Folks stay talking about The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Once in awhile, we take a different approach and highlight the fascinating array of happy black girls and guys (hbg’s) we know and love. Sometimes we feature those we admire from afar as well. It’s our humble attempt at sharing the wealth of information that comes our way about great people.
This is the space where I ordinarily tell you a little something about the HBG we’d like you to Get To Know. BUT my dear friend Marayah wrote an introduction that tells you more about her wisdom, character, heart and generosity of spirit than I ever could. Please…enjoy yourselves and Get To Know An HBG named Marayah Lane~
Ms Devoya! How in the heck are ya? When I first received the interview invite I was quite ecstatic. Devoya, since I met you years ago you’ve always had a sunshine about your essence. So I was honored that your light saw the light in me. Then I reviewed the interview questions a flood of emotion hit me. The girl that was invited to interview was not a happy girl. My creative juices weren’t flowing, and the light that always attracted others to me appeared dim and at times I struggled to meet the day with my usual enthusiasm but in the midst of health, family and financial uncertainties your interview questions reminded me that not only am I an HBG that I also needed to remind myself of the things that made me so.
We choose to be happy. In the midst of the storm we must learn to dance until it passes. We learn to call on God whether it’s a confident roar or a weary whisper. He hears us. I love myself, I love my smile, I love my heart, I love the woman I’ve become. I should boldly walk in love regardless of my temporary circumstances. Am I still in a storm as of this moment? Yes. Business could be stronger, debt could be lower and my family is taking this journey with my baby brother as he deals with a rare brain tumor but we are alive, loved and still thankful. I have dreams, expectations and Purpose. I’m choosing to live.
Your interview questions were therapeutic. So thank you Devoya, your invite to share what makes an HBG tick reminded me that my life ain’t no crystal staircase but I do have a song to share. So here’s what makes this HBG stay moving forward …
::GET TO KNOW AN HBG (HAPPY BLACK GIRL) ::
1. Welcome to the HBG! Please tell our readers your name, where you’re from originally & where you currently dwell. My name is Marayah Lane and I am originally from Chicago, IL. I have resided in Fresno, CA for the last couple of decades…so that means I moved here when I was 1. HA! (What a lie)!
2. Do you wake up happy? I would love to say I always wake up happy but I don’t. However I do wake up thankful to God and grateful.
3. Do you have a morning routine, ritual, trick etc…that contributes to your having a good day? Water and the Word. Even if I took a relaxing bubble bath the night before I still need that morning shower. Water makes me feel alive. Also, before I touch that phone or hit up social media I make an effort to pray, listen and speak life into the day.
4. I once had an employer who felt like my good morning greeting and smile was just too much. Some folks can’t handle the light. Tell us, what’s your first call to action when someone unexpectedly tries to hi-jack your happy? Funny, I previously worked for a company where many people stopped to tell me how my laugh was infectious and made them smile; same place I was also “addressed” because my laugh was said to make people feel as if I am not working as hard as they were. Say what?? Is a happy productive employee not desired any longer? If I could still smile and encourage others to be positive through the raise freezes, budget cuts and bouts of low morale then I say that employee is a keeper. But what do I know I’m just a leader not a supervisor. Still I smile.
5. Survival is essential. There are a few things I like to keep at the ready just in case. I guess that makes me a bag lady, but I’m cool with that. Tell us, what are 5 things you keep in your mental and or physical “I’m gone be alright HBG Survival Kit”?
- Physical survival needs:
- Glue gun for my crafts.
- Brow powder (too much tweezing when I was a teen).
- I journal any and everywhere, if I feel a thought, prayer, praise or design idea I stop and write; crayon, marker, doesn’t matter; I’m writing.
- Mental survival needs:
- To remind myself to breathe. I was a woman always on the move and I literally had to teach myself to slow down and properly breathe.
6. Share something you think the 12 year old HBG version of yourself would appreciate about you now. Little Rayah would appreciate that I didn’t let anyone or anything make her believe the life that she wished for would never come true.
7. If you feel like it, tell us a little about what you do to keep the lights on? (your profession). I own and operate my Etsy shop, Brooms, Baskets and Brides…Oh My!(etsy.com/shop/broomsbasketsnbrides) where I showcase my bespoke wedding jumping brooms and other neat treasures. Next year I plan to launch ‘Design Fancy’ – gatherings where folks can get together design crafts, drink wine and eat (my favs) . And last but furthest from least I recently started the ‘Brown Paper Bag Dreams’ mini book ministry. We randomly mail out makeshift little books and bookmarks to cancer treatment centers, halfway homes, support groups etc. The intent is to encourage and uplift.
8. Has anyone ever given you the side eye because they didn’t get you? Or just plain wasn’t ready for you? Details… Details! Yep! Side eye, cross eye, rolled eyes…I’ve gotten it all at one point or another. LOL! Sometimes you find yourself in the company of those who have given up on love, their career dreams, goals, etc. but you yourself still believe brighter days are ahead and continue to speak life into your areas of lack. My bank account balance is lower than I would like but I know wealth lies ahead. My heart has been broken but I know love still exists. Not everyone is ready to believe in such hope and faith.
9. In your opinion how important is the company you keep? I don’t believe in keeping friends close and enemies closer. I keep friends close and enemies the hell out of my way.
10. Last but hardly least, do you have any final comments and or shout outs? Shout outs to my children. They are so loving and wise, I never hear them speak down about anyone. They are pretty cool. I learn a lot from them. And to my Loves closest to me; I thank you for loving me. Beautiful People out there ,make a choice to be happy, laugh loudly, smile, forgive, try a new food once a month, don’t wait until your business plan or life plan is perfect before you make a move. Take the risk. Strengthen your faith. Spread your joy!
Devoya Mayo is Co-Creator of The Happy Black Girl
Get To Know An HBG is her favorite column to write.
You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org