Just In Case No One Has Told You!

I try to stay mindful of the fact that not everyone has a person or people in their lives to pick them up when they fall or give them a kind word when they are having a rough day. I wanted to show up today for anyone who is unable to show up for themselves and perhaps may not have anyone to say the things that they may need to hear right now. Just in case no has told you today,

  • You are going to be okay
  • All you can do is the best you can
  • It may be the end of the road, but not the end of the world
  • This is just temporary
  • You are such a beautiful person inside and out
  • It is okay not to be okay
  • You are not alone
  • No one is perfect
  • Even the smallest thing we do for ourselves or someone else can bring so much joy
  • The love you have for yourself surpasses the love anyone else can have for you
  • Be kind to yourself
  • It’s okay to laugh at yourself

I felt a need to put this out in the world because we are all in this thing called life together, whether we know one another personally or not. You may need these words today or maybe it’s someone you know. Maybe you will meet a stranger today who needs a kind word.  The world is hard enough on us all. Let’s try to pull one another up in hope, kindness and love.

P.S. I went to walk my dog this morning and I had the leash and his poop bags, but I forgot my dog! I chose to laugh at myself instead of getting upset about messing up the walk.

Speak with you soon.

Going Through It, To Get Over It!

Hello to all of my favorite readers out there. Thank you for stopping by. I am so happy you are here! I hope you are feeling good today. Guess what? I am!  No, doctors have not found a cure for HS this month. I know like everything else, this is temporary, but I am going to ride this good feeling out until the motor drops on the ground and the wheels fall off.

I have been having really vivid dreams lately about my daddy and all of my grandmothers’. I didn’t think anything of it until it started to happen each and every night. As some of you know, they are all deceased. The dreams had to mean something. I began to write down what I remembered immediately after I woke up. I discovered each and every night, Mudea, Momma Dosie, Daddy, Momma Mae and Momma Ola were all rooting for me. In each dream, each interaction they were telling me to keep going. I hear it now so clearly, “Landa don’t stop, don’t give up, I am here.” I woke up with tears in my eyes and smile on my face. I know they all are here watching over me. You see, I never told anyone about my last pain cycle with my HS but my mom. Only she knew how bad I felt and how down I was. My mom said those same words to me. It was at that moment, I told my mom I had to go and I would call her back the next day. I started to focus on my family and friends that are always rooting for me. I said okay and little by little, step by step, I began to feel stronger than I was before.

I had literally already talked myself out of going to see Iyanla Vanzant at the Fox Theatre. Maybe someone else will buy my ticket, I thought. Besides, it was a fabulous seat. The thought of having to change out of my pajamas and getting dressed up was too much for me to think about. Then there was traffic. I would have to leave at 5:30 and who in their right mind would get into traffic at that time? Not to mention, I would be exhausted from working all day. It was just too damn much! Just as I was about to post my ticket for sale online, I sat down and was still. I sat still, took a breath and began to laugh. Who said I had to get dressed up? I can go as myself. Iyanla said she focused on healing and not image. So I removed that self placed pressure I created and decided whatever I put on I would be fabulous. You know why? Because I am fabulous. Why was I worried about traffic? I had not been in my car all day and I am sure it was nothing me and Ludacris could not handle with a little “Move B***** Get Out Tha Way!” Step by step, little by little, I got dressed and out the door I went.

The Fox is a beautiful theatre and there were so many beautiful people there. The funny thing is I met so many people that were there alone, but we ended up leaving together as sisters. When Iyanla hit the stage, the crowd went wild.  Okay, full disclosure, I wanted to run up on stage and steal a hug. I decided against that because I did not want to go to jail and end up on YouTube. The show was so powerful you could feel the energy, connections and people getting stronger. You had to be there to experience it.  Some things she touched on that really spoke to me were:

  • Sometimes we have to ask God to soften our heart. Forgiveness is rough!
  • When we use the word fear, it’s not that at all. It’s not being in control of the outcome.
  • Never underestimate the ruthlessness of the ego.
  • Be mindful of the things you think about and what you place your focus on.
  • Be careful what you tell yourself about yourself.
  • All thoughts are neutral. They have no value or meaning until we assign it.
  • We focus on negative emotions more than the positive ones because of the emotional pulse attached to it.

Her book “Get Over It” is a must read. It is not what it sounds like. She is not saying get over it in a flippant manner, but in a way that teaches you how to leave the negative behind so it no longer holds you hostage.

I plan to keep this good feeling going for as long as I can. HS, anxiety, depression, anger nor excuses will stop me!  I want all of us to shoot for the good feeling. If you are unable to show up for yourself, it’s okay, I WILL SHOW UP FOR YOU! We are all in this together. We don’t have to do it alone.

I love you all to life!

Landa

 

What/Where In The World? Pick One!

I know it has been a while since I have posted. To be quite honest, when I sat down at my desk to write I did not know where to begin. I had to keep in mind this is my blog and not my journal, but at the same time being as authentic as I can. There has been so much going on in the world that when I actually sit down and try to understand it all, I want to take all of my family and friends to a secret place to try and protect them. Then I wonder is there a place for any of us to go. The world has its way of making some of us feel like we don’t belong anywhere. School shootings, shootings targeting black people, black people being killed by police, black people being afraid to ask police for help, the justice system over sentencing based on the color of your skin, teachers not making enough money to function on a daily basis, fear of SSI and Medicaid being cut for the elderly, overwhelming student debt for people trying to get jobs that don’t even pay enough for them to live on, looking at videos of racist people saying we don’t belong here and its time to make America white again. I could write an entire page of just issues that are going on today, but I know you get the point. If you were unable to take a breath from trying to read that run on sentence, imagine trying to take a breath while you live it.  Trying to understand this and be apart of the solution while trying to live with HS has been a bit overwhelming.  My faith was being tested. I was beginning to wonder if anyone cared. What can I do? What can you do?  Needless to say I was in a rut.

I am only one person and alone it does not seem like I can do much, but I will do what I can. I know it sounds cliché but I will be the change I want to see. With all of the mean, vile, racist and uncaring people in the world, I will always try to remember there are just as many good people in the world. I realize the further I get away from God the more complex my life tends to be. It makes more sense to give Him the time I spend scrolling through Facebook and watching the news. It doesn’t mean I am trying to keep my head buried so the problems would go away. It means that I need to do things that will strengthen my faith and my soul. I always make sure the people I surround myself with are strong, loving and supportive people. I am going to be strong, loving and supportive to them. If I am defeated and depleted, I am no good to myself or anyone else. I am going to fight for what is right and spread awareness when and where I can.  I know I am just one person, but sometimes that’s all it takes….Right?

 

 

 

Wakanda Forever! Not Just This Weekend!

HS be damned. You did not win! I did. I have been looking forward to the arrival of Black Panther since last year. Matter of fact, I think that is when I purchased my prescreening event ticket. It’s hard for me to plan anything because HS is very unpredictable. I decided to let the chips fall where they may because nothing was going to keep me from this film. Besides, one of my dearest friends is an extra in the movie. Which to me is the same as her having a leading role. The day before the event as I got up to prepare for work, a sharp pain brought me to my knees. I knew better to ask what it was about. I knew it wasn’t the flu, but HS related. I had one of the worst flare-ups I had ever seen or felt. Every scar and every open area was red, enflamed and angry.. AT ME. The first thing that came to mind was OMG what am I going to do with my ticket because I will not be able to walk.  I sat on the floor and devised my plan. Thank goodness I had my cellphone because I did not know when I was going to be able to get up. My entire day consisted of Clorox baths, various topical medications and a solo rendition of the horizontal polka.  Thursday morning arrived and I felt like a kid at Christmas. Black Panther is here! Black Panther is here! As was the pain!  There was a silver lining. I was at least able to walk a little. All I needed to do was get my hair styled, shower, get dressed, get in the car and to the theatre. That was my to-do list for the day. It was touch and go there for a minute, but I managed to make it. There were many breaks in between and even a few tears, but I persisted.

When I got out of my car, I was immediately greeted by this beautiful lady that said ” I love your shirt, your hair and earrings. Welcome. We are so glad you’re here.” I was shocked. I could not believe there was a welcoming committee for the movie. She asked me my name and I told her as we were walking toward the theatre. She finally asked me if I was here for the volunteer work. I was like “ummm no, I’m sorry I am just here for the movie.” We both laughed and hugged. She introduced me to the rest of the volunteers and we all had a laugh. As I walked into the theatre to find my place in a line, I saw all of the Black Panther posters  and instantly got goosebumps. People were trying to buy tickets and they were sold out until Tuesday. I was so happy I had my ticket already. I walked around looking at the posters and a young lady walked up to me and asked me if I was here to see Black Panther. I told her yes and she replied ” so am I let’s sit next to each other.”  More and more people arrived dressed in their t-shirts and African attire. Everyone was hugging, laughing, and taking pictures. I was okay with being there alone because it was like I was attending with my family. It was amazing. This is not a fad. This is a positive movement.

I won’t spoil the movie for those of you who have not seen it yet. I urge you to go and see it as many times as possible. This movie made me feel amazing both during and after I finished watching it. I am so proud to see people on the big screen that look like me play such positive and profound roles.  Killmonger’s role as the villain is just as important as T’Challa’s role as the hero. Africa is being shown as this bountiful and beautiful not impoverished land. Children have their superhero that is not a slave, crackhead or criminal. While I know Wakanda is fictional, this movie is pushing me outside of my box. I want to know where I came from. I want to explore my family history. I want to do more in the community and the world. If nothing else Black Panther has shown how we all can come together for a common interest and make a difference. We can do great things together and make a difference.  I want to continue to take this feeling with me not just this weekend, this month but forever.  WAKANDA FOREVER!!

This Is All Of Us…….

I am almost positive that everyone has either seen or at least heard about the show This Is Us that’s on NBC. Well if you haven’t, it’s definitely worth taking time to watch it. I can guarantee you will not be able to stop watching after you see the first episode. Anyway I am not here to convince you to watch the show. I am here to share how This Is Us is all of us.  The mere title of the show makes me cry. Yes, I know these people are actors, but they suck you in and make you feel like you are on the journey with them. Without going through each episode (and yes I can!), I want to share the theme of the show LOVE.

The love is so real that it’s tangible. It also shows that love is not perfect. Love can be messy and love can be hard.  The love that parents have for their children is like no other. I honestly did not understand that love until my dad told me one day that he would die and go to hell for his children. He meant every word. When daddy didn’t have anything else, he had us. Parents and children do not always get along. Kids and parents are both trying to prove they know what’s best. There is attitude, anger and ego flying all over the place. Not to mention everyone’s individual secret storms that they are going through. Neither parents or children always make the right decision. We are imperfect beings. But when everything is all said and done, your family is going to show up for you. (And if they don’t I will show up for you!)

I think what really makes me ugly cry is the fact that I finally see someone who relates to me about the love and loss of a father. A father that you knew loved you and would do anything to make sure you were okay. That does not mean he was perfect or fearless.  It meant he loved you unconditionally and would literally lay down his life to preserve yours. I am not the same person I was before my father passed away. Almost 12 years later, I still cry daily and try to put one foot in front of the other wishing I could hear him yell “LANDA! one more time”. So I hold on to my memories and my love because just in case anyone ever forgets who Mike Cobb was, I will gladly remind them. I have a beautiful granddaughter and a handsome nephew who will know who their Paw Paw Mike was and how much he was loved and admired.

You see this is all of us. None of us have the perfect family or circumstances, but somehow we will come together and be okay. We all have troubles, secrets, fights and fall outs, but at the end we all have each other. No matter what race or background you come from, we all can relate on some level. This why I think so many people watch this show and ugly cry right along with me.  Let’s cultivate and spread love as much as we can. For any fellow parents reading this, my wish for you is that your children love you as much as I love my parents. For all my fellow children, my prayer for you is that you love and appreciate your parents because they will not always be here.

Now  I am going to stop because my puppy doesn’t know why I am crying and I need to wipe the tears from my keyboard.

True Love Doesn’t Notice

Hello everyone, oh how I have missed all of my blog friends. I hope you all are doing well.  HS had me in a hostage situation and was not willing to negotiate. I was able to compromise with it  eventually. While it is still here, my pain level decreased some. Now I am able to get back to my blog and actually leave the house. I wanted to share something a close friend of mine shared with me when I first met her about 16 years ago. The reason I want to share this is because it has come up again recently in someone else’s life.

We all tend to have these imperfections when we look in the mirror that we feel would make the world of difference if we could change it. Some of want fuller lips, thinner lips, higher cheek bones, lose weight, gain weight or just throw the whole person away and get a new body. Something that I used to struggle with when I looked into the mirror was my smile. Not too many people are aware, but once upon a time I had significant issues with my teeth. I took a lot of iron growing up and coupled with other issues, my teeth were discolored. I can remember putting my hand over my mouth when I laughed or trying not to laugh at all. Looking back on my old photos, I never smiled. I was reluctant to meet new people because I thought they would stare and not talk to me. My defense mechanism became my mantra, ” I don’t like people and I don’t need new friends.”  Now mind you, no one ever said anything or asked my about my teeth, but I thought that was because they did not want to embarrass me. I met my dear friend Machelle one day after I had come from the dentist. Of course I was smiling and posing and she said nothing. I was like “WTH?” So finally after about an hour of talking to her, I finally asked her if she liked my teeth. Machelle said. ” what about them?” I was literally speechless. My reply to her was , ” I know you see they look different.” She still didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about. It took me a minute, but I realized she was telling her truth. Machelle told me when you truly love someone, you never notice things like that because you are too busy loving the whole person. As tears rolled down my face, I couldn’t do anything but hug her.

Things we think are imperfect don’t matter to the right people in your life. If you find yourself being one of those people that point out other people’s imperfections, I hope you realize that you are pointing out what’s wrong with them to keep anyone from noticing what’s wrong with you. SO STOP IT!

 

 

If Or Even If? What Are Your Conditions?

Love is a powerful word. I often times wonder when some people say it, if they are aware of what it really means? When I think about love, I think about my family and  friends who mean the world to me. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is show and tell the people in your life you love them because things can change at the blink of an eye. The chance may pass never to return again. Before I had my son, I would often hear my mother, grandmothers and aunts say there is no love like a mother’s love. I didn’t know what the big deal was. My thinking was hey they are supposed to love their kids because they had them.  It was a given. Right?  The early morning when I had Christopher (on April Fool’s Day mind you!) my heart and my mind  went through a complete transformation. I actually fell in love with him the moment I laid eyes on him. I knew then I loved him more than anything in the world and I would do anything to protect him. I wanted the best for him and I would do anything to make sure he had everything he needed and some of what he wanted.

Fast forward 24 years he is now a man, but he will always be my little boy. When I talk to my son Christopher, I make sure I tell him I love him before we hang up. Sometimes I get a clear I love you and other times I get a low mumble that I assume is a hurried I love you.  When I see a sad Tide commercial or see an old baby picture, I text him to say I love you son more than you can ever know. He will say “I love you too mom” or “yes mom I know you love me.” Which makes me cry even more.  Before Christopher went to his duty station in Alaska, we spent some quality time together. We laughed and cried. We shared memories of daddy and how he has influenced our lives.

The main thing I wanted to make sure he knew then and always know is that I love him unconditionally. There is nothing in this world that can separate the love I have for him. I told him I have always loved him even when he did not always do things the way I would have. I told him at the beginning and end of the day, he will always be my son and I love him. Through all of the arguments and disagreements I still loved him. As life goes on, I am sure we will have more arguments and disagreements and at the end of it all, I will be there to love him.

There are so many people in this world who are only loved based on conditions.  There are so many people who cannot tell those they love or that love them that they are gay,  have a different religious belief or even something as simple as they don’t want to go to college because of the fear of being disowned. It is not our job to judge, it is our job to love UNCONDITIONALLY. It is important to live in your truth no matter what it is. If that means you love with conditions, then say ” I love you if…” If you love unconditionally say “I love you even if…”  You decide on the way you love and how you want to be loved.

Life Lessons Are Everywhere!

4 days into 2018 and lessons are literally appearing from the most simple things.  When I got up on the first morning of the new year, I was very excited. I found myself thanking God for allowing me to make it yet another year. I was and continue to be excited about my journey I am yet to complete. Any day above ground means He is not done with me and I still have a purpose here on this earth. I know life gets hard sometimes and the feeling of defeat may find its way into our mind, but we have to keep going.

I would like to share some lessons I have already learned this year with the help of perspective (and Gambino):

  1. Trust- Gambino was crying in his crate at night even though he did not have to go outside. I finally figured out he didn’t want to sleep in the crate. I was so scared to let him stay out all night, but I would never know how he would be outside of the crate unless I trusted him at least once.  I put one of his beds at the foot of my bed before I went to bed and when I got up the next morning, there he was curled up in a ball waiting on me to awake. I had to take the first step and trust him. Sometimes we have to step out on faith and trust everything will work out for the better.
  2. Hidden In Plain Sight- Since Gambino was out of the crate, I knew he had to use the restroom and I needed to rush him out to the grass. I was running around looking for this thin black leash and I could not find it. I looked in its usual spot and it was not there. I asked him where it was and he wouldn’t tell me so I finally had to use the back up leash. As soon as I came back in from walking him, I sat on my couch to warm up. As I pulled my black comforter over my feet, the thin black leash dropped to the floor. There it was hiding in plain sight. It was not lost, it was where I left it.  Panic should not be our go to emotion when we think something is lost.  It’s more likely than not, hiding in plain sight.
  3. It Has Always Been In Us- For those of you who know me personally, you know I don’t make new years resolutions. I stopped making those several years ago when I finally realized it was a trap. When the clock strikes 12 and the new year arrives, it is a new day. The day before was once a new day as was the day before that. A clock is just a clock, the real change has to be in your mind. When you make your mind up to begin something, it is only at that time change will take place.

Join me and look for life lessons in the most simple of things. Open your mind and change your prospective towards things. God does not always make a huge production when He teaches us, sometimes He uses the smallest things we tend to overlook.

 

Celebrate The Small Things

As the year is about to close, I am hearing more and more  people making New Year’s resolutions. I have never really been good at making or keeping those promises. I remember one year I resolved to stop saying bad words. I made the resolution at midnight and I did well until I got out of  bed. Then there was the year I resolved to cook everyday and not eat out. I honestly tried, but I ended up wasting so much food because I have not yet mastered how to cook for one person. I don’t like leftovers and I don’t like messing up my kitchen.

After those failed attempts I decided to take the pressure off  of myself and resolve not to make anymore resolutions. Instead, I decided I would do my best each day and try new things even if I have to do it afraid. I look back on the year and it has definitely been full of mountains and valleys,  but in the midst of it all some small things that I accomplished are turning into wonderful beginnings of much larger things. So many of us overlook the small things because they are not often flashy or big public displays, but they matter too.

Here are some of the things I celebrated this year by dancing when no one was watching or by jumping up and down on my bed:

  • Learned how to use an IPad even though I am a dedicated android user
  • Went an entire week with a pain level of 5 instead of 10
  • Upgraded my car on a rainy day
  • Started writing my story for my book
  • Danced with my granddaughter
  • Told someone no and did not feel the need to explain
  • Started saying yes more than no
  • Started my LLC
  • Investing in marketing my business
  • Wore a tank top with the bandages under my arm

Celebrate getting dinner on the table before 10 o’clock. Celebrate not being stuck in traffic. Give yourself a pat on the back for choosing a salad over a cheeseburger or for choosing a cheeseburger over a salad.  There is no such thing as something being too small to celebrate. We have to celebrate even the smallest of things while we are on our journey through life.  It’s about the journey and not the destination.

 

“From small beginnings come great things.”

 

All Things Considered…..

Life is messy, people are irrational and nothing is perfect. All things considered, I am still here. Turning 41 today has been great and has been a time of reflection. When I turned 40, I had a sudden sense of dread because my “list” was not done. I had a list of “should have dones” I felt were mandatory to have completed before my birthday. Needless to say I didn’t finish it. What was I going to do? I wanted to have these things checked off and done. I felt like this list equated success and since it was incomplete I was somehow unsuccessful.  After sitting in the feeling of dread for a while, I finally decided what I was going to do. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I decided to live instead. Don’t misunderstand me, I am an organized person who likes to plan but I no longer wanted to equate success or happiness with things or a list. I gave myself permission to not be so rigid, but instead take life as it comes. By the grace of God, hard work and a great support system, I have overcome many obstacles in life. I have and will continue to help people along the way because I feel like that is the reason we are here. That is success.

I leave you with this short poem I wrote in honor of turning 41 today. I am excited about what the next year has to bring. I know there will be wrong turns, detours, delays and maybe even some stop signs. Life is a journey and I am constantly learning and growing. I will survive it and be a better person for it.

 Okay

 I didn’t get the promotion, but I still have JOBS, I am okay.

I didn’t get the house I thought I wanted at the time, but I have a fabulous place and a roof over my head, I am okay.

I didn’t get the date I thought I was not going to be able to survive without, I am okay.

I have defeated some Goliath’s this year that I never thought I could face, I am okay.

Thank you God for not giving me what I thought I wanted, but what I needed instead. I am more than okay…. I am truly blessed.