#TBT, Bible, Blogging, Brooklyn, Career, Christian, Dating, emotional, faith, Family, Fear, Flatbush, Give Back, Growing Up, jesus, jesus christ, Love, Marriage, NYC, prayer, Wedding

You can’t always get what you want. And that’s not a bad thing.

Life is quite funny.

By God’s grace, D recently found a new career opportunity in NY. What this means is that after six years of what was supposed to be a year of living in New Jersey, I’m heading back to Brooklyn and taking this Jersey Boy with me. His friends think I’m elated. I’m happy, but it is bittersweet.

When I first moved here I was sad and upset at having to leave NYC, but took comfort in the fact that it would be for only a year. 365 days. When it became clear that year would extend to four, I was bitter and disappointed. Thankfully, two years into living here, I was led to my current church – a blessing God knew I needed but wouldn’t have gotten if He hadn’t moved me to the other side of the Hudson. I had been away from God for a long time before that and was slowly (think tortoise steps) finding my way back. God placed me where I could get the support of an uncompromising bible-teaching-believing-practicing pastor and fellow believers to grow in my walk with Him. Fellow believers who helped me move past the guilt of turning my back on God and accept the forgiveness He offered after I came back in broken repentance.

I am happy for this new challenge ahead of us and the opportunity to change, shape and make a real difference in the neighborhoods of my childhood, but I am sad as well. In addition to my church family, my in-laws have made Jersey a home for me. Where there was no true emotional connection to the state when I first arrived, I must say that it now holds a special place in my heart that is uniquely its own. One that even New York can’t ever touch. How can it? This is where D and I started our married life. Jersey is forever tied to those memories.

Some may not believe me, but I am very grateful for the way life turned out. I am thankful that God overruled my wants and led me to follow His will.

Would love to hear stories of how your life took a path contrary to what you wanted but that turned out to be exactly what you needed.

Proverbs 19 21

#TBT from 2011

Same old story, different couple. 20-something Brooklyn Girl enjoys the highlights and pitfalls of everyday single life without care or thought to settling down. Brooklyn Girl meets New Jersey Boy online and thinks New Jersey Boy is funny. She’ll go out with him. Time goes by and BK Girl realizes that Jersey Boy is awesome. She’ll keep going out with him. More time passes and both BK Girl and Jersey Boy realize they want to keep hanging out with each other.

Jersey Boy proposes to BK Girl after a series of comical errors. BK Girl screams “Holy Crap, We’re Engaged!” before saying yes to nervous Jersey Boy on bended knee awaiting an answer.

BK Girl makes it clear to Jersey Boy – “THERE’S NO WAY I’M MOVING TO NEW JERSEY!” Jersey Boy agrees, but secretly wonders if maybe BK Girl doesn’t understand the meaning of compromise.

Jersey Boy starts the search for NY job. And he searches…and searches…and searches. Jersey Boy realizes NY job market is a bust. Makes more sense to keep current NJ job.

Jersey Boy agonizes over how to tell BK Girl that the stress of the reverse commute would eventually cause him to drive his car off the Brooklyn Bridge. BK Girl and Jersey Boy separately contemplate living apart while married – both agree that’s probably not the best idea. Jersey Boy nervously brings up subject of moving to Jersey to BK Girl.

Seeing the writing on the wall, BK Girl makes Mandelaesque sacrifice and leaves the bright lights of NY for the humdrum life of Jersey — at least temporarily.

What was supposed to be a one year stay has now turned into three with one more to go before Jersey Boy can be settled in his field.

With humor, BK Girl tries to embrace her current refugee status while dreaming of the day she can return to her homeland.

Join her on this cross-state journey as she embraces her life in Jersey while still maintaining her New York roots.

bklynjersey

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Brooklyn, Career, Education, Flatbush, Give Back, It takes a village, mentor, Volunteer

Are the teenage attackers in the McDonald’s violent brawl more than their horrible action?

Animals. Thugs. Savages. Worthless space in our society! Lock them all up, do society a favor.

This past week a horde of high school-aged girls viciously attacked another teenage girl in a Brooklyn McDonald’s while customers watched, many laughed and at least one recorded and uploaded the brutal act. The comments above are a sampling of thoughts and feelings posted on the Facebook page of a local news channel in response to the story.

Like many others, my first reaction was horror followed very closely by disgust. However, while reviewing various online comments on this story, I noticed an unfortunate trend that the disgust was directed not at the act, but at the girls themselves. You might wonder about the difference. To me, the names and statements directed at the girls have the power to do more harm than good.

According to Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist David Caldwell, “one’s own behavior can be altered by self-fulfilling prophecies. Referring to someone as negative or “bad” in some manner can elicit that same type of behavior, and it can affect the person’s own self-beliefs. If I believe that I am “bad”, I might act that way because I now think that is all I am capable of doing.”

In the ten plus years of working with teenagers who fit the same general profile as these girls, I have seen firsthand the destructive power of internalizing the labels of hoodlum, thug, animal, underachiever and so many more. I have seen that when expectations are set low, a number of the teens without appropriate role models in their lives, will actually seek to prove these expectations right. To the detriment of their well-being, they disregard what is right in order to own the black mark society has set on them. Think of the expression cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face.

I am not condoning their horrible behavior nor saying anyone else is to blame for their actions, but what I am saying is that we as a society should be careful not to write them off as unreachable and unredeemable. And that happens when we start to believe that they are inherently evil and stop to believe that they can be separated from their evil actions.



McDonald's Violence

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Brooklyn, Man Crush Monday, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, NYC, Romance, Uncategorized

Man Crush Monday

My first #ManCrushMonday post. To make up for not participating for so long, I’m posting my most significant crushes over the years.

Anyone here on your list? What’s yours?

#ManCrushMonday Over the Years

The heart of my 11 year-old self belonged to Kris Kross. I remember begging my mom for a framed poster (just like this one, if not this one) and crying for joy when she relented and bought it for me.

My crush was on Chris Kelly. Sooo cute.

My crush was on Chris Kelly. Sooo cute.

And then there was Full House’s Uncle Jesse (the always handsome John Stamos). My older man phase. Uncle Jesse singing. *faints* Uncle Jesse singing the love song he wrote for Becky on their wedding day. *double faints*

uncle jesse 1

If every word I say could make you laugh I’ll talk forever…forever…I’ll be so happy loving you.

Fredro Starr as Quinton ‘Q’ Brooks on Moesha was everything my teenage heart could ever imagine wanting in a man: bad boy with a “romantic” streak. Psst…come close and I’ll tell you a secret. Are you here yet? Closer. Okay. *whispers* I still black-girl blush when watching re-runs of Q calling Mo ‘shortie’ – his nickname for her. All that NY attitude.

FredroStarr

He had swag before the word was cool.

A high school crush on an older man. No explanation needed with those dimples.

dimples

dimples

Of course I would fall for the most mature Backstreet Boy. Oh, Kevin Richardson, what you used to do to me. *sigh* I had it bad for him. I thought we’d be married. No, really, I did.

kevin Richardson

The crushes didn’t always make sense. Allen Iverson was a bad boy with b-ball skills. He reminded me of my real life high school crush.

allen iverson

the bad boy

How did I love thee? Let me count the ways. Still mending my broken heart. Matthew, I loved you! I would have been your wife. Why did you marry her?

gorgeous for no reason

gorgeous for no reason

We’ve since broken up but D-Wade and I had a longstanding relationship in my head. For good reason. Look at him. And his skills. Whipped cream on my sundae.

so fine!

so fine!

This one is hard for others to understand but that’s okay with me. I’m tired of hiding my feelings for him.

the attitude tho!

the attitude tho!

I enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane on Day 10 of NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo_November

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BlogHer, Brooklyn, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, november

Eat, Drink and Be…Pumpkin

Attended the 3rd Annual Pumpkin Fest gathering hosted by my husband’s friends. The wife is a baker and made everything from pumpkin bread to ginger and pumpkin ice cream sandwiches. Good food, relaxing atmosphere and friendly folks. Only downside: itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Confirmation that I am indeed very allergic to dog hair. But I want one. 😦

Anyway, a couple of pictures below for your viewing pleasure.

 

COLLAGE

Apartment Building (not theirs)

Apartment Building (not theirs)

Candle

Cute doggie. Too bad I'm allergic to his hair. :(

Cute doggie. Too bad I’m allergic to his hair. 😦

Love my chucks!

Love my chucks!

beers

Pumpkin bread and fall butters.

Pumpkin bread and fall butters.

Home (no place better)

Home (no place better)

NaBloPoMo_November

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#AuthorAndFan, Author, birthday, Brooklyn, Career, Christian, Confidence, Empowerment, food nerd, frenemy, grandparents, ice cream, milkshakes, mom, november, true, truth, wally lamb

I Know This Much Is True…

God willing, I will turn 33 next month, so I thought it would be fun to capture random things I’ve learned to be true over the years. A few are in order of importance, most are not. I’ll do a couple more of these posts over the next few weeks leading to my birthday.

1.God exists independent of human acceptance. Whether one believes or doesn’t believe has on bearing on God’s existence. He is real. It’s a fact that can’t and won’t be changed. As written in Philippians 2:10-11, there will be a time when “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

2. Don’t give a compliment that you don’t mean. Lying to spare someone’s feelings will hurt in the long run when that person finds out the truth – and s/he will.

3. The other side of that coin, don’t use “I’m just keeping it real” as an excuse to be a jerk. Yes, speak the truth, but “speak the truth in love”. (Ephesians 4:15)

4. ‘Frenemy’ is dumb. Enemy doesn’t belong in the same word as friend. As my girl Tanaya of Sweet Therapy would say, pick a struggle! Either the person is a friend, or she’s not.

5. I don’t trust “I miss you” posted on social media from people who make no effort to stay in touch. Empty words mean nothing.

6. On the topic of friends, I know I’ve been a jerk to my ones lately. I’ve been busy, yes, but I should have made time to call, text, meet up – even if it was just once a month. I will do better.

7. Custard does not belong in milkshakes. You hear that, Shake Shack? Unacceptable.

8. Frozen yogurt is NEVER an acceptable substitute for ice cream. There is no acceptable substitute for ice cream.

9. I’ve been incredibly blessed to have my mother as a mom. I apologize for the years 13-18 when I swore I “hated” her for ruining my life because she cared enough to love me, to provide shelter, food and clothing, and to discipline me.

10. Grandparents are awesome!

11. I Know This Much Is True also happens to be my favorite Wally Lamb book.

What do you know as true?

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American, American Dream, Author, Blue collar, Brooklyn, Career, Education, Family, Family Values, Flatbush, Haiti, Haitian, Higher education, Inspiration, Inspire, It takes a village, Labor, Menial work, mentor, NYC, role model, Sacrifice, Self confidence, The Godfather

A Grandfather’s Sacrifice.

Speaking of mentoring, here’s a note I wrote a few years ago on Thank Your Mentor Day in honor of my grandpa – the original mentor in my life. The man I lovingly refer to as #TheHaitianGodfather. 🙂

Who mentored you? Please share your story.

I am a true representation of the proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.” I was that child and my village consisted of my family, my church, my teachers, and a sprinkling of strangers throughout the years. These individuals were instrumental in providing a foundation for the development of my values and beliefs.

The most important person in said village was (and probably still is) my grandfather – the man who nurtured and mentored me throughout most of my life. My grandfather is a man who “could have been somebody” in the materialistic sense of the statement. He is perceptive, clever with numbers, and annoyingly adept at learning new languages.

However, my grandfather spent most of his adult life working menial jobs and catering to those who are “somebody.” He did so not because he lacked focus or determination, but because he chose to surrender his success for that of his family.

Instead of going to school when he arrived in the U.S. from Haiti in the 70s, he spent decades working to afford to bring his children and extended family members to America for a better life. His desire for higher education was never fulfilled, but his labor paid for countless degrees and full access to the American Dream.

As I watch the state of Haiti today I am especially thankful for my grandfather’s sacrifice and overall guidance.


grandpa raise hand

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