I’m 56. Wait! What?

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.

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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!

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The moral of this story is: I/we win REGARDLESS. We just have to keep stepping.

@AngelaMMoore316

Sometimes You Have to Do What You Have to Do

I just love my friends. While, not many in number, the ones I do have all serve a wonderful purpose for me, and I hope I do the same. An early morning text-fest with one of my dearest buddies in another part of the country confirmed this post I was working on, and prompted the title, “Sometimes You Have to Do What You Have to Do”.

Is it just me or does it appear for anyone else, that the older you get the more you have to do things you don’t want to do? I thought adulthood meant more control over matters mattering to me, when actually it means making more tough choices. Go figure.

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Anywho, my sister-friend and I were discussing friendship. She was relinquishing a new personal friendship she thought was promising, and was looking forward to.  She was reshaping her circle of friends and desiring some special, new people to share her amazing world. I too have had to rethink some friendships in years past, and as recently as right now, as I’ve maturely evaluated the expiration date on some long-standing associations, and am positioning myself to allow the pruning to take place. That’s a tough pill to swallow or chew, especially if you’re social and enjoy the blessings of true friendship like we do. This morning, in fact, I asked God to enlarge my social circle. I guess one sure fire way for that to happen is for me to make room by allowing some faces and spaces to be moved.

But it’s not just making tough choices in friendships. Adulthood also means going places you don’t want to go for the sake of the greater good. (Think of that family function or office event you dread.) Giving things you really don’t have in abundance to spare for the purpose of another. (Like clothes, money when you’re in need of money or a coveted parking space at the mall during Christmas shopping season.) Sticking in jobs you are ready to transition from because wisdom tells you it’s best to wait when your emotions are speaking something totally different. (No explanation needed). The list of “I REALLY don’t want to do this, but I will” can go on and on. I suspect, the older I get, the more it could really grow longer.

The beauty of it all is that one day it will make sense. And usually the more I’ve not wanted to do something that I’m clearly going to have to do anyway, the better I am in the long run.

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@AngelaMMoore316

I Owe You, Girl

A funny thing happened to my Hotmail account. It flashed back to 2008 and is permanently stuck there on my phone, totally disregarding all other correspondence from then until now. While deleting several dozen emails representing My Life: Phase 1 I found some old pictures from way back in the 90s.

Let me just say, the Lord has a sense of humor. The few pictures which stuck out most were ones of me at some of my career highs and personal lows in My Life: Phase 1. I looked at them with an equal amount of overwhelming proudness from the woman I saw, as if she wasn’t me. I looked at them also as a reminder of who I really am, what I’m made of, from where I’ve come and Who’s in control. (Not to mention I LOVE the spark of sass I saw even through the grainy-ness of those forgotten photos.)

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To the high heels everyday, blue suit and fierce, precision, layered red hair wearing go-getter, who would get up at 3:30am drive to one part-time job clear across town from her Highway 280 apartment, then burn rubber in her champagne gold Nissan Maxima to her head her full-time news gig at 9am, work until the news demanded no more, and still make time to take time for herself, her friends, a bustling social life, lots of community service, active work in the church and of course, time for family I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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To the naïve, young woman full of hopes and dreams and love and expectations at her engagement party beaming on the stairwell with thoughts of what God desires for her and of her, excitedly posing at the exact place which would ultimately end up being her place of employment after the elaborate engagement party hosted for the wonderful wedding which led to a short-lived marriage ending in divorce (and the desperate need for employment in My Life: Phase 2) I say “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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To the woman who endured the PAINFUL, experimental, super long steroid shots in the eye covered by an itchy, irritating as the dickens patch to keep her eye from popping out, taking 17 pills a day, who gained 50 pounds in one month after a fight with Graves Disease and Thyroid Storm tried to send her home to sweet Jesus, but couldn’t (BOOM!), yet still monitors and deals with it to this day I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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Here’s what I know. Nothing happens without reason. Today, for some reason, as I sat in delightful solitude at home enjoying my peace and quiet God wanted me to take a look back knowing it was what I needed to help propel me forward. I know he knew that not only could I handle those TONS of emails and pictures representing My Life: Phase 1 without a smidgen of anger, sadness or regret, but that I would view them with lots of smiles and giggles. And, because I know He knows His daughter, I know He knew I needed to be reminded, even through a grainy old photo, of how fly I looked nestled up on that television production board like a boss, so that I could prepare to be one in whatever new and blog-worthy ways He desires in My Life: Phase 2. So to those three versions of me in My Life: Phase 1, I say I owe you, girl. Your struggle, sass and sense of survival was not in vain. I hope to make you proud.

@AngelaMMoore316

 

What Is Your Super Power? by Kushuna Williams

***This inspiring post is by guest blogger Kushuna Williams, as featured in the feature picture with me sporting her big smile and even bigger heart.***
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It’s no secret that my life did a total 180 degree turn when I was laid off from a company that I had been employed with for 7 years. When I first got laid off, I was full of “this is God’s will” or “the plans that God has for me are great” and “God has something better”…. well these words began to drift slowly away from my vocabulary as I continued to be laid off. It became increasingly difficult to chant them with confidence, especially when the one year mark came up and I still have not found a job in my field. I can remember the confidence I had in my education, work experience and well written resume, but these things have not been instrumental in helping me to become employed in my desired field with a salary that is more than just minimum wage.

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I’m no stranger to the disappointments that life just tosses at you. I’ve had family issues, less than enough finances, more than enough bills, car accidents, health woes, friends that turned into enemies and enemies that turned into guardian angels. I think back on ALL those life lessons and often wondered why those things didn’t have the emotional impact that being laid off has had on me. Some of those things were actually more difficult especially the year I was involved in two car accidents where I totaled two vehicles. The difference: GRATITUDE. I somehow made gratitude my attitude of choice. My ability to be resilient and effervescent during those tough times came from a sincere attitude of thankfulness. I was able to be content in midst of every situation because I chose to be grateful. Gratitude was my superpower, and some where between January 2015 and lately I have forgotten my super power. I spent a lot of time being bitter, complaining, crying, wondering why me or when will it be me…God owes me NOTHING. I made up in my mind that something HAD to change, my negative emotions were making me sick, literally. God reminded me of my super power; that gratitude for what you already have will make you reevaluate what you think you need. I WANT a job in my field, a bigger home, my savings account to look like it did before I lost my job, and to be pregnant. What I HAVE is a job that is stable, a loving/praying husband that is content with our current living space, an opportunity to learn how to be wife before I become a mom and a God that has promised and proven to perfect everything that concerns me. Gratitude is my super power, it might not necessarily be your super power, but it couldn’t hurt sprinkling it everywhere!
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Fake It Until You Feel It

So, today is the final day of #bloglikecrazy and of course, I’m going off course, and not blogging about what I said I would blog about. But I am blogging and that’s quite a feat for me over the last 30 days. Yay!

Today I’m not feeling by best as I battle a pesky little respiratory something that’s been hanging on too long. Poof. Be gone. Please. Nonetheless, I woke up in the middle of the night last night with the thought of “fake it until you feel it”. My first thought was, “why in the world am I up and why is that what came to mind?” Anywho, almost instantly I became aware of why that thought was so pressing it had to interrupt my post-Soul Train Awards slumber.

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There are matters in life sometimes which require us to have gratitude and act like we’re content while simultaneously and gingerly getting ready to make a run for the door at the first sign of a green light. That’s the great balance of life. That’s where I find myself regarding a couple of things, but one thing in particular. I’m smack dab in the middle of grateful and get the heck out of dodge. I’ll be honest. I’m not feeling that feeling. There’s a change I desire and feel I deserve which has been weighing heavily (not in a bad way, but in a “I know this is not my final stopping place” kind of way.) You know the feeling you have when you know time is expiring or it’s time for something new and you’re just waiting on the opportunity to politely serve whatever it is the “thank you for your services” papers so it and/or you can move on to something so much greater? Again, not that it and/or you are bad, but sometimes you just know it’s time to go, but you can’t act like it because you don’t want to put a rush on anything God is doing, especially at the urging of a bad attitude and being ungrateful.

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So what do you do? And by you, I mean me. We fake it until we feel it. Whether we understand the timing of God, like it, or agree with it is not the challenge. His ways and works are not for us to always understand. The challenge is being able to get on board, mustering up enough “uumph” to act like we do until we actually do so we can really be ready to move. It’s about being grateful while waiting on the green light. So, if you see me acting “extra” about any one or a few areas of my life just know it’s for a reason. I’m trying to learn some final lessons, exhaust all of my purposes in those areas, maximize whatever opportunities left, and get some things once and for all settled deep down within me so I can be trusted to move on to bigger, better, newer, and next.

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@AngelaMMoore316

 

Fru Fru Food: Dining Etiquette 101

Recently I had an opportunity to spend an afternoon talking to some high school students from around Birmingham, Alabama on dining etiquette. The informal chat was in preparation for an upcoming visit to a fancy-smancy restaurant with fru fru food they would soon enjoy. I had a blast talking to them, sharing the bit of wisdom I know about etiquette and hearing their collective, adolescent gasps and “whaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttt?” when I said things like no asking for hot sauce when at an upscale establishment.

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I love food, and I love the opportunity for a woman from Birmingham’s #35211 West End (Google it) to be able to experience and explore different cultures and cuisines from all around the world right here at home…until I make it around the world. Part of that, I am well aware, is being adaptable in all kinds of environments, especially those which are known for prices and presentations representing the finer things in life. What I wanted the students to know after talking with them is that they, regardless from where they’ve come, deserve to be in those kinds of atmospheres. They belong at the table. There’s no table too important for them not to be at. There are no people too influential for them not to be with. Heck, I believe they don’t just belong at the table. I see the head as their final destination. The same is so with us all. So many times gatherings are not about food. It’s about decisions, power moves, money transfers, career advancement, fund raising, connections and purpose being fulfilled right over an appetizer of escargot, a beautiful bowl of summer vegetable gazpacho, a perfectly prepared medium rare Cowboy steak, flanked with crab oscar asparagus or nestled atop sautéed swiss chard, truffle smashed potatoes, and a molten chocolate cake with your sip of choice.

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Yep, I ate this.

Practicing proper etiquette is not being fake or being a sell out. It’s not conforming or complying. It’s just taking small steps to enhance who we are to be prepared for where we’re going. We can’t complain about not being invited to the party if we don’t care to know what to do when we get there. So how do you do it?

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Here are a few tips to help…

Food Matters

  • No talking with food in mouth.
  • Wait on host or head of table to start eating before you do.
  • Use napkins appropriately and place them over the chair (and not on the table) if you have to exit the table for a moment.
  • Use BMW when determining what’s what to eat regarding your place setting (Bread, Meal, Water).
  • Use appropriate forks and knives.
    • Slice, don’t bite. Then wipe.
    • Don’t slurp or loudly stir.
    • Put eating utensils down after enjoying each fork of food.
  • Avoid asking for hot sauce, requesting too many condiments, making too many special requests, ordering ribs, big, hot fried chicken bone-in breasts, spaghetti hot wings and other messy foods.
  • Repeatedly thank the chef, wait staff or hosts.
  • Do not clean your plate. (Save that ritual for home.)
  • No leftovers should be taken from upscale social functions.

Table Talk

  • Avoid: religion, politics, sports team talk, inappropriate jokes or other hot button topics of conversation.
  • Share the conversation (Don’t be a talking hog).
  • Plan to talk. Know what the topic of the event is and have conversation ready to share.
  • Know the organization or product you’re representing or supporting.
  • Take a deep breath and breathe, especially if feeling out of your comfort zone.
  • Don’t shy away for conversing.

Networking No-Nos

  • No recruiting for your next new job or personal business while on company business.
  • No name dropping when you really don’t know the name of the person you’re dropping.
  • Don’t forget to engage with the guests and attendees.
  • Don’t get stuck in one spot if it’s a floating event where mingling is happening all around.

Want more etiquette tips or a full-on group presentation around the table? Just ask. I’ll be happy to oblige.

@AngelaMMoore316

Who Were You Before Hurt Happened?

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Have you ever wondered who you were before whatever happened happened that hurt you enough to change who you were? A recent conversation with a friend prompted that thought as I saw how this person clawed through the damages of the tragedies of past hurts to try to cling for dear life to the progress she’d made in an effort to hold on to that progress rather than revert back to her natural response from the past. We talked about her fears of facing the person responsible for that pain and how much that one single individual’s presence had alter her life in a way no man or woman deserved. We also talked about how we wondered what must have happened to the person who hurt her to allow that person to be so hurt that transferring hurt was the solution. We talked and talked and talked. I wondered aloud and internally. Who was my friend before this happened? How could she have been had this not happened? And more importantly we talked candidly about who she could STILL be in spite of what happened and because of what happened so she would be in a position to help others.

I don’t know what you’ve been through. I’ve been through a few things in my young age of 43. Just read a few of my blog posts to find out about my unwanted trysts with sickness, death of loved ones, divorce, loss of opportunity, betrayal and all that not-so-good stuff. Sharing that time of talk with my friend made me wonder how much of the sting of those things I’d carried, and for how long, and didn’t even know it was along for the ride of my life shaping me into some simulation of who I once was, but robbing me of the beauty of who I should have been had I not received the bad brunt of its unwelcomed delivery. I wondered if I am carrying any of it remotely still allowing it to alter things like my subtle response to situations, my trust of others, or my apprehension moving forward in circumstances similar to those which might have caught me off guard or got me caught up.

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I pray I’ve been able to successfully heal from the pains of the past, not forgetting them, but certainly no longer feeling them or forcing them on others. My chat with my friend made me more reflective, doing a self-check, to see if my prayer had been answered. I even asked another friend to check me, boo. This person did. I’m glad. I’m no where near perfect but I’m bound to not be bound by my past. Regardless of where we are in life, and what has happened, we all have the God-given ability to be who we were meant to be. It won’t be easy. It won’t be pretty. It won’t be fast, but it will be worth it. So I ask. Who were you before hurt happened, and what are you willing to do to be that person and better? You owe it to yourself and the world awaiting your life as a beautiful testimony.

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@AngelaMMoore316