Tag Archives: maturity

Whitney Houston (Facing My Reality)

13 Feb
The Greatest Love of All

Image via Wikipedia

Whitney Houston’s passing isn’t surreal for me. It’s very real. Bringing into question my mortality and quality of life, reminding me that tomorrow is never guaranteed.

It puts into perspective that which makes my heart sing; forcing me to acknowledge that if I had it my way, I would spend these moments with the love of my life, living close to the beach so walks along the shore would be a few short steps away. I’d want to fully indulge in the blessings of life, taking short breaks to write (because I adore doing so) and to share laughs with family and friends. I’d want to do so free from the anxiety and stress placed upon me by a chaotic world, that dictates my daily path by superficial faded pieces of paper with dead presidents’ faces imprinted on them.

Ms. Houston’s passing arouses the fear that I am anywhere but in this utopia of my dreams, and makes me question why not, as well as the possibility of such a world.

We all throw around phrases and mantras about tomorrow not being promised and the importance of living for today but I know I am not alone in being bound by the fear of truly doing so. That in some way by living each day as if it was our last, is acknowledging the possibility that it very well could be. We procrastinate because we hope and long for tomorrow and the years to come, and if we are truly honest with ourselves we aren’t living out our maximum potential because perhaps we are afraid to accept that at some point we will all breathe that last breath and continue to whatever destiny our beliefs have in store for us.
I do believe that Whitney Houston is resting in peace now, but I can’t help but wonder, if she had it her way, would she have rather her existence here on earth, to be as peaceful-overflowing with love, encouragement, joy, and the expression of her dreams as it has seemed to be in these subsequent days of her death; If perhaps she would have made different choices throughout her life had she known how brief it would turn out to be. I too have childhood memories of wishing I had a red and black tutu like Whitney Houston’s so I could belt out “I wanna dance with somebody who loves me”, but the mature adult in me is reminded of the reality that tomorrow really is not promised and if that is in fact the case (which proved to be true for our fallen icon), what am I doing about that truth today?

Humanizing God

12 Feb

Many Christians discourage humanizing God because it can in some way diminish the supremacy of God as being omnipotent. I disagree with that. And matter of fact I believe that doing so can actually contribute to a clearer understanding of God and biblical principles. Plus if I am made in God’s image and I am in fact a human, there has to be some overlap there.

I’ve found that humanizing God has transformed the way I look at God. I used to be afraid of God, as this ominous figure with a bunch of no’s, cannots and don’ts, who just ruled over me frowning on all the wrong I was doing. I was often afraid of judgement and  started thinking I was being punished for the choices I made. Then I gave God some human character to gain a better understanding.

God loves me. So much so that he wants the best for me. The best. God knows me, even down to my inner-most thoughts. He knows that sometimes in my choices, I settle for less, that I am going to go right when I know that I should go left. But he still gives me free will. In my choices, I have repercussions (both positive and negative). That’s life right? But he does give me the tools to make the wisest, best decisions for me. Those which will further reinforce his love for me. Now sometimes I may make a poor decision and have to face the music. If I had taken heed to God’s guidance perhaps I wouldn’t have experienced the heartache, disappointment, frustration, and hurt. But in the midst of all that, God gives me comfort. Why would a God that love’s me, want me to experience anything but joy?

I am not a master decision maker, but I can say that I have a healthy view of the role of God in my life which has kept me from shying away from my faith when I made a wrong turn or poor choice. It may seem odd to some, but my spiritual relationship is probably one of the healthiest relationships that I have but that is because of my resolve to put human-ness to the God that I believe in.

Quarters

10 Feb

The new year always brings about reflection. 2012 is no different. I can say that as usual, 2011 was a rollercoaster, a lot of which I didn’t feel prepared for, although I rarely found myself in a place that I had never been…

…First quarter was casual, fun, and exploratory to say the least. It left me hyped but at the same time a bit bruised, but I can’t say that I didn’t ask for it. The key takeaway, if it looks, walks, and talks like a duck-it’s a duck…

…Second quarter was damage control. I don’t like loose ends, especially those that leave me disturbed. I tried to tie them. Opposition ensued. Let’s say that I learned a lot about my family. I had to accept the possibility that the ideal relationship that I may have wanted with some of them, may never be. Doing this allowed me to accept them even if I didn’t like it, and to keep myself from becoming bitter…

…Third quarter was filled with elements of surprise of the positive and negative variety, but in all it left me questioning friendships, and accepting that in all of the preparation that life can provide, it cannot ever effectively prepare you for loss; literal and figurative loss. I was equally unprepared for the mourning that ensued….

…Fourth quarter was one of tremendous growth as I found myself feeling alone in the midst of many struggles. I let my critical inner voice take hold and began to question most of the decisions I had made within the year. Where the hell were all of my friends anyway? I found myself in the emergency room very much alive but feeling the need to be emotionally resuscitated. Highlight: I’m going to be an aunt!

2011 was a year of tremendous proportions. Growth. Loss. Facing fear. Exposing vulnerability. Lots of tears. Speaking up where silence once stood. Introspection in isolation. Numerous times feeling stripped of that which I valued, what kept me balanced. The sources from which I would draw for joy were compromised and in all that I prevailed. So in retrospect, 2011 was a good year because all contributed to me becoming a better version of myself. Would I have preferred to alter parts of it? Sure. But isn’t four quarters what makes a whole?

“Blue Rose”

28 Oct

There was a time when I thought that if:

I got straight A’s, I’d be praised

If I was thinner, I’d be complimented

If I was quiet, I’d be intriguing

If I spoke up, I’d be respected

If I were social, I’d be popular

If I were wilder, I’d be a hot commodity

If I were liberal, I would liberated

If I were funnier, I’d be the life of the party

If I was docile, I’d be respected

If I loved harder, I’d be loved in return

I thought that if I somehow managed the perfect balance of being what other’s wanted from me and what I wanted, I’d finally be viewed as an obedient daughter, loving granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin, dependable friend, a gracious lover. But trying to be all that to everyone left me unfulfilled and spent because in the midst of considering everyone else, I forgot about me.

Now, I’m working on putting my desires first because I’ve accepted that most of the steps that I take in this life are lonely, meaning the repercussions of my choices are mine to bear. And besides dealing with my personal disappointment has proven to be easier than the disappointment of others.

“Growing Pains”

26 Oct

I’m quite cerebral. I mean, I spend a lot of time in my head, analyzing, intellectualizing, manipulating, all in attempt to understand my thoughts, and behavior. Because of this, I am always under a self-imposed microscope (of sorts) often reflecting and replaying events, conversations, missteps, words that I have spoken (or not)…I am in a sense acutely aware of my short-comings and growth opportunities. I often pray that I don’t go into the ground the same way I have been, hoping to somehow crack my code and become the best person that I can muster up the strength and courage to achieve. I’m growing to accept that in doing this, I am always in transition. It’s impossible to want and pray for change and remain constant, but

OH THE GROWING PAINS!!!

This journey is not without resistance, many tears, bouts of loneliness, and frustration, but in all the bitter, there are elements of sweet that are enticing and intriguing, encouraging me to keep at it and not flee (which is ever the challenge).

“Stop This Train”

16 Oct

It’s been a while since my last post and all I can say is that sometimes breaks are necessary…

I’m finding more and more these days that I am rarely prepared or equipped to handle this ride of life; the speed bumps, abrupt stops, and fast acceleration. I realize that no book I have read, class I have taken, or advice given could have gotten me ready for the emotional tailspin I find myself in as I reflect and analyze my growth (which in some ways is stunted to say the least).

I have never been fearless, but I did approach life with tenacity and a clear vision of where I wanted to end up, what I wanted to achieve, a plan on how I was going to get there. I didn’t spend too much time analyzing my moves, I just made them. That was when I was younger. Before I felt the consequential sting of my choices.  Now I feel more tentative. 

While I’m not comfortable in this state, I have accepted that when you choose life, you are automatically signing up for the ride. So, I am not exempt from the ebbs and flows of growth and maturity. But honestly, being ill-prepared is so damn frustrating. So, in that frustration, I at times have to block out the noise and distraction so that I allow myself to be present in the moment; to grasp what I am supposed to learn and take stock of my strengths as well as opportunities as a means to keep it all in perspective. Hence my absence. Oddly enough though, writing is just the therapy I need to aid in my refocus, so here I sit at this computer committing to my growth. I often say that I don’t want to go into the ground the same as when I was born, so clearly as painful as it may be, this is requisite in the achievement of that goal.

“Who You Calling A B**CH?!”

28 Aug

I’m sorry, but maybe I am getting old! When did it become okay for women to use the word B**CH as a term of endearment. For so long it seems as if women were fighting against the title, now some of us claim it with pride?! I’ve heard ladies declare, “I’m a bad B**CH” on several occasions and every time it troubles me. For a few reasons. First, because I have a tremendous respect for words and the power they hold. Second because if you choose to refer to yourself as a B**CH, aren’t you granting permission to men to do it as well? How can you cop an attitude with a guy for calling you a B**CH if you pride yourself on being one? Doesn’t seem like you have much grounds for a fight there…
Not trying to knock anyone (just make you think), if you were in fact all that, wouldn’t you use a thesaurus and find an edifying word minus the negative connotation that builds your ego without sacrificing your self-esteem?

The Importance of Personal Style

27 Aug
Vogues

Image by Mageca via Flickr

As I poured over the pages of the coveted September issue of Vogue (aptly deemed the fashion bible), it dawned on me how much we are bombarded with advertising that tells us how we should look (why must you choose either a strong eye or lip in makeup application?!). But truthfully (partly due to the ever-changing trends in women’s fashion), it is important to at some point in time in your life, define your personal sense of style. One that depicts how you want to be seen in the world, not to simply duplicate what you have been told to look like but what you desire and feel comfortable looking like. When you embody your style, you own it, believe in it, defend it without saying anything. You actually get the attention without asking for it. Sometimes you want to fit in where other times you shun it. At times you may have to feign confidence until you actually attain in, but either way you are being true to you.

I do grow weary of the industry telling me I should want to look like a 16-year-old girl when I have a woman’s body, but some of the stuff is cute, I must admit. I like kitschy prints sometimes and colored jeans (although this a warmed over trend from my 9th grade year). I also love glitter nail polish, while some decry it as being age inappropriate for us 30-something gals. And with all the celebrities donning them as they walk the busy avenues and sit in VIP, I love the way stilettos look, but I’m gonna be honest, most times those b***hes hurt like hell. If I do risk wearing a pair, believe that I have a pair of sandals or ballet flats near by because that’s me; comfort trumps trend . There is nothing cute about limping around in your 5 inches or blisters on your feet and my personal style won’t even allow me to fake that!

Generational Divide

26 Aug

I’m starting to accept that there will always be a divide between generations. For eons, the youth have been blamed for the separation due to our “colorful language” and taste in music and clothes (among other superficial details), but I beg to differ.
I find that in many cases, it is our elders that perpetuate the divide with their preconceived notions that they are hopelessly dedicated to, while convincing themselves that we are selfish, egotistical brats with no respect for the past or our predecessors. The main issue I see is that our elders are set on lumping us all into one “ungrateful” group despite our individual differences. Where we as the youth have been raised to shun and defy labels, they are determined and in some way dependent on those labels in order to grasp this generation of people that they do not understand. I had to accept this as evidence when my grandmother compared me to my older cousin who outside of us being related, shares very little in common with me.
In no way do I think the youth of today are asking our elders to embrace all that we are without understanding it, I certainly am not trying to force my beliefs and existence on my parents or those before them. I just want the respect in acknowledging the possibility. The possibility that in youth there is this natural resistance to the status quo and a longing for understanding and acceptance of our desire to be individuals. This does not however compromise all of our reasoning or intellect. 

Regardless how the music has changed, we are no different from previous generations in that we all march to the beat of our own drum and rarely feel like we have to explain our reason for doing so. Instead of being treated like social deviants, all we want is to be understood and the first step to that is accepting that despite our generational divide, we all want the same in the end because we are all people (despite age). Our methods of attaining such may differ, but the basic needs do not differ from those of our elders.

Tidings to the Teenage Me

25 Aug

If I could go back and tell my 16-year-old self anything based off of the knowledge I have now, I would tell her to relax and have fun. That life doesn’t have to be taken so seriously that you forget to enjoy it. To seek experiences that will not only build your character but that you would truly enjoy, not just those that would lead to something bigger or those that would definitely set up your future. I would tell her to learn to laugh and it be a sincere response to true joy or hilarity, especially when it came to laughing at herself and her mistakes. I would tell her not to fear making mistakes because they were bound to happen and it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
I realize now that once you reach adulthood, seriousness isn’t really an option, you’re kind of forced into that mode, so why not spend your youth being carefree. Not necessarily careless, but allow yourself to live in the realm of a teenager. I was always the girl who could stay awake into the next day to get a school project done, but the first to fall asleep at a sleepover. I was successful yes, but an anxious, and often stressed, successful young person. This carried over into my adult life and only now am I trying to “unlearn” all that I have been socialized to believe and programmed to do. While the destination is important, it’s the journey that makes it worthwhile.