My “BFF” Is My “Best Foot Forward”

 

I woke up this morning after a night of, well, not restlessness; but peacelessness. Have you ever had that kind of night? Do you know what I mean? It’s rest; no tossing and turning and waking up, counting those animals. But, while asleep, your being is awake; seeming to want to chat, to discuss things; shit, it wants to address things!

So, in slumber what was on the agenda for my being and me, was trying to make sense of the complexities of human nature (boy am I glad I didn’t wake up for that!). I continue to be fascinated and oftentimes, flabbergasted at the maze that is the human being. I marvel at the brilliance and fore-thought that my God invested in the blue-print of man’s physical being; but sheesh…I can’t help but wonder what He could have been thinking when He got to our ‘insides’!

Okay, maybe it’s unfair to pin this on Him; maybe this snafu belongs squarely on our shoulders, manifesting itself through the decisions we make and the actions we take. Maybe we are all just embarrassingly simply a sum-total of our decisions. Perhaps we were all born in identical nothingness; the chalk waiting on the lip of the blackboard for us to begin writing our personas.

Here’s the thing – I think some people have written their lives with way too many spelling and grammatical errors! Christ! I marvel at the “me” that some are seemingly very comfortable being; choosing to move through this one life as marginal human beings, instead of making use of the eraser on top of the pencils…and correcting their mistakes. The epidemic that is spreading that allows for some to assume positions of arrogance and ignorance, instead of humility and insight is one that deeply bothers me.

Let’s address this: we all make mistakes. Lord knows, I commit some daily! But, what I am addressing is not the act of the infraction; but how one chooses to re-act about same. The problem for me lies in the attitude that some adopt when it comes to remaining resolute in their (let’s call it what it is), stupidity! So many dig their heels in and demand that you do the adjusting; that you accept them as they are; staunch in their ignorance!

Here’s another thing – God is my “boy”; but I think His biggest mistake was trusting us with free will! Ha-ha. Seriously. What the hell could He have been thinking, allowing us to run amok like this; leaving us to make important decisions without immediate, adequate supervision? Hahahaha. Okay; I said immediate supervision because what He did do, was create a thing called “karma”; and some (probably a man) has likened it to, well, ahem, a female… dog J

All levity aside, we need to censure ourselves. We all need to establish a moral compass that assists in the quality of the decisions we make. The “thing in our pants” that we’re happy about should be the yardstick that is used to measure the length of our tolerance and the breadth of our fairness and wisdom. We should all get familiar with the adage, ‘treat others the way we want to be treated”. Unfortunately, many of us go through life expecting and oftentimes demanding goodwill and compassion from others; while doling out disrespect and dishonor. Additionally, very few seem willing to accept the consequences or ramifications of their decisions.

IMG_20140831_110023The truth is, there is no need to climb on the backs of others in order to achieve our desired goals. This absolutely wonderful world we inhabit has the ability to make room in order that each of us get what we deserve 😉 . Oh boy. There truly is enough to go around; and, more than enough to share. My victory will never be at the expense of your loss or pain. This is such a beautiful planet we live on. It can be such a remarkably amazing life we lead; if only we were to stop and think benevolently before we act. It truly only takes a few seconds to decide to treat others well; yet the wake of ill-treatment can last a lifetime.

I am fully aware that “it takes all kinds” to make up a world; diversity and all that jazz. But, how about we apply that truth to the color of our skin, the texture of our hair, the flatness or point of our noses, round, plump or flat asses, the slant or round of our eyes, our cultural norms …you get where I’m going; and shy away from the differences that identify us as moral v immoral people –  by simply choosing option A.

You express the truth of your character with the choice of your actions…”

“…Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That”!

 

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Chances are your reasons don’t mirror that of Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins, who got more than her “10 minutes of fame” after being interviewed after escaping a fire in her apartment complex. “Sweet Brown” stamped her (now patented) brand of twang and attitude on this ordinary and often-spoken phrase and created a cult following of sorts, with women everywhere screwing up their faces and twisting their lips, talking ‘bout, “ain’t nobody got time for that…”!

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGxwbhkDjZM

But the truth is, she is quite right! There is so much that can and does happen throughout our day that maybe if we simply look at it, screw up our faces or not and fling, not place, the particular stupidity or annoyance into an “ANGTFT” box, drawer, trunk or basket and keep on moving, we will realize the true power of our words. Maybe we need to fully accept that a lot of what we give energy to not only is not worth it, but can be easily dismissed with the shrug of a shoulder or the curling disdain of a beautiful lip.

Physics, Chemistry, Biology, shit, one of those sciences explains to us how ‘matter’ is fed by oxygen. Stands to reason then, that we can unwittingly breathe ‘life’ into situations, conversations, decisions and contemplations that matter little in the grand scheme of (important) things. Something we should think about.

Let’s address this: during your day today (and, it serves you right if you don’t start your day reading me), how about you scrutinize every decision, thought process and conversation and rate same. Truly. How about you take an active role in how your time is spent. Decide to not waste energy and brain-matter on the foolishness that people can bring and offer up to you, wrapped in pretty paper and labeled with your name. I mean….even if you were to place a pile of manure in a blue box with its signature white bow, long before you pull on the end of that ribbon, you can smell the crap that’s inside!

I’m gonna do it! I’m going to participate in my peace of mind! I collect antique wooden boxes (okay; some are just distressed to look old); so, I’ve got lots of places to put the crap! The devil is busy; but he is also a liar! And, school starts today; so I truly, truly, truly “ain’t got time for that”!

“Listen To The Song Here In My Heart…”

I came to you an innocent

Thinking you were angel sent

The first touch came from you to me

Under your guidance I shaped the woman I came to be

You watched me grow up and took your time

I was patient; thinking you were mine

I figured what I gave to you was beyond measure

I figured what I gave, you would always treasure

So, I worked and worked and did alright

I left it on the table night after night

I left myself bare and showed it all

Depending on you to catch me if I were to fall

You did your thing and matched my hustle

I kept it soft; you flexed your muscle

Together we became a force

So much so, eventually we said “of course

And then she came; she made us three

It’s you, it’s her, it’s y’all for me

To them I give what they deserve

But I always keep for you in reserve

So now I am a woman in love

And my world was rocked because of my sister’s shove

Private became public and the rumors flew

With everyone speculating what we were going to do

Silence has always been my weapon of choice

Until I am ready, then I use my voice

I sing the emotions that are in my heart

I sing it so I don’t fall apart

Celebrity. Role Model. Icon. Wife.

Feeling the pain as sharp as any knife

I am yours; you vowed to be mine

Why put all we have on the line?

Look beyond the moves; please look behind my eyes

Look way down deep where the pain lies

Listen to my words, how they honor you

Then look at our creation; baby please look at Blue

I am simply a woman in love

Whose world was rocked because of her sister’s shove

But the sight of you still brings out the child in me

My beloved, you are still my destiny

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So many of us have been here (well, not exactly here), but the “here” with a broken heart; in fear and confusion, in pain. I dare to imagine I know what she feels; I dare to speak some of the words I imagine she would like to… Fury.

PhD – Purpose. Hope. Determination.

The countdown to the first day of school begins today; and no, not the relief and excitement that most of you parents feel at the knowledge that the dreaded summer break is over and your rug-rats will resume being someone else’s problem in a few short days. Nope, my excitement is because MY summer break is over; school starts for me on Thursday!

Oh…some of you do not know I am a student. Oops, sorry; yes I am. And, I will be attending Hunter College this fall. For the past year and one half, I have been reacquainting myself with the learning process at BMCC; and I have had a blast! It turns out, I am a pretty good student; and, according to my daughter, also a nerd J

Where do I start? Okay…I can go way back or just a little back; and, because I do not want to take up too much of your valuable time, I opt to take you on the shorter journey with me. A little over two years ago, everything I thought I knew about life, age and possibilities changed forever. Has “life” showed you yet how arrogant we sometimes are in our thinking that we not only have the answers, but that we control shit? No? Well, consider yourself lucky; but wait, it will. If yes; then, you know first-hand what I mean.

I woke up one day pregnant. Yes, that is exactly how it happened! One glorious day, I woke up and I was pregnant! Not even with my ability to express myself can I begin to share with you all my disbelief and elation; I was ecstatic; and so was he! One short month later, our world crashed around us when our son left as quietly as he appeared; I miscarried. My devastation and our demise as a couple were as complete as our prior elation had been.

Forgive me…I still cannot articulate too much of this.

School. It’s how I started this narrative. It relates. When something significant happens in one’s life – whether good or bad – it has a way of shifting one’s reality and consequently, all decisions. My decision to go to college was not as a result of losing our son; that decision was made before he visited. But, that loss has, I believe, shaped and fashioned the kind of student I am. You see, even as I spend quite a bit of time laughing at myself and my shenanigans, I simultaneously take my life extremely seriously; and protect it with mama-bear fierceness!

There is a “space” to fill; and in that “space”, I pour all the knowledge and experiences that an education at my age offers me. At the end of my formal education, I will have attained my PhD in Psychology (one million years from now; but hey, will be spending those million years anyway); but, in part because of my educational path and, because my God is a great God, in every classroom I have sat in, I have found a bit here, a morsel there, that slowly stitch together to bring, if not peace, pieces of understanding and healing.

Please forgive me if this post lacks (what I hope is) its usual flow; this one is “ripped from MY headlines”. And, I am now in tears. Okay – I cannot wait for school to start. A little over two years ago, the woman I was changed into the woman I now am. This woman is an avid student with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding. Before, before, my desire was to get an education so that I can get the credentials. Now, I still desire those; they are necessary to fulfill the work I must do (borne out of yet another life-altering moment; remember?); but now, my additional motivation is an education in myself.

For me, there is a humbling that occurs in a classroom; especially when seated with fellow students and being lectured by professors who are younger than I. I am stripped bare. I both know a lot and nothing. In class, all my parts exist – mother (of two), daughter, sister, aunt, friend, lover, god-mother, employee, boss, survivor, shit, now blogger. All of it. And, it is through all of it that I am confident that I will successfully find a way to run the exquisite thread that will seamlessly tie together all that is needed to bring forth the woman that I am determined will make a difference in her way, some day.

To my daughter Aneesa on her educational and womanly journeys. Good luck sweetheart.

To my little boy who, even though he visited very briefly, changed a lot. Thank you my love.

To us; and all the bits and pieces we each carry with us on life’s amazing journey. Rock on.

See you in the hallways…

 

 

 

 

Well…Your Slogan Does Say: “If You See Something, Say Something”

IMG_20140818_191701Yesterday I had the commute from hell trying to get home from work! The ‘4’ to the ‘A”; oh wait….no ‘A’ train service; but a disturbed man running around cursing people and throwing bottles at us! Back upstairs to brave getting back on an always over-crowded ‘4’; wait, wait, wait for it (and no; not in the cool “wait for it” kinda way; I was literally waiting for it!). Off at Nevins Street, hoping to get a taxi the rest of the way home; yet another 45 minute wait, to then get in a taxi and have the driver hit on me for the entire 20 minute ride! Enough!!

So much so, that today I am going to give both of us a break from all my introspection…still traumatized!

But, I am putting everyone on notice right now – one day very very very soon, you will be hearing my thoughts on this gentrification-business; and there are many (as I’m certain you too have a lot to say on it)! For today, I will leave you with this thought/memory: black people…do you remember the time when you would get on the train at rush hour in Manhattan, heading home to Brooklyn? And, do you remember when, on a packed train, you would smartly stand in front of a seated white person because you just knew they would be getting off the at a stop no later than Wall/Chambers/Park Place? Remember that?

This freaking gentrification-business has white folks riding deeper into Brooklyn than I and hogging all the seats! Things are so topsy-turvy, now they’re standing in front of us, waiting on our seats!!! Shit! I’m all kinds of confused! I mean, if a sister can’t depend on segregation, what the hell can she depend on!! Ha-ha.

Just playing…but it would be nice to get a damn seat!

Beauty Is The Beast…

Let’s Address This: On Monday I published a post discussingIMG_20140821_012034 some of my feelings and thoughts triggered by watching Law & Order SVU. Like many of my other thoughts, they were in-depth, somewhat provocative and definitive in my opinion. What they and most others I share weren’t, were the totality of what I think and feel about the given subject.

I am circling back to this particular topic this quickly as shortly after this post was launched, I was contacted privately by a very dear friend (interestingly, and I so value it, I get quite a bit of private rather than public feedback from you all; thank you) who started off by thanking and commending me for sharing my insight on such a highly sensitive subject; but who also wanted to be certain that I continue to expand on and expose some of the other realities little discussed.

In all things, as I had hoped I successfully imparted on Monday, I strive for, if not absolute impartiality, unquestioned fairness. I concede that I am indeed opinionated and fantastically passionate; both traits that I recognize may appear to tilt the direction of a conversation one way or the other. Let me state this outright – I neither do coy or passive-aggressive; I consider both a complete waste of an exchange. So, with that, please always depend on the fact that what you read is what I intended; whether you agree or don’t. Also, count on the probability that I will have more to say on any given topic J

So, I don’t do coy or passive-aggressive; but I do do fore-play and now it’s over. There is a little reported, little acknowledged, little known, little recognized, little discussed, little admitted, little addressed, big reality known as ‘female pedophilia’. In no way are men the only perpetrators of sexual or any other type of abuse; women have and do commit this heinous act as well! Similar to their male assholeparts, their victims can be both male and female – boys and girls. The truth is that women can be just as vicious and equally as predatory as men.

The other sad truth is that this crime when perpetrated by women is not as easily believed; especially when the victim is male. These crimes are hard enough to stomach. So, believing that a woman, who is viewed as the softer sex – meant to be the nurturer, in charge of the universe’s vulnerability – is capable of inflicting such harm; then being called upon to marry that with their victim being male – viewed as stronger, tougher and bigger – this crime is oftentimes dismissed, laughed at, disbelieved and ridiculed.

But, it should not be. Male victims at the hands of women are valid. They are just as scarred as we are when victimized; dare I say, more so? Indeed. Ponder this (and I am not pitting one victim’s validity against the other; but bear with me), imagine our men, raised and reared to perpetuate the image we all harbor and depend on from them: strength, resilience, fearlessness, toughness, rigidity, unflappability, pride, dependability, machismo – imagine their inner confusion when these characteristics are forced to share real estate with the dark reality of forced and unwelcomed submission, dominance and seeming weakness. Now, understand why these crimes are rarely reported or admitted.

I came back to this to honor all men everywhere; especially the ‘shadowy’ victims. I pray that you find the strength to stand up and speak out and recognize that prior victimization should never be the yardstick used to measure and determine your inherent manliness. I hope that, as for so many others, you too realize the shame lies only at the feet of your abusers; do not let it touch yours. Be proud of your survival; even with your scars. When ready, talk about it; use your pain and fear to pave a new road; one that only a man – a strong, beautiful, proud, tough, fearless, resilient, dependable, kick-ass man – only a man like you, can pave.

This post is in support of all the victims – of verbal, mental, physical, domestic, racial and sexual abuse.

This post is in condemnation of all abusers – woman, man, boy and girl.

This post is dedicated to my friend. Once a ‘shadowy’ victim; now a man with the courage to speak up.

Thank you for expecting more from me” – Fury.

Speak Now And Forever Hold Your ‘Piece’

I can’t help but wonder if marriage is similar to my only wearing dresses for the past three weeks. Not only the monogamy; but holy cow, the monotony! And, I am able to change the color, the style, the length, the cut. When you’re married, it is the same damn ‘dress’ – Every. Single. Day.

Okay, clearly I am not married (now). And, maybe part of the reason lies in my afore-mentioned feeling about same. I was poking fun likening it to my dresscapades; but, I am stone-faced about the monotony. I am fascinated and flabbergasted at the thought that two people can construct a life, day in and out, without eventually dying of complete boredom! And, this from someone who prides herself with the knowledge that that word has never been used in conjunction with her J

Marriage; they say “it’s a great institution; for those who wish to be institutionalized”. But, all snide remarks (for now) aside, I would truly like to understand, from those that are successfully doing it, how? And, from those, like me who have tried and are now successfully single, why? There are so many articles and books on the subject, so many marriage counselors and therapists – doesn’t it make you wonder that maybe there is so much mileage dedicated to this one topic – because it is unnatural? Hahahaha. Just kidding!

The reality is that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce (makes you wonder why those otherwise very cool gays are pushing so hard to do it); and quite frankly, I suspect that a great chunk of the half that stay together, do so for any of the following reasons: laziness, “cheaper to keep her”, there are children involved, religion, professional status, financial investments. The very sad reality is that it is not an easy feat to be “happily married”.

So, why do we keep doing it? Is it that we are gluttons for punishment or, a society of optimists; thinking that we will be luckier, smarter, more in love and wiser than “those other people that got divorced”? Have we convinced and conditioned ourselves to believe that love is all we need and ours is the one true love? Are we truly so very gullible (it is not nice to call other people “stupid”) that we buy in to the myth that “love conquers all”? Wow!

Believe me when I say that my rant is not about monogamy; I am a serial monogamist. What I am not however, is someone that deludes herself, about herself. So often I find that people are more willing to conform than to confront. Confront the truth about yourself; understand your breadths and your widths. Know how far out and long you can and are willing to go; with another person. If you have to, place a time limit on your “forever”; because believe me, most “forevers” are differing in length. And, when you are finished confronting your truth, get busy constructing your truth.

Let’s address this: if you want to get married; then for God’s sake, get married smartly! As a people it seems we have adopted the sheep-like mentality that makes us more content to put our noses in the ass in front and use that as our guide! Whatever happened to singular thought? Have we been so conditioned by our elders (who did fare better than we did; but that’s a whole other blog post), our priests (don’t get me started on them!), white conservative Republicans (yawn; redundant) and our desire to prove we’re better-than-our-girl-because-we-can-snag-a-man, that we disregard not only the bright red flags with him/her, but those flying high about ourselves?

Listen, all I’m saying is this: this marriage business is for big people; little girls and boys need not apply (truly…do not apply for the license). My personal opinion is that it should only be entered for the sake of procreation; outside of that, I think that people should love the shit out of each other…from separate homes! Truth. But, if two people elect to do it, more power to them! But please, enter that union with realistic expectations and an honest interpretation of each of your realities. Additionally, draft a blueprint that lays a sturdy foundation – with the freaking rocks that are in your garden! Do not buy yellow paving stones because that is what your neighbor uses; you neither have paving stones money nor a freaking driveway! IMG_20140820_083044Construct your relationship your way! You and your partner write what works for you! Live together. Live separately. Home-school your children. Be swingers. You work; he stays home with the kids. He works; you stay home. Joint bank accounts or not. You get Saturdays “off”; his day is Tuesday. Be unequivocally monogamous. You go to church every Sunday; he goes on the big holidays. Hold hands. No public affection. No children. Some children. Adoptive children. Whatthefuckever. Do YOU; because the only way to “have the marriage they have” is to marry one of them!

Stop glorifying the damn “white picket fence”! Most of us don’t even have a place to put the stupid thing! Ha-Ha…

 

 

 

The ABC’s Come Long Before The Birds And The Bees

 

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Yesterday, I advocated for choosing to spend your Sunday anydamnwayyoulike and my choice was, in between naps, to spend the day watching the Law & Order SVU Marathon. Father help me! I do not know why I did it to myself; but now I’m gonna do it to you!

I am not typically a fan of SVU and the reason is simple – the level of depravity that is depicted being done to mainly children, is something that I cannot stomach. I am more of a Criminal Intent kinda girl; if bad things need to happen (and it seems they do), I can appreciate the even exchange when comparable bad-guys match wills and wit. So, Saturday was the day with my Goren; yesterday I spent with Detective Benson, Stabler, Munch, et al. However, regardless of the particular series, in my opinion the Law & Order chronicles as a whole continue to be the best written TV series of all time! The subjects and topics they touch are always, as they say, “ripped from the headlines”, which make them all the more disturbing when you realize that even though the characters are fictional, the storylines are not.

They say that when I am finished with my formal education, I will have attained the knowledge and credentials to treat a segment of those in our community who are victims. Because of my history, I have elected to marry my personal experience with an education that allows me to help and heal women; victims of domestic abuse. But I have to be honest – a small part of that decision was based on the fact that it is easy to identify these victims … as valid victims. Let me address this: as part of my education thus far, I have come across topics and have been called upon to participate in role-play scenarios; social worker / client. I have been asked to sit across from a fictional client who presented as a pedophile. I was expected to view him as a victim, as being “ill”, as a human being. My responsibility was to counsel and help him. I failed. I continue to be proud that I did.

As the name ‘Sexual Victims Unit’ depicts, it uncovers the levels of sexual deviances that so-called adults inflict upon each other and on our most innocent and vulnerable; they also highlight the lures and excuses that are used to execute said depravity. Highly disturbing. Incredibly true. I watched the prevalence of human trafficking with the stunned realization of how very lucrative this ‘business’ is. It is enough of an outrage when crimes are committed against adults and the elderly; but my God…the babies! To realize that there is a cross-section of populations spanning the globe that can look at our children, both male and female, most barely out of ages that are in the single digits and find them appropriate as sexual partners is reprehensible!

I was and still am left wondering what can be done; short of becoming so very paranoid and locking our children in their rooms without telephones, televisions and computers! Home-schooling them so that they are shielded from outside influences! The reality of what can and is lurking out there and not ‘around the corner’ as we expected the boogieman to be, but anywhere, everywhere and looking just like you and me, can be paralyzing.

I will continue on my path to help those that I consider the victims. There will never be enough education to convince me that a man (and I use that term extremely loosely) deserves my help and empathy because he “cannot control his urges” and violates our children! I will continue to reject the school of thought that deems his behavior an “illness”! He IS sick however – sick-ening!! The only thing he will get from me is the contempt, disdain and calls for his castration that I think he and all like him deserves!

My outrage aside (because I recognize that the exploited need so much more than that), I will take some time to educate myself about the reality of this worldwide epidemic. Let’s read and learn what we can do to keep our own children safe; and once we have done that, let’s see if we can help, in any big or small way, those in need. Those missing. Those in danger of being exploited. Those innocents who do not even know they are in danger. Sometimes, awareness makes all the difference for a child’s safety and in a child’s life.

Please join me in gaining more insight and in arming ourselves with the knowledge necessary to protect our children. Check this out: : http://www.missingkids.com/WhoWeAre

And, because we can’t call Olivia and Elliot to help us if we need, thankfully in every borough in New York there is a Special Victims’ Squad. Here is what they investigate:

  • Any child under 13 years of age that is the victim of any sex crime or attempted sex crime by any person
  • Any child under 11 years of age who is the victim of abuse by a parent or person legally responsible for the care of the child
  • Any victim of rape or attempted rape
  • Any victim of a criminal sexual act or an attempted criminal sexual act
  • Victims of aggravated sexual abuse
  • Victims of sexual abuse in the first degree

Additional Purview:

  • Sex Offenders Monitoring Unit (SOMU): Monitors all state designated sex offenders to ensure they are in compliance
  • Special Victims Liaison Unit (SVLU): Provides educational lectures to community and advocacy groups, schools and medical institutions concerning public as well as personal safety
  • DNA tracking unit (DNATU): Tracks and coordinates all scientific evidence relating to investigations involving sexual assault

I spent most of yesterday in fear and in tears. Today, I am changed because of both…

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