1/27/2021 1 Comment
Shots! Shots! Shots!
So I was thinking about how I'll be getting the COVID-19 vaccine in 2 days. Or how maybe I won't get the COVID-19 vaccine in 2 days. 🤔 I signed up about 2 weeks ago and I have changed my mind 63 times since. I've thought and thought and thought and read articles and watched videos and asked people's opinions (medical professionals and otherwise) and of course prayed about it. People have legitimate fears about receiving the vaccine. The apprehension is understandable and even shared a bit, but I'm mostly leaning toward getting it. I have people in my life who have tried to convince me not to get the vaccine, but thankfully it was done with nothing but pure love and concern. Cuz baby...I've seen some people being BRUTAL on social media! I really don't understand why people tend to be so condescending and rude when opinions differ. The pandemic, the vaccine, it's all new to EVERYBODY. In my opinion, it is important for the masses to be as safe as possible while also respecting each other and how they go about dealing with it.
I believe I've made my final decision. I considered going about this whole process surreptitiously, but I came to the conclusion that sharing my thought process and experience might help somebody in making theirs. So, I'll keep you all posted. My advice to anyone who is on the fence like me, try to get your information about the vaccine from reputable resources, make your decision based on what makes YOU feel comfortable, and like I think is important in most situations, go with your gut!
1/20/2021 4 Comments
So I was thinking about today being inauguration day and where I was on this day 12 years ago. Get a load of this story...In 2009 I was in DC sprawled out at the National Mall, colder than I had ever been before in my life, which is saying a lot for a Chicago native. Let me go back a bit. My friends and I had driven down 2 days before on the worst road trip I've been on in my entire life. There were 4 of us in my SUV, I drove most of the way, but that wasn't the problem. (So I thought. Years later all my passengers told me they were afraid while I was driving! 😰🤦🏾♀️)The problem was we were in a BLIZZARD going through MOUNTAINS! And if I recall correctly, my windshield wipers were wonky. 😰 And that's just where the series of unfortunate events BEGAN. When we got to my friend's cousin's house where we were staying, I got in the shower and when I got out, I fell on my face because my back went out! I had never felt such pain!! It was pretty scary because I could NOT get up. I scooted on my stomach into the bedroom, my friends covered me with a towel, and I had to be lifted up on the bed. In short, I ended up getting some type of muscle relaxer and/or pain medication and I was eventually able to stand/walk, and went about my day. Fast forward to the 20th. We get up at the crack of dawn, bundle up, make sure phones are charged, and head out on the Metro to the National Mall. There were so many others doing the same. It was quite the sight to see! Thousands of us waited for probably about 8 hours in the biting cold to see the inauguration of our nation's first Black President. There were several times I wanted to throw in the towel and say forget it, I'm going back to the house and just catch it on TV. But I stayed and I'm glad I did. Even though I was uncomfortably cold, threatening frostbite and hypothermia, the energy of the atmosphere made me stay put. The air was charged with a hopefulness and unity that I had never experienced. This was one part of history where I'm proud to say I had a proverbial front row seat. But it wasn't all good!
Quick recap before I go on: There was the scary journey through a blizzard and mountains (which I forgot to mention was at night), back went out, and camped out in freezing almost unbearable cold for several hours...but wait...there's MORE! Once the crowd started to disperse and we headed toward the Metro to go home, pain shot through my back again and I needed to sit for a bit. I'm pretty sure I said aloud that I needed to sit, but nobody in my group heard me. I didn't rest for long, but when I got up, my peeps were no where to be found! By this time, my phone had died and I only knew ONE person's number in my group by heart. On TOP of the night, the cell towers and trains had been shut down, so when I found somebody's phone to use, the one person whose number I knew went straight to voicemail! I ended up waiting and wandering around by myself until the trains began to run again. Luckily I remembered where to go and made it home safely, but imagine how lonely, nervous and even scared I was for a couple hours in a place I had never been before with throngs of strangers, and no phone. What a story I have to tell my grandkids one day. This was the BEST WORST trip ever!
Today, there is once a again a hopeful energy felt virtually across the nation. We're hoping for a better 4 years than the last, we're hoping for an end to the pandemic, we're hoping for equality, we're hoping for economic rebuilding, we're hoping for opportunity, and the list goes on. There's also a feeling of pride in the history that is being made by Kamala Harris being sworn in as the FIRST woman and FIRST Black Vice President. Due to the pandemic, we can't gather in celebration, but the celebratory mood is definitely felt. Plus, I'll never go to another inauguration again in my life time. Been there and don't wanna do that NO MO! LOL...
I pray that today and the days to come are filled with peace and harmony. In the words of my former pastor, "Forward ever, backwards never!"
1/13/2021 9 Comments
So I was thinking about the letter I wrote to my son. I had been thinking about writing him a letter for weeks, but for some reason, I couldn't find the words. I just knew I had to write it. After a couple therapy sessions, some personal reflection, and lots of journaling I finally found the words. Here's a peek into my world and into my heart. He gave me permission to share this. I removed his name and his daddy's. Most of y'all reading this know me already, but I'm preparing for the thousands of subscribers I'll have one day. Lol...
There is absolutely no human on this planet who I love more than you. I remember when you were an infant...I would hold you and stare at you in awe. I couldn’t believe that I made such a beautiful, perfect, human being. Maybe that was my first mistake, thinking you were perfect and expecting you to be that way. How could that be at all possible when you were born into an imperfect world and came from imperfect parents who hadn’t a clue what they were doing in life, let alone as parents! We thought we knew, but we had NO idea!
Low-key, I thought you were my second chance. I guess I thought I would mold you into some type of Stepford child or something (if you don’t know this reference let me know and I’ll find The Stepford Wives for us to watch one day when you have time for your mother...but I digress.🤪) I expected you to have only the very best parts of me (and I guess ____________🤣). But that isn’t realistic, so of course you have a piece of the good and bad from both of us.
I thought I would be able to make you into all me and your father were not. In parenting you, I thought I’d correct all the mistakes I FELT my parents made with me. Now that I’m almost 19 years in the game, I realize that most parents did the best with what they knew and what they thought was the best for their child/children.
Even though our lives ended up way less than ideal with the divorce and the back and forth between me and your daddy and living arrangements and school and major losses and everything else that life threw our way, I still somehow expected you to be perfect. You were just supposed to magically obtain superhuman strength to ignore everything you were feeling and seeing and just be all I envisioned you to be.
Now don’t get me wrong, me wanting all that for you wasn’t just for selfish reasons. I just truly wanted and still want in my heart of hearts everything that’s best for you. I want you to be better than me so that you can have more direction and opportunity and ease of life than I had/have. In all my imperfection and wrong methods and fussing and misunderstanding and dare I say what you’re thinking, bitchiness, I just wanted to shield you from the same types of mistakes I made. I wanted to shield you from the hardship and heartache I’ve experienced. I just wanted you to learn from my mistakes, from the past and the present. My eyes are welling up with tears as I write because I just wanted things to be EASIER for you! You already have strikes against you as a young black man, so I wanted and want you to avoid any extra burdens if possible.
Yes, I can teach you right from wrong. I can try to teach you responsibility and morals. I can share my stories, but how dare I try to dictate and orchestrate your life’s path, especially as a young adult. I didn’t let anybody do that for me! AND I’m not God!!
As humans we live and make mistakes, ESPECIALLY as teenagers and young adults. But, we should also learn from our mistakes and I’m realizing more and more that I must give you the opportunity to do so. I know that I need to extend to you more patience and grace and I’m sorry that I haven’t. I’m working on it. I’m sorry to have contributed to your anxiety. I’m sorry for not affirming you as much as I should, ESPECIALLY after I made you take the 5 love languages test for kids, lol.
Do not get it twisted. There are still rules to follow and practical expectations to be met as a young adult living in my home. However, I’m going to do better as your mother. Like I said before, I’m working on it. I’m working on me and learning how to be a parent to a young adult, because it isn’t the same as parenting an infant or a toddler or an adolescent. I’m no longer expecting perfection from you, but I do expect you to do your very best and I will be here to help you figure out what that is. I could probably go on and on and may need to later, but I’ll stop for now. Hopefully you even read this! Lol!!
Oh! One more thing, please have patience with me. Let’s work together. I love you son, just as you are! 🥰🥰🥰
His response: Thank you for this mother, and I love you too.
Could I have at LEAST gotten 2 sentences?! 🙄 LOL
1/6/2021 2 Comments
So I was thinking about everything I have going on right now. I had been sitting here watching the news for about 2 hours or so and as the goings on in our nation played out like the season finale of a dramatic political series like Scandal or House of Cards, I chose to celebrate. All of that, coupled with other unfortunate news I received today, was just way too much for me to deal with at the moment. So, I turned the news off. I'm not denying the reality of what's happening, but I'm protecting the peace of my personal reality by focusing on the joyous parts of my life.
I began working on some things personally and professionally last year and am excited to be able to share some with you as we dive into the new year. A few years ago I had a blog, along with my friend Shari, called The Optimistic Divorcees. You can actually find a few of our archived posts on this site. Being divorcees ourselves, we established the blog to highlight the happy and fulfilling life that is possible post divorce. We shared stories of our experiences in marriage, divorce, dating, co-parenting, travel, etc, while also commissioning other divorcees to share their stories. Our intent was to provide a relatable outlet and to encourage and uplift other men and women who were at the same stage or had experienced the same stage of life. We ended up taking the party over to Periscope for a while, but then life happened and we no longer blogged or appeared on Periscope. After a lengthy hiatus, I'm excited to announce the return of The Optimistic Divorcees, but in podcast form! The Optimistic Divorcees Podcast will officially launch February 8, 2021, so save the date! In the meantime, you can find our introductory episode on Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher!! We also had the chance to be guests on The MKOS, For Women Only Show with Melissa Fredericks aka MrsKevOnStage AND on the Faith Over Everything Podcast with host Faith Wimberly (Which can be found wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts). We had a blast recording both!
The podcast will air weekly on Mondays. Please stay tuned and go ahead and subscribe to the podcast on either of the platforms I mentioned! Follow us on IG: @TheOptDivorcees. Also join our mailing list to stay in the loop! http://eepurl.com/hm9QTT (if the link doesn't work, copy and paste in your browser).
12/30/2020 4 Comments
It Was the Best of Times...
So I was thinking that 2020 was one HELLUVA year, heavy on the hell! Amirite?? I know I've mentioned/written about it a few times already, but I think a year like this is worth the talk! I do try to accentuate the positive as often as possible and that's what I want to do with this last post of the year. Many times it seemed as though the bad times outweighed the good and there was plenty to complain about, but I want to end the year by highlighting 20 positive things in my life from the last year. In no particular order...some big, some small, some heart warming, some silly and ALL good!
12/23/2020 7 Comments
I'll Say a Little Prayer for You
So I was thinking about the holidays and all the loss so many have experienced this year. 2020 has been a year unlike any that the majority of us have seen in our lifetime. The pandemic has managed to increase unemployment, cancel major milestone celebrations, postpone travel, steal hope, opportunity, and even lives. All of this added to the usual trials and tribulations of life. I have NEVER extended so many condolences in one year as I have in 2020. During this holiday season, my heart goes out to all who have experienced such major losses this year. It breaks my heart that we can't gather to not only celebrate the good times that have snuck in here and there, but to mourn with and comfort those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.
The holidays are rough for a lot of people anyway, myself included at times, but this year takes the cake. I sincerely pray that during this season, people are able to see at least a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel. I pray that they are able to realize and grasp on to an ounce of hope at minimum. I pray that people are able to maintain faith like the grain of a mustard seed at best. I pray that we are able to feel and accept love being bestowed upon us and that it is enough to encourage our hearts and help us to hold on to the light and the hope and the faith.
What is your prayer for this holiday season? Share with me in the comments!
12/16/2020 9 Comments
So I was thinking about the debacle I was part of last week. It was a mess...
I had just gotten home from a bit of Christmas shopping. I was pleased with my purchases and the wind down I had planned before bed was to sit and admire what I bought while going over the remainder of my list. But first things first, I had to do my last social media scroll of the night. When I got to my room earlier, I sat my bookbag on a shelf next to my bed and the store bags on the floor. As I was sitting on my bed, scrolling contently and basking in the after glow of a successful shopping excursion, I began to hear a faint rustle. I thought maybe there was a plastic bag under my bookbag and everything was settling, but I glanced and that bag was just on top of a couple magazines. The rustling persisted and I thought maybe it was my biggest shopping bag settling on top of my smaller bags, so I moved those bags and as I did, I noticed a small mouse stuck on a trap, but still wriggling around!! Now, this sticky trap had been under my bed for the longest and I guess when Mickey Jr got stuck, but didn’t die, he was able to scoot itself out😩😩.
Y’all. I screamed, dropped the bags on the bed, and hopped my big grown self up there all in one fell swoop! I was standing on my bed having a complete conniption fit! I didn’t know WHAT to do! My landlord lives in the building, so I called him twice and didn’t get an answer. I even texted him in all caps, to no avail. Then, I called my brother who lives like 5 minutes away. I was hollering in his ear like, “IT’S A MOUSE! Help me!! HELP MEEEEEEEEEE!!” I was hysterically yelling at him to come get this mouse all while bouncing on my bed in fear and disgust as I watched MJ try to wriggle and climb his way off the sticky trap! My brother refused to come because he claimed to be just as afraid as me. He’s actually friends with my landlord’s son, so I asked for his number since I was all sorts of discombobulated and couldn’t find his name in my phone. I called and texted him, NO ANSWER! Keep in mind, that everything that you’re reading is happening as I simultaneously stand on my bed, bouncing around in fear, with sporadic outbursts of screams, tears, prayers, and cussing. 😩 I’m sure I was quite the sight to behold. I made one more call to a friend, she knows who she is, lol. I have no idea why I called her because she couldn't come to help, but I think I just needed someone to share in this horror I was experiencing. I'm so grateful to her because, even though she laughed at me, she allowed me to cry and scream, and cuss, and call Jesus without (much 😆) judgment. She even tried to give me tips that I dismissed because that would mean me getting close to MJ! Somewhere during our call, after I discovered that 24 hr exterminator services are just to give quotes and send somebody out during business hours, my landlord's son got back to me.
Now let me see if I can make a long story shorter. I finally got in touch with my landlord's son and he graciously came over to help me. He caught me just in time because I had packed a bag to go to my mother's house for the night...or the week if needed. He laughed at me too, but graciously came and scooped lil MJ up and carried him into the night, which took all of 2 minutes after about 45 minutes of me LOSING it!
MJ was finally gone, my heart rate slowed down to normal, I sanitized the area, and the fear and panic left just as quickly as it came. And honestly, I felt a bit foolish. MJ was trying to get himself off that trap because he was probably way more afraid of me. He was also pretty small and unless the glue of the trap was going to mutate him into some sort of human sized rodent, I really didn't have anything to worry about. Now don't get me wrong, critters make me feel violated, burglarized even. They're disgusting, but nothing to spaz over. I got a couple revelations from this experience.
12/9/2020 2 Comments
So I was thinking about some of the stories I share on social media. Sometimes things that happen to me seem so ridiculous or like something from a sitcom or movie, that I just HAVE to share. And depending on the nature of the experience, sometimes writing about it has a calming, therapeutic effect (affect?? I still can't get that right. 🤦🏾♀️) I thought I'd share one of my favorites with my blog readers. I hope you enjoy!
Nothing wakes you up in the morning like some pitbulls barking and charging at you. I swear my life flashed before my eyes. Then, I had like 12 other thoughts all at once: I envisioned myself running and trying to jump fences and I don't even know why I had that thought because there was only like one fence nearby. But I thought about how people say running is what makes a dog chase you and I'm wondering if I can out run these dogs. The answer I came up with is hell to the naw to the naw naw naw. It was a mama pit and like 4 pit babies. And I'm like oh LAWD I don't wanna be dog food!! All the while I'm standing in the street and these dogs are running toward me and I have my keys in hand kinda like stuck in a walk/run/bounce panic stance, quietly exclaiming, "OH JESUS OH JESUS OH JESUS!!" Then the babies are kinda just going in circles, but the mama is still barking toward me but not running. So I take a step to the left, I don't know where the heck I was gonna go, and mama pit starts running toward me again. I take my keys like I'm gonna throw them, MP (mama pit) pauses, then runs toward me again and I DO throw my keys this time. I thought maybe the lock on my keys could knock the MP out. But, of course I throw like a girl so the keys don't even graze MP. So now all of them are running toward me, my keys are in the grass by them, and I run in this yard behind me, ducking behind the gate and tree like they couldn't just take a couple steps to see me. Finally they just turn around running down the block barking like some dog gang or something while I'm still ducked in these folks yard, hoping they don't come shooing me out of their yard, trying to figure out how I'm going to get my keys, and realizing the last bus I need to get to work on time rolled by at some point during this whole ordeal. I frantically called my mommy to come save me. As I type I realize how much this sounds like a scene in some slapstick comedy, lol. I KNOW I looked ridiculous. Anyway, I'm safe and sound heading to work now. MP and the Dogg Pound didn't get me!
I remember that I was still nervous and trembling as I typed this on Facebook. Sharing and laughing about it relieved me of any anxious residue and allowed me to go on with my day. Laughter is always great medicine for me. I was also writing with gratefulness in my heart, because I am aware that there are more unfortunate stories when it comes to people's encounters with loose dogs.🙏🏾But chile, nothing makes your life flash before your eyes like being chased by dogs or slipping in the shower! LOL!! And being chased by dogs has always been one of my biggest fears! One of my other fears is having someone vomit on me or in my car. I pray I never get to write about that...lol! So what are you thinking? Has anything happened to you that was not amusing at the time, but funny in hindsight? Please, share with me in the comments. I LOVE to hear from you!
12/2/2020 4 Comments
So I was thinking about how this blog post almost didn't get written because I just feel icky...not physically, but emotionally. For the last 2 days or so, I've been feeling pretty melancholy and slightly anxious. I can't pinpoint what brought this on. As I think about it, I'm sure there isn't ONE thing that sent me spinning. My mind is cluttered with a plethora of thoughts, so it could be a number of things that got me here. I'll share a few. Lemme see how transparent I wanna be...
11/25/2020 4 Comments
Shift Your Focus
So I was thinking about Thanksgiving, which is tomorrow. Of course we all know the devastating history/origin of the holiday and how it's actually nothing to be thankful for. We were taught lies in school and since then most of us have been awakened to the truth. If you haven't, do your own research. That's not what I'm here for today.
Regardless of Thanksgiving's history, I never turn down the opportunity to express my gratefulness, on a holiday or otherwise. Anytime I'm afforded an extra chance to count my blessings and love on my family and friends, I'll take it. I've already talked about gratefulness a couple times on the blog this year. However, this year has been HEAVY and at times has made it difficult to focus on having that attitude of gratitude. Personally, I've experienced some good things this year, but at the same time I feel overwhelmed by all the disappointment and loss. 2020 has been a roller coaster to say the least.
Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season is going to look strikingly different for most of us. We'll need to actively stretch beyond our dismay in what we are missing or have lost and center our sights on all that we still have and are gaining in the midst of the turmoil. When the negativity and weight of life starts feeling unbearable, I become intentional about shifting my focus and dwell on all that's good. I've also begun to take special notice of things I once took for granted and now realize I need to have more appreciation for. Here's my "Thanksgiving" list.
Happy Thanksgiving!! Let's strive to make the most of it.