AS I LAY DYING

I’m wired a bit differently than most people. This isn’t a new discovery for me, or something surprising that I found out after a lot of self-examination. I’ve always known that I was different. I feel too much; I care way too much! Therefore I’ve learned that when things happen in life-how I respond not only directly reflects the strength of my character, but can determine the course of my life for months, if not years to come.

The 2016 presidential election wreaked havoc on my mental and spiritual well-being. Donald Trump being elected the 45th President of the United States sent me spiraling into a state of turmoil. I was so worked up that I got physically sick.

So much happened in the days after the election that further complicated things for me. I lost old friends, made new ones, pissed off coworkers, abandoned social media, became the topic of rumor and speculation, and had an all out B*tch Fit!

It often felt as though  I was having a outter body experience; like I was watching the events of my life unfold on a movie screen, or through someone else’s eyes. I’ve always been the likable girl! The one that you wanted on your team. Being disliked or unpopular was literally foreign to me. Until November 8, 2016…

Before I continue it’s important that you understand that I literally am EVERY WOMAN!!!! I’m from a small town that was predominantly white. I’m an HBCU graduate (HAMPTON UNIVERSITY STAND UP!!!), a member of a BGLO, a former Labor Union Organizer who worked hands on with immigrants. An accomplished Actress who has toured the country performing, and most recently a teacher, counselor, resource officer and a mother. I’m not telling you these things to toot my own horn… I simply want you to understand that I’ve lived a number of lives and been influenced by a number of people.

I know that people regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation, all have one thing in common… THEY WANT TO BE HAPPY! For the life of me, I CANNOT understand why anyone would have a problem with this. It further amazes me that these are the issues that have divided America: a country that was built on the pursuit of happiness.

I realized early on why I took Trumps victory so hard. As a lover and a feeler, Donald Trump’s win felt like a slap in the face. It was a direct assault on everything that I believe in and stand for. Thus my first reaction, like many throughout the country was to lash out.

Now before my friends on the other side start yelling or complaining as they have been doing for nearly two weeks now ( they’ve been coming at me via: phone, text, direct message, and the postal service), I realize that there is more at stake. I know that we are at war with extremist, and that the bible speaks against homosexuality and abortion. I get it! But the BIBLE also tells us not to judge, and to love our neighbors. It burns me up that people think they have the right to pick and chose what part of the GOOD BOOK they are going to acknowledge and stand behind.

Ok, my rant is over… let’s get back on track. Through all of the chaos, I had an epiphany! Here I was pointing out the problems with our newly elected President,  and receiving backlash from some pretty surprising places. Without rehashing the whole situation, let’s just say that the RIGHT almost broke me!!! For the first time in my life I  was crying out in rage, I used the word hate (and meant it), and I was plotting revenge.

I knew that I had to GET IT TOGETHER! My break through came as I realized that it is OKAY to NOT BE OKAY. Growing up, I was always taught to be kind. Additionally, I have a habit of putting the wants and needs of others before my own, and I could never stand the idea of someone truly not liking me. Therefore, I’d fight to find common ground with everyone that I met. Subsequently I’d built a number of superficial relationships with people whom I needed to cut ties with.

Many of these people confronted me and accused me of trying to fight other people battles. In my mind I’m asking, “Do they see me at all? I’m a Black Woman for Gods sake!” These same people accused me of being to sensitive. My reply was, “Maybe you’re just too numb.” It was suddenly so clear to me what needed to be done. I realized that now is the time to pick sides and I refuse to stand idly by when so much is at stake. If that makes me unpopular, than so be it!

The last two weeks have taught me that I am STRONGER than I ever imagined! As the old me who sought to please the world lays DYING… a NEW and IMPROVED me is waiting to be born. The new me will not allow my past relationships to make me bitter. Instead, I will use them to make me better! The new me realizes that you are the people you surround yourself with. Therefore, she will move forward in love, but chose her friends wisely.

In closing, I say to anyone reading this, whether you are on the left or the right; in the days to come, we will all be tested. Do not let anyone’s ignorance, hate, drama, or negativity stop you from being the best person that you can be. Rise above it all, even if it means that you have to walk alone ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Boys and Their Games

So there is a popular game going around that you may not have heard of if you don’t have kids. The game is called Bean Boozled and it’s by the makers of Jelly Belly. Yep!  You heard that right. The people who make those delicious jellybeans in fantastic flavors like: Berry Blue, Cotton Candy, and Crushed Pineapple have created a game and you guessed it… it’s all about jellybeans.

Okay, Okay… I’m sure that by now you are wondering where I’m going. Your probably thinking, “What the What? I didn’t come here for this.”But if you stick with me and this…

I promise it’s gone jump up and hit you ❤

So back to the game. Bean Boozled is a simple game found in a little box right on the candy aisle. The box is full of jellybeans of all different colors. The thing is, you may have two blue jellybeans that look exactly the same but they taste totally different. When I say different, I don’t mean Blueberry and Cotton Candy different! I mean what on God’s Green Earth different! Like Blueberry and toothpaste, or Chocolate Pudding and Canned Dog Food; the box literally has flavors like… Lawn Clippings, Rotten Egg, and Stinky Socks. They are masked to look like the Tutti-Frutti, Lime, and Buttered popcorn jellybeans. Thus, every time you put a bean in your mouth,  you are gambling with something that can potentially MESS YOU UP!!!!!!

My boys have been asking me to by this HOT MESS of a game for months. I always side step and tell them “Wait until it goes on sale”, or “Next time”. Well this week as I walked around with the weight of the world on my shoulders, literally sick over the outcome of the Presidential Election, my two guys got me! They asked if they could have this candy while we stood in the checkout line at Walmart, and me being already defeated, agreed. They danced around happily and couldn’t wait until we got home where they immediately ran off to their room and started playing Bean Boozled. After about 20 minutes my youngest son Miles came into the living room where I was sitting and handed me a tiny green jellybean. Thinking nothing of it I grabbed the bean and popped it into my mouth-my 7-year-old and his older brother watched grinning like Cheshire cats!

My sense of taste was immediately assaulted by the taste of salt and slime, “IT TASTES LIKE A BOOGER” I yelled as my boys feel to the floor laughing. “We got you”, they called out. “Do you want to try another”, one asked.

The GEM here comes later on in the evening when my youngest son Miles is sitting curled up with me on the sofa. He is tickled with himself for fooling me with the jellybean and no lie, he looks me in my eyes and says “Mom, the game is like life. It can be really GOOD, or it can be really BAD; but it’s always FUNNY.” Hold up, wait! Did I just get schooled by my 7-year-old? Here I am dwelling on all the hatred and violence going on in the world, and missing out on the fun and love that is all around me!!!

Listen to me LOVES! While I am of the opinion that Donald Trump being elected as President of these United States is the worst thing that could have happened for a number of reasons; I do not pretend to know what the future holds. Trump could surprise us all (I’m giving you the side-eye right now) and be one of the greatest presidents we have ever seen. This whole scenario could be the start of something new and great in America! On-the-other-hand… Trump could crash and burn and take our country and its  economy along with him. Whatever is going to be is going to be! What is clear is that people like you and I owe it to our children to make lemonade out of the lemons we have been handed.

Children look up to adults and they are master imitators. Our babies are looking at us and forming opinions about the changing world around them. If they see us angry and afraid, they too will become angry and afraid. Those are the last attributes that I want for my two little kings. I want them to be empowered and to know that they are as good as the majority! I want them to know that they can still be whatever they want! I want them to do better, and be better than me and the people of the world today! I want life for them to be Really good, and when it does get BAD, I want them to remember to laugh and have fun! I want them to understand that God is ALWAYS in control.

I want to let anyone reading this know that what the world needs right now is love. I AM A LOVER SO I’M GONNA LOVE ❤

I vow to use LOVE,  TACT,  and COURTESY,  to help change the world around me. I am determined to be apart of the solution, not the problem! With that said… make no mistakes about it. I choose to be kind because it makes me happy; I will however defend my boundaries and my loved ones without hesitation. There is no jellybean foolishness within me. What you see, is what you get! I AM LOVE, AND I AM FIERCE, AND I AM MOVING ON 🙂

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My Sweet Miles and his NASTY game!!!

Pouring From Empty

I am a WIFE. I am a MOTHER. I am a DEVOTED DAUGHTER. I am an EDUCATOR and a MENTOR. I am a COACH. I am the PRESIDENT of the PTA at my boys elementary school. I am a VOLUNTEER, I am a THESPIAN, I am a CRAFTOR, I am a straight up HUSTLER, and…

I. AM. EXHAUSTED!

I talk a lot about setting rules and boundaries and carving out time for yourself, but truth be told… I am a chronic over-committer who always puts the needs and wants of others over my personal self-care. A few weeks ago the burden of my sometimes insurmountable commitments and activities caught up with me. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I bottomed out mentally, physically, and emotionally (there were tears, tears, and more tears). Not only was my breakdown overdue, but it was scary!!! I felt like the world was crashing down around me and I had no control of it. It was then that I realized that it was time to make some changes.

Looking back I can’t help but to laugh at myself because deep down, I knew what needed to be done. The problem was, I just didn’t want to do it. After all, I was put on this earth to serve!!! Isn’t it selfish to feed my own soul when I’m clearly being told to give, serve, and lead? Just as I was struggling with what to do next, God delivered a message to me via a new FRIEND. The message simply stated… “You cannot pour from empty.”

Those simple words spoke volumes! I’d been filling up on superficial acts for so long that I had forgotten what it felt like to truly thirst and hunger for something. Indeed it was time to do away with the superficial and focus on being intentional.

It’s been a month since I started over! I’ve learned more in the past 30 days, than I have over the course of my entire life; and it’s all because I took the time to listen to myself. I put every piece of myself under a microscope and did away with that which no longer spoke to me. Doing so was surprisingly easier than I imagined it would be, which serves as further proof of my growth and development.

Next, I cut ties with people and situations that were holding me back. I did so without making excuses or offering apologies. I sat aside time that is exclusively for my family and I made prayer and meditation an integral part of my day. I even went as far as deactivating my old Instagram (which was kinda trashy), and switching up my Facebook and twitter.

Blocking out the distractions of the world was super important for me, as reconnecting with who I am at my core was vital. I knew that I had to clear all my baggage (every bit of it!), and I realized that it was time to stop worrying about other people’s opinions of me. How I feel about myself -will from here on out always be my major concern. Afterall, I have to live with me!

The moral of this story my friends is that in order to complete the task that God has given us, we must be INTENTIONAL. If we cannot discern what is best for us as individuals, we cannot truly serve! It is okay to put yourself first; to feed your soul, and do what makes you happy! Doing so impacts your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being and allows the best version of you to show up in all you do.

Quit pouring from empty! Live INTENTIONALLY ❤

img_7284Me finally resting ❤

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.   

Let’s Talk

It’s no secret that I have a gift for gabbing. Not only did I earn my pin name Miss Congeniality 1920 participating in pageants;  I’m also a super social individual who has mastered the art of conversation! I realize that everyone isn’t as comfortable as I am with making small talk, so I decided to put together a quick guide to becoming a conversationalist!

At this point you maybe asking, “Why is being able to hold a conversation so important?” Well…  I’ll tell you why!  Conversations are super important because they are literally the foundations of relationships. It is through dialogue that we are able to connect with individuals based on similar backgrounds, interest, and experiences. Many people find it difficult to establish small talk; others struggle to end a conversation with out coming across as awkward or tacky. Whether you are a shy introvert who avoids conversation, or the life of the party… the following tips will aid you in communicating with people throughout your everyday life.

Getting off on the right foot

I ‘ve always found that leading with a compliment is the best way to start a conversation. Whether it’s a “Hey girl, I really like your hair”, or a “Wow… You smell really good! What are you wearing?” If you can make a person smile, or feel good about themselves, I assure you, a great conversation will soon follow! Keep in mind that when initiating a conversation you must be both kind and genuine. Do not over reach or embellish things for the sake of creating small talk. If someone compliments me on my outfit and I’m wearing sweats (Not the cute sweats, but the oversized dingy ones that I love to lounge around the house in), I’m going to think the he/she is being sarcastic; and I’m immediately going to shut down any further conversation.

Go small

Many people don’t realize how important small talk is. Chatting it up about the weather, current events, or the atmosphere at the company holiday party, often leads to deeper conversation. During small talk it is essential that you are, or at least appear to be a good listener. People really begin to open up when they believe that you care, and are actively engaged. You’ll be surprised by the connections that can be made during one simple conversation.

It’s important that you avoid giving too much too soon or “Over-sharing”. This rule doesn’t just apply when engaging in conversation with strangers, it’s also a good rule of thumb in general. Unless you are having an in-depth conversation with your loved one, Bestie, or Therapist, stick to the highlights of your day, and leave a bit of mystery.

conversation

I hate it when this happens! Continue reading to find out why its rude to interrupt the conversation in order to make your contribution.

Be a Fountain

If you’ve read any of my previous post, you know exactly what a DRAIN is! A Drain is someone who is overly critical or negative. When you are meeting someone for the first time or engaging in small talk, stir away from complaining about your life. Be as light and upbeat as possible. If for some reason you are having a bad day or you’re just not in the mood to do a lot of talking, you can once again put your listening skills to good use. If you’re actively paying attention, you can scan the dialogue for “Oh really/tell me more” opportunities that will both prolong the conversation and keep you off of the podium . Once you’ve noticed the conversation dying off, you can politely bow out by saying “It’s been a pleasure meeting/talking to you”,  or “I really enjoyed catching up”. In the event of your conversation being interrupted by someone who is less skilled in the art of communication, you can simply EXCUSE yourself and move on to small talk with someone else. At this point it is also acceptable to turn your attention to your cellphone.

When talking in small groups, avoid taking over the conversation and appearing to “One-Up” the other participants. Even if you have cooler vacation stories or have scaled Everest a million times; talking about it after someone else has brought it up can cause you to appear cocky or selfish. You can talk about your amazing adventures some other time, or lead with shared experiences when it’s time to mix and mingle again.

That’s all folks

As you can see, there really is an art to carrying on a conversation. I’m confident that if you lead with the suggestions that I’ve laid out, you’ll have little to know problem engaging in conversation. In closing, I cannot emphasize enough… the importance of relaxing and being your wonderful self! Be confident in who you are, and open to sharing your interest and ideas with the rest of the world! You my LOVE,  are worth getting to know 🙂

The days of mustering through lame conversations are over! You can now ensure that you and your soon to be friends always have interesting topics to discuss.

boring

 

 

I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading my blog! Please share it with your friends and family and continue coming back weekly for updates, advice, and love. I’m just a girl trying to change the world one smile, kind word, and sweet gesture at a time ❤

 

 

 

DRAINS

This week we are going to talk about drains. What are drains?  Drains are people in your life who deprive you of your strength and vitality. They have the unique ability to suck all of the life out of a room, and they are overly critical or negative. In short… drains are our friends whom somehow feel like an emotional ball and chain, and let’s be real… we all know people like this! Oftentimes, we are torn between how to be supportive of these individuals; and how to stay true to ourselves. I think that we can all agree that you shouldn’t have to rip  yourself into pieces to keep others whole.

I’ll admit it; I am a drain magnet. Perhaps its because of my laidback personality. Maybe it’s because I like to feel needed. Whatever the case, chronic complainers and those whom can’t take NO as an answer- are drawn to me like a moth to a flame. Ironically It wasn’t until  a relationship with a close friend hit rock bottom that I realized just how unhealthy these relationship are.  Thus I am offering a few pointers on how to interact with drains; and should you chose to… relieve yourself of the burden of these relationships all together.

First things first! All relationships have a value. Thus, it is important that you determine how valuable your relationship with the individual in question is. Keep in mind that drains are everywhere. They aren’t just the people that we meet in the workplace, or on social outings. Sometimes our Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and siblings are the ones always in need of money, favors, or praise. Some of us are married to drains who refuse to accept responsibilty, are argumentative, and constatly blame others for their problems. However,  More often that not- the toxic people in our lives are friends or associates, so we are  going to go with that 🙂 .

If you’ve decided that your friendship has value and you’d like to try and save it, the first thing that I’d advise you to do is to have a CONVERSATION. Let your friend know how STRESSED and PRESSURED you feel. Tell him or her, that BALANCE is important, and that sometimes you’d like to take a minute to APPRECIATE the GOOD in the world. Give your pal a GRATTITUDE CHALLENGE (Facebook style) in which they have to point out one thing a day that they are thankful for. Play on the challenge! Whenever your buddy turns into Debbie Downer remind her of all the things that are right in life.

If that doesn’t work, start spending less time with the individual. Keep in mind that its rude and insensitive to cut ties completely (Miss Congeniality does’t support rude and insensitive behavior). A gradual decline in the amount of time that you spend with the drain can do wonders for your mental and emotional health. During this time try to surround yourself with less demanding friends but… check in on the drain from time to time.

Its worth mentioning that learning to say “NO” and setting BOUNDARIES can greatly improve your relationship with drains. Being able to say NO is extremely important because it can: (1) Ensure that someone elses priorities do not become yours. (2) Prevent you from becoming frustrated and stressed out. (3) Allow you time to take care of yourself.  When saying NO, you must be both firm and direct. Never make excuses, or over explain yourself. Believe it or not… YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SAY NO!!!

If all else fails, try taking a break from the relationship. By now you’ve learned that no matter what you do, how much you give, or how often you give it… your friend will never be SATISFIED. Thus it’s time to move on. As previously mentioned, cutting ties altogether is difficult but sometimes it is necessary. In this case, my only advice is to tell the drain why you’re taking a hiatus from the relationship. The only thing worse than a friend who is draining is one whom is DISINGENUOUS.  Do not just drop out of the picture;  you could cause the already struggling drain to spiral into depression or bitterness.

As we go through life, there are many decisions to be made. One of the most important choices we have is whether or not to be HAPPY. If you choose HAPPINESS, you must be willing to let go of ANY and EVERYTHING that stands in the way of your WELL-BEING. Unfortunately this may mean trading friends who are constantly making withdrawals from your positivity bank, for those whom are like-minded and enthusatic. Do not over analyze your choices, or doubt the decisions that you make. It is okay to protect yourself from people who often have a way of sucking us into their DRAMA and NEGATIVITY.  You have chosen to live out your best life…  stand your ground; allow your light to shine as bright as a diamond  <3.

faucet

Be a Faucet not a Drain ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Bar Crawls and Tailgates, Oh My!!!

Hampton University’s Homecoming Weekend has officially concluded and one thing that everyone in attendance can agree on  is that the weekend itself was epic!!! As usual there were no shortage of events planned to occupy hip Hamptonians.  From gala’s, cabarets, bazaars, Stepshows, parades, and concerts, there was something for everybody.

While I make it a point to return to my “Home by the Sea” every couple of years for homecoming; attending this year was super important to me because 2016 marked the fifteenth year that I have been a member of my beloved Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. In anticipation of homecoming my line sisters and I have spent the last six months coordinating schedules, organizing trips, and of course… picking out our dope new jackets!!!! Because the 10 of us are scattered around the world ( What’s happening in  Japan Jana’e ?!?!), We cherish the moments that we get to spend together. This year we were determined that our “Homecoming turn-up” would be one for the books!

Ironically our weekend started in Suffolk, Virginia. Sherese, Joni, Warren (our Frat brother/what y’all know bout the constitutional bond?), and I meet about a block away from my house at a Kohls. Somehow the three of them forgot that Virginia’s weather is fickle and left home without jackets, or proper shoes (Side-eye). Anyhow, after dropping a GRIP… we were on our way to campus. It may sound crazy, but I swear it doesn’t matter how often I go there;  every time I approach the I-64 exit 267 that reads Hampton University, I get a flutter in my belly.  I’m not joking… it’s how I know that “I LOVE MY H.I.U!!!”

Campus was jumping! There were people everywhere; young and old, beautiful shades of black beings carrying on the way that only Hamptonians can. There were clothing vendors, makeup artist, and FOOD TRUCKS!!! It was everything that I remember and more. So I stood right there in the center of campus and exhaled… I was indeed home <3. We spent the entire afternoon catching up with undergraduate Sorors and engaging in small talk with former classmates. Oh yeah… there was a lot of picture-taking too, LOL :-).

A few of my favorite photos taken on 10/14/16 at the Homecoming Bazaar

After the Bazaar we split up for a bit.  My friend Erika and I hit up Chipotle and H&M, while those who came in from out of town checked in to their hotels and freshened up. At 8pm I was walking into the lobby of Sherese and Joni’s cozy but HOT as HELL hotel room (I mean that in a literal sense)!!!!!! This is where the fun really begun. We spent the next couple of hours going down memory lane, trying on clothes, exchanging makeup advice, and passing around pictures of our little ones. When Una came through the door holding a bottle of Jack.. we were all in!!! Before I go any further let me just explain that Una is, and has always been the life of the party!!! She has a “set fire to the wind” attitude and there is never a dull moment when she is around. With that said… please know that because everyone that I spent the weekend with is a professional in his/her own right, what you are getting is a watered down version of our night. What actually went down… I’ll never tell!!!!

At 11:00pm wearing our “I am” shirts with fitted jeans and  faces beat to the GODS … my crew and I rolled into Cove Tavern. Once again, the  AMAZING men of Phi Beta Sigma were there to greet us; they even  had a round of alcohol waiting as we walked in (Did I mention how much I adore them). Slow sipping my Rum and coke I took stalk of my surroundings. Cove Tavern was indeed a great place to host an event. The wait staff was friendly and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. I counted several stone fire places and I loved both the deco and the view of the surrounding area that the setup afforded.

After a drink or two I was ready to dance! The DJ must have read my mind because no sooner did I put down my drink, did he break into a string of my favorite hits!!! When  So For Real’s Candy Rain came on and my Line Sisters and I were all over the floor . We danced until we got thirsty, stopped to get a drink, and then danced some more. In between dancing there was a lot of small talk and catching up. I swear Hampton must also contain the fountain of youth because many people still look the way they did all those years ago when they completed their matriculation at HU! After hours of partying and soaking up the environment at Cove Tavern, we decided to make our way to the next venue. We leisurely walked the two blocks from one bar to another, carrying our heels and wedges in hand and belting out the Lyrics to SWV’s WEAK. I wish that I could tell you the name of the second joint that we went to, but I was definitely tipsy at this point and all that I can remember is smoke machines and Go-Go music!

The second venue was just as lit as the first! The DJ kept the party hype and I definitely saw more of my actual classmates here (Ogre phi Ogre XI). Once again I was all about getting my groove on! I love to dance so as along as the DJ is spinning, everything else is secondary. We concluded the night by heading back to the original club, drinking and partying a bit more, and meeting Iris (the Ace of our line) and her husband Reggie for a quick hug. Iris recently had foot surgery and is using a scooter to get around; she and Reggie also spent much of the day traveling so they declined our invitation to stay and play :-(.

It was nearly 4am when I pulled into my driveway. Sherese and Joni wanted me to stay with them, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep well if I didn’t go home, so I bit the bullet and made the 45 minute trek back to my side of the water. In doing so I fully expected to get at least 5 hours of sleep. You know that I was mad when my eyes popped open at 8:30am!!! I’m not a very heavy sleeper and once I’m up… I’m up! After a quick conversation with the hubby, we decided to take the boys to the homecoming parade. While it was unplanned, I truly enjoyed being able to spend quality time with the family at Hampton. The boys had a blast at the parade and running around the yard, while my hubby was feeling the wing place that they now have on campus. After dropping off the boys and changing clothes, I headed back to campus for the tailgate and game.

The Fam and I at HU’s Homecoming Parade 2016

Now… I’m not even going to get into all the changes that Hampton has made in regards to homecoming and tailgating. I refuse to do so, because I don’t want to come across as a mad black woman! However… I will say that I am a mad about the $25 that I came out-of-pocket with just to tailgate (did you see what I did there?), LOL. Furthermore, I am irritated at how unorganized the ticket/wristband process was!!! Moving along, the tailgate was everything! Sorors, Frat, food, and fun is what it boils down to. Oh yeah.., and Kitty Milk!!! Listen I’d never heard of the devilishly sweet drink that my young Sorors whipped up for me this weekend. However, after experiencing it… I want more. Kudos to the creators of this drink and XOXO’s for giving it such a cute name ❤

Getting on to campus was a nightmare for those who arrived later, thus I spent a great deal of time waiting for Iris and Monica E to arrive.  It was okay because I was thoroughly entertained by my line sister Elena’s adorable children ❤ . There were some amazing vendors at Homecoming, so I occupied the remainder of my time by shopping!!! I was so tempted to buy all of the cute bags, sweaters, and T-shirts being peddled along the streets of the Student Center. Each T-shirt was embroidered with some hipster term like “Melanin on Fleek” or “Black Girl Magic”. There was also some insane sorority paraphernalia so my shopping game was strong! I brought a couple of T-shirts, a sorority pin, and a very nice sweat shirt. Than back to the tailgate I went for a ton of picture-taking, blue juice drinking , and party hopping fun!!!

Hampton University’s Homecoming 2016

By the time the tailgate ended, I was exhausted! It’s a sure sign of the times because back in the day I could party all weekend and not miss a beat. This weekend, I would have given anything to be able to take a nap, LOL. For some, Saturday night concluded with drinks and mingling at “The Kick Back” which was pitched as a fun after the game spot where one could relax and enjoy drinks and good conversation. For others… it ended with a bottle of wine from their private stock, a hot shower, and Pandora radio set to the India.arie station (guess which group I was in).

In true Hampton fashion, one of the biggest events of the Weekend was the 3rd Annual Hamptonians who Brunch event. Everyone who attended spoke of the amazing atmosphere and the delicious Mimosa’s that are always plentiful. I skipped the brunch this year to have an intimate breakfast with some very special Hampton Ladies whom I’ve known from day one at HU <3. Driving home Sunday morning I watched Hampton University fade into the background from my rearview mirror. Once again there was that quick flutter in my belly, only this time it was accompanied by a lump in my throat. The love that I have for HU, for the people and the connections that I have made there is like no other. Hamptonians are movers, shakers, and money makers. They both motivate and inspire me to do more and be better.  Until next time, I am just a proud Hamptonian, eagerly awaiting my next visit to my Home by the Sea  <3.

While my weekend was full of excitement and I was blessed to spend time with happy and loving people, I cannot even begin to pretend that it was drama free (because you know it wasn’t!). Anytime you attend a homecoming or class reunion, there is bound to be that one person who is angry and bitter with life. They pretend to have it all together but everyone knows that they are unhappy.  These people are hung up on some event from the past. The only thing that keeps them going is the hope that someone somewhere will remember their past glory, and still respect them for it! I say this with a great deal of humility and love… MOVE ON!!!! After a brief run in with an unhappy girl, I decided to do two things: (1). Pray for her (I seriously have her name tacked to the prayer wall in my closet), and (2). Prepare a sort list of tips to help people like her move forward in life and find their HAPPY. Wanna see it? Here it goes…update