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Related DOES NOT mean friends

I know I know I know…. family is all you have right? WRONG! A lot of the time family can be your worst enemy. They can cut you down, kick you when you hit the bottom, and shovel the dirt on you even though they see you're still breathing.

I was watching Iyanla Vanzant's show on YouTube and she talked about family being forever relationships, the relationships that you will never, no matter what be able to end. And guess what folks? She is so right, you can't end it but oh you can separate from it.

With that being said what you have to learn to do is love from a distance. You don't have to go to every family gathering, cookout, or get together. And think about how much fun is it really to go somewhere out of obligation. That doesn't mean that you don't love your family it just means you're not friends. There is no secret treaty that says you have that you must be around those that you're related to simply because you're related. You are not required to sit in the negativity of others and allow that mess to seep into your pores. And even if you end up going, if the atmosphere becomes too heavy for your positive vibes it is okay to get up and get gone. You're grown you don't owe anyone any explanation.

There is a saying that I use to this day… "blood only makes you related it does not make you family". In life you figure out the difference between relatives and family. Hell I'm not even related to the majority of my family.

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Soooooooo I turned 38… What’s Next?

This past Saturday I turned 38 years old. So a few days before my birthday I decided to evaluate my life. I thought back twenty years prior and I was fresh out of high school, attempting to get as far away from my family as soon as possible. I wanted to be a successful lawyer, own a mall complex, be married with at least one child. Well, I have only ONE of those things accomplished. For me that was pretty depressing and I almost allowed my crushing thoughts to minimize the fact that I have been blessed with another year of life.

So instead of concentrating on all of my "Don't Gots" I decided to focus on the amazing things I have in my life. I am married to an amazing man who loves me flaws and all, I have a bachelor's degree in legal studies, I am working, though not in my field of study, and I have a great circle of loved ones who accept me for the woman that I am. That should be enough right? NOPE!!!!!!!

But what I can do do the work to make some things happen. I am not going to allow all of the things I don't have to hinder me from getting things that are still available to me. I realized, while having plenty of money would be great it isn't everything. I also realized that I can't be afraid to live my life, my way and blending in is boring. I am going to step out of faith this year. I'm going to speak some things into existence and not be afraid to be great. I'm not going to spend time with people who don't like me in real life because I don't want their drama rubbing off on me. I am going to seek the life I deserve and work hard to obtain all things my heart desire.

So I turned 38… what's next????? EVERYTHING!!!!!

Who Has Time for Grudges

I went on Instagram today and in 11 minutes saw that 2 guys I grew up with were murdered over the weekend…. so I pose this question… who has time for grudges? Why hold on to anger or hate or feelings of ill will for a person because of what you feel they've done wrong to you? Who is that grudge hurting more, them or you?

Read this sentence and if necessary read a thousand more times…. your grudge is only hurting YOU! The person you're upset with has more than likely moved or and/or don't even care enough to remember what they did to you. And you're sitting there rolling or eyes and overly expressing an exaggerated attitude that no one cares about but you. You know what I mean… you're the only sitting at a super bomb ass party big mad, watching everyone enjoy themselves because that one person is there that you refuse to forgive! And I know because I used to be that person. The one that would sit there with my arms folded, face twisted all up, and a mad funky attitude… just waiting for someone to ask me what was wrong. But guess what? No one did! No wanted wanted to sit around the fun stealer when the party was so fun.

So I learned to just let it go. And let me tell you a little #pettyfact 🤷🏽‍♀️, when that person knows they've done you wrong and yet you are still out here living your life that hurts them a million times worst than a grudge. True story, yesterday I was at the gym and I saw an ex that had hurt me really bad. He just left, no reason, explanation, nothing just gone. Now I'd seen him a few times previously but I told myself "what the hell should I speak for, he hurt me" and I would frown my face up and ignored him. But yesterday I walked right over to where he was and spoke. When I tell you I could literally see him lose color in his face (and he's a pretty chocolate guy) I was slightly tickled. And when I walked away I could feel the grudge lifted off of me. And in that moment I thought to myself who has time for grudges?!?!?

So take some time to think about the grudge that you may be harboring. And be honest with yourself about the weight it is actually having on your life. Then do yourself a favor… LET IT GO! Now I'm not telling you that you have to be that persons BFF or even deal with them on a regular basis. However, releasing the energy of that grudge from your spirit simply allows for space for better things.

I’ve made the decision 

I have so many thoughts in my mind, so many issues that I face secretly and I’ve decided that from this point I’m going to begin sharing because maybe just maybe what I am dealing with could help someone else. So I guess I’m going to use my blog as a not so personal journal if you will…. so here goes…..

This week I have been a part of a challenge called “5 days to mindset shift” in a group called the BeFree Project and it has been much more inspiring than what I thought it would be. Now I will be honest I didn’t get into until day two but this is how it worked. The extraordinary young lady that operates the BeFree Project, Siobhan, sends the challenge via email at midnight, each day. Then at 8 pm EST she goes live on Facebook in the BeFree group and discuss the challenge of that particular day. 

Day 2 was mediation, just learning to recharge and regroup. Now I’ve tried mediating before but my mind is always going a million miles a minute so I gave up. Well I tried again and on the first day I could feel how meditation is kind of like hitting the refresh button on your day. That evening we discussed the ways mediation can help in marriage, at work, when you stressed or even completely angry. So I am definitely going to do my best to stay conscious when it comes to mediation as well as just taking a moment to take a deep breath when it is necessary. 

Day 3 was particularly hard for me… no tv! Now I know everyone wants to be a deep as a paper cut 😏 claiming “I don’t watch much tv” . Well guess what? I do! I love the ID channel and I have to have my ratchet reality on Mondays. But I did in fact cut out all television yesterday and instead listened to inspirational readings from Iylana Vanzant and let me just say that lady seems to be reading my life like a book she wrote! The main reason that the challenge was so hard was because my husband watched tv anyway. But I just put my headphones in a went about my marry way. 

Day 4 was clean your work space. Well I am truly grateful for this one because I have a have a new job and finding the right workplace for me has been challenging. This challenge is also about disengaging with the negative people at the workplace. Well at my previous job, a law firm, that would have meant doing some major relocation. But even today at my new job I kind of got sucked into some negative talk. A woman who has been with the company for 3 years talked about how the owner and upper management tends to a a small circle and I will soon be able to tell how the company really is. Well…. please allow me to have a moment of truth here… I should’ve straight out told her, that is your experience not mine! But through mediation, prayer and reading I am getting there. 

All and all this chat has been a great experience of transformation and I am looking forward to seeing all of the changes and difference a deep breath will make. Stay tuned 

You Can’t be Serious (Chapter 15)

So he woke up with her beautiful face buried in  his chest. It took everything in him not to make love to this woman, his one true love, his happily ever after. But, he didn’t want to be used to get over the hurt and damage she just suffered. She snored softly and he painted kisses on her forehead as she slept. She whined and whimpered as if she may have been reliving the mornings festivities, and he pulled her in closer, just enough to allow her to feel him, but not to wake her. Soft 90’s R&B played in the background and at that moment he knew he was in the right place. He smiled, which he had not done in a very long time and he just knew.

What are you smiling for, Austin’s sleepy voice broke his train of thought. This just feels good. Yeah, I know right, I just know, she agreed. His eyes bucked, and he attempted to gather himself. She giggled, yeah that was so smooth Ravel! What do you know, he went straight in, no need to play games, he sat up and she made the necessary adjustments to look him in his eyes. I know that I’ve loved you since I couldn’t stand you, I know that I’ve compared every man that I’ve ever been with to you, even the one I almost married, and they never could compare. The crazy thing, she went on, is that I didn’t even know what I was comparing them to until today. Guys would tell me I was too clingy, or needy, or spoiled, or my mouth is too fly, and I’m too independent, and/or I was too quick to be like yeah I’m done with you. But today, I realized, you set the bar babe. Even at the age of 14 these grown men can’t compare. I do love you back, I am in love with you back, I just didn’t know it until today. She moved closer and the charge of their energy sparkled like diamonds in the rough. His eyes were closed but tears seeped out of the creases. Austin, you don’t have to say that if you don’t mean it, he choked out. She kissed his tears but I do, I mean it with my entire all. The right side of his lip curled up into a smile, he shook his head and pulled her to him. No sex until we are married Angel, okay? And without hesitation, she said okay.

A few hours later the two woke and went downstairs to be apart of the rest of the world. Ladies, Caesar said entering the living room area where the Carrie and Toni watched television. They both looked down at he and Austin’s fingers intertwined with one another’s. He paid them no mind, now like I was saying a few hours again, he continued on, hair, nails, make up, shoes, I know y’all got major work that y’all want done, so what’s the move. Toni took the bait, I do need to hit the mall for shoes and to find a bomb lippie! Oh and I think I’m going to take my dress back and get something else, plus I have to go get my sisters from the airport. Carrie’s eyes widen, they’re coming, well where are they gonna stay, she said with disgust in her tone. All of this mess is because of them two heffas, they ain’t… They can stay right here, Austin cut her right off. They are family and it is our job to make sure they become great women. Yeah okay, Carrie stated oozing sarcasm, until one or both of them are all up on your, your, your him. Damn, you’re just going to talk about my sisters like I’m not standing right here, Toni blazed out. They are all of our sisters, we have to sit them down and talk to them. It is our job to help Toni raise the into women. They have been through a lot, let’s try to do our best to keep them from making the dumb ass mistakes we made. Now am I going to let them have it? Abso-freaking-lutely! But we are three women, that have overcome some crazy issues and obstacles to be about to walk that stage and get those diplomas. They need to see us do that, graduate from college and walk into the world as successful black women. I’ve forgiven them and I love them and it’s all because I realized that I love him. Toni and Carrie snapped their laser focused eyes from Caesar to Austin, but she did not falter.

I know it may sounds crazy, but I’m seeing things so clear now, you two could only imagine. Caesar gently tightened the grip on her hand and smiled. So ladies, are you ready to roll, because I know this is going to be a long day and then only one day of rest until the big day. As they rode in the car to the mall a silent peace fail over the group. When they pulled up to the mall Austin and Toni decided to go shoe shopping. Well ladies, Caesar sighed, I am going to leave that adventure up to you. He went to go the other way, ummm new brother, I think I will go with you if you don’t mind. Sure, actually I would enjoy some one on one time with my new found family. Ravel do not go off spoiling her, okay, Austin shot a fake mean face at him and she and Toni disappeared out of sight. So, what do you want, Carrie said straight-faced, in momma bear mode? Like, you come down here and for what? She told you what was going on and you came down here to play captain save’em, you needed somewhere to stay, you running from something or what? He was taken aback, but so smooth with his response. Listen Carrie, I am not broke by any standards, I own several poetry cafe’s across the U.S. and a few in the Virgin Islands, before then I was a marketing consultant and I still do some marketing and advertisement independently. At that moment he turned to her with a kind of smug look on his face and said Google me and kept walking. She stopped dead in her tracks, but he kept going. Carrie doubled timed it to catch back up him. She fell into step with Caesar, so why does she call you Charles Ravel? Because that is my name, Caesar is the name I gave to myself, I decided to reinvent myself  because of some things I did growing up. But whether I am Caesar or Charles Ravel, I love her, I have loved her since I was 14 and I don’t care who she is with or what she is going through I will always love her. Though I plan on being the last one she is ever with. So how do you plan on doing that, he looked at the mother cub roommate and said, like this. She followed his eyes as they stopped in front of Bvlgari. Can you help me pick out her ring?

He Can’t Be Serious (Chapter 14)

The ladies and their knight in shining armor sat at the table eating in silence. IT had just went down and no matter how hard they tried to ignore it a million unanswered questions hung in the air, lingering like fog on a rainy fall evening. However, the only sounds that could be heard in the lady cave was the sipping of drinks, forks clinking on plates and breathes in between swallows. Austin attempted to secretly glance up at Ceasar, but her plan was foiled because when she looked up he was blatantly gazing at her. She ducked her head quickly and he let out a tiny snorting giggle. Okay okay okay, Toni blurted out with inpatients. Yo my main man Caesar, my homeboy, my new found brother ummmmmm, do you love her? Of course, he said smoothly with no hint of hesitation. Nah man, I mean are you in love with her. I mean of course you love her you guys have been friends forever. He slowly sipped his orange juice, dropped his fork in his plate, grabbed his napkin, suavely wiped his mouth and stated matteroffactly, oh I knew exactly what you meant. Austin’s head jerked up and her beautiful eyes were as wide as a dear caught in headlights. Tears gathered at the tips of her eyelids. I’m sorry, what now, Austin inquired. Caesar made a quick motion to get up from the table and all the girls jumped. He was visibly tickled. What’s the problem ladies I’m simply clearing dishes, everyone is done right? All three of the sister mates spoke at once, oh yeah, umm here, their voices bumped together. 

So what’s on the agenda today ladies, I know graduation day is in two days so y’all need to get hair, nail, toes etc done? Oh yeah so we are just gonna abandon the fact that you’re in love with Aussie, momma bear, aka Carrie, stated with an inquisitive tone. OMG let it go, Austin rose from the table. Her reddish brown skin tanning to show the spot where her ex had just assaulted her. She was visibly upset, tears softly flowing down her face, her hands shaking and her lip quivering. She turned and walked towards the stairwell. I’m just going to lay down, she called back as she forced herself to take the stairs one by one.

He loves me, like what in the hell, she thought to herself. Austin flopped down across her bed. Why had he never told me before? I’m so confused. Austin reached for her cell phone and returned to her 90’s RnB playlist. She loved music, it always took her to her peaceful place. She closed her eyes and thought back to when she and Caesar were kids. They lived on the same street only a few houses apart and honestly they despised one another when they first met. She giggled as she reminiscing about  their first encounter. 

Hey girl, yo hey girl. The chocolate young man zoomed past Austin as she opened the front door to her place of residence. She was 13 and her family had moved yet again. Austin’s mom, Regina, never stayed one place for too long, but always in close vicinity of the same neighborhood. She stepped out on the front stoop to see who he was talking to. As if he was reading her mind, I’m talking to you girl. Yeah you standing on the porch. Austin pointed to herself and began to curse him out like a grown woman. She dropped every F bomb, called him every name except a child of God, and threw her bowl of cereal that she was having for dinner at him as he blazed past her on his mountain bike. She looked at his face, he was a cutie pie, his skin was like smoothe milk chocolate, he had a thick afro, perfectly shaped and everything, long athletic legs, making the statement he played some sort of sport, and the most perfect set of full lips she had ever een. After a few more laps he stopped in front of her fence where the rest of the neighborhood kids had begun to gather to meet the new kids. Why y’all sitting around here at her feet like she’s somebody, bye girl as he rode off? 

She was yanked out of her daze by a knock at her door. She sat up on her, come in, she hummed through the door. Her childhood bestie slightly cracked her door just enough  to peek his head through. Can we talk angel face? He still had the perfectly milky skin, full lips but he wasn’t a cutie pie anymore. He was now simply just fine. Yes Ravel, she blushed as she spoke his name, knowing only she called him by his middle name. It slipped from her lips so sweet and gentle that you could see it land on his heart. Listen lady, I didn’t mean to embarrass you, but you know me and if I’m asked I’m answering… truthfully he stressed the word. When I called you that day it was because I decided that in that moment I wasn’t living by my own standards. I was with a woman for 3 years, living a lie. I couldn’t love her as she needed and deserved to be loved, because I’ve loved you since I was 14 years old. I called you to confess and to come and get what’s mine. Her brows rose and her breath hitched. His, what the! Ravel. No, he cut her off, I need to say this, I’m not expecting anything from you. He lowered his head and continued on. But you were going through it and I heard it in your tone. I knew then that I had to tell you face to face. I needed to look into those big beautiful eyes and tell you that I love you. He inched closer to her, I love you Austin and even if you don’t love me it won’t stop me from falling in love with you more and more each second. You are my perfect 10, the song my heart dances to, you are. Austin kissed him, a light sparked in her heart, her body, her soul. Austin, he pulled away from her kiss, what does this mean? His hands were shaking as he caressed the small of her back. Don’t over think this Ravel, she stated breathlessly. She needed to feel him on her, in her, over her. She leaned in seductively, if you love me make love to me. Take me, please, if you love me make love to me she attempted to persuade him. Ceasar quickly wrapped her in his arms,  attempting to shield her from her own pain. He covered her bruised cheek in healing kisses. Not like this. 

He Can’t Be Serious (Chapter 13)

Are you out of your entire damn mind, Nori looked at his cousin with rage in his eyes. The two stood eye to eye, toe to toe, for what seemed like an eternity, but it was really only seconds. Just time enough for Ceasar to take four or five silently calculated steps, moved Austin behind him and struck  with the force of 100 men. He punched Vaughn so hard that it echoed throughout the girls condo. He landed another punch to his ribs that folded Vaughn like an old flip phone. Fight me, hit me, slap me, you punk ass boy! You’re  no man he said as he slammed Vaughn out of the house. Don’t you ever in your life, he punched Vaughn so hard that he fell towards him as the punch landed square in the jaw of his target of fiery!

Charles, baby please no! Austin stood in the walkway as the two men clambered to their feet in the parking lot. No, I’m okay, I promise. Caesar heard the voice of his angel on earth and it broke him out of his violent trance just as he headed towards Vaughn. Aussie, he said with a low throaty groan. He looked toward the sound of her voice. Are you okay? He saw the tears rolling down her face and stalked towards her with a look in his eyes that she had never seen before. Are you okay, let me see your face. He softly reached for her, brushing his thumb over her bruised cheek. I’m fine, I just want to fight, but I’m too close to my goals. The two of them stood there gazing into one another’s eyes as if nothing and no one existed. Austin, you are so amazing, so strong angel, so everything. Austin saw his lips moving and with every word her heart pounded in her ears so loud that she couldn’t hear him.

Nori, Toni and Carrie stood in the walkway separating their condo from their neighbors and everyone felt what was in the air. Nori walked towards the parking lot, where his cousin was leaning against his car. Look at this broad, all cuddled with this thug! Is that what you like, corny thugs, he yelled in the direction of the two caught in one another’s gaze. Man open the door so I can get my stuff out of your damn car. I can’t believe you put your hands on her. I told your dumb ass we should not have come over here. You’re not about that life! You better be glad we didn’t jump you! I should punch you in the, Nori trailed off as he grabbed his keys and cell phone charger from the passenger side door. I’ll call a taxi, Nori stormed away. He had returned to their apartment after his blow out with Vaughn a few days after. He figured since they were family they needed to talk it out. Vaughn man I really can’t even believe you. Come on man, we could… Oh hell naw, Nori cut Vaughn off. I’m done fighting your battles! You talk tough with nothing to back it up. Nori walked away from the chaos.

Are you okay, Toni broke Austin away from Caesar’s arms, snapping them out of their trance. I’m okay, Austin rubbed her hand up her cheek. I wasn’t talking to you heffa, and just that instance they four of the burst into laughter. Come on ladies, lets go in and finish brunch. Vaughn backed his car out like a mad man and clearly broke the speed limit leaving the complex.