Category Archives: living your life

Just Write and Just Be….

Yesterday I was in Barnes & Nobles and I was searching the magazine aisle as I do normally and I came across this guy and his wife. He was saying he wanted to be a writer and I thought about the advice I received, so be one! We talked for a good twenty minutes before him and his wife had to go, but I got so many ideas from his conversation and I hope I gave him enough encouragement to get those books out. He has soo many fresh ideas, that I believe would be a great face for his ministry.

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

 – E.L. Doctrow

Screenshot 2018-03-07 21.41.53But I thought about it, so many times we have amazing ideas, and we don’t do it because we think things have to be done a certain way, or like everyone else has done. I look at Chance the Rapper and I know thats not true. Here is a guy who loves hip hop and made it, several awards and he has NEVER been signed. He did it the way he chose to and not the way everyone has and he also has reached back and helped others.

I am a writer, I have been writing a little over 10 years now and I never asked others how they did it. Its like half the time people act like its a secret to the success of it, but its nothing more than sitting in front of my computer daily and typing words, even when they don’t make any sense.

pexels-photo-279470.jpegSo I say to all those out there with a dream to do something, DO IT! Write that book, direct that film, run that marathon… you can do anything and as so many greats have said the greatest things are on the other side of fear. So why let an emotion or the unknown block you. Because why should we all be one paycheck away from homelessness with a job we hate when we can create what jobs we want and reach back and give a hand to someone and lift them up along the way. Imagine if we all had the job we wanted and we were all happy. Imagine a world with no chaos. I dream of it…. I think it can happen.

So… one of the things I have been thinking of starting is Feminist Friday! I saw Ellevest do it on Linkedin and I thought it was a wonderful idea, except theres is Feminist Financial Friday and I want mine to be a little more relatable. Mr John Smith Jr, no lie he had the most common name ever, a pastor at Mt Zion Baptist Church, was telling me about his cousin a fashion designer and she will be my very first Feminist Friday. I would like to encourage women by the struggles and accomplishments of others and her story is unlike so many but yet sooo immensely encouraging.

So stay tuned… I have a Friday theme!!!

If no one has told you – I love you! 

Be Your Authentic Self

via Say Something

This post above is the most honest blog of a writers mind. We use our platforms to speak about what we feel in our hearts and the passions that we have. We may not speak on every issue that goes on today, or every topic that someone asks of us, although, I must say I take them into consideration.

But writing is a passionate way for me to use my voice. I dedicate my voice to the encouragement of others, the empowerment of all, and unity to make a better place for generations to come. I speak about those things that bother me, those that excite me.

I have to say a good book, a great movie, a short film or documentary can definitely get my wheels turning, but today nonalcoholicstudent.wordpress.com did that for me. Check out this blog, because anyone going through college without a drink is a hero for sure!!!!

If no one has told you they love you, then always remember I do ~ Tiffany

No Review – I am judging the racist.

Its time out for the exclusions and separations.

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I know its Thursday, the day I have scheduled to do reviews.. but today, I don’t feel like much of a review, at least not of a book, movie or television show. I will save that for next week. This week, I want to talk about the failed system protecting these kids, protecting us.

“A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.” – W.E.B. DuBois

I live in a small town in Arkansas, a town with more animals that black people and the population is less than 500. I only moved here due to circumstances beyond my control, but I accepted it and I am here. I knew I wasn’t welcomed here when the woman across the street made sure her confederate flag faced my house, when people stared a little longer because not only were we black, but we weren’t the black kind that tries to fit in.

I have been feeling the pressures of being black in this house and in this county. It seemed that during Christmas time, we were everyones charity case. The family that everyone did so much for and said it was because I was a single mother of four girls and a caretaker of two elderly, I accepted. I have never been above anything free, but I found that everything free, comes with a price. Comes with a cost.

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A UPS driver came over one day with is sister in his truck (violation, right), to bring a dog house for my larger dog. His house wasn’t quite big enough and he didn’t like it. I thought it was a blessing, as odd as it was. He had no package to deliver, but offered to help out a lady and her dogs. His sister came off as helpful, someone who wanted to help keep my costs down and offered to send her vet friends to look at my dogs for free. I trusted this woman, until the phone calls became to frequent. The accusations that I could not care or pay for my dogs care. She assumed that because I was black, that I was poor.

Now I am not the richest person, nor do I have a lot, but my family has always been blessed. So her assumptions was wrong. She came over a few more times, in her UPS brothers truck, with dog food and a handout of help. I declined her help anymore and decided they had visited enough. Her visits stopped, although her brother continued to come by daily in his truck, according to her, to feed my dogs. (We ALWAYS had enough food to feed our dogs. We never asked for her help).

Last Friday, I received a call from Kim (I will not change her name because she mad a fool of me and I am not above making her look foolish). She offered to purchase my dogs from me. Now anyone that knows me, knows that my dogs are my babies. They are like my children. I rescued Chip, and Bella was given to us from an unwanted litter. I didn’t choose my dogs, they chose me. I am proud of my dogs and how they grow. Now Chips weight goes up and down and anyone that doesn’t know that, may look at him and think he’s sick, but he’s not.

She warned me that I would change my mind. So what happens today? The sheriffs come to my door and first gives me a warning and says that my dogs are healthy looking, only to return 45 minutes later saying I was a liar and I didn’t tell him I didn’t buy the dogs houses. (Why does that matter?) I was issued a criminal offense ticket of cruelty to animals, he said because my dogs didn’t have 24 hour access to water. *blank stare*

My dogs are a bit glutton and if I give Chip a big bowl of water, he will drink it until he throws up. I give him water when I feed him, and sometimes in between, especially depending on the weather. So now I have court.

Here’s my problem, Kim’s brother should’ve NEVER been on my property without a package to deliver nor should his sister been in his vehicle. Plus he was speaking to my children without my permission. (No… called UPS and they are “limited” on what they can do, oh but keep them updated.)

“I didn’t learn to be quiet when I had an opinion. The reason they knew who I was is because I told them.” ~ Ursula Burns

All this the same week that a boy commented on my daughters hoodies, asking if being shot by police was a black persons super power. All after the principle said that he will not address complaints of racism, to talk to the Assistant Principle.

Arkansas, I stood up for you. As much as its is a state that is all white vs black and KKK filled, I stood up for you, and now I am facing a felony and jail time that is equal to more than a murder of a person because I didn’t have a water bowl continuously filled for my dogs? With all the strays up and down Highway 79, why are my dogs on trial?

Screenshot 2018-01-25 20.19.39I am not dumb, I know my rights, and I have my proof. I cannot wait until court, because once again, I am assumed to be dumb, black and poor. I am assumed to go to court with a “no sir, yes sir” attitude. They picked the wrong black person if thats the case. I will not be run from this little racist ass town, nor will I bow down to the bullshit at stake.

So today I review and judge RACISM, and I am OVER IT! Sorry, but you will not have a head down sister over here. I will win, and I will still be here when the smoke clears. Smiling and possibly having a few new jobs to my disposal.

Sorry for the rant, but I am a pissed off sista with an agenda. 

Breaking My Silence…

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Over the last month, I have been silent – not in real life, but virtually silent. I stopped writing because I felt like my writing was just because, it had no real meaning and no real purpose behind it. So I stopped and starting thinking about my next moves. During the last few months, I began watching a new sitcom…

THE BOLD TYPE

This show has made me think in more ways than ever because of course I am a mixture of Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens) and Kat Edison (Aisha Dee), because not only am I a writer who is FINALLY following her passion, I am also following my heart as well.

But this show envelops so many more emotions. It hits on the women topics that are often ignored or pushed to the side for matters that other people think are more important. I have always stood up for so many things in my life from racism, homophobia, and sexism. I always felt that I had to pick an issue, because together they don’t make sense.

But why?

Society makes you feel that if you are a black woman that you cannot attend the Women Marches, because you have to remember that you are a black person first. If you are a member of the LGBTQ community, you have to only stick with the “black” pride events because once again, you are black first. But as a black woman, when you march, you are told to hold down your black men first.

I say bullshit! In life we all want the same thing and that is to live our daily lives and be just as happy and feel just as safe as a straight white man. I’m not saying we hate him, or belittle him or down talk anyone, I am saying that why can we not all stand along side of each other. Screenshot 2017-09-06 22.18.15

 

Fighting a fight of whose fight is more important is getting us no where. While we are all fighting 45 is making and changing rules impacting all of our lives except those we are fighting to stand beside each other. We should ALL fight TOGETHER! 

 

 

Can you imagine the impact if every woman, every black, white, brown and in-between, every LGBTQ, every PERSON stood together and fought for us all to be equal? What if we all stood up and told the establishment that WE ALL MATTER?! I believe we would get so much further, but in my mind this works.

Then I think of all the fighting that we all do within our communities. The media always plays on black on black crime but there is women hating and talking down on each other, gay bashing from within, and jealousy always peeping up in any situation. We have to learn how to love ourselves before we can confront someone else about not loving us.

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I know I went deep but The Bold Type does that and the episode I watched tonight, “Carry The Weight” made me remember to carry mine and stand up for what I believe in,     ALL OF IT!

Love you, cause I do!

You know you’re a racist right?

If You Aren’t Sure You’re One… Read On!

I don’t know where this new “trend” has come from, I think the image of “45” and his corrupt campaign tactics. You know the ones that brought all the racism, homophobic, jackasses out of hiding. The “trend” which makes me sick to my stomach, is that the racist people play victim and decide that a person standing up for injustice or speaking out about it is now the racist.

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Make sense to you? Then you may be a racist. Yeah I said it. If you think its ok to call people names and talk down on them like their race is beneath yours, you are probably racist.

“Weakness is what brings ignorance, cheapness, racism, homophobia, desperation, cruelty, brutality, all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot nailed to the floor.” ~Henry Rollins

Let me throw some examples out there. Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo)( July 30, 2017) tweeted “At Cracker Barrel 4 the 1st time. Looking at the sea of white folk in cowboy hats & wondering “will they let my black ass walk out of here?”” It was a nervous joke that many other black people have made because lets be serious here. Cracker Barrel settled a racial discrimination lawsuit in 2004, and in case you haven’t noticed, black people have been known in history to be killed by large crowds of white people. Must I remind you of the millions of lynchings in Americans history.

Instead of people understanding where this came from the 45 trolls came a running and calling her a racist, a n*gger (which is a racial derogatory statement), she received death and rape threats. How is that ok? Even if you thought for a minute that her statement was racist, how can you threaten to do her the very harm she was worried about?

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45 has made you all think its ok to “grab someone by the p*ssy” or threaten to hurt someone because he has gotten away with these inappropriate outburst himself. I have never seen more people act as if they are not the problem than right now. The “go back to Africa” rants and how we were supposedly immigrants are sickening. That is racist! We are Americans. Our parents were born here, we were born here and our ancestors built this country. How would you like if we said go back to Europe? Because America wasn’t yours to begin with.

Do you remember Christopher Columbus and the “discovery” of a country that was already inhabited? Am I taking you too fast? Let be back up and rewind. The issue is you hate an entire race or believe the stereotypes of that race, then you are racist. Let me clarify, racism is not just white to black. There are more people who are oppressed besides black people. Also, I hate to tell you but if you are black and hate ALL white people, honey you are racist as well. Not all white people are the same. No one is bound by their skin to be a certain way. My great grandfather was a white man who used his freedom to buy slaves and free them. White people marched beside Martin Luther King, Jr and there are white people now standing alongside Black Lives Matters.

The issue is peoples character. The color of your skin is not going to make you who you are any more than the color of your hair and eyes. So why to some is such a big deal? Why is black skin looked at like its a threat? Why try so hard to keep us away from power? Yes we had a black president, but he was blocked on so many issues that he fought hard for, yet we let 45 destroy everything that so many people worked for.

Not only is it black people who have to fight for rights, its women, its the LGBTQ community, its Hispanics, Native Americans, Muslims, its everyone! Now supposedly white people are fighting for rights they already have. I have no idea how thats possible. Affirmative Action was not created to push white people out of a school over populated with them, it was created to give minorities a chance at a higher education.

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Everyone just wants to live their life, find love, become successful and be happy… so I can’t seem to understand why so many feel its their right to take others away. As @iJesseWilliams posted on twitter, “Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. Its not a pie.” So tell me, why is so important to some to block others from the rights they enjoy?

Review: Jessica Williams

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The Incredible Jessica James

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So the other day I was feeling a little discouraged, writing is my thing, you know. So I scanned Netflix and the beautiful Jessica Williams’s movie came up. I really thought it was a television series at first, actually I was kind of hoping it was. 

Jessica James’s character is a special woman who is completely living in her truth. Her dream is to be a famous play writer but pays her bills teaching play writing to kids at a non-profit. In the beginning of the movie she is sort of obsessed with the ex-boyfriend who moved on. So a friend introduced her to a blind date, a white guy who is the complete opposites of her. Both of them, after realizing they had nothing in common decided to do a night of honesty. The date ended with them going back to his place, where they did everything but have sex.

Jessica James: What?

Boone: I really like you.

Jessica James: Of course you do.

Jessica James: Everyone does

Jessica James: I’m freaking dope.

Along the way, you went through her daily life of what she did. I absolutely loved that she was not afraid to speak whatever was on her mind, no matter what the situation. Her passion for writing transferred to her passion for teaching. She really pushed and put her all into teaching those kids to reach their full potential.

For example there was a writers retreat which was really important to her because a famous play writer was going to be there. She took the time to introduce herself and ask a real question about how to get in the business. She was shocked to find that play writers don’t make that much, that as she was, she was living the dream.

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This movie to me screamed motivation, persistence and learning to follow the dream no matter what. She was clear with what she wanted in life and regardless of what anyone said she continued to pursue her dreams. Her family was a little unsure of what she was doing, but that was because she didn’t share her dream with everyone. She got her degree, moved to New York and did what she had to do, and all with a cork board full of rejection letters.

That was until she got her first acceptance letter! They wanted her work and her to come to London and read one of her pieces. The guy who was her blind date ended up being a really nice guy, they never really established a relationship but he helped her, her best friend and a student get to London. He ended up being a good friend and she was on her way.

I have to say I was a little disappointed at the end that it was over, but I again motivated to finish doing what I was meant to do. Jessica didn’t settle and change her writing to what others were doing. She never watered herself down to be what others wanted to her to be. She wrote for herself and believed in what she wrote. She motivated me to write, help others and tell my story. So here I am.. Thanks Jessica Williams… I am truly a new fan!

Your Truth – Live In It – Cookie Does

Don’t be what they want you to be…

I am so behind on so many shows that Hulu has become my best friend. So as I am binge watching Empire, I see something that brings attention to something. I am always speaking on being you and living in your truth yet I am scared to truly be me.

There is one thing about Cookie Lyons character that I love, she is true to herself, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. She knows her stuff and she is not ashamed to tell someone when their shit is stank.

For example I was watching the episode where Cookie was on a date with the guy that was running for major. Her assistant told her the place was like a nightclub, but it was indeed an opera house. Cookie was killing it though in a short red dress, despite all the side eyes from the other women in full gowns.

As women sometimes do, which I don’t understand, they tried to make her look bad in front of her date asking her questions that they thought she wouldn’t understand, but he stood his ground and stood up for her. Here was the part that I was screaming for joy on – Cookie was in the stall and the two women from earlier were talking about how she was ghetto and out of place. She came out that stall and was herself as she checked them. Let them know she may be a little ghetto but she was about her money and wasn’t kissing they fake bougie asses.

Screenshot 2017-07-26 12.34.37I bring that up because so many of us are miserable because we are putting up a false face everyday. We strive so hard to please people who could care less about us, why? Why try to conform to a box of what society tells you is acceptable? From your weight, your hairstyles, the latest fashions, whats beautiful, and your sexual orientation.

Be who you are and be true to yourself. No matter what you do in life someone is going to talk about you. Nine times out of ten if they are talking about you its because they are jealous that you are being happy while they are still putting on a mask every morning. Those who truly love you, will love you no matter what. There should be no conditions on friendship or relationships. Love doesn’t come with that.

So be free! Be happy! Love yourself…. and most importantly, be true to yourself.

Suicide – Dont ignore it, it won’t go away

RIL Chester Bennington – Linkin Park lead singer was found dead this morning of an apparent suicide.

Suicide is a topic that many still don’t want to talk about. People who speak up about feeling this way are hushed and told to “pray about it” or pushed away as if they are only asking for attention. YES THEY WANT ATTENTION!!! Why is that so bad? They want attention because they need someone to explain to them that life will get better, that their life is worth living.

By ignoring this issue, the numbers are climbing by children at younger ages. Why is this? Why is suicide talked so bad about and ignored? It causes those who need the help for it to suffer alone.

As someone who has had suicide attempts and ideations, its hard when you feel like you are losing your fight and all someone says is ‘suicide is selfish’, ‘think of who else you’d be hurting’, how do you know that they are not the ones hurting them? Many times if someone is talking about suicide all they think about is how life would be better for people in their lives.

You can’t overlook symptoms because you don’t want someone to be mad at you. I was mad at my best friends when I was 14 because I wanted to die. I called to say goodbye and they called my mother. Although I was mad at them then, I thank them as much as I can. I wouldn’t be here without them, and thats how a friendship should be.

Now on the other end if you ever feel like you should end it, talk to someone. If you have no one to talk to call or text the suicide hotline. I usually do my writing, or watch a happy movie or listen to music with an upbeat. Know that no matter what you have done in life, you can change and life can and will get better. Being happy sometimes takes accepting your life and taking responsibility for your life and what happens to you.

We cannot get through life alone. If you see someone who shows the signs talk to them or get them help. Don’t ignore the signs.

***If you or anyone you know are going through something and you feel like you are losing hope please get help. You can call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 its 24/7 or if you don’t feel like talking you can text the crisis hotline. Just text the word CONNECT to 741741. There are ways you can get help… If you need more information you can always email me at tiffanymarnold14@gmail.com. **** 

To The Bone – A Netflix Original

Its Review Time!!!!

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So I was having quite a moment last night, my anxiety was on an all time high and I was a wreck. I am so used to binge watching Pretty Little Liars (don’t ask.. I am trying to see where its going) and Criminal Minds from the beginning. I am also watching Underground and a few other shows that definitely don’t help with anxiety or making me feel motivated.

So I googled movies to watch on Netflix and came up with the most outdated lists of movies that were probably mediocre at best. So I started looking through the new releases. Don’t judge me but when my anxiety gets high, I usually watch Tinker Bell or one of the many sequels.

But the title caught my eye and the look of desperation on the girls face looking out the passenger window. Here was a girl that was feeling what I was feeling. The description says its about a 20-year old girl suffering with anorexia and goes on a journey of self discovery.

In this movie, although I am quite on the other spectrum, I eat when I am down… although, there are not many things I can eat now, but thats another story for another day. This movie talks about living when you have all but given up. There are so many factors I got from this. But the biggest thing is “WE ARE NOT DEAD!” We have the option to live our lives how we want. To make decisions to do better than the day before and live!

I know many won’t get this movie, but if you have anxiety, depression or any kind of mental health or medical issue this movie will lift your spirits. In this movie I found my spirit to get up and do what I set out to do. To not feel down about any situations I am going through, but to live my life for me!

***If you or anyone you know are going through something and you feel like you are losing hope please get help. You can call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 its 24/7 or if you don’t feel like talking you can text the crisis hotline. Just text the word CONNECT to 741741. There are ways you can get help… If you need more information you can always email me at tiffanymarnold14@gmail.com. **** 

Jay Z, Jay Z, Jay Z… Boy You Still Got It!

Review Time!!!!  Review - Wooden 3d rendered letters/message

So after debating in my head since the debut of 4:44 whether I was going to redo my membership for Tidal, Facebook made me aware that Jay had snuck his new album to iTunes this morning. Best part was, my Apple Music Membership covered it! 

Let me tell you, I have been a Jay-Z fan since I was pregnant with my youngest daughter Screenshot 2017-07-07 20.33.16in 2001 and even before. So my review is probably biased. Not really, cause if Jay would’ve come out with something whack I would’ve called him out.

But this man doesn’t know what whack is, unless you are him describing how he almost pulled a Eric Benet and lost his woman. Now that was indeed whack.

See most people only hear that he admits to all the things that Lemonade was talking about, but they missed the greatness of his album just as they missed the best parts of Beyonce’s albums.

He starts with Kill JayZ spitting on how theres no healing what you hide. He spoke on every rumor and every bad thing he ever did, how he couldn’t take it if he wound up like Future watching another man play ball with his son.

But that wasn’t the best part of the album and if thats all you heard, then you need to listen until you hear the rest. JayZ spoke up on how it doesn’t matter how rich you are, what complexion you are that we are still niggas in their eyes. He talked about how OJ said he wasn’t black he was OJ and how quick they brought him back to reality.

How our so called leaders are dealing with crap like Bill Cosby being held on charges instead of them saying NBC wasn’t for sale. Look at Al Sharpton on IG taking selfies in the mirror, what is he fighting? He’s given up. (Of course you have to look up what Al Sharpton had to say in return.. all I can do is roll my eyes. He always has so much to say but still saying nothing, but thats a different story.)

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My jam is Family Feud, because in this song he speaks about how nobody wins if the family is feuding. He’s not speaking about his family, he’s speaking on our Black family and how we are at each others throats, drinking alcohol that we know is not ours.

He also spoke on how all these “new” rappers/niggas is starting to sound alike, taking pics on IG with money and guns that don’t belong to them. Hanging with chicks who look the same or are the same. How now we in the game of telling on ourselves and it really don’t be about nothing.

He talked about having credit is better than balling out, how you need to put money away for your family and invest in black owned businesses and stop working for everyone else. Like honestly, why are yal still signing record deals like you haven’t seen what they do to people. Stop making other peoples pockets fatter while all along you hungry.

He also spoke on deeper issues about him growing up with a mother who was living a life where she was hiding who she was. How you should your life to make you happy, no matter who doesn’t like it. He even called out the jewelers on how they are robbing people and don’t care even if its blood money, long as its money.

He wrapped it up with a song called Legacy and a shot out to his roots Marcy Me.

JayZ is back yal! He’s a grown man and is ready to face his responsibilities like a man and make his woman happy. He sees his flaws and his imperfections and hopefully will learn from them. Because as he said no loss is a loss its a lesson and appreciate the pain because its a blessing.

Lets hope this album will be the turning point that will allow him to keep that superhero mask on for his babies. Good Job Jay!!! This is now on my favs list. Whats your favorite JayZ album?