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I Hope You Have A Happy New Year

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

It’s the last day of the year in 2020. Yes, it’s 365/365 or 365 of 365. Though the year is over and we will be out, it will not be forgotten. I truly wanted to capture and list all the lessons I learned in 2020, but I decided no on a comprehensive list. I believe it’s more important to say that I’m thankful and appreciative for my existence.

The outgoing year was about protests, deaths, sacrifices, and ingenuity. I watched what I thought was friends act out their true feelings through social media posts. I’ve seen families come together and support one another in monumental ways. Moreover, I witness small families struggle and buckle under the flows brought on by the pandemic. I, myself, have been changed by the occurrence of 2020. In 2021, I hope that cruelty, racisms, injustice, inhumanity, and fiendish are bound. I hope that GOD releases goodness, mercy, justice, and good health in 2021.

May we all experience the new year in ways beneficial to each of us as individuals and as collective denizens of this world. Let’s find peace with our neighbors, strive to eradicate our weaknesses, sort out our differences, and become better people – let’s cultivate in ways that preserve rather than destroy.

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Remember Who You Are In This World

         Remember who you are because the power to create and destroy pieces of yourself strengthens when you gain or lose sight of yourself. Notably, the world and its constant demands and requests can strip you of your true self. Likewise, remembering who you are is merely embracing who you are. This may be tricky because you are evolving with every experience, every win, and every failure.

         Surely you have heard someone say, “there’s just something about you,” which is the unique feature that makes you, you. Besides, the real magic is never forgetting your value and significance. Moreover, as you grow, your character’s foundation or footing should be unchanging, uncompromising, and unwavering- it’s your more real self.  Also, it’s those treasure trues that you can retreat to when you need the reminder of who you are. Even as you continue to build on that foundation, give yourself permission to be fine with who you are.

You fortify your character and personality’s foundation where it may be weak. What you learn and experience assist with sealing your foundational cracks and splits – therefore, the personal self you create and cultivate ought to fit your life.

What Makes You Different Makes You Who You Are

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         Remember who you are; therefore, don’t let criticism and chaos divert you and confuse your character base. You belong to yourself; you are the highest creature on the food chain and the most valuable creature in your life. Therefore, humble yourself and don’t let anxiety control your decisions or moves. Don’t be easily convinced that you should be the raging stereotypes forced on you through the litany of ads, public service announcements, and videos. Besides, ‘whose you are’ means protecting your core and innermost self from that of the adversary, nemesis, or foe.

You May Have To Fight To Preserve Hallmarks Of Yourself

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         This world’s denizens will try to convince you that absolute change is required to survive. Alan Cohen once wrote, “Every choice before you represent the universe inviting you to remember who you are and what you want.” In 2020 and beyond, it’ll be an no easy task reminding yourself that improvement and growth don’t mean forgetting who you are.

         Unquestionable, some moments invite you to question if this is you and indeed the person you want to become. Some pressures are designed to suit mass appeal prototypes and therefore are indirectly forced. These periods of your life may precede eventful situations and life decisions intended to turn the course of your life. Afterward, how you navigate these currents of life has everything to do with how you managed the choices that set you afloat.

Remember To Crave Your Own Path More Than You Crave Others

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         Caught up as you may be, still not as caught up as you could be. Your path is the path that must matter most if you are to be useful to those who will rely on you. Sara Teasdale once wrote, “You will recognize your own path when you come upon it because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.”

         You can’t be in service to anything or anyone until you construct the layout of your life. It must be durable enough to withstand you sharing yourself, though you may not have fully mastered yourself. Keeping in mind who you are doesn’t mean that you don’t care about others. It means not relinquishing your character and demeanor’s valuable traits – for something superficial and fleeting that makes you detest yourself. Last, the world is many things and interjects more on you than you realize, at the least know yourself.

“The world is very lovely, and it’s very horrible–and it doesn’t care about your life or mine or anything else.” ― Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed

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Six Things For You To Remember This Holiday Season

2020 is a challenging year, and this holiday season may be different from prior years. However, there is no need to sacrifice the holiday spirit and enjoyment because you may not be traveling or amongst an assortment of family and friends. You’ve made it through what will go down in history as the year of transformation, disturbance, and revelation. You’re good at a celebration, and there should not be a lessening of mirth because you are limited to location and in alliances. Merriment is a must, and here are six things for you to remember this holiday season.

When you are at full strength, you are in balance with who you are in the pitch black of midnight and who you are in the light of noonday. 

  1. You’ve made it to December, and that is reason enough for celebration. Don’t lose sight of the value of joy and how to apply it.
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2. Holiday movies or Christmas movies you can’t get any other time of the year are available.

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3. Some of you will have a white Christmas – a holiday card Christmas.

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4. You get to enjoy descendants of holiday treats and fancy foods that are only available during this time of the year.  

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5. The new year is almost here, and no matter what the new year brings, you are stronger than you know cause you made it through 2020.

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6. You’re honestly not alone in your current holiday season situation. This year required that you move around solely in your current inhabitance. You’ve probably learned more about yourself and your household than ever before. Celebrate what you’ve discovered.

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You’re Growing Into A Better Person, And It’s No Weakness

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” ― John C. Maxwell

         Being a better person and allowing your better angel to glisten takes grit and maturity. You demonstrate a sense of self-renewal and reliability when you don’t follow up on others’ foolish larks. The mature person you’ve become is no easy undertaking, but it’s the road you decided to take. There is no fragility in you or about you because you no longer spar with others over petty remarks or evil actions. You’ve learned to walk away and save your battles for another day and a more worthy opponent.

You leisurely walk pass jesters designed to get a rouse out of you. You’re a healthier person, and no weapon formed against you shall prosper. The person you showcase is one having might and not feebleness because your measure is seraphic.

Your Measure As A Better Person Is One to Be Reckon With

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“The only journey is the one within.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

         Being weighed in the balance or having someone take your measure is not by chance. It’s designed to examine who you are and a scheme of attempting to identify your vulnerability. Also, the moments you decide to mature in managing situations with others and situations over your life, showing that you are not who you use to be, life someone comes along to challenge your improved self. Your growth scares some of the folk of the land (mundane) and maybe even those within your inner circle. Others will also think that you’re not formidable, but you will have measured yourself and know yourself dynamics. The truth is you’re the embodiment of power when you take steps toward self-actualization.

Your Value Is Gilded, And You’re At Peace With You

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“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” ― Abraham Lincoln

         It’ll always terrify people when they can’t destroy you. Your better angel or magnificent self is to your advantage, and it’s to the disadvantage of others. It’s still a good time for you to resist nonsense and walk the path of peace. You gild and fortify your measure with strides that leave lasting impressions of courage. There is no vulnerability in personal ascension. 

Those Who Love You Will Reinforce Your Acts Of Equanimity

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“You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

         There are many roads, many roads on your journey where you will enjoy the company of a friend, family member, supporter, or confidant. Someone who knows you better than you often know your most challenging personality, will revel and rally for your self-confidence and personal growth. Those are the people to keep close in your life. Furthermore, the folk of the land who love you and respect you provides what you need to shore up your civil self. Hence, the better person you aim to be will drown out the negative noise. Those who love you will pour water on the chatter.

         You need not worry what the small folk thinks. Nor should you concern yourself with those who can’t look at themselves earnestly.

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A Daily Quote For Women When Time Is Not Enough

“Be a woman of confidence, not cockiness.
Know your boundaries, set no limits.
Speak your kindness and turn your back to conformed groups.
The only way to be a woman of change in this world, is to walk what you talk and set your own soul free first.”

Nikki Rowe
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The Fondness For Forever True Love

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.” -Nicole Krauss,” The History of Love

When we talk about true love, then we should talk about the endless minutes, hours, days, and years that go into such complex energy. We ought to talk about the abilities and feelings we conjure to take the first step into love. At times, it is hard to believe the measures we have taken in the name of love. Despite the fears, fears of rejection – even of success, we leap forward into the odd beauty of the chasm. But also, we move onward into the breach to hold on to love and let love and all its magic enfold us too. Fondness, relationship, and time, bundled together, are supposed to mean something. And that something may be greater now or in the future if we are lucky enough to reap the benefits of affection.

We chase love and desire love to chase us – the oddities and parallels that only another can satisfy. The answer we hunt for leads to determining if another’s love is worth sharing our lifetime. If we say yes, then we move in pursuit of understanding and accepting the other’s snickers, sneezes, and sneers – valuable to the two in the courtship, but not to the many. Love and baffling attractions move in unison. Watching the romantic rhythms of our universe is like gazing at the tides of life, which blend in perfect harmony – or makes room to flow side by side.

Where Affection Converges Two People

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“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

The road to love may take you through woven paths of trial – an even greater love, well that is another story. Often, it is the small features and kindnesses that draw us to our suitor. And the small fires kindling inside of us with each passing vibrant conversation or sharing familiar stories is what joins us on our journey to love. Some of the best classic literature books, such as A Tale Of Two Cities, tell the stories of these types of courtships that pave the path to true love.

When our heart and soul intertwine, we can feel each other’s emotion. Also, we sense the endless happenings of each other’s world. The animated tides of one person’s life shape the other. The energies between the two people become close to identical yet maintain a slight distinctiveness, conveying “I’m still me too, just ameliorate”. This is the spark that ignites devotion toward true love.

True Love Knows Nothing Of Perfect Timing

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“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” -Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

         We never know the exact time when warm affection pulls us into its clutch. It is like the smell of time slowing down in a lavender field of flows. It is the taste of the smell of fresh snow in the Alps, flowing down the back of your throat – fresh, welcoming, and necessary. In reality, endearment offers no defining moment. We look up and somewhere between the blinking of our eyes and taking a deep breath, love happens. It courses through out veins like angelic fire.

We know not when the season of endearment will enshroud us – even more when that season will be eternal.

Devotion Is Many Things – But Not Hurt

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“Love: the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”-Mark Twain

         Devotion is many things. It is the desire to have the sunrise in the east, after endless days of grim darkness. Adoration for passion gives way to the thirst for devotion and affection. We feel seduction rising where the affair of love surges in our life. Also, we court the irresistible desire known as love. Significantly, the overwhelming feeling burns and feels like fire, the kind we want to nurture.

A devoted passion will never hurt you. A timeless love will outlast the tomb shut on that love, after this mortal life is loss.

Celebrating The End Of Summer – Summers Of Years Past

“When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and, like a dream, glides away.” – Sarah Helen Whitman

And just like that, summer is lifeless. Many years past I started keeping daily journals and travel journals. When my memory is no longer what it used to be, I can rely on my written words to soothe me and remind me of summers long ago.

I love reading, and naturally writing followed suit. Remembering my summer moments was not enough. Therefore, I wrote about bars, ethnic food, shopping, meeting locals, nightlife, and all the fascinating clandestine stuff of my summers.

Years Past: Minnetonka And The Twin Cities, The Summer of 2009

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Minnetonka, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas are no slacker type landscapes. The expanse of the surrounding cities – the Twin Cities, and their cityscape are fetching.  On the ground, they offer great restaurant selections, a healthy culture of sports, and ethnic mundies of all sorts. Some of my best memories were during the summer of 2009 – not scandalous at all. I practically lived in Minnetonka during that summer. It was the best of times and it was the height of my career expansion. As far as I was concerned, I was on my way to be a frequent traveler.

I was an auditor for three years. And I love the time I spent traveling from city to city. And, I was fortunate to be able to have a career that I loved and dreamed of having. With that career came living out of hotels and it often felt like I spent more time in the sky than I did on the ground. Also, I worked with someone who became one of my greatest friends. Our adventures, when we had free time, would become the top talk of weeks that following our trips. Minnesota was the start of our friendship and we would spend at least two weeks over the next three summers in this city. I wanted to remember these times. Not just with pictures and memories, but with words of my journey on written page. Therefore, it only made sense to journal.

The majority of my travel time in Minnetonka made for fascinating tête-à-têtes and stories, which I chronicled. The Ethiopian culture is alive and well in Minnetonka and the surrounding Twin Cities. After work, we would find a local mom and pop restaurant and savored the foods. An evening our weekend out would not be complete with sampling the local beer on tap. The best part about this summer is I relive the detail events when I revisit my journals. Importantly, a summer in Minnetonka and the Twin Cities is not complete without taking in a baseball game. This was the first summer in years that I spent in many cities. But Minnesota was home for a short period of time.

Years Past: San Francisco, The Summer Of 2011

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“San Francisco has only one drawback: ’tis hard to leave.” -Rudyard Kipling

In years past, I spent time in San Francisco. Particularly during summer months. Honestly, this city has the coldest summers, but that did not bother me at all. Undoubtedly, San Francisco is my weakness – the entire West Coast. And, when the chance arrives to travel to the City by the Bay, I am ready. I think of myself as a campaigner of why one should always travel to Frisco. For this reason, I typically pull out my 2011 list of all things magnificent about Frisco. My first time in the City by the Bay was the Summer of 2011. I flew in late in the evening, at the rise of twilight. I remembered how the city shimmered and sparkled. My eyes, mesmerized by the expanse of such a lovely place, stopped functioning. I had never seen a more ethereal city.

My best friend could see the childlike joy in my face. She knew once I placed my feet on the ground, getting me back on a flight out five days later would prove to be a challenge. Once I was out-and-about in Frisco, I took a deep breath and digested the air and allowed it to fill up my lungs and arteries and committed it to memory. It traveled through my body and I knew this trip would be gratifying.

Here is what you should know, one cannot go to Frisco and not find something that makes you not want to leave. I discovered long ago that food, art, and local culture is the reason to return to West Coast cities. San Francisco’s social life, street designs, and redwood forest offers so many reasons to stay. In the end, why leave, because of the pleasure one receives of come back after days past.

Years Past: Los Angeles, The Summer Of 2013

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“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.” -Simon Van Booy, Everything Beautiful Began After

My years past experiences in Los Angeles are pure love. I love cities, and this city did me proud. My summers are always about cities, celebrations, or summer events. The greatest city in the west is Los Angeles or LA. LA is known by a few famous names such as City of Angeles, La-La Land, Shaky Town, the Angels, or Southland.  And, whatever nickname you call it is entertaining and sensational. LA’s mountains and the seas are picturesque. Moreover, the skyline from anywhere within LA County is the backdrop on a sky canvas. My second trip to LA occurred during the Summer of 2013. In this place, outside of business, you can be whoever you want. If you want.

My partner in crime was a colleague who loves the city as much as I do – or more. If my previous post was not clear, let me restate, food is the spice of West coast life. Trips to the West Coast are often about play and some work. However, I believe I relax a little more in California than I do in any other state. Los Angeles is land and culture. I am all for taste. Moreover, it is a place where you can discover that you have multiple sides to yourself. I discovered that I like the bright lights and parties. More importantly, I like meeting new people who has something different to offer. And, Southland did that for me.

I believe that there is something new for each person that visits LA. It is for me, each time I visit I come back anew. My 2013 summer trip to the City of Angels taught me something about myself. No matter how much I love the East Coast, California alone has the same equal pull on my spirit.

Revisiting My Favorite Urban Fantasy Series Proved Rewarding

Some mornings she awakes with a contagious smile on her face and meaningful laughter in her voice. Other mornings her eyes are as red as a cluster of roses blossoming to perfection. One thing is clear and evident, Sabriel’s dreams are bursting and bustling with the stuff, the delights, and the perils of her daily novels. She is loss in worlds beyond her own. Somedays, there is no return to real world and she teeters on the edge of reality and fictions fully aware of the risk to her mundane life. But truly, at this moment, fiction is more alluring than everything else that exist.

I have spent nine weeks re-reading some of my favorite books – and reading new books. Specifically, I re-visited The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare. I also read the first book in The Last Hours Series, Chain of Gold. The clutches of the pandemic situated me in a position where I am home more. But I am also in the company of my favorite room, in my home. My favorite space has four bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling. Hence, there is no place I would rather be.  Well, I would love to be inside the stories of my favorite books. But that conversation is for another blog post or place in time. Urban Fantasy is an acquired taste and irresistible. Besides, the more I intake, the more I want to devour and feast on the stories.

Also, Urban Fantasy offers the reality of actual places / locations that once existed or currently exist. It makes for thrilling foot tours, if you visit the locales that are in some of your favorite works.

 Lastly, because I am a true Urban Fantasy fan that means down the rabbit hole I go!

Discovery of Stories Revisited

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“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

There is value in engaging in good literature. And, there is value in reading a great book or book series twice. Before this year, there is no book series, book, or author’s work that I have ever read twice, except for Dr. Maya Angelou. This year I am adding another author’s series to my list of books I enjoy reading repeatedly – and that is Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters Series. There are many lessons throughout the different Shadowhunters Series.

The friendships, love affairs, and battle against evil feels so much like real life. The sentiment that exist between characters are relatable. The confusion of feelings and losses are heartfelt. I simply appreciate that despite each character’s similar blood inheritance, Nephilim, that they could not be more different.

A Great Read Lures Us Toward What We Need

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A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.

― William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

I am convinced that the universe offers us a push toward storytelling and if we do not acknowledge the push then we miss sharing in great stories. I believe life lures us toward the stories we need to hear or read the most at certain times in life. As a result, I was able to focus more intently while reading the Shadowhunters series the second time. I was able to sympathize and be the proper amount of disappointed in certain characters. Moreover, I understood the choices that many of them made.

The true essence of fiction stories is that even though they may not be true, the story’s lesson is invaluable to the human capacity. It provides the opportunity to often see oneself in that character. The stories are portal into oneself.

It is okay to cry with a character or cry over a character’s pain, especially when it is familiar. I am learning we share some of the similar experiences we see in characters and understand the secrets they keep, the fears they experience, loss of self-control they may exhibit, and steely determination they put forth. Urban Fantasy books has a way of mirroring reality.

I appreciate the window into myself, by sharing in the characters’ experiences.

On to The Dark Artifices, another Shadowhunters Series