Day 4: What am I Afraid Of

Last night was my first night in a new home. Hurricane Harvey pushed me out of my former home and into a season of transition. My transitional place felt like home. It was weird, but I could have stayed there forever amidst the people and the work.

Currently, I am most afraid of this new season and new people. I am afraid of opening up and sharing myself and my life with them. In the five years, I have lived in Houston, I have moved 3 times in 18 months at Casa, 3 times in 9 months in transition, and 3 times in 3 years. I have lived with 15 different people on beds and couches and rooms. I like change, but only through the background of foundationally consistent behaviors.

I need something to call home. I am scared of never finding that.

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Day 3: My Favorite Quote

Biblical Quote:

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Life Quote: “live simply, love extravagantly”

 

 

Day 2: 20 Facts about Me

  1. I am forever learning. I love learning formally, informally, whatever. Just teach me; I’ll learn it.
  2. Curse words are legitimate words and I have accepted that.
  3. Planting roots in Houston scares me.
  4. I make up songs all the time.
  5. Each year, I strive to attend a minimum of 5 concerts
  6. I am writing this blog post rather than writing a paper
  7. I do extremely well in high-stress situations
  8. With sincerity, I do not like Taylor Swift. Not even for a valid reason. I just saw her face as a senior in high school and was like NOPE.
  9. I daydream hard.
  10. I aggressively make clothing and hairstyle recommendations for my friends. They typically comply.
  11. My favorite thing about my face is my lips.
  12. I am terrified of mold.
  13. I enjoy memorizing Scripture.
  14. When I was younger I dreamed of being a plus sized model. My mom said no.
  15. I genuinely believe much of my personality formation has come because I have not had a boyfriend
  16. I plan on returning to foster parenting in 2020
  17. Recently, I have considered actively pursuing celibacy as a long-term choice
  18. God’s kindness has been a stressful mystery that I have gotten to unfold this year.
  19. It takes me 30 minutes or less to make major life decisions.
  20. I’ve been transient (fancy word for homeless) twice.

Day 1: Intro & Recent Picture

Hey, I’m Tosin. It doesn’t rhyme with anything and that’s okay. I am 27 and all over the place. In one sense, I feel like I am an adult. I am decisive. I lead a team. I am learning to take care of myself. On the other hand, I am kind of a mess. I am well-loved, but struggle to attach myself appropriately to people…if at all. I really want to be healthier by the time I’m 30. I have my own special brand of humor.

I am also single. Which doesn’t matter, but after introducing myself as an adult. I have learned that married people always share that they are married and engaged people just overshare.

I am a Christian who struggles. One of my greatest pangs has been accepting that God does not indulge me in my desires even when they are positively motivated. Also, after nearly 10 years of following Christ and four years in seminary, I still struggle immensely with sin.

I love life. I love this world. While I run my mouth, I am super observant as well. I feel like I am a chameleon who doesn’t know what spots are her surroundings or my own. I recently decided to plant my roots in Houston, Texas. I’ve lived there for five years, but I recently decided I am going to invest in creating a stable home and community for myself there.

I think that’s it.

Here are recent photos of my face and face with my body.

December Blogtember

If you have followed my blog at all this year, thank you. I write from my heart and experience. However, I know I hyperfocus on the melancholy and complexity of simple things. It’s a flaw. This year has been difficult for me. The last time, I had a year this struggle-ridden a friend sent me a link to something called Blog-tember where I was given prompts on different topics.

It has been three years since my last Blog-tember and about five years since, I started this blog. I’ve decided for the month of December to post daily with prompts. I may post other things, but I want to do something light. Also, prompts generate creativity.

So, stay close and attentive, and enjoy Blogtember.

Death of a Youngster

I left my interim home at 8:30am, anticipating being in Temple, TX at 12:05pm. I arrived on time. I was the first one at the funeral. I stood in the foyer staring into the distance at an open casket with a body in it, that did not look like the last time, I had seen him. He was 15. He was 14 when his family left last year. Shot and killed immediately, he had been dead for 10 days.

Before, many others began arriving. I asked the aging pallbearer if I could view him. I only made it halfway into the sanctuary. I stood in the middle frozen, weeping, breathless. I left and walked outside, hoping to reclaim the air that death had stolen from me.

A fleet of cars pulls up. From the first proceeds a slew of family members, ending with his mother. Who looks the same except for her red hair. She looked at me and didn’t know who I was. I walked inside. It was in the foyer that she said my name. She left her family and gave me an embrace and cried. Instinctually and stupidly, I said, “It’s okay.” The words left my lips and slapped me in the face. This is not okay. Mothers should not bury their sons. A family member impatiently pulled her away telling her she needed to sit down. It was thirty minutes before the funeral began.

I walked in and seated myself in a position where I couldn’t see his face. He did not look like himself. In the time before the funeral, you could hear the irreverent cackling of the family. Mom sat alone and detached. She left the room. Moments later, I felt arms around my chest and a head upon my shoulder. It was mom. I immediately wept. I didn’t want to say any of the wrong words this time. I love you. I am so sorry. For twenty slightly interrupted minutes, she shared her sorrow with me. She shared her guilt and her pain. She shared her emptiness. Though I could not fully take them, I was graciously invited to an experience.

She returned to her family. I moved seats. I wanted to be closer to him. Throughout the funeral, the refrain was repeated in my mind, “Where would Jesus be in this scene?” The ceremony felt quick. The church was filled primarily with weeping adolescents processing death and grief. The two officiants used his death as to preach their messages of gun control and serve as a Beyond Scared Straight episode. It drove me insane. The forty or so youth in that service needed comfort. Many of them attended without their parents. The church should have comforted them.

Some of the family members cackled through the hymnals. I could see mom get irritated. The family was full of laughter, but she needed them to mourn with her. We caught eyes in the middle of the service. Seeing her with her family, her life made more sense. I could understand, why she is the way she is.

The service was over. As she arose, she let out the first wail of finality. It won’t be the only one. With every birthday, every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, the year he should have graduated she will wail like this. It hurt to hear it.

As we exited the sanctuary, we passed by his open casket. I finally looked in. Death has stolen his face. His bright honey complexion was greyed. His bouncing curls cut short. His eyes forever fastened closed. His mouth sealed to provide no opportunity for breath or speech. His rosary filled hands folded on his lap, looking out of place for him. He was resting, but it didn’t look peaceful.

I only stayed at the reception long enough to speak to the mother one last time. Then, I left.

The drive back from Temple to Houston was daunting. I played Miles Davis’s Kinda Blue and thought about everything else, but his death.

Death is a thief. I know that Life is a giver. We all wrestle with both. Death felt victorious on November 8th. Life has won the war. To answer the question, “Where would Jesus be in this scene?” I think He would just be there, wrought with sorrow and grief. Consoling the mother. Correcting the family. Comforting the adolescents. Speaking life into death. I am not Jesus, but I pray I was where he would be in this scene.I pray, that I will be that continually.

Falling Apart

It took 3 years to make a house a home, two days to pack it into boxes and empty it, and seconds to drop off those boxes at Goodwill.

I have no words beyond these. I don’t even know where that statement was supposed to lead. I have so much hope for Christmas. I am praying for hope beyond this week, beyond November, beyond 2017. That the light and the cheer and the carols will carry me into an ether dispersing my sorrow. I have been grounded for too long.

I think this is my last blog for 2017. It is labor to process to order to write to author words. Y’all, I am just here. Hoping to be elsewhere. I don’t even think it is about being housed anymore. A room is a room. Numbers mixed with letters addressing people to places, where more people exist.

It’s about not knowing who to place in the emergency contact forms.

It’s about not wanting to wake people because my throat is closing on itself.

It’s about not knowing who I would call if I got into a flat or in a wreck.

It’s about not knowing who to call to help me move.

It’s about not trusting anyone to know how to care for me.

It’s about not giving the people the opportunity.

It’s about the fear of being present and detached.

It’s about not being a priority.

Maybe this isn’t my last post. My fear is that people read my words in sequence and don’t see a pattern. I need for people to ask me good questions. I need to feel safe. I am losing it. I am losing it.