I believe every person is met with an impasse; a defining moment where you’re hit with the blunt question of “what happens next?” that catapults the decisions made for the rest of your life. I found myself in this very moment as I stuffed clothes in trash bags still fresh with her scent. I lost my mom. Rereading that sentence still takes my breath away because it’s something so unreal and something I wasn’t quite prepared for. Burying my mom was just not on the year’s to do list.

As I was packing her things I looked around her room – a room tucked inside the left shoulder of her apartment, windows covered by dark draping preventing the sunlight to enter in, a nightstand of 13 pill bottles, and her silhouetted impression in the bed. This is where she was found. I watched as her things were carried out of this apartment. Her shelves of vhs and dvds. I remembered my mother who used to take me to Blockbuster every weekend in elementary school to pick out movies to watch. Do you remember Blockbuster? lol. Her Stone Cold Steve Austin Posters. I remembered this crazy lady screaming at the tv as her and my brother applauded the interesting performances of WWF lol. And then I watched them carry out her bed, and the nightstand that held her pills. I remembered the last 17 years of watching my mother deteriorate and isolate herself to these two things. I read an entry in her diary as she penned her distress in not being understood by her mother, feeling failure and her loneliness. Then backed in her closet alone I looked at the little shelf of night gowns, tees, and maybe two pairs of pants. I remembered how my mother began to care a bit less about her appearance and began merely existing and not living. Her life for years remained in this bedroom having isolated herself and accepting life as one that existed with illness, mental illness, and abuse of medication. And in 2017 me and my brother’s 49-year-old mother died.

Mommy and my pony tail

I honestly can’t even begin to tell you how I have experienced every emotion imaginable, but the most prominent feelings have been anger and failure. I have always felt a responsibility for making a better life for myself to show her everything she’s produced didn’t fail in hopes that it would inspire her to push harder and get better. My mother’s illness did not grant us an opportunity to have the traditional mother/daughter relationship, and I understood. But I never not saw my mother at my graduation, wedding, being inappropriately sarcastic with my husband, or making my children grab her remote inches from her grip lol. I saw her.

When I stood in her empty room, I couldn’t help but cry at the thought that my mother did not live. She died in 2017 as a victim of her choices, and my heart was a bit broken. Everyone has a story, and I think it’s so easy for anyone to park at the negative detours. My mother parked her thinking on so many of her failures and disappointments that she could never move pass. Reflecting on my mother’s room, I found myself in a room of my own. I thought about all of the things that I quit, the things I didn’t try hard enough to accomplish, the insane lack of balance, parameters, and self care that my life is missing. Why haven’t I ever been on a vacation? Why haven’t I made self care a priority for myself? Why didn’t I finish school? Why didn’t I push myself harder in my career? Why have I chained myself to my computer to assist others and ignored my own needs? When’s the last time I really went out on a date, or have I really chosen to remain a virgin until Jesus comes back? Why do I isolate myself when I go through challenges? Why do I eat so poorly, when I eat, and then never give my body the water and exercise it needs? Why do I allow other’s opinions define me and dictate my next step? Why so many fears? Why so many insecurities? WHY NOT LIVE? I noticed in my own life FEAR has backed me in so many corners. I’ve allowed my own room to convince me that, like my mother, I’ll never live out my imaginations, and playing russian roulette with living to the fullness is as far as I’ll get. I want to take my power back.

There is a future version of me that I want to make proud for my decision to do better now.

But this is not where I want us to park. Yes, us because I know I am not the only one who finds themselves facing off with a defining moment where you have to choose where you’re going from there. I want to share a journey with anyone willing to go with me of just A LIVING SPREE! Living outside of any room, routine or expectation and far from merely existing. I have no idea what I plan to do next. I hope to honor God in living the very life He intended when He spoke my name, enjoy the mess out of what’s left of it, inspire and meet some cool people on this intentional journey, and honor my mother in taking the baton of living a bit farther as she rests with God watching. So I am on a journey- an intentional journey- and I’m inviting you with me; not to a pity party but to discovery of abundant life. I don’t know if there’s anyone else in the world who has found themselves where I have found myself but I welcome you to follow me as I follow Christ – The Way, The Truth, and The LIFE. I am placing the whole of my life on the truth that God intended it to be nothing but full and great! I’m calling this a safe place. No, I don’t have a conference for you to come to or a free downloadable handout on 7 ways to live lol. Just my transparency. I am still dealing with the death of my mother, and everything else that her death has unearthed in my life. Most people are acquainted with Chantee the Designer who designs websites, and brand collateral. Here, I want to introduce Chantee the Designer- a girl designing the life she was intended to live. By simply penning this blog I’m choosing to live a lil. Thanks for reading. See ya.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows]. Psalms 147:3 AMP…Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way. A David prayer Psalms 16:11 MSG