14

Today makes fourteen years I’ve been on WordPress. So, four blogs later, I’ve settled into A Cornered Gurl and as much as WP can be a pain with its glitches and out-of-date themes, this is home. I can’t see hosting my site anywhere else. I’ve tried and well, I always come back.

14 years is a long time. Thank you for sticking with me, WordPress. 💙

Beauty in Nature

I am sharing a few photos with you from my trip to Charlotte, NC to spend the night with my best friend. We stayed in mostly, and only ventured out for a short trip to the store and then to a greenhouse/nursery on Sunday morning. We donned our masks and social distanced ourselves from other shoppers and viewers of the beauty before us all. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.

Peace lily
Blue-green: succulents
Part of my best friend’s collection. She’s got her own little nature sanctuary all throughout her home.
Isn’t this a beauty?!
Hoyas

She Could Never Be My Superhero

A Free Verse Poem

I’d been laying my problems at her feet
only upon her request and even then,
I’d been careful — didn’t reveal too much,
didn’t let her tap-dance her way into 
the depths of me. 
I know what to say and when and how to 
say it in order to fill the mind with
the info it needs to keep it 
yearning for more.

A tablespoon here, a teaspoon there, 
she feasted on parts of me no one else
could ever fetch and since she was willing
to swim in the deep end, I showed her what
those waters had in them.
You find out how sincere a person is
when you shed some skin in their presence.
You learn just how devoted
they are when shit hits the fan.

Not everyone is built to carry your
burdens — not everyone is made to 
honor your suffering. 
You are your own warrior and your
battles are yours and yours alone.
The war created for you is meant for
you to fight, so when someone says
they can go to war for you, make sure
they have enough ammunition.

The back and forth of growing into
a new age in life can be exhausting.
40 isn’t 30 and 30 wasn’t 20, and
you find yourself looking back on those
times trying to pull any memories 
catered to your current hell, 
but none of them seem quite as
close to your now.

So, what can you do when that
friend still wants the deepest parts
of you even when you’ve tried
your best to be careful?
You step back, take a bigger view of
your surroundings, then make sure
your perception of you doesn’t 
overshadow what they truly see.

Then, you tell them, “I’m not looking
for anyone to save me. I’m looking
for someone to stand by me when
I need them, Nothing more. Nothing less.”

And if they stick around — if they still
want to stick around after that, a superhero
you do not have — you have love . . . 
the kind of love that lends itself
in the midst of broken hearts and
shattered dreams, and a botched election,
and a big ass baby’d man who’d cry if
his way isn’t the only way . . .

What you have is someone you
can depend on — someone loyal enough
to keep spoonfeeding bits
of you to.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium.

30 Things My Dog Probably Says About Me Behind My Back

That is, if she could talk.


Jernee: aka, The Boss; aka, J-Nasty; aka, Jern-Jern; aka The Princess; aka, The Little Monster, etc. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Pet owners: I’m pretty sure you have your very own thirty things and we’d probably swap stories and laugh hysterically about the ways of our non-human friends/family. Feel free to share a few in the comments if you want to.

  1. Human . . . I expect dinner promptly at 5:30 pm, there should be no deviation from this plan.
  2. That place that you go to every day in the morning and come back much later in the day, what shall I call it?
  3. While you were gone, I ate the crumbs on the floor you thought you brushed “off” the counter and into the cleaning cloth.
  4. Remember that one time you asked me if I liked the new grain-free food you bought me?! Do you recall my reaction, how I dove into the bowl as if I’d not eaten before? Well, I faked it.
  5. There’s this thing that rings loudly while you’re away. How can we make that not happen?
  6. Every time Nana visits, she sits in my favorite spot on the couch. I don’t like that.
  7. Why does she have to visit us anyway? Don’t you visit her enough now?
  8. I think you should warn me about bath-time, preferably a week in advance. I need time to evade this entire process.
  9. I’m not religious. You know that, right? God or mercy or hallelujah should never be in our discussions. I’m just sayin’.
  10. What’s this thing about “voting” I keep hearing on the radio? Is this something you’re going to do?
  11. If you are, will they pay you for it? I need more treats. Prioritize. Monetize this vote thing. Treats are important.
  12. Okay. You’ve seen Shrek 378 times already. That’s enough.
  13. The same goes for Finding Nemo.
  14. Auntie hasn’t been here in a while, neither has Nala. Did I do something? Did YOU do something? It’s always you. Yes, let’s go with that. Did you do something, human?
  15. You like to tell me not to drool on the couch, but please recognize how that’s not working out for you. Do I tell you not to drool on your pillows?
  16. Crushed ice is my favorite snack. More crushed ice, please.
  17. It’s been a while since we’ve had a daddy or another mommy around. What’s the holdup, human?
  18. I mean, I’m trying to gather all the attention I can. Are you keeping this from happening?
  19. The Vet . . . That’s one place I’d like not to go to anymore.
  20. If there’s any way we can make that happen, I’ll be happy about it. Tell them I’m good — we shouldn’t have to pay for pre and post-excellence. Let’s face it, I’m both. Save your money.
  21. Think of the treats.
  22. When you say things to me and you think I don’t understand what you’re saying, I’ve news for you, I do. I’m just ignoring you.
  23. Do we have new neighbors? I hear strange noises while you’re away.
  24. What’s with the burning of all the candles? And the sage?
  25. It’s been 5 minutes since you rubbed my belly or scratched behind my ears. Let’s change that.
  26. I’m not eating my food because I noticed yours smells much better.
  27. Yes, that’s right . . . Pick up my poop! Good human.
  28. No, I don’t like this taking pictures of me all the time thing. Stop it.
  29. When you take my collar off, it’s like you’re removing a piece of me. My identity shifts. How’d you like to have your identity shifted?
  30. NO, I WILL NOT STOP BARKING AT THE NEIGHBOR’S DOG! I’M PROTECTING US!

Bonus: I really do love you. That, I’m not faking.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

If I Loved You, I Still Do


And I always will

Photo by Nick Fewings via Unsplash

We have grown apart for a reason or reasons. We know that reason or reasons. Perhaps we’d always known them. Yet we tucked them deep within ourselves and buried them as lies. Our little truths were showing their heads, flashing beady eyes — devils from the dawn. We wanted to escape the crumble, denied the fall. But it still happened. I have loved what some may consider many and others not enough. And I love them all still, and I always will.

Our meeting had been destined to occur but not fated to last. Their presence in my life had its effects.

I have either become stronger from knowing them or wiser. And in my days of believing I’d become weaker, I have learned we design what we truly want and what we truly need. If I stayed, that was on me and me alone.


In The Beginning

Growing up, I was the eldest of seven children, three of my siblings lived with me. I was their “Go-to” person, their safe place. I cooked, ironed clothes, helped with homework, played with, and disciplined boys who would become men. Without going into much detail, I’ll express that my mom was fighting demons we could not see, and we suffered because of it.

Our household lacked the parental units necessary to maintain it and we grew up well before our time. Being children of divorce and separation, we all developed certain psychological “issues” that would linger into adulthood. I struggled with abandonment and fear of loss. I still do.

I am open about this and am the only one who has sought therapy because of it. I know there are still pieces of me yearning to have my “original” family back and a mother who was more active or involved, but I also know the past is gone and there’s no getting it back.

Healthy human development requires needs for physical and emotional care to be met. Unmet needs can result in feelings of abandonment. — Good Therapy

I search for bits of what I wanted my family to be in the people I meet: a devoted & more present mother, a faithful & more responsible father, less violence— curbed dysfunction . . . But I have to remind myself, I cannot go actively looking for what I am missing — it cannot be my ultimate reason for building relationships.

It is an everyday experience in knowing who I loved and why and remembering what I have lost too.


Growth Spurts

I have riddled my adult life with relationships where either I was deathly afraid to leave or my partner or friend felt as though they couldn’t leave. We stuck to each other, okay with the familiar, exasperated with holding on, but denied ourselves the freedom of letting go. I held on much longer than I should have. I did not want to lose them — I’d lost so much.

Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. — Mental Health America

It was obvious that much of my behavior centered on codependency which stemmed from feelings of childhood abandonment and either I was going to stare this truth into its face and take it head-on or continue to deny it. I faced it. I am getting better daily because of this option.

During these growth spurts, I have had to let go of some people I loved and will always love but held on to them because of history or decades of time that lapsed between us. Or . . . I did not want to feel what I needed to feel without their presence — peace. I didn’t know it would exist without them.

I tightened my grasp even if the relationship was one-sided; I did what I thought would keep us together: I showered them with gifts, made more time for them, checked up on them even when the gesture had not been reciprocated. In short, I removed layers of me with any semblance of hope that it would change them or make them stay.

In letting them go and giving them room to run, I also learned not to chase after them — not to reclaim what had been dead years before its actual expiration date.

There is an overwhelming sense of relief leaning into genuine bonds and friendships that come with no strings attached. I am also more aware of pointing out codependency, negative attachment, and fear of abandonment in others and moving away from forming these types of relationships.

Not that I am perfect in the selection of those coming into my life — I never will be. This is a testament that I now know what to look for and how to bow out of or back away from what could be potentially harmful to me.


You Are In My Heart

If I loved you, you had meaning in my life. You were here for a time and if you have vanished, that time has passed and rightfully so. I mourn your loss just as I would the death of the physical body. Your soul remains. I can feel you.

It was wise for us to part, for us to move on and move forward, and I believe this wholeheartedly. I am still learning, still growing, and recognizing parts of me that need fine-tuning.

But I know I loved you, and I always will.


Originally published on Medium.