Friday, May 28, 2010

A Good Fit

Don't you just love it when you find the perfect fit? Whether it be a pair of shoes, a hat, a coat, some jeans. Remember how excited you were when you found those True Religion jeans that made your butt look awesome or those Jimmy Choo shoes that you can wear all day and your feet never thought once about hurting? For the guys, those sneakers or that fitted hat that was just right to match your favorite T-shirt for the club that night. Something that fit so right you couldn't stop looking in the mirror over and over again and if people wouldn't talk about you, you'd wear it all the time. That good fit that you would spend an insane amount of money on because it seems like it was made for you and its the exclusive edition. Well I do, but my good fit is non-material and its love.

It just dawned on me this morning that I found a good fit in love and I want it back. My Good Fit could be worn all day and make me feel nice and cozy. I could stare at my Good Fit forever and never get tired of the view...such a bayooteefull sight to see. I would pay any amount on the price tag for my Good Fit and it would totally be worth it. I would definitely rock my Good Fit everyday and dare anybody to say I adore my Good Fit and I'm still not sure how I lost it.

Imagine losing one of the material items I mentioned earlier. How devastated would you be if you worked so hard to save your pennies to buy that item and then one day you went in the closet to put it on, to find it was gone. You have no idea where it could be. You didn't give any one permission to borrow it, you definitely didn't take it out of the house and forget it somewhere, you'd never treat your Good Fit like that. Your burglar alarm didn't go off so you don't think anyone came inside and stole it. You now stand scratching your head: What the heck happened and why cant I find my Good Fit??? You cant go buy another one because as mentioned earlier that one was made just for you or at least that's what you tell yourself. You may go back and try on new shoes or give those other brand of jeans a try. In the back of your mind, your thinking about that Good Fit you lost the whole time, comparing every step of the way. Sometimes you just give up because you don't want to save more pennies to buy a knock off version of the insanely priced Good Fit you just lost. You try to accept that its gone forever. You may see some similarities to your Good Fit in other purchases but there's nothing quite like your Good Fit.

My Good Fit disappeared just as I was breaking it in. Like a great pair of four inch stilettos, I'd wear my Good Fit here and there. Had to be careful because I know that those stilettos have the potential to break my ankle. But let me tell you, when it was time to rock those four inch stilettos, I wore the hell out of them bad boys...lawd hav mercy! Hurt like hell to take them off every time I wore them because my feet got so comfortable in them they swole up to tempt me not to remove them. But you cant walk around in stilettos all day, might break the heel or the support may start to give out. I think I may have worn my stilettos too much too soon, don't think my ankles were ready for that kind of walking. Now my ankle is bruised and scared to try on other stilettos. Thought about throwing them in the trash but just placed them on the shelf in the back. Maybe I need to take my Good Fit stilettos to the shoe repair man...hmmm??? Get some extra cushions or lower the heels just a bit to take baby steps. Would my Good Fit still be the same if I took baby steps so my ankles can mend? Will my Good Fit allow me to take baby steps? Good questions!!! For now I glimpse at my Good Fit occasionally and reminisce, hoping that one day I'll be rocking those stilettos again.

I cant believe i just compared LOVE to stilettos, but it kind of makes sense... to me anyway. I told yall I was crazy ;-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Emotions Taking Over

"If you're feeling something then feel it."

Lately I've been feeling so many emotions that I've become somewhat numb. Nothing is really wrong and then everything is wrong all at the same time. Confusing right??? Imagine how I feel.

I've been sad a lot as I remember my mother and the more time I spend with my father the harder it is to be away from him. I worry about him a lot and pray a lot as I anticipate the worse fear of losing both my parents. I take time to talk to him whenever I'm home and just absorb his knowledge and spirit.

My relationship with my male friend has been growing stronger but our lives are too busy and time consumed to give each other the attention a relationship deserves. Another fear I have is losing my father before I find that man to make me happy and that would make my Daddy proud. This friend is very special to me and I don't want to force a relationship but it does pose a subtle pressure for me to settle down when I think about losing my father.

I haven't been booked for a gig other than my spokesmodel stuff in over a month. I'm paying my bills but I always plan ahead when it comes to money and I don't have any solid leads thus far.

Some of my friendships have become very taxing on my spirit too. I lean on my friends for support and interaction and I haven't been able to tolerate a lot of interaction with them lately and I'm not exactly sure why. Most of my life Ive been the friend I can count on so I struggle occasionally with female friendships. The older I get the more challenging it gets because my tolerance for bullshit gets thinner.

My body is changing before my eyes and while I know its important to work out and eat right, I'm just not motivated most days. I love food and I dont like the gym. I like this womanly body I'm growing into but realize that my career doesn't allow for this new body and skin I'm in. I'm in a funk and my emotions are taking over. Its not necessarily a bad thing but its still exhausting nonetheless.

Growing up with my mother I learned fast that you either say what you feel or move on with your business. Nobody is going to pacify you and hold your hand every step of the way. There may not always be someone there to give you a hug and say "Baby it'll be ok". We kind of had an unspoken policy of "If you're going to cry than go do it in your room and get it over with". I was watching Kate Hudson on Oprah one day and she was talking about her childhood with her mother and it felt similar. She said I was taught that if you feel something then feel it. Don't fake it, don't hide it, don't try to run away from it, just feel it. So that's what I'm going through right now. I'm feeling all sorts of emotions and I know I will come out on the other side stronger but... well there is no but... i WILL come out on the other side of these challenges and emotions stronger. I cried and laughed a lot of this weekend and there's more to come, I'm sure of it. Laughter and tears feed my soul so I'm looking forward to it. Got my box of tissues for tears of joy and sadness ready to go!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Lonely Ole Party Gal

"It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are."

As I continue through this journey of self discovery, I realize new insecurities and gain new strengths. This process of growing up is like an outer body experience. Sometimes I look at myself and have no clue who I'm becoming and other times I think this chick is amazing... Yeah... I like her she's with me Like I'm proud of me but "me" is another person like a celebrity or something and I'm her groupie but its me... Ha ha ha. Does that make sense??? Anywho, I've been struggling with my inner party girl, among other things, that's starving for a fiesta. Compared to how much I used to party and hang out and live life, you'd think I was a nun or something. I mentioned previously how I'd run to the club or a bar when feeling down or deep in thought about life. While I don't want to go back to using partying and alcohol as a coping mechanism I do miss the feeling dancing gave me.

I don't even recognize this old lady I've become that just Works Hard instead of Work Hard, Play Hard. I think when I moved to NY I told myself I had to change if I wanted to achieve the success I want in life. Listening to others opinions too much telling me ill never get a husband if I keep acting the way I act or telling myself I need to be more strict and more disciplined and blah blah blah if I want to make the big bucks in this industry. Going to auditions and coming home and cooking dinner and exercising and reading and being a good little BORING girl. To a degree those comments hold truth...but then sometimes I'm like that B.S. is for the birds. I've been a dancer all my life in some capacity and music has always been flowing through my veins. I love being in a party environment listening to music, feeling the bass, shaking me bum, interacting with a complete stranger and partying like we've known each other forever. Not because I'm trying to find a "baby daddy" or because I want someone to notice me on the dance floor but its natural to me. Ill be on the subway playing my iPod trying to contain myself when a jam comes on. I be tapping my foot or bobbing my head and people be looking at me like I'm crazy. I really feel like just busting out a move sometimes but I be like "simmer down now simmer down". But seriously, I love to dance and I don't know how I got it in my head that have to be this prudish boring person and sit in the house all the time waiting for some Mr Right to come along so I can be like "look at me I don't drink, I don't swear, I don't go clubbing, marry me marry me!" I'm not perfect and some things about me may not ever change. Also, not sure who said you have to get a million hours of sleep to survive. I be going to bed at like 9pm for a 10am audition the next day. Really???? I'm gonna sleep my life away if I don't snap out of it.

This weekend has been a refresher. I had a 4 hour chat over dinner and cocktails with an old friend. She knows me well and said I just need to find that balance between my two worlds, the old and the new me. I also went to a happy hour with my old coworkers followed by a late night club run and it felt great. Just hanging with folks being happy and laughing and jammin. Last night I went to a dinner party and caught up with old college buddies and more great feelings poured out. I used to be the life of the party. I don't need to be in the spotlight all the time but it sure felt good to get a little of my Mojo back. Spending time with friends and laughing and hollering and hooting is just what this almost 30 year old needs.

I must have lost my mind or at least lost sight of who I really am. I'm a Party Girl and many more things but aint nothing wrong with me. Of course when I finally settle down my priorities will change but why am I acting like I'm married with 2.5 kids and a picket fence??? I'm about to be 30 and its time to get DIRTY... Lmao. It takes courage to stick to who you really are in your heart and not give a rats ass what anybody thinks. I need to tune out the voices telling me I need to be like this and be like that. "What??? Huh??? I can't hear you over my Fabulousness, speak a bit louder please!".

Hardy Har Har, I crack me up sometimes. But I need to enjoy being single and being me before I go freakin crazy. Got a lot of trips planned next month including the bday celebration in Puerto Rico and I can't wait. Mr Right will be here right on time when GOD says so. Until then you can find on the dance floor shaking a tail feather ;-)

Party Girl signing off!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mind Yo Business

"No one can diminish you but yourself!"

I start off with this quote because it is one of my favorites and I'm still not sure who said it but it has stuck with me over the years. I placed it on my wall in my office and on my cell phone so I can constantly be reminded. I have the power over me and I control all aspects of my life. Lately I've found myself too focused on others problems and what they have going on and getting wrapped up in their drama. So much to the point where I'm comparing my life to theirs and over analyzing myself. Wondering do I act like them, is that how people view me, just being up in their business way too much. I read somewhere or maybe it was in church that "You cant possibly be focused on your dreams and goals if you worried about what the next person is doing or what they got!". I don't know that I have been focused on what others have but may be just observing and judging people way too much. Like they said if I'm so focused on someone else how could I be giving myself the focus and attention I need to pursue my dreams. Another quote I look at every morning when I wake is "I can have everything I want, If I give everything I've got". Simply put if I understand that sacrifice is mandatory for success than I need to give all my energy and time to my craft and cut out all the unnecessary stuff. Whether that be partying, drinking, friends, being lazy or non motivated...whatever. I know my strengths and I know I have what it takes to be successful so why do I allow others problems to consume me or annoy me? I've always been a person to find the good in most people, always believing that they can be a better person and sacrifices my needs for others. That's not the path I'm supposed to be on right now so enough of that. Not saying its a bad thing but sometimes you just got to focus on you and you cant worry about trying to change the next person. We all grown so they gotta want it for themselves. Stop holding people to judge and jury if you think they can do better. When girlfriends wanna vent about their problems, family wants to complain about their day, strangers wanna chat you up and get to know you better, people just want to be negative and bring you down with them, I ain't got time folks! Its a hard habit for me to form but I know that in order for me to take my career to the next level I need to learn how to Mind My Business and Keep It Movin! I need to continue to have Faith and Focus on Me and the chips will fall into place as they should. I love the people in my life, drama and all, but I cant let their drama OR the drama I create getting involved with their drama bring me down. No one can diminish me but myself and I'll be damned if I let that happen. So I'm chucking the deuces to the drama and maybe some people too. Time for a little hiatus.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Great Daddy

I've been pondering on this entry for a while. Initially, I intended to write about my Dad and how wonderful our relationship has been. But recent occurrences with different friends have me reflecting on fathers in general and so here it is.

Let me start by telling the world about my Daddy. He is the hardest working, most considerate, patient, humbled, giving man I know. He has always put his family first and pretty much everything he does in life is with his family in mind. He's not perfect as no one is, but I couldn't imagine a better Daddy in my biggest dreams. From teaching me to ride a bike, to spoiling me rotten with candy and treats, to almost quitting his job of 15+ years when they wouldn't give him a day off to attend my graduation, to the life lessons, and the support in all my many endeavors (financially and emotionally). Even now as an adult, he gives me relationship advice, keeps me humbled, and helps keep me on track when faced with difficult situations. There isnt a challenging decision that I make without consulting my father first. This man is and has always been the one man I can always count on without a doubt. Even when my parents separated in 1991 and my mother moved me to DE in 1994. He always did whatever possible to be a presence in my life. My father and mother didn't believe in the drama that typically comes from divorce and separation. They never legally divorced and remained friends up until my mothers passing in 2008. So he even kept his most important vows to my mother and tried to do right by her as the mother of his children. Even if it meant putting up with my mothers male friends, traveling wherever she moved to next to see his kids, getting us on every holiday and school break, not missing any monumental occasions in my life and always a phone call and car ride away if I needed him. Again, I'm not saying he's perfect but compared to current times my father is one of the best.

Being a parent and especially a father means so much more than just fulfilling financial obligations. With so many single parent homes it is disheartening to hear stories of "baby mama drama" or "dead beat daddy". Those parents don't exist in my world and shouldn't in anyone else's either. So where does it go wrong? I'm sure every set of parents can point fingers and list a million different things the other parent did that causes the drama. Unfortunately, more often than not the children are sitting by watching the arguments, screaming, fighting, pettiness, blaming, and name calling. Before you know it, a lifetime has gone by and those children become the adults who expose their children to the same drama and you have the pool of angry, resentful, disrespectful, bitter kids we see today. The sons don't know how to treat or talk to a lady with respect. The daughter have no clue what the definition of a good man is, so they go for anything. They have no values, no self respect, no foundation or wisdom from a strong family to lean on. Now, a strong family doesn't mean that mommy and daddy have to stay together. Another no-no in my opinion is staying together or getting married for the sake of a child. If you've exhausted all possibilities and cant make it work, its better to at least salvage your relationship as parents. Don't wear each other down so bad that you cant stand the sight of one another and constantly argue and give negative examples to your children. I don't have children but I have tons of nieces and I know that they soak up every little thing they see.

Now don't misunderstand what I'm saying. There are great mommies who unfortunately have kids with less than desirable men. This entry is about the Great Daddy, the ones who willingly partake in their child's life. The Dads that just want to do the right thing and be the best father they can be or even the father that their fathers never were. As women, we should take that into consideration. Yes... Its expensive as hell to raise a child but money isn't the only thing necessary to raise a child. Yes... it may burn you up inside to see him move on and start a relationship and/or family with another woman. Every child deserves to have both parents in their life whenever possible. Both parents involved, free of drama and the bitterness of the failed relationship. A mommy and a daddy that put the needs of the child ahead of their own. Now we are human and things don't always go as planned despite the best of intentions. But some parents know they're wrong and just don't care. Women denying Fathers the right to see their child because the child support is late. Women allowing your new boyfriend (who don't do nothing but sleep on your couch and eat your food) even attempt to take the place of the real father. Women that just can't get past their own hurt emotions and they do whatever possible to make hell for the good Dads. Cut it out ladies, just stop it! You're only hurting yourself and more importantly your children.

I'm so thankful to my mother for always allowing my Father to be a Daddy. Never getting the court system involved, never over exposing us to her boyfriend, and definitely always keeping the best image of my Daddy in the forefront. It takes two to tango and if both parents are focused on the most important factor... The child... There may be more children that grow into respectable, upstanding, decent adults and perhaps avoid history continuing to repeat itself.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Daughter #1

I just had an hour long conversation that was right on time for Mothers Day. Ive been planning all week for my Mothers Day entry. I said I was going to blog about my Dad today because his birthday is tomorrow which is also Mothers Day. I was thinking I have to talk about my mom tomorrow so I'll tell yall how fabulous my Dad is now. Well, some say "When we plan, God Laughs!", things happen just as they should and always right on time.

I was flipping through and old modeling portfolio of my moms and came across a picture of Tricia when she was a younger model. Tricia was my first modeling agent back when I lived in DE and I've known her since at least 2000 maybe 2001. But more important than her being a part of the team responsible for my fabolousness, she became the bestest friend of my mother. I introduced Tricia to my mother at modeling practice one day. My mom was going through her first bout with chemo and cancer which had made her quite depressed. I knew Shekinah Models would be a great place to lift her spirit and give her some confidence back because it worked for me. I had no idea that day was the beginning of an amazing friendship nor that on the eve of Mothers Day I'd be on the phone sharing memories with the only person who can tell a Tia Clarke story better than me. Tricia and I always spend hours talking about my mom and how amazing she was and the passion she had inside her. Not many knew my mother as intimately as Tricia does and actually in some ways she knows my mother better than me. As I discover more about myself and how much like my mother I am, I realize how important it is to stop and have these conversations with Tricia. It puts things into perspective for me about decisions I've made and decisions my mother made as I grew up. Thank you Tricia, I love you and will always be grateful for what you continue to do for me.

My mother lived a colorful life to say the least. She could dance, sing, draw, entertain, cook, speak Spanish, play instruments, there just wasn't anything she really couldn't do. She didn't appear to be afraid of anything except God which is how its supposed to be, right? Growing up in my moms house my siblings and I were also encouraged to be colorful. She put us through dance school, taught some of us how to cook (i ate mostly), danced and played music for us and spilled her cultured experiences from the world onto us. My brother is a chef and can draw his butt off, my baby sister has always been talented in the arts, my other sister could write and draw and she can sing a little too (dont tell her i said that), we all danced. Some say the most creative people are also the most insane, so of course my mom had her dark side too. Life was normal for me up until age 11 when my parents separated and we moved out the only home my younger sisters ever knew. For the next few years, my mom, sisters and I moved every year from one apartment to the next. My mother dated other men, I could never make friends because we moved so much, my mother got involved in less than desirable activities, I begin to seek attention in boys. Our colorful family life slowly faded away. My dad was around but at a distance, he's always been an amazing father but now that I'm older I understand more why he wasn't as present. As I grew into my teenage years the distance between me and my mother grew. I eventually moved with my father leaving my two sisters to stay with her. Although I was happy to be in a more stable environment with my dad I knew he had no clue how to raise a teenage daughter by himself. My curiosity and promiscuous ways increased and my communication with my mother and sisters decreased significantly. I wasn't sexually active but, through observing my mother and others things I was exposed to, I was definitely headed towards a path of trouble. Lots of time had passed and I believe my grandmother convinced my mother to pack us up and relocate to Delaware so she could start a new drug-free life away the city life of DC. When you're young and immature, you always feel like the victim and that everything is happening to you and you alone. I still remember sitting in the front seat of the car for the two hour ride to Delaware and didn't part my lips once to speak to my mother. I thought my life was over and that I'd never see my father again. Things with me and my mother definitely got worse before they got better living in DE, so much to the point where I again moved away from her to stay with my older brother. I spent most of my high school years with him and my sister in law. It wasnt until my mother became ill with cancer that we slowly rebuilt a relationship. So for at least seven years of my life I held onto anger and resentment towards her and the way I was raised and the things I was exposed to because of her decisions. My mother and I became so close that there wasnt much time that wasnt spent with her unless I had to work and even then I was only a phone call away. As she battled with cancer, I became her eyes, ears, memory, legs, everything and anything she needed. Today, I know the reasons me and my Mom bumped heads so much is because we are two peas in a pod. Talking with Tricia each time makes me realize that more and more. While I don't share her choice of bad habits fully, there are too many similarities to mention. Poor judgement in men being at the top of the list (with the exception of my dad, of course, she knew how to pick a bum and so do I).

To learn so much about myself in this past year and learn so much about my mother that it is in me is surreal, if that's the right word? Its bitter sweet because I understand so much of what she did now and shes not here for me to say that I forgive her. I know I can say it in my heart and God will make sure she knows it but I want the real thing. Tricia said things that led me to believe that my mom may have felt she left this Earth unfulfilled in her responsibility as my mother. I want her here in front of me to tell her that I don't blame her or hold any grudges against the decision she made in life for herself and for her children. I want to tell her that I'm so proud of her for allowing herself to be humbled through her illness and bringing our family back together. I would tell her that I'm sorry for wishing that the similarities I saw in myself weren't there as a teenager and young women growing up. People who knew my mother would say it all the time "You are so much like your mother" and I thought it to be like a curse. But man it is a blessing. Because I am so much like her, I can adapt to any surrounding and be chameleon-like. Because of her, I can walk into a room of strangers and command a presence if I choose to. Because of her, I can carry a load of things on my back that most are too weak to do and shake off most of the hate and negative energy thrown my way. Because I am so much like her, I have an insanely huge heart and never get tired of interacting and meeting new people and learning new things. She was a "Jane of all trades" and my gosh I think I am too. Because I am so much like her, I am determined to be right with God in the event that the word of the Bible is true so I can see her again on the other side of this life and tell her these things face to face. "Happy Mothers Day Mommy, I Love You and I'm so proud to be your Daughter #1"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Play to WIN

Last night, me and some friends got together for a game of Taboo and dinner. We all love this game and are all competitive successful people in life and very strong minded. There is never a game of anything that involves me that doesn't include lots of sh*t talking and bragging. I'm always yapping at the opponent and talking junk to throw them off course. Occasionally do a little risky business and forget to write a point down or flash a signal to a teammate. My team ended up losing but that was cool with me because we played hard and didn't quit. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, sometimes people can handle it and sometimes they can't. But its just a game so at the end of the day its all love. The game inspired me about todays entry since I'm always yelling "I play to win, I play to win!"

In the game of life, there are similar rules. One could say that the Bible is the sheet of instructions that you follow and the code of laws would be like the list of penalties or things not to do in this game. However, there really is no black and white, easy breezy way to play "Life". I do apply the "I Play to Win" mentality to my career and life but without all the cut throat tactics. I've learned that getting ahead in life is not done by breaking down your opponent or sliding cards under the table to give yourself the upper hand. Its done by staring your opponent or your challenge dead in the eyes and observing their moves. Predicting which way they will go next and to be one step ahead. Like a game of chess, which I've never actually played by the way. Always analyzing every piece on the board or every opportunity in life and deciding which move will bring you the best outcome. Now I believe in Chess they patiently make little checkmate moves that ultimately result in a win. So if we treat life as such and go for the little wins on our boardgame of Life, we too shall win in the end or achieve the desired goal. You can't win a game with one grand move and you certainly don't win by cheating and breaking all the rules. In the game of Spades, if you renig it'll cost you three books if your opponent figures it out. I don't want to risk being set back three books I worked hard for or three little successes in Life so I play on the straight and narrow. I even give the "opponent" so to speak help in the game. Like referring other models/actors to photographers or classes. At auditions smiling and showing them to the sign in sheet or giving them the instruction they may have missed from the director. Giving away trade secrets like beauty tips or auditioning techniques. If I played in my career like I played Taboo there would be no smiles, no helping hand, and swapping of trade secrets. All these are done, one, because it builds great karma and ,two, because you never know who the person you're sitting next to trully is. They could be the next big "it girl", up and coming director, your next BFF, or more importantly just a human being that could use a friendly opponent instead of a "chew you up and spit you out" opponent. Anyone who has a goal is a hustler to me. So any and everyone can be viewed as an opponent. You can't go around chopping everybody off at the knees to get ahead.

So while my friends may still be steaming at the head from playing with me last night, I'm resting easy. I know that was just a game and that my energy is best focused on this real life game I play everyday. Its called " how to be the best me I can be?". Some days I get it right some days I don't, some days others understand my hustle some days they don't. But trust and believe no matter what they think or say, I'm still gonna be over here "Playing to WIN!". (wink wink)
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Be Motivated

A family friend posted "Our Assignment is to Impact the People that God has put in our Paths" on his Facebook page this morning. To me this means to get involved with others, genuinely get involved. We can all learn to take an extra minute out of our day and lend a hand to the next person. Instead of asking "what have I done for myself lately?", we should occasionally ask "what can I do for someone else today?". Whether it be a simple task like a phone call to an old friend to brighten their day or a more committed task like getting involved in a community event. In my opinion, most of us are searching for recognition. "What will you be recognized for?" or better yet "Who will you be remembered as when you leave this world?". I want to be remembered as a person of sacrifice and giving, an example of a human being capable of putting others before myself, spreading joy, and learning from others as I maybe teach them a thing or two from my experiences. Motivating our youth is a responsibility I use to participate in often and I think I need to get back to that. But you can motivate a friend, an elderly family member, a stranger even a coworker. Doesn't matter who, maybe the person you need to motivate for now is simply yourself. Maybe today you should open that savings account you've been thinking about, sign up for that fitness class you've been dreading, call that person you hurt and apologize, wake up and be early instead of on time or be on time instead of late ;-) Make a commitment today to do something different than you have in the past and sincerely give it a go. Think positive often and rise above petty situations. Be Motivated in Life and Seek Joy and Encourage others to do the same.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Monday, May 3, 2010

Peace Be Still

As I work on my list of imperfections I've been seeking inspiration and guidance from different churches that my friends and family attend. Yesterday, I went to church with my bestest friend.

My views on church and religion have always been private and I don't consider myself to be religious but definitely spiritual. I grew up dealing with a lot of hypocrisy around religion from my family, friends, and strangers. Even as an adult, I dealt with challenging issues around others faith and the decisions they make in the name of their Faith. So it was very overwhelming to attend church yesterday and finally feel comfortable enough to go up for Alter Call. Typically I attend church and I sit near the back, out of sight and just listen. I take what applies to me from the message of the Pastor and jot down a few notes and keep it moving. But there was something about the Pastor yesterday that made me feel at home. His message was about learning to "die" in a sense like Jesus did and rise above negativity in your world. In other words when something angers you, just smile and walk away versus cussing them out. When you feel rage or negative thoughts coming on simply pause and don't give into the evil thoughts and actions. The Pastor stated that Jesus could have used his powers and strike against those that wished harm to him but he didn't. Instead he chose to "die" and rise above it. He can explain it a lot better than I can but his message really touched me. Especially because I'm faced with challenges each day that pluck at my temper and I have to make the decision each time to either give into the evil or be the bigger person. My father popped into my mind often during his sermon because he has always been able to walk away or turn the other cheek in situations where I would have lost IT. Perhaps the Pastor reminded me of my father and that brought an ease to me. So after an hour long sermon it was time for Alter Call and I knew with certainty that this was finally the church finally the time in my life to step forward and sincerely ask for guidance with my anger and other challenges. The church member who prayed over me started with "Peace Be Still", reminding me that all I have to do when faced with challenging situations is just turn to God and ask for his help. I want Peace in my life more than ever and the quote simply put means if you want peace then Be Still, do nothing, turn to God and let him fight that battle for you. Alter Call was so refreshing and of course I cried the whole time she prayed over me because this was a major step for me. Exposing myself in this way to strangers and in a place that is so unfamiliar to me... "church". I jumped over a major hurdle in church and I'm considering joining this church, yes I said it, join a church. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of hurt and pain to let go, but I believe yesterday to be the beginning of a Bayooteefull chapter of my life. So Peace will be unto me as I "Be Still".