Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Had A Moment

I took a self imposed time out if you will from most of my social networks. Last week at church, the preacher preached about the power of words and how the heart actually controls the tongue. I've used the last four days to shift my focus a little bit and read my bible a little bit more. See, I start my day reading my two Bible devotionals but for the most part that would be where it ends. Soon after, I'd jump on my social networking sites and go on with my day. The challenge with being overwhelmed with the good and the bad of Facebook and Twitter is that it would cloud my mind. So I decided take a break. When the moments would come up and I would want to hop on Facebook and Twitter, I would open up YouVersion instead and read some of the Bible.

Last night and this morning, I did some extra reading in addition to my devotionals and the Word talked about getting on your knees and praying. I've gotten better about praying more often. But at times, I'd ask myself if God was really hearing my prayers. I read something about actually getting on my knees and actually praying. I wondered if that was really the key to a true connection with God.

Then, today at church my pastor talked about what to do when you feel like you're in your own darkness. The three keys were to get on your knees and pray, look up (because if you're looking up, you can get up) and finally Praise God no matter what. God will give you a song to sing, even in your darkness. Then it hit me. Lawd, I just need to get on my knees, pray and keep singing.

Today, I had a moment and I an relieved about it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Timing Is Everything

So I'll sit down and write the blog I'm supposed to write.  I guess part of me is waiting on the right time. So many things have happened, so much to say. Just gonna sit down and say what I need to say. Just waiting for the right time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Mortality of the Immortal

Life...I wonder...will it take me under...I dunno... 

Those words are the opening line to a popular 90s hit by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill, "If I Ruled The World" and I felt like those words would be the perfect opening to this blog post. Why? Because if there was anything that could take someone under it would be losing one of their immortals (a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or child). The topic of this blog post has been on my heart, actually for almost 5 years, but has really come to light over the last 48 hours. As many of you may know, my father has battled tremendous health challenges for the last 5 years. What his fight has shown me is that my father is mortal. I've been fortunate that I haven't had a lot of death affect me directly. I had a conversation with my cousin, who is now in a similar place. My cousin mentioned to me during our conversation that one of his students lost his mother when he was 14. My cousin responded, if there was ANYTHING that would take him out of the game, it would be having to deal with that, especially at such a young age. We agreed that you don't think of having to deal with something like that, until you have to deal with something like that. You don't think you have to deal with it because there are some people who are in your life forever. They are your immortals. For example, here's a look at my situation with one of my immortals, my father.

In October 2007, I was faced with the strong possibility of losing my father. My father, you know, the big light skinned guy that everyone in the neighborhood knew and liked, the guy would drove the blue and the green van, the man who commuted over an hour to work to a job that provided so much for his family, the first man I ever loved and loved me, the person who first taught me about sports, my super hero, my daddy. Growing up, I had regular (read: daily) interactions with my father. He went to work everyday and came home every night. We talked about our days. Even when I lived on the East Coast, I still had a connection with my father. So in 2007 when that connection was interrupted, it caused changes and thoughts in me I could have never dreamed of. I remember being younger having the thought that IF (not when, but if) my parents had to die, I would want them to die together. In my mind, they were together when I came in this world, so I felt that they should leave the same way. In 2007, that thought was challenged, when my father laid in the hospital for a LONG time, following his heart trauma (attack). One half of my everything was laying in bed, fighting for his life. It was at this point that I realized that my Superman, Iron Man - my super hero, wasn't super. He was mortal. And in that moment, I was seeing that mortality up close and personal.

Now I'm not a "parent", but I've been around enough of them, and I have a couple of my own to have some insight to the ways that they might see things. From the moment a child is born, a lot of parents treat their child as an immortal. Yes, this is an irrational thought but to new parents, it doesn't matter. Parents see their children as the gravity that holds their Earth together, the sun in their solar system - their everything. To parents, their children will live forever. From a child's perspective, it's similar. There are these people who have been in my life from the beginning. Everything I have, everything that I am, is because of these two people who love me and support me. My parents will live forever.

What happens, when a child has to bury a parent or even worse when a parent has to bury a child? What happens when a church has to bury their pastor? What happens when a nation loses a leader? That is one of the life changing moments when you have to deal with the mortality of the immortal. I recognize (rationally) that there is a very strong possibility that I will have to say an earthly goodbye to my immortals - my parents, my grand mother, aunts, uncles and children because no one lives forever. Even though Jesus lives today, He still died. Memories live for a long time, but can fade when enough time has passed. I might be someone's immortal, but there will be a time when I won't be here. The rationality of it all is that nothing, no one lives for ever. Therefore, no matter who you are or what super powers you have, you are still mortal. 

I can say that seeing my father come off of my immortal pedestal to his mortal plane, I (believe) am in a better place to deal with and move past that time when it comes. I take less things for granted with him and I know that WHEN (not if) it happens, there is nothing that I can do about it other than thank God for that time in my life. Also, I have friends who have had to face the mortality of their immortals and when my time comes, I will look to them for inspiration and courage. If you can bury a child and continue on your journey, I love and respect you for that. If you've buried a parent, grandparent or a sibling and keep pressing on, I salute you and am inspired by you. If you have dealt with the mortality of your immortal, God bless you. While it's a feeling that I wouldn't wish upon anyone one, I know it's something that we will have to deal with eventually. And as I continue to age, I realize that more and more I have to deal with the mortality of the immortal...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Real Life SVU/Ain't That Some Ish

So it's been a little while since I've posted a blog. It's not that I don't have anything to say but more so because my life has been taken over by my life. But this particular topic has been sticking to me for most of the day. 

Newsflash - I live in the hood. I grew up in the hood, the hood is my home. Notice I said that I grew up in the hood, not that I AM hood. Some folks might consider me a little bourgeois to be from the hood. But that isn't the point of this post. There are some who live by the hood code. Keep your head down and your mouth shut. You see the D-boys on the block, you know what they're doing. You see the hot girls walking up and down the street, you know what they're looking for. I know these people. We played two hand touch football in the street, freeze tag or run and go get it. For a long time, I wouldn't say anything to the "folks" from the neighborhood. I knew who they were, they knew who I was. There wasn't really a need to mark territory. That was until the hood broke into my apartment. Thankfully nothing was stolen, partially because the hood clearly forgot that I have a BIG baby brother (big and baby are both true, but I love my brother) and he chased them off. But ever since the hood broke into my house, I've been changed, for the better. Before, I kinda just let things happen around the way and as long as it didn't harm me and mine, I was good. That's the wrong attitude to have. Everything that happens in your neighborhood effects you and yours. 

Last night I was laying in bed on my way to sleep, tired from the running around that I did that day. And I heard some yelling, which isn't uncommon. Hell some times I feel like I live next door to a 21st century Ike and Tina. But, the person who was yelling said a buzz word, that made me immediately get up, RAPE. She was screaming that she had been raped. I don't know what she was doing in the middle of the street but she was shaken up and scared. I jumped up from my warm bed and positioned myself better to get an assessment of the situation. She was obviously scared. The only thing that I could do was call 911. I explained to the dispatcher that there was a young woman in the middle of the street who said she had just been raped. I described her as best I could. When the dispatcher asked if I wanted to give my name, I declined. After all, that wasn't necessary. A few minutes after I got off the phone two cop cars pulled up to the scene, which is good timing in my hood. I overheard her telling her story, very much traumatized by her recent ordeal. And while I'm listening to this story, I have to ask myself, would this situation get the same amount of attention if the victim looked like me. That the part of the story that I forgot to chime in on. The young lady who said she had been raped, was white. Two squad cars had shown up first, shortly followed by a black Ford Explorer, which I assumed was for the SVU detectives (yeah I might watch a little bit of SVU, but so what). 

I sat and waited a few minutes before I retreated to my bedroom again. And even after I got in the bed, I heard sirens that sounded like the ambulance coming to pick the young girl up, probably take her to the hospital where they would probably ask her some more questions and do a rape kit. Before I went to bed, I couldn't help but think, no it didn't have anything to do with me and mine, but it could have been my brother's girlfriend. It could have been anybody. The truth is we are all connected to each other. If something feels wrong, speak up. Even if it isn't wrong, it's better to KNOW it isn't, than to think it is. I hope that young lady is okay. 

Now I understand that things are tight around my local police department and I don't want to be cynical. But I can't help but wonder, does the young lady's color, more than her circumstance have an impact on how the police handled the situation. Today on my way to church, I noticed a squad car driving down the street, which isn't too uncommon because I live on a pretty busy street. On my way home from church, a squad car turned down my block. Was the block suddenly hot because a young lady was raped? The block wasn't too hot after there was a shooting 50 feet from my home (I missed it but other folks didn't) a few days prior. It's things like this that caused me to change the title of my blog. At first it was just Real Life SVU, but then I have these other thoughts about the situation which makes me say ain't this some ish. I really want to believe that the police were just doing their jobs regardless of race. But I can not afford to look the other way and act like racism isn't alive in well in 2012. Based on what I was seeing from the young lady, I believe she had experienced some sort of sexual trauma. And based on where she was, it is possible that some men of color were involved in the attack. I really hope she wasn't lying. 1) because that would be a terrible waste of resources in a depleted city but also I'd feel like I got played. I know it's not about me. I know that some of these things that I'm feeling are not rational, but they are real. There is a part of me that feels really bad because this woman was attacked. There's another part of me that says, "She betta not be lyin'". It's a sad state that we live in where people are so jaded that they think someone would make up a story about being attacked. It's also a sad state when someone cries out for help, and no one helps. Well as long as I'm around, if I hear the call for help, I will answer. 

But as this scene was unfolding last night, I couldn't help but think, "Damn. This is some real life SVU."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So Much for My Happy Ending

So anyone who knows me, knows that I am a hopeful romantic. I always want the happy ending. It doesn't have to be a ride off into the sunset, but if the end result is happiness, I am all the way for it. I'm having certain feelings about things going on around my life and part of me is caught looking around waiting for my happy ending. The other part of me, is trying to keep looking straight and accomplish some of these goals on my to do list. It's hard, especially on days like today. What I'm really trying to hold onto is, the belief that this isn't what God has for me. I know that He sees the hurt and frustration that's going on in my life. My challenge is to trust Him and let Him do what I know he can do for me. 

So earlier this year I had a falling out with someone who was very special to me at the time. As that was unfolding I reconnected with someone VERY special from my past. (Background: there was this guy who I had a crush back in the day. It was definitely a little school girl crush because I clearly didn't know how to act around him. Looking back I can definitely say it was borderline embarrassing. I think what's worse is that this school girl crush was tucked away in a part of my heart for so long. Sure I had been in relationships, but for some reason, this guy stayed on my mind and captured a small piece of my heart so long ago, when I say "so long ago" I mean SO LONG AGO) The beginning of the reconnection couldn't have been scripted any better. One night in February, I had some friends over to the house and I mentioned this guy's name as part of a flashback. The next morning, I see a friend request from him on Facebook (the blessing and curse of all relationships). I accepted the friend request and we began chatting, getting caught up. Now this wasn't a situation where this guy didn't know how I felt about him. I knew, he knew but nothing came of it. I was seeing someone, he was seeing someone. Time passed, we went on with our lives (but he still had a special place in my heart). So us reconnecting was very special and very important to me. 

I mean I could give you play by play of how this thing unfolded but most people are only interested in the punchline of my stories. The story began in February and essentially ended today. In the beginning it was great, talking and texting all the time. We started spending some time together. The situation wasn't ideal because one we both had busy schedules which kept us from spending the kind of time together that I wanted to and he was going through somethings, yeah you know what the things are. So yeah, the situation wasn't ideal but because he was someone special to me, because I thought he was worth special consideration, I tried to work it. As it usually happens, the honeymoon phase ends and reality begins to set in. I'm not the easiest person to get along with but I'm not extremely difficult. The biggest thing that I ask for is communication. As long as we can communicate open and honestly, without an audience, I feel like we should be okay. Now I have baggage and I'm honest enough to admit it. I've been dogged out in some relationships and situations, I've had those moments when I felt like all men were dogs and that they weren't shit but how can you be a hopeful romantic if you think that men ain't shit. It doesn't work that way, In dealing with my baggage, I made it a point to not blame the next man for things that the last man did. BUT you have to own up to what you do. If someone tells you that they have certain issues, you then have to decide whether or not you want deal with them and their issues or not. I feel like you have to give someone credit who is able to really let their guard down and say I care about you enough to show you who I really am. I'm not perfect, I am definitely flawed but you mean enough to me for me and I didn't want to hide who I am from you. And I did that, not with the intention of scaring him off or forcing him to choose a role, but just letting him know where I stand so that nothing is lost in translation. 

But what I realized is that even if you put things out there, things can still get lost in translation. After a while, the phone calls and the text messages weren't coming as frequently, spending time together became more and more challenging. This change in behavior became hard to understand, especially since you couldn't tell me how or why. I was asked by one of my male friends if I loved this guy and I said that I did. I was okay saying this because if I look at the definition of love (n. - an intense feeling of deep affection; v- feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone)), this is exactly how I felt about him and I had felt this way about him for most of my damn life. I tried to down play my feelings but it wasn't working. I told him that I loved him, but I wasn't in love with him. He said he had feelings for me to, that he had love and respect for me but he wasn't there, which I understood. But even having that conversation, things started to fall apart. The truth is, whatever this thing was or wasn't, I held on and fought a lot longer than I should have. When you accuse me of not caring about your feelings, because I express my own, that's a problem. When you don't like the way you're treated but it's a direct reflection of how you treat me, it's a problem. When you start lying and making excuses, when conversations are really arguments, it's a problem. But when you can no longer find the words to talk to someone and the only thing you can do is hang up in someone's face, HOUSTON WE HAVE A FUCKING PROBLEM. 

There were plenty of flags that went up. There were issues that we both had and didn't really deal with. But if I can't have a conversation with you because you don't want to argue, there is never any resolution. The punchline of this long, almost seemingly pointless blog, my feelings are hurt, my heart is heavy. Someone that I wanted for so long, clearly didn't feel the same way about me that I felt about him. Despite me doing things outside of my comfort zone, it wasn't enough. The feelings are gone, clearly the respect and friendship are gone and it really makes me sad. I was hoping for a happy ending with this one. So much for that. I cried about it, partially because that's what I do. But I really have to hold on to the promise that God has something better for me. One song that keep hearing in my head is Avril Lavigne - My Happy Ending (, fighting back the tears. I don't know if anything that we had between us can be salvaged or even if we want to. That hurts too...I've cried way more than I thought I would but I guess that's what you do when you cram half a lifetime's worth of feelings into a few months. I'll do my thing, I'll heal and move on. There are a lot of other things that I want to say but I think I did what I needed to and got some things off my chest. Time to start the healing and moving on process.

Friday, August 26, 2011

You Know What My Problem Is?

Besides the fact that the title is grammatically incorrect, it also implies that there is only one. In the words of Jay-Z, "I got 99 problems..." But if I had to choose one or at least one in the top ten, I'd say my problem is that I believe in the happily ever after and want it so bad it probably makes me crazy. A couple of weeks ago, I started a blog asking if I was the last of a dying breed. One of the ones who wants to get married, have children and have their own happily ever after. I believe in soul mates, I believe good men (and women) still exist, I believe in and respect the sanctity of marriage, I believe those bullshit love songs and those sappy ass chick flicks. I believe in it all. I know that my love story won't end like The Thomas Crown Affair, The American President, The Best Man or The Brothers (although Best Man and Brothers are much more realistic than the first two). I know that Johnny Castle isn't going to pull me out of the corner, put me center stage and dance with me in front of everyone (although I'd really like that to happen at my wedding reception, le sigh, I digress). But if I know all of this, why do I still want it? Who knows.

Another blog I started was going to talk about how I'm always looking around at other people's relationships, admiring them, secretly wanting them. Now, I know I can't judge a book by its cover. Just because people look happy or they say they're happy doesn't mean that they are. And just because someone else has it doesn't mean that you're supposed to have it. It was reported recently in the news that Will and Jada were separating. That almost bought the world to a screeching halt (literally since there were earthquakes on both the East and West Coast the same day). It's interesting that in the news, you always hear about celebrity couples breaking up. I really root for Will and Jada because they are a successful black couple who have stayed together for years. What goes on in their relationship is not for me to judge. But I am inspired but what they portray through my eyes; beautiful, strong, black love. Now there are skeptics who say that Will and Jada do their own thing. Again, that's their business. But if you're looking to the media for relationship inspiration, you are clearly looking in the wrong place.

About two weeks ago, I was in the choir stand at church listening to the children's choir sing. And because I'm facing the congregation, I can see EVERYONE's facial expressions and body language. (I really believe that I might have Adult ADD, I should have been able to finish this blog by now if I wasn't so damn it distracted). While sitting in the choir stand, I noticed a lot of young, beautiful black couples who were so proud to see their children singing in front of the congregation. There are a lot of couples in my church, young, seasoned, non-traditional. They all have one thing in common, they're in the church. Again, I'm not saying that things in their lives are perfect but this might be a better place for me to look for my relationship inspiration than TMZ, Access Hollywood or E!

(Another problem I might have is these social networks. They make it easy for me to see EVERYTHING. And it seems like people are posting their happiness, damn it I want happiness! Maybe that should be motivation for me to get off of social networking sites for a while).

Let me be clear, while I love seeing strong,  healthy, black love, that doesn't mean that's the only love I'm open to. I consider myself pretty open to love no matter what it "looks" like. Having preferences, is different from being close minded. I think I'm pretty open and my taste in men would show that. And I'm not saying that everything is perfect as long as you go to church. Not saying that either. But I what I'm saying to myself is that I need to stop looking around at what everyone else "has". Let's be honest. People will lie/misrepresent what they have to make themselves feel better and/or to make other people jealous. I don't think that the people that I'm "looking" at are purposely saying "let me make her jealous". Recently I found myself telling myself to stop looking around and to face forward. I'm trying hard to focus on doing that but it's been a tremendous challenge. 

*pause - social networking strikes again. On Twitter, Essence Magazine posted a link about Will and Jada. I proceeded to click on it, read the article. Then there was another link about the 40 black couples we love. After clicking through that slide show, I realize a few things; 1) Essence needs to update that slide show since some of the couple have broken up. 2) Essence did some reaching because some of those couples I didn't even know who they were and 3) They weren't black couples, they were couples that had a black person in it. When I think of black couples, I think of two black people. Is it just me?*

So the answer to this question, you know what my problem is...nope I don't really know either. Wanting a happy healthy, happily ever after isn't a problem. I'm not taking the Kim Kardashian approach to getting it either. If I had to identify my "problem", it would that I'm not patient enough. And because of my impatience, I get distracted looking around at everyone else. I just need to work on my patience and know that everything will work out the way it's supposed to. Easier said than done, right? But eh, at least I know what my problem is (or at least that one).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Power of a Quotable Magnet

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that's in you.~ Christian D. Larson

I wish I could say that this was an original piece but it touched me too deeply not to share it with someone else. This magnet is now hanging at my desk, near the Serenity Prayer, my mediation on Prayer and Patience and my meditation on Letting go. Nothing really happens on accident these days. They always happen the way the are supposed to.

Thankful for the Pain

As I begin type this, I have tears in my eyes, pain and hurt in my heart. But I thank God for the pain. I thank God for the tears that fill up my eyes and stream down my face. I'm thankful for the tears because I know that they will eventually stop. Tears aren't a sign of weakness, they are actually a sign of strength, an opportunity for cleansing, a healthy release. God sees by tears and will dry them. I thank God for the pain and hurt in my heart. I'm thankful for this because I know that it's temporary. To heal from hurt isn't to hurt, but to love. I know my heart and I know that despite the pain and hurt I feel in my heart, I know that my heart is capable, able and deserving of love. I know this because there is still love in my heart. God knows my heart and won't let pain or hurt dwell there too long. My heart like my tears are strong and like Leona Lewis says, "it'll all get better in time". This time and that time, I'm thankful. I'm thankful. I am thankful.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hump Day Gratefulness (Feb. 2)

So yesterday (2/1) I didn’t really get a chance to blog because the internet is down at my house and there was a lot to be grateful and thankful for yesterday. I just hope that my memory doesn’t betray me. Anyway, on to Hump Day (Feb. 2) Gratefulness.
  1. Today, I’m grateful that I was able to give some money to some students today. It wasn’t much but I know what it’s like to be a student and not have any money. Even though they work in my office and will get paid next week, I was happy to put some money in their hands. $5 is big money to a student and if it isn’t, the gesture certainly is.
  2. Today, I’m thankful for Bible Study and this morning’s meditation reading. God is working on me and I am excited for what’s to come. There’s a part of me that just wants to see the finished product, but I have to go through the process, just like everything else.
  3. Today, I’m grateful for knowledge. I never claim to be the smartest but I do want to be around people who can help me to work smarter and not always harder. My good friend Richard, essentially got me to use my Blackberry as a Flash drive. I don’t always agree with everything that he says and that’s totally okay in friendships. You can totally agree to disagree. But sometimes, in relationships and friendships, you have to hear what you don’t want to hear. The challenge is receiving the message for what it is and not killing the messenger. If there’s some truth to it, take THAT and run with it. You don’t necessarily have to hold on to how the message was delivered. I’ve gotten distracted which means I really need to blog about my feelings on friendship. The point I think I was trying to make was that is that despite some of the things that Richard said that I may or may not have agreed with, I did learn something from him today and THAT is important.
  4. Today, I’m thankful that I didn’t have a technology fail. I thought I was going to have to go to the Sprint store because my phone locked up during the reboot process last night. Worried that I would completely oversleep, I actually woke up at 6am. No cell phone alarm and no iPod backup, which is actually a little discouraging. I guess I’m actually more thankful that I did have a technology fail and that I am able to function without some of the technology that I have grown so accustomed to. Maybe one day, I’ll do a technology free week. I’ll use my house phone to contact people, won’t use my laptop, write handwritten letters, you know things like that. We’ll see.
  5. Today, I’m grateful for one more day that I’m not a member of the DDS and/or DMS. For some reason my dad was worried about things that had nothing to do with him. I wish him a good recovery. There is only so much of this I can truly understand. It’s challenging and demanding on a lot of people. I understand things from my mom’s perspective to an extent but it’s still very challenging. One day soon, there will be a break in the action. It would be nice for my dad to be home to watch the Super Bowl. We’ll see….

That’s all I really have for tonight (and I was able to finish this blog before midnight). Thank you Lord, I love you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Something A Little Different

Instead of doing my five thankful things for tonight, I was going to do a top five for the month of January. But then I kinda talked myself out of it, for the moment. So instead, I'll talk about my five grateful moments for January 31st and will probably blog twice tomorrow, one on my recap for January and one for the beginning of February. With that said, here's today's list: 

  1. Today, I am grateful for the energy of Berkeley students. While some of them are effing nuts, have a sense of entitlement or a combination of both and more, some of them are really inspiring and down to Berkeley, almost like normal people. LOL
  2. Today, I'm grateful for bath time. When I got home from work today, I promptly got undressed, turned my iPod on (a little too loud) and ran a nice hot bath. And it felt soooooooooooooooo good. A glass of wine would have been nice, but it wasn't necessary. 
  3. Today, I'm thankful for payday. To see all of my paycheck today was a good feeling. I really hate that I get paid once a month but I was really thankful that I got to see all my money, if only for a little while in my account. 
  4. Today, I am grateful for God's grace. There are so many things that God's grace has done for me, I can't even keep track, I can't count and I don't try. I just say thank you. 
  5. Today, I'm thankful for another day that I'm not a member of the DDS and/DMS. Today, my mommy (yes I said mommy), gave me a little bit of change which I put into my gas tank and she gave me two pieces of fruit. I helped my daddy (yes, daddy) with some stuff early this AM and talked to him on my way home. He wasn't too happy but I know that talking to him brightens his day a little. Don't know when I'll be able to see him because, I got a couple of things going on during the week. I still try to talk to him everyday. I try to do my part on both sides.
Thanks God. You don't have to but You do and I'm grateful and thankful #thatisall