Come Through NJ’s Own Ms. Lauryn Hill🙌🏾👸🏾👑🔥

I am STILL on a high! But before I go all the way in on this blog, let me give you guys a precursor. Please don’t get it twisted! Although I am a HUGE fan of Ms. Lauryn Hill, if I felt like her show was bad I would say so. I am not bias when it comes to live performances. So with that being said, MS. HILL JUST GAVE ME LIFE LAST NIGHT!.

Yes this was a #BucketListConcert for me. I became a TRUE  Lauryn Hill fan pretty late in life. I think it was Spring of 2000, I was playing AAU with the NJ Monarchs. We were all piled in this van going someplace, and in the background, Ms. Hill was playing. Now let me be clear, I knew who L-Boogie was in these Fugee streets. I loved her in Sister Act 2, her singles played all the time. But prior to this particular road trip, I never took the time to fully and truly listened to The Miseducation. Please don’t shoot me, I was young!!! My life consist of Gospel, Jazz,  Country, Church, School and Basketball. I didn’t have older siblings that let me sneak and listen to their music. Therefore, my education on anything outside of theses things were a tad bit delayed.

I will never forget the moment my life changed. As we are riding along crammed in this van, Every Ghetto, Every City starts to play. Now me being a Newark Girl (Brick City Born and Raised). Ms. Hill had my ear,  “Story starts in Hoodaville, Grew Up NEXT To IVY Hill”.  Wait, what Hoodaville, Ivy Hill, THAT’S MY NEIGHBORHOOD, I thought to myself. As I attentively set up, took notice, and witness Ms. Lauryn Hill run down every spot of my life. S. Orange Ave, Boylen Pool, Main St, Springfield Ave, Frelinghuysen, Hawthorne and Chancellor’s beef, Hillside, P-S-P… I felt like my heart was pumping out of my chest! Like I knew Lauryn and the Fugees were from NJ, but it wasn’t until this day that I knew they were FROM NJ. Not just NJ but MY NJ. This was the first time I’d ever heard someone break down so much about my childhood and area I grew up in, I was hooked. I’m sure my Monarch teammates were so done with me, I asked Coach Fu to run the track back like three times! Since that day, I could never get enough of Ms. Hill!

All that being said, coming into last night’s concert I was already on a natural high! I purchased a solo ticket, and took my happy self to the concert. I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about the show. Listening to all the “stories” one hears about L-Boogie, I expected her to be 3 hrs late, and we wouldn’t leave until like after 2am. Although all the rumors stated Ms. Hill usually put on a bad show, I wasn’t worried. I had faith! Shoot, clearly Ms. Hill loves NJ like I do, so I KNEW she was going to put on a GREAT show!

Based on me knowing Ms. Hill was going to be a little late, I didn’t leave my house until 8pm.Got to venue by like 8:20, parked, stood on line for about 10 mins and walked damn near straight to front of the stage! Ms. Hill hit the stage at around 9:40 which is NOT bad for an 8pm show. I think the longest I ever waited was at the Jay and Em concert at Yankee Stadium. This is pretty common in the hip-hop world of concerts so I was cool.  So here I am, in all my glory waiting for Ms. Lauryn Hill to hit the stage. While waiting for Ms. Hill, made friends with a group from Brooklyn who recently moved to NJ. As the DJ started to spin, I’m Snap Chatting my life away, in anticipation of Ms. Hill!

And then she walks out, and my life is again changed forever! Man people say the b.s about Lauryn Hill, but she put on an AMAZING show last night!!!! I tried to catch every bit of it on camera. Had to put my phone down a few times to fully be in the moment of the vocal and lyrical BEAST OF A WOMAN!!! I imagine Ms. Hill to be a perfectionist, because she wanted nothing but greatness from her band, as she directed her life throughout the concert. I am still in awe about what I witnessed last night.

Over all Ms. Hill is simply put A BEAST! I stood in amazement as she flexed her vocal talent, and laced the crowd with lyrical insightful rhythms. I tried to share as much as I could to the people to prove that Ms. Hill is always and forever a GEM in this wold of music. I was doing a pretty good job, my twitter, IG, FB, and Periscope followers were loving Ms. Hill. I feel bad because for whatever reason, my phone started acting up during the BEST performance of the night. Sorry to my Periscope friends. My phone was acting up on the BEST SONG OF THE NIGHT!Ms. Hill slayed, killed, gave life, killed again and gave more life through her Nina Simone “Feeling Good” rendition!!!! WHY WASN’T Ms. HILL BOOKED FOR THE NINA MOVIE AGAIN 😒😶😐🤔 󾌦?! Ms Lauryn Hill not only CAME THROUGH NJ, but she gave her soul!!!!

I am still on a natural high! Ms. Lauryn Hill gave me life last night! Vocally STILL A BEAST in the game. Her lyrical rhythms left me speechless. I still feel like a little kid lol all night I dreamt about the show! I’m blessed!! Ms Lauryn Hill not only CAME THROUGH NJ, but she gave her soul!!!! Again s/o to my 🔌 Amanda Chanel Hill and Jazmine Wright, I was simply happy to be in the building! Even if y’all couldn’t have, I was excited! But y’all did and made my life that much more amazing! The ONLY thing that would have made my life even better is if Ms. Hill had performed Every Ghetto, Every City. But I have no complaints. Love and Peace to the Queen Ms. Lauryn Hill THANK YOU! 👸🏾👑💁🏾🙌🏾🔥✌🏾😘

 

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Dear Future Husband

Saw this image on someone’s FaceBook page earlier today. I instantly liked the pic, but it got me to thinking. Recently I am in a rebuild/transitional stage in my life. I’ve become more aware and actively holding myself accountable for my very uncomfortable situation, I have been in the last few years. I acknowledge my bullshit. I’ve written plans, and working towards solutions to reach all my goals. I try to forgive myself often and as quickly as possible, so I don’t harp on my mishaps. This is hard for me, I’m a perfectionist, and I over analyze EVERYTHING! Again, I know my BS and working on growing. I learn from myself, my actions, and make myself accountable.Dear future husband, I have absolutely no problem with working on me, I will acknowledged and apologize for my foolishness quickly. I am however still progressively learning how to stop doing some of the negative, and break the cycle of my generational crap. Working every day towards being the best Jada I can be.

This Jada I am working to become is a freaking rockstar! She has her shit together, all across the board. Financially, great credit, kind heartened, goal oriented, dream catcher, career thriving, living life in light as much as possible, loving, kind, in a heathy relationship with herself and her MAN. This Jada has a man that loves ALL of her, and she actually trust him to build and grow a bomb ass DYNASTY/FAMILY TOGETHER.

So back to the pic posted. When I read it, I liked it. I know too many women/men in the world who don’t want to work for the dream. They simply want the fantasy already assembled. No shade to these people, they know the game, and somehow figure out how to get others to take care of them.

Calling myself on my own personal bullshit, majority of the men I’ve dated have been bums. No ambition, no drive, no future, stuck in a ghetto mental telepathy as I once was.  I’ve allowed men to take from me without providing ANYTHING to my life other than stress. It wasn’t their fault at all, I ALLOWED this to happen. Because my self esteem, worth, and thoughts of myself were so negative and messy, these are the type of men I attracted in my life.

When I did date the more established and ambition men (lawyer, teacher, detective, sheriff, professional athlete), I ALLOWED them to treat me like shit because I wasn’t happy with me. Let me keep it all the way real, some of them didn’t even treat me like crap, I didn’t believe that I was worthy enough to be seen with them. I felt like because I didn’t have a big ass, didn’t own my own loft/condo, bad credit, no savings, pretty much because I wasn’t a “bad bitch” as described by social media and reality tv, I wasn’t desirable.

I am no longer this woman! Because of my evolution into Rock Star Jae, I now understand, appreciate, and know my worth and what I bring to the table (I’ve got IT). Not to toot my own horn, but even with my sometimes EXTREMELY annoying behaviors, and geeky nature, I’m pretty BOMB, and a lot of men have been TRYING to be on team Jae. Because they see this light, of confidence, intelligence, determination, and know my views on building a dynasty with my future mate, they want me to help them GET IT because I’ve GOT IT. What’s even crazier,  is this is the just the beginning. When I figure out how to effectively budget, save, and build wealth, I’m going to really be the 💩.

I digress back to picture posted. There is a very thin line between working with someone to help you GET IT, and one who will work to GET YOU because you GOT IT. Let me break it down a little more. Within this evolution, I’ve come across men who only want to be with me because they want me to SAVE them, or they think because of my current situation, I need to be SAVED. I find this trait in usually weak minded, insecure men. Now I am not saying I am better than anyone. I am simply saying I will not and can not “SAVE” any man. A man has to want the best for himself.

Example, I recently took this man up on his offer to take me out. Mind you, this is date number one. On this said date, he was 15 mins late for our date because I asked to meet him at the restaurant instead of meeting him at his house. I would normally leave after the first 5 mins but I’m working on my personal hang ups, so I stuck around. Less than 10 mins into the date, he offered to have my transmission fixed in exchange for me being his “woman” not WIFE. Not saying I would have accepted his proposal had he said wife, but after sitting and talking with this man for an hour, he let me know he had no plans for marriage.

After turning down his offer, we started the usual first day questions of single 30+ yr olds. Some how he felt comfortable enough to as me if I would help him with his company 😳. TF?! Astonished that he really had the nerve to ask me that, on a first date, I played it cool (new leaf, working on being less “bitchy” as some call it). I asked him about his business, his business plan/proposal, I asked did he have a grant/loan already, how was he funding his business. He told me, his aunt who helps him here and there with money, connected him with her older female friend who is writing his proposal and funding his company with out asking for any percentage 😳. Trying to save time and spare his feelings, I let him know I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that with a man I am not married to, let alone making that much of a commitment with a man I’ve only known for 30 mins. This man had the nerve to be offened, but not before he asked me to help him find a truck for his company. At this point all types of red flags are going off in my head. Not only is this man lazy AF, HE isn’t invested in his company. Why TF would I be?!?! The final straw was him asking if believed in him. I POLITELY told him no. Based on the look on his face, I may as well have laughed in his face. I told him that the fact of the matter was, I didn’t know him and based on our last hour together, I couldn’t believe in him because HE DID NOT BELIEVE IN HIM. He would rather find women to do all the work for him and rep the benefit. He paid for dinner, I left a good tip like I usually do. This man counted it and put $5 of the tip I left for the waiter into his pocket. He walked me to my car, I haven’t spoken to his since.

Dear future husband, with all this being said, I have NO problem working with a man who wants and is actively doing is own work to become the best man he can be. I do however have a problem with men who want others to do ALL the work for them. These are usually very unhealthy people which lead to unhealthy relationships. I simply want no part.  I personally  NEED a God fearing, spiritual man who will be the head of our dynasty. A man who will lead, and provide. I need a man who is strong enough in who he is to know his faults and work towards greatness. A man who confidently knows I am working as well. I need a stable partner who is trustworthy. A foundation of trust in each other’s moves, believing that the moves we are making both together and separately, will harvest the foundation of a great future.

 

Lil Durk And Dej Loaf Channel Their Inner Q & Monica In New Video

I have definitely been slipping these last few weeks! Def Loaf done copped herself a boo, Lil Durk. They appear together in his new video entitled, My Beyonce. The video was realsed back on January 11 (damn how could I have missed this!). I was just on iTunes looking for some new music, and I stopped by Dej Loaf’s page. Look down and see a video that looks like one of my FAVORITE movies of ALL-TIME Love & Basketball. So OF COURSE I click to watch. OMG, this is the cutest videos I’ve seen in a long time! I may be over reacting a little because of how much I love Love & Basketball. But seriously this was done well. The couple, producer, and director did such a good job on this one. The video pretty much sticks to a few key scenes from the movie, I love how detailed the video is. Over all really cute video, check it out below. ✌🏾

 

Not For the Weak Stomached or Minded 💪🏾

I’m way too hard on myself. I am my toughest critic! I’m sure many people can say this about themselves. But I’m like really REALLY hard on myself. I expect greatness at all times! I know my strengths and how far I can push myself to achieve greatness. I’m an athlete so this is second nature to me. I’m on a new path in life, and I’m actively making some conscious decisions to change to live a healthier lifestyle. And one of my choices happened this morning.

I called out of work today. For some, this isn’t anything special. People call out of work all they time. I legitimately don’t feel well. It’s not the flu nor a head cold. I’m not dying and I can walk, so why did I call out today? My f’ing PERIOD! Damn my bad, that was kinda rude to just hit y’all with it like that! So let me give you a headsup, this will be a blog about my body, my menstrual period, and other feminine issues. If you ain’t about that life, I understand if you tap out now!

Now what was I saying again?! Oh yeah, I called out from work today because of my period. Now before the judgemental side eyes start, let me go back and explain somethings. I didn’t get my period until the summer going into my freshman year of high school, I was 13. For the most part, my periods have never really bothered me physically. I’ve ALWAYS bled REALLY heavy, but I figured out how to layer up and change out every 30-40 minutes. I understand now that this may not be common, but I’ve been dealing with my cycle for the past 19 yrs so I’ve figured out some life hacks. But for the most part I don’t have any crazy stories about having to miss school because of cramps or any other menstrual symptoms.

Growing up, I was extremely active in sports. As a teen my doctor once told me this was the reason I didn’t have bad symptoms. I didn’t fully understand it, but would thank God that I didn’t have bad cramps! In school I knew some girls that were out of school every month because of their cycles. In my younger, super naive and judgemental mind I would call these girls weak! I didn’t understand their pain. For the most part I just bleed way too heavy which only granted me some me pretty embarrassing moments. But for the most part, outside of the bleeding and occasional mood swings, I was good. Because my period never hit me that hard, there have been times in my past, I’ve been extremely desensitized to what women actually go through…. Until now!

I will never forgot the change. It was a late Spring night. A group of us were packed in my ball sister Frenchie’s car headed to play open gym. Sidebar: We used to have some EPIC battles at Rahway Open Gym, I digress. Somehow we start comparing “Period” stories. My naive ass was in awe of the stories my basketball sisters were telling! I had never experienced any of this growing up. I would often call girls who complained about their periods WEAK! Shame on me. I remember Frenchie saying “Just wait until 25”. I was 24 at the time, and didn’t believe the hype. But oh hunnie, when 25 hit, my body definitely decided against my will to shift!

It seemed as if I started bleeding even heavier and all of a sudden I started having crazy painful Cycle Symptoms! Extrem fatigue, back pains, bad cramps, dizzy spells, the works! I tired for the first two months, to woman up and take it like it was. But bye! I couldn’t take it anymore, plus I had full Heath insurance so I went to my OBGYN. Of course her reason was because I wasn’t as physically active any longer, my body was changing. She said some other things but ultimately she convinced me to go on birth control. We decided the Ring would be the best way for me to go. At first the ring was cool, my flow was light for the first time in my life! I had gone from five heavy days to only three! I’m on a high again, I had mastered the period game once again, back on my grind.

Fast forward a few yrs to this morning. No longer on birth control, laying in my bed in bloody pain, calling out of work. How the hell did I get here again? I thought I’d figured this thing out. How am I this weak, to call out of work because of a period? As I’m disappointedly asking myself all these questions, I check myself! ‘Jada Girl Bye, you are human. It’s ok’ I tell myself. This is life, this is the moment I am currently faced with. I have two choices at this point. I could try and be Super Woman again today, push my body passed this pain, pop MORE pain killers. Go to work and unproductively get all my cases done or I could take a day.

As you already know, I choose the latter. So as I’m soaking in my jacuzzi tub, with a hot cup of tea after placing my soiled sheets and pjs in the washing machine, I breathe. This is not the end of my word, I am not a WEAK woman who can’t handle a “simple period”. I am a conscious woman who now understands that I must respect my body in order to maintain a healthy mind, spirit and lifestyle! As long as I’ve grown and learned from this experience, I have overcome a huge mental battle. Im good, I will live to fight another day!

I’d Carpool Karaoke with ADELE Any Day !

Adele has been my BFF in my head, since my Fordham U teammate Jade Leitao put me on to her a few years back. I will never forget that spring day, at the Women’s NCAA Final Four in Indiana. At lunch watching Rolling in the Deep video with my sis, literally changed my life (thanks sis).  Sorry die hard Adele fans, I joined the bandwagon a tad bit late, but my love for the woman is sincere! Coming off a some great numbers with her third studio album 25, Adele can do absolutely no wrong right now. And she has proven once again that she deserves to be permanent BFF.

While home in London for holidays, Adele linked up with The Late Late Show host James Corden, for one of the BEST Carpool Karaoke‘s to date. Adele looked flawless. Face beat to the gods, in her sleek black coat and cute Bob cut (cut so cute James had to compliment her on it). After some small chit chat, the Carpool Karaoke commenced and boy did Adele SLAY!

I don’t care if you are a fan of Adele’s or not, but when this woman opens her mouth to sing, you HAVE TO RESPECT HER. During the ride along, I was shocked to learn that Adele  herself was the actual person playing the drums on her smash hit ‘Hello‘. James surprised Adele with his pipe game (pause) during this duet. After chugging a cup of tea LIKE A BOSS, Adele  goes on to explains her holiday tipsy shenanigans and her kind heartedness.

Two of my favorite moments of this video: Adele paying homage to one of the GREATEST  girl groups EVER, The Spice Girls (yes it’s THAT serious for me). Number two, when the Queen BEAST the Nicki Minaj verse of ‘Monster’. Both Geri and Nicki responded to Adele’s Carpool Magic.

CLEARLY Adele is BFF BAE. Our common love for the Spice Girls and Nicki Minaj’s Monster verse just solidify this truth for me. Check out full video here! Well worth the watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keshia Knight Pulliam Announces Engagement

Clearly I am not the only one who did a little happy dance for fellow Brick City native and Jersey Girl Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable), upon her engagement announcement New Years Day. Ms. Pulliam took to her Instagram page to make the announcement, and has since been trending on all social media sites for the past few days. I, for one was happy for the former Cosby Show star, but completely shocked at who put the ring on her finger.

Ms. Pulliam done bagged herself a former NFL player Ed Hartwell. My true sports fans out there may remember the name Hartwell from his time playing linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons back in the 2000’s. But for the majority of the women out there, we know Ed from Real Housewives of Atlanta. Yes Mr. Hartwell is Lisa Wu’s ex husband and they have three children together.

Now no shade to Mr. Hartwell. I sincerely wish both he and Keshia relationship much love, success, and happiness, BUT I was a little disappointed that Keshia and ex boyfriend Big Tigger couldn’t work things out (they were cute together). However, I am not laying with either Tigger or Ed and the show must go on. It looks like Lil’ Rudy is happy. What a great way to start the new year. No wedding date reported yet, but much love, prayers, and respect to the newly engaged couple.

But wait thou, Keshia girl if Ed still keeps it tight, hunnie you did a GREAT job! No disrespect and I am not lusting after your fiancé but his body is pretty nice. I’m guessing his heart, spirit and, mind matches his physique.

 

How I Found Life Through My Sister’s Journey and Passing From Cancer

It’s been an emotional two weeks for me. Last week was one of the most draining and emotional weeks I’ve had at my job in a very long time. I am a social worker, and now that I am a processor, I love my job. I am grateful for it. I go to work, put my music on, and process paperwork. For the most part I love it because it is peaceful, and with the new changes in Medicaid, and President Obama’s Obamacare, in my own little way I am able to help thousands of people be able to obtain medical coverage. I’m also learning to be positive and thankful for what God has blessed me with. With all this being said, last week, my spiritual guard was down and I allowed some negativity to get me off track. My job can be very stressful and some of the people can be very negative. I am learning that I have to work extra hard to keep negative vibes and people away from my spirit and mind. Last week I didn’t do so well. I am human, I had a bad week, I almost allowed situations and certain persons make me feel like I am the worst person in the world. I almost allowed the devil to get in my head and have me on the road of negative thoughts about myself, but then God sent a reminder through my now angel in heaven Alaia Robinson.

Last Friday, I came home and instantly laid down for a nap. Like I stated earlier I was seriously drained, it was a VERY long week. I figured if I just closed my eyes, and slept it off with a quick nap, I could wake up refreshed and get some other work done. Although I managed to get a nap in, I was awaken by a thunderstorm. Like most people now a days, the first thing I did was roll over and checked my phone. ‘One missed call from Aliyah, ok I will call her back in a few. Text message from Frenchie “Hey Sis, Alaia isn’t doing well”. Damn it, ok so now I understand Aliyah’s call’. For some reason I subconsciously didn’t respond to Frenchie’s text. I think for me, had I responded via text in writing, that would have made her comment too real to me.

I opted to called Aliyah back. As we spoke about our basketball sister Alaia we shed some tears. I switched up the convo and tried to bring light to a sad situation, trying to convince myself more than Aliyah that God is in control and we have to trust His plans. By the end of the convo it was agreed that we would be going to go visit Alaia the following morning. Before hanging up, Aliyah and I told each other we loved each other, something we don’t say often but its understood. The following morning, about 6 of us hopped into a couple of cars and rolled to Alaia’s hospital room in Manhattan. We do this often, usually about 5 or more deep. We simply go spend time with our sister. The bond I have with my basketball sisters is amazing and such a blessing. It’s amazing that we are all connected through basketball, a simple round object, a game that has tied us together since childhood, and which has bounded us all as family now as adults. We grew up playing with and against each other. We all went away and came back and still play with each other throughout the years. My Jersey basketball sisters are an amazing group of women. We honestly are a family and I love each and every one of them, through good, bad, and ugly.

For me, this particular Saturday was a little different from past trips I’ve made. This was my first time meeting some of Alaia’s extended family members. We all spent about 5 hours in the room as we usually do, with Alaia coming in and out of convo from sleep. We laughed, we spoke politics, sports, life, lessons, religion, goals, and our love for Alaia. Doctors and nurses came in and out all day, and it amazed me that even in Alaia’s physical state, which wasn’t good, she still managed to ask each doctor, and nurse how they were doing. On the few occasions when we as a group had to leave the room so the doctor’s could do their thing, upon our return, Alaia would ask for each of us. It was like she wanted to simply put her eyes on us, or wanted to check and see if we were ok and still there. We shared so much love in that room, and by the end of the visit I felt I had gained more family.

Leaving that hospital, again I was reminded of strength. I made a mental note, ‘Ok Jae, if Alaia can find a way to keep fighting and stay so positive and upbeat through her pain and cancer, surely you can’. I was ready to take on the week. The following Monday October 12, 2015 was the year anniversary of my friend Aki Jones’ passing. It was an emotional day but with the conscious reminder of Alaia’s light, and my little cousin Chevie and home girl JD, they helped me get through the day. A brief catch up for those of you who may not follow me on social media, and don’t understand the dynamic person Aki Jones was. He was this larger than life man literally and figuratively. Aki and I went to Fordham University together. He was a beast on the football field and an comically cool asshole off. He was an amazing person and great friend. Aki Jones is another significant young person in my life, who daily helps remind that life and short and I should never take it for granted. Fast forward to Wednesday October 14, 2015 a little after 10pm, as I’m leaving a get together at my Fordham team-mate Lara’s home, I get the call that Alaia passed.

I’m not totally sure that it has really hit me that I will not be able to see this amazing woman ever again, but I thank God that she is with Him. I thank God that my sister is no longer in pain. She fought an amazing fight against cancer. Well over 3 years of pushing through. The light she gave me will help illuminate my darkest days. Although I am nowhere near where I want to be, Alaia Robinson has shown me what it truly means to be a fighter. She has shown me how to appreciate life. Although my current career as a Family Service Worker is not my ideal career, I will thank God for it and continue to do my work to help change the world.

There were a few times during Alaia’s battle with cancer, that her medical coverage was cut. Times when she couldn’t come into the office to do paper work to reinstate her medical because she was literally in the hospital fighting for her life. I never personally handled Alaia’s case because this would be a conflict of interest in which I could lose my job. However, I thank  God who trust and bless me with the job and knowledge of who and what needed to be done to help Alaia. I take my job seriously. Everyday I have the opportunity to help a person who may not have had medical coverage for years because of whatever reasons. Through an my angle Alaia Robinson, I have learned to push through, to be in the present instead of stressing my past mistakes. I have learned to appreciate the now, and the time we have on this earth. I am not the best person in the world when it comes to reaching out to friends and family, but I understand quality time. Quality Time is definitely my strongest Love Language. Alaia Robinson, Aki Jones, and Charlie Slade are a few phenomenal people who came and went too soon. They all help motivate me to be my best and continue to push through even when I feel like I’m not where I’m supposed to be.

I will never understand why it had to be them. And although it hurts like hell our loved ones may no longer be physically walking with us on this earth, we must not forget to thank God for the time we have together and the lessons we can all learn from each other and every situation.