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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TURNING 50 MY YEAR OF APPRECIATION

In January, I started receiving initiations to join AARP. At first I was a little upset because no one wants to think of themselves as old. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that there was a part of me that did not want to accept that I was turning 50 in a few months. Yes, the big 5-0! Once I confronted the fact that time was marching on (no pun intended) I started to realize how much I have to be thankful for. There are so many friends and family that did not make it to the year 2010 let alone 50.

Because I have made a conscious decision not to dye my hair there are some who think that I am already 50. I prefer to think of my decision not to dye my hair is to let my wisdom show. I can tell you in the last few years I have gained so much wisdom and knowledge about myself and what I want out of life. One of the things that has helped me grow spiritually is reading Our Daily Manna (ODM), www.ourdailymanna.org. I read the Morning Prayer, Daily Devotionals and Daily Prophetic Declarations every morning. It sets the tone for my day. ODM also has another book entitled “Prayer Bullets for Winners”, which I use for specific issues. I called their main office in Lagos, Nigeria to let them know that they are greatly appreciated.

I have grown so much and have been giving so many unique opportunities. I have had the opportunity to work with people with HIV for 30 years. Because of that experience I have been able to travel around the world. I also started not only writing about my experiences with HIV but also my personal experiences. Writing about some of my personal experiences has been painful but healing at the same time. I never thought that other people would be interested in what I was thinking or what I had to say. I just happen to be searching the internet and found this station called "talk gospel.com". The station which was based in UK was a part of Premier Media . Premier is the largest Christian media outlet in Europe. Talk Gospel primary featured African and Caribbean pastors and played all urban gospel. Through one of the DJ's I learned about str8up.com.uk. I went to the website which was mainly geared to 15 to 35 year olds. On that website there are opportunities to voice your opinion on a variety of topics. I decided to write about my experiences working with the HIV community. I never thought that I would see my experiences on a screen. I was very grateful for the opportunity.

During this time I also decided that I wanted to use the public/community relations experience to serve the faith-based community so I founded my own company, Faith & Knowledge in Action, LLC. I have been able to assist community and faith-based organizations with getting the word out about their events and services. Fast forward to last year when I met Eric Nzeribe the publisher of Funtimes Magazine at one of the Mayor's Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs' meetings. At first Eric asked me to assist him with preparing for the grand opening of his new offices. As time went on I found myself using a lot of the skills that I acquired in the last 30 years. Now I am officially the Media & Community Relations Consultant for the Magazine. I have had the good luck to interview some of the most exciting African and Caribbean musicians. I also have had gained professional experience promoting the magazine while attending great events.

Well today, March 22nd is my birthday. I did not plan a big party or grand vacation. I am just basking in the fact that I am still alive and that there is so much that I have to look forward to. I so appreciate all of my friends and family that has helped me through some very difficult periods of my life. I now have the chance to talk about my experiences so that others can be helped and find some peace. I could start thanking people who have blessed me but that would almost be a page by itself. While others who are turning 50 this year want to turn back I instead want to march forward. Most of all I am thankful to God that he loved me so much that he has allowed me to see 50. Remember that each day is a blessing!

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