Fight vs. Flight

Flight Won

I was never much of a fighter anyway.

And so I fled.

The decision to leave my not so home anymore of a hometown wasn’t one that came without consequences. Many consequences would follow but for now just a few nay sayer’s was what I had to endure.

“Leaving to go where?”

“Are you seriously leaving?”

“You’re a girl, a Haitian girl. You’re not suppose to do things like that.”

Some of the things I heard when revealing my decision to move out-of-state. I was fleeing and there was nothing anyone could do or say to stop me. My intention, my plan, was to take whatever money I had, say my goodbyes, then head to the south where eventually my “unofficial” godparents path and mine would cross then some version of happily ever after blah blah was to manifest itself.

I was to head out alone leaving behind the turmoil that had become my life. A close friend decided her life in Boston was not for her anymore as well, so she, her boyfriend, and myself packed up and headed south. But first one last stop. One last goodbye. Again.

With fresh flowers in hand to cover my guilt, I took steps towards the spot which held my mother’s tombstone. With everything she owned still in a storage in my name, the thought of being completely disconnected overwhelmed me. I knew for some time I was leaving but now, before the representation of her, it became clear I was leaving that spot, her spot, as well. Stupid huh? Did I ever think I could take it with me? Not really but when you cross a bridge you had been putting off  you never really know what the outcome would be. I couldn’t take her with me. I couldn’t take the tombstone with me. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. So I snapped a pic. Should I have done that? Who knows. It felt weird doing it then and weirder remembering that I did now. Don’t ask why, all this was new to me.

My friends gave me all the time I needed to say goodbye but knowing we’d be driving, or at least they would since I hadn’t learned yet (don’t judge me, it was Boston and as long as I had the bus and train schedule I was fine l.o.l). I expressed my love to a piece of rock engraved with the portrait of her face. I laid down flowers which I’ve never been good at picking out, I turned and left.

The feeling of freedom I thought would come from saying goodbye and driving away from it all did not transpire. Quite the opposite in fact. At that moment, had I packed up the whole of Massachusetts and drove off with it, it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference. Everything, everyone, every agony brought on by this tragedy, every last bit of it all, was in that car driving to start a new life with me.  There was no need to turn back as most do when moving away from all that they’ve known, turning to see the homes they wouldn’t see anymore and the stores they’d no longer visit, and thinking of the reasons for the move. My stuff, all of my stuff was coming along for the adventure. My baggage would have front row seats to the new me’s next move. My baggage had already begun forming the new me. I didn’t know it or I didn’t care. I’m not sure. Mostly, I didn’t want to care.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

…Sometimes we wish we knew the plans that was mapped out for our lives. When we have children we sometimes try to shape their lives with our own plans. I thought I had a plan, as unclear as it was, I thought I had one. Living blindly in grief leaves so much unnoticeable room for a plan. God’s plan. Thank God for His plans.

Moments that followed

So there I was, my mother had been murdered. My younger brother in a coma. My home was no longer. People either treating me with kid gloves or like a fish in a tank to be gawked at. Friends behaving as if they’d never known the real me. My then boyfriend in jail before, during, and after the tragedy of my life. And all I saw before me was the cold shadows of gloom that my home town had engulfed me in. The tall buildings caved in on me. The few trees were no longer colored in vibrant autumn hues. Smog overtook everything in my view. Not only was I buried deep inside myself but now the world around me wanted to swallow the outer parts as well. I couldn’t breathe.

Even the simple task of riding public transportation became an ordeal. A display of pitied eyes and over zealous displays of affection from random people became part of my norm. Imagine riding the same few buses for most of your life and sitting next to the same people each day, having casual conversations and random small talks before your stop to get off. Imagine those same people now unable to look you in the eyes or worse can’t stop looking. Imagine a new passenger getting too close to you on that bus which being public transportation is bound to happen. Imagine forgetting to shut your eyes to the bus stop that let people off right in front of your once apartment building, the very same apartment building you no longer resided in because your mom had been brutally murdered there. Imagine those passengers glancing over at you, anticipating a melt down once you come to that bus stop in front of that apartment complex. How did I forget to look away? Why did I not shut my eyes? Would taking the train be any different? Would it be more of a chance to bumping into people I knew? Who knows? It was unclear. Nothing these days was clear. Nothing made sense. Was this now my life?

Ugh, the feeling of uncertainty was becoming my frien-emy (friend and enemy), more so enemy, now that the thrilling spontaneity of the unknown was no longer part of its equation. Uncertainty, now was just that, uncertain, unknowing, unsure, unclear, fear-filled vagueness, and those qualities, those qualities, were not friends of mine. I was secretly afraid of them but my life now possessed nothing but. Everything was uncertain.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

…Letting go and letting God, what a concept. You mean I have to give Him those fears too?… I guess, no I’m sure, had I done that even just 3 years ago, I would be so much closer to fulfilling His destiny for me. So much wasted time holding on to stuff I honestly wanted to let go of anyway.