As we age, we have to grow for true maturity. Staying in the same head space and sometimes even the same place can hinder us.  Evolution is uncomfortable. You’ve become familiar with one set of norms and growth challenges you to be someone different. 

I know it’s scary but with every day your life should become enriched with ideas and opportunities of growth. This in no way means you’ll have a new personality on a daily basis. If for some reason this happens, please seek professional assistance. At 30+, I don’t even think of things the same as I did at 30. I can truly say I’m growing, opening up to new experiences and looking for a every opportunity to smile. ūüôā

The purpose of my life may not be clearly visible but I’m acknowledging I want to get there. I believe everyone on this earth wants to live in their purpose – but how will you know if you’re stuck in the same spot. In order to discover everything or even a portion of what it feels like to live in your purpose you have to break away from some norms. Embrace the uncomfortableness of the process and BE GREAT. 

Have you noticed your evolution? Was it a welcomed change? 

It was a nice August 16th and I actually wore a dress to work. I was fighting a headache for about 3 hours. ¬†While joking with some co-workers, I realized I was unable to communicate in my normal fashion. Ut oh, this thing is happening again. I sat polarized for a few moments waiting for it to pass. ¬†It didn’t and I packed my things up to go home. ¬†As I walked through the door, my son knew something was wrong with me. ¬†I was in complete denial. After 7 hours, 3 phone calls, my sister, and mom visiting, 2 hours of reading aloud, my son decided to drive me to the hospital.

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As I walked from the parking lot to the receiving desk, I cried. What was wrong with me? He had to speak for me because at the time – the words would not form as articulately as I desired them to. They rushed me to the back. ¬†No real information had been given and I was extremely agitated when they told me I would have to stay. I let the kid know he could go home, no sense in us both being uncomfortable in this overcrowded Detroit hospital ER. In addition, I let the doctor know the only way I was going to stay was if they gave me something to go to sleep. Whatever it was that they gave me I didn’t wake up until someone was trying to take off my pants. (It was good but I ain’t had NOTHING that would make me NOT realize my pants are being removed.) I was in my own room. Oh shit! I need to let somebody know where I am. True to form my phones needed life support. Mission: Text as many critical communicators as fast as possible.

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Yeah, you read it right! They believed I had a small stroke. Not a TIA again.  An actual, fuck yo life up stroke. What was my 36-year-old ass doing in here being diagnosed with this? Something called an ulceration of my carotid artery. Causing me to experience some speech impairment. My son had contacted my family. Some of my FB family reached out to me that were actually working in the hospital and in communication with me through our group message. I had reached out to the Mister on my way home the previous day and he found out they were keeping me later on. I felt a lot better but I really just wanted to get out of there.

stroke

I took so many tests my head began spinning and every day I thought would be the day I’d be going home. Home wasn’t on the agenda until Friday. While I lay in that uncomfortable hospital bed with these foam boots on my legs, I analyzed my life. I never planned on¬†leaving my son alone without a sibling. ¬†He was 17 and depending on only himself. ¬†I thank God I had grocery shopped over the weekend. He would stay late into the night then go to practice and come see me afterward. My room buzzed in the evening hours with visitors. It was nice but I wanted to go. When they began talking about me leaving, I perked up. ¬†When she brought me the discharge papers, I was dressed. The nurse wanted to wait for a wheelchair, I opted to walk out. ¬†The smell of the fresh air was welcoming. The taste was fulfilling and walking through my front door brought immediate satisfaction.


The main side effect I experienced from this was -slight aphasia. In my eyes, this was right up there with losing the function of one of my limbs. I know it may sound a little vain but communication is one of my strongest attributes. ¬†As I sat alone in complete silence, I would speak aloud – searching for the right word and annunciation. Each day I became more frustrated and withdrawn because I wasn’t 100%. No matter how much better others said I was, there was no I could accept it.aphasia

The doctor had referred me to speech therapy but I was waiting for them to reach out to me with an appointment date. In the meantime, through my Googling, I learned that continuous communication would help my chances of strengthening/curing my ailment. I didn’t want people to hear me like this but I knew I had A LOT to be thankful for considering what I had been through.

Saturday was my 1st full day out, I got dressed and went to get my nails done. Once I returned home, I received a call from the security desk with a delivery. The kind people from my job sent me a welcome home present. I could just eat up all the kindness I was feeling, no LITERALLY. This was just what the doctor ordered. I needed to do better with my eating habits and fruit never hurt anyone. A few family members came over to share in the get well greeting.img_1601

I wanted to get back to work. I needed to feel normal again. After a few long conversations with a good friend, it was decided that I would work from home for a few days then return. Monday morning, I slid into the office picked up a few things I needed and was whisked outside to prevent me from taking on any additional assignments. While at home, I realized I needed this time. My body was still tired from the uncomfortable hospital and early morning test. It felt good to be of some assistance to my team again. They all instructed me to take as much time as I needed. They knew more than I did because I hadn’t thought about the 99 follow-up visits. They all stopped by to check on me and wish me well. This was appreciated but I didn’t wanna feel like an invalid. Moreover, being back at work has certainly assisted with overcoming the slight aphasia I was diagnosed with my the doctor.

Mission: Take pills as instructed. I hate taking medication because I believe the body it so sophisticatedly independent – it doesn’t need any help getting better. Not so this time, I was ordered to take what I would consider to be a fist full of meds.

Taking this medicine was almost as frustrating as the aphasia. I had alarms everywhere. The pills were on the dining room table and I felt like shit if I forgot to take them. Then one day while out on a Sunday afternoon to get some air, he asks “Mom, what happened to your legs?” I’m completely oblivious. ¬†I look down and around and-

The bruising caused by the Plavix and aspirin combination was too much and I fell into a depression. I struggled with if I had bumped myself by accident, should I look into getting some of those foam boots I wore in the hospital or stopping the meds. Which one do you think won? If you guessed stopping the meds, you’re absolutely right. ¬†My vanity was taking control of me. I reached out to my doctor and she gave me the green light to stop taking the Lipitor. I continued to take the Plavix and the bruising continued. ¬†It wasn’t until I went back to for my stroke follow-up that I was instructed to continue the Lipitor and aspirin to stabilize the cholesterol. It was during this visit, ¬†I was referred to psychology. Check out the reason he thought I might need it. Ya think!?img_3019

I never used this and by this time I had been to the speech therapist. She was very comforting and gave me some good information on what I could do for continued strengthening of my vocabulary and communication skills. By this time, I was experiencing sporadic episodes of “not being able to find the right word.” I had to get better.

 

 

Mission: Look for alternative ways to stay alive.¬†I’m sure many of you can guess this hasn’t been easy on my family. I’m so young and we have a history of stroke in our family. More than that, we have a long life expectancy. I mean my mother is 70 still cruising around doing her own thing. One night The Kid walks in after football practice and says, “I can’t go away to college and you’re sick.” No truer words have been spoken by a mother, ‘I’m going to be fine. You go on and live your life.’ ¬†This put me on a task like nothing else had already done. I have to stay healthy. Not only for me but mainly to keep this stress off of him. The main concern of the doctor is controlling the cholesterol. I can do that! I MUST do this.

Here’s what I have learned in my short recovery:

fast

These are the signs of stroke. I have to table my fear of the hospital and bills. If they could put all my medical info at the dentist office, I’d be alright. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I need to be open with those around me if I should have such an episode in the future. ¬†Time is the most important thing. (If you pay attention to the first image in this post. You’ll see I’m extremely blessed to even be typing this right now.) There are NO signs of severe stenosis¬†and no apparent reason to consider the surgical removal of the ulceration. I have a be a little more patient with myself and keep my phone charged (ain’t no telling where I may need to go). I like the way it was explained to me. “A stroke is like and accident on the freeway. There will be traffic while they are trying to clear it up and traffic begins to move as if nothing had happened. The wait is determined by the size of the wreckage.” I just had a small fender bender and I have to be more careful to prevent a pile-up. This happened to me to force me into a lifestyle change. I need to eat healthier – bottom line. My cholesterol isn’t bad but I need to get back to the gym to assist with this, as well. Most importantly, I made the decision to NOT have any siblings for my son and by God, he will not be alone until the creator is satisfied my purpose has been completed.

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One of the things I like most about myself, is my ability to find the lesson I was meant to learn through each experience.  This year I learned how to never give up.  There was one financial emergency after another all year.  The lioness in me finally came out roaring instead of allowing others to win battle via my forfeiture.  I wanted to control my life.

I’m going to be honest with you. ¬†I was very nervous about this post but I couldn’t accept running away from a major point in my story this year. ¬†This spring I received a phone call from a creditor with regard to a vehicle I signed for to assist a “friend.” ¬†The loan was suppose to be paid off in July of 2014 and they wanted to know what I was planning to do to resolve the debt. ¬†credit-score-factors-checklist-and-bad-credit-repairAfter numerous calls to this person to find out what we were going to do, I kept receiving excuses and lies. ¬†I had become frustrated with the whole ordeal and went to a really dark place. ¬†Why, you might ask? ¬†I just wanted this whole thing to be over with and because this person still believes we have a friendship after everything that I have been through. ¬†I do not want anything to do with this person after we transfer this title out of my name. ¬†A 25 year friendship gone down the drain thanks to them not honoring their end of the agreement and paying the remaining $2,500. ¬†I worked so hard to establish my credit and this entire situation has ruined it. ¬†The world isn’t over and I will repair my credit. Lesson – never include myself in the credit issues of friends.

In the summer, I received a notice stating I was being garnished for another unresolved debt from my past. ¬†This company had filed the information and sent it to my old address from 2012. ¬†I never received any notice except from my employer. ¬†After multiple times of trying to file with the courts for a different payment, I was unsuccessful. ¬†This was due to my need to retain all money from my wages to pay the rent and take care of my household. ¬†I may not have told you all this but I’m very prideful. ¬†The struggle was the realest I’ve ever seen. ¬†I went to specific institutions for help during this hardship and was denied. ¬†That’s when I realized I was not going to give up on this battle. ¬†The reduction in funds caused a few non-payment of rent slips being placed on my door. ¬†Our electrical supplier had left a disconnection notice on our door. ¬†A few years ago, I would’ve packed up and moved back to my mom’s but I refused to give in. ¬†Through continued communication with all parties involved even The Kid, I managed to keep everything operating as normal. ¬†Lesson – never be afraid to communicate your circumstance to those involved.

Fall came around and I was still making ends meet somehow.  Still fighting the fight for my family and stability.  I got the call about the new job and I knew things were on their way back up.  four-goals-for-your-first-work-week-at-a-new-job_447_392711_0_14082996_500I focused on clearing balances and doing some nice things for The Kid because he went through this with me and reassured me always that things would be alright.  I was regaining a sense of normalcy.  However, after everything that I had been through, I needed to be smarter and more discipline with the money I was earning.  Lesson Рthe end is always closer than you think but be prepared for rough times if they arise again.

The last three quarters of the year allowed me to grow as a provider and communicator. ¬†My responsibility is to make sure the well-being of my family is foremost. ¬†There is a serious need for me to become more structured with regard to my financial situation. ¬†This has turned me to seek out professional help to re-establish my credit and grow my savings. ¬†This post wasn’t as hard as it seemed but I feel freer by sharing my story with you. I shed more than my share of tears during this time but they all fell to help me appreciate my victory dance. ¬†ūüôā

It’s been a while since I chatted with you guys about my journey to happiness.  Somewhere between the spring and the upcoming summer I became lost in living and not telling my story.  I’m not going to hold you up as I get you caught up on all the details.  There’s a bridal shower, new business growth, Beau Miss Home additions, a house guest, Victoria’s Secrets, beautifully tressed, Poshmark, his super 16 birthday, the garden and Oscar (my bike).  Seems like a lot!  It probably is but I won’t drag it all out in this post.  Let’s dig right into it in chronological order.

The last time I spoke with you all was on an “Oprah Says” post.  What I didn’t tell you was I was playing host to a house guest better yet recognized as the man I love.  These were unfamiliar waters for me as I have kept individuals away from this level of intimacy with me.  We’re talking about sharing my space with another adult and a teenager.  I was slightly uncomfortable about it at first because we had just finished arguing about something.  Then the more he was here I relaxed but I had to wrap my mind around the “TEMPORARY” sign that hung over the matter.  This was not the way my life would be always, things would go back to normal for all of us soon enough.  It was fun and very insightful.  I learned more about myself and the intricate nature of our relationship.  Thanks to some unconventional guidelines and very open communication, we made it!

20131225-185955.jpgThe older I get get the more people I know entering into the martial stage of their lives.  Some of you might remember this picture when I announced my current place of employment.  All of us ladies, started this journey together with hope of making strides in our careers and lives.  Two of them have went on to pursue other positions within the organization.  The other has begun the walk into holy matrimony within the next several weeks.  We’ve enjoyed the bridal shower and keeping a far from “Bridezilla” engaged in enjoying the moment before she gets her MRS degree.  I’m sure we’ll all meet again at this gorgeous occasion.  Can you guess which lady is making the leap?  Well it sure as hell ain’t me!SoMe 3

A while back, I told you all about me making extra money through Poshmark.  Since that post I deactivated my account and settled for taking my garments to local secondhand stores for profit.  I opened an account again – not to sell but to purchase whatever I had been looking for and couldn’t find at the stores.  So far, I’ve scored a coat, sweater and my favorite Zara tunic that I was swooning over after my one night stand in Chicago last year.  It has been a godsend to me as I’ve become over exhausted with traditional shopping.  Whenever I think of something specific I want, I click on the app and search through hundreds of offerings until I discover the exact item I’m looking to buy.  Try it out!

In the process of all of this happening, my number one guy turned 16.  That’s right, in 1999 I gave birth to a little baby that has grown into a young man.  We didn’t do much in the terms of celebration.  Partially on the terms of the kid’s procrastination and indecisive ways.  We just couldn’t reach a conclusion for the party.  It came and went but I was still excited to witness it.  We’ve been through a lot.My Duke

I’m going to stop right here.  There has to be a reason for you to come back and visit with me once more.  We’ll get into some of the other topics, in their own post or a remix version.  In the meantime, keep a smile on your face and offer one to someone in need.

Last year my son informed me that he wanted to take the High School Test which is a big deal here in Detroit. See it’s the passing or failing of this test that let’s you know if you’ve been accepted into one of Detroit’s premier high schools. For the 1st time in his life, I felt he was taking some real interest in his future. It was a semi-cold afternoon in January as we rode toward the testing site and I asked him “Are you ready?” He said, “I’m fine.” During one of my regular chauffeuring trips to get him EVERYWHERE he needs to go. I told him I was proud of him and that everything would be alright. The closer we got to the hotel (that’s where they took the test) I sensed a change in his demeanor. When I pulled in front of the building he reached for the door and said “I just got nervous..” He opened the door, walked inside and that was that. When I came to pick him up after the test he made mention that it was easy. That’s when I got nervous!

The results take a significant amount of time to get in. The kids are on pins and needles wondering – Did I pass? #19 is coming home with bad news of his friends that didn’t pass. His own teacher told him he wouldn’t pass and that he was a failure. I hope you all know that I didn’t take her words light and my actions were straight from the GHETTO MOMMA HANDBOOK!! She got the message and left mine alone. His birthday came which is April 3rd and still no answer, on if he got in. One of his friends that came out with us told us that he failed. In some strange yet appreciated way, Lorez’s faith kicked in and he screamed to the top of his lungs that HE PASSED. I looked sideways, because I haven’t received anything in the mail stating that this was a fact. He explained to us on the ride home, they send out all the failing letters 1st then send those out to the students that passed. The next morning, I could’ve start calling him prophet Wilson. There the letter was informing us that he had been accepted to the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School of Detroit, Michigan. Needless to say he wasn’t as excited because he already knew, somehow.

May 8th, marked the day that we would go in for Freshmen orientation for the graduating class of 2017. Within the first 20 minutes, I broke down because my Duke, Manchild, Kid and favorite son was growing into a young man I was proud to call him my son. The majority of his friends decided to go to Cass. He was here all alone. The reality of this moment meant more to me than words will ever be able to describe. As a single mom I was beating the odds. This 14 year old black boy was taking life seriously, not becoming a menace to society or becoming another negative statistic. I shield my tears as not to let him see and took in this moment. My first-born was on his way to high school. Hell, it feels like I was just in high school (15 years ago, lol). Last & First Day The morning of June 5th, I pulled up to drop him off at the only school he’s ever attended in his educational career Martin Luther King Jr. Education Center Academy. Today was graduation day and it started at 1pm. With a truck full of emotion running through my body, I got dressed and there on time. As the graduates marched in I spotted my joy on any day, sitting there cooler than cucumbers on a side salad. Then my phone start vibrating. It was him texting me that his dad was coming to this glorious occasion. Let me be honest, I damn near lost it!!! All of the chapters from the GMH were running through my head: Wtf, wtf, wth, no he didn’t, somebody hold my purse, let me at him, I’m bout to tear this mutha down and who do he think he is!!! Then the Kid text me again and says “Calm down.” I told him I would try and he graciously replied thank you. I look up at him and mouthed that I loved him. Then I noticed a strange look on his face and right when I was about to text him, Shawn screams out “Hey Rolo!” The clown had moved closer to me and was trying to speak. My friend Daryl had to push the word hey out of my mouth, literally with a nice little shove. Then his mother appeared and I gave her a big hug and this other lady was with her. And you know what they wanted – SEATS, and I had a few. His godmother’s and Shawn’s seat, so I let them have them and opted to stand for the remaining portion of the ceremony. If my emotions weren’t already all over the place before, they sure as hell were now.

As they gave the awards, announced the schools that each child was promoted to Lorez stood alone as the only member of his class going to MLK High School. His cheering squad was the loudest because we already know the greatness that is within him. They announced that he held a 3.6 GPA his entire final year. He grabbed his certificate, walked across the stage and out of the first 2 portions of his primary education. Then I spied with my observant eyes this guy that looked familiar to me returning toward the rear of the auditorium after taking pictures… And I want to field goal kick the phone out of his hand with my 5″ heel sandals I was wearing. But I remembered the message “Calm down.” As the newly promoted high school freshmen walked out to meet their families and say their farewells to the staff, I shed a tear. I did it. I got him over this 1st hurdle. I stood there for a moment and took it all in and orchestrated an opportunity for me NOT to run into this guy that screamed out.. “That’s MY son,” that I almost recognized. Esha stayed back with me to keep me calm and I was glad she was there to bring me some peace, in a storm I was about to manufacture comparable to a hurricane.

I realized that I need to talk with his dad about the anger I harvested toward him in his absence in my rearing of this amazing child. That’s all I have to say about that.

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After the pictures were taken, we went to lunch, spent more money in honor of a job well done and enjoyed the company of good family and friends. I reflected on the events of the day. Something that I heard Oprah say came to me, “there’s a time in our child’s life when we as parents are the manager. Then we must shift to be the consultant.” My time was drawing near for me to become just that in his life. I’m very proud of him to this point and his future looks very bright if he stays focused on his goals. ūüôā for me – I have a high school student!!!

Congrats to all the GRADUATES this year!!!

How many of us have the hardest time deciding what we want to do with our hair? In the past couple months I have considered cutting it all off (Ceaser¬†or 360 male inspired cuts) to¬†Halle¬†Berry’s chic pixie cut.¬† Believe me I’ve been through the gambit of styles.. (All except the infamous Jheri Curl or French Roll, lol)¬† Here’s just a few looks that have been apart of this proclaimed “Glamazon” within the past couple years….

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My favorite of them all is (drum roll please) – My Classic Curls with or without the blonde.¬† I truly enjoy my hair.¬† However, I’d like to go for the natural look.¬† I’ve been relaxer free since 2003.¬† Yet I’ve been a slave to my favorite¬†Kentucky Maid #222 pressing comb, straightens my hair¬†to a superfine texture.¬†¬† Moreover, ever since I got that Curly Afro, I’ve been wanting to go natural as far as wearing my hair with its natural curl.¬† Let me admit it’s something that a GLAM star as myself has great caution about.¬†¬† But when I get my hair washed I see the fluffy curls emerge as the water touches my hair.¬†¬† My desire is to have a head full of natural curls and love them without feeling inferior about my style.

Massa KM 222 (notice the double press teeth)

In my search to try to find something to do with my hair.¬† I concluded on cutting all the dead hair off and focus on having a healthier head of hair.¬† My stylist cut 3″ of my hair of with no malice or trepidation.¬†¬†I always knew she was a little¬†“Scissor-Happy,”¬†lol.¬† I felt different¬†immediately, ¬†always believing there was some truth in the notion of “your power being in your hair.”¬† So , I researched how to achieve my hair goals and came into an overwhelming amount of information.¬† Between Google, YouTube, E-Commerce¬†& friends, some key information was gathered but I needed a rest from it all.¬† I needed to make a plan for MY HAIR’S HAPPINESS.¬† Because don’t get it confused your hair has a special way of communicating with you & if you think it doesn’t you better pay attention.¬† I’ve had times where I felt bad & washed my hair and¬†had instant¬†relief.¬† (But that’s just my testimony, lol)¬† Now what are my hair goals?!?!¬† Here’s the¬†concluded list:

  • Strength/Less Breakage
  • Chemical Free
  • Shoulder Length¬†
  • Ease of Styling¬†¬†

The selection of “Protective Styles” left me some room to still be glamorous and conscious of what I was doing to my hair.¬†¬† Buns, braids, sew-in weaves and wigs will be my saving grace as I transition.¬† Techniques such as the flat twist, Bantu knots and two strand twist and a gang of others, especially the wash & go¬†will help we determine the look I want to go for.¬†¬†What¬†I’m looking to achieve is on the unexpected side from me.¬† But it’s my choice to become free of some of the beauty practices I’ve held on to for so many years of my life.¬† Some of them¬†NOT promoting the success of the goals I had set for my hair.¬† This is me & this hair¬†as of this very moment…

My Healthy Hair

So now I’m on the hunt to find products that will work to help me in this process.¬† Products that allow the natural texture of my hair to shine, not only physically but figuratively.¬† I’ve tried the Carol’s Daughter line of products¬†and open to experiment with others.¬†Through the research¬†my 1st “Beautifully Tressed “regimen¬†is a combination of¬†Miss Jessie’s Original Cr√®me de la Curl Cleansing Cr√®me,¬†Cr√®me de la Cr√®me Conditioner and virgin coconut oil for moisture as a pre-shampoo treatment.¬† I¬†discovered¬†two (2) tips¬†that I plan to use 1) adding honey & coconut oil to your conditioner – for added moisture. 2) crushing garlic cloves and add to conditioner and let it rest on your hair for 1 hour – stop shedding (I keep a few bulbs of garlic in the kitchen)¬† I also will be taking the Hairfinity & MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane: organic sulfur compound)¬†vitamins to promote more growth.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted with updates, product reviews and regimen changes as I work to accomplish my hair goals…¬† As always SMILE and keep :)…