Saddling Up

Wowsers. It’s been over a year…probably close to about 13 months since I last scribbled something under this blog. I never lost mental step though. I’ve been blessed to have some of you follow during the midst of my hiatus. What can I say? It’s been a tough road transitioning out of the the South. I brought some tools that have been useful to get used to the midwestern way. However, some of the tools can no longer be used because I’m not the same person who set upward and beyond the dixon line for a new adventure.

So much has changed my trajectory and often I don’t realize it until a good bit of time has passed. I’m reading more about the notion of being an “Empath” as of recent. I simply thought I had resorted to a full time introvert in an extrovert’s body. Seriously, I became nervous two weeks ago as I noticed my love for staying inside and away from people when I didn’t need to engage. What I have come to realize more and more is that energy means a lot to me. I no longer indulge in environments where people have not done their work, are unsure of their voice, or simply live double minded lives on purpose–not happen stance. I can no longer be around the heavy energies or the fake i’m alright, but really I have issues that I refuse to acknowledge.

I’m not better than anyone. I just don’t have the capacity to be in mixed company when it comes to energy. Not super woke. Just becoming more aware of the type of energies that wear me thinner. I no longer make up reasons to be out. I’m finding peace by my lonesome and when it’s something deeper, I call the ball on it and seek the support that I need.

Yeah, in between all of these energy shifts have been tremendous opportunities to invest back into the local community with leadership development for the youth and doing the same within the industry. I’ve also been blessed with some spur of the moment traveling here and there. I’m reading books on surrendering and allowing life/God to direct my path. Some days are still hard but I find more gratitude and peace than I did 13 months ago.

So, cheers to everyone who followed during my absence and those from before. I care about you all and thank you for joining me on this ever present journey.

Blessings. Retta


Wide Open

2016 is off to a remarkable start. Still fresh out of the bubble wrap, this year has brought a tremendous amount of insight to my life. This short span of time has shown me the value of real. I wrapped 2015 with the highs of clarity. Little did I know that soup would stay on the menu for this year.

Situations have altered how I see the world and my worth. I have a clear view of what I used to enertain but realize my energy cannot live there. I am leaning away from limited minds and soaring in more open spaces. Just this week on a whim, I followed a Co worker on an adventure that reshaped my Midwest experience thus far. Those opportunities find us when we are open and clear about our movements.

Getting Clear

Never in a  million years would you be able to tell me tens years ago today that I would be elated about getting clear on life. Back then, I was navigating my way through the corporate seas and attempting a successful run at adulting. I was wide eyed, bushy tailed with one foot on the ground. I loved my twenties and couldn’t conceive of anything different than the pseudo American dream. I was on my way to debt free living, rising up the corporate  staircase to heaven, and buying a home by age 28. I was still 26.

Fast forward ten years, I’ve mastered the art of non-linear living. I stepped out of the corporate ranks by age 29 and entered a new profession called higher education. I began to dig deeper towards another level of inner truth and found what felt real only a few years ago, was merely a surface version of my true self.

December 28, 2015, I stand tall only a year after a much needed hiatus with clarity. In three weeks, I have seen dead dreams revised and unhealthy fantasies put to pasture. It all started the week that one of my  dearest friends came to visit me Indy. Prior to his arrival, a new colleague and friend quipped that I wasn’t living authentically and needed to get clear. Oh, how I ran like the plague was fast on my heels. Good thing for me that this time, I was only running in place. Ha!

Unbeknownst to me, I would face many fears and unaddressed truths over a three week span. As soon as I opened one door of fear, another door would close. Instantly, I began to see the hand of God move in ways I deemed unimaginable. Glory! It all began when I was wiling to become clear.

Last nite, was no different as I spent quality time with my old West ga friends. We uashamedly took over Dave N B’s with our shananigans and high spirits. That moment taught me, like so many other moments throughout the past three weeks, what and whom I aspire to share my life.

Death, grieving, and caring

Yes, the name of one of the most pivotal courses I ever took was named death, grieving, and caring. This class taught me how to navigate the different stages of death and transitioning through grief. I had no idea that I would take this class a semester after losing to people. Death was not finished. I will go on to lose 3 more individuals from my life the following semester. That total equates to five persons in a six week span of time.

Here we are, 4 years later, nearing the same season. As time marches toward 2016, a familiar tempo lulls the atmosphere. I am slowly pulling the pieces that reveal a loved one is transitioning and making  their peaceful exit. Simultaneously, I am faced with the realization that ideals I once strongly held are fading away. As age winds up the clock, the goals I once lauded have lost their zeal.

Yes, on the heels of 2016 I am transitioning with the possibility of great loss of a loved one as well as the dawn of a different life than the o e I planned or hoped. Through it all, I choose to see the best of experiences and let the hurt dissipate. Time is not promised and the best solution I have is to respect the moment before me.


A Woman’s Work

Funny, the title entered my mind as I began typing.

Clock reverses and steers back into time.

There was a time when at West Ga the only song on the radio was Maxwells’ “A Woman’s Work.”

That song enters my heart and space at a convenient time.

Earlier today, I texted Chantal that “Us girls are fighting a legacy of rejection and hatred. The only way to win is the faithfulness to the Lord and success in a holistic fashion. #rise up”

When I looked over the message, I realized that the alarm rang louder and more true than I originally thought. At a time when chaos seems to the the main order of the day, women over the globe are doing what they can to keep one another encouraged in such a travailing journey.

Yes, in 2015, prayer circles, book clubs, social media groups, text messages, video/cellular calls, and letters hold together generations of women. We still find ourselves at times on the receiving end of male hatred whether from our fathers, brothers, cousins, employers, lovers, pastors, doctors, or random strangers.

In spite of these attempts to disintegrate the heart and will of women, we stand. Sometimes our stance comes from no room to fall at all. But in those moments, a supportive voice of another female voice from the past or now, helps us keep the towel off the floor or the middle of the ring.

We have too much to lose if we quit or stall. Rest and relaxation sometimes evades us until a willing soul tags us out of the ring of life. Cheers to the sisters and scores of women around the world that check in on their friends, sisters, old colleagues, cohorts, or dismayed strangers in the street. Thank you. Many of days and nights, you kept my soul from growing cold.


Dreams Reborn

Joseph and the Coat of many colors are hands down my favorite biblical story. I’ve many times referenced myself as Joseph through life’s triumphs and travails. It was just this summer when every morning commute I listened to the Yolanda Morning Show pick apart each passage of Genesis 37-39 for a six week period. Those morning explorations of the story of Joseph set my soul on fire while building yet another rope of hope for me to hold.

See over the summer, I began a period of transition. I was leaving the strain and comfort from the non-working life to return back to full-time employment. I began in an environment that was coupled with good people but a few leaders with no vision (or mercy for the needs of people). Eventually, the Lord would see it that I would gain full-time employment in a region far away from my permanent home. Even now, I find myself recounting a few tales of Joseph.

Frankly, that is it. The points that I love so much about the story of Joseph is that he navigated valleys and peaks. This has always been my life. I am a dreamer by trade and shoot for the moon daily. My journey has taken me far and even dropped me through the netherworlds below the Earth’s crust. I saw a meme months ago that describes the Lord’s journey as crooked for most instead of linear (as we plan).

That’s when the story of Joseph helps me to hold out. See, every twist whether fair or unjust served a purpose. As every battle or imprisonment encroaches, closer Joseph draws nears his purpose and execution of his dreams.

This morning, I opted to rest instead of journey to my place of worship. I felt bad but had that feeling, like many other times, that I would still gather what I needed in spite of. Yes, I tuned into Beulah land Baptist Church in Macon Ga for a guest pastor Linda to speak of dreaming again.  The tears welled up in my eyes and soul as I realized the source of my inner ache.

As life gets tougher, harder, I near the threshold of my dreams. As, my enemies grow and obstacles rise, my purpose manifests itself. I am currently in a moment where I chose to stay and fight versus run. I doubted myself until I thrived through a week of miraculous blessings from above. This morning reminded me today that I am much closer than I think. Just as I began making mental preparation to settle into mediocrity, God showed me his hand.



that feeling of not being concrete.

for some, the feeling is relative to quicksand nestled under your feet.

Daily, there are triggers and nuances that leave us feeling less than the 100% we began the day.

Even in those moments of doubt, confusion, or illusion parts of our inner truth fight towards the surface.

A song, meme, memory, or random text.

A billboard, conversation, question, or commercial.

Some material provides context and realign moments of not being sure.

These are not mere coincidences. These are acts of providence using life’s resources to prompt  sway you to stay the course.

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.