September 1, 2014

Now I see Why I Couldn't Go.... Europe for my birthday, that is.

For months, I tried to get up the motivation to celebrate.  It just wasn't happening.  Finally, I made a reluctant peace with "the ordinary"  a few weeks before the day came.  Then we found out about The Merge Summit in L.A.  Wasn't exactly excited because a conference type event, even with celebs...wasn't my idea of a birthday celebration.  But I agreed we, The Anointed Harvesters, needed to be there so I added it to the calendar with a lukewarm enthusiasm.  And although grateful for the gestures, gifts and presence of family and friends, right before the summit, I road through my birthday weekend activities not fully feeling the moments...pressing through that stupid numbness again.

As soon as we hit the opening night of the summit with Mali Music and Jonathan Butler...I felt something.  "This is different." In fact, shortly before entering, we met Pastor Toure' Roberts...someone who I had heard of but wasn't too familiar with.  Apparently he's on Rock Star status in that world. Who knew?  He said "This is your first time?  Your life will be changed after this really will be."

yeah yeah yeah...sigh.

But you know what, session after session proved the words to be true.  Celebs like Common, Mikki Taylor from Essence Mag, Boris Kodjoe,  Nate Parker, Devon Franklin, Meagan Goode, Derek Luke...and so many others made one thing very clear.  The fulfillment of my destiny...of my purpose has absolutely NOTHING to do with me and my personal self-fullfillment.  But has EVERYTHING to do with fulfillment of what GOD purposed...His plan...His BIG PICTURE.  So my gifts, as they are discovered and developed and explored, are for The People...and not JUST for self fulfillment and expression.  A piece of a very intricate and uniquely constructed pie.

Today at the African Fest, we screened our stageplay The Falls during the Faith and Hollywood segment in the Film Pavilion.  I was introduced to an interesting woman who called herself a spiritual healer, intuitive and empath.  (Ummm...ok. **side eye**)  She asked my first name, which she spelled correctly without me telling her (RARE...) and began to tell me about myself....

"You like to...have to....have structure.  You like things a certain way..."
"You think people should know what you know...and you talk to them that way assuming they know.  And they don't know.  And you don't understand why they don't it comes off as...being a "Know It All"...but you really don't mean any harm."
"You are very strong in are very strong creatively...and that creativity is going to make you a lot of money. You are very powerful."
"You can have addictive tendencies...whether to food, relationships or the type of men...."
"You are very good at playing devil's advocate...getting people to look at things from different angles"
"You are a leader....and if you are in a space and something is not being done correctly, by default you will take over."

Then she asked how did she do.  I just stood there, pondering, while my mother and friend stared at me with these big cheesy grins.  Not to say I agree with EVERY-THANG that she said (clears throat)...but I really have been in a space of self-reflection and I see and am seen.  My "branding".  And with that, honoring my 40 years of life, I've decided to go on a 40 day consecration of ME.  Mind, body, spirit, soul.

I started this blog in August 2009 as a place of expression, growth and relating.  I had just turned 35 and had no idea of the adventure ahead of me.  A year later, I prophesied...

"I feel a change coming....and at 36, I'm all for change.  Stay's about to get interesting....:-)."

And did it ever!

Now, I prepare for yet more change....strapping on my safety belt and gripping the well worn cushioned bars for a new decade of life.  As long as The I AM is with me, I will ride out this next leg of my race fearlessly...purposely expecting more sunshine than rain, more pleasure than pain, more laughter than sorrow...more hope for my tomorrows.  

I'm 40.  Wow. :-)

bite of the day ~ Good-bye thirtiesgirl.  It's been real.  Look out for my new incarnation...COMING SOON. :-)


July 24, 2014

Birthday Blues...

"You want TOO MUCH!!!"
-Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby

I had this grandiose plan for my 40th.  I'm talking international trippin', baby!  Family, friends all invited...time, money and the ability to have a GREAT TIME would be the only prerequisites.  I was to have the details of this fabulous and ultimate birthday celebration locked down by LAST August, in order to give folks plenty of time to stack the dollars, and if applicable, find some unsuspecting but safe sucker to watch the kids for 7-10 days.  Of course, I did not do this.  As a matter of fact, here I sit WEEKS away from my birthday and not only have I not booked a trip...I haven't even decided on a destination! Worse than that....I JUST, after nearly 2 years since my name change, sent in for a corrected passport.  This is beyond procrastination.  Sigh.

 I am truly looking forward to turning 40.  I honestly feel something huge and wonderful is on the horizon in my life.  At the same time, I can't shake this nagging...anxious feeling.  Why am I dragging my feet?  Why the indecisiveness?  I think I finally got it.

i don't want my birthday to suck.

Let me explain.  My 18th sucked.  My 21st double SUCKED.  I don't remember my 30th...and maybe because by that time I had changed my attitude about my birthday.  I stopped expecting it to be special...and I surely stopped expecting anyone else to make it special.  I started just being grateful to be alive and healthy and sane (halfway at least lol)...and because my expectations were no longer high, I started actually enjoying my birthdays.  I had plans or I didn't.  I just started flowing with it.

But this seems it's too major to just fly by the seat of my pants.  It's too much of a milestone to NOT be marked with something different and special and exciting!!!  Yet every time I've attempted to even think about a plan, I feel drained.  Tired.  Unmotivated.  Why???

I talked to my father about it during his summer visit.  He of course asked me questions until I wanted to scream...forcing me to get to the root.  The conclusion?  I believe, while I'm looking forward to turning 40 and I have many great things presently and on the horizon, like so many others...

life is not what I thought it would be at 40...

I had no vision of going to Paris or Rome or Madrid without a ringed hand clasping mine...or even a ring less hand attached to someone I was in deep LIKE with.  Calling home to check on the "mini me and him".  Call the agent to say hold the contract until we get back.  Real Talk.  Perhaps this is why it took me so long to update my passport and why I haven't been able to decide on a trip.  It's not that I still want to be the name on the passport because I don't. It's simply that I didn't think I would be in this place PERIOD by this scene of my life's play. 

I don't know.  Maybe I can just ride this birthday out and let it be what it's going to be without forcing The Fabulous.  Because anything forced still will not make the cut in my mind.  Do I want too much?  Perhaps.

bite of the day ~ Life may not be how you imagined, but if you are still on the upside of the ground, it is  ALL GOOD.  There's still a chance to make your dreams come true.  And as the old folks say, it could ALWAYS be so much worse.  I'm blessed.


July 2, 2014

I hate Religion.

Meaningless rituals. Cookie Cut.  Evaporate Your Mind.  Demolish Thinking for Yourself.



I had decided not to rush my mother out the door after church service, which is what I usually do.  After all it was her birthday so the day was hers to do as she pleased.  Part of my gift was a patient attitude as she took FULL advantage of the opportunity.  After about 45 minutes of "fellowshipping with the saints", we were finally about to leave.  Suddenly another sister approached us...and she was a talkative one.  But I enjoyed her light and humorous personality.  After a while, my rockstar mother was approached by yet another person and I was left with the talkative sister who was now recapping the event that our arts nonprofit, The Anointed Harvesters, hosted last year with Rising Star Christian Keyes.  Then it happened...

"But I do have a bone to pick with you.  Now I know how to break it down...God had to deliver me.  But when y'all played that WORLDLY music...I was really offended.  Cause I thought this was a Christian event.  I'm a holy vessel and I've been keeping myself sexually pure ever since my husband passed away.  I can't do that listening to no BRICKHOUSE."  

She then broke into a rendition of the Commodore's classic right then and there.  And a demonstration of her "breaking it down". Sigh.  Now anyone who knows me, knows that my face is very expressive so I had to quickly put on my acting skills and business hat because, although I didn't initially realize it, she was very serious. And she wasn't just talking to me.  She was talking to The Anointed Harvesters.  I listened as she expressed why it was wrong and a contradiction and not representative and how she's a role model and how the young ones get confused, spirits disturbed and possibly offended too when they witness Christians listening to secular music and how we shouldn't play anything we wouldn't play in front of Pastor.

I listened...truly understood and graciously apologized that she was offended.  Then I explained to her in so many words that I'M NOT RELIGIOUS.  

Quite frankly, I had to stop myself from screaming in her face the date, time and place I last had sex...with my young vibrant affectionate hot blooded self.  It's been YEARS, sista.  YEARSSSS!..and my sexuality and sensuality is increasing by the moment.  So don't insult me by assuming that I'm not walking in holiness because I like stilettos, a sexy black dress and Earth Wind & Fire! (Don't push me cause I'm close to the  I'm a role model, who has never sought to be one.  I'm a Jesus Freak who has NEVER cared who knows it.  I live my life before Him, not because of RELIGION but relationship.  AND I love Israel Houghton...and Stevie Wonder.  Canton Jones....and Common.  I am the same in front of the homeless person and the celebrity.  
If I roll up in front of the church house bumping Jill Scott and Pastor walks out...Jill will continue....with the windows down.  RESPECT.

bite of the day ~ We must all live from the INSIDE out.  Everyone has their buttons or weak spots that can derail them.  We should not judge others or become offended at them based on our own weaknesses. As for me, I'm finding God where ever I can.  Sometimes, He's in Rachelle Ferrell's voice...other times, He speaks to me through Yolanda Adams.  And then there's times it's simply about the song! Free yo-self.


June 13, 2014

mourning maya angelou

"Maya rocked me to sleep and I napped.  Don't remember the last time I took a nap....on a Thursday."

I am in mourning.  Maya Angelou passed on May 28, 2014...and I am now digesting her life through her books.  This is how I grieve.  Overwhelming desire takes hold of me to expose myself to the presence by any means available in search of greatness...and knowing.  I have always loved Maya Angelou and her words.  Her most famous poems, Still I Rise and Phenomenal Woman, I have read and recited and referenced over the years....grabbing hold to their meaning at moments when I felt less than prodigious.  

Yet as I make my way through the second book, "The Heart of A Woman", I realize that I had a faulty image of this woman.  She was not JUST the proper speaking wisdom-personified intellectual with a powerful way with words, whose image has been stamped in my mind since my pre-teen years. All that she was...was hard earned. Complex...and fierce. Frightened and Sensitive.  Courageous and sexual. Yes...sensual.  A WOMAN.  And I never saw her as such.

As I read, I am grateful for the words left behind and the clarity they bring.  The adventures....

"Ssshh.  I'm having my baked chicken & broccoli in Harlem this evening...with the writer's guild.  We're reading our very first stageplay OUT LOUD." 

I'd never been to Harlem...until Maya took me there last night.  And after I've gone around the world with her...and experienced her loves and beatings and stage fright and marches....maybe then, I can shout HALLELUJAH, SHE HAS CROSSED OVER!  There is trouble no more.  And the mourning will be done.  Until then, I read....hearing her voice from the other side.

bite of the day ~  I don't know why one's value seems to be acknowledged more when one is no longer...yet this is the way of things here.  Thank God mentor-ship need not end with the grave. Selah.


April 29, 2014

Life is NOT fair...PERIOD.

Technically, my thirtiesgirl days will be over in a matter of a few months.  I have come to realize that for most of my nearly 40 years on the planet I actually had the faulty mindset that if you live "right", do "right", treat people "right" will be smooooth sailing. Think before you act.  Make wise decisions.   Be responsible.  etc etc etc.  All of these things are good and noble and true...a great way to live life.  However, the "LIFE WILL BE SMOOOOTH SAILING" part is where I erred. I literally thought that if I gleaned from the experiences of others..especially my elders, if I stuck to my morals and values, if I was...a good person...and lived life as much as possible to be pleasing to God....I would be able to avoid all MAJOR pitfalls.

pure fantasy!

As a kid, my mother told me if I remembered someone...they would remember me.  We moved around a bit when I was growing up, so I didn't have classmates that I actually went from A-Z with.  But I've always been very heartfelt about friendship.  So after maybe a year or two, I found the number of a classmate who I considered a best friend at my old school.  I felt nervous calling her after so long, but my mother assured me with the advice mentioned above.  So I called.  The girl...ole what's her name... didn't remember me!  HA!  I can laugh about it now, but then, I felt so...unimportant and...forgettable.  My mother still holds that belief to this day..with the addendum "...unless they've been on drugs or had a brain injury or something...".  In other words, OTHER FACTORS can interfere.

other factors?

I never considered "other factors" ...things outside of my control could and eventually would affect my life. After all my SELF-righteous living...proper choice and cautious wise-forward-thinking decision-making (I AM SAGACIOUS) can imagine my shock, disdain, otherworldly pain and depression when the tsunami swept through my life...just like everybody else.  At first it was external damage & close calls...but soon the storm was IN THE HOUSE wielding it's mighty power in the intimate corners of my world.  That's when I got the revelation...LIFE IS NOT FAIR.  It just isn't.  Bad things happen to good people.  Friends betray.  Loved ones die. The wounds of life can be deep and sometimes become infected if not properly cared for.  But they can heal.  I've learned....we can HEAL.  


bite of the day ~ Selah.

February 27, 2014

Why I didn't watch the last season of SCANDAL...

My interaction on other people's pages on Facebook is usually hitting the like or share buttons.  Don't comment as much as I just observe.  But when I came across a status that read "One word...One Word You Would Want People To Use To Describe You..."..for some reason I felt compelled to comment.  The first word to pop in my head was "ABNORMAL." There were many other words that followed...but it's something about that organic unedited FIRST response...before the pondering and over analyzing.

Back in the day, all I wanted was to feel "normal" in.  As early as I can remember, I was The Girl Who...Wasn't.  I just wasn't. I was either behind or in front of the curve...but never spot on it.  It didn't matter whether I was at school, church or with family....there were very few people that I could genuinely relate to...or who I didn't feel abnormal around or even judged by. For a good part of my adolescence, like so many others, I seriously struggled with self-image and self-esteem issues.  Trying to find my place, in high school, I decided (after some persuading by my best friend) to try out for the cheerleading squad.  I was already in the marching band, but that was different.  I had looked up to the uber-popular cheerleaders with their short pleated skirts and Nikes with bells attached from a distance, secretly wondering how it felt to be them, at the same time never seeing myself among them.  And for good reason.  I was barely past my tomboy phase.  I didn't pay attention to them at the games, didn't know any cheers, flips or jumps....I actually had to learn how to do the split just to try out!

When one of my football player friends found out what I was up to, he said to me, in front of everyone, "Don't do that.  You not like them girls...".  Well, my version of low self-esteem didn't EVER manifest in a quiet, meek, head hanging low type of way.  I have always been...fiery.  I was indignant and pissed because what I heard was "You NOT AS GOOD AS those girls.  YOU wouldn't fit in with them." Quickly, he clarified. "You're a good girl....them girls are fast."  I didn't know anything about all that....but I knew I wasn't listening to him. I WANTED to be apart of that group of girls, "fast" or not...if they would have me. Amazingly, I made it.  But nothing changed on the inside. I still wasn't like....anyone.  I couldn't relate to anyone.  Nothing against them.  Most of them were good people and we got along....but I STILL didn't fit in. 

The quest for normalcy continued in college.  This time I was after those coveted letters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, the official right to rock the crimson & cream on the yard and to be recognized EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD as a Distinguished Delta.  Then MAYBE, just maybe I'd feel NORMAL.  When I finally did pledge, you guessed it.  Still apart of the group but not OF the group....kinda like IN the world but not OF the world.  Still didn't FIT.  

By this time, I had finally started dealing with my internal issues and made my peace with who God has made me...and why.  I'm NEVER going to fit in...I will NEVER feel normal inside, cause guess what?  I AM NOT NORMAL. I may look it...but it's merely a disguise. :-)  After I accepted this fact, I stopped trying to be and actually have become quite adverse to the idea of normalcy.  Normal equals what everyone else i.e. The Crowd is doing and being.  Which brings me to SCANDAL.

I actually love the show.  It's extremely well written, well acted, exciting and all that jazz.  I watched (albeit online after the fact) the first & second seasons.  And I had every intention to watch last season.  But when I would have the time, oddly, I didn't have the DESIRE.  I began to ponder WHY DON'T I WANT TO WATCH SCANDAL??? Finally,  I had an AHA moment.  EVERYBODY seems to watch Scandal.  If you are not able to be in front of your TV on Thursday nights, DON'T log on to ANY social media cause folks will ruin it for you!  EVERYBODY seems to be obsessed with Olivia Pope, Fitz and the Gladiators, even calling themselves by the coveted name.  Scandal has become NORMAL.  And, subconsciously, it turned me off.  Because I don't do....NORMAL. 

bite of the day ~  I hope I can watch Scandal again.  But if I never have the desire, I won't force it. When you finally submit to your TRUE SELF, you will embrace standing apart from The Crowd and just BE-ING YOU. 


February 13, 2014

What If...

The other day I ran into a family friend at an event.  A friend who I usually just joke and talk trash with when we are in each other's presence.  He told me he wanted to share something with me before we left.  Of course, after the event he tried.

 "I've always wanted to tell you...well, I've never gotten the chance to tell you...."

Before he could get it out, a group congregated around us and the moment passed.  We exchanged looks as I shrugged my shoulders.  "Just call me later." I mouthed.  A couple of days later, he did. 

The Words...specific, reflective, encouraging, extremely complimentary....and surprising, but in a beautiful way.  No ulterior motives he said, but have always wanted to tell me his thoughts...about me. Whether his last statement is true or not, his taking the time (and courage) to do something that I'm sure was uncomfortable for him touched me.

As an actor, an exercise I do in order to pull up different emotions is stand in the mirror and think about different "WHAT IF" scenarios.  If I must cry, all I have to do is think of something happening to anyone I love.  Sometimes, if I really need to go there, I purposely think of someone who is currently living, like my parents or siblings, dying.  I allow myself to believe that it's real.  That's enough to send me into a bonafide tizzy.

Lately, I've been applying this WHAT IF exercise to life in general.  WHAT IF this person who I am furious with at this moment suddenly croaked, how would I feel?  Would what they did to piss me off even matter anymore?  WHAT IF my mother, who works my nerve occasionally (and vice versa lol)...what if something happened to accident, sickness or sudden death....would these small irritations matter in the least?  Would I be sure that she knew how I feel about her, how much she matters in my life?  I wouldn't be sure if I never expressed it.

I have in particular been using the WHAT IF when it comes to dealing with men these days.  I am very much a woman who believes that the man is supposed to pursue the fact, because of some past experiences, I'm now adamant about it. On top of that, I usually cover nerves & shyness with sass & a smart mouth. IJS.  To balance, I force myself to think...WHAT IF I never reach out to this man at those moments when I REALLY want to, simply because I'm tallying up who texted or called the other last.  WHAT IF something happens to him and I didn't take the opportunity out of fear of rejection or hurt or just let him know how awesome I think he is or that he simply puts a smile on my face?  

What if I go through this life without ever giving this gift that has been given to me over and over again to others?

bite of the day ~ Reach out to someone who you've never told (or who you don't tell often enough) special they are to you TODAY. With no expectations of their response.  A relative. A friend.  A prospective more-than-friend.  You don't know what it will do for them.  I know what it will do for you.  FREEDOM...and relief.  Selah.


January 11, 2014

let go...

On New Year's Day, I cleaned out my refrigerator.  Now for the less than handful who have had the pleasure of  digging in my frig, they are now doing the Baptist two-step & leg kick dance.  "Praise da lawd!" lol

Don't get me wrong...I'm not "nasty".  I just, with good intentions, hold on to stuff too long.  And in this case, that can result in a couple of "surprises" the back....behind my father's bottle of beer that he couldn't finish during his SUMMER visit.  Sigh.  Yeah.  It's a problem.  I didn't know beer expired.  I don't drink the stuff...but I digress.

So the trash bags were filling up, garbage disposal was going, soapy dish water was working it....and in the middle of dumping some old Thai food...I just felt......disgusted with myself.  

"Why the hell do you do this???" 
"Is it the starving children in Africa? Or in the hood?"
"Feel guilty for the waste?"
"WHAT IS IT???" 

In that moment, a knowing that had been creeping up on me for weeks hit me square in the chest.  It was about much more than moldy mac & cheese and year old salad dressing.  See, I'm not "nasty" but I HAD a problem....a problem with letting go. 

I would allow something or someone or some thought or some feeling to take up space in the refrigerator of my life...even when it was no longer good....for me.  As a matter of fact, it would be so past expiration that it was dangerous...poison to my system if I dared to digest it just ONE.....MORE....TIME.  Holding stuff and people and things and mindsets....wayyyy past their shelf life....thinking I can still work with it, can still get it right, can still get something good from it....I can still still still.  NO!!!

Are you judging me?  Nah...surely not.  You may need to go check YOUR "frig".  Or perhaps it's your closet or that digital black book in your cell phone.  Maybe it's that FaceBook "friends" list?  Or maybe you need to roll over and check who you laying next to.  It could even be that negative stank attitude or bad self image or abusive childhood.  I don't know but whatever it is....if it's POISONOUS....


And make room for the FRESH and NEW.


bite of the day ~ It's 2014.  Time to clean "house".