Individual versus the Group

Dear Readers, just because you belong to a group doesn’t mean you stop being an individual.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Recently, I had an experience that taught me a profound lesson. The experience wasn’t tragic, but it lasted long enough for me to understand that it was time to disconnect, step back, get still, turn inward and have a deep conversation with my inner self. The old me would have reacted differently and became angry, and ranted about the experience to anyone who would listen to me playing the role of the victim. The old me would have carried my anger around like a badge of honor for my wounds. But I am not that person anymore and I have learned to step back and critically think about an occurrence that my mind and heart want to immediately conclude as negative.

So, what did I do? I spent a week in silence, meaning, no TV, no soical media, no chatting on the phone, and I didn’t mention the incident to anyone. I journaled, prayed, and kept silent. On the 3rd day of my silence, I arrived at the conclusion that the incident brought attention to an area of my life that I wasn’t nurturing. What I’ve learned is that I need to pay attention to my behavior and thinking when I am in a group setting, more important pay attention how I attach myself to this group. Humans naturally have an instinct to want to belong, no one wants to feel left out. However, it is out of habit that when people join a group, team, organization, or tribe, whatever name you give to your people. It is good to connect to like minded people, but be careful that you don’t make a habit of changing your mindset or behavior to match that of the group because you want to belong.

The group is an amazing collection of ages, culturally mixed and like minded. Since being in the presence of this group I discovered that I am not as depressed as I use to I be. I am surrounded by loving people who verbally express and show love, and when we meet usually twice a week it is am amazing celebration. I often leave our meetings happy and looking forward to the next meeting. The incident that happened singled me out, but only a few people witnessed the interaction. It left me wondering why me? I have found my tribe, why me? I wasn’t going to play the pitty game, and I didn’t feel the need to confront the other person. I am glad that I simply took a step back and examined what really happened.

I know that your asking yourself, am I going back to the group? Yes, I am going back with new knowledge and better awareness. It was a teaching moment that lead me to examine who I am.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

The Cost of A Life

Dear reader,

The unjust attitude of Landlords ( slumlords) or LLC companies that hoard real-estate in New York City, should be rendered unconstitutional.These greedy and heartless proprty owners target low income people from under served communities such as,  immigrants, single parent household, people of color, low income wage earners, and many more marginalized groups who live in fear of being homeless. The majority of these groups do not under the housing laws or that their basic human rights are being valided, thus becoming victims used by Landlords as a means to an end.

The principal standard used to be that once a tenant and Landlord enter into an agreement, he/she is bound by the contract of the lease to render basic services such as, repairs, heat and hot water, safe electricity, and to maintain a clean environment free of rodiants. However, overtime a lease agreement has become a useless piece of paper and housing court tend to defend Landlords over the rights of tenants. Furthermore, as the immigrate population increases this gave way for Landlords and property management companies to rent illegal apartments, to practice rent gouging, and use intimidation to  trap undocumented and low wage earners into living in horrible conditions. People are afraid to call heating hot lines to complaint or to withhold rent because of lack of repairs in fear of eviction or being reported to immigration.

We see news reports about slumlords who fail to make repairs or who are notorious for not supplying tenants with heat and hot water. The most recent tragedy in New York City, on January 8, 2022, 17 people died due to a fire caused by families using space heaters to stay warm. This situation was complicated by the fact that the building did not have smoke detectors or proper fire doors that would have kept people safe until help arrived. The publics opinion is to judge the less fortunate by reversing blame because these victims should be able to live in better housing. Well, naysayers, let’s be realistic not everyone can live the promised luxury of the American Dream, and not everyone can afford a house, condo or to live in an upscale neighborhood.

It is the duty of our American system to keep a certain class of people from improving the quality of their lives. Our political leaders accomplish this by keeping wages low, corporate take over of the farming industry keeps food prices high, increase rate in utility services, high cost of public transportation, high rents, and  the lack of low income housing. The government believes that there is no profit in developing affordable housing. The American way of thinking is that only a privileged few deserves to enjoy basic amenities such as shelter and food.

Regardless to the fact that some of the most dangerous fires caused by property owners neglect there hasn’t been a single person held accountable. I’ve experienced living without heat because the home owner didn’t want to pay the cost of heating. But, they expect rent on time each month. I am heading towards retirement and ridding myself of Landlords by building a tiny house. I am lucky that I can afford to build my dream home, but I am just one person. When I lay down at night in the comfort of my warm clean apartment free of rodiants, I whisper a prayer asking God to help the people who are not as fortunate as I.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen.

Five Days

My life friend and road warrior

Dear Readers, 

Remember the saying,” home is where the heart is?” This is what I was thinking during my five day tour across America.  Let me explain. I have two routines I am accustomed to performing in the morning and evening, the way I start and end my day truly makes a difference. I do not like chaos or noise to greet me in the morning.  I like taking my time sipping coffee,  reading a daily meditation and reviewing  my daily To Do List. In the evening I enjoy quiet time. I don’t talk on the phone, I am employed as an ESL teacher engaging in conversation throughout the day. I frown at loud music or playing the Television at a  volume that gives me a headache. I see evenings at home time to unwind and shake off the business of the day. I usually have a light dinner, maybe watch a movie,  look over my weekly calendar, and have a cup of my favorite tea Earl grey.  

During my five day drive across the country all of this changed and I found myself out of balance and becoming irritated by my road partner who interfered with my daily routines.

My journey across the country was an amazing adventure, but I didn’t  foresee  the clash of personalities. My road partner is a talented musician and actor who since the age of 17 have lived the lifestyle of a spoiled rock star. He knows nothing about  morning or evening rituals, he only knows one speed fast, and he likes everything  loud. His theory is if you can’t  feel it, what’s the point? 

On our second morning when I was taking longer than he thought was necessary to get back on the road he would pace the floor of our hotel room and repeatedly ask me if I was ready to go. His plan was to see as much as we could at each destination, and still cover 400 miles per day. At the end of each day he would throw himself in bed and turn on the Television blasting the volume disturbing my tea and quiet time. Once the volume  was so loud the front desk called to say that the other guests were complaining.  

By day four I was so frizzled because I was used to centering myself before each day and evening, and I found I wasn’t  enjoying being in his company, thus making the second half of our tour across America less enjoyable. Our final destination was his home in Southern California. During  the last 400 miles of our journey I began to feel uneasy about the plan to stay in California  for three days before returning to New York City. I  envisioned myself  there in his house, loud Tv and rock music banging in my head and he is a person who does not like to be asked to lower the volume. After crossing 10 states we arrived at his home. I immediately searched for a flight leaving early Friday morning, but no luck. I was trapped there until Saturday. When I told him that I planned to return home early he was shocked and When he asked why, I told him the truth.

He apologized and explained to me that he truly did not understand how important my morning and evening routine are to me. I decided to change my flight plans to stay longer. I do take some of the blame because I should have had a conversation with him before the journey. Although we have been friends for over twenty years, we have never been in such a close situation. I think we both learned something from this experience.

South Dakota

Long live the Purple Prince💜

Dear Readers,

Good afternoon. Day 4 our journey across America continues. We had the honor to visit Paisley Park, The home of the purple 💜 Prince. I was over come with emotions. For many Paisley Park is a tourist attractions, but for the millions of people on this plant who loved and respected Prince, his music, generosity, and his many gifts of humanitarian. We thank you for giving us a look inside of a place where you love, laughed, and created.In the words of his purpleness, ” Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…and if the elevator tries to take you down press a higher floor”

the purple Prince

We are road warriors

Dear Readers, in case you just joined me and my road warrior, we are on day two of our drive a Cross country from New York City to California. Thus far in total we have covered 1400 miles and 8 states.

We are at the end of Day 2. Starting point Indiana, stopping at Chicago, Wisconsin, ending the day in Cannon Falls Minnesota, a total of 700 miles for today. Stay tune for our first surprise stop over on day 3. Goodnight America 💘

the sites are amazing

thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

154 miles to Chicago

Good morning ☀️ America ❤️ day 2 of our cross country drive from New York City to California. We had an amazing relaxing night in Fort Wayne Indiana. Breakfast at cracker barrel back on the road headed to Chicago. Later….

my life partner and road warrior

Our cross country adventure.

Dear Readers,

The journey just begun

Today is the day. I am checking off my bucket list a life long dream of driving cross country from New York to California.Thus far day one my amazing driver took me through rough rain storms from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio.We stopped in Indiana for a good night’s rest. The plan for day 2, stop in Chicago spend some time before moving on. I am excited and blessed.

before the rain
Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

Welcome to our Adventure

Dear Readers,

Good morning 🌞 America!!! It’s been years in the making and it’s finally happening. Day 1 of our greatest adventure. We are driving cross country from New York City to California, stopping in ten states. This is a major life changing event. We keep you posted 😜

My life partner and road warrior