#WonderTips, Life's Little Adventures

Road Rage

Both sides of my family are from the country. My mom is from Natchitoches, Louisiana and my dad is from a little town outside of Houston, TX called Needville.

 

The thing about growing up with a country family is that everyone learns how to drive at a really young age. We were all behind the wheel by the age of 10, driving through country gravel roads and stretching our necks to see over the steering wheel.

 

Fun fact: I had a car by the age of 19 (a silver ’97 3-series BMW that I was obsessed with and named “Bullet”), but I did not actually go and get my license until I was 23. * gasp *

 

The crazy thing is that I am now 26 and I have yet to ever get a speeding ticket. * knocks on wood *

 

But one of the main things I remember my oldest sister telling me when I would be driving was, “You’re not only driving for you. You’re driving for everyone else on the road too.”

 

Basically she was saying that any mistake I or anyone else on the road makes, it affects ALL of us as drivers, so we must all be careful.

 

But I’ve really been realizing lately that that’s how life works overall.

 

Especially in a time when we have a President whose decisions are literally changing the standards of our daily lives.

 

We are all technically “driving” for one another.

 

Not to say that you should base your life decisions off of what others tell you, but we must consider how our actions might affect others.

 

We can’t get on a dark road and swerve across both lanes and assume others will be ok because it was fun for us. Consideration is a key element to any functioning relationship. Key word: FUNCTIONING.

 

We are all so disconnected right now because so many are only thinking of personal gain and not using their blinkers to warn others that they are trying to get over.

 

I’m not just talking politics.

 

How many times in the past year did a friend do something to hurt or offend you or did a business partner or colleague do something for their own personal gain?

 

Sometimes our actions don’t match our intentions.

 

We may be trying to stay in our own lane and focus on our destination, but not realize the traffic that’s behind us.

 

I’m definitely guilty of it too though.

 

Sometimes I just want so badly to disconnect from the world and from life for a bit that I tend to block out others. It’s not even because something negative is happening in my life. Sometimes I just need space and to center myself.

 

But in the eyes of others, they usually tend to take it personal and think that they’re the only ones I’m blocking out, as if I’m angry or something.

 

The other day I was listening to the Black Girl Podcast and one woman shared how she sat down one day and just wrote down her accomplishments. (I suggest everyone to do this by the way because sometimes we spend so much time focusing on what we need to improve, that we end up not giving ourselves any credit.)

 

In reflecting on this exercise as I was driving, I realized that the main accomplishments I am proud of, are ones that I did alone. Not to say that I don’t work well in teams, but I’m realizing that I’m so used to doing things for myself, that it is basically second nature at this point.

 

Now this may not seem like a big thing. Initially you would think it would be good to show my independence, but the more I looked into it, the more I realized that there was only one thing on my list that I finished as a team and it didn’t feel right.

 

I realized how much this mentality carried over into my personal relationships. It’s not so much an issue with my friends, but with my significant others. I’m realizing that it’s probably the reason I question if I ever even want to get married. Subconsciously, I feel as though I don’t need another to be great.

 

In order to bring this full circle, I find myself “bulldozing” through and over guys because I’ve never felt like I needed a passenger. I had to look back to realize that it’s potentially affecting my future.

 

We have to make sure that our paths and methods of getting from Point A to Point B aren’t forcing others off the road or even causing us to get ourselves lost.

 

When was the last time you really looked over your life to make sure that your life is helping to benefit others in some way?

 

Don’t just drive for yourself. Drive for others, as well.

 

Stay blessed, people.

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road-rage-2

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#WonderTips, blasé blasé, Didn't Cha Know?

Feel vs Field

I come from a big football family.
I’m talking about everything from people who used to play professionally to my mom and my sister battling it out over their fantasy teams to me playing the role of a football girlfriend for 4 years while I dated a guy who was chasing his professional dreams.
One thing I’ve always noticed throughout every rough tackle, every injury, every flip that lands a player on their back, there’s one phrase that constantly gets yelled out by the hardcore fans and coaches: “Shake it off”
Now I’m not the most emotional person, but when I see someone laid out on the ground, my first thought isn’t “shake it off!”
But I also had to realize that I hadn’t been at the practices or following the players’ history that closely enough to know if they have had issues with these same injuries before or if that player is more prone to needing a second to recover then being able to bounce back
That’s how it is with us and our relationships with God
Sometimes we go through things that hurt so bad or seem impossible to get through, but we hear our coach (God) in the background yelling for us to “shake it off!”
I mean…you’re literally laying on the ground, staring up at the ceiling, unable to think past your current pain and the person that is supposed to be helping you is yelling at you to get up and telling you that you’re OK.
At certain moments, it can seem impossible to get up, but you have to remember that God was there for every practice, every previous injury, every cramp, EVERYTHING
He knows how much you can take
If your coach was really scared that you were down for the count, he would be running out on the field to help you
Everyday we play on the field of life
Some days we get injured and some days we make big plays and score touchdowns
Some days we get an audible called and have to change our original route
Life isn’t always easy, but never forget, if God hasn’t stepped on the field, He knows you still have some fight left in you to finish the game
Keep fighting, friends.

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Stay blessed

#WonderTips, Didn't Cha Know?, Life's Little Adventures

Hotel Innward

Earlier today I was at work and saw a student sitting in the corner of the hallway almost hidden behind a white board that had been placed against the wall, eating her lunch. I observed that she was a bit overweight, but looked at her meal and noticed her eating a salad.

You ever feel like God just pulls you towards certain people sometimes?

“Aren’t you almost getting squished by that board?”

Her response was that she didn’t really have any friends and that was a comfortable place to eat.

At that point, the school officer came around and told her that she shouldn’t be eating in the hallway, so I told her to come sit in my office and eat (something that I never let students do).

I started talking to her and eventually found out that she’s a senior who just transferred into the school where I work due to bullying. She had been bullied because of her weight and for not wearing any makeup her 9th and 10th grade year so badly that she felt that she could not return to that particular school. She transferred to another school her junior year then eventually came to my school for her senior year.

Believe it or not, I saw so much of myself in her.

She said she liked being alone now and having her music. I loved being alone growing up with my sketches and my poetry.

Speaking to her made me think back on how we all have these little portions of ourselves that we only reveal at certain times.

It’s as if we are buildings and our personality, character traits, and ideas are all little rooms.

Hence, my new poem: Hotel Innward.

Hotel Innward

I met a mall full of Me’s today

A large shop full of Shelby’s

The hair shop held a high top hell storm of all the smiles

I had thrown about over the years

Freely casting sun rays upon broken fixtures of darkness

A vitamin shop of vagina monologues

A diet pill of body dysmorphia

A protein shake of unprotected women’s rights

Don’t forget your lifetime supply of lies and daily dose of a broken heart

I drifted slowly into the fragrance shop of memories

A quick whiff of the smell her makeup used to leave on her sweater, the stench in his shirts from his 5am hooping sessions, the fragrance of fufu encapsulated in the gifts of dashikis and head wraps, the sweet smell of organic oils dripping from his dreads

The summation and accumulation of life’s events, but

through scents

It was painful, but

it was beautiful

I broke free and found me

Standing in the doorway at a little boutique

The lights were off, the walls were dark, but

the store was full

It was full of clothes. Full of me.

I gathered a hand full of shirts to try on in

the unforgiving blackness, using nothing but the flashlight on my phone as a guide

Each shirt labeled with only one word

Slut

Bitch

Whore

Unworthy

Bitter

Nigger

Undesireable

Trash

Side Chick

UNLOVEABLE

I stood  there for hours in that shirt

In the darkness. In that store.

Feet planted in blocks of cement surrounded by more words of similar stance

The clothes were cheap, yet overpriced

The material was raggedy

The customer service sucked, but

that was my favorite store

I wore that shirt that deflected love as I continued to bounce around throughout the other  stores

Other eyes of myself looking upon me

Judging myself for allowing others to create these shirts, but

the I that is me, the one that is supposedly “free”,

put it on so willingly

I paid for these shirts with someone else’s label

Right then and there, as I rubbed my afro hair,

I decided it was better to leave the store naked and exposed

vs what they told me I should be

I am raw

I am a blank canvas

I am starting over

cyg7pkub

Stay blessed, my people.