From Me To New. Sorry, You. I Meant, You.

We have little choice in the matter, so yes, we will all be turning our backs on 2105 and heralding in 2016. I say this because there are so many postings, statements and conversations centering around just how glad many are to see this year end; highlighting just how unhappy and unsatisfying it seemed to have been. For that, I am deeply saddened and sorry. It truly hurts my heart to know that the past three hundred and sixty-five days (or was this a three hundred and sixty-six day business?) brought such unhappiness and despair to so many. Recognizing that forces me to lend not just my voice, but certainly my best wishes and prayers for a much brighter, happier and successful year ahead as well. You have my strength when yours fails you.

This is where we will go with this conversation today – your plans for the new year. I said last year I am not the making of the resolutions type as the clock ticks down; I make (and break) resolutions or intentions every day of the year. However, I recognize that many are; and, I respect that. I respect the belief that is placed behind the notion that, “there is strength in numbers” thus driving many in their quest for change. I have heard and read so many, “I am going to lose that, change this, think the other” pledges and have recognized the determination behind all the statements. I wish you luck. Truly. I may not share your belief in this construct, but I certainly do believe in your belief.

Yes, for many of us this year has been a very tough one. There have been many realities of injustice and far too many loss of lives. Tears and blood have been shed enough to overflow many oceans and the reality is, before this night rolls over to next year, more is likely to flow. Pain has become as popular as the latest Star Wars movie. As common as an eleven year old with an IPhone. So yes, when I look at it that way I to pray for and vow that I will do my part to ensure this new year nary emulates this one we inhabit for the next scant hours. I to look at the ‘6’ with eyes brimming with as much hope and excitement as a six-year old on Christmas Eve (okay…. as my fifty-year old behind was on Christmas Eve!). 2016 must be better than 2015!

But isn’t this simply what life is about? The chance every day to do better? To be better? Shouldn’t every day then be a ‘resolution’? Shouldn’t’ the determination we all are carrying around in our pockets right now, anxiously and excitedly awaiting the stroke of midnight to fantastically and elaborately reveal to the world be our intention every single day we wake, regardless of the date? Like on a random May 22nd, shouldn’t we still be vowing to “be better, do better”? I’m simply asking (okay, I’m being provocative), “shouldn’t ‘resolutions’ be more than the latest accessory?”

Our world needs help. But, I will not be so demanding by telling you to go out and fix it. But, what I will ask is this – how about you set out every day, every single day up to and past January 1st (and even past May 22nd) to positively affect your little corner of this here world? I hope you know you can. The truth is though, it takes so much more than a sound-bite; it even takes more than good intentions. It takes action (and no, simply posting it on social media is not the “action” I mean!). So often we discount the difference simply deciding to not be an asshole in any given situation can make. Choosing to do right even when no one is around to applaud or publicly memorialize the action sends out amazing ripple effects that affects positive change. Leaning on morality and exercising humanity… fucking good stuff!

My pockets are full of money, my mobile, id and chewing gum (no, no condoms; don’t need them 😉 ) so there is no room for some yet-to-be-P1070093revealed resolutions. I vow today as I do every single day, to live fully, honestly and as close to a high sense of morality as my deliciously being naughty every chance I get will allow. 2015 had moments that hurt my heart, but it did not break me. The Universe allowed me life in 2015, so regardless the tough lessons I thank it. 2015 taught me and learned from me. I lost and I won so very much! I let go of some shit and gained exponentially in the process. I cried some big big tears and laughed my entire belly full. I turned fifty! I have and love my job and am kicking some academic ass. I have a beautiful home and am blessed with modest financial security. My child is healthy and happy. I found the strength in 2015 to turn my back and sashay away from people that I finally accepted meant me harm. I welcomed others into my space. I continue to love in the face of fear. I am alive.

So, as we say “Goodbye” to a year that has brought pleasure and pain, losses and gains, hope and despair and look forward to the promise of a brand new start, leaving behind our old shit, I wish for you all that you wish for yourself and then, just for the fuck of it… a tad bit more! May this new year bring you all that your heart desires and make your dreams pale in comparison to their realities. Happy New Year! And, thank you.


“OH! OH! OH!”

I’m not unique in this – the holiday season resurrects so much more than Jesus Christ at Easter. Wow! I also may not be unique in being thankful that (most of) the hoopla is over; again…wow! Don’t misunderstand, I love me some Christmas! In fact, I simply love any occasion that calls for getting dressed up, going shopping, getting/giving presents, folks you like getting together and well, food and alcohol. But the truth is, along with the festive spirit that is infused in seasons such as this, is the resurrection of feelings of loss, pain and loneliness. Heartache. For so many, while most are celebrating, enjoying and indulging, they are struggling, grieving and imploding. Give me a few moments here… let’s address this.

I was honored to be the guest at a holiday celebration on Saturday where, one of the forms of entertainment was a spoken-word/musical artist. At first glance/listen my impression of him was that he was a little “weird” – not in that let-me-lock-up-my-child kinda weird, but the artistic kinda weird. Anywho, I decided to reserve my permanent judgement (because let’s face it… that’s what we do, no matter what we call it) until after his performance. Fast-forward… after his performance I still do consider him “weird” but now I also have another description – heartbroken. What struck me from his performance is not his exposure through song of his heartache, but that that was what he chose to perform at this holiday celebration. Then it started me thinking – if Saturday were any random Saturday – say, in August, maybe what he chose to express would have been different; but Saturday was the day after Christmas, smack dab in the midst of what for some, is the happiest time of the year and certainly for others, the most painful. You see, very few things magnify pain, like joy. Few things isolate in loneliness, like togetherness.

Have you ever taken the time, while at any sort of celebration or social event to sit back and observe those around you? I don’t mean in the very superficial way of checking out the shoes, bags or outfits, or the equally unimportant way of sitting back and watching the ‘tricks’ of who is doing what with whom. I mean in the way that matters – truly looking at what’s beneath the smiles people offer or behind their eyes. Have you ever, instead of passing judgment because, “Do you see how much she’s drinking?” tried to determine just what is behind her need to drink that much that fast?  Have you ever taken a step outside of yourself to wonder what would make a man entertain with a song that speaks so poignantly of his personal loss?

I had a great holiday weekend; the only thing wrong with it was how quickly it passed. But even as I enjoyed the laughter, conversation and moments, as I basked in the security of love, I admit to having those moments that threatened to pull me back to a place of sadness. Moments that attempted to have my present (and not the one wrapped and under the tree) be bulldozed by my past. Realities that have already done their job in shaping me, but never in defining me. So yes, I absofuckinglutely understand the pull; I acknowledge the strength the heightened emotions of this holiday season has. I recognize the havoc it can wreak.

I listen. Not just to those around me, but I also listen to myself. I “check in” to see how I am doing and never, ever lie to myself (or to you for that matter!). I freely give the laughter and love and respect the shit out of the tears! I hide from nothing and stand up to anything. I fall; I get up. I bend; I refuse to break. I make mistakes; I ask for forgiveness. I hate; but my God do I love! I see pain; I soothe. The holidays wreak havoc on too many; just look at the statistics – the suicide rate at this time of year is mind-boggling. I am all for remembering what Christmas is truly about; but I am also an advocate for thinking of those right next to us. So often we spend more time thinking of the right gift and nary a thought of the right words. We place so much more weight on what we give than what we say or do. Think about it – I have never heard a story where giving a Birkin bag saved someone’s life (well, except of course if they were to sell the shit and use the money for rent and food to feed their family. But then someone who is in that kinda dire-straits would not really be the recipient of such a superficial gift, right?); but I sure have heard when giving a hug did. When sitting down to spend some time with someone at the end of hope did.

At a Christmas celebration a man sang a song about betrayal; he unwrapped his skin and exposed his soul. There was no “Dashing through the snow…” or “Ho! Ho! Ho!” for him. The details of his story are unique to him, but the story is an old one; so many of us may have a version. Here is what I pray for us all – that each day brings us farther away from the pain and closer to healing. I pray in this holiday season that our smiles are less for what we have been given and more reflective of what we feel. I ask the Universe to wrap up our pain and take it away with all the other garbage. And, I pray that as you throw out the dried-up Christmas tree, you find tucked away in the back for no one else to find or to touch… a large box, full of your joy that lasts longer than this season.


‘Tis The Season For No Folly

I haven’t been feeling very well lately. Not emotionally (although that is now being affected), but physically. I have been asked by the medical professionals and friends, “What’s wrong? Hurting? What do you feel like?” The best I can respond is, “I just don’t feel good.” There truly are no better words I can use to describe what I feel, what is happening; I just don’t feel good.

Yesterday I received the results of the blood and urine work I was ordered to take – everything came back “good” – cholesterol, liver, kidneys, iron, some other fancy levels that are depicted by some letters, pee-pee, good, sugar levels, good – yes, everything good. Yet my day ended in tears yesterday and started the same today; because, well, as I stated in paragraph one my emotional self has now shown up for this event. So, let’s address this

I was hoping whatever was causing me to feel so out-of-sorts would have been identified through those tests. In my head I had grabbed on to it being something as simple as an iron-deficiency, as I have been feeling quite fatigued and have experienced some light-headedness (not caused those times by alcohol; ha-ha) a couple of times. Doesn’t that sound like an iron-deficiency to you? But, no such luck. So last night as my sister read me the results (yes, the doctor-one), as much as I felt some relief that my blood and urine were clean, immediately following the conversation was an immense amount of fear. Because, now what?!?

More tests. My sister has recommended/insisted that more complex tests are done in an effort to continue to eliminate or identify the cause of my malaise. So now? Now, my emotional self has shown up. I am absolutely terrified at what will ultimately be revealed; because the reality is, something will. I grant that life for me – especially this season, with all the corporate events at work rubbing up against school and finals – is quite hectic; drawing on and sapping from energy faster than I could possibly manufacture it. I get that. I have attempted to console myself with the thought that as soon as school ends for the semester next week and all those corporate holiday demands are satisfied and rendered dormant for a bit, everything will re-center itself. Yep, I have told myself all I need is some rest and a backpack-free commute. Best case scenario. But, I know better.

I know my body… very well. I know when something is just a bit off and when it requires a tad more attention because, well, something is broken. This time, I am feeling the latter. Don’t get me wrong – not broken so much that it can’t be fixed, heaven forbid. But enough where more than a couple of aspirins and a conciliatory “there there” are needed. So yes, I listen to my body. Like a man with his woman I may not always heed the warning signs or advice given, I may at times think, “just let me get through doing this and that first” but I do listen. Listen, speaking of “listening” I was feeling so badly that my ass and know-it-is-not-possible-for-a-number-of-reasons self wondered if perhaps the cause of this foolishness was as a result of that other foolishness… pregnancy J That’s how desperate I am for answers!

Take care of yourselves. And, when life gets in the way of your being as attentive as you should, slow the fuck down. If not possible, try to catalog your feelings – both mental and physical – so that you can have a time-line to present to the professionals when you do go. Additionally, let those close to you know how you are feeling, so if you are not willing or able to address the situation right away, there is someone to look out for you, check on you and take care of you while you do other things. Truly. Do not do, “I just don’t feel good” alone. Most importantly, when you do go to the professionals, do not allow them to brush you off with either dismissal or disbelief. If you know something is wrong, keep going. Keep pushing. Insist they keep looking until they find it. Even if that “it” is an iron-deficiency. Demand the answers you deserve. Your life can literally depend on timely information. Naturally I am not addressing you hypochondriacs out there (at least not today). Your health is your life. It is a direct correlation to the quality of life you will have. Pay attention. Please…

Suit-Ably Dress-ed

I recently had an event and I asked, okay suggested, well, really encouraged, shit! I demanded it was a black-tie event. The reason I did so was two-fold: (1) it was an important event (what many call a “milestone”) and (2) as a culture, we constantly disregard not only our ability to, but certainly we negate the levels of respect layered throughout the simple act of getting dressed. “Throwing on” something has become our new-normal; mindlessly reaching for those go-to pair of jeans, a habit.

So, we dressed up. It was a beautiful sight – a room filled with beautiful and handsome people all spit-shined and coiffed! I remember looking around and feeling both pride and honor. Pride in all of us for the very obvious effort implemented in stepping up our game and going that extra mile… or three. And, I was and still am quite honored that that room full of people implemented that afore-mentioned list of effort… for me.

But as I sit and think back on that evening and all the bits and pieces that melded to make it an extraordinarily amazing one, I cannot help but to wonder why we have given up on and continue to turn our backs on getting gussied up more often. I wonder if the effort or what we consider the lack of worthy occasions motivates us to deny ourselves that experience. Or, have we just become so very informal, so blasé with life, its experiences and its appearance that our appearance has become reflective of our lukewarm enthusiasm?

You know what? I have always considered the way I dress to not only be an expression of my mood and my intent, but I have also used it to honor both the occasion and my company. For me, dressing is an act of respect. So, invariably one will find me to be the woman not necessarily better, but more than likely always more dressed than most (yes… even when in my little bits of clothing!). Without much thought and certainly devoid of grumbling I err on the side of appropriateness when donning my clothing (yes… even when in my little, little bits of clothing! Sheesh!!)

Now I will grant this may also be something influenced by ones culture; very much as the music we prefer, the way one dances, certainly the foods we eat or the cadence differences in our speech. Very likely our tendencies toward deciding on appropriateness when it comes to choosing an occasion-worthy wardrobe (not to be mistaken with a sense of style) can be traced to what had been instilled in us as we grew. In cultures that demanded – okay, influenced – a sense of formality for certain occasions – for instance, church, weddings, funerals, shit… any occasion that carried with it an invitation – and not no stinkin’ evite! a real paper invitation… ones “Sunday Best” was what was deemed appropriate. The cultures that promoted a much more relaxed attitude when it came to well, anything, will breed behaviors – salutations (or lack thereof), mannerisms and dress code, for example – that are infinitely less stringent and mindful.

I loved me some black tie business! Of course it is not something I can do every day, or even every other day; but it certainly was an experienceP1060926e that I thoroughly enjoyed and plan on repeating. I remember as I got dressed that day how sexy I felt! Yes, sexy. I remember putting on my clothing – piece after piece – covering up all those special parts of me and in doing so, feeling so extremely exposed and beautiful. Let me try to explain that. I black-tie’d to the “T”. For all intents and purposes I did it like a man and very few things have ever felt so feminine! So womanly! So fucking sexy!!! In covering up, in doing it up, I felt as if I held a secret – you know… kinda like Superman, under my suit. Except, well, my “S” stood for, stands for, “Sexy” J

Ask me out 😉

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