MayaAngelouPhenomenalWoman

My Answers to “20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself” from O Magazine’s April 2014 Issue

Do I examine my life enough?

These days (and maybe after my recent 33rd birthday), I definitely have. I’m not a kid anymore so the things I could get away with in my 20s look a little pathetic in my 30s. But I try to be kind to myself and my pathway towards my ultimate goals. I’ve learned that this path isn’t necessarily linear and that’s okay.  I have had such amazing highs and opportunities but also had some soul-crushing lows and missteps. But both have made me the woman I am today. I’m perfect but I “live from the heart . . . seek[ing] to be whole, not perfect”. Thanks, Oprah!

Do I care too much about what people think?

To be honest, I used to be really reoccupied with what people thought of me. In school, I was a definite people pleaser, doing almost anything any adult or friend asked for. But then I realized something in college – doing all those things for others doesn’t always mean that you will get that same treatment in return. In fact, you could be abandoned at key moments in life where you really needed that parent/friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. It has happened to me too many times. So I live more for myself and what feeds me emotionally, spiritually, academically, etc. If you happen to like what I like, that’s awesome! If not, no harm, no foul.

Am I with the right person?

In my dating life, I am currently “ridin solo” (thanks, Jason Derulo) because I just haven’t met the right person yet.  I know how that sounds. That sounds cliche but it’s the truth. I have been in relationships more recently a year ago but I was abandoned at a pivotal point in my life where I had no one else. That showed me exactly the kind of person he was and I couldn’t be with someone like that. He has tried to get back in touch with me but I just don’t trust him with my heart anymore.

What’s your deal breaker?

I would say deep ignorance, arrogance, lack of a healthy sense of humor, immaturity and lack of spirituality.

What do I really want to do all day?

I want to write for my favorite magazines like O, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Elle, Essence, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Latina, Shape and more. I want to be a speaker for TED Talks about education, mental health, and media. I want to collaborate in music projects with artists I admire like Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Babyface Edmonds, Quincy Jones, Robin Thicke, Alicia Keys, India Aire, Beyonce, Jay Z, Monica Jasmine, Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj and perform original music for audiences. I want to cover my favorite national and international concerts as well as local events as press like I did for this year’s Jazz in the Gardens in Miami Gardens, FL.  I want to publish influential books like Dr. Maya Angelou, Candace Bushnell and bell hooks that can change the world. I want to speak at conferences, urging young people to harnest their talents to make the world better. I want to write screenplays and own a production company like Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, and Wendy Williams, creating exciting projects for the masses to consume. I hope that dream is big enough!

How do I want to be remembered?

I think I would want to be remembered like the dearly departed Dr. Maya Angelou is being remembered now – as an educator, orator, poet, media icon, mother, daughter, auntie, mentor, advocate.

Do I say “Yes” enough?

YES! I believe I do more welcoming of opportunities than rejecting of them.

Do I know how to say “No”?

I have learned my limits and when I feel that my time is being wasted, I pull out that “No” real fast!

Am I helpless?

No, not particularly. I wouldn’t choose that specific adjective. Am I sensitive? Yes but I also try to be protective of my heart by limiting the kinds of people I associate with. So the people in my inner circle fill in the gaps that this “helpless” nature creates.

Am I helpful?

More than you will ever know! Actually, ask any one of my former students (many of whom I keep in touch with on Facebook). They are my living testimony with ages ranging from preteen to 30′s (yes, my age). 

What am I afraid of?

I am afraid that our culture will not shift to embrace all people regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and mental health status. I am afraid that speaking truth to power may not change policy. But I remain hopeful and optimistic.

Am I paying enough attention to the incredible things around me?

I surely hope I am! I feel like I do especially in my current work environment in Miami Design District. I won’t disclose the name of school but I will say it reminds a great deal of my own high school on Key Biscayne.

Have I accepted my body?

This took a while to get to. I grew up being really skinny and really tall (I wear a Women’s 13 in shoes to this day) which made me feel very uncomfortable around my classmates and friends. I wanted to belong like any other girl and teenager (and be able to borrow clothes from my closest girlfriends). But I couldn’t because I needed larger sizes and most of my friends were much smaller than me. When puberty hit, my butt got bigger (look out J.Lo, Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea), my hips got wider, and my thighs got bigger. I had the body of a woman when I was 13 or 14. It was scary because I hadn’t evolved mentally and emotionally into the body I was inhabiting. It also didn’t help that I look like my glamourous and ageless mother. My parents dressed me down in preppy Ralph Lauren attire for years which made me even more strange to other students of color at my middle school. But eventually, I went to a high school that embraced diversity on multiple levels and I began to feel better about myself. The poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Dr. Maya Angelou also gave me a voice and made feel better about my new shape.

Am I strong enough?

Yes, I believe I am. I have already been through so much so far that I know that I can handle practically anything.

Have I forgiven my parents?

Well . . . that’s an ongoing process. Like President Obama has expressed in his memoir Dreams From My Father, I have learned that my parents have done the best they knew how to do. They weren’t perfect but they had perfect intentions. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way of executing a perfect plan. So all we can do is accept our loved ones for who they are and pray/hope that they can do the same for us.

Do I want children?

Yes, I do. I am luckily. I am still in a good range to have them but I want my career locked in place first so I can provide for them properly.

Does what I wear reflect who I am?

Yes it does. When I started teaching college in my 20s, my parents begged me to wear the Hillary Clinton pant suits to work. I complied because I understood that I looked like my students so I needed to have a specific uniform that would set me a part. Now I’m a little more flexible. In faculty and business meetings, office attire rules. But when I go to events and parties, I wear a different wardrobe but I still keep my integrity.

What am I missing out on?

To be honest, a steady paycheck! Juggling part-time work can be a little challenging especially when people think that you can do some services for free! Yeah right! Social Media marketing IS a job!! 

Do I let myself fail enough?

In my 20s, I have failed alot and learned a great deal from those failures. Unfortunately, I think we live in a culture that frowns on failure. Failure is bad; therefore, you are terrible. NOT true! But learning and evolving definitely needs to be part of the equation as well.

Why are we here?

In my experience, I believe we are here to help one another. I know, that sounds very Disney Princess but I really believe that. Being a teacher reveals a microcosm of society where character is built and empathy can grow. But it’s up to us to instruct.

True Life Story of Michael Ohr in "The Blind Side"

Watch Sandra Bullock’s Commencement Speech To a New Orleans High School

lboogie81:

True Life Story of Michael Ohr in "The Blind Side"

True Life Story of Michael Ohr in “The Blind Side”

Originally posted on TIME:

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Who wouldn’t want to get life advice from Sandra Bullock? The Oscar-winning actress — who has a great track record when it comes to giving excellent speeches — dispensed some wisdom at a surprise commencement speech delivered to the graduating class at Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans on Monday.

Bullock, whose adopted son, Louis, is from New Orleans, donated money to the school after it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She told the graduating seniors that the life advice she gives every day to her son, age four, is exactly what she wishes someone had told her when she was young and she wanted to pass it on to them.

The advice was both practical (“do not pick your nose in public”) and profound (“for some reason people want to see you fail, but that is not your problem, that is their problem”). She…

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I review Gravity 3D (2013)

lboogie81:

Spoiler Alert! This is such a wonderful review of Sandra Bullock’s “Gravity” – a perfect movie to inspire us all in 2014.
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Originally posted on In 10 Sentences Or Less...:

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1. The first 5 minutes into the movie leaves you breathless and watching in 3D only ever does it justice.

2. Astronauts Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are mending the space station when the mission goes horribly wrong due to a space debris cascade accident and it basically goes downhill from there for the next 85 minutes or so.

3. Sandra Bullock’s turn as a mother who loses her self in her work to ease the pain of losing her child was poignant and considerably one of her best dramatic roles to date.

4. George Clooney’s role is relatively small but his presence leaves quite an impact in the film and it’s because he is The George Clooney.

5. Most of the audience including me were literally left at the edges of our seats progressively towards the end of the heart-pounding film and more so…

View original 153 more words

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Golden Globes – Celebration of Film, TV Jewels

In the New Year, football enthusiasts look forward to the divisional games of their favorite NFL teams that leads to the all-important Super Bowl game that determines which NFL team is the best in the country.

But for me, my Super Bowl (or at least the playoffs) is the Golden Globes.  In this awards ceremony, the best of film and television are honored by critics (and its winners later usually win the Academy Awards, another coveted achievement for Film)/

Last night was a wonderful display of fashionable beatuty, philanthropic concern for Haiti, and presentation pf the most humble acceptance speeches by worthy winners.

For instance, the first award of the night belonged (and was won by) Mo’Nique for her strikingly powerful portrayal; of an abusive mother in the movie Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.

Check out this video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yam2BFC0rrA

That set the stage for the entire award ceremony in that all the winners of the night truly deserved the award for “intellectually challenging” and brave portrayals of characters in film and television.

In film in drama, the film Avatar won the top honor.

Check out the film’s trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh2KILn7O4

Sandra Bullock won an award for her portrayal of a Texas woman who took in a homeless African-American teenager who later comes a NFL Draft Pick.

Check out the movie’s trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu8zYsz04oE

Robert Downey, Jr. won for Best Actor in Film Comedy for his brilliant portrayal of one of my favorite fictional characters of all time, Sherlock Holmes in the recent Guy Ritchie film.

Enjoy the film’s trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITU27Sxzi9w

For film comedies/musicals, the film The Hangover won the award.

Check out the funniest parts from the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9MjlgZX29c

Meryl Strep won an award for Best Actress because of her uncanny portrayal of the late Julia Childs in the movie Julie & Julisa.In

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt2znsOygJY

Check out her acceptance speech.  It is very moving!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn5lWz4TKWsIn television,

The Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture was won by Christoph Waltz for his amazing portrayal of a devious Nazi commander in the movie Inglorious Basterds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af0-9HBn5xM&feature=related

On television, there were a lot of worthy winners too!

For Best Television Series as a Comedy or Musical, the show Glee won.

Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZQLnfZ7Ok

Toni Collette won an award for her portrayal of a wife and mother who suffered from multiple personality disorder.

Check out a promo for Season #2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltD3-S3D9xA

Alec Baldwin won for Best Performance by an Actor  in a Television Series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTj47rcuM-4

For Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television , the movie Grey Gardens won which is one of my fave TV morive of the past year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtAKbotLMAc

Drew Barrymore also won an award for Best Actor in the same category.