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

Hello Sunday!

Reminiscing

Have you ever felt as if part of your life was missing? Not a person, but your actual life. Yesterday this feeling of loss and sadness overcame me. I couldn’t pinpoint it at first. Then it came to me. I missed being in the military.

I retired almost a decade ago, and yesterday was the first time the feeling hit me so hard. You see, I grew up around soldiers. My first exposure to military life was through my Uncle June. He was in the Army and he made it seem like fun. Probably because he goofed off most of the time. Lol. At the time, he was stationed in Fort Riley, KS and we were living in Topeka. When he visited, he never came alone. He would always bring a few of his Army buddies and the women in our Deer Creek apartment complex would go crazy! Uncle June, Tillery, and another friend would come up on the weekends, drink, play cards, and tell all kinds of wild Army stories. Little did I know, a few years later our family would move to Ft. Riley with my stepdad.

From sixth grade until I joined the Air Force in 1992, I saw soldiers daily. Hence the reason I chose the Air Force (smile). Honestly, I never considered joining the military or being associated with the military. I did not want to go to war. This was around the end of the Gulf War. I did not want to go to the field (military training for war). I did not want a cheating husband (cause they all seemed to cheat). And I definitely didn’t want to take orders from anyone (Ha! Nothing’s changed).

Anyway, about a year before I joined the Air Force, my boyfriend asked me to help him study for the ASVAB (military placement test). He had decided to join the Navy and needed a certain score. I helped him study. He passed the ASVAB, but due to a previous knee injury he couldn’t join. About a year later, I took the ASVAB and joined the Air Force. I had no idea that while I was helping him study, I was actually studying for myself. Crazy, huh?!

I’m smiling as I write because God will give you exactly what you ask for but it is not always what you imagined. When I was in high school, I wrote how I wanted to work for a major corporation, travel the world and speak different languages. Well… I joined the Air Force (major corporation), my first duty station was in Germany (traveled the world), but I never got to speak different languages, something I have always regretted. You see, over the course of middle and high school I had taken four years of Spanish and three years of French. While in basic training I was given the opportunity to take a language test. Taking the test meant another skill set would be added to my profile. Y’all, I was so afraid of failing that I did not take the test. I backed out at the last minute. Funny thing is, I knew both languages almost as well as I knew English, probably better. You know, it amazes me how fear.. little old fear.. can change the entire trajectory of your life. Throughout my career I had other opportunities to take the test, but decided not to. Mostly because I felt as if I was not worthy of the additional opportunities. Like, if I didn’t do it the first time, why would I be given other chances. It was like I was punishing myself for my failure to act. I am so grateful for growth. I have now realized God will give us opportunity after opportunity to fulfill our dreams and purpose. However, it is up to us to recognize them as such and grasp them. They are gifts. Yes, I’m learning.

Anyhoo.. back to missing my military life. Y’all know I get sidetracked. From the moment I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base for basic training, until the time I retired, I wanted to get out. Every day I asked myself why I joined. The ONLY answer I could think of was it was better than joining the Army. Really?!

I cannot lie, I LOVED every moment. I enjoyed the camaraderie. Having a steady paycheck and all of the extra perks. Opportunities to visit different countries (some I took, some I didn’t). Interacting with so many people. Pilots in flight suits (yesss). Fighter jets. Cargo planes. Beefing with ATC (they thought they were God’s gift to the Air Force). My Weather buddies. House parties. Squadron parties. Riding on the airfield when I needed to get away. Yes, that was the life!

Of course there were things I did not enjoy, but looking back, they were minute. Y’all, I am just grateful for the experience. If I had to do it all over, I would. BUT.. I would do it bigger and better. Thinking back, God always placed people around me who encouraged me to aim high (the AF motto). To tap into my full potential. Little did they know, I was too afraid to aim high because I hated the recognition. I hated receiving awards, and I received quite a few. I only wanted to do my job and go home. But they wanted to recognize me. Why? To me, I was doing what everyone should have been doing. It was nothing special. But.. it was!

Short story-

I received my first commendation medal for my actions after a Boeing-747 cargo plane slid off the runway at Ramstein. It had been snowing heavily all night. The plane was scheduled to land as soon as quiet hours was over at 6:00 a.m. Before they even entered our airspace I had the pilots contacted so they could divert to another base because the snow wouldn’t be removed before they arrived. I even spoke with the crew. They said that they had enough fuel to divert to Frankfurt. Plus, I had already contacted Frankfurt and they had the ramp space. I asked the crew about their crew rest hours. They were good. So nothing was stopping them from diverting. They informed that they had landed in those conditions before. So I informed them that they were landing at their own risk. Tower cleared the snow removal crew from the runway. The plane landed and slid off the end of the runway. This led to the runway being closed for several hours. Which caused other aircraft to have to divert to other bases. At that time, I had only been on the job (in the Air Force) for a year, and the only one on duty. Looking back, that was pretty awesome. I stayed calm the entire time and did my job. To me it was no big deal, just another day at work. I will tell you I am thankful it was recorded because they tried to blame it on me. Bae-bé, I knew what I was doing! I had already made 100% on my 3-level course exam. Lol!

Listen, from now on I am going to seize opportunities. When God opens doors, I will walk through them. Also, I am going to humbly accept all accolades. I’m not going to shy away from them anymore because I am a display for God’s work.

Thank you for reading. I guess you could say this blog was about me coming to terms with a part of my life that I took for granted. A part of my life that I cannot get back, but I can learn from and do better.

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

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

My Facebook Memory: August 11, 2019

Hello! Here is a Facebook memory that I thought I would share. It was written on August 11, 2019, after a year of being in the doctoral program. This past March I decided to take a leave of absence, again (details included in the memory). This time it was the uncertainty of COVID-19 that had me stressed. I just could not focus on school. So I decided to take a year off. As I did last time, I have questioned myself about my reasons for pursuing this degree. Is it something I truly want? Glad I have a few more months to decide. Then we shall see what happens.

Here’s the memory (unedited):

Good Morning! No social media find this morning. I just feel like sharing.

Today’s the last official day of class. It’s been a year that I’ve been in the DrPH program. I’m not sure why I thought it would be easy. I’m still puzzled about that initial phone interview with my advisor. I was just so chipper. Why???🙄 I work at a university. I’ve seem so many students struggle through their doctoral program. Yet, somehow I thought things would be different for me. What was wrong with me?😩

A few days ago I finally really looked at my degree plan. Yeah, I never really reviewed it. I just started taking classes and going with the flow. When I saw how many hours I had left, my heart sank. The thought crossed my mind, “Will I ever have a life?” Y’all, this program is about to consume ALL of my time. I’m not going to lie, so far I haven’t been disciplined at all. I started off really disciplined. Had everything scheduled down to my “Tyler Perry Tuesdays” tweet time. Yeah, one hour to watch and tweet during the show and 1/2 hour afterwards to reply to tweets. I was serious. Then, life happened. It’s amazing how one little thing can shake you and your whole system crumbles.

I began to realize I used social media as a way of coping with the things happening around me. Whenever I wanted to get away, I would log on and mindlessly scroll down my timeline. Social media is a great distractor when you don’t want to deal with reality. At the time, I was going through the divorce. Somehow, in my little mind, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it wasn’t. Also, things at work were becoming stressful. It was just a lot. Then, on top of that, I had school. I had to post and respond to discussions every week. Honestly, it was all taking a toll on me. I finally realized I couldn’t take anymore and sat out the spring term.

During my break, I did a lot of soul searching. Was this program for me? Could I fulfill my purpose without the degree? Was my purpose even worth the struggle? Why couldn’t I just let everything go and just enjoy life like everyone else? I mean, I’ve already retired from the military. I’m sort helping my community through my research projects. Why not sit back and enjoy life? Why do I always have to make things harder for myself? Well, because that’s exactly what I do. I love a challenge. Something inside of me, no matter how hard I try to fight it, wants the adventure. So, when my advisor called me before the summer term began, and asked me if I was returning to school, I confidently told him I was going to finish the program.🤦🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

So, here I am. This time I’m really serious about being more disciplined. I’m trying to narrow down my use of social media to things that will help me along this journey. I’ve discovered that the Twitter accounts I follow on my ResearchDiva site reflect were I’m going (UN in Geneva☺️). I’ve been able to use some of the information I’ve come across for my discussions and assignments. My Mississippi Thriving IG makes me feel like I’m still supporting my community. My blog, It’s Shaun’s World, gives me an outlet for sharing my random thoughts. And this page… y’all make everything worth it. I love logging on and seeing your smiling faces. Y’all keep me grounded.

I know this was long. I needed to get it out. So, if I miss posting a few social media finds, or showing you love, it’s not because I don’t care, I’m just trying to stay focused.

I love y’all!

GodIsWorking

BeBlessed 🙏🏽♥️

Thanks for reading!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Guess I like this image better. Lol! Hello Sunday!

It is the first day of a new week! Sounds lovely, does it not?! Well, I hope this week is much better than last. Let me give you a brief rundown of what happened last week.

Monday was my first day back to work since March (been working remotely). Well, that day I put on my favorite lime green dress; somewhat curled my hair—Charlene + humidity is all I have to say (it was not the look I was going for); put on a little makeup; and wore my cute sandals. Y’all, I was ready! Felt like a kid returning to school after a long summer break. That was Monday.

Tuesday! HA! Tuesday was a different story. The newness had already worn off (imagine that- Lol). I was back in work mode. Since I was the only one working in my suite, I went the jeans, cute top, and BOB shoes, route. Charlene was doing her own thing, as usual. Well, everything was going smoothly until I made it all the way to my office and realized I had left my office keys in my car. What followed next was like a tragicomedy. Funny, but so not funny. Here is what I remember.

I was walking down the sidewalk towards the parking lot (which is on the opposite side of the street). I looked both ways before crossing the street. Saw one car coming up the street on the opposite side. I went to step off the curb between two parked cars to get a better view of oncoming traffic. THIS is when everything went wrong. I am not sure if I stepped too soon or what, but the next thing I knew I was stumbling into oncoming traffic. I had twisted my ankle. My left ankle went in one direction and my foot, another. I remember trying to balance myself with my right foot. However, my laptop bag, which was on the right, dragged me down and forward even more. Guess I should mention I am like 5’2” so it would not have taken much for me to hit the ground. Fortunately, I managed to stay upright, and driver of the car coming towards me was able to stop before hitting me. Y’all, I stumbled right into the path of his car. I am so grateful he was not distracted because this would be a totally different story. Anyway, it seems like he was just as confused as I was. He let down his window and asked if I was okay. I assured him that I was. But I was anything but okay. As he drove away, I saw him chuckle. I could not blame him, I was laughing, too. You know, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.. WAIT- isn’t that a Tyler Perry play? Lol. Been watching too many stage plays on BET Plus. Anyhoo…

Once I made it to my car and settled down, it was like everything flashed before my eyes. I remembered screaming to myself, “Girl, STOP!! You about to get hit!” Y’all, it was just like yelling at the television while watching a thriller. You see the tragedy about to happen so you yell to warn the character. Crazy thing is, I was that character, and I could not stop myself from stumbling. As I sat there trying to grasp what had just happed, I was kind of amused. I could not believe that had happened to me. However, now that I am writing about it, I see things differently. Y’all, I really could have been hit. I could be in the hospital right now, or even worse– DEAD! But, by the grace of God, I only had a sprain and tear in one of my tendons. I was ordered to stay off my foot for five days. Which was much easier to handle than what could have been. Grateful.

So tomorrow I get a do over. This time I plan to be more cautious and aware of my surroundings. Maybe this was a wake up call that life is not normal. Sadly, I cannot just pick up where I left off.

Life.

Shaun