Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Lorax

This past Friday was one of the fullest days I have had in a very long time -- and I loved it!

I (like the girl I am) stayed out and partied with a few friends late into the morning on Thursday night/Friday morning. Well, when I was crawling into my bed (around 3am) I remembered something... I had volunteered myself to help out with Jump Rope for Heart at Tyler Elementary School in Hampton - mind you the event started at 8am. I groaned and set my alarm clock. Needless to say, I did not wake up with the alarm - but I made it to Tyler by 9am. I spent about an hour and a half with the students. "Coach," as they so fondly call the P.E. teacher, was a joy to be around. There were different stations for the kids to show off their talents (double-dutch, a trick station, and even an activity room). I liked dancing with the Wii Fit with the music teacher and I played basketball on the black-top -- I know what you're thinking... You played a sport? Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, which is why I did not allow photos to be taken during this phenomenon! I stopped by Ms. Washington's classroom to say hello to Hailey's old classmates and they miss her dearly.

I left from Tyler and headed straight to work (changing my jogging pants and running shoes for a gray skirt and black flats). The day went by rather quickly. The customers were nice; but, I was hungry and I just wanted to get home to make myself some lunch (all I ate that morning was a PB&J). Got off around 3 and headed home. I had a tuna sandwich for lunch - it was yummy. Then I left my house to go pick up Brigid. I think I barely gave her time to breath after she had gotten off the bus from school! We had a nice chat about school and the upcoming Miss VA pageant on our way to pick up my sister (my blood sister), Tanya, from HU. Then we were off to Hailey's house. Scooped up Hailey and headed to the AMC Theatre. I let Hailey choose our seats and she headed for the top of the stairs: she managed to find the "perfect view," she said! (And we were only a few minutes late for the previews - Tanya wanted to see those; Hailey, however, wanted them to hurry up and finish!) 

The Lorax was a good movie (I didn't really expect that I would enjoy it as much as I did). The funny thing was that I think my 20-year-old sister was delighted and humored by the jokes and fascinated by the cartoon characters as much as Hailey was. The movie focused on the environment and conserving what we have. However, there was an even bigger message - we can all make change happen. No matter how old or young you are; no matter how much money you have or don't have - as long as you have a good heart, you can make a difference.

The movie ended with this quote:

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not. 

(I took the girls home - Haily, then Tanya, then Brigid. Spent some time talking to Mrs. Anne, then I drove home. After a really long day, I crawled into my bed and I slept really well that night!)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Am I Good Enough?

Today I listened in on a conference call about raising awareness for the HIV/AIDS in the black community, but it was the closing remarks that have been resonating in my mind for the past few hours. A fellow Hamptonian is part of the pageant committee that hosted the call and in the middle of her closing statement I heard her say, "I wondered 'Am I good enough?'"

My mind instantly heard Kevin Costner's tribute to Whitney Houston, where he so eloquently describe a woman that he clearly loved and admired. He said, "The Whitney I knew, despite her success and worldwide fame, still wondered, ‘Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me?’ It was the burden that made her great, and the part that caused her to stumble in the end."

We all wonder - at some point in each of our blessed lives, are we good enough. Thinking back over my years, I have wondered that same thing when it comes to school, work, pageants, and, more recently, relationships. But my smallest successes in each of those areas of my life give me hope. They remind that I am good enough - and how do I know this? Because I say so and I won't accept anything less. I truly know that I am good enough because my Heavenly Father says so. And after His approval, I need no one else's.

For those of you who may still doubt if you're good enough. I will simply challenge you to: Know that you are beautiful (tell yourself this every day). Believe in your dreams (because if you don't who will?). And always look forward because you cannot change your past. But the future? That is in your hands.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Safe Sex

This post is both politically and personally motivated. Some may believe that this topic is inappropriate for me to comment on - but, I don't care. It's important that I talk about it (and that's what blogs are for right?).

I won't go on too much about how some politicians are overly concerned about the vagina of today's women or about this recent movement to force women to have an ultrasound before making the decision to have an abortion or not. Now, before I go much further I will preface this post by saying that I am a Christian woman. I do believe in the sanctity of life. I do not like abortions. And I do volunteer with a center that works to provide mothers-to-be with an alternative to abortion. But, I also believe that I have no right to force my beliefs onto others. I believe that people should consider their actions (and that includes the likely consequences) and be willing to live with the decision that they have made. With that being said...

Contraceptives are your friend. Use them. I don't care if Mr. So-and-So says it's "immoral" or if the church has decided it shouldn't be used. Get with the times, folks - young people are having sex at younger and younger ages every single year. Telling young people to wait until marriage is a great idea (I myself am on that path); but, abstinence-only education is a ridiculous notion. Sometimes telling a young person not to do something is just like telling them to do something...So? Arm them with the facts. I believe that schools (and parents) need to teach young people about sex: what it is; when it's appropriate; and, how to protect themselves (before, during, and after). Then young people need to use those contraceptives. Why do I say this? It's simple: we don't need children raising children. Education is empowering; but knowledge applied - that is real power.