Archive for the ‘Love’ Tag

The Soundtracks of Childhood by Angenita Williams

When one thinks of childhood, they think of school, school plays, kickball, teachers, bratty brothers, long summers outside, chores, barbecues, and an early bedtime. It’s a time where we all couldn’t wait to be adults because we had to follow so many rules that simply were not fair. (And many of us adults would like to go back to that time when things were much more simple.)

We also think of the music. What we didn’t understand was that the records that Momma and Daddy played on the stereo, or the tapes they played in the cassette player were setting a stage of memories for us to carry with us throughout our lives. And as we grew, as new artists burst into music, we added their sounds with the sounds already placed in our hearts. These tidbits of melodies etched themselves into our histories to the point where if we hear a song now, it takes us back to that moment where we fell in love with it. Don’t believe me?

Where were you when you first heard Thriller?

I was sitting in front of the stereo. My dad brought the record through the door and played the entire album. I held on to the cover. Michael was so beautiful in his white suit. I was enamored. It was 1982. I was 6.

Where were you when you first heard You Give Good Love?

I was at my house. My cousin, AJ, came down for the summer to watch my brothers and I while my mother worked. She played that song out, but it was BEAUTIFUL. I didn’t know whose voice that was at first. But then I saw the video. Whitney was so tiny, yet her voice was huge. It was 1985. I was 9.

Where were you when you first heard Purple Rain?

I was at home. Again. Dad brought this album in. I knew there was a movie for it. My friends had gone to see it. I hadn’t seen it yet though. I heard the song Purple Rain, and the guitar solo at the end caught my attention, and instantly became my favorite part of the song. It was 1984. I was 8.

These songs effect me that same way…over 30 years later. When I hear “Until the end of time, I’ll be there for you,” I’m taken back to Turrell, Arkansas, at my cousin’s house where it stayed on repeat, and it touched my heart. “Oh I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the heat with somebody” brings me to my first summer in Indianapolis. “Hey pretty baby with them high heels on” takes me back to my uncle who loved that song, and made a howl every time it came on.

And as I type this, I smile.

Of course there is an astronomical list of artists that moved me at different periods of my life which includes:

Patti – If Only You Knew. Chaka – I’m Every Woman. Aretha – Pink Cadillac. Frankie Beverly – Before I let Go. Kool and the Gang – Celebration. Mtume – Juicy Fruit. Madonna – Like A Virgin. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing. Diana Ross – Upside Down. Stevie Wonder – Ribbon in the Sky. B. B. King – Lucille. The Gap Band – Party Train. ConFunkShun – Love’s Train. Isley Jasper Isley – Caravan of Love. Janet Jackson – Control. Luther Vandross – Never Too Much. Teena Marie – Lovergirl. Rick James – Mary Jane.

And that’s not even touching the surface….

When we lose these people who contributed so much to our lives, it leaves a hole…a gaping hole…a crater in our souls. We feel hurt. Lost. And what’s really funny…I wonder if our icons really know how much they affect their fans with the words they sing. With the arrangements they make…

Prince guided me into and out of heartbreak. Whitney helped me understand heartbreak. And Michael, well, Michael gave me life after heartbreak.

Prince made me dance. Whitney made me wanna dance with somebody. Michael made me wanna dance like him.

Without these melodies, these beats, this rhythm…my childhood would be vastly different. What would trigger a great memory if it were not for our soundtracks?

Behind Whitney, Michael, Luther, Gerald, Marvin, Teena, Rick…we lost Prince too. And man…that hurts. It really hurts.

All of them played a huge part in my soundtrack….my childhood. But Prince? He gave me one of my favorite songs in the world….Adore. The lyrics mean so much more now…

“Until the end of time, I’ll be there for you. You own my heart and mind…”

I truly Adore you.

RIH Prince.

You were such an instrumental part of my childhood. Of my life. Rest Easy, Purple One.

Are You A Groupie? By Angenita Williams

GLPIC

 

Are you a groupie?

Merriam-Webster says a groupie is a noun that means a fan of a music group who follows the group on concert tours.

Urban dictionary says a groupie is a young woman, often under age, who seeks to achieve status by having sex with rock musicians, roadies, security, and other band-related guys.

Does that describe anyone you know?

I heard the song Groupie Love by an indie artist Young Mac about a year ago. (Check the photo.) The more I listened to it, the more I really get it. Although the title would have you thinking otherwise, it’s obvious that the woman being described in the song is a hurting woman.

“I can tell it’s groupie love cause she aiming to get rich.”

Listening to the lyrics on the surface would have you think the narrator is talking about the typical groupie – backstage at all the shows. Heels on point. Body a ten. Making sure she gets chosen. But a deeper listening reveals that this “groupie” isn’t typical…she has the “aim” to get rich…but the “rich” isn’t the rich that one thinks of when they speak of rich.

In this aspect, rich means love. She wants to be rich…in love… jumping from body to body in search of this elusive love…the love that every girl dreams of. Yearns for. And when that love isn’t there, then substitutes are there to take the place…money…attention…sex. Selling herself short for the illusion of desire. She’s broken. And the narrator tells her, “I can feel your pressure.”

How much pressure are we under to find love? For us single ladies that are 35 and up, how much pressure do we bear when we wake up next to pillows every morning? When you just wanna hug and hear a deep masculine voice say it’s gonna be alright? I know…Momma never said there would be days like that….because Momma never let it show that there ARE days like that.

Navigating the world of relationships is real tricky. Mainly because everyone has baggage to unload, and everyone wants to remain selfish….when love has nothing to do with selfishness…it’s so selfless. You willingly give your all because love is about growing the other person, not what you can get out of them or from them. You have to make sure that person has your best interest at heart…But you can’t wait too late or you’ll end up broken and bitter.

Self-love is the key to deflating the pressures of being single. No one can love you if you don’t love you, and if you don’t love you, you can’t possibly love anyone else. So for the groupies in the world….take a pause…love you…Nothing will give you more satisfaction until you realize that love you seek is right there in you…

“Go ‘head and show that groupie love…go ‘head, you know that groupie love….”

Am I Not Good Enough? by Angenita Williams

*This is NOT a blog about being sad, or feeling unworthy. It IS a reflection.*

In the midst of my reading and studying, I usually play music or have the TV on for background noise. Sometimes, I have both. But yesterday, I decided to listen to the YouTube personality April Mason. She is an empowering woman with some really good points. I just wasn’t ready for what she had to say.

She had a letter from a young woman who explained that there was a guy she was “dating.” He was nice. He treated her well. He was fine. His sex was awesome. But he didn’t want to be in a relationship. Although he did all the things that couples do, he made it clear that a relationship was something he did not want. She was understandably confused. His actions did not match his words….definitely something I can relate to.

April went through all the usual relationship advice: why buy the cow when you get the milk for free; you allowed him to dictate the “relationship;” you must love yourself first…and so on and so forth. But then she said this:

“This may sound harsh, but you are not good enough.”

I stopped studying.

“You are good enough to hang out and go to the movies with. You are good enough to share meals with. You are good enough to have sex with. But you are not good enough to be his WOMAN. You are a placeholder for his permanent one.”

I sat up. Not good enough to be his woman?

I’ve often felt like I was never good enough. My self-esteem hasn’t been the highest. Although I was always told I was beautiful, I didn’t really believe it – I was fat. I didn’t have a nice shape and I was bigger than most guys – but I was still cute and my smile lit up a room.  I knew I was smart – my grades showed it. I was a little short on being street smart until I got to the streets and had to learn to navigate. I never quite learned how to navigate relationships with men though.

I was always good enough to converse with because I do have a nice conversation. I have a brain and I can go from goofy to intellect in a split second. I was nice to hang around because I carry an aura of comfort; of loving. I can cook a little bit, so of course I was good enough to make meals for a man. Of course I was always good enough to have sex with. I’m a nice looking, fluffy woman that’s well endowed. I take care of my kids. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m loyal.

But I still wasn’t good enough.

 I wasn’t good enough for my father to love me enough to show me that I was indeed worthy to be treated like a human being.  I didn’t have a very high bar to compare any man to. Attention was enough I suppose. I wasn’t good enough for my ex to not marry a woman that I knew was all the way wrong for him, but yet he still came to me on plenty of nights until I stopped him. I wasn’t good enough for the guy who told me he wouldn’t hurt me, but he didn’t want a relationship…after sex. Or the one that said that no man would really want me because of my ready made family. Or the one who stopped talking to me when I took sex off the table. Or the one that sent unsolicited penis pics. Or the one who thought I would stay despite his abuse.  When I got married, I felt that finally I WAS good enough…I secured a lifelong bond with a man I was madly in love with…

But I wasn’t even good enough for my husband. No matter how loyal or loving or supportive I was, I just wasn’t good enough to keep him from the abandonment or the side chicks.

In the aftermath of all of this, I find that I am still just not good enough. I’m good enough to hang with or converse with, or even to sex…but I’m not good enough to be a man’s significant other. I’m not good enough to be the ONE.

My attributes are great. I am wonderfully flawed.  I’m beautiful. I’m sarcastic. Intelligent. I like sports. I cuss like a sailor. I am articulate. I can get moody. I can appear standoffish or disinterested.  I can discuss politics, Beyonce, Maya, and Bugs Bunny. I am lovingly loyal – I would say to a bit of a fault. I am a sweetheart when I want to be. I’m the perfect homegirl. I’m caring. I’m supportive – an awesome cheerleader. I adore my children and my grandchildren. I will go to war with the world over my children. I love my family. I work hard. I hustle harder. I strive to be the best I can be with all my flaws. 

This year marks my 40th year on this Earth. I look at the world through a lens of life experiences. I do have faith in God, something I can’t say I’ve always had. My confidence level as definitely increased by the multitudes. But, in the area of relationships and commitment, something always falls relatively short. And with all the #inboxfoolishness I get, with all the dates that are made but never completed, all the notions of just wanting sex from me and nothing more, I wonder…

Will I ever be good enough?

On Being Black in America by Angenita Williams

I know it’s been a minute…

These past few weeks have been torment for me.

I’ve sat quietly watching as news story after news story after blog after blog spills the details about another mistreatment of people of color.

I’ve been silent. Trying to figure out exactly what I want to say that hasn’t already been regurgitated through media.

And then the Charleston Nine happened. The actual thought of removing the Confederate flag happened. On my drive home, I figured out what I wanted to say – a checklist of sorts. I’m only going to list three, or this blog will be a hundred pages long.

  1. On Being a Black Woman

I am a Black Woman. That means that royalty flows through my veins. My foremothers were Queens. My foremothers were dignified women. I wear my crown straight. Slave blood runs through my veins as well as the strength of my ancestors. My shoulders sometimes struggle for carrying the world is heavy. My back is arched, my head is held high. Just like Maya said, “Phenomenal woman, that is me.” My piercing stares are full of determination and tenacity. My tresses are strong. I love me.

And it took me almost 40 years to do that.

With what society says I should look like. All my images of “real” beauty came in the form of Barbie. Brooke Shields. Susan Lucci. Farrah Fawcett. And when I got a little older, Claire Huxtable and Dianne Carroll. I was a victim of the paper bag. My blackness always questioned because my skin is a tad paler.

But I was still Black. I hated my kinky hair. I hated my name because it was so unique. It always seemed like if I was a white girl named Tina with long brown hair, and pale blue eyes, I would be so much happier. Why? Because Tina had things that looked like her. That resembled her. That were her…

And I was grown before I could truly love everything that being a Black woman is, does, and strives to do. Before I learned the true strength of where I come from – the fields of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Before I understood that my beauty comes from the strength I innately possess. Before I realized that beauty is truly beyond this skin I’m in.

  1. On Being a Mother of Black Children

I worry every time my children leave my sight. They are of strong mind and strong will. My son, a Black man. My daughter, a Black teen.

I am bombarded with images of unarmed children being gunned down because the officers don’t understand that they too are innocent. They have an innocence about them just like his kids do. But he is threatened by their melanin. By there sheer ability to have the nerve to WANT to do things outside the home. To DESIRE to be something other than…*insert typical Black stereotype*.

Not too long ago, a Facebook friend posted a picture of the White Charleston Nine shooter next to the picture of the fourteen-year-old Black girl with a cop’s knee in her back. The caption compared the dignified way he was captured against the violent way a CHILD was thrown to the ground. A woman who was white said the picture was misleading and that the bikini clad young lady was being aggressive. A child who had no idea what was going on and begged for her mother versus a cold-blooded killer who was afforded a bulletproof vest and a sandwich.

I responded with – she is a CHILD.

The lady responded with a long response to which she ended with “I will teach my children to treat everyone well, and I hope they teach their kids the same.”

My long response ended with “be thankful you can teach your kids that. Be thankful that you don’t have to worry about your kids not coming home – not because they are bad kids, because they are not. It’s because they are Black.”

As a mother, this is heartbreaking. And the list just keeps growing. I pray my children’s names are never on that list. I pray my nephews and nieces will never make that list. I pray my brothers, uncles, cousins and friends never make that list.

  1. On Being Black, Woman, Near 40, and Single

It truly seems like the older I get, the worse dating gets. Seriously. One would think that with age comes maturity. This isn’t so in a lot of cases. And it’s frustrating. Maybe it’s because I expect so much. Like a job. And decent conversation. And thoughtfulness. And a date or two or three. In my teens and 20’s, I accepted pretty much whatever just to be recognized by a man. Just to have one in my presence. Just to have one be there…even if it was temporary. Just to feel “love.” And I got two kids to raise pretty much alone (my loves!), a broken marriage (not truly getting what marriage entails), a few broken hearts, an ocean of tears, fears of rejection and pain, a steel fortified fortress built around my heart, and a different view on love. Dating isn’t fun – it is a tiring assortment of role specifics and game playing. I am over playing the game. And many older men that approach me want to play it.

There are way more things to speak on – finances, education, awareness, growth. I’ll save that for another time…

I’m baaaaacccckkkk

Dear Janay by Angenita Williams

Dear Janay,

Hey Sis.

My spirit told me I had to reach out to you and to let you know that I understand what you are going through.

I know why you defend him. I know how it feels to be hurt by a man you love. And for all those on the outside, they have no idea what is real. This, what you have, is love, and until they understand that, they should leave you alone.

I get it.

But sis, what you don’t understand, is that this is not love. This is control.

I look at your beautiful face, and your eyes tell the story of how he breaks you down. He didn’t always strike you. He treated you like a queen. Got you what you need. There for you. Then one day, things changed. He hit you. He apologized, and went back to that good man. Then he hit you again. And the cycle continued.

I may be wrong. This could have been his first time. But the ease at which he hit you, with the strength he hit you with, and his callous reaction to it, shows me that he is no stranger to abusing you. He dragged you, even kicking you while you were out. He didn’t show that he cared…he showed annoyance. And you took the blame and apologized for your part – which was responding to a slap in the face.

Sis, love doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hit. It doesn’t toss you. It doesn’t belittle you. The Bible tells us that love is kind and patient. He clearly lost his patience, Love.

And I am only reaching out to you because I have been there. I was not only a witness to abuse, but I was a victim, and also a perpetrator. I thought I would get them before they got me. That didn’t work out so well either. I was told that no one would want me. If I didn’t fall in line, my dad would hate me. Weak men prayed on my weakness and lack of self love.

Sis, physical abuse is the escalation. The emotional and mental abuse starts first. I understand the cycle. So when you defend him, I get it. You have to. He is your man, and you ride for him as to be expected of any good wife. Ride or die.

But ask yourself…

Would he ride for you?

I’ll end this by saying, sis, love you first. Find you. Explore who and what you are. What is your purpose in life?

I pray that you find the happiness in life that everyone longs for. I pray your marriage lasts without further abuse. I pray that if the abuse continues, you find the strength to leave. I pray you become a survivor. I pray for your strength, life, and health.

Be strong. Hold your head. Know that some of us understand.

Sincerely,

Angenita

Transparent by Angenita Williams

stock-photo-clear-forest-in-glasses-on-the-background-of-blurred-forest-164665187I feel like I need to be extremely transparent right now….

About a week, well maybe not even a week ago, I was on Facebook (of course) and a woman posted a status in Relationship Soup (www.relationshipsoup.com) about where the notion of women “not needing a man” came from. Of course, I responded, and there was a really good and intense conversation about the subject. Men and women had a lot to say, and both had valid points. But, it was the originator’s comment that stuck out to me…

…I understand the joy, happiness, and peace that a man could bring to me…

I pondered that for quite a while, and it hit me…I have no clue what that feels like…I have no clue what that even looks like…and tears welled in my eyes…as if I have missed something altogether…or lost that opportunity to ever know what it feels like…and when the realization hit me…my spirit wanted to feel it…

From the start, I haven’t experienced those feelings from a man. Sure, there were some good times, fun times, love times…but overall joy? Overall happiness? Overall peace? No. And that is so sad to me…to not feel the security of a man, but his disconnect with me. Not to feel the happiness or joy of his presence, only heartache and disappointment. To know how I just wished he could get his shit together so that we could be happy…but never having it come…consistent worry about infidelity…never really knowing that I didn’t have to put up with it and not truly understanding the diamond I truly was…and how I did deserve so much better…

I wondered…was it me? Did I block it by focusing on the wrong thing, or was a hint of it even there? Was I so blinded by wanting love that I moved towards the fantasy of it and lived the nightmare from my own insecurities?

Just how deep does it go?

When I read that, and simmered on it, I decided…I want to know…I want to experience that…so I end this by saying…that all the years of me saying I don’t need a man are being thrown out the window…I realize I do need him…to show me the other side of joy, happiness…and most of all…the peace of what a companion could bring to me…I don’t have to go at life alone as I conditioned myself to believe…

But…he who findeth a wife findeth a good thing…so I’m not gonna search…I will let him find me…and in the meantime, I’ll continue to work on me, get me in order, reach higher, dream bigger, and complete my goals so I can be ready to receive everything he has to offer…

Summer 2014 – Celebration Time by Delina Hill-Brooker

I haven’t blogged much lately, it’s not because I didn’t want to, or because I didn’t have anything to talk about, but because I’ve been too busy partying and celebrating.
Celebration #1 – Our oldest son DeVon graduated from high school. The majority of our family was here, we hosted 14 people inside our home. We had several mini parties from that Wednesday through Saturday before the main party on Sunday. We had a water balloon fight, a block party and a BBQ. (Good thing we are friends with all of our neighbors) 😀 For the main party we celebrated with two other graduates who are like my niece and nephew. We had people come to visit from all over. A lot of old friends stopped by, I taught my mother and mother –in-love all of the new dances and we tore the dance floor UP! I laughed and clowned and literally had no voice the next morning.

GraduationCeremony

My mother stayed with us from graduation through the celebration #2, two weeks later which was my brother’s wedding. It was such a beautiful wedding! The bride was stunning. Her family is loving, and kind and very welcoming. We danced the whole night! The next morning we had a beautiful brunch at the bride’s parent’s house.

SamHaley

You would think that we would have enough, that’s not the case. After we left brunch we drove an hour to visit my father-in-law (#3) to celebrate his 80th birthday, and to spend the day with that side of our family.

DadsBday

We finally made it home to regroup, and rest. All of our body clocks were off. We had been up at all kinds of crazy hours. It felt weird to not have a house full of people to entertain. Oh yeah and our middle son was invited to a birthday party. (#4)
You would think that, that that would be enough partying, still not true. Yesterday we celebrated a friend’s birthday. (#5) This weekend we have friends renewing their vows. (#6) They have been blessed to be married for 20 years. After that is my husband’s birthday (#7). And not to mention another round of more family coming to visit until school begins. (#8)
We missed both of our family reunions, but this year 2014 has been a year to celebrate. There have been so many wonderful reasons to celebrate. I’ve loved spending time with my family. It makes me miss them even more because we’ve spent so much time together this summer. We only live once. Celebrate while you can. Express love while you can.

Ruby by Angenita Williams

Courtesy of Essence Magazine

Courtesy of Essence Magazine

A ruby is a deep red stone of nobility, devotion, and desire that symbolizes fire and blood – love – and immortality. Beautiful and breathtaking – no matter how it ages. Even when its time to reign is over, what it symbolizes is instilled in those who sought it out and were able to visualize it. Those lucky enough to view its luster hold on to the memories for a lifetime.

That’s what I feel when I think of Ruby Dee.

The activist, actress, screenwriter, mother and wife passed away a little over a week ago. Her grace. Her tenacity. Her voice. Silenced. A precious gem called home.

Small in stature, her voice captured your attention. She reminded you of the lady on the street that everyone respected – even the hardest and hardened criminal. She put you in the mind of the little lady who welcomed everyone new to the block.

Now she is gone.

It hurts especially deep because it seems like we are losing legendary trailblazers by the week.

The deaths of her and Maya Angelou touch me…mainly because of what both women symbolized in our community, in our world, and most definitely in their works. Never boastful. Classy. Sassy. Relevant. Rich in wisdom and history. Precious gems lost.

Who shall walk in their footsteps? Who can even come close to these women? Who can fill those now open gaps where they stood?

Looks like we all have some work to do.

Rest In Heaven, Ms. Ruby Dee…

 

 

 

It’s Spring – Time for Growth by Angenita Williams

 

Morning sun beams in the blurry spring forest. - stock photo

As usual, this time of year brings reflection time for me. I am another year older, and still on this journey. Without the graces of God, I wouldn’t see another day. To Him, I give the glory.

At this time in my life, I am excited about new horizons. I’m meeting new people. I am opening my mind to new ideas, and getting closer to my dreams. When I turn around and look at the past, I realize that if I changed anything about it, I wouldn’t be at this new peace in my life. He brought me to it and pushed me through it. How can I not be thankful and grateful?

Not that long ago, I reached my breakthrough. And now I’m on the other side of it. There is light in my sky…taking me to my life’s destiny.

Positive feels so much better. Good energy – synergy – is awesome. When something doesn’t go the way I feel it should, I look on the bright side. Take what’s important, and run with it. Because if God doesn’t provide it, then obviously, it’s not meant for me.

Holding on to negative feelings, brings negative energy which takes more out of you than to simply say, “Lord, what is it that you need me to do for You today?”

Someone told me (Faith) that I look different that I did months ago. I smiled and batted my lashes (my yearly treat to myself).

“It’s my lashes, right?” I asked and chuckled.

“No, honey. It’s your spirit.”

Grateful and Thankful by Angenita Williams

Image

I think it may be a tad bit cliché to write about Thanksgiving after the holiday. But I can’t help it. I am thankful for all I have. My family. The fact that I have a job to support my daughter. My life. The gift I was given to write. The size of the heart that beats in my chest. My mind. And last but never least, the fact that God has blessed me to keep waking up each day.

There was a time where I felt as if I didn’t have enough. I wasn’t living how I wanted to live, or working where I wanted to work. I had children I was raising by myself for the most part. I was responsible for everything and shouldering the weight of having to be everything to everyone else. I was too depressed, too unhappy, too faithless to be grateful for anything. I felt that if anything good happened to me, I deserved it for all the mess I went through.  I mean, I worked hard, right? I sacrificed, right?

I did work hard, and I did sacrifice. But without God holding me up and giving me the strength to keep going, I wouldn’t be here.

One thing I realized is that having a humbled and thankful spirit gets you farther than being nonchalant and overly about self. I try to help as much as I can, often putting myself in a rough spot. But I feel horrible if there is something I can do to help a situation and I stand by and do nothing.

So, I am thankful for everything I am able to do. I am grateful for my struggles for they make me who I am. As I grow, my heart gets more humble, and I am more thankful.

One thing I was truly thankful for is that on Thanksgiving Eve, my mother advised me that she was coming to my home to cook Thanksgiving dinner. We did have the discussion about the dinner, but I was under the impression that we would start early Thanksgiving morning. She changed the plan. (LOL, Gotta love Mom.) My mother, my daughter, and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner together. We talked, laughed, and whipped up a marvelous dinner. What’s more, we bonded like we never have before; just the three of us.

And for that, I am truly thankful.

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