Life Story

Stuck in a Life Module: The Deja Vu We Wish We'd Get Passed.

Open Tab of a Creator's Mind.

As a best friend of the best friend committee says:

It takes longer for some.

You ever relive the same module repeatedly, so many times that you feel like you should have bypassed this level in life?

This is going to sound strange. But allow me to walk you down memory lane. Do you have a family member who continuously borrows from you? Under similar circumstances? And under those similar circumstances provides you the same broken promises? But you give anyway. Or maybe you don't. Choices.

Ok. Maybe that's not familiar.

Do you have a friend in your circle who constantly complains about his/her spouse? Usually calls around the same time of the month or season of the year? With the same complaints? And you continue to listen OR maybe you ignore the phone calls. Decisions.

Listen ... if none of these scenarios sound familiar. Just think of a pattern in your life that you keep reliving. I'm reliving one now. And I tend to meet that same set of circumstances with the same response. I have been for the past year. You know it's not deja vu until you recognize the pattern.

Furthermore, this is an overload. I know. I'm in my "riddle me this voice" because I don't want to focus on the repeated pattern, the module. It occurred again, this time, last year, similar set of circumstances, different players. 

Instead, I would like for you to focus on the meaning of meeting the same set of circumstances with the same response. It calls for some decoding, a task that is hampered down with other important tasks. But now looking at it using another's lens, what's the Universe trying to tell me?

Some lawyer is reading this and thinking: habit. 

It's exactly that in the legal world. But what's more, in your psycho-analytical world, it's a failed mission. This is my guess. We wouldn't be repeating scenarios, reliving certain sets of circumstances and meeting them with the same response if we were not continuously failing the mission. I'm failing this mission. And I'm supposed to be good at puzzles. But I never completed this puzzle, this module 'priority.' A quick brush off, and I'm typically back in business.

With that said, it is time to get pass this module. I'm exhausted from seeing a different set of players under the same circumstances. I only played Mario 3 but so much as a kid before I moved onto another game. Not sure if you got to give up the game to pass the module or find a secret door. Only time will tell this time around.

Sh*t Gets Hectic. The Level Up process is exhausting. What will you change about your behavior today to pass the module and level up?

Open Tabs: Now That I've Failed the Bar Exam ... What's Next?

This post is about the beginning of failure ... failing in the public eye ... and how I can still get up every day with good intentions and a new plan.

Kap-Cher Failure in a Flashback

I remember the first time I failed the bar exam. It was a hot summer's day, and I was at work, reviewing documents. I was getting antsy because there was a quiet murmur about the office. My every day environment was and is occupied with both Attorneys and Juris Doctors (to be attorneys). And the air gets real thick and suffocating when the bar rejections/approval letters are being mailed to candidates. The jerks in the office ask you about your results before you even get them. The other jerks want to make comments on their success on a bar exam. It's all hazing. But for the most part, people in the office are decent and somewhat compassionate (at least to your face). DUN DUN DUN DUNNN. What more can you ask for?

Anyway, I exited my pod after getting a text from my study partner on his success. I left the room to phone him and congratulate him on his success. And I remember tearing up just then. Somehow I knew I had failed. But he was comforting; he reassured me that I didn't because we studied all night and day for three months. On top of that, I was dating an asshole attorney who wasn't much help either. Don't do this! Don't date while studying for the bar, if you can manage it. Or stay with the person you dated throughout law school. My advice is not the holy grail, but it's reasonable. (Reasonableness matters in law. It's so easy to deviate a strict course. I was triggered.) Furthermore, I was solving problems for my family and friends. What trouble did not follow?

I remember the gate wouldn't open as I pulled up to the garage. I pounded my key fob 100x over to get it to work. It didn't budge. I wrestled with my key fob with sweaty palms, praying to the Lord to give me a sign that I passed and not to let my last three months be in vain. "Lord, don't you remember I worked full time to keep all of my things, and it hurt badly, so I'mma need that pass Lord. Who haven't I helped in the past few months? Give me a sign." The dialogue went something like that. I can't quite remember.

But wait, why do we think if we over-extend ourselves, there's a reward ... bonus points awaiting us? Like there will be extra points on Earth? I truly believe that fallacy starts with Christian teachings. But ... I'm not going to go there with y'all today. I no longer over-extend myself, and I only have two cheeks, so you'll be addressed. You're welcome.

Back to the story.

A car then pulled in behind me, and the driver must've saw me struggling and buzzed the gate for me. I parked at the closest parking space, leading to the apartment building's second floor entrance.

The mailroom greeted me at the door, all painted in a deep purple. I hurried over to my mailbox, and remember getting a slight headache. You ever get filled with emotion and feel a sharp pain ... in your damn head? That's it. 

Anyway ... so I opened the mailbox, and there was a manilla envelope addressing my fate. I grabbed it quickly and held it to the light. It was as if I needed a preview to prepare myself for the main event. I kept looking for "Congratulations" then thought the lighting failed me. I turned to the hallway and swore the lighting failed me again ... but then I looked closely as I reached my front door and stomped really loudly in disgust. There was no "Congratulations!" There wasn't shit there but some words I could not make out. I called my study partner and asked him to come downstairs (he lived in the building) to open this letter for me and read my results. 

As we entered the apartment, I remember the apartment being in disarray. It had only been 4 weeks since I've stopped studying and had gone back to working full-time. So I had little energy to clean more than once a week. I opened the patio door to let in fresh air. I was sweaty, hot all over, ecstatic and frustrated. He looked at me and asked if I was ready. I sat down. He read the results: "We regret to inform you that you did not pass the North Carolina Bar Examination for February 2017." Heart sunken, I just stared at him.

"I'm sorry, Denise. But you know this stuff. You'll get it next time," said he. 

After a brief discussion, he left my apartment. Soon after, I opened a rich bottle of Cabernet that was given to me on my birthday. I saved it for my bar results ... for a glass of celebration. But it worked as a temporary fix for this occasion too. My phone had already been ranging off the hook with friends and family and fake friends asking about my results. I employed the silent option on my phone. People's anxiousness and anticipation for happenings in my life became a part of my anxiety. I felt like I had to meet those expectations.

So whenever I experience disappointment (or succeed), I go into isolation. Some people view this as a sign of depression or an onset of it, but it is not. I think every living soul should take a moment to recharge and regroup. If a plan can be devised during this time, then great. But personally, I don't force it. I use the time to breathe, in silence, quietly, leaving wine optional. "But of course, Dear!" 

After a while, I may put on some of my favorite jams. The first time, I rehashed the time and money spent and wondered why it didn't end in a WIN. A rehearsal of events was not good. I spent time looking for that flawed moment, things I could have improved, etc. I obsessed over this exam. I had post-its all over my bedroom walls, kitchen cabinets, bathroom mirrors of rules for different subjects. I had Critical Pass cards and my personal index cards spread across my work desk. Outlines were neatly organized and stacked at the corner of my desk. These are snapshots of my home. These are snapshots of a determined woman. 

As the weeks passed, I found a new respect for myself and more audacity. My biggest fear was failing, publicly. How will they see me now? You know ... a person close to me once said: "Well, you look good." It's cool that I'm attractive. I'm thankful for the good genes and a strong sense of style. That's a humble brag. But in moments like this, "Attractiveness" is placed at the bottom of the totem pole where "Accomplishment" is at the head. I want to be remembered as "Audacious, Intelligent, Successful with a heart of gold then Beautiful." In that order. 

How the Experience will Make Me a Better Lawyer

Well, I've gotten to the "IDGAF what people say about my bar exam journey" and "stop calling my damn phone so much" stage. I thinned my herd and kept my original friends. I'm actually having a lot of fun being my socialite self. Right because law came later, and it doesn't define me. It's a part of my arsenal. That's it.

In all, I'm just a spiritual soul having a life experience, in my Eckhart Tolle voice. Stuff will happen, and if I'm lucky, I get to party another day.

I hope this inspires a Do-Gooder or a Go-Getter to keep going.  xo.

P.S. Snag a Hustler's R Us shirt. That'll remind you.


Open Tab: How Can Women Get Along with Other Women?

"It is said that 8 means the creation of new order or the beginning." --Nikkipanache

This past weekend I attended Appalachian State University's homecoming with seven other women. 

I often hear women complain about how they don't make friends easily with other women or how they have a string of Stephen King-like tales of shady women-friends. And it all sounds terrible. And I get it. But I believe that you have to be weary of people, in general, have faith, and try to live the best life possible. I know that sounds like unicorns and rainbow fairy tales to you right now. You're probably thinking: "How Sway?! When there are real-life monsters out there!" I understand your grief as I enjoy Sword and Scale podcast and know that everyday monsters are real. Apparently, we are among 2 billion un-triggered sociopaths. Listen to the podcast. Don't quote me on that.

But back to this girls trip. It was amazing. We all got along. We are a dynamic group: one teacher, an attorney/teacher, a coordinator, sales executive, healthcare counselor, an athletic director,  another counselor and myself. We had a difference of opinions on different subjects, but we all agreed that a good time required laughing, dancing, singing, timely coordination (which we failed at the entire trip--LOL) and lots of food and cocktails. It was harmonious. It was bonding.

We stayed peacefully in a cabin on the mountain; a cozy cabin that smelled of cedar. It had three sleepers, a loft, and two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a hot tub, two fireplaces, and a wrap-around patio.

Oh, sidetone: I picked up some palo santo sticks and homemade soap (Nigerian and Fireside) at Dancing Moon, a store on King Street. I shopped there while in undergrad for incense, natural herbs, and other fun stuff. No; I never purchased the witchcraft books. This store has been around forever, and it is simply one of my favorite stores. So I just had to share it with the girls.

But I digress. 

In all, we created some great memories and simply enjoyed one another. And I say all of this to give you a recipe of success ... on how women can get along with other women on a trip ... or just in general. While the lesson seems remedial, it's going to be helpful to someone. So let's get right to it.

1. Respect: The circles of women about which I roam are of women who have a general respect for humanity and for other women. They share a great appreciation of life and for the next person. Sometimes having respect means letting someone have their moment of grief, happiness, joy, sorrow, whatever without interjecting your own personal opinions, competitive spirit, or yourself (basically). Let people be who they are. When you are ok with yourself, you can be completely ok with others being themselves. 

2. Keep Your Judgments to Yourself: No one's life is picture perfect. People make mistakes all the time. I find that if there's a difference of moral compass or opinions, it's more helpful to seek understanding than to begin to draw a stark contrast of who you are against who they are. For example, if a woman tells you something personal about herself that doesn't necessarily sit quite right with your spirit, seek understanding through questioning (no deposition). Like my mama said, "if you ain't got nothing nice to say, don't say nothing at all." The same holds true with this saying: "If you don't know what to say, don't say anything at all." This goes back to respect and not injecting yourself in the mix. "Everything ain't about you, Sis!" 

3. First, Compassion. But Don't Take Them Home with You: You can be nice to people all day long and be decent. And your niceness doesn't have to lead to complete friendship. Kindness costs you nothing. I think we're missing compassion amongst women, and this missing element frustrates human connection. Figure out how to tap into into this if you haven't already. I had to work on my delivery. My delivery would be dressed up in expletives and fast talking. Now, I just add a soft touch through choice of words. It's a skill. It can be developed. Be cautious, folk will see your compassion as an invitation to a friendship. If you're like me, you've run out of capacity to handle just another friendship, so you have to be clear with people/women when you say, "I'd gladly be your acquaintance, but I have more than enough people to love on right now." Ok; don't say that, but figure out a way. I just tell people: "I can't take on any more friends, but we can be cool." I'm still filling my cup, so no apologies there.

4. Spring from a place of positivity because HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. It's simple. If you're hurting about something or in a difficult place (harvesting bad energy), ask yourself if what you're about to say is coming from a positive or negative place. I mean ... just slow down your reaction. 

Having had a good time this past weekend, we will do another "For Colored Girls Retreat" as our homecoming trip next year. It is invite-only. But I encourage you to start your own. But you cannot use the name, best friend said so! LOL.

In sum, the number eight in this case symbolizes the beginning of a retreat worth having every year. You need your girlfriend-only rituals. It makes the bond stronger.

That's it. Now go out and practice. Be positive, transparent, but not naive. And furthermore, be blessed. This is a how you BEYT all the goodness in life, generally. BEYT shirts loading soon.



P.S. I think the next post will be about how I was nearly stabbed in a workplace.