Rogue Life…. “New Year, New Principle”

20181229_201438We are now one week into the new year…I like to spend the first seven days of the new year like how I spent the last seven days of the former year…meditating on the principles of Kwaanza.  My family has always celebrated Kwaanza….we celebrated Christmas traditionally, but beginning the day after, it’s about Kwaanza!….

“Kwanzaa, the African American holiday celebrated between December 26th and January 1st, has existed since 1966 and was “created” by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, a professor – at that time – with California State University. The holiday is now a recognized, widely practiced holiday in African American households throughout the country and in other parts of the world. The holiday filled a void in the African American community by providing us a set of goals to be recognized over the course of the seven day holiday but to be practiced over the course of the year. These goals serve as the foundation for community building and if practiced create the foundation upon which we can build healthy personal relationships among one another and strong communities. It is not a religious holiday but a cultural expression; a recognition of our “Africanness” and a reason to come together in celebration of our past, present and future.” ~Ross Cockfield

I grew up directly across the street from my mother’s only brother….My Uncle and Aunt, Ross and Carolyn Cockfield , introduced me to the African American holiday when I was a child [Auntie wrote a Kwaanza children’s book]….At the time, I didn’t quite understand the dynamic of the principles [honestly, if I wasn’t getting gifts or candy, I wasn’t interested]….It took me until adulthood to understand and seriously consider the necessity of the teachings on the Black community….just in these last recent years did I realize that they’re simple instructions on how to go forward into the upcoming year…this was our way of celebrating a job well done while convening in preparation of more to come….

The Seven Principles are: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (selfdetermination), Ujima(collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia(purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith)….We choose to focus on the principle that falls on the Saturday following Christmas…this year’s focus will be on Ujamaa (cooperative economics)….


It’s pretty self explanatory…support minority businesses and contribute to community resources…the predecessor to becoming culturally rich…however, an ideology that the black community lacks….

I am aware of the myths when it comes to minority business:

  • Poor Quality of Service and/or Goods
  • Marked Up Pricing
  • Professionalism
  • Ego
  • Inconsistency

I can concur….When I made this last move…I hired a minority moving company…I had worked with them before [clearly, I move a lot]….What I like the most about the company is the flat rate minimum….Every time I’ve hired him, he’s had different hands helping…well this last group must’ve been really new…they didn’t secure the drawers on one of my dressers…no mattress covers…and to add sugar to shit, my beautiful granite top desk some how rolled back down the stairs…broken leg, nicked wood, and scored walls along the staircase…I wanted to line these movers up and round house kick their ass!….Of course the owner still wanted to be paid…he charged me the minimum fee…we were over time so it should’ve cost me more, but I have damaged furniture…I didn’t want to pay a damn dime…I did anyway….

He came back a few days later…like promised…to try to fix it but couldn’t [effed it up more]…told me to send him the repair bill….

I paid because the owner and I had previous discussions about being in business for himself…the difficulties he was experiencing finding and keeping good help…I paid because he still had expenses to cover…I paid because he showed integrity…proposed to make it right…Call me what you like…I will hire the company again…probably for a smaller scale or less delicate job….

We should constantly be looking for ways and opportunities that will allow minority businesses to improve and grow…Instead, we hastily look for reasons to not support them…fast track to put them out of business…Cultural economics needs cooperation…Ujamaa….










Trust the Process…. ~E’spiphany

Wait a minute…Did Boss #3 just retire!?!  So all that talk about,  “changes are coming…cross train…be patience” was a crock pot of crap!…the entire time he was planning his escape….he definitely set up those he wanted before his departure and my ass didn’t make the cut [I knew better all along]…don’t get angry over what’s expected…right?…it becomes a choice at this point….I am now back under Boss #1 [the original gangsta] and finally I realized what I want out of life in terms of my career, I am going to have to create it….

The only thing I’ve been creating is my own frustration…I’ve only been working since the law allowed…all of the highs and lows I’ve experienced over the years…crossed the stage and thought now I’m going to have the title and the salary [like day time TV commercials]…new job with a new company…I ain’t get shit…I feel like my face is pressed against the glass ceiling…where is the gold!?!

It’s at the end of my rainbow…I’m just not there yet!  I keep failing to realize..just like before…there is going to be a process to get to the next stage….

Deep down I feel it’s a reason why things aren’t transpiring like I’d hoped…I’m not supposed to get comfortable because my true aspiration is not to climb the corporate ladder….

My plan A was always to be my own boss – this goes back as far as when I would play in my dad’s home office as a young girl….He started his own business when I was in middle school…I remember the struggles he [they] faced…a couple times, during high school, I had to make that phone call home, “Dad, my tuition bill is due and I got a letter saying that I won’t be able to come back to school”…I don’t know what he [they] did, but I didn’t miss a beat….He eventually picked up a 3rd shift job so he can run his business during the day….That’s probably where my drive toward entrepreneurship faltered and I decided to spend my wheels on what appeared to be the sure thing…plan B…a 9 to 5….

A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

My dream deferred is “festering like a sore” causing my attitude to “stink like rotten meat” [and if I get one more set back I am going to f*king explode]….It’s all perspective….I can continue to keep trying to smother my spirit and keep up the charade…plan B…or I can continue through the process of using my 9-5 as leverage toward my vision…while collecting benefits and a steady pay check…also plan B….

Almost three years ago, I registered my business name…but that was all I did….Thanks to all of the recent upheaval at the work place…I decided it’s time to get back on plan A….So far I created my logo…website…business cards…and most important…my title…Owner….


Rogue Life… “I’m from E.C.”

elberonYup…I said it…I’m from East Cleveland!  A now slum ridden city…full of pot holes…inoperative traffic signals and street lights…sex offenders and drug addicts…prostitutes and hustlers…corruption in policing and politics…and apparently the city for dumping murder victims….

I don’t know why I subject myself to the sight of this shit can city…I often think how if my mother didn’t leave me my house, then I would be like everyone else who ‘made it out the hood’….At some point in my life I moved from the city…hell, I moved almost every two years over the course of a decade…even purchased a house [must be the gypsy in me]…but my many address changes were never motivated by deep seated desire to escape the ‘hood’, but more so my attempts to establish some sort of stability….

It wasn’t until I moved back to the neighborhood in ’12 and began working on my current home did I realize that the ‘hood’ provided what I was seeking…a place where a single woman can afford to own a lot of home…a.k.a. Equity!  When I started back to school…the first semester I took an urban studies course Contemporary Urban Issues [the moment I fell in love with Urban Studies]…this class focused on the American industrial city – mainly structure and systems…since I found myself always adding a disclaimer when I mentioned to people that I moved back to the city….constantly trying to paint the picture of the village dynamic I was raised in…the little promising pockets among existing original families…my American city course opened up another avenue to drive on….

So here’s some food for thought…

The Ghetto…a word of European origin… “the quarter in a city, chiefly in Italy, to which the Jews were restricted” …these ghettos were used to purposely segregate and control the Jewish population during the 16th and 17th centuries…sound familiar?…the history of people of color reveals that we were similarly colonized by discriminatory practices in lending, housing, education, employment etc….

The Black Family…broken down by systems catered to those they were designed to help also used to hinder…the man detached…the woman broken…the child is taken…the next candidate for incarceration…mental illness is real but taboo…the continuum of a vicious cycle….

The Black Community…every opportunity is not afforded to all…for those who ‘made’ it out and don’t understand why the next one didn’t – left no trail nor proverbial underground railroad…like most probably stood on the other side with ‘them’ talking about ‘they’….self preservation is instinctual…cultural division that has roots as deep as the Antebellum Era…history of attempts at unification led to assassination….

So now with a new set of eyes and a vivid understanding of a predominantly black, once enterprising city like East Cleveland resulting in poverty…in seeking fault, I recognized that the push to integrate…black flight to the suburbs…actually was the largest contributor to the demise of the city….Screenshot_20181025-115657_Instagram

I don’t owe the ‘hood’ anything, but paying property taxes pays for city services and schools – that might help maintain an emergency response vehicle and a text book or two…my education can be used to mentor – somebody just might benefit from the networking…property maintenance helps maintain value – take care of your surroundings it encourages others to do the same….

It’s not about where you live, it’s about how you live….[right now it’s with a pistol, big dog, and house cameras]….Where I live does not determine my worth…I come from a great pedigree…My logic may not be fact, but it is fact that it only takes one domino to start the effect….







Ready, Set, Goal…. ~E’spiphany

I was reflecting on a previous post I wrote some time ago – “Pursuit of Happiness”…Once I accomplished my goal, Did I find happiness?…Uh, hell yeah I was happy!…However, looking back, I realized it was kinda the other way around…I needed happiness to attain my accomplishments….

In 2012, I set a goal and then I created the plan…Well the plan didn’t go like I thought it would….Initially, I set myself to graduate in 2017 – that was part of my five year goal…As soon as I set out on my journey, my mother passed, I took guardianship of my two adopted sisters, some dogs, a whole house…ran around after my knuckle head birth child, switched jobs, changed addresses, fleeting friendships, falling out with family, while tackling projects in my old fixer upper house…All of this with really no for real help….I mustered through it…how?….because I set the goal for my life and regardless of the obstacle, I stuck to my plan…it was my only constant in change…but the plan I created to get there took multiple revisions…I had eventually come to learn, to follow God’s plan….

God PlanI’ve always heard that, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”…Well God doesn’t literally laugh at you…He takes no pleasure in your suffering…He does, however, want you to come closer to Him….

My pursuit to happiness was truly my need to develop my personal relationship with God….which, let me add, not too long ago I had made mention of this relationship and was [sarcastically] congratulated…yep, that’s right congratulate me – Thanks by the way…anyway I digressed….

I came out victorious…as promised…alone but not lonely…I’m not going to lie…I do have a few war wounds, but He is a healer…Hunny, I can testify!….

The end of the year is quickly approaching…after an allegorically harvesting summer…new goals have been written…I am now set for another abounding season….

Here are a few pointers [and personal reminders]:

  • Make sure your goals are achievable:  Don’t make them too far fetched and be realistic with yourself…it’s ok…this is for you and you only!
  • Enjoy the journey:  Yes, stop and smell the roses along the path…it’s ok to pause, but don’t stop…you will appreciate the outcome more…trust me
  • Stick to your plan but be flexible:  Rigidity is a No No…it only leads to frustration…hind sight is 20/20…when you look back you’ll understand exactly why things transpired the way they did.
  • Work through the obstacles: You can try to avoid them, but don’t…They are only challenges to strengthen and teach you…you are being prepared!
  • Be Quiet: You can speak it into existence, but don’t give away the tactics – you’ll can exhaust its’ energy.  You risk getting detoured depending on your audience – timing is everything!
  • Pray on your Path:  You will win because He is a good coach…God promises to prosper you not harm you – have faith!
  • Celebrate the milestones:  Give Thanks to those who have shown genuine support while on your journey…rather it was season, reason, or a lifetime…pay homage when it’s due.







Having a Plan ‘B’ Means You Don’t Completely Believe in Your Plan ‘A’…. ~E’spiphany

So here I am…recently graduated…sitting in my boss’ office awaiting my annual performance review.  I thought to myself today is the day that I am finally going to hear about my position re-class.  My brown-nosing co-worker was re-classed after obtaining an english degree…I meant literature degree…I don’t know what it’s in…I know it wasn’t comparable to his position like mine is….My other co-worker, the brown-nosing side kick, was re-classed and she’s a year out from receiving her paper…to add sugar to shit, these two mofo’s right here were hired to do what I was now assigned to do through department ‘re-organization’…very interesting…So let me get this right…I’m strategically placed in their position which made their environment conducive to them being able to perform successfully…I watched them be awarded offices and then promotions without any sort a vetting process for the most qualified candidate….Furthermore, I have more direct experience in this game than the two of them put together!  Ok, this shit ain’t right! – ya’ll must think I’m slow as hell….In any event, I pushed through the remainder of my program during the 1st half of the year…I didn’t challenge any of the decisions being made because I was told that I, too, was going get re-classed – I was told that my stuff was mine to manage….I have to admit it is hard to watch blessings get distributed to everyone but me, but I kept pressing on…eyes on the prize…constantly reminding myself that the devil is liar – don’t get detoured…what’s for me is for me!…all of those positive innuendos when giving yourself a pep talk came into play…I was patient and still played fair even with my new alleged team members stabbing me in the back while using the knives for a ladder toward their personal advancement….it has to be my turn now….Um, negative!

I’m sitting with now boss #3…the 3rd one in the 4 years I’ve been employed here…the same person who pushed to get me wrote up by boss #2 last summer…dig this…for mistakenly paying the statement amount on an utility bill and not the suggested amount…do you know they had the audacity to say I was maliciously causing harm to the organization….In their discovery, not only did I pay one wrong – I actually paid two wrong!  They tried it…I processed two invoices on the same day and in the same minute…this means I processed two invoices within 60 seconds and 24 hours of receipt!…I was impressed with myself…Sorry Sirs this looks like human error due to haste…I was sitting on a beach in Punta Cana…sipping vodka tonic…thinking to myself what I was going to come back to when I got back home….It was bullshit every time I left the office so I knew a few days vacation would give them ample time, and as soon as I got back in the office boss #2 wants to meet with me to tell me that my VP, the boss’ boss, wants me wrote up….lies you tell…see y’all like to name drop, but whatever…let’s do this….By the end of last year boss #2 takes another position and I now get to report directly to #3….so the person who pushed to fire me is now going to push to re-class me….yeah, right!

In awkward silence, while I waited with bated breath only for my boss to say, “If I re-class you based on what you do exactly, then you can possibly be demoted.”  My job description, on record, is the job that I was hired to do…when I was re-organized to report to boss #2, an email was sent to HR that added to my responsibilities…technically, I should have been re-classed a long time ago…during the course of the transition, boss #1 decided that he no longer needed (wanted) me to do what I was hired for and encouraged boss #2 to peel away from my position bit by bit….Screenshot_20180817-090506_Instagram.jpg

So this is where I am… “Be patient…changes are coming…cross train [with the very same people who slice you behind close doors]”, He says.

….Nah, I’m cool…maybe pride is going to be my punishment, but I have a plan….