Just Write and Go

Okay, so now I’m presently at Urban Standard in Birmingham. I went to Seeds Coffee first, but they were completely busy and there was nowhere to sit. So here I am, trying a new coffeehouse while spending a day in Birmingham. I’ve done a lot of driving around and I have to admit, I’m appreciating Huntsville so much more! Huntsville definitely feels like home since I’m away from it!

Anyway, being at another coffeehouse has led me to another conclusion: I don’t need to put some kind of schedule to my blog posting. Just write the words and then post the words and let people read the words! That definitely takes the brain work out of it all. Instead of overthinking the process, I’ll just go with it. That’s basically how my time in Birmingham has been going. One thing doesn’t work as expected, I’ll just go to the next thing. Being open to things going wrong has made things interesting. For today, I don’t mind it so much because all I’m doing is finding places to drink coffee.

But even in coffee drinking, I’m taking little lessons and putting them on a grander scale. So here are a few things I’ve learned today:

  1. Not everything is going to go as planned. Throwing tantrums won’t solve anything. Plus, I have a two year old and her tantrums are enough!
  2. Stop overthinking things. Work smarter, not harder, especially when the solution is simple.
  3. Have fun with what I’m doing!
  4. Let setbacks be setups for something greater! So cliché, but whatever!

So far, I’ve had a pretty productive day! I’ve got more writing done today than I have in awhile! Also, being in the car for an extended period of time has given me the opportunity to work on my vocals too!

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Out of the Darkness

I always find it funny how people talk about going back and changing things about their past they considered mistakes. That’s just me personally. If I had to choose between changing my past and receiving $10 million, I’m easily taking the ten mill! If I go back and change what I’ve done, then I’m ultimately changing who I am, and I know for a fact that I would not be where I am today. And I am very happy with who I am and what I have today.

I’ve been in some very dark places in my life. And many times I didn’t think there would ever be any light at the end of the tunnel. But by the grace of God, I’m here today. Funnily enough though, I didn’t always feel God’s grace though. When I was 18, I contemplated suicide for the first time. It seemed like the easiest solution to all my problems. The second time I contemplated suicide, I was 19. I still felt the same, that life wasn’t worth living and nobody would miss me. That was my rock bottom, but that was the rock bottom that led me to accepting Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. Sure, I grew up in church, but that didn’t make me a Christian. And no, my life situations didn’t turn around overnight, but my outlook on life did. Eleven years later, I’m happily married, with a beautiful baby girl and a beautiful baby boy due this coming December. Do I wish that I had never reached a point in life where I didn’t think about suicide? Yes, absolutely. But had I not reached that point, a major change in my life for the better probably wouldn’t have taken place.

There are many other decisions I’ve made in life that I wish I hadn’t. Some were minor, some weren’t. But I managed to find ways to grow and learn from those decisions. Some lessons took years to learn. Some lessons didn’t take that long to learn from at all. However I look at the darker moments of my life though, I find ways to be thankful for the experiences because who I am today is a lot better than who I used to be.

 

Great Pretending

It’s amazing how easy it is for us to show up and be a carbon copy of who we really are…

I am 30 years old and for most of my life, I’ve been a version of myself. I’ll be who I think I need to be in order to fit in whatever environment I’m in. I keep many masks, like people keep many hats. I don’t want people to know the real me because I don’t want to show up and be seen. I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to subject myself to the reactions of others about who I am. But is that really the way to live a life?

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I’m a Christian. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m Black. I’m a female. Those are concrete details about myself, but I won’t really pull back the layers beyond those details. For instance, I don’t always go to church, I don’t always read my Bible, I don’t always display the love of Christ, I get mad at my husband for dumb and petty things, I’ll forget to pay attention to my daughter because I’m caught up in housework, I don’t always write when the words are there, sometimes I hate being Black because of the social and political climate we live in, and sometimes I hate being a woman because I just need a dumb reason to be upset.

 

From my mother to some random person on social media, I’ve let people have too much control over something about me. My mom has always gotten onto me about my hair and wardrobe if it’s not to her approval and that has been something that has made it hard for me to just be myself without being self-conscious. If my own mother gets in an uproar because I’d rather a ponytail and sweatpants over curls and a skirt, h

ow will the rest of the world react? If I take a chance and share some of my not serious writing and someone dumps all over it, how will people react to the writing that shows the serious side of me? I double down on the notion of not being known and just continue pretending to be something I’m not.

But again, that’s no way to live a life. Being vulnerable and transparent (but not too transparent) is a part of living. I actually feel alive when I’m just being myself. If I’ve been made to feel a certain way that I don’t like, I know not to do that with other people. I will never make my daughter feel about her hair and wardrobe the way my mother made me feel. My daughter is not a clone of me and I cannot expect her to conform to who I want her to be. My daughter is a gift from God. She is not mine to twist and mold into who I think she should become. My daughter is to be raised according to thepurpose God has for her and however her journey in life goes, it’s my responsibility to steer her in the right direction, not set up detours and roadblocks that suit my fancy. When I stop pretending, I start seeing reality and the reality is no one is perfect, so I’m learning to get over past hurts and be better as a person.

For me, the mask is coming off. The pretending is going to stop. My experiences in life are a part of my story and they contribute to who I am as a person. I can be a jerk, but I can also be sweet and thoughtful. I can be random. I can be sarcastic enough people think I’m actually dumb. I can be funny and silly. I can be serious. I can be sensitive. I can be controlling. I can get unrighteously angry.javardh-740705-unsplash I can flat out be rude and mean. I have good along with the bad. I’m constantly learning!

Sharing about my mother wasn’t easy. But the reality is, I’m not the only person on the face of this earth that has had a parent do something that has a serious effect on them into adulthood. And telling a person to get over something is no way to go in life. Go through that something, process it, learn from it, forgive it, and then move on in life for the better. Share your story. Be seen for who you really are. Be vulnerable. And show other people it’s okay to do the same thing.

 

Mama’s Baby Girl Pt. I

So, I don’t baby my 21-month-old daughter. If she falls and hurts herself, there are two responses I give her based on the degree of the fall. The first is, “You’re fine, it scared you more than it hurt you.” And she’s up and running again. The second is, “Come here, let me make sure you’re okay.” And her response to that is the main reason why I won’t and don’t baby her. She fights me, or her father, or anyone for that matter when we check for blood, scraps, or any injuries. She goes from crying because she fell, to crying because she got picked up for inspection to make sure she’s okay. And ten times out of ten she’s up and running again before those tears have even dried. She did that when she fell in Jackson Square in New Orleans and she did that when we were home in Alabama and she face planted on concrete from running too fast.

I just don’t baby her, mainly because she hates it. And secondly because I don’t want my child growing up thinking the entire world has to stop when she gets an ouchie. I don’t want her to take something minor and make it major because of the attention she can get from it. She’s an only child and the only grandchild for all her grandparents, so she has more than enough attention. But my firstborn is a sassy, strong-willed, independent, rough and tumble little girl. She gets up after a fall and she goes even harder than before when playing. She laughs more than before the fall. She’s tasted concrete, grass, carpet, and dirt, and survived. She’s done free falls off the couch, fallen of the bed, ran into walls, slipped on hardwood, smashed her fingers, fallen off her dad’s lap while swinging, busted her lip, and the list goes on, and it will go on as she gets older.

If it were left up to me, I would duct tape to her crib and call it a day. But she’d figure a way out of the duct tape and then climb out of the crib. She’s a fighter. She’s determined. She’s a pint size of fierce. She’s a little version of me, and that’s the third and final reason I don’t baby her -I hate that shit!