Excuse me while I procrastinate…

So, I’m a major procrastinator…

It’s most likely one of my biggest downfalls, but once I get going, I get to going.

Okay, so I just procrastinated on writing a blog about procrastinating.  WHO DOES THAT?!

My problem is so real.  I’ve been procrastinating on writing a business plan for like…months now.  Do you want to know why?

*whispers* because it scares me.  

When I start trying to focus on things other than what I’m supposed to be doing, it’s because the task I’ve been given scares me or I’m a little worried about what other people will think…which is also why I have an on/off relationship with this blog, ya dig?

So, I have decided to:

  1. “Take it one step at a timeeeee.  There’s no need to rushhhh.”- Thank you Jordan Sparks
  2. STOP MAKING EXCUSES!  You! Yes you, Ashley!
  3. Just do it.  This is for your future.  So you need to do it.

Sheesh.  Let’s hope this works.  Happy Sunday!

 

 

 

My Life is Rose Gold.

I’m backkkkkkk!

im back meme

 Temporarily or forever.  Time is a social construct.

Any who, I’ve noticed that the last time I blogged a lot was going on, especially in my state.  Things have changed…we have a whole new president and a new administration and a new set of things to be concerned about.  Nevertheless, I’m alive and in my right mind, as my Grandma says, so things are okay.

Lately I’ve tried to live each day with more intention.  I’ve tried to find the joy in the little things so that I can keep chugging along on my journey.  Some days have been tougher than others, and some have been easy.

TRANSPARENCY AHEAD 

I’ve been really hard on myself lately because I’m not where I want to be in certain areas of my life.  I’ve found peace with a number of areas in my life that I’ve had difficulty in, but I’ve been struggling with feelings of incompleteness.  Now, I’m complete in many areas of my life: I’ve finally in a place where I truly love myself, I’m in a loving marriage, I know I’m valuable and I know that I’m great.  Lately I’ve been feeling like money could solve all my problems (which is funny because this is the most obedient I’ve been with my finances in a really long time).  I’ve only been extending completeness to loving feelings, but I’ve learned that it extends far beyond that.

I was napping after church, like I usually do, with a lot on my mind.  I woke up with a something I felt I should share.  Almost everything I’m ever given from God is always for me, but what’s the point in not sharing.  Sharing is caring, right? Right.  When Jesus died for us we were instantly granted the freedom to go to God for ourselves.  We were made complete before we were even born.  The cross goes beyond what I had ever imagined and I’m so glad to know that I’m complete, with or without money or any other material thing I needed.

This by no means is a spiritual blog or a blog on religion.  It’s a blog for and about me and the things I go through.  I’m thankful for all the life lessons I’m able to go through.  The key for me is to remember that I don’t go through things I GROW through things.

Don’t cry for me, North Carolina.

Okay, so as many of you know, I live in Charlotte.  This past week has been filled with sadness and pride.  Sadness because of the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by a police officer, and pride in the fact that many protested this tragedy and made their voices heard.  I planned a trip to visit my best friend in Asheville, NC and I traveled there over the weekend.  Thankful for a place to vent my frustrations with the events of the week I stayed in Asheville, praying constantly for my husband and brothers and all those protesting back in Charlotte.

14390828_1292804450730881_6783659766123137151_n

Protest in Charlotte.  Photographed by my friend, Mario Turner, of Leaking Every Vision Inside.

While in Asheville, me and my girls were walking downtown when a young white man stopped dead in his tracks after seeing us coming towards him.  He was talking on the cell phone, but stopped talking and turned around and said “I just want to say that I love y’all and I don’t want anything bad to happen to y’all”.  It’s not often that you’re told by a complete stranger that they don’t want anything bad to happen to you, but it was something different about him.  He seemed apologetic about the shooting and almost a little guilty.  He apologized like he did the shooting himself.  We kind of brushed it off and high-fived him, but minutes later we were face to face with another white man saying the same types of things.  He told us that it was all love and that he didn’t want anything bad to happen to us.  While I felt super great knowing that these white strangers cared about my well-being, I also had a wondering thought that hasn’t left me since: I wonder if he’s telling his white counterparts that our lives matter.  I wonder if he tells them that he cares about our well-being.

14448826_1292804477397545_8112774691578020954_n

White guilt is when a white person feels bad about the racist actions of other white people against minority groups.  This is often displayed to show the minority group that the individual experiencing the guilt is on their side.  I’m positive that the young man felt guilty about the oppression of black people, but instead of displaying his grief and heartfelt apologies to me, he should tell his white counterparts how he feels.  If he, or any other white person, feels guilty for the mistreatment and blatant murder of black Americans through the militant police officers of this country then he should express this to other white people.  Black people alone cannot end systemic racism.  It’s going to take all of us.  In order to let our voices be heard louder in the streets we need all our voices to be heard.  Displaying your sadness to me does nothing, but makes me feel nice in the moment.

14390852_1292804344064225_1062988077441917151_n

 While I don’t know what this particular young white man talks about or does in his spare time to rally for our movement, I can only hope that he’s just not feeling in the moment.  Being black is something that I live every single day.  Feeling in the moment doesn’t exist for me because I live in my black skin every day.   I can only hope that those who feel empathy for us are also willing to rally beside us.  Correct your friends who have negative bias against black people.  Don’t let people talk bad about or mistreat us publicly and privately.  Don’t just sit in your guilty feelings…action always speak louder than words.

 

All photo credit goes to my friend, Mario Turner.  He is the owner of Leaking Every Vision Inside, located in Charlotte, NC.

 

Reasons why I’m not here for it. At all.

So, today has been a day.  Mr. Terence Crutcher died earlier this week by the hands of the police.  There is not a logical reason that I’ve heard for why the police fired their weapons at him and you cannot convince me of one. There is a dash cam video SHOWING Mr. Crutcher complying with officers with his hands in the air ONLY TO BE SHOT SECONDS LATER.  If that isn’t enough, right in my hometown of Charlotte, NC a black man was killed for alleged having a firearm.  It has been reported the officer yelled “He has a gun” and shot him four times.  No warning.  No reasoning.  Just out here exterminating Black folk like roaches. All of these events, plus the MANY other victims of death by cops have me heated.  I’m OVER ALL OF IT TODAY…and here’s why:

  1.  The top headline on CNN’s website at some point today has been about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce.  When I tell you I do not care about this I truly mean it.  Both of them have millions and neither pays my bills.  NEXT!
  2. The all lives, blue lives, cat lives matters people are still in existence.  I still don’t understand why this is a thing.  IF ALL LIVES TRULY MATTERED TO YOU THEN YOU WOULD BE MAD WITH US!  Simple as that.
  3. If we can’t protest kneeling at the anthem then what can we do?!  Just leave us alone.    You get mad when we’re in the streets.  You get mad when we silently protest.  Stop trying to take our right to protest away.  No one takes away your right to say or do whatever you want.  Clearly, no one has taken away corrupt cops’ right to wrongfully murder us.  So boom.
  4. Lastly, I just don’t care about what you’ve got going on right now.  On Facebook, we’ve shared in triumph at a marriage, birth of a baby, kids got straight A’s in school and all the things in between.  We’ve grieved the death of family members, the victims of the Orlando shooting, September 11th and every sad moment that goes unmentioned.  If you feel close enough to me to appreciate all of the joy I feel when I talk about my husband or my job or anything else, then empathize with me when I grieve with my brothers and sisters during this difficult time.   I don’t want to hear your rebuttal to anything I have to post on my Facebook.  I don’t want to see anything you post that goes against the fact that Black lives are being taken constantly by the hands of the police.  I don’t want to hear any of that.  I’m over stifling my feelings to keep friends that I only talk to or see ONCE A YEAR.  My heart physically hurts by all that’s going on in this country and I have the right to be over all of it.

Sometimes I write…

So, sometimes I write short stories and poems.  I’ve decided to post some of my hobby on my blog as a way for me to come out of my shell.  Maybe this will encourage me to write more…who knows.  I took Creative Writing in college as a hobby class and did a lot of my writing during this time.  I reread a lot of the stuff I’ve written back then and realized that writing was a form of therapy for me.  I wrote a lot of this during my therapy and my sad time.  Anyways, I’m rambling.  The piece has no title:

Trace the outline of my tattoo with your finger as I caress your head.

Let your hands trail the length of my arm,

Gently grab my hands as I plant a peck on yours.

We don’t have to touch because you know it’s real.

Fill the silence of our empty words with jovial humming

That makes me remember why I’m here.

And if you ever forget…just look at how my eyes glow when we’re together.

And when I forget, I’ll just go back to the time you whispered “You’re perfect.”

Exist in a single monetary space…with me.

Here.

There.

It’s really doesn’t matter where.

It’s been a year…already.

I often describe love as a beautiful nightmare.  I know that sounds super morbid, but hear me out.  Love is so wonderful and so beautiful.  When you find someone who loves you so deeply it’s amazing, but it’s scary.  This one person holds your heart in their hand, leaving you vulnerable to anything.  They can both make your entire day and destroy your entire life.

image2

My husband and I have been on our journey together for almost 4 years.  We’ve had such wonderful moments together and we’ve had some terrible times together.  I’ve learned so much about love and life during the time that we’ve been together and I couldn’t imagine sharing my life journey with anyone else…he felt the same way…that’s why we got married.

image1

Marques and I got married one whole year ago today!  They always say the first year is the roughest and they’re probably right.  We’ve grown so much in this year together.  Marriage is as hard as people say, but being with him makes it all worth it.  He makes me smile on the inside.  He makes me heart happy.  He pushes me to follow my dreams and he works so hard so that we both can achieve our goals.  He makes me want to be a better person.  I couldn’t imagine being married to anyone else.

image3

Marques, if you’re reading this, thank you for being you.  Thank you for listening to my stupid stories and for putting up with my Friends obsession every night.  Thank you for pushing me to follow my dreams and to be the best I can be.  Thank you for all that you’ve taught me about politics and taxes.Thank you for spoiling me in your own special way.  Thank you for not stifling my independence.  You’re a wonderful husband and I love you more than the amount of words I could ever type.

 Happy Anniversary, babe.

IMG_1276

 

The ART of letting go.

When I was younger, I used to hold on to a bunch of crap.  When people were mean to me or would do wrong by me I would go cry to my Mommy and she would always asked why I cared so much.  To be honest, I just wanted to be liked.  A large part of that followed me into my adult years, until I realized that I shouldn’t care.  Whomever was meant to be in my life would stay with me, and God would remove the ones who didn’t.  It was hard to let go of some of these relationships, but some things helped me get through:

  1. It’s not you…it’s them.  God has a way of removing obstacles and hindrances from our lives so that we can grow.  Sometimes those obstacles are people and the relationships with these people are hindrances.  That relationship may have to falter in order for you to grow.
  2. It’s not them…it’s you.  This is a hard one to handle once you come into realization of this, but you maybe the hindrance.  Maybe your relationship with someone is stifling their ability to grow and move on.  You have to accept this realization and move on for their good.  Sometimes relationships falter in order for you both to grow.
  3. Work with what you’ve got.  I became a better friend to the people I’m around, a better sisters to my brother, a better wife and a better daughter once I gave up and let go of things I was holding on to.

CaptureI wrote this 5 years ago when I was 20 years old.  Sometimes I do let things get me down and do let people get to me, but in those moments thank God for who He allows to reach me and let it go.  I know it’s hard to let things go sometimes, but it’s so healthy and helps you be the best you for the people that need you.

Empty.

You were worthy the day they put you on a boat and shipped you away from the life you knew.  You were worthy when they built this country on your back and made you feel like an alien in it.  You were worthy when they beat you, raped you, hung you and berated you.  You were born worthy and will remain this way…even if they cannot see your worth.

I shouldn’t have to live in a country where I worry about my husband and brothers walking, driving, speaking, breathing.  blacklivesmatter-2

Let’s go away for a while…

I love to virtually explore.  I daydream often.  It helps me escape from my current task and breaks up the monotony of my day.  This, my friend, is called escapism and I’m sure that everyone does it.  It helps get through tough and difficult times.  I’ve been escaping for my entire life, but I don’t think I ever dealt with the situation at hand once I came back to reality, which could be dangerous.

escapism

Many people have different ways of escaping.  For example, my best friend watches television to escape.  One of my other friends wraps her mind around a good book.  Personally, I like to play The Sims, watch movies and daydream.  So often my daydreams take me to this place that I enjoy and I lose real time.

I would escape away from sadness, anger, grief and sometimes even happiness.  Escaping caused me to deal with problems way after they occurred and even affected my ability to deal with confrontation.  Now, when I’m hurt or angry I just let myself feel the emotion.  God created us with emotions for a reason, otherwise we would be numb to all feeling.  If you escape by not dealing with your problems, I encourage you to let yourself feel the emotion.  We’re given these feelings for a reason and escaping doesn’t solve every problem because it’s temporary.

How do you escape?

So, about Father’s Day…

Father’s Day is a tough one for me and has been almost my entire life.  See, my father died when I was a little girl and he died tragically and unexpectedly.  When I was a kid I was upset at the time of his death, but quickly went on to playing with dolls and things.  Every once in a while I would get upset that I didn’t have a dad like the other kids, but I always had my Mommy to show me love.  One year I even bought her a Father’s Day gift.

10562544_10202594690333781_1934929830288215637_o

The thing is that a mother’s love is so much different than love from your daddy.  My mom is amazing, but she can’t teach me things that a dad can.  For years I felt like I hadn’t missed anything.  I learned a lot about my dad and the mistakes he made…I became bitter and figured that I was better off without him or anyone like him.  I realized that I was holding on to this pain and resentment and decided that I needed to forgive in order to be happy.  So I did just that.  I forgave my dad back in college and since then I’ve felt this huge piece of my life missing.  I had blocked so much out over the years and all of these feelings just came into my life.  One thing I know for sure is that my Daddy loved me.  It’s been hard growing up without a dad.  I missed him when I went to my one and only father daughter dance. I missed him when I graduated from high school and college.  I missed him when I bought my first car.  I missed him when I walked down the aisle.  I miss him when I see my friends interact with their dads.  I miss him every day.

img005

Dad, I wish we had more time together and I wish you could see the life that I live.  Today is going to be hard, but I will get through, like I do every year.  Eventually it will get easier and thankfully I have God, who makes everything a little easier.  If you have your dad in your life, cherish him for those of us who are fatherless.  If you’re a father, please stay in your children’s lives.  Fatherhood is such a beautiful thing and should be cherished.