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.
I hope my ex wins the lottery. I do. I really do. Call me crazy or call me comical, but I’m so very serious. Let me clear this quickly before I proceed. I have many exes. (Hey now, don’t judge.) So I’m not singling anyone out. This is for every, single one of them.
I have an ex-husband, whom I am still connected to through final divorce decrees, and the spiritual children we share. While we haven’t spoken in years, I’m not sure of his stance on playing the Powerball, but I do still want him blessed because at one time we were connected and are still connected due to the aforementioned important matters and people. I also have ex-boyfriends and ex-“We don’t know what we called ourselves” whom, some of them, I gratefully call friend. (Hey, y’all, as you read this blog). Honey, I KNOW their stance on the Powerball, Mega Millions, Porch Band of Creek Indians Casinos, Sweepstakes, Publisher’s Clearing House, Social and Savings Club Raffle Tickets, Scratch offs, Chuck E. Cheese “put all of your money in the machine and try to win a prize” games, and anything else remotely similar.
At the time of this updated post there is a $94 million jackpot lottery on the line in the United States of America. One or some of my exes playing and cashing in on that big bucks bonanza would be wonderful, but I so get that that is likely not the way they will be blessed. What I do know is that I want them all to be blessed and in a BIG, lottery-like way. Why? Because I had a role in their past and they had a role in mine. Inadvertently, we all have a role in each others present and future, as a result of lessons learned, experiences shared and growth gained from that past. You see, #Grownwomanhood has taught me that every person plays a part. Just because their role ends doesn’t mean our perception of the true purpose of that role and desires for them have to be negative, distorted, bitter or damaging. I want them all to win in whatever way God orchestrates for them…and hopefully they’ll fondly remember the time I was a “Ra Ra Shish Boom Ba” cheerleader in their game of life.
(BTW, if any of you lovely exes-turned pals are planning on making a trip to “ticketland” holla at me…LOL!)
My church, Church of the Highlands, observes 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer starting the first Sunday of each January. This time of the year, and when we do it in August are always a tremendous blessing for me. It’s also a challenge too. I’ll be the first to admit that when taking spiritual gifts assessments, the gift of intercession (prayer) isn’t on the top of my list. I don’t know if it’s on my list at all, as other gifts are what I’ve been given. I’m so okay with that, because I know I know how to talk to my Daddy (God) in my own special way, and I know I know some people who REALLY know how to go the distance for themselves and others like me because intercession is their undeniable, number one gift. What a blessing!
With that said, I’m a simple prayer girl. I try to talk to God throughout the day, much like I would talk to a friend. Often it’s sporadically (with the exception of our “Good morning. Thank You, Jesus” chit chat early each day), and often it’s as things happen, right off the cuff whether in the car, at work, or in the shower, and it’s mumbled from my mouth or urgently delivered straight-forward to Him like He’s right there with me (and He is), as situations are unfolding. I cover the biggies in life regarding my loved ones and me and want to become even more disciplined and strategic about that, but I also want to be even more intentional about coming to Him regarding things perceived to be not so big of a deal. God cares about us, which means He cares about it all, big or small. No thing is too simple to pray about and believe God’s best concerning.
Have you ever thought about praying for the following for yourself (or others)?
Rejuvenating sleep and set aside time of rest regularly
A trusted, committed (inexpensive) babysitter
A drama-free day
A supportive team player in the greatest area of need
An extra measure of peace
An opportunity to ride on the passenger side not always having to drive
Needed items on BOGO (buy one, get one) at Publix
Meaningful talk time with spouse and/or children in the car or at home
Things to work or last longer than they’re expected to (think cars, washing machines, air conditioners, hair styles and the like)
An unavoidable opportunity to finally say “I’m sorry” or say “I accept your apology”
Peace, support and effectiveness for your supervisor
Regular opportunities to exercise with no exceptions or excuses
A chance to meet a need or surprise someone with something special
An easy, breezy bedtime routine with children or babies
Quick, easy, delicious, affordable meals for your family each night
A friend (as in God sends one)
Waking before the alarm sounds
Family dinners at the table sans the technology
Favor with things you need (or even things you want)
Enough time and the wisdom to use it to balance what’s on your plate
An automatic smile on your face as your natural response to life