Thursday, April 24, 2008

I’m leaving on the 5:25 plane from Boston (as opposed to a midnight train to Georgia and actually I'm leaving from Providence)

so that title was completely shot! At least, I tried to give you something witty. *lol*

Well, I am going home for a visit this weekend. I am happy to be going home. I like it here, but really there is no place like home. I wonder if I clicked my heels three times…nah I’m sure the airlines destroyed all the ruby red slippers a LONG TIME ago, in an effort to get all our cash!

This is going to be a very interesting visit home for me. I am excited to go home, yet I am not homesick. It is going to be a weekend packed full of all kinds of things. I am actually not going home for a visit as much as I am going home to attend a leadership conference at Rice. I am hoping to set some foundation for some things I want our alumni group to do next fall.

While I love my home and my state, I have often been told several times by different people, I’m seem more like an east coast kind of girl than a southern belle. Now that I am here I can see why. I like Boston for the most part; sure it has some painful history but hell what American US city doesn’t. It also has many shining moments in history. This was where we, the Americans, dumped the tea. This is where we, the slaves, escaped to following our Moses.

I like my job and it feels right here. I feel like my contributions can be felt and aren’t dismissed. I feel like all my life I have been being put through my paces for a time such as now. I know lately I have been talking a lot about myself as opposed to the world outside me and I am sure you are probably tired of hearing all the mumbo jumbo of me living my best life and living in the present and a bunch other stuff that you are tired of hearing, I mean READING, but I just can’t help it its like when you are putting a puzzle together and for the first time YOU see the picture starting to materialize.

My life has kind of been like a puzzle, like I feel like I have something to do and I have felt like all these great things I have experienced have a purpose (my thought is they were to prepare me for the next life’s challenge). I’ve spent the first part of my life collecting all the puzzle pieces, then I spent the next part of my life fitting those pieces together, often worrying to hard what the picture would be. And now, well now I am learning to fit the piece I have into the puzzle, step back and look at the picture as it stands, not worry if the next piece I grab will be in the same area as the last, just reach into my metaphorical puzzle piece box and grab the next piece and spend my time figuring out how it, the piece in my hand fits in my life puzzle. I hope that made sense.

I feel overwhelmingly positive, which for me as pretty upbeat person to begin with means I'm really, really, really happy. I AM LOVE and I want to shout it out on the roof tops, you know like when you are in love you want to tell everyone about well, I AM love. I am just in the moment and taking the moment for what it is. I am not sure when I will move from the space nor do I care, I am just going to enjoy it and be present. It's just I don’t feel like complaining about what is wrong, I feel like talking about what we can do right. I was created for a time such as this. What this is ,I have no idea, but I overwhelmingly know being in this is so enjoyable. This right now this feeling is great.

I am not sure if this feeling is because I am in a new city with no past to limit me or who I am, or if it’s just my time in life where I make shift into the next level of living. I guess we won’t know until it’s over, so I will just enjoy it!

Be EZ,
OG

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who AM I?

Well I am 35. And in my road to 35 I have come to the conclusion, not to sound divine, but I am that I am. I’m just me, I am not black, female, Texan, tall, smart, pretty/ugly(that’s in the eye of the beholder, but I like to think I’m easy on the eyes), or fat/skinny (again, that’s in the eye of the beholder, but I could stand to lose a few lbs). I am me. And who I am has nothing to do with my physical make up, my lineage, or where I come from. It has to do with the soul inside. It doesn’t have to do with the thoughts and things I associate to being me, it has to do with being aware that those thoughts are not me but my mind’s projection of me.

Not until recently, did I realize that when God told Moses “I Am that I Am” in response to Moses asking who should he tell the Israelites He was, how much that phrase related to me. I mean after all, He did create me in His image. So everything He is, is replicated in me. He created everything and I am one with everything He created. The Buddhists call it Zen. It’s the reason that I was disgusted (now I just feel sorry for those people) by people who believe they are better than others for arbitrary reasons. Its part of the reason I am uncomfortable with excessive praise, something that was recently pointed out to me by someone who is extremely close to me. The minute you latch on to whatever it is that you think makes you better, class, education, degrees, intelligence, race, gender, economic status, is the minute you lose yourself. You are no longer you, your essence. You think you are those things. And as we know all things fall away. I am, and now that I fully understand that, I feel I will have peace no matter what surrounds me. Peace and happiness are within me, I was created with that in tact.

Recently, I wrote about my journey to me and my realization of how all the things and trappings in life can not and do not define me. It has been one that I have been on since I turned 30. I think that is why 30 is a big milestone, it’s a time in life where we, well most of us, transition into what I call being GROWN, you know as opposed to just being an adult. Monday I finally got around to reading Tolle’s A New Earth, I’m about half way finished. I was amazed and astonished that he had put into words what I had been doing these past five years. He had given my journey a description and me confirmation. I think I had spent much of my life trying to identify myself and find my happiness with external things. You know doing the right things. Living the life I thought I should live based on the people who were already living the life I wanted and what my family thought I should be doing based on who I had presented myself to be. Crazy huh? I know crazy but true. Just sleepwalking through life.

While I realize I have peeled much of this stuff away and I am no longer letting things on the outside define me, I also realize there is still more work to do. But it does feel really good being present in my life. I have never understood the term awakening more than I do right now. I see why so many women enjoy their 30’s and why 30 is the new 20 and all that jazz. I don’t need to do all that. I just realize life should be enjoyed in the present, what has happened in the past has happened and can’t be changed. What is in my future will happen and the only way I can change my future is to live the best present I can. More than ever I am living in the moment and understand one day at a time.

Well I gotta go. Thanks to all of you for all the birthday wishes. For the record, I spent a pretty quiet 35th birthday in Boston. It was fabulous. I will be going home for the weekend on Thursday, and I plan to party and celebrate life, not just turning 35, when I get home. If you are in the H I hope to see you there, Identity Bar on Friday. Sorry I don’t know what the cover is, but I’ll be there. Have a good week and as always

Be EZ,
OG

Sunday, April 13, 2008

7

As I sit here handwriting this blog on paper for transfer into Blogger (computer issues). I think of the irony that this situation happens 7 days before my 35th birthday. In life we are conditioned, as Americans, to want more, to hoard, to believe bigger is better, most is best, but as I approach this birthday, I have come to life lesson 3,508,989. Simply put, simplicity has it's place. And for me in these last years it has been the the lesson I have needed to learn by living.

So much of my life had been about stuff, not in an unhealthy way, but in a undeniablly American way. In America it's all about more, Sam's clubs and Costco's are filled with people to prove it. Corporate America has convinced us the more we spend the more we save. Which results in having more than we can use. When I think back to our ancestors how little they lived with or even in most modern day countries, I think America is a machine! I'm talking a beast, just growing in consumption exponentially. Consumption Junction what's OUR dysfunction?

In the past 6 months I have come to realize that most of the stuff I had stored from when I moved out of my old house to an apartment 1/3 it's size (just so you know. I took the majority of everything in the house), was EXCESS. I only needed 1/3 of the things in storage in my new house ( the other 2/3 is sitting in my garage awaiting the mother of all garage sales). Crazy huh? Considering I'm back in a house roughly the same size. Logically, you would think everything would fit, but sadly it does not. In that realization I truly understand how much I have overcomplicated myself with things. Just things cause I thought I needed them.

I guess in a way I did need them. I needed them when I bought them. I needed them when they made me feel good that I could buy them. I realized I bought things because I liked them. I mean growing up the oldest of two in a single parent household getting what you, simply, liked was not an option. Just to keep things in perspective, my childhood was great I might not have gotten what I liked, but I did get what I needed, truly loved,wanted desperately, and could only truly NOT live without.

In the last year I have moved into a new space in life, an awakening somewhat. I realized the more I value the things I buy the better and simpler my life becomes. Liking something is simply not justification for purchasing something.

I have come to understand that the 5th pair of black shoes will do my family more good as money in a retirement, money market, or savings account earning interest than it will as a hand me down for some one, even one of them, or collecting dust until they are dusted off for their bi-monthly pairing with an equally as excessive outfit. And it is so liberating.

As I sit here 7 days before my 35th birthday I truly understand less is more and more is more at the same time. An oxymoronical ( I know that is not a word...at least I don't think it is) revelation that is completely clear to me. BALANCE... BALANCE... BALANCE

Balance in every aspect has become my mantra, and I think it will be my path to success. Just like I understand that I will never see the blue screen of death while writing on this pad of paper. I also realized with out this computer I never could have transcribed this messily handwritten blog into Blogger and shared my thoughts with you on the world wide web. It's a balance.

As I sit here 7 days before the big 3-5 feeling balanced writing my blog on paper until I can share this with you guys later in this quiet of the day , I know, more than ever, that balance is the key. And 7 is a Divine and Perfect number, so this must be right! And perfect and divine is exactly how I feel with 7 days left of being 34. I feel ready to take on the world and do the damn thing.

Be EZ,
OG

This blog was inspired while listening to New Amerykah, especially track 3, Me!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

From Baytown to Boston!





Well, it’s my first Saturday in my new place and I grow to love the neighborhood more and more EVERY DAY. Right now I am sitting on my patio drinking a glass of Shiraz and blogging. Crys requested regular blogging, so I’m gonna try to at least blog weekly. NO PROMISES!! Anyway, today I unpacked, washed, cleaned, and grocery shopped (what I countrily call making groceries). I am all set for next week and its just 5:45 on Saturday, so I have the whole weekend in front of me. I see a lazy Sunday in my near future. The game is about to start in 15 minutes. I call Memphis vs North Carolina in the FinalFour finals and Memphis to win it all. I don’t know I just like that team, maybe because they all look like thugs. *lol* You know I have a weakness for a little hood in my men. Nothing is more exciting than a soldier (I’m mean like DC Soldier ) in a tie! *lol*

I love my neighborhood (That’s my building in the picture)…
it is great. The thing that is great about living in the South End is I am walking distance to anything I need. It has it all the shopping, eating, people watching opportunities, and city strolling an OG could want. Today, I rented my first zipcar (http://www.zipcar.com/). I needed to go get groceries so I logged into zip car last night, reserved my a Mazda 3 for this afternoon, and I was ready to go for Saturday errands. Around noon on Saturday after cleaning and washing, I walked a few blocks from my spot and jumped in my zipcar went to Stop and Shop and got some food and stuff. I managed to pick up all the essentials for living and dining at home (I can’t eat out all the time it’s a total money waste.) I’d have to say my first two weeks in Boston when I was staying in the hotel across the street from my job were nice. HOWEVER, the day I moved into my new home away from home, I FELL IN LOVE with Boston. My morning commute consists of walking a few blocks to catch a bus that drops me off right in front of my job, how cool is that. It takes me about 30minutes door to door, which is really nice, really, really nice. I am finally using my iPod Nano enough to say it is worth what I paid. I love walking to the bus stop or T-stop (Boston’s Subway). Did you know Boston has the oldest subway? Yep, Park Street station which is directly under Boston Commons. I learned that this week when picking up my zipcard from zipcar. There’s a big sign that says so on the entrance.

Work is shaping up
I like work for the most part. Most stuff I’m doing is pretty familiar, but this job expects me to be more technical and I am enjoying straddling the line between an analyst and engineer. This is one of those jobs that makes me realize the value of technical BA’s. Enough shop talk. The people are all nice! Way nicer than I expected. I love my Product Manager and my Project Manager is super experienced and knowledgeable. My co-workers are smart, funny, and we get along for the most part. Of course there are a few growing pains. There will always be some roadblocks as you learn what the personality type of your co-workers is and figure out if you have ever had to work with anyone remotely like them. You know to help you get along peaceably. I would give my experience a B+ so far. I expect it will continue to improve. I foresee a lot of long hours and hard work ahead of me, but I also see a lot of learning and growing with that and THAT EXCITES ME!! I hope I pass this latest life challenge.

Me
Most of my life I have never been very self aware, but in these later years of my life I have started to be more aware of me. For a naturally externally focused person, paying attention to yourself is extremely awkward. I have also become more spiritually connected with Jehovah God than normally. Since, I accepted this position it has seen like He has been obviously ordering my steps. I believe in favor, blessings and most importantly, grace. His grace is the most humbling, as I sit and reflect of where he brought this little country azz girl from Baytown, despite all my shortcomings.

What is happening to me right now, both personally and professionally, is beyond anything I ever daydreamed about on Ohio Street. I never could imagined this life, and believe me, I did my fare share of dreaming what my life would be like when I was growing up. BACK TO THE LORD GOD OUR SOVEREGN KING, I just feel like I have felt his hand in everything I have done here in Boston. I got my hotel at a great rate and then on my first full day here I looked at this apartment and fell in love with it, rented it was ready to begin my life in Da Bean, as I like to call it, with out a skip to the beat. My first day of work everyone was nice and helpful. The next two weeks were great, well I got sick the first weekend here but hey new germs new city sometimes that happens. However my time was still nice. Then I moved in to the South End, on Sunday afternoon. This place seems like it was made from me. I was instantly at home here in my apartment and my neighborhood. It’s just so cute. I lay awake at night thinking of just how totally blessed and loved I am and it overwhelms me.


The fam is holding down the home front
My mom and brother have been holding down the home front. I had some yard work done while I was away and my mom coordinated all of that. There was a mix-up that sent my first paycheck home as a live paycheck and not direct deposit. My mom deposited it for me. My brother is enjoying holding down my home front. I do miss my family and friends. Thank God for technology. I still talk and text with everyone as if I am only a short car ride or walk down the street, but alas they are not. I like it here and really other than one person that I can’t be in physical touch with, we write letters, I’d say I have a healthy dose of homesickness for a girl who has such a great support system back home in the H.

Jay, Bey, and MLK… crazy huh?
So the rumor has it Jay and Bey got married yesterday. I totally hope they did. Despite my romantic status and being perfectly happy as a party of one, I am totally FOR LOVE. I had to say something (for those who don’t know my love for Beyonce flirts with borderline standom). I wonder if they planned the wedding on a day that the world would be readily focused on a much more important event on purpose? I doubt it. However, I secretly hope they planned to be married yesterday knowing that the major media outlets would be dedicated to covering the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s slaying. Like I said, I doubt it but its nice to think they would go through that to ensure there wasn’t a media circus hovering in helicopters above them. The gossip outlets say its because four is a special number to them, which is also sweet. Married on 4/4 because 4 is your couple thing.

Well, I will believe four being special has something to do with MLK, I mean after all if he had not been, THEY COULD NOT HAVE BEEN and I COULD HAVE NOT HAVE BEEN and YOU COULD NOT HAVE BEEN. And I mean all of YOU, not just the black yous. I would say the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t just change a race or a country, or even a continent, IT CHANGED THE WORLD. I sure hope that one day Carla’s (buschick) lil’ bit (busbaby) will be blogging about Barack Obama in the same way, well with out a tragic end. I really hope he wins. I still have this sneaking feeling that politics will lift his UGLY head! The Clintons have become very powerful in politics and I will be weary of them pulling strings and collecting favors, until he accepts the Democratic nomination. I am also going to get that new book by Dyson about King is sounds really interesting.


I am so glad Dr. King shared his dream with the world. The struggle of my people is something that drives me to be the best every day. I mean people died for me to have something that was mine to begin with, freedom and equality. I appreciate that, I more than appreciate that, I get it. I get it every time I am faced with a choice to advance myself. I feel with each step I carry my ancestors on my back. I feel that I am blessed to be a blessing. That through me provision for others come. That exposure to life happens.

Exposure, I think that is the single most important thing for us as humans. In a healthy human I think exposure causes growth and forward progression. My exposure to things outside of Baytown came mostly from my LA cousins. They were my mothers first cousins, so as a child I just witnessed their difference and attitude. They were just so different from everything I knew and they were exciting to me as a child and teenager.

I knew where they lived was completely different than my mom and her siblings. I could see it in everything they did even how they handled themselves. That tiny bit of exposure to them, let me know that my dreams were possible that there was a BIG WORLD beyond Baytown and I wanted to see it, be a part of it, LIVE IN IT. I believe in dreaming big, maybe it’s because in my life the bigger I dream the bigger my reality has become. Who knows? My next dream is to go to business school, being here in Boston has really got me to seriously thinking about Harvard. I will have to study SUPER HARD for the GMAT, but if I could get in I would go in a heartbeat. Rice and UT are still viable options for me, but Harvard that’s the DREAM.

My other dream is to get to a position where I can retire my mom. She is a few years away from retirement, but I really would like to be able for her to do something she loves with out worrying if it paid enough for her to live her life. As I grow I take my mom with me each step of the way, I mean what else am I supposed to do. She did it for me. I plan on working on that and coming up with a plan with my financial planner to make that a real goal for our future, when I get back to Houston to live. Well, its time to wrap this up B. Keep dreaming big and as always

Be EZ,
OG

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Week Three and things are going GROOVY!

Well this is week 3 in Boston! And man it’s been pretty fun. This is my first week in my new place and so far so good! Well I only moved in my new place yesterday, but I must say I am totally in love with it. It’s like PERFECT for me. I live in the South End of Boston my neighborhood is pretty diverse and there is a huge statue of Harriet Tubman a few blocks from me. I live on the second story of a three story brownstone. The apartment is furnished and it totally fits my personality. My landlord is away in another city, much like me. I guess she didn’t have a younger brother who was willing to stay in her place. *lol*


It’s still a little chilly here, but actually I am getting use to the cold weather and although it’s cold for a Houstonian it’s not really that cold in the grand scheme of how cold this place can get. I’m glad I get to enjoy the spring, summer, and fall before I have to think about braving a winter here. Hopefully I will be close to completion on the project before the real winters start or at the least ready to brave the cold New England winters.


I really like where I work. It’s challenging and the people are a lot nicer than I expected. The men here are different. The black men from here are definitely different; so far the men that I seem to really hit it off with are still from the south! I went out with this one guy from Boston and his attitude was so….defeatist for lack of a better term. It seems the two Bostonian men I have talked to who were born and raised here are quick to tell me the negatives about Boston and what I won’t be able to do. The thing I find funny is that while I do know there are parts of Boston famous for the racism, its nothing like what we deal with down south. When I told one guy I was thinking of moving to South Boston he was all you don’t want to go there its racist, South Boston is where the movie The Departed took place so I knew it wasn’t JFK blacks are great territory but at the same time no one is dragging people behind trucks or hanging nooses on the high school trees there.


I once heard someone was quoting Thurogood Marshall he said that Marshall said blacks who chose to stay in the South had a stronger constitution than their Northern brothers, simply based on the hell and high water Southern blacks had and still go through as day to day living. Its kinda like training for the olympics as a track athletes, you know why track athletes train in the hottest most humid places, because if you can manage to succeed running a 100 meter dash in the sweltering heat of Houston, running that same dash in a milder less humid climate ain’t nothing. That’s kinda how I feel here, when I hear some of the complaints of racism, I mean doesn’t make it any less offensive but I definitely put it in perspective as a southerner. Like when the one guy was telling me about watching the racism here, I was like man they still dragging black men behind trucks where I’m from so somebody calling me nigger ain’t gonna break me ONE BIT. Yes there are brothers who are profiled and shot unlawfully by the police here, but I would venture to say they are far fewer who come up floating in lakes or ponds for random shyt Northern blacks take being able to do for granted.

Anyway week three has been totally AWESOME! I love my new apartment, I LOVE my new neighborhood, and I really love this public transportation the right way thing. I may never drive again!! *lol*

Talk to you guys later.

Be EZ,

OG