Wear Your Own Wig

It’s Flashback Friday so I decided to again talk about some of my favorite subjects…life, wigs and being grateful for what you’ve got!

Life Gets Better


On a previous family trip to Florida one of my favorite cousins and I decided to switch wigs. I was so excited to try hers because on her it looked like a million bucks with change to spare! Her wonderful wig was a beautiful, black, short, precision pixie cut reminiscent of the look made popular in the 60s. She marveled at my “hair accessory”, eager to swap manes. Mine was a mid-length, mixed auburn and brown color, layered look that fell softly in my face just above the left eye. Knowing the investment I made to purchase it, I’ll too say that mine looked like it cost a million bucks with change to spare!


We ripped off our personal pieces and unveiled our “wig caps” for the world to see, okay, not really the world, but our sisters who were waiting to see the by swap. Slowly, and methodically we placed…

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Wanna See Something New? Say Something Old.

Both of my schools are in the news for two different reasons. It’s certainly bittersweet and a contradiction of the two roads of life.

The University of Alabama has embarked on a great, historical landmark with the election of the first African-American Student Government Association President in 40 years. Way to go Elliot Spillers! I know Elliot personally and admire him for so many reasons. One of which is the fact that he is vested in the undeniable process of investing in the lives of others AND purposely surrounding himself with people who can help shape, mold, groom and grow him to the greatness that obviously is within. He gets it because he allows others to give it so he can give it.

On the other side of that proverbial coin, Birmingham’s Ramsay High School made unfortunate headlines after four students were arrested for a mid-day house break-in. For decades, Ramsay has been the pinnacle of academia in the Birmingham area. Known for bringing the best and brightest from neighborhoods far and near to the beautiful campus nestled near Red Mountain, like many Birmingham City Schools, the school I love and hold dear to this day has been a great launching pad for thousands of students and me.


The initial outcry after the arrests mostly heard from the Ramsay graduates and supporters I follow was that of shock, anger, embarrassment and disbelief that our legacy could be threatened by the careless actions of some who do not understand the nature of who we have long-sense prided ourselves on being. The comments from some of the people who have time to spew racism, ignorance and hate on posts like al.com are nothing short of venom-come-to-life. I digress…Whether the actions of those four students who had bright futures ahead is what is expected of Ramsay (or any school’s) students or not, clearly something socially and morally is missing that these and many children need.


In the midst of prepping for my Wednesday night Empire ritual I started thinking. I started reflecting back on my high school and college days and some of the tomfoolery my friends and I found ourselves in. I made a mistake or two or ten in high school and college that I’m not proud of, but thankfully lived through, with no other purpose than to make sure someone else doesn’t do the same. None of my friends or people I thought were friends broke into a home to my knowledge, but to be completely honest and transparent, many of us (yes, I said us as I am certainly included) did things that could have made the top of the headlines or blown up social media had it existed way back then. Gasp! I prefer sipping tea over spilling it, so I won’t tell the bees-wax of anyone other than me, but I wonder what tragic, unfortunate, “wrong place at the wrong time” things could have happened to me when my friends and I skipped school, or went to a neighborhood with purple and gold donning, high school fraternity boys we had no business knowing then a mini-tornado broke out. I wonder what would have happened that time we piled into a Ford Escort with the friend of our friend named Duchess and drove all the way to Tuskegee in the middle of the week to go to a party where the floor literally fell in and the driver fell asleep en route back to Tuscaloosa. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder. While I thankfully will never know what bad could have been back then, I do know what to do now. I believe we all have a little bit of what the youth of today need. It’s up to us to pull from our bag of testimonies (even those humbling ones), know what we have to offer, be bold enough to share it, share it (whether we feel it’s effective now or not) and not stop if we really care about those who need us to care about them.


The moral of this story: I’m proud of Elliot Spillers and hope that many more stories of this kind become the norm rather than exception. I believe it will. And yes, I’m disappointed by the Ramsay students not knowing or caring to accept the reality of the consequences of their poor actions and accept personal accountability. But let’s be real, people. We’ve all done things without entertaining the aftermath. Now is a GOOD time to get up off of those life’s lessons, mentor these students, hang out with them, hear their points of view so we can know what to do and spill our beans so we can save some lives. No longer is our real, true story good enough to sit on the shelf like a dusty book no one wants to read. It’s time to pull it down, brush it off, open up those tattered pages, unfold those stories from the beginning to that messy middle and the “thank God I made it” end and be real enough to help someone avoid the paths we overcame only by the grace of God. Our impact can mean the difference in the headlines and their lives. #RollTide #IBleedBlue



Sometimes We Have to Know When to Blow

Got your attention? I hope so, because chances are, if you’re like I am you need to read this as much as I needed to write it so I could read it (again and again).

Sometimes we have to know when to blow. Blow what, you might ask? Blow off a little steam I might answer. In the frenzy of life, the hustle and bustle, the grit and grind or whatever you prefer to call those things that keep us on our toes, and often buckle us to our knees, knowing how and when to healthily blow off a little steam means a world of difference.


I was feeling frenzied recently. I mean I was in a tailspin. I was feeling that feeling that often dances in my head, rests in my neck and lower back, and settles itself stomach disguised as “not feeling well”, but really is stress, tension and a reason to go see Lemar Storey at Life Touch Massage Therapy. That frenziedness was playing over and over and over in my mind as to how I was going to do all I needed to do. I was wondering how God was going to answer some lingering prayers, trying to figure out how I was going to fit 25 hours worth of stuff in a 24 hour day, planning for next week while not yet fully invested into this week, listening to the prayer requests of others (and holding some of their pains personally), waiting on Friday (payday) and working my finagaling to figure out how to make it to that day with things needing to be handled to today. I was convinced I was smelling the smell of something electric in my truck which made me think of another bill. I was balancing a plate full of duties at work that was running over like a gallon of water in a pint-sized container. I was frenzied, my friends. On top of that, I am in my final week of 42 and knew that I didn’t want to carry the unnecessary sense of feeling overwhelmed with me into a blessed new year. No ma’am, no sir. Overwhelmed is not invited to my 43rd Birthday Empire Watch Party Celebration complete with me wearing something(s) with animal print on it.  Toodleloo, overwhelmingness. Poof! Be gone…


And so I blew it. Literally, I took a deep breath and blew that “ick” right on up out of me. I inhaled in a gut-giving way that would have made Terri McMillan stand up and salute, and exhaled like my very being depended on it. Then I did it again for good measure, just to be sure, just in case. And just like that, with nothing yet changed from my long laundry list of things to do, I decided to simply breathe through all I was going through, even if I couldn’t breeze through it.



Shoot the Photographer

I had an opportunity to fill in for someone taking photographs at a major event. It was fun, and a great way for me to further explore my passion for pictures. Not one to shy away from the camera myself, I noticed that during my time of taking as many as 160 usable shots only one person offered to shoot a picture of me. As someone who likes taking pictures I also like to be taken. Not being shot honestly didn’t fare too well and left me feeling “some type of way” as the urban teens of America say. Later that day while editing my pictures I realized how much I missed being able to see myself in the midst of the hundreds who had gathered to support the important cause that brought us all together.

That made me think. How often do we extend the luxury, care, concern or simple favor to those who often do it for us. Usually, by default, those who do, like to have the same done. You’ve heard of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Well, yeah, that notion holds true for many who often pour out in an area they’d like to be poured in. I realize that I am guilty of possibly not paying attention to what others give and probably would like to receive in return.


  • So the next time someone encourages us we can’t forget that they probably would appreciate encouragement too.
  • Let’s be fast to text the one who usually sends the text message more often.
  • We have to remember to be generous to those who are generous to us.
  • We must be mindful to invite, plan, organize  and host even for the friend or family member who is usually the inviter, planner, organizer or host.
  • We should remember to call those we’re accustomed to receiving calls from first, especially if we’ve not heard from them like we used to or want to.
  • We should be the driver of those who usually chauffeur us.
  • Let’s grow to celebrate those who take the time to celebrate us
  • We should try cooking for those who cook for us.
  • Let’s go all out to shower and spoil those who shower and spoil us.
  • And whatever we do, let’s never forget to shoot the photographer.



I Don’t Know So I Won’t Say

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I don’t know why he did that”, or “I don’t know why she won’t don’t that”? I have started many a sentence that way, sadly. The fact of the matter is, when commenting on the life, actions or reactions of others often we don’t know so we shouldn’t readily or repeatedly say. Now certainly there are times and occurrences where lives are in jeopardy, situations are dire, God is urging action or experience has equipped us and throwing in the proverbial “two cents” is warranted. But there are times where, from the outside looking in with only half, or less than the facts needed to make an accurate assessment, we aren’t in a position to say something and should accept that as so.


A conversation with a dear friend reinforced this notion as we both came to the realization that the actions of a woman going through the pains of her divorce didn’t make sense and would end up causing more pain. That was the truth. Still, as two fellow divorcees, with situations very different from hers we quickly realized that we truly can’t say much about her situation since we weren’t in it. As women, we had to step back with empathy, see another sister hurting, and look at the myriad of factors which might have led to or encouraged her actions, then accept that those were factors that we didn’t have to deal with because of the route our lives took in ways that didn’t exactly mirror or mimic hers.


I’ve learned that it’s easy to say how we think a person’s story should go when we only have a bit part, wasn’t around for the opening act, didn’t make it to the gut-wrenching middle or are simply sitting high up in the rafters getting a glimpse of it unfolding. To cast the kind of stinging commentary that has become all too familiar about the lives of others is unfair, even if the person’s actions ultimately end up wrong, and especially if they ultimately end up right. When it comes to actions which we feel are wrong for a person and end up proving to be absolutely wrong, the truth of the matter is, many times we don’t know the past hurts, the unresolved pains, the unhealthy influences, the spiritual, mental or emotional state, or any of the other impairing factors a person might be facing. When it comes to actions which we feel are wrong for a person and end up proving to be absolutely right, the truth of the matter is we don’t know the past histories, the unknown path to healing, the plans of God unfolding, or the truth behind the bold, unconventional choices which may not make sense now but certainly will later.

What’s the best way to handle situations we may not like, may not understand, may not agree with or hope to be different? Glad you asked. In the words of MC Hammer, “I said, ‘We pray‘, pray, ah yeah, we pray, pray!”

The best commentary we can offer toward another’s life’s circumstances is a good, old chat with our great, big God. We have to pray for the person or persons involved, and pray we are never faced with a situation of that nature.



Gimme a Break!

So many friends and family are going through the rigors of life with what seems to be no break in sight. My prayer for all in need of a time of refreshment is that it comes in abundance like a soaking Alabama rain in April. #EnjoyLife #YouDeserveABreak

Life Gets Better

The wonderfully talented and sassy Nell Carter belted out the following lyrics on her hit television show in the 80s: Gimme a Break Theme Song

Gimme a breakI sure deserve itIt’s time I made it to the topGimme a breakI’m looking forwardGet behind mePull out every stop

Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it shall be received”. James 4:2 says “You have not because you ask not”. So taking a cue from God and Ms. Carter (RIP) I’m asking for this simple request….”Gimme a Break”.

Nell Carter in Gimme a Break.

You know it’s time for a vacation, a respite or reprieve when your two-year-old niece interrupts her own car seat serenade with Justin Timberlake to yell out emphatically and with authority, “Sweet Tee (that’s what she calls me), WE need a vacation!” I humbly agreed as if she were the adult and I were the toddler. Not that anything has to…

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