Search This Blog

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30... Again - Game on.

So; my birthday is coming up in a few days. I  used to make a big deal about my birthday, then, adulthood set in and I figured out that it's just another day. 

Last year, I turned 30. Initially; I said I was going to go to Vegas with my girls and party up for a weekend. As months went by and no real plans solidified; the idea fizzled. All I ended up getting for my 30th birthday was a 13 1/2 hour shift. I didn't see any of my family that day and had I not called, my ex-husband would not have let me talk to my daughter. 

Aside from my daughter being with me this year; I don't see this birthday being much different from last year. As such; I've decided to do 30 all over again. I say that tongue in cheek of course, but I don't really feel any huge difference from last year. 

Although, I have made some very serious and concrete decisions about how this second quarter of my life is going to go and how I'm going to live it. A few months ago; I blogged that I was going to lose 31 lbs by 31.

Didn't happen. 

In fact; I've put on about five lbs since I bought my new scale. (I was very disappointed when I tried it out because I learned that my old scale had been flattering me, telling me I weighed 10 lbs less that I actually did. Talk about depressing!) But; all of that is about to change ladies and gentlemen.

I don't know about y'all, but birthdays (mine and/or my daughter's), holidays, and anniversaries; (wedding, divorce and my new relationship) push me back in time against my own will and force me to analyze what it is that I've done with myself within that time. 

I saw a quote on Twitter that said "A year from now; you'll wish you started today." True that. I'm tired of looking back with the "shoulda, coulda, wouldas"; the switch has been flipped! Not just with the whole weight thing but at work, and, most importantly, my writing. 

March is fast approaching and Skinny Rich White Boy is no closer to production than it was when I came up with the title at 14. But this, my friends, is changing. After spending all day yesterday surrounded by authors, thinkers, movers, shakers, and a lot of wanna-be's, my writing partner and I both said that it is time to either poop or get off the pot. 

We've got it all; the talent, ability, and know how to do what those folks are doing and then some. We always walk away from those types of events knowing that we were the standouts of the crowd; knowing that we are as qualified as the published authors that we hob nob with. But, because we aren't published; we have no credibility. We can say what we will or may about any trashy street novel, sub par love story, or redundant gangsta tale; the fact remains that they've put themselves out there and people are reading their work. 

It's time for me to do the same. This whole first quarter; I've been feeling things out; seeing how the game is played. Now; it's time for me to get in the game. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crime and Punishment.

Last weekend, I rode around town with my best friend helping her with a project. We talked about men and relationships mostly. Somehow, we got on the subject of how she used to give her husband pedicures and how "you really gotta love a dude to pedicure his feet."
True that.
I used to do the same thing for my ex-husband but I hated it. His feet smelled and he insisted that I do it on a bi-weekly basis.
Looking back on it; I clipped his toenails more often than we had sex. As I lamented about how this ritual bothered me and is the source of my absolute hatred of feet; my best friend told me that him making me do that for him was a punishment.
That was a harsh thought; but I knew it was true. He'd have me do it even if I was already laying down for bed and without so much as washing his feet.
I think about what it is that I must have done to him that would make him want to punish me, not just in that way but in the others that I have talked about, and for the life of me; I can't figure it out. Punishment without a crime isn't justice; it is unjust.
I think I've figured it out though; my crime was loving him.
Misplaced affections always, always, always come back to bite you. Since he was my husband; the very definition of that relationship is [supposed to be] love; but it wasn't. I've deduced that that means I wasn't supposed to have been with him.
But that's almost too simple.
I often wondered what my life would have looked like had I not married him. In hindsight; it's super easy to blame an ex for all of the things you failed to accomplish during and after your time with them. So my real question to myself is what the heck have I been doing with my time since getting ghost from him?
The short answer is; healing. It took a long time for me to get past a lot of the things that I dealt with in that marriage and with all of the things that came after leaving and with the divorce.
My heart was shattered, I was fragile, I had low self esteem and was hot in the ass all at the same time.
Each of these things took me to a bunch of different places; giving my heart to undeserving men, drinking excessively, then finally; back where I should have been all along; in my own head and reverting back to those things that I knew were going to put me where I needed to be.
It's taken a lot of time (almost two years divorced, just under four years apart) but I'm over it. Songs that used to trigger weird emotions  don't anymore. A big part of it, I know, is because I made a decision that his presence in my life shouldn't impact my life one way or another. I used to let it upset me when he wouldn't take Shey when he was supposed to or when he would make a shitty remark to me, when he was oddly nice to me... all of these things at one time, had the ability to throw me out of whack. Now; I just don't care anymore.
At some point in this time away from him; I figured out that his presence is irrelevant. Shey and I have done just fine all along without him. Is that how I wanted it to be? How I thought it would be? No. But, I'm okay with the fact that it is. Now.
And that, friends, is freedom.

Shey's first Easter; 2007. Both pictures were taken in the kitchen of the apartment that Shey and I lived in with her dad. This was the day that I told him that we were leaving. We were gone less than a month later.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who put out my fire?

I'm watching a documentary of Jill Scott, easily my favorite artist (next to Anita Baker). I saw her in concert over the summer and left feeling inspired. Her songs come from the soul, from her heart. You can tell because it feels like she's talking to you, just having a conversation. She talks to you like she's talking to a friend.
My best friend/writing partner Racheal tells me that I'm a great writer (agreed) but that it feels stuffy, too journalistic. She tells me to write as if I'm talking to her.

Watching this documentary about Jill, she talks about how she'll write on anything; paper bags, her pants, a (wtf Jill?)
I used to be the same way. I was constantly scribbling on whatever I could find. There was a fire that drove me to read constantly, to write incessantly. In the years that have passed; I find myself now trying to get that fire back.

I'd like to blame the fizzling out of my flame on lots of things; work, being a mommy, my ex-husband, boys I've dated, my present relationship, being tired. Which would suffice for a while, but the truth is; it's all me. I alone am the reason why I haven't succeeded with writing. I don't do it enough to perfect it and I blame not doing it on everything else.

I started off writing because it made me feel better. Writing down my feelings gave me a voice when I wasn't allowed to talk. As long as there was something to write on; there was somewhere for my mind to go... Away from my shitty marriage, the hood that I lived in, the crack addicted dad and the teasing and rejection from boys. The more I began to find myself as an adult; the more the writer in me seemed to regress. As I gave voice to my thoughts and opinions, suddenly, writing wasn't as important, as necessary, as it had been before when I couldn't speak.

It's ironic; with more freedom my creativity became stifled.

Well, I'd like to say that I'm getting back to the old me. The writer who couldn't get enough of writing, who couldn't get out of her own head. That chick was a beast! Silent in speech but vocal with my hands. Alls I can hope for is that now; the combination of the two will help me make my dreams come true. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Used to Life... I think

It's been a while since I've blogged, or written anything for that matter. A lot's been happening since Shey started school.The most pivotal of them all is that I've decided to dead the relationship between my ex-husband and us.
Supposedly; he and I share joint custody of my daughter which means equal parenting time; no less than 15 overnights with the child every month.
The reality is that he might see her12 hours a month. It all came to a head on a Wednesday a few weeks back. I called him after dropping Shey off at school later than I had wanted since I knew I had to work late that day. I asked him to pick her up between 3:30 and 5:00. His response to me was "Why?"
As in "That's not my job; why can't you do it?" I told him that as parents; it's our responsibility to make sure that our children get to and from school. And that because I do 98% of the work when it comes to our daughter that I would expect no push back from him when the other 2% of the time, I need help from him.
"Aside from your sarcasm, Achsha, why can't you do it?" I didn't feel the need to explain to him that I was behind at work and that this new schedule of dropping Shey off in the morning no earlier than 7:00 and picking her up no later than 5:00 put a serious damper on my ability to sell to the customers on my route the way I had become used to.
Instead of telling him anything; I simply asked him again, if he would do it. Again; more resistance. "You don't know what I had planned to do today." I told him that his plans were irrelevant. That we are supposed to plan our lives around our children not the other way around.
He reluctantly agreed and that didn't sit well with me.
Then and there; I decided that I was done trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and I later told him not to worry about picking up my daughter; that I would take care of my responsibility as I always have.
He told me that I was getting in the way of him being a good father. I corrected him and told him that he was the only person who knew anything of the situation who thought he was a good father.
The truth was; I hated asking him to do anything for our daughter. She hated going to his house and I had to force her to call him whenever they did speak.
My statement must have hit a nerve because I have not heard from him since. Even when my mom was hospitalized for almost a week and I reached out to him to take Shey to a doctor's appointment.
I can't say I'm surprised at all at his behavior. It's typical of him to act this way. In truth; I would have been more surprised if he had done the right thing.
The only thing that will get a rise or any sort of reaction out of him is when the child support payments begin to kick in. Once I'm awarded sole legal custody of our daughter and he has no say in the way she is being raised.
It's sad really. Not the way that he's behaving; but the fact that I thought he would ever behave any differently than he ever has. Maya Angelou says that when someone shows you who they are; believe them.
Suffice it to say; he has, and I do.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Beginnings

Shey started Kindergarten today. I took off work so that I could take her to school. I did the usual mom thing. Took lots of pictures and, to my surprise, cried my EYES out. All the time, I talk about how important it is for me to raise a good kid so that she will be a productive, contributing member of society. More frequently, I count down how much longer she'll be 'on the books' (12 years 10 months & 20 days) so to speak.
Seeing her walk into that school with her head down and tilted to the side, shy and scared reminded me of my baby. Well, my baby's not a baby anymore. She's a big girl. And all this time; I've been rushing her to become a big girl only to realize that not only is it flying by; but that I've been missing it!
I work a lot. My Mom and Step Dad have kept Shey since she was 4 months old. The distance that we live from one another adds 2 or more hours of drive time to my commute everyday. Needless to say, after working 10-12 hours and being away from home upwards of 14, my patience was thin and my energy was gone by the time I got to Shey when the day was over.
With her school being so close to home and home being so close to my territory; I can look forward to being home before 5 on most days. When I picked Shey up today, I was excited to see her and tried to goad her into conversation vs my usual request for 'quiet time' on the drive home from my parents house.
When we got home, we sat and ate together (we usually eat pizza rolls in front of the TV) then we relaxed and talked before she put herself to bed at 5:30.
I had to get her up, otherwise she would have been up in the middle of the night. She bathed, read some books, cleaned her room and played before I put her to bed at 7:45. By 7:50; she was out for the count.
Being able to look forward to having that kind of time to myself, as well as being able to spend quality time with Shey feel as if that's what I've been missing during my working life.
Having a schedule is something I need. I require structure to get things done; deadlines and time frames keep the procrastinator in me on task.
It couldn't have come at a better time. I really am on the brink of some awesome things, and if you ask me; it's about time I've done something about it. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Things in the game done changed.

I've been a lot more deliberate in my writing these days. I used to do themes for everyday just so I would have something to blog about but after a while; it seemed cheesy to me. Now, I blog as if it is the only blog anyone will ever see that I write. That's why I've been a tad quiet these last few weeks; I've been working on the book more intensely and getting things together at home.

My daughter starts school in a week; I'll have a full time kindergartner on my hands and, believe it or not, this will help to simplify my life in a lot of ways. I will no longer have to commute 30-40 minutes out of my way to drop her off at my parents' house in the morning, while passing by my house in the evening to pick her up. Her school is 5 minutes from my house! (Awesome)

Add to all of that, that I'm getting married in March of next year. My hubby to be is awesome because he understands that I'm just as serious about my writing as he is about his music and he's fully supportive of what I'm doing.

I've been telling myself that I am a writer. Not 'I like to write' or 'I write creatively'. Writing is not a hobby for me anymore, it's a habit. Telling people I'm a writer used to feel like I was coming out to them. Because it is so personal for me; telling people that it's what I do, and furthermore letting people read what I write, has been, well... weird.

Putting it on my facebook page for all of my coworkers and customers to see has been both frightening and gratifying. They like me, they REALLY like me! The comments and the constructive criticism keep me going; it's what drives the creative process at times like this when I've been up since 2:30am and have to get up at the same time again tomorrow.

When it's all said and done; I love it. I don't have a choice. There's so much going on in my head that the only way for me to stay sane is to get it out. I'm just lucky that people actually like reading what I have to say.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Who I am... But why should you care?

I've always been good at writing. It's one of those things that comes naturally to me. I think that because of this, I've taken being a writer for granted and I've never given it the attention that it really deserves.

For a long time, I didn't know what to do with it. I always knew I had something to say, but in the back of my mind, I would ask myself, why should anybody give a shit what you have to say?
The truth is; I don't know. Why SHOULD anyone want to listen to what I have to say? My story isn't that different from everyone else's is it?

Actually, it is and here's why.

How many people you know that are products of a broken home? A lot, right?
What about the child of a crackhead? Still more than a few, I'm sure.
Grew up in the ghetto?
How many divorcees?
Single moms?
I'm sure you know someone from each category.
How bout an ex-gay?

I am all of these rolled up into one.

Statistically, I don't know where I should be in life based on all of these negatives. Looking at it in writing, I feel extremely lucky to even be able to say that I'm still here.

My crackhead dad and I are the best of friends now.
My mom is remarried (twice over) and living in a nice suburb.
I haven't lived in the ghetto in more than a decade.
I've been happily divorced for almost two years and next year, I'm getting married to that awesome boyfriend of mine that I talk about all the time.
And, I haven't been with a woman in nearly a decade and though I am still very much the tomboy; I no longer get offended when a woman gives me the twice over trying to see which team I'm on.

At the end of the day; I feel blessed for all the things I've been through, even the stuff that was self imposed. I'm a better person for it. There's something to be said about being a writer. You have to expose yourself to the world and that is not easy, lemme tell ya. Being a non-fiction writer is especially tough because it calls for more self analyzing than any one person should do.

I've questioned my sanity at times because I hear myself, talking to myself, about myself ALL the time. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I write; to express all of those things that me, myself and I are talking about up there.

But the big question is; why should you care? I got a little insight yesterday from my aunt:

My daughter had her 5th birthday party yesterday. Everyone was there. My Aunt Nita; the family matriarch, commented on how Shey was soaking up being the center of attention. I laughed like "who did she get that from?" Aunt Nita looked at me like I was stupid and said "Her Mama."
I shook my head and laughed. "Just because I command attention doesn't mean I'm trying to be the center of attention."

She smiled sweetly, impressed with my answer. I was serious. I've never tried to be the center of anything. I'm introverted and actually pretty shy. Over the years though, I've had to get over it. Mostly because of the types of jobs I've found myself in or because when in a group setting; people naturally defer and let me take the lead. I've gotten used to it and now, I'm trying to embrace it with the hope that whatever it is that people see in me will translate into people who will like my writing. The way people like reality TV shows... Yeah, that's kinda what it's like; reading reality.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You Won't Find a Better Woman... Or a Bigger Fool.

Eight years ago today, I got married. My now ex-husband and I have been apart for three years, divorced for almost two.
In 2003, I was in my homegirl's wedding in March and attended another friend's wedding in September. Of the three of us who married that year; only the one who got married in March is still married.
Marriage is hard. I think that because people make such a big deal about getting married; they don't realize that after the wedding and honeymoon; it takes work to cohabitate, procreate, and build a life with someone.
I was probably a part of that group. Thinking that because I was in love that everything else would fall into place.
I'll be the first to admit that we were too young to get married. I was 22, he was 25. Although we were mature for our ages; we weren't ready. I think I needed more experience in being an adult before getting married. He needed more experience on what it meant to live in America.
My then husband is an African immigrant. When we got married; he'd been here less than two years. Looking back; I know that our culture differences played a huge part in our downfall.
I was a submissive wife; he was looking for a wife who would be subservient.
(Supposedly) both of us were Christian so I naively thought that that fact by itself would take care of the obvious gaps that kept us from really bonding.
It didn't help that Paul and I only knew each other six weeks before we got married. We met mid to late June and got Married the first week of August.
I remember that day well.
We got married at the City-County Building in a civil ceremony.
Looking back; it was really random; it was a Thursday in the middle of the day. We had seen each other earlier that morning and I told him not to be late since we would be riding separately to the ceremony. He got mad for me saying what I knew would happen; he would get there late and we'd miss our appointment.
While I was waiting for him; I remember sitting in the corridor thinking back on everything. Realizing that my life was about to change in a major way. Thinking about how much things had changed over the past few months and how much they were going to change once Paul and I were married.
I sat there for a long time; I really don't know how long because I wasn't wearing a watch and, I left my cell phone in my car.
In my mind, Marrying Paul solidified my transition into being straight. It was a miracle for me to no longer desire women. Getting married would be beyond miraculous. I was ready, willing, and ecstatic!
Paul was intelligent, employed and in love with ME! What more was there to consider?
Eventually, he showed up with his brother, apologizing for running late and smiling big because he liked my dress. We wanted to wear black to signify that we were dead to our old selves and that our marriage would be a new beginning.
Paul and I with Juan

Paul and I with my Mom and [would be] Step-Dad

Even though we eloped; we had an audience. Danny; Paul's Brother, my mom, brother Juan, my sister and my mom's would be husband all came to witness the ceremony. 
Unbeknownst to me; Paul wanted to get married in the mass ceremony, but because he was late; we had to pay for a private ceremony with a judge that was held in a courtroom.
When it was over; there was no honeymoon, we just bought some Chinese food, went home to my apartment on The Boulevard and ate it in front of the TV.
Calling our wedding day/night anticlimactic (no pun intended) would be an understatement. We took three days off of work pretty much for nothing. 
In truth; that would be indicative of what was to follow in our married life. 
Our first argument upset him so much that he slammed the door to the office in my face and called his ex-girlfriend. He made sure that he told me who it was and why he called her. I'd made him do it. If I hadn't pissed him off; he wouldn't have needed a reason to call someone who would be happy to hear from him.
Within a few months of us being married, he began seeing someone that he met while out playing basketball. 
She would be the first of countless inappropriate relationships that Paul would have while we were married. Most of which I knew about; all of which I dealt with.
I meant what I said in our vows. "For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death parts us (I do)." The problem was, he didn't.
And in truth, I wasn't doing it for him. I was doing it because I had made those vows to God. 
When I did leave, I was sure that I had exhausted all of my energy. I had given him every chance that I could muster. I left at the 3 1/2 year mark. By then, we'd had a daughter and the stakes were a lot higher. 
I didn't leave for me; I left for her. 
They say a father is a daughter's first love and a son's first hero. I refused for my daughter to grow up in a home with the example of manhood that her own father was putting in front of her. 
I not only brought home the bacon, I cooked it, served it and washed the dirty plates. He contributed so infrequently that it didn't really count. 
Looking back, I....
Truthfully; I don't look back. If and when I do; it's only to reference how fortunate I am now to be away from that whole deal.
When I see him, inside I shake my head thinking "Wow... you used to sleep with that dude? Gross."
I learned a lot being married to him though. Because of him, I know what men are thinking when most men would be smart enough to close their mouths to avoid hurting someone's feelings. Because of him, I am a much better cook. Because of him, I have Asheley.
And because of him, my next husband is gonna hit the jackpot. 

Anita Baker - "Fairy Tales"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

{Spirituality Sunday} Don't Go

Deitrick Haddon - "Don't Go"

This song is one of my favorites by Deitrick Haddon. The lyrics sound like he could be talking to his wife or the Lord. Depending on the day and my mood, it's applicable to Jesus or my ex-husband. 
I've come to terms with a few things about being divorced; like it or not, I will always feel some kind of way about my ex-husband. The fact that we have a kid together pretty much tethers us to each other until one of us -preferably him- dies or gets deported (him again). 

These same thoughts are what draw me to the other side of the song. Being a Christian is awesome but tough. I still cuss .A lot. And, I likes my alcohol. I have road rage like nobody's business, and I would off a certain someone if given the chance and a get out of jail free card. That may not seem like much to most, but for someone who tears up at every gospel song that I hear, it makes me feel less than worthy of the title. 

I've not only walked away from the Lord (more than once or twice), I've slammed the door in His face. During my college years, I was all the way to the edge of hell. Real talk. I. Was. Out there. doing everything and anything to get my jollies off. But for real, for real? I was miserable. I got high only to come down, back to reality. Back to hating myself, where I found myself in life, the things that I did and the people I did them with. 

I found myself coming back to the Lord only when things were tough, or when I needed a favor from him. I'd make empty promises to pray more, read my Bible more, start going to church, start paying my tithes. I might as well have had my fingers crossed behind my back because I never planned to do any of it. 

Then, I hit bottom. It took a while, but sure as shootin' it happened. When it did, there was nowhere for me to go and no one for me to look to. I HAD to go back to Him. And He was there. With open arms. 

When I became a Mom, I was better able to understand the relationship that God has with us. He is our heavenly father, the operative word being Father. 

As a Mom, when Shey messes up; yeah, I'm upset. I spank her, yell at her or put her on time out. But, if she were to scream out in pain while on time out; there is no way that just because I'm angry at her that I would ignore her. I would run to her to see what was wrong. 

God is the same way. He sees all that we're doing, and He just wants us to figure it out, to really see that He's good and to make that decision to stay with Him. I did, finally. June 12, 2003 and it was the best decision I've ever made.

God gave me the gift of writing. He gave me a beautiful, healthy daughter. But most importantly; he gave me eternal life. 


Jill Scott - "Blessed"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Today is Tuesday.

Today is Twos day.

My route number is 02.

I got my bi-quarterly review twoday.

Can you guess what I got?

A two.

On a scale of 1-4; I got a 2.

4 is 'excellent'. 3 is 'good'. 2 is 'needs improvement'.

I don't have any words of wisdom or insight for this... It's my third 2 in a row.
I'm disappointed in myself. I work a lot and I work hard. But, admittedly, I'm not working smart. It's cliche, but it's true. But I will fix it. I have to. At this point; I don't have any other choice. I'm not a rookie anymore; I've been there 20 months. Many of the people there have been there less than half the time I've been there and they are running CIRCLES around me.

I feel bad for my boss. She's been explaining my shortcomings away for a long time. She told me today in short order that the up and down has to stop.

Truthfully; it's exhausting! Working everyday until 5 and later, not getting home until 7 and after... I can't keep up this pace. On top of all that; Shey starts school next month; I've got to get both she and I used to her being in school full time.

I'm feeling some kind of way about my [under]performance. Needs improvement.

'Nuff said.

Consider it done.

Isley Brothers - Work to Do

Sunday, July 17, 2011

{Spirituality Sunday} Putting God First. Really?

It's very easy to say that we put God first. But when you stop to think about what that actually entails; it is a lot harder than it sounds and, I know for certain that I am guilty of saying that, and not practicing it.

I pay my tithes, but, if things are tight one week, I'm ashamed to say that I have been known to 'borrow' my tithe money to pay something else.

Church meets three times a week; 8:00 and 11:00 Sunday morning and 6:45 on Wednesday. I am pretty good about being on time for church, but I'm not always faithful in my attendance.

I don't read my Bible everyday. I do however check my Twitter timeline and both of my facebook accounts several times a day. It's usually the first thing I read in the morning and the last thing I read before I go to bed.

One thing I can say is that I pray a lot, but it's sporadic. I'll do it when I'm driving mostly; I don't take the time daily to set aside time to talk to the Lord.

With all that said, I can't say with any level of confidence that I truly put God first.

Now that I know this; I'm now responsible for doing something about it. And that's what I plan to do. Instead of picking up my phone to check Tweets and Facebook updates, I'm going to access the underutilized Bible app that I downloaded way back when to start my day off with my mind on the only One who can guide me and give me the strength, courage and wisdom that I need to go about my day in a way that will honor and glorify Him.

My life is changing. I feel it and I am embracing it. It is both exciting and frightening but I believe it is what I have been preparing for my entire life. And because of that, I refuse to ignore it or squander it.

God Bless you.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

{Significant Other Saturday} - Flashbacks

I had a flashback today that led to me having a ... moment, we'll call it.

I'm on a fast from secular music until the end of the month to sort of detox, if you will. As I was programming my Rhapsody with Christian music, (Detroit Gospel; Deitrick Haddon, Fred Hammond, BeBe & CeCe Winans) I saw the cover of a Fred Hammond CD that took me back to a bad place.

No one told me that years after being gone from my ex-husband, even while involved in an awesome, successful relationship, that I would still be bombarded with negative thoughts and memories that could have the power to transport me back to that awful place.

Seeing that CD cover reminded me of the day that he bought that and several other Fred Hammond CDs.

I can't remember if we were sharing a car at the time or not, but for whatever reason, Paul had to pick me up from a job interview. It was with a better security company than the one I was working for. I was offered a job working the day shift at the Ford Motor Company's World Headquarters. The money was better, they offered actual benefits and the location was closer to where we lived. All signs pointed to 'yes' take the job.

I didn't take the job.

At the time, I was taking classes full time and needed a set schedule in order to continue doing that. Although my shift wouldn't deviate; the days I would be scheduled to work would change bi-weekly.

My unemployed husband couldn't seem to understand my logic in rejecting the job and expressed his disdain by ordering me out of his car and peeling out.

My immediate reaction was to blow up his cell phone from mine. No answer. So, I used the desk phone in the lobby. He picked up. When I told him it was me, he hung up the phone.

There were people around so I tried my best not to cry or lose it. But after half an hour of his shenanigans, I really began to panic. I was ready to call someone to come and get me. But who? How would I explain away the fact that my darling husband left me to rot with no way home to anyone who would be fool enough to come and get me? I gave up on the idea and waited.

After 45 minutes, he came back. I was relieved but fuming. He told me that he had to let me cool off and give myself some time to think because obviously, I wasn't thinking correctly. I advised him that if he was so fond of the position that he should apply for it himself.

That spawned a whole new argument. Needless to say; it was a wonderful ride home.

God knows I have forgiven Paul for all of those things that he did to me. But for the life of me; I had no idea that those memories would haunt me the way they do.

I was told once that going through a divorce is like experiencing the death of a close relative. I disagree. It's like being maimed. You hear stories all the time about how people who have lost limbs can still feel the lost limb, pain and everything. THAT'S what divorce is like. Something that is long gone that still haunts you.

  All American Rejects - Gives you Hell


Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

{Throwing Down Thursday} Achsha's Enchiladas

Kid tested, boyfriend approved! 

This recipe is a spin on traditional enchiladas. It's more of a burrito/enchilada - A 'Burlada' perhaps? [I just made that word up! copyright pending] sans the enchilada sauce.  

1.5 lbs ground meat (I like ground turkey)
10 8" flour tortilla shells
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
Sea Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups; cooked white rice
4 cheese shredded Mexican cheese blend

It's SO easy and, FAST! Cook ground turkey until brown in garlic and sprinkle with listed spices in a large skillet. 

Add the two cups of white rice (I like to put chicken bouillon cubes in the water to flavor it).

Combine slightly drained stewed tomatoes (depending on how saucy you want the mixture).

Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds on each side. 

Fill the tortillas with 4 cheese blend cheese, top with meat mixture. Fold to close. Top enchiladas with cheese and bake @ 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.

(When there is filling left over, I like to put it on top, or cook more rice and add it to the rice for Mexican style 'dirty rice')


Thanks for reading!

Happy Eating!

(My Brother Juan and his roommates were taking pics of my while I made dinner for them during a visit to Chicago last Spring)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

{Working Out Wednesday} - My Journey 31 lbs by my 31st B-Day

Well folks; so far, so good.

I've resisted myriad fast food temptations (though my Mom's fried chicken wings have tempted me two days in a row). I have done two good workout, two days in a row. As I write this; I am still in my workout clothes from my calisthenic workout and will be doing some miles on The Rebounder before bed. 

I've been eating well, and that is usually my biggest challenge. I'm easing myself back into the daily ins and outs but next week; I'm ramping. it. up.

As promised, I took a pictures of myself today for the (control) 'before' picture. I will post it side by side next week with next week's pictures.

I'm purposely leaving my weight out of the equation (for now) because I think that my scale is flattering me. My scale at home (bought at Ikea 3.5 years ago for $5) tells me one thing, other (digital) scales tell me that I'm 5-10 lbs more. So, for now, I'm going to go by my scale (just for the sake of measurement) and will adjust the numbers accordingly once I get the true number.

Sound good? Does to me.


So, with that said; I'm going back at it folks. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 11, 2011

{Make it Happen Monday} - 31 lbs by 31.

So, I have a couple of other blogs. Because of work and other time constraints, sadly, I've neglected them. But, because I put so much into this blog, and because much of the subject matter surrounding the other blogs is covered here; well you can see how that could happen. Right? Right. 

With that being said, I almost referenced my other blog, a workout blog, until I went and looked at it. I haven't done ANY of the things I was supposed to be doing. And that is really disappointing. Sure, I could say it's because I'm tired all the time, because I work so much, it's because of any number of things. But the truth is, I just haven't been getting it done. 

That's a common thread for me; I'm a procrastinator. It is one of the things that I dislike the most about myself. I tell myself that I work best under pressure. 

Yeah, right. 

The truth is I get anxiety up until it's time for me to produce whatever it is I was supposed to be doing. The bigger truth is, when I do what it is that I'm supposed to do or tell myself that I'm supposed to be doing; I feel good about it! There's no anxiety and all is well in the world. 

With all of that said; I am deading that mentality. It's hard for me to pinpoint when I lost my zeal for exercise. It would be easy to say that it was when I got pregnant... maybe it was. 

Before I had my daughter; working out was my way of having time to myself. Of clearing my head and handling my stress. Between Paul, work and school; I was on the verge of losing it daily. Some days I did;my fist met the mirror in the bathroom of my first apartment many times (though I was never able to break it). 

Having left Paul, much of my stress dissipated. And, having little to no stress left to manage, I sought only comfort, by way of beer (40 oz of Bud Light) and the good eatin' of Downtown Detroit. 

But now; working out is no longer about stress management, at least not at the root of it. I'm 30 now (the oldest I've ever been, mind you) and I can feel things going on in my body that (probably) shouldn't be happening. Weight aside, I don't feel as agile or as strong as I once was. The truth is; I want that feeling back. I want it ALL; the energy and all of the productivity that comes along with it. 

So I'm going for it. All in, balls to the wall. My initial goal is to lose 31 lbs by my 31st birthday (November 16th if you want to shout me out or send an ecard. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm going all the way in. No turning back. Every true turning point begins with a decision. Mine has been made here and now. 

My way of being accountable is posting it here for everyone to see. I will post pictures as well as everything that I ate on {Working Out Wednesdays} beginning this Wednesday. 31 lbs by 11/16 is a reasonable and achievable goal. There's 18 weeks until my b-day. By losing an average of 2 lbs a week; that's 36 lbs; 5 lbs over my goal

Saturday, July 9, 2011

{Significant Other Saturday} - "I'm so Glad I took the Path that led to this..."

I was up late last night. My computer guy Ken was here for a while trying to de-frag my laptop (whatever that means) . Shey went to bed hours after I'd wanted her to, so I was forced to have my me time after Ken left.
Yesterday was a longer day than I'd wanted it to be and I really wasn't feeling inspired to blog about anything other than my gratitude for where I find myself right now.

It's amazing to me that once you find yourself in a loving, committed relationship; opportunities and prospects for other relationships abound. I mean, where were all these potentials when I was single and willing?

Who knows? Who cares?

Not me!

My boyfriend is perfect (if you ask me) and I couldn't want anyone else.

Looking back though; I've traveled one heck of a path to get to him.

I broke up with Paul in May '07. Immediately; two of my coworkers tried to get on. I wasn't having it (you don't poo where you eat).

Working in Downtown Detroit; there was no shortage of qualified men. Still; I was uninterested. I was stuck on other boys.

When it was all said and done; I got back with Shey's dad for a time until I felt I had done all I could do and bounced for good.

Dating was tough. I met men abroad. At the time; I was a Process Server so I met men ALL the time but the prospects were less than flattering.

So, I turned to the internet. I'd had a lot of success in the past with internet dating and figured, "what's the harm? From E Harmony to Match; I struck out. I even resorted to Craigslist. I met a TON of dudes but it ended up being the good ole stand-by plenty of fish that garnered my boo.

True story; when people ask me how I met my man; I tell them 'Mutual friends'. But for real, for real; I met him on POF.

During our first 'real' phone convo' he said to me  "Listen; I'm not dating because I like it or because I like being surrounded by women. I'm dating because it's necessary to find a woman who wants to get married and have children with me. If that's not something you're looking for; I suggest that we part ways now."


Talk about straight forward.

I told him then that that was EXACTLY what I was looking for.

We've been together ever since.

Honesty REALLY is the best policy.

#True Story

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Acute Case of the Mondays... (Wait...Isn't it Tuesday?}

It's Tuesday, right? After the long weekend it feels like a Monday. After yesterday's lack of activity I was ready for work today . There's something about resting; really doing nothing that can be very refreshing.
For a nice change of pace; Shey and I went and saw my babe after work today (She's is always very excited to see her Baba.) I took him some food I made "Ramlettes", Chicken Salad and Enchiladas (recipes to follow in future blogs) as well as leftovers from my mom's cookout yesterday. Seeing him always helps to put my day into perspective; reminds me that we're working toward a common goal.

Something that helped to stave off 'The Mondays' was my Pinnace Club Summit Award Recognition. The trophy is sa-weet! And, heavy kinda looks like that scene from one of the Superman movies where Zorg (or whatever his name is) gets the crystal (was it kryptonite?).

It was tough; riding around all over Michigan's awesome roads, hoping I'd make it home safe to put it on the mini-mantle I've already put up in my office on my work wall. But, Shey and I made it home safe with the trophy in hand just shy of 8:00. After going to see my babe, I took her to the Play Place to burn off some steam since she was knocked out sleeping when I picked her up. 
It's late! I've been up since 3:17 this morning and have to be back up by 4! But; what's great about having a case of the Mondays when it's actually a Tuesday is that tomorrow; the week is already half over. #HowULuvDat!

"Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays" - Office Space

Monday, July 4, 2011

Much Needed Rest! {Summertime}

It's a new month. "Ju-ly" as my GM would say. I'm excited for a new month because last month was more than tumultuous. Aside from being behind on my route, things with Shey's dad are un-awesome. (What else is new?)
Aside from it being a new month; the month started out with a three day weekend. I've spent today doing NOTHING. 

I woke up around my usual 4am then went back to sleep until 8 or so.

I ate kinke (pronounced Keen-kay) and shito with tuna and hard boiled eggs. After about an hour and three episodes of Cash & Cari I was in a carb induced coma.

I woke up at one o'clock and laid in bed until after 2. After getting up, I ate again; Shrimp Alfredo that I made yesterday. Since then; I've sat on my couch watching Law & Order reruns. I left out for some fresh air; it's actually cooler outside than inside.

Usually; I would try to pack a day like this full of activities and errands. With Shey at my parents' it's a great time to get things done; work stuff, chores. But, I've decided that I've earned a true day off. I worked on Saturday in an attempt to eliminate some of my customers that were left behind in June.

To make SOME use out of today; I am scheduling my week out day by day to ensure that July will be nothing like June was.

I'm writing today off as a guilt free day. Resting, relaxing, and vegging out in order to prepare for the ramp up; the new month ahead. Look out folks! It's gonna be a-mazing!

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The (artist formerly known as the) Fresh Prince - Summertime

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

{Little Tyke Tuesday} He Loves Her Anyway... - Role Reversal

This past weekend, I went to the Beauty Salon to get my hair done. I know, right? I don't seem the type. Well, I'm not... It is not and never has been my thing but I needed some professional advice! For the last, past six months or son; my hair has been falling out! I've lost no less than 15 locs and I couldn't figure out why! Turns out (just as I thought) it was stress that was causing the hair loss. 

I was elated to have an answer, and, surprisingly, elated to spend the Benjamin I spent on getting an answer whilst getting my hair done. 

While I was there; my daughter was with my Grandmother. It was cool; she's never spent more than a few minutes with her without me being present. I just KNEW she was going to flip out. 

She didn't. 

I was glad. 

Her Dad and I had just gotten through a tumultuous week and I was grateful for the reprieve. I didn't want to take her to the salon with me, even though she was bound to be the topic of conversation.

Once I got home and I was alone, I text my boo and told him what was the what. He wanted a pic of my freshly done do and an update on Shey. 

Yes... I love that man. One of the biggest reasons is because he loves my Boonchie.

My standards aren't super high or, overly complicated... I want a man who loves me (as I am), who's a Christian and who has something to offer.

Thank God my man has all of that and then some. 

He's met Shey  and they love, love LOVE each other!

She tells me (daily) how much she misses him, how much she loves him. 

I couldn't be more grateful. 

But! In truth; a part of me feels like I'm cheating him (and me) by giving him his (first) child by way of my second child. More so; I'm just grateful that he didn't discriminate and exclude me from the running because of my daughter. 

My Babe is the one who hipped me to Joe Budden. Because of that: I'm a fan through and through. But! I'm more appreciative that (I feel) he feels that way about my daughter deep down.


Joe Budden - Role Reversal 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{Little Tyke Tuesday} Isn't She Lovely...

Asheley (A-sha-lay)- Easter 2011

Because I've always been (and still am, to a point) such a tomboy, I always thought I'd have a son. But somehow, I ended up with the prissiest of all girly girls, ever! I'm talking feather boas, tiaras, scepters, high heeled shoes, pink everything, if-there-isn't-glitter-on-it-you-can-keep-it, girly girl. This is my Boonchie (as I call her). The subject of many rants and many more laughs. This kid is unbelievable! 

When she was born, the most frightening/empowering feeling came over me. When I pushed her out, they laid her on my stomach, and she looked up at me with her mouth open, not crying, it sounded like she was trying to clear her throat. I looked at her and smiled. "Hi baby." I knew then and there that I would willingly die or kill for her. Without hesitation or reservation, I would lay down my own life, or take the life of another to protect her. It is a feeling stronger than any other that I have felt before or since.  

Parenthood is many things. Among them; an emotional roller coaster, insightful, painful and full of learning experiences. My daughter has taught me a lot about myself. And unknowingly given me the courage to do things I never would have imagined possible.

Because of her; my life is harder, but, better. Those days where the world attacks and has me wanting to retreat, I remember that there's someone that I have to train up to be strong enough to fight for herself one day and it motivates me to push through.

Being a Mom is tough. It sucks a lot of the time because it's hard to know if you're even doing it right. But I rest assured in knowing that everything I do comes from a place of love. I do not wish to vindicate myself through her or to live vicariously. My only hope is to raise a Virtuous, God serving woman who will do the same with her descendants. 

Stevie Wonder - 'Isn't She Lovely'

Saturday, June 18, 2011

{Significant Other Saturday} Xing out the Ex.

I'm not friends with any of the men I used to date and that is not by accident. I think it's bad business to maintain ties with people you used to crush on, lust for, or sleep with. I mean, what's the point? They're an ex for a reason. Once I've moved on from a man that I'm seeing, I make it a point to get rid of all evidence of them. (All pictures, trinkets and social media ties included) I go so far as to save their number in my phone but I delete the name and replace it with random symbols.

Now, this advice isn't really applicable if you were in a long term relationship with someone because maybe you memorized the number or because it would be the only number in your phone that has symbols instead of numbers but if you're just dating or talking to a guy; and you've had your number for a while; it works well.

The only legitimate reason, I feel, that you should maintain ties with an ex is if you have a child in common. Ironically, the people that we share children with tend to be the people with whom we have the most tumultuous relationships (at least, that has been my experience). I don't know what it is about divorce that causes such bitterness and disdain between two people who once promised "to love, honor and obey... for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part [I do]". Perhaps it's the intensity of that commitment and subsequent reneging on the vow that causes the strife. I would argue that because they are an ex (and as such, all ties should be severed) that maintaining contact (albeit for a worthy reason) is the source of the strain.

Months after leaving my now ex husband, I started seeing a guy that I thought I would marry. He was perfect! 

I met him at work, doing security. He was a great guy. He and I talked all the time about relationships and love. It was harmless because I was married (and committed) and he was in a committed relationship with a woman that he planned to marry. Even back then, I didn't believe that men and women can be just friends but that's really what he and I were; friends.

While working the security job; I discovered that I was pregnant. Word trickled down to my co-workers and I soon learned that chivalry is not dead. This guy; lets call him Harry, worked the midnight shift, 10-6. I worked 6-2. My duties began at 8:00; opening the dock doors that led into the building for shipping and receiving and a building tour to unlock the rest of the doors. Harry would carry my bags from the parking office where I relieved him to the dock office then sit and talk with me until 8:00 so that he could open the dock and other building doors. Once complete, Harry would usually stay for another hour or so chatting with me before heading home to change clothes for his day job.

I remember thinking back then how much I respected his hustle. He worked 40 hours a week at a job that paid the bills and worked a second job in the industry that he hoped to one day break into; real estate.
Meanwhile, on the way to work, I was leaving a house where my husband slept until I got home, calling himself a business owner in spite of knowing that his "businesses" had only cost us money.

Naturally, when things ended between Paul and I; Harry was in the forefront of my mind as a prospect for someone to date. He had long since left the security company and taken a job at the bank that I patronized. He and his girl were on the outs and before long, he and I were together everyday. Going on dates, meeting one another's family; the whole nine. We talked about our future together, about the company we would start, about moving to Chicago.I was falling for this dude. He respected my decision to be celibate so our relationship was completely PG. I was on cloud 9. I felt like I was getting my comeuppance. I had put so much into a doomed marriage that God was answering my prayers.

Then, reality hit.

We took a trip to Chicago for Valentines Day. I booked a room (double beds) and we mapped out a weekend of shopping, food tasting, relaxing, and, hanging out with my brother.

We got to the room late and didn't settle in until 4am EST. I had been up almost 24 hours and passed out on the comfy bed within minutes. I was awakened by him talking on the phone. To a woman. He was just calling to let her know that we made it there safe and apologizing for being 'out of it' the night before. I was incredulous. I got up, went to the bathroom and sobbed. I took a long shower, trying to give him time to finish up his conversation but after 20+ minutes; he still wasn't done.

I laid back down, anxious and heart racing, still crying into my pillow. He eventually got off the phone but ended up texting for the next hour or so. The next morning, I got up and conveyed my disdain as to what had happened the night before.

What came out was that he "didn't even like me like that". He tried to make me feel as if I was misconstruing what had been going on. I searched my mind, our conversations and everything that we had said to one another to see if that was possible.

I wasn't crazy. He had been leading me on. Saying just enough to give me hope, but not enough to tie himself down. I would later learn that he was dating a woman who lived about an hour from Detroit. He'd met her online and she knew who I was. He'd had her convinced that he and I were business partners; that I liked him but that there was no interest on his part because I was still, in fact, married (I was but had been separated coming up on a year).

To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. I felt like a fool. All the while I was thinking that we were establishing a foundation for a future together, and he had a long distance girlfriend right under my nose.

When we got back to Detroit, I ended things. I deleted his number from my phone, blocked his emails, changed my main email address and deleted my profiles from the social networking sites we were on together.

About four months went by before I heard from him again. In a strange twist of whatever, he showed up at my house unannounced just hours after the man I broke my celibacy vow with had gone about his day. He sat across from me with no reason as to his being there. He talked about everything except what still haunted me; why he behaved the way he did.

His phone rang and he scurried to leave, asking me for me number since he'd given his old phone to his little sister. (Meaning his girlfriend added him to her phone plan).

After months of games; him texting me from a number I didn't recognize, flirting incessantly with me, and showing up at my church I began to take him seriously when he said that he wanted to try again. So, I pulled his card; I gave him an ultimatum. Having walked away from the aforementioned 'relationship', I wasn't going to settle for anything less than what I was looking for; a committed, celibate relationship that would lead to marriage.

I explained to him that there was no way that I was going to invest the kind of energy and time into him as I had done before without commitment. He seemed oblivious to why it was such a big deal. He didn't understand why we couldn't be friends and "just see what would happen." He had such an inflated sense of self that he called himself "the King". In his eyes, other men were inferior to him in all respects and to turn down this opportunity would be MY loss.

I politely explained to Harry that I was looking for something permanent and that merely having him around meant that I was taking my energy away from that effort. When it was all said and done, he wanted to know if we were still going to do business together. (He was still trying to find an angle into the real estate business and my best friend's company has a direct line into cash properties. He knew that by severing ties with me that any prospects of that connect would leave with me.) "No chance." I told him. And I meant it. I unfriended him on facebook, symboled his number on my phone and activated a feature that allows me to shoot that caller directly to voice mail when they call.

It's over a year since all that went down. He's tried calling from other numbers. I know this because he'll always call asking for my business (I've long since gotten a dedicated number for the business) and, upon Sly Dialing him, it's his voice mail.

I'm glad that I ended things with the finality that I did with him for a number of reasons but the biggest one being that I had to be sure that I was completely available, not just in my relationship status, but emotionally when the man of my dreams found me. It hurt, it wasn't easy. And yes, I cried. But it was totally worth it.

"Best Thing I Never Had" - Beyonce 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

{Throwing Down Thursdays} Shrimp Alfredo - Quick and Amazing!

I make this dish a lot. It's quick, delicious and very easy to make. I prefer to make it with frozen, raw shrimp that I've thawed in the fridge overnight. Once the sauce is 95% done, I toss the shrimp in and cook it all together pouring it all over whole wheat, angel hair pasta.
It's a fan favorite; my daughter loves it and I could O.D. on the stuff. 
You can substitute sweet butter with regular butter just add two tsp of white sugar. Also, garlic powder can be used (1/4 tsp per clove) but it's much better with the actual cloves. I like the minced garlic because pressing garlic just leaves you with stinky fingers. 

Better Than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

This is the best Alfredo sauce ever. This is several recipes combined into one. You can also add your choice of meat (chicken, shrimp or even crab).

Yield: 6 , Total Time: 25 minutes

Cuisine: Italian   Main Ingredient: Cream


1/2 cupsweet butter
2 clovesgarlic; minced
2 cupsheavy cream
1/4 teaspoonwhite pepper
1 cupgrated parmesan cheese
3/4 cupmozzarella cheese

       1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium/low heat.

2. Add the garlic, cream, white pepper and bring mixture to a simmer.
3. Stir often.
4. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth.
5. When sauce has thickened add the Mozzarella cheese and stir until smooth. STIR FREQUENTLY.
6. Enjoy over pasta or with warm bread sticks.

Give it a try friends! I know you'll love it!