18 January 2017

I'm Building My Own Sandbox


I will succeed. I will be happy, healthy, financially stable, debt free, and able to give exceedingly. I will have time to spend with my family and friends.

Not everyone's path is the same. Not everyone's success is similar. Tenacity is important, but one person's drive may not resemble another's.

Our differences in approach to life are as diverse as our external makeup. I've often discounted and disqualified myself because I'm not like the other people I admire who are incredibly successful.

But we all have our own ways.

Life likes to help you along sometimes, forcing you to make a quick choice or by virtue of needing to put food on the table, you're moved into something maybe you wouldn't have chosen.

But I believe in THE DIVINE, not coincidence.

I downplayed the friend who said maybe I was like other geniuses... she said when they didn't fit, they created their own paths. I thought she was being silly. After all, I'm no {insert famous trailblazers name here}.

But later, I asked myself why not? Why couldn't I be like them? Why wouldn't I be like them? I'm not difficult for the fun of it; I'm particular.

I do GOOD work, and when I'm with the right team, it's GREAT work. But as a person who has said for years it's important for me to know the rules so that I know I'm effectively breaking them, I think she might be on to something.

Chaos, disorder, problems... I see it and I solve it. And in my mind if I've done it correctly, you never have to know I was there. Communication is one of the major keys to problem solving. I have a knack for it. This post may be disjointed as all get out, but I usually present polished information - whether verbally delivered or via print. I take pride in that.

Mediation is important to me in an effort to reach reconciliation. That doesn't mean everything is delivered in "acceptable," milquetoast, mamby-pambyisms either. But that desire within me to use communication to reach better conclusions, that's a marketable skill. The ability to assimilate information into viable strategies, yeah people pay "consultants" for that.

As another friend said to me recently, "Don't give all that away for free. Do not be afraid to let people know that's how you earn your living." Or in Aisha terms, "My mind is my moneymaker."

I may be the world's latest bloomer but you will feel the light of my life shine on you at some point, whether you know it or not.

I'm building my own sandbox and the castles therein.

17 December 2016

Encourage Yourself

It won't always be like this.
 
I know if "feels" like it hasn't changed, like life will always kick you in the face when you've already fallen down, but surely it will get better at some point.

Surely.

At some point.

Don't give up.

Don't. Give. Up.

Don't you dare give up.

I know you're tired. 

I know you hate this.

You're more than the sum of your failures.

It won't always be like this.

It can't be.

09 October 2016

Excuse Me.


What’s not going to happen here is an excuse
The idea that something so horrid and hurtful can be swept away as “guy talk”
Should be something that makes us all balk
And not because you have a mother, sister, wife or a daughter
But because you are simply human

Why do we have to bargain, to prove our right to exist?
Why should the length of my skirt, or curve of my hip
Or heaven forbid, the kissability of my lips
Be at fault for someone else’s deviant actions?

I was five maybe six the first time my lips came in contact with a man’s penis
I didn’t do anything wrong, I was a child, at the level of kindergarten
What could I have done to make a young man want to know what grows in my garden?

NOTHING!

By the time it happened again, I was six or seven, and this time an older girl did me in
She made me strip down to nothing and let a little boy hump me
While she played to her own satisfaction
My cries and tears, all of my reactions
Meant NOTHING!

As I grew older and withdrew from the femininity within me, everyone assumed I was gay
And if I was, whose business was it anyway?
But perhaps I was just hiding my own beauty, my womanly curves
Perhaps I cursed them because I thought it was my fault

And you see, I can’t count the times my backside has been grabbed,
my breasts pushed up against, the times I’ve been wrapped up from behind while a semi-erect penis pressed into my back
But see, I bet you didn’t know this all the times you called me awkward

I kissed a girl once, I was still a child and so was she, and I never stopped feeling guilty
Because I was six years older than she and I should have known better
Did I do to her what had been done to me?

I’ve painfully contemplated this repeatedly, over a kiss
But I find it’s easy for others to dismiss the actions of full-grown men
Who can’t be told “No” without devolving and giving in
to lustful rage and taking what they think belongs to them

We excuse, we say prison would be too much for him
Yet the survivor is questioned again and again about what she drank
And if she leadingly tempted him?

See, society seems to think “men are only men”
And that somehow that gives them an animalistic pass when dealing with women
That they are only at the mercy of their lusts
And that because of our curves they can’t resist us

And it’s all our fault, and we mean nothing
And our lives are put on trial
And we become a spectacle for a while

Our lives pulled apart, everyone attempting to detect our lives
Excuse me, lies
But we would hand over the highest office to a man who gets off
On preying on someone’s weakness

As if we’re so star struck by wealth and fame
And he considers women a game,
young girls a thing to be toyed with
While the morality crowd tosses him their kiss

And blames actual victims for not fighting back
A moral center is something you lack
When you tell a victim she should be ashamed
That she is responsible and to blame
For the reprehensible, unbelievable things that happened to her

“Maybe you should have…”
Perhaps YOU, yourself should take a step back
Heaven forbid you have to walk an inch in her shoes
And have to fight the feelings and demons she powers through
God bless your soul if you had to pay the same toll

See, I was a child left in hands of protectors, who turned out to be predators
Yet I consider myself lucky to only face what I did
I had to learn to forgive, no not the perpetrators
But myself

I had to set myself free from that closet floor
The place where I wasn’t strong enough to hold closed a door
And part of my innocence was left behind
I did nothing wrong
I’m not the one who needs to be excused
And I won’t excuse the behavior of those who chose to hurt me
I won’t let my little self be their excuse
But I also won’t let this bruise remain on my soul

I will champion the hurt and broken, we share a bond of words not spoken
I won’t let the continued silence of victims be turned against them as violence
You can’t excuse this as lewd words, because there are women behind them that have been hurt

Stop the excuses, reveal the lies
It’s not OK, to continually make survivors cry
Find your moral compass and follow it back
To a place where we’re not blamed for our attacks

If you think I’ve said too much, or that maybe I was too graphic
Perhaps what you should stop to see is that’s a bit tragic
I’ve freed myself from my own fear here
Through these few words I’ve shared

You’ll have to forgive the pain of their truth
I’ve lived through my own nightmare
So you’ll have to forgive me and take this as my proof
Because actions that lead to this kind of pain, are not something I will just excuse

17 September 2016

Dear Arlington

Dear Arlington,
We've had this awkward relationship for a while now. The first time I lived here, I was but a child, 18 years old and attempting to take on the world.

Like many, I showed up to UTA with hopes, dreams, and determination to conquer whatever was thrown at me. Round One went to you. Four years after I arrived I ran home, broken, depressed, insecure and unsure of who I was and what I was meant to do.

All of that hard work, all of the focus, attention, and dedication seemed for naught. You even served as the place I experienced my first real heartbreak. And for all of that, I despised you.

Fast forward, slowly 13-1/2 years and I came back. Not quite as hopeful, more than a bit hesitant, but still looking to fulfill a dream. One that I swore would never live again, that was somehow resurrected through unusual circumstances.

UTA, though seen as a place of defeat was now going to come up off of what was mine - I was going to fight! And fight, I did. And cry, I did. And fail, I did. And disappoint myself, I did. And get up again and again, I did. But I wasn't alone, or trust me, I would have stayed down. So I learned and I grew. You may have broken my heart before, Arlington, but I was willing to try again.

A great community came together to PUSH me forward, to believe when I wouldn't, and to support me when I couldn't. And for all of them, old and new, I thank God. I will not forget the kindness shown to me or what I have learned from each of them. I absolutely would not be here, at this moment, were it not for them.

Last December part of the dream came true. I finally obtained what I set foot at UTA to do, in a different (but the perfect) discipline. I found out more about who I am, and what I was always created to do. Also, that incredibly expensive certificate doesn’t define me; I give it value, not the other way around. (Selah, think on that)

I won’t lie, I didn’t like the process of getting here, but here I stand, prepared for the next round. I am in a new place, sent an invitation from someone who was willing to take a chance; my gratitude for her willingness and faith in my ability knows no bounds.

I have new challenges to face and new roles to embrace. Thanks for all the lessons, and for all the incredible friends, but it’s time for this chapter to come to its end. I am not defined by a title, I am not limited by fear, and so it is with great pleasure I say, “Goodbye Arlington, dear.”

Twelve days until the next chapter begins in McKinney!

21 July 2016

What? If.



What can you do?

If you say anything, you're criticized.
If you do something, you're scandalized.

If you ask for freedom, you're told it's not free.
If you ask for justice, you're given grief.

If you look for empathy, you may be stabbed in the back.
If you search for help, you're told to grab a bootstrap.

If you want the truth, you'll have to wade through lies.
If you want unity, somehow you still have to pick a side.

If you show them your scars, they claim self infliction.
If you want to see change, it's time to move with intention.

If my voice is shaking, I'll still speak with conviction.
If my story bothers you, then YES you're the you that I mentioned.

If we allow this to go uncontested, how will we explain to generations
We had the power to change, but we settled for manipulations?

What will we do?