Challenge Complete… Now What?!

Hooray! I finally finished the 30 Days of Truth challenge. It took me longer than thirty days but I finished it none the less. And I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with this because I’m the absolute worst procrastinator. Seriously, look how long it took me to actually finish this challenge. Of course lets keep in my I’ve had quite a few things happen in the last 30+ days such as celebrating two first birthdays and I became an aunt again this past Friday. Not to mention I’ve been sick for the last few days.

But excuses aside, this challenge opened my eyes to various aspects of myself. It also forced me to examine my life from a different perspective; meaning not so much as a participant but from a writer’s point of view. I have tried numerous times to write about my life in such a way where it was ‘Rated E for Everyone’. But I think my previous attempts were too forced. I don’t think I was quite ready to be truly and bluntly honest with myself either. In fact, I think this is the first time I have ever extensively talked about my daughter or my mother’s family ‘to anyone’ other than my sisters and close friends. I’m pretty sure if my mother’s family ever read my blog they’d be upset but for the first time in my life I’m okay with that because I could never have an ‘opinion’ around them. It doesn’t mean I do not respect or care any less about them; I just have had enough of playing, being and assuming the role of the victim. I’m too old to be harboring feelings of the past. I’m too blessed, accomplished and anointed to be rehashing past events that will only have them hurt me again and again emotionally.

I suppose what I got most from this challenge was that I can indeed WRITE. I received some really encouraging comments and picked up some new followers to my blog. I’m actually excited to look at my blog instead of saying I will start one day soon. I feel myself actually becoming a serious writer. I feel myself loving my craft instead of writing when I was ‘in the mood’. So with that said, thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope you continue reading and commenting on my posts.

Until next time, thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Day 30: A Letter To Yourself

Dear Cheycara,

I’m pretty sure I don’t say this enough but you’re far stronger than you think you are AND it is about damn time you start giving yourself more credit.

I know your childhood wasn’t exactly as storybook as you would have liked it to be but you know you had a home, a hard working mother even though you would have much rather her be home with you and wonderful friends who were always willing to “rescue” you any time you needed them to. The truth of matter is Cheycara Elaine is that even though your childhood and home life were less than favorable you still became a strong, independent and beautiful woman.

You have done and seen so much in your few decades of life. Even though you endured more hardships than you would have liked, you are still here because God is not done with you yet. You have so much to live for and so much to give the world. You just have to exercise a little bit of patience.

Please do not allow your present unhappiness with work and your unaccomplished dreams discourage you because honestly you have more than enough time to accomplish and fulfill your every desire. You may not see your full potential but I do. You can and will accomplish everything your heart desires.

Don’t be discouraged if your blog and/or story doesn’t reach thousands because you’ve never really been a flashy lets just show the world even though you have a stranger world domination alter ego type of person. Your heart is deeply rooted in community service and we both know that if you can reach one person then you’ve surpassed and overcome the toughest of obstacles.

Fear not young grasshopper for you will be the person your Papa envisioned you to be. Fear not for The Lord will never ever leave your side. Fear not for your words much like your Granny’s charisma will be what sets you apart from everyone around you.

Hopes, dreams and patience will be your best friends. Love, honesty and compassion will be your confidants. Pessimism, impatience and lack of faith will be your utter downfall. If you accomplish nothing in this world know that you will never be a failure in my eyes because you did your very best to get us where we wanted and/or needed to be. For that we are grateful.

Affectionately yours,

Me, Myself and I

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Day 29: Something You Hope To Change About Yourself and why?

Change is good, right?

All my damn life I’ve heard “change is good” or “You’ve gotta embrace change sweetheart.” What if I don’t wanna embrace change? Insert mean deadly side eye here Why do I have to be the one to change something and not everyone around me? stubborn little shit aren’t i?

To be absolutely honest, I’m not sure I would change anything about myself right now; aside from my physical appearance. Of course that’s stating the obvious because most females don’t like their physical appearance anyway. It doesn’t matter whether she is a skinny bitch or big and fahn, most women will find something wrong with their bodies. But that is for another more “self-loathing” type of post.

The truth of the matter is this… I make the conscience choice to change something about myself every single day. I just don’t always follow through with my choices. Take for example this 30 Days of Truth challenge. I found this challenge a year and a half ago and I didn’t start it until last month. It takes a while for me to commit wholeheartedly to something. I think about whatever it is I want to do or change for what seems like an eternity until one day I literally throw myself into it. I’m the WORST procrastinator ever! Not to mention that I’m so incredibly indecisive and wishy washy I drive myself crazy. Perhaps that is something to change about myself. Meh I’m female… I sometimes think being that way is ingrained in our chromosomes.

I suppose if I HAD to change something I would hope to change how I treat people. Let’s get something straight LOL I am mean to EVERYONE! I offer absolutely NO apologies or excuses for my mean streak. I will say that I think I got this horrible meanness from my maternal grandmother. For the love of everything evil and crazy, my fraternity nickname is Lady Deathstrike. Please note no one has been harmed too much since being given this name. Thanks, management!

I admit sometimes I take things too far. I don’t speak. I look at people with a death glare side eye. I give short almost inaudible or Boomhower-esque answers. Oh and my facial expressions totally do not say the same as the words that are coming out of my mouth. Believe me when I say I do indeed try my best not to be this way. However, in my defense what feeble defense I have I wear my emotions and opinions of people on my sleeve, my face, my mannerisms, you get my point. Most times my behavior is the result of a current or past event or situation. Other times… well I hate to say it this way but other times I just don’t like a person. I strongly believe everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and genuine compassion. Unfortunately,

Trust me when I say I don’t always follow my own beliefs. I struggle daily with giving EVERYONE the same respect I would want for myself. Sometimes I am successful. Other times not so much. I hate the fact that I usually wear my emotions on my sleeve and face for that matter. Certainly we all have known a person who says one thing but is clearly feeling something else by the mug he or she is wearing. I’m notorious for that shit. I’ve never been one to hide my emotions from anyone. I suppose it is good I am transparent that way but at the same time, I’m sure I have offended at least one or two hundred dare I exaggerate a little bit people. Most times I don’t really care. I mean what can I do? A person is either loved, hated or tolerated and I am no different from any other person in this world.

Perhaps Mum (not to be confused with my biological mother) is right; as a person gets older, the proverbial “filter” tends to go away. Who knows? All I know is that at some point LOL my ass needs to figure out a way to constantly wear a poker face.

 

Thanks for reading…

 

The Southern Yankee

Day 28: What’s the Best Thing Going For You

I think for the first time in my thirty-four whoa I actually listed my age. I don’t usually do that. EVER! of life I actually feel good about myself. I mean of course I have my fair share of issues and doubts about life, myself, the people I have chosen to remain in my life and my career but who doesn’t have those doubts. I am like every other person in this world between the ages of 18-35. We all want more than our parents and grandparents had at our age.

Twelve years ago, I planned to be this successful journalist/writer who worked for the New York Times or Los Angeles Times. I dreamed of winning a Pulitzer. I wanted so much more than I had or have but I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason. Everything that has happened up to this point in my life, whether it be good, bad and fugly, has happened for a reason. Perhaps I was meant to have a supervisor that tries my patience so I could learn some much needed patience. Perhaps I was also meant to be of great importance to a few and not to the world like the Obamas or Martin Luther King, Jr.

My dreams have never gone away nor do I think The Lord will let me give up on my dreams. Perhaps my dreams aren’t what I thought them to be so many years ago when I was graduating high school and entering college the first time around. I can honestly say some of the dreams and aspirations I have now are not at all what I envisioned for myself. Some of them I fought to accept because I didn’t want to follow in anyone’s footsteps. I wanted and still do somewhat to make my own paths. To put my twenty-two cents in where I went instead of the quarter and half dollar being given to me. This world is full of possibility and until now I thought I had to grab all the possibilities and opportunities I could before I reached a certain age. The truth of the matter is that I don’t have to accomplish everything by thirty-five years of age. which is ten months away from this coming Sunday.

I don’t have to rush through life nor do I have to prove anything to anyone anymore. The best thing I have going for me right now is the fact that I know I don’t have to be perfect or someone’s puppet just to be happy. I can be happy no matter where I am or whom I’m with or what I’m doing. It took a lifetime to realize that and I hope that it doesn’t take another lifetime to maintain it peacefully.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Day 27: What If You Were Pregnant, What Would You Do?

My apologies my dear readers for taking waaaaaay longer than needed to publish this post or any post for that matter. The truth is the nature of this post is more emotional than I care to admit.

Seeing as my first pregnancy was not only a horrible roller coaster full of ups and downs twists and turns but full of emotion and heartache. I cannot even express how absolutely unhinged I was the summer of 2000. How completely lost and nervously of what could and would happen next. I can only hope that if I were to become pregnant again I would be the happiest woman alive.

Not that I would be any different than any less excited than any other woman wanting a child but I would definitely be a bit more appreciative of God’s gift to me. I definitely would feel more comfortable with the many unexpected moments and would do my best to do right by him or her.

During my first pregnancy, I wasn’t in my “right mind”. I didn’t think that ‘I’ could do it by ‘my’self when in actuality I wasn’t at all going to be by myself. I had a ‘family’ that was willing to take care of me and my baby. People who would have done almost anything for me. Of course that was then and this is now. My life and the people I call family have changed somewhat. I’ve grown up a bit and gained some much needed confidence in myself and my ability to do anything and everything my heart desires, including be a wonderful mother to a healthy baby girl or boy or both. twins would be so much better that way I’m preggers once!

So here are some things I would do if I were pregnant:
1. Join a yoga class for pregnant women – I think this would be really relaxing and probably very therapeutic.

2. Take a Lamaze class – I’ve seen women take these classes on TV but I really don’t know if they actually work.

3. Walk everyday – during my first pregnancy I walked almost everywhere. Some of my friends were jealous because I was literally all baby. My legs were toned and fit from walking so much. I actually weigh more now than I did then.

4. Catch up on some reading – I think I read three or four books during my first pregnancy. It was so damn hot that summer I had nothing else better to do.

5. Chronicle my pregnancy – I don’t have any pictures or anything from when I was pregnant the first time. I would start a scrapbook both online and hard copy. I’m not going to say ill have a lot of time but I will certainly try to make time.

6. Take professional maternity pictures – I have seen a lot of celebrities do this and have always thought they were so nice especially when they’re done right. I would want to take black and white photos though. Or B&W with specks of color.

7. Go on a healthy eating kick – okay so I did this automatically when I was pregnant with my daughter. I didn’t crave the unusual combinations or foods I didn’t eat regularly. I wanted fruits and vegetables. I think my one weakness was Chick Fil A chicken biscuits. Other than that I was a normal person. LOL

8. Design the baby’s room – of course this would depend on where I am living but I would love for the room to be very gender neutral. Dark brown would be the base color and I would have colorful accents around the room. Of course I love the idea of having a Peanuts theme or a Winne the Pooh or maybe a comic theme. yes I’m that type of gal. My sisters hate it though LOL

9. Play music all the time – I love to sing and dance to various types of music. From classical to gospel to Neo Soul to Latin to jazz to hip hop. I used to play Gershwin, Bach and Beethoven for my daughter when I was pregnant with her. Music is such a vital part of my life that he or she would have no choice but to join the fun.

So there’s the short long list of what I would do if I were pregnant. I’m pretty sure I would and will do more but for now I think that’s enough. I’m open to any suggestions anyone may have. I’m determined to not make the pregnancy not about me and my feelings but about providing a life full of love and encouragement for my child(ren) and being the best mom I could possibly be.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee