Smile ANYWAY! (19)

It’s times like these (in the midst of branching out and starting my own) that I have faced the MOST ignorance, hatred, arrogance, negativity, and pessimism. Welp! I smile ANYWAY.

People make fun or make light of things important to me; I smile ANYWAY.

People suggest that I go THEIR road, instead of paving my own way w faith, of course. I smile ANYWAY.

My passions and pleasures are expected to mirror that of another, or I’m supposed to just “be” a certain way because of who I’m related to. Well damnit…I smile ANYWAY.

I do the best that I can at being me, yet for some? EVEN THAT ain’t good enough. I smile ANY effing way.

There are slick jabs, subtweets, back stabs, and pure tasteless actions directed in my path. Honey…I realize that Lucifer has “relatives”. I smile at them too lol

Ever since God determined me to be “good enough”–and in some cases, better than that–I knew that life would be great, w a Lil side of bullshat. Who am I to think that I would be able to bypass darts and daggers? Hell, why NOT me? When people make the not-well-thought-out attempt to tell me how I should live? I smile ANYWAY.

Don’t you know I’m covered from my head CLEAN down to the pink polish on my toes? Will people be there on assignment to test my strength? Yup. Is the devil doing his job by attempting to bring discord in my most valuable and exclusive relationships? Yup. Will I succumb to the pressure to be like “every other PR agent in the world”? Naw. Should my blogs be gender specific or only in “one box”? Nope. I’m too many different levels of smart, beautiful, talented, mysterious, and clever. God made me this way; and because He just “IS”…I smile ANYWAY.

Elle

The BEST Part (15)

The Best Part

by: Elle

The best part about an apple is the crisp.
The best part about a plum is the juiciness.
The best part about the salon is the SHAMPOO (lil piece of heaven RIGHT there)…
The best part about a “job” is when you’re through.

The best part about not speaking is what can actually be said through your tears.
The best part about a smile is that it can hide your fears.
The best part about a loving “touch” is how secure it can make you feel.
The best part about being a Black woman is that we are symbols of resilience and zeal.
The best part about a bad day, is that the day HAS to come to an end, and the best part about that? God willing, you get another chance to do it all over again…

The best part about a lie is that it still isn’t as beautiful as the truth.
The best part about your feet is that they still can’t fill my shoes.
The best part about your past is that it’s YOUR choice to stay in it; it’s all up to you who you let KEEP you in it.

The best part about God? Before you spoke, He already knew.
The best part about praise is that it’s not about you.

The best part about a trial is the triumph at the end.
The best part about me?

…is my desire to win…

One Final Thing: The best part about “time” is that we all are given the EXACT same amount each and every day of our lives. The difference between you and I is in what I do w mine.

*smoochface*

Elle

Feel What You Feel, But Your Attitude Determines Altitude (14)

Lately, I have been feeling all KINDS of things that aren’t of my normal character. No, I do not want to cause any physical harm to anyone nor do I want to take my life–nothing ridiculous or ratchet like that–I’ve just been “in my feelings” about ANY AND EVERYTHING.

And so what; I’m just being Lauran; speaks nothing to my gender.

It speaks to everything about being a brat. Let my Aunt Terri tell it…I’m STILL spoiled right now today LOL. I’m no baby; I certainly hold my own…but sometimes I think way more than I probably should about what isn’t here yet.

Foooooooor example, I do indeed desire another place of employment, and my search is ongoing. I feel that I am totally wasting precious brain juice here, that I am not challenged, and that this just isn’t “it”. I’m not happy in this job AT all. In the midst of my displeasure, I started my own business…a PR Firm. Yes, in a ROTTEN economic period, I’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. Doing all things related to my new venture has actually brought about peace to my spirit. I happen to be having a conversation w someone about my “job”, and I was told that I needed to stop reflecting on the negative (not wanting to be in said job) and focus on the positive (how I’ve started my business). I was told that not only is negative thinking not going to help, but it will KEEP me in my current position. Lord KNOWS I do not want to remain in that spot, so w more prayer (glad God doesn’t get tired of me) and a positive attitude, I will eventually be free and in a position that better uses my gifts. I’ve claimed a better life and it must start w a better attitude!

If you’re honest w yourself, you’ve had your moments. The KEY, though, is not to STAY in those moments. Every now and then, I am in a frustrated place because I’ve allowed my feelings or thoughts to overshadow what “is”. I start to feel like who I am is “not enough”, and I find myself upset at what I’ve built up in my mind (key phrase here?: “what I built up in my mind”, not what actually “is”). I wasn’t like this in my 20s. Honey PUHLEEEEEEEZE…in my 20s, I didn’t care about much; I felt like I had so much “time” to do WHATEVER. But I’m in my mid-30s now–I’m 34 to be exact–and at this stage in my life, I’m more emotional than I’ve ever been. I don’t pretend that a thing doesn’t bother me when it actually does. I’m TOTALLY in tune w my emotional side, and I don’t apologize for it. And since I was created by perfection, He understands where I am/who I am/what I need. Just knowing all of that–that I am truly taken care of–makes it alright. It makes me feel as though I can make it through a work day. I feel like I have the patience to wait for those things that will eventually make it to my doorstep. Thinking about how good life actually is for me almost instantly improves my attitude. My “inner” forecast? Sunny, a high of 82 degrees w no chance of rain. I can bounce anything of a negative source off of me, because I choose not to let it get to my spirit. It’s not easy, and I have my moments even in knowing Whose I am, but I CAN do it. You have no idea the number of times I have to take a breather, pray, and snap back just to get through a work day at my “job”. AND I GET THROUGH IT. I recognize that I have every right to feel how I feel, but I have to determine exactly where I want to go…my finger points up. Few things that will constantly keep me in tact:

1. When I feel myself out of sorts, I pray harder. I pray every day, sometime multiple TIMES a day; I don’t have a problem leaving from where I am, going to my car/stepping outside to say a quick prayer that will snap me back to a happy place.
2. I will look for a scripture or a quote that speaks to my situation. Self explanatory…
3. I try my best to determine where the source of my frustration is coming from. Then I simply ask God to give me peace.
4. I think about how bad things actually COULD be, and then I look at where I am. So I’m pitchin’ a lil fit/havin’ a “brat attack”; Lauran, get over it…I mean really…HOWEVER, the things that I have experienced in my life are a big deal to me–may not be of concern to anyone else, but my life’s timeline is mine, which makes it important. I don’t downplay what I’ve been through, or “dumb down” my stuff to make someone else feel better; it is what it is. So I am SO VERY PROUD of how far I have come and the “bullets I dodged” along the way…

God has a desire to see me do great things; I don’t ever want to disappoint Him by thinking that I am less than what He has created me to be. I am MORE than enough…I am equipped, I am able, I am resilient and I am unique. I have nothing to worry about because, in the words of the illustrious Michael Franks, it was here all along “on the inside” (Song Title “On The Inside” by Michael Franks). I’ve taken the liberty of attaching the lyrics:

I’ve wasted a lifetime
Pursuing an image that did not exist
Except in my own mind
Except in my own dream.
My life has convinced me
That happines never can really be found
Until you remember
The voice of your own heart.

It’s all on the inside
To say you can find it elsewhere
Would be wrong.
It’s all on the inside
Each soul has its song.
It was here all along
On the inside.

It cannot be captured
On canvas it cannot be
Carved into stone.
No art can sustain it
Believe me I’ve tried.
It always eludes you
No matter what strategem
You may devise.
It’s no destination
A compass can find.

There’s only love on the inside
No counterfeit no need for it.
A perfect place for your heart to hide
No danger near nothing to fear.
Life’s hurricane can’t reach within
–>P.S.-That particular Michael Franks’ song is a #favorite of my late Mother. It is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL song…<–

*smoochface*

Elle

How Does This Thing Work?! (13)

Ever wonder how relationships work?

Ever ponder whether or not it’s even worth the risk of heartache?  Or even the potential of having/meeting the one true love of your life?  It’s definitely not an easy task to take on, and you have to be comfortable (or content, if that makes you feel better) w the fact that the RISK is EQUAL TO the potential REWARD…I mean you REALLY have to come to grips w that…

Well…I took a class, back in the Fall of 2010 at my church.  It was the first time that this course was offered for people who may be thinking of (and who had questions regarding) long-term relationships i.e. #MARRIAGE.  Since that is something I am considering in my future, I wanted to know WHY I was even considering such a covenant (even though a healthy marriage was on FULL DISPLAY in my home w my Parents).  The title of the class? “Before We Say I Do”, based off of a book written by Marvin A. McMickle.  This is the book that my Father uses for his couples going thru pre-marital counseling (my Father is a Pastor and a mighty good one).  The book talks about 7 Steps To A Healthy Marriage, and the Chapter Titles are Faith, Friendship, Frankness, Forgiveness, Fidelity, Finance, and Family (even if you do not desire marriage, this book is a GREAT read). The book goes into SERIOUS depth about all of those things, and even shows how all of them are connected.  In the course we watched movie snippets, had class exercises–some were men vs women lol–and we talked openly about our fears and what we were looking forward to in marriage.  There were plenty of single parties in the course…some engaged couples, even some couples ALREADY married, but looking to get a better understanding of how they could be better IN their marriage.  I later came to find out that some of the couples that were in the class parted ways.  And I just wondered if maybe they figured out (for themselves) that it just wasn’t worth the risk…?

One HUGE point that will ALWAYS stick out from that class is the fact that it will always be a challenge bringing two different households together.  Your mate was shaped by their families, or lack thereof, as were you.  However, you should come together and be in agreement on the MAJOR things (refer back to the 7 chapter titles above).  For example, if your significant other prefers to smoke his/her life away and hang out in the streets every chance he/she gets, and you are not interested in those things, problems will arise.  If BOTH of you are “shoppers” vs one being a shopper and one being a saver, or BOTH of you being tight wads w the funds, then oh yes indeedington…problems will arise LMAO.  If you are one w a strong work ethic, realizing the absolute truth of “if you don’t work, you don’t eat”, and your significant other can’t hold a job due to reasons such as “I don’t like people telling me what to do” (yet AINT STARTED ANRA-NARRY BUSINESS TO BRING IN REVENUE, but thinks he/she gives sound advice on HOW to move around in life), problems will arise.  Not saying that the two of you can’t have different views on things, but on the MAJOR things though?  Yeah…you’re gonna have a problem if those don’t mesh.  If you don’t like sports and he/she does, fine.  If you aren’t interested in sushi and he/she is, that’s fine.  If he/she thinks the idea of “money well spent” means how many times you buy up the bar at various clubs though…you get where I’m going w this.

**So how DOES it work?  You have to communicate; LISTEN; be honest about what you want; be straight forward about what you will and will not deal with; learn the definition of the word “compromise”; be supportive; show RESPECT…and while you’re doing all of things, don’t lose yourself during the process and pursuit of a healthy relationship. It’s always been ok to just be YOU…so why change what attracted them to you in the first place?  It’s scary to love someone, and allow yourself to be close to them…risky, yet rewarding; I’m all for it…

**–this paragraph in particular is also relative in platonic/familial relationships, not JUST intimate ones…#CLEVER huh?

*smoochface*

Elle

Lemme Just…(12)

…let you in on how good I feel.

Whenever I sit alone, I’m nestled by this feeling. I wake up in the morning smiling because of something I remember hearing. I can’t explain why it can stop me dead in my tracks and make me forget EVERYTHING I may have been doing. I cry because of it; I laugh because of it; I sing because of it; I LIVE because of it.

It was an instrumental piece in my Parents’ marriage, and it has brought comfort to crying babies. It COMPLETELY makes you escape from reality, and only makes you wonder why some things couldn’t all be this simple. Some people can tell by the look in my eyes, and others in the way that I walk. It’s especially different from anything that I’ve ever felt, and it’s the only thing that can take me through so many DIFFERENT emotions at one time…

My life has not been the same since I’ve been able to feel like this. I think to myself “I’m so INTO you”…and that warms my heart in such a way, just to even say it. I sometimes sit in my car and the feeling rushes over me instantly. I feel it even when I’m in the salon, on a plane, reading a book, watching Good Times, or even about to get my rest for the evening. It’s just CONSUMING, overwhelming, weakening…it won’t let go of me, and I’m not letting go of it. I wrestle w it because it feels so good. Something that feels THIS GOOD should really be a crime.

Only God could make something so beautiful…and I’m unashamedly and apologetically addicted. It’s like pieces of me are in the stars, and my epiphany?…is knowing that I’m soooooo gone. It’s soothing during a summer rain, it’s comfort when it’s cold outside, and I absolutely goooootta have it.

Nope…it’s not how I feel about #Sir (he is some kinda wonderful though)…

It’s what music does to me. Sir one day told me ‘you ARE music’. As long as music can make a person feel THIS good…I will certainly answer to that name…

(p.s.-if you paid attention, I dropped some song titles in this blog…see if you can pick them out!)

*smoochface*

Elle

INJURED AND WOUNDED… (8)

I don’t really dig sports all THAT much, so this isn’t a blog about any recent injuries (prayers out to those who are dealing w injuries though…).  I’m talking about the injuries we have that either life has provided, or the ones we give ourselves.  Yep…even you are injured.

Let’s get to it.

FOR EXAMPLE…I am “injured” or “wounded”…not from any past relationships or anything like that (those wounds have since healed), but my heart has a slight “tear/rip”.  For those who are not truly familiar w me, my Mom passed away January 22, 2009 from a cancer called Multiple Myeloma.  She actually outlived the actual life expectancy OF the disease, but God called her on home…it was just painful to watch such a vibrant being lose all strength.  This is my heart’s tear.  (wait…lemme do this right quick…)

DISCLAIMER: I am in NO WAY looking for any sympathy; however the world needs to know that not ALL injuries are PHYSICAL in nature.

(back to original thought) Ok.  The “injury” that my heart has sustained is the loss of my Parent.  My Mother; the woman who carried me for nine months, endured 27 hours of labor to bring me here, and loved me unconditionally.  Dealing w her passing is a DAILY struggle, and in all honesty, this is one of those wounds that won’t ever FULLY close…feel me?  Grief is one hell of a road trip…

You may not have this same type of scar; this is an injury that “life” provided to me and my family.  And it’s actually ok. But this doesn’t qualify as an injury that was self-inflicted; oooooooooooooh let’s step over into that room…

What about the person in your life, whether it be friends/family members/WHOEVER, who is truly “no good”?  Not all relationships that are bad for us will be the boyfriend/girlfriend type stuff…think about the “toxins” that you allow into your space…if someone is always “slick” jabbing you, but always ending it w a “just kidding”…watch out.  SOME of those people are genuinely your peeps, and are just kidding…but there are those who will secretly seek to sabotage your success.  Your circle should be small; the circle of people who you share your dreams/goals w should be EVEN SMALLER.  Keeping “toxins” around you due to feelings of obligation, or because you have history w them?  SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS.  There is no logical reason that a person who brings about harm and discord should be allowed to remain in your space. Their constant presence only reopens or KEEPS open your own SELF-INFLICTED WOUND…don’t you love yourself? Sooooo pouring salt into a paper cut, for example, actually “feels good” to you? Ha!

I don’t knooooooooooooooow…if you constantly reflected on WHO is in your circle, and what they bring to your life, you’d have to honestly ask “is this to my benefit or detriment?”.  It’s really time out for assuming that certain affiliations will bring about perfect relationships; stop buying proverbial “band-aids”; you’re “wasting money”, and your self-inflicted wound will never heal, because you cause the pain to “self”. Life’s injuries don’t have to kill you; just care enough about yourself to understand that some things just aren’t your fault.  Some injuries are unavoidable…what are you doing about the ones that ARE?

*smoochface*

Elle

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