Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Yea This 1 Right Here Goes Out 2 All The Baby’s​ Daddies, Daddies, Daddies, Daddies…

It’s 4am & I can’t sleep. My son is using my arm as his pillow & the lethargic humidity has finally knocked my husband out. But I’m up unable to fall back asleep. Maybe the reason I can’t is because it’s Father’s Day.  It’s the 3rd Sunday of June & it’s an underappreciated day. So many bitter mothers have made this day seem as though they deserved it along with Mother’s Day or that it was a day undeserving of celebration but on the contrary it’s not.
My father was born in November of 1953. He had a different story than the one I could imagine living. He was raised in Jamaica & lost his own father to a frivolous event at the tender age of seven. I’m not quite sure what he made such a tragic event in his life mean but who he became as a father during my childhood was very special.
I remember many days believing that I needed to defend my father’s honor if anyone ever spoke ill of him. I remember the days I hung out in his arms with no cares in the world. He would come & take me to Brooklyn NY every weekend & summer. I got to experience NY in a completely different way. I was way more advanced in traveling than most of my class men. Getting away so often was a such a great experience for me as child. I think one of the best things he gave me were my older brothers. I had 3 growing up. Watching those boys getting into trouble inevitably turned me into a tomboy. I watched my father scold them about sagging pants. I watched my father try to be  a role model that inspired love, fear & respect to us as children.
It takes just one wrong move during that adolescent stage for a young person to become disappointed by their parents though. Sometimes as adults we can spend a lifetime never forgiving them for the story we made up in our minds about why they failed us. As the story goes on I’d forget all the times he said “I love you”  when no one else’s made a difference. All the times he picked me up when I fell down. All the times I wanted a dollar just to buy a ton of teeth rotting candy. All the times he let me roam free when I wanted to explore.  All those experiences of the rural 80’s in NYC that now look like the best nostalgia to me. I say thank you. For the mistakes that were made, the journey it took you on & the breakdowns on the way, I say thank you. For the effort that was given, the times I didn’t notice, the fights you put up as I became an adult, thank you. For the lessons you learned from your first little girl & the struggles you worked through trying to let me be free, thank you. For those times were I felt “safe!” Thank you. Thank you more than ever for giving me the chance to be a mother & bringing your grandson into this world. I could never repay you for giving me life but I’m grateful.
I know I don’t say it enough or show it enough but I luckily still have time to make up for those moments that I took for granted. As luck would have you’re still around and those flowers that you deserve will be coming soon. I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.
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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Sometimes~

Sometimes I look at old pictures of myself & I get a little sad. Thinking about the freedom or smooth skin I took for granted at times. Replaced with this new body with fat in different places & brand new stretch marks that appear as though aliens landed on me while my baby was incubated inside. Mother’s Day was last weekend and I’ve chosen to learn how to disappear for next year. My plan was to leave all weekend and never give myself a chance to be disappointed. I have a 5 month old baby boy that is exclusively breastfed so that option became null and void quicker than I cared for. Even with my backups of frozen milk, I felt an uneasiness about using my last 3 bags for needed time spent alone. I haven’t had a moment to just be free with my thoughts in months. Each day begins with how & what to do to create the best possible living scenario for my husband & children on every aspect. I hate that my mind won’t ease up. I hate that I feel overwhelmed with ideals of pleasing others at all times. It begins to feel self depreciating.

You don’t get to choose your family. The best thing that you can do to be happy in the life you’ve been given is to raise your kids right. Problem is, you don’t get to choose your kids either. In some supernatural, spiritual realm, I do believe that we have chosen each path & life lived. Regardless of whether I feel I had a choice in the souls surrounding me, it’s clear that they would have been put there either way for a larger meaning.

I got two spiritual readings including a Reiki session while pregnant with Baby Light. All signs proved him to have chosen me & vice versa. It was said that he & I had been together in past lives. We had chosen each other again for this one.

I got alot of Mother’s Day texts from friends & family this year. Many people were congratulating me on Baby Light. I reminded anyone who suggested this was my first Mother’s Day that it technically was my 2nd considering I have been caring for my 15 yr old stepchild for 2 years now. My husband refers to Mother’s Day as a Hallmark holiday. My stepchild has trauma caused from the biological mother.

Every year thus far, Mother’s Day has been terrible. I’m not a huge person on gifts & such. I just like the idea of acknowledgement on a job well done. I could tell weeks in advance I was going to be disappointed so I planned on leaving the house alone. Since that didn’t happen, the day began with it’s normal disappointments. I awoke to a text message from the child asking for something (I didn’t want to be asked for anything). The text message inevitably got to saying Happy Mother’s Day but was watered down by the consistent need for something. My husband awoke and watched Netflix for an hour and a half while I breastfed the baby & tried to lure the little one back to sleep. The hubby never said Happy Mother’s Day. Instead, he asked “What do you want?” I replied “To just leave.” Finally I got the baby to sleep & tried to leave for the shower I rarely get to take.

Twenty mins later amidst a screaming baby, I had Baby Light back in my arms wishing I had put on deodorant before grabbing him. My husband looked at me with his concerned eyes. No comprehension of what was wrong. I planned on just running away possibly coming back in 12 hours, turning off my phone to escape everything. Not enough frozen milk for that plan to work though.

I just never knew. Everyone tells you how difficult your children can be but stepchildren… Stepchildren come with a different type of story. You get this person who you vow to take care of because they belong to your spouse but they come with their own baggage. They come with their own problems. They have their own growing pains that they’ve partly created & partly been inherited. What do you do when everything you’ve done to help them gets looked upon as failure or just isn’t acknowledged? What do you do when there are no longer any words of “thank you” or “hello”?

I stayed home for Mother’s Day & endured another day that didn’t look any different than the disappointment I face in my home everyday. And that’s the thing with mothers, there’s no break. Even in the midst of a breakdown, it’s seen as a failing moment. I told myself that I’d just keep pushing forward anyway. I never know what to expect from my children. I can only hope that one day it’ll all make sense & my work wasn’t in vain. I have my own soul searching to do through my parents’ journey. Putting myself in the shoes of the child, I comprehend the effects that those two people have on me. No stepparent can ever compare to the type of love & pain a child endures from their parents in my point of view. It’s deep seeded issues & unconditional love flow through like lava. No matter how much one may try to write off the psychological, emotional, physical & mental effects that are inherited from parents, it’ll keep coming up until it’s addressed & understood. As much as I comprehend this, it doesn’t make a difference in my household if my husband & stepchild don’t. It becomes a continuing cycle of the same song. “All around the world, the same song.” – Digital Underground. I sing songs to myself to find an easier coping method.

“Sometimes, wish I knew life with no pain, yeah
Wish I held the keys to this game
Sometimes, I pretend cuz I’m afraid to be, afriad to be” – Bilal

Who u gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Little Boy

I’m raising a young black boy in America…

& it’s scary. At first I just felt like I needed to get through the pregnancy. Then came the third trimester & the realization set in that I’m going to be raising a black boy & I’m going to need help!

Some days​, that trimester turned into an insecurity of wondering what type of world my child would be born into. The worry of my husband making it home everyday is real. It’s no different than being the wife of a police officer. I’m married to a large black man that’s my big teddy bear. I’ve become so concerned with his safety that it’s just an inevitable feeling now. The climate of the world has always had its insecurities​. I’ve learned that each era there’s downfalls from each decade. The 2000’s began with 9/11 & the Iraq war. The 90’s began with the invasion of Kuwait which led to the Gulf War. The 80’s was the drug epidemic along with AIDS which took its toll on people in towns across the country. The 70’s was the post murder era of many great leaders of our free country i.e. JFK, MLK, Malcolm X & soldiers of the Vietnam War. The 60’s was the revolution against everything because the country had gone mad believing they could control us. The 50’s was segregated & the beginning of a 20 year war in Vietnam. The 40’s was during the Hiroshima bombing & so on & so on. And of course let’s not forget how racism sat it’s ugly little face in the front row to watch it all. Every time a woman realizes she’s “with child” there’s a piece of her that wonders if she’s bringing the child into the right time in the world or even the right country. It’s a scary place to live & be with your thoughts. I’m grateful to have a strong man in my life yet my concerns for his safety run deep as well.

We live in a Black Lives Matter era now where our government is setup for failure. They fail us everyday in so many ways that it’s too many to keep up with. I’m stuck raging against the machine in moments when I’d rather do yoga & meditate. We’re all trying to be heard in this era i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. The question is “Will your words begin a movement?”.

We need to learn how to use one another to stand up. My village ranges from people I never see to others who check in weekly. Create a group of people with like minds & achieve greatness. It could be a health conscious group for healthy living. Join an exercise app that helps you keep at it by choosing a partner for accountability. I get motivational texts every morning Monday through Friday to motivate me to keep writing this blog. http://www.daily.shinetext.com is a great way to motivate the “you” you want to be. Everything takes one day at a time. You can’t rush greatness.

I’m the strength you do not see when he walks alone. I’m the love he finds behind closed doors. I’m the affection he seeks when no one is around. I am the mother. The wife. The sister. The friend. The lover. The confidant. The homemaker. The womb for souls that we breathe life into. My family & friends are those connections that make me push harder. I don’t have the answer for tomorrow but I hope I did enough today to be the change for it​.

Who you gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Torrential Downpours…

The day that I found out I was pregnant was April Fool’s day. I kinda wasn’t interested in finding out for awhile because although we were trying to conceive, we were so broke that I often couldn’t comprehend why I even was bothering. We’d gotten married a year before & married life didn’t look “shit!” like I thought it would. Let’s sum up what happened within two months of being married so you feel my pain.

Five days before my wedding I was terminated from my (somewhat) comfy job as a restaurant manager where I’d been for 6 yrs. They let me go a day after my work anniversary. In between tears to my now ex bosses, I asked if I would still be receiving my vacation pay considering I actually made it to my anniversary. They gave it to me although I knew I had earned it regardless. (Although they later on tried to take it back!) My wedding was supposed to be this amazing event that I created without a wedding planner or caterer. It was a 4/20 Hip Hop Wedding. Since it was during cherry blossom season I decided I wanted to get married underneath the Cherry Blossom Trees in Eastside Park ( the park I grew up in as a child). Plus it had been a childhood dream of mine to be married there. The only way I believed it wouldn’t happen was if there was a torrential downpour. The night before the wedding forecasts showed there would be a torrential downpour 😳😳😳……………………… So as I prepared to go to my reception venue to have the wedding there (as a backup plan), I arrived that morning to a flooded building! I don’t even want to discuss how when I went the day before to set up, there were 2 parties going on (one had a blowup jungle gym) along with a woodshop class happening in my area! My venue promised me I’d have it a day earlier to setup. The woodshop class happened throughout my wedding by the way! We set up while being soaked and many of the guests never arrived. Anywho that story is for another day. After the wedding ( because I never hired a caterer or a planner) we had to break the entire venue all the way back down and return products and such everywhere. We had almost 200 people attend. We weren’t done until 5am returning everything. The next day we were supposed to fly out to Vegas for our honeymoon. We missed our flight which happened to be the last flight of the night ( causing a $250 fee to change flights). I cried myself to sleep that night. We flew out the next morning and had an amazing 3 wk stay in an awesome town with awesome people! But what was going to happen when I came back home? My mind wouldn’t let me commit to just having a good time. I needed to file for unemployment with a 3 hour time difference & try to figure my way out of a jam I felt like I created. Thank God for husbands & particularly mine. He kept me calm throughout the entire experience & made me remember why I loved him each step of the way.
When we got back home we had 3 wks to move out of our apartment. We lived there for 3 years & planned on moving into my mother’s house so we could inevitably take it over once she retired in a year. We also wanted to have a bigger space for my husband’s daughter Robyn. Initially I never wanted to do so much all at once. Moving 3 wks after a honeymoon sounded insane but considering I had no job & my lease was up I had all the time in the world to get this done. We ended up moving out with no one to help us move a single piece of furniture. A one day job took us three and it rained on our heads the entire time. After we moved into our new home (my home from my teenage years) my stepdaughter graduated from 8th grade three weeks later & basically never returned to her mother’s home. I officially became a stepmother. And there you have the two months that came in the case of a torrential downpour.

I’d lived my life so care free most of the time. I never had to be too concerned with anyone other than my happiness. I’ve always been able to fumble backwards into the sheer terror of being an actual adult. It’s like once you have children you don’t get that luxury anymore. It doesn’t matter what age they come to you as. Your responsibility becomes all about them & less about you.

The first month of highschool was tough for Robyn & a huge adjustment for me. In the first week Robyn decided to tell us that they wanted their major changed from medical arts to graphic arts. The challenges of all the newness going on for me, this child & my husband was beyond overbearing. Not to mention we lived with my mother only a doorstep away. Was this the life I signed up for? Was this how it was going to be for me now? I had a 13 yr old child going on 14 who at times seemed like they were going on 10! How could I raise someone else’s child? I barely could comprehend myself.

I stopped taking my birth control a month before my wedding. It wasn’t on purpose though. Somehow I changed my insurance coverage to a plan that made my pills cost $427 for a pack of 3. I damned near almost shit my pants at the price and began crying. This was 3 months before my wedding. I couldn’t even begin to fathom where the money would come from to pay it. So I stopped taking my pills. Once we got a child in the house I had to question if I wanted another. As pleasant as my stepchild was, this was no walk in the park. Life became cleaning up after a child that was larger than me! It meant extra dishes. Never having a meal that completely belonged to myself. Opening a box of cereal to see a quarter bowl of wackness. Drips of milk left in cartons for my despair. One egg left in a carton for my breakfast. Filthy rooms that reeked of a new smelling sweat. Extra laundry. Sharing all my toiletries including my shaving supplies, my hair supplies, my special soap I bought at that festival that I wanted to use for a special occasion!! Did I want to share my life this way!?!?!? I’d like to say Hell to the MFn NO!!! You take everything about a partner when you marry them though. But could I deny my husband what we both agreed upon wanting?? Another child to start from scratch with. I couldn’t choose the sex of the child??? Hmmmmm. After much hesitation I decided that if I were going to have a child that I needed to start working on it no matter the consequences. No matter the financial struggles, no matter the costs! I wasn’t getting any younger. That was November of 2015 by March I was pregnant. In the words of the Wu-Tang Clan, “Life as a shorty shouldn’t be so rough.” I had 9 months to figure out what I would do to support this seed I was growing. I needed to figure out how to survive.

April Fool’s bitch! U pregnant today! This was the first April Fool’s day I stayed offline. No need in tricking people into me being pregnant when I really was. The entire time since we’d gotten married people began keeping tabs on my vagina & it’s occupancy specifically in my uterus. I wasn’t here for it in 2016. I was about go “Ghost” on social media because this was about to be the adjustment of a lifetime! And this baby growing in my belly had better been a boy because I definitely didn’t need an extra period in the house!😳😳 I began drinking a ton of akaline water & praying for a boy! A year later I’m sitting here trying to adjust to this little person that’s completely attached to me. As much as I’d like a break, I’m still memorized by this little creation. I guess torrential downpours can be something that pushes you into a new state of Light per se. And this year April Fool’s day is still null and void because I’m still trying to catch my breath.

Who you gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

It’s A Man’s World…

I was the head of my household when I had no household. It was just my boyfriend and I. We began small where he had a steady income. I was a professional server & I was never happy with that title. I had been working in the hospitality industry for almost 20 years. I began working at a young age. My first job was at 12 years old folding clothes at a laundromat for $2 a load. At 13 I became a summer camp counselor for children. I couldn’t even be paid until I turned 14 in August. At 15 I signed up for the track team but ended up quitting a week later. I got a job at a pet store and cash seemed better than playing sports.

My mother worked hard to keep a roof over my head but teenagers are stubborn. I wanted more than what she could give. I needed to look a certain way (buy my own clothes). I wanted to feel responsible for my own life (buy my own food). My mother had a way of showing me what “tough love” was early. Let’s just say that I learned what financial struggles, burdens & responsibilities were a bit earlier than I would’ve liked.

By 17 I got my first job in a restaurant. I worked as hostess at Red Lobster. Who knew I’d live in that industry for the rest of my life. Every time I tried to run from it, I’d end up right back at it.
My calling was to be a writer. Every inch of me always knew it. I’d try to do both. I’d try to have it all. I’d fail everytime.

I’ve been unemployed for almost 2 years and it’s been interesting discovering my passion again. When I’d gotten into the car accident a year ago I’d lost a bit of feeling in my hands. This time was supposed to be an opportunity to create something new/better. So I created my son, Light. He’s amazing in every sense of the word.

My family gave me the opportunity to create this new life yet I can’t help but feel guilty for it. I don’t have a career. The age old question to women is can u have it all? It’s plagued me my entire life. Is family & career possible in the same timeline? I’m not so sure anymore. Many women do it but sacrifice is consistently there.

I’ve got an opportunity to go back to work now yet I can’t help but think about how it will effect my family. Baby Light isn’t even 3 months old yet & he’s exclusively breastfed. My postpartum is still raging at different moments throughout my day. I have yet to have a complete day alone since before the baby arrived. So now I’m supposed to pass him off to a stranger while I go interact with people I don’t truly care for.

I never expected to be unemployed this long. I can’t say I thought I’d have a baby this soon either. I’d like to believe Baby Light is worth it. He’s worth all the struggle but why should struggle be so apparent with raising a child?

Society makes it easier for a man to go back to work. So they say. I’ve watched the pain in my husband’s eyes has he comes home exhausted unable to have a coherent conversation with me. I’ve seen him too tired to play with his son. I question if more work from me is needed yet at what sacrifice? Sometimes the roles need to be reversed just for you to realize there shouldn’t be roles at all. It is a man’s world. But in name of James Brown it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.

I’ve created a solid comprehension of what a home looks like to my stepdaughter. I’ve been able to utilize the system to a certain extent & get us all therapist for free. I’ve worked with other pregnant mothers, to find support in what I had been going through. It’s important to cultivate on your surroundings and make the most of the situation. I’ve learned now, how to give of myself in a bigger way. The question is does the work force deserve me back so soon though?

Who you gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood, Uncategorized

Bill Collectors At Ma DOE!!! What Can You Do 4 Me!!!!

I stopped paying all my bills last month. My husband went on paternity leave for 6 wks when we delivered the baby.

There are only 3 states in the US that give 6 wks of paternity (disability) leave to fathers, California, Washington State & New Jersey. There aren’t many job employers that will tell you to take off time for your unborn baby’s arrival. The smaller the company the less likely they are to want to give you that time off in fear of not having someone to cover your place.

The rules to surviving in life are that you are supposed to sacrifice all happiness for it. All your happiness is suppose get flushed down a shitty ass toilet in order to start that process of survival. What does that mean for your sanity? What does that mean for your family? We live in a world where it’s supposed to be worth it to never see your children because you’re making ends meet to pay all the bills. Where did this lie begin to make sense to the masses?

I went to apply for food stamps down at my social services a couple of weeks ago & was denied because I didn’t have enough paperwork to prove how poor I was. The social worker then asked me why would the father of my children take paternity leave if the bills weren’t going to be paid? We now have a title for postpartum depression. Because we had no names for our many ailments of the past, they went undiagnosed. My husband is my diagnosis for postpartum depression.

The system stays screwing us with no lube ya know. You actually are paid for taking paternity leave. It’s not received until you are back at work & it’s claimed as a disability. Now what’s the point in the check being received after you have returned back to work? The claim covers 2/3 of what you may actually make with a max out that is different from state to state. It can also take anywhere from 6 to 8 wks after the father has returned back to work to process the claim, then another 2 months to receive payment. So basically we are made to suffer as much as possible prior to being paid anything for claims. At this present moment I have over 20 different numbers that call my phone wondering when I’ll pay them. My new ringtone is silent.
Who cares if you’ve worked your entire life away to pay a government that will work harder to not return your dollar back to you when you need it?

I’ve had a job since 12 yrs old. I lost my job back in April of 2015. It took 2 months for my unemployment to come in. I only received it for 4 months because they put me on a 6 wk suspension. I emptied my 401k to survive the 2 month stretch yet still had to apply and go through a rigorous process to take back my own money. Once the unemployment ran out in Dec of 2015 I told myself I’d begin looking for work Feb 1st considering most places aren’t hiring until after the holidays are completely over. I was in a horrible car accident on Jan 31st 2016. The healing process became the new concern. I became pregnant in March of 2016. The rest is kind of history.

The support system that a family needs to bring a new life force into the world is a significant & profound part of developing safety for the child! My village is important regardless of what others may think & I’ll prove it in later posts. Society tries to make us forget those things in order to pay bills. Paying bills is not why we were born. Paying bills doesn’t give you the same feeling that you can get from achieving your goals. Paying bills DO give you some form of financial stability that helps you create the climate of comfortability. It also takes you away from your family and ambitions if you’re doing the wrong thing to create revenue into your home. BILLS BILLS BILLS. Subconsciously, songs, your parents, your teachers, friends and all facets of society make u think that life is about paying bills. “Ain’t nothing going on but the rent! You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me. No romance without finance.” Gwen Guthrie said it best. But please remember while having a job & paying bills do reside on the (supposed) finer side of life please do remember that the true finer side is health, love & fulfilling your dreams. Don’t forget to be the change you want for your family. Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future based on the superficial standards that have been taught to us. Traditions are what keep us living in the past. Traditions are what we hold on to with our holidays. Traditions are what our children learn & believe they need, to be right in the world. Traditions is how we can “Make America Great Again.”. Over a decade ago I read something that stated “Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure, it is in decay.” – Krishnamurti. I took so much from that statement & realized I could become whomever I wanted. It doesn’t have to be based off anything I’ve been taught. I’m more concerned with finding peace & the good of the world within me first. Peace & good rather than right or wrong.

Who you gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Love’s A Losing Game

I thought I lost myself in you again.
This is something I do with every relationship where the love is strong.
Where it’s like …
ocean water
smashing it’s currents against rocks.
I thought I lost myself in you again.
This time telling myself it would be different.
Telling myself that we would last until the end of time.
(As Prince plays as our ringtones.)
I found dust particles of myself laying on ur skin from when I died before.
I thought I lost myself in you again.
Because this time I was older.
Wiser.
Smarter than I’d ever been.
I wasn’t choosing a man who was truly a boy this time.
I wasn’t choosing to ignore the games being played this time.
The lies would not be believable this time.
Yet still I thought I was

Losing

Myself
In You.
This time I chose a man who had boyish ways yet they were charming.
A man who played games but only on PlayStation.
And that the only thing that was unbelievable was that Biggie Smalls was the illest.
This time I lost yet I won.
And I won with you.
We won together in a losing game of
Love.
Like an Amy Winehouse song turned into dates w/ music abt things we loved.

You gave me my motherhood in a way I would inevitably choose to explain.
Gave me the title of wife that I would choose to uphold.
And undoubtedly we made a life together that looked like Light.
Looked like Superman.
Looked like Jesus.
Looked like the junior to your senior.
And I’ve finally become OK with losing.

My husband came to me almost exactly 7 years ago around this time. I saw him walking down the street in the busy downtown area of our town. As he got closer he appeared familiar to me. Even though I thought he was attractive, I wasn’t the type of person to step up to a man and “mack game”. I truly thought I knew him. So once we got to passing each other I asked him, “Do I know you?”. His response, “I don’t know? Do you?” And the rest is kind of history although I will say that we ended up not connecting that day & it took me 10 months to find him again. Lol. Sounds like a story right out of a book. Once I did find him again, I can’t say we were ever really apart. Clearly we were soulmates even though I didn’t know it at the time. I still had my guard up. I think it lasted a whole month & a half. We been loving, fighting (or as he would call it disagreeing) and making up since 2010. I don’t regret any parts of our story. He gave me the opportunity to experience life in a different way than I expected. I couldn’t choose my happiness with children. I had to just accept what they were giving me & make it be beautiful. There’s something completely different about how I was raised vs to what I am creating in how to raise my family. The blendedness of it all wasn’t something I expected but Robyn has had a way of making me grow into the mother I didn’t know I could be. Baby Light has shown me strength I never knew I had. Being a wife has come with triumphs & complications I’ve learned to beat. I never knew what my future would hold. My parents weren’t the best at giving me examples of what a happy married life could look like. But I believe I’ve made something amazing in my own right. Something worth fighting for. Family has a way of repeating itself in the way we choose to raise up. I’d like to break some of those traditions & create something new in the name of love.

Who are you gonna be today?

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