July 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
” life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get.” When I first heard that line many years ago, I honestly was not able to understand it. It was embedded in my brain as a famous movie quote. One that took on the belief of something negative, false, out of reach of my sight. Now that I have done some living, regained my passion for life and all that encompasses it, I can see this quote as a true blessing.
My box of chocolates is filled with Love, Strength, , Trust and Power. The average person just takes their box of chocolates and has no true desire for what is inside, it is a just a box of things ( generally given as a gift, then tossed to the side). You would be happy to have one chocolate that you truly enjoy, or maybe some of us enjoy each piece of chocolate and have an issue trying to decide on a favorite.
Imagine that box, given as a gift was meant to change your world, what would you choose to have those chocolates be? The hearts desires are closer than we allow them to be. Much like the objects in your rear-view mirror, yet we are still so accustomed to avoiding them. In my blogs a speak of living your life sexy, though I myself at times need be reminded to do as such. Viewing those chocolates, objects as want you desire and more importantly deserve in your life, takes some motivating.
Similar to ” it takes a village to raise a child,” it takes that same village to hoist you to your highest so that you may succeed. This blog is intended to get you to begin to realize that you have the choice and the power to create and realize all of your dreams, and that you are not alone. If you look back on the successes that you have had in life, did you do obtain them on your own? Most likely not, we all have the ability to change the world, it is simply a choice in which you must decide to live in. I for one intend to enjoy all the chocolates in my box, and to share them with the world. Which choice will you make?
May 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
Picture this, island music, tropical breeze, attractive people, decent food, a tropical drink and good company. Sitting in one of Manhattan’s newest and most popular dining spots,Lily’s on Houston- I had a seemingly enjoyable meal with two good friends. As we sat and chatted about the wonders of life and sipped soju ( a rice wine that is similar to vodka, just lower alcohol content) enhanced cocktails, we felt almost transported to the restaurants theme island of Jamaica. The music, colors, wait staff and food, felt as if we were sitting on a beach in Negril enjoying the sunset.
The eclectic vibe, and personalities that were seated and then standing around us, were hardly noticed, we felt so comfortable and honestly in our own little world. Then, the bill came. We choose not to have dessert, as we were very much full on the Oxtail, Hellshire Fried Fish, and Jerk Chicken. We did our do with the bill, and then the table was steadfastly being cleared, I even think the water-glass I was putting to my lips was swiped out of my hand!
As the table was being cleared as if Obama was entering the building, a salt and peppa haired man, in a black leather vest holding a pitcher of water leaned over to my male friend and said ” everything was okay? we need the table back now.” The proverbial record skip, huh? What ya say Willis? Did this man just really tell a paying patron, in his establishment that he needed a table back? Why I never!
Looking like the three stooges scratching our heads and rubbing our full bellies, we just looked at each other. My first reaction was to continue talking, but I lost my train of thought. How incredibly rude, in the words of a good friend “who does that?” My friend mentioned the incident to the waiter upon us leaving, saying that ” you know there are thousands of restaurants with in the City of New York, and we choose to dine here tonight.” The waiter told him to come back on Thursday and complain to another manager, agreeing how very rude this action was. However, why would we go back even to complain? I get that there are people waiting and you want to turn tables over. As a person who works in the hospitality industry, rule of thumb, you never know who is sitting at your table. Treat everyone as a critic.
I suppose that if your food is good enough and your clients drink enough of the soju, they won’t notice that you are kicking them out and unappreciative of their dollars spent in your establishment? Well the food was decent enough, but the soju was not flowing through my veins for me to ignore the rudeness of the statement. Restaurants open and close everyday in this city. You are hot one second and cold as ice the next. I am positive that we were not the only ones that have been asked to leave.
I suppose Lily’s transported the spices from Jamaica, but left the “no problem man” attitude on the sand.
May 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The Choice to believe in myself and Stand up For My Beliefs
Having been raised in a household of proud Black American women; I can recall many stories of civil rights leaders that would shape my opinion on what it means to be a proud Black American woman. Maya Angelou with her profound lyrics of struggle, Rosa Parks with the pride, honor, and respect she had for herself and being a Black American, were a constant topic. Ms. Parks’ taking a stand for what she believed in, has been a supporting factor in all that I do in my life. The strength to stand for my beliefs, encourages others, and is a true testament to those that have paved the way for me.
I have been in situations in which I have taken a stand for my beliefs both personally, within my career and the choice to return to college. There have been times where, my judgment of people and situations has lead me to expect a certain behavior from them, one which may or may not be valid based on my own perceived belief I had of their character. At times I have felt as if I was being taunted or heckled. When I feel as if I am not able to accomplish something, I think of Rosa Parks. She knew that no matter what the outcome she could be a difference, as do I with every class I take, with each paper I write and rewrite. The same way I have felt at times in my life; I stay strong and stand tall. If I believe in nothing, I will fall for anything. I believe in myself and all that I can be, through those that have set the example for me to be the very mirror of power, courage and strength that these Black women believed that I would be.
I think back on my career as a Chef. The culinary world is a very competitive one, there are female chefs; however not many minorities, especially on the savory side. While working my way up through the kitchen hierarchy as often times the only minority female in the kitchen, I was challenged continuously by white males on my skills and basic knowledge. I faced many instances of betrayal, hatred and jealousy due to my rise in the kitchen, often times hearing statements such as, “oh she is just filling the quota.” I had to grow the preverbal thick skin, to handle the taunts that I faced every day.
I often times became wary of individuals. I was often times be putting up my guard not sure what their intentions were in approaching me, or in trying to befriend me. I struggled for a while, having moments where I displayed an attitude to mask the hurt inside which was perceived as arrogance and attitudinal. It was not until a few years in the kitchen, when I accepted the confidence that my executive chefs had in me did I allow myself to believe in myself, to believe that I earned the raises and rank in the kitchen based on my abilities, and not as filling a quota for diversity. For me there is a fine line between standing up for myself, what I believe, and offending others while doing it.
Many of the cooks that worked under me who where immigrants, followed me from one kitchen to another because they were able to see my strengths and respected the way I made the choice to stand for myself by being good at my work.
There are other choices that I have made in life, where standing up f or what I believe and believing in myself, has inspired others, much as Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks inspired me. The choice to return to college after twenty years to further my career is one of those. Through believing in my abilities to do well, my niece and nephew who are both in college, see that education is as a continuous process, and have rededicated themselves to their own education .Returning to school has shown me that there is not a thing that I cannot achieve. While growing up and hearing stories of power and strength, I put those in a sort of bank in my brain. I drew on these stories to pull me through these significant struggles in my life.
As I sit and reflect on the power of choice to take a stand for my own beliefs, I am humbled and honored to have had such inspiring, thoughtful, loving and compassionate role models to have paved the way for my right to make that choice. Watching the Oscar Awards I always here the actors saying “if it wasn’t for “so and so actor, I would not be standing here today. Those are powerful and encouraging words. For me it suggests that, I am not alone in this world. It suggests for me that there will always be someone who will fight for my ability to believe in the difference I can make, as well as my own obligation to provide the same support to future generations. If it was not for Rosa Parks; I as a Black American would not have the choice to sit where I chose to on public transportation. If Maya Angelou had not written such stories as “Mommas Encounter”, showing the pride, strength, and power of Black women, I would not be sitting here writing this essay, to them I say thank you. Thank you for believing in yourself so that I may have a voice, so that I may have a choice, and that I may be the inspiration for others to stand up for their beliefs and believe in themselves, as I do in me
May 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The other evening I had the pleasure to sit and have dinner, with myself. Now this is not that unusual, I get food,go to the movies etc, by myself with no problem. What was different this time, was that I had a sense of gratitude for being with myself. Often times when I am grabbing breakfast at the diner or a drink at the bar, it is on the run or because I am stressed about something. Even I noticed when, I am doing my routine manicure and pedicure, there is a sense of rushing and all the things I need to do now!
How often do we really take the time to enjoy our moments of solitude? How often do we truly allow ourselves to sit, breathe and enjoy what ever we are giving ourselves permission to at that moment? As I sat having a steak, and my lemon water, I really looked at the people in the restaurant. I felt their laughter, I heard their song and watched their rhythms. Not in the general gossipy people watching way, yet in a way that I was able to embrace the differences and see the potential for a new moment to create.
I worked on some business things, sent some text messages, looked at a basketball game, I breathed deeply and exhaled for the first time in a while. My waitress was a riot, attentive yet allowed me to just be. I even was able to solicit a piece of cake for my birthday, and although Ruby Tuesdays does not sing happy birthday, my waitress came to the table with the crazy cheesecake and sang to me privately in a humorous whisper. No it was not my actual born day, but it was a birthday for it was the first time that I actually enjoyed me time.
I learned on that night, that I am worth putting myself first, and should not feel ashamed for taking time to truly Love me, to Live Life Sexy! Truly, it was a blast, I am making a date with myself right now. When is your date?
May 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Wow!!! My semester in school has finally come to an end. Rejoice, rejoice. In one of my classes, we had to do a “I Am” poem. How this worked was that we were given a blank sheet of paper, there were prompts. The prompts started with ” I Am” and you would fill in how your saw yourself. Then they continued with ” I see, I hear, I fear” etc. My life has been a world wind these past few months, pushing myself and stretching myself in ways that I had not known I could. I am going to share my “I Am” poem with you. Write one for yourself, it is liberating and insightful!
I am Powerful and Honest
I wonder what the world will look like for my children when I pass on
I hear my Nana’s voice
I see me holding my healthy baby on the mountain top
I want to have a fulfilling career and family life
I am Powerful and Honest
I pretend to be driving a BMW 7 series
I feel the earth holding me
I touch my grandma’s hair
I worry that I will not get my finances straight
I cry when I hear the struggles my niece and nephew go through, and their lack of confidence
I am Powerful and Honest
I understand that my Husband loves me
I say I will be a healthy mother
I dream of putting my parents on a yacht to cruise the world
I try to understand proper grammar usage
I hope that the each person on the earth knows that they DO MATTER!
I am Powerful and Honest
May 14, 2012 § 4 Comments
This blog is purely my own personal views. I am the child of two ministers, affectionately called a “PK”. I was raised with in the Black church community. I attended, vacation bible school, teen church leadership camps, endless revivals, and the list goes on. One thing that I noticed early on growing up, but could not articulate, was the ” do as I say, not as I doers.”
My parents raised us to Love the Lord and to worship him and be thankful in all that we do. Church to me was not just a Sunday event as it was to so many. When you are truly( in my opinion) living a holy life, it is day in and day out. Living a God-fearing life is one that lacks judgement of others, criticizing of others and loving each and every one in the manner in which The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost loves us.
Why so many people are opposed to Gay Marriage, is honestly something that I do not understand, nor do I appreciate the use of God as the justification for why it should not be. My God is a loving God, and yes “because the bible tells me so.” With in the Black church community there is such a stigma against being a homosexual. Our hypercritical churches I might add. How many times have you heard of a pastor denouncing homosexuality, to only find out that they are engaging in this activity themselves? Or if not homosexual activity, they are taking the parishioners monies for their own use, cheating on their wives… need I continue?
So here we have a president that supports Gay Marriage and the Black Church community is in an uproar. Surprise, let us continue to banish and outcast children of God, let us continue to show them that they will not be able to enter the gates of Heaven. Why not, as we continue to do this, we are supporting, drug abuse, self mutilation and suicide because we as a Black community are failing each other, and choosing to stand behind the church to destroy one another, sorry it is really that simple!
Yes I am enraged! I for one support Gay Marriage. Who am I to judge two consenting adults and their desire to spend a Loving, Caring and God Fearing life together? Is this activity effecting my daily life? Does it keep me from sleeping at night? This is a basic civil right, and we as man on earth have no right to impose our lack of self confidence and ignorance upon others to where they are not allowed to live their lives to their choosing in a safe world.
Do you have any idea how many Black men are sitting in church, with a women, because they Love the Lord, but are ashamed to be who they are as Gay Black Men? Because they will be banished from the church? Because the one place that is supposed to have their doors open, heart open and loving everyone in a Godly fashion is saying “everyone but you?” It is time to start excepting people for who they are. It is time to stop holding people beneath you because you are scared,and ignorant. When you are at the pearly gates, do you expect to just waltz in with your persistent hatred toward your fellow-man? The hatred that you have for children of God?
I would like to be standing there, just to see what happens. We are all God’s creation, he created us all. Let us start treating each other this way, the world would be a more Loving place, this I know for sure.
May 14, 2012 § 2 Comments
your smile wakes me up with the promise of a glorious day ahead
your kiss soothes the waves so that I may float with ease
arms open wide, heart singing
your voice moves my soul
your perseverance keeps me focused on what matters in life
you show me that giving up is never an option
your laughter is like the playful giggles of the best times of my childhood
you said my grandmother came to you, told you to be patience with me
and so you wait…
heart strong, though jabs have been taken
eyes wide open, though blackened
feet moving, dancing though ankles have been sprained
you Love, simple and clear, strong and hard, long and steady
you Love me
you wait for my smiles to start your day
you wait for my kisses to send you to dreams
you lean on me when it gets tough and you are in need of fuel and energy
you listen for my voice to wrap you in the Love you have opened up in my soul
for this I say to you, my dear sweet Husband, thank you
for without you, with out your determination in Loving me….I could not Love me, nor You
my days are always sunny, the rain taste sweet as I dance in the puddles of Love that surround me
I will Love you harder every day
I will Love you harder and harder every second of everyday
I will continue to grow with you, to understand the true value of friendship, loyalty and marriage
This I will do with Eskimo kisses, long walks and talks through the valleys of my soul…. this I will do because
you are me and I am you…..we are we….always forever I adore you