Slower

As I sat perusing through regular television channels for something to peak my interest, I stumbled upon one of my favorite channels, WHYY (which I just discovered it’s the acronym for Wider Horizons for You and Yours!). Mary Ann Esposito was cooking with a guest chef, Martin Yan, and they were making Italian and Asian rice dishes, both of which made my mouth water within only a few minutes of tuning into ththe program. From what I saw, her guest made a fried rice topped with mint and crunchy noodles. She then finished up her dish, which was a creamy risotto with saffron that I wanted to jump through the screen and steal the whole pot! 

It was the program following Mary Ann’s Ciao Italia that brought back so many memories, I was inspired to write this post. It reminded me of the times when I felt like I was so bored out of my mind that I sat and watched cooking shows all afternoon, times that I didn’t want to be home, but I didn’t have any other choice- these moments eventually turned into times when I was glad to be tuned in because I had developed a love for cooking. 

Lidia Bastianich is a world known Italian chef that has been cooking since before I was born. Her show that aired today, Lidia’s Kitchen was almost an instant favorite for me. The way that she shared classic Italian recipes with such ease and knowledge, made dishes for each course of the meal, and used a variety of ingredients, challenged me to apply her techniques to my own cooking. 

I even loved the fact that she always told stories about her family and traditions that were passed down through many generations. Another shocking fact that I recently found out, her son is Joe Bastianich from Master Chef (another one of my favorite shows)! Joe was the cold shouldered judge who you really had to impress to get even a small nod at your dish. I actually miss him on the show, but I heard he was doing big things on Master Chef Italy so I’m okay with that. 

For today’s episode, Lidia was cooking everything with some cheese. Maybe I should have told her that this wouldn’t be the best ingredient for me to be using or consuming, but I still went with the flow because she’s Lidia and she knows her stuff. My favorite dish was a cheese pastry she made with a funky cheese, I think Gorgonzola…it looked like a great appetizer or side dish. 

When the show was over I sat there reflecting on those memories I mentioned earlier. Sometimes as children and adolescents we don’t appreciate time for what it is (atleast I can see that I didn’t). We want everything to hurry up instead of taking the time to enjoy each moment. Thank God I have reasons to slow down now. I cherish the times when I can sit and enjoy shows like this, these moments are fewer and farther in between, but more meaningful. 

Slow down,

-Jay

Hair Struggles

Let me take the time to adequately set the tone for this sad, sad story (cue violin). Exactly 3 years ago when I graduated from college, I decided it would be a good idea to change up my look. At the time that “look” included straight hair, button ups, khakis, and flats. After much time contemplating what would elevate my look overall, I decided on a haircut. A minor move for most normal adults, but not myself. I had about 2 other “haircuts” in my life and one of those was an accident (I’ll save that story for a later date).

As I began my Google search I asked myself, “Do I want to look like Meagan Good or Kelly Rowland? What haircut would really compliment my round face? Should I try a new color as well?” I had so many questions so I decided to run my idea by my stylist. Her response was something like, I knew this was coming. She knows how I get, she gets me. I go through phases with my hair where I just want to be done with my normal routine. Is there a name for this sickness??

Her suggestion was to start with a weave before I made my final decision so that I could see how I liked my selected style without being locked into my decision. I winded up opting for a simple, sassy, luscious bob that was a sew in (weave). Most people thought I had actually cut my hair (mission accomplished). I too was thrilled, until I took the weave out (cue heavy, deep sigh)…then it was right back to square one.

I couldn’t handle it! When I looked in the mirror I did not like what I saw. The hair on my head was just there. There was no twinkle in my eye, no pep in my step- the hair had to go!

As I again sat in my stylist’s chair, I told my girl, “Let’s do this!” I didn’t know exactly what my new look would be, but I could only hope that it would be better than the last. I took my wonderful “weaved bob” to the next level with my own hair. Yess…I took that major step and chopped inches off. If you’re thinking, Girl bye, people cut their hair everyday. Umm…hol’ up, hol’up. People might be doing that, but not me. Change really isn’t my thing especially when it comes to my appearance. In fact, it was scary to see my own bundles on the floor, but I released my fears and embraced the change.

Sadly, this new do lasted amount a month (if that, I can’t really remember). What I do remember is disliking the way that my hair looked straightened after a few days and when the back started to stick up, I could never figure out a way to lay it back down without curling it. Soo…back to square one, AGAIN. That’s it! Somebody say a prayer for me and this head.

At my next hair appointment I walked in the shop and demanded it all off. “I don’t need it, what’s the point, I’m over it!” Before I knew it, I was in the chair with my fingers crossed and hands clenched. Each time she combed through my hair and snipped her scissors I wanted to peek in the mirror. What did I wind up with??

The cutest mushroom that I had no idea how to maintain on my own, but I had no choice, but to learn.  For months I loved my look. I would wear it wet or dry, curled or straight- I was good either way.

Fast forward to the next year. I thought I hit my head because I realized what I had done. I barely had hair on the back of my neck, a ponytail was impossible, and the in between look was blah. Unfortunately, once the big chop is made there’s no turning back.

My advice, if you are thinking about changing your look, I would encourage you to take the time to really think about your decision so you don’t go back and forth like I did. Especially when you are not such a fan of change. When you get an idea of what you want to change, research and ask a few friends what they think. There’s no real formula for getting it right, but atleast you can do it better than me.
Change is good.

-Jay 😊
P.S. I’ll upload pictures soon.

 

Update: As promised here are pictures of my transformation! (I could NOT find pictures of my weaved bob.)

 

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Natural bob 2014

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Straight Mushroom 2014

 

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Curled Mushroom 2014

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Natural Mushroom 2014

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Grow-out 2015

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Grow-out 2016

Reset

Everyone knows that I was raised a “church girl”- I went every Sunday from sun up until sun down and many days in between. There wasn’t a banquet, luncheon, christening, revival, fundraiser, or funeral that I missed (to say the least). As a child I felt like a hostage because my weekends were shot and I could never have “fun”. I wanted to hang out with my friends, go out to eat, or see a good movie. I didn’t understand the foundation that was being laid because I was caught up in my wants. 

It wasn’t my fault though because that’s what children do, but now as a parent I can see the true value of routine and consistency in a child’s life. A parent’s job is to share the knowledge they have with their children and pray that the children heed the information. (Literally pray because when this information is mixed with stuff from their peers and the internet, the result can be catastrophic!)

But what is fun? Is fun being able to hang out with your friends shopping? Is fun spending hours glued to the television watching reality shows? Clearly fun is a relative term and I’ve come to realize that my fun is more about love these days. I want the love of my husband, teach my children how to love, and share my love with the world. One of the scriptures speak to this in 1 Corinthians 13: 11-13:

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I’m resetting my life to focus on my own growth. Letting go of childish thoughts and decisions will help substantially on this challenging journey. I hope that you too will look at those things in your life that are holding you back and let go of them so that you may grow. Oh, and love more. 

Stay blessed, 

Jay 🖖🏾