Your Life: A Service to Others

Yesterday I enjoyed watching Oprah’s final show so much, that I watched it twice! And the second time around I caught something I hadn’t caught the first time watching it. In the beginning of the show Oprah mentions that your life should be a service unto others; even if it’s something you never get paid to do, or become famous for. This couldn’t be a better motto for why I write my blogs.

If anyone were to ask me why I write I would only have one answer for them: it’s all I know and it’s my way of sharing with others. When I sit down and write my blogs, in my mind I always know that I’m not alone. The situations I share, I know there are tons of people who have been through similar situations and who are able to relate. I put my own life experiences out there for others to share with me. I’m still learning this thing called “life” and sometimes I don’t always get it right, so it’s nice to share the ups and downs with those around me.

When I write I always hope that even if  no one ever comments, that at least someone is reading what I have to say. And even if one person were to read my blog and take away something positive from it, then I would feel like my goal was accomplished. All I’ve ever wanted to do was write and share my words.  I want to share with others the joy that writing has brought me for many years. At a very young age I realized that words have power. Power to heal, the power to change and power to inspire.

 Written words give voice to people when they are verbally afraid to speak up. That’s also my intentions when I write. For anyone who has ever been through similar situation and been afraid to say how they felt, they can now know they aren’t alone. You never know what you might  say that could hit home with someone else and cause them to make a change in their own lives. It may give a person some much-needed courage; you just never know.

So I like to think of writing as my service to others, who ever happens to read my blog. I may never know your name, or meet you personally but at least I know I’m putting something positive out there for others. I’m sharing my words with others and that’s what makes me most happy. I may never get paid for this, I may never become famous, but at the end of the day if I could reach one person with my words then I know I’ve been a voice for that person. I’m learning that you don’t always have to be famous to be successful in your life. Success is ultimately being able to share what you love most with others.

God was the ultimate servant and we can all use his life as a model for our own. God has blessed me with a gift and it would be a shame to not share it with those around me.  A bible verse that comes to mind is 1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” This bible verse is exactly what I intend to do. Through my gift when I write, it isn’t about me. It has never been about me. But everything I’ve ever written has been about God getting HIS glory in my life.

So if you have a gift, or talent share it with others. Spread to them the same joy your talent or gift has brought to your life.  Little by little, the positive vibes you put out there in the world will make their way back to your life in a manifold of blessings you can’t imagine.

Psalms4:37  “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

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Oprah: A Woman, a Legend, an Icon

“Until we meet again, may God be the Glory,” were the last words of Oprah as her final show came to an end after 25 long years. I can truly say Oprah will go down in my book as a great legend, but most of all a great woman.  Her show was beyond monumental in the number of hearts it touched and lives that it changed, and it will be missed.

Watching her last show she touched on some really good key points that hit home with me. One of them was the idea of validation and being worthy. These are issues I myself have dealt with for many months and for the longest I found myself searching for my own validation in all the wrong places; particularly in men. And as Oprah said, the voice of God begins as a whisper and we can either choose to acknowledge it or it ignore it; but it doesn’t go away. And every time I went looking for validation it was like God’s whisper got louder, but I chose not to listen. And in my case the “slap in the face” eventually turned into a whole “brick wall falling down”, before I finally got the message. Validation doesn’t come from anyone or anything of this world. God’s love is the only validation that I needed. A lesson that seems so simple took me over a year to learn. But learning that lesson has truly set me free from some things in my past that I allowed to be a burden in my life.

Another thing she mentioned in her final show was that you are responsible for your own life, no matter what your mama or your daddy did or didn’t do. And this made me think about my own relationship with my parents. My relationship with my mom has gotten better over the years, but it still has it’s faults. As for my relationship  with my father, it’s one still in progress. All my life all I’ve ever wanted to do is write and be successful. Not successful as in celebrity or fame, but in the fact that one day I might write something that might inspire someone else; even if just one person were to read my work. But for a while I felt like because of my family’s history, my dream was too big. I like to think a lot of people in my family “play it safe” and they’ve all created comfortable lives for themselves. But I don’t want to be content with being comfortable. I want to follow my dream as an aspiring journalist and author. But doing that requires me to think outside the box my family lives in. I want to do better than what my parents did for me and actually push harder to accomplish my dream.

I’m sure within 25 years there has been a lot more Oprah has said to inspire us all. Knowing Oprah’s circumstances who would’ve thought she’d go on to accomplish what she did?  What Oprah has done isn’t just stuff that happens everyday. Her name has long had a place in the history of American culture, where she has definitely left her mark. (Along with the marks she’s left in the hearts of her many viewers and fans.)

A woman, a legend an icon.

Not Settling…This Time

Recently I began to think back on all my past relationships and I was trying to figure out what went wrong. I was trying to find a common link in all my relationships hoping to learn something valuable from my past experiences. And when I really sat down and thought about it, one word came to mind: settle. In all of my previous relationships I found the main problem had been that I kept settling for the first person that was in front of me. I would end one relationship, then soon as the next guy came along that showed me a little bit of attention, I simply settled for him, thinking that he was the next best thing for me.

I didn’t know then, that it would affect me now. I’ve dealt with my fear of attachments, but now I have a fear of settling. I don’t want to keep settling for mediocre men when I know I can find someone better who actually deserves to be with me. And I also don’t want to spend my life in a cycle of what they call the “superhero” syndrome. I’m tired of looking for someone to save me. What I really could use is someone to compliment me. Since I can remember I was never the girl to get the actual guy  I really wanted. I was never that lucky during highschool. So I often found myself settling for the next best thing, but never fully being satisfied because they weren’t the person  I really wanted.

And then recently when I thought maybe I had found someone who worked for me, I realized I was settling again. Simply because this person had come along after a break up and he had been there to fill in the gaps. It seemed like soon as I broke up with my ex, this next dude was a breath of fresh air. And even though I do consider him to be somewhat of a decent catch, I want more. I don’t want to just settle, because I find a guy who is “ok”. In my heart I know I wouldn’t be completely satisfied. Call me picky, but I know I don’t have to jump at every guy that approaches me.

I’ve been through a lot with guys; some of it my fault, some of it theirs. But either way ultimately me not settling is me realizing my worth as a woman. If I really wanted to be with someone, there are plenty of people lined up, but it’s not that simple. It’s not about being with someone, just to say I have a man. I’m realizing I’m not as lonely as I used to be, and that I don’t need a man in my life to fill voids anymore. For so long I’d looked to men for some affirmation, but I’ve learned that comes from God. I’ve looked to men for attention and affection, sometimes settling for cheap imitations of the real thing. But I don’t want to be that girl anymore. I don’t want to be the girl who settles, because I know I deserve so much more. I know that God has a higher standard of living for me where I don’t have  to settle. I love myself enough not to settle, even if that means being alone. I’d rather be alone, than with someone but still not happy. In the famous words of Tyler Perry why settle when “I Can do Bad by Myself.”

I am Not My Hair pt. 2

13 months ago, I made the decision to do something different for myself; I went natural. I know this may not seem like something “different” for some people, but when anything forces me to step outside my comfort zone; it’s different. At first I wasn’t sure if this would be something temporary or something more permanent. Quite frankly I wasn’t even completely confident in my decision. However, I found myself going with the flow and embracing my natural roots. Originally my intention behind going natural was to discover my inner confidence without weave. For many years I had allowed my hair to define how I felt about myself physically and I wanted to challenge myself to move beyond that mentality.

At first it wasn’t easy, I didn’t exactly feel like myself. I was used to wearing the long straight weave with my burgundy color, curled or flipped in some kind of flashy style. I wasn’t used to rocking the fro and owning the look as my own. Most of the time when I wore a fro, I would usually wear a hat to cover what I thought was a tragic mess; and it mostly meant I was in between hairstyles.  I received some criticism and it took me a while to realize at the end of the day hair is simply hair. And all you can do is embrace what you have and make it work for you.

So last September that’s exactly what I did. I began growing locks, and I haven’t turned back since then. There have been a few times I’ve missed the weave and thought about going back. There have even been times where I told myself I was crazy for trying to grow locks. But in the last 8 months, I’ve come along way and I’m better able to embrace my locks. I still have some people who say they aren’t for me and they’re entitled to their opinion. I’m also learning I can’t spend my life trying to be what other people want me to be.

I like the idea of my locks because it’s taken me out of my comfort zone and forces me to challenge myself. I don’t want to live my life always thinking “what if” Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to get out there and just do something even when you think it sounds a little crazy. In some ways I’ve found the courage to not limit myself in what I do. I’d much rather think outside the box than follow convention and be bored with the norm. The older I get, the more I realize that maybe being different isn’t so bad after all.

No Substitutions

Recently I found myself more immersed in my writing than I’ve ever been. I had become so immersed in my work I felt like I was rekindling my romance with writing all over again. Since I can remember, writing has always been my first love.  It was like the day I picked up pen and paper, was the day I knew life wouldn’t be the same without it. As of today I keep asking myself, where would I be without my gift of writing?  In the past 21 years of my life, writing has seen me through the good times, the bad times, and those days where my feelings were only just a jumble of words on paper.  I’ve depended on writing for so long  as a way of expressing myself when verbally I was incompetent. It almost was as if at first it was just a crush, just a hobby. But then over the years as I grew up, so did my writing. It grew with me. And it has always been the one thing in my life that’s been consistent; even more so than people.

I can remember being in 4th grade and our teacher gave us journals that  we would write in everyday for 45 minutes. Those were the happiest 45 minutes of my life!  Even today some of the happiest moments of my life are when I’m writing, creating and sharing my words with others. It’s therapeutic at times and the satisfaction I get from writing is priceless. Writing is a bigger part of me than most people realize. If I was unable to write, I think a part of me would die. I think the biggest thing I enjoy most about writing is that it’s my way of escaping and creating a world of my own. A place where I’m in control and I can let my wildest thoughts pour out on the paper without being afraid or holding back. Everytime I put pen to paper I get the same feeling: I fall in love with writing all over again.

Since I was a little kid I always knew writing was something special to me. I remember keeping diaries, that grew into journals when I felt I was too old to hide secrets.  I have countless notebooks filled with stories, poems and all my thoughts along the way. Sometimes when I go back and read the older things I’ve written, it’s like watching myself grow up. It’s like watching my love for writing mature into something beautiful. A lot of the times I feel if there’s one thing in life I can get right, it’s writing. When it comes to other issues in life, I can’t promise my attempts at them are always successful, but with writing it always feels right

As the pages turn..my love for writing grows

Writing is all I know how to do. I’ve spent years nurturing my craft and trying to perfect it. But I’m learning because it’s a gift that just keeps growing perfection doesn’t really exists. And this is ok with me because I like the challenge. I often challenge myself when writing to dig deeper when I write poems, or find a way to take my writing to a new level. This challenge excites me and it keeps me motivated to push myself further in  what I do.

But what I’ve come to realize more than anything, is that no matter how much I love writing, it won’t love me back.  Although it may remain faithful, it’s not enough at the end of the day. I’ve spent all day writing my life away, but I have no one to share it with. Lately I’ve been so caught up with my writing that it’s become a crutch; my way of working around my real issues in life. When I’m writing I don’t have time to think about anything else. I go into a zone and I’m focused where I give it my all, with everything in me whole-heartedly. Kind of how you would a real life relationship, except in this one, the idea of reciprocity is more guaranteed.  Lately I’ve joked saying that writing is my current boyfriend because it’s the only thing I truly connect with. I have yet to find anyone or anything I love more than writing. (I mean of course God. Let’s not forget that he blessed me with this talent.)  The day I do, I’m sure they will have big shoes to fill. One day maybe I’ll realize that I can’t substitute writing for true love, but until then at least I know it will remain faithful. Writing will always be my first true love. It will always have a place in my heart.

Pop Kulture: Susie Bubble

Pop Kulture is a new blogsite on wordpress that’s  aimed towards everything chic and hip in today’s pop culture. The first post  highlights one of fashion’s most influential bloggers: Susan Lau. She has been featured in high fashion magazines such as Elle and Vouge. She stays a step ahead of the fashion game by going out and finding the latest trends herself and sharing it with others. She’s very straight forward and very knowledgeable in the feild which can be seen in the in-depth postings on her blog site : Style Bubble. Lau truly does create a bubble all of her own, one that sets her apart from the rest of the pack.

ELLE1001
Susan Lau featured in Elle
 

Below is the link to the Pop Kulture blog where more information can be found out about Susan “Susie” Lau and her fashion blog “Style Bubble”:

http://popkultur3.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/susie-style-bubble/

First post for Innovative A.R.T.S blog

Recently posted my first post for the new blog I started Innovative A.R.T.S. This blog is dedicated to spotlighting young people with talent and sharing it with others. For my first post I did a spotlight on HBO’s Brave New Voices. BNV is a youth poetry slam contest. The young children that participate in this event are both diverse and talented.

To read more about Brave New Voices young poets I’ve provided a link below:

http://creativemindset1989.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/hbos-brave-new-voices/