Monday, May 31, 2010

The truth about about pole dancing...

according to moi!

If you read my previous blogs, you would already know that I have added pole dancing to my repertoire of physical fitness. Traditionally, pole dancing has been stigmatized as a dirty dance with only raunchy or nasty ladies doing it. But now, its the latest trend with housewives, students, mothers and the neighborhood girls tip-toeing into a class.

This week I attended my second class. To be honest, I didn't want to go back. During the first class I kept looking for the clock to strike 12! I was ready to go! But, I paid my money and I wasn't about to waste it. So, I went back to Tease Fitness Boutique and claimed my pole. This week was a little better for me and I actually enjoyed it a little more.

But, what I learned is that it is much more than learning to dance and swing from a pole. And, more than just a physical fitness class. Much more than trying to feel empowered and sexy. (Note: Just don't ask Toni Braxton about pole dancing since she had a perfectly good pole in her new video and didn't even use it. Such a waste. How was she on a stripper stage, with a pole and just barely grazed the pole with her fingertips?! And, she calls herself dancing with the stars, hmph!)

Pole dancing is about trusting yourself...letting go and learning to trust. During a new move called "Carousel," I kept giving myself false starts or stopping myself in the middle of a turn. I kept holding back, but for what? Was I afraid of falling? Hardly, I was already close to the ground. (Hey, no short jokes, I'm being deep here.) Was I afraid of looking foolish? Heck, almost all of us faced challenges on different moves. Besides, it's not about comparing yourself to anyone else. So, why was I holding back and not trusting myself?

That's when it hit me...pole dancing is so much more than dance. I'm on a journey of learning myself, pushing myself, and trusting myself even more.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Yesterday was a totally, horrible hormonal day...

At least once a month for several days things go absolutely wrong. Life seems drastic, upsetting, devastating, and terrible. And, it seems as every thing and every one gets on my nerves. Yesterday was no different.

I woke up yesterday morning to do a task with the best of my ability. You see, my cousin asked me on Friday if I could take care of her pit bull. "All you have to do is take her out of her cage, feed her, put her on a leash to go outside and poop, take a treat and throw it in her cage and she'll go in, then lock her back up..." Sounded easy enough, plus she offered a cool $150 to do it. For me, it wasn't about the money, I wanted to do it out of loyalty for our relationship because she'd do it for me, for sure. There was one problem - I am not an animal person, at least not like that. But, I thought I'd give it a try.

Setting my alarm to get up early and get her dog breakfast, I arrived at her house at almost 8 AM. Her husband was there and showed me the ropes. Her cute dog kept jumping up on me with energy galore! Whew! Excited as she was, she tuned me out as I kept saying, "Get down!" She really is a good dog, but my anxiety began building up and I envisioned by the 3rd day her pit bull sensing my emotions and testing me. Immediately, I texted my cousin and hoped that she wouldn't be mad or disappointed in me. She wasn't, but her husband was. He felt that I told them at the last minute. So, I carried that freakin' guilt with me for the rest of the day. I kept thinking, "I hope he won't stay upset because I don't want it to affect the relationship that we all were building." Ugh!

Then, my Granny called with the, "I thought you would have called to help me move." I honestly haven't called her on a regular basis since here beloved "Sophia" has been here with her puppy-dragged-by-the-collar husband. One, I was so hurt when they all had a mini-reunion here in Charlotte and no one, including the Granny who I'd been sacrificing food and finances for, didn't bother to even call and invite me. Whatever. Two, I'm not going to give her a chance to "act funny" like she does to everyone else when the "Joneses" are around. I would be deeply hurt if she played me to the left in front of them. So, I kept my distance. Besides, I didn't really want to break bread with the "Joneses", but  the lack of a dinner invitation-- well, that's about principle. Any-hoo, I had to call my Granny back and that put me on the phone with Sophia. Yessss....her...

"Hi, Can I speak to Granny?" I asked.
"Well hello Lisa, how are you?" (In that fraudulent Madea tone, you know when she over enunciates her words? Yep, that's the tone.)
"I'm fine, thanks."
"Where have you been?" She asked in that same uppity, condescending voice.
"Where have you been?" I retorted.
"I've been here for 3 weeks."
"I've been here for 3 weeks, too."

I wanted her to just push the right button (on me) because I had a lot of thoughts that I would have loved to unleash on her. But, all remained calm because I quickly ended the call right after that. Just hearing her voice put me in a funk. That's a whole 'nother blog. Double Ugh!

To propel me out of the funk, my daughter and I went to ikea, walked around and even had lunch. I had a piece of chocolate cake (even though I haven't had sweets for a while, but I couldn't resist.) Awwww... (dream ikea kitchen to the left.)

Then, I got a call that my cousin was in the hospital. He had just had a stroke. He's a diabetic and hasn't been taking good care of himself. Plus, he just buried his newly grand baby who died from SIDS. He's only about 43 years old and has been going through some things as of late. Triple Ugh!

A glass of wine later, my friend called. I think I was already in a funk, but desperately wanting his call to somehow cheer me up or put me in a different frame of mind. It didn't. We got off on a debate which turned into another debate (or, question upon question) which eventually made me feel that we dug our convo in a hole to never see the light of day again. He asked, "So, we probably won't be able to get along (paraphrased, he meant "not get along in the future".) Since I couldn't predict it and wasn't in the mood to play that guessing game, I let him figure it out. I was too tired from a totally, horrible hormonal day to think such negative thoughts. So, I ended the call. Quadruple Ugh!

I think I'll just hibernate because this, too, shall past. Ugh!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My firsts...

Okay, I had my first leg wax. All of my life I used the beloved razor. Well, that's not actually true. Growing up in Detroit, men loved hairy legs on women. Yep, my mom used to have big, hairy legs and men would always compliment her. Guys admired how my hair would lay down flat on my legs, all sexy like. It wasn't until I went off to college in Kentucky that I found that hairy legs were not sexy. So, that's when my love affair with razors began.

I wax my underarms, eye brows and upper lip (which I would absolutely love to get lasered!) So, I decided to try my legs. Well, to be truthful, when I worked in a day spa, I tried to wax my legs and underarms. I almost killed myself when that wax strip got stuck on my leg. What to do now? It was too late to stop, I had to keep going. I stood there sweating, gathering courage and sensibility on getting that stuck strip off of my leg! That was the last time I waxed my legs until recently. (Pictured: Octavia from "About Face" mobile spa, she does facials as well.)

Pros - After getting waxed, my legs were silky smooth, hairless and fabulous. And, I didn't have to shave my legs daily.
Cons - No one even noticed my beautifully smooth legs! And, it wasn't exactly pain free.

My other first? I had my first mohawk hairstyle! Yeah, Kesha worked her magic yet again as I sat down in her chair and put my trust in her styling abilities. She did her thang and I loved it! I asked my daughter, "Do I look like an old lady trying to be young?"

"No, I like it," she answered. Yeah, baby!

So many firsts this year! I love it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do all dreams have a meaning?

Or, just some of them. I'm going to be real. I've always been a vivid dreamer dating back to the sweet ages of youth. And crazy enough, I can remember some of my dreams. For instance:

I dreamed that the maternal side of my family had to die. And, these two white men offered a package from their company to help us all die at the same time. They'd build a huge fire and we could all walk into the fire together and die as a family. Well, the "Joneses" of my family, also known as the "credit card family," (see old blog "Folks are a trip" 3/16/10 - Sophia) bought their way out of death and allowed everyone else to die, even the matriarch, my Granny. I woke up bawling.

Another time, I dreamed that my brother was lost in Panama. I went over there in search of him and when I finally found him, he was in a room with other men. All of them were laying on cots and you could smell death in the air. My brother was nothing but a shell of a skeleton, skin on bones. I woke up bawling.

And, as I wrote in my book, I had years of dreams where I was fighting (fist fighting, guns, running, being chased) and in combat. All of the fights centered around my paternal grandparents home. In my book, I admitted to sexual abuse occurring in that house. I truly believe those dreams had a meaning because when I finally forgave my abusers, the dreams incredibly stopped. No more waking up bawling.

Now, on the flip side... I had dreams were I was hanging out with New Edition and you couldn't tell me nuthin! And, ohhh, there was this unforgettable dream where Maxwell (yes, the singer!) was romancing me in the bathtub. This was way back when he had that sexy afro! Mmmmm... Wonder what those dreams meant because Maxwell didn't come for me. And, as an official bonafide Candy Girl, I have to regrettably admit that I have yet to meet New Edition. (sad face)

So, if all dreams have a meaning then I wonder.... Hmmm... I'll secretly admit that this week I've been having some real naughty dreams. (Hey, don't judge me!) Do I have a secret fantasy that I'm not admitting to? Or, is it the change of seasons time and I'm going through the "heat" change like animals do? During spring/summer, our bodies change as the seasons change, no, I didn't look it up on the Internet, I'm just speaking from experience. And, maybe the dreams are just forecasting to me that the changes are coming.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When I grow up I want to be...hmmm, good question...

Let's see, as a kid I wanted to be an architect because I liked drawing. But, there was so much more to being an architect than just drawing, it required math. Ugh! Then I wanted to be a lawyer because it sounded cool. Heck, everyone wanted to be either a lawyer or doctor.

Fast forward to college, I started out majoring in Business Administration, but kept falling asleep in Accounting and Economics. For me, those subjects were boring with a capital B. But, not to insult those who are turned on by crunching numbers, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Then I switched over to Elementary Education and an art teacher took us to an elementary school to teach a lesson. Those unruly kids would not listen to me! "You're not a mommy, you're not tall enough!" That episode instantly ended that career choice for me. Don't laugh, those children left me traumatized.

Finally, I took an African-American Studies class and my eyes opened wide. I was Black! Yes, like James Brown sung, "I'm Black and I'm proud!" It was a new journey for me as those were the days that everyone wore the red-black-green Africa continent shaped medallions. So, I created a major in African-American Studies at the University of Kentucky. Where, I might add, took a few acting classes and was in a few plays.

Fast forward even further, I went to acting school in NY and all I wanted to do was land a gig on a sitcom.. or soap opera ...or even an indie film... or even a commercial -- or whatever could pay the rent and let me be on TV!

Okay, the point is...what am I going to be when I grow up? I've had every job there is: flight attendant, receptionist at the Geraldo Rivera show, grocery store clerk, make-up artist, nail technician, administrative assistant - just to name a few. But, those were just jobs, not careers or anything I strived to be when I grew up. Let's forget the fact that I'm a grown woman now, that's just a minute detail, okay.

So, that leaves me with the soul searching question: What will I be as I grow up, or mature?(As grown folks like to say.)

Toni Morrison once asked, "What is it that I must do or I'd die?" (Die being a metaphor for living without purpose.) For her, it was "I must write or else I'd die." What is it for me? I know what I like to do and what I really enjoy doing and even what I really, really like to do? But, are they what I would love to do every day or that I must do or I'd die?

It's like this commercial that's running on TV now. It shows mature(d) people saying what they want to be when they grow up, as if their goals were forgotten dreams distracted by the bill-paying-get-a-real-job-to-pay-the-bills necessity of life.

This journey of turning forty is more than experiencing a life of firsts, but discovering me. Who am I? What do I love? What is it that I must do on this earth that no one else is supposed to do?

Do you know what you must do, or else you'd die?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book we're reading...

If you didn't know by now, I homeschool my daughter. And trust me, this has truly been a learning process for both of us.

Today, we started reading "Gifted Hands, The Ben Carson Story." Dr. Ben Carson is a renowned neurosurgeon who grew up in the ghetto of Detroit. My mother urged me to read this book when I was in high school, and now I'm introducing it to my daughter.

And, with such good timing, too. We had another talk in which she, being extremely sensitive, began to shed sprinkles of tears. I was again frustrated with her taking too long on her studies and how homeschooling is a privilege. As we read today, I find myself just like Dr. Carson's mother. As he put it:

"...her refusing to allow me to settle for less than the best came across as nagging, demanding, even heartless to me. When she believed in something she held on and wouldn't quit. I didn't always like hearing her say, "You weren't born to be a failure, Bennie (Dove). You can do it!"

Jokingly, I said, "I guess I sound just like his mother, huh?" She fervently shook her her up and down and said, "Uh-huh." Lesson: Don't ask for the truth unless you're ready to handle it. Anyway, we discussed the first two chapters and I hope she makes some connections for herself as we continue reading. Because as Dr. Carson says about his mother, Sonya Carson:

"Over a period of years, with Mother's encouragement...I started believing that we really could do anything we chose to do. Maybe she brainwashed us into believing that we were going to be extremely good and highly successful a whatever we attempted. Even today I can clearly hear her voice in the back of my head saying, "Bennie, you can do it. Don't you stop believing that for one second."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mini Me

This past weekend was incredibly busy for me and mini-me. Well, I was more like the taxi mom. I can honestly say that I'm glad that this weekend has past, but I'm so proud of Dove with all of her extra-curricular activities.

She's been in intense rehearsals for the musical, "Once Upon a Mattress," based off of "The Princess and the Pea." She auditioned for the Children's Theatre of Charlotte and was cast in this particular production. It was a small role, but one that kept her onstage throughout the play. She is too funny. When she came onstage, she spotted Shinell and myself and waved inconspicously to us. She was so excited. But, the whole time I tried not to look focus too much on her because as a theatre person, I didn't want her "breaking the fourth wall."

Later, she was onstage trying to give directions to another actor. Again, the drama in me was sitting there screaming to myself, "Stop it! Focus!" Amazingly, after watching me teach drama for years she still forgets the rudimentary fundamental - don't break character! But, she was cute!

Then, we rushed over to her final presentation at King's Daughters. It was an academy for girls and this year's theme was on the arts. Dove chose to focus on visual arts and it was such a cute event! KD girls danced, performed a skit and again, the visual arts gallery crawl. They also received certificates. I was thoroughly impressed.

But, I'm sooooo glad that this weekend is over! Whew! Did I mention that I am sooo proud of her!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Truth is...

"just a friend" is not "just a friend," but a "good friend." Tracee ragged on me this morning and made many comparisons on friendships with dudes. Friendships with dudes, as she puts it "is more plantonic." Me and my friend, are not as plantonic as I would have hinted to since we do go out and maybe share a peck (or two) on the lips. So, he's been upgraded to my good friend...nothing more so get off of my back!

Yesterday, you would have thought that we were an old married couple. Seriously, we've been friends for almost three years and it shows. Our theme was cleaning and home improvement. I helped him clean his hardwood floors, courtesy of the Shark steamer and steam clean his carpets. And, then off to Lowe's for the work to be done at my house.

My friend loved Lowe's. It is totally a man thing. I wanted to go there with the list and get out. He wanted to peruse the sale tables, "you just never know when you'll need this stuff." And, when we happened to walk down an aisle with fireproof safe's, he got a little too excited. I stood there for a few minutes, hoping that this too shall pass, but it didn't. Finally I blurted (in my old settled in tone of voice), "We didn't come here for that!" Another man passing chuckled at our bickering and as a true old man he whispered to the gentleman, "That's why I like to come here by myself." And, we even celebrated our sweet victory as we purchased vanity lights marked all the way down, by the loquacious manager herself, to $10 and $7. A sweet-to-good-to-be-true deal!

I do have to say that we worked well as a team. However, I was so tired and moody that at one point my only response to his fetish for thorough details was, "I don't care." But truth was, I did care...not so much about how many inches the framed mirror should be from the bottom of the mantle or what kind of lock to get to replace my old one...that didn't matter. But, I realized that I care about my friend.

Ughhhh...noooooo! What is the world coming to?! Have I really been in denial or is this a new revelation? Hmmmm....inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Morning After

Ya'll, I'm sore. Who knew that my back (across my shoulders) would be sore? I expected my arms, but the rest of my body too? Come on, I wasn't venturing into pole dancing for the work out? Who does that? I strictly wanted to just tap into my sexiness.

Hey, guess what? It hasn't happened yet. My inner sexy goddess wasn't in the mirror this morning. She didn't show up as I cocked my head to the side and wiped crust away from my eyes. And, she didn't show up when I got out of the shower and looked at myself naked. But you know what? I still believe she's in me, maybe she's just not a morning person. Or, just maybe she needs more that one pole dancing lesson (it's a series of 6 classes). Or, maybe it takes more than just all of the dancing (Zumba, Dance Out and Urban Shimmy) I'm doing, but really looking at myself in the mirror and liking - no loving- what I see.

All of that is great - but what about the soreness?

Well, truth be told, I don't think this is the worst of it. I happened to wear leggings to my first class. I was told to wear shorts next time, "The shorter the better," she smiled innocently. But, what she didn't tell me (or the class) as she effortlessly flipped around, up side down, slid back down, and got back up sexy, is that we'll be walking away with pole burns. I was reminded of that as I read my friend's blog, thanks Sara!

She had the same experience during her pole dance class: trying to look sexy while being a virgin to the pole, then feeling the burning sensation as the pole meets skin and burns, as you attempt to slide down - while trying to look sexy. And, as my instructor as well as hers kept repeating, "Stand up sexy!" (In addition to "Keep toes pointed, ladies").

All day long I'm going to repeat "Get back up sexy." I won't be on a pole but as I get up from sitting down or bending to tie my shoes, whatever I'll be doing - just remember I'll be getting back up sexy.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Getting Sexy Back

"Ladies, instead of doing push-ups today, I want you to do pull-ups. Grab the pole, with the strongest hand on top, pull up and hold for at least ten seconds. Let me show you first." Wow, that looks easy. I've done core work and had to pull my legs up to my chest. Cool.

I eyed the girl that shared the pole with me, "You wanna try it first?" As excitement filled it room, it seemed that neither of us were too eager to go first as we were both beginners. But, she made it look so easy. To my surprise, pulling myself up on that pole for ten seconds was harder than I thought.

The instructor's body oozed sex appeal with each curve and dip of her hips around the pole. I bet that each and everyone one of us coveted the way she climbed and twirled around the pole. I sure did. I looked around and wondered how the diverse group of women found themselves at Tease Fitness Boutique. What was that one thought that got them registered for a pole dancing class. Quickly, I shrugged the thoughts off and focused on the moves of our instructor.

"Now, glide down the pole...this is Naughty Bunny." Oh, I like that one. I learned the Fireman, Martini, Pull Pull and several other seductive moves. My eyes looked around at the other women and gauged my progress. Although I'm competitive, I didn't feel like these women were competitors, but felt that we all came with the same goal.

You see, I've been dancing for the past year and learned to push my body to the limits. Pole dancing is a whole new realm since it works the upper body and core in a totally different way than weight lifting. Plus, add in the factor that we're supposed to be sexy during the learning process. Tonight, I realized that almost all women have a sexy goddess living deep inside of them and it takes the right combination to wake that goddess up and bring her forth.  

The energy changed from being a little tense to relaxed and fun as soon as we ladies stopped comparing our dance moves and bodies to the other attendees. I know I got in the flow a little better when I stopped taking myself so seriously and gave myself permission to just enjoy the process without expecting perfection. Breathe...have fun...get your sexy back. Ahhhhhhhhh....

Wait a minute, what did she say? Perform? Did she say we had to perform? Yep, by week four we will be working in heels...those high stripper heels. And, by the end of the class we should have choreographed our own routine. Shucks, I just about forgot half of the dance moves by the end of the class (darn short-term memory!) That's nothing, she showed us a move where we'll be upside down...please don't let me fall.

Why did I decide to take this class anyway? Oh yeah, I thought it would be fun AND it's a first for me. Hmph! But, I don't know about that upside down move. Wait a minute, didn't I say that I don't quit. I want to unleash my inner sexy goddess and explore her characteristics. As one of my older blogs mentioned, "I'm tired of being the cute friend and want to be sexy," and this may be the thing that ushers me to that point. Besides, all I need is a pole to practice on daily and a pair of red stripper shoes to walk around in...then I'll have it down in no time (yeah right: to the pole, the red stripper shoes and having it down in no time).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why do we grow old and stop living?

Tracee, is not only my best friend, but also my prayer partner. This morning as we met on the phone for prayer (she lives in Brooklyn, NY), one of her requests was for her grandmother to stop being afraid to live. I thought about it for a second and realized that I, too, should pray for my Granny. With all of my grandmother's faith in God, she still fears to live.

Why do older people stop living life? They fear traveling on airplanes and boats. They always heed the warning, "Be careful," even if you're just going to the movies.

I think I should pray for myself that I don't paralyze my livelihood by fear. When I grow old, I want to be a hellraiser on two wheels. I want to ride my motorcycle to the beach and find a nice little lake and skinny dip. Well, I want to try skinny dipping before my tits fall to my navel. But, I pray that I won't let sagging boobies prevent me from dipping in my bornday suit! I want to continue to travel and even go further across the world meeting different people on  various paths. When I get older, I want to hike a tall mountain and then zip line down to the valley and then snorkel in the ocean and tell my doctor and CNN that old people ain't dead!

I remember when I went to Guatemala, one of the ladies on our mission team was 78 years old. I watched her get around on her own like a middle aged spry woman. When she checked her email I thought, "What does an 87 year-old woman doing with email!" Many older people reject computers and technology, but not her. She admitted that she does a "crop" walk to raise money each year (5 miles) and at age 72 she jumped out of a plane. 72 years old and sky diving! Wow! That's how I want to live - live life to the fullest!

A few friends of mine that I met through Zumba have been teaching me about laughing out loud and living. I live vicariously through these girls via their photo's on FB. They go out and dance like there's no tomorrow, throw get-togethers with each other. They even threw a Golden Girls party and dressed up like the characters from the show. Tracee used to throw "Game Night" parties where games were played all through the house and "Black Exploitation Movies" and "Old Sitcoms" parties where they watched the movies and shows, played trivia games about them. Just original fun and living life out of the box.

So, this year you will be reading my blogs about me: pole dancing, dancing in a cage, ziplining, rock wall climbing, and traveling!

Ohh, I know - we should have a Sex in the City Party and watch the movie...and then the Glee party, sounds like costumes, characters and fun!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Since this year is about firsts...

My friend and dance peer, Diana, reminded me to post some pictures. And, I thought I'd blog about it since it is a first for me. A year ago, my daughter decided to become a vegeratian. She just went cold turkey on me! I tried to do it, but the chicken biscuits at Chic-Fil-A kept calling my name. Finally I decided to stop cheating and to go ahead and commit to a new lifestyle. And since dairy doesn't like me (trust me, there is no love lost except for ice cream) I gave up it up as well.

There's plenty of options to eat for vegetarians/vegans, but it can be very expensive. What gets on my nerves is that if I wanted to sit on the couch and eat Little Debbie Oatmeal patties and Dorito's then I could eat within my budget. Heck, I could live off of the value meals at McDonald's and Wendy's! However, that's not me. Truth is, it doesn't cost much in the short term, but long term? Yep, you'll be paying a hefty price with doctor bills and pharmaceuticals because of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesteral and blocked arteries.

All of that to say...we added more to our healthy lifestyle by creating a raised garden bed. I'm dying to see my tomatoes and strawberries bloom. I can't wait for my garlic and sweet potatoes to harvest. Even now, I go grab a handful of basil, mint or parsley and add it to my meals. I love it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Would I change me right now?

No, I'm in such a good place right now. The realization hit me like an "aha" moment. A light went on in my spirit and said, "I like me."

I was hanging out with a friend and amazingly, this city is full of big butt women. Of course, we can't tell which booties are real and which ones are fake anymore. Needless to say, butt shaping panties are the hot purchase of the decade according to twitter, Elle magazine and Oprah. Anyhoo, with all of these booties passing to and fro, he let a few words escape his lips jokingly and freely: "You need a bigger butt." Last year, or even last month, I would have mulled over it and probably become a little self-conscious, but my brain immediately processed, "No I don't, I like it just the way it is."

I really do like it. I like me. Of course, I had love handles and a petite booty, but I work out daily and eat right. This is the body that I have right now and I have to love it. Heck, nobody else would love it if I didn't. Everybody won't have a Selma Hayek, Jennifer Lopez or Halle Berry body unless they visit the local plastic surgeon. We're not in Brazil where women would rather stay in poverty while every dime is used for cosmetic surgery and I'm not that into redesigning what God created. My friend teased, "You better do some squats, they'll make your butt bigger." Yeah, if that were the case I'd have a big booty by now. I even had a fitness trainer who worked me half to death with lunges and squats and guess what? It didn't get bigger! Besides, peruse a fitness magazine and you won't find a fitness competitor with a big apple bottom - a muscle bottom, yes!

As I was saying, I'm in such a good place right now. I was a fat, fat kid growing up. My mom was this tiny doll with big round eyes and gorgeous hair. Me? I was a little butterball. I grew up self-conscious about my size. I yo-yo'd all my life. I've done diets, tae-bo, Jane Fonda, The Firm and even remember dancing to Richard Simmons! But through all of that, I come to realize that I am sexy even if I only see it. Heck, if I feel it then I am!

The body I have right now is maintained through dance fitness, Zumba and a few sculpting video's (that I admittingly could do more frequently). Trust me, I dance hard and love the way my petite frame is shaping up. I was up to 140 lbs. while employed with BOA (working for the devil who didn't wear Prada, Bob Vanderberry). I was depressed, overweight and lacked self-confidence. But today? Ask me about today? Because today I'd tell you that I'm in a good place, I love looking at my body in the mirror and seeing the transformation...I love my natural locs and take pleasure in embracing the styles/loc jewelry that my sista-friend Kesha designs for me...I love my smile with the crooked front tooth...I love me!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day...yep, like Ice Cube said, "Today was a good day"

Flashback: Mother's Day - two years ago.
The scenario - Dove away for the weekend because Mother's Day fell on her father's weekend.
Picture this: Dove - enjoying the beautiful day at dinner with her father, grandfather and celebrating the day with her grandmother. Me - church in the morning and yard work all day until 6 PM. (Well, yardwork until my neighbor said: "Give it a break! It's Mother's Day. If I was your age, I'd be out getting my groove back.")

Present: Mother's Day 2010.
The scenario - 7:45 am church service for me since Dove was away again since Mother's Day fell on her father's weekend yet another year. (Hey, we celebrate Mother's Day all of the time.)

But, there was something different this year  in the works for my special day - a date with "just a friend."

Yes, lately he has surprised me with his, uhm....well, I'm not sure how to describe it, but he has surprised me lately. Okay, he has admitted that he liked me, which was probably a huge thing for him to do. I guess I should have assumed he did but as the age ol' saying goes (when you assume you make an ass out of you and me)... And, I didn't want to make an ass out of myself. So, I never allowed my thoughts to go too far by over analyzing his actions. Besides, as I blogged in February, he always had a way to remind me that we were just "cool" and "just friends." No big deal.

However, a change has come about and I have to admit that I like the change. Our text conversations this week has been honest and revealing. He has definitely come through with helping to take care of things around my house. If I was talking to a girlfriend right now, I'd say: "And gurl, he even cleaned my gutters!" When "just a friend" told me that he wanted to take me to dinner for Mother's Day I was a little nervous. Why? I don't know!!!

Really, I don't know. I was making sure that I didn't read into any of the new revelations from him, but I think I was nervous that he actually put words to the secret thoughts. Now I'm accountable for my feelings. Do I like him back? If so, what do I do? You have to understand me, nothing can change for us because we're just friends. My heart and mind has been closed off to the notion of liking him and that can't change just because of a few words thrown about! We're friends and that's it. I can't be getting all gitty, girlish and highschoolish over him. That's not the basis of our friendship, trust me, I know these things. Yeah, he may like me and I might like him, but freedom is the issue in our lives right now.

Moving on, geesh! We had a wonderful dinner at the Epicentre. I love sushi and he decided to be open and try it (again). It was a wonderful meal, ambiance was a bit seductive (for Mother's Day), and he even had a bit of humor. This Mother's Day was a heck of a lot better than two years ago...and I have to thank my friend for spending it with me.

(Picture: hands of my "friend" ~ ooh, mysterious.)
Before our dinner, I spend a lovely lunch with my Granny at the lake. I packed fresh strawberries and pineapple, and we had blueberries, chips and Starbucks! We spent time talking, watching the geese and sharing laughs. It was a good day.

Okay, if you want to know if anything ever unfolds then you'll have to stay tuned...

PS...this blog DID NOT turn out the way I intended....oh dear, very little about my day. (sigh) Like Ice Cube said, "today was a good day."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Last Night I was officially "Bad Azz"

I'm telling you the truth! I was really kick-azz! You don't believe me? Listen...

I busted it out at Angie's zumba class. Since I've made it into the instructor training, I've got to learn the routines as well as how to effectively teach them. Angie had me on the stage right along with her. I worked out so hard that I caught a cramp! But, I pushed through it like Superwoman breaking out of a He-Man grip! I'm a grown woman and mother and I don't quit - NEVER! Ruhh!

Then, I was off to Bike Night with my cousin Shinell and Darrell, her hubby. They're both bikers and I'm a wanna-be. (I've got to wait until I get efficient health coverage before I buy my motorcycle.) So, Shinell was on her bike and I rode with Darrell. After giving me a quick run down on how to ride with him, I was officially ready with helmet (via one of Darrell's extra "Scarface" painted helmets) and biker's jacket (via Shinell's Carolina blue). Yep, hot! All I was missing was biker gloves and my own bike, of course.

The gun of the engine, the rumble from the motor moved through my legs and my hands wrapped around to the front of the bike (I was taught where to rest my hands). And, we were off! It was more than exhilirating! It was everything that I imagined! Soaring free down the road, wind wrapping around us, bugs splatted on the helmet eye shield! Wow!!! How could I effectively play it cool in my "bad ass" mode with a huge 32-teeth grin. Thank goodness the helmet hid my kiddie smile, otherwise I'd lose a few cool points.

Shinell and I walked around looking at other bikes...greeting other bikers. Her and her hubby knows everybody! One of their friends promised to ride me next week, but with a name like "Buck Wild," I think I'll pass. My life is way too important than to be riding on the back of a bike with hell on wheels. Besides, Darrell took charge and said, "If it's not with me, then you can't ride. Too many wild riders out here." He's right, I'll stick in my comfort zone and keep it with family.

Oh, and everybody has a biker name...B-More, Platinum, Off the Chain, Uh-huh Chocolate, Diva, Drama Queen, etc. I would need a name to accurately reflect me...hmmm, I've gotta think about that one. Any suggestions?

We ended the night by riding downtown to a hot spot. While we were bad biker chicks, we watched all the girls (and very few guys) walking to the clubs. The funny thing was how they looked so uncomfortable in their stilletto's and mini-mini skirts/dresses. They looked hot, if that's what you like, but Shinell and I were way too cool and fine in our laid back jeans, sneakers and biker jackets. Yeahhhhh, Eeyyyyyy, Whooaaa! (Sounding like the Fonze from Happy Days.)

I loved the freedom of the bike. I know its dangerous because there were some folks who were riding crazy as I witnessed with my own eyes. But, I want to live life to the fullest. I deserve that. So, don't be surprised when you see me cruising on my Harley, not rushing to go anywhere, but looking cool. I might not wave, not because I'm too cool, but because I'll be keeping my eyes on the road.

PS...I admire the relationship between Shinell and her hubby so much. As we were about to leave downtown he said, "I'm glad I'm married. Even though these girls (guys) look good, you don't know if they have a disease or not." Yep, I said...because you can't tell by looking at the outside package, and that's for sure.

Stay true to your spouse and live life to the fullest with the one you love!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Shake what your mama gave you!

Yep, I'll be doing just that. I MADE IT! Yes, I'm not only a certified Zumba instructor, but after two auditions, I am invited to be a Queen City Dancing Queen instructor. Yes!
As I walked into the first audition, two lead instructors and the owner sat behind a white folding table a la American Idol style. I thought, "Well, they've seen me for the past year and even seen me work it out on stage right beside them. I'll only be auditioning one or one and a half songs, tops." They had me do all three songs! I hooped a little bit as if there was a room full of participants and ended up sweating like a pig in a blanket! And afterwards, I had an interview. Whew, this thing was harder than getting a job with my previous employer, BOA.

Then, the audition in front of a class. Yep, even with the judges sitting right front (a little to the side) of the stage. Talk about nerve-wracking! And, I was the last person to audition after a 2-hour double header. I was so anxious that I couldn't even concentrate on all the others before me. It was wild because I couldn't even remember the routine!
But, I shook off all of the nervousness and kept it moving!

And, after all of this...I made it! I put my mind to it and did it!