GIVE IT UP, TURN IT LOOSE

So you made it to 2017! What now?

Have you set goals or come up with a variety of New Year resolutions that you have no intention of seeing through? Don’t get me wrong… I love ringing in the New Year. I feel its magic and I relish in all of the hope and possibilities that come along with it. However, I’ve never agreed with the concept of waiting to change your life.

If there is one thing that I am certain of, it’s that life comes at you fast and hard, and that no one is promised tomorrow. Therefore I say that the very moment that you are inspired to do better or to be better… you should act! Don’t follow the crowd and start your new health and fitness routine with the rest of the world. If you do, you’ll be more inclined to give up on your goals, when the rest of the world abandons theirs in February.  Don’t wait until the clock strikes midnight to let the love of your life know just how much they mean to you. Do it today, and everyday! If you’ve felt convicted about cussing, drinking, or being argumentative, quit hanging on to those bad habits. Break those chains the moment you feel compelled to do so!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Life is to be lived! Through many trials and tribulations, I’ve learned that I’ve got to do what feels good to my soul ❤

Make 2017 about you! Live authentically and be true to yourself. If you are still unsure of who you are, now is the time to explore. Develop your gifts by investing in something that you love and move at your own pace.

As we settle into the New Year, keep in mind that if you don’t like something about your life, you and only you can change it. So don’t hesitate and don’t delay. As one of my favorite groups En Vogue A.K.A. the Funky Divas once sang…  “Give it up, Turn it Loose”.

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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 ❤