Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Last night a friend of mine posed the question:

What happens after happily ever after?

I replied that there is no after after the after. Got that?
“Happily ever after” is the rest of time. After the story ends, no matter what else happens during “happily ever after,” the main characters will be okay.  They will overcome obstacles, and life will continue to be worth living.

So why have I been searching for “happily ever after”?  I’m already in it! My life is definitely worth living, and I already know through the blood of Christ, that I’ve already overcome all of my obstacles.  Every minute of every day won’t be “happy,” but I know that through my pain, I find greater appreciation for joy.  Because of all the goodness in my life, I can find joy in my life despite hardships and disappointments.

You have to find “ever after” with the Most High.  It really is all about perspective.  What do we choose to focus on?  Would you rather worry or meditate?  Both require focus–the only difference is the object of that focus.  For instance, I have had some romantic failures.  I am lonely.  Long term companionship seems to evade me.  BUT should I focus on that? Or should I focus on my family, my friends, all my wonderful accomplishments and triumphs, all the projects I have going, all the dreams that I know will one day come to fruition…  Umm, my life is kinda awesome.  No really… It is.

As a dear friend told me during a crying spell, if the only thing wrong is my loneliness and I have everything else pretty much going well, why am I spending my energy on the loneliness?  As I continue to move forward in life, I have to trust that “one day my prince will come” (and stay).  And positivity comes from focusing on all the great stuff.  It’s like the serenity prayer says:

Romance is not the only piece to that “happily ever after” thing.  But having a relationship with Christ is.

It’ll take a whole other post to discuss it, but once we as human beings submit to Christ and reflect his light, we are then able to submit to one another.  I look forward to the day I will reflect the light of some great man who will cherish and adore me.  But until then, I’ll be patient. I am okay with rolling solo, being who I was made to be.

Erykah Badu, as y’all know, is one of my favorite artists.  And she captured what’s in my heart very well in this song.  Enjoy.

I’m an orange moon, reflecting the light of the Son (sun)…

I’m an orange moon, and I shine so bright cuz I reflect the light of my Sun
I praise the day He turned my way and smiled at me
He gets to smile and I get to be orange

Life Lessons on MARTA

Life Lessons on MARTA

So, at lunch, I decided to take a trek on MARTA to support a friend (Black Tie BBQ – check them out for delish food!!), and as fate would have it, I’d have a lightbulb moment randomly.  Which makes sense.  I live by randomness, it seems.

Anywho, on to the lesson.  Currently, I’m reading Blackgammon, which is the story of two black American women who are searching for love (or maybe running from it) and freedom in Europe. The book has been right on time, so naturally, I was really into it when it was time for me to change trains at Five Points.  As I stood on the platform waiting for a westbound train, enthralled by my book, I heard the whir of a train pass me.  I looked up and saw the lights of the train leaving me.  Oh no! I thought…  I have to wait 6 whole minutes for the next train.  Sheesh!  Me and this dangblasted book.  How in the world did I completely not hear the train when it arrived?  (Another reason is because it was a short train–the Bankhead train, which is about half the size of a normal MARTA train and I was too far down on the platform.)

So I moved closer to the center of the platform and took a seat and began reading again, careful to glance up every minute or so at the sign announcing the wait time for the next train.  The next train came. Something felt very wrong about it as I stood there missing another train.  Then it dawned on me!  I wasn’t supposed to catch that train–it’s going in the wrong direction!  I was supposed to be waiting on the eastbound train!!  Too hot (and lazy) to run, I took my time and went around the station to get to the eastbound platform.  And sure enough, when I got to the platform, a train came.  Right on time.

<MESSAGE!>

In life, sometimes things seem to be going right and then suddenly, something happens to derail all of it and you’re left wondering “How in the world did that happen?”  Or sometimes although things are great, you come to a unexpected juncture, and you think you’re going the right way, but then you realize that way has a barbed wire fence blocking it.  Maybe, just maybe, it’s there for a reason. Maybe that missed out opportunity wasn’t what you were supposed to be doing anyway.  Maybe it would have taken you in the wrong direction, on to the wrong path.  Maybe once you realize that and go to where you need to be, what you need will be there, waiting on you–always right on time.

Disappointments come.  They’re a part of life.  But the perspective surrounding those disappointments can be positive if you remember that everything happens for a reason and the way they’re supposed to.  You just need to be aware and open for some clarity and enlightenment.

There’s a reason for everything that comes and goes…

Love and Randomness

Love and Randomness

Love is in the air.  While it seems to be darting every which-a-way when it enters a 5 yard radius of me, it’s so great to see my friends swooning and being wooed. Black love exists!! (Despite the media alarms that it’s endangered–it still exists.) It’s something special to see your friends giddy and grinning.  What’s more uplifting than the aura of love infused in the atmosphere?  Positivity is contagious!  Let it infect you!

There’s nothing like the feeling of a new connection.  The stolen glances at the guy across the room whose good looks caught your eye. The charming smile sent your way to acknowledge that the interest is mutual.  The instant spark you feel as soon as he enters your energy field to introduce himself and find out who you are.  The natural flirting that neither of you can help.  It feels great when you go out on your first (and second and third) date and your heart flutters as he dotes on you and stares into you, learning you, allowing himself to be learned.  And it’s astounding when you could talk to him until daylight or when you can sit with him without a word spoken.

It’s really only supposed to work out once–which means it won’t work out who knows how many times before that.  Although I sometimes kick myself for being (maybe too) open and vulnerable, I wouldn’t trade those immensely charged feelings of being connected to someone, desire, anticipation, hope, inspiration, promise for the hope of never feeling disappointed, rejected, abandoned.  You won’t know if it’s meant to be unless you step out on faith and see.

Love is in the air.  Jump up and grab some.

Be true to you.

Be true to you.

I got an extremely random set of text messages today, and it got me thinking. I want to share with you my conclusion from the exchange.

Lesson of the Day:  Be true to yourself. Consider advice from others, but make your own decisions. Follow your own heart and conscience.  At the end of the day, no one will live with ur regrets but you. So why be bound by other people’s opinions?

I was blessed to have parents who believed in letting me be me.  When I was faced with the decision of whether or not to skip my senior year of high school and start college at 16, my mom said, “This one is on you.  I’m not going to make this decision for you and have you resenting me one day if you don’t do what you really want.”  I will always remember those words.

I truly believe everything happens as they are supposed to–but how we feel about all of everything depends on several factors.  Attitude and perspective (during and after the fact) are part of it, but our regrets play a major role as well.

Listen up.  You only have one life.  Live it the way you’re led to live it.  Don’t depend on anyone else to bestow upon you the dreams they have.  Accept the ones God puts inside of you, and pursue those.  Don’t wait for anyone’s permission.  DO YOU.

I want it all!

I want it all!

From the time I thought that boys were no longer icky and were worthy of interest, endless thoughts, and daydreams, I’ve always had a “type”.  Of course, physical characteristics were always important–my mom always told me “you have to wake up to him in the morning” and “you need to think of your kids.” But if we took a look at all the guys I’ve ever crushed on or dated, I think one thing they mostly all had in common was that they were strong personalities dipped in lots of charm.  I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always liked that guy who loves (or at least is comfortable in) the spotlight, knows everybody there is to know, and spends his time mapping out and taking action toward his passions.  And many times I’ve blamed this insatiable desire for my dating woes.  The guys I actually liked back were the guys with girls chasing them down the block (no, really–one ex had a girl chase him down State St, 220, and Northside Drive in Jackson in a car, but that’s another story) and doing whatever they can to divert his attention; the guys whose dreams were so big that they didn’t know how or didn’t want to juggle, and I never knew if I’d ever be a sizable priority in their lives.

Yet, I have not been willing to (or maybe even able to) take this characteristic off my “list”.  There’s just something about a guy who has mastered his social skills and oozes a certain self-confidence and who is all about doing something major while he’s on earth that makes me fan myself. And I’m fine with that.  Why? Because I think as we get older, I’m more likely to find the sharp, charismatic guy who is that able to provide me with the balance that has been missing for so long (and yes this is an ambiguous statement–I need help with my own balance and he needs to have some level of balance on his own).  We’re all growing into ourselves, right? So once we know what we want, including our partner–don’t we do want we have to do to manage all things important?

So I said all that to introduce an interesting Twitter convo that made me say hmmm.

JHJeffers: RT @DGJ_1977: RT @RHYMEFEST: So ladies be careful what you ask for, because loving ambitious, charismatic & powerful men comes with a cost.

Me: Which is? RT @JHJeffers: RT @RHYMEFEST: So ladies be careful what u ask for bc loving ambitious, charismatic & powerful men comes w a cost.

JHJeffers: @NadaJo: Powerful men often have a strong desire to control and have egos that are out of this world

Me: A few r humble but I can c it RT @JHJeffers @NadaJo: Powerful men often have a strong desire to control&have egos that are out of this world

JHJeffers: @NadaJo ‎​Charismatic men are super flirtatious and sometimes cross the line

Me: I see RT @JHJeffers: @NadaJo ‎​Charismatic men are super flirtatious and sometimes cross the line

JHJeffers: @NadaJo Ambitious men spend long hours working, Sometimes @ the expense of marriage

Me: Mm hmm RT @JHJeffers: @NadaJo Ambitious men spend long hours working, Sometimes @ the expense of marriage

Me: @JHJeffers so basically we ladies who like pwrful, charismatic, ambitious men need to also pray that he has humility, self-ctrl, and balance

Me: #icandothat

JHJeffers: @NadaJo: Yeeeaaaahhhhh, but I would just shoot for 2 out of 3 #imjustsaying

HarlemFaith: (Well said) RT @NadaJo so we ladies who like pwrful, charismatic, ambitious men need to pray he has humility, self-ctrl, and balance

HarlemFaith: @NadaJo I don’t know if I agree with everything @jhjeffers is saying.. but it’s interesting.

Me (knowing this will turn into a blog post, maybe even a series cuz this is getting good! heehee): What do u think? RT @HarlemFaith: @NadaJo I don’t know if I agree with everything @jhjeffers is saying.. but it’s interesting.

HarlemFaith: @NadaJo @jhjeffers I don’t like the fact that the argument seemed so segmented and over generalized. Yes, those characteristics make ppl

HarlemFaith: @nadajo @jhjeffers successful but powerful men(and women) in lasting relationships know when to turn them on and off.

HarlemFaith: @nadajo @jhjeffers too much of anything is bad…. and there’s a time and place for everything.

HarlemFaith: @nadajo @jhjeffers… I want my man to be just as ambitious as I am.. (and he is) when we are together that energy is directed towards me.

HarlemFaith: For a while, me and many of my counterparts were told that our ambitious, agressive personalities were the reason we didn’t have a man

HarlemFaith: I disagree.. I think there is a time and place for anything. and the key to a successful relationship without losing who you are is figuring out how to channel that intense energy.. and use it for good. lol. Use those same skills to please your man.

HarlemFaith: I’m a big proponent of playing my “position”. I can be your woman (opinionated and all) but still allow you to be the man.

Me: YES! RT @HarlemFaith I’m a big proponent of playing my “position”. I can be ur woman (opinionated & all) but still allow you to be the man.

The convo is still going on.  But I’ll do a poll.  Can we (I) have it all?  Is it possible to have what we want plus the balance needed to make the relationship last and thrive?  Do we have to choose between the power, charisma, and ambition and the devotion and dedication?  Chime in!

Love Quote of the Day

Love Quote of the Day

I had to love myself enough to say “no” to the good and leave room for the “great”.

Hug yourself!

When folks tell you you’re too “picky” or when you’re considering staying in some janky situation in which you’re not happy or fulfilled, think of this quote! By the way, I got it from this article (Choosing a Better Kind of Love) .

I’m also co-signing this blog post (Stop It with the Ugly Girl Problems (Unless You’re an Ugly Girl)).  Don’t settle for less!

Be blessed, folks!

Hallo!

Hallo!

Ok folks, yesterday was a day…  We did two site visits in Germany to private firms–a family-owned (for 8 generations!!) paper maker and Pfizer.  And I’m sick. 😦  Scratchy throat and runny nose…  But I went to the apotheke, and I got some medicine in boxes I can’t read.  One of them I have to take 4 pills at a time. :-/  (Don’t worry–there are actual pharmacists at the register for these places so I didn’t make that up or guess!)  The other is a nasty licorice-tasting cough drop-like substance. 

The food in Germany…  not so much.  I’m not in a hurry to go back there (I think we go two more times).  I will do the bratwurst and beer next time though.  I did meet a really nice Italian cafe owner who got me to eat the German equivalent of a calzone with “beef” and cheese (wasn’t that good) and some yogurt and strawberry Italian ice.  Yes, folks, I went to Germany and ate Italian.  Go figure.  How would we know??  The guy was nice though, although he duped me–I still don’t know what i ACTUALLY ate.  The aftertaste was not what’s up.  But he was so funny–he made fun of my pronunciation of bratwurst.  I swear I said what he said, but he mimicked me as I’m used to and said that I said “brat werst,” even almost saying it with a fake southern accent, lol.  Whatever though.  I’m a southern belle wherever I go, I guess.  I can say thank you and hello correctly in German (Danke and Hallo) and that’s about it.  I tried to say their word for sink about 5 times and it just didn’t work out.  One of the hosts of our Pfizer visit needed me to tell him how to say sink and anti-bacterial in English so I asked him back how to say it in German.  We both gave up on me after a while…  The Germans add a BUNCH of syllables to almost everything!  And you gotta be more throaty. 

The French thing is ok though.  I went to a little cafe today where the waitress ne parle pas Anglais, so I had to speak the little French I remembered to order.  It was pretty cool.  I just had some tortellini avec quatre fromage.  Yummy (in a almost bland kinda way)!  Back to yesterday…

Y’all know I’m in heaven cuz I’m SUPPOSED to be observing, which I do anyway.  There’s so much to notice here.  For instance, I noticed only about 5 colored people yesterday.  I don’t know of what background, so I can’t say of African descent necessarily (for those of you who find “colored” offensive, even tho that’s what the C stands for in NAACP…).  I think it was just the city we were in, but I have no real idea.  Also, I noticed people enjoy their time here.  They’re not all stressed out like we are so often.  When I walked down to a cafe for lunch, there were folks eating in the park.  And the folks at the restaurants don’t rush you in the least.  Everybody’s just chill.  When we had lunch yesterday in the Pfizer cafeteria, the workers were all chilling and just enjoying lunch.  They had an ICE CREAM parlor in there.  And after lunch, they serve coffee.  Complaints? NO sense of personal space.  None.  Zip.  I was in H&M yesterday (didn’t buy anything, just wanted to see if it was any different from the ones in the U.S. since I spent so much time being envious of Europe when I would see it in fashion magazines before I had ever gone to D.C. on my own tab), and so many people would just walk into me or stand close enough to me that I could feel them before even seeing them. 

One question I hope to answer while I’m here…  “What is luxury here?”  Everything is modest–seems like simplicity or some version of it is luxury.  Of course you see Benzes and Beemers and Audis everywhere, but they’re made here.  The houses are cozy.  The accomodations are cozy.  So I wonder if they think Americans are just really over the top and materialistic (like I sometimes do) or what.  I wonder how they view success tangibly.  But I’ll keep observing… 

Ok, I’m done with lectures for the day and I want to explore.  I think I’ll take a nap first and then off to the center of Strasbourg I go!