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Welcome!

Welcome to the Tea Room! It’s such an honor to have you spend a bit of your time here with me and I’m so grateful that you’ve stopped by. ūüôā I’m not really sure what I’m doing, or why I’m doing it… well, I have an idea- there are¬†all these thoughts and life lessons in my heart (yes, I have thoughts in my heart, that’s how deep it runs) that I want to share. I’m just not really sure if any of it matters. Still, the desire is there, and I know¬†there’s a purpose for it, so I’m diving in. Welcome to the journey. Continue reading “Welcome!”

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Let’s talk health, doctors, and why you should take your well-being into your own hands.

Let’s talk health, doctors, and why you should take your well-being into your own hands.

It’s been quite a while and my commitment to monthly posts has utterly failed. And, so what? I mean, yes, I am disappointed I was unable to hold up my promise to self and all of you (another reason to avoid making promises), but….¬†so what?

I mean, in this context of blogging for the mere joy of sharing life lessons, why put pressure on the self to pull off material just to say I write regularly? Doesn’t that equate to a bunch of bullshit posts? After much reflection, I decided to give myself a break and to write what feels right, when it feels right.

Which brings me to my next point.

Let’s talk about health. Particularly¬†women’s health. Even more specifically, Black women’s health. If there are any men reading this, don’t worry, you can benefit from this little chat as well.

If you’re immature or have an issue with words like menstruation, periods, blood, bleeding, uterus, ovaries, vaginas and the likes; or if you are one of those people who think the natural bodily functions of a woman are gross, please, do me a favor and git. No time for “ewww, that’s disgusting, women bleed from their vaginas” here.

Now. Brace yourselves. This will be long, potentially scary, and full of menstruation talk. You may learn something.

———————–

Just so you know, this post is weeks in the making, in that I’ve wanted to address this topic from the moment I lay drugged up on morphine in my ER bed, to the moment I stumbled about through my apartment with my husband, mother, and sister-in-law’s assistance, to the present moment, while I am still in recovery. I just haven’t wanted to face it.

I’ve discussed this with my therapist, shared it during our women’s group meetings, warned my friends and co-workers about it, but still felt the weight of the reality of what had transpired gnawing at me, asking to be released.

Alright, enough with the suspense. Here’s what went down.

Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve been feeling quite shitty whenever my period came around. Really shitty. Abnormally shitty. At first, I equated the excruciating cramps, bloating, and weakness in my legs to an IUD.

I spoke to the physician at Planned Parenthood who put the little sucker in after about 4 months of use, and she dismissed my complaints as normal side effects and prescribed strong pain killers. I went in to see my actual gynecologist at about 6 months of IUD’ing, and was sent home with additional pain killers.

Mind you, I was literally bend in two, unable to stand straight due to the pain, and could often be found by my Hubs (husband) crawling on the floor to get from room to room. That, plus the 3 a.m. wake-up calls with terrible cramp pains that had me screaming for about 4-5 hours at a time, got to be too much.

After 7 months of use, I had that crap removed. It just wasn’t for me.

But still, something wasn’t quite right. 6 months post-IUD, my pain not only persisted, it began to get worse.

I went to see a new gynecologist. I explained my symptoms, insisted I felt something wasn’t right, and nearly begged him to take me seriously. He sort of chuckled/shrugged at my concerns, telling me that that was what it meant to be a woman. But I insisted.

By now, I had done a bit of research and was freaking out at the idea that the IUD had potentially ruptured something inside of me, fearing that I was going to die a slow and painful death. I’m still alive, but I assure you, I wasn’t too far from the truth.

So Doctor #3, ironically a man, decided to humor me, and sent me off to a lab to get ultrasounds.

When the results came, I was quite stunned by his nonchalance.

He informed me that I had uterine fibroids, quite a few of them (how many????? what size????), and that it was a common thing in women my age, and not worth concerning my little head over.

I was extremely relieved to now know what was wrong with me, but freaked by what that could also mean. What the hell are fibroids? How did they come about? What do I do to treat them?

Source: insidertradings.org

 

He also informed me I could potentially have endometriosis, but that it was too early to tell. Endometriosis is a condition that causes the cells that make up the tissue of the lining of the uterus (aka your womb that carries babies and the lining that sheds every month to create menstruation) to appear elsewhere in the body, usually somewhere in the abdomen. This means that when a woman with endometriosis is on her cycle, these abnormal cells in other parts of the body act as they would in the uterus, causing irritation, inflammation, bleeding, and just utter pain to the affected areas.

Oh, the answers to the previous questions? Fibroids are (often) benign tumors that grow in a woman’s freaking UTERUS, which vary in size, numbers, and location, and result in, well, awful period pain. What causes them? They still don’t really know. What to do about them? Welp, nothing, as per my gyno.

I didn’t understand that last part, but with lots of research, I learned that 20-50% of women, especially women of color, have fibroids (many of which don’t even know it), and that the only treatments are to either surgically remove them (with the knowledge that they could always come back), shrink them with hormones, or just sit back and hope they disappear in the same way they appeared: by magic.

Most doctors, when faced with a 20-something woman who’s never had children, recommend the last option. So I didn’t press my gyno. I figured, he’s the pro, he’s done all the studying and schooling, and he knows what’s best for me and my body.

I continued to have horrid periods that seemed to be competing for Gold at the Being-The-Worst-And-Most-Agonizing-Menstruation Olympics, and laughed in delusion as I popped pain killers to no avail. Just FYI, I do not take medication of any sort unless I feel like I’m dying.

Endometriosis_Illustration_UCLA
Source: http://obgyn.ucla.edu

 

Fast forward 3 weeks ago.

Saturday, May 19th, 2018. I’m on my period. This is day 2. I was surprised at how well I was feeling, being that I didn’t think I was gonna die. I had done some yoga, taken a shower, and was really feeling quite fly.

3-4 months of drastically diet change had done that. No meat, dairy, soy, or alcohol entered my mouth, and I was feeling the difference. I had begun exercising regularly again, drinking lots of water, and making more time for self-care. My pain had decreased (but it was still there), and I was better able to handle my symptoms.

But this day, I was feeling, suspiciously good. I was so excited, telling my Hubs that I had possibly healed myself.

Then, around 10 p.m., it came and knocked the wind outta me. Sudden, inexplicable pain in my abdomen like you’d never imagine.

I was home alone, my husband being away in France, so I just talked myself through it and practiced Lamaze breathing, ’cause I may as well had been giving birth. I rolled about the floor clinging to my stomach for about half an hour before gathering the energy to get myself up and to the bathroom. I felt like I had to throw up, which was new.

I suffer from emetophobia, which means that I am terrified of vomiting. Since I was a kid, I imagined all of my insides being puked out with the rest of it and dying a horrible death as a result. Don’t ask.

I was in so much pain, crying like a fucking baby, and really thinking that this was it, that this was how I was gonna peace out of this world: alone, on a cold hard floor, throwing my guts up.

So there I was, rolling about the bathroom floor, willing myself not to let it all out. It hurt so bad, I literally wanted to die- just not like that. I pressed on, did my breathing, screamed as much as I needed to, and succeeded in not throwing up.

Once I felt well enough to move a bit more, I crawled to the bedroom, got my hot water bag, and made my way back to the kitchen to fill it with boiling water. I managed to get myself into bed with the hot water bag pressed against my belly and fell asleep from exhaustion.

The next morning, I woke up to a small leg burn from the water bag. There’s a reason why you’re not supposed to sleep with those. Anyway. I felt like I had just come off the battlefield. I was completely wiped out, and still felt quite a bit of discomfort from the ordeal. But I was okay, I told myself.

See, I have pretty high pain tolerance, and the problem is that I am often able to convince myself that I’m fine, when I’m clearly not.

My sister-in-law and bestie (God bless her Soul), came over for our wedding look test (getting married in August, yay!), and as I shared my experience with her she scolded me and told me I was cray cray, as had my Hubs when I recounted the story to him. She made me promise I’d call her if I felt that badly again, since she and my brother live about 15 mins away. “Okay, sure, fine. I’ll call,” I said.

She left me around 6 p.m. to go be a human and socialize and stuff. I had been feeling pain while she was with me, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

Come 8 p.m., here comes that fucking abrupt punch-in-the-gut pain again. UGH! I was once more completely alone and absolutely afraid to have to feel what I had felt the previous night. To my surprise, it wasn’t the same. It was much worse.

After about half an hour, I found myself on my bathroom floor again, screaming and crying, begging God to just take me already. I was feeling really nauseous, more so than the night before, and suddenly an alarm went off in my brain.¬†This isn’t normal. I’m not okay. I need to go to the E.R.

I grabbed my phone and called my Sis. She didn’t answer, so I called my Brother, her husband. I put him on speaker because I was too worn out to even hold the phone to my ear. Just as he picked up, I rush-crawled to the toilet and let my insides out. Thankfully he didn’t hang up. Imagine saying ‘hello’ and hearing ‘ggraaawwwddayqfegsdjkla!!!!’ as a response. Yeah.

As soon as I finished puking, I asked him to put my sister-in-law on. He could tell that something was seriously wrong by the sound of my voice. I couldn’t even speak. I merely whispered. I told her I needed her to come. That it was happening again. She calmly let me know they’d be there in 10 mins, and hung up. Teacher skills.

I sat there for a while. Oops. More puke. Gross.

At that point, I was really asking to be called Home. Like, seriously. I was done. I was ready to check out, and I didn’t even mind death by vomit as an exit anymore.

By the time my Sis made it to my apartment and found me, I was right outside of the bathroom, a nice little puddle of throw up beside me, ’cause yea, I threw up¬†again and didn’t make it to the toilet that last time. My Bro was at the corner store getting me pain killers. She rang him up and let him know to meet us at the E.R. I must’ve looked like shit. She helped me get dressed and offered her support down the stairs, but I knew better by then. No way I was gonna be able to get up. I opted to crawl down the stairs. It was the best option.

The cab ride to Brooklyn Hospital’s E.R., which thankfully is only 5 minutes away, seemed to take forever. It was a bumpy and painful ride. I bawled the entire time, and the cab driver couldn’t even drive up to the E.R. entrance, which is reserved for ambulances, so we had to get out and walk down the driveway. Perfect.

images

 

E.R. Day 1

 

I was hunched over in upside down L-shape like a 90-year-old grandma as my Sis supported my weight. When my Brother arrived and spotted us down the driveway, they decide he should carry me in, which was like the best and worse decision ever, because I was in so much pain. At registration, he plopped me into a chair, and later a wheelchair, both experiences only adding to my misery. Pain, pain, pain, pain, pain!

They got me on a gurney pretty quickly, and I had me lay there for about 4 hours, no pain killers, no nothing, as I waited for a doctor.

When the E.R. doc finally got to me, I was like one of those Walking Dead zombies: drained of life and just… done. After examining me, he suspected the problem to be my appendix, so he had me drink a liter of some nasty concoction and sent me for a CAT scan.

The results come back. Not my appendix. I was then scheduled for a vaginal ultrasound, where the true cause of my sickness was revealed. I had an 8.6 cm cyst just chilling on my right ovary, causing ovarian torsion. What does that mean, you ask? Welp, simply that this great big cyst had been playing jumprope with my reproductive organs, the weight of which had caused my ovary to twist around itself, stretching my fallopian tube in the process. I’ve included pictures to help your imagination.

ovarian_cysts-2-670x409
Source: http://cancerhomoeoclinic.co.in

 

For any men reading this, I guess you should just imagine one of your testicles growing a cyst and twisting around itself. Yeah. Now you get what I’m talking about.

 

new-suspensory-ligament-of-the-ovary-what-is-ovarian-torsion-a-medical-student
Source: http://www.jugosparabajardepeso.info

 

I was finally given morphine to help with the pain and remained medicated until the last moment. The gynecologist on staff decided it would be best to wait for the morning team to figure out the best course of action. He didn’t think surgery would be necessary, since everything untwisted itself already, but warns me it was a possibility.

I was then told that I would not be able to eat or drink anything but water or apple juice from that moment on, in order for me to be prepared if surgery was the route to take.

And so I waited.

 

 

E.R. Day 2

 

Morning Team. They went over my files and sent me in for additional testing (all of which took up most of my morning and afternoon). I was given a more rigorous vaginal exam and ultrasound, which, with exhaustion, dehydration, hunger, and like an overfilled bladder (they require your bladder to be full for a vaginal ultrasound), caused my body and mind to give out for a little bit. I passed out for only about 30 seconds, but it was enough to bring in a team of 5-6 medical people and put me on an oxygen tank for the rest of the day. At this point, my Mother, Father, Brother and Sis have come back and are sitting with me. Gotta love my family.

Finally, around 2 or 3 p.m., a resident came over to talk to us. It didn’t look good, she said. They were afraid that because my ovaries had been twisting and untwisting for some time now, my right fallopian tube looked overstretched, as there didn’t seem to be any blood flood to it. She then informed me that my right ovary may be deceased at this point. Oh, and also, she also let me know that there was a (smaller) cyst on the left ovary as well. And yes, endometriosis was the cause.

I was told that they could not know the extent of the damage until they cut me open, and that the surgery could result in one or both of my ovaries being removed, with a high probability that the right one, with the monster cyst, would have to go bye-bye . The resident then handed me a bunch of paperwork: consent forms, liability forms, the whole nine.

My Mother wasn’t feeling it. She asked for some time to think it over, maybe the chance to go see my own gynecologist to get a second opinion. I personally was like, “Get this thing out of me ASAP. Cut me open already.” But I, at the very least, wanted to wait for my husband to return.

He had boarded his flight back to New York the night I checked into the E.R, as scheduled months ago. I didn’t bother telling him I was at the hospital. What would have been the point of having him take this 7 hour flight with that information, except filling him with worry and fear for me? I didn’t want him to have a stress-filled flight, from which he could do nothing. Plus, I had hoped for a more positive diagnosis.

There was no time, was the medical opinion. They urged for immediate action. So I held back my tears and signed on the dotted line.

My mother felt uneasy. Why could’t I get a second opinion. She believed they were pushing the surgery so they could milk more money out of the whole thing. I didn’t give a fuck. I was finally listening to myself, and the surgery felt right. I absolutely did not want to feel the pain I’d been feeling over the last year, and especially what I had felt over the last 48 hours, ever again.

My only concern is my Hubs. How could I make this decision without him? What if the worst happened and I lost both ovaries? How would I tell him when he landed, “Hey Love, by the way, we won’t ever be able to have kids.” Those were the questions plaguing my Soul.

I left him voice messages telling him I was in the E.R. and asking him to call my Sis for details as soon as he landed. I shared with my oldest Brother, who hadn’t been in the loop, what was going on in as few words as possible, and asked him to go get my husband from the airport and bring him straight to the hospital.

The next 14 hours were filled with anxiety. Would my husband make it on time? What if I got put under but they botched it and I heard and felt everything? Are they even competent? What if they had to remove my right ovary? What if they had to remove both? What if I died on the operating table? I’ve watched way too much Grey’s Anatomy.

I was extremely grateful that I did not cap out because of the vomiting, but dying at the hands of an unskilled doctor was not exactly my ideal way of checking out either. I kept my spirits up, stayed as positive as I could, slept a lot, or tried to, and prayed that the surgical staff was not nothing like the E.R. staff had been up to that point.

11 p.m. My Hubs landed. He was being rushed to me and promised he’d be by my side before I went under.

 

E.R. Day 3

 

It was a helluva wait for what was supposed to be an emergency surgery, I reflected. But I didn’t care. I was drugged up, not really feeling any pain at that point, and had my family by my side.

At about midnight, my husband made it! He immediately pulled a smile and a hearty laugh out of me, joking that I could have picked a better meeting place after nearly three months apart.

I now felt ready to get cut open, and fully confident that no matter what transpired, we’d be okay.

Around 2 a.m. the next morning, they came to get me.

I’ll spare you minute details of the surgical floor. Just know it was nothing like the E.R., thank God.

They performed a laparoscopic cystectomy.  It is a minimally invasive surgery that is the best option for what I had. Not too much scarring, and a shorter recovery period. Two small incisions on either side of my stomach (one per ovary), and a slightly bigger incision in my belly button for the camera.

The other option, if the laparoscopy did not offer enough access to the cyst, was to perform a caesarian, which thankfully they did not have to do.

The operation lasted 2 hours, during which they drained the fluid from the cysts and then removed them piece by piece. The doctor burned any visible fibroids to prevent them from growing while he was at it.

9365c7c0-0b3f-4294-a2c5-2f365953f371
Photo credit: The Hubs.

 

Post-Op

I woke up to my husband’s smiling face. He let me know everything went really well, and that I still had my two ovaries, and two tubes, and two of everything, in good condition, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus! I had never felt such appreciation for my body as I did that day, I kid you not. And I am still in awe of it.

The recovery hasn’t been easy. I spent a week and a half out of work, turned down many opportunities I had been working on for months, many of which would have made my life so much easier, but I got my health out of the bargain.

The first few days, I couldn’t get up from my bed on my own. Someone had to help me to the bathroom, to the shower, to the everything. I hated it. I cried a lot. My husband was my rock, and I owe him so much for being so patient and taking such good care of me. My Sis was also a tower of support, as was my Mother, and my entire family really. I definitely owe them so much.

I had/am having a pretty frustrating and difficult time being in recovery. I am super active, independent, and hard-headed, none of which make me a good sick person. I find myself feeling pretty good, and going about life as normal, only to be surprised by pain and extreme fatigue. I’ll go to work one day, go to an event, or do something basic like clean the house, and spend the next day in bed because that activity drained me.

Last night, I watched my Brother win the 2018 New York City title in Muay Thai, and screamed my head off, jumped up and down, and acted like a straight-up healthy lunatic as he kicked some serious butt, only to wake up feeling like shit today, and spending this beautiful Saturday in bed.

Yes, I am now working, walking, living life, but I’m tired, all the time. Like always. Daily naps are a must. If I do too much I feel abdominal pain, and I am technically still not allowed to perform any real physical activity. No dancing- my husband and I dance ALL the time; no working out- that’s how I keep my mind leveled; no sex- that one goes without needing further explanation, for at least another 3 weeks.

Oh, and birth control for the rest of my non-menopausal life, which is ironic, because I got off the pill in order to stop pumping hormones into my body. Turns out, my body produces way too many hormones to begin with and needs the birth control to keep it from going loco. Que la vie est dr√īle!

 

Conclusion

So. What was the point of this extremely long conversation, besides it being an opportunity for me to hone my story-telling skills?

It is a warning.

I am sharing my story because as grateful as I am to have my life and my health (and I am oh so grateful), I am extremely angry that it had to come to that. I am extremely angry that I saw 3 doctors who in essence laughed at my cry for help. I am extremely angry that I was not taken seriously for over a year and a half. I am extremely angry that I had to grow a monster cyst, have ovarian torsion, experience excruciating pain, and spend 3 days in the emergency room before any doctor decided to discuss treatment with me.

I am convinced that had that cyst not grown to such big proportions, the E.R. doctors would have sent me home with pain killers, just as all of the others had, while it was clear I had fibroids which could be controlled with simple birth control.

I am angry that I was not offered any actual treatment options when I was diagnosed with fibroids, and I am super angry that, knowing I likely had endometriosis, my gynecologist didn’t think it a good idea to implement an actual plan of action or share with me the possibilities of symptoms and complications that are attached to my condition.

And I am most angry that I did not trust myself. That for nearly two years, I put my total, blind fate into the hands of complete strangers, albeit trained strangers, who do not and cannot feel what I feel in my body, who do not know my body as I do, who cannot recognize the warning signs and calls for action my body had been giving me.

When I removed the IUD, I did it simply because I read a blog in which a woman shared her bad IUD experience and also had doctors telling her it was a part of the process to feel as terrible as she was feeling. I cannot refer you to that blog, but what I do remember, is her saying that our bodies communicate with us and tell us exactly what we need or don’t need, if only we would listen. Our hearts do the same. Our Souls do the same. I made the mistake of not listening to my body then, and promised myself I’d always do so from then on, but somehow, I let outside entities decide what was best for me, despite the fact that I had been suffering for a long, long time.

I told myself that the pain was normal, that it’d get better with time, all the while allowing that cyst to overgrow with each passing month, twisting and turning and damaging vital organs.

My body cried out for help, and I ignored it until it could take no more. It’s as if I had someone next to me telling me to act, first in a whisper, then in a speaking voice, then with a slightly raised voice, before reaching a shout, a scream, and finally, having my shoulders shaken and my head banged against a wall. That’s what it took for me to make a decision for myself, about my body. How completely insane is that?

And I’m not saying you should ignore the medical professionals who have spent 10-20 years studying different conditions, becoming experts in their fields, no. But when you voice your pain and communicate your concerns and those same professionals ignore, dismiss, or simply humour you, it is your duty to take your body, your health, your life, into your own hands, walk away and search for someone who¬†will listen, and¬†will¬†do something about it.

I’ve felt very invisible up until my surgery. As if my words and my pain didn’t reach the doctors I came into contact with. I felt like a number. Like a statistique. I wondered why these people chose to become doctors, if they didn’t actually give a shit about their patients. I felt ignored and have been extremely disappointed by the system. It is no secret that Black women’s medical concerns and health is not given the same importance or attention as that of their counterparts.

What I want to get across is that you are the captain of this earthly ship called a body. YOU. The doctors are a support system, but you’re the one who makes the decisions. And if a health professional’s decision or regard towards you doesn’t sit well with your spirit, act. Do something. Don’t make the same mistakes I made. Don’t wait for something extreme to happen to listen to your body.

My next period is due in less than a week. I’ve been afraid and quite nervous. I have now grown to associate menstruation with this horrible pain. But I’m also optimistic. I’m looking forward to treating this and starting birth control, and I’m just excited about, and grateful for, my life.

Have a similar experience? Thoughts? Ideas? Chocolate-covered pretzels or a vegan banana milkshake for me? Comment and share below.

 

With much Love and reproductive health,

A-M

 

PS: I got my period, and I’m still alive, whoop whoop!

IMG_3344
Skirt: By Nadège Dossou Atelier @nadegedossouatelier

 

 

This ‘Ole Sappy Story.

This ‘Ole Sappy Story.

OK. This might be overkill but I’m gonna go for it anyway, and I promise (fingers crossed behind my back) to stop grossing you out with This ‘Ole Sappy Story.

I’ve decided to commit myself to blogging once a month in 2018, and the 15th generally works well, but, I felt it worthwhile to wait a couple of days just to post this little guy up today, February 17, 2018.

I’m not really a “put-all-your-shit-out-there” type of woman. I’ve learned how superficial relationships that are broadcasted on social media can be, so I try to steer clear from doing that, but every now and then, I am so¬†utterly amazed by your own little Love Story that I can’t help but brag on how blessed I am. Don’t worry though, as always, the primary focus will be on Life Lessons, and the purpose is to help someone out there see a little bit clearer.

So here goes nothing. I pray this will give you hope that Love, true, meaningful, deep Love, is out there looking for all of us.¬† Continue reading “This ‘Ole Sappy Story.”

Welcome, 2018.

Welcome, 2018.

Note: This post was intended for New Year’s Eve, but for some reason, it did not publish as I thought it had. Blogger mishap.

Such is life!

 

This year was tough. My husband and I spent months apart; I lost yet another member of my tribe; I had javel-like issues within my family masterfully throw into my ribs, knocking the wind out of me several times; and as always, I challenged myself to rigorous evaluation, growth and self-development. I revisited the person I am and the person I want to be, and with shaky, clumsy, crab hands, attempted to tie a rope around the latter to shorter the gap between the two.

But this year has also been amazing and full of breakthrough and light. I got married to someone I do not have the human capacity to describe in his true level of awesomeness; joined the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union (a feat that’s only taken me, oh, say… 7 freaking years); adopted a 3-week old dying kitten that we nursed back to health and made our family; completed my first short film, which I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in, getting myself and my colleagues a world premiere at the Paris Independent Film Festival in Paris, France; booked an interview with a popular journal out in France to discuss it all; bought more baby gifts for people than any other year of my life; travelled to Belgium for the first time; danced as much as I could; secured myself representation both in the States and in France (whoop whoop to me); and took time to take care of myself as best I could.

I think it’s safe to say 2017 has been good to me. It really has.¬† Continue reading “Welcome, 2018.”

Begin Again: Poem… 19

Alright peeps.

I’ve failed you.

No, wait. That’s presumptuous.

I’ve failed the 5 of you who read this blog.

Hm. That’s more embarrassing than accurate.

Okay.

I’ve failed myself.

 

I began this blog because I felt I had something to say, something to share; but along the way, life side-tracked me.

Nothing’s changed though. I still have things to share with you. And projects I’m working on.

So.

I decided to begin again.

Let’s start over.

 

My name is Anne-Marie Agbodji, I am an artist.

I write poetry, short stories, screenplays, and poems, in English and French. I draw, take pictures, and paint stuff. I act. I am an actor.

And I am a Lover.

I’d like to share my experience of love with you.

I’m inviting you anew into my personal space, where you will see the ugly, the sad, the beautiful, the healed. The me. The you. The all of us. Poetry will take us there. If you will, ¬† join me. Join me again and again, until we get to wherever it is we’re supposed to get to, together.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 5.17.21 PM

Reflections – 2017

Reflections – 2017

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a while now. The ingredients had been gathered for over a year and for months I’ve mulled over how to present you with the thoughts swirling about my head. The recipe had been in the works for so long, I felt I had perfected it. I’d let the meat of it marinate and soak up the flavor of the core of what I had to say. I was so confident about what I wanted to write about, why I wanted to write about it, and what it would mean to anyone who cared enough to read about it. Then, my friend died.

I was eager to write a 1-year recap on my experiences and my growth since I’d made the decision to live in Europe for 3 months in 2016 after my aunt’s passing. Her departure was a catalyst that led me to re-evaluate my entire life, forcing me to take a serious look at how I was spending my earthly days as the chills of everlasting sleep whispered to me that it was all just too damn short.¬† Continue reading “Reflections – 2017”

This one is about Love, ya’ll.

This one is about Love, ya’ll.

Today is a special day for me. Today, I celebrate my one year anniversary with my husband of three months. Yes, I said husband. I guess I should explain.

On this day last year, I found myself at a crossroads in my life. Someone I’d grown up with, my aunt, my second Mother, had passed away. Her death led me to France for the first time in my life to be with my cousin, her daughter.

Though at first glance you may think I was in Paris living it up, I was actually broken to my core. My Mother has always taught me to smile through my tears, so that’s what I tried to do. Not only had I lost a family member, but I suddenly realized how fragile life was and wondered what the hell I was doing with mine. Why did I spend 50+ hours a week at a job that didn’t fulfill me? Why was I settling for a life I didn’t choose? Why was my heart still broken, after all these years? Why was I not¬†free?¬† Continue reading “This one is about Love, ya’ll.”