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? 

I’ve been waiting on Frank Ocean like a little kid on the porch counting the minutes until their parent comes to pick them up from grandma’s house. ¬†His music is unexpected and captures some foreign emotion that pulls at me. ¬†I’ll give an artist a substantial amount of time to get their creative juices flowing to put out a good project. ¬†After that amount of time has passed, I start looking for them even harder. ¬†Check out some of the tweets I published in search of Mr. Ocean.

So, you already know how excited I was about the new music released last week. ¬†This album has been on repeat, repeat 1 song, shuffle and let’s go back to Blond again. ¬†I just wanted to share my most played song.

I removed the link due to copyright.

Are you enjoying Blond? ¬†If not, I’ll give you a while to jump on the bandwagon or take a long hard listen to another great body of work from the elusive Frank.

I bet you already knew the top 2 was going to have something to do with football.  It does but this time it has more to do with a player.  Education is extremely important to me.  So when I thought the BS “No Child Left Behind” program and desensitized guidance counselor were going to succeed, I knew I had to take action.  The events that happened in the pass 5 days confirmed I was not alone.

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The official close of the football season has come and gone.  We attended the banquet, broke bread with his teammates and picked up his awards.  While they celebrated, I kept my mind on what I needed to do to make sure that he achieved higher over the final months of his junior year. When my frustrations with his grades were expressed to the guidance counselor, he told me I had nothing to worry about.  Excuse my English- WHAT THE FUCK YOU MEAN?  I’m looking at the grades and the shit ain’t looking good.  It was then that I figured out why he was so calm.  As long as he continues to get Ds, he’ll graduate.  Not from this house with me as his mother.  Things had to get better before he went back for the 2nd semester. 

In a quick rant on Facebook, I expressed my disgust in his current scholastic patterns and explained how this effected the Christmas holiday for him.  A few nights prior, I let it rip in a no holds bar to his dad and stuck it in the mail for him to receive it pronto.  I was fed up to a new degree.  It kept feeling like we were running out of time and he couldn’t see it or didn’t think it was that serious.  I couldn’t wholehearted buy him gifts and he hasn’t given his best efforts in school this term. During the late night hour of Christmas Eve, a few good men spoke of helping me communicate the importance of education with him.  I appreciated the gesture and overwhelming concern.  What was I going to do to get through to him?   

December 26th the thread was revived with talks of when and where we were going to meet for this discussion.  WHAT?! They were serious about helping me.  I agreed to their terms and without giving any information about where we were going exactly, I got the kid up and ready for the conversation that could ultimately change his life.  We talked as we rode into our old next of the woods on the west side of the metro Detroit area.  As we walked into the restaurant, he was curious about our business here.  He caught a familiar face and smiled.  It was his football team’s Dr. Cecil Forbes.  I knew this would make him a little more comfortable in lieu of everything that was going on.  In addition, James Johnson, Calvin Evans and Shaka Senghor joined in for the CTJ talk.

We sat down and I opened the conversation.  Each volunteer took time to introduce their story to him and expound on the ways their lives have been impacted by their choices.  He was listening and instructed to take notes on what was being said.  I sat there and watched the chicken he ordered get cold but it never really held any interest for the 16 year-old that generally eats on sight.  He was entranced in the conversation these men were giving him. He was given an opportunity to speak and they instructed him on the manner in which he should speak to another man.  They informed him that they would be there for him to make sure he succeeded. At one point in the meeting, I broke down into tears after I explained the significance of his life.  This broke him down and pushed a more intense conversation.

I’m not here to expose everything that was discussed but I will say they got through to him.  As they prepared to end the dialogue, they exchanged numbers, pleasantries and informed him of a pending follow up.  They ordered him more chicken to take home.  I would say this is by far my most rewarding post in all of social media. (It’s even topped my Oprah tweet.). This wasn’t about me.  It had everything to do with the love of my life being this guy’s mother and the lengths I would go to for his success.

Never stop fighting for your kids. Moms never give up on your sons. I thank these four men for slowing down to talk to mine within 48 hrs of my cry. You are my brothers and I love you all for loving me and passing that love on to him. I’m optimistic that together we can and will inspire the changes needed for SUCCESS! ūüôā

The year was 1999.  I was 19 and in April of that year I was given the charge of being a mother to a boy Рa black boy.  In my efforts to raise him, I vowed never to let my single-parent status hinder me from being a support system for the kid.  His father, who cut out soon after due to another birth and a decision I had to make has been figuratively present.  In his absence, I ran to my brother for help and that was working out okay until this year.

I’ve told you all about some of our struggles and triumphs in high school so far. ¬†As I’m preparing to close the bojrok on this chapter of his education. ¬†A portion of my¬†support system has been broken. ¬†In February, we learned that his dad would be required to serve 2 years with¬†the Michigan Corrections. ¬†This is due to his involvement with illegal drugs. ¬†My son got the news from friends at school that know his dad. ¬†A hard blow to get during a time when your mind should be focused on your learning. ¬†No matter how much he hasn’t been involved in this kid’s life, he still loves him because that’s his father. ¬†When he came home to me, the 1st thing he said was “he’s not going to see me graduate high school.” ¬†I didn’t realize that was a big deal to him. ¬†In turn he started going to my brother¬†and talking to the Mista more. ¬†I felt comforted because he still had a few men he felt confident he could talk to when he has questions. ¬†He has a few more uncles and grandpas but these were his go to people.

A few weeks ago, we learned that my brother will be away from the next 6 years in the MDOC – you know the reason. ¬†Another blow to the structure I had in place to support me as I try to encourage him to go on and be great. ¬†It seems like my son shutdown after getting this news. ¬†Now, his favorite uncle wasn’t goGZing to see him move on in life after high school. ¬†He has went to see him a few times but I can tell the change in his attitude. ¬†You know us women, we like to talk but he hasn’t wanted to open up about his feelings on either of these situations. ¬†I have overheard him talking with his friends on the phone about being disappointed and not wanting to let them down. ¬†He still has the Mista, but at this point, I think our situation isn’t permanent enough for him to trust another man right now. ¬†I see him trying to figure life out on his own.

This whole ordeal is working on¬†me and all I am able to do is educate myself on how I can assist him during this time. ¬†It’s not going to be easy but here is what I’ve discovered so far that semi-mirror my story and offered me advice:

He has found a few people to look up to through his football team. ¬†All I can do is hope, pray and help him get through these next couple months and his senior year. ¬†I have a few people in my network that have offered to sit down and talk with him. ¬†In the meantime, I’ll keep you all posted. Moreover, I really just didn’t need this to happen at this time.

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Rent is a concept that many of us are aware of in lieu¬†of¬†ownership. ¬†The official definition is to¬†pay someone for the use of (something, typically property, land, or a car). ¬†What they didn’t mention were high fashion garments for special occasions. ¬†This is my newest best friend- respectfully after music, books, google and carryout, LOL. ¬†The program is affordable and convenient. ¬†Here is just a little insight I have on Rent the Runway¬†and some fashion friendly options for our pocketbooks.

I don’t claim to know everything. ¬†So, when my friend Tony was getting married, I realized I needed a great dress for this event. ¬†Let me add that my ex would be there in all of his – hell I don’t know what to call the momma’s boy. ¬†My co-workers had mentioned Rent the Runway before in conversation. ¬†One for her own personal use and the other for the girls going to prom from her non-profit. ¬†After scrolling the selection of several stores and factoring in the cost of the ticket with¬†hotel, renting was a feasible option for me. ¬†I checked it out and was amazed by the selection and prices. There is a little something for everybody. ¬†Dresses from $30 and up. ¬†This was a match made in the stars – more like my favorites on the task bar.

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I’ve used their¬†service a total of three (3) times in the past 2 years. ¬†It’s very easy to use. ¬†Give them the date of your event, place your order and ship it back. ¬†Other women who have wore the garments post their reviews of the item and give details about their size and shape. ¬†I have found this to help a great deal in picking out the right size for myself. ¬†The dresses I have ordered fit perfect and the compliments were¬†never ending at the¬†events. ¬†As you can see I’ve worn dresses from some of the top designers in the business and a new collection I had never heard of in my life.

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Pay attention to the cost of renting the dress for one event to the price to hang it in your closet and pray for the day you can wear it again. ¬†Yeah – that’s what I said! ¬†They also send you a second dress in another size to ensure you have a comfortable fit. ¬†In my initial test run for New Year’s Eve, you can see the size 0 dress hanging on the closet door. ¬†They ask that you order items to be shipped one full day before just in case you need to make a change. ¬†The dresses are packed to prevent any additional need for irons, steamers and whatever else we use to knock out wrinkles. ¬†And the real brilliance of the program is the prepaid shipping materials for returning your purchase. Drama free – Gotta Love it!!

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I’d advise all of my fashionable followers and family to give this program a try. ¬†They also have an app available on Android and iOS. ¬†This may not be for some of you rich folks but for all of us on a TIGHT budget, it’s s godsend.¬†Here I am in all the garments. ¬†There’s also an opportunity to buy some dresses during the clearance event. ¬†One of these dresses I truly wouldn’t mind owning. Can you guess which one? 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.

I hope everyone isn’t all loved out!  Hopefully, you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day.  My celebratory season has come to an end but the love continues to show within my daily living.

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If this is your time to shine, open your heart to everything that is coming your way.  I hope we’re able to share our triumphs together.  Once we remove the expectations, we’re able to knowledge the good all around us.

Are you waiting for a few good things to happen this year?