Tag Archives: self-discovery

Day 5: Something You Hope to Do in Your Life

As defined by oxforddictionaries.com/us/ a bucket list is a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.

I never really considered making a bucket list until I watched the movie “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson; however, I didn’t actually compile a list until much later.

See the original concept for this blog was to chronicle my journey towards completing my bucket list. I would post the original list and add or delete items as I saw fit. It was going to be GREAT! But uhhhh that was two years ago and I have yet to accomplish anything on my bucket list.

With this being Day 5: Something You Hope to Do in Your Life of the 30 Days of Truth challenge, I figured it might be time to revisit my bucket list, make some much-needed revisions and perhaps condense it from thirty-items to perhaps seven.

Here are some things I hope to do in my life.

  • Spend Christmas with my oldest brother in California
    • My brother and I are so close one would never know we’ve only seen each once in our entire lives. We fight and poke fun at each other like we grew up in the same house or at least spent time at each other’s homes every summer. I thank the Lord every day that I have such a pain in the ass brother who loves his beautiful and intelligent little sister to pieces. Go ahead tell him what I said. I don’t care. LOL I’ve called him worse to his face. The plan is to save at least $1500 by October 2013. Yes it’s a lot of money but I really want this. But mums the word okay?
  • Attend Rose Bowl Parade and Game
    • Year after year without utter fail, I watch the Rose Bowl and Parade. Well, lemme rephrase that statement. I watch the Rose Bowl Parade without fail; the game is a different story. Since the game is not the grand puba of college football games, I really haven’t “wanted” to watch. But it would be fabulous to attend the game.
  • Buy an alto saxophone
    • During my junior high, high school and freshman year at Baylor. For you collectors out there, I have played a Bundy and Yamaha tenor saxophone and a Yamaha alto saxophone. I would love to purchase a silver alto saxophone. One of my Alpha Phi Omega brothers has a breathtakingly beautiful silver saxophone. One day when I have a house and a study/office/music room, I’m going to buy one. Yes I understand it may take some time but hell all I have is time nowadays.
  • Learn another language
    • Hablo Español pero me gustaría mucho aprender un otra lengua. J’aimerais apprendre le français.
    • One of my favorite artists in the whole history of art is none other than Cheri Lynn Fojtik. Never heard of her? You will one day. Just wait. Who is she? My sister. She is the reason why I have such a strong interest in art. She is the reason why I can appreciate all genres of art and creativity. I am interested to see what other worlds I will be exposed to if I were to visit these museums.
  • Visit the stadiums of my favorite pro sports teams as well as Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.
    • I do not have a very long list of favorite teams so my stadium tour will be mildly short. However, I can already cross two off the list: Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros) and the Toyota Center (home of the Houston Rockets). I have visited Reliant Stadium but not for a Houston Texans game. Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are only on the tour because these are iconic stadiums. However, please note that I would only go if the Astros or the Dodgers were playing the teams that reside in these stadiums. So here’s the list: Dodgers Stadium, Staples Center (not for the flakers ain’t nobody care about them pansies but for the LA Clippers) and Lambeau Field.
  • Fully learn to swim
    • One would think since I have taught three-year olds to swim that I would be able to swim myself right?! Not a chance. Don’t give me the side eye cuz I’ve heard it before. It is easy to teach kids because you’re at the shallow end and that’s deep for them. Besides I almost drowned once. If I do get in the water, I sit at the shallow end.

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The revised list is much shorter than I originally thought it would be. Not that I do not want to accomplish the other items on my original list but I have to be realistic with myself sometimes. So we shall see.

Until then, thanks for reading.

The Southern Yankee

Day 4: Something You Have to Forgive Someone For

Remember when I said this in my last post?

“Now I am not an advocate of spending your entire life mad at someone.

Truth be told, I don’t hold grudges.

Often.

For very long.

Okay so I do. Sue me! pero not for reals because you not gon get anything but a penny LOL.

Well Day 4’s topic is Something You Have to Forgive Someone For. SMH this isn’t going to be fun.

For the most part, I really don’t hold grudges or stay mad for a long period of time nor do I hold shit over people’s heads. I realized several years ago being pissed at someone doesn’t help me or the other person. Besides life is too damn short to focus all my energy on whatever pissed me off in the first place. I learned that you can either forgive and forget or just forgive and hope to God that the person who wronged you doesn’t fuck up again.

Screw me one – shame on you

Screw me twice – shame on me

Screw me three times and you’re asking for a world of hurt and anguish!

I’m just sayin

I grew up an only child. I didn’t find out I had brothers until I believe I was in junior high or high school. My oldest brother is I believe four years older than me. My step brother is a year and four months and my baby brother is approximately eight years and five months younger than me. Our mothers’ ex-husband was a hoe! Not a whore because if that were true we’d have a dozen more siblings. Latimers are by far not an infertile family!

My mother divorced her ex-husband the year I turned three.  The month before my third birthday my mother and I moved to Texas. For the first nine years, we lived with my grandparents. When I was in 4th or 5th grade, Mom and I moved “next door” to our very own house. I remember after we moved I would have dreams about Tutu (look I refuse to call him father or dad my blog my prerogative) almost weekly. Sometimes I would wake up crying. Sometimes I would wake angry. I would question my mother why he wasn’t around. What did I do to deserve this? She did her best to comfort me but nothing she did or said was ever enough. I wanted and needed answers from HIM. But he would never grant me the satisfaction of talking face to face coherently. In my ENTIRE life, I have seen the man maybe five times. Five times!!! See I got the shit end of the stick because my mother and I moved to Texas. If given the choice, I wouldn’t have moved here. I would have opted for living with family in California. At least then, I would have grown up around my older brother and developed some sort of relationship with Tutu. Makes logical sense, right?! Not so much.

Growing up, I blamed Tutu for everything that happened or didn’t happen. I blamed him for my mom having to struggle to raise me and finance my education at Baylor. I hated him more than anything for having other child and being happy with someone other than my mother. Did my mother deserve to be happy? Didn’t she deserve to have a life outside of a single mom? Didn’t I deserve to be a happy kid?

It took a really long time for me realize my parent’s divorce was NOT my fault nor did it have anything to do with me. My mother divorced him because he was and probably still is an alcoholic and drug addict. I was told he was so strung out once that he sold our TV so he could get high. What a shining example of a “father” right?

I don’t know what my or brothers’ lives would have been like if Tutu had been something more than just a sperm donor nor do I want to anymore. I grew up a few years ago and came to the conclusion that I had a few really great father figures in my life. These gentlemen were there for my mom and me more than Tutu probably ever wanted to be. So I forgave him. Yes just like that. As I said before, I cannot spend my whole life angry because it doesn’t benefit me or Tutu. Perhaps one day we’ll speak again but until then I am content living my life without him.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Day 3: Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For

It is now Day 3 of the 30 Days of Truth challenge and I was doing well until I got to today’s topic: Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For.

Let’s be honest with each other for minute. Can we agree that regardless of who forgives and the forgiven, forgiveness is hard? Forgiveness requires soul-searching, deep thought and faith. not for the other person but for yourself

The whole notion of forgive and forget is not true for everything and everyone. For some people, it is one or the other but certainly not both and not at the same time. Maybe after a few years more like decades one will forget but in the here and now not so much.

Now I am not an advocate of spending your entire life mad at someone.

Truth be told, I don’t hold grudges.

Often.

For very long.

Okay so I do. Sue me! pero not for reals because you not gon get anything but a penny LOL.

I have been known to stay mad at someone for waaaay longer than I really need to be. I believe it is in our nature as humans to want to stay mad because we really do not know how to channel the emotions we feel when we have been wronged by someone else.

But what happens when we cannot forgive ourselves for something? To me, this is harder because if you’re like me, you are your worst and harshest critic, judge and jury. It may take five minutes to forgive a friend for criticizing your significant other or brilliant get rich quick scheme but five years to forgive yourself for running that traffic light when it was clearly not your turn and causing an accident. Or ten years for telling your mother an awful lie that caused her so much anguish your relationship with her was never the same after. Or twenty years when you find out that your gay sibling committed suicide because you and your conservative pseudo-Christian family would not look past his or her sexuality.

I was young. Mentally and in age. I thought I was grown. I thought this would never happen to a relatively good kid like me from Podunkville, USA. I came from a “Christian” home with “Christian values”. Who knew my thinking I was grown would lead to the one and only event in my life I regret. The one and only event that haunts me to this day the entire month of its anniversary. I have spent the majority of my life contemplating ways to forgive myself for that day that I remember so vividly as if it happened yesterday. I’ve read stories, magazine articles and books about “moving on” from traumatic events in one’s life. Nothing really helped. I thought (and still think) about it constantly. I needed something more than what I was already doing. It wasn’t possible to apologize to the person I wronged because the situation was complicated for more than just me. I would have opened a can of worms I wasn’t (and somewhat still not) ready to deal with.

I think it was April 2009 when I started going to Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. My sister had been attending church there for some time and invited me to go to the Easter Service. It was a weird feeling to be in church again because I had not attended on a regular basis in I don’t know how many years. I felt a sense of peace that I had not felt in YEARS, which really didn’t surprise me because I really do love going to church. I’m not a bible thumper nor some “holier than thou” type of person. I don’t go around quoting scripture or trying to convert people to a certain religion. I’m not at all my grandmother’s granddaughter. I love the ambience and aura that certain churches possess. At Lakewood, I feel an overwhelming sense of “being at home”. The people are so sweet and caring. Of course you wouldn’t think so if you saw how rude they become when trying to leave the parking garage. Jesus… The praise and worship portion of service reminds me of a black church. People of all races clap, sing, dance, sway with the beat, jump and down with joy and have a great time.

One Sunday, I believe a few months after I started attending regularly, I attended service by myself. If I remember right, it was the first time I had ever attended a church service alone. I sat in my sister and I’s usual spot. The music started. I sang along. Then I became emotional. Not my usual emotional where I can suppress whatever I am feeling. On this occasion, I could not suppress my emotions or the tears these emotions produced. I was crying so hard my chubby cheeks felt like river beds. I couldn’t explain what was going on. I had never cried like that in public before. I think that was the beginning of my long process of forgiving myself.

Since that day, I have had numerous emotional episodes at church. I don’t attend as often as I would like but I can honestly say attending Lakewood has helped me to process what happened so that I can eventually fully forgive myself.

Thanks for reading

The Southern Yankee

Day 2: Something You Love About Yourself

So three days ago I started this 30 Days of Truth writing challenge in an effort to jump start my passion for writing again. And while initially thought this would be easy and that able to knock out posts like I take shots, I have to say I think I should just stick to take shots. Don’t get me wrong. I believe God and I agree writing is something I should do for a very long time. It’s helped me get through so many “rough patches” in my life. It has allowed me to “keep calm and let go” of the majority of shit that has happened to me and around me. But JESUS this challenge here is going to really cause me to think outside of my happy little emotion filled rollercoaster of a box.

So with that said, it is now Day 2 of the 30 Days of Truth challenge. Today’s topic is: Something you love about yourself. Now anyone who knows me I’m not one to sing all kinds of praises about myself. I sometimes think I am incapable of complimenting myself. I compliment and play nice with others but me myself and I don’t get along. I’m my worst critic and above all I am the first person to “talk shit” to myself. So imagine my predicament when I started to really think about what I LUV about myself. After two hours of driving yesterday, I settled on two things I really love about myself.

#1 – I am the type of person who loves to continuously learn new things.

I consider myself pretty smart. Maybe not Albert Einstein or George Washington Carver smart but I think for being as scatter-brained as I can be sometimes okay maybe a little more than sometimes I can hold my own on a variety of topics but if I don’t know anything about a topic or can’t bullshit my way through (which if I do say so myself I am pretty good at) I’ll at least do my due diligence to read or learn more about the topic for next time. I think being an only child in a family full of black Southern Baptist adults who did not understand “because I said so” was not an adequate answer for an inquisitive child. Yes I was this kid. Nonetheless, I enjoy reading and watching documentaries about other people, lifestyles, cultures, foods, science, history (even though history classes are not my forte), politics, religions, careers (especially my own), etc.

#2 – I can cook!!!

I may not be Chef Cat Cora, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli or Ms. Paula Deen but I DO know my way around a kitchen and can throw down! I suppose the fact that everyone in my family can cook they asses off helps me greatly. My Grandpa Latimer (God rest his soul) and my uncle (my mother’s youngest sibling) are trained chefs. Even though I never had the pleasure of eating any of his dishes, I am pretty sure my grandfather was a whiz in the kitchen. My uncle, on the other hand, is the reason why I have such an elaborate sweet tooth. The man is a genius when it comes to pastries; however, I do not have his genius pastry chef capabilities. I can bake but not as well or from scratch like he can.

Nevertheless, I am a fantastic little chef. I love trying new as well as putting new spins on family recipes. I wish I could say that most of my experiments in the kitchen work in my favor. which is why cayenne pepper and I are NOT besties! I also wish I ate most of things I can cook. Here let me explain. Before my mom and I moved into our own house, we lived with my maternal grandparents, which is where I learned how to cook. Grandma cooked a variety of foods. I learned how to cook these foods and could/can make them well; however, I didn’t/don’t like to eat them. Many conversations with my friends typically go as follows:

My friends: how the hell do you call yourself black if you don’t eat __________ (insert a random dish you would find in a Southern black family’s home here)?

Me: I dunno! I just don’t like it.

My friends: but you can cook ______________ (again insert a random dish you would find in a Southern black family’s home here)

Me: sho can and you will love it!!!

My friends: *blank stare* coupled with a nasty *side eye*

Me: shut up bitches and eat!

My friends: nom nom nom nom

So what is something or things you love about yourself? Leave a comment and lets discuss.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Day 1: Something You Hate About Yourself

So today’s topic is somewhat difficult. What is something you hate about yourself? Hate is such a strong word don’t you think? I mean can a person really dislike something about him or herself so much that he or she ends up hating that aspect or characteristic? The answer is yes. I despise more than just a few things about myself. I despise them so much that I project that discontentment on other people. I know that seems messed up but I’m human and I do not always want to recognize that (or admit for that matter) what I dislike about other people is what I truly dislike about myself.
So what is it that I hate about myself? I won’t give the usual I have my physical appearance because I don’t really hate the way I look because when I want to be (which is rare), I can look smokin’ hot! Hair. Nails. Boots. BAM! Point is I can change my appearance anytime I want it just takes effort on my part.

I think what I truly hate about myself is that I am easily distracted by almost anything. Sort of like this. It never fails actually. Case in point I started making something for my sister Cheri almost two weeks ago and I have yet to finish it. I’m in the moment for a day or two and on day three I’m on to the next one. It’s quite sad actually because I have a million great ideas and/or projects to do but it seems like I never finish them or if I do finish something, the end result isn’t what it really could be. I find myself rushing through projects or doing the bare minimum. While that used to work in my favor when I was at Baylor, it doesn’t work so well now that I’m older. I feel like I can do and be better at everything I initially put my mind to but in the last few years, my motivation level has gone from a 10 to 1.

Not that I’m complaining or even being extremely pessimistic but perhaps being an adult is why I have been so distracted recently. And before I start going all Dr. Phil on myself trying to analyze on my problems and why I’m so screwed up let me just say by adult I don’t mean my emotions. I mean the daily rigors of being an adult. The getting up at the butt crack of frickin dawn. The driving from Podunkville to Stepford. The paying of bills, buying gas, groceries and the unexpected bullshit I need to fix my fuckin car items. I never wanted to be this adult who lives paycheck to paycheck working at a job I really could care less for and driving a car I love but cannot afford to maintain. Bother I said I wasn’t going to go all Dr. Phil so I will save this rant for another post.
So yeah.. LOL I am easily distracted with an attention span the size of an ant. Hopefully this 30 Days of Truth challenge will force me to focus.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee