lifestyle

2016….2017

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There are things I can’t be sad or mad about because I allowed them to happen but can learn from them and allow the emotion to fuel my goals, hopes, and dreams! The new year for me is not always about renewal but about beginning again. I used to think about being and becoming something new, and like most people the new me never arrived, because the old me was and is who I am. I’ve learned since then not to try to be “new” but to try to be better

To live better, to love better, and to go after my goals with more tenacity than ever. Am I waiting on “Boaz” to find me, anymore? The answer is no, I’m living so we can stumble upon each other. Have I lost sight of what’s important? No, I see it clearly now more than ever. What’s important varies from person to person and what’s most important is what matters to  you.

2016 has motivated me to do better, to seek better, and to understand the why’s behind my decisions. I’ve realized that at this stage and age in my life it’s not the time for me to melt or morph my dreams into someone else’s. My dreams are far too big to dulled, dumbed, or meshed into a collage of nothingness, while helping to guide and to build someone else’s dream career.

In the next year and the years that follow I plan to selfishly pursue that which suits me. The things I want and the goals I have set for myself. Why? Because that’s what everyone else has done to me, never regarding my dreams or goals but always asking for my assistance for theirs. 2017 is going to remarkable, start taking notes now! ūüėČ

Are Black Women For Grown-Ups, Really?

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A few years ago I chuckled as I read an article entitled “Black Women are for Grown ups”. I thought that the notion of black women being for “grown-ups” was a little far fetched and as much as an exaggeration as I had ever heard of one.

Over the years since I have often pondered the idea of black women¬† being for “grown-ups” and as I have lived everyday of my life as a black woman and as I have sat around talking and discussing such ideas about relationships, education, and career with other black women I in a sense have come to agree.

Before I continue allow me to describe myself to grant you a sense of my perspective which I feel is not unique to those with similar backgrounds. I am a single women with no children, who has worked in my field for nearly ten years, I have an undergraduate as well as a graduate degree. I live in a decently populated city and I live what is considered to be a normal heterosexual life filled with family, friends, and a moderate dose of adventure (outings, nightlife, travel etc.) So now that you know more about me why am I single?

At this point many may suggest looks, demeanor, attitude, etc. In search of reasons but the truth is I’m a nice looking young woman with a good head on my shoulders, I’m generous, moderately adventurous, and down to earth. Seeing how I can name about 4-5 or more women I know with similar characteristics/attributes I can’t say that the problem is me or them but rather can be attributed in part to the society we live in.

My dating history has been filled with primarily African American men, who were around or near may same age bracket but definitely not exceeding more than  5 to 8 years on either side of the spectrum. Most not all have been educated, decent looking, God-fearing men. And I can think of the same qualities exuding from the men the women in my same predicament have dated. So why are we single?
Within my contemplation I have come to realize that in many respects black women are for grown-ups. I say this because although the men I’ve encountered have seemingly had it all together (job, career, education, spiritual) there is an avenue in which they still haven’t grown up. A grown-up in general is one who is self-sufficient, self-reliant, and takes care of their business. What I have found is that not many men fit into this category and those that can are usually taken.

“Black women are for grown ups”, are the words that keep echoing in my thoughts as I sit and discuss love and relationships with a plethora of black women spanning a variety of age groups and backgrounds. It seems that commonly at some point in our lives we have all encountered some of the same things no matter the age or stage. These things include but or not limited to infidelity, lack of communication, and¬† inconsistency on several levels including jobs/carers etc.( As a minority certain societal influences are expected, understood, and dealt with accordingly within the confines of our households and the community at large. ) But I am saying that adulthood should not be stifled due to circumstances beyond any of our control. The “baby-boy” construct is however not a new concept.
The idea stems from the lack of patriarchal influences within the childhood home and the over compensation on the behalf of the woman/matriarchal influence in a male child’s life. Therefore, stifling or postponing onset “adulthood”, because of dependency. I like many of my female counterparts have encountered far too often men (black) that fit into this category. So again I say “black women are for grown-ups”.

How, have the men you’ve dated fit into the “baby-boy” construct? I’m sure this is what you’re asking yourself about now, so I’ll explain.¬† Although, many of the men I’ve encountered have seemed to have themselves together upon further/deeper exploration they didn’t. There have been several underlying issues such as an unwillingness to “leave and cleave”. Sometimes these men are still living at home, living with a relative,¬† or have left but they themselves or the mother are still reliant on each other or those that have left have gone from house to house (from one¬† woman to the next) I call this one the “homeboy”. A second instance is the “hustle man”. Although at first glance the “hustle man” is intriguing, he works hard and is ambitious. Usually this type is filled with dreams, that he needs help to accomplish. Many women have been dazzled by him! But the reality is he has so many dreams that he nor you can focus in on just one. So you both become overwhelmed. He often says things like “all I need is for someone to believe in me”, often without realizing that all he needs is to believe in himself and focus on building “it” (whatever it is). These are usually the ones women see “potential” in and fall in love with the dream, until she realizes that she has become another crutch holding her “baby-boy” up. ….There are several types of “baby boys”, but for the sake of time I’ll stop there. (More detailed accounts and descriptions can be found in my upcoming book “One Day I Woke Up”)

In summation I’ll let you decide, “Are Black Women for Grown-Ups?”

Skin

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¬†¬†¬†¬† Skin is something that we all have, but unfortunately it’s also something that many of us don’t feel comfortable in. These days people tend to allow that uncomfortable feeling to lead them into various outlets, endeavors, and under takings in order to feel better about themselves. In our society it has become too simple to change what we don’t like about ourselves in the areas of outward appearances, sexual assignments, and gender roles.
¬†¬†¬† We have all¬† become¬† victims of media overload which influences the ways in which we view life, our bodies, and others around us. It is clear that with the prevalence of television and other 24 hour media outlets and connectivity that our society has taken a severe down turn. In today’s society most people seem to live in an almost constant state of confusion about who or what they are as they try to wear the many hats placed upon them through the media. Examples of this can be seen throughout a variety of areas in life especially in the younger generations. It seems that certain things like homosexuality,bisexuality, transgender, gangster/thug, and many many more terms/lifestyles have become fads. My question is why? ¬†¬†
   The answer can be found in the Bible, “The thief‚Äôs purpose is to steal and kill and destroy”John10:10. In this parable Jesus is speaking about a shepherd and his sheep and he explains the plans of the thief. I know you’re wondering what that has to do with the topic at hand, right?
     See the point is that we as humans are open vessels that can acquire and learn things based upon our environment and surroundings. So if the media, which includes television, radio, social media (Facebook, twitter, etc.), billboards, magazines, commercials, etc. constantly bombards you with images, music, and other subliminal messages that suggest you need improvement, you need this, you need that, it’s okay for this, and it’s okay for that then the seeds of distraction, confusion, and discourse have been planted. And if you are young and impressionable then these images and sound bites begin to sprout and become real in your life especially if there is nothing to contradict them. But not only do children fall victim to these things adults do also, which is why cosmetic surgeries are at an all time high throughout the world.
     It seems that no one is comfortable in the own “skin” anymore everyone is striving to be something or someone else. Ironically, after all pursuits of fulfilling this unattainable standard are exhausted many will realize that, that which they were seeking was with them the whole time. In that space that many are trying to fill,  only the one who fashioned the skin you’re in can fill it. God.
  
  

Society: When is Enough, Enough?

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¬†¬† The distractions in the world are countless, and often deafening to¬† withstand the sounds of what is really important in life. Most of us are guilty myself included of lessening the power of a conversation, or missing a poignant moment of reality because we are tied up checking our phones or devices for twitter feeds, Facebook updates, or the incessant dinging of emails going off. The truth is our world is loud and cluttered by things that have our attentions buzzing in a myriad of directions all at once and to no avail. Studies have shown that although the world is more connected we haven’t been more disconnected.
¬†¬†¬† The disconnection is evident when it comes to our children,who are growing up in a world full of brilliance but lack the “basic” skills to successfully navigate through society. These children have little to no social skills and their world view is skewed into believing that everything is entertainment. This can be attributed to the influx of more and more school shootings and children committing violent crimes. There is also an undercurrent of fame seekers who will do anything to be “famous”, which can be viewed in the number of underage children who are willing to pose naked on social media.
¬†¬† My question is when will it stop?¬† And when are parents going to be parents and stop being friends? This is not to say that there aren’t some good parents out there teaching morals and good values, but I will say not enough of them are. Our society has fallen way short in many areas especially when it comes to children. I believe that there is too muchimage

passivity
in most households and not enough separation between things meant for adults and things intended for children. These days more than ever parents need to be vigilant and present in the rearing of children. By this I mean setting limits and boundaries.
  As an educator I cringe at thought of children as young as 6 having a cell phone, but it happens. When is enough, enough? Food for thought.