Why so dumb?

We live in a world where people are afraid to look ill informed, or if you will “stupid.” Coincidentally enough I found myself asking just the other day why that is. Why are people afraid to be wrong? Why are people afraid to look “dumb?”  I didn’t get it. That it until yesterday when someone called me dumb. Correction, he said that I was so “fu%king dumb. Apparently his reasoning for this was because I didn’t know the name of a musical group that he felt I should have been informed about. It triggered a memory from high school. I remembered dating my first boyfriend and he would frequently say “baby you so dumb, but I love you though.” At the time I thought that was how people communicated loved. Last night I knew better. Last night I was well aware of two things. 1st: Love doesn’t hurt, and the 2nd thing I recalled is that people will only treat you about as bad as they believe you will let them. When I was in that moment I didn’t take on what this guy said. I didn’t absorb it. I didn’t believe him. I knew that his experience of me was directly proportional to how he viewed himself. Image

That doesn’t mean that in retrospect I don’t wish that I had said more, or that I don’t wish I would have told him that he was anything but a divine creature of the earth. I wanted to, but instead I did nothing. That’s the interesting thing about triggers. They handicap you. At least they do that to me. He was literally out the door minutes after his comment. It left me feeling disappointed that people do that to each other. It’s disappointing that we shoot emotional poison out and then we assume that we can come back later and do it again. It was even more disappointing that he was a man talking to a woman like that. It was sad that he was attempting to make me feel smaller in the world. I hope one day he gets it right. He won’t be practicing on me. Once he left I realized that I deserve better. I think we all do, and as Jay Z says “don’t just let people rent up space in your life if they don’t add value to it.” This guy decreased my value last night (or at least he tried to). Image

The thing is, at least for me. I don’t want to live in a world where I’m not allowed to be imperfect. I don’t want to share space with people who I can’t be imperfect with. I want to feel safe in this world. I want to feel safe to be ill informed. I want learning to be a constant tool that I use, and I never want to be too smart to ask a question. I also think that relationships matter. This guy most likely want be the last person to have a negative word to throw my way. That also means that he won’t be the last person to be removed from my life. Today I have a choice. I choose to love those who love me, and love does not hurt… Love does not hurt. Today I choose to make space for error and love. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon. 

You make a difference

 

The other night I received a message from an old college classmate asking me to call her. When I did I was pleasantly surprised by what she had to say. She told me that she had been following my writing and performing history since her freshman year of college. She said she remembered me from my days of being in Way of Real Discovery, a performance organization that still exists at my former college Savanna State University. I had no idea that she had been affected by my work. She continued by saying that she would soon be moving to Los Angeles and if ever, and I quote “was tired of New York you can come live with me.” How exciting! Just by doing what I loved I had received an invitation to live in Los Angeles. Of course this post is not about how I am about to pack up my bags and be a California girl. The point is that as people of pursuit we never know who is rooting for us!

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Having this young woman tell me that she had been so affected by my work reinvigorated me. It made me believe in myself once more. It reminded me that to reach one person is a feat in itself. It also made me wonder; how many people are out there right now appreciating my efforts? Even when it seems like there are none, how many people are appreciating yours? This experience is a lesson. I never know who is watching me. I never know who is inspired by me. I never know who is affected by me. Finally I never know who is rooting for me. Trust me folks there is always somebody rooting. That’s why the next time that little voice that says to me: no one cares stop writing, or just give up, I will remember. Someone always cares. The next times you want to give up remember. Someone always cares.

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The thing is, at least for me there are more things going on than meets the eye. The truth is when I take moments to get out of my head I can see. I am blessedly a part of a whole community of people who impact one another everyday. It is a domino effect. We all affect someone even if the action is as small as saying thank you, or smiling at a stranger, or writing a poem because you got a hole in your shoe. We are all forces, and we all have cheerleaders in our corners. So the next time that little voice says to you that your idea is stupid or unoriginal or that you should just quit remember you have support!  Don’t let your people down. Personally I don’t want to. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon. 

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For Men Only (You are Real)

I was speaking with my dad the other day for the first time in about three months. I was going on about how he never calls me and how we don’t speak unless I reach out to him. I was upset. His response: “I have raised my children. You all are living your life and now it’s about time I live mine.” Suddenly, I went from feeling frustrated to oozing compassion for my dad. In that moment I remembered he is a person. I felt compassion because for the first time I could see that he was hurting. You know the bird who doesn’t even realize that there is a stick in its wing until someone removes it and suddenly it’s flying again? That’s my dad. He’s a bird with a broken wing. He is the result of what happens when hurt people hurt people. He’s a hurt person. This is why instead of being offended by his stance, I felt compassion. It got me to thinking. Men hurt too. Men are stereotyped too. 

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Men are often told don’t cry, don’t be too emotional, and don’t feel. There was no way that I was going to be angry at my dad for being a product of past conditioning. Instead I jumped into the solution. I took leadership. “Let’s make Sundays our day.”  I suggested. That way we’d know that no matter what was going on in our lives, we would have that time to connect. Ironically enough tomorrow is Sunday. It is also Father’s day. It will be a perfect opportunity to thank my dad for what he could do. I want to let him know that I know that he has done the best that he can.  As Father’s day approaches I hope to remember that men are people too. I hope to go beyond the stereotypes and into the human experience. I hope to see men tomorrow; men with children, men with children on the way, and men who are still trying to nurture their inner child and appreciate them. I hope to appreciate them. The same way I hope someone will appreciate my dad (he’s in another state). 

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The thing is, at least for me. We all need nourishment! Love is universal. In the case of my dad, it would have been really easy to write him off when I didn’t understand him. Truthfully, love is action. Love in action means that I will at least try before I walk away. I am not saying that it’s okay to let people dominate us or mistreat us. I am not saying that reciprocity is not important. I am saying men need love too. So when Father’s day arrives try to remember men. A man who has yet to become a father may very well one day become one. Treat him how you hope to see him treat his children, and if you are a father, happy Father’s day. I speak for many daughters around the world when I say your presence in our lives makes the difference. To those present thank you. It matters. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.  

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Keep Breathing

I was recently speaking with a friend about her orientation on living. She was complaining about her life. She would never be perfect in it, and that lack of perfection was causing her to isolate. She didn’t want to play in the game of life if she couldn’t play in it perfectly. I encouraged her the best way I knew how. I reminded her that none of us are perfect. I reminded her that it would pass. “Just keep breathing.” That’s what I said to her. Sometime after that I ran into another friend who in recent months had been blossoming in her life. She had come from some really tough times, but now she was clear. I could feel how present for life she was. She oozed confidence. When I asked her what had changed she disclosed to me that her hardships from the past were the best thing that had ever happened to her. She was geared to help people tackle similar obstacles, and then she said something that surprised me. “I just kept breathing and it passed.” I was totally shocked to hear her say that. They were the exact same words that I had offered to my other friend. 

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My point is that all we can do is keep breathing. Life can change in a breath because life is magical. I often wonder if people recognize the magic. I myself did not until someone reminded me. Life is magic. Just keep breathing. Things change in breaths. I am sure many of us can relate to my friends assumption that life couldn’t be lived unless it was “perfect.” I know better now. I hope that someday she will too. I recognize now that life is filled with challenges so that life can be fun. Life is an adventure. All we can do is keep breathing. It’s likely the only consistent factor of the human experience. Keep breathing. Breathe because everything passes. 

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The thing is, at least for me. As humans we are divine creatures and we are valuable just because we exist. I believe that it is our bad breath, or smelly feet, or sweaty palms that make us valuable. It makes us real. It accentuates our stock. The more I pick the hairs from my chin the more I recognize that I am a divine creature. It’s pretty awesome. I am real. I can’t speak for my friend. I can’t speak for anyone. But, I certainly speak for myself when I say that I don’t want to miss the moments along the way due to imperfection. I want to be present when my epic love emerges into my life! I want to be present when my children are born. I want to be present when my first novel is published. I want to be present for every shift that occurs in my life, and I don’t want to miss it because I have hair on my chin, or sweaty arm pits or smelly feet. I don’t want to miss it because I’m not perfect. I’ll never be perfect. All that I know is to keep breathing. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.