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Monday, February 23, 2015

The Great Wall

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.”

― Shannon L. Alder 

My manager was telling my team and I that his daughter is super feisty. He talked about how his daughter fights back whenever he or his wife tries to discipline her. And then he looks at me and says “She reminds me a lot of you”.  I guess that is a good thing... that I remind him of his daughter.. even if it's only because I am feisty. 

I am a lot of things. And who I am, has been some wonderful combination of genetics and my environment. I can be hard to handle. Hard to read. Hard to deal with. But most of it is what I pretend to be. There is so much more that comes with behavior... a back story that others often know nothing about. The reason why I am the way I am and why I respond the way I respond. I am sure you have a story too. We all do. 

Oh yes, I am a feisty one. I think it’s from me growing up a bit isolated and not really understanding social norms. Not to mention I was relentlessly bullied as a child in elementary and middle school. I had no friends in elementary until 4th grade. My older sister tormented me at home. I truly felt worthless and alone. What was the point of living a life where you were constantly being bullied? I was broken and my mother couldn't even see it. So, now, when I am interacting with motherfuckers on a daily basis, my childhood is the only thing I can think of as to why I am so defensive now. 

Sometimes, it isn't as simple as 1, 2, 3. Sometimes we look at people and we think we know what makes them tick. What drives them. What keeps them going. We see someone respond a certain way and we think we have an idea as to why. But we really don't. Unless we live in that persons brain, we really have no idea why he or she may react or behave the way he/she does. And that is the point I want to get across... I know this sounds cliché but I honestly feel like I am misunderstood, I know many of us are.

 I’m enigmatic, for sure. I can tell why I am hard to decipher. But I really don’t mean any harm. I have my own internal shit that I battle on a daily basis. I have my own demons dancing in my brain. Every day I am trying not to jump off the 13th floor.

There are times, when I want to be excited. I want to be happy. But something inside me stops me from smiling. Something inside of me tells me to not get so excited because I don’t want to get hurt. Because I didn’t want to look stupid at the end. It makes absolutely no sense at all. But that inner voice wins most of the time. This holiday season my grandmother came to stay with me for a month. During that month, I probably hugged her twice. I wanted to hug her, but something told me not to. So I just told myself that I would hug her before she left. And the day she got on her flight, I didn’t get a chance to hug her. Now, I am thinking “what if that was my last chance to hug my grandmother?” Why didn’t I just fucking hug her while she was at my house? Why was it hard for me to show affection to my own grandmother? What was I afraid of?

You see… this is shit that goes on in my brain. When I have friends or family visit me I try not to get excited because I don’t want to go from a very emotional high to an emotional low. I start thinking about shit that is irrelevant. Like, what if we argue on this trip? What if this person gets mad at me? So I try to numb myself before it happens. I get stressed easily and then I shut down. If only you could live inside my mind for a day. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

What you see on the outside, usually is different from what is going on internally. While I am an emotional person and very expressive about my emotions, there are some things that shut me down and it’s hard for me to step out of that. Yes, I am feisty. But most of the time it’s just me trying to protect myself. I constant have my guard up and I don’t know why, exactly. I am working on it.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why am I single?

To all my single ladies...

Have you ever asked yourself “Why am I single?”

This Valentine’s Day I had a little soiree at my place for all my single friends. And as we sat around watching a movie, I looked around the room and asked myself “Why are we single?” I have a great group of friends and I think every one of them brings something to the table. All of my friends are different. All of them have their great qualities and their setbacks, like every women. But what is it about us that has kept us with no ring on the finger?

Recently, I was reading a blog where the writer attempted to address why so many successful [more so black] women are single. I know people often say that it’s because successful woman intimidate men. While that could be the case, I doubt that the “intimidation” factor is the sole reason why so many successful woman are single. The blogger suggested that successful women aren’t single because men are intimated by them, but rather, these woman must have some issues that they are unaware of.

Hmmm… some issues that we are unaware of? What could this be? So I started asking myself, what do I think is keeping me single? While I do consider the fact that it could just be that I haven’t met the right person for me. You know, bad timing. I haven’t been at the right places at the right time. But what about women that are single in their late 40’s and 50’s that have never been married? Is it all just ‘bad timing’?

I’ve read articles that say that women need to be more open. For me, that is a check in the box. I will date any creed and any color, as long as I felt a connection. But are other women doing the same? Do you have a long list of “what you want in a man?” What race he should be? What religion? What height? What profession? Hey... These things are important! But realistically, how long can this list be while still having eligible bachelors that qualify?

I believe everyone should have a standard. But some woman have standards that are way too high and quite superficial. For instance, I met a young lady that said she wouldn't date anyone under 6 ft. I was a bit stunned by that. Why the height requirement? What if the guy was 5’11 but absolutely amazing? Nope… she said that she wouldn't budge! I have my own deal-breakers… one that is probably as shallow as the 6 ft. rule. But I think we all have our preferences… we just have to try to remain realistic.

So, I’ve recently looked in the mirror and asked myself. What do I think I can change about myself to help me with potentially meeting someone? What do I think is in my control that I can change to help me in the love department? So, this may sound shallow, but the answer came to me in the gym while lusting for this hottie working out. I looked at him and I said to myself “My God! Why have thy forsaken me!” This guy was gorgeous. And I watched him put in the work day after day in the gym. He makes that investment in himself. He puts that time and attention aside for himself... to be fit... to be healthy and it made me admire him. It made me want to do the same for myself.

So, since then, I have been putting more effort in me. People can look at you can tell if you love yourself. If you exude self-confidence. Self-love. Self-happiness. And I am trying to be all encompassing. I believe that maybe this is an element that may have been there before, but now I am letting it cultivate.

As aforementioned, SINGLE-ISM could all be due to timing. However, there are certain things that is in our control. And when we realize that things aren't necessarily going the way we've initially planned, we may have to reanalyze the situation and ask some questions. What can I do to change/improve my certain situation/chances?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'm Dreaming The Hardest

I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night — there must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest.”
-Marilyn Monroe

I have been running from a topic that has consumed me. A topic that I didn't feel was truly attainable. There has been many times where I wanted to post about living your dreams and following your heart. And then I would look at my life and ask myself “When are you going to live your dreams?” And “Do you even know what your dreams are anymore?”

When I think of living my dreams, the first thought is quitting my job and traveling the world. Doing interviews, talking to anyone and everyone. Finding about their life. How is it to live where they live? Wake up in the home they live in? Eat the foods they eat? Speak their language? Witness their hardships. Witness their joys. To me, these experiences is what makes life worth living. Experiencing the world.

Just two days ago I came back from San Diego and it made me feel alive. Some world travelers may laugh at that fact that simply traveling to San Diego could bring me such joy. Well, yes... San Diego is not Paris, or Fiji or Thailand… but it was enough to get me out of my mundane routine. It was something fresh. It was the wind beneath my fucking wings. It was just what I needed.

I realized last year that I am my happiest when traveling. When I can be care free and enjoy the world around me. Even when I travel for work… I enjoy my job that much more.



So, lately I have been looking for jobs with agencies that would allow me to travel for work. These agencies are prestigious... only Ivy League kids could dream about working at these places. But I am trying to remain optimistic. I want to be able to travel and get paid for it at the same time. I’ve been applying for jobs like this for about 5 months now with no luck. And at times, it gets a bit discouraging but I realized that all I need to do is get my foot in the door. If I keep applying, someone is bound to give me an interview. So I am doing what I need to do on my end to ensure that at the end of the day, whether I get a job or not with one of these agencies, I did my very best. The rest is in the hands of destiny.

Traveling isn’t my only dream… I have lots of them. I have dreams of spending my weekends in new places, painting, debating international affairs and maybe getting a leading role in The Game of Thrones. (How I wish to one day be a damsel in distress only to be rescued by Jon Snow… ha ha.)

I am realizing thanks to reading Crazy Black Girl's blog, Necole Bitches' blog and my friend (who has taken a leap of faith and changed here career path entirely) Ali's Fashion Sense blog, that a new year, a big dream, a hope and a prayer doesn't change anything. ACTION changes things.

I even have dreams about my future husband... In my dreams he is well traveled. He would introduce me to new people and expose me to different learning opportunities.  He would be financially secure, and just a good person all around. But I ask myself... will I be able to provide the same qualities to him? I want my future husband to speak another language… but shouldn't I speak another language as well? I have been learning French for over 10 years and I am still not fluent. C'est dommage! 

I need to make sure that I live up to my dreams. Be the best that I can be and do what I need to do on my part. You can't pray to win the lotto if you don't go buy the ticket.

But I'm still dreaming...

Dreaming about...

     Financial success...



                    Working in the field of international affairs...

                         And about one day having a husband... 

A family… Oh, yes... a family!!! Having a family is a huge dream of mines too! It often times feels like one of the most unattainable dreams that I have. And while I would like to say it is all up to the universe to allow me and my soul mate to meet each other… I believe I have some part in this too. If I want to meet him, I have to put myself out there. For any dream, any hope, any prayer…. I have to put myself out there. There is so much I want to do and so little time. The Year of 2015 alone isn't going to turn my life into some magical fairy tale. I am the director of this movie… I am the playwright. I will write my own ending of happily ever after. I will ensure that I do what I can to see my dreams come to fruition. 

Dreams do come true. Don't believe me? Just watch!!! 
 I'll keep you all posted. :)

(Sidenote: I wrote this in less than 30 minutes… your girl is fired up! Lol)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Why I Gotta Be So Rude?

And another one bites the dust            
  Oh why can I not conquer love        
    And I might have thought that we were one    
       Wanted to fight this war without weapons       
        And I wanted it, I wanted it bad          
     But there were so many red flags            
   Now another one bites the dust          
 Yeah let's be clear, I'll trust no one       
Sia - Elastic Heart Lyrics 

Are you getting tired of me talking about relationships? Well, guess what? Here is another relationship blog. And here is why…

1) My natal chart told me that I am good at writing about relationships. (Go figure!)

2) My fling ended. The guy I’ve been seeing for the past several weeks is no longer in the picture.  So what do I do when something like this happens in my life? I write about it!

So, I wrote about this guy when we first met (see No Strings Attached). I was feeling bubbly initially after meeting him. We were taking things slow and going out occasionally. At some point I determined that he wasn't the one. For some reason he never got any of my jokes, the chemistry faded and he never took me out to dinner. He took me out for drinks but never dinner. I told one of my friends how I felt and she told me to give him a chance. Because of her advice, I continued to talk to him... And I was trying to date casually with no expectations. So, I told myself that I would try to get to know him better but at the same time I treated him like he was disposable, which leads me to my first two dating rules.

#1 – If you are going to get to know someone, GET TO KNOW THEM for real. I kept saying “Oh, I am getting to know him. I don’t think I like him but I am getting to know him.” I feel like deep down, I didn't give the man a real chance. Yes, I felt like something wasn't right about him after dating him for several weeks so I didn't care to get to know him anymore. But even before I determined that something wasn't right, I didn't give him a fair chance. I kept looking for things to disqualify him. I kept looking to find his flaws. In those weeks that we talked, I made him feel like I didn't like him and that we would only be just friends. I made him feel like he was not important to me. And I feel like this may have caused him to not open up as much as he could have or maybe wanted to. So, when dating, give people the chance to show you who they are before labeling them and putting them in certain categories. Really listen to them when they talk. Ask questions. Be interested. Come in it with an open heart and try to see the good in them.

#2 – Trust your fucking gut feelings. (This may sound contradictory to rule #1, but hear me out.) If something is telling you that something isn’t right, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. I had this feeling with him and so many other guys. I always try to ignore it but eventually something bad happens and I realize why I had those feelings. Your intuition doesn't try to get your attention for no reason. Your intuition is picking up on subtle clues that you may be ignoring. DON’T IGNORE YOUR INNER SELF NUDGING AT YOU. Fuck what your friends say… your friends aren’t the ones dating the dude. They can’t see what you see.

#3 – BE YOURSELF. This is the closest I’ve gotten to a guy since my break up last year. So, I came in with a fucking closed heart. I wouldn’t tell him too much about me (even though I love talking about myself). I didn’t show any affection (even though I am a very affectionate person). I never went out of my way to reach out to him. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t let him in too quickly, and by doing this I wasn't being myself. I felt as if the more I acted like I didn't care about him, the more control I could maintain. He may think that I am some cold hearted motherfucker and he has every right to think that because that is who I pretended to be…. All in hopes of protecting myself. I look back and I regret that. I rather have someone dislike me for who I am rather than like me for someone I am not. He never got to see the real me. And in the future, I rather get hurt being my normal loving, caring self. I would walk away from a situation like that with no regrets.

The next guy I date, I plan on opening my heart, (while still tapping into my intuition) and being myself completely. Being hurt in relationships (especially when you gave the relationship your all) can cause you to shut down but that is not fair to the next person that walks into your life.


I am determined to find true love. Let's go on this journey together.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Praying Is Not Enough

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.

- Octavia Butler

When I went through my break up, I remember telling my friends via a group text message that the relationship was over. My friends expressed a lot of concern, through text message, with some saying that they would pray for me. I can always use a prayer, especially if there is a higher power listening. But at that moment, praying for me was not enough. Actually, I feel like my friends don’t have to tell me they are praying for me. If you are going to pray, just do it. It is between you and God. Telling me “I am going to pray for you” via text message doesn't really do anything for me when I am feeling down and out.

While I don’t want to sound unappreciative, I believe only stating the cliché line “I WILL PRAY FOR YOU” when a friend is in need is a cop-out. Don’t just pray for me. Pick up the phone and call me. Talk to me. Find out how I am doing. Come visit me. 

One thing we all have on this earth is time. And when you give someone your time, it speaks volumes. It’s the greatest gift you can give someone. Especially when they are in need of a friend. I use to be guilty of the same thing (and I am still not perfect at it). Texting is so convenient and it takes only a few seconds but it isn't enough when you have a friend in need.

After college, I had a friend that randomly texted me "I love you" and it immediately raised red flags. Why? Because she is not an overly emotional or expressive person, which is why I became worried. Something told me that she was reaching out for help. So, I stopped what I was doing and I called her. During our conversation she told me about her depression and that none of her other friends realized that she was crying out for help. At that moment, I was so glad that I called her. While I didn't know it at the time, a few years later I discovered that she tried to commit suicide around that time. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I didn’t call her that night and she ended her life. I don’t know if I could have ever forgiven myself.

Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect at reaching out to my friends and family but I am working on being better. I've blogged about this before, but I see it happen time and time again in group messages where a friend reaches out to everyone about something troubling that has occurred in their life and everyone responds with an "I’ll pray for you” or "I hope you feel better" and continues to go about their day. While I am sure God (and the person in need) appreciates your prayers, I am sure they both would appreciate it more if you picked up the phone and called the person… or got in the car and drove to see that person. Remember, the best gift you can give someone is your time. It’s free. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

In 2015... I'm rolling that dice.

 My New Year’s Resolution 

"Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature."
- Michael Faraday

If you have been following my blogs, you would notice that I’ve changed a lot. My blogs a few years ago reflected my religious views and the way I thought society wanted me to be. I discussed topics on gay marriage, religion without sacrifice and the love of money. Well, if you read my latest blogs today you will see that over time, I've change. Comparing some of my blogs, I would appear to be a bit hypocritical. I even shock myself at times when I read my blogs from 2012. I am like “Damn, was that really me?” Even outside of religion I found that my viewpoints have changed but a lot of my internal issues have remained the same. I have a blog where I wrote about me trying to please everyone in an attempt to be accepted by everyone. And despite me writing that over two years ago I still find myself in that mind-set. While I do believe that I have become more aware of who I am, I am still struggling with the ability to be completely WHO I AM. Even with my own blog I fear expressing some of my views due to possibly disappointing some of my readers.

So, with all the changes and a New Year, I thought “Why not blog about my New Year’s Resolution?” I had some trouble determining exactly what would be my resolutions for the New Year until I read a blog by Heather Havrilesky who writes for New York Magazine. One of her first blogs for NY Magazine was a response to a reader that asked ‘Why Don’t the Men I Date Ever Truly Love Me?’ and Heather basically summed it up to ‘You don't cherish yourself, so you put up with men who don't either’. While I didn’t necessarily read the blog to help me determine my New Year’s Resolution, I found a few points Heather made very applicable.  So I decided to use her blog as the basis for my New Year’s resolution.

A lot of women out there are afraid of being something. The template for us is pretty clear: We are meant to have clean skin, a pleasant demeanor, and a nice rack. I'm not speaking up against nice racks, Lord knows. But there are lots of ladies around me, everywhere I go, who hesitate to say what they're thinking and feeling. They go with the flow, they never make waves. And eventually, they don't even seem to know what makes them who they are. They live to serve. They read the books that other people are reading. They say the pleasant things that other people are saying. They never put their needs first, unless it indirectly serves someone else — a manicure, some highlights. They make sure everyone around them is 100 percent satisfied. Like grocery-store managers. Like customer service reps. Like masseuses who also give free happy endings.
- Heather Havrilesky
Ask Polly: Why Don’t the Men I Date Ever Truly Love Me?
NY Magazine

So, I said all that shit above to say this… I’ve changed. I’m still changing. And all my changes in 2015 will be to benefit me and who I am. So here are my Top Five (in true Chris Rock fashion) New Year’s Resolutions:

1) Be me. Entirely. As long as I am fine with who I am, fuck what anyone else thinks. I've struggled with trying to please people all my life. Heather really inspired me to be crazy, if I feel like it. Dance if I feel like it. Cry if I feel like it. Hell, even knock a few books over and then take a seat rather than pretending to be calm and subdued because the people around me expect that behavior from me.

2) Travel... For life’s precious moments. So far I have a Bachelorette Party in Vegas and a Wisconsin Lake House trip booked.  So if you want me to travel out of the country with you, this is the year to do it. I’m definitely planning to go to another continent.

3) Health. I am going be 29 soon and I want to look and feel my best entering my 30s.

4) Remain single. My goal is to just date a lot and be more open minded. Take things slow and really try to get to know the guys I meet. Play the field and learn more about what I want in a partner. Improve myself in order to be a good, loving, stable companion.

5) Parler Francais. Become fluent in French. I’ve been learning French for 10 years now. Why am I not bilingual yet? Ugh.

I will post a quarterly update to let you know how I am doing with my New Year’s resolutions. I have a lot of other goals this year which includes helping my dad open his restaurant, work with a nonprofit volunteering, find a new job, over celebrate birthdays, and make lots and lots of happy memories.

This year, anything is possible!!!

So what is your New Year’s resolution?

"I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night- there must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest."
— Marilyn Monroe