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Sunday night, I cried some of the hardest most painful tears I’ve ever cried. I found out that one of the closest friends that I have died. And not just that she died but that she’s been dead for little over a month. The only word that describes how I feel right now is devastated. Defination. Devastate: to cause (someone) severe and overwhelming shock or grief. It just fits so right. I. Am. Devastated.

This isn’t the first time that I have spent crying lately. Last month my parents and youngest sister came to visit. If you didn’t know my parents live in California and I live in Maryland. I have lived here for 5 years. I have been married for 3. And the truth is while I have a good life here, probably better than I could have at home, I miss my family every single day. Holidays that were considered small mean so much when you’re away from the people you want to be with. Mother’s day, Father’s day, and all of the Kobe dates, I long for my family and I get emotional. As I dropped off my family at the airport I burst in to tears, hugging them while sobbing out “I just miss you guys so much. ” For the days following I would randomly burst into tears just thinking about how they are so far away.

Once in conversation with my husband, I told him that I always have an underlying feeling of sadness because I miss my family. I always feel bad. Last year our family have some ups and downs. My baby sister went to prom and graduation, on both of those days I felt terrible that I couldn’t be there. When there was good news, I was so happy but also filled with sadness that I’m so far away that I can’t experience this first hand. When there was bad news, I was sad about the situation but guilty that I can’t be there to provide comfort. Good times or bad, I feel guilty not because of anything anyone in my family says or does, I just want them to I didn’t leave just to get away from them. A while there was a disagreement within a friend group of mine and things got very heated. If I’m honest part of my anger was because I feel judged by people who live close to their family. I feel like other people think that if you choose to move away from your family, voluntarily, then that means your family is not that important to you. And for me that’s not the case. So I while I don’t think these things about people, I feel like I’m fighting that “stigma” that no one has really put on me.

I know that there are lots of people who do not live near their families, but it feels like I’m the only one that feels so strongly about being away for their family. Maybe I’m not but no one, at least anyone I know or know of, talks about it. I think about it all of the time. So when I met a girl who’s from New York how moves to Baltimore, I just knew she got it. Even though we never spoke about it. This is might to sound weird or odd or whatever, but Janessa was the only friend that I have that was not connected in any way to my husband. I know to some that sounds crazy but it is true. Some of my friends are friends of his or their significant others. The other friends, I have are from work and even if I met them first, because my husband and I work for the same company, in the same department, and on the same floor, my coworker friends go from mine to ours. I am really odd when it comes to making friends. It makes me nervous and I always think that I’m bothering people. But I met Janessa when we worked at Macy’s and we were instant friends. And when I find a good friend, I stay close. But when the communication is slow or nonexistent, I often think that someone is either tired of me or mad at me.

About a week ago I texted Janessa asking what she was doing for her birthday, it was kind of last minute because normally the plan would have already been set. The next day I realized that I hadn’t got a response back from her which is not uncommon for us, we’re self proclaimed “shitty texters”. So I send her the lurky emoji eyes. No response for days. Is she mad at me? I told you were my mind goes. I check snap, she is always on snap, but since the update I can’t remember if I’ve seen her on there; I hadn’t. I haven’t seen anything posted on Facebook in a little while. So I check Facebook. Immediately I see a post from someone saying they miss her and they can’t believe it’s been a month already. Did she move? I know she moved apartments but she didn’t move to New York without telling me? I know we weren’t that out of touch. More messages. ” I can’t believe you’re really gone.” WHAT? *keeps scrolling* What happened!?!?!?! *keeps scrolling* My hands are literally shaking. What Happened!?!?! Then I see the memorial post. The services were held on February 17, 2018 in New York. And I just found out.

I feel guilty. How did one of my closest friends die and I not know for a month? Where you guys even that close? If you were, you would have known.  That is what has been running around in my head. It makes me cry. I am devastated. We were close and the fact that I found out so late is not a sign of a broken relationship. And I know it. Since we generally would only spend one on one time and had only met a few coworkers or family members, there wasn’t anyone who would have known to reach out to me. And it doesn’t matter  if I had spoken to her the day, week, or month before, everything would have likely turn out the same. Outside of the lack of snaps, we weren’t out of touch for us. The fact that I recently found out has been playing with my mind, not just because of this but how I relate to friendships in general. I know she was my friend, one of my best. She went with me to my wedding dress fittings, helped me with my wedding registry, and when I lived in Cockeysville and her in Towson she’d stay over all the time. I put her on to Ikea. Tuesday night movies for $6 in Towson. We went to see Girls Trip and while talking about how some people don’t go out without their partners, she told me she used me as an example. Essentially saying that as long as we, Janessa and I, had been together as friends I was with my husband and that he, my husband, had no intentions of coming with us to see Girls Trip or breaking us, Janessa and I, up. I laughed but it was so true.

Emotions aside I know what we were to each other. Regardless of what swirls through my head. Did she know I loved her? Did she know how important she was to me? Yes. Without a doubt I know she knew. Though I can’t recall ever saying those words, I know she knew. I send her a text last year and it read

So I’m watching Basketball Wives, seeing Evelyn call Shaunie to give her that IVF shot she needed… and it made me think about how if I needed that kind of help that I feel like I could call you… and that means a lot to me… I really appreciate our friendship not to be too mushy I’m glad that where my friends are concerned I have quality over quantity.

 And she responded
Aww… I would totally come do it for you!!! I appreciate our friendship as well… Love you girl!!!
I know it was real. I want for this to not be real. I miss her soooo much. We always think about how we plan out our lives with our significant others or potential significant others but we plan our future lives with our friends too. We talk about future birthdays, a houses, baby showers, etc. To lose a friend, I don’t wish it on anyone. It hurts too much.
If I’m honest, I have no idea if this is any good. I’m in so much pain. But Today is Janessa’s birthday and I knew I need this to be up today. For her. I love you. I miss you. This is shitty.

 

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Attitude- Leikeli47

-Imagoodgrl

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Ever feel like if you could just explain, the misunderstanding would be cleared up? What about feeling that way and not getting the opportunity? Frustrating right? That was me just a couple of hours ago.

So lately I have been having an internal battle with the status of a relationship. There was supposed to be resolution but I feel like there really hasn’t been. And it has been bothering me. My mind paces back and forth about how I did the wrong thing or how I am making this bigger than it really is. Am I the only one that feels this way? Am I feeling this way because I’m guilty?

Over the past few weeks, I have been talking to a friend who I feel understands how I feel. Have you ever gotten a hug via text that didn’t require emojiis? I have. And it was perfect. My friend let me know that I am a good person, worthwhile, and anyone would be lucky to have me in their corner. She told me to allow the distance and see what happens. She told me its not only my job to make sure the relationship works. I went on to tell her how hard it is to see something that I want to flourish potentially die.

Then BAM! I thought about what happened earlier today. A coworker came in looking like they’d had a rough night. And they had. They were on the ropes at work and their relationship with their significant other was slipping away. What did I tell them about their relationship? They were better without it. I told them that I knew it would hurt but based on all the things they had told me, even if their S.O. had other really good qualities, this relationship is a drain on them. I told them that it would be hard but they’d be better off. Now fast forward several hours in the same day and I am having a hard time grasping that same concept.

After my pep talk from my friend, I log on to Instagram and the first post I see says…

accept it

change it

leave it

3 choices. you decide how important your mental well being is.

I was floored. Are they in my head??? Then the same person posts…

People make time for who they care about.

And just like that, the tears started pouring out of my eyes. These two messages were so directly for me that I couldn’t take it.

Sometimes we need something to push us over the edge. We just need a sign. A sign we can recognize. A sign we can feel. And I got mine, on Instagram of all places.

With that being said, I am a good person. I’m not perfect and I won’t ever be. I don’t expect perfection out of anyone. I am real and straight up. And I expect that out of everyone I allow around me. I will bend over backwards for people but I don’t have to allow myself to be walked on or over. I protect mine. Period. Point blank. But if you can’t see what an asset I am to your life, that’s fine. No hard feelings. Today is the last day I cry about this. I will allow people to show me where we stand. And then I will stand there. It will be what it will be. And I will be ok.

“I am a voice in the world and I deserve to be heard.” – Different World

So there’s a thing happening on Friday, January 20, 2017 I don’t know if you know but President Obama is sick of our crap and he’s leaving us. While the prior sentence may not be actually true, it sure feels true. The bottom line is Greatness out, ridiculousness is in. Donald Drumpf¹ was elected and he’s about to be y’alls president.

Over the past few months since this fate was decided people have met with the not yet president about stuff and things. This time last week the Original Effie White of Dreamgirls, Jennifer Holliday, was being dragged on the internets for agreeing to perform at an Inauguration celebration or ceremony. After the Internet got to her, she was not only pulling out of the performance but apologizing. In a statement she said she wasn’t aware that this performance would be seen as a political statement. She didn’t know how much it would have hurt her fans, specifically in the LGBTQ community. Okay. Crisis averted?
Until Monday when the rumors start swirling with the next round of people asked. On the list of people asked to participate in the inauguration festivities was my girl Chrisette Michele. My only thought was I hope she’s not doing this. Wednesday comes and it is being confirmed, not by her, that she will be performing.  About two hours before I began writing she released a statement…

“My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us.

I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain.

This country has had great moments. God has shined His light upon us.

Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation. I am willing to be a bridge. I don’t mind “These Stones”, if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless.

I am here.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about what matters,”. I am here, representing you, because this is what matters.” – Chrisette Michele

#NoPoliticalGenius

Anyone who knows me that I am a long time fan of hers. So this saddened me.
While I won’t be meeting with Drumpf in this lifetime or the next, I actually don’t care that people of my communities have a sit down with him. If you have a platform that is on his radar and you feel the need to sit down to discuss whatever you feel the need to discuss, that is fine. My issue specifically has been when various Black celebrities and “leaders” have met with him both pre and post election for everyone to leave the meetings seemingly speaking in riddle and and rhyme. No one says “I met with him and we talked about this specifically and he said this specifically and I have a good or bad feeling that he understands and that this important to him.” No substantive talking points at all? “It was a great meeting. I talked. He talked.” And always little to nothing else. It makes it seem like they were just happy to be in the room. Being in the room is not enough. Tell me what happened in the room. The lack of transparency seems shady. So when people in various communities see this, they may be confused or feel betrayed, especially when they supported your career. By the way, Kanye West and Steve Harvey never spoke for me anyway.
 Again I don’t have an issue with people meeting to speak with Drumpf, I won’t but you can. While I’m on this point, not that meeting a president has ever been an option extended to me but, the reason I will not meet with him is solely because I refused to give him the respect that someone who holds that office deserves. So there’s just that. I believe, maybe naively so, that possibly there could be some good out of a conversation, even if its with him. Oh but where I draw the line is at using you talent for the entertainment of him and his people.
See that full circle, we’re back here just in time for Jennifer Holliday and Chrisette Michele. I find it very hard to believe that with all the statements this man has made about ALL types of people that anyone who did not support him is surprised that a performance during this inaugural season would be well received. I can however believe that Jennifer Holliday may have seen this as an engagement for a President and that people would see it as such. It’s not. And they didn’t. After receiving the backlash, Jennifer Holliday determined it wasn’t worth it and got out of dodge. But not so for Chrisette Michele.
So as a long time fan what struck me most was 1) the delayed response and 2) the alleged reason why. Monday is when the speculation started. Thursday morning is when she confirmed with the statement above. While she did make other posts she said nothing about whether or not she was performing. Before she released her statement, it was being reported that her team trying to keep the performance under wraps for as long as possible especially since Jennifer Holliday received so much backlash. While she has not admitted to this speculation I believe it is true. Why? She had a chance to be forthright and decided against it. She knew that had agreed to perform before anyone else but she waited until it was “leaked” to eventually say something. I can assume that no less than 90% of her fan base is against  Drumpf and his sentiments and she knew that. It doesn’t matter how long you kept this a secret when it did come out your base would not be happy. Lil’ Mo spoke on her radio show about how she reached out to Chrisette and what Chrisette told her, which can be seen here. In the video, Mo talks about  how Chrisette says she’s at peace with decision. If that were true why not say in a very direct statement that you are performing and that you feel like its the best decision for you. Say the check was nice. Say whatever is real and true. Say anything other than a statement that lowkey implies that you are sacrificing yourself for the greater good. How is performing for Drumpf bridging the gap between his base and yours? Outside of your performance how are you giving “voice to the voiceless.” But don’t act as if performing for people who largely don’t know who your are, and don’t appreciate your talent, is being a bridge or the bigger person. It’s not. You are being a pawn. Stand behind your choices. Don’t shy away from it. The statement itself doesn’t make much sense so… you could have kept it. Last but not least, the Bible says in I Corinthians 15:33
Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good Character.
The bad company is Drumpf, hopefully the good character will continue to be Chrisette.
My husband asked me, “what are you going to do about ya girl?” I am upset as person who has been a fan for many years. Not because her beliefs don’t match mine. But because who I feel she presented herself to be, is not true to who she is. While I can generally separate a person from their art, because I have been such an intense fan of hers, I don’t know that I can separate the two right now. As of now, most of my social media handles are Imagoodgrl. Which are a nod to a Chrisette Michele song Good Girl. This blog is called If I had my way, which is the title of her first single. I have decided for now. I am not changing anything and I won’t be buying anything else either. If you choose to continue to support her that is fine. I shan’t. My money is one of my greatest resources and I will put my money where my mouth is.
D.L. Hughley put my sentiments about Drumpf in a most perfect way. I have titled this post after his words. I changed the title a bit to be more family friendly.  I do however say “eff you forever, maybe,” because I do have hope. Hope that maybe some good will come. And if that happens I will be happy. However I shall not change my position until Drumpf has changed his.
Somberly taking in Solange’s Weary in the bare.
¹ Drumpf is the surname of Donald Trump’s family. The name was changed by his grandfather to better assimilate to the United States. You can see John Oliver speak of Donald’s long lost surname here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The night my sleep was elusive. Why? Because I could feel the hope draining from my life. It was about 4 or 5 O’ Clock in the evening (EST) on the 8th, I was listening to live coverage on CNN. Before any of the results were in, they were talking about exit polls and the expectancy of that night’s winner, Hillary Clinton. While conversing, someone on the panel mentioned the concept of the “hidden vote.” Hidden vote? People who would come out in support of Drumpf¹ who had publicly pledged support to Clinton. They discussed how there had never been any real proof to a “hidden vote.”

And like a ton of bricks it hit me. Drumpf is going to win tonight. What made me think that? White people hate being called racist. But they love to do racist things. In essence its the belief that, “I agree with the things that Donald Drumpf is saying but I know that people will think I’m a bad person for that. So I won’t tell anyone that I agree because I don’t want to be called a racist.”

I go home and try to get through my night. I have never checked election results so much. It was terrible. Just as I suspected the tables were turning towards Drumpf. I tried to take my mind off the elections that were tormenting me. I tried to watch funny shows and movies. Nothing. I checked the results one last time. Ugh! Go to sleep and hope for the best. I slept a terrible feather light sleep that night.

It is Wednesday. Awaken by my Husband’s exit on his way to work. I check the results. Drumpf. It was like a punch to the gut. Though my normal waking hour is hours away, I can’t go back to sleep. I write a new Facebook status, ” Hug Someone. Someone Hug me.” I get a call from my husband. “How are you feeling?” he says. While crying painful tears I respond, ” I feel personally attacked.” Validating my feelings he says ” because it is a personal attack.”

Gather myself together. I get on the commuter train, then to the metro rail. Looking at every person with disdain in my heart thinking, “Was it you? Its your fault.” Get to work to see a few people avoiding eye contact, which to me was an admission of guilt. That day EVERYTHING meant something. I was hurting. The visions for my future seemed further away. What was most hurtful was the hostility that I felt for the people who I felt “did this to me.” I didn’t like that feeling. I don’t like that feeling.

As we have drew nearer and nearer to this day. The day before the inauguration of Donald J. Drumpf. I am overly unhappy with the turn of events. Enter ABC’s Blackish. They put together the most amazing episode about the aftermath of the Drumpf election. It helped to voice my feelings and smooth the wrinkles in my heart that made me think everything would not be okay overall.

Some 8 years ago I sat down to the write My Life through the Eyes I was Given with great wisdom and hope for the life and the Presidency to come. While the current President and Administration has not been perfect, there has been great progress. The world is different now. That is virtually undeniable. More now than ever we have to be and make the change we want to see. I am more hopeful than I have ever been since November 8th. I stand firm on my convictions after 44 and until 46, the only president I acknowledge is President Tom Kirkman on Designated Survivor, because Drumpf is not my President.  

Thank you President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Mrs. Jill Biden, and both of your families, you all were better than we deserved.

I’m bare with reflection because… My President is Black  by Jeezy and Jayz.

 

¹ Drumpf is the surname of Donald Trump’s family. The name was changed by his grandfather to better assimilate to the United States. You can see John Oliver speak of Donald’s long lost surname here.

People talk about why Black people feel the need to have events, avenues, and venues where they uplift, encourage, and support each other. We need them because you emasculate, criminalize, and marginalize our men all the while disrespecting, dehumanizing, and oversexualizing us.  Time and time again you tell the Black woman she is not pretty enough, smart enough, outgoing enough then demonize us for being strong and independent. Daily you tell us that how we were are naturally, is not professional and is unbecoming. All the while you manipulate your women into manipulating their bodies to look more like ours. You fear our fathers, our brothers, our husbands and our friends because of the insecurities within yourselves.

As I sit and watch promos for Black Girls Rock I am saddened because there is a GREAT need for the event EVERY year… Why? Because there is 13-year-old Black girl who was referred to as a slut by an Adult man and she is asking for forgiveness on his behalf. And this is the way of this world. I’m sorry little sister you are not to accommodate an adult’s ignorance, that my sister is not a child’s place.

I want to say so many more things about how being gracious has a time and place but honestly this isn’t about that. The fact is Mo’ne Davis shouldn’t have had to respond with a statement that said more than, “When I learned about the tweet I was offended. I wish people didn’t feel the need to say things like that. But I will continue to do the best that I can to the best version of myself.” So many times we tell people to take the high road. To me that was not the high road that was the walk over me road. I am not bashing her. However I do think that the adults in her life should have guided her better. In her address of the situation she states that she knows that people get tired of seeing her. She says that she knows he didn’t mean it. And that she knows he’s worked hard to get to where he was. She then goes on to state that because we all make mistakes, he should be reinstated on his Baseball team. Why are people tired of seeing her? Is it because she was an exceptional athlete that is female in a male dominated sport? And because of this, Disney may be considering to make a movie about her? Because of this, his mistake isn’t that bad? My dear sister Mo’ne, the life we lead as Black women is a hard and difficult road without being publicly being called out of your name for excelling. Do not lower your head, you have done nothing wrong. Do not make apologies for you have nothing to apologize for. As you grow older you will see that consequences are a part of life. And just like when you do not make the right decision there is a punishment, there should also be one for him. He has disrespected you not only as an athlete but also as a young woman. He not only determined that because you “got rocked in Nevada”  (**side note** I am assuming that meant that she lost, which apparently he never did) that you did not deserve to be depicted in a movie but he also slandered your character by calling you a slut. None of which you deserved. I honestly wish you did not have to experience this but I cannot apologize for his actions because I, like you, did nothing wrong here.

Taking in Janelle Monae’s Electric Lady while completely bare to the world.

-Imagoodgrl

So you may or, most likely, may not have noticed it’s been sometime since my last posting. And honestly I have been busy-ish but I have also been lazy-ish… Well more lazy than ish when it comes to this. But I have made a safe return. With the thoughts that have brought me here today.

So yea this is a part 3. Same purpose. Same theme. Same goal. 

Months ago I was searching for what would ultimately make me happy. And now months later I am not too much closer than I was back then. I know a little bit more than I did, as it pertains to life. Things are different. But I still do not know what will make me happy or what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

I have however started putting some of my plans into action. That, I do have to say, feels really good. From time to time, I see a guy that I was in training with at my job and he always mentions where I said I wanted to be years ago. It goes as follows, ” Oh you’re still here. I remember when you said you were going to be gone in a year. How long has it been now?” And when I run into him I get annoyed that he brings it up EVERY time I see him. But the bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1:

 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

What does that mean? I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And that feels good.

I wanted to write this blog a few days ago when a friend of my got really good news. When I met her years ago I told her (Shanette) that she reminded me of another friend of mine (Shaie). Why? Because these women are two the most focused women I know. When they put their minds to something they do it. And neither of them having a perfect life but whatever life throws their way they continue to be goal minded. It is a pleasure to see. And both of them have personalities do not disappoint. So as I move forward with this journey that I am on, I take the wisdom and knowledge from those around me. I thank God for the ability to be close enough to see your greatness.

So Congratulations to Shanette on the new journey that you are embarking on.  I’m going to come down to Atlanta to visit. And shout to Shaie for being the person you have always been. Love you both!

Refreshingly taking in Hillsong’s Lead Me to the Cross and Fred Hammond’s Awesome God while in the fog.

So today I had a conversation with one of my out-of-state best friends. We were talking about what I consider typical things that young women of our age talk about. The Future. I was telling her that I plan to move across the country within the next few months and the other life changes to come. While discussing that. I was telling her that I am unsure what I really want to go to school for. Lately I have been recreationally in school. What does that mean? I have taken classes but without any real goal. I started with one but now I am just not so sure.

As I was telling her about my lack of direction she asked me a question, “Do you remember how I figured [it] out?” I respond, “No I don’t remember.” She tells me, ” if you didn’t have to worry about money…..what would you [do] for free?”  The funny thing was my sister and I were talking about that very thing the day before. I jokingly told both my sister and my friend “i would be kim kardashian… u kno without the sextape and whore tendencies.”

But at that moment the light bulb just went off… I need to figure out what I would do for free that would make me happy. Make me feel like I was doing something with my life. Make me feel good after putting in a long days work. I then told my friend ” i guess i need to just sit down and write things down, pray … see what i come up with”

The bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 :

For I know the plans that I have for you’ says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans to give hope and a future.

I need to find not only my plans for me but God’s plans for me. So I have committed to finding what is going to be for me. Its crazy, she’s not the first person to ever say this but today was the day I was really ready to hear it. So this is another journey to add to the forward movement of my life.

So shout out to Shaie Michele for being on time.

Enthusiastically taking in Our God by Chris Tomlin while wearing High Maintenance.

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