For the "Mary Jane" in You

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by Tyler Young

Walk into work ready to conquer the day. Receive a call from back home only to hear things are spiraling out of control. Try to carry on throughout the next eight hours without sounding like the angry black woman that many of your colleagues have already pegged you as. Check back in with the family only to learn a young relative is populating the world and doesn't understand that there's more to life than laying on her back. (That very same sentence will come back to haunt you in the days to come.) Click on the other line to answer the financial request of another loved one. And like that, your money is gone and it's not even 5:00 p.m.

You call up your best guy pal, that just so happens to be gay to hear him tell you how great of a woman you are despite life's tailspin. Sounds good for now. While you're worrying about fixing everyone's problems there's a knock at your door. Grab the baseball bat. On the other side is a succulent man that you can't wait to devour. Pull the scarf off your head. Gather every disheveled item on the floor and toss them out of plain sight. And then it's on, even though every fiber is telling you that he's a nasty rat and doesn't deserve the cake. Yep, that sentence from paragraph one is now you.

Tomorrow you shop. And then you shop some more, burying issues from the day before at the very bottom of every shopping bag in hand. When you finally catch your breath from the whirlwind of drama, you return home shutting the door to the rest of the world. And that's when you realize there's no one but you. You've come home to you. No kids. No man. Just you. Cold world.

I am not sure who's been peeping inside my window at night but it has got to stop! Gabrielle Union in "Being Mary Jane" is me. Well, me from 2010 to 2012

Okay, who am I kidding? Her fictional story paints a portrait of my life for a portion of this year. I too bake cakes for fun. No lie! From what I read on Facebook and Twitter, this storyline extends far beyond me.

"Being Mary Jane": the story of numerous young women of color trying to be the best she can be all while combating her issues. We are built strong from the roots of our ancestral heritage that extends to the blood in our veins; however, we just get caught up -- caught up with a number of dead weights, distractions, misdirection -- call them what you like. You know better but sometimes fail to do better.

Family illness, dead end job, dishonest relationships, petty female feuds, self-esteem issues, underachievement, sex, self-righteousness, misguided career path, and, of course, men.

Just when you think you've got it all together, something else major comes along. And then another problem comes.. followed by another. What we so often fail to realize is that the tools we use to conquer one problem are the exact same tools that we should equip ourselves with once the next tide turns. Life is a revolving door of ever changing moments. You learn from it. Internalize it. Move on.

Mary Jane exhibits this. She's constantly tackling everyone else's problems while failing to stay in tune with her own. Someone is always watching and there's something to be learned from you. Yeah you! Give them a show that's worth watching. The greatest talent that we all possess is being the best you that YOU can be.

A yellow sticky note, attributed to Kathie Lee Gifford, within the episode spoke volumes to my soul: "But the Bible says even though we may blow it every day, God's mercy is fresh for us every morning".

Each day is a new beginning. God grants us new mercies. While I am not exactly where I need to be, I am thankful that I am beyond my past condition and rapidly moving at full speed toward something greater. At the end of the day, I am just being Tyler.

Bravo Mara Brock Akil. Bravo.


Tyler Young is a Morning News Producer in Charlotte, N.C. She's a 2010 graduate of Winthrop University and loves writing in her spare time. Her motto: Be Original. Be Free. Be You!

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