Thank God for therapy.
I wish I could say that my move to Conway, North Carolina was uneventful, but it was quite eventful. From the movers not being done until 3:00am to a house with no sinks, there was one surprise after the other which would have left a pre-therapy version of me absolutely undone.
My meltdown, however, was not to be. Maybe it was the therapy, which helped me get through the death of my school “son” Davane (and the deaths of three more former students after him); or maybe it was that I knew there was literally no other choice to be successful in this endeavor.
Churchy black folks have a saying: “The devil stay busy.” Even though I didn’t believe there was a man in a red suit, horns, and hooves conspiring specifically against me, I did know before this move that there would be unforeseen obstacles in my path, and the test was not in the obstacles, but my reaction to them.
When dealing with a bad supervisor before (no, not that one–the other one), my barber once told me “Be water.” I didn’t really internalize that advice then, but over the past six months, I was, indeed, water.
After Davane’s death and funeral, and after I decided to be done with my job, I found a certain peace. No weapon formed against me prospered: no shade, no fussing, no backbiting, no hissy-fit, none of it.
Oh, there were weapons formed, believe you me. But they didn’t prosper.
I became water. I flowed around, over, and through every circumstance. I was so peaceful that it was bizarre. I still had emotions, of course, but I sat with them, named them, and moved on from them. My coworkers marveled at not only my peace, but how I dealt with the stress of ending the job, planning a birthday party, releasing a novel, participating in Pride, packing my apartment, and planning a move all in the last three or four months.
I can’t explain it. I just did it. It had to be done and there was no other way there but through, like a river.
I was sad to leave DC. I was anxious to live someplace else for an extended, undetermined amount of time. Some friends called me courageous. I don’t feel courageous. I’m just trying to do what I was called to do.
So here I am: water. In Conway. Settling in.
A replacement cord for my television arrived by Amazon, and I plug it in, finally giving life to my entertainment center. I had cut the cable cord long ago, so I was anxious to see what I was working with in terms of local television. I know that my relatives all got Hampton Roads/Tidewater channels as well as Raleigh/Durham channels.
My antenna picked up a grand total of four television stations. Three of them were public television networks with pixely reception. The fourth showed white men fishing.
“Oh…” I thought. “I’m in the for real country.”
And so began my Conway Years.