There were two times in my life where I applied for a position I did not get due to my lack of qualifications.  The first position was to be a member of a certain prestigious service club in my high school.  It was during my junior year where my only concern was to pad my application for college with as many accolades to prove I was a well rounded student. I observed my peers and decided to add a service club to my list of attributes.  So I researched and found the most glorified club to join and submitted my application.  Once my application was accepted, I had to stand in front of the entire club and pass the interview.  What could go wrong?

As I stood in front of that group, I realized I knew nothing about the club except they were considered the best club on campus.  I didn’t know their motto, mission statement, or board members.  I remember standing there and watching a couple of my classmates wince-smile at me as I made up answers to some basic questions.  In the end, they had to pass on my membership.  I was embaressed but relieved.  I wasn’t qualified to be a member.  Yes, I liked helping people, but being helpful is not a qualification to be a member of this club.

The second time was in college.  New city, new crowd equaled new opportunities.  One day my friend suggested we try out for cheerleaders.  My school did not have any minorities on the squad, so we believed we could add some diversity.  So we went to the initiation meeting and learned a routine we had to commit to memory.  We both sat there and watched the squad demonstrate a rather bland routine that made us raise our eyebrows.  Being dancers and choreographers, we both daydreamed about what we could offer to the squad once vetted.  What could go wrong?

My friend, Lisa, went first.  As I waited in the hallway, I heard the music and the applause.  She came out sweating and smiling.  She wished me luck as I walked in.  The captain and co-captain sat at a table while a few members from the squad sat on the floor.  I gave my name and signaled I was ready.  As the music started, I shakily got through the first 8 counts of the routine before I started to freestyle.  I was gyrating and high stepping across that room like Beyonce during a halftime show.  I didn’t bother to memorize the routine because I didn’t care.  I wasn’t bothered when I didn’t get a call back.  Lisa got on the squad.

Looking back, I know when I’m not invested in obtaining a position, I don’t bother to put in the work to impress.  Every job or position I have ever applied for with earnest, I have always made sure I was qualified and prepared for close scrutiny.  As I watch the Senate hearings, I realize some people don’t hold those same values.

(For many of us there is nothing new or alarming in the recent events being played out on the national and international stage.  Some of us were marching and protesting decades ago for injustices that others turned a blind eye.  History is repeating and again many are turning a blind eye.  For those who have never fallen asleep on the FIGHT, stay strong.  For those who are waking up, welcome.)  

Mary, mary, far from contrary

Gardens day and night.

The youngest bird has flown the nest

And nothing is feeling right.

Social media is her friend

Her lover, and confidante

She picks her scabs until they bleed

Emotions need transplant.

Then it happened one winter day

Purpose dropped down from high

The heavens opened up on her

And she knew the reason why

She breathed and purred a carnal moan

That ached and gave her claws

As many years of maze running

Gave her the needed pause.

Stay woke they said a cunning quip

That fueled her passion long

A purpose strong it molded her

To be woke with anger and strong.

Dystopia 

Woke up one morning

Hoping the Orwellian nightmare 

I had the night before

Was just a nightmare. 

But that wasn’t the case. 

The waking nightmare

Eats away at the soul

Claws at your heart

And you watch the world

Of your children

Shatter before their eyes. 

One man took a stand

On the backs of immigrants

Past and present. 

And rained a golden shower

Onto their hopes and dreams. 

People say he’s a messiah

For America 

While he slowly tries to

 Rip her seams and

Gaslight her people

Into believing

Mis-truths and embrace fears. 

Not today, sir. 

Not today. 

Where Were You


Where were you

When they took away our fathers,

Whipped our brothers,

Beat our mothers,

Raped our sisters,

Incarcerated our cousins,

Sold our neighbors, 

Lynched our sons,

Exploited our daughters,

Killed our leaders,

Murdered our sick,

And Shamed our elders.

Where were you when we sang

We shall overcome with hope

In our hearts and tears in our eyes?

Where were you when the pain

Was so great some of us tried to

Burn, baby, burn the pain away.

Where was understanding when

My people were encouraged to

Self medicate with dirty drugs

And cheap liquor.

Then the self medicated get rewarded

With

Free room and board at county.

Forgotten.

Where were you?

And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
mad world mad world
                                             —Roland Orzabal
Today while I was sweating through my pink workout clothes on the elliptical, I watched the morning news scroll through images of a Latina speaking to a crowd of peaceful protesters at the Women’s March.  Her face was earnest as her words were captured in the closed caption.  Many women of different races, sizes, ages, and creeds wore pink pussy hats carrying signs that reflected their concerns. The news showed another clip of protesters the day of the inauguration of the 45th president.  Some images were peaceful and some were violent.  Then the focused showed the new American president dancing with his wife.  My iPod, with a mind of its own, shuffled to Gary Jules’ version of Mad World.  The moment was so eerie because as I watched these images, I felt the world was…mad.  Then later I saw the press conference from the White House.  Expecting to hear about new bills being signed and…well, important things, I heard  ranting about pictures, tweets, and statistics. Why was this information worth a press conference? Why did it matter?

Oozes out

Like putrid, greenish black

Curdled slime.

Your emotions, profane. 

Your words, dull knives

Slashing and ripping

Maiming and defacing.

A beautfiful picture

No pleasure to view.

Never a repair

No apology.

Just hope that time

Will make it go away.

But the scars,

Oh the scars.


Stay woke, they say.

I was never asleep.

How dare they, you say

What an interesting leap

into dismay and anger

Welcome to my side

You shudder at the absurd

Can’t believe they lied.

Stay woke, they say

I was never asleep

My RIGHTS, you scream

What an interesting leap

into shock and tears

On my side you can rest

You dash your tears, wonder

How the worst is now the best.

Stay woke, they say

I was never asleep

Aren’t you mad, wanna yell?

What an interesting leap

into conjectures, not wild

Stay woke, says me

Disappointment for days

You don’t see what I see.

 

In the Bones

The morning sun

Forces his rays through fluttering lids. 

Trying to squint against

The intrusion. 

Mommy,  breakfast 

Mommy, I need

What are you doing today?

Do you mind getting this,  Dear?

Traffic crushing the soul

Exhaust filling the lungs. 

We’re hungry? 

I’m bored? 

Why do we need to go there? 

What’s for dinner? 

Can I go on the computer? 

When is dinner? 

Hello, dear

How was your day? 

Busy, I’m tired. 

Weary in the bones. 

This is a buzz phrase that drives me nuts.  Eating clean has a different meaning depending on the source.  If you follow a raw diet, there is an expert who will call that clean eating because your food has not been altered by cooking, pasturization, or perservatives. Having a paleo diet is considered clean eating.  Being a vegan is looked upon as eating clean.  Staying away from processed and frozen foods has also been categorized as clean eating.  

So this year I have made a vow to continue eating clean.  I will continue to wash my fruits and vegetables before I give them to my family to consume.  I will cook my meats and fish at a high temperature to burn away all harmful bacteria so their food will be clean.  If I drop something onto the floor, I will not pick it up and kiss it to God and scream, “Five second rule!”  I will make sure my decades long habit of washing my hands before I eat will stay in place. And for eating out, I will make sure the restaurant has a clean bill of health from the health department. That’s my definition of clean eating.

Yogi’s Choice

I’m on day 15 of the 30 days Yoga Revolution lovingly presented by Yoga with Adriene. I discovered Adriene a year ago when I did her Yoga Camp which was amazing.  Yoga classes can be pretty academic when you focus on doing the asanas without falling down or embarrassing yourself.  Approaching yoga like an exercise class is more common than not for some people. Some yoga classes can be…a bit much with moonbeams shooting out of your 3rd eye while you chant words you don’t understand while inhaling the smoke from a healing herb that may or may not give you emphysema by the end of the class. Adriene presents yoga in a way that is accessible to all.  Her classes are a perfect blend of physical, mental, and emotional challenges. I can take what I learned on the mat and apply it to off the mat.

Without fail, Adriene will announce that a certain variation of an asansa was yogi’s choice. This means the practitioner can decide which variation suited them. I love that phrase because it reminds me that I have a choice in how I proceed with any and all tasks put before me. Believe me when I say that that is one lesson learned on the mat I take with me off the mat.

So as I move forward in this life, I embrace my choices. My way may not be someone else’s way, but that’s alright. We are all special snowflakes. If we were all the same it would be quite boring.