In six months, I will celebrate my 40th birthday and as I grow older, there are things that I begin to know for certain. At the top of my list is the fact that it’s never too late to further your education. As you, dear reader, peruse this blog post, I will be graduating in the Fall Commencement at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. A journey that I started on four years ago will finally be reaching its destination.
As I have written about in previous blog posts, my life has been a rollercoaster journey of bad decisions. I trudged through my teens and early 20s in a fog of low self-esteem and insecurity. There was always a running monologue in my mind of why I just wasn’t good enough. Despite being a single mother to two children, I bounced from one low paying job to the next and was never sure of exactly where I would end up.
But then, five years ago, something miraculous occurred: my life completely and utterly fell apart and I was forced to rebuild from almost scratch. I can attest that hitting the utter rockiest of bottoms can be a lifesaving event. Somewhere in that process, I began to make valuable changes to how I thought of myself. (more…)
Earlier this week, I experienced the moment that finally made me feel like an adult. I mean, sure, I am 39 years old and a mother to two boys. Also, I am engaged, work full-time and attend school full-time. I own a home and a car and manage to keep my finances in order.
Yet, until earlier this week, I believe there was still a part of me that was clinging to a shred of the innocence of youth.
My mom has two daughters, of which I am the youngest. My sister is seven years older than me and has always been the one to handle emergency situations. As the baby of the family, I have never had much responsibility placed on my shoulders. And that suited me just fine. Little has been expected of me during any family crises.
My Mom is one of the toughest women that I know and it takes a great deal to slow her down. At 69 years old, her yard and house is much cleaner that mine; she works in both almost daily. I joke that she has an old school work ethic that I just will never possess. (more…)
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lately, I have been avoiding my Facebook feed and deleting people who I realize have views much different from mine. Yes, I am aware that we all have varying opinions on all issues, large and small. However, as the United States Presidential election moves closer, I am reminded of the enormity of the race factor in this country. Hence, I no longer wish to be bombarded on Facebook with hate based words and images.
Despite the fact that an overwhelming number of caucasians voted President Obama in to office, there are still large portions of the population that, without verbally admitting it, are uncomfortable that a black man is in charge of our country. And yes, he is considered black, not biracial, despite the current climate of political correctness. If he wasn’t considered a black man, I highly doubt that the legitimacy of his birth certificate would STILL be a topic of conversation.
Has he been a good President? I can’t say; history will make that distinction for me. Will he be re elected? I hope so, despite the fact that I do not vote. (Another topic, for another day) Has he proven that race should not be the defining characteristic of a person? Sadly, not yet but maybe when my children are grandparents, having a multicultural President will be the norm and not the exception. (more…)
The month of April marks 45 years since The United States Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Loving v. Virginia. This isn’t a landmark case that we are all familiar with, such as Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board of Education. However, for me, the Loving case is partially responsible for the birth of my children and my upcoming marriage. Their decision, which ruled in favor of the Lovings’ (an interracial couple) and declared the state of Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law to be unconstitutional, opened the doors for people of different races to legally date, cohabitate and wed in the United States. (more…)
My children, both boys, are 16 and 10 years old and for their entire lives, I have been a single mother. (I don’t count my first disastrous marriage that lasted all of six months.) There was a point in my early 30’s where I believed that single motherhood was just as good as it was going to get for me. And I was fine with that.
Seriously, it was easier to be single and my children had extended family that stepped in for their absent father. Sure, money was always tight and there was never enough to make ends meet. However, we were just fine, the 3 of us had each other and that was enough. Our little family was complete.
I was lying to myself. There was nothing fine about my children only having the love of one parent. No matter how much their Nanny or Papa stepped in, it was not the same as having a father figure in their lives.
My children are biracial so I dealt with a double-edged sword; not only could I not teach them to be men, but I certainly could not teach them to be strong black men. They deserved much more than I was able to give them, and I will live with regret for some of my decisions for the rest of my life. (more…)