Golden Press

December Challenge Day 30

It’s nothing like a dose of unblindfolded reality to bring you back to Nia, purpose.

Just this week or maybe last weekend I looked at photos in my photo album. All pictures of me from a baby to about high school. A young lady growing into a woman. Asking myself who would I have been if my mother was still alive. Who would I have been with better choices.

I remembered who I wanted to be. I remembered why I wanted to be this specific woman and what I’ll one day like to give a mate. I found drive from a few glances in a photo album book I haven’t opened since my freshmen year of college.

Nia-purpose. What’s mines? What’s yours?

Thank you Kwanzaa 2012 for allowing me to reflect on what’s important to me. And allowing me to let go of the things that will come when the time is perfect.

I’ve blasted some old songs everyday this week. I cleaned my room, which gave me a clear mind. Next week is my last week in retail nightmare. So, what’s the plan. How do I continue or throw myself into something new? I’m feeling creative.

I have always wanted a career that allowed me to give back to my community, to women, and to the world. Journalism allowed me to do that.  Journalism allows me to do that. I could choose anything. I could choose anywhere.

I flip through the W Magazine. I have to get busy. I have to get back to where I feel comfortable. I had a friend tell me I work too much. I should live more. I should have more fun.

Kuumba – Creativity

December 31, 2012 Posted by | December Challenge | Leave a comment

December Challenge Day 16

Today was a strange day. How many days a year do you have strange days. Especially so close to the end of the year. I’m extremely thankful for everything I have at this moment. Good family. Good friends. A budding career (whenever it begins to bud). No, but I believe I’ve made huge strides or maybe baby strides. Next month will make 4 months I’ve been home. I do have 2 jobs. One is part-time, but still in journalism. Another one is serious resentment for consumers and the entire retail industry.

Tonight I made a U-turn in the middle of the street to drive down this neighborhood filled with X-mas lights close to downtown Baton Rouge. The homes were beautiful. I imagined myself buying one of those homes. I also ran across a photo of the talented and outspoken Ms. Nikki Giovanni. Graduate school has been a far away thought. Job applications in journalism have also been a long thought. I’ve always wanted to teach English. Well since high school I have considered teaching English. There’s an opportunity to go back to school to teach. I also believe it would help my writing or help me concentrate long enough to again consider a career as an author. I could also teach English abroad. Only thoughts that come to me randomly throughout the day.

But who needs a degree to begin writing. Who needs a degree to write a book now-a-days! I could begin writing a novel now. My mind has been telling me I need to read more books. Maybe I need to invest in a tablet. But hardback/paperback books do not need to be charged on a plane or before. I can take them where ever I go.

I’m finding it hard to keep myself busy mentally. I believe reading books will help. A friend mentioned freelancing to me the other day. I have considered it. I have considered my craft. This entire time I have been sitting I have thought about all the stories I could write. I have thought about kicking in doors and taking my own opportunities.

#Distractions make it so hard. I’ve been filling myself with distractions.

December 17, 2012 Posted by | December Challenge | Leave a comment

December Challenge Day 15

I must admit I’m not getting too far in my reading pursuit of the mystery book I mentioned a few weeks back. There’s been many distractions in my life. The burning sensation to succeed and wrestling with the decision to reach out to some people I told myself I may never need. Don’t burn bridges, that is how the saying goes…… Also, an opportunity may be on the horizon and if I had only waited a few months I could have an all expense paid trip to a place I have only thought about in my imagination. So much is happening around me I can’t help, but be excited.

I must too remember that I’m still here today. I am still alive now. There’s no reason while I should not spend 10 minutes heating up my grandfather’s dinner (who is so far gone in memory I doubt he remembers he has kids), take time out to talk to my father (we do live in the same house), or spend time with my niece. Oh! I have missed so much.

I’m exhausted some days. My feet ache from the excess weight I put on them while ringing up customers (who just can’t help but spend money on themselves, family, friends, and etc.). My brain flirts with the idea of walking out (a job that I am so grateful to have). I push on. There’s no reason to whine or cry over things you can’t control. And finally I can admit I have a control issue. I am addicted to the outcome of my situation and so delighted when it turns out better than I expected. I should just let things go and live. I should put worry aside and bury any guilt that sits inside me. I should just live my 20’s how I see fit. I should just take my chances as they come. I should recognize an opportunity without it saying opportunity. I am seeking this, this week. The ability to let all be and see clearly. The ability to be……….

December 16, 2012 Posted by | December Challenge | Leave a comment

December Challenge Day 9

While watching the Amazing Race I am amazed at how life changing experiences can help one to look at life different. One in a lifetime type of experiences. With strangers that you may have never met any other way. I have had so many of these experiences. I would like to start with middle school. I met a young woman from New Orleans who reminded me not to “sugarcode” anything. The term “sugarcode” can be defined as not biting your tongue or to always be honest. She helped me to overcome my fear. For years I would remember what she said. I’ve since lost touch with her. After all that’s been about 12 years ago.

At the age of 14 I made my first trip to New York City. I would never forget the smell, the people, or the swift movement of purpose. I wanted to be in a big city. I wanted to live in a big city. New York taught me that there’s an entire world outside of Louisiana.

At the age of 17 I flew on my first plane to a leadership conference in Washington, D.C. I remember crying when it was time to leave. I did feel uncomfortable at the conference being that I was a small number of Blacks that was there. But I bonded with people I would have never met and I toured Washington, D.C.

At the age of 20 I moved to Connecticut for a summer and worked at a wilderness camp. I got the chance to view myself in the most honest light and knowing that life situations aren’t perfect this opportunity was perfect to me. I think I connected with a man for the first time in a way where I felt in another lifetime like he could have been my soul mate. He wasn’t perfect, but his actions were at the time. I became one with nature. I became stronger. I faced some truths about myself.

At the age of 22 I travelled to Japan. How sweet. I remember taking out time to just sit on a bench in Hiroshima and close my eyes. I couldn’t believe how far I had come. I couldn’t believe again I was with strangers experiencing another culture something I had always wanted to do.

Now at the age of 23 and 6 months away from my 24th birthday. I am awaiting the next experience with strangers. I am awaiting another opportunity to meet life-long friends. I am awaiting the wisdom that comes when knowing that this is an opportunity before some saying it is. I hate being stagnant. I like to keep moving. I like to keep busy.

All this time I have been living in my own little way. I have been living by keeping busy. In the last four years I have travelled to California, New York, Japan, Connecticut, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Mexico, Texas, Chicago, and Louisiana. But my soul isn’t done. I have not achieved as much as I’ll like.

24 is my year. I claimed it at the age of 20. 24 would be my year. I haven’t even turned 24 yet, but it is my year. I am almost in tears thinking about how good life has been to me. I know there will be good/bad days, but I also know I’ve many more experiences that will bring me closer to my true identity, closer to happiness/peace, and closer to God.

December 10, 2012 Posted by | December Challenge | Leave a comment

December Challenge Day 8

Maybe I was exceeding my own expectations when I told myself I would blog here everyday until the New Year. How about every weekend I told myself today. Since working my overnight job as an online intern I’ve had plenty of time to think (especially Saturday/Sunday nights.)

A friend gave me a book about a week in a half ago. I looked him in his eyes and told him I would read it before the New Year. I’m just making it to Chapter 1 after reading both the original preface and the new preface. I bet you are wondering what the book is. I have decided not to disclose the name until I’m well into the last chapter. For now I’ll leave a guessing reader with this quote:

“He did not say to himself, “Ah, well, what’s the use? I guess I’ll change my mind and try for a salesman’s job.” But he did say, “I came here to go into business with Edison, and I’ll accomplish this end if it takes the remainder of my life.” He meant it! What a different story people would have to tell if only they would adopt a definite purpose, and stand by the purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming obsession!”

This quote along got me…. I had never thought about my dream as possibly taking a lifetime. I have always considered it perhaps taking until I was 30. After 30 I would be planning my next move to be a housewife. As pro-woman as I am. I am also pro-choice. Pro-choice to making decisions and living a life you are comfortable with. There are times when I think I would be more satisfied in life sitting at home decorating, pulling weeds in a garden, preparing meals for a family, and taking kids to extracurricular activities. I see my life as this after 30. I have never been a woman who wanted to live out my dream while managing a family or marriage.

But I thought tonight what if I didn’t meet my full potential at 30, would I be willing to walk away from my dream to work on the next big thing. Is my dream worth compromising a life that I would like to live and if I lived that life would I always wonder about my dream.

The quote above made me think if I am well-invested in this thing I call a dream. Am I willing to spend my entire lifetime in search or journey of it. Could I throw in the towel when I had tired. I looked up at the sky and told myself today. I could live this life. I could live it right here. I could begin working a job that allowed me to be comfortable and accomplish the things everyone seeks. A well-paying job, ownership of a home/car, friends and kids. But this isn’t the life I want.  At this moment in my life. The life I want exceeds my wildest dreams. The life I want would make me a student of the world and expert in world cultures/policies. The life I want would have my children seeing foreign lands and speaking a second language. When I settle down. It would be because I have accomplished those things I have listed. Not on a bucket list, but a lifetime list.

I have always believed it was our decision to decide our fate and we are guided. I’ve been guided. I still believe God has the power to guide and instruct.

I attended the annual Christmas Parade in my hometown. For the first time I saw my life here. But I don’t believe it was reality. In my life right now I am just living. And with living comes letting go and thinking about how things can end up. How I would like things to end up. There’s something I want to accomplish. There’s a certain life I want to live. And if I happen to have kids I want to give them a certain type of life. For now I will reflect on this quote because to me it represents where a large amount of people who are dreamers lose their way. Seek comfort.

I don’t want comfort. I want to be so uncomfortable that every bit of me can’t keep quiet.

December 9, 2012 Posted by | December Challenge | Leave a comment

December Challenge Day 2

Exhausted from life. I’ve turned over my job situation to a higher power and I’m learning more about myself.

Today I ran. I thought about how my life would have been if I was born to a different family or perhaps an immigrant. How weird for me to think how my life could be if I were married or if I had met the love of my life years ago.

Situations have a way of making you, you. Lately I’ve been thinking about all the friends I am having the chance to visit. The things I examine in their life journey. From married friends to single mothers. Life has a way of constantly showing you how life goes on. But often life is short with showing you to appreciate those relationships and hold on to those memories.

Over the summer I witnessed two women (who seemed to be on cloud nine from a certain substance) just dancing around to this live band. I stared at them. I snapped pictures with my camera phone in attempt to entertain my friends later on. Now that I stand still in this moment to write this blog I know that those two women were holding on to their memories.

I’m anticipating another great New Year’s with some great friends. I never realized how much our one day a year means to me until 2012. There we were in New Orleans and while I had the time of my life it still didn’t hit me. It wasn’t until I hung out with a few of my cousin friends that I realized how wonderful it is to have (my friends) and that one day a year to share.

In the last four years I’ve met a lot of people. I think they all have inspired or rubbed off on me in some type of way. But it’s not til times like this when everything goes quiet in a room I realize how good life has been to me. I realize how many memories I have made. And I’m so thankful to know I can have more. I can sit at my friend’s house and watch her interact with her husband. Or run with a friend’s fiance to pick up her last X-mas gift. Or hold a friends child. Or laugh about teenage memories that are not too far removed. Or have them give me encouraging advice.

I never really honestly looked at myself beyond my 20th birthday until college. I never really considered having a career I love until now. I never thought a guy would make me feel 16 teen again until now. And I never knew how much I’ll appreciate what God has allowed me to see and be apart of. Tonight I’m thankful for breath/life!

December 3, 2012 Posted by | December Challenge | Leave a comment

#December Challenge Day 1

I’ve been considering deleting this blog. But like everything else in my life it’s sometimes hard for me to let go of things. Today is December the 1st, 2012. Instead I have decided to do my own challenge as I await my new year’s resolution. I am beginning with today. As I begin to take the next steps into growing into a better me. My journo journey along with my spiritual/physical journey will be documented here for the next 31 days.

Today I found myself smitten with my best friend.

I ate a great Tuscan chicken subway sandwich with spinach and crunchy tomatoes.

I watched the OKC vs Hornets game in an empty digital media room.

I begin my first day as a digital media intern with The Advocate (BR). (My sixth internship.)

I completed my second day as a returned retail staffer to Macy’s.

I talked to my father about cleaning the house that I grew up since the age of 8. (It has felt like a desert since my mother died 6 years ago.) I’m 23 now.

Today I thought about my future as a journo.

I read a few stories on The Advocate’s website. I read stories on The Washington Posts’ website.

I’ve had 3 months to think about how I could have made better decisions with money, career, and love.

I’ve had 3 months to find a job. I’ve emailed countless resumes. I’ve had many interviews.

The question still remains. #Have I done enough to secure myself? Enough to see my plan become a reality?

In 3 months I’ve cut ties with my past. Dared to love someone I have admired since middle school. Promised myself renewal and honesty always. Cried because I felt like I was more than $12.50 an hour. Screamed because I can’t imagine myself sitting in an office pecking on a keyboard. Felt foolish for wasting money on materialistic things that I no longer have or can fit. Prayed that I would have a little sunlight soon. Was afraid to open the mail (b/c I know I don’t have the money for my first loan payment due next Friday $214.00 and there’s no more grace) .

But I’ve also lived. I’m so humble. I don’t feel entitled. I don’t feel like I’m owed. I don’t feel like my mistakes have hindered the end result. I don’t believe it’s over. My job that will allow me to experience and enjoy other cultures exist. My first book will be written. And I will not shout when I meet fate. I will do what others have done for me. No one in my present will go hungry. Advice will flow from my lips. I will take my own money to give back to those who dream too.

#I’m living and I feel so great! I am humbled.

December 2, 2012 Posted by | December Challenge | Leave a comment