Monday, June 25, 2007

Girlfriends...

As we all watched Joan finally get her man, FINALLY, I think women everywhere were saddened by the ending that we all knew came far too soon. As happy as I was for Joan, I was disappointed that the finale didn't embody the true essence of what the show really meant to so many of us - The importance of sisterhood. The female bond. The friendship between a woman and her girls.

Much as we like Monica and the new flare that she adds, we all know that its just not quite the same without trifelin' Toni Childs. And yes, we were all FED UP with Joan's new uppity attitude when Toni was going through the whole custody battle and we knew that it was high time that Joan messed up since Toni had messed up SOOOO many times before...but didn't we all expect them to become friends again. I mean no one truly thought that it would remain like this...seasons later and Toni is STILL in NY....it's impossible. Joan will NOT be a part of Morgan's life...REALLY!!! I just knew that after a few episodes w/out her they would bring Toni back for a teary reunion show that would remind us all that no matter how much our friends mess up, they are still our GIRLS...

There's the code, you know sisterhood is blood..and blood is thicker than EVERYTHING. And yes, there are things that we in the real world say are unforgivable...like the age old "she slept with my man"...but Toni and Joan were even able to reconcile that situation. Amazing. We didn't think there was anything that their relationship couldn't make it through.

I didn't realize just how many women were rooting for Mya, Lynn, Joan and Toni. They were a group of friends that we all somehow could relate to. We all have a friend that reminds us of one of them, and we see so much of ourselves in another one. I realized not too long ago how many of my own friends love the show. Watching these women become each other's life lines was what made me and a lot of other appreciative women tune in (or tivo, should one be working late) every Monday night.

I was on the phone with two really good friends last week and while we caught up my friend Kris made a statement that we all know to be true (And Kelsey you can use this one in the reunion show)... We are all extremely independent and have rigorous schedules, but we have reached an understanding, a simple truth in our hearts that no matter the distance or time between us we remain close. And that is so true...when I think of my invaluable group of friends, the list of my ace chicks are not ones that I talk to everyday. They are strong women who have been there for me during one point in my life or another. Women that I could look to for advice, assistance, support or just to throw one back with. Women with shoulders of steel.

The point is we all know the extreme pricelessness of our girlfriends...how much we love them, need them, depend on them. Even if it's just to tell them a "girl, guess what happened...." story, your day seems brighter after you've had your dose of sisterhood. The forwards you get from them at work (Tenille), the phone calls when they are on their way home to pick up the baby (Cheryl), the emails of the upcoming shopping trips (Christel). The scriptures on your email (Contessa), the hey girl what're we doing this weekend (Crystal), the pics of the cutest nephew on the planet from the other side of the world (Ruthi). The ones who will give up t-shirts and their own bed when you come for a surprise visit (Kelli). The ones who you don't make a move unless you call them first (Takiyah). All of these are time-dated proof positives of the love that I share with my friends.

Like Toni and Joan, there are some of us that don't make it all the way through life's journey on the same path. There were still memories and lessons learned that no disagreement can ever take from us. The meaning and the importance of the bond that we shared at one point as friends is still essential, whether we are still thick as thieves or can't stand to be near one another. Whether we cross the finish line at the same point or miles apart, the fact that you've helped me through and I you at one point or another is still a valid reason as to why were both able to cross.

To all MY Girlfriends, my sisters, my friends, past and present, thank you for seeing me through. Thank you for the voicemail, the emails, the blogs, the texts and the stories of humanity and heroism. The smiles, the tears and everything else we have shared. My life wouldn't be the same without you all and I hope I have touched you ladies too. If I mentioned you or if I didn't, you spirited females are my circle. My support group, my AA cohorts and my celebrity gossip columnists. You never cease to amaze me with what you've accomplished, the kids that you make, the wonderful mates you choose and the strength that you all possess. I am a better woman having called you friend. All of you. Thanks for being my Girlfriends.

And Kelsey please bring Toni back for the final reconciliation, you have a million women who would love a happy ending with the WHOLE CREW....just a suggestion...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Best Me

As most of you know my birthday was last Sunday June 10th and I crossed that "nother year" mark hopefully with a clearer head and goals that are closer to obtainable. I have long ago decided that 30 was the year that was going to mark my real START of living. I had a conversation with a very close confidante of mine who confirmed that the 20's are the decade of profundity (yes, I had to look it up too..even after figuring out the root word, thanks to 6th and 7th grade Latin with Mr. Beretta) and once you make all the foolish mistakes that you are prone to make, then you will really start living in the 30's. (so thank you Candace, that really hit home with me, after all these years it still resonates in my spirit).

After that revelation however, ironically, I decided to go on vacation. Let me start from the beginning. Those that I've kept in close contact with me know that I constantly say that I'm working. And I fear that people think that I say that because I don't want to really discuss the "other" things going on in my life. (haha as if there are OTHER things going on in my life right now)...and THAT my friend, is the problem. If and when I have contact with friends or family members that I haven't seen in quite a while they ask the age old "what have you been up to" and the quickest and most truthful response that I can muster is...WORK.

And its the truth. I have been working from 10 am to 8 or 9 pm for about 4 months straight now. And although I know it will pay off and I know that it's time to work hard...sometimes I feel like I'm losing the rest of me. My career is something that is extremely important to me...I don't want to lose out on family (close relationships) or interests or hobbies that I haven't pursued yet..(cooking classes, I always said that I would get my great-grandmother to teach me how to knit and I want to take up the guitar/piano and Italian and maybe go scuba diving)...Or lose out on places that I'd like to go because I spend my whole life working. It is indeed respectable work and work that makes me feel like an integral part of society, but it's work none the less. I want to be a well-rounded me. Someone who has the opportunity to LIVE, not just work.

So when I decided to take this vacation it was a big decision, it was spontaneous but also well thought out. It was the first break I'd had in a VERY LONG TIME. Not only was it well deserved but it was timely. I'm glad that I took a moment to step back and remember the other things that were important to me. And when I speak of the best me, sure it means the loan officer that closes the most loans and the one who is the most consistent but it also means being the happiest me. The me who can be even more supportive to those who have been good to me. The me who wants to adopt a kid and move to a bigger city (DC, I have wanted to relocate there for a while now and explore that gorgeous and historic city) and buy a small vacation home not too far from there. The best me is smart and decisive, frugal and consistent, supportive and altruistic. I needed that break to recognize ALL my goals. Even the ones that get hidden sometimes in the long work hours.

I guess my message tonight is whatever you imagined that you could do, you STILL CAN. I turned 28 and I decided that I'm not waiting for 30 to live. 30 has always the been that magic number for me. The year when I REALLY LIVE (whatever that means)...as if I'm not living now. I'm gonna do whatever it takes today to move my life forward, whether it be a vacation, or signing up for culinary school (not because I can't cook, but because I enjoy it when I actually have time to do it) or actually filling out the adoption application or paying off those last few student loans on my credit report that need to be taken care of. I am ready TO LIVE. TODAY. AT 28. I'm ready to be THE BEST ME.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Personal Rules...

Ok, so I've apparently been tagged by one of my fellow bloggies and it is now my job to list the things that make me tick. I have been thinking long and hard about these things since yesterday morning and I've found that as easy going as I thought I was there really are a lot of things that seriously get on my nerves. I have selected the ones that I can share:

1. While taking care of my pertinent BI, I absolutely hate to be asked to hold for more than two minutes. If the automated voice tells me that I'll hold any longer than that I consider it an insult to my time....which I already have very little of. Wouldn't it instead be much nicer to advise the caller that the lines are extremely busy and it may be beneficial to call back at a later date...or assign certain accounts to cerain reps so that I always have someone to reach directly. I don't mind leaving a message, that rep can then just return my call after they have resolved my issue.

2. When going out for a cocktail I think it extremely rude to be handed a glass without the option of a straw...even if the beverage is a brew. Have you ever seen how they "wash" dishes in a restaurant, especially at the bar...the tender simply dumps the glasses in soapy water and then dumps them again in warm water. Not hardly what I would consider clean.

3. Because I work with borrowers all over the country it is very important that I am accessible by phone most all times so that my clients can reach me. With that being said, when I make a phone appointment, it is exactly that, an appointment. Nothing enrages me more than taking a lengthy application from someone who really does need a loan and then go back to call them to talk about numbers and they have decided to either be late for our conversation or simply skip it altogether. It takes diligence and research to find the necessary products and programs for those interested in refinancing or buying homes. If I make it my business to do the research FOR YOU, then please make it yours to keep the appointment.

4. Belching is only a compliment in China. Please don't burp at my American table without excusing yourself.

5. Powertrippers are at the absolute bottom of the totem pole.

6. Making out in public is so unnecessary...ever heard of the term "behind closed doors"..and can you please tell me why holding hands is not affection enough. I believe that those who do all that heavy showing off in public have the absolute dryest sex lives in private. It's true.

7. If you own a business it does not give your children free reign to run through the establishment as though they are home. I wish my nail lady read this. PROFESSIONALISM, is it dead people?

8. Music, like food, is a matter of preference not cultural loyalty. If an artist and I have the same skin color, it does not require me to buy his album.

9. Extremely long fingernails went out with SWV.

10. I absolutely do love my elders but I am a firm believer that they should only drive between the hours of 10am and 2pm. I am not about to quote an age limit but if the only errands that you have are the pharmacy and the grocery store...then please do that while I'm at work so that I dont have to drive behind you as you take the scenic route on the highway after I've been working all day. And I say that with the utmost respect.

And Finally, Barnes and Noble is a haven. Kids, please wait for the movie to start someplace else, like maybe the arcade or the ice cream parlor. Since when did middle school kids start drinking Mocha Frapaccino. And College Kids, buy your textbooks and keep it moving...its not a hang out. You've taken over everywhere else. I am putting a flag up at the book store....this one belongs to the adults. (Not that I don't encourage youngsters to read...just can you go to the library??)

Wow that felt good. I'll stop here, but the funny thing is I really could go on. I'm a very positive person, but this really has started the wheels turning.