WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, June 25, 2010

Absolut(ly) Necessary

Last week I traveled to celebrate my cousin’s nuptials, hosted by the bride’s family. As we drove there, my other cousin suggested we stop at the liquor store and pick up a bottle of something. (Just for clarification, we were headed to a backyard cookout, not like a reception hall. Although also for clarification that probably wouldn't have made a difference. LOL!) I told him that might not be a wise choice seeing as how this wasn’t our family. And we didn’t know how they got down. My cousin called our cousin the groom, to see what was up. He said there was some alcohol there, but if we wanted something in particular, we should bring it. My cousin was all, “alright! Liquor store!” I nixed that idea. “Let’s just go on,” I said.

It didn’t really matter to my cousin because he had been drinking all day anyway. We arrived to the function and I watched him continue to drink the little bit of alcohol that they did have - that strangely (we'll see why I feel that way in a moment) was kept out of sight from us guests, and doled out in small dosages. And then cousin suggested we keep the party going and hit a bar. We did. But he hit it harder than all of us – throwing back Long Island Iced Teas (what is this college?) and beers alternately.

I watched in awe, overcome by a feeling of fear and sadness. As my cousin slurred words. Fought back droopy eyelids. And nodded off in the car – I fast forwarded 30 years from now. I saw my great uncles in him. Hardworking men during the week who drink even harder during the weekends. But always make it to work on time on Monday. Functioning alcoholics, is what they call them.

As the night progressed my cousin revealed that some chick he was shamelessly tryna talk to at the wedding celebration said she didn’t drink. So he had to keep it moving. “What the fuss,” I asked aloud. Who knew that was a valid reason to nix what was probably gonna be a one night stand? Oh wait. Maybe that’s why. Heh. “I’m saying, don’t you drink every night,” he questioned. “Uhhh…no,” I said. “Oh I do. A beer. Or a glass of wine with dinner. Something every night though.” “Oh,” I said, shaking my head in disapproval.

But the truth, if I allowed myself to be honest with myself, is that there have been times when I have probably, no most definitely, had a drink every night – whether out of a feeling of necessity or habit. And that has been me hitting the bar harder than anyone I came in there with. And that has been me with glassy eyes, incoherent statements, and horrible, horrible morning afters.

There are plenty of scary things in this world, but one of them has got to be being born into (and subsequently raised in) a family prone to and wrecked by addiction. People whose families don’t drink don’t truly understand what you grew up with and around.

That there is always alcohol. At everything. Funerals. Weddings. Cookouts. Christmases. Family reunions. In flasks and pocketbooks. Brown paper bags and coolers. Front and center on tables and hidden in closets. With spades games and fried fish. To ease the grieving process. And to makes sure everyone is having a good time. That it is a badge of honor to be able to hold your liquor. A rite of passage to have your first taste.

Along the family spectrum there are some people who don’t drink at all because they have observed the dark side. Some drink a little. Some way too much. Some no longer because they have been that dark side and are now recovering. But there is always alcohol. At everything.

And it is understood. And expected. And consumed. Whether while alone in bedrooms. Or together around the table. Because there is a deep, private pain that only the bottle soothes. And there is a muted shame among those who know they drink too much, but can’t stop. There are those who serve as cautionary tales, who were conquered by the foe, who let the bottle take them down the rabbit hole and they had to go through hell to be able to see daylight again. As you get older and become more aware, it becomes a scary thing to witness and acknowledge - while you find your own self constantly attempting to walk, shooot to just balance even, on the tightrope of addiction.

And there are times when the truth is spoken in hushed tones or tongue-in-cheek jokes followed by nervous laughter. That we are a family of drinkers. (Because no one would dare say alcoholic) These words are suspended in the air for a moment and are then crammed back down throats and deep into psyches. And the very real cycle of addiction gets excused by the banalities of life of: paying bills, raising kids, working two jobs, keeping a roof over your head, going to school, just trying to make it, getting married, finishing school, just living and breathing. After all of that you need. No, you deserve a drink. Or two. Or three. To help slay your personal dragons. And haunting demons. To allow you to function in this cold, hard world. Plus, it’s not really a problem cause you make it to work on time every Monday...

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

I'm really just posting this cause I love the "blood's thicker than the mud," line... You can also check the live version here, should you wanna see what drug addiction can do! Whew Lawd!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Age Ageist

For the past 5 years at my good government job I have noticed that I am usually the youngest person in the room (I'm also usually the only person of color-but that's a post for another day). Most of us know that this can be either a gift or a gift horse. Youth excuses ignorance, explains impatience and breeds innovation. That’s the gift. Youth also allows people to ignore you and assume that you don’t know nothing about nothing. We have all been the youngest person in the room but gradually this changes.

At my job I have had many a manager say that they are eager to hear the ideas of the newer younger workers only to default to doing things how they always have done them. Mix this with a manager telling my coworker that she hadn’t paid her dues to deserve a promotion. Yet in within the past five years this woman has been promoted and has taken this same manager’s job! Today, a great debate in my department is how we should present the materials for a training session we are having next month. A coworker who is a few years older than I suggested that we give the participants their materials on a USB flash drive. This is a great idea, especially since most of the participants are flying to participate. The older folks in group hemmed and hawed about flash drives. They wanted them to have large three ring binders, so they could have a hard copy of the material and could turn the pages along with the presenter. Huh?! Is it not 2010? Aren't the airlines shaking us down for everything we bring onto their planes? Can we get with the going green/everything is electronic now program? It can be frustrating dealing with people who were alive in the 1940s!

Sometimes you just want the old folks to sit down somewhere so we can more forward…

Then I read on Yahoo news that they are already trying to come up with a name for the next generation. The ones who have always had mobile devices, the internet and only one white president prior to Mr. Obama. As I read on I realized that at some point this no name generation will be in the workforce with me; being innovative and young-and probably wondering when this lady who was alive in the 1980s will go sit down somewhere. And this realization got me to thinking about the aging process. I mean it is inevitable of course, but how does one go about doing it realistically and gracefully? Even now I have to remind myself that by all appearances I am a responsible adult-and though I long for the ease and breeze of childhood those days are over.

I wonder if anyone ever really reconciles this fact. Do 80 year-olds in fact feel like they are 80? I’m sure their physical ailments clue them in, but what about mentally? In my younger days I believed that 30 looked and felt a certain way. Don’t ask me what that was is, because as I near 30 I can’t imagine it feeling any different than how I feel now-yet and still I know that how I feel now is not what I ever imagined. Make sense? Maybe only to me. But these are the things I think about when I see people who are eligible to retire still roaming the halls of my office. Maybe they don't see themselves as old or even as being progress blockers. And what about my 59 year old coworker carrying around a picture from her youth and planning to undergo risky plastic surgery to look better…and feel better about herself. Why should she feel bad about getting older? Yet at the same time I want these older people to get out the way so the younger, more intuned young people can run things! Then I pause and think about how one day it could be me who is standing in the way. Holding on to the past and thinking these young kids don’t know nothing about nothing.

See You In Seven

Monday, June 21, 2010

Random Ramblings

1. What would you do if you found out your ex is gay? You hear men take it the hardest, but how do women? Are they just confused? I don't really know anyone who has experienced this... just read stories. For me, keyword here is ex. Who cares? Move on.

2. When work stresses me out... I fantasy shop online for expensive items, like $500 sundresses.

3. Met a lady who dedicates a month of every year to do volunteer work around the clock. That's NICE! Thought about it and maybe I could make that work if I achiveve the "I work 9 months out of the year" schedule, I am working towards.

4. I feel like I should be open to building a relationship with someone but the reality is I am really more interested in being in the studio. (sigh) Hope there aren't any missed opportunities there.

5. WTF!!! WTF!!! BP!!!

6. Noticing that focus and discipline is NO joke!

7. Despite how people feel about Kayne... I love his tracks and I am glad he is back... POWER:
"Got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open up my own vault,
My childlike creativity, purity and honesty,
Is honestly being prodded by these grown thoughts,
Reality is catchin’ up with me,
Takin’ my inner child,
I’m fighting for it, custody,
With these responsibilities that they entrusted me"

Despite his off the wall personality... you can rely on him to tell you how he really feels. I can dig that! Even if he comes off as an a$$. At least you know who you dealing with unlike some other artist. I rock POWER everyday.

8. Two years ago I said... Art was my soul. Two years later, I know it IS.

Much luv until next week... peace :)