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If a Slave Can Buy his Freedom, So Can I

 

This post is a bit eclectic and will take many expected twists and turns.  I just need you to mentally prepare yourself. Please have tissues, defibrillator, throat spray and holy water ready.  You’ve been warned.

 

broken-chain

 

I never thought that I would do it until I was faced with the decision.  I said a million times that I wouldn’t do it. Would I pay out the money or cut my nose to spite my face?  Some told me I was crazy.  Let me give you some background to my madness…

When I was a kid, my mom used to make me read books. I wasn’t too crazy about it (probably why I don’t like reading now), but what was really annoying was that she made me read these huge novels in the summer time–and do book reports on them.  Really?

She would give me books that she had read so I couldn’t even try to “bs” the book report. They would all be black novels: Black Boy and Native Son by Richard Wright, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and various novels on slavery.

The slavery books would really pull me in, particularity if it broached the topic of buying freedom. I thought it was so unfair that a person would have to save money to purchase themselves.

“If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it.” – Brendan Francis

 

Freedom is not Free

African-Americans were enslaved for over 400 years. Some were given an opportunity (if you want to call it that) to by their freedom. They were given these ridiculous costs. Some saved money, gave it to the slave master and were robbed. They were told they needed more. The slave would keep working. I mean think about it. You have to give somebody money to get the life that was stolen from you. Really? But many did it for freedom.

In Roots, the character Kunte Kinte ran away many times to get his freedom.  We all know the infamous scene where he got his foot chopped off (in lieu of his “johnson” being chopped off…you men crack me up with that.  You’ll lose both arms, legs and all your teeth in lieu of that.  IJS).

In 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northop had been a free man for decades and was kidnapped and forced into slavery. He thought about running away, but came up with other crafty ideas to obtain his freedom.

What gave these men the drive to be free is that they knew what freedom tasted like. They both were born free and taken against their will to some foreign place they were not supposed to be.

They did whatever it took to get free.

When they got their freedom back (Northrop personally and Kunta through his grandson Chicken George), they still had to fight to keep it.  But they got it.

Well, if they could do it under those circumstances, so could I!

 
Ralphie daydreaming

Ralphie daydreaming

A Girl Can Dream

 

So, those who know me well know I have all kinds of crazy, dramatic over the top plans and scenarios, sort of like Ralphie’s daydreams on “A Christmas Story.”  With that in mind, I had my last day in divorce court all planned out. I will keep it real for you.

As you know, I’ve been working out, and I was going to wear a killer dress than accentuated all of my key features—even if I needed to wear a girdle, body magic and spanx (yes, I know the new studies have revealed they smash your organs. It’s about the sacrifice).

I was looking for places to get a baby bump that poked out just enough—not the one that Selita had on Real Husbands of Hollywood though (that was just awful). The whole scene was going to be gangsta!

If the judge ruled against me, I had a back up scenario.  The judge was going to tell me that I had to pay and on top of that it was going to be some outrageous amount.

I was distraught.

I yelled at my ex: “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?  WHAT ELSE CAN I GIVE YOU?”

Then, it happened.  I went into “black woman blackout”– I snapped.

In a rabid state, I took off my suit jacket and threw it across the room.  “SURELY, you want this!” Then I kept going.  I took off my blouse and my shoes.  Then, I said “Oh, I know what you want.  You want it ALL.”  In Strange’ (Yes, Grace Jones’ character in Boomerang) style took off my thong panties ( you know you can’t wear regular panties with a killer dress), walked over to him and put the strings over his ears and put the crotch on his head.  “That’s what you want! THAT is all I have!”

Everyone in the room gasped.

Don’t act like this is the first time you heard something like that. For all the old-heads that remember Boomerang and for the young-bucks that don’t know, watch this clip:

 

Sometimes my southern belle persona needs to get shaken up. Now back to my daydream:

As the people in the courtroom sat in disbelief, I sat in the chair looking broken and defeated. Out of the midst my hot, new man-friend would appear.  He would pull out his checkbook, ask to approach the bench and tell the judge that he would write a check because this issue was standing between him and the woman he loved.

He would ask how much I had to pay and added $5,000 to it–just because he could. He would write the check and the judge would slam her gavel, jump to her feet and strongly state, “Now THAT’S a real man right there!”

The audience would go wild. I would cry, my attorney would be at a loss for words (a first), my ex would be stunned and my girlfriend Sharon (the co-chair of my dating consultation committee) would make an executive decision, immediately fast-tracking my new man-friend through our tedious approval process. My case would go down in history and become a living legend in Montgomery County.

Yes, Tyler Perry should call me for script ideas.  This I know.

Back to Real Life

I never got my day in court.

An opportunity presented itself to settle. Never even got to meet the judge in any of the three hearings that I had. How anti-climatic.

I made a financial offer and waited–much like watch night service.

So, yes I settled out of court.  An offer was made and my problem disappeared. Just. Like. That.

You may say why did you give your money away, I wouldn’t have given up a dime!  Yeah, I said that a million times.  But I needed to gain leverage on something that money can’t buy–my time and my freedom.  I was wasting precious months of my life over something that was going to end anyway.  Wasting time on lawyer fees, court fees, meetings, strategies…baby bumps.  It was time to get my life back.

Waiting to get the papers signed at the very end was probably the worst part.  It took MONTHS! It was like Moses watching all the Israelites walk into Canaan.  So close yet so far.

 

You may avoid suffering and sorrow if you don’t risk, but you simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing and has nothing. Only a person who risks is free.” – Bob Proctor

Now that it’s over

Let me tell you, I ran to the bank to cut that check.  I never wanted to let go of money so bad.

I can’t tell you how freeing it feels to be done. Unofficially, it’s been done since October but it’s just something about officially getting that piece of paper in your hand.  It’s like having a new set of glasses–I see things much more vividly now.  I got my swag back in a major way. I guess throwing that picture in the wash on new years day worked, lol!

For those of you still dealing with this situation ( I have a girlfriend going on year 9), your designated time is coming.  In the meantime, keep it moving and be happy!

 

 

 

I would love to hear your comments… and of course pass this post on to someone who needs encouragement today!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/05/18/if-a-slave-can-buy-his-freedom-so-can-i/

20 comments

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  1. Dori M. Ray

    At the risk of sounding like the one and only Lynette Farlow….Wow! Wow! Wow! This was incredible!

    1. Nichole Renee

      Great! I am still laughing about you saying that you were going to come over, punch me in the face and go back home. I laughed all the way to church this morning. I enjoyed writing it!

  2. Tracey Ray

    I really didnt know you where this funny!!! I have to admit I never really read through your blog before but after today I WILL!! Keep up the good work !!!

    1. Nichole Renee

      Tracey, isn’t that a shame. I’ve been running jokes for a long time. Your sister hears a lot of them. After she read the post this morning, she told me that she wanted to come over to my house, punch me in the face and go back home. Too funny! I am glad you enjoyed the post. Make sure you subscribe!

  3. Aida

    Wow you are creative, and keep your readers in suspense. Well done, keep the stories coming.

    1. Nichole Renee

      Thanks Aida, the least I could do for taking two weeks off. I am glad that you enjoyed it!

  4. Jennie

    Can’t wait to see what u r going to do with your money next!!!

    1. Nichole Renee

      Hey Jenny! I’m going to sit on it for a while. Lots of stuff to fix at the house…and lots of trips to go on! You know I have about 13 jobs,lol!

  5. Valerie

    Good story and good riddance! Money well spent.

    1. Nichole Renee

      Mom, don’t sugar coat it. Tell me how you really feel. I can always count on you to get straight to the point!

      1. Valerie

        That was my sugar coated reply, lol!

        1. Nichole Renee

          Of course…

  6. Em

    I’m so excited. FREEDOM! Cue Mel Gibson with blue face paint :)

    1. Nichole Renee

      Ha! You are so right with that one Emily.

  7. TeamFitMommy

    Enjoy your freedom! Peace of mind is priceless!

    1. Nichole Renee

      Stephanie, you got that right!

  8. Fred Johnson, III

    Excellent commentary!! It reads like a screenplay for a great movie. Maybe you can title the movie “Paying to Exhale”

    1. Nichole Renee

      Dad, you really threw me off here. That is TOTALLY HILARIOUS!

  9. Rhonda Gipson-Willis

    Freedom ain’t free! Love that you are now able to walk off into yourself without that hanging over your head. I’m looking forward to witnessing the journey.

    1. Nichole Renee

      Rhonda, thanks for your comment. I look forward to being able to share it with everyone!

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