Saturday Sauntering

I’m playing a game on my tablet…I was playing a game on my tablet until I decided to write about relaxation.

Today is the beginning of my Spring Break, and what a way to start the week with beautiful weather! Today, I did my weekly chores, paid bills, bought groceries, and now I’m on my recliner, with an opened front door (until my dog Chuy started his yapping because some person is walking past the house) and I am feeling very relaxed.

You know how I can tell that I’m relaxed? Today, while driving, I began to read bumper stickers and I was trying to guess what type of person drove the car based on their bumper sticker. I had to laugh at one:

“Caution: Driver might be singing.”

I thought that was pretty clever and cute.

Of course you have those vehicles that advertise how many people are in their family. I never really got that. Why should we know that? I know the reason behind the “Baby on Board” sticker so that we will drive carefully and cautiously around that car.

Yeah. OK.

But, I did like the bumper sticker that read:

“Puppy on Board.”

Enough of that.

Safeway has the game Monopoly where you get playing pieces to win fabulous prizes including one million dollars. I am collecting these pieces, and on my game board, I am always on or two pieces away from winning a prize. I would like to win one of those prizes, but I believe the winning pieces are somewhere in Minnesota or Indiana (by the way, Safeway is not the only store, Albertsons is also playing Monopoly and there are other stores under the same corporation across the country).

I have a lot of game pieces to match, but I know that many of them are repeats.

I watched “Finian’s Rainbow” with Fred Astaire and Petula Clark. It is a 1968 musical with lots of social justice subtexts, especially when Petula Clark’s character wishes a racist senator, played by Kennan Wynn, to be black. She uttered her wish while she was standing near a pot o’ gold and her wish came true: he became black. I liked the movie, although I was only 3 years old when it came out, one of my older sisters introduced me to the world of musicals when I was younger and I came to appreciate them. I miss musicals!

I remember “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” (I’m drawing a blank right now)…”Fiddler on the Roof.” I loved watching musicals!

Now I’m watching “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.” I’m confused. I thought this movie had the seven dwarfs in it.

Anyway, I wanted to pause and write for a minute. I am trying to write daily so that I will not forget.

Writing to Not Forget.

By the way, my latest book, “Daddy’s Girl” is being edited and will arrive in late April, early May. Keep subscribing to my blog to find out when and where to get a copy!

Now, back to relaxing!

Happy Spring!

Looking in the Mirror

I have a bad habit.

I measure myself against others.

I know it’s bad and it doesn’t matter how many times people say, “don’t measure yourself against others,” I still do it. It doesn’t matter that I say that to other people, I find myself doing it.

Yesterday, I went to a scholarship breakfast sponsored by a local chapter of an African-American female sorority. The theme was “Hats Off to Sisterhood” and a “loose” requirement was to wear a hat. I am not a hat person; I’m very casual and the one hat I do have is a University of Arizona baseball cap. A good friend, who bought my ticket for the event, had extra hats and told me she would bring me one.

Now, as I stated in the last paragraph, I’m very casual, to a fault. I did not wear jeans, but I wore business casual, not dressy. When I arrived at the hotel, I saw beautiful African-American women wearing these hats one would see at the Kentucky Derby! They were dressed in heels and cocktail-type attire. I was floored! I was embarrassed! Although I wore business casual, I felt like I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt compared to them.

My friend kept reassuring me that I looked fine as I tried on hats. Everybody kept saying, “You look beautiful” but I didn’t feel like I did.

I told you it’s a bad habit.

I had all types of mixed emotions flowing through my head as I looked through the crowd of these fabulous dressed women of color adorned with these fabulous hats. It was more than what I was wearing: I began to think about how all of these women knew each other and I knew only the people from my church.

I began to think about how I have lived here all of my life and I don’t know people! How sad is that? Most of these women come from the East Coast, the South, or the West Coast and they have connections!

I don’t want to sound envious, and I hope I am not by writing about this, but I was worried about how I am not in the community – a person who loved the public, a former journalist, what happened?

So, I thought back to a time where it all began: high school. I was intricately involved in high school: high school newspaper, president of the Black Culture Club (they had that type of club back then because black kids needed a space for identity and purpose in high school other than sports). My involvement in that club promoted a Thanksgiving Concert fundraiser at my school where we invited local church choirs to come and sing. That was a blazing success! This landed speaking engagements for me. I was a keynote speaker at a statewide Black Youth Conference. Prior to all of this, the summer of my junior year, I was a contestant in the Miss National Teen Arizona pageant! I look back and wonder how I got over!

In college, I did not do as much as I did in high school; however, I was the photography editor of the U of A’s yearbook. I loved taking photos and I was hired based on my enthusiasm of taking photos. The job led me to get a part-time job as a sports reporter for high school sports at the Arizona Daily Star, which led me to an internship in the editorial department. As the string of jobs continue, I became a reporter at two newspapers in Moreno Valley California and I was given an award for my reporting and published in a Los Angeles publication.

Then, I was done with California and moved back to Arizona, where I started a weekly publication for the African American community called The Tucson Sun Press. It was free, but if people wanted to subscribe, they could get it mailed to them. I was featured on KVOA-TV, an affiliate for NBC about the newspaper, which was very exciting for me! However, the excitement did not last; an angry man called the Sun Press line and left a nasty racial message and asked, “Why aren’t there white newspapers?”

Ugh.

Internal grumblings were happening within the volunteers of the newspaper and some African-American businesses were not supportive; in fact, the community was less than supportive, so I decided to let it go.

And there it is. I was discouraged. Discouragement played a key role and I went into a quiet room, worked as a teacher, and wrote. I did not frequent events, I did not get into the public eye; I was a hermit.

But, as a hermit, I wrote. I wrote poetry and I delved into my feelings and thoughts. I wrote when I was angry and when I was sad. I wrote when I was happy. I wrote poetry and attempted to write novels and short stories. I found the convenience of self-publishing and published my books and recently, I found camaraderie with my work colleagues and sold my books at a local large book festival! I felt my self confidence rise again and I felt determined to concentrate on my craft in writing.

And then Saturday hit. I saw that I did not know the public, my peers, my community. Although people said affirmations to me, I felt out of place. The keynote speaker had us doing something wonderful: she had us say our name at our table and everybody at the table had to repeat our name and say an African mantra which translates to “I see you.” The reason why, as she explained, is because we go around asking people how they are doing, but we never really pause to listen to people. Therefore, we don’t really “see” the person we are talking to. I loved it!

I have to admit this that sometimes, specifically around African-American women, I feel invisible. I don’t wear braids, not a lot of makeup, big shiny jewelry, nor am I in a sorority. I am different. My two older sisters are in the community and are known; people know who they are and will stop and talk to them; but, I am different. They know me as “the youngest sister.”

Another blow to my ego, happened on Saturday when I got home. I am working on my doctoral degree and I had to submit an assignment on Friday, which I did so. I opened my grade and I got an F. The professor’s comments ripped through my self-esteem like blood on the brain! I had thought I did a pretty good job, but according to the professor’s words, everything was wrong! And to make the wound more painful, his comments were, “If you have any questions, contact me.”

“Yes!” I exclaimed out loud and frightening my poor, sleeping doggy. “I have questions! Why am I doing this?!”

I want to quit going to school, but I have a passion to help teachers, and my dissertation is all about helping teachers become leaders in their school! I have the potential, but I lack the courage. I am in battle and my armor is falling off and it is dented. I guess this is how my students feel when they get a poor grade. Yes, it is damaging and you want to quit.

OK. You’re reading this and saying, “Wow. You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself. There are worse things that can happen.” And, you’re right.

I am writing this for a reason.

I don’t need the limelight. I don’t need to be seen. I need the “F” on my assignment to work harder at what I want. I mean, who do I want to please and why do I want to please them? What’s the point to be everybody’s friend or have everybody talk to me? Why do I need that? I’m 53 years old and I have made it so far with few friends in my corner and without a lot of limelight! In my younger years, I was in the limelight like the saying says, “Been there, done that.”

I had to examine myself yesterday and find out why do I allow my emotions to take over my senses? I have appropriate clothes to dress, I just didn’t know what the event was all about: now, I do. I had people at my table who didn’t even look at my clothes and we laughed and talked and loved one another: therefore, I had a good time. The professor gave me comments to improve my assignment and said he is excited to work with me during the residency event next week: I am relieved.

The problem is I overreact. I jump to conclusions, and the truth is I judge others. That’s the the problem. People are doing what they need to do and what they are passionate about! I should do the same thing. While I am spending precious moments worrying about what I am or not wearing, or if people know who I am or not, I am wasting time not writing, not doing my assignments correctly, and adding unnecessary gray hairs.

My parents raised me better than that!

I look back at all of this and realize it is really silly. However, I had to confess this because the first step to healing is to admit your mistakes. I am transparent in acknowledging the mistakes I have made, and I have made lots of them!

I feel lighter. I am going back to work on my assignments now.

Bring It On!

The Tucson Festival of Books has ended. The weekend event, which brings thousands to the University of Arizona campus mall, is an inspiring and motivating event for writers and book-lovers. Tents cover the green grassy strip in the center of the U of A where authors, booksellers, publishing companies, and other local community organization display their wares. After years of attending the Tucson Festival of Books, I was finally one of the authors in a tent. First, I want to thank my friends, Dusty and Toni, because they invited me to share the tent to help me get my books out to the public. Theoden Humphrey (aka Dusty) wrote a book too, and we wanted to fight our fear about talking about our books, face the public, and see what would happen.

We did it. We talked about our books, we answered questions, and we sold our books. All. Of. Them.

But you have to understand; before this weekend, I was going to “back out.” Negative thoughts were surfacing that no one wanted to buy poetry books – people weren’t into poetry. I was getting cold feet. I wasn’t ready. But I had shared the investment in the tent, I invested in my books, and I could not afford marketing materials for my books.

On Saturday morning, I was as nervous as a first-grader on the first day of school. I knew there were hundreds of authors who were seasoned and wrote better books than me. I felt terrible that I didn’t have bookmarks like Dusty had, or business cards. Toni took me around the festival to show me how a lot of authors were slowly selling their books, and some did not have a lot of marketing either. I listened to Dusty eloquently and excitingly talked about his pirate book, and I grew weary because my poetry is all over the place! But, slowly I began to talk about my books with help from my friends, Dusty and his wife, Toni. People started to give me money for the books (I wrote three poetry books), and I began to feel a bit better. At one point a woman came by and began to criticize my font and page number placement in one of my books. I have to admit that it tore me up inside. I am a self-publisher, and all I wanted was to get my words printed and share them. I did not know that the Times New Roman font was a problem.

However, as a writer, I have learned to let go and become confident in my craft. I am an artist and I have so much more to write and share. I am preparing for next year’s festival by incorporating marketing materials for my books into my budget.

I invited my family and close friends to come by to see me, and I was very disappointed that they did not. But those disappointments are seeds for my poetry; poetry is my escape and my sounding board.

Therefore, in this reflective moment, I am feeling something I have never felt before. This stirring inside of me has caused my eyes to open; I have made a gigantic step in sharing my most precious secrets – my poetry. My words are in unknown homes right now. People who bought my books will either hate them or love them; but my most treasured piece of me, my poetry, is now out there and I can’t do anything about it but send more of me out there.

Am I ready?

Bring it on.

My fourth poetry book is on its way.

I Am Nervous!

On Saturday, I am going to display three of my poetry books on a table for people to come and peruse them, ask me questions, and hopefully purchase. And, I am scared.
Why?
Because people are lost when it comes to poetry, I am assuming that most people do not purchase poetry books, and if they do, why?
I am not a salesperson, but after talking with a couple of friends, who were gracious to ask if I wanted to join them in the exhibition at the Tucson Festival of Books, I’ve learned that I need this “exposure.”
Tucson Festival of Books, I’ve learned that I need this “exposure.”
I believe I am nervous because the poetry I’ve published was from years ago; these poems spoke of young love, naivete, and not much experience, but they came from my heart. I write with passion.
I won’t make a lot of money on this two-day event, but I am hoping that some people will feel excited to read the “mature” writings of L.S. Watson. I am trying to write daily, and I have this great book titled “Write The Story” to help me write little snippets each day. I’ve had it for a long time, but I never used it until I felt crappy about my teaching profession (well, that’s a blog for another day).
I have prepared for these two days as best as I know how to for a book festival. Everything is rudimentary. I’ve created a brochure, and I am stealing an idea from my tent-mate to make bookmarks. I have to invest in myself because I want to be a published writer. I’ve had articles published since I was a journalist almost 30 years ago, but writing creatively has always been something I’ve held close to my heart.
Usually, I am an open book (no pun intended) and very transparent when it comes to teaching, but close examination of my books, I crawl into my shell.
I am trying to do some outreach, and what makes me look bad on my record is that I do not do enough research on how well poetry books are doing in the public sector.
So, I have to look at the brighter side of life: I will have people look at me or look at my books on a table as they pass by to listen to published authors on a panel. I will hand out my brochures or bookmarks, or both, and if I don’t sell anything, I will keep writing. I can’t stop now.
Therefore, if you’re in Tucson and come by one of the two days, don’t ask me questions; take one look at one of the books, and if you like what you see…thank you for your purchase (plus I will even sign the darn thing!)
See you at the Festival!

Why Can’t I Write?

I asked God this morning, “Why can’t I write?”

I have these brilliant story ideas in my head, and just before I sit up in bed in the morning, I am thinking about these excellent stories. But as soon as I open a Word document…nothing happens.

Why can’t I write?

What’s wrong with me?

I am so frustrated that I decided to pour out my frustration to you, my non-readers. My followers who really don’t follow me at all. So I am gutting myself on this blog to understand what is happening to my brain.

Sometimes, I am so afraid that I becoming forgetful. I am afraid that perhaps I have something that is preventing me from using my creativity. I want to pour out the stories onto the page and see a masterpiece, but what I see are primitive words that perhaps a nine-year-old could write. Even now I feel like a criminal for writing this piece.

I have a brilliant piece of writing about my father called “The Grieving Tree.” I want to complete it and published before Tucson’s Festival of Books. The Festival of Books is a beautiful event for readers and writers! It has a similar feeling of a child’s excitement when they enter Disneyland and see Mickey Mouse’s face on the sprawling green lawn. At least, that’s what the festival makes me feel like: I see tents across the University of Arizona’s mall filled with books! And, usually, I like to go alone because my meandering would make a person dizzy.

I love books.

Oh…that’s the answer. Books. I haven’t been writing because I haven’t been reading.

I am an English teacher, who is also working on her doctorate degree. My reading is limited to journal articles, nonfiction reading. Writing papers have dominated my time too, and I am behind on grading my students’ work. Therefore, I have no time to write!

And no time for writing is very frustrating for a writer.

So I am on a journey to help myself professionally, but I am not fulfilling the creative part of me. I cannot imagine a visual artist who doesn’t have time to draw, paint, or sketch.

I am also doing other grown-up things, like moving to a more inexpensive place to live; paying outrageous bills; and, finding ways to organize myself.

Oh, I cannot forget that I have another outlet: Chuy.

Chuy is my six-year-old Yorkie Poo. He is energetic and gives me kisses when I sit on my couch with my laptop and sob softly because I don’t understand how to write an assigned paper for my class.

Last night, while I looked at my overdue paper, he brought me his green ball, and we began to play. He is so attuned to me. He will look into my eyes when I am talking to him, and he stares as I explain to him how I need to organize myself so that I feel like I am not floating through time. Then I profusely apologize to him for not walking him in the morning, and I make promises that we will walk in the evening. I don’t do it.

But, that’s the beauty about dogs: they don’t care about promises. They don’t care about assignments. Chuy steps on my keyboard when he feels my anxiety level rise. He doesn’t care. He gives me kisses on the cheek and grunts, jumps off from my lap, runs outside, barks and barks come back inside, checks on me sit next to me and do the same routine over again until I get up and we take that walk. One of my friends suggested I write a children’s book about Chuy.

I can’t even write a children’s book about Chuy!

So…I’m writing about my frustration. Yes, I am taking the time to write this, but this is a rant, and I am releasing this anger and pain. I don’t want to talk to anyone about this because I don’t want to hear someone say, “You need to take the time to write. Just do it!”

Easier said than done.

Maybe, just maybe, after I finish this piece of writing on the wall, I can look at it and start fresh. I can reorganize myself and check off the duties I have: catch up with my grading; finish my overdue paper; pack; walk and play with Chuy; and, then relax by completing

design desk display eyewear
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

my dad’s story and write some poetry. I believe that is what I need to do.

“Just do it.”

Thanks, Nike.

The Wave of Grief

I hope my readers don’t mind, but the way I can cope with stressors in my life is to write. Right now, I have a lump in my stomach and it’s called grief. I have felt this before, many times before, and it has returned.

A few days ago, my brother was found dead in his home. No foul play, just natural causes. He was 67. A good man. A wonderful, loving brother. A football fanatic. If you mention his high school, he would light up and start talking about writing a book highlighting his exciting career as a Tucson High Badger. Besides his children and grandchildren, my brother loved his Badgers.  He would talk to me about co-writing this book, but unfortunately, I wasn’t as excited as he was. Oh, I love football…but I was not a Badger. I graduated from another high school across the city.

Anyway, the death of my brother was a total shock to me, not to mention my other siblings and his children. His oldest son, a very responsible young man, knew that something was wrong when he couldn’t find his dad. The result was ominous.

Yes, he is in a better place. He suffered from Diabetes, Type 1, which took both of his legs. However, my brother worked on an optimistic disposition despite his circumstances. After the death of our dad, my brother became a cornerstone for me. He kept tabs on me as much as he could; I sometimes did stupid things, and he came over and talked to me about situations and how to correct them. He tried to help me, and he did.

But, this grief…the grief I have comes and goes. I’m smiling at one moment and then the tidal wave wraps itself inside of my gut and lies there. It’s heavy and I feel like I’m going to throw up or pass out. I want quick relief: Tums, Pepto pexels-photo-568027.jpeg, something to relieve this bothersome rock. But, I thought about my brother’s smile whenever he saw me and he called my name and teased me about the distance of my home – “I have to pack a lunch when I drive out there” and then the flood happened. I melted. I bawled. Tears flowed from my eyes like a river and the ball of grief was released. Just like that, it was gone.

But, in time, it will return again. I know it will because it has been coming and going for a while now. Friends have been calling or texting asking how I am doing. Fortunately, when they contact me, the ball of grief is gone. But a few hours later, it decides to return – to grow. I cannot tell you when it will come, but it does appear again.

Losing a loved one is never easy. It’s inevitable. Within a few days, my family and I will say our final goodbye to my brother – it’s for us, the living, that we need to do this. In my Christian lifestyle, we believe in seeing our loved ones again. We believe that. I believe it, too. I have had dreams about my mother and dad to prove it. However, I have to admit, this hurts.

It hurts.

It hurts.

Losing my brother…feeling this pain…it hurts.

I hope he knew how much I loved him. He was my big brother.

The wave is coming. I have to go.

Confessions of a Lyft Driver: Part I

I took off my Lyft superhero cape when I came home at 2:30 one morning. It has been a long time since I’ve come home at 2:30 in the morning. At 52, it’s not necessary, unless it’s some type of emergency (God forbid), or I was with family during one of the get-togethers.

No. This time, it was different, and I felt like a superhero.

Last November, it was a big night around the University of Arizona and downtown Tucson. It was the homecoming for the U of A alumni (and although I am an alumnus, I did not get to participate in all the lavish festivities for the alumni…I was working), and for the students, it was a chance to celebrate Halloween too. Lyft gives hints to drivers what time to get out there to drive people around. Earlier, I drove a few people to their destinations, came home, and I went back out into the jungle around 4:00.

The U of A was a massive mess! The U of A mall (and for those of you who are not privy to the university set up, the mall is not a set of stores…it’s a sprawling lawn separating the various buildings on the campus) was as crowded as an NFL football game’s parking lot! The red and blue tents, people wearing red and blue, RVs, coolers full of beer was the decor of the day!

And then, you have University Boulevard (on the other side of the campus) are bars full of U of A students! The students don’t tailgate. “The old people tailgate,” said one student as we passed by the tailgating on Campbell Avenue. “Students don’t tailgate?” I asked. “No. That’s for the older people.”

I laughed.

However, my superhero night began later in the night.

On University Boulevard, the crowd of students was amazing! I use that word amazing because students were lined up to go to bars such as Gentle Ben’s, Illegal Pete’s, and Frog and Firkin (by the way, my good friend owns Frog and Firkin). Girls were scantily clad in the shortest shorts possible, shirts showing their midriff and hanging off of their shoulders. The guys were wearing shorts with flip-flops and regular t-shirts. Most of them had the glow of their Smartphones reflecting on their faces.

I parked my car off to the side and waited. Sooner than I thought, I began to get notifications to pick up students.

One young man told me that he had been out since two in the afternoon (it was about 6:00 at this time), and he had no intention of drinking, but he did.

“I just want to go home and sleep,” he told me.

“Well, I will take you home, safely,” I told him. He smiled.

During our drive, I learned that he is a junior and his major is Chemical Engineering.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with that,” he said. “I have no idea.”

“You’ll find out,” I said to him.

“Yeah, I know what I want to do, but I just need the backing.”

I don’t quite remember what he wanted to invent something, but I encouraged him. I dropped him home and he thanked me.

The next ride was an eye-opener. I picked up a couple who were at a house party and needed to go their campus housing. The guy was completely out of it, but the girl was friendly. They were both drunk, so I kept the small talk to a minimum.  However, their conversation was atypical of college students. She wanted him to wait for her to change, but he wanted to go hang out with his frat brothers. She was upset because she asked him for this one favor. He refused. He wanted to go snort some cocaine with his buddies, and then he said: “I’ll come back and get you and we’ll go to…”

I was stuck on the “cocaine.”

He admitted freely that he wanted to sniff some cocaine! It was like saying “First, I’m going to go drink some water, and I’ll get you later.”

Wow! Cocaine. Our future, people. I dropped them off at a campus housing called “The Hub,” which I learned from other students later on that night that it costs $11,000.00 to live in!

I picked up another couple who were friendly and reeked of weed! They were young, funny, and bantered back and forth about how he got to pee and she didn’t.  That ride was simple and I’m glad…I drove back to the U of A with my windows down!

The next ride was a couple and their friend. The couple was married – the woman proceeded to tell me that they have a young child at home and they never get to go out. The guy had his window down in the back seat, and the wife went on about she had a good time and her friend kept assuring her that she needed to get out and have fun. While they were conversing with different people, I kept my eye on the husband in the back seat. His head kept bobbing…his eyes were closed too.  As soon as we got to their destination, he puked. Not in my car, but outside with the door closed. His wife opened the door and he proceeded to roll out on the ground. She profusely apologized (and of course, it comes with the territory that if you drive at night, you’re bound to get a drunk person who might puke). Anyway, I left and went to a gas station to rinse off the “puke.”

The next pick up was not at the U of A. It was at the Bashful Bandit. The Bashful Bandit is a motorcycle bar and as I drove I began to pray that it was going to be OK. The pick up was a young lady. She opened the car door and sweetly asked, “Is this Lyft?” I said yes.  She whispered, “Oh thank God” and then began crying.

I drove away from the parking lot and I asked her was everything ok. She said it was a terrible night, with tears. She explained to me how she went out with friends and they left her to her own device.  I took her home, which was in the Catalina Foothills, miles and miles away from where I picked her up.

In between that time and now I have not driven for Lyft. I am a bit apprehensive after a young man I picked up one night offered to [blank] me. I was a little afraid, but he was drunk and I dropped him off at a student housing complex. As I drove away, I began to think about was this worth it. I am trying to be of service to people who need rides, whether they can’t drive or are too intoxicated to drive. Most people have been very nice and the rides were routine, but then I began to think about the dark side of the job. The money is made at night. I’m a teacher, therefore, Monday through Friday during the day is out for driving for Lyft. It leaves me the weekends to do most of my driving to make enough money to make it worth my while. I am also risking the life of my car, the wear, and tear, and not to mention the insurance issues if there ever was an accident.

So…right now…I still have my Lyft stickers on my windshield and back window. They send me texts to please update my registration with them so I can get back on the road. I’ve gotten great reviews from passengers, but I don’t think I can do it anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ducey will follow through with giving teachers more money anytime soon.

If you’re looking for a job, and you have a good running, newer model vehicle, I’d  recommend Lyft. It is a good company and they do pay very well, plus the tips you receive from customers are great. If you’re a night owl, with great communication skills and you’re not afraid to talk to people, Lyft will give you that lift towards a purpose.

 

I’m Going to Write this Down…

Hello.

I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a blogger. I haven’t written anything for awhile because when I think about something to write, I think about you. Yes. You. I wonder if you’ll ever read this blog and do you care enough to read it. But, I have to remember that I was given a gift of writing. Writing is important to me although I do not do enough of it. It’s almost as if I’m denying who I am because I am afraid of what you’ll think of my writing.

It has been said that too many people air their “dirty laundry” on Social Media. Do you know why people write out frustrations about friends and family members? It’s because it’s a forum of strangers. Also, it’s a safe place to call out people and you can delete the backlash if anyone dares to comment. My blogs are not to air dirty laundry or call people out (unless you’re a politician), but to share my random thoughts (the title of my blog).

Perhaps I’m not an interesting person and right now, you’re probably bored with this blog, but I have to keep writing. It doesn’t matter if you read this or not, I am going to keep writing.

I am currently reading a book titled Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian female, award-winning writer. This book is a National Bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.  It is a fantastic read and I am enjoying it immensely! I’ve never realized that “Non-American blacks” (a name she refers to in the book for African people living in America), have the same revelations about America as the African-Americans. The character in the book processes a lot of traditions, customs, attitudes, and personalities the same way as I do…which is incredibly interesting. The book is an experience and gives me pause to look at myself to find that I need to find my voice and talk about such experiences.

With this book, I am finding that I need to continue to use this forum – WordPress.com to continue with my writing. It’s January 2018, and I have something to say. I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a very long time, and I have some interesting conversations to share with you.  I am hoping that as I simply write my random thoughts, I do not offend anyone, and I am hoping to entertain, educate, and forge opinions that run deep below the superficial world. I have some enlightening conversations with my family that I’d like to share and sometimes, as I peruse the channels on the DISH satellite, I find startling shows that suck me in and I want to ask you a few simple questions about them.

Anyway, this is an open invitation to you to read my blog from time to time. I am hoping that you will find something intriguing and decide to follow me. In the meantime, stop airing your dirty laundry on Social Media. We have a president who does that and we really don’t need any more garbage out there.

Cherish is the Word!

I’m sitting up in my bed right now. It’s Christmas Day, 2017 at 9:55 p.m. Today was a day filled with excitement, anticipation, laughter, and tears. The last part of my sentence, the tears that were shed today, is something I will cherish for a long time.

You see, the tears weren’t sadness, but of gratitude…being thankful for relationships. In our family, like most families, we have lost loved ones, and each year that we realize our loved ones have left something for us, specifically during the holidays, we become closer and closer to each other. For example, I spent the day with my sister, her husband and their three sons and their significant others. Our oldest sister and her daughter and grandson spent the day as well. As well laughed and ate, and reveled in the beautiful giving process of gifts, we began to talk about how relationship building is important in a family.

The moment we begin to cherish the family and build a relationship with one another in the family, the better a support system will help us in the long run.It is dangerous to separate yourself from your family. The holiday season’s reason isn’t meant to just give gifts, but it is to give of yourself to those that you love. The family participated in adopting two families for Christmas – families we did not know. These families are struggling because they are either starting over in life, or they need extra help. Both families have small children, but the beauty is that they are trying to build a relationship with their children. One mother told me that despite her sordid past, she is trying to do better by her children, the right way. She sat them down and told them that the “easy money” to give tons of Christmas presents was no longer a reality. The reality was that she couldn’t afford Christmas presents, but they were to get some help and support. It is times like this when we see the strength of the family unit.

During the dark days of the holiday season in 1986, my mother was in a coma. She had a leak from an aneurysm in her brain. I remember one cold night, my father gathered us in the middle of the living room, had us all hold hands and told us, before he prayed, that if there is a weak link within the family, we need to repair it at that moment. A weak link. We were emotionally weak, but my dad was speaking on a higher level than the obvious. He was a God-fearing man, but he was determined to strengthen us in order for our prayers to be heard and strengthen my mother.  I cherished that night because it is something I ask myself whenever there is a difficult situation that faces me. I strengthen that “weak link” inside of me either through prayer, meditation, or just talking to someone who is stronger than I am at the moment.

Yes, today, the gift I truly cherished was not wrapped up in a beautiful holiday-themed paper, or colorful Christmas bags — it was the unity and togetherness of family during Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day.

The true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown?

Cherish your family. Cherish the love. Cherish the joy. Cherish every aspect of the family unit!

Love Until Her Dying Breath…

When someone says they have fallen in love with someone, one often doubts that the person has truly fallen. We doubt this because we’re not so comfortable in defining true love or being in love. We go into these long explanations about “falling in love” or “being in love” because we are trying to justify what love really means. I believe in the power of love. Love has many levels and many feelings, and we cannot (and should not) keep love in a jar sealed up with a labeled definition.candles-168015_1920

I want to tell you about this young woman who has fallen in love. I truly believe that she is in love with this man. It’s been two years and he has not noticed; however, she still feels for him.  She doesn’t wait by the phone; she doesn’t bother him at all. She patiently awaits him and learns about him and falls deeper and deeper. His actions, his likes, and dislikes are all duly noted; she finds that they have more in common. Many men have her name on their lips, but her thoughts are on this one…her only one.

He’s never seen her. The real her. He doesn’t know that she believes in the same things as he does. He doesn’t know that she believes in him as a man and as a person. She’s read his poetry and hurts along with him. His written words have come alive in her heart and the biggest challenge she has is sacrificing her own traditions and family just wanting to be with him.

She has dreams about him – dreams that she tells him how much she loves him. The dreams are realistic, yet haunting. She notices how other women flaunt and flirt with him, and how she cannot do that – it’s not for her to be so public – yet she wants him to just notice her silence and her quiet admiration for him.

He’s over there…somewhere else and she longs to be with him, in his heart. It doesn’t have to be a physical presence, but the spiritual connection that love brings to two people. She is walking along a sacrificial path in hopes that one day, in an obscure way, he’ll notice that she has been there – in his corner, cheering him on.

Yet, she cringes inside. As she goes about her daily routine and betters herself, she’s dying inside. Her laughter and smile is often masked with questions like “Why doesn’t he like me?” “What have I done to him?” The painful questions plague her. Although she wants to move on and forget everything about him – give in to the fact that it’s never going to happen – she still loves him. Deep inside of her being, she loves him.

I know the difference between a crush, infatuation, and love. Love makes you see beyond the physical. Her story is immortalized in a novel that is forever etched in words, imagery, and dialogue. Love is real. At first, she did not want to admit that she loved him, but each year, the torch burns brighter and brighter.

One day, she will reach out to him, and as a woman, she will utter the words that she loves him. She is hoping that these words will engulf him and make him realize what true love is all about – it surpasses time; it tears down walls; and, it heals the wounds. However, she never suspected that love would hurt so badly. She had never imagined that love would kill her inside. She is dying inside…every time she sees his smiling face, hears his voice, and reads his words.

And, in the midst of her breaking heart, camouflaging as love, she asks him “Give me a chance.”

Romeo and Juliet have nothing compared to her.