In Search of More

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

Mother Teresa

Okay so I’m working on my first book which will be fiction (very loosely) based off my life and experiences. It’s weird because I’ve never intended to write fiction, just tell my story. My truth. My way. With no filter. The response to my two short stories have created a surge to write the story of a woman named Faith and her experiences with a man named Teddy.

I’m so excited because the respect and appreciation for my short stories have increased my Twitter followers, Facebook friends and followers to this blog. This means that people get me. You don’t know how wonderful that makes me feel. It is an amazing feeling and I thank you for your continued support.

That being said, I have no plans to quit my job and write full-time (primarily because I love and need my health benefits) but I just want to share this woman’s story. What makes it interesting is that I can see parts of me, my friends, family and women I’ve met on this journey into everything I write now. We all want more. Whether it be a poem or short story I feel like I’m weaving a tapestry that tells one story for everyone…the search for more. More. We don’t want to settle. We know we deserve it but oftentimes we find ourselves trapped in situations where we accept what we can get instead of pulling ourselves away from things that don’t give us more.

My search for more has opened my eyes to things that I never thought I would experience and anthems about taking back your power that I am in awe of how I’m subconsciously moving and gravitating towards my destiny without even knowing it. In other words, I’m not settling. I’m asking, no rather DEMANDING more. More for me.

I hope you do the same love.

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I Like Control, But So What!

I mean doesn’t everyone like to take control of their life and plans and not just leave it to chance that they will be able to eat, live and have a career? I’ve been often told that I’m predictable. That I follow a set pattern when it comes to making plans and don’t tend to deviate from those said plans. Yep, and what’s the problem with that?

No, I’m not spontaneous. No, I don’t like surprises and no, I don’t tend to go somewhere on the whim. I am neurotic and my friends know and accept this about me (which they should because they are my friends) and they will let me know in advance of parties, play dates or drinks. I love that. If it’s not on my calendar, the likely hood of it happening are slim and none. Does it freak me out when I meet someone who doesn’t like to make plans? Absolutely.

But, I can’t change them. I want someone who will meet me halfway. Know that I like to plan and sometimes plan something or allow me to plan it. Yep, it sounds creepy and controlling, but it’s not. It’s just allowing me to feel comfortable about our plans. Heck, I just planned a getaway to NJ in January with my bestfriend to go to this restaurant that has over 30 different grilled cheese sandwiches. Yep, I’m a foodie who plans her food jaunts.

I probably should be in therapy about my need to feel in control, but I can save myself lots of money and time wasted because I know what the issue is…Lack of control happens when people don’t plan. Families break up. You go hungry. You can’t afford anything. You can’t afford doctor’s visits. You can’t afford extracurricular activities. You eat free and reduced lunch.

You grow up. You make great choices. You vowed to live each day better than the last. You control what you can around you. You control your life.

But, what happens when you lose control? What happens when things fall apart that you thought were supposed to work because you took the time, did the research, resolved and analyzed the outliers and it still fails?

You cry. You scream. You accept the inevitable.

You move forward. You grow. You make it through.

You create a new path. A new plan. You research, analyze and test your hypothesis knowing that it is all trial and error.

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Mondays are for Mary

A couple of weeks I gave you insight into how Beyonce’s songs helped me through a particular rough period, but now I want to give you a list of songs by Mary J Blige that will help you through your blue period where you’re hurting because a man or woman has hurt you. This is for my ladies…Mary’s Monday Music List is all about getting you to a place where you can reflect, respond and resolve to be in a better mood than yesterday and get past the hurt. Not for them, but for you. Trust, you will love this.

Let’s go…

My Life

Mary sings about letting go and letting God. You are not alone in your struggle. If you don’t believe in her, that’s cool, believe in HIM. Love it.

“Take your time
Baby don’t you rush a thing
Don’t you know, I know
We all are struggling
I know it is hard
But we will get by
And if you don’t believe in me
Just believe in “He”

 

I Can Love You

Haven’t we all been there and thought…I can love you better than she/he can? I know I have. But, sometimes we just need to understand it’s not about us but the person we’re trying to convince. If it’s meant to be…trust, you won’t need to convince someone.

 

Not Gon’ Cry 

But after you get to the point of realizing that the person is not going to love you the way you love them, you have to tell yourself that I’m not gon’ cry. Because that person is not worth the tears.

 

No More Drama

Okay, who hasn’t had drama in their lives? Whether you invite it in personally or it slipped in with someone you know. You have to get to the point of saying No More Drama. Drama doesn’t allow you to find and seek the good things in your life because you’re dealing with hurt. Hurt emotions. Hurt people. Breathe and release yourself. Mary sings…

Uh, it feel so good
When you let go
Of all the drama in your life
Now you’re free from all the pain
Free from all the game
Free from all the stress
So find your happiness

 

Just Move

Now, that you’re at the end girlfriend…Work it! No time for moping around. Get your happy back and keep it moving because you deserve it. Get it together and just love you.

 

So, if you’re going through a particularly rough time or break up know that it does get easier. Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is walk away and say no to foolishness. Surround yourself with friends who will love and listen and you can get through this. Trust.

5 Things Having a Boy Taught Me

I read this article entitled “11 Things Only Parents of Boys Understand” and smiled. Some of the things were definitely similar and relatable, but others I’m sure I will experience as Brennan ages. But, that list got me to think what things have I learned since having a boy? What are tips that I could share to other parents to prepare them? Have I learned anything or am I surprised by some of the things I’ve learned?

So, before we begin you must understand this…I never wanted children and when I did get pregnant, I knew it was a boy. I never doubted it. I didn’t need a girl, my sister already had a girl so a boy to love me unconditionally was perfect. My mom warned, “You could have a son that could be a daddy’s boy”. I scoffed and said, “Get real, he will adore his mother.” And you know what? He does. Now, he loves his daddy, but our bond is super strong and I love him more than I thought I could ever love someone.

His Hugs & Kisses Improve My Spirit

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with life or work, I just look to him to wrap his arms around me, kiss my cheek and say “Mommy, I love you.” It makes me smile and I begin to feel better. He is the best comforter I could ask for. Small in stature, but a big heart that beams with his love for me. Last year, I was going through an emotional rollercoaster and my son was the anchor that kept me together. I would literally have breakdowns and fall out on the floor and my son would come over and kiss me and hug me and say, “Mommy, I will protect you.” Not his job, but knowing that he was willing to protect me when I felt helpless improved my spirit and helped me to realize that I needed to get “a grip” because I am the adult and I need to be healthy and functioning for him.
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He Can Rationalize Anything

Brennan has always known his own mind and can rationalize any situation. Doesn’t mean that I agree with his rationalization, but I’m always impressed with how his mind works. Here’s an example: A couple of weeks ago his school had “Lockdown Drill” and he was telling me how he was the best hider and you have to be really quiet and hide so that no one knows you’re in the classroom or they may come in. I was mortified. I cried and his dad tried to calm me down saying “It’s okay. It’s the times we live in.” I was still hurt that my baby had to be taught that after the increased school shootings. He’s only six. The next night when I called him at his dad’s he said “Mommy, I need to talk to you about something.” I replied, “Okay, munch. What’s going on?” He said, “Mommy, daddy told me that you were sad yesterday when I was telling you about lockdown at school.” I said, “Yeah, I was kind of sad.” He said, “Mommy, you don’t need to be sad. Remember on Sunday when we were going to church and I saw that man get arrested and I said I hope I never get arrested and you said, you won’t because even if mommy and daddy are not there to protect you, God is always with you and he will protect you.” I replied, “Yeah baby. I remember.” He said, “Well mommy, I wasn’t scared. God was with me and he was protecting me like you said.” I just cried and thanked God for allowing me to be the vessel to carry this beautiful boy.
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His Aim May Never Improve

It’s true. Brennan can’t pee standing up without getting any on the toilet. It’s hilarious. I’m like dude, “I need you to work on your aim”. I know it takes practice and there are even some men who can’t get it in the bowl, so I’m not that hard on him. I just take the Clorox wipes and clean up the mess. Is it the end of the world? Nope. Do I actually sit on a wet seat if I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Yep. You get used to it.

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 He May Never Be All Star

One of the reasons I constantly put Brennan in sports is not because I want an all star athlete. I want a healthy child. I figure with one day of Physical Education a week, he really needs to get active. So, I put him in sports. He’s taken swim, soccer, T-Ball, basketball and Tae Kwan Do. Basketball and T-ball were an adventure. He never got the hang of dribbling the ball. He would pick it up and run around the court hoping the other players would tag him to try to get the ball. He liked tag. Basketball, not so much. His adventure with T-Ball was hilarious. He literally refused to play, practice or do anything other than sit on the bleachers next to me and his dad. When the coach would ask “Who wants to go up and bat?” He would raise his hand and run out with the other children. He would hit the ball and sit back down. Yeah, that was fun. How about soccer? The very first day of practice he begins to dribble the ball down the field and after 10 minutes grabs his soccer ball and walks over to the bleachers where his dad and I are sitting to announce…”Mommy, Daddy? Can we leave now? I’m no good at this?” We stared at him in shock and said, “No, practice hasn’t even started.” By the end of the season though he improved dramatically, it was his attitude changing that impressed me the most. So, soccer, Tae Kwan Do and swimming are it for now. He enjoys those sports.

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Jake from The Neverland Pirates is the Coolest

Yep, he loves Jake. According to Brennan, Jake is his best friend. He’s smart, has friends and has cool hair. Jake always gets the gold da blooms and defeats Captain Hook. Bored yet? I learn so much about cartoons and how my son’s character is developing because of his love for his favorite television show. He was Jake last year for Halloween and I still can’t get the sound of my niece and nephew laughing at his wig that came with the costume. She asked, “Is Brennan wearing a weave?” Nope, it’s a wig. He even made his real best friend Lauren be Princess Sophia for Halloween. When my best friend asked me to take her son trick or treating because she would be out of town and told me that her son wanted to be a pirate, I was concerned that Brennan would be upset. She said, “Don’t worry, his pirate costume is less flashy than Jake’s. He’s more authentic looking.” What? Yep, Jake doesn’t really look like the pirates in the movie. He even has a Jake book bag, lunch box, pajamas, swimsuit, towel and jacket. Not including the toys, books and action figures. Jake will rule your house!

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He Will Get Dirty & Sick

When I was younger, my best friend and I would say that we would grow up, get married and live next door to each other. Our children would grow up to be best friends like us. I would say, “Only mine will be in bubbles because I don’t want them to get sick or dirty.” She teased me for years. When I first had Brennan he had a wardrobe when he was still in my womb. Whites, creams and pale blues were optimal colors. Nothing was to light because he wouldn’t get dirty. I was too naive. The minute he couldn’t digest the formula and we went on a hunt for something that he didn’t hate was a wake up call. Formula stains don’t come out of a white Ralph Lauren romper. And surprisingly neither does a bowel movement from an exploding diaper. I had to realize it and just say I will buy him what I want and be okay if it comes out the wash looking dingy. I exhaled. But, sickness was something I wasn’t prepared for. It broke my heart when my baby boy needed a breathing machine because of all his respiratory infections at 8 months old. What about when he got bronchitis, got diagnosed with seizures and got swine flu? Yep, he was a sickly child and I had to accept the fact that kids (especially those in daycares) will get sick. It’s life. You just comfort and take care of them, use  your sick leave and thank God that you had the good sense to have a job where you have sick leave.


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I think that’s it. It’s hilarious how quickly they grow up and boys teach you so much about yourself. I’m looking forward to learning more lessons being with Brennan in cub scouts, a team mom and an officer in his PTSA. It’s an adventure with many trying times, but I promise you that you will love every moment of it.

Truth: Success is Possible

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”

― Abraham Lincoln

I love this quote. I think it sort of captures how I feel. I am afraid of success. Not failure. I think the possibility of disappointing those that love and believe in me sort of keeps me from stretching beyond my comfort zone. I’ve heard for years, how I’m good at this or good at that, but what if my friends are just being overly generous because of their love for me? Would I be a disappointment if I actually was a success? Think about all the one hit wonders and how they thought they would become a multi-million dollar franchise only to flop on their next album.

It’s pressure to be on top and more pressure to stay on top. So, what do you do? If you’re me, you stall, drag your feet and believe that maybe you shouldn’t do what your heart, voice and spirit are telling you to do. You delay yourself in the “what if” stage. Who’s guilty of that? Me! I am so guilty of thinking what if. What if I’m really not as good as my friends think? What if no one likes my stuff? What if I can’t pull off that big presentation? What if I stumble over my words and fumble the entire speech? What if…

What if’s hold you back from understanding your true potential because instead of pushing forward to your destiny and utilizing the best you, YOU get caught up in a trap of your own disbelief. You question whether or not what is happening is real or should it be real. You question whether or not you can actually change your environment or get out of your own way because so many people have tried and failed to do so. You actually hold up and hold hostage your gift out of fear.

Sound familiar? It’s my story. I’m not alone though. Hollywood has made many movies where people actually do the same thing and then have a moment of clarity and want to change. Think “Baby Boy – 2001”. Wasn’t Jody a grown man who was in essence a baby boy? Fear of growing up had stalled his ability to be a man and take care of his responsibilities. How about my all time favorite movie “Purple Rain – 1984”? Wasn’t the Kid’s whole issue was fear of failing because his dad never got his “big break” and his family life was jacked up? Let’s not forget the movie, “Cocktail – 1988” which is where I fell in love with Tom Cruise. The main character, Brian, had high aspirations, but gets sidetracked in foolery and then hesitates to believe that he can actually accomplish his goals. The main underlying theme in all these films is simple: Fear.

Fear of success, failure, standing out, etc. They feared something. We all do. We fear being happy so we sabotage our relationships. We fear abandonment, so we don’t form close bonds with anyone out of fear that they will leave. We fear love, so we block ourselves off from people and become guarded so no one can break down that wall. We fear success because standing out in a crowd and having people shower accolades on you is scary.

My fear is your fear. It’s hard because I have faith and faith and fear can’t coexist right? You have to choose. So, I’m choosing my faith. I’m remembering like it says in Hebrews 11:6 (NRSV) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” I believe. Faith of a mustard seed right? I need to remember that. From this day forward I am taking my life back and claiming this…I will not fear my own strength or success because I have faith. Faith that God will have my back.

Still not convinced how God can do it? Well, how about this powerful quote from Marianne Williamson.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Be blessed and remember this my loves…

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Vacation Chronicles: Tampa

I returned from a great weekend in Tampa bonding with my best friend yesterday and I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned about me on this mini-vacation of self-reflection. As many of you know, I’m doing a lot of soul searching during this time to try and find out what my needs are and what my wants are. Apparently, they’re not the same. LOL. So, I started from the minute I got to the airport and decided to jot down a few things that I learned or rediscovered about myself.

▪ I like flying. It’s only when I am taking off and my stomach does that flip and I think “Oh God, please don’t let us crash” that I truly realize what a blessing it is to be able to fly in an airplane. The best part about flying? When your airfare cost $2.10.
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▪ I can travel with one carry-on and not the whole world. I’m trying to downsize my wardrobe when traveling and only packing the essentials. This Tampa trip allowed me the opportunity to see if I could do it. You know what? I could and I did.
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▪ I like hotel living. Even after living in a hotel earlier this year for 4 1/2 weeks, there is something sweet about not having to make my bed or pick up my towels, wash clothes, cook or clean. Yep, I’m spoiled.

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▪ I can relax. I can actually sit back, relax and have a vacation without planning out every single aspect of the trip. I am letting go of my controlling tendencies and just going with the flow. Taking the road I think I should travel. No matter the length, I’m enjoying the ride.
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▪ I love sisterhood. My best friend and I have known each other since we were 13. This was the second time that we have traveled together and the first time for us traveling by ourselves. (not counting when she visited me almost every weekend when I lived in NYC) to sort of commemorate and renew our friendship. We had a very relaxing time.
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▪ I love the beach. I love water and I love sand. I love the feel of the sun kissing my skin so gently that my skin color turns a golden brown or as my friend described “a pretty orange color”.
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▪ I love trying new drinks that I’ve never tried. Especially when they’re cheap. I am a nerd with cool tendencies and I love it. Check out this cool drink I had called the purple nerd.
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▪ I’m simple. I like good food, family and friends. I also love a good book. Finished reading the entire Divergent Series. On to the next one. I think I’m going to read Black Women in White America by Gerda Lerner next.
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▪ I’m sharing. I’ve always been very private in my writing and sharing of information about myself, ideas and family and through encouragement from my bestie, I’ve learned to open up and let people in. This blogging and writing has become real and I love when people say that they can relate. It means you get me.

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This year has been one for the books. But, my faith has been strengthened and I am taking charge of my own destiny. I am looking into my future with courage instead of despair and believing, no knowing that I will be fine.

Black Marriage Negotiations

I ran across this video on www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com and watched it. I wanted to share this video that is going around on You Tube because I think it paints a pretty dark picture of black women and black men.

I recently had dinner with a friend and some of her friends and some of the comments mentioned in this video were things I heard these ladies say. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe you should settle when looking for a mate, but I do believe you should be honest and realistic about what you want and what you’re bringing to the table. Marriage is a compromise. That’s the thing people fail to remember. You don’t get everything you want all the time, but a good marriage means that you never miss what you thought you wanted.

Women get hung up on the fact of submitting to the man because he is supposed to be the head of the household. I know I did when I first got married, but I realized that God anointed and blessed my marriage. It was God’s will that Lee and I married, but we needed to submit to Him and put Him first in all that we do. Once Lee and I started to remember that we can do all things through Christ, it was easy to submit.

Women you need to realize that the scripture says that you are supposed to submit, but your husband is supposed to love you like Christ loves the church. I remember that from my premarital counseling. Isn’t that awesome? If he is loving you like Christ loves the church then you should have no problem submitting. Men need to remember that part of the scripture, but women need to submit. There is no negotiation when it comes to love, either you love someone or you don’t, so why are we negotiating when it comes to black marriages?