Author Archives: fromraewithlove

What you need to know before you buy research chemicals

People who wish to buy research chemicals should be aware of some basic information. Compounds termed as research chemicals are simply substances that have not been tested thoroughly. Most of them have not been used by humans. While some companies use these chemicals for pure research, some of them have been used as stimulants, psychedelics, and depressants. Despite what other sellers claim, research chemicals are not herbal medicine or safer alternatives to dangerous drugs.

Inquire information

Complete and unbiased information on all research chemicals can be difficult to find. Fortunately, there is still enough information about them which can greatly help you if you wish to buy research chemicals.

Internet searches can greatly help you understand about each chemical that you wish to buy. You can also look for experts that have enough knowledge on the subject. Medical journals, academic conferences and discussion forums can also help. However, be wary that not all information is equal. It is also possible that other scientist and doctors are not aware of a particular chemical that you are looking for.

One of the best places to start your search is TiHKAL and PiHKAL. You can then proceed to literary search if you want more scientific results. You can also try using public law searches to see if it is covered by any existing laws in your area. Do this as a precautionary measure since the use of certain research chemicals can be limited in accordance to law.

Also, it is important that you acquire more information about the research chemicals beyond their effects. You need to investigate their sources and how they work on different organisms. You should also be aware of how the drug is administered and metabolized in the body. Conduct a research on basic chemistry, pharmacy, and scientific balances.

Most chemical journals are fairly accurate on their publications. However, there are no guarantees about the information posted by those who make ‘trip reports’ or state personal opinions about their experiences. One testimonial can be fact or it can be a hoax. Also, everyone has different biochemistry so the applicable dosage of one person may cause severe side effects to another. Individuals who buy research chemicals and ingest them do not really know the exact amount of what they are ingesting.

Acquiring compounds to research

In the past, most people buy research chemicals in the United States through online transactions. The compounds are widely sold and are have a generally high quality. Any research chemicals made from commercial lab with a completely analysis is considered to have the highest quality. It should be wise to conduct as composition test to verify its purity.

Also, you have to consider that even if the research chemicals are legal in the country you are it, suppliers may still be wary of selling research chemicals to non-institutional researches. Ordering from a different country can also pose complications. Packages with powders and pills are often scrutinized by the customs. Even if there are no charges brought to you, they can still be seized by authority. Paying in different currency can also be challenging since both parties may not agree on a price.

Verify the compounds

Some manufacturing companies are willing to conduct their own synthesis or may partner with an independent laboratory to test the chemicals. Some countries also have harm reduction policies that can provide you with some testing. Remember that compounds like pills and blotter can be more difficult to verify than others. Never assume that the amount stated in the label is exact. You can measure the mass 5-10 times and take the average.

Hidden Truths and Obvious Blessings

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I’m fairly sure writers and other artists lie and tell the truth at the same time. It’s a game of survival when we feel most vulnerable.  We say it’s ok even when it’s not. We say we’re ok when we’re not.  Mostly because we often have a story to tell, a job to do.  We channel it through our writing, our photos.  It happens unexpectedly.

While I’ve talked about writing and the struggle to write about a personal life when you’re not sure of the stories you can tell, I also know you can tell quite a bit from the things people aren’t saying as well as what they choose to show.

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The stories we choose to tell are just as important as the posts we choose to write.  It’s not easy.  The coating and all of the layers we wear makes us wonder what color the story was at the beginning.

I myself can tell you, often there’s a hidden meaning or a hidden story behind every post.  Every photo.  Sometimes I know what it is upfront and other times I see it later.  It happens as a “oh that’s why I was feeling that way” or a “wow I didn’t realize the connection when I took this photo or wrote this down.”

What’s more interesting is how photographing my life has been life-changing over the last few months. I’ve been known to take thousands of photos on my phones over the years. I just never shared them.  I was reading Karen Walrond’s blog Chookooloonks and love what she said:

I think a great photograph reveals almost as much about the photographer as it does about the subject of the image.  ~ Karen Walrond

Over the years, taking photos has helped me pay more attention, hone my eye for the things I love and I’d rather say see things differently.  Not to mention – I’m STILL learning about myself with a new camera and the things I’m able to capture.  About the things I find amazing and beautiful.

Capturing photos has truly been a way to tell the story.  To tell a story that I may not have seen was there before.  Capturing images also relieves a writer from having to bear his or her soul when they can’t put the words on the page that day.

I dare say, it’s brought me closer to myself and God.  I get to notice the beauty He creates along with the challenge of capturing it the way my eyes and spirit see it.  I’m relieved to have the camera.  It’s been the best gift I’ve bought myself in possibly ever.  It’s forcing me to peel back the layers and stay true to myself.  Funny how something seemingly so simple can cause the largest shift.  Something that should have been obvious was hidden to even me.

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Layers

What to Write : Truth as a Blogger

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When you’re blogging, how much do you suffer through in the attempt to tell the truth?  How much do you reveal to people?

As a writer, who blogs about her life, I’m often at odds with how much I can actually tell, what I can actually share.  It’s one of those conundrums where we reach an intersection of the “let me maintain some privacy and not embarrass my family and friends” x “I feel trapped because I can’t share these things that happened.”

I mean, I could talk about the dates I’d gone on some years ago, past relationships. Most of that stuff has expired. The situations that didn’t work out and why.  I can talk about the things that happened in my twenties.  But what happens when I want to tell the story of a date that failed – recently?  Honestly, some of the best blog moments and juiciest tidbits have happened in the last few of years. It’s when life became even MORE interesting and fabulous.

What about working through some current personal issue and how complicated it is? I find there is really only space for that sort of cathartic writing – in a journal.  The one that will only be published after I’m dead.

I met a man on the train sometime last summer.  He lives around where I live, a few blocks actually.  Handsome, tall. We stared at each other on the platform for a while.  When the train came, I sat in the second seat from the one open to the aisle.  He sat in front of me.  I knew him.  But you know, DC is small.  Small small.  If you start going out, attending events, go out long enough, it shrinks.

Within a few minutes as the train went from in the darkness of the tunnels across the Anacostia River, we were talking and exchanging the usual pleasantries.  I found out he was best friends with someone I went to high school with in Alabama.  Mind you we’re in DC.  I realize he knows a lot of the same people I know.  There was a moment of hesitation because you’re guaranteed that he will ask this person about who you are…and I wasn’t the girl who was popular in high school.  I mean I was there.  I had friends, I was present.  But I wasn’t part of the “in” crowd. College and a stint of sitting out of college led to many nights out between Birmingham, Huntsville and Atlanta.  Also small.  It all shrinks.  But still… sometimes you still wonder how you were perceived then.  How you’re perceived now even. By now, because we know the same people, there’s still some kindred.

When I gave him my card, there was a hesitation.  ”Oh, you’re a blogger.” He quipped.  I asked what do you mean by that? He said “well, I hate bloggers.  They never have anything good to say.”

And there it was.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard this come from someone’s mouth.  It won’t be the last.  It’s the bloggers who have no concern for what they write and who or how they write about the person or the event. [see certain articles about certain bloggers who have recently been in the news]

But the damage was already done.  We talked for a bit longer and but you could tell he would be reluctant to say anything else to me.  It’s unfortunate.  I never did speak with him again.  I figured I’d see him around in the neighborhood.  Most who know me, come here to read the blog know I’m against embarrassing people.  I know how it feels to have the rug pulled out from under you.  I don’t ever want to be the “blogger” or the woman people don’t want to be around for fear that your story, something you said to me in confidence will end up on the web.

I’m of the rule, that if you upset me, I will most definitely write about it.  It just won’t reach daylight for the eyes of others.  I also may just use it in a short story or novel somewhere changing a few parts.  Maybe that’s not fair – but no one will ever know who the person of offense was.

One of the tenets I go by is if I want to tell someone else’s story on here, I speak with them about it first.  If it’s OUR story together, then I also try to make it plain it’s from my point of view. Which means there will always be some bias because it’s mine.

More days than I’d like to admit, I suffer and struggle, teetering on the edge of what I should tell and what I shouldn’t.  What I should discuss and what I shouldn’t.  What if such and such reads this?  What if my father decides he wants to Google me today and comes across this specific post?  More of it is am I ready to stand with what I’m publishing here on the blog today?  I realize, even as a blogger, I’m one who chooses to protect others.

Mostly, I ask myself – what am I trying to accomplish?  What do I accomplish by speaking negatively about someone or an event?  What would be the point in that?  What impression am I trying to leave with others?  While I can’t control how people view me, I know I have full control of what I release and put out into the Universe and onto the net.  Anytime I press publish or schedule a post, I am fully aware of what I’m doing.

It doesn’t mean I can’t speak about difficult subjects or topics.  It doesn’t mean I can’t talk about others.  But when I know them, there’s a process.  If I don’t know them, I try to take a full view of the situation.

I also realize, no matter how well-intentioned some posts are, there are people who misconstrue and warp what I’m trying to say.  People who will say “that’s not true!” Or people who will say “this doesn’t seem right.”

It’s not my job to control interpretation.  It’s my job to write.  It’s my job to be fair, to inspire and to encourage.

If my friend from the train, many months ago reads this, just know I heard you.  I want other bloggers to hear you too.

The Blue Collar Work Year

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Chambray.  I have a well-known adoration for the fabric.  It’s the fabric that looks like denim, but feels like heaven.  It’s soft.  Sidenote: I’m always looking for new items in chambray. But the history of the fabric is even more interesting than my love for it.

Chambray was the fabric used for official Navy uniforms during WWII and became a staple of factory and defense workers – along with all of those doing manual labor.  Hence why the term “blue collar” worker arose.  The fabric and the shirt are synonymous with American workers.

I realized this would be a grind year. I dubbed it the “Blue Collar Work Year” far ahead.  Mostly because I know what needs to be done. A lot of work. Good and necessary work – still a lot of it.  Some of the work won’t be pretty, but it’s absolutely necessary.  It’s like ordering a Sears house kit and having to build a little bit every night when you get home.  You call your friends over to help you build the house.  You work on it daily. You may even find you have to hire people to help you build it.

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The Sears Kit house. My love for bungalows also knows no bounds.

This little house is so perfect.  It would have been the house I would have ordered, wanted to build.  I still want to build it honestly.  Peep how the description of the house reads “This design embodies strength, dignity and gracefulness.  It presents a most pleasing appearance and is of a character that will long retain popular favor.”  I want my life to read like this.  I need my life to reflect these qualities.  I’m well on my way.  However, the Sears house kit and chambray pretty much symbolize my life.

Yup – it’s that sort of year.  The work where you find you’re tired but satisfied because you can see progress and the progress keeps you motivated to do more, be faster, do better.

I’ve had fires turned up under my ass as the years have gone by.  Deadlines, relationships, wanting to impress other people.  It’s part of the process of being young at times.  But this year feels different.  Because it is.  I’m not focused on the same things as I used to be.  But it happens like then when life gets real.  I lost my the tolerance and care for the bullshit. I even call bullshit on myself.  I mean who gon’ check me boo?

I’ve also let a lot of things slide over the years.  Work needing to be done.   Sometimes it’s the things that are biggest on the list.  The things that need to be done but you’re afraid to accomplish, tackle, deal with – whatever it is.

I keep talking about it because it’s something each of us has to deal with – I mean, if you’re not dealing with it and haven’t had to – then you and I need to talk.  You’re not afraid of anything? There’s nothing you put off?

I think of my grandparents often.  My grandmother used to work in a defense plant here in Maryland.  She and her sister would ride across the Delaware line to work every day. My grandfather worked in a tire plant, making tires for over 30 years.  My parents have worked extremely hard.  When I was telling my Dad it was about to be a blue collar grind year, he chuckled and said “I know about those.”  This space is just a year where things that need to change, are changing and being changed.  It’s a process.

It used to be that houses took a year or more to build.  Possibly because people were ordering Sears house kits and needed to start from scratch, or at least with a solid foundation.  I’m heading back to the old model of structuring my life.  Maybe that’s why the houses have lasted through the years.

I’m thankful for the ability to plan, work, build and the hope of a lasting product and a good life.

What’s your year look like?  Is it a year of work?  A year of reaping the benefits?  Strategizing? Planning? Building?  Loving?  All of the above?

Writer Avoidance Tactics and How to Focus

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In this photo above are you focused on the branch or the sunset?  Yup – hard to decide isn’t it?  That’s how it feels when you’re writing and trying to avoid distractions.  Some days I’m not sure what’s easiest to focus on. The branch, the sunset or the branch against the sunset.

I, Rae, the owner of this blog should be writing at this time.  I am – technically. I’m writing this post.  In the midst of making coffee, I realized I might be avoiding the obvious. Actually sitting down and writing.  When I heard the amazing Berniece McFadden talk about her ways of avoiding sitting in the chair and writing in 2012, I didn’t feel as alone anymore.  Here I was thinking I was fearful and lazy (when it comes to writing anyway).  Come to find out, that’s not really the case.  It’s something most writers do.  I’m not sure if painters, sculptors and the like do it as well, but I can see where depending on the art, the avoidance may be different.

I thought I would take a moment to talk about it.

The Avoidance Tactics

Writing this Blog Post

Listen, when I can’t sit and write stories – which seems to be an issue at this time, then I just end up here on the blog and jot a few notes down.  However, it can be a time suck because the MOMENT the publish button hits, then most of us are looking to see if there are any views, feedback, comments, etc.

Feeding the Birds

I sat here for a good while and watched the birds as I put out food for them. I have a lot of blue jays that appear here.  Who would’ve figured back here in the hood? But the way the trees are on my side of the building it seems to be an area, the birds, cats, possums and whatever else happens to enjoy.

Taking Photos

While this isn’t a futile endeavor, I keep staring out the window at this shot I want to take of the raindrops on the tree.  Then I devise that I might want to use various lenses.  Then the tripod comes out.  Tuh!  You get the idea. Note: that’s not to say I won’t stop and take the photo if I need to.  I realized the other week when @socamom and I were out shooting still shots in the city, it’s important to get the photo when you see it.  The light, that moment, that thing may not be there again. I’ll also add, the photos are the most productive distraction to date.  I still got that photo though.  I just snapped.  Through the window.  See how pretty and sparkly the rain drops are? You’d be distracted too.

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Cleaning | Cooking | Domestic Behavior

I went into the kitchen, made coffee and started the dishwasher.  But somehow, as I looked around I was thinking to myself – I should clean the table off.  As I type this, the table is yelling at me from behind.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Or the laundry.  Or how I want to re-arrange the books then go and take my closet apart and re-arrange it too. Or I start looking at recipes.  Which could then result in me going to the grocery store.

The Innanet | “Research” | Social Media

Listen. I can sit and do “research” for days.  Can’t most of us?  I’m not immune to it.  But it’s some bullshit sometimes.  Then as I wanted to start a story, I found myself thumbing through my Kindle wondering how other authors started their books.  I’m obsessed with the first pages of novels.

Comparison

The moment I start looking at stats, looking at sales, looking at hits.  Yeah.  It can bring me to that moment of wanting to believe I’m not good enough. Which then leads to the proverbial ‘fuck it.’  I work hard not to compare.  But every now and again, it’s difficult not to do.

The Solutions

No Social Media | Electronic Communication

I can’t tweet, email or do anything while I’m writing.  I need to sit here for a few hours and comb through my stuff.  Or comb through all of the snippets of unfinished stories I’ve already written. Some are stuffed in email (many) so I’m allowed to go through my drafts folder.

Alerting Others

I tell everyone I’m writing.  Basically in Rae-speak that means – I’m not available.  Unless you’re dying – or someone we know and love is dying – please leave me alone until I come up for air. Writers need an extraordinary amount of solitude.  I also have loved ones who will check in and ask me if I’m writing or working, how many words I wrote today.  You know. Basically a writing overseer.  What?  It really keeps me honest.

Reading

There are approved forms of reading material.  For me this may be starting a new novel or reading a short story.  It may mean going back to a previously read novel to re-read something that inspired me.  Sometimes, the reading is more of a case study than it is an escape. You may just need to look at how someone else did it just to find your voice.  That’s ok too.  I read a lot of content on other writers, publishing, etc.  Those are productive for me.

No TV

I have banned myself from turning on the tv and trying to write.  I’m one of the people who can write with music (a pre-designed playlist) or I can write in silence.  But TV?  Nope.  I’m guaranteed to be off watching it for hours.

Writing this Post

I’m about to sound like a hypocrite but, well, you know…. listen.  I wrote.  This post is currently 900 words.  Give or take.  I got some writing done.  I identified where I’m having issues.   That being said, I feel like I did something I was supposed to do.

What are your avoidance behaviors?  How do you fix them?

Mashup Post: As the Year Winds Down

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[Eiteljorg Museum + Central Canal. Indianapolis 2013]

As 2013 winds down with just days before the New Year begins, I thought it would be great to do a post mash up.  First, if you’ve been reading From Rae with Love, I’m thankful for you. Each and every one of you.  All of you who comment, email, tweet, RT, watch the Stepsisters Blog, encourage me, talk with me off line and who I have grown to know and love – I really and truly am grateful.

The blog was born out of what I’d like to consider the smouldering ashes of a life needing examination.  Add the fact I was secretly writing and not ready to share anything and well, there was a ready platform for a blog. I never knew what would happen and if anyone would read it.  Turns out, more of you read it than I thought.  It also turns out, that I have a high percentage of male readers – who knew?  I wouldn’t have known unless I was paying attention to Google Analytics (also why it was important to move to a self-hosted blog).  Honestly, that anyone chooses to read any work and finds it great, amazing, inspiring is a honor and it’s humbling. The fact you’re reading my work and find it interesting is a blessing. Again, I can’t thank you enough.

Here are the Top 10 Posts of 2013 on From Rae With Love:

1.  29 Blog Prompts for Inspiration

2.  Lifestyle Blog? Meh

3.  21 Things Bloggers Do When You’re Not Looking

4.  Thousands of Hours: The Search for Love – Changing Woman

5.  The Art of Guarding Your Heart

6.  From Rae With Love: 2014 The Year Ahead

7.  Too Easy to Date: The Promise Not to Struggle Date

8.  The Close of 2013: Reflections on the Year

9.  Wrong Love – Get Your Ass Together

10. Fight for It: Fight for What You Want

Funny enough, many of these were written after I moved the blog.  So what was written before now, while I count it and could still check the stats, this is what you’ve been reading since that time.

This year, honestly, if I look back on it, has been truly phenomenal for me.   I came to terms with more of who I am, the things I want to do and the person I really want to work towards becoming.  I became much less apologetic for wanting the things I want and living the way I want.

I learned my level of expectation needs to consistently be turned inward.  To expect something of myself and from myself is the best gift.  Placing those expectations outwardly on others isn’t fair.

I learned in order to encourage people to be themselves, you have to be yourself.  Fully. There’s no half-stepping here.  Trepidation doesn’t bless you in that way,

For full and open communication, you have to offer an environment that can support it.  I don’t need or want anyone to walk on eggshells around me and I don’t want to have to do it around anyone who is close to me.  I had to learn to be more open to different conversations – as well as get better at listening to people’s truths – even if it was something I wasn’t going to like.  Truth isn’t often convenient for us.  But if we let it, it will bless us.

I’ve learned collaboration is beautiful.  I’m an only child. I don’t like to share.  I don’t typically like group projects.  But my Stepsisters: Eva, Shai and Tanisha have taught me when you have the right chemistry and the right co-conspirators collaborators all sorts of amazing things can come to fruition.  We encourage each other, laugh and come up with great ideas regularly.

I do know, as I’ve said many times before, this year was so difficult!  So many things happened but it’s as if the difficulty factor also allowed for the amount of goodness to exponentially increase.  I mean, why is it I was thinking anything good was going to come without some heartache or real work to it?  It doesn’t normally. There’s always work to be done.  There’s always something we will have to work on.

I’ve said it before, but it remains even more true today – if someone can outwork you, they don’t need to be more talented than you.

That being said, for me, this year coming up will be a year of “doing more and talking less.” Less time will spent comparing myself to others and all of the things they’re doing and more time with my nose spent to the grindstone to chisel, sharpen and produce a beautiful body of work.

I want to wish you an amazing close of 2013 for the remaining hours and days.  I want to wish you an amazing 2014. Choose your goals wisely for the year, but most importantly truly LIVE your life. It’s not promised and it’s meant to be lived – fully, well and unapologetically.

From Rae With Love: 2014 The Year Ahead

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It’s important to plan the year ahead.  While I’m not the kind of girl who has every day planned out to a tee (it would drive me crazy), that’s not to say I don’t believe in the value of long term planning ….

What I’ve come to realize is as the years pass, they also happen to speed up.  They’re moving faster.  There’s so much I didn’t document over the years.  In some ways it might’ve been better that I didn’t.  But these days, I want to capture these moments, the beauty and the love I encounter.  I feel a sense of urgency to document things in a way I haven’t in the past years.

Maybe it’s because I’m headed for my 39th year in 2014 – and then on to countdown to 40! I’m less concerned about how people perceive me.  And well, Sir Anthony Hopkins said it best, “My philosophy is its none of my business what people say of me and think of me.  I am what I am and I do what I do.  I expect nothing and accept everything.  And it makes life so much easier.”

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  But as I mentioned above, time starts to move faster. Before you know it, five years have passed and you haven’t done anything you wanted to do. That stops.  We waste so much time without direction.  I need rules and order or my creative self just floats.  As a result, I work better with promises to myself and goals.

Goal 1: Face my fears

This may seem like common sense.  However, all of us have things we’re afraid to do or tackle. This is a year I’m planning to tackle some key fears.  For me this involves a few things – but one the top of my list is money and how I manage it and handle it.  Why is money always such a touchy subject?  Well, when I get a handle on it, I’m going to blog about it.  There’s much to be said for budgeting, the way we work, the way we choose to manage our money and even what we spend money on.

Goal 2: Be on time

Listen, I used to run late to everything.  I don’t anymore.  But now, being on time means trying to be early when it’s at all possible.  I’ve seen a couple of posts about it from @myleik of curlbox and a post from Sincerely Daja where she speaks about how she’s on time everywhere she goes even though she doesn’t have a car.  Man, that got me together.  I need to be on time. I need to make sure I’m there early.  Woody Allen says “80% of success is showing up” – that being the case, for me it means I need to show up early.

Goal 3: Set up a schedule

To set up a schedule for the blog and work to maintain it.  With work, life, other commitments, I tend not to write here as often as I should.  Also, while having a personal blog is cathartic and all, sometimes it’s difficult to discuss what’s happening in my life.  Mostly because well, I haven’t wrapped my mind around it yet.  I don’t like blogging in real time, so I long ago imposed a statute of limitations on telling certain stories.  I digress.  Blog calendar.

Goal 4: Publish my first book

I decided a while back I would turn some of the best content from the blog into a book. Believe it or not, I’ve heard a few times “don’t do that,” but as I asked around and asked respected authors – the collective response was, why wouldn’t you use that material? My gut tells me to use this here good material and dammit I’m going to do it! Editing has been tough but I think it’s that more discipline is required.

Goal 5: Take and publish photos, show my view of the world

A friend of mine once told me my pictures were amazing.  I took him at his word because he said it to my face and he had no reason to lie.  He then told me that because I’m creative, writing isn’t the only way to tell my story, or anyone else’s.  He told me to “write with my camera.”  I bought myself an amazing Canon DSLR T3i so I will be bombarding the site with photos and my perspective of the world.  You will deal.

Goal 6: Stop doing things that don’t excite me | Cease the distractions | Get this work

I am a great supporter.  I tend not to say no very often.  But when I do, it’s really a hard NO.  I need to say no – more often.  I need to work on my own projects more in 2014.  I realize I was jumping at other projects in order to distract myself from being responsible for my own.  That’s wise right?  Deflection at its finest.  ”I didn’t get ______ done because I was sooooooo busy| tied up |stressed out working on ________.”  As I say to myself to literally shut up and sit down and get this work done.

Note: I rearranged my house a few days ago to accommodate and encourage me to sit my arse down and get this writing done. Inviting x pretty spaces = completed writing assignments. I didn’t buy anything new but candles. I just rearranged what I have.

Goal 7: Attend a literary workshop

I’ve said this over the last few years. Believe it or not, I got into one late 2012  (to attend for 2013) and couldn’t work all of the logistics out (logistics in this case = money).  This year?  I’m back with a vengeance and applying again and hopefully attending with bells on and in cute clothes.  The blog is incredibly important to me.  All of my writing and the ability to share it is important.  In addition to the blog, I write short fiction and need to make sure eventually the short fiction turns into a stellar collection for you to read.

Goal 8: Fill out the entire Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook by Susannah Conway and fill up my vision board.

In my last post, reflecting on a few lessons I learned in 2013 I talked about how I was afraid to fill out 2013′s workbook in 2012.  I’m not for it this year – refer back to No. 1 in this post. It’s a great way to review the year and then to plan the next year.  If you want a great way to reflect and to plan – work through this.… get a glass bottle of wine and pray before you do.  With that, I need to work on making sure my vision board is full this year.  Last year, I bought it and put a few things on there – this year? IT NEEDS TO BE FULL AND SPECIFIC!

Goal 9: Quit my part-time job and make my writing my official gig.

This isn’t that big of a deal.  But it is.  I have been working some form of a part-time job for as long as I can remember.  There was a time I didn’t.  Then somehow, in 2007 I got sucked back into the vortex that is part-time work.  My father told me not to rely on that money.  Somehow, I got used to it.  But you know, I’ve worked every Saturday (less about five) over the last few years.  I wanted my Saturdays back.  I wanted to write on those days.  I wanted consecutive days off.  So last week, I quit.  While I can’t recommend this for everyone, I know I needed to be able to focus.  I wanted to keep the promise to myself that I wouldn’t carry the job into 2014. So I did.  I can’t say I won’t miss the money, but it will force me to work harder and make sure my creative efforts are a success.

These are just a few of the goals I’ve set for the year.  I have many more and as I knock them off the list, I’ll share more about them here. As always, if you have comments or questions, you can email me at [email protected]!  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for updates!

What are your goals for 2014?  Have you created a vision board? Is it just me or do you find the time is passing quicker?

Too Easy to Date: The Promise Not to Struggle Date

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Hey Loves!  It’s the weekend, so what better time than for me to discuss dating?!!! I think I heard a collective sigh and a few moans.  You can hate me now.

I was sitting here reflecting about the dates of years past, when I came to the realization

“it’s easy to date me when you’re the one who benefits.”

This mostly came about after spending the day with some friends a while back when a friend’s husband told me -”Rae, you’re too accomodating. Most men will never understand or appreciate that. You’re going to have to toughen up a bit.”  He’s a coach and coming from him, I had to think about it and he was right.  I needed to pull it together and stop trying to do all the work.

I’m jumping into it today with no holds barred.  I realized recently I no longer enjoy the dating process – so I’ve altered it.  There may be an attraction these days but there at least has to be a basis for friendship.  For the friendship to grow into love.  For the love to take a turn for romance. Even if I’m feeling all of those at once.

However, when you tend to be a giver, it’s easy for the other person to date you.  They end up not having enough to do since we’re giving all the time.  You give and give.  Then you give more. When you don’t think you can give anything else, you act on borrowed time and love and give more.  We all have the reserve. Problem is, sometimes we end up with someone who depletes it and we’re looking around.

Due to previous situations – some foreseen, others not to much, my bank is empty for loans. While I continuously love and give, it’s at a different level these days.  I give to a level and then I evaluate.

Case in point – if you’re always the one setting up dates, making calls and making the effort to see the other person – why wouldn’t they go out with you? All return with no work.  You never give them the chance to actually make a solid effort to show you if they’re interested.  So when you finally stop and look around and are wondering why they never do anything?  The first question to ask is if they were interested in you in the first place or were they interested in what you had to offer.  I often find people are more interested in what you have to offer them than what they are willing to offer you.  Better yet they aren’t often interested in you.  Not the real you.  The you who has no makeup on and has $3.00 to her name and is about to have a “pantry party” and eat directly from the pantry and the freezer.

It’s exhausting and it’s a pace that can’t be maintained.  These days, if someone is interested they have to make a solid effort to get into my space.  If not, I’m fine with the person exiting stage left.

Maybe it’s the years behind me, maybe it’s the situations I’ve had to endure these last few years. I’m over the process of having to do all the work.

No more struggle dating.

Are you too agreeable when it comes to dating?  Are you doing most of the hard work?  Do you often find yourself on the giving end?

What Does it Mean to Be a Creative?

I feel like I’m always at this speed and need to slow down – slow down so I can see what I’m moving past.  Remember the days when we’d go to the old school carnivals and the conductor would tell you if it was going too fast or you needed to get off to raise your hand?  Yup, that’s how I’m feeling.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I am being torn in multiple directions.  Where I have these adult responsibilities and these desires to get ahead, my creative muse is always in the back of my head (that rhymes – wasn’t going for that but flow with me).   I mean I can tell myself if I worked less or had more money, I could be more creative.  I tell myself that form time to time.  But what role does stress, the busyness of life take on the artist’s soul? Many of us write and paint and sing through the pain.  That’s part of what being an artist, being a creative is about. I’ve written some of my best stuff when I’ve been devastated.  I have to admit, I often still do.  I’ve also written crazily amazing pieces in the middle of bliss.  Stories of happiness and love.

Sometimes though, you have to go through things to create things.

But what toll does it take on us?  Does it mean that we’re less likely to fulfill certain dreams all for the sake of following this one dream?

Then it pisses me off when people think that you’re not as creative because you’re not as productive as other artists.  Is there really a way to compare this?  Can we open the doors to those artists lives and peer in and see why they are able to paint?  And what happens to them after five years time?

Listen, I am all for being creative.  In fact, when I can do what I love full time one day, I may look back on this same post and wonder what I was thinking, where exactly I was in my spirit.  But what I know for sure, leading the fullest life possible is what lends to the art, to the writing, to the photos, to the sculptures.  I owe it to myself and to those I inspire and love, that love me, to lead the best life possible.

Many days, Lord knows I would love to get up and write and not have to ever worry about the general responsibilities of life.  In other words, it would be nice to get that best seller going you know?  But how does that happen?

It happens because you get up earlier than the rest, because you stay up later than the rest, because you design your life to be serious about what it is that you love. It’s pushing through the moments when you’re not really feeling the work or feeling your situation, your circumstances.  Whatever it is that looks like a block, it’s often reason enough to create.

How do you work through the low points?  When you’re feeling drained and uninspired?  How do you create the next best moment?

Bazinga! 39 x 39 – Day of Rae, My Blogaversary and An Announcement

Hi Loves!!

How are you?  Today is my birthday aka #Raeday!!!

Bazinga!!!!

Wooooh!  I’m thankful and excited.  I love birthdays.  It’s an honor and a privilege to see them.    *cue “Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp.  It also happens to be my two-year blogaversary!!!  Which I can’t really believe.  From Rae with Love, the Little Blog that Could, is two years old.  It’s been two years!  So much has happened since I first began writing From Rae With Love.   Funny enough, I’ve only shared a handful of the stories with you.

In my very first post this time two years ago, I shared some lessons I’d learned as of my 36th birthday and then I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on turning 37.  This year, I am going to do something a little bit different.  I want to share 39 things I want to do before my 39th birthday.  Not only does the number of years I’ve spent on this earth astound me, it’s also interesting to see how others handle and deal with it as well.  I’ve been watching people who are farther(further? why worry) along on their journey.  Some of them are handling the aging process better than others.   Mostly I think many of us just weren’t mentally prepared for how the time flies.  Not to mention, according to so many others and the rhetorical bullshit that spews out of someone’s mouth, as we approach 40 that’s supposed to mean we’re old? I don’t buy into it.  I never have.  Aging and growing older (and hopefully wiser) is a beautiful process.  From what I can tell, it’s about how we each choose to see it.

I have a who shitload of stuff I want to do over the next year.   They haven’t been listed in any specific order.  Each of them is critical to me and the next year.  Without further adieu, here’s the 39 x 39:

  1. Use the mixer my mother got me last year – more..which means I’ll be baking, or making pasta, or grinding meat.
  2. Create a series of You Tube Videos.
  3. Submit these short stories for publishing in literary journals.
  4. Write the short stories I mentioned in #3.
  5. Relocate.
  6. Take more photos.
  7. Lose 20% of my current bodyweight.
  8. Purchase a DSLR camera.
  9. Create a short film.
  10. Write a script for a show treatment.
  11. Tour DC with my friends and act like a tourist.  [I’m wearing the colored protective visor and Tevas and shorts and shit]
  12. Increase my income by 50% + get a new job.
  13. Eat from 30+ new restaurants (read includes dives, mom & pop stops and food trucks – that’s where the best food is)
  14. Take a series of photos worthy for a gallery exhibit.
  15. Add 1000 new followers on twitter.
  16. Create a new series of blog posts.
  17. Bake from scratch.  [I owe a series of zucchini loaves to a very close friend]
  18. Cook 25 new dishes I’ve never cooked.
  19. Purchase and successfully meal plan around a crock pot.
  20. Journal.
  21. Buy new furniture that meets my actual home-style now.
  22. Build a home theater system.
  23. Create a logo for the website.
  24. Attend a writers workshop.
  25. Research (info, interviews etc), write and publish an article or podcast for a major publication.
  26. Get a tattoo.
  27. Participate in new twitter chats.
  28. Have a conversation with a published author I admire.
  29. Publish a series of stories on Amazon.com.
  30. Be consistently happy.
  31. Be less fearful of trying new things.
  32. Publish one blog post that scares the shit out of me.
  33. Be on a major panel as a guest.
  34. Live. Like really have more to tell you so y’all can be all up in my business.
  35. Be able to achieve certain yoga poses.
  36. Write handwritten letters and notes to my close friends and family.
  37. Sew three (3) new projects and create a few new pieces of jewelry.
  38. Him.  [Redacted No. 38 about Rae’s love life]
  39. Pray more.  Hear more.  See more. Be more. Love more.  [I cheated here but IDC]

Whew!!! There it is – my 39 x 39.  Doable?  Yes.  Now let’s see how much of it I can get done effective immediately.  It’s not just about a mad rush of checking things off of a proverbial list, it’s about living and improving my quality of life.   There are also so many other things I plan to do within this next year – like buy some skates and roll around the city!!  Which brings me to my next announcement…..

I need to take a creative hiatus (aka a creative furlough, a creative retreat).

Relax.  Don’t freak out on me and get crazy.   The blog isn’t going anywhere.  I’m not really going anywhere.  I just won’t be posting for a while.  For the record, I don’t exactly know how long a while means, however, I do know it will be through the summer.

When you have a personal blog, it becomes increasingly difficult to share certain things.  Hills, valleys, good news, life changes and events and whatever else may come along means life tends to take over.  Life has taken over which means, I need to just live.  That’s what’s most important.

I’m still going to be here.  You can still find me on twitter @fromraewithlove.  I’m on twitter daily.  Otherwise, catch me on the Facebook page for the blog or if you really need to get deep, you can email me at fromraewithlove at gmail dot com.  So see, it’s not really that bad.  I can be located.  I just won’t be blogging.

So you’re wondering what am I planning to do with all of the time I don’t spend blogging?  I still plan to write.  I have a number of writing projects I need to complete.  I have new projects that are just taking off, that I can share later this week.  I’m also on the Dr. Vibe show monthly.  A few of my blogging friends and I have started a series of Google Hangouts. In other words,  I’m still here.

I know I’ve slowed down in the last months.  That’s mostly been because I am at a crossroads as a creative, as a writer and as a woman.  I’m not in a space to post everything.   I also have so many other things planned for the blog, for my life.  So basically, it’s time to live and get some things done.  Where else do all of these wonderful posts come from?  LIFE.

As the good 39 x 39 list reflects, I have a lot of work to do, a lot of living[loving] to do and quite a bit to organize, shift and put into motion.

Check in with me.  I still need want to hear from you.  I love emails and tweets.  See info above….

BTW, I’m always watching.  Trust and believe.

Mother loves you.