One year ago, I finalized my divorce. I walked into the courtroom in my hometown alone. I had no attorney. No one had come to oppose me. I simply stood up and agreed to the simple terms I’d had my ex-husband sign off on at the UPS store the previous month. We’d divided our property ourselves. We’d divided our debts ourselves. We’d set a low amount of child support.
These pre-arranged financial agreements did not fall in my favor and left me with considerable debt. However, the cost of the divorce itself was a mere $250 USD, and I gained uncontested custody of our two children plus an immediate sense of freedom. …
Beginning with St. John’s Wort (SJW), I’ve been experiencing the magic of plant-based medicine for years. The SJW literally saved my life from my own hands and opened up my perspective. As a result of this psycho/spiritual shift, I experienced cannabis and mushrooms for the first time in my late 20s, followed by ayahuasca on my 34th birthday.
I’m 38 now.
Within the last year, as the world collectively faced the arrival of COVID-19, I finalized my divorce, received a serious cancer diagnosis and began the heavy process of closing one company and cultivating a freelance career. I moved with my children from rural Georgia to Midtown Atlanta, and I watched as my mother’s dementia worsened and symptoms more akin to schizophrenia increased, suggesting the latter condition may have always been present. …
Walk, dance and exercise as much as you can.
For you, movement is life.
So is writing, creating and cultivating both
community and magic.
The day will come that your lover must carry you —
your body small, encased in one of your sweaters,
like the wings of the owl-woman you imagined saving you
all those years ago when you actually saved yourself.
But one of those memories is a long time gone,
and the other a long time to come. …
Recently, on LinkedIn, an insightful woman that I follow made a post about equity. A 20-year veteran of Hallmark now working as a consultant and entrepreneur, she wrote:
The reason this #equity work is so important to me is because I want Black and brown people to not have to “hustle” to reap the rewards of their hard work. White men have accelerators — they are closer to the insight, access and opportunity.
Insight: Unwritten rules and business knowledge.
Access: Critical networks and “high” places.
Opportunity: Important projects and growth roles.
It’s like chutes and ladders. Some are sliding into the good stuff and others are forever climbing out of a hole. It’s wrong. …
I’m among the masses who previously viewed LinkedIn as the least of the social media giants.
Then, I got cancer. The setting was pre-COVID-19, late 2019.
In order to help me afford the cost of care, I started a crowdfunding campaign. However, rather than simply asking people to give me money, I promised them a signed copy of a poetry collection that I was writing to help me process my journey with cancer.
I started out spreading the word via Facebook, but my network there quickly shut me down. While I did gain a few donors via private messaging, most Facebook connections were quick to send me wishes of “love and light” while explaining why they would never dream of giving me charity. …
As my children and I were returning from a COVID testing site yesterday, we passed through a variety of Atlanta’s neighborhoods and had an insightful discussion about privilege. It got me thinking about the multiple layers of privilege that exist, as well as they ways in which I navigate them.
Personally, I have privileges associated with my whiteness, my relative level of attractiveness and my prep-school education. The first two serve mostly to ensure that I get left alone when going about ordinary tasks.
I think this is because they cause people to look at me and assume that I possess additional levels of “in-group” privilege, even though I don’t. …
I have always been neurologically divergent, but I grew up just being called “weird.”
Creative types and boys with a sexual interest in me either looked past it or were intrigued by it. The rest of the world had a hard time knowing what to do with me.
They wondered why, as a child, I was always tapping on things.
Today, people still question why an adult professional like me:
Lately, my social feeds have been crowded with debates about wealth, health, and the various ways society is shifting its approach to these areas. If the topics of financial equity and health equity interest you, here are some things about me that you might like to know.
Say the word “debt,” and I think most people think of student loans and credit cards. Or maybe mortgages and cars.
While I have a few ordinary debts, the vast majority are actually to 26 people around the globe, a couple investors, the state of Georgia and the IRS. …
In August 2019, I began writing SOVEREIGN: Recovery Poems. In December 2020, I finished it and changed the title to Queen of Wands.
The 63-page compilation of poetry and prose explores my unconventional journey with cancer and COVID while shining a light on large-scale issues of health equity.
While some poems also appear on Medium, Queen of Wands stands on its own as a unique artistic vision. The poems that you’ve seen have changed form — losing lines, gaining verses, connecting with other writing in ways that highlight how a whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Now that the manuscript’s complete, the next steps are simple. I have to edit for formatting and then approve a test copy of my work. …
When Halloween came this year, I draped a red hood across my shoulders, literally cloaking the growing mass of cells in my left armpit. A few days later, I made what turned into a 5-hour round-trip to go vote in the general election. I pulled up at a church within an hour of the polls closing.
Since I live in Georgia, the following days brought no regrets. The senate races of Ossoff vs. Perdue and Warnock vs. Loeffler advanced to run-offs, and the state flipped “blue” for Biden. …