Category Archives: love

Friend, Foe or Frenemy…

My millennial struck again.

She called filled with concern, that she was growing apart from a friend who she had previously shared common interests and time with, and wanted to know what to do.

She had to ask… so here goes!

Friendships can be full of exhilaration and life! You spend hours on the phone talking about all kinds of things, you see eye to eye about mutual interests and concerns, and you pledge to have each others backs, no matter what. Weeks turns to months which turns to years, and it seems this will be someone who will be around for a lifetime. And it may very well be.

But what if it isn’t? The reality is this- MOST friendships do not last forever because interests shift, growth happens and your friend or you, aren’t always able to adapt or grow at the same pace which creates a chasm of discomfort no matter how hard we try to do otherwise.

When our mommas said that we are blessed to have one, maybe Two good friends, she was not lying. Rare is the person, that can withstand the ebb and flow of life with you into a ripe old age.

The added pressure of knowing what your purpose is and going full steam ahead while your friend is content to float along the river of life, makes for an interesting conversation down the road too.

So here are my two cents worth of advice-

  1. Stay honest first with yourself and then with your friend. When you feel distance happening, have the conversation, not from a place of accusations or guilt. It will be uncomfortable but it must happen.
  2. Don’t fester and make assumptions with forced small talk. A true friend will not want to anchor you with a rope of guilt so they can feel better about sitting sedentary while you have goals.
  3. Cry. Sometimes when the separation comes, it fills you with hurt and a sense of loss. Let the tears flow and keep walking in love.
  4. It could get ugly, because some folks do not know how to use their adult words to express that they are hurt and will instead lash out to make a clean break. That is messy in a way, neither party may soon recover from so see #1 again.
  5. Know that your journey in life will not always have someone by your side and be okay with that too. The wilderness walk is effective in allowing us to become more in touch with ourselves without the well intentioned distractions of opinions.
  6. What you put into the world, will come back to you, so as you grow and change, others will be sent along the path, to meet you where you are in that period
  7. Our job is to never carry the burdens of others who refuse to carry their own. We must rid ourselves of the notion that it is okay to push, pull and tug in an effort to not “leave” folks behind. They have feet. They can either walk with you or stand back.

I hope this helps because Lord knows, it is a journey we must all take, one way or another. How you both handle it, determines if have a friend, foe or frenemy.

Walk in the light-

Deuces and mad love,

Diva

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The twists and turns to womanhood

There l was, enjoying a quiet breakfast this morning, when l got the text from one of my darling millennials who wanted to know how did l embrace my womanhood and what did it take to get there?

I read that text, chuckled and commenced to having a good conversation because she was shocked when l said, l didn’t fully began to walk into all that made me a woman, until l was about 40. Yep. I said it.

The first person l heard saying this statement and l looked incredulously at the television screen when she did, was Camille Cosby. I was all of 27 then, and just KNEW l was a woman, with all the mess l had experienced to that point and what was she even talking about?

But now that l am a half a century old, l have come to understand what she meant and the older l get, the more steeped l have become in being comfortable with who l am with zero apologies.

But to my millennials, it is indeed a journey-one that is fraught with second guessing yourself, making mistakes you swear you will never recover from, worried you will NEVER find the right mate, be a good mother should you so choose to become one,or be successful at anything long term in life.

You will lose friendships you swore would last your entire life, experience heartache that will have you questioning love and feeling fear when you want to feel hope.

So the bad news is that these experiences will shift in and out, one way or another for your entire life.

The good news is that you will be so settled into you are as a woman who knows herself and what she will not tolerate, that you will no longer second guess yourself to death or worry about that which you have no control over.

Someone doesn’t like you? Okay and? Keep it stepping.

That job isn’t working out? Move on in grace and find another.

Folks second or third guessing you on your decision to be an entrepreneur? Thank
Them for sharing and either fail or succeed splendidly for there are lessons to be learned in it all.

The bottom line is this- every molecule that is you, means that you are more than enough. Embrace your warts and all with as much dignity and grace you can muster up. Or not. Because the truth is, you have another moment to get it right.

In the meantime, stop being so hard on yourself and enjoy the journey to fully embracing the woman you will blossom into being.

Love, peace and fish grease,
Muva diva.

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Gratitude Or Grousing..

All kinds of things and events  have been swirling around my space in recent days, weeks and months to the place where I have begun to pay full attention. 

 So when  a friend made a comment that she watched my life change in ways large and small since we met some 15 years ago and she was happy to witness it, I began to delve into the why. 

Why was I able to change and grow in ways that is almost impossible to believe on this end by many including myself some two decades later? Why am I still able to continue to grow and change with each passing day?

The conclusion I came to?
Gratitude.
No matter where I was in each cycle of my life, I maintained a level of gratitude for every morsel of it. Yes, even as I struggled to make sense of certain things and behaviors around me. Yes, as I was ridiculed for daring to dream and then going forth to do just what I dreamt about.

Do you know how I came up with gratitude as the answer?
All around me back then, were people who had the same opportunities and challenges I faced. Those of us who came through and  grew, maintained gratitude. 

Those who didn’t, are still in that same place  all these years later because they groused and complain bitterly about things and always looked toward what they didn’t have, versus what they did

They also were never willing to take the necessary risks needed to challenge themselves and grow. They were content to sit back and watch, all while denigrating the efforts of others, believing it was all pipe dreams. Until those dreams became reality with hard work and determination.

What they are left with, is a pot filled with a bitter brew of anger, jealousy, victimhood, and regrets.

Do not let that be you. Challenge yourself to step completely out of your comfort zone. Never forget to embrace each stage of your life fully, learn the lessons, celebrate the victories and most of all, walk in love and kindness.

And give yourselves a break. None of us are good all the time. It’s okay. You can be both AND. I am always a tad amused by self proclaimed “perfect” people who toe the line, do what they are told and then wonder why life is so, well, boring
That which we declare over ourselves, is that which is manifested. Good or not so much.

So what will it be?  Gratitude or grousing?

You decide.
Dueces and mad love,

DivA

The unselfishness of it all..

So my husband and I spent 10 blissful days in Hawaii over the holidays to not only rejuvenate our souls, but to shore up and reconnect as a couple because our collective work schedules can be brutal.

We often would carve out Saturday mornings for our weekly catch up if I am not traveling and we work as one vibrational team,  which means we pick up where the other isn’t able to in the moment. So imagine my shock when he sat me down after watching me frolick in warm waters at sunset in Honolulu … and what he said, made me take a pause for the cause.

He said his greatest WISH when we first got married, was to NOT move me into his current home because it needed all kinds of TLC (he ain’t NEVA lied) and he knew I had lived in this great place for over 25 years raising my own two children. Frankly, he said he was embarrassed and just wanted to do a quick sale, move on to a place of my choosing and start anew with another  mortgage.

He was shocked he said, when I looked him dead in the eyes, told him it made NO sense to start another mortgage at our ages and while the house needed a ton of work, I was willing to put in the time, energy and money with him to get it done.

He said I shocked him FURTHER when he offered to at least upgrade my car and I cackled with a thanks and said I would much prefer to keep the one that is already paid in full.

I am silently listening to all of this with my heart full because I truly loved him enough to get in the trenches with him and didn’t realize he struggled with what I opted to do.

He then said that he had never seen that kind of unselfishness and that many other women would have taken him up on the offer to move pronto with their nostrils turned up. It was that unselfishness however that solidified his love in a way that made him say if anyone dares to hurt me, he would take action in ways that would stun them because no way was he jeopardizing what we have built together.

Our home isn’t just beautiful to LOOK at now, it’s also filled with warmth and LOVE. These things are important.  Flashy things bring temporary joy- it’s who we are at the core that matters.

When we say we care about someone, it should not come with a bunch of superficial conditions. Rather, we should  work together as a team to reach where we desire to be together and if the core of our love depends on where we live, the square footage of our Homes and what we drive, it’s only a matter of time before the cracks begin to show.

If we want a full manifestation of goodness and light, we have to be it in all we say and do. If and when my husband and I decide to move from where we are currently, it will be a decision we make together and not for the benefit of anyone whims or fancy. Because at the end of the day? All we TRULY have to depend on? Is that core love we walked in the door with. We know enough to understand that life is cyclical and when hard times come, without the core in place, trouble is not far behind.
I love my nerd y’all. Believe that.

Dueces and mad love,

DivA

Squatty potty 

So  I think my husband is over me. But I swear, I am slowly becoming my fathers child with embracing all that is natural for our human bodies.
In that order, I quietly got this thing below and when it came yesterday and I removed it from the box, he looked at me like 😳😳😳

What is it you ask? 

It’s called a squatty potty.

You simply put it at the based of your potty and hoist your legs to use it as you handle your necessary business.

I gently explained the instructions were on it and only western civilization embraces sitting the other way which leads to colon cancers and blockages.  

Again he looked at me like I lost my marbles but undaunted, I set it up in the bathroom.

This morning after taking his shower, he says to me, “my darling wife, I love you with all my heart but I cannot get my legs high enough to use that contraption, so I guess I’m going to stay uncivilized and do this the regular way.”

I looked at his pitiful face and cracked up!! The squatty potty is the absolute truth people. We eat so much of the wrong things and our intestines can’t fully rid itself of the excess as it should.

As a child growing up in the islands, I used to marvel when I would visit family in the rural areas and watch as the squatted with ease to relive themselves… they stayed thin too and I didn’t realize that was the natural order of things.

We often scoff at what we don’t know but opening our minds could save our lives. Literally.
Go forth.
Dueces and mad love,

DivA

Good Googa Uber!!

So I had to get an Uber for several Days  in a row and I have come to the conclusion that many of those drivers listen to people confessing their souls while giving up a few confessions of their own

Chile listen… it ran from the ridiculous to the scary but this one dude made me gasp, smile and shake my head all at once.. 

When he got to my door and saw my infirmities, he hopped out his car, got my crutches and bags and was just wonderful in a way that told me he was special. His Hat was on backwards and when I got in his car, I noticed the back of his seat was almost reclined to a sleeping position.

He slid in and sat up with his seat just that way. I didn’t question because I have seen it way too much with young guys driving around in Philly.. they will keep chiropractors in business with that mess but I digress..

After asking if he could call me Miss Andrea and my answering in the affirmative, he proceeded to tell me that he was originally from Ohio but was transplanted to Reading at a young age and after feeling like he had too few opportunities, he moved here after meeting a young lady online and had been here in Philly now for a few months.

As he shared his life story, he said “you know, people judged and asked why I was making these moves and taking these risks and I told them I am the author of my book. I didn’t ask for editors and I am writing the story the way I see fit.” I damn near high fived the back of his head for those profound words of wisdom!

He went on to say,  he was filled with nuggets but had a hard time taking his own advice.

Then it got real. 

He said he would always choose women for their bodies and what was between their legs instead of what was between their ears and that he realized he was choosing Shallow intimacy over substance because he didn’t want to put in the work it required to have a good relationship.

He is so into this new woman who, from all accounts is so smart, he wonders Why she is with him, that he made a pact to NOT have intimacy with her for a year. He is coming to the end of that year and swears he loves and appreciates her all the more because they spent time learning about each other and doing things beyond the bedroom. 

Well I’ll be. 

His lesson and the way he chose to go about changing his habits, showed up this way and who am I to judge?  He truly believes in the power of intention, following ones passion and hard work, after he met the owner of a Car dealership while being his waiter and the owner found him to be so personable, he offered to train and hire him to sell cars.

He went from making $7 an hour to 60k per year AND he Ubers on his days off! I love it!!

The tenacity of the human spirit is something else. 

When we got to my destination, he took my stuff to the door of the building, shook my hands, thanked me for listening and odd he went.

I learned so much from him, not the least of which is to not stay stuck in your circumstances and to take bold leaps even if you can’t see where you will land.

We don’t get to judge people in their journey because it’s different from our own- our oath is simply that. Ours.
Dueces and mad love.

DivA

The Season of CHANGE…

Early last week, seemingly out of the blue, I received a phone call from one of my mentors who said she felt the unction to pray for me so she stopped what she was doing and we prayed over the phone.

I couldn’t figure out what that was about because I was cool and life was good… and then, the very next day, running in my bare feet to answer the doorbell, I slammed my left foot into the base of my sofa.

And broke not one, but two toes.

Ouch.

I knew immediately at least one was broken because the searing light I saw as I went down on those fluffy cushions, was a vision of heaven and hell all at once.

But to know me fully is to know this- I’m super determined to do whatever I set out to and so I got up, and went about my business while limping. I was so bold, I walked in a fashion show two days ago, changed outfits 4 times and had 5 inches of heels on and didn’t miss a beat. No one would have guesssd I was in pain at all. See for your self..


And it went on for days. Six to be exact, where I went to work and attended events, before my husband forced me to go have my foot x-rayed because we Iced, elevated and taped those toes together to no avail. 

So by the time I got the delightful news that I had done the obvious and they gave me crutches, the ugliest shoe known to mankind, my films and a referral to see a surgeon, it was slowly sinking in that I would have a new normal for the next few weeks.

This is where it got interesting- my phone began to ring and texts came in at all kinds of hours about what folks can do to run errands, take me to work etc and I was simply blown away. We live in a “I’m doing me and you better do you”  society, and yet here I was, the grateful recipient of love in the midst of this change happening around me. 

I’m freaking grateful. Believe that.

I also noticed something else too. And I will be back to address that at another time but this mentor had not a whole week ago, sat me down and said the season of change is upon me and the ones who don’t want that change to take place, will be the least kind or helpful and may even eliminate themselves by finding a reason to disagree about something to create issues.

The thing is this- I have been swirling with the winds of change for a while now and that meant stepping into spaces of discomfort and off ledges of  comfort and complacency.

If we want to fully actualize our purpose here on earth, what other choices do we have? If you are the smartest person in your circle, you need to get over yourself and elevate with people who already are where you are trying to  go so you can learn and grow.

I can see with these broken toes, the lessons in this new season has begun but the beautiful part is simply this- prayer works, the turmoil won’t last forever and the sun on the other side of it all, will be blinding in its splendor.

Never let the challenges deter you from you mission but also cocoon yourself with at least ONE person, that you can call and share with no matter the hour.

To my dogmatic mentor- you know who you are-thank you.


Dueces and mad love,

DivA

The way THESE eggs are set up…

What a week this has been. I am still recovering from Hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our home and all the shenanigans of love that took place within.

My husband was feeling especially mushy for some inexplicable reason and at one point, sat on the porch with me saying how grateful he was for us. I reminded him we had guests after telling him I was grateful for his love too and so as we walked back into the confines of the house, he says from behind me to the entire family, “we have news to share, Andrea is having a baby.”

I kept walking to the kitchen as his crazy family members clapped in glee and without turning around I replied ” what the hell is wrong with you?”

He cracked up and told them he was playing and I thought that was the end of it.

Later on that night, I learned from his mother that she would not be opposed to us having a child and in fact, she was looking forward to it.

Now see here. 

Did they forget I was a clapback of 50? 

When I reminded them of my not so tender years, I heard ” Janet Jackson is 51 and she’s doing it!”

Ummm… my name ain’t Janet. It ain’t Jackson if you nasty either. Not to mention I am sane enough to know these eggs have done their final drop some two score and plenty years ago and they fitting to scramble and retire for good in these Fallopian tubes. And I have an excellent retirement plan called menopause awaiting their arrival

Chile no.

I spoke about it at length with my husband this morning and it seems he seriously has been thinking about it.  I refrained from asking him to get his brain checked as we are now grandparents and instead worked hard to see and connect with his sentiments.

He agreed the baby-ship has sailed  for us once I laid out the facts but was happy I heard him out.
Lawd have mercy.. 

Men should be able to get pregnant. I bet you it would alleviate some of this baby talk. Women aren’t toaster ovens who pop out little humans on cue. This is a lifetime thing and honey, our “baby” will be 21 in 3 months and seeking to live abroad once he finishes college.

I seee the horizon and it has no wailing babies that I can’t send back to its parents in it.

Hell does indeed go with no.

Dueces and mad love,

DivA

The agony of da feets 

So  A week ago, I went to a new place with my diva daughter to get our toes done (convenience) and somehow, the woman cut my heel with the machine and I didn’t realize it until I began to feel twinges of pain a day later.

And I ignored it.

 I literally thought it was a surface scratch until two days ago when I climbed out of the bed, put pressure on the foot and winced. It only got worse and so by Thanksgiving morning, I had a gangsta limp but kept it from my husband so we could get through the day and all the company we were expecting.

Yesterday though? Chile listen. I was over talking the funk and asked him to take a look.

He was horrified at what he found and gave me that look  while he collected all the things he would need to clean and add neosporin. He fussed at me while I was gritting my teeth, especially when the cleaning agent hit the wound, but I kept my mouth shut.

Once he got it cleaned, I stepped down and my foot felt so much better, I hugged him with pure gratitude. 

I thought that was the end of it but this morning, he brought out his “doctor kit”again and proceeded to clean and dress the wound after I bathed without my asking.

It touched my soul watching him gently slide my sock on and  then looking up to ask if I was okay..

These are the things that matter long term in a relationship- not the car we drive, the house we live in or even how many degrees we do or don’t have. Common decency that transcends what people sees every day really matters in ways we don’t always fully appreciate until we need it.

My husband can take my last nerve and pluck it for miles some days but guess what? I still wouldn’t trade him for all the tea in china.

Dueces and mad love ❤️ 

DivA

Shaken and stirred, but not destroyed…

My husband curled into my back recently as he awakened, and let out a long, deep sigh. I knew what was on his mind and gave him the space to talk while being careful to listen without judgment or forming an opinion.

It was helpful to him and he went to work in a much better place. As wonderful a person as he is, like everyone else, he sometimes questions decisions he made that he wishes he could do over, and watching his consciousness shift into realizing even the mistakes serve a purpose, has been immensely helpful to his own personal growth and well being.

I immediately began thinking of another person who reached out  and contacted me a little over a year ago and was in such crisis, it physically hurt my  heart  to sit in her space and listen as she bravely bared her soul to an almost perfect stranger she knew very little about, but was led in her heart to contact me anyway  knowing I could have said anything but yes to meeting with her.
Her bravery was just the spark I needed as I began to challenge the stories she told herself and asked her  to create a vision board or statement of the things she loved and what was it that made her sparkle at the very thought of doing it.

I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t sure but at that juncture, what else did she have to lose? So she went about the business of putting one tiny step in front of the other even as the winds of life hurled her like a rag doll and “friends”felt like cold rain drops on her tattered soul.

She dug deeply and I encouraged her by supporting her dreams. She makes creative and  excellent fare in a way that has my husband groaning for more which was great sign indeed!! So she made our meals as we needed them and we were never disappointed. She was definitely on to something! I seriously love her meals and everything is made with fresh herbs and spices to perfection.

Today I called her for advice on some rolls and the person who answered the phone was full of life and ideas and had big catering jobs in front of her to do!!

I am not even sure if she realizes  that she chose to find the piece of her soul that would redeem and continue to validate her very existence on earth and that led to the place where she is currently.

We are NOT  defined by our mistakes when we can see them as lessons  that are shaping us to go on the next parts of our journey on earth.  No one said our pots wouldn’t be shaken and stirred from time to time as there is no ying without a yang.

We must give ourselves permission to breathe beyond our mistakes and allow them to define our next moves.

Take the time this holiday season to give the gift of compassion. We could all use a little.
Dueces and mad love,

DivA