Wednesday, January 11, 2006

By Any Means Necessary

The next five minutes seemed like a decade. I was so drained that I could barely hold it up. The receiver to my phone was unusually heavy. I struggled to balance it against my ear by my right hand; the rest of my face in my left hand; and salted tears walked down my cheeks. Oh yeah, it was going to be a long, late night/early morning conversation. It was one of those conversations that you may even try to avoid at all cost. Those types that just bring tension and make it down right uncomfortable.

My eyes were glassy and pink from crying and growing frustration. Hey, I’m a sensitive woman. Some people view crying as a sign of weakness. On a more political note, I see crying as a form of expression. Since many do not agree with my opinion, I kept my crying to a minimum so that he could not hear on the other end. I sat on top of my overflowing, over packed, and over-the-top suitcase with just one thought pacing my brain. How did we manage to get here?

I was listening and he was speaking. “You see, this is what I am talking about. When you think like that it just seems like you’re giving up. If things don’t go your way, then you just say fuck it…it ended up this way, so I can’t do anything about it,” he said in a disappointing tone. I felt dehydrated while a gigantic lump shaped in my throat. Silence rushed through the phone. He then proceeded, “You don’t have anything to say?”

“I’m listening. To answer your question, No, I really don’t have anything to say. I’m just listening,” I said with a defensive manner. To be straightforward, I gave him a BS response. I’d realized that my submissive actions resulted from him “hitting the nail on the head.” He was telling the truth and it pierced my ego. As a result, I drew a total blank.

That night, Mr. N. and I abruptly ended our rocky discussion. It was the night before the transit strike was to occur. Mr. N. was concerned that I was backing out of a promise that I had made a few days prior. I was too aggravated to continue with him. By the time I hung up the phone, I started crying so hard that it felt as if someone ripped my heart out of my chest.

I can recall another past exchange with Mr. N. The topics covered life, independence and so on. Within the mist of our heart-to-heart he said, “You’ll never understand this conversation until you are truly on your own, and doing it all by yourself.” I thought that I was doing it by myself? Yes, I admit, I do have a roommate but she is not exactly my mother. Hello, I do live in New York, which is on of the most expensive cities to lay your head. I am witness that no one is paying my bills or passing any charity handouts my way. Therefore, does that exclude me from being a strong, independent woman, just because I share rent with someone? My face frowned when he said it. I could not understand his point.

On thing about Mr. N., he is definitely a “By Any Means Necessary” kind of man. I will confess that type of characteristic draws me to him. He just looks at situations in life differently then most people, including myself. He has a drive that burns in his soul and he never gives up. Basically, he does what he has to do, to accomplish a goal. Believe me, he’ll even sacrifice sleep if it (whatever “it” may be) has to get done.

In all honesty, I believe that if I told him I manipulated my boss with my looks and kind words to get to the top or if I entertained a wealthy, older gentlemen to pay my mortgage-he would not judge me. Several people may describe it as very tacky, distasteful, and a form of prostitution. But not Mr. N. He may just cancel it out, as I had an objective, which had to be met.

I never forgot his comment from that heart-to-heart conversation. Unconsciously, I began to wonder and question it all. Am I a “By Any Means Necessary” woman? Do I need to step up to the plate in order to really become an entrepreneur? Do I quit too soon? Do I hustle enough? Have I lost The Grind? The questions have never stopped filling my head. They often consume me. Maybe I will not understand Mr. N’s remark now or in the near future. Maybe I am not the “By Any Means Necessary” type according to his rules. Maybe I am not doing it all on my own in his eyes.

But right now, right here- I’m doing just fine.

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