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I don’t believe that it’s death itself that is a difficult concept for the human mind to comprehend. I believe that the abrupt finality of the unknown is what causes so much heartache, heartbreak and confusion. From the date of our birth, death is essentially inevitable. The number of days, moments, memories, experiences, and even the number of breaths that we are allotted has been divinely preset upon our metaphysical arrival on earth. The deeper that I allow my thoughts to process the pertinent details of death, the closer I glean to the notion that we are essentially born to die. From the moment that we exit our Mother’s womb and we are delivered into an atmosphere predicated on death. During the creation and conception of a human life, I am almost positive that no one is considering death. There aren’t any thoughts that the fetus may die in a stillbirth, or that the Mother may die from complications throughout pregnancy or even at delivery. Yet, as soon as a baby enters the world, we ultimately prepare for their demise. Even the role of a Mother is to wean her baby from its dependence upon her as Mother, introduce independence to delay death for as long as humanly possible to ‘live’ a good life. I will take the liberty of speaking for the general population when I say that I do not believe that I considered or entertained the thought of death at all until I became a Mother. As soon as I held my baby in my arms, I knew that I would never want to leave her in this world without her Mother. 

   

 

Reminiscing back to my pregnancy, I can remember calling Gran. We were in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and I feared that I would not be able to present my swollen, pregnant belly for my GranGran to rub oils on. Nor would I have the opportunity to lay across her bed, while she stroked my temples and read verses of the Bible aloud as I cradled my belly. I imagined my pregnancy without my Gran’s delicate touch and it hurt. Rather than wallow in sadness, I decided to pick up the phone and call her. I would share the news with her via the telephone. It wasn’t the most ideal way to share the news. However, given the circumstances it was the most feasible option. I imagined the delivery of such special news to be rather impersonal this way, but I preferred some form of communication rather than none. I called Gran around mid-morning on February 12, 2020. I was preparing for my 12-week appointment. I knew that after this appointment, I would be declared well beyond the first trimester and I felt comfortable sharing the news with my family at that point. I knew I had to call Gran first, I could not let her find out from anyone other than me that I had been chosen by God to bring life into the world. Gran’s phone rang a considerable number of times. I was always sure to let the phone ring when I called her. Fiercely independent, Gran lived alone at ninety years young. This would allow her time to come out of her room and down the hall to answer the phone. Eventually she answered. “Great day! Good Mawnin’” She greeted me. I began to grin incessantly. “Great day Gran! How are you feeling? Do you know who this is?” I blurted out in a litany of questions. Before I could fix my lips to ask her another question, Gran interrupted my thoughts with her response. “Well of course I do!” She offered in her decadent bajan accent. “This Michael Daughter, born the nine-teeeeen-th of November.” She offered.

I couldn't help but to blink back the tears as she said it. I could never understand for the life of me how a then ninety year-young woman, not only remembered who she was speaking to, but also their birth date. I cupped my belly with my right hand and held the phone with my left. It was in that very moment, I imagined myself sitting on the back porch, on the top step, just beneath Gran’s legs while the mango tree provided us with shade and sustenance. I allowed the fantasy to roam, reaching the crevices of my mind, gaining additional creativity along the way. I continued to fantasize about enjoying a steaming, hot, heaping plate of macaroni pie, flying fish, fresh salad and a side of monkey bread. As I sat on the edge of my couch, listening to my Gran excitedly reminisce about the time she came to the states to visit me as a child. 

 

I cupped my belly with my right hand, and removed the phone from my left hand’s grasp, leveraging my hunched left shoulder to push my phone up toward my ear. I used my left hand to support my endeavor to get up off the couch. As a grown 33 year old woman, I discovered that I was nervous. I paced back and forth from the balcony back into the living room and then the kitchen. Ultimately pacing in laps around my apartment until I mustered enough courage to tell Gran what was on my heart and who was living in my belly. Finally, I collected my strength and my thoughts. “Gran…” I began slowly. “Mmmmm?” She responded. “I’m….pregnant?” I suggested, more like a question than a statement. “What was that you say?” She asked. Now I know good in hell well Gran has never been hard of hearing, but I obliged the game she decided to play. “Gran, I am having a baby, a girl, in August.” I offered in a tone of finality. I wanted to express that I said that I said and that was that. “A girl? A GIRL.” She cooed. She never asked me how I knew or if the doctor or midwife had confirmed the information as I presented it to her. I waited patiently for her to offer some motherly, more like grand-motherly advice. 

Naturally, she did. We talked about breast feeding, drinking tea to make my milk come down, taking Luke-warm, not scalding hot baths, walking regularly, maintaining a diet high in healthy, soluble fats, etc. Essentially, all of the things that I had already been doing, Gran confirmed for me as the right thing to do. “How you been keeping?” She asked, thoroughly concerned. “Good.” I said. “I have been taking my vitamins, drinking my water and trying to keep down as much food as I can.” “Drink more water.” She demanded. “Warm water. Mash up ginger, boil it up nice and drink it so settle your stomach.” As we began to wrap up the call, there was one last thing that I wanted to discuss with her. “Gran, I’ve been having dreams. Very, vivid dreams.” I said, as I patiently waited for her to collect her thoughts and offer me some advice. “Do they frighten you?” She asked. “Well, no. Sometimes they are so real, that it’s difficult for me to distinguish the dream from my reality. Sometimes I dream that I am reliving actual events from my past. I show up the way that I am now, to a situation that I experienced more than a decade ago.” She grew silent. It was almost as if I could hear the gears turning in her head. She was so thoughtful and precise in her response. “Girl.” She started, “You are on the precipice of experiencing one of God’s greatest gifts. You are on the cusp of Motherhood. When God grants you the gift as the experience of bringing life into the world, he opens up the intuitive capacity in your mind.” 

 

My Gran, a God-fearing, religious woman, would never say that my third-eye was opening at an exponential rate to prepare me for Motherhood, but I knew enough of what she was saying to understand what she was not saying. “When you bring life into the world, God opens up your world to reveal all that you need to know. Everything that you have not come to terms with will surface. Learn to trust yourself, lean into you.” “When I was a child..” she quoted. “…I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put those childish things away. 1 Corinthians, chapter 13 verse 11.” She quoted the Bible with such ease. It always amazed me how sharp her mind remained. She never missed a beat. Gran could recite most every chapter within the Bible and had memorized just about every hymn there was. I took heed to all that she said, as well as everything that she did not say. We ended the call, I told her I love her, she told me to send love to my father. I promised her that I would, I told her that I would let her get back to her day so that she could enjoy her soaps and the news in peace. 

As the phone call concluded, I waddled out onto the balcony and drew in a fresh, crisp breath of air. I suddenly felt so calm. The nervousness and feelings of angst all subsided and I felt more than ready to conquer the world and then some. I found it interesting that she never once asked me about the baby’s father. Gran married as a very young woman. She was married with five kids, (four survived) at the ripe, bold age of 21. Obviously, she knew that I was not married. It was almost as if she knew that the situation wasn’t worth discussing, so she didn’t bring it up. In addition to managing her household, she performed needlework in town. She nourished the creativity of her mind by creating hand-made toys for my uncles and father when they were children. A philosophical thinker, Gran maintained the possession of her divine feminine in a way that I have never witnessed anyone else do in my lifetime. A tiny woman, no more than 4’10, probably 90 lbs or so. Gran exuded divine feminity. She was soft and delicate, while still strong. In my mind, she epitomized grace, poise and femininity. The more that I reflect on the woman that she was the more similarities and comparable traits I am able to delineate between she and I. 

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve battled with her passing. When I learned that she had breast cancer I was immediately saddened. My great aunt, Gran’s sister passed away from breast cancer not even three years ago. I knew that Gran would not want to take any medications, I knew that she would not opt for any surgeries. Hell, it was difficult enough for my Uncle to get her to see the Dr. My Gran had made her peace with God and decided that she was prepared for whatever her destiny would be. When I received the call on Thursday, September 15th, 2022, I was almost prepared to hear the news before it had been delivered. I knew that she was no longer with us. My heart sank because of the drama that ensued as I attempted to obtain my daughter’s passport when she was just turning one. I knew that My Gran’s time on this earth was limited. I knew that if I wanted my daughter to meet her, that I would have to fight for it. Perhaps I should have fought harder, perhaps I should have invested my energies in other means to ensure that I was able to make it happen. I don’t know what the answer is. What I do know for sure, is that Gran’s Love is forever entrained my being. Her philosophical thought process has established real estate in my mind. Her creativity and eccentric ways are expressed in my very being. She will forever be with me, and I will forever be with She.  Me an She, the two ah we.


Happy New Year!!!!

I’m not sure about you, but I am struggling to wrap my mind around the fact that we are now, officially in 2022!!!!

If you are anything like me, the incessant adjustment of life as we know it in the midst of a global pandemic is enough to keep your head spinning let alone keeping up with that year we are in! I still feel like an entire year of my life is unaccounted for. Although it significantly commemorates the birth of my child as well as the onset of COVID, constant lockdown, scary times with the absence of produce, staple items, and hand sanitizer not to mention the virus itself… most of 2020 and all of 2021 feel like a blur.

Yet here we are. And I can smell those W2’s!!!!!!


Before you decide to succumb to the tax return flex, please take the time to ensure that your affairs are in order! In the last several weeks, I have met with several clients that either been slapped with a levy (where their wages or bank accounts have been garnished) or a tax warrant. Now, keep in mind that the IRS is ALWAYS running a few years behind in terms of audit and compliance., Add to that the CTC (Child Care Tax Credit) as well as the various economic stimulus packages sent out over the last couple of years, the IRS has been inundated with tax return requests for filers who have not filed in years previous. That’s right, those with income requirements under the $12k annual threshold have all been made eligible for the economic stimulus packages. Thus, filing a return for the years preceding the stimulus grant was a contingency in receiving funds.



WHEW! A mouthful I know! What it all boils down to is don’t be surprised if an audit from 2015 or so surfaces! But don’t stress it there are so many options to handle your business without putting a dent in your financial plans! Levy’s and tax warrants can be tricky so you want to be armed with as much knowledge as possible. Follow these few steps to get it together HUNNY!

  • Tax warrants and levies do NOT need to be paid in full to be removed from your credit report!

  • Check with your local IRS state representative to find out if you are eligible for amnesty. You may be able to pay a portion of the tax liability owed, less any interest and fees.

  • You have 15 calendar days to dispute the levy (and the fees affiliated with it) with your bank

  • This will require you to complete a W9 and a discharge of property

  • You may also have to appear before a magistrate to plead your case (in most cases this is a positive move as the fees will likely be reduced).

  • Levy fees may be waived; however, it is a one-time courtesy.

  • If you have proof of address change, name change, etc . that prevented you from receiving information on the tax liability you may be eligible for forgiveness.

  • Act quickly! Do not allow the situation to linger. The faster you work to resolve the issue the more leverage you have.

  • Finally, keep scanned or hard copies of all communication, documents filed, etc. as the IRS is notorious for ‘losing’ documentation.

  • IRS also accepts payment plans in the event that the amount owed supersedes your refund.


Here's the deal...your tax refund is yours and yours alone! How you choose to FLEX is up to you! The biggest FLEX is staying ready so you don't ever have to worry about getting ready!


Let me know if this information resonates with you or someone that you know. Catch the next installment of Finance FriYAY! I'll get into IRA contributions, retirement plans as well as other savings vehicles! If you haven't done so already hit the subscribe button so that you can stay in the loop!



Here are a few links for you to check on your status:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/understanding-a-federal-tax-lien

https://www.irs.gov/payments

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p783.pdf

35… This is 35.




As I sit back and reflect while I consider all that has allowed me to arrive at this very pivotal moment in my life. It is at this very moment, that I commit to taking up space fully, and authentically. After all, it has taken me 35 years to get here… thus the importance of honoring the space that I am in is essential to the very core of my being.



“Honoring the space that you’re in.”

The phrase alone brings me to such a climactic capacity. Digesting the elements required to honor and present agency over in my current territory, encourages me to be cognizant of every experience that has guided my ability to honor the space that I occupy, admittedly and, fully.


 

First things first, I…made it! I, me, she, HER! I made it. I have reached, achieved, and sustained levels that are unheard of for a young black woman, raised in a single-parent household, exposed to sex, sexual abuse and molestation, drugs, guns, and violence at early age should not have. When I reflect on the very beginning phases of my life, it is almost impossible for me not to be in awe of everything that I have overcome to get to where I am. I mean honestly, I should be a basket case and sometimes I feel like I am. So when I glorify the fact that I ‘made it. The term ‘making it’ has less to do with materialistic components of success and everything to do that I quite literally survived EVERYTHING that was meant to break me.


I have reached, achieved and sustained levels that are unheard of for a young black woman, raised in a single-parent household, exposed to sex, sexual abuse and molestation, drugs, guns and violence at an early age, should not have.

Exhibiting the courage to navigate the deep and sometimes even dark remnants of my past, I am elated that not only have I overcome them all, but I have truly worked through them. Gone is the notion that by age______, I should have______, should be______. I cannot express the amount of duress I created for myself by c doing my best to emphatically stick to this timeline of what I imagined my life should be. I recall a time in my early 20’ specifically, when I was married to my planner and overly attached to my schedule. I had to have every minute and every detail of my life mapped out.


My retail banking career was just beginning to thrive and because I was determined to adhere to a certain lifestyle, I also worked overnight at a group home for mentally challenged adults. My ‘day job’ at the bank consisted of me working from 11-8 Sunday and Monday. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off and then resumed working Thursday and Friday. I simultaneously worked overnight from Sunday- Wednesday. Eventually, I shifted my overnight schedule so I could begin taking classes at NCC.

I was determined to adhere to a certain lifestyle.

It was December 2008, I had my first apartment on Fairfield Ave in Bridgeport. Before moving out I saved just enough money to purchase a Queen mattress and box spring from Macy’s. I couldn’t afford the bedroom set before moving out so I purchased a metal frame from Goodwill. Because I had vision and foresight for my bachelorette pad, I worked incessantly to afford the $1,100 four-post, wooden bedroom set that I had my eye on. The bedroom set was beautiful! I went by the furniture store every week until I could afford it and kept my eye on it. It included a spacious dresser and mirror as well as a five-drawer vertical chest. When I was finally able to afford my dream bedroom set I was elated! I felt an assured sense of confidence! in setting a goal and accomplishing it. Moreover, a sense of self-set in. Self-reliance and self-sustenance grew as integral components of my personality. The next goal I set for myself was furnishing my living room. Given that I had earned the title of Supervisor at the bank, I was able to enjoy the sales incentives that came along with it. As such, I leveraged one of my bonus checks to purchase my dual reclining sofa from Jennifer convertibles. Next, it was my desk and chair that served as my make-shift office in the far right corner of my living room. Finally, at the end of my first year, I was able to strategically purchase a living room TV as well as a laptop for my office. My Mother knew how hard I was working and wanted to gift me a dinette set to compliment my cozy apartment. It was all coming together so wonderfully! The sense of joy and happiness that settled in as I recognized all of the efforts coming to fruition was unmatched! Honing in on the skills required to carefully craft and adhere to a schedule that would optimize my finances and ultimately ensure that I was able to succinctly curate the life that I knew that I deserved was and has remained a fundamental component of my livelihood.


 


There was one specific moment during this time where I did everything within my power to have consistent productive and perfect days. I was having lunch with my mother during a rare few hours off, and I was on the verge of breaking down because I couldn’t hold the toxic relationship I was in, together with any longer. Chile. I got the man that I thought that I wanted as well as all of the turmoil that came along with it. (The irony in getting what you want, I know.) He claimed that I was the woman that he wanted, however, he just could not stop having sex with other women. Because he was so sloppy and careless, I caught him on numerous occasions. On this specific occasion, I was reeling in the misery that I felt that I perpetuated. I had recently discovered a homemade porn video starring the man that I lived with and a woman he was engaged in a sexual relationship with. Yes, Hunny! He recorded himself having a full-blown session with what I believed to be a random young woman in our apartment!

I found homemade porn starring the man that I lived with and a woman that he was in a sexual relationship with,

So as I sat across the table from My Mother trying to hold it all together… she reached for my hand and told me that she could see my world of perfection crumbling all over my face, I lost it. I cried a river of tears that I thought could absolve me from this interminable state of perfection that I aimed to create. To me, the failure of said relationship translated into personal failure. I felt that being a good woman wasn’t enough, working hard wasn’t enough, being intelligent wasn’t enough, having a great job wasn’t enough, being a goal-setter and goal-getter wasn’t enough, presenting myself well wasn’t enough…ultimately I wasn’t enough. It was a challenging space to occupy, to say the least. By refusing to allow me to feel, or process what I was experiencing, I caused myself far more damage than healing. I stayed. I continued on this relationship because I thought that if I could fix something within myself, that I could fix us. That self-diminishing thought process couldn’t be further from the truth. The harder I worked, the further I climbed up the corporate ladder, and essentially the more money I made, the more egregious his behavior became. Eventually, I found myself and in doing so, I discovered the courage to walk away….


 


Fast-forward to a decade a change later. Several failed relationships, friendships, jobs, business ventures, experiences later. I now realize that much of who I was and what I experienced is all a culmination of who I have journeyed and continue to journey to become, Kacee M. King, MBA, a 35-year-young woman, Momprenuer, Boss, Mom, daughter, lover, creator, author, blogher, fashionista, business strategist, etc, etc, etc. A testament to me occupying and honoring the space that I am in, showing up abundantly, flawed, imperfect, authentic, boisterous, and joyously flat-footed in all that I am. I have made the executive decision to stand on just that! Understanding all that it took for me to learn to love myself for who I am, rather than berate myself for everything that I am not. I am allowing myself to take up space just as I am. Not when I lose 15 lbs, not when I become a millionaire, not when I become a Wife, not when my daughter starts walking (Yes Chile! She is 15 months and taking her sweet time!). I am celebrating each milestone as they are presented. I am not holding space for anything else that stands to come to fruition. I am honoring the space that I am in now because I deserve it. I worked hard for it. At this present stage, I refuse to self-sabotage and admonish myself for all that I am not. I will not beat myself up for everything that I did NOT do. I won’t assume any more responsibility for my shortcomings than necessary. I’ve made poor decisions, I have said or done the wrong things, I’ve kept quiet when I should have spoken up, I have lashed out when I should have taken a moment to gather my thoughts, I have done many things wrong, but I have also done so many things right, I won’t create any space for Mommy guilt, I will celebrate every beautiful moment that my daughter and I share. Most importantly, I will celebrate any and every minute form of success, because I deserve to.



I am honoring the space that I am in presently. Namastè.

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