Still Letting Go

I can hear myself humming Ant Hamilton’s “Can’t Let Go” as I prepare for this moment.

Actually, I’m humming that tune as I relay a recent event to you.

“Band on the Run” was the actual tune dancing around my head as I made my way to the DMV BMV.

Another license to surrender, another registration to seek, another title to present.

Yes, it was time officially become a lawfully registered citizen of Indy.

Sure, I’ve done this a few times now. It’s supposed to get easier with age and every step state you take.

Setbacks met me on my drive to the BMV as I left part of my life story (SSN, Passport, and your cousin’s info too) in the closet at home.

So, I would be returned home to grab my documents like a school child in trouble to line up with policy.

I returned nourished and more rested clear-headed than I did the hour before.

That setback was the divine providence that allowed me to check in with my wellness and preparation for the book/written exam. Aced it, shazam.

My eyes are still in great shape as I read through a line of words and numbers with great pace.

My new license picture…that’s a story for another day. Apparently, you can’t smile for your photo in this beloved state.

Next up was my registration for voting rights and finding my polling station.

Smooth sailing you would think. Naw, not quite yet. The worker threw a solid brick that did not miss.

“You know that license has to stay here with me today,” she said.

My heart tightened, and a tiny tear in my right eye stung the crease fold.

I belted out a fake but delighted, “Yep, I know.” All the time, my heart ached below.

I never felt attached to S.Carolina, I thought. But, I guess even she made a southern imprint along the way.

I’m a Southern daughter, belle. Filled with grace. I like my breakfast and language direct.

I’ll take my lemonade and affection for others sweet, if you please.

It was yet another rude awakening that day, that on paper, the South could no longer stay.

I am a mid-western local now with a soul as southern as the greatest bbq and college football team will ever reside.

I realized on the drive home, that God is still chiseling away at my identity.

He’s never going to pull the prideful, Southern woman out of me.

But he will state by state get me closer to my destiny.

“I Don’t Know Freedom, I Want My Dreams to Rescue Me”

“I don’t know freedom, I want my dreams to rescue me…apparently”

Those are the words my head bobbed to

as the prose from J.Cole arose through my soul

inviting me to acknowledge a deeper pain from within.

Apparently, my mom, sisters, dad, and a few friends here and there

believed in me.

Apparently, apathy, fatigue, frustration, delirium, and the faceless

haunt of depression departed from recess as my heart began to regress.

Apparently, it was time to stop wishing my dreams would launch me

towards the confines and beauty lines of clear water beaches.

Time crept upon me yet again with my goals far out of heaven’s reaches.

Yeah, that last word was a stretch.

I felt the widening of my heart as my breaths filled with air.

It had been months since I tasted freedom and smelled the aroma of dreams swirling near.

My mind became absorbed by an intruder name fear.

Did I make the right choice. Did I miss an opportunity.

Long-distance travel is not new to me but a rewarding change was overdue to me.

Maybe that was it. Maybe I forgot the cost of freedom or daring to harness a dream.

Perhaps, the ivory tower world in which I work was not too much for me.

It may have been the removal of tension for a while that welcomed naivete.

Life is hard and even harder for some of us.

Rough days happen, people sometimes are unimaginable to deal.

Yet, God reminded me in my toughest moment to keep both hands on the wheel.


Ability versus Attitude

Today made for an interesting day. I faciltated a meeting in which a colleague interjected a challenge of ability versus attitude. In a time where social justice undergirds  the work we provide, it is important for us to use caution with terms such as micro aggressions and trigger. Sometimes these words of significant meaning are tossed around lime candy on Halloween night with very little gravity of depth.

Taboo as it may, sometimes these words become buzz or trending topics that mask areas such as disengagement, comfort, complacency, or apathy. The roots in these situations tend to be distrust, disenfranchisement, and disord. If we neglect to dig deeper, the gap of communication divide will only widen.

Black Lives Matter Too

The passing years have seen the phrase “Black Lives Matter” as the catch-all for discriminatory or inflammatory acts to be referenced in our social hemisphere.  Typically these horrific events center with the justice system or civil unrest around poor interactions between African-Americans and those of privilege

Take a step back and re-read the last sentence. Those of privilege. Bubbling under the radar for years has been the dissonance between Men and Women of African ancestry. Too often oppression is seen as an external force, but quite frequent is the dismissal of persons within the African American culture by one another.

Easily one of the most divided ethnic groups whose historical context paints an accurate picture of self-hatred. Over centuries, the African-American culture has fought for visibility and humanity while secretly at home fighting marital abuse, neglect, hunger, rape, incest, alcoholism, colorism, and many other obstacles that separate the fabric of our homes.

So, why “Black Lives Matter Too?” Some days of the week, as an African-American female, I have to hold up a mirror to remind others who self-identify in similarly that we matter. We have to role model what matter means from time to time. I’m not digressing from the traditional movement but we have to look inside.

Just this summer, I served in a temporary capacity before relocating from the South to the Midwest. I worked with an amazing team minus an incident that took me back 100 years that I have yet to live. I had the unfortunate experience of being supervised by an African-American Male who made harassing jokes about my identity. The culprit dismiss reminders that this day in age such conversation has no place in higher education. He would laugh and utter “angry black female.” I remember taking a phone call and having the same belligerent male standing over me calling me an angry black female in the midst of my phone call with a customer. I’m not one for passivity, but my need for sanity overrode the need to report to HR. I had 72 hours before relocating to my new state and I had to make a choice in favor of my health. Some who have never had to report hostile environment to HR have no idea how taxing the process is.

It’s important to make these reports but my health was far too important for me to educate a man who knows better. Yet, the same male supervisor stands clueless to his words being as lethal to the bullets that have taken lives of many African Americans in a three-year span. Such cowardly, self-hating persons do not see the impact of their actions. Hence, I hold the mirror today to remind all that the life of a Black person matters. Especially, those who hold that verify identity.

Down Memory Lane

I didn’t make it to Church tonight. I told myself, I wouldn’t miss Bible study. I’ve enjoyed it thus far but I decided I had no space left for traffic and people (combined). Instead, I chatted like a teenager on the phone with one of my favorite Georgians, Chantal.

We had a ball checking on each other and exchanging lessons learned within the past 24 hours of life. Somewhere down the line, we took a Minnie Ripperton stroll down Memory Lane. Our chat delved back to the beginning days of co-dependency work. It had been ages since we did some of that reflection work. We snickered and giggled at how ‘overconsuming’ our actions could be on others. I recall referencing that in my 20s and early 30s I would shift from one extreme to another. One minute I’m throwing the baby out with the bath water and telling folks to duck the tub that would be following suit.

Essentially, growth has taken her course and allowed us a moment of maturity to see know what was foreign to us then. Little girls robed in grown women’s bodies parading as adults but still crying out for the attention we should have received as youth. Towards the end of the conversation, I remember laughing and sharing that I prefer that journey any day over some of the other extremes that I have witnessed in my time.

Glad, I shared that journey with many then and sit in a better place now. Temptation to resort back to co-dependent ways always find a way to surface. However, boundary work becomes more natural the more you stick to it. Love that my journey with a trusted friend tonight happened.

Sometimes Church happens outside of a building (un-hunh says all the believers). *Wink*


Wow, plans change. Life is really that simple. I remember one of my besties, actually my twin telling me moons ago that I get bent out of shape when my plans fall through. I remember it like yesterday, disputing that truth. Resistance, is typically the first sign of something holding at least a grain of merit.

Over the years, I have come to realize that my plans are truly not HIS God’s plans. Never in a million years would I look on a map and find a city in the mid-west to call my new home or adventure at least. Yet, here I stand in the heart of a metropolis over 500 miles from the state I know as my home.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for three weeks now, but I think life and the Lord needed me to add a few more vegetables to what has sized up to be a great meal. When a person arrives, they grow to be okay with uncertainty. When a person arrives, they put aside the familiar and try something new. Life does not have to go the way it was envisioned nor does it have to feel comfortable as hoped.

Two weeks ago, I re-read a card that I looked at yet again from my Sis Ericka. She quoted someone worthy and I want to share that with you. I found this blessing prayer as I stood boldly in the apartment of my new city with no certainty of tomorrow. My heart found peace after reading this.

Blessing prayer by Susie Larson

“Start a Day Blessing: May God give you a sense of what He’s up to in your life. May you see glimpses of the breakthrough that’s just up ahead. May you-with all your heart-believe that trusting Him over what your eyes see, is totally and completely worth it. May you shift your weight off of your logical reasonings and onto the weightiness of His powerful promises to you. You’ve got help and resources that go far beyond anything you could ever need. Smile with joy and walk by faith today. He’s got you.”

More Bags

“OOOOOOO Wow,” my Mother exclaimed as she basked in the view of my, freshly retrieved from my former storage unit, array of bags. Suitcases to gym bags to University swag bags, to colorful grocery eco-friendly bags gathered together in unity around one of the bedrooms of her home. I would like to believe there were on the cusp of singing we shall overcome as I unpacked them one by one, shifting my belongings into vacuum seal bags.

I never saw the room that way and actually found myself tilting my head to behold the same view that my Mother expressed. It was true. I couldn’t help but perk up and smile as I saw a wealth of experiences and journeys enveloping my being in that room. I was able to see each trip I took to Miami to visit Ailin and family. I saw the many Universities I worked with and the moments of connecting with others on both similarities and differences. I also saw the invaluable experiences gained through personal experiences from my 20’s & 30’s.

A feeling of relief entered my heart. I am currently embarking on a healthy, holistic journey. In the past, if I mentioned bags-it had more to do with where I had been and issues unresolved. Now, as I look at the bags surrounding me, my eyes are anew with appreciation for purposeful steps I am taking towards the life I want to live. I am no longer, running from what scares or shares my being.

Yes, my Mother is right. The bags in that room are amazing and I deserve to be awestruck in their beauty as well as wonder. For those bags hold memories of my life’s work, passion, purpose, and promise.

My Letter

Thank you in advance for forgiving my brief hiatus.

No excuses to offer, just a conflict of priorities and a decision made to let rest become my temporary priority.

In between errands, life pursuits, and other strategic musings, I had the opportunity to behold something special in a current read on Whitespace, spirituality, and ptsd. Towards the end of a chapter, the author called for the reader (me) to take a moment and consider what Jesus would say in a letter. Hmmm. My initial response was, “I don’t have time for this.”

Three weeks later, I’m here contemplating what would Jesus write to me in a letter today.

The author challenged for the reader to envision what Jesus may say and write those words down. The author also called for the reader to pen a letter back to Jesus as well.

Part of me believes, that evading the thought of Jesus’s words to me may be a numbing moment of just gliding through the days without needing to ‘feel’ any turmoil—ie vulnerability.

Fortunately, when life or Jesus has something for you to know, it doesn’t fade because you I am not ready to hear it.

I had an interview recently and during both phases of it, I found myself open and sharing some truly vulnerable past experiences.  At one point, I revealed something that I had not even uttered to my inner self.

So, as I sit contemplating what Jesus may want to say to me in a letter.

I think his words would be brief. It would read something similar to this.

“Coretta trust yourself. Your experiences are real. All of your experiences are blessings, but some hurt more than others. My love for you has never wavered. Give yourself the same freedom to show up as you give others.”

And of course, my response or letter back to Jesus would simply read, “Thank you.”

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Working bravely: what are the payoffs?


Truly enjoyed the bravery displayed in this post. A part of growing in wisdom is being true to yourself and facing that which may be vulnerable. Take the challenge.

Originally posted on Girlsrockinwork:

Brave and work are not two words that often go together in a sentence. Until recently, my only experiences of the word ‘brave’ when in work, have been people saying ‘I’m not that brave; I couldn’t do that.’ But, if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll notice I’ve mentioned it in a few blogs (writingbravery with familydifficult conversations). Yesterday, I signed up to a 10 day ‘Train the Brave‘ challenge created by Margie Warrell. Each day for next 10 days, I’ll receive an email with some challenges to help me flex my bravery muscles (I’m sensing some eye rolling here, just what we need more stuff to clog up our inboxes) but I’m going to give it a go (my first act of bravery). I’m chuckling to myself here at the thought of it; this is not something I would ever have…

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Press #R

Press # R for Release

Last Sunday, as I journeyed from Macon to Columbus, I had time to think about what I call a journey. It was clear to me all the work that had to be done to forgive myself and others over the years.

Forgiveness is a daily journey. Typically, most of us refuse to cruise forgiveness boulevard after two or three trips.

But it’s important for me to relay why it might be time to hit the pound sign for release.

When I left Columbus to return to Carrollton in 2008, my life was riddled with panic attacks. They would pop up quick and remind me of my inability to (at that time) cope with uncertainty. However, by the time I left my journey of Graduate studies, uncertainty became a favorite hangout destination of mine.

In life, plans or made but do not always withstand the thrust of every day occurrences or offenses. During these times, flexibility and forgiveness are the keys to help you hop back in your ride and keep the journey at hand.

Coasting down a new portion of my journey, years later, I would find myself in South Carolina. Life was better or was it? I had a better grip on certainity, routine, and expectancy. However, the panic attacks worsened. They would grip me to the point of near death or at least it seemed. From something that used to pass over a few breaths, swelled into dark moments of terror as my heart, arms, back, and chest twisted and tormented as anxiety danced through my body at night or in the morning as I rose.

Here we are now. Almost one year later since I departed my last major scenic route in life’s highway. I haven’t had a panic attack to boot and my weight is melting away.

Happenstance? Not at all.

Press #R for Release.

The last 10 months of my life taught me to let go.

Life showed me that it was time to clean out my trunk if I wanted to go one mile further.

Yes, I dug around in my trunk and threw out packages, bags, and wrappers of

  • Unbelief
  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination
  • Fear
  • Irrationality

Boy, that was a heft task. Now, my ride is more smooth.

I still have bumps, pot holes, and detours with the aforementioned swell of negativity.

But, I travel lighter these days recognizing the impact that these factors play on my soul.