THE MERCY KILL THAT SAVED MY LIFE
I am immeasurably grateful for the life that I lead today. As the founder of Global Attic, I'm finally doing what I love; pursuing a career in interiors, giving back to those in need and being an inspiration for those who lack the courage to live the life of their dreams. However, this state of bliss is a newly-reached destination for me. You see, as recently as a year ago, I was just existing. My spirit was hanging on by a thread and I was stuck in a sort of zombified zone. With minor exceptions, I didn't find joy in anything. This condition was a result of the grenade that had been thrown into my life in 2013. Despite the standard ebb and flow, I was happy with my life. However, when my mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer in July 2013, it all started to fall apart. My father, unable to cope with the situation, passed from a stroke on December 2, 2013. This was a day before my mother’s 76th birthday. Just two months later on Feb 1, 2014, my mother lost her battle.
My parents were everything to me. They were exceptionally intelligent, wise, kindhearted, giving and creative people. They planted the interior design bug in me from an early age. They were DIY'ers before the term became trendy. They both sewed and reupholstered furniture they found at thrift stores or on the curb. They made custom drapery. My dad built furniture and made holiday decorations that were prize worthy.
My mom possessed a serious green thumb, creating a breathtaking garden filled with plants, flowers and fruits from a 1/2 acre of dirt. Her garden rivaled those in the best home and garden magazines. My parents also collected African art. I remember the many times I watched my mom haggle for the best prices at African festivals. She also took my twin sister and me to various furniture stores to gain inspiration for our home. I enjoyed these trips because I loved to see how perfectly staged the showrooms were. Thanks to these “field trips,” my objective is to always select home decor items that combine to create a stunning visual story. My parents were amazing. I miss them tremendously and wish that they could be a physical part of the success I enjoy today. However, they are with me spiritually.
Mom and Dad striking a pose at my cousin's 10th wedding anniversary party
Mom after climbing 300 steps to the top of La Basilique du Sacré Cœur in Paris, France
Dad after taking a 22-hour train ride to Texas to visit relatives - he didn't like flying.
A shot from the garden including the gazebo dad built
As if losing my parents wasn't devastating enough, there was more grief to come. My favorite DJ Frankie Knuckles passed March 31, 2014. For more than 15 years, Knuckles was the connective tissue that brought my siblings and me together several times a year to listen and dance to House music. His sets were therapy.
Three months later, while still grieving the deaths of my parents and Knuckles, I ended my relationship with my then boyfriend of 11 years. Although the relationship had been flatlining for years, the timing and the events surrounding the breakup couldn't have been worse.
For most of 2015 and the first part of 2016, I tried to scratch and claw my way out of the dark hole I had been pushed into. I had made some progress. However, on April 21, 2016, Prince died. Behind my parents, he is the singular, greatest influence in my life - he is the reason I learned to play guitar and continue to march so deliberately to the beat of my own drum. His music is the soundtrack of my life. Through good and bad times, Prince was always there with the right song to punctuate the experience. I'd seen him in concert 30 times and had even met him in Las Vegas where he handed me a Watchtower magazine and played my tambourine. I had just traveled to see him in concert in Oakland for the Piano & a Microphone tour on March 4, which would have been my dad’s 80th birthday. With everything that had happened prior to Prince’s death, I felt numb and hopeless. His dying only amplified my grief.
Prince, his royal badness, unlike any other who ever did it #prince
A month after Prince's passing and a couple of weeks before my birthday, I was informed that my job of 10 years was ending on June 30. For most, this news would have been the proverbial death blow to an already shattered spirit. However, I chose a different response. I was miserable at my job. The endless politics, corruption and clique "cannibalism," coupled with the lack of appreciation for my efforts had drained me dry. I had nothing left to give and could no longer fake like I did. At the job and in my personal life, I had become the equivalent of a rabid dog running around in circles waiting for someone to put me out of my misery. I was unhappy and lacked direction. In truth, losing that job was the mercy kill that I needed. Rather than look for another job, I chose to take a gap year. I needed uninterrupted access to my emotions so that I could process all that I had endured, grieve properly, heal and then figure out what the next chapter of my life would look like. The break allowed me to press the reset button on my life. I traveled, relaxed and did what I wanted to. It was the first time in years, that I was able to live life on my own terms. I came to the conclusion that life is too short and precious to waste doing things that make me unhappy. It was then that Global Attic, LLC was born.
Me feeling happy and grateful.
Although my path to happiness was lined with a great deal of adversity, I can’t deny the overall positive impact it had on my life. The wisdom, maturity, awareness and courage that I have today, wouldn’t exist had things been different. I now know that I can survive anything. Today, I’m decorating spaces, traveling, meeting wonderful people, helping those who are less fortunate, and discovering and designing beautiful items to share with our Global Attic customers. This is my passion and I’m excited to be doing something I love. I don’t take anything for granted. I view each day as a blessing and show gratitude for it all. Everything does happen for a reason and I can honestly say that losing the crappy job was the figurative defibrillator that got things pumping in my life again. It was the mercy kill that saved my life.
Global Attic LLC, Exotic Home Decor
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