I know by now you’ve figured out I wasn’t doing my traditional yearly countdown.  There was so much going on and I wanted to handle this special time of year in a new way.  So, I decided to make an extra long post and bring you up to speed at one time.  I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you prefer the other way.  These are in no particular order but these are the moment that stands out in 2017. Let’s get it started.

Moving to 7732 – After a rocky and moldy ending (literally) in my old apartment, we were relocated to another unit on the complex. As you noticed through this blog and pictures on Instagram, I invested a lot of time into making that place feel like home. So when I moved over here, I didn’t even have the energy. We’ve been here since March and I still haven’t got this place organized. Let’s add that I truly thought I would be moving into the home I purchased this year but you all know what happened there. It’s a better apartment. Larger. Better views of the Detroit River. The neighbors are priceless. However, over the last half of the year, I’ve been living in a constant MAJOR construction site. They’re completely overhauling this property. This includes digging to install gas lines to offer residents forced and central air. Well, the majority of this smelly work is taking place right outside my windows and the smell is sickening. Now, the query on my brain is – do I wait for them to finish or move on to another place? I have time to think but I truly need to weigh out my options.


Year of Music – Oh, I saw some great acts this year starting with Thundercat. Chene Park offered up a few artists I couldn’t pass on. I didn’t hit the road as much this year for music but I had to see Chris Brown in Chicago. My cousin even got me out the house to see Xscape. Solange, Tyler the Creator, Boney James, Roy Ayers, Lalah Hathaway, Will Downing, Chante Moore and my jazz festival crew. In addition to those people, I saw a true legend this year – Patti Labelle. Outside of the live shows, I discovered a crew of new artists that I have every intention of seeing live – Smino, Moodchild, H.E.R, Daniel Caesar, and a few others.  My ears and heart were pleased. I didn’t make it to Paisley Park but I’ll get there in the new year.  My SeatGeek and StubHub notifications are loaded and I’m sure I’ll get around a little more in the new year.

AVMs – on Dec. 6, I called 911 to assist me because somehow the entire right side of my body went numb and I couldn’t get it to do what I commanded. As the dispatcher listened to my request for help, she asked, “why do you feel you’re having a stroke?” My response lacked no candor, ‘Bitch, because I’ve already had one. Help me.’ That was the best I could give her. The EMTs arrived and I dropped another B bomb. By the time I arrived at the local hell of emergency rooms, all my faculties were functioning. Afraid of a repeat battle with aphasia, I kept talking and reading everything. After a few hours and some rushed tests, they came back and said it was a TIA. Oh yeah, I thought, ‘fuck this I’m outta here’ and signed myself out. Then, my friend, Reggie appeared only to walk me back to the emergency room. (You never know how blessed you are until you look into the faces of your friends. My friends are unmatched. All of them are true blue. That’s only because they know the type friend I am.) As we sat there, catching up, laughing, trying to see if this nurse was worth him shooting his shot lol and talking about life, I appreciated him a little more. We were only planning to go out that night, I guess we did. Ha! He had done God’s work. I stayed in that hell hole until Friday. While I was there they diagnosed me as having another small stroke/TIA/vasoconstriction/AVMs. The reason it wasn’t a stroke is that I have no residual deficiencies. This TIA business was still up in the air but they presented 2 additional causes. These grabbed my attention and I needed to get to Dr. Miller at Henry Ford to confirm. I was active in a situation where I did NOT trust the people who had my life in their hands. After styling on them for one week in comfortable pajamas, twisting my hair daily, cleansing and moisturizing my face (thanks to Tamika) and laying on my satin pillowcase, I walked out calling my neurologist. He made room for me and I’m going to take all these findings over to him. I’ll let him tell me what our next steps are. One thing I know for sure, I’m going to live.

Rocket Love – After 4 years, the relationship I thought was going to mature into spending the rest of my life with Gino S., is over. Yep, that’s his name. I kept that real close, lol. himThis is the main reason I’ve gone missing over the last part of 2017. I don’t even have the energy to type it out. Bottomline: The feeling he had was that I was spying on him for the UAW or someone more powerful.  He’s being psychologically manipulated and I’m helping them do this to him. He doesn’t trust anything I say or even being around me. Trust me, I’m still confused but hey – maybe entering the institution of marriage – isn’t in the cards for me.  I still believe in love but at this point, I’m not sure if I even want to go through this again. This one hurt more than any other. The reason for this is because I’ve done none of what he believes and I truly felt I had found my best friend and life partner in this man. I stayed single for so long and when I opened myself up again, BAM I got hit. Understand this is the one thing I was protecting myself from and it still happened. Feel free to listen.  There is more but I just wanted to share a piece. My truth is all that matters to me.  Something that I’m not aware of happened (mental health issues) and he needed to push me away.

Book Author Ambitions – This year I decided to write a book. After writing this blog for 5 years and putting this idea on the back burner, I’m finally going to dedicate some time to finish it. If you follow me on Facebook, you can find out the title. I can promise you – it won’t be a short story. 🙂

New Assignment – In June, one of the best bosses I’ve ever had transitioned to the next chapter in his professional life. We truly had a great working relationship and you all know how much I enjoy stability but I had to accept this. His transition spearheaded mine and that included me moving away from everything I was familiar with except my parking garage. Lol, that had to remain the same. I may have started kicking and screaming. Moreover, this was my opportunity to show my worth on the team. Display that I had grown from the time I had joined the company. I had become more proficient and knowledgeable in the role. More importantly, this showed me they trusted me to transition seamlessly and learn about the new business organization I would be supporting. What I didn’t know was, this was only the beginning. At the end of November, I was informed I would be supporting our newest Senior Executive Leader. Wow! As word got around, the congratulatory messages and visits came and none was more surprising than that from Captain Stadwick. I still call him boss and always feel like I represent him and Rebecca. That’s the type of person I am – I just don’t want to disappoint the people that believe/support me. My new director seems nice and I’m sure we’ll build a great working relationship. Do I see you on the horizon STABILITY!? 🙂

Kid Graduating – I’m still excited about that kid graduating. He’s sincere about getting a degree. I think my sermons about making a life for yourself got through to him. With one img_4230semester under his belt, he’s still excited about school. We’ve experienced some bumpy roads but it was time for me to let him go & grow.  He’s becoming his own man and there’s not much I can do for him at this point.  He needs to work those things out for himself. I’m a little nervous about some military conversations he’s been having with some soldiers. I mean who would want their child to be in the military with a leader like 45. I’m not putting that guy’s name in my post but feel free to figure out who I’m talking about. Him graduating was certainly a major highlight of my life.

Lance – Y’all remember when I 1st start talking about getting a new car. I still love Cole but it was time for me to move on. After talking to our Technical Assistance Team, I settled on the CTS. Let me just tell you – I really love all the bells and whistles included in this vehicle. Eff all that – I love this car as a whole. The connectivity is unmatched. I haven’t even had it one year but I know I’ll be a repeat customer. It’s perfect for me. Don’t get me wrong there’s a vehicle from each of our brands that fit me. Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Yukon Denali. This Cadillac just spoke to me. Now, to try out the manual features when the weather breaks and only God knows when that’ll happen around Detroit. Lance

This hair – I still have my edges, more silver strands and it’s getting thicker. My plan is to wear wigs for the entirety of 2018. In addition, I will be doing chebe, hair supplements and deep conditioning on a regular basis. Some essential hair care practices were neglected throughout the year. My goal is APL by the end of 2018. I believe I can do it. So many stresses that were buried in my mind have eradicated themselves or I’ve made a pact to not allow them to drain me anymore. My complete health is important to me and that includes my hair. It may not be billowing curls like Tracey Ellis Ross but it’s all mine. I heart my hair, still.

My favorite Asian – On a quick getaway to Battle Creek, Michigan, I bumped into an Asian store owner. I’ll be the 1st to tell you, I only remember 25% of what he said. The thing that will remain with me until I die is something he said about time. “To waste time is to waste your life.” Even one minute is waste…. I share this message with you, don’t waste one moment of your life.

LIVE…. I’ll see you in 2018 with more smiles. 🙂

I know you all are tired of me doing this – the disappearing act. Even if you’re not going to say it, I’ll tell you. I’d be tired of it myself but I’m back and I appreciate you all for stopping in and checking while I was out of the office. 🙂 There is so much to catch you up on. This is going to go by very rapidly but you can expect a post from me at least 3x a week.  Here are a few highlights from the posts to come:

  • House Hunting
  • PTSA Elections
  • Prom
  • Lance
  • New Assignment
  • This Hair of Mine and so much more.

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I need you to have the trust of a mustard seed in me.  The postings will being Friday and continue until this entire story is available for your reading pleasure.  Catch you in a few!

What would my countdown be without a song?!?!

This post won’t be that long because I’m still shocked by this.  A year ago this entry came in at number 3.  It returned to take a higher placement in my life this year.  The joy I feel in knowing that he is becoming the person I tell everything to, gives me the honest truth and doesn’t pass judgement makes the day that much easier.  I’m still taking it one day at a time and that seems to be getting us farther than expected.

I’m happy with him and the way I have transformed in this relationship.

Sleeping Beauty hair garments is a small start up built on one principle – to achieve the best head of hair through quality products and hairducation. So when we started our Instagram page we spent a great deal of energy promoting our products. Over time we’ve broaden our scope to include information and have built relationships with people from all over the world. These individuals include @sonappy_kinky a natural young lady living in Sweden! Hello to all my Swedish readers! She always arrives on the page to like post, comment on pictures and suggest alternatives for treatments. So when she reached out to me about being apart of an event she was planning I got excited. First of all, I thought about what I was going to wear in Sweden. Then she informed me that she was interested in doing a giveaway. With no hesitation I said – YES!

The details for the contest can be found on her blog Nappy & Kinky – the road to “good hair”. There is a chance to win a scarf or bonnet made from these fabrics.

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You only have 2 more days to enter!! I thought some of you might be interested in winning your very own garment from Sleeping Beauty! Looks like the world is ready for us. Good luck! 🙂

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You all have vaguely been on an emotional roller coaster with me since day one or it might have been the 15th day.  During the course of this ride this one particular individual has resurfaced on several occasions.  There have been shouting matches, text blasts, no communication, make ups, tears shed, laughs, smiles and a host of other things.  This is the kind of thing that happens when you mix fire and air.  Together either it dies or the fire grows.  Let’s just say without proper management everything that you don’t want to happen can because sometimes things are simply out of your control.

After not speaking to this person for several months, I ran into him at a local night spot here in Detroit.  The same night my behind figured out I was exhausted with the entire club scene.  As I held up the wall my phone rang with the distinctive tone assigned to my siblings.  Through a text message the message was relayed – Your boyfriend is here!  Now we all know that I have been the poster girl for Single Women on The Move for a substantial amount of time, lol.  Not one to take information for face value until it meets my face.  I blew it off.  Then like  a beam of lightening he appeared.  Walking right over to me we hugged, said our pleasantries and stood among jovial people.  All the time that was lost between us didn’t matter.  It was what it was for that moment.  Then as the lights went up I escaped an inevitable night by making my way to the door without saying good-bye.

I was happy to see him.  He was okay! I decided at this moment it was time to let go of a 7 year relationship that left both of us angry with unanswered questions and regret.  The underlying factor that we were both ignoring in our selfishness was that maybe we should have just remained friends.  Our plans and attempts to be in a “traditional relationship” failed time after time.  We hadn’t come to the realization that we were NOT meant to be no matter how destined we felt.  In a short morning catch up, I expressed my true feelings about what we have, had, our future and wished him well on his journey through the remainder of his life.  In true mature fashion he did the same.  We vowed to always be friendly but we had to move on.  This was bigger than us and we agreed on those facts.

Saying good-bye to an experience that almost stretched a decade yet embodied most of our lives was hard.  Moreover, we knew it was t he thing to do.  As the text read “I love you… Always.”  The words are etched in my heart as if we had carved our love into one of the many trees throughout this great city.  It resides in a scared place.  Spoken from one of the most sincere men I’ve ever known in my time.

 

Press play 1st….

If you could see my face some days in person, you would have known. I’m what some might call glowing, blushing all the time and even more tolerable! (Major side eye because that last comment came from my sister, Shawn) I don’t feel any different until I’m in his presence. This can be on the phone, via text or in person. He has a way of making me feel like I’m 17 again and I like it! To be totally honest with you. I didn’t even see him coming my way. But I want you to look at this tweet I posted over 2 years ago:

stoical127.jpgI’ll just say The Lord answered my simple prayer and opened my heart to receive his blessing. After making the international announcement that I was ready for a relationship a few new candidates came my way. To be frank I really wasn’t interested. I was just going through the motions. Then I made peace with my decision and began focusing on Marti.

Do you want to hear an ironic story? I know you do! He called one day after work and said he was on his way to see me. I smiled. When he pulled up in the driveway. I was suppose to be pulling out to go on a meaningless date with some man I made plans to meet. We sat there talking and laughing into the night. I never even called the guy to tell him I wasn’t going to make it-EVER. It’s mean to me because when he arrived. I altered my previous plan without hesitation even failing to call the fella out of common decency. My mother raised me better than that! 😀 If I ever see him again, I’m prepared for whatever he may have to say. I would have been pissed if someone did that to me. However, what’s his name never crossed my mind after my heart steadied its pace after beating like the drummer in a rock band. It seems as though my heart was ahead of me in this matter. I needed to catch up or stop running from my emotions. I’ll tell you I haven’t entertained the thought of being in another man’s presence since that day. As I walked away from him that evening he asked a peculiar question, “why is your skin glowing like that?” My response was black girl smart with a touch of sincerity. I said “I’m an angel!” He looked at me. I blurted out something else on the line of me using black soap. It wasn’t until I felt safe that I spoke my truth by answering with “I’m glad to see you.”

Its been a few months. I’m learning to soften my rough exterior and allow him to experience (it seems like there is no way to say this without it being taken out of context) a more caring nurturing side of myself. I don’t want to jump to conclusions or pull the cart before the horse. I’m taking it one day at a time. Let me enjoy myself!

On our last visit I felt the words come together to give life to my feelings but I stopped them. I shy away every time I want to tell him I love you because it always seems like the wrong time. What’s that saying? “There’s no wrong time to do the right thing.

Wish me luck or pass me some courage! 😉

Dear Detroit,

I felt it was time to write this letter to you & let you know how I truly feel. I’ve been in love with you since the 1st day I learned to spell your name. Replacing the recorded lyrics of a song to include Detroit has always brought me great joy. There’s no place like you! Weekends burning gas riding around Belle isle, bus rides downtown & the countless winter nights we shared painting the town. You raised me to never be afraid of any corner in the world I should ever feel lost on. I believed in you when it became fashionable to doubt your relevance. Traveling the world I found great humor & honor in being a true representative of your boundaries. Nothing tickled me more than people saying “Oh you from Detroit- yeah they don’t play!” It seems that I dedicated my life to being a Detroiter. The last of a dying breed! It’s been one of my goals to be here for the rest of my life. However, as we have aged and things changed, so have my desires.

We’ve had our share of downs. You not being readily available for action due to your 2 am curfew. The lack of quality shopping and entertainment in close proximity. I’m still mad about the Mercury theater. An almost acknowledging transition to the inferior place they painted you out to be. The lack of grandeur I’d seen & heard about in pictures from only decades ago. Your complete dependence on factory workers should’ve prepared me for what was next. The abandoned building that still stands that I was raped in while the 1st school I ever attended was crumbled like a melting iceberg. The alleys that I played in as a child have become open graveyards to lost souls no one cares to find. Your put on act for the 2006 Super Bowl was epic but I saw the real you & showed a few guests how we really get down. The way you’ve numbed us is almost narcotic, mystical & hypnotic. At some point, someone has to snap their fingers for us to awake.

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I’m up! I thought I could hang in for the long fight but you have officially crossed the line this year. This has absolutely nothing to do with me. It holds roots in the DNA of my son. A son who has not taken to your streets maliciously. Neither has he created any defamatory ideas of the young men you produce. He’s our miracle child. Not afraid to stand up in your honor. You have failed him because twice this year your other children have threatened his life through violence. This will not be tolerated! I’ve never messed with yours let you do whatever you see fit from casinos to shutting off the lights when you want. It’s this type of respect I require as a parent to work, live & rest properly. You’ve taken too many of our sons already. Yes, mine is no more special but I feel you owe it to us to make sure that the ones that want better have a fair chance at it. Coincidentally, I see you don’t care. And it’s with this realization that I’ve come to the conclusion to throw in the towel. I refuse for you to garnish my son as you’ve done with so many others.

I refuse to be on the other side of the door for the “we’re sorry to tell you this” visit. Now that I see you don’t care about mine I can’t harbor you anymore. The time has come for us to relocate to explore the opportunity of a better life.

Do I still love you? Yes! Will I still call myself a Detroit girl? Yes! Will I still pay city taxes? No! Will we be back after you’ve had some time to think? There’s a good chance I might! As for the kid, I’m not to sure. I’ve been urging him to free himself from your grasp. This plan has been in the works for a while now. I want you to succeed & be the phoenix I know you have the strength to be. Show the world how you emerged from the man made grave they buried you in. You’re beautifully misunderstood. Moreover as a mother to her young my job is to protect him from harm. Please don’t be mad about my decision. Moving forward is moving on and it’s time.

With all my heart,

Marlea Z. Wilson