Thank you, 2016 and Goodbye!

As i’m sitting on my living room sofa, grateful for the year that i’ve had, I’m thinking about so much. I’m thankful to the Most High God for EVERYTHING…including the not-so-great moments, which really weren’t that bad actually.

For me personally, 2016 was good. I got a chance to work on a few productions, which allowed me to meet some really cool people. I had a part time job that kept me afloat and allowed for free time to be apart of those productions. Imagine the look on my face when one of my friends went to a movie premiere and texted me a screenshot of my name in the credits!img_8622

I also stepped out of my comfort zone and served the community, which is what I wanted to do. I became an active member of my church family and even though we are a very small group…MAN…we made and continue to make great strides and impact in our community. If you are ever in the Atlanta area, come check out Building Communities First…formerly known as Buckhead Community Fellowship.

 

I also worked for a casting and production company called WSA Casting…that’s Winsome Sinclair and Associates. Winsome Sinclair is one of the most sought after Casting Directors on the East coast. Google her or check her IMDb. She’s the real deal. I wore so many hats working there and had a blast doing it. One of the things i mostly enjoyed was being the Showrunner for their weekly inter web show called “Actors Scope”. I even designed the Actors Scope logo. I am very proud of that.

I also revamped my YouTube channel, “I.Am.Tash” by highlighting black owned businesses. My YouTube channel has been on a snooze because I got a full time job at CBS. So having the time and energy to incorporate that creative element has been a little  difficult, but I will start it up again. Bare with me.

At the end of 2015, I attended a vision board party. To my surprise…nearly EVERYTHING on my vision board came to fruition. So I decided to host my own 2017 vision board party to cap off 2016. Me and a couple friends got together to map the greatness that will be 2017 for us. We had a blast.

No one can predict the future, but I do know what I want 2017 to look like for me…and that’s more adventures, new discoveries,  and lessons to shape me into a better version of myself . Here’s to a magnificent 2017. Happy New Year, everyone!dsc00093

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I’ve been hiding, y’all…

Since I’ve been in Atlanta, I’ve been hitting the ground running. Staying focused on why I came back in the first place, which is to pursue a career in media. I’m working on something right now, but I’ll share that another time.

I’ve been real sensitive about people knowing that I’m back in town. You’re probably thinking, “Okay. Then whey are you blogging about it? DUH!” Ya see, I don’t share this blog on Facebook. Facebook to me constitutes the MASSES. Here in my little blog universe, it’s just you guys. I can count on one hand how many people from Facebook are actually followers of this blog. I’m totally okay with that. You’re like the private audience to my life.

Getting back to what I was trying to say earlier…I just didn’t want to run into folk who think I’m crazy for coming out here on FAITH alone. No. I don’t have a job…yet. First thing people typically say when you tell them you relocated is, “Really. So what are you doing? Do you have a job?” and when you say, “Oh…I came on FAITH,” …get ready for “that look”. You know the one..
So I decided that I was gonna hide out (aka not attend church where EVERYBODY will see me) until I land something so my conversation will be equipped with a proper answer to save myself the embarrassment and uneasiness.

Then during a conversation I was having with my niece last night…this happened…
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Y’all, after that conversation and always believing that nothing happens by accident, I said okay, God. Then I woke up early this morning and He had some more to say to me…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge
crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip
off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin
that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance
the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping
our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects
our faith.” – Hebrews 12:1,2

That basically tells me that if I’m taking these huge leaps of faith, claiming to live my life boldly so people can see how God moves in my life…why the heck am i hiding??? Fearful (keyword being FEAR) of ridicule or as they say these days, “shade” from people??? I’m letting my insecurities block what God wants to do or already has waiting for me on the other side.

Strip away the fear. Forget the possible naysayers. Keep your eyes on the One who has already gone before you, Tash! That’s the ONLY way my mustard seed FAITH will grow to the size of one of those Redwood Forest Trees!

My life is suppose to be a sermon. Hiding my sermon under a bush doesn’t give anyone hope that they can step out on faith too and move forward. Quite honestly, since I’ve been here, He’s been nothing short of amazing…taking care of my EVERY need.

I can’t believe I started out bold and strong only to find myself shrinking back in my shell. NOPE! Not happening. And feel free to hold me accountable guys.

I’m going to attend church this weekend, not because I’m hoping someone will be there with an amazing opportunity, but I want to show God that I will continue to let Him shine through me…no matter where I go in this town.

Now does that mean I want you to share this blog on your Facebook page?   Hmmm…baby steps folks…baby steps. LOL However, I most definitely will be in house of the Lord this weekend.

In a new space…

Yesterday, I left South Florida and moved back to Atlanta. Yeah…I know…why would I trade warm weather, sun and surf, the comforts of being near family for frigid temperatures and horrendous traffic? Well it was time for me to act on my faith…some more.

I packed EVERYTHING in my Mini and we were off! Yes...everything fit comfortably.

I packed EVERYTHING in my Mini and we were off! Yes…everything fit comfortably.

Some of you reading this may think, “Wow. She’s all over the place.” That may be, but believe me when I say, my steps are being ordered. I always believe that NOTHING happens by accident.

I interviewed with a few company overseas for ESL Teaching (remember the certification I got?), but they didn’t pan out. So as the year was coming to a close and I already decided that I wasn’t going to go any further with the company I was working with, I decided to relocate back to Atlanta and pursue my first love…Media, since I didn’t hear anything else from overseas.

So here I am. Truth be told…I’ve always wanted to come back here. I always felt I wasn’t quite done with Atlanta when I lived here a couple years ago. I have a new mindset and I’m ready to press forward.

Like I said earlier…i had to activate my faith and faith requires action. God has been showing Himself faithful, as usual, in my life. I know He has paved the way for me. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You create your path when you start walking.

There are 4 things i keep in the forefront of this journey of faith that i’m on and I’m gonna share with you:

1. START YOUR DAY GETTING IN TUNE WITH GOD
When I get up in the morning, I smile because considering what I’ve been through health-wise, I’m so grateful to God for waking me up. I spend time meditating on His word and filling my mind with a positive outlook on what the day will bring. I pray (talk to God). I listen (spend time in His word). It really sets the tone for how I handle my day.

2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE POSITIVE AND MOVING FORWARD
I love that I have friends who are inspiring, empowering, dream-chasers, goal-setters, men and women of ACTION. I’m blessed to have these folk in my life. It keeps me accountable of what I’m doing. When I was in Florida, I had those same friends even though they were far away, but thank God for modern technology like, FaceTime, Facebook, texting, etc. When you surround yourself with these type of people, you feed off each other. It doesn’t drain you. Instead, it encourages personal growth.

3. EXPECT GREAT THINGS, AND GREAT THINGS WILL HAPPEN
This has been my new mantra and I’m telling YOU…IT WORKS!! Every day i say, “Great things are gonna happen today” and it never fails. Whether it’s something big or small, something GREAT ALWAYS happens that day. This keeps me positive and smiling on the inside and most times on the outside too. LOL

4. BE GRATEFUL
Through out the day or at the end of my day, i go through rolodex of my mind and write down or say out loud the things that i’m grateful for that happened THAT day. Having an attitude of gratitude keeps complaining away, keeps fear away, and allows me to see how the hand of GOD moves in my life.

How do you start your day? What 4 things keep you focused on your journey? Please share them with me. I’d love to read them.

Well, i have to get up and get moving. It’s time to continue putting one foot in front of the other. Have a wonderful Sunday folks!

“I have breast cancer and it’s stage 4.”

“I have breast cancer and it’s stage 4.” Those were the words that came out of my niece’s mouth when she Facetimed me last week. I didn’t want to show her a sad face, but I also didn’t want to dismiss what she told me. My facial expression didn’t really know what to do.

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We continued our conversation with jokes and laughs as we usually do. After I hung up though, I couldn’t help but think, “Maaaaaan i need to go and get my yearly mammogram done like yesterday.”

Lately, it has been a series of bad news. People my age dying left and right and it can really **** your mind up. I know it’s all apart of life, but still…it can be a real downer.

Last night I found out that a guy I went to college with died suddenly. He had some sudden complications in his stomach and delayed going to see a doctor after his mother urged him to and when I finally did…it was too late.

With that lingering on my brain, I got up this morning and went downtown for a mammogram. I was hoping they would take me because I didn’t have an appointment. They saw me with no problems.

What REALLY prompted me to go immediately is I’ve been having sharp twinges in my breast for the past two days now. When I got up this morning, my right arm, just near my armpit felt strange…like I pulled a muscle from lifting weights or something.

I can’t even lie to you guys. I was scared going in this morning. Last year I had a mammogram done and they said everything was fine. However, they called me back a week later with an “Ooops” call to tell me that they actually found three 8mm sized bumps or lumps or something, but it was nothing for me to worry about.

I went back last week to set up an appointment and wouldn’t you know these clowns disappeared. No warning of moving or anything. Well I explained all that to the attendant this morning at the hospital and she said I could check with my previous doctor for records and have them transfer all my records to my current doctor.

As i’m typing this post, I keep getting these sharp pangs in my right breast. I’m trying so hard not to worry or panic. I’m human. So i am gonna worry a little, but I have to keep reminding myself that GOD has me and NONE of this came as a surprise to HIM.

Maybe it’s a good thing my surgery has been delayed so I could get this mammogram stuff taken care of first. And yes…I’m still waiting for my insurance to approve and give us a date.

This journey keeps getting more and more interesting…

Hiatus…

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Since I’ve finished school last March, I started working out again to occupy my time and get back in shape. I started running as well. Joined a nationwide movement called Black Girls Run. Running has become something I enjoy even though I do intervals, which burns more calories by the way.

My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday and then for a month I’ll be at home recovering. The first question I asked my doctor was…you guessed it, “When can I start running again?” She said it’s gonna be at least six weeks or so. We don’t want stitches poppin out and what not. Maaaaaaan it is killing me to know that I’ll be on this hiatus until doc gives me the okay. Oh well…

Oh! I finished module 2 of my TEFL certification. WHOOP! WHOOP! I figure if I do 3 modules for the next 4 weeks, I’ll be done by mid October. Good stuff!

Time to get up now!

I’ve been thinking…I’ve been thinking…

Hello there! Sitting at the edge of my bed and decided to post something. As the title says, “I’ve been thinking…I’ve been thing…” not what you probably think if you’re a Beyoncé fan. I’ve been seriously thinking about seeking employment elsewhere…elsewhere meaning…leaving the country. Yup! I’ve been looking for a job for over a year and as time goes by, bills are mounting and i’m not getting interviews. I’m looking for more in my life. I’m looking for more than just a new and better paying job…I’m looking for a new experience overall. For the past three years my brother has been in my ear about teaching English abroad. I don’t know anything about teaching, but at this point what do I have to lose. Living in a whole other country will open my eyes to so many things plus I’ll get a chance to travel and see the world. I’ve been researching, talking to friends who are currently living overseas, and praying. Welp, I’ve made my decision and I’m gonna do it. I’m going to start my TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification on Friday. It will be an online course and I’m nervous and excited. I don’t know where I’ll end up. I could be in South Korea, Japan, Costa Rica, UAE or my dream location…Italy next year. It’s time for something new. If you want changes in your life, then you gotta make moves.

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Don’t Really Know What To Call This Post…

I’m realizing that the more I blog, as infrequent as it is, the more I keep sharing my spiritual epiphanies. This blog was suppose to be about random stuff, but it keeps getting personal for some reason. *shrugs*

Over the past year, I’ve been looking for a job. Not just a job actually, more like a career opportunity. I already have a job, but it’s not enough to live on and when you got grown woman bills, $10/hr can only go but so far. Recently i got a call from a recruiter from a staffing agencies. After speaking with her last Wednesday, it sounded like this would be a great opportunity. So we set up an appointment to meet on Friday. Well I got up that Friday morning, excited, encouraged and ready to put my best foot forward. I left the house early so I could get there fifteen minutes early and time enough to find the place in Miami. Without going into too much detail (I probably should have vlogged this post) everything that could go wrong…went wrong. I was driving around in circles for 2 hours. My GPS kept sending me the wrong place, which was quite unusual because I NEVER have problems with my GPS…NEVER. I called the office to let them know i was lost and didn’t know where i was. The receptionist tried to help me plugging the cross streets i gave her so she could guide me to the office. Wouldn’t you know her computer shut down right in front of her? In fact, all the computer systems shut down at that very moment. At this point i was sweating bullets and ready to spit flames. I tried my GPS again which only made matters much worse. I was more lost than I was before. I pulled over and called the recruiter to let her know that we should cancel the interview because i couldn’t find the place and i was so angry that I didn’t want to bring that energy to the interview. She was kind and understanding of my dilemma. When I hung up the phone, I cried and screamed so hard. My lungs felt like it was coming out of my chest. After about five minutes of sobbing, i lifted my head only to see a light flashing on my car saying that my tire pressure was low. I got out of the car only to find the right front tire completely to the ground. Now I was on fire. I got back in my car and began screaming and yelling at God. I was so angry at Him. I haven’t been this angry with God since my troubled marriage which was 10 years ago. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?? YOU’RE THE ONE IN CONTROL!!! ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF WATCHING ME GO THROUGH THIS CRAP?!?!??”  To matters even worse, it started raining. A storm was on the way. I’m sitting there like WTF! Eventually two gentlemen pulled over to help me with the tire and although it took me two hours to get back home…i got home safely. 

It took me all weekend to calm down from being angry with God. I’ve heard people say, “Praise Him and thank Him when you’re in the storm”. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t do that nor was i in the mood. It wasn’t until this morning that I thanked Him for what happened on Friday. Now, I didn’t thank Him with glee (just being honest) but I thanked Him with the understanding that He allowed all those obstacles to take place because He didn’t want me to miss out on what’s really waiting for me around the corner or He was preventing me from something that would have destroyed me. I don’t know. Only time will tell. 

As i was on my knees talking to Him this morning about everything and why i felt the way I did, it occurred to me that I have soooooo many resources available to me to “create” my own opportunity. Why am i not doing it? Fear. Laziness. Unmotivated. Then I thought, “Tash, by your allowing fear, laziness and being unmotivated, you quite possibly could be blocking somebody else’s blessing.” I’m so busy focusing on what i want and how i want things to go that i forgot that blessings are not meant to be hoarded. Blessings are to be shared. I’m blessed with amazing gifts and talents (some i haven’t even discovered yet) to help somebody else realize their potential or bless them in some other way. I’m reminded that it’s not about me. I’m on this earth for a purpose that is not JUST about me. 

I always say that “nothing happens by accident”. I was too busy being angry at God over the weekend that I forgot my own mantra. Everything that happened on Friday was not a surprise. He knew. Maybe all of that needed to happen so I could come to the realization this morning that every resource available to me is in front of me and I’m wasting time with it and ultimately blocking somebody’s blessing. I could be waaaaay off base here, but I’ll go with it.  

Boy oh boy…i tell you…this relationship i have with God is so real to me. Just like in any relationship…you get mad, you need to cool off and apologies end up happening. SMH. (sorry…i digress)

I’m not gonna tell you that I’m gonna get off my tail and hop to it because i’ve said that before to myself and i’m still in the same place. I’m just gonna DO. 

Ain’t Slowin Down…

photoIt’s a Saturday night and as usual, I’m home in bed. I was on my way to a lovely sleep, but that was rudely disturbed by someone who has zero regard for anybody else’s rest other than her own…but that’s a blog for a NEVER time.

Typically I would be working on a school project right about now, but it’s Spring Break! Yeah…I should be in some tropical hotspot living it up or maximizing on some serious relaxation after the the quarter I had…right? Welp…no can do. Firstly, I already live in a tropical hotspot. Secondly, I really can’t relax too much because I have to prepare for April because stuff is about to get crunk. Thirdly (is that even a word?), living lavida loca (did i just date myself? oh wait…you already know my age) is out of  the question when you’re low on funds…temporarily.

So what am i gonna do during Spring Break? I still have my radio show…so I’ll be doing that.  Even though I can’t tutor my elementary kids because they’re on Spring Break too, that frees up a lot (and unfortunately no pay for me) of time for me to work on my presentation. I have a Broadcasting Club trip coming up next month. We’re going to Washington D.C. and I’m really excited about that. My professor asked me to do a 5 minute presentation on “How To Set Personal Goals”. That shouldn’t take too long to prepare. Then right after I come back from that trip, I have a conference in Hollywood (not California) where I’m one of the student speakers. So I’ll be working on my speech this week too.

Did I also mention that my new internship begins April 1st? Yeah…gotta mentally prepare for that. I’ll be interning at a production company. I think on the first day I’m suppose to be working with Terry Bradshaw…yup…NFL Hall of Famer…on a new show he’s working on. I can’t wait!

Seems like the pre-hectic has already started before April makes an appearance. So here’s what April will look like: Internship, taking Radio III course, tutoring, still doing my radio show (The Groove Room with Natasha Nicole…check it out!), trip to DC, speaking at a conference, working my home-based business (trying to earn some extra cash), and running my parents around when they need me. Whew! Jesus give me your strength cuz i’m gonna need it!

Staying busy is not an issue for me…I actually forgot I prayed about this. I tend to do that a lot…forget the conversations I have with God. Last year around this time, when I was working for Anthropologie, I told God, “I’m not doing anything other than working at a clothing store. I’m bored. I feel useless.” Well guess what…He answered. LOL But you know what? I’m grateful because even though I do get tired and sometimes overwhelmed to a point of tears, I’m having a blast. Tears are okay…it’s a cleansing mechanism. I cry it out, wipe my face and keep it steppin.

I had to start using my planner again to keep up with myself. It fills up pretty quickly at times, but it also keeps me on task. Time is going by so quickly. I have to remind myself to pause for a second and take it all in while i’m on this amazing journey. So much more to come! I can’t even imagine what’s around the corner. So far the surprises have been great and I like surprises…good ones anyway.

Celebrate Life!

Ev and meI’m up earlier than I liked to be right now, but I guess this is what happens when you take a quick midnight trip to the loo and can’t go back to sleep…you add an entry to your blog.  *shrugs*

One year ago today I started this blog. It started on my 40th birthday. I wanted to do something different. However, if you’ve been following me, i’m sure you’ve noticed that this blog took a turn.  Ha! I hope you enjoy it anyway.  Usually when my birthday comes around, I take a “birthday trip” anywhere.  Last year I was in Columbus, OH celebrating my 40th birthday with my other family. Unfortunately, my celebration took a nose dive when I got a call from my niece that her Dad passed away. He was sick for quite some time and the Lord decided to put him to sleep.  How in the world do you celebrate after getting news like that??  It was a bitter sweet day to say the very least.  Throughout that day I found it hard to be my usual happy-go-lucky self.  Thank God I had a whole lot of love surrounding me that day and my family made sure that I still had a great 40th birthday…and I did.  It was a day mixed with tears and laughter.

I heavily contemplated writing anything at all about this. But I couldn’t start my FABULOUS 41st BIRTHDAY without first remembering my brother-in-law, Everette.  He was the coolest person I knew and I know that God personally designed him for my sister. She can be a handful 😉  He loved his children dearly, he loved family, he was an awesome cook, always had a calming spirit, and can always make you laugh even when you’re mad.  Today, not only do I celebrate my life…I celebrate his life.  Right now…he sleeps until that loud trumpet will sound. (1Thessalonians 4:16-18) Can’t wait to see him again!

Death is inevitable for all of us. However, the beauty of this life is that we can CHOOSE to celebrate life every day…and not just on birthdays.  Yes…we’re human and remembering the loss of a family member or friend can bring about a sadness. It’s a common emotion. We also have the emotion of happiness where we can reflect on the wonderful and great memories about that person and how they’ve impacted our life in some way.  Thank God sadness isn’t the ONLY emotion we have. So today, CELEBRATE LIFE…if you’ve lost someone…CELEBRATE THEM…HONOR THEM BY CELEBRATING YOUR LIFE.  That’s what I’m gonna do! R.I.P. Ev! See ya later bruh! AND HAPPY  41ST BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!! xoxo

Q56. Who would play you in a movie about your life? Is it a good movie?

“My name is Renata. I would say Jennifer Beals. Yes! I think number one…that is a very good question because I’m a professional actress myself. And two…I think Jennifer is a great person who is fun and free-spirited and she loves photography! She is just a good human being. So I think that represents me well…I hope. LOL! Yeah. She’s had a lot of fun in her life and we’re pretty similar. It would be a good movie. LOL!”

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