Tag Archives: People

Driving Ms. Daisy

On Saturday, I finally decided to give being an Uber driver a go. My first ride was a a guy probably in his late 20’s to early 30’s who was going to a bar to watch the Indians game. He was very friendly and we practically talked the entire ride. He said and I quote,”I’m about set the bar for your passenger standard pretty high.” Most of the riders that I had were younger, simply looking to have a good time. I had a few older couples who hit the wine too hard. Overall, the night itself was an interesting experience. I enjoyed being able to see parts of the city that I’ve never seen and I got to meet some pretty awesome people. It defiantly  pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced to be more of social person,which I’m definitely not.

Driving people around almost feels like a therapy session on wheels. The more comfortable people all the more they talk and the more they tell. It was refreshing to have such a variety of conversations from education to deer hunting.

I’ll admit, I was nervous in the beginning, I watch Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU way too often, my mind automatically went into detective mode. In the end, I realized the riders are probably just as nervous, if not more than drivers.

I had a few passengers who didn’t want me to follow the navigation directions but instead follow theirs, there were a few backseat drivers then there were the passengers that simply didn’t want to be bothered so I let the music do the talking.

Overall, being a driver is a solid way to make money and a way to meet new people in the process.

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Self Check

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I apologize that it has been a while since my last blog. For quite some time, I temporarily gave up on blogging and recording YouTube videos. I felt it necessary to reestablish my focus and my purpose for blogging and speaking to my YouTube subscribers. Heck, even my purpose for writing books and everything else that I find myself taking part in. My goal has always been to share my experiences and perspective whenever I blog or record videos. Nonetheless, lately  I feel as though I’ve been playing an adult game of Hide and Seek with my personal and career goals. One moment I’m in full force, prepared to take on the world and accomplish the impossible; the next, I’m stalled out, tucked away in my apartment contemplating exactly what I want to do in life.

I’m finding “adulting” to be really difficult at the moment. I appreciate having a job, but I’m struggling to find purpose in my position. While what I do brings some kind of fulfillment it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life, even though I’m not sure what I want to do for the rest of  my life with my life. Just going through life, repeating the same things daily has created a void. I wake up almost everyday dreading the thought of even having to be up before 6 a.m.and before I know it I’ve hit snooze six times. I always manage to pull myself together and face each day head on with a smile, but I can’t continue to go through life like this.

I mean, if we’re being honest, I would like a billion dollars and the ability  to travel the world, blog about the people, experiences and food that I encounter on my travels. I guess that’s not the most realistic thing, or at-least a billion dollars magically being placed in my possession is a little far fetched.

As I approach the age of 26 I’ve been taking a great interest in setting new goals and making adjustments to goals that I’ve already established. I’ve been reading books about truly being who you are, without trying to meet the expectations that the world has placed on your shoulders. I’ve been working on stripping myself of all of the negative thoughts that both myself and others have cursed me with. That sounded strange, basically what I mean by that is breaking myself free my negative thoughts and words that have been spoken over my life. Removing all of the doubt from my mind that I can’t do certain things. Reminding myself that I am beautiful and that I am deserving of love, and support. I’ve had to not only take ownership of my flaws and face the woman in the mirror, but I’ve also have had to face the reality that I need to change some of these things about myself. Change the way I think, the way I behave, the way I react. I realize that I am sometimes very passive aggressive, I often times hold grudges and among other things, I allow fear to bully me out of things that I truly would like to do. I’ve learned to take ownership of my mistakes and to move beyond them. There is no point in holding onto what you don’t have the ability to change.

Overall, I want to live up to my own expectations, whatever those will come to be. I have to let down my guard and not be afraid to step into the woman I’m destined to be.

Searching

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Who am I? 

I know what I like to do. I know what makes me happy.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses, but what is the driving force behind the very things that define me?

I’m a daughter, a sister,an aunt, a student and a writer, but in the end none of these things define who I am. They add substance to my being and they contribute to who I am, but still they do not define my identity. I believe that who we are goes far beyond what we like to do and the titles that both ourselves and others label us with. Defining who we are includes how we treat others when they can’t do anything for us, how we act when we’re angry, who we are when people aren’t paying attention, and a variety of other things.

Discovering who I am has become a priority, but it is my opinion that self-discovery is a virtue and not a  destination. As we grow and as we change, we define and re-define ourselves. It is important to remain true to our character as we do so. Character is the foundation of our moral and mental qualities. I want to find and understand my purpose. I want to exude positive vibes and live up to my own metrics of success. I want to break down barriers of who I thought I was and focus on personal growth and new experiences.

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I complied a list of things that I believe to be important in finding yourself:

  1. Understand past events that have helped shaped you into the person that you are presently.
  2. Distinguish your thoughts from the thoughts of others.
  3. Find your confidence.
  4. Overcome bad habits and forgive yourself for your mistakes.
  5. Organize and prioritize your life. Put things in perspective.
  6. Remove pressures created by the rest of the world.
  7. Question yourself and the world around you.
  8. Be courageous. Understand that failure is apart of the journey.
  9. Lose yourself to find yourself, in the words of Gandhi.

 

 

“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”

-Danielle LaPorte

What is Life?

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At twenty-five years old most would think that I have a clear plan on what I want to do and how to go about doing it. Nope, not at all.

I know writing is a passion, but trying to figure out what to do with my writing abilities is a task in itself.

I love cooking, but I don’t think I want to be a chef. I already succumb to way too much pressure simply trying cooking for people that I know. I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to cooking and baking. I once baked the same cake four times trying to make it perfect.

I’ve thought about being an actress, but I probably couldn’t amuse a group of children reading Little Red Riding Hood, so I think that’s out as well.

Some days I consider selling all of my worldly possessions to travel,but I think considering how much student loan debt that I have, I better chill with that idea.

I considering being  an English teacher, but I don’t have the patience to learn the appropriate way to use commas and other forms of punctuation. I can’t teach others to misuse punctuation. What can I say,I write, I don’t edit!

Often times I have considered starting a publishing company, but I don’t think I would last in that arena.

I’ve pretty much had the same type of jobs since I graduated high school and I haven’t explored other options outside of volunteering and personal trial and errors. I haven’t found anything that I’m like,yeah I could do this for the rest of my life. I get confused and often redirect my attention to new goals and new plans. Perhaps I try to bite off more than I can chew, which has prevented me from tapping into my full potential. I have so many great ideas in my head,but sometimes I struggle acting on them. I often times don’t know where to end or where to begin. I know I can come off as a cluster f%#k, but I’m trying to figure things out. I’m trying to define my own meaning of life instead of being jaded into societies definition. I finally came to the realization that it’s okay to not know, it’s okay to be a work in progress. It’s okay to not be  okay.

Day by day, I try to be better than I was the day before and that’s all any of us can do. I had to learn to stop comparing myself to other people. I had to stop measuring my success next to other people. I had to strip myself of labels and define who I am. I had to understand that despite my age, I’m still growing, I’m still transforming.

What is life? Well that’s entirely up to you!

…be successfully you

 

 

Finish Line

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On April 29, 2016 I officially finished my no meat challenge. In the beginning it was a struggle simply because for the first time in my life I was unable to eat meat, poultry or seafood. After the first week I got beyond the desire of wanting meat but towards the end I had an urge for chicken strips. Now that the no meat challenge is over and I actually can have meat, I don’t have a desire for it. I ordered chicken strips from Famous Dave yesterday, they were good but I felt bloated and more full than I usually do. I didn’t like that feeling. I noticed that by only eating vegetables I would get full but I would become hungry relatively quicker than I would if I had a meat that included meat. I found that having a smoothie with my meals solved that problem. Overall, not having meat in my diet wasn’t as difficult as some people made it out to be.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue to eat meat or if I’ll become a full pledged vegetarian.  My digestive system improved drastically and I felt better energy wise. I’m not sure if I actually lost weight because I was eating a lot and I mean a lot of veggie pizzas. For a while I felt a difference in my pants sizes but I’m not sure if that’s because they were too big to begin with. I realized that not eating meat isn’t difficult but finding things to eat that aren’t pasta and/or bread was difficult seeing that there aren’t a large variety of vegetables that I enjoy.  I really love spinach, broccoli, and salad other than that I don’t have a lot of go-to vegetables.

I’m proud of myself because I stuck to my guns and didn’t fold when things got difficult. I’m proud that I was mentally strong enough to even try something like this. I think my next challenge will be not eating bread or potatoes for a month,we’ll see!

 

 

Skin Deep

 

 

It’s February, which we all know, whether you like it or not is Black History Month. I debated about writing a post like this for several reasons. Black History Month, slavery, race, the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. are very controversial topics/issues among Americans. Nonetheless, let me go ahead and exercise my First Amendment Right, FREE SPEECH.

I’m sick and tired of people asking me,”are you mixed”, “what are you”, are you foreign”. These are some of the most ignorant questions I’ve heard people ask. My birth certificate states that I’m African American but the history of my families roots is a different story and frankly, it is nobody’s business, unless I choose to make it their business. I hate when people pose the question “what are you?” I’m a human. What are you? I’m fully aware that ignoring race is a part of the problem but I can’t help but to stop and think… why does race pose such a problem and/or create such a threat?

Some Caucasian people look at me funny because they think I’m too dark to be White and some Black people look at me funny because they think I’m too light to be Black. Can’t I just be Amber? Why is it that we are so color struck despite the obvious history of our country? I truly don’t understand. I wasn’t raised to judge people based on the color of their skin, or appearances in general. I hate being judged because I’m a Black woman and it’s not always by the White community. I feel as though someone always wants me to prove my blackness, or as if I always have to validate my intelligence because of my blackness…it is exhausting.

I find it interesting that people still use terms such as “The White Man” as if the entire race of white people is still trying to oppress Black people. I understand where the term came from but come on! As a Black woman, I have broken myself from the institutionalized  chains that “The White Man” controls my every move. I will not be intimated into thinking I’m “less than” because of my Black skin. I will not be forced to feel inferior because of my Black skin. I will not behave a certain way because of my  Black skin. I will not like anything any more or less because of my Black skin. And I certainly will not let who I am as an individual be charged to who people think I am because of my Black skin.

As people, I think it is important to recognize our difference and rejoice in them.  We need to start conversations. We need to address race as an issue. We can not expect to move forward if we constantly sweep everything under the rug and act as if praising Black people for one month out of the year compensates for the years and years and years of oppression that our ancestors were forced to endure in this very country.And I speak for myself when I say this, Black people have to learn to free themselves. If the system won’t educate us, we must educate ourselves. We must learn to invest in ourselves, we have to free ourselves from the illusions that we can’t own businesses or be doctors and lawyers. We have to free and rid our children and our generation of statistics. We have to free ourselves from this mental imprisonment that we were once forced to take ownership of.

Now…I’m curious as to when we’re going to come together and create a better tomorrow for our children? When are we as a community going to unite and stop allowing these police officers to kill our babies? When are we going to unite and teach our babies not to kill our babies? When are we as a human race going to show compassion and understanding towards PEOPLE…regardless of their skin color. In case you didn’t come to this conclusion…we as PEOPLE have a lot of work to do both separately and collectively.

I’m tired of being hated simply because of my skin color. I’m tired of being uncomfortable in certain areas or around certain people because of the color of my skin. I’m tired of being told I’m acting light skin. I’m tired of being told I’m acting White because I speak proper English. I’m tired of being forced to fit into a bubble because of the skin I had no choice in choosing. I’m tired of reversed racism and I’m tired of being tugged at. I hope that one day and it might not be any time soon but one day I can just be Amber. Amber the author. Not Amber the light skin girl, not Amber the “I think, she thinks,she’s a white girl”,Amber. I just want to be Amber, not being judged by my skin, not feeling forced to prove myself in every arena of my life because of my skin and not being pressured to live up to someone I’m not because of my skin.

 

I leave you all with this question,”Can you laugh at yourself without attributing it to your race…Can you own up to good/bad habits without attributing it to your race?”

 

 

Find Your Joy!

When it all boils down to it, would you rather have a job that you hate but it brings you wealth, or a job that doesn’t bring you wealth but allows you to live comfortably and it makes you happy?

I’ve spent my adulthood (I’m 25) working jobs that I hate but nonetheless have allowed me to maintain minor luxuries.  My co-worker and I had a discussion today about our jobs vs our happiness. We both agreed that we would rather be happy than make x-amount of dollars. Nonetheless, we can’t be foolish and say screw our jobs, let’s go live on a beach and catch sea turtles.  I would love to spend my time on this earth doing what I love to do but then I stopped to ask myself, “What is it that I love doing? What would bring me joy? What would I love doing even if it didn’t make me wealthy? Writing is the only thing that came to mind. I would love to travel and blog. Take pictures and write stories. Oh, and cook and eat! Realistically without having enough savings and some sort of income I probably won’t be able to do that. I guess that’s the irony of life. We get jammed up working jobs that we dislike, hoping that one day we can live out the dreams that we’ve engineered.

Sometimes I feel stuck,trapped in places that I hate. But, I know things will change, I just have to be patient and pray. I have to wait on Gods timing. I know that this is apart of my journey.  I know that I have to keep writing and become a better writer than what I am now. I have to master my craft and invest in myself. I leave you all with this,fight for what you want! Fight for your dreams and fight for your happiness!  Find your joy and figure out how to make money from it. Don’t give up, you are closer to bliss than you think!
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