It’s the last day of my launch week blog party, and I’m closing it out with a guest post from a new friend. I met Denarii through a Facebook group, and honestly, I wish I didn’t live hours away because I really, really want to go grab a cup of something and a yummy treat and chat with her. She’s an aspiring screenwriter, which I think is a first for me (most of my writerly colleagues are authors and editors). I love her style; it’s warm, personable, and makes me feel like I’m right there in the room with her.
What About Me?
It’s almost 1:30am on a Sunday night (technically Monday morning, but…). I’m trying to be productive after a weekend of unproductivity. (Is that a word? MS Word says it’s not. There’s a red squiggly line under there.) I’ve been off my meds (antidepressants) for a few weeks now. Even though I was diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, I seem to need them year-round. (I also have PTSD; maybe that’s why.) I had a really great energetic stride as I approached a screenwriting competition deadline a week ago, so I figured that maybe I was okay. It was amazing. Intense and exhausting, but amazing. This past week, however, has proved that I’m not okay. Despite the changing, beautiful weather, I haven’t been outside. I haven’t been cooking or cleaning. It feels like December all over again.
After being unemployed for two years, I finally got a job at the end of 2015. And not just any job, but my first full-time job with benefits – a job that does work important to me. Then I was let go ten days later. Three months later and I’m still devastated. Mostly because I’m broke and right back where I started. I’m trying to make this freelance writer and screenwriter thing work, but that takes time and effort. I need money now. Alas, I’m still doing it. I take my job loss as a sign that maybe I’m supposed to be focusing on this. I try to find the silver lining in things.
I had to move back in with my mom last summer. Regrettably (and as much as I love her), I’m still here, my plans to move back to Brooklyn dashed by that job loss. We live in the projects (read: government housing populated predominantly by fellow Black folks). It’s not so bad really (except that I don’t have my own place). Sometimes neighbors are loud, but that’s pretty much everywhere.
I have lots of friends, but I don’t get to see them. I can’t afford to go anywhere, so I’m stuck here with my dog. His name is Dog. (Well, his name is Mr. Mack, but his name is Dog. I call him Dog. And that’s that.) I love him very much. He’s 75% Chihuahua, 25% Rottweiler. My mom got him in February 2015. I was still living in Brooklyn at the time, with a funny cat named Chloe (my roommate’s cat, who I miss very much). Since moving back home, he’s become my dog. Sometimes his touch triggers my PTSD panic attacks, but that’s not his fault. I’m really good at hiding those attacks; you wouldn’t know I was freaking out unless I told you, contrary to the image conjured up in popular imaginations about what a panic attack is supposed to look like.
Honestly though, even if I didn’t have friends, I like going to places by myself a lot. Restaurants, concerts, and movies are all fair game. But again, I can’t afford to go anywhere right now. Sometimes I can’t even afford the $5.50 to get to Central Park.
Thankfully I have Netflix.
Oh! I forgot to introduce myself.
My name is Denarii. It rhymes with canary, like the bird. I’m 29, born in 1987. I’m a Pisces. I live in New York, as you may have guessed, and I’m Black (African-American specifically), cisgender woman, openly bisexual, multiply disabled (I use a cane!), (proudly) fat, kinky, and polyamorous. My favorite band is Hanson (yes, that Hanson) and actor/director/painter/awesome person Matthew Gray Gubler is my favorite person ever and I hope to marry him some day.
Yes, I’m serious.
I have an eclectic taste in music, with my favorite genres being rock, R&B, blues, and jazz (in no particular order). Haagen Dazs is my favorite ice cream brand. Purple is my favorite color; green comes in second. I love red wine and Stevie Wonder. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, back to what I was saying.
Most of my days consist of waking up and then bumbling around doing fuck all. I dunno…
Honestly I have no idea what I’m doing, and so, we finally come to my point.
What the hell happened? That’s what I’m forced to ask myself every time I get up in the morning. I’m 29 years old, no job prospects (believe me I’m looking and applying), lost the job I did have, I live with my mom, I’m broke as hell, perpetually single, can’t afford to travel and engage with life the way I’d like to, and there are no signs that success is coming around the corner.
And I know I’m not alone. I have friends (and there are countless strangers) in a similar spot. It’s a combination of personal choices, individual circumstances, varying levels of oppression, and just damn luck. We’ve all been there (well, almost all).
But I can’t help but look at my friends (and strangers) who do have what I want: a fulfilling job, love, the ability to actually go out and enjoy things, from the big to the seemingly insignificant, and then I read the first five paragraphs of this essay and I wonder, What about me?
I don’t have the answers to that question, to be honest, but I often think that this is the fated course of my life, that I’m meant to be where I am in life, right now. I recently applied to the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards and the 2017 January Sundance Screenwriters Lab; I can’t help but get the feeling that, after 2 ½ years of seriously pursuing screenwriting, just maybe, this is finally it. I keep looking back over my life, particularly over the last few years; while the last couple of years have really sucked financially, professionally, mentally, and romantically, it’s building to something. There’s something out there – I call it God, you can call it whatever you like – that is guiding me to where I am, to show me things. Perhaps to turn me into the storyteller that I am meant to be.
All week, I’m celebrating my own book launch by featuring guest posts, book reviews, promotions, and more. Keep reading, and check back every day this week to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
- eBook bundle of An Act of Devotion plus 2 bonus companion short stories
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