It’s been a bitch of a day, work was insanely busy, traffic a whole entire nightmare and you just want to get home to that hunk of dark chocolate, moist and delicious, melt in your mouth cake you brought home from dinner last night. It is single-handedly the one thing that will put a smile on your face. Along with a tall glass of milk to wash it all down. Perfection has never been as flawless as this vision of loveliness you have just painted in your mind. The diet will start tomorrow, but today, there is cake and that’s all that matters!
Your husband is picking up the kids so there is a small window of opportunity to simply do you for a change. The first order of business, kick off the work shoes, pin the hair back and change into something comfortable because it’s about to go down in approximately 6 1/2 minutes. For just a second it crosses your mind that maybe you should check to make sure no one has touched your cake, but they would dare not cross enemy lines and start that type of war. Besides, they remember how painful it was to eat dads cooking for a week after your skinny pop mysteriously went missing.
There are two sides.
Side A: You believe that a new year means a brand new you, along with the opportunity to re-invent yourself, possibly make a few necessary changes that you weren't able to in the previous year. It's a fresh start, your goals are prepped and ready for full implementation. You love everyone and your new profile pic is an image of a cute furry animal!
Side B: You are the same exact person you were before the clock struck midnight and there is absolutely nothing you want to change about yourself. Simply put, it's just another day and you are ready for the weekend so you can be left alone. Your profile pic is the same as it was last year, because once again, nothing has changed!
The new year is upon is, goals have been set and are perfectly in order however there is still so much disruption and unbalance that we continue to be thrown off. Adjustments are necessary in order to set our lives back into a forward and positive motion. It's as if we were hired as extras in a movie we didn't ask to be in. How do we escape what seems to be a scene straight out of The Matrix? Watching the world unfold is heartbreaking, terrifying and absolutely discouraging.
I grew up in Gary, Indiana at one time known to be the murder capital of the nation. If you calculate the number of residents against the number of killings the statistics might frighten you. It was and still is the place I call home. Hearing the news of another killing was just another day in the life of a girl from the hood. Moving away from my hometown in my early 20s I truly had no idea of the differences between two sides, the race wars that were brewing and the fight for justice and humanity that will forever be an ongoing battle. I was young, I had not a care in the world. I grew up, I started listening and my views changed which is the natural progression of most. So we hope!
The events of the past year were heavy which made it understandable that the world was ready for a fresh start, a new beginning and hope for a better outcome. Re-building as a nation is long overdue and it starts with the men and women who were deemed worthy enough to lead this great place of The United States of America. The stakes are high, the people are watching, the people are nervous and in high anticipation of a day when we can exhale and get ready for a much-needed woosah!
We all know what's going on in the world, there is no need to call out names and put folks on blast, they did a pretty amazing job of doing that all on their own. With all things there is a little rain even on a bright and sunny day. I'm highly optimistic however I would be telling a tale if I wasn't wondering where the silver lining was in all of this. The dawn of a new day brings about hope for change. Hope that the great people in this world can come together and join forces instead of continuing to widen the gap with confusion and anger. I choose to smile through it because frowning causes lines I am not ready for. And I pray because I believe in the power it brings.
Be good to one another, learn from the mistakes of yesterday and let's pick up the pieces and push forward. ☀️
I've spent the better part of this year trying to simply figure out the agenda behind it all. What direction will I travel in, what do I do now and what exactly do I say. While those are clearly questions, they are also the boldest statements and facts of 2020. It firmly goes without saying this is the year we all want to forget, and for many reasons. The year of unknowns, heartache, new revelations, fear and dismay. A barrier is defined as a fence or other obstacle that prevents movement or access. I think you catch my drift by now.
One of things people hate more than anything is being told what to do, how to do it and when they should do the things they have grown to love each and every day of their lives. Some of us conformed and some fought back with the stubbornness of a toddler who was just forfeited play time. You can turn it upside down, sideways, look at it through rose colored glasses, the picture remains the same. This isn't the time when you get to change the narrative without adjusting the plot twist just a bit.
It was a Saturday afternoon and when I initially woke my plans were to find something amazing on Netflix to binge and simply relax. As I started cleaning I realized I had never hung a picture behind my headboard. If you knew how OCD I could be at times you would know that every single morning it bothered me that there was this empty space looking all naked and lonely. Trust that it wasn't from lack of searching, but the problem was I had never found the perfect picture to hang, so I decided to wait until I saw what I was looking for. Well, no time like the present to skip on over to my favorite accessory store and just take a peek. After all it's free to look and I probably won't find anything anyway. This is my internal way of attempting to convince myself that I did not need to go shopping, but who needs that type of negativity in their life??? Off I go!
Twenty minutes later, 4 candles, a box of tea, and one amazing picture in my shopping cart, I was smiling from ear to ear because I knew that I had found the perfect picture after all of this time. It's the little things right? So they say. I have stepped into the chapter of my life where things have to be balanced with purpose. Where is that gonna go? Don't I already own 5 of those? Will it fit in my car is truly the only question that requires an answer, because I will find a way to make it work even if I am doing a tiny bit of hoarding in the process.
There are so many topics we would rather not discuss, and death is most certainly one of them but it's part of a necessary agenda that we all must face. Can we block those uncomfortable discussions and feelings and replace them with thoughts that only bring joy? Sure, but that doesn't change the inevitable doom lingering in the background. Faced with despair, loss of direction on what to do next and the feeling that there is no hope, you find yourself stuck in a spiral of doubt that often times gets much worse before it gets better. If we could erase thoughts like a bad dream it would be an easy task but unfortunately that's not reality.
The one truism in life that I have learned to accept as I grow older is that we are all born into this world, and we will all surely die. What that day is we will never know and quite honestly I don't think it would bring on an amazing sense of comfort if we did. Take a movie for example. Part of the excitement is trying to figure out what is going to happen and preparing yourself for the ending. Would you still watch that movie if you knew the ending in advance? The answer is likely no as it would take away the mystery and excitement and give you nothing to look forward to. And for some the answer quite possibly might be yes, either way we have to learn to accept that everyone has their own way of dealing with the inevitable fate that is death.
You know how the lyrics go, "I gotta feeling, that tonight's gonna be a good good night feel, tonight's the night, let's live it up, I got my money , let's spend it up". We all have a song that makes us feel this way, a moment where we forget everything, let go and just let the vibe completely take over. There are so many different genres of music, Rock, Classic, Gospel, R&B, Country, Jazz, Folk, Rap, Funk Fusion, Neo-Soul, Hip Hop, Reggae, and the list goes on and on. I typically listen to my music at deafening levels, but depending on the mood I sometimes keep it nice and mellow. If you have never shouted "huh" over your headphones then you have absolutely no idea what I mean! Music has a way of speaking for itself and it will let you know just how the song should be treated. Finding that perfect balance of bass and treble will create an unforgettable combination and you have now entered into what I like to call musical euphoria.
I knew the moment I saw them that they were coming home with me as long as the shoe Gods had a pair in my size. Fingers tightly crossed, a hope and a prayer and the mad search begins. As I walked closer, I saw a half size too large, a half size too small and the exact size. I'm serious about my shoes, so I went with what I thought was the perfect size. The moment comes when I need to try it on. Inhale in, exhale out! This is the moment of truth folks. Either my day is about to be ruined or in approximately 36 seconds I'll be skipping through the store like a kid whose mom just allowed them to get another pair of light up sneakers.
After years of trying on shoes, breaking in shoes, loving and hating shoes, I know a thing or two about what works and what doesn't. The fit has to be just right and if my toes are out I usually go a half size down. No overlapping of the toes either, and if I can fit a finger in the back of the heel it's just not going to work. Suede doesn't give very much so the size has to be on point. Leather will stretch over time and that gives me a little wiggle room. There is a fine art to this, so I gotta get it right in order to rock out an amazing pair of shoes. Now that the shoes are all mine, what in the world am I going to wear with them?
Make no mistake about it, every single person on the face of this planet has an opinion and most aren't afraid to voice it, be ostracized because of it, unfriended at the tone of it, or simply looked at as weird, unforgiving and downright rude because you expressed it. Speaking up and owning your voice is a cocky move and you should be prepared for those who just don't and will never get it. So, make sure your skin is thick and your sensitivity meter is turned all the way down, past zero.
What makes a person feel bold enough to say exactly what's on their mind without thinking twice? Some are born this way, with aggression and fierceness so powerful that everyone not only sits up and listens, but they dare not say anything against what you have just proclaimed as the truth. Some are a little meek and take their time finding their true voice, but once they arrive it's like new energy has been lifted and those in the path better take cover, and quick! I hope you're ready because this level of awesomeness is not for everyone.
Ever had a conversation with someone that made you say, hmm I wonder who came up with that saying? Of course you have. There are so many phrases and words in our vocabulary, and we honestly have no idea where they originated from and why we use them. We just know they sound good, and it seems to make perfect sense so it's added to our mental database and used when necessary. That is, until you hear something that fits the scenario, but it just doesn't quite add up so you embark upon a quest to find out why.
A conversation with a friend of mine, who by the way is an amazingly talented writer, said, 'That's about as right as rain. You know, one of those idioms I was talking about in my last post'. I said, 'Well rain is pretty awesome, unless of course it is about to ruin your plans, then maybe not so much?' Doesn't answer the question though. So, the light bulbs went off, and we were both kinda stuck with the deer in a headlight gaze. See, here we go again. But what does right as rain mean though? I volunteered to have a go at it, let's see what I came up with!
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"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