Full disclosure I'm a fan of parents stepping up for their kids. I don't know all of the details of what happened between Diddy and the UCLA coach, but what I do know is that if more parents stood up for their kids against aggressive adults this wouldn't be a debate on ESPN and Good Morning America. I'm in NO way condoning violence of any nature but I find it laughable that so many people are taking the coaches side as opposed to Diddy. If it weren't Puff but say maybe Mark Wahlbergs son what would people be saying?
I know people that weren't raised by a father who dreamed that on the day their coach berated them, their father stood up for them. People who wish they had a dad cheering them on and reminding them by his presence that he had their back. Puffs son Justin posted a pick earlier today supporting his dads actions. It was a reminder for those who truly cared that there is two sides to every story. I'll wait to hear both.
In the meantime, let's not jump to conclusions. Let's put ourselves in others shoes and do like John Quinones and ask "What Would You Do?".
Like many others Charleston, SC has been on my mind heavy today. I really don't have the words to express the sadness, disappointment and ultimately fear that sits within me. The fact that individuals can be gunned down and killed in a church while they conducted bible study truly baffles me. Raised in the AME Church, there is also a feeling of familiarity that can't escape my heart. I pray for the family of those who've passed as I'm reminded that true evil real does exist.
I know though that prayer is where true understanding and salvation can be found. I know that that 21 year old who assumed the role of Devil doesn't have a soul. I know that faith lingers and will never be forsaken. I know that God has brand new Angels who have left behind on earth a legacy that I believe will be the catalyst for change. I know that prayer and bible study shouldn't be abandoned but instead held onto even tighter.
I believe in love.
There are many things in life that I know and even more that I don't. I have always been someone who believes that when you have faith your true and good desires have a greater possibility of coming to fruition. Having faith doesn't mean that you don't sometimes falter or second guess but it means that at the end of the day you know that by putting it out there the dream can become a reality.
The picture that accompanies this post is from when I went to Buenos Aires in Argentina. When I was eight years old, I first saw those amazing falls known as the Iguazu Falls not in person but on television. I saw them on One Life to Live during the Tina, Cord and Gabrielle story line. Tina went over the falls and it looked so believable to my young eyes. In that moment I wanted to see the water with my own eyes. I dreamed of it and never told anyone but I vowed to visit one day. Nearly 23 years later I was in Argentina overlooking the falls. I held on to faith and although years would pass and I would wonder if I'd ever see them the faith faltered but never wavered.
When I think of faith I think of purpose. I often find myself wondering what my purpose is. I'm living life and breathing and trying to be the best that I can be. But...what kind of mark will I leave on this earth. Will people say that I left an impact on their heart? On their soul? I have many desires and things I'd like to accomplish. I believe that it is possible but how and when? I always dreamed of getting married and having children. I dreamed of a beautiful home by the water. I dreamed of the smile that would come across my moms face when she held her grandchild. I dreamed of family. I often felt and at times still do...that my purpose in life was to be a mom and a wife. I'm not sure that my purpose matched God's. But..I do have faith that in the end true happiness and fulfillment will carry me the rest of my days. I feel like I've had to sacrifice and struggle at times in order to appreciate what is coming down the pike. I have faith that that package at the end of the path will be all and more than I could have ever dreamed. With faith anything is possible.
I think about those Iguazu Falls and how I always wanted to see them. A dream became my reality because I never let go of faith. Not sure what my purpose is in life but I do have faith that it will all make sense in due time.
Over the past few months I've been able to truly take some time to think about what really matters and who really matters. We often spend so much time thinking about the things that are wrong with our lives or the people that don't always have a positive impact on our day to day lives. I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't fall into that category. I did. But, with time I began to remember and realize the importance of those who have always been in my corner.
When I was a kid, my mom would always tell me I was beautiful, and that she looked at me as a success but I would never believe her. I always felt that she was supposed to say nice things to me. I sought validation from strangers and from those who didn't really have my best interest at heart. That practice carried on well into my adult years and it remains a struggle to this day. But, I'm aware and when you're aware you think clearly and make decisions based in reality. I say all that to say that I do believe I'm beautiful and that I'm a success. Of course I have a plethora of flaws and things about myself that I hate but overall I think I'm pretty attractive. I may not have made millions of dollars or lived up to many of the expectations I placed on myself but when it comes to life and living, I'm a success.
Today, while you're out and about take a moment pick up a phone and call a friend or relative. Tell them something nice. Reach out to someone you haven't spoken to in a while and strike up a conversation. Tell your daughter she's beautiful. Tell your son he's handsome. Look over at your significant other and express the love you have for him or her. Time is precious and wasting it, does no good to anyone.
I decided to share my Prom story on this Thursday popularly known as Throwback Thursday. I was prompted by so many beautiful pictures of kids dressing up for their prom. Some with dates, some without. If I could change anything about my prom night, it would have been to take a deep breath and enjoy myself. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy my prom and nearly 23 years later it's still a thorn in my side.
I had a date for prom. His name was Rodney. I had met him in the supermarket I worked in and he sought me out because he realized I was wearing hearing aids. He spoke sign language so I guess he felt connected, even though I didn't share the same language skill. We dated for over six months and he even took me to my homecoming dance. I wasn't attracted to him, but it felt kind of cool to have a boyfriend who was older and in college. Girls...think about who you choose....
Anyway, when prom season came around I was so excited to be going and to have a date. I always felt like I was ugly and less than, so the fact that I would be on someones arm felt great. Me, Rodney, my girlfriends and their dates were all planning to rent a limo together, grab dinner and then head to the venue. That morning I remember feeling anxious because I hadn't heard from Rodney. I kept calling but he wasn't answering. As the day progressed I went with the process and got ready. My aunt Lynn drove up from Virginia and patiently applied makeup to a weepy me. She and my mother were so understanding and loving but it didn't matter. I knew that I was getting stood up. After putting on my tights and dress I was ready. I couldn't wait for Rodney because the limo was on a schedule and I wasn't going to be the only one in it. As the time grew closer, my throat dried up with angst and I tried my hardest to be brave. The reality of what was happening caused tears to flow. My mom and aunt hugged and comforted me with what I felt was pity in their eyes but today I know to be sympathy. They told me that I was beautiful and that it was his loss. But words like that to a teenager like me meant nothing when you're hurt.
Getting into the limo, I sat in silence. Couple after couple got in and I faked a smile. I was blunt and said I was stood up. Deep inside I wanted to believe that Rodney would show up at dinner. We went to Benigans and I tried my best to eat but the meat kept getting stuck in my throat. My friends were perfect. They tried to make me feel good and kept cracking jokes. My friends Sherry, Darcie and Karen were particularly simpathetic and tried to be true symbols of friendship by being there for me. On our way to the prom I still didn't give up hope that he'd be there. I believed it as much as I believed anything. I sat at the table and watched others dance. I felt sorry for myself and I'm sure it showed all over my face. I kept thinking about how great of a day that was supposed to be. I sulked and sulked and found myself falling deeper and deeper into my feelings.
Noticing me sitting alone, one of my classmates James came up and asked me to dance. He and I weren't really close friends but we were friendly. He was always nice to me and we would share a laugh or two in the classes we shared. When he first held out his hand, I was resistant and embarrassed but he insisted. Thinking about that moment makes me cry right now. He showed me a level of compassion that I wasn't used to. I remember him fondly and will forever be grateful that he gave me a good lasting memory of my prom.
I never heard from Rodney again. Proms are such a big part of many teenage girls lives. It sucks that I allowed that one person to shape much of how I dealt with men in latter years. It took me some time to get over being stood up and even though I'm an adult it's something that sticks with you. Although Rodney showed me how disrespectful men could be, James on the other hand showed me how compassionate they can be. I'm not one of the lucky ones to have a fantastic prom story but I do have one that taught me many different life lessons. With family and friends by your side you can get through anything.
To all of you going to prom, be safe and make sure to enjoy every moment of it!!!
We all have times in our lives where we feel like we're navigating through life alone. It's easy to stay in the house, under the covers with popcorn and tv all day allowing yourself to look like a victim. Trust me, I've been there and it is VERY easy. But, at some point you have to get up and go. I've been trying my hardest to do just that.
I have been unemployed for over three months and every day I try to figure out a way to not fall into the doldrums. Of course I want my friends to call me and say come meet me for lunch. Of course it would be great if my phone showed a text message from someone saying lets go see a movie or come to our barbecue. But, I can't sit around waiting for invites. How is that being productive and being a contributing member of society? Being unemployed doesn't mean you have to give up and wait. I refuse to be that person. Instead, I've been trying to fill most of my days with something to do.
One thing that I've done weekly is treat myself to a nice lunch. Sitting at a table alone surrounded by laughing, engaging individuals can be a bit daunting at first but I've come to appreciate it. I no longer feel sorry for myself, in fact I feel like I've been given the opportunity to enjoy my own company. I'm a pretty cool chick haha. Treating myself has been educational in so many ways. Not only do I get an opportunity to observe and value my environment, I pay way more attention to my food and what i'm eating. It's all been quite eye opening. So much so that I chose to start blogging about the dishes. But, eating out isn't the only thing that helps my day be more productive. I'm walking more, I've visited some of my towns historical sites, I continue to go to the beach and read, I'm writing more than ever and most importantly I'm learning more about Tamieka.
I'm not gonna sit here at my computer and pretend that being lonely is great. It sucks. But, it's about recognizing what it is about loneliness that makes you sad and finding things that can change that around. In due time I'll be working again. I'll be making new friends and forming new relationships that will hopefully last for years to come. During this time off though, I'm trying my hardest to turn what can be a depressing situation into one filled with growth and enlightenment.
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.