Layers

One of my favorite past times, and ways to generate income is to fix and refinish pieces of furniture. I love saving things people discard and remaking them into something beautiful.

I have been working on a piece of High Point Furniture. Working on as in sitting in my work space.

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I decided its time to start.

I started chipping away at this thick cabinet only to find the paint wasn’t going anywhere.  Too many layers of paint encrusted.  I took to it a chemical paint stripper.  As I was scratching away the layers with the paint scraper it made me think of my life. An accumulation of layers: False identities, labels, beliefs, values or perceived values, friends, loved ones, character traits, roles. Sometimes we begin to take on a different form, a different shade of what we originally intended our life to be colored by.

We make and craft ourselves to be vibrant with color, but still chipped by illusion.

Sometimes, the process of discovery and uncovering what’s underneath is like a treasure hunt. Uncovering grains and wood and patterns is like magic!

Great things take time like people, objects, stories, songs, patience, and love. The thought of this cabinet becoming a the masterpiece it was originally intended keeps the desire to keep working alive- not because of my hands but because of what it originally was created to be- a work of art to be treasured, valued.  Restoration to a place of perfection. We expect perfection without the grace of time to get there. Instant or else. Great things aren’t finished in a day. Things collapse, fall apart and  often times they need a little space and time to be remodeled.

This process taps me on the shoulder like a little child who needs a little love, gently tapping to get my attention. A loving reminder to let go of my insecurities, and false identities, past failures and short comings.  These protective coats no longer serve or are beautiful.

In this season of life, I am beginning to see things about myself that have accumulated like the paint, such as dust, grime, and imperfections. I can’t disguise or apply more paint to alter truth or pain or unfounded labels.

I don’t want to be a manicured distortion of reality.  Layer by layer, truth by truth, root by root we uncover ourselves, as we are, pining away at the gem beneath the surface.

I begin forging ahead with grit to the finish line of completion, as the natural wood begins to surface, and shine through, it’s beautiful.

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(Note: this is not the actual restoration)

all my love and paint 🎨 ,

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Vacation zzz

I just got back from a much needed vacation with my family.

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Every year in the summer we go to a secluded mountain area and relax. This week was the kid’s spring break and I needed a much needed respite from my life.

To breathe. To recover. To unwind mentally emotionally heck even physically. After a series of events the past few months I was emotionally done. It’s amazing what limited wifi and technology can do for your creativity. I was afraid that I didn’t continue at my manic pace nothing was going to get done & I was going to die. Well I didn’t. Much to my surprise my productivity level has been out the roof. I have been able to concentrate and get everything done that needed to get done. While mountain-ing , I participated in some arts and crafts with my Neice. I played silly games and puzzled. I jumped in the freezing cold lake with my nephew and then back to the hot tub- my own version of the Russian and Turkish baths. I breathed in fresh mountain air; I inhaled air while hiking with my family and exhaled negativity and stress and worry and self hatred. I got to reconnect to my parents and my sister and her kids.

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Relationships have a tendency to weave in and out, kind of like car maintenance. It must be up kept and attended to because if you don’t work on it and or examine under the hood (or kinks in the system if it were a computer), something may be bound to break down a little later on in the road. You will wonder what happened? You might think shoot I haven’t had an inspection in a few years. Oops. Relationships take time and effort.

It’s good to check in.
It’s good to check out.
It’s good to come back.

Here’s to vacations and giving yourself rest and relaxation. Here is to checking in with your breath so you can exhale freshness to others. Here’s to checking in more regularly with yourself in order to ask others are.

This was the first vacation I have actually been able to rest for a very long time. I often exist in these beautiful places but never able to let go. The other day the termite man came and examined the house and gave a general estimate of cost. While he was leaving, he said, “when I go on vacation I always tell my wife to leave it here. It’s going to be here so let it go.” I thought what a wise man.

Advice comes in all shapes and sizes and voices and decibels levels, young and geriatric. Be good to yourself.xxx

 

Do You Take Yourself Seriously?

Taking yourself seriously.

Do you?

You should.
I have wasted about ten years not taking myself seriously. For a long time I have believed I am worthless. After the past month I have realized that is simply not true. My skill set and gifts are very different than a lot of people’s. I can choose to hate myself because I differ than a lot of mainstreamers or own my difference in taste opinions how I choose to live my life. NY has allowed me to see that being different and creative and thinking outside the box is great.

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I love business though I don’t have a degree. I love interacting with startups because the passion the naivety the courage is in full throttle. I love entrepreneurs because they are going for it despite the risk they could fail. You can’t worry about failure because it is inevitable but as a famous navy seal said fail falling forward. You can do anything you want to do. I wish I had committed to myself and my beliefs and honestly owning who I am before the age of thirty. I envision myself becoming an amazing business woman who is savvy and brilliant and people seek her from all over for mentoring those who travel the road less traveled it’s a scary path pursuing the dreams God has put in your heart. You must not give up. You must stay strong and fight. At the end of your life do not wish you had done something else or different. Even worse playing it safe. Stop it. Don’t worry about tomorrow.We can’t live in the past or fear the future. We can’t loose hope. Stay focused.

#timeisnow

The other day I needed to do something and I thought to myself, “Eh, I will just wait.”

I waited, and the opportunity to do what I needed to do wasn’t available or I perceived it as such. So I kept waiting and I thought to myself, just do it.  There is never going to be an excellent time to do something.  There will always be: not enough time, not enough money, market conditions aren’t great.  There’s not going to be a great time to do the thing you need to do, especially if it’s something that is really important to you or needs to be done.

Perfect conditions,” do they exist?

A fundraiser (an outdoor sale) was scheduled at my home and I knew it was going to rain.  I knew it was going to be a lot of work and the question of,  would it be worth it? lingered in the air.  While I was having my quiet time in the unknown conditions and the space of, “What do I decide on?” I read in Ecclesiastes 11:4 ~

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
    If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

Ouch.  I decided to go on with the sale despite the weather. It started as a sunny morning and as the weather forecaster had predicted, the sky proceeded to pour down rain.  People continued to peruse through boxes filled with junk in my garage.   The sale was fun and people had a great attitude about the situation.  I ended up making a couple of hundred dollars towards the goal.  I was glad I continued on with the initial plan  Perfect conditions weren’t in the cards that time but God was.

Truthfully, I had forgotten about this verse from Ecclesiastes  until yesterday.

I believe you have a big dream.  I believe there is a desire so deep in your soul you would die if you didn’t accomplish it.  WHAT IS IT?

There is never going to be a perfect time to go after what you want.  No matter what you want, no matter how big or minute it may seem to youGO FOR IT.  

Here is an excerpt from Inc. from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to drive my point home.

“In most cases our biggest regrets turn out to be acts of omission. It’s paths not taken and they haunt us. We wonder what would have happened. I knew that when I’m 80, I would never regret trying this thing (quitting a good job to start Amazon) that I was super excited about and it failing.

If it failed, fine. I would be very proud of the fact when I’m 80 that I tried. And I also knew that it would always haunt me if I didn’t try. And so that would be a regret, it would be 100 percent chance of regret if I didn’t try and basically a 0 percent chance of regret if I tried and failed. That’s a useful metric for any important life decision.”

The time is now. Do what you have been putting off for years: there will not be an ideal time to do what you want to accomplish.

th1WAGWUQ1

Praying for you.

Happy New Year!!!! 🎈🎆🎊

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Hi friends!

Welcome to the New Year! It’s been nothing short of uneventful, if you ask me!

I wanted to share a few things and call it a day.

First off, I am normally very organized and grounded at the start of the year but without a clear vision for the upcoming months. This year, 2018, I have started the year off with a move back to Harlem in the frigid cold. I moved in an Uber XL, typical fashion of course. I almost (key word: almost) have grown to love these moves. Ha.

I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with my Uber drivers. Always a He~ this particular Uber driver, Wei says, “No way,” as he picks me in his mini-van.  After playing Tetris with my belongings we drive away from Cornelia Street.  Wei says, “Never had I ever believe your stuff would fit!” Laughing. Chuckling. “Your bed and all- it fit!”

Out of Bushwick I went. I was glad to leave Bushwick- the home of too much drinking (speaking for myself!)

Which leads to my second point. I am not drinking this year. I am taking a year of sobriety and cleansing. Leading to my third point/ topic:

Have you picked a word for the year, if so what is it?

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My home church (PC3) is the pioneer for ‘my one word’-  a construct for the new year instead of creating resolutions which ultimately seem to crumble a few months later.

Third, I am going to be intentional about building a stronger community and deeper friendships and dating!! Bring on the good looking men who love Jesus and females!

PS I have wanted to run a half marathon for the past 7 years and now is the time.

PSS if you need prayer this month in particular hit me up via insta: ___choosejoy___  😎❤️

Part 30: 30 in 30 on 30.

Quality/ Quantity:

I think I can confuse quality with quantity.

I think I can believe more is more. My need for extra, whether that be activities, spending, or people. I know the more I have planned, and the well-meaning activities and coffee dates, the less I have to extend to others. Stretched thin.

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This year I want to take the time to pour more into the people I love and the activities I enjoy doing. Instead of doing something out of obligation or guilt or because it’s the Godly thing to do, choosing to not do it. Doing what’s right for self which ultimately is a benefit for others.

 

Part 27: 30 in 30 on 30.

Sleep:

Get a good night’s rest.  If you need to restore from a hard week, take a couple of hours and sleep. Allow time for yourself, especially if you are on vacation.  Let your body heal and feel rejuvenated, you will be a better person for it.

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Its okay to go to bed early, its okay to stay up, by nature I am a night owl.  I know what my body needs more so than I used to.

A friend of mine offered advice on matters such as sleep and decision paralysis said, “A lot of times when I am making decisions or unclear with the next move or step I need to make or why am I doing what I am doing, asks himself, am I tired, hungry, sleepy or lonely?”  Giving him better leverage on how to move forward with where he wants to go and from what perspective or need he is doing so. Now I step back and ask myself these questions; stepping back allows me to see where I am and what I need in that moment.

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ha det!

Part 26: 30 in 30 on 30.

Little Things,

Dear Self,

It’s the small things.

The seemingly meaningless acts are in the thank you notes.  The gesture of  a gift; the gesticulation of appreciation, the motion of thoughtfulness.

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[Ness] suffix – added to adjectives to form nouns that refer to a quality or a condition

greatness

Remember these little things: it’s in the wrapping.  These “things,” like smiling, are  important – you will forget to do them.  Certain moments will remind you to keep practicing these acts.

Kisses on the forehead.

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Extend grace, so much grace because one day you will need it too. From my experience you will be thankful for it: Grace. Learn to embrace the small things, remaining unbound to the perfection of it.  Try not to let the small things pass.  It is an ingredient towards excellence.  It is within the minute details that creates perfection.

selamat tinggal