The Evolution of Me!!!

“Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.”  Mehmet Murat ildan

Whom… They ask is this woman? A woman with a free spirit soaring high like an eagle. A different kind of girl, the oldest of four known as the sickly child. Her “Scarlet Letter” came in the form of illness.

Once in pigtails wrapped with ribbon, ruffled dresses, frilly socks and patent leather shoes that could be heard miles away. Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. That’s what this little girl was made of.

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A dainty girl blossomed into a beautiful woman with unusual interests. The little princess started to evolve.

No longer confined to a bubble by what ailed her. The spirit of healing breathed new life into this woman. Leaving behind a new lease on life and the need to go against the grain. What mattered now was the need to feel alive and embrace her true self.

The sound of combat boots on the black top as she marched and sung in cadence was sweet music to her ears. Intrigued by the kick- back from a M-16 rifle against her shoulder. Feeling sore and bruised was a welcomed reminder of the prior day. The metamorphosis of her thought process was underway.

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Her physical strength allowed her to not be seen as weak in the eyes of her male counterparts. Mentally strong enough to know her limitations but not limited by their beliefs. Owning the ability to draw firm lines in the sand that they did not and would not cross.

Thrill seeking became the norm. Harnessed, tied to a line and dropped into the ocean from a DDG Class Destroyer. Sky diving or feeding a need for speed with the Nascar Experience. Kamikaze or on a mission to fulfill lost childhood adventures?

This woman was doing what most woman wouldn’t. Living out what some only dream about. Settling for what was the status quo for a female was out of the question. Pointing, stares and whispers about how she was not on the beaten path no longer mattered.

Paying tribute to Buzz who assisted in the journey. An old love whom she helped rebuild the engine of his 1970 Ford pickup. Turning her into a grease monkey with manicured nails. Tinkering with a Fat Boy Harley and going on long rides to play Texas Hold’em revealed the inner biker chick.  It’s the subtle things that build confidence and with that she became more powerful in her own right.

The unusual life continues as a truckers’ wife. Living out on the open road six days a week is not for the faint of heart. This woman’s versatility allows her to drop landing gear, tend to air lines and plot routes. There is no structure as a truckers’ wife and danger can be around any corner.

One of many women kicking in the door to clubs exclusively for men. These rare women refuse to be followers and are determined to change the world. Versatility is her crown and everyone must pay their respect.

This type of woman is no longer afraid to stand up in the crowd. Simply fitting in works for some, many are called but very few are chosen. If you are different be who you are and live life on your own terms.

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“Happy Easter”

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I wanted to take time out to wish all of my followers and readers a safe and very blessed Easter.Let’s remember to take time out to pray for those who are less fortunate. Those in Belgium and around the world who are in mourning. Let’s remember the real reason for this day. To me that is… Live the best life we can! Love all people! Share as often as possible even if it is just a good word or a smile. Have a Happy and Safe Easter!!!

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Memoir, Fairy Tales, and Cathartic Experiences

If you are thinking about writing your memoir, read this article by Marilyn Davis on “Two Drops of Ink”.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By: Marilyn L. Davis

Start with your childhood, I tell them. Plug your nose and jump in, and write down all your memories as truthfully as you can. Flannery O’ Connor said that anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life. Maybe your childhood was grim and horrible, but grim and horrible is okay if it is well done. Don’t worry about doing it well yet, though. Just get it down.”  Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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Risky Business This Confessing
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We all need to have a cathartic experience periodically. Taken from the Greek word,  κάθαρσις, it is the purification and purging of emotions, especially self-pity, and fear.
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Both of those emotions and attitudes can prevent us from becoming all that we can be, find closure…

View original post 1,148 more words

Writing… What Will It Do for You?

“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.”
Robert Hass

My literary muse arises most when I’m passionate about a subject or an event. The ability to provide information, to entertain, or share some great epiphany I may have had. All of which motivates me to get out of bed in the morning, enjoy each day whether good or bad. Life and all of its occurrences gives me something to write about later.

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A day ago I was on “Two Drops of Ink” blog, reading and commenting on articles. I read a post by writer and editor Peter B. Giblett, entitled “Do You Ever Promote Your Older Articles”.  In his piece he writes about the benefits of promoting your older articles. I was thoroughly educated by it and I encourage you to read it for yourself.

Persuaded to revisit past work online, in notebooks, stored on thumb drives and disks. As I reviewed these pieces, I found myself on a trip down memory lane. I noticed how my writing changed over the years and during different stages of my life. Being the hoarder that I am of notebooks, journals and various storage devices, I was surprised that I was only able to go back ten years. Although, those ten years seemed like an eternity.

As I embarked on the journey down memory lane, I felt as if I was intruding on the private thoughts and life of a stranger. Observing the knowledge, wisdom, love, sentiment as well as the trials of this seemingly unknown woman. With every written reflection, article or blog post, I noticed her evolution and growth. I do admit, I have a long road ahead to get to who I truly want to be. It’s amazing how writing can foster change, not only in the style of writing, but in life as well. After turning 39 a few weeks ago, I’m anxious to see where my writing will take me this year.

Writing itself is a process and like other skills and routines the longer we do it the better we become. We get better at the art, but we also work out the things that haunt us as well. A tool to inspire thought, writing brings about ideas, emotions to life and educate our peers. Allowing us to come to a resolution as if it was some sort of complex equation.

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My ability to write developed from my love of books. I longed to be as eloquent and creative as the authors I read. There are many reasons to write and ways to develop your writing. To build or advertise a business, reflecting on life, spiritual growth and nurture relationships.

As I looked through all of my past work, it became clear that subconsciously a part of me was writing for life. Life Writing is the recording of selves, memories and experiences, whether one’s own or another’s. Applying to many genres and practices under which can be found autobiography, biography, memoir, diary, letters, testimonies, personal essays and more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email. My past worked contained most of these!

Most people don’t write as much as a grocery list. They aimlessly wander down grocers’ aisles hoping to remember what they needed. Jotting a thank you letter is not a life changing experience nor will it win you a Pulitzer Prize. Adding writing to your lifestyle can be helpful in many ways. I challenge you to read the article by Peter Giblett and with an open mind look over your past works to take inventory to see how writing has helped you. If you are not a writer…. Write something today, even if it’s just a simple thought. Most great things began as a simple thought!

 

Do You Ever Promote Your Older Articles by Peter Giblett

https://goo.gl/Fizaay

Wikipedia: Life Writing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_writing

Word Cloud Image

http://worditout.com/

 

Trials and Tribulations… An Opportunity for Growth.

It’s been three months that I have been out of the loop. Life has been a non- stop roller coaster ride with many trials and tribulations along the way.

Everything was wonderful…. business was going great. I had steady clients keeping me very busy, writing for my blog and two others. Doing everything I love to do for a living. Slowly, everything began to change.

My trials began with the loss of my first client due to cut backs. This was not at all alarming, it’s to be expected when working with a start up business. I made such a great impression that I knew once business picked back up I would be contacted.

Two weeks later one of my computers crashed…. I did not see that coming at all!!! I was not worried it was a back up that I used from time to time. It was mostly used by my fiancee and my step- son.  So being the technology geek that I am, I restored the computer. I saved it from going to computer heaven but it’s not like it was before the virus.

Just when I thought I made it through those two incidents unscathed in July I lost another client. Now it’s safe to say I’m in panic mode. My fiancee was laid off from his job at the chemical plant here in Montgomery and I’m making enough to just get by. The storm is now in full effect!!!

Optimistic, I’m like okay I working full- time with my last client and I still have my main computer. I have the ability to write and win new clients while I wait for past clients to need my expertise. So, I continued to work and write articles. I was too caught up in the rat race to blog or come to the couch. Many of my readers know that I refer to my blog as a therapy session.

Continuing to remain strong through all the trials and tribulations. Positive that all would end very soon on a good note. One day in August, I’m working on an article for Two Drops of Ink when my computer shut totally down. Calmly, I gave it about five minutes and attempted to power it back up. Nothing happened!!! In my mind I’m starting to panic but I remained calm and decided to end my work for the day.

The following day I powered on my computer to only see a black screen. Needless to say I’m in a full panic. In the midst of my panic I find out that my fiancee and stepson were downloading Win Games onto both machines. For those who don’t know often times hackers plant viruses on different types of sites. Game sites are very prone to carry viruses. Unfortunately, I can attest to this first hand!

I know there is a reader saying… “So whats the problem? Use the second computer!” I could and I did! The secondary computer is a slow Compaq with Windows 8. That computer was not good for everything I do on a daily basis. My main computer was a super fast HP with Windows 7 Professional and lightning fast. One week then two weeks go by and the computer would only show a black screen. Thank God I back up all my work both to the cloud as well as on disk.

Wait!!! The plot thickens…. my last client calls me one morning to inform me that we will stop work for a while. The suspend of work was not due to monetary issues but due to my ability to work at a fast pace and efficiently organize a businesses administratively. As an entrepreneur these are the types of situations that should be expected. It still pulled the rug out from under me!

Not only was Jimmy out of work so was I. Bills compile, cellular phone are disconnected and your living on credit alone. Of course depression starts to set in and I cannot make it through the night with out 2- 3 glasses of red wine. The bad out weighs the good and you only see the dark clouds. There is no rainbow when the storm over!!!

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Feeling sorry for myself, I spent many days in bed or on the couch wondering what to do next. As a believer that everything happens for a reason I had to pray. Why? Was a constant question in my mind.

I can either give up or use my circumstances an opportunity for growth. I decided to use the downtime to my advantage. Write more and revamp my virtual assisting business strategies. Learn more about computers and technical support. Most importantly spend more time with my future husband and revisiting our goals in life.

I’m grateful that in trying times Jimmy and I are able to pull together. He is definitely a great motivator and my best friend. If it was not for him and my mother I would still be in the dumps and wondering. It just goes to show that even the strong have weaknesses and need someone to lean on.

Today, I’m back in business. I’m still cleaning up but the storm is over and I do see the rainbow. The road to success is rocky and sometimes life gives us a nudge to make sure we are paying attention. If every day of our life was smooth sailing would we really have something to look forward to?  Would we be grateful for the good and the bad? How would we grow? success

May my trials and tribulations motivate others. I hope you can read this post and say she made her negatives into positives and so can I. The only war wounds I walked away with was a weight gain of thirty pounds. LOL!!! I guess I didn’t suffer too much!!!

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Racism in America or Absence of Love

Why are still talking about racism in 2014? The diversity of culture in the United States is broad and beautiful. Seriously! Is it really that hard to “Love Thy Neighbor”?  Why is it that we will go to great lengths to defend why we dislike something or someone? Unable to open our minds to difference or change. We are missing a key piece of the puzzle which is “Love”. To dislike someone because they are different is a sign of self-esteem issues. Maybe a lack of education or an anti-social lifestyle may be the cause. Often time’s people who are void of love will hide behind abusive behavior. They may also surround themselves with those who give them a feeling of superiority.  How can we expect those who do not love themselves to love others? In situations like these there is no one strong enough to defend the weak or speak out against what is wrong. Love and self- respect gives us strength and courage. Strength to defend ourselves and others against hatred and harm. Love gives us courage to stand up to those who spew hatred and try to endanger others.

Why is it not O.K. to be different? Is it necessary for us to all wear the same designers, and wear the same sizes? Color, cut and style our hair the same way and be the same color? That is not the way it is or the way it should be. The difference in people and cultures is beautiful. I love the little quirks that make me different from my sister and any average 37 year old woman. Those of us who live nonjudgmental lives with love in our hearts are stunned when we read or turn on the news to reports of racist acts or remarks of any kind. How we as humans can have such a lack of love for others baffles me. Wild animals get along better than humans. We are so aggressive towards one another that it is ridiculous.

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We all get a little angry at times. Who has not said something they didn’t mean? It’s just great practice to take a moment to step back and approach the situation in a calm manner. If you just absolutely have a problem with a person or a group of people, keep it to yourself. Of course I feel you should get professional help, find out what it is within that causes the hatred. If you don’t feel you need or want help then by all means limit your exposure to what causes you to feel uncomfortable. The fact that I’m writing this article shows that even though we are so far advanced, we are still so far behind.

If we take the time to look deep into the history of America, we would see that this country was built with love. Love for a new beginning, love for freedom, and love of family. All this love was fueled by man’s idea or need for a new beginning for their family to freely prosper. Those of us who live in love must learn to close our ears to foolish behavior. Remember, there are some who say and do things as a cry for attention. There are those who get a little upset and then those who are so full of themselves that feel they can say and do as they wish. Let’s ignore their ignorance but stand up when needed. We can choose to live in the past and continue to be affected by its occurrences or we can move forward. Love has brought us through all of that so that we may live in the presence of love.

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Author: Lydia Y. Oyetunji

Created: 06/11/2013 at 7:00pm EST

 

 

The Small Symptoms that Changed My Life

Do you live a fairly active or very active lifestyle? Is it safe to say that it is a part of your regimen to work out 3 times per week at the least? I’m not talking about going and sitting on the bicycle, casually walking on the treadmill or sitting in the sauna to get a good sweat. A workout regimen that consists of raising your heart- rate during your workout, be it strength training, cardio, or an aerobics class.

Weight is not an issue for you and never has been. You have maintained a healthy weight most of your life. Eating habits are not the best but they are balanced, nutritional and mostly healthy. Of course we all have those occasional cheats or maybe even a binge but nothing to feel depressed about. If this is a good depiction of your habits towards exercise and nutrition then I can definitely relate.

I was a certified personal trainer for 8 years, I served 4 years in the U.S. Navy. No stranger to discipline and fitness. Yes, Navy personnel are known for being heavy drinkers who party quite frequently. Some of us shipmates are not very disciplined in our eating and exercise habits. Although, there are those who may have partied or who currently party but continue to maintain fitness as a priority. Fitness was and is the core of who I truly am.

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Five years ago I occasionally found myself experiencing weird symptoms. I never paid attention to these weird occurrences. As a personal trainer and even a healthcare worker, we hold ourselves to a certain standard that we think illness will not affect us. Sometimes, I would get this frequent urge to urinate this is no matter how much I had to drink. It was most times accompanied by a sweet jolly rancher aroma. This baffled me because I could not blame it on fresh fruit smoothies. Have you ever drank so much water or juice that you could not quench your thirst? You could not eat because you’re full of liquid? Ever since high school I can remember going to sleep with something to drink. Waking in the middle of the night almost dying of thirst. I constantly have something near to drink throughout the day. Back then I thought of it as being a side effect of consistently working out.

Unfortunately, the last straw for me was fainting in the gym while training a client. This is even after eating meal 4 of a 6 meal a day diet. No, I don’t mean just a protein bar as a meal. None the less, I woke up in the hospital and informed that I had diabetes. WOW!!! Are you kidding me? That was my first reaction. I worked out 6 days a week with a 30 minute strength training and a 20 minute cardio regimen. I consumed chicken and fish, lots of greens and low carbs. No fast food, 2 or more liters of water daily. 5 feet -2 inches tall, my weight ranged from 110 to 130 pounds, body- fat as low as 10% and never over 22%. I….with a body most women envied… Diabetic?!?!?!

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How did I get this? What did I do wrong? What is going to happen to me? For me it’s in the genes. My father, his mother and her father were all diabetic. My great uncle and a child of his has been diagnosed then myself, no one after me. I must admit I was disappointed when I first found out. As I look back I realize the disappointment was due to lack of knowledge. Let’s also add a bit of vanity. There is no true hindrance just what we put upon ourselves.

Yes, it has caused my lifestyle to somewhat change. Nothing too drastic. I eat differently than I used too. I’m never deprived or hungry or bored with my meals. My indulgence in Red Velvet cake which is my absolute favorite  desert is rare. Workout routines and frequency is different. I’m no longer a beast in the gym. Hour long strength training, yoga, Zumba and an occasional spin cycle class has reduced. I maintain an active lifestyle by working out 5 days a week doing yoga, calisthenics, jogging and walking. I still maintain a weight of 125 pounds, I’m not as lean and cut as before but I feel and look good. There are days when the illness makes me drag through my day but they are very few. I’m not on insulin or any other medications. My diet and exercise keep me in great health and shape even with diabetes. Diabetes does not end your life nor does it cripple you. Pay attention to your health and the symptoms that may seem weird. For even the weirdest feeling may be the one that saves your life.

 

American Diabetes Association

Images Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Word Cloud by Maialisa

 

“Poets against Bullying”

For those of you who read my blog posts. You may have noticed last week I have been promoting “Poets against Bullying” Usually mu my posts are educational, informative, and business related. This post is dear to me due to my passion and love for ALL people and their well- being. Especially, when it means the welfare of children, when Ashley (facebook.com/writerashleyl, www.chargedvisions.com) informed me of her movement to spread awareness, I was fired up to jump on board. I immediately started doing research on bullying in hopes to find signs of bullying and how to prevent bullying. Are adults bullied and what are the signs? I also wanted to locate the statistics of both situations.

Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker or who they think is weaker. Sometimes it involves direct attacks such as hitting, name calling, teasing or taunting. Sometimes it is indirect, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone.

Often people dismiss bullying among kids as a normal part of growing up. But bullying is harmful. It can lead children and teenagers to feel tense and afraid. It may lead them to avoid school. In severe cases, teens who are bullied may feel they need to take drastic measures or react violently. Others even consider suicide. For some, the effects of bullying last a lifetime.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NIH

I found myself thanking God that I’m not a parent. The forums, groups, and blogs that the youth turn to sharing the darkest of feelings and thoughts. It was very emotional to view and to know these parents don’t have a clue of the pain their children are experiencing.

Another surprise was the fact that adults are also bullied.  Bullying among adults is more prevalent in the workplace, as I studied deeper into the subject I found this to be quite astonishing.

The Workplace Bullying Institute defined it as follows:  Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is:

  • Threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or
  • Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done, or
  • Verbal abuse

This definition was used in the 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey. Its national prevalence was assessed.

I refuse to feed my readers all the specifics of my research but to give enough information to build awareness. I have provided the links, the information and tools are out there for us to begin to bring an end to a cause that should not occur. No two people are the same it does not matter if we are born as individual, twin or as a triplets. There will always be something in our personality as people that makes us unique, different and intriguing as people. No human being should be bullied, judged or mistreated in any way because of our difference. There are those like myself who enjoy “marching to our own drum”, so to speak. I feel as long it does not offend, harm are disturb those around us then… “Carry on”.

We as a community should become more aware of what’s going on around us. Get involved!!! Speak up and speak out!!!

 

References:

The Workplace Bullying Institute

http://www.workplacebullying.org/wbiresearch/2010-wbi-national-surve

http://www.workplacebullying.org/2011/09/27/prevalence-error/

PBS This Emotional Life

http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/bullying/adult-bullying

Support “Poets against Bullying” by clicking the link below for our limited edition t- shirts.

 

How Americans Feel About The Leaders Of America!!!

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Describe the ghosts that live in this house:

Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

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