As I embark on a new chapter in my life, I’m realizing that in six months time, I’ll be 39. Where has time gone? I’ve been out of high school over twenty years, been driving the same length of time. Woulda been outta college had I stayed consistent. Now at 38, I’m playing catch-up. This is the second time that I had one year left and I could’ve had it over with. This time I decided to ride it on out. As I approach the autumn of my life, my world view on things have changed, and continue to do so. My views on marriage, sex, the opposite sex, religion, politics, gun ownership, occupation and education.

I say all that to say this. And I’m gonna bare my soul a little but here. But this past year was challenging; getting over a failed relationship, being near-death from a sulfite medication, being hospitalized three times in one month, one of my closest friends and photography partner having a heart attack just 48 hours before we were to shoot a wedding together and having to cover a good six hours of both the wedding and the reception and checking up on her in the process. Thankfully she regained her health as 2013 came to its finish. And mom retiring and leaving the city and once again living by myself which feels good as I don’t know what! My dad asks me to this day, “How does it feel to live on your own?” I respond each time “I took it for granted the first time, I won’t make that mistake a second time.” And I meant that, too!

I’ve been thinking about my twin brother as well this past year. I really don’t want to say that I was obsessed with him, but if I was, then it is what it is. But next to someone else-non related-whom I once held very dear to me, he’s been a major topic of mine the entire year. Thanks to an old friend of mine, I’ve embraced poetry in recent years and I’ve composed poems about my brother nonstop, even performed one in a nightclub. Knowing that this remains a touchy subject to my parents, even mom began to open up more about the matter. I cannot recall whether I posted it here, or on Tumblr, or even Instgram. But I do remember saying that I will always say that I’m a twin, even though my brother was pronounced dead at birth. So coping with this longtime emptiness has been both rewarding and challenging to say the least. Other than my twin, I have no other siblings which makes me the only child which also means having to look after two divorced parents who are now retired and in their 60s but remain actively serving Jehovah God. That being said, things could still be much worse. I do hope that my parents and I will see my twin in the resurrection.

Now another challenge ensues: Finding another job and leaving the hood. Mom retired and left her house to me, and one of my cousins moved in my grandmother’s house next door to me. I appreciate that I’m on my own again, and that I have an opportunity to prove myself able to manage a household, save some money, and re-establish my credit. But I loathe my neighbourhood. I’ve said many times that in the 80s when mom and I first moved there, it was beautiful compared to what it is now. It was in bad shape then, but nothing like what it looks like now. Over half of my block is vacant, and having to look out the windows everyday just to see an empty two family flat with NO DOORS let alone being an empty shell is depressing! And a lot of our old neighbors had left and some haven’t been back, and those who have only to visit family. And trying to maintain a three bedroom house on $330.00 a week is tough! At a time like this, some photography jobs wouldn’t sound bad right about now along with selling my junk on eBay which I used to do religiously until I made so much in a day’s time I got complacent. I’m starting to realize that in this day and age, complacency is very unhealthy. But this constant working from a fixed income, being stressed out, in pain everyday, trying to work out, making sure all the bills are paid on time, I realize that it’s time for me to do something about this! I’m going to school for business, and I really wanna work for myself, but this janitor thing is for the birds. Now should I find another job like the one I currently have that pays way better PLUS benefits, I’ll go for it despite my reservations after having doing it for eighteen years. I was 20 when I started, and I’m 38 now. Time has flown.

As I approach the end of the summer of my life, I’ve come to the realization that if I wanna accomplish anything no better time than right now to do it! I remember my mother telling me two years ago, “Whatever you’re gonna do, you better do it now. Cause when I retire, I’m outta here!” And true to her word, she meant it! Almost a year later, I find myself wanting better out of life, out the hood, if possible, outta Michigan altogether.