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. 

   

   

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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.

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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The Newlywed!

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It was around 4 a.m. and day three of our honeymoon, when I was awakened by my new husband. He was tugging on my arm saying, “Chaz, get up! Chaz, get up! Go use the bathroom!” Dazed, sleepy and confused, I said, “My name is Tika, and I don’t have to use the bathroom!” I forced my gaze on him in the almost pitch-black room and noticed he was looking me directly in my face. As if he did not even hear what I said, he continued calling me his brother’s name and telling me to get up and go use the bathroom and I kept telling him my name and that I did not have to use the bathroom. This back and forth went on for about 30 more seconds. Finally, when I didn’t budge, he relented, walked into the bathroom, which was connected to our room and mumbled, “Don’t be mad at me…mumble, mumble, mumble…”. Once he returned from the bathroom, he got back in the bed, laid down and put the covers on himself as if nothing strange just took place.

At this point, even though the only concept I had of a sleepwalker was the zombie, closed-eyed person walking with their stiff arms in front of them (usually depicted on old TV shows and cartoons) I was almost positive I was married to one.

Thankful that that was the extent of his sleeping episode, I lay there wondering if we passed the annulment period in our marriage already? And somewhere between that thought I fell back to sleep. Since then, my married life has been nothing short of this strange yet awesome adventure, hence my new blog section- The Newlywed. It is in this blog that I will share some of the experiences, lessons learned, works in progress etc…that came along with this next step in my life.

Feel free to comment and subscribe.

A note to Love

You are my dream come true
The manifestation of a dream deferred
in word, thought and deed, you fulfill my ideals of love
My heart and soul follow suit after your adoration
My womb leaps with anticipation, and I can see myself bringing forth your nation
Working hard with your hands, creating a legacy for your seed, you are a man, fully a man indeed
In stature and frame can none compare, coupled with wisdom and knowledge, a combination so rare,
I’ll cherish you as a precious stone, and pledge to be yours and yours alone
For who can time love? And for love who can tame? One day I’ll vow to take your all from your heart to your name
I can barely believe all of life’s events led us to meeting here, for I am yours and you are my answered prayer

Aside

I cried at my grandfather’s funeral, mourning not for the loss of life, but for precious memories that were never formed and infinitely severed ties between myself and my history

Now, a grown product of a man with different baby mommas, who 30 years later still blames our disconnect on, baby momma drama

Toward him I really desired to feel hate, I looked for it behind every broken promise, every unreplied text or ignored call, sometimes I wish to have never loved him at all

To find like many others, solace in, ‘I can’t miss what I never really had,’ but instead of having just a father, I wanted a dad

To him I forgave for walking away to claim kids that he did not even experience the pleasure of creating while leaving my heart begging, praying and waiting for a love that should have been rightfully mine, an act summed up as another waste of time

What’s greater, the intensity of love or the bondage of hate? Or to create a child with no desire to participate?

As roots take place and grow, becoming one day un-remorsed and unable to be controlled a vicious cycle- only imagining the unknown

Based on the physics of a present reality, creating in the mind a possibility, a might have been, or a maybe,

I could be the descendant of a slave or perhaps from the line of a builder of the Panama Canal

But some things I’ve resolved to never know

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Better, the road toward perfection

20130218-175342.jpgAbout two weeks ago I was professionally asked this question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” My initial thoughts to the question went in almost 10 different places in a span of about three seconds. The things I quickly considered were family, education, finances, church, home, work, me and the list went on. I did not have the opportunity to linger on these thoughts, so I wondered, “How can I sum it all up in a way that is general, yet covers all of these bases and does not take twenty-five minutes for me to state it?

For my family alone, it would take a substantial amount of time for me to state where I would like to see us in five years. And while many of these areas overlap, the same is true for every area of my life considered. Of course, I know that my plan may not be God’s plan for me and I have heard the quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” But, I do believe in creating a plan and at least giving God something to work with. I give God my plans, knowing that above all, I want His will for my life. Any who…When I think of all the areas of my life that make me who I am, the bottom line is no matter where I would like to go and what I would like to do or become, I know I have not reached my greatest level of potential. Life is something that is progressive, no matter what we do, no matter what we think. Days are always added, never subtracted-even if we seem to personally regress or come to a point of life where we decline, it is an impossibility for the world to go backward. Only in movies and dreams are there opportunities to go back in time and undo, redo or erase. Time is that consistently fleeting, ever present, intangible blessing and curse that hangs over the head of each of us. As powerful as time it, time is really useless without our existence, and it is our very presence which gives time its strength.

So, I’ve pretty much given you a slight scenic route to this end, in five years I see myself better. In every area of my life, Better is what I expect. Better is what I see and it is what I am working toward. Many times, to become better it is a step by step, moment by moment journey of cohesive thoughts and actions. To me better is progressive; it is always moving forward. The aim/goal is perfection, because in my understanding, perfection is definitive and denotes completion; there’s nothing more to attain in perfection. The day we reach perfection is the day we stop living because there will be nothing more to strive toward. Now, don’t misunderstand me, in school, a perfect grade 100 % is the goal and in sports, nothing beats a perfect score, but in life as a whole, I believe our road to perfection is named Better.

Now for those of us who like to seal our mental deal with the Bible, I believe that Better is what Paul was referring to when he said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14 NIV). This text was written while he was in prison, so he clearly was not in the place of total contentment or perfection. With a little bit of deductive reasoning we can determine that, if there is a goal to be reached, it is a clear indication of (at least) two things, 1. Perfection has not been attained and 2. In order to reach the goal, positive progress [aka Better] must be put in action.

I would like to conclude that the concept of Better takes the pressure off and is less overwhelming. When we see pieces of a puzzle, rather than the puzzle as a whole, even though we are working toward the same end, it seems more manageable and able to be accomplished. Physically, we are less stressed and mentally more clear. An example is someone who decides to go to college and complete their Bachelor’s degree. Now, usually, this takes a minimum of 4 years and about 120 credits to complete. Considering your life over the next four years and all of the things you have to do along with completing 120 credits can seem so overwhelming that many people may decide not to even give it a shot. But, if it is broken down to what it really is; about 15 credits per semester, a few hours a week, it is not as devastating and more convenient and has a much greater chance of being completed. And it is with this reasoning that I put one foot in front of the other and take minute to minute steps of progress toward better.