Goodbye

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The bottle had been unexpectedly opened and it was right there, the pill she had prescribed to herself.

Doubt quickly consumed her.

Unable to turn back, she learned the pill was harder to swallow than originally expected.

A playlist of emotions linked to memories was the soundtrack that instantly flooded her thoughts.

Anxiety struck as her chest tightened. Sadness loomed as the tears stung and welled up in her eyes.

Too pained to push the tears out, she blinked them free as they dampened her numb cheeks.

Expiration was imminent as the stabbing sensation in her lungs interrupted her breathing. She gasped through the tears and the pain deeply regretting her decision.

But the playlist of emotions linked to memories came to an end on a broken and weak goodbye.

I Just Took A DNA Test. Turns Out I’m 100%…Confused

Image result for you are not the father maury

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As you can tell from the title, obviously I took a DNA test.  You might be asking yourself the question “Why?”.  There are a few reasons why I did, but let’s just clear one thing up first.  I did not take a Maury “You are not the father!” type of DNA test. I took a genealogy DNA test from Ancestry.com.  FYI, this is not a sponsored blog post.

The Why

I have always been interested in everyone and everything that has made me the person that I am today.  Some of those things and people I have never met or encountered.  For that reason, a sample of my saliva had to provide me with that information.  I have always been interested in my ancestors who were here before me.  What were they like?  Who were they? Am I anything like them? Do I look like them?  I have so many questions and not enough answers.

Another reason was that like most families, the stories that are told don’t always add up.  Some of the details of my family made sense while other details had me questioning everything I know about myself.  Is my great grandfather really a German man?  Do I really have a Shoshone Indian as a great great grandmother? Being an African American woman in America it is really no surprise to have DNA from other parts of the world, but the information I was receiving from family and questionable internet leads was overwhelming.  What do I do with all this information? How do I get more information?  How do I confirm the information that was already given to me?

Then there are the numerous encounters with skeptical people who question my race.  I am constantly being asked, “What are you?” “What are you mixed with?” and other like questions.  I tell them I am black, and I am met with responses like, “No…where are you REALLY from?” or “There’s no way you’re black.  You HAVE to be mixed with something.” These questions paired with the family history I was given had me completely lost and questioning who I really was.

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Problem Solved

So, I did what any sane person in 2019 would do.  I took my issues to the Internet in hopes that it would provide me with the answers I had been longing for.  After countless hours of both productive (and not so productive) searches, I ended up on YouTube watching video after video of people who were racially ambiguous learning more and more about who they were.  These people, some who looked like me, were discovering the regions where their DNA was traced back to.  Men and women from different parts of the world were spitting into tubes and mailing them off to various companies seeking to know more about who they were. Fast forward a couple of minutes into the videos and there were the results (in real life it took about 5 weeks for the results to come in).  I have never seen so many stunned people in my life.

I too wanted to be one of those stunned people; one day the opportunity presented itself to me in the form of a wait for it…the form of a Facebook ad. Oddly, I was not surprised. Thank you, government agent! I genuinely appreciate you. Anyway, the ad was for a reduced price on the DNA kit.  I do not think I could have hit the order button quick enough.

A couple of days later the kit arrives in the mail. My excitement level is through the roof! I read the instructions carefully; as I do not want anything interfering with my results.  I gather enough saliva for the sample.  I collect it in the tube that was provided, seal it and put it in the envelope.  Then placed it in the box to send it off to be analyzed. I treated that sample like a newborn baby.  I carefully placed the box in the front passenger seat of my vehicle, and carefully drove to the post office.  Me being the paranoid person I am, I decided to bring the sample inside and place it in one of the mailboxes there.  I could not risk the brutal south Louisiana heat corrupting my DNA sample. The sample is now safe with my local post office.  I can now move on to the “stalking” phase of at-home genetic DNA testing.

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Let the Stalking Begin

The first notification of many arrives on my phone.  My kit has been received! Now I can rest at night knowing that my sample is not hanging out in some unknown location with some strange people, plotting some strange activities with my DNA.  A week or so passes, and I receive another notification! This time they are processing my sample. Let’s go DNA!! Just following this process was more than enough excitement for me.  While I thought it could not get any more exciting, “DNA extracted” notification hits my phone about a week later. Now it is beginning to feel real.  This process took way longer than I wanted it to. In fact, it was about two weeks between the extracting of my DNA and the analysis of it. The “DNA analyzed” notification finally comes, and the excitement returns. I would be lying if I said I did not think about the results every day.  In fact, I would check the website, my e-mail, and the app daily to make sure I had not missed the notifications. Early one morning, I wake up to an e-mail notification letting me know that my results were ready!! I was overwhelmed with emotions.  I was nervous, excited, curious, ecstatic and just overall relieved that the stalking phase could finally be over.

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The Results Are In…

The e-mail is open, the link is begging to be clicked. So, I oblige. I click the link and watch as the website appears in the address bar. I am greeted with the log-in page. Umm, NO! I do not remember my log-in information! Panic has been added to the concoction of emotions already running through me. Great! However, I was prepared for this! After watching so many YouTube videos of people doing this exact thing (trying to log in to their accounts after 4-5 weeks).  I decided to make a note of my login and password as soon as I created the account. I can hardly remember my login information for things I use daily.  I knew if I tried to remember after 4-5 weeks, it was going to be next to impossible. The information has been located and entered into the appropriate places on the login screen.

I honestly believe I stopped breathing in that short amount of time it took for the page to load. The first page was an explanation page. No! We are not doing this!  Take me to my results…NOW! I click through tutorial box after tutorial box. Finally! I am face to face with myself. It’s me in per cents, a colorful pie chart and an equally colorful map! Wow! The number of slices in my pie chart and the number of highlighted regions on the map took me by surprise. I had no idea these places and cultures were a part of my history, that they were a part of who I am.

The website also provided me with information about DNA matches.  There they were, names, photos, possible relations to me and the amount of shared DNA I had with these people.  I am amazed by the information in front of me! I was happy to see one of my uncles on my dad’s side of the family had also completed a DNA test, but that was where the familiarity ended.  Possible second, third and even fourth cousins were on the screen.  These people were complete strangers to me. I reached out to some of my matches in hopes of some answers, only to find out no one knew how we were related. I was slightly disappointed.  However, I was still excited about the amount of information I had just evaluated. Below are screenshots of my actual results.

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Now What?

The results are in and have been reviewed.  In fact, they have been updated with more accurate information from Ancestry.com since I originally view my results.  But now what? Now it is time to make connections with my DNA matches.  It is time to talk to my family and gather as much information as I can, so I am able to connect some of these dots. This is also time to get to know relatives I never knew I had.  It is time for some road trips and some flights to visit some of my newfound relatives.  It is also a good time to learn about the cultures and people from the regions that have combined to make me the person I am today. It is time to let the research begin!

Alone With Others

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One of my favorite things to do is go to a public place where a number of people are gathered and watch them. “Watch for what?” might be your question. I am watching how they behave.  I am observing the solo interactions, as well as the interactions of those with and around them. Bookstores and coffee shops are my favorite places to people watch. These two top the list, simply because everyone is in their own world. As I sit comfortably in a cushy chair, with enough pillows to ease the stresses of a rough day, I grab one of the books I selected. As I begin to read, the footsteps of a bookstore employee hurrying to another area of the two-story store peak my interest. I glance in her direction as I see her trotting down the moving escalator, still in a hurry. My thoughts quickly shift from my book to “What’s her story?” Before I can begin to put ideas together, my thoughts are interrupted by a young couple (late teens early twenties) who plop down in the other two plushy pillow chairs. The guy sat on the navy blue, while the girl plopped down on the deep rouge chair. Sitting in my olive green chair, I smile when they look in my direction and return to the book in hand. The couple quickly forgets about the lady in the slacks, pumps, and button-down shirt, and engage in personal conversation as if I somehow literally disappeared behind the book. The two were sophomores at the local university and had been dating for some time in high school. They reminisced on school dances, classmates, teachers, school activities, and above all the ease of life they had left a few years back. Jumping to the present day, they discussed the stresses of professors, exams, dorms, and other areas of campus life. This eventually led to talks of marriage, careers, and futures. I (not that much older than they were at the time) hoped they would live out all of their dreams, as I was a single mother, working full-time, and a student at the community college. My thoughts are interrupted again; this time by a group of elementary/middle school-aged kids apparently on a field trip. As I watch the group pile on the escalator behind me, I know this would be interesting. They made it up to the second floor in groups of about eight to ten, each with an adult chaperone. The entire group gathers a distance away near the music area. Vaguely, I hear something about a scavenger hunt and the faint chatter of a few kids.  The big group breaks apart into little groups and they disperse in every direction. My observations of the styles, attitudes, and language the kids used were interrupted by the vibration of my LG flip phone. I check the outer display to see “2:30PM”, and an alarm clock just beneath bouncing around as if to intensify the urgency that I should head for the parking lot. I leave the books in the olive green cushy pillow chair, the chattering kids, the young couple, and the bookstore employee as I make my way down the escalator, and out the door. Another day…another thought.

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The Outsiders 

Photo Source: pinterest.com

They say you’re never alone as long as you have people around. 
I beg to differ. 

I was just fine having my family. And plenty of time to myself. 

It wasn’t until The Outsiders were introduced. 


Photo Source: deviantart.net

I would share with them a part of me. Only for them to take off and leave with it. 

I even cared for some of The Outsiders. 

Their lives either ended too soon or their parents uprooted them to another state. 


Photo Source: hbc333.com

I even loved some of The Outsiders. They were the ones who caused the most pain. 

These Outsiders would turn their feelings on and off as they pleased. This was hard to accept when my feelings were always on. 
I never felt so alone in my life. 

The more Outsiders I seem to let in, the more alone I seem to feel. 


Photo Source: harvestlifechangers.com

They say you’re never alone as long as you have people around. 

As long as those people aren’t The Outsiders. 

Emptying My Thoughts: Night Four

Today was a pretty productive day at work. I still have tons of things to do,  but it is slowly but surely all coming together.

Nothing major really happened today. I have been thinking about ways to get out of this work function on Thursday, but I haven’t been able to come up with something good and convincing enough. I swear I hate having social anxiety! Why does it have to be so difficult to socialize with people away from work who I interact with on a daily basis? I guess I will keep thinking of something.

I have been listening to some great music lately thanks to Google Music! I have been listening to new music from some of my favorite artists, and discovering new artists along the way.  A few of my favorites are Nao, Lion Babe, MAAD*MOISELLE, Kiiara, Jamie Woon, Eryn Allen Kane, Lostboycrow, Kelela, Johnny Rain, and Dvsn. I also checked out Tamia’s latest album titled Love Life on Spotify. I really enjoyed it.  Tamia is one of my favorite artists of all time. She remains true to her sound,  and that is what makes me enjoy her music.

Well, that’s all for tonight. I’m headed to Slumberland. Good night ☺

Emptying My Thoughts: Night Three

The life of a mom is truly an interesting one. One kid was throwing up this morning. The other is in the nurse’s office at school because of a really bad headache. I am the mom who worries when her kids are anything other than themselves. They both ended up feeling better, and that’s great, but I still worry. 

I also had to stay home from work today to sit with the little one. I thought it would be a peaceful day as my son rested.  That didn’t happen at all.  He wanted to play and watch every movie he owns. Pretty much everything but rest.  By the way he’s four, and has the energy of four people. Long story short, I did not have a peaceful day.

Now I have to return to work and play catch up on my catch up work.  I am going to go to sleep with nothing but positive thoughts about tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a good day!

I gave today’s Daily Prompt plenty of thought and really couldn’t come up with anything. My mind is so filled with worry and “what ifs” I can’t seem to get my creative juices flowing.

I love writing, but just like everything else, I  begin comparing myself with others. I feel like my writing is not good enough because it doesn’t sound or flow like the next blogger’s work.  I know it’s something I need to get over, and I’m trying.

That’s about all that’s flooding my mind.  Hopefully it’s left here and doesn’t follow me to Slumberland! Good night ☺

Working it All Out- Career Confusion

Why does picking a career have to be such a daunting task? I know what I like and I know what I don’t like. I know my strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities. I know where I excel and I know where I crash and burn. I know other people’s opinions on my talents and gifts.  The one thing I DON’T know is how the hell to put all of this together to form a career goal!

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Photo Credit: npr.com

I’ve taken career assessments, talked to people, sorted my likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, consulted with The Bible, played trial and error for 16 years with job after job after job,  and still unfulfilled. What do I really want to spend the rest of my life doing?  I love reading, writing, math, science, research, spotting and correcting errors (Don’t judge me if I don’t spot or correct any errors contained within this post. It is 4am and my brain hasn’t gotten much rest), delegating, organizing, and maintaining information.
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Photo Credit: livebinders.com

Now, for the negatives. I don’t like working directly with clients, customers, patients, consumers, and whatever other names people who are in need of a product or service go by these days. I would prefer to be behind the scenes helping people. I don’t like working with people. Solitude makes my day…co-workers not necessarily. I prefer to get my work done and move on to the next task! 

The biggest negative is fear.  Fear that I will invest time and money into a degree that isn’t relevant to what I really WANT to do.  Most career matches I’ve come across look good on paper, but I don’t really see myself enjoying the work or work environment. I also don’t feel a great deal of excitement to begin a number of the selected careers. I know how quickly I lose interest in work that doesn’t keep me challenged. Fear, why must you plague my soul?

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Photo Credit: themuse.com

With all of that said,  I shall continue my quest for my ideal career. One that includes more of my likes than dislikes. One that will fulfill me. A career that allows me to be me, and I am greatly appreciated for being me.  A career that will pay well enough for me to survive without having financial problems. I am not seeking financial success. I am just seeking personal success! 

Now that’s not too much to ask for!

K. A. Smith

My 9:00 P.M. Reminder

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It’s 9:00 p.m., and my alarm just went off reminding me to take my medicine. This made me think about the recent conversation I had with my neurologist. At one point during the doctor’s visit, she said something about no 30 year old wants to take medicine every day for the rest of their life.  After that, I briefly left the conversation (mentally of course). Wow, I have been taking these medicines for four years now and at that moment was the first time I realized that I will probably be taking medicine every single day of my life! 

Why am I seeing a neurologist? Why am I taking medicine every day? Migraines and myoclonus would accurately answer that question. I am thankful to have something to take to control the two, but the reality of a daily medicine reminder does become frustrating. At times I “forget” to take the preventative medicine, because I just get tired of taking it.  I just want to feel like I did before having these problems. I guess I feel like maybe the headaches and jerking are gone, and I no longer need the medicine. Then things just get worse once I stop, and it is back to my 9:00 p.m. medicine reminder.

K. A. Smith

Just Your Average…Yet Not So Average Girl

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I have been encouraged by a fellow blogger to write about a time from my younger days. He is a an awesome writer and a great supporter!  Check out his blog here!

In elementary, middle, and high school, I was not Ms. Popular, but I was known. I wasn’t an outcast, I was liked by many. I was easygoing, fun to be around, and LOVED to laugh and have fun. My G.P.A.  was usually between a 3.5 and a 4.0. I was on the dance team, BETA club, 4-H, French Club, along with other organizations. Science fairs?  I won them. Gifted and Talented?  I was in that program too. I was a teacher’s pet, but I was never bullied.  I usually had one or two good friends at a time. I could have hung with the crowd, but usually chose not to. I think I had it pretty good in school.

I don’t really have any defining moments while in school. I was just the loud, fast talking, fun, light skinned, long jet black hair,short, smart, pretty, funny, crazy (in a good way), manipulative, long nails with designs wearing, girl who worked at Winn-Dixie behind the Customer Service Counter. I had a way with words and had no problem telling you how you made me feel. I liked to talk, hang out with my friends, dance, play baseball, play video games with my brother, write to my pen pals, read, write, sing (never was any good at it, but I enjoyed it), listen to music, and push my parents’ buttons to date.

Oh the good ol’ days! 

K. A. Smith

I Am A Pluviophile

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I love rainy days.

The rain soothes and calms me.  Watching the rain outside of my window sends me to places I’ve never been. I become lost in my thoughts, as if I am hypnotized by the relaxing sounds of rain raicing from cloud to roof, from cloud to window. I am no longer consumed with the stresses of the day, the worries of my life. I can breathe freely, as the rain hits the roof, hits the window. The distant rumble of thunder yields excitement within me, as I wait for it to get closer. The wind forces the trees to perform a drunken dance while blowing leaves about. Bare branches gently scrape the window.  Lightning crackles. All that was enveloped in darkness made a brief appearance to my eyes. The excitement intensifies exponentially, due to the approaching weather phenomenon. I sit wrapped in favorite purple fleece blanket, wrapped in my thoughts. The lights are off, not because of the storm, but because of the choice. The choice I made to enjoy this rain, this thunder, this lightning, these sounds.

I love rainy days.

K. A. Smith

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