Maya Angelou wrote incredible poetry. But here are 9 things you might not know

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In a 2009 interview with Maya Angelou, Guardian writer Gary Younge summed up the American poet’s incredible biography in a perfect way:

To know her life story is to simultaneously wonder what on earth you have been doing with your own life and feel glad that you didn’t have to go through half the things she has. Before she hit 40 she had been a professional dancer, prostitute, madam, lecturer, activist, singer, and editor. She had lived in Ghana and Egypt, toured Europe with a dance troupe and settled in pretty much every region of the United States.”

Pretty impressive—but that’s just the Cliff’s Notes version.

The more I learn about Angelou, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 86, the more blown away I am by her intellect, strength, and sense of humor. I also totally get why the media doesn’t always tell her whole story: It took Angelou seven full-length autobiographies to get through the whole yarn.

Here are nine facts about the poet that are often cut from media and teaching materials in the interest of saving time — but that prove what a phenomenal human being she really was:

1. She became the first black female streetcar driver in San Francisco…

…when she was 14 years old.

2. She created a 10-part documentary about the influence of African-American culture on the broader American cultural landscape.

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Poem: Life

image: from bobvila.com

Life
© By Benjamin K. Kotey

It takes a day to make a dream,
But it takes many nights for a seed to become a tree.

Life is a ladder that must be climbed.
But in every stage,

There are many rivers and battles to fight
And our hopes determines our future.

Life is a trip through the wilderness
And everyone must survive for success.

But without a determination
We can never reach our destination.

There are many roads in life,
But choice

Stands between the broad and the narrow.
The world is not only what we see

But what we hear
Life is time and time is tide.

We are making an endless journey
But no ladder is without an end

Problems may fall like rain
But every seed has its season.

PTSD, Narcissism & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again

Just a quick glimpse at a man’s hands with dirty fingernails is my worst trigger, followed by a flashback.  Seems whacky, doesn’t it?

Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time.  You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.  You may feel like you’re going through the event again.  This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event.  Triggers might include:

  • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran.
  • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident.
  • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped.    Source:  WebMed.com

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Courage & Trust

Trust has been a huge issue for me, with problems throughout my life including selecting friends, wary of men or other adults.  I took an enormous risk marrying my husband in 1979, we’re still married, so I chose well and my instincts proved it.  An abuser, along with my parents, stole that away from me at the age of 8, and are to blame for this.  Not fair.

“Once a Victim ~ Now a Survivor Award” for Everyone who is a Warrior

I created and designed this “Once a Victim, Now a Survivor” award in March/2015, as I wanted it to represent and award those who have struggled with mental illness, and especially everyone who is living with C/PTSD (complex/post-traumatic stress disorder).   PTSD includes those dealing with trauma, abuse and for many childhood sexual abuse.  We were victims once, but now we are Survivors

So pay it forward if you’d like and nominate others; it’s a way to recognize some of the bloggers you’ve discovered who are worthy of this award OR accept it for yourself.  You can display it on your own blog and be proud of it.  Congrats!

Deb

 

Suicidal feelings ~ mesmerizing

“The mesmerizing feelings attached to suicidal thinking, at least for me, are the ones who got me into trouble. Life became so miserable and “suicide” was in my back pocket ready at any moment just in case. It really became a habit of such and I had to break that habit. This is not to say that I don’t think of ‘ending it’; sometimes letting my mind wander into white, fluffy clouds – no pressure of life anymore – but I can’t let “S” win”.  by Deb ~ “Living in Stigma”

Please adopt me!

Image: PROTECT ALL WILDLIFE@Protect_Wldlife

Adopting a dog won’t change the world but it will change the life of the dog forever! @Ricky Gervais {fabulously fake} #AdoptDontShop

My sweet Emma is a rescue dog, so happy I chose this route as she was treated horribly at a puppy mill, when all she wanted was a safe home, and someone who will love and take care of her.  We both smile and hug each and everyday; companions for life.

Friendship Recipe

FRIENDSHIP

  • 2 cups patience
  • 1 heartful of love
  • 2 handfuls of generosity
  • Dash of laughter
  • 2 cups loyalty
  • 1 cup understanding

 Mix all ingredients well.  Sprinkle generously over a lifetime and serve to everyone you meet. 

~~

 I love this quote:  “Choose your socks by their colors and your friends by their character.  As choosing socks by their character makes no sense.  Choosing friends by their color is unthinkable. ~~ Unknown

~Deb 

 

Once a Victim ~ Now a Survivor Award

We all kept “The Secret”, promised not to tell, or did tell and no one believed us, but we still held that secret inside of us for years, then it activated and we started to ‘peel back the onion’.

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PTSD & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again

Just a quick glimpse at a man’s hands with dirty fingernails is my worst trigger, followed by a flashback.  Seems whacky, doesn’t it?

Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time.  You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.  You may feel like you’re going through the event again.  This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event.  Triggers might include:

  • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran.
  • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident.
  • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped.    Source:  WebMed.com

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DIETS: KEEPING THE FAT GIRL FATTER

For this article, I am skipping the sombre side of being fat, and examine dieting…yes, dieting that forever kept me fatter.  Some diets melt the pounds off rapidly, so you begin to appear curvy, fitting into smaller sizes, receive compliments, then, boom.  Gradually your new clothes are beginning the feel snug, the compliments are drying up and so are the jaunts to the gym.  You’ve grown tired of chicken breast and salads every day, even your treadmill at home is now stockpiling clothes.

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