Tag Archive | New Beginnings

And a New Journey Begins…

Dear Friends,

This post feels difficult to write. Not because I shouldn’t, but because I feel like there is so much to say. I just don’t know where to begin. People often say, “Write from the heart.” In fact, I’m one of those people. But what do you write when your heart is overflowing? What do you write when your heart feels emotions that your mind cannot express?

On June 13, 2011, I began this incredible journey here with all of you. It has been a journey of discovery…a journey of unveiling all the secrets in my roux…a journey of perfecting the gumbo that is me.

…the process of turning simple flour and oil into a rich pot of complex flavors and aromas is much like the process of transitioning from a young, naive girl into a strong, confident, and self-assured woman. It takes time, thought, and careful consideration.

~Donloyn LeDuff Gadson, The Creole Magnolia

Those were some of the first thoughts that I shared with you all.

As I reflect on all the emotions, inspirations and fears that I have shared on this blog with all of you, I see a woman freeing herself… moving away from the young, naive girl she has carried inside and making room for the confident and courageous woman she has become. I see a woman who understands the complex relationship between growth and acceptance. I see a woman who once undervalued her uniqueness but who now has gained the courage to celebrate it.

As I reflect on the ideas shared here, I see themes surrounding love, courage, fear, vulnerability, self doubt, uncertainty, growth and strength. But, above all else, I see the theme of Clarity.

My most insightful assessment regarding Clarity was when I recognized I was Looking for that which I cannot See.

Sometimes We Must Dwell In Darkness In Order To Appreciate The Light!! By darkness, I do not mean despair or gloom. What I mean is the unknown, the uncertain, the unchartered, the absence. Finding Clarity is not like finding a lost hairbrush or your favorite lip gloss. You don’t just happen upon it. Clarity is a presence, a knowledge, a breath of fresh air that is Attained! It is not tangible. And it is immeasurable!

I’m not sure I’ve truly gained Clarity. Some days I believe I’ve achieved it. And others, it’s gone. But I have come to accept that there is a large portion of Chaos that comes with Clarity. And you must work through that chaos, one layer at a time.

Clarity requires action, a continuous moving forward. And that is what I am doing…moving forward, embarking upon a new journey, working through a new layer of chaos.

This post will be last here on Creole Magnolia Cafe. This is last serving of inspiration I have for you. And the truth is, you’ve inspired me more than I have inspired you.

I will be moving forward, not as The Creole Magnolia, but as Donloyn…Donloyn LeDuff Gadson. I will step out from behind the moniker, and I will be whom I have always been…me. I will embark upon this next phase of my writing career with transparency and vulnerability. And I will take comfort in knowing that Clarity will come.

This blog has served me well. Not only has it given me the platform to inspire all of you, but also it has given me the opportunity to find the courage necessary to accept me…a unique individual who has never fit into any one box. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I do know one thing…

Clarity is always closer than you think.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life. I will keep this site active so we both can reflect when necessary. Because sometimes, you have to remind yourself of where you’ve been in order to fully appreciate where you are.

I’d love for you to join me at my new website and blog, www.Donloyn.com. I pray my new  journey will inspire you to develop, accept and celebrate your own beautiful uniqueness.

Wishing you more Love, Peace and Clarity than your hearts can hold.

Happy New Year,

Donloyn_Logo

I am My Sister’s Keeper, and That’s All I Need to Know

"She...reaches out her hands to the needy...and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:20, 26

October 1st was my birthday, and I saw it as a beginning for many things.

That day marked the beginning of a new month; the first real glimpse of fall; the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month; the start of National Domestic Violence Month; a new chapter in my husband’s career as the previous day was his last with his former employer; and the first day of the last year of my 30’s, which I like to call The Decade of Discovery.

I had a wonderful day with my husband and children and was showered with love, affection, gifts, cards, phone calls, and special birthday messages.

That night, my husband took me out to one of our favorite restaurants. After being seated, we were greeted by our server for the evening, Tiffany.

Into the meal, we noticed that we had seen many polite and friendly faces, but had not seen Tiffany since she initially brought our waters and took our order. Human nature, which is laced in imperfection, reared it’s ugly head, and we found ourselves questioning her absence with a judgemental and negative undertone, despite our lovely dining experience.

As our meal, conversation, and laughter continued, Tiffany resurfaced, approached our table and offered a sincere apology for her “brief hiatus.”

Though she attempted to seem lighthearted, she was visibly shaken. The mascara stains, that only another woman would notice, under her beautifully exotic, almond-shaped eyes were proof positive that she had been crying.

My heart immediately went out to her.

It no longer mattered that we had been taken care of by others. In fact, it should have never mattered. To have even brought up the fact that she had vanished, despite the fact that our meal was wonderful, was selfish and pretentious. Was it a huge deal to us? No, it was not. But we discussed it in conversation with an air of entitlement. And albeit brief, it was still inconsiderate and presumptious.

I asked her what was wrong, and as gracefully as she could, she tried to explain. It was unclear what had rattled her so deeply. But what was clear, was that she needed to know that someone was on her side. So, I did what any caring woman would have done…I kicked my husband out of his seat, pulled her down next to me, and through a hug and a kiss on the cheek, shared with her all the love that I had received that day.

She opened up a bit more and, with a broken spirit and tear-stained cheeks, revealed that she had been upset by someone in the workplace. She felt the need to assure me that she doesn’t normally get so emotional over work-related matters and that this time it just really got to her. But my feeling is that if she has been placed in this situation on more than one occasion, then is she not entitled to feel? Is she not allowed a moment to lick her wounds? She is a living, breathing being, not a machine.

Some might say that she may have been in the wrong where her job was concerned…that she brought it on herself…maybe that she is a terrible employee. For me, those details were insignificant.

All that mattered was the shattered, insecure, distressed young lady before me. She needed to be nurtured. She needed a safe place…a place of protection. Protection from what was not my concern. And though our paths may never cross again and I will never know what happened to cause her such sadness, my only concern was to be the keeper for whom she longed.

My point here is this…We don’t know what may be going on in someone else’s world and how that situation may spill over into other areas of their lives. We don’t know their pain, their loss, their sorrow, or their fears.

And the truth is, we don’t need to know these things: we just need to know that they exist.

If we practice patience, empathy, understanding, and kindness; then we will be able to hold our heads high, look into the mirror and say…

I am My Sister’s Keeper, and That’s All I Need to Know!