Doing Just Fine…….

So it’s May 2020 and it has already been a hell of a year!  I think most people would agree with that!  This quarantine has been of the most bizarre things that I think has occurred in my lifetime.  Sure there was the Spanish Flu or even Tuberculosis and things like that… but I wasn’t alive then, it didn’t affect me.  So what are we going to be talking about 10 years from now?  The Quarantine of 2020!

I started this particular entry of my blog because about two or three days ago, I got to thinking….  I’ve been blessed in many ways, but I have not found my forever mate yet and I tell you what, after some of the stories I’ve heard lately…. I’m I think I’m feeling pretty good about being in quarantine by myself!!!!!  No disrespect to my friends and family who are in relationships or married, but right now, I gotta say I’m glad I’m not.

If dishes are left in the sink, I know who did and don’t have to go back and forth with someone to make sure they get done.  Vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom is all down to me and that makes it so much easier.  I don’t have to fight with anyone on what to watch!  I can watch British TV all day and no one cares!  I can sit in my PJ’s while I work from home and don’t have to care how my night shirt or pajamas fit.

I can just be me!!

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I want to be alone for ever… can’t say that because we don’t know what the future holds.  But I will say during this time, I’m certainly OK with my singleness!

But I wonder… now is the time for people to draw closer to one another right?  But in some cases it is ripping them apart.  I have certainly seen more of my family than I have in the last 3 years for sure!  And I’ve loved it…. every minute of it.  If only my Mom wasn’t 9 and half hours away 😦

But I digress I’m not sure how many of my single or even attached friends would agree with me, but I have to be honest and say that I have enjoyed being with me.  There have been days that I haven’t left the house for at least 2 or 3 days straight.  The only time I’ve left home consecutively was on the weekends because of the part time gig!  Other than that…. I don’t usually leave the house on consecutive days.

If you’re married or in a serious relationship, this is time for you to draw closer to each other , not farther apart.  Just keep it simple.  Just be kind, communicate, and respect each other!  But as for me and my house… uh apartment…. Doing just fine!!

God…. thank you for our time with an Angel………

Last week on August 28th 2020 I found out the world lost an angel. Chadwick Boseman, star of many Hollywood biopics succumb to the illness that had been slowly killing him… and we never knew. I’ll say it again, we never knew that he was slowly dying before our eyes… WOW, the magnitude of that sentence. He was diagnosed in 2016 and he went on to make at least 7 films. As I read about the time he received the diagnosis, in that time he made Black Panther and appeared in 3 Avenger movies.

I felt his death like he was a close personal friend. I couldn’t and still don’t understand it. I remember watching “Get on up” the bio on James Brown. I remember how believable he was as James Brown. His chemistry with one of his on screen wives, Jill Scott, and how he real he made the breakdown the star toward the end of his life look. I was amazed at his talent. And I remember thinking this man is a well.. deep enough to bring out emotions in me even then. I remember looking at countless articles about him and this was before he was slated to play T’Challa as Black Panther. But when they made the choice, I knew it was THE perfect choice. Watching him in Captain America Civil War, the emotions that he displayed as T’Challa lost his father in a tragic bombing…. I could not wait for him to have his own movie! And it did not disappoint.

People, we know that Black Panther is a comic character. He nor Wakanda are real. But the characters and the place makes us wonder what our people would have been like had we been able to stay as we were. No, this isn’t about slavery and devastation that it caused our people. This is about what if slavery never happened and we were able to live as Kings and Queens in our land. Able to created great things for ourselves. What would a King T’Challa really look like?

He looked like Chadwick Boseman.

God even as I type his name I can feel the emotion welling up in me. Chadwick, you showed the world what happens when we fulfill our destiny. What it looks like to fulfill your destiny with grace and humility. Your talent was so far above us, that you still blessed us with it. You had to be in pain and suffering but you continued and worked hard, probably harder because you were not well. I cannot imagine the chemo, the surgeries, the sickness that your body had gone through, yet you still gave us Black Panther… doing your own stunts and all. God I thank you and the world thanks you for allowing us the 43 years that you let us have Chadwick. As the song goes, you must have been an angel sent from above. And God needed his angel back.

I see this as a lesson as well. To teach us that even when we are in pain or suffering, there should still be a place inside of us that wants to fight on and continue to achieve great things. I believe he wanted to live his life and accomplish things without having people fuss over him or tell him what he could not do. I think as a whole, Chadwick lived as though he would never live again. But his spirit will always live on.

I did not know Chadwick Boseman personally, but I feel like I’ve lost a vital piece of something. But I don’t want to look at his loss as a loss. I believe that as he said in the movie, this is not the end. He is in heaven right now with God sitting at his side telling him of all the things and people that he met in his time on earth. I can see his smile and I smile, but I also tear up knowing that we won’t see that smile in the flesh. But I try not to be sad because I know that he lived as he would never live again…..

So God, I thank you…. for letting us experience this person, this angel that you sent down to give us a picture of what destiny feels like… of what humility looks like. Of what it means to have fulfilled your purpose. To have left gems of wisdom. To have lived life fully from beginning to end. To know that your life is meant to be more than just a time for you do what you want, but also to know that your life has meaning and your loss is felt throughout family, friends, and strangers who didn’t know you but knew you. Thank you God for showing us your magic in the form of a human being.

TNB © 09/13/2020

My Father……

It is currently 4:42 am on May 25th.  It is memorial day a holiday which is why I am at work… go figure.  But I was going through my Facebook page and I thought, I need to change my profile picture.  Currently it is a picture of my Mom and Dad when they were younger.  I’m not sure what age or if I had come about yet.  I’ll have to ask my Mom!

But I was looking at their smiles on their faces and then I focused on my dad’s face and I just started crying.  Yes, I still cry for the loss of my father although I did not get a chance to know him.  I was 5 months old when my dad was killed in an accident at work.  My mom was left with three children one of whom was still in diapers.  I cannot imagine the pain of losing your husband and still having to go on because your children needed you.

I wonder how different my life would have been had he survived and was there along with my mom to help raise me.  He was much older than my mom but from what everyone says, he was a great man!  He helped my mom doing my sister’s hair and he would watch my brother and sister when my mom was really busy.  When my grandfather was in a mood, my father would take my mom to pick up my grandmother and bring her to our house.  And everyone who speaks about him, does so with so such admiration.  Now he wasn’t perfect, no one is.  But he seem to have so many people that loved and admired him.

I cannot seems to process this grief and it seems as though it is affecting me so much more now as an adult then it did as a child.  I knew that my family suffered a loss, but it is just hitting me so much more hard now.  Maybe it’s because I understand now how important it can be to have a two parent home.  Or maybe I’ve learned more about the relationship dynamic and how having a father is so important to little girls. I don’t know what it is but I just can’t seem to process it.

Father’s day is usually the worst now.  I’m usually at work at the part time so it’s third shift, the middle of the night.  I’m either typing doing work or finished and perusing the net.  It hits me and I cry…. seems like it’s happening more and more every year.  I don’t know how to process it and live with memory that others have of him.  Sometimes I wish he would appear to me and hug me and tell me that he’s been watching over me and will always watch over me.  Then I think man if that did happen I would be scared out of my wits!!! But at the same time, I know that it would be comforting.

I say to all of you that have your fathers that are still alive, whether they are in your lives or not.  Please try to mend those fences if you can.  At least try and if he doesn’t reciprocate, then you’ve done your part to try and honor thy father.

For those of you have your father in your life and they have been a great influence, a comforter, a great example.  Hug them tight, extra tight just for me!!  Thanked them for being there for you and loving you and raising you.  Be thankful and grateful that he is there.

For those of you who lost their father and he was all those things to you, I pray for your strength and pray that he is still watching over you.

And for those like me who did not get the chance to have all of those things, I pray for us as well that we receive the comfort we need and always know that even though our fathers were not there, through no fault of their own, they would have loved us, cared and comforted us through all of our ups and downs!

To my father……  I love you, I miss you, and I wish you were here…not just for me, but for my brother, sister, and especially my mother.  We all love and miss you!

Expressive Heart…. or Nonexistent….

I’ve been listening to Sting’s “Shape of Heart” which is a song I love!!  If you listen to the lyrics though, it is about more than playing cards.  It tells of a man who tries to understand the geometry of chance.  Because he wants to know, he wants to find the answer.   In my mind, I see a man concentrating on the cards, but not what is on the cards, just the way they lay.  He is not looking for answers for blackjack or poker, he’s trying to find the answer to his heart.  He isn’t one to change his face or his demeanor.  He is just who he is!!
Sting himself in an interview gave his interpretation of the song…..
Sting (from a 1993 promotional interview): “I wanted to write about a card player, a gambler who gambles not to win but to try and figure out something; to figure out some kind of mystical logic in luck, or chance; some kind of scientific, almost religious law. So this guy’s a philosopher, he’s not playing for respect and he’s not playing for money, he’s just trying to figure out the law – there has to be some logic to it. He’s a poker player so it’s not easy for him to express his emotions, in fact he doesn’t express anything, he has a mask, and it’s just one mask and it never changes.”
In my interpretation, which is close to what Sting explains, I feel like this man does not wear a mask, but his “poker face” is who he is.  But he’s having a hard time expressing that he does love you.  Think about that for moment.  You know you feel something, and you know it’s in your heart, but your expressiveness or lack thereof causes disbelief….But you can’t change who you are.
I think in life we try to hard to change who we are to please others.  But the thing is, if they love your and truly want you to be happy, they will except there are some things that you cannot change.  Especially if it is not detrimental you or themselves.  But too much in this life we want our own way.  We want things to be the way we think they should be.  Instead of taking life as it comes and building resolve we try to control.
Now this post just went waaaayyyy off my original plans for this post, but hey, I’m building resolve and taking it as it comes!!
Listed are the lyrics to the song.  If you can a chance, please listen for yourself and feel free to comment with what you think Sting is trying to convey in the lyrics!!  And as always I appreciate feedback!!
“He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn’t play for the money he wins
He don’t play for respect
He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of a probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance
I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart
He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades
I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart
That’s not the shape
The shape of my heart
If I told you that I loved you
You’d maybe think there’s something wrong
I’m not a man of too many faces
The mask I wear is one
But those who speak know nothing
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who fear are lost
I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart
That’s not the shape of my heart
That’s not the shape
The shape of my heart-“
Songwriters: Dominic Miller / Gordon Sumner
04/26/2018 TNB©

Ties that bind….and break….

I was on my way to work this morning and I had a strong urge to pray for breaking of bond and soul ties.  I am single and not sure if I’ll ever be able to mingle in a serious sense.  But I will say this, I am ready to break these bonds.  I’ve not always been the angel you see before you.  I’ve made mistakes, more than I care to remember.  But I know that when a relationship ends, it’s not always just one person’s fault.

When I got a divorce, I thought of all the times in my life previous that I never thought I would get married.  And Lord knows I probably shouldn’t have.  But it’s something that I thought I must do. I’ve only had 3 real relationships in my life.  The others have been flings, friendship/buddy’s, but nothing solid.  I want to break the bonds that are still carrying on in my absence.  And I know they are.  I saw a picture the other day of someone who was in my life for over 20 years.  He was at one of his best friend’s wedding.  He was laughing and cheesing so hard.  It took me back to when I had been able to make him laugh like that.  Our story never really had an ending and I think that’s part of why that bond is not easily broken.

He would call me, or text me over the years.  About football or if there was a storm in the midst of my hometown, he would call to check on my mom.  And also my birthday… but While I was home last May, I found a letter from him that I cherished for years!  But in reading it now in the context of our lives now…. I realized how awful it really was.  That night I texted him and told him not to contact me at all anymore.  No birthdays, no checking on my mom, no jokes about football.  I realized how this great romance was nothing like I had been fantasizing about all this time.  This bond/tie is one I prayed fervently for.

I still worry about my friend I mentioned a few blogs back.  The one that just kinda disappeared on me.  But I need to break that bond/tie as well.  It obviously wasn’t meant for him to be in my life.  I’ve emailed him and sent texts just to check on him and make sure he was Ok.  Both went unanswered.  So what other answer is there out there that will open my eyes?  There is nothing there…. that is a bond/tie that I prayed to be broken as well.

In the end it’s up to me….I know my friends and family get tired of it and I am tired of it as well.  Can I just move on and forget those bonds/ties and look back not at the situation but of how far I’ve come since then.

My peace is more important at this point than anything.

©TNB 03/10/2020

Inside the mind…… of an introvert!!

INTROVERT-  “It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. Introverts sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone. The opposite of an introvert is an extrovert, who finds energy in interactions with others.”

I have family and friends who believe this word does not describe me, but guess what…it’s PERFECT for me!
I don’t ignore people I talk to people, I laugh with people…. but if I had to choose to be with a group of people as opposed to being with myself, I choose ME!
I see and talk to people all day long in my work life.  It is my job to meet with students, teachers, parents, staff members and although I cringe every time a stranger graces my door, it is my job to welcome them and do what I can to serve them.  But in my carefully crafted construct of life, I would rather not meet strangers.  I would rather not be in crowds.  For instance, I’m about to have to go to active shooter training where everyone in the college will be gathered to hear how we are to stay alive.  But I DO NOT want to go because it means a crowd.  It means looking in the face of so many damn people.  I have nothing against these people at all.  But can I get the training as attachment to an email?
Because for the life of me walking into that theater and watching hundreds of heads turn in my direction when I walk in to find a seat gives me the heebie geebies of gigantic proportions!!!  I hate being the center of attention.  I hate walking anywhere late and I hate big events where I have to be around a lot of people.
So believe me when I say, I know what I am and I am OK with it.  As I go home in the evenings loving the fact that there is no bullshit at home, but me in my space, my hole if you will, But it’s mine!
I’ve never understood people that like to be the center of attention.  Those that like the limelight.  Just as people say I’m weird because I like my space, I say they are weird because they like to be put on display!  Does it go deeper than just wanted to be noticed?
I know my reticence with the center of attention is a product of my own anxiety issues.  I’ve always had anxiety issues.  Which is crazy right because I’ve been singing in some body’s choir for as long as I can remember, even leading songs.  Though my voice isn’t what it used to be, I can still hold a tune and I am still deathly still at the thought of having to get in front of a church and belt out the tunes!!!
But I digress…. yes I am an introvert and no, I do not deny it!!!

I Reflect ….. so let the record Reflect……..

So………  I have learned that self reflection is the best thing you can do for yourself.  But only when you are ready!  This is not a process that will be fun or pretty in looks, but it is much needed.

A few days ago I was on my way to work and and when I’m driving I spend time talking and praying with God.  But as I was talking the words and the realization of things started to come over me.  I have been angry with 4 men in my past.  One I’ve known over 20 years and we were like an off and on, not really dating, sex in the mix, friendship, fantasy love, and I’ve been angry with him for leading me on for 20 years.  The second is my ex-husband… he cheated on me, he was not the leader that God would have for our household, he only wanted what he wanted.  He constantly lied to me and when I finally had enough, he made it seem like I was wrong.  The third person is an older man I had fun with.  I say had fun because we never had a relationship status.  We just had sex, conversation and good times.  The fourth man was a friend, lover, and I thought perhaps he would be more one day.

I was ANGRY because I felt used by these men.  But in my conversation and realization, it came to me that the anger is mostly directed at myself because I allowed it to happen.  Each of those situation I ALLOWED myself to be used.  Because I did not put my foot down and ask for better treatment.  I didn’t realize that the 20 year relationship was going nowhere because I was entranced with the fantasy of it.  My ex-husband, I did not leave him alone when I first saw how deceptive he could be.  I could have saved myself 7 years of constant anxiety.  And with the older gentleman, I was afraid to ask for more.  I sensed his reticence because of our different races, I wasn’t sure he was ready for that exposure and instead of finding out, I took the cowards way out and just stayed silent. As for Mr. Four, he and I started on a sensuous journey that turned to deep friendship.  I thought it was going to run to it’s full completion, but I was afraid to speak of my feelings because I didn’t really know how he felt.  But I let it slide away…. then he tells me he loves me…. my feelings may not have been what they once were but I still loved him as a friend and then he disappeared on me.  I was not really angry with him, just confused.

So you see the anger is not directed at them, it is directed at me for being so passive in my own life.  For not standing up for myself and taking a stand in my life.  But I have forgiven myself.  Because I am human just like those men in my life.  They did not do anything malicious to me, except for my ex-husband because he did not have to lie and cheat, but that’s an issue with him and not my issue.  But I understand to forgive myself is to forgive them and be able to look on all these times with fond memories, because I do have great memories with them all!

Self reflection is good for the soul, mind, and spirit.  And I can do without judgement or criticism for my mistakes.  I know I made these mistakes and these results are because I did not assert myself and ask for what I wanted.  And I thought things would progress without my having to do that.  But it is a lesson and one well learned.  My next move will be to make sure I do not lay passive again and say what I want.  Make my feelings and wishes known.  It’s the only way!!

©07/16/2019 TNB

Imagine…. If you will……..

Can you imagine what it takes to survive?  Can you imagine loving a man and depending him so much that your life becomes whatever his mood may be at the time.  If he’s happy, you’re ecstatic… if he’s sad, your busy, trying to make him smile.  If he’s angry, you’re in pain.  The bruises aren’t always visible.  Some of them can be in your way of thinking…… “He doesn’t know what he does..” or “I probably shouldn’t have made spaghetti for dinner…”  “it doesn’t happen as often..”

These are the lies you tell yourself so your can be at peace with staying.  And people will ask, why do you stay?  What can you say to answer that….. when the answer is, that you’ve never been taught to leave.  How can you leave when your very survival depends on him, depends on his moods.  But I tell you one thing, it doesn’t matter how much you tell yourself, it’s the last time….. it won’t be.

What you are reading are just some of the things I face when I come to work here at the shelter.  There are a lot of broken women who have no one to turn too.  The family they were raised in was dysfunctional and so they will continue to the dysfunction with their own kids.  They come here to rest to finally make a plan.  And some will stick to that plan and others will only stick to it until the next “savior” comes along.  To a woman with kids, a man that says he will take care of her and her children, is like a desert walker with no water and then suddenly there is an ice cold cup.  He’s a predator…. and they are many like him….

So what can I do… me who grew up in a great family… me who doesn’t have kids that depend on me to survive…?

What I do, is give kindness… an ear, a empathetic ear.  Sometimes all you need to do is listen.  IF they ask, sure I impart some words of advice, but mostly I speak words of encouragement.  Words that help lift their spirits.  A lot of people do not believe in themselves and this is the most important part of survival!  You have to believe in yourself, that you have what it takes to make it.  No everything may not be sunshine and roses, but at least at the end of the day you can say “I DID THAT!!”

So a bit of advice… the next time you hear of a woman in an abusive relationship, curb the impulse to ask her “why do you stay..?”  Instead, listen, open your mind and then realize she thinks she has no choice….. but we all have a choice…. don’t we?

Motivation… when I’m down…. I’m up!!!

I don’t know where it starts, I don’t know where it comes from but all of a sudden I’m feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.  I feel like I’m in pain, but not physical pain.  It all stems from inside.  Like inside my heart.  I’ve always thought I was the type of person that could withstand anything.  But I’m starting to doubt my own thoughts and feelings.  I can’t say for sure that I am unhappy.  I just know that things are not alright in my world.

I work two jobs and have been for the last 4 years as of May of this year.  And I cannot say for sure what it has really done to help me!  I’m horrible with money.  I’ll be totally honest with you on that.  And not that I don’t pay my bills because I do….. but God it would be nice to have someone else take care of these things for me.  That’s what being single is all about.  Being independent and taking care of yourself.  Making sure you pay all the bills and have enough to get gas, eat, etc.  It’s not easy and to be honest I get tired of it.

We rush to get older when we are young.  We rush to get to middle school, then rush to high school, then we are ready to leave and go to college.  Which by the way is probably the easiest time in life…. even though you don’t feel that way at the time.  But then it’s time to graduate and become a part of life.  And BOOM…. adulthood hits and life spirals out of control.  Or at least it always feel that way…. at least to me.  Am I the only one??

We think life is all about the fun things, but it’s more than that.  It’s about learning how to care for ourselves and others.  It’s about trials and tribulations that come and go.  It’s about trying to keep our heads above water.  And atheist and others that don’t believe in God surely can’t understand how we bear it all.  We bear it because God helps us.  If you have faith in God then you know just like you go through periods of despair, we surely go through periods of enlightenment and joy!

This is not a blog about religion, it’s about blog about life and how God allows us to have free will to shape our lives.  In the end, he knows about our beginning and middle and he  helps to shape our end.  We may believe that we aren’t getting anywhere, but we also know that things could be worse.  I could be homeless with no family and friends.  Just self-pity and loathing.  But I am NOT those things.  I am blessed beyond measure.  I wish that others could understand what that means.  We are all blessed in our tragedies and our triumphs.  No one ever said it would be easy, this road we travel, but with God in front of me anything is possible.  All things are possible.  I lift up mine eyes and Thank you God for what you have bestowed upon me.  I will not sit and moan about what I do not have.  I will not sit and complain of my hurts and troubles.

I will stand tall in the knowledge that God’s got me.  He’s got my back.  And I know that in his infinite wisdom, things will work out for my good.  That person that is no longer in my life, that bill that just came in, or that sudden joy that creeps into my heart at times, I know it is God who has provided!!  I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me……Philippians 4:13

06/19/2019 TNB©