Black Dreams, Fantasies & Realities (Opinion Piece)

cropped-blackmaggie2.jpgIt’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We take this time to honor the life and vision of a man who unapologetically risked it all to work towards equality employing a strategy of non-violence. His stance on not fighting fire with fire helped shape and control the narrative to highlight exactly what was going on around the country.

His power was not in his “hands” but in the strength of his mind to do the thing that goes against every human instinct for the sake of further proving his argument and developing a stable foundation for an entire movement. His leadership in maintaining this strategy was met with opposition from within the Black community as some felt as though fighting back and taking an eye for an eye would yield better results. There were some that felt as though Blacks should completely disengage from White society as a whole and focus on building wealth.

Who was right?

This depends on who you ask and how they see the end goal. If your family suffered on the back-end of desegregation with store closures and farm profit decreases you may hold one opinion. If your family suffered from mass incarceration as a result of Jim Crow laws you may hold another. However, had the foundation not been established with undeniable video evidence of Black peace being met with extreme violence perpetrated by the State as well as White citizens at the time, would any school of thought have a place to take root? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that there’s only one right answer to how we achieve better treatment and equitable economic standing in our given environments over the years.

The social constructs of discrimination and racism are multifaceted and manifest themselves in almost every avenue of life in America (Work, worship, education, financial access, voting, socializing…) so we need every type of Hero we can muster to tackle this beast. Nobody’s wrong, but not everybody’s right in every situation.

Where does that leave us today?

Just like in every other portion of history, Black is not a monolith. Not even Black in America… not even Black in the same city. We each have a realm of experience that shapes how we would like to see the future of people who look like us. Even when we isolate the last 6 years, most of which we spent with Obama as President, we didn’t all have the same outlook on the state of Black America.

I’m sure from the outside in, it’s evident to those paying attention. The same time that we had President Obama in office, we were enraged and mourning the fact that Trayvon Martin died because of the suspicions of a White Latino centered solely on his race and presence in a decent neighborhood. While we couldn’t have seen the day of anyone other than a white male holding the highest office in our country without the work of Dr. King, there’s a hole in the tapestry that still makes horrible people feel as though they can treat us how they see fit and never have to answer for the crimes they commit. Here’s the piece that makes it even trickier, there’s no proven formula that keeps Black people from getting gunned down and/or manhandled like dogs just for being Black in a particular space. Poor kid in Ferguson to Harvard Professor… we’re not a monolith, but we are all candidates for similar treatment.

How is that possible?

Even though we have come so far on the shoulders of those that went before us like Dr. King, we have failed to establish any real infrastructure for systemic change. We have some black owned banks, but not enough to stop frequenting establishments that have been proven to discriminate against us. We have lots of black owned businesses, but not enough are in a position to employ large segments of our communities and provide alternate avenues for economic sustenance. We’ve climbed, but not together. We’ve achieved, but not as an organized unit.

How does that affect how we treat one another?

The internet is an animal that Dr.King didn’t have to endure. He was able to execute his strategies without the ever looming comment section or editorial page posts. Would we be able to accept and respect his strategy today without coming down with a case of the “If I had been there..” syndrome where behind a keyboard we fancy ourselves some version of Luke Cage or T’Challa? In this age the incidents are more easily reported and the power of the narrative is in the hands of either the one with a badge, or the camera with the clearest angle.

We look at incidents like the young woman being beaten in a pizzeria in Pittsburghand then shame the cameraman and the only visible black female employee for not going all John Stewart and Storm. We don’t ever stop to consider what’s at stake for one another. It’s easy to say, “you should have jumped in the middle of the mob” or ” you should have called the police” and “what good are you doing behind the camera?”. We’ll support a woman risking her job and possibly her life, but won’t have an answer for her as to where she can then feed her family and pay her bills afterward. We talk bad about the cameraman, calling him a coward, but he’s the only reason that there’s been an arrest on the correct side of the incident. We aren’t fair with one another as much as we could be.

Now what?

We have a present need, to understand and respect that there’s room for all of us. Not just room, but each of us have something special that we can bring to the table and in any given situation we should seek to use the strategy that fits the circumstance. Dr.King was not docile and mild, he was strategic and emotionally intelligent enough to know how to prick the hearts of those that stood in the way of progress. He knew to devise specific goals and work to achieve them. We need to move forward with a balance of proactive and strategic reactive methods if our goal is to see major and measurable positive change.

This piece is a summation of my opinion based on my observation. I encourage you to seek out the perspectives and research the concepts presented here for yourself and share your conclusions. This is a safe space for the exchange of ideas. Links provided in-text for reference.

Black & Bossy Pre-Motherhood…This Ain’t Cute.

I have been a solid Dog-Mom for the last three years, and like a Black small-footed Peggy Hill, here I find myself pregnant with a son that I never imagined would be. Yes, I know where babies come from. No, I didn’t think that I was in the danger zone. I was wrong.

Now I’m 34 weeks into this deal, and I’ve finally landed on a solid feeling about this whole situation.

This Ain’t Cute!

Don’t get me wrong, I can intellectualize the fact that this is a beautiful scientific process, but I need someone to articulate that to my hips and my plans for the future.

Seriously.

I was the kind of girl that collected horror stories along the way to help me stay on the kid-free path, despite the ticking of my biological clock. While that helped create a nice callous around my heartstrings, trying to undo three decades worth of opinion is harder than it sounds, especially in such a short time frame as 40 weeks.

I’m shook.

Even with my Rolodex of easily accessible worst-case scenarios, now that I’m in the go zone of this “journey” I’m finding out new and unnerving things.

Here’s where I get graphic and say things that my family and church folk shouldn’t read. If you’re trying to keep me in a certain light stop reading right now.

I mean it, it’s about to go down. Go read the post about Grandma.

Ain’t cute thing #1- 

When you really have no idea what you’re doing, and you have no desire to start a new dynamic in your immediate friendships in which you start discussing bodily functions; you get on the Internet like a respectable nerd and find out things from strangers. That action leads me to the realization that there’s such thing as a “pad popsicle”. The young lady on the post (not the article I just linked) had concocted a menagerie of aloe, coconut oil, sage, bitters and wheatgrass (who knows, I zoned out) for the purpose of freezing the mix on a huge sanitary napkin, to place in her panties after giving birth.

I had to scroll to the comment section to see if there was anyone else completely confused with me. Nah. Everybody on the thread had their own recipe ready to rock and the old school moms had stories of how there’s a contraption at the hospital that you just twist and it gets cold like something out of a hiking kit.

Do you know what kind of beat up your “purse” has to be for COLD to feel soothing? I’ve had some… “oh Lord just leave the hot rag in place” moments in my life, but NEVER in the history of this kitty box have I been so swollen and that I have ever even contemplated an ice pack.

Help, God!

Ain’t cute thing #2- 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmfcRaQAcZo

I’m out here trying to take over the world. Same thing I do every day, Pinky. So there’s not a lot of room for dramatic emotional shifts. As a person that has dealt with anger issues that reach as far back to the age of 5; hormonal imbalance, physical changes, and mouthy people just don’t mix. I’ve found myself having to pray aloud to keep the urge to heel kick someone in the mouth at bay.
The fact that I’m not in prison is proof that prayer works. I’ve found myself feeling levels of mad as hell that rival my years as a brand new teenager. Who has time for that? Remaining sociable and acceptable in public is probably draining more out of me than this huge baby inside of me that likes to boogie to music and wiggle when the food I eat is tasty.

Between that and moments of crushing sadness, I’m ready for this kid to get done cooking and come on out, so I can establish his LLC, schedule his music lessons and teach him how we roll. I’ve lost and missed out on enough things that I generally don’t spend a lot of my normal time being sad. So, this whole tear act is beyond annoying because I absolutely know that whatever it is, it’s not that deep; and with the emotional swings comes the act of faking like everything is just fine. I honestly don’t know the answer at any given time. Sometimes I’m cool, sometimes I break things that I don’t care about. This is stupid.

Ain’t cute thing #3- 

There’s apparently a protocol to doing this whole thing, from pictures of my waistline disappearing gradually to inspirational quotes and deep shit I’m supposed to be spewing to the masses about how I’m transforming as a woman. I’m 33 years old, at this point I’m as grown as it gets until I start going through the change of life. Since the beginning of my pregnancy there’s been a wave of articles on how black women are the most likely to die during and after childbirth so excuse me if I can’t give a damn about all the mushy stuff until after I get through this thing I’ve feared and avoided my entire life, alive. Thanks. Not to keep talking about the emotional piece, but with that, I check my blood pressure on a regular basis, especially after a mood shift. I also weigh myself twice a day, in the beginning, it was to be sure I didn’t lose too much, and now it’s to be sure that the gain is within reason to my height. I’m much too busy trying to be my own advocate, watch his seemingly rapid growth (his ass is over 5lbs already) and be sure that there’s absolutely nothing else that I can do to create the best situation. I don’t have time to be cutesy. Sorry.

Ain’t cute thing #4-

I don’t ever like to be touched in places beyond my hands and shoulders. There’s something about a pregnant belly that makes people feel like they need to reach out and put their possibly washed,  but more likely to have just touched a doorknob hands on your good clothes. I don’t even remember who it was that did it, but I’m at my Grandmother’s funeral trying to be all dignified and comport myself in a manner that wouldn’t embarrass the deceased if she saw me, and missed a belly touch dodge. I let it ride on the strength of time and place, but I was visibly upset according to my Sorority sisters that caught my body language from over my shoulder.

If you wouldn’t rub my belly to admire my work in the gym, randomly touching my belly because I’ve been screwing just seems weird to me, but hey, let the spirit move you as you see fit… it’s creepy. That’s my uterus. If you’re not directly connected with what’s on the way out, what’s the obsession?

Ain’t cute thing #5- 

I’ve been doing Kegels since the age of 15. So imagine my surprise when I find out that sometimes when the moon is just right, a gag or a good joke can undo over a decade and a half of pussy power and send me into peed in panties.

You’re talking about one disappointed woman.

I take joy in the small things in life, not stinking, being clean, having control over bodily functions. Here’s the conundrum, I’ve doubled the exercises but this baby’s head has an 8cm diameter as of last Thursday so there’s a piece of me that can’t put together a loosening and tightening routine that will soothe my paranoia.

All jokes aside, I’m looking forward to what this little life is going to do to the rest of my world. However, freaking out about strangers being around him to not knowing exactly how my leave situation is going to work, as a planner I have way more questions than answers and that sucks the last little bit of what could be fun right out of it all.

Even more, I’m bringing a brand new Black male into the world and if my Punnett square analysis is accurate, he’s going to be big and chocolate. I’m preoccupied with determining the balance of making sure he’s exposed to multiple cultures and hoping that he has a healthy understanding that everything that this world has to offer isn’t necessarily for him in the same way that all people enjoy them.

Can I afford to try and skip all of that, and if I do, will that allow him the maximum room to grow, or will it get him killed? See…it ain’t cute.

The Secret Life of The Strong Black Woman

What’s the criteria?

Like seriously, how much stuff are we supposed to take on silently, muscle through and overcome? 2016 had me wanting to call in Black, and the election had me wanting to call in Woman… but considering those options have never existed… I, like everyone else in my shoes, toughed it out no matter how exhausting it’s been.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/

Maybe I’m just tired because I started to write this post in January and now it’s December of 2017.
Maybe I’m in a mood because it took Hidden Figures to come out to realize that there are people in the world that are more apt to receive the Moon Landing as a conspiracy than the byproduct of Black Women making a way out of no-way like we’ve been forced to do over years of having to show up with twice as much no matter how qualified we find ourselves.

https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/herstory/

Maybe I’m exhausted because over the past year I’ve witnessed the least qualified employee ever, keep the highest-ranking job in the country despite every reason under the sun that he should have been marched out Call-Center “you didn’t meet your goals” style. While the only small victories have been the firings of the ever-growing list of “Creeps on TV” followed by R.Kelly and his alleged sex dungeons of Atlanta getting robbed blind.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/politics/alabama-exit-polls/

Either way, as we close out 2017 (which has proven to be 2016X) having I’m reflecting on the power of Sisterhood. From the start of the Black Lives Matter movement to our Alabama sisters showing up and saving the day at the polls. We’ve been ingrained with this sense of duty to pick up the pieces, take the lead and use what we have to make everything alright.

 We lean on one another, pick up the phone in the middle of our hellish days and find refuge in the emphatic exchanges of “Giiiiiiiiiirl, let me tell you…” We get behind each other’s dreams, find out the scoop on the other’s behalf, keep the secrets and take the lead on speaking up when it’s needed.

It’s the Grandmothers and Aunts that don’t charge us for babysitting. The work friends that cover our shifts when tragedy strikes. We can and have organized over the years in coalitions as small as the block or as large as a united front on behalf of all of the women of the world… even when there are still parts of the world don’t affirm us. It’s the out loud “Oh no, not today!” from across the room that gives us the strength to speak up for ourselves. The text messages under the table coaching appropriate responses to blatant disrespect.

But here’s the thing. We can’t be left to be the pit bull forever. It will literally kill us. We are allowed to feel every human emotion. There’s no shame in needing to take some time to cry, get centered, regroup or heal. We have to find a way to normalize our need for help without letting others make us feel as though we’ve robbed them by not being 100% ready to bear the weight of the world.

I know I’ve been away for a while, and from my last post, you know about my Grandmother’s fight. Well, she gained her freedom from the prison her body turned into on December 3rd, the day that marked 30 weeks in my current pregnancy. By all means, I should have had a pass to just sit down somewhere and cry, and while I did, I couldn’t help but feel guilty about not staying “Strong”. A few people had to talk me down from refusing any help from the people that love me, and I’ll forever be grateful that I eventually listened.

Can we suck it up and push silently through to the next obstacle? Yep, we’ve done it for centuries.

Should we have to? Absolutely not. Let’s move into this next year and the rest of our existence, adding to our strength the permission to unapologetically take care of ourselves first. A lesson that was interestingly taught to me throughout carrying this child. If I don’t take care of myself (rest, eat well, decompress) he can’t grow properly. The same can be said of the relationships in our respective communities. When we suffer it’s evident in the absence of our light in the dark times. It takes a lot to be “strong”, life is too short to try and keep that up daily. Let’s be better to ourselves.

Update: Since this was first posted we have lost Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, activist and new mother. We can’t put off self-care one more day. This sister carried the burden of fighting for the last and next generation and it proved to be too much to handle at once. Let her story be the last of its kind.

Black Alzheimer’s

I’ve been holding on to this thing for a while now, and I think that I’m ready to discuss where I am in the process. Keep in mind, the experience that your family may be having may not be anything like the account I’m about to give you. Hell, my perspective of it all may not reflect how anyone else in my family feels right now… but I know that I can’t be the only one that feels this way among the community of people with family members that have Alzheimer’s.  As a community (I’m talking about Black people now), we don’t share these stories so every time one of us goes through it, it’s brand new and none of the information available has our cultural context applied. For all these reasons, and the fact that my Grandma is in no shape to make me pick a switch for a whipping, (I think she’d laugh at that) I share this story.

Watching your loved one lose their mind is a frustrating, borderline infuriating process. There’s one side of it where optimism lives, and you go on as if everything either is or will be ok. Then there’s the side of reality where all of that is a lie. Everything is not ok, and also, there’s nobody to blame, nothing to protest, and nowhere to boycott. You just have to live in that thing. Each day is an additional goodbye to what’s left of the person that you once knew.

People talk about waiting for the “lights” to turn on, and how exciting or happy it is when they have a lucid moment, but it’s excruciating… why? Because they seem to have those moments just before you come to terms with the idea of them not being all there.  It’s also extremely sad because you know that just as quickly as they came back to you, they’ll be gone again.

Then you think about what they would want you to do in these situations. I can’t help but think back to when my grandmother would travel to see her brother that had Alzheimer’s and Dementia and how she refused to give up on him no matter how long he sat without recognizing her. The whole family would be dead dog tired after riding in the everlasting heat of Alabama for hours and we would just wait until she’d had enough of asking him if he knew who she was. Then she would get in the car and say

“He’s not a throw away. We don’t throw our family away. There’s still something there.”

So now that it’s time to walk this road with her, every moment of considering giving up, is haunted with her words… so you rip the band aid off and try to get her to come out again. I’ll admit that I don’t believe that I’ve been the best grandchild that I could be. It’s so hard for me to come back to the world if I see her on a bad day that I double-dutch the contemplation of each visit. “Well, how’s she doing today?” “Is anybody with her right now?”.

Visiting was easy when she was in the super-plush tricked out rehabilitation facility after a recent fall. Grandma is not a fan of strangers, so while she didn’t warm up immediately, she eventually established a routine and became comfortable. Now, she’s back home and we had to make improvements to the house to assure her safety. This means her environment is different AND there’s a bunch of strangers around the clock to keep her safe. Strangers that she’s ready to fight to get them to leave her house.

I want to cry so badly because I know that she’s scared (because when she comes out, that’s what she tells me) but I am so grateful that the strangers are available because I promise she couldn’t have picked a worse time in the life of the family to be ill. Everybody is booked to capacity. From people making professional and personal shifts and transitions, we don’t even hang out like we did in years past. It’s nearly impossible to get us all in one place on a non-holiday.

With the family dynamic comes the frustration of wanting to be able to effect more change. I’m the only grandchild, which in many times puts me in the placeholder as the 4th kid. When I was living with my Grandmother trying to get my life back, I couldn’t wait to use my Paralegal degree to help organize her estate prior to taking the information to an Attorney. Now that we actually have to use some of the things I helped locate and file, I have to fall back and just hope that the kids make great decisions about their mom… even though I owe my life as I know it to her and Jesus.

The up-side is the fact that we’re all forced to figure out how to work together while Grandma’s still here. I’ve been through the death of my other grandmother and watched how it shook my other side of my tiny family out of socket. From petty fights during the grieving process to a complete overhaul of the order of dependency. I know that facing the hard times, while there’s still work to do is going to help us be a tight unit whenever Grandma goes to Jesus… but that requires us all to kick in where we can so that nobody gets the flake title.

In all, I’m just scared, and not for myself, but for my Grandma that once ruled the family with an iron fist and would strike fear and reverence into all who dare cross the threshold. She’s no longer in charge of the house that she was able to help her husband purchase by using coupons and saving the money he gave her as allowance while she took care of the children. She can no longer tell me the stories of how she dreamed of making it out of her hometown, and made it happen despite not having the approval of her father. Our times in the kitchen, have come to a close as the knobs have gone away from the stove to make sure she doesn’t forget to turn off the pilot. These changes are the ones that I don’t really believe anyone could have warned us about, the emotional shifts that happen inside of handling the business that needs to be handled for the safety of your loved one.

I walk away feeling like I know exactly where she is, but it just takes a while to find her.

No matter how sad we get, how long we can keep her home, or how difficult the road may be ahead.. she’s not a throw away. We don’t throw our family away. I just miss her so much already.

Still Podcasting… (Audio)

I’m so grateful to be back blogging on a regular basis. There’s a post scheduled to release tomorrow for those of you that are waiting on something of mine to read… until then, make sure you subscribe to the podcast I told you about a while ago.

Click here to find the latest from T&M Podcast. If you don’t have SoundCloud you can follow us here on Google Play .

Never been so excited to be in the Medium Place until today…

Hey yall… I know I’ve been away for a while. We can talk about that next time, but TODAY we need to really get into what our current pResident has been up to. Overnight he put on a production that reeked of the 90s, Outkast song inspiring theatrics of war by dropping almost 60 bombs on Syria in response to the gas attacks (FLINT STILL NEEDS CLEAN WATER).
Nevermind the fact that in 2013 when our current pResident was just a Reality TV personality with a common term catch phrase, President Obama was catching a Twitter lashing regarding his need for Congressional Approval. 

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Fast-forward to today, and how my heart goes out to my military brothers and sisters that have been dragged into a pump fake that on the surface, seems like “the right thing to do”, but is steeped in what the rest of us believe to be a deflection from corruption.  All the while pissing off Russia (at least that’s what they said to the people)… you know, beat us to space @$$ Russia (Ain’t nobody got time for that!).
This brings us back to the title, and the conversation that prompted this post. I have friends that are rightfully afraid of what all of this means for the citizens of the United States. Let’s be very clear, the majority of us did not vote for the man in power and do not agree with him just busting moves all willy-nilly without getting -his words “Congressional Approval”(see above).
This is why I’m glad that there’s nothing worth attacking in this medium place I call home.

We have 2 major international companies…but they have so much of the world on the payroll, that nobody is trying to do anything that will put their coins on halt.

Rupees, Euros, Lira, Pounds, Pesos, Renminbi and Yen!

Related imageNot just that but there’s nobody caping for Corn these days as a crop record label or a crew, and honestly, that’s all that we have in-between the city limits. People have been trying to kill the dairy industry since Oprah issued a vegan challenge, so there’s nothing to gain from taking out the cows. Seriously, there’s nothing here, we just love one another enough to hang out and do fun stuff in the middle of nowhere together like throw bean bags as wooden boards with holes in them. The costs of living in most of the cities here are comparable to living in Vegas with exponentially fewer reasons to be in town. Why you think people started burning fires when LeBron left?
At the end of the day, we just need to stay engaged and make sure that we hold this administration accountable for every decision, action, and inaction until we’re free from the reign. Get on the phone with your elected officials and make sure that they know exactly how you feel about what’s going on right now. The last thing we need is to get frozen by fear and forget that we’re supposed to be a part of a greater conversation that only works when we can all be heard.

#StayWoke

Life After The Big A$$ Deal

Here’s what they don’t tell you about life after you’ve hit a number of your goals:

http://lemerg.com/881846.html  

Just when you think you’ve made it out, life is going to draw back and hit you square in the mouth. The trick is, it’s not about the punch… it’s about how long it takes you to wipe your face and get back in the fight.  Because life doesn’t need a timeout, and it’s going to keep swinging. So while some may learn to block and weave, the ones that really “make it”, learn how to take the blow and just keep going.  It’s because they know that getting hit is inevitable when you’re trying to get the title. They aren’t surprised, they’re prepared.

If it hurts, that means you’re still here to feel the pain. Figure out what it takes to get you back in your stance and let loose on that #%. Now is the time to get comfortable with the fact that you have the power to turn a thought into a thing. It’s a strange pill to swallow. You can’t let that freak you out, and you certainly can’t look at this as the end of the road. There’s always something new that you can do. There’s always a next thing.

People always push you to dream big and chase after them, but nobody really explains that overwhelming feeling of “What now?”. It’s normal, and there’s nothing wrong with you, however that energy is going to bring into orbit a lot of people and situations that were once kept at bay when you were completely driven. Whatever you do, do not get back into the rotation of that low vibration nonsense.

I know that I started talking in “Shea Butter”, but follow me.

You do not have any obligation to get back into a toxic groove just because those people and things have been waiting on you to finally take your eyes off a prize. But here’s the trick…you only need something new, you don’t have to try and top the last thing, you don’t have to make a bigger splash. You just need to continue a positive and healthy path.

I finished my MBA and everybody’s like “When are you going for that Doctorate?”, but if I know that what I want out of life is to own my own business and help other people achieve the same thing, I know it does not require the next degree to make that happen. If I didn’t have a firm grip on what I’m trying to accomplish overall then I can see how I could easily fall into the what’s next trap of trying to achieve some undefined next level.

So back to the fight analogy.

Roll with the punches, stay in the fight, and know that endurance, strength and speed all have a place in the match that they need to be deployed. Very rarely is it all at the same time. Chill. You got this!

Manage your own Subscription

There are so many things that we subscribe to on a daily basis…Gym memberships that we never use, streaming apps, news feeds, podcasts and the like. All things that we initially engage in an effort to create an increase in our lives. Either more entertainment, health or knowledge. These things all have opt-out terms. You always have the option to suspend or cancel these connections. Some of us are so good, that we can subscribe and opt-out before ever getting charged.

Not so much as it pertains to the constructs and imposed norms of society. These subscriptions have cancellation fees that seem too high for us to ever gain the courage to complete the un-subscribe process. Many of these all too high fees reside only in our heads.

Let’s get on the same page:
By a show of hands sitting right where you are reading this, how many of you believe that you should own a house by 30? How many of you believe that you should have a degree by 25? How many of you believe that you should be married by 28? How many of you believe that you should have about 2 kids by 35?  How many of you believe that you should be independently wealthy by 40?

Now I know that not everyone raised their hands at all of these things, but I’m going to guess that one of these got you. Now my next questions are; What happens if that doesn’t take place? Are you any less “you”?  Do you consider yourself a failure? Do you even want any of the above?

Finally… Who told you there’s only one way?

There comes a time in all of our lives to make an assessment of what we value, which goals are worth chasing, and which things we pursue that we qualify as actual goals and not just stops along the way. Do not allow someone else to put a clock  and ruler on your life. Do not allow anyone else to opt you in on what’s in store for your life.

Last month I got a chance to share a portion of the long story of how I got to college with the MSJU Upward Bound youth as part of a panel. Some kids had concerns about job availability after their years of hard work in school… I thank God that He opened the door for me to get on my soapbox about jobs but as I write this I want to apply this to the whole rest of life.

So what!?!?

If you have a skill that you are willing to provide to a company to help make them profitable, you can take that same education and energy to create something for yourself! If you feel like people won’t give you a chance,  MAKE YOUR OWN CHANCE! The same goes with every other life-happening that your experience a setback. Detour as needed and don’t ever devalue yourself, just keep moving forward and if you get a chance to catch-up or get ahead, simply be grateful.

Rejection/failure is just an opportunity for a different type of success so do not be afraid of hitting the un-subscribe button on things that don’t apply to you. Don’t hold yourself up to the thoughts and ideas of other people, and know that if you keep waking up, you’ve still got a chance to make great things happen, whatever that looks like.

Be Strong out there people.

They don’t want to see you moving at your own pace. They don’t want to see you reaching your own goals! -(inspired by DJ Khaled

A Sense of Community..

T&M Podcast- Community Hips (Episode 3)-

There used to be a time that it didn’t take a lot to make it. Most of the things that we needed were a short walk away, and our neighbors were a network of resources akin to a Tribe.

I’ve been sharing the story of Ms.Dott, the neighborhood babysitter as a reference to that simpler time as you’ll hear in the Podcast. She symbolizes the neighborhood watch, the extra set of hands, and the spare cup of sugar. She is what we have lost with this wave of Gentrification over the past decade. Her story represents what we need to fight to restore.

This week’s post is just a quick note to remind you that there was a time that we could count on one another, so we are capable of it being that way again. If you have ways that you get involved and maintain a sense of community, share those tips in the comment section. My goal is to get the voice of my readers into the ears of my new listeners. You all always have great input, so I look forward to what you have to say.

Until next time…