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

Life

My Life

Mary J. Blige’s My Life has been playing over and over in my head since yesterday morning. Can’t turn it off. This one part seems to be stuck on repeat. Mary is singing–

Life can be
Only what you make it
When you’re feeling down
You should never fake it
Say what’s on your mind
And you’ll find in time
That all of the negative energy
It will all decease

My life . . .

Blessed

Shaun

Life

My Character

Character: the mental or moral qualities distinctive to an individual

Over the past week, or anytime something major happens, and I do not respond or react the way others do, I begin to question myself. Like– Am I not normal? Is there something wrong with me? Why am I not visibly outraged like everyone else? I care. I feel. I am angry. I am disgusted and disappointed and frustrated. I am all of these things. Yet, people may never know it because I do not show it. Why? Hmm… It finally dawned on me that I am not that person. That is not who I am. So why force myself to respond like others if it does not come naturally. Y’all, it is not my character.

I can think of so many incidents throughout my life where people have told me how they would have reacted differently to the same situations. For example– just because I feel like writing– when I was in my early twenties, I had gotten off work early and stopped by my boyfriends place to surprise him. Little did I know, I was the one in for a surprise. I found him in bed with another girl. I stood beside the bed and causally asked them a few questions, like- “What are y’all doing?” “Why didn’t you lock the door?” You know, questions anyone would ask. After receiving my answers, I sat down and waited for her to leave. Y’all, I remember this big brass lamp being on the nightstand. For a second, I considered bashing his head in. Yep… I could visualize the entire scene. However, I chose to remain calm. Even our conversation afterwards was calm. He kept saying things like, “I know you want to hit me,” and “Just let me have it!” If “Boy, bye” was a phrase back then, I would have definitely used it. Every time I tell someone this story, they tell me that they would have responded differently. Most say they would have fought him and the girl. But why?? Was I hurt? YES!! I thought I was in love with him. But, the consequences that would have resulted from that moment of gratification, would have been costly.

Now, have I ever acted out of character before? HA!! Of course! When I was ACTING! Whenever I have to give people what they expect, it is called acting. And y’all, I hate acting. Whenever I have to cuss to get my point across, that.. my friend.. is acting. You see, whenever I am hurt or angry, I become very quiet. I do not say much. I just act. Y’all, this is my character.

I decided to write this because it is something that has been weighing on me for a while, even before George Floyd’s murder. As I said, after something major happens, whether national or personal, my response is always a little different from others. Hence, the reason I always refer to myself as being unique or quirky. The way I react or respond may not be what is typically expected. Y’all, I was going through a crazy divorce for over four years and I rarely said a word about it or spoke badly about my ex. There were so many things I could have said or done, but chose not to. Shoot.. I can barely cuss when writing, because again, it is just not in me.

Today, I am so grateful for those who choose to accept me for who I am. Those who understand and respect my true (not the act) character, as I do theirs. From this day forward, I will no longer question myself based on how others think I should react or respond. Y’all, people will have you angry with yourself only to come around and agree with you later. Honestly, in the end, the only opinion that matters is God’s.

Enjoy your day!

Shaun

Life

Can I SCREAM, Now?!

Scream: To give a long, loud, piercing cry or cries, expressing excitement, great emotion, or PAIN

I say that I want to scream, but I believe I need to scream. I am so frustrated, right now. Honestly, I have been frustrated– BEYOND frustrated– since my brother passed. People have said that I need to give myself time to process his death. HA! Easier said than done.

But to be completely transparent, yeah.. because who am I kidding, that whole divorce thing did a number on me. After my divorce was final, I thought I was finally free and about to live my best life. My birthday theme was “46 & FREE!” I was posting, “New beginnings” all over the place. Then three months later, my brother died, unexpectedly. Y’all, what a blow! We were supposed to be together until we were old and grey. But God had other plans. Now, here we are in the lovely year of 2020. Speechless.

Y’all, can I SCREAM, now???

The only visual I can give you of how I am feeling, and what I want to do… correction… what I NEED to do, comes from Michael and Janet Jackson’s video Scream. Soooo…

Shaun

Uncategorized

I Deleted My Social Media Apps

It is so sad when the only way you can regulate your time on social media is to delete the apps. Yes, I deleted ALL of them – Twitter (my greatest distraction), Facebook and Instagram. Not sure how long this will last. However, at this very moment, I am no longer connected.

Releasing all of the negative, pinned up energy. Only positive thoughts and vibes.

Shaun