I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was just weeks from my graduation from seminary and I was planning to enter a PhD program that fall, but now I was doubting whether or not I could cut it. That day I was overwhelmed with sadness. I went back to school and sat through my classes and when I was done for the day, I hopped in my car and went straight to Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop off Michigan Ave. I didn't have any answers, but I knew that a hot fudge sundae would make me feel better, if just for a little while.
As I walked into the store, I noticed this very attractive, petite Black woman sitting at the counter. She was very well dressed and sitting in her lap was an Hermes Birkin Bag, and a 40 inch no less! My dream handbag. So me being me, I walked straight up to this woman and said, "Hi, my name is Rae and I've never seen a Black woman with an Hermes Birkin Bag." She smiled very graciously, reached out her hand and said, "Hi, my name is Cathleen, have a sit."
We got our sundaes and sat on the patio in front of Ghirardelli's. As we sat there making small talk Cathleen asked me what was wrong? She had no idea who I was, which was refreshing, but she sensed something was deeply wrong.
I love that about Cathleen. She's probably one of the most pragmatic persons I have ever known, even more than me. Now, six days from my birthday, looking back, it was the best advice ever! I mean, I'm still here eight years later. And what I was worried about that day actually has had very little impact on my life in these eight years and what I hadn't even considered has had the greatest impact. In the end, I was worried about the wrong thing and my worrying couldn't change either.
I started school but it was interrupted, not because of lack of treatment for HIV medication, some new medications eventually came and turned things around. But then while my health was having a clear up shift, I began to have what seemed like from nowhere, an opportunistic infection (drug resistant herpes) which has had a major impact on my health and has changed my life drastically. Three hospitalizations and nine rounds of IV medication is no joke. It has altered my life in ways I could have never imagined.
And I've come to a place in my life where I can't stress about what I have no control over. I've got to keep my energy for the things I can control.
And that Birkin Bag... Well I'm not gonna worry about that today either... I'm sure that it's in my future... But today I can't get stuck worrying about when... I'll just wait and celebrate it then!!