R-E-S-P-E-C-T (The Kiddie Version)

I want you all to know I approve this message. Respect starts at home. Teachers can only do so much in a day of 8 hours, while parents have them the other 16 along with Saturday and Sunday, oh and don't forget holidays and vacations. Parents, If you can't instill respect in your children and make them understand that it carries on into school, you have a problem. I can't even begin to explain the level of disrespect I saw with some students at my previous and at my current job. To the point that I feel some of them need to be snatched up with the quickness. Yet heaven forbid you say something against their child some of the parents give the teachers a harder time than they do their children! I am left bewildered at times because I have to think who is controlling whom? 

I understand some students have mental issues and are diagnosed with various explanations that vary in degrees from minor to severe that would make my head spin. On those that are towards the severe side those I understand. Yet I feel that even if a student has a 504, IEP, or whatever on the milder side Respect can still be taught and learned. I've seen it and having a diagnosis should not be the automatic answer if a student has tantrums. Some people just shoulder shrug and just accept it and just let their kids run wild at home and at school.

For those who do try, I applaud. Those who don't, stop hollering at the teachers about picking on your child and try to understand the frustrations they are going through with teaching a class and trying to deal with your disrespectful student who then will get sent down to office and have an attitude and fault the teacher is for sending them there in the first place.
Because if the only thing you think you can do is blame the teachers for singling out your child. I have to second guess does the problem truly lie with the child or with you.

No Pain No Gain

One of my goals in my life is to improve my overall health and fitness. A few years ago I had been doing boxing and kickboxing and I loved it but the distance was too much so I had to quit. I also had taken up a project back then to walk various parks throughout Saint Louis but eventually had to stop because of an injury and even when I thought about taking it back up I realized that unfortunately with the rise of foolishness with people trying to hurt and rob people I was like uh-uh, forget about it. So I felt I needed to find a personal trainer, one that would give me a workout I would enjoy but also push me to the point that I would possibly reconsider updating my WILL. I wanted that type of challenge.

So one of my best friends informed me of a trainer that she goes to and gave me his information to check him out on Instagram and Facebook. He goes by the name Perry Merlotti and I decided to contact him a few days later to ask about his program and to see if I could join up on the next session. I originally had hit him up on email and didn't hear anything back so I decided to hit him up on Facebook and received back a quicker response. He informs me that I can join the next session which was this past Thursday at a gym called FUEL Strength and Wellness Studio off of Clayton Road with the group class starting around 6pm. So I chill out at work watching a Volleyball game in the big gym until it's time to leave. Yet on a side note I saw an old Wellston Co-worker who happen to be refereeing the volleyball games so I spoke with her a kicked it for a few minutes before the matches began.

So around 4:45pm I decided to jet from work and make my way to run an errand and grab something to eat before my session. I arrive at the building and was concerned because on the front it says FUR CENTRE, but when I walked around I saw the FUEL sign and entrance. So I go in and see Perry working with a client. We exchange introductions and I take a seat until it's time to start working out. Some other ladies come in later on who are also a part of the 6pm session and they are chatting it up and then Perry introduces them to me.

dumbbell bench press

He then sets up the various workout rotation stations. I started out on the TRX straps and the other ladies took other stations. We did each station for around 30 seconds non stop with 2 minute breaks. We kept repeating this from 6pm to 6:45pm. While I was on dumbbell bench press Perry had me go up in weights a few times. So by the end I was maxing out on 25 pound dumbbells. The other ladies in the group were staring at the dumbbells and then at me like WTF? LOLOL What can I say, I'm a strong woman.

So after our session was over I told Perry how much I really enjoyed the class and that I would definitely be back next week and also was interested in a meal plan that would help shed the weight that I want to lose. So he is going to work on a meal plan for me and I so excited. So I will be seeing him Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm to 6:45pm and then on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays go to my regular gym, Planet Fitness and walk the treadmill and do some other exercises but not as strenuous until my body really can adapt to it.

The funny thing is when I left the FUEL Thursday evening I wasn't in any pain. I just chucked it up to me already going to the gym 5 days a week already for the past 3 weeks. So my body must already be used to the strain. So even Friday morning I was still doing ok. Yet by 2pm Friday afternoon, my body started to feel the effects of the Thursday workout (Thighs, arms, stomach, and back were sore) and then I had a slow smile on my face like YES!!!!! So Yea I know there is an old saying, "no pain, no gain" with this workout, I'm looking forward to it:)

Perry does encourage newcomers so if you are interested in attending the group sessions just know that they are $20. Hit him up via Facebook messenger and he will get back to you.

To Be Priceless

This evening while on STLCC-FLO campus (STL heads know what I'm talking about) I came across this penny. Lord knows it had seen better days but it was facing heads up. Now I'm not the crazy superstitious type. If I see even a penny facing down I'm picking that sucka up. When they say every penny counts, they aren't lying, especially in this economy. As I was holding it in my palm I couldn't help but think how much of a beating it has taken and still it is ar...ound, it still has survived. It still has purpose. While on campus I was thinking about what I've been through and I'm still around. I've taken one hell of a mental and emotional beating and I still have survived. Don't get me wrong, I still have my battles, maybe not every day, but I have them. Yet I'm learning how to fight back. I might be rough around the edges, but I still have purpose.


(repost from my facebook page)

Turning over a new leaf

I told myself I wasn't going to write about it this because I just wanted to be done with this part of my life and just start a new chapter. Yet it's been nagging me for quite some time so I figured I needed to get my thoughts out onto the screen through my keyboard so it will stop bugging me. Hell that is what my blog is for.

About a month ago I was suppose to go out with a friend. He had asked me out around two weeks in advance and I was excited to spend some time with him because I wasn't able to the way I wish. He and I have history, going back since 1994. I cared about him a lot, was I in love? Yea I was. We had our periods throughout our lives when we didn't have contact but somehow we would always reconnect back up. I think honestly that is why I didn't really pursue dating anyone else because I still had him in my heart.

Then the day of our date came and needless to say, I was let down, again. I spent the day/evening getting myself together. We were suppose to go to the Chocolate Bar and enjoy some desserts. Communication was sparse with him the whole day. By the time 9pm came around I knew I had been played the fool again. I should have known better. I was so disappointed I was on the verge of taking off my outfit and just crawling up in my bed and cry. Instead I looked in the mirror and thought I looked too damn good to just waste an awesome outfit just because my date was a bust. So I went out to the Chocolate Bar that late Saturday night and asked for a small table for one.

Why they gave me the table right dead smack into the walk through area into the bigger room I can only imagine. But I'm glad it happened. When I walked into the Chocolate Bar I was nervous. I don't know why. I'm so used to doing things and going out by myself, it's second nature to me. Yet while being there that evening, it really made me feel self conscious about myself. I ordered a hot chocolate and a double scoop of ice cream, Strawberry and Raspberry. As I was partaking of my desserts I could see the groups of people and couples around me. Laughing up a storm and enjoying themselves.

At times I wanted to tear up and think why have I continued to care about someone who never even showed me the same level of kindness. I realized at that moment that I was done being in love with someone who didn't care about me. I was in love with the image that I had projected about that person, not paying attention to the clues and obvious issues that were right in front of my face. I realized while sipping my hot chocolate that was burning my tongue that I had gone above and beyond for someone who I've cared for over almost two/thirds of my life and whom has never gone out of their way for me.

 I've put my life on hold in regards to pursing relationships with other people because I knew I hadn't gotten over my feelings for this particular guy. Well that was then. As I was draining the last remnants of my Hot Coco and last scoops of my ice cream, my feelings for him changed. I can't really describe it except to say that an icy calm came over me. Then my skin start get Goosebumps and I felt my head was so hot that I thought I was going to catch fire like a Phoenix. I was done. I am done. I am through feeling like I am not good enough or that there are problems with me.

After my self evaluation and revelation while at the Chocolate Bar I went home, slipped into my pj's and watched tv until I dozed off. I didn't get a response from him about why he didn't call me back until that Monday. All I could think of was not only didn't you call to keep me informed that Saturday night, you didn't even bother to contact me until Monday to let me know what had happened. I didn't respond back. I had nothing to say. Even though they were family related issues I still felt that there is still a common courtesy owed when you make plans with someone. I was sick and tired of being an after thought. I realized that was all I would ever be to him. I deserve better.

I'm trying to change the course of my life so that I'm happy. I'm back in therapy and honestly feel that has helped. I'm back in college and trying to purse my degree, I've been going to the gym fives days out of the week with the encouragement and help of my mom. I'm trying to immerse myself more with my business and also with learning more about photography. I miss not having the energy to go out with my friends. I miss being able to fit cute clothing. I miss being happy. I miss having self-confidence. I miss being me.

Is it easy to shut and close out a chapter of my life that has been open for over 20 something years? Nope but I'm determined deal with it head on, one day at a time.

How to overcome myself

I am my own worst enemy. How do you overcome the self-destructiveness of yourself? Every time I have a good or even great idea about something, my mind can come up with least twice as many reasons that my idea is not good enough and will fail.

My mind is like a prison that I just can't seem to break out of and my insecurities and self-doubts are the wardens.

How do you stop a never ending cycle of self-hate? How do you  shut your mind down and just tell it to shut the fuck up? This year has been very trying for me. My business has been doing better, slowly improving but getting better. I'm starting to do more with learning about photography and even yesterday I finally took my camera to Manual mode and took a few snaps. Was pretty pleased. After doing all the reading I could do in regards to learning about my camera, just a few days it finally clicked to me the relationship that Apeture, ISO, and Shutter speed have in relation to each other. You would have thought I had solved world peace. lol

Yet even after I was happy with that discovery I could feel the mental bricks starting to hit me over the head in regards to what I could possibly do with my camera. Do I want to get better with it? Absolutely, but when it comes to how I seem to always be at a lost. I have ideas in my head in what I would like to do, but where to start is just the mother of all phuck ups. I want to learn Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom but it just feels like a foreign lanuage to me. Then the self doubts just pour in abundance and all I can do is just get in my bed and go to sleep.

This July I went to Lindenwood University and The Arts Institute of Saint Louis to check out options in regards to transferring out of Saint Louis Community College because I had brought up my GPA to allow for being transferred out to a 4 year college but also they had informed me that I had my Associates also in General Credits. So I felt that I needed to look into the next step in regards to my education. My sister graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration from Lindenwood University last year and she recommended I look into them especially since they offer cluster classes. I also happen to see that the The Arts Institute of Saint Louis was also near by and decided to visit both campuses.

I enjoyed Lindenwood's campus because of the options for flexibility in regards to my job. I keep thinking a Business Administration degree would be great for helping me with the business I have know and who knows what other business ventures I might do in the future. Yet then I went to the The Arts Institute of Saint Louis and I could have just gone insane because it was just the campus of my dreams in regards to the classes that they offered. If I went there I could get a Bachelors in Photography. I love looking at pictures and wonder how people were able to create them. Not just a picture using Adobe Photoshop but even pictures from back in the 1950's. Being able to capture a moment and give it  a life forever. I also want to learn about videography. I love looking through the B&H catelogs and just checking out the latest equipment. In fact when I went to the Arts Institute of Saint Louis and went on my tour I thought I was going to pass out from the green screen room and the storage area they had for photography equipment. I was in absolute bliss!

I was so excited I couldn't think of anything else that day. Then reality crept back up after finding out how much tuition was for the Institute ($70,000) and also even for Lindenwood ($30,000). So I did the next step and filled out my FAFSA form. So I don't have any any loans and have never used grants for my education. So I thought maybe that might count for something when applying. NOPE, didn't qualify for any grants. So I'm thinking how in the hell am I going to qualify for loans even though I know my credit isn't the best and I'm on the road to trying fix that as well.

All of this is just staring me in the face and I'm just feeling like I just can't deal. I know I'm not dumb, at least that is what I try to tell myself. I keep thinking maybe if I was normally I would have been successful with my life.

-Have my college degree (hell at this point A DEGREE)

-Lose weight

-Move out on my own

-Better credit status

-Improve my small business

-Learn and advance with photography, start my photography project

-Just be fucking happy

My dream would be to travel the world. Pack a camera bag and just fly like the wind. Yet unfortunately all I feel like is a metal weight that is just further sinking.

I finally called my therapist out of the blue a few weeks ago to set up an appointment to meet with her next week. I had not seen her in over 5 years. I honestly don't recall how I remembered her name, it just popped in my head.

I'ts a shame really. With as much negative energy I have in my head and surrounding me, I feel as though if I could turn it into a positive energy. I would be absolutely brilliant and unfucking stoppable. Yet how do you stop yourself from destroying.....yourself?

I have to also point out and want to give a big apology to my friends who want to spend time with me more than I'm able to do so. I honestly feel my spirit is just so 'done' and don't want to be around other people at times. As much as I want to kick it with them, I just become so exhausted with my thoughts and I'm just not of use to anyone.

18th Smith Family Reunion

This past weekend I was at the 18th Smith Family Reunion. The festivities started on Friday morning and concluded on Sunday afternoon. Had a great time overall just kicking it with family starting at my Aunt Mary's house out in Richmond Heights from 7pm until whenever:)


Saturday afternoon we met up at Tilles Park out in Brentwood, MO. I took my camera out there and couldn't believe all the shots I had taken over the course of the event. Over 400 and as you can see everyone had a great time.


Sunday morning our family reunion wrapped up with a prayer breakfast at the HeMan Commons Center in University City, MO. Had a great time with awards being handed out to musical performances from two of my cousins. In fact for a treat, google: Morgan Taylor Gospel. Oh and on this day, I took close to 700 pictures,


Afterwards I went home and crashed! The next Smith Family reunion is in Washington D.C. Until then!