For Those Who Don’t Know Me

Hello.  I’m Monique Danielle, but just call me “Mo”.

I’m proudly middle-aged with a strong measure of good health, so I’m still in the running to attempt the one, two or possibly three things I should have done sooner. The question now isn’t about capability but whether I have the heart for the sacrifice.   Everything cost something.

I believe in love in all of its forms. I’m strong enough to be a part of someone’s life and discerning enough to know when to leave. I care immensely and love intensely, but it is evil to infringe upon another person’s happiness or allow them to interfere with mine.  So I do neither.

I have three expectations of others:  (1) be who you truly are; (2) live up to your standards; and, (3) demand the same from me.

I’m tolerant, even of some things that I may disagree with.  I tend to go left when everyone is going right.  I’m exacting and demanding and sometimes my patience runs really thin. Empathy comes natural to me, shallowness bores me, and human connection drives me.

I strive for an “A” even when I know that my best is a “B.”  I’m innately curious and can never learn enough. In everyone and everything there is a lesson: even a broken clock is right twice a day. (Cliché, I know.)

My daily motto is: I will judge nothing that occurs today. Each day I get better at living this out. Though honestly, it’s a struggle.

My spiritual journey is sacred and personal, and so is yours.  The road you travel and how you arrive are not my concerns. Not because I lack interest, but because I hold in the highest regard your right to define you, your life and God.  I will never interfere with another’s journey, and neither will I allow anyone to impinge upon mine.

If you need to know what type of daughter, mother, grandmother, godmother, niece, cousin, friend or co-worker that I am, confer with someone who knows me well.

Have I done things that I thought I would never do, said things that I shouldn’t have said, made decisions that I wouldn’t make again, apologized when I didn’t mean it, refused to apologize when I should have, loved good people at bad times, left too soon, stayed too long, talked too much or didn’t speak enough?

Yes.  I lack perfection.

I am not etched in stone.  Neither is my life.  Who I am today is the sum of my experiences thus far.  But each day I seek out and thrive for moments that lead me to different places, new people, and purposeful events that could ultimately change it all.

Eventually I may have to reintroduce myself.   But for now, this is my snapshot.

Truly yours,

Mo~

P.S. – Feel free to introduce yourself.  I’m interested in getting to know you.

A Half Century In

It’s been almost three years since I’ve last written to you.  The intention was never to go this long without sharing, but life and FaceBook has a way of interfering with the best of intents. 

However, here I am just a few days after my 50th birthday. For five decades now, I’ve roamed this planet. Admittedly, I’ve put plenty of miles in, worn down many soles, and have broken off a heel or two. But even if I could go back to twenty-one with the lead that I now have, I wouldn’t. Honestly, there’s not a slew of things that I would do differently because making another set of decisions would just lead to a different path of detours, dead-ends, close calls and everything in between before reaching now. What I’ve learned is that the journey is inevitable; it begins at the point any decision is acted upon. It’s how one navigates the process that determines how far one goes.

For the most part, I’ve played it safe and flirted with risk. My career has spanned over two decades and has catapulted me into some great opportunities, but it’s far from my first choice. And, I’ve left my hometown three times now, just to come back.  Yet, I still can’t promise that I’m here to stay. Life’s just too fluid to make such a vow. 

My passport is stamped with many fond memories. I’ve gotten lost (literally) in Italy, scorched in Belize, argued with a native in the Dominican Republic (he tried to charge me sixty US dollars for a bath towel that wasn’t even plush), and ate Pie and Mash drizzled (such a tourist move) with eel gravy in London. I’ve had fun, but I’ve been disappointed and felt the sting of shame too.  I’ve suffered through the agony of a stillbirth at one point and made a decision many conservative Christians wouldn’t approve of at another.  There was a friendship or two that expired, a few jobs that didn’t pan out, and I still haven’t written that book. Yet, today I proudly stand.  

Unequivocally, I am loved. I’m blessed with a mother whom I adore, a son who was kind enough to forgive me for not getting the parenting thing totally right, and a family with only a few members that I think about trading in every so often. (Beware though, there will be a holy war if you actually try to take them away from me.) I have strong friendships that span over cultures and decades, and a tribal family that rivals blood. And, in a few short days, I’ll be gifted a daughter through love who is intelligent and lovely and kind. That’s buttercream icing for me.

There’s nothing for me to complain about but much more for me to do.  My expectation for this life is another strong seventy years (yup, 120 minimum), so technically, I’m not even middle-aged yet.  But I’m wiser and happier. My tools are sharper, and my aim is more targeted.  That’s the foundation from which I build upon now. 

If you ask me what fifty years of wandering has taught me, it’s simply this:  Nothing works unless I do; mercy is the ultimate demonstration of love; and, life is nothing to fear.   

Happy 50th to me!  Cheers! 

Truly yours, 

Mo~

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