From planning to the day of, the last Back 2 Basics event was a mess. And your sanity? It was scarce. Everything you could think of was and had gone wrong, but it needed to be this way.
This event was more than completing your goal of having three events for Certified 10 in 2015. It was more than expanding the organization. It was bringing your baby home. Bringing Certified 10 home to the place and to the people who were first there when it was birthed. It was showing them the fruits of their support, and somewhat proving to them that this idea, this little organization was here to stay, to grow, and to build.
But most importantly, bringing Certified 10 back to Massachusetts would be the first time your parents would see you in your element, in action. Everything needed to be perfect.
But it wasn’t. It was a mess, but it needed to be this mess.
— This is what happens when you don’t cancel your event. —
At 01:43PM, September 18, 2015, You will decide that you want to cancel your event. You will text Mariel. You will text Roconia. You will Gchat Shiko. You will WhatsApp Delli. All four of them back to back will tell you no. Two with sarcasm, the others with concern. You will list off everything why this will be a mess. They’ll combat with reasons you hadn’t even thought about, secretly binding together without communication. Bitches.
“If your event is anything like your presentation from last week, it’ll be great.” – Gina
09:23AM, October 4, 2015, Your facilitator will cancel on you. You will laugh. Laugh really hard and then go back to bed. You’ll deal with the panic later.
05:33PM, October 9, 2015, your parents will witness your passion before the event. Yes, they’ll witness it in the form of a panic attack, something they’ve never seen you have before. You will try to hide it and save yourself. You will try to hide it in order to save them. You’ll turn towards the kitchen pantry, close your eyes, and try to take in as many deep breaths as you can. It won’t work. The panic will settle in. It’ll be your worst one yet. Tears will form, and your knees will give out. You won’t remember much, but you’ll remember being seated. You’ll remember breathing into a hand, followed by a plastic bag, followed by the dreaded brown bag. Your lungs will burn from these deeps breaths. You will cry. You will cry a lot while gasping for air. Your 12-yr-old sister will stand in the background and repeatedly ask what is going on. Your mother will panic and then coach you. Your father will hold your hand. Your father hasn’t held your hand since you were 9.
They now get it.
“Of course, YettiBear. I’ll be your Taraji anytime.” – Roconia
05:48AM, October 10, 2015, You’ll pullover on route 146 on your way to get Roconia and Sharonia people, who went through canceled flights and impromptu train rides from Virginia to get here. You’ll pull over because you need to cry it out, and doing so inside your parents house would raise concern. You’ll cry an ugly cry. That Trey Songz scrunched up face cry. Then you’ll blow your nose, wipe your face, tell yourself to get your life together, and get back on the road to Rhode Island.
“Yetti. Do your hair. No, you can not wear leggings.” – Sharonia
11:04AM, October 10, 2015, After an hour of arguing with her, Sharonia will win. You will make an effort to do you hair, to not wear leggings, and look like you want this day to happen. Your friends will begin showing up and setting up the hall that conveniently has no heat. And your friend, Mariel, the one that is injured, the one that should be on bed rest, will show up in pain, set up the food table, and tell you that everything will be okay. You’ll remember, yet again, that she is and forever will be your ride or die. Walking stick and all.
“But I know you, Yetti. I don’t want you to panic like last time. What do you need?” – Mariel
01:16 PM, October 10, 2015, You will cry in front of the 12 participants as you tell them how scared you are to fail in front of them all, your parents included. The activity taking place is to draw a picture of something you fear, something you wanted to let go. You will draw sad faces. One for mum, one for dad. Faces of disappointment as they watch their first-born sideline her $200,000 engineering degree to fail in front of a group of women over an idea they’ve both been questioning since they began to see the promotion for it. But when you wipe your tears and force a smile, you’ll see the same teary eyed smile from your mother. Your dad will have his face behind his camera.
“I didn’t want to say this before. But you panicked over nothing. And you did it. Next time I won’t be this nice if you say you want to cancel.” – Pep
03:46 PM, October 10, 2015, You will unload the car with your family and friends, go into your bedroom for a much needed nap, but before closing your eyes, you will declare this third event as your best one yet. You will understand that even though this event had the least attendees, it still had the most heart and the most genuine support. With no facilitator, you took the stage on your own and presented based on things you have done with your therapist and things that have brought you peace in the past. You’ll be thankful that despite anytime to prepare, Roconia helped you close out your event with a touching activity. You’ll reflect that your friends, Mariel and Pep, knew how tight your pockets were and opted to cater the event with their time and love. Not to mention, the amount of the runs your mother had to do to Sam’s Club, you’ll be thankful for that too.
You’ll reflect on how Jo-Jo, your best friend from high-school, showed up and showed out, and then told the world on Instagram that you, Yetti, had found your true calling. You’ll also understand that even without a licensed facilitator, a group of individuals still trusted you with their insecurities and their self-love journey. You’ll secretly thank Gina, someone who knew of Certified 10 long before the rest did, for being so damn consistent with her support. You’ll feel incredibly blessed to have a second Mama, Mama-E, who rooted for you on the sidelines before you even made it to the court. You’ll believe in yourself just a little more.
And then you’ll nap. Followed by pizza. Followed by another nap. Followed by Chinese Food. All the while sharing a full-sized with two other women. Two other women who went through hell to make sure they were there to hold your hand on this day.
“Dad said you did good. Said it was really good.” – T.J.
08:12 AM, October 11, 2015, You will drop your brother off at college. He’ll hug you goodbye, pick you up and squeeze you and before you get back into the car he’ll tell you that Daddy said he was proud. You’ll then take the George Washington bridge home, and cry. Cry a lot. Because though it shouldn’t matter, though it shouldn’t have been the sole reason behind your event, you now know your father is proud of you, something you’ve sought out for most of your childhood and adulthood.
It started in a mess, but then again, isn’t that how all beautiful things are formed? It needed to be that way. It needed to be rough, difficult, and messy for the support to be seen, for the potential to be reminded, for the hard-work to pay off. You needed to learn to use that crippling fear to somehow drive you towards the end, and for you to understand that it’ll always be a mess. But not just simply a mess. A beautiful one.
—This is what happens When you don’t cancel your event, YETTI—