Happy Thanksgiving I Love You,
On this Thursday, November 27th 2013 also known as Thanksgiving, I am so thankful. I'm thankful for Dr. Brown and his ability to perform surgery on a 3 day old and turn my knees around. I walk because of him!! I'm thankful that my aunt despite what her intentions may have been ran home to tell my dad, that by the looks of that baby you are the father. I'm thankful for my elementary school detecting my hearing loss. I'm thankful that my mother allowed me to never feel like I was less than any other child. I'm thankful that I had a plethora of cousins to play with growing up. I'm thankful that my aunt and uncle taught me toughness, resilience and strength all through their words and board games. I'm thankful that my dog Tamu protected me and was my first best friend. I'm thankful for my neighbors as a kid, young and old who were our village. I'm thankful for that guidance counselor who heard my story and reacted. I'm thankful for Tracy, Sherry, Queen and Marisa who were the best friends I needed in those various stages of my life that they were present. I'm thankful for the many books my mom purchased that I would lose myself in at night. I'm thankful for ABC television for creating shows like Ryans Hope, Loving, The City, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital...they were my escape. I'm thankful for my uncle for making the decision to get clean and for giving me the opportunity to tell his peers how much he meant to me. I'm thankful for my grandmother allowing me to play poker with her, my grandpa and the members of their senior group. I'm thankful for my great aunt who took the time right before she suddenly died, to tell me about her and my grandmas first time coming to New York and why. I'm thankful for the cousins who i'm no longer close with but whom I think about often and hold dear in my heart. I'm thankful for Mrs. Orrico who called me to the front of the class in fifth grade and asked me to read my story to the class because it was so good. I'm thankful for flat screen televisions. I'm grateful for Tivo. I'm thankful for 80's soul music, 90's hip hop and the fact that I can say memba when music was good. I'm thankful for pagers, two ways and cell phones. I'm thankful for the music industry and the opportunity it afforded me in meeting some of my favorite artists and making lifelong friends. I'm thankful for my Nana who didn't always physically shower me with affection but showed me a kind of love I don't think I shall ever have again. I'm thankful for my Dad who gave me two beautiful brothers who make me feel like an awesome big sister. I'm thankful for my cousin Tisha and the fist fight we had in our 30's...it taught me how incredibly stupid even adults can be. I'm thankful for my cousin Yolanda who through her sheer presence shows me friendship on a different, unassuming, stressless and loving level. I'm thankful for Swiss Miss making hot chocolate. I'm thankful for Starbucks. I'm thankful for American Airlines in spite of the price discrepancies between tickets. I'm thankful for Tortola and Argentina. I'm thankful for the gold fish that came and went. I'm thankful for the Ferris Buellers Day Off, Love Jones, Love and Basketball, The Best Man Holiday, Grease, Can't Buy me Love and The Notebook. I'm thankful for Huntington Village and all of the great restaurants they have. I'm thankful for all of my friends, family and complete strangers that donated to my hearing aid fund. I'm thankful for my former boss who sent an email to my branch encouraging their support of me. I'm thankful I have a job. I'm thankful my employer employed my best friend. I'm thankful I finished my memoir. I'm thankful that I got to vote a black man into presidency. I'm thankful that I can say I have diverse group of friends. I'm thankful for this blog. I'm thankful for this Samsung Ultrabook that is simply awesome. I'm thankful that I won a kindle and own an Ipad. I'm thankful for Mariah Carey, The Temptations, The Jackson and now Mary J. Bliges Christmas music. I'm thankful to be flying to Vegas with some of the women in my family to spend Christmas there. I'm thankful for Fella even though all he does is whine, sleep, shit and sleep....dogs...smh. I'm thankful for Facebook and Twitter, and Tumblr, and Instagram and all of the other crazy apps I've downloaded for keeping me in touch with folks. I'm thankful for the friends who don't go out of their way to make time for me because it makes me appreciate the ones who do, that much more. I'm thankful for the food I'm going to eat today. I'm thankful for Planet Fitness. I'm thankful that my uncle married my aunt she's awesome....hard to recall when she wasn't in my life. I'm thankful for my mother and her gift of being. I'm thankful for so much that these few mentions don't even touch on them. I'm thankful that you're reading this.
Happy Thanksgiving I Love You,
As I sit here at almost 6:30 in the morning thinking about the day that awaits me, I can only smile. I mean I don't have anything big planned, just dropping off some dry cleaning and then heading to work. But, I suppose the fact that I'm alive and that I can think of a plethora of people that I not only LOVE but that I LIKE makes me feel good. It's weird, because for years I sat in a space of misery when I woke up. I would rise and lay and think about all I wanted for myself but never went out to get it. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly rising and attacking everything on my bucketlist, but today I strive to live the life I want on my terms. Of course, there are things I desire, goals I have and dreams that keep me sleeping but I believe that one day I will make them a reality.
Yesterday, after working out in the morning, I spent about an hour overlooking the water and doing some reports for work. Intermixed in that I contemplated life and took a moment to think about my youth and what I experienced. Never in a million years did I think I'd be where I am right now. If I were to be honest with you, and that IS my goal with this blog....I spent many days wishing I were dead. Can you imagine the pain of a 13 and 14 year wishing she wasn't good enough to breath the air of her peers. It was tough, but my faith in God kept me breathing and dreaming. Today here I am and I AM ABLE! It's absolutely amazing.
No, I haven't accomplished all of the things that I want for myself but I haven't given up trying. I haven't given up trying or hoping to have my own child. I haven't given up trying or hoping to have my own home. I haven't given up trying or hoping to meet someone who not only loves me but who has the core ideologies and dreams that makes him a strong man. Nope I haven't given up. I haven't given up trying and hoping that my baby bro becomes the man that I dreamed he would be all those years ago. I haven't given up trying and hoping that my little bro achieves all of the things that he strives for and that he ultimately lives a life filled with love and happiness. Nope I haven't given up.
So, as I sit here typing at what is now 6:33, all I can do is think about is how awesome my life is. I hope that if you're reading this you too take a moment over your coffee, juice, tea or hot chocolate and think yeah so is mine. Life isn't about getting everything you want at once. There are things in life you have to work for and put in the effort for. My experience is that those who get everything without working hard for it, live an empty life devoid of the possibilities of greatness. Money and things don't make you great. Love and happiness make you great. With that the "things" will come. Put peace of mind and contentment at the forefront of your thoughts today. Within that frame of thinking you would discover the ultimate meaning of life.
Have a great day and take a moment to thank yourself for living. And if you don't think you're living....take a moment to ask why?
I Love You,
Ever since I was a kid, I had an affinity for playing games. I played monopoly all of the time with my aunt and uncle and during the holidays with the rest of my family. I played scrabble with my grandmother. I played spades and gin rummy with my nana. I played poker with my grandparents and their friends. And later in life my family gets together in the colder weather to play phase ten. I love playing games whether it’s board games, computer games, video games or card games. What I can’t stand is the manipulative version of the game of life that so many people are playing.
I like to pride myself on being honest and not succumbing to the shenanigans of others. I like to believe that all people have a sense of humility and are willing to be straight forward and devoid of undermining tactics to get the results that they want. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case for many. So be it. However, when those actions start to touch me and have an impact on my life and my livliehood, you won’t find me any angrier than in those moments.
I don’t understand why people feel the need to say things in an effort to manipulate as opposed to just showing their cards. Face up, full disclosure and in your face is the only true way that one can be respected. I experienced an eye opening situation this week. After discussing it with two other people, I came to the conclusion that they too experienced similar circumstances due to the direct influence of this fourth person who was the perpetrator. The card dealer if you will. After thorough examination of the outcome and the why’s that led up to it, my conclusion was that this fourth person was always allowed to win at games. Probably starting as a child. A person who as an adult doesn’t play fair in life probably never really learned the game rules as a child.
How sad that some people, find that the best way to express their desires and to “ask” people to do the things that they want is by figuring out a way to manipulate them. What’s even sadder is that they haven’t quite mastered the game of manipulation thereby leaving the door open for others to peak over their shoulder and see the cards they’re holding. Many games can go on endlessly and take days and even weeks to finish, it’s those games that finish quickly because the competitor didn’t have a grasp on it that ultimately depicts the loser as a failure.
I pride myself on being a player. But one who respects the game, and the other players. Without respect and appreciation you are doomed to not receiving it back. After talking with the others, I walked away feeling deeply saddened for that fourth person. I even felt pity for that person. It must be quite sad to live a life where you think you’re accomplishing so much and that you’ve invented the game when the truth is the players see you’re cards, are following your eyes and know what move you’re going to make before you do. Oh well, as they say…”don’t hate the game, hate the player”.
Life is short. Today as I think about the impact that those who’ve passed have had on my life I can’t help but feel sad. Sad for me yes, but also sad, about the endless possibilities that some of them were never able to achieve. When I wake up in the morning, I sit for a moment in silence and think about how grateful I am. I thank God for my family and friends, for having a job (two jobs in fact), my dog Fella, and for simply rising. Then, I turn on the television and I find myself in an immediate funk. I browse the internet and view stories that make me weep. I look at the news and see stories that make me angry. I read articles that make sad and facebook posts that disappoint me. All before 8am. And then the same happens before I fall asleep....
Sitting in judgment of others is something I fight daily not to succumb to. It’s simple for me to point my finger at those I deem to be wrong. It’s easy for me to suck my teeth and smirk at people who I feel aren’t behaving in a manner I consider appropriate. Who am I? Life is too short to spend time judging. The time I spend criticizing could be spent making myself better. It’s time that could be spent uplifting and encouraging. It’s time that could be spent spreading the love that I crave day in and day out. Life is too short.
What will my legacy be? When I’m gone, what will people say about me? How will people reminisce about me? I know some of what people say about me now. Is that what I want them to say about me then? As I sit on the couch typing and watching television, I wonder if I’m living my best life. Am I the best me that I can be? No, I don’t think I am. I think I have so much to learn. I think I have so much to give and so much to receive. I know that I haven’t achieved the goals that I set for myself. I know that true happiness has eluded me but I see it and I will continue to grasp at it. Life is short and I refuse to give up. I know I’m capable of living a life that showcases the best me.
So as I think about my loved ones who’ve departed, I pray that I spend the rest of my time on this earth living up to the dreams I envisioned as a kid. I pray that I don’t leave this earth too young, in debt, childless, husbandless or loveless. I pray that my memoir is published and received with great adoration. I pray that I get to buy that home I envision every day. I pray that my family truly sees how much they mean to me. I pray that my best friend raises her kids to know that I may not be blood or their godmom, but titi loves them like her own and will help teach them about God. I pray that my mother knows that I may seem quiet, argumentative and/or despondent at times but my heart is always filled with and focused on her. I pray that my pops knows I learned about true forgiveness because of him. I pray that my brothers know that their hugs and kisses are my favorite out of everyone. I pray that my cousins know that I would cut off both arms for them. I pray that if you’re reading this you know that I love you and I want you to be your best you.
Life is short.....stand up, embrace it, and be your best you!!!!
Last night I saw The Best Man Holiday and I must say it was a rare time where I felt the 12.50 I paid to see it was money well spent. From the opening credits that reminded us of the first feature while simultaneously updating us on where the friends are present day, to the “cliffhanger” ender, I was fully in tune with this offering. When the first movie came out I was a quarter of a century and open to what life had in store for me. The original movie was refreshing, funny and classic. It spoke to me, I related! It’s predecessor is all of that and more. The Best Man Holiday is that rare follow up that has you clamoring for more. It had all of the elements that hold moviegoers throughout including comedy and drama.
After leaving the theatre, I was silent for a moment and simply listened to all of the chatter. As people filed out of the theatre I noticed conversations about the movie between complete strangers. I noticed smiles on the faces of women and men alike. I noticed a wave of joy and happiness permeating throughout. How awesome! Awesome, because it’s something you don’t always see whether the cast is primarily black or primarily white. How refreshing.
My goal with this blog entry was not to write a review of the movie and give away plot lines. I’d rather you go see it in the theatre for yourself. The Best Man Holiday is a movie that should be seen by all people that like feel good movies. It should be seen by people that enjoy movies that make you think and appreciate the ones you have in your lives. The Best Man Holiday is the kind of movie that won’t get an Oscar or Golden Globe, but it’s one that I can guarantee will be awarded classic status in the hearts and minds of the viewers who take the time to go see it.
I know that casts featuring people of color in staring, supporting and background roles aren’t a new thing. But the fact of the matter is that it happens in waves. This year there is a plethora of movies and like the 90’s I’m pretty sure it won’t be a mainstay. It’s been quite some time where I’ve gone to a movie and the majority of the previews were movies that featured a primarily black cast. I have hope that this will remain a trend as opposed to a fad like it has over the years but in the meantime, I plan to enjoy this “renaissance”. Run don’t walk to the theatre and I suggest if you’re seeing it today, order your tickets online. The theatre WILL BE PACKED!!
Today on this Veterans day Monday I sit in a space of thankfulness. I’m so grateful that I live in a country where our men and women of the military are honored. To be a citizen of this great land and understand how far we as a people have come in great part due to those who have fought for our freedom. I feel blessed knowing that I have family members who by sacrificing their lives and the lives of their loved ones stood up for our country.
When I was a child, I remember thinking of my uncle Brian as a hero. The more than 20 years that he dedicated to our country in the Marines brings me to tears. Growing up, I couldn't really fathom or rather understand just how important of a sacrifice he made. Thinking about when I was 18, I know I was not strong enough to make such a huge decision like he did. But when he turned 18, there he was CHOOSING to become a marine. How awe inspiring. Thankfully, he served our country honorably and continues to support our government in ways that are indescribable. I am honored to call him my uncle and my hero.
United States Veterans throughout the country and the world are often not thought about on the other 364 days of the year. I too am at fault for that neglect. There have been plenty of times where I saw someone in uniform coming off of a plane and didn’t take the moment to thank them. There have been times where I was running around completing errands and didn’t take a moment to thank that service man or woman. Shame on me. As I write this, I’m realizing that I need to make a better commitment to honoring those who honor me by standing up for and against threats to our livelihood and those around the world. Just as simple as it is to love someone, its just as simple to say thank you. Just as simple as it may be to buy gifts for my family, it’s just as simple to buy items for a care package to send overseas.
So today on this 93rd anniversary of Armistice day better known as Veterans day, I make a promise to do better and to be more aware of the greatness that men and women in our military have shown. Thank you Uncle Brian, Grandpa and thank to all of my cousins and friends who made one of the ultimate sacrifices for the betterment of our country and our countries partners. Thank You!!
When I was growing up I hated the fact that I was so dark. I couldn’t understand why people in my family, on both sides were shades lighter than me. It was something that ate me up inside. I felt like my complexion was ugly and there were times where I would spend hours trying to scrub the black away. One time I scrubbed so hard that I left my skin raw with blood. Sad, but true. As I made my way into my late teens and early twenties the sentiment remained. I just never thought I was pretty and I blamed it on my dark color. One time, my grandmother told me she considered herself ugly. I’m practically the spitting image of my grandmother and everyone who knew her and I would always say that. So, imagine how I felt inside to know that she thought she was ugly and I looked just like her. I blamed my ugliness for some of my insecurities and for my lack of good friendships and healthy relationships in college.
When I would look at images of beautiful black women, or what society would deem beautiful, they were always ten shades lighter. In order for me to even think of 3 dark women who were and/or are considered beautiful for this blog, I had to google them because the only one who popped into my head was Naomi Campbell. I grew up being called tar baby and black banana….by members of my own family. A "friend" once told me that if I was lighter i'd be pretty. In public I laughed along, but in private the tears flowed freely. Today I still weep. I haven’t gotten over the dark thing and I don’t think I ever will. There are more images of dark women then there were when I was a kid, but not enough to make me feel confident in who I am. I get compliments from people about my complexion and some even call me beautiful, but in my heart I don’t believe it. It’s a tough thing to feel and it’s a struggle I’ve had since I was a kid, but I hope that one day I will realize it doesn’t matter.
I was watching black girls rock on BET, and although I believe I too rock, based on a plethora of reasons, I truly believe that my complexion holds me back from being viewed by people in that way. I know that if I were lighter or even white, I’d probably be viewed and treated differently by society. I know that if I were lighter or even white, I’d be given certain advantages and privileges not currently afforded to me. But, the fact remains that I’m not and I never will be. As a woman and for me more importantly a black woman, I work hard to get the things I have, and to be appreciated for my contributions. I know that when I’m acknowledged it’s not because of my skin tone, it’s because of what I’ve done and nothing else. I will never be considered achieving greatness because I’m dark skinned. I will never get ahead in life because I’m pretty. I will never excel at work and get a promotion based on my looks. I will never get a book deal because I have a beautiful complexion. No, I will get all I get because I put in the effort…the extra effort.
If you’re light, fair or white don’t hate on me and my blog. We all have issues, I’m sure you have them too. This isn’t a post aimed at pointing the finger at you and crying woe is me. NO, instead I’m simply exposing a piece of my reality. Something I’ve only shared with less than a handful of people over the years. I’m flawed yes, but I pray that one day I will look in the mirror and not see the image of that little girl who thought her color made her less than. Maybe one day I’ll look in the mirror and see my grandmothers face and disagree with her sentiments. Maybe one day I’ll look in the mirror and see beauty staring me in the face. Maybe one day…..
A lot has been made about Carmelo Anthony’s comments in the New York Observer about wanting to be a free agent. Although I think that it wasn’t the best thing to say as he approached the 2013-2014 season, it’s not a reason to burn the man’s Jersey. You would think that he committed blasphemy and said he wasn’t going to give his all this season. The media, specifically the New York media criticized him so hard it just boggled my mind. But it made good copy.
New York as of late has been pretty disappointing on the sports front. Between the abysmal NY Giants and Mets, to the heartbreaking Yankees and Jets as well as two hockey teams in the Islanders and Rangers that have left fans damn near praying for a win, New York has been craving for someone to cheer for. (yeah yeah the nets....yadda yadda yadday This is why it makes no sense to me that the media is so hard on Carmelo. One of the things I’ve always said to my friends and family is that when you work for a organization, never forget you’re just a number. You can be the CEO and fired because the numbers didn’t add up. So what if Carmelo made statements that touched on his future and his desire to become more successful and appreciated for his talent? He plays in a city that hoists its athletes on its shoulders and then tears them down when they mess up. Just ask Mark Sanchez about his first season and the articles comparing him to Joe Namath, only to then say he’s NOJOE when he had losing seasons. The difference is, Carmelo has been superb during his time here in New York. The Knicks got what they paid for. When he was in Denver he was a ball hog. When he was in Denver he scored buckets. When he was in Denver he was an elite player. Since coming to New York the same rings true. But, the media isn’t satisfied. It’s as if they expect a new set of skills from a 29 year old that’s played his game of basketball in the NBA successfully for over 10 years. Comparing him to Lebron and D. Rose as well as having expectations of him based on his salary is simply not fair. But hey, it makes good copy.
At end of the day guys like Stephen A. Smith, Michael Kay and Colin Cowherd simply make statements like they do because it’s essential for their ratings. It makes good copy to rant and complain about Melo not passing the ball. It makes good copy to get upset that Melo says he’s weighing his options. As if, they never weighed their options when it came to their employment statuses. It makes good copy to say Melo isn’t as good as this one or that one. It makes good copy to express opinions that get fans riled up clamoring to dial the show number and agree or complain or simply write blogs like this. Just like they know how to do their jobs and become successful at it, so does Melo. Step off the man and let him play. My suggestion for those guys and guys like them is to criticize his moves on the court within each game. Leave his thoughts about HIS future for the gossip shows. I know, I know they can’t….it doesn’t make good copy!
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.