Everything That Goes Up . . .

Everything That Goes Up . . .

Photography by Ajani Charles.

For most of 2017, my life seemed to be on the up and up. I worked my ass off and was finally booking paid modeling jobs. I’d just released my fourth novel in August and the 5-star reviews were slowly rolling in. At the start of November, I’d just landed a new job and would be granted a title change as well as a raise. Not only that, but I’d made it to my happy place aka LA for the second time this year. If you’d asked me how I was doing a month ago, I probably would have said something along the lines of, “Life is good.” And I wouldn’t have been lying.

After 5 days on the West Coast I was forced back to my “regular” life, but upon my return I gained more confidence and clarity in regards to my next move. I felt like God had sent me another message through the repetitive theme of my conversations over the past few days because while I was away, I kept being confronted by an uncomfortable ultimatum. According to old friends and new, in order for me to be successful, I would have to choose between my writing and my modeling – something my stubborn ass just isn’t willing to do at the moment. It was then I decided that the easiest way for me to compromise would be to shift all of my energy over to my blog. Suddenly, it all made sense.

I remember being on such a high coming home from Cali. It might have taken me until my late twenties, but I finally felt like I had direction. I felt like I’d “figured it out,” and I was ready to get back to work. Unfortunately, I hadn’t even settled back into my routine when life as I knew it . . . changed. And all it took was one phone call. My grandfather was dying and there was nothing else doctors could do.

Photography by Ajani Charles.

I found out my Pop-Pop was diagnosed with cancer in July – which is partly why I pushed my release date for my last book back a month. Even then, I think I was in denial, though. I never imagined losing him, let alone like this. And even though I knew he was sick, his death still feels so . . . sudden.

One of the first things I did when I got to my home-state of Pennsylvania was to grab a notebook and try to write out my feelings, but I never even opened it. It’s been a month now and I am still struggling to process the reality of his absence. I don’t know how else to say the week and ½ before Thanksgiving was one of the darkest periods of my life.

Once I got back to Michigan, it got even harder for me to acknowledge the pain behind the details, so I went numb. Most days I find myself simply going through the motions. I’ve never felt so . . . uninspired. And yet, I am even more tempted to take a major risk on this shit. It’s weird.

All my life I’ve been told everything happens for a reason, and while I want to believe that, I also have to ask; what is there to gain from a loss of this magnitude? And for my misses who have taken a similar loss this year, how did you handle it? Because these days I am drawing a blank.

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