Saturday, December 18, 2010

Me versus ME

As I reflect on the lessons and blessings of yesterday, I appreciate today that much more. Continuing in my studies and reading the Bible and other books about Faith to nourish my soul. To season me into a knowledgeable Christian worthy of God's mercy. Having a new opportunity each day to tackle the obstacles with a peace because I'm grateful to have these challenges. Just as happy as the blessings. Taking the good with the bad and embracing it all, welcoming more of it into my life through fellowship, praise, and a consistent walk. A consistent walk is what i desire most, giving glory regardless of the measure of my day. My day shouldn't be measured by the things I've received anyway, but yet it should be measured by the amount of love, praise and glory I give back to God and his children. Believers and non-believers alike. This Christmas season feels so different to me and yet so important. I feel so grateful and humbled to just experience each day. When I wake in my fathers condo or whether i wake alone in my apartment. If I'm spending time alone or in the company of friends and family. Whether my bank account is happy or if it's starving, either way i feel joy and happiness. Even if I'm exhausted and heavy eyed or filled with bounce off the wall energy, i feel this sense of love and peace. Even when I am baffled over a negative experience, I still deep down under feel a sense of assurance that it will somehow work itself out and can find a calm to get through it. This person I am becoming seems so mature, so happy, so new, so... someone i couldn't have ever imagined becoming in previous years. I love this person so much and can't wait to spend a life time getting to know as much about her as i will allow myself to. I want to stay true to her heart and intentions and hope that my old ways fade eventually and take on her habits forever.

I still see glimpses of the old me, the me that pops out ever so often. The drinker, the party girl, the flirt, the potty mouth, the judger, the mad black angry woman. I love her very much, because without her i could never appreciate where i am now. I still need pieces of her spirit to be the great me I'm intended to be. She wasn't all bad news and her heart was always in the right place regardless of her actions so maybe she wasn't bad at all.

Peace y'all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I love him for sticking by me when I blamed him for my downfalls. I love him for speaking kindly when showing me the errors of my ways. Reassuring me that he loves me unconditionally no matter what my flaws. I love him for waking next to me each morning and laying beside me as I sleep through the night. I love him for protecting me from evil and teaching me not to be evil to others. I love him because he first loved me. I love him because his truth is undeniably amazing and everlasting. I love him for teaching me to love me for me. I love him just because of who HE is. I love others because of the love I have for him. I love him for every lesson and obstacle he placed in my path. I love him for the courage and strength to overcome those obstacles. I love him for the opportunities, blessings, and knowledge I've received. I love him because HE is love. Thank you GOD!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Love Checklist

If you've been keeping up with this blog, you know that one of challenges in life is love and relationships. I prayed and prayed and cried to God many nights to bring me a mate. I finally realized that he had been placing people in my life to comfort me in areas I needed and that would suffice for the moment. I woke up this morning and started reflecting on those lonely days and the things I wanted most. I didn't know it at the time but I was creating a checklist of things I wanted to do as I fall in love.

Now I must say that while I observed other couples doing these things as "Lonely B" I was all "bah-hum- bug, get a room". On the inside I was miserable because I knew I wanted those very things I frowned at. So here it goes, my Love Checklist in no particular order:

- walking down the sidewalk kissing clumsily (because who can really walk side by side and kiss without tripping over their feet?)
- kissing in the car at a red light (because the kiss you got before you got in the car just wasn't enough and the kiss you'll get at the end of the ten minute drive won't do either)
- taking the bus from DC to NY and balling up into each other and falling asleep with your heads pressed together (Tear... Kodak moment)
- riding the subway or some other public place and feeling each other up (to this one I still say "get a room", but when you're that couple feeling each other up you could care less who's looking ;-)
- having a kiss fest in the most random unexpected places (this can happen multiple times at multiple locations, I LOVE a good kiss fest)
- walking hand in hand and when people are in your way, you stay locked together and raise your hands above them because letting go for two seconds would hurt way too much (I realize this one is way sappy, makes you wanna pook, and then some but this is my checklist so live with it... Hee hee hee)
- taking a picture while kissing and capturing that moment for eternity (BBM is to blame for this one, all my girls posts these pics and I want one too) (update: I got the pic now but I aint posting it... Ha ha... Having it is quite enough for me)
- add to this list as many displays of affection, be it public or private, and these are things that bring me closer to my Love, the PG version anyway :-O

What's on your checklist???

Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gifts of Love

Its that time of year! The time when people start emptying their wallets, looking out for any and every sale, racing to the stores for the best deals and the latest trends. The time when highway and sidewalk traffic alike are jam-packed with shoppers eager to make all their loved-one's dreams come true with the material objects of their wish list. It's mind boggling to me at how many folks still make it a  "must" to purchase above and beyond their means just because of the holiday season. Watching the news reports on how spending is down compared to previous years and how will the economy survive and blah blah blah. Who cares if spending is down? Maybe this means that some of our youth will understand the true spirit of the holidays, which has nothing to do with unwrapping that shiny toy, and maybe thats a step in the right direction to stopping the violence with our misguided children. Maybe it means that more families will spend time together in laughter and reminisce on old times and family traditions instead of anticipating the gift exchanging hour. Maybe it means that less of our "overworked and underpaid and always trying to catch a big break so do anything necessary to get a dollar just so you can spend it on an object that will become obsolete in a few months" folks will feel the society encouraging  pressure to go broke or go further into the financial whole they may already be in. Now i say these things in my blog never in judgement because i too have debt, i too like nice shiny electronics, and junk. Im just trying to motivate a few of you as i motivate myself to get away from the materialness of this world and give gifts that you cant put a price tag on. 

This holiday season I'm giving the gift of LOVE. I'm giving myself love, first and foremost, because i cant be in a position to give to anyone else what I don't understand myself. The best way to start loving another person is to love you unconditionally and then spread to others. Im giving love to my amazing GOD for all his mercy and grace bestowed upon me. My faith in him has truly turned me around and i see a lot of things in a more positive light. I'm giving love and time to my boo like I've never given to any man before because i know that "love conquers most" and we'll get through any obstacles if we always give and speak from love. I'm giving love and selflessness to my bestest girlfriends and learning to put myself to the side at times to be a better friend to them. I'm giving love and learning to speak kindly to my family members instead of speaking harsh and passionately judgmental. I'm giving love to my community and seeking new ways to interact with the youth because I love the kids and it touches a special place in my heart to hear their laughter. I'm giving love to strangers and saying hello even when not spoken to and smiling just to brighten a day. I'm giving the best and most valuable gift i can give to anyone and that is the "bayooteefull  joy" of me that comes from the loving God of peace.

It is my sincerest hope that i stay true to my intentions and that I shed some light for the next person to give more than they receive and spread a little more love and time than cents and dollars signs...ha ha ha (that was a cheesy rhyme, i know).

Peace yall!     

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blessed November

It's been a month and two days since my last post and I've been seeking inspiration but the words just haven't come to me. Well that's not totally true but the words that did come to me over the past month were too intimate or too deep to share via blog. What can I say about the month of November? I'll just spit out some words: God, Love, Honesty, Sisterhood, Fellowship, Hurtful Truths, Epiphany, More Illness, Passion, Insight, Knowledge, Testimony, and JOY.

This has been such a bayooteefull month. I attended the spiritual retreat with my great aunt and other elders and gained so much knowledge about God and life and what our elderly Black woman experienced with love, illness, career, family and more when they were my age. It gave me great insight and hope for my future while shedding light on some hurtful truths I need to deal with. On November 18, I recognized the two year mark of mothers passing. It was a happy day because I have so many great memories and a Godly peace came over me that didn't allow me to feel sadness. I understand that all things have a purpose and there are so many reasons why she is not here today is the physical but she is truly here in the spirit and lives through me. I have battled with strep throat once again but it was different this month. I was so upset and scared that it had come back yet a third time that I began to cry and pray and rock all balled up like a baby. I said to God "I don't understand this and I'm making peace with the stressful things in my life and I'm trusting you and doing what you say so why am I sick again? What else are you trying to teach me through illness?". At that moment I was so afraid and had no clue what to do and then my Aunt Mary (great aunt) called and reminded to tap into my lessons from the mountain retreat, "Stay Christ-centered and Christ-focused" she says. I only suffered through one day of that sickness and I am amazed at how quickly God turned that thing around once I gave it over to him. Amen! On to something better...Love... no I'll save that for last, lets talk about career. I didn't give up on the model/acting world after all. After asking one of the sisters on the retreat "How do I succeed in this industry and still please God? I just don't think the two are possible." She said "Stick with it, you never know you may be the only thing of God some of these industry people see. God's trying to show you something." I'm still figuring this one out but Ive been much more patient with myself and this industry. Not allowing the pressure of booking the audition to eat me alive and taking it one day at a time. I also signed on for some extracurricular activities to keep me active and take my mind off things. I'll be part of the leadership team for the next round of acting workshops for Actors In Christ and I start my first volunteer assignment tomorrow reading to kids in Harlem while their parents attend classes to better themselves. Moving on to friendships, Ive mended a bad wound and Sister girl and I are working on the healing everyday. We still haven't figured out our purposes in eachs other lives and perhaps the purpose is just to be in each others lives whether it be through loving or fighting each other (wink wink to her). And of course, Thanksgiving was this month and my youngest niece turned two. It was a fun filled day and those girls never fail to amaze me with their huge personalities and new words. They remind me so much of me and my two sisters growing up, its like a real live flashback. Hugs!!!

Ok, so I think that covers everything or at least a lot about whats been up with me and what God has been doing with this soul of mine. As for love, I will only say that its brewing (huge Julia Roberts all teeth showing smile). I feel like I'm getting my Mojo back and plan to get this blog rolling again. Hope you all had an amazing Turkey Day and gave thanks. But really we should all be giving thanks everyday all day for the wonderfulness of our lives even on the dark days, especially on the dark days.

Peace yall!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let Go of Holding On

"There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won't anymore and who always will. So don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future."

My Pastor sent this to me to help me cope with the changes in my life with friends and habits I've been struggling with. Even though this quote is primarily about people I think it applies to behaviors and habits as well. I've recently been physically ill caused by self induced stress. I've been holding on to angry friendship and negative habits that became toxic in my life and as a result in my body. After months of praying, punishing myself, hiding from the world, illness and deep deep self-evaluation I made a decision to eliminate what I had control over. While I realized that I can't control others actions and words, I have 100% control over my actions and words. I had built up such a habit of negative reactions to certain people in my life that I became someone even I didn't care to be around at times. It took me a while to even realize that I was stressed and that my recurring battle of strep throat and colds were a direct result of the things I held inside. It's been only a few days since I've made leaps into the healing side of this stress. I faced some hurtful issues with a few folks and with myself. I forgave me for any wrong doing and have accepted that as a result certain relationships may be no longer exist in the future but at least I was honest and now I'm free from those burdens. God sat me down literally with illness and showed me the error of my ways and I'm thankful for these days. My Pastor kept saying as long as you hold onto negative feelings and don't confront them you will never get past your illness and he was so right. While I still have a lot of emotional and physical healing to do from what I put myself through these past months I see the light shining ahead. I'm learning to let go of holding on to things, habits, and people that don't fit into the plan God has for me which is all about positive words and love.

Some updates in my world: I'm registering to do volunteer work with youth in NYC, I'm slowly getting back into my auditions with a better mindset and very little pressure on myself to "book it", I'm starting dance classes at Alvin Ailey tomorrow just to get my body used to the rhythm again and then we'll see where it goes, I'm tapping into the all the resources of companionship that God has given me in friends and family and learning to understand that when I need love in my life in the form of a man God will give it to me. That is all.

Peace yall!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sincerely I

Technology has made our world so insincere. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy keeping up with friends and family long distance on Facebook or Skype. Sometimes when life gets too busy, a quick text message is always the easier route until you can make time. But what about when we forget to make time or we've replaced real interactions with text messages, emails, or i-chatting simply because its there?

I've had a cell phone since 1999 and a pager before that and to-date i have more electronics than i know what to do with. On a daily basis I text, email, tweet, Facebook, blog, BBM, and any other source of communication I can find to connect with the world except for making a phone call. This is the case with most of our society too. What happened to the days when you used to "reach out and touch someone". That expression means so much more today than it ever meant back in the day as a phone company slogan. When i pick up the phone and call my aunt, an old friend, my sister, or even my dad it is a touching experience on both sides. You find out all sorts of junk, good and bad about folks when you call them. How many times have you found out something and said to a person why didn't you tell me and their response was something like it was too long to text or I didn't want to send it in an email. And they decided to wait until you made time for them to tell you what was really going on. What if that "time" never came and you or they were gone tomorrow. We think its cute now and days that our parents can text us, but its not. Im ashamed to say i taught my Daddy how to BBM me.

And what about the youth? Sad but true is the fact that we as a society are leaving this as an example for the next generation. Im sure we all know a kid under the age of 13, make that 10, that owns a cell phone. My nieces don't have one but you better believe they no how to pick up that phone and touch the screen and slide those little fingers back and forth imitating us on our touch screens. Parents use the "for emergency only" excuse which is bull... I'll be nice, it's disappointing. At school they have your work or cell number on file for emergencies and when the kids are out playing you tell them to have their butts home before dark. It's lazy parenting and really not a winning reason in my book. I know i don't have kids yet but i pray that i stick to my roots on this topic. When i was growing up we didn't have a key to the front door and if you dared to come home after dark you'd be finding a new place to sleep that night.

The most disturbing thing with this fascination for "phony bologna" communication is that you never know if you're communicating with a real person. Obviously you're chatting with a human but is that their true personality you're getting or some made up character they want to portray. I can attest that I'm a punk and if you want to really know if I'm happy or sad spend some time talking to me on the phone or looking into my eyes. You'll see the truth because i where everything on my sleeve, but if you let me get away with it i'll surely fool you via text message. I am guilty of using technology to mask my pain and portray a happier person at times. The more i started to think about why i became a technology whore i realized that the people I interact with most may be the same way. Masking their true emotions, their true character, and giving some other person they want the world to see and who wants to deal with that? I don't enjoy playing the real or not guessing game, how about you? Don't you want to know with confidence that you're dealing with the real person and not a fake?

I certainly do, so i have to lead by example.
- That means no emotional conversations via text message, words can always be misinterpreted. Do you really want to explain yourself a second time if you already poured your heart electronically?
- If I happen to text someone and get an indication that something is wrong or even if there is big news to be told, I'm picking up the phone and calling.
- When an old friend or loved one crosses my mind, I will do my very best to call right away. Sometimes thats God giving you signs that something is about to happen, so listen to him.

That's a good start for now. So how can you be a more sincere person today? Im sure it's much easier to send a message than dial a person, but nothing worth having or doing is ever easy.

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Best Money I Never Made

Yesterday I shot for an editorial spread of a fashion magazine in DC. I must admit that initially I was nervous about the concept for the shoot. I hadn't heard much about the magazine and because it was a print for tears shoot, I questioned coming down from New York to do it. FYI, print for tears just means you get magazine tearsheets or pages as your compensation instead of money, which can be just as valuable depending on the job. I arrive on set a little late due to a detour and really needed some Starbucks and breakfast. I bypass my belly aches and go straight to the location to be greeted by the male model, some of the lighting crew, and the manicurist...yes I said the manicurist. Let the pampering begin lol. The rest of the team straggled in one by one and what should've been a 9am start turned into like an 11am start. The entire crew was very laid back and full of positive energy. With the exception of the photographer and one crew guy, the team was African American...even better.

After our group meeting to discuss the concept and go over wardrobe, hair, and makeup I felt relieved. The clothes were some of the hottest fall fashions I'd seen and way out of my budget so I was getting a treat all around. Off to hair and makeup we go. I have the manicurist perfecting my nubs and the hairstylist curling my stresses while the makeup artist engages me in conversation with the stylist too. After we all start sharing our stories, I discover that while I live in NY, the other ladies all travel to NY on a regular basis for work. Awesomeness... I think I just found my new glam squad. We all shared our challenges with being single females holding down multiple jobs, juggling dreams, relationships, health, wealth, and free time. We all quickly agreed that it was refreshing to hear other woman share the same frustrations in this industry. Its even more comforting that we are all black woman from different areas of the industry experiencing the same tests of life. It helped reassure me that I'm not in this alone, others go through the same struggle and wake up each day to do it all again and have Faith. It was laughs and giggles all day on set and that was just the therapy I required. I needed a refreshing experience in the industry, a positive experience. It was great to share similarities with other females and get a sense of reality. To snap out of my slump and get back to business.

I networked with a great team that I'm sure I'll be seeing again in some capacity. The male model, photographer, crew member and myself went out for sushi afterwards and continued to share the positive energy that was displayed on set. We laughed so hard at dinner with all our story telling, it was the best. I returned home to my dads house, after a 12 hour day, much happier than I left that morning. My doubts about giving up a week in NYC were long gone. I couldn't have thought up a better day on the job and it was surely the Best Money I Never Made.

Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Express Yourself!

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou

"It grounds us in our own wisdom and clarity that emerges when we open our heart and put pen to paper." - Susan L. Taylor

Open your heart and put pen to paper or blog in my case or however you choose to express yourself. I have found great strength in this blog as i type from the heart and exercise very little censoring of myself with my words. My initial intention for this blog was to speak on my dark past and the ugly realities of my world to show people that outer appearances do not reflect your real life. It turned into an amazing journey for me to be honest with myself regardless of who is reading and speak open heartedly about what's on my mind. I've invited family, friends, and strangers to read my blog hoping that i may inspire someone. Whether it be to inspire someone to take a second look at how they treat me because they judged this book by its cover. Or simply to inspire someone that may share a similar story as mine. We learn about life's lessons through our testimony and others.

The biggest freedom I've received recently from expressing myself through this blog is my spiritual freedom. I've always been very cautious not to ruffle feathers on the topics of religion and spiritual beliefs. Well i may ruffle all sorts of feathers these days and its because my Faith is giving me a confidence and a courage that i cant keep a secret. My world had been a roller coaster, upside down and looped and curved and my strengthened Faith is bringing me to a straight and narrow path to God's plan. So i don't worry these days about what readers may think of my entries or who is offended if I say something here that unintentionally hits close to home. One of my purposes as a Christian is to teach non-believers through my testimony, so i will continue to be nothing but honest and document my journey with God in this life.

I've received several compliments from readers and it is very humbling. Initially I was bummed that i only had 3 followers and still only 8. But the number of people who have actually took the time to read my blog and peak into my world and shared their thoughts with me are truly appreciated. Im not doing this for recognition but in the hopes that just one person will be moved to do better or learn from my decisions to make smarter choices. If it turns out to be an entertaining read along the way than "so be it" or Amen as my Aunt Mary would say.

I encourage all who are reading and through prayer those who are not reading this blog to start writing today. Pick up a journal, a piece of paper from the copier if you're at work, type in a Word document if no paper is around. I journal on my phone in the notes section or a drafted email to myself if necessary. Open your heart and jot down your sincere thoughts and desires and feelings. Be honest with yourself about what you need and want at that very moment. Don't hold back any area of your life; love, career, family, health, wealth. I guarantee that if you get quiet and listen to what your heart has to say you'll learn something about you good or bad that you didn't know. I also challenge you to do this often and compare your entries. Don't be afraid if your desires and thoughts are completely different from one entry to the next. It just means you're figuring out what you truly sincerely want out of life. My blog is a great example of that, my monkey brain is all over the place sometimes, swinging from limb to limb, from ideas and thoughts and emotions. Were human so it's going to happen. But it's part of what makes us amazing creatures of God with free will to do anything we set our minds to.

So how bout it? Will you start expressing yourself in whatever manner suits you? I read someones Facebook or Twitter post complaining that everyone thinks they're an author now because there are so many blogs about numerous topics online today. I say to that person "that's hogwash" because you don't ever want to discourage another person from being who they are, from feeling what they feel and speaking their mind as long as they don't intentionally offend anyway. I'm not saying go out and write a book but if you have a story to tell, it's gonna hurt like hell until you release it, so let it go!

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Losing My Balance

I feel like I'm walking a tight-rope of limbo between believing and doubting.

After being surrounded by thousands of people on the cruise and spending another week at my dads place, I was overjoyed to walk through the doors of my apartment. My bed, my tv, my kitchen that actually has food in it, my shower, my closet... I missed them all so much. My first night back was awesome and i went to bed almost immediately. I woke the next morning eager to see if the down time had done me some good. I just knew that I'd return home refreshed and ready to take on the world. Time away from all the craziness of the city, my old habits, friends, bills, responsibility, and all of my normal life were non existent over the past few weeks. It didn't take long for the worries, anxieties, never-ending thoughts to creep back into my world and disturb me. Wondering if my agencies would send me on castings right away since I'd been gone for over two weeks. Fearing that my positive energy would be chewed up and spit out by the harsh reality of New York City. Praying that a check would come in the mail so i could relax a bit and not stress if i didn't get any castings this week. Tripping because I want to move full speed ahead in my new relationship but God keeps showing me signs that i need to slow down. Worrying about what the next stretch of my career will look like and if my true purpose will be revealed sooner than later. Thinking maybe this is the career I'm supposed to be in but I'm not applying myself in the right way. Contemplating giving it all up as i search for corporate jobs on Craigslist. Stressing over family issues, love, friendship, job, money, Everything, all my challenges, came rushing back to greet me this week. I know it's happening because I'm letting them in, may as well be standing with the door wide open saying "Come on in, doubts and fears, you're welcomed here." sigh!!!!! 

If I've learned anything in all my readings over the past few months it has to be that "you just have to keep the faith and believe no matter what, that God has a plan and that it'll work out in ways that are best for you according to his plan not yours." I'm allowing my frustrations to get the best of me again when i should be turning it over to God. Losing the balance I felt I had in my quiet time this past month. Perhaps i need to take another chill-pill and really get serious about my Faith. I know it doesn't happen overnight and I still and always will have much to learn. I had a long talk with my Auntie yesterday and she was teaching me how to pray and talk to God and listen to him. I'm going on my first spiritual retreat with her next month and I'm so elated (thats my big word for the day lol) about that trip. Im still tying to figure out how to make this industry, this relationship, this life work for the bigger picture of pleasing God and I'm confident that in time i'll have the answers. I need to work on keeping my balance in the meantime. I wanna be on the right side of this tight rope of limbo between believing and doubting.      

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Remembering the Islands

I'm sitting on the beach in St. Croix as it rains, running my hands back and forth through the clumpy sand as the cold water splashes up on my legs. So therapeutic. I'm zooming on the jet ski in St. Lucia going full speed ahead toward the mountain, so enormous it takes my breath away. So stress relieving. I'm back floating in the warm clear waters of Barbados, smiling and staring at the sun peaking through the clouds. So in touch with God. I'm staring at the clouds and the ocean that run along this ship to Antigua, perfectly fluffy and blue. So humbled and grateful for this opportunity. I see the lizards, the natives, the hills, and the rocks of St. Maarten, all of the bayooteefull creatures of this island. So appreciative of all His creatures. I love the islands and the islands loved me back. It was a little "peace" of Heaven.

Peace y'all!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


What to talk about, what to talk about? Today I'm filled with joy and humility and gratefulness and love and peace. I finished "Purpose Driven Life" and am half way through "the 2nd most important book you'll ever read" and my Bible readings are so intriguing. I've been reading multiple chapters as opposed to my one chapter a day plan. I'm taking the week off and resting in DC at my dads while i recover from a second battle with strep throat. I received one casting for the week so far and i couldn't be happier. I feel amazing spiritually and am so grateful to have this down time to learn about myself and God and truly focus and plan the next chapter of my life. Im not worried too much or really at all about tomorrow and am happy living in the moment of today because I know I'm blessed. I gained some amazing friends through this journey and had to let go of some old ones. I'm experiencing challenges in every area of my life and I'm humbled by all that I'm learning as a result. I'm motivated more and more to share my story with believers and non-believers by letting my light shine. Part of my responsibility as a new Christian is to encourage others to find strength in God and seek his love as I have chosen to do. I can't count the numerous ways in which I feel blessed. The lessons, confidence, knowledge, love, peace, joy, and overall happiness i feel can only be attributed to him. It makes me feel so excited about the future because i know i have much to learn and will surely be broken down again before I'm lifted up to a greater height of understanding through my spirituality. When i think of the old "me" just a few months back i would have been a mess under my current circumstances. No jobs lined up, sick again, finances not as i desire, family arguing...yup, a total mess. But I'm not because i have Faith; through my readings, my time in church, with my Pastor, talks with God, lessons from other believers, and lots of quiet time. Even where men are concerned he has blessed me with a slow patient relationship built on friendship and not lust. Im doing my best to keep this new relationship as God has planned and not how i think it should go. I'm all around humbled and amazed at the life in front of me. And all I had to do was believe! WOW!

Peace y'all!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sailing Away

Back to reality or at least back to the States for me and the family. Some had a great time while others couldn't wait to dock in Puerto Rico so they could run screaming from the ship. It's so interesting to see how different people handle life, even as i view the members of family. Seven adults with seven opinions, backgrounds, habits, beliefs, personalities, and ways of doing things. We had some great highs and some hurtful lows while traveling together this past week and all walked off the ship with a new view of each other based on how we handled them. Although most of us will try not to judge and still love one another unconditionally. Others will left bruised and bitter, not knowing when they will reach out to family again. It's sad, but true, that my family has yet another wedge planted amongst us over petty nonsense that could have been avoided if we all remember to place ourselves in each other shoes a little more. Remembering the bigger picture for this trip to place our mother to rest and to bond as a family during this special moment. It's very unfortunate that after the incident occurred we no longer rejoined as one group aboard the ship but as small units here and there bypassing or avoiding each other. I can only pray that this trip has provided an eye opener for more of my family members and not just me. I pray that those who made decisions based in love continue to do so and appreciate all they have in front of them. I pray that those who made decisions out of selfishness, anger, or insecurities can learn from this trip to take a long look in the mirror and honestly find peace with those issues and find a way to heal.

Whether it's family or friends or a complete stranger, it takes a positive forgiving loving mindset to rise above ridiculous words and actions. Yielding your behavior to others in the name of love and peace and acting like an adult as opposed to a child who throws temper tantrums and has no regard for who they impact. If we can somehow, even one day at a time, develop small pieces of that mindset this world or at least my family would've step off this ship much happier than is actually true.

I could spend seven more days at sea and shut myself off from reality. But its back to the real world and this trip has enlightened me so much about the person i am and desire to be moving forward. Im sailing away from the senselessness and sailing towards the purpose-filled positivity.

Peace and Love y'all!

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

That Don't Impress Me Much

"At some point in life you have to decide if you want to impress people or influence people?...Our strengths create competition, our weaknesses create community." -Purpose Driven LIfe

This chapter ended with the question: "Am I limiting God's power in my life by trying to hide my weaknesses?" I thought this was an appropriate question for my life right now, even as I take this trip with my family. My relatives don't often get to see the real me, the flawed me. They often see the me that is in control, on top of all the family needs, doesn't worry about money and has an answer for everything. That "me" they see is so far from the truth. Part of it i know is that people see what they want to see and the bigger part i know is because i lead them to believe that is the real me. My baby sister has a very sensitive personality to say the least and she made a comment that stuck in my head. "I think we'll stop bumping heads if I just decide to let you have the last word everytime". Its not the fact that she thinks I need to have the last word that bothers me, anyone who knows me knows that i don't often back down from a challenge no matter how small. That's an issue to be discussed in a later I think what bothered me is that in all of my compulsive controlling habits and my need to appear that I'm on top of things, I've made my sister feel somewhat inferior to me. The whole "Golden Child" syndrome is not what i ever intended for my relationship with my sister to be, but i think it explains us. My constant correction of her errors or Nick-picks about her quirks that come from a place of love can often seem like judgment and comparison to myself in her eyes.

When i apply this thought to other relationships in my life i see how I've made some of my past friends and boyfriends feel inferior to me and also how some behaviors of current people in my life have made me feel inferior to them. All that does is bring negative feelings and a need to prove yourself to the person you feel inferior to which creates negative competition. As long as you are comparing yourself to another human being and not God, you'll never win. I realize that one could say I'm too hard on myself at times and isn't it the responsibility of the person that is comparing themselves to you to learn that they should compare themselves with God? Most people have the attitude of "Well all i can do is be me, its not my fault is they're jealous because of what i got or who I am?". Thats not a humbled mindset and also not a person that draws people closer to them. A humbled person understands that you have to step down off your "ladder of pride" and show others that look up to you that you have flaws just like they do. Show them that you hurt and feel pain just like they do and cry at night and have insecurities just as they do. You connect better with people when you're real not perfect. Sometimes that ladder of pride is really just denial because you probably don't have half as much going on as you lead others to believe anyway. The sooner you admit your weaknesses to yourself and to others the sooner you can turn them into strengths and build healthier relationships.

I choose to influence people versus impressing them and that's gonna take some honest work on myself. I've been flipping myself inside out and exposing my weaknesses, so they can be offered up and turned into strengths. That doesn't mean I'm opening myself up to scrutiny from the world or that every flaw i have needs fixing. But it feels good to embrace your quirks and no longer require the approval of people who stand in judgment and highlight each one of them. Day by day their voices get softer and softer in my head and i start to hear Peace get louder and louder. With that being said i also want to help the people who hear my voice as a loud judging horn in their lives by humbling myself and choosing my words wisely, becoming a voice of Peace to them.

Peace y'all!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Too Perfect to Plan

So it's Day 3 of the family cruise to Barbados and the Virgin Islands. It's been interesting to say the least. Let's recap... I came down with a bad cold as soon as we sailed and have been in the bed most of the first two days. My sis in law caught whatever i have and she spent the last day in bed and in pain. My brother's back gave out on him so he's in constant pain. My sister got a migraine from being in the sun all day in Barbados and she spent most of the day in bed. My baby sis is naturally a hypochondriac so she always has something going on. That leaves my dad who always has ankle pain and my nephew who is in heaven right now because he can drink and gamble on the ship at the age of 19. I realized at dinner that if anyone were watching us on camera these first few days they would definitely think we were a pill popping hypochondriac My teenage "hormone-enraged, all over the place, cant remember nothing but where da party at" nephew is as normal as we get right now.

Today was the day we spread my mothers ashes in Barbdaos and it was nothing like i expected it to be. I think i envisioned a very dramatic emotional moment and it was far from that. We got off the ship to be bombarded by taxi drivers encouraging us to take a trip to this beach and that beach for 100 bucks. Followed by my brother walking around to different drivers to see who he could hustle for a cab deal. He said if they're charging $100, Im gonna get it for $50. My baby sister decided she had to get her free gift they promised at 10am so she didnt want to go to the beach yet. Im thinking "Really??? Didnt we come here to place our mother to rest and you worried about a cheap gold charm gift". Had to take a deep breathe and just listen to the island music on that one. My dad is always the peace maker so he took her inside and she got her way and then we went to find my brother. We ended up paying $60 to go to a beach about 15 minutes from the pier for 2 hours. We get to the beach and it's not as secluded as we thought it would be for our intended purpose. Were immediately greeted again by the locales offering jet skis, beach chairs, and bottled water for purchase. We opt for two out of three, lounging in the chairs while we sip our water and watch others splash around in the ocean. Keeping in the back of my mind, that we only have two hours to find a location, spread the ashes and get back to the cab, im scoping out places while I kick around and take pictures with my sisters. I see something that looks like a pier to walk out on and decide to go check it out. My nephew follows behind me and joins for the walk. We bypass the pier and proceed to a set of rocks that run along the water that look like the perfect spot. We arrive, after taking the ten minute walk in the 100 degree sun in jeans for him and a long black dress for me. Although the rocks were covered with what i can only describe as "spider crabs" and hermit crabs it was the perfect location. There weren't any people on that end of the beach and the rocks provided the cliff-like atmosphere we desired. We took a few pics and, as sick as i was, i challenged my nephew to a jog back to our chair rentals. After a few frustrating comments from the family about the distance to the rocks in the heat, we gathered our stuff and started the long journey to our mothers final resting place. Sweated out and in need of more water we place our bags down and got ready to climb the rocks. One problem...neither my dad or brother could climb the rocks and my sis in law was like "yeah right". We settled for walking in the ocean right in front of the rocks then drifted out further then we planned. Instead of taking a peaceful moment to say words and strategically place the ashes, we rushed and laughed and screamed at one another to hurry up and release them. "These waves are getting too high" "I'm not trying to get my whole outfit wet" "Turn to the camera so she can see the ashes flying" "Look there's a big fish coming!". I quickly dumped the remainder of the ashes into the water while trying to hold my dress up so i didn't take any with me...lmao. It was the most unexpected, unplanned, non-strategic ceremony anyone could have ever done for their loved one, which made it the most sincere heart-filled perfect moment because that's my family at its best. I may try to plan every detail out and prepare for incidentals. But when it comes to life, love, and family you can plan these things, you have to let them be. My nephew kept chasing the fish as my sister yelled for him to stop because it turned out to be a baby shark. I lost my flip flops in the commotion and me and my sisters found them in separate locations of the water. Still cant believe i found them, but the water is so clear that you can see anything when the sand settles. We all walked away from the rocks completely soaked and sweaty, but laughing and happy. We finally, after almost two years, placed Tia Juana Clarke as she wished in the waters of her favorite vacation spot, Barbados.

I thank God again for making this trip possible and for giving us the strength to pull together as a family for moments like this. Also, for not allowing any of us to be thrown over board by any one of us... YET! 4 more days to go.

Peace y'all.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gifts of Life

We've all been given unique spiritual gifts. We sometimes become dissatisfied when others don't share our gifts or we weren't given the same gifts from God as others. God planned our individual gifts so that we may need each other. If we had all the gifts in life we wouldn't need for anything or anyone, then what would our Purpose be?

Peace yall

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Playing Hookie

I started by writing this in my journal but it'll be my blog entry for the day as well.

I'm so thinking about playing hookie from this casting today. I didn't respond to the agency until well after the office was closed last night to confirm that I'd be there. I awake this morning to feelings of regret because I don't really want to go. I'm not sure if its because I've convinced myself that this industry has been the tool to bring out my darkness and I'm using that as an excuse to be lazy. Or am I really truly done with the ups and downs of daily castings, grumpy New Yorkers, hustle and bustle and so on. Even after a few days of peace in my NJ apartment, I always return to the city for castings angry. Stomping the pavement in a hurry, even if I'm not in a rush, to get to this appointment, gotta make it here in five minutes, can't be late for this one its a BIGGY! I could be having a good day and I'd find myself walking with somewhat of a frown on my face for no good reason, not that there is a good reason to have a frown on your face. I heard some say that NYC is the Devil's playground ... hmmmmmm! I've been learning that my journey with God and my spiritual maturity will not come from seclusion. It is just as important to interact with other believers and non-believers as it is important to have alone time with God. You don't know how strong your Faith is until tested by others. I know I can't hide in my apartment forever but can't I get one more day, today...Pretty please? Lol

I probably won't go to the casting but I will make a promise to myself to seek answers to my questions about my current occupation. I return from my trip next Monday and that'll give me over a week to have talks with God and talks with myself and prayerfully take the next step towards my new or re-prioritize purpose.

Peace yall!

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Measure of Success

One cannot measure their level of success by comparing it to another's. Your success is defined by you. Its easy and quite honestly lazy to put yourself side by side with anyone in life and think "well I have this but they have that" or "yeah they accomplished this but I did too and even better". We're all guilty of taking the easy road and jumping on the band wagon and doing what others are doing instead of using our own brains and truly finding our purpose. We get disappointed and frustrated when we don't accomplish the goals we set, but they perhaps weren't the right goals to set in the first place if you were basing them on what other people do. It takes much more faith and energy to trust in the Lord to create your success through the opportunities in front of you. Our life experiences make us who we are and even if two people appear to be on the same playing field they really are not. Their personal circumstances such as finances, beliefs, upbringings, environment, energy, actions, and more determine how their life will turn out. You can put two people through the same scenario and they will surely have different outcomes. Take my siblings and I for example. We were all raised in the same household with the same parents and the same beliefs. And as adults we couldn't be farther from similar. How we all took our experiences and analyzed them and made life decisions around them makes us different. Its one of the bayooteefull things about being God's creatures, no two of us are exactly alike. So understanding this should put us at peace with our own circumstances. Trusting that we all go through our trials for a purpose, the purpose that only applies to us as individuals. Not to be compared or judged against others and to be appreciated as stepping stones on our own paths to greatness.

I'm searching for my purpose. I can't expect to be successful or even define success without first understanding my purpose.

Peace yall!
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Baking A Cake

"To bake a cake you must use flour, salt, raw eggs, sugar and oil. Eaten individually, each is pretty distasteful or even bitter. But bake them together and they become delicious. If you will God all your distasteful, unpleasant experiences, he will blend them together for good." - from Purpose Driven Life

This passage about baking a cake, spoke to me because I'm currently laying out my distasteful behaviors and facing them and sending them up to God to make me better. I'm witnessing so many dark thoughts and feelings I have inside and it is somewhat embarrassing to myself. Its like I'm living this life but I'm also stepping outside of myself and watching me. I've been beating myself up by some of what i see in me. I keep reminding myself that I deserve my own love and forgiveness first before i can offer it to anyone else. So every time i think a nasty thought, i apologize to myself and then forgive myself. I can say that I've been apologizing to myself a lot lately. It had me frustrated and ready to give up initially. Asking myself and God "If i believe in you more now than i ever have and you know my hearts intentions, why do you let me think this way, why do you not stop these feelings and make me happy and peaceful all the time?" I'm realizing that its not that easy and as a good friend said "he will surely break me down before he builds me up". I cant expect that now because my Faith is stronger that i will automatically change my ways. Matured spirituality takes time and diligence and is not promised to be perfect or sugar coated or easy. My Faith is in the infancy stage and I have to learn to crawl and fall down several times before i can walk.

The ingredients of my cake are jealousy, anger, gossip, promiscuity, cursing, alcohol, judgement, and then some. I know that none of these ingredients are Christ-like and at the same time i know that I'm human and will go through these things in life. I am learning to love me and forgive me for all my previous and future sins and trust that God is baking an amazing cake with these ingredients that are my life experiences.

Peace y'all!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Singing My Song

I woke up this morning with a smile on my face, And nobody's gonna bring me down, today. Been feeling like nothing's been going my way, lately but I decided right here right now, that my outlook's gonna change. That's why I'm gonna...

Say goodbye to all the tears I've cried everytime somebody hurt my pride.
Feelin like they won't let me live life and take the time to look at what is mine. I see every blessing so clearly,
And I thank God for what I got from above.

I believe they can take anything from me, but they can't succeed in taking my inner peace from me. They can say what they wanna say, about me but I'm gonna carry on, Imma keep on, Singin' my song!

I never wanna dwell on the pain, again, oooh no, no. It's no use in relivin' how I hurt back then, oh no, no. Rememberin' too well the hell I felt when I was running outta faith. Every step I'm 'bout to take, well it's towards a better day. Cause I'm about to...

Say farewell to every single lie and all the fears I've held too long inside. Every time I felt I couldn't try, all the negativity and strife.

I believe they can take anything from me, but they can't succeed in taking my inner peace from me. They can say what they wanna say, about me but I'm gonna carry on, Imma keep on, Singin' my song!

Every time I tried to be what they wanted from me, It never came naturally. So I ended up in misery was unable to see all the good around me.
Wasted so much energy on, what they thought of me than simply just rememberin to breathe. I'm humanly unable to please everyone at the same time, so now I find my peace of mind, livin' one day at a time.

In the end I answer to one God, comes down to one love till I get to heaven above. I have made the decision never to give in, till the day I die no matter what.

I'm gonna carry on, Imma keep on, Singin' my Song!

"Singing My Song" by Christina Aguilera

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Fellowship of Friends

Fellowship (n) - a. The condition of sharing similar interests, ideals, or experiences, as by reason of profession, religion, or nationality. b. The companionship of individuals in a congenial atmosphere and on equal terms.

I need love instead of lust, I need true friendship instead of superficial "perfect" friends and I need to be a true friend, I need spiritual guidance instead of doing things my way. I get it now or I'm "getting" it now (work in progress). Its amazing what you discover about yourself, your life, your friends, your beliefs, your everything when you just sit and talk with God and with yourself. I've realized so much over the past month or two through my readings, talks with God, attendance in church, and conversations with friends and family. Most of my reality has me longing for a more sincere, true relationship and commitment, whether it be family, friends, love, career, and religion. Learning about fellowship of all kinds made me realize that I don't or didn't have many true sincere fellowships (relationships with others to be honest with me, hold me accountable, and help guide me to do be a better person or vice versa). Yes I have friends that challenge me (mostly for their own benefit of being right), elders that give words of encouragement (but not aggressively nudging me down any particular path), and loves or lusts that appear to have my best interest at heart (but when things get serious, all you see is the dust they kicked up when leaving). I don't say these things to offend or blame anyone because it is and has always been my responsibility to demand sincere, healthy, progressive relationships.

My biggest challenge today is my fellowship with friends. I've been guilty, more than once, of letting anger build up inside me and then exploding on friends and telling them all the things they did to hurt me and how bad of a friend they are and blah blah blah. Taking very little responsibility for my part or dismissing my contribution to the situation as I'm human or I've done more for them so I have the right to point these sharp, piercing fingers. Definitely not the best way to have handled things. Even with those friends that haven't had major arguments with, I still judge them in my mind and observed their every move comparing myself to them.

The one thing I'm working so hard at is not placing blame anywhere but here with me. Taking accountability for my part of any wrong doings or even any part of half-ass good intentions. We all mean well but sometimes fall short of seeing things through especially when it isn't necessarily our concern. I want to be a true friend and get involved in my friend's lives and be someone that helps them for the better and I want that in return.

I put a challenge out to my closest female friends to help me be a better friend. When I say closest, I mean the females I interact with the most. Some of these were new friends, some old, and some are relatives. I challenged them to eliminate gossip, be open and honest even if it hurts, to encourage and motivate each other, to only speak words of love and not judgment. I also apologized for any judgment I've passed against them. I have heard back from a few and appreciate the candidness of some of the responses. I'm at peace with not hearing back from others and with the selection of words from those that did respond. I realize that while I have to focus on my spiritual journey, so do others. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, flaws, comments, habits, and such. It is not for me to gossip, compare, judge, or criticize anyone in life except for myself. And even with myself I need to have an attitude of love and forgiveness for the things I've done and will continue to do.

For now I keep my petty thoughts and comments not based from LOVE to myself and I pray that with each day, as I form better habits, that these thoughts will be no more. I'm striving for a true fellowship of friendship with the females in my world.

Peace yall!

"For all have sinned and fall short to the Glory of God". - Romans 3:23

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Lies Behind

"Disregard what lies behind and press forward... Trust God!" - from Joel Osteen

As part of my spiritual studies, I've been learning to live in the moment and Trust that God has my future planned out perfectly. After my daily email forward, I'm thinking in order to do that I also have to let go of the past. I can't press on and be open to God's love and lessons if I'm still bitter and holding onto past pains and even past accomplishments.

I can't say that I want true unconditional love if I still resent and hold anger to the men that I've allowed to hurt me . I certainly can't expect it if I'm not willing to let go of past loves (or lusts) that have far moved on from me. I can't desire to have a strong sisterhood with my female friends if I hold on to the past hurts. Not just the hurts they may have subjected me to, but the past hurt of not having any true friends for most of my adolescent life, not even a close sister to sister relationship. I can't say that I want to be successful and forever growing in my career if I allow the rejections to hold me back. Playing over in my mind what I could have done differently to seal the deal. Even in my spirituality, I can't say I truly want to know God and feel his Love if I constantly remind myself of the hypocrisy and disgust that I grew up around in the most "religious" people in my life.

I have to trust the Love, the Friends, the Opportunities, and above all the God that is in front of me today and allow that to drive me forward. So I'm learning to Let Go and Let God drive me forward and intentionally disregard what lies behind!

Peace yall!

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friend of God

Heavenly Father, thank You for being my friend today. Thank You for loving me and being faithful to me. Help me understand Your friendship today so that I can be a better friend to those around me. In Jesus' Name. Amen. -from Joel Osteen

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gut Punch Love

Like a boxer preparing themselves for the next blow. I hold my breath, tighten my abs, and guard myself from the punch I know I'm about to endure. Whether its an unanswered phone call, an unwanted response to a question, or even an unforeseen out of no where call from you. I brace myself for the next series of gut punch blows of love I'll get from this never ending love affair for you I seem to have with myself.

Everytime you step back into my world I think its a sign. Just when I'm almost at the line of letting you go, you come back. You call, you text, I see your picture somewhere and I think maybe I should turn back. I pray to think differently.

Everytime you step back into my world I know its a test. Just when I'm almost at the line of letting you go, you come back. You call, you text, I see your picture somewhere and I know I should cross that line and let go.

Just felt like sharing. Peace yall!

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hot Shower

Can't tell you how amazing it felt to come home and wash "today" off of me. From spiritual challenges with new friends, lessons from God with old friends, entertaining concerns from others that aren't my concern, a broken phone, drama at the bank with my rent check, sore feet from the streets of NYC, a hot sweaty body from the unexpected blazing sun, a bday party that I had to make it to in spite of wanted to run home and cry after a day like this, and a call from an old yet still mending love wound. Each beat of that water felt like warm arms embracing me. Pulling me in close and telling me that "it'll be ok, just let us wash away all your worries and failures of today and give you a refreshed assurance that tomorrow will be better". As the massage head kneaded into my stressed and tightened shoulder muscles, I felt relief with every stroke. As I stood with my eyes closed I drifted into a Paradise that sailed far far away from this day and onto a brighter, joyous tomorrow. Upon opening my eyes to realize I am only standing in my shower, I close them quickly to return to Paradise. Trusting and believing each drop of water which equaled the number of prayers I said silently today to get me through. Listening only to my voice and the splash of water on the shower curtain. Both reminding me that nothing worth having is easy, so if Peace is what I desire it will not come easy. However, this blissful hot shower was a little bit of Peace until the real deal comes. The only thing that could have made this shower better was hotter water and multiple massaging shower heads. One for my neck, two for each shoulder, one for my lower back, and one to pulsate up and down the lumbar of my back. I feel so refreshed and ready for pleasant dreams to take me into tomorrow. Ready to sleep peacefully and awake tomorrow with a better attitude and embrace the new day. Whew!!! Never will I underestimate the power of a hot shower! Peace yall!

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mind Renewal

Haven't felt like doing much blogging. Not because I don't want to share but because I've been so deep into these books that I'd rather read then write. As I mentioned in my last entry, I've been actively studying God and learning and answering many questions I've had for years. Putting an end to all my speculations and curiosities and letting go of my fear of religious hypocrisy in the world and in my family. It really has me evaluating lots of current habits and people in my life. It is so true that old habits just don't seem as entertaining once you seek a more God-like life. Gossip, cursing, money, sex, even drinking doesn't hold my interests too much these days. I'm not saying those desires are gone but they aren't the driving force in my daily thoughts and there are so many other desires that are capturing my interests these days. I'm resetting my mindset for the better and doing away with old worries, negative thoughts, negative or even stifling friendships and people.

"The only relationship I'm truly concerned about during my studies is my relationship with God." It took a while for me to be comfortable with that statement. As I began to commit to my current lesson plan, friends have made comments and that is a deterrent from staying focused. Fear of being judged because all of a sudden I'm talking all this holy talk. But then I thought, "I don't really care if people notice a change in me, its a change for the better". If people are talking then that means I'm doing something I didn't do before and that's a great thing from where I sit. And actually I'm learning that so much of what's in the Bible and in the other books to assist me in reading the Bible are right in line with what I've believed to be true all along. Its been challenging but in a natural way because these books are speaking the truth. I spent so much time running from the Bible and God and church and any conversation of any sort most of my life and now it comes so natural to me. So I'm focusing on strengthening my spirituality which will in return strengthen every aspect of my life and I can't tell you how joyful that makes me. I've had some unexpected people enter my life recently to assist me with my spiritual journey. I love them for helping me even if they don't know their intended purpose in my life.

I'm still ME, just a "work in progress, change for the better, mind renewed and refreshed" ME. I have a lot more to learn and a lot more to read but I'm humbled every day and every second that I think about my future mind and where I'm headed. Old habits die hard, but with spiritual diligence I know it'll happen. The way I see, I've spent the last 30 years of my life doing things my way and yes I've been happy and had accomplishments and am a good person with a good heart but I know there is much more to this life. I think I'll spend the next 30 years under someone else's guidelines and see if I'm not much more accomplished and happier and good with an even bigger heart. Peace yall!

"And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..." - Romans 12:2 (KJV)

Current Books: Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, All about Love by Susan L Taylor, and The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read by Dan Patrick.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

School of Life

STUDENT NAME: BJ Gianni Clarke
CREDITS RECEIVED: Dancing, Cheerleading, Big Sistering, Accounting, Cosmetology, Bartending, Cancer Patient Caregiving, Youth Mentoring, Best Friending, Broken Heart 101-103, Modeling, Acting, Pharmaceutical Documenting, Minor in Home Improvements and Mechanical Work, non-fluent in Spanish, Telemarketing, Credit Card Customer Service Rep, Horse Betting Teller, Hostess with the Mostest...

Out of all my life experiences the current one is proving to be the most challenging and I'm confident will be the most rewarding. My latest study in life is knowledge of GOD and seeking my purpose. I mentioned recently that I've been questioning my current career choice. It is not as fulfilling as I anticipated and some days just feels like the same monotony of a 9-5 or a Hamster wheel job. Just running and running on the wheel doing the same thing day in and day out and getting no where. Yes my resume has bigger better credits than a year ago but its still the same Rat Race of an industry as it was when I first started. Anywho, I've been doing some major thinking and this book has me pondering all sorts of questions. What's the one thing I should stop doing and the one thing I should start doing in this life? What would my friends and family say is the driving force for my life? Is it money, family, greed, envy??? Has me understanding that I need to understand my purpose for this life. Even if all the other things I've accomplished in life so far were meant to be. Which I believe they are, every thing happens for a reason and those were all stepping stones to lead me to the current cross road of my life. I need to find my true purpose in life.

Some look at all the things I've accomplished and all the skills I have and call me a "well-rounded person", but it occurred to me after reading a quote that, I may be just like the Hamster on the wheel. Just constantly doing stuff to be doing stuff. When one project is over, I seek the next thing to get my hands into that will temporarily fulfill me. I've changed career paths every two years from the time I started working at the age of 16. I'd get bored and seek a new challenge only to end up repeating the same process about every two years...until now. I've been modeling technically for about ten years but professionally for the past 3 years and I'm getting that itch again. That lack of a challenge. I want this next challenge, this next chapter to fulfill my true purpose in life. It may turn out that this is the career for me, the state I should reside in, the relationship status I should have, the "whatever" God has put me here to do. But I want that reassurance, that sign from above, or a spiritual diploma, if you will, that I'm doing the right thing. I'm not concerning myself with others problems and not taking any prisoners on this journey. It's been a bit sad thus far because I have very little interest in some of the things I used to do and I felt I was losing myself. I know now that I am actually discovering the true "me" and that change is necessary for "her" to be revealed.

I've always been a front row in class kind of student and all my classmates know I raised my hand a million times to ask the teacher questions. When the teacher would say "any questions?" right before class was over, they would turn and look at me with an evil eye. Silently saying, "you betta not ask a question, its almost lunch time"... Lol! This journey of learning shouldn't be any different. I shall raise my hands as often as possible and seek the answers (PRAY!). I shall be confident that my teacher is well qualified in giving me the knowledge I seek (BELIEVE!). I shall attend class every day and be on-time for fear of detentions and punishment and letters home to Mommy (DISCIPLINE and DILIGENCE!) All this will surely lead to my graduation of understanding and bring so many great things in the process (RECEIVE!)

Peace yall!

"Never confuse activity with productivity."

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crazy Bayooteefull Mind

Its been a rough week...well it's been a long week. Lots of praying, thinking, contemplating, decision making, and conferences with my spiritual circle. I've started to blog many times but couldn't complete a thought so I figured I'd use all the drafts and do the excerpts of my mind. 

Spiritual Warfare:
This is what my Aunt Mary says I'm going through. Ive always reached out to her when lacking motivation or in need of spiritual guidance, even before i decided to open my heart to God and learn all about him. I spoke with her about my current challenges, thoughts, and frustrations and my new found faith and desire to learn about  God. She said I'm battling with my spirit and my flesh and its time for decision making. She insisted that I knew what I had to do and that I had to decide if I really wanted to make those decisions. Ive been battling a few negative spirits that have been getting the best of me lately with friends, career, and love. I contemplated a hiatus from everyone and everything, my career included, to clear my mind and calm my heart. That option is still not out the window but i don't want to make rash decisions based on emotions so im gonna pray on it and wait for a sign.

I've come to realize that my mother has shaped my life, even in her absence. My life's story is all about maturing into my womanhood and coping with the loss of my mother. When my mother was alive and sick, my life's story was all about taking care of her. Shaping my schedule around her appointments and making sure she had what she needed. Before she was sick and I was in college, my life's story was all about being independent and living my life without my mothers help. And before college, all through my adolescence my life's story was all about holding a grudge against my mother and promising that I would never grow up to be the woman she appeared to be to me. Its funny how the one person we are determined not to be like is the one person we end up like. It says somewhere in the Bible that you portray the same characteristics as those you judge most, or something like that. So maybe I was destined to be like my mother in so many ways simply because I judged her so harshly at times for the mother that she was. Comparing her to other mothers and wishing I had something better. As an adult, I reflect back on so many times me and my mom were at war. I moved in and out of her house growing up because we bumped heads all the time. I moved with my Dad when I was 12 and then back with her when we relocated to DE. Then we clashed so bad again that I left the house at 15 or 16 and stayed with my older brother and sissie-in-law (she is also responsible for shaping me, I learned a lot about being an independent woman by her example). I moved back in with my mother during my senior year in high school and man was that a rough time. I was determined to stay on campus in college just to flee from that home prison. I moved into my first apartment at 17 and have been on my own since. I can appreciate all the experiences I shared with her and even the ones I go through now. Through her example, I'm being shaped into a smarter, more prepared woman and whether it be from following in her footsteps with her strong qualities or learning not to repeat her mistakes, I'm shaped by her permanently and its an honor.  

Dance With Me:
I love to feel the bass and hear the drums and groove along to the rhythm of music. All genres: reggae, rock, hip-hop, r&b, techno, trance, pop country, pop, neo soul, jazz, oldies, electronica, you name it, I love it. I've been lacking passion in my career lately and it has me asking myself what I really want to do. What makes me passionate? Its Dancing! My biggest dream in life is to dance again and professionally. Doesn't matter if it's a hip hop background dancer for a music artist or in a broadway play as African bootie shaker, its dancing. If I could find a way to pay the bills and dance, trust me thats where I'd be. I feed the urge to dance with an occasional dance floor at the club and more so in my apartment all alone jamming to tunes and putting on a show for me. There's a quote I keep on my wall, "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are". This would describe me perfectly because I've been a dancer in some form my whole life and now that I have time to truly pursue it, I don't know if I have the guts to go through with it. I wanna get back to that kid in me that would dance around in the music room while my mom played the keyboard and just be free. I just finished reading "The Alchemist" which is about finding your Personal Legend and pursuing it. This intense lack of passion I'm feeling is making me realize that modeling may not have been a dream of mine but more so its what other people saw for me. I've been wondering if its what I see for myself.

So as I figure out some things and wait for the signs, I'm gonna pray on it and keep feeding my soul with positive knowledge. I finished two books this past month, "Eat, Pray, Love" and I read "The Alchemist" in a week. I start "Purpose Driven Life" tonight as I take the bus to Baltimore for work. Im humbled and grateful for those who were there for me this week and offered words of encouragement and open ears. I don't feel quite as lost or lonely when I know I have folks I can lean on. My Crazy Bayooteefull Mind is searching for something and she's gonna find it.

Peace yall!  

Friday, August 20, 2010


I shot a cover issue for VIBE magazine yesterday booked through one of my agencies. It's not the type of work I usually do since I've graduated from music videos and similar gigs to commercial acting work. Nevertheless, I was just going to sit in the house anyway so I accepted the booking.

I'm so OVER IT...
We arrived on set and to my surprise there were way more girls than I anticipated. I was under the assumption that there would be a hand full of girls and we'd be displayed as eye candy around the artist, Souljah Boy, and be done with it. Again, not my cup of tea but I still said yes. About 30 minutes into our call time and with about 20 girls hired, the crew has us do a test shot. WTH??? They used a crew member to fill in for the artist and said "Ok, ladies you're going to lift him in the air as is he's crowd surfing and scream and reach for him and tug at his clothes." Again I say WTH? And so the bullcrap begins. We spent about 30 minutes working on the test shoot and then broke for lunch. One of my friends on set said she over heard someone say that we won't start back up until 2pm. Huh... Umh I didn't sign on for this to just sit around. I'm so OVER IT! I got called for another casting after I accepted this gig and was thinking "Dang it I'm gonna miss a casting because I'm just sitting on my ass waiting to play a groupie for a magazine cover that I wouldn't even display in my portfolio". Even worse was that they said the artist was scheduled for 2pm but probably won't arrive until 3pm. So 2pm rolls around and no artist so me and a friend proceed to Starbucks when they say "its almost time to shoot you can't leave". Someone comes upstairs, takes a drink order and goes to Starbucks for us. Thank goodness they at least did that. Finally he arrives smoked out with the stench of weed and almost ready to shoot. We didn't start back up until 330pm (sooooo OVER IT!) and I'm texting my other friend like tell me how late the casting is going cuz maybe we'll finish early and I can make it. Thinking to myself "This is such a waste of my time". Meanwhile, girls are primping and puckering up and looking around to see if the artist is really downstairs and so the groupie scene begins. These girls were outrageous, literally pushing to get a good spot and hand on him as we raised him in the air. Moaning sexually towards him when we were asked to scream like crazed fans to get his attention. The photographer had to keep reminding us that everyone will be seen in the shot so you don't have to push and get too close to him. "Everyone will be in the shot!" OVEEEEEER IT! One girl was complaining the whole time about how she was leaving exactly at 5pm which is when we were booked until and not a second after. She was so grumpy and irritating that the photographer personally walked over and said you need to smile. It wasn't until the artist walked right up to my friend who was just chilling next to me, right past all the girls pulling out their best tricks to be noticed, that ole' grumpy perked up and was all dappin my friend up because Souljah Boy wanted to talk to her. Oh now you gotta smile on your face and you wanna be besties? (I was OVER her!) Other girls had been complaining from the beginning about how the agency never sends them on anything and blah blah blah. Moving on, worn out from all the girl's best attempts to be in the best shots right next to the artist I was ready to go. We wrapped around 530pm and the chances of me getting to my casting were over. So I guess I was OVER that too. I was so over this whole shoot that I cancelled a date with a girlfriend to have free cocktails at a hob snob party. Yes... I was that irritated that I turned down free alcohol. It amazes me how many females still don't realize that you can jump up and down and do back flips, when you got it, you got it, and you don't have to do tricks. All that energy those girls wasted trying to get what?... His attention? his number? an invite to the hotel later? I'm not sure but they exhausted me and I'm positive that it showed on my face many times throughout the shoot. As soon as they cut for a break each time the crazed fan character went out the window and I probably appeared to some like a big old B-I-T-C... ya know where I'm going with it. No smiles again until they called Action.

Get OVER It...
On the flipside and after receiving a disappointing email from my agent I have an alternate opinion about how the day went. Even when I don't feel I've done anything wrong, I always analyze myself to see if characteristics or actions of others that I dislike could be seen in me. And here's my take. From the beginning, I said I took the booking because I was going to sit in the house otherwise, I didn't have anything planned. So why complain about just sitting at the shoot, other than missing out on the casting where else did I really have to be? So I made the best of the shoot and networked with folks at the end of the day and made great contacts and in a sense tried to get OVER IT. I didn't complain about the pay in the first half of this entry, but girls on set sure did. I did make one comment when told I wasn't screaming loud enough by another model. My response to her was "I'm not getting paid enough to lose my voice, so they'll get a fake scream". To that I have mixed feelings, no I'm not gonna give you a million dollar performance for 5 cents but at the same time, money is money and a booking is a booking, so get OVER IT! In response to "that's the least they could do was give us Starbucks", they didn't have to do jack scrap. I've been at shoots that paid 15 times more than what this was paying and they didn't feed us lunch and certainly not a free Starbucks drink so again I say to myself "get OVER IT". Lastly, in response to the girls "groupie-like" ways draining me to the point where I was ready to go. One of my favorite quotes has always been "No one can diminish you but yourself". Just because they acting a fool don't mean I have to. I was worried about people standing by getting me confused with them and thinking I'm like that. Telling myself I'm gonna stand back and show that I'm not trippin with this little dude walks on set because I'm not a groupie so don't get it twisted. But the thing is from a distance a groupie and a Bitch don't look too different. They are both undesirable people to be around if you prefer positive energy. And I'm all about positive energy so now WTH is wrong with me. I could've made the decision to rise above what I disliked about this shoot and push through it. While, my attitude wasn't that bad on the outside, I know what I was thinking on the inside. And even if the crew and others couldn't tell, GOD knows and that's the "being" I'm trying to raise up in the air and worship and pull and tug at to gain all I can. Therefore even these thoughts were inappropriate.

At the end of the day, you win some you lose some and then there can be a DRAW. You do the best you're capable of doing in a less than desirable situation and sometimes sacrifice a little bit of who you truly are. I didn't fully let my personality shine yesterday because of the bull crap and if I had it couldve caught the eye of the right person at the right time cuz you never know who's watching. I lived and I learned that I will make better of myself should a situation like this arise again. Also, I lived and I learned that I don't want to be put in a situation like this again, so Mr. Agency Man don't send me on this type of booking again, please and thank you.

Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Friend Cancer…

I was sitting at my desk just staring at the wall which is covered with pictures and quotes and documents that are important to me. I keep the program from my mother's memorial service on my wall but facing backwards. The back of the program holds a poem that I wrote in the final days of my mother's life. It was an attempt to find peace with knowing that she would soon leave this world and I didnt want to spend our final days with anger over her illness so I wrote this poem. Initially I was very angry with cancer for coming into our lives and changing everything for all of us. Little did I know that cancer would do so much for my family that I had to make peace with her illness if for no other reason than because she had already done so. My mother spent the last month of her life doing things she always wanted to do and I had no idea at the time she seemed to be checking off a bucket list. My family had been through so much prior to my mom being sick with arguments and sibling fall outs and parents separating, drugs, jail, me moving out at 15, and then some. Cancer truely changed the dynamics of my family and we are now such a strong unit that I am grateful.

Aside from losing her and telling my siblings that this time the cancer was terminal, this was probably one of the most difficult things I've had to do in life so far. It was so challenging to still put on a pretty smile and stand at the podium and read my poem to all the people who attended the ceremony in honor of my mother. I made a joke before reading it to get some energy to push through it but it wasn't long before the tears started and I got choked up. Joined by my baby sister on stage and now I believe also joined by my God, I found the courage to read this:

My Friend Cancer…
I don't hate you, I actually love you.
You gave me something I never thought I’d get back.
You gave me my family back with lots of beautiful additions.
You gave my mom an amazing voice that touched all who heard.
You showed my mom how to love open heartedly and express emotions.
You inspired my mom to motivate others and bring purpose to their life.
You took away my selfishness to allow me to be at her beck and call, as only a Queen like she deserved.
You taught me that life is too short and not to sweat the small stuff.
You’ve shown me that beauty is really skin deep. (Even without the hair and perfect smile, my Tia Clarke could still give any Diva a run for their money)
You showed me that in times of pain and sorrow, a little prayer never hurts.
You gave me faith to believe in myself and know that all happens for a reason and with passion and determination such as hers, I can get through anything in life and this too shall pass!
I thank you for giving my mother all of you on November 18, 2008 and finally giving her the peace that she needed. My mother will forever be with you so take good care of her…

My Friend Cancer!

Tia J Clarke 3.15.54-11.18.08

Just felt like sharing today. It may be a little challenging or twisted for some to understand, but when you have life (and death) experiences such as I have, you too will understand. Peace yall!

Friday, August 13, 2010

When it rains, It... Rains!

In my brief moment of Ghandhi, Guru, whatever wisdom you want to call it I told a friend, "Its still raining, not pouring, just bigger rain drops. Pouring would be much worse and a little rain aint neva killed nobody." This was in response to her comment of the traditional saying "When it rains, it Pours." We both go through similar challenges in this industry and in life and it is slow right now and Lord knows the bills aint slowing down. But as I was typing that I felt it to be true more than ever. I've been in and out of a funk because the castings and BOOKINGS, for that matter, aint been rolling in as I wished they would. I've been challenged with securing a strong headshot to push out to more agencies so I can maximize the work I receive. Being sick two weeks ago definitely set me back physically and financially. But then I started to think, why am I complaining or worrying so much (to myself because I've been in my apartment for the majority of the past two weeks). But still GOD knows what's in our hearts and just cuz I haven't said it out loud don't mean I'm complaining any less. Even though its been slow, money keeps popping up here and there, even if smaller than I desire, money is money and a blessing is a blessing. This down time has its purpose just like everything else in life. I've caught up on much needed rest during this drought of auditions. What makes me even more appreciative of this week is that I stayed motivated and actually had the time to workout everyday this week. I don't think I've exercised five days in a row ever in life, except when I had cheerleading practice six days a week in high school. I got my eye on a fit agency I stumbled across and I want it so I'm gonna get it. So you see it may be "raining" but its not "pouring". I won't even say things could be much worse because that would imply that this has been a bad week and its been kind of nice. Don't get me wrong I welcome the busy weeks back into my life but this alone time I received has me refreshed and ready for the next challenge from above. I'm currently Bolt Bussin it to DC for a busy weekend and I'm ready. Got my rain boots on and embracing each drop. Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scarred for Life

So I went out with the ladies last night and I'm not sure what prompted this but I almost got a tattoo. I remember now, we were having cocktails and somehow got on the conversation of tattoos. One of my girls said she wants one on the top of her shoulder because it's somewhat discreet. Since I'm a giraffe it would be hard for most people to see because they're shorter than I. Most who know me, know that I have no tattoos and never planned on getting one...that is until my mom passed away. I'd been brainstorming on random places on my body that it could go but not be too visible to impact my modeling career. Can't go on the neck or back because then it'll show when I do wedding gown events. Can't get it on the hands or wrist because it'll show when I slate my name and show my hands for commercial auditions and so on and so on. Some say, well why not just use Dermablend and cover it when necessary, but that's misleading to me. I've never been good at lying and most agencies or audition forms specifically ask if you have tattoos or piercings if its a concern for them. I don't wanna cover it up and then lie about it, that defeats the whole point of getting it to me. Why go through the pain of getting the tattoo on top of the pain that inspired me to get the tattoo (losing my mom) just to cover it up for a quick buck. Some things just aren't worth the money and covering up my mamas name would be one of them. I realize that it's something that will be with me forever so I need to choose wisely and be absolutely sure that I'm ready to be scarred for life in the physical sense. Already there in the spiritual and emotional because my mother will always be with me, tattoo or not. But I do like the idea of seeing her name resting on my shoulder forever and ever. Kind of makes me feel closer to her so I'll probably get one eventually but for now her spiritual hand on my shoulder will do. That's all for now folks!

P.S. I forgot to mention that I did stumble, slightly under the influence, upon two tattoo parlors last night but the first was closed and the second wanted way too much for the three letters of my mothers name. When its right its right and last night it was wrong so no tattoo. My friends hand written tattoo lasted through the night and left great memories of my almost

Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®