Past, I Have A Great Ass. Watch Me As I Walk Away!

In the past week, I cannot begin to adequately quantify how much my life has changed – personally and professionally (academically, holding P1010087very steady). At first, I was resistant, pushing against the shake-up that was threatening; and, the funny thing is, I am absolutely not a woman that is afraid of what typically must happen when our worlds flex, stretch and grow. I am not afraid of change.

So, when I realized that I was tiptoeing instead of implementing my normal signature four-inched “fuck-you” strong, confident stride, I checked in with myself. I acknowledged how and what I was feeling; then I shrugged that wimpy foolishness off and… I’m back! Don’t laugh – but I absolutely attribute some/a lot of what I had been feeling to the weather. But, not in the #ofcourseitscold kinda way; that I expect and accept – it’s fucking February in New York! But, what truly has been hurting my heart is the absence of my 4″ on my commute, from the moment I step out to when I return. You see, I have always prided myself on my ability to rock the inches from door-to-door; scoffing at the ‘pussies’ that needed to carry theirs in their bags to then change into their, ahem, 2 ½ inches at their desks! Now, because of the (legal) white-powder, I have become one of those women; and, I am being very serious – my inability to immediately strut my way through my day from the moment I step outside has affected my mood and my confidence.

But like I said, “I am back”! This weekend I begin a new chapter in life; and, I am looking forward to it! I have decided what will come with me on this new journey; and more importantly, what I will leave behind. I have made my peace. I have shed some tears and with that, some pounds. I have shrugged off the dead-weight that many times we are unaware we are carrying around – simply having gotten so very used to its presence. I admit to feeling ‘naked’, but free.

So this morning, I would like to encourage everyone who is sitting in the middle of the process that comprises a major decision, to make your lists, check them twice (or thrice), but when you’re finished being diligent and prudent, step out on faith – in yourself and your God. Trust your process and, trust all that you have lived that has brought you to this moment – both the wonderful and the hurtful. Take every bit of your experiences, replicate the processes that resulted in the successful moments and, scrutinize those moments that hurt and that looked like failure and use them as your examples… to either do differently or better. See, a ‘failure’ is only so if you never gain anything from it; but if you do – a lesson or an insight – then all that was was an invaluable “how-to” guide!

Listen, wish me luck. Know that I am rooting for you all as well! Let’s push through and shake this world up together; trust me, it’s why we’re here! Walk hard and strong; don’t leave any wimpy footsteps! Make your mark. Do not let anyone’s treatment or opinions of you define you; never give anyone that amount of sway over your life. One of the most fantastic things about being alive? The right to take a fucking permanent marker and leave your name all over life! Stop letting things happen to you; you happen to it!

Whew! Okay. New chapter about to start. I will not say “goodbye”, but “thank you” to the old – you’ve made me one hell of a determined woman!

 

 

It’s 10:00 O’Clock. Do You Know Where Your Loved Ones Are?

Have you ever felt so very overwhelmed, that truly all you would like to do is sit in the middle of a room – preferably dark – take off your bra and false-everythings, make sure to place multiple options of your favorite-everything drink (and, because this is New York, let’s also add, drug) within both arms’ reach, have your device ready to play that song that just “does it for you”… on repeat? No cushion; this has just got to hurt your ass as much as the rest of you is already stinging and, you’ve got to be in the middle of the room – how the hell else will you master that ‘Hollywood’ moment dictated by the prolific rocking back and forth? Oh; before I forget, you find on the cuff of your comfy sweatpants a piece of thread that is just perfect for what is to come – after all, this moment begs for something to obsessively pick at. Your mobile must be close – just in case. Have you ever felt so damned overwhelmed that all you would like to do is sit on the floor in the middle of this room with everything you need for those moments and let the tears silently fall?

Here’s the good news – If you are cognizant of building all these steps, you are just fine. Sip some of that wine (yes; let’s assume it was just wine) and get some sleep.

For those that open their eyes one day and find themselves in the midst of that scene I have described, unsure of how they have ended up in what seems to be a scripted “made-for-Hollywood-moment”, I encourage you to hold on. I promise, I absolutely promise you that there is help waiting for you. Believe that there is light. And, always trust that there is love.

“Nobody said it was going to be easy. They just said it was going to be worth it…”

 

 

 

A Reflective Perspective:

There are flecks of light and dark and of colors to

Their hue simply as a reflection of you.

The depth of a soul is residing within

I can’t tell you about it; shit! Wouldn’t know where to begin!

But, he moves with a strength that’s impossible to ignore

It is evident from the moment he walks through the door.

The knowing tilt of a head; a shoulder so broad

Give me a minute here; fuck! Oh Lord!

Let’s forget about that – look behind those long lashes

Let’s evaluate his smile; see if it matches.

If you pay close attention you’ll detect a quiet sadness

But he’s good at hiding; hiding behind life’s madness.

It must be difficult being viewed as an object

Knowing each time they look at you you’re becoming the subject

Of their whispers, their gossip and their childish desires

I’m hoping there is a special one that for your accomplishments, admires.

We all need a safe place to rest our head

That place where it’s okay to voice our dread.

Their arms, their chest, their laps should be ours

So open and willing – letting us stay there for hours.

Life has a way of testing our smiles

Verifying our purposes and vetting our lies.

It demands that we stay resolute in our beliefs and our purpose

Seeming to turn its back on the weakest amongst us.

But it also always provides us with just what we need

Oftentimes in the most unlikely of ways indeed.

There are always people and places of peace

With encouragement, laughter and wisdom that doesn’t cease.

Please never feel the need to do this alone

When it gets too bad, simply pick up the phone.

We each have those times when it gets too much

Those moments that can be quieted by a human’s touch.

The answers will come; they always do

Be still, be quiet; He will show up for you.

Continue to live, laugh and love

Much like the rain…peace will come from above.

Siriously?!?

Over the past few days, I have had myriad conversations that, on their face, seem to be about differing subjects; but which in fact, all climaxed at the same point – our society is experiencing a chronic case of a lack of proper etiquette! Simply put, it seems as if most of us have decided that our presence on social media far outweighs our social presence. I don’t know about you all, but I am quite flabbergasted and disgusted by society in general’s preoccupation with their mobile devices (and yes, this IS coming from a woman counting on the fact that at least once every day, you fire up one such device and read her shit)! I am so disgusted in fact that I have decided that it warrants a conversation. Alright… a rant!

Let’s address this. Since the elimination of the pager (aka beeper), the introduction of ‘call waiting’, followed by the mobile phone, culminating in the dawn of the “smart phone” era, it appears as if the smarter the technology, the dumber the user! I mean, one will truly have to be stupid to sit across a table from someone whose face is buried in a device! The prevalence of conversations that now happen between one person and the crown of another’s head is mind-blowing! If one were not so sadly aware of the lack of manners permeating our society, one glance at a table may suggest that all parties are involved in prayer – with piously bowed heads! But the only worshipping happening is between man (used in both the gender and gender-neutral sense) and his device. Sigh. It seems as if somewhere, contracts have been executed that have turned most relationships into threesomes. Yall are some stupid freaks! ‘Siri’ is one of the biggest (and smartest) whores I know – that bitch is involved with so many of you!

Seriously. I find it a very sad commentary indeed recognizing that so many of us refuse to unplug; indicating from our behavior that what is happening “out there” is infinitely either more important or more interesting than what is in front of or next to us. Don’t know about yall, but that is an insult I refuse to indulge! Sometimes I wonder how the hell all yall so-called so-very-important-people survived before some genius took your land-lines and photo albums and placed them in your pockets! What the hell kind of life did you have before you were able to announce to the world in realfuckingtime what you were eating and where the fuck you were working out?!?

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud, enjoy and benefit from the advent of the smart-phone. I (and my boss) appreciate my being able to check my emails while outside of my home or office; many times that is necessary. I also value being able to ‘reach out and touch’ my daughter at times via text or What’s App; I think it’s brilliant! And, I get a tickle out of loading my latest blog post on my Android and having it there to entertain me on my commute into work J . Got all that. What this is about, is not knowing or no longer caring when it is not appropriate to have one’s face stuck in a device!

For the most part, we have become a society of mindless beings; content in the knowledge that our most fulfilling and long-lasting relationships fit in the palm of our hands (and yes, just like its predecessor, they’re both hard, respond to strokes and only work when turned on). On my commute, walking in the street and in social settings, I marvel at most people’s oblivion to not only those they are in the company of, but more importantly, to danger. Instead of looking up and around, most people now walk (and even drive), with the heads bowed and buried in a device. The only eye-contact most make now is with themselves, verifying their retinal identity!

You know, as much as I pride myself on being ‘current’, I am even more proud of the fact that I have not become so enamored with the aspect of today’s culture that dictates that I replace my human interactions with pixel’d versions! I still value face-to-face interactions and conversations, rejecting its digital clone. There will never be an instance where I will ever rely on the text’d words in lieu of what I am shown looking behind someone’s eyes. I will always opt for stroking the object of my desire’s arm rather than mechanically showing my feelings with a damn “like” button! And, I will never become so blind to my safety or desperate for ‘friends’ that I find it necessary to “check in”.

Listen, all I am saying is this – absolutely appreciate the strides we have been fortunate enough to experience with regard to technology; they are nothing short of spectacular really! But, as with all things, use wisdom. Disconnect from the devices (trust me; you’re not that important) and re-learn how to re-focus and re-engage with the humans around you. Have conversations that are too sweet to ‘tweet’. Experience moments that are way too precious to ‘selfie’. Be so busy living and loving that you’re disinterested in stopping to update a ‘status’.

Challenge yourselves: #disconnecttoreconnect

Waiting To Exhale.

…..been a bit quiet lately. My inclination has been to hide; as if staying quiet, holding my breath and only poking my head out when absofuckinglutely necessary will change the fact that in twenty-nine days, it will be the anniversary of a reality that I still mourn and that I wish with everything I have inside of me that used to be able to make magic happen, I could have changed.

So this morning I have come up with a new plan; because quite frankly, wishing it away will not work. Today, I have decided that maybe if I were to start now and space it out, the impact wouldn’t be as severe on March 21st. Today I am hoping (yes; that day three years ago took away my ability to always pray) that this year, this year… I am wishing that this year I get to understand why my baby couldn’t stay. This year I am begging everything in the Universe that loves me, to bring understanding. And, if that is still not possible, please just bring some solace.

I’m going to take my time and start now. And maybe, just maybe, if I cry just a little every day, on that day, maybe the impact will not shatter my heart once again. Maybe.

I wrote this in remembrance of a reality that changed my soul forever.

 

Tears on my Inner Window Pain

For every memory of joy

For the loss of my little boy

The tears fall…

For all the wasted words

For all the pain that was not heard

The tears fall…

 For the dreams that were lost

For my heart that has turned to frost

The tears fall…

 For the laughter that you stole

For my pain that no one can console

The tears fall…

 For the trust that was broken

For my security that was shaken

The tears fall…

 For the nights that steal my sleep

For the wounds that go so deep

The tears fall…

 For my reality that has changed

For my life that must be rearranged

The tears fall…

For the prayers that go unanswered

For the smiles that I must master

The tears fall…

For the isolation that I feel

For my heart that just won’t heal

The tears fall…

 For your name that I don’t call

For the lie that was it all

The tears…

For the peace I will someday reach

For the lessons that this will teach

The tears fall.

Child Well.Fair

Parents kill me! Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with a parent of two small children… about the behavior of one of those children. Trust me when I tell you that I (yes, me) actually tiptoed my way through this conversation, as I understand how very prickly parents can be. And, especially those rearing (or throwing) them in this “current situation” we call the present world.

Being a parent myself, I understand the claws that come out anytime a conversation seems to start with, “let me tell you about your child”; because quite frankly, no matter how that conversation begins, that is what and how it is heard. But, parenthood aside, I also like to pride myself on living life and approaching situations from a perspective based in reality, not denial. As much as I adore my daughter, I recognize, accept and can admit to the traits and characteristics that may indeed render her a rung below sainthood. Ha-ha.

So, when I encounter parents that seem to spend more time cultivating excuses rather than good behavior and respect, I am forced to shake my head in disbelief and annoyance. Parenting in this generation seems to have adopted a culture of an overabundance of tolerance for badly behaved children. More and more there seems to be an attitude that dictates that the standard associated with the rearing of children is either the teachers’ responsibility or the public’s fault. Parents are getting less engaged in discipline and more interested in appearances. Shame.

Now, let me remind yall again that I am a product of the West Indies; so for those that don’t know, growing up in the W.I. meant little or no tolerance for rudeness, disrespect or laziness and a bar that was set pretty high with regard to work ethic, pride and behavior. Naturally, some of us learned some lessons better than others and some learned nothing at all. But, all in all, these were some of what mattered greatly in most households and there was hell to pay if one wandered too far across the line! And, this is what I’m talking about today.

Let’s address this. In no way am I stating that those of us born and raised in the Caribbean are better, more respectful, hard working, well-spoken, elegant and classy human beings (although we are; ha-ha). What I am saying however, is that being raised in households anywhere where parents are demanding of high levels of behavior and performance can only serve your children and the public well. Sadly however, more and more we are seeing households where, either because parents are disengaged, overwhelmed, single, struggling, over-worked, over-indulgent, absent… or damn children themselves, what is being let loose on an unsuspecting world are children that no one either wants to or should be around. Children that are spoiled, bratty and lacking in manners.

So I spoke with a (black) mother who lives in the suburbs and whose daughter goes to a school that has a predominance of Caucasian children. The reason this is important to note is that for many, that is an important indication of “having made it”. To have made it out of the areas that are heavily populated by blacks, in part so that your offspring will not have to attend (heaven forbid) a public school in an area where the teachers are (supposedly) sub-standard and the children are (supposedly) below-standard, for many is a very public symbol of success. I mean, no one wants their child coming home with the lingo of the hood! Right? So, my little sweetness was just rude enough that forced me to reintroduce the Trini in me; making the roots of my very nappy hair curl even tighter! I handled her little ass; then, I informed her mother that she needed to check this burgeoning behavior!

Now, I started this post with these words, “parents kill me!” and here is why – after her mother seemed to acknowledge that, yes indeed, there are behaviors there she has been noticing that need to be corrected, she stated, “But you know, it’s those little White children she’s in school with that are passing on to her all that rude behavior”. I shit you not! Wow! So let me get this straight people – our children’s behavior is never a manifestation of what we are either doing well or badly – it’s either the nappy-headed ones teaching them to curse and ‘wild out’, or the white ones teaching them how to pout and be a brat?!? Do I have that right?

Listen, I’m done here. Some of yall need to stop passing the buck with regard to responsibility. Living in the world necessitates that we all interact with others and are therefore subject to influence. Parenting necessitates that your influence is present, stronger and more lasting! Stop making excuses for their bad behavior and start checking yours! Understand as parents that the amount of tolerance you may have for your bad-ass child will never mirror the amount that I will! Stop doing your children the incredible injustice of thinking others will accept what you will; you are placing them in an incredible amount of danger that way. Your ‘cute’ is another’s ‘annoying’! It’s quite simple really – yall need to stop raising your children for your world and start raising them for the world…

 

Always A Groomsman. Never A Groom.

Last night, I had the occasion to speak with a young man standing in the middle of a room filled with people. This young man had approached me to, in his very clumsy way, compliment me. I graciously thanked him then steered the conversation on to more neutral territory. At one point, this young man blurted out (and I do believe he thought he was solidifying his prior attempt at compliment), “This room is so full of beautiful women I don’t even know where to look!” Sigh. Told yall he was clumsy…

 

He did not understand when I pointed out to him that unless he evolves and gets to a space within himself where he knows the answer to that quasi-question, he will forever be standing in the middle of a room full of beautiful women… alone.

“I Love Me. I Love Me Not. I Love Me. I Love Me A Lot…”

Never let it be said that I am not ‘occasion-appropriate’. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, today, we will address some love (and, well, I refuse toIMG_7540 write about it ON the fourteenth; just too corny).

I know that so many scoff at days like tomorrow. I too roll my superior eye at the notion that there is/needs to be a set date on a calendar that so any buy into; leaving a trail of red rose petals on the floor of their lives from one fourteenth to the next. And the truth is, from the rose-petal vendors to the jewelers, it is simply a day to stick their hands deeper into the red-lined pockets of the gullible and unenlightened. Sigh.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a Trini; so that means, imprinted on my DNA is the need and the predisposition to celebrate every single occasion there is. And, I daresay that we may even be guilty of making up a few as we go along. But, there is something about V-Day that sticks in my craw. It may just be that for me, when it comes to love, we need to be more original, more individual and more personal than a pre-packaged date. But, let me leave yalls ‘tomorrow’ alone; I said we were going to talk about love; so let’s address this.

Love. I have found that over time, the definition of this word, in truth, this feeling, has changed; it has expanded. In my twenties (Lord knows, in hindsight, nothing before that matters), when I only just got introduced to the ‘self’ I would now be, I thought I knew what it meant; I thought ‘love’ was simply the feeling I got when the object of my then-desire walked into a room. I thought ‘love’ meant butterflies; and the more wings, the bigger the ‘love’. Well, as I continued on my journey of self-discovery, thankfully I have come to learn that ‘wings’ are indeed an integral part of ‘love’, but with so much more…

I couldn’t have been a very good partner back then, because back then, I did not understand that to love, I had to be love. No one told or showed me that the very first lover I would/should have, was named ‘Fury’. It took me quite a while to run into myself, get introduced and begin to court. In my twenties, I looked here and there for what, later on, I realized was always ‘here’. So, when I finally realized what I was doing wrong, what I was indeed missing, I decided to truly get to know and hopefully fall in love… with myself. Turns out, I think I am the best partner I have ever had! Really J

So, I started a dance that to this day continues. I invested the time that I would have offered to others with ease and enthusiasm into discovering the woman that I am. I finally understood that to get the right partner, I had to be the right partner. I check in with myself constantly and am never afraid to address the shit that needs it. I look in the mirror and attempt to see what others might. At periodic intervals in life, I ask myself, “Would you date you?” I am truthful with the answers.

But the thing is, once I realized what I owed both myself and my potential partners, that responsibility carried with it an amazing duality. At times I shuddered at the weight of it all; even attempting to convince myself at times that, “I’m perfect just the way I am. You don’t need anyone who doesn’t love you just the way you are!” But, even I know that that is a lot of bullshit! I think that like in so many instances in life, we over-use any phrase, quote or cliché that lets us off the hook; that allows us to maintain our levels of mediocrity! A shame, really. So, I wizened the fuck up.

The other side of that ‘responsibility’ coin gave me an incredible sense of freedom. I thought the ‘butterflies’ I felt any time a lover walked into the room signified love. It was nothing compared to the liberation, confidence and pride I now feel every time I walk into a room! That is true freedom! That is love! That is having wings!

Listen, I live my life depending on not only the love, but the goodness of people. Every fiber of my being is connected to the yumminess that we can put out. So, please do not think that I (totally) hate what a day like tomorrow signifies for so many of you. What I am negatively brushing up against however, are the feelings of inadequacy that so many experience when sitting in the middle of tomorrow… alone. The injustice that whispers, “If it’s ‘just you’ in your bed when you wake up on February 14th, there is something wrong with you”. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. No! And, if you have bought into that garbage, then, you have not attained the comfort and confidence of the best love there is – that of self.

All I am saying here is this, someone standing next to you should not, does not define your worthiness. That is a quality, a reality that should/can only emanate from way down deep where the core, the center, the soul of you lives! Go down there and find out who you are and what you need. And, while you are discovering, be okay with dating you. Learn what you like, what you need, what you want and equally as important, please find out what you have to give. Always remember that as you do, so does the one standing right next to you, deserve the best. Be that.

Okay, for those in love with another, “Happy Couples Day”. For those in like with another, “Happy Almost Day”. For those who are single, but sad, “Happy Day”; and for my people out there who are single, content and understand that true love, the kind that only happens once you are ready, worthy and able to “give as good as you get”, I wish you all a very “Happy Good For You Day”!

Always remember, as it ends, so too does it always, start with you…

 

 

 

 

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