Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm Moving!

Morning All!

I can now be found at Love. Self. Entirely.

Please come visit!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Self Destruction, We're Heading For Self Destruction

I have what you call an self destructive personality. I’m also a risk taker, which coupled with having an addictive personality doesn’t always end up being the best thing.

Over the course of my 25 years, I have dabbled in a lot of stuff. Things that when I do tell, people are often shocked because, “I don’t look like that type of girl”.

Well, guess what? I am that girl and yes, we don’t all look like rebels from the dark side, we come in all shades and colors.

I remember in high school wearing that badge proudly the “Oh, I did this last night or, I don’t remember what I did but it was good and of course, the where am I?” I’ve said those lines one too many times and it's quite sad now that look back on it.

If it wasn’t stealing money from my mother’s money drawer to buy diet pills when I was 9, it was dealing with bulimia during high school or starting to smoke when I was in the 7th grade on the first day I played hooky. Yes, I remember all these things and the list still goes on.

The list I felt for sometime far outshined the good I used to do in my day to day life and in order to cope, the “bad things” that I used to do became my crutch. It was what I ran to when I was in conflict or crisis because I knew the outcome and I was controlling it.

I have lived my life like this for years. As soon as something was going great, I would “freak out” and rush back to something destructive or familiar because even if it caused me severe pain, at least I knew what the end result would be. There would be no hope, no longing just destructive pain.

No person could cause me the amount of damage that I have given myself, so why should I fear anything?

Truth be known, I was afraid of everything. I was scared of being the failure, the black daughter in a line of strong (sometimes, too strong); resilient women and I would never measure up. Or that I wouldn’t be as smart as my mother or as funny as my brother or, skinny or, or, or…
The thoughts ate out my insides day in and day out and the only thing would quiet them would be my vice for that time period. Whether it was abusing my body, being abused by someone, endangering my health by smoking, drugs or anything I could get my hands on. I was afraid to feel and I was afraid to think for myself and I wasted precious time that I will never get back doing it.

Some might find it strange and I am not trying to sound repetitive but part of me died when my mother passed away. The part that held onto a huge chunk of my self destructive ways, somehow it stopped wanting to tick, maybe because it was only then that I realized how life can quickly be so taken away. How precious life really is, how powerless we truly are in some aspects and how much MORE it harms us by not confronting the issue that is holding us back.

Losing my mother was painful but I’m thankful I didn’t fall so hard into my old ways. Sure, I stumbled but I remembered how proud my mother was of me and how she smiled down at me from her hospital bed and it felt like a part of me healed or at least, it didn't hurt nowhere near as bad as before.

So I did the unthinkable, I stopped letting self destruction rule my life. I began making conscious choices, and I owned them all, completely. Both the good and the bad, I was taking action with no type of vice and I was opening myself to all that entailed.

Whatever that was or whatever that may be. I'm living, breathing proof that it can be both scary and hard but worth it in the long run. That it won't happen overnight and you will stumble but you will be quick to brush yourself off and move on. It can and will be done, you just have to want to stop it. You just have to love your life more than your vice!

Lesson: Things may be hard and difficult and some days it’s quicker to hide from it all but if you can advance forward, even if it’s just a smidge. You would have done a heck of a lot more than that cigarette would do for you, or that feeling of binging or those new shoes. They may cure all momentarily but making conscious, proactive decisions not only protect your present but secure your future as well in this life!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Getting Outside Your Past

Growing up, I saw couples destroy each other in front of their children, in front of family or anyone who was willing to listen. The majority of the time was spent ripping each other to shreds so much that when there were moments of happiness, I would often wish for the dysfunctional times because it was what I was used too seeing.

Whether it was my parents, my grandparents, aunts and uncles, I was surrounded by people miserable in their marriage, their life and surroundings.

I decided that I would never be like that even if I have to end up alone or in strings of relationships that never went anywhere because I made sure that they wouldn’t.

During the course of my dating history, I have either ran from the idea of love or destroyed it enough so that it ended up running away from me. I tried to make myself unlovable because I wasn’t sure how to give or receive it. All I knew how to do was allow for people to break me down or become so cold and withdrawn that they ended up leaving me. I would shutdown and slowly self destruct because I didn’t know how to be happy and FUNCTION in a relationship. I wasn’t sure how to keep it stable or how to speak from my heart because I never had the opportunity to see it.

Love was an enigma and I was just coasting in it. I allowed others to dictate my wants and desires and allowed myself to get caught up in relationships that abused me in one way or another.

Losing my mother taught that me that I can’t go through life, alienating people because I was too scared to want them near. Meeting my boss and his wife proved to me that two people can form a loving, stable marriage that would stand the test of time.

All I had to do was believe that I was worth it. That I could have that and more if I put my past aside and opened myself up to life and all that it has to offer.

I’m still working on expressing love fully and having the actions match up with my words and sometimes the fear sneaks in and I want to push people far away because I hate showing pain.
So what do I do? I feel it, I allow myself to experience it all, the love, pain, sorrow, happiness; I open myself to it and become a better person because of it.

Allowing your baggage to control you won't ever get you anywhere. If you don't see your own worth, how can you expect anyone else too?

Don't allow your past to dictate your future.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Finding Comfort In Being

One of my longest setbacks had to do with my starting to write again. After my mother passed away, all creative sources in me welled up and died along with her. I did the same routine day in and day out (hating it all the while), but that’s all I could do because I felt so lost. In time, I became used to this, hating my life but to comfortable in it to stop it. I figured I would wake up one day and my life would be in alignment and things would be okay all I had to do was sit there and wait.

So, I did. I gained weight, became more angry and miserable in my day to day living. I decided that I need to take my life back but how? How do I reclaim something that has evaded me for so long, what if I couldn't, what if I was too old (I'm 25)? 

Yea, right. Excuses, excuses...I really should make that my middle name.

That's when I decided to take my life back and soon, I could feel my creativity energy soaring back. I could write again not at the valor that I used too but I’m working on it. Dancing felt seamless, my body connecting more to the movement and the music and less self conscious, everything seemed new and fresh again. I realized then how not having creativity in my life changed me, I was stunting my growth and slowly draining all the color from my life. When I forgave myself and allowed myself to be happy, I felt free and open to all my blocks and they finally began to crumble and I could breathe again.

Which is when I entered my catch 22. 

With the walls coming down, though came all the pent up emotions surrounding my mother’s death. Stuff that I didn’t even know existed; my mind was cluttered with thoughts of her, of guilt and anger. I felt them so strongly and at first it was disarming because I thought I handled so much of this. 

Yesterday, I was triggered at work. My bosses' wife is battling cancer and she is being taken off a brand of chemotherapy because she isn't responding the way they all hoped. She is also a second mother to me. So, she came downstairs to work on something and I asked her how she was doing and she turned to me and started to cry. "I'm just sick of tired of being sick and tired," she said.

She reminded me so much of my mother then. I could feel it all rushing back, that helpless feeling. Of wanting to help but knowing that I can't, not the way that I want too. So I end up crying because all these feelings well up inside me and I can't bottle them up, anymore.

Yet, initially, I wanted to stuff all those feelings back down and go back to what was comfortable and familiar but I knew better. Hiding from it won't help matters any.

I have to handle this now or else I’ll keep drowning from the inside out. I have to learn to sit in my pain long enough to handle it and not be ashamed of my vulnerability. That being vulnerable isn't a sign of weakness but the opposite. That, just being is really okay, being present in this feeling and not feeling that I have to hide it anymore.

That I can find comfort in being still.
In being myself, finally.

And that I feel strong enough to share it all with you.

Thank You.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Yesterday, I touched upon my issues with procrastination. I feel that is one of my most undesirable character traits. Often times I blamed it on my special type of “OCD” or that there weren’t enough hours in the day and that there was always tomorrow! Of course, tomorrow would arrive and I would scramble around making another batch of excuses to combat why I was delaying what ever project I had on my calendar. It could have been something simple like washing my car, doing the laundry or exercising but I would still convince myself that it wasn’t something I had to do right this second and I could push it aside.

Lately, I have been struggling hard with this procrastination issue. But instead of making excuses, I’m handling it and doing my best to get to the bottom of the issue. The fact is, is that I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I stop procrastinating that the divide between me and supposed failure will be that much thinner and part of me wonders if I can handle it.

I’m afraid to fail, I’m worried that it might not be what I want and I’d have devoted all this time to something that didn’t get me anywhere. I don’t think I’m good enough to be what I really want, I’m even AFRAID to figure out what I really want to do.

So instead, I procrastinate…I push it away, out of my head for that hour, that day, month or year; but it always comes creeping on back in. I have tried out sleeping it, out drinking it, out – well, you get the idea; I have pretty much tried everything humanly possible to stop these thoughts that plague my brain.

I have even used my lesser procrastinations (i.e. washing my car, laundry, etc.) as tools to blow off the bigger things that I know I should handle. Which worked just fine for me, until this year, I can’t explain it really. Something went off inside me and I knew I couldn’t just coast on through my life having private trepidations hold me back repeatedly. Not when I have so much I want to do, not after losing my mother in a span of one month and being powerless about it. I can feel my potential but I was too scared shitless to utilize it.

I couldn’t keep doing this to myself. I wouldn’t allow myself to be a supporting character in my own life and if I wanted to accomplish anything, I couldn’t wait for it to happen. I had to get off my comfy arse and get too it!

I started reading self help books, travel books, writing books. I renewed my passport; started running took up dance again. I got out there, I got involved in my life and I’m still adding new things to do. It’s not about being great at everything now because I know that I can’t be but I’m never going to know where my strengths are until I get out there and try.

So what’s in store for me?
1. Writing, this blog and my book
2. Losing the last stubborn bit of this weight
3. Travel off the East coast by myself
4. Video blog
5. Apply to graduate programs both here and in London

What gets in your way? Have you been able to conquer it? If you are a former procrastinator, I would love to hear your insight!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Car + Gas = Movement.

I've been known to procrastinate a time or two or three...

So Sunday, I was out early trying to get an oil change for my car because it’s way past due. I looked down at my gas gauge and I noticed that it said 25 miles before my tank is empty. I thought to myself, “I don’t need to stop, I have enough gas to get to Wal-Mart”, granted I didn’t even know where this Wal-Mart was exactly but I had a good feeling I’d make it there in time. A gas station came up to a gas station on my left, I kept going. Came to a light there sat a gas station on my right and I still kept going.

So, I guess you can figure out what happened. My car gave a little shudder, so I swerved all the way over to the turning lane. I stopped at the red light and waited for my turn to go, I could even see the station bright as day right across the street, and then I felt it. Another sputter followed by a shake, instinctively I pushed on the gas to move forward. I moved forward a smidge than stillness, no sound, no nothing but stillness. My car decided to putter right out of gas, in the left hand turning lane of one of the busiest intersections on Cobb Parkway. Cars were lining up behind me; I could hear the honking echo behind as I sat looking forward at the light changing from green blending into yellow sliding right into red.

Well, since my car wasn’t going anywhere and the lights were going to keep changing, I did what every sensible, urban chick would do, I turned on my hazard lights opened up my car door and prepared to run to the gas station. Well, that all changed as soon as I opened up the door and a strong gust of wind came blowing in causing my dress to fly up. Sexy, yes I know but thankfully someone stopped to help after seeing my plight of trying to run while holding my dress in place. I would like to think that they stopped because I was a young woman walking alone not due to the unintentional flashing of my pink trousers.

Suffice it to say, I got my gas and a kind, older gentlemen made sure I got my car back up and running and to the nearest gas station.

And you know what; I owned my accountability for what happened. I couldn’t be angry, I couldn’t play the victim this was my fault. I knew how much gas I had in my car but I took the risk anyway. I passed two other gas stations that were within easy access and I passed them because I swore I could make it to Wal-Mart. I wanted to wait until the last possible second to fill up because (like grocery shopping), I hate stopping for gas. So, I waited because I knew I had this beat so when my car stopped at a busy intersection on Sunday, I didn’t even bother swearing or trying to rationalize it in my head. I messed up; I knew it all the people behind me knew it and I had to deal with the consequences. I wanted to do things when I wanted too, of course my car had different plans but now I realize that when opportunity presents itself on MULTIPLE occasions, maybe I should get outside of my pride/ego and think with some common sense. Why put off tomorrow what you can do today? (I think I’m taking this cliché thing too far but its true). I had ample opportunity to put gas in my car but I chose to ignore because I felt I needed to get somewhere.

If you think about it, that’s how some people coast through life only stopping when they are forced too not by making the conscious choice to do it themselves. There are plenty of things that you can be doing today that you might not be thrilled about possibly but it shouldn’t deter you, if anything It’ll make your arrival your destination that much smoother in the end.
Granted, I could always fall back on CPT and say it’s in my blood to wait until the last minute. CPT stands for Colored People Time by the way. I realize I can’t stand and hold true to that claim, though. It would be considered generalizing and I’m trying my best not to do that.

Are there things that you are delaying in your own life because you feel like you’ll get to them when you want too? Just remember, when opportunity presents itself don’t always let it pass you by or else you may end up like me, stranded in the middle of the interstate trying to figure out how to quickly fix a situation that could have been avoided, if procrastination wasn’t an issue.

Good Times.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Search of My Missing 'Om'.

I really need to curb these feelings of being “lesser than”. In one of my last posts, I discussed how I always came second to everyone’s expectation of me and that I always have this mental tug of war. If I say I can’t do something or I am not as accessible as before, I feel that I’m shattering their opinion of me and that I can easily be replaced.

I realize this way of thinking is severely flawed, however.

Now, I sit and think. If my being involved in someone’s life is based on what I can do for them and nothing else, I’m really better off alone. I’m not your maid, servant, chauffeur, personal shrink so why do I feel beholding to the people close in my life. Why are my boundaries so skewed? That’s actually a whole other topic, which I’m sure I’ll cover later.

I wouldn’t consider myself “new age” at all, I don’t see anything wrong with it but until recently, I never really bought into the idea of it. Call it the ‘Christian conservative’ side of me but until college, I was around people who identified mostly as Christian and I didn't expand my horizons until then.

So a good friend of mine introduced me to
mantras. Words or sentences that apply to you or the situation that brings you a sense of calmness and peace that aids in bringing you back to center. I was hesitant about posting mine but after reading I was hesitant about posting mine at first but I decided to take the plunge and after reading Semi-Charmed Wife's posting about transforming negative feelings, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just put it all out there.

Since I’m on this journey of finding myself and finding my true center, I came up with a few of them to help me through out some of my more anxious (read, CONTROLLING)times.

My Mantra’s:

1. I am only in control of me and my actions; I can’t handle anyone else’s. Those are their issues. I am not here to save anyone from things that life brings to them. I can't get people to do what I want them to do, just because I think a certain way may be better doesn't mean it's what they want to do. I can't force a change in anyone's life but my own. I need to be strong and secure in who I am before I even try to assist someone else along those lines.

2. I will say no assertively and won’t feel bad about taking time for myself. Growing up around aggressive, opinionated and very narrow minded women, I often felt out casted and never accepted. The only way it seemed that my family actually liked and wanted me around was when I was doing something for them. I easily became the ‘yes girl’ that everyone ran too and I would drop whatever I was doing to help. My sense of self became wrapped up in other people and their satisfaction and when I wasn’t getting it from them; I often became lost and self-destructive.

3. If it feels wrong to me, I won’t do it. This one goes hand in hand with my fear of saying no. I often would involve myself in situations where intuitively I knew the outcome wasn’t good but I didn’t want to rock the boat so I entered into an unhealthy situation to appease the other person.

4. Treat myself the way I expect others to treat me. I recently realized that because I received all my good feelings off of how I made others feel, I never noticed how bad I treated myself in comparision to the other person. The love I bestowed upon another person (who more often than not, didn’t return my feelings), was the exact same thing I should have been giving myself all along. Knowing your boundaries and what you will and will not allow is one of the healthiest things that you can do for yourself. No one has the right to mistake your kindness for weakness. Your feelings are a gift that someone should cherish – family or otherwise – and you should feel that they realize that.

5. Live in the Now & Enjoy it. Self Explanatory, I hope! You can’t change the past, you can’t dictate the future exactly, enjoy the present moment for what it is! This is the simplest to understand but the hardest to do, even for yours truly.

I took to reciting mantra’s rather easily often times I do it aloud (I’m by myself, usually). My next step is to carve out some morning time where I can start a practice of meditation on a particular mantra for that day.

Does anyone else out there in this blog bubble participate in the use of mantras? If so, what is it? Why do you do it and have you noticed a difference? Also, if you don't buy into the mantra hype, please let me know your thoughts as well!

Nothing like therapy to keep it real.

(FYI - I do go to therapy and I'm a huge advocate of it. Many folks in the black community aren't fond of it but I'm here to hopefully bring new light and shed the fear of it that many may have.)

In my Sunday therapy session, my therapist touched on a very important point. It was on how humans tend to generalize situations and people in ways that we aren’t aware of. At first, I was adamant that I, as open minded as I am couldn’t be capable of generalizing. No, not me at all! I accepted everyone for who they were whether I agreed with it or not. So my therapist was seriously mistaken on that idea. Until he stumbled onto this little tidbit halfway into the session.

Dr. G: So, do you think that your brother is incapable of listening to you?

Me: Yes, but I think that’s a male trait. You try to talk to them and then they shut you out. That’s what they always do. It’s just how they are.

Dr. G: So are all men like that? Am I like that? What are you implying exactly?

Me: ….. (that’s my being silent)

OKAY. I generalize. I open my mind to people of all walks of life but as soon as one of my mental triggers gets hit, it’s over. My walls go up, I start labeling the person and the situation and have the end result wrapped up in my head before I even issue a reply.

It’s done. It’s finished. I have it handled and I know what I have to do because they (in this case, men) are all the same.

I know I was in the wrong but my first instinct still was to start blaming, “Well, doesn’t everybody do that? I know I’m not the only one.” Then I remembered, I’m not in therapy to work on other peoples issues (because my money definitely doesn’t grow on trees), I’m here to work on my own SO I need to OWN MY STUFF and deal. It’s still so easy, so very easy to blame others though. *sigh*

Of course I know logically they [men] aren’t all the same but generalizing helps me feel vindicated in my feelings and I’m always right in what I feel? RIGHT?!

Shit. I have another thing to focus and be aware of.

I’m not being hard on myself at all. I realize that being honest and accountable is going to take time because I’m not used to it, so I’m not going to complain (at least, not today).

Goal for this week:

Check my generalizing. Just because I may not like or understand something doesn’t mean I should compare it to someone or something similar in my memory.

Trying to be fully mentally aware is quite draining. How do you feel about generalizing, does it get in your way of life or something you are blissfully (and plan to remain) unaware of? Please, feel free to share!

Oh, and another thing. To all who have stumbled upon my little blog. No matter how long you stay, I appreciate it since I have no idea how I'm being found.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Expiration Dates Is For Food Only!

Today, at one of the local radio stations, they were interviewing Buster Martin a 101-year-old employee of a plumbing mill in England.What is so special about Buster you may ask (well, the fact that he's 101 and still working is a HUGE feat to me but I digress), what is so special about him is that at the age of 101 he is going to attempt to run a full marathon.

Now, I at 25 wouldn't dare to attempt it due to frustration and fear of entering but not finishing but hearing Mr. Martin tell the story of his life, you can't help but caught up in his infectious energy. Life seems to be to an ongoing journey and you can't stop because you are too old, not as smart (so you think) or not as attractive. Life doesn't go on hold because as a society we have "shelf life" and feel that after a certain number of years we are no longer a commodity but a hindrance.

Discovering a story such of this reminds us that life is truly what you make of it. I know for me personally, I was rushing through each day, my life revolving around working, working out, eating and sleeping. I had all these milestones and goals I had to meet and I couldn't stop because as a woman (throw in being a black one at that),I felt I had to accomplish all these things because right now time ison my side. So many nights have been spent with thoughts rushing through my mind (I'm also an insomniac, surprising, eh?) about how I had to have "X, Y and Z" done by this specific time because if it didn't happen then it never would and I only have this allotment of time before I'll be viewed a certain way in society. (It hurts my brain even by reading the typed out words!) If it isn't how you physically change, it's how you are perceived in the workforce or even how people address you. I've lost countless hours that I won't be able to ever get back over something that is coming anyway. You will get old, be thankful because it's something that can't be avoided no matter what you do or how many black American Express cards you may own. You just have to come to terms with it and deal because it will never change. Don't let fear of your "expiration date" hold you back from enjoying your life fully.

Celebrate life and take a more active role in it. Our time on earth is limited but how you spend your time while here is limitless.

I think that may be my Friday Quote of The Day! I need to come up with a nifty title for it, though (and yes, I realized I used 'nifty').

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coming In Second To Yourself

I have to be truthfully honest. I have issues with being changed. I
resisted it for awhile because all of my life, I've had people who
wanted to change me, mold me into what they deemed as "perfect" (i.e.
the perfect, daughter, sister, niece, girlfriend, etc). The real me
(the person I was at the time) was never good enough, I came SECOND to the vision people had of me in their head.

Irealize now that I had no true sense of self and I was scared to figure itout because it was foreign to me. I wasn't raised around women that were strong in who they were and unapologetic about it. Nobody wanted to push the envelope, go against the grain
willingly. Instead they looked towards other people to fill that void.

I think people tend to live their life through other people, putting these unrealistic expectations on people who are too uncertain to act and live life on their own terms and convictions. Fear being the main culprit, why risk it all when you can go through life existing. Your life might not be bad necessarily but at the same token, it's not WHO you are either. My mother and I had a difficult relationship at times. I know she loved me and I'm thankful that I got to see her before they took her off the ventilator as she was dying from cancer. We cleared up so much and I'm happy for those moments because it gave me closure to a lot of what I was feeling. Since I can remember, I was always plagued with the idea that the person that I am would never be good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, funny, popular and nearly any other positive adjective that can be attributed to ones self.

So in order for me to gain others' love and acceptance (as I thought), I began to become who they wanted me to be and yes, it would work for awhile. Then gradually, I would become resentful and hurt and angry because what made me (the person I was inside), what made that person so bad? What did I do to them? Therein lies my problem, I put the issue on myself and absorbed it, I began to believe all the negatives about myself because these people who were far older, wiser and “settled” in their daily lives than me knew what they were talking about. So, who was I to question that? I relinquished part of my power over to them and lost a part of myself.

I quickly felt I didn't have control over my own life and how I was living. I resorted to destructive behavior (pills, drinking, smoking, eating) because that was the only way I could exercise control over myself in that situation. All the destruction was mine and even though, I was hurting myself in the long run I felt vindicated by doing it because I was getting back at every single person who made me feel lesser than. Anger caused me to lose myself in the hurt and frustration, which in turn gave them even more power over me.

And I'll be perfectly honest with you; I still struggle with those exact same feelings and frustrations. Even though, I have removed myself from most of the situations and came to peace with some (i.e. my mother), the ramifications of how I felt still resonate me so deeply. I am still not as strong in myself as I should be and when someone challenges how I see or do things, the pain that I feel hits me so hard because it sends me right back to that place. And my response is to run right back to my old vices, so I can feel in control again.

The only thing I realize now is that no one has power over me, if I don't let them. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” quoted Eleanor Roosevelt and now I understand fully what she meant.You choose to give someone power over you, you choose to let them keep it and you choose to reclaim it and make it yours again. You are your own unique being and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Be strong in who you are as a person, and own that because it is the one thing that will comfort and keep you strong in this life.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Opening Up

I am not a romantic, not in the typical sense. I have my moments when I want to light a fleet of candles, cook the good food, even put in the soft music but I can count on my hand the number of times that I’ve done that. (It was only once.) It was nice at the time and I wouldn’t mind doing more of it but I seem to do daily battle with myself. The women in my family are not known for their soft sides at all, so for me to discover that part of myself is unnerving. I feel that women of color often have to put up these “fronts”. In fact, we “front” all the damn time (I’m guilty of this, so I’m calling myself out too). I don’t know why we are this way, incapable of being soft outside of the bedroom. I shouldn’t feel bad about expressing my love in a non-sexual way but I’ve come to realize that is the only way I can express love, period. I don’t know how it feels to be wined and dined and I have NO idea on how to reciprocate that feeling. I want to have that; I’m tired of all the excuses. “I’m not used too it…wasn’t it good before, what happened?” I came from a home where my parents stayed together for years when they should have been divorced, there was no love shown all we witnessed was tension and anger. I know that if you aren’t strong enough to end the cycles that you are shown, you are doomed to repeat them and I don’t want that. I want to feel love and not run from it, I want a PARTNER that can give me the same.

So ladies, it’s not too late to start. I’m not saying, you have to become a Don Juanita (or something equally as disturbing) but you can spruce it up a little. At least, open your heart to the idea of it and instead over analyzing it in your head, just act on it. Catch him off guard as well as yourself.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Creatively Dreamin'

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
- Jack Kerouac

I promise not to start every blog off with a quote of some kind but I just finished immersing myself in the brief bibliographies of the writers of the Beat generation. Very interesting stuff, how a group of creative intellectuals were some of the most self-destructive individuals in their field. I guess in some ways passion and insanity does go hand in hand. But one thing is for sure, they were being true to themselves maybe not in the most productive, healthy way but they did leave their mark on this planet.

Now, I'm all about wanting to leave my mark on this interesting world of ours but I was wondering how to go about it in a calm way. If such a thing really exists being that everyone has a story to tell. Still, I'd like to think that when I leave this place and someone writes my wikipedia biography that it would detail all the work I've done how I've helped people, that I enjoyed my life and didn't destroy my life or others in the process. Maybe it's that people today enjoy reading the insane about people but I'd think most of these writers would have preferred to be remembered by the merit of their work not that they murdered, shot, drank or shot themselves up to the point of no return.

I find it amusing that people tend to want to exploit the negative more so the positive. No wonder people have complexes the way that they do.

This impossible ideal, this unspoken image that must be upheld at all costs but why does it? Whose standard are we trying to keep alive? Theirs or yours? I remember my parents wanted me to be a doctor, I even entertained it for a while but it's not where my heart was. Since my family tends to equate success with wealth anyway, it came as a shock to them. “What a wondrous profession it would be for their smart, upbeat black daughter!” they thought. Except, that's not what I wanted. I ended up going to school for graphic design and theatre but due to my families issues with the “starving artists” mentality; I dropped the theatre and focused on being a desktop artiste extraordinaire. I brought up my GPA, made Dean's List, joined an honors fraternity and I graduated in the fall of 2004 to the cheers of my family. I was the first grandchild to graduate from college (at least, on my fathers side). Yet, even with that behind me now, I knew that this road was still not for me. I didn't want to work for corporate America; I didn't want to sit behind a desk all day, staring at a computer as my eyes dilated. I watched how my parents were, having a “job”, counting down the years to retirement so they could finally do what they really wanted. I didn't want to start living at 50 or 60 but I shut my mouth and went with what they wanted because they were my parents and they knew what was best.

In the black community (I'm sure it happens elsewhere but I can only speak about my own), things focus around more of what you have more than where you are. If you drive the newest Benz out there and command a three-figure salary, it doesn't matter that you hate your job because you are PAID, just take a vacation! I know that my parents just wanted to make sure that I choose a field that I could be fully independent and take care of myself, they are old school and I appreciate that they always cared about my wellbeing but what about putting stock in my dreams? I can't help but be slightly envious of people that I know or read about that their parents who nurtured their dreams and said they could do anything that they put their mind too instead of molding them into what they believed success to be. I never received that, I heard “…creativity is a hobby and you won't ever make a viable living at that” or “…you are smart, why would you waste time on something so silly?”

So being the people pleaser that I am I forsake my love of the arts, put it on a shelf and did like I was told. Now here I am, four years later and I'm chomping at the bit to get back to what's been in my soul for so long. Your passions exist inside you for a reason, only you can be strong enough to live them. Dismissing them won't ever set you free.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coming Clean

Owning Up to Your BS

I credit myself on not being the average gal when it comes to a lot of my decisions in life (both the good and the bad) but after recently coming to terms with a lot of the “loose threads” in my life, I realized I really need to OWN my stuff.

Most of my life I have always lived the way that others wanted me too. When I was younger, I had to act a certain way (whether it was at school or church). I was treated a certain way or told that I was not like most black people (whatever that means) and I was ostracized from my black peers because I seemed to “uppity”. Most of my friends were white but even amongst all of them, I stuck out. Not only due to my race but due to my size as well. You remember hearing how all the beautiful people had that one “ugly” friend, well not only was I on the plumper side; I also came with a permanent tan as well, SCORE!

So to say, I had issues would not be an understatement. But life isn’t always easy and I have the survivor mentality engraved in my genes, so I overcame all of that. I made black friends, I lost a good bit of the weight and I thought I was fine. That I was handling things, that I knew who I was finally and that I was happy.

Unfortunately, I was wrong on all counts (luckily, this isn’t baseball). Losing my mother at 23 to cancer (she was 43), changed me incredibly. I worked more, buried myself in a relationship and tried to just survive the pain I was feeling and get up in the morning. It worked wonders for 3 years and now here I am before you at 25.

I own a condo, a car, I even work at a job that I like but it doesn’t feel like I’m living my life. It feels like I’m the supporting actor and on some days an extra in my own life’s story and you know, it’s tiring. Letting fear and complacency dictate my outcome isn’t a way for me to live. I never wanted to live that way but it’s seems during the past 3 years I built this concrete cocoon around myself and all I can do now is sit and stare.

And I let that be my excuse. That people needed me to be a certain way. I had to be strong for my brother and father, I had to hold down a job that I HATED because I graduated from college and that’s what people do. I love to a degree but never let myself be vulnerable or say that I need someone to be there because I could do it all alone. I helped others through their pain, their squashed hopes and dreams and pushed all mine to the side because I was the “stronger” of the two. Pushed the anger and resentment down so much that it had nowhere to go but still I pressed on.

This past Thursday, I was told I have severe high blood pressure. I was put on medication. I realized how I was living my life prior was destructive to myself; emotionally, physically and spiritually and even though I hesitate, my health IS telling me that I have to make changes.
I HAVE TO OWN MY BULLSH*T. Plain and simple. I can’t delay it, I have to do it now and I have to do it for me because I want to leave this life having lived every day of it to the best of my ability not regretting things that I could have done if only I had MORE time.

So it begins here with me.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Today, I realized that you have to always move forward, always keep fighting for what you love because you only live once this lifetime. This journal will be the entrance into my inner most thoughts. My dreams, passions and desires will be spilled out for all to see in the hopes that someone out there, someone who is like me, will take that first step. The first one is always the scariest, standing on that ledge leaving behind what you know and moving forward towards something unfamiliar but it's soothing at the same time. If by reading this, you emerge with the courage to take that step that will be all that I need. Along, the way, you'll encounter some swearing, frustration, temporary setbacks but I want people to see my journey because I believe people want to sugar coat things and not OWN their issues and baggage. I am 25 years old; I believe it's time to be fully aware of all my actions the good, bad, ugly and shameless. So this is my being accountable to all of you (or just the one viewer, so "heeeey" to you.) but here, I will be honest always. The things you want in life involve huge risk and nothing will ever be handed to you, ever.

I would be lying if I didn't say I was scared but having being complacent as my only other option, I have no other choice. I'm the product of a dysfunctional nuclear core (who isn't, these days), dishonesty, verbal and mental abuse ran rampant in our households. Growing up, I never had strong, confident female figures and that has shaped the woman that I am today. Was my mother horrible? No, she was an excellent parent but she was easily hurt, which turned her into someone very cold and spiteful. She could hold a grudge something fierce. Still, even with all of that she was the smartest woman I have come across but I see that she was a product of her environment, just like I am one of mine. And this is not about blaming or pointing fingers, deflecting attention away from the real issue which is I. In order to move forward, you have to make peace with your past or else you will be doomed to repeat it.

I'm tired of repeating, of making excuses just to feel better. At least now, when I fall I will do it honestly.