The Rest of the Story…

My first weekend in Atlanta went by in a blur. We went to go pick up Tamara’s daughter and came home and relaxed basically. We stopped by Tamara’s apartment to unload my clothes and see the place.

This is the place that she has offered for me to stay. A cute 2 bedroom townhouse in Smyrna. All of her furniture is here. I don’t need anything. But since I am going to share her car as I do my job search, I have to stay with her in the big house and drop her off to work.

It’s Monday morning and we all get dressed. There’s a job employment agency in her building so we both go to her side of town, in a spot called Dunwoody. She prints out a couple of my resumes and I walk around her building looking for open doors and handing my resume to them. ~smile~
I go downstairs and sign up with the employment agency. Then I head down the street to another employment agency and drop my resume off before I head back to the apartment to go down my list of publications that I need to contact. Once I’m there I take off all of my clothes and get online. Ahhh…the internet… I revise my resume to include my new address and revamp it to showcase my creative writing side.

I pull out the magazine I picked up the first day in town at that Ann Laura’s restaurant and I shoot them an introductory email with some writing samples. I then shoot off the same email to one of the Black papers here. I spend the rest of the afternoon making a list of the places I want to contact and before I know it, it’s almost time for me to go back to the employment agency for skills testing.

As I am getting dressed my phone rings. I answer and raise my eyebrow.

It’s the first magazine that I contacted. The editor wants me to come in for an interview that same day. “I can’t today,” I tell her. “I have an appointment at 3:30. But I can come in the morning.”

“Wow!” Tamara says when I call her to tell her I already have an interview for the next day. Scratch that, two interviews since one of the businesses in her building actually put me on the schedule to be interviewed when I was there.

The next morning I drive over to the magazine and the editor greets me with a smile. She sits me down at a desk and hands me some headphones. “All you have to do is listen to this interview and write a 250 word story based on what you hear. Be sure to include quotations because for some reason when I give this test, most people don’t do that.”

I raise my eyebrow. Who writes a story without quotes?

An hour later I’m done with my story and I print it out and hand it to her. She reads it and then hands it to a copy editor for proofing. It is sent to another copy editor as I wait in the lobby.

She comes out smiling and we go into the conference room. She hands me the story back. It has 3 red marks on it. Two missing comma’s and I spelled the word ‘yay’ when they say it should have been ‘yea’. Ok, I can deal with that.

We talk for a bit and she says she’d love to offer me a position on her staff. But first I have to meet the publisher who seems like a hard hitting dude with a soft heart. “You’re fine,” he says and half-smiles. Get her over to the CEO and he can do the numbers with her.”

“The CEO is not here today but if you come in tomorrow at 10 am, you two can meet.”

The next day is Wednesday and since I didn’t get lost this time, I actually got there 45 minutes early. I’m sitting there staring into space when the editor says, “Well, we won’t have you wasting time. Let’s get you to start working on a few stories.”

I came to Atlanta to find a job and just one day after I began my search, I received my first offer.

I have been working full time as a writer for the magazine ever since, fumbling as I learn new procedures and getting to know the publication and the city better.

****************

TODAY

All kind of emotions have been coursing through my body since I began working. I’ve had feelings of pride and awe. I have thanked God profusely for the opportunity to not only have a job, but to have a job in the field that I majored in, in college.

I also feel extremely frustrated with the traffic. Dammit! Sitting in the traffic really makes me doubt if I want to live here. You don’t understand. You’ve only HEARD about Atlanta traffic. This shit ain’t no joke! It’s not cute. It’s not fun! And it was RAINING today! I almost choked myself in the car…I have no patience for this….

I’m scared because my job requires extensive travel and I’m not used to asking people for help with my kids. My current salary is low ya’ll. They don’t call us starving artists for nothing.

It’s been one helluva emotional rollercoaster. I don’t know how I feel from one day to the next. I talk on the phone with my sons every night and it’s good to hear their voices but…I wish I was there with them. I wish I could give them their heart’s desires. I wish I could do it better for them where I could afford to do nice things with them.

I’m so scared. Ya’ll I’m so scared. I want everything to be alright but there’s no guarantees. So many people have reached out to me and I accept most of their offers but at the same time I feel like a leech for having to depend on people for money, rides and a place to live. I know that God provides and maybe this is a season for me to reap what I’ve sown all those years when I was nice to people but my heart just won’t allow me to receive.

I miss them. Ya’ll don’t know. It’s hard to stay focused on my job because of the mess their father is pulling.

I was right ya’ll. My intuition was right. He’s trying to keep my boys. He said he won’t give them back to me. He even got some lawyers to draw up some papers saying I couldn’t come get them. Ya’ll, this hurts.

He tricked me.

He tricked me.

I hurt from my heart to my fingertips. I miss my sons and I don’t even know if I’ll be able to get to Miami to get them anytime soon.

I try to remind myself that I’m at the birthing point. The intense pain before the joy. I try to remind myself that my boys will be stable no matter where I am. They will love me no matter what but… right now I feel weak, insignificant and unable.

Tonight I was able to allow myself to purge. I removed my clothes and sat on the bed and just shed the strong pretense that I have to carry. I cried and I kicked and I howled like a child. I questioned God. I told Him that I understand that it’s necesary to struggle but I’m tired of being down. I’m tired of fighting and not being good enough.

Shit…

God what’s up?

GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT IS UP?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED A HUG?

WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED A HUG?

I need that touch.

I need that touch.

I don’t think I’m as strong as I appear to be. I know I’m not as smart as these glasses make me look.

It’s my baby’s birthday.

Six years ago today I became a mother for the first time. He started first grade yesterday and I wasn’t there to take him to school. I wasn’t there.

I wasn’t there.

I’m exhausted.

I’m worn out.

I need some rest.

Lemme go get some rest.

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