My World in a Year

I have not been as active as I have wanted this year.  2016 has been a heck of a year.  I will give you a brief month by month synopsis but with the pros and cons of each.

  • January:
    • Pro- New beginning
    • Con- Missing my family
  • February:
    • Pro- Getting settled in my new internship
    • Con-Hurt
  • March:
    • Pro- Marking kayaking off my bucket list
    • Con- Hurt
  • April:
    • Pro- Moving back home
    • Con- (NONE)
  • May:
    • Pro-Graduated with my Masters and got a job
    • Con- Horrible car accident
  • June:
    • Pro-Started new job
    • Con- Getting back to some form of normalcy life that wouldn’t last too long
  • July:
    • Pro- Freedom and meeting new people
    • Con- Heartbreak
  • August:
    • Pro- …. (still trying to figure that out)
    • Con- Depression
  • September:
    • Pro- Turning 28, Quitting my job, Getting a better job, Walking, Adopting a dog
    • Con- Feeling nothing…
  • October:
    • Pro- Passed my license exam, Went on a date
    • Con- My dog teaching me that I need to correct somethings about myself… MY DOG!!! Geez…..
  • November:
    • Pro- Growth in God, Spending time with family and closest friends
    • Con- Looking at all the puzzle pieces of my life and starting to make a picture
  • December:
    • Pro- Growth, Confidence, Spending time with family and closest friends, Love, Being a much better dog Mom
    • Con- NONE

As you can see, 2016 has been a tough year for me.  But I will like to leave you with 2 quotes to open your New Year.

Romans 5:2-5

through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.'” — Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

Many blessings to you all.

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What happened vs. What I saw

I have been very busy for the past few months.  My life has been a literal whirlwind.  I have moved. New Job. New Surroundings. New life…. So I thought.

What happened…

Last weekend, I got a glimpse of the person that I used to be and the person I could have grown into.  And that left me sitting wide eyed and saying, “I just wanted to watch football.”  Let me tell you about THIS.

I have a roommate.  She and I know each other but we are in the process of building a friendship.  Moving on… we were washing clothes on Saturday when she received a text.  She said, “My baby’s daddy is here.”  I saw the shock on her face.  I mean he drove 8 hours to just make a surprising appearance.  We walked outside the laundromat at our apartment and he was getting out his car.  My intuition told me this weekend had the potential to be horrendous or awesome.  I like to remain optimistic.  They have a history together and I mean that is completely understandable.  It just is not the smoothest history.

I left them and let them have some time to talk.  It seemed like all was well.  They went shopping… he took her to dinner… they came back and we even went out downtown for the night.  I did notice he was on his phone majority of the time and my roommate didn’t particularly appreciate that.  But she and I danced and had a great time.

Sunday… I got up early and went to visit a church.  My roommate and her baby’s daddy were still sleep (I suspected).  When I came back, they were awake.  She had cooked him breakfast.  They got dressed and they left to go somewhere.  Later, she came back and she was by herself.  He had left apparently.  We had “girl talk.”  She said she suspected his reason for coming to visit was to be nosy.  She talked about him being on the phone A LOT.  But she seemed like everything was pretty cool.  I am very analytic and I did not see anything that was necessarily negative during the conversation.  I told her about my church experience.  We talked more and laughed.  So I brought up the idea of going to a restaurant to watch football and eat.  She agreed.

We get dressed and we head to the restaurant.  We had the longest waiting time imaginable.  But we finally got our table despite a discrepancy.  Cool.  We order our food and my roommate says, “Oh hell no!”  I was like “What?”  She said, “That’s my baby’s daddy at the bar hugged up with that chick!”  I looked up and truly enough… there he was.  My roommate pulls out her phone and takes a picture of him and the girl.  I was saying to her, “Well, you all are not together.  He can date.”  She says, “NO. He was JUST talking to me about getting back together AND getting married.”  I felt like someone had hit me on the head with a hammer. Uh-oh…

Before I knew it, she was on the phone with his Aunt and she was livid.  My roommate tried to go over to the bar but I used every ounce of convincing in me to get her to stay at the table.  Fortunately, she did! Yes! I felt accomplished.  A few minutes had gone by and she was still angry and on the phone.  He left the bar… only to walk right by our table.  He surprisingly looks at us.  He tried to sweet talk her and she yelled “Get out of my face!”  It called some attention to our table.  He kept standing over her trying to talk to her and then she pulled her hand back and smacked/punched him across the face.  I swiftly left the table.  They began fighting.  They fought their way from the bar area through the whole restaurant out to the parking lot.  I remained in the restaurant.  I stuck to my goal! I came to watch the game AND eat. (Don’t talk about my loyalty. I’m loyal to a T but I have too much to lose at this stage in my life.)  Our food came by the time they made it out the door.

Apparently the fight continued in the parking lot with the restaurant’s manager trying to break them up.  Baby daddy was trying to get into the car and fight at the same time.  My roommate fought until he could close the car door successfully without her on him and he sped off.  She hung on to the car kicking and putting dents in it before she eventually fell off into the road.

In the meantime, I sat in this restaurant with people staring at me.  I mean you are talking about all eyes on you…  more attention was on me than what is on celebrities at a movie premiere.  My hands were shaking as I was trying to eat a chicken wing.  Some people were making jokes.  Some were talking bad about her… and even ME!  No one said anything about him.

 

What I saw…

I saw this fight break out.  I knew exactly ALL the emotions my roommate felt.  I was in her shoes before.  Allow me to elaborate.  A man that you have been in a relationship OR situationship with leads you on about making a future together.  He comes to visit.  He butters you up.  You’re happy.  He’s finally thinking realistically (you say in your head).  You are thinking of forgiving him and making things work because “BOTH” of you all want the same thing.  When all along… that man never had good intentions for you.  He didn’t want you… but he wanted to keep you around for his benefit.  Hurt becomes an understatement when you see it for what it really is.  Sometimes it comes quickly and boldly.

I DO NOT condone domestic violence whatsoever.  I have been in a situation where I was hurt by a guy and I flew off on him.  Everything that he could have possibly done wrong to me while we were together came out in that period of me flying off.  Those emotions come out like, “How could you do this to me?; I don’t deserve this!; What in the hell made you think you would get away with this?; Why me?; etc.”  They can come out in the form of a verbal or physical hit.

We as women tolerate and harbor so much of our emotions.  But when is enough, FINALLY enough?  Listening to my roommate’s history about her relationship with him, she had become bitter.  He always came back into the picture for years filling her head with false lies about what could be and playing with her.  Every let down was a deadly punch to her.  Now, she is severely hurt.

I was once in her shoes.  I had received my punches and I had thrown them too.  One day, I knew I had to make up my mind and change my situation.  I knew exactly what was going to happen to the next guy that did this to me.  I did not want to become bitter and bitter was steadily knocking at my door.  I was hurt.  I wasn’t going to allow anyone to hurt me anymore.  I knew what I wanted and if someone wasn’t up for offering me that, I sent them packing.  DO NOT WASTE MY TIME!  BUT I had to put the shoe on the other foot.  I had to hold myself accountable just as I did anyone else.

One thing I decided I would not allow again was for me to make a mockery of myself on the behalf of someone else.  I’ll let you partake in the debauchery on your own.  That is NOT who I am OR who I want to be.  I did learn my lesson.  Unfortunately for my roommate, she did not.

When she had cleaned herself up and came back in the restaurant, the gossiping overshadowed the football game itself.  I don’t know if she was embarrassed or what.  I continued to eat and we talked a little bit.  She dropped her head to hide her face at one point.  We left the restaurant.  By the time we got to the car, her baby daddy had sent her a text.  It read, “Who is the B*tch now? Good luck.”

We all have decisions to make.

 

 

My Successes and My Failures

So, Hi!!! I’m back!

I decided I wanted to share a little something about myself. Why not choose my successes and my failures?  I mean, we all have them right? Some of us like to talk about them, some like to acknowledge them here and there, and some are SWORN to secrecy they will never tell their successes…. ESPECIALLY their failures. I’m just here to say WE ARE HUMAN.  We are bound to have them if we simply try or put effort towards the simplest thing.

I will start with my failures. (Let’s get to it!)

1. Trying to change someone.

This guy friend that I had, he was actually “No Good.”  I saw something in him that I knew was beyond great.  Our friendship was a little weird at times but I saw a great guy in my eyes.  He was smart, well-rounded, cute, had a way with words…etc.  I knew he would make the worst choices and I constantly questioned him about it.  His answer was forever, “That’s for me to know; blah blah”  Throughout our friendship, I pushed him to be a better person and I wanted him to be the person with the potential that I saw.  That was my biggest failure.  He was not that person.  I had conjured up this person in my head from what I saw he could be.  I tried to change him.  And change ultimately comes from within.  I could question, influence, spend my time, buy, treat, or anything for him and he was still the same person.  It’s like dressing up this mannequin, treating it like it’s a human and expecting it to start exuding these humanistic traits…. when in the end you forgot it was a mannequin to begin with.

2. Trying to flirt….too hard.

I was in middle school.  I had this crush on my neighbor.  (He was so cute in our awkward years.) Anyway, he had gotten locked out of his house and came to sit at MY house after school.  It was no problem for my parents.  We sat at the table doing our homework.  (By homework I mean, I was sitting there with my homework out and smiling at him in the meantime.  I don’t think he noticed it very much.)  I got up from the table to grab a drink and I thought it was time to strut my stuff.  I took a step or two and my sandal slipped.  I flew up in the air and it seemed like a Matrix moment because it took forever for me to finally hit the ground.  When I hit the nice cold tiled floor, he jumped up from the table and ran to get my parents.  I mean, HE LEFT ME LAYING THERE! My parents came running and my Dad was frantic.  He helped me up.  My Mom thought it was hilarious.  My neighbor just sat with this expression of awe on his face.  I didn’t live it down either.

3. Taking a large course load.

I was in the first semester of my junior year.  I was trying to stay on the course schedule my school had provided.  I took 4 science classes (Genetics, Organic Chemistry 1, Physics, and Human Anatomy) along with 2 electives.  This equaled 22 hours.  I remember the day that my parents sat me down and tried to convince me not to do it.  I knew at that time that I was capable and ready to take on such a task.  I told them, “They didn’t believe in me; they didn’t have faith in me; I am going to do this FOR ME.” THAT semester, in walked a bad relationship, family issues, a health scare (I almost died), and trying to maintain a social life and work.  I failed. I didn’t even pass the electives.  That sent my GPA plummeting.  It was so hard to recover from that.  But I ended up pulling through in the end.

THIS LEADS IN TO MY SUCCESSES!!

1.  Learning to take life as it comes.

I have always been a planner… like to the T.  From the time I was 16, I had planned my life out to age 25.  Man, IF I could tell you the peaks, valleys, twists, and lines that I have experienced; I’m sure you would ask, “What the HELL happened?” But I learned through God and those situations to take life as it comes.  I tend to get overwhelmed at times (don’t get me wrong).  BUT for the most part, I take life as it comes.  I mean, I feel a bit freer.  I sleep better.  I enjoy moments especially the simple ones. I laugh more. I enjoy the people I’m around.  I look better too! It’s something that everyone has to learn at some point in life.

2. Conquering my fears.

I had several fears in my life.  My top fears were heights, worrying, and being vulnerable.  I’ll sub-categorize these really quickly.

a. Heights: I was scared to stand on a chair.  After a severe fall when I was little, you NEVER had to worry about me being too high off the ground or even off the ground.  I had to get over that. One day, I went to a ropes course and broke that fear.  DETERMINATION IS A BEAST!!!

b.  I mean, worrywart should have been my middle name if not my first.  I worried if someone didn’t text or call by a certain time.  I worried about everything not going perfect.  I worried about a stain getting on clothes.  I learned that worrying causes a lot of issues!!!  I mean internal and external bodily issues, extra stress, and all that stuff.  I decided one day it was my time to get through it.  I was patient with myself and I worked hard to pass this test in my life.  My worrying is not at all as high as it used to be but I do it occasionally.  Otherwise…. I’m good.

c.  Being vulnerable. Don’t we all hate this?!?! I was forced in to it.  A guy that I was in a relationship with came and shook my life up.  You know, that one person that comes in and shakes your world apart and leaves when they’re done?  Yeah that was him.  He pretty much forced me to be vulnerable and open up.  He wanted to get to know the REAL me; not the me that I let everyone see.  He literally ripped my life to shreds and after a certain point I allowed it.  What I thought I knew, wanted, and needed at that time began to be questioned. In my life, I spent a couple of years in limbo.  At times, it was terrible. At times, it was good.  At times, it was great.  But I learned a valuable lesson.  I learned to love myself.  I learned to decide what I really wanted for me.  I learned to hold myself accountable for things in my life.  I learned that it is okay to be vulnerable (just choose the right people to be vulnerable with). With that, I can be vulnerable with the people in my life and enjoy it.  To him… thank you.

3. I can do anything I put my mind to.  (You can too!!)

I have been very artsy and open.  I have tried several things.  I suck as a fashion person.  I think that I missed that phase in life.  BUT when I dress and try something a little different, I get compliments.  My blog may only have one reader but I hope it makes a difference in their life.  I am not the best dancer. Literally I count while I dance (like on the Wade Robson Project), but everyone tells me I can dance well.  I think it’s the little things that can make success for you a success.  You can determine that,

Want to share your successes and failures?

Feel free to comment!! This is a NO JUDGEMENT zone!

-Sweet P

 

20 Things Every Young Woman in Her 20s Should Know

I stumbled upon an article posted by a friend titled “20 Things Every Young Woman in Her 20s Should Know.”  I skimmed over the article in the beginning.  About 20 minutes later I came back to it.  I think it’s something that EVERYONE woman should read regardless of her age.  Hell, I mean you may feel like you are in your 20s and physically your body says “Honey, we’re 3 times over.”  I think we all have gone through or will see these stages in life.  I know I have already experienced a good bit of these already.  Sharing is caring. So here it is:

1. Love and honor your Mother. Learn from her mistakes.  It will save you a lot of headaches in your 30s and beyond.

2. You are more talented than you’ll ever know. You don’t need to sleep with your Boss/Supervisor to get a promotion at work or better grades at school.  Burn late night candles; put extra time to study and practice until you master your skill.  Hard work still pays well and does not kill.

3. Women can build a strong support network. Don’t let few ladies with “Pull Her Down” {PHD} syndrome discourage you from cultivating true relationships with your female friends.

4. Walk away from deceit. When a man you meet for the first time babbles about how much he earns working for an oil company and how rich he is, that is a RED FLAG. He is either a married smooth-talker who just wants to sleep with you or he is childish.

5. Make your own money. Start small.  Maintain a stable bank account, it will keep you out of trouble.

6. When you meet your soul mate, don’t forget to wear your most priceless ornament-submission and humility. But while waiting for him, DON’T cling to any man to rescue you.  Some men these days are also looking for women who will rescue them.

7. Know your body. Look at yourself in front of a full-length mirror at least once a week, naked and after clothed.  Know your body and how it works.

8. Life is a gift. But to revel in it, you must be ready to put a lot into nurturing your gifts/talents and skills. Start early.

9. Teenage ended at 19. Clocking 20 means doing away with childish behavior.  But it does not mean you should forget to have fun.  You can catch fun and not be dirty.

10. Learn the basic skills and let yourself grow. From how to keep your underwear clean, cook, socialize, and network; to how to drive a car.

11. Don’t do drugs. It kills. Read books, it fortifies.  Dance as often as you can, it liberates your spirit, soul, and body.

12. Learn to laugh at yourself. It is a good way to build a healthy self-esteem.

13. Eat healthy. Learn to cook for yourself.  Don’t rely on noodles alone. The cooking skill will be useful in the future.

14. Don’t give up when you fail. Try again and again and AGAIN. Don’t give up on education and learning.

15. Fear of the future. It is a state of mind you must learn to tame.  Don’t let fear pull the carpet from under your feet.  God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.

16. Let go of past hurts. You cannot move forward if you keep looking back.  Holding on to bitter experiences and regrets will stale your future.

17. Learn to exhale, love deeply, and be kind to others. Especially those of low estate and the lowest of the low.

18. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL THE WAY YOU ARE. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!

19. Partnership builds bridges. Don’t ever forget that.

20. Prayer is the master key.  Have faith in God and always have the courage to use your voice wisely.  Dream big today.  FEAR simply means False Evidence Appearing Real. Enjoy the highs and lows that come with being in your 20s but don’t be afraid to grow older.  Live life to the fullest and don’t forget to smile anyway.

*BONUS!!*

21. You increase when you share. Sharing is caring.  Spread (this)/ positive words to your family and friends.  Enrich them with knowledge.

I hope this will have a positive influence in someone’s life.

http://more.ng/lists/20-things-every-young-woman-in-her-20s-should-know

Selma Lord Selma

I made the trip to Selma Alabama for 2 reasons.  They were for understanding and support.  Today, I was attending the Selma 50th anniversary commemoration.  (I do not mean to sound biased in any way at all. I do feel that Selma has played an important part in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.) I can only imagine how the people felt on Edmund Pettus Bridge that Sunday.
I listened to President Obama’s speech. He delivered one of his BEST speeches yet. I look around and I see the crowds of people that have come to Selma this weekend for this anniversary. Then I wonder, how many will come back next year for the 51st, 52nd, 53rd, and 54th anniversaries. Will it be this many people here? I know the movie, Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay was released just a couple of months ago. With respect to Ava and her beautiful work, I have seen how this movie has gotten the attention of those who were not aware of what occurred and how it may have affected them. Yet and still, I see most people in the crowd only showed up to capture a glimpse of Presidents George W. Bush and/or Barack Obama, Oprah, Ava DuVernay, and other celebrities that have come to the town.
What about the REAL TRUE reason of being in Selma today? What about understanding the CONTINUOUS fights in Civil Rights that exist today? What about realizing that these people DID NOT have to go through this for you? What about looking around and realizing that these people among you have to have the determination and strength to continue on this legacy and fight for your rights? It is nice to have a picture with the President(s) and meet these other celebrities that you may look up to. But do you understand the magnitude of what all of this truly means?
The media has portrayed this as almost a phenomenon. Look at the different cultures in the crowd! Look at how far you have come! America is better today!… But is it? African Americans have progressed a good bit from 50 years ago. However, will you teach your children to appreciate this? When I reflect and look back upon this, 50 years is not a long time.For Selma’s 100th anniversary, will you be there with your children telling them the stories you were told; what you witnessed; what the speakers said and the difference it made in your life; will it even be on the news? Will it be something in history that the media says, “Well Black people have made it this far…let’s not mention it.”? Will the Civil Rights movement become a figment of our imagination? Will we let history become history all in the name of lack of understanding?
Today has changed my view on the media and a lot of other things. Stereotypes, differences, and etc. are all here. But are they here for the right reason? Is it for all types of media glorification and attention OR understanding and supporting where the past and present will bring in the future?  Regardless of your race, background, religion… you are here… What will you carry on with you?
SURVEY!!!!!  Please feel free to comment or share.

Do you know about the Bloody Sunday event that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement?  If so, what are your thoughts. If not, please research it and share your thoughts.

Your comments are appreciated.

Orange Is The New Black meets Girl, Interrupted

“Anyone pretending to be something that they’re not will never become all that they are meant to be.” – Oprah Winfrey

I am a pretty caring person. I work… HARD. I give my best at everything I do.  Here’s my story:

There is a behavioral facility that works with teenaged girls and boys.  The children are placed in the facility by the system based upon their statuses.  This can vary… waiting for a foster home; no family at all; severe behavioral issues; moderate learning disabilities; runaways; home issues…etc. They provide housing, outings, credit recovery for classes (if the kids are behind) and school…. you get the picture. It sounds great. The boys stay in one facility 10 miles away from the girls. I worked at the girls facility.  My experience was quite different.  I often felt like it was Orange Is The New Black meets Girl, Interrupted instead of a place to encourage and help young girls grow until they were released.

I used Oprah’s quote to say this.  A teenaged girl can enter a facility and not have too bad of a behavioral problem and leave worse than what they previously were upon incoming.  They would have to adopt this nearly prison like mentality in order to survive during their time there.  As we know, prison mentalities DO NOT make it far in this world.  I saw one girl who reminded me of “Crazy Eyes”; YES she LITERALLY acted like her.  I saw the “Wise One,Claudette Pelage”; she never told anyone her reason as to why she was there and spent time reading and solving the Rubik’s Cube in 5 minutes.  I saw “Taystee”, the friendly talkative person. I saw “Piper Chapman” and “Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett”.   I saw the “Lisa” (Angelina Jolie) character.  I saw “Georgina” the pathological liar.  I saw “Susanna Kaysen” who had Borderline Personality Disorder.  It was all there before my eyes.

These girls had to become a product of the environment they were in, in order to survive.  Them pretending to be someone that they weren’t prevented them from being the BEST they could be to even possibly get out of the facility sooner.  For most, the habits they developed became part of them and they carried them out with them when they left.  I believe this is where the system has failed them.  I don’t believe in bullying.  I don’t believe in not disciplining a child or not holding them accountable for their actions.  I don’t believe a child should be allowed to figure out this world through experiences like these.

For me, I applied it to myself with them.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses.  I could only do so much.  At times, pretending to be a prison guard authority figure backfired on me quicker than white on rice.  I got threatened, cornered, swung on, and pushed.  Being just simple me, I touched the hearts of 6 girls out of the 20.  I could relate to them at times.  We, as humans, are confused, conflicted, and a little crazy at times in our lives just like these characters.  I used my times to help where I saw needed. The girls I did have the opportunity to work with and talk to are now leaving the facility.  Their grades, personalities, and behaviors did improve.  I know some issues they have within won’t go away but I see they learned how to deal with it instead of acting out.  One day, instead of going to work, I met with my director.  It took an hour and a half for me to get out of my car.  I didn’t know what I actually wanted to say.  I sat in front of him and talked to him casually.  By the end of the conversation, I gracefully resigned from my job.  I just could not handle it anymore.  I had to look out for myself at this point in my life.  I mean this by saying, I could not STAND for or be around watching how the system failed these girls.  It did not sit well with me and I wanted no part in it.

For my girls,

I wish you all nothing but the best.  I pray for you all daily.  Carry on the couple of things that I did have the opportunity to teach you and pass them on to others.  You all are beautiful and amazing.  Please stay that way.  Love yourselves.

-Sweet P

To protect and serve….?

I know the Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and several other issues have been all over the news, social media, and etc.  I have several different problems with the situation(s) itself. It has been pointed out that we (The United States of America) have a problem in regards to the value of life.  I have read some articles in The Washington Post, LA Times, and several newspapers.  All of these media outlets have failed to point out the simple police motto “To protect and serve.”  With so much going on within our police department and system that is supposed to protect and serve its citizens; why hasn’t their training been questioned?  What are their boundaries by law?  What are their personal ethical boundaries?
Scenario: Two officers are called to handle a hostile situation between two people. The person of interest has no weapon but is using constant profanity. One officer gets offended by the ongoing profanity and draws his gun.  The other officer has remained calm.  Does the law require an officer to draw his weapon in this offense?  Is the officer allowed to draw his weapon if he feels threatened or offended?  Where is the line drawn?
This is just one example of where ethics and laws are conflicting, however; where is the regard for human life?