Sunday, October 27, 2013

Love in the City

There are times that I get what some may describe as stir crazy and I have to get out of the house. I decided to travel to uptown Charlotte yesterday and go sight seeing. As I walked down Trade Street, I turned a corner and found myself at a wedding. It was a small wedding, with very few invited guests and it was not intimate, being held in the middle of the city. But, the bride and groom seemed to be so enthralled in each other that the setting was intimate to them. There was a street performer playing the most beautiful music on the trumpet during the ceremony. I felt an overwhelming sense of pleasure in watching this brand new couple. They had on the traditional wedding attire but as I spied the whole situation, it occurred to me that they are anything but traditional. Her hair was a shocking color of red, his jet black and his ears were adorned with large lobe earrings. They both had tattoos everywhere and their guests, though dressed up, were very much rocker chic in their appearance. However, it was not their appearance or the setting that made them radical. It is the act that performed that makes them radical. To marry someone requires the sacrifice of self- to go from "I" to "us". It is the single most radical act that one can do of their own free will. To vow to love someone for the rest of your life, to love them when they are sick, poor, and worse. I am a hopeless romantic at heart and so want to have someone to love in this way and for that someone to love me back. A Facebook friend asked the question if this type of love still exists and I must say it does. Although marriages fail and the media highlights scandals within these marriages, people continue to say "I do" . These two love birds warmed my heart as he carried her across College Avenue, a symbolic paved threshold. Love still exists.

Peace & Blessings,

Friday, October 25, 2013


Throughout my life, I have been called a lot of things; girl, smart, black, thick, sweet, Mommy, friend, sis, "A"; the list could go on and on. However, I have been thinking lately what do I call myself. When you look in  the mirror, who do you really see? Is the reflection all you imagined it would be? I think back on times in my life when I hated the person looking back at me. She was never good enough, she was never pretty enough, she was never enough. I used to question my mom, asking if I was adopted. I have never fit quite in. I never was a member of any clique. I would hang with the nerds and in the same day be with the thugs. I am still that way. I speak to everyone and can relate to almost anyone. I have an amazing ability to relate to a person on their individual level. I am somewhat of an enigma, even to those who have known me all my natural life. One of my sisters once said "Andre'a can talk all day and never really say anything" and she was right. I have a natural ability to hold secrets and information close to my chest. But, again who am I?
I have come to the conclusion that I am who I want to be at any given time. I am Mommy to my beautiful children, a comedianne to those who need a laugh. I am daughter to my mom. I am sister to Teliska, Tasha, Derik, and Wayne, as well as my other siblings. I am Bae to Jamala. I am Babygirl to my Poppy. I am "cuz" to Pep. I am friend to my girls (and dudes). I am woman to the world. I am a fighter to the struggles to this life. I am a survivor to the trials and tribulations. I am a citizen in this world in which we live. I am. I am. I just am.

Peace & Blessings,


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Family- Complex but Necessary

The word family according to is defined as :
a. basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
b. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family. 
the children of one person or one couple collectively:
the spouse and children of one person 
any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.
all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.
I have come to find that family is defined by more than DNA. Family consists of those individuals in which we are connected on a deeper level. Some of my dearest friends have been "adopted" into my family. We defend one another, we challenge one another, we fellowship, we show concern, we are family. This past weekend, I spent some time talking to my mother. Our relationship is one that has often been strained due to circumstances and situations, often difficult, in our lives. Her birthday was Saturday and as I sat there talking, I came to the realization of how life comes full circle. The woman I saw before me had aged so much, as have I. She is a grandmother. She is no longer 30-something, not even 40-something. Where has the time gone? I am now 32 years old. I realize that my time with her is slipping away. My children are growing up. I looked at my teenaged son and realized he is almost a man. Boo-Boo is on the brink of manhood. We must make the best use of our time here on this earth. Love your family, love them hard. Some members of my family can get on my nerves, even the ones that have been "adopted" however, I need them. When the world is not so nice, and stress robs me of sleep, I can count on one of my loved ones to shake me back into reality and help me realize that everything will be all right- we just have to endure. I am personally going to hold myself more accountable for my familial relationships. Things happen, people screw up-deal with it. No one is perfect, not even me. We should not punish our family for their faults. We should confront the issue and move forward. No progression can occur without sacrifice.  Family is complex but they are necessary.
Peace & Blessings,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Social Media-Friend or Foe?

I am posting this in response to a situation that occurred in my life that caused confusion and hurt. As I perused a loved one's page, I happened upon some pictures of him with an ex. The pictures were not "explicit" but it was a reminder of how cruel people can be on social media. They have knowledge of people's situations, relationships, etc. but they intentionally post things to cast doubt or "stir the pot" as my Grandma Lillie would say. Yes, the picture was old however, it ended up being plastered on the homepage of said loved one which to other people's eyes, gave the appearance that they are still a "couple". It is especially disheartening when no correction is applied.  It is a sad day when you receive satisfaction in attempting to bring misery to others. Ten years ago "Twitter wars" and "Facebook bashing" did not exist. When we had issues, we handled them face to face. People have begun to live on social media and instead of dealing with their issues up close and personal, they prefer to air their dirty laundry over the internet. Passive aggressive acts such as posting that picture is in my opinion idiotic and infantile. The power of social media is one that is not easily harnessed and if it was not for the positives (advertising, maintaining friendships long distance, seeing my family that live far away such as my nephew in Alaska) I would delete my accounts. People do not realize the impact of their social media presence and as a result they do things that are just downright ignorant. We must all learn to behave more responsibly. Individual situations change, lives change, life partners change--sometimes. The past should be kept in the past, not copied to a wall in such a blazon way. Back in the day, I would straight up act ignorant when I felt disrespected. But, I am a grown woman now so I will remain a lady. I choose to instead chronicle my opinions for others to read or hear. Some may say that I am a hypocrite because I share personal experiences on my blog and post to social media. However, I disagree. I explicitly stated in my first post that my blog is just that -my blog. It is an outlet for me to say what I feel and think. No one has to go to the link if they don't want to. However, I appreciate all those that do read and do so with an open mind and heart. With that being said, let me end with a quote by Robert Frost

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
Peace & Blessings,

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rainy Monday

The weather outside is rainy and gloomy. It reminds me of how I have felt within myself for the past few days. I recieved some bad news Friday, which increased my anxiety and my sense of helplessness. What next? How much do I have to lose before I begin to win again? Only He knows. I have overwhelming feelings of dread sometimes, to the point that I cannot seem to form words and have a decent conversation with others. But, instinctively, my sense of drive takes over and it is all consuming. My will alone drives me on and does not allow me to throw in the proverbial towel. At times when I have said "I give up", she (will) says "No you don't". There have been times I have rationalized not pursuing greatness and it is at those times that my will kicks into overdrive and I am inspired to try again. Do not assume I am depressed or suicidal. This is not a pity party or a cry for help. It is my own expression of my humanity. Trials and tribulations can plaque your life and rip your still beating heart from your chest. I have experienced times of extreme pain to the point I felt I died such as losing a brother and father within two weeks of each other, or being abused to the point of death. I have experienced times of immense joy such as the birth of my six amazing children and graduating with honors from college. "Where there is life, there is hope." I feel like my life is a melodrama, filled with unpleasant events, but I still believe there is a great chance of improvement. There are still times of peace and intense love--when I hold my baby boy and listen to his heart beat and see him smile at me, or when my love holds me close and says "I love you little girl", those are the best times. I am the eternal optimist. I thrive off the belief that things will get better. There are seasons in our lifes and lessons to be learned. I feel as if my life journey has taken me down these hard paths in order to help someone else along and to let them know that they can make it. Life is not perfect. But, life is still good-no matter what, life is good.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Season Is Changing and So Am I

I thoroughly enjoy when the weather begins to cool off and winter begins to beckon. It may be my imagination but I feel I have more clarity in the brisk mornings of fall and winter than in the stagnation of summer and the pollen-laden spring. I will be focusing on transforming my life in the remaining months of 2013. Materialism and procrastination have become old associates and have been replaced by self-reflection and minimalism. I can see things more clearly now. We waste so much time and energy on things that are essentially insignificant. I am getting older and with that comes the realization of how quickly time passes as well as our lives. I am choosing to stretch myself beyond what I believed to be my level of potential. I am challenging myself to be a better Andre' a. It is not without pain and at times doing so much of reflection brings a feeling of regret. I often think back on the missed opportunities, the wasted time, the self abuse that I have willingly participated in so long. However, we learn life lessons in reverse; we cannot learn unless we navigate through a given situation. I have intentionally purposed to take a long look at myself in the mirror. At times I do not like what I see but mostly I do. I am still living, I am still breathing, I am still here. And as long as I am here, I have another opportunity to improve and to become who I was destined to be, as do you. Time out for dreams unfilled and stagnation. Progression and change have become my closest comrades. As the great Audre Lorde once said "I am deliberate and afraid of nothing." My choices at this time in my life are deliberate and I do not live in fear anymore. I am living.

Peace & Blessings,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Disturbing to the Soul

Normally my blog topics are upbeat, informative, reflective, even inspirational but, I do not believe in wearing rose-colored glasses. Every now and then, some news story disturbs me so much that I must vent about it so here goes. I just read an article about the daycare worker who filmed herself raping a one-year old baby. Heather Koon is charged with 2 counts of rape and even had the audacity to film herself in a video performing one act. This is one of the most despicable cases I have ever heard of. What in the world is going on? What type of monster can do such a thing and what would possess her to? I have six children whom I adore with my entire being. I can not imagine the anguish that these parents must feel. You entrust your children with the daycare workers and to find out that this type of thing has happened is heartbreaking. I first ran across the story on Facebook but later read the article in the Huffington Post. It is in time like these that I believe we should pray and seek God's face ever the more. You may not believe in Him but in this world of uncertain and dangerous times, we must lean not to our own understanding. It is in Him that we will find rest and protection. I pray for those families affected. I pray for the victims. I pray for the communities. I pray. I pray. You may not believe, but I know, prayer changes things.

Peace & Blessings,

Heather Coon article

Friday, October 4, 2013

From the Mind of Andre'a : Legal Monopoly?

From the Mind of Andre'a : Legal Monopoly?: It is with great frustration that I pen this post. How is it that power companies can charge exorbitant fees that average people can barely ...

Legal Monopoly?

It is with great frustration that I pen this post. How is it that power companies can charge exorbitant fees that average people can barely pay and be the only game in town without any interference from the government and no other choice than to use their services or go without electricity? I am overly aggravated with the system and the way that this company (or companies) are allowed to charge such fees with little or no explanation. I personally have never had an electric bill below $100. Payment arrangements are laughable and attempting to find resolution to discrepancies is a waste of time. Please forgive my ranting and raving but, it is not fair to the consumer to be charged such high fees with such low usage. And to add insult to injury, no one in the customer service department can provide me with one good reason as to why my bill is so extremely high. One should never shudder when seeing particular pieces of mail in the mailbox, but every month that bill comes, I only can feel dread. Please Mr. Electric have a heart, my purse and my nerves would surely thank you.

Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Unexpected Surprises

Life, as you know,is a peculiar thing. There are times of intense pleasure, intense pain, euphoria, despair, even mundane moments in which nothing of any particular excitement is occuring. I have come to find pleasure in the simplicities of life. There is beauty in the most unlikely places: sky at sunset, the twinkle in a child's eye, the warmth of an embrace. Poetry, music, dance, theater, conversation, literature are all things that are able to penetrate and stimulate my mind, body, and spirit.
As those close to me know, I love to exercise. I love to run or walk, listen to my music, and work on being a better me. The crispness (or stagnation in summer) of the air, the wind through my locs, the feeling of the concrete beneath my running shoes--there is nothing quite like it. It is during these times of solitude, I am able to center my thoughts and further analyze the richness of life.
There are people that will enrich your life if you will open your mind and allow the transfer. I have come to understand that people are much more than meets the eye and even more than popular opinion. The old adage "never judge a book by its cover" is so surprisingly true. And even though it is very human to prejudge, let us free ourselves from the prison of pre-belief and pre-judgment. Life is good and although our world is wrought with violence, wars, and ugliness--life still is good. I believe that we are all good, at our core, though our actions may say otherwise. Love one another, be happy, enjoy life. Time passes so quickly, be fulfilled in the one you have.

Peace & Blessings,