Ngala-Najla

I Celebrate Myself…


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The Journey

Maria Shriver discussed this poem on a Youtube clip I was watching. I decided to post it because of…well, if you’ve read the last couple of blogs I’ve posted, you will understand:

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

The poet’s name is Mary Oliver.

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I Need…

I think I need some kind of inspiration. I need something that makes me believe again. I need to believe in something that creates a limitless belief in possibilities within me. Right now, I am barren… I am motivated to register voters for The Movement, but I do not feel motivated to create a movement within myself. I find myself applying to jobs because I am desperate to come out of this rut of eating peanut butter sandwiches and foods that are not nutritious for me. The thing is, what am I really waiting for? Am I waiting for some magical thing to occur, some kind of divine intervention?

Oprah had a Rabbi on her show the other day, talking about the state of our families. He made an interesting point: We often believe we are failures because we compare ourselves to things that we see in the media and other places believing that to be success– material things, other people’s lives. He stated that success is loving your husband, your wife, your kids, taking care of your responsibilities, day to day. I think that I am being bogged down by where I think I should be at the moment– some exotic place, advocating for the rights of people from a village, with a Masters degree, a law degree and two marathons under my belt all this while working on my first book.

I find that I am, at the moment, my worst enemy. My unwillingness to celebrate what I have achieved is holding me back– I am wallowing in my own self-pity… whoa is me. In fact while writing this I have a lot to celebrate and be thankful for. The fact is that I am one of a few within my graduating high school class with a graduate degree. I have a great support system and people who love me. Yet, when I came across a Facebook page of this young woman I knew from grad school who is in… you guessed it– India (my dream place), the green eyed monster emerged. Get this, she was getting ready to spend a week at an ashram. Now, the more I read, the more I wallowed…. and time passed me by– another moment I was not celebrating my life.

I need to change, to be proactive and not reactive. That’s why, get this– I think I am actually going to fast this Ramadan. Yes, people I think so. I need some time to really dig inward. This mental quagmire has to be eliminated. Like Barack Obama said on Thursday, “Enough!”


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Contemplation

Contemplation

As I sit upon the porch and watch the bushes wrestle with the wind
I ponder the prospects of my future

In looking up at the stars in the darkest of night skies
I hope and pray for something grander

Into the night I beckon an answer
One that is clear and true
In a moment I will really know
What I am suppose to do

But what if it never comes
Will I be sitting here forever?
As time passes me by
Missing all of life’s splendor
Copyright © 2008 RNLH


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The Buck Stops Here: Ending the Cycle of Victimization and Single Black Motherhood

I begin this blog entry knowing that stuff happens, however, I have been challenged with my choice of not having a child at the moment. Realistically, it is not a choice (I just haven’t found the right guy,yet) but in a lot of ways it is. As a black woman who has had an absentee biological father, I have made the decision to wait until I find someone who is committed to raise a family in a very different way than I was raised most of my life. This choice has left me with blank stares from mothers in the park when they find that I do not have children of my own and that the child I am with is actually my nephew.  Little jokes would arise here and there by family members about me living alone for the rest of my life. “At least you would have child who would be there for you,” they would say.

The state of the black family is unfortunately in peril and although I am open to dating other men of color, my child will be at least be half black and I will be a black mother, inshAllah (God Willing). I remember when I was around the age of 13 or 14 making a promise to myself that I would wait until I worked all my stuff out ( dealing with the daddy factor, having a mom who was burdened carrying a lot of the load and just seeing a lot of people around me full of resentment–dreams deferred) before I had children— because of what my mom went through. Now, at the age of 30 I am realizing that I am probably in the minority of not having a child, and for a while I was feeling down on that fact. However, after watching and reading recent coverages of the state of the black family and reevaluating my life, I am committed more than ever to find the man who is self assured in himself to know that he is worthy of giving and receiving love and being a part of a healthy family makeup. The men in my past were broken souls and honestly so was I (laws of attraction) but during that time I knew that being lackadaisical in protecting myself would be a detriment.

I am tired of the victimization of black women, the continuous story where the men left them to be single mothers. Again stuff happens, but I believe we have more power than we deem ourselves to have. I believe that we need to be more accountable to ourselves: seek upstanding men (and they are out there) to be our life partners. I am talking of course about straight relationships. So for me, the buck or the cycle stops here. We black women should reclaim our rightful place and own the fact that we deserve good men by our sides and yeah, it’s hard— ain’t nothing like a man, but honestly, ain’t nothing like a strong (black) family, either.


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Continous Goodness

I had a great yoga session today. I realized that I am more flexible and with that I am introducing more advanced poses into my sequences. More importantly, I really feel this sense of groundedness, which is an interesting feeling. I hope to continue to grow in that direction. I am also realizing that I am just simply turning away from eating chicken and turkey. I feel as if my body is demanding more vegetables. My hope is to have a 80/20 type of consumption rule in favor of the veges, in the future. It is really interesting, I really cannot describe it. The thing is, I do not know if I would totally turn away from all forms of meat, I love me some curry and jerk chicken, every now and again, and I haven’t consumed beef or pork in close to 10 years. What I know now is that I am in no rush, I will continue to listen to my body and make a change when I have the means to do so.

I also have to be realistic: my parents home is a meat loving environment with little vegetables and fruits to go around. I am in the midst of job searching not only for the development of a professional career (although it is important) so to speak, but more in importantly to fund a better healthy lifestyle. My body, my spirit and my soul craves continuous goodness.


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Back For the First Time

I try to listen and watch my elders, especially my mothers. The ones who have walked upon this earth longer than I have walked this earth. I was watching Oprah today, it was the SEX special, to be honest: nothing was really shocking to me, but I still learned something new. One of the guest was over 60 years old and she talked about going through stages in life, reevaluating different moments in her life and entering different chapters. She talked about becoming comfortable with herself finally after 50, when she began to not sweat the small stuff. She talked about the anxiety, the surprise at a broken heart earlier on in life. I guess I am getting use to the surprise…I just do not want to be jaded.

I went to an Erykah Badu concert tonight. It was a free concert, part of the Citypark Concert Series, and honey, I danced– in an open field, without shame, or worry about how I would look to the cute boys/men passing me by. I danced with realization that I am entering a new chapter in life becoming more comfortable in who I am. I danced until my feet hurt. I danced with my nephew. I just danced.

See, I used to dance with no inhibition and then something happened: I started to look outside of myself and started to shy away from anyone looking at me, afraid of what they might say and what they might think. I did that for most of my 20s, only dancing in dimly lit clubs, or with a lot of my friends around….today, although I was with my sister (for most of the time she sat on the blanket), I could have easily seemed to be by myself, just dancing.