Its been a long time since I cam here to purge to write/right my pain, my joys, my fears, my desires and my truths. I haven’t felt like much of a writer. I havent felt like a poet or a speaker. Life got the best of me and stifled my voice. I allowed it. Now that I am in a position to have to lean on others I find that fear is driving me to write. The thing about fear is its mysterious. It can either cause you to run or to fight. Sometimes it can cause you to do both. Fear can be the catalyst for your change or your downfall. Sometimes you know what you fear and other times it is just a numbing feeling of something you can’t quite put your finger on. It is up to you to work through your emotions to hear what fear is telling you. All too often we don’t want to do that work. It hurts. Its scary. It can be debilitating and anxiety producing. BUT it can also be the most FREEING experience in your life. I find myself here again, facing fear and doubt. And that is exactly what I plan to do. FACE IT. I don’t know how, but I DO know that I am here again for a reason and I am determined to do the work to find out what it is.
So, I’m a week or so late getting this in. I had my test locs installed last Sunday. The process was painless and very quick. It was my first time meeting the loctictian I chose to install my sisterlocs and we hit it off instantly. I am so excited about these locs and I cannot wait to get them in. The official loc date is March 11th, and I am sooooo impatient. I am in love with my 5 little locs, so far only 1 has slipped. I am not sure if she used a 3-point, 4-point or other. I think we talked about this but we were talking about so many other things that I may have forgotten. She is hoping that it will take about 18 hours or so, but who knows. We will see. Sorry the pictures are so big. My head is too.
Well. The time has come for me to FINALLY commit to these locs I’m so excited about. On Sunday I meet with my loctician to get in tester locs. Now though I am getting a little anxious… you know… commitment issues… 0-o (but I’m married doe). I have missed my hair so much, as I have been doing nothing but protective styles to allow it to grow to a length I am comfortable with locing. Its STILL an unruly mane, and I still want to tame it by locing, but I am afraid I will miss this fro. Welp! I better get it together, cuz I think my husband and daughter may put me in permanent time out if I don’t gone and get these here locs.
On more positive note, over this past week I had the pleasure of seeing to sisterlocked ladies up close and personal (haven’t seen any since I re-started this journey). One was an older lady with white hair and light brown ends. She said she had just gotten her locs in after cutting them off 5 years ago. They were beautiful! That was on Wednesday. On the plane home from Houston on Thursday, one of the flight attendants had some dope thick sisterlocks that looked like a wig. I complimented her hair and she said “when are you getting yours”… Gahhhhhh! Confirmation. Also, my loctician just got hers back in over the weekend and sent me pics of them (our hair is about the same texture and length) I was in love and even more ready to get these babies in. I am on the fence about whether to color (I’m leaning towards a semi permanent or a rinse) just for a little more depth of color. Well Sunday is fast approaching and I am in high anticipation mode. I will report back with pics of the starters after then. Peace.
For as long as I can remember in my family, the subject of mental health was taboo. On both sides there were more people that didn’t talk about it than those who did. I’ m not sure if it was a lack of understanding or if they didn’t want to know. Being that I am from a Christian family (both sides) I often heard it said that all “such and such” needed to do was pray. Or people that know Jesus shouldn’t have depression, mental health issues etc. Well you know what People that know and love Jesus shouldn’t have cancer, be obese, have a cold, the flu or any other thing that deals with the body. I don’t know why it is so hard for Us to understand that mental health issues exist and can come knocking on our door.
In the African American community the issue of mental health is still taboo. To talk of it is to deny the power of Jesus, or put “White people’s issues” on black folks. I truly believe that God is a healer, I also believe that He has placed people in our lives an spheres of understanding to be His eyes and ears and to help those of us who need it.
I would say that I was in that crowd before I had my own issues with mental health. I distinctly remember that time in my life like it was yesterday. For months I had been walking around with what I thought was chip on my shoulder; I would flip on you in a matter of seconds. I could be in a great mood one moment and in a really foul mood the next. It seemed that there was no in between. For months maybe longer it went on like this. People were afraid to talk to me, no one dared tell me what they thought of my behavior; and from what I remember no one thought maybe I was depressed or having mental health issues. Finally one person asked me if I was bi-polar. I didn’t want to accept that diagnosis, but I DID own up to the fact that mentally I wasn’t right. I was in a bad place. I prayed for deliverance AND made the decision to go and get help. I owed it to my daughter to make sure she had a whole mother.
It was through this experience that I decided to go into psychology. I KNEW that God had made us mind, body and spirit; THUS I KNEW that mental health problems had very real spiritual and physical component. You could not treat one without treating the other….to be continued.
I see myself in you. I see myself in the reflection that I look at on a daily basis. I am a mother anew. I see the joy, the laughter, the fear, the tiredness. the longing to protect, to be there in the moment, every moment. I see your smile, I see the shine in your eyes. I see your staunch determination. I see your desire not to be a statistic. I see you. I see the longing to be. Not just a mother, but a difference maker. I want you to know that you make a difference to your daughter every day. She has grown to be a phenomenal lady. Her attitude is LOT like yours was, so don’t be mad. She is determined to do things her way, but she Knows the way. She knows the way maker, for you taught her. Your son looks at you lovingly, he feels loved, protected, wanted and needed. Just as you feared what the world would be like for Destinee. I now fear what the World will be like for Jaxson, but God. Give him to God, He has the answers. You are a wife now, with an amazing husband, that loves and cherishes you. There are struggles but life is Grand, because you love one another. Remember who you are, remember whose you are. Don’t compare yourself to others, it will only bring out that part of you that you don’t like. The silent insecure person that you strive so hard not to become. BE GREAT. BE MORE. Don’t get things you don’t need only to work a job you don’t like, just to pay the bills. Your family will need you to be THERE to be in the moment. To be Wife, to be Mother to be YOU, FULL Of life, Love, Laughter. To be Authentic. You’ve never tried to keep up with the Jones’ don’t start now. Live your life on your own terms. Succeed. Determine what success looks like to you. When others say you can’t or shouldn’t Succeed and do it anyway. Allow God and God alone to be your guide. Stay sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. You will need His lesson and Guidance many time along the way. There will be many great women and men that you will never have the honor of meeting. Use their words, their actions, their lives, their testimonies as the Catalyst to push you to the greatest you that you can be. Find and walk in your passion. Take your Daughter to Egypt like you promised. Take your son too. Teach him how to see the beauty in all things, all people. to be loving and kind and empathetic. Show your husband you love him. Everyday. It goes a long way in preserving a marriage. Most of all Don’t forget yourself. Don’t become so engrossed in being and doing for everyone else that you forget that you matter too. Oh… stay of social media sites and actually socialize more. Your life and load will be so much lighter because of it. Make sure to walk in your calling, know that even if Man doesn’t acknowledge who God called you to be. That doesn’t mean you are not called. Walk anyway. Remember that at 27 God told you that your training Ground was different. P.S… YOU STILL DON”T DO DIAMONDS!
I think this is a good look at what pastors may feel from time to time and helps us to remember that they too can be hurt by our actions and words.
Twenty plus years later I can tell you it has been a ride we never could have anticipated. So much so that only now do I feel equipped enough to share a…
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“When You’re Strange”
In 2005 I wrote my first memoir following the death of my father and the unexpected termination of what was supposed to be a year-long teaching assignment in East Africa. From the discomfort of my childhood home I created a mixed-media memoir that examines the shifting terrain upon which we negotiate race, kinship, and identity. A couple of years before his death, in the heat of an argument my father said, “You’re a stranger in this family.” I decided to use his accusation as the title of my memoir since it accurately reflected the feeling of alienation I experienced in Djibouti and within my country of origin. Jamaica Kincaid once wrote,
“For some people, a fixed state of irritation is like oxygen. I understand this all too well.”[i]
This seemed an apt epigraph for the book since my frustration with Canada…
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It’s so easy to mock Gwyneth Paltrow, but it seems wrong to kick her while she’s down. Sure, she’s impossibly pretentious — and yes, she’s seemingly oblivious to the expansive privilege that has allowed her to maintain the world’s most excruciatingly twee lifestyle. But she’s still got some genuine human feelings, and I assume it’s incredibly painful to separate from your husband and the father of your two children.
BUT GWYNETH. Why do you make it so hard for me to empathize with you? Here’s the notorious G.O.O.P. discussing her decision to take (even more of?) a sabbatical from acting, via E! Online:
“I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to…
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I ask myself this often as a poet, mother, wife, teacher, preacher.
I was speaking at a local high school about writing. Afterward, a girl came up to me with a notebook of handwritten poems. She showed them to me shyly and asked,
“Are they good enough?”
I didn’t need to read them to know that they were good enough. She was fifteen. She had a dream. While her friends were playing violent video games and getting pregnant, she was writing poetry. That’s good enough for me.
“They are wonderful,” I said.
I am not sure we were talking about the same thing.
It’s a big question for a writer: am I good enough?
Am I good enough to get published? To get reviewed? To win an award? To make money? To come out in hardcover? To move people to tears? To win the respect of my older brother who said I would never make it?
I advise English majors. Every so…
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