Time has slipped by, and no matter how hard I try to reach back and hold on to it, I can’t. Sleepless nights with crying infants… gone. Toys scattered across the floor… gone. Sticky fingerprints on the refrigerator door… gone.
And I don’t know where the time went.
My baby, my beautiful boy, is now a young man. And as he closes out his last year in middle school, I have mixed emotions. Pride. So much pride for the smart, kind young man he is. But it’s bittersweet because I know one day he will spread his wings and venture out into the world… without me.
There’s a fear that once he leaves, he won’t come back. That he’ll be gone forever. But I push that fear aside because I know no matter what path my son takes, he will always come home. He will come home because our house was built on a strong foundation. A foundation of acceptance, of love, of hope, of dreams.
So I take a deep breath and I blink back the tears as I stroll around my home, stopping at one frozen memory hanging on my wall for a moment before moving on to the next.
One tear slides down my cheek, then another. Because no matter what the future holds, the past was beautiful. It was ours. And the future? It’s his. And I have no doubt that greatness awaits him. He is going to take life in the palm of his hand and own it.
But his mama? She will be here on the sidelines, cheering and snapping new frozen memories.
Oh, how I love Pitch Wars. But mostly because of the awesome Discord group I gained from tossing my manuscript into the mentoring program. Team Velvet Steel is a group that is a riot. From obsessing over Rhys in the ACOTAR series to Cardan in TCP to mulling over dark characters, they keep things entertaining. And amid all the stabby-stab characters, they create spreadsheets and praise each other’s work.
In the query trenches, it is essential to find a group, or groups, of people who understand the emotional turmoil of putting a manuscript into the world. It isn’t easy. It isn’t for the faint of heart. It doesn’t happen overnight. And waiting…it’s torture.
Every member in Team Velvet Steel pitched their manuscript to Pitch Wars between the 26th to 30th of September. Their pitch consisted of a query letter, a synopsis, and the first chapter of their manuscript. Over the next several weeks, mentors can request more pages and ask questions. And then, it’s radio silent.
Having a group to commiserate with, celebrate with, and hold on to hope with helps fight the mental battle. It is a rollercoaster of emotions. So why not ride it with a group instead of riding solo? I promise it is much more entertaining.
There are a little over two weeks left until the chosen mentees are announced. And even if I’m not picked, I will celebrate those who were—especially those from Team Velvet Steel. They will take the world by storm…one word at a time. And I’m here for it.
The world is a big place. Fear of the unknown can be debilitating. It can wrap you in its dark web and kill your dreams faster than anything, or anyone, else can.
But the best things come from the moments when we’re scared.
From the moments when we’re afraid of rejection. From the moments when we’re unsure of what’s next.
Fear can cripple you, or it can feed you: it’s your choice.
Fear-wrapped dreams are not uncommon. Aspiring singers, actors, authors—all their goals are wrapped in fear. But each day, they choose to go out and conquer their fear. They decide to try again no matter how many times they’re rejected. With each rejection, there’s knowledge gained. There’s an innate desire to become better, to do better, that drives the dreamers.
Life is about growing; it’s about learning; it’s about perseverance.
Fall, then get back up.
Face your fears and let your worries fuel your desire to overcome your obstacles. Breakthrough the fear and become the person you’re destined to be.
Don’t be afraid to take chances. Don’t be afraid to reach for the impossible. Don’t be afraid of rejection. We all take chances that bear no fruit. We all run for the impossible and fail. We all face rejection in our lives.
If you’re in your twenties, enjoy your youthful looks and resilient body, because one day, that shit’s gonna be gone, and no matter how much you fight to get it back, your metabolism, AKA Beth, is gonna straight up laugh in your face and add a flab of fat underneath your neck and give you a whole new perspective on the word ‘jowl’. To add icing to that ham-hock neck of yours, if you try to run like you used to, your once-upon-a-time resilient muscles, AKA Jane, is gonna make you think you have it in you, then she’s gonna shred your muscles like it’s pulled pork, and you’ll be out of commission for weeks… if not months.
Getting older is painful. Beth and Jane don’t cooperate like they used to. If you even look at a cupcake Beth slows down, pops five pounds on your right ass cheek, and wipes the sweat off her forehead like she performed some great mission that saved mankind. Jane isn’t much better. If you lift your leg in an attempt to use a stepstool, Jane freaks the f*ck out, and yanks on your hamstring. You land with a resounding thud on your derriere as you scream like a toddler clinging to a toy they can’t have.
Shit gets real when you creep toward your forties.
Your medicine cabinet, the one you barely used, gets crammed with medicines and ointments you’d never heard of before. The Pepto commercials you laughed at… that pink shit’s now your right hand girl. Tums turns into a nightly event. Bengay becomes a new, smelly friend you use like deodorant.
The funny thing is… if you’re reading this and you’re in your twenties… you think it’ll never happen to you.
You run five miles a day.
You eat healthy.
You drink water.
Bwah ha ha ha…saddle up, cowgirl.
I used to be you. Then Beth and Jane showed up and showed out. Now, I’m hitting up a swimming pool to avoid Jane rupturing my muscles. I’m eating Built Bars and tracking my food on an app as I try to out maneuver Beth’s fat-adding wand that she swishes around like it’s magic fairy dust.
Your thirties are the years you began crashing and burning. You realize how frail you truly are. You’ll have dumb nights where you think you can drink like you did in your early twenties, then Ronda shows up and smacks the shit out of you, giving you a hangover like you’d never had before. Your stomach’s on fire and churns twenty-four hours later, your head pounds, your freakin’ eyeballs hurt.
So, I’m going to enjoy the last few years of my thirties with Beth, Jane, and Ronda as I try to mentally prepare myself for what’s to come in my forties.
Green-blue eyes sparkle with mischievousness as freckled arms wrap around me, a wiry tawny beard jabs my hair, and my body stiffens.
“Hug me,” he demands.
I pat his arm with one hand.
“That’s not a hug,” he scoffs. “Both hands.”
My arms hang loosely around him as he declares, “You suck at giving hugs.”
I snorted. “I’d give better hugs if you didn’t shit yourself every time you hugged me.”
That’s just a snippet of one of the conversations my eighteen-year-old son and I have. He hugs at home, leaving silent-but-deadly presents that linger like a dead carcass on the side of the road on a mid-July afternoon. He thinks it’s hilarious. I don’t.
But to be fair – he gets it honest.
My dad’s the epitome of professionalism when he’s at work. The man is a hazard with any tools, can’t change a tire, struggles tying on a fishing lure. He can, however, leave a trail of deadly fumes in his wake. Something he enjoys doing in his own home as he passes by an unexpecting victim.
My son learned from the expert crop duster, dropping gas like farmers drop pesticides. But when you fight your way out of the fumes, the bearded man-child has a softer side.
He called me yesterday morning asking if I wanted anything to eat. I wasn’t even hungry, but I ordered a sausage biscuit. If my kid offers to pick me up something to eat, and he’s paying for it, I’m ordering something. I don’t care if I vomit afterward. He doesn’t usually buy me breakfast.
Maybe it’s because he walks across the stage this week. Maybe the spokes are turning in his brain, and he’s realizing life’s about to change. He’s no longer a toddler who can hold my hand as he stumbles through life. It’s his life. His choices. There will be mistakes. There will be failures. There will be disappointment. There will be tears. There will be storms. But in the midst of all that, he has an anchor. He has his family.
One thing I’ve tried to instill in my son is that family is forever. There will be people who walk into his life that he thinks will always be there, and they’ll eventually fade out of his life. But… he will always have a home to go to. He will always have an ear to listen to his woes. He will always have his family. When chaos ensues, we will be his anchor.
Today, I’ve been rambling around my house, straightening up, cleaning anything that catches my eye. Pictures hang on my walls. Pictures of my son as a toddler, as a child, as a teenager, as a bearded man-child. Tears prick the back of my eyelids. I scrub the granite countertop, avoiding his face smiling at me through the years.
He’ll walk across the stage tonight, grab the diploma held out to him, and he’ll slide the green-gold tassel dangling from his cap from one side to the other. I’ll paint my face, adding a dash of blush, eyeliner, mascara, knowing that I’ll not make it through the ceremony without crying.
I’ve barely avoided crying as I’ve walked around my home. The ghost of memories cling to every corner, hang from every wall.
Today… I’m a wreck. Tonight… I’ll still be a wreck.
Part of my heart, part of my hopes and dreams, part of my soul is venturing into the world. May he spread his wings and soar. May he fight for the impossible and make it possible. May he stand for what he believes in, even if it means standing alone. May he find joy, love, and peace as he branches off on his own.
More than anything, may he always find his way home.
It’s hard to believe it’s here already. Graduation. When I first held you, eighteen years seemed so far away. Then, I blinked and my baby boy turned into a full-bearded young man.
Parenting doesn’t mean perfect. I didn’t always get everything right. But one thing I did get right was you. Even at nineteen-years-old and scared out of my mind, I never regretted having you. I regretted my choices that would negatively impact you. My boy. My innocent child. I was young, dumb, and didn’t have a clue. Until you were placed into my arms.
I am the woman I am today because of you. One look into your eyes lit a fire inside my soul. I wanted more for you than I wanted for myself. I stopped walking down deadend streets. I reflected on my actions. On my life. And I changed. For you. Because of you.
Love doesn’t mean perfect, baby. It’s a flawed, beautiful thing wrapped in emotional highs and lows. But family is everything. When it feels like everything you’ve worked for is crashing down around you, your family will be there to hold you up. They will be your rock. Your encouragement. Family first. Always.
Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to fail. But most of all, don’t be afraid to love. If I fail at everything else in life, I will take my last breath knowing that I never failed at loving you or your brother.
I have so many hopes for you. But no matter what path you take, no matter how many times you stumble, I will be here to cheer you on or pick you up. Love you. Always and forever.
My partner in crime, my incognito redneck husband, decided to quit smoking. Great, right? Suuure, it is. Don’t let Sharon – AKA the optimism fairy – fool you. It sounds great. Fantabulous, even. But this chick isn’t holding her breath. Not this time. Sharon’s gonna have to sprinkle her optimism fairy dust on some other fool. ✨
As he’s splayed out on the recliner, peering down his phone while he lines up his next shot on some game he’s playing, he casually mentions he hasn’t smoked in three days. My mind races as I do a play-by-play of the last few days, and I can’t recall him rambling to the front porch light one up. Maybe he hasn’t smoked in a few days. But instead of encouraging him, I snorted in disbelief.
I didn’t mean to… the sh*t just came out. Before you write me off, just stay with me for a minute.
Several years ago, the man quit smoking and hadn’t smoked a single cigarette for two weeks, then he told me he needed to wean off of them instead of quitting cold turkey. You wanna know what happened? He weaned right back on them. He made up for the two weeks he didn’t smoke in one day. Not. Even. Kidding.
Anyway, he glances over at me, and the honest fairy 🧚♀️, Ruth, flutters on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, and the hard, ugly truth vomits from my mouth. Fairies are evil little b*tches. Don’t listen to them. Ever.
My sexy, patient husband listens to me as I smile sweetly at him, and I point out the cold, hard facts from the past. That’s right, gents. Us women, we remember everything… until the last breath rattles from our body. Tread lightly.
Two weeks pass, and the man still hasn’t smoked a cigarette. He hasn’t been a grumbling bear tearing through the house as the nicotine withdrawals hit him. I’m a bit shocked, and I now tell him how proud I am of his accomplishment. He mentions buying himself something as a reward, which I whole-heartedly agree to. He discusses how much money we’re saving a year, what others things we can buy or go do with the cost savings, and I’m beaming at him, nodding my head, eyes are sparkly and sh*t. Then he drops the mother luvin’ bomb on me…
Think of how much money we’d save if you gave up chocolate.
I blink once.
My smile falters as I scan his face. This fool is serious. I stomped one foot like an angry toddler as I told him it’d never happen. I need chocolate. Hormones are angry, vicious monsters that need to be fed from time to time. It’s safer for everyone in our household.
He held up his hands, backed up a step, and agreed.
His life almost ended, and he knew it. Smart man.
Y’all didn’t read the title and really think I was quitting 🍫, did you? Blasphemy. It shall never happen. Ever. BFFs for life.
My eighteen-year-old is exhausting. He was once the five-year-old who asked question after question after question. We would be stuck in the mother*ckn car for TEN hours, and he would ask a question. I would answer it. Then, I would hear this:
I would smile, take a deep breath, and answer his question.
I sigh with relief, open a book, and…
🤬 <- That’s what was going through my mind.
That cute, blonde-headed boy with blue-green eyes was exhausting. I should’ve realized it was a sign of what my future would look like. He’s the hugger who leaves a dust of shit clinging in the air, suffocating you as he walks away. He’s the person who clicks his pen the entire time you’re speaking with him. Annoying. As. F*ck.
Recently, I made the decision to get the Covid vaccination. I’ve heard all the conspiracy theories… I’m getting the devil’s mark injected into me… I’m going to die in six months… population control at its finest… Yada, yada, yada. Look, y’all, I don’t care if you choose not to get vaccinated. I follow the beat of my own drum, and I’m gonna do me. Period. Like it, or leave it. IDGAF.
Anyway, after I tell my eldest son… the annoying gremlin… that I’m getting the Covid vaccination, this is the text I get:
I had just taken a drink, and I splattered that sh*t all over my car. F******ck.
My kid’s annoying, but he’s funny… sometimes.
After a scheduling fiasco, I was eventually stabbed in my arm. Afterward, I sat in the chair, and I somehow managed not to pass out. #score
Later that night, my annoying gremlin wants me to pick him up from my sister’s after I explicitly told him earlier in the day I had homework, and I wasn’t going to pick him up hours later. He was either going home with me, or I’d pick him up tomorrow. And… this is the text I get:
I snorted. Rolled my eyes. Not today, glitter tits. Not today.
If you’ve been following my blog for a minute, you know I’m stuck in a house filled with testosterone. I’m flying solo. When you’re the only estrogen in the house, you have to do some dirty sh*t to survive. For example, when the eldest gremlin is annoying me and is being a straight up dick, I tell him I’m flowin’ hard as I shove my hand down my underwear, pull it out and attempt to wipe it on him. Sounds disgusting, right? It absofuckinglutely is. That’s the point. His @$$ got up and moved. He left me alone. My hand might’ve smelled a little fishy, might’ve been tinged pink, but I had peace and quiet. #winning
After the eldest gremlin’s shenanigan’s this past week, I’ve turned up my game. B*tch ain’t gonna know what hit him. I’m struttin’ around like, What? You wanna take a shitty picture of me and draw a motherf*ckn dick in front of my face? That’s cool. I got you.
After I came up with brilliant idea to shave my feminine area, keep whatever came off, and sprinkle that sh*t like fairy dust over him while he’s asleep, I’ve been messing with his head. Here’s a snippet of the first conversation:
In the last picture, he’s trying to figure out if I’m telling the truth or not. Doesn’t matter. It’s in his head, and every time he finds one of his wiry beard hairs in his bed, the thought’s gonna cross his mind that it might be from his momma’s nether regions. Bwah ha ha. Get some, punk.
This morning, I’ve been busy. I’ve been in meetings. I have a job. I don’t get to look at my cell phone every second of the day. This fool has been sending me text messages to call the school to let him check out.
This morning’s conversation for your reading pleasure:
Needless to say, I didn’t call the school.
The moral of this blog is… Don’t f*ck with your momma, bruh. She’s ruthless. #GremlinWars #MommasGotGame #FairyDust
Growing up, I had a rockin’ Grams who had a bright, beautiful soul that radiated kindness. She was unabashedly who she was, and she accepted people for who they were. There are so many instances that I remember her going into a store, seeing an employee who was having a bad day, and she made it her mission to cheer them up. Her bright blue eyes twinkled, she smiled, and her cheerful British accent floated throughout the store. She could call someone a dickhead and make it sound nice. She was an unconventional grandma, but she was absolute perfection.
It wasn’t abnormal for her to tease a family member and call them a ‘bloody bastard’, which would be appalling by some community standards, but it incited laughter and love. She was the one person that we could all go to, leave our souls bared, and she would love us regardless of how many poor decisions we made. That’s love in its purest form.
As human beings, we put so many restrictions on others around us – how they should act, what they should say, what they shouldn’t say, how they should look, how they shouldn’t look – and it’s absolutely exhausting. I’m at the point in my life where I’m stripping away the layers of who everyone else thinks I should be or need to be. I’m going to do me. Be me. Accept it… or leave it.
I live in a small community, and yes, there are a few people with small minds. But… there’s a whole lotta good people, and sometimes, it is easy to let those few small minds cast stones that stick with us for longer than they should. I personally believe that if someone is gay, transgender, or… whatever they are, they should be treated the same as everyone else. They are not pariahs or outcasts. If a young girl isn’t married, and she has a kid, it isn’t the end of the world, and she doesn’t need criticism and judgement. She needs encouragement and love. If there’s a mixed kid, they don’t need to be ostracized or made to feel like they are less simply due to their skin tone. Their mom and dad are free to love each other – regardless of what race they are. When you see a kid’s surname, do not write them off, and label them based on the actions of other people in their family. See past all the bias. Just live and love. It’s that simple.
I also don’t believe women should cater to men simply because they feel obligated to. We are no longer staying at home and solely taking care of our families. We are in the workforce, and bringing home the bacon, so why should we have to cook and serve a man? It’s just not in me, y’all. My gram’s blood runs thick in my veins, and I just can’t do it. My marriage is a partnership, and I have a sexy @$$ husband who isn’t afraid to wash clothes or load the dishwasher. You want to get laid by your wife? Keep the roses, and wash the mother*ckn dishes, bruh.
I’m choosing to live my life according to my own rules. My grams was unconventional, but she was freakin’ awesome, and she’s glammin’ her angel wings. Now, I have one of the last voicemails she left me embedded in a sign on my wall. I can listen to it by simply scanning the QR code. How freakin’ cool is that?
To those feeling suffocated… stop being oppressed by people who will never be part of your life, anyway. Be you. Do you. You’re beautiful. You’re enough. If you’ve experienced feeling judged or have been treated inferior, feel free to drop into the comment section. I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences.
And, if you need some awesome jewelry to go with your bad@$$ self, check out Unique Twist Jewelry here: