This Is Truly A Shitty Situation!

So lately I have been experiencing some upheaval, which has in part, manifested itself in a physical manner. There has been the sleeplessness, which then of course translates to consistent fatigue and lethargy. My eating pattern (as if I ever really had a ‘pattern’; but it sounds grown-up and responsible; so…), my eating pattern has been thrown off its course and erratic. So, if y’all are up on things, you will know that once one’s sleep and nourishment has been compromised, all (physical) hell will soon break loose!

So, because I am a shareer, I naturally shared what I have been experiencing with a few of my trusted; and, I even discussed the reason(s) behind it all. After a while however, we stopped addressing the why and started to focus on the what – what was I going to do to right my body; to get it back on a rhythm that worked and allowed me to maximize my time here.

Amongst the suggestions, one (Trini) friend went ole-school on me; suggesting I take a “purge”. A lot of you who read me know what this is; and you also know that for us (Trinis), a purge cures absofuckinglutey all that ails us – mentally and physically! For the rest of you, a Trini ‘purge’ is something that was routinely administered to all of us when we were young, that wormed and worked its way through our systems and cleaned out all the junk. Sometimes, gauging from the pain, I honestly believed that it also cleared out some of the parts that I needed; but there is no proof; all evidence was flushed away J

A purge. Okay, for some reason, our parents administered this to mark some occasion – the beginning of the school term, Easter, Christmas and for some, every other Sunday. Sigh. But, the truth is, the periodic cleansing of our systems served us well; so, I allowed myself to be open to the fact that maybe that will help now – we all know that the ‘how’ of humans is reflective from the inside-out. So, I decided to heed this advice – I have started a colon cleanse.

This thing, “Living Bitters Tonic: The Bitters for the Living’ is one of the nastiest things I believe I have ever voluntarily put into my mouth! Yuck! My God, judging from the taste of the thing, I am not surprised that it works; the crap in me is probably yelling, “Shit! Let’s get the hell out of here”! Ha-ha. Truly. But, work it does! Y’all should try it (isn’t that always how people are? When the crap is nasty, they always want to share. When good, nah..). But all joking aside, try it. I have been taking it since Thursday night, as directed one teaspoon twice a day before meals; here is what my experience has been:

  • No stomach griping, clenching or rumbling
  • Started working Saturday with that first morning pee (come on; we all have that first morning pee-pee)
  • Since that first movement, things have been consistent, but manageable (I mean, app or not, no one wants to have to map out where all the bathrooms are located every time they leave their home)

Okay, that’s all the detail I will indulge in; but suffice it to say, it’s working very very well. Aside from the physical benefits that I see (yes, I do look), my stomach is young-girl flat J . I am also believing that this colon cleanse is removing all the toxins from my system; which means it is also doing some work on the emotional crap that I have been allowing to take up some residence in me.

 Listen, forgive me if yall already knew about this product, or one very much like it; I admit to being a (very) late-bloomer. I’m just sayin’…this or something similar – sometimes we need to let go of the shit; because, think about it, we throw out food that begins to smell from our fridges – I don’t care how beautiful, handsome, successful, popular, loving, funny, thin or educated you are – your shit, like mine, does stink!

“In Loving Memory Of When I Gave A Shit…”

Loyalty: “a strong feeling of support or allegiance”. There is also this: “the quality of being loyal to someone or something”.

What is notably absent from either of these definitions however, are the words, infinite, regardless or door-mat. And, as a woman who considers herself intrinsically loyal, believe me when I say that there is a time of reckoning – motivated and driven by the actions of others.

As I have lived through this life and matured, I have come to realize that, for me, loyalty is more important than love. No, before you think I am crazy (okay; crazier than you’ve already determined), let me explain. Having loved a few people in my life and have had a ring-side seat to what others have called ‘love”, I have sadly come to realize that for some, that emotion and word is one that is often manipulated, tainted and callously flung about at will. I have seen some amazing things as well as some downright destructive, vindictive and painful things done in the name of this ‘love’. To take it one step way-out-there further, don’t terrorists claim to do what they do supposedly in the name of some so-called love or the other?

Listen, don’t despair; I have not, nor will I ever abandon my belief in or my need to sprinkle the manifestations of the “L Word” around; to do same would be to deny the reality of my make-up and transfer too much power to those that seek to steal my joy. But, what I am pointing out is that collectively, we human beings have managed to rub up against and bruise one of the most beautiful and fulfilling gifts, next to life, that we were blessed with. Idiots; one and all!

This brings me back to loyalty. Let’s address this: I believe that one can be loyal without necessarily loving; which is why I value it more. Loving demands emotions and emotions are, well, emotional. They, by very definition, dictate that we put and continue to pour and feed with our feelings, our desires, our beliefs, our wants and needs; and let’s be honest here…top all that off with our whims and flightiness. However loyalty; well that bad boy just demands that we make a decision to stay a course. Oh oh…now that I have put those words down on paper, I understand why this is so very difficult for most people; both the ‘decision making’ and the ‘staying on course’ parts. God; I do so love writing!

For a woman like me, being loyal means that, in spite of what our emotional relationship may or may not be, I believe in and wish for you the best of everything. It says that in spite of space and time, if you need, I will provide. My loyalty to you demands of me that I stand by and support you in the face of any enemy or attacker. Loyalty dictates that I defend you in public, always; and disagree with you behind closed doors when necessary. It mandates that there is never a question of a choice between you and him/her. Like most everything I commit to, my decision (because it IS a decision) to remain faithful or loyal is an absolute one.

But, there is a limit. Just one. Your sense of loyalty may not be as resolute as mine; but your actions cannot be so very blatant in their disregard that you continually test the strength of my commitment. People, every one, every thing has a limit. In fact, there is a fantastic quote that goes: “never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer give a damn…”. So true. Have you ever thought about this reality? Let’s use “matters of the heart” – when you break up with someone, you may be hurt, angry or bitter; but more than likely, what you resort to are tears and angry, bitter words when recounting the scenario to your friends and loved ones. Eventually, you stop; however long “eventually” takes. But here’s the thing – the thing that your ex depends on to stop you from getting on social media and spilling the beans about size, prowess, fetishes, financial situation, family skeletons, smells, etc – is loyalty. Get my point? Love lets you know the truth. Loyalty gets you to keep it.

Today, Friday, I am just saying that we all need to be more conscious. We need to take a look at life, from all directions, and reevaluate what truly matters. We need to stop treating valuable and rare commodities such as loyalty as commonplace and disposable. We need to wise up. That phrase that we toss around, “stop taking me for granted” is a powerful one; but hardly in the clichéd way it is used. I have been guilty, in my youth, of uttering that phrase, with tears, begging one partner or the other to treat me well; to stop pushing the limits of my love; to respect me. As I have matured, I have realized that if ever I were to utter those words again, the recipient of same should be the one in tears. Because it simply means, I no longer give a shit…”

If You Like It, Then You Shoulda (Still) Put A ‘Thing’ On It…

As I’ve done so many times before, this morning on my way to work, I allowed myself the vulnerability to sink into the experience that is a New York City commute. It never  disappoints or fails to educate. Today, it was the latter.

Okay; I consider myself highly liberated and Lord (and everyone) knows, quite unorthodox (speaking of orthodox, I wish all my Jewish friends and readers a very happy Rosh Hashanah). But as sometimes happens, I digress. Okay; my commute. I am always drawn and many times, fixated on babies and toddlers when I see them first thing in the morning. They captivate me in ways that not even the boys can J . There is something about their bright-eyed wonder that so fascinates me, that I pretend I ‘see’ what they see; I try to baby-proof  my eye-sight in an attempt to refocus my in-sight. When I imagine I have been successful, it is pure magic!

So this morning, while I allowed myself to be seduced by yet another two-toothed grin, I also was drawn to the mothers; and more pointedly, their ring-less fingers. Then, I started looking around at the number of women/girls pushing strollers, carrying babies…alone. Don’t get me wrong, to assume that because they were alone this morning means they are partner-less would be ignorant (and, I admit to many flaws; but never that). But, I will boldly state this: there are very very very few women who are either engaged or married, that opt to not sport their ring(s)! So, I think we can safely have a discussion about the number of said women who make the “forever” decision in having a child; while being in what may very possibly be a temporary situation.

Again, proving that I consider myself exempt from certain ignorance, I know that ‘life (as well as shit) happens’. I am fully aware that there are those times when we consider ourselves on the course toward one reality and ‘life’ gets in our way and effectively shows us who’s the boss! I get it. But again, I am going to allow myself a certain leeway – I know that most of these young girls I see with these babies, have given little to no thought about the stability or more appropriately, the instability of not only their lives, but now, the life of those little ones! For most of them, the word “marriage” has probably never even been thought of; much less uttered!

And, here is why I am outraged; okay, more disappointed and frustrated: I am in no way saying that marriage inoculates us from what can be the eventual reality of single-parenthood; but what I am saying, is that too many of us are selling our children short by signing them up (from minute-one) on ‘leased parenting’, as opposed to ‘ownership’. Damn! At the very least, do a ‘rent-to-own’! And, if the response tries to make the argument that you are better off on your own and that your offspring is better off without him/her in its life, then, explain to me why the fuck he/she was the person you not only had sex with – but, and here’s the kicker, without a damn condom! To me the equation is a very simple one: if you are not good enough to be the father of my child, there is NO WAY you are good enough to touch me! Much less “raw”! Now, I’m back to outraged! Sigh.

People, young ladies and men – the fact that you can does not necessarily translate to “you should”. Stop allowing life to happen to you; get involved and happen to life! Make decisions. Make plans. Make love; sure. But for God’s sake, if you’re not with someone who is good enough to ‘keep’…stop making babies! This universe is already too cluttered and it is unfair to saddle Brad and Angelina with too many more of our unwanted! Value yourselves. Value your life enough to wait until you’re ready; then when you are, check in with him/her – ask if they’re ready. If the answer’s yes, the minister’s also ready.

My black young, please, change your titles from “Baby Mama/Daddy” to “Mr/Mrs”. Even with all my un-conventionalism, I admit there is something beautiful and infinitely respectful when all of you share the same last name.

 “Who’s your Daddy?” is a phrase that should only be asked in the privacy of your bedroom; never to your child in the street.

Oops; Maybe Size Will Matter!

LAT35K

On July 24th, I started this amazing journey; manifested by a bright green dress.

Like so many ideas, this one shared a duality – on Facebook, I challenged myself to wear one dress per day, for a month; all in an attempt to determine whether what I suspected was true – I could do this without having to repeat. At the same time, I started to talk; initiating and addressing conversations that I hope matter to you. They do to me; and I have been having a blast!

Well, it is now two months later and I have realized a few things: (1) I have way too many dresses (I wore and documented these thirty-five); and (2) when you share of yourself with others, you invariably end up learning as much (and at times, more) as you share. So, as I continue writing, let’s also continue playing…

For the next month (thirty-one days), the person who shares and encourages the most amount of friends (and strangers) to sign up to ‘follow’ my blog: www.letsaddressthis.com, gets to choose any dress from the thirty-five depicted above! Yup; that’s right….ANY dress! And, if you’re possibly wondering why you would want to own one of my dresses; then, maybe you should just go ahead and un-follow me right now! Ha-ha. No; truly.

So, let’s address you others who know what’s what: win one of my dresses. Or, if you would prefer a size different than the one I wear, don’t count yourself out; I would be more than happy (believe that), to buy you a little something in your desired size; not to worry! The point is, for the next month, we are adDressing an auction! On the block is a dress; but the currency to acquire same is nothing as vulgar as money – nope – conversation, witticism, intelligence, knowledge and a burning desire to see your friends benefit from some good reading – that’s what it will “cost” you 🙂

When someone signs up to ‘follow’, I am notified via email. Choose how you would like to let me know they did so as a result of your encouragement – email, text, FB message, phone call, ‘comment’ on this blog; whichever medium you choose, I will be documenting it.

Listen…I am so excited, I wanna participate! If I didn’t already own these dresses, I would want to own one! Ha-ha. I would! But, the other side of this is this – I would truly like your help – I would like to share my thoughts, insights, stories, anecdotes, feelings, triumphs, defeats, tears, laughter, love, knowledge and experiences with many more like you. Believe me, there is no ego attached to this desire, I promise. My reason is simple: through my sharing, through yours, through theirs, I am made better.

______________________________________________

Thanking you all in advance for your continued indulgence. I would like to single out the people who particularly indulged, encouraged and challenged me with regard to the documentation of those damn dresses every day:

** Lady L…it could not/would not have been done without you. “Thank you” for shooting, editing, cropping and educating

** Ade, thank you for capturing that picture that has and will continue to be a LAT ‘signature’ shot

** Sis, thank you to you and Cyn for sharing with me your precious son; giving rise to that epic photo

** Semaj & Jay…that baby-Scorpion Zenn. “Thank you”

** The O, always, “thank you”

** Vin, for absolutely everything, “thank you”

** Cousin, really? Love you

** The random girl at Hunter who must have thought I was either (1) crazy or (2) egotistical; but took my pic anyway

** D, “thank you” for documenting that last dress

** To the UPS guy, my hair-stylist, the patient taxi cab drivers waiting behind me in traffic, the security men at Grand Central … everyone who indulged the crazy woman running around asking off-the-wall requests – “thank you”

** A big, fat “thank you” to the Port Authority police who did not arrest my ass for jumping their turnstile

** My neighbor, friend and mentor, Wendi; “thank you”

** The Lea staff who (for the most part) keep their true opinions about me to themselves; where it belongs – “thank you”

** Matthew @ Sugarcane for capturing my love for my father

** Cheryl, for hanging with me and understanding without explanation that for now, all eyes look inner

** My Canadian cousins, “thank you” for visiting, supporting and being memorialized into the LAT tapestry

** To one of my new ‘favorites’, Kirel; “thank you” for indulging my desire to step behind the bar and pretend 🙂

** I even dragged my liquor reps into my madness! Angel, “thank you”

** To the man with the broad back, strong arms and patience for my shenanigans (okay; it was because The O asked him to); “thank you”

“Thank you” to all of you who ‘liked’, played along, commented, complimented and threatened to un-friend me 😉 . I cannot begin to adequately express (and, that is soooooooooooooo unlike me) what this journey has meant thus far! It is truly an amazing life when one realizes that people love and accept you…in spite of yourself  🙂

i.Deal

Okay…I typically don’t endorse products. In fact, I reserve throwing my support behind matters of the head, heart and soul; not ‘things’. But, as a woman, I am employing my right to change my norm; this shit is worth the deviation!

Before I get to what I am raving about, I would like to take a little detour to scoff at the foolishness that is the lines waiting to get into the Apple, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, shit, the corner bodega stores (not really; but wait, they may be getting in on the mindlessness) that are selling the new iPhone! What the hell! I have to believe that I am missing something! Somewhere along the way, while I was busy attending to my life, I missed the declaration that made lining up for hours to purchase a new mobile phone, something that was mandatory and important to said life! How is it that people can/will be on time for a line, yet late for a job?! Why is it that some have so bought in to the marketing hype that being amongst the first to give Apple yet more of the money they truly do not have (or own) to give, is some sort of achievement?!

I didn’t want to get it wrong, so I Google’d the exact definition for a ‘drone’: “A drone, in a technological context, is an unmanned aircraft…” Except in this case, Apple is definitely the invisible pilot. Ridiculousness!!

But, seeing that so many are iCrazy and we do live in a capitalistic society let me introduce you all to a tiny little gadget that has truly, not “changed my life” (that is way too clichéd and corny), but certainly has allowed me to enhance the efficiency and mobility of my mobile device. It’s called the iRing; and, I can actually stop here and let the pictures speak for themselves (but, of course I won’t).

IRing

This little thing, stuck to the back of my phone, allows me to prop it up, for truly ‘hands-free’ usage; vertically or horizontally! Imagine this – I blog almost every day; you read my posts – how cool would it be to cock your iRing stand out (yep; folds flat against your phone when not employed), load up my latest post and read away! And, after you’re finished with me, open your Netflix-thingy and watch away…all without holding your phone! Have to admit that is tres cool!! Sometimes, when I want to compete with the women walking around with their ?carat rings on, I slip my iRing gently over that third finger on my left hand and, well, my bling is bigger than theirs J . Oh; and it comes with an iHook that can be used, let’s say, in the car to affix to the dashboard, phone hung on to it, chango-presto, hands-free safe driving. Load up the GPS and go!

imageAlright, I’m done. Yall should get this thing; it is truly convenient and good-looking too! Comes in: pink (changing my color in honor of Breast Cancer month), black (this IS New York), white, mint green and a graphite gray (sexy). Oh! And, when you un-stick it, it leaves no residue!

Okay; now I’m done! If yall want one (or every color to match your wardrobe), go on this site and do your thing: http://www.simplifiu.com. If yall want to ask me more questions about it, get in touch….iHome 🙂

Who Was That M.Asked Man?

On Wednesday (if you read it), my post described the tough couple of days I had been experiencing; I chronicled my melt-down. In it, I also stated that sometimes “I need help”; that being tough and strong was not feasible at all times – there are days when I am truly weak(er).

Proof that we all need to be careful about what we say; what we expose to the universe – at times (like this time), the return was wonderful; sometimes, we just need to watch our mouths!

This morning, I was standing in front of the door at work, head down, digging into the unbottom of my bag for the keys to unlock the door. Picture it: I have the bag hooked over my wrist, propped up on my knee; on that same arm, I am holding the brown paper bag with my breakfast (and if you must know, it was two boiled eggs, a buttered roll and a Pepsi – don’t judge!). With the other hand, I am searching for the keys. I must have looked a disheveled sight, juggling all of this in my, of course, 4” heels!

(Enter “The Universe”): in my line of vision, I see an arm reach in front of me, grasp the handle of the door and attempt to open it (remember, it was locked). I, of course, look up, thinking it had to be someone I knew; maybe my boss coming in early. No; the face connected to that arm, was/is a stranger. Through my surprise (but I should not have been; I did ask for “help”), I told him that it was locked and that I was looking for the key. My chivalrous stranger stood and waited for me to extract them from my bag’s recesses, unlock the door – then he achieved what he had set out to do – open the door for me. He then simply smiled, wished me a great day…and walked away.

My God! The simplicity of a stranger’s gesture touched and colored my day Beautiful. I am thanking him; as I thank The Universe for heeding my cries…

The Scar(y) Truth…

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This morning on my commute, I was approached by a woman who apologized for both stopping me and for the question she was about to ask. She wanted to know if it was indeed a scar from having corrective surgery for Scoliosis that ran along my spine. Truth be told, I only remember both the scar and the condition when, someone like this woman, reminds me. Time is truly an amazing healer and successfully places distance (and amnesia) between you and the thing that may have hurt.

But, her reason for the question was a specific one – it turns out that her daughter had a similar surgery two years ago and is very self-conscious about her scar; she wanted to know from me what I used to make it fade so well (but apparently not “so well” enough; as my surgery was 20+ years ago and she still saw it). I told her “nothing”. I have never put anything on it. I just let ‘time’ do its thing.

She then went on to tell me that her daughter, who is sixteen, will be graduating next year and is already so very upset anticipating what type of dress she could get that would hide her scar; but of course, still allow her to show as much skin as possible. The young! But, as it turns out, I have a dress that does exactly that (though not for that reason); it has a strip running down the spine, while leaving the sides bare. But, I digress.

I told this mother to share this with her daughter; to me, it constituted the most important thing I could share with her (even tops my giving this stranger my dress; which I contemplated) –

“Teach your daughter that scars are beautiful; not ugly. Tell her that they signify strength. Teach her to be proud. Tell her that they say ‘you survived’…”

“I’m Not a Player, I Just (Give A) Fuck A Lot…”

IMG_20140913_105824So, I have been quieter than usual the past couple of days; both on and off these pages.

I have felt the need to shut up and check in with myself, in an attempt to gauge how I am doing. You see, I can continue to “put out” for you and all the other obligations I have committed to; but, I have learned the hard way (and this is not one of the places where I appreciate things that are “hard”), that self-care is equally as important as ‘their-care’. So, I unplugged the outward connection and connected the inner. Let’s address the diagnosis.

Fury and all her alter-egos are happy! Thank God! But (and there is a “but”), there also is a sadness that has taken up some residence in the not-so-far recesses of my being that I need to attend to. So, when I located said state, I took it out, placed in squarely in front of me and began to twist and turn it in an effort to determine not only its origins, but its intention. You should have determined by this time that I am not the “sweep it under the rug” kinda girl; so, I am confronting this shit head-on!

Okay. Yesterday I tilted my head and looked at my ‘sadness’; because in the middle of the morning, I felt the incredible urge to just fall apart. Don’t play; you know you know that feeling! Okay; if you insist on feigning ignorance; let me play along – I was overwhelmed with the feeling to sweep everything off of my desk, kick my heels off, un-wrap my bun, take the phone off the hook, put my head down…and just bawl! Not cry; bawl! I felt in need of an incredible release! It hasn’t yet come L

A best friend asked me once, “don’t you ever get tired of being you?” and, it is a question that still makes me laugh out loud. The reason it is apropos here is this; the answer at times (like yesterday; like today), is simply “yes”. It gets tiring because at times it seems I have done such a bang-up job at being the “life of the party” that any bit of deviation from that role screams louder than a bad-ass two-year old in the throes of a tantrum. Silence from me generates the immediate question, “are you okay?”. Sigh. People….I can shut-up, you know J

My heart hurts today. It hurts because even as I have been so greatly blessed, I have also lost so much… in the past two years. So, as I have expressed my gratitude to my God, my friends and my benefactors for their blessings, so too must I express the losses that hurt. Duality. I reject the people and the notion that dictate we should only speak about, we must only address, the good in life; seeming to suggest that to acknowledge the shitty flies in the face of ones blessings. That is pure ignorance!

People, life IS great! But, there are undoubtedly times when it seems we may have pissed somebody in authority off – because they rain a pile of crap down on us! Those “in touch” with their inner beings may call it ‘karma’. Those living more on the surface of their lives simply say, “you must take the good with the bad”. Me?  I occupy real estate in both those realms and simply say this, “what the fuck is this shit”! Wow!

Listen, I will deal with myself. I will talk (thank you for listening), cry, pray and scream it through; because, I must go on. It is hard sometimes though; and those times, I need help. Some days, it is just too much work to be tough; sometimes I’m just a plain ole weak girl – needing someone else to be strong. In those moments when a breeze blows bringing with it a memory of a past loss or pain, there is absolutely nothing you can do but to let it sway you; you must ride it like you do a wave and pray it brings you safely back to shore. You see, when you have committed your life to living and feeling deeply, implicit in that agreement is the acceptance to experience all feelings.

I need to check in with another friend of mine; she is my go-to person who lets me know if something or the other is in retrograde J . To tell the truth, I am unsure as to what prompted this minor episode; I just know that there are tears swimming very close to the surface – just waiting on someone to put their arms around me. Okay. Wait. Excuse me for a few; seems like it’s cry time…. (5 miutes later)…I’m back; and boy do I feel better! Haha. Seems as if writing to you all is all the therapy I may need! Okay, I won’t go overboard; I’m certain I need more than this; but you’re what I can afford! Hahahahaha.

There are some people missing in my life. Some left of their own accord; others didn’t have a choice. I miss them. I miss them because they were/could have been a big source of happiness for me. I miss them because my/the world still needs their presence. I miss them because they still make me feel. I cry because my love is never generic – each drop of it has a name.

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