Life

Twenty-Six

Smiling as I write because first of all, I’m actually a mother; and secondly, I’m a mother of a 26 year old queen. How? When? On most days, I still feel like I’m in my 20s.

So, around this time (6 a.m.) 26 years ago, I was trying to rest but couldn’t get comfortable. I was having contractions but they were only 7-10 minutes apart. The night before I had called my friend Sue, my unofficial birthing partner, to prepare her for what was next. Then, I called my other friend, Trina, who was the only one with a child and “experienced” in childbirth, to give her a heads up. Trina also lived across the street from the hospital so I had somewhere I could chill before checking into the hospital. I remember her saying not to have the baby until she got off work. Like I actually had control over when the baby would come. Y’all, we were so young and naive.

Well, around 2:00 p.m. my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart. I’m just going to let y’all know, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! I was following instructions I heard tv doctors give their pregnant patients, “Wait until the contractions are 2-3 minutes apart, then go to the hospital.” Y’all, I hadn’t called a doctor at all! The last time I called the doctor’s office was when I lost my mucus plug and that was days before. However, I did call Sue, who lived 30 minutes away in Ft. Walton Beach.

When she got to my house we grabbed my bag and headed… not to the hospital… but to Trina’s house. According to wonderful doctors like Heathcliff Huxtable, I needed to wait until the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart before heading to the hospital. So I was going to wait. By the time I arrived at Trina’s, I was so hungry. Hadn’t eaten anything all day because I heard some women used the bathroom while giving birth and that was the LAST thing I wanted to do. You see, my obstetrician was FINE!! Whew!! He had muscles everywhere! The last thing I wanted to do was use the bathroom while giving birth. But y’all, I was so hungry. First, I ate a bowl of ramen noodles. Then, I ate a little bit of every sugar-sweetened cereal she had in the house. Honestly, I don’t believe I knew what I was doing. I was in pain. I was trying to wait for the right moment to go to the hospital. Y’all, I was scared. All I knew to do was eat.

Anyway, once the contractions became unbearable, I went to the hospital and checked into labor and delivery. When I got there, I attempted to explained to the nurse that I was in labor. I don’t know what was going on that day but I remember her snapping at me and saying if I wasn’t dilated 4 cm they were going to send me home. That’s all she said and left me standing there. I guess the people in the waiting room felt sorry for me because they were the ones who got me a wheelchair and talked to me until Sue came up (she was parking the car). Everything that happened afterwards happened really fast. When the nurse checked me, I was more than 4 cm dilated. That’s when she actually tried to help. In hindsight, I guess I didn’t appear to be in labor. Like that’s a real thing. Believe me, the contractions were coming and I was in so much pain. But the cramps I endured during my menstrual cycles were far worse. So I just did what I did whenever I cramped, I beared it. I never once screamed or got out of character. I just took it.

Less than 3 hours later my baby was born. And no, I didn’t use the bathroom while having her. Lol. Another crazy thing happened afterwards. Sue asked me if the nurses were playing some kind of joke (told you we were young). Our wristbands had another mother’s name on them. Y’all, we had on the wrong wristbands! Talk about CRAZY!! I’m so happy we got that cleared up or I would have brought home someone else’s baby.

So that was 26 years ago. Today, I’m happy to report that the last 26 years have been just as adventurous, if not more. I have truly enjoyed motherhood. It’s been an honor watching KiSondrea become the woman she is today. I pray that today, and everyday forward, is just as wonderful and adventurous as the day of her birth.

Happy Birthday, Ki! ❤️

Love Always– Mother

Happy 26th!!
Life

Hello Sunday

I guess you can say this is my second blog for this morning and third blog this weekend. Earlier, I decided to post a thread on Twitter. Just had a few things on my mind and didn’t feel like journaling or using it for my Hello Sunday’s blog.

Read this quote minutes ago- “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” In some ways it’s misleading. The quote doesn’t factor in things that happen randomly such as things we can’t control. On the other hand, it’s still accurate. Whatever future we desire we have to be intentional about creating. Which brings me to the book launch for Finally Free – it was a success!! Y’all, I’m so proud of myself and all of the other authors. We worked our butts off promoting this book. In the end, it all paid off. See reblog below.

Anyway, since the beginning of the year, I’ve often found myself telling others, “This year will be different because I plan to make it different.” I feel like it’s becoming my mantra. I have chosen to intentionally create the future I desire and deserve, all while following God’s lead. After the book was released, I asked God what’s next. You see, life is too short to keep taking unnecessary breaks. I’ll rest and pamper myself when needed, however, this time, I have to keep moving.

Please enjoy my blog from A Research Diva’s Journey.

THIS Just Happened

Best Selling Author. Number 1 new release in several categories. Bold. Tenacious. Fearless. Triumphant. THIS is what happens when you listen to God …

THIS Just Happened
Life

Lesson Learned

Quote by Tony Gaskins, 2019

Found this quote in today’s Facebook memories from 2019. In the memory, I had written a long caption about how I had been reading journal entries from the 90s and discovered I hadn’t changed much. I noted that I had grown spiritually and professionally, and was also making better decisions. However, my personality, heart, and spirit hadn’t really changed. I questioned why I had not grown stronger in those areas, meaning, why hadn’t I changed? You see, those were the areas that made me feel inadequate around others. That made me feel vulnerable in certain situations. That made me love harder than I should have. You would think 30 years would’ve made a difference, but it hadn’t.

That was two years ago. Here I am today, same personality, heart, and spirit. At first I asked myself why these characteristics hadn’t changed. You see, over the years I have tried to change them. Tried not to be so sentimental or emotional. Tried not to wear my heart on my sleeve. Tried to fit in by being less silly and more poised. Yeah.. I tried to be everything I wasn’t, everything I’m not. Then it hit me, those aren’t weaknesses. Those are my strengths. They don’t need to be changed. They need to be embraced. The only reason I continue to feel vulnerable while embracing them is because I’m trying to get others to embrace them as well. I guess you can say I’m having an “AHA” moment. Maybe that’s the lesson Tony Gaskins was referring to. I will never be able to move to the next level as long as continue to remain in the presence of those who do not fully accept Shaun. Umm… I believe it’s time to re-evaluate my circle. What’s that old saying– “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” I will no longer try to force myself to fit where I’m not embraced. Period!

Thanks for reading!

Shaun

Life

Happy New Year’s Eve – 2017

If you have already read the blog I posted earlier, then you’ll know I had decided not to reblog last year’s blog. It was too depressing. Then, while scrolling through my Facebook memories, I came across this gem. It feels so good to be back!! Enjoy!

Happy New Year’s Eve! As always, I start one blog with the intention of posting it. Then on the day I decide to post it, I come up with something …

Happy New Year’s Eve – 2017
Life

2020 – What A Year!

Yes… What a year! Listen, I have to confess, I had the idea of reblogging last year’s end of the year blog and adding an overcomer’s intro– “This is where I was but God brought me out!” Sorry to disappoint or save you– it’s not going to happen. This time last year, I was really down and depressed. Had good reasons to be, but WOW! I had no idea I was that far gone. With that said, I will acknowledge that was where I was; however, I am so grateful I am no longer there. This year I am going to end things on a high note, you know, just in case I decide to reblog it next year. Gotta be intentional. Lol! Here we go:

First, and utmost importantly, I would like to thank God for all of His wonderful blessings. I cannot lie, He has been so good to me! Instead of giving a detailed review about everything He’s done, I will only highlight some of the key moments-

March 2020 – Purchased my home.
May 2020 – Decided to make my blogs public.
June 2020 – Turned 47 and decided to be my true, authentic self.
August 2020 – Invited to be a contributing author in a book anthology.
September 2020 – Became the Principal Investigator on one of my research projects.
October 2020 – Did my first live interview promoting myself. It was for the book, but it was all about me.
November 2020 – Did another presentation for the same company that left me feeling inadequate for two years. (That was major! Had to face that bull head on.)
December 2020 – Decided to live my life to its fullest! No regret!!

Needless to say, I don’t know what 2021 holds. None of us do. However, I will say I’m entering 2021 with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart, expecting to receive more blessings than hurts. Yeah, I’m entering 2021 knowing that whatever comes and whatever goes, God’s got me. That he will NEVER leave me.

Before I end, I wanted to share this with you. It’s a little off topic, but, for me, it is so timely. Wanted to write it here in case I don’t get around to adding it to A Research Diva’s Journey. Again, being intentional. So, I’m reading this book about the United Nations, “The Case for Humanity: An Extraordinary Session” by Yasmine Sherif. It’s about the underlying founding principles of the United Nations – vision, hope, peace, love, and humanity – everything I’m passionate about. Y’all, it is so important that we do not allow negativity to obscure our vision for the future. Listen, no matter how dismal things may appear, please embrace the positive and hold on to hope. In the words of the great Reverend Jesse Jackson, “Keep hope alive!”

That’s all I have for you today. Going to end with a quote from the book.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done. There is no passion found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

My word for 2021 is “Live!” Can’t you hear Tim McGraw singing, “Live like you were dying.” I can.

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Be blessed!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday!

A little late with writing today, but all is well. I actually slept a good 6-7 hours. Which has not happened in ages. Guess I wore myself out cleaning out storage bins. Y’all, I am an organized mess. Lol! The bins look nice and neat until you lift the lids. They are filled with items from my military career, undergrad and grad school, bills, letters, pictures, magazines, books, movies, etc. When I say I keep everything, I keep EVERYTHING! Ugh!! I rarely throw anything away. Which is funny because I found a letter from one of my sisters that was written in 2001. She sent me a picture of my nephew and wrote, “I’m sending this to you because you keep everything.” Wow! That’s what I do.

I guess I should attempt to explain why I hold on to so many things. First of all, I shouldn’t refer to all of the items as “things,” but memorabilia. The majority of the items I don’t believe I’ll ever throw away. I have letters from friends and family dating back to 1980s. Last night I found cards my granddaddy sent me for holidays and birthdays. Something I will always cherish. These came from someone who spent his entire life trying to live up to his reputation of being this hard, cold individual. But later in life he would call just to say hello and tell me he loved me, and he would send cards. Then there’s my military memorabilia. I have uniforms, orders from different assignments, awards, evaluations. You name it, I probably have it. Will I part with them? Probably not. As I mentioned, I have work from undergraduate and graduate school. I worked too hard on some of those projects, I just can’t throw them away. My magazines! My magazines date back to the 90s. I have Jet, Essence, Ebony, Sister-2-Sister, Time, Legacy, Sports Illustrated, Beckett Sports, and a few others. I have local magazines. Newspaper articles of events or people I know. Honestly, I do not know what I’m going to do with all of these things. I told my kids that when I buy my forever home, I am going to have a room where I can display everything. I can see myself walking through the room with my grands (children, nieces, and nephews) telling them stories about all of the items. To me, that’s heaven.

Okay, as usual, I got a little off track. I also have pictures.. tons of pictures! I took pictures of everything!! I have pictures from high school. Pictures from basic training. Y’all, I was in there just snapping away. Lol. I have soooo many pictures. Right now I have over 17,000 images stored between my phone and cloud. I just can’t seem to bring myself to delete many of them. They are so much more than pictures. They’re memories! They represent times, places, and feelings. As a child, whenever I would visit family, all I wanted to do was look at old pictures and ask questions- “Who’s this?” “Where was this taken?” Those questions usually led to great stories. Now I have my own stories.

Anyhoo.. as you can see this Hello Sunday is very random. Just felt like sharing. I’m going to glance over it to make sure it somewhat makes sense, but I’m not going to do much editing. This is how I typed out my thoughts so I’m going to leave this as is. Authentically me.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Shaun