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Day 29: Love #SteeleThankful Challenge

Day 29: Love #SteeleThankful Challenge

Last year I was apart of two wedding parties.  It was an honor to watch people that are so special to me dedicate their lives to walking this journey in life with someone else…as one.

This year my bonus sister tied the knot.  My sister’s best friend married her soul mate.  The biggest honor was her asking if I could help her get in her bridal gown before the blessed event.  I was beaming with excitement.  My sister’s friends were always viewed as bonus big sisters so I was ready to participate in the big day.

Love can come into our lives at the most inconvenient time.  A time when we don’t think we are ready to give the love to someone else.  We aren’t emotionally available to share ourselves with someone else.  Or, we believe that it can’t happen.

This day reminded me that you must always be open to love.  Not to be naive, but be open to the possibility of the perfect love story changing your life forever.

I’m #SteeleThankful for the possibility of love.

What are you #SteeleThankful for?

Steele Thankful 2016

Dear Foolish Pride…

Dear Foolish Pride…

Pride. Yes I have a lot of that. The first step is admitting it right?

I had a few friends over the last week tell me that I was stubborn, and living with pride. It took me having a conversation with my mom in the kitchen one evening to realize that all of this was true.

I absolutely hate asking for help. Why? Rejection could be right around the corner, and sometimes I think I am SUPERWOMAN. I mean it’s okay to feel as though you have the super powers all the time, but hey it’s also okay to admit when you don’t.

And this past week, I was fresh out.

I mean it was the end of the month. About to start the 4th quarter of 2016, and I was losing steam.

I had that feeling of no way of coming back from the last week that I had experienced.

And then that night, I turned some music on, danced and sang in the mirror until I got sleepy.

I woke up on September 1st with a new outlook on life. I made a few phone calls, and then BOOM. Doors began to happen.

All I had to do was ask. It was possible that rejection could have been on the end of that call, but it wasn’t. I had to believe that everything was going to work out and it did. I had to have a Plan A and be prepared to turn a Plan B into plan A if I needed to. Did you understand the last line? If not, read it again.

The plan that I’m always referencing can not work if I’m not willing to work the plan, and ask for what I want.

Here’s a great example:

I was struggling with the whole raising money for my documentary project. I was thinking well you know maybe crowd funding will work. I didn’t reach my goal, and I began to feel bummed. Then it hit me. I have to be transparent, and then ask. Oh that’s how this thing works.

So, I added a “Donate” button to the website for the project, and I received my first donation on Friday! It was such a surprise and a blessing. The message that the donor left me was so inspiring. It was just the pick me up that I needed.

It’s important to ask for what you want. I’m working on my pride, and I know it’s a one-day at a time process.

I hope you’re encouraged on this Labor Day. See ya in the same place next week!

To check out the current documentary project please click here.  If you would like to donate please do, and thennnnnnn you’ll hear from me!

Thanks again for all of your love and support.

Xoxo,

R.J.

My labor of love, “Final 48 Project.” The will to keep going!

My labor of love, “Final 48 Project.” The will to keep going!

I know this post is supposed to be about still floating on a cloud because of Valentine’s Day but quite frankly it’s nothing like that.
My Valentine’s Day will never be the same, and this year I declared that I’m okay with that. I knew when my dad passed away the day before V-Day 3 years ago that my life would be completely different this time of the year.
I’m not bitter or against the holiday. I choose to display or talk about love in a different way. I use this holiday to restructure my life’s goals, because that’s something that started three years ago. I should probably keep the tradition going, right? Instead of being depressed due to the reminder of my father being absent I had to think of another way to honor him.
This year I decided that I would own that my life has officially changed, and I’m unapologetic because it’s my life! The relaunch of my labor of love is under way and I’m excited to share it with you. I know that this project would not be possible without knowing my story, and my connection to this amazing grief platform. When you get a chance be sure to follow/like @Final48Project on all social media to follow the journey. Hopefully it will impact your life and give you an extra boost to keep going! I appreciate your love and support. Stay tuned…

Day 16 – “Love” #SteeleThankful Challenge (30 Days of Thanks)

Day 16 – “Love” #SteeleThankful Challenge (30 Days of Thanks)

When you look at your calendar and notice that you are on Day 16,  and decided that the topic would be “Love.”  **Begins singing Love by Musiq Soulchild**  Am I ready to talk about the four letter word?

I’ve experienced love before, a time or two.  I even thought I was close to marriage, and then I realized it wasn’t love.  Someone once told me that you can be in love with the thought of a person, and not the person.  That statement changed the way I looked at love.  I opened up about how I witnessed true love as an adult in one of my first interviews.  You can listen to that podcast here.

My iPod is full of 90s R&B music.  I believe in love, not just for myself, but for those around me.  This year, I was able to be apart of two weddings, in May and September.  Being able to see the two relationships blossom was something that I needed to witness to reassure me that love was still possible.

I learned a long time ago that you can tell whomever you want, whatever you want especially when it comes to love.  The real test comes when you apply action.  My father was never really big on uttering the four letter word.  One of his strongest attributes was being a provider.  Sometimes I felt as if he believed what’s understood doesn’t need to be explained.

I can remember standing at the bus stop in college, and I was on the phone with my dad.  He was never big on having long phone conversations.  He said what he had to say and concluded the call.  This particular day I had to hit the pause button. I had to stop him and tell him that as his daughter I needed to hear that he loved me more.  I needed to hear it from my father even though I NEVER felt as though he didn’t love me, I just wanted to hear it.  I recognized in that moment that I needed to speak up about how I wanted to be treated, and it had to start with my father.

Can I be honest with you?  It was hard for me to say I love you first, to anyone.  Rejection was probably the reason.  What if this person that I said it to, didn’t say it back?  Reality set in and I realized it was hurting me more by not letting others know that I love them, and to stop looking for someone to always return the favor.

I’ll admit I’m a hopeless romantic at times.  That Love Jones, BrownSugar, Love & Basketball kind of love story that melts your heart and reminds you about the various avenues of love. I’m #SteeleThankful for true love and the heartbreak lessons I’ve experienced along the way.  Those moments have allowed me to receive the power of the four letter word…Love.

What are you #SteeleThankful for?

(L-R) Dad, Pastor McAfee, Mom 3/6/1976
(L-R) Dad, Pastor McAfee, Mom
Wedding Photo