One Year Later

One Year Later

Feb 11-3This Valentine’s Day I will celebrate my one year anniversary with Milton.  It’s hard to believe all that we have been through over this past year and our wedding will be just around the corner.  We have grown not only as a couple but also as friends.

But, I almost didn’t give Milton a chance.  Milton and I met on Match.com.  Yes, online dating is alive, well and successful.  He sent me a “wink”.  I glanced at his profile, saw his age and didn’t pay must attention to the rest of his profile.  Milton is seven years younger than me and the last thing I wanted to do was play games or get free community service by hanging out with a young stud. He received no response.

About two weeks later I was looking through my emails and came across his profile.  I had time on my hands to waste, so I took some time and read his entire profile.  He sounded as if he had some potential so I “winked” back.  This started several emails between us and then a planned phone conversation.  What I thought would be a 30 minute conversation, ended up ending at 3:30 in the morning!  From there I knew he was someone I needed and wanted to meet.

That simple wink created a special bond, relationship and engagement.  And I almost passed up the opportunity.  I almost let a good thing get away simply because of vain standards I possessed.  Whether it’s a potential date, potential job or general opportunity – don’t turn your nose up just because it goes against your norm or preference.  Don’t be afraid to think and look outside the box.  They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.  Give ‘different’ a chance because it may be the change you need.

Love exists in many shapes and fashion.  To Milton – thank you for being my other half, strengths in times of need and #1 fan in times of joy. You make me a better person and I hope to be a great wife.  To OnyxLouisville readers – I love you for making Louisville a successful community that embraces ideas both big and small.  We are a valuable community and I thank you for letting me be a small part of it.

Good Man/Bitter Woman

Good Man?  Bitter Women?

Jan 11-3Someone’s Facebook post –  ”Is it too much to ask for a educated, goal driven black man that takes care of his responsibilities, and is honest and not a cheater….but at the same time is not a lame, can protect me if something pops off, could hurt me but wouldn’t dare dream of laying a finger on me, and can put me in my place when I start talking sideways? Does this person exist?”  Ug!  Whatever!

There are plenty of qualified single black men.   Many are here in Louisville.  They have great personalities, know how to treat a woman and are looking to settle down. But here’s the issue – for every 1 black man, there are probably at least 7 black eligible women.   So, instead of women yapping about the lack of black men, maybe they need to spend their time stepping up their game so that they can attract one of those eligible (and fine) black men.   If all you do is complain about life and love, why would anyone want to give you a chance?  A black man doesn’t owe you anything.

We need to quit blaming the opposite sex and assuming something is wrong with him.  Some women need to look in the mirror and figure out why they haven’t been asked out on a date in years.  Women, give the nice guy a chance.  If you’re truly looking to settle down, you’ll find that his genuine, caring characteristics can go a long way. Men, let down your guard and man up!  Women want to feel appreciated.  Quit holding up the walls in clubs and strike up a meaningful conversation.  Isn’t it also interesting that men look so much more attractive once they are in a relationship? You weren’t interested in him when he tried to be your friend, so quit sweating him now that he’s found someone that appreciates him.

We spend so much time complaining about the opposite sex that we often let someone with great potential walk right past us.  Beyonce and Denzel are not going to enter your life, so quit waiting for them.   Give someone a chance that you normally wouldn’t. Think about the vibe that you put off and try not to bring past baggage to a new situation.  We all want and deserve to be loved.  Black love is in the air – but you have to clear your personal space  before it can enter in.

I Can’t Stand the Rain

I Can’t Stand the Rain

Dec10-1If I had to think of a theme song to describe part of my life, The Rain (Super Dupa Fly) by Missy Elliott would be it.  Well, let me change that!  I just googled the lyrics to that song and it in no way describe me.  She must have been smokin’ some good stuff when she wrote those verses.

Anyway, my name is Michelle Yeager and I hate the rain. Not only do I hate the rain, but I am scared of the rain.  Nothing ever traumatic happened in my life.  I wasn’t left out in the rain as a child and forced to walk home.  I was never so poor that all I had to drink was rain water.  Plain and simple – rain and I just aren’t friends.

You know when it’s raining outside and you see someone driving 45 mph on the expressway?  That’s me.  I drive with pride in the slow lane.   I have both hands on the steering wheel, my seat pulled up close and I have no problem with all of the cars that pass me.  I will take my merry little time to get to my destination and my simple excuse was “it was raining”.

The other tiff I have with rain is just being outside in the rain in general.   I don’t know of any healthy minerals that rain provides for your hair.  No, in all actuality, it does just the opposite.   The humidity of the rain can make a fly new hair style disappear.   Those two raindrops on your hair can make that one section look completely different than the rest of your ‘do.   It’s just not right!

Now, I did have to temporarily make amends with rain this summer.  As a homeowner, I saw how thirsty my grass became.  As it slowly turned from green to olive brown, I knew the only solution was a good rain.  I had to do a temporary rain dance for drops to fall from the sky.  I prayed to the rain gods for rain (but only once I was safe in my house).    I can’t say those rain prayers were answered, but I did give it a try.

Some people dislike clowns, others dislike snake.  Me – I dislike rain.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get over my fear of rain or if I have just internalized it as a part of my life.  Regardless, I know that it is something that will always be a part of my life.  Love it or hate it, rain is here to stay.  This can apply to many things in our lives.  There are some things you can’t control and you have to learn to best deal with it.   Whether it’s buying an umbrella or just staying home, there are ways to cope.  If you’re in a situation now that you have no control over, what adjustments are you making to continue on with your life?

M.Y. December 2010

If You Only Knew Me

If You Only Knew Me

Oct10-1Late one night I happened to be flipping channels and came across a show on MTV.   It’s called “If You Only Knew Me”.  The show picks a different high school each week and takes the students through a one day Challenge Day program.  It starts out with everyone playing fun games, but by the end of the show everyone has shared a deep part of themselves.

I started DVRing the show and every time I watch it, I end up in tears.  Here you have a group of youth that start out with their basic labels (prep, jock, emo, nerd, lesbian).  But as they do different activities, each person shares something about themselves (i.e. they are homeless, they hate to look at themselves in the mirror, they’ve contemplated suicide, they feel all alone)  It’s an amazing transformation to see these teens realize how many things they have in common with each other.  They realize that although someone else’s life seems “perfect” he/she has his/her own struggles.  It was often the students with the biggest personalities that had the most to reveal.

It was also an important message for each person to understand that they are not alone.  The person that thought about committing suicide realized that many others had felt at their all time low.  The athletes sometimes broke down crying because all their life they never felt good enough in their parents’ eye.

I don’t cry often, but this show has a tremendous effect on me.  I think it would be pretty cool if adults could do the same type of activities.  So often we judge people by the neighborhood they live in, the crowd they hang around, the church they attend or even the men/women they’ve dated.   We stick our noses up at others and assume the gossip we hear is truth.  But, if we “really knew each other” we could see that we’ve all had our struggles.  Some reach back to childhood, while others have their own personal struggles today.  How often have you talked about someone or posted something on Facebook about them without evening taking time to realize what type of emotional toll it could take on that person?  We need to quit judging each other and instead offer each other a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear.    There’s no time to start like today (and while you’re at it, check out the show!)

M.Y.  October 2010

Black and White

Black and White

Sept10-4I went to a banquet I attend yearly.  This year’s theme was “Hats Off”.  I found a black and white hat and dress.  My boyfriend and I walked up toward The Olmstead together and we crossed the path of a man that was walking out into the parking lot.  He walked up to me and joked that maybe we should have arrived together since he too was dressed in black and white.  I mean, this dude was dressed to the “T” in black and white combinations.   We all laughed, my boyfriend and I went on in the building and started looking at silent auction items.

The guy came up to us again and started talking with us.  This time he touched my boyfriend’s chest, removed his nametag and said “Remember, your nametag always goes on the side of your body where people can easily see it when they shake your hand”.  He asked me if my mother approved of my boyfriend and I said unfortunately she passed away before she could meet him. The entire time this guy talked to us he had a very friendly personality and a smile.  It was just interesting that he took so much pleasure in us.

More minutes pass on.  We are still looking at various bid items.  I feel something at my shoulders and look back.  This guy presents me with this bag.  In it are a pair of earrings, a necklace and bracelet.  The colors of the jewelry are black and white!  (At the time I actually didn’t have on any of that type of jewelry).  I looked at him funny at first and jokingly asked him if he stole it off one of the auction tables.  He laughed and told us that he does auctions on the side and he keeps random items in his car.

Once the banquet started and we sat at our table, I decided to put on the jewelry.  It matched perfectly.  I looked around the banquet hall for the guy because I wanted to thank him for such a kind gesture.  I found him sitting at a pretty distinguished table surrounded by all of the oncologist doctors that treated many of the cancer survivors at the banquet.  I walked to the table and said hello to all the others at the table and found out the guy was married to one of the female oncologists.

As the banquet came to an end, I went and said my goodbyes and saw my boyfriend once again talking to this guy.  This time they were exchanging phone numbers.  My boyfriend mentioned the field of work he was in and this guy knew a great mentor that he should talk to.  Here is a guy that is just genuinely a nice human.  He wasn’t flirting with me.  He wasn’t trying to hustle my boyfriend.  He is a guy with a great personality and our paths just happened to cross at just the right time.

Everyone enters our lives for a reason.  Be careful of who you block out of your life just because they look a little different from you.   There are positive people on every corner, you just must keep your eyes, heart and mind open when they come near.

M.Y. September 2010

Could Be Worse

Could Be Worse

Aug10-4I can be my own worst enemy.  For several days, I was somewhat down about something that happened in my life.  It was anything horribly tragic, but it weighed on my mind a great deal.  I constantly reflected on the “what-ifs” and knew if the situation presented itself again that I would have done several things differently.  But, now it was after the fact and there wasn’t a single thing I could do.  I let this issue weigh on my mind during the day.  I “shoulda, coulda, woulda”. At night I had trouble sleeping.  Then two events in one day made all of my worrisome thoughts disappear.

It started with watching the morning news.  Hundreds of people had started lining up as early as 11:00pm the night before just to be the first in line for potential job openings at the KY State Fair. They interviewed a woman that said she’d been unemployed for over six years.   A man said that he was hoping for some funds to feed his family and have supplies for his baby.  This was disheartening because it wasn’t just a handful of people that were down on their luck.  No, these were hundreds of members of our community who are desperately in need of a job – any job.  Watching the story further made me appreciate the paycheck that I receive on a regular basis and made my issue seem somewhat petty.

Then, a couple of hours later I was talking on the phone with a woman.  She had had some health issues going on and it wasn’t until our phone call that I learned all that was happening.  She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and was still in shock about all that she was getting ready to endure.  This was someone that was around my age so it could have just as easily been me.  You could tell she was scared, and I knew that even once she beat the disease her life would never be the same.  Here I am pouting over something that really has no effect on my life while this woman has to re-prioritize her entire life.

We may think things are bad in our world – just know they can be so much worse. So often we complain and lose sleep on the small minor things in life instead of focusing on all the blessings that surround us.  That night after I arrived home and lay down to bed, I feel right asleep.  The worries that had lingered every night before were now just a thing of the past.  My worry really wasn’t worth worrying over.  I changed my perspective around and further appreciated the positive things and people that surrounded me.

M.Y. August 2010