Brownness, Myself


by Jemal Yarbrough

Riffing along in my thoughts as I rushed to get to my counselor last week,  I realized I often played a strange mental game with myself.  Each week, I leave around 8am with the goal of being there at 9am.   Most times I leave it to the whim of the navigation to get me there.  Then it struck me that invariably the machine would tell me take an exit at a street (never the same street twice) and by some miracle get me there at 8:59am. I realized the path with navigation was like my life where I trusted others to guide me and suddenly grew up but just barely. So last week, I gave up the navigation and just took the way I knew and guess what I got there at :8:59.  No need for exits, and shortcuts or turning onto random corners.  I just trusted myself and  the result was the same. No more frustration or lack of knowing if I would get there on time or worse the sinking feeling that I was utterly dependent on someone who knew but didn’t care to tell me how.

So no big news there, I can do things, but often I do not.  As my therapist mentioned, I lack Chutzpah, that bit of nerviness with others close to me where I can say listen I know your methods are different perhaps even better, but I prefer to do it my way. I admitted to him that I felt like I could not make certain decisions because of the strong opinions or some or worse because of their lack of organization. Instead, I was left stewing in my frustration and wondering what the hell I had done to be so lacking in will power.  Sure, I was breathing and being mindful but I had gone to the other extreme of letting some run over my life and affect personal decisions that frankly were no one’s business except mine and my significant others.  I am like the lone boat in the marina, pushed ahead with the tides of strong personalities, unwilling and worse filling so up with anger and frustration that spewed onto the wrong person.

I have made so much progress in my life but now I also new additions in my life and feel like in some way have to start over.  That’s ok, that’s life but the difficulty is knowing when to speak up and when to shut up and let others live their life the way to want to.  I guess, the same way I want to be treated by others…


Going Nowhere Fast

Angry Talk (Comic Style)
Image via Wikipedia


by Jemal Yarbrough


Today was one of those days where nothing made sense, and everyone seemed to be at blame.  I was unhappy with many, and it seemed that many close to her were taking her chemotherapy for granted.  I was angry, yet I knew what was driving this emotion: fear.  My fear, to be precise.  In my effort to control the uncontrollable, I got lost in the blame game.  It seemed easier to be angry than to face the glaring truth: I am run down, overwhelmed, and just plain tired.  Plus, I can no longer ignore the twinges in my throat that foretell a major cold: something she cannot absolutely not be around.

And so I fumed, angry at the world and especially annoyed by others carrying on with their day when I know no peace and neither does she.  Therein lies the problem: I made my pain above hers, and just felt truly alone.  Between the countless hours of worrying, and wondering what the coming day will consist of, I lost sight of the one person truly living with this.  It’s easy as hell to be mad at her family for not being around, but hard to acknowledge that I am failing her in some key ways: mainly in emotional arena.  It’s hard because I am not at peace anytime and unable to get to do the things I need to fulfill myself.  I am drawing empty, I do not know what to do.

So I get angry, and blame and try to numb myself by borrowing an hour to go to the Hidden cafe. It’s not enough because deep down, I know I am not doing myself any favors by blowing smoke, and that the real break for me is to be around my friends and family, read and write as much as I can.   I do not know how to reach out because I have been let down by a few, and due to this foolish pride of mine, I sit here alone in the other room unable to sustain my wife in any meaningful way.  I see it and know that I need to be better, and can be better. I just have to step away from the ones that aggravate me, quit blaming others,  be vulnerable, love myself, be kind to my soul, and love her with all my soul.

So although the day went nowhere fast, and I fight this cold, I know one truth: we are halfway through and at the end of the day, that is all that matters.  I am thankful for what I have, no for what we have, and have faith that things will get better.  Today ended with me realizing that I need help, and it may not come from the ones I expect.  And that’s ok.  Friends and people will fail and let me down, and I will too, and that’s ok.  I am only human.