I am too proud to beg!

The decision to write a personal blog and share details of your personal life is an incredibly vulnerable experience and while it can bring many rewards it can also bring much criticism. In the past year, the criticism that I have heard from readers at times has left me incredibly raw and on the brink of saying the hell with it though I have continued on.

Lately my vulnerability has been on full display as I decided to enlist my readers to help me reach a goal, but tonight I am pulling the plug. Not so much because of the criticism but because frankly I am no one’s beggar and asking for assistance online frankly feels like panhandling.

In the 15 plus years that I have been in the non-profit sector, I have worked my way up from a grunt position that barely paid more than minimum wage to being an Executive Director and consultant. I did it by working hard, being true to myself and never wavering in my integrity. I never begged anyone to get where I am professionally and as much as I want to make some changes in my life, if it involves me begging, it’s not going to happen.

It’s become clear in the past couple of days especially as my son who when he is not being a college student or moonlighting as an up and coming artist, got a call about going on tour with one of his musical idols, that trying to go to BlogHer ’12 was probably going to be more trouble than it’s worth. Since my kiddo is pulling double duty working for me this summer and he needs some time off at the same time I would be in NYC. It wouldn’t be impossible but with me gone, it would stretch my already small crew.

As much as I want to go to this conference, what I want more is to grow as a writer and I suspect I don’t need this conference to make that happen. More like a cabin in the woods and time.

So to those who have supported me, I say thank you, to date approximately $160 total has been raised to send me to BlogHer’12. If anyone who donated wants a refund, please let me know otherwise I will use all funds to cover the costs of hosting this site and for upkeep and even a cup of coffee. I have put the tip jar back up, as always if you enjoy what you read here, feel free to tip your writer. I accept very little in the way of paid advertising, so tips keep me going since I put in a fair amount of hours into this blog on a weekly basis. I do it as a labor of love, but hey, I ain’t rich so cash is always good.

So sit back and continue to enjoy the musings of a Black Girl in Maine!



Our choices and the deck we play

When we enter this world, no matter who we are or where we are born, we are dealt a deck of cards; that deck of cards we are receive at birth often will determine the life we lead years later. Granted there are always the outliers who break the mold but by and large the hand we are dealt will serve as a reminder in our adult years that life is not fair, equal or just.

Let’s see, in that deck of cards we are served upon arriving earth side, is a gender card, a race card, a nationality card, a religion card (now this one of the few cards that upon adulthood, we can choose to swap out or completely discard) and a socio-economic card. In a fair and just world, that deck of cards would be meaningless but the fact is that deck of cards matter very much.

Years later, we often have to make choices, yet the very choices we make in our lives is actually determined by a deck of cards that we were dealt that we had no choice in choosing. I mean, it’s not as if we can pick up our cards and swap out being a poor person for being a wealthy one. The issue of choice and how free we are to make choices came to mind this morning as I read the hubbub surrounding Ann Romney, the wife of the presumed GOP nominee for president. Seems Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist made a comment that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life, Ann came back out swinging taking to the social media airwaves that she has worked very hard raising 5 kids and that was the choice she made.

To be fair here Hilary Rosen was an ass, raising kids is hard work, regardless of if you are wiping your ass with $100 bills. I mean shit, 5 kids is 5 kids! That said, Ann Romney is being a tad disingenuous, let’s face it Ann married well, and that choice created an environment that allowed her to make the choices she has made. By all accounts or at least the good folks of Wikipedia, Ann wasn’t exactly born into a poor family, nope access to good private schools created the situation where she had access to others from pretty decent families.

In a society that likes to live in a fantasy world that we are all created equal and have access to the same opportunities, I am frankly getting tired of this farce. The reality is we do have choices but the choices we get to make are determined in many parts by factors that we don’t get to control.

In the days and weeks since Trayvon Martin was killed, some have stated that if only he hadn’t worn a hoodie he would still be alive. Come now… a child’s decision to wear a hoodie did not play a role in his death. Racism, bigotry, and bias are choices we as a society have made that decides to see certain people as perpetrators no matter what they are doing. Frankly, I think Trayvon could have been wearing a tuxedo and George Zimmerman still would have made the choice he made which was to kill a young man simply for the crime of walking down the street nervous because a strange man in a large car was following him.

In the end, we all make choices, we have too, its part of this experience we call living life but let’s not kid ourselves that we all have the ability to make the same choices because we don’t. Who and what we are shape the decisions and choices we make.

Really we do have choices

This is one of those vents that generally just resides in my head, but for some reason I just need to let it out. Maybe its the new gig or the fact that my family of origin is tweaking or I am perimenopausal but I need to publicly vent.

How come folks act like shit happens to them and they have no choices? Seriously, people act like things happen in a vacuum and they have no role whatsoever in their life circumstances. Case in point, I have a family member who is supposed to visit once a year yet for the last two years he hasn’t….oh what the hell, its my Pops. Now Pops claims he has no money to spend to get here, well I call bullshit on that one. See, ever since my Mom passed, I know that Pops has been imbibing a bit, so in my opinion if you got money to grab a drink with buddies after work, guess what you got money to visit family. Nope, you choose not to visit, its ok, I will get over it but don’t act like you have no choice. See, I figured if my Pops put away $10 a week, at 52 weeks in a year that is more than enough to fly out here even with higher airfare. Sorry, Pops but I call bullshit. Yeah, I am a little cold putting my Pops out here like this but the truth will set us free and some shit just needs to be said.

Next point of shit that annoys me, poor folks. Now look, I got nothing against poor folks shit I been poor but guess what I didn’t keep having babies I couldn’t afford and then get mad when the social service folks and others are not all that jazzed to help my Black ass out. I believe that in the ideal world everyone’s basic needs would be provided for, shelter, food, medical care….however we don’t live in the ideal world and while my life’s work has been about helping the less fortunate, there are times I want to smack folks upside the head.

When you got a nicer car than me, yet I need to help you provide essentials for your kids because you say you cannot do it, I gotta be honest and say I wonder about your priorities. Shit, me and the spousal unit will willing go without to provide for our kids, see once again its that pesky choice factor.

My daughter is at that age that she wants a baby sister, well truth is that barring a direct sign from God that is not likely to happen, elder boy turns 17 in less than 2 months, and this college shit is weighing on me. I got this house shit to deal with plus that mountain of debt to whittle down, as my Granny used to say, I don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. My finances are fucked and we are most likely heading towards a depression, so if I slipped up and got pregnant knowing I am broke and can barely afford the two kids I got now, well that’s a poor choice and honestly I would be dumb as hell.

So while its always easy to blame others for shit, sometimes we have to look at the decsions we choose to make, sometimes life does happen and it brings bad shit but sometimes poor choices on our part cause bad shit too.