Category Archives: Women

HoneySugaSweet Musings: “I’m Taking My -Ish!”


*This piece was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s “Somebody Walked Off…” from For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When Rainbows Were Enuf (pg. 49).  When I read the original piece after my break-up 7 months ago, I realized someone(s) had walked off with all of me.  The break-up was not unexpected.  The feeling that I wasn’t “me” anymore came as a big surprise. I gave away so much of myself not only to my ex but a few other ex-boyfriends.  But those former beaus didn’t take my stuff.  I willingly gave it away.  This poem is me willingly taking back my stuff !*

I’m taking back my shit

Yeah, that’s right

Call me Break-in Betty, Strong-Arm Sarah, Lockpickin’ Lucy

HELL! The name doesn’t matter

Because I’m taking back all my shit!

Not asking, begging, pleading

And damn fo’ sure not negotiating to get my stuff back

I’ve been confused and conflicted for WAY too long

Sobbing over my missing things

Lookin’ at my face on the milk carton wondering, “Who stole me? I wasn’t theirs to take!”

Today, I’m reclaiming and repossessing

Going to all the brothas that walked off with my stuff

And snatchin’ my shit BACK!

Grabbing me back

Gathering those fragmented pieces I recklessly left unguarded

Recreating the old me

Fashioning her into a new me that has always existed

I’m taking my pride, ego, flaws, time, back fat, big thighs, sunshine, laughter, ugly photo-taking face, tenderness, authenticity, prettiness, spirit, love…

MY EVERYTHING!

You! Mr. “I love you!” Mr. “You’re the one for me!”

I’m taking my shit, sir

The children you wanted me to mother

The wife you wanted me to be

The lover you never knew existed but knew existed for you

The lover you couldn’t inspire in me

The gift you couldn’t care for in the present

The facsimiles of my love you recklessly transposed on new thefts

I’m taking all that back!

Selfish bastards walking away with my shit

Hmph! I’m taking it back with vengeance

Passionately restoring the “me” I neglected to protect

Loving her the way I should’ve demanded

And when I get my shit back

Oh, because I’m going to get it back!

My fractured, fragile pieces aren’t going into a lock box

How selfish of me would that be?

Taking my stuff and hiding it away?

No! My recreated, redesigned, refashioned self will be on full global display

A touring exhibition of freedom, passion, and love

A collage of stolen and reclaimed moments called “Me.”

HoneySugaSweet Reminder: You’ve Got to LIVE!!


“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.  You’ve got to Live! Live! Live!-Auntie Mame

The above is from the 1958 movie, Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell.  The movie is about an eccentric woman, with an unquenchable thirst to LIVE, who suddenly finds herself caring for her deceased brother’s son.  Auntie Mame’s life is one adventure after another and most don’t believe it’s the best way for her young nephew to live.  But by the time he is a young man with a fiance it is clear how all of Auntie Mame mad-cap experiences shaped him into a well-rounded, well-ground person.  But for that to happen, Auntie Mame encouraged her nephew to LIVE!!!!!

This weekend, my 23-year old cousin was diagnosed with lymphoma. My baby is only 23!  The family and I are naturally in shock.  Who would’ve expected a perfectly healthy young woman to suddenly be facing cancer.  She’s supposed face work, school, her boyfriend, parties, her crazy family, and all the things  young 20-somethings are dealing with.  None of us expected her to battle cancer. 

I cried a bit when Mom gave me the news.  But then I thought about my cousin and her spirit.  She is a “take no sh*t” FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! woman.  Though her energy is mellow, she is clear and sure about her wants and needs.  She always speaks her mind.  And she follows her dreams.  When she left college to study make-up artistry in New York City I thought she’d lost damn her mind.  She trekked from Philly to NYC for a year to become a certified make-up artist and esthetician.  My cousin made up her mind and did exactly what she wanted.  How amazing?  Remembering all of this let me know she will be fine.  She is a determined soul.  This moment in her life is just that one little moment. 

My cousin’s diagnosis also reminded me that life is unpredictable.   Because of its tempermental nature, it is imperative that we, who have been blessed to take another breath and see another day, live it as happily as possible. Each day is another opportunity to dream. With the opportunity to dream is the opportunity to realize the dream.  Remember to LIVE! LIVE! LIVE!

HoneySugaSweet Musings: I’m Still Here!


Wow…it’s been quite some time since I’ve written a post!  Many things have happened PLUS I’ve been busy enjoying Summer 2010 :)  (I’m thoroughly glad the seasons will be changing soon.  I’ve never done hot weather well!) Let’s see, after 4 years in an extremely committed relationship, I am single.  My blogging hiatus has been a time for me to redefine and find “Jovette”.  I always had my own identity but I didn’t realize how interconnected my life had become with another.  The last 3 months I’ve focused on myself and rediscovering my loves, pet peeves, boundaries, and of course the Art of Dating! (More on the last item in a future post ;)

My blogging hiatus has also allowed me time to get out and about.  Let’s see-My travels this summer have included Blacksburg (Go Hokies!!), Philly (twice), Los Angeles (who knew it would be so cold in the summer?),New Orleans (God save the Gulf!), and lastly Atlanta (my new “music” city).  I have enjoyed all of the trips with Atlanta topping the list.  I attended the Soul Music Summit and fell in love with music all over again.  Though oddly enough I realize ATL may not be the place for me as so many have thought.  I’m an East coast girl through and through.  Give me the mid-Atlantic, BABY!!!  LOL!

I have to admit that I’ve turned into a writing slug. (YUCK!)  I’ve neglected my love and its time for us to get acquainted.  Look for new Triple “F” Threat post and the sordid details of my Summer 2010 Blind Date Challenge.  The stories will be colorful and hilarious and of course deliciously sweet!

All in all, this FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! HoneySugaSweet chick is doing well.  As Jill Scott sings on her Beautifully Human album, “I’m still HERE!”

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Post #6 “You Can Find Me in the Pages Essence!”


For all of February it seemed that I didn’t have much to write about.  Actually, I had lots to write about but somethings are better in the pages of my journal then on my blog.  I may be sharing my deeply personal Triple “F” Journey with the world but I still need to keep some matters private.  My Mom always told me to “keep something for myself.”  She is a very wise woman.

February and March have come and gone.  April is upon me and it feels like I have so much to share!  As some have already read, I was interviewed in the April 2010 “40 Ways to Get Fresh Start for Spring!” Essence article!  I had all but forgotten about the article when my linesister, Deidre, called and fussed me out about not telling her first!  One, I wanted it to be a surprise.  Two, it slipped my mind that the issue was on the stands.  The article came at a crucial time in my Triple “F” Journey.  I was in a funk for most of February/March.  The 50 inches of snow that fell in Northern Virginia pushed me off the healthy eating wagon.  Of course I munched on healthy foods but my hands mysteriously found their way into a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies.  Then they kept finding their way back.  And they found their way back their again.  LOL!  Being snowed in and working through a few emotional issues made it easy to eat whatever I wanted.  As always, food was there to comfort me and provide an activity to keep boredom at bay. 

I’m proud that I didn’t eat more than I did.  When I’ve fallen out of a healthy eating regimen before I typically felt guilty and ate even more.  Actions like that defeat the purpose of getting into shape and becoming a healthier person physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The true defeating action I took was not accepting becoming FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! would not happen over night.  Let’s be real-it took 9 years to pack on 75 lbs and sincerely acknowledge that I needed to get myself together.  Logic, and I am an EXTREMELY logical person, says its going to take time to change destructive eating habits, incorporate physical activity into my daily routine, and change my self-perspective.  The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.  Those steps add up to a beautiful traveling experience.  My Essence interview reminded me of just that.  I’ve just started and I have much more to accomplish.  But, this is a FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! path I am on!  I just have to keep taking one step…

Excerpt taken from the Essence April 2010 “40 Ways to Get a Fresh Start for Spring!” article written by Claire R. McIntosh. The article can be found on page 116.

2. Believe in the Domino Effect.  Jovette Gadson, 31, discovered what personal growth experts say our secret weapon when it comes to reinvention: Adjust one area of your life and you’ll likely set off a chain reaction of positive outcomes in others.  Gadson, a program adviser for a government agency who had gained 75 pounds over the last decade, knew she had to do something to get her life going again.

The Washington, D.C.-area resident decided to post her goals and poems online and let friends in on her mission to become “fierce, fly, and fabulous.”  A friend saw her posts and invited her to perform at an open-mic event.  Though excess weight had been her excuse to hide out, she made herself say yes.  For the big night, Gadson traded her outdated “intern look” for a sexy pencil skirt and knee-high boots, and performed an intimate poem she’d written about a former beau.  The crowd loved it!  She says the high she felt was “indescribable,” as if something deep inside her wer reborn.

Her newfound confidence led her to initiate changes in other areas.  She joined her gym’s wellness challenge and found a trainer.  She traded fruit for candy, cut out sodas, and upped her water and veggie intake.  Now, with the weight falling off at a sensible one pound per week, she’s confident she’ll reach her goal of a curvy 180 pounds.  And just recently, having polished her credit score, she prequalified for a mortgage and began shopping for a townhouse.  She wants to close on the property by April 30 to claim the federal tax credit.  With the $20 day she saves avoiding vending machines and eating out, she’ll have the cash to furnish it.  “I’ve been sleepwalking for nine years,” says Gadson.  “It’s time to feel alive again!”

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Post # 2 (January 17, 2010)


Becoming FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! is tough! I have had great moments this past week sprinkled with a few rough times.  Guess that’s part of the journey.  Everyday will not be joyful or easy.  Some days will be a struggle.  Some minutes will be a test of faith.  But the point is to see it through to the end.

My cousin, a wonderful Omega Man, posted a poem quote that I hadn’t thought of  in 11 years.  See It Through by Edgar A. Guest inspires me to push forward when I want to be lazy or knock back a bowl of sugar!  (I really haven’t gotten that desperate…seriously.)  As the early American poet writes:

When its vain to try and dodge it,

Do the best that you can do;

You may fail, but you may conquer.

See it through.

As I write this post, I’m leaning heavily on those words.  I leaped off my 21-day fast wagon last Tuesday night.  Getting back on feels as if I’m trying to sprint with concrete Nikes…almost impossible!  Notice I said ALMOST.  Though I’ve slacked, I’m still making wiser food choices and not bingeing on sweets.  My water intake has increased dramatically and I’ve been soda-free for over 9 days.  AMAZING!!! I was drinking a 20oz Dr. Pepper at lunch everyday and a 16oz can of soda with dinner.  I had to be on the verge of desert thirst to drink water.  It’s all about the small steps and keeping at them.  In my healthy eating habits quest I found a low carb/good carb guide a high school friend suggested last year.  I’m going to follow this carb-reintroduction diet to find balance between loving sugary sweets and potatoes and finding love in good carb dishes.

I’ve also struggled with the prep work that goes in to becoming a Triple “F” Threat.  I hate pulling clothes the night before for work and hate making lunch even more.  But any change in habit needs planning and preparation for it to stick.  I was wishy-washy about fasting from the jump. Not because I couldn’t do it.  I successfully completed the 21-day fast in October 2008.  Lost ten pounds, thank you very much!  But my heart isn’t in it the same way this year.  That’s okay.  I’m going to focus on cleaning up my eating acting which will be a fast in some way.  The next couple of months are about resetting how and what I eat.  That’s where I need to focus my actions.  Eating lunch out of a vending machine is not good!  I’ll never reach my goal weight (180lbs) if I don’t plan better meals and make wiser food decisions when out.  When I do give in to those sweet urges and carb temptations I can lean on these words, “You may fail, but you may conquer…”

Now , this week has brought some Triple “F” Threat opportunities my way! For starters, I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating my sorority’s 97th Anniversary.  I met a group of sorors for brunch last Sunday.  I was able to celebrate our Founders’ Day with Alpha chapter and area sorors.  And I partied with my Loudoun County Alumnae sorors Friday night.  Each event reminded me how strong Delta’s bond is and how many sisters I really have.  It was great to connect with familiar faces and new ones.  This week pushed me even more to not be just financially active but more involved in Delta.  Working on those Triple “F” goals!!!!

Speaking of goals, I kicked myself out of my introvert comfort zone.  While at dinner with my soror, I introduced myself to two women next dining next to us.  I over heard them talking about federal government positions t various agency.  One woman is the CEO of a government consulting firm.  The other is in the Senior Executive Service (SES) at a domestic agency.  I saw a great professional opportunity served up on a plate garnished with luscious fruits and veggies just for me! And I dug right in! I introduced myself as they were leaving, told them about my background, and that I would love to talk more about federal government career opps.  Got both of their cards! (Go Jo!!!) They graciously and generously offered their time.  Remember, you have not because you ask not!

Saving the best for last…I performed at an open mic Wednesday night!  (Whew!  I’ve been in the streets all week!)  Its been at least 6 years since I done this but it was my time.  Thanks to Goldie Deane for inviting me to performing at the K.I. Service, Inc. open mic fundraiser.  After reading the first Triple “F” post she challenged me to share my artistic work.  I shook off the stage fright and did a pretty good job.  The experience has me typing up my poems and doing some much-needed rewriting.  More importantly, I finally told the world (a small segment of it) that I’m a poet.  Don’t get that confused with “I write poetry.” I’m a poet.  I’m a writer. I’m an artist.  Over the last 9 years I have hidden that fact.  No matter how much I try to bury it, it always comes through.  I’m working on my craft and have many lessons to learn as a poet/writer.  But I cannot deny anymore…I’M A WRITER!!!!!!

What did I perform? Check out When I Stare at You (2006) below-

When I stare at you

I see beauty waiting to be loved

I intensely watch your mouth

As passionate thoughts

Slip over your tongue and pass your lips

Soft lips speaking kindness to my heart

 

When I stare at you

I see a lifetime lived in a moment

Experiences shaped your beliefs

Molded your view of an extreme world

How you find a way to love it

How you find a way to better it for our children

 

When I stare at you

I see an unexplainable dichotomy

Strength too powerful to deny

Yet so humble, so sincere

How many will rest upon your strength?

The masses you will cradle in your arms

 

When I stare at you

I see the man I was meant to love

Compilation of idiosyncrasies intricately arranged

I study your enthusiasm, curiosity, and hunger

I memorize your humor and thoughts

Capture the vulnerability you openly share

 

When I stare at you

I think of our forever

Lazy Sundays spent on the couch

Watching sunbeams blanket your face

Listening to you talk to our son

Proudly witnessing him become the man you are

 

When I stare at you

I see the image create by words I’ve written

Countless phrases of fantasy

Now, I see the dream

A magical myth that is reality

Prove when I stare at you

 ***Please Do No Reprint Without Author’s Permission***

A Precious Gift


Ninety-seven years ago, 22 Howard University women gifted a legacy of Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service to this world.  Their precious gift is embodied in over 200,000 women who are the links in ΔΣΘ Sorority’s mighty historic chain. 

Today, we celebrate our Founders’ Vision, Perseverance, and Leadership.

Today, we honor their precious gift, LEGACY.

A Legacy of Grace

A Legacy of Generosity

A Legacy of Fortitude

A Legacy of Integrity

A Legacy of Sisterly Love

A Legacy of Devotion

A Legacy of Honor

A Legacy of Righteousness

A Legacy of Austerity

A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE

Written by Soror Jovette Gadson