Tag Archives: awareness

Me Time – A Voyage

I truly believe in self-assessment and self-reflection of oneself. I believe a person with strong character knows their worth and their flaws. Acceptance of oneself in all your glory and imperfections allows you to set personal goals that enhance personal growth. Some people refer to it as “Me” time. I recently went on my much needed annual vacation to somewhere hotter than Michigan. I started my voyage in South Beach and from there boarded a Carnival cruise ship to the Caribbean; Grand Turks and the Bahamas to be specific. This was my third time in Miami and probably my eighth time in Florida. But it was my first time on a cruise and my first time going to the Caribbean. No, I didn’t go with a group of girlfriends. No, I didn’t go with a man (I’m not in a relationship). No, I wasn’t afraid to be alone. I was looking forward to it. I was looking forward to digging my own space under the sunshine of the south of Florida and on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

My flight departed without incident, although they had overbooked the flight. My flight landed on time and my shuttle arrived quickly to take me to The Richmond Hotel. The Richmond was a nice, oceanfront, boutique hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach. However, I soon came to the realization that I was the only person of color on the premises who was not an employee there. It started in increments. First, at check in I was asked to pay for the two remaining nights of my stay in advance, plus an additional resort fee for “incidentals”. When I asked what type of incidentals would that additional fee cover, I was told “in case you break something”. I quickly raised my voice a little too loud for their comfort and informed them that I would not be paying in advance, nor would I be throwing rock star parties and breaking anything during my stay. Yes, I was offended. I didn’t know if this request was being made because I was Black or if it was because I was from Detroit. Either way, I was offended and I let it be known. Especially since none of the other quests checking in had been asked to pay in advance. I agreed to pay the resort fee, but let them know that I wouldn’t pay another dime until check out.

Later, as I lay out by the pool, I was greeted by the pleasantly surprised faces of the Afro-Caribbean women and men, who either worked in housekeeping or as doormen. They greeted me in the hallways and at the door, everyday with big, proud, smiles. Mind you, this was not a four or five star hotel; it may have been a three star hotel at best. But “we” apparently, were moving on up like George and Weezie.

On this trip I also had to endure the weeding of my garden and eliminate individuals from my life. Without this trip, I may not have been able to identify those people. I just don’t believe it to be necessary for me to allow men to mistreat me or speak to me in a disrespectful manner, simply because, out of their ignorance, they “think” they can. So they got dismissed – permanently and without apology.

Aside for the small bumps, the Caribbean is one of the most beautiful places I’ve laid eyes on. I’m thankful for the opportunity and finances to be able to enjoy myself. I learned new things, met interesting and intelligent people from across the USA and in the Caribbean. I received inspiration from the sun, the sand and the coasts. I got some much needed rest and ate delicious foods. The best part is that I didn’t gain any weight and I looked great in my swimsuits.

As usual, I received the common question – “Are you here by yourself?” And I was proud to say ‘yes’. But that always leads to – “You don’t have a boyfriend?” The answer is ‘no’. The follow up is then – “You are too pretty to be by yourself.” I replied, ‘Thank you. Would you like to tell that to the men where I’m from?’ The truth is that I would never go anywhere if I waited to have a relationship first. I’ve been told my men and women that I don’t have a man because I’m too independent and that doesn’t allow a man to do anything for me. I think that is an excuse for men not to step up and try something new.

Personally, I’m not interested in someone who doesn’t want to leave the city they were born in, or is too afraid to board an airplane or otherwise step out of their comfort zone. I shouldn’t be expected to wait to be partnered up with a man in order to enjoy living. The idea that you have to wait to live is ridiculous. I would much rather explore this entire planet alone, than wait for someone to explore it with who may or may not exist. The possibility that I may not a boyfriend or husband anytime soon, isn’t a negative mindset; it is embracing a reality. It is a self-assessment. I refuse to be a little old lady that waited and waited to live her life, just to wake up one day and discover that her life is almost over. If that means that I travel every winter by myself, I can live with that.

I enjoyed my “me” time. I enjoyed turning heads and being rebellious against hotel’s request. I enjoyed walking on the beach, riding a horse in the ocean, wearing a bathing suit instead of clothes, and wearing no makeup. I enjoyed the shopping, eating, sightseeing and being flirted with by Caribbean men. I enjoyed my trip tremendously.

I enjoy my “me” time. I enjoy living life. I’m looking forward to doing it more often…even if I have to do it alone.

Getting In On The Ground Floor

I often kick myself for not buying stock in Google during its IPO.  It’s been a little over six years and look what Google has become.  It’s a massive behemoth of information that is completely unavoidable if you live in today’s society and have a computer, smart phone, PDA, laptop, or iPAD.  It’s valuable.  Initially there were doubters who said Google was the next trend, next fad or wouldn’t last.  People intelligent and brave enough to ignore those doubters are laughing all the way to the bank with their stock dividend checks.  They were able and willing to get in on the ground floor.

It’s always risky when you try something new; venture into unknown territories.  It can be financially risky in some cases and emotionally risky in others.  Every new relationship is a risk and so are business ventures.  Being able to conquer those fears and initial doubts can sometimes have very big payoffs in the long run for those who are determined, faithful, steadfast and resilient.  However, as human beings, we deal with so much disappointment that we find it difficult to put ourselves at risk when dealing with other human beings.  Whether it’s a company’s IPO, a person’s business idea, or the prospect of a new relationship with someone, we have difficulty thinking beyond our initial fears to see the potential payoff of the investment.  That is what it is; an investment.  And you always want a return on your investment.  But you have to first make the investment in order to expect any returns.  If you sit on the sidelines, waiting to see what might happen, when the investment starts to out perform what you thought it would, you won’t gain as much by investing in it at that point as the person who got in on the ground floor.

As I build The Company, The Woman and The Brand of Super Woman, there are a lot of people sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see what might happen.  They have no interest in investing in me, my ideas or my company.  They believe it to be a trend, a fad, something that won’t last.  Not because that’s my track record, because it isn’t – it is because of their fears.  There are men who have tried to dissuade me from my pursuit of greatness by offering me their companionship (as if it will satisfy my desire for success).  There are men who don’t want to have a relationship with me because as of today, I am not as successful as I strive to be, or because they are fearful that my success will one day overshadow theirs.  There are even the men that say they will come to my events, but somehow, never manage to show up.  If they do, they arrive after the event has concluded.  Either way, instead of providing moral support for my endeavors they attempt to minimize them.  There are also the “so-called friends”, who tell me that they will buy my book, and now that it is available, they are still saying the same thing.  In a few short months the second book will be published and they will still be saying the same thing.  Of course, when the day comes for me to accept my crown as The Queen of All Media, they will all want to be the first to tell the world that they “knew me back when”, knowing that they failed to get in on the ground floor.  Super Woman Productions and Publishing LLC is currently in its IPO phase.  It’s new, it’s bright, and it’s shiny.  But it is not a fad, a trend or something that won’t last.  I’m working to build a media and publishing empire that can be sustained long term and inherited by my grandchildren.  I’m working to put other aspiring authors on the path to success. 

I’m blessed to have real friends and loved ones, even a few fans, who believe in me, what I say and what I do.  There is one person that comes to mind who is intelligent enough to get in on the ground floor.  He recognizes that I’m not “just talking”; I’m doing.  He sees my ambition; he understands it and respects it.  He also knows that at the end of the day, the people who don’t support me today don’t really bother me.  It’s the people who do support me that matter most.  It’s the people who are unafraid to buy a copy of my book, interview me, support me however they can, that will see the benefits later on.  It is the people who tell me something I’ve said to them has made a difference in their lives that keep me moving forward.  I understand basic human nature enough to know that as long as I do what I need to, those same people who think that The Company, The Woman and The Brand of Super Woman will not last, will eventually regret not making an investment during my IPO.  It’s a personal choice to get in on the ground floor.  Either way, my stock is rising and this is just the beginning.

Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It’s celebrated nationally with events, conferences and activities.  We celebrate the survivors and commemorate those we have lost to breast cancer, regardless of who they are, by wearing pink, making donations and getting involved.   We do good things for breast cancer awareness during this month. 

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Unfortunately it is not celebrated nationally.  We don’t pay tribute to the survivors or commemorate those who have lost their lives, regardless of who they are.  We don’t get involved or donate to organizations that assist victims and their families.  We don’t speak out to bring awareness.  Some of us don’t even call 911 when we witness an abusive situation on the street.  We tell ourselves things like “It’s not my business.  I don’t know what she did.  She could leave if she wanted to”.  We make excuses for not speaking out and we develop arguments against the victims.  We forget that at anytime, we could be “her”.  We forget that we’ve all had those minor encounters that could have at any second, turned major and put us in her shoes. 

I have been “her”.  About ten years ago I was “her”.  I was in an abusive marriage with a man who was both controlling and cowardly.  At his hands, I had been choked to the point of petechial hemorrhage, had received a cracked rib, black eyes and numerous bruises.  I had also suffered emotional abuse and infidelity that led to a miscarriage.  After three years and too much patience on my part, I ended the marriage and never looked back.  All my dreams of what a marriage should be, were completely shattered.  As a result, I developed trust issues, and I built a wall around myself that hindered me from allowing myself to be completely loved.  To this day I have nightmares and fears associated with the trauma I experienced.  I am one of the lucky ones.  I left alive.

Domestic Violence affects more people than most of us are aware.  It creates lasting damage to individuals and families beyond what you can ever imagine.  It changes lives; just like breast cancer can do.  I encourage that while we pay tribute to those affected by breast cancer, that we don’t forget those who suffer from domestic violence.  On my charm bracelet, I have my pink ribbon charm accompanied by a purple high heeled shoe charm.  It reminds me to take care of my health, in more than one way this and every October.

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 2010
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

In the 16 years since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we have broken the silence surrounding domestic violence to reach thousands of survivors, prevent countless incidences of abuse, and save untold numbers of lives. While these are critical achievements, domestic violence remains a devastating public health crisis when one in four women will be physically or sexually assaulted by a partner at some point in her lifetime. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the tremendous progress made in reducing domestic violence, and we recommit to making everyone’s home a safe place for them.

Read the full proclamation by President Obama by accessing the link here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/10/01/presidential-proclamation-national-domestic-violence-awareness-month