The Personal Reflections of Kristen Alyce

My special online get-away...a place to share love...a place to spread hope...a place to be me...Kristen Alyce <3

More from me @ http://fashionjournal-of-krystanalis.blogspot.com

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    Guess who’s prepping for grad school? :) Time to catch those dreams…they aren’t just going to come to ME! Hard work, perseverance, and prayer! The Lord and I had a long talk during my praise walk this morning and He told me that my time is NOW! I have a December 1 deadline and the way my faith is set up, I’m speaking ACCEPTANCE into EXISTENCE!! <3

    Bedtime Stories: Confessions of a Dreamcatcher

    I have been a bit in my feelings lately and the words of Andre 3000 from the Outkast hit “Humble Mumble" have been on constant repeat in my mind:

    "Do you wanna live or wanna exist?"

    The answer is a very confident: I WANNA LIVE!!!

    However, it seems that lately, I have simply been existing.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not depressed nor do I feel sorry for myself. I am incredibly blessed in that I am alive, I am healthy. I am typing this from my super comfy bed in my super cozy bedroom, sipping on raspberry tea from my well-stocked refrigerator, body freshly washed from a long hot shower.

    After I finish typing this post, I will iron my clothes for this blessing I call work tomorrow, and I will contemplate whether I will drive the blessing I call a car or take advantage of the beautiful Spring weather and enjoy the 10 minute walk around the corner to my job.

    This all sounds like seemingly basic things but there are so many who are not as fortunate. Those who are strolling the streets right now looking for a place to lay their heads. Those who are scraping pennies together to pay for a meal. Those who have been looking for work for months on end. Those who have never owned a car.

    So yes, I am well aware of what a wonderful life I am living, especially in comparison to others, and I do not want to come off as sounding ungrateful in the next couple of paragraphs. It’s just that I have been in my feelings about some aspects of my life where it is right now, and in order for me to rationalize it all, I am sitting here writing about it. Ya’ll know how I do.

    I am on Instagram and I follow a lot of young women who have their own business and have created a name for themselves by doing what they love. They all speak of hard work and perseverance and prayer as a means of achieving their goals, and they have all inspired me immensely.

    My issue is, I want to do so much that I don’t really know what I want to do. Right now I am living in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a small town that boasts a prosperous market in absolutely nothing; I work a 45 hour work week for a business I have zero desire to grow and further my career in, and I am completely devoid of a social life outside of my online media outlets.

    "Do you wanna live or wanna exist?"

    When I first started working at Aaron’s, or perhaps it was when I was promoted to Sales Manager, I remember coming across a statement that read, “God has you where you can be the most productive at this moment.

    I used that as a mantra and it is what has gotten me out of bed each morning.

    I now wonder, though, if “this moment” has passed.

    I try to look at the benefits of every situation and circumstance I am faced with. No, I do not want to grow with Aaron’s. I do not have a desire to be a store manager or a regional manager. I do not want a career with Aaron’s.

    However, I appreciate the ways that Aaron’s is helping me to hone in on the communication and organizational skills necessary for success when pursuing the career I truly desire…whatever career that may be.

    Sigh.

    Again, I do not want to sound ungrateful. I am finding, though, that the more I think about my job, the more I sit here and write about it, the more I realize just how much I no longer want to be there…and I feel guilty for it. Excuse me for a minute…

    Lord, forgive me. I know that we are meant to be content in every aspect of our daily walk but I also know that You desire us to be happy. Shouldn’t I be happy? And is the fact that I am not happy a sign of a lack of faith in Your promises? Because if so, I ask again for Your forgiveness.

    Okay, I’m back. The above comment about being content in “whatsoever state" we’re in comes from Philippians 4, verse 11 specifically. Earlier in that chapter, Paul, who I can’t wait to meet one day (he’s freaking awesome) says that with all prayer and supplication, we should make our requests known to God. Which brings me to the main purpose of this post as the question of the hour, though, is:

    What do you want, Kristen?

    I swear, I feel like Allie sometimes…it really isn’t that simple…or is it?

    At the present moment, though, I want more time to pursue my dreams. 45 hours a week doesn’t leave much room for much else, especially when classes I want to take, for example, are all during work hours. I know that I can’t just quit Aaron’s and walk through a door to a new career tomorrow; however, I would love to work at a job where I both make more money and if I am not doing things related to my dreams; I at least get off early enough to dedicate time to pursuing them.

    What are your dreams?

    I want to dance. I want to teach dance. I want to be strong and fit and healthy, and I want to help others to be strong and fit and healthy as well. I want to master all of the yoga poses. I want to be a pole artist. I want to live, and breathe, and BE…through the movement of my body, through freedom of physical expression. I want to dance.

    I want to write. I want to empower through my writing. Whether it is a book or a screenplay or a song, I want my words to touch someone’s heart, pierce their soul. I want my voice to be heard; I want my thoughts to prompt intellectual discussions, with incense burning and jazz playing in the background. I want to write. I want to speak. I want my voice to be heard…the freedom of mental expression.

    I want to love. I want to be…in love. I want to rise in love. I want to grow in love. I want to build and catch dreams with my love. I want to feel that connection with the love He has molded for me. I miss him, although I haven’t yet met him, and I pray for him, and prepare myself for him, and await him. I want to love, I want to be…in love…the freedom of emotional expression.

    And finally, I want all that I do, all that I aspire to be, all that I achieve, to be dedicated to my life-source, my one TRUE love, my ever present, my near and constant friend, my Creator, my breath…my God, my Father, my warmth, my comfort. I want to dance for Him, write for Him, love with Him…the freedom of spiritual expression.

    These are my dreams.

    And I can’t reach them at Aaron’s.

    Not even sure if Fayetteville is it anymore.

    I believe God brought me here to heal me; to heal me from all the hurt and damage that had been done to me in my 20’s.

    And I HAVE been healed, in so many ways; my heart has never been more strong. It was a major change for me coming from Doha where I was always in the center of everything, social activities, traveling, partying, floating…to living a quiet life, practically in complete solitude save for my mother, a now ex-boyfriend, my co-workers.

    It has been a humbling and strengthening experience but it is now time for me to move on. I feel it. I always told myself that I was going to leave this place in 2015, God-willing, and we all know how fast time flies. 

    I am running the risk of settling. I am not one to fear but if I were, this would be a legitimate fear of mine. Falling into the trap of complacency. Feeling comfortable with working from sun up to sun down, living check to check; being okay with that because it keeps a roof over my head, clothes on my back, gas in my car, food in my belly.

    That’s not me, though. I was thinking last night about all the things I want to do: how I want to dance, how I want to perform on stage, how I want to travel the world, how I want to be a published writer; and I couldn’t help but to smile at the fact that I have already done ALL of these things! I’ve done them ALL! God has already given me a taste of what my future holds and its time for me to get excited about it and go for it!

    Hard work, perseverance, prayer.

    Hard work, perseverance, prayer.

    Hard work, perseverance, prayer.

    "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

    I pray for this peace, as this peace will give me clarity, and will allow me to hear from God what I should do, what step should I take, how to press on towards my freedom. Ya’ll pray with me…<3

    K.

    My Writing Process Blog Tour <3

    Hey friends! So my dear mate Karen invited me to participate in a “blog tour”! Basically, blog writers answer four questions about their writing and then “tag”, so to speak, other blog writers to participate! I felt honored to be asked to join in this tour as it not only showed me that my writings were appreciated by someone who I respect and admire so much, but it also gave me an excuse to sit my butt down and write; God knows I need the inspiration.

    Karen is a lovely woman who I met while I lived abroad in Doha, Qatar…oh, we have shared many a wonderful moment together and she is someone who I am happy to call one of my lifelong friends. She writes on two blogs: Karen-Ology, which is set up quite similar to mine in that she basically writes what’s on her heart and mind at any given time; and A Compulsive Story, where she shares how she has overcome the battle of compulsive eating, a war I never knew she struggled with.

    I’d like to say here that it is an amazing feat to be able to exude such warmth and positive energy when in the public eye when in reality, there is a darkness ailing you within. Again, I never knew that Karen struggled with anything because it was her very presence that lighten up a dark day for those around her. Amazing, I say…amazing.

    Be sure to check her out and Karen, if you’re reading, and I know you are, thank you again for being YOU and for extending this invitation to write to me! It is very inspiring as it is when I write that I want to write more! So thank you again!

    Now for the questions and my long drawn out answers…ya’ll know how I do! :)

    What am I working on?

    Aaaah, define “working”. I swear, I often fantasize about being able to sit in a room completely encompassed by windows, views of nature 360 degrees around me, with nothing but my laptop, a joint, a white Bloody Mary, smooth grooves in the background and my thoughts just spilling out through my finger tips.

    image

    But alas, there is this whole 9-7 gig I’m involved in, you know, the one that keeps a roof over my head, food in my fridge, clothes on my back. Sigh. Life.

    HOWEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR…

    There is this book on Christian dating that I began writing back in 2011. Actually, 90% of the book is finished. I have all the scriptural support to back up my ideas and if said ideas were those that I’d lived or even were living now, then the book could be sent to publishing as is.

    If only I were a hypocrite.

    You see, I began writing this book as an extension of a Christian dating class I was taking and as a favor to my then Pastor. Once he started talking about taking the book outside of the church, though, I had to pump the brakes on the entire project.

    No, this book needs a large dose of my true reality plugged into its pages before I release it to the public. I  haven’t been in a “Christian” relationship in my entire life, although it is a desire of mine. I’m sure by now you are asking what on earth IS a Christian relationship; well, you’ll just have to wait until the book is finished like errrrrrbody else.

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    However, I will say that it is the same kind of relationship approach that can be adopted by young men and women of all religious and non-religious backgrounds. It’s basically a universal approach that goes completely against what the world is teaching us as the acceptable way (at least in my opinion anyway), and offers a more self-respecting, morally righteous aproach.

    It’ll be out soon enough! ;)

    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

    I wouldn’t even put my writing into a genre; unless there was a genre called “Completely Freaking Random”! When I do write on my blog, I’m writing about whatever is on my mind at that particular moment, and most often I am prompted by something that has annoyed me.

    One thing I can say about this book I am working on is that although it is scripturally based, I am not sure how most “religious” big heads will take it. As I said before, if I were to publish it as is, it would be on the shelves at your local Lifeway with no questions.

    However, I am a Christian who hasn’t been a virgin for a looooooong time…I am a Christian with a potty mouth…I am a Christian who likes to drink and when losing my job wasn’t laid on the line, enjoys smoking marijuana…I am a Christian whose favorite band is Radiohead and who jams out to Beyonce on a regular basis…I am a Christian who has signed up for pole dancing classes and who enjoys tanning topless…I am a Christian who is not a member of a local church…but who is utterly and completely and ridiculously in love with my God and is floored by the fact that He both made me this way and proudly accepts me as such.

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    In other words, I ain’t no Priscilla Shirer or Beth Moore. I’m going to tell you to get your shit together in my book, and I may very well use the word “shit”. I am not going to say that my work differs or will differ from anyone else in that I keep it 100% genuinely Kristen because I am sure that there may be other authors out there that do the same.

    What I will say that this book is not going to be the precursor to other books to follow. I don’t want to be placed in a box as a specific type of author. Yes, this first book could be categorized as Christian non-fiction, where the next book may be secular fiction. Hell, I may even write a screenplay next; there has been this idea for a biopic I have been sitting on for years. And did I mention I was a songwriter?

    Hmph. Genre-shmenre.

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    Why do I write what I do?

    As I mentioned before, when I write on my blog, it’s normally about something that has bothered me. My last few posts have been on things said or done to me by the male individuals in my life…oh, how they irritate me so.

    Now, I know that some may feel as if I put a lot of my business out there in my personal posts. Well, yes…I do; and it’s for two reasons:

    1) Writing about it helps me to move on from whatever the situation may be. Whether I am angry or sad, being that I don’t have many people, or any people really around to talk to, I have to vent in some kind of way. I have to rationalize things for myself to get a clearer understanding of both the actions of that person, and my reaction to these actions. It’s therapeutic, and I am sure every writer out there can agree with me.

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    2) I know there are readers out there who can totally relate to my ventings, and perhaps reading of my experience and I how I handle it will give them some clarity and/or insight on how to resolve similar situations. I put myself completely out there and I am not ashamed to do so; especially if it means I can represent the voice of that person who may be a bit more reserved.

    Aside from my personal posts, I also quite often write about this crooked and perverse generation we are in the midst of, focusing primarily on both the subliminal and in your face bold messages of the entertainment industry, particularly in music (check out some of my exposes on the music videos and lyrics of one of my, gulp, favorite artists), and television (has anyone else noticed how Scandal has demeaned and demoralized the strong Black woman?)

    These posts are not only written to educate the people, but also as a means of teaching myself. I learn so much when I write. It’s like I sit down with an intent, with a subject in mind, and then my inner muse takes over, and my thoughts go to places I know I couldn’t have come up with on my own. This next typography sums it up best:

    imageTRUE STORY!!!!

    So to answer the question: I write to heal, to heal myself and to heal others. I write to educate, I write to learn. I write to vent, to release, and to restore my mind. I write because I would explode if I didn’t.

    Check out my archive for some links to previous writings, particularly back in 2012 where I was not working a full time job and therefore had MORE time to write. No more excuses, though. No more excuses.

    How does my writing process work?

    Oops, I think I already answered that one with the previous question! I don’t have any set process. As mentioned above, I sit down with a subject and intent, and then I let my fingers work their magic. There have been times when I have read older posts and I am like, “Wow, I wrote that?” To me it’s just another example of the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life. My constant muse.

    So yea, that about sums it up! I am supposed to tag three other writers to continue the tour but I only know of one and I haven’t even asked her yet. She is my best friend Marie and the name of her blog is “Bright Light Warrior Nika”; and what a bright light she is.

    reflections, emotions, understanding

    One thing I love about how Marie writes is that she speaks directly from her heart; her words pour out completely unedited from her mind, run-on sentences and all! She transports her dreamworld and offers you a cup of tea! She is a poet who is completely and unabashedly obsessed with love, and this obsession oozes out of her writing. Do check her out!

    Thank you all for reading, and Karen, sorry I didn’t have anyone else to tag! I hope I didn’t mess up the process! By all means, though, if you have any other writing projects you would like for me to be involved in, please let me know because as I said, I could sure use the inspiration!

    Peace, love and blessings, my darlings! Til next post, ya’ll be good! :)

    <3 K

     

    …and you, Anthony, are a hunk of chocolate cake, and if undressed, I would like to put MY flower on…oh, wait…people are reading…

    (via 2brwngrls)

    Random Thoughts on a Recent Convo

    QUESTION! 

    Ladies, is it appealing when a man says to you, “If the opportunity would present itself, I would f**k the sh*t out of you”?

    Someone said that to me last night and I immediately became convinced that he is probably not very good in bed.

    I mean, first of all…how does one eff the sh*t out of someone? That doesn’t even sound enjoyable. Like, I don’t even like getting normal sex juice on my sheets so I know I wouldn’t be too pleased leaving shart stains all over the damn place.

    But I was very surprised by his comment because I’d never heard him speak that way. He was always the nice guy, hosting poetry nights, wanting to invite me to church, coming over when I was upset, offering up hugs to help dry away the tears. Now, he’s talking about having enema sex and I don’t know how I feel about that.

    Why do guys do that, though? Let me just state that for the most part, sex is just sex. It is the chemistry between the man and woman that makes sex bad or good. That chemistry, for me anyway, comes from connecting on every level possible: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, to name a few, and in that order BEFORE physical. And this dude is just a casual friend.

    Soooo, devoid of those connections, what makes him think he could…f**k the sh*t out of me? It’s not really safe to think so highly of oneself. Guys like him be the main ones that when it’s time to perform, they start coming up with excuses for why they can’t maintain an erection. “Oh, I thought you was gonna put it down for a sista, bruh?

    Real talk, though, he’s good people so I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he is a really sweet guy; I think his comment sprang from the fact that he is probably lonely and most certainly a little horny.

    It seemed out of character for him to speak to me that way and although I didn’t take it as disrespect on his part, if I did have an interest in getting involved with him in an intimate way, that interest would have eased on down the road after that remark.

    I am so anti-sex right now…it is THE LAST thing on my mind. I am about two months out of a relationship and while my options are open, I am in no rush to become involved with anyone else. I am in the market for friends. Period. Not friends with benefits, which is some played out high school shit, if you ask me; and not candidates for potential husbandry, which, I have learned, is one of the reasons why some relationships fail as we often enter into new attachments with long term goals in mind instead of just enjoying the present moment.

    No, me? I just want some friends, plural. Not trying to get exclusive. I want friendsssssssssss…friends to hang out with, talk shit with, have a drink with, eat some chicken wings with, hit the beach with, work out with, laugh with, make music with, create with…just be Kristen with. I don’t need to be around anyone who has as an objective: f**king the sh*t out of me.

    I’ma grown ass woman, dawg.

    Taking the literal meaning out of the expression, naturally, how about enlightening the shit out of me? Perhaps uplifting the shit out of me? Encouraging? Praising? Supporting? Adoring? RESPECTING the shit out of me? 

    Getting “f**ked” is not something that appeals to me, man…not in 2014. Not in this stage of my life where I am, all potty-mouthedness (my word) aside, trying to remain focused on my relationship with God and becoming or rather simply being the woman He designed me to be.

    This world is entirely too sex-oriented. Geez, ain’t ya’ll got nothing else to think about? I mean, I’m human and thus have my moments of urges but I don’t sit around thinking about HOW I would “f**k” someone and I have NEVER been one to be all:

    Some people act like that is the best they have to offer. Reminds me of another guy I know who recited one of his original poems to me entitled, “This Bed of Ours" and the only line I remember from it was "intense backbreaking". Five whole minutes of my life wasted listening to him reminisce through "poetry" the variety of ways in which he f**ked the sh*t out someone. Boy, was I unimpressed.

    I went all Karen (my mother) on him and was like, “How about you recite a poem about the LAWD?" I then referred him to the Song of Solomon as a reference for if he ever wanted to read how a real G recited poetry about LOVE-making…or maybe niggas don’t do that no more…all they do is f**k??

    Anywhos, I invited Mr. Screw-til-Poops to the Prayer Walk I’m going to next Saturday. I’m gon’ spiritually refresh the sh*t out of him. Yea, that is what is orgasmic to me. Come with me.

    K.

    Too pretty to be indoors! Over here getting tanlines, sipping on raspberry tea, reading a good book! What a way to welcome in Spring! I was told that I am boring because I don’t go out. But when you’ve traveled the world and partied hard in your 20’s, sometimes there is nothing more soothing than finding comfort and happiness in your own solitude. This is how I turn up. Happy International Day of Happiness, everyone! <3

    Video of the Day: This is probably the best thing I’ve seen all year…so many great moments in this clip…I want them to review more lyrics…these women tell it like it is!!! :D

    There’s No Place Like Home

    I have been thinking something lately that I was sure I would never say aloud much less in my mind: I think want to move back to Mobile.

    I just came back from a four-day weekend I will not soon forget. Not only was it was the last weekend of Mardi Gras, but my oldest cousin’s wedding and my Grandfather’s birthday fell on the same day! Needless to say, that was one helluva party!

    imagePhoto by Nia G.

    Like I said, I was only there for four days. I went home for my Auntie’s funeral back in either October or November and was only there for a few days as well. Still, I didn’t feel like this when I came back…I didn’t have this feeling of…not enough time.

    I don’t feel like I was able to really just sit down and chill and reconnect on a deeper level with my family who I haven’t been about to truly connect with for a very long time.

    My cousins Lloyd and Duke and myself were known as “the trio.” We were inseparable as children. This past trip, the closest we got is when we took a photo together at my Grandmother’s house. Just not enough time.

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    I hadn’t seen my brother Billy in I’m sure a few years now. Things were so busy, I don’t think we even had a full conversation…except for the first night he got into town and by that time I was in the bed fully and happily inebriated…it was still a sweet moment, him and coming and laying in the bed with my sister and I, my laying my head on his shoulder, us just talking.

    But still. It just wasn’t enough.

    I didn’t have a lot of friends in high school, but there IS a handful of people I would have loved to see while I was home. I was so caught up in family events, I just didn’t have enough time.

    And then there is my Grandfather. And I think this is one of the reasons I am super emotional right now. He is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and it has been tearing me all the way up.

    I remember when I saw him when I was home for my Auntie’s funeral. He was telling me about he tries to stay active and read a lot to keep his mind intact. I just leaned my head on his shoulder and sobbed silently. I think that was my first time ever being that close to him.

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    When I returned from that trip, aside from being sad at my Aunt’s passing and witnessing my favorite cousin all torn up when all my life I’d never even seen her cry, I was brokenhearted about “Granddaddy.” I couldn’t even return to work my first day back because I felt like I was in mourning for him…and he is still very much alive! I guess I am just not prepared for this. My heart is reacting before my mind even knows what the hell is going on. Love’ll do that to you.

    I was at work today telling my co-worker about an incident that happened at the parade this past Monday. My sister and I were at the parade with my mother and my Grandfather, and my Mom was explaining to him who he’d just got off the phone with as he could hardly hear who he was speaking to and the names were getting jumbled up. He then looked at my mother and was like, “Where’s Karen?

    imagePhoto by Nia G.

    I looked at my sister wide-eyed and asked, “Did he just ask ‘where’s Karen’?” I looked back at him and heard him repeat the question two more times before my mother heard him and was like, “I'M Karen…and that's Krissy, and that's Nia." I turned my back to them all so they wouldn’t see the tears fall.

    That.

    Shit.

    Hurt.

    Sigh. I’m not ready for this, ya’ll.

    I wish ya’ll could have seen him, how happy he was at the wedding reception when we brought him to the dance floor to sing Happy Birthday to him! He was so cuuuuuuuute!

    imagePhoto by Nia G.

    Check him out dancing to 2Chainz “Birthday Song”:

    When he found out that the lyrics sang “All I want for my birthday is a big booty girl" he got so tickled and grooved a little harder! :p It was so great to see him so happy, surrounded by ALL of his family…especially when you consider that this could be the last birthday where he…remembers.

    Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

    I want to move back home. I mean, there may not be much to offer there but shit I have been in Fayetteville for going on three years and I can tell you with an absolute surety that ain’t shit going on here. Not nada.

    At least in Mobile, I have family, I have a social circle, I have people I can call or go to visit when I need to talk, or just need a presence around me to feel that connection. To feel that love.

    I have been thinking about leaving Fayetteville for some time now. My mother lives 30 minutes away in Cameron, NC in a beautiful home that she is nourishing with her husband. My baby niece is here, and I’ll miss her but she is only a road trip away. Besides, I have four more nieces I need to build a relationship with.

    I have also wanted to move to the Mid/Southwest. Arizona has been calling me for a while and I have been looking into ways I can get there without waiting 10 years to save up enough money to move. But perhaps its not my time yet. Perhaps I need to set my sights on the birthplace.

    It’s home. I was born there. My parents were born there. My parents parents were born there. And although there isn’t any obvious signs of progress there in terms of new business and an updated city infrastructure, it’s still home. And it’s beautiful. And it’s full of love.

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    And I’m really thinking of going back. Just for a little while. Just until I feel I have had enough time. For what? I don’t know. But I won’t find out until I’m there.

    Sigh. We’ll see. I’m off to pray about it…I’ll keep ya’ll posted.

    This photo by @niag captures the true essence of what this weekend meant to me…<3 #family #Love #goodtimes #happiness

    #generation (the hashtag is pronounced)

    Snippet of an actual text exchange between myself and a young man who told a mutual friend he was interested in me.

    Me: Are we going to be communicating solely through text or do you plan on calling me at all?

    Him: I am not much of a phone person. I am more of a “Hey, when are you coming over” or “Where are we going to eat” kind of guy.

    Me:

    What has happened to us?

    Why have we become so dependent on technology, we have forgotten about the joys of old school communication?

    This dude would rather ask me tons of questions about myself via text in an effort to get to know me.

    On what planet is that truly effective?

    He did come back later and say that he preferred face to face interaction but by that time, the damage had been done. I’d already slammed shut and locked that door of opportunity. He has the wrong one.

    I am no better. I recently reconnected with an old friend from college on Facebook. I was super psyched to find her as I’d been trying to track her down for years. I sent her a message asking her to send me her number, which she did.

    It’s been weeks and I haven’t called her yet.

    Sad, ain’t it.

    It’s like I am now content with the knowledge that she is now accessible to me, a stranger to my circle of online friends no more.

    And that ain’t right, ya’ll.

    But this is who we are now! We are the hashtag generation. We don’t need to call friends and family as long as we are following them on Instagram and Twitter or are their “friends” on Facebook. As long as those social media connections are in place, we have an open window to what is going on in their life…what’s the point of calling, right?

    I realized the damages of this way of thinking when back in October, I found out through Instagram that my aunt had passed. On top of that, I had NO ONE’s phone number back home to call.

    Man, I remember back in the day when we had no choice but to remember the phone numbers of family and friends. Now everything is accessible with the push of a button. 

    I work at Aaron’s and sometimes have to call and verify information with references. There are sons and daughters out there who don’t even know their parents numbers, husband and wives who don’t even know their spouses’ numbers without looking it up on their phone…hell, I’ve come across people who don’t even know their own number!

    I can’t see that faring well should they ever be in an emergency situation.

    "Hey, can I use your phone to log on to Facebook to send my sister a message to come and pick me up?"

    Back to dude, though.

    Ya’ll know that I am one foot out of a relationship and am not at all interested in stepping into another one. I have too much I am trying to work out for myself right now and I have no energy to dedicate to screening husband potentials.

    However, I am in need of friends…or at least would like friends, both male and female, with whom to chill and socialize on these two days of the week I am not cramped up at work for 10 hours.

    I made this clear to dude as I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea at all. You know niggas are quick to misinterpret a interest in conversation for an invitation for romance and Kristen ain’t got none to give at the moment…romance, that is.

    But this brother thinks that a few text messages asking me where I am from and how old I am will be a sufficient precursor to perhaps meeting on a face to face basis.

    It’s going to take a bit more CONVERSATION before I allow myself to venture into a public place with you. I don’t know you like that, bruh.

    When Beefcake and I first got together, we used to talk on the phone for hours. It felt like I was a teenager all over again! And it was through these conversations that we learned about each other, which is the foundation for any relationship, even a basic friendship.

    I guess I am still ole school in that way. I mean, I suck at calling old friends now but with new friends, particularly members of the opposite sex, there has to be some introductory communication, VOCAL communication before we take it to the next level, whatever level that may be.

    Sigh, this only makes me want to finish writing my book so much more. I am not going to divulge too many details about it but one chapter does touch on male and female interaction in the 21st century and calls for an abolishment (why is the red squiggly line under abolishment…is that not a word?) of social media and smart phone technology (apps and texts) as a means of becoming and staying connected.

    Matter fact, this is what I need to be working on instead of writing this blog post…I think I’ve already reached my quota for the day.

    Good night, ya’ll! Feels good to be writing again, though…love ya’ll for reading. <3

    (via br0-i-chill)

    Video of the Day: Oh my gosh, it’s Dreamer.

    And for those of you don’t know:

    1. My daughter’s name, should God ever bless me with one, is going to be Dreamer. 

    2. I have always fantasized about her doing an ice skating interpretation of the dance routine I hope to one day choreograph to Kenna’s “Hell Bent”.

    3. It is going to happen. Even if I have to borrow someone else’s daughter for the task.

    4. Carry on.

    (via 2brwngrls)

    Seasons of My Young Adulthood: Preparing for 40

    I often have these random thoughts that go through my mind right before bedtime.

    The other night as I was reflecting on the past 10 years of my life, I began to contemplate the stage I am in at the moment.

    It was at that moment that I realized that I have in fact being going through seasons…and I am nearing my favorite season of all: SPRING.

    The four seasons of the year are separated by three months. I am thinking of my life’s seasons being separated by a span of four years, totaling the 16 years leading up to when they say life begins: the age of 40.

    So let’s rewind back to 2004. Summer 2004, specifically, which coincidentally marked the beginning of my four year Summer season.

    It was June of 2004 that I moved to Doha, Qatar; the flourishing heart of the Middle East. The years between 2004-2008 marked some of the best times of my life; and that is what Summer is about isn’t it?

    I mean, think about it. What goes through your mind when you think about Summer? For those in school, it marks a time of freedom, of letting go of responsibilities and enjoying every moment without the pressures of homework and curfews. It’s a time of baring more skin, partying a little harder, soaking in the sun rays, refreshing splashes in cool pools of water.

    One word to easily equate with Summer is: fun! And boy, did I have fun my first few years in Doha. I was in new country, immersed in a brand new culture. It was in these years that I made life-long friends, and learned what love really felt like. I danced…a LOT…and laughed a lot. I shopped and travelled and explored. It was a time of my life that I wished would never end.

    But as all seasons eventually come to an end, so did my Summer. And although I’ve painted a positive picture, not all aspects of this season are enjoyable.

    Another word to equate with Summer is: heat. And man was it HOT in Doha. The breeze felt like the winds of hell and the desert sands and dust in the air sometimes made it difficult to breathe.

    To attach that metaphorically to what I experienced during that time was me having to deal with the heat of my own insecurities. As I mentioned above, I learned what love really felt like. But that didn’t come without the pains of my past interfering at every moment. What could have been a Summer romance that could have lasted the seasons of time was marked by occasional sandstorms brought on by my lack of trust in my mate, and my persistence on “checkin’ them hoes”.

    My poor dear ex…he went through hell indeed trying to maintain an oasis where my actions indicated that I seemed to prefer a drought; and by the end of the Summer, the heat that was once defined by passion between the two of us had all cooled down significantly…the winds were changing, the leaves of our lives began to lose their green vibrancy, the sunny days were turning darker…earlier.

    The eve of 2008 marked the beginning of one of the worst (and best, which I will explain later) breakups of my life…2008 marked the beginning of my Fall season.

    I was still in Doha and although the temperatures outside were still very much Summer, the weather of my heart was going through some serious changes.

    I do love the Fall as a season. I love the cooler breezes, the red, yellow and orange leaves, the opportunity to add fun layers to my wardrobe. In my heart, however, I was mourning the loss of Summer, and what transpired over the next four years was a series of one fall after another.

    It took me a year to get over the demise of that relationship. I’d hope to marry this individual and he’d hoped the same. There’s only so much a person can take, however, and even though I grew to love him even more for breaking it off, at the time, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to bounce back from it all.

    I cried…a LOT…and I yearned a lot. Yet I am eternally grateful for the experience as if it weren’t for this breakup, I probably would have never changed. I may have never realized that I had to let go of past pain, I had to be more careful of my present, more aware of my self-worth and beauty and value.

    I learned that when in a relationship with a man, the first thing you must do is trust that man. There will always be at least one woman out there with a scheme of causing division between you but she can only do so if you allow her.

    The lessons I learned in that breakup were so profound that the next two men I was involved in over the course of that four year season questioned whether or not I cared. Well, one appreciated my lax attitude towards “them bitches”, welcomed it in fact. But he was man who held himself in high esteem as well so this was expected.

    The other fellow was so caught up in his own insecurities that he misunderstood my unwillingness to concern myself with the next chick as “Oh, well I guess you just don’t care about me.

    Errrrrgh? (in my Scooby Doo voice)

    If may interject with a little side note here, you may have noticed that I am trying not to go into full detail of my experiences to spare you a mini-autobiography. Those who know me, and have been following my blogs (even the hidden ones) over the past 8 years or so already know the full extent of what I went through.

    As a timeline:

    2008: I spent the entire year trying to get over my ex and trying to reconcile with him #atthesamedamntime. I was unsuccessful, which only added to my grief, and the colors of my heart (my leaves) continued to fade and fade and fade…

    2009:…but they hadn’t yet begun to fall off the trees. They say the best way to get over a man is to get under another one. In the place where I am today mentally, I don’t particularly agree with that statement, however, that was the exact remedy for my heartbreak.

    I met a charming young chap who seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. He was fun and funny and we had a blast together. He was completely different from anyone I’d ever dated and people often questioned how we managed to pair up…until they experienced the live show that was us together in our prime.

    I thought for a brief moment that there was some sort of miracle of nature in the works…that the leaves of my heart that had began to turn brown were transitioning back to a bright orange. That was until I discovered that I was just a placeholder until someone his mother would approve of came along. This is when the leaves began to fall…and the breeze got just a bit chillier.

    Although there were tears and mourning when yet another relationship failed, where it took me a year to get over my Summer love, it only took a matter of weeks, I’d say about two weeks precisely to get over this one. As I said before, the lessons learned in the Summer breakup were PROFOUND and my heart grew so much stronger in the process…although, not strong enough…

    2010: Forbidden love is the most dangerous love…if you can call it love at all. If 2008 was when the leaves changed color and 2010 was when they fell off the trees, 2010 was when the leaves began to rustle around on the ground, trampled on by uncaring children, burned in the backyards of my people down South.

    Yes, I got involved with a man who was otherwise attached. Ironically, my relationship with him was probably the most passionate. However, it was the same fire that ignited this passion between us that eventually singed the leaved of my heart.

    Before I go on, I do want to point out that although I am describing these seasons as they relate to my personal relationships, there were things going on in other areas of my life as well. In my job for example. I began a job as a pre-school teacher in 2007 and even my experience there was marked with a fair share of stressful changes. 

    The hurt and pain I felt as a result of my breakup reflected in my performance as a school teacher and it was only in a matter of months before my job was on the line. Just as I got my heart in check, though, I got my professionalism in check as well; and I was able to at least win over the parents of my students. The self-absorbed _________who ran the school was a bit harder to win over, insisting on bringing up my past mistakes every moment she could, not believing that it was possible that I truly could both change for the better AND maintain that upgraded level of professionalism.

    In 2009, instead of being let go from that job, for reasons I am still unable to explain other than an apparent jealousy of self-absorbed __________; I was transferred to the same school at a different location.

    Although, I was an excellent teacher, with a proven record of having both the best behaved and brightest students in the pre-school, I was still under the cloud of the mistakes made my first year with the school and coupled with all I went through with the leaf-burning relationship I will describe more in a moment, 2010 also was the year I was told my contract would not be renewed with the school.

    This brought on a entirely new list of problems that weren’t made better by the fact I had fallen in love with a man I could never have and wasn’t sure I would even want even if I could have him. THIS was not made any better by the fact that this man was a walking talking boiling teakettle that suppressed its shrieks instead of whistling them out in release.

    THIS was not made better that although we both knew we couldn’t have a future together, we couldn’t seem to stay away from each other, an act that only brought more pain to all the parties involved.

    And THIS was not made better by the fact that unlike me, his pain resulted in an anger with himself which was projected quite unfairly on to me (although I probably deserved it being that I allowed to get myself to get deeply involved with him in the first place.)

    So by the close of 2010, not only was I jobless, homeless (thank God for my friend Melanie, who allowed me a room in her apartment…if you’re reading, girl, I love you dearly), a few delinquent payments away from being car-less, I felt as if I was also heartless.

    And not heartless in the way of cruelty…but heartless in that my heart seemed to have been trampled to death…it was on its last beat…its image was the likeness of a tree completely swept of its leaves on a cloudy Fall day…the breeze now indicating that Winter was very near.

    image

    2011: So much had began to happen in my spirit. It started in the final months of 2010…my arguments with God, that is. I went on my final vacation in July of 2010; a lovely time in Bodrum with my friend Malik (God bless him).

    I remember on our final night there, I wasn’t feeling well so I stayed alone in the hotel room while Malik and another friend of his who’d joined us went out on the town. As I lay there in the bed, moaning in pain from menstrual cramps, I began to literally curse God.

    I called Him unpleasant names, told Him that He was cruel for allowing me to go through so much pain over the past year or so when I was so faithful in my honoring of Him. I asked Him why He’d allowed me to lose my job and to get involved with such a heartless and selfish person. I’m pretty sure I shouted “F**k you!!" once or twice. I was so angry with Him.

    These random acts of vocal frustration with God continued over the past couple of months. Although I’d found another job as a pre-school teacher at another school, the pay was only a fraction of what I made before and there was no way I could pay all of the debts that had piled up. Thankfully I had THE MOST AMAZING FRIENDS who in their minds, GAVE me money to help…not LOANED it to me. (Shout out to my bestie Marie, my Kiwi chick Michelle, my homey Gasan, my Trini bud Brent, my Egyptian pal Kareem, and everyone who was soooo supportive to me during this time…I will never forget any of you!!)

    Still, I’d become used to a certain lifestyle and that had all been stripped away from me. I blamed God for it all.

    Then the anxiety attacks began. I remember one day being at the school and sitting there with my babies. Suddenly, their little voices became too much for me to bear. Their faces were blurred in my sight and all I saw instead were all of my failures, all of my unattainable dreams, all the things I wished I’d done and wished I was doing instead of my reality.

    I felt as if there was a pillow over my face and I was being suffocated. I honestly don’t remember how I snapped out of it…not sure if I went to another room to catch my breath or if it passed on its own or if I ended up somewhere looking like this:

    image

    …but I will never forget how I felt in that moment.

    It happened again, on several occasions, at school and at home…although not as dramatic as the first time. I eventually confided in the counselor of the pre-school about it…an act that ended up getting me fired.

    Yes. You read right. These c*nt bags (sigh, I am still working on forgiveness in this area…pray for me) decided that it was dangerous to have a teacher with “such conditions” working with their little ones. Which to an extent, I totally understood.

    It was HOW they fired me that was f*cked up. It was on a day where we were short-staffed; one of my assistants was out for the day and these sl*t buckets called me in the office, right as I had my kiddies geared up for story time at the end of the day and basically asked me to “leave quietly”.

    Yo. If you gon’ fire me, tell me BEFORE I come to work, not after I have worked a whole day. And what was the sense of urgency that I couldn’t have stayed the remaining hour of the day with my students? PLUS, these b*tches sent me a TEXT saying that they would have all of my supplies packed up for me and that I could come pick them up…but not to go in to say goodbye to the students.

    ASKDIODAFAHFOI;FKZNDKSZDFKAOFnfAKSlhdfAIRPOwnfklSDNFFNa/feknWEKLSDFKNAADSFA.

    image

    Woo-saaaaaaaaah.

    Ahem, where was I?

    Oh, so yea…this was the final straw for me.

    Now, I’d like to mention, that even though I was angry with God, blaming Him, cursing Him; at the end of every fit of rage I would burst into tears only to have Him comfort me to stillness…even if only for the moment.

    I thought so strongly about just giving up on Him in the way it felt as if He gave up on me, but I just couldn’t. His hold on me was too strong; my love for Him too deep.

    So naturally, although He wasn’t my most favorite beings at the time, as I drove home from being dismissed that day, I asked Him quite plainly: “Lord, what do you want me to do now?

    And He replied just as plainly: “Go home.”

    And this is exactly what I did. I called my mother and within two weeks I was on a plane headed for North Carolina. It was probably one of the worst trips of my life, by the way. Flight delays, flight cancellations, sleeping on airport benches, almost missing a flight, running through airports in tears like a mad woman, more flight cancellations, overnight stays in hotels as a result of more flight cancellations, and missing luggage once I finally reached NC. If this wasn’t proof that my return home was heaven sent, I don’t know what was. The devil was pissed.

    image

    He thought he almost had me. I know that if I would have stayed in Doha, there wasn’t going to be a happy ending for me. God was calling me home. And it was only within a matter of weeks, as I began to bundle in the warmth of love while everything around me seemed to die and retreat into an extended hibernation as the winter cold crept in, that I knew that my obedience to His voice would yield blessings upon blessing for me.

    2012 marked the beginning of my winter season, and I brought the year in screaming…literally. My spirit underwent an amazing moment of healing in the six months that I’d been home, and my faith in the Lord had been completely restored. It wasn’t until I was out of the stifling clouds of Doha and back into the fresh air that I began to see and understand my experiences for what they were: preparation.

    God had/has some serious plans for me that would not be able to come to fruition in the unhealthy environment I’d come to call home. He had to remind me that home is where the heart is, and my heart is with Him. Oh, how wonderful He has been to me.

    New Years Eve 2011 was spent at a midnight church service where I sang, danced, and cried happy cries as I had never done in my life! It was also the first time I’d ever “caught the Holy Ghost”.

    Whew, man…let me tell you…if you have never felt the exhilaration of being totally engulfed in the presence of God, then you haven’t fully lived. I’ve always wondered if it was all an act when people would get to hootin’ and hollerin’…until I found myself being shaken uncontrollably and physically SCREAMING out every last drop of pain, doubt, regret, and resentment that had been piled onto my spirit over the past few years. I literally felt it leaving my body, ya’ll and I’d never felt so refreshed in all of my life!

    On the dawn of 2012, I felt I was ready to take on the world…and this Winter season has been one of tremendous growth for me.

    Now, I know growth is the last word one would associate with the Winter. Nothing grows in the Winter. Or so we think. Yes, the ground is frozen cold, the trees are desolate, and everything is blanketed with snow. But underneath the soil, life is still going on. Growth never stops. And sometimes, it is in total stillness, that the best growth takes place.

    This is what this Winter season I am currently in can be summed up to: growth in the midst of stillness. And I’ve grown and am growing in so many ways.

    Life here in Fayetteville is nothing like my life in Doha. In Doha, I had friends and a social life. In Fayetteville, I am alone (save my mother and nieces and for a brief moment Beefcake) and my social life consists of clowning with my co-workers, greeting fellow shoppers during my retail therapy sessions, and down-ward facing dogging with my fellow yogis.

    Where I was a butterfly in Doha, I am wrapped back in a cocoon here in Fayetteville, but still, this is another perfect illustration of life happening beneath the surface.

    These past two years, I have focused intently on rebuilding my relationship with God and with glorious results. He’s blessed me with jobs and job promotions, my own place (my FIRST place that is truly my own, mind you!) a car that is paid for and restored physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

    He blessed me with a man who was a wonderful support in my reclaiming my independence here in North Carolina and I pray now that this man is continually blessed as he was the vessel for God’s blessings for me.

    He’s blessed me with insight, and an enthusiasm about devoting all I do and dream of to Him. I want every song or book I write, every dance I perform, every thought I think to be grounded in my love for Him. A major change from when I was cursing His name only three years ago. I now bless His name.

    Just like with any season, though, there are those days that are unbearable. The coldest days of my Winter were when my mother allowed the enemy to lead her to cause division between us. Her own level of insecurity and jealousy, and her inability to let go of past wrongs were projected on to me a such a magnitude, I actually thought, probably quite dramatically so, that if I would have remained in her home during that period, that she would have tried to kill me.

    Yea, I know…that’s a bit extreme. But ya’ll weren’t there. Ya’ll didn’t see how the devil, knowing that I was embarking on a relationship with the vessel of God’s blessings mentioned above, used her in such a despicable way. I won’t get too much into detail as that is a winter storm I am trying to keep in the past. I will just thank God in the midst, as it was yet another storm He brought me through as the victor.

    Another cold chill came at my workplace, prior to my promotion. I worked on a job where I had a manager that was so impossible to deal with, I almost quit. Moments like those are tests, however…and that particular test paid off in the end. As a result of my endurance and determination to continue to be the best I could be in my position, I was both promoted to that same management position and relocated to another store walking distance from my home. See how God works? 

    If you read my last post, you know of yet another moment of below freezing temperatures as defined by the block of ice that I have allowed to be built between ole vessel and I…who by now you already know is ole Beefcake.

    It is in the Winter season that I am becoming more aware of the type of life I want to lead, the kind of life that God has for me and it doesn’t involve making any personal sacrifices for the sake of not being alone.

    I want a family, I want a husband, I want a home filled with love, for one another and for the Lord. If that is something I cannot see myself building with you (speaking to any brother who may show interest moving forward), then we are better suited as casual friends. I have a book I am working on that will explain my meaning in more detail…coming soon to a Barnes & Nobles near you.

    If my seasonal calendar continues to move as it has been, I have two more years of growth in stillness before all I have dreamed of and prayed for and believed God for will begin to sprout and bloom. I have two more years, God willing, until my Spring season begins…the final four years leading up to 40…a magical age indeed!

    Now this isn’t to say that I am not going to live my life as I am already in that season today. However, for the things that I have begun working on, the ideas that God is laying on my heart and kicking me into gear to perform…I’d say another two years is what it will take for my big launch!

    And I does love the Spring, Lord…I does love the Spring. Until then, though, I am so thankful for every single moment I have experienced over my young adulthood…as well as my continual transition into grown and sexy! ;)

    It has been a journey indeed and it is far from over!

    If you are reading this sentence, I appreciate you. You are the reason I have stopped stifling my thoughts and have returned to writing. You prove to me that my voice IS being heard and that there ARE people out there who care about my stories.

    There are more to come…and they are all dedicated to you.

    Thank you for reading! <3

    1. push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.

      2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.

      3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.

      4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else.

      5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.

      6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.

      7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.

      8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.

      9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.

      10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.

      11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.

      12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.

      14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.

      15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.

      16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.

    Sixteen Small Steps to Happiness   (via inksandwords)

    Oh my gosh…I am so doing this…<3

    (via psych-facts)

    GPOY via thedailydoodles:

    "A New Life in the Stars"

    Now that Esme is finally 5 years old
    She doesn’t have to do everything that she’s told
    When she was 4, she had sooooo much to learn
    But now she’s all grown up, with wisdom to burn.

    Esme shudders to think of how she was so naive
    All of the 4 year old dreams that she was led to believe
    Such a child she was then…!  But then is not now
    So she walks up to her parents and says with a bow—

    "O’ mother and O’ father, my time has come at last!"
    "I am a big girl now, and I must move on from my past"
    So with adventure on her mind and wanderlust in her heart,
    Esme straps on her jetpack and blasts off for a fresh start.

    Rocketing up into the cosmos, avoiding the pointy corners of stars
    Solving mysteries upon Jupiter, finding aliens on Mars
    Esme waves to the Earth as she leaves the Milky Way galaxy,
    Maybe when she’s 8 she’ll return, but for now she’ll live free.

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