, I still see myself as that ugly, pig-nosed, super-awkward girl from middle school and the girl I was in high school who never once got asked on a date. But the truth is I've got Brothers out here tripping over themselves trying to work up the courage to ask for my phone number. That beats the hell outta the self-esteem of the teenage girl I used to be who always thought she was repulsive to the opposite sex. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

If I Only Had A Heart

Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz is who I wanted to be when I grew up. She went on a fabulous, colorful, once in a lifetime adventure in the process gaining friends, all while wearing the most spectacular sparkle shoes. Plus, Dorothy had all of the characteristics of intelligence, courage, and love that her new found friends were so desperately searching for. Her courage, love, and resourcefulness only exceeded on the adventure with her new friends. During her quest to return to the dreary Kansas prairie she learned she had everything she already wanted and needed at home.  

I have always thought of myself as a Dorothy-type character. We are both from Kansas, love making new friends, and we both love our vibrant, sparkle shoes that lead us home.  

For all of the years I dated his father I lived with the belief that this boy hated me. He regularly voiced his anger towards me being in their life.

It wasn't until I had been removed from the house for many months that I realized how much I am truly loved and love them. Fortunately my relationships with the children has survived, mended, and gotten stronger. The honest, heartfelt emotions that were once difficult to say in the past have become easy.

Last night Nick had an Emergency Room trip when the bathroom mirror detached from the wall and fell on him. A completely random freak accident that slit open his forearm and knee, requiring stitches. 

Today, I stopped by to check on him. With a simple gesture, Nick said more to me than he's ever done in the years that I've known him. He ran back to his bedroom and came back with a small lapel pin in the shape of a heart and marked with the gold Boy Scout insignia. 

In Boy Scouts when a young man earns a higher rank they customarily honor their mother or the most influential woman in their life by pinning her with a Mother Pin. I knew the small, red heart he brought back from his bedroom is the Mother Pin for the Life Scout rank. 

"That's great, Nick! I'm so proud of you!" I said to him. I am still just as proud as I was on May 18th when I sat in the audience at the ceremony to see him earn the rank of Life Scout. I hold the Mother Pin out to return it to him. 

Like a Jedi performing a mind trick, he waves his hand at me to signify that he has given the pin to me. 

"Are you sure?"

He waves his hand at me again and bows his head. 

"Really, Nick?" 

He bows again and pushes his right hand up towards me, palm side facing towards the ceiling. 

My eyes well up with tears and I can't keep them from bubbling over the edge. I'm smiling, laughing, and crying all at the same time, "I'm crying because I'm so happy." 

For the first time in four years he permits me to hug him and in the biggest twist of events, stitches and all, he returns my hug. 

His action means more than he knows. I don't know what I have done to deserve this, but today without the pomp and circumstance of the Boy Scout ceremony Nick presented me with this pin.
 That moment holds all of the importance of the ceremony, but it means more to me because Nick made this decision on his own, in his own time, sharing with me his respect and affection.  

Today, I learned that I am not Dorothy at all. For all of these years I've been the Tin Man. I've had a heart all along but, as The Wizard of Oz explains, "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." 
Today, my heart is full.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunshine, Soccer, and Sprinkles

The boy I tutor doesn't like to go outside. He says he'd rather work on the computer inside than get sweaty outside. But today, something changed. After working on sentences he asked, "Can we go outside?"

He brought his semi-new soccer ball with us outside. This is not the same little boy from May. He used to scowl to go outside to pass the soccer ball. We've been working on his dribbling, kicking, and passing skills. 

Without a word he dropped the soccer ball on the ground and started running while kicking it forward. He ran all the way to the gate of their gated community and back to the house. A month ago he couldn't dribble to himself!! 

Before I left for the day he looked at me and said, "Miss Averill, can we go outside again and kick the soccer ball to the fence and back?"

"Yes, but it's raining. Do you still want to go?"

At that moment the sun burst out from
behind the clouds. We were both looking outside and in amazement he says, "Wow! I didn't know the sun could do that!"

I responded, "God can do anything. Isn't that what you learn in school?"

"Yes, but I've never seen it like that before."

He grabbed his soccer ball and took it back outside to dribble to the fence. It is sprinkling on him, leaving wet specks on his glasses, but he's keeping up with the ball. His black pants, covered in yellow Batman symbols, and his space cat t-shirt are making me giggle as I watch and encourage him, admiring his freedom. When I meet him back in the driveway I ask him, "What was it like to play in the sprinkling rain?"

"I forgot it was even raining because I was working so hard, but I like it. I've never played in the rain before." 

I've seen God work like the sun coming through the clouds. I've seen it in him over the last four months. 

Emotions and The Unknown

I've been emotional this weekend. Last night I got my feelings hurt and my ego bruised. Today I've been wallowing in self-pity because of my hurt feelings. 

Today, as my friend and I were walking back from lunch we saw commotion at the corner of Mynders at Patterson. There is a person on the ground surrounded by students and police officers. Traffic is rubber necking, police are directing traffic and sirens are filling the air with screams.  

A student walking the opposite direction tells us, "He passed out while driving. They've moved his car and pulled him out of it. They're doing CPR."

We are on the opposite side of the street as we walk past. The student's Chacos are fashioned to his feet. He's wearing khakis and a long sleeved, cornflower blue button-up. His hair is pushed back from his face and his skin on his face is blue. 

The firemen jump out of the slowing fire truck ripping open flat, white, square, paper packages, kneeling on the ground next to this kid. The gathered crowd of shocked and curious onlookers is growing. They're asking each other, "Do you know what happened? What's going on?" 

As I slipped on my stretchy pants this morning I never thought there was a possibility I could be laying on a street corner with my life in limbo. I'm sure this student did not have that thought either. My friend and I walk towards our office building and tears begin falling for this kid; whatever I am dealing with is nothing. Nothing! 

Please say a prayer for this kid and let the people you love know they are loved. Give them extra hugs tonight.