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,
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,
Mister and I share and banter with each other like no other as evidenced below. I posted this conversation on my facebook page last year…..
So I’m fussing at hubby about making up the bed if he leaves the house after me and was winding up to give my reasons why when he walked over and lifted both my arms..
Me: what are you doing?
Him: looking for the “return” sticker. I know you have one some where. I signed a money back guarantee for you.
The look on my face made him drop my arms and laugh so hard, I cracked up too despite myself…😂😂😂😂
It ain’t THAT easy to return me buddy…
Every single day, we go back and forth and howl with laughter because we so appreciate the genuineness we share with each other.
We also have this steadfast rule that we chat on Saturday mornings before the world is awake and get caught up on our week. His days are 16 hours long and one would be hard pressed to catch me this side of the continent as I travel around for work.
Stay with me because this is good.
After reading an article this morning, I turned to him and asked if he believes men should be the one to approach women and not the other way around. He paused and replied “we should never paint a broad brush over anyone or anything. It’s nice for us men to go seeking what we desire but it is equally nice to be desired ourselves. I think it’s okay for a woman to show interest if she has it.”
“That is interesting and I am so glad I asked you. So what makes it difficult for men when the like a woman?” I asked.
“When they are deliberately coy and play hard to get to the point where we turn the corner and get someone else. It should not feel that difficult.”
He shifted and looked at me and began to remind me how we met. He remembered key things like what I was wearing, what I said to the audience in the room but he was more struck by my authenticity and kindness to the people around me and wanted to know me better.
We cackled and howled to the blue corn moon when he said for a whole week in 2015 he simply did not like me for purging the house and throwing away everything.
We got to reminiscing when he shared about the one week we didn’t speak very early on in our relationship because we were upset with each other and he said it felt like the longest week of his life. He knew without a doubt then, he was going to figure out how to get me to marry him. I confessed I missed him horribly too.
He shared he cried for almost an hour on our wedding night because he was so filled with gratitude to finally have a wife who he could share everything with and would love him no matter what. He said he prayed hard for this to happen but when it did, he couldn’t fully express his happiness and it came out in tears.
We spoke about these misnomers floating around that people follow instead of their own soul which is why unhappiness abounds.
He took my hand and said “do you know why we have not once had a full blown argument about anything? I believe in the 5 second rule. If we take time to process things and not allow our emotions to spew negativity, anything is workable. I love you enough to never scream at you and I am certainly not going to lob obscenities your way. Not only would you not hear the message that would be lost in the screaming, It’s disrespectful to you and us as a couple. You are everything to me even when I drive you nuts.”
Lord Jesus. Did I say I love him? If more couples would talk things through, we could all deal with the crap life throws our way. My husband and I have had our fair share but he always reminds me that at the end of the day, we are it and he will die protecting what he prayed so hard for.
When you are able to feel a love like this, what does one do but return it?
I can’t ever tell anyone who they should choose but what I can say is this- see beneath the outer package and look at the heart and soul. Too many well dressed, well packaged empty souls are walking among us that can do untold damage if we aren’t careful.
Dueces and mad love
A few days ago, my eldest child flew home to visit albeit briefly, so we could see each other before he went off to handle his real purpose for being here- his fraternity and the brothers he formed a deep bond with. I was with him for less than 12 hours but we squeezed priceless moments within and my soul and heart were full when he left.
I wrote about this son a while back in a post where he had an encounter with a police officer https://lawfultrainer.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/innocence-of-a-child-forever-gone/
Even as we worked diligently to be certain he was okay and told him to keep achieving, he continues to defy and exceed any expectations anyone could have of him.
Quite simply, he’s determined to succeed and writes 5 and 10 year plans to keep his purpose in the forefront always. So earlier this year, 2 weeks before his 24th birthday, he had already graduated from college, works for a Great company that values and relocated him to another state and after just 11 months of living in said state, he closed on his very 1st home.
As remarkable as that was, he also bought that home with no financial help from his father and I. In fact, he insisted it was something he wanted to see if he could do and he did. We couldn’t believe how disciplined he was to save by not buying a new car when he graduated from college even as his peers were stunting with new rides all around him. He paid his bills on time and kept his credit score in a place many adults do not have and he stunned the banks when they saw he really saved and had a stable job at his age. Once he bought that home though, I flew in and helped him to furnish and buy appliances. He smiled and said I was “such a mommy” as if that was an insult!!😂😂😂
He is now 24 and as I listened to him discuss what his next set of plans entailed, I teared up remembering all he had gone through to get to this point and that his adversities only made him grow to the place where he is an incredible advocate of his rights and can see things from a point of view most miss.
He is a really quiet and profound cat that I am so proud to call SON. I caught a brief glimpse of his need for parent love when he walked up to hug me and just laid his head on my chest for a good two minutes. It was cathartic and healing to us both.
He credits his tenacity to having parents who aren’t afraid to work hard and achieve-he astutely learned certain traits we carry that he found to be beneficial in business and life and built upon that. I have no doubt we haven’t fully begun to see what he will accomplish. and while the house was filled with both my children and all their friends, when the nest emptied and those birds flew back to where they came from, they all left a piece of their love joy and peace with me..
Parents- raising children is the most challenging thing we will do and it never ends. We want to protect our children from danger and harm while we coach them on being able to thrive in environments away from us. If we could, we would shield them and keep their innocence firmly intact but life doesn’t work that way.
On this day, I pray you have the courage and strength to do what you know is right for your children and to seek advice when needed.
Those babies we carried and nurtured will one day become adults. How they get there depends upon you in those early years of learning and growth.
Dueces and mad love,
The other day, I saw what could only be described as a shiny new toy in our basement and wondered who it belonged to because it couldn’t be ours. So I asked mister.
Me: babe, is that a weed whacker I see downstairs? Does it belong to our landscaper?
Him: no it’s ours.
Me: how sway? When I first got here, the weeds were taller than me in the back yard (no exaggeration) and the front was a disaster. I have never seen you touch, pluck or move a Blade of nature. What sense does that make?
Him: if memory serves me, it just needed a long cord and there is nothing wrong with it.
Me: but you are not using it so why do we have it again?
Him: it’s brand new.
Me: from 10 years ago and never used. Give it away.
Him: you know I can be a pack rat. I keep thinking I may need stuff down the road.
Me: I’m going to need you to unpack your rat because this house is void of your junk and it will stay that way if you want peace on earth.
Him: give me a week. If I haven’t figured out what to do with it, then we can get rid of it.
Lord have mercy. Did I say he was HIGHLY allergic to pollen? I have never seen him cutting grass etc as a direct result so I am stumped on why there is a weed whacker holding up a corner like glorified trash! I could feel him bristling at the thought of not keeping this thing he may never use but that’s how we start a collection of things we don’t need and an occasional purging is healthy for my mind and his body.😂😂😂😂
Speaking of trash- my husband and I keep having this one sided debate about it and who should take it to the curb on disposal days.
I see nothing wrong with dragging it to the curb but he is adamant that he will do it the night before.
So what is a sister to do? Keep in mind that I have lifted barns, helped to pull a plane and all other sundry of things but in THIS house, he believes it’s one of his roles because he doesn’t want me handling the trash cans.
I need someone to gently hold his hands and bring him into this century but in the meantime, I made an executive decision and dragged what is now two weeks worth of garbage out to the curb.
I’m praying he says nothing beyond thank you so I can keep my “I was ONLY trying to help YOU buddy!” Attitude firmly in check😂😂
When he’s home and can take it out, by all means but I’m not helpless and this is one less thing he has to consider if I make it home before him.
That’s what marriage is all about right? Collaboration, picking up the slack, not counting roles and supporting each ther.
I keep telling you all- this isn’t for punks so stay the course and don’t get distracted by the little things. Like trash.
Deuces and mad love,
I had to attend a funeral of a dear friend today who died suddenly last week from an asthma attack of all things, and as I sat in the church numb from disbelief, I learned through the lens that was her life, to make our days count. She made every day count by being a tireless volunteer and example for people across all genres and did it with humility, grace and hellified style.
We are not on this earth to be about ourselves but rather, the impact we leave on others. Judging from that full church, she did just that.
So when I got home, I took some time to reflect on my porch about a few things while listening to my Husband moving about the house.
And then, an angel stopped by to visit and what she thought was solace for her, became so many lessons for me when she walked in the house, took off her shoes and literally curled up on my shoulders and exhaled..
I almost cried.
What she did said she completely trusted me with her heart and we sat in silence until I asked her how was her day.. she began to share and we spoke like mother and daughter for the next couple of hours while she had a bowl of soup and I drank a cup of ginger tea.
I looked at that precious face and saw the daughter I never had. I impressed upon her to come visit any time she wanted to because I became clear, her love and trust were not easily given and never to be taken for granted.
That for me, was a part of our service here on earth. How are we choosing to show empathy, listen and be vulnerable?
People watch us all the time. It is never our words but more our actions that makes all the difference.
So while I was saddened by One friend passing away, I was rejuvenated by the love of another who reminded me life continues and we are to make the best of every moment.
Dueces and mad love,
April 21st 2016 began with my jumping into the divamobile at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. and as I pointed it towards the gym, my music shuffled to Prince and his iconic song “Kiss.”
I pumped up the volume and screeched right along with him and walked into the gym doing a jig.
I LOVE me some Prince.
No. I need you to fully grasp this.
I LOVE ME SOME PRINCE.
So while the folks in the gym cracked up laughing at me, I didn’t care because as far as I was concerned, the day began just right.
So around 2 that afternoon when the first of many text messages came in that asked if I had heard about Prince, a sense of foreboding washed over my entire being and with shaking hands, I googled his name.
I wasn’t ready for the headlines that screamed he had died.
I dropped my phone, the tears began and I was inconsolable for what became months. My children and husband all called worried and I couldn’t form the words beyond sobbing. My friends who knew what this meant for me got in their cars and began ringing my doorbell.
Chile, I was just devastated!
I discovered Prince as a teenager and while I like every other child in the eighties, enjoyed Michael Jackson, Prince was so different and his music so lyrically conscious, he quickly became my favorite of the two.
My momma thought he was a confused cross dresser and the devil so when I was given a cassette tape of purple rain and played it all damn day, it disappeared without warning and I decided when I became an adult, I would own anything Prince pushed out.
I did too.
When my first marriage ended and he took all the Prince music we enjoyed together, I made it my mission not to allow that to happen again. Princes music calmed my soul and made me feel it was okay to be different and to explore those differences with boldness as a woman who kept getting consistent messages that my voice should be tempered.
So there I sat on April 21st, all lost in the sauce and that evening, One of my friends Jacine, inadvertently began the healing garden when she rang my doorbell and offered a bunch of purple plants to help me.
I went the very next day and bought a bunch of tools, dirt, plants and began with the help of two friends, to turn over the very dry and weed filled patch of ground my husband ignored for 20 years.. this was the beginning of that garden
I had Princes music in rotation for months as I weeded and watered with love!! I have since transplanted those beautiful annuals into pots and given them away to friends in preparation for winter so I feel like his death was not in vain.
Not to be be outdone, my husband went online and immediately booked a flight for me to go visit Paisley park in Minneapolis and I believe that cathartic solo journey, helped to heal my soul in more ways than ten! I rented a bug and the first thing I did was find his studio and home. I was not ready for the display of love and tributes I found. See for yourself
I was so incredibly TOUCHED and felt so healed knowing so many people Were impacted by him. I sat out there for HOURS watching people show up and had conversations with strangers about how they became Prince fans
I spent the next two days visiting his childhood home, high school, the place where he filmed parts of purple rain, drove to Lake Minnetonka and dipped my feet in and found a guy that was making Prince gear I could buy. I even went to the Hard Rock Cafe in the Mall Of America to see the donated outfits of his they had on Display. I was on a mission that was everything Prince!
Did I say I loved that dude??
It’s now six months later, and when I learned his estate was opening for tours, a friend and I booked our tickets and so I will share that another time.
I look back now and realized I was able to turn his death into a beautiful Giving garden while gaining peace in my soul.
We Aren’t going to live forever so what are you doing to leave an impact between your birth and death? It may not be on the scale of a Prince because he was truly a special Soul Who found his purpose and walked fully in it come hell or high water.
I didn’t cook for months but I’m back to myself. Sort of. I think my husband is over my saying this- “Prince died man! The end! I ain’t doing nothing right now!” 😂😂😂😂
Thank you for walking this journey with me as I shared. For the die hard Prince fans out here- I feel you. Hang in there. The petty one would expect no less.
Either God has a sense of humor, or I’m crazy. I’m placing my money on God. Every single morning between 2 0r 3 am, I awaken like clockwork. I kinda know why but more about that later.
So I’m up as usual and happened to check the space where my siblings and I chat daily to check in with each other about our lives, what’s happening with our aging parents etcetera.
I clearly wasn’t prepared for the conversation I began reading but I felt a chuckle bubble in my soul, that erupted from my mouth into full blown laughter as I read comment after comment that went from The ridiculous to the sublime.
You see, 2 of my siblings were trying to get a third to look beyond the scenario of dogs being taken to church and to the altar to be blessed by a priest and see the lessons within but she was so STUCK on what our Jamaican culture dictated that she couldn’t see why this particular scenario was happening. The hilarity that ensued, warmed the cockles of my tickled heart!
They teased her mercilessly and she wouldn’t budge but reminded them that she is able to look clearly enough at something and if it didn’t make sense to her, she wasn’t going to do it no matter what her wretched siblings said to the contrary 😂😂😂
The older we get, it’s become apparent that we have similar traits to either one or both of our parents that we SWore would never happen.
We prayed and asked God daily to let the idiosyncratic cups pass us by but alas!😂😂
Our father has been a sage offering all kinds of advice and lessons within everything he sees and encounters. It drove us nuts as children but we have some of those same tendencies. Some of us more than others and I ain’t pointing no fingers. Ha!! He also believes in using natural ingredients for everything. It better come from the earth or he ain’t touching it. This is the man that went to the dentist and they could find zero plaque on his teeth because his regimen daily with brushing and flossing lasts a good 15 minutes after each and every meal.
I can’t make this stuff up.
Our mother is a class act who was steadfast in teaching us how to grow up and be responsible and classy women that wouldn’t compromise our souls for anything. She is much quieter than our father who talks from the minute he awakens until he falls asleep and she is the ying to his chatty yang.
Our childhood friends love our parents and we couldn’t understand their constant craving of two people we tried our best to never cross hairs with but as we all age, we see the value in how they raised us to look after each other, showed us that prayer is a powerful tool, that giving back goes beyond the basics, that we are to treat others well and lord were they ever excellent examples of how we raised our own children.
My sisters are the solid backbone to my very existence. They hold me accountable like only siblings can, they show up in ways big and small no matter what is going on and they pray hard when I take off on another adventure that I will return unscathed because none of them wants to be the one to explain to our parents, why they allowed me to go off on what they would consider a reckless folly.😂 As if anyone could stop me and they know this from raising my precocious self!
Our mommy celebrates another turn around the sun today and as I give thanks for her being here with us among the living, I also give thanks that she raised four girls into beautiful women who found their purpose and continues to walk with mankind in our own unique ways. She is an excellent grandmother to 4 grandchildren as evidenced with my oldest son dancing with her in the featured photo. She dotes on them in ways that makes us wonder who she is because the drill sergeant mother became the pudding pop Grandmom.
Family is a blessing and it’s wonderful to live to a space where the value of it can be fully appreciated even in the roughest of times.
Love and appreciate yours in ways big or small- meet people where they are-try not it judge but seek to understand and always remind yourself we aren’t going to be here on earth forever so make the best of each moment we have here.
Deuces and mad love,
Friday October 7th was the premiere of the movie Birth Of A Nation and while I knew I was going to view it and psyched myself up to see what was sure to shock my senses in parts, what happened was something different. For me anyway.
That day began in an interesting manner where I had to circumvent and remind a few folks who were so entrenched in how they did things, they forgot education was about the children they purportedly served.
So I was already feeling some kinda funky from a long day filled with meetings, when I pointed my diva mobile in the general direction of the movie theater.
I had two sips of some kind of beverage and some appetizers but I was more engrossed in chatting with many of the folks who I hadn’t met before this screening and a few who knew me Well enough to be prepared for any and all Shenanigans I may spew forth.
After ALL of that preparation, I walked in and settled myself in the very back after taking a deep cleansing breath.
I would NOT be the sister who left disliking all white folks based on what I saw.
Listen. 30 minutes in? I was cringing, tears were flowing down my cheeks,
I was talking to myself and the screen, I called on Jesus more than
A few times and didn’t know IF I would make it through.
Here is what I learned- and let me be clear, you may get something totally different but our past experiences often shape what we see and feel.
I saw a man who was chosen to be a leader who was quiet, caused no trouble, did what his master told him and learned to read because the slave owners wife took an interest in him.
Lesson? Never dismiss people based on what you see. The eyes can be deceptive. Nat Turner had something within, that the outer facade belied and he was therefore trusted in places and spaces that gave him access when the time came.
There is a courage within people
Of African descent that isn’t often depicted anywhere as it serves to remind us that we matter, we are Smart, we Are Resilient and while everyone may not be on board when the time comes to act, it only requires a few to get a movement started.
Watching The constant raping of our women and children at the hands of slave masters, only for those broken women to be sent back to their men afraid, ashamed and hurt to their core, almost put me over the edge.
I also saw the courage, love and anguish of the men, who often risked their lives to protect their families the best way they could. That visual warmed my soul.
We suffered a lot as a people and it continues to present day but we also have more power and able to make choices instead of waffling in mired hurt and pain alone.
Many are called, FEW are chosen. We all have a purpose in this life and our one job is to find it and then follow.
Nat Turner and many others lost their lives
For that insurgence but it sparked a revolution that changed slavery after he died.
We MUST make it our business to learn
About our history and stop waiting for it to become
Curriculum in schools. There are too many books, not to
For that to even be an excuse any longer.
As a woman, I walk every day with the ancestry of Nanny of the Maroons from Jamaica whose blood runs through my veins. I am steeped in my culture in a way that serves as a reminder that I can and will continue to achieve with alacrity and I must serve those around me with same.
We had a discussion after the movie and I left wondering who were to two or three who would actually step beyond the emotions to spark the next movement.
There were a few Caucasian students from Arcadia university who watched the movie and I could FEEL the palpable
Discomfort coming from a couple. I walked right over to them and reminded them to not leave here feeling guilty but rather enlightened on how they could help to make this a better America for us all.
That movie shook my very core- but it did something that was so much more. It was confirmation in a way that I in particular needed.
Go see it. It’s worth every penny and the lessons are priceless.
Deuces and mad love,
We have some really ratty looking chairs in our kitchen. I mean REALLY ratty. They look so awful, I don’t have the heart to post a visual of them. Yep. THAT ratty.
It used to kill me to look at those chairs and not go out and purchase a new set, but something stopped me.
Just about every memory he had in our house has been expelled for one perfectly sane reason or another.
If you saw the way he was living, you would agree with me. None of his plates matched, no rhyme or reason to anything he owned and as long as he had a recliner, a piece of meat and his beloved football, he was fine.
He didn’t account for this new wife of his to come in and make the space a place of warmth and safety.
That meant gutting every floor and getting rid of everything that wasn’t nailed down.
I can laugh about it now with him but he wasn’t speaking to me at all for about a week😂😂😂😂
So why did I keep those ratty chairs?
The wistful look on his face when he wondered if we couldn’t just hang on to them, because they were comfy to him at night when he was tired after a long day at work, it’s where he sat to grade his papers and sometimes watch his beloved Eagles play football.
I love him way more than I despised those ratty chairs and so they remain. For now.
I realized today, my gesture was not lost upon him when he quietly thanked me for leaving his comfy chairs alone.
Lawd Jesus.. my next step is to find someone to re-upholster them before my heart can’t take any more. Did I say they looked good and terrible?
The things we do for love.. and compromise. Some of you may never be caught dead having something so awful looking in your homes and it may not be about some ratty chairs, but more about being aware of what you can do to compromise in relationships that always requires work.
It is so easy to fall into a space of not always considering the thoughts and feelings of the ones we love in an effort to get what we want, but those thoughtful gestures add up to long term goodness in ways we don’t often comprehend.
While our partners are initially drawn to us by something physical they see, they stay by what they see within us over time. They need to know we got their backs when it counts. When we give a little, we gain a lot in return.
Our mates should be a reflection of the value system within us. We attract who we are. Believe that.
Deuces and mad love,