Dear Baby Yet Unborn (Volume I)

Dear darling daughter,

What can I warn you about this world you will one day enter? Of this I do not know. It is ever changing and realities are always shifting, yet I will try. I know not what the conditions surrounding your birth will be, yet some constants shall remain ever true:

I can tell you that degrees matter more and less. To be well educated is invaluable, yet real money is less frequently attained through a predictable trajectory, but more so through trial and error, and most often a brilliant idea + a little bit of luck.

I can tell you that people are always changing. Buying new body parts and sometimes snipping off old ones as the definition of “beauty” changes. But this my love, is not what true beauty is.

Beautiful is you! Unborn and untouched, yet known before ever being knit in my womb. I know nothing about you, other than you will be part me. And this – is more than enough. You have no father yet to speak of, and while conception is years away – love is already here to stay.

Beauty is confidence in your talents and acknowlegment of your flaws. One who strives and is not afraid to fall. Beauty is the potential and possibility that is you.

I learned to love by how I was loved, and that love demanded only one thing from me: that I be the absolute best version of myself. That I strive and seek to succeed, never settling or letting fear paralyze my progress towards the path ahead. That I accept a helping hand from the source from which love sprung forth whenever I fell, and allowed myself a dust-off and to be enveloped in warm arms, while I prepared to head back out.

And so my love, my love for you will be thus: Be who YOU want to be. Doctor, carpenter, career services counselor, painter, or poet. Live life on your own terms – determining what income level satisfies you, what continent you will reside on, whether you will travel by yatch or donkey – and whichever, I shall love you both ceaselessly and carelessly.

Strength comes from within, and with the still silent voice within as your guide, and an ample support system outside you shall attain, gain, and maintain *strength.

 
I was never told what I should be. Never advised against pursuing my dreams. Never given a mold of which I had to stretch or fold to fit into. I was simply loved. And I pay that love forward to the next rightful owner in generation next.

As it flows through my veins, it will one day pass through the umbilical cord to the literal center of your little being, and then you will know what I know. That you are loved! Just as I have and continue to be sustained by the love that my mother radiates towards me. Love that is so deeply embedded and so strongly felt that I understand perfectly what was designed in the heavens with regards to pure undiluted and untainted parent-to-child love, and the even greater prototype of how He first loved us. Love deep enough that I am convicted enough to make my musings known to you years in advance.

The task the lays ahead concerning you is daunting, so I prepare now. Studying and working and discerning and hoping and above all – praying, so that years from now your arrival shall be to one where fear of tomorrow shall never wrinkle your delicate little forehead.

Yet here I am getting ahead of myself. I speak as one who is already on the brink of where I’m merely looking out to. But to be forearmed is to be better prepared, so I take my advice and hold on to it, invest it to see if it will bring forth returns. And these assets I shall use to further myself, and this wisdom I shall plant in my heart so that the tree of truth shall grow, and when you too begin to grow years from now – you shall reside in the shade of assurance that in this ever changing universe – heaven, hope, and my heart beat attuned to yours – are ever constant.

My darling daughter – What can I warn you about this world you will one day enter? Of this I do not know. It is ever changing and realities are shifting, yet I will try. I know not what the conditions of 2017 will be, yet some constants shall remain ever true: I will always always love you, and as thus it is critical to prepare now, to be a woman you will be proud of, to live a life whose mistakes you can learn from, to become a mother that you will choose to love back – for who I was, who I am, and who I am yet to become. To be one so full of life that it oozes out of my very pores and pours back into yours (as biologically impossible as that may sound), to be one with the One who first entrusted you to me so that the plans for your life and my role in them may become evident.

I do not know what the future shall hold in exact quantities, but the ingredients for an enriching existence I now seek:

Enough strength of character to be strong when you are not

Enough discernment to discipline you when all I feel is biased love

Enough restraint to save now and build towards a better life for you

Enough worry to keep you safe and say “no” when you should not

Enough love to make the world feel like home

Yet enough truth serum to teach you that it is not

Enough resilience to find the right father

Enough prayers to bind it all together

AND enough love to assure you that you are more than enough.

Ever Yours,

Mommy?

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Departed Cameras and Dimmed Lights*

Attention spans are short to say the least! I must admit that mine definitely is. We remember people and things, until we forget. And sometimes we forget that just because we have forgotten, does not mean that they have seized to be. Sensationalism sells! Any successful newspaper can tell you that, yet after the sensationalism has sizzled down the problems still remain.

Haiti is still Haiti – rubble, ruins and all; Hurricane Katrina’s shadow still looms large; Pakistan is still awash with sorrow even though the flood waters no longer occupy the news; and Darfur still suffers damnation.

Cultivating a culture of excellence is the only way to overcome our short memory spans. Internalizing the pain of others, and pushing ourselves when our adrenaline over issues has flat lined, will keep unfortunate circumstances in mind. There is something for everyone to do – everywhere! Donate old clothes and shoes, give a percentage of a paycheck, volunteer to tutor, teach, paint, or simply participate in the life of another.

Life happens every single day, and for some life is less than satisfactory. Often times I sink into a pit of self pity – tests coming up, lack of sleep, balance work and school – its easy to do. After all our worlds feel the biggest to us and small problems are magnified by the proximity to which they personally relate –  but then I flip the grey pages of the newspaper open and the real doom and despair bleeds out of the black ink. There are simply bigger problems!

Poverty, sickness, deep-seated sadness, mental torment, physical disabilities, and the list goes on. It’s not enough to simply be thankful that that could have been us. It always could have been us, but most times it’s not. And just because it is not us, does not mean we do not have a responsibility to help where we can. Why do I think much more was given to me? Surely not to satisfy my handbag fetish and desire for pretty pumps, it must be much more.

Somewhere in my core I feel the cries of those less fortunate, and the older I get the more I promise myself that I will be less quick to forget. Less quick to forget that it coulda easily have been us, and one day it may be. – with a problem so big that existence is simply a chore.

A few days ago someone killed themselves in the Engineering building of my University. This person had recently lost their job, and I cannot speculate about the motivations or the depth of feelings coursing through this person’s veins, I can only say that the sorrow is not exclusive to that individual – (R)est (I)n (P)eace. There remains a sadness in the eyes of many, an anchor in the hearts of adjacent individuals, and the unwavering truth that we have been put here to aid one another.

Man is not an island. From an economic standpoint trade and interaction benefit everyone. Individuals have tasks at which they have absolute advantage and are thus most resourceful at performing that task. This truth is not exclusive to textbook examples of wheat and corn, it goes on. Some people are better at lending their comic relief, some their warm hugs, some their encouraging notes, and some their cash. Let all who can lend of themselves do so, for investing in a life and a smile is worth much much more than any less impactful more materialistic alternative.

Give, give, and give and what you receive shall be multiplied exponentially beyond your wildest dreams. The more I do, the better I feel. The more I see life for what it should be. Money, time, prayers, these are all invaluable additions to the lives of those who need them – and being a part of that cannot simply be quantified, for race, religion, colour or creed we all share the bond of being *mankind. Rewards shall surely be given – of that you may fear not.

So that when the lights dim and the cameras depart,

The fire in your heart shall ever burn bright,

And someone somewhere stumbling in the dark,

Shall find their way home, by following your light.

You shall be the map through the maze,

That was once their plight,

And once blind and burdened,

Now regained their own sight.

Their own passionate resolution to fight the good fight.

*Meet the Parents*

I was nervous when I brought him home!

I had never brought anyone home to meet the parents before! Never mind the friends, family, co-workers, crushes, exes, and strangers all in one go. Yet here I was, exposing my true love to everyone – all at once.

I wondered what people would say when they truly got a look at him! Would they think him brave, stuck up, too opinionated? Would they think he was too young? I feared they might call him uppity, simplistic, jobless, inconsistent and worst of all – untalented!

Yet I was tired. Tired of keeping him locked up in my bedroom. Tired of being the only one who was allowed to interact with him. Tired of exploring the depths of his mind, thoughts, and intentions through the tattered and torn pages of journal entries. I don’t want my covert operation to be under wraps anymore, I’m ready for the expose’.

I don’t know when I fell in love with him. He started as a figment of my imagination, and the reality of him just escalated as my obsession grew. I find traces of him in blue and black and purple ink.

I had used him many times, truth be told. Trusted him countless others. He was the one I told tales that consisted of my real truths and he’d never let me down, yet here I was about to share him with the world with mixed signals regarding his consent.

But it had been decided. I was ready to put the thoughts in my head to bed – piece by piece. So I found him a cover – www.piecesofme89.wordpress.com – and rolled out the red carpet.

It was time to move my love out – from the recesses of my mind into the arena where the critics and commentators might reach him. Open to the eyes and ideas of all. Friend and foe. Yet I was ready. For as my fingers stroked the keyboard, thoughts of him flowed through me, and each and every day from HP Pavillions, to borrowed Mac books, to computer lab keyboards, to black berry notes he was oozing out bit by bit. I could not supress him if I dared, and as my opinions got stronger, so his hold of me tightened.. For he was I, and I am him – inseperable!

He is my thoughts, my feelings, the very expression of myself. “Once Upon A Blogspot” is his alias, but his true name might as be the same query as my name – “what have you brought to the world?”

He brings inconsistencies, the various faces of all my identities, the thoughts I have neither time nor inclination to speak out loud. He is the discussions I barely explore with others, the truths I tell myself and then forget, he is me without punctuation and I regard this his official presentation.

He may speak on issues, on crushes and cares, on fears and fortunes,on future amibtions. He may have subtle suggestions or strong convictions, yet each and everytime I respect his honesty. Bold enough to bring down the barriers of my mind and to keep typing when I long to backspace.

Who deserves to meet the parents? He does! He is my circle of trust, for he knows and interprets each and every truth. AND whether he is right or wrong, he still comes forth, and for that my deepest respect. Whether he is misunderstood or related to, supported or scorned, here’s my fiance y’all. 🙂

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce myself – inside out.

I swear to *hear the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the *truth.

Don’t convince people out of confessions! And don’t kiss them out of confessions either. When someone (especially someone important to you) says they have something important to tell you, by all means let them tell you.

Watching “Maid in Manhattan” last weekend I was reminded of that fact. Marissa (J-Lo) is getting ready to confess to Chris that she’s actually just a maid. Instead he locks eyes and swoops in for the kiss. Its clear from her introduction that her heart is heavy, her mind is burdened, and it has taken a lot for her to say what she’s about to, but instead he fairytales it away with a kiss claiming nothing she has to say matters.

One cannot predict what diversions of truth telling sessions may lead to, but even in this seemingly perfect fairytale it led to the loss of Marissa’s job and that of her co-worker, a deeper rift in her relationship with her mother, and months apart for the infatuated couple. It’s an “ever after” movie, so in the end all wrongs were righted and all ribbons wrapped around the pretty package that sells us chick-flick romance, but we all know such is not the case in the reality by which we common folk abide.

Tragedy tends to beget tragedy, and even our *ever afters* are becoming harder and harder to recognize.

Today *ever after* might be a single 22 year old mother who has the courage and confidence to keep her beautiful baby boy when the father chickens out. Today it might be a retired chief of police taking on the job of a chartered bus driver who drops pearls of wisdom as he drives from Indiana to Montreal – with no airs or self-consciousness whatsoever.

“Ever After” is what we make it. The brothers Grimm never warned that a time would come when their blueprint for a fairytale ending would not meet the contemporary construction codes, the time is nigh. It would take less permits to legalize controlled substances than to construct the fairytale castles.

No one expects you to let your hair (or your weave) down, while they climb up it via sky scraper to save you. Likewise, ladies don’t expect a white horse and a fully armored knight to ride to their rescue.

So many things have changed and the shapes no longer fit snugly into the schemas, but one thing remains the same – truth is truth. The famous adage says “and the truth shall set you free.” Indeed it shall – if you allow it to be told!

When someone says they have something important to tell you – they usually do! Yet movie after movie, and real life and real life, you see people fairytale-ing away the facts with kisses and equally passionate declarations of “whatever you has to say doesn’t matter.”

While it may not matter in that exact instance, it will matter later! When the individual who promised “nothing will ever change us” finds out second hand information you attempted to volunteer yourself, usually it changes everything.

So let us all do ourselves a favor and listen! Listen when someone says they have something to tell you. Be persistent when you are the one who knows you have some telling to do. Honesty is the best policy, because the truth is proud, and it will always find its way to center stage, whether you conduct the symphony that it seeps out of, or allow it to materialize of its own accord.

I’ve stopped buying into those fairytale frivolities of the past being the past, and “don’t ask, don’t tell.” If the individual involved deems it important to the current state of things, it is important to the current state of things. Even judges hear cases that the press and others already deem obviously innocent or guilty one way or another, so who are we to hand out pardons before we’ve even received the facts?

 If it doesn’t matter at all, then hear the person out, and then your pardon will mean that much more to the both of you. Either way, each party can enter into said endeavor with their eyes open, their hearts registering the reality check, and truth taking the center stage it craves.

So swear to *hear the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and save yourselves some drama and time by listening rather than kissing and fairytale’ing away confessions before they are made.

x

Once upon a fortune cookie

My fortune cookie a few nights ago said, “Don’t pursue happiness – create it.”

Usually my fortune cookies from the Great Taste Chinese restaurant across the street are absolutely senseless. My high school teacher might have a coronary @ the word combinations they attempt to use which make no sense either grammatically or otherwise.

In fact I usually roll my eyes, as the fortune cookie usually make a lame attempt at drug store psychology meets underpaid translator. Fortunes are supposed to be predictors of the future no? Apparently not!

But who needs a fortune cookie prediction anyway! A good soul searching session could tell you twice as much and yet nothing @ all. We can propose, but a higher power disposes – therefore these predictors are hardly worthy of the cellophane wrappers they come in.

This once, I must admit – my fortune cookie was right. Happiness is not something that can be caught up to or attained after a certain amount of time; it is something we must seize in every magical moment. It is something we must create and sustain. It is more of an attitude than any sort of destination.

One of my best days came from sitting in an abandoned yard filled with grease and car parts at a makeshift mechanic yard for 10 hours. Waiting and wondering when the hell the car would be fixed. Yet as I sat there and boredom turned into heat, and heat turned into hunger, it became painfully aware that it’s not at all about where you are – but absolutely about who you are with and the attitude you choose to adopt.

Happiness to me is a conviction! A conscious decision not to let the negatives get me down. Not to the let the disappointment I feel when others don’t come through consume me. It is a choice to appreciate what I have, where I am going, and most importantly who I am and revel in that, rather than count my curses and feed my depression.

Happiness is seeing the rainbow after the storm, playing in the puddles rather than grumbling about wet feet. And happiness is not easy! Sometimes we must force it. Faking a smile eventually gets tiring, and sometimes your emotions just might give in and grant you a real one.

It is harder to be happy than to mope around, and harder to let joy come from within than give in to the feelings evoked by what we are without. I am well aware of the power of anger, blame, frustration and fear; yet I choose to create my happiness rather than attempt to pursue it.

Happiness is a great athlete, it can and will outrun most of us many a time if we choose to chase after it. Everyone has their notion of what it is, and it is ever changing. Rather than attempting to grasp on to this effervescent and shape-shifting definition of this much sought after concept, it would behoove us all to create our own concept, nurture it, and allow it to encompass us; as we determine what matters and what we allow to make our hearts smile or sad.

Great taste was right on this one – “Don’t pursue happiness, *create it!”