Life

Hello Sunday

Blessed

Trust the timing of your life.
Trust your intuition.
Trust your journey.
– Author Unkown

I saw this quote on Facebook this morning. It reminded me of my life and my journey.

Trust the timing of your life…

Around the end of August I was invited to write a chapter in a book anthology. I said yes before I could talk myself out of it. I knew if I thought about it, even for a second, I would have said no. This year I promised myself that when opportunities presented themselves, opportunities that I knew I was capable of but afraid of doing, I would do them. I guess you can say I am finally seizing opportunities. Carpe diem!

Trust your intuition…

If it does not feel right, I am not going to do it. Period! My chapter is about my marriage and divorce. So far I have written several versions of the story. Some are more detailed than others. Right now, I am not sure which one to submit. Although it is my story, it also involves my ex-husband. I do not care how our relationship ended, and this is with any relationship, I refuse to publicly humiliate a person. We all have flaws and issues. Umm… Just thinking… this is probably the reason it took me over four years to get a divorce. I refused to be ugly. Ugh! Okay… enough about this.

Trust your journey…

Going with the flow and allowing God to lead. As we all have seen with 2020, life is so unpredictable. No matter what comes or goes, I must always remember that I am in God’s hands, and He is always in control. Whatever He has planned for my future is meant for my good. I will always be victorious!

Well, that’s all I have. Wishing you a fabulous Sunday! Remember to trust the timing of your life, trust your intuition, and trust your journey. God’s got you!

Be Blessed

Shaun

Life

Life & Love

Up thinking and just had to write. 2020 is something else. It is the year for the unexpected. I’m not sure if I’m prepared for what may come next. Praying I am.

Well.. that’s not what I wanted to write about. Last night I watched the most amazing Verzuz battle ever! It was between Brandy and Monica. Y’all, it was like I had stepped back into the 90s. As if their story had picked up from where it left off 20 years ago. I know they said that it had been eight years since they last saw each other, but to me it felt like the 90s versions of themselves meeting up for the first time. The tension was so thick at times that I caught myself holding my breath. I mean, one wrong word and they could have set it off! Y’all, it was really that tense.

Anyway.. for me.. this is where things really became awkward. Brandy decided to read a poem before her song “Missing You.” I believe the first name she read was Kobe Bryant’s. Y’all, for a moment I stopped breathing. She went on to mention GiGi, Chadwick Boseman and a few others. But to mention Kobe knowing his widow is still deep in mourning, and with 1.2M people streaming, was not the time. Believe me, I understood and still understand her pain. If I was in her shoes, I would have wanted to do the same. Well, Monica’s next song was dedicated to Vanessa Bryant. Y’all, it was crazy!

Okay, that was Brandy’s story. Monica had a few awkward moments of her own. The whole Corey “C-Murder” Miller thing was entertaining, yet weird. She was going hard for this man. Said she wanted to wear the t-shirt she had made for him. I believe she kept saying something like she wanted people to say his name until they were saying it backwards. Whatever that meant. Lol. Bae-bé.. she that ride or die for real!! Okay!! Y’all, Free C-Murder now! Ya heard me!

Whew!! Anyway, the entire thing was entertaining and so worth watching. If they do decide to go on tour, it will probably end up like the Bobby Brown and New Edition tours, a hot mess! Lol! Somebody is definitely going to be Bobby.

Anyway, the reason I chose the title, Life & Love, is because I believe both women are living wishing they “would’ve, could’ve, or should’ve” done things differently. Boy have I been there, and trying so hard not to go there again. I’m pretty sure many of you have wished you would have made different decisions about a person you were in love with. Now you are living with the reality of the consequences of your decisions. Last night was really difficult to watch because I could feel what they felt. Like I said, I’ve been there and it still stings!

Okay.. One short story.

There was this guy I was in love with all throughout high school. He rarely paid me any attention until our senior year. That’s when we actually started having conversations. I used to love it when he would stop to say Hi or spend his lunch period in the library talking to me. Made me feel all special. To this day I believe the only thing that kept us from moving forward, besides his girlfriend (hehehe), was my race. I remember him asking if I was mixed with another race. Which was odd.

Umm… Since I never mention names, I’ll just call him “Blue Eyes.” Only a few know who that is, including my kids. They tease me all the time for putting Blue Eyes in the “friend” zone. Life…

Okay.. got sidetracked. Well, during our senior year, I went to several of his football games and all of his home baseball games. Y’all, I loved watching him play sports. Most of the time I was the only Black person at the baseball games. So I kind of stood out. Believe me, he couldn’t miss me. Lol! It was there that I met his mom. One day he approached me and told me that his mom thought I was nice. It’s crazy just remembering these things.

Well, the relationship I had dreamt of never happened. However, I did meet up with him in college. I sat out fall semester, but attended the next spring. During my extended summer break, I met my first boyfriend. That’s when my life became a little complicated. It was a mess. So by the time I attended college, I was so ready to get away from him and his baggage.

I remember walking into my first class, a lecture hall that held 300 students, and seeing two familiar faces and one was Blue Eyes. Y’all! How did that happen?? Hands down it was definitely God! Just thinking about it has me smiling and tearing up. I was so happy to see him. Talk about butterflies! During that semester, after class he would walk me halfway across campus to my next class. Y’all, I was in heaven. But that was only at school. Our relationship never made it off campus. Once I left campus I returned to my dysfunctional relationship with my boyfriend, and Blue Eyes returned to his girlfriend. We were both playing games. He had told me that he had broken up with his girlfriend, and I told him I had done the same with my boyfriend. Which was actually true at the time. You see, we broke up and got back together every other week. Anyway, one evening I happened to pass his girlfriend’s house.. NO, I was not stalking her. Her house was on one of the main roads to Walmart.. As I passed her house I noticed his red Honda CRX in her driveway. Maybe this is too much info. LOL! So he had not broken up with her. It was all a lie. Days following that I decided I had had enough and of everyone and needed to get away, so I scheduled an appointment with an Air Force recruiter. In April 1992, I signed up to join the Air Force after the semester was over.

Afterward making my decision, I remember avoiding Blue Eyes at all cost. I didn’t want to talk to him. I was so hurt. I felt betrayed. But why? It wasn’t like I was actually available. Before the semester ended we had our last conversation. I don’t know how we ended up in that stairwell. I remember us sitting there talking and I told him that I was joining the Air Force. Y’all, he said something that pierced me to my heart. He said, “All you’re going to do is end up pregnant and alone.” Guess what, I did.

For years I tried to find him. As far as I know, he’s not on social media. He was always a very private person, so this is not surprising. I did find an address and phone number. I never called. Was too afraid he would be like “Umm… I don’t remember you.” Y’all, up until last year, he was my “would’ve, should’ve, could’ve,” guy. I had to let him go. Praying he’s okay.

Unfortunately, Brandy’s opportunity ended many, many moons ago. Kobe met the love of his life and moved on. Ouch!! Monica.. well, her and Corey both made decisions they probably wish they wouldn’t have. But he’s still here, and now she has the opportunity to try again. I pray this turns out better than she’s ever imagined. Although Brandy insists that she’s good being alone, something I find myself saying often, I hope she finds someone who will love her like the queen she is. Y’all, we all deserve that kind of love.

No time to edit. Hope you enjoy my ramblings. Love y’all!

Shaun

Life

Expect the Unexpected

Last week I wrote, Trusting God’s Plan. Two days ago, Pastor Steven Furtick posted, “This is the year of things we didn’t expect. Don’t underestimate God’s ability to bring something beautiful out of our unmet expectations.” Both are confirmation that letting go and allowing God have total control will yield the best outcome.

Letting go means not thinking about what is to come, or how a certain story will play out. If you are anything like me, you sit and think, “If I do this, this will happen.” And “this will happen” usually leads to 100 different scenarios. Lol.

Story time! I promise to keep it short. Lol

Sunday I wrote about a situation with my neighbor and his dog. Monday morning I decided that I was going to knock on his door and ask him not to tie his dog to my tree. Had the entire scene played out in my mind. Actually, I had several scenes played out. You know, “If I say this, he’ll probably say blah blah blah.” Well, let me tell you how it actually went down. As I was heading to work, he and his wife were walking the dog. The wife had stopped to talk to one of our neighbors and he was talking on the phone. Y’all, everything happened so fast. I flagged him down and got his attention. Afterwards, I explained that my son was taking classes virtually and that I worked from home most days, and how the dog’s barking was interfering with our work. He quickly apologized and returned to his phone conversation, and I went on to work. None of that happened as I thought it would. I wish I could say that it ended there, but it didn’t. All morning I kept replaying the scene over and over in my head. Kept wondering what he thought of me. What his wife thought of me. Did they think I was rude? Was I rude? Couldn’t I have waited to address the issue? I mean, this really bothered me. I kept hearing God say, “Let it go,” but I could not let it go. Thankfully I became engrossed in something I was working on and forgot about the situation. When I got home, I went over and introduced myself (something I should have done before the incident), and I apologized for being so abrupt that morning. They also apologized and said they didn’t know anyone lived in my house. Umm… how could they not know, but… okay. As I walked back home, I noticed that they had removed the leash from my tree. Smiling

I said all of that to say, when I finally gave it to God, He worked it out. Is anyone else hearing, “Turn it over to Jesus, he will work it out. He can. He can. Work it out”? Y’all, I hear songs all day long. Lol.

Anyhoo.. I did not expect that outcome. I expected some kind of pushback that never happened. None of the scenarios that preoccupied my mind that morning, or even the day before, were close to what actually happened. But isn’t that how it usually happens. Nothing ever happens the way we imagine. Which means we really need to concentrate more on being present and less on what will happen next. Y’all, it is sooo freeing to just let go and let God do His thing.

Along with Pastor Furtick’s post was this image that said, “Are you missing what God wants to give you because of what you thought He was going to do?”

Expect the unexpected.

Be Blessed,

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday!

Looking for a diplomatic approach.

I am going to jump right in. So, a situation has developed over the past few days. My neighbor has been tying his dog to a tree outside my bedroom window… on my property!

When I heard the dog barking on Friday, I went outside to see what was going on. It seemed as if the dog had encircled the tree and somehow became entangled. The poor thing was barking uncontrollably. I considered knocking on my neighbor’s door and asking him to come get his dog, but decided it was not worth the trouble. I wrote it off as a one time thing because it had never happened before. I know he has a newborn baby. So maybe the barking was too much and he decided to put the dog outside. But why on my property?

That was Friday. Yesterday afternoon, he did the same thing! First of all, he never untangled the leash from around the tree. He just put the dog back on the leash and added a bowl of water. Umm.. now it seems like he is trying to make this thing permanent. Guess I should have addressed it Friday.

Honestly, I kind of feel sorry for the dog. Friday was the first time I saw the poor thing. He looked all old and worn. If you have ever watched The Dukes of Hazard, he looks exactly like Roscoe’s dog, Flash. Just sitting here shaking my head thinking about Flash and my current situation. Y’all, I really wanted a basset hound when I was a little girl. Now, 40 years later, I have one tied to my tree. Hilarious! My life…

Anyway, if this continues, I am going to have to address the situation. I’m just trying to figure out what to say and how to say it. I have heard this guy talk to his son and the dog aggressively. So I have to be careful how I handle this. Especially with people being killed over the simplest things, nowadays.

Just thinking.. Maybe my tree is Flash’s (yes, I named him- Lol) little refuge. I just wish he would not bark so much. UGH!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Thought I’d switch it up. Smile.

Hello! Hello! Hello!

It is Sunday, again! I hope you have something AMAZING planned. I am having brunch with my son this morning. Guess I forgot to tell y’all that he is finally back from his summer vacation. I missed him so much. Honestly, it is nice having someone to laugh with, again. Laughing alone is sad, but also entertaining at the same time. I often found myself laughing at myself. Life… Anyway, I do have to confess, the empty nest life is not so bad. Kinda looking forward to it. Lol. But for now, it really is good having him back home, and I am going to cherish every moment God has granted us together.

Okay… y’all enjoy your Sunday! Hope yours is as sunny and delightful as mine.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday!

Moving forward.

Yes, it is Sunday again! Seems like time is passing at warp speed (Star Trek- lol). I would love for it to slow down a little. I need time to process a few things.

Woke up thinking about the turn of events over the past month or so– personally as well as professionally. Even though I have been blogging since 2018, it was not until May of this year that I was ready to share my blogs with the world. In May, I also started volunteering again. It had been ages since I last volunteered. And, when I woke up this morning, I logged onto my professional social media accounts and began updating them. Also, this morning, it finally dawned on me why I had neglected those accounts for so long. Y’all, I did not want to be that person anymore.

Okay… moment of full transparency.

It all began two years ago. Whew, I never thought I would talk about this. At the beginning of 2018, I was asked to do a presentation for an association that was having a conference in Mississippi. I was so honored and hyped about it. I was given a topic, asked to come up with a few objectives for continuing education credits, and told I would be working with a local chef on a menu and food demonstration. Y’all, it was like a dream come true! It was everything I imagined I would be doing at this point in my career. I was ready!

The first hit I took was when I found out the association I was presenting for was not a diverse association but a national, all-Black association. Some would say I should have been honored. However, it was like receiving a blow to the heart. You see, I was asked by a predominately (99%) white company to deliver the presentation.

Just to give you some background on my relationship with this company. For several years, I had been invited to attend their sponsored events. At that time, I knew the state and regional directors well enough to contact them personally whenever I needed a sponsor for one of my events, educational materials for health fairs, or incentives for community projects. So when asked to give this presentation, I automatically assumed it was because they valued our relationship, not because they needed a Black registered dietitian to present to an all Black audience. That stung!

The second thing that happened was they changed my entire presentation. I was initially told they wanted the session to be fun and interactive. Which was right up my alley. I hate boring presentations! Well, after submitting my presentation for review, it was returned to me butchered. Y’all, the entire flow was all wrong. They kept the objectives but added random information. Even the fonts were inconsistent. They also added pictures that did not go with the text. Now, I might write crazy things in my blogs, and make all kinds of grammatical errors, but when it comes to my professional work, it has to be almost perfect before I present it. Honestly, I felt like my work had been sabotaged. Y’all, I cried.

The third thing that happened, and what finally made me question if I even wanted to be in that space anymore, happened during the night of the event. As I said– FULL transparency. This was a month and a half before my hysterectomy. My cycle had just started. Which meant I was extra irritated, cramping like crazy, and blood was pouring out of me. I wore a navy blue suit, and put on an adult diaper lined with two overnight pads, to hide or prevent any accidents. Y’all, I did not want anything going wrong. Well, I arrived at the venue and EVERYTHING was white. I mean— EVERYTHING! The floors were white. The linens were white. And ALL of the chairs were white– white cushioned chairs, that is. Talk about anxiety!! All I could do was pray– “Lord, please don’t let me have an accident on all of this white.” I kept thinking, what would I do if I stained one of the chairs? I tried to remain calm, but I was all nerves. So when I got up to present, no matter how professional I tried to be, it did not happen. Here is how the night went.

When my audience arrived, they were tired from attending hours of educational sessions. I was later informed that they thought my presentation was supposed to be entertaining. HA…so did I! Y’all, they had access to an open bar, and boy did they drink. Some, a lot more than others. Needless to say, I was giving a presentation to a room full of tired, tipsy people. As I said, my presentation had been changed. What I did not mention is that I had only received the revisions a day or two before the event. Which was not ample time to thoroughly review the changes, so I felt unprepared. I also did not have a microphone so I had to walk the room so that everyone could hear me. Funny story- There was this elderly lady that kept yelling, “I can’t hear you!” The night was a mess. When I tell you this crowd asked questions I had “zero” answers to! LOL! Funny, but sooo not funny. Y’all, I felt like a failure. Most of the night I deferred the questions to our host, the one who revised the presentation. At one point I stopped presenting because a few people would not stop talking. Y’all, one thing I hate is rudeness. And when the entire audience can hear your conversation, you, my friend, are being rude. So I stood there and glared at them until they stopped talking. Was I unprofessional…HECK YES! Y’all, I was fed up, I was sick, and I felt humiliated. I felt like an imposter– WOW! I just pinpointed when I began feeling like an imposter.

After that night, I swore I would never attend another one of their company’s events. That was also the last time I really posted anything of worth on my professional pages. I went into my shell and never wanted to come out. Honestly, I had given up. I had lost my confidence. That was two years ago.

As I mentioned, May was my turning point. Slowly, I am regaining my confidence. Maybe I did need two years to Reflect, Regroup, Refocus, and Rebuild. I do believe I am wiser and better prepared to handle the unexpected. I am also working on the way I deal with my imperfections. Recently, I attended a Zoom call with a lot of unknown attendees. At first, I was not going to turn on the camera. You know, leave the nice, edited picture displayed. At the last minute I was like, why not! I did not have on makeup. I had on a t-shirt and my hair held back with a headband. And my lighting was bad. But, I decided to show the world me. Part of my personal and professional growth is about me becoming comfortable with my imperfections. Slowly, but surely, I am growing.

Y’all, I am so grateful God loves me. Moving forward.

Shaun