Things that make me go UGH!!!

Okay- so I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and I also know that some of you may not care that I haven’t posted anything, and that’s fine. Lately, my life has been, well, it’s been life! Lots of loopholes and cyclones and screaming kids, with an occasional candy cane or rainbow or majestic unicorn. There have been ups, there have been downs, days of laughs and days of nothing.

There is nothing special about this post. Nothing deep or intellectual. This is just a tidbit of my thoughts that I wish to force upon all of you.

These past few weeks have truly opened my eyes to some things. I’ve seen people and things change before my very eyes and it is a bit mind blowing! On the flip side, I have recognized the same selfish laziness in others that, at times, makes me want to set things on fire!!!
So, in the spirit of my confused and irritated mind, I have decided to voice my opinion about a few things. I wish to share my feelings of frustration with the universe or as I like to call it, give the universe a READ!

Shall we begin???
Good! Let’s!!!

Number 1- To the loser last week harassing women in the Walmart parking lot at 7:30am in the morning, Sir! No one has time to listen to your lame pick up lines and inappropriate cat calls. I am sorry to inform you that some women actually have a destination to reach at 7:30 in the morning on a Thursday. It’s called a job!!! Now, I assume you know a little something about this concept, considering you actually had the nerve to ask me for a ride to yours!!! 😳. Next, it is not okay to yell “Aye, yo!” to me to get my attention. NEVER! I have standards and morals and you will respect me or I will let you know how pathetic you are! You can call me stuck up. That’s fine. I’m sure there is some young, naive girl,who would love to respond to the blatant disrespect and rudeness. I’m just not that girl! I could care less about you. The ring on my left finger should have told you that. Next time, check yourself before you go cat calling to random women on the street.

Number 2- To the selfish people who think the world revolves around you. I’m afraid I have some bad news- IT DOESNT!!! Stop being you! Stop thinking about yourself all the time! Did it ever occur to you that the ones you go to for everything need a break? Or maybe, their life does not revolve around you. Has it ever crossed your mind to lend them a helping hand? To reach out to them, the way they reach out to you? Why do you feel the need to EXPECT them to be there for you? Who are you??? It’s really sad that people can’t just be genuinely nice because the selfish ones always have their hand out… Do me a favor, take your hand and shove back in your pocket… HARD!!! Thanks!

Number 3- If you come to me for advice, and I offer it to you, and you choose to do the opposite, understand that that is your business, but do me a favor please? DO NOT come back to me when your situation is the exact same and you are even more miserable than you were the first time. I don’t have time for your drama! If you get off on the dramatics of your life, that is your misery, not mine! I don’t have the patience for it. If you don’t know how to function without complaining about everything, or you can’t carry on a conversation without bringing up how everything in your life is wrong, then perhaps you should seek therapy. I mean, they get paid to listen to all kinds of crap! But be careful… Pretty soon you are going to run out of listening ears…. Ugh!!!

Number 4: I am all for seeking advice from the wise and by wise, I usually mean my mother. I seek her guidance in life areas such as marriage, men in general, and health. Whereas I can understand that there are plenty of people out there, especially women, who have some experience in these areas, if I don’t come to you for help, PLEASE KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF!!!! It really irks me when people feel the need to tell me about my life. Before I got married they told me why I needed to get married. Now that I am, these losers insist on telling me when to have kids!!! I had a co-worker tell me recently that I needed to hurry up and have kids because I wasn’t getting any younger. Of course, this was before she proceeded to tell me how much her 5 stressed her out!!!! Please! Have SEVERAL seats!
And speaking of marriage, just because me and mine don’t do things the way someone else does, does not make them better than us! My advice to friends about marriage, is make it your own. Find a rhythm and hang with it. Through the ups and downs. That’s it. That’s all I have because I understand one thing: no two men are alike and no two women are alike. As long as there is a mutual understanding between the two everything else is a MOO POINT… Like, a cow’s opinion-which doesn’t matter… ITS MOO!!! (My FRIENDS friends will understand that last one!)

Number 5- and this is my favourite!!! TO THE FORCE THAT IS INSISTENT ON DESTROYING MY HOPES OF ONE DAY BECOMING A MOTHER… you can knock us down all you want but We will always come out on top!!! I will birth multiple babies and they will be awesome and majestic and brilliant and we, note that I did say WE, will laugh at your failed attempt to wreck my womb because I am meant to be a mother!!!

Whew! I feel so much better!
So, universe, I thank you for listening to me rant, but in the future, if you could not be such a jerk sometimes, that’d be great!

And to my Heavenly Father, GOD I thank you for giving me a sound mind and keeping me strong and sane when I want to curl up in a ball and hide away from everyone and everything. Your grace, GOOD SIR, is quite sufficient and I am forever grateful!

Peace to all.

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Depression: My Truth, My Reality

It’s a word we hear so much these days. There are medications for coping with it. Doctors certified in listening about it. Television commercials and magazine ads. This word is depression. Now, there are some people who cringe when they hear this word. They shy away from its concept simply because it’s too complicated. There are others who feel there is no such thing as depression. They feel this concept is an excuse to be lazy and over emotional. They’ve never experienced the anxiety that comes with it or that unidentified fear that exists with it. Depression is very real, and depending on its level, it’s a battle that cannot be fought alone. How do I know this, you ask? Well, depression and I have become really close friends these past 6 months. We have an unorthodox understanding.

Last month was extremely busy. There were things to do every, single, day. Lots of plans, lots of fun, lots of family time, and time with friends. My Mother’s Day breakfast plan went off without a hitch, my oldest sister brought in year 40 like a boss, and my baby sister’s bridal shower and
wedding were absolutely amazing! Even though I was exhausted from all of the planning and organizing, I was happy. Happy for, what I thought, was doing things for others to make them happy. I love being there for people and spreading joy whenever I can. With all of these things out of the way, I was excited to get back to the things I enjoy, like journaling and blogging. I have so much to say. So many ideas and thoughts in my brain and I’ve been dying to print them on paper. I am grateful for my gift of downtime, but my “me time” plans are not starting off the way I’d hoped. I remember sitting in my living room on the day I classified as the first day back to me. I was ready to share all the things I had wanted to share with the world. There was just one tiny problem, I was unable to put my thoughts into REAL words. I couldn’t figure how to form these ideas so that they flow and make perfect sense.

When I decided to start this blog thing, I was excited. I was encouraged, motivated and ready to inspire. I wanted to share my talent with the world. I thought it could be a form of therapy for me, to write down how I was feeling in hopes of getting over my issues. I didn’t want to become that person. You know, the one who lays in bed all day on a Saturday not wanting to interact with the world. Not wanting to see or talk to anyone. Crying, deeply at any given moment. I wanted to write my issues away. However, lately, I feel nothing. Today, my words are deferred.

My good friend, Growinghumans, wrote a blog recently where she states, “no one ever talks about what happens if you have to take that step back. No one ever talks about what happens if you, in fact, fail at your epiphany.” Whoa! Talk about hitting the nail on the head. This statement says so much about my current state of mind. I feel as though my plan to encourage the world has, indeed, failed in epic proportions. Don’t get me wrong, I do get a lot of praise from individuals I admire about my posts and that feels great to know that I have reached someone. I think the failure comes in simply because no matter how much I write, I am still very sad. Sad about my miscarriage, about my inability to have children, about trying to figure out what’s going wrong internally. I hear women say all the time, that I am not the first one to go through this, that this untitled condition is common. I understand that this is to encourage and uplift, but it still does not remove the pain.

So how do you cope? What do you do? Everyone has told you that everything will be okay. And you believe everything will be, but it’s going through the storm to get to the okay that is the hardest. Your days vary, some are good, some are bad, and some are just okay. One of my struggles is turning to others to talk. I have people who tell me I can always reach out, but the loner in me won’t let reach out. Maybe that’s my fault but if I get tired of dealing with this, I believe they will get tired of hearing it.

I must admit it does feel lonely but I usually push past my feelings. Besides, there is always something to do. Places to go, people to see, children to teach. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow will be different. Today, on the other hand, is a bit overwhelming. I am sure I will find what I am looking for once all the smoke clears and the dust settles. I guess that’s the part that sucks the most, waiting for the dust to settle. It is quite unnerving. But that’s the point right? What are good days without the bad ones? What is an on day without the occasional off day?

My hope it getting to the other side of all this. GOD made me promises and I know he will fulfil them. In the overall scheme of this, it does make me feel good knowing that GOD is here. He is the only reason I can openly admit that I am struggling with depression. Not that he’s the reason for it, but he is the only one who can heal it. Feeling this way proves that I am only human, that I am limited and it’s okay. It’s okay because he sees and knows what I don’t. And when I finally come through this, I will definitely have a story to tell.

Monday

This is the second attempt of blogging this. Who knew what happened the first go round, but I was determined to get this out…

It’s been a few weeks since my last post and I’ve been meaning to get back to it. I had a few topics in mind, topics that I will get to in due time. Today, however, I want to write about Monday.

Oh, Mondays. Most people dread the bane of its existence. It’s like the underlining joke of the weekend, and just when you feel you’ve completely recovered from the previous week, Monday greets us in song by way of alarm clock. And so begins the routine of bumper to bumper traffic and jobs with all the other disgruntled employees that feel the same way you do.

My Monday? It started as a typical one. Screaming children, thrown toys, and afternoon snack. All the things I love. I made it home in one piece to find Naya and hubs waiting for me. I was ready for a warm bath and a good meal. Once I settled in for the evening, I cozied up next to hubs on the sofa and everything changed.

My phone begin to send me message alerts. A joke here, funny picture there, and then I saw her. Those big beautiful eyes, that infectious smile, that killer fashion sense. I knew her. I loved her. And she was missing.

There are moments in life that take your breath away. This is one of those moments. My regular work tired instantly became pure exhaustion. I felt my entire body go numb. I could feel my energy seep out of me like air being released from a balloon. When the air was released, I was left feeling heavy like I’d been drenched in water. My first question was is this a joke? I searched for answers. I saw the headline. It was not a joke. I needed to do something. Anything. What could I do? I didn’t have an answer. So I cried. I cried for her, for her parents, her brothers and sisters, for her 3 year old son. When I woke up the next morning, I checked to make sure it was just a dream and she was okay. There was no dream and she was not okay.

Browsing her page, I saw such an outpouring of support and love. Hashtag campaigns for prayer and finding her. Links to news stories. We all missed her. We all wanted her home. I posted this to her wall:

There are things in life that we won’t understand. We never know the pain behind someone’s smile. Never know what happens behind closed doors. The important thing is that God sees what we cannot see. There are several lessons that can be learned from this experience. Those who believe that God is able can understand that he has the end result and no matter the outcome God has his hands on her and he’s never left her side. I pray for peace of mind and heart for those of us Who feel The tremendous pain of our missing friend. Although we may not know each other personally, we are still family because she is family.

Life comes at us fast. There are moments in life that will change your life. These changes will happen on any given day of the week. Mondays will always hold special significance to me until she returns.

To B: I miss you and I love you and I have not stopped praying for you. My prayer is that you will be returned to your family, to your son. You are strong, you’re a survivor, and loved by so many. I know GOD is with you even at this very moment. Hold on to him and he will see you through until the end.

Peace & Blessings to all

SO…ITS NOT MY PREROGATIVE???

Have you ever known a person who is so desperate for your attention that they actually try to tell you how to run certain areas in your life?

If your answer is no, GOD BLESS YOU!
If your answer is yes, I think you’ll relate to this little diddy!

Facebook. One of the most controversial websites known to man. It can rekindle relationships and tear them apart all at the same time. One of the things that annoys me the most me about this website, is the overwhelming need for “friends”. It completely baffles me how many requests I get from people that I never talked to in school or at church, or any other walk of life; yet they constantly send me requests for my friendship. I don’t believe this is because they are in need of relationship with me. I mean, come on, I’ve seen you (not talked to you) two times in life and just because you remember my face that means we’re supposed to be friends? Yeah, right! Tell it to the time turtle honey, because I don’t have it! Even in this truth, there are some who actually get off on the numbers.

I only have a handful of friends, and this list gets cut on a regular basis. Sometimes people carry too much drama. It’s also impossible to read the lies people post especially when you know the truth.

Anyway-

I was casually browsing the book one afternoon when a message popped up from an “old friend”. My initial reaction was to just ignore it. I closed it out and proceeded to scroll when the same person sent another message. I closed it a second time and the person sent a third message. By this time I’m annoyed. What could she possibly want? I deleted her months ago!

Just as I started to open this series of messages, the infamous friend request notification greeted me with a condescending smile. I clicked here first, against my better judgment and what to my wondering eyes did appear???? A FRIEND REQUEST FROM THE SAME GIRL!!!! What in the whole world was happening???

I decline the request and opened the messages.

Message 1: She wanted to know why I had turned down her request for us to be friends.
(I’m sorry, I thought that was my right. Clearly, I was mistaken.)

Message 2: Apparently, she and I were the closest of friends, and by not accepting this request, I caused her tremendous pain. (Funny, I don’t recall this message coming from Melinda, Shannon, Frannie, or Patrice. These are my closest friends and each of their profiles are sitting cozy in my friends list.)

Message 3: She stressed the fact that she considered me a sister and she needed understanding. (Understanding of what??? I have four sisters and don’t need anymore. And when was I supposed to know about this sisterhood? We knew each other long ago when we were in middle school. And let’s face it, how close could two girls be in middle school? Seriously, girls changed friends like they changed socks, and from my memory bank, she was horrible to me!!!)

Needless to say, none of the messages were answered. I believe this was all the answer she needed. It is my business, and has always been my business to not be friends with someone, especially when it comes to social media. I mean, seriously, it’s social media! Yes I’m into it, but it in no way, shape, or form, controls my life and there is no one I feel the need to stalk or bully or harass into looking at my pictures and reading my posts. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! There are more important things in life besides unanswered Facebook friend requests.

PSA: If you or someone you love has fallen victim to this Facebook Stalking Syndrome, I encourage you to call 1800-GET-A-LIFE. Operators are standing by. Call today, you’ll be glad you did!

Today- I’m a 7!!!

I consider myself to be a perfectionist. I have a strong work ethic and whatever assignment I’m given, I complete it thoroughly. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’m a 10. At work, at home, and in my social life, I am both an overachiever and my biggest critic. This creates a lot of pressure. When I find myself juggling multiple tasks- work projects, home projects, social projects- I reach in the back of my closet and pull out my Superwoman cape. In my scrambled mind, there are people that need me and things to be done, and no matter how cluttered my thoughts become, I have to keep moving until all tasks are complete and everyone is happy.

In my previous post, I mentioned my miscarriage and my inability to have children. This is the most challenging and stressful situation I have ever had to work through , but if you ask me how, I sincerely couldn’t tell you. I didn’t know how to grieve. I didn’t know how to handle my depression. I even thought that I didn’t have the right to feel any of the things I was feeling and I needed to get over it all because I had husband who needed my support, a sister getting married, a classroom to maintain, and school regulations to implement on a daily basis. Any time spent for me was brief because self-inflicted guilt would set in and I would have to shake it off and get busy.

How did I get here? When did I get to the point in my life where my feelings and situations didn’t matter to me? When did it become normal to feel guilty about my suffering? When did the needs of others become more important than mine?

I had plans this evening. I have been extremely tired today, I developed an extreme headache,and I even told my sister that I would was canceling my plans. Then the guilt set in. I downed a couple of ibuprofen and was mentally preparing to fulfill my obligations. Just as I was leaving work this afternoon, I was loading my car and, somehow, locked everything in it. My phone, car keys, purse, everything! Now, typically this would freak me out, but today I just didn’t care.

While waiting for AAA, I was given a little time to assess the current situation, and then it came to me, like an epiphany! After a few minutes of soul searching, I realized that it was okay to not fuss about every little detail in every little thing. It was okay to lay in bed on a Saturday and do nothing all day. It was okay to leave my to-do list incomplete and “get to it when I get to it”. And since my keys were locked in my car today there was no way for me to fix this problem, not only that, I simply didn’t have to. Today I am leaving all obligations undone. Today, I’m a 7.

There is no rushing home to fold laundry, or lesson plan, or cook a ginormous meal. Today, I’m a 7. This evening I will eat something simple for dinner and I will leave the dishes undone. This evening I am a 7. Tonight, I will watch TV until I get sleepy, and then I will go to bed. Tonight, I am a 7. I will live as a 7, I will sleep as a 7, and tomorrow let the chips fall where they may!

I will embrace this 7, and catch my breath. I will think happy thoughts and focus on the things that make me smile, like my cat Naya, my husband Tommy, a warm bath, a soft bed! There is significance in the number 7. It is a sign of completion. As far as I go, it means I’ve done all that I needed to do in this day. And as I wrap up this post, I encourage you to embrace your 7. Release some of those self-inflicted pressures. Learn to take deep breaths and smell the fresh air! Don’t just sleep, rest! Take lazy days and make time for you. You do matter. Your feelings and situations matter also. Nobody knows what you need better than you. If you don’t treat you right, no one else will either!

Well, I think I’m done for now. I’m off to snoozeville to dream of unicorns and rainbows! Goodnight all!

***DISCLAIMER: this post was actually written 2 weeks ago but I am just now posting it. Why you ask? Because today I am STILL a 7!!! Bye!

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RESURRECTION MONDAY!!!

I am a Christian. This means I have developed and am working on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe in the word of GOD. I believe Romans 10:9 that tells me I am saved if I confess and believe that Jesus is Lord. I believe in the birth of Christ. I believe in his ministry, his truth. I believe he was put to death and I believe in his RESURRECTION! April 20, 2014 was the day that hundreds of people celebrated the most quintessential mark in history. It is the day that Christians were freed from their sins. For the politically correct, it was a day of Easter bunnies, baskets, and egg hunts; and for the church goer, it was the day to wear a brand new outfit and visit that place that is only meant for that occasion.

My pastor dad preached a message yesterday based on the empty tomb Jesus was buried in. He spoke on the women who went out early in the morning to anoint the body of Christ. They discussed the heavy stone that blocked anyone from entering the tomb and wondered ‘who would roll it away’. He shared the encounter they had with the angel who asked one of the most profound questions established amongst mankind. ‘Why do ye seek the living amongst the dead?’ It was a message of hope and rebirth and overcoming obstacles with the reassurance that GOD’S son would always be there to lead and guide us.

After such an amazing experience, I saw this same point of view in other media outlets and sources. It was, after all, the quintessential mark in history. This led me to think 2 very important things:
1. What are my stones?
2. Am I looking for GOD in a dead place?

The first question isn’t difficult to answer. At the present time, there is one stone I am facing that is blocking my path to peace. I am unable to have children. After a devastating miscarriage last year, I was in desperate search of answers and understanding. There have been a lot of tears shed, bouts with depression, anger, confusion, and a gang of other emotions I didn’t even know I was capable of feeling. At the start of the year, I was determined to find out what was going on within my body and find out why I was unhealthy for children. I began my search. Each visit to my endocrinologist (I am a type 2 diabetic) brought me possible answers but they were inconclusive. Each visit took me back to square one. I was exhausted, I was sad, I was frustrated. GOD told me to keep going. When I would cry to my husband about my lack in understanding this situation, GOD told me to keep going, and it was here that he told me that all the things I suffered were connected. The diabetes, the rapid weight gain and consistent size, the inability to lose weight and most importantly, my inability to carry a baby to term. I knew I had to keep going. I wanted a solution. I needed one. There was something off track inside my body and I wanted to correct whatever was wrong. This was about me. Or so, I thought.

This Easter holiday gave me a new perspective. (I love how GOD only gives me glimpses of my answers. I know it is to be sure that when all is said and done He gets the COMPLETE honour and glory.) I listened to the story of Christ’s final moments and I linked that to my situation. When he went into the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to GOD about his fears of enduring the cross. At one point he even asks GOD to take it away. This shows his humanity. We all have things that we have to go through but if given the choice would go another way. That is what this situation was for me. I didn’t want to go through this. I wanted to keep my baby. I didn’t want diabetes or any of the other issues, but Jesus concludes his prayer by telling GOD that it wasn’t about his wants or desires it was about the will of his father, and while he was yet going through this difficult ordeal, he stayed obedient to GOD. This showed me that this situation is the road I am travelling. No, I don’t wish to be here but, GOD has a purpose for me in this. Part of the purpose is to help others. I am going through this as an act of surrender and obedience to GOD. And even though there are moments when I feel dead or numb or sad or frustrated, I will keep pushing forward because my SUNDAY MORNING is on its way. I won’t wallow in sadness. That is a dead place. I won’t wallow in anger or bitterness- those are dead places. Depression- dead place. Hatred- dead place. These are not places where GOD resides. I will seek him in those places that are his. Praise, worship, humility, kindness. These are the places that GOD resides. In my weak moments, I will find comfort in knowing that he will be with me. He has already set my course. He knows the end result. And I should be so honoured that He chose me to carry out this task because this means He will supply all of my needs. It isn’t for me to know how things are going to work out, but it is for me to trust that GOD has already worked it out and everything happens on his time and not a moment sooner.

So on this RESURRECTION MONDAY, I’m taking action and so should you. We’ve been given a fresh start, a new perspective. I have been given the opportunity to share this once private moment with you all in hopes that it will brighten someone’s day and give reassurance to someone going through a similar situation. GOD knows exactly where you are, and even though it hurts sometimes, he hasn’t left you and He will see you through until the end. Cry if you have to cry. Whatever your stone is just know that by the time you begin trying to figure out how to roll it away, GOD will have already moved it and raised your situation from the dead!

Wishing you and yours a fantastic RESURRECTION MONDAY!

FUZZY SOCKS AND A BLANKET!!!

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Okay… So when I got home this afternoon, the temperature outside had cooled down drastically. Naturally this means that it is slightly cold in my house because hubs and I don’t usually run the unit when we are not home.
Anyway-
I walk in and give Naya some love- Naya is my cat- and change out of my work clothes and settle In for the evening. As I snuggle on the sofa and watch a little television, I ask hubs if he’s cold because, even though I am used to this sitauation, I am baffled from the temperature in the living room! After a few minutes, I reference the cold room again. This time, I complain. This travesty must be stopped- the over compensating question is- how???? The longer I sit on the couch, the more irritable I become! It just makes no sense to me now cold it is in this room! Did I mention that there is a WORKING gas fire place in the room?

In the hustle and bustle of absolute nothingness, on my part at least, my husband, who is super busy prepping dinner, walks by me and says, “Babe, just turn on the fireplace.” In the sheer brilliance of this suggestion, I still sit faced with the struggle of getting off the sofa. I simply don’t feel like it. Isn’t that shameful? (What’s that saying? Beggars can’t be choosers?)

AND THEN IT COMES TO ME, LIKE AN EPIPHANY!!! The solution to such unfortunate circumstances is FUZZY SOCKS AND A BLANKET!!! I run upstairs for my fuzzy wuzzies and as I slip them on, everything suddenly becomes right with the world and I can focus on more important matters, like reading Dr. Seuss’ I am NOT Going To Get Up Today.

The socks provide me a sense of peace, and the blanket- pure euphoria and then, this occurs to me. There are some people in the world who truly do complicate their own lives. Much of these complications are completely unnecessary, but it is as if some survive off of drama. They feed off of it. They need it for basic living. Ironically, this is not basic living. It amazes how calm my mind became as soon as I slipped the socks on. It was like watching a flower bud blossom into a gorgeous star gazer lily!!! (because those are my favorite!) I love those moments of clarity!

So, I am opting for simpler living, honestly because self-complication is a total waste of time. The concept of life is challenging enough without stressing over cold feet- the physical kind that is.

Well that’s all for now! I’m really excited to read my book! Enjoy your weekend folks!

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Black Poetry: A Tribute to Black History

This is a small collection of black poetry and the black poets that wrote them. Enjoy!

1. We Real Cool- Gwendolyn Brooks

THE POOL PLAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June.
We Die soon.

See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15433#sthash.Jt0vmveE.dpuf

2. Harlem[Dream Deferred]- Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

3. I, Too- Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

4. Negro Speaks of Rivers- Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

5. America- Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time’s unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

6. Homage to my hips- Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

7. The Crazy Woman- Gwendolyn Brooks

I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I’ll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.

I’ll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I’ll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
“That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May.”

LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST

An acquaintance of mine lost her mother this week. It is an extremely delicate situation, as it would be for anyone, but for this person it goes much deeper than the loss. In conversations we’ve had about life (and without exposing too much of her story) she’s shared with me the fact that she stopped speaking to her mother some years ago. Their altercation was never resolved. This broke my heart because now there will never be an opportunity to reconcile.

My adolescence was not best. I was subjected to a lot of grief by a certain loved one. From the tender age of 5, I was proned to verbal abuse. I was told I was ugly. I was told what to think, how to think. I felt low, useless, worthless, unlovable. I believed i was ugly and unattractive. It felt as if this person would take jabs at me whenever it came to her to do so. Please do not misunderstand, I was a handful as a child. i could be very difficult, i was defiant; but I don’t think the verbal beatings i took helped at all. The more down I felt about myself the worse my behavior was. I didn’t know how to balance any aspect of my life. But I knew that I needed something. I longed to have better relationships, I wanted to feel loved. I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to belong somewhere to someone. All of this was because I believed the negative attitude and negative words that came from someone who was supposed to care for me.

A lot of these occurrences took place in private. In public, of course, I was to pretend that I had a happy life. People would compliment my family unit and I could remember thinking, not even close. I learned my role rather quickly and carried it through my teenage, young adult and grown up years. Sure, I dated, hung out with friends, tried to be the life of the party whenever I was out in public, but behind closed doors I was the most insecure, saddest girl to ever exist. The jabs continued but they developed as I got older. It was in 2010 that I reached a conclusion to be content with not developing a relationship with her. I was prepared to be okay with this choice. But GOD always has a way to deal with me.

It wasn’t until 2011 that things began to take a turn for my personal life. I had to face all of my childhood demons. I was searching for answers from the loss of my biological mother. this search opened so many other things and I began to connect certain pieces. I learned the truth about my family. The truth about me. I had to look at the root of my insecurities because I’d learned to pretend that they did not exist. It was hard. I shed a lot of tears. I was angry and I felt justified in my anger. I was hurt. But it was here that I connected with GOD. I had so many questions- why did I have to go through this? Was I so horrible of a kid? Why did she hate me? Did she ever really love me? Will she ever love me? Why was I the outcast? This is what GOD told me: everything that she put me through, HE was handling. There was nothing for me to do to retaliate. What I needed to do was forgive her, wholeheartedly. HE told me this particular season in my life was not about resolving the entire situation but resolving my hurt from the situation. That is exactly what I did. It took some time but I did get there. I prayed a lot, cried a lot. I matured spiritually and emotionally, and I am so much better for it.

Death is absolute. It is finite. I don’t think I could live with myself if she’d pass away and I still carried the bitterness and pain in my heart, in my life. There is so much left of this situation. I’m not sure when the resolve will take place. What I do know is forgiveness is a beautiful place because its not about the person who caused the hurt, it’s about finding peace, GOD’S peace, for yourself. I can’t predict the future but I do know this- today I have the peace of GOD and it truly does pass all of my human understanding!