Genfrication

So when I moved back to Houston, I had my heart set on downtown living. Since I had been gone they have build beautiful high rise buildings for prices I would have dreamed of on the east coast. I had a couple of building picked out that that were a couple distance from good eats and a ballgame. Then I got pregnant. Now my priorities had to change. I need a two bedroom apartment as appose to the studio or efficiency across the street from Minute Maid Park.  As a result of my partner moving in with me… I needed something close to the Veterans Affairs Hospital. I knew the next best place was Third Ward.

Third Ward is wear its happening. It’s 5 minutes away from downtown. It has pre-war structures. Better yet it reminds me of my great grandmother- Gloria. Of course I fit and I wanted to raise my child here. In the last couple of years this portion of Houston has lost it’s originality.

I have lived in this ward off and on for the past 10 years. I remember when a doctor moved in with his young wife and 4 year old daughter further down Delano between Blogget and Southmore. I though, ” Oh that’s cool. There will be kids in the neighborhood again.” I also remembered some years back when a gay couple purchased a house and build up like castle. I said to myself, ” Oh that’s interesting.”

But now old homes are being torn down for new industrial style lofts. They have a yoga meditation center within walking distance of my apartment. The ran rail line also within walking distance between University of Houston and Texas Southern University. It dawn on me to this weekend how hip Third Ward has become. I was at a friends birthday party the group was going out for drinks. I passed up opportunity merely because it was late. My son wasn’t going to go sleep without me.  I over heard them saying off Southmore. I was like nah not my side of Southmore. Sunday morning pictures were posted and sure enough they had gone to one of the new bars in the neighborhood further up Southmore. I was surprised.

I had to go back really think about what was happening to my neighborhood. Then I had to ask myself was I a “gentrifier?”

I have spent a small sent in Brooklyn, New York where I consider myself gentrifying the neighborhood. I didn’t have an apartment of my own. I never had money to really take part in any of the hip things going on  unless a friend offered to take me out for drinks. And most of remnants of older inhabitants of days long go thought I was old Jamaican lady’s grand-daughter come to visit from the Southwest. I remember being in Starbucks in and this Jamaican guy asked for change. I was looking like a real hipster that day. As I gave the guy my letter over loose change he asked, ” Are Jamaican… Are you from Brooklyn… I think I know you.” I grinned and said no.

My experience with Third Ward is a little different. My grandfather’s (maternal) family moved to Houston and lived in Fourth Ward by the turn of the 20th century. Sometime after 20’s my family relocated (grand parents) to Third Ward. The only property that is left in the family is great grandmother’s house that sits on Arbor. Across the street Local AME church has created a memorial for great great grandmother over a property that use to house wayward boys. They use the duplex now as a ministry for women.

I myself remember skating down the streets when I was 5. Getting kicked out of the one Ralston’s Liquor  store at age 10 for going to pick up some cigarettes for my aunt.Visiting my great grandmother in the apartment she lived in by herself. I even attended and graduated from Texas Southern which is in the heart of Third Ward. My great uncle was shot catching the bus in Third Ward.

I think my issue with Gentrification is the loss History and people’s intention. I have no problem with my neighborhood becoming more integrated. Restaurants and bars are major plus for me. I have an issue with people forgetting that people were confined to live in these areas. That schools in this city weren’t integrated till the 70s. That there were sit ins and riots that happened during the Civil Rights Movement in Third Ward. That my Grandfather died in this part of the city. Yes, its close to downtown, West University, the Kirby district, and the Galleria. But it’t so much more for me.

Separation Anxiety

My partner called me one day and says, ” I think our son has an anxiety disorder.” I paused for minute as to take into account what my partner was thinking. He went on further to explain to me in detailed why he thought this was true. At that point my child has started crying at the idea of people merely leaving him. In all honest, that was normal.  This is a baby who just go hang of crawling now realizing that when you leave a room. He is all alone.

About 3 weeks ago my son turned 10 months and something that was seemed normal to me has now grown into a monster. I use to be able to leave him with a friend of family member and he would smile. Now he searches their faces or a moment as if to see if he can trust them. If I leave he is done. I thought maybe this stem from the fact that I had been dividing my time between my parents house and my own. This has left my son in situation where maybe I had to leave the room for a minute to take care of things and I had no one to hand him off to. I also thought that taking on short term freelance jobs was the issue. This was alarming maybe for a couple day till I did my research.

So yes, at around 10 months babies become little more aware that world doesn’t revolve around them. This cause the idea of you being gone for long periods to cause slight anxiety. Yes, all of that makes sense to me. However, not everyone has a 27 lb. 10 month old. I sometimes can carry him on a back baby carrier like women do in some portions of Africa. The issue is he doesn’t like to be constricted and will try to kick his way out of the rap. I have tired singing to him while I am in another room so he knows that I am near by. That stopped working. I am running out of ideas. I have done a better job of getting him acquainted with other family members or caregivers. This seems to be the only thing that slightly works.

I know  it will get better in the coming months, but I need help. Or I could just come to the conclusion that I will have Serena Williams/Michelle Obama arms with in the next couple of months. That would be plus after a negative.

The Nice One

Well, I hope anyone who reads this had a great Independence Day. I was too busy helping my parents move so no BBQ or Fireworks for me.

I want to discuss something interesting about judging ones character. This weekend my uncle became very sick. He has pre-existing condition that can cause him to need to go to the emergency room sometimes. He called one evening and asked if I would be willing to take him to the hospital. I of course said yes. What type of person would say no if they had means to do so. After waiting hours, on my uncle was released from the hospital after a blood transfusion.

A couple of days later it start circulating around my mother’s side of the family that all of a sudden I have become a super nice person. I have even been told that I must have become nicer because of my child. Not True. If anything I have learned to handle less BS. So here is the question I posed … well to the universe. Does being a introvert and having a resting bitch face cause people to see you as mean?

I am not a happy- go lucky person.Despite my love of high fashion, I think I fall under pastel goth or loli goth.  I only smile at cheep jokes and thoughts of revenge. I hate small talk and I don’t see the purpose in greeting every person I meet. Not for the reasons you think. I am super awkward, and I am always afraid of saying the wrong thing. If you keep your output to a minimum, you are less likely to say something stupid.

With all that being said one of the particular reasons why I think they think this is because I have cut out certain family members from my life. While living by myself and going to therapy I had a conversation about with my therapist about how there are people in my family I would rather not speak to.  She looked me plainly and said, “Then don’t talk to them.” In that instance I knew I was grown up, and I shouldn’t be forced into converse with people that are destructive.

My mom’s side of the family is has mental health issues. I am not looking down on them for it (my father and I both suffer from situational and clinical depression), but I am being honest. These issue cause over all stereotypical messiness that comes with certain women. I try to stay away so that I don’t get roped in. Their illness and how they manage them dictates how I deal with them.  Certain person seem to actually feed on roping people into her bipolar mania. It has lead me to some seedy places and situation that I rather not be a part of. Other people in my family are not honest with her about managing her issues or taking responsibility for behavior. So I made a conscience decision to cut all ties with her. It was a difficult process because I had to make sure I wasn’t doing it out of anger or hurt, but place of healing. As her actions have caused me lots of hurt over the years. I have to think about my physical and sociological health. I have to be very vigilant and strict about this as even taking a phone call or acknowledging her presents could lead to people not respecting the boundaries I created.This including my own mother. The concession I have made is she gets the rest of the family whenever she feels like it. I get my peace of mind.

Another reason that I might come across as nice is that I had been gone for 4 years. I worked in North East for 4 years between New England and New York. I lived pay check to pay check with my parents paying my cellphone bill. When I did live here I was a college student with an ailing father and mother who was trying her best to take care of household that ran on just my father’s income. My priority became my sisters and brother. Whatever I did have went to them which wasn’t much. Two of them have graduated from college and have jobs of their own. I only have to worry about Little Bear (my youngest sister). So yeah I can pick someone up and take them to hospital. Yes, I can bring my grandmother food when she needs it. Yes, if someone needs to place to crash for the night they can sleep on my couch.

I think the issue is that people think that when you can’t be bothered with everything you rather be bothered with nothing. I won’t say I was always a nice person, but have always been a thoughtful person. Oh who am I kidding . If my life were the movie the “First Wives Club” I am more often an Annie than a Brenda. In closing I am not the spawn of Satan. I merely the spawn of Sea Witch. It’s completely two different things.