National Women’s History Month

March 1st. The beginning of our month long celebration of women. I could rattle off a list of names from the history books but we, as women, should be bold and brass enough to celebrate ourselves as well. I am all about giving kudos to those who paved the path I now tread but I want to begin this month respecting my beginnings.

This month I want to honor the fabulous women who have helped shape my life with the very essence of theirs, starting with my mother. The most influential woman in my direct life. Words cannot express how thankful I am to have you in my life.

My mother raised five children, on her own, in the heart of a tough North Philadelphia neighborhood. Throughout the 80s and 90s she ran her home with a precision that would be considered extreme by today’s moralless standards. She understood how dangerous the streets could be having come of age in the gang-run streets of Philadelphia in the mid- to late 60s.

During a time when women and children were to be seen and not heard, my mother was outspoken, speaking up and standing up for what she believed in. Many times incurring the ire of my grandmother. Being raised in the South during the aftermath of the Great Depression, my grandmother’s reaction was to be expected.

Not one to give in to someone else’s idea of how she should live her life, my mother made ends meet selling dinners from our home until the last of us was school aged. Instilling in us early on the importance of going to school everyday sparked my love of learning.

Thank you mom for being the phenomenal woman you are. You are more than just a woman. More than just my mom. You are an inspiration to many through your perseverance.

Which woman inspired you to become who you are today? Leave a thank you for them in the comments.

3 Ways To Foster Change In Your Life

I am currently in another transitional phase in my life. Hence, why you haven’t heard from me in a while. Children graduating, seasons changing and children preparing to begin their school career. But amidst all of that change (because change happens regardless) you can steer it in a way. There is a way to direct some of the changes with a chance to reduce the amount of ‘pains’ associated with growth.

We all have those moments where we wake up one day and our inner being is screaming that something has to change! It’s during those moments that we have to stop and listen to what else our inner being is telling us. Chances are, our inner self has been speaking to us for a while and we were just too busy being busy to notice.

looking skywardIt was during one of these moments that I had to stop and listen because I was on the verge of screaming at the top of my lungs and snapping on my co-workers at my day job. I didn’t like that feeling at all. I listened to what my inner being was saying and discovered that I absolutely hated going to work; not because the job sucked, but because the politics at the job sucked – bad.

My inner self screamed at me to GET OUT!!!! I haven’t seen the movie but I’ve heard ink stampenough reviews to know that when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. We all have those moments at the day job where we want to walk out of the door and not come back but the responsibility of bills and families (for those of us who have them) weighed down on us. I evaluated my interests and came up with three ways to foster change in my life, became a notary public and quit my day job.

  1. Assess Your Interests – Make a list of the things or areas you are interested in. What do you enjoy doing (outside of watching t.v. or playing video games)? Write down 5-7 areas that you are interested in. Write down why you are interested in each of those areas. Ask yourself whether you would be able to participate in this interest for the next 20 years without being financially rewarded and still enjoy it.
  2. Assess Your Skills – Pull out your most recent resume. When did you last update it? Have you acquired any new skills? Have you improved any of your current skills? Are there any skills you need to acquire or that you are interested in? Research where you can improve your skills.
  3. Decide on a Path to Pursue – Go back over your lists. Cross out the ones that don’t make you feel anything. Focus on the ones that light you up inside.

Which interest makes your heart soar? Gives you goosebumps? Most likely those are the ones you should focus on. By taking steps toward your interest there will be a lighter feeling to your day and a twinge of stomach flutters as you realize that you are in control of your hearts’ desires. Make a decision about what you want in your life and go for it, you deserve it!

Using these ideas I have recently become a notary public because I truly enjoy helping others. What dreams have you chased and caught or are currently chasing? Comment below.

 

It’s National Poetry Month 2017!

Poetry month has returned again. I always find myself enthralled reading other’s words and feeling surprise at someone being enthralled by my own.

Don’t misunderstand me. I LOVE my works. My poetry is my therapy – therefore it is very personal and raw for me. Which makes me shy and proud to share it.

The first poem I remember having to memorize was Langston Hughes’ A Dream Deferred. I didn’t understand that poem at the age of ten but it stirred something in me. That quiet stirring continued until I read Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou’s passion ignited the stirring in me and I began to slowly release my words onto paper. Not ever did I think, “I’m going to publish these poems and sell books.” But here I am, poetry collection published, writing more for another collection and pondering what to do next.

But every April for thirty solid days I am reminded, by myself and other poetry friends acquired over the years, that all poetry has beauty in it and speaks to someone somewhere.

Poetry is appreciation of life in the raw. Simple. Elegant. Rough. Raw. Love. Hurt. Deppressed. Happy. Excited. Sad. Mournful. Erotic. You get where I’m going with this.

Should you be a poet or know poets, show them some love this month. Read, share and/or review some of their work. Let them know their words mean something to you. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and expressing my emotional transitions for all who choose to enjoy them!

The End of 2016

I haven’t been on here in months… What can I say, life happened and some things had to be put in hibernation mode. This year has been a doosie for sure. When I started this year I had several things in mind that I wanted to accomplish and for the most part I have accomplished most of them.

Personally, I have had what some would view as set-backs. For me, they were set-ups for something better. The set-ups I encountered placed me in a position to accomplish a few of my goals and to position me to accomplish more in the future. I know I’m being cryptic but I don’t mean to. Although I haven’t been posting on here much this year I did 14523025_10154619617256979_3602667605699037611_nchronicle much of what I encountered, endured, accomplished, etc… on my Facebook and Instagram accounts (for those of you who follow me – for those of you who don’t, you should start. I can be hilarious at times).

Many are tired of 2016 snatching our childhood entertainers but I say heaven is preparing for a final showdown. Look at our president-elect. You can not get any more disrespectful to the human race than that – a clear sign the last days are fast approaching (2016 snatched Sting, Prince AND George Michael!) But I don’t want to talk about politics.paintingwithatwist

I spent this year exploring myself and pushing the limits of my comfort zone. I still have a way to go, but I’m moving and that is always good! I tried Painting With a Twist, where you drink wine and learn to paint a gallery quality picture. I loved it and want to do it again. If you haven’t tried any of the paint venues (Painting With a Twist, Paint Nite, etc…) grab a friend or two and try it!

laffnowlafflatersept2016I went to several comedy shows this year: Laff Now, Laff Later hosted by Coby Jackk (also on Facebook and Instagram). I started a new 9-5 which took most of my writing energy. The gig is okay and is a catalyst that helped me begin positioning for other goals I want to accomplish. *Drum roll* Now that this year is coming to a close I will not make any resolutions. Mostly because by January 4th I have forgotten what I had resolved to do and misplaced the list I wrote them down on.

What I will do is work on self-improvement, that is always my goal, to be better than I was yesterday. This year (2017) I am getting passports for me and my two little ones, I am getting a new vehicle, I am getting a new house and going back to school to complete my degree in accounting. Thoughts of compiling a second collection of poetry have been floating around but I am undecided on that right now. In 2017 I do want to stay consistent in writing everyday because my mind isn’t equipped with an on/off switch. Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes has been a huge influence on me for 2016 and I will continue to use her wisdom as a guide to more possibilities in my life.

As the new year comes in, stay safe, enjoy the end of an interesting year, welcome in the new year and say yes to you more, yes to endless possibilities – I will. See you in 2017!

determination

On Why Yet’s Watch with Sharai Robbin

Anyone who knows me (and I mean REALLY knows me), knows that I LOVE a good book. I am a book nerd wrapped in a gorgeous face, lol! On my show, On Why Yet’s Watch, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing an author from my hometown of Philadelphia, Sharai Robbin. Sharai is the author of the novel, Candace Reign, which was picked up by Simon & Schuster in 2015.

Candace Reign Sharai promo

Sharai is an inspirational woman all by herself even before you get to her writing. Sitting and talking with her about her passion for crafting her words into book form was divine! I am at a loss for words to describe the interview. All I can say is you would have to listen for yourself and come to your own conclusion. We need more individuals who are looking to improve and inspire the current generations’ preparing to come of age so that they in turn can improve and inspire those that come behind them. That will create a better world for us ALL!

Birthday Bop!

28354_120571384642257_7705438_nYep! Today (January 27th) is my birthday! I am celebrating me on learning to love myself stronger and harder! I am rocking out to my new theme song for this year, Lost At Sea by Zedd… “Lost at seeaaaa! Where they will never find us!”

Music is my salvation when life gets rocky and I am so grateful for it. I am grateful for sites like pandora.com, soundcloud.com, and all the others that are out there but I haven’t gotten around to discovering you for myself yet. Thank you!

I am so busy dancing to the music that it’s taking me longer than I initially anticipated to write this post. It was supposed to be a shorty but goody and I completely lost my train of thought listening to Lost at Sea. I absolutely LOVE this song! It is on loop on my soundcloud playlist. It is going to rock me to sleep as soon as I finish this post, I promise!

This last year has been so pivotal for me. I had to overcome some major fears to begin regaining my life back and the culmination is my starting a new job today, on my birthday, doing what I went to school for! Preparing taxes (I achieved my associate’s degree in accounting in 2010) for individuals through the Pathways program that provides free tax preparation for low income and moderate income individuals in the Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester County areas. Party on!

On Why Yet’s Watch with Blackwell of BlakkNation Music

I am extra excited this week. Last week I interviewed Victoria Catherine and even though we had to fight through some technical issues with Blogtalk Radio, the interview was still hot! That’s why I love my guests and my listeners. They are a part of my radio family11709625_1583192168608033_4178267984408335270_n and together I am able to bring you what’s going on. Well, what’s going on this week is my interview with hip hop emcee, Blackwell of BlakkNation Music.

Born and raised in Ohio, Hip Hop and R&B artist Blackwell has been writing and performing since the age of 15, since developing his skills of playing guitar, drums, piano, and sax. He’s been largely influenced by such artists as Jay-Z, Eric B. and Rakim, LL Cool J, and Notorious B.I.G., and presents a new school and old school style in his lyrics to appeal to all ages.

He uses a mix of old and new school style in his lyrics which promote postive messages to plus size and BBW women. He describes his style of music as, “Music to wake up your eardrum!” He’s opened for such national acts as Kayne West, LL Cool J, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Paul Wall, Bizzy Bone, Twista, Drake,  Usher, Afroman, and Wiz Khalifa. He’s also collaborated with Danity Kane, Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie Devoe from New Edition!, and Janet Jackson.

Blackwell has formed his own production company and management, ”BlakkNation Music”, that will feature new and upcoming acts of all genre of music, and continues to work and educate new artists in the industry to learn the business and present new material to the Hip Hop and R&B field. He’s a valuable asset to the music industry with more yet to deliver.

You can check out his mixtape, I Am Blackwell, here. You can check out Blackwell’s new single, Kurvalicious, on youtube.

Thursday nights are where you can get the chance to listen in and hear what’s going on with talented indie artists who write, rap, perform and encourage our next generation. Check out On Why Yet’s Watch on Thursdays, 9 pm EST by calling in at 773-897-6297.