Will Someone Please Burn My Chicken? Pt. 2 Pulling Back the Skin

Yesterday I wrote a blog post titled “Will Someone Please Burn My Chicken” (https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1348&action=edit&message=1) that talked of my stagnation and hesitation to do some things that I would like to do or use to love doing because I was…well, chicken.

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A dear friend read the blog post and sent me a text message asking when I became so timid. The question took me aback for a moment because I didn’t have an answer. I truly didn’t know. I’d never taken the time to find out. So I replied, “that’s a good question”, and simply left it at that. I wanted to know when, and why I’d become timid so I dug deep within, searching myself for those hidden little tidbits that no one knows of except God and me. I asked. He answered.

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What I came to know around 7:03pm (CST) on Tuesday, February 11 was that I’d gotten the wind knocked out of me and didn’t know it was time to toss the inhaler, breathe and simply be. Many of the things I listed as victims of my chickenitis were things I’d already done, or am fully capable of doing. Broadcasting, writing a book, teaching others about media, even dancing are all things I know I can do, but the reason I hadn’t yet, or again tried to do it was the key behind my chickenitis. So before I submit my chicken for burning, I’ve decided to pull back to skin.

As I take a deep breath, and type at the same time, here it is…I was afraid of failing because I’d already done it. Whew! Woosah! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!

There’s something about failing in something new that doesn’t seem to sting as badly as failing in something you’ve already done. When you’ve already done something, and if you were half-way decent at it there’s a level of expectation that makes failure an even more real and paralyzing threat. That is not of God!

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I thought, as I drove home from an amazing retirement party of my former CEO who lead the YWCA for 34 years, that my problem isn’t my timidity of the future alone, it’s more rooted in not living up to the past. Now, I’m a Christian, and I totally thought I believed the Bible regarding my future being better than my past, God’s plans for me to give me hope and a future, and all of that good stuff. So why was I convinced that the way I’d done it before was as good as it was going to get. In pulling back the skin of my chickenitis, I realized that my divorce and direction of my career had a great deal to do with it.

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During my nine-year marriage and the nine years I worked in Media/Marketing/PR I was able to do a lot of things that only God knew I was capable of doing, particularly in the areas of events, speaking, writing and teaching. I love planning and hosting amazing, life-changing events. I love exposing others and myself to new things. Even more I love being an avenue to bring different people together as I’m changed and God using me to help change them for the better. When my marriage ended, not only did my husband leave, but I was left without a church family, a network for resources that I’d cultivated for years, a physical building with which to operate, a covering and a job.  To make the chickenitis more clucky I really think that my biggest issue wasn’t the divorce, but that at God’s urging I’d left my job/career in 2003 that I loved so much and really was able to do a lot of the things on my “list”, and now was left starting over, and that was scary. Thank God for Jesus, and His ability to heal me of the more acknowledged parts of divorce that can sometimes take people out. But subconsciously I must have thought that because I wasn’t married, because I didn’t have money, because I didn’t have a high-profile job or influence that I wouldn’t able to plan amazing women’s retreats, or do fabulous media or teach preachers how to speak, or publish for pay, or even learn to dance because. I must have believed that if I did try them and they did not turn out better than when I did them before it would be yet another failure tied to two other (perceived) failures…divorce and giving up my career. I didn’t realize until yesterday that those realities (and the “madeupness” I came up with in my own mind) punched me in my gizzards (as in chicken gizzards) and I hadn’t tended to it to get back up and fly.

Well, I’m ready for my chicken to fry because it’s finally time to fly…

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@AngelaMMoore316

Will Someone Please Burn My Chicken?

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I don’t know how else to say it so I’ll just say it. I can be a chicken from time-to-time. I don’t like it. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am and I don’t want to be.

There’s so much I would do if I didn’t have chickenitis.

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  • I’d try my hand at broadcasting again, a television or radio talk show for sure.
  • I’d open up a pie business selling sweet and savory hand-held pies.
  • I’d host fabulous events for women that helped them spirit, soul, and body and provided free stuff Oprah-style.
  • I’d publish the children’s book I wrote several years ago.
  • I’d run for political office.
  • I’d charge a fee to teach artists, athletes and preachers how to speak correctly and in a more relatable/marketable way, especially when speaking to the media.  
  • I’d travel across country starting in Mobile and ending in LA.
  • I’d learn to dance (line dance, stepping, ballroom, tap, you name it. I’d be a dancing machine!).
  • I’d be a wedding DJ.
  • I’d ride the roller coaster at Six Flags that scared the living day lights out of me when I was six years old.
  • I would learn to swim.
  • I’d get another degree in Counseling or Human Resources.
  • I’d write a book about my life, especially the last fifteen years.
  • I would live on a yacht for a month.
  • And the list goes on.

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Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against chickens, just being chicken. I realized through research that chickens can only fly so high. I don’t want my chickenitis to be the cause of me never really making it off of the ground. If I have wings I won’t them to work! So there you have it. I don’t want my chicken. It serves me no purpose, and actually robs me of my purpose. So I figuratively ask, will someone please burn my chicken?

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@AngelaMMoore316

I Believe You Are Beautiful!

Life Gets Better

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YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! There I said it. If you’ve ever wondered if anyone notices you take note that I do. I believe you are beautiful!

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Your beauty has nothing to do with your large thighs or tiny legs, your protruding teeth or lack thereof, your wild and curly or straight and thinning hair, your widening hips or big lips, your height or width, your skin tone or skin disorders, who loves you and who doesn’t, what you have and what you want, your real weight or driver’s license weight, your age, race, or how much make-up you put on your face.

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Your beauty has all to do with what’s on the inside of you. It’s the struggles you have overcome. It’s the faith you hold on to. It’s the wisdom you have gained from what almost wore you out. It’s the stories you’ve lived through that people wouldn’t even believe. It’s how you sacrifice sleep for the…

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How to Keep it Classy When Cussin’, Cutting and Acting Uncouth Are Not an Option

In honor of #RHOA…

Life Gets Better

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Let me just start out by saying I was baptized at the age of 15 and know all about what scripture says about character. I grew up in the church (except for the occasional times we stayed home to watch Blondie and Dagwood and go for rides in our Town and Country station wagon to look at mansions in Mountain Brook followed by eating “Baseball Nut” ice cream at Baskin Robbins).  I was voted Most Poised by my 12th grade class and have the picture of me in the floral print, peplum dress with white stockings from 5 Points West and black shoes to prove it. I pride myself in being a lady and try with everything Godly and good within me to stay on top of my West Endian roots (yes, I’m from West End Manor, Birmingham, Alabama and with that comes a sense of, shall we say…

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Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number

Life Gets Better

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I know some of you immediately did as I, and started humming along to the song by R&B superstar Aaliyah (RIP) when you read the title. Oh, how I wish the concept of age could be as melodic and sappy-sweet as the catchy little 90s tune Aaliyah belted out. But sadly, it’s not.

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Age is one of those things that’s tricky to point to, and pin down from person to person. You just never know, based on a person’s life’s experiences, exposure, course of growth or path of healing why they do what they do or how they don’t seem to know any better.  I often hear, or have said things like, “she’s old enough to know better”, “I’m too old to be going through this”, “I’m old enough to be over this by now”, or “If he/she/ acted his/her age things would be better”.  Prince even said, “act your age mama, not your shoe…

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Things I Miss

There was a trend going on called “I’m So” where people share memories of people, places or things familiar to their city, neighborhood or school. I must say, I was tickled pink reading and reminiscing on memories of old. It reminded me of this post originally posted some time ago. Today, in honor of #TBT and to go with my #bloglikecrazy theme of Making Memories I’ve remixed this post again. What are your favorite memories?

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Riding into work recently I took a mental trip down memory lane compliments of Pandora. The music of old made me think of people, places and things I’d enjoyed in the past. It made me realize just how much our past really shapes who we become.

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I Miss…

  • Quincy’s Yeast Rolls from the Midfield Quincy’s down from the Cobb Midfield Six Theater and across from Wendy’s
  • Baskin Robbins in Birmingham
  • The Alabama State Fair at Fairpark
  • Practicing for my Easter speech at Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (where we also listed to Shirley Murdock’s “As We Lay” on the church van just before going to visit the elderly)
  • Palmetto Jeans from Parisian and ribbons from Hancock Fabric in Five Points West
  • Sundays in my overalls with one strap down at George Ward Park (before the fights and killings, of course)
  • Giggling (and being scared at the same time) because I knew what B.A.Q. meant
  • Pulling the cardboard box out of the middle of the street when cars came by interrupting a serious breakdance street session
  • Learning how to drive in Arrington Middle School’s parking lot
  • Waiting on “Batman” to ride down the street in his car
  • Ice Cream from the Ice Cream man that only costs $.50, and rode by just before the mosquito spray man
  • Gas that was under $1
  • Three-piece, plastic, birthstone jewelry sets from Woolworth in Western Hills Mall
  • Size 2 (and her cousin Size 0)
  • MTV when the “M” actually stood for music and Duran Duran was in heavy rotation
  • Having friends in West End (where I lived) and Homewood (where I went to school)
  • Having a serious crush on Cosmo Flex
  • Going to the teen dance at Showbiz
  • Going to Piggly Wiggly off of Jefferson Ave (just down from the African American golf course)
  • ANYTHING from Marsh Bakery
  • First day of school outfits from Parisian, JC Penney’s, New Ideal, The Pants Store or Yielding matched with Bass, Mootsie Tootsie or Sam & Libby shoes
  • Parties at the LR Hall, Highlands Racket Club, Masonic Temple, Rime Garden Inn or anywhere else people would let wild teenagers go
  • GIORGIOcotillions
  • Free movies at the Cobb Midfield Six Theater (minus the people fighting, or the occasional boyfriend drama)
  • Walking to get my hair straightened from 19th Street to 18th Place with Royal Crown, enjoying a “burnt” bologna sandwich or biscuits with Alaga Syrup when I arrived
  • Riding in the back of my family’s green station wagon, passing women on Birmingham’s 4th Avenue and getting a valuable lesson in life on how not to end up a “woman of the night”
  • Magic City Classics when everyone wore leather, pleather and fur and my bestie and I walked the entire game
  • The Flintstones and The Jetsons in heavy rotation
  • Cassette Tapes and answering machines with my “sultry voice” and music from the Quiet Storm in the background
  • Saturdays at the Five Points or Bessemer Flea Market, Sundays at Fair Park and summers at City Stages or The Southern Heritage Festival
  • Having a “boyfriend” in KTU (for all of one month mind you) and thinking I was something
  • Sick days out of school when I wasn’t actually sick
  • Soap Operas when Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and All My Children were about as bad as television would get
  • Shelly the Playboy, Tall Paul and anybody from WENN, and hearing “Go to Churrrrccchhhh” on Sundays on WATV
  • Skipping school to go to Magnolia’s for a brownie or Subway on Southside for a meatball sub then coming back to eat in Ramsay’s courtyard
  • Boys who actually dressed up to impress girls because the girls demanded it

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Not at all ungrateful for the present or lacking in hope for the future, sometimes a gentle reminder of good things from the past proves to be just the boost needed. One thing I’ve learned is when you’re on your way somewhere, it’s good to remember the great places you’ve already been knowing that even better days are always on the horizon. Here’s to many more amazing memories!

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@AngelaMMoore316

Don’t Let Nobody Shoot You Up

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“Don’t let nobody shoot you up!” Those were the words I heard one morning in the mid-90s as my news photographer Teddy and I were out on an assignment for a story we were covering. Having become like a tag-team producer/photographer duo, Teddy and I were known for getting lots of stories done in a day, interviewing stars who were in town, eating great lunches, and getting people to cry. We covered special projects, and tears were always in order when you’re talking about a serious medical issue or trying to get someone to make good on a bad deal that cost an elderly woman her social security check. All-in-all, we had a good working relationship with the thought of always doing what’s in the other person’s best interest and in the best interest of the story.

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Well, one day while filming me interviewing someone he said those fateful words, “don’t let nobody shoot you up.” Huh? What? Was he speaking Chinese because I could not understand what he was saying, and I had a notion that what he was saying wasn’t necessarily nice. So he moved in closer, so the interviewee couldn’t hear and said, (as I paraphrase because the shock of what I heard robbed me of the full sentence he spoke), “Your features are very strong. And your face and head are large. If a cameraman or videographer shoots you from the ground up it doesn’t make you look your best.” Huh? What? Was he speaking Frenchicanese because I definitely didn’t understand what he was saying! It finally registered with my mind what he was trying to convey. Needless to say, those words stung worse than a jellowjacket sting with no Benadryl in site.

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Fast forward over a decade and a half later and I am SO glad Teddy drop that little nugget of wisdom on me. The truth is, my features are strong. I get it from my Daddy. My head and face are large…the better to see me with, my dear. LOL! And wouldn’t you know it, each time someone takes my picture with them sitting down and me standing up, or if they are shorter than I am and choose not to honor my height or the structure of my face by elevating themselves somehow I don’t look my best. I really, really don’t look my best when you “shoot me up”, but darlin’, when you shoot me right…well, anywho, that’s another blog post for another day, but you get my point.

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The moral of this story is: Sometimes the truth hurts you. Don’t let that stop it from helping you.

@AngelaMMoore316

Hey Girl, You Need an Attitude Adjustment

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I had to have a little talk with myself recently that started with, “Hey girl, you need an attitude adjustment”. I was noticing certain words were popping into my mind far too frequently. Phrases like, “child cheese” and “gone (go on) somewhere” were trying to become mainstays in my mind. A couple of times they even whispered their way from my mind to my mouth. (The intended targets never knew though…thank God). Those episodes, coupled with a much shorter than normal tolerance for certain situations (mainly questions that were simple in nature and having to explain things that were clearly my responsibility to explain) made me come to the realization that my attitude was under attack…and the culprit was me. I needed an attitude adjustment.

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I don’t know what was wrong with me. I really don’t. I even, literally asked myself “what’s wrong with you”. “Myself” didn’t answer. “Myself” couldn’t answer. I think “myself” was slightly embarrassed and a bit confused about what was going on within “myself”. I know I’m human and know that things will happen in life to test my poise and patience, but usually I’m able to know what’s behind it, and deal with it appropriately. This time, though, I didn’t know what was behind it and I had to keep forcing “child cheese” and “gone somewhere” from being an internal or external response. In the past I could pinpoint the source of my struggle. I’ve either not felt my best, been up against a financial challenge, been anxious about a pending situation, have been sleepy, or hungry. This time, though, there simply wasn’t a reason (not that it would have been right anyway). More than that, the things that were affecting me weren’t even big deals and the people truly weren’t the problem. It was just something in me that needed to get out, and in a much better way that my mind was trying to tell me.

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So, at an impasse with my attitude I decided to adjust it. Simple as that. I fought back the snappy comebacks. I slowed down and forced myself to exercise more patience. I laughed at myself for getting to that place in the first place. I realized that yes, I’m human, but so are the people who were the targets of my unexplained “issue”. I’ll continue to ask myself what my problem was, knowing one day it will all make sense, or at least make for a good blog post. And I’ll remember to reference “cheese” and “gone” only in their appropriate forms.

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@AngelaMMoore316