It's been four years since my pooch Fella was abandoned and found his way into my life. Looking at this video reminds me of how much time has passed and has changed. I still remain grateful to have the little guy in my life. He's no longer afraid of the space heater and now come winter, he lays in front of it as if the thing were his buddy. This video is a constant reminder that part of life is about stepping out onto the ledge and going after what you want. With faith and determination, you will see that the fall below has a safe landing spot.
Dream Big and go after your desires even if its a little ball.....
Why do people say one thing and do another? I find it difficult to trust the actions, intent and words of people who expound on various reasons why they believe one thing or another and then completely obliterate those explanations in one fell swoop. What is the point in making a point, in explaining that point, giving examples of that point and trying to convince someone to agree on your point if in a public realm you're going to go against everything you said?
I don't get it. Maybe its me. Maybe, I think too much and invest too much of my trust and belief in people. But, well.....I don't know how to be any other way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect and I don't profess to shout from my high horse. I guess, it just boggles my mind how someone can be so convincingly pro one way of thinking and yet act in a way where there is no sign of that behavior or thought process. It's crazy.
I suppose there really is no viable explanation that would appease me. It's just something that irks me beyond words. Uh Oh.....I feel the heat festering from anger....time for a bible scripture, cup of tea and Oprahs Super Soul Sunday!!
Have a great day and join me in remembering this...life as complicated as it can be and as filled with the many unknowns that it has, is still the greatest gift we will experience. I will forever remain grateful!!
Nearly 10 years ago I was laid off from my position at SonyBmg. Although, I had learned about the company's intent to relieve themselves of my services prior to the start of the new year, the blow wasn't any less devastating. One of the first things I thought about was healthcare. Because I have lived with a joint disease my entire life, the fear of not being covered was something I dealt with daily. When I was laid off, the company offered us continuing coverage through Cobra. That was all well and good, but the fact of the matter was that the Cobra coverage exceeded over 700.00 per month. More than my rent at the time. Needless to say, that wasn't an option.
Thankfully, I found gainful employment elsewhere albeit a year later. Fully ensured and no longer fearful of what might happen should my health take a turn for the worse, for the first time I realized the importance of healthcare insurance. Two years after being laid of from SonyBmg, I found myself on the unemployment line once again. And, once again I was without healthcare insurance because I simply felt like it was not affordable. When I landed a position with my current employer 6 years ago, I was again reminded of the importance of insurance. Immediately after getting the job, I was able to get my annual pap smear, mammogram, hearing test, orthopedic exams, lab tests, dental tests and all around physical. It was one of the greatest feelings I had had in quite some time. One year into my job, my joint disease reared its ugly head and the ligaments in my finger popped forcing me to undergo surgery followed by intense physical therapy. What would I had done had that happened two years ago? The question will have to remain unanswered...thankfully.
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as many pundits and objectors to the bill would like to call it aims to help those people that are currently in the position I found myself in years ago. It aims to help people like my cousin who at 34 works over 30 hours in retail but because she is considered part time doesn't qualify for company institued insurance. The ACA, has been instituted to help people like my friend who is a freelance worker in the child psychology field and thereby has to pay for her own healthcare insurance. Insurance that prior to the ACA would have cost her nearly 1000.00 per month.
My point isn't one of political nature. No. Instead, it stems from a humanity standpoint. I honestly feel that it is important that we as Americans stand up for and alongside our fellow citizens and demand the right to affordable insurance. At the end of the day when you're able to take care of yourself and ensure that you're exposed to the those benefits that will enable a long and healthy life, it goes a long way in keeping money in your pocket and not emergency hospital rooms. Just because you have great insurance doesn't mean your brother and sister shouldn't. Support the right of all Americans for Affordable Healthcare. If not, at least educate yourself on it by clicking on www.healthcare.gov
Yours in Health,
So today my mother celebrates her birthday. March 19th, 3 days after mine. I used to be frustrated by the fact that my birthday week was cut short in anticipation of my mothers birthday. When family would hand a card to both of us, on my birthday it would irk me because I felt like I couldn't have just one day that was all mine. Up until Sunday, when my family did exactly that (handing both of us a card) I continued to harbor those feelings. But then as I thought about what I would say in this blog it dawned on me for the first time ever just how blessed I am to share this month with my mom.
So many people go through life longing for a connection to their parents. My mother has always been the sun, the clouds, the blue sky and the shadow that lingered throughout my day. She has always remained connected to me through ups and through downs. My mother has treated me like her daughter and she has treated me like her friend. I can go on and on about the many ways in which she's supported and encouraged me. I can also go on and on about the many ways in which she stood up for me. No relationship is perfect but when the core of your bond is based in love, nothing can steer you wrong. I love my mother with every fiber of who I am.
I don't always express my love in the ways that many would consider just and right. No. I choose to show my mom how much she is valued by remaining ever present when she needs me. When my mom needs to cry and vent she has found my shoulder to be a safe resting spot. When my mom had moments where she needed to be appreciated I showed her with my words, with materials goods and with my presence. I may not be a perfect daughter but I know that at the end of the day, I want to be perfect for her. I want her to know that although we encountered horrific circumstances and dealt with challenges that left us devastated and untrusting, at the core of those situations was deep and profound love for each other that was unable to be broken even in the midst of all of the chaos.
So on this 19th day of March, I honor my mother. I am also honored to be able to share this month with her. Sure, I'll have moments of selfishness where I want it all to myself. But at the end of the day when I 'm able to sit and reflect on the woman who is my mother I can only say that I'm grateful. Besides, I'll never forget her birthday haha.
Happy Birthday Mom, I LOVE YOU!!!
Now that I'm 40 am I wiser? Am I supposed to make wiser choices? Now that I'm 40 am I supposed to be established and know exactly what I want? What does the manual of life state I should be feeling, doing and saying?
I don't feel any different physically. I don't even feel any different emotionally. The only thing that is different between today and and March 15th 2014 is that I'm thinking a bit more than I used too. That over thinking that many people attribute to being a writer has come in the form of asking the question now what? Is it all down hill from here? I mean I am technically....based on current life expectancy studies....middle aged. Am I falling into the sunset of my life? Geez....too many questions.
Oh well, i'm not sure those answers will be ever really answered. I will always want more and put expectations on myself. That definitely will never change. So, the question now what, will forever remain within me as long as I live. It will follow me like a lurking shadow waiting for the right time to reveal itself. All that I can say is that i'm 40 yes, and I believe I have so much more to contribute.....
Today on the day of my 40th, I wanted to reflect on the many blessings that God has bestowed upon me. It would be impossible for me to type them all up or to even remember them. But, below are just 40 moments from 40 years of highs and lows. I'm so very thankful for every experience! Enjoy!!
1974---Born at 3:45 pm I weighed in at 7lbs
1975---Had knee surgery
1976---Started Nursery school
1977---Leg braces came off
1978---My little cousin Natisha was born
1979---I lost my top front tooth
1980---Had my first ballet recital
1981---Surprise birthday party at the Ground Round
1982---Had surgery on my left ear
1983---Received my first hearing aids
1984---My little Brother Zeb was born
1985---Found out my mom and I would be moving to Maryland
1986---Performed in my sixth grade choir
1987---Moved into a 3 level townhouse
1988---Started High School
1989---Got my learners permit
1990---Watched my uncle marry my aunt
1991---Got my drivers license
1992---Graduated High School
1993---Joined Q Essence
1994---One of the first residents of the newly constructed JCSU campus dorms
1995---Left Johnson C Smith University
1996---Transferred to the Sam Goody in Garden City location
1997---I got a raise, which increased my wage to 7.09
1998---Met my best friend Marisa
1999---Went to Las Vegas for my 25th birthday
2000---Rang in the new year with my cousin Yolanda in Times Square NYC
2001---Flew to Maryland in December only 3 months after 9/11
2002---My mother filed for Divorce
2003---My grandma Daisy passed away
2004---Went to Miami, Florida on a solo trip
2005---Got laid off from BMG
2006---He put a ring on it
2007---I took the ring off
2008---Hired by Henry Schein
2009---Marina lost her battle
2010---Watched my baby bro graduate from high school
2011---Learned that all eggs aren't good eggs
2012---My mom threw me a surprise 38th birthday party
2013---I finished my memoir
2014---I TURNED 40
There's been a lot made about Phil Jackson and the strong possibility of him joining the New York Knicks organization. Many of the sports pundits, radio analyst and super fans have weighed in on the hiring. The overwhelming consensus lies in the fact that Jackson doesn't have experience in the front office, as a general manager or as a president of basketball operations. My thoughts are so what?!
If we chose and employed every person we hire based on experience there would be a lot of available positions out there. When I started my job nearly 6 years ago, I had no dental experience and no real sales experience. But i'm still there. Well maybe that's a bad example seeing as how my numbers pretty much suck hahaha....but I digress. My point is that how can you know how successful a person is going to be if you don't give them a chance. Phil Jackson may not have the executive experience but he has the rings to prove that he knows basketball. The organization I assume is not asking him to monitor computer viruses in the IT department. They're not even asking for a proposal on how to improve the aesthetics of the food court. The input Jackson is giving I can only surmise will be directly related to what takes place on the court. I mean give me a break.
Give him a break. I'm not the hugest Phil Jackson fan, and that has nothing to do with his performance as it directly relates to teams. My lack of pleasure of him simply stems from his personality and his critical viewpoints on athletes I've enjoyed watching past and present. My reasons are pretty superficial. But, that doesn't mean that I don't think the man is highly intelligent and absolutely capable of being a positive influence on the players in NY. It doesn't mean that his presence won't be a tool to entice players to come play in NY. Phil Jackson in my opinion comes packed with knowledge, history and attraction. Immediately dismissing him on the basis of lack of experience in a particular position is not reason enough not to employ him.
Jason Kidd didn't have coaching experience before taking over the Brooklyn Nets. And he's not the only one. There have been numerous times where the duties entrusted to an individual were based on a plethora of factors none of which had anything to do with experience in that particular function. Just ask our congressmen and women, our presidents present and past and even managers in various fields from corporate to retail. Giving someone a chance is the only way that one can exhibit their full potential or lack of. I think that Phil Jackson may not have the executive experience but with him comes a history and experience in and out of the game that simply cannot be purchased. Get off of his back and lets see what the man can do....my goodness!!!
Have you ever chosen to not get on the bus or the train because it looked t0o crowded? Or, have you ever decided to get on because you're afraid another may not come? I've experienced both of these situations. Oddly, it's no different that the train that is our life. There are numerous occasions that I can recall making the decision to not get on the saddle and take the ride that promises all that I dreamed of. Whether it was my gut or pure fear, I could't do it. There are things I've wanted for my life that I knew I could have if I just said yes, but the tug of dislike or fear simply didn't allow me to go towards it.
As I approach 40, the memories of those decisions are becoming clearer than ever. Over the course of my life, there have been experiences that shaped who I am and exposed me for the insecure, unadventurous hermit that I've become. I have made choices that have left me in a position of singularity. For the most part, I eat dinner alone. I watch tv alone. I sleep alone. I do all of this and more because this is the choice I have made. I chose not to get on that bus, or that plane or that train. I chose to let it pass me by and instead I took the steps back to the solitude and safety within myself.
Now don't get me wrong, I made numerous overtures to change the trajectory of my life. I've traveled down roads that I believed would lead me towards where I always said I wanted to be. I jumped on the saddle and often found myself lying on the ground. But, (and I don't use the word but not as a way of erasing all that has preceded the word. No. I used it as additional commentary and explanation of what I've just said.) the truth of the matter is that I new the saddle was torn before I got on it. I tended to choose the defective ones. When I did get on the train, I knew deep down that it was heading in the direction of where I wanted to go but I also knew that the route didn't include the stop that led to where I needed to go.
So, here I am. I'm aware and in tuned to what I've been doing to my self. Aware of the cycle that I continue to walk through. I made a choice for myself last week. Well the truth is that someone served me a platter and there was truly only one choice that I could make. As it turns out, that choice as much as it hurts will ultimately save my life and free me from myself. How ironic that it should happen one week before I turn 40. There are really no surprises or mistakes in life. If you open your eyes and listen with your soul all will be revealed and make sense to you. I'm glad that I'm seeing me for the first time and that i'm recognizing the intricacies of what makes up Tamieka Adrienne Blair!!
Over the past few months, and even years social media has been inundated with images of dark skinned women in the entertainment field. It's not like it's the first time I've seen a variation of myself on the screen. No. In fact actresses like Whoopi Goldberg, Alfre Woodard and Cicely Tyson were the staples when I was growing up. As the years went by, women like Angela Basset, floated across my tv and movie screens. The thing was that none of these women were hailed as true A list stars. Those women never really received the same kind of attention in magazines, entertainment news programs and talk shows that actresses like Halle Berry and Jada Pinkett received. And then all of the sudden or rather quite slowly, a shift began to take place. Women like Jennifer Hudson were getting awards over Beyonce. Viola Davis and Gaborey Sidebe were being awarded and praised. Kerry Washington, Tika Sumpter and Gabrielle Union were being cast in lead roles on television.
It's crazy because never in a million years did I think that I would look at tv, and browse magazines at the supermarket and find a beautiful dark skinned girl staring back at me. And from Vogue and Vanity Fair. But that's exactly what has begun to happen. Lupita Nyongo epitomizes this shift. For the first time in quite some time I don't have to search for images of women that bear the same complexion as myself. For the first time in quite some time I don't have to wonder will this be another wave that disappears by the end of the decade. For the first time I can sit and admire the beauty that is the dark complexion. How awesome.
It amazes me how far we as a culture, a race and more importantly as a nation have come. I live in the greatest country in the world. A country that began it's existence by shaming a race over a century ago to electing someone from that race to lead the free world. Politics aside think about how amazing that is. We are a country comprised of many people who consider our first lady a style icon. I mean....we've gone from being a society that proclaimed blond and blue eyed females as the epitome of beauty, to naming a dark skinned female from Africa with a low cut as beauty personified. Wow!!
Over the years, I've had my struggles dealing with my complexion. Many of those feelings of frustration I've displayed for all to read in my blog. I'm no longer ashamed of my thoughts and my feelings....well at least i'm working on it. But, today I feel proud. Proud to be a dark skinned woman, with beautiful skin and a from what i'm told a beautiful spirit. I'm thankful for all of the editors, and writers and producers and casting directors etc who stepped outside of their comfort zone and chose dark skinned women of color and gave them a voice. Thank you for allowing the world to see a piece of the beautiful dark skin....
My name is Tamieka Blair and I live on Long Island in New York. I write, I read, I write, I work, I write, I support..I WRITE!!!
Please note that the viewpoints expressed in this blog are solely my views and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or company associated with Tamieka Blair.