Battling Addiction to Second Life

I don’t know what to say…

I am so ashamed.

Yes, I’ve been going to class. Yes, I’ve been pitching stories to editors. Yes, I’ve been going through the process of trying to find a ‘regular’ job but…

I haven’t done ANY WRITING AT ALL.

It’s…It’s… It’s Second Life.

I think I’m addicted.

In my therapy classes we define an addiction as an activity or habit that you allow to take the place of your regular functioning activities.

And it is quite like that with me and Second Life. My avatar is having a BLAST!


I have two research papers due in less than a week, a presentation and two articles due in two days and I have not started ANY of them…


No, I really feel bad.

I don’t get it. It’s not like I’m a GAMER. I hate video games and games…period. I cringe when someone offers a card game for fun. I hate monoploy and scrabble and all that. ~sigh~

But Second Life…I don’t know what it is…I wasn’t even into Myspace like that. I never went around placing HELLO graphics on anyone’s page and on Facebook I never wrote notes or participated in the stuff they have there. I just wasn’t into it. I thought it was a waste of time.

But Second Life…

Ahhh….Second Life…

It’s like a whole Second Life…

And you can make it whatever you want. You can shop til you drop or converse with a never ending supply of people. You can rent an apartment or buy a home, look for jobs or just party all day meeting people from all over the world.

Tonight after class I went to a listening party in Second Life that was being broadcast live in a club in NY on Times Square. At the Real Life party (I’m told) there was a screen where people there could watch the party on Second Life and all of our avatars dancing around. We could hear all the music being played at the Listening party for this artist named Cactuz and we could hear the people cheering and enjoying themselves as we partied in our virtual world.

Tonight I bit the bullet and decided that it was time to pull the plug on SL, at least for now. I uninstalled the program from my computer and I won’t be re installing it until after next week when my final papers have been completed.

I already feel like there’s a void in my life.

No, I didn’t meet anyone special while I was there, but damn…it’s crazy, I have been thoroughly enjoying the experience. I always say, “Oh, I’ll go on for an hour…” But then one hour turns to FIVE and then I’m tired and then I want to shop some more and then I meet someone new and we go exploring and then…and then..and then…


But I have articles to write, I have papers to write and I can’t mess up when I’ve been doing so well in school…

I can’t believe this thing took over like that. I didn’t even think about calling Kim at all since I’ve been on SL. It never even crossed my mind.

I need to get it together because REAL LIFE is calling.


Yeah…technology is a muthasucka.

In Her Defense- The Church Of Oprah Exposed?

Watch this video titled THE CHURCH OF OPRAH EXPOSED. It has over 3 million hits on youtube.My friend Anna sent me the link to this video today, but she prefaced it with an open discussion about how she was raised Baptist and was told never to question what they were telling her. Even though she had questions and her father is a pastor, she couldn’t move past the questions in her heart.Today she says that the path of Christianity works for her, connects her to God as a guideline for right living but she doesn’t discount anyone else’s path. She said that people who are true Christians should know that they aren’t supposed to judge others.When I discussed this video with Kim she stopped me in mid sentence. “Girl, I wasn’t going to mention this to you but last Sunday in church my pastor led the church in praying for Oprah and the man who wrote that book A New Earth.”WHAT?!!! I was shocked.”Yeah, he said that we should all pray for Oprah because the book she is promoting teaches that people shouldn’t look to the cross and that we are our own saviours. Then he said that we should all pray for Oprah right now.”This statement led to an hour long discussion between Kim and I about our beliefs. Kim is a Christian and believes that if you don’t go through Jesus as your saviour then you are wrong.I believe that Jesus was God’s child, as we all are, and he was one of the ones who was enlightened enough to walk in his full power while here on earth. There may be more that we know nothing about, who knows.While I continue to search my own heart for what connects me with God the most ,I realize that stepping out, seeking and going against the popular culture is a a scary yet freeing choice. I remember chatting with Yolanda about her evolving beliefs concerning faith and I told her that I used to think she was “trying to be controversial” but now that I am evolving myself, I see what happened was the questioning of the beliefs and then the subsequent SEARCHING for answers within. It was an excercise of giving herself the freedom to choose her own beliefs.While the things that I now believe and write about have been popularized by Oprah, I, in no way have been influenced by her spiritual path. I am not a big Oprah-maniac fan at all, but recently I have learned that she and I share similar beliefs and I respect that. She is merely expressing what has made a profound impact on her life. We all do it, whether it’s a newly discovered outlet store or a great new wine, if something brings us pleasure or joy, we want to share it with others. Who are we to crucify her for sharing an opinion? What works for her, connecting her to God, is all she can share with the world. If it had been a true pathway to religion, then there would still be naysayers.People are so quick to admonish someone for their beliefs and when you ask them WHY they believe what they believe, they can only say, “I was raised that way.”That means that someone told them what to think, they accepted it and are now not open to evolve or seek for themselves. That’s it. End of story. No need to grow. I’m fine the way I am.Well guess what? When I was young I was told that I was worthless. Should I hold on to that belief like a wino to his last bottle of vino, never knowing what might happen if I allowed that bottle, which didn’t serve me fully- spiritually- to tumble from my drunken grasp?No, you would tell me to go and define who I am for myself. You would tell me to ignore that belief that was instilled in me so long ago and learn the truth of who I am for myself, by myself.I admire her for speaking from her heart, as just as many preachers do from the pulpit, sharing what she believes to be true, hoping to enlighten others.No one on this planet is obligated to read that book or follow her path. I give our people more credit than aimlessly following some person they don’t even know. I came to similar conclusions without ever watching Oprah’s shows or following her advice…Am I just as bad as Oprah? Does having a platform to express your growth that engages MILLIONS allow Oprah less of the freedom to express herself spiritually than my lil ol blog that attracts a couple hundred people per day? She is still a person. She still has distinct preferences. She is not obligated to tailor her life evolvement to suit the masses. In case you didn’t know, you can choose whether or not to listen to what she says.My beliefs are mine.Your beliefs are yours.Each are equally precious and unique. None are wrong if it connects you to experience God in a way that serves your life in a positive way.Allowing others to believe whatever it is that connects them to God is the path that I will follow. At the end of the day, we are all reaching for the same place. That is my belief. If it isn’t yours, more power to you.If we focus on our own journey to the divine, more of us will get there sooner without having to obstruct our brother’s path.My path to living a righteous life and connecting with God may be a completely different journey than the one you are on…and that, my friends, is what makes life so exciting.You never know what you are going to get, but if you keep moving, you’ll get there…and hopefully learn to enjoy the process along the way.

What Kind Of Writer Am I?


Remember the blogging job that I got at the parenting website? I already received one paycheck and it came right on time..the only thing is…

I’m not good at blogging on a schedule. I only write when I really have something to say, but since I’m only required to write twice a month, when my turn comes, I literally sit and stare at the screen wondering what the hell I’m going to write about. It’s uninspired writing. No topic. No guideline, huge audience..but I have nothing to say.

My blog sucks. Literally it does. The stories I’ve written so far make me look so sad and dissappointed with my life. That’s not the way I want to come off it’s just..I don’t know. When it’s TIME for me to blog, I can’t think of anything to say.

Isn’t that crazy?

I have so much I want to share about developing a healthy relationship with my children and their father. But I can’t find the right method, the right delivery. I don’t know why blogging for money is different from blogging from my heart but for some reason, it is.

I am dissappointed with myself, I thought this would be easier. I thought I’d have valuable information to share.

You know, now that I’m focusing on the fact that I’m NOT cutting it as a blogger, I can hear all of these other thoughts along the same line creeping in.

Oh yeah..and what about your article writing style, that could use some polishing as well.

Yeah..Did you read that one story that Yolanda sent to you? Why can’t your writing be more like that?

You’ve never written a cover story. Why aren’t you doing that?

What kind of writer are you anyway? You’re not too good at any one specific style.


See what I mean about focusing on what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right? Your thoughts snowball and you forget that you DO have great things happening.

The truth is, something must be good about my writing because people keep hiring me. I can’t be that bad because I’m published on a regular basis. I’ll find my voice eventually. I’ll figure out which medium I’m best at.

Hmmm…I remember being delighted at my writing for the website. I never doubted my abilities when I was producing fun web features like 10 Things I Wish I Had Done Before I Became A Mom and How To Tell If Your Boyfriend Will Make a Good Father.

I even enjoyed one of my first published pieces called A Night On The Town With The Kids In Tow. and I loved the one about FashionWeek Live in Houston.

Man…I think all of this writing for news, entertainment, corporate pieces, web features, news features and now..research based writing for my grad classes is confusing my brain… my writing style is all over the place.

Damn…Did you just read what I wrote? I can write in ALL of those styles and get published… I’m hot shit!

~poppin collar~

What kind of writer am I?


Maybe I don’t have to choose…

My Boys Are Show Stoppers

My JuJuBees participated in their very first show last night!

Oh my gosh! The traffics was so horrible getting downtown due to a concert at the Convention Center that we spent over an hour getting off the exit and I STILL had to hop out of the car while we (my parents and I) were still on the expressway and RUN to the show so I wouldn’t miss all of it.

I didn’t! I saw my JuJuBees do their part! It was so wild to me! Watching my CoCo Puffs stand up there like big little boys and say their lines and do their dances..WOW! That was really a rush!

As they spoke and danced all I kept thinking was, “They came out of my body…Wow!”


Now they walk and talk on their own and have desires and opinions and preferences.

Ya’ll should have seen their Daddy. He was so proud of them. He used to participate in this program when he was younger so watching his sons enjoy it makes him proud. We all had a good time as we crowded around taking pictures and congratulating my boys…


The show was really good too. All of these kids from around the city, from the Keyes to Ft. Lauderdale come to participate and bring awareness to different issues that kids face. They did skits about encouraging kids to SPEAK THEIR MIND on topics ranging from dealing with hatred in school, to being unhappy because their parents divorced. All of them were excellent lessons that I hope my children pick up. Speak up! Say how you feel! Work through your emotions!

For the first time, I think EVER, I wore a sleeveless dress. I never wear clothes that reveal too much of my body. Even when I took that picture that you see above, my sister showed up at my house and said,”What?!! You’re showing your back?!!” ~smile~ I don’t usually wear clothes like that in public.

But for some reason I said, “Forget it. I don’t care,” and I wore a tube top dress. I think Second Life is helping me to release some of the issues I have with my body. Dressing up my avatar is like playing with Barbie except other avatars comment on your outfits and there are always contests for BEST DRESSED. Even on there, I’m a bit conservative in my appearance, but I’m trying to branch out and show some skin while it’s still firm! LOL!

Today I went to the library to do research and I found a lot of articles that will help me write my paper that is due in 3 days. I’m on a tight deadline, but that’s when I write my best. I’m going to write about Prominent Factors that Influence Attraction in Women. I hope that’s not too broad of a topic. I’m investigating this because if I hope to understand what creates that PULL when a woman meets a man.

Today I am feeling great and alive! I was feeling blah before but now that my research is done I know I’ll get the paper done quickly. I was given the software to automatically format my paper in APA style so hopefully, my first draft will be cleaner than the last one.

Ahhh..Let me go get to my writing.

I love beautiful sunny days like this!

A Lesson From Oprah on Limiting Beliefs

After perusing the web to get a grip on what everyone else is saying about Oprah’s spiritual path I had to laugh. People are really fired up about the fact that she is embracing teachings that do not directly reflect the Bible.


I don’t know. It seems as though people are threatened by her influence. Kim explained it to me in this way, “It’s about people’s SOULS! She’s an influence over millions of people and their souls are at stake. I always thought she was a Christian but to hear what she’s studying really hurts me. I have to admit, I don’t watch her show anymore.”

Kim is crazy… Ever since I’ve known her Kim has called Oprah her “mama”. She prays diligently that God will allow her a similar success but now that the rumors are flying…Kim has walked away from her admiration. I explained to Kim that Oprah still believes in God, but Kim doesn’t buy it. “If she believes in God, then she has to believe in Jesus. Jesus is God. Any other belief is wrong,” she said.

Kim won’t even watch the video that has been circulating through emails and posted on youtube which claims that Oprah is a heretic and denied Christ. She says she’s not ready to see something like that.

Ahhh….Let that lady share her views…But be confident in the way that you believe God presented Himself to you. Allow God to present Himself to others in any way that He sees fit. As long as there is a connection– God is present. God is not religious.

After watching more video responses on Youtube and reading the comments, I felt it was time to do some reading on Oprah’s life. I absolutely love reading biographies and I will hop on wikipedia in a minute just to enjoy reading people’s biographies.

So I hopped over and read Oprah’s page.

It was a good read. But the one passage that struck me was the section about her past relationships with men. Wikipedia quotes her as saying:

“The reason I gained so much weight in the first place and the reason I had such a sorry history of abusive relationships with men was I just needed approval so much. I needed everyone to like me, because I didn’t like myself much. So I’d end up with these cruel self-absorbed guys who’d tell me how selfish I was, and I’d say “Oh thank you, you’re so right” and be grateful to them. Because I had no sense that I deserved anything else. Which is also why I gained so much weight later on. It was the perfect way of cushioning myself against the world’s disapproval.”

Reading this quote turned on a light for me. Since I’m all about learning to develop more healthy relationships it confirmed why I had been involved in abusive relationships in the past.

The number one reason: I allowed it, thinking that I was only worthy of criticism, that I deserved criticism and that anyone who didn’t give it to me was being fake with me. It was through this belief that I created my reality.

For me, my belief of “I am worthless and I need to be changed into something better” led to my seeking out men who would criticize me and try to change me into who they thought I should be. Instead of walking away, I clung to them even more, hoping that if I could just grasp what they wanted me to be, I would be fine.

I never did. Instead I fell into the abyss of self loathing and condemnation.

You see, when I chose to believe that I was unworthy of love, I sought out people who would confirm that belief and thus affirmed my belief. This is exactly why people write that we create our own reality. It’s not about magically making things appear. It’s about the vantage point that we take when we view the world.

I had plenty of people telling me that I was lovely, destined for success and unique, but my belief did not line up with what they were telling me so I disregarded their statements and made the negative statements my prominent belief for my life.

Now I am in the process of changing my beliefs about myself. By changing my beliefs when I meet someone who does not agree with my new positive belief, I will then dismiss them and cling to the people who interact with me as I believe myself to be.

Don’t be discouraged. It’s all a learning process…

But if you take the time to examine your beliefs about yourself and change them to more positive ones, you will begin to see your reality change into what you want it to be.

I believe that.

Loving Life!

I love my life.

So I went to class tonight and some of my classmates turned to me, “How far along are you on your paper?”

I grinned. “I finished it this morning!” I squealed and did the doo doo brown in my seat.

“What?! Girl, you’re good. I haven’t even started it!”

“What? Girl, it’s due tomorrow!” I said.

“No it’s not. It’s due next week.”


I laughed and laughed and checked my syllabus. Damn..I tricked myself into believing it was due this week. Well, that’s good. I can turn it in early for feedback and then resubmit it next week. Plus, I have 3 more final papers due next week so I’m gonna be busy.

But for tonight… I’m gonna celebrate…

I’m on Second Life at a party at the City Bar club…

Here I am dancing with the club owner…

They’re playing all kinds of music that I’ve never heard before. Liz Fields, Amp Fiddler..A great song called SHINE by an artist called Havana. Who are these people and why haven’t I been exposed to them before?!!! They’re excellent!

I am having such a great time.. and I am loving my Second Life just as much as the first!

Steve’s Big Move

I’m about to fall asleep when the professor announces that class is over. For some reason tonight’s round of presentations did not appeal to me.

I yawn and walk out of class quickly. It’s dark out and I don’t like how spooky the campus looks at night.

As I approach my car in the campus parking lot, I blink twice.


He smiles and walks toward me a sly grin on his face,

“What are you doing here?” I ask.

“Well, first can you tell me why haven’t you been answering my calls and texts?”

I clear my throat. “…hey. You said you needed to step back. I just gave you your space.”

He shakes his head and chuckles. “I didn’t need that much space Tee. What? You wanna get rid of me?”

“Hey. I don’t sweat Dudes. That’s not me. If you need a break, I’ll give you one.”

I’m trying to keep my face from breaking out into a smile but it’s hard. It’s been a month since I’ve seen or spoken to him and to be honest, I’ve missed him everyday. I just..I felt that it would be best if we broke things off. It gave me a sense of relief. I’m used to breaking up. What would I do if we actually had a continuing relationship? I don’t know how to handle that.

Breaking up is easy.

“Tee,” he says and takes another step toward me. My instinct makes me take a step back.

“Tee. You don’t want to do that,” he says.

The ghetto girl inme rises up. “What the hell you mean? I do what I want!”

He laughs. “You are so cute when you do that,” he says and grabs pulls my arm, bringing me close to him.

“Steve. I’ve been busy. In fact, I have some work to do tonight so we’ll talk another time,” I say. His eyes are intensely focused on mine. I can feel his breath on my face.

“I have something to tell you,” he begins.


“Tee, I said that to you, not to make you stop speaking to me.”

I shrug.

“I told you I needed to take a step back because I had some big decisions to make and I didn’t want you to feel pressured to help me.”


“So? Tee, have you been to my place lately?”

“No. What? You want your key back. I don’t go over there anymore,” I say and take two steps away from him, breaking his grasp.

“No I don’t want my key back. But if you had gone there you would notice something different.”

“What? You remodeled?”

He chuckled again, folding his arms and leaning against my car.


“What you playin games for? Tell me what happened.”

“Tee, I moved down here. I live in Miami now.”

Huh? I couldn’t speak.

Living in Miami? Huh? Whah? No.

I shook my head, unable to make a sound.

“Why?” I manage to squeak out after what seemed like an eternity.

He just stared at me.

“I want to see you more than twice a month, that’s why.”


“You should have asked me first,” I mumble.

“Why? So you could tell me that I shouldn’t come? And why would you say that? Oh..I know. You’re scared of what would happen if we spent more time together, right?”

I whimper.

His eyes are so beautiful. He’s so wonderful. I’m so scared right now.

“So, are you coming with me back to my place tonight?” he asks and touches my arm.

“I don’t think so.”

“You know you’re still mine, right. I’m not letting you go anywhere.”

“I…I think we should be friends, Steve.”

“Is that right? Well, it’s not going to happen. We can’t go back to friends.” His fingers grip my right arm and slowly pull me back toward him. He squeezes me tightly and kisses my forehead.
“Don’t do that again, Tee. Don’t ignore me like that. I missed you so much girl.”

I sigh. “I missed you too.”

“Damn you’re beautiful,” he whispers.

I stand close to him, smelling his cologne, feeling his strong arms.

“Come on,” he says. “Let’s get out of here. Follow me to my place.”

“Steve…I have something to tell you too.”

“What’s that pretty green eyes?”

“I met someone else.”

He pauses and studies my face. “Oh yeah? You can tell me all about him over a glass a wine,” he says and opens the door to a black Nissan Crossfire. “Let’s go.”