Posts Tagged ‘Choices’

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Back in 2012, I applied for the retail job that I had until a few months ago. I remember going for the second interview. I was being interviewed by the store “Leader”. That’s what they called the Store Manager. Not only was it a Woman, but an openly gay woman.

My young bohemian mind was doing back flips. THIS was going to be my boss. My leader.

I did get the job and as you all know I worked there for three years. But, this was my first paid job. I had internships and free labor experience prior to this… activists, editing and literary magazines type of stuff. But, this was my first real job and introduction to the corporate world.

I couldn’t have asked for a better Leader. She inspired and motivated. Her office door was always open. She had true honest and caring leadership skills.

I aspired to gain her traits and professionalism.

She was a person that I dearly looked up too and will always be a role model for me.

Unfortunately , recently, a member of our retail store passed away. While I no longer work there, I was still deeply affected by this loss.

I went to the funeral alone. I arrived early, a little before the wake was timed to start. My old store leader was there. In tears and distraught. She sat alone, not many people where there yet.

And I was like a deer in headlights.

To see my idol, my leader deeply distressed. I didn’t know what to do but cry as well.

I was struggling with my grief but at the same time I was struggling with the shock of one of my few idols …being a regular human being.

I built this person up in my head to be something grand, something bigger than life. It was shock for me to realize that these people, these leaders and role models, are simply people as well. Just like you and me.

Yet, my old store leader, when she saw me. She found strength from I don’t know where. She got up from her seat and approached me and hugged me and was offering me comforting words.

As buses and buses of employees from our store arrived. She huged every single person. She comforted every single person, family of the deceased and all employees, vendors, associates of the retail store that came our to pay their respects. There was a line out the door, out the funeral home and halfway up the block. I left close to the end, but i knew she would be the last to leave with the family.

When I left the funeral, my heart was heavy with grief. But, it was also inspired to one day be a leader. To be like my old store manager. To be human,an everyday regular person. Yet, still have compassion and a fire for the pursuit of whatever it is you have passion for. To always have a reassuring and kind word and warm hug to give to a fellow human being.

One usually believes to be a great leader, you must have great leadership skills. But, that doesn’t sit right with me. I feel to be a great leader, you must have great compassion and understanding. To be a great leader you have to be the helping hand. You don’t have to lead the pack. You inspire and motivate. But you don’t actually lead a person down the fork in the road. You help people build up the courage to go forth on their own journey and go down the path of their choice.

Feel free to join in just jot it Jan anytime.
Just Jot It January 15th – Leadership

Let it go. Let it gooooo. Ok, I got that out of my system. Today’s Just Jot It January prompt is Frozen. Once I read the word of course because of the culture i live in, Frozen the Movie instantly popped into my head.

I think the Frozen trend is starting to fade out finally. It amazed me how long this one lasted.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie. But, I was just astounded at  how it swept the nation, in waves. Just when you thought you could leave the house without a Frozen reference in your face… BOOM…. there it goes. Two Halloween’s in a row, Frozen costumes dominated.

I still missed out on playing that Frozen drinking game.  Take a shot every time someone was dressed as a frozen character. I was working both Halloweens. Maybe next year I’ll just dress as Elsa and take a shot every time I pass a mirror. Hmmm.

But, i realized life is kind of like viral trends. It’s hit or miss. Sometimes things pop up randomly. Sometimes we come across something so heartwarming or belly laughing funny. Sometimes we come across something heartbreaking. Other times, people send us things. Sometimes we send people things. Then there’s times when just nothing new is popping up. Just like social media,  that’s how things in life happen. We could never predict what goes viral. Similarly in life, we can never predict when we receive good Karma or stumble across new opportunities. Who would of guessed Frozen would of struck the world like it did? That’s life as well. Sometimes we could never predict when a decision is a great life choice.

We can’t plan or predict life’s obstacles either. When things happen, we just have to roll with it. Being angry, miserable or negative what will that accomplish?  Instead of wallowing when unplanned things occur, we shouldn’t fight it. Just like in social media we have a choice to not comment or like or share. We can keep scrolling. In life, we have the same option. This year part of my goals is just go with the unpredictable. To adapt.  We can’t prevent things, we can’t control everything. We will never understand why things happens. We can spend days questioning why and still we would not come up with an answer.

The only thing we can control is how we respond, how we react. We can click “like” or “share” or keep “scrolling”.

Just like when Frozen took over the world, instead of fighting the Frozen outbreak, I put on a tiara and listened to adult parodies of Let It Go.

As always, to join in and visit everyone’s Just Jot It prompts, please visit Linda’s page


Posted: December 2, 2015 in Uncategorized
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I haven’t cut my hair in three years.  I’ve meant to cut it. Many times.

It was always tomorrow.

Or next check.

Tomorrow came and went.

Checks filtered in and out of account.

My hair still grew and grew.

Three years,  in the blink of an eye.

But that’s life.  We put things off and put them off and before we know it the opportunity has passed on by.

Well, I didn’t cut my hair…It was an accident.

I asked the hubby to take off an inch…maybe two…of the split ends/dead frizz and the ends. Just a basic snip snip to get rid of the really bad part.

We’ll he did. He took off an inch or two.

He then told me it’s not even, to turn around let him even it out.

I didn’t even hear snip snips snipping.

He announced he was done and I turn around and looked at the floor.

A mountain of hair was on the floor.

I quickly go to run my hands through my hair and it ended so fast! I’m used to smoothing out my hair and sweeping my hands endlessly through its length.

But it ended too soon.

He took off five or six inches.

My hair is still long, just pass the middle of my back. But this folks is how I got an accidental hair cut.

And you know what, I’m glad.

My hair looks better.

Sometimes if left to our own accord, we never make the decisive ” snip”. Sometimes,  we have to let go of control and let others pave way. 

February B4 Peace Post

You can read about this month’s B4 Peace post here and check out Kozo’s blog here.  A copy and pasted snippet of what this month’s challenge is:

“We’ve been blogging for peace for over a year, so I’m going to push you with this challenge. This month, I want you to focus on your family. Is there anyone you don’t fully embrace in your family? Do you feel resentment, shame, or anger towards someone blood-related?

Yep, I went there. Let’s deal with it. This months challenge is to make peace in yourself with someone close to you”

I harbor bitter resentment to my family. I have never met people more selfish and condescending then these family members. Just thinking of them leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

For people that know me in real life, they know I’m a happy go lucky person. Life has hardened me and made me realistic. But, even still, I’m an optimist. I like to give a million second chances. I like to think the best of people. Most of all, i try not judge. I may not necessarily agree but to each their own.

When it comes to these family members though? I can’t help all the resentment I have in my heart.  Maybe it’s because they are family i expect them to be better people, considerate people.

My parents own a house. It’s a two family house. We rent the first floor apartment. We rent to family. Back around 93′ my uncle was deported. He had to spend 2 years in Guyana while he waited for his green card. During that time my mother lowered the rent for my aunt. She lowered it to 300 dollars. For a two bedroom first floor apartment with a living room, dinning room , kitchen and bathroom.  My aunt works a good job, in a police department doing payroll. She could have easily afforded a higher rent but being family my mother was being considerate. Both my mom and dad worked good jobs at the time ( my mother worked for Coca Cola and my dad for a crayon company RoseArt).  We weren’t rich or wealthy but my parents were work-a-holics and they didn’t live paycheck to paycheck. They were comfortable. I got an allowance. Plus, i grew up when children were still children, if i wanted a book, we went to the library. We didn’t have all these gadgets and devices that kids have no a days. I played outside in dirt, climbed fences and stayed outside until the street lights came on. But, i digress, that’s a topic for a different post.

Because they were family, my mother tried to be supportive. When my uncle returned from Guyana it took him awhile before he started working, but he finally did get a job. And my mother let them still pay the reduced rent for a few of his paychecks and let them stable out.
My family downstairs then paid 700 dollars rent until around 2000 something. Then my mother asked for them to pay 50 dollars extra for the raising cost of the water bill.

By this time my dad was no longer working his good factory job. The factory closed down and relocated to Mexico. My mother was given a service package from her good job and she trained her replacement before she got let go. They hired a fresh out of community college student, and were going to pay that person half of what my mother made. My took her service package and left. She bounced around jobs until she found the job she has now. It’s half of what she used to make, but still in the upper teens per hour.

My dad opened a deli around 2002. My parents cashed out everything they had to pay for it, retirements, 401k’s , my college fund (they didn’t have much for that much still).

The deli was burned down the same year.

That’s when my dad became a Taxi Driver and drove a cab until he got sick in 2010.

So while my parents lost their comfortable lifestyle, they went to struggling to maintain their mortgage payments. They never raised my Aunt’s rent. Even though by this time my two cousins were grown adults and working, my aunt still works her police job and my uncle works two part time jobs. All because  they’re family.

In 2010 when my dad got sick, my mother raised my  Aunt’s rent. 100 dollars. My mother had to take out a extended mortgage on the house that was almost paid off because they couldn’t make the mortgage payments without my dad’s income. Imagine that, being 2 years away from paying off the house you have been making timely payments on for 20 years. Then to have to have a loan company buy out your mortgage and have a payment contract with them for 8 years. My mother pays half of what the mortgage used to be, but so many years left on contract. To be in your 50’s and 60’s and instead of making retirement plans, they are making payment plans for a house that was almost paid off.

My parents just can’t afford the raising cost of living in NY. My job wont offer me full time, and do i take gamble of trying to get another job that may not keep me past the 3 month probation? How am i supposed to be work to become independent and even if that was possible ( having a job able to live on my own with Omar) how can my parents make do without me?

It’s a struggle for my family.

We just cannot afford the cost of living in NY.

Everyday I go to work my little retail job just to make enough to pay a little phone bill , buy a little groceries and I have to walk by my family downstairs. 3 brand new cars. They receive packages every other day, from name brand companies. They have all the latest tech gear. Iphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, flat screen tvs. They have multiples of it all. They shop daily. They order food daily. Even my cousin, who is so bitter and negative has landed a good job. It’s like that whole side of the family has this luck. They are nasty, selfish, greedy people and yet they have all this success.

While good people like my parents struggle.

My mother made a proposition to my family downstairs about 9 months. She told them she needs a tenant to pay 1000 in rent. It’s up to them if they want to pay or move. They said they were going to move. My mother told them the new year ( which was 2014). They still live downstairs. They still pay 850 dollars in rent.

Not only does my mother not have the heart to kick them because they are family, but she is scared too as well. My mother DEPENDS on the rent check to make the loan payment for the mortgage and other bills. What if we get a tenant that stiffs us on the rent? What if it takes a month to find a tenant?

That first floor apartment can easily be rented for 1,400 and real estate agent even suggested we rent it for 1,800 since it is a two bedroom with two private entrances ( so they do not even have to enter my house to go to their apartment).  With that kind of rent money , my parents wouldn’t have to struggle so hard. I could put some money in my empty bank account .

But, we continue to struggle while my family downstairs live a frivolous lifestyle.

And its more than just the stiffing us on paying more rent or being considerate. They treat you like dirt. They look down on you. They judge. They are so negative.  Growing up, my cousin and I used to be like best friends. But now? I don’t even send her text messages and when she invites to me hang out , most of the time i decline. Or i just pop by and keep it brief. You cannot even have a conversation with her. She is closed minded and judgmental.

I can’t be around people like that.

Yet, i harbor all this bitterness, jealousy and resentment towards them in my heart.

Hating them is tainting my heart. My positivity.

So, I’m going to try to let it go. I’m going to let THEM go.

I believe in Karma.  I will try to live my best in positivity and let that good energy come back to me.  I need to empty my heart of negativity.

Just because you are blood, doesn’t mean you are family. I can choose to look at these family members as just strangers. I am choosing too look at them and not wish them unwell. Live and let live. They put out such negativity and that is their problem and karma will take care of it.

I just choose to let go.

I’m a good person and I’m going to focus on GOOD people and good things and let that goodness fill me up.

As per Bloggers for Peace spirit, here another bloggers for peace: