Jamie Mayes, AOE

Archive for November, 2017|Monthly archive page

Melanin Magic: A Tribute to Beauty & Power

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Sun kissed goddess

Melanin glistening in the sunlightsamjah

Oh, what a wonder you are

To the eyes that behold your radiant beauty

Exquisite you are

Astonished are we

For the intrigue of your powers is inexplicable

 

Sister, how do you shine so brightly

When your light’s within?

How do you speak to our souls

Without saying a word?

How do you paint the perfect picture

Without the stroke of a brush?

 

You are magical, sister.

Haven’t you heard what melanin-blessed goddesses do?

The way we trade our beauty for someone else’s ashes

and still end with beauty every time

The way we make the biggest moves in the tightest spaces

The way we make something out of nothing

and nothing out of something

Even our imperfections are perfectly created.

 

Sister, how can you heal a man’s broken heart

with a simple smile?

How do you always find the silver lining

even if the cloud is blackish-gray?

How do you receive the least

but still do the most?

 

You are magical, sister.

Haven’t you heard what melanin-blessed goddesses do?

Aint no abracadabra in this.

No one can voodoo mix this.

There’s no scientific explanation to this.

It’s just who we are

And what we do.

 

Sister, how are you the strongest woman on earth

But never bench pressed or squatted ?

How do you bring light into a darkroom

with no windows or light bulbs?

How do you raise a nation but

Only give birth to one child?

 

You are magical, sister.

Haven’t you heard what melanin-blessed goddesses do?

We live.

We thrive.

We give life…

To everything around us.

Black girl, didn’t you know

You have magic?

 

Sun kissed goddess

Melanin glistening in the sunlight

Oh, what a wonder you are

To the eyes that behold your radiant beauty

Exquisite you are

Intrigued are we

For the enchantment of your powers is enigmatic.

 

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Live at 35: Living My Best Life

In Culture, life, reality, Uncategorized on November 8, 2017 at 5:12 am

photoshootToday I turn 35 and I am ecstatic about life. I mean I am seriously feeling myself; so much so that marigold was my color of the week this week because it matches the topaz, which is my November birthstone.  I know I’m doing a bit much, but don’t judge me. Let me be great. No, my life is not perfect. As a matter of a fact, year 34 was a hell of a roller coaster ride that I didn’t ask to be on, but something started burning in my heart a few months ago. My passion was ignited, my confidence began soaring and I had a new perspective on this life. The struggles of year 34 played an instrumental role in forcing me to reassess the value of my time and the energy I was giving myself, my son and others I love. As year 35 neared, I found myself more comfortable in my skin and flaws than I’d ever been. However, I was uncomfortable with people and situations that only brought stress and unhappiness to me. So, I did it. I started cutting and trimming away like my life was one big Christmas tree in the living room during the holiday season. In doing so, I learned three very important things about myself that sum up why I am committed to living my best life at 35.

Life Ain’t No Fairy Tale, So Keep It Real with Yourself

For years I suffered as my own critic. I had a perfectly laid out plan that I was going to follow no matter what or who came along. For years, I struggled to stick to the plan, so much so that I was often stressed and disappointed with myself when it seemed I was not meeting my own demands. I finally realized I was much harder on myself than most people were and those who were critics of my flaws, mistakes or real-life moments were not my friends.

The truth is life ain’t no fairy-tale. In the words of Andre 3000, “We can plan a pretty picnic, but we can’t predict the weather.” So many times, I had predicted sunshine with no clouds and clear crystal-blue skies, when tornadoes and thunderstorms were headed my way. After spending most of my younger years trying to control the uncontrollable, I realized if I didn’t change something about my life stress would probably kill me. I convinced myself that I needed to work more, become even more social and be available to everyone anytime they needed anything. In my mind, being everything would give me everything. Believe in yourself and your fairy tale will begin to live in you. A perfect life. Plenty of money. Great friends. The love of your life. You will have it all, I told myself. It sounded good and all the motivational books were bragging about this type of stuff. Life coaches were even holding conferences and prayer breakfasts, so I faked it until I realized a fairy tale is really a lie.

Life is real. Imperfection is reality, and embracing reality gives life to the truth. Two years ago, I decided that I was no longer chasing the fairy tale, because it seemed to be further in the distance each day. I decided to relax for a change and to live. I began committing myself to things I loved to do, no longer obligating myself to others. I cooked four times a week, painted rooms in my house, planted and cultivated a garden, wore less layers of make-up and more layers of clothes, and meditated as much as I could. It was true. My fairy tale was inside of me, begging me to be real with myself and to love myself first. My conscience effort to love self first, gave life to all my dreams and passions, and I didn’t have to chase a fairy tale. The unlimited possibilities of my reality came and continue to come to me.

Regain, Protect, Create Your Peace and Happiness

This is the most personal lesson for me and the one that has changed and sustained my joy the most. Year thirty-four was like driving up a rocky mountain with no four-wheel drive and occasion ice storms. It was tough. Though my professional career was thriving, and I felt more in touch with my career as a writer and speaker, I was facing constant battles in my personal life that overshadowed my blessings quite often. The more I fought against allowing my opposition to affect me publicly, the harder I struggled to cope privately. Eventually, I made the decision that I could no longer let miserable people try to bring me into their unhappy energy. No matter how many right decisions I made, I could not control their response. However, I could control mine and how much access they had to my emotions and energy.

I was done with sleepless nights, frustration, cursing, worrying, and feeling anxious. After hearing Senator Maxine Waters famously state, “I’m reclaiming my time!” I knew I had to reclaim my time and my peace for the sake of my family. In my reclamation, I struggled. My decision would and did cost me relationships with people, but it restored the peace and happiness my family, friends and I deserved. For years, I paid the price of peace to appease others, but in the end, “the rent was too damned high.”

Pause to Celebrate

At thirty-five, I have missed so many opportunities celebrate. While I am the queen of mini-gatherings, cook-ins, lunch meet-ups and I always have the wine, it is usually to celebrate others. It is hardly ever to celebrate myself. Perhaps, this is because I have always lived with the assumption that my achievements are an obligation, not an option, to live the lifestyle I desire. I usually undervalue my own achievements while acknowledging the strides made by others. I am not alone in this habit, which is why it is essential to identify these rationalizations. A few weeks ago, I reflected on my life and remembered the days of perming and twisting hair in the projects, cleaning houses for a few pennies, struggling with a job and a college career, and nearly being evicted. I am now a home-owner, 10-year educator with an expertise in writing and testing preparation, a five-time published author, traveling speaker, student pursing a third degree and a single, but thriving parent of a vibrant three-year old.  Anger, depression and frustration once rested on my shoulders like a winter coat, but now I wear joy, peace and happiness like a royal crown. I popped my collar and smiled in the mirror; you haven’t done too poorly sister! So, why haven’t you celebrated more? I asked myself. Celebration does not always mean a formal gathering. Celebrating involves living life and enjoying the experiences I have worked so hard to afford. For many years, I have enslaved myself to work, finding work, promoting work and doing work. Truthfully, working is good, because a man does not eat if he does not work. Work without faith is dead, but at some point, I must eat what I work for and exercise the faith I’ve given so much life to! So, this year and years to follow are committed to celebrating this life, my challenging work, and my passion. Don’t worry- you are invited to celebrate, too! Let’s take a trip or drink a glass of wine on a Tuesday or bungee jump…okay, too far? Let’s go on a bike trail ride, then! We get one life and what a shame to waste it by not celebrating our special achievements and moments. I’m pouring glass of champagne in honor of this post right now! Hold up. *Sips.*

Let me conclude by saying this: every year of this life is a blessing. Be thankful even during the rough years. Let that year be a moment of reflection and an opportunity for growth. Trust that God lets you see another year because He has greater things for you in that year! Do not let age define you; you define your age! My 35 isn’t your 35, and your 35 isn’t mine. Still, it doesn’t make yours any less than mine or mine any less than yours. Stop stressing over fairy tales, protect your peace and be sure to celebrate. Honey, I am live at 35 and I am living my best life!

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