Day 10 Self Esteem challenge

Oh we’re finishing this (you thought I forgot!)

image

Photo credit redshoemovement.com

Day 10- Evaluate where you are. What did you want to be when you grew up? What are you doing? Today tap into your ability to dream and hone in on that childhood creativity that inspired you at a time. It may have even inspired others. What makes you feel good? What healthy addiction do you have?

When I was young I wanted to sing. I was in the children’s choir at 3! I sang in high school. I auditioned for the vocal program by singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Today I am in customer service (hold your applause.) I do freelance writing and editing on the side.
Service pays the bills. The pen, paper, computer and phone deliver the expressions of my soul.
Public speaking makes me feel good. I connect with others. My heart is a sponge that absorbs the emotions of others. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Sometimes it isn’t.

My new healthy addiction is steam and sweat. That sounds weird. I like steam rooms, saunas, hot showers, warm baths, and extreme work out classes when you come out drenched. I like the act of physically excreting impurities and then the fresh relaxed feeling you have afterwards.

~SMN

Advertisements

Stop in the Name of Love!

image

So I literally jumped out of my bed this morning. I had a dream that disturbed me. An old neighborhood friend of mine told me to go for a ride with her. When we got in the car she was dressed in all black and she was listening to an old Styles P track. For those who don’t know, Styles P is always doing some sort of crime in his music. He gets arrested in every other verse.

image

Anyway,  she goes on to tell me she is going to do a drive by at 10pm. When I glance at the clock on the dashboard its 9:38. Now what’s crazy is,  I wasn’t alarmed at all. I said “ok.” Then I turned the volume up. I literally was thinking I had 22 minutes to chill with my friend before she committed her crime! What’s interesting is my subconscious cognitive perception of time and relativity is the same as my conscious! With 22 minutes to clock in, and 8 minutes to get to work, I will stop for gas AND coffee!! I digress!!

So as we’re driving,  we’re ambushed by police! They must have tapped the car ( this was what I was thinking in the dream.)

image

I say “YO?! WHERE THE EXTRA BURNER AT?!!!!!” (Burner means gun)

Now please understand I grew up in a “hood.” However,  I went to private school and was notorious for being the bourgeois/uppity sheltered kid.  Even though some of my associates were bona fide crime lords, I still had to be in the house when the street lights came on! So if this wasn’t a dream,  I wouldn’t have asked for a piece (piece means gun)…I would have cried.

So my friend (who was always a bad influence by the way) grabs a loaded shot gun from under the seat of the car and hands it to me. I hold it out the window and start shooting effortlessly.  Pop! Pow! Bullet!  Bullet! The cop cars are spinning out of control and flying into the air. Like a scene from “Bad Boys”, we hop out the whip (whip means car.)

image

We start walking down the street slowly to examine the damage.  As I’m walking, some shots are fired. I duck down and shoot back from behind a tree. All of a sudden,  a building grows around us from the ground. Like a flower! A building sprouts from the ground!  We start being attacked in drones of assailants. They’re climbing the ceiling! There are so many of them that they look like insects.

Some of the faces of the insect people were familiar.  People I’ve seen in passing.  Some were old co-workers from high school.  I even saw a Taylor Swift shooting at me! I blast them! Then I hear a voice from behind me. He taps my shoulder. His hands are ice cold in the height of summer.  He says, “Stop.” I can’t see his face. He shakes his head from side to side.  He raises his gat (gat means gun) and when he does, the tatoo on his hand says “Cupid”. Then everything goes black.  Pop!

Now from a psychosomatic perspective, I know two things about dreams:
1. They are never literal
2. You cannot see yourself die in a dream.  Your body will wake itself up as a defense mechanism. 

So I know Cupid didn’t kill me in the dream. Maybe ‘love’ fought for me. Maybe ‘love’ forced me to surrender. Maybe I’m just crazy!

Send me your comments!

Tell me about your crazy dreams!

Get ready for a packed month of posts for Black History and Valentine’s Day!

-SMN

God Forbid. . .Knock on Wood

I am currently reading a business plan guide.  In one of the chapters, the author asks, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”  I struggled with the answer.  The arrogant side of me doesn’t think I’d fail at anything I genuinely attempted.  In reality I can admit I’ve always wanted to write and FINISH a book. So why haven’t I done it? There’s so many things to consider.  There are so many doubts I have never admitted I had.  Who will read it?  What will I write about?  Depending on the subject matter, what qualifications do I need to prove that I am knowledgeable? How will I publish it? When will I have the time to write it? If I die, my readers will pick apart my words. They’ll construct invalid theories. They’ll think they have ascertained a base of who I am. They’ll be wrong.

Its hard to admit when you are afraid.

A week ago I lost a crucial segment of my circle of trust. My significant other lost his brother suddenly.  This man was kind,  friendly,  humble,  reliable,  God-fearing, well read,  and family oriented.  He was one of the warmest people I have ever met. He was also one of the most complex people I have ever known.  He would often ask me just one or two questions and then just sit back and listen to my tirade. I think that was his way of counseling.  Like a therapist he would bait you with a question and the next thing you know, you’re on the couch delivering a monologue. There you are exerting brilliance that you rarely tap into. There you are grateful for a captive audience. I feel as though we were both always so grateful to converse with someone who truly wanted to hear what we had to say. What a privilege it is to be listened to. To feel important.

Tonight I drove through a neighborhood and looked at the houses.  I looked at the white picket fences. I looked at the dog houses in the back yards. I looked at the family automobiles parked in the driveways. I looked at the lights flickering from the televisions that were probably arbitrarily entertaining a sleeping couple. I hope they fell asleep after telling one another about their day. I hope they fell asleep after making love.

People often say ” I want to spend my life with you.” Then we wait for some plan. Then we wait for a vision. I have missed out on a lot in my life because I was afraid. I didn’t commit to boxing because I was afraid of a severe injury or people saying I wasn’t good enough.  I was afraid to travel because I didn’t want to be away from my loved ones. What are you afraid of? Trusting?  Yes he could be cheating on you right now. He may also be thinking of you and conjuring up new ways to make you happy. What are you afraid of?  Quitting a job and starting over? Yes Its a recession.  Yes you may fail. You’re in good company!  There’s thousands of people exactly where you are. They’re scraping their knees and getting up again. They’re trying.  They’re fighting.  They’re doing their best because life is happening right now.

I’m in good health…*knock on wood*

God forbid … but if anything should ever happen to me know this:

I LOVE being a mother. It is the most exhausting but rewarding feeling in the entire world! I LOVE love. God put Adam on this planet and he knew he couldn’t enjoy Eden without companionship.  The man I want to spend my life with is unique and passionate. He is deeper than the core of the earth. I love writing.  It clears all the cobwebs. It pours out of me. It is my drug. I am proud of my accomplishments. I am dissatisfied with my life in its current state but I will continue clawing my way to the existence I see fit for myself.  I fear the dark.  I have very few secrets. I get anxious when I am preparing to give a gift.  I don’t want to be compared to another woman but it has probably already happened and it will happen again in the future. I want to feel indisputably beautiful…Every day.  I am proud of my sister. She is the adolescent I never had the courage to be. I knew she would be special since the day she was born. I HATE working for other people.  Yet, I have held every job imaginable (except for food services.) My father blessed me with an amazing childhood. My mother is the strongest woman I have ever met. My grandmother is the most selfless person I have ever met. I strive to be a conglomerate of the two. I cry a lot…and I don’t think its a sign of weakness.  Its emptying out the sh*t of the day. Its regulation.  That way you have room for tomorrow’s challenges. 

That’s all I’ve got for now. That’s enough.  That way…God forbid. ..you won’t have to come up with anything profound.  That’s me in a nutshell minus favorite color or song. That’s me. Typing this on my phone with my kid sleeping on my lap. Typing with my night light on. Holding on to hope. Admittedly afraid.

★Shaun Nickens

Dreams- Realize Who You Are, When You Are

My aunt says she has a friend who proudly wears a t-shirt that reads ” If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.” I love that. It made me realize my own ambitions may be dwarfed. 

In fourth grade I wanted to be a singer.  I would draw pictures of myself with sequin gowns on and a mic in my hand. By sixth grade, I wanted to be an attorney.  Ironically,  by high school I had already performed at Carnegie Hall and Westbury Music Fair. I sang for McDonald’s Gospel Fest and Pathmark Gospel Fest at Penn Station.  I represented my school at a debate at Fordham Law School. It seemed as though my dreams were being realized.  The problem was they weren’t my dreams anymore. 

I developed a passion for writing.  At first I didn’t know if I was any good but my teachers and my family were taking notice. So I submitted a few articles to New York Newsday and they published four! I remember getting the checks in the mail. You would think that would help me focus. Focus. Focus.

Focus. If I could write that word 15 more times and not lose the attention of the 60 followers I have (lol), I would. I think of where I would be if I realized who I was when I was. I’m starting to see that as convoluted as it may seem, YOUR AMBITIONS HAVE TO MATCH YOUR ABILITY AND CURRENT REALITY. The peers I have who explored their musical talents when we were young are making a living doing music. Some are producers or music instructors but they’ve succeeded.  The girls on my debate team are lawyers now (well one is a paralegal but you get it.) It’s all about timing.

So what are my dreams now? I literally dream about my family. I dream about being someone they know they can trust and rely on. I want to age gracefully.  I want to meet my great great grandchildren one day. I want them to see all the things I’ve accomplished through life because I couldn’t “focus” so I did it all! I’m going to prove to them that you can be a jack of all trades and a master of all! As corny as it sounds I dream of love. The kind I read about as an adolescent.  With the right partner, you can be motivated to accomplish ANYTHING.  Everyone guides their decisions with love or lack of it, whether they admit it or not. So I’m going to focus on everything because my REALITY is I’ve never failed at anything I’ve attempted to do. I just didn’t do it for long! The constant in my life has been my dedication to good and my commitment to the human spirit. That’s who I am. Hate it… love it or shutyamouthandcallmeugly.

-SMN

This One Is For You…

If you’re always almost there

If you fight yourself not to care

If your bark is worse than your bite.

If your heart is under construction indefinitely

If your patience is deliberately tested

If your dues have been paid and you should be vested

If your aggy beyond all aggifyable agginess

If your dreams are too long for the time they are allotted

If you have felt defeated and plotted against

If you have been alone even with company

If your thoughts are sometimes remarkably too heavy and it causes you to hang your head

If you have ever felt like someone is placing boulders on your chest one by one and you are struggling to breathe

If you have ever cried because nothing is wrong and everything isn’t right

If you have ever tried to support a brother and purchased a demo cd that you ain’t like

If you’ve ever lost sleep

If you’ve ever found it difficult to eat

If you’ve ever trusted

If you’ve ever been disgusted

If you’ve ever given the benefit of the doubt

If you’ve ever taken a step back to control what comes out of your mouth

If you’ve ever felt like you could swim the Nile

If you’ve ever wanted to drown yourself in it

If you’ve ever loved

This one is for you…

-Shaun Nickens