May 4, 2011 Leave a comment
May 3, 2011 Leave a comment
Earlier this year, I was cleaning out and organizing my email accounts, and I ran across an email that I sent to myself in 2008 to create a vision board. I do that a lot, send emails as reminders to myself; however, I suppose this one got lost in the shuffle. But actually, my rediscovering of this email couldn’t be more timely. I was feeling like I was in a rut and not moving forward. Or maybe I was moving forward, but I didn’t feel like it was the right direction for me. So I used this email reminder to create a vision board as an opportune time and method to refocus and gain new insights on what I really want to do and who I really want to be.
The items that came to mind surprised and overwhelmed me. I realized so many of my reachable goals had been pushed to the background. So many of my interests and hobbies that gave me life dissolved under workloads and strained relationships. Since that time, I have gotten back to me. I removed the expectations of others, turned to the sources of true delight, and then created a plan. A new road map since the previous one…faded, dirty, trodden- it was best to just begin again. And with so much on the to-do list, I began to get overwhelmed. I grew frustrated over the time I’ve lost and opportunities I’ve missed. But then I realized those frustrations were just distractions that had lingered too long. I could only start from where I am. I can only start with today. And move forward. Focused on the vision of a better me.
April 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Welcome to another edition of Light Fridays
Dear Gas Prices,
I guess there is no easy way to say this. Sigh. Where do I start? When I first met you, you were so cool and fine as hell. I mean like super sexy. Man, I remember the first time I had to pump gas for my own use, you were $0.92 per gallon. Woooweee. You and I together were unstoppable. We would be all over the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Whenever you got low, I eagerly went to find some more of you. A measly $10 was not going to come between me and you. I would volunteer to pick up my friends, take them wherever they needed to go, and wouldn’t dare ask for gas money because they too were worth a few dollars’ worth of gas. Sometimes, friends would sneak and leave $5 in the console. I would be elated because that meant 5 whole gallons worth of gas. I thought it would be blissful forever.
Then you started thinking I was taking you for granted. You said I only hit you up when I need you. I guess I never said thank you. I figured you knew I appreciated you staying in shape, keep them numbers down. I wish I would have said something before now. But now here we are, and I am no longer find you remotely attractive. You’ve let yourself go. I am actually disgusted whenever I see you; so much so I just turn away when I am using you that way I don’t have to face how much you jacked me for until the last possible second. Then I stare at my receipt full of regret and remorse wondering how in the hell we got here.
I know I need you. But I wrote this letter so you know we’re not cool anymore. Also, please stop with the automated pleasantries, it only annoys me further. Thanks.
April 28, 2011 Leave a comment
As I play this game of WWF (Words with Friends, yes I’m an addict), I can’t help but wonder if what they say is true. Am I too forgiving? Do I overlook too many faults??
I am not convinced there is such a thing- being too forgiving. Maybe there is. Maybe he is not worth my forgiveness after the gravest act of treason. But that was years ago. How long are you supposed to hold a grudge? Forever? Who does that benefit? Not me. Not my heart. Not my growth.
I know it is not the forgiveness that upsets people but it is reestablishment of friendship like nothing bad ever happened. I believe it is the restoration of trust that sends them over the edge. Yes, I believe that is the kicker.
I forgive because I know the God can change anyone at any time using anything, anybody or any experience. I am not the same person I was last month, and definitely not the person I was three years ago. I’d like to think I’ve progressed, moved closer to the mark. Some days I am not so sure, and I wonder if I am only circling the perimeter by allowing people back in my life. Then I convince myself it is only circling the perimeter if no one has grown… only if no lessons have been learned. And then, once again, I waiver back and forth if any lessons have been learned.
One thing I know for sure is forgiveness is more than a state of mind, it requires action. If you treat a person with the same stank attitude, the same vindictive actions as you did while you were upset, then how is one to tell the difference? I typically bypass this step all together. It’s such a waste of time and energy.
I thought with as much forgiveness as I hand out that forgiveness would automatically be bestowed to me. That has not been the case, by far. This ridiculously high pedestal some people have me on is absurd. I don’t even like pedestals. Pedestals are for the inanimate ornaments and are not designed for mere humans. And while I can’t control other’s actions, I can control my own. It is with that at the forefront that I forgive in the same manner I wish to be forgiven on that imminent judgment day- completely. And for once, I will make sure I don’t neglect to forgive the most important person-myself.
February 17, 2011 5 Comments
It seems marriage is the conversation of choice in every arena nowadays. I get it. We are getting older and people are concerned (read: paranoid) of ending up alone. It is upon this fear that any and all publications giving advice on how to become married-to not end up alone and bitter, is savagely devoured.
One of my favorite professors at Howard University stressed the importance of researching the author of literature. At the time with the tediousness of course work and time management, it seemed like a waste of time. I mean why can’t I just pick up the book, bypass any prefaces and publication information, and just begin reading?? However, any architect will tell you the details lie in the point of view. So when I finally read, Why You’re Not Married after several reposts on my newsfeeds, I was glad I didn’t have to dig to get her background and thus the perspective in which she approached the topic of a woman’s desire to be married.
After reading the title, and her background, I begin to digest the information she presented. And while I can appreciate, the deliberate shock factors to evoke an immediate response, the article’s tone was cynical and bitter. In essence, she was “the bitch” advising you not to take the road she did. Experience is a hell of a teacher, but sometimes our experiences, those people in which we interact, and relationships we develop are simply projections of who we are and how we value ourselves. The persona and expectations of marriage, gender roles, and family structure of a woman coming from a stable, loving home will be completely different from those of a woman coming out of a foster care system with a history of neglect… So from her perspective and how she approaches people and situations, I believe the information she presented was valid. I know several women with the mindset of wanting better than they are, so maybe that article spoke to them in a real way.
There was one sentiment, I did agree with McMillian on: marriage will make not you happy. You need to already be happy. So many women believe marriage will fix them and all of their life’s ills. You don’t have to be a three time divorcee to know it will not, if anything it will create more responsibility and its respective stresses. It is the complete and total end of “I.” The new focus is “we” and the consequences “my” actions have on “us.” I equate it to enrolling in a graduate program whereas the reward is indeed great, but the work is real and challenging at times. Even after graduation, you still have to study to stay proficient in your field.
What I am tired of reading is this sentiment that women should just keep their mouth closed and become these passive, weak, opinionless women in order to gain and keep a man. A real man is not intimidated by a woman that thinks for herself and has standards. As of matter of fact, he appreciates that as it separates her from the rest. I will go as far to say, if a black man was raised by a [loving] black woman- he expects it. He will either step up or fall back.
Here is my perspective in my 15 years of hands on research that will hopefully save women a lot of time and heartache. I have determined that there are really only two types of men on the planet- those that are in love with you and those who are not. Those men that are in love with you will cooperate [within reason] and/or take the path of less resistance. Those who are not in love with you will not cooperate or feel responsible for your feelings. It is really that simple. Real love can’t be manufactured; it simply is and then tended to constantly. But as always, all loving relationships begin with a sincere love of self.
February 2, 2011 8 Comments
I consider it a privilege to have made friends with so many good men. It is with my recent conversations with some of them that I have concluded one thing: Good Men are indeed looking for Good Women! What a relief! For a while there, I believed that good men often went with the ones who caught their attention regardless if the woman was a good one or not. And well, we all are aware to what lengths a woman will go to get a man’s attention. So I was surprised when several men explained that they actually want a woman of substance and quality- both of which are relative to each individual.
So then I asked “What is the problem?? What is so hard about finding a good woman- there are millions of them. I know plenty- all single and all beautiful- inside and out.” It seems the problem successful, good men have is sorting through the rift- trying to determine which women are good from which ones are only good looking.
However, it seems most men go about looking for good women the same way they go about looking for one-nighters. They go to the same places, use the same conversation, and wear the same fits yet somehow expect to garner quality girls out of the exact game used to garner boppers.
When I told a friend that he was too proud of his accomplishments, he was puzzled. I explained that he was quick to respond with his profession and position when asked, “What do you do?” He, like most men, enjoys catching happy hour with a tailored business suit, and clicking the keyless entry to his nice car. They love the attention they receive and are proud of the success that has accompanied their hard work. And while they should indeed be very proud, displaying the results will more often than not attract boppers more interested in the package than the person. I told him that while I love dressing up and getting all fly, I would never date a guy that I meet at my best for two reasons a) I don’t always look like that and b) it is really easy to love and confuse the outer with the inner. If a man catches me in my sweats and hoodie with my hair in a ponytail, he will get more of time than when I am in heels and a dress (back when I was still in the game, of course )
My advice to him and other good men in his position is to play it down. “What down?” he questioned. “Everything,” I answered.
Wardrobe: Instead of going to Happy Hour at one of the nicest restaurants in town wearing your nicest suit, maybe you should go in a casual button up and some slacks…or better yet, a red polo and khakis and make a name tag- look like you work for Target. Take note of who looks your way and how women respond to your approach. Instant eliminator. If and when you find one that is genuinely nice and interested after you introduce yourself and not rude, and doesn’t roll her eyes, and doesn’t pick up her phone to tweet that this dude from Target is trying to holla, and she isn’t laughing at you, then you proceed.
Profession: In no way do I promote lying at any point in any relationship, however sometimes successful men must become creative in answering the what you do for a living two minutes after meeting a girl. Answering that question with doctor, lawyer, engineer, or business owner and you might as well have said your name was Money. Instead of saying,” I’m a doctor,” tell her that you are a caregiver for the elderly or a public health advocate. If you are a lawyer tell her that you are a social activist or a creative writer. The point is to sound like you make the least amount of money possible. The closer your job description sounds to volunteering, the better!
Places: Going to same type of spot night after night and weekend after weekend, you are only going to meet the same type of people if not see the same people all together. Change it up. Go to a museum on the weekend or catch a play after work, and really begin to broaden your network and meet some new faces and new personalities. In doing this, you not only open the door to meet more quality people than the club offers but you heighten what you bring to the table as well. Because once you meet this good, quality woman, she is going to want you to be able to talk about more than what you do for a living and what happened at the club last night.
January 31, 2011 5 Comments
Work. Work. And more work. My apologies.
It felt kind of trivial to discuss relationships without acknowledging a full out revolution taking place in Egypt. There are many full comprehensive guides online to understanding the situation, so I won’t insult your ability to google and read it at your leisure. However, I can’t help but be excited to witness, albeit it virtually, my first revolution…at least that I can remember. To see the extreme measures to have a true democracy, jobs, distribution of wealth, and reform that the Egyptians have taken, I can’t help but wonder where was our, the American people’s revolution, let’s say 4 years ago?? I wonder what actions would be taken against peaceful protesters in a 21st century America.
However, on a deeper and more personal level, I wonder where is Black America’s revolution????? Do we have nothing to fight anymore?? Has the Dream been realized?? You don’t have to look at the dismal statistics on education, poverty, incarcerations, income and lack of wealth distribution to see what I see every day in our communities. And while great strides have been made, I wonder at what cost. We have lost our communities, our family structure, our school systems, our businesses, our children, and our collective causes. The scenario worsens when those that are privileged to find or create a way out of these statistics seldom look back or reach out.
There is hope, of course. Every day I am inspired by a young person who sees no limitations to what they can accomplish. My peers that have a heart of service to our communities motivate and challenge me to do more. And then I can’t help but think about Harriet Tubman who kept coming back, risking herself and her freedom all in an effort to free her people. I imagine all of the effort and courage it took only to get to there and the slaves to not know they are slaves. Even worse, those who knew they were slaves but rather be slaves than try freedom. How frustrating is that? And that is where I feel we, Black America, are…still trying to convince the uninformed that there is still a fight that needs to be fought- orderly, non-violently, and tenaciously.
December 23, 2010 Leave a comment
Thanks so much for the support this year! It has been an awesome experience watching the blog grow from a few friends to what it is now.
I just wanted to take the time out to wish you all a Very Happy Holiday Season! I hope you all find joy in the simplest, yet greatest things- family, a child’s smile, and laughing so hard you cry. Make memories and I will do the same.
Merry CHRISTmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!!!
December 14, 2010 Leave a comment