My Soundtrack of Life

My Soundtrack of Life

I came across a song on Spotify yesterday that made me travel back in time and up to today’s reality within the 3 minutes and change that the song lasted. It reminded me of a song by Musiq that I loved from the moment I first heard the opening melody and provided me with a timely follow-up/update to it. Here’s Greatestlove by Musiq–the song that represents the past.

Baby, you and me, we’re so good together
Look at how we harmonize
Girl, we’re like the perfect melody that keeps getting better
We can stand the test of time
All we had were letters till we formed the words
Started from the lyrics till we found the verses that can bridge us through
Baby, we could be the greatest love song…

And here is the song I found yesterday. I’ve listened to Karina Pasian on YouTube and added her to a couple of playlists, but I had never heard this song until I searched her name in Spotify. I looked for the song on YouTube so that I could share it and only found the live version, which is still good but you can’t hear the lyrics as well as you can, of course, in the official recording. You would think I would have had this epiphany after hearing Melanie Fiona’s Wrong Side of a Love Song, but that song didn’t speak to me the way this one did. Although, I could probably have gone with Toni Braxton’s Another Sad Love Song, but it doesn’t use the metaphor of music like these two (Musiq and Karina) do. Anyway, here’s the song that represents the present.

Now all that’s left of us is just another melody
Just another song I sing
Can’t believe you’re just music on my radio
Not in love with you no more
I’m over you
We used to be a symphony
You used to be my everything

Now you’re just just another melody…

If you know me, you know how much of a music fiend I am, so using music as a metaphor for love is just perfect to me–touches my soul in a special place. I love how songs can capture how I feel at a given moment or over a span of time, so I thought I’d share a little glimpse of my experience (which makes me a wee bit uneasy, but I’m going for the gusto, lol). Happy Friday!

Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas

Good news: I finally found my battery charger, so I’ll have my Buenos Aires pics uploaded today. (And no, the charger wasn’t anywhere weird–I’m just a bad searcher.)

Last night, I went to my __th Red Tie Soiree. Had a good time overall as usual, but I started thinking about just how removed I’ve become from my former “socialite” status. No regrets, but it was still interesting to walk in a place and not know half the people there. Much different from two years ago. Heck, maybe even last year. In any case, I looked and felt like hot stuff, and the girls looked fab as well. Some of us went out of tradition, and some went because one of our friends (it’s not public yet so I won’t say who) is moving to another state, probably before we’ll have a chance to see her again after the holidays. So exciting. I love new opportunities and chapter beginnings, especially for people who are open to them and primed and ready. I think she’ll thrive in her new setting. Congrats, you, if you read my blog!

Another thing that happened last night was a guy I dated (and I mean dated–as in we went out on dates, not we were in a relationship) a while back was there and acting really weird. Like exhibiting borderline “bitchassness”–it was quite bizarre, but interestingly not unexpected. LOL It was one of those things where he would see one of my friends, be really extra with them, hug them, and then turn around and walk the other way before the chance to acknowledge my presence appeared. At first, I was just going to hug him to show him there are no hard feelings (that end was a bizarro, strange, weird, unexplained deal but it is what it is, yanno #movingon), but he made it so obvious that he didn’t want to even speak that I didn’t make him suffer through the experience of actually having a brief, friendly convo with me. I will say that that whole thing made me grateful that it never went beyond going out every now and then. Sometimes when things don’t work out and you don’t really know why, you just have to remember that God knows what He’s doing. Last night drove that point home.

Which is a great thing because sometimes you need those reminders that God makes no mistakes. I’m going through an (totally unrelated and different) experience now that I don’t really understand or comprehend well, but I’m trying to keep my focus a song that I used to sing in the choir when I growing up: He knows just how much we can bear. It gets rough, but I know (and sometimes I have to settle for hoping I know) that in the end, things work together for the good.

So enough of that. I’ve been having some food issues lately which is not cool because y’all know I love to eat and it’s the friggin holidays!! So I’ve found a couple of recipes that I plan to try if I have the energy. So I’ll share them if I try them and if they turn out yummy. I will say that all those reports you read about the importance of breakfast and water. HEED THAT. Make it a habit, if it’s not already, asap so that you never have to learn the hard way how important they are!

Well, I got thangs to do before I can head home to spend quality time with my family. So I’ll be back with the BA pics later on, and I may post a couple more times. But until then, I hope all you have productive, positive weeks!!

MLM: Good friends, good music, good conversation

MLM: Good friends, good music, good conversation

I found this post, written on 1/8/04.  I took a little bit of it out cuz I have some present day things to say. 🙂

I thought this post was interesting because:

1-I was just thinking about how I haven’t been to Apache on a Wednesday in soooooooo long (way too long) and I ran into one of my old Apache buddies when I was leaving How Sweet the Sound, which was such a great concert, Saturday night.

2-This post talks a little about how much singing means to me.  Saturday night, while at the gospel concert, I was thinking, if I would just take my little busy bee butt to choir rehearsal, it’s possible that I’d be on stage right now.  Then on Sunday, I went to the studio and started laying down a track for a songwriter/producer friend of mine who is trying to sell a song and thought my voice was perfect for it even though it’s been years since he heard me sing. Singing is definitely a release, and I felt better when I left.  I dunno why I don’t make singing more of a priority.  I say this at least 4 times every year. 🙂

3-This little metaphor about boys and jeans that I wrote over 6 years ago made me smile so I want to share.

It’s a morose Monday for me because it was cold as ever this morning (48 degrees), and I’m having some other little issues.  But maybe some noon time sunshine and an email or two will make me feel a little happier.  Enjoy the post, and I hope you’re in for a mucho productive week!

Last night I had a wonderful time. We went to Apres Diem for dinner first then to Apache, which is one of my fave spots. Thank you to my home girl Mo for taking me there a year ago. Music is so good for the soul, I tell you. At first, I was getting agitated because there were no seats, and I was getting a little weary. Then one of the girls I was with debo’ed a table, and shortly after two more seats opened up, and I really enjoyed myself after that. I felt so glamorous too. Half the time I really don’t see anything in my closet to wear, but when I am trying to dress up, I think I do it right. I think I get that from my mama. [[words omitted]] So I’m sitting there, sipping on my White Zinfandel and enjoying the company three other black sistas, and I realize that I could get used to that. Just going out, chillin, getting wrapped up in the music. One day, I’m going to get over my chronic shyness and go up there and share a talent, share some emotions. But until then, I’ll be content feeling what other people are trying to relay and singing my heart out in the shower, in the car, and at church (while I’m in the congregation and everybody is singing).

[[words omitted]]
During dinner, my friend and I talked about alot of stuff, and one thing that she said that I am really thinking about now is that guys are like pairs of jeans. And this is both our thoughts together. We see some really cute ones, and we try them on, and they maybe fit in the waist, but not the hips. Or they fit up top but aren’t long enough. And sometimes we try on a pair that would look so good if only we could button them up or if only this, if only that, and we try and we try and we try to make them fit, but they just don’t. So we have to realize that and put them back on the rack. And maybe they were the perfect jeans, but you’re just not the right size at the time. Maybe you’ve gained weight and they would have fit before, or maybe you’re going to lose some later on, but right now, they just don’t fit. But we have to keep trying different pairs on, even if we’re disappointed about that one pair. Cuz if we don’t keep trying, we’ll never find those jeans that just fit. I wonder if I’ll ever find my pair of jeans. But I guess I do need to stop holding on to my favorite pair of jeans that split by the back pocket one day (this is for real), and get it made into a cute purse or something so that I can always cherish the memory, and go back to the mall and start trying on jeans again.

By the way, I still have those jeans.  They actually made into my throw away pile FINALLY a couple of days ago. How hilarious is that!  Now, in case you’re having a morose Monday like me, here are a couple of songs that always make me feel better.

MLM: How to Deal with a Broken Heart

MLM: How to Deal with a Broken Heart

Now let’s be clear: I don’t have one, lol–but I’ve definitely experienced my share of hurt and disappointment.  As I was searching through my archives, this post grabbed me, so I’m hoping one of my readers needs to see this.  I shared this on 8/19/2003.

This was going to be a phenomally long post because I wanted to share a couple of emails. I guess I have sounded really dark lately (so my friends tell me) so I’ve been getting inspiration emails. I really am fine, y’all. There is a season for everything. Anywho, two of the emails were really nice, but I will only share the one my ma sent me this morning right now. Hopefully, someone who needs it will come across my page. And I’ll be able to find it later without having to keep the email.

MountainWings A MountainWings Moment
#3231 Wings Over The Mountains of Life
————————————————-
How do you mend a broken heart?

We get a lot of prayer requests asking to simply pray for their broken heart.  So what do you do when you’ve got a broken heart?

Here are four steps that will help you up that mountain.

1. Occupy 2. Gratify 3. Sanctify 4. Glorify.

Occupy:
Occupy your time, don’t sit around moping. Do something. Idleness is the soil of self-pity and depression. Get busy. The best thing that you can do is to do something that helps others. It’s a universal principle that when you start focusing on helping others, your own problems are diminished. Don’t just stand there, DO SOMETHING!

Gratify:
Write a list of the things you like, then pick three of those things and put those things in your life – now. Make sure you can afford them and that they aren’t harmful. When our hearts are broken, we often deprive ourselves of the things we enjoy. Make an effort to put enjoyment in your life.

Sanctify:
Do good. Don’t return evil for evil, hurt for hurt, pain for pain. Don’t wish something horrible would happen to the other person. Hope for their good fortune in your spirit, and it just may release your good fortune in your world. The easiest way to forget someone, is to truly wish them well.

Glorify:
Life is not over. You can live without them. Not only can you live without them, you can live even happier without them. It is a matter of perspective. Even with the negative in your world at the moment, there is something to be thankful for. There is plenty to be thankful for actually. Give God the glory for what you have. You can’t be sad and thankful at the same time. Tell heartbreak to move over. There is a sermon on http://www.TheOnlineWord.com called, “Breaking the 3-Way Tie, How to Break Soul, Sex and Spirit Ties.” If you or someone you know is suffering from a broken heart, they might do well to listen to it.

A famous comedian said, “A man isn’t a man until he’s had his heart broken.”

It’s not really broken, it’s just tenderized.

Today will be a good day!

And as it was in 2003, I hope you’re having a great day today!  Here’s a great song from Destiny’s Child. 🙂

Ain’t no feeling like being free
When your mind’s made up and your heart’s in the right place, yeah
Ain’t no feeling like being free
When you’ve done all you could and was misunderstood
Ain’t no feeling like being free
I’m like an eagle set free and finally I’m looking out for me
Ain’t no feeling like being free
Cuz my mind’s made up and my heart is in the right place, yeah

What is love?

What is love?

So last night I posted a Miki Howard video just because that’s what I was listening to, but overnight it grew into a full-fledged blog post.  Saturday, I saw this and it struck something inside me.

Of course, it wasn’t new to me.  But reading it at that moment just sparked something that I guess finally came to a head when I listened to Miki crooning last night.

I’m definitely not a relationship expert, but I have learned some things over my few lil years in this world.  Love, of all types, is one of those topics that covers so much that it’s hard to talk about.  I mean, really… what is love?

My fave thing to say about love, though, is that it’s not just a noun–it’s a verb.  To have love for people is to show love for people.  If it’s love for the community, you  need to be doing something for the community.  If it’s love for your family, you need to be contributing something to their health and well-being. (And currently, I’m thinking of my mother and her love for my grandfather, which is a whole other post about the highs and lows of caring for the elderly.)  If it’s a romantic love, it’s not enough to be woo-woo’ing in someone’s ear about how much you heart them–those are sweet little nothings until some actions are aligned.

One thing I’ve had to learn is that I have to be choosy (had to do that one for Aaliyah, R.I.P.) about who I dedicate my energy, my time, my patience, my love to.  All that is so simply yet eloquently written in 1 Corinthians goes both ways.  My love needs to be all those things, but I also have to remember that I deserve all those things.  And if I’m not receiving that, I should love myself more and walk away.  I mean really, we spend so much of our lives pouring ourselves into other people, not always taking the time to really evaluate if we’re giving out the right type of love to right people. And then we wonder why we’re so drained and bitter.  What we’re pouring out, we should be getting back some kinda way. Love isn’t a finite thing with a usage limit. There’s plenty to go around and it multiplies when it’s shared. You don’t have to be a martyr for love. Give some, and make sure you’re getting some.

So when someone comes around, whether a new friend or a new romantic interest, and is really positive and invested and caring, you have to be appreciative to the One above for placing that source of energy into your life. You can be thankful for the chance to give some of that patient, unselfish, hopeful love AND for the chance to recognize and receive it.  So, sang it, Miki.

Experience is a good teacher
It takes someone like me to know
All the little games people tend to play
Some call it love: It never has a chance to grow

The closed sign on my door, I had to tear it down
A new world of happiness turned me completely around

36 Things for the Single Ladies

36 Things for the Single Ladies

Today, I read this post, which was a result of a blogger stumbling across this list.  Every leader should know how to be a good follower, right?  Well, I’m following suit and sharing what I’ve done in this list (by bold type). To all you single gals (and guys) out there, how much of this list have you conquered?  **I think it’s important to note that at some point, you have to consciously enjoy/bask in/take advantage of being single.  Time and place for everything. Don’t look back one day and wish you had seen the benefits of being single.**  Now that that is said, do you think anything is missing from this list?

36 Things Every Single Girl Must Do Before She Settles Down

**To Build Your Confidence**

1. Go to a movie alone. [I am a movie fanatic. I’ll probably always do this from time to time!]

2. Lift weights. [Now ask me when the last time I lifted weights was, and you may think I need to unbold this one.]

3. Try surfing, water-skiing, or some activity you don’t already know how to do. Could be riding a bicycle. [Wouldn’t everyone logically be able to bold this one? I mean, the first time you did any activity, you didn’t know what you were doing yet, right?]

4. Take out the trash, set a mousetrap, do your taxes, build a bookcase. [I’m good on the mousetrap…]

5. Live alone, or at least move apartments in NYC without the help of family.

6. Train for (and finish) a huge physical test like a half-marathon. [Does playing coed softball count?]

7. Go to a scary doctor’s appointment by yourself. [I’ve done this, and it was because I was too proud to ask someone to come with me and hold my hand.  Luckily, one of my friends had the graciousness to surprise me and be there when I got back to the lobby leaking tears.  I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing this just for the sake of it.  There’s nothing wrong with single folk asking their friends or family for support.]

8. Quit your job.

9. Fly to a foreign country by yourself. [I wasn’t by myself technically, but I was with a group of people I didn’t know, so I’m counting this one.]

10. Learn to stand up for yourself.

**To Be Able to Look Back and Say “I Had Fun”**

11. Witness something once-in-a-lifetime, like Jokulsarlon, a lake next to a melting glacier in Iceland. [errr… I mean, I don’t really remember so I’ll go with no?]

12. Revel in being able to watch all the TV you want.

13. Get drunk during the day, just because you can. Attend Santacon, the convention for santas, or similar. [I’ve never gotten drunk in the daytime, but how ladylike is that? I’ve had drinks during the day, though.]

14. Go on a date with someone who actually makes you nervous. [:)]

15. Go out with an older man who takes you somewhere nice and makes you feel like a million bucks.

16. Go out with a guy who makes you laugh ‘til it hurts.

**To Get Perspective**

17. Be a good wingwoman. It’s not always about you.

18. Chill with your widowed and single grandma. She knows “alone”! [Since my grandfather passed last year, this one isn’t so lighthearted for me as it comes across in the wording.  Don’t know how I feel about this one, but yes, I’ve spent quality time with her since then.]

19. Volunteer. [Y’all know I do plenty of this.  But lemme tell you why I think giving your time to someone who needs it is a huge one.  It’s good for you and your soul, and it’s good practice in sacrifice (which I hear is, in moderation, necessary for healthy, long-lasting relationship).]

**To Make You Appreciate the Next Guy**

20. Do at least one Valentine’s Day alone. […I mean, ok. I can’t say this was necessarily on purpose, but I’m pretty comfortable with giving myself, my family, and my friends love on Love Day.]

21. Attend a wedding (or 15) alone.

22. Date the creeps. You’ll really value the nice guys afterward. [This was not by choice though. Again, wouldn’t recommend anyone do this on purpose… C’mon now.]

**To Make You Feel Sexy and Attractive**

23. Buy yourself some flowers.

24. Invest in a LBD (little black dress) and some sexy stilettos.

25. Sit at a bar by yourself and drink a martini. Cool. [I have a sneaking suspicion that I have done this. But since I can’t recall a specific time, I’ll leave it.]

26. Buy something frivolous and expensive that you LOVE wearing.

**To Make the Most of Your Free Time**

27. Finish all your schooling if you can. [I’m bolding this, not because I’m “finished” but because I already have 4 degrees so if I decided I were done, who would question me? I’m not convinced I’m done though. I absolutely love learning.]

28. Throw yourself into something time-consuming, like learning a foreign language. You may not have time to do this again until you retire and the kids are off to college. [I could write a whole blog post about all the time-consuming stuff I’ve delved into. Anything that’s worth doing probably isn’t all that quick, right?]

**To Make Yourself a Better Partner in the Future**

29. Make a list of all your faults. [I’d like to refer to them as my areas for improvement. I also listed my assets. Focus on positivity.]

30. Learn to cook well. [And bake too.]

31. Get some hobbies. Something’s gotta keep you occupied—plus it’ll make you seem interesting. [Reading, playing softball, going to the movies, crocheting, blogging, etc.]

32. Let your married friends edit your online dating profile. [If I had an online dating profile, I’d probably do this.]

33. Get your finances in order. [This isn’t a concrete thing. They’ve been in order before. Headed back in that direction now.]

**To Appreciate Being Single**

34. Babysit someone’s baby for an hour. [Hey, I have 2 nieces and 7 nephews, so…]

35. Help a friend through her divorce or a bad break-up.

36. Host a girls-only night. I think some coupled-up women forget how much we need each other. [I’ve done girls-only nights, days, trips–who doesn’t like hanging with the homies?]

**Things not on this list but on Nada Dee’s list**

37. Road-trip alone. I think this is a true test of how comfy you are with yourself.  I’ve taken myself places just because I wanted to be unencumbered by anyone else’s schedules, timelines, and desires.  Great way to sort out thoughts too.

38. Maintain a roster. I know several people who believe that once they meet someone, they must devote all their time and attention to that person, even before any semblance of a conversation about exclusivity occurs.  To each her own, but as my mom told me as a youngin learning the dating ropes, until you’re married, you’re single.  So without established boundaries, I never assumed that I should behave like I’m in a committed relationship.  Have some fun, meet new people, enjoy getting to know them, and really make an educated decision about who you want to pursue something deeper with.

39. Create a vision board. Where are you going in life? What do you want? Can you really merge your life with someone else’s if you don’t really know the value of yours? Sit down, write down all your dreams and short-term and long-term goals, then make it plain by creating a board that you can hang up and look at regularly, reminding you of what you need to be working on to achieve your heart’s desires.

40. Romance yourself. I dunno what your idea of romance is, but whatever it is, do it for yourself.  Go get a massage, make yourself bubble baths, light candles during a self-prepared dinner, sleep in something that makes you feel good about yourself, etc.

What else should singles do before they settle down?  Any other ideas?

The Intermittent Rigamarole of My Life

The Intermittent Rigamarole of My Life

Yes, rigamarole is a real word.

From dictionary.com:

rig·a·ma·role (rĭg’ə-mə-rōl’) 
n. Variant of rigmarole.

rig·ma·role (rĭg’mə-rōl’) 
n.

  1. Confused, rambling, or incoherent discourse; nonsense.
  2. A complicated, petty set of procedures.

When things that seem to make all the sense in the world become confusing and chaotic, what do you do?  I am looking forward to clearing my mind with some hot yoga in the morning.  I know that all things work out the way they’re supposed to, but it’s sometimes difficult for me to shift to find the new perspective.  Oh, I will shift.  Without a doubt.  But there’s a delayed reaction. Maybe (hopefully) it’s just for a little while.  And by little while, I mean a quick moment.  Lofty, but possible, right?  It’s just hard being vulnerable and not in control.  But ever the risk taker, I can’t help but try, even if it ends in failure. I bump my head and get back up after as soon as I’m no longer dizzy.

So until I make that shift that facilitates my ability to have a positive perspective, this is for me and anyone else there that is having some trouble sorting stuff out.

Be still, young heart, and never will you fall apart.
Be wise, my dear, you must learn to just be still
Until you really really know.
Show me your eye, shine your light, I wonder when will i know.