Well here we go… 2017 is upon us and with so much spinning, what with a new incoming President for this great country, not to mention life changes seen and unseen, it can feel exhilarating and unfamiliar all at once.
I have been intentionally quiet for a few weeks here because I have begun taking steps so completely out of my comfort zone, and while I recognize that true change never comes without hard work with lessons disguised as failures along the way, I found myself today, gripped with fear, after enjoying a ten day respite with my husband to clear my head.
It’s time to, as old folks say, piss or get off the pot. Fear of excellence has crippled way too many. I refuse to be in that number.
I have had a zillion conversations with others about walking fully into one’s purpose and still I find myself wondering how many friends will I lose for my bravery, who will be the ones that tries to undermine my efforts and am I even crazy for going down this path?
What keeps me going, is the knowledge that continuing to follow that status quo or doing what others deem to be acceptable, has never been the road I took my entire life and this is not the time to second guess what could be the best moves to date.
So here we go… one day, one hour and one minute at a time, with constant prayer and an ever vigilant soul, there remains no choice but to keep pressing forward. No matter what.
Nothing comes to a dreamer but a dream right?
I wish for you all a 2017 filled with grace to handle the bumps life sends your way, the humility in dealing with the victories and the kindness that continues to live and support those around you and beyond.
Be the far reaching ripple and the disruptive wave. choose wisely in knowing when to be what.
Dueces and mad love,
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.
Dueces and mad love,
I can’t STAND shopping. I despise Shopping malls even more. Yes, I am indeed a girl, and yes, the statement above probably makes me an anomaly, but there it is.
So imagine how I broke out in hives at the mere THOUGHT of having to enter a mall recently and here is the culprit- my FIRST generation IPad that I was hoping to get “tuned” up because it was acting sluggish.
The poor Apple tech looked at me like I was crazy and informed me slowly and gently, that my machine was just OLD.
So old in fact, that it wasn’t compatible with the new micro processors they are currently using and all she could suggest was that I give the thing a proper burial or hold on to it for posterity sake.
As I looked on lovingly at my device and then at her young and chirpy face, I suddenly felt old too and wondered if as I aged, I would become disposable like so many of the elderly around us.
Here is the deal- we all eventually slow down and while our memory may not continue process at the speed of sound, there is a definite amount of wisdom that comes from living to a certain phase in life that many could tap into with loads of benefits. History and it’s contextual meaning serves a purpose that will help us to garner lessons and avoid certain pitfalls. That comes from the folks who lived long enough to recount what books and historians don’t always capture.
Not only that, we could practice patience and empathy and kindness when dealing with the seasoned members of our society because one day, should we be so lucky to live a life of length, we too will need it.
So as I snapped back to miss chirpy in the Apple Store describing the newest machine and the slice of my liver it would cost to upgrade, I chose to hold on to my ancient device until it decides it has had enough of me.
It’s the least I could do. Don’t judge me. Just smile and cluck at my sentimentality and wish me and my outdated machine well.
Dueces and mad love,
Steve Jobs was an eccentric dude who had a dream. He was laughed at, ridiculed and often scorned for his out-of-the-box thinking, and even lost several Jobs and failed at business ventures a few times. He kept at it and what he left behind in these apple Products through his ingenuity with a partner that believed in and joined him, is priceless, has forever changed the way we use technology and forced other companies to step their mediocre games way up.
Oprah Winfrey- the little “black gal” who was too ambitious for her britches, was told by the station manager that if she moved from her “cushy” job in Tennessee to Chicago, she would most certainly fail. And yet, she followed her gut and kept going through her mistakes by remaining authentic and sharing herself fully, which connected her to billions of people eventually. She dared to dream of owning her own network and had the balls to shut down her successful show, close HARPO studios in Chicago and took her entire life to Los Angeles.
All kinds of obstacles were thrown her way and people she thought would stand by her side, judged her for doing what her heart said. Because why did she have to be so bold in wanting a network? Didn’t she know what a mistake that was? Why wasn’t she yet married? Why did she share so much of her personal life? Why, why, why? She hunkered down and kept moving with the few who believed.
Today, she has a successful network, studios larger than the one she had in Chicago, and has given us one of the BEST pieces of programming in “Queen Sugar.” Her boldness has created jobs, launched people to become their best selves and on and on. Imagine if she had listened to that station manager and her daddy who thought she was just out of pocket in following her heart.
These are just two examples of many who dared to actualize their purpose.
Why am I saying all of this? When people don’t understand YOUR dream, or they feel uncomfortable with what they can’t possibly visualize, they WILL try and derail it with their opinions.
You will feel hurt and angry and discouraged but what you must NOT do? Is give up. The world deserves what is inside of you because you never know how you are impacting mankind in your bravery and determination to follow your PURPOSE.
To the naysayers who can’t seem to help themselves with their doomsday comments and judgements of those around them that are daring to explore what they dream about, please understand that you are only fuel for dreamers to keep moving and growing and doing.
The cemeteries are already too filled of people who died with their dreams within because they were told to keep that “stable” job or whatever the thing is said to deter people no matter how well intentioned you may be. Just because it doesn’t make sense to you, it does not make you right.
Failure is also not a bad thing. It teaches us the lessons that will create the solid foundation as we move to higher heights. So allow people to fail UP instead of talking them DOWN to your level of comfort. Be unselfish enough to get out the way of the ones who carry the fire within the pit of their bellies to live beyond the pale.
We all aren’t designed to simply exist in the boxes we allow others to create for us.
So while you keep judging, we will keep those high hopes. No matter what.
Dueces and mad love,
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.
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.
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,
When my brain is full, I take comfort in finding the places that bring joy to my weary soul in an effort to rejuvenate myself.
Today that place was the Rangoon, which is still the only Burmese restaurant in Pennsylvania. Go figure. But the food? Made from scratch and is sinfully good.
So there I entered with my lunch companion, who roared when the owner chirped out my name in a warm welcome, said she missed seeing more of me and told me which friends of mine had been in recently!
It’s like that.
I told her I would be celebrating my birthday with her food in a few short weeks and no less than 10 of us would be there to liven up the place. She giggled and my friend and I settled down to eat.
Here is where it got interesting.
A brother came rushing through the doors, dropped his jacket at the table next to ours, ran over to the owner and began ordering food. He began with. “I will have 2 L9’s, a soup and two of the chicken and broccoli dish!”
It took me a minute to realize he was eating in because he seemed to be in such a rush and of course, I had to mess with him.
You had a doubt?
He shared he has been visiting the restaurant for almost 20 years to my 14, and it’s one of his favorite places to eat. He was so personable, we kept chatting until his woman walked through the door. We said hello to her and went back to our respective lunches until my dishes showed up and his woman got my attention and asked what was I eating.
I looked at him and said. “Wait a minute. YOU have been coming here for 20 years and haven’t tried any of the things in front of me? Dude, you killing me!”
He laughed and replied no, so I promptly scooped a little from each of my dishes she was curious about and put it on her plate to try and while telling him he didn’t deserve any for slacking like this!😂😂
Of course, she loved it and I admonished him to stretch himself beyond the one dish he had been eating for 20 years and actually ask for a menu and allow his lady to choose next time.
Can you imagine? All those delightful dishes and he stuck with one. For 2 decades. I ain’t never heard of such!
I ear hustled as I ate and learned she was frustrated with his flirting and crossing the line with some women they both knew and he became squirmy when the topic of his phone and texts came up.
Lord. A player from the Himalayas.
Limited in menu choices and thinking too, I guess. He so needed another brother or person to sit and discuss a few things with him about life and choices because we could tell he didn’t have the right tools to deal with what was in front of him and that sister looked like she was at the end of her rope.
I don’t know what happened after they left, but I learned a lesson about really meeting people where they are. It was enough for him yo have discovered this place that he never thought to go beyond what he was comfortable with. I believe after his encounter with us though, he may change his choices next time around.
My lunch partner and I looked at each other and cracked up because we could see our husbands at his age probably doing some of the same things..
Whew Chile.. every day is an opportunity grow and learn should we choose to expand our minds. The alternative isn’t always pretty.
Dueces and mad love,
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
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,
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 ❤️
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,