Bazinga! 39 x 39 – Day of Rae, My Blogaversary and An Announcement

Hi Loves!!

How are you?  Today is my birthday aka #Raeday!!!

Bazinga!!!!

Wooooh!  I’m thankful and excited.  I love birthdays.  It’s an honor and a privilege to see them.    *cue “Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp.  It also happens to be my two-year blogaversary!!!  Which I can’t really believe.  From Rae with Love, the Little Blog that Could, is two years old.  It’s been two years!  So much has happened since I first began writing From Rae With Love.   Funny enough, I’ve only shared a handful of the stories with you.

In my very first post this time two years ago, I shared some lessons I’d learned as of my 36th birthday and then I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on turning 37.  This year, I am going to do something a little bit different.  I want to share 39 things I want to do before my 39th birthday.  Not only does the number of years I’ve spent on this earth astound me, it’s also interesting to see how others handle and deal with it as well.  I’ve been watching people who are farther(further? why worry) along on their journey.  Some of them are handling the aging process better than others.   Mostly I think many of us just weren’t mentally prepared for how the time flies.  Not to mention, according to so many others and the rhetorical bullshit that spews out of someone’s mouth, as we approach 40 that’s supposed to mean we’re old? I don’t buy into it.  I never have.  Aging and growing older (and hopefully wiser) is a beautiful process.  From what I can tell, it’s about how we each choose to see it.

I have a who shitload of stuff I want to do over the next year.   They haven’t been listed in any specific order.  Each of them is critical to me and the next year.  Without further adieu, here’s the 39 x 39:

  1. Use the mixer my mother got me last year – more..which means I’ll be baking, or making pasta, or grinding meat.
  2. Create a series of You Tube Videos.
  3. Submit these short stories for publishing in literary journals.
  4. Write the short stories I mentioned in #3.
  5. Relocate.
  6. Take more photos.
  7. Lose 20% of my current bodyweight.
  8. Purchase a DSLR camera.
  9. Create a short film.
  10. Write a script for a show treatment.
  11. Tour DC with my friends and act like a tourist.  [I’m wearing the colored protective visor and Tevas and shorts and shit]
  12. Increase my income by 50% + get a new job.
  13. Eat from 30+ new restaurants (read includes dives, mom & pop stops and food trucks – that’s where the best food is)
  14. Take a series of photos worthy for a gallery exhibit.
  15. Add 1000 new followers on twitter.
  16. Create a new series of blog posts.
  17. Bake from scratch.  [I owe a series of zucchini loaves to a very close friend]
  18. Cook 25 new dishes I’ve never cooked.
  19. Purchase and successfully meal plan around a crock pot.
  20. Journal.
  21. Buy new furniture that meets my actual home-style now.
  22. Build a home theater system.
  23. Create a logo for the website.
  24. Attend a writers workshop.
  25. Research (info, interviews etc), write and publish an article or podcast for a major publication.
  26. Get a tattoo.
  27. Participate in new twitter chats.
  28. Have a conversation with a published author I admire.
  29. Publish a series of stories on Amazon.com.
  30. Be consistently happy.
  31. Be less fearful of trying new things.
  32. Publish one blog post that scares the shit out of me.
  33. Be on a major panel as a guest.
  34. Live. Like really have more to tell you so y’all can be all up in my business.
  35. Be able to achieve certain yoga poses.
  36. Write handwritten letters and notes to my close friends and family.
  37. Sew three (3) new projects and create a few new pieces of jewelry.
  38. Him.  [Redacted No. 38 about Rae’s love life]
  39. Pray more.  Hear more.  See more. Be more. Love more.  [I cheated here but IDC]

Whew!!! There it is – my 39 x 39.  Doable?  Yes.  Now let’s see how much of it I can get done effective immediately.  It’s not just about a mad rush of checking things off of a proverbial list, it’s about living and improving my quality of life.   There are also so many other things I plan to do within this next year – like buy some skates and roll around the city!!  Which brings me to my next announcement…..

I need to take a creative hiatus (aka a creative furlough, a creative retreat).

Relax.  Don’t freak out on me and get crazy.   The blog isn’t going anywhere.  I’m not really going anywhere.  I just won’t be posting for a while.  For the record, I don’t exactly know how long a while means, however, I do know it will be through the summer.

When you have a personal blog, it becomes increasingly difficult to share certain things.  Hills, valleys, good news, life changes and events and whatever else may come along means life tends to take over.  Life has taken over which means, I need to just live.  That’s what’s most important.

I’m still going to be here.  You can still find me on twitter @fromraewithlove.  I’m on twitter daily.  Otherwise, catch me on the Facebook page for the blog or if you really need to get deep, you can email me at fromraewithlove at gmail dot com.  So see, it’s not really that bad.  I can be located.  I just won’t be blogging.

So you’re wondering what am I planning to do with all of the time I don’t spend blogging?  I still plan to write.  I have a number of writing projects I need to complete.  I have new projects that are just taking off, that I can share later this week.  I’m also on the Dr. Vibe show monthly.  A few of my blogging friends and I have started a series of Google Hangouts. In other words,  I’m still here.

I know I’ve slowed down in the last months.  That’s mostly been because I am at a crossroads as a creative, as a writer and as a woman.  I’m not in a space to post everything.   I also have so many other things planned for the blog, for my life.  So basically, it’s time to live and get some things done.  Where else do all of these wonderful posts come from?  LIFE.

As the good 39 x 39 list reflects, I have a lot of work to do, a lot of living[loving] to do and quite a bit to organize, shift and put into motion.

Check in with me.  I still need want to hear from you.  I love emails and tweets.  See info above….

BTW, I’m always watching.  Trust and believe.

Mother loves you,

Rae

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65 Blogs Posts, 10,003 hits, 15 Months and the Black Weblog Awards Semi-Finals

Last year, on my birthday, I published my first post.  I may have had a few readers – all who are close friends of mine who I forced to read the blog.  Friends who I put through the ringer on trying to decide what it should look like and what I should blog about.  I even put them through it with the name of the blog.

In my infamous red notebook I have over 50 possibilities for the name of the blog.  After conferring with a good friend, it made sense to name it “From Rae With Love.”  I think I may have thought about changing it during the first few months, but as it turns out it has been the best fit for the blog and what I stand for.

Over the months, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people who if I’d never put myself out here with this little blog, I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to meet.  And maybe I should have written this post on the Blogiversary, but I was going through some things and I couldn’t get it together to write anything.

I have to tell you as a writer, especially if you’re a blogging writer, many of us struggle with what to say, what not to say, what to disclose and what not to disclose, how much to share.  There’s a lot to be considered and mulled over before writing and for sure before hitting the publish button.  Mostly because I don’t want to hurt anyone.  Hence my blog post on my Statute of Limitations.

But what’s really happened after all of this time is healing, expansion, a richer life, testing of my level of bravery, testing my willingness to be transparent.  I have not lost yet with this process.  It’s been blessing me and it continues to bless me.

With that said, I have to thank all of you who read, who follow me on twitter (@fromraewithlove) and for everyone who has continued to encourage me and lift me up throughout this process as well as throughout various areas in my life. The blog really has done what it’s done because of you.  Because of your comments, your support, your sharing, your connection with me and because you continue to support my writing.

And this is where I shall shamelessly plug that I have been nominated for a Black Weblog Award in two categories – Best Writing in a Blog and Best Personal Blog.  I’ve made it to the semi-finals.  If From Rae With Love is voted on to one of the top three in the categories, then mama moves to the finals.  So, I ask that you’ll take a chance to vote for the blog here: http://www.blackweblogawards.com/vote-here/ .   Voting for the semi-finals runs through October 1, 2012 so these are exciting times!

I’m thinking in the next few weeks, I’ll get all cute and do a vlog for y’all.  I can’t wait for it!

I have to encourage that if you’re sitting on your dreams, go get them out and dust them off.  Seriously.  Maybe it’s not time to launch, but one day it will be time and I want you to be ready.  I thought about this blog for years before I ever shared anything with anyone.  Mostly because I didn’t think I was ready.  I was afraid I’d write something crazy, say something crazy, embarass my folks.  It turned out that I’m glad I waited.  Everyone has a different time line.  All I’m saying is pull your dreams out of the closet and get ready to live and make them happen.

So again, thank you for everything and thank you for sticking with me through all of it.  In the coming months I have some great blog posts planned and hope you’ll continue to take this journey with me.

Love,

Rae

 

 

What Happens When Where You Are Ain’t Where You Thought You’d Be…By Now

AKA

Shit…

HOW TO RECONCILE WHERE I AM VERSUS WHERE I IMAGINED I’D BE BY ___ (INSERT AGE, MILESTONE, ETC)

So….

I’m not where I thought I would be at this point in my life.  I know people who are.  I know people who were on the fast track, got their degrees straight out the gate, got married, have the “American Dream.”

I ain’t that girl.

Some days I wish I was.  I wonder what life would have been like had I went to med school as planned.  Had I married a man who I dated in my early twenties.  What we would have went on to do together.  I wonder if I would have been happy.   The current me today still somehow believes I made the right choice.  All of these lessons and my unconventional ways/wisdom and manner of handling things may never have developed.  I’ll never really know.

On SuperSoul Sunday last week, Marianne Williamson was saying God has this plan for our lives and we have a choice to accept it or not.  In other words, He has a storehouse of blessings and good things for us and we have a choice to “download the file.”  That file never changes.  It just remains in storage for us, waiting for us to decide to get it.

Clearly when God was planning all of this, He had me in mind.   Mostly because I think He knew I would make certain, let’s refer to them as …detours so to speak.

It’s that moment I realize the things and dreams I planned for myself haven’t quite turned out the way I had imagined them.   That what’s happening at this time doesn’t have anything to do with what I thought would be happening. But wait. Did I even have a plan for this point?  Could I have even planned that far out?  I see young brothers and sisters some days and they know exactly what they want to do and where they want to be.  I used to be that girl.

I ain’t that girl.

I made a conscious choice not to pursue the beaten path laid before me.  Real talk –  my grades dropped and good ole Mrs. S decided not to renew my scholarship.  I choose to see it as divine intervention.  I divinely intervened with clubs and friends and road trips and sleeping in for about 18 months.  Then one day I realized I at least needed to finish college.  I made the bright decision I would major in Spanish because it was easy for me.  I was working 50 hours a week and still had a party schedule too.  I couldn’t deal with anything that was going to be too heavy.  I mean, I can look back on those moments all I want to, but the times were good times.  The friends I made in my detour – I still have most of them today.  And the debauchery that ensued in those years?  Lord if I didn’t learn some valuable lessons.

Days turn into months, adding up to years.  Milestone birthdays events.  Stellar moments.  Living life.  Hoping things will turn out the way they are supposed to, the way I want them to.  And as the days continue to pass, I watch my friends go on to do amazing, ground breaking and monumental things.  I watch them marry and have children.  Move across the country.  Move out of the the country.  Back to the country.  Start businesses.

I think about this as I truck to my part-time gig where I bartend. I really fucking hate having to work a side-gig. Shouldn’t I already be at a pay rate where I can avoid working extra jobs and still have some cash?

And when the moment comes again, an awakening of sorts to how unhappy I may be but manage to shovel that away.  Deep away.   Denial in it’s best form.   The day when I realize I haven’t done a damn thing on my list of the things I wanted want.

And then I do this for a while:


And mind you – this is an internal fight.  When the real, authentic version of myself wins (Elle) the imposter version of myself (Bea) thrashed around on the floor and screams internally for some time.  Well actually, there have been a few breakdowns spent on the floor for a while.  Again, I am well-acquainted with the floor and if you try to tell me you’ve never done this shit I’ll say you’re lying.  Literal floor or proverbial floor. Still the floor.  Rock bottom.

After I get through working at a part-time job I don’t think I should have to work at, I sequester myself in the house for several days.   Friends and co-workers look for me.  I mean, I called out for a few days.  But after about two or three days, the calls from my friends at work begin to roll in.  Friends who normally hear from me daily and don’t call me.  They come over or ask me out luring me with the promise of good food and cheap wine.  I prefer cheap wine.  Have I mentioned this before? I do.  Please address all bottles to…

But it’s this sudden realization nothing has been done on my list.  I’ve given over my life to whichever way the wind blows.  This is good and bad of course.  However, if it’s not the direction I want to go in this is problem.  I also realize time is ticking.

I decide the best remedy is to stay home another day.

And this is what happened when I realized where I am, ain’t where I thought/hoped/wished/prayed I’d be…by now.  And then it repeated itself over the years in varying degrees.

Then last year, right around the time I started this blog, being the genius I am, it dawned on me all of this is up to me.  So damn my fears and worries.  Let me take this list out.  Oh, wait, I didn’t write it down.  Well let me write this list down.  Then let me see what I can do.  I mean really – what can I do?  What can I try?  Where can I go?  Let me stay in my means and work some of these issues out.

All I’m saying is I realized at some point, although I am in a ditch, I am going to have to dig myself out.  So since then I have done this….

And when I get across this desert and get my Hatori Hanzo sword back, I am driving off in my ’83 Camaro and I’m not looking back.

It’s on.

Love,

Rae