Choose You!

When my writing reveals more vulnerability than I want to say, my soulfulness caters to my surroundings I cave. I stop writing. My creativity is blocked.  This is the third draft to this post; I began writing it a few days ago.  The walls I have had to build to steady, right my way and block the negativity of others chisels away bit by bit. As a mother, I do it alone. There are greater blessings I am learning in being a single mother. The role is a joy more that it is a hardship. I smile more than I hold on to what ifs. As a teacher, there are days children break my heart yet there are more days when I know the difference in what they see, what they do begins with me. There are no small winnings when teaching for that I am humbled. It is the season of spring, Lent and Resurrection Sunday….new beginnings, time for newness, time for changes.

This year one of my intentions is to be more open when developing new friendships. Sounds easy enough. What I know: many things I will not entertain, life is just too short. In addition, personal experiences have led me to slot a number of issues as unnecessary.  I do not understand the point of going through unavoidable drama. I refuse to entertain it. We know we “see” crazy before full-blown crazy hits.

It is ironic that these past few weeks a few good friends have communicated issues in their relationships, seeking my opinion. I am careful not to advise. Cautious in not stating my opinion. I listen, with care. Sunday, in conversation with someone and she feels comfortable enough to share this information concerning her dating wants and issues.  I am open-minded. I do not expound on the matter with negativity. She is 38 to 40 years of age, attractive, confident, Black, a single parent, employed and believes in Christ. Her: “My dating is brief and the sex is always awful. On a first date, this guy picked me up and immediately pulled out a condom once I got in the car. Can you believe that? I still went out with him. It was not worth my time. I got me an ace in the hole. He is my best friend, still. We use to date. I know all about his girlfriends. He is my best friend. Our chemistry is off the chain.”  Me: “Why are you two not together?” Her: “I’m not into women.” Me, naive: “I know you aren’t. Why are you and him not together?” Her: “I’m not into women.” My confusion shows.  Her: “In order to be with him you have to agree to have sex with another woman in front of him. He tells all his girlfriends this from the beginning. They agree to get in then when its time that say no.  Once they disagree to his initial requirement he calls me.”  I am shocked and whisper, “Lord Jesus.” She laughs and goes on to say, “That’s my buddy though. My very best friend. I still see him when I need my fix.” Inwardly, my mind is whirling from all the body fluids just passed around. (Mental vomit.) I did not give any advice. She did not ask. I did not ask any more questions. What I noticed, she was happy when speaking of him. This arrangement, and him, however the prerequisites are this is her comfort zone. Her want. Her happy.

In my opinion, there is no way her thoughts are connecting with being who she wants to be. Her statement disappointments me greatly, “He’s my best friend.” How? Why? Why settle? Why conform for someone on a part time basis? Their “best friend-sex-ship” has lasted over ten years. I question her requirements on intimacy, privacy and the meaning of best friend. Our population does the excessive for something that has been around since creation. Sex, the pleasure principle! #ego

The heart is fragile. If our experiences mold, strengthen and at times temporarily break us; why entertain activities that will lead to the demise of who you are and who you want to be?  We all are “being” something, someone; we are in a process of pursuit. The pursuit of prosperity, of bliss, of peace, of affluence, of joy….seeking our own happy.

The early stage of a relationship represents “let’s try and see where this goes”, and opportunities to reveal one’s hope in what they want. Simple.  I will admit at the first sign of conflict, I am the first to say, “We do not have to do this.”  In all truthfulness, we do not. We choose to remain in the early stage believing we can “fix” or change the person of interest. By experience, we know so much more yet we are willing to overlook tangible signs and push forward idealizing our self-definition of change and hope.  We should be able to grow, increase from knowledge. Self should never fade. When in doubt never run so far left field that no one recognizes you, not even you.

Love and hope enhance, they should not break you. We are unable to fix people. Our parents, Life can be our greatest teachers. Continue to embrace common sense and core values.

My thoughts, my five cents when it comes to embracing something new:

  • Do not enter an arrangement that will devalue you in any friendship or relationship.
  • Communicate effectively and with authentic honesty.
  • Do not mislead. Do not allow yourself to be misled. Do not purposely deceive. State your intentions, your wants, and your discomforts.
  • Do not settle. Settling undercuts your self-worth deeply and with precise thoroughness.

I try my best daily to see the bigger picture in every aspect of my life. My hope, my want is to be in love, to be loved happily and with consistency.  Outside of self, my focus is my tribe. No matter how old they get we are a package deal. No matter how long it may seem remain hopeful. Seek more than momentary pleasure. Fight for and expect more. You define what your more is. One great thing about more, it changes and grows you. Choose you.

“Instead of holding onto broken dreams hold onto Love.” Alicia Keys.

Take care of you,

A.Michelle!

 Singleness: 1,026 days and not settling

Carved New Horizons, Opened Doors

 

 

angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou                                   April 18, 1928-May 28, 2014

 

 

Cooper

J. California  Cooper         November 10, 1931- September 20, 2014

 

Nikki

Nikki Giovanni               June   7, 1943

 

Toni M

Toni   Morrison                                                                                       February 18, 1931

 

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Gwendolyn  Brooks                           June 7, 1917-                 December 3,2000

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Octavia Butler                                             June 22,1947 -February 24, 2006

Black Women Authors expanded, continue to expand my  world.

The authors shown above are my favorite. Hopefully, if you haven’t read their work you will make time to do so. Wondrous works.

                                        Black Women Authors, Writers….

They mend our souls over so many obstacles, over so many other things, for so many years. Soul-reachers. Soul-Soothers. Confidence makers. Our next-phase- encouragers. Hope-pushers for the discouraged. Dream creators.

                                 Girl. Teen. Lady. Woman. Queen. Wisdom.

                                                         We are royalty. 

Our “I am” Warrioresses….we know how to hold on, we know how to let go, how to breathe…with their words. Words grouped into stories, poetry, truth fabricated to educate, enhance, imagine, explore, to start, to stop and to begin again, to finish.

Soul-reveal reads! They are our forever writers. Ase Ase.

Celebrate Herstory. We are amazing by choice!

A. Michelle

 

 

Broken Relationships

Dysfunctional moments have the possibility to lead to decisions that will set us on paths unintended. How we treat each other, love each other is one of the greatest gifts we give. It is priceless. Yet, everyone one of us has someone we will not talk to nor deal with due to personal and private issues.

Healing begins when we are able to let go. Letting go of the guilt, the anger, the remorse as well as the mindful playbacks of what ifs. Concerns about what could have been are mere distractions that can keep you unfocused on what is ahead. Apologize if the desire is there but prepare yourself—your readiness, your act of kindness has the potential of non- reciprocation.

Life gives so many challenges. The opportunities of having more are multi in number. Continue doing what is right. When we take the necessary steps often times that is when the unpredictable happens. Our hearts mend with the intent to move forward.

If we allow it, Life will cater to our pain—to the perceptions we have of others and ourselves. Friendships stale, our versions of love and being love can deteriorate. We bury our emotions; we skip over life lessons and expect resounding forgiveness from those our actions destroy.

What I love about forgiveness is the two-way of it. Forgiveness removes the fault lines, those consequences of failed hope without a trace of residue. Do not push away, do not shut down on the things that matter the most. Matters of the heart are genuine steps to all you wish for; remain expectant in God’s better. Think of it this way….broken relationships are broken at times for new growth. Brokenness is not an ongoing exit for guilt, shame, arguments and doubt. Move forward.

Love as our Creator commands. Forgiveness is counterintuitive to love. Forgive because it betters you. Let God do the rest. I worry less when I trust God more. My heart has taken its share of bruises; my soul wounds have been many yet trust God I do. This time of my life, this winter season has been the warmest ever.

 You have what you want in this life; make it work!

Happy kisses,

A. Michelle!

 

Something New, Teaching.

Last week I began teaching teenagers in our public school system. I was so scared, still am. At times, I still believe this something new is all going too fast. This something new has affected all facets of my life. My life is changing. Things are different. I am different…softer in my approach or retaliation to others. There is so much training on what not to do that it is easy to lose focus on how we are to be….with children. They are children, little people trying to figure It out too—so many of them without any help.

Teaching is not a role new to me. It was never a desire of mine to teach. My parents told me I was good at it. As teens, we believe parents tell us what we can do because they love us. However, teaching requires a great sense of responsibility and that I did not want. When the thought of teaching Sunday School became more than just a thought I fought against it with so many belittling reasons. I am not good enough. Who am I? Why me? I am not smart enough. The greatest one, if I teach I truly have to live what I am teaching. Lol! Every night of training, I had to push myself to go into class and each night as I was leaving I cried the whole way home. Three years later, the butterflies are still there but the love I have for learning and being able to influence others toward God’s love quietens the fluttering.

When I started this job, every morning as I traveled toward school, I prayed for strength and protection. Every afternoon, while leaving I thanked God for strength and protection. Whew, I made it! While driving home I reflected on each day and I smiled. I wanted more. I am still smiling now. They grabbed my heart. Those children, other people’s kids grabbed my heart. They have given me the greatest hope and that is of finding ways to influence their lives. Yes, they are at times loud, sneaky, disrespectful, and cautious and closed off. Yet, for those few, there are more who just want you to listen, encourage, show concern, and hear them.

Oh these little minions are easy peasy versus warring with God about my personal preferences. Finding my way and living out my life well that is the hard part. Becoming a better person while in a difficult transition requires brutal self-honesty. Learning to love where God has you requires dependency, trust, faith, forgiveness, hope, determination…..and so much more.

My something new reminds me how God loves on purpose. A former colleague and a great female leader emailed me when she knew I was teaching: “Doing something you have passion for is the true key to success!!!” She is right. Be encouraged.

Always be ever expecting in God’s better.

Writer-Mom-Child Advocate-Blogger-Teacher,

~A.Michelle

Humility, a lesson by Bru

2014-11-09 19.13.18

I purchased a footstool when my older sons left home. I am exactly 5 feet tall—plenty opportunities for my children to joke me. Oh how Damien and Darius loved to purposely place the salt and pepper shakers or any cooking ingredients on the second shelf out of my reach. Of course, they would laugh and chuckle while I fussed.

My footstool has become a point of argument for Brutus and I. He believes it is his toy, the family “what-not”. I get frustrated because when I need it I can never find it. Our first argument, I told him how it would be and his sarcastic retort was, “Its for everybody.” So I hid it in my closet out of view.

Thursday morning, after everyone is at school, I decide to try a protein smoothie. I am blending blueberries, bananas, walnuts and I want to use just a little bit of honey. I think I see the honey way back in the back of the cabinet. I can’t reach it. I’ll just go get my footstool. It’s not in my closet, nor in the pantry. I search every room in the house and I can’t find it. So now I am mad. No longer do I really want the smoothie. Every time I try to be healthy, do something for me these little people move what is required or  it magically disappears. I’m a routine person. I know where I put my stuff. If I don’t move it, it should be right where I left it. I’m so mad I have already played out the conversation I am going to have with Brutus when he returns home.

He is home. We talk about school. He had a great day. Me: “Bru where is my footstool? I looked for it everywhere.” He runs happily into my bedroom. Bru: “You didn’t look on my side of your bed, did you?” He hands me the footstool. (I’m still mad but hiding it.) Me: “Its my footstool. I couldn’t reach something earlier today and I needed it.” Bru: “The footstool is for everybody. Its not just yours. I keep telling you that.” Me: “It is mine. It is not a toy. Again, it is mine. If you are going to use it just put it back where I can find it.” Bru, big sigh “Momma it is the pattern of life for me to want what you have.” He pauses: “This conversation is over because I don’t know what I am saying right now. I don’t know where it came from.” He has this strange look on his face and jumps off the footstool and begins his homework. I am dumbfounded. He’s eight years old. I remain in the kitchen.

Me: “Bru do you think you are different?”  Bru: “Yes, but only because I tell you I love you every day and all the time. I don’t think other kids do that. Why?” Me: “Just wondering.”

What do you do with that? “….it is the pattern of life for me to want what you have.”  I didn’t take his statement as an envy or jealous emotion.  I am pointing out my selfish wants for the footstool. He is  pointing out the value in having the footstool. “It’s for everybody.” I am the Psych grad; the graduate student. I’m Momma.

My children have this astonishing strength of faith, they always have. I don’t mess with it; I let it be but man they scare the heck outta me. At times I wonder why God has me as their protector, their mother, in this role. I tell Autumn what Bru says, she laughs. I ask Autumn: “How am I suppose to take care of you two, alone?” Autumn, shrugs her shoulders: “You’re doing it. You have been doing it.” She continues her homework. Brutus plays with his legos.  Well, I just send up a silent prayer for strength, wisdom and continue reading my book.

The smoothie wasn’t nasty without honey. I drank it….go me! No sugar. At this moment the footstool is in the pantry. Grateful, I am learning from two of the four greatest gifts God has ever blessed me with.

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Let go of the distractions. At times the lessons are right in front of you.

their Mom,

~A. Michelle

Reciprocity…a published work.

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So in my real life….I haven’t written for a publication in 19 years! For everyone God has placed in my life to get me to this point I appreciate you! Kisses. (and you know I have water in my eyes.) All smiles.
 Below is the digital link to the magazine featuring my article. Please read and enjoy! Also support the magazine via the website She~ol~ogy, magazine for the modern woman. Great tips on becoming the whole you.
 

Fall, season of new Expectations

Bru's Love

Studying…love note from my Bru

                               
     How awesome is our God by Israel Houghton and Yolanda Adams
​        “You love me  and no boundary  can come between us
You have me  and no power can separate us  and oh my soul cries out  Hallelujah​”
I am beginning to love this song. It has been playing in my head all morning, all afternoon…while being Mommy, while exercising. Now, even when I am trying to write for my blog the song continues. What I want to write about I can’t so here goes:
Love…. ​God’s love is overwhelming….”You have me” resonates deeply within me, within my thoughts. Letting God love you seems like the easiest path to take, yet when He has you and you know it the more difficult it is to actually believe. No one could possibly love all of me.
My experience as I sat in my Human Development class Tuesday night:  
The lecture was on Adult love, adult relationships. As a divorcee, I normally keep my mouth shut when topics of love and marriage come up. The professor stated there were three major components that lead to long relationships/quality relationships. Passion + Intimacy + Commitment is what she wrote on the board. Her next question: How do we develop intimacy? The only person to speak up…Me, the divorcee, Ms. Long-term Single: “Trust, vulnerability, openness, honesty and touching.” Her response: “You are exactly right.” I mumble: “I know it,  just never had it.” She smiles. I laugh. The class remains silent. The majority of the class members are married and or have significant others.
I know that love is one of the most delicate emotions we experience; it also is the most fragile and yet the strongest. I have written from God’s love to adult love, my point: love is one of the greatest healing systems designed by God. As well as the easiest emotion for us to corrupt, destroy and manipulate. If you have love mold it, develop it into what you wish for. Make it come true.
God has me without boundary, no matter, no issue can separate me from His love. When you are loved by the Creator all else will come, sooner than later. Move toward your wants with God-confidence.  As an individual who loves love, keep loving; It wears well.
Expect more,
A. Michelle!

Love on Top!

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable,
you disconnect yourself from what you truly want,
and all that is left is a compromise. –Robert Fritz
2014-11-09 19.13.18
It is easy to fall into the resolve of not dating, to be alone. The choices are very limited due to a person’s perception of you and what they too want for their life. If you remove all the circumstantial propaganda and be truly honest; finding love or waiting for love to find you takes greater skills than internet dating, one night stands, club “hoping” (not a typo), Facebooking,  other social media quickies, friends with benefits and blind dates.
 
The difficulty in the remaining alone phase is that you can be easily deterred. Your ability to see more of your wish list rather an actual reality happens quite a lot. I haven’t ever been so independent that I don’t want a man nor so needy that I lose my own identity in trying to get one. I think you have to develop an even balance of wanting and waiting. (That comes with time.)
 
I have this amazing son, the youngest one, my Brutus. He has the sweetest going-to- be- an- awesome-Man characteristic of any child I know. His father walked out before Brutus was 12 months old, before potty training, before learning to tie his shoe. Brutus has two older brothers, Damien and Darius. They have moved out of the home and are doing well.  So there hasn’t been a man around for him to watch, to observe. Before you get all mushy and what not, read.
Sunday, our pastor called all to the altar for a unity prayer. Pastor stated, “Bring your pocketbooks.” The whole Church chuckled. The same hand I am holding Bru’s hand with holds my pocketbook. As we are praying he grabs it and whispers, “I’ll hold this for you.”
 
After Church, we are shopping and the rain begins to pour heavily as we are leaving. We dash it and Brutus runs to open my car door first before getting in the back seat. I wanted so much to pick him up and squeeze him so tight. He just melts my heart. Oh and it so what I need…to be appreciated, to be shown chivalry. His genuine acts of love combat the inopportune thoughts of settling, the doubts of not being enough, and the wonder of being too much.
 
I have no idea why, how, nor who he gets this from but I am in absolute awe of how God works. Brutus is eight years old. I don’t know what I have done to be blessed with my little fella. When Damien and Darius were younger they did not do these things for me. Yet, I didn’t miss it nor did I realize I was missing something.
 
As a mother of three sons and one daughter, a grad student, a fulltime employee, a volunteer, a friend, a sister and now new blogger; Life can be quite cumbersome, unexpected, challenging, unyielding, amazing….. Most days I am left wondering why and what for. One more tidbit: when I am worried, lost in thought, cooking, being a mom he will give me a kiss, a hug without prompting. Asleep, way in the wee hours of the night  when he refuses to sleep alone my Brutus still slides his hand across my belly and holds me just so. I smile, peacefully.
 
I know everyone doesn’t have a Brutus but you are blessed…..just take the time to find it and you work from there.  Faith it the right way, your way. No pressure.
 
You are amazing; Continue!  
 
~A. Michelle
 
                                                       Proven throughout time without reprove…..Love gives. ~A. Michelle

Autumn and Brutus: Summer Vacation 2015

My Two

More than I expected. Summer 2015

This is our first Summer vacation alone, no big brothers or friends to join us. Of course we head to the Beach. They love the water and they swim like fish. While planning, I am little apprehensive…. can I be the “fun” Mom on vacation and still protect them with only me watching. My older ones are off in the world, living and they are happy. How much relaxing will I be able to do and will the retreat I need from “the world” be enough for Self? I have a few things coming up in the next few weeks I need to prepare for mentally.
 
So I make the reservations and the Little Ones’ excitement doesn’t hit until the day we leave. Now there are all these rules….Brutus: “No electrics Momma. No homework. You can’t be busy, it is our time.” Autumn:  “I just want to have fun. I can take my stuff to create, right? What is our itinerary? Do I need to make a list?”
 
Our last few days without “electrics,” just being with them is what life is all about….getting back to the basics, remembering why you do what you do, counting my blessings as I see them jumping the waves….Brutus laughing, screaming and running from Autumn in glee because he tagged her….they are simply beautiful. Their happiness is genuine, unique, theirs. How amazing they are. As a mother, a single mother there are so many times and things you believe you do wrong. Yet,  as I sit here listening to the Ocean with tears running down my face….I love their love. Their resiliency, their capability to forgive and move forward, their ability to stand. So we are good, we are better than ok…..I’ll remain in the journey not just on it. 
 My phone rung a few times, each time Brutus, very protective: “Who is that? Don’t answer it. Our time.” Of course, their Auntie Keyna called. She is my little sister and still treats me like I am the youngest. I gave up Facebook and Instagram. I actually tuned away from the world, the white noise. I am not the type of person that becomes engrossed in Social Media that it becomes my emotional dumpster. I don’t use it as a vehicle to hurt anyone nor as a pedestal to attack or voice my opinion on matters of the heart.…we have to encourage one another. It wasn’t just their laughs I enjoyed. I observed others; other families, children, extended families, couples that were happy, enjoying the present. 
 
Of all the stresses we endure to protect, raise and educate our children…its worth it. I will continue trusting in God . I have to continue being the best in their world because I value who I am and what I am to my Autumn and my Brutus.
 
As a parent, a father, a mother, be coupled or single…if we continue to do what is required of us God will do the rest. God works diligently behind the scenes. Remain in the fight, it is so worth it. 
You are amazing by choice.
~A. Michelle