Month: May 2014

What I’m Reading: What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day

I first discovered the insatiable Pearl Cleage during college. Although I’ve read this book before, it never ceases to inspire me. The book is about a woman who is positive for HIV. Her world changes, and she goes back home to visit with her sister, before heading to San Francisco to live the rest of her life….. Only she finds it won’t be so easy to leave her family and friends for good, due to the wretched conditions of the community. The following is an excerpt from the novel. It really makes me think about my prayer/meditation lifestyle. Am I waiting to pray out of danger or to remain safe?

Before we hung up, Joyce asked me if I ever prayed. I told her I had tried to start up when I got sick, but I quit because I knew I was hedging my bets. I figured if I was smart enough to know that, God must know it too, and would probably not only grant my selfish prayers, but might figure I needed to be taught a lesson for trying to bullshit him in the first place. I know once you repent, Jesus himself isn’t big on punishment, but according to all the Old Testament stories I ever heard, his father was not above it.

June is National AIDS Awareness Month, and June 27th is International AIDS Awareness Day. Get informed+Inform Others+Community Awareness+Community Engagement= Change

Thank you to every single person who is following my blog, liked an article, left a comment, featured a brand, viewed my blog, search engined the site, congratulated me, or sent up a prayer for my focus; You make me love being creative. Peace and Blessings. Thank you.

Imitation of A Relationship

Let me first start by saying, by no means am I an expert on relationships, nor how the human mind works. I am however an observer and ex offender of the behavior being discussed.

Women: there is so much to be said for our desires to be a part of a committed union. I truly believe it is a fundamental piece of our existence, to connect, build and grow. We enjoy the sense of security that comes with being in a real relationship, all the trimmings of commitment. So why are so many of us settling for scraps?

I am witnessing woman across various age brackets, allowing men to have “my man” privileges, without the mutual commitment of a real relationship. I’m not against having a friend or friends, but at what point do you stop lying to yourself about what you want? When do you begin to look outside of potential, and face what it is?

Let me lead by example. About six years ago, I was in a situationship. I befriended a gentleman and we spent a great deal of our time together. We spoke on the phone every single day, beginning at six in the morning. We went to comedy clubs, birthday parties, family gatherings (only my family) and hung out with friends (some mutual otherwise, my friends only). Months went by and we never established what we were to one another, although the phrase “I love you” was spoken freely and often. Yet, when I finally got the nerve to ask for what I wanted, it wasn’t what he wanted. And I allowed myself to continue the situationship, simply  because I had high hopes that he would change his mind, Hoping he would realize how good our chemistry was together and how good of a woman I was for him.

But the more I continued to allow the situation to carry on, the more pain I put myself in. I had no right to expectations. I had no right to relationship benefits, although I was experiencing a relationship. Being too afraid to rock the boat of comfort and convenience, I went along with it, until one day I had enough. I told him, if a friendship was all he wanted, then I had to reevaluate my stance with him. A lot of things ended; me cooking for him, letting him use my car, picking him up from work, inviting him to family outings, double dates, the 20+ phone calls and texts all stopped. Once I took my power back, he was no longer interested in coming around.

What I am saying is this: why are we subjecting ourselves to situationships and expecting relationship benefits? Are we that desperate for a man that we are wiling to forfeit our desires, simply to keep someone in our lives?

While we would like to think not, the answer is yes. Yes, I am willing to subject myself to pain and disappointment in order to get a man and keep him. I willing to forfeit wanting to be the affection of a man who wants me, for one who looks good. I am willing to front to be pacified.

My Queens, I want each of you to experience a relationship, a real relationship, that causes you to be nurtured and loved. A relationship where you are wanted, needed and belong. I no longer want you seeking potential in a place of uncertainty. If you have been involved with a man for over six months and there is still no commitment, why are you still putting eggs in that basket? Why is two months long enough to have sex, but not long enough to commit?

 

What are we really saying when we make these types of choices? If you know what you want, why are you rearranging your checklist to fit someone else’s agenda? If you want to be a wife, say so! If you want a family, say so! If you want to be a King’s Queen, say so!

Don’t continue to participate in situationships expecting relationship benefits. It is not for you boo. He does not owe you the commitment of consideration, and why should he? You never asked for it, and if you did, you allowed him to steer you away from your desires.

 

This article is not to bash anyone, but to help someone, see their worth and fight for what they desire. When you settle for less than what you deserve, it will convict you. Everything you do to make it what it is not, will fail. It takes two honey. At the end of the day, if he is not giving you a commitment, reevaluate and move on.

Allow yourself to be happy by spending time with eligible bachelors (leave folks boyfriends/husbands alone) who share your desires. Spend time with people who court you for relationship reasons, not sex reasons. Because if all you are looking for is the physical, fine. But, don’t start talking that “where are we going talk” a month or so after ya’ll have been having sex.

Recognize the connection. Call it what it is. Take off the blinders, put away the fantasies. Be a big girl and say what you want. If he isn’t with the program, don’t put another thoughtful effort into it. Let it be.

You will get what you expect, you just have to put it out there. Live it. Think it. Be it. Your authentic one will come.

Congratulations Class of 2014

I have a lot of babies graduating at various stages in life. At 29, I have over a dozen kids who have left their imprint on my soul. My one baby is going into the Navy. Another into Kindergarten. And another to H.S. And a bunch of in betweeners. But they all remember Ms. Audrey or Ms. Prim. They make me feel so big. Like a dream. A big dream coming true.

 

Congratulations Class of 2014

Remember to take God with you everywhere you travel. He is a constant Help.

Spring Queen Feature: Respect The Queen Clothing & Accesories

pinkcrown Respect The Queen

Respect The Queen has more to offer HeyGirlHey!!! readers.

So if you thought yesterday’s styles were  beyond dope, then get ready to dig into those wallets and pull out the coins!

Respect The Queen is dedicated to delivering the art and the message with their unique pieces.

Head to www.respectthequeen.bigcartel.com

and place your orders today!

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The Price of Silence

She hung the phone up with a heavy mind. So many thoughts tumbling around so fast, she had to sit down in order to calm the swirling storm of thoughts and emotions.

She had to figure out the right reaction to have. The right words to think. Amber had never been any good at being a shoulder to cry on. She could never figure out what was expected of her in those moments. What to do? What to say? How to hurry the conversation to something lighter…..

“That definitely isn’t going to work in this present moment, ” she spoke aloud. Amber had just gotten off the phone with a parent of a previous youth she use to counsel and mentor. KJ was a bright good-looking kid, who was shy at first, but once he knew he could trust you, he’d come out of his shell. KJ was one of Amber’s favorite in the program. He was polite, well-groomed and on time! Most youth looking to change their life around, figure they are doing you a favor by showing up to meetings and workshops, but KJ was different. Every opportunity to experience something new or learn a new skill set, he was there.

So it was very surprising to Amber the night of the awards ceremony when KJ did not show up. How ironic that he would receive the “Best Attendance” Award, and not be present! It didn’t make any sense to Amber. The next day she called his mom and received the shocking news: KJ was arrested for armed robbery. He’d been behind bars for almost two weeks before the ceremony, no wonder none of the staff or other youth had heard from him.

Amber buried her head in her hands and typed up her case notes……Months went by before KJ requested to see Amber. As much as she wanted to reach out to him, she couldn’t. What am I going to say? What could I possibly have to say to hide how I feel? To overlook the circumstances? She gathered up the courage to visit him, but wouldn’t you know, she had to wait to be approved before seeing KJ! Fine with me she thought, I couldn’t take being in there another minute!

All the dreariness and sadness seemed to seep through the walls. There was absolutely nothing cheery about jail, not even the lobby area! So why would anyone want to risk their happiness or freedom to be here, she thought.

After that visit, Amber never returned again. She didn’t want to feel that loneliness, that heavy sadness she felt before. Sure she would check on him through contacts she had with the jail and even accepted a few collect calls, but never again in person.

And then today, almost a year and a half later, KJ has his sentencing. Two birthdays, two New Years, and over a dozen holiday gatherings later, KJ is brought before a judge and jury, to be sentenced. His mom called with the news, “he took the deal,” she says. “Fifteen years, with possible parole once he’s served a reasonable amount of time.”

But Amber doesn’t hear her anymore, she has drifted in her mind to all the moments she had KJ in her presence and spoken to him about his dreams, his goals, his aspirations, his choices in life. How fast money always slows you down in the end. How being young and good-looking takes one only so far. She wanted to weep. She wanted to be angry. She wanted to turn back time, be a guardian angel, help him walk away.

But she didn’t do any of those things, she couldn’t. Instead, she made the promise in her heart that from that day forth, she would find the words to say, in the rough times, she would find the courage to nurture and heal.

***the names and some information has been changed or exaggerated to protect the innocent.

Spring Queen Feature: Respect The Queen

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Oh no! I know you didn’t think we were gonna boost you up about the awesome fashions of Respect The Queen and not show the goods?!?

Nah, never that!

Respect The Queen has every woman of purpose covered, whether you’re more casual or big on bright colors.

But rest assure, whatever your fly, Respect The Queen has you covered!

Be sure to check out all the merchandise you see here, simply by clicking a picture.

Or visit www.respectthequeen.bigcartel.com

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Spring Queen Feature: Respect The Queen

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Spring Queens is back for another week of spotlighting talent and entrepreneurial ambition.

This week’s Spring Queen is all about expression and empowerment. I truly hope each of you get a “take away” from this feature. Be it an actual item of clothing you choose to purchase, or encouragement/inspiration to go after your dreams and goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce

Respect The Queen.

Who is the woman behind Respect The Queen? Introduce yourself to the readers. 

Respect The Queen

Respect The Queen

The woman behind “Respect the Queen” is Terra J. I’m a 35-year-old single mother originally from Saginaw, Michigan. However, I currently reside in Dallas, Texas.  I’m currently in the process of finishing up my MBA in Public Administration.  By day I am a litigation clerk for a local law firm. By birth I am a Queen! I am a mom! I am human! I am transparent! I am authentic! I am a work in progress.

What is the motivation behind the Respect The Queen brand? How did the concept become a successful business?

I was born in to chaos and I struggled all of my life to maintain my Queen stature. I lacked the fatherly role model every “Queen in Training” deserves as a child. I became very rigid and cold. Against all odds I continued to move forward in my life! About a year ago I began to look deep within myself and through this journey I realized I deserved so much better in life. I realized I had lost the Queen within! I began to tap into a power beyond my understanding. I started to talk to other Queens who also experienced trials and tribulations. I’m a business major so I began to ponder on how I could use my experience, strength and hope to help every women tap into her inner Queen.  I ran across a beautiful Queen by the name of Kellie Brew and the magic began.  In the meanwhile I have met a variety of African Queens who just happen to be artist and they have helped my vision come to life. My vision is for African Queens to see themselves on all sorts of apparel because I feel as though we are underrepresented and/or exploited in the industry.  Success means many things to many people but for mean success is when a Queen is empowered and uplifted after a “Respect the Queen” experience.

How does it feel to be a Boss? What does that term mean to you?

I really don’t see myself as a “Boss” but as an advocate for Queens all over the world. A “Boss” leads people to help him or her live their dreams. I personally want to uplift and empower Queens to live their own dreams.

How long has Respect The Queen been in operation? Tell us about your first year compared to where you are now.

Respect the Queen was established in November of 2013.  I haven’t been in business for a full year . The difference today is I have evolved into a better woman. I’ve been able to dig deeper into my soul and identify with my customer’s on a deeper level. I’ve been able to establish actual relationships with my customer’s. My customer’s have full access to me outside of a business relationship. We chit-chat about life and I make an attempt to impact their lives. The difference between “Respect the Queen” and other ‘s is I truly want to establish life, long relationships with my Queens.

With creativity, comes the drama of one’s own mind. How do you manage the highs and lows which comes with being a creative individual?

Yes, there are a lot of highs and lows when running a business. Some days I receive very negative attention and it hurts my soul because I know my hearts  true intention. Prayer and meditation keep me grounded. I read a lot and I stay involved in my community. The Queens that I’ve been able to establish relationships with truly uplift and inspire me more than I do for them. At the end of the day if I just help one Queen tap into her inner Queen then I know I’ve done what My Creator intended for me to do and that for me is enough.

Tell us about the moment you sold your first piece of Respect The Queen clothing?

I was so scared no one would feel the concept behind my vision. A friend from my hometown  bought my first piece. I was so scared she wasn’t going to like it once she received it.  I remember the first notification I received with pictures of her rocking my shirt it was the most amazing feeling I’ve felt other than giving birth to my son. For the first time in my life I knew that I could do anything  I set my mind to. It wasn’t about the money by far! I didn’t’ care if I sold another shirt! The inspiration, motivation and empowerment that came with that first sale has inspired me to continue to live my dreams.

Fill in the blank.  The most important thing I did not know when I first started that I know now is, ______.

I did not know my family as a whole would not support me but that mere strangers would be my biggest supporters! 

I follow your brand on Instagram. One of the many things I enjoy about your page, is that you are socially awake in an era where a lot of people of influence choose to “go along to get along.” Why are you choosing to join the trenches of causes such as the Leon Ford case?

I met Leon via Instagram and his spirit spoke to mine. I joined Leon because we are supposed to support one another. We cannot afford to continue to turn the other cheek on issues we all have faced at one point or another in our lives and/or we know someone who has encountered these issues. I know what it feels like to be black in America. That alone inspires me to help anyone I can.

What do you say to those who believe there is nothing they can do to create change in their community?

I say they are the reason we continue to face these issues in our community. We cannot expect to drastically change overnight. We did not get into this situation overnight!  It will take a joint effort to build back our communities. We must uplift and empower each other. No one else is going to do it! One small act of change every day is far greater than no change at all. We must unify or die!

What is the legacy you would like to leave both personally and professionally?

My personal and professional life is always intertwined. I tend to try to separate the two but they go hand in hand. If I only had one thing to leave behind in this world, I would want to leave my people with the ability to uplift and empower each other without exploiting one another. This is the legacy I will leave for my son and his family. That for me is something money cannot buy!

 

***About the Spring Queen: I am not an artist! I am not even a designer! I’m just a Queen who had an idea of how to mesh art and apparel! Fortunately it worked! Take a risk on yourself or no one else will!