“Once Upon A…” Oh, Grow The Fuck Up Already!!

I have been asked my opinion on love; challenged to expose just where I stand with regard to this feeling that gives so many the “warm-fuzzies” and that? Well that then leads so many down the aisle (pun fully intended!) of disillusion and destruction. Question I think is answered, no? Want more? Okay, let’s address this

I have done the love-thing; still doing it in fact. So the reality is that I do not only believe in it, but I most certainly do feel it. Where we may part ways however is with regard to that “love conquers all” bullshit. Or most certainly when it comes to the “fairytale” component many of you attempt to ascribe to not only the feeling, but the execution (and some of you should be executed! Ha-ha). People listen, once either your heart starts fluttering, your palms get (and stay) sweaty, your knees get weak and your loins grow up, throb or moisten and you attribute either or all of these eventualities to the fact that, “He/she must be ‘the one’”, then I implore you to then realize that the work just now begins. Seriously. See, in my humble (ha-ha) opinion, too many believe that the hard part is finding that “one” person (I am here to tell you all that in this world of billions, it is ludicrous to think there is only “one”! I mean, maybe, just maybe you can make an argument that there is only “one” in Brooklyn; but don’t forget Manhattan, New Jersey, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, etc, etc, etc. But, I digress…) and once yall find your prince or princess you could then relax. Nope. The reality is that if you truly believe that this one person in the vast sea of billions is “the one” then it would seem to me to be the precise reason you begin to work like you have never before. Again, let’s address this…

Stop glorifying your relationships! Stop buying into the bullshit you see on television with regard to the fairytales; sorry, they do not exist! I am in no way stating that in our relationships we should abandon the ideas and desires that can manifest into the mushy reality of either our jumping up and down in excitement, bringing tears of joy to our hearts and eyes or those that mandate we express either our joy, gratitude or love through the timeless art of making love. No; I would be an ass to suggest that! And, I would miss out on way too many beautiful moments myself! But what I am saying is that we need to start also implementing into our relationships (if they matter to us), a business-minded approach. Yes, I know it sounds less than romantic; but see, do a survey – compare how quickly business fail versus how quickly/often relationships do. Yep. Getting closer to my point?

In choosing a mate, look at not only their and your short-term goals and potential, but certainly their/your long-term ones as well. Most people can work well or fake it or settle for a short period of time, how foolish would it be to hitch your fine ass to another of lesser long-term ability?! A lot of friends and articles caution against having those so-called “serious” conversations too early, denouncing the wisdom of speaking about marriage, religion, politics, children and finances in any time before let’s say, six months in. That is up there with some of the most foolish advice I have ever heard! Let me ask you this – what the fuck else should you be speaking of with someone you are investing your time and body in?! Why are we so afraid to stick our entire fists into the heart of situations?! What better indicator is there that that person is not “the one” that their inability, unwillingness or reluctance to take the time to share the important stuff with you?! So what if they walk away? Good. Remember… billions! We should not be afraid to let others know not only do we take our lives very seriously, but that we are also willing to honor them by treating theirs the same. We should be proud to expose the fact that we realize it will take much more than love to get us through high winds, storms tornadoes and my personal unfavorite… boredom!

Listen, don’t lose the stars in your eyes; yall dream as much as you would like. Call your girls to giggle or your boys to boast. But when you put down that phone, I implore you to be about more than the color and size of the diamond. Get realistic about his ability to pay for said stone and yours to not only bring something to the table, but to buy the damned table if necessary! Talk about the church for the ceremony; but also speak about the importance or not of the church for your lives before and after. Ask about and pay attention to each others’ family dynamics and discuss the hypothetical eventuality of having your own. Oh… and be honest about the shit! Ask about the exes – not in any petty, catty, insecure, childish kind of way – but in an attempt to not only glean what went wrong, but more importantly to ascertain how your potential partner handled said relationship and break-up. Do not delude yourself that you’ve got it going on so bad that you will be treated any differently. Discuss education, past and future; an educated partner not only has the potential to provide a comfortable standard of living and security, but the ability to think critically can net better results during times of stress and strife.

I can keep on with the list of topics you should be discussing – long before you start exchanging bodily fluids and getting your lust confused with your must. Believe me when I tell you – in order to stand any chance for a happy relationship, you must to a very large extent, remove the emotion, the delusion, the fucking unrealistic expectations and realize that what you are proposing (no pun intended) is a merger and, like any smart businessman will tell you, in order for your venture to be a success there are a few key components:

  • A plan or dream; followed by a feasibility study
  • A partner of equal caliber
  • Assets
  • A blueprint
  • Set of short and long-term projections
  • Contingency/exit strategies
  • Trusted support personnel
  • And, to help keep everyone honest, an attorney on retainer J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Emotions

I’ve always been a bit color-blind. Not in the mismatched socks kinda way, but certainly when it comes to choosing the people to love. With me, when it comes to loving and liking, color, gender and the depth of pockets (but, you must have pockets!) matter not; what steers me in anyone’s direction is not the organ than throbs in the pants, but the one that beats under the shirt (or top 😉 ). So, I admit to being a tad flabbergasted at the way some in our culture now chase (as they used to chase the money) and seem to redefine the “opposite sex” to include the opposite in culture – simply to have one of the newest accessories – a ‘mixed’ baby’.

Before some of you go off all half-cocked, I am absofuckinglutely not speaking of those that legitimately fall in love and procreate with someone of a differing culture, thus reproducing one of those little darlings with the “good” hair and the pretty eyes. No, yall are good. Like I stated, I too am color-blind, so the chances could have been quite good that I could have had one of those little chubby honeys to hold up and show off as if I won something. No, this here post is laser-directed at those in our culture who openly and ignorantly think and say out loud that, “mixed babies are cuter” than those of the darker, nappier-headed, dark-eyed set. Ridiculous!

Listen, I am certainly not one to see the “white man’s conspiracy” theory around every corner; I am way too focused on my own life, goals and plans to sometimes even acknowledge any racist’s issues. But in this, I have to shake my head in sadness wondering when it was that we allowed anyone that much control to convince us to seek to dilute our heritage. Our beauty. When did we become so very dissatisfied with who we are, what we look like and the beauty in the history of our noses, eyes, mouth, cheekbones and hair that we purposefully seek out to snare someone to help us eradicate our heritage? Lord have mercy! Do we even believe in the shit we shout when we conveniently parrot, “Black lives matter!”? Or, are we simply comfortable with the sound bite to then slink off to mount the member that truly reflects just what we think of ourselves?

Again, I am not racist. I love whom I love and will lay down with the person whose being speaks to mine. Period. But I stand proudly in the knowledge that my only agenda in that instance is love; not even lust and certainly not in an attempt to get a softer, supposedly cuter, more diluted version of myself. For me, the nappier the head of hair is the better! The more chocolate the skin, the richer! The fuller the lips… shit! I am truly disturbed by the reality that so many believe they have achieved something if they are able to bring to this world one of those coveted ‘mixed babies’ as if birthing one somehow elevates their stock value! Oh, and while some of us chase the multi-colored rainbow, the white celebrities are out scooping up all forgotten and discarded nappy-headed little darlings. Sigh.

I wonder what exactly is at the root of our dissatisfaction with and in ourselves? Is it as some believe that because we have been so beaten down and degraded by the “White devils” we have lost our sense of pride, dignity and belief in ourselves and thus have elected to find a way to better assimilate? Have we somehow fallen into some sort of tacit collusion where we have determined the less our offspring look like us, the better their chances? Does this tie into our prior dissatisfaction in the way we view ourselves that have forced (some of) us to seek to hide away our nappy roots and replace it with the cast-off from another culture? To seek to fool others by lightening our eye color and heaven-forbid, our skin? Is this desire for the babies with the “good hair” and lighter eyes our way of trying to totally fool others into thinking the hair we wear and the eyes we sport are indeed ours?

There is something called the “One drop rule” – it is prevalent and it is legal. For all who seek to raise their stock value by attempting to mask their heredity through their children, I suggest you educate yourselves. You see the thing is, if your desire is to try to “fit in” better on the lighter side of things, remember that a true racist will sniff out that drop of black blood that your child has and discard them as easily and as swiftly as they will my nappy-headed beauty of a child. Stop. When will we realize that the more we attempt to look like them, the more we move away from our heritage and attempt to adopt theirs, is the more credibility we are giving to their perception of us. The more dissatisfied we get, is the more satisfied they do.

Give me the few. The proud. The nappy…

This Is Not Hairsay…

My hairstylist and I had a fight. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t much of one – when the person with the ultimate power, she, tells you that she will absofuckinglutely (she didn’t say that word, that’s mine) not be re-twisting your hair until you release it all and allow your scalp to breathe and stretch, well, fight over. But, I am a Hunter student and I did my school proud by giving my argument the “ole’ college try”. Hahahaha. So, for the past couple of days now I have been twist-less and, getting used to this very new look; it has been interesting. Let me tell you why; yes, let’s address this…

Let’s start here – as much as I grumbled, pleaded, negotiated and cried (I did), I am glad that my stylist, Lisa, stood her ground. You see, it isn’t just for her wisdom, knowledge and expertise in the hair-game she prides herself equally in her dedication to hair-care. Truth. She actually said to me, “You would like to have some hair to twist in the summer-time, right?” Ha-ha. She insisted that I see past my comfort-zone and security, forcing me to pay attention to another contributor to my overall heath.

My scalp feels great! The cold and sun have no obstruction in getting to the root of the problem; everything is free and breathing. I cannot begin to tell you how very many times I had been asked regarding my twists, “Is that heavy?”; the answer has always been, “No”. But, I must admit that these past few days of not toting them around have released me in some way; allowing for movement that I had previously devalued.

So here I am. Naturally (no pun intended) still with a head full of wild, untamed hair (kinda like me), but allowing for rejuvenation. I swear I can feel my hair doing its stretching exercises! I am beginning to realize that hair (kinda like me), does not necessarily need constant freedom, but freedom is necessary. Lisa asked me how long it had been since we started doing the twists and my answer was easy and ready, “August, 2012; when I started school”; clearly it was time. I had thought that because I had the proof of how much my hair was growing (thanks in part to her great hands and that Trini coconut oil) that that meant all was good; we could just keep going with this. She knew better. Constriction of any kind after a while, can wreak havoc – on your relationship, friendship, waist-line, finances – and, on not only the strength of one’s hair, but certainly on its continued health. Our follicles need to breathe.

I have always prided myself on my ability to easily adapt to new things; not in the least afraid of change. In fact, I demand it more than periodically (change, that is). I have always been chronically afraid of and allergic to monotony and boredom. Additionally, I have never gotten too attached to (no pun intended) my hair. I am that woman who will shave her head in a New York minute – never afraid to present ‘face’ to the world; hiding behind nothing. Okay, well, sometimes a little MAC is necessary 😉 So I had to ask myself what was it about Lisa’s very firm suggestion that had terrified me; why was the thought of literally letting my hair down so scary? Had something happened while I was busy doing life that caused me to not be as adventurous as I had previously been? Had turning fifty stripped me of my willingness to throw both caution and my middle finger to the wind and dictate I now live a more cautious existence? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

Listen, I am defiant when I need to be and certainly spontaneous and willful. I consider myself brave in some areas and fearless in others. Some think I cannot be tamed; and that thinking certainly keeps me outside their league. I say all that to say this – what I value most in this life is expertise – regardless of the type. As opinionated as I am, I willingly give it up to those who not only know their thing, but are doing it. There is nothing sexier. Someone “handling” me turns me toooooooo much on! My stylist indulged me for as long as it was safe to do so, but when it was time, knew what I needed and insisted I give it to myself (kind of like a fantastic vibrator; ha-ha). She ignored the pouting, foot-stamping and tears. She put the health of my hair above her financial gain. She demanded I take care of myself.

20160116_160143So, will be rocking the fro for a bit; loving it. Trust me, I am looking forward to the twists again in a couple of weeks before school starts, because I am not a fan of random strangers indulging their desire to put their hands in, on or through my hair – kind of like the ones thinking it okay to touch or rub a pregnant belly. Sigh. But while I do the time, watch me show my ass! Ha-ha. Seriously, I am grateful to her for making me stop and pay attention to yet another aspect of our health; she has made me realize how very much we take our hair and scalp for granted and how much stress we not only place on it, but carry there. Thank you, Lis.

A BIG shout-out to my stylist, Lisa, of HairbyLisaBailey; all yall natural ladies should check her out! She expertly marries hair-styling with hair-care… and that’s kinda rare. Thanks mama.

 

 

 

It’s Not Really “French” Without That Damned “F”!

So yesterday I received confirmation that I have failed my very first class since starting this academic journey in 2012. I cannot begin to adequately express my feeling then and still now. I am disappointed, disgusted, angry and ashamed. I have let myself down. The class was French.

Since confirming this bit of foolishness, I have had many conversations, with myself (where there was quite a bit of yelling and cursing… in many languages, including French!) and with others who tried to help me put this into perspective. The encouragement and soothing ran the gamut – “Well, it IS a foreign language. C’mon, give yourself a break; this semester collided with your extremely hectic event season at work. Set this aside and move on; this does not define you” etc, etc. All true. I appreciate all the support and am doing my best to heed the words and let them wash over me enough to be a salve on my very very bruised pride. Cause you see, I do not fail! Yet, it seems as though I indeed do. Sigh.

I wanted to put this bit of embarrassment out in public in an effort to open up a discussion – one on how you handle those moments in your life where you let yourself down. Are you the “take it in stride” kinda human? Or, are you more like me – beat yourself up like there is no tomorrow; then when you realize there is indeed one (a tomorrow) you finally relent and make a plan that absofuckinglutely does not include this happening again?! I am still somewhere between beating myself up and the vowing bit. Sigh.

But seriously, I am realizing that a very big part of how life treats us is determined by our ability to ‘recognize and readjust’. The better we get at seeing our flaws and mistakes for what they are and implementing the steps to correct and not repeat them, the better we will be at doing life with some modicum of success. Truly. You see, our attitude in all things is what will determine not the outcome necessarily, but certainly our perspective. At this late stage in life (ha-ha) I have finally figured out that (my) happiness is not dependent on my winning or success or passing, but it is predicated on my approach and perspective. Look at this – I can fail (fuck… I did fail!), so I could let it be the thing that so destroys my self-esteem that it breeds far-reaching doubt and fear and derails my plans, or, I can understand and accept that sometimes, the outcome pales in comparison to the intention. I can, give myself a break.

Sounds good, right? I certainly understand the theory of this much better than I did the theory of that damn French! I certainly get this. I know that getting an “F” in school does not mean I have gotten a similar grade in life. I appreciate having risen this morning – the day after viewing the “F” – because being alive means I have an opportunity to make this right and revert “F” to standing for these things I enjoy – Food. Footwear. Fashion. Fun. Fucking. Fury J

Listen, I can’t spend too much time here – I must continue berating myself for a bit, then quickly move on to moving on (aka putting some distance between me and that “F”). I did however want to encourage you to do better than me – not in the result kinda way (although feel free to kick some ass there as well!), but certainly in the reaction kinda way. When life (or self) disappoints you, without my sounding too much like a cornball, please find a way to quickly put things in right perspective, stabilize yourself from that minor stumble, give it both middle fingers and carry on! Appreciate that everything is a lesson – in either what to or not to do and carry on! Recognize that very few things in your actions are so permanent that they cannot be addressed, accessed, tweaked or fixed… and carry on!

Yesterday I saw the result of actions that I made that bore fruit. That fruit was/is quite bitter to me. But the more I think about it and write to you, is the more clear I am becoming on a plan to, well, carry on. Smarter. My GPA took a bit of a bruise this past semester; but luckily I had enough cushion to still have it settle at a 3.0. Not bad. But not good enough. But remember? We talked about this… I woke up this morning and, I plan on doing the same tomorrow, so this means I get to put my dented ego at the bottom of my book bag, securely lock that shit, toss it over my very able and determined shoulder and, you guessed it… carry on J

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