Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you're enjoying some Punch de Creme, Baileys, Henny, lemonade, water, whatever floats your boat. By the time you read this I should be hopping the plane to Tobago for Christmas. I'll be spending a few days there. As soon as we're settled in Marshall and I will have a sip with you folks. Grab your cocktail or beverage of choice and lets continue por favor...
51. What: Mom kicking me out at 18. Why: After my abortion I went back to living with my mom. We got into an argument and a few days later I came home and saw a note, taped to my door that said I have until Saturday to leave. I had no savings. I was making $8 an hour (could be less. I can’t remember) but I did have a line of credit with the bank. I had to max it out to pay for the security and deposit. I went hunting. I’m simplifying the story but I made several calls, made several visits but finally found a room that I could stomach and who were willing to take in an 18 year old with no credit and nothing in her bank account. I’m grateful for that experience because it taught me strength and perseverance.
52. What: Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. Why: This program made me love science even more. It taught me about giving back to the community. One year our school were assigned to educate people in the community about osteoporosis, diabetes, and asthma. Well we created pre and post quizzes and poster boards. We would call beauty salons and barbershops and set up times to visit to educate. We would hand out our pre quiz, give our presentation and then give out a post quiz. It was heartwarming to see folks get a much higher grade on their post exams and for being open to learning from a bunch of teenagers in white lab coats. Being a part of this program helped build my character.
53. What: School upstate. Why: Right after graduation I went upstate to a college very close to the Canadian border. It was so coldddddddd up there. Poor me. It was absolutely beautiful during the summer and fall. All the trees along the grounds, the air, just beautiful. However, it drove me crazy. It was a small town so not having a car was very challenging. If I even had an inkling I may need a taxi I would have to call. There was only one taxi in the entire town. There was nothing to do there and the one club that was there closed at 2am. Excuse me? SMH. I despised it. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, being around such beautiful scenery with nothing but my textbooks and my thoughts. SCARY! I’m now grateful for those memories because I crave that right now. I want to be surrounded by nature and to just be alone with my thoughts. How splendid would that be? Totally splendid folks.
54. What: 1st trip to Atlantic City. Why: Ever had that moment were a lesson a parent taught you comes to life? Well my mother taught me never to leave home without your vex money. For those of you who may not what that is, I’ll explain. It basically means never go somewhere without enough money to get you home. In this day and age if you don’t have any money on your credit card then if you’re traveling somewhere be sure to have enough money on your debit/credit card to bring you home. With this trip, thankfully I didn’t have to use my vex money. The person was gentlemanly and drove me back home, but I was prepared just in case he said no. Had he said no this chica had her vex money and would’ve found her brown butt back to Manhattan.
55. What: For Nikole recommending the book: Tapping the Power Within By Iyanla Vanzant. Why: Thank you Jesus! That book changed me. I developed a spiritual practice and truly learned about forgiveness. I will not forget the moment I reached the chapter on forgiveness. I was on the J train heading to my therapist and I caught a fit! This woman straight up said I should forgive my abuser. The woman done lost her mind! I felt a piece of rage enter me and I wanted to throw the book across the train cart but I kept on reading. By the time I got to my session I was a hot crying mess. Reading that book taught me the power of forgiveness. I did a blog on forgiveness, you can read it here: http://www.shydavis.com/health--wellness/archives/07-2013 Forgiving became very important to me and is something I do more often. We should get into the habit of forgiven more often.
56. What: Palm reading. Why: I received a really indebt palm reading with Kat Anders (http://www.kosmickonnection.com/ ). During the reading, she mentioned that I have spinal problems, that it’s beginning to shape like an ‘s.’ I knew I wasn’t aligned properly, when I was assessed by a chiropractor at a health fair my job had. I went to a few appointments but didn’t like that my questions went unanswered and it felt as if they were only interested in the insurance money, so I stopped going. Kat recommended cranial sacral work. I did two sessions and stopped because it was too expensive. I was learning cupping in class when my professor took one look at my back and without touching me strongly urged that I get my spine checked out because it’s looking like scoliosis. Well that got my attention. I started doing some research and western medicine suggests surgery and eastern medicine suggests, tui na, stretching, yoga and seeing a chiropractor. Well, I found another chiropractor and I really like his energy. He’s so calm and patient and answers all my questions. He told me it’s not scoliosis but it’s forming a slight s and that I’m definitely heading down that road. So, I’ve been working on that and grateful that she picked that up. Side note: did you know that looking down at your phone adds 60lbs of stress to your shoulders (http://www.lohud.com/story/news/health/2014/11/19/texting-bad-spine/19248031/), also research ergonomics because how we sit at work can affect our alignment.
57. What: Debt collector. Why: I had a credit card fresh out of high school. Why in the world would you approve someone for a credit card with no job? It was a set up! Poor me didn’t understand credit so when the bill came it was like wahhhhh? Then remember I mentioned I used my line of credit to get a place? Then there was the time I fainted at a job. I had no insurance and I learned that they charge you for taking the ambulance! Can you believe that? Ahh man, no guidance no guidance. No one to teach me. Anyway, I’m grateful for a debt collector that called me. It didn’t look like a debt collector number so I answered the phone. He was very nice to me. I told him I was making $8hr and told him how much I was paying in rent (around $125 a week at the time…do the math…exactly, I was surviving by the grace of God) and I just cannot afford it. He listened and he said no problem and reduced the bill. He then asked if that was doable I said no, and he reduced it further to an amount I knew I could sacrifice and pay it off. He then advised me that if other debt collectors call to simply tell them I can’t afford it and work them down. They just want some sort of settlement for the amount. Some money is better than no money. I truly appreciated his honesty and kindness. From then on, I answered all the debt collectors’ numbers and simply did what he told me to do and it worked! I was slowly paying off my debt.
58. What: Nervous breakdown. Why: You can read all about it here: http://www.shydavis.com/health--wellness/archives/11-2013 . I’m grateful for that to happen because now I can recognize the signs and can be proactive.
59. Who: My kinesiology professor. Why: folks, I went to my professor this past semester, two weeks beforethe semester was over to tell him I would like to drop the class. TWO. WEEKS! Well!...I am eternally grateful that this man had more sense than I and took me aside, went over my grades and showed me that I was actually passing and gave me encouragement. Well, I stuck it through and I got a B-. WOOT WOOT!!!!
60. What: My tenacity to get things done. Why: Because I get things done! *drops mic*
61. What: Starting my 401k. Why: Granted it’s currently frozen, I’m grateful to have at least started it because it’s an investment towards my future and I’ll pick it back up soon.
62. What: Attending all the colleges I have, thus far. Why: I’m grateful for the experience. Think of the demographics of upstate New York, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. I’ve learned to deal with different people and that’s certainly beneficial giving the line of work I’m embarking on, no? Of course it is! Those group projects weren’t just about getting my homework done, it was about gaining an experience and learning about people’s cultural habits and how to deal with different personalities. How to hone my own cultural trait. How to be a leader. There are people out there that turn their noses up at others because they feel they’re better than others. There are people that won’t try a dish because it looks nothing like what’s in their culture so therefore it must be bad. Not I. I’m grateful for all this experience.
63. What: Working at various car services. Why: Man, talk about customer service skills. Having someone call you all sorts of names that’s not your own and even inventing new curse words because their car is late isn’t a day at the park. I was always able to calm the situation down and I understood their pain. It was easy over the phone. It takes more strength in person, but that’s another story. Definitely grateful for the experience because it certainly built character.
64. Who: Hibiscus Moon. Why: I learned a great deal about crystals from her. Check out her website: http://hibiscusmooncrystalacademy.com/
65. What: Argument with Marshall about keys. Why: Marshall wanted a copy of my keys. I thought he had lost his mind. We weren’t living together so it made no type of sense to me for him to get a copy of my keys. It was one of the biggest arguments we had. I learned that I had (still do a tiny bit nowhere close to as before) control issues, which the root of that came from my abuse. I did not give him a copy and highly doubt I would give anyone I’m with a copy of my keys but it made me aware of my control issues.
66. What: Hug from a random woman. Why: it came at the right time. I tried filing for a divorce on my own from my first husband and the application was denied twice. I was on my way to work and thinking about the denial letter I had the night before. I couldn’t afford a lawyer for a divorce and I was just so frustrated and felt helpless and I just started crying. I was walking from the bus stop to my job building and that area is pretty deserted. Lots of industrial buildings to your left and right and so majority of people drive to work. There were never more than three people getting on or off in that area. Anyway, there I was walking towards work with tears in my eyes and this woman popped up in front of me. I didn’t see where she came from. She came right up to me and asked me what was wrong? I looked at her and just started crying. She opened her arms and engulfed me with her loving embrace. I told her all that was going on and she hugged and rocked me until I was feeling a little better. She looked at me and said: “Remember, God doesn’t give you more than you can bare.” Blah! God! Cheupps. I soooooooooo didn’t want to hear about God. Where was He in this situation, huh? WHERE?! Well right there. I nodded, wiped my tears and she nodded and walked away. I took two steps, remembered my manners, turned around to thank her and she was not there. She was nowhere in sight.
67. What: Clean water. Why: Something so simple that can be taken for granted. I’m grateful that I have clean water at my disposal.
68. Who: Kirk for not contacting me. Why: Now this encounter is Nattydread and BJD’s favorite story. I mean I laughed when it happened, I laugh whenever it comes up. Even now I’m giggling while typing. Long story short: I didn’t look my age and I was under age. He was over 18 and I didn’t tell him my age. After a sexual encounter he found out my age and homeboy immediately got up and started getting dressed. I asked where he was going and he said: “to the library to read up my rights.” LMAOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I’m so sorry but that STILL cracks us up. He really got dressed and left and never called. That showed integrity and again it’s one of the few encounters that I’m still able to look back on and say not all men are animals.
69. What: Indoor plumbing. Why: I was born and raised in Jamaica. From the time of my birth we had indoor plumbing. I went on vacation to the country when I was young and I held my poo when they showed me the bathroom that was outside. It was a big hole. Back home we call it pit toilet. Ya, definitely grateful for indoor plumbing.
70. Who: Ms. Govia. Why: My senior year of High School I had a college writing class. I was NOT happy. This woman was feared and she was out to ruin my senior year. We read so many books, wrote so many MLA and APA reports and our final project was a 25 page research paper. Can you believe that sh*t!! SMH! Now look at me. Look at this blog site. This is already page 17. I went to college and don’t recall having to write more than five pages. Wait, I think the most was probably 7, cover page and bibliography brought it to 10 pages. Writing a five page report is nothing to me.
71. What: Meeting my paternal aunt. Why: She was the only living sibling to my dad in Jamaica at the time. I know very little (that's putting it nicely) about my father's side of family. His parents had long made the transition before I was born. It wasn't long after I met her that she too transitioned. I'm grateful for the opportunity to meet someone from his side of the family.
72. What: Vacationing in Trelawny. Why: I experienced what we call country living. There were no inside kitchen or bathroom and you have to go to the river to fetch water. I was around seven or eight years old at the time. I spent a month there and it was an adjustment to say the least. When the rain would fall we would set the drums to catch it and then use it. We were grateful for this because it meant not waking up at 3am to walk several miles for water and to walk it back. Have you ever drank rain water or bathe with it? Ahh man so refreshing. You should try it. Wait, I take that back. I'm not sure about trying it here in the States. If you go to the Caribbean, I highly recommend it. We had to gather wood to cook to prepare for our meals. No inside bathroom was quite an experience. Not all good memories occurred at this time but spending a whole month there was truly a humbling experience.
73. What: Surprise birthday party for BJD. Why: I threw a surprise party for BJD one year while we were in high school. If I recall correctly this was the first time she told me that I would be a good business woman and should think about event planning. I told her she was crazy. Me? In business? For myself? Ha and blah! Her words echoed throughout my head for years and still do. I'm grateful that she saw something in me that I didn't yet see in myself.
74. What: Picnic Prospect Park with Nattydread and BJD. Why: Fun times, fun times. I still have a picture (I will not share. Sorry guys these ladies do not like their pictures on the World Wide Web and I have to respect that) of Nattydread caught going in on a chicken bone. That girl loves her food. Thankful for our times together.
75. What: Days off for Holidays. Why: I only do the Christmas thing because of BJD and I always end up in the holiday spirit. Even though I know the holidays is a money making scheme I'm grateful for the time off and for bringing family, friends and even strangers together.
Sending you lots of love from Tobago. Wishing you and yours a happy and safe Christmas. Stay Blessed. Thanks for stopping by. Muahzzzzz
PS: Here's a song for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUteb4kHhlE