It must have been at a really young age I began believing that an idol mind is the devil’s workshop. And painted against a Black Southern Baptist background, any time spent flirting with the devil would probably get you pregnant. That’s what happened to that one girl who had a baby at twelve, right? I’m not positive. (At that age, I wasn’t completely sure how the tools in the workshop worked to make babies. I was still recovering from the sheer embarrassment of finding flowers outside of my locker from a boy on my birthday.) Whatever evil could lurk in unused brain matter wasn’t finding its way in my head. Ever since I can remember breathing, I’ve stayed busy.

Yet, I’ve recently realized that all of the busyness has left me truly bored, lonely, and empty. I started just going through the motions of living a filled life, but not really taking the time to pour into myself anything of true substance.

And so, in 2013 I’ve resolved to say no to a lot more things, giving me room to say yes to only the things I feel passionate about. Each month, I vow to try something new or do something that’s going to bring me closer to one of my life goals, make me a better person, and enrich my life.

Here are a few highlights and sneak peeks:

  • I love the 80s. Last month, I checked out The Deloreans with a few co-workers and most definitely will be back at the NorVa dancing to The Legwarmers in a few weeks.
  • Color by Number. Despite my dad thinking he taught me how to paint and left me his oil paints and supplies, I’ve never held a brush in my hand. And the closest I’ve ever gotten to creating happy little trees on canvas were dreaming them up after watching hours of Bob Ross (the coolest white man with a ‘fro ever). But there will be a painted creation from yours truly hanging on one of my walls soon (even if it winds up being my bedroom closet wall).
  • The short of things. There’s a novel slowly gestating in my head and a Word document on Mackensie (my beloved laptop). Until then, I promise to pop out a few more short stories. Someone hold me accountable. And everyone check out what I’ve done so far. While I don’t like to often, or ever, be the center of attention, I do need some encouragement. It’s beyond frustrating to continue writing knowing many of those close to you won’t even spend $.99 to read what you’ve written. (Have I been even the littlest bit successful with this guilt trip?)
  • Everything’s Big in Texas. This I’m determined to find out. I’ve promised my cousin a trip to San Antonio, and I must live up to my promise.
  • Just Cause. Hmm … more to come on this.
  • Circus Training. I love when folks comment on how cool my pics from the gym look. Little do they know, I’m pretty awful at it all. And during almost every class, I hate myself. I weigh too much. I’m not flexible enough. My feet cramp up. My hands ache and my fingers won’t straighten. My broken toes healed crooked and I can’t ever point them gracefully. I’m too old. I’ll never make pole fitness look sexy or silks look beautiful and graceful. Despite my countless doubts, it’s the awesome instructors and women I’m in class with at Esteem Fitness who have me keep coming back. Although it may seem like a pipe dream, this year I will pass level three and at the very least master a puppet. Let’s do this!
  • My Fourth Continent. I’m going to South Africa in August. I’m going to go hug the mess out of orphans with AIDS and do my best to help save lives. Words cannot capture how excited I am about having this opportunity so close at hand. I’m brought to tears every time I think about it. This could be the thing that makes my whole life matter or the start of it all.

So, that’s it for now. I must go to bed; a whole lot of living awaits me in the morning.

 

“I just can’t do it,” I thought to myself and must have voiced in so many words this evening, as I lifted a forkful of almond and cashew chicken to my lips. I was catching up with my linesister (one of my sorority sisters, for those scratching their heads reading this) at P.F. Chang’s over a dinner that came a week early.

We were supposed to be meeting for dinner next week. But for some reason, my brain—even after writing it down in my brand new planner—led me to believe tonight was supposed to be the night. And Leann, the bride-to-be, was kind enough to adjust her schedule to accomodate me. So, now here I was at what I announced must be rockbottom, ready to admit I just have too much on my plate.

I’m so committed to so much, I can’t even remember what date is what. If I’m coming or going. I’ve finally reached the point where I’m trying to do too much and am excelling at nothing.

So, it’s time to start prioritizing. The pastor at my church (New Life Providence. Come check us out) has started a series on dreamers. Last week, he had told us to seek out what it is that keeps us up at night—the thing that has us quoting Popeye saying, “I can’t stands it no more,” right before he scarfs down his spinach (this was the example he used complete with Popeye’s theme music. See, you should have been there)—and go after that. This had me thinking about a lot of the things I’ve been doing. What of them keep me up at night, feeling alive and excited? What could I do with out?

This week, he preached on how we and our dreams aren’t going to be liked by everyone. Joseph’s brothers buried him and his dreams. Mine have been buried in other folks’ busy work.

“So, how do I dig myself out?” I asked, as I shoveled another fork of brown rice and vegetables in my mouth.

Well, I’ve started identifying the things I can’t imagine doing without. And now I have to discard the things that are solely zapping my energy and time. But how?

In all my decades of life, I haven’t learned how to say no yet. I’m too much of a passive chicken.

So, maybe all those I need to say no to will read this post and get the message? You think?

Time to face the music. Stay tuned.

Today, I took a risk. I paired golden mustard tights with a khaki skirt and pink shoes.

“But these colors are in my blouse,” I defended my choice to anyone I caught looking at me funny.

So, now that I’m home, comfortably typing away in my gym clothes, I’ll admit it. Today’s choice was a fail. But I get points for the bold attempt, right?

Image

Awesome cover by Ashley Grove. Read the story today!

Remember playing the quiet game when you were a kid? Out of curiosity, I decided to start my own version right now. Let’s see how it goes…

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