Am I Losing This Race? (Part 2 of 2)

13 Sep


But then God being who he is in my life is alway sure to come shining through.  WITHOUT FAIL.  Just when it seems like you are all alone, someone shows up or something divine happens…

  • I remember feeling so depressed one day that I didn’t bother to get out of bed.  A friend I had not talked to in months sent a text out of the clear blue inviting me to a church in Harlem to see a snippet of an inspirational, one man off broadway play.  He did not know how I was feeling that day but God did.  And he pulled me out of that slump by causing someone to think of me.  After the performance, the star of the show spoke of a hard life and how he endured.  Here he was living and fulfilling his dream, his passion.  There I was to experience it and had not previously planned to be there.  I was inspired and no longer felt depressed.  I felt loved by God and thought of.
  • I was blessed to be able to take part in a program that allowed me to spend a brief period of time in two European fashion capitals.  It was what I need to jumpstart and fuel my creativity.  I met designers, toured design exhibitions, learned European draping techniques, toured a famous embroidery house, attended an Haute Couture auction, received valuable advice from designers who complimented me and told me things about myself that I did not necessarily see.  I met a guy on a Parisian street who told me I would be famous one day (as he pointed out the location of Karl Lagerfield’s residence).  Only God knows if that is the case but all of the above was truly enlightening.
  • I mentioned feeling creatively challenged sometimes.  I wanted to design a business logo, and for the life of me nothing would come to mind.  But one day, my first mind (as my mother calls it) told me to snap a picture of a spiral staircase that I came down.  Wouldn’t you know it?  When I looked at the photo, I immediately saw my inspiration; it was amazing.  I just liked how the stairs looked and I wasn’t even thinking about a logo at the time.  But there it was.
  • I went to bed one night after a long day and I remember being so tired.  As soon as sleep came, I begin to have visions of fashion designs.  A designer told me once to keep a sketch book with me at all times and this night, I had decided to leave it on my little night stand.  Well I got up, in my sleepiness and begin to sketch what I had seen in that vision.   Afterwhich I laid down to go back to sleep.  As soon as sleep came again, so did another vision.  So there I was, up again sketching what I had seen.  See how God works?  I’ll let you know if these designs become major sellers one day.
  • As I talked more about this path I so desired, my adopted big brother (of 11 years) presented a book to me one day entitled “Your Dreams Will Make Room For You.”  He gave it to me with a sense of pride because it was written by someone he knew personally and he was giving it to someone who was near and dear to his heart (awww).  The book touched upon a crucial, yet common truth that when you put yourself on a path (whatever that path may be) you will begin to connect with others going the same direction.  Soon, your network becomes an intricate one made up of people and things who value and are passionate about the same or similar things you are.  Inevitably, you begin to help each other along the way.  If you are passionate enough and endure, you soon begin to realize your dreams.  They make room for you.

One of the best sayings in life is that “experience is the best teacher” and throughout my life, slowly but surely, I have discovered that the toxic people I’ve allowed in the front seat of my life assisted in draining my life force with their mess.  Since I considered myself to be a friend of theirs, I had expected them to sow good fruit in my life.  Looking back, I realize they weren’t even capable of sowing good fruit in their own lives, let alone mine.

I still help people.  It gives me joy to be able to and I am grateful to God that he has blessed me to do so.  But he has given me increased knowledge and wisdom on how to go about it and who to do it for.  My intentions are not to offend people.  But sometimes, I cut my ringers off for a week. I disconnect from the world, so I can have a better connection to God.  I need to be fueled.  I need extra fuel from time to time and only He can do that.

I was on Facebook one day browsing through friends pages and some of their friends pages (whose walls were unrestricted).  I read some of their posts, and realized (as if I didn’t already know) that I am not the only one.  Life is just plain hard and painful sometimes.  But also what we make it.  So, as I read I said a prayer for them.

Our lives are full of set backs and triumphs but the important thing to know is that this is what life is.  Keep conquering the mountains that block your view from time to time, bask in the sun for a while and breath in the pure fresh air when you reach the tops of those mountains and always maintain the lessons behind the trial for they will propel you to a better and brighter you.  Cling to God and remember that with him nothing is impossible.  And even though you may feel like you’re failing, you are actually doing a good job (because he’s leading you anyway).

Ain’t nothing left for none of us to do BUT do it, whatever it is.  What God-given passion has been calling your name?  Think about it.  I’ll pray for you, you pray for me, and I’ll keep you posted.

Am I Losing This Race? (Part 1 of 2)

16 Aug

I read a poem once that cautioned about whom you let sit in the front seat of your life.  Because if you’re not careful, you can unwittingly break your own heart by making bad choices when it comes to those relationships.  Often times we allow people in our lives who mean us absolutely no good.  We promote them to the front seat, sometimes with very little information as to who they really are, what they stand for (if anything) and if they mean us any good.  We sow our most intimate selves into them, allowing them to sit in a seat they are not qualified or worthy to even be in simply because we see the “good” in them and the potential of what they could be in our lives, their own lives if only…

It’s like plugging a cord into an electrical outlet; if the “right” person or persons, or too many things are plugged in at once, well then the system overloads and the breaker in the fuse box associated with that energy source shuts off.  These people and things keep sucking the juice out of you and will bleed you dry if you allow them.  You nourish them, make love to them, feed them.  They come to you with their hidden agendas seeking TLC when they are stressed or depressed or just plain want to use you.  You blow hot air giving them the best advice you know how over and over again when they are broke, busted or disgusted even though secretly they have no intentions of doing anything differently.  You eventually discover that RIGHT just ain’t  in ‘em.  It is both insanity and selfishness neatly packaged together.

This quest of mine is very daunting and depending on the day, what has happened on that day (or even the day before) my faith is challenged.  Some days I feel isolated and alone.  Others I feel scared and overwhelmed and sometimes I hear a whisper in my ear that asks me “Do you have what it takes?” or sometimes “Are you really cut out for this?” and still “You’ve been away for too long and you’ve lost your touch.”

Some days I procrastinate, I become distracted and I find everything else to do except for what I should.  Sometimes I feel as if I waste away the time God has given me just trying to mentally prepare.  I go through my business books and my business plan and I become overwhelmed to the point that I must put it all down and rest.  Sometimes I am creatively challenged and grow frustrated or fearful even because I have not used my talent in so long that maybe God has taken it away…  The old use it or lose it syndrome.

I have a friend of 11 years who has become a big brother to me.  One of those types that tells you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear, when you need to hear it.  I talk to him about my life; jobs, men, family, friends, frustrations, set backs and triumphs…I’ve even cussed him out a time or two about his own mess.  Yet, I am never judged about my life and how I’ve lived it.  He talks about the strength that God has given me and how I’ve been called to be one of those people who others depend on and seek out for help.

At times I try to explain to him how sick I am of being the go to person and that I don’t want to hear it.  How some times I feel weak and I want to scream.  How some times I cry when I talk to God because the burdens seem too heavy to bare…

Motherhood May Have Come and Gone

8 Aug

When I last checked, I had a total of 22 nieces and nephews (including several greats).  I have since stopped counting and have decided to use use my brain cells for other things; I just can’t keep up anymore.  As you can imagine, I have had my share of babysitting and caregiving.  At times I have watched 6+ kids at once and not only did this include my nieces and nephews, but also the children of other relatives and/or family friends.  Everyone knew my M.O., if they get out of line, I will whoop yo’ kids.  With my family being the way it is, EVERYONE was okay with that.  Respect is very real and more parents today need to take a step back several decades (when the village really did take part in child rearing) and teach their children more of it.

Yesterday was one of the most gorgeous days of the summer.  It was about 85 degrees, sunny with an ever so slight breeze and the humidity was next to nothing for a change.  I live around the corner from a shopping mall and since I don’t typically cook on Saturdays, I decided to head outdoors and take a walk over to the mall into the food court for lunch.  I had no other plans and was suffering from a degree of boredom, so on my walk back I decided to sit in the marketplace plaza situated directly in front of where I live.

There are several stores as well as condos and other apartment buildings surrounding this plaza.  The scope of the neighborhood is generally made up of working class families with small children, stay at home moms, grandparents who are caregivers by day, nannies, dog walkers and single career folk like me.  In the wintertime it is transformed into an outdoor ice skating rink; in the summertime it is filled with cafe tables and chairs with the biggest attraction being 3 brass elephants situated directly in the center of the plaza that spew out water.  The kids go crazy for this and with the hot days of summer in full effect, it is always full of people.

I watched the children (some in swimsuits others in play clothes) run all over the plaza, get wet, fill up water pails, squirt each other, hide from their parents, throw tantrums when they had to leave, etc.

I watched the parents (some looking stressed, some relaxed) as they chatted with each other, ran to their children’s aid when they slipped and fell, cried for no apparent reason, needed a play companion, were being mischievous, chase and call out to them when it was time to go, etc.

I used to do all of these things as a babysitter.  And I desired to do it full time with children of my own.

But yesterday as I quietly watched, it hit me how much my mentality has changed.  I have had such freedom; I’ve left the state or even the country when I’ve gotten ready, I go out with friends, enjoy drinks (even too many drinks if I feel like it), I go out on dates when I get ready, I go running for miles because I like to, I have peace and quiet at home when I just want to shut the world out.  I shut my ringers off sometimes, I order take out when I don’t want to cook, I can sleep in late and without having to worry about someone waking me up saying they are hungry and need me to cook.  I only have to shop for myself, I can waste money on a $600 designer bag and not worry about having enough left over for diapers or an activity fee for summer camp or daycare.

Has freedom and selfishness squeezed the life out of my maternal instincts?  Do I still want children this late in the ballgame?  If I choose not to, will I regret this decision when I am old and gray and possibly need someone to look after me and my business affairs?

Crossroads

7 Jun

I stepped onto the scene 39 years ago on June 7, 1971 (yup today’s my birthday) in a small city by the name of Canton, Ohio.  True NFL groupies know it well.  I must have checked my Facebook page at least 10x today as I basked in the well wishes bestowed upon me by friends gained through the years.  The outpour made me feel thought of and loved.  An ex-boyfriend even had the “nerve” to personally deliver me flowers and an ancient piece of Louis Vuitton luggage that I tried talking him out of over 7 years ago.  I collect old luggage and he figured since the worthless thing was sitting in his basement suffering from water damage, mildew and collecting dust he would finally rid himself of it.  His trash, my treasure.  We’ve become the friends that we were never able to be when we were dating.  It’s funny how things turn out.

I am sitting at home alone preparing a champagne toast for myself as I contemplate the fork in the road that I face.  You see, I have officially reached mid-life crisis mode.  I’ve worked in the corporate world for so long and I must admit that I was caught up in the hype of the politics for quite some time.  For a while I thought that as long as I could gain a promotion here and there, $10K here $20K there + bonuses and continue climbing the ladder, I would be A-Ok.  However, my respect and patience for it all started to unravel about 5 years ago…

I wanted to be happily married with children by now and have riches unforetold.  Of course we all know that life has it’s own share of twists and turns and that our plans are usually not the same as Gods.  Thus far, my path has included many things, just not the husband, children, or unforetold riches!  Now I really can’t complain because I definitely have my share of God given happiness.  It’s just that you know when we’re dealing with the Great I Am, we all have a tendency to say “but God what about…” even though we need to be happy within the here and now.

I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design and I started out on that career path, my passion, but all of these years later I have deviated from it.  I must say, I have picked up some crazy efficient skills from corporate America that are invaluable.  But when my love for the corporate world begin to unravel in my heart and mind, I realized more than ever that I missed my passion and that I needed to go back.  I would voice my thoughts to select people and would get compelling feedback and confirmations from them.  One of them told me that “If you put the effort into your own business that you put into this job, you would have been a millionaire already.”  I took that to heart.

It still took me a few years, but in the in between I realized that it was time to leave corporate America, go for my passion.  My mother laughed at me when I told her a couple of months ago that I had finally matured to the point where passion was first and money was second.  You see, the universe usually shows you that when you are happy pursuing passion, the money most certainly follows very closely behind.  I’m banking on that because I know me, and what I am capable of.

I still want that husband and those kids though, along with that well paying passion.  However, in light of time, one may not really make time for the other so at 39 years of age I am at a crossroads.  I may have to leave one of those desires behind.

This is the basis of my life right now.  I have created this blog on my 39th birthday to keep you AND ME posted.

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