As the clock struck midnight, I was leaving my wonder years behind and crossing over into what I call, the other side of 50. It’s a milestone. After all, I have been floating around this great universe for half a century, that surely has to count for something! A celebration, a look back over the years full of changes, growth, and lessons learned with some being very hard and some showing me the reasons why. Either way, I was looking forward to this next journey. It goes without saying that even though I feel prepared for this next phase there are some questions about how I will handle what is to come.
Growing older is a gift that I cherish and never take lightly. Part of growing older is wondering what life after 50 will be like. Will I still be able to enjoy life as much as before? Or will I have to slow down and take things easy? These questions can be daunting, but there is much to look forward to as any of us who are faced with these questions enter the second half of our lives.
Great change and opportunity don’t magically end because you have added that extra year to your life. While it may be tempting to slow down and take it easy, there are many reasons to embrace this new chapter of life. From pursuing new hobbies and interests to spending more time with loved ones. It’s important to remember that everyone has a different story, but there is so much to enjoy and appreciate as you grow wiser and evolve into the best you.
As a writer, I often speak on what’s in my heart, what affects me and the things that matter.
On this latest episode of Being Black in America...
Recent gun violence has and continues to take its toll on so many lives. Losing a loved one at the hands of evil is the most unimaginable pain to have to face. After the shooting in Uvalde, Texas last year, my hope was shattered, it was devastating to know that so many bright young smiles were taken away.
And here we are again. Another mass shooting in Nashville Tennessee that took the lives of three 9 year old students and three adults. When does it end and when will change happen?
Well… Rep. Gloria Johnson, Rep. Justin Jones & Rep. Justin Pearson staged a demonstration on the House floor calling for gun reform and leading chants with a bullhorn. In an effort to have their voices heard after their microphones were cut off whenever they raised the topic of discussion, they took matters into their own hands to get their points across by any means necessary.
But no one ever likes to address the elephant in the room. Imagine that
Two of the state representatives were expelled. And what a shocker, they just happen to be black. Rep. Gloria Johnson was not expelled although she participated in the same demonstration.
The message is loud, but far from clear. Saying that Jones and Pearson had a “history” of being disruptive during proceedings is backed by nothing but fear of those who are outspoken and go against the grain. What that actually means, they should have known their place as two young, powerful and brave black men and only said what the others wanted them to hear.
I commend these young leaders for speaking up, for making steps towards a change even if those who don’t agree try to silence them. The ignorance is amazingly scary… this has only wakened so many who will walk with them.
I stand in support of their message, their commitment, the bravery it took to be bold, to speak up and be looked at as strange and different and most of all I pray for this continued fight and their safety.
PROTECT KIDS NOT GUNS
#thetennesseethree #gunreform #protectkidsnotguns
I’ve spent the better part of my life wondering what the plan was for New Year’s Eve. Where is the party and most importantly, am I invited?
Over the past few years, I have been asleep by 9 p.m. so there goes that notion of partying well into the new year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so much fun, but I feel as though those days are well behind me.
As much as I would like to say I don’t believe in resolutions because everyone makes them seem so cliche and corny, I believe in them with every fiber in my being! There, I said it! And let’s be honest, there is nothing better than writing down a list of goals and dreams that you would like to see happen in the new year and actually making them come to life. The idea of speaking things into existence is so very real. Health fanatics say you are what you eat right? Well, you most certainly are what you think! So, think big of yourself and all that you hope for, the sky is the limit in your own imagination.
But, before you can start on something new, you must say goodbye to what once was. Closure is just that. Sealing the chapters of what at times seemed like a never-ending story, it is now time to start the next chapter, and the best part of all, you get to determine how your story will go.
I can easily reflect on the previous year. All that I accomplished. The people I have met who have changed how I view certain aspects in life and the goals I was able to accomplish and some that I barely touched if at all. It’s ok though and it has led me to this bit of enlightenment. As you continue to step and grow through life, with grace you will continue to evolve into who you were always meant to be. How amazing is that?! And as you grow through this evolution, your entire vision changes, which in turn allows you to finally see the bigger picture.
Have you written out all that you have done in the year prior? Try it and I promise you will be amazed at everything you were able to accomplish in just 12 months.
List or no list, make it a mission to succeed at the things that make YOU happy. Not your family, your friends, your dog, or the energized cat running in circles at 2 in the morning, but you! It’s perfectly fine to do for others, however, it’s easy to get caught up and forget about what’s important to yourself.
As for me, I was not invited to the party and I was perfectly fine with that. I no longer feel as though I am missing out or forgotten because I can see the big picture. I can’t share what it looks like, just trust you will know once you see it.
Be well, be amazing, and take this new year by the horns and own it!
Hello 2023, I’ve got plans for you!
I noticed on the day of Thanksgiving that my refrigerator was acting weird. The things that were supposed to remain frozen were melting, and what was supposed to remain cool was now at a nice room temperature. Of all days for this to happen! I must admit I cooked absolutely nothing so there was no worry, however, I knew I needed to fix the problem before it escalated into an even larger mess!
As I began to empty my freezer of the frozen blueberries, perfectly pink raspberries and a grocery store supply worth of frozen veggies, I was thankful that my meat was still frozen. To the chest freezer we go!
I digress, per usual, because I am not here to talk about my silly appliance! However, in hindsight, the broken appliance is the reason that brought me to the conclusion that I needed to write this post, so in short the non-working appliance is to thank for this enlightenment you are about to experience. Don't mind this run on sentence, I tend to do that when I have had more than the suggested dose of caffeine for the day.
This past Sunday I awoke hungry. It was early, around 7:30 a.m. and I decided I was going to take myself to breakfast. There is a very nice and friendly breakfast/lunch cafe a short distance from my home, so I showered, got dressed and a bit reluctantly I might add, I walked in.
Hostess: How many?
Hostess: Would you like to sit at the bar?
Me: No. In the back of my mind I am thinking 'do I look like I need a drink? Or is this the place where all singles are seated for breakfast?!'
Hostess: Follow me
As I am seated at a table that is clearly designed for four I smile and remember the times when this used to be my norm. Venturing out and eating alone that is. There is a certain peace that comes along with the delicious meal I was preparing to have. I'm a people watcher, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I enjoyed the noisy silence. The conversations from the tables before and behind me which were somehow muted out to the point where it seemed as if I was in a world all by my lonesome.
That's just it. I was far from lonely. The reluctance I initially felt when walking into the cafe was the thought that someone would wonder why it was a table for one. Where were my friends or loved ones? That feeling soon left as I cozied into my chair and enjoyed the creme brûlée latee that I knew I would have to exercise off later. Not to mention the steak, potatoes, eggs and fluffy pancakes! But hey, no one is counting calories here! The food, the energy, the service, all amazing!
Life doesn't always allow you the comfort of company or a companion, however, that doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy the simple things.
This is by far my last solo adventure. Stay tuned! I'm kinda in the mood for something spicy and delicious!
If you are in the area check out Toast and Jam Cafe! I have always had a truly exceptional experience.
I like things. In abundance, not too much, just enough to make my space feel like a nice warm hug.
Not sure when the obsession started, that is, the need to have balance in the form of sculptures, pictures hung throughout the house in a museum-type vibe, and an endless amount of trinkets. Treasured gifts from friends cause those creases in an upward motion on the side of my face. Also known as a smile. Sentimental items that I treasure and tuck away and pull out when I need to be reminded. Mainly gifts that I have given myself.
Remember that balance I spoke of? Well, there you have it. If I waited for all the things I loved from others I might be waiting a while, and I am somewhat particular in my design approach. I'm a fan of treating myself, so I do it from time to time.
As I walk through my home I am in awe at how much I have accumulated. Never a need to ask why because I already know. In as much of a visual sense, space has become a feeling for me. I crave the energy of a room as much as I crave the sunlight. It's a definite necessity at this point, so I ensure that I am never denied of that need. I have accepted the fact that I am the collector of things.
My niece spent the weekend with me. We laughed, a lot, ate very well, visited a couple of antique stores, and had so much fun. If you like things as much as I do, you know what walking into an antique store feels like! And here comes that balance again. Amazing how that keeps inserting itself where needed.
It's early for some on this amazingly beautiful Sunday morning. The sun is shining and there is a breeze that feels like it was meant for the weekend. I stepped outside to pick fresh vegetables, chatted with a neighbor, and stepped back inside to sit for a moment. My mind is in full observation mode. What can I add to this space here or remove, I wonder? Never clutter, always purposely positioned so I have no worries there. For now, I will just enjoy it. Not some of it, not a portion to be saved for later, but all of it.
I should mention that at any given moment an urge will hit and off to a store I go, to gather nails for hanging a new picture, or a plant to go in that space that feels somewhat empty. Hey, the universe didn't create all of these great things if they weren't meant to be enjoyed.
Uvalde Texas, a small town with a population of a little over 15,000 and predominantly Hispanic is located in the South Texas region approximately 50 miles east of the United States-Mexico border and sits at the crossroads of the nation's two longest highways, U.S. 83 and U.S. 90. These highways go from Canada to Mexico and Florida to California. Honey from Uvalde hives was well known across the country and Uvalde was named the honey capital. A small town of citizens who dream big and take pride in their community. 
For most, routines are part of the norm. Hit the snooze on the alarm just enough times so you aren't late starting the chores of the morning. Crawl out of bed, wake the kids, make breakfast, get them off to school and start your day to accomplish all the things you need to before it's time to pick up the kids from school or meet them at the bus stop. Hearing their voices, feeling the warmth of their hugs and the coolness of their wet kisses on your cheek is at times the only things you need to make everything right in the world.
How does one go about preparing themselves to pick up the pieces after such a horrible tragedy? Why does the same nightmare keep happening all over again and how do we begin to fix this problem?
As I take the time to sit here and write this post, it all feels different. I can't recall the moment it changed, but it did and I'm beyond thankful for that turning moment in my life.
I've been running on fumes all week. Early mornings and late nights. Busy with my 9-5 and busy with challenging and pushing myself to dig deep and really get into my favorite past-time. It's not that I have been slacking, it's quite the opposite. I make it a point to create something every month, without the pressure of feeling as if I need to beat someone else to the finish line. It's a personal and attainable goal that makes me happy as a writer and creator. At the end of the day that is what truly matters.
With a mind busier than the strongest working bee, I have been hitting the keyboard as if it was going to turn into a sea of mud at the stroke of midnight and my words would be forever lost. I love the late-night thoughts, the hustle, and the feeling of clicking publish on yet another story, another tale, another FYI on gardening to-do's and not's, and giving another accolade to someone who has inspired me or maybe even the world.
They said I changed a lot, I said a lot changed me ~Fuckology
When I made my mind up that I was going to do what felt good, I created my website. It was hard work, but it was simple, a tad generic, and all mine! I spent quite a bit of time researching apps and fonts and making it feel like a breath of fresh air. I know I have accomplished that, with a few minor tweaks here and there. I also put a huge chunk of time into asking others for support. A text here or there saying hey read my work. Or perhaps in the midst of a conversation throwing in a subtle or not so subtle reminder that I have a website, and I, and it are amazing.
As I said in my very first sentence, I can't recall the moment, but the purpose changed. I am no longer consumed with those texts, or conversations asking for a comment here and there. I am not embarrassed to allow my thoughts to flow freely, nor am I asking for permission to go for all that I know I deserve. Don't misunderstand, I will always share my work where it's appreciated and without a doubt I want my work to be adored. I have high hopes as I should. I know there are times when I have made someone's morning a little brighter or offered midday inspiration and perhaps a thoughtful gesture because of something I have written.
Evolving is a process that develops gradually and I thank God and this oh so amazing universe for walking with me along the way.
The saga is never-ending. Just when I thought there would be nothing left to amaze me, I am amazed all over again. Homeownership has taken me through a few things. Some were self-inflicted and some were necessary to remain enclosed in four walls. A tad bit exaggerated but please allow me to be extra when telling the events of my real-life true story!
Visions of perfection, the right shade of pink, or the muted and sexy shade of blue are the images I had in my mind when I walked into my home for the very first time. If I'm being honest the vision I truly had was running in the opposite direction. But, I digress, so what was saying again? Oh yeah... Instead, I was slapped in the face with a dusty matte grey. I hated it! Well, fear not, my trusted followers, because my home is nothing like it used to be, except for a few rooms that I have yet to convert to a box of Crayola crayons. I just close my eyes and take a pick and hope for the best color to excite me. It's the most fun I have had with decorating and trust me I have done this quite a few times.
I've heard people say you shouldn't live for the weekend, well I certainly do! I enjoy my weekdays, however, there is nothing like the weekend when I can truly let my hair down and exhale.
With only two days to absorb any and everything that is not of work-related jargon, I take in projects here and there. Sitting down has never been my forte, which is probably the reason my grandmother would make the statement that I must have ants in my pants. As confused as a child could be, hearing that statement, I kinda knew it meant I needed to sit down somewhere. The problem was, I didn't know where that was, so I've been moving ever since.
My eyes target various weird things to get into. Noticed a slight smudge on the entry door into my laundry room, which creates a scrubbing frenzy to remove any signs of stress and dirt. Or perhaps, the baseboards that require close attention. If you get too close to anything an imperfection or two is bound to pop out and make instant eye contact. I'll just start at the basement level on my hands and knees cursing myself out along the way.
After relocating, my body went through a few changes. I'm not the same 24-year old so the recovery time was quite extensive. I listened to this body of mine on most days, and when I didn't it caused a visit to the doctor who advised I had a herniated disc in my back and would need to take it easy. As the doctor continued to speak a foreign language that I surely did not understand, I said no problem doc! Ok, you might be wondering what the hell I was doing to get to this point, but I don't even know. I mean I might have an idea or two, but who needs to talk about the past!
Back to the story...
The move put me into a state of pause. I felt as if certain things I loved to do had lost their flair and excitement. I was no longer the busiest bee in the hive and that was alarming. Cooking, decorating, and flowing into my own space. I was in an adjustment period and needed time to unpack in a mental and physical sense. Now that I feel rejuvenated, I find enjoyment in small, medium, and sometimes large-sized projects that I throw myself into. Getting back into cooking meant I was finally in my happy zone.
So, it's the second day of the workweek. I vowed after my last project that I would sit down and do absolutely nothing. But, that would be telling a lie and that just isn't my thing. I found the cutest little paintbrushes for a tiny-sized project. The grout in my guest bath is not of a color that makes me smile, so I bought grout paint. Simple and exciting right?! After this project, I have a few more but this is so easy I'll have it done in a flash. It's the story I always tell myself. Whether it's true or not will determine what new ideas I come up with.
Therapy comes in ways you least expected. I often speak of joy and finding peace as it is the backdrop of your life.
It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted. -Mary Flannery O'Connor
Bees are known to be very active. When summer greets us with the never-ending sunshine and beautiful weather you constantly see bees buzzing around and doing their thing. I asked google, why are bees so active, and here is what I found. 'This behavior is normal, and means they are settling into their new home.'
I rest my case. 🐝
I remember the series of events I am about to share with you as if it were yesterday. I moved to Atlanta in the Fall of 1996 after spending the summer with my boyfriend's family at the Summer Olympics. I had fallen head over heels in love with everything Georgia had to offer. The weather, the people, and the smells were all infectious. I was 23 and felt as if I could rule the world, yet I knew nothing about the world at that time and what would happen next. The choice had already been made in my mind. We were moving. Our parents asked what we were doing, and we looked bewildered. What do you mean? We are moving and we are in love. Aren't we??? But we had no idea about the meaning of true love and all that it meant.
As we settled into our first apartment in Georgia it was something brand new and such an adventure. If you asked me at the time how I felt I would without hesitation say it was the best time of my life. It was different, it was exciting and I felt a new level of freedom I had never felt before. Time continued to move forward as it always does. The excitement fades, bills are due and life happens. I started working and met new people that led the way to interesting conversations and new ideas. Suddenly I felt a sense of empowerment that I couldn't wait to share with my boyfriend.
I love myself!
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman