Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Only Human Afterall

Sometimes I feel the need to be "on" all the time.  I forget a simple truth that I try to remind my friends and family of whenever they are confronting a challenge.  You, I, we are not alone in our struggles.  Someone, somewhere is likely feeling, thinking, doing something similar.  I am not the only procrastinator, you are not the only one to have let someone else down, we are more than our greatest weaknesses.  You, I, we are only human afterall.  

In the spirit of remembering that I don't need to be superwoman to be a loving productive member of my community, even with all my flaws.   

Friday, November 25, 2011


I've been struggling with faith recently.  In the spirit of being honest and true, I've decided to write about it here, because as much as I write to share my thoughts with others, I also write to explore and document my thoughts for myself.  I'll be upfront though and say that its frightening because I'm sure there will be readers, most of whom I know, love, and respect who may be saddened or offended by what I say.

I wonder sometimes if I can be a Christian and not believe in hell.  I'm not sure anything happens after we die.  To the extent that I do believe something happens, it falls into what I call the great mist theory.  In short our essence sort of dissolves and hovers over the earth, sometimes congealing with the essence of others to do good (or evil).  Its maybe a combination of believing that our ancestors look out for us and believing in angels.  In my current afterlife thoughts God allows us to continue existing, but doesn't reward or punish us.

I believe we were created for a purpose (we're each unique for a reason), that God is that creator, that Jesus is God in human form, that we should follow God's lead for our lives, but I don't think I can believe everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is going to hell.  My God is a loving God who wants us to love God and others.  Eternal damnation just doesn't fit in the picture for me.

I know it doesn't seem right to pick and choose what you want from the Bible or any religious text, so I read on, I pray, I try to think through what I believe, but its hard.  I end up back at a question that I wrestle with often:

Do you have to believe everyone needs to be redeemed to believe in a redemptive God?

Your thoughts????? (believers and non-believers in Christianity alike)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Because I exist
Because I am free
Because I am the only ever me

Because I bear witness to the life I carried within me
Because countless women and men journeyed before me
Because the world doesn't revolve around (nor end) with me

I live, I take stock of my day,
I quiet the voice that undermines my spirit,
and I never give up the fight for a better world, a better tomorrow, a better me.

Having a plan seems like the first step, knowing that its ok if I mistep seems like the second.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


When asked in high school what my biggest fear is I answered failure.  Above death I was asked and the answer was yes, above everything.

Today the answer would be different for a number of reasons, and I'm unsure of how I would answer.  I know for sure though the answer would not be failure.  

I won't pretend that I've overcome my fear of failure or failure's cousin rejection.  I still struggle.  I struggle with eyes wide open though, that as much as this life isn't all about me, it is about the path I choose to take.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I watched the Unsung episode featuring Minnie Riperton a couple days ago.  It was really good, two of her famous songs are "Lovin' You (is easy because you're beautiful)" and "Back down memory lane" (for those of you who are bad with artist names like me.  She died very young (only 31) and it had me thinking about my own life.

I worry about the future sometimes.  A post that I was working on started with a series of "what ifs", like what if the world does end in 2012, what if the machines do rise up, what if a secret powerful world organization does orchestrate the downfall of Canadian (or American) society?  Too many bad sci-fi movies you say...I'm sure, nevertheless the question remains, what if there is no tomorrow?

Minnie Riperton made amazing music, created songs like Back Down Memory Lane while suffering from Breast Cancer, knowing she only had months to live.  Hearing her story and watching her perform that song brought tears to my eyes.  She wanted to be there for her babies, she wanted to and continued to make music for months while she was sick and in pain.

Yet she's considered unsung.  She came out and spoke about breast cancer when the record label told her to keep it to herself because she thought women shouldn't be silenced about breast cancer.  She found a way to make an indelible mark on the music industry, while also being a loving wife and mother, all in 31 short years.  I know that I knew those two famous songs, but couldn't have remembered her name if I tried before viewing that episode.

There are a number of home videos in the episode with Minnie, Rick, Marc, and Maya Rudolph.  They seemed to live and love so thoroughly as a family.  I can't imagine it was easy, and I hope that by the end of my life, hopefully many many years from now, artifacts of my contributions to my family, my career, the world will remain as evidence of a life well lived.

I think often about motherhood and my career, one might say I even obsesses about it.  How do I find the balance that I crave?  I'm sure there's no easy answer, but living the struggle to do so reminds me how impressed I am by women who are able to do it all, even if the truth is I shouldn't be impressed, but rather demand that women, like men can have it all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Womanhood = ....Sacrifice?

Aminata is napping and so once again I try to carve out a moment to make a post.  My last attempt was thwarted, but maybe I'll be successful this time.  If I'm lucky maybe I'll get a short nap too after I switch over the laundry.

I read a review of the new Twilight movie that called it an anti-feminist throwback.  The main female character (according to the author at least) is self-sacrificing to a fault, in this movie her health supposedly grows fainter and fainter (almost to the point of death) as she grows a human vampire hybrid baby inside.  I haven't seen any of the previous twilight films, in fact I know little about the books or movies other than conversations that discuss abstinence as it relates to the main female character who doesn't have sex until her wedding night (from what I can tell) at the ripe age of 18.

The author has a problem with the repeated theme of self-sacrifice and devotion this female character shows toward her vampire boyfriend/now husband in particular.  I think that devotion to one's spouse and/or unborn child is not anti-feminist by default, but devotion and self-sacrifice can cross the line easily.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So Much to Say

I have so much to say and so little time to say it.

I'm considering a career change...maybe computer engineering.  If you know any Black female computer engineers who are also mothers, please pass along their info (if they are willing to talk to someone interested in joining the field).  I'd really be happy to talk to any computer engineer, so please let me know if you know some folks who wouldn't mind answering some basic questions (beyond what I can look up online).

In other news I'm blessed to have amazing people in my life who share with and inspire me.  Below is a painting by one of those people.  Check out her blog for more awesome artwork!

Also if you have some time, consider stopping by my friend Ev's blog.  She is challenging herself to publish a post every day for a month, an admirable goal and one day when I'm more organized I may try to do the same.

Thanks ladies for being a part of my life.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Difficult to Understand

A couple of people have been circulating an article about how women aren't crazy on facebook for interacting and communicating the way some women do.  It's an open letter of sorts from a feminist man.  I haven't had the opportunity to read the entire thing, and once I do maybe I will post it, but it started me thinking.

As a counseling student I was once confronted by a theory that suggested people distance themselves from emotionality to make more "rational" decisions.  I admit that sometimes it's hard to surpress an anxious-like- fire that wells up in me when I feel I have a point that is not being heard, especially as it pertains to the experience of women, people of color, and poor people.  I actively try to challenge myself to be open, to stay present and engaged enough to pay attention to not only my next point, but the points of the other person(s).  I disagree however that rationality is superior to emotionality, that arguments have to follow a certain set of rules.

Not everyone speaks the same way, thinks the same way.  I have a lot of growing to do in terms of better communicating my thoughts and ideas in the heat of contention, but I don't think being emotionally charged necessarily means one is more difficult to understand.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Change is hard

Every night I seem to run out of time fore myself.  Every night tiredness seems to creep up on me before I've even thought of beginning my night time routine.

Change is hard.  My desire is to live differently, to not feel so tired at the end of every day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The overflow of my heart

Luke 6:45
Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in their heart, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in their heart. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

Recently I've been feeling challenged to change my attitude and monitor more closely the things that I say, particularly to my husband.  I'm not one to curse or call names, its not the overtly disrespectful stuff that I worry about, more the subtle dismissive stuff.  We have different ways of communicating and thirty years from now I'm sure we'll look back and laugh at how long it took us to get it right, but in the mean time it is my desire to work on being better.  I got a fortune cookie a couple of weeks ago that I thought was cute, it reads:

"Improve yourself.  Practice makes perfect!"

In other news, Aminata and I participated in a march on Sunday to help end violence in Halifax.  I was interviewed and quoted in one of the local newspapers.  In this instance, although not elaborately planned, my words do represent what's in my heart.  I've been fortunate enough to live a life only lightly brushed by violence and as I watch a PBS special on Redefining War to include rape and restructuring peace to include the work of women, I recognize how important it is for us to work to end violence within our local communities and around the world.

I'm not sure how to best use my voice for change.  I do know that I want to start at home with letting my mouth truly speak the overflow of my heart.  I know that I want to be active in the world.  I know that I want to speak.    

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I started and stopped several posts today.  I've been meaning to post for the last week and with my husband out of town the last couple of days that goal has been harder and harder to accomplish

Since I've not been able to adequately settle those other posts, I decided to start anew.  It's almost 2 in the morning, but our baby is sleeping (she normally heads in between 12 and 1:30, the dishes are washed, I've read a chapter in Luke (my goal is to slowly, but surely make it through the gospels, even if its just a chapter a day), the living room is straightened, I've put a dish in the crockpot (tomorrow is our monthly communal dinner for first Sunday at church), I've picked out our clothes for tomorrow, and now all that is left to do is shower and head to bed.

I feel quite accomplished.  I had a good day, I thoroughly enjoyed being a mother.  I didn't waste the day away watching television, I didn't spend any money, and I appropriately prioritized.  My intention had been to post some amazing insightful masterpiece on something or another, but I'm going to contently settle on a day well lived and start anew tomorrow.