Seriously, What is the Point of All of This?

5 min read

Hello friends and neighbors!

I know I’ve been gone for a minute. I haven’t written much lately for a few reasons:

  • I’ve felt blocked creatively. Additionally, I’m filled with self-doubt about my writing skills, as well as frustrated that despite how much work I put into building a writing / blogging career, I feel like I’m not progressing.
  • I’m still quite depressed and don’t want to share yet another sad post.
  • Being depressed means I barely have energy to do much more than the necessities of each day.
  • I don’t want to give satisfaction to anyone secretly hoping my New York move won’t work out.

I’m tired. I’ve lived here for 5.5 months now. Months which have flown by, but during which almost each day dragged. Reminds of a phrase my friend shared with me:

The Days are Long, But the Years are Short | The Girl Next Door is Black

I didn’t think moving to New York would be easy. However, I didn’t expect to feel like life is punishing me at every step, and that some unseen omnipotent power is having a great laugh fucking with me.

Logically, I understand that, of course, life isn’t punishing me. I have some control over my circumstances. The reality is, however, that I don’t think I have much control. I’ve encountered setback after setback to the point where it’s hard for me to believe circumstances will ever improve. It begins to feel like, “why bother?” If they do improve, is it worth it?

I keep returning to the question, “what’s the point of being here [in this life]?” I’ve mostly given up and have simply been going through the motions. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post that the idea of having to live for another few decades of ups and downs fills me with dread.

My new therapist told me that when I feel like I’m heading down the depressive rabbit hole I should focus on trying to stay present, to not spend so much time fixated on the bleak future I forecast. Further, I should do things that bring me joy, and work on appreciating my surroundings and the good in my life.

With pessimism, I replied that I find myself jealous of the birds and squirrels I pass each day. How simple their lives are. They fly, scurry, search for food, eat the food, communicate with their fellow species, procreate, and all without the emotional turmoil humans endure.

I came across this tweet last week, which I identify with more than I’d like.

I still don’t have a place of my own. It almost seems like a dream that I used to have my own apartment, rather than staying in other people’s residences. For a few months I’d been subletting a great 1-bedroom apartment and finally felt a bit of stillness. However, as the lease occupants preferred to have someone take over their lease, I had to move out at the end of last month since I plan to live with one of my sisters.

I tried Craigslist and Airbnb, but couldn’t find another temporary place to stay, so I’ve moved in with my mom. Today makes almost two weeks that I’ve crashed at her place on the air mattress I purchased for this new phase.

This is absolutely not where I thought I’d be at this age and stage in my life. I worked hard to take care of myself all these years and now here I am, feeling like I’m starting over again as when I moved to Los Angeles in my early 20s. But I’m not 23 anymore; I’m closer to 40. This feels like a regression.

To make matters even less joyful, my cat’s kidney disease has progressed quite quickly these past few months. Yesterday, the vet and I discussed euthanasia for when the time comes to let him go. The tears flowed down with a vengeance during this conversation.

Fluffy raccoontail and I have grown up together. I adopted him when he was 4 months old, shortly after I moved to L.A. He’s been a constant, loving furry companion for nearly 15 years. Figures this would all go down when I’m still trying to find a place to live, as well as rebuild my depleted savings from this move, because that’s how life works.

My therapist asked, attempting to work me through the negative self-talk, “What evidence do you have to show that your life will always be difficult?” The negative Nyesha in me answered, “Let’s see, there was the time this bad thing happened, the other time that horrible thing happened, then there was the other other terrible thing…I could do this all day.” She encouraged me to consider the positives in my life, and when I do, I recall ephemeral moments which cumulatively do not convince me that being a human in this world is worth it.

To add to that, there’s the constant stream of bullshit going on in the world that reminds me just how unfair and messed up it all is. There’s so much hate in the world, and too little empathy and attempts to understand each other.

That someone would call for murdering people who refuse to pledge allegiance to a piece of fabric or sing a song with racist lyrics, written by a slave owner, galls me. That Black people are continually gaslighted and/or ignored when we protest our inequitable treatment in this country is maddening.

Will this country ever get its shit together and learn to actually treat everyone equally? Or will I be 75 years old still hearing people try to justify why a Black person doing nothing but being Black deserves get shot by a police officer; or made to feel uncomfortable in their own neighborhood; removed from a wine train for enjoying themselves; or should get punished for wearing their hair the way it grows out of their head?

This is a country where rapists get minimal sentences while their victims have to deal with the aftermath for the duration of their lives. Where gay people are targeted and slaughtered while enjoying a night out. Where people of Muslim faith get attacked by the xenophobic. A land where indigenous people – the original Americans – protesting the destruction of sacred burial ground are met with vicious dogs and pepper spray. Where greedy corporations profit from the incarceration of citizens, treat them like modern-day slaves, and focus more on their punishment than rehabilitation.

It’s hard to see the good with all the bad that’s happening.

A few bright spots have poked their way through this blanket of doom:

  • Do you remember the job that I originally wanted, interviewed for back in March, and then subsequently did not get because of a hiring freeze? I got a call in June that a position opened up and asked if I was still interested in the role. Yes! Ironically, for someone who doesn’t like working in an office and is disinterested in continuing on this career path, work is one aspect of my life that provides me with some degree of content. My new co-workers embraced me with enthusiasm almost from day one. It’s refreshing to once again work in an environment where I’m seen, appreciated, and people actually want to get to know me. This experience could not be more different from the coldness and dysfunction I experienced in San Francisco.
  • I’m not doing this all alone. My middle sister and I still plan to live together. So, we’re in a similar boat with the frustration of home-hopping.
  • I also have been spending time with my youngest sister, my mom (not the one in Texas), and a host of other relatives I’m getting to know. For once, I’m not navigating difficulties on my own.

To my family and friends who may have reached out to me, I apologize if you’ve felt/feel slighted or neglected. It’s not you, it’s me.

I’ve not lost ALL hope. There’s a sliver of me who still thinks things might return to good. Then the negative thoughts creep in and I revert to “And if they do? How long ’til the next batch of shit drops on my head?”

Sorry for all the gloom. Perhaps things will improve and I’ll return with an upbeat, carefree post. Only time – maddeningly slow time – will tell.

Update May 2017

Things are much, much better now. Almost like a 180 from how they were this time last year. I am in much better spirits and feel optimistic about the future. New York can be a tough city, but as the saying goes: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” and I surely believe that’s true. Thank you to everyone who reached out with kind words of support. It truly means/meant a lot to me. I hope to return to blogging soon. In the meantime, I hope you are all living your best lives!

Life is hard, sometimes it's difficult to keep your head up | The Girl Next Door is Black

10 Comments
  • LaShon Renee
    January 24, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope you are feeling better in 2017. I can totally relate what your going through because at my age I’m also not where I thought I would. I shared tips in a recent blog post on how I overcame my feelings of overwhelm. It’s not easy but it can be done.

  • Shelly Revels
    October 21, 2016

    Keisha, I’m sorry. I haven’t blogged in a long while and hadn’t even realized you were still going through this.

    I totally, totally, totally understand your feelings. When I was at my lowest, I too thought I was doomed to feel that way FO-EVA. I just knew it. Nothing was going to get better. I was gonna be stuck in that personal hell for the rest of my life, and that was enough for me to ask the same question: Why? What is with all the suffering? Not just my own suffering, but everyone else’s too. People say “Oh, just think of how blessed you are compared to others.” Um, that makes me feel worse. I don’t like to think of ANYONE’s suffering because it is only a reminder that we all suffer. That life is filled to the brim with suffering.

    i still struggle at times, and sometimes I feel like I will never be the same person I was before the depression (which has been an on and off thing since ’02). I’m learning to recognize when I’m headed down that path and can almost step outside of myself, breath and remember that I’m right here right now. Not in the past. Not in the future. I ask myself, “What is amazing right now that I would miss if I were taken from this earth?” And sometimes it is something as simple as the breeze, and I focus on that for a moment and divert all those negative thoughts until they slough away.

    I’m not saying “choose happiness” or “be grateful”, cause I know how fucking annoying that is, but I do think your new therapist is onto something with the whole presence thing. We know on a cognitive level that it’s supposed to help, but putting it into practice is much harder. It really takes practice.

    I wish we could chat face to face 🙂 Hang in there, friend. You’re not alone!

  • The Sportsnista
    September 16, 2016

    Good to hear from you, sis. You’re in the weeds, but the fact that you continue to chop and push them out of the way speaks to the strength of your core. Rain is good. It helps things grow. But, I truly hope for more sun than rain for you. XOXO

  • sourgirlohio
    September 13, 2016

    It’s nice to hear from you again, even when things aren’t perfect. Congrats on a new job opportunity in the midst of all the chaos you are experiencing. And I’m so very sorry about your cat being ill, especially when you are fighting those demons within. Sending good thoughts your way. I hope you keep writing, I enjoy your blog.

  • Mary Ann Barton
    September 12, 2016

    Thank you for reaching out to write about what’s happening with you. Sending you warm kindness, Mary Ann

  • Gretchen
    September 12, 2016

    K, I am sorry about the cat. Like, everything else is super-important, too, of course. But I didn’t know about the cat. Also, I enjoy seeing new posts from you.

  • Tanisia Greer
    September 12, 2016

    I feel you about the coldness of the Bay Area. And I was born here! I’ve spent most of my life trying to escape. First, up North to Santa Rosa, then all the way to SoCal for a year, but that didn’t work out well, either. (Not that I’m not trying to get back to SoCal, because I ended up loving it!) Glad that you’re making this transition with some family backup this time. And It’s okay to feel despondent. When the situation is crappy, I’ve learned to let the thing be “the thing” and not fall into the false Law-Of-Attraction, Think-Happy-Thoughts delusion of pretending things are fine when they aren’t. Not that I’m totally negative, but it’s better to face what is and then learn to adapt and find better answers than to pretend your way out of a funk. Sometimes, you just need to complain & vent to get that energy out!

  • Jossie McManus
    September 12, 2016

    Hi, it’s great hearing from you again. I think I spent a lot of time talking about me and missed getting to know you more, and I regret that. Everyone’s got something to work through, but know that your writing is pure, clean, and eloquent. Please keep writing! Miss you and wish you the best in NYC.

    PS – perhaps the universe is giving you a chance to spend time with your mom for some reason. Try to see that as a positive and make the most of it. Learn some family recipes and some family stories you can blackmail your father 😉

    xoxo

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