Just Me

I was born a fighter.  I’m sure God must have known what I’d endure over my lifetime and He just decided to build me to last.  I can remember the exact day life as I’d known it had changed.  I was in seventh grade and I just knew.  That morning, I woke up a confused, withdrawn, sad and very angry child.  That was all I could think to be at that time.  I had lots of questions but no one I trusted to answer them so I learned to be silent.  I let my attitude and anger speak for me.  I often heard people say, “what’s wrong with her”, yet no one asked me directly.

Adults are funny that way.  Instead of facing issues directly, they make excuses for why children behave a certain way or they choose to ignore it altogether.  Getting to the heart of the matter may shine light on their own insecurities so they teach children to be quiet and what children learn to do is suffer in silence. What we all end up with are generational curses that span decades.  Children who learn to be silent become adults who often suffer through abusive relationships, allow anger to fuel promiscuity, develop mental heath issues or other toxic, unhealthy problems.  The cycle continues until one brave soul decides to break the curse.


Very few people know my story.  For me, there has to be a need to share it.  I have to know that the person who hears it will benefit from it in some way.  Other than that, they are mere words spoken with no direction or path.  As I’ve gotten older and have had the opportunity to share my story, I usually hear one of two things, “how have you not lost your mind” and “you should write a book.”  I always laugh because there was a time when I thought I had “lost my mind.”  In order to cope with all that I had endured up to that point in my life, I simply became someone else.  Due to the fact that I’d lost my identity at such a young age, through my anger and frustration, I learned to be the person everyone expected me to be.  Yet, I never felt quite right.  I didn’t have balance.

I lived my life in this crazy limbo until I was twenty-eight years old.  I had the privilege to meet this great lady, whom I affectionately refer to as Shug, at a point when my anger and false persona was causing more grief than help.  She literally spoke life into me.  Over the course of about a year, she changed my life and opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that I’m still riding today.  She gave me direction which is something I hadn’t had since I was about twelve years old.  She asked the hard questions, expected truthful answers, pressed and pushed until I was ready cut her out of my life forever.  I am thankful and grateful that she never quit.  Prior to Shug, I thought my anger made me a fighter.  She helped me to see that my true resilience, perseverance and innate ability to believe that there is more to me and my life than what people see or may perceive is what makes me a fighter.

It’s just in me to keep pushing.  I don’t quit.  When I look back over my life and reflect on all that I have lived through, the fires I’ve walked through and all those who told me I’d never amount to anything I think, “wow, look at that! If that didn’t stop me…nothing will.”  And I don’t quit!  Everyday is not my best day and I’m not always as positive as I should be.  I have my moments.  I cry, scream and if you catch me on a good day, I might even throw something.  However, I’ve learned not to stay in that place of anger because no one can get a level head when they are fueled with anger.  When my anger begins to subside, I pray, listen and plan.  (I’m learning to pray in my anger.  Not all the way there yet.)  I encourage myself and remind this girl that she is a fighter.

Through it all, I’ve always come out better than I went in.  Tension, challenges and struggles will produce growth if you don’t quit.

Planted but not buried…😊


Truth and Friendship

I have had the same best friend for the past 34 years.  She and I have been together a very long time. We met each other in church one afternoon.  We were about nine years old at the time.  We didn’t get along very well at first but something about her grew on me and I guess something about me grew on her.  I began spending weekends at her house.  Weekends turned into extended holiday weekends.  Extended holiday weekends turned into week long vacations and those turned into staying entire summer breaks.  I can remember one summer being so excited to stay with her and her family that I didn’t even wait for my mother to get off work to drop me off.  I packed this big old blue suitcase then went and stood out at the bus stop.  We lived in San Francisco at the time and she lived on a hill. There were no cellphones back then so I couldn’t call her for help dragging that suitcase up that hill.  But as I rounded the corner to her house, there she was waiting in the window.  She ran down to help me drag the suitcase in the house.  It was the best summer ever!

Over the years our friendship has remained strong.  I talk to her almost everyday and I try to see her at least once a year since we live on opposite coasts. Although we’ve grown as women and changed in many ways our friendship, love and respect for one another has never diminished.  I think one of the reasons why our relationship works as well as it does is because no matter what is going on in our lives, 1) we are always there for each other and 2)  we make it a point to always tell each other the truth.  Sometimes that truth hurts because it’s not always what we want to hear but being a true friend means that sometimes you have to hurt the feelings of the one you love in order to help them grow into better people.

Personally, I am grateful to have her as a friend because when I’m wrong, she’s not afraid to tell me I’m wrong.  What I have come to know is that when she does put me in my place, it comes from her heart and love for me.  She doesn’t want me going around being blinded by my own rose colored glasses.  She knows just as well as I do that that isn’t going to help me to be the best me I can be.

So, let me just leave you with this, don’t co-sign on your friends’ foolishness.  If you know that what they’re saying, doing or how they’re acting is not in line with their authentic selves, tell them the truth but make sure that truth is coming from a place of love.   As long as you are co-signing their foolishness, they will continue to lie to themselves and live a life that is not purposeful at all.

Bringing out the best in ourselves and each other…:)