For Mattie

Mattie Louis Patterson

My Aries Angel

Even in spirit I can feel your vibration. 

When my eyes close, I see you.

My heart beats for yours.

Your personality lives through mine.

To carry any trait of yours, is an honor that I hold.

 

One lingering wish is to know you as you were when you were my age,

In this pivotal moment of self-discovery and awakening womanhood. 

I often wonder if we've traveled similar paths,

Or if our journeys are aligned.

I often wonder what guidance you'd give

What life lessons you'd share.

 

When I'm at odds with my thoughts and my emotions

I ask myself, "What would Mommie say?"

"What would Mommie do?"

Would you tell me that this is a part of my purpose?

Would you say that I need to trust my path? 

Or would you tell me just to stop...and listen to my heart?

 

This heart that beats as yours,

THAT is where all these answers lie. 

These courageous women that have appeared in my life,

These peers and elders that have harmoniously woven their magic with mine,

I know that you've sent them my way.

I know that they deliver your messages.

I know that they awaken my light.

I know that light comes from You.

 

I will forever thank you for your presence, 

The feeling keeps me alive.

These feelings keeps you alive.

I love you.

   Facebook Post, April 1,     2017 (your birthday)      I often think about those times we spent together watching TV Land, doing crossword puzzles, taking trips to Hi Neighbor where you'd always let me pick my own snack before we left. I think about sitting [in the same spot every time] with you at the Southern Jags football games and how everyone just loved Ms. Mattie. I think about your bold sassy personality and how I didn't understand it until I was much older. I remember how stylish you always were and how I loved going through your jewelry. I remember getting my hair washed in your sink and hot combed sitting on those high chairs by the counter. I remember you used to collect bells from every state that you'd traveled to. It seemed like you had a million of them in that case, but realistically it was probably about 20-something. I remember those Chiclets magnets you had on your refrigerator and that old school rotary dial telephone that you kept in your kitchen  I remember when you started forgetting little things, like the food sitting in the microwave for hours. I remember when you were so offended that you weren't invited to Kim [my sister]'s wedding, even though we showed you pictures of you walking down the isle. I remember those difficult calls from you when you couldn't find your purse, or when you'd get lost trying to drive somewhere you'd been too a million times... I remember those difficult visits to the nursing home, and how I hated seeing you there but loved that I still got to see you...I remember the anxiety I had at your funeral, when I had to walk down the same aisle you walked at my sister's wedding, to give the offering for your service. I remember the tears rolling down my face when the choir sang "Going Up Yonder" and how I always loved that song until that moment.  I think about where I am in my life right now and the hardships that I face and wonder what kind of advice you'd give me. I think about you everyday. I talk to you everyday. I've started to see you in my personality, in my face. I think about all the stories people shared with me after you passed and how your were known for being this stylish, mouthy, outgoing, social butterfly. I want to be like you so badly. I want to leave a mark like you've left on this planet whenever it's my turn to transition. I want to see you again, in your right state of mind, and hug you, and kiss you, and laugh with you... I know you hear me. I can see the messages you send me. I can feel your presence. I know you're guiding me along this path that no one else seems to understand. You paved the way. You set the bar. I know that my strength and drive and personality and sense of independence and sassiness all come from you. I'll continue to be grateful for our unique bond and keep all of these memories for as long as my life allows me to remember. Happy Birthday, Mommie. Thank you for always being YOU ❤️

Facebook Post, April 1, 2017 (your birthday)

 I often think about those times we spent together watching TV Land, doing crossword puzzles, taking trips to Hi Neighbor where you'd always let me pick my own snack before we left. I think about sitting [in the same spot every time] with you at the Southern Jags football games and how everyone just loved Ms. Mattie. I think about your bold sassy personality and how I didn't understand it until I was much older. I remember how stylish you always were and how I loved going through your jewelry. I remember getting my hair washed in your sink and hot combed sitting on those high chairs by the counter. I remember you used to collect bells from every state that you'd traveled to. It seemed like you had a million of them in that case, but realistically it was probably about 20-something. I remember those Chiclets magnets you had on your refrigerator and that old school rotary dial telephone that you kept in your kitchen

I remember when you started forgetting little things, like the food sitting in the microwave for hours. I remember when you were so offended that you weren't invited to Kim [my sister]'s wedding, even though we showed you pictures of you walking down the isle. I remember those difficult calls from you when you couldn't find your purse, or when you'd get lost trying to drive somewhere you'd been too a million times... I remember those difficult visits to the nursing home, and how I hated seeing you there but loved that I still got to see you...I remember the anxiety I had at your funeral, when I had to walk down the same aisle you walked at my sister's wedding, to give the offering for your service. I remember the tears rolling down my face when the choir sang "Going Up Yonder" and how I always loved that song until that moment.

I think about where I am in my life right now and the hardships that I face and wonder what kind of advice you'd give me. I think about you everyday. I talk to you everyday. I've started to see you in my personality, in my face. I think about all the stories people shared with me after you passed and how your were known for being this stylish, mouthy, outgoing, social butterfly. I want to be like you so badly. I want to leave a mark like you've left on this planet whenever it's my turn to transition. I want to see you again, in your right state of mind, and hug you, and kiss you, and laugh with you... I know you hear me. I can see the messages you send me. I can feel your presence. I know you're guiding me along this path that no one else seems to understand. You paved the way. You set the bar. I know that my strength and drive and personality and sense of independence and sassiness all come from you. I'll continue to be grateful for our unique bond and keep all of these memories for as long as my life allows me to remember. Happy Birthday, Mommie. Thank you for always being YOU ❤️

Personal Revolution

Photography by Brandon Joseph

“I need I need a revolution

My own revolution

My very own revolution

I need, I need a revolution

My own revolution

My personal revolution

Heartbreak is so hard to take

And I lay down in the bed that I make

Crying, crying, tears of change

Fighting, fighting, everyday

There must be a better way”

 - Ziggy Marley, Personal Revolution

 

There are sides of myself that I still don’t know.

There are sides of myself that still need to grow. 

The only constant is the inconsistency of my evolution. 

I’m learning the discomfort I have, plays a role in the story of my personal revolution

 

Isolation has been my comfort zone.

Alone is where I feel at home

This means getting through the pain that I carry.

Also means having to face some fears that I have buried. 

 

Alone I am my own lover, friend, and worst enemy.

My mind often juggles between the three. 

I can only trust, feel, or heal what’s inside of myself.

This is as much as I can balance, for the sake my health. 

 

My heart has fought through many wars

And repaired itself from many sores.

My soul was born before my first breath

I hope it will continue to live beyond my timely death.

 

My eyes have seen the pain and the glory

My words will be left to tell my story.

Transcribing these words from the depths of my feelings

Has been my saving grace throughout the process of my healing.

 

Addressing the issue, leads me closer towards the solution.

Self-restoration is leading me closer towards my personal revolution. 

 

-C. M. Hamilton

2017: The Year Of...

Wardrobe: Thrifted, Photography by Clint Blane

 

2017: The Year Of No Fear
2017: The Year Of Letting Go
2017: The Year Of Self-Acceptance
2017: The Year Of Accountability
2017: The Year Of Reclaiming My Voice
2017: The Year Of Magic

No Fear

I brought 2017 in with a lot of discomfort, anxiety, and uncertainty. I had no idea what I was doing with my life and in turn, had  subconsciously found myself wrapped in a cyclical whirl of self-destruction. I was juggling a few unbalanced relationships, searching for love and affection in believable illusions that I was convinced were my reality. My work life was convincingly thriving, in yet completely unfulfilling. Money was flowing, but it wasn't honest. My heart wasn't involved in the work I was doing and it started to project. Making money was my main focus, so I took any and every paid gig that came my way. There came a point where I had to admit to myself that I was living in fear: fear of failure, fear of loneliness, fear of being broke, fear of brokenness...Once fear was acknowledged, my actions immediately had to change. I had to break my own cycles and take control of my own life. This involved ending all business and personal relationships that no longer served me. I decided that I would no longer worry myself with the inevitable. Whatever I could control, I would by acknowledgement followed by action. Whatever I couldn't, I would accept and move on with my life. This mentality would carry me throughout the rest of the year.               

Letting Go

At the start of the year, I was involved in a couple of toxic "situationships". I was unofficially involved with a public figure in my community, who happened to also be secretly involved with a woman I'd once considered a friend. We were inconspicuously together for almost two years, until around March. This said "woman friend" revealed to me that he was indeed HER man; accusing me of imposing upon their relationship. Her entitlement was mind-boggling to me, considering not once had either of them mention to me they were together. Considering there were a plethora of opportunities for them to have disclose this information, I was completely blindsided. Having been harshly approached and wrongfully accused of being an antagonist. Had I been aware, I would have never been involved. I did not consent to participate in any of this, in yet I was the one being blamed.  

     This woman was someone I'd considered close, though there were always signs that I needed to keep a close eye on her. She'd strategically watched my every move and abused my trust in what I believed to be a genuine friendship. When in actuality, she wanted what I had. I was never intimidated by her, nor could I find any reason for her to be by me. In yet, she still managed to manipulate her way into my life and spread a negative portrayal of my character to other people in the community. This made me question the integrity of everyone around me. There were personal and professional boundaries crossed and [even still] no accountability has been taken for the damage done. The reality was that she was never really my friend.

   My issues with him (the public figure) were separate, though there was leniency given by the fact that he is notorious for creating these kinds of dynamics between women in the community. He was charming and led me to believe he had genuine feelings for me, but I should've known better. I knew his track record and inability to engage in the kind of relationship that I deeply wanted. Nevertheless, both relationships triggered some of my deepest insecurities and forced me to spend the rest of my year processing...ALONE. I wrote about it, isolated myself, took myself off the social scene, spent days and nights in tears, in and out of depressive episodes, blaming myself, feeling worthless... until I got to a point where I was tired of feeling that way.

   I transferred all of the energy from that toxic situation, into intentional healing with myself. It wasn't just going out on solo dates or taking hot candle-lit herbal baths. It was spending quality time with my thoughts and validating them for myself. It was being more mindful of the company that I kept and practicing discernment. It was finding comfort in solitude and silence. This lesson taught me how to accept what is and let go of what no longer served me. I learned that there may never be closure in a situation, but knowing and understanding that is closure within itself. I learned that in order to truly let go, I had to first forgive myself. I have moves to make, and there is no room for any excess baggage.       

Self-Acceptance

This year, I found myself in the healthiest most fulfilling relationship that I'd ever been in...and it was with myself. I learned how to love myself. I learned how to save space for my own growth and accept that fact that I can only be ME. I'm known to be highly critical of myself, setting unrealistic standards of perfection for myself. I thought I needed other people to validate my truth and capabilities. This was the biggest lie that I could have ever believed. I'm grateful to have had several kindred spirits grace my life this year; shining their light on me, helping me reclaim my own, and challenging me to spend quality time looking inward. I found peace in stillness, ancestral spirituality, and holistic healing. This expanded my creativity and self-confidence. Turning 30 was the switch I needed to signal my brain to no longer give a fuck about the bullshit and get my whole life together to receive these blessing I'd been blocking.       

Accountability

I'm grateful for the many influential peers, mentors, and ancestors that have joined my journey this year. One person in particular, (a very beautiful man whom I adore) taught me the biggest lesson of the year, ACCOUNTABILITY. Before, I would question other people's actions toward me or events that were not in my favor; feeling victimized or like I was treated unfairly. This man though, compassionate as he is, challenged me with a question: "What role have you played in the situation?" As firm of a believer as I am in the idea that we manifest our own destinies, I'd overlooked the idea that this also applies to the actions we put into our lives. Every action encourages a reaction. "So-and-so" may have "done me wrong", but how did I allow this to happen? How had I contributed to the outcome of the situation? This was when I realized my pride had been my crutch throughout my life. I've finally come to the understanding that I will never be able to maintain relationships with people, if I continue to lead with pride. If I'm going to hold everyone around me accountable for their actions, I must also do so for myself. I'm still working on this lesson, though the first step toward progression is acknowledgment, right? Right. 

Reclaiming My Voice

2017 translates to the Universal Year one, in numerology.

"A UNIVERSAL ‘1’ Year represents the start of a fresh new cycle – a new 9 year cycle of creativity, learning and growth.... [this] is a time to plant the seeds of intention for the forthcoming cycle – your deepest heartfelt desires, dreams and visions for every area of your life – relationships, health, finances, career, lifestyle, spirituality etc."    -UniversalLifeTools.com

On January 1, 2017 I started a daily log, documenting thoughts and feelings that I take away from each day. I used my Facebook profile to share my personal journey of self-healing. Every night I share a Facebook status, describing my day in one sentence; worded as a present action (i.e. Day Three Hundred And Sixty-Four Of Year One: Collecting Thoughts, Feelings, & Opportunities). This was my way of checking in with my emotions in those present moments and also being more transparent on my social media platform. It's been quite challenging, though I've managed to spark an inner more vulnerable voice that I hadn't shared with my audience before. This kind of expression inspired me to share more personal stories and views on topics that strongly resonated with me; such as feminine identity, dynamics of black masculinity, sexual trauma, mental health etc. I have since become more expressive and accepting of my position in the world around me.            

Magic

This was the year I learned the power of manifestation. I learned that being intentional with my thoughts, my words, my actions, my craft, is the quintessential formula to achieving my dreams and living my most authentic self. And having transparency with myself, contagiously spreads onto every other relationship in my life. And when I truly want something, intentionally speak on it, intentionally think on it, manifest the hell out it, actually do the work that could potentially lead up to it, I am witness to it coming into fruition. This is that magic I'm referring to. I feel so much lighter without worry or doubt, without the excess baggage in the form of guilt, pride, or even other human beings. There's no more room or space given to any of that. My magic is conditional to the mental and emotional capacity I allow myself. My words are spells, my actions are rituals, my thoughts are my spirit. This is my magic. 

 

2017 was the year, that changed the game for me. This was the year, that I reintroduced myself to myself. I'm so happy to be this acquainted with myself and am excited to meet the woman I am becoming. Thank you everyone for following my journey...Happy New Year!