Friday Fail / Funnies…

There was nothing I really want to talk about. In fact, I feel rather talked out. I’d rather just be and do, but I have a few things that may bring some humor into your Friday and give you some giggles for the long weekend.

Have a great and say Labour Day weekend everyone.

Stole this from Reggie

If only we could fill this Rx

Intellicat

Bona fide fact

Too sexy for his pants…The AKA’s might like it though since he’s sporting their colours

This’ll make women NEVER want to shop at Victoria’s Secret Pink section EVER again

That is all!

A friend remembered…

On this day in 2009, those who knew Nikki Tene Harris suffered a massive blow as we learned of her passing from an undisclosed illness. Nikki’s passing devastated an entire blog community that was at a loss for the words we’d so frequently posted on a daily basis. Nikki’s passing was a catastrophic event tantamount to those that cause the interruption to the regularly schedule programming.

In response to my brother-friend over at The Brown Blogger, who posted his memories, I’m posting what initially started as my comment to his post.

Hugs my brother-friend. I, too, share your loss. Nikki and I became fast friends once we connected through blogging. We began talking offline via email affirming the connection we’d established through our respective blogs was indeed real and viable. Nikki and I would exchange daily emails, which later grew into instant message conversations where we’d exchange information on just about everything. I’d tease her about her insatiable appetite for football and how rigorously prepared for her fantasy football drafts while she’d tease me about my written ability to convey thoughts through poem and prose yet shy away from any attention or focus being put on me. She handled that much better than me anyway…lol! Nikki was very much a rock star. 🙂

Our friendship graduated to the proverbial ‘next level’ where we exchanged phone numbers and began calling each other. The kinship was beautiful, genuine, and kindred in many ways. Nikki and I shared some very personal and painful stories with each and through those shared moments saw each other to the top of the life experience mountain. I was humbled by Nikki’s tenacity, strength, and talent and she encouraged me to be the same; to tap into that inner beauty of strength she said I possessed. I respected Nikki. I was amused by her and in many ways looked up to her.

I looked forward to our meeting in person when she was supposed to go to New York. We were like children waiting on Christmas Eve for the big event. When it didn’t happen, I was saddened. I pressed Nikki to tell me why she didn’t make it and why she’d been so evasive as to when she thought we’d meet up. She gave what I accepted as valid reasons for her not going to New York until she slipped up one day when I said her voice didn’t sound right. She’d been telling me it was from this and that, but the excuses ran thin and she finally confided.

I knew when Nikki was getting ill and like, you was asked not to repeat it. I knew the emotional conflicts that existed between our respective mutual friend. Nikki didn’t judge him for it, nor did she treat me differently as a result of it. It was what it was she explained and that was that.

I hated withholding information not just from him, but everyone; however, I had to respect Nikki’s decision and I didn’t press for any more information that she was willing to give. I would check in via phone, email, or text to get or give some encouragement or inspiration. Looking back, it’s funny how she could turn the attention away from herself without you even knowing it was now on you. Nikki was an artful dodger indeed.

As the illness worsened, I remained in fervent prayer for Nikki. She knew, I, too, was dealing with my own health issues and asked me to focus on my health as it was equally traumatic. Sadly, I’m still here and she’s not. My illness wasn’t misdiagnosed and my heart hurt in so many ways when I learned Nikki passed. I refused to accept it. I refused to believe that Nikki was taken from us. As much as I’d have like to, I couldn’t attend the services, but I sent a card to the family. I also wrote poem of sorts to her using the titles to Maxwell songs in order to convey my feelings. I’m fortunate that my old blog is still online and I found the link to what I posted Lyrically Speaking: My Dedication to Anika “Nikki” Harris. While it was widely received, I still felt it wasn’t enough. I felt Nikki deserved so much more.

Last night was a full moon and as it shined so brightly through my bedroom window, I got out of bed to stare at it and remember Nikki as she always loved the moon. I felt that for just a little while we were talking; sharing a moment as we’d done so many times before. It was no coincidence that the full moon happened on the eve and anniversary of Nikki’s passing. God makes no mistakes! I remembered Nikki this past Sunday as my boyfriend was preparing for his Fantasy Football Draft.

Nikki may no longer be with us here on earth; in the flesh, but she remains with each of us. Nikki remains that strong, vibrant, feisty spirit that we came to know and love. I don’t shout her out every anniversary, but I do think of her. Remembering her this year is of major significance to me because I’m closing out my 44th year and it’s a time of reflection, closure, and preparation. Nikki and I always talked about how I celebrate my birthday as the New Year and not so much traditionally on January 1st. She’s with me right now; I know she is. She’s the angel that showed up in the clouds as I came into work today; just as much as she was the moon that put me to bed last night.

I loved Nikki  Harris like a sister and I miss her and while I may not know why God does the things he does, I will accept He had a reason and I thank Him for having blessed my life with her.

That is all!

Own your shit…

If we’re honest, and I mean completely honest with ourselves, we’ll realize that the #1 reason why we can’t get past our past is because we keep repeating it.  We repeat it because we keep re-reading the chapters that should have been dealt with and left alone.  We sit around complaining about this or that, while never really addressing what caused the mess in the first place; quite often it’s our not owning our shit.  We blame him or her; this or that, while disregarding our complicity or culpability in any situation.  Save for situations of abuse where I don’t know anyone who volunteers for that; we’re in part to blame for when things go wrong, not according to plan, or get the results we expected.  Einstein said it best, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I state again, WE NEED TO OWN OUR SHIT!! We can’t and shouldn’t expect to move forward when we have a foot parked in the past and we can’t expect doors to remain closed when we leave them ajar.

Self-assessment is never easy. Think of those reviews we sometimes have to do at work where we’re asked to assess how we think we’ve done over the past 12 months. It’s not an easy task, unless we’re egocentric and narcissistic, but that aside, while self-assessment is never easy, it’s still necessary. Self-assessment allows us to review ourselves with full disclosure in order to make the necessary corrections for improvement, which often means closing chapters. We can’t complain about someone coming back into their lives while we’re entertaining the so-called offending party. We must learn to deal with the person and then close the chapter and leave it closed. We can’t put the hurt aside, if we don’t first address and leave it in its respective place in order to obtain something functional. Close the chapter and leave it closed. If we carry the hurt and pain from one relationship to another, we’re doomed to repeat it. Again, close the chapter and leave it closed. We can’t continue to worry about certain situations because we’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Hell, if they wronged you, they obviously didn’t care about yours. I see it like this. Honesty is something we tender with kid gloves because when we hold our honest feelings/truth from somebody to “keep the peace,” we’re really saying “I want them around the way I want, so I’m going to lie to keep them in their lane.”  But the sad truth is, when we do that we’re actually not being dishonest. We’re taught to be honest in our formative years and in taking so much time to get honest, say what we need, and be willing to walk away if we don’t find to be the or a truth. We have to realize that regardless of what the other person thinks or feels, OUR feelings are what we have to live with, so it’s more than important to tend our needs as we have to live with ourselves regardless of whom we have in our lives. OWN YOUR SHIT!

Closing chapters is essential to our growth, well-being, and our stability. If we walked around as open books, we’d be even more chaotic than many of us already are. We have to 1) perform the periodic self-assessment, 2) make the necessary corrections in whatever capacity we need to, 3) own our shit, and 4) close the chapter with honesty and forgiveness are essential components is this life equation.

Closing chapters and owning our shit is a lifelong process, but once we get into habit of doing it, the frequency becomes less and less as we learn a little bit more each time. It’s time to stop the insanity, the unnecessary plea bargaining and come to terms with ourselves and our lives. Remember, there is no encore; let’s do our best to make that dash count and stop carrying around the unnecessary.

Let’s let Erykah Badu close out this post with Bag Lady. The lyrics say it all…

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold on to
Is you, is you, is you

One day all them bags gone get in your way
One day all them bags gone get in your way
I said one day all them bags gone get in your way
One Day all them bags gone get in your way

So pack light
Pack light
Pack light
Ooh ooh

Bag lady you gone miss your bus
You can’t hurry up
Cause you got too much stuff
When they see you comin
Niggas take off runnin
From you it’s true oh yes they do

One day he gone say you crowdin my space
One day he gone say you crowdin my space
I said one day he gone say you crowdin my space
One day he gone say you crowdin my space

So pack light
Pack light
Pack light
Ooh ooh

Girl I know sometimes it’s hard
And we can’t let go
Oh when someone hurts you oh so bad inside
You can’t deny it you can’t stop crying
So oh, oh, oh
If you start breathin
Then you won’t believe it
You’ll feel so much better
(So much better baby)

Bag lady
Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go
Ooh, ooh
Girl you don’t need it
I betcha love can make it better
Betcha love can make it better
Betcha love can make it better
(Need someone to love you right)
Betcha love can make it better
(I betcha love, betcha love)
Betcha love can make it better
Betcha love can make it better
Betcha love can make it better
Betcha love can make it better
(I betcha love, betcha love)
Betcha love can make it better
(I betcha love, I betcha love, oh)
Betcha love can make it better
Betcha love can make it better
(Oh…)
Betcha love can make it better…

Bag lady, hmm
Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go
Girl you don’t need that, hmm

FYI…Men you carry a bag too, so don’t be fooled by the title of the song.

That is all!

Love is…

Telling someone that you love them is good. Showing them that you love them is better. Making them feel how much you love them is best.” — Terry Campbell (‘stolen’ from his Facebook page). You can also find him at The Cheap Seats

With the state of affairs; no pun intended, relationships all too often fall short because too many forget that Love is an adjective — an action word; making it more than something that you simply say. What one does is to support what they’ve said adds more weight, but having one feel the combination of the two; word and deed, completes the equation and fortifies the foundation.

When polled, I think many would say that their spouse/partner/significant other may lack the continuity reflected Terry’s words, which is very sad. We get caught up and we start to forget the love is the glue that holds us together. Love; be it platonic or intimate (sexual) needs to be utilized always in all ways. It should never be taken for granted, abused, used as a weapon/pawn/tool, or for manipulation. Love requires nothing more than being acted upon. We have to stop just saying and get in the habit of more doing and showing.

Terry is a passionate man. Terry gives his all to a woman; sadly sometimes to his own demise; however, Terry truly IS all that his words say. I’ve known this man for 6+ years and he’s lived up to it in every way. Terry does not take love lightly and regardless of the type of relationship it is; ensures that the person knows they’re loved and cared for. Terry is one of my best friends and I hope after reading his quote that you’ll reflect on how you express love for those in your lives and evaluate how others show their love for/to you.

Nothing changes unless we do and nothing grows unless the right seeds are planted and tended for a fortuous harvest.

That is all!

Hope on the horizon…

I did not write the following, but it’s appropos to how things in my life have been. I’ve been holding on to hope and faith that this trial will become a triumph.

“…even the desert has beauty. Good times and bad times are part of living. It is difficult to fully appreciate joy until you have tasted sadness. Laughter is sweeter if you have experienced tears. There may be times when you feel like you’re stuck in a dry and desolate place, but an encouraging call or a hug from a friend can be an oasis; beauty in the desert. Though it may not be easy, try to remember that the trials are going to help you fully experience the joy on the horizon.”

It also speaks to some advise I gave a young man who called soliciting some “motherly” advise as he was facing a serious situation in his life and didn’t know what to do. Two hours later, I gave him what he said was much needed counsel and felt better about moving forward with his decision making process.

Life is not without problems and comes with a what often seems like monumental drama, but if we pause for a minute and seek solace in someone who can provide the necessary comfort, we’ll manage to make it through.

I hope this quote inspires, encourages, or comforts you or anyone you can share it with. We need to always find that silver lining amidst the clouds.

That is all!

Friendship…

Too often we attach nostalgia and/or chronology as reasons for maintaining or sustaining a friendship, which I’ve come to know, learn, and understand simple isn’t good enough for me . 

I’m loyal to a fault and held on to many people in the name of friendship and it wasn’t until I went through some of the most painful and trying times of my life did I finally realise and recognise the impact of the embedded image.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely naive that I didn’t recognise sooner that my resulting weeding of certain people from my life was necessary; it was because of my loyalty to them; preserving the chronology of our friendship that extended it.  I didn’t want to simply end friendships because we’d lost touch, they’d gotten new friends, or whatever reason we attach to prolonging friendships. I would sit and agonise over what would be a justifiable reason to end a friendship entirely or put said people in their respective place in my life. 

As I said, the past five years gave me plenty of insight.  When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 07, so-called ‘close friends’ were there at the beginning, but suddenly faded out the picture when it came time for me to get to and from appointments, my needing to get out the house, or simply just needing company suddenly became a chore to them.  I relied on the help and company of strangers; well, people I’d met through my support group and in some cases; strangers who saw me struggling and assisted me.  When I became seemingly able-bodied again, all of a sudden those previously distant folk would make appearances, ask my assistance in various things, or want to come and visit.  I even recall an instance where I received flack for calling someone whom I’d developed a bond with to help me get to and from a same-day surgery as they were available and volunteered to help if I needed it.  Well, the person calling me out was asked and neglected to respond in a timely fashion in spite of my attempts to reach them, so what else was I supposed to do? Rhetorical, but I’m sure you’re getting the gist of what I’m saying.  Folk are funny to say the least!

Fast forward to my back-to-back life altering events in 2010; losing my employment and then losing Lil Lady’s father a month later.  So-called friends were either nowhere to be found or offered their assistance under what appeared to be duress.  There was the initial shock and offers to help find leads on jobs or the volunteering of time to help me through my grief, deal with Lil Lady and take care of clearing out his house all while maintaining my own.  This so-called help came sparingly at best.  Insert once again, folk whom I’d either not known long or in one instance, just met a few months before.  The Playmate as he became known, was a God-send to say the least.  He offered time, company, a shoulder to lean on, and did it all without question.  He didn’t make me feel like I was a burden or needy. 

I realize that people can often be seasonal and I’ve learned to accept their role good or bad in my life as they’ve been a part of the growth into who I am. 

Over time, I’ve learned to put people in their respective places.  I’ve chosen not to point out faults or shortcomings as they’re counter productive because people will become defensive and nothing gets achieved that way.  Those whom I’ve been able to address, I have and we’ve come to terms with the change in our friendship.  Some are just too far gone for me to bother one way or another.  I cherish those whom have come in and stayed.  I give credit where it’s due to those who’ve played their part.  And most importantly, I’ve learned that loyalty; though a beautiful attribute, must be carefully dispensed as well as guarded.  My friends; correction; real friends know who they are.  I don’t take the title lightly; Friendship is not an entitlement; it’s earned. 

That is all!