Posts Tagged ‘growing up’

Maya Angelou on Getting Older

Every Friday I try to post one of my favorite quotes that I find inspiration from. I love featuring the one and only Maya Angelou. I cannot get enough of her or her writings. In today’s favorite quote friday she was asked about growing older and this was her response:

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better…eventually.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.”
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Can I get an AMEN!! I swear she can see into my soul! Every time I read something of Maya Angelou’s I get goosebumps. Her writing is so pure, so honest, so truthful. I hope to one day be able to be as reflective and wise as this phenomenal woman. What have you learned thus far in your life about growing older? I’ve learned that no matter how hard you try to protect your heart, it will break.

Happy Friday :)


Journaling Motherhood

I was over reading The Young Mommy Life’s most recent post, Love Letter to my 2 year old. Tara wrote a letter to her soon to be 2 year old son, and it really touched me and is the inspiration for this post.

My daughter will be 5 at the end of next month (where in the world did time go??) when she was first born I didn’t work and had time to write in my journal about motherhood and update her baby book and work on her scrapbook. But as time went on I went back to work, and if that wasn’t enough I went back to school full-time. So now I work full-time, am a full-time student, and a single mom. So needless to say my schedule is a bit packed and I hardly have time to breathe most days. But Tara’s post made me think about that journal that I wrote in.

My daughter turning 5 next month is a big landmark for me. For us. A few days after her 5th birthday I’ll be celebrating (dreading) my 25th birthday. I think back to 2:11pm on September 22nd, 2005 when I saw my surprisingly pale daughter for the first time. I thought she’d be a baby forever. And when she became a toddler I thought she’d be a toddler forever. And now as we prepare for her to start Kindergarten in just weeks, I cannot not believe that my baby girl has grown up so fast.

I don’t want to forget about the little things she says and the funny things she does. These moments are so precious and priceless and I want to be able to remember them and share them with her when she is older.

So I’ve decided I want to journal about motherhood, a diary for my daughter when she gets older. I can track my thoughts and feelings as she continues to grow and learn and explore. I should have started this when she was a baby, but better late than never. 

My baby girl when she was 6 months


Wait, so I’m not Black enough?

Until I was 11 I grew up in a diverse community near Boston. I loved loved my neighborghood, my school, my friends. That is until my Mother moved me and my siblings to the burbs, about 45 minutes away from where I called Home. We moved to an all Caucasian town. Let me repeat that, we moved to an all Caucasian town.
My Mom is African American and that guy, my sister’s father, is Colombian. But no one ever thinks I’m Spanish, booooo. I’ve gotten Blackanese before, lol, a mix of Black and Asian, because of my eyes. But I look black, I am black…and Spanish :)
I hated the burbs, and still do to this day. I never faced outward racism. My oldest Sister and Brother did though. Someone even called them a n***** once (damn shame). My experience in middle school and high school was 100% awkward. I never felt like I fit in and the obvious skin color difference made me feel inferior. So I acted out, I was known as the ‘loud’ one and got into trouble a few times. Don’t remember if I ever got suspended though. I don’t think so, but there is a good chance I did.
My feelings back then were that I wasn’t white enough. I didn’t dress like everyone else, didn’t have the same kind of family life as everyone else. Didn’t have the monographed bag packs, didn’t have the Five Star notebooks, didn’t have the adidas sandals, and didn’t have the Abercrombie shirt. I thought that that was what I needed to fit in. So I tried and tried to fit in, to be friends with the cool kids, but it didn’t feel natural. I didn’t feel like me. I felt like I was putting on a show. A freak show, and I was the star.
My Mom talks proper. I grew up in her house, so I talk proper. I pronounce all of my sy-ll-ab-les. I don’t use slang. Growing up, I talked like everyone else, so no one viewed it as different or weird.
Well that all changed once I moved into the city and an urban environment. People couldn’t connect the way I looked with the way I talked. Suddenly, I wasn’t black enough. I wasn’t laced in Baby Phat, Air Forces, Rocawear, or gold rings. So what did I do? I went out and bought a Rocawear coat and Baby Phat shirts. I never did get into all the gold rings and such, I’m not a flashy person. But, again I didn’t fit in.
I was so wrapped up in trying to be someone else, that I wasn’t being…me. And that’s because I didn’t know who ME was, didn’t know what I wanted. I’m still learning and growing, so I haven’t completely found out who I am yet, but I’m searching for her and having fun getting to know myself in the process.
It just utterly irks my NERVES, when people go through my pictures and ask…why don’t you have pictures with more black people? Why are there so many white people? I still get asked why I don’t live in the hood or inner city and why I ‘talk funny’. People assume I’m stuck up because of the way that I talk…I look at them funny, because since when did talking using zero slang become a thing of the past??
I don’t choose my friends by their skin color. I don’t look in a room and say to myself, I can’t be friends with her because she is Black. I don’t look at my group of friends and count how many Black and White friends I have. I’m friends with people based on their character, their values, and their personality.
I am me.
I am Alexandra Elizabeth.
I am a Woman, a Mother, a believer.
 I am me. 
I am who I am,
love me
hate me.


i love my mother, but…

Let me preface by saying I love my Mother.

So, I’ve come across many articles that praise all the wonderful things that women and men have learned from their Mothers. They’ve helped them do this and do that and without them they wouldn’t be where they are. In these articles they often say all the grand things their Mother taught them. Maybe she taught them to be kind and fair. Or maybe she taught them how to cook or jump rope.

I hear these stories and I want to nod my head with agreement. I want to also think that my Mother taught me all these wonderful priceless treasures. But, I always think about what my Mother didn’t teach me. Hooray for being a pessimist.

My mother raised me and my 3 other siblings on her own. She worked tirelessly to provide the essentials for our family. So, a good work ethic, maybe I learned that from my Mother.

I don’t remember cooking in the kitchen together or making mud pies with my Mom. I don’t remember her helping me with my homework or teaching me how to ride a bike. I don’t remember her helping to show me how to be a Mother my first night home from the Hospital.
What I do remember is her leaving. Her being too busy to show a true interest in my interests. What I do remember is her being upset for having to drive me home from the Hospital with my 2 day old daughter and then leaving as soon as I got my baby girl out of the car. What I do remember is thinking what the hell am I supposed to do. What I do remember is missing my Mother, missing a Mother when I was growing up.

I wish I could list all the wonderful things I learned from my Mother. How she is my ultimate role model and without her I wouldn’t be where I am. I am thankful that she gave me life and taught me morals and values. But it almost seems like she got to the point where she gave up on us. It’s almost like she threw in the towel and called it quits with parenting. I can remember one birthday in particular, I came home from school so excited to see my mom. But the house was still. Her car was gone. I dragged my feet up the stairs with my head down. On my bed she left an outfit and a note that said Happy Birthday Alex, I’m at XX (her boyfriends) house for the night. No words could describe the pain and the hurt I felt. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget.

Again, let me repeat I love my Mother.

I wish she could have been there with me the first night home from the hospital where I was scared out of my mind with a newborn. I wish she would have showed more interest in me and not her boyfriend. I wish she could have hugged me after my first love broke up with me. I wish she could have taught me how to cook and shared her cooking tips.  I can wish for things to have been different growing up, but it won’t change what happened. And I wouldn’t want it too. And while I may be a little dysfunctional in the most fabulous way for not having a more attentive Mother, I think this is how I was supposed to be.