When faced with adversity, you have decisions to make. More than likely they will be major decisions that affect your daily life. Where should you start? What should you do? How do you process everything? You may want to throw yourself on the floor and have a complete and total nervous breakdown. This is perfectly normal. It is better for you to honor your true feelings as opposed to keeping them bottled up as a toxic bomb awaiting explosion.
At some point the dust will settle. The stress will even out. The chatter will stop. Everything will stop coming at you if only for a minute. That is when you have to develop a game plan. Life does not allow anyone to rest on her laurels. There is too much to be accomplished. You have to decide for yourself what falls into the primary and secondary category. Develop a plan of action and then execute it. Sounds simple enough, yes?
Well, on paper.
Life is very much like a body of water. It does not always stay the same. The beach may be calm today but once hurricane season arrives, you are told to evacuate for your own personal safety. It is cleaned and finally cleared for relaxation once again. It is beautiful and lethal all at once. If you are able to place the different facets of your responsibilities and goals into these two categories, your list becomes easier to manage.
Forty plus pounds have literally vanished from my lilt frame. My nicknames include Flaca and skinny minnie. I have shared my diet with women all over the country. My closet is still a work in progress and I throw away underwear on a daily basis because they are too big. This diet was not a choice that I made. It was a lifestyle that my body demanded. After years of eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without any regard for nutrition or portions, chronic symptoms made me uncomfortable on a daily basis. It took a former acupuncturist to sit me down and explain that my diet had to change without question or hesitation. It was cold turkey or face a lifetime of having a disgruntled body.
Wine, sugar, and starches vanished from my plates. At this point I feel as if a slice of cake would be a serious shock to my system because that amount of sugar is now foreign to me. Feb 17th began my exploration into a life of protein and veggies. The addition of a personal chef during the summer made life easier, but I still have a gut. My weight was not the only thing that changed.
The better part of my closet had to be replaced. My body was a size 10 while my mind still thought it was a size 14. People started giving me loads of attention. Chairs that were once comfortable became unbearable. Pine Sol can no longer be used in my home because the fumes are too much for me to handle; switched to an essential oil mix. My sound sensitivity increased to immediate annoyance. People overwhelm me with their constant talking and general noise. During conversations, I lose track of the discussion often. My eyes have loose skin and there are ripples on my sides. The boobs that made me famous now look like the site of deflated balloons. The black woman’s signature looks more like initials. My metabolism started sending me off into naps midday. Medication has now been prescribed because my body no longer produces a certain chemical that is required to fight off issues.
All of these changes contributed to a rocky year. New people became resources for new situations. A stylist helped me explore new styles. A new boutique fitted me with trendy wear. Friends have been swift to meet the demands of my strict diet while dining with me. The chef goes out of his way to provide me with meals that are delicious, varied, and based on what I need. I am hoping that 2018 will bring more stability to what has become a life filled with drastic changes.
2017 is coming to an end. The year of multiple changes and intense moments is about to run out. I am curious as to where my guidance resources shall share with me as a New Year approaches. How do I feel? Tired. My belly is full this evening. My thoughts wonder to different places including an international vacation. It is important for me to check in on the three major points: physical, mental, and spiritual. The mighty triad makes for a well rounded individual with balance. In truth, at this particular moment….the ground beneath my feet is shaky.
This last week was extremely exhausting for me. Between late rehearsals and performances, I was a complete wreck. It made me realize something that has never been considered before. I have spent the better part of my life investing in other people; their children, their dreams, their futures. When I look around, there is no one at my side. There isn’t anyone for me to take to the museum or the Halloween orchestra concert for kids. At this stage of the game, there are resources at my fingertips and ideas that overflow. However, there isn’t a child of my own to reap the benefits. It makes me sad.
It was around this time last year that I announced to my mother that I wanted to have a baby. Her “supportive” nature enabled her to advise me to adopt because pregnancy may be difficult for me. The statement fell on deaf ears given that I am a premie and wasn’t expected to see the ripe ole age of 40. The early part of this year was spent choosing nursery colors and browsing baby clothes. Apparently, the little bundles of joy can be quite stylish.
My 30s were spent enjoying my freedom and glasses of white wine. After my father died, family took on a new meaning to me. As 40 hit, I knew that my own personal unit was something that I wanted. A significant other and a baby. Experiences, love, living, and joy. The whole package is of great interest to me. Life changing is an under statement. I guess that a decade can change a woman’s mind about previous goals.
It had been a long week of work. My body was exhausted. I canceled the tree removal and lessons for the afternoon so I could rest. There was an African Pop Up Market that I desperately wanted to attend, but only if I was able to get myself together. The long hours of the days had certainly taken a toll on me. My bed engulfed me whole.
Traffic was bad. The weather was not helping. Parking was easy to find. I sauntered up to the 8th floor and there they were. Three lovely ladies from the Motherland; Kenya. These business women create crafts along with others in their group, and they travel here to sell them. I wanted to attend for so many reasons. Women from Africa represent a part of me that speaks to a strong ancestral connection. I imagined that they would have many stories about life to share. An international circle made itself present in my mind. They treated me like family. There was singing, laughter, and lots of fellowship. When I saw the jewelry that they created, and the fabrics that were brought….my creative side took over. I asked if I could take nude pictures with their crafts.
We went into another room so as not to be disturbed by the sole male member that traveled with them. You would think there were little girls playing on the playground. Different necklaces adorned my neck. Pose after pose simply flowed from my smaller frame. Wine and Italian appetizers soon appeared to complete the gathering. My Friday night gave me inspiration for my entire life. My heart was filled with joy and gratitude for the experience that was now a part of my memory.
1.)Situation #1: Mother invited me to a Harvest Festival at church one fall while I was in college. It was not something that I had an interest in, and I politely declined. Approximately 72hrs before the event, she informed me that she purchased my ticket. I politely reminded her that I told her that I did not want to attend. The Saturday of the festival, someone gave me two tickets to the orchestra. Happy did not begin to describe my feelings about the concert. Once my mother was informed with joy in my face, she told me to reimburse her for the ticket that she bought in spite of the fact that I told her not to do so…..if anyone has an explanation for this one, please let me know.
2.) Situation #2: It was a cruise to the Bahamas. I went with my sub standard boyfriend and friends. Both parties turned out to be colossal mistakes on my part…moving on. Because I would have to return and go straight to work, my transportation plans were made ahead of time and with great care. When I asked my sub standard boyfriend how he was going to get home, his response was that he was a grown man and could take care of himself. Please keep that in mind.
The morning of our return, my ride was patiently awaiting me. Unfortunately, the grown man that could take care of himself was calling his sub standard friends that could also take care of themselves since 6am, and not one person answered the phone. There he was. Stranded. He turned to me and asked if he could borrow $10.00. I asked why.
He responded…read: “To catch a cab…”.
3.) Situation #3: A handy man came to fix a few things in my home. While he was present, he mentioned that he could fix a few more things for an additional fee. I responded that since I was also having my patio cleaned by another company, his current work was all that was required. Nevertheless, he insisted on giving me quotes for things that I did not request, and left once the job was complete. I told him that I would be in touch regarding the other work once I reviewed the practicality of it. A few days later, he texted me asking if I was still saving towards hiring him. One follow up is fine. However, a few days later, he texted, “rescreen?” in reference to my patio. I promptly deleted his number as his desperation for money was seeping through the cell. An actual screen company that charged a hefty fee completed the screens for me, and they look wonderful to this day.
You don’t have to be a traditional bride that adheres to the norms of society. You can be the colorful, offbeat, individual that allows her free spirit to run wild even on her wedding day. This tip is really for me as I fall in love with weddings again…why? I’m envisioning it for myself.
How to Incorporate Yourself….
1.) Not a church woman? Welcome to the club.
-get married in the forest surrounded by fairies
-do you have a dear friend that is a public speaker and a notary? There is your officiant.
-your dress doesn’t have to be white. It can be another color or white with accents that are your favorite color.
-Does Classical music put you to sleep? Ask your string quartet to skip Bach and go straight to John Legend.
-Solo violin is all the rage with the flashing lights and strolling.
-Hired a harpist? EXCELLENT CHOICE! Ask her to play love songs instead of Greensleeves.
-Your DJ can arrive dressed in costume…
-Hate the banquet halls? Ask your planner to transform your home.
-Local bar/pub can do the trick. Talk to the owner…
-Womens’ Clubs make for wonderful wedding locations.
-The beach under the full moon is not a common affair…
1.) FYI makes me nervous.
2.) I don’t know why I am being called Ms. Crystal all of a sudden.
3.) Interacting with people on a regular basis does make me happy; however, I have to have a say in how it is executed.
4.) There are knights in shining armor out there. They have restored my faith in the opposite sex.
5.) Good food is a game changer.
6.) Sometimes, having a conversation with the right person can do everything in life for your perspective.
7.) Proper communication is essential.
8.) My approach to life has changed. I do not try to convince people to do anything anymore. I prefer to let the cards fall and lay in place.
9.) I have a lot to say.
10.) My views on marriage have changed. I do believe in it for myself.
Wedding Tip: If you are getting married in a popular wedding venue, make certain that the schedule can properly accommodate your special day. You want to be able to arrive on style and enjoy the ceremony and your pictures without being rushed to finish because the next one is about to start. You also don’t want random vendors staring at you.
My phone rang at 12:18am and immediately hung up. I checked the number to see what was happening and instantly recognized the caller. It was the sister of my former bff. Former because she used and abused me for years until she crossed a line from which our “friendship” never recovered. I banished her into another realm along with her jealousy and insecurities. Why on earth would her sister still have my number to call me by “accident” at that time of morning?
I reached out to a neutral friend that had background information. Apparently, she received a phone call approximately three months ago which began with a reference and then turned into a book about me. The sister was suddenly put on threeway to discuss me. My sexuality was questioned with rumors and the sentiments about me needing Jesus were made. My friend chose to respond by saying that she kissed a girl before and like it. She also went on to say that I live my life in a manner that makes me happy. I am free spirited and will continue to do what I want. No information about whom I am kissing or worshipping.
It was 2009 when this dysfunctional friendship was deleted. She was causing major problems in my life because of her jealousy. My weight loss brought up a lot of ugliness out of her. Here it is 2017, and she has not released me yet. Why isn’t there anything in your life that is consuming you so that you are not worried about what I am doing? On the one hand I a flattered that you find me so interesting to the point of obsession. However, it is also a rather pathetic state of affairs that you are still so taken by me. Is perhaps your sexuality in question? Do you need Jesus? You do not go to church so shouldn’t your religious views be taken lightly?
At this stage of the game, there are certain things that I will not tolerate. This is why you never heard from me again. You are not relevant or conducive to further growth on my part. Your mistreatment taught me so much and gave me most of the material for the sisterhood. We do not have any place in each other’s lives anymore. You did exactly what you wanted to do with me and made a bed that you obviously have trouble laying in. Well, I am still here living my life, doing what I want. There are nicer people around me now. There isn’t anyone that is trying to use me or stab me in the back. My existence is celebrated. I get the opportunity to have deep conversations with people and genuine feelings are shared. Some experiences are good. Some experiences are not so good, but they are all mine to reflect upon. Maybe one day, you can also heal from the trauma that you call a life and be happy for yourself.