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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.

A couple of days ago I came across a Facebook status that said something to the effect of “black out your profile picture as we await the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case.” I looked at the status and past it by. I thought to myself my changing my picture will not change the outcome that is ahead. My changing my profile picture will not matter. Then later I thought about how just weeks and months prior people changed their profile pictures to show they were in support of their cause. I thought about how when people saw this specific symbol they knew where this particular person stood on this particular issue. I thought about how for people who stood with them on the issue, some of whom changed their picture as well, may have felt as sense of oneness. I thought about that and said to myself “the Trayvon Martin case means enough to me to black out my picture.” I thought to myself people who stand with me will know they have someone showing support as well and people who don’t stand with me or don’t care will know this is important to me. I have said to many people around me that this case would be my generation’s “Rodney King.”

Fast forward to July 13, 2013. My boyfriend and I are watching Lincoln when he receives a text saying, “the verdict is in.” We pause the movie and turn to HLN. We sit and await the verdict. The wait was short, maybe a couple of minutes or so. Our hearts were literally pounding, mine harder than I can ever remember when exercise was not involved. The jury reads the verdict… NOT GUILTY.

I sit in my bed stunned and within seconds of the verdict tears pour down my face. My heart is heavy.

The press conference had nothing for me. It didn’t ease anything in my heart or my mind about what had taken place. I sit in my bed and wonder why in this day and time, where people say that race is not a factor are we shown time and time again that it is?

Weeks ago I spoke to my father and I told him, “I don’t know if I want to have kids. Raising Black kids in this time seems more difficult than before. At least, in times past you knew that you were working against the grain. Schools and media tell you that the days of working against the grain because of your race are long over. And they aren’t.” I thought about how when it came to possible issues that could arise in school my parents would tell me, “As long as your are not doing anything wrong, you won’t have anything to worry about.”  Trayvon Martin wasn’t doing anything wrong and the result was dire. I didn’t sleep well through the night. I tossed and turned. Every time I did, I could only think about the verdict that had come down. So every time I tossed or turned through the night I prayed, “Lord, give me peace.”

ImageMy heart hurts for his parents. Mr. Martin and Mrs. Fulton, I know that losing your child cannot be easy and dealing with everything that has come with what has happen has to be very difficult. I have been crying and praying for you. I know that you may not ever read this but I know that Trayvon could have been my cousin or my friend and I don’t take this lightly. You have shown such grace throughout this entire ordeal and I pray that you will be comforted in this most difficult time.

My friend posted a Facebook status saying, “i don’t wanna just be sad. what can i do to ACTUALLY make a difference?‪#‎JusticeForTrayvon‬.” I feel the same way. I don’t fake care about this situation. I actually care about this and I don’t know what I can do but I want to do something. There are people talking about how black on black crime are issues within the black community that need to be solved before we can expect for the justice we want to come to fruition. To me they are two different problems that do not have anything to do with one another. Before black people were killing each other in this country, they were being killed at the hands of others.

People have the similar argument about the use of the word nigger/ nigga by white people or people who aren’t black when black people use it. Also I say that before black people where being called nigga by one another they were being called nigger by others. Yes, there are internal issues to be resolved but the internal issues do not take away from the existing external issues.

I am very somber but I know that the bible says in Isaiah 55:8,

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither my ways your ways. Declares the Lord.

That means that God knows what he’s doing and what the plan is. I don’t know and I can’t lie I don’t see the vision but I trust that there is a vision.

So for those who know I am in transition. In prior posts I have been talking about forward movement. Right now my forward movement is taking me out-of-state. Well not taking me, but I am on a journey to be out-of-state. This process hasn’t been long but it has taken quite a bit out of me.

I applied for a new job within my company in the state that I wish to move at the end of July.  The process was looking really good from the beginning and I was very hopeful. I had been praying about it and talking about it. I was convinced this job was for me. I had an interview with one hiring manager and things went well but I didn’t hear anything for almost 3 weeks. Then one day I get an email from the recruiter telling me that hiring manager I interviewed with had a hiring freeze and my application would be moved to another recruiter. So the new recruiter had me submit my application again and passed me over to a new hiring manager. So a couple of days later was my interview with the second hiring manager, I get a phone call saying there was an emergency causing the interview to be pushed back one day with a supervisor. Tomorrow comes and I have the interview. Overall I felt like the interview was okay. That was a Thursday. I receive an email from the recruiter advising me that the supervisor did not feel I had enough experience.  I was heart-broken. I was completely discouraged and unmotivated. I told my best friend who gave me a pep talk that I was not ready for.

After the “pep talk,” I went to the tire store to have my tires looked at because the tire pressure light was on in my car.  The guy at the tire store showed me a nail in one of my tires. He asked me if I wanted him to fix it and I told him yes. As he walked away with my tire I realized something… I had lost my bank card over the weekend and was waiting on a new one to be sent. I had no money to pay for this service. I then look through my purse to find one of my credit cards. I check the balance. All I could do was pray that the tire maintenance wouldn’t it be over what I had available on my card. I go to the front desk and the guy tells me “That comes to $8.” All I could think is, Thank You Jesus!

And at that moment that, something many people would overlook, meant the world to me. Everything opened up inside of me. At that moment I just felt like that was God’s way of saying that he had not forgotten about me. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. A great big light.

So I have been working on this post for at least a week. As I began thinking about this blog I remembered some incidents. One from about a year ago. I noticed that one of my tires were low so after work I was on a mission to fill up my tire. I thought it was simple enough, I had seen my dad do it tons of times. Well as I was trying to fill my tire I did something wrong and I was letting all of the air out of my tire. In my distress I called my dad. He came from where ever it was that he was at to put air in my tire.

The other incident happened about a month or so ago. Two of my coworkers and I were going to get our eyebrows done one day after work. The three of us were going to leave work in our separate cars and meet up at the salon. Well as I am approaching my car one of the girls was having trouble starting her car. She was out of gas. Well luckily for me I have a father for times such as these, so I called him. The call went to voicemail. Later, well after the incident he called me back. I told him that my coworker was out of gas but we handled it. As I got off the phone, I looked at my coworkers and said “That was my dad calling, to see what I called for. He better have called me. I’m his daughter.”

When I was thinking about this blog I thought about Matthew 7:11 it says:

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

So I thought about if my dad will, and at times does, go out of his way to help me how much more will God, The Creator of the Universe, be there for me. I was amazed. I am in such a pleasant place. Not a perfect place but a very pleasant place. Most times. I am at the place that if this particular job never opens up for me I know that God is still here with me. Not that I won’t be disappointed or sad. I will however move forward to whatever is for me.

Transparently taking in East to West by Casting Crowns in the clear.

Julian :  “I feel like  people get lost when they think of happiness as a destination. Well, we’re always thinking that someday we’ll be happy. We’ll get that car or that job or that person in our lives that’ll fix everything. But happiness is a mood. And it’s a condition, not a destination. It’s like being tired or hungry. It’s not permanent. It comes and goes and that’s okay. And I feel like if people thought of it that way they’d find happiness a lot more often.”

Brooke: “So you think it’s okay to be a little miserable every now and then, even when you have great things in your life?”

Julian:  “Is it okay to be little hungry now and then?”

This was a conversation between two characters on One Tree Hill. I think it gives a lot to think about.

Sometimes we need to know that it is okay to be unhappy with where our lives are. To be unhappy that we don’t have all of what we want or what we thought we would have. Sometimes we think about the things that other people don’t have and minimalize what pains or hurts we have. Just because your pains are different from mine do not make my pains any less painful. I remember watching an episode of Oprah when Reese Witherspoon was her guest. Oprah asked her about marriage counseling with her then husband, Ryan Phillipe. She talked about how everyone has their own issues that they have to deal with. That just because they are “famous” doesn’t mean they don’t have issues.

Lately, I have been wallowing in the sorrow that I am not where I want to be and I don’t have what I would like to have. I have been thinking about how when I make the necessary changes and transitions it is going to be uncomfortable for me for a while and how that may put me in a position that make me wish I never started these changes. Sometimes its overwhelming to see tomorrow on the horizon and know that it will bring a lot of things you want but may not be ready for. The other thing that may be overpowering is the fact that you know that you have outgrown where you are. I know that many people go through this phase in life. Sometimes this phase is what keeps people in a place of stunted growth, they have scared themselves into staying where they are. I don’t fear the unknown I just know that the unknown is unknown and I wish it wasn’t. I wish I knew how everything would play out.

I say all of that to say this. Being unhappy occasionally doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Even if you have a lot of things to be happy about, being unhappy from time to time doesn’t mean that you are ungrateful. No one person has everything that they want. No one person has everything all figured out. No one person has all their ducks in a row. No one person has it all together. No one person has it all the answers. I think when we really take that in we stop looking to people to compare ourselves against. It does get better. We just have to stick it out.

Taking in I Want Something that I Want by Grace Potter & Bethany Joy Galetti and Heaven by John Legend with Nonfat Soy Half Caff and a splash of Watermelon.

-Imagoodgrl

Two lessons. Four days.

Sunday. My phone rings. Its my sister. She’s out of breath. “Some lady at church tried to steal you mother’s wallet,” She says in between breaths. After careful interrogation, I came away with the whole story.

The story as it was told me by several difference sources, goes as follows:

My parents where in the back part of our church building and they came through the church walking toward the place where my mother had laid her purse. Upon seeing her purse on the seat unattended my father asked my mother, “Why would you leave your purse here by itself?” As she approaches her purse she notices that her wallet was missing. When my mother stated her wallet was missing, my dad noticed a woman who kind of looked back and speed walked out into the foyer. My father follows as closely behind her as he can but when he gets to the foyer he doesn’t see her anymore. He gets some women to look in the women’s restroom. While he was there, my mother has been told that person who stole her wallet was the woman my dad had noticed. When the women out someone tells him, “She went to  McDonald’s.”  Off to McDonald’s he goes. Once they enter the McDonald’s they notice that they do not see the woman. They head to the bathroom. They find the lady locked in the bathroom stall. She is surrounded by about 20 to 30 people,from our church, telling her to give up the wallet. My mother banging on the stall door. And another man, from the church, looking over the stall telling her to give up the wallet. She eventually gives up the wallet. Her significant other tells her to come out. She does. She apologizes and says she is having a hard time. The police show up and ask if my parents want to press charges. My parents find that everything that was in the wallet was there, and feel it’s not necessary.

Tuesday. I come to work to find a site wide email that states the person who facilitates the extra-curricular activities for  us has lost the camera that she used to capture the few moments of non work related fun we are allowed. Wednesday. We receive an email that says Good news the camera has been recovered. I said aloud “it would be crazy if the person took it to take pictures with over the weekend and then returned it.” Later, I’m in the break room with one of my coworkers and the lady who runs our activities walks in. She tells us that the camera was returned but the person left pictures on the camera. My coworker asked if she was going to have the person fired. She said no. She said something on the inside of them made them return it and for that I won’t go forward with it. She then says, “His grace is Sufficient.”

In both incidents, the parties had the right to move forward with the punishments that each of the separate parties had earned. But they didn’t. I thought about how sometimes we feel as though people have to suffer the the wrongs they have committed against us and/ or others. So we look for vindication and revenge. But bible says in Romans 12:19:

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

It also says in Galations 6:7:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

I was thinking about the first incident. Thinking how could someone do that in the House of God. Then I thought about how we do so many things in the House that we shouldn’t. That we have to get to the point that the reverence that people once felt is restored. And really it’s not about doing or not doing something because we are at church or because there is a punishment, but getting to a point where we just don’t do something because it’s not right to do it.

I have learned that I am a principlist. No that is not a word. But I have come up with a definition to better explain myself.  A principlist is a person that functions based off of principle. So I am that. I don’t have to be directly affected to feel something is not right.  My father has taught me not to allow anyone to be disrespected in my presence because if the person will do that in front of you they will do it to you. We all need to the be people and the change we want to see. Through this year I have seen many things that make me lose faith in some people but not all people. And most importantly not God. 

As we exit this year, that for some of us has been especially hard, look to the basic things for joy. If you look at your life and you feel that you are not where you want to be, know that you aren’t where you used to be. If you look at your life and say that you are not particularly happy, know that you woke up this morning and, for most of us, every morning this year without any medical assistance. Your life, my life, and countless other lives have been renewed to make the most out of all of days we will have. Go into this next year not making faulty resolutions but benchmarks. Where do you want to be this time next year? What do you want to ultimately what to do? Who is helping you? Who is hindering you? You don’t need a new year, new week, or new day to make the decision you can change directions now. You can move forward now.

The new year is bringing new changes. We have to get right or we will get left.

I thank you for riding with me through my inconsistency. I hope that you have at the very least enjoyed this ride. I pray something here blesses your day.

I am reflectively taking in Hillsong United’s Take it All while preparing for Nonfat Soy Half Calf.

Imagoodgrl

A few years ago, I started blogging at eccentricrelaxation.com. In my bio there and here I wrote,

Right now  I’m checkin myself. I have said that I would start over many times. I have decided enough is enough. I am going to be the person I have wanted to be and this blog will help me progress, while I take you along for the ride.

And at the time, I thought that was what I meant. I was on my road to self discovery. Over time this blog turned into everything but that. I got emotional and I started posting things about daily occurrences and random thoughts, it lead me away from what I intended. In the most purest of terms I am making some changes. I hope that in light of these changes I don’t lose too many friends or readers, seriously not that I have too many of either to lose. I hope that as I truly start on this journey that there are people who are interested in this self-examination of sorts.

Lately I haven’t been comfortable with who I feel like I have become. And today is the day I reconstruct who I am and who I’m going to be. I was talking to someone and they told me that there is more meant for me “then just being [someone’s] wife.” When those words left my friend’s mouth, I had one thought. If I had that and had to figure out everything else later, that would be okay. I guess in this day and age that isn’t something that girls my age say but it’s the most honest feelings I have. At 24, I guess I’m not supposed to feel that way. So… Today I have to change what I thought I wanted and find what I need. Its going to be difficult especially since I never saw myself being this girl. The truth is my heart is hurting. I’m not really sure where to go from here.

Reflectivly taking in Keri Hilson’s Energy while in Red Stilletto.

-Imagoodgrl

Work. The place where many a conversation happen. One of my coworkers, Mary, was talking about how though it is summer she still will not allow her 11-year-old son to stay up late. Another coworker, Kay, says that since Mary’s son is a straight A student he should be able to stay up late through the summer and that if Mary does not loosen up on her son he will rebel. I offered that it was not ridiculous that Mary would not allow her 11-year-old to stay up late during the summer and that discipline does not produce rebellion.

Though I have never raised a child, I am not that far removed from my childhood upbringing. My parents were structured, not strict but there were definitely things that we were not allowed to do and that would not be permitted, I believe that due to my upbringing I am who I am today.  As we continued the discussion I was told by Kay that my children will be bad because I will have structure for them. I advised that my children would not be bad, and further if she felt that way she wouldn’t be around them because she would influence them to be bad, at which time she said that I lived in a bubble if I thought that everything would go as planned. I advised her that living in a bubble would mean that I would expect that my children would be perfect, which is not anything that I mentioned, there is a difference between bad children and regular children. Regular children do things against what you have taught them to do on occasion and that is very different from a bad child.

As we further continued the discussion it appeared that Kay almost believes there should be little to no discipline for a child because “they are going to do what they are going to do” because “each child has their own personality.” I thought this amusing seeing as Kay considers herself to be a Christian though the Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 :

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

In order to train up a child there needs to be discipline. When I say discipline I don’t mean punishment for wrong doing, I am talking about structure. Without structure it is impossible to be successful. I thought it funny that Kay would say that structure should warrant rebellion when her son is a part of the armed forces for the U.S government.

Kay advised that a parent should be lax with their child until they, the child, prove that they otherwise needed extra limits. Its interesting seeing as that with making a clear outline on what is expected and what will not be accepted cannot be done as a punishment, because you cannot hold a child responsible for what they have not been taught. True enough many of us have strayed from the plan that our parents had for us, but for most of us we have not gone that far off. Kay also advised that because they will ultimately do “whatever are going to do” there should not be structure.

Structure is needed to have an effective life. Without structure you can’t even be a successful inmate. Everything about the life that we live is about following structure, and when that is not done there are repercussions. To raise a child without structure is to do your child an injustice. It made me sad for the grandchild of this woman. I feel that she could be someone would slowly reverse what could be instilled in a child by reinforcing negative behaviors with the mantra, he or she “is just a child and they need to be free to be as a child.”

Through this experience I have learned that many people look at the mistakes they have made and regret, even shun, the process that got them to the point were they are. People say that they don’t regret anything because it made them who they are. I believe you can regret things that you have done but not the process that has brought you to where you are.  I say that because everything is a process. We get from point a to point b through a process and the bumps that we gain along the way allow us to know what works and what doesn’t and also why the structure that our parents tried so hard to instill does work and is effective. True enough there are some things that we are taught by our parents that we truly don’t ever feel were much-needed guidance but not everything you learn in school or on your job is something that you actually use, its apart of life. I remember when my sister and I were talking to some small children about doing things that you don’t want to do and one of the boys said “because that’s life.” If at the age of 4 a child can grasp that concept why is it when we become adults we feel like everything is up for interpretation or debate? Why is it when we grow up with little options when we get older we feel that life without options is not life? There is something about being simple that is enlightening.

“Simplicity provides a fine line between eloquence and plainness.”

Simply taking in Beyonce’s One + One and Chrisette Michele’s Love is You while in Tart Deco with a slash of In Stitches.

                                 -Imagoodgrl

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