Category: Just My Thoughts

What’s on my mind?

What Are You Afraid Of?

What happens when you set a goal? What happens when you see yourself moving in a direction to do something…..different? What happens when you dream big dreams? And what happens when you put thoughts into action? What happens when you work towards accomplishing your goals and dreams? If you’re lucky, the dreams become reality.

Early this morning, I checked my emails (as I often do). I’ve been having an exchange of online communication with someone who holds a key to making one of the visions I put on paper a bit more clear. I could see the first few words of the message and knew that this was the email I’ve been waiting for, but also the email I’m not ready to receive. Once I open it and respond, there’s no turning back. I will determine the speed that things progress. It’s ready or not, the time has come.

Nervous, excited, hopeful. I’m full of these emotions and more. I see some changes coming. This think I’ve dreamed of; the labor is coming to an end. I’m almost ready for birth. Now, to nurture and grow my dreams.

The Box

Tonight I took a trip. I visited past lovers, old friends, prior birthdays and forgotten dreams. This journey is my personal time capsule of memories dating back at least twenty years. I remember arguing with a former love interest when they discovered the box. I was asked why I was “holding on to the past”. I’m not sure what response I gave. If I were asked the same question today, I’d have to say, it’s nice to look back at the younger me and have a tangible piece of who I was and who I thought I’d be. Not only does keeping this box allow me to look back, it affords me the opportunity to hold on to the good times, to reflect upon the bad times and be ever so grateful of where I am today.
I’m glad to have been born in the 70’s when long distance phone calls weren’t free and for most wasn’t cheap. I miss not having everyone at my fingertips. It made those conversations that much more special because I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to have another call. I miss the anticipation of letters in the mailbox. I miss the art of letter writing in general. There’s something magical about transferring thoughts to words and putting them on paper. Seventy five percent of everything I’ve “written” digitally has a “hard copy”. I actually wrote it on paper first.
I’m never getting rid of my box. In fact I’m a little sad thinking that my box will probably have very few additions as years go by. Printing emails to put in the box just won’t be the same.

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Self Checkout

I’m not a fan of the self checkout option in stores because I feel that if everyone chooses to use the machines that eventually there won’t be any real people to help bag items, answers questions or even say hello.

Today, I went in a store and all of the cashier lines had chains and signs that read closed.  The only option was the self checkout.  I had only chosen this store because I wanted a “different” shopping experience.  Although, this wasn’t what I had in mind.  As I began to scan my items and place them in the bag, it seemed that after every third item the machine alerted me to call the attendant.  I was glad I didn’t have very many items.  But I had enough for this to become quite annoying.  This slowed my self checkout down quite a bit and I thought that if the attendant had to keep coming over anyway, the store could have just had her at a register to check me out.  When it was time to pay, I ran my card through the machine only to be instructed to go to the attendant to sign my receipt.  Well, the attendant had seemed to disappear.

This self checkout was not fast, nor efficient.  Although I am still a fan of that particular chain, I will not be revisiting that location.  If the other locations move to this method,  I will eliminate shopping the chain all together.

Getting My Electronic “House” in Order

I’m sure most people have several email accounts.  There’s the Hotmail that you started in high school.  You now use this account for junk.  There’s the first Yahoo account you created that has an interesting user name;  (mysorority0392, lovemycollegeteam, itsgettinhotinhere, nomoredrama, etc).  You still use this account, but only to keep up with old friends and various updates.  You rarely give this email address to the new people you encounter.  There’s the firtname.lastname account you created because it was time to get serious about your future.  It was time to submit resumes and clearly you could not approach a potential employer with anything that stated your email address was missnewbooty@website.com (that’s was actually on a resume that I received from a candidate).  There’s the gmail account because you needed something new when it was introduced.  And there’s the firtsinitial.lastname1122@yourcablecompany.com.

I have all of those.  I’m usually afraid to look in my Hotmail account.  I go there so infrequently that I know when I do finally check it, I’m overwhelmed by the 5000 emails.  I usually browse through and just delete everything because it’s usually all junk.

Yesterday, I took the time to sift through my multiple accounts and clean house.  This took a few hours.  My most active, still useful and informative address indicated that my inbox had over 999 messages.  I started by typing store names in the search box that I receive too much communication from.  I then unsubscribed from email alerts and deleted all the messages from each store.  I then used other search words to delete batches of emails at once.  I had gotten my inbox down to 600 messages.  I thought, surely if I have 600, I’ll never exceed 1000 again with daily maintenance.  However; I knew that although this job was becoming very tedious, there was more work to be done.  I sifted through more emails (some that dated back to 2007) and ended my task happy that I had cleared my inbox to 347 messages.  There’s probably another one hundred I could delete, probably should delete.  But, those messages are important to me.  I must hold on to them just a little while longer.

My name is April and I’m an email hoarder.  There I did it.  I took the first step and admitted it was a problem.  I even took the second step and worked to do something about it.  Now, I just need to work to keep the clutter down and delete often.  Wish me well.  I’m hoping to keep my electronic “house” in order.

Going into labor

I didn’t close my eyes until after 2 o’clock this morning because my mind was racing.  I knew that as the darkness turned to day it would be time to “induce” labor.  I had hoped to get some rest and sleep in.  Unfortunately, my body and mind had other plans.  I opened my eyes at the same time my alarm usually chimes.  I just laid in the same spot for thirty minutes trying to mentally prepare myself for the tasks ahead of me.  My journey would be taken alone and I knew noone would see me, but I still wanted to look nice.  I showered, brushed my teeth, combed my hair and put on a pair of cute black jeans, a purple top and purple heels.  As I transitioned to labor and delivery, I needed some mood music.  I logged on to Pandora and swayed to the tunes of Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Anthony Hamilton and Dana Owens. 

I expect this labor to last four to nine weeks.  I’ll keep you posted.  At 3:03 pm, I pushed the button.  “The Other Side of Joy” has been submitted.

Lights! Camera! Action!

As a photographer for the past fifteen years, I tend to prefer to be the one BEHIND the camera.  Last year I was given the gift of a photo shoot.  I arrived at the site with excitement and slight nervousness.  I found that for anything other than snapshots, I don’t do well in front of the lens.  Perhaps it’s my desire to be in control.  When I arrived at Lady Bizness, I expected great conversation with owner Chisa Pennix as we discussed upcoming events (The WRITE Stuff and her business branding summit) .  I even expected her to ask to take a picture.  I wasn’t expecting her to pull out a camera to record a video. I usually hate being captured on live video more than I hate taking direction for a still shot.  After sitting for an interview, I looked at the video and it wasn’t so bad after all.  My first live video was posted on you tube and Facebook last week.  And I survived being in front of the camera.

The Hunt

After moving away from my family and missing several holidays, I started to create my own traditions to get everyone together.  As a full time photographer, it’s often difficult for me to get away during the holiday season when I am capturing memories for everyone else.  For Christmas, I started a Christmas Eve Eve celebration.  This event would take place on December 23rd.  Everyone would come to the house and stay up all night eating junk, laughing and playing games.  On the morning of the 24th, we’d all wake for breakfast and gift exchange.  By noon, everyone was on the way home or to visit the in-laws, or to the significant others house.  I often spent the actual Christmas day doing something quiet, but it was nice to have already had my Christmas fix.  For Easter, I reserved a shelter at a local park and held a picnic and egg hunt.  There are usually two hunts, one for the children and one for the adults.  I think the children had as much fun hiding the eggs from the adults as they did looking for their own eggs.  This year, the hunt won’t be happening as my normal weekend to do the hunt (the weekend after) is already booked with other things (as id the rest of the month).  Looking forward to the hunt of 2013.  It’s going to be bigger and better than all the others combined….get ready!

MY FUNNY VALENTINE

Like a thief in the night, you entered unexpectedly.  I didn’t know what you wanted during your “home invasion”.  I just hoped that as I tried to hide, silently holding my breath; that you would leave me unharmed.  You worked quickly as I’m sure this wasn’t your first time in a “home” even though you were new to my neighborhood.  As you rummaged through my things, you were unsure what you’d find.  Electronics, cash and gold didn’t appear to be what you were looking for.  When you stumbled upon my most valuable jewel, you took a moment to study it, to determine its value.  Before you removed my jewel from my “home”, you wanted to be sure you knew what you wanted to do with it, make sure it wasn’t too heavy to hold.  Once you decided it would be as valuable to you as it was to me; you decided that you really did want it for yourself.  I can remember hiding quietly in the closet, thinking that you didn’t know I was there.  As you came closer to my hiding spot, I crouched lower until you opened the door and asked me to come out.  A bit nervous, you promised not to hurt me.  I figured I’d take a chance….and trust you.  You introduced yourself as the Bandit of Exclusivity.  And unlike most thieves, you didn’t just take what you wanted and flee.  You asked kindly for my most precious jewel.  I looked deep into your eyes and said, “You can only have it under one condition.”  I read your mind without you saying a word.  You wanted to know the condition.  “The condition”, I replied; “is that you can have this jewel as long as you promise to care of it.  As soon as you decide that it’s not worth as much to you as it is to me, you must return it.”  You agreed to cherish my jewel.  My jewel….is my heart!

Naturally Me

As I was preparing for The WRITE Stuff, I knew that I wanted my usually curly hair to be straightened. Ten days ago I was rocking my two strand twists.  About 3 days ago, I untwisted them and had a fierce, super curly fro.  I thought to myself about my straight looking hair that I didn’t want to be bothered to do it myself, so I considered going to a salon.  That idea disappeared when I decided I didn’t want to spend my money on a trip to the salon.  I have plans for the weekend and my gas tank is on E.  My greenbacks have somewhere else to go.  Time was ticking and I knew I needed some hair therapy and quick.  As I put my head in the water, the shampoo soothed my scalp.  The conditioner tingled and I knew it was doing it’s job.  As I ran my fingers through my curls, for one split second I wished my hair were relaxed so I wouldn’t have to go through what I knew would feel like agony to straighten my own hair.  As I towel dried my hair, I could feel the thickness underneath.  Standing before the mirror, I removed the towel and undressed a head full of God given curls that I have so grown to love.  This natural journey has been just that, a journey.  But I wouldn’t go back to pre November 2007 and the chemically induced treatments that I endured at the salon.  I’m laughing now at the momentary lapse of sanity I had wishing my hair was relaxed. What was I thinking?  I so enJOY being naturally me!

LOVE IS…..

I was recently asked to define this word.  To my surprise, I didn’t rattle off a list.  Because of the context in which I was asked this question, I wanted my answer to be clear, concise and well thought upon.

 

During my thought process, I went back to the first time I remember uttering the words, “I love you too”.  I said these words at age four to my sister as we drove away from the grave site where we laid our mother to rest.  LOVE IS holding the hand and heart of a special someone in a time of need.

I thought more about love.  This thought took me to the first time I said “I love you” to someone that wasn’t family.  I was fifteen years old and my first boyfriend had given me a tshirt and trinkets that he’d picked up on vacation.  LOVE IS accepting the little gestures without expectation.

I recall love reaching beyond family and intimate relationships.  I met a girl who I thought had nothing in common with me.  She was loud, I was reserved.  She had three children, I had none.  She chain smoked, I thought the habit disgusting.  She used extreme bad language, I thought the language unladylike.  But what she was, was kind and considerate.  She was honest, even though, often times brutal.  This woman, my dear friend; I grew to love.  LOVE allows you to see past your differences.

What defines who we love?

After many years of being in relationships, I met a person who I determined to possess all the characteristics I wanted in a mate.  In the beginning I didn’t know what to do with all of my feelings.  How would I tell my family about my new interest….a woman.  LOVE IS allowing yourself to take chances and follow your heart.

As my last relationship ended, I made the comment “I will always have love for you.”  Sometimes, LOVE IS letting go in order to let the other person grow.