The Trendiness of Looking Like Everyone Else by Chellyz View

urban wear

The Trendiness of Looking Like Everyone Else by Chellyz View

Ummmmm, let’s just state wearing designer labels isn’t a big deal to me.  Now, I am not saying I haven’t or won’t purchase name brand items for myself.  However, I am known for being frugal.  As a child, I stated I would never shop at thrift stores.  Hey, things have changed.  I am my momma’s child and I get along very well with popping tags at second-hand stores.  I have been teased at times for being “cheap.”  So, you must think I have quite a bit of coins in my pocket. Not. (That’s a post for another time my dear readers).  Anyway, my children probably have more brand names in their closet than I do.  At the same time, I have taught them that there needs to be a balance.  Everything doesn’t have to be designer.  Create your own style.  I remember stopping at a red light and everyone at the bus stop looked the same.  What do I mean?  Same furry boots, same hoodies with a swoosh sign, same kicks, same jackets with the fur, same lashes, same length hair, same, same and same…  I believe everyone had different names but looked the same.

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I recall my younger years.  The styles consisted of Guess, Fubu, Apple Bottom Jeans, Colored Levi’s with the matching denim jacket, Eight Ball Jackets, Nautica, Coogi Sweaters, Herringbone Chains, Big Gold Hoop Earrings, Nikes, Swatch Watches, Adidas, Triple Fat Goose Coats, and Motion Rings.  Come on. I know there are some other middle-aged folks out there who can recall the styles.  One of my favorite stores was Merry-Go-Round found at the infamous trying to hold on Eastland.  I also shopped at Hudson’s located at the forever missed Northland.  Fellas I know some of you shopped at 4 Men Only at Tel-Twelve Mall which has been reassembled to house other stores.  Oh yeah, if you weren’t feeling the prices of the mall there were boosters (who sold clothes out of their homes) and the flea market (Country Fair on Dequindre).  Come on. Y’all know of some other stores.  When I think about it, many of us looked the same back then as well.  We were all shopping at the same place at the same d@#n time!

Northland Mall

Generation after generation.  Yes, we’re all trying to fit in where we can get in. Even my Momma and aunt had their own style which consisted of high waisted jeans, platforms, and bell bottoms during the 70’s.   Back in the day, I was one of those teenagers spending their whole part-time job check for one pair of pants.  I remember when I paid almost $70.00 for a pair of jeans known as Used.  Yep, I spent most of my check on a pair of ripped jeans.  My granddaddy at the time looked at me, shook his head, and said, “You crazy for buying a pair of jeans that are ripped.  We HAD to wear ripped jeans when we were growing up.” Also, I was blessed to have a cousin that wore the same size as myself.  She had all the colors of Guess Jeans.  We would swap clothes since we attended different high schools.  It seemed as if I had various colors to choose from also at home!

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Now, there were plenty of times when I couldn’t afford the latest styles.  I was teased, because designer clothes weren’t in the budget.  It was a privilege when my aunt or momma gifted me with the latest gear.  In high school, I worked at Kmart. There were plenty of times I purchased the matching 2 items for $20 jogging suits (included pants and sweatshirt on sale), because I didn’t have it like that.  I also worked at DOTS in my 20s and I would look C-U-T-E in my $10 items.  I was teased when I had my own children because, PAYLESS with the Buy one Get one ½ off (BOGO sale) was my spot.  I would purchase my daughter a pair of light up princess shoes and my son a pair of light up character shoes, and still get me a pair of shoes.  What?  Three pair of shoes for the price of one!!!!!

Ok! Ok! Ok!  You’re probably wondering, where is she going with this story?  What is the relevance?  Well, keeping up with the Harrisonsssss, Simpsonsssss (oh yeah, I did purchase a pair of overpriced Bart Simpson jeans), or whoever can be costly.  Parents spending more than they should on designer labels.  I am one of those guilty parents.  Literally, I told myself I would never purchase my child a pair of overpriced Jordans but…. Imma plead the fifth.  Wearing designer labels can cause us to lose focus of our priorities.   Bill money spent so we or our children can look like everybody else.  Who wants to be teased. Some children rather not go to school or have dropped out.  There’s even an issue with school uniforms, because one child might wear a Ralph Polo school shirt with Carhartt or Dickies pants while the other child is wearing French Toast (which is very affordable).  Everywhere we you look, we are looking alike!

Designer items can be dangerous and deadly.  Some individuals have robbed and killed our own brothers and sisters.  Yes, because we needed to blend in and look like everybody else.  Longing for designer labels have costed us our freedom.  We will slang substances that harm others to have bands of money to purchase what we want and when we want.  Unfortunately, too many of our people are behind bars due to illegal activity because we are trying to keep up with the latest trends.  I don’t think I have ever seen any of these designers posting bail for any of our kinfolk.  There is a whole generation of our people looking alike with orange jumpsuits behind bars carrying the weight of lost dreams, because they wanted to look like everyone else.

shopping

What is the solution?  Well, I am not saying don’t wear designer items.  I’m always waiting for my daughter to get rid of her old gym shoes and clothes.  It’s still in style to me even when she states it is not in style!  Do as you please but remember the costs.  Don’t blast me when you see me with a trendy item on, but buying those items isn’t my prerogative or priority.   Most of the time, I create my own style.  I enjoy going to boutiques, and supporting entrepreneurs in my neighborhood, because I don’t want to look like everyone else.  Search the internet, find up and coming local designers who are setting their own trends.  Recycle dollars in the community.  If you have any suggestions or ideas, please share.  It’s time we show and express our creativity!  You know, you don’t have to look like everybody else!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Creating Priceless Memories or Endless Debt for the Holidays by Chellyz View

Christmas gifts two

Creating Priceless Memories or Endless Debt for the Holidays by Chellyz View

Disclaimer:  This post is not for those who have it together and have always been financially responsible during the holidays.  This one is for those who are trying to do better.  #help

All Those Gadgets and Toys

toys

It happened just like that.  Two years ago, my Lil Pocahontas reached the ever so “mature” age of 13.  Throughout the years, she had accumulated at least 100 dolls including the ones given to her during Christmas.  Alright, there’s a little exaggeration but it seemed as if she had that many fashionable dolls. Let’s not forget about the ultimate dream house, horse and carriage, and remote-control (you know the infamous doll) car.  Some of these items were given to her by family members including grand mommas, godparents, her hardworking parents, and aunties (blood and spiritual related).  Also, some were dropped off by the mysterious character known as Santa (please let this conversation be addressed during a future post).  Anyway, she took a few large plastic garbage bags, and dumped the dolls inside while stating, “I’m donating these dolls. I am not going to play with them anymore.”  I was informed to take them to that place known for its red and white logo. In addition, her dad assisted her with selling a few items. Huh, she didn’t even treat this momma to lunch.

Let me not forget about my Lil Superhero.  In his designated space, you will find countless miniature cars of all colors in three separate boxes that have compartments to store them in.  Look around and you’ll witness toys collecting dust in storage bins. At least I can tell you he enjoys the 1,000s of colorful block pieces (you know the company that rhymes with saygo) which can be used to make people, small cities, or whatever your heart and mind can imagine.  I usually find these small items under the couch or beneath my feet.  Ouch!!!!  Also, there’s always a few games he “must have” each year.  These video games must be played on a stand alone device or handheld widget which is sold separately and usually a new edition is introduced every other year.

The Holiday Tradition

Every holiday, I found myself shopping at the last minute. I would get all anxious trying to find that “sold out” toy.  Year after year I made a speech to myself, I shouldn’t wait until the last minute to go shopping.  I made a promise that I would not overspend.  I knew I would get upset when I heard the words “I’m bored” once the fanfare of the holiday season was over.  There was no way I would allow them to see me get angry because I had flashbacks of standing in long lines.  Hey, I was just following tradition whether it was right or wrong.  My momma, aunties, and grandparents ensured I had the best holiday every year as a child.  I had declared I must uphold the same tradition for my children.

For several years, I wrapped every single gift starting at midnight until five am in the morning.  The hub and I would argue, because his gifts were never wrapped as a child.  My response would be, “That was boring.  Didn’t you want to tear open the wrapping paper and be surprised?”  Literally, we had the same dispute annually.  Anyway, my ritual was to wrap the gifts all night, and binge watch holiday movies while sipping wine, or drink a few cold Pepsis or glasses of Kool-Aid or maybe consume all the above.  I would cop an attitude cause the hub wasn’t able to help me wrap as many gifts, because he was the chef of the house preparing the feast for the next day. However, as time went by, I had to question what was I spending all this time and effort for?  I watched myself get in debt, get holiday loans (more than I should have borrowed), and spend that holiday fund that was taken out of my paycheck for 10 months to make certain the holiday was “perfect.”

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As parents and caregivers some of us struggle, because we delighted in seeing the smiles on faces of our child(ren), nieces, nephews, lil cousin or maybe that family the office adopted.  I can’t beat myself up.  I am trying to “mature.”  I must realize I got to live after the holiday.  All those dollars could be invested in purchasing stock as a gift, placing funds in a savings or college fund, or taking a fun-filled family trip. That’s what we did in 2017.  We went to Disney World, and made it clear: Don’t look for naaaan (not one) toy!

Create Meaningful Inexpensive Moments

My point is do what you can this holiday season.  Let’s not forget why we celebrate during the season.  Whose birthday is it really (don’t answer if your birthday is actually on Christmas) ???  Spend, think, and strategize wisely.   I can’t say I regret those days, but I can say I am learning.  I will do what I can with what I have and not let the holiday giving stress me out.  Make the best memories you can by spending time with loved ones even if you are not able to purchase the “perfect gift” or find that “sold out” toy online (miss you Toys R Us).  Create homemade gifts such as soaps or candles. I almost fainted when one co-worker told me that was their family tradition for years. Then we got into a discussion about was it a cultural experience.  Also, someone else stated they have a large family, so they pull names every year to reduce stress.

All those tangible items can end up in a garbage bag or collecting dust.  Though I have spent my share of dollah bills, my household have created some inexpensive memories as well.  We all get new holiday pajamas (I always find them on sale).  We wear them on Christmas Eve and either make homemade or bake precut frozen cookies (don’t judge).  After the cookies are ready, we choose a few holiday movies to watch together before the children were told to go to sleep to get ready for the excitement for the next day.  Now, they stay up as long as they want!

For this holiday season take a moment to have memorable conversations and heartfelt memories that won’t leave you wrapped up in debt.  Stop for a minute and reflect on why we celebrate the season for those of you who do.  I will continue to be thankful for my support system.  I will only borrow what I can afford to pay back and not extra to spend frivolously.  Make the season bright by knowing you can create more meaningful cost-effective traditions instead of going into the new year with the gift of debt.

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Trying to Stay Content in the “D” When its Not Your Season by Chellyz View

 

The Snow

Trying to Stay Content in the “D” When its Not Your Season by Chellyz View

It was Monday, November 11, 2019.  I don’t know why the situation that occurred appeared to be foreign.  I was a grown 40 plus aged woman who was birthed and raised in Detroit aka the “D.”  However, I wasn’t ready. There it was accumulating inch after inch. SNOW!!!!!!

Some people love and sing about, “Dreaming of a White Christmas” or “Let it Snow.”  It wasn’t December 21, 2019.  According to the calendar, winter wouldn’t be welcomed officially until that day.  Huh!  At least for those residing in colder climates.  Due to global warming anything is bound to happen.  Even the warmer states during the latter years of my life have been greeted with….that word?  SNOW!

I dread getting stuck in the snow every winter.  I am embarrassed to tell you on Thursday,  November 14, 2019 my car was temporarily stuck in an unplowed parking lot. I knew I shouldn’t have parked there, but I was in a rush. Thank you to the kind Samaritan who helped me maneuver out of a frustrating situation.  I don’t look forward to slipping and sliding on unsalted roads.  Oh yeah!  I think my tires are good for now until the potholes emerge.  Boots, scarves, hats, and gloves which I do love, always disappear from me.  Once the season is over, I have unmatched sets of gloves left in my vehicle or designated bin in my house.

Oh!  I was supposed to purchase a new winter coat.  My current coat is over nine years old with holes in each pocket.  Hey, I know I will find at least $5.00 in change, a stale piece of candy, and an old piece of tissue floating in the lining. I don’t know about you, but I am never prepared for this season.  Maybe, I am in denial every year about the coldness approaching.  However, just like clockwork, I know the seasons must change.

My question to you is how do you stay content when its so cold during this season?  Well, here are five ways I keep my heart happy during this time of the year:

Live to Give

That’s right give back.  Grab those old coats that are in decent condition and donate.  My children have outgrown several of their coats that can be donated to keep another child warm.  Also, donate items such as hats, gloves, scarves, and socks to a non-profit, school, homeless shelter or local charity.

Find a moment to Volunteer

Volunteering can make you happy! Believe it or not.  I enjoyed reading an article that was posted on a very conscious sister social media page.  It truly examines the importance of how giving can make us happy.   The article is entitled, “Happiness Comes from Giving and Helping, Not Buying and Having.”  Read the article for yourself: https://wakeup-world.com/2015/01/21/happiness-comes-from-giving-and-helping-not-buying-and-having/?fbclid=IwAR3yB8hhJTwY3EhHwcVprNrDAYtekGMKK739h97FtSniZi1oLCND3jO8weo

Also, I am looking forward to volunteering this holiday season.  I have been blessed to cross paths with a group of selfless sisters who are spearheading a volunteer venture.  If you have a few moments to hit that like button or scroll through the social media news feed, then schedule the time to unselfishly make a social impact.  Check out the website: https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=DETROIT%2C+MI%2C+USA  There are plenty of opportunities waiting for you to volunteer.

Talk on the phone

Wait a minute!!!!!  You mean you can use the phone for dialing to speak to someone. That’s right!  I am guilty!  I prefer texting any day.  However, somebody would love to hear your voice especially those who are home bound. You remember the lyrics by the Legendary Mr. Wonder?  “I just called to say, I love You.”  Tell someone and mean it from the bottom of your heart!

Escape the Cold

Yep!  We can escape the cold by reading.  Find a good magazine or book that will allow you to travel to another dimension.  Block out everything around you and have an exciting time vacationing without spending the cash.  If you prefer, there’s always audio.  Let someone read to you while you close your eyes and imagine going far away from the harsh elements of the cold.  Don’t know of any good books? Check out an inspiring sister  social media page who loves books and has a substantial amount of recommendations: I Aspire Books @ www.facebook.com/groups/iaspirebooks/

Gratitude can change our Attitude

Some of us can become scrooges at this time of the year.  We work overtime to overspend.  We become stressed about what we can or cannot purchase during this season. Remember there is more to life than giving gifts we may not be able to afford.  That’s a whole post I can testify and write about on another day.  Instead, capture the gift of gratitude and share it with others by simply saying encouraging words or speaking thoughts of positivity to someone who needs an ounce of hope.

The Snow and Me

This season may bring some of you down.  You might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which usually triggers depression during the colder months. The cold weather might not agree with your bones and causes you to fight a little more to keep moving due to aches and pains.  Or you might be like myself and not a fond lover of the colder season.  As you are going through the motions pause for a few seconds.  Try to generate a helpful list that will aid you in surviving the movement of brisk air and visitation of snowflakes abruptly causing havoc in the “D.”  Be mindful of what keeps your soul warm during this time of year.  Always seek professional help when self-therapy isn’t enough. Share with me how you cope during these cold and dark months and start A Heart Full of Conversations!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!
-ChellyzView

 

References:

Taylor, Dr. Steven.  “Happiness Comes from Giving and Helping, Not Buying and Having.” Wake Up World.  https://wakeup-world.com/2015/01/21/happiness-comes-from-giving-and-helping-not-buying-and-having/?fbclid=IwAR3yB8hhJTwY3EhHwcVprNrDAYtekGMKK739h97FtSniZi1oLCND3jO8weo

 

www.facebook.com/groups/iaspirebooks/

https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=DETROIT%2C+MI%2C+USA

 

 

 

What in the World are We Walking for? by Chellyz View

Woman Walking With A Fitbit

What in the World are We Walking for?  by Chellyz View

It’s amazing how we are tracking our steps around the world. This phenomenon is contained on our wrists and the apparatus is worn faithfully by many. Personally, I’m too frugal to purchase one. Therefore, I downloaded an app on my phone that records the number of movements I make each day. The problem. I don’t always have my phone on my possession. So, I probably made 5,000 steps in one day instead of 250. Alright, I am stretching the truth a little.

The steps we take are more important than we know. Not because it improves our health, but it provides the directions of how we should live. It shows how productive we can be or become. It gives us the opportunity to choose a path of development or destruction. If you adopt a spiritual voyage, you may be aware of the verses found in Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV),” 5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, he shall direct thy paths.” If you look to an African Proverb it tells us, “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” Oh yeah! I’m sure you have been told, “Always walk with your head up, not towards the ground.” You can also conjure up your own sayings about walking. I know that my everyday walk won’t always be pleasant or easy, but I am thankful for the journey.

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Throughout the years, I recalled being lost. There were instances where I couldn’t find my sense of direction. I was preoccupied with everything that was in front of me. I wasn’t preparing myself for the days ahead.   Who really cared about the future?  Not me.  At least not all of the time.  It seemed too far away.  I didn’t focus on how those uncalculated steps would shape my future which left a negative impact on my life.

As I matured, I noticed the footprints of a distorted and disturbed generation. People rather be led by devices that only count the amounts of steps they take. I observed we feel a sense of accomplishment of reaching our walking goals, but what about our lifetime goals. Our ambitions have become limited. Our drive has dwindled to being excited about the brand of shoes we wear on our feet or chasing fast dreams that leads to disappointment.  We want to walk in other people’s shoes.  We concentrate on someone else’s journey instead of being content with our own.

Wait, maybe I should design a gadget that would track the movement of how many steps it takes to accomplish our personal goals and dreams. Oh, that exists already. All we need to do is use our hearts, minds, and the visions that are within us to walk towards success. There’s more to life than recording steps that will take us on a journey of becoming elated about numbers. Let us take strides to becoming better human beings and establishing a better society. Does anyone have time to take a walk for that? Take a count!

 

 

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

dining table

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

I was scrolling through the gallery in my cellphone and the picture featured above held my attention.  A table.  Not just an ordinary table, but a decorated table that reminded me of one of my maternal grandmother’s tablecloths.  Some childhood memories are clear like looking through a freshly wiped window cleaned with window cleaner.  I accurately see the reflection of dinner time at my grandparent’s home.

My grandparents resided in a small modest home with a round dinner table. Dinner at my grandparent’s house was a ritual.  The main course of the day was done by 4:00 p.m.  My grandmother enjoyed working for a brief time, but life circumstances summoned her to become at stay home mom.  I admired my grandma for watching over me while my mom worked.  I am displeased with myself because I didn’t pay attention to her nor my paternal grandmother’s recipes made from scratch.  I felt cooking wasn’t my calling.  Therefore, cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches became my specialty as I grew older, but that’s another story.

Yes, the dinner table at my grandparent’s house was sacred.  Hands washed.   Fresh produce.  Homemade Ingredients.  Life was at a slower pace back in the day.  At least that is how I envision grandma’s kitchen.  I can recall the aroma of greens, black eyed peas, the snapping of peas or green beans, and sweet potato pies (no strings found).  Watching flour and yeast being rolled by hand with a wooden rolling pin then left to rise a few times before being baked in the oven left me amazed.  The scent of roast beef or a whole chicken that appeared to be roasted without the rotisserie machine contraption lingered in the air.  This was a time before anyone thought or knew the definition or lifestyle of veganism or gluten free.

The most important part of the dinner routine was setting the table.  My grandpa would become irritated at times because I would start singing at the table.  I didn’t sing on key, but I always had a song.  I don’t know if this was a habit because the food was so good or I just felt like hearing him telling me to stop all that sangin’.  I knew we were to sit down at the table together.  No eating in the room.  No preparing separate meals.  Whatever was cooked you ate or you starved. Currently, I don’t know if that would be considered unfair treatment to children or not.  Paper plates, and plastic ware was not allowed at the dinner table.  Cups made of foam, oh no!  My grandma said she felt like she was about to choke when she drank out of a foam cup.  When she did finally break down and accepted paper or plastic goods at her dinner table, you were only to purchase Chinet or some other brand that resembled resilience.

Today, I feel guilty as a mother.  Don’t get me wrong, my children don’t starve.  However, they didn’t experience the same dinner time rituals I did as a child.   I am thankful their dad has mad skills in the kitchen.  So, they always get excited when dad prepares the meals.  We don’t always consume our dinner at the same time due to work schedules or extracurricular activities.  I am known for stocking up on paper and plastic goods because it’s an “easy” way of life in my home, but I know it isn’t good for the environment.  There are times when we have carry-out meals a little too often or the frozen section in the market conveniently saves time instead of having everything freshly prepared.  Electronics such as tablets and phones are supposed to be banned at the table when we have an opportunity to dine together.  The children ask, “Why?”  I respond, “Cause my grandpa said no singing at the table.”  Also, I tell them it’s important because it gives us a chance to talk about life.

A few years ago, before I realized the impact dementia was having on my grandmother we got into an argument.  It was about the details of the dining room table.  I wasn’t folding the dinner napkins correctly.  Grandma exploded and I left the room muttering, “I ain’t having another holiday dinner over here.”  I think she felt it would be one of her last holidays preparing a home cooked meal at the sacred dinner table.  A sadness overwhelmed me because I knew grandma was changing and this portion of our lives wouldn’t be the same.  Now, she enjoys the meals my mom and aunt prepare for her. She always sit by the window in her comfy chair.  Her dinner table consists of a small foldable wooden dinner tray.  Of course, she asks what time it is throughout the day, because she never wants to eat dinner after 5:00 p.m.

As families we need to find time to gather more at the table.  Even if time doesn’t allow for it to occur every day, we should commit to making the time at least three to four times a week.  It might not even be dinner, but maybe you could enjoy preparing an evening snack or dessert together.  Have at least one “good tablecloth” and a set of nice dinnerware you can find on sale.  Maybe even splurge on the fancy paper ware but remember to recycle.  LOL, I even invite singing to the dinner table as long it is a song, we can all sing and is appropriate.  Yes, our schedules can be rigorous at times.  Yes, we often find ourselves overworked and trying to manage the bills.  However, try to find a few moments to create some reflective and comforting memories at the dinner table .

Finding Waves of Hope to Stop Drowning in Sadness

tim-marshall-H9K0fOYlFVA-unsplash

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

 

Finding Waves of Hope to Stop Drowning in Sadness

Your Thoughts Can cause You to Drown in Sadness

It was the evening of Sunday, June 9, 2019. I don’t know if this feeling has ever happened to you, but I felt uplifted and exhausted at the same time. It seemed I had received enough fuel to sustain me for another week, and motivation to rebuild my faith. However, for some apparent reason a wave of sadness washed over me. The weekend was biding me farewell, and I had to prepare myself for the forthcoming week.  As usual, I continued to stay optimistic about positive changes for my city in spite of the disturbing news that blasted across the airwaves.

Earlier that day, I had attended kingdom service at my home church. Later that evening, I went to a gospel concert at another church located on the east side of Detroit.   Well, after the concert, I dropped my mom off and headed home. It was around 6:30 p.m. when I drove down Conant towards the Davison Expressway. There were a sea of people standing on both sides of the street. My first thoughts were to have my car float in the other direction, but I was too tired to attempt to steer my car toward a side street. I patiently passed by a slew of individuals standing on the side or front of their cars in party mode.  Suddenly, the green light quickly flowed from green to red which caused me to stop.  At that moment, I decided to call my aunt. I informed her something was going on, but I didn’t have a clue what event was taking place. I also told her I needed to hurry and get on the expressway as soon as I could.  My soul felt disturbed. Later, I learned a car show had occurred.

As usual I started to overthink.  I headed down the Davison Expressway and connected to the Lodge Freeway, and began thinking about the crowd.  I vividly remembered seeing faces of all ages. Suddenly, I felt a rush of sadness fall upon me.  I thought, why can’t we gather in large crowds often to start a movement, spark a positive revolution, or activate a call of action to demand peace in our neighborhoods?  I wondered did any of them know they could use their footprints to walk towards building a Detroit filled with promise?  I know many citizens have taken oaths and organized rallies to battle gun violence, blight, and embrace community development. However, we need to do more.

My mind continued to think, think, and overthink.  Finally, I exited the freeway and I arrived home. Suddenly, my mind shifted, and I became consumed with other concerns. I questioned myself about how was I going to make my home better if it was destined for me to stay in Detroit?  As I turned into my driveway, I watched my 11-year old son play with the neighborhood children, and noticed he was having a disagreement with another child who lived down the street. I asked him what was the issue, and he reassured me it was resolved.

Again, I began to overthink. Is this where it all begins?  Do we participate in disputes as children that we fail to learn how to resolve in a healthy manner which leads us to become angry teens and adults? Will there be an ongoing concern with children getting along on my block and the warm days were just starting to grace our backyards? Once I got my emotions under control, I shook it off just like I shook off the wave of sadness earlier while driving through the crowd a few moments earlier.

Well, Monday, June 10, 2019 was upon my doorsteps and to my demise I clicked on a popular local news site. The heading stares at me, taunts my thoughts, and haunts my feelings leaving me feeling despaired. Four people dead, several people had been injured, and this was a result from 9 different shootings that happened throughout Detroit. Now what? Over the weekend a gun violence rally was held in Downtown Detroit. I was drowning in emotions from the feelings of yesterday of observing a crowd of people who had familiar faces, but I didn’t personally know.  Unfortunately, one of those shootings occurred in that vicinity near Conant leaving a young man dead.  It was news I didn’t want to hear, but was imprinted in my thoughts.

Continue to Believe in Hope

I was sinking in sadness from the feelings of wondering what kind of world will this be for my 15 year old daughter who anxiously awaits to live out her dreams one day in another city while aspiring to become a physician?  I didn’t want her to be attacked by unwanted tragedies.  What would be the outcome of my young son who longs to be an actor but could be disruptively placed in a horrific story as a troubled child, because he is a young African American male who loves to wear hoodies?  I don’t want to live in fear every time I see a group of people standing outside longing to enjoy life become victims of violence. I don’t want to live in sadness, fear, and anger wondering if my children will have to fight to prove their dignity when they want to just hang outside and have fun.  Neither should any innocent child, adult, or citizen.

Now what? Businesses, churches, community groups, organizations, individuals, families, parents, friends, mentors…..What can we do? What shall we do? What can be done? I know we are trying and incidents will happen that will continue to test our faith. I can’t just shake this off but I won’t hold onto all this pain either.  I will not drown in my sadness.  You must not drown in this sadness.  I will tell you what I must continue to do.  I hope you will join me, and grab your life jacket of faith and hope in this journey.  We gotta keep rebuilding and fight for our communities.   I will share hope by continuing  to write thought provoking articles, share uplifting stories, post community events, volunteer, and take mental breaks as needed.   Please share your solutions and get the crowd to join a revolution to cease the violence and unwanted pain. We will not drown in sadness.  We will strive for and believe in better days.  We will not lose our hope in Detroit!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Helping Others and Your Community Doesn’t Mean You Must Lose Your Sanity, Self, or Smile! – By Chellyz View 

 

take care of yourself

It’s amazing how our children can give us a wake-up call.  As adults we are supposed to be the ones nurturing and guiding them.  However, they are watching us even when we are not paying attention.  Last month, I hung up the phone and my son looked at me and said, “Ma, you are tired.  You are always helping other people, but you need to take care of yourself.”  I replied, “You are right.”  Then time went on as usual.  Approximately two weeks later my daughter boldly walked in my room and stated, “Ma I was looking at some old pictures of you.  I’m not saying you aren’t still pretty, but you look so tired now.  You need to stop doing so much and take care of yourself.”  Finally, last week a co-worker stopped me in the hallway and with great concern asked, “Are you alright?  You haven’t been looking like yourself lately.”  Hmmmmm, that’s when I told myself, “Chellyz, you bettah get yo life!”

I wanted to help my community, peers, peoples, loved ones, and the world SUCCEED!  I was caring and helping others so much that I was beginning to lose my sanity, self, and smile.  It was imperative for people to heal, but I was doing so at the cost of injuring me: physically, and emotionally.  In the words of my children, “Girl, you doing too much!”  Here are the top five lessons I have learned over the years, but I needed to reiterate them to myself and for those who may need a little advice too.

smile-quotes-youre-never-full-dressed-without-a-smileLesson 1

 If you say no it doesn’t mean you are the worst person ever to walk the Earth.  Having a big heart often means you spread yourself too thin.  If you stated, no the first time then you can repeat yourself by answering no again.  It doesn’t mean you are selfish, mean or uninterested.  It means you must reinforce balance in your daily activities.  Life is demanding, and why overwhelm yourself with a list of events to validate someone else’s happiness or to pacify your social media feed.  Take a mental snapshot and a break from the hustle and bustle of a hectic schedule.  It may not appear like it, but I am learning that it’s ok to choose a few good events to attend each month instead of 15.  Well, I’m exaggerating a little.

quotes-marianne-williamson-10-600x411

Lesson 2

You can’t give and be a part of every cause.  On the blog’s Facebook and Instagram pages, I post many events that are occurring in the city of Detroit.  I know that I can’t attend, or can I afford to go to every program, fundraiser or good cause.  Therefore, I post the events or programs hoping that others in the community will show their support.  My latest slogan is: “I am the Village, You are the Village, We are the Village.”  Nope, it is not “Me” or “I am the Village alone.”  Collectively, there are enough of us in this village to show up or volunteer at one event per month to make a difference in this city!

heal and grow

Lesson 3

Be aware of who you befriend. Bad spirits will drain YOU. Lord knows I have learned many lessons while volunteering or helping others with their vision.  One lesson was costly!  Just because someone seems sincere doesn’t mean their heart is right.  People may utilize your gifts and talents for their own good.  Choose who you want to help wisely.  Even when we use our best judgement, we still may experience hurt.  At times, I would become angry with myself for allowing my heart to help others who caused me pain.  However, I must remember friendships, and bonds have their season.  Learn from the situation, release it, and keep things moving.  Believe me life is too precious to become consumed with people and circumstances that can’t or don’t want to change.  Use your energy for something more productive.

beauty-of-the-butterflyLesson 4

The same way you pour into others, don’t forget to pour into yourself.  Time is of the Essence.  You know you have plans, and a vision for your life.  It’s wonderful to push, encourage, motivate, and assist others when you can.  However, don’t forget to plan, prepare, cultivate, invest, dedicate, and sacrifice for what you want to achieve out of life.  Don’t lose sight of your dreams while helping others.  I have mentioned this before on many other occasions.

defeat

Lesson 5

Detox, Defuse, and Disconnect.  Get rid of any unwanted stress or negativity that latches onto you and causes you to want to give up on everything. Over the past few months a few well known individuals have committed suicide.  People are losing hope, because they are losing their coping mechanism skills.  Social media is providing a false sense of happiness.  As for myself, my energy level was extremely low.  I was allowing depression to drive my actions.  My past was tugging at my present and weighed me down.  I was losing focus of my future.  Maybe, if I stay busy, I won’t have time to be sad.  Maybe, if I help others with their Dreams then I won’t place any effort in mine.  Therefore, I won’t have to worry about failure.  Maybe, if I give my all to the community then my environment will become an oasis.  Maybe, if I am nice to everyone, they will be nice to me.  Maybe, if I support every cause, when it’s my season they will support me.  Big announcement!!!! Quit trying to satisfy everybody, and everything.  Refuel, Replenish, and Reconnect with yourself.  Most importantly, seek professional help when you need to!!!!!!

Those are a few keys that helped me regain my sanity, self, and smile. Hopefully, they can help motivate you also.  I decided to take care of myself (again).  I have my cycles of ups and downs.  A few people even stated I’m starting to look like my old self again.  I have my moments, but I have a checklist to remind me to get back on track.  If you see me in these streets and I am having a bad day, just give me a smile and say, “Hey don’t just preach about the lessons you type but learn to live them.

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

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Developing and Recognizing Your Own Principles that will lead to Self-Improvement and Healing

Developing and Recognizing Your Own Principles that will lead to Self-Improvement and Healing

principles

After the research, What Happens Next?

After a few weeks of allowing the words I had written to rest in a notebook, I finally decided to type away and brought the post to life.  Usually, I felt a sense of accomplishment after writing and finishing a blog post. The post focused on how I did extensive research about the principles of Kwanzaa and decided to actively participate in the holiday last year. However, this time was different.  Right before deciding to publish this post, I felt it was essential to do additional research about the founder of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga. During my research I learned in 1971 he was convicted of torturing two women and the actions were dehumanizing and brutal.  Later, Dr. Karenga was released from prison by 1975.  People had campaigned for his release by writing letters that were sent to state officials (www.dailycaller.com/2017/12/24/reminder-kwanzaa-was-concocted-by-a-deranged-felon-who-tortured-naked-women-with-a-karate-baton-and-a-toaster).

After reading about this newfound information that others might have been aware of, I sat at my desk in a complete daze. It was Friday, January 18, 2019 at 12 am in the morning, and I was unable to move.  I wasn’t confident about publishing the post anymore.  Everything around me was a blur. I knew I needed to rest, because I had to prepare for work in a few hours.  However, I couldn’t.  Since December 26, 2018, not only had I completed research about Kwanzaa’s principles, but I had recently participated in self-reflection exercises that helped me evaluate my life over the past 25 years.  I had a multitude of questions that were dancing in the air.  Each question lingered off beat because I was trying to become in tuned with myself.  First, I asked what about Kwanzaa, because the principles were deep and what I had learned wanted me to invest more in my community.  At the same time did this newfound information change my views about the seven-day celebration and its principles, because of the founder’s past?  It is ironic because, this question led me directly to a recently published article in the Los Angles Times entitled, The dark side of Kwanzaa’s founder can’t extinguish the holiday’s beacon (www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-griffin-kwanzaa-20181223-story.html). After reading the article, I thanked the writer Chante Griffin even though she couldn’t hear me. I promise you she must have heard my thoughts, because it expressed how I felt at that moment.  Though the author indicated she didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa last year,  I had already celebrated the holiday before reading the articles and was still indecisive about the holiday’s future for myself.

Self-Reflection Should Lead You to Self-Correction

It was amazing how time was racing and it was getting closer to Friday morning, because each minute was slowly passing me by.  This blogger girl was going to be exhausted for work the next day.  I couldn’t feel the pace of my heartbeat. My whole body was heavy.  So, I asked myself the most important question.  What about the person I was and the person I had evolved into?  If people knew about all my faults, destructive behavior, failures, how I disappointed others, or my selfish actions that caused hurt and havoc, would that stop family and friends from loving me unconditionally?  Would they want to stop reading my blog, follow my You Tube channel, support my events, or believe in my visions?  So, I just sat there at my desk staring at the computer waiting for it to give me the answers I needed to move forward, to post this article, and most importantly to continue healing.

Though I can’t change the past, I can share what I learned while celebrating Kwanzaa and from the self-reflection exercises, I indulged myself in.  First, I realized that if you are sincere about becoming a better individual you must look within yourself and commit to find the tools to teach you how to heal.  Some of those tools are prayer, meditation, counseling, and connecting with people who have a positive outlook on life. Secondly, though we can learn and adapt principles from others we need to go beyond that.  We must develop and recognize our own principles that will improve ourselves and lead us to self-healing.   This is imperative if we want to have healthier homes and communities. Third, if you have strong leaders or ancestors in your life that have taught you principles about choosing what is right from wrong then don’t stray away from them. My family taught me numerous principles about life, and ensured I was spiritually rooted and grounded.  However, I am the one who drifted away from what I was taught.  I can’t blame anyone, but myself.  Don’t let others allow you to compromise your character for selfish gratification.  Fourth, learn from your past because it can shape you into becoming a better person for your future.  So, now a few days later I have a revised version of my written post.  I finally decided to press send.

Learning about the principles of Kwanzaa and the importance of self-reflection

kwanzaa table

Kwanzaa Display at the Charles H. Wright Museum with Kinara Holder representing the Seven Principles:  Black represents the People / Red represents the Struggle / Green represents the Hope and Future that ultimately comes from the Struggle

It was another year of habit.  In the past, I had carelessly practiced the protocols of an annual celebration out of habit instead of honoring the ritual for internal growth.  Christmas was officially over and the spirit of Kwanzaa was slowly drifting in the air.  “Happy Kwanzaa,” but the celebration for me ended before it even began. I sat down and decided to evaluate the seven principles which were; Umoja – Unity, Kujichagulia – Self-Determination, Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa – Collective Economics, Nia – Purpose, Kuumba -Creativity, and Imani – Faith.  I also, decided to participate in self-reflection exercises that would help me develop my character and strengthen my own principles. It was important for me to confront my character because it needed an awakening about the principles I was taught in my life.  My family had done a phenomenal job raising me, but it was I who had failed over the years.  It was time to develop my own principles while not taking away from what I had learned as a child.  It was time for self-improvement.  It was time for healing.

Celebrating creativity in the community

performers at the musuem

Left Picture: Host Momma Sol / Picture Above Performances by Shizzmane and Band The Zoo / Picture Below Performances by Michael Elliot and The Experience

I allowed my brain to become an empty vessel that was ready to learn about Kwanzaa and developing my own principles that could enhance myself, and surroundings.  In 2019, my purpose was to enrich the lives of myself, children, and my city. Each day of Kwanzaa, I spoke the contents of every principle in the atmosphere.  In addition, I shared my personal principles and stories with my children in hopes they were retaining facts, and life lessons like a search engine on the world wide web. By the sixth day of Kwanzaa, I was determined to take my children and nephew visiting from Georgia to the Charles H. Wright Museum to celebrate Kuumba in the community.  This day represented Creativity.  Yes, I was excited, because Creativity could really be an eccentric girl like me from the D middle name.  The evening included an event hosted by Momma Sol who performed meaningful lyrics that educated the Soul.  In addition, performances were given by Malcolm Elliot and The Experience and The Zoo featuring Shizzmane.  It was enlightening to hear the vibes of young local talent who graced the stage with originality and positive vibes that grasped every creative fiber in my DNA.

at the musuem

From Left to Right My Nephew, Son, Self, and Daughter at the Charles H. Wright Museum

The most memorable aspect of this day of creativity occurred when my 15-year-old nephew who stands over 6’3 admitted he was hesitant about attending the event.  He stated, “I am glad I went today.  The music was good and I will have something to listen to on the way home.”  He asked the performers for their info so he could download their tunes on Sound Cloud which is another lesson someone needs to school me on.  While driving home my nephew made a profound statement that overwhelmed my spirit with joy which was, “I learned to believe in myself and to follow my dreams.”  He then proceeded to inform me about his future endeavors.  Let me tell every individual reading this post that Chellyz almost dropped a heart full of tears, but instead I gleamed with smiles of contentment.

Welcoming Faith While Living Life

Finally, I approached the last day of Kwanzaa, Tuesday, January 1, 2019, with anticipation.  I said “Hello” to Imani which stood for Faith.  What a way to bring in the new year with one of the most challenging yet prominent principles we face in our daily lives as it relates to having faith for providing peace and comfort in our homes, working a nine to five, raising children, building a business or career, paying the bills, developing and finishing projects, maintaining relationships, exercising our spirituality and understanding the checks and balances with our physical and mental health.  Phew, and that is probably not half of the battles we face in this lifetime.  Yes, I greeted the principle with arms outstretched and decided it was time to have the Faith to succeed, to build, to grow, to learn, to overcome and to soar to greater heights in Life.

One of my personal principles I decided to concentrate on in 2019 was self-healing.  Also, implementing peace would be a guiding principle in my life.  I am finding the tools to exert peace to help demolish unwanted battles, depression, or self-distrust that could lead to my self-destruction.  Though it is difficult, I know it is time to keep evolving into a better individual, move beyond my faults, and accept the good the universe and the Holy Spirit is offering to me.

Do You Stand Behind the Principles, Proverbs, or Proclamations You State?

What principles, proverbs or proclamations are you standing by in 2019 and refuse to walk away from?  When you state, “It takes a Village” will you contribute, rebuild, and restore to the sustainability of the community?  When you chant, “Stop the Violence” will you show up for a local peace rally?  When you state, “I’m Blessed and Highly Favored” will you walk in Faith and not place all your focus on doubt?  When you shout, “I am My Brother’s or Sister’s Keeper” are you willing to make sacrifices or promises to ensure you will assist or protect them in times of distress or opposition?  When you finally tell yourself, “I’m going to develop principles to make me better,” are you willing to self-reflect and make corrections to live a more meaningful life filled with overwhelming potential?  Make a list of your own principles for self-improvement and healing, because your heart, health, family, soul, and community is depending on it.  Evaluate yourself and answers and keep your girl posted!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

References

Griffin, Chante. “The dark side of Kwanzaa’s founder can’t extinguish the holiday’s beacon.” Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2018 www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-griffin- kwanzaa-20181223-story.html

 “Reminder:  Kwanzaa was concocted by a Deranged Felon Who Brutally Tortured Two Naked Women with a Karate Baton and a Toaster.”  The Daily Caller, 24 Dec. 2016 www.dailycaller.com/2017/12/24/reminder-kwanzaa-was-concocted-by-a-deranged-felon-who-tortured-naked-women-with-a-karate-baton-and-a-toaster/

“10 Facts About Kwanzaa Founder Dr. Karenga.” Woldcnewsstaff, 2012 www.woldcnews.com/978964/10-facts-about-kwanzaa-founder-dr-karenga/

“The History, Principles, and Symbols of Kwanzaa.” Interexchange, 18, Dec. 2015 www.interexchange.org/articles/career-training-usa/history-principles-and-symbols-of-kwanzaa/

 

Being Thankful while going through Progression and Experiencing Life Lessons

Being Thankful while going through Progression and Experiencing Life Lessons
Thankfulness pic

Practicing Thankfulness while wearing my favorite scarf!

I am thankful for the progress and blessings in my life.  I remember some years ago I was driving a car that would stall on me in the middle of nowhere.  Well, that is how it seemed.  One evening it was cold and the children were with me, and of course the car decided it would stop movement, since it was growing older and more tired.  I was frustrated and crying, because the children and I were stranded for a few moments on a dark and semi-secluded road. Thousands of dollars had been spent over the years to keep the car up to par.  At that moment, I could hear a few of my friends in the back of my mind telling me from previous pep talks it was time for me to step out on faith and invest in another car. Though I only had $500, and less than stellar credit without a trade-in, I went to the dealer and was able to get my new car.  After having that car for almost two years, someone ran into the back of it leaving it totaled.  I was blessed to get another car which was better than the previous car.  Most importantly, I walked away without a scratch.

On today, take a moment to be thankful for the little things.  Be Thankful for the progression you have shown even with the tears, obstacles, limited resources, fear, frustration, and confusion you have faced.  There are times when you may have just a few dollars and a dream, but if you have the heart to fulfill it, you must go forth with making that vision transpire.

Sunflower Pic

A reflection of Thankfulness (Cass Park)

Currently, I am approaching a third year with fulfilling the mission of A Heart Full of Conversations: A Detroit Blog.  I envisioned the level of growth to be at a faster pace. I wanted to have a line of products to sale with part of the proceeds going back to the community.  I thought I would have a vast amount of people reading the blog, and multiple documentaries uploaded on the You Tube Channel at this time.  However, I had to remind myself don’t rush the journey.  This walk towards progression, and success isn’t a speed race.  It reminded me of when I was frustrated about that car.  I felt stranded, and my movement was stalled.  However, I know with faith, pep talks from the people I love, determination and patience something greater than what I expect is in my future for myself, and the blog!

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am allowing myself to reflect upon my accomplishments big or small.  I am taking it easy.  I am thanking my personal Savior for all the trials, and the blessings.  I am thankful for the gifts He has bestowed upon my life and allowing them to manifest through trial and error.  I am thankful for the times when I only had a few dollars in my pocket, and how I made it through those moments.  I am thankful for my mom and aunt who loves me beyond every fault, consistently support every venture I decide to embark upon, and always being there when I need them most.  I am thankful for every single friend who doesn’t judge or belittle me and offer ongoing encouragement when I try to allow doubt to creep in my life.  I am thankful for my home, everyone who resides in this household, and their patience for dealing with me. I want them to know I always want the best for them.  I am thankful for the days filled with hope, because it helps me realize that the darkness will NOT permanently consume my personal space.  I am thankful for Every situation that tests me when I don’t have all the answers.  Those moments become testimonies after the challenge.

cake and butterfly pic

Had a slice of Red Velvet Cake for Breakfast (My daughter made it!)

So, this Thanksgiving besides acknowledging the mac and cheese, red velvet cake I will have for breakfast, turkey, dressing, yams, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pies and all the other stuff that you and I may Gobble, I want you to contemplate on gratefulness and be thankful for what you have.  Don’t let this society make you feel bad if you can’t go shopping on Black Friday.  Don’t let the pressures of this world tell you how you should celebrate the holiday which may cause you to become depressed.   If you have a moment of feeling discouraged then yell, scream, talk it out, but like I always state don’t stay in that negative place.  Practice thankfulness not because it’s designated on a calendar.  Show thankfulness while experiencing life lessons, because it will bring you peace and allow you to see the progress you made no matter the scale of it.  This is your chance to live your life to the fullest every day, and I encourage you to be thankful!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

 

Three Awful Words that are Aggravating Detroiters and Damaging their Wallets by Chellyz View

Three Awful Words that are Aggravating Detroiters and Damaging their Wallets by Chellyz View

Alright, I am about to type the three awful words that are leaving Detroiters feeling aggravated, defeated, and tormented.  Auto Insurance Rates……. Eek eek eek eek!  Did you hear that?  It’s the haunted music that is associated with those terrifying words.  I have listened to the campaigns of people vowing to address the outrageous automobile insurance rates Detroiters must pay.  I have heard the outcries of Detroiters feeling the pain of their wallets being depleted due to unfair rates.  Even if an individual is a good steward over their money, it doesn’t mean they should pay ridiculous premiums for auto insurance.  Recently, I have felt the frustration when searching for the most affordable auto insurance rate.  While trying to get my life right, something went wrong, and I allowed my insurance to lapse over a month ago.  Then my horror story began!

For the past year, I was blessed to pay one of the most affordable auto rates I ever had in a longtime.   Unfortunately, I missed a payment due to life circumstances, and was without automobile insurance for over thirty days.  I called the insurance agent and was ready to renew my policy.  However, I was informed I could no longer pay the fee monthly.  I had to pay the six months up front, because I was being penalized for not having any insurance for over thirty days.  Also, the rate had slightly increased.  So, I paused then pleaded with the agent to just give me a chance, but according to policy there wasn’t a possibility to make a deal.

I frantically called several other agents hoping to find the lowest auto insurance rate.  I also visited a few auto insurance offices in person.  Ultimately, the torture of searching for affordable auto insurance became a pain in the well you already know.  I received quotes as low as $405/mo. and as high as $937/mo.  Can you believe it?  All of these quotes were not only higher than my car note, but more than a studio apartment in the inner city with a utility included.

auto accident

Let’s discuss the fact that I didn’t have any points on my driving record, but another driver ran into the back of my former car in January 2017.  I was patiently sitting at a red light when a drunk driver ran into the car behind me, and then that car smashed into the back of my trunk.  The effect left that my car totaled.  I am forever grateful to the Holy Spirit I wasn’t injured, and only had to receive therapy for a few weeks due to slight back pain.  Also, I was thankful I had insurance at that time to cover the damages.  However, I was informed though I did not receive a ticket from that accident, my current rate would be being affected by the ordeal.  I wanted to grab my car key and throw it across the room and call out Florida Evans classic line from Good Times, “Da##! Da##! Da##!”  Michigan is a No-Fault State, but it feels as if the blame is being placed on Detroiters.

Last year, a bill was introduced to reduce rates for Detroit citizens. The proposal failed, because it was very controversial.  To reduce rates customers would have the option of deciding which package to choose for their personal injury protection (PIP).   It was stated the cost of auto rates would reduce by allowing citizens to choose their own protection plan.  However, there was no guarantee rates would drastically reduce for Detroiters.  According to an article retrieved from http://www.MLive.com entitled, “Bill to lower Michigan auto insurance rates fails in late-night vote” stated “A key part of the failed package was letting people choose their levels of personal injury protection.  A person could choose the $250,000 coverage, $500,000 to save 20 percent on the PIP portion or their coverage or unlimited coverage and save 10 percent.”  If an individual chose not to have unlimited coverage for their PIP it would have been devastating and costly.  For example, an individual who did not have unlimited pip coverage or a primary medical carrier to pay for services such as physical therapy, or chore services if care is needed on a long-term basis due to a severe auto accident, they would have to face even greater out of pocket medical expenses.

So, how are Detroiters getting by with these crazy auto insurance rates?  They are not.  Often you will see new to seasoned automobiles with major damage on these streets for two reasons.  First, people are “riding dirty” (singing in my Chamillionaire voice), because they don’t have insurance.  Another reason is people with insurance have an extremely high deductible to lower their insurance policy which is also not affordable.  Many citizens use out of state license plates and addresses to soothe their pockets of the unfair rates.  Also, people find methods to beat the system by “borrowing” someone else’s address who live in another city in Michigan.  Even the new Detroiters who are moving in upscale apartments downtown are using suburban addresses.  One article retrieved from www.michiganradio.org entitled, “Detroit sues Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock over tenant information” indicated, “As the city notes in court filings, “Some residents who reside in the city of Detroit use a suburban address of a relative or friend for purposes of obtaining lower auto insurance rates and/or for the purpose of avoiding city income tax liability.”

hopeful in my car

Unfortunately, many people even myself prayed that nothing would happen until I could rob Peter to pay Paul to renew my policy.  Some drivers would purchase a seven-day policy to renew their license and vehicle tab when it is their birthday season.  In case you didn’t know, the seven-day policy no longer exists in Michigan. Thanks, Lawmakers!  You continue to show how much you truly don’t care! Oh yeah, I was offered another auto insurance that would cover my vehicle in the case of an accident, fire, vandalism or theft.  The down payment for it was decent, but the agent told me the punchline to the joke.  The insurance is not valid in the state of MI, and if I was stopped by the police, I could be fined with a $150 ticket for invalid insurance.  In addition, I was told to contact the finance company to inquiry if they offered insurance until my policy was reinstated.  The company told me they did not offer any auto coverage.

As the story continues to unfold, one agent told me to just park the car for awhile since his quote was too costly.  Ummmm, I don’t think that is a permanent solution, but merci beaucoup for your suggestion.   The Motor City was known as an auto industry, and the much needed improvements for mass public transportation has never been a number one agenda though efforts are slowly being made.   I see the uprising of bike lanes and the usage of electric scooters increasing in the city.  Hmmmm, then again maybe I could avoid auto insurance if I didn’t utilize my car.   However, riding my beloved bike and/or attempting to ride an electric scooter every day aren’t feasible solutions due to the structure of my life i.e. being a chauffeur for my children. Anyway,  the snow will soon be covering Detroit grounds, and it would be difficult for me to maneuver on either device.  You know, I did see quite a few people last winter riding their bikes in five to several inches of snow on streets that were not plowed.  I will leave that skillful act to the experts!

on my bike

Let me say this, shopping for auto insurance is a horrible experience in Detroit.  Most agents sounded sympathetic when telling me why the rates were so high and apologized while trying to explain the justifications of the injustices of unfair auto rates.  However, I thought can’t these agents be a part of the solution and lobby against these high you know so and so rates.  Oh right, but that ain’t their issue if the money is being made.  I know one politician is stating in her commercial, “Fix the Da## Roads.”  I am yelling at the television, “Correct these Unfair Rates!”  The powers that be have given people another reason to move, but as I always tell my peeps that’s not an option for me.  This issue will be addressed, Someway, Someday, and Somehow!!!!!  It needs to be resolved, because I will have a teenage driver in the house within the next two years.  My wallet can’t handle any additional stress.

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-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

References

Lawler, Emily.  “Bill to lower Michigan auto insurance rates fails in late-night vote.”  Michigan News, 11/3/2017 https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/bill_to_lower_michigan_auto_in.html Accessed 28 October 2018

Cwiek, Sarah. “Detroit sues Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock over tenant information.”  Michigan Radio, 05/14/2018                                                        http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-sues-dan-gilberts-bedrock-over-tenant-information  Accessed 28 October 2018