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!

Sent from my iPad