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Photography credit: Cecil A. Phillips, Jr. @CJPhillipsVisualsLLC



My favorite month is over at the stroke of midnight on a Leap Year. It's something special. February is my birth month. It's also my son's. He's 20 years old this year, which is a gorgeous blessing. It's Black History Month and furthermore, it's the month that love is celebrated and recognized by so many people at the same time.


Like any other year, I was in a mode of planning. Everything was going well. It was almost Christmas and I was setting things up for this new year and then I hit a pretty big hiccup. It made me emotional and frustrated. I shut down quite a bit and second guessed myself often. After crying about it and discussing it excessively with my sisters and close friends, a solution was placed before me. Even though anxiety threatened to make me want to just let things remain as they were, I knew that wasn't an option. So, I did what I had to do, scared. Like so many other things in life, i.e.: a cavity, a tax audit, an unresolved divorce... The stress and the strain of certain problems really threaten to stop your flow.


I truly got turned around and to be quite honest at one point I wanted my old life back. For a split second, I thought it would be easier. However, I knew that was a lie.


The mother inside me showed up and allowed me to lay in bed under the covers and cry. Go through old photos. Sleep. Have nightmares. Dream. Wake up. Write. Cry some more. Even to Sir. I really don't pretend to know how people move on after a failed marriage or relationship, especially if you still love each other in any kind of way. I can't watch weddings right now. Can't watch people falling in love too much either.


Divorce is like a living death that no one really talks about. It's achy and incredibly hard. We're at it again. Hopefully we get it right this time.


It is so hard to be this honest, but this is my heart and this is how my brain goes.


I wasn't stuck in the rut for too long, because there was life to get back to. Our son was home for Winter break and I also had to go to work. There was bullet journaling, writing contests, deaths, bills, a horrifying war and some more shit. There was L I F E.


So, I took the necessary steps to do all the things to rectify this hiccup and fast. It's easier with open dialogue and hindsight. We're working together. Even though it's still painful, it's also bearable. I'm so grateful.


Somehow, I thought to myself that I did certain things and I may have deserved this type of torture, but that's simply not true. No one deserves this. I'm 46 and I can't keep certain things bottled up anymore. My body doesn't handle it well.


D E E P S I G H...


I read something recently, in a book titled 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson. It goes,

"Sometimes when things are not going well, it's not the world that's the cause. The cause is instead, that which is currently most valued (subjectively and personally). Why? Because the world is revealed to an indeterminate degree through the template of your values. If the world you are seeing is not the world you want, therefore, it's time to examine your values. It's time to rid yourself of your presuppositions. Time to let go. It might even be time to sacrifice what you love best. So that you can become who you might become, instead of staying who you are."


So, here goes...


Occasionally, I doubt whether I have all the ingredients to make the life that I want for myself. I shouldn't do that, because I know for sure (more than 85% of the time) that I have what it takes to get to my ultimate purpose. It hasn't been easy so far, but one day it will be and I'm waiting for it with open arms. Until then, I'm going to keep entering into contests (even when it's difficult to write through the emotion), I'm going to focus on myself, my hobbies, my projects, my son, my family and my home.


I bullet journal and write lists to keep myself on track with life. It's very helpful when it's time to pick up the pieces, so that I can become who I will become. I won't remain who I am.


We think we have it all under control, then life unravels a bit or simply falls apart. Putting ourselves back together is like a magic trick that we've never witnessed. Meanwhile, we're watching people around us getting it all right.


Just remember that it is your job to pay attention to only you (and your kids of course). Knowing what you want to do and taking the steps to do it will put you on the path to getting it all right too.


Here's what I'm currently into:


Watch List




Origin (In select theaters now)

We went to see this movie as a cousin group and I'm so glad I wasn't crying in the theater alone. I'm surprised that there wasn't more promotion for a film so moving during a time like this. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor did her thing playing Isabel Wilkerson, based on the construct of the book Caste written by Isabel Wilkerson. Ava's directorial eye never fails. Go see this.



Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (MAX)

This was a good documentary about American poet and writer, Nikki Giovanni. Going To Mars is a beautiful look into understanding her life's work.




First Wives Club (Amazon Prime)

This series was equal parts emotion and comic relief. What do you do when marriage isn't happily ever after? You'll see in season 1, 2 and hopefully 3.



Black Cake (Hulu)


In last February's blog post Jasma Please, the book Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson was on my read list. A year later it's on my watch list, because it's now a series.


My hope is that there are just as many Caribbean stories in the future as there are American ones. This book and series did not disappoint. There were so many secrets and so many twists and turns.



Rap Sh!t (MAX)


Seduce & Scheme rents so much space in my head. This show was right on time for me. A rachet distraction. I'm so glad I watched the first season before season two dropped, because I didn't have to wait to see what happened to Shanna & Mia. Issa Rae left Insecure to produce something fresh and relevant. I loved it until it got cancelled. I'm so annoyed there's no season 3.



Listen List




Jaguar II by Victoria Monet

Another extremely pretty and lighthearted album. Victoria is a breath of fresh air. My favorite songs are Party Girls (feat. Buju Banton), Alright, How Does It Make You Feel, (Grammy winning) On My Mama, Stop (Askin' Me 4Shyt) and Good Bye.



For All The Dogs Scary Hours Edition: Volume 2 by Drake

On the last day of sewing class, in October, I started to play Volume 1 not realizing that Volume 2 was even a thing. There are literally no skips, but The Shoe Fits, Evil Ways and You Broke My Heart are the best to me. Then I go back and listen to Rich Baby Daddy. I can't help that it's catchy. Sorry Mos Def.




Scarlet by Doja Cat


All the blood I saw in the promos and on the VMA's gave me pause. However, this is just regular Doja which is fantastic. She uses the word devil and demon a few times, but the album is SOLID. My faves include Paint The Town Red, FTG, Angora Hills, Can't Wait, Often and Love Life.


Metamorphosis by Infinity Song


One of my favorite people to watch on Instagram is @BlakelyThorton. His lists are usually spot on. So, I had to check out the top 10 Black Artists we should be listening to right now. Somehow, I started with his fifth choice, which is the sibling group, Infinity Song. he was so right! They do sound like Fleetwood Mac and somehow I love them so much more. Hater's Anthem, Dreams, No One Comes Close and I Don't Feel No Ways Tired are on HEAVY and CONSTANT Rotation.


Read List


All of the books listed are books that I intend to read in March. Feel free to read along with me. I'm currently finishing up a Bell Hooks book, The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity and Love.



Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes



Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington



The Light On Halsey Street by Vanessa Miller



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


There were more than a few times that I had to force others to be truthful to themselves, which ultimately led back to me being true to myself. When you pray for certain things you expect it to come in the form according to your exact request or need. Not realizing that when you pray for something, it usually comes as the opposite to see if you're ready for what you say you want. This will sometimes happen more than once, or repeatedly until you understand the assignment. Often it will be the same guts with a different wrapping. So beware. I'm trying desperately to learn the lesson and understand the assignment.

I'm prepared to leap into my destiny. I think I already have.


All in all, the year has been pretty good to me so far. My son was my Valentine and Sir arranged for him to come home and surprise me. They were sweet to me for pulling off that surprise.




Also, I learned to let go of control and allow my sisters to plan a sweet birthday for me. The world will never know how much I adore them for how they love me.





My cousin Phil came to visit and we went to see the Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys at the Brooklyn Museum. A few of us cousins went to dinner and another night we went out to see a movie. Phil also took great pictures of me.



Photos of me taken by @CJPhillipsVisualsLLC

All other photos were taken by @ThisGirlNamedJas


Eventually, I got around to doing everything that fell by the wayside in December of 2023. Bet money that I will get around to doing everything else.


Keep your head up.


L O V E,


Jas




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Love You Forever!!! You’re so talented. You will get it all done in due time.

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