Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waiting to Exhale

Today , I did it. I stuck my chest out . Closed my eyes. Took a deep breathe and did it . I exhaled . Almost 5 years later , I can finally say that I have released all the emotional baggage , and anger I have been carrying around from the past. I just let it go. Its like I let my hair down , barefoot and ran full speed through a place rich with flowers, milk and honey, and birds singing. Its an experience I can not even put into words . One thing in life I have learned is that, when one door closes ,another one is opens. I'm so thankful to be at this place of solitude and serenity. There is no feeling like breathing and flying free.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Still I Rise By : Maya Angelou

I love this poem. It speaks volumes. Maya Angelou eloquently captures the tenacious spirit of African-Americans.

CNN Black In America 2

Tonight , the first part of the critically acclaimed Black In America 2 aired . Black families around America gathered around the tube to see if this years follow up, would top last years premiere. In my personal opinion , the show was tastefully done. I think it did an excellent job of capturing the struggles of black people in today's society . Soledad O'Brien , a woman of African decent was able to capture the different testimonials of the young and old . Although there lies a huge age gap between the two...they are not so different. The segment of the BIA2 that touched me the most was when Malaak Rock , wife of comedian Chris Rock , used her celebrity to change the lives of young teens . She chose 30 teens in an urban New York City community , to go to South Africa to see how other children their age are living. Rock exposed these children,who in some cases had never been outside of their neighborhood block, how big the world is and the endless opportunities. She showed these students that knowledge is power and is the key to success. I was able to relate to this particular story , because when I was 17 I had the honor of traveling to South Africa for 3 weeks . I visited Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Teens my age could not read . Some families were torn apart from violence and the AIDS epidemic. I visited schools that had no money for books or food for their students. I met young girls who looked just like me , who wanted just a taste of freedom and opportunity that I took for granted everyday. After leaving South Africa, I brought so much knowledge and understanding of myself and those who came before me. I learned the importance of giving back and seizing every opportunity given to me.

Like the children in Rock's group, I left with the notion that I could all things ,If only I put my mind to it . This is the very reason why I loved the first installment of BIA2. The series draws in its viewers and allows them to reflect on their personal experiences. BIA2 ,like its predecessor BIA has faced many tough critics within the Black Community. Many think that it highlights the negative aspects of the black culture and others believe it realistically portrays the daily struggles of blacks. The main goal of the program is to teach those who are misinformed. To allow others to step into the shoes of the adversities that blacks face on a daily basis. The beauty of the Black culture is that no one black person is the same. Each one shares a different story . A different beginning. A different end. But they share the same ancestral background . I look forward to the second part tomorrow, and what new ideas will be ignited within me.

Friday, July 3, 2009

How Do You Measure: Like Your Age or Your Shoe Size?

Recently in my life I have witnessed adults act more like their shoe sizes than their age. The usual immature behavior. Snickering when people walk into the room, using the Internet as a scapegoat , publicly discussing private issues , cowardly behavior and not taking responsibility for their own actions.

With 22 right around the corner, I am on a mission to continue to grow into a young lady.My entire life , my mother has taught me to never be a coward. If you dish it out, you should be able to take it when it comes back to you. Another rule of thumb she taught me is if you have a problem or issue with someone, you go to the person and not hide behind words. These words of wisdom would go in one ear and out of the other. But now more than ever , I hold on tight to these words.

Ones behavior is a reflection of who they really are . As a growing woman , I understand that people are looking up to me at all times. People take note of my behavior and judge me based upon that . It saddens me to see people I look up to act like toddlers. This leaves me with no one to admire and I am forced to be the change I want to see. Maturity is something that is learned and gained through knowledge. A lack of immaturity is no longer a valid reason to be ignorant and spiteful . In 2009 , men and women have to do better. Put away childish things , and stay mindful of your purpose. No one should ever be complacent where they are . There should be a constant longing for elevation. Everyone should lead their lives with their own minds, and dance to the beat of their own drum. Never allow anyone else's idea's to become permanently yours. Never compromise what you know is right , to please someone else. Better yet, don't hide hate behind a smile. Be able to stand alone , and not rely on the strength of others.

Here is a quote for thought , " He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn't occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once." Please stop finding comfort in the soles of your shoes or others, elevate to your age and see how much you will grow.

Michael Jackson 1958-2009

" I Never Can Say Good-Bye", " Lady In My Life", and " Rock With You", are just a few of my favorite songs by Michael Joe Jackson. On June 25,2009 the world lost a musical legend and genius. He provided music that allowed people all over the world to dance, make babies, break-up , make-up and unite nation. It seems that every great mind throughout history has two sides . One side is genius impacting the world and contributing great ideas and gifts. The other side of the mind is troubled and longing for something that is lost . Michael Jackson is a man that struggled with many demons . Coming from a family that suffered verbal and physical abuse . It stunted his mental capacity , forcing him to grow up to fast . His childhood set the pace for the rest of his life. His legal woes and mental criticism never overshadowed his talent.

MJ was not only a great musician to the world ,but his family . He will be greatly missed . My all time favorite music video is "Remember the Time". I remember being in the living room when the video premiered on BET. Eddie Murphy and Iman sitting on that Egyptian Throne made me fall in love . I would stand up in front of the family big screen TV and attempt to do the choreography. That was a pivotal part of my childhood!

Even though MJ suffered many legal troubles and was paraded in the media as "strange" and a "circus freak" , his legacy is much greater . After his passing the media has raised speculation that he was addicted to pain killers and sedatives. That his frail lifeless body was subjected to years of skin bleaching and plastic surgery. These antics in the media have not stopped millions of fans to flock to Los Angeles just to be where he is, dead or alive. As he is laid to rest for eternity.. I pray his soul entered into heaven. I pray that his legacy will live on and he will continue to live in our hearts . I will continue to pray for his family and their strength. Micheal Jackson's glittered glove, white socks, studded jackets,black hat, and crotch grabbing will live on forever and never be forgotten . R.I.P Michael " King of Pop" Jackson.

When Your Life Flashes Before Your Eyes..

There comes a point in everyone's lives.. when it flashes right before you . When you question everything you have done up until that very moment. When the things and people you take for granted seem to matter the most. Events and situations in our lives make us reevaluate our present and future and discover our purpose.

Within the last week and a half I can name so many people that have died. People that died engaged in their destiny and others that never quite reached it. It occurred to me that life is so precious and while we have it we must cherish it . We must make everyday count. We can not let our lives flash before us and not be in the picture . With age comes wisdom and knowledge. In a time when more people are leaving this earth than making an entrance,your existence must not be in vain .

As the flash of a camera shines brightly in my eyes , I have realized somethings I used to do is not going to cut it anymore . Ignorance is no longer an excuse or bliss. Taking responsibility for my own life is my personal crusade. Although sometimes in life, unexpected events occur resilience is the only thing that makes you stronger.

So as life continues to move fluidly , flow with it, even with its twists and turns. Make every picture in your life be the best one , and cherish every frame.