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Friday, December 30, 2011

No Resolutions Needed

“Your dreams about the future are quite intense now, bringing excitement one minute and worry the next.  You’re beginning to realize that your plans are not unfolding as expected.  But rather than feeling discouraged or defeated, try to see this as an opportunity to reinvent yourself according to your vision and not someone else’s.  Let go of past goals that are no longer meaningful. Instead, get ready to step into the year ahead by setting new priorities for your life.”
I wanted to share my horoscope from yesterday with you because it was very fitting for today’s post.  I have been thinking about 2012 rapidly approaching and the things I want for myself in the New Year.  As I began to think of what I wanted everything on that list was in some way connected to “things’ in my past…
How can you have a future if your past is still present??
2012 is a new year, with new beginnings and I will have a new state of mind! I partied like a freakin ROCKSTAR in 2011 (partly to keep my mind off of the past) and I had a blast doing so, but 2012 will be different! Not in the typical “I’m going to lose 20lbs” or “I’m going to save a set amount of money” way but in a more focused and grounded way.
I plan to focus on me and not try so hard to please others.  Everyone is not going to be happy with Courtney all of the time and I’m not going to kill myself trying to make that happen! Have you ever tried to please others before pleasing yourself?? Well, it ain’t fun and although the “2011 Me” was a people pleaser the “2012 Me” will not be!  There are going to be some angry people in 2012 because I am definitely bringing the focus back to me!
I also plan to be more patient, not to be in such a hurry for things to happen in my life…Be it love, career moves, living arrangements or whatever! Good things come to those who wait and I am learning to be grateful for the “now” because, truth is, there’s someone patiently waiting to be where I already am!
2012 will come with great changes and challenges I’m sure, but not because of some unrealistic goals or resolutions I plan to set for myself, but because I am giving it no choice but to be better than my past!
Table for One please…looking forward not back…Love me or leave or leave me alone!
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Don’t set unrealistic goals…Set attainable ones and when they are achieved you’ll feel FANTASTIC!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lights, Camera, FASHION!

Christmas is just around the corner and my spirit of giving has become very personal!  I have been shopping like I actually have extra money to spend!  Of course, while shopping for all my friends and family, I’ve found a few (meaning several) new items for myself!  It’s so sad… but I find it very hard to say “no” to shiny new things!

I am by no means a fashionista, but I would say that I am fashion forward!  I wouldn’t say that I am always on top of what’s hot or not, but I definitely make it work!  I’ve been bitten by the online shopping bug and have somehow found myself in shopaholic hell!  An addictive personality and free shipping DO NOT mix!

This is very, very serious!  But, the funny thing is… I make the best excuses!  LOL  I have 5 great reasons to justify my wallet-busting habits!

1. I’m single…I need to be cute when I go out!
2. The seasons change so often; I have to be prepared.
3. I must have shoes to match the clothes! (I can’t go out in a cute outfit and no shoes!)
4. As a growing professional, I need to have clothing that is appropriate for the workplace.
5. (Last, but not least) Any outfit posted on Facebook is archived and can never be worn again!

I love talking to my friends about fashion, getting and giving advice!  I know my closest friend’s complete closets and often find myself styling them…piecing outfits together for them, so we can all be cute!  I’m not selfish… I like for us to all walk in the room and turn heads!  LBVS… My crew DOES NOT have an “ugly friend!”

My mom is the cutest thing in the world!  I remember admiring her fashion sense when I was a little girl…she has great style!  Now that we are “friends” we talk fashion all of the time!  I am expected to come to her house every weekend before I go out, so she can see what I have on!  LOL  She’s so cute; she always has something great to say like, “Whoa, look at those legs!” or “You need a little more cleavage!”… LOVE HER!

I have to admit I cheat a little when it comes to staying on top of things!  I follow a great blog that concentrates strictly on fashion and spotlights the best and latest fashion trends!
(My friends & family think I come up with all of this fashion advice on my own… LOL)

Pearlie’s Fashion Passion is written by Natalie Dianne, a fabulous fashionista, who is dedicated to sharing her love of fashion with all of her followers!  She is a self-proclaimed diva on a budget with the ability to make off-the-rack fashions (i.e. Wal-Mart, Target, TJ Maxx, Marshall's...anywhere) red carpet ready.  She lives in what she describes as the “armpit of the United States”, Wichita, KS (a diva's nightmare), and would love to eventually work full-time in the fashion industry as a celebrity stylist!  CHECK HER OUT!

I have learned to have fun while discovering my fashion fingerprint… I try not to follow trends but it’s so hard not to!  You look up one day and realize you have jumped completely on the bandwagon!  Animal prints have completely made a comeback and I have been in leopard print heaven for a while now!  I have always loved leopard print, but when the rest of the world began to love it, I was ecstatic!  I have a leopard print wallet, clutch, socks, undies, shoes, shirts, dresses, earrings and anything else I saw in the stores that was leopard print!  I even have a leopard print heart tattoo!  Leopard print is my favorite color…LOL!

So, I was very saddened to see the other night while watching E! News that the animal print trend is up and will not be as prominent in 2012!  UGH!  I wanted to scream… I am having so much fun wearing my sexy prints and now they will probably slowly fade away.  But, I will not fret because I’m still gonna rock all of my favorite things until the trend circles back around!  At some point, you have to disobey the rules, which I don’t do often (but that’s a completely different post) and do what makes you happy!

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. -Coco Chanel

I am having a blast discovering new ways to be fashionable.  I was very conservative when I was in a relationship and this single life has turned my style upside down!  I’m having a blast living my life… and I’m looking kind of cute while I’m doing it too!  LOL

Table for one please… finding my way… love me or leave me alone!

BACK TO HAPPY TIP:  Take a fashion risk… You might discover a new you!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Obey the Law

Have you heard of The Secret aka The Law of Attraction?

It is a metaphysical belief that "like attracts like" that positive and negative thinking bring about positive and negative physical results and respectively, is simply speaking things into existence! I believe in this whole-heartedly… That our thoughts, beliefs and state of mind have a massive impact on what actually happens in our lives.

For instance, when I was thrown into the single life, I was a completely different person for a while… Sad, quiet, extremely sensitive (to be honest, I’m always extremely sensitive), I was basically a wreck!  Then one day, I decided that I was no longer going to be this person!  I was claiming my joy and taking it all back… And I did!

Sometimes people count on you to be you!  And I was not providing my true self to my friends and family.  I have a friend who I have grown very close to in the past couple years.  She lives in Texas, so I hardly ever see her, but we are still close and I love that!  She will fuss when I’m wrong and rejoice when I’m happy… Our friendship is great and I love her to pieces!  We were recently having girl talk and I was in a public place giving very politically correct, unanimated answers… (For those of you who know me personally, you understand this is so NOT ME).  Well, she WAS NOT having it!  She said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you or where you are, but call me back when you can be Courtney”!  LOL (So, I guess I really am back to me!)

Ladies, we have to know and understand our worth, with that being said, we cannot allow past situations to affect current ones!  Why give the past that much power!?!  We are much stronger than that! 

I am the first to admit that it is hard for me to trust men when starting something new…But I am learning and working on letting my trust issues go in new situations.  An insecure woman is so unattractive, even if she is amazingly gorgeous! So, we have to be careful how we react in certain situations. 

For instance, just because your ex cheated on you, doesn’t mean the new guy will!  Ladies, we have got to do better!  (I’m working on this too)  We cannot punish the new boo for the old clown’s mistakes!  If we treat a man like he is cheating on us… HE WILL!!!  If we constantly ask him where he is, who he’s with and start snooping around, he will def give us something to find!  I know it’s hard to start fresh, but this is a MUST!

I am going to speak great things into MY LIFE!  I will have a successful fulfilling career…I will have joy…I will have peace!  I WILL ENJOY MY LIFE!  And whoever comes along for the ride is in for quite the treat!

Table for One please…thinking happy thoughts…Love me or leave me alone!

BACK TO HAPPY TIP:  Leave your past behind, never allow it to affect current situations!  Live in the moment… Smile on purpose!

Friday, December 9, 2011

"If you're really a prince, I'll marry you..."

One of my favorite movies in the entire world is “Coming to America”.  It’s a side-splitting comedy about an African prince who goes to New York in hopes of finding a bride, so he won’t have to marry the princess his parents have chosen for him.  In the end, he finds love and they live happily ever after…Of course!
Isn’t that what happens in the movies?  Girl meets Boy…Girl falls in love…Boy falls too (eventually)… and they live happily ever after!  Movies have had me thinking this is what my life would be like as an adult!  Well they damn sure had me fooled!  It’s definitely not how my life has played out.
I always thought I’d be married and done having children before I turned 30… Well, I’m pretty close to 30 and that has yet to happen.  In fact, I don’t see it anywhere in my near future.  I don’t see my childhood prediction coming into fruition anytime soon. 
While dating, it’s been super difficult to encounter a man who actually wants to be in a monogamous relationship…let alone, get married!  In my experience, when we enter a relationship, as women, we are forced to wait until the man is ready to get married!  In this case, we can either stay and patiently wait until they are ready…or leave!  There really is no in-between and that is not cool, but it’s reality.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those women out in the world, dating and “looking for my husband”.  I understand that what’s for me will come to me, in due time; however, I sometimes get a little impatient and frustrated while waiting for him to arrive!  I enjoy my life, most of the time, and am grateful for the people in it, but every now and then I think of where I would like to have been in my life by now.
As a little girl, I dreamed of dressing up like a princess and having my father “give me away” to my Prince Charming… Then having beautiful children who looked like a mixture of the two of us.  I want to have the American Dream…You know, get married, have children, the white picket fence and all of that!  But, this has yet to happen.
My childhood dream has matured a bit though… Meaning, I still want to get married, but I want to have a successful, kind, loving, loyal marriage, built on trust and spirituality.  I don’t just want a wedding… I want it all… Not just the dress, but the dream… Not just the cake, but the care… Not just the songs, but the solidarity… Not just the tradition, but the trust 
Now my mother, the hopeless romantic, is optimistic and basically has my wedding planned!  I am not there yet… I simply want an honest and loving relationship that will eventually turn into a family of my own.  Life has a way of showing us that all fantasies do not become reality.  I understand that I am in the real world, living an adult life and fairy tales are just that… TALES!  Now that my reality has set-in, I believe what Grace Kelley once said to be true, The idea of my life as a fairy tale is itself a fairy tale”.
Table for One please… Living my reality… Love me or leave me alone…
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Find ways to make new memories… Living in the past will keep you stuck there!  New, good times will bring new, beautiful smiles & memories!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The MILK and The HONEY

As I headed to church one beautiful Sunday morning with my mother by my side, I was optimistic.  This day, there was no struggle to wake up and take care of business, no slight headache lingering from the drinks I had the night before... No reason to make excuses.
Prepared to fill-up for the new week, speak happiness into my life and hear my pastor preach... I was ready!
I rushed up the pavement, hearing myself take every step, (something about hearing my footsteps makes me feel useful, prepared, strong, womanly) I was eager to get inside.  We sat down and I realized that my pastor, the person I was so eager to hear a word from, WAS NOT preaching.  I tell myself that it's okay, that I came to hear a word not a man and to give the guest a chance!
As I preoccupied myself with reading the weekly bulletin, I heard a voice...
A female preacher stood up in front of the church and spoke to us in such a beautiful tone... It sounded like she was singing.  I had no choice but to sit up straight and pay attention.
It was like she and I were having a conversation.  I'd have a reaction to what she just said and she'd hit me with the perfect response.  I was amazed!  It was as if God was showing me that when He has something to say... HE WILL DO IT through any vessel He chooses.
The preacher addressed the congregation as if she was having a personal dialog with each member and it was inspiring!  She preached about how hard times are only preparation for the good times… That we have to go through “the wilderness” before we can get to “the milk and the honey”; I was ready to shout!  LOL!  She used these metaphors and explained them so plainly.  Saying that Milk represents strength, longevity, and health… While Honey is all of the good stuff; happiness, delight and truth… Fruition!
I just feel that sometimes I’m in the wilderness and wondering when I will get out!  I’m kind of in limbo, working on myself, waiting for something great to happen.  I am not necessarily where I feel I am supposed to be in life, but I’m on my way!  I feel like there’s one foot in the wilderness and I can see the milk and the honey, but I can’t taste it yet.  I know it’s there waiting on me, but I’m ready for it now!  All of it!! 
I know that life isn’t all sweet, but I just want to be happy!  I am currently living in the best times of my life (most of the time), but I also know that there is much more in store for me!  I’m just glad I have the milk and the honey to look forward to when I sometimes wander into the wilderness… I am ready for it all… I am ready for THE MILK & THE HONEY!
Table for one please…  Patiently waiting… Love me or leave me alone ;-)
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Take a chance and try something new… You never know what (or whom) you may find… A new hobby, habit, friend or companion… Who knows?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Give Thanks

I want to thank you, Lord, for life and all that's in it. Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute. - Dr. Maya Angelou 

Sometimes you have to show people that they are appreciated... To let them know that what they are doing, their presence, input and support are all noticed...
I love writing down my thoughts and sharing them with my followers.  Table for One could not exist without you!  So for those of you who have read only one post... Those of you who have read every single entry... And everyone in between, I truly love and appreciate you for all of your support!
To my friends... Maria, Ashley A., Sheena, and last but not least Brandi I love you!!! I talked to all of you about Table for One when it was just an idea... and all of you told me to GO FOR IT!!! I'm super grateful for your support, honesty and encouragement because without you I would've never had the guts to do this!! So thanks!
Thanks to my family, who reads my blog weekly (even when you don't want to)… I'm grateful! To my mother who believes I am the best writer in the world... You are appreciated.
For my guest writers: Nakita, Michele and Brandi your input was much needed, so thanks a bunch for taking time out of your very busy schedules to write excellent posts for Table for One...
Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it. - Ralph Marston
With all my heart, Thank You

Friday, November 18, 2011

Single BLACK Female (Part 4)

Last, but not least Brandi S. Allen has given the table her take! I am really into this conversation and I hope you all are too! Strong, beautiful, God-fearing women! Single, engaged, married... WHATEVER! We have a voice and I am happy that we are able to voice it! Check her out!!

Soooooo, where do I begin???  There are several opinions of why there are so many single black women in the world, but none as controversial as the article this blog post is centered around…The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely.  As I began reading this extremely generalizing and stereotypical article, I started feeling “some kinda way”.  Some statements I agree with, but most are simply angering.  I must admit, the author has a few valid points, but her delivery is offensive, clouded and very matter-of-fact. 

Deborrah Cooper blames “da passta”, for delivering GOD’S WORD to Black women and brainwashing them into waiting for their husbands.  She instructs black women to leave the church and seek a man elsewhere.  No woman should seek a man in church or anywhere else for that matter; rather, she should allow that man to seek her.  Clearly, this woman is not a churchgoer, has not visited the right churches or has not genuinely sought a relationship with God, such that, she wouldn’t steer Black women AWAY from their churches.  There are many other avenues for a single Black woman to explore, besides leaving their church because they haven’t found their husband.  Contrary to popular belief, there ARE good men, BLACK men, walking the streets of every city…They may not be in your church, but you don’t have to LEAVE your church for them to find you! 

As a HAPPILY married Black woman and mother, I was blessed to find my God-fearing, faith-driven husband on my college campus.  I wasn’t looking for him AT ALL…LOL!  God, literally, sat me in his chair at his desk…And the rest is HIStory.  Despite Deborrah Coopers statement “going to church is not going to make you more attractive and interesting to men”, my husband tells me repeatedly that he his happy he found a Proverbs 31 woman, a virtuous woman…Without my upbringing in a Black church and around strong Black women, I wouldn’t be the woman he was seeking.  Now, we are not what most would categorize as “religious”…We don’t LIVE in the church, condemn people to hell or parade around as if we ALL aren’t sinners on this Earth.  However, we do attend church fairly regularly and pray daily.  So, even though we didn’t meet in church, we have built a marriage around our faith.

Although I have PLENTY to say about this article and other articles the author has written, I will leave you all with this…After reading Cooper’s follow-up article, If You Didn’t ‘Get’ How The Black Church Keeps Black Women Single, my perspective is now slightly divided.  As I stated previously, I do agree with a few points she made.  For instance, she does bring to light the jaded views of SOME women in church, yet she is wrong in her approach to place all Black women who attend Black churches into one pool.  Also, as there are some Black male pastors who have the antiquated “know your role” attitude towards women, there are many others who graciously allow women into their pulpit and numerous women who HEAD the pulpit!  To gain a broader, clearer and more concise understanding of Deborrah Cooper’s point-of-view, please read her follow-up article and let us know your thoughts.

Single Black Women, know and love yourself, so others may love you too…Enjoy the single life inside and outside the church…Continue to worship God…And determine your OWN worth, so no man, woman, author or pastor can determine it for you.  

~Brandi S. Allen~

Friday, November 11, 2011

Single BLACK Female (Part 3)

We are still having the discussion on the this very opinionated article I read a few weeks ago. I feel that its important that strong Black women not only discuss these outrageous stereotypes this writer has attached to us, but to give our opinions validity.  Michele Mosley has given us her opinion and I'm sure you'll enjoy what she has to say.  By the way, feel free to join the discussion in the comments section! Thanks

I must say that after reading the article, “The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely”, I was truly shocked by what I read. The author, who has clearly not been an active part of a black church, or the right black church is so misguided; what a shame! I am not just saying that because I was raised in church or because I met my fiancé in church, but because during this article she states that we are taught by our pastors we should “seek a God-fearing man”, when in all actuality HE SHOULD SEEK US. In no way should a woman be looking for her husband and if she is, it’s probably why she’s attracting clownery! Men are men no matter where you go. Go to church to seek GOD, not a man!

I have to strongly disagree with her thought that the pastors of such churches are the reason women are still single. I have seen nothing but examples of loving, healthy and positive marriages in my church. In the instances where couples opted to get divorced for whatever reason, that’s between them and God. Yes my pastor would suggest counseling to help repair the circumstances, but the ultimate decision is theirs. I think that narrowing the men in church to four different types as she did is shallow and misleading. Yes there are some fools everywhere, including church, but we as women have to learn how to be selective in whom we CHOOSE, YES CHOOSE to be with. It is our choice ladies! We don’t have to be with every guy who shows an interest in us. It makes us as women seem desperate and needy. Learn to be selective!

Most women believe that when they meet a man in church he has it all together, when in all actuality a church is no different than a hospital; people come there to be healed and they’re still battling with their spirit and flesh, trying to be made whole. In no way does the right pastor insinuate that if you get a man in church he’s the man for you. STOP LOOKING FOR A MAN TO COMPLETE YOU. The Bible describes a good man as a man of valor, or courage, but these are the guys that are usually overlooked in church. Maybe we as women should pray for God to change our attractions. Do we not think there is a reason we are always ending up with the same type of guy? Rather we met him at the club, the gym or church, in 9 months we’re crying to our girlfriends again about how he broke our hearts. Why? Because we keep dating the same guy in different clothes; Timbs, jogging pants or a suit makes him no different! Don’t date outside the
church, date outside your type!

I am currently engaged and planning a wedding to the most beautiful guy inside and out. However, it took him 30 years to find me. I had to sit back and wait patiently and while it wasn't always easy, it was all worth it. We as women should take the time to learn and love us, but have fun while we’re waiting on the one for us. Learn that we can meet a man in church, the grocery store or the train station and still date, get married and have children while still having a relationship with God. Love you more so he can love you right and in the words of Carrie Bradshaw “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well that’s just fabulous.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Single BLACK Female (Part 2)

As I mentioned previously I have asked some fellow writers to voice their opinion on the strongly opinionated article that I spoke of last week.

Here’s what Nakita Jackson had to say!

As a black woman and preacher’s kid I was thoroughly offended by every preconceived notion in this article. Truth be told, the only fact in the whole article was the video she was bashing…the rest was the ravings of one very bitter woman. I don’t have blind unwavering faith in black men or the black church, first of all that goes against the word of God. The word obviously states (had she bothered to open a bible) that you are to put your faith in no man and entity only God.

Psalms 146:3 - Put not your trust in princes, or in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

So it’s not the black woman sitting in church every Sunday that is being brainwashed and placated, it’s the ones reading this article based on no fact, but a person’s feelings and prejudices. She argues that men in the role of spiritual leaders are the ones brainwashing black women, so what about the thousands of women pastors preaching the same doctrine? Have they been brainwashed by some random man before them? What surprises me the most is her suggestion to leave your church and focus on your own needs.

So you want me to stop acknowledging God, stop serving and worshipping Him, and then steal His job? This is ridiculous, because focusing on my needs means that I no longer trust my God to do what he clearly promises He would…

Philippians 4:19 - And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Or maybe I should start attending a Caucasian church because obviously they’re preaching something different (a scary thought) and all of the black women in their churches are clearly married! Smh…

I would advise Ms. Deborrah to take an introspective look at herself… I am not quite sure where her bitterness with the church lies, but she needs to heal in more ways than one! Black women are not single and lonely because of black churches. First and foremost loneliness is a state of mind; I am single but never alone. Secondly I know she advocates complete self-absorption and selfishness but being single is not a bad thing. It gives you time to focus on yourself and God, as well as prepare yourself for marriage, which requires everything but self-absorption and selfishness.

 If you take her advice when God does send your husband you will be too self-absorbed to notice or minister to his needs. I’ll be praying for you Ms. Deborrah I think this is just the outward manifestation of something deeper and the God you’re bashing is the only one who can heal you and make you whole.

~ Nakita Jackson (A God loving BLACK WOMAN)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Single BLACK Female

Ever since I was a little girl, religion, church, spirituality (or whatever it is you call it) has been a part of my life.  It has never been a choice for me; at 2 years old, I had the first ten books of the Bible memorized and had devotion every day at school.

The ideals of marriage, honesty, loving-kindness and discipline were instilled in me daily.  My family wasn't super-religious, but we did go to church every Sunday.  This wasn't abnormal to me… It's what everyone did.  As a child, church was like a show to me; the choir would sing, the old lady in the corner (who sat in the same seat every Sunday) would fall asleep, then a few people would catch the Holy Ghost and run around the church.  I also loved to dress up and compare the ruffles on my dress to all of the other little girls' dresses.  I had no concept of what these symbols actually meant as a child, it had become the normalcy of what church was.

Church, the Black family and the high regard that the church holds in our culture are often discussed .While skimming the internet today, I ran across an article: "The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely".

I'm not so sure how I feel about this!  In fact, I'm pretty sure it pisses me off!  Every pastor that I have been exposed to is involved in a loving and successful marriage and leads by example!  They are/were encouraging to the congregation and don't give false hope. 

This article states: "Single black women, sitting in church every Sunday, are being subtly brainwashed, soothed and placated into waiting, without demand, for what they want to magically come to them.”

Okay, are you kidding me???  Just because a pastor gives advice or is encouraging doesn't mean that he is "brainwashing"!  What's wrong with being told to "not settle and be patient"?

The article then goes on to say: "Who is doing this to women?  The male standing in front of the church inthe role of spiritual leader, that's who!"

Is it just me… or is the writer of this article a true, blue FOOL?!?  Are they seriously saying that pastors are the reason there are so many single Black women?  Well, I feel the exact opposite and am grateful for my pastor who, first of all, very rarely preaches about relationships and is very encouraging to everyone, not just the single folks!  However, he does every now and then tell us that there is nothing wrong with being single and if you are, enjoy it!

I truly understand that what's for me, is for me.  I will continue to grow and love myself, so when the time is right, the man of my dreams will have no choice but to do the same!

This article has really sparked up great conversation amongst my friends and fellow writers, so I would like for them to voice their opinions as well.  Over the next few weeks, you will hear from Nakita Jackson, Michele Mosley and Brandi Allen with their views of this strongly opinionated article.  I can't wait to see what they have to say!  Stay Tuned…

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Unapologetically Me!

I am who I am and have been given all that I have not only because I am blessed but because of the influence of those who came before me.  Pastor Horace Smith says, “We are losing the future generations by raising them incorrectly and not holding them accountable for their actions and it is our responsibility to be the leading example for them to follow.”
I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect; in fact, I’m quiet flawed… but who isn’t?  All of my “wrongs” will be “right” to someone, someday. 
In my life, I have been blessed with two loving and successful parents who were able to provide a wonderful life for me, but on top of that I was allowed to be myself.  Free-spirited, imaginative and bursting with energy!
I am without a doubt loud…but I have reason to be!  I am blessed beyond measure and living in the best times of my life, why wouldn’t I want to share that with the world? I love to have fun and my over-the-top personality is a threat to most…but I refuse to be untrue to who I am!  What’s for me is for me (be it personal or professional) and it will be!  
Being caring and sensitive are also attributes I carry.  I’m a little too sensitive if you ask me, but it’s who I am!  I’ll cry at the drop if a hat and catch an attitude even faster! LOL I can’t help it! I care for my loved ones immensely and I put a lot of effort into those relationships and when I am underappreciated, it truly hurts.
As I previously mentioned, I have great parents.  They are beautiful! I’m a mixture of the two of them and I am proud of what I look like!  My hair is not long, my face is round, my cheeks are big, I am not “model skinny” but I am beautiful!  That’s not all though; my attributes come from them as well. Strength, kindness, loyalty, authority and much more has been demonstrated by my parents and they are who I strive to be like.  They have led by example and now it’s my responsibility and commitment to do the same for those who come after me.

One of my favorite quotes is: “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Rupaul
In fact, it’s my reasoning behind this post!  I love myself no matter what and I’m proud of the woman I’ve become.  In all that I am: spoiled, dramatic, loud, bitchy, silly, sensitive, mothering, caring, critical… FLAWED!

Table for One please… Unapologetically me… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Throw all of our stress out of the window and act like a kid again… No worries… No stress… No bills!  Live today like it’s your last and worry about the rest of the crap tomorrow!

Friday, September 30, 2011


As you all know, I’ve been relishing in my single life for a while now and truly enjoying it.  But every now and then, I get a flashback…And this one came completely by surprise.
Last Sunday, I was having a conversation with someone I hadn’t seen in a while. We caught up with the usual “how are you” & “how’s the fam” generic questions you ask when you haven’t seen someone in a while. We were just breezing through our lightweight conversation and then he asked about my ex. This wasn’t a surprise because for so long, when you saw him, you saw me.  I gave short yet sweet answers to let him know that I was ok and that I hadn’t talked to him.  Then he asked a question! A question that was completely unexpected. ..
“You do know that there isn’t anything wrong with you and that you didn’t do anything wrong right??”
I wonder what my face looked like, because I was not expecting him to say that.  As tears streamed down my face, he proceeded to tell me how men handle situations much differently than women and that just because I didn’t get an answer as to why things ended doesn’t mean I’m toxic!
I’m not sure if I was more shocked from the words coming out of his mouth or that I was crying.  As I stopped listening to him, I tried to figure out exactly why I was crying. 
Is there something wrong with me? Am I still sad about the breakup? Was I emotional because he was showing me that he cared? Or am I just extremely emotional for no reason at all today? (I have those days…I don’t know why)  I needed to figure this out!
This man doesn’t really know me that well and he hadn’t seen me in months, but he was able to pull this emotion from me… It was weird, because I couldn’t figure out where these emotions were coming from. All I know is that they hit me like a bolder!
I realized that his intentions were not to make me cry.  He was just being concerned. This conversation is a prime example of how our loved ones hold on to things long after we let them go.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way trying to forget my relationship, because it taught me valuable lessons. As does all relationships. I’ve learned a lot about love, compromise, honesty, and loyalty while dating.  What I learned from this relationship as well as the ones that preceded it, will allow me to be a better partner in my next relationship.
This conversation gave validation to what I had been trying to convince myself of ever since The Breakup.  That I didn’t do anything wrong and I’m not toxic!  Hearing those words from him gave me clarity.  Sometimes we need a second opinion to validate what we already know is the truth! I am grateful for those tears because they were happy ones and his second opinion not only allowed me to put everything in perspective but it was also just what the doctor ordered!
I’m on a journey…and taking every moment in… Table for One please… All of me no holds barred… Love me or leave me alone!
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Don’t forget to be grateful, things could be much worse.  I am grateful for the happy tears, because for a long time the only tears that fell from my eyes were from pain.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

For Friendship or For Love...

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable. ~ Bruce Lee

We all know the story of Love & Basketball, but just in case you are one of the few people on earth who hasn’t seen it…Quincy and Monica are childhood friends who are nothing more than just that, until their senior year of high school when things change.  They decide to become more than friends.  Their relationship has its ups and downs, but they eventually live happily ever after.
Well, I tried to make this movie a reality in my own life a couple times.  I’ve had great friendships with men that were just that, friendships.  But my last two relationships, which lasted for several years, didn’t quite turn out like the movie.  Both of them ended abruptly, leaving me with feelings of pain and regret.  What did I gain from these relationships?  These are friendships that are ruined and will NEVER be the same again.  I’m not so sure they were worth it…Worth losing two good friends.  But, the euphoric feeling I had while in these relationships is irreplaceable.  The feelings were different in both of these relationships, as were the dynamics, but the euphoria…that “I can’t feel my feet”, “floating on air”, “walking on sunshine”, feeling like the girl in your favorite love story, was the same.  I loved both of them differently and for very different reasons but I often wonder if I had to do it all again…would I?  I’m not so sure.
Well, the cycle continues…I have a couple friends who seem as if they are trying to ease their way into a relationship with me.  And just think about it, it’s really hard to remain friends when a loving connection is already there.  If I already love this person as my friend, it’s kind of hard to let what could potentially be a great relationship go down the drain.  The ball is in my court, but I have to learn to draw a line.  A big, bold, black line with a permanent marker!
I have to stop myself from taking this kind of risk.  As bad as I want to let my guard down, I CANNOT!  I’ve been burned two times in a row…and in a minute, I’m gonna be out of friends!  LOL!  My mother (for those of you who don’t know, is a hopeless romantic) says that the third time may actually be a charm.  I’m not convinced!
There is one friend of mine who is very persistent and not backing down in his efforts of pursuing me.  And I must admit, it’s VERY hard to resist.  But at this point, I’ve gotta protect my heart.  But it’s so intriguing that HE would be attracted to ME!  I mean, he has been my friend for several years, even before my previous relationships and the type of women he usually dates look NOTHING like me!
So, why me?  Am I convenient?  Or is the attraction actually there?  I have given in a little though…We have kissed a few times.  And the way he kisses me… OMGEEEEE!  It’s ridiculous and extremely intimate.  But I definitely have to leave this one alone because I am truly playing with fire!  I want him to remain my friend and in order for that to happen, I need to separate myself from him.  I refuse to lose another great friendship.  I’ve gambled enough.  I’d rather have my friend.
So for now, it’s still a Table For One please… All of me, flaws and all… Love me or leave me alone…
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Laugh out loud!  Literally…Even if it’s not that funny, learn to laugh at the little things.  Laughter is the best medicine.  ;)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Love Music?

Music can make you think, cry, laugh, dance, worship and so much more.  As I studied radio production at Columbia College Chicago, I learned a lot about music and how its timing can make or break a mood.
There are many ways you can express yourself through music.  It makes dancers dance and singers sing.  I have been a dancer since I was 2 years old, so when I hear music I immediately want to dance.  It’s like it’s in my blood!  But no matter how you slice it, music enhances all feelings and emotions. 
As I was driving home the other night after having drinks with a friend, I turned to WGCI.  “Whispers in the Dark” was on, a show that plays nothing but songs regarding relationships; from 10pm to 2am every day.  As I drove the 20 minute drive home all kinds of songs were playing in my ear… I heard these men and women singing of love and happiness and I felt nothing. Not one thought to make me smile, giggle, feel butterflies or even get angry! I was blank!
Now of course old songs bring back moments & memories of my past… Speaking of which, I had a moment last week that made my heart smile.
Several years ago, I had a connection with a man that I have yet to have in any of my other relationships.  We were connected without even trying, it didn’t take any effort…we just “were”! It was magical and I’m not sure if it will ever be matched.  We listened to music often and whenever I hear a song from that time in my life I think of him, just as I did last week. I like having joyful memories to go back to; they take me back to feelings of the past that inadvertently make me optimistic for my future.  I believe most relationships are seasonal and I am grateful for the time I spent with this man. Music was a big part of our relationship. Although our personal situations didn’t allow our relationship to last forever, I learned a lot from it and it made me a better person.
I am grateful for the memories, however when I hear new songs that I’ve never heard before with great melodic tones and lyrics of love and happiness, I am left blank.  No face, no thought, no feeling or person to think of.  I am not saddened by this…I just “am”.  I am living in the moment… Patiently waiting for my love song to walk into my life…
But until then…Table for one please, all of me, no holds barred… Love me or leave me alone ;-)
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Turn on your favorite song and DANCE! Dance like no one’s watching!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Are you a “side chick”?  Does your man take you around his family?  Does he take you around his friends?  Do you speak to him throughout the day?  Have you ever been to his house?  If your answer to most of these questions is NO, you just might be a side chick!  Now, I know some people are okay with being in this position, but I for one, AM NOT!
When dating I like to receive a substantial amount of attention.  Not necessarily to consume the life of the person I’m dating, but I like to know that I am the one person that is receiving most of their attention.  Some women are okay with sloppy seconds, being the “chick on the side”, but it’s just not me!  I am too spoiled, loud and in need of attention to be in that position…I just don’t have it in me!  I was used to being in a relationship, receiving all of the attention and all of a sudden I’m supposed to take what I can get!?!  NO! I don’t think so!
Some women are okay in this role and they play it well…They stay in their place, accept the amount of time they have with “their man” and keep it moving.  They like not being too attached or committed; I guess they get a rush from it all…I believe in karma and I know that I wouldn’t want a woman sneaking around with my man knowing I was the one he was coming home to.  So, I just CANNOT bring myself to do it!  I’m worth more.
I have a good amount of male friends and some of them are in relationships.  I am always respectful of their relationships.  A while ago I had an issue with one of my male friends; the girlfriend didn’t want us to be friends.  I have known both of them for years…Even prior to their relationship, so her insecurity about me was a shock.  I think she was intimidated by my beauty…LBVS.  We would text regularly about insignificant topics and she would always find something wrong with us communicating.  Eventually, I scaled down my interaction with him, only out of respect for him and his relationship.
Although this particular friend was not trying to be anymore than friends, there is a male friend of mine who wants more than friendship.  This friend is also in a relationship and it’s very insulting to know, that he would expect me to accept being a “sometime chick” when he is away from his girlfriend!  At first, I was a little open to the idea because he insisted that he was unhappy and would be out of the relationship soon.  HOWEVER, months later, he was in the same situation…Happy girlfriend, happy home, happy relationship.  Yet, he was always eager to see me.  Now, I refused to get physical with him, only because I believe that what goes around comes around.  And, I knew that even speaking intimately with him was disrespectful and I wouldn’t want that to happen to me, so I HAD to cut him off.  He wouldn’t leave easily though…The way he responded, you would think that we were in a truly intimate relationship.  I just didn’t feel right and I would have ended up with the tears and hurt feelings in the end. 
I am very happy in the decision that I made to not accept this second hand treatment. Ladies, we have to take a stand and know our worth.  Stop accepting this behavior from men who claim they care for you.  I can only speak for myself when I say I’d rather be alone than a second option. You decide your worth!
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Forgive yourself, don't blame yourself for things gone wrong in your life! How can you ever move forward if your are stuck on things you feel you've done wrong in the past!?!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hello...Good Morning!?!

I was going to write about something totally different today, but all of the random “Good Morning” texts I received this morning completely changed my mind!  Now, I’m not sure if I’m the only one this happens to, but what’s up with this dreaded “Good Morning” text!?!
What does it mean?  Are these guys really thinking of me?  Are they just being polite?  Is it game?  How many other chicks are getting the same text?  I mean seriously, I am not personally affected by these random “acts” of kindness, but I used to be…
Once upon a time, there was a girl…A girl whose daily mood completely depended on an insignificant “Good Morning” text!  It was so stupid, now that I think about it, how I could be so naïve!?!  But it made me feel valued, cared for and thought of.  I would really look forward to it every morning and if I didn’t get it, I was completely pissed and he had hell to pay!  How could I let this tiny gesture effect my ENTIRE DAY!  I was giving him all of my power, but why?  Well, somewhere deep down in my heart I wanted to be loved and desired by SOMEONE…Even if it wasn’t sincere!  So, I took what I could get!
I was immediately snapped back into reality when I realized this was a MASS text!  Meaning, I WAS NOT the only person receiving this “oh-so-precious” text…It was all a façade, a trick, GAME!  So now I no longer allow these “acts” to effect my day!  Although, I no longer speak to Mr. Good Morning there are plenty more where he came from!
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that all “Good Morning” texts are used as “game.” Some people actually do think of me enough to say good morning.  It’s refreshing to know that I am thought of by people who aren’t looking for something in return.  They simply want to let me know that I am thought of and I appreciate that!
So, whether these random texts are sincere or merely blowing smoke, it doesn’t matter because I will no longer allow the actions of others to have the power to affect me!

Table for one please…All of me, no holds barred!  Love me or leave me alone :-)

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Do something kind for someone…And when they smile, so will you!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

To settle or not to settle? That is the question…

As I sit and watch an episode of VH1's new hit show “Single Ladies”, I have realized that I could sooooo be a character on this show!  Now, there's Val, the woman who has it all!  Her own business, wonderful friends, a beautiful home, but no LOVE... Keisha is the vixen and desired by most of the men she meets!  A beautifully independent woman, who views dating as freely and frivolously as men…but she may have actually found love this time around.  Lastly there's April; she had the perfect marriage, but became bored in her relationship and cheated on her husband.  She is now going through an unwanted divorce.  All that's missing is me; the recently single, confident, cute and outgoing woman who wants to have fun dating, but is never approached by the men she considers to be "worth it..."

Fits right in, huh?

I have great friends in my life, one of whom is my mother; I talk to her about almost everything!  So it’s just natural for me to go to her for advice and to vent when I need to… Frustrating situations from dating come up often and she always tells me, I have to love who loves me.  It took me a while to understand what she was truly saying.  I was finding that the men I was attracted to were not attracted to me.  But I refused to settle.  I’m not going to date the cross-eyed dude in the FUBU outfit just because he’s attracted to me…I do have standards!!  But I did give myself a little leeway and gave men that I normally wouldn’t give the time of day, a chance. To learn to try something new, but not necessarily settle.

My friends and I struggle with this situation daily!  As you already know, I have some pretty hot friends and most of them are single and battling the same demon as me.  I read an article the other day that hit a little close to home…The article was called “Eleven Reasons Why Beautiful Women Have Trouble Finding Mr. Right”.  I am not generally the self-help, “help me find a man” article reading type of girl, but this one caught my eye!
It gave several reasons why beautiful women can’t find what they are looking for.  One that particularly caught my eye talked about “the hunter”.  It read: The more attractive the woman, the more likely she will be approached by the kind of man who approaches attractive women.  This kind of man views hunting, seducing and conquering women as a sport.  The article references this type of behavior as a game, and once the “game” is won, he’s no longer interested.  As you look at the behavior of some of the men you know…is this true?  I can only speak for myself and they hit it right on the head!!
Next, they talked about what I face most, not being approached!  It read: The more attractive the woman, the less likely she will be approached by a man who wants a relationship.  It is very unlikely that a man will approach a woman who he feels is more attractive than he is.  So basically, the article is telling me that an attractive man who wants a relationship is non-existent!
Well, not non-existent, just a very rare breed…I refuse to believe this, that a good guy, who is attractive with great attributes doesn’t exist!!!
So ladies, what are we to do?  Should we scale down our cute clothes, make-up and hair so we can be considered more approachable?  Well, I refuse!  I can’t help that I’m fabulous!

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Concentrate on making yourself better!  Once you learn to love yourself, it won’t be too long before someone else joins you!