Something to Ponder Tuesdays…

Being that it is the New Year, I have decided to start something new in hopes that I will be motivated to write more. I would also like to receive feedback on my writing and/or my ability to create meaningful writing . On Tuesdays of every week, I am going to post “something to ponder”. These posts will range in topics. It is my hope that other people have had a crazy sort of life much like I have and we all can engage intelligently and respectfully.

Now a little bit of housekeeping: While I welcome feedback, it must be constructive and add to the conversation. I am not here to change anyone’s mind about the topics I bring up or discuss. I am quite aware that most people do not share my opinions on certain topics and that’s okay because well that makes for good conversation.  I am just trying to improve my writing and my scope of writing. With that said, any negative comments will be DELETED.

Let’s Do the “Hustle”

Hustle.

What do you think of when you see or hear the word hustle? Perhaps one thinks of a crime or heist. Or perhaps the song and dance made popular in the 1970s by Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. Or perhaps the alternative to the words and phrases hurry up, get going, go faster, rapidly, etc.

In this case hustle doesn’t mean any of those things.

The hustle I speak of is a “side hustle”. A side hustle is a part time job that supplements your regular 8 to 5 40-hour/week full time job. This doesn’t necessary pay all the bills but it does help. Now please do not think that this is something illegal or sketchy. Well for some a side hustle very well may be illegal and/or sketchy but that is NOT the purpose of this posting. I do not support any illegal or sketchy business tactics. Moving on..

A side hustle can be anything and/or everything a person desires it to be. It is that job that a person can have to earn extra money for vacations, school, bills, gas, etc.

The key thing to remember about side hustles is that it must be something that takes minimal effort. Working hard and taking opportunities for overtime is not allowed when one has a side hustle. The side hustle works for you not the other way around.

For example, let’s examine the reasoning why some writers blog. Most writers blog not only because they have something valid, informative or entertaining to say but because blogging can be pretty lucrative if the writer has an extensive readership and/or following (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. included). Blogging can (and probably has) lead to other writer related employment opportunities or even become a mainstream website.

So how does one start a side hustle? Take a moment and really think about what interests you when you’re not working, studying, spending time with family, etc. Think about all the things you have done in your life that has warranted such phrases like “you could really make money if you…” Think about your hidden talents that you do completely for fun that could earn you money later on. Think about your favorite eateries or stores (i,e, Starbucks, Half Price Books, Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Panera Bread, etc) that you wouldn’t mind working part time on the weekends or the evenings. Choose something that would not cause an excessive about stress. Something you could easily walk away from if you grew tired of it later. The sky is the limit really.

If none of the above works, Google search “side hustle ideas”; which by the way will return at least ten pages worth of websites and blogs that speak on this very topic.

If all else fails, get the family involved in the side hustle. Everything we use, eat or drink came from one person who thought it would be a great idea to market to friends, family and eventually the world. What will your side hustle be? And how will you use it to change your world or even the world around you?

The List

My life has been fuelled of ‘i wishes’, ‘ooooo maybe one day’ and ‘oh man that would be a great trips’. I have told my friends a countless number of times that ‘one day i will __________ (fill in the blank) when i have the ____________ (fill in the blank)’. of course i almost always either never do what i say i want/will do because… well… hmmm as i think about it now i don’t know what really stops me from doing the things my heart, mind, body and soul want to do. There are days i wake up and say I’m going to do this today but do i? HELL THE FUCK NO!

But i have decided to do something. Well ha i took the first step in doing something.

Let me explain…

I was watching Joel Osteen one Sunday afternoon. Forgive me but I can’t even begin to tell you what he was preaching about that day; however it made me think. I thought long (lmao five minutes because at the beginning of the sixth minute my head was hurting) about where my life was going and all the time my girl and i have wasted doing absolutely nothing while consistently being dissatisfied by our current lack of funds and ganas to do anything in this world we call home. (say that shit ten times really fast… LOL what a mouthful) it was on this day that i decided to make a bucket list.

A bucket list is all the things you want to do before you die. Of course there are TONS of things i would like to do before i leave this world. And like usual i don’t know where to begin. At least the hardest part is over! I’ve already begun making my list which is below and in no particular order.

  1. Graduate from the University of Houston – i am currently 39 hours shy of completing this goal. and while it wouldn’t be hard to accomplish this goal in a timely manner; it will be hard for me because i work full time (meaning i only take 3 to 6 hours a semester) and will be paying for it myself (no financial aid or help from family).
  2. Obtain a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and/or Journalism – i have to accomplish the above goal before i can do this. my GPA from Baylor sucked ass so I’m struggling to get it up to at least a 3.80 (not the requirement for graduate school btw)
  3. Travel overseas – traveling overseas would be the ultimate vacation!
  4. Write a book(s) – i keep saying I’m going to start but my problem is where I start. What do i write about first? I also have a severe case of writer’s block.
  5. Reconnect with my mom – this has been on my heart for a while now. I miss my mom like crazy. I email her every now and then but it isn’t the same as seeing her. Of course i know that reconnecting with my mom means reconnecting with her family too but i will address that when the time arises.
  6. Spend more time with ALL family members – i have a really broad sense of what the world family means. My blood family is my family of course but my friends have always been more of a family to me than most of my blood relatives. With that said i have at least 20 siblings. Don’t make me list them all because i almost always forget someone.
  7. Complete my family tree – this isn’t just for me but for my daughter who was adopted by my Aunt Laine and Uncle Mike. She’ll be eleven this September. This is so hard because i don’t even know where to begin.
  8. Visit the stadiums of my favorite pro sports teams – wouldn’t this be awesome? So far I’ve been to minute maid park home of the Houston Astros. I don’t have many favorite pro sports teams so this won’t be hard to accomplish it just takes money. I’ve been to Reliant Stadium but the Texans weren’t playing that day.
  9. Visit granny and papa’s burial sites – i know this is morbid but granny (tutu’s mom) and papa (mom’s dad) meant (still mean) everything to me. There is so much of them in me it’s scary. I miss them both so much.
  10. Attend the next class of 1997 reunion – yeah i know… no preguntas please.
  11. Have at least one more child – i say at least one more because i gave birth once but i gave her up for adoption.
  12. Adopt two children from the US – I’m so damn tired of all these celebrities adopting kids from other countries. UGH! I’m not saying those kids do not deserve to have a home; it is just that there are sooooooooo many kids here in the states that deserve a home too. With that said i applaud Sandra Bullock for adopting a baby boy from Louisiana.
  13. Become financially stable – sigh i don’t think this needs explanation.
  14. Give blood (again) – i gave once in high school and had a weird reaction. My whole arm went numb. I couldn’t move it for the life of me. Since then i have indeed tried again. if i remember right i have given at least once since i have been employed at fox but not again since then because I’m anemic (i.e. my iron hasn’t been at the level needed for donation)
  15. Visit the Grand Canyon – I’ve flown over going to California but have never been.
  16. Learn to dance – i LOVE to dance. I’m not great at it but i love it nonetheless. With that said, i really want to better learn how to dance Latin (i.e. bachata, salsa y meringue) and learn hip hop. I love watching shows like Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. And I really love watching the female hip hop dancers/dance crews. Those bitches are FLY! Don’t get it twisted by no means am I hating on the male dancers. They can get down too… just look at the Jabbawockeez!
  17. Own a house – home is where you make it but it is a whole other animal when you own your own home. How awesome will that be to have friends and family at MY house for thanksgiving and Christmas or birthdays, barbeques and such?
  18. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City  my sister Cheri and friend Sophie are artists. They inspire me to look at life differently and view it in all kinds of color and not just black and white. I love going to the fine arts museum. There’s something about looking at someone else’s interpretation of the world or even what is in their imagination. As a writer, i can escape through words easily but to create something like a sculpture or a painting is truly amazing to me.
  19. Learn another language – hablo Español pero me gustaria mucho aprender un otra lengua.  J’aimerais apprendre le français (i would love to learn French *giggling* I love Google)
  20. Obtain a teaching certification – so the LORD put this on my heart years ago when my girl and i were living with my friend David. Plus my papa (pronounced pawpaw) and my Uncle Jr were teachers. I fought this notion when i was younger but perhaps i might be good at it.
  21. Become a sports writer – it would be great to write about something i truly love doing and watching and i would be traveling everywhere. Wouldn’t it be awesome to cover the Olympics?!
  22. Fully learn to swim – you would think since i have taught 3yr olds to swim that i would be able to swim myself right?! Not a chance. Don’t give me the side eye because I’ve heard it before. It is easy to teach kids because you’re at the shallow end and that’s deep for them. Besides I almost drowned once when I spent summer 1993 in Austin at Youth Opportunities Unlimited at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ll get in the water but I’ll sit at the shallow end.
  23. Visit Canada – one of the nicest people i know lives there. And it is a beautiful country. Montreal, Toronto, Québec, Vancouver man! OOOO it would be awesome to see a hockey game up there too!
  24. Take a cooking class – the sure fire way to my heart is through my tummy!!! Now again don’t get it twisted… I can cook! But it would be great to cook like a gourmet chef. I’m convinced that Food Network in particular Good Eats and Iron Chef America get most of its ratings from me. I will watch food network before i watch any other channel. Plus a cooking class would be uber fun!
  25. Visit Nawlins – home of good food, crazy nightlife, jazz, Mardi Gras, wicked hauntings and lots of deep southern Cajun history.
  26. Attend a NCAA Final Four (both) – nothing beats watching a battle to the finish. Plus basketball is my favorite sport. i also used to cover college ball when i work at the Baylor Lariat
  27. Attend Rose Bowl Parade and Game – every year i watch and every year makes me want to get a huge group together to go. If i lived in California you best believe i would make it a yearly tradition.
  28. Take a cruise – ahh the open seas, boozes, and shows. Yep that would be relaxing. Hope I wouldn’t get sea sick. 😦 That would suck!
  29. Go skydiving – my friend David, my sister Cheri and several APODOUH brothers have gone and well it looks fun. You only live once (sort of) right?!
  30. Take a vacation with sisters – what an evilly fabulous time that would be. We used to take road trips when we were younger all the time. We had soooo much fun. Not to mention got into sorts of trouble.
  31. Lose weight (current weight: 220lbs) – yeah i put myself out there. No woman would ever do that but as I’ve always said I’m not your ordinary girl. I’m heavier now than when i was pregnant. I’ve gained 68 lbs since 2000. Not good. I’m not interested in being a skinny bitch; I just want to be healthy. Be proud of the body i reside in. i would like to be fierce all the way around and not just in my sarcastic unruly evil attitude.
  32. Perfect my writing skills – i admire writers like Eric Jerome Dickey, my friend La and Muze (another blogger whose personal and fiction blog are really captivating). Their natural ability to tell a GREAT story is a goal of mine. La has a way of making you cry, laugh and get mad all in one post. Muze’s fiction blog is vivid and leaves the reader mad because the next installment may not come as quickly as he or she would like it. Eric Jerome Dickey just sucks you in. it is drama that you can really imagine happening. One day I’ll be as good as they are now.
  33. Make a scrapbook – i love scrapbooking!!! I am a packrat from hell. I keep almost everything. Hence the reason why i need to scrapbook. I just have so many memories of so many things and people and i need to chronicle everything.
  34. Own an apple MacBook pro – for as long as i can remember i have wanted an apple computer. To me apples are very user-friendly. Also software like adobe creative suite seems to work better on a mac than a pc.  
  35. Buy a saxophone – when i was younger i played the saxophone for eight years. Seven of those years was spent playing the tenor while the last i played the alto. My ears perk up whenever i hear someone playing a saxophone. Kenny G, Charlie Parker and Dave Koz are a few of my favorite saxophonists. I don’t think i would ever be as good as they are but i still would like to play again.
  36. Go to a Janet Jackson concert – oh em gee… what a day that would be if i won or was given or bought tickets to a Janet Jackson concert. I literally grew up listening to her and her siblings. Whenever a “Jackson” song comes on i start dancing and singing. I have heard her shows are awesome!

Damn this turned into a long ass post. Longer than I originally thought it would be but i couldn’t just blog my list without explaining my rationale. My goal is to chronicle my progress and completion of each item. HA that’s my goal. We’ll see if i do it. This list is HUGE and will probably get longer as time goes by. I can already tell. I just hope I’m able to accomplish everything because I’m not getting any younger…

Looking For You

I hear him calling for me

Calling me to do his will

Heed his requests

To answer them quickly

Sooner rather than later

But I’m hesitant

Hesitant to seek what he has in store

Apprehensive to learn the outcome

I hear the song “more than you can bear”

As his words ring loudly in my dreams

I feel his angels hovering around me

I feel their hands on my shoulder

Gently guiding me to my destiny

My fate

Whispering ever so softly

“You have the tools

The knowledge

The desire

Yet you hold back…

Do not be afraid to let go my child

For He will always be with you

And will never let you falter.”

And So It Begins…

Without fail it is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last when I got to sleep at night. It runs through my mind like a freight train in the middle of the night. It pierces my heart and soul with its intense unyielding nature. And it forces me to think with my mind and not my heart, to care when I know I don’t really give a damn and reevaluate when I’m being a stubborn red-headed step child. Yes I went there.

However, in the same breath, it nurtures, comforts, saves and gives me hope. I’m surprised every time we meet face to face. I’m astonished to see what it brings out of me. We have traveled and seen the many wonderful places this world has to offer. There have been many uphill rollercoasters and downward spirals. I have fought with it since the sixth grade; depended on it when I was in high school and my first stint as a college student and embraced it as a young hearted adult.

My heart’s desire and best friend is writing. Writing keeps me grounded and in check. It allows me to explore a side of me that I don’t always readily recognize or wish to encounter. It forces me to revisit and reevaluate my life from various viewpoints.

The Southern Yankee is an exploration of my world. I fully realize that other people have had worse shit happen and that I cannot possibly in my wildest imagination understand or identify with. I hope this new adventure will prove beneficial not only for me but for one and all. I can assure you it will not always I use that term loosely be about me. There will be a variety of other topics included in this blog; such as cooking, music, travel, higher education, and volunteerism just to name a few.

Enjoy and welcome to my world!

A Journey into the Life of a Foul-Mouthed Nerdtastic Girl

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