Goals; First Look Back

It’s another year friends and another chance to get it right. I learned something at the beginning of this year that hadn’t occurred to me before. Before setting your goals for the new year you should look back at your goals from the year before to see the progress, or lack thereof, you made. This is after all the introspective retrospective playground; so I’ll begin.

I had a few goals last year, some lofty some not. Make a couple YouTube videos a month, record on my podcast everyday, travel once a month, get extremely fit, buy a house, and buy a new car. You know the usual things. The thing you have to ask yourself is why are you setting these goals for yourself. How does it feed your ultimate goal? Why are you committing to do these things? I realized I was forcing myself into some of these things because other people thought I’d be great at it or that it would somehow elevate me in life. Well I started on my goals January 1st as usual and by June I had dropped half of them. The ones I actually stayed with were because I had a passion for it, a love, something I couldn’t do without.

So yes, I got into better shape. I’m still not Naomi Campbell, but give me another year or so and I’m right there. I paid off some big debt, which was an incredible feeling, and started honing in on my modeling career. I bought a house and travelled a little bit more than once a month. All these things had a purpose that propelled my life forward. They brought opportunities for advancement, a freedom from financial restraints, and a flooding of culture from around the world that has my heart still full.

Now that I’ve unflooded my “goal bank” and unhindered myself from self inflicted expectations I can simply focus on goals I can and want to achieve. So this year I’m getting published. I’ve already decided. I’ll be rocking a runway, saving money, making friends, traveling (just a bit), working for a theater that I’ve been wanting to work with, and buying a new car. But most importantly I will not be afraid. I challenge you to do the same. Look back on your pass goals. Look inward to what served you well and what can continue to serve you. Then look forward into your future. Set those goals. And don’t be afraid.

Dreamers and Believers,

Kellz

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A Love; Before Becoming Jaded

Greetings friends and foes. So long it’s been since I’ve spewed out my thoughts and forced them upon you. Well in light of all the trash out there constantly taking over our homepages and profiles I wanted to share a little ditty from a young Kellz. Back when possibilities were endless and the only issue that plague us was finding our one true love. I miss the days of urgently wanting to find a perfect man and when I didn’t have to worry about getting out of debt. Thanks education. So here it is; my doe-eyed hopeful poem on my future husband to be. Laugh a little, because I did, and let me know what you think.

Dreamers and Believers

Kellz

I want a love that loves me back. One that’s so good and doesn’t hurt. I want a tall drink of water that can quench this thirst I’ve been carrying since age 15. I want a love with eyes like the sky during the sunrise and right before the sun heads back to its home. I want a love with hair that creates its own paths. One that I can tussle before bed and as a wake up call at noon. I want a love that is enticed by my deep chocolate eyes and dances in a trance until he looks away. I want a love that melts from my smile like I’ll grow from his. I want a love with a nose correlated to his conscious.  Concrete and never crooked. I want his lashes to dance with mine trading back and forth butterfly kisses. I want him with brows so thick that they’re actually perfectly groomed and every strand will yield to how intellectually inclined he is. I want his skin to be soft to my touch but nothing compared to the daze he is put in when he touches mine.

I want a love with a build so firm but so soft I can cry rivers into. I want to be held by a soldier but be encamped by a teddy bear. I want a love that’s the ultimate nice guy with a little street. Love should open doors and pull out chairs while running down America’s top most wanted. We should walk hand in hand and lock lips every time we miss each other which would be once every 30 seconds. I want us to be that mushy couple everyone hates and have the bliss last far pass the 1st year all the way to the 50th. I want a love with jokes as long as my body diagonally limb to limb. I want a love who respects me like he respects his mother, who would fight for me like he would fight for his brother, who would love me a hair short of loving God because without Him this love wouldn’t exist.

I want a love who would travel 300 plus miles 5 hours in the rain to sit in orchestra center to see me on stage night after night again. I want a love who can have long talks with my dad and be approved by my little brother and smiled upon by the elders of a Jamaican tribe that immigrated across the sea. I want a love that picks me flowers and romances me with lyrical pictures he pulled out of his heart. I want him to remember my favorite flower and how exotic blue like turquoise stops me in my tracks. I want us to bare a passion so thick it creates a force field around us blinding our eyes from anyone else around. I want a love that fits the picture in my mind and has a lost for words but is known by me and God. I want a love that can’t live without me and wants to love me for ever and ever amen. I want a love like the old couple on the titanic who took their death together. I want a love that can’t be bought or taught but has to be experienced and lived. I want a love that will sit with me in heaven and is pleasing to God when he looks upon the life we lived. I want A Longing Optimist Vocally Engaged. I want A Love.

Father’s Day; Then and Now

Another Father’s Day is upon us. As I sit around the dining room table with my vivacious family lamenting about the latest news I begin to think of the fondest memories of my dad growing up. I know this day, like Mother’s Day, can be difficult as I have friends who never knew their dads, have estranged relationships with their father’s, or they’re dads have passed on. I consider myself not only lucky but blessed to have my dad with me. He’s loving and strong and I don’t know where I’d be without him. So, I’d like to share with you, and my dad too because he reads everything I write, some of my fondest memories and some of the things I love most about him.

1) My greatest memory happens to be something simple. When my dad would come home or when I’d see him anywhere in general, I’d always jump into his arms and he’d hoist me up onto his shoulders. This was after taking a few seconds to swing me around. I felt like I was flying. Just weightless. I was this small human being carried like royalty by her biggest fan. I struggle to find words that would lend any semblance of the unwavering joy I still feel thinking about it, but all I can say is that it made me happy; then and now.

2) Dad is wicked smart and resourceful. Seriously, he immigrated to this country and worked his way from Orkin to owning two businesses. Talk about the American dream. He didn’t take fancy business classes at a top tier institution. He watched others, he asked questions, and he learned the needed steps to take. Running a business is tough and seeing him grind everyday on something he built himself is inspiring.

3) He has a killer smile. My dad is so handsome. Now I could be biased, especially since people think we look like each other, but it’s true. His facial expressions are priceless. His smile is award winning. And his presence lights up a room.

4) Graduation. For my college graduation my dad told me he was going to bring a little noise maker for when they call my name. My dad, in true fashion, was dressed to the nines with his blowhorn in hand. As I walked across that stage all I heard was joyful screaming and a bellowing blowhorn. The support and pride was unreal.

5) He tells me he’s proud. This is an ongoing moment for me. Every time I hear my dad say that key phrase, “Baby, I’m proud of you”, my heart is beyond warm. Often times we don’t hear “good job” from the people around us. Even though we don’t do good for that reason it is still motivating to hear it.

6) He still takes care of me. At this age where I can and do tackle my responsibilities he’s still the person that will slip money into my bag without me noticing. Anytime I leave town he makes sure I have money in my pocket. Once I moved out, moved away, and started living my best life I thought that would stop. But I found out that you can’t stop a daddy from being a daddy. His care for me is boundless.

I wish I could list in detail all the wonderful things about him, but there would be snow on the ground before I could finish. He’s proud yet no arrogant. Tough yet reasonable. And loving beyond belief. So to all the kids out there spending precious moments with their dads remember to go above and beyond after the day has passed. And to the fathers out there may you be blessed, may you be appreciated, may you be loved. Happy Father’s Day.

Dreamers and Believers

Kellz

Mental Illness; The Lurking Beast

The subject is on our lips again.  After another mass shooting or the loss of a well known familiar face and the hashtags and loving memories surface. Mental illness seems to be a fleeting subject in the whirlwind of problems we are all trying to tackle. How do we identify it and how do we effectively treat it on a national level? It hurts me to see people who are the best at playing happy suddenly gone in an instant because truly they can’t go on. Recently, we lost Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade who both hung themselves in their homes. Hanging yourself, if successful, takes seven minutes to work. Seven minutes of agony. To think someone would rather go through that then continue living…How did we get here?

Spade’s husband remarked that she suffered from depression which makes it even more disheartening that the illness won the battle. For those who didn’t know her I’m sure her depression wasn’t easy to spot. Take it from me, it’s easy to show a brave or happy face. Fooling people can be easy because most people want to believe that their own stress or pain is the only one that matters in the room. So we don’t notice the little things that we should like the sudden retreat of a friend or forced facial expressions. It becomes one less thing to think or worry about. But what if we do know someone who suffers from anxiety and/or depression? How do we help them? I’m certainly no expert but checking in and listening to your friends and family members has to be the most important. Call and actually let those people speak to you and just listen. It’s not always about answers and remedies sometimes its just an ear. Tell people you love them. It becomes so blasé but hearing that someone cares about you and needs you around gives them one more reason to deal with the daily mess that is life. Don’t be judgmental, research what they’re going through, and find resources for both you and them.

For all of my friends out there who are considering suicide for whatever reason I understand. Cutting because the physical pain outweighs the emotional turmoil. Sitting alone in the dark because faking it is just too tiresome. You’re tired of the bullying, the assault, the not being believed so dying is much easier than living. There is at least one person out there that loves you. To those people, that pain doesn’t get to win. You’re tired yes, so you lean on someone until you can fight again. It’s never a bother. I’d a hundred times take anyone leaning on me before they took their life. On average 123 people take their lives everyday and you, YOU, do not get to be one of them. Not today. Step by step. Brick by brick. I love you.

Dreamers and Believers

Kellz

If you or someone you know needs help please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

NFL; The Empire Strikes Back

By now I’m sure everyone has heard the newest rule put forth by the NFL. Players are no longer able to kneel during the national anthem. If they do they/their team will be fined. However since the NFL takes the “concerns of the protest seriously”, the players are allowed to remain in the locker room and protest out of sight. Why thank you! That’s so kind. Before I blow a gasket, I want to highlight a couple of points then we can all go back to our cushy day.

To begin, the first amendment gives us the right to speak freely and protest as long as we aren’t putting someone else’s well being in danger. Why is it, that it’s ok for spoiled torch toting inbred idiots to chant their disdain towards minorities but it’s not ok to peacefully take a knee to protest the slaughtering of black and brown people? No really, I want to know from anyone out there why one of these are ok and the other is not.

And just incase you say it’s disrespectful I want to highlight a second point. A soldier, a veteran, someone who fought for this country was the one who suggested the players kneel as that’s the way they show respect to fallen soldiers. In the same manner why is it ok to make cheap clothes and beer cans with the flag on them when that too is disrespectful to the flag? I don’t think the problem for many is a respect issue; I think its the human rights issue they find problem with.

Here’s my last point. The audacity of the NFL to try to silence a very important protest by telling players you can have your right as long as it’s behind doors is abhorrent and mind-boggling.  Especially since this base tradition that is now silencing an important issue is only 9 years old. It’s my hope that the players remember what’s important and rally together. Money can take many people but it won’t take us all. And as a quick reminder for anyone still thinking this is about protesting a flag or America or whatever last minute thought you produced in the last second, just stop it. This protest is about police brutality and the murdering of unarmed bodies. The hardest thing to do is admit wrong, but if you can do that and get over that guilty feeling you will be welcomed with open arms on this side. Then you too can join in on the battle.

Dreamers and Believers

Kellz

Opposite Sex Friends; A Dating Debate

It’s a debate as old as time. Can men and women have friends of the opposite sex? For me there was a quick and to the point answer. Yes. They can as long as they both respect the boundaries of the other, be it because of a relationship or the autonomous boundaries they’ve simply set for themselves. As I’ve grown older it seems this simple question has grown more complicated. Darn my optimism. I have some great male friends. We laugh, we joke, and we share secrets and remedies; granted I’ve known these people for decades. Even more so I have exes who are friends. But I have come to realize those particular relationships don’t always work out.

I like to consider myself pretty positive. We dated at some point, it didn’t work, but no one hates the other so therefore friends is easily attainable. Oh how naïve Kellz, how naïve. You see, some times, someone will always have feelings and therefore their actions or yours will result from this underbelly emotion whether they/you realize it or not. For example,  maybe they think actually talking when in each other’s presence versus being on the phone is too close. This actually happened to me and I was tickled. Shame on me for being a communicator. That’s the root though. Communication. It’s the basis for all relationships. Without it how can one manage. If you can’t handle a situation or if something bothers you and instead of speaking up you shut the person down how does that a good friendship make? And if that person doesn’t find the need to check in on you, or to generally keep in touch then it’s best to let it go. Working relationships take two willing parties. I can’t be in a marriage by myself and I can’t be in a friendship by myself. You can’t either.

They say, all things that shall be will be but faith without work is death. Take that how you will. If someone is important enough to you then spend the little bit of time to keep them in your life. If you hate seeing them with someone else then say it and move on. If you feel neglected by said friend, again speak up. And if you feel you can’t trust yourself around an ex or someone of the opposite sex then be smart, say what you have to say, and follow that road the opposite way. And if you are on the receiving end, understand where the other person is coming from and let them go. It all takes a lot of strength, compassion, and growing up but those are all good adulting attributes.

Dreamers and Believers

Kellz

Mother’s Day; A Note to My Grieving Friends

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It is a difficult day for many people I know, myself included. I was lucky enough to have caring people around me who checked on me even though it’s been years. Don’t worry, if you weren’t one of those people, I hate you. Just kidding. I have no energy for hate. Anyway, it dawned on me that there are fresh and old wounds out there looking for relatability and peace. One of the most difficult obstacles is feeling as if no one can possibly understand your pain. It’s true though, not many people will relate to what you feel. So instead of telling you how to move on or move up I wanted to share a poem I wrote earlier this year. May it make you laugh, cry, bring you peace, or distract your mind for just a moment. And if you it brings you one of the above share it with someone else.

Dreamers and Believers

Kellz

Grief; A Vacation Home

My grief is like a vacation home. It’s opulent, clean, and costs me a lot. It sits high on a grassy hill overlooking the water. The water is calming, steady and my grief hates that. Actually I hate that. The calm makes me crazy. Like stirring a bag of cats. I know it makes no sense but neither does my grief. It’s stood there for ages. And honestly I don’t even visit it anymore. Well I moved out. I lived in that nice decorated home. I had a comfy distressed lazy boy I rocked in by the fire. It smells like wood and her so I just rocked. Nestled nicely between these walls that wouldn’t let anyone in. The blinds drawn and my eyes closed just incase any daylight dared to come in.

I moved out though. After nightmares. And life ending thoughts. And alienating friends and loved ones. And not eating. And losing weight. And anger. And denial. And confusion. And anger again. And depression. And anger and anger and anger. I moved out. Now it’s just a vacation home I visit so often. You know, for fun. Because self-loathing is a close friend and now so is anxiety so that’s cool. You know, like if I fall asleep what if I don’t wake up kind of anxiety. Night after night after night. And people say hey if you’re tired just drink coffee. And I say I don’t drink caffeine even though I really want to scream is just bring my mom back and then I could sleep! But I just laugh instead because I’m the strong one. The bubbly one. The dear God how do you always have so much energy one.

Anyway back to my really cool house I’m still paying for. I only visit so often. Maybe a couple times of year during the off season. Not by choice. Against my will usually. And it’s still a pretty house, nicely decorated and stocked. Like you can hang there forever, but I hate it there. It’s lonely. I’m alone there. Because no one gets it. And because I’m tired of Anger showing its ugly head I stay away from the home now. But then I see a picture, or smell a perfume, or see her “walking” down an aisle at the grocery store. Then I walk up to some stranger doe eyed like some stupid kid who actually gets what she wants. Then I’m in the chair again by the fire. Rocking.

I put up a for sale sign. So if you’re looking for a beautiful solitude surround by happy people muffled by drawn curtains and warm fires let me know. There’s a ton of sun but you’ll never see it. Fresh cut grass but you’ll never feel it. Lots of self-loathing. And tears, so drink lots of water. Heavy drinking not required but encouraged. Also avoid mirrors. You won’t like what looks back at you. Did I mention it looks over the water. The water is shallow though. Just so you know.