Monday, December 31, 2012

Starting Over

                                                                     The New Year's Recap

Every year since I started this blog nearly 3 years ago, I do a yearly recap on the highs and lows of my year to mark my growth. Well, here goes! 

Highs of 2012 


  • Graduated Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a second degree in English Literature  
  • Successfully went vegetarian and will be celebrating a years worth of vegetarianism in February
  • Taught an entire class by myself 
  • Became a sex educator 
  • Built many strong and significant relationships with new friends, colleagues, and mentors 
  • Bought my first luxury car, a 2013 BMW 128I Coupe 
  • Did two successful herbal cleanses back to back
  • Wrote my first television show
  • Started working a fantastic job at a comedy club that is super fun
  • Became a published author
  • Dyed my hair for the first time
  • Started rolling skating again as a new hobby 
  • Started my own online radio blog show 
  • Had a traditional college graduation and ceremony 
  • Learned how to better deal with my feelings and emotions 
Lows of 2012 

  • Ended my relationship with someone I considered the love of my life 
  • My weight went up and down
  • Wasting too much energy on negative people 
  • Not trusting my gut instincts
  • Allowing regret to eat away at me
  • Not forgiving myself for the past mistakes I have made 
  • Did not completely eliminate certain people from my life 
2012 will go down as one of the best years of my life for the obvious reasons and for many more unstated. I have gained a wealth of knowledge from my education, realized my potential and self-worth on new levels, changed my outlook on life, and everyday I will continue to work on being a better me. With a new car, new degree, new outlook, and soon a new city and career 2013 will be even better! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Graduation

Another year has passed and I have learned so much and gained even more! 

I have truly learned the essence of the phrase "It's not where you start, but where you finish."

I started out ambivalent about college and "traditional studies" as I felt I was a renegade and a social 

butterfly who wanted to roam the world a free woman, but real life hit me and made me realize that life 

is not a fairytale. Every single thing I do in my life effects my future  in some way and I must be 

conscious in order to be successful. 


Now that I have braved the storm, took the courses, stressed out for hours, cried myself to sleep, beat 

myself up, worried repeatedly, freaked out, yelled and screamed, doubted my abilities, and even 


questioned my place in the world, I realize I am right where I am supposed to be! Nothing in my life 


has been a mistake or an accident. Everything is in its rightful place and now I am floating onto my 


destiny!



As I walk with all the faith in the world into this new and bountiful year, I ask only one thing of you 

Lord: please allow me to never forget your undying love for me and to keep me focused on the things 

you want for me because the things you have for me, no one else can have, BUT ME! 




Thank you for loving on me, making me realize my worth, opening my eyes to my own mistakes, 

helping me right my wrongs, and giving me the opportunity to always be better because you wake me 


up everyday. Your grace and mercy is unfathomable. I love you and thank you for carrying me through 


yet another degree. I started at at Arizona State University a young and completely unconscious girl and 


tomorrow, I graduate a wise and highly intelligent woman on the brink of massive success! 


I couldn't be more happy if I tried. Thank you. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Anything Less Just Wouldn't Do

My mother has got to be something like a phenom: she managed to raise 3 well-mannered, respectable kids, travel the world, start a business, and keep God first. She always thinks of the morally right thing to do and asks God for guidance: I wish I was more like her. She, unlike so many other parents I know, never denied her kids the things their hearts desired. In fact, my mother encouraged me to attend the super expensive theatre school in Hollywood, live in a major city, travel to Europe, and buy my own cars. The first car she helped me buy was a 2006 Honda Civic. Initially, when I moved to Los Angeles, I did not have a car, so I walked most places and got rides from friends. The car I had in Phoenix was older and my mother did not want me driving a car that could break down at any time in a distant city. We devised a plan; I would save $5,000 and she would match it. My paternal grandmother also chipped in to help me and matched what I saved. At the end, we put down nearly $14,000 on a brand new Honda Civic. My mother was with me the whole way from picking out the color, picking the tint, signing the papers, and getting me set up with insurance. My mother has been with me through all my cars. When Winnie, my first Honda Civic, was totaled by a freak accident, my mother helped me buy another Honda Civic; this time a 2008. When that car got stolen at a valet, my mother made sure I always had a ride or transportation upon moving back to Phoenix. As I grew and matured, I learned to appreciate my mother's sometimes demanding and witty personality for what it truly was: love upon lots more love. My mother has loved me in the best way any parent could possibly love. She has given me things I never even knew I would want and plenty  all the things I needed! She has pushed me to be a good person and make sound decisions. She has prayed with me, stayed with me, and been there for me every single step of the way. And at 26, things have not changed much (to my liking). She helped me order and pick out my brand new, 2013 BMW One Series Coupe (128I). Everything from the floor mats, color of the interior, and paint color of the exterior my mother helped me decide. She was even kind enough to contribute to the car financially. She knew how much I had wanted the car ever since 2008 after I totaled my first Civic. The U.S. did not have any One Series cars in the states and I had to return to Los Angeles right away, so I went with a Civic instead, but I never stopped wanting that car and my mother never stopped helping me get towards my dream car. Thanks to her, I am a proud recipient of a 2013, 128I Coupe and I could not be more proud. I name all my cars. First Honda Civic was Winnie, the second Civic was Sonny, the third car was a Suzuki Forenza named Estelle, and now I have the sexiest car in the world, CARMEN! Thank you Mommy for always helping me follow my dreams and for always helping make my dreams come true. I would not want to imagine my life without a mother like you: I would surely be devastated because as you would say "Once you get use to the best, you cannot imagine anything less." My sentiments exactly mom, you're the best! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gobbling Growth

This Thanksgiving was interesting as it was my very first without any meat. I went vegetarian in February of 2012 and I have not looked back! I can honestly say I am happy with my choice. I must admit, sometimes I do miss meat during certain occasions. Whenever my mom makes her famous, hot wings I salivate, the moment my Dad dropped the turkey into the oil to fry it, and the minute I see Wing Stop, lemon pepper wings, I immediately miss meat. The good thing for me is my willpower is strong and always supersedes any silly temptation I may have. I am grateful for that. I also had an especially awesome time this year because my little cousin Paige came to visit! We had an all out blast! We danced, talked, ate tons of food, played classic boardgames like Monopoly, and bonded as first cousins tend to do. For me, it was surreal because I remember the day she was born. My sister Nikki and I waited up all night and barely slept a wink because we knew she would be here any minute....it was exhilarating! My mom's best friend, Mrs. Regina kept us while Milini (Paige's mother) was at the hospital in labor. We found every possible movie to watch in those 18 hours, we played every video game, and asked every question imaginable much to Mrs. Regina's annoyance until she finally arrived. She came out at just under 6 pounds. She was perfect. When we saw her, we fell in love. Nothing has changed much 17 years later. We stayed super close and each day we get closer! We have bonded increasingly as she nears 18, gets ready to depart for college, and grows into a beautiful, young lady. With all the things Paige has been through, she could have come out much worse, but God has protected and loved on her through it all. I am so proud of her. This Thanksgiving may be my first without meat, but it also my first Thanksgiving where I got to see my little cousin Paige for who she really is: a terrific girl! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Expect Nothing, Accept Everything

My birthday was yesterday and I enjoyed my special day as much as possible. This highly stressful, last semester of college has not been very kind to me, but I refuse to fall to the wayside. I must be positive and look ahead because the future is very bright. I decided for my birthday celebration I wanted to go roller skating, something I used to do almost weekly as a child during the summers in Louisiana. I was transformed right back Monroe's Skatetown with the tart aroma of stale pizza, rutty looking carpet, and overpriced video games. I put on my skate pants (American Apparel's disco pants) and made several laps around the rink to the latest Hip-Hop jams and classic, oldskool R&B. I was initially afraid as I had been removed from skating for many years, but I quickly got over that. I skated until my heart's delight. The friends who came made it all the more special and I felt truly blessed. Even though my legs are still recovering from my shindig, I can honestly say I had a blast! After we skated the night away, we chatted the morning away. We discussed the ridiculous reactions of many Americans to President Barack Obama's reelection, co-ed friendships, relationships, and crazy jobs, and then I was asked what I learned from being 25. I was hesitant to answer this question because it made me face all the realities of my situation. If someone had asked me 5 years ago where I expected to be at 25 I would have said the following: married, graduated with at least 1 degree, into my career, and completely happy. The contrast of my life now compared to what I wanted it to be is nothing short of remarkable. I am finishing my second degree in December, I live with my family until graduation is over, I am single, and nowhere near getting married and as dramatic as I normally am, I am totally ok with all this. I believe the greatest lesson 25 taught me was not to expect anything. I expected to have all the things mentioned on my list, but that is what happens when people plan, God laughs. God is the head of my life and he is ultimately the one who steers the boat. I have limited and minimal control over what does or does not happen in my life. I am merely taking it all in. At 26 years old, I expect nothing and pray about everything because I know the person who is the center of my life is the one who can get me where I want to be. I need the Lord more than ever now as graduation looms. I have many things I wish to do and after I consult with God, hopefully I get where I want to be, but I will expect nothing and accept everything as a lesson in life. Cheers to 26! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

May, December, January, November....

An old friend  recently resurfaced in my life and we spoke about many different subjects over the last couple of days.  After days of chatting,  we got stuck pondering the age old question is age really nothing but a number? I guess the reason I am baffled by this question is because most of my boyfriends in the past have been older, even if only by 2 years. 

I have never dated a guy my age. This reality was unintentional because my motto in life is "I like the person, not their age." Well, I have endured a most incredible spiral of thoughts over the last few days as these topic lingers fresh in mind. Can age difference effect a relationship? I decided to poll some respected people in my life. I also created a pros and cons list: 

Age Pros:

  • Most (most being used loosely) older people are wiser and therefore can teach their younger mate more
  • Older people have a wealth of life experiences 
  • Age difference can attract people in a positive way based on life experiences 
  • Most older lovers are more mature 
  • Older people can be more patient and understanding
  • Older people are more financially stable for the most part 
Age Cons
  • Older people often times are set in their ways and refuse to change or bend to their partner
  • Many older people use their age to act as though they are always right solely because they are older
  • Older people can be possessive of younger lovers
  • Older people can be overbearing
  • Most people's parents do not approve of a much older man or woman dating their child
  • The age difference can be stressful especially at certain stages in people's lives
  • Most young people are experimenting while older people have been "there and done that." 
  • Young people can be immature and this could strain the relationship significantly 
  • Cultural and generational differences can overwhelm the relationship. 
My wise and older guy friend told me, "age differences are a trick of the mind. If you do not mind, then it doesn't matter because in the end, people are just people." I have to say that he is right. Realistically, dating is already complicated, so why overwhelm yourself with stress over age? There are plenty of older men and women who are full of energy and want nothing more than to share that with someone who will appreciate it and what is so wrong with that? If a person can overcome all the relationship cons and baggage that they bring, they can surely look to all the positive of that person and love them for who they truly are because in the end, you have to live your life for no one, but you

A wonderful lesson down in my book of "important life lessons." I will be aging a year more in exactly one week and I strive to learn and observe as much as I possibly can. Age truly isn't anything, but a number because in the end, love is all that matters. Love a person with no conditions attached and you will most likely lead a happy life. This information came from the many people I polled and collectively they all said love is all there is. There is not an abundance of love and good people in the world, so when you find someone truly amazing, love them with all your heart no matter what age they are. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Sober Man's Thoughts....

Upon my weekly adventures of employment I found out some shocking truths about my co-workers. Truth: most of my co-workers love to drink. I learned this by observing their many before and afterwork rituals such as beers on the veranda, beers at the blues bar next door, and beers at the Irish Pub down the street from our plaza. Being the "goody two-shoes" that I am, I usually go home right after work with only my school work and a cold, empty bed to keep me warm. Last night, I decided to live on the edge: I went to the Irish Pub with my a few of my work chums. Truth: working in a restaurant atmosphere greatly promotes drinking, bad eating, and procrastination. While drinking my super sweet, 2000 California Riesling, I learned that two of my co-workers had multiple DUI's, one has a son he has not seen in 4 years, and another has a girlfriend he has broken up with 7 times. All of this information was dumped on me within 2 hours of "hanging." Working at a comedy club definitely brings all walks of life. Truth: many of my co-workers (including myself) are interested in the entertainment world. One co-worker is a writer of comic books and movies while the other writes music. Many are standup comics and most are in serious relationships of some sort....and then there is Marcin. Marcin is a tall, brawny, scruffy faced ginger born of Polish ancestry. He lived there for 15 years then moved to the US while still in high school. A wild child in his 20's, Marcin is in his "perfectly tamed" 30's now. I gathered all this information from weeks of stacking glasses and collecting menus by his drink well. Initially I was taken aback and damn near nervous by his presence. He speaks in a very official manner yet with a slight accent. He is very serious in nature or at least to the naked eye. Truth: most people who are "serious" are actually quite self-conscious, but upon further investigation are likable folks. Marcin is one of them. He was also one of the cohorts who went to the Irish Pub last night. As we were all drinking and hanging out, Marcin made a huge mistake; he allowed himself to become heavily intoxicated and told the truth! I had already been privy to Marcin's incessant and blatant flirting during work hours, but I had no idea just how serious it was. After 3 beers, 2 scotches, and1 and half cigarettes Marcin revealed that he is incredibly attracted to black women (see, most of my high school life with white men), he believes black women have the most beautiful, full lips, he is enamored by our "round and curvaceous shapes", he is a big "ass" man, and he finds me insanely attractive and sexy! All of this information was slowly poured on me within the 2 hours as well. As I sat there absorbing all that I was hearing I had a thought; do people really speak their truth when they are tipsy? My father always told me "a drunk man speaks a sober man's thoughts." I guess I will just have to find out on Thursday when I see Mr. Marcin again if he still feels the same way. Until then, he has left many thoughts lingering in my head: do I purposely try to be sexy, am I aware of just how sexy I am, and will I have a round two of drinking with the crew? To be continued....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Love Me

It wasn't until I hit my 20's that I realized that I did not know how to love me, therefore I did not know how to be loved. Every single relationship with all its drama and problems were simply life lessons and yet the lesson that should have been painfully clear was not. How does this work? How does a person ignore something as crucial as how to be loved? I am not sure, but I managed to do so. I managed to overlook all the classic signs of craziness in order to fall head over heels for yet another man who did not know how to love me. Then, it finally hit me, I did not know how to love myself. I was spending so much time dressing up the outside, I completely left out the inside. All the internal situations that never added up were completely obliterated. Now, I have no choice but to acknowledge these same issues I was running from. This realization was not an easy one.  I was watching Oprah's network OWN and I saw Iyanla Vanzant's show "Fix My Life." On her show, she interviewed the villainous Evelyn Lozada of "Basketball Wives." In this interview, post failed fictitious marriage to Chad Ochicinco, Iyanla told Evelyn, "In matters of love, you have to show someone how to love you. You cannot allow that person to love you the way they want to. You have to show them!" I could not figure out what she meant and then she elaborated. She told Evelyn, when a man cheats and you allow him, you are showing him how to love you. When a man is distant and disrespectful, you are unintentionally showing him how to love you. When a man is not there emotionally, spiritually, or physically YOU ARE SHOWING HIM HOW TO LOVE YOU! I, then had an incredible "aw ha" moment. I have been showing all my past boyfriends and beaus how to love me by being neglectful, rude, disrespectful, and overall terrible to me. I have allowed them to think that loving or even liking me in these ways were ok because I tolerated it. Well now, at nearly 26, I simply can no longer allow a man to love me anyway, but how I want to be loved. The moment I feel like things are not solid or peaceful for me, I must take a step back. Sometimes, that is what it takes for a person to be loved adequately and that is what I want. So, going forward, I must show a man how to love me correctly, so I don't end having "to fix my life" at 37 a la Ms. Lozada. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be teaching high school sex education, but I am! And as always regarding my aiding the youth, I learn much more from them than they do from me (I feel).  I was not initially  planning on teaching, but it just kind of fell into my life like many other awesome gifts I have received from above. This gift, so far, has managed to outshine the others due to its intense nature. I never had a class about sex that was so helpful and true when I was younger. I sat in front of a cranky, overweight, old geezer who rarely took joy in helping me understand or appreciate what I was learning. I tried my best to be the most genuine and honest teacher without freaking them out. I am happy to say, IT WORKED! My students learned so many things about transmission of diseases, sex, and relationships. I wanted the class to be real, so I always asked them to make the situations posed in the class real to them. I often felt bad leaving work because I felt like I was a terrible teacher and none of the students listened or cared about what I was saying. Those times I turned to God and asked some even heavier questions: how could I turn this situation around? I researched and discovered some new techniques, implemented some new games, and created a new voice to reach them. Again, the approach  worked. In essence, I love my students and I will miss them so much, but I must be moving on! On to a new school, new car, and new degree. Today is the first day of Autumn and I feel a true change. Election Day is rolling around, so many birthdays coming, and the holidays. I want to approach these events with positivity, so I will not be looking back to the past anymore! Enough! I simply must move forward. I feel like if I say it enough it will happen. That is my belief for this new season!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Barack, his Michelle.

On perhaps one of the most accidentally romantic weekends of my life comes an incredible moment of clarity the following week. My mind reeling from a nearly disastrous trip, filled with life experiences and lessons, I appropriately identified what I, Oriel Martin, wants for my future.  As the presidential election of 2012 looms, I am constantly bombarded by Republican speeches, Democratic speeches, and all the people who love them. I am definitely on the fence when it comes to either side's personal policies, but one thing is for sure; I am all about equality for everyone. I guess that is why I tend to gravitate to the Democratic party. Though truthfully, the sole reason has very little to do with politics, but mainly the people who are in office. I believe that President Obama and his family are the most organic, authentic, and genuine people to ever grace the White House. With every speech and every interview, I love the Obamas a little more. Most ignorant people would say, "You only like the Obamas because you are black." That could not be further from the truth. The Obamas simply magnify what I adore about commitment romantically. They truly seem to be in love and as a hopeless romantic who has always wanted that, I cannot help but love this quality about them. Asides from the mere fact that this family is the American Dream, they are real. It is not about net worths, getting America "back American," or beating the opponent, it is about what is good for everyone! They are people who come from modest beginnings, people like me who were once deeply entrenched in financial debt from college, people who strived to make an excellent future for themselves because their parents raised them to be so, and people who have faith that with opportunity EVERY AMERICAN CAN BE GREAT! What is not to love about any of that? I cannot seem to find one single thing. As I fall deeper in love with the man who currently has my heart, I think about Barack Obama and how he always kisses his wife, tells her she is the greatest mother, congratulates her, and thanks her for just being his rock, and I think; that is what I want. This weekend and this night reassured me that my vote will most definitely be with the Obamas. And it not mainly because of all their political beliefs, but their love which has hypnotized me into believing that my man could be my Obama and I could be his Michelle. It doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Clipped Wings

Dear little 7 year old me,

I know you are young and blissfully unaware of the future that awaits, but trust me, YOU CAN DO IT! You are strong, smart, funny,  & charming; this will never change. I want you to know, no matter how scared you get about your life, God always will and has always had your back. You are one of his children and he will never forsake you.


Things in your home were not always ideal, but it will get better with time. Though rocky times may await you, be patient, better days will come. You have and will always shined like the star you are.

Most big stars have to overcome adversity before they reached success. Again, be patience. Your seventh birthday was extra special because this was the first time you got a "big girl birthday card" with $50.00 from Mima and Papa!

You loved that glittery, bunny card so much you kept and still have it at 25! You lost your first front tooth. It was a weird time because no little girl likes to be "snaggle toothed," but you are still beautiful!

I must apologize to you doll face. I did not protect you the way I should have. I did not always give you a fighting chance to avoid conflict or trouble. I was selfish with you, giving away your light to undeserving people who wanted to steal your glimmer. For all these things, I ask for your forgiveness on so many levels because I definitely did not keep my promise to cherish you as I should have. 

With all that has happened, I just want to tell you that I love you incessantly. You are exactly who God intended for you to be. He wanted you to be great, incredible, and radiant! Be great! Be glorious! Be happy! Everything that is meant for you will be. Trust me sweetie....

xoxo 

Oriel Martin 


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Woman Thou Art Loose!

I always feel every single time I go to church, the message is tailor made for me. Today was no different. As I sat in church today trembling in deep thought, I remember the lowest point I had reached in my life some 4 years ago. Everything was upside down and inside out. I prayed for resolution and could never get what I desperately wanted. I realized now that I was not praying for the right things. I was praying for a quick fix and not an eternal change. I just wanted the current pain to dissipate, not permanently relish. All the while I was praying for a solution, I was still doing the same awful things. The Almighty had to let me struggle a little more to realize that all I needed was him, not more money, more men, more acting jobs, just him. Just as Rome was not build in a day, deliverance does not happen overnight; it takes time. I spend a great deal of my time in church reflecting on my past and my future. I often cry when thinking about where I started as a person and where I have been. I often felt shame about my mistakes and shortcomings, but not anymore. Today's message was incredible. The message was "you are not what you do, you are not your past. Shake away those things that hold you back from being great. Be loose!" I immediately began crying thinking about my many failures as a human being and wondered what was in store for me in the near future. Once that message was delivered, I stopped thinking so hard and just began to cry. I began to think about all the times God supported me, loved on me even when I didn't love myself, carried me through burning hot flames, and guided me through treachery times. I do serve an awesome savior and I have a testimony. I have a prophecy and I have a purpose! Thank you Lord for finally opening my eyes! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Full Circle

Nothing makes me more uneasy than not having assurance that I am doing the right things in my life. I have a hard the accepting things I feel could be better or working on my short comings. I am getting better, but it is a daily struggle. Well, with all the happiness in my heart, I finally see some incredible breakthroughs! I recently committed to improving my health and making a "lifestyle change." It is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started by making a pact with myself to ALWAYS keep my health first because nothing else can be successful or positive if that is not in tact. I spoke with a close friend of mine last year and we discussed our health challenges. He told me how he wanted to loose weight and was desperate for change. He was so desperate, he even considered getting a major procedure called gastric bypass. I prayed he would not do such a drastic thing. We spoke a few months later and he told me that he started to go to an herbalist in Los Angeles by the name of Dehuty Mataara. This herbalist is world renown for curing deadly diseases such as AIDS or even pesky diseases such as Genital Herpes. He is incredibly respected in his field for many herbal cures and remedies, but what he is known for is his famous Full Body Detox. This detox is unbelievable. The concept is simple; no man made drugs or "vitamins", just herbs, organic fruits and veggies, and a raw foods diet. I listened to my friend who was struggling with possibly having this expensive and very dangerous procedure to reduce fat tell me how just doing the Full Body Detox changed his life forever. He has since lost over 40 pounds, is a vegetarian, and has truly revolutionized his life. His testimony inspired something in me to change. I respected that he made a firm commitment and stuck with it. Something in my pride for me inspired me to change permanently. I knew my health was ok, but not the best. I was feeling sluggish, tired, and energy less daily.  I did not know what the cause of these feelings could be, but I knew I needed to do something and fast. My friend suggested I try herbal treatment of my maladies and see if I would experience a change as well. I decided to commit to a change. I ordered my herbs on the website, called the herbal therapist, created a journal, and went for it! So far......IT HAS BEEN THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE!!! I started my first of two cleanses at the end of July. I have since completed the cleanse and I have so much to be thankful for. I have lost 16 pounds, my health has improved greatly, and I feel amazing. Everywhere I go, all my friends and family keep asking me, "what have you been doing?" I have heard it all, but the one thing I constantly hear is how great I look, but what people cannot see is how great I feel. I have made a conscious effort to change my LIFE for good. I feel so blessed and thankful for what God has brought me through. Some days I feel I was not deserving, but he showed me differently. I am so grateful for this decision. I look forward to what is to come in my future. Who knows, maybe a Magna Cum Laude graduation, a new car, new career, a marriage, or maybe even some kids. Not necessarily in that order though....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Queen Always Trumps a Joker!

The one thing I love most about summer is the Summer Olympics when they come every 4 years! There are so many fantastic things to look forward to; Track & Field, Soccer, Badminton, and my personal favorite Gymnastics. I think love gymnastics so much because I know it is something I could never do. The skill and tenacity these women possess while performing these daring feats is nothing short of mesmerizing. They are like little flying goddesses that move so gracefully and with such ease. Most years I am excited, but this year I was glued to the screen because my favorite, new darling blew me away! Gabrielle Douglas has managed to reaffirm my excitement for my favorite sport! A gymnast most of her life, Gabby was gifted from the start. Her passion and love for the sport was evident by all her coaches. Like most athletes, Gabby doubted herself in her weak moments, but she refused to give up. Her mother saw the potential and allowed her to move halfway across the United States and live with her coach where she could eventually reach Olympic potential. Her mother was very brave because I am not sure I could have done the same thing. Well, her decision was a successful one because GABBY JUST WON 2 GOLD MEDALS AND MADE HISTORY! She is the first American woman to ever win a gold medal in the all-around and team competitions, the first African-American to win the all around, and her team is the second in Olympic history to win the all-around for America. Gabby's story of struggle, faith, and perseverance should be all that matters. Unfortunately, there are certain individuals who continue to spew pure hate with their venomous comments about her hair! THIS GIRL MADE HISTORY AND ALL PEOPLE CAN THINK ABOUT IS HER HAIR? I personally believe in the quote that; a wise man speaks when they have something to say and a fool speaks because they have to say something. To all the fools who have something disgusting to say about Gabrielle Douglass; while you're sitting around commenting on a young girl, that same girl is making history, leaving her mark on the world, and getting ready to become a MEGA star. If you are going to continue to be fools, you better come up with better things to say because she will always come with something better for you fools to discuss. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Truth

I have never had so many epiphanies in one week. I must be going for some kind of record! Last week, I spent a great deal of my days reflecting and realizing little truths. Truth; I am not a 9 to 5er. I probably never will be and that is ok. Truth; I have talents and I must share them with the world. I cleverly mapped out a way to do said things. Truth; I grow restless with creativity. A creative soul must have many outlets to release their artistic juices. I have toyed with the idea for months now and I feel it is time to acquiesce. It is time to seize the many opportunities that come with youth and high spirits. As I have said thousands of times before, I must speak my truth. The truth is; I love creating and I love entertaining. I have decided after months of doubts, I would start my own radio show. I dreamt about it since Spring of 2010 and now I feel there is no better time than the present to make it official. I launched my radio show called Vie; It's Complicated last night. I HAD TWO CALLERS! I WAS STOKED!  I hope this is only the beginning of moments where I doubt myself, actually proceed to do what I dream of, and watch the dream come truth. Truth; doubts are inevitable, but confidence is key. You must have confidence if you want to be a success in life. I am thankful after many pitfalls and mistakes my confidence is restored! Vie radio launched last night and shall continue! Please tune in and check out previous shows @ http://www.blogtalkradio.com/vie. Blessings just keep coming, thank you almighty!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Redemption

As much as I was not enthusiastic about Kindergarten I just knew First grade would be different! I was so excited that warm, fall day. I barely slept all night! I had my new, freshly ironed, Navy blue dress (complete with pleats) ready to wear for my first big day. I was living in Louisiana with my grandparents at the time. My mom and dad packed my sister and I into the car and off we went. As I gnawed on breakfast croissant wiches from Burger King the nervousness set in. Would I fit in? Would this experience be like Kindergarten all over again?  Would I have what it takes? I was not so happy and confident as we walked in. Thankfully, the year started without a hitch. Things were great! I made a new best friend almost immediately; Zuri! I had a boyfriend; Roderick! And I thought Sister Mary Francis liked me. Well, once October hit we started reading for the first time. This is where the year shifted for me. I struggled tremendously. Things only got worse when our beloved teacher divided the class into different sections; the advance readers and the slow readers. I was always in the slow group. I thought I was getting better, but I was not. I eventually got tired of trying and just did enough to get by. Sister Mary Francine one told me "You will likely always be in the slow group." That stuck with me for life. She kind of set my tone for education. Everything after that was a blur. I did not care what grades I got, as long as I passed. I never cared for school much after first grade. Things did start to look up by the time I got into 6th grade. I liked Middle school and I wanted to fit in with my uber smart friends so I started to try more than ever. My sister, the genius, always got good grades, so that battle was lost; she was smarter (in my young mind). Sixth grade was when I began to flourish. I was a straight A student. I read better than most of my classmates. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT THE GIRL WHO WAS ONCE TOLD WOULD "ALWAYS BE IN THE SLOW GROUP" WAS NOW LEADING THE PACK??? Certainly not I! I continued to work hard. A few minor setbacks threatened to change that, but I was relentless to succeed. High school was challenging at times, but it only made me thirstier for greatness. I graduated, went to theatre school, and left all of my past in Phoenix. I thought I would never revisit it, but God had a different plan. He did not want me to run anymore from my struggles and skeletons. He wanted me to face them head on. I moved back 3 years ago from Los Angeles. Straight off the heels of tragedy, I fell into immediate depression. I loved my independence and freedom. I knew that would not be the same in my situation at the moment. After much prayer and help from family, I got my confidence back. I started to think about my college experience in LA and how I always loved writing, but never did it because I did not think I was "smart enough" or a "good reader." I talked to my dad everyday about this and he said, "Punkin, you will never know what you could be until you try." So I did. I signed up for classes at Chandler-Gilbert and I decided NO ONE WOULD TELL ME I WAS NOT SMART ENOUGH!  I went through Chandler-Gilbert with ease. I learned so many interesting things, met some fantastic friends, and found my strength to write again. I decided to stop running from college and applied for ASU. I got in and got right to work. Every class and every teacher  was exactly what I needed to see that I DO love to learn and that I am not dumb, I am in fact very intelligent per my professors. I write constantly in my classes and I love every second of it. With each paper and blog and I only grow stronger in areas where I always fell short. This summer I tackled the biggest beast of all; math. I never cared for math as I was always so terrible at it. Ever since my stellar year of 6th grade math, I continued to fail in Math. I think it was nervousness and apprehension on my part because all my teachers were helpful and fantastic. Well, I finally got my redemption this summer. I took college Algebra ( a class I held off on forever) and through hard work and ingenuity, I GOT AN A+!!!   I could not believe my eyes when I saw my grade! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE GIRL WAS ONCE A MATH FAILURE AND BAD READER WOULD MAKE THE DEAN'S LIST AND GET AN A+ IN HER MATH CLASS?? Certainly not I. I could never take credit for any of this because there was a force much bigger propelling me; God. He pushed me to tackle my worst fears, confront my past, and move forward with my life. He has been holding my hand and blessing me the entire time and I could never thank him enough but I know exactly how I can show my appreciation; by continuing to be a success in everything I do because it is not the opinions of a teacher or your friends or family that matters. It is what God thinks of you that matters most and right now I would say he is pretty proud of me, so I am sublimely happy. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pieces of Me

It is truly amazing to me how you can be so immensely sad one moment and forget about it in a years time. It is almost the three year anniversary of so many things for me and I am still trying to piece together my emotions. It is also the one year anniversary of my uncle's passing. I thought I would never see the day many of these events transpired, but for what it is worth, I miss them daily despite a momentary lapse in rememberance. I will never forget how cool my cousin Detrain was. He was always abreast of the latest video games, knew all the codes, and could dance his butt off! He flourished into a star athlete and died abruptly. I will never forget him even if I don't cry everyday. Everytime I see an old picture of him or watch old home movies of us as kids, I go through the pain of him being gone all over again. The same thing goes for my Uncle Mike, my old car Sonny, my old life in Los Angeles, and my youth. As I age I realize I have to forgive myself for the mistakes I have made as a young person in order to move forward, but a picture or an song sends me right back in time. I need some sort of pneumonic device to make the process easier. Prayer and writing have been my primary sources of therapy; they definitely work. Hopefully, I will be able to become stable while browsing old films, pictures, and listening to old songs without breaking down. It is a daily process and I am learning each and everyday to forgive myself, forget (for healthy reasons), and press; press forward and press on. Rest in peace my loves and old Oriel. One day, things will be ok between us; just not today. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Judgement Day


1…. God won’t ask what kind of car you drove. He’ll ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
2…. God won’t ask the square footage of your house, He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
3…. God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet, He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.
4…. God won’t ask what your highest salary was. He’ll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.
5…. God won’t ask what your job title was. He’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.
6…. God won’t ask how many friends you had. He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
7…. God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors.
8…. God won’t ask about the color of your skin, He’ll ask about the content of your character.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"10 Times Better"

My very wise and honest friend Tracy once told me that, "one must always speak their truth." Truer words have never been spoken. I have come to realize that I am the kind of person who spare others feelings forsaking my own to the point where I feel smaller than a worm's belly. Sure, for a while things are successful, but over time bitterness and anger replace the once warm and fuzzy feelings. This is never a good thing and I know this first hand from all the crazy situations I have had over the years with friends, family, and lovers. I know more than ever at nearly 30 there is no better time than the present to speak your piece. I realize now how much I have changed. The woman I used to be was a woman who allowed herself to constantly question who she was in terms of how she dealt with others. Thankfully after much prayer and evaluation I realize I could never be that woman anymore. I realize more than ever that my life is going in a different direction and I must decide who will be going with me and what I will be doing while I am on this new path. As graduation looms, I question everything; how much money do I need to start my future businesses? where do I want to go afterwards? will I return to Los Angeles? All these thoughts continually clouding my mind and once again showing my growth. I have to believe everything I have gone through in this life is for the greater good of my future. No matter how many failed relationships or bad experiences or major mistakes I have made; I know I will come out 10 times better because my faith is unshakable. Eight years ago I was totally green, 18 year old novice at city life. I spent those eight informative years of my life going through growing pains. I dated many losers, discovered many talents, uncovered many hidden truths, opened up a new side of me, and met so many different people along the way. I have heard time and time again how adolescence is the most crucial portion of a person's growth; I digress. I believe those 8 years of my life taught me much more about the woman I am and the woman I am striving to be than any of my adolescent years. Through my failures I discovered the essence of me. I discovered that I am worthy of a man who loves, supports, and believes in me despite "busy" schedules, I am priceless, I am talented, I am special, and I worthy of only greatness. I desire to surround myself around people who want nothing, but the best for me. I deserve relationships that enrich my spirit. At 25 years old, I finally hit my growth spurt. I have many years of growing to go, so I must keep moving forward. From this point on, whatever has happened to me (good & bad) will no longer disrupt my future. From this day forth, I am truly letting it go. Cars, failed friendships, unsuccessful romantic relationships, and trying so hard to please others (while forgetting about myself) is over. I will no longer be that woman because I simply cannot be. I have so much to look forward to and I plan to keep looking forward since the past is not where I plan to be in 20 years, the future is. God, more than ever I need your guidance and support. You have yet to let me down (even when I thought you failed me) and I know you have something even better in store for me. So from now on, I look to you and never doubt your decisions for me...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Unforgettables

Every once in a while there is a movie that makes you smile from the beginning until the very end: The Intouchables is that movie! Having wanted to see it for a while now, I saw it Friday night with my very good friend Samantha and it was everything I imagined it would be and twice more! A wealthy, tetraplegic, Parisian man hires a brutish, African ex-con to be his live-in caretaker. Initially not the "appropriate" choice; Driss becomes the best friend one could ever ask for. 


With his own sassy brand of power, Driss takes excellent care of Philippe because unlike previous caretakers; he thinks outside the box. He takes no for an answer, dances and sings none stop, moves to the rhythm of his own drum, and takes direction well. As a moviegoer you watch a job/employee situation truly unfold into a genuine friendship where love and respect are abundant. Driss (Omar Sy) hypnotizes in every scene with his exceptionally white teeth, Hershey's kissed, smooth skin, and his debonair persona. He literally grabs you into the film and he gives you no other choice, but to love him! 


The film was as pleasant as it was heartbreaking. Two totally different men from totally different backgrounds have only one thing in common; each other. It is a beautiful thing to see people take away money, past faults, and personal tragedies and just be human. They laughed, cried, confided in each other, and became more than friends; more like family. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I laughed from beginning to end and I anxiously await the DVD release so I can relive all this emotions for years and years to come! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Single Lady Blues

I recently read a friend of mine's blog and I was blown away by the epiphany we both had. She stated that she was young, no kids, no husband, good job, money, and much freedom to do and be whatever she pleases. However, she is slightly depressed and unhappy. I can relate to this because I often feel this way. Why do I shun what I do have for something I don't have? What if I am not meant to marry, be a wife, have kids, or live happily ever after? Would it be so bad to be a permanent single lady? I often ponder this question. I guess I have lived a life that has truly romanticized the mere idea of marriage and all that comes with it. In my mind, I have made those things of the utmost important to me. I completely forgot to factor in what I would do if my life took a different path than predicted. But now that I am thinking about it, let's ponder what are the benefits of a single lady:

  • You answer to no one. No partner determines what you will or won't do. 
  • You make your own rules. If you want to wear that little, see-through top, wear it! Who can object? 
  • You have freedom. Freedom of your own mind, life, and decisions. 
  • You can be yourself. No need to sugarcoat or dress up crazy, SSB (single sexy behavior) to make someone else happy. 
  • You can go out with, date, or befriend anyone you see fit. 
  • YOU GET TO BE YOU! 
With anything in life, there are drawbacks. Here are some of the drawbacks of single ladydom:

  • There is no special person to wish you happy birthday
  • Other than certain friends or family, no one to rely on 
  • You end up spending a great deal of your time with losers
  • You often feel lonely
  • You have no steady relationships; just a many failed attempts
What are the benefits of a relationship:

  • You HAVE someone you can count on 
  • You HAVE someone to remember and make certain events in your life like your birthday or Valentine's Day extra special
  • You ARE NOT alone 
  • You have SOMEONE you can trust
  • You have ONE sexual partner that you can trust 
  • You CAN be yourself and be appreciated at the same time (in most healthy relationships) 
  • You HAVE someone you look forward to seeing and being with 
  • You HAVE someone who has your back
I could go on about the benefits of a relationship, but as the lists clearly shows you; there are many! Ever since I was a child, I always wondered when I would meet the man I would marry and how I would feel. Life has greatly altered my view of relationships and love. I wish I could go back to those rose colored glasses I wore where love was deep and meaningful and truly the thing that conquered all. I am trying to get back to that loving place and in turn, it is making me depressed because I can't be innocent again. I can't not know what I currently know. I cannot go back to being this virginal naivete because I am not her anymore. I have been severely hurt in my life by men and relationships, so I adapted this lifestyle that blended single life with dating life. I would never get too close and keep my options open. Well, that seemed to be a successful lifestyle choice until I met a man who challenged it. He told me, "I want a woman you who is willing to wait for me until things are right for us, not a woman who gives up and goes out." I was defensive and angry and lashed out at him. In doing this, I realized who I was truly mad at; myself. I allowed myself to let the past men come into my life and muck it all up with their issues, cheating ways, and lies. Now, I am taking it out on the future men. That is not fair. After many apologies and realizations, I figured out why I am not happy being single; I DO want to be in a healthy and loving relationship. Single life is fun for a while, but permanently would drive me nuts. I cannot go on another bad date, meet another crazy man, or buy another "freakum dress."

I want someone who grounds me, who makes me not want to buy every freakum dress I see and wear a friggin moo moo instead! I want a REAL man who is so passionate about me that he is left weak by the sound of my voice. Sure, it may be a bit dramatic to wish for those qualities in a partner, but what is the harm in wishing? People don't wish anymore and they are definitely very negative when it comes to love. I was like that, but I am no longer. I admit, I have many issues, but as long as I am honest, I am ok because I am working on my issues and keeping them in perspective. I want to be the kind of woman a man wants to marry and not the single chick partying at 35. In retrospect, I don't love single ladydom and I believe that is a big reason why I am sort of glum. I told my good friend Samantha that 2012 would be the year we met our husbands. It is June, the year is halfway over, but I have not given up hope. Last night was a full moon and all the stars were out. I wished upon all of them that my life would come full circle this year. I graduate this year, I start my new adult life, and hopefully I start to lose some of that sadness with the welcome of my future husband. Not that a man is all I need, but I want one, a truly good one to retire my single lady jersey for good! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Ties that Bind

The phrase "Family is everything" has been heavily repeated for most of my life. I have constantly been told, "don't give up on family" or "family is everything to a person." Well, I never knew how significant this phrase was until I helped host our family reunion. It was an "experience" to say the least, but one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Family came from everywhere to celebrate our bi-annual tradition...SOUTHWESTERN STYLE! Of course planning a reunion is not exempt from the regular drama of financial debacles, last minute changes, and general chaos, but it was all worth. I feel the people who came were the ones meant to be there. I hated to see that many relatives were not in attendance, but I know if they could've they would've came to AZ and lived it up with us for a weekend. Yet and still, the resort was amazing, the amenities were sensational, and the weather was PERFECT! I could not have asked for more. One thing I find particularly awesome is how every single time I go to church I feel like the message is tailor made for me. The message at church on Sunday was about "being the change that turns your family around." As I listened to this message with all my loved ones, I began to cry. I felt like the importance of "family is everything" came full circle. If I do not like something within my family, I have to change it with positivity. It dawned on me that I could not function without my family because they made me who I am. Everything I am and everything I am going to be is based on my raisement, my loved ones, and my experiences. I have learned to be kind and respectful from my grandparents, I have learned to share and be ambiteous from my parents, and I learned who I am as a person from all of these things combined. I honestly do not know who I would be if it weren't for my family. I love them with all my heart and soul. I am grateful for this weekend because it reaffirmed my love for my family all sides both near and far. I love you all and I pray we remain close and if we are not close, I pray we get closer!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sister, Sister

There is no one on this green earth who knows me better than my sister Nikki. She knew me before I knew myself. We have been close all our lives and even when we disagree, we still love each other through it all. I have been going through a series of crazy emotions regarding my personal life. The questions I pose to God and mostly myself are complicated. I finally found it in myself to tell my sister how I was feeling and low and behold, she stunned me once again with her ability to connect and relate to how I felt. We spent an incredible Saturday evening enjoying the pleasures of hard work; retail therapy. It was wonderful! Asides from shopping, we talked, laughed, and bonded as we always do. There is never a dull moment with my sister because she is just fabulous. I know she knows me well, but I do not think she realizes how well I know her. I have noticed so many incredible things about her as she journeys through her life. Over the past couple of years she has become more spontaneous, adventurous, and outgoing. She touched a dog (she is terrified of them), went bungee jumping (well, sort of), and she is now planning to go sky diving. Growing up, I would have never in a million years guessed my sister would even step foot on a plane for sky diving let alone consider doing it. I love that through her growth as a person, she is opening up like a flower that is coming into full bloom. Each petal is filled with courageousness, excitement, and positivity. My sister has never liked Horror films and she even watched Paranormal Activity!!! She is really growing up, lol. The thing I love most about her is her brutal honesty and unconditional love. She seldom judges me and always makes time to talk to me when I am feeling my absolute lowest. I could never express in enough words exactly how much my sister means to me. It would take years, centuries, ions to correctly show how just how important she is in my life. I love you Demechiona Nicole. We have been through so many valleys and peaks and God has seen us through them all. I look forward to the days where our kids grow up together and are just as close as we were and still are. I love you very much and thank you for leading by example and showing me what a truly good sister is supposed to be. And although I will miss the scary little girl who was terrified of dogs, Freddy Krueger flicks, and vegetables, I adore the incredibly brave and fantastic young woman taking her place. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wishful Thinking

There is nothing quite like waiting impatiently for a movie to come and being blown away by how awesome it truly is when it does! Steve Harvey's Think Like a Man is that movie! Many people have questioned the depth and ability that a predominantly black film can have. I believe that is what I love most about this film. This movie is not a "black film", it is a movie with some black actors and when you can separate race or gender from a source of entertainment, you genuinely get to enjoy the art. The movie is based on the best selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. In the movie, four gorgeous and successful, young Los Angelenos sift through the entangled mess that relationships can be sometime. One is contemplating making a life altering change in her relationship while the others are praying for Mr. Right. The movie is poignant and brutally honest in how women perceive dating and how men play on those perceptions. The key to staying sane in the crazy world of "lalaland dating" is not to get sucked up into books, movies, or metaphors. Following your heart is the most logical answer to being happy. The women see this towards the end of the film. And while their journey is cleverly accented by side-splitting puns a la Kevin Hart, witty repartee between their male counterparts, and ridiculous moments of personal female clarity, these women never loose track of what they want. I love this fact in particular. One thing I found painfully obvious is the idea that in order to be successful in a relationship one must play a game. It can be a game of cat and mouse, the aggressor, or the pursued but a game is involved nonetheless. As much as I chuckled throughout the film, I could not help, but realize that fact. Well, that might be the single most reason why I will remain single. I refuse to play, participant, or initiate anymore games than I already have. I am convinced out there somewhere in the distant galaxy, there is a man who wants to just be with me; no games, no hide and seek, no winner, just us. That is what I want. And while Steve Harvey does have a best seller on his hands and number one movie in America, the reality is that his accomplishment is a book, not reality for all of us women. I can try to think like a man for as long as humanly possible, but in the end, if things fail, I will hurt like a woman and that is much worse to me. So, until there is a foolproof way of navigating the dating world, I will continue to think like a woman...with an air of caution to "manly behavior." THANKS STEVE!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Follies


So I am currently obsessing over so many things. Here is a little list of stuff that is currently driving me crazy...in a good way:

  • The show House of Consignment on VH1- In the past I have not been such a huge fan of VH1 because of their coonery induced shows, but this show has revived my faith. I enjoy watching a young, savvy business like Corrie and I ADORE THE FASHIONS (MARLO VOICE)
  • My new Manolo Blahnik's -I am a convicted shoe whore and I own it! I have over 200 pairs in my closet and I love them all dearly. My favorite pair currently are these absolutely stunning green, ostrich feathered, black Manolos I found at Nordstrom's for NEXT TO NOTHING! I love these shoes so much, I slept in them last Sunday afternoon right after church.
  • Gold Medal Ribbon ice cream from Baskin Robbins- I love to eat and I love to eat GOOD, so it comes as no surprise that I have fallen in love with this creamy, caramely, chocolate heaven on earth in a bowl. P.S. I might have a problem as I have been in Baskin Robbins 3 times this week.
  • Vegetarianism- I love how something as MAJOR as what we eat effects everything from our energy, positivity, and health. I have not eaten meat for 2 months and I have found a profound sense of peace in eating veggies, fruits, and carbs (I really need to ease up on the bread).
  • Groupon- I never thought I would be a follower of the Groupon movement, but now I am a faithful member. I signed on at the suggestion of a friend who wanted to plan a birthday trip and I must say, I AM PLEASED AS PUNCH! Groupon is fabulous and now the reason I am taking a fabulous, 4 day tour of Sonoma's wine country for $255! STEAL!
  • Online shopping- I have never been a fan of online shopping because I know I NEED TO TRY ON MY CLOTHES, however, I am never opposed to a good deal! Just last week I bought a pair of Gucci flip-flops for $90.00, SCORE!
  • Internships- Coming down the home stretch in my academic life, I entering my last semester of Summer school and my last Fall semester at ASU. I have found so many internships and I am excited about each of them. I cannot wait to write professionally; I will finally fulfill my true position in the world as the black Carrie Bradshaw (minus the biggage).
  • Travel- I am going to California for my best friend's birthday and I am going to plan about a dozen more trips this year! I figured anything can happen in the next couple of months; I want to cherish every moment of my life. I desire to travel write, so I know traveling is imperative to my career. I will be cruising my Groupon options while dining on Gold Medal Ribbon Ice Cream in my green ostrich feathered, Manolo tonight!
I hope I get some new obsessions soon because my current ones are expensive!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A, Hop, Skip, and a Jump!

I have been quite restless lately. I have been thinking about so much; life after graduation, new jobs, traveling, money, and love. A relative has passed, natural disasters, breakups, ugh MY MIND IS TOO CLOUDY! I am relieved to bring back an old tradition I have not be able to do in a few years; SIX FLAGS ON EASTER! I know, I know, some people would say it is absurd, crazy, even disrespectful, but I do not care! Two of my old friends in Los Angeles started this tradition one Easter when we wanted to do something fun and unique. It has been a mainstay for me ever since. I want the resurrection (Easter) to be about life and not the mourning of death. Had said death not occurred, I would not be here able to write this blog entry. Thank you Jehovah for giving us YOU. Best gift anyone could ever receive, the gift of someone else's life. I will take this weekend to reflect on so many things; my future, my past, and most importantly MY PRESENT! I am the one in charge, so I have to be proactive in making sure my future, present, and past is exactly the way I want it to be. This weekend is going to be just what I needed; a break. I am thoroughly looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Will Always Love You

A funeral should never be the reason you remember or celebrate someone close to you. The passing of two vital people made me realize this; Whitney Houston and my aunt Brenda. Whitney Houston, a victim of fame died from unknown, often speculated circumstances. My aunt Brenda passed from complications of pneumonia and heart failure. I loved both of these women dearly and I would give anything to have them here instead of heaven, but I know it is not about me. God has already determined our fate from birth, I am a firm believer of this. With that being said, it is important to live a rich and plentiful life while you are alive, so that you will be deserving of your fate. Whitney's talent will live on in our hearts, minds, and souls. Her tunes, much like Michael Jackson's are iconic and legendary. We will never have another Whitney Elizabeth Houston, so we should cherish the moments that mean the most; the movies, songs, and performances. As for my aunt, she too will be remembered dearly by those who loved her. Some of the memories I am most fond of are; driving through Jonesboro with all the windows down jamming to the blues, stopping by the only McDonalds in town to grab a cheeseburger Happy Meal, and last, but certainly not least all this, dark, marooned colored kisses she gave me right on my cheeks! She gave two for each cheek! Those memories are etched across my heart. She may not have belted out "I Will Always Love You" or "Run To You", but her memory left a lasting impact on my world just the same. Both women left this crazy world too soon. Though I hate their deaths, I love that God blessed me to know these women so intimately. I love you both ladies and remember this, " ANNNNDDD IIIIIIIIII WILL ALWAYS, LOOOOVEEEE YOOOOOOOOOOUUUUU!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stepping Out on Faith

I rarely take HUGE RISKS! I am more of a calculated risk kind of girl these days, but something has changed recently. I do not feel the same anymore. I would like to believe the majority of this change came from research; research on how to lead a better, more robust life. I recently read up on vegetarianism in December after my sister's boyfriend encouraged me to view a powerful video called "Folks Over Knives." The video is the anti-thesis to documentary films like "Super Size Me." This film is solely based on hard-hitting, historical facts. The fact that over the course of the last 200 years, much more meat has been incorporated in the American diet and diseases such as heart failure, cancer, and high blood pressure have skyrocketed. On the contrary and in comparison, countries like Japan and Greece have low fat, high protein diets, and sometimes plant based diets, and subsequently had far less issues with any of those diseases. In fact these countries have some of the lowest cases of cancer, heart disease, and high anything in the world! This one of the many intriguing factors that drew my attention. Another huge component of this new lifestyle choice is how diet effects health. This time last year, I was the heaviest I have ever been. I was told I was borderline diabetic, had cysts, and a scarily high amount of testosterone for a woman. This was not good news. I went on a boot camp to loose weight and it was a success, but, towards the end, I abused the freedom of food once again and starting gaining back weight. I knew something needed to be changed. In the film "Folks Over Knives" the doctor says that plant based diets balance the body more and keep people fit and trim with ease. They also are great diets that prevent long term illnesses that creep up in old age; cancers, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This captured my intrigue even more. Finally, a good friend of mine who is also very big on health, shared his testimony of being an overweight, meat eating slacker. With the help of wonderful herbs from world-wide phenomena, Dr. Sebi, he is 4o lbs thinner and a vegan. He told me "I feel the best I have ever felt in life." My intrigue quadrupled! I have been wanting to feel that way for years now. Bogged down from my carnivorous lifestyle complete with mounds of fried foods and carbs, I decided to do something I rarely do; challenge myself. The challenge is to maintain a meatless diet on a trial basis and see the effects on my life. I have been curious, precocious, and investigative and now I am being proactive. Today marks my first day of the "veggie life." I had a smoothie for breakfast, raw peanuts and pineapple juice for lunch, veggie chips and salsa for evening snack, and black bean soup with a small side salad for dinner. It was appetizing, appealing, and very tasty, so maybe meat is not all there is in life. I have hit the ground running with vegetarianism and I am not looking back. In the long run, I know I will be grateful, right now I am in prayer mode, so as I always do for others, I ask that anyone out there listening please keep me in your prayers as this is not the easiest diet to adjust to. I am stepping out on faith and letting God be my guide, so I know I will be fine!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Objects of My Random Obsessions

Things I am currently obsessing over....

Every so many weeks I get into these obsessive trances where I only want to do certain things. I spend any amount of money, time, and energy on said things because my obsession won't let me do other wise. My list currently reads:

  • Disney Movies- from Snow White to Pinocchio to Beauty and the Beast, I seriously cannot get enough of Disney movies right now. My public library probably despises me!
  • Carmel Apple Truffles from Godiva- There is never a dull moment in Godiva's Chocolatier but, lately I have been pining over these creamy, caramelly, morsels. I originally obsessed about them in October when they were the truffle of the month and now I bought a bag on sale and I am sitting in bed eating them as we speak.
  • Finishing This Semester- I remember telling myself last semester was my lowest point while in school at ASU but, this semester has clearly taken precedence. Not only am I taking 5 classes this semester but, they are all; overwhelming, overbearing, stressful, and homework filled. I'M OVER IT!
  • My meeting with Obama-Well, it was not an official meeting but, I did see him unclose and personal for the first time and it was sensational. Obama came to Arizona, I changed my entire schedule around, and I have yet to regret it. A day well spent!
  • All My Travel Plans-I want to go to Vancouver, Canada for spring break, Japan in July, Napa for Valentine's Day, and an Mediterranean Cruise before the year is over. Here's to hoping.
  • Prada Candy Perfume-I love a beautiful scent but, one made with caramel and vanilla is too tasty to resist!
  • Indie Films-I just saw perhaps the best movie I have seen in ages and I am hooked on the roaring 20's and the days when film had meaning, message, and charisma. The Artist brought me back to life!
  • Herbs, Herbs, and More Herbs-I have been doing my research and let's just say, nothing I want to be fixed internally will be handled with modern medicine. Herbs will be my medicine of choice!
  • Going Vegan-I know it is hard to imagine but, I actually WANT to make this intense change for my body, my mind, and my soul.
  • Twins-I have been having dreams for the last week and a half about twin girls. Is it a sign of the future? Will I be a mother of two the first time around? Will I be the future Mrs. B? I am uncertain but, I am definitely obsessing over the thought and I kinda like it!
Obsessions can be healthy but, right now they are just ultra time consuming! Now I am off to do my other regular obsession, updating my IPOD!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Subtle Differences...

So, upon my late night adventures into insomnia, I discovered one of the most poignant and clever pieces of video footage I have witnessed in years; Shit White Girls Say...To Black Girls. At first, I was a little put off by the title and having heard about it all week, I was naturally late on viewing the video. Apparently there are dozens of videos titled "Shit...." and it would be the stuff guys say to girls, gay people, black people, etc. Well this particular video was different. It was popular enough to amass over 6 million views in one week which for YouTube is a smash hit. The creator of the video wanted to comically express her experiences being a black girl around white women and describe some of the crazy, ignorant, and honest things many of these women said to her throughout life. The actual video was a riot as Francesca( creator) was adorned in a long, blonde wig complete with "Valley Girl" accent. She functions throughout the video making short sighted, blatant, and very rude remarks/comments to her black friend (the anonymous but supposed Francesca).

One would think EVERYONE could partake in a little laughter from this truly ridiculous depiction of ignorance well, I was completely wrong. Many viewers of the video said it was racist. This conclusion shocked me. The term racist gets thrown around so much that it has lost its original definition. A racist is a person who believes their race is superior to all others. Prejudice is when someone dislikes a group of people for their own personal reasons (exp. some Christians are prejudice against Muslims because they don't believe in Allah but, Christ). And ignorance is when someone is unaware or uneducated on a subject but decide to discuss it or partake in it anyway. Most of the time this leads to offense being taken and feelings being hurt as does the other terms but, not all ignorant people are racist or prejudice. The terms have small correlations but, they are not the exact same.

Some women viewed this video as racist because it poked fun at a somewhat slanted but, stereotypical view of how some white women act towards black women. Not all, some. The few who felt offended were offended because they misinterpreted what the creator was trying to convey. She wanted to express her experiences on her childhood in predominately white areas through a video much the other "Shit..." series videos, one that was tailor-made to fit her relatable conscious. The fact that anyone took offense is absurd. You cannot be offended at someone else's experience because it is not your own. As long as you are not the woman portrayed in the video, you should never be bothered by someone else's experiences. And if you are bothered maybe there is a reason, maybe you are that stereotypical person who has said and done all those things if not, more.

Francesca Leigh's video and thesis points out a very taboo and controversial conversation; Race Relations. People do not want to have this conversation because they are not prepared. They do not want to talk about their own prejudices out loud fore fear of ostracism. There needs to be at least a small conversation about race in the world in order to heal and help improve relationships. No person should have to endure the poking and prodding and interrogations that Black women, Asian women, Latino women, and many other women face constantly. I am not saying this behavior is exclusive to women of color but, they are almost 90% more likely to be asked these types of questions because they are almost always seen as "foreign" in the eyes of society. Name calling and sensitivity will not improve the issues between races. It is time we stop being cowards, up our respect level, and have the treacherous conversation before another "Shit..." video comes out titled "Shit Closeted Ignorant, Prejudice, and Racist Americans REALLY Think."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Newness of a Year




So I failed to list some of the highlights and lowblows of my 2011. Well, here they are, the ten goods and bads of my 2011

  • I did extremely well at Arizona State University. I am likely to graduate with honors.
  • My Great Uncle died, a true blow to the family. R.I.P. Uncle Mike.
  • I got a new car, Estelle. She is awesome in an old, slightly dilapidated way.
  • I went on a weightless bootcamp and loss 30 lbs and tons of money shopping for my new physique.
  • I ended two unhealthy romantic relationships and possibly ruined a friendship beyond repair. Lowblow.
  • Found out some saddening news about my health. Definitely one of my low points. Luckily with weightloss, I gained a small slice of redemption .
  • I met some of the most incredible people. Some were seasonal and others, luckily, are still around...for now.
  • I traveled the majority of my year. I went to Portland for the first time (AAAMAZING!), Los Angeles (just like old times), Louisiana (yet again), Dallas (finally got to enjoy it), San Antonio (first time, looking forward to going back in March), and many other places.
  • Had a chill yet exciting 25th birthday spent with someone who is a kind soul. It was nice.
  • Had one of the best New Year's Eve's of my life spent entirely with family. I was very grateful!

Overall, 2011 was awesome. I learned so many things about who I really am and where I am going. I learned that sometimes it is ok not to be so nice. In fact, sometimes being guarded is more beneficial to your health. I also learned to make a decision and stand firm on it. It is fairly easy to get distracted but, when you are fully determined, it takes ALOT to sway you. And lastly I learned that it is better to give than receive. I am not the most giving person but, this year I believe I made a breakthrough. I gave more than I received and it felt AAAAMAZZZING! I never ask anyone for gifts for my birthday or any occasion. I am grateful for whatever I get. I always accept everything with love and a smile because some of the things I truly desire no one would know or could purchase. I truly desire solace in a crazy and unjust world, no one can buy me that because it is something only I can get...for myself.

The main thing I want in 2012 is to except whatever I cannot change, appreciate what I DO have, work smarter not harder, build healthy, long-lasting relationships of all kinds, all while strengthening my strained ones, and lastly learn how to just BE for a while. I really want to master the art of meditation because it helped some many people I know focus and center themselves in a crazy world, in turn bringing them solace....and that is just what I need. BRING ON 2012, I AM READY!