Learning to Walk

At some point when we are babies, we decide to roll over onto our bellies, put our knees and hands on to the ground and crawl to get around. Eventually we decide to raise up from our hands, take some steps and walk. We probably fall - or our parents screaming scaring us but eventually we try it again and the baby steps give way to real steps and we walk. At some point during those early stages of walking we might feel like we've got it down pat and then we encounter stairs, things on the floor, pets and other obstacles. But did we stop walking and say forget that I give up? Nope, eventually we got up and tried again.

I have come to a realization that the way we learn to walk is much like we should approach the big huge challenges and obstacles we face in pursuit of our dreams. Our dreams come to us in different ways - for me at some point I got a vision that I should be in Los Angeles with the stars. The vision was very vague in the beginning - I could just see myself amongst the people I saw on TV. As time went on this vision got more specific and stronger. I had no idea what these things even meant at the time because I was at Purdue working in the athletic department.

When I did finally get the guts to move to L.A. in 2005 equipped with a law degree and tons of how to make it in hollywood type books, I was on very shaky ground (sort of like a baby taking that first step). I didn't have a place of my own, I had to work at a bar I didn't particularly love and I was getting rejected time and time again for the jobs I applied for - I was constantly falling down but something kept forcing me to get back up and try it again. I finally got a job in the business and got my walk on.

As time went on, my vision began to increase even more and I felt as if I were farther away from where I wanted to be - or to be more specific, farther away from what I was seeing in these visions. In the meantime, I just kept grinding and working - not without complaint, in fact kicking and screaming the entire way. But now I finally feel it is all coming together. Like a child I took some small steps one step at a time and now I feel I'm finally able to say I can walk in this Hollywood game. I have worked for the best in talent management and just accepted a job working for another leader in the game. This next job will be the most challenging of my life, but I look forward to it. EVERYTHING I've experienced in my career has seemed like the most challenging moment of my life at the time but using the step by step approach, I walked through it. We walk by faith and not by sight and my career is a prime example of that motto. I've only had this vision guiding me - true I doubt it a lot when the times are hard, but I have no choice but to go after it ... I have no choice because I REALLY see the vision as clear as day. Even when I try to veer from it, it literally pulls me back.

I encourage anyone that has or has ever had some vision or dream to go after it. Take a step in the direction of your dreams. God gives us the desires of our heart meaning He has placed them there. And what kind of God would place such strong desires in our heart that we can not achieve? It just takes a tiny step - I think my first step was as simple as buying a Hollywood career book - to start the greatest journey of our lives. That journey is the pursuit of a dream. There is nothing like it!

Because Screwed and Chopped Go Harder

Here's a clip of Lil'Wayne's 3 Peat screwed and chopped. It goes so hard that I had to share. I've always liked screw because I feel like you can here the raw emotion and intent of the artist.


Something Fun!

I went to an event last night. It was an event to promote yoga month in September. AIt was sponsored by VibeHolistic and held at the Chakra Center in Marina del Rey. The entire event was very holistic - they served yummy vegetarian food and helathy juice. There were massages and even a henna artist. So I decided to get some henna!


Great Quote

"If you trust life and learn to embrace it and try not to control everything, then life can be more wondrous than you thought it would be."
— Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simply Abundance

I guess letting go of control is the theme for the day right now!


What Are You Thinking?

I was reminded of my time at Plaquemine Jr. High. I had an English teacher who made us learn and recite poetry that was meant to inspire. She was very dramatic - one day when the class was completely quiet she broke out into INVICTUS. At the time, I thought this was just something to do. I enjoyed it because I liked to speak at church and all, but I didn't really get it. Now that I'm older, I realize that all the poems were meant to give us some hope. WOW! This teacher had us speaking things into existence back then and we didn't even know. I wanted to share one of those poems with you guys. What do you think!?!?! I'm training myself to think and know I can ...

The Man Who Thinks He Can
Walter D. Wintle
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the word we find
Success begins with a fellow's will,
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you're outcasted, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.


You With Me?

All my life I've had issues with friends. Growing up I was a bit different than the other girls and in retrospect, I realize I just wanted to fit in. I always felt like no one really got me. I am extremely social so I always had people around me but never really felt the close connection. I did make a couple of friends along the way - true friends - but when I'd lose one, it would hurt tremendously. Even if that person wasn't really down for me or truly on my team, the fact that we would stop being friends would replay over and over and over again. I try to act like I'm good but when it gets to the point where I grow apart from people it tears me up inside ... like I think I'm better than them or something because I'm leaving. I don't like that feeling so my first reaction is to fight to keep the people near me. Eventually they leave and I move on. The reason I'm able to move on is because of the support of REAL friends - the tried and true ones, the ones that have been and continue to go through this drama filled ride of the life of DaVida. I'm a handful, but my real true friends are always there with me!
They have been there through one too many haircuts - some amazing, some not so cute. They have experienced Matt, Jeff Jones and the slew of other "but I really really love him" that come and go. They know that although I seem to be (and often say that I am) so hard and tough on the exterior, I am soft as hell inside. They know the real me and they don't seem scared or try to change me. They feel my pain for not having a dad in my life and they know my issues with self worth and loneliness. They know I can bs with the best of 'em and they know I am as real as real gets even when I seem to be in a fantasy world - they get the complex reality of me. They have been there for the Atkins, South Beach and "just don't eat anything after 7" diets and sometimes hop on board with me. They are my wingman when I've had one too many drinks and all I want to do is fall in love at the club. They are my support system when another one of my ideas has not quite panned out. They are there to help me pick up the pieces when another psuedo-friend has let me down and I feel like crap. They help me see me as they have all along.
I want to thank my friends simply for being them. I want them to know that my rants about being totally alone in the world doesn't apply to them - I know that when the world seems to have turned their back that they are there. I want them to know in their hearts that I do truly love them because they are amazing. I want them to know that the logic behind me is that I surround myself with people I want to be like - I admire my friends and hope to one day become as wonderful as they are.
So to the a few of the old ones -
KARLA - Thanks for sharing your life, heart and home with me on not one but several occasions; thank you for always being positive and no matter what your own individual self - you teach me to be me no matter how the world perceives it AND you constantly remind me that when you put out good, that's all the world will see.
MISTIE - Thanks for being like a sister (dang we've got the battle scars to prove it right?); for teaching me true forgiveness and that sometimes friendship is worth it; for teaching me that it is okay to be more accepting in life; that being friends doesn't mean blind allegience ... even when one friend kind of demands it
ALICIA - Thanks for being so faithful; for reminding me that in light of all that is going on around us that God is always in control
KACY - Thanks for law school and the recognition that a couple happy hours doesn't diminish intelligence; for almost always being on the same page and realizing that vacationing doesn't always mean being in the club; and thanks for reminding me that there is always room for a little self discipline and restraint
And the new ones -
CHANTE - Thanks for showing me that sometimes it is okay to just simply eat and enjoy the dayum cake and that God does heal and change things; thank you for showing me what real rock bottom is and being there with me when I feel that my reality is just that
ERIN - Thanks for showing me that it is possible to stay truly positive all the time no matter what is going on around you
ROBIN - Thanks for reminding me that I might just be a caterpillar about to bloom into a butterfly and for reminding me that true love and friendship can happen across the miles
BIANCA - Thanks for teaching me that communication is key in friendship and for showing me that talent still requires work
SCOTT - Thanks for teaching me that a man can be my friend and see the good in me without sleeping me with me (LMAO! Even though I know how I am on that Patron!)
I thank every friend I have past and present that have all taught me one very important lesson - acceptance. Everyone listed and those who aren't on the list but in my heart are people that truly accept me everyday. I am grateful for you all and thank you for being my friend! REAL friend. I am NEVER alone!


Shoes, Drugs, Money and Floating - Dream Interpretation 101

I'm on a 21 day cleanse and am using it as a time to become more spiritually aware and more in touch with myself. I am a bit of an emotional eater and drinker and can use food and alcohol as vices sometimes. Not being able to eat my trigger foods causes me to really look at what is happening in my life and find real solutions to my problems ... well not "find" more like let the solutions unfold.
Some of the material I'm reading suggests writing down your dreams and interpreting them to reveal what is happening on the inside spiritually. I've tried this exercise before but I often can't remember enough details of the dreams. I've been consistently writing for a couple of weeks and have found the writing helps me to remember.
On Saturday night I had a weird dream. I was out somewhere with Mistie and her boyfriend and every table had boxes of free shoes. The shoes seemed like Converse All Stars but the brand name/logo were different. They were weird, all sorts of random colors. While searching for a pair that fit, I kept putting on all these different shoes that were way too big. It was weird because the picture on the box was one look and my size, but the shoe would be totally different. I got tired of shoes and opened a random CD case and it was full of cocaine. Then other CD cases started to appear. It was really weird and random but I then remember the scene cutting to a huge pool party. Mistie and I can't swim and always discuss it. I was telling her just do it you are athletic you'll be okay and there's too many people here to let you drown. She hopped in the water and kept bobbing up and down - not drowning but not quite swimming. She gets out fully dressed and drenched and told me to get in because she wanted to see how my feet go when I glide. So I did - I got in, kicked off the wall and glided across the pool (I know how to do this in real life). When I got to the other side I just started floating all over the pool. I got out when some other friends came walking over and we all started hanging out like a party.
No big until last night's dream. I dreamed about swimming and cocaine again. I dreamed that my friend Scott and I went to someone's house to return some stuff I had for her. After we finished we were going to go to his house and he'd teach me to swim so I was wearing a swimsuit. While doing something Scott asked me for a dollar. When I looked into my wallet, all of the dollar bills were rolled up as if they had been used to snort cocaine. I handed him one and sheepishly said this isn't my money. He unrolled a bill and huge pieces of cocaine began to fall from the dollar. I scooped it into a wooden box and kept it moving. He said what's up with that and I responded that I wanted to give everything back with the money and changed the subject. (Now initially this wasn't that weird to me because I read a script at work yesterday and when surrounded by drugs the main character scooped some into a wooden box.)
Today my boss is out of town and I am B O R E D - I have stuff to do but I don't want to (reading at your super quiet desk seems simple enough but I can't concentrate for shit today). Luckily google is amazing - I googled dream interpretations drugs and the following research project ensued:
  • Shoes - If a woman dreams about shoes, this dream is usually connected with her love life. Trying on different pairs of shoes means, that she is looking for a partner or deciding about a partner. In other cases, shoes symbolize errands we run every day. Putting on a comfortable pair of shoes is a good omen saying that you are going to have success. Having very tight shoes on means that you feel uncomfortable in the current situation, or you are going to have some small difficulties ahead. Finding a shoe in the dream indicates that you will meet a stranger. If you are giving a pair of shoes away, it means that you want to get rid of a person, or that person is going to leave you soon. If you buy a pair of shoes, it means that you have a long way to go in order to achieve your goals. Looking at old worn-down shoes is a warning to pay more attention and care to solve an unpleasant matter. Worn-down shoes also could possibly mean your dissatisfaction and unhappiness in the present situation; or they also might imply that to be with your old partner is more comfortable and secure than to look for a new one.
  • Drugs - If you use drugs rarely or never, then this dream could represent a need to get well, to escape from daily stress, and a desire to get quick relief. The drugs could be suggesting a need for healing and getting in balance. Your unconscious mind may be suggesting outrageous things in hopes that you get the message to "have fun, dream dreams, and get out of your own head!" Please keep in mind that the purpose of dreams is to raise our consciousness and to assist us in having better lives. The message in the dream about drug use is most likely not encouraging you to use drugs but it may represent a need to feel better or get better.
  • Money - Money can be lost, gained, or spent in dreaming. Dreams about money are often really about power, control, and competency. Many people who dream about money are controlled by it-the desire for it, the lack of it, or the inability to control themselves with it. This last category is seen most clearly in money dreams experienced by people who re drowning in debt.
  • Floating - To dream that you are floating, implies acceptance, letting go of your problems or worries and just going with the flow. You are experiencing new-found freedom. It also signifies that you will prove victorious in your obstacles that may presently seem overwhelming.
Hmmm, now knowing what these things generally symbolize in dreams is quite interesting and they really do apply to my current situation.
  • I have recently admitted to myself that I want badly to be in love and in a serious relationship. I went out with a guy locally that was really a nice guy but nothing really came of it. I met a guy I REALLY like but he lives really far and has been M.I.A. for a while so I'm not sure what is up with that. There was this other guy I never really liked like that but always kind of thought we could "possibly" end up together but I know for a fact now it is not a possibility. It has been bothering me because I really want a love relationship but I haven't really been speaking on it.
  • I do feel some need for a quick fix - I feel like I have to resolve my issues with my money, career and relationships to have a happier existence. Lately I've been really dealing with wanting to get and feel better.
  • I do feel that lately money is becoming the controlling point of my life. I do not worship money but my lack of money is causing me to feel trapped and hard pressed to make something and fast! I am at a loss and every night before I go to sleep I literally just cry because I can not believe I am in this situation I pray every night that I can just accept it all and just be free.

Is that what the floating signifies?!?!?!?! Maybe I can't see it yet but a breakthrough is coming and I'll get some freedom? I like the sound of that! Tonight instead of crying before bed, I'll just remember the picture in my head of me floating across that pool - no worries, no drama, no money, no illness ... just floating! Maybe God is speaking to me through my dreams and maybe this is all just some coincidence. Either way, I'm willing and ready to start relying on the power greater than myself. I'm also down to get my behind in some water and FAST to realize how freeing floating can be.


Tonight, I'll Be One of "Those" Girls

I remember when I was at Purdue, we had gone over to a friend's place for the Super Bowl. Being the avid sports fan that I am, I remember being like UGH when these non-sports fan girls came over and wanted to change to Sex and the City during halftime. I remember thinking are they serious!?!?! Who watches any show, especially something so girly on the biggest sports night of the year!?!!? At the time I didn't have HBO and had never seen an episode of the show. Fast forward to years later when I moved to L.A. I was bored one Saturday and turned to On Demand. Sex and the City seasons 1 and 2 were available. I had nothing to do, so I decided to see what the big deal was. By episode 3 or 4 I was HOOKED! LOL! I was so into it. Every month, On Demand offered a new season and I caught up on the entire show. When the movie came out recently, I was ecstatic. I knew whether good or bad, it would offer an opportunity to catch up with my old friends - see what the gals have been up to! I made plans with a girl from church to go tonight (I also waited because I have a free movie ticket and I had to wait 2 weeks to see SATC with it). Then I realized that tonight is Game 6 in the NBA Finals and my Lakers are playing. I've decided to let my femininity and affinity for the show take over my love for the game. (I figure the Lakers are going to win it all so there will be a Game 7 later this week anyway!!). Tonight I'll be one of "those" girls just like the ones that wanted to flip from the Super Bowl to Sex and the City. My my how times change!


Sometimes my own insecurities and personal dramas can cloud the way a situation is really happening. I have been observing my behavior lately and I've figured out a pattern. I tend to think that because I feel a certain way everyone must be feeling/thinking the same way.
My subconscious tendency is to always think I'm doing something wrong or I have done something wrong (I guess from getting fussed at a lot as a kid). Anyway, so I'm carrying around these feelings of angst because I feel "bad"deep inside and my internal recording keeps playing those messages over and over. So I'll run into another person who is in their own world doing their own thing. Well if our interaction is not especially positive, I "feel" is directed towards me, I'll simply add that to my feelings of "bad".
There is always good in every experience though. After noticing this behavior in myself I decided instead of just carrying around these bad feelings, I'll discuss them with the person on the other side of the thing to discover if it is truly happening the way I perceive or if there is something else going on. On Friday/Saturday a situation with a "friend" made me uncomfortable. In the kindest, but most direct way I could muster I stated my problem. He got upset ... actually MAD. He said some mean things and I took it. I politely said I think we're definitely on different pages and to do him and I'll do me. DONE. Then yesterday I had an incident with a "Friend." Something happened and I felt instantly bad. I didn't know whether this situation had anything to do with me, but I "felt" like it did. I couldn't get in touch with said Friend until this morning. I told them what I "felt" once again in the kindest most direct way I could muster. This time something was different. The Friend listened. I know she heard me and "felt" where I was coming from, then she responded. The friend from the weekend never got where I was coming from - he didn't listen before he responded. He took my comments very personally and responded with personal attacks. My Friend from last night took my comments in an objective manner and responded with honesty and kindness.
The lesson - all I can do is be me and move in a kind, peaceful and direct manner at all times. Sometimes, I'm going to have to confront situations head on, not sidestepping attempting to avoid confrontation or disapproval. Some people will respond in the manner I approach them in, some people won't. I can't make anyone do anything, I can't change them. I can only change and control my own actions. I will be misunderstood sometimes and that is okay - I do not have to fit or become someones misunderstanding of who I am or am becoming. There is comfort in that.


I can be pretty P.C. - I follow a lot of rules EVEN when the rules are self made and no one would know if I broke them. There are some things I feel are universal societal rules that we shouldn't break. One of those major rules is that I generally believe that people shouldn't discuss politics or religion. I believe this because inevitably someone will become uncomfortable and it is just inappropriate to make people feel discomfort.
Last night I went to a friend of a friends place to watch the game and somehow we began discussing religion. It was highly interesting. At first I was a little uncomfortable, but after I relaxed, I began to listen and I found out some things I had never heard. No one was trying to convince me of anything but I found out some things I wanted to research on my own about history that happened to revolve around a religious premise.
Most importantly, I came to a conclusion that my societal norm/rule of not discussing politics or religion was probably constructed by people in power. If you don't discuss things that are so powerful, you may not learn anything new and stick to a belief that keeps the current power in power. I felt so free as we discussed the root of Christianity. At some point during the night, I had a vision of a young slave girl listening to someone tell her about Africa for the first time and how her people were kings and queens ruling a tribe. The storyteller also told of how back at home he praised the sun because the sun and the stars were God. A master burst in brutally whipping the storyteller saying not to talk about politics or religion on his plantation - he said that Christ was God and that he was now the king and that was all they needed to know. The master looked at the girl and said if I ever catch you talking this crap I'll skin you alive. I saw her later being in a similar situation but when someone began to tell her something she whispered it is not right to talk about religion or politics. Keep it to yourself.
I don't plan on going out attempting to change others with my beliefs, but I am now willing to speak my mind on all subjects and not shying away from conversational topics that may be uncomfortable. That small feeling of discomfort may lead to a vast amount of personal freedom ... and isn't the point to be free?


So Good I Had to Share

WOW! I've come in contact with some good stuff lately ... so good I had to share and highly recommend!

Lil' Wayne's Carter 3 -

I LOVE this CD! I am not a huge rap fans - I like rap songs, the ones that get you crunk in the club but I have been anticipating this CD (a friend listens to Weezy mix cd's and got me on him). This CD is WONDERFUL! Lil' Wayne is truly an artist - he paints lyrical pictures I can see. I feel like I'm watching a movie as he spits rhymes. Gotta get that Weezy!

Ambi Skincare Products-

I went to an event on Saturday and Ambi was the sponsor. At the end of the event, we got a gift bag with their full line of skincare from their Soft and Even and Even and Clear lines (a foaming cleanser, an exfoliating cleanser, a moisturizer, lotion, several fade creams, stretch mark oil, a cream to use on elbows and knees to even their color and a targeted mark cream). So I was kinda skeptical at first (growing up, my family said Ambi was for people trying to "get light") and even joked throughout the party about their products. I decided to give it a go starting Sunday night. Why is my skin GLOWING! My legs and body feel so soft from the lotion! It is too early to tell on the stretch mark cream but I like it!!! I'm so happy!!! Such good stuff!!!

Donning Your Own Personal Style

I have tons of conversations with my friends about my personal style. I often speak on what I want to look like IF I had more money or WHEN I get a better body. I was going out this weekend and challenged myself to display the personal style I would like to embody - and because of the time crunch, I had to use what I had. I always say I want to look like an executive but not like an old lady - like a sexy corporate type but not slutty. I think I captured that. The point of the exercise was to just embody me - and it worked WONDERS. That night was the most fun I'd had in a long time! We danced all night and had a ball with my friends who looked equally amazing. Good times had by all!


21 Days

Some friends and I are doing a 21 day cleanse/detox. We are not having sugar, caffeine, animal products, gluten or alcohol for 21 days. We've all modified the plan to include foods necessary for our own specific diets as well as to include spiritual and physical aspects to the plan.
I decided to eliminate some of my daily activities that don't add to my life. The most challenging is internet gossip sites. First off, I generally go to these sites because I am bored at work. I spend a lot of time checking the sites to see if anything is new because I'll be utterly bored at work. For the next 3 weeks, I'm challenging myself to stay out of other people's business and get involved with the business of me. I can utilize this time much more effectively than I have been and I'm looking forward to experiencing things that make me better throughout the day.
This cleanse isn't all about taking things away though. I've added some things to my routine that I feel will be beneficial. I've vowed to do an am walk 3 times a week and to go to the Canyon or Griffith Observatory once a week. I'm vowing to spend time outside during lunchtime. I'm going to spend time taking care of me - I'm going to really take time with myself. For example with simple actions as putting on lotion after a shower, I'm going to really take care and effort into it. And I'm going to meditate and do affirmations everday for the 21 days in an effort to make it a concrete habit.
I'm extremely excited for this time!


Feelin' Zoe

I am feeling Zoe Kravitz. I just watched a couple audition tapes of hers and I'm officially on her. She's a really good actress. And yet another reason to share a Jay Z video. HAPPY FRIDAY!


Say It Again Beyonce!

So today is one of those days - from about 10:55 this morning to now, it has been extremely shitty (are you allowed to curse on blogger?). You name it, it happened.
The Highlights:
Career - My boss is going THRU IT (and since my survival as an assistant depends on what our office generates, I'm of the opinion that we are in this together so that means I'm going thru it as well)! He told me this has been the worst day of his career and I think this is probably the worst I have seen in this Hollywood game. I am witnessing the harshest, ugliest side of the business I chose to be a part of today.
Personal life - my finances are in shambles. I've got about $10 and need at least $800 by Monday. I don't know how long "my car" will continue to be "my car" and how long I can maintain my apartment. And I have no idea how I'm going to eat next week when I'm not at work. Due to all these things, my family is over it, and me right now. They are upset because I'm supposed to be the smart one and I've clearly made not so smart decisions.
But you know what ... I'm just fine (not the passive agressive fine but from my soul fine).
I am not playing the victim - I take full responsibility for all that I am experiencing. I'm not using the word BUT because there are no BUT's and no one to blame. I know now more than ever I am on the right track - I've got faith that I AM just fine RIGHT NOW. What's the worst that can happen? I don't know or care because I know the BEST that can happen. My tunnel vision is in full effect- literally I can only see the light at the end of the tunnel or is it at the top of the well? I'm awake and aware of everything that is happening around me. Things are as they are and I'm fine with that in fact I'm better than that! I'm better than what appears to be reality. What is REALLY true is that I'm well taken care of all the time.
TRUTH - all my needs are met long before I ask.
TRUTH - I live in gratitude and I am aware of the abundance and prosperity that God is.
TRUTH - all is well in my world right now!
TRUTH - I am a survivor and I'm not gonna give up. I'm not going to stop, keep 'on surviving!
Say it again BEYONCE! (Love this video because it reminds me I got to go to their farewell tour and see it in person. While I was there watching this group I love do what they love, I felt like I made the right decision in coming to L.A. I felt the show on a whole and I felt this song. I felt then and feel it now.)


And The Nomination Goes To ...

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama -- Final Primary Night

Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end.

Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said -- because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another -- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America.

Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. I want to thank every American who stood with us over the course of this campaign -- through the good days and the bad; from the snows of Cedar Rapids to the sunshine of Sioux Falls. And tonight I also want to thank the men and woman who took this journey with me as fellow candidates for President. At this defining moment for our nation, we should be proud that our party put forth one of the most talented, qualified field of individuals ever to run for this office. I have not just competed with them as rivals, I have learned from them as friends, as public servants, and as patriots who love America and are willing to work tirelessly to make this country better. They are leaders of this party, and leaders that America will turn to for years to come.

That is particularly true for the candidate who has traveled further on this journey than anyone else. Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she's a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she's a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight. We've certainly had our differences over the last sixteen months. But as someone who's shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning -- even in the face of tough odds -- is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago; what sent her to work at the Children's Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as First Lady; what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency -- an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be. And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

There are those who say that this primary has somehow left us weaker and more divided. Well I say that because of this primary, there are millions of Americans who have cast their ballot for the very first time. There are Independents and Republicans who understand that this election isn't just about the party in charge of Washington, it's about the need to change Washington. There are young people, and African-Americans, and Latinos, and women of all ages who have voted in numbers that have broken records and inspired a nation. All of you chose to support a candidate you believe in deeply. But at the end of the day, we aren't the reason you came out and waited in lines that stretched block after block to make your voice heard. You didn't do that because of me or Senator Clinton or anyone else. You did it because you know in your hearts that at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- we cannot afford to keep doing what we've been doing. We owe our children a better future. We owe our country a better future. And for all those who dream of that future tonight, I say -- let us begin the work together.

Let us unite in common effort to chart a new course for America. In just a few short months, the Republican Party will arrive in St. Paul with a very different agenda. They will come here to nominate John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically. I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine. My differences with him are not personal; they are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign. Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush ninety-five percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year. It's not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college -- policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt. And it's not change when he promises to continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians -- a policy where all we look for are reasons to stay in Iraq, while we spend billions of dollars a month on a war that isn't making the American people any safer.

So I'll say this -- there are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them. Change is a foreign policy that doesn't begin and end with a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged. I won't stand here and pretend that there are many good options left in Iraq, but what's not an option is leaving our troops in that country for the next hundred years -- especially at a time when our military is overstretched, our nation is isolated, and nearly every other threat to America is being ignored. We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in - but start leaving we must. It's time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. It's time to rebuild our military and give our veterans the care they need and the benefits they deserve when they come home. It's time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda's leadership and Afghanistan, and rally the world against the common threats of the 21st century -- terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.

That's what change is.Change is realizing that meeting today's threats requires not just our firepower, but the power of our diplomacy -- tough, direct diplomacy where the President of the United States isn't afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for. We must once again have the courage and conviction to lead the free world. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy. That's what the American people want. That's what change is. Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth, but the work and workers who created it. It's understanding that the struggles facing working families can't be solved by spending billions of dollars on more tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy CEOs, but by giving a the middle-class a tax break, and investing in our crumbling infrastructure, and transforming how we use energy, and improving our schools, and renewing our commitment to science and innovation. It's understanding that fiscal responsibility and shared prosperity can go hand-in-hand, as they did when Bill Clinton was President.

John McCain has spent a lot of time talking about trips to Iraq in the last few weeks, but maybe if he spent some time taking trips to the cities and towns that have been hardest hit by this economy -- cities in Michigan, and Ohio, and right here in Minnesota -- he'd understand the kind of change that people are looking for.Maybe if he went to Iowa and met the student who works the night shift after a full day of class and still can't pay the medical bills for a sister who's ill, he'd understand that she can't afford four more years of a health care plan that only takes care of the healthy and wealthy. She needs us to pass health care plan that guarantees insurance to every American who wants it and brings down premiums for every family who needs it. That's the change we need. Maybe if he went to Pennsylvania and met the man who lost his job but can't even afford the gas to drive around and look for a new one, he'd understand that we can't afford four more years of our addiction to oil from dictators. That man needs us to pass an energy policy that works with automakers to raise fuel standards, and makes corporations pay for their pollution, and oil companies invest their record profits in a clean energy future -- an energy policy that will create millions of new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. That's the change we need.And maybe if he spent some time in the schools of South Carolina or St. Paul or where he spoke tonight in New Orleans, he'd understand that we can't afford to leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind; that we owe it to our children to invest in early childhood education; to recruit an army of new teachers and give them better pay and more support; to finally decide that in this global economy, the chance to get a college education should not be a privilege for the wealthy few, but the birthright of every American.

That's the change we need in America. That's why I'm running for President.

The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don't deserve is another election that's governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon -- that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first.

Despite what the good Senator from Arizona said tonight, I have seen people of differing views and opinions find common cause many times during my two decades in public life, and I have brought many together myself. I've walked arm-in-arm with community leaders on the South Side of Chicago and watched tensions fade as black, white, and Latino fought together for good jobs and good schools. I've sat across the table from law enforcement and civil rights advocates to reform a criminal justice system that sent thirteen innocent people to death row. And I've worked with friends in the other party to provide more children with health insurance and more working families with a tax break; to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and ensure that the American people know where their tax dollars are being spent; and to reduce the influence of lobbyists who have all too often set the agenda in Washington.

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom's cause.So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that's better, and kinder, and more just. And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love. The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.

This was the moment -- this was the time -- when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Is Today The Day?

Some polls are reporting that Barack Obama has enough votes to secure the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States of America. I am filled with emotion. It is not because of the obvious historic event that is occurring - this is the first time in our nation's history that a person of color has been this close. I'm more excited because of what Obama means to me.

Barack embodies a lot of what I'm moving toward in my life. He stands for what he believes regardless of how it is viewed or what other people may think. He seems genuine and authentic at all times. He believes in hope and peace when all things indicate there is no hope and peace seems impossible. He has upheld his integrity as a senator when it is obviously easy to let the lobbyists sway you to accept gifts. And even though he is on the up and up in so many ways, he is still human and struggles like many people do with addiction (his vice is nicotine which many say is more powerful than any drug).

Obama represents to me the same feeling I suppose many young people had when Kennedy was elected. I feel like he's the type of politician that can change the world and bring back a sense of dignity to our nation. The fact that he is of color is just icing on the cake and reminds me that I can not let the color of my skin or my gender stop me from doing anything. I am very excited about this pending nomination - it is a cool, calming excitement that has come over me. As Obama continues to press towards the goal of one day sitting in the White House, it makes every goal I have seem a little more attainable. Obama not only embodies change, but he IS change and since change is inevitable, I'm elated that we are moving towards this type of change!


I'm Good!

June is a great month - it is always the half way point for the year. It is a time to reflect on new year's resolutions to tweak and adjust as needed. This month I'm doing a lot of cleansing and detoxing. Unlike the year end detox I do at the end of the year, this one is more about realizing how far I've come - not how far I have to go. This month is a celebration of all things good! So what is good in YOUR world?!?!?!?

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