Self-Actualization in America

During my early college years I studied about educators and psychologists who had similar lines of thought – that each individual’s primary goal in life is to reach the pinnacle of self-actualization. You know, that moment of clarity where you understand the purpose of your life and your role as a part of the collective called humanity. Each person’s subconscious desire is to reach this nirvana of understanding within us.

I spent the last two weeks grappling with understanding what I was witnessing in real time. Murder, mayhem and lies broadcast far and wide. George Floyd was murdered. By law enforcement. Nothing can justify that. The collective of law enforcement had refused to even arrest the officers involved – that is – until massive amounts of people spoke out about it. Murder. And law enforcement shrugged like – eh, it happens.

So the first amendment allows for freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble. So the people did just that. Assembled peacefully. Law enforcement took to the protests as though it were a war cry and suited up in military-grade tactical gear (wait, where’d the money for the upgrades come from when there’s no money for education?) complete with tear gas, shields, batons, rubber bullets and fireworks. Yes, they were shooting fireworks at people!

Agitators were sent in to disrupt the protests (which spilled across the nation from coast to coast), pallets of loose bricks were left in plain view (and not near any construction or demolition sites), and police used their bikes, batons, horses and cars to assault protestors. Even the reporters felt the attacks. One reporter was shot in the face with a rubber bullet and lost her vision in one eye. Several protestors from across the nation decided to form a group for those who lost an eye from being shot with rubber bullets (as of 6/9/20 there were at least 8 who had found each other on Twitter).

The devastation caused by gross abuse of power is a major and deadly deterrent to achieving self-actualization. How can we become our best versions of ourselves under the domestic terrorism of our law enforcement whose sole purpose is supposed to be to protect and serve the public?

Photo by Pexels

Black Violin Groove

Happy Friday! We are at the end of February and boy did this month fly by! I have been grooving these last couple of months on music from my favorite violinists – Damien Escobar and the duo, Black Violin.

Only those super close to me understand how deeply music touches me and many of Black Violin’s tracks have touched me in a way that can only be felt, not explained. Let me start by suggesting some of the tracks in my current rotation:

* Triumph

* Virtuoso

* Magic

* Showoff

* A Way Home

* Impossible Is Possible

Now all of these tracks can be found on YouTube so don’t fret. This group is also on twitter and instagram (I know because I gave them shout outs a few times). Who knew violins could get so… deep?

I kept thinking these last few years that this is the time for the strings as in the early 2000s the saxophone had everybody grooving in the jazz listening circuit (especially me) but I have always had a love for the strings and bass. I guess that influence comes from seeing my father’s guitar as a child and being fascinated with Prince in the Purple Rain movie.

Back to Black Violins… I love how they pull you in with their openings and then wrap you up in their melodies. They will be in concert in Wilmington, DE on March 28th. That would be awesome to see them play live! The way their music makes me feel…

Life is Important

As I celebrate my new year, a return to my sun rising, many are mourning loss. And as I empathize with the pain, I already understand the importance of showing love to those you love everyday because you don’t know when the last time you see them is the last time you see them. So for those you love, make the time to see them. Make the time to call them. Make the time to tell them how you feel or clear up any misunderstandings. Time is precious and stops for no one.

That is why for my birthday this year I chose to do something just for me. My birthday has been like a rose bush for me, pretty but painful, for too long. The short version – my father never bothered to remember my birthday, ever. He remembered my brother’s birthday which is 2 days after mine. From 1987 on I do not recall one birthday call. So my birthdays have always been bittersweet…

Fast forward to 2020. My birthday has returned, the bitter has lessened and the sweet is increasing and for those who choose not to see – well, it’s their loss not mine. Our time in these bodies are not infinite. So I choose to walk into my new decade, into my new season, leaving any and every thing behind who does not honor or cherish me as the divine being that I am. I am here on purpose and for a purpose.

Happy Birthday Why Yet 💜

*photos courtesy of Sean Lassiter Photography*

It’s Cold Outside!

I don’t like winter or winter-like weather. I feel the cold beneath my skin, into the bones. I need warmth. I like warmth. Cold air makes my body retreat into itself.

On the upside, winter makes for good cuddling if you have a cuddle-buddy. Hot chocolate or warm apple cider and a good movie or two while bundled in a warm blanket makes for a comfortable evening. Throw in some bulky yarn and your choice of needles or hooks (my fellow yarnies know what I’m talking about) and you have a recipe for heaven – for some.

But me, I like the yarn and chocolate and cuddles yet I’d rather do without the freezing temperatures. I don’t like opening my front door to Sub-Zero yelling “Finish Her!” for three – six months out of the year. That is not my cup of tea!

But since I am on the East coast of the United States, there’s no getting around it. So I’ll just bundle up, stock up on yarn and hot chocolate and knit my way to summer! Stay warm in the meantime.

Dear Why Yet…

First, I have to apologize to you. I have exposed us to years of unnecessary heartache and pain through allowing your innocent vulnerabilities to be taken advantage of. You are a loving and powerful woman. I did not trust you enough to allow you to spread your wings and grow. My fears kept you bound to those who could not give you what you needed and deserved to fly.

My fears kept me from believing there was anything better for you out in the world. You deserve the world. Your smile cheers up those you share it with and you share freely even when you are crumbling inside and I appreciate that. I love you for that.

You put others before yourself when they are in need. You give even when you are in need. You are fiercely loyal to those you love, even when they hurt you deeply. And when you want to retreat and heal I have interfered, and for that I am sorry. When you needed to sever ties and heal your heart I interfered and for that I am sorry.

Even in pain you still emit a celestial beauty through your writings. Everytime I read your poetry I feel your memories and cry your tears. Thank you for sharing your words, not only with me but with the rest of the world.

Continue to shine your brightest light because I need it. I thank you for being the woman you are.

Love,

Why Yet

Redirecting My Path

When I started this blog many years ago I had this idea that to engage people I had to make my blog like everyone else’s. Scheduled posts with updated pop-culture tidbits and such.

I admit, that was like sitting down and doing calculus. I hate calculus. It’s theoretical math. And reading back over some of my older posts I can feel the resistance in my writing.

My old blog over in bloggerland (Poetically Wyld) was full of me, raw emotion and poetic sensibilities, while figuring out this thing called life. This figuring out part sucks. It’s like driving to a new part of town and the GPS is broken. Yet, more adventures and more interesting experiences are had by not knowing where you are going even as scary as being lost is.

So, I’ve decided that I am returning to my old blogger ways. You’ll be getting more – well, Me. More relaxed and unfiltered stories and I hope you enjoy them. I am beginning the close of my 30s and preparing to enter my 40s and I don’t want to drag any old, unproductive energy into my new decade with me.

I’ve spent the last two decades trying to get this whole love thing down and so far I have been very unlucky. I’m not happy about it but I’m not dead yet either so that’s a win. It’s been suggested I try Match.com but I’m a skeptic at this point. So if you have any suggestions for meeting new people I am open to listen. Until next time…

– Why Yet

Self-Discovery of Me…

The first day of spring is the world’s New Year’s day. Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings and for me I am fully embracing that. I am fully embracing me.

The journey to discovering who I am and what my passions are has been interesting thus far. I have met so many amazing individuals, myself included. Before I began paying close attention to this journey, I was a stranger to myself. Working, raising a family, doing everything I was programmed to do. But I was unhappy. I was unfulfilled and I was very unsatisfied. Nothing is more dangerous than an unsatisfied woman.

So far on this journey, I have discovered (and accepted) the fact that I am an emotional individual. My emotions fuel the poetry I write. Emotion is passion. How I display that passion is a story in itself. Many have asked me about the poems I chose to include in my collection, Entangled Hearts.

Each poem spoke a message I wanted to share with you, my readers. We have all experienced love in some form. Good, bad or indifferent, love has left an imprint on each of us. But some imprints left a residue that made me feel alone and isolated, so I wrote about it to reach out to others who may have or yet to have experienced the same.

Entangled Hearts is a collective love letter to myself, to past loves, to future loves and to lovers in general. Sometimes love hurts but other times it doesn’t and that is what entangles all of our hearts…

Reflect On The Past. Plan For The Future…

As National Women’s History Month winds down and the fervor of National Poetry Month begins I can only but reflect on how I fit in at this point of my life. I am a woman. I am a poet. My passion lies in sharing, educating and helping in any way I can.

In reflecting on my own past I realize I can only help others insofar as I have helped myself. That is where my experience and education springs from. Learning from my own past mistakes and then sharing those lessons.

Lesson 1. Speak up. Anything you want to learn you must first be brave enough to speak up. “How do you (insert topic here)?” The worst anyone can say is I don’t know. Your next move is to google it or head to your local library. As a poet, sometimes I am afraid to ask questions because I don’t like hearing no. No hasn’t killed me yet so I continuously push against my fear. I don’t always win, but I don’t stop either.

Lesson 2. Yes. You. Can. Whatever it is you strive to do, you can do. No explanations.

Lesson 3. Ask. For help, for reviews, for sales. Closed mouths don’t get fed. On that note, I am in need of honest feedback on my collection of poetry, Entangled Hearts. In exchange for said feedback I will be giving away free kindle copies of Entangled Hearts to the first ten people to comment below with their email addresses.

Last but not least…

Lesson 4. Inform. Let others know how they can be of service to you so you can be of better service to others! I am preparing to release my second collection of poetry, Reflections: Past, Present, Future and I need a few beta readers as well. Leave your name and email address below with beta next to it so I’ll know you’re interested in being a beta reader. Thanks in advance!

Why Yet

Transitions in Life

sunnyclouds

My youngest child started preschool today. My last born, my last first day of school and I didn’t cry. The reality that my son’s external educational journey has begun is stirring up mixed emotions in me. We’ve waited a long time for this day but now that it’s here I don’t want my baby boy growing up too fast. 

And that’s what it is. Today marks the end of his baby days. The hugs, kisses and snuggles will soon be traded for friends, toys and school crushes. I’m not ready, but I’m preparing. My daughter, who’s going into kindergarten this year, is already writing love letters to some boy from her class last year. Surprisingly, I didn’t react. I listened as she read her letter. I observed my daughter and then reflected on my personality at her age. Damn. She is like me, but bolder. She’s a lot more gutsy than I was at five years old. I feel like time is getting away from me.

This is a very different mental space for me. My children are growing, my parents are aging and I’m in the middle of life’s upward escalator unable to backtrack. Transitions. These moments kind of sneak up on you unexpectedly. But they are necessary. I don’t always like them, but I understand they are catalysts for growth and change. And we all know that change is the only constant.