Archive for the ‘Black Motherhood’ Category

Don’t Wait – Live Your Best Life NOW!

photo © Lovely Valentine

Once upon a time I felt invincible. As if I was cloaked in confidence with a clear purpose that enabled me to be extremely self aware, refusing to accept any limits on what I could achieve. I knew where I was going and there was no question that my dreams would be fulfilled. It’s as if I ate, drank and slept a limitless supply of awesomesauce that that I could see and tap into. I lived. Once upon a time.

It’s been some time since I felt such energy and fulfillment, and I’m not sure I know what it feels like anymore. I can’t pinpoint a specific date, but there came a time when my confidence reserve ran dry. No more confidence. No more purpose. Leaving a vulnerable and unfocused drifter  often scared and fearless. Where was I going? And seemingly overnight, my hopes for success and gratification vanished. What was left was a woman, a woman I couldn’t face in the mirror. I let her down. I let me down. I immediately felt as if success wasn’t attainable – that I was destined to struggle for the rest of my life. That I had no control over what the future had in store and I was merely a passenger in my life.

The combination of balancing serious health issues, single parenthood, a dysfunctional extended family and an evolving relationship took it’s toll. I had enough. Instead of finding a plan B, C or D I did something I’ve never done. I accepted my situation as my life, for life. Instead of viewing my current situation as a setback or hurdle that could be conquered I saw the opposite, resulting in crippling fear of anything new and unfamiliar and a need to be alone all the time. When I looked in the mirror, I had no idea of the girl staring back at me. I refused to face who I’d chosen to become.

I realized too late that “our soul and psyche need breathing space – a respite from leaping from one to-do to the next” and that feeling unhappy was something I refused to accept as normal. I hid in the background and was waiting for someone else to make my life better, as I assumed I didn’t hold the resources necessary to truly change my life and hone in on my passions.

For weeks I’ve been asking myself “Alex, what are you waiting for? What is holding you back from living the life YOU want?” I have a ton of reasons: family commitments, fear of the unknown, lack of confidence, money and most importantly the fear of greatness. The stress and doubt has cumulated and created a nervous and scared girl weary to make any changes in her life. If I couldn’t see the next step, I couldn’t move forward.

While commuting to work this morning I thought about the choices I’ve made (good and bad) and how when I lay my head on my pillow I feel something missing. So I proceeded to call my estranged Mom, my estranged sister, my 94yo grandmother and my Uncle whose son committed suicide just before Christmas. I craved comfort from those who had both challenged and loved me fiercely. To achieve I knew I needed support. Most conversations were full of tears but left me with one crucial takeaway:

DON’T WAIT

Don’t wait to tell the people you love how important they are to you.
Don’t wait to try something new.
Don’t wait to live abundantly.
Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
Don’t wait to celebrate you.
Don’t wait to soar.
Don’t wait to LOVE YOU.

I’ve struggled with constant feelings of disappointment and not being good enough or adequate enough for many years. I often feel inferior to my peers and find myself miserable more than happy. I couldn’t see the power I possessed. I couldn’t see the love I had to offer. I couldn’t see my purpose. And now I know that “only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”

Whatever obstacles you face, regardless of how fearful you may be – put in the work in first loving YOU. Appreciating YOU.Feeling fully at peace in your soul will open up opportunities you couldn’t ever have imagined. So, DON’T WAIT. Go out, achieve, ask for what you want and don’t stop until you get what you deserve. Because, you are worth it.



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The Importance of Celebrating Black History Month From a Mom’s View

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My guest post on The Cubicle Chick

“Negro History Week” was born in 1925 and celebrated for the entire month of February in 1976. Carter G. Woodson and his organization the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) thought up this celebration week to bring much needed “awareness to African American’s contributions to civilization.”

As Black History Month is upon us and I see pictures of Araminta Ross (Harriet Tubman), Frederick Douglas, Nat Turner and countless other African Americans and my heart fills up with both pride and sadness. Celebrating Black History Month is much more than reading about slavery, the freedom trail and injustice to African Americans. Learning about these issues is extremely important but it’s not at the heart of why celebrating and educating myself, daughter and others is imperative.

The resilience and strength of a people – a people who weren’t respected as individuals, who were beaten, raped, lynched, burned, forced to live in horrendous conditions – that is why I celebrate. It would seem like all the odds were against African Americans, that they were doomed to just be Black and die. Slavery can enslave a person, but it doesn’t enslave their soul. Black History is a celebration of the spirits of African Americans; known and un-known who endured cruel treatment, who helped others, who sacrificed, who didn’t give up, who made significant contributions to society. It’s a celebration of those who refused to treat African American’s as an alien race because of our beautiful brown skin. It’s a celebration of the many achievements African American’s have made throughout our nation’s history, that have made our nation stronger and richer.

5 Black History Month Fast Facts:

  • Sojourner Truth’s birth name was Isabella Baumfree. When Sojourner’s son, who had been emancipated under New York law, was sold into slavery in Alabama, she sued to have him returned and won.
  • In 1896 the Supreme Court decides in the Plessy Vs. Ferguson case that “separate but equal” satisfies the 14th amendment which gives legal sanction to “Jim Crow” segregation laws.
  • Over 200,000 people March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, convening at the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes a famous speech about racial harmony that begins with “I have a dream…”
  • Toni Morrison is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993 becoming the first African-American to win the highest literary honor in the world.
  • 300 Tuskegee Airmen (or their widows) were bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal at the US Capitol in 2007. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first all-black aerial units; they served during World War II. Together, they earned hundreds of Air Medals and other accolades for their service.

Read the rest of “The Importance of Celebrating Black History Month From a Mom’s View” over on The Cubicle Chick.

Reference links:

http://www.biography.com/tv/classroom/black-history-timeline

http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/



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My Family’s Strength

What makes my family strong? As part of the Strong Families Mama’s Day Our Way campaign I wrote a very honest raw post about what makes my single-parent household strong. I’ve got the heart of a lion and will continue raising my daughter in a warm loving home without a partner muting the naysayers.


From my post: “Too many times I doubted myself and my capacity to be a good mother. Far too often I let these negative thoughts creep into my thoughts, haunting me. Making me question my own strength and resilience. It was often with a shaky hand and self-doubt that I moved forward and persevered as a young single mom.” 

The goal of this campaign is to highlight the moms in our communities who are often marginalized, maligned by politicians and the media.

My post can be read in entirety on the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy  website and also the Strong Families website.

My post talks about what makes my family strong, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. What makes your family strong?



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