Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Choices Indie Movie

So listen–errr, read.  I'm coming out of my "hiatus" for a bit to share this indie movie I was a part of.  I filmed the scene I was in last year, so it's exciting to see the results here a year later.  Now I ain't an actor!  So don't judge my performance to harshly.  LOL.  Matter-of-fact, pay attention to the deliverance of the pros' ability to tell this story.  Nevertheless, the film was written/directed/produced by an amazingly talented and inspiring friend of mines named, Tracie.  I was apart of another project of hers back in 2017, but it has yet to be completed in the face of this movie, Choices.  I say that because nothing is cooler than knowing cool people doing cool things!  

ENJOY!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Happy Tuesday to the Underdogs, Eh?

Easily our anthem for 2020.  So come on Alicia Keys with the new music!  And it's right on time for many of us, right?  


You know, matters are already hard enough as we all try to create opportunities in our lives.  We have our good days.  We have our bad days.  We have days of clarity.  Then we have days of confusion.  We have days we are productive.  And days where we can barely get out of our heads to move.  Then there are days where we don't think we'll make it at all.  Followed by days where the silver lining is too sharp to ignore.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Thought for the Day: How My Week is Set-Up Toward...

...The Emotionally Greedy and Thankless...

Sometimes... you've got to FLIP on their ass and fight back!

... HAPPY MONDAY, FOLKS!  Don't allow anyone to stop your flow with his or her crap.  Continue to enrich the lives of those who enrich yours genuinely, selflessly and with consideration to your well-being.  And, of course, not just how you should always serve theirs.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Come Get Yer Fixin's | Rocket Fizz Soda Pop Fun


Me and the family took a Friday trip to Chattanooga a few weeks ago for Spring Break.  We were there to visit the Aquarium.  Still, anytime you're in downtown Chattanooga you have to visit the Rocket Fizz shop, as well as the Moon Pie General Store.  And, usually just for me, the used bookstore immediately across the street from them both.  OH, and the cupcake shop.  Almost forgot that.  Well, I actually forgot its name.  Help me out here!

Anyway, to keep personalize this platform.  I wanted to share the four flavored sodas (normally call them "drinks") I got.  To be clearrrrrr, I have a pretty strong Southern accent (though some people think I'm from up North somewhere).  So even I was a little taken aback by the slogan of the Rocket Fizz Soda Pops.

Oooo.  And having finally chugged them over the course of this week.  I can say my absolute FAVORITE was the Sweet Corn.  Second best was the Birthday Cake.  The Cut Grass tasted like an apple Jolly Rancher–a bit.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Thought for the Day & My One Petty Moment


Take care of yourself people.  You can't be everything to everybody all the time, but you have to be everything to yourself!  So don't ever slip up and get settled playing roles, when looking up all you have is yourself pushing you to reach your goals.  And baby, that's gospel!

After reaching 1K subscribers having busted my ass creating content on YouTube.
Thanks to everyone who has spent years keeping me going!  I get LOVE EVERYWHERE I GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  BWHAHAHAHAHAH! #dontbemad #sowhatishine #imnotperfectbutigotfeelingstoo 

Friday, June 24, 2016

5 English Degree Goals (Unless You Missed Like I Did)


The title says it all; but just a little backstory to its conception.  I remember talking to an old coworker about blogging–but without sharing my particular interests and activities doing so.  As I’ve stated before, you must be discerning about who you share your ideas with.  Anyway, the conversation was about how it's possible to support yourself blogging, if vigilant.  Or how blogging came make you at least enough to build an extra income outside of working a 9-5. Combining your interest/passions with a solid monetization strategy–BOOM.  Interesting stuff to talk about at the workplace, right?  
Well, most of my expressed ideas fell on moot ears.  Abandoning the conversation, I started thinking about the paths we take in life.  Specifically, the detours we take when stumbling through brush and granite toward our life goals.  Then my English major years in college bubbled up in thought, as well as how I tumbled out of its expectations.  And while my expectations fell apart along the quest, these days I’m kind of already doing what I wanted to do.  Granted it's super-super small scaled, independent, flooded, and removed of any foreseeable safety nets.  But it's all about the tethered-less joy of expressing oneself through words and language (and drawing and talking life).  And, ever so naturally, reading.  Yet, let’s be real, you usually get degrees to get hired off somewhere.  Personal Flaw: I'm known for blowing interviews by being too honest when asked questions anyway.
Anyhow, just as I reflected on those years scratching around campus looking for the meaning of life through words and language, the idea for this post emerged.  Let's talk about five career paths one could get hired on with an English Degree.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1.       TEACHER.  Ever notice when telling people you're majoring in English the first thing they ask is will you teach?  Of course the question comes after their gaping expression for your choice in majors. Anyway, most of us are all too familiar with this type of scenario.  We know it too, too well.  It’s a conversation we generally try to avoid with those outside of liberal arts.  For me, when asked will I teach, I would sometimes respond with a “kinda-sorta”.  Then I'd attempt to sedge out of the conversation to avoid an approaching sermon.  Sometimes I could see judgment in the eyes, and would rather risk eating a dish of cassava than share dreams of becoming a crime fiction writer.  I was always pretty tactful, but mainly because I grow exhausted explaining myself about anything.  
Nonetheless, the perceived inadequacies some people place on the major is rampant.  We hear it all the time dripping in a conversation, as we sub-speak and hint-dodge around how we’ll "pay the bills reading books."  I guess this is why so many think the default profession for an English major is teaching.  It’s almost as if the teacher path is the most rational way to go, and more or less income stimulating.  This path gets the compassion of receiving a little security and safety, and with less starving artist anecdotes.  Even if teaching appears as the English major’s default, it’s a needed path.  And it has its own challenges and rewards for the passionate leader.  Because that's what it takes–a leader.

Monday, May 30, 2016

How to Get Away With Grinding | 4 Realizations About Hustling & Life

Like any individual, I’ve been spending my time bumping up and sending out my resume.  (Disdain ever so present to get back into someone else’s career wheel but my own.)  And yet, regardless of the change, I’ve hardened my endeavors here.  When I stepped out to share my passions over three years ago, it was to create a better future.  A future that didn't involve punching another 15 years' worth of time clocks.
But there are things that come with such positions.  Money, ambition, and your personal life turns into a juggling act.  (Though my personal life qualifies as coffee and books, thank you Jesus.)  And it's an act performed between looking for another job and your personal grind.  It’s a sticky position.  It's also a position I’m almost privy to believe not few can relate to, as I feel unaccompanied within mine.  No one I know has attempted to start a blog, YouTube channel, Zazzle store, etc.  So there’s no one I can turn to when my endeavors feel… well… insignificant to my cause.  There's no one to bounce real ideas off of.  To soak in genuine, experience-based encouragement.  As opposed to those water-downed affirming cliches and platitudes the unawares always seem to give.  And give they do, until you realize you've had enough and draw inward for your strength to keep moving.  
So alone you continue to throw the soil, plant the seeds, walk in faith.  And you have to do so in the isolation of believing in yourself.  And that’s where this post leads me to.
These are four things I’ve discovered in the position I’ve just described.  Though it applies to anyone who find resonance with the struggle of grinding out your own path in life.  So, see if you can relate...
CASE #1: DRAMA VS. BUSINESS

Do  not waste my time with drama!
You don’t have the energy to listen to other people’s problems anymore–nor do you want to.  Unless it’s in the spirit of entrepreneurship, ideas, or action-taking plans, you don’t want to hear it.  If it’s not about risks, creativity, fueling ambitions, or personal transformation, you zone out of the conversation.  If it’s not about marketing, blogs, YouTube, web stores, writing, you’ll pass.   

The one caveat is family and friends’ real life issues that is easily discern as in need of your support.  As for routine gossip about people you don’t know or care about (or no longer go to battle for), you’re good where you are.  And you avoid conversations with people who are all talk and no action.  That, in itself, is sucking away your own valuable gusto to continue your fight.  Basically, the people around you better build a real case to draw your attention away from the grind.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year Reflections | A Walking Child

I was thinking about New Year's resolutions when I realized I have a small aversion to space-less tasks and obligations.  Especially those ridged and timed, as opposed to flexible.  I think it has a lot to do with my mother trying to raise me.  To mold me into a strung and responsible person (her own secreted concerns included).  However, I grew responsible at the cost of keeping everything–including my feelings/emotions–walled to myself.  And responsible in the sense that during my 20's, I had a hard time saying no to unwanted commitments.  
So as a child I suffered a little; unable to just be me because of someone else’s idea of how I should be.  And the same came true as I grew and became angry at myself, people, and my stifling environment.  I’ve gotten better at being who I am and sharing it.  Especially in the past three years.  I came from a wearer place, so the second I hit thirty, I didn’t have emotional space for the baggage from myself and most certainly others.  There were things I needed to do and express.  Things I needed to achieve for myself.  Things I needed to reach in others.  No more emotional drainage.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Regina Brett and God's Hiring

I ran across Regina Brett’s (new to her, but she has many advice books) God is Always Hiring: 50 Lessons for Finding Fulfilling Work back in April.  At the time, I was hunting the bookstore for Toni Morrison’s front-of-store latest, God Help the Child.  I was also trying to distract myself from the troubling thoughts of my wrecked car parked in my driveway.  As well as distract myself from a 9-5 that just wouldn’t let up.  And it’s the 9-5 job situation I speak of which drew me to God is Always Hiring.  No, seriously, I considered it a sign from God when the book's bright yellow color captured my attention.  I circled the new release tower and–POW–there it was.  One to wage my coins on impulse buys; in that instance I grabbed the book (along with Morrison) and headed to the checkout without question.  As far as I was concerned, God really was trying to tell me something.  This time I would listen.
Funny how things work.
But to be extensively honest, I thought God is Always Hiring came with job-related stories I could identify with.  Particularly from the first-hand experiences of individuals who’ve found themselves frustrated by their jobs as well.  And what they did about it.  Think: Chicken Soup for the Soul, motivating struggle, adaptable tools, and eventual triumphs.  Even so, while the book contained tidbits of story essays from various individuals and their 9-5 challenges, it was mainly 50 lessons from the author's experiences.  Valid lessons, no doubt.  Only I have no idea what it’s like to have a resume as broad and bright as hers.  Or one crammed with growth opportunities in a field closer to my own desires themselves.  I would even stretch to say I would trade my current job for some of her previous experience.  Personally, working as a columnist is far more rewarding and field engaging than a gas station attendant.  Trust me.  I know this. 
Still, I suppose the feelings of finding yourself unfilled are relative yet all the same.  (I would probably only go so far as a columnist before my entrepreneurial spirit starts grumbling back up.)  Which is why I want to share a few of my favorite lines/lessons/advice provided in the book.  These are the moments that truly resonated within my personal situation.  The lessons I did identity with and heard God "calling."  In turn, if you haven’t read the book, I hope they resonate with you as well so you can go buy God is Always Hiring.  And get hit with the inspiration to make those changes in your life that you know you must seek out.
Well… LET’S GET STARTED….

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cashier Confessions | WEEK 2

Here we are with WEEK 2 of my "Cashier Confessions" (formerly "On Break... Motivate") series.  This week I talk about sharing your ambitions with co-workers.  Should you share them?  Or should you not.  I lean toward no.  Be discerning if you feel the need to.  Or move in silent.  I also talk about being grateful for you job underneath your own terms and not the fear others slip into your mind frame.  It's perfectly okay to want better and to feel it.  By Thursday I wanted to talk about arguing with co-workers.  So not necessary, but often we find ourselves in those situations.  If you know you deserve better and strive for it outside of your 9-5–let your co-workers have the place.  And Friday I leave the work week encouraging everyone to take pride in having a vision.  Because many people don't.  

Monday (12/7/2015)


Wednesday (12/9/2015)


Thursday (12/10/2015)


Friday (12/11/2015)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Cashier Confessions | WEEK 1

I created this series of videos (certainly more will come) while taking a break on my 9-5 day job.  It can be stressful and discouraging having to work at a job you don’t like or have a vision for.  And it can be even more stressful and discouraging when you know your passion is calling you.  That’s how I ended up here.  On this blog.  On Spreadshirt and Zazzle.  On Youtube.  I needed to open up my own space for opportunities.  And that’s what I’ve been doing the past three years.  And loving it all along the way!  So these videos are here to motivate and encourage those in my shoes.  As well as anyone else searching for a change–a miracles of sorts–in their lives.

Anything can happen, people!  Don't give up!



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Why I Haven't Been Reading...


I am 16 days into May, and haven’t completed a book yet! And it’s torture. It truly is. Life. Life. Life. It’s always there. And while I’m not one to claim stress (because I believe we perceptive and own what we will), there is definitely something going on. Something that is most certainly working for my highest good.  So I wanted to create a post concerning why I haven’t completed a book–and how I hope things get on track. You see, I believe when things seem to get hard, it’s God/the Universe’s way of moving things/situations out of the way so our better good can come in.  Or for our desires to manifest. And nothing could be more evident than having my car totaled last month.

It was a simple kind of Saturday. I was finally off work, and my best friend had moved into her new apartment the day before. She was adjusting, and I wanted to be there to help her through the process.  We met at her old apartment, the one she shared with her family.  I parked my car in my usual parallel parking spot at her old apartment complex, and then we took her car to her new place.

So the day was moving nicely. We went to her new apartment; chatted and shared decorative ideas. We went trolling around shopping centers for materials to implement a few of those ideas. We ordered pizza and watched movies. Around 10pm, it was time to pick up her brother.  We went to pick him up, and didn't get back to her old apartment until well after 11. It was then that I went out to get in my car and saw it had been hit. At first, I refused to believe it; I paced along the parking area certain the car I was seeing wasn't mine. 

All this happened on 4/18.  Tuesday I finally got my wrecked car towed out of my driveway after nearly a month of sorting out insurance, police reports, and the responsible party. The title was FedEx'ed to the driver’s insurance company, and the check is finally on its way. I've been in a new car for two weeks, and within those two weeks came another set of issues, until I replaced its camshaft last weekend.

The new car (and replaced camshaft) came right on time, because another challenge has been surviving my 9-5. Tuesday my transfer to another location finally happened (the delay is another beast of a story). The new location is a ways out, and my transportation came together right on time (that’s the Universe calling). So I worked all this week, and very little has changed concerning my perception between my old location and this one. I needed a change of pace, and I got it. However, nothing can replace the overpowering desire to be liberated. To be free within the use of my own time, schedule, and finances. So the new location is different, slower, cleaner, and quieter.  Even so, it still feels like starting over, and with little to no change in my feelings.  It’s still uninspiring.  Dull.  Creatively void.  And just overall dispiriting if you let it be.  Nonetheless, the transfer is meant to be a breather until I find something better.

I've been filling out applications for better job opportunities, to get me out of this company for good and somewhere different as I continue to pursue my dreams here. (Check out my new Spreadshirt store.) Nonetheless, after two years and six months, I figured I've been doing this job for long enough and has long given it everything I had. The tiredness. The tedium. The emotional voids. The chronic, compulsive urge to hop in my car and drive away for good. It’s all there. No seriously, every day I want to quit that place. And somewhere inside of me, I feel like that’s the answer. Quit and move the hell on. The issue is I’ve been drummed to uphold my responsibilities, and I’m not a quitter. So faith is what's left in me.

I haven’t been inspired to pick up and finish Charlaine Harris’ Day Shifted, or any other book. All the images of books in this post are my recent acquisitions. The Stephen King book I found in a $5 bin in this new store in town. I couldn't pass it up.

I may just let the rest of this month ride on by with my reading. At least until I can get into a more comfortable, better feeling place. You would think books would be the perfect escape. Normally, they are. However, I can tell you I’m too unsettled to fall into any novels at the moment.

So in closing, I can't wait to come back to this post a few months from now.  So do you guys ever go through this?  Where life kind of takes a piece of you in another direction?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Who I Am? by Megan Cyrulewski?

Megan Cyrulewski is an ordinary person who has faced extraordinary challenges and now wants to inspire people and show them that hope gives them the power to survive anything. Who Am I? is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school, and her courageous struggle to survive with her sanity intact—and how a beautiful little girl emerged from all this chaos.

Excerpt from Chapter One of Who Am I?

Chapter One:  Ahhh…Young Love

Envy. There is a reason why it’s one of the seven deadly sins. It can kill you. It almost killed me.

The summer of 2004, I was 26 and just got out of a long-term relationship. Good man, he just wasn’t the right man for me.


I had just found out that my old college roommate had recently gotten engaged. The two of us were always “competing” during college: who was skinnier, who can pick up the most guys at the bar. Stupid girl stuff. Other friends of mine were either married or having babies. I think the last straw was finding out my high school sweetheart had gotten engaged. Somewhere in fantasyland, I always thought it was possible we might get back together. Needless to say, I was definitely envious.


That summer, my roommate, Jessica, bought a house. At the time we were sharing an apartment, but she asked if I wanted to move into her house. Jessica and I had known each other since high school and she was the best roommate, and one of the best friends, I have ever had. Without hesitation, I agreed. A month after moving in, we had a house warming party. That’s when I met Tyler*.


I knew Tyler slightly because he was engaged to one of Jessica’s friends, Natalie. Tyler and Natalie and been together for about three years. They had even come to a couple of parties Jessica and I had thrown at our apartment.  I had never really talked to him, though. Tyler and Natalie had broken up around the same time I had broken up with my-long term man.


Jessica didn't want to invite Tyler because she didn't want any tension between him and Natalie. A few days before the party, though, we found out Natalie was going to be out of town. Coincidentally, Tyler stopped by that same night to give something of Natalie’s to Jessica. That was the first time I had really looked at him and I liked what I saw: good-looking, goofy smile, and deep-blue eyes. The attraction was instantaneous. So, I decided to invite him to the house-warming party. Why the hell not? Natalie wasn't going to be there. After getting the eyes of death from Jessica, she reluctantly told him the day and time.


The night of the party, Tyler knocked on the door. When I opened it, I gave him a hug and told him I was glad he was there because at least I had someone to flirt with. I didn't really pay attention to him too much during the party.  But after everyone had left, he and I ended up talking until five in the morning.


A couple of nights later, we went on our first date. We went to dinner and then back to his house to watch a movie. We were very open with each other. I told him about my anxiety disorder, he told me about his drug addiction and how he had been clean for years. Five months later, I moved in with him, four months after that we got engaged and a year later, we were married. Needless to say, the relationship was on overdrive from the beginning.


The relationship wasn't perfect, but whose is? Tyler didn't like his current job and was looking for a new one.  Tyler was trying to quit smoking because he knew I didn't like it. Tyler was a recovering addict and going to NA meetings. It’s a stressful time. That became my mantra. Tyler got angry. “It’s a stressful time.” Tyler screamed at me. “It’s a stressful time.”


I was an independent woman in my mid-twenties, in a stable job making $55,000 and climbing up the corporate ladder. I understood stress. I was also in complete denial. This was the beginnings of what I would later understand was a domestic violence relationship and a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). There were the signs of these disorders, of course, but I didn't recognize them at the time.


My paternal family is 100% Polish. In my grandmother’s generation, girls were expected to get married and have babies. A lot of babies. My grandmother was one of six children. After I graduated from high school, on Christmas Eve, my grandmother would pray that the next year I would get married and start a family. I always smiled and told her maybe. I loved my grandmother very much. She was the only grandparent I had ever known.


After Tyler and I got engaged, we went to my grandmother’s house to tell her the news she had been waiting for. When we told her, she stood up, pushed me aside, hugged Tyler and said, “God bless you.” The memory still makes me smile. Three months later, she had a stroke. In February 2006, seven months before the wedding, my grandmother passed away. Devastation doesn't even coming close to how I felt. I called in to work, stayed in bed and cried for two days.


The night of the funeral, my dad's company catered dinner at my parent’s house for our family. On the way to their house, I noticed that the car was low on gas. I stopped at a gas station and asked Tyler if he could pump the gas. Tyler was on the phone and told me to pump the gas myself. We were only two miles from my parents’ house. I was still upset and crying from the funeral. I asked him again to please just pump the gas. He didn't even bother to answer me. I got out of the car and pumped the gas myself. When I got back into the car, I told Tyler that I was upset and a little angry. What happened next was my first glimpse into the emotional abusive side of domestic violence.


“You are such a spoiled little bitch who expects the world to be handed to you,” Tyler screamed at me. “Turn the fucking car around.”


Not saying a word, I turned the car around and headed back home to drop off Tyler, who kept spewing vile words.


“You and your family think you're so much better than me. Did daddy pump your gas for you all the time? Well guess what? You actually have to do things yourself now. It’s time for you to grow up and live in the real world.”


Tears streamed from my eyes. I still had not said a word.


“Your grandmother probably killed herself because she didn't want to deal with you anymore. She probably got tired of your spoiled behavior and decided death was better than you. I’m glad I’m going home because I don't want to watch your fucking family cry all night.”


When we got back home, I parked in the driveway and finally let loose.


“How dare you!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “I just lost my grandmother! Get out of my car! Get out!”


Tyler started laughing. “Look at you. You're a joke. You should get some help for those anger issues of yours. Don't bother coming back, bitch. Your shit will be on the curb.”


I left and went to my parents’ house. When my dad asked about Tyler, I said we got into an argument and he’s at home. My dad, who is the family peacemaker and almost never says anything negative said under his breath, “What a night for him to pick a fight.”


About an hour into dinner, Tyler called me. He said he wanted to come over and apologize. At this point, I was so emotionally drained I really didn't care. When he arrived, he waltzed right into the house like nothing had ever happened. He pulled me aside and told me that he blew up because he was under so much stress from taking care of me the last couple of days. Looking back at the moment, I wonder how he even had the audacity to blame my grandmother’s death for his behavior. At the time, I was just glad he wasn't mad anymore.


The next couple of months were calm. No arguments and Tyler and I were having fun planning the wedding. Obviously, the argument the night of my grandmother’s funeral was a result of stress. We got through it and according to Tyler, it wouldn't happen again.


Early June 2006, I was in bed reading and waiting for Tyler to come home from a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. When he got home, he came upstairs and walked toward the bed. He stopped and asked if I smelled anything.


“No,” I said, a little confused.


“It smells like cat piss.” (We had a cat that sometimes urinated outside the litter box.)


Tyler looked around the room and picked up a bed pillow off the floor. He smelled it.


“She pissed on this pillow.”


I laughed. “It’s sad when the pillow is right next to me and I can't smell the pee.”


Tyler didn’t laugh. “Clean it up.”


“I'll put it in the wash tomorrow. Just throw it in the basement.”


Tyler picked up the pillow. “Bitch. You waited until I came home because you knew I would fucking clean it.” He ripped the book I was reading right out of my hands and threw it across the room. “Get off your fat lazy ass, get some paper towels  and clean it!”


I started to shake. The monster had emerged again.  I couldn't say anything. Tyler picked up the pillow and shoved it in my face.


“Smell it!” He screamed. “Can you smell it now, bitch? Now your face smells like cat piss. You’re disgusting. Who would want you anyway?”


Tyler threw the pillow back on the floor and stormed downstairs. I just sat in bed, paralyzed from fear. I couldn't think. I couldn't speak. I couldn't even cry.


I don't know how much time had passed before Tyler came back. Without saying a word, he picked up two water bottles I had sitting on the nightstand beside me, unscrewed the tops, and poured water on me. He laughed and went back downstairs.


I took off my pajamas, turned out the light and rolled to the dry side of the bed. Before long, I heard Tyler come up the stairs again. I began to shake. He ripped the covers off of me.


“You would sleep in a wet bed. I should have poured cat piss on you and let you sleep in that,” he laughed. “Get out of my fucking bed and sleep outside.”


I got out of bed and put on dry pajamas. I took off my engagement ring, threw it on the bed and left. I went to Jessica’s house and asked if I could spend the night. I didn't talk about what happened. I just told her that the engagement was off and I just needed to sleep. Jessica never asked any questions and I love her for that.


Before long, my phone rang and it was Tyler. He asked me to come back home. I was hesitant, but he convinced me to come back home and talk. I left Jessica a note and went back home.


When I got home, Tyler was sitting on the couch. “I’m going to get a six-pack of beer, drink it and kill myself.”


Shocked, I sat down next to him. “Do you want me to call someone? Should I call your sponsor? I don’t know what to do.”


Tyler kept repeating. “I’m going to kill myself.” He was crying, but there weren't any tears.


I hugged him. “We'll get through this. We’ll get help. Please don't kill yourself. I love you too much.”


“Thank you,” Tyler smiled. And just like that, he got up, told me he loved me, and went to bed.


Looking back, I now realize that this was Tyler’s way of manipulation. Tyler knew he let his anger get out of control, to the point that I walked away. To get me back, he subtly blamed me for what happened by alluding that he was going to commit suicide. At the time, I felt guilty for not cleaning the damn pillow. If I had cleaned that pillow, this never would have happened. I promised myself to be more careful in the future.


The next morning, my engagement ring was on my nightstand.**

___________________________________________________________________


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AUTHOR BIO

Megan Cyrulewski has been writing short stories ever since she was ten-years-old.  Eventually she settled into a career in the non-profit sector and then went back to school to get her law degree.  While she was in school, she documented her divorce and child custody battle in her memoir, Who Am I? How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again, which was released on August 2, 2014.  Megan lives in Michigan with her 3-year-old daughter who loves to dance, run, read, and snuggle time with Mommy.  Megan also enjoys her volunteer work with Troy Youth Assistance as the Fundraising Chair on the Board of Directors.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Oprah Knows For Sure

My personal journal nor this blog has yet to be a place where I can unload about the saddening event that took place on September 6th. It’s all so fresh that I haven't the words to put both my thoughts and the circumstances together. Conversely, to find the purpose in it (that‘s God‘s thing). Or cope with the truth that it was unavoidable. Personal guilt is somewhere stained in the equation also, though divinely speaking it‘s considered too toxic to muddle over. Nonetheless, the grief involved is real, just as the insurmountable faith I have that all is happening for a higher good. 

Understandably, much of what I just wrote may be vague and opaque to some, so one day I'll be able to share it properly.

The fact is that after a slow week filled with roaming thoughts and bouts of sorrow, I turned to Oprah Winfrey's recently released What I Know for Sure for comfort. I didn't pick it up to cope per se, as that’s something that takes time and time alone. No substitutes. Nonetheless, I picked the book up to re-energize my spirit as I coped. To not go too deep into the darkness, and to understand that I still have a responsibility to myself (and the one that’s gone but not gone), to keep showing up to Life.

What I Know for Sure is a collection of Oprah’s revelations regarding Life and living within it. It shares the mistakes she’s made, the lessons she’s learned, and the Truths she’s kept. All the essays were previously published in O, The Oprah Magazine.  I just wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes. Or as Oprah calls them, “aha moments."

"You can either waltz boldly onto the stage of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall, receding into the shadows of fear and self-doubt."

This is what I mean by showing up to Life.  You may not waltz boldly into it, but dammit, you got to at least be there and out of the shadows.  Maybe sticking out a foot is all you need to get started.  And definitely don't be afraid to try even when you don't have any answers or securities.  Matter-of-fact, forget those things.  Have faith that they'll come to you as you dance.  Because they will.

"Like me, you might have experienced things that caused you to deem yourself unworthy.  I know for sure that healing the wounds of the past is one of the biggest and most worthwhile challenges of life.  It's important to know when and how you were programmed, so you can change the program.  And doing so is your responsibility, no one else's.  There is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are each responsible for our own life."

While I understand that I still have childhood (and so forth) imprints and issues that require a level of therapeutic and spiritual healing (as you can see, I'm working on the spiritual part), the older I get the more I understand that I can't blame my past for my current being. It really just gets exhausting after so long, thinking about the things my mother and father did or did not do that I feel would've made things easy for me now. Or relate those incidents to how I would be in a better place currently. They are tired and useless thoughts, and they won't necessarily go away. However, what they have done is encourage me to take control–as much as possible–of my life.

Recently, my mom and I were leaving the mall. I brought up a broccoli, rice and cheese casserole recipe I found online, and how I made the dish twice in the past two months and enjoyed it both times. I further mentioned how I try to make large dishes early in the week, so that I can have something to eat off of throughout each day. This keeps me from spending money eating out after I leave work in the afternoon, as I find it comforting to know that ready-made food is in the house and ready to be devoured.  Her reply was the equivalent of how smart of an idea that is. Then she added how my sister frequently complains that she never has anything to eat, and how it's our mom's fault because she didn't teach us how to cook. I can attest that while that is more or less truth, I recall that I got cooking pointers a lot less often than my sister. But that's my point; I looked at my situation and took responsibility for it. If I wanted to eat and save money from dining out, I had to find a way to do so.  Blaming someone else for otherwise never even crossed my mind.

"One of my greatest lessons has been to fully understand that what looks like a dark patch in the quest for success is the universe pointing you in a new direction.  Anything can be a miracle, a blessing, an opportunity if you choose to see it that way.  Had I not been demoted from my six o'clock anchor post in Baltimore back in 1977, the talk show gig would never have happened when it did."

I don't lie when I say that the message behind this quote is one that I'm still working on. I believe I'm a lot closer to its realization than the lost and frustrated person I once was. Nonetheless, it's still something I'm working with. The truth is that I grasp the occasional moments of clarity where I feel the universe at work. Sometimes they're obvious moments, sometimes they're so subtle that I don't comprehend what happens until after the fact. Even so, between all of those moments are the moments where I feel like I'm just floating and alone in uncertainty. However, what I've learned is whenever I feel like the universe has abandoned me, I take myself back to gratitude. You absolutely cannot miss your miracles and blessings when you sit back and recall what's there to be thankful for. As well as how gratitude always brings you more to be grateful for.

"Talking with thousands of people over the years has shown me that there's one desire we all share: We want to feel valued.  Whether you're a mother in Topeka or a businesswoman in Philadelphia, each of us, at our core, longs to be loved, needed, understood, affirmed–to have intimate connections that leave us feeling more alive and human."

True enough, right?  No further discussion necessary other than I believe in this, and like thousands, long for the same.

"... The job that you admit makes you miserable demands so much of your time.  But what happens when you work hard at something unfulfilling?  It drains your spirit.  It robs you of your life force.  You end up depleted, depressed, and angry."

"I've learned that the more stressful and chaotic things are on the outside, the calmer you need to get on the inside.  It's the only way you can connect with where your spirit is leading you."

All of this I've known since I started my first paying job at 18. It was fast food. It was slinging fried chicken. For three years I screamed for release–for change. I knew that if I wanted money, I had to be there to earn a check. So I worked, and always harder than I should (I attributed that to my upbringing). When it comes to how jobs ("just over broke") make me feel disconnected and sometimes sick to my stomach, nothing has changed from then and now. Sure, I've learned to handle my inner self a little better. Sometimes putting myself damn near catatonic during the middle of a shift. It's a way for me to slip out of the place and into my head and where I will to be. Often I sing out loud, which usually comes out as noise used to depressurize the anxiety that builds in my chest. Still, it's partly no different than a tiger trapped in a cage, enclosed from his nature and natural instinct to be free at doing what he wills. Nonetheless, my point is that I relate and identify with Oprah's words here. I should, considering I've lived and fought my way through them long enough. Nevertheless, to me, the fact that I can write all of this down–in this moment–is a means of me listening to my inner calmness and not the chaos.  Therefore, I am guided slowly... from my cage.

"Move in the direction of your goal with all the force and verve you can muster–and then let go, releasing your plan to the Power that's bigger than yourself and allowing your dream to unfold as its own masterpiece.  Dream big–very big.  Work hard–very hard.  And after you've done all you can, fully surrender to the Power."

I think I'll leave this post on this quote–though there are plenty more to share.  Nevertheless, it's that "surrender" that took me from where I was two years ago to this point.  And the thought of it was motivated by this inspirational video I came across during that period.  I won't speak to much on it.  You'll just have to watch it for yourself and let it lift your spirit just as it did mine.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Beginning to End with Ms. Josephine

"Can you trust God for all things in every area of your life?  Have you ever been faced with life-threatening situations in your marriage, that made you want to give up on God, but he allowed you to be stable, keeping you still in order to see the salvation of the Lord in your flesh, mind and resources, etc.  Psalms 46:10a, 'Be still and know that I am God.'

Have you ever seen God transform the Natural into the Super-Natural?  From the beginning to the end.  When your mother tells you are not able to have children because of your unproductive organs, no menstrual period, no nothing.  Then you meet your husband that tells you all things are possible if ye only believe.  Later on God blesses you and your husband with two lovely daughters, when doctors said live with the fact you will never have children."



This is a special, special post on a book by a woman I know personally.  Her name is Josephine Brooks-Clark, but we just call her Ms. Josephine!  Anyway, over a year ago she told me that she was working on writing and publishing a book inspired by her life with her passed husband.  She used to tell me that she had the necessary files and was ready to go to work!  Needless to say, I was ecstatic and encouraged by her; always inspired by people who make energizing commitments to share a part of themselves for the betterment of others.  And that’s precisely what Ms. Josephine did in her debut memoir, From the Beginning to the End, published by ABM Publications.

With a couple of hash browns and a cup of coffee, I sat down one morning to read Ms. Josephine’s book.  I didn't find myself out of bed until all 84 pages were read.  So I sat, fully grasped by her story outside of our old conversations.  From the Beginning to the End is a very personal memoir, so personal that I had to reach out to Ms. Josephine to bring her to Comic Towel to talk about her book first-hand.  Follow my questions and her response (in bold lettering) below...


1.  From The Beginning to the End opens with a testimony from yourself regarding your personal story.  So how did you decide where to start your story specifically?  As well as where to end it?

From the Beginning to the End starts with my testimony. How I got started? One day I was dealing with so many things going on in my life.  So while lying in bed, it came to me to start my life story of all I was going through. I was only 34 [at the time] and life began to make a turn from the good to the worst.  

I decided to end it [the book] after the death of my husband.  All that I was going through with sickness after sickness had [finally] ended. Thank God.

2.  I could only imagine how you dealt with some of the actual events and details you shared within your story–as they were happening in your life.  If you had to choose, what was probably the hardest detail to share with readers regarding your life?  And why was it hard to share?

The hardest part to share with my readers is when we were robbed.  THIS IS A STICK-UP [Chapter 4].  It was hard because every time I begin to speak of that situation, it bring tears to my eyes to see my hubby tied up in a knot and my two girls with a gun at their head.

3.  Could you offer any advice to someone who desires to share their personal story, such as yourself?  Does emotional distance take part in the writing process?

First I would say let fear of the unknown go, meaning fear of sharing your life because of friends that may read your story and criticize you.  I felt that if I shared my story, someone will be blessed to know that they can make it through the hard times. It is love that kept us together [her husband and herself] and my vows that I made to God and Man. In Sickness or Health, Richer or Poor, and for Better or for Worse.  

No, emotional distance has nothing to do with writing. When I left Alabama, it gave me the peace and quietness I needed to concentrate on writing.  This book was completed years ago, but fear of the unknown kept me from getting published.  

4.  If there is one thing you would wish to communicate and inspire into those who've read your book, what would that be?

I would like to impart that the beginning of a new thing shall come your way. Every door that has been closed unto you shall be opened, and every crooked path shall be made straight.  September and October are the months of increase, so don't put off today for tomorrow.

5.  Now that your book has been released, where do you plan to go from here?  Are there more books at work?

Since my first book has been released, my plans are to take a portion of my funds to feed the less fortunate. And yes, there are other books being published.

1. Seven Steps to Empower your Faith
2. The Seed of a Woman (both natural and spiritual)
3. Why Hurting People Hurt Others.
4. Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman

Thank you so, so much Ms. Josephine for sharing your story and giving me the opportunity to help share it with others.  

You can grab your copy of Ms. Josphine's book, From the Beginning to the End. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Go Be Great Without Apologizing


Worth repeating, right!  It's all misconception in the end.  So why not continue to just be yourself and let people think what they want. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

7 Ginger Thoughts on Self-Respect

So do you walk on eggshells around certain people? Constricted with the realization that one day they’re going to take the tiniest bit of your word choice and deconstruct it into something personal? Sort of like that Mexican expression “searching for tits on an ant”? Or the equally philosophical expression of “creating mountains out of molehills”? Well, I just want to share a few thoughts I've come to realize concerning this topic and the power of self-respect. I hope they all relate, but if not, they'll find the right cord with the right person. I refer to them as ginger tips because I always sip ginger tea or suck on ginger candy to treat an upset stomach. Take that as you will.

1. Be mindful of people who don't pay attention to what you say the first time, nor follow up with concrete questions. They're probably giving themselves room to misinterpret you in the future. And if that’s the case, don't wail back. Instead, be prepared to walk away from their game.

2. Always continue to be kind and considerate of other people’s time, even when someone didn’t feel the need to be considerate and understanding of yours. It may seem like a burn after you've taken someone’s time into consideration and they've used it against you, but it isn‘t. You learn from the respite how to strengthen yourself.

3. You don't have to accept every offer thrown your way–despite what people say. We're all carrying a load toward our destination, and many of us can’t stop to add more until we drop off some of what we already have. Therefore, some things are better left as a blessing for others as you prepare to take your next step. Besides, there’s an opportunity up ahead that someone else left behind that’s perfect for your relief!

4. Don't let anyone tell you what God should be to you, as well as what God is or isn't doing to better your life. Just as you are the pioneer of your spiritual path, only you know what you pray about before bed each night.  As well, only you wake up to greet God in the morning refreshed and ready to try again.

5. Someone took your thoughtfulness and twisted it into something personal? Try to stay kind, but remain silent. Do this the first time your kindness and intent are misconstrued, and do not ravel in trying to fix it the second time. Eventually, you'll move on and the recipient will mull over the message and why you didn't give them more to misconstrue. Silence really is golden.

6. Don't fall into the mental beliefs and traps of others. Instead, be constructive in releasing yourself from your own. You are your own guru. Don't count on someone willing to make you feel guilty for not applying their beliefs into yours.

7. You are not always going to be understood–and that’s okay. Be proud that you made the decision to speak!

And there you have it!  I got some things off my own chest and hope that they've inspired you.  I tried not to sound all folksy, but that's just the way it came out.  Nevertheless, be encouraged.  

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