B/c I’m Happy…& a little Determined ;)

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I recently shared about my transition into my renovation project, and though I posted about a week ago – in real time it has officially been about three months since I’ve transitioned into my #ProjectHouse (said to the tune of Cash Money Millionaires’ ‘Project Chick’… those of us who came of age in the late 90’s and 2000’s will understand).  Due to the ridiculously random winter that we had this year in Richmond, it has definitely been an experience.  For starters, like many older homes the house lacks proper insulation as well as a central heating system.  Added to that, the radiators that were previously installed in the home (…like back in the early 1900’s…) no longer work, and the temperature over the past few months has been a little on the nippy side.  So what is an adverturesome, budget-conscious, aspiring home renovator to do?  Invest in space saving heaters and large rolls of plastic, that’s what!  My beloved man friend and I spent an afternoon draping sheets of plastic over the doorways of the rooms that I primarily use (as I only occupy the first floor of the home, and only 2 of those rooms at that) to retain the heat emitted by the space saving heaters, as well as over the windows.  Plastic was also draped around the stairs leading to the second floor, to thwart the laws of physics and to support the maintenance of heat on the first floor.  My efforts weren’t entirely attractive…….actually, they’re downright ugly, but they work – especially when paired with a warm sleeping bag, several blankets, and hoodies!  And my successfully overcoming an initial barrier to my ultimate goal was so encouraging to me.  Like really, my physically staying in the house has served to remind me not only of the home’s potential, but also what I can do when I’m determined to see something through.  For that, I have dealt with a little cold 😉  I am so excited to see projects that I start to completion, and during those times when it feels less than convenient to keep pressing forward– I can simply tune up Pharrell’s ‘Happy*’ to bring me back to a positive emotional state.  Because really, when I see all that I have been blessed with and the amazing outcome that is to come, I can’t help but become anything less than Happy.

*I love the go-go version of this by the way.  I can’t help it, it’s the PG County girl in me 😉

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Own Your Power

I had an absolutely amazing weekend, one that was absolutely full of love as I was able to reconnect with great friends prior to embarking on a major life change (more to come!).  During that time I was also introduced to this phenomenal woman and loved her ‘Take the Lead’ talk so much that I had to share.  This woman is a legit BEAST – and I admire how she manages to not lose her individuality within her professional identity.  I hope that you enjoy and feel empowered on this Monday morning!

Scandal meets The Cosby Show: The Claire Huxtable Effect

scandal-abc

Last night’s episode of Scandal was in one word – AMAZING*!  I am guilty of being one of those viewers who likes to anticipate what is going to happen when watching shows, movies, or reading books.  Maybe it’s because I’m a tad impatient and a wee bit analytical, but dang-nab-it there’s a certain level of satisfaction I get from accurately predicting the outcome.  I also quickly become bored with media that doesn’t force me to engage in some degree of detective work – which brings me to this week’s epi of Scandal that had me guessing from beginning to end (with the exception of that parking garage scene with Huck & Quinn/Robin…I so called that!).  So you’re telling me the bomb goes off & my fav Byron Douglas may die….WHAT?!  I love how Shonda Rhimes plays puppet-master with our heart strings every week, and yet we keep coming back for more – lol!  Aside from the drama, love triangles, rapid-fire speaking, and occasional lip quivers – the one thing that amazed me the most was the clever use of camera angles and positioning to conceal Kerry Washington’s pregnancy.  I’ve come to affectionately term the show’s pregnancy concealment as ‘The Claire Huxtable Effect’, as it reminds me of the attempts made by ‘The Cosby Show’ to conceal actress Phylicia Rashad’s real life pregnancy.  She was frequently filmed in bed, sitting at the table, or more obviously posed seated behind large stuffed animals. 

We know what you're hiding...

We know what you’re hiding…

Camera trickery seems to have advanced a lot since the late 80’s/early 90’s, as it was easy to forget that Kerry Washington was pregnant.  Kudos should definitely be given to whomever is behind directing those scenes, because for Olivia Pope to appear even remotely pregnant would be, in a word, Escandalo!

 

 

 

*The one downside to this week’s and recent epis is the use (or rather lack thereof) of Harrison. He used to be more of a key player, but now it seems he and his gingham shirts are slowly fading into the background. I don’t know if this is intentional, as he has had some public personal problems recently, but I would hate to see his character killed off and not even missed. Just saying…

In consideration of facial & chest hair…

So last night was SVU night (which features the original Olivia…don’t act like you don’t know), which is a standing tradition that I share with my now ex-fiance.  During the episode (which was a good one – Benson be going through some things & Orange is the New Black guy is a little too convincing…) my compadre revealed to me that he was on the verge of a major life decision, and one that he felt the need to share with me.  Our conversation went a little something like this:

Him: “I’m thinking about cutting this off” (motions to beard)

Me: “Why?”

Him: “Because it’s hot.  And I’m thinking of getting rid of this too” (proceeds to point to chest hair)

Me: “No, WHY?!”

Him: “It’s starting to itch”

Clearly our convos are always super deep.  The remainder of our conversation had to wait, though, until after we had witnessed Olivia’s fate from being kidnapped by her captor, but once 10pm hit our conversation resumed.  Now to place this in context, my beloved man friend (his Iyanla Vanzant-inspired nickname) is very familiar with my affinity for beards and chest hair.  And not in a pervy way, but in a healthy respect for masculinity kind of way.  I’ve attached two pictures as references.

 

Thumbs up!

Thumbs up!

Ummmmm...

Ummmmm…

The first is an example of a visually appealing amount of facial and chest hair that exemplifies manliness without being over-the-top.  The second pic ventures into uncharted territory, as the chest hair is in the position to be braided up with beads.  This includes chest hair that manages to escape and creep up beyond the shirt collar to chill on the neck for all to see.  At the end of the day, there are different strokes for different folks, and ultimately all men are given the license to “do you”.  But as it pertained to my friend, I did ask him to show some level of consideration in his decision making process as selfishness is never a desirable attribute – for any gender.

Sidenote: Today also happens to be my parent’s 32nd wedding anniversary, and in a weird and convoluted way this posting is very timely as my father was my very first beard and chest hair exemplar.  Thanks Dad & enjoy your Anniversary *cues Tony Toni Tone*!

Congratulations: Lessons Learned from my Fake Engagement

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Exactly one week ago today was the nationally recognized day of buffoonery – otherwise known as ‘April Fool’s Day’. The one day of the year where people who might not otherwise be considered funny can get their opportunity to shine. It also, unfortunately, can lead to mishaps – as one woman learned after her arrest for calling in a fake shooting at an area school…smh. Stories like that one bring to mind the ‘When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong’ skits from the Chappelle’s show.

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Wu Tang indeed Dave.  Anywho, one of my close friends and I decided to get in on the April Fool’s Day fun by becoming fake engaged and announcing our engagement on Facebook. He put in most of the manpower to “stage” our engagement as my work schedule was hectic that day, and posted multiple pictures of the two of us on his page, along with falsified pictures of the engagement ring, etc. I popped in as my work schedule permitted to provide colorful commentary and to add to the believability of our hoax. Both of us went into this activity not really believing that anyone would take us seriously, and close friends of ours did call us out on our joke (and he even received a few ‘You can’t be serious?’ comments via private messages). But surprisingly, a number of people congratulated both of us and even left pretty heartfelt messages about the qualities that the other person would be gaining through our union.  Awwwww, you guys….  I also realized the potential seriousness of our situation when I received an out-of-state phone call from my mom who had been notified by a close friend of hers about my “engagement”. Needless to say, we made sure to come clean that night (this time on both Facebook and Instagram), though I have continued to get congratulatory messages even a week later.

As someone who has never been engaged before, this was definitely an eye-opening experience, and one that taught me a few things.

  1. You may have more people in your corner than you realize.

Seriously, I did not expect the number of responses that we received, and how happy some people genuinely seemed to be for me. Even people whom I haven’t spoken to in years expressed congratulations, which definitely helped to spread the warm-fuzzies.

  1. People seem to generally hold positive views about marriage.

It is interesting to me that certain events seem to automatically elicit a positive response from others. For example, my “fiancé” could have easily been the biggest man-hoe* in the world and not at all marriage material, but yet his announcement produced majority congratulatory commentary. I’m guilty of this as well, but wonder if this socially acceptable response should be revisited until further research has determined that it is warranted and well deserved.

  1. Word travels fast

Facebook unapologetically tells your business, and doesn’t care who knows it. Anyone who doesn’t want information about themselves becoming publicly consumed should seriously reconsider utilizing any form of social media, or at least have a thorough understanding of the privacy settings on their account.

At the end of the day, I’m glad that I had this experience as I feel I’ve gotten a preview into what engaged life might look like…..provided I’m not choosing to marry a jerk and that others aren’t shy about letting me in on this fact. But I do agree that congratulations are in order for anyone who has the opportunity to commit their lives to their very best friend. Until that has happened for me, I’ll try to suppress my weird sense of humor and keep my April Fool’s Day jokes on a more conservative level in the future. Ha, who am I kidding – that probably won’t happen, especially when there are people who give you ideas like putting eyeballs on all of the items in your fridge, lol!

Image source

 

*My friend is an amazing person, and the above statement was solely used for discussion purposes. And actually…he’s single, as am I – holla at us 😉

Audacious much?

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(click pic for source)

 

The nerve….  I’ve developed several of those in 2014.  Not in the physiological sense, but more so in the realm of enhanced confidence.  Growing up I had my battle with confidence, and my being skinny and donning both glasses and braces for most of my early years did not help matters.  But at some point in my late teen/early twenty-dom…confidence developed in such a way that I’ve been able to navigate through life mostly unscathed and in a manner in which I’m comfortable.  But recently things have changed, and I don’t know whether this change should be attributed to the new year or my turning the big 3-0.  Independent of the cause, there has been an increased drive in me to unapologetically pursue every dream and passion that God has placed in my heart.  Like….it’s so not a game.  To place this into context, I’ve traded my more luxurious car for a stick-shift beater that I taught myself to drive in a little over a week and have since moved into a home I’m renovating that’s maybe a step above being a former crack house* because both decisions will further propel me towards my endgame.  Needless to say, both decisions I consider to be sacrifices, and have garnered a bit of negative attention and critique from those closest to me.  Honestly, I completely understand their concerns…I do.  But fear of the unknowns and ‘what ifs’ are minimal in my perspective relative to the tremendous gains to be made.

Fear & Self Doubt: sweet brown

 

I’ve been reading a book recently entitled ‘Sun Stand Still’, and a line in the book really stood out to me.  The author wrote: ‘Time can talk you out of your dreams.  Routine can weaken your propensity towards audacity’.  I reflected upon those two sentences and realized that if I wasn’t careful, it would be easy for me to drift towards a life of mediocrity and predictability rather than one that was passion-filled and required an immense amount of faith through which to navigate.  That and I was finding myself becoming increasingly bored and unmotivated with where things were in my life.  I quickly assessed my situation and realized there were things within my power that I could change……but then I realized that those decisions might require some discomfort on my part.  And on top of that, what might people think?  Thankfully those doubtful thoughts lacked staying power, and I was able to move forward with a renewed albeit somewhat out there plan, and I can say that I’ve been enjoying the process.  It’s a little bit scary, yes.  But also incredibly exciting  and encouraging knowing that I’m being further propelled towards my purpose, and doing so in a way that requires that I have faith in a power greater than myself.  This process has also shown me that I’m a pretty audacious chick-a-dee!  That word has stuck with me, and will reflect my theme for the remainder of the year.  I plan to have an amazingly audacious year, one that is extremely bold and fearless, and will be using this blog to document my experiences (the ups and the downs) with completing projects and my ultimate pursuit of passion and purpose.  Who’s with me?

*more elaboration to come, stay tuned 😉