FindAWayblog

i would die 4 u

I’m not your lover. I’m not your friend. I’m something that you’ll never comprehend.” – Prince Rogers Nelson

Disclaimer: Jonesitis is a terrible disease. In most cases, people  suffer from envy, low self-esteem, comparing themselves to others and procrastination. Many people are troubled from this ailment daily, but have been undiagnosed for many years. The only known cure for Jonesitis is to become more self-aware of the individual beauty that one possess. 

purple rainThere is a sadness that comes with acknowledging that I am created in the likeness of God- meaning there is a piece of God  within me that makes me a god. Stepping into the knowledge that I can think a certain  way and be able to connect with my immediate environment and change the climate is quite heavy. With this knowledge I have the power to feel a certain way.

Jealousy can be an ugly thing when you crave attention. Low self-esteem can cause you to feel unworthy of the love and acceptance that we desperately seek.

Dig if you will the picture:

You have a lover that stays three states away. He/She visits sporadically and you also talk on the phone sporadically. During all of these spasms of warm fluffy feelings you have gentlemen/ladies more than willing to pacify your affinity for attention…. You, suffering from Jonesitis, have a chance to not give into your cravings but actually try to ween yourself off of your temporary high of feeling loved…..

What’s a dinosaur to do when there are kids on the ice? on ice

I reckon this angst is how the Supreme Creators feel when we become negligent towards Them. It seems as if everything is more important- work,money, fashion, friends, lovers, children, pets, jabberwockies. We are constantly texting, blogging, Facebook-ing, picking our noses that we tend to forget to say “Thank you”.

Thank you for another day of life. Thank you for a nose to pick. Thank you for the strength to carry on now that Prince is dead. Thank you for the ability to write.

Jealousy is unoccupied time. It is never too late to depend on the God who created us to acknowledge the god within us. Taking time to acknowledge this Presence may cause us to make choices out of necessity instead of disparity. The longing for love is the Supreme Creators’ way of telling the creators in us that They are with us and around us and They  need to be acknowledged.

We cannot control how others will divvy out their love towards us but we can rest assured that Supreme Love will never end.

Silver & Gold

” Winners forget that they are in a race, they just love to run.”  – Fortune Cookie

Disclaimer: Jonesitis is a terrible disease. In most cases, people  suffer from envy, low self-esteem, comparing themselves to others and procrastination. Many people are troubled from this ailment daily, but have been undiagnosed for many years. The only known cure for Jonesitis is to become more self-aware of the individual beauty that one possess. 

My former employer was a community based organization that was always involved in different outings. One of my favorite ventures was a big cookout that featured local bands. The goal of the cookout was to raise money and donate it to trackthe organization that would come out and sell raffle tickets during the event. It was like the Woodstock for non-profit organizations and I loved the scene.

One year, the Executive Director and I had this crazy notion that we would make tie-dye shirts ( but that’s another story for another day).

The following year, we decided that it would be best to pick a color that everyone could wear orange. I was sent to the Goodwill to find shirts for everyone. As I scanned the racks, I found what seemed to be a baseball jersey with the number 2 on it- I fell in love with it. Since I was the Administrative Assistant, I had the advantage of claiming ‘ grabbies’ when our company received clothing donations- and I used this perk every chance I got.  Like this memory, I still have this shirt and I wear it often.

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” – Zora Neale Hurston

The year I picked this shirt I had an answer for why I initially became smitten with the 2nd hand jersey that bore the number 2. I said that aiming for 2nd place was easier than going for the gold and I was perfectly fine with being known as the other girl. I even posed the question: If the number 2 pencil was the most commonly used pencil, why was it number 2?

Though I seemed perfectly fine with being 2nd best, I was not perfectly fine with being 2nd best- and my actions and reactions resounded louder than my words. I needed the praise and admiration of my peers and I was willing to gain it by any means necessary. I constantly  found myself competing with not only others, but myself as well- always trying to ricky bobbyprove my relevance  to the company.  This struggle spilled over into my social media profiles with many rants about how intellectually superior I am compared to others and the blocking of anyone who disagreed. I was an attention tyrant who could not be stopped…

Then, I found myself unemployed.

I was lower than number 2, I wasn’t even in the race. For two years, I had considered myself one of the pillars of an establishment but now found myself alone in a desolate place. I was forced to examine the thoughts, actions and deeds that had gotten me to this place. I began with the jersey situation.

Why was I trying to convince myself that I was willing to be overlooked?

Was I really okay with playing second fiddle?

These questions plagued my thoughts causing me to take an inventory of myself.  My tyrannical reign did not begin at my former employer, it began when I became an older sister-I willingly confess that I do suffer from Middle Child Syndrome. The birth of my sister evoked my need for competition. For about three years I was the only girl and had the adoration of my family. It was not hard for me to claim the spotlight because I was the center of the universe-or so it seemed. Then one morning, my brother and I were riding in the back of a truck that had a U-Haul connected to it. I fell asleep talking with my brother. I woke up and had a baby sister.

To my understanding, there were other instances that had transpired but I can only remember these glimpses of the past.

Overnight, I went from being the adorable little baby to the older sister- a position that I was unready to fill at the time. I being-mary-jane-speechwent from tea parties with my brother to coloring by myself in my room. I immediately started to act out for my well deserved attention, but unfortunately those attempts did not turn out so well for myself (or my rear-end). After a while, I had gotten immune to the whippings and punishments,  I began to do more life altering things. I had a daughter at the age of 14; barely graduated high school; married and divorced by 21 – the list goes on. I was willing to pay a high price for my attention fix and no one was going to come between me and my high.

Since the birth of my sister I made destructive decisions to prove my worth among both my family and other peers. This behavior has brought a strain between me and my sister, but throughout this tumultuous time, she has been my voice of reason and best friend throughout my life. She has taught me the power of self-discipline and determination and has always been proud to call me big sister. Her birth was only placing me in second by birth order, not in my worth.

Competition forces us to compare ourselves to others. When we decide to compare ourselves, we lose out on the opportunity to learn a new trait or gain a different perspective of life.

Society teaches us that there is only room for one winner so we fight our way to the top. We do whatever it takes to be number one. We do things, most times unconsciously, that could detour our fellow-man from reaching their goals and dreams. When we realize that everyone that enters our lives  helps us to grow as individuals, we begin to see people for what they are- Divine teachers.

* All images found on http://www.google.com

She’s A Lady

‘Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.’ Nicolo Machiavelli

My daughter has one of the best imaginations. I can send her to her room for a “punishment” but no matter how or why I send her up there, she always ends up having a blast. One of her favorite things she likes to pretend to be is a teacher or a secretary- two of the career choices that she has seen me perform. She likes it better when I play along with her, but she can have the time of her life without my presence just the same.

Yesterday was such a great day that we decided to play a new game- investigation.  Let me tell ya, this girl could put Horatio out of business, she really looks for all of the details. I was to play someone who was getting investigated. So, my first character was a mild mannered woman who had never been investigated and she was absolutely terrified of being around an investigator. During the theatrics, I had to step away for a moment, but when I returned, my daughter the director was ready for me to change my character’s position.

“Mommy, I know I’m a kid, but I need you to woman up for me.” she declared.

“I am playing a woman.” I respond.

“No mama, I need you to woman up. Don’t be afraid. You know how kids tell other kids- be a woman about it.” she responded.

I was taken aback by my daughter’s orders, how would she or any child ever know about being a woman at such a young work_at_home_momsage?

Then it hit me- I thought the same thing when I was her age. Growing up in a single parent home taught me a lot about the roles I would soon play in life. Though my mother worked hard to take care of my siblings and I, she also felt like her home was incomplete without a father figure.This made me view my mother as a weakling. By the time I was in the third grade, I was learning about how women could do anything that they wanted and here was my mother sitting around crying over a man not being present.

Television also made a huge impact on my views of womanhood. Many of the images that I saw were of middle class European women who were in control of themselves and big corporations as well. They made the bacon and also cooked it without shedding a single tear or murmuring a complaint. The images of  African- American women were of either strong, and driven women or highly paid prostitutes.

These many  images became the seasonings that created my contorted jambalaya of what womanhood should have been and my mother was not holding up that standard. She was the urban version of June Cleaver- nurturing, loving and repulsively submissive. It was like she was stuck in a 1950’s musical and  I was a 90’s hiphop video. I knew that I was going to be the leader of the pack and no man was going to out do me. I would never allow a man to tell me when to come and go and most definitely not tell me  to cook him supper. I was a material girl living in a material world and I wanted to know what have you done for me lately.

“It’s so disappointing to see some of these young girls that will never know what it’s like to be a woman. Not in age but in actions.” – Maurice Johnson

My perception of my mother changed when I became a mother and it continues to change daily with the many women I come into contact with.  With each passing day I become more and more aware of how my actions impact my daughter’s frotasticdaily interactions and I begin to change my patterns slowly but surely.

One of my biggest patterns is pretending to be strong when I am faced with adversity. This thought has been the driving force of my life. I must be tough and show the world that I can make it without anyone’s help- especially a man’s help. I don’t have to depend on a man to pull me through my hardest times, I have the power within to make my life complete.This thought I have found to be true to a certain extent: Though I believe that women can do anything that they put their minds to, I cannot deny the fact that men are needed in this world. No matter how liberal one may feel, babies cannot be produced without egg and sperm- point blank.

As I have grown I have learned that being submissive is not being weak, it is actually strength. It takes a lot to keep calm and cool when someone is getting on your last nerve or seems to be barking orders at you. Though my mother chose to be humble it did not subtract from her inner strength that rose to each and every occasion that presented itself. My mother worked hard to ensure that her three children attained a quality education and that they became productive citizens.

Strength is not being able to win every fight it is being able to decipher when to fight.

Let us not underestimate the “plain Jane” women who choose to devote their lives to raising their families with humility. Not every woman is fist fighting or breaking dishes at the dinner table. There are women who honor their husbands  and find it not strange to ask for their guidance. These women are also hard workers and some are even business owners. They are not primitive nor are they weak. They are my mentors, teachers, aunts, and mother. Their Divine wisdom illuminates my ever growing path.

 If you like this or any other posts on this blog and would like to read more please check out our magazine edition: Find A Way The Print Magazine http://madmagz.com/magazine/full/446229/kdwha

 

* Images found on http://www.google.com

Love Bizaare

“Lord, what fools these mortals be.” -William Shakespeare

For many years, I depended on the radio and movies to tell me what love was truly supposed to be like.  I thought that love was flowers, candy and someone standing outside holding up a radio playing my favorite song. I believed that I would wake up to breakfast in bed every morning and candle lit dinners every evening. Love would provide a nice house, car and shoes to make sure that I was happy and satisfied. Love would call me every half hour to inform me of the passion

say-anything3that burned inside and only my presence would quench the inferno that blazed. Love would relinquish all of my fears of unworthiness and would glorify me as the queen that I was. I decided that love was about perfecting the moment and the only arguments that should take place was about who loved who the most.

These images were my rubric that I based my relationships upon and anyone who did not meet my criteria would quickly be removed from my life. Valentine’s Day was always the way that I could determine if someone truly cared about me, the more extravagant it was regulated the person’s affection for me. This one day became a magic wand that made any other problems vanish. At one point in my life, I would overlook lies and two-timing just to receive something on Valentine’s. I  would also forget the verbal and physical abuse that I had allowed in my life because I needed someone to be involved with by February 14th. Unfortunately, I did not realize until many failed relationships later that love was more than material possessions and love songs.

After a while, I began to give up on love- thinking that it was made only for certain people. I began to ruminate on the unsuccessful liaisons that had taken place in my life. I began to think that I was unworthy of love and began to settle for being a part-time lover to those who would sneak away for a couple of moments of pleasure. I would unscrupulously involve myself with guys who were unable to give or receive love, forcing myself to believe that that was the only way to get the love and attention that I deserved.

“We all want the stuff that’s found in our wildest dreams.” – Sheila Escovedo

love-is-you-love-30949107-960-854As I have grown I have discovered that love begins within ourselves. Love reaches deep inside and provides a compass of how we want others to treat us. Love encourages us to be patient  with ourselves and one another. Love produces a light that cannot be blown out by the lack of material trappings and refuses to leave us in a state of pain. Love is being able to accept our human  imperfections and meet each other at the soul level.  Love is given to everyone and it is our duty to nurture and cultivate it.

* Images found on http://www.google.com

Only For A Limited Time

For one month out of a 12-month calendar year, the African American Community comes together to celebrate more than bhm400 years of achievements and strides made by our ancestors. In my youth, since I was so disconnected from my history, I felt like it was fitting for my people to learn of our rich and sordid pasts. I can remember being in the 9th grade getting upset that we no longer celebrated Black History month like we did in elementary and middle school. My friends and I would cause a ruckus when we did not hear of the great contributions of the people that fought for our civil liberties as African- Americans to be in desegregated classrooms and diners.

As I grew and began to learn of my ancestors, I began to question my motives.

My first question was: How can we fit 400+ years of achievements into a 28-day month without missing some great details?

My second inquiry was: Why is this one month the only month that my culture comes together to celebrate each other?

The second inquiry was the most pressing. For one month, there is minimal fights, thefts and deaths that take place in the urban community but the other eleven are  saturated with hate and fatalities. For one month my community is more loving and gracious for each other but as soon as March 1st arrives we are back to our same shenanigans of self-hate and more thancommunity degradation.

Why can’t we celebrate our ancestors all year round?  If our pride and love is only offered for a limited time, how will we move forward to accomplish more goals? Do we celebrate Black History month because we need to be reminded that we were more in unison with each other when we were enslaved?

I think that it would behoove us as a society to begin to embrace each other every day of the year to create a  new foundation of honor and respect for one another.  Until we begin the process of daily encouragement and education we will continue to be forced to look upon our former glory as we forfeit the potential of having a brilliant latter that our children and grandchildren can  look upon and embrace.

*Images found on http://www.google.com

In The Name Of

“The tendency to turn human judgement into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.” – George Harkness

I was in the 10th grade when the September 11th attacks took place. I was on my way to World History class where we were learning about The Crusades. When I entered the classroom I heard a reporter on the television, “Oh great!” I thought. “We’re watching a movie, NAP TIME!” I ran over to my desk to place my book bag on the floor, I looked up and saw an airplane crash into the side of the World Trade Center. For the days that followed I learned that the attack was crusadescaused by terrorists declaring war in the name of Allah and they were ready and willing to do more damage.

In the second semester of the  year that I attended college I took an Intro to Communications class and really enjoyed it (on the days that I decided to go). For a group assignment we were split into groups of five and were given a country to research and deliver an oral presentation. The group was to give each person a sub-topic that would describe the culture of the given province.

My group was given India and I was to research the religions that were practiced. I was truly overwhelmed with mixed emotions. On one hand, I was given an opportunity to learn something new and to talk about it. On the other, I had to present without any biases or judgement.  As I began to research, I discovered that the three major religions were all striving for “peace”. This took me aback because growing up in a Christian American home I had come to think that anything else outside of the name of Jesus was rebellion and anarchy.I remember going to church and denouncing anyone 2 is the loneliestthat worshiped anyone but Jesus Christ.

As I delved deeper into my research I realized that each religion had more things in common than they differentiated on. Just like Christianity- Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism encourages  peace and love through prayer and self-examination by submitting one’s self to the higher Divine Power. This finding caused me to ponder the reason for war in the world; so many wars have began in the name of God and the right religion.

“We’re all a part of the same One God” -Russell Simmons

That assignment awakened a thirst of spiritual knowledge for me and for the past couple of years I have found myself pinching a few practices of each religion and incorporating it into my daily quiet time.The more I learned of each religion, there were  less  reservations I held towards them. I have benefited from taking two 15-minutes breaks to be still and would like to practice Yoga in the near future. I have not gotten up to praying five times a day, but I do make a conscious decision to do so at least three. I have gleaned so much from all religions that I have gained a healthy eye and eyerespect for them all.

Religion forces us to fight for what’s right and destroy anything that is wrong while spirituality encourages us to see the Divine in all. With religion, we tend to focus on what we believe instead of the things that we should  know that are essential to have to be a positive force in our society.  When we release religion and embrace spirituality, we begin to realize that our Creator  is the Father of many. Like a good Father he wants all of His children to be healthy, productive  and happy.

 

*Images found on http://www.google.com

Salt

“The end did not forget the beginning, nor did the beginning remain sterile to the end.” – James V. Schall

 

“You were born a nigger, you gone be a nigger and you gone die a nigger.”  he  proclaimed smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

It pierced through my body, sending a shock that knocked  the breath out of me, awakening a quiet rage that swirled like kuntacreamer in coffee. In disbelief, I stood there hoping to wake up and it would all had been a dream. I felt my expression change as the blood began to rise to my face. The lump that always comes to my throat when I want to fight back my tears rose like a dam that was about to gush through the seams of my cheeks.

That phrase pulled me back into a past hurt that my ancestors bore. The more I tried to move past that pain, something inside of me kept me looking back at the shackles that my predecessors were forced to wear around their hands and feet. As I continued to reflect on all of the horrid depictions of the former, I became frozen in the thoughts of history and how it continued to repeat itself.

“Is that what you think of me?” I asked slanting my head hoping that through my glasses he saw more. More than the girl who had tried so hard to win the affections and respect that he rendered. More than a government dependent junkie waiting for her food stamps to come in. More than an affirmative action charity case from the bad side of the tracks. More than a “wannabe like him so I wouldn’t have to deal with remarks rendered by a society that had labeled me since birth” type of person

I don’t remember ever crying as much as I did that day. It was an angry cry. A cry that wanted to burn the building down and light a cigarette from the inferno. This was 2014 man! This was the present. We don’t say that word in this part of Georgia without  somebody getting cussed out or sent on to glory and here I was doing nothing but crying and regretting all of the things that I did not do.

afro loveI did not set the place on fire (Glory be), but I began to think about what made me so angry? For obvious reasons of course, you know the whole being black thing, but there was something beyond the surface that penetrated my makeshift  armor of being color blind  and liberal.

I had connected that word to the struggle that my ancestors fought. My great-grandmother was born into slavery and had endured  some of the most horrific things that even she did not want to speak about nor remember.But, it was there. Like a big pink elephant in a cramped room that no one wanted to address, the pain of the past. I associated the word with depictions of Kunta Kinte being whipped or Sethe being raped by School Teacher and his boys.

  “The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” – Mary Pickford

Though slavery was a pain to my ancestors it does not have to be my pain today. That does not mean that it did not happen. Nor does it mean that I will forget it. It means that I will not allow that pain to keep me stuck in an uncontrollable rage that leaves me battered and wounded. It means that I have been given an opportunity to show my ancestors  that I appreciate the hardships that they endured yesterday to accommodate my dreams for today. It means that the next time that someone of any race-including my own, uses that word I will inform them that their ignorance will be the death of our society.

We cannot change what happened in our history nor can we open the minds that refuse to be opened. We can only strive the worldtoday to make our latter better than our former. If we continue to look back on what was we will be left  paralyzed and unable to make the necessary changes that our community needs today.Let us embrace the past as a point of reference  that teaches us to be grateful for the strides that we continue to make as a society, not as a pillar that leaves us powerless and pathetic.

* Images found on http://www.google.com

So What? The Badonsky Method

“Approval is overrated. Approval and disapproval alike satisfy those who deliver it more than those who receive it.”  – Gregory Maguire

So I was on Facebook and my gentleman friend posted a picture of me at a New Year’s birthday bash that we attended with the caption: My WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday)No one  that I’ve dated has ever paraded me around like a beauty queen and it caught me by surprise when he posted. I was so flattered that I was the first to like the picture. Although I was excited, it was a short lived high because  my Jonesitis went into overdrive with questions such as:

2015 sexy

Ringing in the New Year

What if no one likes my picture?

What if I get no likes at all?

Now, I don’t profess to be a supermodel or even a regular model, but I did rock the dress that I wore that evening and I really wanted others to agree. I began to think about taking the picture down to save me from the embarrassment of having no likes at all. I began to think about all of the other beautiful ladies that I was friends with on Facebook and how they could post a picture of a thumbnail and get close to 200 likes- I couldn’t compete with them and now that this post was on Facebook I was free game.

Then, like a mighty wind one phrase changed my attitude: So what?

I learned the power of this sediment about a year ago at a Creativity Seminar hosted by author and artist Jill Badonsky. At this seminar Ms. Badonsky spoke on the things that blocked our creativity and personal power. One of the biggest blocks was worrying about what people thought of us as individuals, informing the seminar attendants that this hindrance paralyzed us from moving forward.

jill

Thank you Jill Badonsky

After educating the attendants on the many blocks that are presented throughout the day, Ms. Badonsky offered the remedy of so what. She encouraged us all to use this power phrase when we were bombarded with negative thoughts of not being good enough  as artists or individuals. She prompted us to keep this expression when we felt like we were being sucked into the abyss of opposition and when it began to get too ugly to bear, to say it with an even uglier face.

This utterance pulled me out of the vortex of self doubt and defeat by allowing me to see what was really important.

So what if no one else liked the picture, I liked it and so did my guy. I rocked the dress that I had on and that evening I danced all night in 6 inch heels!  So what if I only received one other like, I brought the New Year in with a man that thinks I’m simply gorgeous  and no one else had my dress on (which would have been a tragedy in itself).

When we get tied up in what others think of us, let us take a deep breath, exhale and say: SO WHAT?

 

Too School For Cool (Journal Entry)

One of my super powers is learning. I love learning new things that others may deem trivial. In my skole, I watch documentaries or read books;a vitophilia that brings me great pleasure. For a long time I would hide this pleasure to be like others so I could be accepted. I thought that if I fit in for a while others would loosen up and allow me to finally be myself,  but the more I made alterations to myself, the more others seemed to find fault in me.

bookwormIn retrospect, I chose to neglect my zeal of learning because I didn’t want to be viewed as a phony  who was trying to be a “white girl”. I wanted to stay true to my race and be “hood”, because that was what being black was all about. I risked and forfeited many great opportunities because I was trying to “keep it real” with everyone but myself.

It took me a while to realize that the things that make me weird distinguishes me from others, and that’s not a bad thing at all. There is nothing wrong with intelligence because intelligence does not discriminate between race  or religion; intelligence is available  to those that are in constant pursuit of knowledge.  In fact,  our greatest leaders sought after intelligence with a color blindness that allowed them to speak and  reach groups of people who were once biased and calloused towards minorities.

When we put limits on our education we limit our potential to reach others from diverse  walks of life.smart girl

I am no longer afraid to admit that I enjoy reading, writing, museums, and most importantly thinking. I enjoy being optimistic and accentuating the positive. I watch Jeopardy every night and guess what, both of my parents are B-L-A-C-K! I am grateful for all of the things that make me who I am. I may not live up to the standards of the hood and that is just fine, truth be told, I think that the standards of the hood should be raised a couple of notches any way.

Our race does not determine our intelligence, our willingness to learn does.

 

* Images found on http://www.google.com

Paint It Black (A Poem)

You never know

who loves you

Until you paint it black

A big black

heart

Full of black love

The block won’t be right

Not til you paint it

Black

The struggle will go unnoticed

until you paint it

Black

Though white washed

and placed in this

Unrealistic world

with

Unrealistic goals

Forced to become an animal

Constantly in and out the

Cage

Paint it

Black

We will remember the color

No one will forget

The sidewalkthe futre

that was painted

Black

Humiliated

Degraded

The one’s you

Loved

You protected and

that’s why I take my

Pen

and paint my paper

With the colors of my neighborhood

Praying that the reader is

Saturated

with the

Thought

Feel and

Taste of

Black

* Image found on http://www.google.com