Remember that show Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends that used to air on Cartoon Network? It was all about a little boy named Mac who had an imaginary friend named Bloo that he could no longer keep at home with him. So, he took Bloo to Foster’s which was a foster home for abandoned Imaginary Friends. There were so many of them: short ones, tall ones, big ones, and small ones. There were fury ones, people like ones, simple ones and complex ones. All of them were imagined up by a kid who was missing something in their life and thus created an imaginary friend to fill that void. There were protective imaginary friends (Eduardo), there were instructing imaginary friends who would help their kids learn a new skill (Wilt), and there were imaginary friends who’s only job was to be a great friend for their kid (Bloo). Remember? This show was so awesome because it mimicked life.
What was your imaginary friend like when you were a kid? We all had one. Do you remember them? I wasn’t very creative with my imaginary friends. They always reflected whatever movie, TV show, or artist I was into at the time. When I was 3 years old Whitney Houston was my imaginary friend. Then when I was 4 years old, my imaginary friend was Anglea Bassett as Tina Turner. There was Pocahontas and Esmeralda, Janet Jackson, Destiny’s Child and when I finally discovered how beautiful and not so icky boys were, B2K became my imaginary friends. My imaginary friends always helped me escape the hardships of growing up homeless. I would place myself inside my favorite artists’ world and imagine I lived a safer and more glamorous life.
B2K was my last set of imaginary friends as a kid. I remember vividly. I was nine years old when I was obsessed with them. I played with them almost every day. Omarion and Lil Fizz were my favorites. I would pretend I was Jennifer Freeman’s character in the Girlfriend video but when my date with Omarion got interrupted by my overbearing dad, I would get rescued by the remaining B2K brothers and Destiny’s Child too. Because...why not.
At the time we were living in the family home; the home my mother grew up in. It was falling apart, there was a huge hole in the roof, and we had no furniture. It was a duplex and my great aunt, who lived next door, had shut off the water on our side of the house…for four months. So, for four months my mother, myself, and my two-year-old brother lived like the people in Flint, Michigan are living now. We had to buy distilled water to cook with. We heated water on the stove and put it in the bath to clean ourselves. We used buckets to carry our waste outside and dump it. At first, I was fine, I had my imaginary friends and I would use them daily to make the best of the situation. Plus, I was at school for eight hours out of the day, so I only had to worry about the situation when I was home at night.
However, this was also the time when the pressure of raising two kids alone with an unsupportive and abusive family in a flawed system cracked my mother’s mental state. Before this time in our lives, you could see the determination in my mother to succeed. She would work sixteen hours a day to provide for LeLand and I if she had too. She was determined to create a better life for us no matter what obstacles life threw at her. But this was too much. My mom became deeply depressed and would stay in her room all day. She couldn’t afford to send me to school anymore, so I was “home-schooled”. Whenever we needed groceries or to do laundry, she sent me to do it. One day she tried to break out of her depression. She landed a job interview and left LeLand and I at home, because she couldn’t afford daycare. As soon as she left, my aunt called the police and told them that my mom had neglected her two children at home. This whole situation literally broke my mom. She was never the same again and in return, I at just nine/ten years old was no longer a kid.
Only kids have imaginary friends.
That’s what they tell us right? As we grow older, we are conditioned to begin dealing with the struggles in life in a more mature way. We’re taught that having an imaginary friend is crazy, having an imagination is ludicrous, and anyone who holds on to their friend past a certain age needs drugs to correct the chemical imbalance in their brain. The problem, that part of you that needed an imaginary friend in the first place, may still exist or may evolve into something else all together. Yet, as young adults we are only supposed to suppress the problem, spend money on drugs or self-help to correct it, or most common, we seek refuge in feel good activities that help us mask the problem temporarily. As a result we are left with a society that is unable to really deal with their problems head on.
Well what if I told you that there was an imaginary friend out there for you who you will never have to feel ashamed of knowing. Just like when you were a kid, this imaginary friend can help you fill the void in your life in a healthy and positive way. He can take on any shape you imagine because he created all and he is all. You can talk to this friend at any time and he will never judge you, he won’t forsake you, and he will never make you feel like you are less than the beautiful amazing Queen that you are.
Let’s be real, man-made religion has made talking about God such a taboo. I struggled for months trying to decide if I wanted to speak about this part of my life in my book and here on porbe.net with you. But after seeing what I have seen and experiencing what I have experienced: 17 years of homelessness, mental, sexual, and physical abuse from people I am supposed to call my family, bullying, hunger, racism, discrimination; yet surviving all of it, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there was a God out there who loves you unconditionally, irrevocably, and without judgement. There is nothing anyone, not even you, can do to change that.
A Phorbe Queen is someone who knows that there is a higher being out there somewhere that is working for you and with you in your favor. For me that being is God and if you’ll allow me to, I’d like to introduce him to you from time to time throughout our journey together. However, it’s okay if you believe in the Universe or Buddha, or Allah, or Zeus. Just the thought of knowing that someone is out there rooting for you and you are never really alone in your walk-through life, that tiny spec of hope, can create unspeakable miracles everyday for you.
It can motivate you to keep going even when life keeps knocking you down or blocking your path. It got me into Chapman University with a 2.3 GPA. It saw me travel to two other continents with no money and live in two of the most amazing countries in this world. It’s allowed me to set my brother free from homelessness. It found me a new and better job five days after I was fired for being black. It allowed me to be rear-ended twice and TBoned by a hit and run driver in the middle of night all over the span of fifty eight days and live to not only tell the tale but be a stronger and more passionate person because of it. That hope can do all this and more for you.
Here in the Phorbe community we will talk about God’s love, affirmations, the law of attraction, chakras, alignment, meditation, being centered, all of it and more. We will call on experts and interview people with firsthand experience. We will learn together, and I hope throughout it all you will keep and open mind and learn something that will help you towards a better life and take you one step closer to reaching your goals and dreams.
I hope you will begin today by getting to know your forever imaginary friend. Really this friend can be whatever you want it to be, you don’t ever have to tell anyone about them. Just know that this extension of yourself will help you more than any bottle of liquor, pills, orgasm, or harmful relationship ever will. Unlike the imaginary friends we had as kids, you never have to feel ashamed of this one. All you have to do is talk to it. You can speak to it out loud in private, or you can write to it in a journal. You can pray to it or meditate with it. It may feel like you’re crazy at first. But remember, this is nothing more than extension of yourself. You are talking to yourself and learning about yourself and searching inside for answers that, deep down, you already knew. You are giving yourself pep talks and encouragement to face difficult situations head on rather than shy away from them. This really is the best Imaginary Friend a Queen will ever have.
Remember the Phorbe mantra:
“I am the Goddess of my domain. God (or insert your own being here) is the fire that fuels my spirit. Together there is no obstacle that we cannot face. There is nothing that we can’t overcome. There is nothing that we can’t conquer.”
It’s a beautiful day to conquer the world. So go forth and slay!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON APRIL 18, 2018