Monthly Archives: April 2019

Letting Go, No Looking Back

When I wrote the title of this blog I started humming the Wayne Wonder reggae song “No Letting Go” but my remix would go “I’m letting go, no looking back.” Not as romantic as the original song but it is far more powerful.

Letting go is essential as you get older and the philosophy could be applied to bad habits or bad people. As bad as the habit, or person, could be, letting go is never easy. We all get complacent and don’t want to deal with the withdrawals of getting rid of something or someone that has been a staple in your life.

I won’t pretend like it’s always easy for me to make those tough decisions. But I have to force myself to think about how my life would look and feel if I didn’t take action.

The future of my health and happiness is worth far more than the awkwardness of “breaking up” with something that is causing me stress. I look around at all of the things I have currently going on and all the things I have yet to accomplish and I know I can’t afford to let inconsequential things stand in my way.

Look at your future. Look at those projects you have on the horizon. Now think about the toxic habits or people that currently inhabit your life. Will that thing or that person help you reach your goal? Or will they be a hindrance? Will they encourage you to work hard and be patient while you perfect your grind? Or will they be a distraction?

Don’t feel guilty for putting you and your goals and your family before everything else. THAT IS YOUR RIGHT. And as hard as it may be to hear, some of those habits and people are not meant to go along for the ride.

Letting go is the first step and as hard as it can be, resisting the temptation to look back can be even harder. Removing something from your life doesn’t mean you don’t or won’t miss it. It’s natural to mourn the loss of something you once held dear. However, looking back can cause you to rewrite history and can open the door to reintroduce that toxicity into your life.

Stay firm. Keep your eyes forward. And trust yourself.

 

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The Mothers by Brit Bennett: Book Review

I first learned about this book from actress Gabrielle Union via an Instagram story from years ago. She was sharing with her followers all of the books she was gearing up to read and this happened to be one of them. After reading the synopsis, I recommended the title to my book club for us to read and discuss together.

The Mothers refer to a group of elderly women at a church whose job is to pray for members, give unsolicited advice and gossip amongst themselves. This story revolves around two teenage girls, Nadia and Aubrey, and their friendship. Both are motherless teenagers who tackle life differently.

Nadia lives with her widowed father and constantly wonders why her mother committed suicide. She avoids church and prefers instead to travel and hang out alone, until she starts dating the minister’s son Luke.

Aubrey involves herself in as many ministries as she possibly can at church and is the sweet to Nadia’s spicy. She lives with her sister due to an estranged relationship with her own mother and tends to keep her head down and her nose clean.

The culminating moment of the book occurs when Luke gets Nadia pregnant and at her insistence, she gets an abortion. From there, each character experiences the joys and pitfalls of growing up.

The story moved at a steady pace and I liked how each character was given the chance to tell their own individual story. In the midst of getting their points of view across, the “mothers” of the church offered a bird’s eye view of the circumstances and situations happening in their church. This allows the reader to see how the characters are viewed overall and this, along with the characters’ own words and thoughts, gives the reader permission to make their own conclusions.

The characters, even some of the minor ones, are pretty layered which makes it interesting and sometimes difficult to be completely for or against them. This was not a lengthy novel, only 288 pages, and more pages could have been used to address some of the open-ended situations.

HIGHS

The author opened my eyes to the trauma an abortion can have on the potential father. We get to see Luke be vulnerable and haunted from the death of a baby he helped to create and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

LOWS

Nadia, as a character, doesn’t show much growth from the beginning of the book when she’s a teenager, to her adult years. The times where she does something for someone else, it comes across like she’s doing it out of a sense of responsibility as opposed to actually caring about the people in her life.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This story could and should have been longer as I would like to have some closure with some of the characters. But overall, it’s not a bad book and you will be able to get through it quickly.

M2W1 Rating: 3/5 Quill Pens quill penquill penquill pen

 

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ΗΘΜΣCΘΜΙΝG: A Film by Beyoncé – RECAP

If you are one of those people that hates Beyoncé for whatever reason, then this post might not be for you. And if you are one of those Beyhive members who look for any and every excuse to shame someone not as devoted as yourself, then this won’t be for you either.

I like Beyoncé as a singer and a dancer and watching her documentary film on Netflix made me like and respect her as a businesswoman. For those not in the loop, Beyoncé did a behind the scenes documentary on her headlining performance at Coachella in 2018. The concert was an homage to the Black college experience with an amazing drum line, dancers, a baton twirler, trash talk and a step show.

Here are some things that stood out for me:

  • In one of the scenes, she is speaking to a group of about 50 people and explaining to them what she wants in her show. Her husband, Jay Z, is sitting at her side and though he has just as many years in the business as she does, he remains quiet and lets her do what she needs to do. He offers that silent spousal support that is essential in every relationship.
  • She talks openly about the weight she gained during her pregnancy and the struggle to feel like herself once her twin babies came out. I loved hearing her openness about that because so many women keep these feelings to themselves and walk around thinking they are alone with their insecurities. Being pregnant, I felt like an alien was trying to claw its way out of my stomach. I felt weird and not at all beautiful and magical like they describe it on TV. And afterwards, your body is this foreign entity that makes you feel uncomfortable and unattractive. For some women, you never come back from that feeling.
  • If you look closely at the background dancers, they are every hue and size. The first time I saw thick women in a music video was in Redman’s I’ll Bee Dat. While I was happy to see them, it almost felt like they were props. They were chosen for the video because of their size but in Beyoncé’s documentary, the thicker women were chosen for their dancing ability, I assume. As a thick chick myself, seeing these women being just as sexy and confident as their skinnier counterparts was refreshing and appreciated.
  • In addition to talking about her pregnancy, Beyoncé waxed poetic about the struggles to be a working mother. Sacrifices must be made and sometimes that might mean missing bedtime with your babies or missing that deadline at work. You are constantly scrambling trying to be everything to everyone but eventually you get to the point where you have to prioritize. Putting your family first can be a difficult transition and sometimes it seems impossible to be ambitious and a good mommy at the same time. Everything is doable but convincing yourself of that is never easy.
  • Once the documentary was over, and the credits started to roll, I saw “Written, Directed and Executive Produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter” and it made me smile. I assumed she was a hard worker, most successful people in the entertainment industry have to be, but seeing all of those titles before her name made me proud. All of those positions require different skills and in addition to handling those tasks, she also had to manage being a mommy and wife and sister and aunt and friend and all of that. Obviously she has assistants and a team of people to help her but that doesn’t take away from the work she put in with the documentary and her career.

I really enjoyed it and it left me feeling inspired and proud to be a woman.

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