Set The Tone For M.E.E.

It’s 5am on a Friday and I’m wondering why I can’t go back to sleep.  My husband and I had decided to drink some wine the night before as we watched the NBA Playoffs.  This was nothing unusual for us as we’ve come along way from the drinkers that we once were in our college years and mid-20s. Needless to say, we both wanted something stronger after managing the attitudes of our 2-year-old twins and trying to keep up with our “curious about how everything in the world works” 5-year-old.  All girls by the way. 🤦🏾‍♀️

So, what’s the first thing anyone does when they can’t sleep?  Drink some water and use the bathroom.  🤷🏾‍♀️ Yep, that’s what I did.  Yes, my phone was with me.  🙄

I attempted to look at Facebook, but then my phone stopped me.  FREAKIN’ SMART PHONE! 🤬 I had forgotten that I used the settings in Facebook to manage how often I used the app so that I could stop spending so much time at night reading about other people’s problems.  It was supposed to allow me time to figure out my own.  GO FIGURE!

After checking the scores of the game that I had fallen asleep on (thanks to the wine) I figured there was no need for me to click on YouTube or any other app that would keep me in the bathroom longer than necessary.  My bed was waiting for me to return, and I needed to get as much sleep as possible in order to have energy for my girls later.  But God had other plans.

Each sleeping position was more uncomfortable than the previous one as I tossed and turned.  I know that my husband was only half sleep because of me, but I wasn’t about to spark a conversation about my feelings when I didn’t even know where to begin.  There was absolutely nothing on my mind besides trying to go back to sleep.  Until …

A glimpse of light peaked through our bedroom curtains.  This was a big deal because not only had it been storming on and off the last few days, but our curtains are a dark brown color to help keep our room nice and dim for sleeping.  When I saw that light, my mind went CRAZY. 🤯

“What am I doing with my life?  Where do I see myself in the next 5 years?  How can I make adjustments to reach my goals?  What are my goals exactly?  Who do I need to talk to in order to get what I want?  What do I really want?  Who do I need to meet?  How can I put myself in position to get the answers to all of my questions?  Why am I being so hard on myself?  When am I going to feel satisfied enough to relax?”

I am a very spiritual person.  Not so much religious, but spiritual (believe it or not, there is a difference).  So, I began to ask God to reveal to me what it is that I truly want out of life, and what I feel has a major hold on me.

First, I had to weed out all of the little things that are more so complaints rather than actual problems (ie: too many dishes in the sink at night, random stickiness on the floor after I’ve mopped, not enough room in the refrigerator for the amount of leftovers we have because no one is ever hungry for anything but snacks).  Typical #MomLife right?

The one real problem I have is something that millions of people can relate to.  We lose sleep over it.  We make plans to combat it but never follow through.  Sometimes we try to forget about it until we get a call from a random number with an automated voice reminding us of our debt to society.  From student loans to medical bills and credit cards.  One issue, two words: Financial Stability.

I sound like a broken record when I bring this up to my husband.  He is the sole provider in our household, and I am grateful to have married well in that sense.  Love aside, he handles his business and makes sure that all needs are met.  We are so blessed to be in our second house (an upgrade after having the twins), both cars are paid off, and our big girl is able to partake in martial arts as an extracurricular activity.  He’s a #BlackMan by the way. 😏

But he knows who he married.  He has met my mother and understands that I was raised to be able to think and do for myself.  Aside from that, he knows that there is something inside of me that MUST do something to assist with financial situations that I help create.  I have never been, nor saw myself as a gold-digger.  I believe that hard work pays off, and I definitely want to be an example of that for my daughters.  So, what now?

Well, nothing.  It seems that by going off on a rant in my own mind that I came to realize how grateful I am for the exact position that I am in at this very moment, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’ve worked with other people’s children for years from childcare to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and I have given up being paid to ensure the health and safety of other people’s children in order to educate, nurture, and protect my own.  I am able to give my daughters what I noticed most, if not all the children I have come in contact with over the years, were missing.  Not just a mom, but a mom who has time to listen, pay attention and create experiences without having to request time off from someone else.

Some days are easy.  We coast through with fun activities, laughter, and dancing.  Most days are very difficult with constant arguing, consequences, and tears.  But the past 2 years have been a learning experience for all of us.  The growth shows from my husband to the youngest twin.  Our bonds are stronger than ever and the knowledge that is being transferred on a day-to-day basis is more remarkable than I could have ever imagined.

I recall playing school with my sister and cousins as a child and being a leader in youth groups at church as a teenager.  Seeing how good it made them feel when they did something right or felt like they belonged, made me want every child to feel that way (as if I weren’t a child myself). And I thought that by being a case manager, or a teacher that it would be enough.  But it wasn’t.

When you are working for someone, there are rules in place that limit how much you can do or how far you are able to go in order to give a child that feeling.  Yes, you get paid for it.  But after having my first-born and realizing that everything that I was trying to give to another toddler is exactly what she needed, I sacrificed getting paid monetarily for the reward of hearing “Mommy, when I grow up, I want to start my own business like you.”  🥰

See, my husband knew I wouldn’t give up.  He expected me not to give up.  God made me a special type of way.  While I long for Financial Stability, money does not excite me.  My purpose is bigger than that.  My message is bigger than that.  And by helping my own children to learn and thrive in a world where so many children (especially #childrenofcolor) are expected to fail, I will gain knowledge and insight on how to help other parents with their children as well.

So, I got up out of my bed and asked God to give me the words to write in this blog post.  I also asked him to give me the energy to deal with these busy girls I’ve been blessed with. 😂

With this blog I will set the tone for a new chapter in my life.  I will not sulk in my wonders of “Who? What? Where? When? Why? or How?” But I will simply just be MEE as I intend to help Motivate, Educate and Elevate the lives of children and families however I can.

DISCLAIMER: I would like to personally give a shout out to all professions working with children (teachers, case workers, coaches, mentors, physicians, etc.).  I believe you are often taken for granted and undervalued.  You deserve your flowers.

Salute to all moms who work or stay at home (#SAHM) because only God knows the energy we use on a regular basis.

To the dads who have chosen to be a part of their children’s lives, you are appreciated.  Especially the Black dads (who don’t get enough credit for being an example to their children); I see you.

New Year, Same Agenda

I’ve questioned myself a million times “Why do you write?”

I recall doing writing prompts for state tests in elementary school and having my 3rd grade teacher tell me that I was a great writer.  At the time, I was pretty cocky already because at that age I felt like I was the smartest kid in the world.  Nonetheless, life takes over and reality set in when I was placed in a gifted program in the 4th grade.  

When you’re used to your surroundings it’s easy to be comfortable and feel immortal sometimes.  But the real challenges come when you are pulled out of the comfort of your own environment and forced to communicate with people who do not have the same background as you, and therefore they don’t think like you.

So, there I was…Coming from an elementary classroom where my peers were predominately Black and Hispanic to a middle school classroom where I was the ONLY minority.  These kids were talking about mind benders, stocks, medieval times, and a bunch of stuff that went over my head.  I was so out of place.  I thought to myself, “Damn, I thought I was smart, but these kids are smart-smart.”  I eventually quit because I couldn’t stand it.

Fast forward to when I attended middle school for real and my whole world was just a mess.  From my hormones as a pre-teen to me battling some personal demons, I had lost my juice.  I no longer felt as smart as I once felt.  I did enough to pass (which was still great now that I’m looking back on it).  But I know that I could’ve done so much better.

High school was even worse.  I barely applied myself and still became a part of the National Honor Society.  But I would often wonder how.  I never felt that I deserved any of the accolades that came my way.

College was the same way.  I attended an HBCU (Historically Black College/ University) and graduated summa cum laude.  Still, I felt that I could do more than I had done.  My peers would often congratulate me, and I appreciated the support, but it made me even more upset.

Let me put this in a simpler perspective.  In environments where I was among my own (minorities) I was intelligent without even fully applying myself.  But in an environment where I was among others (majorities) I was barely scratching the surface of their definition of intelligence.  It bothered me a lot.  Until this past year, I was still frustrated about it.

So, what changed?

Well, after getting married, having 3 children, and quitting my job to spend more time with them, I also had more time to think.  My thoughts weren’t always pleasant (I’m still a work in progress) but I did come to the realization that I was caught up in a web of feeling worthless due to that instance in elementary school and many more instances where a White child/adult was viewed as more superior.  Not to mention how all the history books are written.  Better yet, the history books that they spoon feed to us before we’re even able to read on our own.

But when I decided to home school my oldest child, I made a vow to myself that I would not pass that feeling of inferiority to her or my younger daughters.  And to be sure that I kept my promise, I had to dig deep within myself and fix my way of thinking.

Truth is, I’ve always had a certain confidence about myself on the surface.  But underneath, I was always wondering if I was good enough.  Now, I don’t even wonder.  Especially when it comes to my writing.

There is no code to writing when you write with feeling and from experience.  No one can tell you that you’re wrong if you have an opinion different from someone else. 

There is no right or wrong answer in a poem.  My short stories or novels belong to me.   No standardized test, degree or any other accolade can define the amount of effort I put into my craft or the emotion that drives me to publish my work.

Why do I write?

Maybe because it is natural for my thoughts to come out on a page as opposed to me stumbling over my words with my tongue pushing against the gap in my teeth as I try to find the right words to say.

When I write, I’m not thinking about what anyone else feels but me.  If you vibe with it, that’s cool.  If not, that’s cool too.   Writing is my outlet.  Writing is my escape from every thought or situation that told me I was not good enough.

When I write, I am who I am, unapologetically.  And as a Black woman, wife, and mom, I will continue to write my truths and encourage others to only look within themselves for acceptance and nowhere else.

It’s a new year, but I have the same agenda.  I am going to write, and write, and write to save myself, my husband, my children, and you from any negativity that makes you feel like you can’t, because you can.

#strongandgifted, #keepwriting, #youcan, #unapologeticallyme, #2021agenda, #blackandproud, #HBCU, #stayathomemom, #homeschool, #zerotohero