Untitled (I live for the applause)

First of all let me say that the cold in Chicago is real. Everything that you’ve ever heard about the harsh winds and frigid temperatures is absolutely true, times three. I woke up this morning at 3:00am because I was done sleeping I suppose, but also because it was freezing. Fourteen degrees isn’t cute, and as a matter of fact I no longer like any numbers below forty. For fun, I converted the Degrees to Celsius and that made it ten degrees below zero. Waaaay more dramatic, right? At any rate, let me crank up the heat and get started.

In the past week I’ve made friends with one of my twitter/instagram/facebook followers. Very sweet kid, and sort of reminds me of myself. (Radiant heating beneath our hardwood floors would make life more bearable). Right now his struggle is on finding himself, and discovering what it is that he has to offer the world. He doesn’t feel like he has anything valuable to contribute to the world and doesn’t see a point in existing on an earthly plane any longer. He doesn’t believe that he has value or worth and that he somehow creates a burden, or spreads a poison to the life and people that surround him. I’ve been able to be sympathetic as well as empathetic.

Five years ago I was at an extremely low point, and made an attempt to take my own life. I had ingested every single pill that I had in my possession. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, Tylenol with codeine, vicodin, and a complete bottle of ibuprofen. I felt like this should be a sufficient amount of pills to shut it all down. I felt like everything I had to give I had already given, and at that point was just unnecessarily occupying space. To feel completely empty and alone is a very crippling state of being. I was existing just to take medication, and to go to the doctors. I had no idea how to begin to live again, and probably wouldn’t have exerted any effort even if the idea was dropped off at my doorstep.

In true DJ fashion, the scene played out like an episode of a soap opera. My mother rushed to my side, the paramedics were on the scene, as well as a good friend of mine. I remember flashing lights, I remember being carried from my bedroom to the ambulance, I also remember thinking “These bitches better not cut my damn shorts because I’m going to want to wear them again if I survive!” Everything after that was a complete blur. I vaguely remember my best friend and her mom at my bedside in the emergency room praying life over me. I remember hearing a nurse say, “Wow, his nails look better than mine!” and because I have a tendency to be catty I wanted to tell her that I can tell her where I’d gotten them done but couldn’t guarantee hers would look as good as mine because my nails are naturally beautiful. I never got the words out.

If you’ve ever ingested something poisonous or know of anyone who has, then you likely also know that they make you drink a large cup full of charcoal. Now this stuff didn’t have much of a taste but was like drinking a warm foamy black milkshake. I finished the cup and fell asleep. The next day I woke up in yet another ambulance and was being taken to a psychiatric hospital. I tried to convince them that I wasn’t crazy and that I was perfectly fine to go home. They looked at me with eyes that said, “sit your crazy ass down!” so I did. Once I made it to the restroom to get changed I was super upset because the charcoal turned my lips black. I was so annoyed that no one wiped my black, dry, cracked lips. I mean where is that cute?

Over the next few days under lockdown and constant surveillance I had a chance to read, to think, to rest, and to pray. My parents would visit every day for the allotted hour and my best friends came as well. For some reason, it began to seem like the world was slowing down. It felt peaceful. It felt brand new. I was amazed by the trees that I could see out of my window. There were also wild turkeys outside the window. Well I’m assuming I’m correct in calling them “wild” because they weren’t on leashes. Who knows?

Anyway after 72 hours it was finally time to leave and my step dad came to pick me up. I was totally over that place because I couldn’t shave, and they stole my bottle of baby oil that I asked my mom to bring because I was ashy. It was brand new. Ugh. After leaving, I got to go to the hospital to see my big sister and the new baby she and my brother-in-law just had a few days prior. Seeing my new niece I really began to realize how amazing and beautiful life was (and is). I had nearly denied myself the chance to meet this beautiful child. I selfishly made a decision based on a temporary circumstance that could have permanently removed me from everything and everyone I loved.

I realized that I never wanted to die, but I did want the pain, and confusion I was feeling to stop. I did want a clearer understanding of what I felt like I was put here to do. I’ve always been great at everything I’ve tried, but once I mastered it, I was over it, and needed something else to conquer. It was the same way with all of my personal relationships. This didn’t feel normal to me. Because that didn’t feel normal, I didn’t feel normal. I felt defective and emotionally insatiable. No matter how much of anything that I consumed, I always needed more. The one thing I really needed more of was love for me. Not the kind of love that gets facials, and buys clothes, shoes, and jewelry, but the kind of love that allows me to rest and make mistakes.

So what I’ve been trying to tell my new friend is that all is not lost, and that fundamentally he’s right where he needs to be. You plan for the life you’d like to have and then the plan gets modified along the way as you discover your true self. Ends are sometimes beginnings and mistakes are often lessons. There are no tragedies other than wearing white pumps with black stockings. Change is constant and if you didn’t give life to yourself, then you sure as hell can’t take it away.

Sorry this was so long and my apologies if it seemed random and unfocused. I’m cold, hungry, sleepy, and I can’t stand Iyanla Vanzant. If you’re still twerking, stop. And if you own a white belt…I just can’t do you right now.

Until next time…

-DJHurley

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Feeling slutty should always be a choice!!!

Recently my husband and I made a quick (yet long) trip to Dallas for a photo shoot as honorees for DFW Style Daily’s best dressed 2013. I call the trip quick because we were only in Dallas for about twenty-six hours but feeling adventurous and curious about this MegaBus we’d been hearing so much about decided to use it as our mode of transport. I guess my Manager/Publicist was feeling extra “down with the people.” Who knows, but it was a very inexpensive option, and even more so if you calculate the cost per hour. I’ve taken more expensive cab rides from Ft. Lauderdale airport to downtown Miami. Wow is all I can say, because it took us about twenty hours to get there and another twenty to get back. Nearly two days’ worth of road travel with the most obnoxious group of strangers ever assembled. I’m talking about over the hill five foot tall muscle heads, older ladies with drawstring ponytails, females with blood red contact lenses, and a host and array of other odd characters. I couldn’t have chosen a more diverse group of individuals if it were my job and had been for the last decade. However, I digress. Finally making it to Dallas after moving from the metroplex two months prior was an interesting feeling. I missed it dearly but couldn’t wait to leave it again and head back to Chicago.

After calling for car service and arriving at our nameless, faceless, soulless hotel, who earned these titles because they charged us an additional fifty dollars for checking in early, although the room was ready and totally empty. Our twenty hour bus ride meant nothing to them. Anyway after getting to our room, my focus was on the plush king-size bed because I desperately needed a nap before we had to head to the Galleria Dallas for 4:00pm. I plop down and immediately fall asleep. Four hours later I wake up and call my mom in California because I knew she’d answer. During this entire time I feel like we had everything we needed for this trip, and maybe a bit more than was necessary.

Our alarm sounds and Lavarro wakes up and he shaves and showers and proceeds to get dressed. After he was done, it was my turn shave and shower, which also went smoothly. In case you’re wondering why he went first when I was already awake, it’s because I take 200 degree showers that make the walls drip sweat and set off smoke detectors. Lavarro only uses cold water and he’d have to wait too long for the heat to dissipate before he could even step foot beyond the doors threshold. Anyway, it was time to get dressed and then it hit me like a ton of bricks! The only underwear that I brought with me was the pair that I was wearing. How in the world did I manage to bring nearly every piece of jewelry from our safe, and like five pairs of jeans and two wool jackets, and my arsenal of Dior skincare and forget something as essential as underwear? If we were at the St. Francis in San Francisco I could have run down to Victoria Secret in the hotel’s lobby and purchased a pair of panties big enough to wear for the day. It wouldn’t have been the first time I was forced to wear women’s panties in a pinch. Perhaps one day I’ll tell you that entire story. Right now it’s between Lavarro, Della, God and I.

So in typical DJ fashion, I ask Lavarro if he’d packed underwear for me, and blamed him for not making sure I had not only an extra pair, but several extra pairs so that I could choose the pair that best fit my mood at the time of getting dressed. I pitch a fit, refuse to get dressed, and then I’m presented with a fresh pair of underwear by my better (more organized) half. You’d think this would have solved my dilemma, but it only presented yet another obstacle. You guys, these underwear were so freaking tiny and slutty that I got upset all over again. Why’d I have to wear the slut undies? Why couldn’t Lavarro trade with me and let me wear the full coverage pair? Seriously guys these things were super-duper slutty. I want to show you a picture but I don’t know if my husband would permit me to. I’ll do my best to describe them. Ok first, they’re powder blue and sheer. They’re super low-rise, and they have a black waist band and also a black band that goes from the front top of the waistband and down around the jewels and cups them and presents them in a way as if to say, “These are for you! Enjoy!” I was soooo humiliated because I was imagining having to get changed in front of strangers and then they’d judge me and think I was some back room, glory hole, freak of the week. This was such a tragedy.

Fortunately, we made it on time to the photo-shoot on time and no one ever knew my dirty little secret. I looked like a gentleman, and the photos perfectly reflected that. Just so you know, after that incident when we got back home, I ordered that underwear in every color for Lavarro and myself. I guess I discovered a side of myself that I thought I’d left in my early twenties. You’re never too old to feel sexy. I simply wanted a choice.
Remember that “Love never fails.”

Until next time…
-DJ Hurley