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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!!!!!

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?

R. I. P. to that girl I used to be.

I’m going to get straight to the point…. I used to be a mess. I mean HOT MESS! And I know that but I am willing to admit it. To me it is a part of growing up and is what helped to sculpt the woman that I am today. However some people want to act as though their lives are squeaky clean when they are right next to me doing ALL THE DIRT (don’t worry, I won’t name names). I am not ashamed of the things that I did. Instead I choose to be grateful for the lessons that I received from my past.

As the old saying goes if you ask a girl how many men she had sex with and she gives you a number, you’re suppose to double it. I say mind your DAYUM business. It’s no ones business but mine and God who I slept with. I’ve been tested and thank The Lord He decided to keep me with a clean bill of health during my dirty past. I will say this though I regret many of my sexual partners not because the sex was bad, but because I was looking for love and yet settling for sex. And after a while it made me detach myself from sex all together. And now the woman that I am has to fight not to connect sex with hurt as a did when I was a girl.

You ask have I been a “side chick”? Yep sure have and I thought for sure that guy was going to leave his wife for me…. He did and then got a girl pregnant while we were together. How dare I think that how I got him wouldn’t be the way that I lost him. See the girl that I was wanted something real and honestly I felt that the only way that I would have it would be to take it… WRONG because that mess broke me down to my lowest low and I only had God in my corner. But that situation knocked that girl to her knees and made me a praying woman.

As a girl I would go from five to five million in three seconds flat. I would fight boys, girls, football teams or whoever (those of you who were there knows exactly what I’m talking about šŸ™ˆ). I would cuss you out quick and did not care who you were or what consequences I faced. Now don’t get me wrong it is a struggle as a woman not to check EVERYBODY. But what I learned from being the “girl they knew would flip” is that people want you to flip and do their dirty work. Nope, not anymore… I will tell you in a minute call the police on their behind. Every once and a while I will get somebody together but I don’t have to put my hands on them. If I have to I will verbally assault you and your feeling without one curse word or raising my voice with a smile on my face. Being that girl that would flip taught me as a woman to pick my battles wisely and that ignoring certain things doesn’t make me a punk.

These are just a few things that the girl I used to be would do. But there is plenty more where that came from. I’m sure you get the picture though. I lived, I learned and I love the woman that I am. So R. I. P. to that girl I used to be!

Dear Me, I forgive you!

I have gone through, been through and done some things that haunted my life. I have told some lies, made up some stories and hurt some people in such ways that made me hate myself. I’ve been dogged and disrespected by people that I thought loved me endlessly so it made me think “what did I do wrong” and I just couldn’t figure it out. All of this made me hold the biggest grudge AGAINST MYSELF! Yep I could not stand me and honestly I’m still working on liking the individual that I have become. I kept telling myself it’s was my fault.

With all that being said the hardest obstacle that I had to conquer was myself. Regardless to what anyone else tells you such as “Let Go and Let God” it is not that simple or at least it isn’t for me. Don’t ever get me wrong I love The Lord but my flesh is weak. What I mean by that is I knew in my spirit that God had forgiven me, but my mind worked against that and still does to this day. It’s like a constant roller coaster that is never ending.

The feelings of contempt that I held against myself began to eat away at my soul and I knew what I had to do about it. The Bible says that God cast our sins into the depth of the sea. Well, I can’t swim but somehow I seem to get them back into my hands, back into my heart, back into my soul time and time again. So I had to figure out how to stop going to get them back. The answer to this question is the most simple, yet hardest answer there is… Forgive yourself!

I am working on forgiving myself and who I was so that I may continue to grow into the woman that I am becoming. I am understanding that some of the things that I did was because I was hurting and wanted others to hurt or that I was afraid of the repercussions. I had to take responsibilities for my actions knowing that I knew right from wrong and yet I made the decision to do it anyway. I had to face myself and force myself to face my issues. I cried with myself, I reminisced with myself and YES there was a knock down, drag out fight between me and myself.

And when it was all said and done my soul shook and was dead tired! I was absolutely powerless! And at that point when I couldn’t try anymore, fight anymore, I couldn’t even face myself anyone. I was so tired and broke down that I could not hold the weight of all of my sins anymore, so I asked God to take it from me and NEVER allow me to get to them again. At that point I realized it was not me that I was battling against it was the Holy Spirit. God wanted me to know that I could not do this by myself. I needed the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to help me handle my mess. I was not strong enough to hold on to it so it was a must that I forgave myself!

He Can’t be Serious (Part 8)

Carrie walked Nori to the door. Listen I understand that you guys don’t want to deal with DaVaughn but I still want to be a part of your lives. You ladies are so it I mean you are everything. Me or us, Carrie questioned chasing after something that she had no idea wasn’t there. Nori knew that Carrie was feeling him but he fell hard for Austin the first night they was her at the club working. Of course I mean all of you he said trying to dodge the question. Carrie quickly gathered herself realizing that he wasn’t at all interested. Oh ummm, do you think that you or Toni can take me home? When I made Vaughn leave I wasn’t really thinking about getting home. Yeah sure let me get my keys.

Carrie and Nori hopped into her drop top Chevy Camero and headed towards the school. The guys still lived close to campus, part of the reason being that DaVaughn liked having close access to the incoming freshman. So Nori how long have you been into Aussie? Yeah that’s right, I know and yes I still have a crush on you despite of! Nori was floored. He sat there with his mouth wide not having any idea what to say. Sooo… Are you going to answer me or nah? I know that what you wanted to do today was come in and snitch on your best friend, your roommate and cousin, but we kind of foiled that by putting her out of your reach. That’s some sucka type if I’ve never seen it before. And then you have the nerve to be calling that girl telling her all of his business like a creep? Wow I’m so not into you because I like men, not cowards like you. You better be glad I didn’t blow up your spot at the house, you better be glad because you know we will jump you, you better be glad that I don’t pull the hell over right now and put  your dumb ass out my car! Carrie was hot and she wanted him to know that she knew. Okay okay okay dang Carrie I’m sorry. I just wanted to help, seriously! And yes I love Austin… I mean love like in LOVE but I know that he’s my cousin so I could never. I just wanted to make things right for her. I want her to be happy and though I know it will never be with me I’m sure it will never be with Vaughn either, you feel me? Yeah, Carrie allowed the word to slip through her lips and from that point they rode in silence.

Nori knows for sure that he could never be what he wants to be to Austin. All he has is the memory of their first encounter. He and DaVaughn was going to meet some of their homeboys at the stripe club and hang out. They walked in and tried to find their friend in the cool chaos. As they walked around searching Nori caught a glance of a girl, a beauty walking through the club. He gravitated towards her as though something had take over his feet. He reached out to her but couldn’t speak. Umm hello sir she said with a smile. Hey hello hi, you are absolutely stunningly, breathtaking! Damn I can’t even speak. Would you like a dance or are you just going to hold my hand like we’re going steady. Yeah a dance, that would be great. I want a private one. That will be $300. Damn, well I guess right here is fine. And for the next hour he ended up paying her $200+. After dancing for Nori she went to the dressing room, showered and headed out. Nori, DaVaughn and their friends were in the parking lot. Nori said, goodnight Emotions, which was her stage name, and just that quick DaVaughn was all over her. After he approached her Nori knew that he had no chance.

Carrie pulled up to the boys apartment building. Well, thanks for the ride and really thanks for not putting me out there. I just want her to be treated well and as much dirt as I see Vaughn do I know that he’s not nowhere near good enough for her. And please let me say that I think you’re amazing and I wouldn’t be deserving of you or Aussie. You ladies are real women and I’m just blessed to have you all as friends you know. No problem Nori and I appreciate your apology. We are still cool and you are always welcome to come kick it or whatever. Thanks for seeing us as women and thanks for having my girl’s back. Nori got out the car and Carrie took off and headed home. Damn, she thought to herself. This mess is going to get a lot worst before it gets better.

He Can’t be Serious (Part 7)

Austin was finally resting comfortably in bed with a clear mind when of course her phone rang. She reached under her pillow and pressed the ignore button. He has nothing coming from me. I’m done, like all the way done. I can’t believe that I was giving that man husband benefits and I didn’t even have girlfriend options. She had so many feeling of disgust in her heart that she couldn’t even be hurt. She prayed to God…. Lord please give me the strength to heal from this hurt. I know that I have prayed for you to remove him a few times before but when you blessed me with what I asked for I turned around and blocked my own blessing. So Lord I beg you now please reign your peace down on me and allow me to hide my heart in You so that next man that I give husband benefits to is actually my husband. I’m done with love Lord until you say that I’m ready, in Jesus Name Amen.

She reached for her phone to check the time and saw that Ravel was her missed call. Okay Jesus please give me strength you and I only now my true feelings. She called her childhood bestie back, hey Charles Ravel Jenkins! She was so overwhelmed with emotion to be talking to him because she knew that she could tell him anything and never ever be judged. What’s going on with you lil momma, tell me something good? They had not talked in years before his call earlier today but they did not miss a beat, it was like they talked everyday for the past 2 and a half years but in reality they haven’t spoken in about 5. Well where should I start… I just got cheated on for my roommate’s sisters, I graduate in a few weeks… Whoa whoa whoa what? Did you say sisters, with an S, like plural? Seriously? How do you always get mixed up with the worst of the worst? I promise I am taking responsibility I just have to figure out what is about me that makes a man want to cheat, Austin admitted.

Caesar could not believe his ears. Who said you were to blame? Yeah we all have to be responsible for the parts that we play in every relationship, but let me give you a little insight. Guys that you date know that you’re a good woman because you show your cards early. You believe in being honest from the beginning and though most dudes aren’t ready to settle down they want to hold on to you for when they are. What they seem to forget is you may be forgiving but you are far from gullible or stupid. They don’t know where you come from and how you grew up even if you tell them. So you can’t put it all on yourself, just know your worth and don’t settle for less angel okay?

Thanks for the pep talk bestie! She giggled and he did too. I miss you man maybe I could fly down for your graduation and hang out for a couple of days. That would be so awesome you could come to my ummm job and hang out too. What’s the ummm about you must be down there shaking it, he said jokingly. Well… Yeah pretty much. I love it though and I work three to four days a week and because I bring the club in so much money I work when I want. Hey I’m not knocking your hustle babe make that money but remember who you are. I promise you I’ll never forget and I can’t wait to see you. Okay Austin I’ll let you rest, I can’t wait to see you either. They hung up and Austin drifted off to sleep.

He can’t be serious (Part 6)

The girls parted the door and allowed Nori entrance. We are not talking in here Toni demanded. Austin has had enough in the last 24 hours and she WILL relax today. Carrie suggested that they go on the patio in the back. They walked through the living room that was decked with a cream microfiber and tan leather sectional, a cherrywood entertainment center with a 54 inch plasma television and high-tech sound system, accented so well with pewter framed photos of the girls, their family and friends. Austin’s porcelain dolls were displayed on top of the entertainment center, Carrie’s Barbie dolls were incased in the pewter and glass trunk that doubled as the coffee table and on top was Toni’s crystal figurines.

Each room that was a common area had a touch of the ladies. And one thing was certain they did not live like college students. If you were on the outside looking in you would think they came from money but that was far for the truth. Toni, the oldest of 3 girls born and raised Detroit worked as a nurses assistant 40 plus hours a week since she got to Atlanta. Carrie, and only child born in Tennessee and raised in Philadelphia worked as a supervisor of a call center working almost everyday. She started working part time as a compliance rep and worked her way up. Austin, the baby of 5 born and raised in Cleveland, Ohioo, worked at a sports bar until she won the amateur night at the club and since then became one of the clubs top dancers.

As they exited the kitchen to reach the patio Carrie and Toni sat on the lounge chair and Nori stood nervously in front of them. So spit it out dude because your boy has some… Look Toni I’m not with what he did to her or you guys either and I’m about to tell it all. The girls looked at Nori shocked and confused, is he about to violate the “man law”? Are you snitching, Toni frowned. Give him a chance to speak Toni, God! Carrie tried to do her best to back Nori up. Definitely not snitching but I am not going to continue to sit back and watch him hurt her using the fact that she dances as a excuse. I know everything and I’m telling it all. We all know that she is 100% faithful to him and she never lied to him from day one and he’s been a dog since before that day. They all kind of giggled knowing that Nori was telling the truth.

Toni sorry to tell you but he’s been banging your sisters since we meet them last year. Shyra is all the way bad with it, but he got Reagan too. When they came here for Thanksgiving last year DaVaughn was all in Shyra’s ear and by the time dinner was over she had his number in her phone and they were texting while you guys were putting up the tree. Then he danced with Reagan at the club and by the third song they were in the bathroom. Your sisters be bustin it open dawg! All Toni could do was shake her head. Wow, I’m in total shock, Carrie said hanging on Nori’s every word. Oh and he still mess with his baby’s momma! The girls looked at each other as though their wheels were turning. Dang, haven’t I heard something like that before.