Told you I’d be back with a post about my hair.  I’m going to keep this post very sweet and short. I haven’t lost any hair.  My hair is growing. A strict regimen is needed. The wigs may get a revival.

So, I’ve been growing my hair out since my cut last summer.

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I can tell you it has grown since this picture. That’s solely due to my three girlfriends and flat twist.  My comfort level with my natural texture has grown immensely.  Straightening my hair almost brings me no joy beyond the initial day.  I worry about heat damage and hair reversion, lol. I think you’re familiar with all my protective styles.  I embraced the shorter wigs as well.  My next will be a long straight model.

Over the summer, I decided to allow a stylist to wash and condition my hair once a month.  This would allow me to keep up with trims and get a little relief from the dreaded wash day.  I noticed my hair wasn’t shedding as much as normal. But, I was still messing up in an area or two.  I wasn’t keeping up with my wash days. Allowing weeks go by without washing my hair or deep conditioning. Recent stress had snatched two plugs of hair from my scalp and I wasn’t happy about it.  Back to the peppermint oil, I ran and added lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary essential oils and black seed. More importantly, I still had my edges!

The hair was recovering and I noticed a few more grays around the perimeter.  Then I decided to get my hair straightened for a wedding and my anxiety was high.  My stylists I absolutely trust with my hair were booked, one was preparing for a big show and the other was styling a wedding. (You better have multiple stylists you trust and I’m not about to argue.) DAMN DAMN DAMN! So, I remembered a stylist that was close to me and specialized in natural hair care, Meah.  I set up an appointment and I put my tresses in her hands.  Praying all would be fine when I washed my hair the following week.img_4815-1

She gave me a protein treatment, which I hadn’t had in ages, and proceeded to blow dry my hair. I felt safe when she pulled out the heat protectant and the Wild Growth hair oil. Then she hit me with the one line women hate to hear from any stylist – “you need a trim.” Wtf! Everybody tells me that- fuck it do it.  I hate raggedy ends more than single-strand knots.  After she finished, she showed me the remains on the floor.  It wasn’t much and it appeared she just dusted the ends. I dared not show it on the outside but I was overjoyed.

Finally, I got caught in a light mist at the King HS homecoming game and the hair started to curl. 🙂  Then I made the choice to wash and DC like I had always done in the beginning of this journey and within minutes ALL of my curls and coils were accounted for.  Meah, definitely had my stamp of approval and considering I only wanted my hair washed/ blow dried once a month as a treat she certainly could be added to the rotation. I don’t remember how long it took me to wash my hair, condition and style it but it felt good. For the 4th time during this journey has a professional placed a pair of sheers to my mane and not chopped most of my hair off.  I twisted my hair in those flat-twists and made a vow to never miss wash day for the remainder of this journey.

#Mission2020 has begun.  “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan to fit the goal.” My goal certainly has changed and I’m going to focus on doing my part to ensure I have the healthiest head of hair. Now when you see me in a few years with long Pippie Longstocking twists, remember I never gave up.  🙂

Have you had to re-evaluate your hair care regimen? What are your go-to methods for retaining length?

 

 

The flashy affair was over.  Finals were happening in a few days and The Kid was ready.  We attended the Senior Parent Breakfast and waited to pick up our cap & gown.  You will notice I talk about this moment as if it were mine but we worked at this. So, we celebrated this moment together.img_4143

Now, this senior breakfast wasn’t a high point for me.  Especially after I saw that buffet line.  In true fashion, that kid knew I wasn’t about that life and he got my pancakes. Not wanting to be a brat I stood in line for the other portion. During the running around, we took this picture. Yup – he got me by a few inches! God answered my prayers. 😉  This was the final whoo rah for the seniors.  The final grades were being calculated and the verdict would be announced the coming Friday.  These 10 days were taking the longest time to get to us.  This was the only moment we were really waiting on.  I told you about part of our struggles to get here.  See, his dad graduated out of summer school and he didn’t want to repeat that experience. We worked our asses off, he more than me but I kept a light fire under it to keep him on his toes.  Then June 9th happened and he handed me this when we met up with each other. img_4187.jpg

For the 3rd time during this journey, I shed a few tears.  He reached over and hugged me exclaiming “I told you I’d get it done.”  This cap and gown made it real. I held on to that thing like it was mine because somewhere in my soul it was.  I worried, prayed, and cursed to get him right here. I’m that teenage mom that had never even baby sat a child and here I was about to watch mine walk across the stage to accept his diploma. My expectations were firm but my methods kept changing but he did it.  Yeah, it would’ve been easier if he had done it my way but this was his story. I needed to let him do it his way.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-made-it/id204509084?i=204509140

So the morning of the graduation was here, and I posted the picture that matched my mood.  Hashtag #TheFinisher – I was beyond ready and I even packed a handkerchief. img_3986

This picture captured everything I was feeling about this meeting.  In a graduating class of 262 students, all I could see was him.  He strolled pass me as they marched in the theater of the Michigan Opera House.  This was a long ceremony and for a short moment, I was ready to rip all the programs up because I didn’t see his name. When I found it in its respective area, #CarryOn. Then they asked the graduates to stand up and I was on my muthf’n feet -which happened to be in some 5″ heels but let’s go. Then I got this message: I remember this paper being in his room on his desk and of course he forgot it. Now, I gotta run down the aisle like I’m on the Price is Right. Then I got back to my seat and cheered for all the kids that spoke when they were on the phone with him, introduced to me, called me “Ma, Auntie & Ms. Wilson.” Then I saw him make his way to the stage. #Leego The announcer said Lorez Wilson and I lost it – screaming, clapping, jitting up the aisle (my footwork was unmatched) and I did all of this while taking pictures.

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Did you notIce me mention I cried? NOPE! I had shed all the tears prior to this day.  This day was for smiles. We did it. In 1999, this event seemed to be a million years away but with each passing year, I realized how close we were.  As we made our way out to the streets of Detroit, I couldn’t wait to see him and congratulate him one more time. I found him in the swarm of black and yellow.  His smile was as bright as the day but I saw something in his eyes.  We snapped a few images in the daylight.

I asked to see the diploma and he told me they had to pick it up from the school later on. WTH DPSCD? We left headed to Joe Muer for lunch with Grandma. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you he cut his hair off prior to graduation. I was looking at a young man ready to make his mark in the world.  Little did he know he had already done a good amount of that through me.  I was different because and for him.  He is the best part of me.  Everything I never knew I needed.img_4240
While we were at lunch I learned his dad had not shown up to the graduation, after I gave up my opportunity to monopolize this event. I knew I saw something in his eyes at the theater. It was sadness.  Afterward, he went and got a tattoo (how could I say no- I have 16) and I sat down to REST.  I thank everybody that was on this journey with me. All of your help was and still is appreciated.  You never left me out here to do this by myself. The village of Marti truly came through for this kid. There are so many to name but I’m positive I’ve already told you personally. Eternally grateful to you all for everything because I know your love for him is an extension of the love you have for me.

August 1st, while I’m sitting in my chair at work listening to inspirational music this little exchange occurred and it gave this chapter closure.

As we tackle this next mission, I’m positive he’ll be just fine but I’ll be right there to throw an assist if needed.

 

 

Scared. Unsure. And insecure ideas crossed my mind on a daily basis.  Needless to say, I didn’t feel like myself.  The woman I knew only a few years ago was gone.  Only coming out in sporadic intervals within a week.  How was I going to get back to me? Where had Marti gone and why had she abandoned me? Along with everything else going on – this had become a necessary emergency.

There were days when I would be on top of the world. Life was good on the outside.  But something on the inside wasn’t quite right.  I was experiencing drastic mood swings, my patience was none existent, tears appeared from some foreign origin and I was basically staying in the house.  This certainly wasn’t in my character.  I was attempting to talk through this with friends. But when you’re a strong person, I’m sure you can understand how difficult this can be especially when everyone is counting on you to be their ray of sunshine, silver lining, and positivity.  So, that release that I was looking for I wasn’t getting.  I tried some of my regular coping methods and those only proved to help for a moment.  I tried ‘going into myself’ (this normally helps me recharge and recalibrate), writing my thoughts down and focusing on the big events of The Kid’s senior year of high school. But you probably guessed it – none of those worked either.  I had to get out of this funk. Strength

After some serious deliberation, I decided to contact a therapist for help.  My health was the main reason I sought out professional help considering the events of 2016.  Now, I’m sure you know/heard/read about the stigma of seeking mental health services in the Black community. “We don’t need professional help, that’s for white people, it’s a waste of money or pray about it.” These are some of the reasons they give for not getting help. Well, this was my response – I’m part caucasian with a little extra cash whose prayed about this and seeking professional help.  I was tired of feeling this way and I had to do something about it and Castlight was there to assist me.

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You can imagine the way I rejoiced during this scene from Insecure.

After finding the perfect fit for me (and that was determined by the tone of her voice when I spoke with her over the phone), I made an appointment.  Was I scared? Simple answer – Yes. As I walked into her office I noticed, there was no stereotypical chaise to help me relax and bare my soul, a few pieces of art to catch the eye and 2 red leather chairs positioned across from each other. Taking a seat was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.  In the first session, we identified several areas within my being that I had never acknowledged or even knew about. At the end of the session, she gave a “prescription.”  This wasn’t medicine in the literal sense.  These were the things I needed to do before I saw her again to get my ideas and thoughts lined up to assist with my healing/treatment.  Before I walked out the door we scheduled my next appointment.

With every passing interaction, I could feel myself getting better.  It was beyond psychological.  I was rediscovering myself all over again.  They say “7 is the number of completion” and the last time I went looking for me was exactly 7 years ago.  I was in mourning.  A bereavement period for the younger Marti. The stoic, idgaf, social introvert, let’s have a good time, solo travel, football mom Marti.  Changes were happening all around me and I had to accept my place in all of it.  My kid was an adult to a point and I was anxious about his next steps.  There was a lot of movement going on at work.  I felt stuck due to aging parents.  I’m technically being given a 2nd wind.  My relationships weren’t the same. I needed to find and do the things a more mature Marti wanted to do.  And due to me not wanting to hurt any feelings, be viewed as selfish or revert back to the person I was 7 years ago, I was mentally fighting everything.  My worth was being re-evaluated.  New Marti needed me to love her as much as I loved the one from days gone.

I started to slow down and process/unpack things more carefully.  What I didn’t realize was I wasn’t letting go of everything.  Some traits, behaviors, and ideas would remain while others faded and that’s okay.  I was still in here I just had to embrace the new me in all its entirety. Honestly, I have noticed a change in myself since the therapy began. I’m not afraid of my thoughts and sharing them (even if that means I need to finesse the delivery.)

I went back and forth about posting this but I said: “wth this is my life.” Maybe my journey will help someone seek out the help they feel they need. Within this post, you will find a few links with additional information. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

I left you all with a helluva cliffhanger. You knew The Kid turned 18, is a senior in high school and scheduled for graduation.  It’s about time I bring you up to speed.  The picture from He’s 18, is from his senior pinning ceremony. Our next event was prom and after some teenage drama, we arrived in style for the big dance.

First of all, he did the whole prom-posal thing and the young lady accepted only to decline his invitation weeks before the event.  Never to be outsmarted, he decided to go by himself.  Then one day he calls me at work and says ‘he has a date’ – WHAT!? Within minutes, I see a face I remember and the dress she’s chosen to wear.  We were officially on a mission to find him the perfect complimentary suit.  He’s a classy kind of guy with his mother’s sense of style. 😉

We spent days looking for the perfect floral jacket, bowtie, and pants.  Then it all happened at once. Dinner jacket – found and the other parts just came to us, all at reasonable prices and Auntie submitted her order for it all.  We’re not rich people and refused to go broke for one event. Then there was the rental car situation and Grandma came to the rescue in that area.  Then the barber, Arf, gave him a cutting edge haircut to go with the look for the evening.  His date asked me to bring some chicken to the send-off. (You know that’s what the young kids have nowadays. Everyone comes over to one location to see the couple off to Prom.  There’s food, balloons, red carpets, backdrops, and lots of pictures.) After I picked up the chicken, I was on my way to see my kid which was ahead of me by 45 mins.27_3

I showed up and to my surprise, my sister was in town to see her #1 guy go to the prom. My family gathered at the young lady’s home. She looked adorable and the jacket was a perfect match.  As they rolled away in the Escalade, I told them to have a nice time and her parents stated her curfew. What they didn’t know at the time was their daughter probably had the safest date in SE Michigan. But I had to see things through their eyes, he was the driver and responsible for her safe return afterward.  Here’s a picture of the two of them prior to leaving for the Roostertail.Prom                      They both returned home at a respectable hour both reporting they had a good time.  For a good portion of his life, I thought of this day and what it would feel like for me. I can truthfully say I felt proud. He was a door holding, well mannered young guy that a daughter’s parents didn’t have to worry about when they were out of sight.

The Prom was over, the jacket was the most asked about attendee and The Kid was on his way to Cedar Point (some traditions never change – they were doing the same thing when I graduated 19 years ago.)

It was a night to remember and I moment I will never forget.  🙂

After I decided to stop looking for a home, another item on my 2017 vision board. Getting a new car.  This has been on my to-do list for over a year.  I weighed my options and decided to treat myself.  My research started with the Technical Assistance Team here at the job.  Take a look at what I decided to lease.

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It was between this Cadillac CTS and a Buick LaCrosse. I wasn’t given any bad information about either model.  The test drive made me change my mind.  I just enjoyed all the little bells and whistles that came standard on the CTS.  I called Prestige Cadillac in Warren as recommended by a co-worker and I worked with Clarice Russell.  She was very accommodating and patient with me as I had several missed appointment due to senior year conflicts and documentation errors.  I walked in and signed a small portion of my life away for a little peace of mind all under 90 minutes.

At the beginning of the year, I created my vision board and thought I added both vehicles.  So you could probably imagine the irony and surprise I experienced when I went to check it off and only found the CTS.  I guess I spoke it into existence. (sidebar: never forget to speak your truest dreams into existence and words have power.)


Now, as many of you know – I name all my vehicles. All the names are male. (I wonder if there is any psychological meaning behind that, hmmm).  There was Sterling the Lincoln LS, Cole the Dodge Magnum and here for the next 34 months is Lance.  In the beginning, I know God created the heaven and earth but I was moreso talking about the start of this relationship. I called this car Stanley and this was encouraged by the Jazmine Sullivan tune.  Then I remembered that’s my good friend AJ’s husband’s name and I went right back to the drawing board. All of you know, I talk about my car’s like we’re in a real relationship – ‘Cole and I went to the mall, I got Cole some shoes, and Sterling don’t have time for the foolishness.’ So, I definitely didn’t want any awkward moments in the near future and I changed it to LANCE.

Needless to say, I’m in love. The infotainment system is a much-needed addition.  This is solely because I really don’t like to hear all that commentary/conversation. Radio equals music for ME.  I appreciate the forward crash and lane sensors, the rear camera, and the speed monitor.  The only thing that bugs the crap outta me (yes! I said outta) – is the red light above the steering wheel that flashes when someone jumps out in front of me – I SEE THEM.  Everything else is perfection and I’m not only saying this because this company puts food on my table.

I heart this car.

 

 

 

 

The day has arrived! My one and only kid turns 18 – today.  You all met him when he was just a pup.  Now, he’s maturing into a man. It hit me like a sack of rocks this morning. This guy can buy cigarettes.  Maybe I’ll hold on until he can buy me drank!  🙂

Happy Burfday, Rez!! 

My Little Chocolate Joy

You’ve made me who I am today!

There was a time every time I apply for credit – I walked away with what I wanted.  Over the past 2 years, it’s taking some pretty big hits.  I had fallen into the hole I worked so hard to stay away from, Bad Credit Abyss.  How long could I keep ignoring these things? Seven years if I wanted to be technical but I wanted to do things, NOW, and that required me taking the necessary actions to correct these wounds – By Any Means Necessary.

The year started off right with me acknowledging the need to make on-time payments and reduce late fees.  I had been following The Budgetnista on Instagram for some time.  The thing that pulled me into her was the things she was sharing with us were not unfamiliar to me.  I had just stopped doing them and needed to hear some of the truths I had been ignoring.  She offered a free 21-Day challenge on her Facebook site.  This allowed me to take mental and physical steps toward financial freedom.  I was on the path with the daily challenges.  Then a little extra dose of life happened and it seemed like my life just couldn’t get back on track.  I tried to get pre-approved for a mortgage and was denied.  Had my score been damaged that much.  Apparently, yes.

Credit Karma and the rejection letter from Quicken Loans informed me that my current score was 576. Disgusting! I had to start getting things fixed.  The amount of outstanding consumer debt I had was even more disgusting.


Who has this minimal type of debt holding them back? This was unreal! While clearing my voicemail, I received a message from FHA to discuss why I had been turned down for a mortgage. Of course, I didn’t get that nice lady on the machine and I had reached Lexington Law Firm. They told me what they were offering and I told them my main goal. I listened to how they could help me and signed up.  The very 1st I was a member my score went down 30-40 points. As I looked at the results of my actions, I thought, this certainly isn’t what I had expected. I was having remorse.

Within the 1st month, I had been qualified for a credit card and began to feel more comfortable about the service. They had removed some things from the reports and were very good about keeping me informed with regard to what they were doing. I know that I’m fully capable of repairing my credit on my own – I chose to pay someone else to do it for me. The process is slow and there is no obligation to stay with the program if you don’t feel it’s right. 

I’ve been in the program for 3 months. At the same time, I have placed my student loans in rehab and making on-time payments. My score has yoyoed bringing me anxiety and joy.  Credit Karma updates their scores every Saturday. One week the scores didn’t move but I had an awesome note attached to my profile.

Outside of my student loans, there was nothing that could hold me back. Now, my score hasn’t rocketed into the 700 range or even 600. It’s still hovering around 550 but I’m remaining positive.  My goal is to tiptoe into the 700 club by the end of 2017. Right now, I’m just happy I took the steps to take control of my financial reputation back.