Haven’t written in this space in months. I’ve had a blog for 7 plus years now just to have an outlet to write. I mean I paid money for this site only to not practice my craft and not write for a year basically. I grow a little tired of blaming everything on grief alas, I am thinking about my Mother tonight after watching Tom Hanks in the Mr. Rogers movie.
See, I was born in 1985 so we grew up with Sesame Street & Mr. Rogers. Everything seems nostalgic right now- something none of us no matter our age are able to escape. Melancholy is a great word indeed. I’ve always loved it even though it made me feel sad. Anyways, I was going to go to bed tonight, catch up on some episodes of Real Housewives of Atlanta – and not begin writing this in which was my goal to write this morning. But when you write from your heart sometimes you just have to wait on the words to meet you -whenever they do.
After the credits of the film, I laid on the floor with my dog on her big fancy dog pillow like I always do. When Gigi and I cuddle it’s like she’s a stuffed animal that just gets me. She looks me in the eyes- I hold her face, we have a thing. When I’m sad about my Mom and tears come out of my eyes, Gigi is first to know. Her eyes open really wide like a friends would, and she gravitates closer to me with her head and muzzle as if I were her puppy. Most of the tragedy of my grief lays in what My Mother and I did not have together. I cry more sometimes because I feel more embraced by my dog than I ever had my Mom. But then I come to terms with my selfish desire to want to nurture her too.
I remember the last time I saw her. This may seem like a sad part, but it’s happy – I swear. I hadn’t seen her for a while- we had a phone relationship. I lived in Europe at the time and the calls became less and less the more we fought, but we called. She was happy to see me, My hair was healthy and in a bob. I quite liked that hair cut for a while. We went to Chili’s to eat. When I was in high school we used to always eat Chili’s then listen to Avril Lavigne or Justin Timberlake on the way home. My Mom loved the radio and had a good flip selection. Star 94, and B98.5- I still dream of having a real radio show in a nowhere town when I don’t care about the cool meter anymore and my kids are in high school.
She and I caught up and spent time in her house. She seemed healthy, and she looked good. Her house was decorated so cute. My Mom used to be a lot of things- a pageant queen, a model, a stylist, a interior decorator, and an in home daycare provider because she loved babies and never wanted to leave us. Her vintage vogue frames are above my head as I write this. My Brother had driven down with me to see her. You know- when you are young and selfish a bit you grow tired easily of fighting with your parents. Especially when you are not self aware yet. I wasn’t the woman that I am today then, and a lot of my trauma lies in the fact that I could not emotionally understand my Mother because she never taught me how to do that for myself. She quite possibly just didn’t possess the tool. That’s what maybe happens when you lose your mom at 16.
We got hungry eventually and I told her I wanted southern food because I can’t get it in France – and we went to a hole in the wall southern food pick up spot, the kind that you just go take your food. I got catfish and greens. She got the same thing and we shared macaroni and cheese and coleslaw. It’s okay to eat like this sometimes but everyone in my family on that side has had health issues and heart disease. I have a few moments with my Mom that are like wishes in a jar. Driving to the beach singing Carly Simon. Going for drives in the summer. The day we got our nails done together before I moved to LA to model and she told me she was proud of me. And the day we stood in line to get this damn food and we squeezed each others hands because it was so good to see each other. That was the last time I saw my Mom – two years before she died.
She’s been near me in so many ways. And I have been really relieved that she’s spared this experience we are facing right now. The last year and a half of my life I have already been faced with some pretty emotional dark times. My secret cape has been my work ethic, creativity, and over achiever nature (I realized not much has changed since school years). But inside staying home is not foreign to me because it’s a comfort zone. Leaving the house the last years had grown really difficult for me, although there’s always some respite and renewed energy in doing so. After you get home quickly ofcourse. Every introverts joke. ” I can go, but just for a while.”
I was walking the dog with my Dad today and the weather was warmer. Everyone was out. It’s like G-d has been cutting us some slack.
People were keeping their distance, playing some music, sitting on the balconies, in smaller quantities, but in such high spirits. I heard so many jams. Older men playing the radio, Gen z-ers with their backpack speaker rap playing BlueFace or Lil Baby, and small business owners open and carrying on. We were all smiling through the face masks and it felt good. It felt like time had slowed down. My dad was getting stir crazy and I suggested him coming for a walk with me & Gigi. When I added walk to the liquor store- he was sold. So we walked there, got some sun (and wine for him) and walked back.
There have been so many times in my life that I didn’t have time for a walk.
Even this weekend I allowed myself to slow down, because really I just don’t know when or how soon things will get exactly back to normal. This whole experience has been really reflective of living through moments of deep depression. You just kind of feel stuck and going outside can get really hard. Being productive can be really hard. But I am not writing this to speak about that- I am writing this to remind you of the glory and insight that comes from going deep and within. Very few could argue that our ways as americans have never prepared us for things that we often judge outsiders for. There are so many resilient people in this world. We are for the most part, all facing the same things right now. All at home. It’s universal in the world we live in at the moment. We can share the same struggles.
My Dad, from Iran (it’s persian new year friday by the way!) grew up as a boy in his country during the revolution. I’d like to think that’s why he has his head on so straight right now. I have been a little worried about this all before last weeks progression in the US. So he and I have had some heated discussions about speaking about it and about how the news and media can just stir things up. I know now we are really facing a medical emergency within our communities and it isn’t something that we are blowing out of proportion. It is exactly what it is. But I do think this countries current “leader” or whatever he is, mixed with the greed and lack of empathy that has been underlining our history for decades searches for and discovers silver linings in tragedies. That’s what the enemy does.
We have already known for so long that people of low resources and people of color have been under attack in this country. So my empathic worries and anxieties aside for worrying about my friends and family is my worry for what domino effects this will incite for our country and communities. I have never been political until Obama ran for President (which was my first time voting) – and even more now since Bernie has been in our lives. Living abroad I got a real chance to see what life could be like. Similar to the life my parents tried to provide for my brothers and I – when you’re a kid you live such a simple life and you don’t know all of the dangers that lurk or all of the monsters in your closet that manifest as trauma until you’re older. Something I’d very much like to spare my future kids of.
Paris, was upon arriving to live there after my vacation period was over- it was different. I had very little resources or savings so I lived a very day to day life at first. I noticed all of my friends had health insurance and restaurant tickets (these are like food stamps but everyone gets them monthly to be able to use when you go out to eat or at the grocery store.) Sometimes my friends would give them to me when I was struggling in between work. I paid euros (cash) for everything because my french bank would only allow me to have a debit card and checks. The streets were dirty but the parks were beautiful and clean. There was just something about it that felt like home.
Seeing gypsies (I call them gypsies to reference what we know them to be in America but really they are just displaced families mostly arab or russian decent) on the street asking for money became an everyday experience. Then more and more you’d see people from Syria joining. I’d give money or food when I could. More than likely food. I became used to this. We call America the melting pot, but Paris really is. Amidst it all, people found an equal but happy medium life to live in France’s most popular city. Hearing this morning that France has already waived rent, utilities and is providing resources during this crucial time comes to no surprise to me.
After the attacks and moving to Amsterdam, my eyes were opened to a much different experience. Dutch people a little more private, a little more closed off, friendly but not as open as the french seemed to have all their shit together. There was a playground outside of my flat and I remember seeing unattended kids out there all the time during the summer. Safe. I thought to myself, I have to raise my children in Europe. My three summers there were full of sitting in the clean, cared for grass in the parks drinking sparkling water out of recycled bottles that you get money for when you bring back. I was living gig to gig so would buy groceries every few days a few blocks down from me. Fresh bread was made daily for less than a euro (same in Paris). It was the small things like this that moved me. Being able to walk the city in a day or go sit outside and smoke my weed. Walking 20 minutes home from DJing at 3am because I never quite mastered riding a bike there. Recapping all of this during this time makes me so nostalgic. I want to go back often.
Admittedly so, I would live and stay in Europe if I wasn’t so close with my family. After our tragedy of losing my Mom -my choice became a suffer with them in America but make money move. No one could know this was going to happen.
So the question that weighs heavy is, what do I do now? What do we do now? As for Me- I am dreaming of my future husband and children and how we would be handling this together. I am checking in on my family and helping however I can. I am reconsidering some of my consumeristic ways because none of my cute outfits our or pieces of makeup have found to be useful to me now. I am finally getting right with my vitamin routines. I am studying my feng shui courses, and online marketing classes. I am working on my french. I am reading. I am watching whole movies again with my Father. I am leaning onto my spiritual practices learned the last few rough years. I am hoping to start moving physically again (exercise!) Making music, writing………..
I know more than anyone that being made to sit down during times of panic and fright is hard and it’s a mental game to be played with no shame involved. I told my dad last nigh that this was the weirdest thing to happen to me in my lifetime aside from losing my mom. It feels similar but less than to what I felt then having to get on a 9 hour flight after having an out of body experience of disconnecting physically with your Mother while being on the other side of the world. I felt like an alien for months. Like it was all one bad dream. You know when someone you love breaks your heart but x 100. Well, as hard as it is for me to share that experience with anyone- I made it through it.
I carry the pain in my shoulders sometimes- my chest. But since that all happened- I’ve smiled, I’ve danced, I’ve crushed, I’ve fallen in love with my brothers children, I’ve imagined love affairs in my head, I’ve loved, I’ve loved, I’ve loved, I’ve returned favors, I’ve made other people happy, I’ve forgiven, I’ve grown, I’ve grown, I’ve grown I’ve made things I only dreamed of happen, I’ve been better. I’ve been better. I’ll be better.
This too, shall pass.
Romans 12:1-2 be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your mind! This tells me that renewal is possibe.
Ephesians 4:23 be RENEWED in the spirit of your mind!