Learning through each other’s experiences.

Uber revelations on the interconnectedness of us all

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The sunset outside as I worked on this piece. Photo by the author.

The six degrees

It’s a great movie, a wonderful party game, and a fascinating concept — the idea that we are all connected in some way by just six levels, six steppingstones of people in our associations and familial relations. If you doubt the veracity of such a claim, go drive Uber for a living.

One of the more interesting aspects I find in writing about my job as a driver is that I am quite possibly writing about someone you know, someone who resembles someone you know, or someone who knows someone you know…or quite possibly even you.

It runs deeper than our similarities, familiarities, and commonalities. I am waiting for the day when a random reader reaches out to remind me of the time that they were a passenger in my car. After my experiences driving, I believe it will happen one day. There is a remarkable thread that connects us all in some way or another. Sometimes we can pull on that thread, unraveling the connections to discover our associations. Other times, it inevitably shows itself, finding you one way or another, entwining you and wrapping you into its web, revealing the precious fabric that together we…

I broke every rule in every parenting book

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Photo via Canva.

It was 11:30 a.m. My three-year-old daughter was losing her mind. In the background, a group of nuns stared at us. I’m quite sure that at least one of them was feeling smug about her decision to remain chaste.

We were at The Grotto, a Catholic church nestled in the serenity of a sprawling garden, lush with grass, trees, and flowering bushes. Our reasons for being there had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the fact that mom needed to get out of the house. …

Bring a guitar to our party; we’re rocking 2021!

Yesterday began a new year in a global era none had ever seen coming. And all things considered, it is such a great time to be alive.

Medium says that every idea needs a medium, and The Parables’ mission is to serve as a medium for storytellers to tell their unique stories. We began small with less than ten writers, and our community only kept growing since then.

When we launched a few months back — right when sitting at home hits the hardest — I had but one mission, and it is to have a community of people from different cultures and backgrounds, religions, nationalities, to share their life experiences with others. …

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Old habits die hard.

It’s been a proverb that’s stuck with me ever since I heard it…God knows when.

I believe I know a thing or two about habits. I know I form them too easily, that I’m easily addicted to them and sadly, not to life-threatening habits like smoking cigarettes and or depending on whiskey, but worse. I get addicted to human beings, the ones blessed with the heart and feet to get up and leave one fine morning.

So, every time I think about this proverb, I’m also thinking of ten different ways a certain ‘habit’ is going to hurt in the future. I’m also thinking of ten different reasons I should not get too comfortable with any. I’m thinking of ten new ways I need to find to get used to changes. …

Wearing both is the closest thing I found to a life I once knew.

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Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

The scent of my expensive perfume helps me feel a sense of normalcy — during a time when things are far from normal.

A lot has changed since the pandemic abruptly halted my daily routine nine months ago: no commute, no water cooler chats with co-workers, and no lunch-hour workouts at the gym. It’s funny how I used to complain that my commute was too long, my co-workers gossiped too much, and how working out during lunch was such a chore — I must admit that I miss the regularity of my daily routine.

One thing that has remained constant in this whirlwind of uncertainty is the alluring scent of my perfume: L’Eau d’Issey Eau de Parfum, which I’ve worn for 20 years. The woody, floral scent made from delicate flowers, hints of amber seed, and musk is subtle and fresh as sensuality — just enough, but not too much. It’s not the type of perfume that chokes you with one sniff or lingers long after the wearer has left the room. But a scent that entices and awakens the senses with one whiff. …

First: Refuse to write new year’s resolutions.

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Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

It’s not that they don’t work, new year’s resolutions: There’s a long and, frankly, accredited history that highlights the power of writing down your goals as the way to realize them. I’m not here to bag on setting goals. Setting goals is how I started my business. Setting goals is how I became an author.

The problem with setting goals, though, is the assumption that fulfilling them will bring you happiness.

They won’t. And there’s also a long and, frankly, accredited history that demonstrates how reaching a goal is not the same thing as finding happiness.

If it’s happiness you’re after, here’s what you should do. …

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Louisville Downtown Skyline (June 2002) by Sam Stearman, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

My father was born in Louisville, KY in 1951. He was a little Black boy born in a Southern, segregated city.

He’s not my great-grandfather. He’s not my grandfather. He’s my 69-year-old, alive-and-still-kicking father.

As much as I’ve learned about systemic racism and White supremacy through the first-hand experience and through studying it, the fact that my father remembers segregation even shocks me at times.

Segregation is often thought of as an ominous time in U.S. history that happened so long ago, it’s barely worth mentioning. My father, aunts, and surviving family members are proof the past is not so distant. In fact, the past is still the present. According to a 2015 report by 24/7 Wall St.,

In the period of my Singletude

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Photo by Matt Wang on Unsplash

“Solitude is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.” ~ Deepak Chopra

The deafening silence. The utter solitary confinement in the freedom of my own home. Or should I say my apartment? Who knew that silence could be so comforting. The silence is deafening but not complete because the rustling sound of engines from vehicles helps me remember that I live in the city. That even though the silence is a welcome company, it is not to be permanent.

“The lonely people have taught me that I am not alone.” ~Anthony Liccione

At this moment, I am grateful for my singletude. The fact that I can sit in one position for hours, talking to myself like I have company. Discussing past experiences, broken relationships, and faulty friendships of the past and present. Seems priceless. Having conversations about growth and how the past instructs and how fate is somehow linked with destiny. …

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Photo by Simona Sergi on Unsplash

Some years ago, I found myself without a job, for a year and a half [yikes!]. I desperately tried to find employment — nothing. During that dark moment in my life, I thought of my late mother and wondered what advice she would give me. Would she tell me to persevere, keep trying, and never give up? As I sat in hopeless despair, I remembered all the wonderful life lessons my mother gave me through her cooking.

Mama was like a musical director in the kitchen — orchestrating the pots, pans, and food in perfect harmony, to create a lip-smacking meal like a melodious jazz tune composed of notes on a music sheet. Like musical instruments, each ingredient followed her direction, while she tossed, mixed, and stirred towards a symphonic encore for her impatiently waiting guests. At the first taste, they were all singing in unison "mmm mmm good." …

I assumed I’d give birth to a Mini Me. I was dead wrong.

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Photo courtesy of Canva.

I had my first fight with my daughter when she was 36 weeks in the womb. It was then that she first defied me. I was sitting on our balcony one night and felt her squirming, and all of a sudden I felt something large and round lodged under my ribcage. It felt like a head — which is exactly what it turned out to be.

I was pissed. I tried in vain to turn her back around. I let an acupuncturist burn my toes. I suffered through an external version, which was painful and violent and accomplished nothing. I saw a chiropractor. I took hot baths with frozen peas on my belly. I strategically placed my iPhone speaker between my legs and tried to lure my daughter’s head downward with Aimee Mann, Wyclef, Tracy Chapman. I played my whole damn music library to my vagina. …

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