Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Different Way of Thinking

So I am not sure why but I keep delaying reading the last chapter of my Purpose Driven Life.  I have enjoyed this journey so much that I don't want it to end.  The good thing is, that just reading a book for 40 days will not complete my journey because the quest for eternal life is, well, eternal.

Over the past 40 plus days the way I think has changed.  I guess in actuality it has been gradually changing for the past few years since I have been working on building my relationship with God.  But I have definitely noticed more of a change recently.  I believe it to be a good change, although I don't think there is really a value associated with it, it is just different.

Different how?  Well for one I find myself talking to others about God and religion more than ever.  I think maybe I didn't before because I did not have enough knowledge to speak on the subject.  But as I have learned I feel more comfortable sharing.  In addition, I realized that it is ok to talk about it.  Just because I consider myself to be spiritual and I talk about God to people who do not feel the same way or who may not be Christian it doesn't mean that I can't have the conversation.  I used to be so worried about being a bible thumper, aka one of those people who rams religion down your throat, that I tried to discuss it.   But what I have noticed that my spirituality is such an important aspect in my life.  It shapes who I am and the reason why I behave the way I do.

Now, I invite friends to attend church services with me on a regular basis.  I don't do this because I get recruitment points or because I want people to notice that I have brought a friend.  No, I do it because I love my church so much.  I feel so full and nourished each Sunday after I go to church.  I feel very unbalanced if I skip a week.  I look forward to getting up and going.  A few years ago I felt like it was a chore.  I invite people to church and I talk about my spiritual journey because I want everyone else to feel just as excited as I do.  It is like being in love, you want everyone else to be in love too so they can share your happiness.

I also have this unmistakable feeling that while I only life once, my purpose is beyond the day to day grind.  I feel like I have this higher understanding, but only a glimpse into how it all fits together.  Just think about it.  Have you been stressing and worrying about how/if things will work out and how it all seems to work itself out? Have you ever thought about the people in your life?  How sometimes it seems like certain people have come into your life for a certain reason?  I have had conversations with friends about our unlikely friendships that turn into strong bonds beyond imagination.  Or to have a connection with friends that is deeper than just a friendship level but more of a friendship status.  All of us and our purposes are walking around and although we may seem like individuals we are all interconnected in ways that we will probably never realize.  This makes me want to work even harder to serve God.  It also makes me confirm that my purpose of helping others may not be directly connected to my career.  It is because helping doesn't have to always have to be some big grandiose notion.  We have no idea how much we can influence others and make a difference.

So if you haven't taken the step toward your own spiritual journey regardless of your religion, your beliefs, or whatever, I encourage you to do the same.  I am sure that the process will be a change of discovery that is worth your while :)


The Facebook Effect

Have you ever caught yourself glued to Facebook for hours and then feeling bad about yourself?  You know how everyone's lives either seem super fun all the time.  Suddenly, maybe you feel like your life isn't as awesome as you thought it was?  I would like to call that the Facebook Effect.

You see the Facebook Effect tricks you into thinking that you life pales in comparison to your friends, when in reality it probably doesn't.  Think about it, how often are you going to post the most mundane, boring, and even crappy aspect of your life.  Never.  Well I take that back, there are some people who seem to do this frequently and I have no learned how to hide their newsfeeds, eureka!  But really, if you are posting something for all the world to see, wouldn't you want to put your best foot forward?

I find myself tonight mesmerized looking at photos and status messages of my own friends.  Many of my friends who are my age are married and/or have kids.  Sometimes I have wondered if I had made different decisions or taken a different path if maybe I would be married with kids now.  But as I ponder that, I also realize that I am glad with the decisions that I made and the way my life is now.  Granted, I am not saying that my life is perfect, because no one is, but I am happy with the way things are and would have made no major changes.

Besides as Christians we are not supposed to compare ourselves to others.  My friend reminded me a few minutes ago that everyone comes with "different background, experiences, and opportunities."  She is indeed correct.

So the next time you get lost in Facebook stalking remember that your life is just as awesome as everyone else.  And maybe, just maybe, someone may be stalking you and envious of the life that you are living...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Helper's Dilemma

In church a few weeks ago the pastor said that each person has their own theme.  It was a small part of the sermon that day, but it is still something that has run through my mind here and there.  What is my theme?  I think today that I figured it out.  I am a helper.  If you know me, or even if you are a strict follower of my blog this seems so obvious.

You see, ever since I can remember I have been drawn to helping people.  I always loved volunteering as a child.  I loved going to nursing homes and singing, even though I was no Jennifer Hudson lol.  I even was the president of Key Club in high school, until I moved to Maryland.  And the same applied throughout college, law school, and today.  There is no wonder that my career choice has always been encompassed by the need to help/fix others.

Well the same is true with my friends.  I am a zealous advocate of my friends I have realized, maybe to a fault.  I want so bad for my friends to be happy that many time avenge their hurts more than they would themselves.  It is kind of like I am sponge for other people's pain.  And while I am glad that I can deeply empathize with others, I end up internalizing some of the emotions as well.

It all kind of hit me when I was talking with one of my very close  friends.  I was telling her, yet again, how I wanted to have a discussion with one of the guys she dated because I felt like he was behaving inappropriately.  She told me I needed to let it go because she wasn't expecting anything from him and didn't care.  For a split second a though flashed in my head that I actually care more about her situation than she did.  And this is not the first time.

While I am excelling at being a good friend, a good daughter, a good community helper, I am hurting in the process too.  The bad things about sponges is there is only only so much that a sponge can absorb before it is rendered useless.  I fear that I come dangerous close to my breaking point.

Sometimes I even feel resentful to the world.  I feel alone.  I feel tired.  I wonder to myself at times who is there for me when I need help?  Will someone be there to beat up my ex and kick him in the baby maker even when I didn't ask for it?  I help not for the recognition, but because I truly enjoy doing it.  However, I need replenishment for my soul too.

And I don't want to say for that my friends aren't down.  That's not what I mean at all.  I just feel like for those people that care more for others than they do themselves that it is a lonely place filled with self-doubt and even fear.  I guess I need to figure out how to balance it all.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ex Withdrawal

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was torn with trying to be friends with my ex.  I am slowly trying to, I suppose, ween myself away from him.  I don't call him, I stopped texting, and I don't email him.  And even though it was hard, it is been a week since and I still haven't responded to his last email.  But it still makes me feel sad.

As angry as I was, and maybe still am, I am starting to feel better.  No longer to I have a bombardment of thoughts as to kicking him in the baby maker.  But I still wonder sometimes what he is doing, and even who is doing whatever with.  It all kind of hit me a little bit for the start of the football season too.  Normally it would have been us cooking and watching football together or going to the bar together, but this year I am watching alone, or working so I don't even see a game at all.

As good as I have been I still miss him, especially the this week.  Last week I started a new temp gig.  We used to have the joke that when one of us gets paid we both get paid, but I didn't share the joke with him this time because I didn't talk to him.  Then this week I had an interview.  Normally he would have been the first person I told when I got the interview and the first person I called after it finished.  Instead I didn't contact him at all.  And after the interview I just listened to NPR all the way home :/

So I must admit I am going through ex withdrawal.  But I think that it is exacerbated by the fact that I feel kind of lonely and have kind of given up on the whole dating idea, at least for now.  I just feel so ambivalent about the my romantic situation and I am starting to feel more and more that there is no man out there for me.         I know I am young and I still have time, but when I look around at what is available I feel like just hibernating until I am 60 lol.  I hope someone proves me wrong!

But I guess I am growing, healing, and learning.  This whole process is making me think different about life and the kind of person who I want to be and the kind of person that I want in my life.  And in time I will be better for it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Eating Disorder Awareness

On every TV that you turn on or each in each magazine you read is filled with images of the prototype of the perfect male or female.  These airbrushed and computer enhanced images are supposed to show us the definition of beauty and perfection.  Not to mention these same magazines that have the newest fad diet plan of the month right next to the pictures.  It is no surprise that eating disorders are becoming more prevalent and especially in younger aged children.

I am a board member of the Eating Disorder Network of Maryland.  Before I became a board member I was very much in the dark about eating disorders.  What I did know was from after school specials on TV and the occasional information in a health class, but eating disorders are so much more than that.

Society fails to treat eating disorders as the mental health disease that they are.  Instead, people with eating disorders are thought of as stubborn or as having a lack of self control.  But this is not true at all.  In addition, many people think that they have never encountered a person with an eating disorder, however, many with the diseases are masters of covering up their illness.    And please remember that eating disorders are not a white girl thing, despite popular belief.  They effect white, black, women, and men,  the poor and the rich, they do not discriminate!  This post is my little part to teach you raise awareness about eating disorders.

Let's start at the beginning.  What is an eating disorder?  According to the National Eating Disorder Network (NEDA) eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorders, " include
extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.  Eating disorders are
serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and
males."

There are several types of definable eating disorders.  Anorexia is categorized as self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Bulimia is, "a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging.
Bulimia includes eating large amounts of food--more than most people would eat in one meal--in short
periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse, or overexercising."  Binge eating includes eating in a large uncontrolled manner to the level of compulsion without purging.  While bulimia and anorexia are the most popular there are more that do not fall into this category.  I recently found out that both over exercising, excessive use of laxatives, and even extreme forms of organic or vegetarian eating can also fall under the eating disorder umbrella

Each individual may manifest symptoms in different ways, however there are many similar underlying issues.  These issues include depression, anxiety, loneliness,and a poor body image.  Other possible factors are troubles with relationships, a history of physical or sexual abuse, and emotional issues.

The repercussions of an eating disorder are far reaching.  Eating disorders may cause other physical issues such as an imbalance of chemicals in the body such as lower potassium levels.  Also common is dental problems such as the erosion of enamel of the teeth.  And worst of all, many insurance companies either do not cover the costs for treatment or do not provide for the full course of treatment that the patient may need!

This year I am the walk coordinator for the EDN/NEDA Walk in Baltimore to raise funds for awareness and education of eating disorders.  If you can please participate and/or please donate to the cause click here.

Also to find out more information about the Eating Disorder Network of Maryland please click here.

To learn more about the National Eating Disorder Association click here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Years ago the book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.. and it's all small stuff  by Richard Carlson was pretty popular.  It is so popular that it is now a series!  Anyway, the book gives different meditations and ideas to help you de-stress.  It is funny that after selling millions of copies of the book that people are still sweating all the stuff, big and small..  You would think that a phrase so simple wold be so easy to complete.

I was reminded of this concept while chatting with one of my friends earlier today.  My friend is on a family trip and is having conflicts with her sister.  From as long as I have known my friend she has always had a tumultuous relationship with her sister because of their vastly different personalities and her sister's lack of maturity.  So it is rather unsurprising that my friend would have another tiff with her sister while on this most recent outing.

In my unsolicited advice I told my friend to ignore her sister.  I told her, and I am paraphrasing here, that she needs to ignore her sister.  I also added that she can't change her sister's behaviors or even personality.  She cannot will her sister into being more mature or being less self-centered.  I told my friend that the only person that she can change is herself and how she chooses to react to her sister.   I know that is easier said than done, especially in the moment.  But I guess the worst feeling in the world is when you want to change someone that won't change.

I can relate to my friend.  I too can sometimes hold on to words from others and internalize them for years.  I have never been the "don't sweat the small stuff" type of gal.  I sweat the small stuff right beside the big stuff.  When I was younger I often felt that I would have a fate similar to the professor in A Beautiful Mind and think myself to death.  I sometimes think that worrying in my family was a trait that was passed down from generation after generation.

Even with all the prayer, yoga, and meditation it is hard to shake the concern and the worry over situations that many times I have no control.  It is exhausting to have conversations and feelings of hurt replay in my mind and in my heart repeatedly.  I have often wished that my mind was a blank slate and that I would never have to care about other's feelings, or worry about doing the right thing, or being the better person, or any other crap that we are taught as children.  But I can't turn it off.  I have trouble letting go.

I look at others and I admire how cool and collected they always seem to be.  You know those level headed individuals who let everything roll of their backs?  My dad was kind of like that.  Guess I didn't get that from him.   But while I believe that I will never quite master the art of letting things go and picking and choosing my battles, I will never stop trying and learning.  I guess it is just a process, just like everything else.

Maybe the most important concept is to remember that in the grand scheme of it all that a vast majority really is small stuff and not worth sweating.

Monday, September 10, 2012

When Teacher's Strike

Today marks Day One of the Teacher's Strike in Chicago.  According to the Today Show, it is the third largest school district in the country.  As a result of the strike, many families are left scrambling to find care for their children.  Is it selfish or irresponsible for teacher's to strike?  In my humble opinion no.

Teachers have one of the the most underpaid jobs in the country.  Teachers have such an important role.  A role that is often belittled and and undervalued in this country.  No longer is a child saying that they want to become a teacher a career path that is met with awe of parents and friends.  Teachers really have a thankless job and their salaries are a reflection of that.  I have often looked at the salary of professional and even college sports teams in paltry comparison.  Teachers definitely are not paid in proportional to their work.  Even with multiple degrees teachers cannot expect big salaries unless they serve in an administrative role.

Many people will argue that teachers picked their profession and they know what they what salary comes with their career choice.  This is true, teachers are not blindsided by their monthly paychecks.  However, as politicians are increasing their annual salaries many teachers across the country are either seeing the year after year with no raise or are facing cuts each year.

I am surrounded by teachers in my life.  Many of my friends growing up became teachers.  A few of my friends have been or are teachers currently.  My aunt was even a teacher for many years who recently just retired.  I would say none of the teachers that I know are selfish.  In fact, they probably care for the children to a fault.  The people that I know come in early, stay late, bring home work.  And most of all, when the school districts can't afford supplies for the children in their classes they pay out of pocket expenses without being reimbursed.

And it isn't just the pay that is the problem.  Increasing teachers are not given the creative license to teach.  Many times politicians are creating laws and rules to govern classrooms without actually seeing the problems that teachers and students face in the classroom. If they did they would realize that teaching kids to pass tests is not an answer.  Changing programs year after year cannot accurately determine success.  Each year I hear of the increasing problems with children.  As parents rely on teachers more and more to be their secondary parents and babysitters the children are suffering as a result.

All in all, teachers have to endure many struggles in order to raise your children without so much of a thank you.  So no, I do not think that teacher's are being selfish when they strike.  In fact, maybe if they were to strike more often that people would really start to pay attention.  If teachers were more well respected maybe everyone would see that they have a right to happiness and fairness just like every other profession.  So Chicago Teacher's I salute you!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let's serve together!


Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.




It is amazing how God can align certain events in your life.  Perhaps when you look at each occurrence individually you may not be able to see the impact, but when you combine all of these hints that God gave you maybe even for a flash you understand what God is trying to say to you.

I am on Day 30 of reading The Purpose Driven Life.  Throughout this journey I have realized more and more that my purpose involves service.  This is not a surprise to me, but it confirms something in me that I think I tried to ignore.  Well I shouldn't say ignore.  For as long as I remembered I thought that my purpose in life was to help people.  I guess I became discouraged when I felt as if I was the person that now needed help.  I kind of questioned everything that I had believed.

In law school I always was public interest focused, even to a fault.  I thought that I would never become a corporate attorney.  I had the mentality that it didn't matter how much money I made as long as I was doing what I was supposed to do.  But when times got tight and I no longer had that salary coming in my mentality changed.  I subconsciously thought that my worth and value were based on having a job.  And if I didn't have a job then I wasn't helping people.  If I wasn't helping people then I wasn't serving my purpose.  The truth is you can help people and serve your purpose without it being related to you job.

In actuality it is not a job that I want anyone.  NO NO NO I don't want to be a Housewife of Maryland.  I was watching a stand up show from Chris Rock (NSFW) that he did back in 2008 and I think he phrased it perfectly. He said he had a career not a job.  He said, " There ain't enough time when you got a career.  When you got a job, there's too much time".  I want to have a career that doesn't feel like I am working because I enjoy what I am doing.

I have digressed a little.  My whole purpose of this post is to talk about serving.  I have known for awhile that I need to get back into serving.  I volunteer at soup kitchens here and there, maybe at the church once or twice, and maybe sometimes I help my friend at her daughter's school.  But I need to do more.

I think part of the problem is that have the mentality that it has to be big to make a difference.  Yesterday, I saw a homeless man in front of a restaurant as I was getting my mom's dinner.  I could tell from his appearance that he was homeless.  He asked me how the food was and I told him that I would bring him a menu, but he said he didn't have any money.  Now me, I know for the next few weeks I will be scraping by on the money front.  But I thought it was more important to give what little money I had.  So I bought him a sandwich.  He said he didn't ask for which is true, but he took it all the same.  And I felt good about it.

Now today the pastor rolled out the new theme for the year.  It is "Love Out Loud."  But really he told us repeatedly that he was kicking out of the church.  No, not literally.  He wants to us to get out and serve the community.  I left church ready to sign up and volunteer for something, anything.

But all of this was confirmed when I read The Purpose Driven Life passage for today.  Guess what the theme was?  Service!  I feel like God is telling me that I need to be serving others right now, no matter what the capacity.  It is time that I stop making excuses and get out there.  Who's with me?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Maybe because of my lack of sleep from the week or my usual stress I decided that today I needed to see a movie that would make me cry.  I picked Beasts of the Southern Wild.   I picked a winner because I cried the ENTIRE time.

Without giving too much away, we view the movie in the eyes of a little black girl probably around 6 years old named Hushpuppy.  Hushpuppy lives in a town in Louisiana that is very near the levees.    She is also being raised by her father who from all appearances is an alcoholic.  A big storm comes flooding their town, and those that are left band together to survive.

So many of the themes of the movie struck a nerve with me.  I was in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina.  I remember being glued to the tv for hours feeling so helpless that I could not be of more help to others that were just an hour away from me.  Having Hurricane Isaac hit this same community on the anniversary of Katrina, the feelings and thoughts are still so fresh in our memories.  I felt sympathy with the the issues of the absence of a parent and death.  I was struck by the sense of community within an area that was mostly ignored.  And most of all it reminds me that strength can come at any age and that we are strong enough to endure many things.

I think I needed to see this movie today to remind me that I am still here and that I need to keep carrying on. I might feel like my situation is bleak and there is no end in sight, but there is hope.  The importance of this movie was to remind me of my past but propel me into my future for helping others and continuing in service to others.

I know it is a little film that you probably never have heard of before, but please take the time to check this one out.  I guarantee that it will have an impact on you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This is Why I Vote

As a child sitting in history classes I was always moved to tears watching the plight of my ancestors.  They came up from slavery to fight for our right to vote and so that we could live equally amongst our white counterparts.  Seeing people who were scared of their futures but strong enough in their convictions to stand up in the face adversity and brave cruelty in the right of justice, those are some powerful images.  The Civil Rights Movement alone inspired me to minor in African-American Studies in college.  And it was my African-American Studies that convinced me that I could play a part in changing the world as my ancestors did. This is why I vote.  

I vote because not too long ago I wouldn't have been able to vote.  I vote because despite what people tell you,I know that my vote makes a difference.  I vote because I am not going to let other people who I do not trust make decisions that will not only effect me but effect generations to come.

Ever since I saw the movie Mr. Smith Goes To Washington in my 9th grade civics class I wanted to become the first African-American  female President of the United States.  I was always convinced that we would have a black president one day, and then four years ago we had one.  I was luckily enough to be with hundreds of others celebrating on the historic U St. in Washington, DC.  It was truly a magical night.  While politics has left me disheartened and I don't foresee a presidency in my future, I still love the political season and eagerly await voting in each primary and general election.

After all of this, there was still so many people not registered to vote.  And even worse, there are people that are registered to vote who choose not to vote.  Why?

I don't care who you vote for.  Well let me rephrase, I do care because I think there is only one choice, but as long as you did your research and can justify your decision vote for either side, then I am glad that you voted.  But not voting or voting none of the above is not an option.  I can understand that some people are hurting.  We are living in hard times.  I can speak to that.  Some people may have lost trust in their elected officials, I can understand that as well.  But that is what voting is for, that is how you voice your concern.  Because when you don't vote you are letting everyone else decide your fate.

What bothers me the most is when celebrities aren't registered to vote.  It's funny everyone is up in arms right now because on the rapper Lil Wayne's mixtape Nicki Minaj says she's a Republican and is voting for Mitt Romney.  However, days later it comes out that she is not even registered to vote.  Four years ago Tyler Perry came out as saying that he wasn't registered to vote.  Celebrities have so much power in their hands.  Celebrities also have a lot to lose by voting for the wrong person.  Both children and adults look up to celebrities.  It would be so powerful for a celebrity to say that they are voting rather than talking about alcohol, drugs, cars and women.  How refreshing would it be to talk about ballots instead of sextapes...I digress....

How about the people who can't vote?  Did you know that convicted felons lose their right to vote?  According to ProCon.org it was estimated that 5.85 million people as of 2010 with a felony were barred from voting.  In 12 states you may permanently lose your right to vote if you have a felony conviction!  This means that even if you served your time and were released that you are still paying the price.  And don't get me started on the disproportional racial population of inmates.  It is just a fact that many black males will either be banned from voting again or have to go through a series of hoops to have their voting rights restored (re-enfranchisement).

After seeing a photo that someone posted on Facebook today I was reminded why I vote.  The photo was taken in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.  It shows three teenagers getting hosed down in the street.  I know this photo because I am looking at it right now.  It is a power in my room marked courage.  I bought this poster to remind me what courage others endured for me.  This is why I vote.




Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Motherhood

To those of you who really know me you may have found my post from yesterday to be ironic.  Why would I write anything about kids?

Growing up I had it all planned out.  I think most girls are ingrained with this image of being married by 30 and having 3 kids, two biological and one adopted, and a dog.  But for me as time went on the dream of 2.5 kids became 0 kids.  In fact, when I asked people what their big dreams were, mine didn't even include family, except taking care of my mom.

When  tell others that I don't want to have kids they scoff at me. In fact sometimes even looking at pregnant women scares me.  I am deathly afraid of holding a baby as I feel as if I will drop it and ruin his or her life forever.  Are these the thoughts of someone that should be having children?

So many times I hear,"that's what I used to say" or "it will be different once you have a husband."  I am not saying that I have totally ruled out the idea but the older I get the more unlikely it seems.  Why? I think I have the ability to have a child but not the sanity.  The main reason really is because of my mom.  I take care of my mom, with help, and many times feel overwhelmed and impatient.  Having to constantly think for someone else and anticipate every potential problem in advance is exhausting!  I cannot imagine having to take care of my mom and take care of a newborn at the same.  Of course if I were married, maybe that would help, but right now a husband seems like a distant future to me just like the thoughts of kids.

Does not wanting to have children make me less of a woman?  That is the way society makes it seem.    Although woman are able to give birth, I do not believe by my choice not to have children that it takes away from my womanhood.  When men say that they don't want to have kids does anyone second guess them like they do women?  Doubtful.  So why should I be judged for the same thing?

The thing is I do like kids, even when I joke around and say that I don't.  The truth is I have been drawn to helping other kids since I was younger, maybe even in high school.  Throughout my life my theme has been to help others.  When I see other kids that are struggling and they are down and discouraged it makes me cry.  At the same time when I see children smiling and happy it brings happy tears to my eyes.

Throughout this purpose filled spiritual journey I think I have narrowed down what I want to do, even though  I still have some figuring out to do.  I believe that my purpose all along has to been to help others.  I think that my passion his helping children.  It always has been so I need to flesh that out.  But maybe my desire to make the world a better for children, eclipses my desire for motherhood.

But I guess I am still young and single so anything is possible.  Maybe a year from now I will be married and pregnant.  Only God knows what is in store for me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kids R Us


We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.





There is something that tugs at my heart strings when I watch children.  When children are laughing and playing and smiling there is just something magical about them.  They seem so content, oblivious on all the dangers awaiting them around the block or as they enter adulthood.  As children we were tireless and fearless.  We could play for hours upon hours, only returning home when the street light came on in front of our house.  There was no sense of worry as a child.  We didn't lose sleep at night wondering how we would pay for our bills and if we would be single for over.  So what point in our lives do we lose that child-like innocence   And how do we get it back?

Throughout my life I have been told that I act silly.  It is one of my characteristics that I am truly proud of.  Despite sometimes feeling down or having great burdens on my shoulders I try to stay positive.  I try to enjoy  life and laugh as much as possible.  Some people may think that I am too silly, but I don't think that there is such a thing.  It is not as if I walk around in a clown suit all day putting whoopee cushions on chairs (remember those).  Some people think being silly shows a lack of maturity, but I disagree.

I think that adults have become to serious.  We need to get back to having that child-like mentality.  And if we do maybe, just maybe, it will change our lives.  I mean when was the point that we were no longer allowed to be silly?  Is it when we turn 18?  Do we have to give up our silly card and instead take the maturity card?  I mean honestly, we discount the qualities of children because we think are too young to have any knowledge, but maybe they have the secrets.

Just think about it.  Children can often be the most authentic people you will meet.  They are honest will tell you everything they know and are thinking.  They are inquisitive and can ask you question after question.  Many times they have a gift of discernment and know a person's heart when we as adults may not. Children can be creative.  They draw outside of the lines, make up new words, and can tell stories for days.  Kids can be self entertaining, despite the omnipresence of technology.  More times you will find that children are more polite than adults.  At church we talk about children being called by God at young ages.  And that laughter, there is nothing quite like hearing a child laugh.  

Maybe instead of dismissing them, we should embrace some of these qualities ourselves.  For today do something child-like and see if it makes a difference.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What Are Your Dreams?

Today is a day of dreams.  Look at my horoscope:

Virgo (August 23-September 22): There is a great big world out there waiting for you to take it over, so don’t think in small quantities. If you want it all, have the imagination to see it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of a bigger dream, especially if it’s you playing your own devil’s advocate. Sure, there are scary turns ahead, but that goes without saying. Besides, there is no such thing as 100 percent guaranteed.  (Courtesy of www.thefrisky.com)

All this thinking about dreams and figuring out my purpose in life made me wonder what other's dream is.    Learning what someone's dream is says a lot about the kind of person that they are.  It also can let you see if their lives are in align with their dream and if they are working towards that dream.

Yesterday, I wrote about surrounding yourself with encouragers.  I know that I am blessed enough that I have many encouragers around me.  I know that when I put my mind to something that my friends are there to support.  I also know that if it is not a great idea my friends will be there as well.  That is what friends are supposed to do for each other right?  So why don't we all work to try to encourage our friends to reach their dreams?

I asked some of my friends the following question:  What do you want to do?  What is your big dream?  Some of the comments were not surprising, while some of them were.  Some people had no idea what I was talking about or thought that had no dream at all.  I thought I would post them here.  There is something kind of liberating about communicating your dream to someone else.  It is when you write it or when you speak it, the dream becomes one more step to becoming tangible.

So if you have a dream don't be scared and don't hide.  Feel free to share it below or even just tell one person that you know.  We all have dreams.  So let's go after them!



I really would like to have children, so a husband would be nice.  

To be a counselor for kids

Something that helps people to have more confidence and believe in themselves again.

Professionally I honestly don't know now. It was always to be a corporate lawyer/in-house counsel. now that I'm doing what I thought I wanted to do, this isn't it. lol so I'm re-calibrating


I want to be a great husband and father, make a ton of money, and position myself politically.  I do not have to be a politician however, I do want to have influence

I just wanna be out of debt and try meaningful cases.



I'm going to be a teacher!!! Either HS or community college!


Hmm... Currently it is to move to NYC. Do a combination of comedic writing and environmental work. While consciously realizing that it would only be a stop gap for pleasure. Long term goal is to live every day without giving a f



Shoot. I want to be a great locker with lots of great friends and enough financial independence from a job to do whatever I want


                                                        Hit the lotto and live in Japan



Be a successful actor.  And be known well enough to be able to make a difference in society.  I really want a family.

I want to write a book...I want to see it in bookstores. I also want to teach writing.Oh, and I'd like to live in another country at some point or at least do some extensive traveling with the boys oh...and I want to own my dream house.yeah...I've got dreams for days. :)



I want to be able to grow old and watch my children have children that's my big dream lol


All I want is a comfortable life where I have no financial burdens, I get to spend time with my kid and my man (lol) and I get 2 travel the world. My only dream is for inner peace. Oh and I'd love to write a screenplay or own my own business. 




Produce television shows and documentaries. Also, build up my free legal clinic in Cincinnati and make it a year round operation.  Oh yeah...most definitely want to be comfortable too! Also want to travel often and make enough to take care of my parents.



Well. Of course I want a family 2-3 healthy children with a committed monogamous husband.  I am not really particular on where we live but in a good school district.  I want to be happy my career but still able to work in the community whether its about education or mental health.  I want an imperfect life with friends, family and just enough drama and pain to make me appreciate all I hope to be blessed with I want a church family like I had in Philadelphia and have weekends free for life.I want to feel peace most days of my life and to know that I've lived without regrets. Think that Sums up my big dreams



I don't do big dreams. That leads to disappointment and I think that is precisely what is wrong with so many people in this country. And then they become all depressed, disillusioned, and upset with how their life has turned out. I just want to enjoy my life. Live and die happy and fulfilled is all I care about. I have ambitions, but at the end of the day I just want to be able to say I enjoyed my life, which includes traveling.



I would get paid to travel and explore new places. But really I don't think I want to work for anyone. I would wanna start my own consulting firm and tell wealthy people how to spend their money on helping people. I just know I get so much satisfaction out of helping others. I feel like I have a bigger purpose. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Requirements for Finding a Good Man

The theme from my church, Bridgeway Community Church (http://bridgewayonline.org/), the past few weeks has been Interracial Romance.  I highly encourage you to view the series online if you get a chance.  It is not just about interracial romance but there are other themes dealing with family, parenting, and relationships as well.  We have been discussing Exodus  chapter 2 and the relationship between Moses and Zipporah, who were in an interracial marriage.  Today's theme was:  "Requirements for Finding a Good Man."  So you know me being very single (single means you have prospects and/or are dating, very single means no prospects, no dating), I was ready with pen and paper in hand!

So here are the points:

  1. Consider the person's condition when you meet him or her.  -- Pastor Anderson explained that  when you meet someone that they are are changing, make sure to leave room for growth
  2. Consider the person's courage to make tough decisions.  -  You need to make sure that you are surrounded with "encouragers."  Make sure that your partner is not the only person that is your encourager otherwise you may become discouraged.
  3. Consider the person's capacity  to serve
  4. Consider the person's cultural background.
  5. Consider the person's "concerns" at a heart level (i.e passion)-  God will match a person's theme with his concerns.  The Pastor said to make sure you ask a person what makes them cry or what makes them mad to find their passions.
  6. Consider the person's connection to Christ Jesus.  - Make sure not to judge other's who are not on your level of relationship with God.  Let the light/love of God shine through you.
Pastor Anderson when on to give advice to the married couples, parents, and singles.  He said one point that really resonated with me.  "Raise girl to expect respect."  It is such a simple point but so true.  I think so often we as women settle for and put up with less than the respect that we are entitled too.  We may even be so used to it that we believe that is the way it is supposed to be, but it's not.  Oftentimes we can get so wrapped up in the good times and the euphoria that we fail to see that the man we are dating or married to is disrespectful to his family, to others, and probably even you.  Wouldn't you tell your friends in a heartbeat not to be with a man who disrespected you?  Then why do you settle for disrespect in your own relationship.

When I look back at the previous guys that I have dated based on these requirements, it reaffirmed what I already knew, that none of them were the right guys for me.  I am not saying that there was necessarily anything wrong with them as people.  I think have dated some good guys but I even think that I might have not been at the right place to even know what I was truly looking for.

As I have written a few times, right now I am comfortable with my singledom.  I know that we are all different, but I am VERY different.  And I am ok with waiting for someone who will embrace my all of my uniqueness while knowing that I am not perfect but I am constantly changing and growing.




Dealing with the Anger

For the past few days, maybe the past few weeks I have been angry.  Not angry in general, this anger is directed toward one person, my recent ex.  He may read this or he may not, he probably will not as he insinuated that my blog is boring and that I need pictures... (yet another reason that I am mad).

So I have been angry because although we broke up a few months ago I can't get over the feeling that I am still not over it.  I don't want him back.  I realize that we are not meant to be together.  Yes, there are some specific incidents that I am thinking about, but in general he does not have the qualities that I need in a partner and I suppose I don't have what he needs either.  But knowing that we aren't made to be together, doesn't stop me from being angry.  I felt like throughout our relationship I did a lot of compromising and I gave up more than he did.  He even benefited from our break up because he got what he wanted and he is still getting what he wants by having a "friendship" with me.  The truth is, I want him to hurt.  I want him to feel pain for the way that he made me feel and I want his heart to be in as much turmoil as mine.

I know with all my heart that holding on to this anger toward him is blocking me from maybe meeting that person that God has in mind for me.  I tell my friends about the importance of forgiveness all the time.  Yet, I can't forgive him myself.  I mean I said that I forgave him long ago, and I really thought that I meant it.  But in my heart I have not.  I mean I don't wish him any physical harm or any harm to his property, but sometimes, well A LOT of the times I do imagine unfortunate, but legal, things happening to him.  And yes, I know this is wrong too.  I even wrote one of those letters that you don't send, and it didn't work, because I want to send it.

I bet I know what you are thinking.  Why don't you just stop talking to him?  Why does he even contact you?  I wonder the same thing.  It seems like at most two weeks go by before one of us contacts the other. I actually will feel some kind of way if he doesn't contact me, as if he is ignoring me.  It is like we have this unhealthy symbiotic relationship.  He acts like he is over me and doesn't care what I do or who I date, yet when I ask him not to bring up, he still manages to try to inquire as to what I am doing.  It would be one thing to say it because he wants me to be happy, but I doubt those are his reasons.  Throughout the course of our on/off relationship he sent many mixed signals as to his feelings, and intentions, he then turned around and denied it.  As if I made things up, or he would say he didn't mean things the way that I had interpreted.

Part of me wants to tell him to never contact me again.  But part of me wishes we could be friends, although sometimes I don't even think he is really that great of a friend either at least not to me right now.  And maybe even another part of me wishes that we could go back to happy times that we used to have in the beginning.  Random things will sometimes trigger thoughts of special times we had or laughs that we once shared.  I guess I hope that it will fade away and I will not have to worry about me contacting him or the other way around. However, I know things don't work like that.  He will probably text me tomorrow or the next day and I will still have this same feeling of uneasiness and unrest in my heart.  I feel like I will always love him, but I want to be ok moving on.  But yes, yes I am going to keep praying that God will steer me in the right direction.  I pray that I can let go so that I can move on.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Reason For the Madness


"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28


I know that when I am going through something there is no way that I want to look at the positive of the situation.  Most of the times I want to wallow in misery, and gnaw on the feeling that things will never get better and I will be stuck in the same situation forever.  Well I should say I allow myself to feel like this for maybe a few minutes, hours, or a day at most and that I force myself to wake up and get out of it!  Why?  Because I know that there is a reason that I am experience my suffering, that it won't last forever, and that I will be on the other side soon.

Just because we are Christians doesn't mean that we don't go through our own struggles.  I am might not know all of the bible, but I can pretty much guarantee that there is no passage that says, "If you believe in Jesus you will never suffer, or have pain, and all of you days will be worry-free and will also smell like roses."

I am on Day 25 of The Purpose Driven Life.  In today's passage the author writes about how are darkest circumstances often bring us closer to God.  This is a premise that I totally agree with.  A few days before I started writing this blog and trying to figure out my purpose in life, I talked to one of my friends on the phone.  We have been friends since law school and still remain in touch despite our distance.  Although we don't talk every day when we do talk it is like we are picking up right where we left off.  So our most recent chat really opened up my eyes.  She told me that with all this free time I have by not having a job why not work on your relationship with God?  She did have a valid point.  All these YEARS I have been putting on my list read the bible, go to church, blah blah blah and I never really did anything more than what I was doing before.  In fact it is number 7 on my 2012 New Year's Resolution List!

I also know that whenever I am going throw a dark period it does cause me to pray more and thank God more.  This is because each time I go through something I remember how God brought me to the other side. I mean it doesn't mean I like being broke, sick, heartbroken or whatever, that would make me crazy!  But I know that this is just one more test that will make me stronger and well prepared for the future.  

So according to the book," there is a purpose behind every problem."