This is not an emergency...IT'S LIFE!

Heart for Art's Girlfriends painted by me

James 1:2-5

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double‑minded man, unstable in all he does.

I have to admit this week was one of the hardest that I've had to face in quite a while. It was comically summed up in a joking game of I never on Friday when my friend yelled out "I never lost my job then got it back in the same week!" She looked at me & I chugged wine while everyone gasped in shock. I just winked back! I can look back & laugh at the circumstances but I was on edge all week. I'm blessed to have an awesome group of friends that keep me sane when I'm more than sure the world is crumbling around me. Once I got my bearings, I had to seek counsel from the Big Guy Upstairs on how to maneuver this crazy storm. From there, things just seemed to click on the reality of it all. I did all that I could to the best of my ability & prepared myself to be okay with whatever the outcome. I reminded myself that while I always think my plan is ideal, God's will is always perfect! Regardless of the final decision, I could see the opportunities in it all. I am humbled & grateful that when people see me, they really see the God in me for I'm just a vessel of his grace and blessings!


It's not easy being GREEN!

Same stuff; different day except for my newest jewelry acquisition. Thanks to my super talented & creative friend, I am in love with my one-of-a-kind gingko leaf drop earrings. Inspired by PeaceImages' Leaf earrings, I gave my buddy a super cheap pair of drops & she delivered these beauties! Few know of my love for gingko leaves and how elated I was to actually spot a few trees downtown. Now I have my own pieces of sunshine to wear about town!

And just for the hell of it...


When enough is really ENOUGH!

This morning, I woke up with the craziest feeling! It's not that I've never felt it before. I've definitely been here before but I guess I didn't think I'd be here again so soon. The feeling was the need to get some things in order. Though it was soon replaced with nausea after my morning breakfast (Ugh!), I'm so glad that it was filling my space. I kinda wish that I'd recognized it during my wrestling match with insomnia the other night. That was surely a great time to get some ish on the right path. Let's just rejoice that I'm at the crossroad here, now, and right on time! The major epiphany that you've been waiting to hear...I have enough! Yep, that's it! No, really that's it. I have enough material things to last me quite a while. Though I'm not an exclusive gadgets or designer threads girl, I do like the experience of shopping. For me, it's less to do with the actual item purchased and far more to do with the process of it. Guess that makes me an experience girl? Maybe? Back to the moment of clarity...

As I look around, I see that I have all that any girl like me could want. I have a space of many awesome mini-experiences cataloged by some kind of artifact whether an impractical dress, one-of-a-kind necklace, cheeky coffee table book or perfectly-me set of stationery. All of these are enough for me! Then naturally, I asked myself exactly what's next for me to get into. I had to take a quick inventory of how I felt about this whole thing because I had to make sure this didn't mean that I'd climaxed in life. This just wasn't possible. Hell, I'm not even 30 yet! Talk about a short climb to the top! Not the case here so I talked myself off the ledge. I was actually relieved because this turned the spotlight onto what was behind the creative flood that I've been wading in for the last few weeks. I'd acquired my (current) heart's desire and now it was time for me to move from consumer to producer. Now it's my time to take all my creativity and put it to use. There's no reason for me to dream in blockbuster, heart-pounding color and not be able to translate it to something for tangible. Today that ends! The experiences will continue but now just from a different angle!

P.S. I really LOVE writing in this Nyquil-induced whimsy. If you don't mind, I'm just going to archive the drafts that I have on my hard drive. Maybe they'll get to come out one day. Who knows!?!?

Disclaimer: Moments like this don't always go as smooth as described above! There may a a flicker of panic in me. Inside, I was screaming "What?!?! What?!?! This can't be happening to me! What is wrong with me?" Then came a tiny whisper that said "maturity". That was it! It was settled! This was a moment of maturity. No way that I could argue with that! I got somewhere and sat real still to hash out my game plan for handling myself in this juncture.


Imperfectly Quotable (& Apologetic)

"I'm afraid that the older I get the more I'll have to regret...what do you do with regret...especially for an admitted perfectionist"

Sorry for the sporadic posting! It's not that I don't love you but I've been a tad bit busy trying to avoid regret! I woke up this morning & as usual, Mr. West was tweeting away while I was catching some zzzzzzz. (Sadly, catching up with his & Erykah Badu's tweets are the highlights of my very early mornings! What else am I supposed to do at 5 a.m.?) I love that he allows the world into that Rubik's Cube of a brain of his! Back to my point, the older I get the more aware I am of potential opportunities that may never come around again. I'm trying like hell to catch them all! Whether if it's nothing more than a quick lunch with a friend or an 18-hour road trip to Washington, D.C. (best ever!!!), I don't want to look back and hate that I didn't do something. In my early 20's I missed quite a few significant life moments of friends that I hold close to my heart. At the time, my life was such a whirlwind full of hard bumps and I couldn't be there. Now I look back & realize that my presence in those moments were needed for them and myself. I should have taken the break from my insanity to focus on someone else's moment of happiness thus opening up a stream for that to trickle into my situation. Living life with no/minimal regret takes conscious choices while weighing out the risk but, most importantly, the gain!


F*ck You!

There is no other statement in the English language that's as definite as this! There is no denying what's meant when this is yelled at you! I always get a chuckle when I'm going back & forth with my BFF about some random situation & she replies "Screw them!" I know deep down inside she wants to launch a super-sized f-bomb! I'm so glad that I'm surrounded by people who are completely okay with exclaiming just how they feel. In fact, I think people should live in the moment of expressing themselves and telling someone where to park their foolery. (Not so) Shamefully, I admit that I've dropped a few f-bombs in my lifetime. It's just something liberating about the whole thing! However, I've crafted quite a few classy ways of doing it. As much I'd like to stand on a table to deliver my message (hand gestures included), I've perfected my own ways of delivering the message fully wrapped in the grace of Southern girl. Please let me know if you'd like to learn a few ways!

This video is such a gem & probably quite appropriate for someone's day!

Happy Hump Day!


You owe IT to yourself!

By "it", I mean honesty! Early in life, I fell prey to the mindset of keeping quiet as to limit the number of feathers that I'd ruffled in life. Looking back, I can remember run-ins with a few haughty personalities that further influenced my decision. I even recall a sharp-tongued "That's what you get for thinking" reprimand at the hands of my mother. I never wanted to cause trouble or be a hindrance. I only wanted to make a difference in the world! It seemed like a simple enough task but there were some bumps in the road. Years of taking the passive co-signer's role led me to some pretty unfavorable situations. Not all bad but I can't say that I was always proud of my stance and the resulting outcome. In some cases, I regretted my spineless involvement to the point of tears. The continuous cycle of people-pleasing then regret soon led to resentment for others & myself.

As this wasn't an easy cycle to fall into, it was an agonizing cypher to break free of. I struggled so much with how I'd be perceived or even if I was capable of making a decision on my own. At my table sat resent, doubt, inferiority, shame, and a host of other downtrodden insecurities. Wrestling with these for so many years pushed me to a point of exhaustion and outright sadness. I had to make a change and my life depended on it. Changing behavior that's become nature will never happen overnight. Honestly, the journey isn't over until you're dead. As long as there are choices to be made in life, you are on the battlefield fighting for your personal truth. So, how did I get to the breaking point and what did I do? Though the task seems great, the actions are small & purposeful!
  • I mastered having "face time" with myself. Admittedly, a few times I was forced into this when it was just me alone with my emotions. Hating to be backed into that corner of inadequacy & resentment, I resolved to make purposeful time to have honest reflection on where I am, how I got here , and where I want to go from here. I'll never lie to say this was always an easy moment to be in but it helped me to really understand what makes me tick. I was able to see decisions that were counterproductive for what they were.
  • I had to end the blame game. My entire life I listened to family members blame life's circumstances and other people for their poor choices. Without even realizing it, I'd taken on the same mind frame. By blamimg someone for my bad choices, I was essentially saying they were in control of me. Never so! I was fucking up on my own and I knew it! An exercise in 100% responsibility showed me that and I'm forever grateful for the eye opening experience.
  • My opinion is valuable! Never one to be in the forefront or seek to outright lead, I convinced myself that my individual opinion wasn't as important as the popular vote. It wasn't until I stepped into a true support role at work that I realized that my job was to offer up a voice when I saw an opportunity or disaster on the horizon. Still a work in progress, I'm far more aware of the significance of my opinion in those crucial moments.
  • Question everything!* (Can I express how much I really hate this part! I really want to believe that everyone is innately good and also looking out for me but, sadly, that's not always the case!) This was so hard for me because I felt like I risked coming across as defiant or even juvenile. It took some mastering but I learned the benefits of approach, tone and timing! If one of the three is off, things could crash & burn FAST. Sure, I feel like a tool sometimes for asking 'why' but it clears up any possible misconceptions.
Being honest with yourself is simply a part of growing up. The sooner that you can take off other's expectations & misconceptions that you're wearing, the sooner you can enjoy being comfortable in your own skin. Others will appreciate your authenticity & you free yourself to love the best possible life you can!

*I have another post in the works about the whole questioning things. I'm finally going to get off my butt to finish & edit it. Say a prayer!

Photo credit: Brianna McCarthy