Look and Enjoy the View

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Is your mission in life to help women achieve their goals for great physical health?

Have you taken the perfect trip and want to tell everyone about your adventure?

Maybe you have launched your fashion design career with sweat, blood and stain remover.

Fill In The Gap Magazine is looking for your stories. We are a magazine designed for women of color to inform and entertain. We give information that helps people make it. But we also laugh and enjoy life. If you have a story that you think will fit with our magazine, please submit it to uppcreative@yahoo.com.

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Pack For Where You Are Going

Last SuitcasesWhen I packed my apartment the last time I moved, I knew there would be things I would not need where I was going.  Things like a sofa, TV, a bed frame were just going to be things I would need to store, so I decided they needed a new home.

I knew where I was going, I wouldn’t need those things. So I made arrangements to get rid of them.  After all, I couldn’t have those things cluttering up my new space.

Sometimes when you are making changes in your life, God gives you the opportunity to let go of some things you don’t need.  Yet He also teaches you to pack for where you ARE going.

I have learned some new things over the last six months. It has been challenging. It has been fun. It has been a process.

Over the next couple of months, I will launch a new magazine which I am excited about. I will tell you more about it over the next couple of weeks and get your input on some of the features of the magazine.  I want to share information in this project that changes your life.

In the meantime, I will be making sure to pack the things I need to make the project work. I will be sure to get rid of things that will hinder it. I will try to spend more time loving what I am doing instead of worrying about it.

Over the next couple of weeks, take a look at what you are doing. Make sure you are doing something you love. Make sure that it inspires you and drives toward your passion.  And make sure you pack all the things you need to make it successful.

Peace and Hair Grease.

 

Karen

 

What Do You Pack?

When you go somewhere most of the time you need to take a few things with you.  I know depending on where you go determines what you take with you. What do you pack it in?

Opening Suitcase

The idea of a suitcase was an afterthought. At the time it was created, only rich people traveled, and they used large trunks because they could also bring servants to carry them. The chosen method of travel were ships, and trunks worked best in the bottom of a leaky ship that tossed items around. Trunks were made with metal bases, sealed with rubber to keep water from getting in. It made it difficult for a person without servants to travel.[1]

According to the Smithsonian, more people began traveling for the sake of traveling at the beginning of the 20th Century.  Transportation was better with many more ways to travel and it was not just for rich people anymore.

The suit case was originally created to hold a suit. There was a compartment inside for the shirts, and sometimes even an attachment box for a hat. It was designed to hold a suit and had a handle to be carried. Before that, there was a carpet bag which could hold a few items and was also able to be carried.

Once the idea of suit cases caught on, it became an industry.  Historians said that our luggage reflects our modes of transportation. This is very true today as we have to pack our suitcases based on whether we drive, fly, sail or travel by train.  Each mode of transportation has its own rules about what we can/cannot bring.

As I think about what I will take on this journey, because I know everything and the kitchen sink can’t go, I have to think about what will I carry it in. I think about this a lot when I travel because I know, whatever I take, I will carry.  Let me say that again, whatever I take, I will carry.

One of the things I learned in 2018 was that I have to carry the things that I want. I do. Not my kid, or family, or friends. I should not load things up in a car or a cart unless I intend to keep the car or cart as long as I keep the things. I have to carry my own things.

I try to choose suitcases that make that job easier. I like smaller ones that I can lift. If they have a handle and wheels that can rolls then I am a superstar.

I know choosing the suitcase before I decide what to put in it is the best way for me. So how do you pack for your trips

[1] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/history-humble-suitcase-180951376/

Inner Journey

In order to go anywhere, your mind and body have to be ready to go. I believe this is why most people don’t travel far from their home. We are not willing to leave behind the familiar to seek out the unfamiliar.  For some of us, there is too much danger in the unknown.

Red Prayer

In Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, he wrote how he remembered his childhood as a small one stick fighting with his friends in their village. It was one of the happiest times of his life. The only clothing they wore was a blanket across their shoulders.  When he moved to a larger village, he had to dress differently and learn new customs. He missed his village, but the new places brought on new adventures and new opportunities.

Like Mandela as a child, those moments of learning create conflict for us. I know I hate being made to feel stupid for not knowing something. But I realize not all families have the same values or customs which makes you have to have a conversation with others about how things should function. We are too frightened to ask someone why they do things a certain way.

Everyone has gaps in their knowledge.  We do not know everything about everyone. We all need to learn something from someone else. If we are fortunate, we are surrounded by people who can give us that information. Other times we have to do what we can with what we got. And this is where the adventure usually comes in.

I am a product of integration, which means I went to white schools most of my life. My parents did not go to white schools. So there were times when we would have a conversation about things they knew nothing about. It is difficult to advise a child when you don’t know what they are talking about.  Yet my sisters and I learned to adapt. Many times we just handled it ourselves.

Example, my parents had no concept or idea of sending me to college once I graduated high school.  But I decided I wanted to go and started investigating it. Many of the kids around me were going to college. It seemed like the logical thing to do. (I had no concept of going and getting a job which was probably their idea of what happens after you graduate high school.) There were times they looked at me like I was crazy, but I just thought they were dumb parents.  I had no clue I was defying all of the odds against me.

Because I did not have a source of folk to ask questions, I forged ahead. My ignorance was bliss, and it worked for me. I also had no idea of college cost because I chose one of the most expensive universities in the area.  And the truth is my parents were probably happy I was leaving their house. It was good to get rid of an obnoxious teenager.

The truth is the journey starts in your head and heart. If it is not there, then your feet are moving for no purpose.  If there is a fire inside of you, then it can get you through anything. If there is no intention behind what you do, then you are like snow blowing.  You are moving here and there not sure where you will land.

My experiences during that time have taught me something about myself and my journey. Sometimes there are going to be gaps. It keeps you humble. You have to admit you don’t know something. You have to be willing to learn new things. Opportunity comes when you combine the two.

The Route Might Be Clear

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I stood at this sign over a month ago. It was one of those fun photos you take when you are on a girl’s trip.  You are on Route 66, the historical highway and it seems like the possibilities are endless. It was fun.

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A month later I am standing on Michigan Ave and I see this sign. Wow.  It didn’t even hit me where I was or how crazy cool it was to there.  I had been invited to an on campus interview at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a graduate program. It was an honor to be there and talk about the possibilities.

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Chicago has a different vibe from the city where I currently live.  There was a moment when it started snowing.  Instead of the panic that insues in my part of the country, folks walked around taking pictures. We walked around taking pictures.

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All of this to say, God has incredible things planned for your life, you just got to Trust Him.  It is God when it is something that you can’t do on your own or with the help of your people.  Where is He leading you in 2018? There is lots of work to do, lets get to it.

 

 

 

 

God Has Planted Seeds In All Of Us

which many ignore because the possibilities are far too scary.  But if you tap into God’s power, it will take you beyond your wildest dreams. You will have to look your deepest fears in the face and tell them that your God is bigger than them.

Many people will not do this. They do not have the faith to trust God to complete something through them.  But He gives us all the choice to try.

The past couple of weeks I had been praying over some projects.  He has given me some fun stuff to write, but I just didn’t have time.  All of the things I was doing were things He had instructed me to do, so I just prayed, “show me how.” I even prayed “is this what you want me to do? If not, what do you want me to do?” I don’t always assume that I have heard Him correctly, so I will go back and check.

I try not to become so fixated on anything so that I cannot do without it.  Whether I write, photograph or anything, I know that the ability could leave me at anytime (because the Lord gives and the Lord takes away). He might ask me to do something else.  I don’t want to love the creation more than the Creator.

This week He opened the door so that I could spend more time writing. Wow.  Pray and believe, you will receive. Trust Him, not your situation. Even though all hell is breaking lose on planet earth, the One who laid their foundations is still in charge.

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Here is some truth. We are all going on a journey in this life.  You can sit back and enjoy the road trip trusting the Driver. Or you can fret and worry, wondering where you are going , if you have enough gas to get there or if you will like it when you get there.

This journey isn’t going to last forever, but our relationship with the Driver will.

23 Days Till Christmas

It is easy to get caught up in the need for more things. We spend a lot of time thinking about the things we want and dream about, but not enough time grateful for the things we have.

God has given me some awesome friends! I have the best time with my WWC (Wrong Way Crew). We have earned this nickname because we are always going the wrong way (directionally) even with GPS.

With Me

The night this name stuck, we were in Washington DC heading for our hotel.  We had just gotten off the Metro and were walking down some dark streets with our suitcase.  We walked almost two blocks from our hotel before we realized we were going the wrong way.

What I love about these ladies is that they make me laugh. I laugh so hard I almost black out for lack of oxygen. We have learned to enjoy life whether it is travelling across the country or hanging out in our home city.

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