No Matter What Happens in My Life – I am going to choose happiness. And you should too!

Today put an end to one of the darkest moments of my life.  I was sued by a tenant who did not want to pay rent, but did not want to vacate my property.  I have been fighting this thing for almost three months now.  The process was drawn and very draining.  Surprisingly in court, I was very calm.  I was prepared to accept whatever happened and to do whatever I had to do.  It was actually shocking at how calm I was, considering I have been under a huge amount of stress.  But, I just decided to allow myself to feel whatever I felt without trying to fight it.

The tenant also looked like she had been through hell.  She was sloppily dressed, her hair was all over her head and it made me wonder why anyone who is fighting for the very survival would come to court looking a hot mess.  As I looked around however, I saw that this was the norm, not the exception.

I felt frustrated by this, because the majority of people there who were being evicted looked like something off the back of somebody’s shoe, and the majority of the people doing the evictions looked like they were getting ready for a job interview.  My grandmother, who accompanied me, pointed out that this is what’s wrong in a lot of urban cities, people don’t know how to rise to the occasion.

And it is a sad fact that we are often judged by our appearances.  I am as much of a hippie as they come, I love loose, free flowing clothing – I often wear sandals to work past the summer and I look nothing like a product of corporate america even though I work somewhat in that capacity.  However, when I go to court (I am a Landlord, so I have been often), I rise to the occasion.  (Although my mother had to re-do my headwrap because a sista is taking her braids down -y’all know how that goes…).

However, despite the tenant looking like Sloppy-Doo and the case going on much longer than it should – we won!  My attorney went out and told Sloppy-Doo something and apparently whatever he said, once she walked back in the court room, her entire world looked like it had collasped.  She then quietly called the attorney over, signed some papers and left.  So I get my house back in eleven days!  Yayyyy!!!!

My sister asked me did I feel sorry for Sloppy-Doo, and I had to think long and hard about that.  I am the most compassionate person I know, and I almost always root for the underdog, but on this one, I had to 150% say, “Hell Nawl!”  And a few other expressive phrases that I won’t repeat here.

Thing is, you can’t fuck with somebody and tell them how to fuck with you back.  This girl did not pay me rent for nearly six months.  I had to tap into a line of credit just to make ends meet!  Then on top of that, I am planning a DVD release of “Tricks” and really need the money for that. She didn’t give a damn that she damn near drove me to bankruptcy, or the extra money I am going to have to spend to put back in that house because they kept it so filthy. It’s hard for business owners too. And business owners are in the business of making money.  Had she just been upfront about her situation, then I would have worked with her.

Well, I am rambling, so let me get to the point.  I will always remember how elated I felt when we won in court today!  My entire perception changed! I felt motivated, I saw things from a different perspective and I was warmer to people.  And that’s when it hit me – I don’t need to win court dates, sell a million units of “Tricks” or anything else to feel that way.  If I lose everything tomorrow, being defeated is only in my attitude.

I lost time, sleep, energy and happy days being worried about how I was going to make ends meet when the real estate market went south.  I felt like my whole life was over.  Real Estate was used to support my filmmaking, but with the market being the way that it is, my filmmaking may just have to support real estate.

But I decided today that no matter what happens, I will make a conscious decision on a daily basis to be happy.  I will enjoy my family, my friends and I will continue to create.  And I encourage everyone reading this to do the same.  Choose happiness. Choose peace, no matter what your circumstances are.  If you lose everything, you can always start over – and usually, we have more knowledge the second time around.

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