Happy Black Girl – Tamika Catchings and Las Vegas

I ran across a page on the internet once entitled, Angry Black Woman, or something like that. The author discussed a range of issues – race, politics, gender, etc. I just could not get passed the name. I believe that words have power to shape your future and even influence your current mood. I did not want to be angry.  My name is Felicia. It is derived from the Latin word for happy. Every time someone says my name, they are literally calling forth happiness. I like to spread happiness to others but, lately, I have been having some challenges in this area.

I was at a networking event in Indy where Tameka Catchings, of WNBA fame, was keynote speaker. She discussed overcoming a hearing impairment and other obstacles to become a WNBA Champion and a gold- star Olympic medalist. She also heads a charitable organization, Catch the Stars Foundations, which hosts an annual basketball camp for kids, fitness clinic, and literacy programs.

What stood out to me the most was her humble demeanor. I have been to a number of networking events. The wealthy people on stage really want you to know that they are ‘special’ lol. Catchings came across very personable and relatable. She seemed so . . . happy. Like, really happy to be there and to share her experiences and gifts with us. It just got me to thinking about how to be just that – happy.

I have just returned from Las Vegas this past Saturday. I was with my sister celebrating her birthday/wedding anniversary. When she brought up the idea of the trip, I was really gong-ho about it. Then some drama happened. I had to figure out another living arrangement relatively quickly. Should I buy or rent? How much can I afford? How soon do I have to move out? Stress on worry on stress. I even considered cancelling the trip.

The thing is I really needed a vacation. I had planned a trip to Vegas earlier in the year that fell through. I was stressed from work, my living situation, my health. Life was coming at me from a lot of angles. I was meditating and God let me know to let go. Let go of the worry, the stress about finding a place to live and go on the trip. I decided that I would not allow outside forces to rob me of my plans or my peace. I made the choice to go to Las Vegas.  It did not matter that I was the only single girl in the group, or I could not get my eyebrows arched because time got the best of me. I was in a place I had never been before having a new experience with people I love and who love me; and I was happy doing it.

Happiness is a choice.

The decision about where I should live was settled in one day. I went to a view an apartment community and was bummed that the unit was not up to par. I pulled over into a gas station and had a talk with my daddy God. I asked that He show me where I should live because I had been looking at homes and apartments for the past couple months to no avail. I looked online in the area where I was and found a great place. I called them and immediately went for a viewing. I loved the location, the apartment, the staff who assisted me, and the price. Even the online reviews were good.

Back in undergrad, I read a book called the Secret to Happiness by Alice Walker. She summed up that the secret to happiness is resistance. I beg to differ. The secret to happiness is trusting in the one who made you. Knowing that his plans for you are good. If you are in need of direction, you can stop at a figurative gas station and ask for help.

I am so excited about my future. I am excited about new adventures. I am asking and trusting God’s direction for me. I am learning how to be happy.




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