Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Hard For Me to be Naked with my Clothes On

I consider myself to be a strong, confident, fierce, black woman. I've overcome many obstacles, climbed many mountains and beat many challenges that have come my way in my 36 years of existence. You would think after surviving Hurricane Katrina, raising four girls alone, putting myself through college and finding my way back to myself after two failed marriages I should be doing okay, right? Well, uh let me say this... that life I just mentioned in this opening paragraph has left me with some wounds. Don't get me wrong, I thank God for who I am and that my story is hopefully a testimony to someone else. However, my wounds have left me unable to be naked in front of people. (I trust that you understand I'm metaphorically speaking when I say this.) 

Some of you may be thinking, are you emotionally unavailable, do you push people away, etc...? No, I'm not and I don't do any of those things. Actually, it's quite the opposite. I want to share who I am and for people to dig deep inside and discover the emotions that I try to sometimes hide. But, I am afraid of exposing myself. It's difficult for me to get close to new people who come into my life. Because of my fear of covered nakedness, it's hard for me to make new friends. And it's sometimes uncomfortable maintaining my close relationships because at some point I do get naked. I can flash my smile, bat my eyelashes, strut in my heels and sit with people and enjoy a nice meal on any given day. And while I'm doing all of this, in my mind I'm wondering, do they see me? I'm mentally trying to hide inside of my skin and keep a barrier between myself and others because the thought of people seeing all the pieces of me is frightening to say the least. Underneath my lip gloss and behind the dimple on my left cheek is fear, pain, shame, exhaustion, and frustration. There's a battle going on inside of me. The battle is between those in the previous sentence and forgiveness, humility, patience, strength, courage, and endurance. They are all on the inside fighting to overcome each other. Why must they fight? And why don't I want you to know that they are there? They are fighting to be with me, to overtake me and so I can choose one or all of them. I don't want to be naked in front of people because in that very moment they may not see me for who I am. And because I am concentrating on them not seeing me, I may forget that I'm a warrior and more than a conqueror. ( I know it may be hard to follow but stay with me). I sometimes forget my own triumphs when I feel as if I'm being exposed. It's easier for me to have a small circle because I don't have to be vulnerable. My guards are made of cast iron being held together by the constant need to protect myself. Covered nakedness as I call it is a frightening concept because it comes with pressure to stay on top, not have a bad day, always be on your game, keep the cape on and wear the S on your chest proudly and daily. I don't want to be exposed because I don't want rejection. I want automatic acceptance and understanding. I retreat inside of myself when I feel people are rejecting me without understanding me or making preconceived notions about me. Sometimes these feelings are justified and sometimes it's the covered nakedness issue. However, I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out which one is the real deal. I give up before I give in. It's easier and safer that way in my mind. I feel as though I've dodged a bullet. And other times I feel perhaps I missed out on something.

There are parts of me on the inside I am uncomfortable with. There are parts of me I'd rather not know. There are parts of me I thought were gone but they are just on a year-round hibernation. There are parts of me that make me cry.  You may now understand why covered nakedness is a struggle. As busy and demanding as my life is, I go with the flow and deal with one situation at a time. I have an approach for just about everything. This blog has given me the courage to work on being free with my clothes on.

Do you have an issue with covered nakedness? 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Am I my Brother's Keeper?

My holiday weekend began last Wednesday. I did something I hadn't done in a very long time which was watch a Lifetime movie. Like most women, I am a Lifetime Movie Network lover. If you know anything about the movies on Lifetime then you know for the most part the movies are based on real life events. I came across the movie " Conviction" starring Hilary Swank. Conviction is the real life story of Betty Anne Waters and her brother Kenny Waters. Kenny was wrongfully convicted ( conviction overturned in 2001) in 1983 for the brutal murder of Katharina Brow in 1980. The real story is the selflessness, dedication, loyalty, faith and courage of Betty Anne. Betty Anne was 29 years old when her brother was arrested and convicted. She was married with two, young boys with only a high school equivalent education when she decided to go to college and eventually law school to become her brother's lawyer and exonerate him for a murder she was sure he didn't commit. Betty Anne's husband didn't support her decision so they split up and her sons grew weary of her not being around as she attended school and worked on her brother's case and they eventually went to live with their father. 

I'm watching this movie and I'm thinking the whole time, this woman has given up everything, her entire life to fight for her brother who may or may not be innocent. It didn't matter what anyone else believed, or said about him or how many times he had been in trouble in the past. What mattered was that she believed in him. I had to wonder if I would have done the same for any of my three brothers, or would anyone I know have done the same for theirs? This woman fought for 18 years to clear her brother and finally in June 2001 Kenny Waters walked out of prison a free man. 

I often think about the relationship my girls will have with one another when they are grown women, with careers and families. Will they talk consistently? Will they always be there for one another? Despite the issues I may have with them being their mother and trying to keep them on the straight and narrow, one thing I can say is they do love each other and they do support each other. They are always defending each other and helping each other with school projects and homework. I always see them talking , ( probably about me) laughing, playing games and watching TV together. It gives me hope that I'm doing something right. However, it isn't like that for a lot of families. I'm not suggesting anyone who has a sibling accused of murder give up their lives, switch careers to become a lawyer and fight to prove their innocence. However, a sibling should be, if not, as close as a best friend to you. Who else can understand when you're pissed off at your parents for not letting you go out after you've brought home a D on a test? It breaks my heart when a parent passes away and siblings start fighting over money and Kmart China before their parent's remains are in the ground. 

I know most of you probably only know the phrase "Am I my brother's keeper" from the movie New Jack City. Being your brother's keeper means they can call you to talk, if they are in need and you can help then you will, it means spending time together and looking out for one another's kids and so much more. My guy and his brother have one of the best sibling relationships I've ever seen. His brother is six years older and lives out of town. However, whenever his brother comes home they are like glue. And when they join forces with their father it's laughs, stories and more importantly lots of love in the room. They also talk consistently checking on one another throughout the week. Your relationships with your siblings are among the very first relationships you will have and develop. It's a foundation for having healthy relationships in romance, with co-workers, friends and in-laws. Are you your brother's keeper?

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Survive Being an Adult Living in Someone's Home

Have you ever heard the saying, " You can't be a woman in another woman's house?" Basically, you aren't an adult if you're a tenant in another adult's home. I've been on both sides of this spectrum. I know by having been there, that sometimes situations occur and you may find yourself left with no other choice than to take up residence with someone. It beats being homeless, or staying in an abusive situation. In my case, I've been a tenant with my children in someone's home which made the situation much more tedious and intense. If you've been in this situation or, you're currently in it right now, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has or will need help at some point in their lives. However the goal is not to become a permanent resident. Unless you and the other person have come to that agreement. There are ways to survive being an adult during this time of transition.

DO: The first thing you want to do probably before you unpack your clothes, and put your toothbrush in the bathroom is HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY. It is imperative that you have a plan that includes a timetable, stable employment and a permanent address. While you're getting all comfy and settling in, the people who have opened up their home to you are saying to themselves, " don't get too comfy because you need to figure out what you're going to do." Whether they say it to your face or not, believe me they are thinking it. You need to write down your plan and how you are going to execute it. The timetable is the most important part of the plan. You need to let people know when you are planning on leaving. Depending on your situation ( especially if you have a job) the timetable may be one to three months. If you're unemployed it could be a little longer. However, you shouldn't move in on New Year's Day and plan on staying until Halloween. That's unrealistic and usually around the three month mark is when people start looking at you crazy and every time you sneeze after three months it starts to irk the piss out of them.

DO: It is extremely important that you COMMUNICATE with the people with whom you're living with. When you're living with someone this element is key to your survival. Let people know the moves you are making. Discuss every job interview you have, how did it go, when you expect to hear something back, etc. Talk to them about the connections you've made to valuable resources such as housing assistance, employment services and job fairs. People are looking to see what you are doing to help yourself get out of the situation you're in. And besides from all of the above, don't forget the basics; good manners. Make sure you say good morning to all of the occupants of the home and good night. If company so happens to come over, be prepared for them to look at you like you're a pathetic, freeloader. It's okay. Suck it up and make sure you speak to them too. If your landlord detects any hostility with you, any of the other occupants of the home and their family or friends, then it will make your stay more difficult.

DO: SHARE whatever financial resources you have to contribute to the household. This also goes along with communication. For the most part people will understand that you are not living with them to pay all of their bills. However, let the owners or persons in charge of the household know what you have and together y'all both can decide what is fair for you to contribute.

DON'T:  Go on SHOPPING SPREES, PUT YOUR NAME ON FOOD IN THE REFRIGERATOR AND INVITE YOUR MAN OR WOMAN OVER. I bundled these all together to save time and space and also to let you know that these are huge no, no's. First of all you're living in someone's home so you don't have any discretionary income. If you aren't buying a blouse on sale for a big interview tomorrow, then you don't need it. And furthermore, whenever bags are entering the home there had better be something in there that contributes to the household in some way. Whatever you bring into the home and place in a community property area such as the refrigerator is not necessarily yours anymore. The best thing to do is get enough for all or leave it where it is if you don't want to share it. Don't ever invite your your man or woman over to someone's home you're living in. What do you think they are thinking? People are fickle about this sort of behavior. If you can have a relationship then you should have your own place. Remember you are being watched. And people, while they may empathize with your situation if they feel they are being taken advantage of will put you out.

DON'T: My last piece of advice for this situation is whatever you do, DON'T MAKE EXCUSES. People do not want to hear you didn't go job hunting because you didn't have a ride. If you don't have a ride, you better use public transportation or walk. This is not the time for the pity party you like to have twice per week. You can resume that once you're stable with a permanent address. I've heard people use all kinds of excuses as to why they aren't helping themselves such as; it was raining, I didn't have a ride, or using the death of a loved one as an excuse to not do better. Excuses will only bring about contention and resentment in the household. And it could also put you back into the same situation. You don't have time for excuses. The goal is to do better for yourself and whomever you're responsible for.

There's so much more I can add to this but I'll save it for another day. I see a lot of young people who are existing in this so-called YOLO world living with their parents, their friends, older siblings, baby daddy's cousin on their grandma side who feel it's okay to freeload off others because they share DNA or a kid or they went to school together. Newsflash, once you're an adult no one owes you anything. It's time to grow up and make a way for yourself. However, if you do find yourself on hard times and need help it's okay just have a plan and be proactive with it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What my daughters don't understand

If you've read my bio or a couple of my other blogs then you know I am a single mom with four daughters. My girls are ages 18,16,13 and 12. And this is the reason why I told my hairstylist tonight as she was styling my hair that I am going to start dying it twice per month instead of once. Needless to say a lot goes on raising girls in a world of social media, iPhones, iPads, peer pressure that has heightened times 1000 since the 90's and reality TV. In my day I did it all; lying, bad attitude, making excuses, you name it. And while most would say that as I experience trials and tribulations raising my girls that I am just "getting it all back". I may agree with them on some level but I would say, that was then and this is now.

A few months ago I updated a Facebook status asking my friends what advice would they give to their younger selves? I have plenty I would say to younger Tasha Mac. I would warn her of all the heartache and pain she will experience if she takes this path, go this route and get with this person. In reality this is not an option. I understand that all of those experiences and life lessons polished me like sandpaper to be the woman I am today. Yet and still if I could have taken a different route to become the woman I am, no doubt I would have. So instead I try to impart my wisdom, experiences and life lessons on my daughters so they can avoid some of the pitfalls I made and make wiser, smarter choices to become virtuous, phenomenal, young women.

What they don't understand is that I've been there. I've used the excuse "my daddy wasn't there, my mom isn't listening, nobody understands me, I had a messed up childhood." I've used all of these phrases and then some for bad behavior that led to poor decision making, hard knocks, and slow progression. I had issues as a teenager and some of it was low self-esteem and a desire to wanna be loved and understood. As I got older I  realized there was no one to blame and hold accountable but myself for the decisions I made regarding my life.  However, teenagers today have much more contenders to deal with which makes their focus so much harder. They are living in a world where social media has replaced verbal and written communication, kids are more open and forceful with their sexuality, reality TV stars are the new sheros and heroes and single parent homes are at an all time high. I get all of that. And it makes the job of a parent especially a single parent that much harder because we are trying to get through all of that noise to raise well-productive kids into upstanding citizens who are able and capable of obtaining sustainability for themselves.

People close to me often tell me they are proud of me because "I did it. I made it." I always say thank you, and I appreciate that. But it took me 12 years, 4 kids and 2 failed marriages later to earn my college degree, realize my self-worth and reach my full potential. I am very proud of myself for overcoming adversity, stereotypes and obstacles to achieve all of the successes that I have. I just would have much rather stopped, took heed and listened to what someone tried to tell me a long time ago and stayed the course at a much younger age. That's all I am trying to do as a parent is help my girls stay the course and on the right track. It's scary at times and I pray, and cry, and sometimes shout and maybe kick myself mentally. But I am determined to get through to them because I am their mother no matter what.

I do believe experience is the best teacher and I know sometimes we all have to bump our heads to get it on straight again. It's just difficult as a mother to see your beloved daughters fall off track. All I can do is keep praying, give guidance and discipline where necessary.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I Need Me Too

Being a mom of four girls in this day and age is not an easy feat. Add being single, having a full-time job, being in a relationship and trying to keep my sanity in tact and you have a true balancing act on your hands. There are days when I feel like Nick Wallenda walking across the Grand Canyon carrying a stick on a tight rope. Except my stick are all the hats I aforementioned and that tight rope is a string of my emotions, my stability and sanity holding on trying not to break. When you're silently wearing a cape, and an S on your chest, you really don't have time to allow your emotions to run a muck or as the young people say these days "get in your feelings."

So what do you do when you are on teenage drama overload, burned out on mommy can I haves, 25 emails you have to answer and provide information on in the next 30 minutes and a relationship you're trying to maintain?

The important thing to realize is that you still have to fit YOU into the equation. If you do not add YOURSELF on your to do list then you will be done for and burned out. Every task doesn't have to be a race to the finish line. It took me a long time to realize that I am just as important to myself as all the people
I've committed myself to. Sometimes I have a relapse by forgetting that and I'm reminded of it with headaches, tension in my shoulders and the occasional crying spell.

It would be nice to balance yourself by jumping in a taxi cab, packing a bag and getting away fast. ( Kindred the Family Soul lyrics). But let's be realistic you can't do it everyday and not every week for that matter. However, all isn't lost just because viewing the country while driving on cruise control listening to your favorite music in 75 degree weather isn't an option. It doesn't take much to balance yourself throughout the day and put your mind at ease. I've found that a few minutes with my hobbies does wonders for me. Stealing away 10 minutes to look through your favorite magazine, play an online or app game or even checking your social networking account a few times a day can get your creative juices flowing again. Walking and exercising is just as relaxing for the mind as it is good for the body. And of course a few minutes of prayer and/or reading a few bible scriptures will do a world of good.  And during the most crucial pressure points of the day it's best to back away from what's causing you duress.

One of my favorite things to do is cook. I really enjoy it and I consider myself a pretty decent cook. But there are days when a full course meal is not a part of my agenda for the evening. I use to feel bad if I didn't cook a meal for my girls but I have learned that the objective is to make sure they eat not to emulate Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray everyday. The people in our lives appreciate a happy, well-balanced, emotionally stable us. Not someone who is running around like a chicken with their head cut off ready to pluck at any moment.  A virtuous woman knows her limits and is not afraid to say when she needs a time out. So before you emotionally tap out, or physically snap out and someone finds you in a corner balled up in a fetal position make time for yourself, put you first and the rest of the day you'll be shining bright like a diamond.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Can Football Help or Hurt My Relationship?

Well it's that time of year again; pass the pigskin, grind on the gridiron. Football season has officially begun across the country. This can be a great time of year for couples who both love and appreciate the sport. There are many events and activities couples can participate in together to enjoy this great sport such as attending games together, watching games on TV, participating in online fantasy leagues, tailgating and of course engaging in conversation. For women, having a significant other or husband who's a football fanatic can be enhancing or horrifying depending on your level of interest.

 I am a southern girl so football was embedded in me at an early age. I have very fond memories of watching the games with my daddy. When I was really young, we had one TV and from August to the end of January ( back in the days when the Superbowl was at the end of January) our TV was on football. Personally, I love the sport. But that doesn't mean I want to live, eat, sleep and breathe the game. I know everyone is not into football. And I can't imagine why. But ladies if you'd rather be scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush than engage in football activities that doesn't make you a bad person. And you can survive the season, keep your sanity and your man's attention all at the same time. I have a list of Do's and Don'ts that will keep you winning this season:

DON'T:  Schedule events, outings or give him errands to run during game time. Ladies this is a big no, no. Don't play those " I wanna see if he loves me or football more games." First of all, you're an adult and should be in an adult relationship or marriage, so leave the game playing up to the professionals on the field. Secondly, your man has loved football long before he ever knew you existed. Don't try to come in between him and his enjoyment of the game. Football is way more than just a game for die-hard fans. 

DO: Make his favorite snacks. We all know men love food. And eating their faves while watching football is like cake and ice-cream or peanut butter and jelly. Sit down and watch with him. Now I know some of you are saying ( I knew she would say that.) Hear me out. You don't have to watch an entire game with him, but at least watch one quarter with him. He will appreciate your effort and attempt to participate in one of his favorite activities. And if the thought of watching any part of the game makes your insides hurt, then think about that wedding you dragged him to that he attended because of his love for you, or the family outing he attended out of town that he'd much rather had not. Relationships are comprise, sacrifice, consistency and selflessness. So get over yourself and watch a few minutes with him. During the commercials ask him a couple of questions and smile lovingly at his extensive knowledge of the sport. 

DON'T: Social network about him ignoring you during the games or how much you hate the sport. First of all you shouldn't post on social network about the troubles or not so good moments in your relationship anyway. But that's another blog for another day. Negativity brings contention and resentment to a relationship and you putting your negativity on social networking sites are childish and will probably bring up a conversation you could have avoided and don't want to have.  

DO: Find something to do while he's participating in sports activities. If he's out with friends watching a game or at a sporting event this is a great time for you to do something you enjoy. Instead of focusing on this is the 3rd game he's watched today, you could be catching up on some of your favorite shows, making phone calls to friends and family you don't talk to often, spending time with the kids or something else that is of your interest. To score extra points with your honey, if he's out text him and ask if he's having a good time or go in the living room and ask him if he needs anything. These small gestures go along way. 

So ladies, follow these do's and don'ts and you will score every time. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Water Under the Bridge

I use to always say there were 2 places in the world I never, ever wanted to visit, let alone live in; Africa and Mississippi. People say that God has a sense of humor. Well that joke was on me because 8 years ago today I was lying on the floor of my aunt's house in Jackson, MS after a long 13 hour drive from my hometown of New Orleans. And I've been a resident of Mississippi ever since. Normally a trip from New Orleans to Jackson, MS is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. But multiply that times an impending storm, and hundreds of thousands of locals from New Orleans to the Gulf Coast of MS trying to evacuate and suddenly that trip has become a journey.

It was Friday night and I had just gotten home from a meeting. I'm sitting on my sofa watching the 10 o'clock news and the meteorologist starts talking about a hurricane. I literally said to myself "hurricane? What hurricane?" Because you see, I'm a news junkie. And I couldn't believe this was the first I was hearing of a hurricane. My 2nd thought was, it couldn't be that bad since this was the 1st I am hearing of it. Fast forward to Saturday morning and this hurricane is major in a big way. The call for evacuation has started. At the time I was working for the state of Louisiana for the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health issuing vital records. The Director called all employees early Saturday morning and asked us to "volunteer" to move the manual records from the basement where they were stored to higher ground in case flooding became an issue in the Central Business District of Downtown New Orleans. Me and my loyalty both went and moved records from 8am until 8pm Saturday night. By Sunday morning I had to make a decision to leave New Orleans with my four daughters and get to safety. My cousin called me and asked where we were going and offered us to come to Jackson to his mom's ( my aunt) house. So off we went to Jackson. Me, my four girls and my then fiancee'. ( Who I'm no longer with. Thank God. Even though that info has no relevance on this story.) It's ironic how he was having car trouble the Friday night I first heard of the story and my vehicle was not working. So we are traveling in turtle moving traffic in a vehicle that was stopping on us like every hour. Making an already uncomfortable, unbearable trip even more cumbersome and frightening. Not to mention my mother whom at the time was living in Denver, CO. She kept calling with worry. My daughters at the time were ages 10, 8, 5 and 3. They were tired, scared and hungry.

The vehicle couldn't take anymore of the ex-fiancee' stopping and putting river bank water in it to keep it alive. After 2 jumps ( or boost offs as the Mississippians say)  it finally quit on us in Hattiesburg, MS. My cousin met us in Hattiesburg and we were forced to leave the vehicle there. We made it in my aunt's house approximately 11:30 pm after leaving New Orleans around 10 in the morning. All I could do was collapse from sheer exhaustion. She had an empty room with a nice pallet on the floor and I promise it was like the Ritz Carlton to me because anything was better than dealing with what was going on outside with the storm coming.

It's Monday, August 29, 2005 and Katrina hit. And oh boy did she hit. She made landfall as a category 3 storm and she tore up some stuff from New Orleans to the Gulf Coast. She destroyed any and everything in her path. And sadly she took many lives with her too. For many left behind she took dignity, strength, peace of mind and frame of mind. When I realized what happened to the city I grew up in, the city I loved so much I was devastated. People; neighbors, friends and even some of my family were stuck on bridges, roof tops, in houses and worse the Superdome and the Convention Center where they were treated like less than human and heinous activities with on. Some so heinous I may start crying if I type it. Katrina left many people broken and shattered. We scattered and were separated from our loved ones. Some boarded buses to neighboring states. I didn't know who was alive and who was not. When I was able to see the news ( my aunt lost power for a week) I saw some of my friends and church members standing in Red Cross lines in other states. For weeks I was glued to my cell phone waiting on texts and calls from people I had yet to hear from. The whole time praying to God that they made it out unscathed. I spent many hours on the phone with friends crying to me because they didn't know where their parents were, or some who didn't know where other close relatives were. It was gut-wrenching to say the least.

Eight years have gone by and I remember the devastation like it was yesterday. It will always remain with me but it won't define me nor has it ever been a crutch to me. There are still some areas in my hometown where you can see visible signs of what occurred there some 8 years ago. The people of New Orleans are steadily rebuilding, replenishing and restoring what was once lost. They called us refugees, savages and looters. But in essence we are survivors, warriors and conquerors.

As for me, moving to Mississippi has been a blessing. I graduated from one of the best colleges in the state in 2009, my oldest daughter is now in college and my other 3 are thriving and doing well and I work for a great Accounting Firm. I've also met wonderful people along the way, including a great guy I'm dating and a great church home. Katrina made me realize what I was capable of. She did for many people. She was a nightmare in the beginning that turned into a blessing in the end.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dear Mr. Black Man

Dear Mr. Black man, whoever she is/was that played you, cursed you out, won't allow you to see your kids, slept with your best friend, refused to cook for you, belittled you in front of your family, and made you feel less than a man, it wasn't me. I wasn't the one who slashed your tires, played with your heart, took your kindness for weakness or forgot to stroke your ego after a long day's work. I didn't kick you when you were down. Why are you punishing me for what she did? Why must I feel your wrath when all I want to do is love you, nurture you,encourage you, lift you up, help you , have your back,  hold you and make you feel like the king that you so rightfully are?

I know some of you are like, Tasha Mac what's really going on? Nothing is going on with me personally, however, I feel as though I must address you ( and by you I am talking to Mr. Black man) because I for one as a black woman am tired of being labeled as trifling, ratchet, mischevious, gold digging, stupid all because you fell for the charms and schemes of one who was all the adjectives I aforementioned and then some. We as black women understand that some of you are drawn to women of other races and cultures. It's 2013 we get it, trust me we do. But what we don't get is why you all are using us a scapegoat behind your reasons for doing it?

Recently someone dear to me brought an article to my attention of my favorite singer Maxwell basically cursing people out because he was being attacked for posting mostly pictures of Caucasian women on his Instagram page. He plainly said ( and I'm paraphrasing here) he didn't give a blankedy, blank blank because he prefers white women. Now keep in mind I did say he is my favorite singer. Whenever I hear him sing, I really think he's singing to me. LOL... And we also share the same birthday. How cool is that? So, yes I was a little disappointed to hear his quote that he prefered Caucasian women. He is still my favorite singer and I adore him as such. His preference is just that. His preference. And tonight one of my ex-twitter followers ( he is ex now because he was just plain rude and disrespectful) tweeted "black women are so dysfunctional. I tipped a hostess at the door and she thought I was hitting on her. WTF." So I tweeted him back and said don't label us all over one ratched lady. OMG, why did I say that because dude said he didn't say all , and I can't think logically and it's because I'm a stupid black woman. Now I really had to stop after about the 2nd time tweeting him because otherwise he and I would probably still be going back and forth and I have better things to tweet. But my point is black women as a whole have to feel the wrath, pain and anquish of a black man caused by one woman. And I say one woman because after they get burned by the first one it's all over for the rest of us.

As a black woman, the things I have dealt with from black men are so hurtful and would probably be considered inconceivable to most. However, I refused in my logical and sound mind believe that ALL of you were that way. I just refused. And I'm so glad I never developed that attitude or I wouldn't be dating the great guy I'm with now. Labels belong on envelopes not on human beings.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Love Thy Neighbor

Amy and David Lancaster - Founders of We Will Go Ministries
Yesterday ( August 7, 2013) I performed community service with my coworkers at a place called We Will Go Ministries. The firm I work for has a summer of service project requirement that each employee must participate in annually. You only have to do 1 project per year. When I signed up for We Will Go Ministries I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I really enjoy community service projects and any opportunity to help someone is rewarding in itself. 

Upon arriving at 9am we gathered in the pavilion and the staff of missionaries greeted us with such warmth and gratitude. They began with prayer and meditation and great testimonies. Let me just tell you about the staff of missionaries. We Will Go Ministries was founded by a couple David and Amy Lancaster who by trade are an engineer and dentist respectively. This devout Christian couple left a life of corporate and privilege to answer a call by GOD of true discipleship. They moved their family to Jackson, MS after traveling and being missionaries all around the world and renovated some of the worst crack and brothel houses in the city. They mentor other young missionaries in discipleship so they too can assist with carrying on God's missionary work throughout the city of Jackson. These people are so extraordinary and amazing I felt privileged to be in their presence. I felt as if I were living right in the new testament with true disciples. 

They took us to a place called The Community Center. It's a homeless shelter where people who are in need can receive a meal and wash up. This day they had medical personnel there performing free screenings and some of us participated in the free screenings. Outside a guy named Kevin who was introduced to Christ by the Lancasters after a long life of drugs, and drinking was ministering a word to the people including my coworkers and myself. Kevin's testimony was incredible in itself and inspiring.  After lunch we returned to the We Will Go main house and heard more wonderful testimonies by the other missionaries and we prayed and worshiped the Lord. Which I thought was absolutely wonderful. And then it was on to the bunk houses for painting and cleaning. 

The Lancasters are a Caucasian couple and their missionary staff is mostly Caucasian and some African American. I mentioned this because for the first time in my life I felt as if black and white didn't exist. As if there was no line drawn in the middle of the two races. Often times it's hard to come in contact with so called Christians who do not have a judgmental spirit. You know the ones who say God bless you in one breath and in the same breath talk about you like there's no end. But their cause and destiny goes far beyond color barriers. They reach out to people who have been deemed unreachable. They care for those who aren't being cared for. They truly look past people's faults and see their needs. 

As African Americans it can be difficult to not see the racial divide given the fact that we know our President is being picked apart, disrespected and ridiculed because of his skin color. We are outraged and disheartened over the verdict behind Trayvon Martin. I was there to provide a service to them but in turn they provided a service to me. They gave me a hope that Martin Luther King Jr's " I Have A Dream" speech will not be in vain. People will one day be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Daddyless Daugthers

Recently I was watching Iyanla Vazant on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her show was about Daddyless Daugthers. I was watching and listening to her, Oprah, the panel of black, male guests and the audience comprised of women of all ages, and ethnicity. All the women who spoke each had their own story, their own pain and heartache over being a daddyless daughter. And the ones who didn't speak didn't have to because their anguish was written all over their faces. This one particular young lady stood up and asked a question ( I'm sorry I can't remember her name or the exact question.) She was a young, black woman with 3 kids by 3 different men. She was immediately brought before Iyanla and before I knew it I was in tears for her. She was saying how she tries to overcompensate with her kids to make up for the mistakes she made as a result of being a daddyless daughter. The cycle has repeated itself with her children because they are daddyless kids. ( She has 2 daughters and a son).

I immediately had an epiphany. Daddyless daughters often times raise daddyless daughters themselves. Although I had a stepfather whom I loved dearly even after he and my mom divorced I still considered him my dad but it didn't remove that longing I felt for my biological father. The pain and rejection I felt for years caused me to gravitate towards those who didn't care about me at all. Now I'm a mom raising four beautiful girls but they too are daddyless.

We all know that the first relationship a girl has with a man is with her father. I have always said that promiscuity is procreated when a guy comes a long and shows a girl something she has never seen before. Dads, don't allow a guy to be the first to introduce your daughter to a nice dinner where she can sit down with a knife and fork, or introduce her to shopping sprees, traveling and other nice things of this world. If it's new to her and a guy introduces her to it then she will immediately think she owes him something because no other man has ever treated her special before. Then a cycle will start that spirals out of control with low self-esteem driving that force. That is not what you want for your daughter.

And ladies, life happens. We don't all get Heathcliff Huxtable for a father. It's hurtful and disheartening but we can't allow not having a father be an excuse to make poor choices with dyer, lifelong consequences. It's time to rise above it and show the fathers what they missed out on and can't take credit for. It's time to break generational curses and stereotypes and press forward. And in pressing forward let's forgive. Let's forgive the daddies who weren't there and more importantly let's forgive ourselves.

~Tasha Mac

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Who am I?

This is my very first blog post so I thought I'd start by introducing myself. My name is Latasha McGill. I am socially known to the world as Tasha Mac. I've also gone by the name Lady T in the blog talk radio world. I am a 36 year old single mother of 4 daughters. ( Yes, I said 4 daughters.) By me having four daughters I have enough going on in my life too keep me busy. There is never a dull moment in my life. Did I mention that 3 of the girls are teenagers and the youngest is a pre-teen? So you see what I mean by not being a dull moment. However, there is so much more going on in my life than my vivacious, beautiful girls. I work full-time and I go to school at night as a grad student and I make time to attend church regularly. And by regularly, I mean twice per week. And I also have a wonderful guy whom I like to spend as much time with as possible. 

So with all these wonderful things going on in my life, why the blog? As a kid, writing was always a way of escape for me. I escaped into a fantasy world, a world where I could freely and openly express myself and be who I wanted to be. I grew up in New Orleans, La. A wonderful city full of culture, rich history, great parties and lively people. Unfortunately, that's not all it was. Growing up New Orleans meant you grew up fast and was exposed to a lot at an early age. I think writing balanced me out and kept me sane. I have many stories to tell. So welcome to Tasha Mac's world. Enter, share your thoughts and enjoy.

~Tasha Mac