Friday, April 30, 2010

Best Turkey Burger and Ice Cream in Philly!

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A Field Trip to Philly

Where to begin? I stayed in Tribeca last night on my cousins couch because I originally had an early morning casting. The casting director changed their mind and cancelled me from the casting, not the right look I guess. Moving on, I still had an 11:30am bus to catch because I had two more castings in Philly. So I'm off to a great start, get a fresh fruit cup and some almonds from the store then head on down to the bus. I got there early so I caught the 11:00am bus... woo hoo... more time in case I get lost or traffic and stuff. The weather in NYC has been unpredictable, so I had a sweater, a blazer, and a short peacoat to go with my two scarfs. I don't know why I tried to carry all that stuff and bought my small suitcase, knowing my back would be broke before I make it to my first destination. The bus stop in Philly let me out within two blocks of my first casting. But it felt like a million blocks dragging that suitcase, all the coats, my jam packed purse across my shoulder and my new hair-do was so flowy the wind insisted on keeping my bangs across my eyes so I couldn't see. I arrive at the hall and enter the room filled with girls at least 10 years under me judging my walk for their school fashion show. Whatever, its a paid gig so OK, judge away. Easy breezy, in and out, now how the heck do I get to my second casting? My frugal side is like you need to find the nearest bus and figure it out cuz you got plenty of time. The impatient and "ready to get the heck home" side of me says you better find a taxi and quick cuz your shoulders got about two ounces of strength left to hold this bag. A cab goes by and its occupied and then another just the same, so I cross the street and wait for the bus. It comes within five minutes and its already packed but this guy saw my agony from these bags and moved to the back so I could have his seat (Thanks Mister). Stop after stop the bus fills up and then here come the mom and dad with five boys no older than 10 years, all going sightseeing :-/ They were so loud and pushing and just too much (some parents need spankings because they should know better :-D) The bus is strolling along and I realize that this bus isn't going to get me close enough to my destination and I forgot to ask for a transfer. There are now a million gazillion people standing in the front of the bus so there was no way I was getting up to squeeze through all those people and either drag my bags with me or leave them in my seat to come back and find them gone. I decided I would just pay full fare for the next bus and chalk it up. I chatted with some nice folks along the way so it was a nicer ride once the rugrats got off. I ended up making my way to the front somehow and paying a dollar for the transfer instead of the $.75 it costs because the bus doesn't give change. Hey thats laundry money. Anywho, I switch buses and get off at my second casting, which lasted all of two minutes. I drag my bags all the way up the steps, take my coatsssss off and breathe for two seconds and then they ask for my photos and agency name and say Thank You. (Scratching my head and looking side ways, like "that's it?") But yes that's it, you spend your whole life to get to castings and they take about two minutes. But its all worth it when the duckets start rolling in and you book the gig. OK, so now how do I get to the bus stop to take me to DC, my final destination? I have to work a few appearances and judge a high school fashion competition so I figured I'd just go to DC instead of back to NY and then DC in the morning. First, I think I'll just walk to the corner and catch the bus back up closer to the stop and then walk the rest of the way. Ha... on the way to the corner I dropped one of my coats midway and had to walk back to get it so the whole bus and walk idea went out the window. I hopped in a cab and was on my way to the better part of my day. I had two hours before the bus left so the taxi driver suggested a market that changed my life. There were so many food options I thought I died and went to fat girl heaven. I stopped this guy and said "whats good in here?" and he pointed me to the best turkey burger spot in the joint. It was a little Amish stand and "ooooh doggy" every bite of that burger was bliss. I couldn't leave without getting ice cream from the stand I passed on my way in... more delightful than the burger it was. Oh and before I made it to the ice cream I found a warm cookie bakery and scooped up some cookies for me and my Daddy, he's a sucker for cookies. So now I'm off to the bus stop which is only a block away from Food Paradise. I have thirty minutes to kill so I'm charging my phones and relaxing when an old friend from way back in the day strolls in. He was a model with the first agency I ever joined in Delaware, talk about flashback. We took a few moments to catch up and update each other on other models from the agency. Wow... that was a great flashback and much needed. A reminder of where I came from and how far my modeling roots go back. On the bus to DC and its gonna be a hot one folks... lawd have mercy. This bus ride was beyond sweltering hot and there was something blowing out of the vents but it wasn't anything like cold air. People were playing musical chairs trying to find a working vent and a cool spot away from the sun. 3 1/2 hours later I'm in DC and hop in another cab, which is funny because I'm anti cab, I think its a waste of money when you can take the bus or train for cheaper. But when you got a load on your back and can do Part 2 of Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady", you'll pay 50 bucks to get a ride. I go into my Dad's job to catch up for a second since my truck is always at his job. We always have so much to talk about and the conversations get even longer because we constantly repeat ourselves. Its like two people with Alzheimer's having a convo...lmao. I soaked every minute of it up, especially when he told me that he started reading my blog. This day gets better and better and it made me feel so good and I still cant stop smiling. He read the part where I talked about learning self reflection from him and I could tell that it made him proud so it made me happy, like a kindergartner bringing their first project home. Now I'm home in Southeast DC typing this after a much needed shower to de-funk from the days activities. I got my Daddy's sweatpants on and a big ole tshirt and I'm sitting Indian style at my make-shift office (two shoe boxes on my bed with my laptop). It always feels great to be home and I have lots to do. Daddy's pancakes in the morning, a jog with the BFF, judging at Catwalk Classic, then an appearance for the big Mayweather Mosley fight. Church on Sunday with the BFF and lots of errands before another appearance at 10pm on Sunday night then back up to my apartment outside of the Big Apple. My field trip was great today, had its ups and downs but it was all worth it to be in my bed and waking up in the morning to chat with my Dad some more and relax. Chat with you soon, Goodnite yall!

Daily Prayer

Dear God,
Thank you for waking me up this morning. Another opportunity to receive all the blessings and challenges that will continue to humble me, strengthen me, encourage me. I appreciate everything about this life the ups and the downs and I know that all happens in due time and for a reason. I look forward to a stronger relationship with you, having faith in you, having faith in me. Please watch over me and all my loved ones that I can't be with day in and day out. May they also have faith in you and be blessed and challenged just the same. Please grant me safe traveling mercy in all my destinations this weekend. May I be punctual, confident, and positive. Thank you and Amen!
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Me and Miami

Reality Check

I'm back to reality here in NYC and more than three days later I wish I was still in Sunny Silent M.I.A. All the appointments, people, irritations, things to do, blah blah blah, now I know why Miami was so peaceful. I'm not sure what my "funk" is all about. Perhaps I'm still recovering from the reality that "my past" has not matured into what "my future" needs. Perhaps I'm physically exhausted from the reality that Ive been home only one day this week and sleeping on couches and traveling and I'm back out to Philly in the morning. Or maybe its the reality that the time I spent in Miami really impacted my perception of life and I don't know if this reality is the one I want??? I'm grateful for the things I have, the successes I've accomplished, the material and immaterial blessings in my life but some days I just want to crawl up in the corner of a dark room and just be silent. Most people come back from vacation rejuvenating, ready to regroup and get going. So what the "h-e- double hockey sticks" is my problem? I'm think I'm just a little bruised but not broken and my scrapes will heal in a few days. I need a reality check bad because my life is great and it could be a lot worse so I need to suck it up, dust off my stilettos and get back in the game with a big ole cheesy smile. I'm going home this weekend so maybe my Daddy's pancakes and little church will do my spirit good.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Caution Tape

I spend a lot of time talking about self reflection, but this weekend has reminded me that there is another quality just as important. Putting yourself in someone else's shoes. For the love of me I don't understand how some people can be SO selfish and self involved that they are completely oblivious to the fact that they are offending or hurting someone. I can't speak for others but to know me is to either hate me or love me. So why the f**k would someone who knows me and knows me well not see that their actions are impacting me. I mean, were all adults and I'm not looking to be pacified but damn this negro is just dumb stupid and blind. Has to be! I've always believed that things happen for a reason and this weekend was a long time coming. Thank you God for giving me the courage to finally close this chapter of my life and please give me the strength to padlock it, nail it shut, and put a big ass piece of caution tape on it as a reminder never to go down that road again. Amen!
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Charlie and I chillin on South Beach

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My Mind, My Body, and My Spirit

As I mentioned previously, it takes a strong person to always see the brighter side of things, be disciplined and diligent, always do right by others and so on and so on. My father has always been a leading example of self reflection, so it is through him that Ive learned to look at myself in the "mirror" often. Observing my perfections and my flaws, learning from the decisions I make each day, remembering to treat others as I wish to be treated and at the end of each day being at peace with that reflection.

It goes without saying that no one is perfect, but if I can lie down every night in the bed Ive made, than it was a good day and an even greater one to wake up and do it all over, but better. It is a blessing to have family and friends to keep you on the right track or steer you back when you're falling off line. However, the true responsibility lies within us as individuals and its not about others perception of your life, its about how you see it. Are you happy? Did you accomplish any goals you set for yourself? Do anything for YOU today?

To the uninformed eye, I may come off selfish or even too self-involved, spend way too much time in the mirror or take an absurd amount of pictures of myself. I call it self love and its not a love Ive always known. In my first entry, I talked briefly about the naive insecure girl I used to be and while I practiced self reflection back then, I don't think I knew how to process what I saw. Its like I was a stranger in my own body, but I get "me" now. Some days I'm overly generous, loving, passionate, friendly, bubbly and exude ridiculously high energy. Some days I'm bitchy, cranky, sarcastic, short tempered and down right rude. I love all those characteristics of me. My challenge is to continue to be nice and friendly but not allow myself to be taken advantage of and to be the feisty mamacita that's in me but know when its appropriate to apologize. If I don't apologize its because I'm not sorry for what Ive done and there is no need to fake an emotion I don't feel. If I am generous and friendly and bubbly take it for what it is because I'm probably really enjoying the person that I'm sharing the moment with.

This weekend in Miami had several purposes: Forgiveness, Clarity, Tranquility, and Relaxation. Today is my last day here and I spent most of my trip alone and it felt great. Definitely the first of many solo getaways. My mother used to travel to Barbados every summer and I couldn't understand why she would never make it a family trip. I get it solitude is so precious and I need to nurture it with oodles and oodles of love and

All in all, I'm determined to work on me and I will forever be a work in progress, perfecting ME... Mind, Body and Spirit one day at a time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Sad

As Americans, I think its easy to pity ourselves, feel down, or complain about our have-nots. While it does take more energy to be negative and frown, it takes a much stronger person to stay positive and always see the brighter side of things. With that being said I feel that its appropriate to let yourself feel a little sad when disappointed or hurt. We wouldn’t be humans if we didn’t feel emotions or if we could control our emotions 100% of the time.

For the past year or so I was in a bit of a depressed state of mind or perhaps functionally depressed if that is such a thing. Still recovering from the loss of my mother, living with the fear everyday of possibly losing my father, accepting the reality of yet another failed attempt at a relationship, living hours away from my family and friends, doubting my decisions to move to NY and follow my dreams. Coming home at the end of long days or trapping myself inside on slow days to stare at walls of the asylum I call home. Not wanting to do much but just sit in silence, ignore all calls, nap for hours, cry myself to sleep, eat myself into oblivion, you name it I went through it. But thankfully, I'm slowly tip toeing away from that life and moving into a place of spirituality and faith stronger than ever. That’s where my Happy Sad comes into play.

I'm a realist, so of course I realize that I will lose my father one day and it’s a fact that my mother is gone and yes friendships have faded with my big move up North and I am once again single. But while those thoughts are always in the back of my mind, there are much brighter ones in the front. I successfully relocated to a city known for its “Dog Eat Dog” mentality and thus far am surviving. I enjoy the freedom of being self employed while still supporting myself and helping my family financially from time to time. Although I don’t see my father and siblings as often as I'd like, they're only a phone call away and we chat often. I am travelling a lot this year and seeing the world. I'm healthy, self sufficient, come and go as I please and I'm forming a great relationship with my God.

So for now, I'm happy sad but I know soon I will be able to say with certainty that I am HAPPY!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Few Good Men

As I cool my jets, I type this entry on the bus to Baltimore. Irritated by the "way too laid back" demeanor an old boyfriend has while making my travel arrangements to Miami. I fly out tomorrow and still don't know where I'm staying. But why should I be surprised, procrastination was always one of his stronger suits. "Why am I even going to visit him..." you ask? As a part of my journey to be more spiritual and be happy I've found that I need to let go of anger and forgive the grudges Ive been holding onto. The 4-year relationship I shared with this man was filled with anger and lack of trust and so many other negative feelings that spilled into every relationship I've attempted to have in the two years that I haven't been with him. That's a big chip to carry on ones shoulders and my shoulders are ready to be free.

This upcoming weekend in Miami (where he currently resides) is all about seeing his world and the maturity that he has hopefully found and letting go and being OK with our past mistakes so I can move on and be happy in love. That is, whenever LOVE decides to come find me :-) Anywho, I know him better than most so I don't why I relied on him to take care of my hotel stay. Especially when I've been so independent and self sufficient without him; being cheap I guess. Or maybe I needed to see if his frugal procrastinating ways had improved...hmmm? So, the saga will continue on this subject when I return from Miami on Tuesday. Lets move on to a few good men ;-)

Yesterday I had two great conversations with educated, independent, successful Black men. One was an old friend who I care for dearly and the other a new acquaintance that may turn out to be a pleasant surprise. My lifetime of bullshit and nonsense has me on a very short leash of patience when it comes to men so this was very refreshing.

My conversation with the new friend was all about positive energy, following dreams, having goals and making plans to achieve them. Its not often that I have intellectual conversations like this because most guys cant get past thinking about "hitting the draws" long enough to get inside my head first. We chatted about his growing business and his struggle to maintain a life balance between his dream and his "9 to 5". We also share a passion for motivational quotes so we admired the quotes on my wall throughout our dialogue. He stopped by to pick up the cookies that I baked for him, which doesn't even sound like me, because Domestic is definitely not my middle name. I find myself in a transitional stage in my life as I begin to desire certain domestic expectations a man would have for his woman. We have plans to work out together some day which is another check off the list of "The New and Improved Requirements to get with BJ"...lmao. We shall see what the future holds for this new acquaintance... stay tuned!

Now as for the old friend that I hold near and dear to my heart... I had to politely push the newbie out the door because I couldn't wait to get back on the phone to finish our convo from earlier. I'd been out of touch with this friend for at least 3months and it has been even longer since Ive seen him. This was probably the most honest, free, intimate conversation we've had in my opinion. But then again I hang on this man's every word so he could've been talking about poop and I would've been like "that sounds amazing, tell me more". He obviously had a lot on his mind and he shared different situations of his life with me and it just felt great to be a lending ear, to have him be comfortable enough to share with me, and to step out of my world and into his. All too often "we" assume we know people or pass judgement when we have no idea what they are really going through. Not that I would wish anything but the best for him, but it was nice to hear his problems. It somehow made me feel closer to him as we share the same dilemmas. In the past, he always said its all about the timing and I'm not sure if now is the time for this man to come back into my life. But I look forward to many more heart to hearts with him.

Back to the future. This weekend will be about forgiveness and peace. While I am appreciative for the two good men I've shared moments with last night. I am nervous and excited at the same time to see how, and IF, my past has transformed and if he will be a part of my future.

Ladies if you're fortunate enough to have a "good man", hold on to him and treat him right. Signing off from Crazyland...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lemonade out of Lemons

Today is a day of frustration, an emotion I know all too well. In the past, I'd run to the closet party or boy toy I could find. Partying was always the easiest way to avoid any problems. Whether I would call up an old boyfriend (aka bad habits), go club hopping with the homies, or (on really rough days) a combination of both. Ive had endless nights of dancing, flirting, and unlimited drinks passed my way followed by 48-hour hangovers and nonproductive days. So much to the point where a day didn't go by that didn't include a cocktail or two. There was always an EXCUSE to drink: rough day playing nurse to my mom, argument with the boyfriend, family drama gave me a headache, someone at work just pissed me off, and on and on. But this is where the maturity steps in and says you cant always run from challenges because they will certainly catch up to you. So these days I pray and smile and pray and cry and pray. Of course, my challenges compared to others could seem minuscule, petty even, but this is a story about my life and everyone's problems are significant to them.

Ive always been impatient and quick tempered but with that I have always been determined to make opportunities for me and stay in control so I don't lose my temper. Let's just say those opportunities are few and far between up here in the cold streets of New York. It was easy to excel and stand out in other cities I lived in, but up here girls like me appear to come a dime a dozen. Now I don't say that to de-value myself, I love me and there will never be another exactly like me. But in the big city there are a million beautiful, self motivated, talented, hungry, tall light skinned curly haired girls running around chasing the same dream as me. So how does one stay true to who they are while becoming what this industry expects you to be? I don't know the answer but I do know prayer helps me to be patient while that answer is slowly revealed. Today I have a hefty load of personal and business challenges. I'm learning to accept the things I cant change and certainly gaining the courage to change the things that are within my power.

From friendships to love relationships to financial opportunities to my journey in Faith, my mind never stops spinning. The older I get the easier it becomes to take on life's challenges and take the bitter with the sweet. I try to step outside of myself each day and evaluate my actions for self-improvement. I know I'm far from perfect and that's OK.

I will start to dig deeper in this blog and even mention specifics, I'm still trying to decide where to start and where to go with it. For now I'm off to make some lemonade out of the challenges in front of me today. It's gonna taste yummy ;-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beautifully Crazy

Good morning. This blog has already impacted my thinking. I laid awake thinking of all the things I could discuss here and how good it feels already just to have written the first entry. I think I'm changing the url to "BeautifullyCrazy". I originally wanted it to be CrazyBeautiful because the play on words makes you think this is a blog about my modeling career or my obsession with myself but its not. Since CrazyBeautiful wasn't available :( i shall check on Beautifully Crazy. The beautiful craziness of my mind and my world.

My Inspiration

This first entry will be a quick one. I titled it my inspiration because i was inspired tonight to finally start this blog. Still not sure if i have the courage to go through with it but time will tell. Two friends have recently started blogs, one about the journey of her losing her mother to breast cancer and the other about her journey to follow her dreams of modeling. It seems like such a liberating feeling to put your thoughts out into the universe just in case someone wants to care that you shared. Although I share both of their experiences, this will be slightly different. I titled it "theinnercrazyvstheouterbeauty" because it describes me perfectly. Every second of each day is a battle within myself to be a better person, a better daughter, sister, friend, business woman and so on. Struggling with my temper, my faith, my promiscuity, my passion for cocktails (lol) and then some. People on the outside looking in see a pretty girl and assume a certain lifestyle accompanies that but from where i stand on the inside looking out...i know differently. This blog will about me, simply put, but not in a pretty way. I plan for this to be my outlet for all thoughts, emotions, and experiences from my past, present, and future. The very raw ugly side of me which in itself makes me the beautiful person I have come to love at the peaking age of 30. I have come a long way from the naive, insecure girl that used to lurk inside me. She's still there, but disappearing more with everyday and i am tremendously excited about all of life's lessons I have yet to learn. So stay tuned for more of "TICTIB", this should get interesting.