I got a little down the other day for a split second. It’s funny how someone’s choice of words can bring us back in time to a place where we were laughed at or picked on. In my case, years after grade & high school, the saga continues… Lol
I grew up in a low-income neighborhood. Ok, let’s just call it what it was, “The Hood.” Now while I wouldn’t trade what I learned growing up there, many of my childhood friends were of other back grounds and cultures, and I was exposed to so much. I would pick up the “good” I saw and choose to “pass” on the negative lifestyle I saw so many living.
There was a lot of goodness. The little girls would corn roll my hair each Sunday after church and on any given night under the street lamps the kids would be playing Double Dutch. I learned Indian prayers and chants, how to cook Polish dishes, How to Salsa like my Latin friends and up until last week I think I thought I was African American. Lol. I didn’t know the difference. Much like Steve Martin in “The Jerk” (yeah, go look that one up…) I just thought I was a part of it all. I didn’t see the dissimilarities, only how I could learn from this bountiful cornucopia of people I was surrounded by. This was my neighborhood and I loved it.
But as I got older I noticed a lot of pain. People would “medicate” and “numb” themselves, and it imprisoned them. It actually kept them “down” and paralyzed them from ever moving ahead. I saw the connection with drugs and alcohol and I guess made a conscious decision not to par take. And let me tell you I am STILL laughed at, scoffed at, teased and pressured. It’s kind of sad and kind of a joke.
"Live and let live" I say. While so many of my friends drink, get drunk, have problems and watch their families fall apart, I am ONLY there to be supportive and offer a kind ear. I try to encourage them to get help and be there to offer healthy alternatives to their time, like exercise. I offer to take them to the gym, or go running with them. I only try and help in a kind way.
Yet again, so many people TO THIS DAY, ridicule me for my choice of not drinking. For the love of God… I rarely even drink caffeine! I drink vegetable smoothies all day, have cut out all the BS foods in my life, I’m in the gym several hours a day and am leaner and stronger than I’ve ever been. I don’t have any physical ailments and lead a pretty damn happy life. So why ya gotta hate on me! Lol. If I were going to have the calories in some of these drinks out there, I’d have a big ole fat brownie with nuts and ice cream! That’s more how I roll. So respect that, and basically leave me the heck alone! J
As I said in the beginning, I got hurt when a friend was drinking and then started to mock me for not. Maybe I should have brought up the fact they’ve gained 20 lbs… but I didn’t… I took the high road and just left, saying nothing unkind.
The point of this blog is this. Stand your ground. Be who you are even if others don’t like it. And ESPECIALLY if you know it’s right for you. Find friends who support the healthy things you do. And if people are pressuring you to do things you don’t want to, GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THEM! I promise you will BE OK! I have a lot of younger readers who will see this. And you’re going to get the same message I give in my school talks. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaWe2vTjFWE) You don’t HAVE to do ANYTHING you don’t want to. Stand tall. Do what you know is right. And when you get to be my age, you will be as strong as an ox; mentally, physically and spiritually. I challenge anyone to knock me down. Cause it aint happenin'. I’ve been going against the grain ever since I was 3. My relatives will attest to that. Nothing is changing anytime soon. :-)
If you are one of my older friends out there, and are maybe IN or out of recovery, YOU will get the same preachin' I do when I speak at chemical dependency centers. PEEPS! Surround yourself with POSITIVE, KIND, ENCOURAGING friends. Don’t go back to the people who just wanted you for what you could hook them up with. Fill yourself with good. That’s the only way you will stay on your path. Ask yourself, “does this person like me for me? Do they have my best interest at heart? Would the BE there for me when I needed it? If the answer is not YES, move on. Move on.
The cool thing is this. When I left that situation, where my so-called friend was publically mocking me for not drinking, I came home. I came back to the studio and opened a drawer to have some of my DAMN tea! Lol And much to my surprise, do you know what was in that drawer? Sure it was a crap load of tea, but more importantly, there was LOVE. Love and realization that ALL of the tea in that drawer was given to me by people who LOVE and RESPECT me for being ME. All of it I’ve gotten as gifts in the mail, on my birthday and holidays. EVERY time I get a present from someone there is some tea in the box. Because the REAL friends I have get ME! And I LOVE them for it!
See the glass half full people. Always. When you are down, feelin discouraged LOOK AROUND! I promise if you change your perspective just a bit, you will find beauty and love. You just have to look for it. If you are hanging out with jack asses that bring you down, guess what? Kick em to the curb and find NEW friends! They are out there and will love you for YOU!!!
Thank you to so many of you who understand I’m different and do my own thing. And thank you for the tea! I love it and think of you ALL with every cup! XXOO
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