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In my recent MANcation revelation, I discovered that I don’t have enough faith in myself and I lack belief in myself at times. This was ever so evident a few weeks ago when I actually heard myself downplaying my abilities to someone else. I was explaining my blog and a future project to someone and I said “Yes, I have a website, but it’s just a wordpress site.” It took me a second to realize that I had just made it okay for the person I was talking to not to take me seriously. I had minimized myself and my abilities out of fear that someone may make me, prove it.

Interestingly enough, the one thing I am most confident in is my ability to connect with people through my writing. Somehow, at that moment, and many moments preceding that moment, I decided that I didn’t believe in myself.

Confidence is so important. We’ve all seen someone so confident that we just expect everything they do to be magnificent only to learn that their bark is more powerful than their bite. We’ve seen people that don’t have that much talent but they excel in their fields simply because they have enough people that believe them. That’s confidence. No one will believe you if you don’t. I really thank God for these moments when I’m able to see myself as an outsider would, and take a deep look at the situations I place myself in.

I am making a conscious decision to have more confidence in myself. I think my issue is that I’m so afraid of being great at something that I’d just rather give you a mediocre answer so if I don’t deliver, you won’t be surprised. Being great, is hard work! I know that sounds pitiful and lazy,but this is a judgement-free site! I know there are tons of people out there who share my reasoning. However, that is a very weak and insecure way of thinking. If you continue to think on a small scale, you will only produce small things.

God placed you here to be great. It is an absolute insult to Him to diminish the work He has done in you by minimizing them. I’m always afraid to say good things about my capabilities for fear of appearing arrogant.

I can’t tell you how many times I read my blog and think “Seriously, Lana, who cares?,” but honestly, people do care; they enjoy my writing and testimonials and there’s nothing arrogant about accepting that. It inspires people, it encourages people and that’s a good thing. There,
I said it!

The difference between arrogance and confidence is realizing where these gifts come from and giving the praise to the Creator. It is okay to say, “I’m a great singer,” or “I’m a great writer,” etc., as long as you make sure you give the glory to the Lord for blessing you with such talent.

He has only created you for greatness. Making light of the gifts God gave you is not honorable and it just gives others permission to define you and place limits on your success.

This was definitely an eye opening experience and I thank God for it. I will no longer minimize my talents and I will only speak greatness. Care to join me?

Doubt and Uncertainty are the first cousins of Fear, and I intend to disrupt this family reunion indefinitely.

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This Saturday, February 9, 2013, I will take my first official step off of the MANcation. I’ll be attending Sincerely Love , a speed-dating event, to see what I’ve been “missing” or not, while I’ve been away from the dating scene. Don’t worry I’ll be vlogging (video-blogging) the whole thing for my loyal readers! This should be interesting. I’m excited! Stay tuned… BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!!! The first person to refer at least five people to subscribe to my blog will win a FREE e-Book copy of Elvira Guzman’s new book, “Your Blueprint”. Just be the first to send an email to lana.adams89@gmail.com with your name, and your five referrals to win! It’s that EASY! See, everyone benefits from the MANcation!

YouBlueprint

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@SincerelySyreeta hosts #SincerelyLove a speed dating & relationship enlightening event with@CoutureAtYourDoor powered by @TabbMGT. Author @Kev_Carr will offer expert relationship guidance and guests will enjoy wine, music by @DJG33K hor d’oeuvres from #DrunkenSushiCatering and desserts by @Bell_Creations There are #GIVEAWAYS and ALL guests will get an eBook copy of Elvira Guzman’s new book @YourBlueprint13 

Sincerely Love

Sincerely Love

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This post has been a long, long, time coming. Many of you will be upset with me for this post. And by many, I mean maybe, 4 or 5 of the 10 people that read my blog.

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I would like to explain my theory of “Educated Negro Syndrome”, or ENS. Now, before you write me off about being misled and ignorant by using the word “Negro,” let me explain myself. From my own understanding and from what I’ve learned throughout the years in school and listening to stories of my ancestors, the word Negro began as a way to describe African Americans. Negro is yet another word that my people changed into a term of endearment when it had been meant to separate us from whites. It was another string on America’s guitar that forever plays the sweet song of racism, but, we digress.

I choose to use the word Negro to explain my theory because it describes an ideology carried by my brown brothers when they feel they have arrived in this world. There is a certain air that is created when these aforementioned brothers feel they have been enlightened enough to be separated from the rest of their brown sisters and brothers. This is not a generalization. This theory describes a select few young men that I’ve been encountering more and more frequently.

There have been many times when I log on to Twitter to see some young, educated black man talking about why he hates when black women wear weaves. This is not the only instance to explain my theory, but it is the most common, so I will use this as the primary example.

I’d say the way black men now feel about weaves on black women had something to do with the natural hair movement sweeping the nation among black women. We as women, especially, single, black women, are always dying to find ways to make ourselves more attractive to men, so that we can get married, and live happily ever after. Anyway, I have seen these same men that are so down on hair extensions and make-up, chase these same women in the clubs, bars, nightlife scene, etc. I have had debates with these men about how I must hate myself for putting some European or East Indian’s hair in my head instead of my own and have watched them flirt with women who replicate the very image they have done such a good job at critiquing. I don’t blame you guys, this is just a symptom of ENS.

These men have studied Freud, and Plato and historical philosophers, in addition to being able to quote W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington but when they see a Kim Kardashian look-a-like, they can barely contain themselves. Which is it, young sir? Do you even know or have you been so brainwashed by those history books and reality shows that you don’t even know yourself? I’d like to suggest the latter.

Another symptom of ENS is the “Me-Man”. We’ve all met the “Me-Man”. This is the guy you meet at an art exhibit or another culturally diverse event and you find out about his childhood, his education, his beliefs on gay marriage, abortion, the role of the black man in families and anything else he decides to tell you about before you can get a word in edgewise. You may need to keep mentioning your own name frequently during the conversation so that he’ll remember it. He won’t need to though, because the next time he sees you, he’ll continue talking about himself so much he won’t even need to say your name. He will, more than likely, proceed to post some status about the simplicity of the women he’s dated, and how he is just dying to meet an intellectual, “Queen.”

The “Me-Man” feels that the pleasure is all YOURS when conversing with him. After all, you may never meet a man of his calibur again; a man with a PhD, who is involved with the youth, and God forbid, SINGLE. You ought to be dropping rose petals at his feet. Careful, the “Me-Man” is known to become extremely sensitive and defensive should you have your own opinion in opposition to one of his.

I once had a man tell me that rappers Wale and J-Cole were distasteful because they frequently rapped about the struggles of black women which sold false hope to these women because these men would never actually experience this pain. He said they had never been a black woman, so how could they relate to them? Was he proposing that promoting such hope to women would cause women to feel that all men might show the same compassion to their issues? How dare women find comfort in hearing positivity and understanding about themselves in between the misogynistic tracks on an album. The nerve.

I don’t say any of this to male-bash. Although, many of the men who read this will see this as another opportunity to tear down the black man. See: “For Colored Girls” critiques. Assuming that every time a black woman speaks up about the ills of black men is an attempt to bash them just reinforces my theory of the self-involved, vain character suffering from ENS. This assumption that we are all out to get you, though heavily enforced by news media and pop culture, is just not true —at least it’s not true for me. I LOVE black men, educated black men too! I just want them to begin to question the things that they learn and to stop constantly doing things to separate themselves from their people. Your degree doesn’t make you any better than anyone, nor do your trips to Africa. These things will make you more cultured of course, but the minute you begin to believe that you are of a higher distinction because the effects of hundreds of years of slavery and racism in America aren’t as visible on you, as they are on me, you lose. This is the moment I must diagnose you with ENS and pray for your speedy recovery.

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MANCATION REVELATION:

November 25, 2012

 

The most common theme as of late on my MANcation journey has been the importance of signs. A sign is defined as an object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. We’re all constantly looking for signs of some sort to reassure us and let us know that we are going in the right direction with our lives. The sign you are looking for may be a “good job” from a boss or colleague, an encouraging word from a friend, or praise on a job well done. Whatever the case may be, I’ve been inspired to really pay attention to all of the signs around me. They are God’s way of letting me know that HE’s still in control. There have been many, many, times and more to come I’m sure, when I have chosen to ignore the signs along the way.

The holidays have brought about a spirit of loneliness to me. I wish all of my MANcation Revelations could be sprinkled with sugar but sometimes they’re sour before they’re sweet and sometimes I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it is that I’m tasting. I love my family, and I absolutely LOVE the holidays. Something is different this year. It is the very first major holiday that I’ve experienced without my grandfather. I guess I didn’t realize just how much that would affect me until I ended up with this extremely empty feeling after the guests had gone home, the music had been turned off and the plates scraped clean. My grandfather was my number one fan. He truly believed I could do no wrong and I was the apple of his eye. I KNOW, I can do plenty of wrong and I knew in some sense he understood that too. That’s what was so remarkable about our relationship; to have someone who no matter what, sees you for the good person you are–that’s amazing. He didn’t talk to me much about anything too serious but his wisdom and the quiet moments that would precede his insanely accurate astuteness would always give me just what I needed.

But back to signs, I’ve always had the feeling that asking God for signs was an insult to Him. I believed that asking for signs meant that I didn’t trust God enough that HE would do what he said HE would simply because HE was GOD. Recently, I realized that all of that is true, with one exception. ASKING God for a sign is not as harsh a crime as ignoring the signs that HE has placed all around me.  I guess my imagination and the special effects of Blockbuster hits has desensitized me a bit. I’m always waiting for this grandiose sign complete with lightning, wind, and flying monkeys to tell me that God is doing something. In actuality, the closer I get with God, the more I notice the small signs he sends me everyday.

My recent flare up of loneliness coupled with some flattering words from a guy whose been attempting to pursue me, almost caused a MEAN backtrack on the course. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I felt like a woman. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well of aware that I am a woman, but sometimes a compliment from the right guy, can make you remember just how much you enjoy being a girl. Reality was running late that day so I entertained it for the moment. I actually considered giving this guy the time of day and accepting the words he offered as an “explanation” to why we have never been on a real date and he has only been consistent at making open-ended promises with no intent of keeping them.

His explanation that “we are both so busy” sounded halfway decent until I remembered that I’m never too busy to do the things that I want to do, so that theory is out of the window. This past weekend I have been feeling like maybe I should give him a chance simply because I wanted some male attention. I almost convinced myself that it was okay to let the very little he was giving me be sufficient, and then reality showed up. I have not been doing all of this self-work for it to be ruined by a moment of weakness and a few kind words. I have been called bourgeois, selfish, unrealistic, and silly for remaining so rigid when it comes to the things I’ll accept from these guys but I am not budging. I’m not the one who will give you something for nothing. God is doing too much and giving me too much for me to settle down with mediocrity.

If this guy is showing me who he is now, why would I ignore the signs?! I am trying to be more free and “meet people where they are” but not when it comes to my time and energy. I will no longer ignore the signs. If you  go on a road trip and ignore every sign on the way to your destination, chances are slim to none that you’ll end up where you intended to go. More than likely, you’ll end up in a foreign land, looking around trying to figure out how you got there.

 

Read more MANCATION Revelations here.

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President Barack Obama was re-elected to serve as President of the United States of America for four more years last night.

I had no doubt in my mind that he would win. I remember my dad asking me back in 2010 if I thought the president would be re-elected and I said yes. I believed it then, I believed it when I cast my ballot to vote and I was right **toots horn**.

Although the media and the exit polling results helped to prove that this was a close election, I would hope that we as Americans, have learned a great deal from this election and presidential campaign.

I know that POTUS has learned a great deal, as he pointed out in his victory speech last night and I am hopeful that he will use this newly discovered wisdom in the coming years.

Some of the conversations surrounding the election and voting have been very troubling. While I have seen many young people motivated and inspired to exercise their right to vote and be involved in the democratic process, I have also heard some of the most uninformed and misguided statements from my peers. I know people who didn’t vote at all because they say the president didn’t do enough for the poor. Do I think the president could be more vocal about the conditions and issues affecting the poor? Absolutely. On the other hand, I feel that the President’s plan of investing in education and offering tax cuts to the middle class will have a direct affect on the poor. I know that this is not enough for some people. I know that some people need him to broadcast for “the hood” at all times but I think that is an unrealistic request of the President of an entire country.

There are some movements such as, #Occupythehood  (@Occupythehood on Twitter)  that are geared toward organizing minorities in underserved areas and engaging them in the political process to get their issues to the top of the president’s list. I hope more of these groups are formed and put into action because simply “hoping” that the President will represent every issue that plagues minorities simply on the premise that, “he’s just supposed to” isn’t smart at all. “Hope” may have made for a good campaign slogan but organization is the key to progress. This was ever so evident with the results of this presidential election.

 

What would’ve happened if women no longer had the choice to govern their own bodies or if they no longer had access to the minimal healthcare they have now in order to treat and prevent the diseases that so disproportionately affect poor, African Americans? I am black and female and I couldn’t afford to take that chance by voting for the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. I have no desire to support a party that does not support me. Women’s issues can be found at the bottom of that thick binder Mitt Romney is so proud of and they’re far too important to me to be brushed under the rug.

I just want to encourage people not to let the media tell you who to vote for. Vote on the issues. That’s what democracy is about.

Bipartisanship is going to be so important in the coming years. The President is going to have to lead in a way that forces congress to put politics aside and find reasonable solutions to the issues. There are SO many issues.

To get back to the lessons learned, I hope and pray that the Republican party has discovered their AHA! moment. You cannot alienate minorities and ignore women’s issues and expect to win an election. This strategy may have worked 50 years ago, but in 2012, that’s just not going to fly.

I’m a firm believer that thoughts become things and what you speak into existence shall be. That being said, I’d like to suggest a small detail that could help to move the Republican party forward. It’s just a small thing, I promise. STOP calling yourself  “The Grand Old Party.”

If this election has proven anything, it’s that old policies and ways of thinking will get you nowhere in this country. It is time for the Republican party to start thinking in the “now”. Republicans need to evaluate how conservatism is defined. Is conservatism merely an ideology that disregards anything that opposes Biblical and traditional values? If that answer is yes, “Houston, we have a problem.”

There will be 20 women with seats in the Senate come January  and that alone should be enough to show the world that we are moving forward.

Forgive me if this post was all over the place but I’m filled with so many different feelings after this campaign. We still have a way to go in this country but it’s encouraging to know that the only way to go from here is, up.

 

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As many of my readers know, I have been on a MANcation for some time now.

I thought I would dedicate the MANcation Revelations page to all of the things I have discovered about myself through this time. First, I would like to define just what the word MANcation means to me. When I say I’m on a MANcation, I generally get the same response, a confused look followed with a question like “Does that mean you like girls?” or “Are you depressed?” I assure you that neither is the case.

This journey of self-discovery was the result of a “relationship” gone wrong of course, but I had originally set out to, wait for it, “find myself.” As cliche as that sounds, I really wanted to eliminate all distractions from my life and really get down to the person I am. I wanted to evaluate the relationships in my life, both familial and romantic. I felt that I needed to get closer with God, and I’ve NEVER felt closer, but that’s for later posts. Right now, I just want to introduce you all to this journey of self discovery. Sit back and enjoy the ride, and if something speaks to you, you know what to do.

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Lana Adams

October 30, 2102

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Many people along the East Coast are cleaning up after the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. The residents of the Barrier Islands and surrounding cities of New Jersey have been extremely damaged as well as select areas of New York City.

I, like many others had been watching news coverage of Hurricane Sandy since late last week. The media had predicted a Category 1 Hurricane set to hit Philadelphia sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. This prediction was soon amended to late Sunday night into Monday morning and resulted in a downgrade from a Hurricane to a Tropical Storm by Monday evening.

Many businesses closed in anticipation of Sandy’s arrival and pubic transportation was shut down in a number of cities including New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

The New York City Stock Exchange closed its doors Monday and Tuesday. The NYSE had originally planned to operate electronic trading on Monday but eventually made the decision to close completely.

My prayers go out to all of the families and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The popular micro-blogging site, Twitter, was all aglow for the past two days as many people suffered from cabin fever due to Hurricane Sandy. Many people even criticized the storm for being underwhelming.

One user tweeted: “hurricane” sandy is the most pathetic hurricane i’ve ever been in.#weak” ( @CarlyWeiss)

Others had more compassion for the victims of the hurricane and recalled the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

“Why is everyone comparing Sandy to Katrina and saying how weak it was? Um,do you want to Sandy to be destructive and leave you w/ no house?!”, Twitter user @_lidss tweeted.

Still, I’m left to wonder if Hurricane Sandy was a little more than a tropical storm. You can’t turn on a network television station right now without seeing coverage on Hurricane Sandy. During the storm it seemed as if local Philadelphia news stations were playing a game of who can get closer to the tidal wave as they covered the shore areas and barrier islands.

Philadelphia news outlets weren’t the only stations playing up the scare tactics during Hurricane Sandy either. Patricia Swayne of PG County, Maryland wasn’t particularly fond of the coverage there either.

“Hurricane Sandy really annoyed me. I was frustrated and confused by the panic being perpetuated by mainstream media and our government, local and federal. I felt like I was being terrorized–they were scaring people into a state of submission and obedience. I will admit, I stayed on edge for most of the day. Mostly because I didn’t want to lose power, and I didn’t. I was glad I didn’t believe the hype. But my heart goes out to those who were seriously devastated. I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for NY and NJ,” Swayne said.

Hurricane Sandy seemed to be unfolding as an exciting primetime television show with all the makings– bad storm, power outages risky locations, misleading news reports and yes, political warfare.

National news networks like CNN have been running continuous coverage of what they’re calling “Superstorm Sandy”.

CNN and The Weather Channel have faced some backlash after CNN meteorologist Chad Myers falsely reported that there was up to 3ft. of water on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange due to Hurricane Sandy. Myers reportedly made this claim during an interview on Piers Morgan’s television show.

“This will have an influence worldwide on people’s wealth,” CNN financial journalist Ali Velshi said following Myers’ report.

CNN and Myers have retracted and corrected the statement. Myers said he retrieved this information from the National Weather Service chat bulletin board.

Spokesman Chris Vaccaro of The National Weather Service is also denying that such a report was released.

Pat Kiernan (@patkiernan) of NY1 tweeted this picture of the visibly dry NYSE floor following the false reports.
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Statement retractions and corrections are a part of news and I’m sure many Americans are letting out a sigh of relief to find that the reports were false. However, we live in a world where news is spread instantaneously via social networks and can reach millions of people in a second. One has to wonder what kind of damage that statement did to the anxiety of shut-in Americans in just that short time. You can retract it but you can’t really take it back, once it’s on the internet. One would expect a source as credible as CNN to do some fact-checking prior to releasing such information. It leaves me wondering if news outlets are more concerned about the shock value of the story rather than the validity.

I would hope that this isn’t true, not just because I am a journalist but because I hold the news media to a higher regard. Have we gotten lost in the “fear factor” of news rather than the verity of it?

This “Perfect Storm” soap-opera also played out in politics as well. I don’t consider myself a conspiracy theorist at all but isn’t it timely that this storm fell a week before election day?

But forgive me, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he could “give a damn less about Election Day,” in light of the recent storm. The governor warned that the people of New Jersey would be upset with him if he cared more about getting them to the polls than getting them back into their homes.

This statement came a few hours after the Governor attacked Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford for what he feels, was encouraging Atlantic City residents to stay in their homes during Hurricane Sandy.

“Despite my admonition to evacuate, he gave them comfort for some reason to stay,” Christie said in a news briefing.

The Governor called Mayor Langford a “rogue mayor” after the mayor told residents that chose not to evacuate that there would be shelters in place and advised them to use the emergency telephone numbers for help.

Mayor Langford has since responded to Governor Christie’s comments in an interview on The Today Show with Matt Lauer.

‘The governor is either misinformed and ill-advised or simply just deciding to prevaricate,” Langford said.

Lauer told the mayor that there would be a possible opportunity to have both the mayor and the governor on air together. Langford responded by saying he would love nothing more than to talk to the governor “mano-y-mano”.

Mayor Langford and Governor Christie have been at odds many times before concerning the leadership of their constituents. The governor has criticized Mayor Langford for ineffective leadership and has held him responsible for Atlantic City’s high crime rates.

Mayor Langford has condemned the Governor for his comments regarding Hurricane Sandy.

“Isn’t it sad, that here we are in the throes of a major catastrophe and the governor has chosen a time such as this to play politics. I think it’s reprehensible that he would stoop to the level to try and make a political situation out of something that is so serious as this situation is right now,” Mayor Langford said.

Okay, we interrupt your programming for a brief message from our sponsors. Did you almost forget that there was a storm and homes were destroyed and people displaced while you were watching all of the drama unfold?

Don’t worry, I’m here to keep you grounded.

If you can get a break between on-air retractions and political battles, please remember that Hurricane Sandy claimed at least 66 deaths in the Caribbean and a reported 13 deaths in the U.S.

I have turned my television back on this evening to see the same news stories mentioned above being recycled and funneled back onto the airwaves. I’m left to wonder if Hurricane Sandy is the “big story” or simply a platform for political agendas and increased television ratings. Politics as usual.

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