Embarrassment. We have all experienced this not so pleasant feeling have we not? We can all attest that embarrassment and shame is not something we are itching to experience any time soon. To be honest, this is something most of us (if not all) would rather do without. I for one do not get embarrassed easily, but a couple of days ago I did. This is what happened…
A few days ago, I decided to stop and pick up a few writing supplies before heading home from work. I was already tired because I had been up late writing the night before. I had it in my mind that I was going to run in, get what I needed and head on home. Since I have a fast gait (something my family and friends tease me about) it did not take me long to get what I came for. By the time I made it to a self checkout register, it was open and available so I was able to quickly scan my things so I could go. A few seconds later, three other people came up behind me to check out. After I scanned my last item, I pulled out and swiped my debit card like I normally do. From there, that is when things took a slight turn.
As I am waiting for this machine to process my transaction, the machine all of a sudden starts to beep. The first thing that popped into my mind was that my card was about to be declined. I kept saying to myself, “Lawd Hammercy! This would happen to me! Don’t do it! Please don’t do it!”
I could feel the shame welling up inside of me even though I knew I had money in my account. Still, I was a little embarrassed because the machine kept beeping and my transaction was waiting to be approved. As I started to look around, I noticed that the people behind me were beginning to wonder if or when my transaction would go through.
One man felt sorry for me and was about to walk up and pay for my things. It was a good thing my transaction went through because I was not going to let him pay for my items. Blame my pride, not me.
As I picked up my things, I looked back at the people in line standing behind me and apologized for the wait. A few jokes were cracked and smiles were exchanged as my BIG boisterous laugh filled the air. All was well now despite my moment of shame and now a few days later I am sitting at my computer telling you about it. Life is funny is it not? Sometimes it can play a crude joke on you. How you deal with an embarrassing situation largely depends on you. Embarrassment and shame sucks, but after that moment passes, life as YOU know it quickly resumes.
Let me first start off by saying that this is the most difficult blog post for me to make this year. As I sit here pecking away at my keyboard, I cannot help but to become a little emotional because the strongest man I know, my father, is battling lung cancer. My father is not only the strongest man I know, but he is also the bravest man I know because he has survived things the average human would not stand a chance of surviving. My father has two nicknames that has been given to him by his family and friends and that is Sampson and Superman. This is a man who survived a number of military wars, this is a man who has battle scars that would horrify most, this is a man who is still walking around with bullet fragments in his head and body because many attempts have been made on his life. Yet, through it all, my father is still here. At the first sight of him, many would think he is a mean man, but like most individuals who meet him for the first time and talk to him, they become drawn to him. I have seen strangers strike up a conversation with my father and would be there for hours talking to him. I guess one could say my father has a magnetic personality.
Since being diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks ago, I have seen my father go into survival mode and we as his family have been there right by his side. Two days after his surgery, my father was walking around cracking jokes with the doctors, nurses and some of the nursing students who came to his room. A few of the nursing students became attached to my father because he is just that type of man. As one of the nurses stated, “You cannot help but to love him.” It has been two weeks since my father’s surgery and he is walking around like nothing ever happened. As I watched my father yesterday during our family fish fry, I could not help but to be amazed at his strength and optimism. We are holding out hope and relying on our faith that my father will be just fine. We are not a family that gives up during severe trials and unbearable adversities. We are a family that supports one another no matter what and my father knows that we will ALWAYS be by his side.
As we gear up to help fight this cancer with my father, like with any hardship that has come our way, we are not going down without a fight. I have always been an avid supporter for ALL cancer cures and I for sure do not see a reason to stop now. To my AMAZING father, I am so honored to be able to call you MY DAD. We as your family cannot wait to make more memories with you in the years to come. Keep fighting because we are fighting there with you! WE GOT YOUR BACK!
Alright, listen up! I was asked to blog about why I love being “natural” and what I like the least about being natural. Are you ready? C’mon, you know how I roll. Let’s do this!
First things first, before I delve into my reasons why I love being “natural”, I am going to break down what “natural” means in the African American community for those of you who are unfamiliar. In the African American community, being “natural” simply means that an individual’s hair is not chemically altered. Relaxers make African textured hair straight and Texturizers softens the curl pattern of African textured hair. Now that we got that out of the way, here are a few reasons why I love being natural.
(Please keep in mind that this is my opinion and not law. Whether your hair is chemically processed or natural, wear your crown of glory the way you see fit).
I love my different textures of hair. I have curly hair, wavy hair, straight hair and kinky hair. I got the whole shebang LOL! Unlike my parents and siblings, I have more than one texture of hair. It is truly a sight to see when wet!
I love the versatility. With natural hair, the number of different styles you can rock with natural hair is endless.
I love shocking people with my hair. I usually keep my hair in a high puff or low bun; many people assume that I have short hair, but that is not the case. My hair currently hangs to my elbows when it is wet and stretched. Whenever I press my hair straight, I am amazed at the number of people who ask me where I bought my hair weave. Nothing is wrong with wearing weaves, but I do find it funny that most people who come up to me after I pressed my hair straight automatically assumes that I am wearing a weave. Hammercy!
I love how healthy my hair is. My hair does so much on its own without any extra prodding. I pretty much let it do its own thing and it seems to work well for me. The growth rate of my hair is UNREAL!!!
What I Like the Least About Being Natural
Honestly, I like everything about being natural. There are a few inconveniences for me that I will list below.
The time it takes to do my hair. Because I have so much of hair and many hair textures, it takes me anywhere from 2-4 hours to wash, detangle, deep condition and style my hair.
The weight of my hair. My hair is really thick and the weight of it when it hangs tends to create slight dents in my scalp which is why I rarely wear my hair down or straight. Even when I wear my hair in a high puff, I have to wrap it a few times, tuck it and pin it into place. Nobody knows the different tricks I have to do to make my hair look less massive. Mannn…..
My hair in the back grows super fast compared to my hair on the sides. A lot of people assume that I cut my hair in layers but I do not. My hair in the back reaches my elbows and my hair on the sides reaches my armpits. See what I mean when I say I let my hair do its own thing? Why mess up a good thing if it is working for you? Ha!
So, there you have it. As requested, I have posted a few pictures below of the different ways I have worn my hair.
Good Evening and Happy Sunday to you all. I wanted to use this Sunday’s blog to post a poem I had penned so this blog post will be much shorter compared to my usual posts.
Here recently, I have been coming across a lot of negative comments from little girls of color who are struggling to love themselves. The majority of the comments I read have to do with their skin hue or color which I found to be disheartening. Some find their own skin color to be repulsive, some see their skin color as a badge of shame and others simply wished that they were of another color. We all know the history and stigma behind brown or dark skin which is why so many minority people struggle with identity issues today. I am a firm believer that self love is the best love and I feel that it is very important for us to teach our children at an early age regardless of their color to love every aspect of themselves.
Most of the comments I read came from little girls who are African, African American, South Asian Indian, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Brazilian. There were a number of them who expressed a desire to lighten their skin color because they felt it would help them be accepted. Seeing how I am an Aunt and a Mentor, I wanted to write something that would help them to not only appreciate themselves, but to also love themselves which brings me to the open letter / poem I wrote below. I posted this on my Instagram early this morning and I have received quite the response in the form of direct messages. If you are a brown girl (whether you are a light brown or a dark brown) and you are struggling to accept your skin color, I hope this post and the open letter / poem I penned below will help you to appreciate the person that you are. Do not change who you are just to be accepted, find someone who will accept YOU for who YOU are.
Family is the most important thing in the world to me. Social status, money, not even friends can compete with the love that I have for my relatives. My kin means everything to me and I would not have it any other way. We are always motivating each other and seeing the best in each other because we know and recognize our own personal struggles and how far each of us has come. Granted, from time to time we may argue and fight like cats and dogs, but by the end of the day we are laughing, cutting up and loving on each other like nothing ever happened. We waste no time making up to each other because life is too short to stay mad at the ones you love. Tomorrow is never a guarantee because we never know what tomorrow may bring.
The family dynamics of today has changed so much because of the strong presence of social media and entertainment. Instead of most families spending quality time with their loved ones, they would much rather let their television, tablets or phone entertain them. Let us not forget our pursuit of work. Some people are so focused on their jobs and getting ahead in life that their family sadly pays the price. Ask yourself, “Where is my main focus?” One must never be fooled into thinking that gadgets and money can replace the value of spending quality time with the ones you love. If there was ever a BIG lie that was told, that was one of them. It is a fact that as time goes on, one may forget all of the things you have given them, but the one thing they will never forget is how you treated them and how you made them feel.
Sad to say, some people come from families who do not show love or grew up in a household where there was no love. To those individuals, not all hope is lost. Both of my parents came from a household where very little love was shown, but that did not stop them from showing me and the rest of my siblings what true love is and what it means. Love is gentle, respectful, patient and kind. Love does not hurt, scheme, betray or lie. My parents have always said that family is one of our greatest possessions and that you cannot put a price tag on that. What are your thoughts? Do you agree? I will be the first to admit that I am proud of my family tree.
I have never quite understood how so many people lack the confidence to just be themselves. They wear so many faces for so many people because they want to be accepted or fit in. We have all seen and encountered them have we not? Sometimes it can be a little embarrassing to watch. They wear this face for this person and act another way for the next person all in an attempt to fit in. One has to wonder, “How do they keep up with all the faces they wear day in and day out?” Sometimes I wonder if they ever get exhausted trying to appease so many different people. One thing is for sure, those types of individuals need to be kept at a distance and for good reason. The majority of them can not be trusted. I would never put my mind, body and soul through such rabid and foolish behavior. If you ask me, it is not that serious.
Everyone who smiles in your face is not your friend and not everyone who laughs and jokes with you has your best interests at heart. So be mindful of who you are and what you truly stand for. Be who you really are and just live your life.
It is so easy for us as humans to find a reason to complain. We are all guilty of displaying this less than desirable trait at some point in our lives; some more than others. Usuallywhen any one of us complains it is out of anger or frustration regarding something that we have deemed as unfair, unjust or harsh. Think about that for a second. Granted, in some cases one may have a legitimate cause to complain, but then there are those cases where one has no basis to complain.
Some individuals have a habit of complaining about almost every little thing. They always seem to gripe about someone or something. These individuals see problems in almost everything and find faults with just about everyone or everything. For these types of individuals, they unfortunately see the negative in almost every situation and in some cases they see most people as the problem.
I was raised to think twice before I complain because it may not be a cause for a complaint. Nine times out of ten I do not have a valid reason for me to complain which is why I rarely if ever complain. Some things you just need to keep to yourself which is why I am tight-lipped about almost everything. My tough as nails Father’s motto was, “Don’t complain unless you really have a reason to.” The ROCK in our family, my Mother, had a rhyming saying that went like this, “Think twice before you complain and then ask yourself what is there to gain?”
Some of us compared to others are extremely fortunate even if we may only have a little. There are millions of people going without food, water and shelter and if you ask me, they have a bona fide reason to complain. Yet, if you had the chance to meet some of them like I have, they hardly ever complain. They are too busy trying to survive while trying to help others. Complaining is the last thing on their minds.
At the end of the day, it is all about perception and how we view things. If we took the time to think twice before ever complaining, we would see that most of our causes for complaint are null and void.