Archives for the month of: December, 2011
Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden

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I am not a fan of packing. I don’t like it. It is the part of traveling that I like the least (although it is one of the most important parts). Thankfully, one of my flatmates has agreed to help me in the process. By help, I mean, I am sitting down writing this as she does some sort of rolling technique to my clothing to save space. Either way, I know I will have to pay the price (literally) for my luggage to return home. I am so grateful that she would help me move out and I have had several friends volunteer to drive me to the airport or pay for my taxi (not a cheap ride) to the airport. What can I say? They are AMAZING!

In fact, while I was saying goodbye to my friend who lives next door to me, I surprisingly got emotional. She was talking about how it’s so sad to say “goodbye” because you honestly don’t know if you will ever see the friends you have made here again. With the economy, life, school and everything else going on, who knows if we will ever see each other or Manchester again.

The reality of her words set in as I sat across from her with a table between us.

This could be the last time. Wow, she is such a sweet and genuine person. I’ll really miss her.

As tears well up in my eyes, one manages to escape as it slides down my cheek in an unguided way.

Don’t you do this! Don’t you cry. This is ridiculous.

But, is it really ridiculous to show emotions? To show sadness? To show appreciation for friendship via tears?

No, it’s not.

So I won’t be ashamed for crying as I say “goodbye” to a friend that I literally may never ever have the opportunity to sit across from in a room, with the only thing separating us is a table. Way may not be in the same continent, country, time zone, etc ever again. I think that says a lot.

Since I’m leaving tomorrow morning, I have been bombarded with hugs and well wishes and gifts from the kind and beautiful people (inside and out) I have met here. I do not like saying “goodbyes.” In fact, I contemplated just leaving without saying anything, but if our friendships ever meant anything to me, I owe them that. I owe them a proper goodbye, full of hugs and smiles and maybe even a few tears.

So as we exchange well wishes and double cheeked kisses, they’ll know that our friendship was real and that even if I never see them again, they have affected my life in immeasurable ways.

For that I am forever grateful for the opportunity to live in Manchester and to meet many wonderful people along the journey.

Until Next Time,

M.S.

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Secrets of Love 01

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Let me begin this by stating that I am not one of those people who believe in love at first sight or first date or first kiss or anything like that. However, I do believe that sometimes we meet people that we are interested in learning more about and certain circumstances impede that process. For example, my friend interested in someone and she think he is a really cool person. However, along with me, she leaves in a few days.

As she discussed how she was smitten with him and keen to get to know him better and go on a few more dates, it inspired a poem. I do know of people who have traveled abroad and met the love of their life and did not return home and have lived “happily ever after.” Or they fought their feelings and returned home and shortly afterwards, returned back to the country they visited to be with their love. In fact,  I met one girl who is actually getting married in a few days before returning home to get the rest of her stuff and move back to be with her husband.

Crazy? Maybe

Spontaneous? Definitely

Exciting? Yes

Is she is love? I don’t know.

But, I have come to the conclusion that even if her marriage does not work out or if others who have done the same do not stay with that person forever, I think it is brave to be led by your heart.

After all, the heart wants what it wants.

If we all want to be loved and we find that love thousands of miles away from our homeland and at that moment, we decide to put caution to the wind and move forward and follow love.

Then so be it.

You only live once.

Love.

Love hard.

Love often.

Love without regret.

But if it does not work out, then take the experience for what it was.

And move on.

And love again.

With the same fervor.

It takes boldness to do that and a person has to be brave to do that. I’m not. I’m too much of a skeptic. But for those who don’t mind truly living with the notion of “carpe diem,” by all means, do you. Porque que sera, sera. (What will be, will be)

Below is the poem written as I question the love at first sight notion.

I fell in love

Many times

In the same night

With the same person

Over and Over Again

His gaze

His conversation

His rhythm

I fell in love

Wondering

What if?

What would it be like?

What would happen?

If…

I fell in love

With him

Over and Over again

Many times

In my lifetime

If

This moment

Was the only moment

This moment

Was the definitive moment

Of my life

If

I fell in love

Here is a song talking about the idea of falling in love at the first sight by Mary J. Blige.

Kylie Minogue also has a song titled “Love At First Sight

International Federation of Medical Students' ...

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So, I am leaving soon (3 days) and I must admit, I am having mixed feelings about leaving. On one hand, I am excited about going home to see my friends and family back home. On the other hand, I will really miss my classmates and friends that I have made here. In general, everyone was so nice and helpful and helped make my time here a wonderful experience. Even though I am leaving soon, a good bit of my classmates and friends have made time to meet with me and hang out before leaving. That meant a lot to me as they took time out of their schedules to hang with me before I left. They tend to say, “Don’t leave. Stay with us.” I feel bad that I have to go after making some positive connections with them, but I have no other choice. I must graduate. lol

I’m not good at goodbye’s. It’s not my favorite part about leaving. In fact, I’m kind of awkward when it comes to showing certain emotions, but I believe each of my friends know that I am very much appreciative of the love and support and advice they have given me both personally and professionally.

When I needed to complain about an assignment or discuss family issues, they were each there to listen when I needed them to be. I really didn’t think I would meet people who I would get along with so well, but I did. That was a blessing in itself. I have lived abroad before and this experience exceeded my expectations. I’ve learned. I’ve had fun. I’ve traveled. I’ve had a blast.

It’s sad to say goodbye to everyone. And as many of my friends and classmates go in their own direction (Russia, Ireland, Poland, Korea, Lithuania, Spain, Greece) to name a few, I feel extremely blessed to have met them and I am certain that some of our paths will cross again in the near or far future.

I wish all of them the best of luck in all their endeavors and I promise to not be a stranger.

Love you guys and girls.

Mo

According to Websters Online Dictionary, “talent” is defined as:

 1. a special natural ability or aptitude: a talent for drawing.

2. a capacity for achievement or success; ability: young men of talent.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/talent

Since that word has been defined, let me begin with my premise that we ALL have talents. Yes, You, You and YOU have talents. Yes, I meant to use the plural form of the word because you have more than just one thing you are good at. Think about it. There is something that you do well with little to no effort. What is that? That is a talent. Whether you decide to pursue that talent and become great at it or not is entirely up to your discretion.

We all have talents; something that we could be great at with more dedication, practice and crafting of your skill. One issue that I have found to be a problem with having multiple talents is settling down and honing in on one. Schools teach us how to be well-rounded individuals, that it’s best to know an adequate amount about a variety of things. But, the older I get, the more I realize that may not be so true.

Granted, I see the benefit in knowing a little about a lot of things—you can paint the perception that you know more than you do, etc. However, if you know a little about a lot of things (English, math, science, history) and someone else may only know one subject very well (history), who do you think an employer would hire?

Quite frankly, it depends on what the employer is looking for: if the employer is looking for someone who is specifically versed in history, then the other person would most likely get the job because he or she has what the employer is looking for.

This is even true in academia. The further you get up in degrees: Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, each level requires a new level of specificity as it is understood you cannot know everything, but you can know a certain subject extremely well.

Having a talents is similar. Sure you can sing, dance, play an instrument adequately, but if you are average in all those areas, nothing will separate you from the crowd. No matter how many talents or skills you have, if it is not in demand, it may not be financially profitable to you. If you do not stand out from the crowd, it may not get you where you want to go either.

Even celebrities, who are seen as a Triple Threat, entered the industry doing one thing and one thing very well and then moved into other endeavors as their gift made room for them. E.g. Beyonce began as a singer/dancer, and then moved into being an actress, entrepreneur, fashion designer, etc.

 Steve Harvey, a comedian, actor, author, speaker, radio host, charity sponsor, etc began as a Comedian. He tried to be the best at that and then when he reached a certain status, his gift began to make room for him and he was able to venture out doing other things.

 Michael Jordan, ex-basketball player, turned into a fashion icon (Jordan Sneakers) and owns professional basketball teams. He has a franchise, but he began with his talent and love for basketball.

 What do these examples show?

You HAVE to start somewhere. You HAVE to have a desire to be the best at whatever it is you are doing. You HAVE to be determined.

If you were to read the background stories on each of the aforementioned people, you would see that they did not start at the top of their industry. They were boo’ed, they lost games, they lost competitions.

BUT

They didn’t give up.

Sure, plenty of people may be able to sing better than Beyonce or dance better than Chris Brown. They may have the talent, but they may not have focused on crafting that skill in a manner that would allow them to compete on that platform. No one will ever know how great you are at anything unless you show them. No one will ever know how talented you are if you give up at the first sign of defeat.

I acknowledge that losing is not the best feeling in the world. Rejection is tough. So, have your sad moment and then see what you can improve on so that next time you will be the winner that you desire to be.

Pick a talent to focus on and try to be the best you can. From there, continue to to build your resume by adding other talents.

Having A Talent is Not Enough. You have to possess DRIVE, DETERMINATION, and a DESIRE to achieve GREATNESS.

Start that journey now!

 

With love,

M.S.

After reading my uncle’s email, I decided to read Matthew 6 and respond. The beauty about reading the word of God for yourself is that in the same passage, there are many different interpretations based on how the word touches your heart. Below, at that time, is what the passage spoke to me.

My email response to my uncle was:

 “Hey, Let me find out you acting like a Pastor’s child and delivering sermons via email. lol

Seriously, I am familiar with the text you mentioned about the boat and the storm. The application of that story in our own lives, particularly Matthew 6: 45-50 which discusses how Jesus sent the disciplines ahead and saw them battling the storm can be helpful in all times, not just stormy seasons.

Verse 48 says, “And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.” I like this verse because God is so caring that similar to putting flesh on his only son and sending him to the earth, while on earth, Jesus cared enough to get in the “boat” with us and help us deal with our storms of life.

 The boat is representative of life and the storm is representative of the woes/misfortunes of this world. Similar to how Jesus could have passed the disciples in the boat, he thought enough of them to stop by and help them in their situation.

One reason for this could be because they followed his direction. He told them to go in the first place and where God leads his people, he will keep them. This verse is evidence to that fact. Similar to how Jesus was on the shore watching the disciplines in the storm (vs 47-48), he too watches us while we are in our own storm. And when he feels we have had enough, he will tell us “Be of good cheer: it is I, be not afraid.” That, for me, is comforting to know.

Like Grandma says, “Trouble don’t last always. This too shall pass.” I don’t know about you but I’d rather be in storm with Jesus, than out of a storm without Him.

Be encouraged, for Jesus has risen that we might have a right to the tree of life and that we might have it more abundantly.

Happy Thanksgiving. Give a little more, love a little harder, and smile a little harder.”

I’m sure if I read that same passage again, I may come up with another insight into how this story applies to my life. How about you? Have you ever faced a storm in life?

Thanksgiving was definitely different. Instead of my day being filled with food, fun, and family, I spent my day in classes and ate a sandwich for dinner. But, I won’t complain. Thanksgiving is an American holiday and I’m not in America, so that was expected (though I really could have used a good meal from home). I also miss eating sunday dinners at my Grandma’s house. Just thinking about the food makes me mouth water. Literally.

Today, I woke up too late to go to church on time, so I watched an on-line sermon again. There are definitely benefits to being able to watch sermons on-line, in the comfort of your own home, on your own time schedule, but I digress. I found it quite interesting that the Pastor spoke from the same passage from the Bible that my Uncle had sent to me a few days before Thanksgiving. Is it a coincidence? Some may believe so.

 In the email my uncle addresses me and his other siblings who have email. (6 out of the 10) I would like to share our email conversation: Hopefully, it blesses you like it blessed me.

 He wrote, “Good morning, I want to let you all of you know that I’m so proud of each of you. Having all of you in my life has made my life better than I could ever imagine. We are so blessed to have a loving Mom that raised all of us. Please during this thanksgiving let’s all remember and be so thankful we still have a loving mother that loves us all so dearly. All of us know she did the best with what she had for us. I can only say each of us still should continue to follow Jesus.

In the book of Mark, chapter six, we read that the disciples got into a boat, at night, and took out across the sea. In their obedience to Jesus, the disciples ran directly into a storm. Their obedience literally took them into the nucleus of a disaster. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means you will never have to face any storms.

 I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means that the waters of life will always be calm. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means life will be rosy and all of your days sweet. But I can’t. These disciples were following Jesus, and they ran right into rough-seas. The disciples discovered, as many of us have also discovered, that you can be both in the center of God’s will, and still in a storm.

There is a lot of preaching today as well as many Christian books that tell you that if you follow Jesus, than you will never have to face any challenges in life. That wasn’t true for Jesus, or for anyone else I know who has followed Him. Following Jesus doesn’t offer immunity from troubles. What it does give is the opportunity to experience Him in the midst of the trouble. Life comes with troubles, regardless of whether or not you follow Jesus. You get to choose if you want Him to join you in your troubles, or if you’d rather go through them alone.

(Sometimes God doesn’t give you what you think you want, not because you don’t deserve it, but because you deserve so much more.)”

 Even though I was away from my family this Thanksgiving and I was unable to partake in any of the dishes on that day, I was still fed spiritually, which is more than meat or raiment.

Lately, I have been pretty anxious about my future. With graduation looming, this is another stage in life where I am once again, bombarded by questions regarding my future: “So, what do you want to do after graduation? Have you been applying to jobs? Where do you want to live? Have you ever thought about _______ as a career option? How about ________? (fill in blanks with some type of profession)

Honestly, I do not have a response to those questions. Everything is up in the air. Trust me, folks, if I had a definite answer, I would climb the highest building and yell my career choice for the whole world to know.

But,

 I don’t have that answer.

And,

I’m okay with it

Because

I know that I will understand my purpose on earth more and more as each day passes.

I am a planner. I like to know what I will do and when I will do it way in advance. I am not comfortable in uncertainty. I don’t like gray areas. I prefer black and white. But, my relationship with God has continuously challenged my plans or my perception of how things should go in my life. It is because God only provides a snapshot big enough for me to see the next phase in life, but not big enough for me to get a clear view of the entire picture.

If I could look into the future and see what my desired occupation would be and if I am married, if I had kids, etc., I probably would. I don’t like surprises in my life. I want to know where I am going before I get there.

 But in my life, God has not given me that roadmap. I must admit, I am not thrilled about not knowing all the answers to the questions others harmlessly ask.

When I decided to surrender my will go God’s will, I did not realize how much that would entail. I thought that God would allow me to have my dreams fulfilled, as long as I abided by His rules. But, that is not how it has occurred.

His ways are not my ways and his thoughts are not my thoughts and for that reason, I feel like a pawn in the universe. Just waiting to see what will happen in the next chapter of my life.

It has been difficult; However, had I been going on my own wims, I probably would be more confused than I am right now.

Who knows what this situation is teaching me…. Maybe it is teaching me how to be patient, or how to rely on God, or how to be obedient because obedience is better than sacrifice.

I DON’T KNOW.

That, in itself, is an uncomfortable feeling.

However, like my Grandma says, “I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”

So, I’ll wait and see what the future holds and if I continue to ask God to order my steps, He will lead me to my destination. Don’t get me wrong, I still will make plans and preparation for my future, but I will surrender my will to His.

This is my song for the week:

“I don’t know
About tomorrow
I just live from day to day
And I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
And I don’t worry about my future
For I know what Jesus said
And today He walks beside me
For He knows what lies ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I, I know, I know, I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds, who holds my hand.”

Gospel Version

Country Version

My Love life

Is

Nonexistent.

I had a dude

Tell me that he was falling for me.

I told him I wouldn’t have sex with him b4 marriage.

The communication between us has changed.

He drifted away.

And I’m fine with that.

He’s not the first

Nor will he be the last

That can’t meet my standards or requirements.

He said,

“I want a good girl.”

“You’re a good girl.”

“But, I also want someone who can satisfy me sexually.”

“Soon.”

Pause

Silence

My response,

“I can’t fulfill those requirements, so I don’t see

A reason

To pursue

This

Any longer.”

We’ve reached a dead end

My friend

Nice Knowing you.

Deuces.

I smile on the inside

Because it’s

On To the Next One..

I’m not mad

Or Bitter

I hope we both find

What we are looking for….

My friend tweeted me the perfect song for my situation: Stephanie Mills “You’re Puttin A Rush on Me”

Chile, these past two weeks I have been going out every weekend, trying to soak up as much of the nightlife as I can. I went to Madison Lounge a few times, Bijou once and Entourage once. In celebration of one of my classmate’s birthday (in pic with me), we went to dinner and then partied Friday and Saturday. During the same weekend, it was my flatmate’s 21st birthday so we rode in style around town (Limo boo) and then went out.

These nights were fantastic. I promise you I did not get much sleep and I spent way too much money on cute clothes/shoes to go out in, but you gotta look the part right? All I brought with me to Manchester was stuff to wear to class; I had no idea that I would be going out, so I brought NOTHING. That was so silly of me. As a result, I had to buy a few outfits to wear out. BUT it was definitely worth it. I met some really cool people and had a blast dancing to different types of music (Afro Beat, Rap/Hip Hop, RnB, Pop, Rock, etc).

As usual, I have an eclectic mix of friends so my adventures take me from a rock bar to an African night club all in the same evening. When I go out, it’s amazing. At times, I feel guilty because I really am not a partier, per say, but I am proud of myself that I went out and actually had fun. At home, I don’t go out that often. But, I paid for it on Sunday because I was soooooooooo tired. lol

Life is not all about school and work. Sometimes, you have to let your hair down (in moderation).

Speaking of hair, I now have a short hair cut. It started out longer, but I let one of my friend’s here (who always looks fly) give me a makeover. I was scared at first, but I actually really like my hair and I plan to wear it like this when I get home.

My classmates were amazed at my “transformation;” I must say, it feels good to try a different hairstyle. I call it my “UK Hairdo.” I hope this fashionably adventurous side of me continues to grow and blossoms when I return to the US.

The Theme Song for the nights I went out was definitely Beyonce’s “Party.”

For the last few weeks, I realized that I have been pure dee slack in keeping up with this blog. Quite frankly, I chose not to write for some significant reasons:

  1. I was super busy with class and had pressing assignments due.
  2. When I was not busy with class, I was out having fun and enjoying the city. (You know most people say, who has time to write about all the fun you are having while you are having it.)
  3. When #1 and #2 was not occurring, I was in a foul mood due to #1 and group work and did not want to take my frustrations to the blog. I’m sure you would have gotten tired of hearing my complaints about my woes regarding group work, excuses, etc. so I decided not to write.
  4. My bank account was looking super funny, thus contributing to my stress.
  5. I was stressing about my cloudy future (since I have no plans past graduation in May) EEEKKKK!!!

But ya’ll, so much has happened since the last time we met that I have NO CLUE where to begin.

I’ll try to cram 2-3 wks of events into different posts, most likely poems, as I love to express myself creatively.

Here goes nothing…well, actually here goes a lot of something!

Once again, my apologies. I can’t say this same thing won’t ever happen again, but I can guarantee that if I does, I’ll be sorry again. lol

When writing this, I thought about Anita Baker’s song, “I Apologize.”