The Rainbow

Today there was a rainstorm that lasted about an hour where I work. I looked out of my office window at the rain and began to think of the most harmful and negative things I could come up with. I left work feeling so sad and defeated. As I was driving home, I saw the biggest rainbow I have ever laid eyes on, and I began to smile from ear to ear. The weight of my sadness and defeat from the day lifted. I could finally breathe.

I have always been told that rainbows symbolize promise. I think we can all need a little promise to get us through these rough times we are facing. We are dealing with so much pain and anger; it feels as if we will never see the light again. But what I would like us to do is think about a rainbow. Better yet, find a picture of a rainbow and make it your lock screen. Once you do that, make a promise to yourself. Your promise can be as big or as small as you want it. When you come up with that promise, write in your notebook on your phone; that way, if you start feeling down, you can look at your rainbow and that promise you made to yourself.

It may seem like a lot right now, but trust me, it will come in handy when you need it.  

Am I Good Enough?

“Ariel is going to school for her Doctoral Degree!” “Ariel is a Director at a childcare center.” These are the statements that my mom makes to people about me on a day-to-day occurrence. I always tell her to stop telling people all of that stuff, but she would just roll her eyes and continue her “Ariel is the best” Parade. I do not feel that I am as smart as my mom and other people think that I am. I feel that I do enough to get by. Man, my therapist would be so upset with what I am saying about myself. But that is how I feel. I feel that I need to push myself harder to be what people think that I am. Ugh! Anxiety, you are such a jerk for making me think like this.

Maybe I need just to take what people are saying to me as encouragement. Perhaps I should stop being so hard on myself. I have to get out of the way and do the best I can. I do not have to be perfect to get things done. I do not have be a genius for people to give me praise. My mom is not saying I am smart because she’s my mom; she’s saying this because she believes in me.

Now the question is, Ariel, will you believe in yourself, or will you allow your anxieties to beat you down?

A Dear Fear Letter

Hey Fear,

I cannot believe we have been together for this long. Understand Fear, and I am not happy with this relationship. You keep me locked in a box and have me second guess everything I do. There have been moments in our relationship; you have made me not trust the people that I love the most because you put thoughts in my head that they were not good for me. You also would make me distance myself and run away from my dreams. Fear I cannot find a happy moment with you, and you know this. So why do you want to stay around? Is it because you like it when I am beating myself up? Is it because it is funny seeing me throwing up because I cannot handle the stress? Whatever it is, I am done with you, Fear.

Please do not call or write to me to talk me out of this. I have nothing else to say to you. We are not a good fit any more Fear. You are only good for making me hide instead of fighting for what I want. I hope you never do this to anyone else. Stay away from me; I do not wish to deal with you at all. I am over being controlled by you, and I am ready to be happy.

Goodbye Fear,

Ari

A Note for My Husband

Hey Hun,

Yes, I know that you are in the next room, but I want to write you a little love letter. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving me harder when I try to find ways not to love me. Thank you for being my protector, my cheerleader during all of my success, and my sounding board when I am hurting. Thank you for being slow to anger, but quick to forgive. I know that I can be a bit too much at times, but like the MVP you are, you take it all with stride. You say everything without saying a word because your actions speak for themselves. Our love has had some hard times, but our love was strong enough to make it through. I know I tell you this all the time, but I felt you were due a few kudos for all you do for me. You will never know how much you mean to me. You are the eye of my wild and crazy storm. I love you, Hun, to the moon and back.

Truly you are my Prince Charming.

Love,

Your Wife

#Foreverdavis

Starting Over

Talking to someone that has wronged you is a difficult thing to deal with. The reason why that is because you aren’t sure if you can trust that person again. So, what do you do? Should you just stay away and never speak to them again? Or should you just take the high road and see what will come from it?

When I went out to lunch with my Dad Sunday, talking to each other started out slow. It was like we were strangers trying to carry a conversation on an elevator. Finally, my Dad broke the awkwardness saying, “Ariel, before you told me how you felt, I thought I was doing right by you,” “I didn’t think about how you need time with me.” My Dad said, looking at me with sadness in his eyes. I sat up in my seat. I could not believe that he actually heard me. I just knew that he would find ways to make this a non-issue. I felt so comfortable with what I was hearing, all my bitterness and anger was falling off with each acknowledgment he made. At that moment I felt so proud to say that this man is my Father. Now, I want you to understand that I am still taking things slow with him. I want to make sure that he is genuinely willing to start over with our relationship. But just knowing that he owns his fault, makes me feel that we have a chance to rebuild.

I want everyone that reads this blog who has ever been hurt or has ever hurt someone to take from this story two things. First, come in with a clear and open heart. If you are still holding on to the hurt, you will never be able to receive anything from that person. It is okay to be hurt, but if you are trying to move forward, you must let go. Secondly, only have the conversation when YOU are ready. Don’t allow anyone to rush you into a conversation. You have to move when you feel that the time is right, and only you will know when the time is right.

Daddy-Daughter Date 2020

Tomorrow I am going out with my dad, and I am so nervous about going. I feel like this is the first time I have ever met him. I don’t know what I want to talk about. Should I just talk about what’s going on now? Should I bring up our fight in May? I don’t know if I want to be open to letting him back in.

Ugh, this meeting would happen before my therapist appointment on the First of July. Get it together, Ari…

All I can think to myself, is that this man is my dad; why am I so nervous? I guess if your last real conversation with your dad were so awkward that you both and him paused for at least 20 seconds before you started your next subject, you would be nervous too.

I just have to do it. I have to stop overthinking this meeting. If my dad wants a true fresh start with me, I must allow him the room to do so. I cannot hold on to the past if I want to build a future father-daughter relationship with him. I have to come with an open mind and a heart to receive.

Happy Again

It has been about two months since I felt truly happy. Do not get me wrong; I did have some happy moments come up in my life like getting a new job as a Director for a child care center, but I wasn’t delighted.That “wake up and know your day is going to be a successful day” happy. I mean, I wasn’t even happy on my birthday, so what would make me think that I would ever be truly happy. Thank you so much, Depression, sis you did your thing right here! The question I keep asking myself while I try to run the batteries of my brain down, what are you looking for to make you happy? Happiness comes to people who are willing to find their happiness.

Often do we look to others to permit us to be happy. We forget that what others may discover is happiness, might not be our way of finding happiness. With me, I thought to have closer bonds with people will make my happiness meter jump off the scales. I thought by having my dad’s love, and understanding will lift this cloud of sadness. It did not. I only felt myself still seeking for more. It only was until I sat back and said that I would be fine with or without the approval of someone’s love and understanding. I start looking at everything I was blessed with. I have a wonderful and caring husband, a mother that would go to bat for me no matter the cost and friends that are willing to ride out with me if need be. I began to smile, thinking about the memories I have made with them, and it lifted my cloud.

When you have a moment where the cloud of sadness began to follow you, began to sit back and think of the things you were blessed with and notice how that sadness will roll away. Keep your mind focus and know that everyone deserves their happiness in their own way and time.

Are We Really Free?

I just celebrated my 33rd birthday yesterday, but I cannot find joy. Another black man was sentenced to death before he could ever stand before a judge. I cannot wrap my head around why black lives are not taken into account. Why are we always the target? A black man is murdered, but instead of talking about that, they will bring up his run-ins with the police. Does that mean he is not eligible for fair treatment by the police? Help me out because I am trying to find the reason we cannot have justice.

I think about my husband, my father, my brother and brother-in-law, male cousins, my nephews, and uncles leaving out of the safety of their homes, not knowing if today will be the day someone decides to make them their next kill. I pray every morning that they are alright, and they make it back home. This should not be the world that we live in. America is supposed to be the land of the free, right? Yeah right. We are not all free. If we can’t get the chance to plead our case before our lives are seized, then freedom is not for all. I am becoming more and more numb every time I see a black person murdered. This should not be life. It is so difficult to find happiness when sadness is all around us.

We have to fight—black lives matter. Please hear us when we say that we matter. We want the freedom that was promised to us. Allow us to live. We just want to matter too.

A Letter to Little Ari

Dear Little Ari,

I am sorry that you are hurting. I am sorry that you did not get the love that you wanted from your daddy. You are such a beautiful and smart little girl. He does not know what he is missing. You are going to become a wonderful and loving person. You will find a husband that will love you, and all the things you think are flaws. You will reach every goal you set because you have a determined spirit. Will you long for your daddy love? Yes. But you are going to make it. You will have happy days, and when your days get tough, do not be too hard on yourself, little Ari. You are human, and it is okay that you make mistakes.

I want you to know little Ari that you are loved. You are perfect just the way God made you. Do not change yourself because you do not fit a mold that was not designed for you. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Have fun, and do not overthink the things that are placed in front of you. You are very strong, even though this may feel like your lowest point. You have the heart of a fighter, and you will win at everything you set your mind to do. Do not give up on yourself. You are not a failure. You deserve anything you wish for and then some. Your mama is proud of you, and she believes in you. The support you will get from your mama will be enough to keep you going. Understand that you are not to blame for the hurt that was brought to you. Keep Smiling little Ari. You are a star in the making. I love you!

Love,

Ari from 2020

The Power of No

How many of us can say we can take no well? It is okay if you cannot, but what if we can look at the word no differently? Now before you say there is no way that the word no can be changed into a positive concept, I want to tell you a story about how the word no went from being the worst word ever created to landing my new job.

Education is my life, so much I am currently obtaining my Doctorate in Educational Psychology. Yes, I am a nerd. I always wanted to run a school or daycare, but life after Undergrad took a toll on me. When I landed a Preschool Teacher position at a child development center, I was excited. I loved the children, and I thought this could be a job that I could move up into a Director position. When I saw there was an opening for a floor lead, I quickly applied. “I should get this,” I said to myself, “I know Early Childhood Education like the back of my hand.” When I went to talk to the Director about it, she said there was no way I could be a floor lead. I was hurt. I have never dealt with someone telling me that I was not good enough. The parents loved me, and the kids did too, so I did not understand why she did not see the good work I could bring to the position. I shortly left because I knew that I would never get a chance to prove myself.

When I became an Academic Advisor at a University, I took to a Director there. He told me I had the potential to become a manager because of how effective I was at my job. He would give me articles to read about effective leadership, and I even started my master’s in Organizational Leadership to prove to him I was ready for the next step in my career. I knew I had a shot for the Advising Manager position that was opening up. I put my resume in, and I waited. When my Director came into our team huddle to announce who he was choosing, he selected a guy who did not have experience in working with students at all. You might be saying, “Ari that is rude,” hear me out, his position before that manager position was handling degree processing. Also, he could not calm a student down to save his life; and he would give me all of the “high touched” students as he called them. Again, I felt defeated. I could not understand why my Director would give me articles to read and put me on special projects that managers typically handled but could not see the leadership potential in me.

I became an Academic Advisor for another college; I knew I wasn’t going to move up there because my manager was only 10 years old than me. Also, she said I did not have the emotional intelligence to handle leadership, which, if you know anything about me, I am the definition of emotional intelligence. I know you might be thinking, “Ari, when will you get to the part where the no’s turn into something positive?” Just follow me for a little while longer. I recently applied for a Director position at a childcare center. I went in knowing that I did not have the managerial skills other than what I learned from my Organizational Leadership degree, but I could not pass on the chance to interview. I went into the interview, and I gave it my all. I left out of there feeling good about it, but still, in the back of my mind, I was thinking that another no was coming. I received a call on the last Monday of April from the Executive Director of the center. “Hi Ariel, I have some news for you about the position.” He said. “Yes?” I said nervously. Will this conversation be any different from the rest? “I want to welcome you to our team,” He said. “You are our newest Director!” I could not believe it. All the times I have heard no, and how I wasn’t ready for this type of responsibility, someone saw my passion and wanted to see me impact a team.

No’s can be tough to handle, but as my therapist said, no just means next opportunity. Someone’s no to you will be someone’s yes soon enough. You have to push away your doubts and allow yourself to get back out there to search for that next opportunity. Do not let no keep you from trying to reach a goal of yours.