Give Love a Chance

By: Valerie Furr Collins

I believe we all have our own idea of what is love. I think we get it from our childhood or how we saw our parents, family, or friends love one another. As a child, I watched mother go through so much and she was still strong enough to stay in her marriage. I learned that loved bred strength and staying power, regardless of how you were treated. My parents stayed together after a brief separation even though they were legally divorced. I learned that marriage was supposed to be forever. Like my mom, some people stay in a marriage for the sake of the kids. I did that until my hurt trickled down on them. Then there’s trying to make up for your one mistake verses their 100. So basically, I thought it was my job to be the perfect wife/mother, stay, and forgive, forgive, forgive. I am just being honest.

My Daddy, Big Brother Art Jr., and My Mommy

I see now that how some people love can be a lesson on how not to love. Love is supposed to be effortless, and not hurt 100% of the time. You should never have to beg for their attention or passion. If a person loves you or wants to get to know you, they will make time for you. Be strong enough to stay when things get tough but strong enough to walk away from an abusive partner. By all means, put yourself first! If you are not healthy mentally and physically, how can you be there for anyone else. Sometimes love is taken for granted, marriages don’t work, people cheat, and hearts get broken. But that’s OK. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

We often say, if I was then, the woman I am now, or if I knew then what I know now, but I believe everything happens for a reason. We are supposed to go through losses in love. If we didn’t, how would we ever know when true love finds us. I heard on a movie tonight, basically, if you believe you love someone, don’t waste time. Go get that person, because when God calls them home, no matter how many years you get together, it will never be enough. You will always long for more time with your love. So, I say open your heart, let your guard down, let go of past relationships and hurt, forget how your parents loved, forgive your mistakes, and simply step out on faith.

Ask him or her out on a date. The worse that could happen is that they say no. But you will never know unless you try. You won’t ever be able to get to know someone hidden behind those walls you’ve built. She or he had no part in handing you those bricks. So, stop giving people/person who weren’t the One power over you,. Put that load down, come out of the shadows, and show the real you. Give love a chance.

I wish we all find true unbreakable love,

vfurrmstheblogger

#giveloveachance #vfurrmstheblogger #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlife #love #letyourguarddown

Grieving: Death Always Comes in Threes

One day at a gathering at my best friends cousins house, I met a young man who came over. I hadn’t ever met him before but saw first hand how much everyone there, both friends and his family, loved him. Fast forward to last Tuesday. He meets up with his cousin at a park and ends up shot several times, allegedly over money. The shot to the back of his head leaves him brain dead and he dies about a week later. The initial shock the night he was shot, left my bestie and myself in tears. Regardless to how doctors offered false hope concerning his recovery, every one who loved him was left broken hearted and with a hole in their hearts where he used to be. This young man was a single father of a young boy who will never see his Daddy again.

I can’t imagine being a mother of a 36 year old man and finding out he was shot and killed in the middle of the night by someone who shared the same bloodline. I couldn’t imagine being a mother of any child who dies before me. But unfortunately, I know several mothers and fathers who live daily with aching hearts because their child is no longer with them. No parent should have to endure such pain. But if you believe in God, you know that God makes no mistakes. For mothers of murdered children, it hurts more how their children left this world, then their actual death because we all know from dust we were made and to dust we will return. Murder is such a senseless, cowardly act.

There is a myth some people believe that states death happens in threes. I don’t like to believe in superstitions, but I have actually witnessed this. After this young man passed, another young man, barely 30 years old whom I knew through a very good friend of mine died in a house fire while he was asleep. That broke my heart too because his girlfriend is like a sister to me and her devastation is heartbreaking to watch. The next day a friend I met through Face Book gained his wings as well. Threes. It shouldn’t be fathomable that this tale would be true, but in my experience it usually comes to pass.

There have been several murders a day between my town, Tuscaloosa. and surrounding counties, such as Birmingham. The occurrence of gun violence has steadily increased over the past couple of years. We are constantly burying our sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters and their murderers have no regard for human life at all. Shootings should not be the norm. I blame the murderers, not the victims. There is always another way to handling a situation that gunning someone down in cold blood.

Before I say this, I want to preface it with in no way, do I blame any parent for the actions of their grown children. But, I do believe that discipline for bad behavior has to start at home. I think that we have got to do better as parents and members of their village. We have to watch over our children and protect them physically and with prayer. In the news here there have been several small children picked up by police or concerned citizens after they’ve wandered away from home. How do you not know where your two year old is? How do you not know your child is not in the house. It starts at home. We have got to pay more attention. With sex trafficking on the rise, we need to be diligent about protecting our children.

It costs nothing to teach love, respect, and kindness. As parents, it’s our job to teach the first lessons our children will learn because the world will teach them enough rough ones without our help. If we teach the right ones while they are growing up, perhaps the wrong ones will not have such a negative impact on their lives. Perhaps then, in the near future, if we must lose our babies at an early age, it won’t be at the hands of family or friends. But at the same time, gun violence is so prevalent these days that I can’t honestly say I believe it will be a thing of the past because, sadly, no one is listening. They would rather gun you down than talk. It makes no sense!

I’m disappointed and saddened,

vfurrmstheblogger

#grief #itcomesinthrees #saveourchildren #gunviolence #tuscaloosaalabama

Failure to Launch or Protect

A few years ago, I watched a movie entitled Failure to Launch, starring Sara Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. In this movie, a therapist (Sara) assisted parents whose sons refused to leave home, to put them on a path of independence. Matthew’s character, one of these thirty-something men, spoiled by his mother (Kathy Bates) his entire life. He never felt the need to move out on his own. It was a comedy, so Sara resorted to some crazy shenanigans to successfully, unbeknownst to these him, boot him out of his parent’s basement.

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a friend, the author of the amazing book, “A Broken Heart Made Whole”, Minister Stevetta Temple. We talked about how we as mothers, tend to be easier on our boys than our girls. She is a mother of seven, and I am a mother of two. She made me really think about my relationship with my son. When it comes to motherhood, we don’t tend to correlate parenting to mortality. But in reality, as she pointed out, our adult children should be able to survive successfully on their own if, unfortunately, something were to happen to us.

At this very moment, I must admit that I worry if both of my children would be complete successes in their lives if I were to, Heaven forbid, pass away. Not because they are incapable, but because, one, I believe Knowledge is power, and they both dropped out of college. Two, they never had an ideal relationship with their father. Three, his absence left a void in them and an inability to reach out to others. Four, the effects of my secluded childhood trickled down onto them.

I always encouraged them to figure out their passion in life and go after it. I never want them to live paycheck to paycheck stuck in a job they hate instead of being successful in a career they love. My daughter was a pretty cheerleader and in color guard in high school. Popularity followed her. Now, she is married with one child and has aspirations of becoming an esthetician. Hopefully, she will return to the University of Alabama for a degree.

My son was the complete opposite. He was bullied in school, has social anxiety and does not like to be around people at all. He’s had one job while in high school but has preferred to work at home with his sick uncle for the past two years. He hated high school and did not enjoy his brief time at the University of Alabama. He aspires to be a writer. He has talents in writing incredible short stories, gaming, computer programming, creating cell phone apps, IT, and computer technology.

I’ve coddled him his entire life because I felt, as my son without his father in his life, he needed the extra attention. I was sick during their childhood and tried desperately to make up for missing out on physical activities with them. I didn’t realize until he was grown that I could and did mold him into a loving, kind, courteous individual but the things he needed to possess inside to become a man, I could not give him. I feel that piece of him is still missing and he will struggle his whole life trying to fill that void.

He suffers from depression and his constant state of sadness, saddens me. When he was younger, I took him to therapy or got him the things he enjoyed, such as game systems to put joy in his heart. But now, I don’t know how to help him. I don’t know how to reach him anymore. Because he doesn’t go to school or work, it’s easy for people on the outside looking in to say, “Put him out!” It’s easy to say give him an ultimatum; work or go to school in a month.

But my son is not a street kid. He may surprise me, but my fear is if I put him out, I’ll be burying my son within a year due to suicide, something he has tried twice in his young twenty-two years. Just like with my daughter, his life, his success, his dreams are important to me. I pray over my children, maybe not as much as I should, but I will increase so they can increase. He just needs one person to believe in him and I believe!

But, I can’t help but give Minister Temples words much thought. Where would they be if I were gone tomorrow? With my daughter married, I worry less about her and I know she will do what is best for her life. With my son, his state of mind makes him different. I have to be careful with him. So, do I encourage him, guide him, listen to him, and love him as long as it takes for him to become independent on his own or chance cracking his foundation and destroying our relationship to force him to be independent. What would you do?

I thought that I had to feel comfortable about where my young adults were in life. But as hard as it is to admit, it’s not about me. I can’t live their lives, nor make or correct their mistakes for them. I have to stay prayed up and believe that my small village and I raised smart, good-hearted people who will do well in life. Besides, it’s not necessary for both to fly at the same time or in the same direction. Their wings work, and eventually, they will soar.

Pray. Love. Teach. Guide. Believe.

Thanks for reading,

Love, #vfurrmstheblogger

#failuretolaunch #protectyourbabies #StevettaTemple #ABrokenHeartMadeWhole

Read Stevetta Temples Book “A Broken Heart Made Whole” on Amazon or contact her on Facebook @StevettaTemple.

Taking Writing to New Heights

I love to write. I like writing about things I have actual knowledge about, things I’ve done or gone through. My last few blog posts have been really heavy. And although writing is a release for me, it can get demanding of my time, just like any other thing I undertake. Sometimes my mind goes into overload. I think about putting my fibromyalgia book together, writing on my side project book, and how although I have enough content right now for a successful poetry book, it has been neglected.

I’ve gotten a chance to do so much since my year began. I’ve celebrated a year as a blogger, gained great exposure writing for BIZCATALYST360, decided I drop Vocal.media, improved my editing skills considerably, and most of all, witnessed words come to life as part of the cast of two plays with Mor-Shy Productions. My new venture, tentatively titled New Heights, has taken over my life. The ideas and words have flowed beautifully for the last few months. Plus, I still have a few ideas where my first two books are concerned.

Even though I’m busy, I can feel myself trying to become complacent. I believe the first step to avoiding a pitfall is recognizing it. I’ve had a few setbacks with my health including a hamstring injury, but I’m trying to remain productive. Some days I write non-stop for 8 hours, some days I write for a few hours with breaks in between, and others I don’t write at all. My problems come when I take several days to rest my mind and two days turn into a week of no work.

I can’t be afraid of taking a break from slugging it out in the trenches of my mind. With Chronic Fatigue, I need a full day or two to get out of my thoughts and just breath. My novel, “New Heights”, which I started in July, is almost seven chapters in. I don’t know how long it’s supposed to take to write your first novel but I think I’m either excelling or right on schedule.

This post is my way of venting. It’s ok for us all, even writers, to vent once in a while. It loosens the grip our overly active minds have on us. When people come to me with problems or they’ve been hurt by a significant other, I suggest that they get a journal. Writing things down, believe it or not, can get the issues out of your head and/or heart, and onto paper where, for me, I’m able to see them clearer and may even find a solution quicker.

You never know. Try it and see if it works for you. I know I feel a lot better and my heart is a bit lighter since writing this post. I feel like I can exhale. In fact, I did. I hope you do too. Thanks for being part of my therapy just by reading my thoughts. My hope is that my words positively touches someone and impacts their life. As I put my thoughts out there for the world to see, my goal is to move people. If I can change one person’s path, then I have succeeded.

Be blessed everybody‚̧.

Much love,

Val

#vfurrmstheblogger #val #valeriefurrcollins #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlifebookwordpress #valeriemariecollins

(I do not own copywrites to photo used)

For Anthony: Part 2 of Suicide Prevention Week

Part two

As I watched my cousin, Anthony Noland, go live last week on Facebook talking about his experience with mental illness and suicide, I couldn’t help but remember what I went through. He wanted to share his experiences so others would know they’re not alone and that there are options other than suicide. His bravery inspired me to be brave enough to share what I went through as well. So here goes.

Following my first suicide attempt, I didn’t go to therapy. I didn’t want to talk about it. My marriage continued to crumble and I felt like it was my fault. I thought I was nothing, unworthy, not enough. I gave all I had to save my marriage and ended up empty.So, I continued to medicate my pain. But eventually, y’all, I was just done! Done trying, done crying, done begging, done giving, done being me, just DONE. One day, I woke up ready to die. I was in so much pain emotionally, physically, and spiritually but when I prayed, I felt as if God had abandoned me.

From my perspective, when you’re in that state of mind when life has driven you to that point, you are not being selfish, crazy, unreliable, or trying to hurt anyone. Actually, you rationalize how loved ones will be better off without you.

In my mind, I told myself, my mom or oldest sister would raise my kids because I named them in my living will and insurance policy. My then-husband would be free of me. I will be honest with you, I thought my mom wouldn’t have to worry about me anymore. Because I had no real connections, (at the time) to any of my siblings, I felt they’d be better off without me too.

So, I sent my two babies outside to play, locked the door, closed off the kitchen, put towels under all the doors, turned the gas on and sat there crying and breathing it in. I could feel myself getting dizzy. Then, my baby girl knocked on the door. I still remember what God put in her mouth to say, “Mommy, I need you”. I had to go to my baby. Her words saved my life! Again, I never told anyone until years later.

For the next twenty years, I was fine. But on the 25th of January, 2018. yes, one year ago, I attempted to take my life. Why? Well, several things led to my actions. First, I attempted to wean myself off my depression medication without doctors orders. Then health-wise, I almost died twice; my dating life had been awful; bad family issues lingered; my boyfriend broke up with me in a text, and I lost meaningful friendships.

I felt like my whole world had been stripped from me. So, that evening, I wrote a letter to certain people and tried to pour half a ninety-day supply of morphine pills down my throat. I’m not sure how my son picked up on what I had planned, but he caught me and he and my mom wrestled the pills from me.

Afterward, I felt ashamed because my oldest brother died of an accidental overdose eight years before. You would think, how could I do that to my mom and family? But I thought it through. I rationalized leaving my loved ones in better care so that my mind would accept my decision to die. In reality, nothing makes dying at your own hands ok.

Really, all you see at the time is your hurt and pain. In your mind, it is greater than any force big or small. You don’t even see God in your situation. If by the Lord’s grace, you fail to kill yourself, you may do like I did and not tell anyone what you did or what you’re going through. That’s where most of us go wrong!

I didn’t think anyone would understand. But now I know that someone on the outside looking in can often give you better insight than those in your daily life. We need to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness and therapy so that those suffering can feel comfortable about getting the help they need. NO ONE should be made to feel crazy because they need help or medication to treat mental health issues.

Depression can be treated by medications that will return balance to the chemical in your brain that can cause it, called serotonin. Don’t wait until you are completely out of options when early treatment can possibly save your life. Take it from me, whether it be a friend, family member, therapist, or hotline, talk to someone. Get your problems off your chest so you can let go and get back to living your life. Writing also helps me. I use to journal a lot but now I blog.

And finally, none of us should ever hesitate to call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or if you’re anything like me, and rather text, use #BeThe1To to chat confidentially. Therapy works. Speak up. Speak out. Just never remain silent and don’t ever feel ashamed.

Much love,

#vfurrmstheblogger

#mypoeticlifebook #wordpress #valeriefurrcollins #mypoeticlife

For Anthony-Part One Suicide Prevention

(This is a two-part post)

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. For those of us who have attempted suicide, this month can be difficult. Let’s face it, suicide is just a hard subject to talk about. Why? Because it may bring back the hurt, pain, and feelings of depression that brought you to that point in the first place. Plus, in our communities, the subject is taboo. Because we don’t talk about it, suicide is now affecting our children. Sadly, children as young as nine-years-old get to the point where they feel there is no other answer than taking their precious, young lives due to being bullied in school.

Depression is an evil demon. It takes over every aspect of your life. It steals from you. I didn’t realize it then, but my depression started during my sheltered childhood. During my early adult life, it disappeared. But it came back full force right before I got married and has been with me ever since. It changes you. I transformed from the fun-loving, joking, kind, making people laugh person to being a short-tempered, unhappy, and sad version of myself. But I tried my best to remain optimistic. Soon my circumstances caused me to become manic. My depression was so severe I was on several medications. The pills never really helped, but I kept taking them.

My partner’s infidelity, being hundreds of miles from home, having no family or friends to lean on, all compounded my feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. I didn’t dare tell anyone back home the hell I was living. I thought I deserved it. I really believed because I was constantly cheated on that I was not enough for him or any man. So, I made sure to go to every doctor’s appointment so I wouldn’t run out of narcotics. Midrin was a red capsule used to treat migraines. It never worked unless I took too many which was often. I abused every narcotic I got my hands on trying to numb the emotional, mental, and physical pain.

The first time I tried to take my life, I was drained, emotionless, and exhausted. I had no strength left to fight. I waited until my spouse was about an hour away from getting off work and I put my babies down for a nap and kissed them goodbye. I came downstairs and threw about 20 Midrin down my throat. I remember them not wanting to go down all at once, so I had to spit them out and swallow a couple at a time. I laid down and felt the fading effect quickly. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I was disappointed to still be alive. I never told my then-husband or family until years later.

(To be continued)

Saving Yourself for Marriage

Back in the carefree summer of 1993, while full of youth and nativity, I wanted to do at least one thing for my parents, save myself for marriage. I saw myself marrying my then-boyfriend and going to our marital bed a virgin and waking up the next morning a woman. Yeah, well, we all can dream, right?

I was barely twenty years old, a nursing student, carhop at Sonic drive-thru, and a huge sucker for romance. I never really knew what it felt like to be in love and in a relationship until then. I thought I had been in love once, but when I experienced it for real, I knew that high school crushes in no way compared to true love. I was very naive from growing up sheltered my entire life. When I did fall in love, I fell hard.

It was June of 1993. I saw him standing outside the nursing home in which we were forced to place my Daddy. Something about him moved something in me. I don’t know if it was the way the sunlight hit his hazel eyes as dusk settled over or the fact I knew him from school without ever really noticing him. We had to have exchanged pleasantries but I don’t remember what was said. All I know is, for me, it was love at first sight.

You know, I must have bumped my head when I fell hard for him because I held on to him for dear life and made him my everything. He was my first love, partner, everything and I never sought after another man. I almost couldn’t breath when he wasn’t around. He became my air. Back then he was honest to a fault. I mean, so brutally honest that he’d hurt my feelings at times.

But, I was happy for the most part as I blindly went forth into a relationship where I thought we would be together forever and he’d never cheat on me. For some reason, we had a tight bond that others could sense. As the months went by so did his patience for my need to remain pure. I figured if he loved me he’d wait. I was worth it in my mind. It didn’t occur to me that he would actually be with anyone else.

I thought romances happened as the did on TV; boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl; boy and girl get married and live happily ever after. Yes, I was that naive for a long time. Long story short I didn’t go to my marital bed a virgin. I was pressured into deflowering with threats that he’d have to cheat if I didn’t agree. I did manage to hold out almost a year and ended up marrying him, the first man I fell in love with. By then, unbeknownst to me, he had already been unfaithful.

Saving myself for marriage was something I was taught to believe in. But did I really believe that religiously, it was a sin? Or was it something else that had been carved into my mind? At that time, I was scared, but part of me was ashamed. Now, I know I’m worth the wait. But at 20, still struggling to fit in, it seemed like the only thing that would keep him with me. That right there should’ve been a huge red flag for me but I was too love-blind to see it.

I’m sharing this intimate portion of my life to tell young women or women in general, if you have to do anything you are not ready for or not comfortable doing, to keep a man, he’s not the one for you. If he leaves you then he was only there for a season and he has fulfilled his purpose. Let him go! Your body is YOUR body. If you believe in keeping your body pure until marriage, do just that! Don’t worry about what anyone thinks or says.

Sex is not love; not even in the best of relationships. Intimacy can be experienced (shared) mentally without even being in the same room. I’m not knocking those who don’t save themselves for marriage because I stand with you. Do what’s best for you in your life. I think I gave myself away not only to keep him but because I was told not to for so long. This is a rough post to get through. Honestly, its one of my most uncomfortable subjects to speak on.

But I’m a woman willing to be transparent with my readers. There is no subject that should be off-limits. My life story is a made for TV movie. Believe me, when I say, my personal stories as of now, don’t even touch the surface. Maybe one day I’ll write a book. But for now, I will stay humble and continue to count my blessings.

Be blessed,

Val

#vfurrmstheblogger #valeriefurrcollins #valeriemariecollins #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlife #savingyourselfformarriage #virginity

Happy One Year Blogging Anniversary to Me

I know I’m nearly a month late but, Happy One Year Anniversary to me!! I am celebrating successfully blogging for one year! This is big for me! One of the things I wanted to accomplish was sticking with a goal and seeing it through. There were many times that I didn’t feel like writing or had no topic ideas to pop in my head for days. But I can say that I am proud of myself for pushing on regardless. I am thankful to my fellow bloggers who follow me. You’re comments and time is much appreciated and needed. Thank you.

I must say, I’m somewhat disappointed in the lack of support from my family and friends. But God! I always get support from my Mom and a few others who take time out of their day to read my posts. I’m also so grateful to Dennis Pitocco for believing in my talent as a writer and allowing me to be a Featured Contributor Panelist for BIZCATALYST360.com. I’m getting so much exposure.

I am keeping up with my blog, poetry book, and Fibromyalgia book, all the while, working on another secret project, my first novel. I’ve traded my crochet hooks in for Microsoft word for now but I am still open for business on FB at Val’s Gifts of Warmth. I’ve wanted to be a successful writer most of my life. But as other writers know, the lack of support or belittling of our capabilities to make money at this can stop you dead in your tracks.

I look at it like this, God will send those who will read my writing. So I for myself, first. Then I write for those who’s life will be changed for the better, regardless of how many. Also, I write for those who will be simply be touched by my words. I’ve begun projects but was easily discouraged or distracted. I didn’t realize that when I quit any project, I also gave up on me. For example, I’ve been compiling my poetry book most of my adult life and my fibromyalgia book for over since 2008.

My problem is two-fold. First, procrastination and second, finances. I’ve put things off until the last minute ever since I can remember. Overcoming this character flaw is on my victory list. I’m better with it but I’m also a work in progress. There’s not much I can do financially being disabled but I plan to either invest in a home-based business or try my hand at being an elementary school substitute teacher.

Sometimes it takes us to our adult years to find what we are good at. People get stuck working to pay bills instead of finding a career path that pays bills and makes them happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking what anyone does to make ends meet. But there’s a huge difference between a job and a career.

I’ve had to change gears from nursing because I’m not physically able to work. But my next love is writing. I appreciate the power of words. I consider it a gift to be able to bring words together to say something profound. I respect the process. My goal is to write in such a way that I’m able to touch someone with my words.

Find out what you enjoy doing the most. Create a vision board. Then, another thing I do that I found helpful is to design a timeline. You may not stick to it word for word but give yourself a certain amount of time to complete tasks that’ll get you closer to your goal and career. Life is too short to just be ordinary. We all have the ability to be great!

God is love,

Val

#BloggingOneYearAnniversary #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlifethebook #vfurrmstheblogger

The Afterglow

Four days ago, I had the pleasure of gracing the stage once again in the play, “You Can’t Break Me” written and produced by Shawna D. Moore and directed by Anthony Noland. For some reason fundraising and tickets sales were low. But God! Those who made it out to see us were pleasantly surprised with laughter, tears, joy, and appreciation. Actually, I’m still on high from the greatness this play exuded. This cast is the best group of actors ever, just as our writer and director.

I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to live out one huge dream of mine. It goes to show that regardless of your circumstances, your age, finances, or challenges, you should NEVER give up on your dreams. Whatever you want to do in life, stay prayerful and seek opportunities to be great. Dreams will come to true if you just be still and let God work.

Before the end of last year, I had no clue I would be able to add ‘stage actress, to my resume nor did I expect I would see my writing on different websites of Dennis Pitocco. I met Dennis through a FB group called “Women of Facebook Creates”. He liked my writing so much that he offered me an opportunity to write for him. I accepted. Now my writing has been shared all over the internet through his networking and interface BIZCAYALYST360.com

I have full belief that my next dream will manifest. That is, someone out there will read my work and offer me a paid writing gig. I’d love to write a self-help article for a newspaper or anything in that realm of possibilities. I have faith in myself that my books will be published as well.

For now, I am getting some much-needed rest so whatever endeavor comes my way next, will be successful. God is truly good! My victory list is getting thin. Looks like I need to add some more goals to it. Today, I’m basking in the afterglow and overflow of being an actress. Every opportunity I get to be on stage, I’m taking it! My heart is full! Life is good.

You Can’t Break Me

If you know me or have followed my blog, you know that my life has been riddled with difficulty, sickness, and many trials. No more than the next person, but still, more than my share. I have had to dig deep and triumph even if it has taken me decades to do so. My most difficult trials to overcome were my childhood, divorce, and illness. Two out of three aren’t bad, considering this disease is completely unpredictable.

I’ve never said the words, but I’ve often thought to myself, you can do this, just pray, you’ll be ok, keep fighting! In other words, I was speaking to the worse trials of my life, telling them, you can’t break me! And you know what, they did! Did you think they didn’t? Life will often split you in two when you’re young and unprepared.

But God!! I feel like these last three years, I’ve been given a second chance at life. I really don’t let my illnesses take me down anymore. It’s hard sometimes but I persevere. I have grown so much spiritually, emotionally and mentally that I am able to speak happiness over my life and still tell those things, “Hey, you’ll never break me.

That’s why acting in this particular play alongside this phenomenal cast, is so important to me. In the play entitled ” You Can’t Break Me”, I play a character that is actually who I am in life, a no-nonsense Auntie who talks to much but tells it like it is! Therefore, it is amazing to watch the vision of Shawna D. Moore come to life. Yes, she has done it again. She has written yet another masterpiece that will make you laugh, cry, sing, and shout hallelujah all at the same time.

I identify with this play for several reasons. One, I had a dad who was very strict and controlling. I suppose the way my mind was set up, I was saying, “You can’t break me” to myself a dozen times a day, in my head of course. But that’s a whole other post. Two, as I said above, the character I play is basically who I am in real life. I’m a blood Auntie to 21, a Great-aunt to many and an honorary Auntie to more than I can count. Three, the ministry flowing through this play, and all of Ms. Moore’s plays, has touched my heart and spirit will in such a way that I am a better person for it.

Just think it all started with me liking a post asking for actors last year. Now tomorrow I am blessed to act for our phenomenal playwright, Shawna Moore, alongside our leads and cast India Franklin, April Watson, Jocelyn Minor, Michael Davis, James Washington, Linda Millhouse, Davalon Gray, Allyson Jones, Salada Mack, and directed by my cousin, the incomparable, Anthony Noland. I love you all!

I’m so excited to keep fulfilling one of my dreams and mark this one off my victory board. I am in love with the stage. I know that I will be doing this for the rest of my life! Thank you, Shawna, for bringing your beautiful visions to the stage and allowing me to be a part of it!