Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

I thank you Sister Lovebabz... an amazing writer, a profound story teller, and a helluva Grown Woman. She bestowed this honor upon me and I humbly accept.

I have an attitude of gratitude... meaning that I am grateful for EVERYTHING God has blessed me with.

Each day that I rise and there's movement in my body and clarity in my mind, I am grateful.

When I run to my overflowing closet where there are shoes, bags, hats, coats, and clothes galore, I am grateful.

When I can pick up the phone and call my parents, just to say "Hello" and "I love you"... I am grateful.

When I rush my butt to work daily even though I'm supposed to be here at 9:30 and I trail in at 10:21 and no one says, "Hey you're late!", I am grateful.

When my eyes overflow with tears from guilt and misery, I know I still have feelings and concern for myself and others, I am grateful.

When I can withdraw at least $20 from my checking account, I am grateful.

When there's food in my cabinets, my freezer and my fridge and it's food that I love to eat, I am grateful.

Each night that I am able to say "Thank You Lord for another day", there's relationship, and I am grateful.

When I laugh so hard it hurts or smile so much that my cheek muscles tense, I am grateful.

For the eyes I see with, the ears I hear with, my soft skin that feels, my nose that picks up on the pleasant and not so pleasant NYC aromas, and my wonderful taste buds (I couldn't live without ya), I am grateful.

***I will be alone this holiday. Everyone who I normally spend holidays with is either away or working. However I am never lonely. My relationships with the Creator, my family and friends leaves me no lonely time. There is no such thing as coincidence and I know that everything that happens, happens for a reason. I know that this holiday I am purposed to spend time with myself. As the ending of the year is approaching, I plan to do some self-reflection, some inner work and meditation on my current blessings and those to come.

For those who read this, smile, nod or transfer to another web page after reading this, I know you were here, I hope you have been enlightened, I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, for you...

I am grateful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Telling The Truth

“Some people say that I’m to open they say it's not good to let them know everything about me and they say one day they will use every little thing against me but I don't mind maybe they're right that's just how it is and I got nothing to hide.” -Life is Real by Ayo

Growing up my mother always told me that I will say the wrong thing if I talk too much and sure enough I caught enough slaps and hits for saying something out of turn or for talking too much in school.

I talk a lot. I am not ashamed to tell my business, especially when I know it can benefit someone else. I talk about my relationships, particularly with my friends or co-workers and don’t let something go down in my relationship because I will run and tell them how HE done made me mad. I talk about the good in my relationship and CB can tell you how I make her ear bleed and her stomach queasy with my love and lust stories.

I talk about my family, the good family and their funny stories and I tell about family gone bad. That cousin who in 1985 made Christmas bad for everybody by stealing everything from under that tree and selling it all for crack.

I talk about my financial situation, when it’s good and when it’s bad. When my people see me pull out my change purse and pay for my whole meal with dimes, they know I’m low on funds. When I’m not eating lunch and drinking tea that I borrowed from the office pantry, I’m in a financial funk. I have no problem explaining why my bag is so heavy – it’s because I have to run to Commerce (now TD Bank) to the penny arcade!

I just really try not to hide my truth.

I remember the time when I saw an interview with Alice Walker (I’ve spoken about this before) but what resonates within me is her candidness. She spoke of how she was blinded by her brother, the abuse one of her grandmother’s suffered, abortions. Me and DC sat their astonished and we both left saying that we wanted to be that truthful, that open.

* Some days my pendulum swings between id and ego erratically.
* I used to say that I’m jealous but I realized recently that I’m not. I choose my new quality - Guarded.
* I am mostly frugal but when it comes to jeans, costume jewelry and bags, I will splurge.
* I am a stickler for time but I am always late or rushing.
* In relationships, I love hard and I give my all. I’m usually not jealous or guarded when I’m secure in my worth.
* I am Ms. Independent with my girls but with my man, I am putty.
* I am a procrastinator in ALL things.
* I am a ride or die friend. If there is any way to say or display my loyalty, I show and prove.
* I love my family. I’d give a lung, kidney, bone marrow, and blood, whatever is necessary to save the life of anyone of them. Yes, that even goes for that crackhead cousin of mine. And I want to always be close to them, which explains why I didn’t move all over the world like my brother and the truth is, they need me as much as I need them.
* I’m selfish with my food. Food is sacred to me and when I sit down to eat and I know my food is going to be slamming, I do not want to look over and see some hungry eyes but… I almost always spill my food and on my clothes. (That’s probably the portion I should have shared).
* I look for errors and if anyone around me says a wrong word or uses a word in the wrong tense, before I can think about it, I am correcting them. The other day my supervisor said, “Who stealed it?” Oh we all fell out laughing as I said “Stealed, stealed!”
* Speaking of words… I tell anyone around me… please be careful with your use of words because I take everything literally. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it.
* I am a church girl but I got a potty mouth. :O It’s bad of me, I know. It's no secret that I get my sailor's mouth from my parents. My mother tells me that she likes my profane flow but that my mouth and face just don't go together. I AM WORKING ON IT!

That's simply skimming the surface...

Ayo (Joyful) ~~ Life is Real

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lately I...

* Haven't been in the blogging mood. Stuff is going on in my life and my peeps are telling me I should post about "it" but I'm not. Some things are too personal but it probably would make for a good post, though bits of my personal leak into all of my posts. I've also been at a loss for topics but that's probably because my mind is blocked by all that's going on.

* Haven't been getting much rest. OH but last night! Last night I collapsed around 10:30 p.m. I knew I would wake up in the middle of the night because I'm not used to sleeping for long periods of time and sure enough I woke up at 1 am. Immediately I wanted to get on the computer, listen to some Sade or Anita Baker, finish my church work, type out a couple of letters (yes I still type/write letters to my peoples), or get up and read but I willed myself to go back to sleep and eventually I fell off.
I woke again at 2:30 am. This time I was too hot. My apartment is an inferno during the winter months. I'm not complaining because it's freezing outside. I did get out of the bed to open the window.
I woke again at 4:30 am. This time to close the window because the heat went down and I was suddenly freezing.
I fully woke up at 6:30 am, feeling good. I'm so glad I had a full night of resting. It's been months since I've been able to.

* Have begun to bore everyone including myself. I used to think that I was one of the most exciting people but I've been in a work, home, church, clean-up Grandma's place and then repeat, RUT. I'm bored and the thought of me spending a Friday or Saturday night alone makes me wanna run out for a bottle of the brown juice to drown my sorrows. But then I'll probably get weepy and then call everyone I didn't want to call in the first place, tell them all how I love them, we should get together and then I'll pass out and forget the phone calls or that I told them we were hooking up. I haven't even been reading much lately. It's crazy! Anyone who knows me knows that I am always reading something. So I'm trying to find some ways to make my life exciting again. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr. Messed Up

This morning I reduced myself to this…

I saw you the moment I walked down the stairs leading to the subway platform on my way to work this morning. The other day when you tried to holla at me, I sized you up real quick. I guess because I said no when you asked for my number and told you to have a nice day when you pressed me, today you decided to get me back. So as I recognized you, walked past you and failed to acknowledge you, you thought it hip to call me out my name. It probably made your lame ass feel better to say “the Bronx is full of dusty, fat bitches who ain’t shit”. When I kept on walking despite the stares I received along the crowded platform, you kept on talking, elevating your voice just so I could hear you.

I guess I surprised the shit out of you when I doubled back with a face of stone to ask you, “Who you were talking about?”. I could have been scared of the tall lanky negro who stood way past 6 feet but I ain’t. See when I said that I sized you up the other day, I knew you were a punk, probably homeless living off of your baby mama who was dumb enough to let a lowlife knock her up. I knew you weren’t worth my time and you had to be out your mind to think you could get my number. You were audacious enough to call me a dusty bitch who ain’t shit? One of my earrings cost more than you whole get up and you’d probably have enough money left over to feed the family you are not likely supporting. Everyday I manage to get up and go to a great job where I serve in a great profession, hold down my own apartment and survive while not living paycheck to paycheck and if you were lucky enough to have a glimpse in my apartment you’d be floored because everything I own is quality and out of your league. No, to you I am a bitch who ain’t shit because I love a caliber of man who does not “go to his wife’s house” first thing in the morning, doubtlessly eating up all her food, sleeping on her furniture and leaving a gallon of dirt behind and an empty life. A 9 to 5 is no doubt ridiculous to you. Sure I could have let your tasteless opinions of me slide and rode the train in peace, listening to Lalah Hathaway and reading Crystelle Mourning and normally I would have. But all I had to do was sit my bougie self aside and get real Bronx on you as I asked “Who are you talking about?”. I could have died laughing when all that yapping you were doing immediately stopped, when you quickly moved from the spot you stood on the platform and walked to the back of the platform and to your back, again I said, “Now have a good day”. Serves your gutter ass right to regress to the back of anything because you haven’t even evolved from Negro to decent Black man. Nigga please.

I love my Black Brothers. I am so down for y’all, from the porters who empty garbage and clean toilets to the corporate comrade. I don’t care what your occupation is as long as you’re respectful and upstanding. Just Monday morning as I was heading to the station, I heard 2 negroes outside my building talking about how hoes on this block ain’t shit and I had to filter that out and not take it personally but today, nah buddy, it was so personal.

Now there was one part of his comment that I neglected. Fat. It’s no secret that I’m tipping the scale. It’s quite obvious that I am far from skinny. That is one part of his comment that I let slide because it is fact. While I’m not completely happy with my size, I am definitely proud of my shape, a perfectly juicy, ripe pear shape. That part didn’t even upset me. His blatant disdain of women (because I sure I am not the only woman he disrespects), his lack of self-respect and his smear on good Black men, that’s what disgusts me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

TGIF... Random Words I Type

Apartment Therapy
This week has been so long for me. I've been calling Social Security, sending out Thank You cards and cleaning out Grandmother's apartment. It is such a big ole mess but it has to be done so that housing can rent it out again. I found a few treasures during the clean-up but a lot of her stuff will be donated. From this experience, all I have to say is... if you don't have a pot to piss in or piss to even put in the pot in the first damn place, HAVE A WILL. A piece of notarized paper which says I don't have ish but I want my non-ish to go to such and such is suffice. Why? It eliminates the running around your poor granddaughter will have to do. It eliminates the police presence and the court documents. It will make things so much easier. Also I know it's morbid and no one wants to think about it, but keep all important documents (insurance papers, birth certificates, passports, etc.) in a nice noticeable box or even in a bag, organized. Not on the floor under the dresser, under the clothes under the dresser. You had to hear me on Tuesday in the apartment, "Why Grandma, Why?!!!

Sibling Love
For those who don't know, I am the baby of my family with 3 older siblings. 2 brothers and 1 sister. On November 4th, we welcomed a new addition to my family. My brother, Jr. and his wife gave birth to a baby girl, my beautiful niece Davina Monique. 8 pounds and 14 ounces!

Now my oldest brother who I spoke about earlier this year in my post Where Does The Love Go?, we're 11 years apart and not very close. We talk and text but we hardly share much, however this week we bonded on some "don't tell mommy" stuff. I don't know what it is about my brother but he tells our mother EVERYTHING. I am the complete opposite. I tell her what I want her to know and especially when it comes to relationships because a good mother is going to take the side of her child and hate the person who is doing her child wrong and that's exactly what brought us together this week. Between my brother and my nephew's mother, they have been driving my mother crazy with their relationship drama but he confided in me and though I don't agree with his life decisions, I love him tremendously and support him no matter what. I pray he finds his way, settles down, and finds someone who loves him for who he is rather than what he can provide.

Since my grandmother passed, I have wanted to reach out, be intentional and connect with family I have not communicated with and especially with my sister. I have not spoken to nor seen my sister in 17 years. When I asked Jr. for her number and email, he told me he didn't have it. I wanted to text her or email rather than call her direct because she may not respond. That hurts. She didn't come to Grandmother's funeral because she wanted an invitation from my father and as much as my dad loves his children, he is strong, stubborn and does not stroke our egos. However even though we are good and grown, he still spoils the mess out of us. :)
Jr. told me when I visited him that she's selfish and to leave her alone but I don't want to. I've done that enough with a few folks but even if she blows me off, I want my sister to know that she's in my thoughts. So please send your positive energy and thoughts our way...

My oldest brother always calls me BougieGhetto, not simply bougie, I guess because I still live in the hood and love the hood but think I'm better than the hood... I dunno. Anyway, I had this uncomfortable experience yesterday. I bumped into one of my friends from high school in one of the eateries by the job. Now I'm a proud Librarian and though that's not a poppin' field, it's really nerdy, techie and for the most part colorless (if you know what I mean). Me and my supervisor try to splash some diversity but it is just a prude area. However we are a wine and cheese kinda folk, snooty and quirky. What a combination.

So I see my old schoolmate and we're all "You look the same, your face hasn't changed, so where are you working?" when I suddenly don't feel so BougieGhetto at all but just Ghetto, no, Guttah! LOL
She gave me her Blackberry to put my information and I'm fumbling because I don't know how to use no Blackberry! She introduces me to her boyfriend who is colorless... and tells me how she's an attorney at some law firm up the block from me. I felt blue collar... But then my co-worker CB reminded me that I know what artichokes are and I eat them. LOL
There was a time when I used to be beige at work and dark brown when I exited the premises but as I've stayed pass a decade at my institution and reached my status here, I realized that I can't lose myself nor do I want to. So slowly but surely the dark brown crept out and all day I'm me, bougie but yes I'm ghetto and I love it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Talented Tenth

I am so filled with joy with the accomplishment of Barack Obama being our 2009 President-Elect. This is a monumental event and I’m gladdened and proud that I am alive to witness it.

No matter the size of this victory, Mr. Obama will be this country’s President, not a president solely for the people of color.

Tonight I am reminded of The Talented Tenth. For those who don’t know, I’ve included a portion of W.E.B. Dubois’s article below.

“The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races. Now the training of men is a difficult and intricate task. Its technique is a matter for educational experts, but its object is for the vision of seers.

Men of America, the problem is plain before you. Here is a race transplanted through the criminal foolishness of your fathers. Whether you like it or not the millions are here, and here they will remain. If you do not lift them up, they will pull you down. Education and work are the levers to uplift a people. Work alone will not do it unless inspired by the right ideals and guided by intelligence. Education must not simply teach work? It must teach Life. The Talented Tenth of the Negro race must be made leaders of thought and missionaries of culture among their people. No others can do this work and Negro colleges must train men for it. The Negro race, like all other races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men.”

No sirree folks! Bill Clinton was not the 1st Black President. We are surviving and witnessing a change in the making. W.E.B. Dubois's article strikes a cord with me. In this day and age of the right now, when no one wants to work hard and survey the progress, we now have a leader who young and old can look upon proudly and be inspired.