Archive | July 2010

Fun City, Great People, Great Times (Open to the Possibilities follow-up)

I have returned from my previously touted trip to Chicago and as promised would like to share with you some of my lessons and observations from this experience.   Here they are – in no particular order:

1.  People in Chicago drive better.  I did not see the things that happen on the streets of Baltimore happening there- and there are more people.  Go figure.

2.  Most people truly are who you think they are- I hung out with many different people in a variety of settings- all of whom I’ve had numerous and varied conversations with.  I had formed my opinions but ventured forth with the knowledge that I could be wrong.  Was I?  Not at all.  If anything the good qualities that I was pretty sure were there were magnified and there were no negatives of note.  Am I saying these people have no bad points?  I’m sure they do.  I am saying that I thought they were great and that is who they turned out to be.  Am I saying that everyone on twitter is wonderful?  I most certainly am not.  I am saying that in life and in the virtual world I surround myself with people whom I think are “good people.”  In this case I could not have been more right.

3.  Flying out of Midway airport on a Sunday morning (no matter how early) and only arriving an hour early (well 55 min to be honest) is not necessarily a good idea.  (I made the plane but my bag didn’t.  Thus, my return trip to the airport this afternoon.)

4.  Folk in Chicago are busy as hell!  I’ve never had so many people trying to “make room” to see me.  Some succeeded, some didn’t.  All kept in communication.  On the other hand, I ran into a person or two whom I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to see this weekend.  That’s always  an added bonus.

5.  If you put the right mix of women together with good food and drinks on a Thursday night you will have a show worthy of taping.  (too bad you missed it)

6.  The Chosen Few house picnic brings together entire families.  I attended the picnic a new friend who ran into at least 10 cousins.  (lol @ Tamika)

7.  There are a lot of men named Shawn /Shon/Sean in Chicago.

8.  Brazenness can be taken to extreme degrees if you have the cajunas to carry it off.  (ode to the “gentleman” in the sheer nylon shorts- or maybe it was a skirt)

9.  If you can get children and animals to fall in love with you, you must be okay (ode to Nia (little girl) and Nino (dog) )

10.  If someone wants to see you they will drive the streets to find you.  🙂

11.  There are too many “if you come to Chicago you have to do’s” for me to fit it all into one  three-day visit.

12.  The Chicago skyline is absolutely awesome.

13.  It’s not always the people you plan to meet, but the add-ons who you may have the greatest connection with.

The above list includes a lot of brevity, but on a serious note I owe a huge word of thanks to my twitter of friends of Chicago.  You guys have welcomed me with open arms and adopted me as daughter of the city before this trip was ever booked.  Meeting you was a joy and a pleasure.  The warmth, the ease of conversation, the suggestions of what to do.  I love all of you for the way that you extended yourself to me.

My intent out the gate was to be open to the possibilities.  I didn’t fight very many ideas.  Disappointments were taken in stride.  Moments of joy were amplified.  My faith in human nature and the absolute goodness of most people has never been stronger.

God is trying to tell me something.  I hear ya.  Celebrate the good in people.

Spread love….peace and blessings.

Open to the Possibilities

Tomorrow I am embarking on the most unusual of experiences for me.  I am going to visit friends out-of-town for the weekend.

So this sounds innocent enough Tee, you say.  What is the big deal?  The deal is that of all the people I will meet/hang/kick-it with this weekend I have only personally met ONE of them prior to this trip!

Aha, the plot thickens!  You see I am going to my adopted city to hang with my tweeties (my twitter buddies for the unindoctrinated).  Now all of you know that I am a fully grown woman, in full possession of her faculties, with a pretty good head on her shoulders so what am I doing?

I am going to meet my friends.  People whom I know with various degrees of familiarity through an internet vehicle known as twitter.  These are people I have had private, yes private, conversations with either verbally or in writing.  I know who they are, how they think, what they do for a living, where they hang out, who their friends are, what their insecurities are and basically what makes them tick and yes their phone numbers.  🙂

When I arrived in Tallahassee, Florida over 20 years ago to attend my beloved Florida A&M University I learned one important lesson right off the bat- people do not universally think the same.  It was easy to distinguish who was from the north versus the south, the east versus the midwest, small town versus big city, the west coast versus anywhere just based on the way they presented their thoughts.  At that time I learned to open myself to new possibilities.  I learned that I absolutely ADORE anyone from the state of Ohio (I mean this to this day) and that most people from Chicago were really cool.

So as I pack to leave on my new adventure, I am open to the possibilities that my new friends will be even more interesting and exciting than I already think they are; that I will have a great time in a city I have visited only once in the past; and that the love I try to spread daily will be returned to me.

Sometimes in our “old age” we let our “maturity” make us stodgy.  The world is changing folks whether you choose to change with it or not.  Our former ways of communicating, interacting, and meeting people is changing.  Don’t be so quick to judge.  Be open to the possibilities.  I’ll tell what a great time I had when I return.

Oh, and lest we forget- I am still celebrating my birthday.  Yippee!!!

Spread love…peace and blessings.

Birthday musings

Today I am blessed to celebrate 45 years of living a wonderful life.  Some of you reading this are shocked.  Yes I did say 45 years.  It is not a typo.  Though I do not regularly advertise my age, it is certainly nothing that I am ashamed of.  I was blessed with genes that make others not able to guess my age.  Though I know that this can be a source of pride, it is honestly something that I have nothing to do with.  So yes, I’m 45.  Yes I look younger than my age.  Ok, moving on.

I have several really good friends who will not be here to share this birthday with me.  They died too soon in our 30’s.  Though not something I discuss a lot, the death of my high school friend, Towanda, and my college roommate, Krista, made me realize that life is precious and  valuable.  I also realized through their illnesses that one’s health is one of our greatest assets.   Thus three years ago I took a good long look at my body, decided I did not like what I saw, and got thee to the gym.  Now, I’m still not exactly where I would like to be, but I realize that taking care of my body and attempting to eat a healthy diet will aid (prayerfully) in extending my life while enhancing the quality of it.

Exercise has many benefits other than helping your body look better.  It is a great mood regulator.  Over the past three years I have endured what many would consider a lot of MAJOR stressors.  I don’t look at it this way.  I consider it living.  We all have crosses to bear and most people’s walk isn’t any better or worse than anyone else’s.  It just depends on the time period you are examining.

My birthday is a bittersweet event for me.  I have always thought that my birthday was the equivalent of Christmas.  No folks, I never thought I was the second coming of Christ, but I mean that in terms of the level of excitement that it generates for me.   5 years ago I was awakened by a very early morning call advising that my stepfather (read father from henceforth) had passed away.  What was to be an exciting 40th birthday weekend was suddenly changed.  I did not mind this not as much as one would think.  My father’s birthday is just two days before mine and we always had a very deep understanding of and connection to one another.  To me, it  was actually a little fitting.

Since that time, however, I have struggled to regain the sense of joy I always felt surrounding my birthday.  I think I am finally almost back to home base.  I celebrated my father on his birthday and today I am ready to celebrate me.

So,  I lift my glass in toast to me- the woman I am and the woman I am still becoming.  The day I cease being a work in progress will be the day I die.  There is always room for improvement but there is also always cause for celebration.  I thank you, in advance, for being in my life in whatever way has caused you to take the time to read these musings and I wish you peace, happiness, and prosperity in whatever order you currently need them.

God Bless you and Mazel Tov,    *clink*

Spread love….peace and blessings.