Jamie Mayes, AOE

Archive for December, 2015|Monthly archive page

What to Bring into 2016

In Culture, life, media, News, reality, Uncategorized on December 31, 2015 at 5:22 am

Ahhhh…it’s that time of year again! It’s time to a make a million resolutions we won’t keep or will keep for a very limited amount of time. True, we have good intentions. Yes, we all want to be better this year than we were last year. However, the struggle with doing something new is…well, doing something new. Self-discipline is hard; especially, when it is a sudden jump-start project. However, I learned a very important lesson years ago: life is not about waiting for something new to start something new. Life should be a constant state of evolving into a better person each day, meaning we can press reset or restart as needed. Sometimes a “restart” is needed at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the year. In essence, life and goal achievements are about persistence, not time frames. Yes, 2015 is the end of a year, but it is also a year that ends in the middle of a season. Therefore, we should not consider 2015 to symbolize the end of a “season” of our lives, but the continuation of a journey to our destiny!
This year, I decided to focus on what I will take with me into 2016 instead of what I will leave in 2015. (The truth is if you haven’t left it behind yet, January 1st will not make much of a difference.) Examine the learning opportunities of 2015 and focus on how to implement the results of those lessons into 2016. This year has been a wonderful journey and learning experience for me, and I am excited to take the lessons and skills gained this year to higher levels next year. I am excited to strengthen the bond with friends and family and continue to enlarge my professional circle. Therefore, my ambition is no longer to focus on leaving people and things behind, because those things and people will fall by the wayside as needed. They will no longer fit into my schedule, be a part of my vocabulary or take up space in my brain that will be used for creative thinking and innovative ideas. Some of the focus points I will take from 2015 have been with me for years, but some of them are new revelations that I will eagerly bring through 2016:
N- Never give up
This is one of the most cliché phrases, but it is one of the most underestimated phrases. People say not to give up, but so many of us give up all of the time. Most importantly, we give up on things that matter to us and can revolutionize our lives. No, I am not talking about that man or woman who has been pulling the same tired stunts for the last three, five, or ten years. Nor am I talking about any other thing or person who has been draining your energy relentlessly for years. I am talking about dreams and ambitions of home ownership, a particular career, earning a degree or diploma, saving money, or yes, even true love. Never giving up means constantly finding a way to start working towards those goals. Develop a plan and began executing the first step. Set a deadline and move that deadline as needed as long as you are actively working towards your goal! Death is the only thing that separates us from our goals!
E-Expect more
The power of positive thinking is infinite. Yes, at times, situations seems almost impossible to repair, but by expect more of life, power is removed from situations and giving to thinking. Thoughts of great expectations should rule our lives. We began to expect more for and of ourselves, we then began to hold others accountable for how they treat us and how ourselves accountable for how we treat ourselves. People who expect less often live a less than mediocre life, and even mediocrity should never be acceptable. Expect more to get more!

This is one of those on-going yearly lessons for me. I get constant crash courses in Patient Waiting 101. However, I will say that this year yielded so many of the result I had been patiently waiting to see. Some of them were results I waited a few hours to see and some were results I had waited on for over five years! Ultimately, I learned two things about waiting: make sure the wait is worthwhile or the waiting period may be even longer, and wait while working. Ultimately, patience is a faith test, an examination to see if one truly trust God for what they believe. In the end, patience pays off!
Y-Yearn for adventure
Get out of the norm at least twice this year. Go somewhere unfamiliar; do something you have always wanted to do or never thought you could do! If finances are a challenge, make it something local and free. If distance is a challenge, suck it up and fly, catch a train, ride a bus, horse or mule, but get there! Living outside of the box means more thinking outside of the box. Thinking outside of the box means more growth, more challenges, and accomplishing more goals!
E- End each day on a positive note
Every day will not be a good day. Sometimes it will seem that everything went wrong from the moment you woke up until you laid down that night. However, before you close your eyes, reflect on one thing- you still have life. This means you have a chance to do some things over, get somethings right and let some things go. Think about the good that came from every bad experience that day, and take a few minutes to write about your experiences in a journal. (I live by journaling, and all day, not just at night!) At the end other day, you are alive and you are in good enough health to pray for another chance to have a better day the next day.
A- Avoid the drama
Life is challenging, especially as an adult. Let’s be honest, we end up in situations we did not expect or plan for and crossing paths with people we normally would not invite into our circle. Sometimes, people will invite you to a stage play you did not write or even know about. However, you decide whether to entertain drama or avoid drama. Ultimately, those who do not understand their calling or role as a Christian will use drama to excite their confused or dull life. Do not give your energy to their mission. Instead, keep your eyes focus on God and your plan and the stage actors will began to perform according to your script instead of direction your actions according to theirs. This is nothing but an attempt of the enemy to divert your attention from God’s blessing. Do not be impacted; instead, say a prayer and keep it moving. Yes, foolishness can be contagious and it’s an infection no one should want!
R- Remember your identity
One of the easiest ways to become distracted from goals is to forget one’s identity. With so many influences of the world, it is easy to become conflicted or distracted by things that do not fit in with one’s ambitions. Since the visual (what we see) is so impactful, individuals must become visual when pursuing their goals. Making goals and identity visual can be done by making a vision board, journaling, posting positive and encouraging notes on your desk in your office, attending event with people who have similar ambitions, engaging in positive social organizations that promote positive goals, making a bucket lists. In essence, to remember your identity at all times, it must be placed at the forefront of the individuals mind. Therefore, each time obstacles arise, individuals will condition themselves to not be controlled by emotion, but to be controlled by their passion, which is established by knowing your identity. No matter the situation one is faced with, remember your identity.
2- Double the goal
Whatever your goal was last year, double it this year. If you aimed to put $1000 in a savings account, aim for $2000 this year. If you traveled to two cities this year, aim for four cities this year. If you made 32 new business connections last year, make 64 this. And well, if you did zero of a goal that you set last year, let’s aim for at least 1 this year. Hey, start somewhere!
0- Zero tolerance
Zero tolerance for what you may ask. Well, zero tolerance for anything you do not want to accept. So often we say what we are not dealing with anymore and then we make an exception for any person that has a soft spot in our hearts- kids, parents, friends, companions. This year “No” means “No” for anyone. If they love you, they will understand. Even if they do not like it, they will get over it. You choose what you will have zero tolerance for this year.
1- Be #1
Despite what people say, it is not selfish to be the number one concern of your life. Even if you are a parent or wife, all decision made must work well for your to work for your family or companion. Ultimately, anything that causes you stress affects your relationship with them and ability to care for them properly. While it is great and necessary to consider others, make sure that what you do for others is based on the boundaries you must set and the limit to with you can help others and not shortchange or over extend yourself. Making self-number one is the best way to give everyone your best.
6- Develop a 6 month action plan NOW
Millions, no billions, will make claim to a resolution for the New Year. DO NOT become a part of that number. Instead, develop an action plan for the first six months of the year and start on working on it as soon as you write the last line of the action plan. The goal of an action plan is to see action, so do not tuck it away somewhere. Start the first step now!
The New Year is not about a new you or and new circle, it is about a growing and changing you. A year new is not about others, it is all about a better you. With this in mind, my goal is to focus on what I will bring into a new year to make 2016 an even better one. This means not giving energy to who I plan to leave behind; only focus on who and what I plan to bring with me. HAPPY NEW YEAR!


4 Reasons I am Madder than Abby

In Culture, life, media, News, Race, reality, Uncategorized on December 16, 2015 at 4:00 am

young-black-gifted_designFor the past few months, my ambition has been to slowly back away from the race relations platform. No, I am not Uncle Tomming, but I am severely frustrated and, at times, angered by a seemingly never ending situation. The insensitivity of society and refusal to address real problems has often made even me feel powerless and that no matter how strong the movement is, we do not possess enough power to see real change. It seems that we are about two steps from going back to the Jim Crow Era. I stopped reading as many articles and started flipping the television channels when proclamations of another race-related death of young black males and females is flashed across the television; each story was starting to make me nauseous.  However, a story I had heard about years ago resurfaced and initiated a movement more powerful than ever- Fisher versus the University of Texas.

Her claims that affirmative action cost her a slot at UT simply astonished me, especially after I read the article. I have just a few things to say to Little Miss Sassy Abby (I just feel like she was sassy when she was growing up.)

  1. Get your business straight

It is a well known rule, Miss Abby, that anytime you decide to come for someone, you need to have all of your “ducks in a row!” In your case, you did not just come for a person, you came for all minorities with weakly supported reasons that you did not get into the University of Texas. Your attempt to degrade an entire group of people (minorities) because of your insecurities and not quite making the cut is appalling. No longer can you pretend to act like your mediocre grades played no role in your denied admission into UT. Let’s be truthful, this was more of an ego issue, than concerned beliefs about the admissions process or a real dream to become a student of UT. Had this been about achieving your dream, you would have accepted what was offered by entering the school after a year through an alternate route. However, that was not your intention; you had to throw a temper tantrum for not getting your way, because that is what you have done all of your life. This time it did not work.

While throwing a fit about affirmative action, you failed to acknowledge the fact that you were only a mediocre student, whose denied application was a part of 42 other white students who were denied for the same reason. As a matter of a fact, Dallasnews.com, 168 black people and Hispanics were actually denied admission for the same reason, more than four times the number of whites. Tantrum over, Abby; sit down.

  1. White privilege

Abby, it has been repeatedly statistically and socially proven that white privilege is a social problem that plagues America. As a result, white Americans tend to have it easier when it comes to a list of things: getting jobs, earning grades, buying homes, being served in public places, avoiding racial profiling, being approached by the police, receiving “fair” trials in the court-of-law, the list goes on and on and on. You, little Miss Abby, are nothing but an example of the people who continue to try to deny real issues in America by either pretending they don’t exist or playing the victim or blaming the victim for their own unfortunate demise.

Mad Abby, the reason that affirmative action had to be established was so minorities could get a fair shot in situations where they are hardly ever considered. The truth is that people tend to gravitate towards people who look like them, act like them, and fit their idea of a reputable individual in order to stay in their comfort zone, such is especially the case in board rooms and meetings. Typically, you do not see people of color in these positions, alienating other races and limiting the number of fair opportunities they receive.

In addition, Mad Abby studies have been conducted that indicate that even standardized exams for college and course information for K-12 schools tend to suit the educational needs of white students while isolating minorities. Therefore, Mad Abby, your inability to meet the mark despite having exams that better accommodate you than your counterparts simply means you should have studied harder if you were going to complain.

  1.    Even though I am a bit salty with my alma mater for admitting you in the first place, LSU did..and you graduated…and they have affirmative action, too…

In the end, you took another route, Abby. Apparently, you were successful at LSU- Baton Rouge, a university that boasts a student population of over 30,000 students with just over 20% of those being minorities, and only 11% being black students in particular. (http://www.collegeportraits.org/LA/LSU/print )  The campus hosts a list of minority geared programs, events and organizations in efforts to bridge the gap. Mad Abby, I bet you were one of the students out there flying the confederate flag in LSU colors saying “It’s pride, not prejudice.” I bet you were one of the people saying that if they have African American Studies classes, they should have Caucasian Studies classes, too, because we just do not know enough about the contributions of whites in America. You are one of the students who keeps asking why they have a Black Student Union and not a White Student Union, when the entire university is pretty represented by students of the majority. I guess you should have listed LSU in that lawsuit, too, because even though they admitted you, Mad Abby, what about the thousands of oppressed white students who are denied admittance into PWI’s across this country because of affirmative action?

  1. One word…reparations.

I know the word is worn all the way out and we will never, ever, ever, ever, ever get it…but I had to pull out my whip to beat this horse one more time. Nearly every other minority race has been given some type of jump start in America because of their race related experiences- tax write offs, compensation checks, casinos, free college tuition and the list goes on. I have even been told that white students frequently and easily get scholarships to HBCU’s because they are considered the minority. Yet, hundreds of years laters, we have still never seen one penny, tax exemption or waiver in place of the 40 acres and a mule we were promised after slavery. Affirmative action is like a slight breath of life to an
almost dead person when we really consider its benefits to black folks.

Miss Petty Abby, ultimately,  I need you to ask yourself if you want to spend another eight years behaving so foolishly? Your tantrums have gotten you nothing but some media attention and, I am sure, some legal bills that cost far more than the tuition at UT. It is unfortunate that the media continues to mull over this, but I am happy to see minorities take control of the issue and take a stand against such a calamity. Maybe they can help you understand what the courts are tired of trying to prove.   I want you to ask yourself, Abby, Has not attending UT hindered my success in any way? You may argue that it has,  but the truth is that it has not. You have hindered your own success, by choosing to over indulge in the technicalities of your educational experience when the truth is that you could have gone to UT if you really wanted to. The audacity of you to be so mad when you have nothing to really be mad about! After 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow laws, the 90’s riots, no reparations for the aggravation, police violence and brutality, public racial disdain and disrespect towards the President, and an attempted discrediting of the Black Lives Matter movement, I am so much madder than you! No, Abby, you do NOT deserve to stay mad; you deserve to be told to sit down. #staymadabby #youhavenoreasontobemadaddy #iammadderthanyou

Pregnant & Heartbroken: Struggling to keep it Together

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Source: Pregnant & Heartbroken: Struggling to keep it Together

Pregnant & Heartbroken: Struggling to keep it Together

In Culture, life, media, News, Uncategorized on December 11, 2015 at 4:36 am

For the past few weeks, I have found myself thinking about the days that seemed like they would never come to an end. Struggling to deal with my broken heart and learning to raise a child as a single parent was a challenge I prayed to never face, because I had seen the effects meandlee3of it before. However, embracing reality forced me to make an important decision: become what I had seen or become what I envisioned. I chose to become what I envisioned, but there are so many who are in or may be in my same situation soon. Though getting over a broken heart takes time for anyone, there are still ways that you can keep it together while pregnant.

1. Surround yourself with a community of positive people.
Never are positive people needed more than when you are pregnant. Between mood swings and a crumbling personal life, I needed people to just eat with me or talk with me day to day. Being heartbroken is already a traumatizing experience, but the challenges of being pregnant can make life seem hardly bearable at times. I can recall times when I spent nearly the entire day crying; I never knew I had so many tears! I probably literally cried a river for Justin Timberlake! However, I was fortunate to already have a great community of friends and family who had endless supplies of tissues and shoulders and appetites that were able to handle my need to eat emotionally (at the end of my pregnancy when I could actually eat all foods).
In addition, this community of people reminded me of how much I was loved and how many people had been through heartbreaks and aches, so I was not alone. While I cannot profess that the tears ended, pregnancy and heartbreak are easier to handle with people to help carry your load.
2. Focus on the beauty of your body during the pregnancy experience.
I was in total awe of my pregnant body. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. Watching my belly grow daily was one of the things that I anticipated, and I stood in the mirror watching my figure and form change as often as I could. I laid in bed calculating how much of my toes I could still see each month. Falling in love with such a blessed temple that could experience such a miraculous transformation gave me a euphoric feeling. I found myself learning to find the beauty in being chosen by God to experience such an amazing process. This kept me from wallowing in what I felt I had lost, and made me focus more what I had gained.
3. Keep a sense of identity.
While pregnant and after I had my son, I convinced myself that there was a laundry list of reasons that no one would want to hear me speak anymore and that I was no longer the same Jamie. It is true that having a child will change how you do things, but it will not change who you are unless you allow it to. While being pregnant and having a newborn kept me busy, I spent several months sulking in the middle of my pregnancy. Eventually, even that started to get old. Losing my identity over someone and something I could not control was a dangerous move. I returned to what brought me the most passion- writing. In my eighth month, I published another book, helping to reaffirm my true identity. Don’t let heartbreak and pregnancy cause you to lose sight of your gifts or your image. Fight for your sanity, peace and identity.
4. Find what makes you laugh and laugh as much as you can.
Laughter can certainly be lost during tough times, but it is your responsibility to find it again. I found mine in stand-up comedy. I love stand-up comedy, so I decided to keep it at my access every time heartbreak wanted to remind me of its presence and make me lose sight of my blessed bundle on the way. I even discovered comedy channels on Pandora! Nothing made my rides to work smoother than laughing at Somore or Jamie Foxx in the morning. I even forced laughter if I had to. I recall the Friday night I was sitting at home alone, extremely big and nearly due. No comedy show was on Comedy Central that night; thoughts of abandonment and fear found time to creep into my head and I could feel my face started to swell. “No, not tonight,” I told myself. Instead, I started to think of all things funny and began forcing myself to laugh, loudly, nearly screaming. I got up, finished off an order of nachos, popped a Zantac for old faithful heartburn and slept soundly that night. Sometimes you do have to fake it until you make it.
5. Be true to your feelings and process them.
My biggest heartbreak frustration during pregnancy and after pregnancy was listening to people tell me to get over it and move on. The truth is that heartbreak is a long slow pain that moves through your body at a snail’s pace and can re-launch an even more intense attack just when you think you are getting better. Carrying a child and trying to cope with the trauma of a broken relationship can send your emotions all over the place. I tried to suppress my feelings, but eventually I had to be true to how I felt. Denial is a disease that is only curable by the truth. Once I became honest about my anger, frustration, self-disappointment and fears, I was able to process them and start to develop a real action plan for what mattered most- my son.
6. Don’t let heartbreak determine your destiny.
I am guilty. I had let heartbreak and pregnancy write the last chapter of my book; thank God it was written in pencil! I had convinced myself that I would never pursue or allow love to pursue me again. My child would be my only child and I would spend my life focusing on him. I had a list of things I would no longer be able to do. I would not be able to afford a home. I would not be able to afford a car. I would not be able to have free time. I would not be able to speak and travel. My life story was now filled with declarations to destroy my own destiny. However, life changed when I changed. Surrounding myself with a positive community meant they believed in me when I lost faith in myself. Falling in love with myself meant I could no longer deny my identity. Being true to my emotions helped me find my laughter. As a result, my attitude about my story began to change. Eventually heartbreak and pregnancy helped me to see my destiny more clearly and put my plan into action for the betterment of my family’s life.

Ultimately, things will get easier with time; I promise you they will! Heartbreak and pregnancy might seem like a nightmare right now, but you will look back and realize you were so much stronger than you ever thought you were. It does not mean you will not have a tough journey, but the things that lay on the other side of the journey are worth it. You will realize that maybe having your heart broken is so much better than seeing your sweet child’s heart broken when they are too young to understand. Find the beauty in your blessing and do not let heartbreak take that away.

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