Dance Like No One’s Watching

When I am old and gray I really don’t think I’ll care about the amount of stuff (designer; expensive or labeled with other peoples names) I have accumulated or the corporate ladder I had to climb but instead that I enjoyed those who came into my life. That I laughed often and danced without a care as to who was watching, even when my feet hurt. So I aim to do that now. I don’t want to have regrets so I try to be a little better today than yesterday. I try to bring a little sunshine into the lives of those I interact with while I’m around. I never know how long I’ll be around, nor do I know how long they will either.

Last Saturday night I went to the WRFG 89.3 FM Pledge Drive Wrap Party. I brought an abundance of fruit, I convinced people to buy raffle tickets for the station and I engaged with as many people as I could. I got drinks for people sitting in the audience and overall did what I could to make people feel welcomed. That to me is what having a good time is, connecting with new people and ensuring that we all have a good time together.

I guess one good turn deserves another because I was offered the chance to go to Angie Stones’ Album Release Party for her new album Dream. The chance to see her in concert was not planned but right on time. It happened, I’d say, because I chose to show up and as a result, was rewarded by the universe because I don’t believe in coincidences. I even found a dime on our way into the venue!

Wanique Pledge Drive Wrap PartyWRFG 89.3 FM’s Director of Operations, Wanique Shabazz

BCBG ShoesBanana Republic cuffed pants; BCBGirls* Shoes

“Dance like no one is watching…even if your feet hurt”

Inga O,

I thought you should know.

*Updated shoe brand error.

This past Thursday, October 8th, I went looking for a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It was my intention to get it from my local library but the fact that I was 126th on the waiting list made me nervous. I have to read it for an on air book review that I started on the radio show I host with a few friends (The show is called The Press KIT with Inga O & Co. on WRFG 89.3 FM. More info on that to come). So once I confirmed that the library system was not a viable option I went to find a book store nearby. I just didn’t want to get in my car and go back to the familiar Barnes and Noble so I went for a walk and stumbled upon the Little Shop of Stories. A Quaint book store that is tucked away in the local square. I completely forgot about it and upon entering I was immediately reminded why I love patronizing independent book stores. Justin gave the right level of information about the store and its features and guided me to the book I came for. As I perused other titles I was informed that the Little Shop of Stories both carried and hosted author book signings. I love autographed books! As I walked around, looking at what seemed to be every book, I was informed that there was an author talk that night and it was complementary.

After listening to Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti share the process and the characters that created Zeros, the first in a Trilogy I was sold. I ran downstairs, bought a copy and got in line to get it signed. How could I resist a bunch of misfits with modern superpowers? This will be one for the on-air radio book club.

Tips On Getting Books Autographed:

Books that only have the authors signature and are not personalized are more valuable.

I ask all authors to put an inspirational word in the book along with their signature

I do not EVER lend my autographed books out (or my hard cover books either for that matter) not everyone takes care of books or worse they may never come home again.

There is nothing like a good book. Go to your local library, they need our support. Go to an independent book seller they need our support too. Get into a good read and please share your favorite titles with me!

Inga O,

I thought you should know!

Zeros by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Zeros by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Little Shop of Stories

Little Shop of Stories- Decatur GA

Taking Care of Brain Children

GOD grant me the to change the things I can… ~via Inga_O Twitter account

I love lists. I know I’m not alone because I read somewhere that humans are wired to make lists. My downfall is that I make them on random bits of paper everywhere. As inspiration hits, I grab the closest thing made of paper and a pen and start jotting. Not surprisingly after a few days I am either overwhelmed by how to take care of my brain children or annoyed that I have so much paper clutter around me. So this past week I’ve made a concerted effort to condense all of my thoughts and scribbles into a notebook. Really it’s an out dated Franklyn Covey Planner that I didn’t use effectively. That is where my To-Do’s live and I get the satisfaction of seeing them crossed off. I have pretty notebooks and utilitarian notebooks and notebooks with witty quotes on the cover but those are reserved for more developed thoughts.

I have worked hard at letting go of my need to be perfect but in terms of notebooks, that is the last frontier. I want the choices of thoughts to be preserved in the pages of the books aforementioned. In my mind when I am long gone “someone” will find them and be in awe of just how articulate, fun and forward thinking I was.

At least, that is the story in my head. And isn’t that where they say it all starts?

Inga O,

I thought you should know.

Brain Children

Brain Children

We Revert Back To What We Know

When all else fails we revert to what we know.

My earliest memories are of the inside of the Royal Bank of Canada. I must have been 3 or 4 years old and although it was a very boring place for a preschooler, I do remember the smooth, round lights embedded in the counter at my eye level. They were flat on the outside and the whole thing reminded me of the Flintstones. I watched the Flintstones everyday while eating lunch.

I was at the bank with my Great-Grand-Mother. This is what we did regularly enough for me to still have the memory etched in my mind. Our ritual (that I would later deduce was a monthly one) always ended the same way. She would heft me up to sit on the counter and I would chicken scratch what was supposed to be my name. I’m sure the tellers got a kick out of it and after she would show me the passbook, with it’s numbers created out of little tiny dots and say, “Inga, this is your money.”

Ma, as she was affectionately called, made it clear to me then with each monthly deposit that although the Government called me her foster child I was simply hers and she would not use a penny of that money to raise me.

The money is long gone but the lessons and feeling of excitement when we verbally celebrated as the numbers went up are still with me now. You revert back to what you know.  When things don’t go the way you’d like and the new shiny toy doesn’t satisfy remember that we go back to what is familiar, our soul’s version of comfort food. I am fortunate to have been given the feeling of wealth and the excitement that those tiny numbers conveyed even before I could spell my name.

As I participate in the 36 to Life Challenge I am awakening those preschool feelings. The challenge will focus me on debt elimination and owning 3 real estate properties in the next 3 years and will help me no longer get distracted by the next shiny thing. I am fortunate to have this as my story but even if yours is the polar opposite, I implore you to adopt mine, write a new story or read a book to help you focus on your desired goals.

Revert back to what you want to know.

Sincerely,

Inga O

rbc-bank Art

36 to Life

After a too long hiatus I’m back. I can’t say that I missed writing because my focus was on the daily changes big and small that have kept me away but I always knew I was born to write and so I knew that I was denying a part of me. Well I have taken on the renewed stance of embracing all parts of me. The good, the bad and the ugly as I strive to create the life that I choose to have.

It seems so easy to pin a quote to a wall and use it as a mantra. They say you should start with “I” to internalize it. “I will be the best me possible!” The things I want to document and share here are the challenges, how I over came them and what I did when it was hard to keep focus on the goal. Ah the goal. I have chosen a lofty one to accomplish in the next 36 months. A friend and I are calling it “36 to Life” This is the opposite of going to jail, this is an opportunity to get free for the rest of our lives. For me that means I will obtain the goal of being consumer debt free and own multiple properties with in 3 years. 36 month.

I hope you think about joining in on this challenge. Choose your own lofty goal. Plan for the next 36 months. Comment to share your goal and lets make it happen together!

XOX

Inga O; I thought you should know.

Empowerment Was Earned That Day

ok-sun-is-shining soundlogik[dot]com

 “Not one drop of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me” Quincy Jones

 

The day I realized that no matter what you do, there will be people who just don’t like you was the day that I set myself free. Prior to that faithful day I was the pleaser. Always wanting everyone to like me and invite me and include me and feeling personally slighted when it didn’t happen. “Why wasn’t I invited?” What did I do wrong?” “How could I have been nicer?“  These questions would swim around my head like angry Piranha gnawing at my brain for days, weeks and sometimes months. I was a hopeless people pleaser and couple that with a mild manner and fear of speaking up and you get an easy target.

I remember the day that all changed well. It was a sunny day and I had on my High School uniform: Blue plaid skirt, crisp white shirt, navy blue socks and black penny loafers; all regulation at the old, all girl private catholic school on the hill. My hair was straightened and blew in the warm breeze. After school I would go the long way to my mother’s hair salon, pass the area guaranteed to have the most boys who looked like me. I was an anomaly at school, one of two Afro-Caribbean girls in a grade level comprising of 3 classes. Was it a coincidence that we were placed in the same class? That fact really didn’t matter because I was alone in the expression of our culture. AS soon as the bell rang I was on the train headed to the part of town none of my school mates would dare venture into. Looking back now through mature eyes and life’s wisdom; I realize that I was an anomaly there too. I couldn’t see it then as I desperately sought acceptance and approval. I wanted to belong. I wanted everyone to like me. I needed to fit in…somewhere. So I did all I could to get others to realize that I was nice/kind/loving/friendly/loyal. And if they didn’t “get it” at first I would just try harder. Make them realize how great I am. Yet, that faithful day as I walked along the cracked sidewalk, pondering God-knows-what I had a moment that Oprah would later coin as “an AHA.” I realized that some boys just wouldn’t like me. Maybe I didn’t fall for them. Sleep with them. Give them something that they wanted. I realized that some girls just wouldn’t like me either. Maybe I had a big bum. Maybe I had hair that was too long. Maybe their boyfriends looked at me in that certain way. It had nothing to do with me.

That faithful day the light bulb went on and I realized that since I can’t please everyone and make them all like me, I may as well stop trying and please myself. Some will, some won’t, so what. I decided to enjoy the company of those who wanted to be around me and wish the others well on their journey. Empowerment was earned that day, as I walked along the crack riddled sidewalk, hair blowing in the wind with a smile on my face.

 

Inga O,

I thought you should know.

Photo credit

Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend Free Tickets

Oprah

I made a pact with myself and then with my friend Judy O at the end of August that September would be different. September 2014 would mark a new beginning. 2014 is more than half over and it’s time to actually plan to end it with a bang I thought. We decided to have an early lunch and life decided that we “Make a Day of It,”  you can read all about that here.  By the end of that day we knew that we were in it together.

Between that optimistic and eventful start to September and our promises of holding each other accountable, life continued to propel us forward. She called and texted and would have sent smoke signals to let me know that she got us complementary tickets to Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend. Not only did we meet over an episode of Oprah’s Giveaway Show we just talked about embracing September as a month of new beginnings. The Weekend event was all about new beginnings. It fit in perfectly and I was thrilled that she thought of me while life was clearly providing more information for us to use to move us forward.

As I sit here I realize that I’ve been grumpy, tearful and anxious all week and because of it I have been focused on all the wrong things: what I do not have or have not accomplished. I guess we all can take a time out for a whiny break but I know I  just can’t get suck. I am ready to continue on the adventure that life has me on. Time to dust myself off and get back on the wagon. I don’t know where it will lead but I am making a promise to myself to put in the time to find out.

 

Inga O,

I thought you should know.