Feeling Inspired

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Muriel Strode (Author).

Sunday evening after I had successfully submitted paper three for my online course (I am so close to becoming a LPC), a dear friend of mine texted me, inviting me out for hookah! I figured that it was a better move than spending the rest of the evening at home, alone, on a holiday weekend and after experiencing a great loss (We’ll get into that another time). So, off I went. As I got ready and headed out, I thought about how long it has been since I have been out with friends, or have had much fun, or even got my blog on. As the summer comes to a close, I realized that I have been rather swamped these days adulting and what not. I have been managing three jobs as a mental health professional (one full time and two part times), family issues, and my own personal life stressors. As I pulled up to the Lebanese Restaurant (In my Homer Simpson Voice, “Mmmmm, Lebanese Restaurant”), I let those thoughts subside and decided to be in the moment with my homie.

I was a fabulous night with clear skies and crisp air with low humidity (My hair and sweat glands were thankful). We caught up on our lives and laughed at jokes while toking on our gum mint and grape filled shisha and sipping on mint tea. The menu looked scrumptious, loaded with some of my favs, but I was unable to indulge due to my Whole30 diet plan (3 weeks in!!!). Dude! I wanted a craft beer or a glass of Malbec so bad, but I abstained. Don’t worry; I had a Larabar in my bag in case ish got real (Which it did towards the end of the night, LOL!).

Anyway, after a while, two older men at the table next to us started up a conversation with us. They introduced themselves and the conversation lead to their travel adventures. A great deal of their travel was work related as they are in the business of satellite communications and some was for leisure over the years. My homie fit right into the conversation since he was born overseas and has lived in/traveled to many different countries. I have been to a few places (mainly around the U.S. and the Caribbean), but I did not have much to offer for travel experiences. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them rattle off all the places they’ve been. Thailand, Dubai, Australia, London, Various parts of the Caribbean, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, just to name a few. The conversation was delightful; I was so entertained and inspired. I got that travel/new experiences itch bad. The last time that I traveled was about a year ago. I am close to accomplishing a huge career goal and once that is done, I’m ready to live a little more!

Coming across the quote at the start of this post contributed to my reflection on the above. The quote, alone, was motivating. I receive daily quotes to my work email from Values.Com and I love them. The challenge paired with this quote is to “Take a spontaneous trip, and explore a new place; even if it’s in your own town.” Ay Yi Captain! I have discussed this many times with my significant other within the past two and a half years. Though we have adult life focuses, we still need to have fun and experience life in a bit of a spontaneous way. Ya know, to keep things interesting!

I had to step away for a bit so that I can get my life, but I’ll be back! It is funny how a simple impromptu outing can leave you pondering life. Consider the quote and its challenge for yourselves.  Get out there and do your thing!

#UnitedIndependence = Accomplishing our individual goals together!

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The Hilarity of Life

“[Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain”

I saw this quote today while browsing online. I seemed to have had a little extra time prior to the start of my group therapy session as I had prepared the materials before breaking free from the office yesterday. #HighFive This quote reminded me of what I would classify as a precious moment with my significant other this past Sunday. I’m not sure if he would identify the moment as, “precious”, because I was being awfully silly. I’m starting to crack up again as I type this. Bahahahahahahahahhaha; Pardon me. Let me share what happened.

So, we were both having a well-deserved Lazy Sunday. We were bumming it, nibbling on snacks (I even had a beer), watching TV, showing each other funny stuff on our phones (gotta love social media), and exchanging touch, tickles, kisses, and my favorite, SNUGGLES!!!! One thing I showed him was this video sent by my BFF, which she found on Facebook, of a grown man walking across a busy main road in our town, Booty-Ball-Naked, acting out erratically. Sure, it provoked a few chuckles, but as a mental health professional, I couldn’t help but to be concerned that he may have been under the influence of something (i.e. PCP) and/or actively psychotic. Hopefully he gets the help that he needs. Anyway, somehow that led to us talking about terrible police sketches.  

I proceeded to google search “bad police sketches” and skimmed the results under the images tab. We got a kick out of those. We chuckled at this one again.

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Some of you may recognize it because it got a lot of attention on social media, but for some reason this one
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had us rolling!!!, I mean, done!!! I lost it. I probably laughed hysterically for about 15 minutes. We were lying opposite ends of the couch and I wanted to stand up because I couldn’t breathe, but the cackling had drained all of my energy. I was on the brink of choking, my eyes were crying, I was gasping for air and trying not to snort, I was slapping my thighs and trying my hardest to collect my silly self. His butt just laid there embracing my legs with his and let me do my thing. My goodness, I needed that!

What I acknowledged was that I haven’t been able to let loose and be a goof ball in a while. On a serious note, I have been fighting debilitating depression and anxiety for several months while trying to maintain my household, livelihood, relationships and my overall health. I make it do what it does; no doubt about that, but it has been extra challenging. Upon reflection, it seems as if I have been moving further and further away from the darkness the past couple of months. Sunday was a great moment and I felt blessed to be comfortable in my own skin, vulnerable with him, and, essentially, able to smile again.  

God is good. It’s the little things.

#happyhumpday from #unitedindependence!

**disclaimer in no way do I find crime funny and I don’t have any idea of the stories behind these sketches. Don’t bother commenting with some overly sensitive nonsense** #peacebewithyou

It Was A Good Day Or Weekend Rather

5:00AM this morning, the cool groove, “Footsteps In The Dark” by The Isley Brothers sounds and casually wakes me up. As I become increasingly aware I can’t help myself from singing, “Today Was A Good Day”, by Ice Cube. You know how it goes, “Just wakin up in the morning gotta thank God…” And know that I’m always sure to thank the good Lord every day that I open my bright eyes! I usually choose an alarm that’s going to kick my day off rizight, ya feel meh? #musicislife. Wait a minute, now that I think about it, seeing “Straight Outta Compton” probably influenced my current alarm choice. But, I don’t think I was trying to wake up to “F*ck da Police”

Anyway, even though I always wake up thankful, and my hype alarms get it rocking, that can only get me but so far. Some days I find myself dragging ass because I’m overworked and under paid, and though rewarding and necessary, my career itself can be incredibly draining. I’m also hungry with a taste for achievement and success. I like to go out and go get. I like tapping into new things and new experiences, but there’s never enough time in the day for all of the stuff that I dream up. The hypothyroidism also doesn’t offer much help. **Utters Loud Sigh**

No matter what though, I keep going. I keep savoring life, living, doing, and being. For instance, this past week was one of the best weeks that I’ve had in a long while, which prompted me to write this post. Last week Thursday I had the day off from work along with the bf. We hung out and prepped for his art show in Washington, DC earlier in the day, which was followed by some additional quality time before getting ready for and attending the main event later that evening. That Friday, we attended our friends’ intimate outdoor wedding. I adored witnessing their love and joy. It totally put me in a fantastic mood. Everyone looked amazing and it was just perfect. On Saturday mid-morning I said goodbye to my love and finally headed home before stopping to my 8 year old nephew’s BBQ birthday party (wish I had more time to spend with the big boy and the family), but I had a concert already scheduled. My sorority sister and I attended the Chris Brown concert at the Jiffy Lube Stadium that evening. We had a blast letting loose like all them youngins out there and met some rather stimulating people. Lastly, on Sunday, I dashed over to the church to link with my god baby, her parents, and other family and friends to witness her baptism and to officially become one of her godparents. We had a small reception afterwards and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to conclude the weekend.

Sunday evening when I finally got home and reflected on all of the above, all I could do was smile as I bask in the moment. I thanked God again for all of the blessings afforded to me and took my squat butt to bed. That good ol’ Monday morning came quiiiiiccccckkkk!

Happy Thursday Readers. Stay Blessed.
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Fruits of Your Labor

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“You have to learn how to slow down and enjoy the fruits, man”, says my BF in one of the long, random conversations we had over this past weekend. I recall getting into one of my rants of how I’m overwhelmed and tired from doing so much, yet, in the same breath, I talked about how I wanted to add more to my heavily piled plate! He took the time to highlight what I sounded like and he couldn’t have been more right. Oh my goodness! I do need to chill!

It’s funny that we are much alike in that we are very ambitious, determined, and driven… Oh and FOCUSED MaaaaAAAANNN! Some may also group us into the Stubborn and Hard-headed category, but that’s a conversation for a different day. Anyway, being so ambitious, determined, and driven can also mean that we do not know how to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I believe we both call each other out on this.

Speaking for myself, I guess I have operated like a well-oiled machine for so long that I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not working on something or thinking about working on something. They say that you gotta work hard to play hard, but over the last several years I have found myself working extremely hard, accomplishing goals left and right, but not taking the time to match my play.

Now this isn’t to say that I never cut loose and enjoy myself from time to time. I’ve made some good memories, but I’m currently feeling extreme burnout. I’m all out of juice like a broke down hoopty on I-95. I’m getting to the point where I feel like something has to give. The funny thing is, I actually have some control here and I simply need to make a plan towards a solution for my problem and see it through. Is it weird that I feel guilty for resting and taking a time out for myself? Can any of you relate to this feeling? I know it’s because of some bogus fear/unrealistic expectation I place upon myself and I just need to push that load of crap aside and live.

I’m looking forward to it! Life is no joke short; I don’t want to waste anymore of whatever time I have left here on bullsh*t. Our conversation really got me hyped for doing more for me. Though I’m a Beachbody Coach, we talked about me joining a gym to have access to weights, etc. So, I went and toured a few. LA Fitness and Sport & Health were nice! Um, Planet Fitness didn’t do it for me. Lol. Then he suggested that I create my own workout space in my home, just for me. Hmmmm, that sounded good because I don’t have too much time, but for some reason I didn’t think I could do it. “I’m just going to join a gym”, I thought to myself, but then he encouraged it more and that idea became more appealing.

I became excited to have this private little space in my home for me and started putting it into action!

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I moved stuff around (like that monstrous treadmill), purchased a weight bench (and put that joker together) and bam! Check it out. Lol! It’s not fancy, but it’s cute, mine, and functional. I just need to get a heavier set of weights, a barbell, and the Body Beast fitness program from Beachbody. Ooooooo, I can’t wait! Really, it is the little things. Putting that room together has lifted my spirits and I have been excited all week working out in there (beats working out in my bedroom)!

If you are feeling the burnout like I am, I encourage you, me, us, to chillax a bit in efforts to recognize how much our hard work has paid off.

Here’s to enjoying the fruits!

R.I.P.

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I have mentally and emotionally prepared myself to bid farewell to the bruised little girl who still lives deep inside of me. The little girl who is trapped between the ages of birth to five years of old; The little girl who is uncertain about the consistency of her caregiving, essentially, the consistency of her world; The little girl who unfortunately taught herself to feel comfortable all alone; The little girl who believes that she is unworthy of love; The little girl that carries the shame and guilt of her family; The little girl who has seen too much too fast; The little girl who dissociates when experiencing pain/trauma; The little girl who doesn’t fully understand why they did what they did and why they left her; The little girl with fear and sadness in her heart, yet bravery in her soul, which can be seen through her gentle, little eyes.

Hey there little pretty girl that God has made. You have blossomed into a wonderful, joy of a woman. It’s ok; you’re safe and have been safe for quite some time. Look my little ninja, we made it! There’s that beautiful smile little girl! Come over to me and give me a warm hug. Dry your eyes and look at me. Let’s not live in and/or relive the past, because I want to fully live here in the present. I want to be right here in the present where not only am I safe, but there’s consistency; Life is simple and enjoyable; I don’t carry the family’s shame and guilt, or even my own, Dammit!; I am not being traumatized; I am by no means alone and have people around me I can trust; I am worthy of love and receive love; My strength and courage to face my world is intact and even admired by others…..

Little girl, I have nothing but respect for you because you did what you could to the fullest extent of your ability for us, but your job is absolutely done. I hope you can trust that I can and will take it from here. It’s time for us to deliver our valedictions. So long little girl… May you REST IN PEACE.

Maxin’ n Relaxin’

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Chillin on the beach in Miami in my all-white bikini and just for a little while I don’t have a single care in the world. This weather is unbelievably perfect. Not too cool and not too hot; the humidity is low and my hair is thankful. There’s an awesome oceanic breeze blowing that tickles my skin. (Teehee) The sun is shining ever so brightly in the baby blue sky interspersed with little white wispy clouds; it looks like it was freshly painted on an empty canvass. When I close my eyes I find the sound of the waves crashing into the shoreline so soothing and relaxing. All of the people surrounding me: the seemingly happy large families, the pregnant young mother and her adorable toddler playing in the sand, the random single muscle men jogging by in speedos, the groups of 20s-30s something girl friends/guy friends drinking and partying, the random dude sitting solo in the cut people watching, the stoned beach bum who is flying a colorful kite by himself, the cute young couples scattered about holding hands and exchanging little hugs and kisses; all of them are having a good time; we are having a good time. And even though I wish you were here, I’m all smiles and am able to enjoy the moment. I think I’ll daydream a bit while sipping my beer… #Cheers

Procurement of Fruit

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So exactly two weeks ago, after church class (RCIA), I went to the grocery store to pick up some last minute food items in order to complete my prep cook for the rest of the work week.  I typically do this on Sundays, but I had a lazy Sunday after getting into some shenanigans the Saturday before and opted out of my normal prep cooking ritual. I recall being extremely tired as it was almost 9:30pm when I was walking into the local whack ass Food Lion (I was definitely too lazy to drive out of the way to Safeway or Wegmans). I skimmed my list as I darted thru the produce, meat, and frozen food sections.  “I just want to get the hell home”, I thought repeatedly to myself.  I spent all of 10/15 min gathering my necessities in that bad boy before heading to the checkout line. “Almost there!” I thought to myself.

While the young kid is scanning and bagging my items, I have him stop to scan my discount card so I can throw my keys back into my pocket. I also swipe my check card so I can put my wallet away. I’m telling you I was focused on getting home asap! The kid seems nervous for some reason.  He’s smiling awkwardly at me and trying to make small chit chat, but I’m thinking, “Look man, not today, because you are not focusing on the scanning and bagging”. LOL. I’m not rude, so of course I indulge him. We get to the last item, my pink lady apples…Three of them in the bag, ready to rock. But, of course we run into an issue where all of a sudden the scale isn’t working so he’s unable to price the apples.  He tries a few tricks to get the machine going, however, all failed.  I tell him, “Don’t worry, thank you.  I can leave without the apples.  I’m ready to pay”. He apologizes and I smiled politely while thinking, “Damn, I will have to return to the store another time”, because there was no way I was going to complete that transaction and start a new one in another line.

Now while this is going down, the patron behind me sparks up conversation. I did recognize him from the week before when he was actually behind me in line when I came to the store for items after church on Ash Wednesday.  He said, “Excuse me Miss, don’t I know you from somewhere?”. Sigh…..I replied with, “No, you don’t, but I do recall you being behind me last week when we were shopping here”.  His face lit up as he said, “Yes, that’s right, and you are looking beautiful as ever”.  Sigh…… “Thank you sir”, I said.  He’s an older gentleman probably in his late 40s, a little heavy set, with kind eyes. He was appropriate and polite, but since my last break up I have been turned off from other males trying to holla and/or even give me complements (Idk, I’m in a weird place at the moment), I’m just not ready to entertain all of that yet.

Welp, my transaction is complete.  I say goodnight to both him and the young employee and I’m out. It was cold as a mutha out, but I was excited to be closer to being home. I pop open Lucille’s trunk (She’s my car) toss them groceries, push the cart to the cart holder, and jump in my car. As I was jumping in, the gentleman that was behind me in line briskly walked over to my car with a skimp bag.  He’s says with the biggest, and no lie, kind of creepy grin ever, “Miss, here’s your apples!”. I smiled and even felt a little moved.  I said, “You purchased my apples? Wow, I appreciate you doing that”. He said, “It was my pleasure, have a good night”. He turned, walked away, and got into his car.

I took a second to thank God for that moment, but keep in mind it was a short second because I had to dip out of that parking lot and make sure I wasn’t followed. I’m hypervigilant. I appreciate any acts of kindness I receive, because for some reason I don’t get them often (Perhaps I’m too independent for my own good sometimes). Hmmmm….

Thanks for reading.

Aren’t We Fortunate?

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Enjoying the simple things today, like my apple and cinnamon infused water I was sipping on all day at work. It was delicious to drink and even though I typically drink a gallon of water a day this provided the extra motivation to get through the last few ounces. While drinking it throughout the day, I thought about those people out there who can’t even enjoy a regular cup of clean water, let alone an apple to eat. I immediately felt blessed. We often times go about our days taking so many things for granted without realizing how fortunate we truly are. Just thought I’d share my thoughts….

😉 #stayblessed homies! #happymonday!

Serotonin

“I never want to come down from you.”

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter primarily found in our Gastrointestinal tracts (GI tract), platelets, and Central Nervous Systems (CNS), is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.  Who doesn’t just absolutely love it when they are experiencing the wonderful feelings of sheer bliss? I took some time out to meditate today and recall a few different happy moments throughout my life.  It was nice, I’m all smiles today. We know that negative moods are associated with negative outcomes, and in the words of the wise Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

We have to keep our mind, body, and spirit up! That is if we are planning on making it in this world. So, brothers and sisters,

#1 – Turn them frowns upside down – Get your mind right!,

#2 – Let’s get up in the gym and work on our fitness – Come on now, Beer and Wings are only going to get you but so far…, and

#3- Give it up to your higher power – Do what you want, but my HP is the Holy Trinity.

We “goin’ up, on a Tuesday!” LOL Happy Tuesday followers! I challenge you to take a holistic approach to your life….. Being great isn’t easy, is it? But, we got this!

Best wishes,

The Greatest
…JK, but not really. Lol… 😉

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