Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Leaving...

About a month ago I got mad.

I mean, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I couldn't walk around the house without either sniping at my wife or having her snipe at me. I would go downstairs and just be. It's quiet down there, and I likes me some quiet.

I watched my parents split up not over his impending narcotic problem, that actually brought us closer. I was in high school and I really didn't care one way or the other. My father proved after rehabbing himself that he could still be daddy to my younger sibs who were 10 years my junior. Every family has their problems, and I saw my parents start their split whenever they argued over money.

That's our problem now. We argue, and $ is our excuse to cuss each other.

I remember 2 and a half years ago over the phone my then girlfriend told me that the only thing that would have her leave me should we get married is if we fell out over money. It didn't surprise me that we started looking at the front door when we started having financial problems like everyone else. We made money, saved some and spent the rest, paying our bills somewhere in the middle. I preached fiscal conservatism on our drive to New Orleans the week of Mardi Gras, but my pleas to come back to Chicago with a little spending cash in our pockets went unheard. I let that happen. We spent 4 figures in the bayou and didn't even think about it.

Until we went out of what I like to call our 'pay cycle'. With a small sum in our savings.

My wife teaches at the undergrad and graduate level for a big ol' university. She gets paid at the beginning and end of each 5 week semester, which means at this point, someone was going to get their fine share of our bucks a week or two late. When we contacted folk about paying them off cycle, they nearly lost their minds. My house note was due and we had the means and intentions to pay it even though our lease expired and we were doing the month to month thing, and then I wanted to refuse.

Our neighbors are strictly ghetto and are not used to living a more mature lifestyle. I put that mildly, but you know what I mean. The year and some change of the loud music, parties running into the 10am hour of the next day, the drunken fighting and the unwanted presence of both undesirables and the damn police drove us crazy. I looked at my wife and told her that I was willing to pay the note for May, but as of June we were out of here.

She agreed.

One thing... Where would we go and what would we do?

We started looking for houses and town homes in all of the areas we liked here in Chicago. We didn't find much that either we liked or we wanted to lease ourselves to pay a mortgage for. We did apply for a mortgage on one property, we still await the call from the bank, but by this time it was last week and we both wanted out of this place due to the environment. We were still arguing and I was very angry over lack of communication over what I perceived was my wife holding info away from me by not telling me that we had tremendous bills. Case in point, out normal cable bill was around $240 a month. I could no longer pay the high amount of these bills knowing that we could barely stand each other and refused to get along, so I took a nap last Thursday and I had an idea:

Let's get rid of everything.

Yeah, I wanted to get rid of the duplex, the high-ass cable, power and natural gas bill (which hit us for $800 in February), I wanted to take the monthly house note and reinvest it in my relationship, but how do I do that?

Hell, I've spent the last 4 years dealing with living on the road and I was used to being out there, but what about my wife? Never had to think about that before, so I made a few phone calls to see if a few opportunities still existed in other cities. A bunch of cities. My idea would have us visit those cities and see exactly what existed outside of Chicago. We would drive, hit up an extended stay (which costs 50-65% less than our monthly house note with NO UTILITIES to pay) and scout out a potential city to see if it was a place we could possibly relocate. I also thought that we should call up a few financial, spiritual and marriage counselors to see if we could get some guidance while out on the road together. My idea was coming together easier than I thought.

I presented my other half with this idea and she said yes. I thought that either this was too simple of a thing or too complicated to get into, but my wife surprised me when she said that the extreme nature of what we were doing as well as the benefits of not having a mortgage/rent payment, not paying utilities for a few months and the financial and marriage counseling was just too good to pass up, soooo...

In a matter of days my wife and I will hit the road. Just her, me and the truck. We will fast, detox, pray, receive counseling and manage our finances with nothing external to distract us. We will live on the road and cover cities cross country from June until September. We have tasks already lined up and work to do while we're out there. As some of you know, my wife and I are self employed and the tasks I just mentioned will put money in our pockets so the trip is already paid for.

This is not a vacation. My wife indicated to me that when we made the announcement to rid our selves of material stuff and work on saving our marriage on facebook, a few thought what we were doing was a disgusting (some cat actually used that word) stunt that would take us away form our focus as well as future dated business ventures (mainly THEIR future related business venture), but not the case. She was also called unprofessional for making a non-business related announcement on facebook even though a contract was signed, no letterhead, email or announcement to breach such a contract was mentioned on her commercial site and our travel plans were made to not only accommodate the contracted business venture, but to actually network and participate in other industry related events surrounding the holiday proceeding said contract event.

Shame.

I don't think it's neither strange or extreme to want to save my relationship. I also don't think that ridding ourselves of meddlers, distractions and unnecessary financial burden is a crazy thing to do, especially when you love someone. When it all boils down, all we have is each other, and I know what isolation and compromise will do in the face of adversity.

Some just don't get it, and some never will.

I didn't forge a union with this woman to have it broken over bullshit. I purchased 2 homes in my lifetime and I can always buy another one. This is my opportunity to build a home finally with the woman that'll birth my babies, but sacrifices have to be made first.

Oh, did I mention that I'll be filming our travels and the wife and I would be journaling it as well? I should have, huh? Okay, you can catch us over at www.herzandhiz.com. Follow us on our journey and root for black love. Y'all did it last year in the primaries and general election, so let's keep this thing going, okay?

Y'all know you want us to make some babies anyway.

Wish us luck!

12 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

This made me moist-eyed ... no, really I am that kind of mushy.

Such out of the box thinking is actually the kind of thing that you need when you are dealing with something you have never dealt with before.

You kept coming back to how much you want this relationship to work, from dealing with your experiences at home with your Dad, to deciding that the best thing for the both of you is to leave all the trappings (now I guess you know why they call them 'trappings') of the world.

My Best Sister lives in Chi-town, and we are bred and born in Detroit. I can feel where you are coming from, as you speak of the 'environment' y'all put up with there. I experience a similiar thing here with where I am at, the 'random chaos' of peoples with their random agendas. Then there is me with mine ...

... something dramatic with a purpose beats something dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. It also trumps remaining with the status quo. I think that you will have a definitive answer after this experience, and it will be something that you can live with, all your life.

Hassan dude, I will be PULLING SO HARD FOR YOU!! Hope this means you are going to have a positive result for your summer.

Gonna do what I have to do to follow and learn from y'all as well!!

chele said...

Wow. I got a little teary-eyed too. You guys are incredibly brave. I've walked away from two marriages because I lacked the bravery gene. I admire the hell outta you guys and I'm looking forward to following your journey and celebrating when you come out successfully on the other side!

Terry said...

Well, you and I have already talked about this so you know where I stand.

In any relationship you have to find out what works for you. And sometimes you can't find it inside four walls stuck in the city. It has to be found someplace else - someplace out there.

While I always believe that love can get you through most things, some things require more, and that's what you have to find. That common ground that works for both of you. But somehow, I feel like I'm preaching to the choir.

Take your woman my friend, love her and care for her and somewhere you will find the place that is the both of you. Not just one of you.

Be safe.

Mrs. Ntimbanjayo said...

You know...I was telling a friend of mine about our plans earlier today and I found myself truly excited about everything...the better relationship, the business opportunities, the money saved, the healthier living...all of it.

melette said...

I'm proud of you both.

Anonymous said...

You have my support all the way. If you ever plan on swinging through Maryland, let me know. There are plenty of colleges in the area looking for adjunct or full-time professors.

TravelDiva said...

I told Diva on FB that I was happy for you both and that it sounded like an excellent adventure for a couple. Then I read your primary reason and it gave me pause. I still think this will be a wonderful growth experience for you both (I will be following each day and praying for you both), however, I wonder if you will really be able to address the fundamental issue - dealing with financial & money conflicts - when you find a place to settle.

I have been married for 22 years and have weathered some very serious financial crisis, business failures & more (if you want more specifics, Diva knows how to reach me) and even though we fought some; cried a lot & prayed even more...we stood our ground in place, took care of business & we are still standing...side by side moving towards our dreams & goals.

What happens when you are settled, going about your life & pursuing your dreams (even perhaps a couple of kids now thrown in the mix) and "something happens" that crumbles that financial cushion you built up during your journey? Are you going to be able to deal with it, communicate about it or is this issue just gonna simmer under the surface for a couple of years and when "it" happens - you crumble under the weight and you are divorced.

This is the opportune time for you to embark on a soul searching adventure as a couple while you have no one else to consider (family/children); but I emplore you to explore what is really driving your "money communication" issue or it will simply rear its ugly head and all that work will be for naught.

God Bless You Both.

The Brown Blogger said...

But my dear sister TravelDiva... That's what the financial, spiritual and couple's counseling is for while we're out there.

The idea isn't to just have adventure based on travel by any means, it is to isolate ourselves and deal with each other without distraction. As an over the road trucker I know that being the road will bring out everything we need to deal with on a personal, spiritual and trust level. Having counseling and multiple levels of fasting and business mentoring and shadowing (y'all gotta talk, we have a ton planned) won't hurt either.

Alee said...

You did the same thing I did. Chicago was a toxic place, and I didn't truly realize it much until I left there. I wish you the best and hope you land somewhere South (not NY..omg) cause the weather is nice.

When I first read your post, I was so afraid it would have a sad ending. I'm happy for you both!

Lots of people don't realize what's important to them until it's too late. BTW, I have another friend that packed up all his belongings, and his pet in a truck and drove away from there. Makes you wonder, hmm ?? lol

Ladynay said...

Wow is my word of the moment and that's what came to mind first when I finished this post!

I am excited for you two and wish you both safe travels!

This is simply amazing!

Darius T. Williams said...

I saw this on FB - but just stopped to read the story. WOW man - you never seem to stop amazing me...at all. I hope it all works out.

poetrystruth said...

I wish you all the best. I think it's beautiful that you both are willing to step outside the box and make it work AND try to be happy. You both are lucky to have each other.