A Weekend of Wonderful Exploration 

Happy Sunday! 

As I sit back and wait for The Walking Dead premiere, I am feeling great about the week ahead. This weekend, I took my daughters to the NASA open house event to celebrate their centennial year of operation. We live in Hampton, now known as the place where the events of Hidden Figures took place and it was incredible to walk on the same grounds where Katherine Johnson quietly made history. 

My oldest daughter is 8 and the Hidden Figures book/movie have had a profound impact in her at any early age. She now wants to be an aerospace engineer and I want to do what I can to help build and support her life vision. She was in awe of all the wind tunnels and computers. It gave me joy to see the wonder in her eyes. 

After a few hours at NASA we made our way to our local comic convention. I managed to see a con friend Stephanie and I made my way out of the vendor room without doing too much damage. Stephanie is the brains behind Red Fish Rue Fish, a company that makes metal bracelets, pins, iron-ons, and much more. I bought my three year old a bookmark and myself this cool Ravenclaw bracelet. I couldn’t get the word “wit” into the photo but Potterheads know how we roll. 


My mom came to my house today and we took the kids to the pumpkin patch. It was nice to get out in a field with a wagon and shears while we searched for the perfect pumpkins. I felt a sense of calm in the middle of no where. 

And, to cap off a great weekend, I am overjoyed about the latest Doctor Who news!! I am thrilled about Jodie Whittaker as the first woman Doctor, even if I don’t see it as a “representation win.” BUT I think I’m even more excited to see a Black male AND a woman of color (Mandip Gill) as her companions! I haven’t had time to formulate my full thoughts and hopes for them, but I am hype! Look at how wonderful the TARDIS will be with more diversity! Thank you Martha Jones and Bill Potts for paving the way. 

Source Facebook/BBC

So much happy in two days! I hope this feeling lasts all week long 💕

Do you love Doctor Who? How do you feel about the companion announcement? 

Let me know how your weekend went and what you want to happen this week.

-Tai Gooden 

Advertisements

A Slice of Happiness 

Happy Sunday! 

I have been around or at home for the past few weeks, so this weekend I packed up my car and took my daughters to go see my dad in North Carolina. This time of year is always difficult for my father. Today is his mother’s birthday and although it has been over 20 years since she passed away, he still feels the magnitude of her loss as he celebrates her life. Our family is also still reeling over the loss of my Uncle Alonzo this past June. My dad has several siblings, but they had an extremely close bond and his death has changed him in ways that words cannot properly describe. There is a spark missing from his eyes and a tinge of sadness that permeates through his laughter and smile. Uncle Alonzo meant so much to him and to all of us and I’m sure we will never be the same. I’m dedicating my book Orion’s Chains to him and fashioning a character in his honor. 

I spent most of last night and this morning talking and laughing with my dad about love, life, friendship, creativity, music, and so much more. I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear his words of wisdom and encouragement. And, he was uplifted by my children as they told him knock knock jokes and giggled at the dinner table. He recently lost his beloved dog Tommy and he admitted to feeling lonely as he came to an empty home after work. His afternoons would be spent with his dog as he waited for my stepmom to get home. It was the last thing he needed to happen at this crucial point in his life and I was glad to bring him a slice of happiness during a turbulent time. 

I honestly didn’t think my presence could be beneficial to anyone at this moment. I’ve been caught in my own emotional storm as I battle my own mind and feelings of inadequacy. But, I have found a renewed sense of purpose and a burst of creativity and determination through spending just one day with my Dad.

This week, take a moment to pick up the phone and call or go and see someone that you love. It’s amazing how one great conversation can give you the boost you need to walk into this week with confidence. 

Love to all of ya and I’ll see you on Wednesday 💕 
-Tai Gooden 

Life Outside the Roles

This week was interesting. One of my closest friends reached out to me for a status update on my social media-less life. She was the fifth person to text me and ask “How are you?” I responded to her message the same way I did to the others because they were all people who KNOW me – I’m not well and my life feels like it’s in shambles but I’m working one day at a time to find peace and joy. 

I could sense my friend’s troubles through the text message, so I threw the question back to her in hopes of an honest response. She spilled her innermost thoughts to me and revealed that although she seems to have it together as a mom, wife, employee, etc., she felt waves of unhappiness. She was unfulfilled and had stuffed her feelings away from friends and family. Like me, she was stressed and on the verge of breaking into pieces. We spent the next hour taking with each other and finding comfort in our mutual feelings. 

She wanted to know what I thought and I only had one piece of advice for her – find a way to define yourself outside of your relationship with other people or what you do for a living. This is the most efficient path towards feeling “whole” as an individual. Most people answer the “who are you?” question with their roles in life – mom/dad, sister, wife, etc. but those titles have nothing to do with who you are and focuses on what you are to other people. The same goes for a job title – it’s what you do, but it doesn’t define the rich, complex, and brilliant essence of your life. When I said this to her, I was talking to myself as well. 

I have the same roles as my friend – mom, sister, daughter, and wife. I work in banking during the day and I write at night. But my life is more than my roles. I am the sum of my beliefs, quirks, dislikes, private thoughts, and passions. I’m a continuously evolving combination of energy, light, love, darkness, and confusion yet I’m always and forever me. And being me is enough. I will continue to seek an adequate answer to define myself and it will change as I gather new information and experiences. Right now, I’m diving into The Four Agreements and my definition of self might shift after I complete the book 😊

Who are you? It’s a challenging question with no right answer. I hope you ponder on it this week. Live well and I’ll “see” you on Wednesday 💕
-Tai Gooden 

Doctor Who and Theism: My Observations on The Mary Sue

Hi Everyone!

As you all know, I love Doctor Who! Today, my article for The Mary Sue posted and it’s pretty awesome! The relationship with the show and theism is a hot debate among fans. I made a few comparisons to prevalent concepts in theism and showed how they are used in the show to make it incredible!

Of course, these concepts are not exclusive to theism, but they are strongly associated with religion. 

Soooo check it out here!!!

-Tai Gooden

3 Lessons I Learned from My Father

Image

Happy Father’s Day!

This weekend, I was fortunate to see my oldest daughter graduate from Pre-K. We now live away from our family and friends, so we didn’t expect anyone to come out to the short (and hilarious) graduation. But, my dad decided to make the drive out to spend time with my family for a couple of days. I don’t get to see him often, but I always enjoy our candid conversations.

So, to honor my dad on Father’s Day, I want to share 3 Lessons I Learned from Dad:

Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude:

My dad has always told me that I am aesthetically beautiful. But, he encouraged me to invest in my inner beauty. Because of my Dad, I celebrate diversity, treat others with respect, and I understand how to be an advocate for my cause without bashing others in the process. I truly believe that how you approach situations and how you treat others will determine the goals you can reach. I also believe that an open mind and an open heart will lead to open doors. And, I have my dad to thank for the way I view life.

Slow Down and Enjoy the Moment:

Anyone who knows my dad knows that he never moves fast. Ever. I remember when I used to rush to work or school and he would tell me

“Tai, if you are late, then your are late. That building is not going anywhere. They can get another employee, but I can’t get another you. Drive careful.”

Although I have not fully adopted his snail pace in all areas of my life, I have no problem taking a Saturday morning to sit down and veg out with my family. Sometimes I get in my daughter’s tiny bed with her and we talk about random things. Other times I sit up with my infant baby girl and play with the tiny curls on her head. I live a very busy life, but I always remember to take time to slow down and enjoy those fleeting moments. 

Stop Making it Complicated:

My dad’s advice is straightforward. If you want to learn something, close your mouth and listen. If you want advice, seek it from someone who is in the position you desire to be in. If you want something different out of your life, then do something different. If you don’t want people to know when your home is not happy, then don’t tell them. If you want to waste time worrying, then don’t waste time praying. If you want peace, then look to God. If you want people to know how you feel, then tell them. 

Life does have its complicated moments, but there are many things that we have the power to control. 

Thanks for all of the lessons, both negative and positive, over the years. I love you Dad!

-Tai Gooden