Words From A Stranger

Friday, I took myself to lunch. Since I have been on this majority seafood diet, I decided to go to Red Lobster.

LIGHT BULB MOMENT: Funny, there was a time when I wouldn’t dare to go out to eat, go to the movies or do much of anything by myself. At some point in my life I realized that if I continued to wait around for others to do things with me, I would end up missing out on a lot of things. I began to venture out on my own and haven’t looked back since. I am thankful for that growth.

Back to my story. As I ate my lunch, I could here the people behind me having a conversation. I wasn’t being nosey but I really couldn’t help but to hear their conversation. There was a young man talking about how he has so much resentment towards his mother for things she had done to him. I didn’t catch the details. Again, I wasn’t trying to hear any of it, but in such close proximity, I did. The woman he was having lunch with was also venting and talking about how she had been holding on to a feeling of guilt and remorse for a long time. Again, I didn’t catch any of the details attached to that either. As I wrapped my bill up, I felt an urge to say something to the both of them, but I really didn’t know what I’d say. Such a strange feeling. Wanting to speak, feeling a need to speak, but not knowing the words to speak. If you know me, you know that I tend to follow my urge. As I stood up to walk away, I turned to them and told them that while I wasn’t intentionally listening to their conversation, I did catch some of it and I wanted to leave them with this, “You will heal, but not until you give yourself permission to heal. Trust me. I know. For much of my life, I have dealt with suppressed emotions that only made it worst. Continue to talk about it [The things that hurt you.] and eventually your healing will come.”

These people didn’t know me from a can of paint (fyi, I never understood that phrase, but I’m going to go with it lol) but they were so happy to receive such simple words. The both of them sincerely thanked me… a few times and I believe that they will hang on to those few words from a stranger for a long time. My greatest hope is that they will find the healing they need in their lives.

In my life, I have been advised to NOT follow urges such as the one I got last Friday. “Don’t talk to those people. You don’t know them.” Let me say this. I have never walked away from a conversation with a stranger and felt regret afterwards. Wait. There was that woman at Target that will probably never walk up to a stranger IN HER LIFE AGAIN talking to them crazy after I finished with her, but hey, different story, different day… Besides, we are talking about conversations that I initiated!

Have a good night all!

Be Dope! (The Ebony List)

I was going to title this entry “Goodbye July” but being as though we have quite a few hours left in this beautiful day, I think it would be a bit premature. Earlier this month I made a checklist of things that I wanted to do for myself over this past month. I was to have all items completed by the end the July. Welp… perhaps I was a bit too ambitious when making that list. At least, that was my first thought. As the days passed and I could see August swiftly approaching, I was reminded of my uncompleted list.

I failed to complete my list. Ugh! How am I going to get these things checked off before August? I was really excited about reporting a fully checked list to my readers. Shit, I was really excited about making my checks all the way to completion for myself. Damn it! I failed!

A little hard on myself huh? lol Over a list? It just seemed so much bigger than the fact that it was a list. It was more about the time a finished list would have allowed me to spent with… just me. I mean, that was the whole idea right? #selfcare #metime Grrrr… Let’s check this list out.

  • Go on a picnic (Does going to the beach w/ my kids and my niece count? I mean I was sitting on the sand and there was a cooler, food & drinks.)
  • Do some charity work (I’m guess that feeding my kids won’t count, huh? Ohhh calm down! Joke! kinda…)
  • Get a massage (um… I lotioned myself everyday… a couple times a day?)
  • Go to the movies (I did take the kids to see Jurassic Park which I was also very excited about seeing.)
  • Go to the gun range* (grrr…)
  • Take a hot air ballon ride* (I’ve watched them soar through the sky as other people road on them almost daily. They actually depart near my house. grrr…)
  • Visit a natural spring (It rained… A LOT this month. lol count?)
  • Surprise 3 people with a package in the mail (No surprises. I did make an Ebay sale and ordered a few things from Amazon for my boys.)
  • Run in the rain (I DID! I DID! LOL It wasn’t at all intentional though. I had to get in and out my truck. lol)
  • Do something kind for 3 strangers (I stayed with a little boy who was wondering the Walmart parking lot by himself until his grandfather came out of Walmart. This was actually supposed to be an entry, but never got to it. Maybe later. I donated to some kids from a church that were raising money to feed other children. Honestly I am pretty good with doing kind things for strangers, so I am sure I completed this one early on. It doesn’t take much for this.)
  • Take train ride (Grrr…)
  • Cook an international meal (lol nope, but I ate a few.)
  • Get a tattoo (I did not. Mainly because I was undecided on what to get. However, I did get two new piercings!)
  • Complete a book (Grr… I didn’t. ugh! Instead I purchased two more new books.)

Now what? Do I create another list for the month of August? Do I carry this one over until I have completed it? Maybe I just let the whole list thing go, realizing that there may continue to be more red notations beside my items than green. NOPE! This is how I see it. Everything on that list is something that I really want and will do. However, every item may not get done within that particular month. I created the above list as a tool to assist me in my desire to live intentionally.  I intend (I WILL) to do ALL of the things that I am able to do in effort to bring a smile to my face and provide personal fulfillment within this short life of mine. So as for a monthly list… Maybe I will scratch that. How about just a list? How about I just call that list an “Ebony List?” Sure I could stick with the coined “bucket list” but… I don’t want to. lol I will continue to add to this list just as I will check off of this list. My favorite number is 3. I will make sure I am checking off AT LEAST 3 of the items on my “Ebony List” every month. The goal is to check off as many as possible, but I will commit to (AT A MINIMUM) three checks! NO LESS! And… you guys can help hold me accountable.

My takeaway:

Lists are used everyday to make sure that we are completing daily tasks by priority.  These lists are used both professionally and domestically. Meetings, report deadlines, grocery lists, school events and other important items are placed on our “to-do lists.” Just as we prioritize and set goals for work and home, it is just as equally important to prioritize ourselves. When we leave ourselves out of these lists, we often times never get to the “ME.” Instead, we are just again…existing and not even for ourselves. For everyone around us. My “Ebony List” will encourage and remind me to LIVE intentionally for myself. It’s all a part of self care. It is not enough to just be a great mommy or daddy. Being a great employee or a great student is something to be proud of and I encourage you to be great at all you do.  Just don’t forget about yourself in the process. Being great to yourself is DOPE …yeah. You can be all of the above mentioned and more. Just make sure you make the time to be DOPE. GO!

 

Cornered

Growing up my brother (Tank) would give me “fighting lessons”.  In all actuality I was his personal punching bag for years. I was a tomboy back then, so slap boxing and DDTs, amongst other 80’s baby shenanigans, was right up my alley. There were those times when he forgot that no matter how resilient I may have been,  I was still a girl AND HIS LITTLE SISTER and was a little too damn rough. I often (jokingly…kinda) say that my brother “beat me up” so that no one else ever could. He taught me how to hold my own. There are a lot of things that my brother taught me growing up, but one thing that has alway stuck throughout the years are these very words.

“Never allow yourself to get backed into a corner. You’re stuck and your opponent has the upper hand.”

On the other side of that, he also told me this.

“If you ever find yourself backed into a corner, give it all you’ve got. Fight!”


“All my life I’ve had to fight!” lol But really though. Much of my life, i’ve fought for not only myself but for everyone around me. At times my impulse to protect and defend has gotten me in some less than favorable predicaments and I’d like to think I’ve learned from those times. I’ve fought physically and mentally. There were times when I felt my back was against the wall. I felt life had backed me into a corner and each time I fought. I fought hard and sometimes long, but I’ve always made it out of those places. I’ve been able to help others out of their “places” as well.

Lately, I haven’t been in a good space. I guess you can say that I have been going through it. I have been stressed and full of anxiety. Shit, frankly, I’ve been sad. I feel lost and just… down. Not looking for or accepting any pity parties or sympathy of any type. It’s life and this too shall pass. I’m built Ford tough! However, even F-350’s require maintenance.

I feel that I’ve been slowly backed into a corner that I am now having to fight to get myself out of.  My opponent is surprisingly myself. My natural impulse to be “SUPER WOMAN” is taking a toll on me. I have gotten 4 texts today and they all were from someone needing me. I have gotten AT LEAST 2 phone calls in the past week with someone needing me. In the past month… who knows. What I do know is that I can’t be everything for everyone. I also know that RIGHT NOW I need all of me to remove me from this space. I have never had an issue being there for anyone especially those I love and care the most for. I am just realizing that I am in need. I need a moment to be as selfish as people often times are with me. With the exception of a few (you know who you are), no one calls me to ask, “How are you?” It is always assumed that I am ok and being a private person I wouldn’t volunteer anything less that “I’m good.” I’m constantly taking on other people’s loads and adding it on to my already very full load. Every time I show up for someone, I am pushing myself further and further in that corner. I just need to allow myself to be there for… ME. So I apologize in advance…. No. I don’t. I’m giving an advance warning.

I am taking some personal time for myself. During this time, I won’t be answering many calls and or texts. No worries, I won’t be completely off the grid. I will still blog, take photos, create cool things and post to my social media as I do these things FOR ME.  As my brother said, I have to give it all that I have.” What does that mean for me? It means that I can not take on anyone else’s shit fights at this time in my life.

***If this entry has raised concern for anyone in reading this, understand that there is no cause for concern. If I were to keep going as I have been, there would then be a need for concern.***