Friday, November 4, 2011

My Name Is...

When starting this blog four years ago I wanted to remain as anonymous as I could. Then came Facebook and Twitter and since I use my real first name for both of those accounts, I figured I might as well change it here too.

I've been wanting to change from Ms.KnowitAll (I also used Ms.KiA) for a while now. That was a nickname my ex used to call me and well me and my ex broke up long ago. I enjoyed my time using the pseudonym and now it's time to use Kel or for the sake of this blog Just Kel...

My full first name is Kelley.

I struggled with "Kelley" when I was younger. I grew up with Tamikas, Shaniquas, Keishas, Tashas, and Tanyas... and I wanted one of those names too. I had to be about seven years old when I told my mother I wanted a name change... Ok so what really happened was my brother was eighteen and he asked my mother if he could change his name and she said yes. I figured I could ask and she'd say yes to me. She didn't. If I could have changed my name it would have been Barbara, Diana, Tina because to me, those are sexy names.

My mom didn't choose Kelley because she researched the meaning or because it flowed so nicely with my last name. She chose my name because my aunt knew a woman who knew another woman and she had a niece named Kelly and my mom wanted to name me something "different". Plus my brother's name began with a K and my mother wanted to keep to her trend.

My first name tends to fool people. I know that both, my first and last names are Irish and English respectively. I just recently I met a colleague I had been communicating with via email. As we shook hands, he said Oh you're Kelley. it's nice to put a name with a face, I've seen you before but I never you were a Kelley. I really wanted to ask Did you think I was an Aisha? But I didn't of course because I'm not a nut and my perception could have been off.

A few years back when I looked up the meaning of my name. It was then that I embraced it fully.

"From the Irish Gaelic name Kelly, Warrior Woman, is bold and daring in all she does; someone who makes every minute count; has a classic strength and beauty; compassionate and patient with others; someone who is held in high esteem; a smile like a beam of light at night; a woman who is proud of her old-fashioned ideas; an individual who is very adventurous."

"Kelly — from the Gaelic word for "warrior woman"; "farm by the spring". At an ancient shrine of the goddess Brigit at Kildare, there were sacred priestesses and warrior women called kelles, and its possible the name and surname came from them."

So I've come to learn and accept my warriorism... my courage and even my aggressiveness. I am a warrior while defending and protecting the people and the things I love. I was a warrior when I endured abuse, rejection, all types of hurt and life's side swipes. I'm sure that given the choice, a lot of us would not have chosen our names - a side of me would still choose Barbara, Diana, Tina and even Sheila - but just as a middle name or even a nickname. While I still find them to be sexy names, Kelley is the name my mama chose and it fits me just fine.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Remember...

Sometimes something so small can bring evoke a memory. For me, it's the smell of Nag Champa or Egyptian Musk or Sandalwood or whatever scent it was that Armstrong wore.

And whenever I smell that pungent body oil I remember how I met Armstrong, a friend of a friend I met one day while cutting school. I remember how deep his voice was. Too deep for him to call my house since I was thirteen and he was seventeen. I remember my mother forbidding me to see him since he was older and most likely sexually experienced.

I remember how I ignored my mother's warning and saw Armstrong anyway.  We lived in the same neighborhood, he went to my neighborhood high school and I was bound to see him again anyhow. I remember how cute he was... light skin, curly hair, big brown eyes, full pink lips, and dimples.

I remember how he invited me to his house one Sunday. I ate my first vegetarian meal since his family were strict vegans. I remember how I met every one in his home since they all sat down and ate together (My family only did this on holidays.) I remember this was the first time I heard Black people speaking German because his grandfather was German. I remember after the meal when we sat in front of his house and kissed. I remember sitting in between his legs. He lived on the same block where they shot the opening scene of the movie Maid in Manhattan. I remember how he removed the earrings from my left ear, all three earrings. I remember how he whispered in my left ear with that deep voice of his. I remember how he licked my left ear from the lobe to the helix, the scapha, concha, external meatus, tragus and everywhere in between. I remember how he bent my ear and licked right in the back... you know... right there. I remember how he blew on my ear to dry it. I remember how other parts of me could not be blown dry. I remember how he put back all three of my earrings. I remember thinking that my mother's concerns of me being thirteen and dating someone seventeen were on point.

I remember asking one guy who wore that same fragrance what the name was but for some reason I cannot remember that - just its sweet, lingering scent. Every time I smell it, which is every once in a while, I remember that Sunday afternoon. That was over twenty years ago and I remember that like it was yesterday...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I began to doubt...


Just recently. I truly went through a period of days and months doubting, thinking and wondering if God is really real. I never stopped going to church. After all going to church, for me, is just like getting up daily and going to my Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 - it's a ritual, a routine. So not going to church would be like quitting my full-time gig. In addition to that not going to fellowship would be like cutting out a big piece of what I do.

BUT going to church and believing that God is real are two different things.

I don't know what happened, what words were spoken to me, what I had watched on TV... Perhaps while I was in bible study someone asked a question and the answer offered didn't have any weight to it. Maybe it was while reading the paper or witnessing evil shadowing this world. The "God Seed" was planted in me by my mother long ago... I do not remember a time in my life when I did not believe yet somehow my faith was breached.

I am known to overthink. I mean I pensively rip things a-part. You can't just tell me to believe and I do. I cannot just have faith. Not me. I need some proof, intangible proof, in order to believe.
And believe in what exactly... Cosmology? Religion?

I did not stop praying. I did not stop studying. I didn't give up or throw up my hands but those actions can be considered habits and not true acts of faith. So I asked God if He was real, prove it to me. Give me a sign that You are out there, You hear me, and You've got all sides of me.

This past week two events happened to me. I asked God for proof of His existence and he gave me two. One sign nearly made me piss my pants, literally. I won't go into detail about it but I will say it was one of those "that could have been me" incidents. I suppose I needed that. That jolt, that shock, that fear that stunning experience where the words "God! Help! Me!" naturally fell out of my mouth. The other event was something mild and sweet, something where if I blinked I would not have noticed. If God didn't already astound me, He would not have been able to wow me - which is what He did. I would have taken this second experience for granted.

Is God really real? I am sure we've all asked that question. And truthfully, unless we simply believe and have faith - unless we see a sign or have a Daniel, Jonah, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego experience - perhaps we'll just have to live out this life until we close our eyes and wake up some other side to shall receive our answers.

As for me I do not believe in coincidence and I don't think that those two experiences were unrelated events. I believe God is real. He proved His God Self to me and I realized that I had taken God for granted.

I know that rainbows after heavy rainstorms are God's sign that he's keeping His promise to us. I saw two of them last month but still I doubted God's reality. I've seen prayers answered and breakthroughs happen and still I wondered if God was just a label for all unexplained happenings. God saw that my faith needed to be shocked and stirred to the point where when I think about what could have happened to me my heartbeat increases and when I think about what He did for me a fullness fills my heart.