Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Prayer, Fasting, & Works of 40 Days starts NOW...

Today starts the last Lent of my 20's.  I am determined to finish strong, and to reach a higher level of spiritual growth and self-awareness.

Although I'd MUCH MUCH MUCH rather give up homework, showing up for life events (work, appointments etc), working out, being nice to rude people, and abstinence for Lent--I, instead, have settled on giving up Pasta, Sweet Tea, Ginger Ale, Chocolate, Wine, Bacon, Negative comments & my Road Rage for Lent [ideally I can leave Road Rage and Negativity behind me forever].  In turn, I do plan on creating a log of 40 Days of Reflection here on my blog, and will make a conscious effort to spend 15mins a day [NOT when I'm falling asleep] cut off from all of the distractions in my life and use that time to pray.  I am also going to do #40acts [my works of love] ... although a naturally kind person, I will find ways to be a blessing to others intentionally and with joy in my heart.  This next six weeks should be interesting.  I'm looking forward to the journey. 

What are you sacrificing for Christ during this Lent season?  What are you praying for?  What do you hope to gain?? 

Check in from time to see what's on my mind...chime in and tell me how you're me get through NO CHOCOLATE OR GINGER ALE FOR SIX WEEKS *chuckles*...we can do it together!!

My 40 Days starts NOW.

  Love & Light...  

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"  Phil 4:13

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Giving thanks, & such...

Last year, around this time, I apologized for slacking in my blog writing & promised to come back, better than ever. Well...I lied. Not on purpose, but still, it was void of truth. I've purposefully taken time away from blogging/writing/poetry/open mic nights etc, to continue enhancing my growth. I've done the most spiritual/mental/emotional growth this past year, than I've done since I turned 20. From the age of 24 (the year of the dreaded "Blood Clot") til now, I was on a long wandering road finding myself.

 Finding myself in shambles...finding myself ashamed...finding myself confused...but no matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find Jennifer.  And when one is not able to find one's self, it makes it hard to share of yourself. Unless of course you want to read something that looks like this:

 "45*@^#^@)*&&%%#$jdh jdkenu sksihjccn 2548s1d5x115x1@%@^$#**^%$$#..."

 That's literally how I felt inside for a long time...every time my eyes blinked, it was like seeing the world in slow brain was so busy trying to decode the gibberish spilling from my heart at warp speed, that it had no time to process normal everyday things like, the pursuit of happiness. But now...things are ok. And as much as I'd like to write a moving sermon on the things I dealt with inside, I'll save it for a later date.

 Moving on...a few people have asked me to blog about my relationship.


 Moving on...

 Since it's November, I figured I'd start back to blogging with a few words of thanks... I'm thankful...that I didn't punch some of my friends in their faces a few weeks ago.

"J, why you punching people in their faces"...I'll tell you why.

This year was an election year...and boy did it get ugly. So ugly, in fact, I had to log off of my social media sites to stop my fingers from involuntarily exploding all over my keyboard during election night. Now, before I move forward, let me be clear...I am not a straight ticket voter...I am not a "republican" nor am I a "democrat". As a matter of fact, during one election I voted for Bush. And not because of Bush himself (that man is quite the undesirable) but because of what the platform stood for that year. I am content in my beliefs and my choices. And I love my friends who are content in their beliefs and their choices. I adore conversing with intellectual minds who can come together & discuss philosophy and politics in a mature manner without making another man or women's opinion their own. Even Aristotle recognized this as the universal sign of wisdom. It's the blanket statement, ill-gotten fact finding, fake politicos I can't deal with.

 Being passionate about a matter is one thing...but openly making statements about "all black people" this and "all black people" that & posting racially charged statuses that pop up on my news feed, then high five me & invite out to lunch the next day at work is unacceptable.

 NEWSFLASH--I am NOT your token black friend that thinks its completely ok to rant and rave about your dislike for "black folk" who "must be truly ignorant" & "proved it by voting that coon back into office" *pause* No...not acceptable. Not at all. Not for any reason. Now, don't get me wrong, I am all for social media being an outlet for people to express their feelings, however unconventional or ridiculous their feelings may be..but when those feelings start to leak over & attack the sheer fabric of an entire society, then questions should be raised. It's as if a "Black State of the Union" needs to be held every three months and broadcast from coffee shops and Super Cuts and grocery stores and other random places...they should put it on a loop...and expose those who feel like all "black folk" are ignorant, to another level of power. The power of an educated mind... *silent scream*
 I could go on and on but my tirade has to end let it be here.

Moral of the story?? Well...there isn't one really. I didn't punch anybody. Obama won. The Fallout is starting. The end =)

Meanwhile, I am also thankful for the simple things in life...the love of my family and friends and my significant other. I am thankful for the mind and heart to love others in spite of.  My energy and personality have effectively opened doors for me and created bridges on my path that may have never come to pass if it weren't for the favor of God upon my life. I am thankful for the cliche' strength. And above all, if this year has shown me nothing else, it's that I'm thankful for loving a God who loves me unconditionally. He has set my soul free in a way that a man or woman has never been able to do for me. He is my constant reminder that life is for the living..and living is not for the faint of heart.  He's given me the most priceless possession I own.  Peace.

 So..until next time young world..

 Love & Light...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pause for thought...

It's December. Another year older...another year almost gone...another year that I've slacked on my blog writing. Let me go on record and say that, as an artist, there are times when, you have SO SO SO much to get out, that you resort to not writing at all in fear that yoo, or your laptop, will explode, depending upon which one overheats first. Ehh...ok, with the New Year approaching, I will begin my faux New Years non resolution by being more consistent about blogging. I'm going to have to be...I'm buckling down on my writing and music making, and so a key piece of my dream of the world hearing my heart is that I have to put myself out there and quit pulling back into my turtle shell when things start getting rough. As a quick look back over 2011, I can honestly say that starting out the year I didn't think I'd make it to the end of the year...but now that I'm here, I'm so glad that I held on to whatever glimmer of faith/hope that God hung outside of my heart's window. It's a struggle and a daily process, but I never wish to be at the mercy of Suicide again...taking one's life is a very permanent solution to very temporary problems. My life is an open book & I'm so thankful that I have another chapter to add to my story... I'll be back this week to post a series of blogs about my observations of some interesting relationships in my path... Until then, I will end with this...With God, ALL things are possible Peace & Love -j

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chasing Waterfalls...

I had a consultation with a woman today who is getting married in two weeks. She is 42yrs old. As I settled her in my chair and got ready to do her makeup, we began the usual song and dance routine.

Her: how long have you been doing makeup?

Me: about 5 or 6 yrs

Her: you look so beautiful, I could never make myself look like tht

Me: of course you can!! I'm going to show you a few tricks and you'll be good to go

Her: I'm so excited!!!

Etc get the point. As our conversation moved forward and her face began the transformation from Jane Doe to Hollywood, I decided (against my better judgement) to ask about her engagement. Now, let me preface this by saying, I have been in an emotionally distraught place for awhile now. If you know me, you know tht, plenty of long stories short, me & Love have just NOT had the best relationship. Lots of lessons, lots of poems written, lots of songs sung, but nothing concrete yet. Three men. Three severe loves. Three levels of frustration & heartache. My fulfilment level with myself and my life have been suffering as of late. I am searching for the thing inside I need to feel complete...I've been filling the void with prayer, working out, & I'm ashamed to say, temporarily filling some of tht void with men..well, a man here and there...

So yes...I'm growing into the woman I need to be, & shedding my cocoon has been a bit painful, but I feel like it'll be worth it in the end. And because I was full of tht attitude today, I meandered into uncharted territory. Would this be a sticky sweet story? Would I regret asking? I sucked it up & dove in head first.

Me: wht made you decide to get married??

Her: *pause for thought* well...he asked *huge grin*

Cute right?

As the conversation progressed, she shared her story. 42yrs old and never married. She revealed the bags tht had been weighing her down. Apparently, in her 20's she had a best friend whom she loved with the entirety of her heart. In a tragic tale worthy of the stage, she revealed tht the man she loved was killed. A life swept instantly from this side of life, & carried over to the next. And when he died, a large portion of her died with him. She went on to tell me tht she spent the next 20yrs of her life a wreck. Afraid to love, angry, bitter, hurt, broken...

As I drew near to finishing her makeup, she asked me my age, if I had a boyfriend, had I ever been in love, etc...then she paused & looked at me & said "even in my stubbornness, God blessed me. I just wish I had not prolonged it." Her encouraging words continued to flow forth & fill my soul. She admonished me to continue toward my dreams & not to allow past pain or hurt delay the blessings God has for me. Her candid speech was exactly wht I needed. Here she was, so happy, getting ready to walk down the aisle and commit to loving another soul after she swore she never would love anyone else in her life. How did she manage to sabotage her life for 20yrs? How do you hold onto pain & grief tht long?? But then I looked at myself..was it really too much to imagine tht someone could close themselves off to love tht long, when I had given up on certain aspects of love in my own life?? My relationship with my Father had long ago managed to secretly convinced me tht I was unworthy of the voluntary love of someone else. After all, I was his own blood & he barely acknowledged me, so it just seemed fitting tht my lot in life had been sealed. You may say I sound absurd, but thts the pain I deal with everyday. I look at myself in the mirror & I'm tormented. I see his face & still haven't managed to see me for the wonderful person I hope I turn out to be. I am getting there.

I promise.

Call it crazy, but there I was, standing in front of someone who understood wht it was like to feel like the butt of a cruel joke. Except, she learned her lesson and was reaping her reward. I was still standing there, nodding & taking it all in.

And now, home on my couch, I'm still taking it all in.

It's amazing how God manages to speak to us in the most unlikely venues, through the most unlikely mouthpieces. Today, I came to terms with the fact tht, my daddy issues may be something I have to fight off for the rest of my life. If I ignore them, they will grow & suffocate me. Facing reality is one of the necessities of growing up. Such is life *shrugs* Well, gotta do wht I gotta do...but, I don't gotta do it alone. No more giving in to the hurt. No more self thrown pity parties. No more chasing waterfalls....I have a loving family, supportive friends, and enough dreams to chase to keep me busy for the next two lifetimes.

Everything else will fall in place. It's my job to make sure tht I haven't wasted my life away being broken & bitter & decide to turn 40 & get it together.

You know, she's going to make a beautiful bride...& tho she traveled through a couple decades to finally reach her happyily ever after, she doesn't look a day over 30. Talk about a consultation prize. ;)

j.claude(C)2011 Phoenix
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have an ex-boyfriend who, after three years of us being apart, is still vying for my affection. Every now and then (when I "accidently" answer his phone calls on purpose) I consider getting back with him. I mean let's face it...he is every young black woman's dream. Successful, sexy, loves his parent's, comes from a nuclear family unit, sexy, hilarious, sexy, personable, diverse in his taste in food/music/board games etc, sexy, plays quite a few instruments, and did I mention how fine this man is. *blushes* I have a feeling if he lived closer (like, close enough to make random drive by's) I'd be singing a different tune...and escorting myself to somebody's altar (with my anointing oil in tow) every Wednesday (Bible Study) and Sunday. SMH...I digress. So, why are we not together?? I don't have enough room *chuckles* no, really, we don't work. It's really that simple (well...very complicated but in a very simple perspective). I went through this to say that, I am a girl on one side of this relationship. The one who is getting the texts and calls from a man wanting them back or wanting to see them...all the while catering to some unsuspecting woman currently in their life. I used to always wonder about these other women. Do they have any idea? How serious is the relationship?? Does he really want me back or is he just backtracking to make sure I WASN'T what he wanted?? All of these questions ran through my mind until I became the woman on the other side of the relationship. The woman "talking" to/"involved" with/in a warped relationship with THAT man. The one who is so sick and in love with his ex that he consistently tries to communicate with her. Get back with her. See her. Talk to her. SOMETHING. They need closure...or a fix...or...SOMETHING. All the while, occupying their time with the unsuspecting victim (*raises hand* that would be me, class)...the one who's heart is susceptible to kind words, sweet kisses, & txt messages that set off the bevy of butterflies laying dormant in the pit of your stomach.

The feeling, the NEED to be wanted and FEEL loved, or heck, even appreciated...or...just wanted, can sometimes take its toll on a girl. Providing for oneself and loving oneself and taking care of (emotional/mental/spiritual/physical) oneself is one thing. But that yearning, that deep yearning that grips you in the wee hours of the night to want somebody to love is a beast..and I don't mean love like in a Jodeci/R Kelly/Silk kind of way...but that intimate "let's lay here and play scrabble & listen to the rain & fall asleep" kind of love. Hmmmm...maybe I should just find some cuddly girlfriends to cuddle up with *side eye* ((I'll pass))..BUT, you get my point. It is a very real concern. So, to balance the yearn for love/acceptance/validation with keeping good company with NOT being that girl sometimes gets a bit blurry.

I'm currently in the middle of a situation similar to this (names will be changed to preserve privacy & really, no one cares about a real name) I have been so deep in thought, I've lost sight of the sun. The one thing I am understanding is that, NO MATTER how much fun this man is, or how sweet his kisses are, or how well we get along, if he is still trapped in a bottomless love with an "ex" than it will be impossible to get what I need from him. Even if he wanted to, he can't sincerely love me. Those battle scars from his last relationship, the hope that the relationship may resurface, and his simple crying out for the other woman are altogether filling his heart. So he occupies his time and plays "relationship" with the woman who, incapable of demanding too much from herself, doesn't demand much from him...and so he doesn't give much. JUST enough to keep her baited.


I'm tired of being baited. I have experienced love before. It was beautiful. I'm not there anymore. I am certainly woman enough to say that it is something I would like to experience again (and this time, for longer than the life of my best pair of boots). I don't, however, know if I have it in me to stand up for myself & do what it takes to get to that level. Now, don't get me wrong, I will make the first few obligatory stances in the fight...but when it comes down to it, I am fearful that my need for that love will overpower my good God given sense and next thing you know, I'm two Mary J. Blige albums away from finding a bridge (presumably to jump from). In my mind, it would be so much easier if my Mr. Big showed up (minus the 10yr escapades/drama), brought me a fabulous home with a behemoth of a shoe closet in lieu of a ridiculous sized diamond ring, we walked down an aisle strewn with orchid petals with the cool fall breeze filtering through massive cathedral doors. I'd be wearing blue skinny jeans & an eggshell white cowl neck sweater sporting gold feathers in my ears gold Jessica Simpson peep toe platform slingbacks & my curly fro pinned back on one side, strutting toward him standing in his LRG blue jeans, black & gold pinstriped Prada blazer looking like a sunny day after a fresh summer's rain. Breaking out in dance midway while Heavy D & the Boys pumps through the speakers "Now that we found love what are we gonna doooooo, with iiii-iiitttt?!". We vow, we kiss, we dance out into the real world & we find each other. We love each other. We create adventures for ourselves. We laugh together because we are best friends. And all other ex's are a thing of OUR DISTANT past. We. Love. Each. Other. And it's not one sided. Yeah ::sigh:: That's how I envision it.

So I'm looking for the connection, cause I have apparently lost it. I didn't mean for this to turn into another introspective blog, but hey *shrugs* it happens. I really can't keep going from bad decision to bad decision. If I know nothing else about myself, I know that I can't keep putting my heart in harm's way. It's ok to be an independent woman. Get your own, do your thing, make your moves. But it's also ok to know when to stop & realize that, admitting to needing that love and companionship in your life is not a bad thing. Neither is it debilitating or something to be ashamed of. And in saying such, there is nothing wrong with guarding your heart & soul & spirit...afterall it IS the wellspring of your life. I already see a shift happening. Love...Me?

Nope. Either love me or don't. ::points at self in mirror:: No more loving her half heartedly and part time, Jen ::chuckles:: like Erykah said, "And if you don't want to be down with me, You don't want to pick from my appletree" ..Yup.

No more question marks.

And don't worry, I'm not taking my ex back...guess I probably shouldn't return his text either ;)

::puts down laptop..walks away humming::

j.claude(C)2011 Phoenix

Friday, July 01, 2011

You look so much better when you...

I'm immersed, trapped, falling, dissapearing. I'm standing, chatting it up, In a room full of people, all alone. My smile reflects the empty edge that is crepping across my personal space. So I smile. I pull energy from the bottom of my feet and respond to the comments: "You look so good girl!" (Thank you *smile*) "You're not here with anybody??" (Nooo, not this time *smile*) "Girl, it's ok cause you look amazing" (awww, thank you girl, you too!! *smile*) etc...the occasional glance from uninteresting unattractive overbearing members of the opposite sex urks my last nerve & and pushes my smile to mega-watt status. Maybe if I put on the full glare, eyes will avert. I smile. I smile to keep from crying. I try and remember that I'm not alone, in the room full of people, feeling all alone. I convince myself that, although I'm the only single person there in a room of fifty couples, I am somebody fully and wholly by myself. God has shaped me in his image. I am wonderful, and kind hearted, and loving, and caring and I have a gorgeous smile. It is my veil. My shield. My one way trip inside myself. I smile so I don't have to venture out to the real world, and realize that, yet again I'm looking good, feeling great, and slowly dissapearing in a room full of people...all alone.

j.claude(C)2011 Phoenix

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beautiful Vices...

Some call them flaws...I like to think of them as the unique gems that make me individually impressive. I sometimes become conscious of my bubbly personality, big heart, or tendency to talk way too much. But then I remember that, if I were demure, stingy, & quiet, I wouldn't be uniquely me...

And so, I take my flaws, polish them up & sit them in my window & admire by one, forever embracing my beautiful vices.

j.claude(C)2011 Phoenix