Pack my bags

After finding out Trump was elected as our next president, I started to pack my bags so that, as he wishes, I could return to my home country…

Which made me begin to wonder, where the hell do I really come from?? 

Oh right, 

My ancestors were brought here against their wishes, 

And at some point, raped by their ‘owners’ {it hurts to even write that}

That’s the only way I can logically account for my great grandmother’s red hair and white skin,

– I doubt the fairy tailed- ‘our mixed love against the world’ is a greater possibility for how his-story actually went down…

So, again I ask myself, where am I going? 

The muddiness of this answer is found much deeper than at ancestry.com…

Internally I am vexed to point fingers and wage war 

Like, literally go to blows with people who have long gone from this earth, 

But who have left their blood of laws, lies and hate to perpetually speak on their behalf. 

I just want to tell them that we are worthy! 

Shake them up and let them know that we are worthy! 

Slap their faces, look them straight in the eyes and shout to them, “WE ARE WORTHY!” 

Wake them up and while trying to catch my breath, yell at them:

WE! 

ARE! 

WORTHY! 

TOO! 

After all, we were all once strangers on this soil…

God! This feels futile! 

These thoughts and frustrations are exhaustive… 

So, for a moment of peace of mind, I walk away from this reality with my bags half packed, 

Back to my smile…

Welcome Back?

I’ve written many posts and in so doing, have shared most of my life’s updates with you, but the major downside is, I’ve only done so in my head. On reality, it has been well over a year since I’ve posted anything new, well, actually closer to two years. I’ve finally surrendered to the fact that I’m very bad at this consistent writing thing so now I must look for a new method. 

I write this post in hopes that I will actually complete it and not only that, but that I will also upload it so that eyes other than my own can view. Attached to that hope is also the thought that perhaps my passion for writing will reignite and I will begin another writing and posting spree, no matter if it’s temporary. One of those things only time will tell. 

   

   

Catching Up! LA, LA!

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Goodness! I cannot believe it has been so long since I’ve posted on my blog! So many things have been going on in my life, good things, and interesting things,-well, interesting to me, at the least.

2014 has been very good to me so far. The hubby and I just celebrated 4 years of marriage a couple weeks ago (clap, clap, clap). For our anniversary, we decided to go to LA. We chose California because we wanted to go to a place that neither of us has been before, as well as a place that offered affordable air fare and around the time we booked the flights (December 2013), Cali fell in that category. My husband’s family is from Barbados and my roots on my father’s side, are from Panama. It was my hope to visit one of ‘our’ countries so that we can get in touch with our family history, but the rates (this time around) were not in our favor, so close to our anniversary.

We took a week off from our jobs, left our sweet little girl with my mom and flew six hours away into the pacific time zone, (three hours behind our home time zone). My husband is very good at planning, of course he consults me, but he always manages our flights, hotel, rental car…etc and ensures that all of that stuff is well taken care of. (Thank God!) That’s a nice trade for a neat home, clean clothes and dinner, he receives from me (almost) every day.

Once our flights were finalized, we made mental notes of the places that we wanted to visit: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Hollywood Blvd, Beverly Hills, I am a huge fan of the movie, “Pretty Woman” so I needed to go to Rodeo Drive and at my sister’s vicarious request; In and out Burger. I am not gonna spend too much time on this, but we did get to visit every place on our list and many, many more! I just have to say, that Hollywood Blvd was not as exciting as I thought it would be, it was a lot smaller (about two NYC blocks long [booooo]) and there were not that many stores. I think being from NY kind of killed the thrill for us because we are used to the convenience of bright lights, brilliant billboards and all of the attractions that city life has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, It was very BEAUTIFUL and fun, just not as vibrant and energetic or large as we anticipated.

The shopping malls in LA definitely got NY and the surrounding cities/states beat! I’ve never been to such beautiful malls, most of which are indoor/outdoor! Ridge Hill mall in Yonkers, NY, is a nice attempt, but it does not compare to The Grove mall, Hollywood mall or many of the other malls we patronized. The foliage, cleanliness and architectural beauty were very easy on the eyes and yes, the sunny skies and personal space from a lack of people, also helped. To me, LA has a NYC meets Florida feel. It has the hype of the city, with a laid back and friendly style. We did not do too much night life because we were still living on the NY time zone, plus we dedicated this vacation to sightseeing and relaxation and to be honest, we are not night-life people either, so it was not too much of an initial interest. We were told by some LA residents that they mainly had comedy clubs and bars open after 10:00 pm anyway, so that definitely did not entice us.

[We also visited the Getty Museum, ate at this really dope restaurant, “The Stinking Rose”, and ate ocean-side at the well-known, Gladstone’s seafood restaurant and tried El Pollo Loco and were blown away at its Mexican goodness, YUM!]

The hubby made sure to rent a convertible, a chocolate Chrome, 2014 Mustang, to be exact! He said there is no other way to drive in LA (ahhhh, the male ego!) And, by the way…the rush-hour traffic in LA is horrendous, it gives NYC’s rush-hour a definite run for its money! Luckily for us, we were fortunate enough to always be in the direction that was against the flow of traffic, so we got around pretty smoothly, but looking across that traffic divide, was heart wrenching! (Oh, the drama!) At least in NYC, there are numerous ways to get to your destination in the event it’s stocked with traffic, also, the miles between exits are not as long, so you can always get off to a side street, but it did not seem that way where we were 9 I may be wrong).

Any who, we hooked up with some very cool people while we were there, one set, were awesome friends of a close friend, the other was a home girl we know who relocated to California months before. We also had a great time meeting new people, seeing new sights and overall, being in a new environment. Yet, while I am the type of person who loves exotic trees, sunny skies and warmth (which is so, LA) my hubby and I agree, that there is no place like home!

<<There’s so much more that I could type about our vacation, but this is the general part of our experience! I am hoping to type a part two.

Fear Factor

madison5thave's Blog

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I enjoy sitting in front of this computer, but it seems I never have the time, but deep down, the truth is, there is time when I make time, and I have not been making time the way that I know I can. There are always thoughts and ideas running through my mind of what I can write about, but most times, these inspirations are suppressed by Fear. Fear has turned my dreams into a nightmare and Procrastination has been its sedative!  Day after day I awake with a heart filled with passion for things I would like to see happen in my life; publishing a book, becoming a certified Sign Language interpreter, starting a side business…and the list goes on. As the numbers of candles on my birthday cake go higher and higher it is clear that I am not getting any younger. Focus and motivation dance before me…

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Just another day

Today is an extremely hot, sunny and beautiful day; somewhere in the mid-nineties. Surprisingly, apart from the sweat factor, I’ve been pretty comfortable. I am not sure why, but my mood has been on a fiery roller-coaster, one minute I am calm, cool and collected, the other, I am sensitive and offended by everything and everyone (my poor husband). I don’t know if it’s the weather or if I’m a true victim of the injustices of this great life-I know I am mighty dramatic too, right? But, life for me lately has been this on and off, hot and cold emotional ride.

As I type, I am sitting in my AC chilled living room, eating yogurt and waiting for my husband to get home (to watch our daughter) so that I can go to the gym. I am tired from a long and hot day at work, but an evening workout with two of my great friends (one of whom is my sister), seems to give me enough energy to forge ahead, especially since there has been talk of getting some kind of ice-cream/frozen yogurt afterward.

Today has not been too exciting, so far, but I did accomplish a lot and that’s what I am extremely proud of. The goals that I set for my day will be completed, as soon as I post this blog, finish my workout, eat that ice-cream yogurt stuff, read a few pages in a few books, spend quality time with my little family, reflect on my day, consider tomorrow, say my prayers…WOW! This looks like a long night ahead. I think I kind of overwhelmed myself a bit- I never realized how much stuff I do in a few hours timeframe, and to top it off, I am still sleepy from this morning.

I also feel like I am coming down with a cold, my mildly sore throat from yesterday turned into nasal congestion and a day full of sneezing. The good things is, I don’t feel sick or rundown and I pray that I won’t. I am really boring myself with this post, but pressing past procrastination and actually sitting down and typing a post is a long overdue goal of mine, so this is a step in the “action” direction.

Fear Factor

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I enjoy sitting in front of this computer, but it seems I never have the time, but deep down, the truth is, there is time when I make time, and I have not been making time the way that I know I can. There are always thoughts and ideas running through my mind of what I can write about, but most times, these inspirations are suppressed by Fear. Fear has turned my dreams into a nightmare and Procrastination has been its sedative!  Day after day I awake with a heart filled with passion for things I would like to see happen in my life; publishing a book, becoming a certified Sign Language interpreter, starting a side business…and the list goes on. As the numbers of candles on my birthday cake go higher and higher it is clear that I am not getting any younger. Focus and motivation dance before me, like two blind flames relentlessly fighting in the dark; sometimes energized and ready to win and others, distracted by the desire to simply stay aflame.

There are many different kinds of fear that contend against me putting effort toward my goals, but it can all be summed up as the “Fear of the Unknown”-not knowing whether I will succeed or fail, lingers in the back of my mind. It’s hidden under almost every excuse and distraction and is often found in the basin of what appears to be progress and busyness. Procrastination is always moving, appearing to be active, but is never productive. It makes you feel as if you are making headway, but never renders any edible fruit or proof. In order to realize our goals, we have to pull Fear and Procrastination from the bowels of our thoughts and stare them in the face and create a counteractive plan.  It is not an easy thing to bring the subconscious to the forefront of our minds, so we must practice it. Routinely ask ourselves a few questions and evaluate what’s holding us back and then take steps in a progressive direction.

There are many things in my life that require my constant and loyal attention like my God, my family, my finances (employment) and some others. The loyal managing of these things can cause the other, more personal goals to be placed on the back burner, especially when there is the physical and mental need to rest. I know that taking care of myself is of utmost importance because if I don’t take care of myself, I may eventually  not be well enough to take care of anyone or anything else. But there also needs to be time and focus designated to step-by-step work on my other goals. It is this understanding that forces me to identify my Fear and push past Procrastination and at the very least, make the attempt toward achieving my goals-something that, I’m glad to report, I’ve already started. Stay tuned.

HOW ABOUT IT?

imageI had a great Fourth of July, with family, friends and strangers. Everything was great, the weather; the food and the  festivities. I’m not sure if this is considered complaining, but through all of today’s goodness, I can’t help but consider the various posts I saw on my social networks stating their ‘discontent’ with ‘Independence Day’ and what it represents. There were statements about slavery, racism, segregation, and the fact that Blacks were not free during Independence Day…etc-The statements are completely valid, so in no way am I downplaying or refuting the truth behind the information stated. What bothers me is that as a Black woman, who lives and has lived in ‘black neighborhoods’ all of my life, I feel like what’s the point of pointing the finger at other races for disparities and stereotypes that we perpetuate?

We sing and dance to music and many of the songs, sung/rapped by black men and women, have verses that are laced by the ‘N’ and ‘B’ words. Hooks, that repeated a degrading view of women and life. I wonder where are the posts that cry out against this type of esteem suicide? Where are the posts demanding better
representation?
We call each other all these crazy names and wonder why other people do it too? We laugh about it and treat it like it’s a cute thing to refer to another woman as ‘my B’.
Why are we demanding an apology from Paula Deen a million years later, but we justify the use of the ‘N’ word among ourselves (although it’s not limited there).
 I can’t blame the ‘white man’ for my brothers that I see grouped on the street corners at seven o’clock in the morning as I’m on my way to work, or for the school drop-out rate, legitimate inmate rate…etc
We as a people know and have been through a lot. And in today’s day and age, I feel like, ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse. I dare not say that we are all counted as equals because there are numerous injustices that exist, (not only) for the black race, and since that’s the case, why not unify and continue the fight for equality? Some (of course not all) of us are working against our progress and I believe that forward movement continues with us.
They say, ‘charity begins at home’ well, what about it? How can we change our image? I refuse to believe that it’s too late or that we’ve gone too far, but the situation does look pretty bleak. To even speak out in this way is even taken as, being ‘too deep’ or causes one to be looked at as if he or she is crazy.  How can we change our image? What else can we do to get the message across, that we ourselves possess what it takes to clean up the polluted idea of who we are? And it starts with recognizing our role in where we are today. There’s a saying that states, ‘the only person you have the power to change is yourself’. We can’t concern ourselves with what others say about us, more than we do about what we say about ourselves because what we say about ourselves will reflect in our actions-hence the current crisis of our condition.
How about it?

A thought to seize the day

“The tragedy in devastation lies not in the event, but in the lack of a lesson learned.”
When I consider various life threatening or life taking occurrences around the world, whether it be natural disasters or personally dreadful events, I am touched at how it often leads many of us affected, to want to embrace life, love, God…etc. more diligently. It causes the deepest offenses of our hearts to fade away and leads us to reach out to those we’ve disconnected with. We begin to see how truly small and insignificant were the moments of anger and bitterness that we’ve held a deep grip to, sometimes for a very long time. Our minds grasp a realization of how impermanent not only are we, but are those around us.
But as time continues, we tend to forget the desperation and sobriety that clings to the unveiled frailty of life. We become once again comfortable in the probability of being the exception in death’s rule book. Careless are our days. Bitterness finds its way back into our hearts and distance regains its wedge between us and our God.
Tragedy comes in many sizes; it is often on a relatively small scale, but many times wide-spread. No matter the range, there is always a lesson to be learned. When confronted with devastation, we face reality at the foundation of asking ourselves, “Right now, what really matters?” Things that we hold in high importance are usually what we seek after or have regret about in our time of grief-hence, the rekindling or deepening of relationships with God and others.
With life, which is ever changing and situations that never stay the same, it is hard to keep the same fervor and intensity concerning things that are important to us. We should try to remember the things that will matter most to us at the end of the day and use that awareness to guide us in how we deal with our day to day situations and relationships. The next time we are faced with a challenge or difficulty, may we weigh out its true worth in our lives and allot adequate time and energy to it, then move on. May we hug our loved ones, extend grace to our enemies and complete the God-given tasks that we’ve been given.
The harsh reality is, we will not always have the time to get things “right”. Death does not always send a heads-up notification. Tragedy is often a reminder that death is not too far and that it respects no one. We will all one day have to give a response to death and eventually, “Not right now” won’t cut it.
In no way am I suggesting that we should we live in a bubble or in fear of things to come. I propose we try our best to live in love and appreciation of what matters most in life, which will cause the fear of death to lose its looming power. Should-have, could-have and would-have will all be dissolved at their roots, because opportunities will have been seized, indiscretions forgiven and love generously given.
As continued sojourners in Life’s journey, it is my hope that we can sustain our focus and give all that we have to give. What good is storing up love or an apology for a tomorrow that is never promised? No matter how short or long we live, we will all leave our stamp here on earth, but how deep and staining the impression- is usually up to us. So, be diligent in giving your all and not assuming that another time will come or for tragedy to reveal an already available opportunity.

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Reflecting, Saturday, July 28, 2012

Reflecting on my teenage years, I remember constantly praying to God on behalf of my mother. What seems like everyday, I asked Him to spare her life and release her from the relentless grips of drug addiction, which had her bound way before I can even remember. I remember fearing that she wouldn’t live long enough to see me graduate high school or college. I remember the many days I nervously wondered if she’d ever be present to happily watch me take the plunge into holy matrimony or with a motherly comfort, walk me through the path of pregnancy and the birth of my first child. This day, I am glad to remember her standing at my side as I graduated college. I remember the kiss she gave me the day I got married and I remember the support and many stories she told about her pregnancy with me and about my baby years. I remember 15 years ago when God delivered her from drug addiction and not too long after that, saved her soul. Today, I remember her crying while declaring, “I am a follower of Jesus Christ!” and being baptized in the powerful name of Jesus Christ!

I am a living witness that God still answers prayer! I feel like I cannot thank Him enough. The road started out very rough, but God has redeemed the times and I am grateful!

“All things work together for good…”

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