Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year End Review - 2016 Edition

Disclaimer:  This post was written earlier this afternoon.  At the release time of this post (10:00pm EST), I am in church getting ready to bring in the new year!!!  

As I sit here after having brunch with some wonderful people, I cannot help but think how blessed I am.  I'll be the first person to admit that 2016 didn't go as planned, but apparently God (the higher power I believe in) had other things in mind.  

There are some things I started to accept about myself this year, even though other people have not been as understanding.  I realized how introverted I am (and yet people still bug me about going out - let it go)!  I like this side of me and it's part of what makes me unique.  I also realized that my anxiety was not getting any better and that I needed to go back on medication.  It's not what I wanted, but apparently it is exactly what I needed to start the getting better process.  Yes, I'm still medicated and yes, I'm still ok with that.  One thing I'm extremely proud of from this year is that I decided to talk and write openly about my anxiety.  I've learned my anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and I'm really tired of the stigma behind mental health issues.  No, we are not crazy or ticking time bombs - we're people who have a different wiring and sometimes, medicine is the best thing.  

My relationship with my parentals is the best it has ever been.  I think this year, we finally figured out there are now three adults in the family, but I will always be their child.  We can go out and have a ball or we can all sit in our respective places in their house (when I go visit) and enjoy just being around each other.  It feels so good to be in this place with them and I know next year, it is only going to get better.

I am still getting back into a workout routine.  Although I'm not seeing the results as quickly as I want, people are seeing them.  Just this morning, someone told me my face was smaller.  I'll take my small victory!!!  I'm doing my best to get back into yoga because I miss the flexibility.  Don't let my plus body fool you, I can bend and I will bend better in 2017.  

My plus body.  This blog - The Plus Diaries!  Goodness, what a year it has been in this blog!  Including this post you are reading right now, I've written in this blog 121 times this year!  I haven't written that much in the past 3 years combined.  I was determined to get this blog out more and I think I did well.  Now, just to keep up this intensity.  I can't promise 121 next year, but I can promise more posts and new elements!  

I try to stay out of my personal life in this blog, but since I'm reflecting on the entire year, I owe it to you to give you some insight.  I grew closer to some people and some people, I learned that distance was best.  I learned what I could tell people and what I couldn't.  Just because I talk about it on here (or twitter) doesn't mean that I'm going to talk to you about it in person.  I figured out that some people only were nosey or were using it as ammunition to shoot me in the back.  That's fine.  You're all at a safe distance and in 2017, that distance will grow until I feel safe.  My love and I hit a rocky patch, but any decent relationship goes through those moments.  The fact that we have both decided to do better is great and I hope we get back on steady and level ground in 2017.  On the other hand, I'm glad we hit this patch because we both learned the meaning of the word "fight".  You have to fight for what you want and not be afraid of the battle.  

I know I pride myself on finding the positive in everything, but that doesn't mean that I think 2016 was great.  I found a good thing to celebrate each day, but 2016 was a savage.  I'm still not where I thought I would be and it's not because I didn't try.  This was one of those years where I took five steps forward, just to take twenty backwards.  It's hard to move ahead when you feel everything is crashing in around you.  But with that crashing, I did learn this about me - I'm a lot stronger than what I ever thought I was.  On the days when I would have rather stayed in bed, I got up.  On the days it would have been easier to take my own life, I talked to someone.  On the nights I thought about doing something dangerous, I stayed in.  It takes a strong person to not take the easy way out.  

So, in all of this craziness and the savageness that was 2016, I have to give it its proper name.  2016 was the year of my strong woman.  Even on the days where my head was just above water, I never drowned.  That inner person I carry with me is a lot bigger than I ever imagined and I am so thankful she showed up when I needed her to over this entire year. 

Well, bring on 2017.  No, there are not any resolutions for this year.  I've set some goals for my blog, but no personal resolutions.  I believe I should always strive to be better today than I was yesterday.  Might as well stick with that in 2017 and the years I hope to have to come.  

As you venture out or stay in tonight, I wish you safe travels, fun times, and a wonderful time watching TV.  I hope 2017 brings you all the desires of your heart and then some.  Be safe.  Be epic.  Be you.  





HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!   

Please note: All photos courtesy of Pexels! 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Backstage Pass 2016 Finale

What a wonderful year it has been for The Plus Diaries!  I've had the chance to participate more in tweet chats, got another photo shoot in the books, left an agency (but joined another), made some great blogging friends online, and getting ready to introduce some new elements to the giant umbrella.  Out of all of those things, there is one thing I'm most proud of...

Backstage Pass took off in a way I didn't see coming.  I took a giant leap by just reaching out to people.  Although I had a goal do to 10 and only completed 7, I am so thankful and grateful to those I was able to talk to this year.  These talented and amazing people allowed me into their lives so that you, my wonderful readers, could know them a little better.  It's an experience I am so thankful for and it's one I am looking forward to continuing in 2017 (yep, already have a few people lined up)!  


Audrey, Ify, Glen, Massiel, Jennifer, Sarah, and Stacy - thank you so much for allowing me to take up some of your time!  You have no clue how happy I was to learn a little bit more about each of you and what you do during this wonderful journey of life.  As always, we are looking forward to seeing you thrive and please let us know if we can be of any help to you in 2017!  Happy New Year!!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Survival


I made a solid effort this year to be more open in this blog.  I decided not to just write on the days I felt like it, but I also wrote on the days I could have cared less about anybody else or myself, for that matter.  Looking back, even when I didn't tell you I'm having a bad day, I can clearly see that day was a bad day.  I think it makes me more honest and real.  It's like all of my social media pages - I show you my good moments, but I also show you those days when I'm rolling my eyes and wishing people would just leave me the heck alone.  I also know when to limit my social media before I get on there and start hurting feelings.  

Well, today was one of those days when I probably needed a fast acting anxiety medication.  I mean, I have my daily medication, but today, I needed something right then and there!  I was hostile and I just didn't feel like being bothered, but stuff just kept coming!  People just kept coming.  Everything that I did not want to be bothered with just kept coming!  But in the midst of all the morning madness, I had a interesting conversation that could result in a meeting tomorrow.  Hey, that works for me.  But then came the afternoon...

I wanted to give everyone a chill pill!  I could actually feel myself getting a headache.  And then I get home to think a package had been left at my place, just to figure out the package wasn't left.  I knew where it was (because I took the initiative to figure out where it was), but the owner of the package thought I didn't.  Yes, I made the owner look for it because their name was on it.  After it had been found, I left them know I knew where it was, but was just waiting on them to put in the work to get it.  And that is when it dawned on me...2017 must be different.  

If you want to be part of my life, you are going to have to work for that.  I work to be part of yours and a relationship, friendship, partnership, and whatever other ship we are sailing on must have two people to properly stay afloat.  Another thing - I'm going to stop giving passes to people.  Ok, we all have bad days, but if you having such a bad day that you are on the war path and trying to destroy everything and everyone you see that day, stay in your own domain.  Don't come out and come for me.  You will get got back next year.  It's time out for craziness.  Also, when I get you back, you will also be on my naughty list for a length of time to be determined at the moment of the craziness.  Naughty list = no contact.  When I'm ready to let you back into my life, you will know.  I'm not afraid to let one of those ships do down in flames.    

It's funny how a few hours out of an entire day can put almost an entire year into a weird perspective.  However, I have to admit this revelation also came from a conversation I had yesterday.  When you take the time to listen to someone and see life from their angle and allow them to give you insight, life can change.  From the conversation, I noticed I needed to make a few changes because people are looking to me for some type of guidance and I can't give proper guidance if I'm stuck myself.  It's just not going to work. 


Note:  All photo courtesy of Pexels! 
 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Goal!!

As I wind down 2016, I realize one mistake I made at the beginning of the year - even though I corrected it by July.  I didn't really make any goals for this blog.  I just sort of went with it.  It worked well for me, but then I started doing so much, I felt like I needed something to help me stay stable.  After participating in some chats and then having monthly meetings with my manager, I've decided The Plus Diaries needs to have some goals.  Don't worry, the author (me) will have some personal goals, but right now, I want to share some goals with you from The Plus Diaries!  

I started using a bullet journal over the summer.  People use it for various things, especially organization.  However, I found it more useful for me when it came to dealing with my anxiety.  It's still going to be used for that purpose (because I really need it), but it will also be used to help me keep track of my goals.  

Numbers, when it comes to stats, followers, and all that other social media jazz with my blog has never been a huge thing to me.  I wanted my blog to be quality, not quantity and I still plan on this blog being such.  However, I would be telling you the biggest lie if I told you that I wasn't at all concerned with the numbers.  I am concerned with the numbers, but probably not like I should be.  I want to work with brands and most brands tend to work with you only when you have a massive following.  I don't have a massive following, but I put out (in my opinion) great posts!  I'm honest.  I'm real.  I'm myself.  Ok, so I don't have 5000 followers, but the followers I do have are real and not bought.  Moving on...

The two pages I set up to keep track of my numbers are simple, but I like them.  The first page is dedicated to my social media - my twitter, my life in photos (aka instagram), and the facebook page (the newest addition to the #TPD umbrella).  As you can see, I have set some pretty solid goals for next year and I hope to be able to achieve them.  However, I also know it will not be the end of the world if I don't make it.  I will just keep pushing until I make some things happen.  

The next page is a bit unique because it's not really a goal - it's a way for me to see what's going on in my blog.  The highest value on the chart is basically the monthly average from my blog this year.  I figure if I can stay around that number, I am having a pretty awesome blogging 2017.  Plus, if I happen to go over, that will be amazing to see!  Also, we all know I like to take blogging breaks - hopefully, having to meet these goals will keep me from taking so many!  On the other hand, if I feel like I'm getting tired of this whole blogging thing, I will take a break because I never want to hate doing this. 


How do I plan to make this goals happen?  I wish I had a solid answer for you, but I don't.  I do know that I plan on using techniques to help me get my blog out there - setting up tweets, getting more involved in chats, starting my own chat, and making sure I'm staying more in tune with things happening around me.  You are probably wondering how does that last thing fit?  Well, the fact is, everything inspires me, so I need to pay attention to the things happening around me because I never know what I'm going to get to write about (even though I try to keep a schedule).  

I'm looking forward to bigger and better things in The Plus Diaries this year.  I can't wait to start the chat, I cannot wait to have guest hosts for the chat, I cannot wait to do guest spots with other bloggers, and I am just absolutely thrilled about the opportunities that may come my way.  

So, here's to a wonderful 2017 and to all of you reaching your goals.  What is on your list of things to achieve next year?  

Monday, December 26, 2016

Coming down from the high

The Christmas season is over.  Life can get back to normal and the credit card bills can start rolling in...and so can something else.  

It's no big secret this time of year has the highest suicide rates.  I saw a commercial earlier today and it was talking about how people are just unhappy with the start of the new year.  I overheard someone say they should just be happy they survived the past year.  It was then I realized it was best to keep my mouth shut because the fact of the matter is that some people just barely survived this year and really didn't get a chance to live it and enjoy it.  

Depression is real.  Anxiety is real.  Life is real!!!  We all handle it different ways and I salute those of you who can wake up every single morning and feel like today is going to be the best day or your life no matter what happens or what you see.  Now, I pride myself on being positive and putting a positive spin on everything, but that does NOT mean that I do not get down in the dumps for at least 5 minutes during my day.  On the other hand, I also have things that can help me come out of my funky mood.  

This is the time of year where some people measure their worth by the amount of presents they get.  That's not me, but some people are on that path.  Could you imagine being one of those people and only getting one gift?  Honestly, that could send him or her over the edge and the rest of us are left here wondering what happened.  This is also the time of year where family will hold in everything they have been wanting to say over the past 11 months and spill it at the lunch table, just to embarrass you and make you feel inadequate.  Yep, just another thing to set some people off but next year the family asks why aren't you spending the holidays with us this year.  

This season is supposed to be about helping each other and loving each other - even strangers.  I went on a walk at the resort I'm staying at right now and even though I was deep in my music, I was always in the place of mind to smile at everyone I passed on the trail.  You don't know what type of day (or days) they have had with their families (or without) and a simple smile can change someone's entire moment!  Every person I passed, I simply couldn't pass them by without at least nodding my head or saying hello.  However, that is also something called common courtesy - try it sometimes.  


I need a favor from you.  For the rest of 2016, give someone a smile.  If you are not feeling up to it (and believe me, I understand those days), wait for someone to give you a smile.  Trust me, it's coming and you are not going to be able to help but to smile back.  Spread some happiness and love for the rest of the year and when 2017 starts, you won't be able to help but start the year off right.  Stay happy people and enjoy these last few days of the year.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Who are you?

This post is going to be semi-short, sweet, and to the point because I have plans tonight, but I want to get this done.  For it to be a Monday, I had an awesome day at work.  I was able to get some clarification on a project from a very good source.  Someone requested a change to a project and I was able to get that back off my desk within three hours.  I met someone who was going to be joining my department (even though that means my office mate is leaving).  I found out I still get to be wall buddies with one of my friends and we can still communicate at work via wall code.  I found out a project we once thought was urgent was no longer priority, so I don't have to rush.  It was a great Monday.  

But my absolute favorite part of the day didn't even have anything to do with me.  Something really great happened to one of my coworkers and I was so excited.  Actually, I'm still excited.  I made it a point to congratulate him and in return, he thanked me for my help.  I wasn't expecting a thank you because in my eyes, I just did what I thought was right - to help someone.  In typical fashion, I shared my joy on social media.  I didn't give out details because they were not needed, but I did give a general message.  

As per life, you have the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Even though you are getting ready to see photos, let me go ahead and tell you what my tweet said.  

I can't say this enough, if you can't celebrate the victory of someone else even when u feel defeated, u won't get 2 know victory. Share, ppl!  

I think it was obvious that I was excited about something.  As for the sharing part, I just wanted people to share in the victories of others.  That's it.  And yes, I wrote it in here just like it is on Twitter.  It's not like you're not about to see it anyway.  

Well, someone else was happy to see the tweet.  Since you know the good, the bad, and the ugly exists, let me at least show you the good.  


This tweet came from a fellow blogger.  I think you can see why I wrote the entire tweet out for you now.  I only know this young woman from my blogging communities, but she quoted the tweet and I liked her quote.  That's what I wanted to do.  I wanted to spread some more happiness around, even though the reason behind the happiness had nothing to do with me.  I would say this next part is the bad and the ugly, but the more I think about it, the more I think those names don't even fit.  

Quite frankly, I don't know what to think of them or make of them.  Rumor has it these are parody accounts, but I have no time for foolishness, even on social media.  So, let me get out these screen shots.  





You see this person that replied?  I have no clue who it (only using it because I'm not sure of the sex - no disrespect, even though they show me none) is.  However, they like to tag people in their posts.  I don't know.  I guess this is how some people become social media famous.  But, I don't want to be part of the madness.  

I've said this before and I will say it again - just because you see something on social media, it doesn't require a response from you.  Scroll, say what you need to in your head, and keep scrolling.  But some people have not mastered that art.  

Anybody who knows me and anyone who has been reading my blog for any amount of time knows that I do not talk politics.  It's not my lane!  There are plenty of better people out there who are cut out for this.  The closest thing I have to a political post is this one I did about why I vote.  It's not me.  I know what I'm good at and I keep it there.  So, what in the hell (just like I wrote on twitter) did politics have to do with what I just wrote?  If you can't find the relationship, you're not alone.  But there is more...


Yes, the saga continues.  As I have stated to you and tried to explain to it, my tweet was meant to be in celebration.  I was so happy for this person.  Even as I type this (even though it these photos show the negative), I'm still happy for this person.  When I get to work tomorrow, I'm still going to be happy for this person!  Getting this news before the holiday just makes it better and he loves Christmas!  

So because my parents taught me manners, I explain (even though I don't have to explain anything I do in this life).  Then it decides to twist it again.  I even told it they are not celebrating because they weren't in my office.  Honestly, I really tried to drive home the point of this tweet being something exciting and happy, not this dark and twisting thing it and its friends were trying to jump on.  And cats?  Let's get one thing really straight - I hate cats!  I have allergies and I cannot tolerate being around them.  Red eyes, runny nose.  I have enough to deal with during the Spring without adding an animal to it!!!  But then, it continued...


In this tweet, I told it what I was celebrating (vaguely because it was really none of its business).  I'm still trying to figure out what it balanced out because if its goal was to try to upset me and get me out of character, it didn't succeed.  

I'm not that person.  I'm not that person that sits behind a screen on carries around a phone and think who can I tick off today?  I have too much to do for that to be my focus.  And I know people like that exist, but how miserable must you be to want to make everyone around you and people who you will never meet in person get down to your level.  I choose to rise above and continue to be myself.  That's how my parents raised me and since I am a reflection of them, I choose to remember my home training.  

But the saga continues...

I really thought we had turned a corner when it said thanks, but I was wrong.  The madness ended here.  Don't get me wrong, I was prepared to keep going.  Don't let this short stature and smile on my face fool you.  Just like my parents raised me to be respectable, they also taught me how to defend myself (even if it means turning to the second amendment).  

I'm not a toy.  I'm not one to be reckoned with.  And I'm definitely not one to be played with, parody account or not.  There is another tweet where it or one of it's friends didn't even spell my name right, but I digress.  

So, let me tell you why I know these are probably trolls or some people with way too much time on their hands.  Since my first encounter with them (which was at least a month ago), I've easily tweeted 5000 times...and that's probably on the low end.  I'm constantly tweeting about this blog, my day, involved in tweet chats, talking about TV shows, and just in general conversation with some cool people.  So, in 5000 tweets, you find this one and you decide to have a little fun with it?  Hell, I wrote it and had to go back and search for it!  What are you doing with your day?  You know what, I don't even care.  But let me tell you what I'm doing with my day....

I'm working.  I'm working on making sure I'm at my job, doing a good job so I can keep providing for myself.  I'm working on making sure the people around me are feeling uplifted when they are feeling down.  I'm working on making sure my parents know they raised me right by being a good steward of the lessons they gave and still give me.  I'm working on this blog and the things that go with it to make it better.  I'm working on building a community on social media I can learn from.  I'm working on some things I don't even want to say out loud just yet because it is in the very early stages.  

But let me tell you what I am not and will never work on - tearing someone down just to get a good laugh on a screen.  Well played, it.  Very well played.  It and I will eventually meet again.  I'm sure of it.  But the ending will remain the same - me doing what I do best and rising about the foolishness and the madness it tries to create.  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Introducing...

I've had the pleasure of participating in some wonderful tweet chats in 2016.  However, I cannot even write this post without sending some love to Selina Weekes, founder of Manik Mag and #HautiesTalk (which happened long before 2016).  Ok, let me get back to it! 

There have been some wonderful tweet chats I've had the pleasure of joining.  Many of them are across the pond in the UK, but that has just helped me to grow my blogging community.  In fact, I have so many chats I participate in that I must keep them in my calendar so I don't miss a single one! Because I've had so much fun and I'm looking for more ways to grow this blog, I've decided to start my own chat!  Let me introduce to you #TPDchat!!!  



Now, this is going to be so much more than a just a chat that happens twice a month.  This is going to be a way for me to get a better connection with other bloggers.  Bloggers have helped me so much by retweeting and liking my blog posts.  They have also been instrumental in leaving comments and giving advice.  Therefore, this will be my official hashtag for you to use when you want a blog post retweeted (after I have read it, or course) and this will be what we will use while participating in my tweet chats.  Just like many of the others I participate in, these are open to anyone who wish to participate.  Just because you don't blog doesn't mean you are not blogging now and it doesn't mean you are not reading blogs. 

#TPDchat will be launching in January and I am so excited!  I know this is happening really
quick, but the first chat will be happening January 4 at 6:00pm EST.  I'm pretty sure that is 11:00pm UK, but I hope some of my friends over the pond will be willing to have a late night and participate.  The second chat of the month will take place on January 21 at 2:00pm EST.  I know it's midday Saturday, but I really hope many of you will be able to join me.


I've told you about the upcoming chat dates and times, the hashtag, and how I plan on using this platform to help the blogging community.  With all things, we, the participants, make things good or bad.  I know I'm going to put in the work, but I hope you are also willing to put in the work to join in.  I'm not just talking about joining in with the blog, I'm talking about you diving into the blog.  This next part is probably the most exciting thing I wanted to share with all of you today.  

I want you to host some of these chats!  Yes, you!!!  It's so simple to find out how!!!  Once you contact me, we will find out what topic you want to discuss and when you can host.  Once we have those and some other details ironed out, you will be ready to host!  

I'm absolutely thrilled about this new adventure and I am really hoping you are too!  I look forward to making #TPDchat great and another place for people to connect, grow, and learn from each other.  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hairspray Live - the quick version

OH – EM – GEEEEE!!!!!  Hairspray Live gave me all types of life last night!  I’ll be the first to admit it didn’t fully give me what I was expecting and I was not impressed with Derek Hough.  However, there are plenty of people waiting to write (or have probably already written) their pieces about the bad things that happened during the production.  Yes, there was a few and all you have to do is go to the Twitterverse to find them.  But, I want to focus this post on some tweets and the ups that I found while watching the show.  So, without further ado, here is my Hairspray Live positive blog. 

SINGING
Tracy, portrayed by Maddie Baillio started us off with Good Morning Baltimore.  Now, I may be a little biased because I was just happy to see her and see what she was going to do, but I think she did absolutely awesome with the opening.  Plus, she has a beautiful voice, in my opinion.  Velma, portrayed by Kristin Chenoweth just belted out everything she sang last night.  Kristin is short in stature, but dang does she have a hell of a voice. 

I tried really hard to not have a favorite performance, but that’s just not possible.  Of course, You Can’t Stop the Beat will always be in my list of favorites because it’s just a catchy song and it makes you feel good.  If you were able to not move while listening to that song last night, you must have had a really rough day!  

However, there are three performances last night that just brought down the house.  The final song of Act One (“Big, Blonde and Beautiful) performed by the ever talented Jennifer Hudson who played Motormouth Maybelle was superb.  Like many of us, I was waiting on her to start “yelling”, but she didn’t.  She just performed like we all remember from her American Idol days.  Edna (Harvey Fierstein) and Wilbur (Martin Short) started off the second act with “You’re Timeless to Me”.  I posted on Twitter how it was probably weird for me to like that performance, but my mind was eased by a few people who agreed that it was an amazing performance.  Two comedians doing what they do best – making us feel something, even if it is not laughter.
 
To round out my three favorite performances of the night, I have to make you understand something.  Although Jennifer Hudson performed this song, it is a particular part in “I Know Where I’ve Been” that sent chills down my spine.  I do not know who she is (and if you do, please let me know).  There was a woman standing at the window and during that song, she hit several notes that kept you glued to the television.  But the very first one she hit --- my gawd, my gawd!!!  Chiiiillllleeeee, if I could sing like that, I would NEVER shut up.  Maybe that’s why singing isn’t my gift or talent. 

Dancing
I’ve never seen the Broadway production, but from my understanding, the majority of the original choreography was used.  Honestly, I think that is fantastic!  I love when shows are able to stay true to the roots of what it is trying to come behind.  Now, I saw a lot of my generation on Twitter last night referencing the 2007 production and the name Zac Efron came up a lot. Ok, fellow millennials, relax.  Grant it, I missed Zac too, but it was time for another cast to come along and make it interesting for us.  I believe they did just that.  On the other hand, I also noticed some of the ensemble was not able to keep up.  Like I said, I will save the negatives for other people, but this was sort of obvious, so I would be crazy to not mention it. 

Costumes
I love bright colors.  If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know how much I love bright colors.  I was in love with the colors I saw last night.  Since there are so many outfits to talk about, I will just pick my favorite three to discuss.   Ironically, all of these outfits were worn during the grande finale.   Let’s just get this one out of the way – Jennifer slayed in the gold jumpsuit she was wearing.  Ok, yeah, we’re done with that one.  Seriously, during the finale, the men stole the show for me.  When Link, played by Garrett Clayton and Seaweed (Ephraim Sykes) came out in those suits, I was too hype!  Clatyon was looked awesome in burgandy and Sykes was a vision in blue.  

My Extras
I love me some Little Inez.  The very cute and talented Shahadi Wright Joseph played this role and she was flawless.  Plus, she had some afro puffs that made me want to rethink the hairdo I wore today.  One of my favorite people to see were (Sean Hayes).  I also appreciate that fact that Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur made cameo appearances.  However, I was a little hurt we were not blessed with an appearance by Nikki Blonsky.  And all night long, my feelings were hurt because the super talented Darren Criss was seemingly stuck just doing commentary and I really wished he would have just jumped in and showed out in the ensemble.  However, he was there for one thing and he did that very well. 

Another thing I liked about this production was how wannabe savage it tried to be.  For instance, Edna needing someone to hold her waffles were awesome.  I'm laughing as I type this, but I just cannot begin to explain how funny this part was to me without you seeing it.  There was also another part where I had to step back and think they know there are kids staying up past their bedtime to watch this, right?  Yall know what I'm talking about - LOL!!!  

Final Thoughts
It was a beautiful production.  Grant it, there were some things that could have been better, but overall, they get a solid B from me.   It’s a high B, but not close enough to get an A.  It had its highs, but there weren’t enough highs for me to stay hooked.  I could look away and feel like I could get caught right back up.  I wasn’t glued the entire time and that, quite frankly, was disappointing.  However, it was far from being a complete failure…because I did see some people say that.

I kept trying to figure out what to say to sum it all up.  I couldn’t, but someone on twitter was able to do so.  In the words of Sarah,



Thank you, Sarah.  Your words were absolutely perfect!  And Audrey, you know you rock! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Enough

Remember when I wrote just about a week ago about the stresses of the holiday season?  I won't call myself stressed, but I have definitely almost had it!!!  

I had a really bad anxiety day yesterday.  Luckily, I was only working half a day because I had to go to the dentist.  However, I think if I would not have been leaving anyway, I would have found a reason to leave.  All morning long, I sat at my desk and did my work.  But while I was doing my work (and holding back the tears that wanted to fall) I just kept thinking why am I here?!  It was quite frustrating.  

Now, before you start freaking out on me, get the suicide thought out of your head.  Right now, all my of my anxiety is NOT towards being suicidal - it's towards feeling like no matter what I do, it's never enough.  

As much as I love this blog and participate in the blogger community, some days I feel like I just don't do enough.  I see people with less followers than me have more popular blogs.  Not jealous, but I just wonder, why am I not enough?  I do my best to write constantly and I'm on social media trying to stay connected and to connect with other bloggers, but for some reason, some days, I want to quit this.  I hate feeling like that because in all honesty, some days my blog is the only thing that seems normal.  

Then work is making me scratch my head.  My boss told me something last week (don't worry, it wasn't anything bad) and I feel like I spent most of my Friday night trying to read between the lines.  As much as I tried not to think about it, it just kept coming back to the forefront of my thoughts.  Then today, I found out some news at work and I did my absolute best to keep a poker face.  However, because of what happened next, I'm pretty sure I didn't because I think my boss told me something to help me ease my mind.  I'm at a very interesting place at work because I could stay in my department (which is absolutely awesome) and wait for a promotion or a performance raise.  On the other hand, I look at the job openings now and think this is a great opportunity.  All the while thinking, am I going to be enough?  

Finally, life in general is just kicking my behind right now.  I'm loving life.  It's forcing me to be a bit adventurous and take some chances, but it also needs to chill.  In a tweet chat I participated in today, one of the questions posed was are you where you thought you would be right now?  Without a shadow of a doubt, I can be unapologetic and say this - heck to the no!!!  In my eyes (gotta make that part clear), I'm nowhere near where I wanted to be or should be in life right now.  However, I have made peace with the fact I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be right now (that part was hard).  On the other hand, I cannot help but to say an angry prayer and ask the God I worship when is enough going to be enough?  Yeah, some days, it's just that friggin hard and quite frankly, I'm tired of it.  And before you come for me and say "it could be worse", I am fully aware that it could be worse...ESPECIALLY since I walked past a homeless guy (this morning) sleeping in the lobby of the parking deck I park in for work because he was looking for a warm and dry place to sleep.  I get it!  I have my basic needs - food, clothing, and shelter.  But we all have these little extra things called wants...and don't tell me you don't have them because you are straight up not telling the truth.  


Life comes at you fast.  It's just that in the past few weeks, I feel like it has been coming towards me in the form or a bus, train, or anything else that can physically cause me to just lie down and give up.  I need a break.  Not a vacation - I've had 2 of those in the past 6 weeks.  I legit need a break and I'm going to find time to take one.  Don't worry, I always let you know when these happen.  But something has got to give because it's time for me to learn (again), that me, myself, and I - well, it's time for me to learn that we are enough.  

Note: Photos courtesy of Pexels! 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy December

I've been in my wonderful city now for almost 5 years.  Ok, I might as well say 5 years because it is coming up this month.  the fact of the matter is that it took me 5 years to find the perfect combination of people to be able to enjoy something with.  

Yesterday, I was invited to something that was very wonderful that I have since dubbed Friends-mas.  I say that because that isn't what we called it, but that's what it felt like.  Let's say it like that - if you like Friendsgiving, then you will enjoy Friends-mas!  

For us, it was basically perfect.  A few young ladies coming together, sharing some delicious food, great conversations, games, decorated ornaments, and presents!  It has been a long time since we had gotten together like that and it was perfect.  If was my afterthought that came while I was driving home.  

All I could think about on my drive home was how blessed I am to have such great friends in my life.  Then I look around at the table of people that were able to attend last night and I couldn't help but think there are some wonderful and powerful women in my life.  There is one of us who works in higher education, one is a wonderful nurse who works in Hospice Care, one works in finance, one is a writer and has owned a few business, and one is a veterinarian who has a love for animals like no other.  I don't think I need to tell you what I do because I've told you a few times.  

I'm surrounded by powerful women.  I'm surrounded by beautiful women.  I'm surrounded by people who love me for me.  And most important, I'm surrounded by people with goals and ambitions!  We're all still striving to go further in our careers.  I sat there at the table and laughed and loved the people around me and on my way home, I just thought thank you God!  


Moving is hard.  Growing is hard.  I still feel like I'm navigating my adulthood and each day, pieces get added and pieces get taken away.  But some pieces I'm very thankful for are those 5 beautiful women I shared the table with on yesterday.  I couldn't have asked for a better Saturday and I couldn't ask for a better group of wonderful people.  

Now, if you are looking for a way to do Friends-mas, here is my advice - just go for it.  It's not going to be perfect because nothing in life is.  But with great friends around, you cannot go wrong. 

Note: Photos courtesy of Pexels! 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sigh

I could be a horrible brat.  The way I'm feeling right now, I could be the brattiest brat in the world, but I have other things to do.  I can write.  I can use my platform and just vent a little bit. I mean, yall are my people and I think you enjoy these random spots of insanity, as long as I keep them to a minimum.  

My week has been special, to say the least.  I've been called names that I have not earned, one of the guys teaching my training graduated from the same high school I did, I thought something was going my way just to have it (seemingly) snatched from me, and my frustration with life has just hit a new level (too much to explain and probably too personal for this space).  


Even though this has been my week and I've had solid reasons to have some pretty epic tantrums, I have somehow managed to not be escorted out of the place I work or go into a fit of rage while driving.  But even in this madness, there have been a few bright spots - I was able to have lunch with one of my favorite people, I was able to pick up a part time (paying) writing gig, and I was able to turn in some freelance work for an online publication.  Nah, not giving details about the part time or the freelance just yet, but know that I am very excited about this.  I mean, how can I not be excited because I get to write?!  However, this does lead to a bit a news....

Remember those short stories I was going to start writing and posting?  Well, those are going to have to go on the back burner right now.  Not saying that I will never come back to them, but right now, I just don't have the time to devote to them.  When it comes to my writing, I'm not saying that it has to be perfect, but it has to be at least something I wouldn't mind reading again in a few years.  If I don't have the time to make it really good, I'm not going to post it.  Maybe this just isn't the time in my life to do those and should be kept for me to see right now.  Yes, I have already written a few.

So, when I look back on it, even though this week has been horrific (to me) in some spots, I am still very much blessed.  Tomorrow, I plan on having a blast with my friends in the afternoon and totally rock out during my business meeting tomorrow.  My agent expects nothing less, so I have to give the people what they want.  

Maybe I'm just in need for a pretty solid weekend.  Well, if that's the case, just bring it!  

How was your week?


Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Fork

This time of year typically goes one of two ways, if not both ways in the same day - we are experiencing the most wonderful time of the year or we are having the most horrible experience imaginable.  The holidays are no joke.  So many of us are trying to get everything just right - decorations, presents, food, parties, and anything else we feel we have to deal with.  However, we neglect to take care of the most important thing...our own health and sanity!!!

We don't want to admit to it, but the holidays are stressful.  Get past all the pretty lights and wrapping paper and you have the perfect combination of fun, alcohol, and family to set someone over the edge.  Don't believe me?  Well, think about this - some of you barely survived Thanksgiving.  How did I do it?  My parents kept it simple.  How were they able to keep Thanksgiving simple?  Well, they decided to not invite anyone over and decided to keep it just the three of us.  I was absolutely fine with that, especially since it had been a while since it was just the three of us together.  Quite frankly, it was one of the best Thanksgivings I had ever had because it didn't include anyone outside of our household.  


Family can be a pill.  Let's just be honest about it.  We love them every single day, but some days they can tear up our last nerves.  It happens in every family and if you don't think drama is happening, let me give you a newsflash - more than likely, you are the cause of the drama.  

My favorite part about the holiday season is seeing the family you haven't seen in a while.  Ok, this one can actually go both ways - either that is a serious statement or you can note the sarcasm in it.  You might not want to hang out with them and that is perfectly fine.  I know I didn't feel like hanging out over Thanksgiving and I didn't.  Honestly, I don't even feel bad about it.  I don't have time to sit around and listen to the old family drama and play along with our real life version of the ABC hit series Secrets and Lies.  Then, I'm also not really into the whole let's break bread together and then get back to secretly hating each other in real life and on social media after dinner.  Truth be told, I would rather see a family fight break out than to have to pretend for a few hours.  See, I told you family could be rough, but it is nothing like shopping.  


Did any of you shop on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or on Cyber Monday?  I did, but that's an entirely different blog post.  This is what I do know - no matter when you decide to Christmas shop, it is an adventure.  And then we have to figure out what gifts to give and who we are giving gifts to.  Don't even front, you know good and well you re-gift!!!  (But please don't give a person back a gift that was given to you).  We all do the re-gifting thing!  I admit I do it.  I have allergies, so I don't get to keep anything that comes from Bath and Body Works, unless it is a candle or a scent for my car.  Also, people change throughout the year.  What they were interested in a few months ago could be the furthest thing from their mind right now.  I'm all for giving and receiving gift cards.  You can't go wrong with allowing a person to get exactly what they want, even if it is just a tank of gas.  

It's just not the holiday season without some holiday parties!!!  Please be nice to the host and do act like you have some sense while in their house or wherever you may be.  Also, make sure you dress for the occasion.  Don't be showing up to an event and not be decent enough to be seen in pictures.  Seriously, get your life.  The most important thing is to have fun.  Please have fun!  Eat, drink (please have a designated driver or funds for Uber), and be all types of merry.  We have worked hard this year and we deserve it!  For those of us still trying to maintain and or lose weight, stay on the grind, but do not punish yourself by feeling like you over ate or hurt yourself by going too hard during a workout.  Believe me, you are more beautiful than you think you are and if no one else tells you, I JUST DID!!! 

Although the holidays are supposed to be cheerful, for some people, that just doesn't happen.  Depression is heavy all year long, but for some people, it is just downright unbearable this time of year.  It's no secret that suicide rates go up during the holiday season.  When you already feel like you are alone, the holiday just escalate that feeling.  That's real and some people experience every single day.  However, mental illness isn't the only cause of depression during the holiday season.  

Some people experience a death during the holidays and that is a heavy load to carry.  Some people are newly divorced and having to learn how to do the holidays as a single person again.  Some people are just getting out of dating relationships and don't really have their footing yet.  Top being alone and add being alone in a new city.  Some people are experiencing their first holiday season away from home and don't have the leave time or money to go.  Yes, feeling alone and being alone are two very different things, but if we are not careful, they can have the same result.


  
Here's my challenge to you - if you know of someone spending the holiday season alone and you are comfortable with it, invite them to spend time with you and your family.  If you don't want to do that, take the time to have lunch or dinner with them when your schedule gets free.  You will be shocked at how much your seemingly small gesture will go.  At the end of the day, we all just want to be acknowledged and know that someone (even if it is for a brief moment) cares about us.  

Remember at the beginning of this post when I said the holiday season can go two different ways?  Well, I choose the positive route.  Each day is not going to be pretty, but I choose to make the best out of the situation.  

Note:  All photos courtesy of Pexels.