Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2015 Reflections

Wow...interesting year. 2015 went by so quickly.  Here I am reflecting once again on my life over the past year (yes, I know I have a few days left).  It is always interesting to go back and read these just to see where my head and heart has been through.  Overall I live a darn good life...not perfect but still good.  
In February my property management company overseeing my second home in Atlanta found my first tenant.  After about a month the issues began.  The first sign of trouble was when I received utility bills for the month of February.  The new tenant had not changed over the water, gas and electrical service in her name.  I presumed it was a mere oversight on her part.  This was the beginning of several months worth of drama that included late or no rental payment, court and finally eviction that took place in July.  While I do not regret purchasing the home the unforeseen expenses incurred were a bit much.  However, I was glad that I had a property management company that was handling everything.   At the beginning of September a new tenant was procured paying 6 months rent in advance...hallelujah .  

Just several months prior I was riding high and planning my life, I hit a bit of brick wall.   On March 2nd at approximately 8:30 pm I took the bold step of ending my 18 month relationship. This was not done on a whim but only after conversation that indicated he was no longer willing to work and invest in the relationship.   I questioned how we got to this place for some time, however, while I mourned the loss I did not regret my decision.  I do take ownership for my part in the dissolution of the relationship.
As the year progressed good news sprouted.  Cheryl and Fred, had a house/Villa built in Houston. The house is simply gorgeous and well deserved.  Close to Terrence and Teresa and most importantly their grandsons.  I was able to attend the wonderful wedding of my nephew to his beautiful bride Angelia.  I had the opportunity to meet her weeks prior to the blessed event and I can't be happier for the both of them.  I wouldn't miss it for anything in the world.  The wedding was held in his home and the reception in the back yard...tent.  Not just any ole tent either.  When my nephew does it...he does it right!!!   Air-conditioned and decorated elegantly.    The ceremony and reception were both beautiful.  I wish Angelia and Terence all the happiness that life has to offer. 
I lost my beloved aunt (Esther) on September 21st to cancer unfortunately.  On top of that my first cousin (Alice) passed away unexpectedly the following Friday, September 25th.  These two deaths were a huge blow to the family.  
 Three cousins I have never met and I got together to organize a family potluck so we can at least meet those members that we don't know.  There was a lot of laughs and fellowship in the room.  I am very glad that I was able to be a part of it.  It was a beautiful event and we had tons of food. Hopefully this will lead to a huge family reunion in the very near future.

As I looked over my life I began to question why some things kept occurring.  I decided to attend counseling.  This has been a good investment for I am finding out things about myself that I either denied or never recognized.  I want to be a better Ronald for myself and the next person that enters my life.  To be honest I am enjoying my weekly sessions.  I know it will not be forever but for now I am embracing the "AHA" moments.   
I have done quite a bit of traveling this year....whew...mostly to Atlanta.  I have spent more than my share of time in airports and hotel this year.  However, my vacation was spent in Cancun this year (November 14-19).  The temperature was in the mid 80's.  I had never visited Cancun and did not know what to expect.  I really enjoyed myself and found the city clean and overall affordable.  I also did not feel unsafe at all.  I went on a tour to one of the seven wonders (Chichen itza).  Often referred to as the Mexican pyramids.  It was fascinating.  The other days were spent on the beach facing. The Gulf of Mexico with sun tan lotion, music and a margarita. Yes, I did return with a nice brown tan!!!  I couldn't think of a better way to enjoy my time. 

Thanksgiving was spent in Houston with family.  It has been quite a few years since I have done that post the passing of my dad.  It felt good to be with Cheryl, Fred, Terrence, Teresa, Angelia, Kyle, Cameron, Myles, Dylan, Grey and Kyle 2.0.  It is great to see my great nephews growing up.  I am blessed to have such a loving and supportive family.  I have no major plans for Christmas and New Year's....other than making a pot of gumbo and chilling.

I have made some new friends this year and acquaintances this year and I have loved them all.  Some have caused me some challenges where I have had to cut them out of my life; something the old me would never have done because I always wanted to be kind.   I have laughed to the point of tears with friends old and new.  Each person that has entered my life has blessed it in some way and I am thankful for their entrance and in some instances their exit (yep I said it).  Some friendships/relationships have had to be refined and redefined but it is all good that is called growth.  I look back on 2015 and smile joyously. 

Looking forward to some pending changes planned for 2016...stay tuned.   All that I am and have I owe it to God.  Without Him I would have lost my mind in some of my life challenges or been too selfish in the joyful moments.    "In everything give thanks."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Black and White and Sex All Over

On Friday I received a copy (via Facebook) of the current Ebony magazine copy noting the cast of “The Huxtables” on the cover only this cover was a bit different.  It was made to appear as of this picture was in a glass frame where the glass had been shattered.  Of course this was in direct response to the scandal surrounding actor/comedian Bill Cosby.  Seeing the cover is quite jarring.  As the cover made the rounds on the pages of various friends I noticed that the responses were mostly the same…OUTRAGE at Ebony.   Comments like “disgraceful”, “they did not need to do that”, Ebony is no longer relevant”, etc.    You see the black community is very protective of our icons or those that we feel the rest of the world is judging harshly or treating unfairly. 

This controversy took on a head of steam earlier this year when comedian Hannibal make reference in one of his appearances that Bill Cosby was a rapist.  The media began to see this has a real story.  Women began to appear out of nowhere.  Each week more women came forward all with the same story of being drugged and potentially sexually assaulted.  This was very hard to believe about a beloved public figure that has been admired throughout the years. The question in everyone’s mind was “Why didn’t any of these numerous women go to the police to report the presumed sexual assault?”   I was truly skeptical and stood is disbelief.  However, several months after constant reporting a deposition taken under oath which was discovered where Bill Cosby spoke about giving drugs to a woman.  At this point many, as well as myself, began to believe that Bill Cosby was guilty on some level.  As this continued to go on the black media remained silent until now where Ebony spoke out loud and strong with this most recent cover.      

Personally I am torn. While I do not know if Bill Cosby is guilty or innocent and I still have some doubts because I don’t think this situation is as black and white as it seems I do think the cover is very responsible.  Too many women kept silent for some reason and we may never know that reason but this can’t be a coincidence or fear.  Surely there were several women that had enough courage to feel wronged and report this to the authorities.   I do feel there was intercourse with most of these women but the looming question that may never be answered is was it on some level consensual?   The high possibility that something took place between Bill and some of these women can’t be overlooked.  The following questions seem to loom overhead:    Were the drugs taken or given willingly or unknowingly?  Is this just a means for financial opportunity or notoriety?  What every your stance regarding this issue, the black media cannot look the other way.  Looking the other way does nothing but hinder the possibility for a viewpoint that is not being whitewashed.  Ebony has a responsibility to women as well as the rest of the community to publish an article on this situation.  Therefore, I find NOTHING wrong with the cover.  The fact that the black community continues to give a pass to those who may in fact be guilty of something egregious is not a good look.  I am disheartened that we also judged Ebony very negatively for the cover.  We often get mad at the white media when they cover our stories and don’t do them justice, however, when Ebony (black media) takes the bold and possible uncomfortable stance of reporting on those touchy circumstances within the black community they get vilified for doing so.  We can’t have it both ways.