The Steve Urkel Factor (Why Nice Guys Don't Always Get the Girl) by Shanelle Gabriel

After watching several reruns on cable, I see that nice guys have some lessons they can learn from the high-water pants and suspenders wearing, overly nasal character from the long running ABC/CBS American sitcom.
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Response to "If Black People Said the Stuff White People Say" by Shanelle Gabriel

After watching this video on racially insensitive things some White People say to Black people, News Editor Prachi Gupta decided to comment: "Man, with so many rules, it’s getting pretty hard to be a white person these days. We feel for you." Hmmmm.....

A stupid response to a real issue that this satirical piece was meant to show: that no one wants to be treated like an animal in a petting zoo (touching hair/skin without asking), as if their skin color defines their experience, like stereotypes are automatically true (I'm Black so I MUST listen to whatever Rapper is out right now or I must have grown up in the hood), nor do I want to be treated as if my race automatically connects me to whatever Black person they see on TV. There is no need to PROVE you're connected to Blackness ("I'm down with Black people 'cause ***insert stereotypical Black lingo/archetype/friend name here**)  or empathetic to our history. No one walks up to Jews asking about how the Holocaust affected their people without a sincere reason to. I understand that I have to excuse ignorance at times in order to answer sincere questions so that there are less misconceptions out there regarding race, but it would just take two seconds to think about how the some of the same things done in reverse would make you feel a lot less human. And no, Pratchi Gupta, these "rules" aren't just for White people. They apply to you, too. 

It's not asking questions that's wrong. It's the way you ask them. Acknowledging race and the diversity of backgrounds is never the problem. It's actually the solution. However, it cannot be done while ignoring the basic standard of interpersonal communication. There's a big difference between "I watched Amistad...dag, your people had it bad," and "I learned a lot about the black experience in America watching Amistad this weekend. I really want to learn more." The first isn't the opening to a healthy discussion (what am I going to reply to that with? "Yeah, it's effed up what YOUR people did to mine. And are still doing to mine based on the school to prison pipeline which has become the new form of slavery..."). The second seems like someone sincerely learning about a new element of another race's experience. 

This video is pretty comical because many Blacks who've spent a significant time around non-Blacks have heard at least one of those statements in some form or another. I think if more people took a second to think before they spoke with the listener in mind, we'd have less offenses and misconceptions about each other.

Beginning 2013 With God Fearlessly (Blog) by Shanelle Gabriel

A few days ago, a new-found friend of mine mentioned that his New Years Resolution was to get closer to God. I said "Yea, me too," although the year had started and I knew I hadn't picked up my Bible since selecting a Scripture reading for my mom's Celebration of Life back in November. I admitted to him (and myself) that I wanted to get back to where I used to be with God: faithful and fearless. I once had a relationship with God that kept me calm even when my health, my career as an artist, and my crazy love life seemed to be overwhelming and unstable. But those storms seem to have come back with a vengence with some NEW elements to the mix. 

The last few months have been the most difficult period of my life to date. Some of you know that in November I suddenly lost my brother-in-law and a week later, my mother. Right after this, I found myself in a severe Lupus flare, and learned I was having issues (nothing life-threatening, but life-altering) with other systems of my body. Financially, my resources were shot. For the first time ever, I was faced with grown up decisions about what to do with my life, how to handle all this insanity that is coming at me all at the same time, and how, in the midst of my tribulation, to help others around me get through theirs. It's enough to lay a person out, and make them give up. Picking up a Bible seemed like a bandaid after a face-off with Beatrix from Kill Bill. Where do I start that doesn't feel forced? I told myself I'll just pick up my Bible and read till something clicks. Yea, that's REALLY motivating...sigh.

My friend then mentioned he's using this app on his iPhone (no, this isn't a plug for Apple; I get no commission off of their sales). It's the Holy Bible by YouVersion that allows you to start Bible lesson plans that center around different topics and last a variety of days, weeks, and months. Eh, it was worth a shot. A lesson plan called "Fearless: A Six Week Journey" catches my eye. From day one, I felt like the devotional was speaking to my fears, my storm. It asked me some introspective questions, and I suddenly remember a beautiful wood-covered journal that my Soror, Lisa, gave me. I decide to make this my spiritual journal where I keep track of what I'm studying, questions I need answered, scriptures that speak to me, and my overall feelings towards my relationship with God. In two days, my heart feels just a little lighter. I feel like the Word is speaking to my soul, telling me to be stronger, and that I can have that fearlessness that I once had before, even through the insanity that is my life. 

I don't know if you reading this helps in anyway, but feel free to join me on this journey. The lesson plan is here: I'll be blogging any major moments and thoughts, praying that my epiphanies help someone else. 


Much love, 


The Official Rules of Dating While "Dating" Your Chronic Illness by Shanelle Gabriel

With doctor visits, prescription pick-ups, bed rest, and flares, who has time for dating??? While the idea of "searching for the one" seems to have been replaced by searching for the right rheumatologist or specialist, you and I both know that there's a part of us that would like a special someone in our lives. But how do we date when we seem to have baggage from our relationship with our chronic illness?
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Searching for the Prototype... (Blog Repost) by Shanelle Gabriel

Summer is here, and summer love is in the air. The beginning stages of something new is always beautiful. I'm absolutely addicted to Andre 3000's "Prototype," because it speaks on this and has such a smooth vibe to it.

"I hope that you're the one....If not, you are the prototype. We'll tiptoe to the sun, and do thangs, I know you'd like. I think I'm in looooove again." -"Prototype"- Andre 3000 from "The Love Below"

Let's all think back to the days when you first met that special someone, whether they are still present in your life or they've gone on with theirs. It's those moments walking holding hands through a park, laughing at randomness on the phone, the moments where you both realized that you felt the same way about each other- these moments make us want to fall in love again and again, even when we know that love doesn't always work out.

Many people close their hearts to the new experience, faulting past hurts and blaming previous relationships for the bitterness and skepticism they hold like concrete around their hearts. But by not realizing that people come into your life for a reason and a season and by focusing on WHAT WENT WRONG, they miss out on the times to smile at and new possibilities of smiling. Maybe he or she wasn't or isn't the one, but they could very well be the prototype of the one to come:

Pro·to·type 1 : an original model on which something is patterned.

This new prospect may just be "The One"...or they can lead you to the person you are meant to be with. They can show you the true you as well as give you an idea of what qualities you would want in"The One." This doesn't only relate to romantic relationships but friendships as well. Be open to new loves and people to love. It's okay to fall in love a few times; third, fourth, or eighth time is a charm. The risk is well worth it. Enjoy love in the here and now, and remember to say "stank you smelly much" to the person standing right in front of you now who's waiting to see if they could be that special friend to you.


Yes the video is creepy, but listen to tha MUSICCCCC!

Podcast of My Interview on "In Sickness & In Health- Dating Someone With a Chronic Illness" on The Naked Radio Show by Shanelle Gabriel

In this podcast, we explore how far someone will go for love when their partner gets sick or is dealing with a serious medical condition. Singer/poet/actress Shanelle Gabriel steps into the hot seat to share her struggles with lupus and how the disease has not only impacted her health but her dating life since being diagnosed.
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