Tuesday, May 27, 2008


***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....