The Right Words At The Right Time

Taking a break from The Bonnaroo Experience. I’ll be back with part 3 on Thursday. Today I had to share what was on my mind. 

How is that people know exactly what to say? Not just what to say, but they have the most impeccable timing. How? Where am I going with this line of questioning? I’m glad you asked. I want to know because it happens to me all the time. And I always want to ask the person speaking to me exactly how they knew that I need to hear the words.

‘After a great dinner and plenty of conversation, my daddy (the greatest man in the world) called my sisters and I into the front room of my Mama Nola’s house this past Sunday for a “talk”. I won’t lie, I was terrified. Our little family talks have a way of morphing into these overly dramatic tear and snot fests that Dr. Phil would give his left nut to have filmed in front of a live studio audience. This talk was no different. But before the waterworks and raised voices, my dad dropped a bomb on me.

That bald head man looked me square in my eyes and said to me every single thing that I’ve been thinking, well attempting to avoid thinking, about myself for the last few months. And I couldn’t do a thing other than nod my head. I can’t stand him.
After Sunday, I can’t act like I don’t know that I’ve been settling. I can’t continue to settle. I have to do something about it. Anything. Merely stating that I”m trying to figure out what that step is will no longer cut it.

A friend told me (on the very same day) that God places everything we could possibly need around us, but it’s our job to open our eyes and look for it. I haven’t been looking. At all. I also haven’t been asking to be led in the right direction. Not doing my part in the least bit. Expecting my purpose to be spoon fed to me instead of discovering it for myself.

So, thanks Daddy. Thanks Friend.

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I AM NOT HER

Growing up, I used to want to be a myriad of things when I became an adult. A great musician – can’t play an instrument or read a note of sheet music. A neonatologist – I figured out how many years of school were required and let that one go quickly. A day care owner – this one still pops up from time to time, but as something I want to do when I’m older. A teacher – only lasted a few days. You get my point.

Never have I wanted to be her. I’ve never wanted to treat people like dirt, and act like none of it ever happened when I need something. So I don’t. I’ve never wanted to drown my problems in alcohol. So I haven’t. I’ve never aspired to depend on substances. So I haven’t. I’ve never dreamed of allowing anger and depression take over my life. So I haven’t.

Becoming her doesn’t happen overnight. There is a mentality behind that way of life that I do not possess. She turned to things for comfort and answers instead of God and her family. She swam in an olympic sized pool of her own sorrows instead of doing something about what made her unhappy. She conveniently forgot how to support herself financially, mentally and emotionally. All of her everything lay in one thing and one thing only.

Nothing about the previous statements described the person that I am, the person who I’ve been or the person who I am becoming. When I hear that people who should know better are looking at me as if I’m her… When I notice that people are treating me in such a way that I know they are thinking of her… It is infuriating.

I am not her. I don’t want to be her. I never will be anything close to her. It is sad that  the very people who taught me, and exposed me to a lifestyle that equipped me to be the opposite of her, are looking at me and seeing her. These people, who have been educated in the type of person that she is. They should all know more than anyone. Me does not equal her. Me is not similar to her.

I am not changing anything about myself in an attempt to convince people who should need no convincing in the first place. Keep relating me to her and I will remove myself until I no longer feel that being myself will be met with insults.

*steps off of soap box*

*drops mic*

*flips imaginary hair*

*walks away*

Dad’s Wife

Never expected that I’d be writing this. This post is a sure sign of my maturation in the past year

When my dad told me he was in marriage counseling with the woman formerly known as Greta, I immediately burst into tears. Not because  she was some evil lady and my life was ruined, but mainly because he had horrible timing. (I was in primetime pms mode) The non-muenstral part of me cried because my world was shifting again. I hate change. Life was fine the way it was. Daddy and his girls and his grand babies. No one else. Ask me back then, she was ruining everything and I was only participating in the wedding because my daddy wanted me to. I didn’t like it one bit and didn’t plan on acting any other way.

Now that we are 5 months into this thing, I’ve turned over a new leaf. My GiGi (I hate the title step-mom. The kids call her GiGi, so I’ve adopted that as her title) is pretty cool. She truly loves and cares about my sister and I and their children. She supports my dad and his babies in everything that we do. And I can tell by being around them that God truly brought them together and blessed their marriage. Plus she loves to shop and has lots of cool things in her house for me to try and get sent to me for my next place. Honestly, she is a sweetheart.

Although I don’t, and probably will never view her as a stepmother, I do respect her as my father’s equal. That means her opinions about my life’s decisions matter as much as his does. Plus I find their newlywed bliss to be adorable and disgusting at the same time. But I have to admit, they are a great example of love between two people coupled with the love of God.

Safe to say, I heart my GiGi.

Music That Moves Me: Daddy Edition

This is a special installment of Music That Moves Me dedicated to the Coolest Man In The World. No need for a long intro. Yall know what this is.

This just so happens to be my favorite song by Mr. Jarreau of all time. I would have never heard this song if not for car rides with my Daddy. I remember always asking him to play “number 13”. I never listened too much to the rest of the cd until I burned myself a copy before coming to Howard. All the hear “number 13”

What is there to explain? Listen to the chorus, it says it all.

This is the song we danced to at my dad’s recent wedding reception while my GiGi danced with her dad (Grandaddy Frog). Brandi and Britt each got the 1st and 2nd verses and chorus, and I got the bridge (my favorite part of the entire song) and a chorus along with Brielle who got the final oohs and aahs. This song is the perfect description of how I feel about my dad. No matter how old and independent I become, I will always be his joy.

On my trip home this past weekend, I was finally able to see pictures from our dance. I must say, We Broke It Down. It’s safe to say that we will be dancing to this song at my wedding reception. That is, after he walks me down the aisle and performs the ceremony.

My Excuse Note

So I slacked. Daddy didn’t get 7 days in a row, but I’ve got a good excuse. I was in Nashville from Thursday to Sunday night with my dad and the rest of my family. I literally never removed my macbook from the bag. We were on the go for four days straight. Since I gipped him, I plan on making it up to him with these next couple of posts.

The reason I was at home for the licensing of my beloved father into ministry.

He has completed all courses and passed all tests in order to minister the word of God where invited and given permission by the head of his church. The ceremony included about 70 candidates for licensing, ordination and re-ordination. Because I’ve grown up in the same church family, there were many people that I was very proud of that day but i’m the most proud of my Daddy. He spent most of his adult life working to provide for us and not doing much to fulfill any personal dreams or goals (that I know of). To see him continue his education in ministry and embark on other endeavors is amazing to me.

I know he will be an amazing minister because I’ve listened to his lectures my entire life. I can tell you that when he’s trying to gather his thoughts he rubs his bald head. when he’s got something really good to say, and is about to go on a roll verbally, he strokes his salt and pepper beard. As children, my sisters and I took that as a sign to sit back and get comfortable. We weren’t going to be there for a while. I cannot wait until my dad has his first big speaking engagement. I think I’m going to have to fly from wherever i am to wherever it is and sit in the front row.

No, He’s Not Perfect

Disclaimer: This is not what I planned to post today. Also, this was not previously written before posting. I may ramble, but every word is coming from my heart.

As much as I brag about my daddy, and as much as I would like him to be, he’s not perfect. I can’t remember staying mad at him for too long for many things, except one. One decision that he made, or waited to make, when I was a sophomore in college.  Because he waited so long our family has been through a number of obstacles, issues, and problems that could have been avoided.  For this decision, or lack thereof, I have found myself repeatedly angry at him.

Over and over, he has explained why he chose to deal with things the way that he did, and I completely understand. That does not mean that I am obligated to be happy with it. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but today is not that day. Today I am angry, but I am dealing with it. I have to remind myself that although he is The Coolest Man In The World, he is not perfect.