Fourth Movement: My shirt doesn’t fit and I don’t give a damn!

Now on to the rollicking finale. The final movement is usually fast and furious, showing off the virtuosic prowess of the orchestra. This finale is usually quite light in character — that is, it doesn’t have a great deal of emotional depth. The finale’s much more concerned with having a good time. But wait — there’s more! Very often, this final movement is in rondo form. Yes, this last movement has a substructure of its own.

Music is God and Food is Life. Together they sustained me and opened my eyes. 


This year I took a life sabbatical. I had to hit the reset button because my Plate of Life was weighed down with things that weren’t good for my soul. Things that were hiding the God within me. I had forgotten to take care of my mind, body, and spirit. Actually, I had never really taken care of them they way they deserved to be taken care of. 

This movement will be brief because there’s too much to share about my year of “My Shirt Doesn’t Fit”. Sorry Dedra 

For now, I will share how it got to be that my shirt doesn’t fit and the music that carried me along the way. 

  • For my birthday weekend, I went on a silent retreat and discovered an unexpected gift that would mean more than I expected. The gift was embracing that God speaks to me through song when I’m still and silent. Playing on Repeat:  “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson Life Fuel: Collard Greens and Garlic Mashed Potatoes 
  • Two Weddings, One Weekend Playing on Repeat: “Let It Ride” Robert Glasper feat Norah Jones Life Fuel: Green Apple Flavored Popcorn
  • One Afternoon over lunch, my friend Carmen shared her own experience of opening ones heart and strengthening your faith during a life-changing transition. Her words became the map to guide me on the journey, “Lauren, you are going to have to be comfortable with the company of yourself.” Playing on Repeat: “Bag Lady” by Erykah Badu Life Fuel: Curried Rabbit Empanadas 
  • One of the best parts of this year was learning how to let background conversations, especially when you don’t speak the language, became white noise to give me space to listen. I discovered that in Moscow. I learned to embrace and thanks for it. Playing on Repeat:“Cranes in the Sky” by Solange Knowles Life Fuel: Pistachio, Raspberry, and Green Tea Cake  

  • The day I learned that fear can change the trajectory of lives. The words of my Beachside Guru, Jaime Koss, became clearer. Life is a plate of food, you can either fill it with food that nourishes you. Or, you can fill it with food that weighs you down and smothers. I lay in bed the next day feeling confusion, I decided that either I could be fearful or decide how I will see the world past the fear that drove most; thus, creating my days on Instagram. Playing on Repeat: “Not Afraid” by Eminem Life Fuel: Chobani Pomegranate
  • When I landed in Brussels, I approached a set of stairs and saw the word “Liberté”. A sign. Playing on Repeat: “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John Life Fuel: Belgian Waffle with hot caramel sauce from Mohammed’s street cart
  • I cry as a way to express my love, gratitude, and when I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I spent Thanksgiving in Berlin with my dear friend Dominick from graduate school. When you spend Thanksgiving with a room full of strangers, across the pond, you have a new appreciation for what Thanksgiving is truly about. Togetherness with family (by blood or choice), laughter, and joy. The hugs that welcome a stranger into their home (the home was Rosa Caleta), and brings familiarity when we recognize that we all want to be joyous and let the gratitude flow from our veins. I stood in one Berlin’s Christmas Market, and a band started playing a song that caused a German woman standing next to me…to shed tears like I did on that November evening as the sunset in Berlin. Playing on Repeat:My Way” by Frank Sinatra Life Fuel: Bratwurst with Curry Ketchup and Glühwein AND Thanksgiving Dinner at Rosa Caleta  

  • A Toast to the New Year with my word for 2017 – Intentional. With friends and loved one Sharing the German experience of kaffee und kuchen, and setting the words on fire that we didn’t want to take into the new year. Playing on Repeat: “Golden” by Jill Scott (my big sister) Life Fuel: Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing made by SayCheese Sweet Cakes 
  • The emotional breakdown early one Tuesday morning. Playing on Repeat:In Repair” by John Mayer  Life Fuel: Waffle House Waffles
  • “You have to keep moving and know that it’s already done.”  Playing on Repeat: “Bare Necessities” by Baloo from “The Jungle Book” Life Fuel: Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake
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  • “Don’t be distracted” said Mr. Luqman. The moment when God’s messenger came as The Container Store delivery man. Playing on Repeat: “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” by Stevie Wonder Life Fuel: Gesthemene Kentucky Bourbon Fudge made by the Trappist Monks 20170325_152826885_iOS20170321_192529770_iOS
  • On Saturday, April 9th, 2016, college classmates (Dion and I) met in a coffee shop with a focus to build a company that will revolutionize women’s mental health. On Sunday, April 9th, 2017, their territory had enlarged with 30 women hearing what they have been up to the past year. It’s been fun, enriching, and growth filled. We are just getting started. Playing on Repeat: “Back Together” by Jill Scott. Life Fuel: Quinoa Salad Cups 20161217_180633441_iOS
  • In New Mexican desert, I found Georgia O’Keefe. She gets me and I get her.  I decided that day that the New Mexican mountains would be my refuge when I need to talk with God and clear my head. As the saying goes…”Not all who wander are lost.” Playing on Repeat:  “Touch the Sky” feat. Kanye West Life Fuel: Uncle Robert’s Empanadas 20170507_192552302_iOS
  • History leapt from the pages when I saw Botacelli, Michelangelo, Gaudi, Medici, Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Coliseum, and threw a coin over my left shoulder. Witnessed humanity. Developed an envy for people that can use words to express their passion. All from a 500 year old apartment building with my friend Christine. Playing on Repeat: “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G. Life Fuel: It’s just not possible to name one thing. I did have gelato EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  

  • Finding my religion. Finding commonality. Discovering. Growing. Loving myself deeper. Finding places of refuge in my own backyard. We are a part of a Human Family. We are more alike than we are unalike. When you hear someone else’s story, you simply can no longer hate them. Playing on Repeat: “Wide Open Spaces” by The Dixie Chicks Life Fuel: Watermelon Desert from Orange Coffee Bar 20161026_164203966_iOS

I am free. I am full of joy. I am love. 




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