Pearls & Vodka

Have you quit your job to work on Oprah’s campaign yet?

The waters of life can certainly get murky.

My personal waters have been pretty dark and gloomy lately.

Change is hard y’all. And I’m fully aware that some of you are rolling your eyes now and thinking, “well duh.” I get that sentiment. Truth be told, a few months back, I probably would have had the same reaction. The problem is it got personal for me mid December.

On paper our family’s move to Charlotte looks fantastic. My husband and I both got great jobs that were promotions from our previous positions, that came with very needed raises. We landed a super, fantastic home that we could not love more. I transferred my Junior League membership to the Charlotte league very easily. We have friends here, from all phases of life: high school, adulthood, Wilmington. But paper doesn’t always translate to our emotions. And to say I’ve been struggling would be an understatement. I’ve been plagued with worries and doubts galore. My sweet, sweet husband is so in tuned to my emotional health and does ten thousand piles of laundry and cooks amazing dinners. But I still wallow. I worry that I took him from his friends to move us here. I worry that our son left behind the most perfect childcare with his preschool and his nanny. I worry that I took a job that is too far above my abilities. I worry that I won’t make new friends, yes me, Mrs. Social.

It’s just hard.

I hate that I’m in this place at the beginning of the year.

I love new years. I love Mondays. I love fresh starts. I love the beginnings of things.

I have such horrible memory since becoming a Mom, but I remember every detail of the beginning of my relationship with my husband. Y’all this man literally skipped away from our first kiss. SKIPPED. Down Main Street in El Dorado, Arkansas. I thought I had cardiac issues because my heart was constantly skipping a beat because of him. I just love beginnings.

I despise endings. Hate them. Loathe them.

I hate losing friendships. I hate losing loved ones. I hate moving. I hate quitting jobs, which may come as a shock to those who know my resume, I’ve done that a few times. I hate starting over. I hate leaving what fits. I hate losing the known. I hate it. Hate. Hate. Hate.

I like the same old same old. I like the status quo. I like to have my circle established. I like routine. I cherish the known.

But here I am.

In a beginning, something I love. But without my status quo, that I also love.

So what now?

That’s what I’ve been asking God the past few weeks. What now?

I’m not one to be intimated to share my thoughts and feelings with God. Some of you may faint and fall out, but every once in awhile, a curse word even slips out in my cries to my Heavenly Father. Just last night I asked God, “why does this have to hurt so damn bad, when it is so good for us?” I’m not saying God smiled upon my words, but I’m just saying He doesn’t love me any less. And truth be told, I think sometimes He does smile because He knows I’ve come to the end of me and all I have left is Him. And that’s exactly where He can do what only He can do.

So while I find myself watching and waiting, anticipating what He is going to do, I realized something.

This feeling I’m feeling right now thanks to all the change in our lives, is a lot of what so many of you are feeling about our country.

2018 may have started a new year, but Donald Trump is still President. And just like every box I see in my house drives the dagger deeper, every Tweet he posts sends nails down chalkboards for a lot of you.

Change is hard.

Many of you relished the Obama Presidency. Many of you clung to the hope you felt then. Many of you felt comfortable, safe even, and you cherished that “status quo.”

Those of you that felt way are struggling today with the Trump Presidency. You can’t grasp to the “known” you felt with President Obama. I get it. I really do.

A lot of you who feel lost today in this Presidency found a lot of solace Sunday night when Oprah Winfrey took the stage to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award. You felt the familiar. You felt the message of hope. You felt a twinge of days gone by under President Obama.

Her speech launched an entire 2020 campaign right before our very eyes. Now, will Oprah every run? I don’t really know. My gut says no. But desperate times, call for desperate measures.

I think the unfortunate thing about Oprah’s speech Sunday night was not what she said, I thought it was fantastically moving and spot on. I think the social media hounds did a disgrace to her very timely words though by launching a Presidential campaign for her and completely ignoring the intent of her message. Oprah was not announcing her candidacy. She was putting her powerful voice to the movement of equality for women and giving her hope to the plight of women who refuse to be mistreated.

I wish the world would let Oprah’s words resonate in their proper form and not the version a lot of folks wanted to hear. She spoke a message of hope to those who have suffered and spoke strength to those who are fighting for the little girls out there. Save the 2020 campaign rhetoric for the 2020 campaign season.

Our world feels vastly different under this Presidency. Some of the President’s own fault and some honestly of those who refuse to do anything but spread hate.

It would do us all well to remember that just because we don’t like something doesn’t mean we can destroy it. And just because we don’t like someone doesn’t mean they cannot do good.

Nick Saban for instance. I can’t stand the guy. But it’s hard to argue with his resume at Alabama. The dude knows how to win championships. But I don’t like him. I’m an Arkansas/Auburn fan, with love in my heart for Clemson. I love coaches like Gus Malzahn and Dabo Swinney. I’m not a Saban girl! But for the countless young men who have come through their program that he has done right by, he must be applauded. Since I mentioned football, I wanted to go ahead and add my two cents that the UCF fan base has officially lost their minds. Seriously, two of your games were cancelled! If anyone deserves to be the faux National Champion, it’s Auburn, the only team to beat Georgia AND Alabama.

But I digress…Donald Trump has done right by some people too. Don’t believe me? Well of course not, you are probably part of the majority who refuses to see any goodness in this man. And I understand the bad is so glaringly bad.

But at some point, don’t we have to stop wallowing in our self-pity, get off Twitter, lace up our boot straps and start making the world what we envision it to be?

And trust me, I’m preaching to myself here.

As much as you might tell me, “Mandy, buck up, embrace your new town, your new opportunities and thrive, just like you thrived in Wilmington.” I’d tell you to, “Buck up America, accept where we are and be the hands/feet/voices of the change you want to see, not just the Twitter heroes you have become.”

You ranting and raving about Donald Trump on social media isn’t going to change that man, unfortunately, he’s one of those people that it only fuels their fire. You getting out and supporting candidates who are running for local, state and national offices with your time and your money will change things politically. There are a lot of great Independent candidates out there. There are a lot of amazing grassroots campaigns going on. Go volunteer. Donate some money. Go work the polls. Help put on a voter registration drive. Help clear the murky political waters in our country. Your Tweets will do nothing.

And just like I’m telling you to do, it is time for me to buck up and enjoy where God has us and anxiously await this new thing He is doing, this new beginning.

One way I find peace and healing often times is to write. That being said. Sunday this blog will start to look a little different, hopefully a little cooler. I’ll be waiting on your fredback. But every day next week will reveal a new theme and section with a snazzy title. Thursday will also start featuring guest contributors. So be on the lookout!

While I’m at it, I just have to say, WAR EAGLE AND WOO PIG SOOIE…sorry Alabama friends, old habits die hard!



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