SO, I’M AN INTROVERT. I’M NOT BORED OR SAD. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!

Yes, I am happiest alone and tend to shy away from people as much as I can.  As I grow older, I realize it’s because I am somewhat of an empath. Energy transfers and a lot of y’all have fucked up energy! Even many that I love have horrible energy and I have no desire to feel it. Even when you’re not complaining, the fact that you’re not happy in life weighs heavy on a empath’s heart.

I used 2 be the type who helped everyone and was somewhat of a fixer. If I could fix your issues, your self-esteem or help you pay your bills, I would but that shit is emotionally and financially draining. I’m over it and have divorced that part of my former self. In result, I also divorced many friendships willingly.

Now, I enjoy my peace. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you…but if you can’t share my space often, it might mean your energy just drains me. Have you ever gotten off the phone with someone and you all of a sudden were physically tired and depressed, but right before the call you were happy and energetic? I don’t mean a call that delivered bad news or a death but a regular call from the homie? That means energy transferred now you are carrying their vibe with you, until you shake it off or transfer it back to someone else. I hate that feeling. I no longer wish to take on other people’s emotions. By myself, I’m chill with no drama. Except my drama of motherhood but that’s my entertainment!

I have friends who think they are being sweet, but they get on my nerves tryna force me to be positioned in social situations. I try to explain it to them, but they don’t get it. I don’t need more friends, I don’t want nobody else calling my phone, I aint tryna hang out. I’m tryna chill at Chuck E Cheese, not a bar, a social gathering, or anywhere with these grown folks. I could be doing something with my kid! I’ve spent my entire life being social. I literally want to spend some time being left alone. I don’t see why that’s so hard to understand.

My whole point in writing this was to say preserve your mental health by guarding the energy you allow to share your personal space.

THE BEGINNING (WHAT HAPPENED WHEN A GOAT BULLIED ME)

In 1975, the Steelers won the Super Bowl 16-6 beating the Minnesota Vikings and Arthur Ashe won Wimbledon. Microsoft became a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corp. The Vietnam War ended, and a loaf of bread was $0.33. The unemployment rate was 5.6% and I was born that November.

I always knew I was different.  You see, in 1977 my mother and I got an official police escort out of the Pittsburgh Zoo. My mom thought it would be fun to take me to the petting zoo. I thought it smelled gross and there was a pesky goat that kept nipping at my shoestrings and that annoyed me to no end. I have always had a shoe fetish and didn’t appreciate that dirty little goat messing up my brand new, fresh blue suede Adidas. First, I yelled at it to stop then pushed it off of me. When the goat persisted in eating my shoelace for lunch, I did what l was taught to do, protect me and mine. I pulled my fist back as far as I could and gave it to the goat right in the dome piece. That’s right! I hit that goat as hard as I could right in the face. When I looked down, I was so upset that my shoelace was all tattered and unraveled that I felt like the goat needed to learn a lesson. I guess I went a little overboard because before I knew it, I was being picked up and kicked out. How embarrassing for my mother. I wasn’t the slightest bit embarrassed. In fact, I was ready to leave because the hot dogs were nasty, it smelled bad, and the popcorn was cold. Also, I had another funny story to go home and tell my brother, Mark and my granddaddy. I skipped all the way out of the zoo while I reassured my mother that we really didn’t want to be at that stinky place anyway. She just laughed while 6 men followed behind us like we needed them to show us where the exit gate was.

Now that I am older, it’s hysterical looking back and realizing that my first real fight was with a goat. Who does that? But that fight was my foundation and stands for so much more than just a tussle over my shoestrings. Fighting is all I know. I have no problem fighting when my personal space is disrespected. I have no problem fighting for things I want. Don’t get wrong, I am not a bully nor do I cause any problems. But if you get in my way, you better watch yourself because we’ve got problems.  Fortunately, you won’t have to watch your back because I will let you know to your face that you are about to get punched in the nose! I believe in giving a warning before I cause destruction. SMH. Sorry, Momma I was hell on wheels, and you are right, I am getting it all back though my daughter! LOL.

AM I THE STRANGE ONE IN WAL-MART?

Okay, so growing up we didn’t have Wal-Mart in Southern California! Wal-Mart in my area in California opened in 2014 and there were none within 20 miles of my neighborhood so it’s still an exciting thing for me every time I go. Where I live now there is a Wal-Mart every 5 miles or so.

I’ve never had a wild time in Wal-Mart just like I’ve never had a wild time in Vegas. I don’t get it. I always see these strange Wal-Mart encounters on the internet. People doing rap videos, folks in their pajamas, just strange shit. As I’m walking down the aisles today it dawned on me, “Cherie, maybe you’re the strange one in Wal-Mart.” I looked down and I had on a summer dress and flip flops. I don’t think I look weird but who knows. I looked around at everyone else and laughed, they all look normal to me. I asked my daughter, “Babe, have you ever seen strange things while we are here?” She pointed and said, “Mom look. If you buy that you don’t have to work so hard to put icing on a cupcake. Cute, it’s only a dollar.” I laughed and in the cart it went. Yup, it’s probably me…Wal-Mart is like Disneyland. I run in for 1 little thing that I usually forget and come out with 60 other things I didn’t need and because I forgot toilet paper, I am back in there tomorrow to get 60 more things, smh.

Maybe I better watch what I ask for, huh? Cuz manifestation in my life is real. Please share with me your wild Walmart stories.

I CAN’T WRITE ON DEMAND

Yes, I love to write. It’s my favorite relaxation tool but the truth is…I can’t write on demand. I need to have inspiration and be motivated. Writer’s block is real, especially when other people try to give me subjects to write about and the pay isn’t according to my motivation.

I find my words flow easier in the middle of the night or early in the morning when everyone else is asleep. From what I’ve learned, this seems to be true for most creative beings and that’s why the 9-5 thing never works for us. It’s all about energy. Energy transfers and when others are awake, I think the energy is high, so it suppresses our true creativity. But when everyone else is asleep, we no longer are carrying the burden of others’ energy and the ambiance of creativity is abundantly ours to do what we want.

So, if you are having trouble finishing up a piece you have thought about writing for a while now, don’t be so hard on yourself. Create a space that’s all yours at a time when others’ energy has a low impact on your creativity. Spend some time day dreaming about the piece and how you want it to go. Don’t try to write it just then, just think. Sleep on it. Even if you go to bed at your normal time and set your alarm for 4:30 a.m., waking up just a little earlier than usual. You may be surprised what you are able to accomplish with just a few extra hours added onto your day. Watch the words flow…

Happy Writing!

I FAIL A LOT!

I fail a lot, but it doesn’t mean I give up! Sure, it can be discouraging but I have 2 choices.

  1. Sit around and feel sorry for myself.
  2. Get my ass up and try harder. I do not mind hard work.

1 thing entertainment taught me is to get back up. See statistics say you get 1 job outa 100 auditions. So, the world never gets to see all the no’s, the failures or the hard work, all they see are your victories! Sure, the victories are cool, but they are not what builds the character. I can’t even count how many times I have failed but I can count my wins!

As an actor I have 42 credits, 12 producer credits, 2 writer credits, 5 casting department credits and 20 TV appearance credits as myself. Not too shabby for 36 years.

Also, the failed businesses… I started a shoe line…it was cute but short lived. I opened a restaurant. Yeah, pretty much the same story. Cute ideas, neither were my ideas or my passions but I tried it. It didn’t make me any money, both actually cost me money, but they taught me great lessons! I went into business with people who had ideas but lacked passion. I have passion so I became engulfed with how to make their visions work. See you can’t want more for others than they want for themselves, it’s a waste of your time and energy. For me, it was a waste of my name and a brand I built without them. So, when the businesses failed, I was the one who took the ” L”. And that’s okay because I tried. If I never tried, I would have never learned. Never let anyone use your brand when they are lacking passion. If it’s their idea, they need to be bringing more to the table than you and working twice as hard.

The people who are most successful at business are those who are passionate about it.

Find your passion and never be afraid to fail.

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SOMETIMES I WONDER WHY MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN WITH NEGOTIATION SKILLS

School was not my thing. Kindergarten was a total drag. I didn’t understand why I had to sit in class for hours while people learned their ABCs and to count.  It all seemed like a major waste of my time. At 6 years old, I thought I had better things to do. My teacher got on my nerves. I remember this one time she wanted me to color Christopher Columbus and I refused. I thought it was stupid to spend all day talking about a man who supposedly discovered unknown land. You can’t discover anyplace where there were already people there. I chose to spend my coloring time with my head on my desk. My Grandma taught me about Native Americans, and how they were the first people here. I wasn’t about to participate in a celebration that honored the man who instigated the genocide of the indigenous peoples of North America. I got a chance to explain my view to the class and my teacher. Instead of my teacher respectfully challenging my views, all she said was, “Just color it,” in a stern tone.

I remember thinking to myself, “Talking to me like that is no way to get what you want from me.” I shut down completely. I pushed the paper to the side of my desk and put my head down. I wasn’t disruptive or rude, but I was frustrated and angry that she was teaching 16 young minds distorted facts. I mean, I had to be in that place 5 hours a day. And for what, to learn the wrong stuff?  At that moment, I didn’t care how my teacher felt, and I doubt she cared how I felt. I knew I wasn’t going to color because I didn’t want to. But I was even more peeved that she sent me home with a note.

I locked myself in the bathroom while my mother read the note. I was too scared to come out. She spoke to me through the door for a while until I felt comfortable enough to come out. When I got out, she sat me down at the kitchen table and asked me again if I wanted to color the paper the teacher sent home or get a bad grade. I told her, “Mommy, I just can’t do it. I don’t believe in it.” She said “Well, you’re never supposed to do anything you don’t believe in.” She kissed me on my head and got up out of her chair, while she was pushing it in, I said, “Mommy, I don’t want to do the Pledge of Allegiance.” “What’s wrong with the Pledge of Allegiance, Cherie?” she asked. “It’s just lame, Mommy. We are not one nation under God. If we were, people wouldn’t kill people and hurt children. I believe in God, Mom, but everyone doesn’t.” She just looked and me then finally said, “No, Cherie you do not have to say it, but you have to stand up with the rest of the class, ok.” “Ok, Mommy but I’m not putting my hand over my heart either.” “Fine, Cherie,” she said as she walked away to make dinner. I felt like I won! That is the earliest memory I have of negotiating.

Maybe some things are in your genes….

I HAD TO LEARN TO SAY NO!

Since I was 20 years old, every single day of my life someone has given me a sob story as to why they need to borrow money! I used to become emotional to everyone’s situations and over gave. I looked up one day and realized I gave everything I had: energy, finances and love. I saved bare minimal for myself. All those I gave to never gave back nor returned the favor when I was in need.

I finally learned to say no without guilt! And it was just in time because of social media. Social media has amplified the amount of people who not only ask but expect you to give. People have this false sense of entitlement when they know someone from TV. Not only are they entitled to every element of your life, they are also entitled to help you spend your money whether they have met you before or not. Whether it’s for their 10 kids’ school clothes, their rent, attorney fees, gas money, a funeral fund or their wedding. It usually starts with, “I hate to ask this but….” My response in my head is, “Baby, I hate that I am listening.” Deep down, I want to help everyone! For my sanity I have learned I have to help myself. Guard my peace, my finances and my well-being or I am no good for those depending on me.

No comes easy now, I’ve had some practice.

I keep my answers short. NO doesn’t need explanation.

I do NOT second guess myself.

I refuse to let them talk me into something I’m not comfortable doing. People will go on and on as to why you should give them your money.

In my head, I learned to separate refusal from rejection. Sometimes the first no feels sad but I’m not afraid to say it twice. Often, I find my peace in the second yes. Doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with their situation, it means I am at peace with my choice because it is best for me.

I learned to stay true to myself.

I will not offer my money but what I can afford is prayer. I pray their situation will change and they find abundance of whatever their life is lacking.

POWER OF MANIFESTATION

At the age of 14 if you walked in my room, you would find my walls covered with black and white print ads torn from the pages of a magazine! I wanted to paint my walls black, lol, my mom wasn’t having it so I created my own way! There were a lot of Guess ads with Anna Nicole Smith everywhere and Michael Jordan had a series of Nike ads in Black and White. I became obsessed with magazines. Essence, Black Enterprise, Vogue, Elle, Allure and Cosmopolitan were all subscribed to. Editorials became my favorite. I was holding on to the dream of going to college to major in Architecture and Minor in Journalism. Yes, I was on TV but that wasn’t my dream, it was just what I had fun doing.

I am telling you this story about myself to share with you the power of manifestation. I know, I know, here I go again. Truthfully, I was eating lunch with my brother, Dallas 3 years ago and he said, “Right now, if you could be doing anything you want for a living, what would it be?” I laughed and said, “I want to write for a living full time and be a homeschool mom.” Fast forward 2 years. I am homeschooling and in November 2018, I was promoted from my part time gig at Fever Magazine to a full-time job as Assistant Editor! I manifested that shit and it all started with a teenage passion! I am a creative person and very eccentric. I am kinda like Lynn from Girlfriends, in the sense that doing just 1 thing forever is not my journey or my goal! Acting only did not fulfill me, I needed more. It is an awesome foundation that has given me a platform to stand on to achieve other things. I am not saying I quit acting, I’m saying I am more than an actress. I love setting goals and get a total high off achieving them. I also get a huge high watching others achieve their own goals. That is why I am sharing this story to encourage you to manifest your own reality! Good luck, you got this!

WHEN I GOT THE FEVER FOR THE STAGE

My earliest memory of being infatuated with performing is when my mom took me to see The Wiz with Stephanie Mills. I don’t even remember blinking ‘cause I didn’t want to miss anything. I was smitten. The singing was incredible, and I was mesmerized as they danced up and down the aisles. I wanted to get up and dance with them. My mom had to remind me several times to sit down. I remember telling my mom I could do that, referring to performing. Seeing The Wiz was the best gift she ever gave me. After that, something was sparked inside of me.

My mom bought me one of those record players that sat inside a little white suitcase with a plug that hung out the back. I owned three eight-inch records that I played back-to- back: Annie, The Wiz, and Sister Sledge. Nobody could tell me I wasn’t Annie. At that time, we lived on the second floor of an apartment building and I used to stand on top of my toy chest in the window (that was my stage) and sing to the people downstairs. Sometimes they would ignore me and carry on; other times they would stop and watch. I would get excited when I had a crowd and I would sing louder. I was and still am extremely shy, so it’s odd that I enjoyed performing in front of crowds. I didn’t like talking to people or being looked at, but I had no problem performing for them.

7 THINGS I DO DAILY TO LET MY DAUGHTER KNOW SHE IS SPECIAL TO ME

1) We cook together.

I make 3 meals a day and snacks. For at least 1 of those meals, I recruit a little helper. I notice giving her jobs that have to do with the family meals gives her pride. She loves feeling a part of the process and being a helper. She eats better when she has helped make the food as well.

2) I tell her I love her.

Not a day goes by without me saying, “I love you!” I never want her to have any doubt in her mind how I feel for her, so every chance I get, I let her know. I tell her, “I’m really proud of the way you did your school work today or put away your socks.” I notice this kind of praise leads her to doing more positive things the next day. (Works most of the time.)

3) Children love hugs and to be rubbed.

Give lots of hugs, rub their back. Kids never get too old for a positive physical touch from their parents. Always hug your children before you or they leave, when they come home and before bed.

4) We don’t watch much TV. We read together.

Since the day I found out I was pregnant I have been reading to my daughter.

We read for fun just as much as we read for school and she loves it. Instead of making it a chore, we go on shopping sprees to the bookstore where she goes in and picks out her own books.

5) We use technology as a teaching tool. We limit YouTube.

Electronics can be a huge distraction not only for my daughter but also for myself. For 1 week stay conscious of your screen time. You will be surprised when you realize how much time you could have been spending with your kids.

6) Listen to your children when they talk.

I have a daughter that runs her mouth all day long, even when we are trying to homeschool. I know firsthand it’s hard to actually listen to everything that comes out of your child’s mouth, but I try really hard to pay attention because children are so pure that they speak from the heart. So, you get to learn their desires, fears and about their mental health daily if you just take the time to listen.

7) Make bedtime special.

I do my best to keep our routine. It allows for extra time to chat, catch up on feelings, read a book and pray. This is the time my daughter will open up and say either today was a good day or sometimes, “Mommy, I am sorry for being bad. Tomorrow will be a better day.” I don’t have to prompt it. Bedtime is her reflection time of the day. Since I homeschool, it’s often the time when I ask her what subject she would like to start with in the morning. I have noticed when I let her pick the subject, there is less resistance.