Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooooooh

This morning I needed to hear some inspiration in my car on the way to work. I popped in a mix CD I made during my first year of law school called F Da Curve. My law school graded first year students on a curve - if you were in the bottom 20 percent, you'd get put out of school. To pump myself I made a CD and today when I heard the song that was #3 I was like "HECK YEAH!" I really needed to hear this one!

See at the time I put it on the CD because I felt like I needed an attitude adjustment. Today is different though because I am embracing a new attitude. Like Patti says, "I've changed for good!". I was bawling (and dancing and singing at the top of my lungs on the way in this morning - poor lady next to me at the red light on Melrose and San Vicente looked so confused) as I not only listened but understood her words. "I'm in control - my worries are few. Know where I'm going and I know what to do!" YES I DO! I'm the co-author in my life and Ms. LaBelle reminded me in grand fashion this morning.

Shout out to Dominique from ANTM - DAVIDA CHANEL has a new attitude!!!!!!!!!


I Was Jus' Playing

As a child, I had a very vivid imagination. I loved to make up stories - especially about myself. I remember telling a classmate, Peter, that I was bi-racial and that my parents were both bad asses that hooked up. I told him my father was the "red-headed stepchild" of the family that owned Godchaux's - a really nice department store in Baton Rouge (later it became Maison Blanche and was bought out by Dillard's). Peter believed that story for some time until the other kids that knew my family told him otherwise. These stories were always very elaborate and well planned out. When my grandmother and aunts would hear my tales, they were not impressed and I'd get in trouble for lying. Since I knew I was just playing, I figured that playing got me in trouble so I stopped playing around and became a very serious person.

As I got older, my playfulness that I attempted to repress would appear through random acts of defiance and disobedience. Once I cut my hair which was way past the small of my back into a choppy bob (think Jack-O-Lantern); another time I ran away from college to go hang out with my friends who were on academic suspension; I entered pageants and while dressed gorgeously in my gowns, I'd say ghetto catchphrases that would get the crowd hyped up (I was keeping it real before J-Lo!). The older I got, the more random and "dangerous" my outbursts would become. When I came to L.A. I was extremely focused on my career with little time for fun. My life became dark for a while because I sought out alcohol, sex, and even drugs to find my fun. I convinced myself that I was a responsible user (does that even exist) and that I had everything under control since I was just having fun. I kept these escapades from my long term friends and to my new friends I just assumed a new persona. Things were "good" for a while.

But at the end of the day, I recognized that these activities were not real fun and I was really desiring the childlike fun I had cut off so long ago. Story telling, dramatizing, public speaking and participating in those type of activities were the joy I truly sought. My inner kid was once again shut down and she wanted to play! I began to give her more fun activities - I joined book clubs, did the Artist Way, found a church where I could volunteer with kids, and began just being more authentic all the time. As a result, I've attracted people into my world that appreciate my type of fun! People that are more reminiscent of my core friends from college, Purdue and law school - people that are just as playful as I am! Now things are more balanced. I changed my living environment - I moved in with a friend who is a writer so she's naturally creative and artistic. My friends are extremely gifted and talented (let's see there's an actress, an online magazine editor, a future DJ and a couple dancer chicks). I'm even working on creating a short film project so I can "officially" tell my stories and play out loud.

Last week, I met a new playmate. She threw a dress up party on Friday night and I got to really go play by dressing up and letting myself be free to be me. Playing is fun and I'm giving myself the opportunity to relax and have some fun!


What Is It That You Want?????

In life, I am constantly reminded that we all have talents far beyond what we use. I just read this story in today's HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. WOW! I actually read this script and really liked it. This story is just another example to me that we can have whatever we desire if we go after it. Michael Martin served as another inspiration for me to go after mine, are you ready to go after yours?

From www.hollywoodreporter.com
A Staten Island tollbooth worker in desperate need of a car wrote a crime thriller spec titled "Brooklyn's Finest" last year. Now he finds himself rubbing shoulders with some of Hollywood's finest, including Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Antoine Fuqua.Living in Brooklyn, Michael Martin had just totaled his car in an accident. While in physical therapy, he entered a screenwriting competition, hoping to win the prize money for his new set of wheels."I had never written a screenplay before," said Martin, who had studied film in college. "I thought, 'How hard can it be?' I was more like, 'If I win this, I can get a new car.' "His screenplay came in second but eventually ended up in a far better place: the doorstep of Warner Bros.-based Thunder Road exec Mary Viola, who had been looking for a writer who had an authentic and gritty voice to write a sequel to "New Jack City," which was in development at Warner Premiere, Warners' direct-to-DVD division. Impressed by "Finest," Viola set out find the writer, who then had no agent.Martin had moved out to L.A., staying at a downtown hotel, and hooked up with representatives at ICM and ROAR. He enjoyed a brief stint writing for Showtime's "Sleeper Cell," but homesickness overwhelmed him. He returned to New York and wound up back at the Transit Authority.Meanwhile, in the hands of Viola, "Finest" became red hot, quickly attracting top talent. Gere and Cheadle are now polishing their badges to star in the ensemble police thriller, which Fuqua will direct for Avi Lerner's Millennium Films, which is financing. Hawke is also coming on board to star, a move that will reteam him with Fuqua, who helmed him to an Oscar nomination in "Training Day." Ellen Barkin is also booking a part.The script almost brought Mel Gibson out of acting seclusion. He took a string of meetings, but things ultimately didn't work out.Thunder Road's Basil Iwanyk is producing with John Langley. Viola and Fuqua are exec producing with Robert Greenhut and Jesse Kennedy.The story, a sort of "Crash" meets "Training Day," is a dramatic ensemble with three intertwining story lines involving Brooklyn cops. "I worked for a bus company that got indicted by the Feds because of Mob connections," Martin said. "I could not have written 'Brooklyn's Finest' without that experience."The movie is prepping for a May shoot in Brooklyn, in the very locations that inspired Martin to write the script. "Things are moving very fast right now. It's something I've been waiting a long time for," Martin said.Fuqua, whose last movie was 2007's "Shooter," is repped by CAA. Hawke is repped by CAA. Gere, last seen in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," next stars in "Nights in Rodanthe." He is repped by WMA. Cheadle, repped by UTA, will next appear in "Hotel for Dogs."Martin, a new dad, was recently promoted to construction flagger within the Transit Authority, working inside the subway system. He is writing "New Jack City 2," often during his breaks in the subway tunnels.He drives a new car.


Time to Let Go

The idea of letting go doesn't appeal to me ... it never has.

I hold on to and keep everything. I cleaned out my closet a month ago and had some notebook pages from the 11th grade. I stay in relationships and friendships long after I should be done. I've stayed on several jobs long after I should have quit and then after I quit, I still pick up shifts and/or help out my former bosses as if I was still on payroll. I hold grudges - yep, if you screwed with me back in the day, I'm probably still mad. I hold on because I do not like to quit. My astrologier Lilly says all the time, "How do you know something is done for DaVida? It is dead, has been buried, dug up and is stinking up the place."

Quitters in my opinion are the lowest form ... way worse than losers. I hate to watch people on reality shows/competitions that just give up. That burns me up. They will be competing for their "life's dream" and just walk away because something didn't go their way that day. I never want to be that person. So I have learned to deal with crap that is in pursuit of my dream - I can't give up. I don't give up. I don't stop. I can not stop.

Well, I'm daily becoming more aware of myself as a spiritual being. I'm reading, meditating, doing yoga ... I am putting in the work required to become the person I am meant to be. At this level in my spiritual growth, I have run into an obstacle - in order to be more spiritual, I am going to have to quit. The spiritual gurus don't call it quitting though, they call it surrender (a fancy term in my opinion for quitting, giving up). Luckily, I know at this point that the things that seem the hardest are exactly what I am supposed to be doing (aaahhh, good ole' ego). So I am working on surrending - which in a nutshell means giving up attachments to outcomes. It is supposed to be about living each moment as it comes and not worrying about what has taken place in the past or what may happen in the future. It is about being certain that each moment of your life is being lived exactly as it is supposed to be to learn the lessons you were brought here to learn.

Sounds simple enough but it is so not the life I've lived thus far. I have been living results motivated - I don't think in the present, I think about how it will affect my future. No lie, I am always thinking about how what I'm doing right now affects my future. I rarely take time to just be present - it is always about what is coming or what I have to do or "when this thing happens everything will be right".

So yesterday I did something unheard of for me. I gave up. Actually I decided to give in to the surrender. Give in to God's complete plan for my life. Give in to the fact I don't have all the answers and that God's plan is so much bigger than what I can see for myself. I'm giving in and although it feels odd as hell, I'm finally excited about the now.

Tips to achieving the state of surrender :
* Every time you think something negative or are in fear, reverse your thought to encompass something positive about the situation. Find a positive perspective to what is going on. There is always something good that is taking place and it is your job to find it.
* Believe in a positive outcome. When the world tells you something is impossible. Don t believe them. Believe all is possible and feel your desired outcome all the way down to your bones. You must believe with all your heart. Ask others to believe with you.
* Intend for the outcome you want, not the outcome you fear. Don t even let a minute of your thought process be on anything other than the intention for the perfect outcome. Intend for the impossible. Intend for the miracle. Intend for peace of mind. Intend to feel the presence of God.
* Surrender, Let Go - have no attachment to the how, why, where or when. Just believe. Hold your thoughts on the positive. Hold your belief in the positive. Place your intention on the positive. Surrender.


Some Love for My Core

In this ongoing quest to find myself and become this new and better person, I often neglect to stay in the moment and realize what is going on right now. Additionally, I seldom look to the past in a positive light - I tend to use the past as examples of areas where I should have corrected my behavior and use it for areas of improvement right now. This weekend I had an opportunity to revisit a positive part of my past and the visit brought up a lot about me and friendships.

When I was around eight or so, my family was busy preparing for a holiday visit from relatives. My cousin Marianne saw me sitting sadly in a corner and asked what was wrong. I told her I didn't like people which became a thing in my family ("Oh don't worry about DaVida, you know she doesn't like people!). What my eight year old mind was trying to convey was that I didn't like when people came over to stay because it disrupted my comfort. Their arrivals always meant a disruption in my routine and I didn't like that. This philosophy carried over into my friendships - while I enjoy hanging out with people and doing the "fun" stuff, it was rather hard for me to commit to the bs that came with friendships, especially with females. When they got to be too much I simply walked away.

Towards the end of my college career, I met a new girl, Mistie, and she kind of brought me into her circle. This group of girls were different. They were really close-knit and praticed extreme honesty at all times - a whole lot for me. It is not that I'm dishonest, I just don't do well with confrontation. For the first time, I was kind of forced to deal with females in a way I hadn't ever before. Pretty soon, I formed bonds with the other girls individually and I wasn't just Mistie's friend, we were all friends. Then real life hit and we all kind of moved on and away and I grew distant just because that's how I am.

This weekend, a few of us got together. It was the first time in over 10 years that I got to kick it with those girls as a group (I've seen them separately and sporatically during that time but not all at once). What I realized this weekend is that while it is important to evolve and grow and leave things/people behind, it is equally important to take care of those core relationships. Even my trainer says having a strong core is key to any success. Although I'm sure he meant just abs, but hey the analogy works here as well. I realized this weekend that I've really got some core relationships that will stand during the transition to becoming who I am supposed to be. I struggle to find people who get me - totally get me - and this weekend I was reminded that there are some people that really do and they have for some time - people that have known me long enough to see and witness my adult revolution from the beginning. While my comfort is tested sometimes with friends, I am no longer compelled to run away from it, rather I'm choosing to now run directly into that feeling.


Aaaahhhhhh, A New Crush

Spring is here (well it is in L.A.) and love (well like) is in the air. I think I'm in like ... pump your brakes, not a real like yet, but this is more of a fantasy like.

BACKGROUND: When it comes to the many MANY loves of my life, they are as varied a bunch as they come. I can attribute this to my family. The men I was around were very different but all had one thing in common - they were INDIVIDUALS w/SWAGGER (ie confidence, a bit of arrogance, manliness - total opposite of Diddy's definition of "bitchassness"). They played by their own rules and they were not often "in a box".

First their was my great-grandfather, Henry Demby. This guy was all man. He had a head full of white hair and was soooooooo handsome (even at like 60-something). He was such an individual that while all of his siblings spell their name Dempsey, he rolled w/Demby because he said it was the correct way. According to him everyone else changed the spelling after Jack Dempsey won a fight. He started a business in Louisiana during a time when that was not the norm for a black man. He took care of his family and my great-grandmother never had to get a job.
His son, Henry "HANK" Demby, Jr., was the one that pretty much set the standard for men in my world. Hank was a one of a kind - to this day I've never met a man like him. He had a head full of long greying-white hair and wore cowboy boots and hats and always drove white Cadillacs (with no dirt on 'em). He was the definition of swagger and had a flock of women (for days!). To this day I have aunts that were his "chicks" I couldn't tell my real aunt (his wife) about (look for a blog about why I used to believe fidelity wasn't a requirement on if a man was good).

My grandmother also played her huge part in what I find attractive in men - through her choice of husbands. My Paw-Paw, her first husband and father of her children, is about 5-9 on a good day and red (if you're from Louisiana you'll know what that means). He always smells great and is cocky as the day is long. He's very dynamic and engaging - he sings at church and has been known to preach on occasion. I don't remember much about her second husband except that he was pretty short too. I absolutely loved her third husband, Nathan Jenkins. He was short (yep Granny likes those little guys), drove Caddy's and was really into social status. He had traveled a lot in his life and was used to fine things. In fact, he required them. He and I got along very well because I was smart and studious and into fine things at a young age - we could relate.

So if you wrapped all those men into one, you'd have the prototype of what I have generally dated - suave, confident, attractive, kind of arrogant, and totally secure in being an individual. My first "real" boyfriend was probably the best dressed boy at my high school and would throw away shoes if they got the least bit dirty even if it was the first time he wore them. A man who was concerned with his appearance and status back in the day would have me SICK (davida-ism for EXTREMELY in like!). Then I met a guy in college that added another element to the mix.

In my senior year of college, I had pretty much vowed to stop dating. I was focused on the prize of graduating and moving to L.A. to bartend at night and get discovered in the day time (my family didn't agree w/that plan but that's another post). One day in my African-American studies class, this beautiful brother got up to speak and I literally dropped my pen and the papers on my desk all flew off. He was amazing - he met all the criteria above but add mysterious (b/c I didn't know him and I pretty much knew everyone at school) and articulate. I had to know more. So I went to talk to him and he mentioned that he was a musician. Hmmmm.

As time went on I got to go over and watch him make music - literally. Absolutely amazing. This guy could hear and create music in a way that I couldn't even fathom at the time. He wasn't just hitting keys his keyboard, he was producing tracks for himself and local groups. I was smitten. At that point in time, I realized that men who create music are on a whole 'nother level. This guy just being him forced me to add some new criteria to my prototype of the guy for me - creativity and sensitivity are now a must.

Since him, I've not "really" dated any music guys but they have become my no. 1 crushes. When I heard my first Neptunes beat, I had to find out about the producer. I instantly fell in love with Pharrell Williams.

Before you even go there, no I am not a stalker (even though I think I "lost" a bra at a N*E*R*D concert - my friend Karla is forever sworn to secrecy on how that really happened). I'm not one of those groupie girls, but I honestly feel kindred to Pharrell because I feel like he gets me - LMAO! Even though he doesn't know me, he feels me and I know through his beats and lyrics. (Sidenote: Andre' 3000 kind of speaks to me too). I never thought anyone could take the space that Pharrell created, but it has officially happened.

So, I'm watching Making the Band 4 and Diddy is having trouble with concepts for Donnie's album. He sends him to see this producer and he says he is eccentric - what an understatement. He opens the doors and smoke floods from the studio. I was intrigued. I had to know who was the man behind the smoke. It was a beautiful creature who calls himself Seven. I was hooked. THEN he said a couple things that left me SICK. 1. I am on another frequency - to get with me you have to tune into Channel 7 (what this dude has his own frequency!!! I'm so in like!!!!!!!!!!!). 2. He told Donnie to imagine a sexy lady was on a table and that he was about to feed it to her (I won't elaborate on that one but let's just say at that moment, he could get it!). LMAO!

So now I'm on one for this dude named Seven, who wears one earring with a feather, speaks low and melodic and travels on a different frequency. He has replaced Pharrell and is now the new man I like that I do not know. The big difference now is that I believe in the law of attraction so I'm sure this blog post might just attract him a little closer to me ...


Introducing Me ... The Girl Who's Name is a Lie

One of my roommate's friends started a website where he interviews people from around the world asking them to tell a story. I decided to share the story of my name. Sharing that story made me feel a ton of emotions, the main one being creative. I decided that I'd start a blog to channel my creativity and share the stories that make me me.

My name is DaVida and naturally you'd think that is because my father's name is David. You'd be wrong. My mother got a divorce when I was pretty young and I just assumed my father was her ex-husband, David (pretty good assumption considering that's all I was ever told). When I was about 12 I met my real father, Gerald. He came with some interesting additions to my family - including a sister who I already knew (funny thing is when we were young and she'd come to Louisiana to visit her relatives everyone would say we looked like sisters - they were right!) and a grandmother who lived down the street from me my entire life. It's worked out to be a pretty good situation but the whole name thing has been sort of a metaphor for my life.

I have always seen myself as somewhat as a spin artist because of this. For so long when teachers would see my name, they'd say things like, "Is your father's name David?". After I found out it wasn't, it was so much easier to still say yes. I've devised quite a few of those type stories (my fav being that my parents were expecting a boy and when I came they added an "A" to the end). Why? I have found that people don't like to hear long drawn out sagas that imply any hint of "uncomfortableness". They like simple, easy and perfect ... as if it could fit into a box. I learned early on that fitting into the box was just fine with me. I've had quite a history of fitting in (even when people thought I was standing out, it was all my way of fitting in). Now things are different, I have no desire for the first time in my life to fit in or stand out. I want to simply be. I'm a "grown up" (whatever that means) and I just want to be me REGARDLESS of what the world thinks.

Here's the thing, just being me means a lot of different things on different days. Sometimes I'm really mellow and laid back, other times I'm anxious and anal. I am also a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I have learned that to truly know yourself and not just the voices in your head or the words people use to describe you, sometimes you have to just be. Just being is a lot for me because I'm pretty much a do-er. I do things all the time and experiencing sometimes feels like I should be doing something. It is a process and I'm patiently and excitedly going on the journey.

I'm on going through a huge revelation/transformation/period of growth/spiritual awakening and I think it is pretty cool. I'm reading new types of books, being attracted to new people, new theories about life and trying new things. This is a fertile time for me and I'm excited about what is to come. I'll be posting those things that are happening in my world as they happen. It is my life live online - wow! That's pretty cool. I'm finally at a point where I'm ready to accept being myself ... whoever I am today! And YAY for you ... you get to read and watch the transformation.

If you'd like to see the video from www.jaudible.com, here you goes the link -
DaVida's Jaudible.

NOTE: So my name has created a bit of a lie but I do believe there is a purpose for everything. While I may not be the daughter of David, I bear a powerful name as a result. Vida means the life in Spanish and Davida is intepreted as the feminine form of David in Hebrew meaning beloved. I'll take the beloved life and that's what I have! Things always work out just as they shouldso I take my name to be an honor.

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