Solange is one artist who has been on the ‘one to watch’ list for some time (still groovin to TRUE) & seeing this new spread in the June Issue of InStyle + Complex Mag are giving me a new appreciation. How gorgeous ar these? Officially looking forward to her & sister Bey performing at this year’s Essence Music Festival. NOLA is going to be on fire for the 4th!!!
I’ve recently returned to an old love of collecting notes, writing down phrases and quotes that would enable me to see things more clearly. I’m a collector, of many many things, including journals, old letters, lists. Tons of misc.
But today I needed to be reminded of why it’s is emphatically necessary to leave the mistakes of the past in the past and release the abuse of trying to live up to this preconceived notion of what we ought to be, say & do. In reality, I am a huge fan of comparison shopping. It’s how I roll when I’m in search of a deal on shoes, clothes, bags, gym memberships, you name it, I’ll widdle the price down to only what I see fit as the ‘right price.’
But where I draw the line? This thing of comparing my actions, goals & intentions against another person. No one wins this game, and today I was reminded of that. Our lives, our journeys…our pathways to something greater than all of our preconceived notions, cannot live in someone else’s pocket. No one can dispose of your dreams unless you hand them over or worse, let down your guard.
Do you ever find yourself comparing your life, your succeses and hurdles against someone else?
Well, stop it. For serious…abandon that method of living, cuz I’m almost certain it ain’t working. There’s work to do, and this world needs all of you. & me.
This past weekend I did that one thing I vowed to do each year, and that is to embark on a journey or a place I’ve never been before. The year has started of on a quiet note, with work picking up & your run of the mill distractions getting in the way. But getting the opportunity to escape the city these past few days reaffirmed all reasoning behind why I wanted to do this in the first place.
Go somewhere & do something you’ve never done before can sound like such a monstrous task, but believe it or not, it can be as simple as escaping your mundane routine & hitching a ride to the outskirts of a local town. When I called my own Mum and mentioned I’d be leaving the BK for tennis camp, she scoffed (not so quietly) under her breathe, and ultimately resigned herself to the fact that I’d become that woman.
Eventually, you stop the dreaming, halt the planning and begin the action of doing. Or at the very least you try. No matter how big or small (me and a tennis racket, such a kodak moment btw) you must insist on finding the courage to stretch out of the zone that tricks you into being too comfortable.
At the end of the day, what matters is that you moved, you went…you got the chance to go, fetch a few memories and return home to relive them all over again.
This weekend I decided to take a road trip with a few co-workers and immediately thought back to last summer when I took one of the most incredible trips; away from the city, away from the beat down bustle of the 9-5, and nestled in the still mountains of Colorado. I shared it with four other inspiring, savvy & smart women who to this day, blow my mind as to how unique and individualistic they each are. I got lucky.
For the first time I crossed bedrocks along a river bank, quieted down, journaled and listened to the rush & silence.
There was this thing called ‘hiking’ that I accomplished, and afterwards wore the largest grin (evidence above).
I can’t begin to explain what that thing above was, but again the smile. It wanted to get out. If you live in a city where bearing down each time you enter a commuter train or cross a street with a mean mug is your default, you may just understand the necessity of smiling without provocation.
Where would I want to go next? Anywhere. Name it, and I’m game. There’s nothing & everything you can learn from taking a chance and embarking on a journey with women (or men), a pack of hungry travelers who bring nothing but positive forces of energy into your space.
To think back on my first real paying job brings up the fuzziest of memories. I was in High School, 16 and urged a good friend to sneak me into this special program where I heard an actual paycheck was involved. See, my first job was tough. I’d stumbled on a therapists assistant position of monitoring and coaching autistic children at an after school program. Essentially, I learned the patience and know how of listening more effectively, and taking orders that in some cases meant life or death.
I remember sitting in a classroom while assigned to a child each day and wondering if I could really do it. From the smallest task of helping a young boy put on his coat (this often took several prompts, sometimes 30min) to helping a young girl eat 1 cup of yogurt (not as easy as it seems). But the fear was never of the kids or their toys, but of whether I could live up to the expectations of being someone that they could depend on to feel better & get through their assigned tasks. I’d known zero there is to know about autism (do many 16yr olds do?), who it affects, the why’s, the families it stood up to and tried to beat down. But I learned.
Because in the face of fear & the not knowing, I understood that it wasn’t at all about me. & when this happens, it does become that much easier to get over not only yourself, but also any annoying feelings of inadequacy.
Odd, because most stories I do hear of first job experiences typically entail a gross tale of burgers and atrocious customer retail flashbacks (the latter which I emphasize with wholeheartedly btw). But this? Was hard, and challenging, and stress inducing for a youngin who only wanted a few dollars to waist on clothes at Strawberry.
But I’ve no regrets. I learned then blossomed and felt the greatest sense of accomplishment having helped. I remember their names, David, Susie, Rachel & Wally & oddly enough still run into some from time to time.
Do you guys remember your first job? Did you learn any lifelong lessons from it?
Today, while putting together arrangements for a special Mother’s Day treat at work, I realized just how fast the day is approaching! It really is one of those holidays that creep up so quickly, that I often end up racking my brain to find something special to send to my own Mum. Something undeniably her, that it’d end up putting a smile on her face & score me major points in the daughter of the year category. A few years ago I was at my best when I scrambled together an album/scrapbook filled with pictures and memories of her life before marrying my Dad. It was something I had built, and cut and glued and sweated over for days and once done hated parting with.
This year, while I do have a long list of possible gifts and special perfumes and gadgets I could pack away in a box and ship away; nothing appears to be measuring up. This round, I’m blaming it on age. Age & time are mimicking whispers & advising me to replace these things with declarations on gratitude and appreciating the very presence of a person; of family above all else money can buy. And in this case, my Mum…the gratitude of having her in my life is immeasurable. How do you package and ship this?
I’ve talked about Mum before on this blog, and thanks to this book you can read a bit more about our sordid history on FRO and acceptance. But this past weekend as I sought a way to deal with an emergency that was so beyond my reach that it was literally thousands of miles away in a hospital room, and no amount of cell phone calls and long talks with that spiritual compas could calm unspoken fears; I needed a way to express that gratitude beyond just words.
& because Mother’s Day is this very Sunday, I thought I’d give it a shot.
Any mommies or devoted daughters out there? what are you doing to celebrate?