In Full Bloom

My mother has always had a green thumb. When I was a kid, I loved being in the yard with her at the first sign of spring planting buds in her flower bed. For the petite woman she was, my mother had no problem pulling up weeds and hedging the bushes on any given Saturday afternoon. You would think I would’ve inherited this crafty skill, but not so. While I enjoyed spending time with my mom running through the sprinklers after she mowed the lawn, putting in the work was never my strong suit.

As I got older, it seems as though my mother was subconsciously trying to pass this trait on to me. Last year for Mother’s day, she got me yet another potted plant, as if I didn’t still have the empty ceramic dish from the last one she bought me that I fatally neglected. “It’s a hosta fragrant, DeJ,” she insisted, “Those are hard to kill.”

In the “white room” of her home, it’s practically a nursery. She has greenery for days. Vines and blooms like you’ve never seen before. Aside from the empty vase that once contained flowers I got for Valentine’s day, my home is also aligned with beautiful flowers, albeit they’re all artificial. And I prefer it that way. I barely have time to nurture things I do care about in life, let alone some…potted plant that’s bound to die, anyway.

“Kaye got a new bloom, I noticed,” she called me one day to declare of the plant she so lovingly named after herself. “It’s like whenever I’m coming out of my struggle, DeJ, she gives me a sign that something new is in bloom,” she continued. My mother has always been one for symbolism, so perhaps, this is where I get it from.

Gardening tips aside, I love the symbolism that springtime brings, too. Especially lately since I’ve been in somewhat of a slump. This week, I decided to do some spring cleaning. I’ve always felt like decluttering my home helped declutter my thoughts. After tackling my 2 biggest obstacles, my kitchen & my closet, I decided to give my fireplace one last cleaning of the season. As I gathered up the firewood to take to my outside storage, I stumbled upon the hosta plant that my mother gave to me last year. “Since I’m going outside anyway, I may as well put it out too,” I declared of the plant.

The next day, I made somewhat of a comeback to social media after a bit of a hiatus to clear my head. I explained how I’d hit a roadblock & needed time to reset. Before getting in bed that night, I closed the blinds to my patio doors & noticed a small shadow on the porch. When I went to investigate it further, I noticed it was leaf that had sprouted overnight. It reminded me of something my mother said, “Those are hard to kill.” And it gave me hope.

Don’t be jealous of the rose. You’re a hosta fragrant bouquet who, despite being deprived of sunlight & water, refused to die but instead decided to bloom. And after all, roses come by the dozen.

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

My actual hosta plant.

#LoveLettersToLouie

9-year old, Louie Schneider requesting letters from every state

A coworker of mine came in the office last week describing the scene on the highway of something compared to a royal escort. She said there was probably every law enforcement officer in the Pulaski county area present & that she didn’t know what was going on, but it was big.

Immediately, I got on “the Google” to see if we were being visited by a dignitary here in the state. I knew it couldn’t be the President. He happened to out of the country on some kind of expedition with someone in North Korea that day. That evening, I’d learn the tributes were for a little boy named Louie.

Louie Schneider is a 9-year old boy who’s currently in hospice care at an Arkansas hospital. He’s been diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality and only has a short time left to live. As a final wish, of sorts, Louie requested one thing. He wanted letters from every state in America.

Hearing his story, it made me realize this, too was a #RealLifeLoveStory , but a love story of a different sort. And I wanted to send Louie a love letter of my own.

Often times when we set out to make a difference, we feel like we have to make grand gestures. But hearing the story of this sweet little boy made me realize the impact of something seemingly so small. As of this week, Louie had received letters from all states except New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia.

Join me in sending #LoveLettersToLouie and be sure to share this story so that we can make his wish come true.

Mail letters to Louie here:

#LoveLettersToLouie
C/O Project Zero
10 Kings Court
Little Rock, Ark. 72211 

Do You Believe in Soulmates?

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of soulmates.

In theory, it’s a beautiful notion, this idea that there’s someone out there who you’re destined to be with. A person designed specifically for you. But in all of the optimism of finding that special one, comes along with the scathing reality of not finding the one or even losing them. It got me to thinking. In life, are we allowed more than one soulmate?

In asking this question, I first had to ponder what does that even mean? What exactly is a soulmate?

As someone offered on my Facebook post today, soulmates are those people who stay around for the long run, but maybe not a lifetime. I happen to believe that the word is a kin to it’s namesake, a person who’s soul or spirit connects with yours. For me, it can be any person who’s made a significant impact in your life, whether it’s a lover, family member or friend. This person went onto say that there are three types of people you encounter in life: Kindred Spirits, Soulmates, and Twin Flames. Kindred spirits, she suggested, are people you “vibe with,” like minded but they may not be around long term. She further explained that the “true goal” is to find your twin flame – the one person who’s meant for you.

Whatever name you want to call it, my question remains the same. Do you believe that in a lifetime, you only get one true love?

My ex & I had a disagreement about this a long time ago. His position was that you only get one true love. I remember we were talking about marrying our soulmates, at that time, we believed each other to be soulmates. He said to me, “When I marry you, that’s it. Ain’t no other soulmate for me.” In a genuinely curious moment I asked, “Not to be morbid babe, but what happens if I die?” He insisted that he believed that you only get one & after that, he’d be done. It made me sad. Having lost a man who I believe to this day was my soulmate, I expressed how I believed my ex would have wanted me to love again, the same way I would want him to. Think about it. Imagine falling in love  & marrying “the love of your life” when life takes an unexpected turn and you lose the person who was your entire world.

If soulmates & twin spirits are restricted to just one, then what a sad notion it is that you don’t get a second chance at true love. I truly believe that some people are lucky to find one person that they get to spend their entire life with. The rest of us are blessed to get more.

Call me crazy, but I happen to believe in the abundance of love.

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

Happy Freakin’ New Year

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I honestly didn’t expect it to happen this year. But on the eve of New Year’s Eve as I drove home, on a cold, rainy night no less, I felt the pressure rising up in my chest. To be honest, I felt it early Saturday morning when I woke up in a beautiful suite that overlooked my city, all alone. Continue reading “Happy Freakin’ New Year”

My Apology to The Other Woman

letter

I owe you an apology.

Although we’ve never met, I feel like we know each other. Probably as much as anyone can know through the superficial scrubbing of one’s social media profile. I made judgments about you based on your name, pictures & posts, the same way I’m sure you did about me. I clung to assumptions of who I imagined you to be. I side-eyed your pics and trolled your comments. And I questioned some of your hair pieces, as well. And I know that may sound like shade, but it’s not. Continue reading “My Apology to The Other Woman”

Lessons Learned.

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If there’s one thing 2018 has taught me it’s how to let go.

This year has shown me that holding onto things that aren’t meant for you will cause more harm than good. I know this is as cliché as it gets, but this is more for me than anyone else. This is my lesson, albeit a lesson that I’m still learning.

I wanted to scream so badly, “Don’t be the girl who never leaves him alone.” We all have that friend. Some of us have been that friend. You know the one. The one who is loyal to a fault and no matter what that no good ass ninja does, she still won’t leave his ass alone. I don’t mean this as a diss. I don’t know a woman alive who hasn’t had that one who took her down through there.

I had a revelation this week, as I was in route to do a drive by on my ex. I argued with myself while heading home only to make a detour that was out of my way because “I just had to know.” “Know what,” I answered out of my mouth. Whether he was home. Whether he was alone. Whether or not I’d see that same car that I’d spotted him get into before. I went back and forth with myself, out loud inside my head.

“What difference does it make, D? Even if you do see the car there, what’s that going to prove? Furthermore what’s that going to change,” I asked myself. My heart pounded, the closer I got, almost like I could hear it in my ears. I turned my radio down, as if that made a difference on whether or not  he could see me if he happened to be outside. A brief moment of logic almost made me change my course and just go home. But I decided against it. After all, I was there now.

I think I was actually shaking as I turned onto the street. My stomach was doing flips. And even though I seemed over him on most days, the thought of seeing that car parked there again made me sick. “Why are doing this to yourself?” I searched myself for a valid answer until I came up with this.

The reason we put ourselves through what seems to be a torment, is actually a necessary evil. I concluded that while I didn’t want to see that, maybe the reality of it would bring my heart to the realization that our relationship was over. See apparently, my heart & my head were still in disagreement. I feel like maybe it was my head that led me there, in hopes of proving to my heart the evidence of what the mind already knew. I know it sounds crazy, but when women continue to stay with a man who has broken her heart, it’s not because she’s stupid or oblivious to the facts of what he’s done. In her head, she knows what it looks like, but that doesn’t negate what she feels.