Saturday, November 1, 2008

Reflecting on some things....

So here I am.... I know you all missed me....it's been a minute and I apologize once again. Getting Pascal (see last post), moving into my brand new house and living with my boyfriend......there has been a lot of transition, change, chaos, and time consuming ridiculousness.....you would think that with all this going on there would be plenty of time for introspective reflection and blogging.....alas the answer is no.... So let me drop these nuggets of my life on you now:

1. Buying a house is hard and fun all at the same time!
The whole mortgage, financing, loan application, pushing back of closing date.....not fun. In fact it is stressful and I am happy that part is way over! Now, picking out paint, moulding, new appliances, and watching your boyfriend build you a custom window seat with shelves.....yea! Fun times....I could not have done it without him and I am so greatful for his support and creativity. Today, the house is amazing and I am happy to share it with my dog and man. I look around and I think, "Dam!! I own this!! All of it!!!" I never thought that before I turned 30 I would be the owner of a house! I think it is more house than I need, but there is plenty of space for family and friends to come visit....it's all worth it! I think Pascal likes it too! :)



2. So did I mention that I live with my boyfriend?
Ummmm yea....after 4 months of serious dating we decided that it would be economically realistic to co-habitate....now I know some of you are thinking, "Michelle has lost her mind!" I swear to you I have not lost my marbles. In fact I have never been more clear in my life. When God gives you exactly what you have asked him for you thank him and embrace the gift with both arms. James is my gift.....and I am thankful. Now things aren't perfect....I don't know if any relationship is.....we come from 2 different walks of life and experiences, we have different views, and we see and trust the world very differently. But at the end of the day he loves me....flaws and all....and with him I feel safe, protected, and loved......I just got mushy on ya'll :). I'll stop now....you get the point!



3. Work has been ridiculous!
Clearly, some of my students have lost their minds and me and the Office of Student Conduct have become good friends....Hazing cases, alcohol violations, being bombarded with expansion request.....let's just say I have been busy! As I try to find my stride as a mid level professional and be the best administrator I can be, I am trying not to stumble and make too many mistakes. Having people report to you and reporting to someone else is a difficult balance. At the same time I am committed to work/life balance and leaving work at appropriate times, getting through my to do list, and not taking tons of work home. The hardest part is juggling all the personalities and politics....ahhhh personalities and politics....that's a blog waiting to happen! Being a professional is an all the time, work in progress for me...just when I think I have it....work throws me a curve ball.....don't worry I always end up hitting it out of the park!
4. Medical Issues kinda suck
So my "woman doctor" has diagnosed me with uterine fibroids...YAY!!! BIG FUN!!!! Supposedly I have two of them...the size of an orange and grapefruit. I had to go for a sonogram to see what we were dealing with....it was pretty surreal being in a room that is usually filled with joy and surprise: It's A Boy! It's A Girl!! You're having TWINS!!!....but my news was a little different...."you've got two...they gotta come out....your uterus is the same size as a 3 month pregnant woman.....you will be in the hospital overnight" Needless to say I am not looking forward to my surgery on December 11 and the 4-6 week recovery period.....I don't make a very good invalid and the doctor said getting around after my surgery will be difficult....SO FUN! :( We will see how it goes...I'm optimistic and thank GOD for that good state health insurance!

So that is what has consumed my world. So why am I blogging now? What has inspired me to pick up my blackberry at 8:30am on a Saturday and put thought to screen? Glad you asked!

I'm doing my part in history. I am waiting for the polls to open on the last day of early voting to cast my vote for CHANGE! Life has been so crazy that I haven't jumped on the early voting train earlier! I'm afraid of what polls may look like on Nov 4 so today I wait in line to cast my very important and significant ballot. There are at least 200 people out here.....some brought their kids, some just coffee.....all engaging in conversation about this and that, sports scores and of course this election......I see young people and older people out here.....most are of the brown hue which is nice to see.....




I'll be honest.....I want Barack to win (FYI...the picture above was taken by me when I met Senator Obama last year at George Mason University).....but I will be super elated to see the red state of NC turn a beautiful shade of BLUE!!! Won't that be nice! I am hopeful for CHANGE and I pray that God watches over this election and over the Obama family....this election has brought out the worst in people on both sides.....and I am reminded that people are still racist and crazy......I pray for understanding, truth, and peace.....pray with me ok.....


Anyway....how are you my adoring fans? Ya'll still with me? I promise to be more consistent with my blogging....I swear!!!! Sometimes I just need a push!!! Feel free to give me some....


Get at me....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm a New Mommy

So here is the latest reason that I have not been blogging......

Meet Pascal. My 3 month old Westie Poo.....oh you've never heard of a Westie Poo? Well it's a legit designer breed: His father is a Poodle and his mom a West Highland Terrier...hence Westie Poo....an yes he is as adorable as he looks. What's with the name? It's French and snotty....I thought it would be cute for a male dog...so far so good....he's learning his name...sometimes we call him Prince....Prince Pascal...my little man.....


So when I left George Mason University, I vowed to get some work/life balance in my life. One of the things that I thought would assist that was getting a pet. I love animals.....especially domestic animals....they need us so bad! They depend on us to walk them and feed them and oh yes...LOVE the CRAP out of them. So i needed a pet to commit some energy and time to...and a reason to leave work before 10pm. One problem though.....I am allergic to dogs :( Woe is me. Yea I know....you are thinking, "What the hell? You are allergic to dogs and you got one?" Let me tell you something life is too short to not enjoy the things you LOVE.....and thank GOD for Zyrtec....LOL.....but I also went on a quest to find a dog that didn't shed, was low in dander and good for people with allergies.....what came up on google? The Westie Poo....but they are not everywhere. I had to look for a reputable breeder...avoid puppy mills....and finance...yes finance getting this specific breed.


Integrity Pets was the solution. Check out the website....they are good people that answered all my questions and concerns about getting a dog from them. I have been communicating with them for 3 months...actually since Pascal was born and on August 23 I drove to the Raleigh/Durham Airport (which is 2 hours away) and I picked up my little man. Oh soooo worth it. My allergies are still affected but it is a SMALL price to pay for having him in my life. I mean...just look at him!:





SoI have had him for about a week and I totally forgot how hard it was to potty train a puppy ( we had a dog when I was in High School...shout outs to Topaze who is still keeping my mom company in NY!) But man, Pascals' bladder holds like 5 tablespoons...ridiculous and every two seconds I am running outside to pee and poop.....Jesus...then we come back in an he has an accident....I look at him like, "HELLO!!! we were just outside!!! what is this tiny spot of urine???" And then I remember....he's 3 months....if he was a human he would be wearing diapers! LOL......besides potty training and the occasional moment of insanity when he begins to chew on mommy's computer cord to sandals, he is a sweetheart. As I type right now he is curled up next to me...doing the puppy snore. He loves to cuddle and play....and pee outside...it's that life! He has toys, mommy keeps him clean....he has a clean bill of health from the vet and everywhere I take him EVERYONE says he is the cutest thing that they have EVER seen. He loves that!

Having a dog is not a game! It is a whole new line item in your personal budget...food, toys, crate, vet, medication (oh yea Pascal already has an ear infection...poor thing...:( but it really add to you life. I can't lay in bed all day...he needs me.....I can not work late...he needs me....and I think i really need him....sometimes just having another breathing and living body in the room makes all the difference.....oh yea....daddy LOVES him too....James plays with Pascal non-stop and while he's not trying to pit the dog against me, he can be found on the floor playing fetch and tug-o-war with his little man. Men love dogs and I have found that taller and bigger the man....the move love they have for the smaller and cuter dogs :)

Adventures in Pascal land continues....I will keep you posted....feel free to visit his Dogbook page off of my Facebook page.....yea...I'm that kind of owner.....and if you are in Charlotte, stop by and visit us.....Pascal has some kisses for you!

Get at me....


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Been caught up...IN THE OLYMPICS!!!!

Greetings all....You probably have been asking yourself the question, "Where is Michelle and her infamous blogs?" Well friends....I have been in the zone...the OLYMPIC ZONE! Every four years it just takes hold of me and I cannot let go....not to be confused with the Winter Olympics....no, no...only the Summer Olympics!! I LOVE THEM!!! I cannot get enough and ever since 8.8.08 I have been glued to the television....so inspired that this blog is dedicated to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing......so here are the Top 10 reasons why I adore the 08 Summer Olympics!:


#10-It only happens once every four years

You can watch sports everyday (especially guys who love ESPN), but you don't. You may catch the occasional basketball game or tennis match on TV but for the most part sports are on the periphery of our lives....then the Olympics hit. Athletes from all around the world prepare their whole life for this event that happens just once every 1,460 days. So for two weeks we are transfixed on these bundle of games that seeks to crown a world champion in various sports.....Most of the athletes that go to the Olympics will not even come close or have a chance to medal....but to be there...the be invited to go up against the BEST in the entire world....WOW! How can you not watch and get swept into the spirit of "One World, Once Dream"



#9 Olympics Theme music makes me cry.

You know the song.....the song NBC plays everytime to introduce the Olympics....I heart that theme music! Music has a way of evoking your spirit and stirring emotional like no other entity ans this theme music is right on the top of the list. I hear it and my heart flutters a little bit and I get automatically excited. By the way this is a real song: Commissioned by the 1984 Olympic Committee John Williams was asked to write a masterpiece that would be formally associated with the Olympics. What he gave birth to was “Olympic Fanfare and Theme"...if you need your soul awakened by this wonderful melody click here: http://homepage.mac.com/jharrell/Olympic%20Fanfare%20and%20Theme.mp3

I don't know about you but when I hear this i get emotional and anxious about what is about to happen and the giddiness of the Olympics spirit is palpable!



#8 Opening Ceremony...in CHINA

Ok....no one does it like the Chinese.....really. With a budget of over $100 million and 15,000 performers and not one repeat...it was nothing short of fantastic! Simply stunning to watch, full of "how did they do that" moments and well worth the 4 hour production. No host country before or after will be able to compete...I feel bad for London 2012....how do you top that? how do you top the opening sequence of 2,008 drummers beating ancient golden drums in unison? I could go on and on.....but if you saw it...you know what I mean....it was great and got me in the mind set of GO CHINA!!!!


#7 M.Phelps

What can be said about this man that has not been said already? I watched every single event he swam and I yelled and cheered at the tv urging him on! Swim Mike!!! Swim!! His unwavering commitment to be the best in his sport, to bring his sport the notoriety it deserves, his quest to not only smash record but send them to a place where no one else could reach them....his never ending schedule, not resting with just ok....never giving up to the end.....I love me some Phelps!!! Half man, half dolphin....I love him! Can we take a second on speak in what was probably his best and most magical win?: Phelps' victory in the 100-meter butterfly was perhaps his most stunning of the Games. Trailing early, Phelps came back from seventh place to out-touch Serbia's Milorad Cavic by 0.01 seconds and tie Mark Spitz's record with seven gold medals in a single Olympics. Did you see it??? It was AWESOME!!! and sooooo close.....with the naked eye you could not really tell who won! Even his mother thought he got second....take a look at how close:


If I was Cavic I would kick myself really hard for letting this slip through my fingers literally...he got lazy and coasted to the wall....while Mr. Phelps took and extra stroke...my volleyball coach in high school always said, "Finish Strong!".....never truer words were spoken! Kudos to Mike and everything he has accomplished. He has inspired me to do so much better.....set goals...achieve them.....finish strong!





#6 Gymnastics

What a cool sport!!! These young ladies are amazing ...yea so what if the Chinese team is like 12 years old.....they are some talented middle schoolers!! LOL....but seriously to be a gymnast you have to commit your entire body to the sport...they make it look soooo easy...you know it is one of the biggest highlights of the game.



#5 The Olympics makes me workout harder

I watch the games and then I go to the gym and push myself just a little but more....I think, "if these Olympians can push themselves....so can I even if it is just a little bit....run a little longer, perhaps faster...lift a little more....push the weight.....so an extra set on my triceps....the spirit of the Olympics lives with me in the gym!! Maybe...secretly I am in training for the games....in some distance time....my event? Hummmm.....



#4 Usain Bolt

Call him arrogant if you want , but my God! This man can run! Not only can he run.....he makes that other runners look like little boys....craziness!!! This Jamaican sensation is unreal...shattering the 100meter dash and he didn't even go full speed to the end!! What is that??? Is her SuperMan? Half cheetah.....whatever it is, it is talent and here is the joke...he's only 22....he has time to be bigger and better and to mature as an athlete....like fine wine.....what will Mr. Bolt bring to London....i will stay tuned to watch every second of it!



#3 You can watch anytime of the day!!

Gotta love time zones!!! You can't sleep? Not a problem! Turn on the TV and there has to be some Olympic event going on!! it could be equestrian or team handball or synchronized swimming.....it is always on which keeps you invested in what is going on. At work I would keep visiting the website to see if our medal count had changed....i knew that somewhere a match was being played and I wanted to know the results....28 sports, over 10,500 athletes participating, and 20,000 media outlets broadcasting it around the world! Like 7-11....they are always on and the action is always hot!



#2 The whole world watches

It's like American Idol or Desperate Housewives that only American watch....no...The ENTIRE WORLD watches the Olympics....because almost everyone is represented. All across the world in bars, gyms, homes, and clubs families and friends gather around tv's a root on whomever in what ever sport. What other event brings the world together? War maybe? I will take the Men's 10m platform diving any day!

#1 I think down deep I want to be an Olympian!

Don't we all? Let's start training today....We may not make it to the big stage, but we can try to go for the GOLD in out own lives....in our relationships, career, wants, and dream. We can embody the un-relenting drive and spirit to be the best. Let the inspiration of the Olympics propel you to your own victories....see you on the medal stand!

Get at me....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's been a long time...I shouldn't have left you....without a dope blog to step to...:)

Greetings and Salutations ALL!!! I must apologize for not dropping a blog or two or three on you....So much has happened and I will try to give you a taste of what has gone down and where I am now.....consider this a series of mini blogs within one big blog :) Enjoy!


Bloomington is wonderful this time of year!!!
So when we last left off I was in an airport heading to Bloomington, IN for UIFI which is the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute. This is an intensive 5 day program for undergrads in fraternities and sororities from around the country hosted by the NIC. Students come expecting just another conference but they actually get a whole bunch more and I gather to think 90% of UIFI graduates change, focus, and are are inspired and motivated to change their worlds. I should know.....I'm a former graduate circa 2001.....and look at me NOW!!!

So when I was asked to serve as a small group facilitator (which in the Greek Life advising world is kinda a big deal) I was pretty excited! The students get a lot out of it, but the professionals that attend to do the facilitation get so much more. I was reminded of why I do my job...why I love Greek Life soooo much and what I continue to fight for. I'm not sure where Greek Life got sooo far off track (ie: the drinking, the hazing, the not living up to values and principles of the organizations, the bad imagery) but I am committed to getting it back on track and I met about 90 students at UIFI this summer who are committed to the same. One part of the curriculum that REALLY stuck me and actually made me tear up was the Ben Comen story (here is the link...trust me, take 7 minutes and watch it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_sHBgUgFP8 ) after watching this clip the students really reevaluated what courage really meant and for me...well let's just say I am finished running my race and I have started all over again to help others finish :)...watch the video...you'll get it!


UIFI was really great and I spent time with some amazing students and professionals....oh yeah....there was a lice infestation in the house we were staying in. Talk about FREAK OUT!!!! Girls crying, guys shrugging their shoulders, facilitators trying to maintain calm demeanors while having our own personal melt downs....for some time is was chaos and we brought out the Lice Shampoo in the city of Bloomington....i have to say that I did not use the lice shampoo...cause i couldn't...i have dread locs...and hence you can't comb they stuff in....i was freaking out and checking my scalp every ten seconds....fortunately I didn't catch it! (only 7 students ended up getting it) But let me tell you...you want a good example of group think here it is!!! There is a case study in this situation for ya!!! Shout outs to UIFI Session 8-Zeta Upsilon....we made it and we are better for it!





This way to AVENUE Q!!!
On Friday, July 26th I went and saw one of the most amazing, funny, thought provoking, and fantastic musicals with my sorority sisters. I saw Avenue Q....you may have heard about it..or not..here is a small synopsis from Wikipedia:

Avenue Q is a musical conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who wrote the music and lyrics, and directed by Jason Moore. The show was produced by and opened at the Off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre in March 2003. The production transferred to Broadway in July 2003 and won several Tony Awards, including the award for Best Musical. It is still running on Broadway and holds the position of 27th longest running musical in Broadway history. A U.S. national tour began in July 2007. The show is largely inspired by (and is in the style of) Sesame Street: Most of the characters in the show are puppets (operated by actors onstage), the set depicts several tenements on a rundown street in an "outer borough" of New York City, both the live characters and puppet characters sing, and short animated video clips are played as part of the story. Also, several characters are recognizably parodies of classic Sesame Street characters: for example, the roommates Rod and Nicky are versions of Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie, and Trekkie Monster is based on Cookie Monster. However, the characters are in their twenties and thirties and face adult problems instead of those faced by pre-schoolers, thus making the show more suited for the adults who grew up with Sesame Street. The characters use profanity, and the songs concern adult themes (except the opening number). A recurring theme is the central character's search for a "purpose."

Hands down this musical was great!! It made me think about my own life...the absurdity of some of my actions and what college used to be like...i started yearning for those four glorious years at UD....no bills, no worries, no rent...sigh....two of my favorite characters in the whole musical were the 'Bad Idea Bears'....A duo of adorable but sinister teddy bear-like characters who are out to get people by getting them to do irresponsible deeds. The boy is blue and the girl is yellow....think about a cross between the Care Bears and and Chucky.....HILARITY!!! Let's just say the Bad Idea Bears were around ALOT in college.....man they got me in trouble....I still can't drink Tequila :( ...but yea, Avenue Q put that all in perspective....it is written in a very smart way and it is unpredictable, which keeps you on the edge of your seat. Several times during the performance I caught myself saying, "I was not prepared for that!!!" My sorors Antie, Alyia and I enjoyed it immensely and Antie and I even caught dinner before the show at an AMAZING Mediterranean Restaurant...best fallafel I have ever had!!! It was all very girls night out and those times are to be cherished.....that musical reminded me that we grow up so fast and we should take time to enjoy each other in the present.

Fridges, and Ranges, and Washers.....OH MY!!!
So the hour of owning my first home is upon me. I close on my house on August 29th and I am scared shitless!!! There is just way too much to do: decide on final paint colors, move out of my apt, pray that someone rents it so i can stop paying rent and break my lease, finish paperwork with my mortgage lender, secure homeowners insurance, pack, figure out if i should forward mail....again, transfer cable/Internet, utilities, and on top of all of that.....WORK MY REAL JOB!!!....my head is spinning....to add insult to injury I am getting a dog...yeah, a dog...all paid for and 3 month old Westie Poo who I am naming Pascal is scheduled to be delivered to me a week before I close....PERFECT timing right!? I am looking forward to having him.....but dear lord how much could I possibly pile on my plate.....did I mention that August is the BUSIEST month for any campus administrator....this might be ugly :(

So last week me and James (ok...I'm dating someone...his name is James....yea I know I haven't blogged about it....SUPRISE!!!....it's new and I like him....that's all I'm sharing for now....deal with it..:) )....so where was I, oh yes...so last weekend James accompanied me to buy appliances for the new house.....needless to say I freaked out a little. Buying appliances is a daunting task....at first I thought I just want it to look pretty....I want people to walk into my home and say "ooooooo" and "ahhhhhh" when they see my stainless steel appliances that are all high end and crap.

Well that didn't fit into the budget and then one of my mentors informed me that just cause it's pretty doesn't mean it will work....so then I got on Consumer Reports to find the perfect appliances that are efficient, cost effective, and won't break down anytime soon....ummmm yea....Consumer Reports can make your head spin....especially if you are buying appliances for the first time and you have no idea what you should even be looking for! So by the time I got to Lowes I was a mess...i just knew that I could not walk out without some stuff....I mean I debated not getting a fridge at all and just getting a big cooler with ice and keeping my eggs and organic soy milk in it.....and no need for a washer cause I could just wear my clothes in the shower and wash them as I wash my body....GREAT IDEAS!!!....no....not so much....reality set in and here I was, speechless in front of Blaine (the salesman at Lowes) gripping James's hand for dear life. It was a complete blur but when I emerged I was the proud owner of 5 new appliances, and 3K poorer.....yikes!!! But it is an investment and I own them out right which is huge....James had a good point...he said if i ever come upon hard times I could sell on of my appliances to float me along....LOL....that made me chuckle....You know I prayed for alot a things this year...house, man, dog...and in a span of three months I got all three.....I guess I prayed a little too hard.....God has a funny sense of humor....I guess I should start praying for some sanity....LOL :)

Hope you enjoyed the overview of some of the most significant things that have happened in my life over the last couple of weeks.....sorry for the one massive blog....I promise to be better in the future....in fact I got my next blog brewing in the brain as we speak. I'm BACK friends!!! I'm BACK!!!

Get at me...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Change is not an event...it's a process

So you spend alot of time alone. Not alone as in no friends and solitude and talking to imaginary friends. More like this is my stuff and this is the way I do things and this is where this goes and I like it that way alone. So i have spent alot of time alot. Some of my own doing and some by circumstance. You get used to it...some times are better than others. Like when I wanted to change jobs or pick out my house....don't really have to rely on anyone else but me. I come and go and do as I please and the only person that has to be happy about it is me....cool right? Simple uncomplicated. I have my opinions and views and particulars and they all make sense to me...cause I've discussed them with myslelf...alone...lots of times. I think I have really good opinions...and they are right....because I think so and I agree :) and besides no one have been around to tell me otherwise....infact, I surround myself with people who think like me....and for the most part they agree with my opinions and views and orders....so it makes it right....right?




And then you came along and my orderly opinionated world was messed with....hard.....and i tried to resist..oh i did! You gotta do things my way....and do this and do that....WHY? Cause that's what's hot in the streets? Cause it fits my comfort level and decreases your? Why the power stuggle? the pissing contest? why the resistance to change...change to the unfamiliar...change to the new.....like i wanna change you but really i have to change me....not to a new me.....change as in you be you and I be me and we are cool with that....hummmm the process of change.

My students struggle with change. The changing of rules and policies....new students and new pereception to this Greek Life thing. The chapters that go along with the change with a healthy does of reality and trust will do well and last a long time. The ones that don't....well let's just say I say in two meetings today to discuss the iminate departure of two of my "problem" chapters. Keep up or get left behind....or worse yet...miss out...


I look at my parents' realtionship....mom was willing to change. Her way...the way she grew up, what she was taught and what she beieved to be true. She was willing to change all of that....to save her marriage and make life better for her children.....to vindicate herself. But what happens when one half tries to change and the other side resists? Can change in a marriage be one-sided? Doesn't the other person feel slighted?? Like hey I'm doing all this work here! Can you meet me half way? Dad wasn't gonna change...I don't think he knows the meaning of the word...there is his way and there is no way...you choose...when you don't adapt...when you don't change...you die...very slowly every day...until you are extinct....sad...

I am in the airport this morning...yea it's 5:30am as I write. I'm on my way to Bloomington,IN for an institute for undergraduate fraternity and sorority members...for the next 5 days I'm gonna push 90 young minds to change.....to re-evaluate the way they have been leading their organizations and lead with courage and intergrity...to chage towards the future of the fraternal movement...yeah I volunteered for this! But think of what this change can create! A shifting of thought for the better....Seven years ago this very summer I attended this very same institute and the change in me has been remarkable....the change in how I see my sorority, in career path, in myself...it didn't happen overnight but damn....change is a powerful thing!

And then there is you....changing my mindset and the way I see the world...totally outside my frame of reference and my sphere of influence....telling me about things I have never experienced...like driving above the clouds...that's a cool visual...I want to see that too...you have me changing for the better...looking for a peace in the still puddles of clear blue water that I call your eyes...praying and being open to that change and giving thanks,,,not for me but for you....

I had a minor freak out this week about buying my house...I found myself looking at my checkbook and the realization of a mortage payment hit me square in the face! Panicked thoughts flew around my brain...can I afford this? Am I crazy? Will I be able to buy appliances? And why did I get a dog? How much does puppy chow cost anyway??? When the dust cleared I realized that yes I can do this but some lifestyle choices were going to have to change:no more bidding on COACH handbags and wallets on ebay, no more shopping sprees, no excessive eating out, looking into generic instead of name brand groceries, does everything have to be drycleaned?, coupons are your friend,stay home and entertain, alcohol cost money.....things gotta change. But there are some non-negoitables: Dreadlocks must be maintained,gym is a must have, can't get around gas, and I just like bottled water! Change from the frivlous to the important...

Be committed to change and the ups and downs, joys and pains it brings....embrace what it shows and teaches you...be the change...my flight is taking off now...change is eminent!!!

Get at me....

***excuse the typos...I wrote this on the blackberry!****

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 6, 1981....and today I am 9,862 days old

So I made it. 27 years on this earth (or 324 months...). Whew...I'm tired! A lot has happened in 27 years....I was born....cried and pooped, went through some phases of...er...umm....civil disobedience (my mom would probably disagree with that...lol), crashed a car through a closed garage (mom loved that too!!), partied like a rockstar before I had any right to do so, cheered, shot lay ups, dug and spiked, played some instruments, and even went to band camp. Made some friends, lost some friends, fell, got up, fell again...and got up.


Saw giraffes and lions in a far away place, met a sick little girl in an orphanage named Sophie that gave me ultimate perspective. Played some video games, and won some awards. Pledged a sorority, pledged some others and realized the glitch in the matrix. Learned the difference between actions and words and learned to live with integrity. Graduated and then went back to school to do it all over again....Cheered for the Blue Hens, the Wolfpack, the Patriots and now the 49ers. Lived in NY, DE, NC, VA and then back to NC (can't get enough of that sweet tea!). Cried without the poop...cried for me, for others, for my heart. Oh yea and my heart....it's been in a flutter and it's been put in a blender, mixed with acid and powered high on frappe....several times.....


I've been chubby, fit, athletic, fat, fatter, thick and today well let's just say, "not bad!" I have torn an ACL, torn a lateral meniscus, and partially tore my PCL. Struggled with some hormone deficiencies (damn that thyroid disease), something about some grapefruit sized fibroids and even had butt surgery and lived to talk and laugh about it. Eaten meat and now pescaterian (vegetarian with some fish thrown in there for omega 3 goodness!). Had roommates and had myself....moments of Martha Stewart and moments of out right mess. I have fought...for others and for myself....physically and verbally. I have made some threats and kept most promises.

Lots of number, aconyms, and phrases have filled the last 236,688 hours since my birth: 401K, TiAA-CREF, AFA, ACPA, NASPA, RIP, IRS, 9/11, ZPB, 240 East Fulton, 3 Nixon Court, DPHS, #31, "Return to Sender", "Have you lost your mind", "You wanna hit someone....hit me!", MTV, Nickelodeon, 7/12/98, WTF, BBF, LOL, MP3, "What we had was good, but I fell in love with her", "either you're good or you suck" (McRee), "You're a ROCKSTAR!" (Sopher)....."i feel some type of way..." 1080, 980, 27, $4.09 in GAS!, "Michelle is a smart student, but she talks too much...", litigation, diposed, MasterCard, 11124 Derryrush, 3.2 GPA, 11.4 gm/dl, "you so deserve to be loved sooooooooo deep......nothing less then all" (JG).


I have worked....i have worked hard!...in a daycare, at Carvel, at a Vet, at John Anthony's on the Water (where I learned everything there is to know about wedding planning and mixology!), at Bennigan's and as an RA.....today you can just call me Associate Dean :) I have screamed, yelled, pouted, shutdown, opened up. I had religion, lost it, and then found it in a monestary. I have been a good girl, a bad girl and at times a down right naughty girl. I have travelled, I have facilitated...most times I travel and facilitate. There have been 2 car accidents, both not my fault...but there have been several traffic violations (ugggghhh I-85..."I swear officer I wasn't going that fast!").


There have some real let downs.....U of Richmond, U of Maryland, Student Body President, Spirit Ambassador, CH, RB, JF and of course dad...to name a few...but you gotta see darkness before you see light right? So the let downs just made way for amazing highlights!: UD, NC State, Outstanding Graduate Student, mom and you...JG (wink).....the best is yet to come right?

Inhale, exhale...27 years is a long time and a lot has happened.....I guess this is what they call life....I wasn't really looking forward to 27....I just wanted today to wash over me. I have hit the late 20's and the melodramatic part of me feels like I have one foot in the grave....however looking back on the things, places, and people who have shaped who I am, today on the 27th year of my life i feel ok...even good and ready to attack another year.....or maybe 27 more years....Here's to 27 more and thank you to those that have made it wonderful!!!

Get at me....

Monday, June 30, 2008

Slowly, Surely.....

"Slowly surely, I walk away from that old desperate and dazed love caught up in the maze of love the crazy craze of love, thought it was good, thought it was real, thought it was, but it wasn't love I just don't know Where i should go So Slowly surely I walk away from self-serving undeserving constantly hurting me love deserting me love you said, I said, we said but Slowly surely I walk away from confusing love misusing love abusing love this can't be Slowly surely I walk away from self serving undeserving constantly hurting me love I just don't know where I should go No I just don't know know, know, know Where I should go so...."

I went to the Jill Scott concert last night....and as she sang the above lyrics I almost cried....First off, Ms. Jill Scott is PHENOMENAL!!! and the concert was just off the hook!! If you don't get down with this artist....you should start....she spits TRUTH!!!! and if you ever have the opportunity to see her in person you should....SIMPLY GOOD MUSIC!!!.....So back to the lyrics.....As i internalized these words I realized that what she was saying was a mirror of the direction that I want to move....where my live is going right now. Music has a way of bringing so much to the surface.

Slowly,surely.....I'm letting go of past crap...stuff people have said and done to me...I'm trying to move past it. There is so much i confused for like/love...from so many different directions...my dad, the long string of guys, fake friends, myself..."thought is was good, thought is was real, thought it was, but it wasn't love" Those are some serious words right there.... Have you ever been in such a blur that it becomes reality. It becomes the story of your life....that is completely made up in your head.....because you couldn't move past it...does that sound crazy? That is the only way I can say it.... "i walk away from..."

So where am I walking towards? "I just don't know...where I should go..."

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague of mine today.....it was a little scary being that she is 10 years my senior...but her life is exactly where mine is: Single, successful, got some baggage...but fly...so fly....I couldn't help but think....is this what I am walking towards? "slowly, surely..." At 37 yrs old I would hope that I am not in that same state as I am today....older and wiser but still longing for the completion?....But, what struck me the most about her and our conversation was the faith she had.....that there was a bigger plan and she....and even me....need to sit back and relax....let things come to me. Stop getting caught up in the blur...in the analyzing, the self deprecating behavior.....submit to the fact that a higher power has a plan for us and stop trying to mess with it. Why do I insist on questioning and messing with destiny....when humans and human behavior are involved...the reality is...you have NO power over it.....so let go.....

Every time I think about what I don't have....i forget...all the stuff i do have:
-I breathe
-I can think
-I have use of my body and all my faculties
-I have traveled
-I eat, drink, and sometimes I'm even merry :)
-I can get from here to there
-I have my mom and she is soooo fly
-I have a sibling to look up to and sometimes I think she looks up to me too :)
-I have job....no not a job....A CAREER
-I have goals and dreams.....and the capacity to make them reality
-I think...for myself

This list can go on and on.....the reality is that I have more in the plus column than I do in the minus....i gotta stop dwelling in the minus....slowly, surely....i gotta have a little more faith....slowly, surely....I need to put myself out in the world...on my own terms...slowly, surely...I need to stop being afraid and frustrated....slowly, surely......and as i walk away from the old, and embrace the new...I pray that I can tell the difference.....

It's short tonite....i think i said something....something kinda deep.....i think they call this an epiphany....:)

Get at me...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lord!!! Take me!!! Not my CPU!!!

There is a short list of material things I cannot live without: Peanut Butter, my Blackberry, my car, and probably the most important....my COMPUTER. Next to my car it is the most expensive thing I own and I literally use it everyday. I could go days without talking to a single live person....but as long as I have my laptop....my sweet SONY VIAO....i feel connected to the world. It is a primary source of communication thanks to IM, Facebook and Myspace....it holds memories suspended in time through pictures....11.3GB worth (for those of you who are not computer savvy.....that is over 7,000 pictures). It holds my music collection....even though it is not as extensive as others it holds the tunes that make me smile, make me cry, take be back in the day and makes me workout harder. It holds every powerpoint, presentation, and important document that I have ever written and executed. My laptop has been my constant companion through singledom and the "joys"of Internet dating. She is my TV Guide and my cookbook. My instant driving direction guide and virtual shopping mall. Affectionately know as SUPAH SONY, she is like my security blanket and child all wrapped into one.

So imagine my horror, when this afternoon....she malfunctioned...hard. I scooped her up in my arms...cradled her....asked her gently what was wrong and to show me where is hurt so I could make it feel better....and to no avail....I had to rush her to the hospital....also known as Best Buy.

With service plan in hand I walked right up to the Geek Squad counter and the first thing out of my mouth was, "Fix her...NOW!" The service guy looked at me, unamused and took me through a series of questions...poked and prodded my machine and $222.10 later....he told me she had several viruses, trojans, and spyware creeping around the hard drive. UGGGGGHHH!!!! When did my computer become such a whore!! and let all these CTD's (Computer Transmitted Diseases) infiltrate her temple!!! Then the service rep...David is his name....told me that it would take 2-3 days to fix. WHAT??!!!! WHAT??!!! When I tell you panic set in, I kid you not! What was I gonna do without my computer for 3 days? How was I gonna talk to people, send email, amuse myself when I became bored?? All I could think about was my empty apartment and me staring at the wall (probably begging it to talk to me...again....:)
Then I snapped out of it...because I remembered...I have a backup laptop at home....OH JOY!

But let's take a step back....my panic was real. I think I even broke a sweat....why? The answer is easy, I have become completely and totally dependent on technology. I feel lost without it. It is so ingrained in my daily life I don't know how to unplug. Between the blackberry, laptop and TV I am so plugged in and information is always but mere keystrokes away. Wow....how did I get here? What did I do before all these gadgets?

I used to read more. I would inhale books in days if not hours. Not how to books...books about fantasy and adventure. I would feed my mind and at one point I wanted to write children's books. I used to LOVE horror/scary novels. Dean Koontz and Stephen King were my faves. I would read every night before I went to bed, in the bathroom, on the floor...wherever. I miss books...i miss reading.

I used to be less regimented. My days and nights live by a constant schedule and around must see TV shows. I race home from the gym to shower so I can be in front of the TV for Grey's Anatomy or Law and Order or So You Think You Can Dance. I check my blackberry constantly throughout the day so it can tell me where I am supposed to be or what email needs a reply right now. I remember a Michelle that used to just go with the flow and if she couldn't make it to the TV on time she would just set her VCR and watch the show....later. I miss the flexibility of my time.

I used to interact with people face to face. Have real conversations with real friends about real things. Now I have stunted conversations over text messages, emails, and IM chats. It's hard to read emotions and feelings through a screen....sometimes you just have to be there to read the body language, to hear the inflection in tone of voice and the movement of the facial features. I think all of us have fallen victim to this. I see it in my students....they can't carry a conversation at all....it's sad. They don't practice the art of REAL conversation and when they have to do it....they fall flat...I even know some adults like that. Think about it....when was the last real deep conversation you had....face to face? I miss human contact.

Sometimes I think about what we all did before technology took over our lives? What did people do before the microwave? Did they use the oven and stove? How did people do their jobs with out email? Were there more faxes? How did we pay our bills? Did we actually send stuff via the mail....with a stamp? Are we better for technology? or has it just made us lazy and dependent? I hate to say it but I think it's the latter. Even as I write this blog from the backup laptop....i'm going to make a conscience decision to unplug while my other laptop is being fixed. I'm gonna turn off the IM, put the phone on silent, turn off the TV and find a book that I've been meaning to read and actually finish it. I might go out....find a place where there are other people....and talk to them....imagine that. Wish me luck....I would say that I will keep you posted....but maybe we should meet up and talk instead :)

Get at me...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer of Love

So why is everyone around me in love? What's up with that? I got people in my circle getting engaged, getting married, staying married. I got old foes finding love and setting up wedding websites sharing their bliss far and wide for the world to see. I got young bucks who where just blowing up my phone settlin' down....really?...yea....really! Am I hatin? Hell yes!!! Let me complain for just one minute....I have NEVER had a true Valentine. I have not said the words I LOVE YOU nor has anyone EVER said them to me...you know...in "that" way...in fact if someone said them to me I would probably say something like, "Who me?? Nah you mean the Michelle over there."
No friends! what I have had is disappointments, failures, and front row seats to people doing the Mexican hat dance on on my heart......that felt really good :( ......Jerk....you know who you are.....

But here is my bridge to help me get over it. This summer....this very hot and fresh summer, as I crawl through the 17 days that lead up to my 27th birthday.....this summer friends will be the SUMMER of LOVE!!!! No, no...not looking for some boo or some guy to keep my bed warm....nope! This summer I'm gonna fall in LOVE with ME!!!! All of me!!! All 243lbs....yea I said it..that was hard....i don't look it (thank god)...BUT...that's how much I weigh....u surprised? Believe it or not that's what my body is doing...according to the scale. So how do I fall in love with my body. Well everyday i'm gonna look at it...naked....tell it nice things like, "Your're not perfect, and the little belly fat thing is not cute...but you have killer shoulders and I love what you've done with your calves." I'm gonna workout....like I always do....but push just a little more. Today in the gym I stepped up the incline, speed and time of running on the treadmill. It's not about being a size 2....it's about loving a healthy body. And it's working....I went shopping last week in a store that I had not brought clothes in for a really long time....we're talking like years....and I brought a lot of clothes....that fit....imagine that...That felt really good....I LOVE THAT!


I'm gonna fall in love with my mind...my brilliant, fantastic, powerful mind. Something really challenged me today....there are HATERS in the streets....like SERIOUS HATERS and they are really trying to block my thoughts and words because they know that the TRUTH I speak will expose their inefficiency and ineffectiveness...sad...so sad....so they make up lies....LIES!!!! craziness and these are adults! I got mad and even frustrated.....but then I realized that I was BRILLIANT! and I cannot be stopped...imagine that.....I sat outside, alone, at work....I looked up the serenity prayer on my blackberry...said it....and felt better....:) I'm letting go....people are gonna do what they are gonna do and I can only control me....my mind....my actions. I know that I am talented and everyday I am gonna celebrate that....LOVE that sexy mind....

I'm gonna fall in love with my personality....my humor, my kindness and even the bitchiness. I'm a good person. To know me is to love me and who knows me better than ME??? People like me....I have good friends, I keep it real...I'm not awkward, I can carry a conversation with anyone...or anything....I once spoke to a wall for an entire hour......it had a lot to say...people always leaning on it....fascinating stuff :) I make people laugh but more importantly I make myself laugh. I put others at ease and I brigthten days....I can keep it SUPER real! I am honest and I say what is on my mind....I speak now for fear of not being able to speak later. I challenge and support....I can anger....myself and others....but I am NEVER afraid to see the other perspective. I have my off days...but most of my days are on.....people call on me for advice and reality checks...I'm a good person....my aurora is electric....How fly am I??? So fly.....I LOVE the woman I have become....the good, the great, and the just ok.

I'm gonna fall in love with my SOUL. I'm going to start cutting out the people and the impurities that seek to tarnish my soul....Like you guys who keep blowing up my phone....yea you know who you are....stop calling me.....because you are a reminder of me not loving myself....you are the relics of a soul-less Michelle that fed on your empty calories instead of seeking out substantive nourishment for my soul...and you saw me starving and you took advantage of that...and I let you....sad....:( I don't blame you...I blame me, but now that I know better, I GOTTA DO BETTER!...so stop calling, texting, and IMing me...Thanks! I will seek out only things that make me feel good in the long term....not in the immediate present. I want to have conversations that tickle my spirit and stimulate my core. I want to meet new people that have a zest for life and inspire me to be better..... I know that in loving my soul....that is the only way I can REALLY...and HOLISTICALLY LOVE ME.....chew on that.

So let the SUMMER of LOVE begin!!! YAY!!! LOVE is in the air.....the LOVERS of SELF!!! this is our time...you don't have to bring a partner....just come with me....are you ready to LOVE you???

Get at me....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This is me....are you impressed?



So there is a saying that says: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." Never truer words were ever spoken. Today I found myself thinking about first impressions and what impression do I give off. In the last 27 years how have I presented myself to the outside world? To friends, to strangers, to colleagues. Am I annoying? Funny? Memorable or forgettable?....oh c'mon on now!!! Ya'll know that I am many things...but forgettable is not one of them!!! LOL....:)


I can tell in the first minute of meeting someone if I am going to like them or not....What they say, how they say it and the vibe they put out is all apparent and I think I am a pretty perceptive person. I find that alot of people are fronting....alot....putting on airs and pretending that they are someone or something they are not.....even worse...they underestimate who I am and that I see right through them.


I met some of my new students today....the first thing one cocky young man said to me was, "So what are you gonna do for this community?" No hi, no how are you and welcome to Charlotte...no, he wanted to know what I was gonna do for him. Clearly pumped up on too much testosterone and his own ego....i replied, "Well, I've see your chapters' grade report and i'm not impressed, so I guess the first thing I'm gonna do is ask you to step your game up....that shut him up and he got the message....I'm not the one to be messed with.... His first impression of me: She's not playing.


I try to come off as a funny and outgoing person all the time. I think it's the real me....but maybe it is the real me that I put on for the world. I want the impression that people get of me to be wow....I like her! She's full of energy!...it's really draining.... I'm not sure why I want that since at home I am devoid of energy and kinda quite....my closest friends and family know that to be very true. I only hit people with the I'm not playing when I fell like I have establish my authority....mainly with my students so they behave and ignorant adults so they stay out of my face....you get the point. It's weird....when I'm not the high energy girl....people think something is wrong....it makes them uncomfortable....

I wonder...how do people really see me and what is their first impression...hey... some of you who know me...what was your first impression...mom, don't answer!!! you gave birth to me....my hope is that your impression was she's soooo cute :) but to the rest of you.....is it different than what I think I put out?

There is this concept called Johari's Window:

In layman's terms the window kinda shows your four areas of what you communicate to others and yourself. Top left window is what you show to the world and what the world sees, top right others see but you don't, lower left is you fronting!!! Known to you but not known to the world and bottom right is unknown to you and them....you see how impressions play into this....read up on it....google it....or better yet got to the library and take out a book......:)

I can dig this model because I wonder what my blind spot is...I kinda know what my facade is....I say I'm happy when I'm not....but what is my unknown....is that the inner, inner me??? Hummmm....food for thought.

The first impression of customer service is major too....like restaurants or brands or services. I was in my apartment complex the other day and I was trying to talk to the rep about my lease and randomly her son walks in....i guess they all live in the complex.....but he totally interrupts our conversation and even though his mother kept telling him that she was working...he kept talking....about some girl and if his mother saw her...get a life!!....and this guy was over 25 years old!!!! So in my head he will always be the inappropriate and immature adult....see how that first impression just sticks? Because of first impressions I will never buy a Sansa Mp3 player again, I won't eat green olives, and I will try to stay out of my complex office....LOL

So I'm planning on meeting this new guy this weekend on a date....yea, I will keep ya'll posted....i'm trying to make a good impression...i don't want to front or be untrue..sight unseen we have had really good conversations....so the first impression has been made already right?....i'm gonna just be me and I hope that is good enough....i guess it doesn't matter if it is good enough for him...being true to me is the only impression I need to make...:)

Get at me....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Say something nice to me....

What is it about compliments? For a long time I couldn't even receive one with the right response. My father or as I like to refer to him: The man who donated a couple of chromosomes to me, once told me I had a big nose and I was ugly. I was pretty young at the time….you know that age when you believe anything your parents say….yea that’s a scary time. But anyway, not having children of my own I know being a parent doesn’t come with a training manual and you probably just wing it and use common sense. However, I do know this….the first place a girl learns about men and how she should view herself with men and how men should view her is from the relationship with her father. So dad’s have that extra responsibility to instill some self esteem into their girls so from a young age they know they are beautiful, special, and should always be treated with respect. This is my own theory, but I’m sure some of you can back me up on this.

So thanks to the genius that is my father, my self esteem has always been a bit on the low side…mainly when it come to physical beauty. It took me a long time to consider myself pretty and I will ONLY claim that when I am wearing makeup and in the appropriate lighting! And as for compliments, well that is still up in the air. When someone used to say, “you look very nice today” my first reaction and response was to negate the sentiment with a , “oh no I look like crap,” or “you are just saying that, I look horrible.” The proper answer, regardless if I believed it or not I should have said, “Thank You.” But I just couldn't take the nice gesture….it was almost like I had been socialized or programmed to believe that it was not true and I could not be worthy of such praise….scary right!

Over time my self esteem has gone up a notch and I think in college I began returning compliments with the appropriate response. But here is the more complicated part and this is really gonna trip you out. It goes back to men and how we as women see ourselves through their eyes…..are you ready?....this is gonna be harsh….try not to judge me too hard: I will only believe a compliment is true ( and I am speaking of compliments of physical aesthetics only…I know I am the ish in other parts of my life!!!)…if a man tells me….I know, I’m messed up…..:( Friends or family that are female can shower me with compliments all day long and I will say Thank You but internally, I won’t believe it or feel it until a man says it. It’s almost like it is not good enough from just anyone…it HAS to be from the opposite sex….When a guy says it then it has to be true….well at least that is what I think in my head. Women give compliments to be nice and Men give them cause it’s true…..jacked up logic huh…..but I can’t help the way I feel and one day I will pay a therapist lots of money to undo my way of thinking…..today is not the day and tomorrow doesn’t look any better…Hey knowing if half the battle (GI JOE!!)

Let’s go one level deeper on this whole compliment thing…..this is what sparked this blog idea for me.

So it is no secret that I have ventured in online dating in various mediums and websites (this could be a whole other blog….man do I have some stories!) Anyway…..through my adventures you know who gives me the most attention and compliments? White men….they are really free with compliments and will give then regularly and in a sincere matter. The other night as I was chatting with this one guy online...he said, “Michelle you are a very beautiful woman.” I said thank you very much and informed him that no one had said that to me in a very long time, He was stunned and questioned how I couldn’t possibly get compliments all the time……that got me thinking….Who was the last black man who paid me such a compliment……I couldn’t recall…you think I would be able to since I put soooo much stock in these things….i racked my brain…..there were pseudo-compliments: You have great breast (which unless you are a stripper or a private dancer that is not really a nice or appropriate compliment), You have thick thighs, nice butt…you have sexy lips….etc. Most of these pseudo-compliments came from a place of sexual intentions…..so not legit. I finally found one in my memory bank…..July 6, 2007….my birthday of last year….two old friends of my mine from college told me that in all the years they had known me that they had never seen as beautiful as I looked that evening…..that was nice…..i was really flattered…..I DID look pretty fly that night….

But back to the point, black men don’t give compliments to me.... they are not genuine and honest and coming from a place of purity instead of their from theor loins....CRAZY…..and yet white men give me compliments left and right…Have the black men in America been so brain washed by the media and degradation of black women by the hands of BET, that they can’t see the simple beauty in their black sistahs? Are they numb or ignorant to the essence of pretty smile, bright eyes and a great laugh….only seeing a fat ass, nice rack and the potential to get between the thighs?......sad if it is true. With women….at least with me….it’s that little things that count. It’s a shame that with all the black men I have interacted with through this online dating….it was this white guy that paid me a sincere compliment…..and I believed him….

I should be able to look in the mirror everyday and tell myself that I am beautiful inside and out….regardless of how I look and feel…..i’m trying…everyday it gets easier….I guess I have to make it a habit. It doesn’t matter what other people say…..If I can’t believe myself, I will never truly believe anyone else…right? This blog post made me feel pretty.....really pretty…..:)

Get at me….

Sunday, June 1, 2008

BIG Things Poppin....and little things are still little...

For years I told people around me that I felt like I hadn't accomplished anything in life. I felt like I had been working for so long and I had absolutely NOTHING to show for it....BUT!! Those days are OVER!!! Today day friends, will be a day that goes down in imfamy...TODAY...I brought a HOUSE!!!

Oh yes, you heard right...soon the days of rent and neighbors above, below and on either side of me, and the scent of ethic food coming through the vents will be over. I made the leap that would permanently put me in the world of true adults....adults that own...not rent....OWN property.

Let me say.....I am ecstatic. I feel not only accomplished but I also feel like I had put my money where my mouth is and I moved forward with my life....I said I would move to Charlotte, get a house, get a dog and get a man. #1 on the list...DONE!!!! and within 3wks of moving....how's that for full steam ahead!!! At this rate I will be married by next year...LOL...just kidding...ummm...unless my future husband is reading this and an early fall wedding in the 2009 sounds appealing to you! LOL!!!...I crack myself up!

Some of you are probably thinking...has she lost her mind?!!! The housing market is a mess! and she just moved to the Charlotte??? Well, unless you have been under a rock and have missed the news, Charlotte was just voted #1 in the Best City to relocate to (http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B52C3B402-D1AA-4F75-B863-2C599E3DD97B%7D ). Also, the housing market is EXCELLENT! Saying it's a buyers market is a severe understatement.

So what have a brought you may ask? 1323 sq ft of pure joy!!! 3bedrooms (one of which will be an open loft), 2.5 baths, a deck, and 2story ceilings in the great room! AHHHHHH!!! LOVELY!!! Can you feel my joy??? Is is radiating through the computer screen? The best part....it's being built as we speak...which mean I have an entire summer to prepare....come end of Aug....IT's ALL MINE!!! :)

This whole home buying thing will be a new challenge for me. I always struggled with numbers and understanding how things like loans and dimensions work. Here is my opportunity to face what I fear most head on. I am doing this ALL BY MYSELF.....that feels really good, but at the same time I'm having a mini-panic attack asking myself, "What the hell are you doing?" I don't know many single, women who have brought their first home by themselves. I know it can be done and I really shouldn't be frightened....but fear of the unknown and new-ness....can be VERY intimidating. Can I handle this? Can I make my mortgage payments? What do you mean there are taxes and homeowners insurance? Will I be able to afford furniture? Does this mean I can't do random eBay bidding anymore? How will my lifestyle change...will I live check to check.....will this ALL be worth it?

I can't wait for others to fulfill my dreams. I can't wait for the "ideal" life that I daydream about to begin that real life I have today.....and you know what...it's a good life....it can only get better from here right? I really am the master of my own destiny....and I am committed to being a more active participant in my life and making my own wants and needs happen....my way. I will not and can not let the little things....that really don't matter bog me down. That's why we call them little things....they are just not that important...they are obstacles....There is a quote that rings true here: Obstacles are the things seen when you lose sight of your dreams....

So wish me luck, send me your home decorating tips, and for those of you who are homeowners, send me you list of "I wish I would have know then, what I know now" as it pertains to new home ownership! I'm all ears!....Look out for the invite to my housewarming....what a party that will be!!!

Get at me....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Motivation

***Special thanks to all of you who have sent feedback and commented on my blog!!! I appreciate it and keep the comments coming and please feel free to pass on and share my posts!!!****


The alarm rang this morning at 6:00am. I just laid there.... like broccoli ...until 6:45am. I couldn't get up. More importantly I couldn't find the right motivation to get up. Finally, it was the thought of honey nut cheerios and organic soy milk in a freshly cleaned mouth that inspired me to toss the cover aside and get my sleepy butt in the shower....cheerios....honey nut....morning motivation.....this must be the fat girl in me talking :)

But really, what motivates us. Is is money, is men/women, is it greed? What moves us to wake in the morning....do whatever we do from 9-5 and get up and do it all again the next day? What motivates Hilliary Clinton to drag out this democratic party nomination? I heard her on the Today Show this morning....something about having the popular vote...is she running on motivation or dissolution? For some of us, something big has to happen or break for us to be motivated.

I spoke in an earlier blog that i really liked my old job. But not all was well...there were some things that were less than fun and quite frankly getting draining to deal with....looking back on it I guess it was those things that motivated me to get my current position. I wanted bigger, better and I knew I deserved it. I wanted to be able to speak freely and have people around me understand....not defend...understand, take in, and change for the better of the team. I wanted to get to the next career level and challenge, what I am told are great skills, even more. I wanted to supervise staff and share the workload. I wanted to be re-inspired and not stagnated....I wanted to formulate and achieve new goals.....Career goals can motivate.

Growing up in my house as a child was hard...father was crazy and was a pretty big downer, so I was really motivated to get the hell out of my house and go AWAY for college....knowing that he would NEVER visit....He's still messed up and I think he lives in his own world of insanity....i feel bad for him and he scares me. Not in the I'm gonna kill you scary way....no, in the I'm toxic and will make you sick kind of way.....I don't want to end up like him and knowing that we share some DNA i look for glimpses of him in me and I work to eliminate them...crazy people are motivating

I was a Parks and Recreational Administration major as an undergrad (yea, yea....get the laughs out now...ha ha ha....hey it was EASY!!!) By senior year I kinda knew that i didn't like the outdoors so I needed a Plan B for life....going home and laying on my my mom's couch was not an option....so out of necessity came motivation....go to Grad school...and find some purpose.....little did I know I would find myself in a field that basically motivates young college minds to be bigger and better.....Finding purpose and inspiring others to do the same....motivating!

I don't like to work out.....at all...I don't like to sweat, i don't like getting my dred locks all soft and rough looking, i don't like the jiggling feeling the "xtra" parts of my body creates when I run, I don't like the pain in my left knee from a pre-existing injury....again..... I don't like to work out....but I do it....close to 3-5 days a week....Why? Cause i think I am fat....and hence my motivator for going to the gym. I want it to be all about good health and living well....but no....it's fat and not wanting to be fat is a huge motivator to get me in the gym....I'm afraid I am bigger than I am and because I'm funny and have a cool personality no one tells me....so I tell myself that i'm round and I need to hit the gym hard. I know it sounds harsh and you are probably thinking that I have body image issues.....well it is harsh and I do have body image issues....knowing is half the battle!! (GI JOE!)....but hey...what female growing up in today's society doesn't? Fat and the fear of....motivating...

In the fall of 2000 I did some things that were REALLY questionable....for 9weeks, 5days and 1hour and 15minutes I lost who I was and I let people do things to me mentally, physically, and emotionally so I could become a member of one of the GREATEST organizations in the world....I lost myself and it is a time in my life that I can not change and it really set the course of my future. Some call it pledging and some call it hazing....some parts were right...some were wrong....some were very wrong...but...three little greek letters from the Greek alphabet motivated me to take pain and some really insane acts and swallow it.....so one day I could be proud and worthy enough to wear those letters. The experience propelled me into my profession today....maybe this is my vindication....righting a wrong.....hummmm....vindication is a motivator.

I have a couple of side hustles jobs.....I work for a company that sends me around the country to do workshops and facilitation work for college students. I've been to Wyoming, Alabama, NJ, and a whole bunch of places. Students everywhere are different but they struggle with the same issues: How to live and act with integrity, how to grow up, how to leave a legacy. I am blessed with a gift to shine a flashlight in the right direction for them.....the rest is up to the student. Maybe it's because I speak their language or I use humor or my in your face attitude. Maybe it's the time I take to check in one on one or check on from far away...i think i just get it and I remember being them.....so I do my best to push and inspire..I once got a thank you card from a student. He said in the card, " I want more out of life and I see things differently because of you..."..it's a good feeling. Being motivated to motivate others...

Motivation can come from a dark place, a good place, out of joy or out of pain.....wherever is comes from it pushes...it is a mental drug that pushes us and some times propels us to change....sometimes we don't even know where it comes from....but we wake up different, knowing that something BIG just or is about to happened.

Get at me....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Y Chromosome Wanted....

Ok....here is one of probably many man blogs I will write. Let's just get the stats out there: I'm single, been single for 10 years (it's starting to become my cross to bear....LOL), there have been guys....but alas, no Boyfriend.

So here is my latest angst. Yesterday, my car failed inspection....:( Needless to say I was shocked! I take Cindy Lou Civic in for regular check ups, i try to take care of her, but she failed. My confusion lies in the fact that a week before I moved to the lovely state of North Carolina, I had a car check up in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Car was fine. All was well. The men at the Honda Dealership took 2 hours and returned her back to me saying everything was just fine. So how do I fail a week later. I can't help the feeling of being had....by the man!!! I feel like i don't speak the native tongue of testosterone and they know it. I'm sure there are some feminist out there who are probably saying, "C'mon Michelle! You are setting us back 100 years!!! Women should learn about cars. lawn care, beers, and other manly things!!! So we don't ever need to rely on them for anything!" Well that sounds just SUPAH in theory, but guess what! I don't know any of that stuff (well I know the beer stuff..lol) and if a man was equipped with this knowledge, I would happily let him handle these areas. Not that roles can't be reversed, or I am unwilling to learn....I just know that men speak the language of men and sometimes we women get had cause we don't know the code. Besides, who doesn't like having things taken care of?

This is not the first time this happened to me. I once got aftermarket brakes put on my car and had to get them re-replaced, my transmission broke or whatever the transmission does and the car place had my car for over 2 weeks to fix it...that was painful and expensive. In these instances I can't shake the feeling that I was taken for a ride. That in some back office they were talking about the little black girl that needs something fixed....how can we squeeze money out of her and make her wait a really long time. I know that sounds mean....but hey I feel it.

I've had to do some heavy lifting...again, not that I am incapable, but I think of all the times I have had to rent/bribe/beg a guy in my life to help me move, lift, transport, or build something. I don't like feeling helpless and I really don't like asking the males in my life for use of their physical strength....but this is what it has come to. Just once, it would be nice to not have to rent....I kinda want to own :)

A boyfriend (or shall I say man-friend cause boyfriend sounds sooooo young and high school) in my life wouldn't be some permanent handyman or mechanic....but rather someone who speaks the man language in the outside world that can make sure WE aren't being had. Someone who can help move, lift, transport or build OUR stuff..not cause he has to or because I asked...but because he wants to and it's for the benefit of us. I can help!....i'll even bake cookies :) I guess what I am really trying to say, is that I am tired of walking through life alone, without a partner, with out a Y chromosome. As fly as I am...:).....there are things I just can not do. Skills, I do not have....isn't that the point of relationships? To balance each other? To be the yin to ones yang? I am what he isn't and he is what I am not? I am off balance and I am sans yin. Sometimes it's cool. Like when I want to be alone, or I don't feel like taking a shower.....but sometimes....alot of times..... it's lonely and even a little scary. I say this alot, "What's the point of having success in your life if you have no one to share it with?"

Some of you are probably thinking..."Michelle, surely there have been men in your life...you have spoken about them! Where are they?" Well let's look at the last couple. Guy #1....fabulous lover (man I miss him!) but had no desire to be in a real relationship with me. Guy #2....he was married....nuff said! Guy #3...mad cool and we became really good homies. Wasn't really sure if we had chemistry and I'm not sure if the timing was right....but he was mad cool and we had good times together..in a VERY non-sexual kinda of way :) I miss his company. Guy #4, #5, and #6 were all short lived and never got past the random phone calls, Internet conversations, or 1st date. I'm telling you, adventures in dating in 2008 is hard and exhausting.....press on I must right? Can't be single forever....or could I? Maybe I should open my car manual and actually look at it :(

So let me officially say it: I am putting out an ad. Y Chromosome wanted! Must be kind, honest, humorous, respectful, and a gentlemen. Must speak the guy language and be willing to teach me....in case we break up :)

Get at me....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Frogs and Jesus....

I was in the gym today jigglin the extra parts of me...At one point I was on the tredmill...running....so extra jigglin was going on while I sang to the rhythm of Sean Paul on my headphones....but that is not the point. I was running and I happened to look up as a woman wearing a white shirt was walking towards me. I instantly was drawn to her white shirt that had a large bullfrog on the front. At first I thought, "Oh cool she likes frogs." but then I read around her shirt...it said, "Before you croak, know Jesus!"

I almost fell off my treadmill..my pace was interrupted as I did a double take. This was a first! Jesus and frogs....ok...anything goes I guess. I laughed...out loud...I think she heard me. But the whole notion on how to get the word of the Lord out to the masses with amphibians was comical. Is this how we do in the Bible belt? LOL! I wondered where did she get that shirt. At God camp? A Christian book store? Wherever she got it she should return it....the frog alone was just silly! As I mocked her internally I felt like God wanted to send me a message...so My Life is in you Hands by Kirk Franklin and the Family came over my headphones....how apropu!

It got me thinking...this thing called religion and faith. It starts wars, it moves people to do amazing good and unspeakable wrong. There are religious leaders that if they spoke, masses would follow like blind sheep. Powerful stuff this religion. So where does it play a role in our lives...in my life? And why was I struck so hard by this woman's outward sign of faith....manifested in a frog?

Raised Roman Catholic (yea I know...I've been told I'm like on the only black Roman Catholic people know...go figure!) I was in church most Sundays....a stint in Catholic school....all the sacraments from Baptism to Confirmation....and then a friend of mine died my senior year of high school. I remember going to the funeral and listening to the priest and I felt nothing. No comfort, no solace, nothing. I was angry with the man hanging on the crucifix. Very angry...so I let go of church. Stopped going all together. I never stopped believing....just wasn't feeling this institutionalized, structured, celibate man telling me what to do kinda of religion.

However, if you know anything about Roman Catholicism you would know that we are kinda private about our worship. Mon-Sat (unless you go to 5pm mass on Sat, then it's Mon-Fri...LOL) you do as you please and on Sunday you go to church, repent, take some communion and all is forgiven and you can go out an sin some more. No stomping, clapping and fallin out in our masses...OH NO!!! Very calm and reserved....i tell you this, those WWJD bracelets did not start with us! So even though I was trying to separate myself from my RC roots....i never could get comfortable with people or atmospheres that in my opinion were hyper or uber religious. I feel like it's private and it is between me and my God and when other people but their faith in my face....it scares me. Makes me uncomfortable. Like this woman's shirt....weird huh?

But not all is loss...I found Jesus this year. He was hanging out at St. Meinrad Monastery in Southern Indiana. I was there on business in Feb, but I got to spend time with some really cool monks and for a couple of days I remembered the beauty of my faith. Of course I engaged in heated but civil conversations about our religion with the monks expressing my disgust with the churches stand on child molestation by priests, homosexuality, and pre-marital sex....but I also got to watch monks pray in Latin at 5AM and watch novices take their 1st vows into the monk-hood...that was cool....it felt good to bear witness to that kind of devotion. I even sat for confession....for the first time in over 11years....that was really weird (and contrary to popular belief it did not take that long...:) Either way...in my own personal and private way I felt close to God and it inspired me to be a better version of me...

So today I claim deeply spiritual rather than religious. I think we should live our lives in a manner for others to follow...do good on to others and wish the best for all friends and foes....sounds good, right? Maybe I should get a shirt that says, "Before you croak, do something nice for someone else!" I feel like my shirt would have the same meaning as the gym lady....with a more palatable approach......ribbit!

Get at me....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step...

So I have been thinking about starting a blog for a long time. I have a lot to say, I can't turn my brain off, and this is probably the best therapy. So here goes right? I want to be committed to blogging 3-5 times a week for a year. Possibly several blogs a day....we will see. I am open to feedback from the world...help me, help myself :)

"Can You Stand the Rain?" I chose this title because I love this song by New Edition. Every time I hear it I sing it at the top of my lungs. It evokes an emotion in me that is stirring. It's more than a love song....it's a crying out to all who can hear: "WILL YOU SUPPORT ME THROUGH THIS CRAP?????" Sometimes...ok all the time, I feel like that. Looking and/or wanting to be supported instead of always supporting other people through their stuff or feeling utterly alone.

So having said that....some of you may get your feelings hurt in some of my post. I will try to hide the names to protect the innocent and ignorant. But if you see yourself in some of these post....feel free to call me on the Berry and we can discuss....no need to fight over the Internet...agreed?

I don't know where to begin. I have so many thoughts right now. Let me start right here:

I just moved to Charlotte. 12 days ago to be exact. Why you ask? For opportunity of course!

Opportunity #1: I got an AMAZING JOB!!! I was pretty happy at my previous place of work. I was respected, I was on top, I LOVED my students, I survived a lawsuit, I learned a lot....and then the opportunity of a LIFETIME fell into my lap. Could it be? Could I become and Associate Dean only 3years out of grad school? Oh hell yeah!!! I applied and got it! ROCK ON! Sad to leave....but career goal achieved!!

Opportunity #2: As much as I loved my old job, I worked like a plantation slave! I worked way too much and there was way too much to be done for only one administrator. My new gig comes with staff!! AHHH HAAA!! Work is spread around and I can actually get a LIFE. How you gonna live 20miles outside of DC for 3years and can count on two hands how many times you actually went and hung out in DC? CRAZY!!! I'm gonna experience Charlotte....if it kills me! First week here I already went to the Farmer's Market, DMV (4hours of my life I will never get back!!!), Mall, South Carolina,gym, and the park....with a guy :)

Opportunity #3: How do you spell American Dream? H-O-U-S-E!!!! I just moved to the MECCA of home buying!!! An area virtually untouched by the mortgage crisis! I can actually afford to buy property here!!! Imagine that!!! I can afford a 3br 2.5bath for under 135K.....HELLO!!!! I WANT IN!!!! The time is now! Northern VA was CRAZY!!! I couldn't buy an out house with my salary and the prices were off the hook!! I will leave those VA houses to the politicians and lawyers!

Opportunity #4: This is probably the most important....The opportunity to find ME! Since I graduated from Deer Park High School in 1999(shout outs to DPHS in DEER PARK, NY!!! STRONG ISLAND BABY!!!!) I have been running and focused. Ran to University of Delaware, ran to NC State...Ran to MASON....i have immersed myself in my education and career....take those things away and I'm not sure who I am....well at least not completely. I want to stop running....i want to stand still, inhale and exhale, plant roots.....find me....and perhaps find someone else (more on that in another blog)

So this is where I begin and with this blog I attempt to be open....to put out in the world some thoughts and get back some knowledge....or maybe just some chuckles....

Get at me....