Source: Deuces Sallie, Deuces
If you’ve read any of my blog posts since I started you’ll know that I’ve tried to be very honest about the different seasons the Lord has had me in in life. With that said, it’s no secret or even shame of mine to say that I have struggled financially the last few years like never before. I won’t go into reasons now, as I’m still waiting for the final testimonies of this long-enduring test. (And when I tell you it’s coming…oh boy, it’s coming!!!) But today, in the midst of it all I have a praise report. God saw fit to allow me to FINALLY PAY OFF MY STUDENT LOANS!!!!!!!! Yep, you read correctly. I’m officially on the outs with Sallie Mae, or Navient as she now calls herself. No more letters, no more automated phone calls, no more “pay me now” emails, no more rolling my eyes as I tore the little paper out of the payment book, no more emails to my old Hotmail account (cause that’s how long we’ve been in this love/hate relationship). Nope… nothing, nada, zilch!
I’m thankful for my stellar education from The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. My degree, and associations rooted there have certainly served me well. I recognize that many weren’t blessed to even be able to take a loan out to pursue education. I’m also aware that many aren’t in a place yet to pay or pay off that debt. However, if someone would have told me the route to pay off my portion of that academic honor would take two decades I probably would have sold some plasma (or something), styled hair in my dorm on the side or worked five part-time jobs just to not have taken this journey. But I didn’t and that’s life.
So yes, it took 20 years to finally pay off and the timing came when things were as financially tight as a pair of brand new Spanx, but God was faithful to me even when I wasn’t faithful to Him. And He was certainly faithful to me when I was NOT thinking about being faithful to paying that doggone bill every month. He did that!!!
All glory goes to my great God!
Recently I had an opportunity to travel to an in-state college to recruit for my job. I made the two and a half hour trek south of 65 and 85 to parts I rarely venture (as I am an avid University of Alabama fan/grad), and braved the athletic enemy’s territory for the sake of my calling. I arrived early, not aware of how traffic would be, and was able to sit in my car for a spell to check email and listen to some of the finest hip-hop the Columbus, GA neighboring station could provide.
At 4:30, the expected time for vendor arrivals, I unloaded my car, looked back at my University of Alabama alumni tag, as if I were about to cheat on it, and strolled into the orange and blue haven. (Side note: I must admit, the campus and building were beautiful, as they were the last time I visited. The BIG picture of Cam didn’t hurt either.) I registered at the table stocked with hospitable, smiling faces. I reluctantly fought back the urge to take a selfie in front of the orange and blue all around attaching to it something about the reigning National Champions. I received my packet of welcome info, including the number I was assigned to set up for the Career Fair. There were 59 assigned tables. I was number 56.
Upon site of 56 just above the 59 my first thought was, “Wait! What? I don’t want to be 56!” I immediately thought I would be WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY across the arena in the forgotten section unvisited by eager students ready for life after college and truly ready for the barbecue after this college fair. I just knew my slot was one destined to a big, ol’ hunk of nothing. I was prepared to fight through full-blown sourpuss mode the entire four hours I was scheduled to be there.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, right after the fresh-faced student walked me into the arena the fourth table from the door had my name on it…well, not my name, but my number. Not only was table number 56 right at the door used for everyone to enter, I was smack dab in front of the double-lined buffet of hot, smoky barbecue chicken and tender, sliced turkey, green beans, tossed salad, sweet tea, chocolate cookies and the famous cheddar biscuits which put Jim-n-Nicks on the map, at least in my mouth.
When I received my assigned 56 out of the 59 I completely counted myself and my number out. Then boom, with a just few simple steps forward I was like the 2015 National Champions. I was #winning!
The moral of this story is: I/we win REGARDLESS. We just have to keep stepping.
Friends are like wigs. They come in various forms and fit in various ways for various reasons and with various people. Like a wig, not all friends fit at the same time. That’s cool, as long as you have “that friend” firmly planted in your crown of frienddom for whenever needed.
Today I’d like to shout out the many representations and incarnations of “that friend”.
- Shout out to that friend who wraps up every tough conversation with those famous three words…”I’ll be praying.”
- Shout out to that friend who will let you vent, say the bad words you wouldn’t dare utter, give you some good, sound advice, make you laugh and tell you to “keep it moving” all in 8 minutes or less.
- Shout out to that friend who answers the phone with words like, “What do you need?” or “How can I help you?”
- Shout out to that friend who floods your timeline and text messages with mega-motivation in the area you’re not yet motivated.
- Shout out to that friend who has the best memories, funny (or embarrassing) stories, or wild tales in reserve as a reminder for just when they’re needed.
- Shout out to that friend who will rise at 3am in the morning to hear your heart’s cry or take you to the airport.
- Shout out to that friend who morphs into labels like “Sister” to you or “Auntie” to your children because you all are just that close.
- Shout out to that friend who sees your post on social media and immediately calls os sends an IM or DM asking “What’s wrong?” and “Who do I need to have a talk with?”
- Shout out to that friend who can remind you of your resume of poor choices regarding men, fashion and hairstyles faster than the speed of light then demand you to expect more. Point. Blank. Period.
- Shout out to that friend who can snatch your out-of-place hair together or tuck in a bra strap with the blink of an eye.
- Shout out to that friend who says words like “Girrrlllll!!!!”, or “Whattttt???” but never speaks negatively or throws shade in situations she knows mean much to you.
- Shout out to that friend who always has the right accessory to set your outfit on fire, doesn’t mind that you keep it when you ask to borrow it, and even compliments you when she sees you in it.
- Shout out to that friend who will defend your honor and clear your name before the streets could even take a ball and run with it.
- Shout out to that friend who can pay when you can’t. (And double shout out to the one who knows when you can’t pay even before you have to say it and pays it.)
Happy 35th Birthday to my sister, Kristy Lee!!! #DanceGirlDance
Source: My Sister Still Dances in Stores
Source: West Endian Words of Wisdom
I’m proudly from West End… a ‘hood in the western heart of Birmingham, Alabama. Known for many things, some good, some not so good, there are SO MANY success stories and fond memories from people who’ve been privileged to call this place home. #35211
Aside from learning how to pull a cardboard box out of the street with the quickness (or even knowing what “with the quickness” means), learning how to toss a mean double dutch rope, getting the little bit of street sense I do have, and enjoying the joys 19th Street and the surrounding areas provided me, I also learned some quick wit, and wisdom which has followed me all of my life.
So I share with you samplings of my West Endian Words of Wisdom.
- Just because I didn’t say it doesn’t mean it’s not so. You’ll know on a need-to-know, or never-to-know basis.
- Never gossip to the ones who gossip with you.
- There’s a difference in being fake and being polished…and I’m not talking about nails.
- If it was meant for your mind to talk you out of your greatness it would be your mouth, not your mind. (Think about it.)
- Everybody’s not your friend. But some people are.
- Lotion and/or Vaseline are a wintertime must.
- Be nice. You never know what a person is going through, or what you might soon go through.
- When people choose to remove themselves from your life for reasons that are unknown or seem unfair don’t sweat it or fret it.
- Sugar solves problems.
- Lipgloss can never be to glossy.
- The Prep and Cabbage Patch are always appropriate.
- Your wolves often lead you to your sheep. Thank them for that.
- Just because you’re grown doesn’t mean you’ve grown up.
- Pretty and perfect are two different things.
- Family doesn’t always have the same bloodline or last name.
- Water from a hose won’t hurt you.
- Putting your hand on your hip let’s them know you mean business…or that you think you’re really cute. It’s a win-win either way.
- And when all else fails…a windmill is always in order.
I woke up this morning with just three and a half hours of sleep under my belt, a sore throat, squinting eyes gazing social media and a smile on my face. I felt like I was preparing to stand at the stage of some big acceptance speech as I proudly picked out my houndstooth shirt, red big pearls and leggings for work pondering back and forward between the silver zipper leggings or the front-panel pleather ones. So if I were giving my victory speech here’s what I’d say.
I’d like to thank Nick Saban and the Bama boys for their sacrifice of sleep and social lives normal to most college students (especially if you were on the five-year UA plan like I was). I’d like to thank Nick Saban and the Bama boys for never giving up, even when I almost did around 10pm when I thought it would be better just to go to bed and wake up to whatever outcome and trash talking we were dealt after having been down for a while in the game. I’d like to thank Nick Saban and the Bama boys for displaying such discipline, heart, stellar sportsmanship and ferociousness all in one. I’d like to thank Nick Saban and the Bama boys for giving our school, our state and people from all walks of life a reason to come together each season with a commonality uncommon to most. Lastly, I’d like to thank Nick Saban and my Bama boys for being an undeniable part of my life granting such great memories and so much joy each August through January… never disappointing me regardless of the outcome.
Happy Sweet 16 team! Roll Tide Roll! #youdidthat