Head in the Clouds

by Tamu McPherson

At the beginning of January, I shared with all of you that in the year 2018, I was to manifest for myself a more present experience in the world. It’s been a month, and I wanted to check in with you to let you know where I am on this journey, and to invite you to share your progress as well.

I’ve been able to be very mindful of being present and dedicating parts of my day to ensure that I realize this goal. In the mornings and evenings, I usually take a few minutes to list the things that I am grateful for (inspired by Oprah) and then go over any issue that has been bothering me, Then I clear my mind for a few moments of peace.

During the course of this past month, I’ve also realized that in order to be present, I probably should look at why I spend so much time with my head in the clouds. Do I purposefully choose to live in the clouds in a parallel world, where everything is tinted in pastel colors that mute out reality?

Like you, the innerworkings of my personality are light years away from being straightforward. Instead it more aptly resembles the vast network of our universe. Clusters of traits here, and others spread out over a varied spectrum of emotions.

If you remember from my note I stated:

I’ve always been very connected to my surroundings, often feeling the magic of life in a sometimes euphorically-intense way. Maybe my subconscious tunes in when it senses positive energy or events which have the power to influence me in some very specific way?

I have been told that I have a sunny disposition. Is this because I spend so much time with my head in the clouds always riding on a zen wave? At what point did I start doing this, and why? Is it something automatic? Is it a coping mechanism? What do I have to cope with? Is it a result of being an only child who created fantasies for self-entertainment and never quite gave up on my imaginary world? Is it a way to avoid some trama that I am reluctant to deal with? Is it something that I adopted as a little girl in Jamaica, where despite the harshness of reality, the air is filled with positive energy, joy and light?

Was it sparked by the inappropriate creepy glances of older men as I walked around my neighborhood in Kingston? I was so young and fresh, but somehow I knew what swam in the dark pools of their eyes was seated in a morally wrong abyss. Their gaze was unlike the nurturing and protective ones of my uncles – and this presented a confusing betrayal for my young heart and soul.

Is it a response to that time when I waited in my front yard all day for my aunt who I lived with when my mother moved to the US – I had been abruptly uprooted and transferred to live with an uncle and his wife, and they promised she would visit. I waited for hours in the sun, lonely even as the beautiful little girl next door invited me to play. She waited with me for a while, holding on to her own wrought iron fence, but my vigil was personal and silence was no fun, so she eventually went back inside. Why didn’t they explain that my aunt was very sick and in hospital? That heartbreak would have been less impactful as the one I felt that day when she never showed up. At 5 or 6 years old, it probably felt like the moon not appearing in the sky to guide you home. It might have very well been that day, when I looked up and found an inviting and safe oasis in the sky where I could hide from my worry, confusion and disappointment.

Or maybe it was my struggle to understand the black eyes and pummeled face of an aunt, inflicted by her husband and father of her children. She loved him so, was such a dedicated wife and mother. Why would he want to hurt her? These questions too hard to answer for a preteen.

Or maybe it was the boy who went to school the next day and confessed to the entire class of our first kiss – my first kiss. Stinging embarrassment, justifiable naïveté, I never exchanged another word with him.

Or maybe it was the public school girls who made a sport of bullying me whenever the opportunity arose. I guess I was too nice, an easy target. But little did they know, kindness doesn’t equate to weakness. And their aggressive actions only made me stronger and more self confident.

Or maybe it wasn’t the force of those realities per se – maybe my rose-tinted vision of the world is simply a blessing from the universe itself.

Individuals are met with trials all the time, I’m no different from anyone roaming this earth. We all cope and struggle in different ways. We experience success, we fail spectacularly. Some come out bitter and others, like me, manage to come out seeing the glass half full. And many of these optimists don’t necessarily cope by burying their heads in the clouds.

And when I think about it, I have always managed stressful situations by turning to my family and friends, and constantly checking in with them to make sure that I’m staying in my lane and not creating unnecessary drama for anyone.

And when chronic anxiety and a heightened sense of panic overwhelmed me, I sought professional help, but was unsatisfied by the proffered chemical solution. So I learned to stand on my two feet with the nurturing and patient help of friends. And ever since, I’ve been ever so present in avoiding unnecessary worry and the vicious cycle that accompanies it.

So in the end, maybe I’m not trying to escape from anything. Maybe I’m here to share the positivity that I’m blessed with… and that’s all.

If that’s the case then, it seems like what I really need to do is to find a way to harness and directly inject some of the positive energy that I find in that magical place up in the sky into the moments unfolding here on earth.

What do you say? Will you be joining me for the ride?

– Photographer: Renwe Jules
Look by Miu Miu
– Shoes by Oscar Tiye

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