Monday, December 26, 2011
As I've been giving a lot of thought about my future as it pertains to dating, I've spent quite a bit of that time thinking about marriage and what it means to me. We're living in a society now where women (and some men as well) seem to be more enamored with the idea of getting married than actually being married. For Christ's sake, celebs are out here making 70 million dollars off of corporately sponsored shotgun weddings while viewers sit back and watch from the comfort of their own homes. Reality TV shows such as The Bachelor franchise nuke the whole courting process. Women dream of their wedding day and start plotting on colors and bridal party participants before an engagement ring is even purchased. But while I hear tons of talk about diamond karat weights, indoor vs outdoor receptions, buffet vs set menu; there isn't nearly as much excitement when I hear talk about what happens when the "I Do's" are said and the honeymoon is over. You know, when that whole "til death do us part" part takes effect.
If more people realized juuuuust how serious marriage was, I'm pretty sure the divorce rate would go down. The age of marriage would also probably go up and the rate at which people were getting married would probably also decline. And why is that? Because folks might actually start to look past the glamour associated with the wedding day and being able to say you're someone's wife, and actually think what they're really signing up for.
Marriage is so romanticized, and while there is much about marriage that is indeed romantic, a lot of it is about business as well. You can be in a relationship with someone forever and not legally marry them; people do it all the time. So what is the benefit of marrying someone? I'd say it's the security that comes along with it; both mental and financial. Being able to share health benefit coverage, having someone to come home to and to come home to you every night. Having someone to start a family and build an empire with. Not just someone to cuddle next to cold nights and make a million and one Facebook albums with.
Having heard quite a few stories lately about men who are married or are engaged who choose to be unfaithful has also made me step back at analyze modern day marriage. And from that I drew this conclusion: nobody has to get married. This isn't 1911, where people would label you certifiably crazy and un-useful in society if you were over the age of 25 and single. So if you have no intention of being faithful, maybe marriage isn't for you. And honestly, that's okay. As I've gotten older, I've discovered that traditional marriage isn't for everyone and it probably never was but when society says you either get married or you become the equivalent of a leper, get married is what you do. With that said, it's damn near 2012, don't get married because you feel pressured to or because your friends are doing it. Marriage isn't a trend to hop on while it's hot and hop off of when the thrill dies down.
I've been in love before and thought I could see my future with that person in it. But when I looked at the basic things that were important to me, not being able to trust him kept coming to the forefront of our relationship. Some may say, "that's something you could work past" but would you honestly go into business with someone you couldn't trust? Truth is, that you could, but who wants to look over their shoulder every 5 seconds because they don't know when moves may be being made unbeknownst to them that could damage and cripple that partnership? Marriage is a business, love is it's collateral.
Now don't get me wrong, none of this is to say that I don't want to get married and be married in the legal, traditional sense, because the June Cleaver in me definitely does and I will. But I want to get married when I know it's right and when a mate has been revealed to me with whom I am equally yoked. And by that I don't mean we make the same amount of money, come from similar backgrounds and have the same education achievements. What I do mean is that he also realizes that marriage is not a game. It's not all chocolate, roses, sex and Valentine's Day everyday. It's hard work, dirty work. We will have arguments, we will butt heads, but we will also know how important it is that we work things out. How important it is that we share the same vision for our future family. Love is a vital attribute for marriage, but so is trust, commitment, patience, honesty and more tactical things like knowing how to handle our money and being ambitious.
But then again, I'm not married, not even close. So what do I know right? ;-)
I laughed a lot. I cried. I fell in like. I fell out of like... hard. I quit a job. I started a new one. I got depressed, really depressed. I lost 15 pounds. I made mistakes. I meditated. I gave up on pointless sex; make that all sex. I took a sabbatical from dating. I fasted. I opened my heart to God. I found a church & pastor I really enjoy. I started making turbans. I eliminated the majority of my debt. I almost jumped out of a plane. I got my passport. I gained new friends. I lost old ones. I strengthened existing bonds. I read. I wrote. I lived...
As I enter into a new year, I'm not going to make bottomless promises to myself about what I will accomplish and set goals without a concrete plan of action. But what I will do is continue to be thankful for all of my many blessings and promise to continue to grow in love & light. To laugh. To love and be the best possible me for Him.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
With that said, here's a list of some of my fav blogs from the fellas about well, women, love & sex(duh!):
Very Smart Brothas - Their wit is unparalleled. Especially Panama. I'm guaranteed a side splitting laugh at least twice before the end of all his posts. If you see this, tweet me ;0) . We all know I love a witty man.
Until I Get Married - I think of Jozen, this blog's author, like the Drake of the male blogging world. And I'm a Drake fan, so that's not an insult. He's candid and not afraid to show his emotional side when doing so. And as a fellow HBCU alum, I gotta give props where due.
Black Girls Are Easy - This is a newer find for me, thanks to Twitter. The posts are honest, gritty and humorous at times. I can't say that I've come across a blog from the male POV that speaks more directly to the 20somethings generation. I'll also admit that a post or two that I've read here have made me get in my feelings, which is good, because sometimes we all need a reality check. Oh, don't read this one at work. Guaranteed a NSFW pic or two is destined to pop up on your screen lol.
Bereolaesque - This one isn't exactly a blog, but Mr. Enitan Bereola II does write for several media outlets including Edge Magazine, Soul Train.com & The Examiner. He's also written a book focused on male chivalry and reviving the 21st century gentleman, Bereolaesque. Word on the streets(the web) is he's now working on one for the ladies. If you find yourself wanting even more of Bereola's tips for the modern day gentleman, follow him on Twitter, @Bereolaesque #pleasantries .
The Urban Gent - Here's a non-relationship focused resource. Take an interest in men's fashion? This is a great blog to check out. The layout is easy to follow and every post is thorough and well put together. There's celebrity inspiration, wardrobe & grooming tips, and even a history lesson or two.
That's all I have for now. Any of my readers have a blog written by a black male that they want to share? I'm always looking for a new distraction :0)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Maybe you can tell what that is, maybe you can't. It's a charred, black ass piece of paper. A piece of paper that once contained all of the things I hated in my life. All of the things that were currently causing me stress and pain at the time. Out of the blue, I decided I would take up meditation and during my first session, I wrote all of those things down and at the completion, I set it on fire. As I watched the paper turn orange and then brown and finally black, I seriously felt as if weight was being lifted from my shoulders. As dramatic as that may sound, all of those things that were written down on that piece of paper had been weighing me down and hindering me from being the best me possible, and the truth is that I hadn't even realized it.
Over the past couple weeks I've been indulging in reality TV shows, Basketball Wives and Love & Hip Hop, in particular and I've been able to sort through the ratchet behavior and pick out a common theme. Whether it's Gloria deciding to get space from Matt Barnes or Emily B attempting to distance herself from Fabolous, I'm witnessing women embark on a journey of self-rediscovery. Often times when you get entangled into imbalanced, needy relationships and also when you have children, it is easy to begin living your life for others. Women are emotionally giving by nature, so that's understandable. And it's not really a bad thing, but what tends to happen in those situations is that we lose sight of who we are and what we want from life. And when you can no longer remember what is important for you to continue to be YOU, it's time to take a step back and evaluate things.
I remember when Jada Pinkett-Smith came to speak at Spelman during my senior year. One story she told really stuck with me. She recounted an interview she had where she was asked who the most important people in her life were. Her response was 1. herself, 2. her children and 3. her husband. She went on to explain why she had put herself as number 1 instead of somewhere further down the line.
If you aren't happy and healthy, how can you be the best girlfriend, wife, mother (or boyfriend/husband/father) or even just friend, possible? You can't. If my life has me down in the dumps depressed, how will I be able to support others and be there for them when they need me? While saying that "you" are the most important person in your life may at first seem selfish, it really is essential to being in a position where you can even think to make anyone else a priority in your life.
It's unfortunate that many of us don't realize how important we need to be to ourselves until we get to a breaking point. And once that point has been reached you're forced to either fall over the edge or pick up those pieces and work on putting them back together. I know that was the point I reached right before I was moved to meditation and setting that paper on fire. I had gotten to a point where I felt backed against the wall and didn't see how I was going to make my way out. And sometimes you need those moments to show you that, enough is enough, it's about time you put yourself first.
Deciding to put myself first is the main reason why I'm on the dating sabbatical I mentioned in previous posts. I realized that I wasn't making decisions that showed how important I was to myself. I was putting other people before me who wouldn't do they same if the tables were turned. I was slowly but surely wearing myself thin (literally if you ask some folks).
Learning the importance of me and how to love myself all over again has been one hell of a process, and I know it's not over yet. But I'm glad it's a journey I was compelled to take because I know when I get to this journey's end, I'll be ten times more fabulous than before :0)
If you haven't done so today, tell yourself "I love you". Seriously, say it. And throw in a self-hug while you're at it. You may be surprised by just how good that feels.
Friday, November 25, 2011
A couple weeks ago I wrote about how absent fathers and negative father relationships adversely impact men. While writing that post and speaking with some of my girlfriends about "daddy issues", I began thinking of another take on this subject that seemed worth writing about.
Most of my close girlfriends are single. Not just, "I'm not married yet so on applications I check single" single, but "I don't have a steady man that's even worth talking about" single. They're attractive, educated, smart, ambitious women with pleasant personalities, but they're all single. Maybe it's just a sign of the times or merely a correlation between singletude and living in big cities with terribly uneven eligible male to female rations. But then again, maybe it's more than that.
I'm an over-thinker so of course I started to look for a common thread or theme among us. And as I started to do so, I thought about our family backgrounds. Almost all of my friends, myself included, who are super single, either come from two parents households or family situations where they have great relationships with their fathers. Could women with positive father relationships in their lives be negatively effected by such a great thing when it comes to dating?
I've talked to one of my married friends who has a different family background about this, hey Mira boo!, and she sort of agrees here. According to her take, women, like the aforementioned, create fairytale-like qualifications for their future mates based off of the positive relationships they have with their fathers. Instead of just dating guys for the fun of it, they want to find a man, THE man, who is going to be their husband because that's what they're used to seeing. I don't necessarily disagree here, but I don't exactly agree with that take either.
I look at it like this: how often do you hear people say, "I want my kids to have it better than I did. I want to be able to give them more than I had."? Pretty frequently right? When a woman has a great relationship with her dad, this is exactly what happens. Instead of saying, let me settle down with this guy who may not be bringing much to the table, they(we) want the guy who we see has the potential to give us AT LEAST what our fathers gave us. Is that so wrong? It doesn't mean we won't give a guy who hasn't quite made it, but is on his way there, a chance. It may however, mean we're less likely to let a man stick around who doesn't have it together at all and doesn't exemplify those characteristics that we love in our fathers. For many of us, our dads are our frame of reference for what we want in a man.
I love that my father was a great provider for us growing up. He worked hard to keep the roof over our heads and food on the table. And at the same time made it possible for my mother to be a stay at home mom until I reached 7th grade. Do I think i'm going to meet a man right now who will be 100% cool with me being a housewife while he goes out to work everyday? Not necessarily. But I do want a man who realizes the importance of love, trust, family and sacrifice and how those factors work together to create a successful family unit. My dad also has drive and ambition. He's helped to create plans that have impacted pretty much every person in the DMV if you ride public transportation. Ever rode an express metro bus or used a student pass growing up? My dad's ideas/plans(yep! I'm bragging right now). With a dad that great, why should I be aiming to settle for a man who lacks those very same qualities? Just like I have a father I can brag on, I want a husband I can brag on as well. *Cue Drake - Make Me Proud*
I'm sure this may be an unpopular opinion but eh, it happens sometimes. What do you all think? When it comes to daddy issues, are women "damned if you do damned if you don't"? Or am I merely blowing smoke out of my a$$?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Ice skating, followed by hot cocoa
National Gallery of Art - Sculpture Gallery
Veteran's Plaza in Silver Spring
Neighborhood Christmas lights tour/Winter market
I don't think there are any in DC, but I feel like other cities/towns have them. A nice drive through a neighborhood Christmas lights tour would be cute annnnnd it's free! A stroll through/visit to an outdoor winter market, such as the Union Square Holiday Market , could also be fun. Take some time to check out wares by local vendors and even indulge in holiday/winter foods such as roasted chestnuts, hot donuts, mulled cider and the like.
Cosi is mostly known for being a quick lunch stop for salads and sandwiches, but did you know they also offer S'mores? They have a cute setup that allows you and your date to prepare s'mores tableside. At just under $8, they make a great after dinner, or midday, dessert option. You can also buy the s'more set online here . How delicious is that??
CulinAerie - offers 3 hour classes, some of which are even designated as "date night" and offer wine pairings
Visit a museum or 2
I've loved museums since I was a child. Growing up in DC, where most of the museums are free, it seems only natural. Whether it's history, nature or art that you love, there are so many options to choose from. Pick one or a few and make a day out of exploring museum exhibits. Check out the websites for your local museum before going, to see if there are any special exhibits or film viewings in order to choose the ones that peak you & your date's interests the most.
This is the only home date I will deem acceptable here. I actually stole this from one of my guy friends(shhhh!).Channel your inner kid and spend a wintry afternoon getting to know one another while putting together a 1000 piece puzzle. Puzzles not your thing? Challenge your date to a round or two of scrabble? Nothing like a little intellectual stimulation :0)
Did I miss anything??
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
They grew up watching their fathers cheat on their mothers, fall victim to addictive behaviors and emotionally neglect their families. If this is what a boy grows up being surrounded by, what kind of man does he grow up to be? As important as we all know it is for women to have positive "father"* relationships in their lives in order to show them what type of man they should marry, it's just as important for men to have those relationships so they can know what type of man they should strive to be.
I've heard a lot of chatter lately, on twitter and even in Jay-Z's most recent GQ article about the"scars" left behind when a father is absent in the home. I always say that when you grow up around negative behavior, you either fall victim to it yourself or you fight to do and be the complete opposite. That's essentially the sentiment Jay expresses in the GQ article. His excitement over not only becoming a father but also having the opportunity to be the type of father to his child that he never had himself is definitely apparent. And while there are men out there who do exactly as Jay strives to and be the opposite of what they saw growing up, I've witnessed far too many young men who follow in their negligent father's footsteps and use their past as an excuse for their misbehavior. I remember having a conversation with a guy friend once about infidelity and he admitted that he cheated because that's what he had seen from his father and from the other men in his life.
Is that an excuse? Yes. But it's also a reason. How can we truly expect for boys in these types of situations to all grow up and automatically know how to do the right thing once they reach manhood, if that's something they've never been privy to?
The biggest issue I see here is that in our community, and hell, in America period, men aren't "allowed" to freely express the pain and emotion caused by growing up without positive male role models in the home. As I stated in the beginning of this post, everyone talks ad nauseum about the ways in which women are affected in these situations but rarely the way men are. In order for us all to heal and begin making things "right" we have got to start talking about this. Male emotion is not something most of us are used to discussing or are even really comfortable doing so. Nobody's saying men need to go all Emo on us and tap into their inner Drake or anything *cue tracks 1-17 of Take Care* but this discussion is definitely long overdue.
So why don't we turn the tables, men, who hurt you?
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Tip #1: Be sure to clearly communicate the parameters of your cuffing situation. Kickin it? Cuddling only? Dates that take place outside, in the sunlight? Sex?
Did we miss anything??
Thursday, October 20, 2011
That is exactly what I thought of when I watched Rihanna's newest video for "We Found Love". It really through me off guard because it wasn't at all what I was expecting.
Ever been there?
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
"Who am I?" "Where am I going?" "Why am I here?" "But, why did that happen" "Why can't this person be in my life". Why, why why... why why. Just too much. During a recent session of self-loathing, a lightbulb went off. Instead of looking at the past year and wallowing in self pity about why it might be that I'm not where I feel I should be, I've decided to assess how I got to be who I am and where I am. For example, let's take the ever-present question: "Why am I single?". Answer: I'm single because I'm seriously not ready to bring a man into my life, as is. As much as I want a warm body to lay next to, subconsciously, I know that I need work. As I said the other day on twitter(DyannaLynn if you don't already follow me), I don't have to be 100% complete to be in a relationship but I can't be in a million little pieces either. And right now, that's exactly where I am. Shattered on the ground, in jagged fragments. And I've decided that that's okay because I can never figure out what's going on with me as a whole if I don't address every piece of me.
My recent dating history is...interesting. It makes for some great laughs and brunch conversation but at the end of the day none of my suitors, although some have gotten close, have made it for the long haul. And as much as I want to blame them for each and every mis-step, I can't.
I hate sharing emotion (you can't tell from this blog, right?), I feel it leaves me too vulnerable. And while that may work in helping to protect myself from getting hurt, it also keeps me from being open to receiving love. I can't remember the last time I told a man that I liked him unless it was a part of an attempt to not get him to walk away. And that isn't because I didn't like any of the guys I dated, I did. I just didn't want to be the one to say it first and run the risk of not hearing it back. And for these same reasons, I'm not affectionate either. The last time I curled up under a man and whispered in his ear? Who knows. Anything and everything that could show a man that I was interested in him, I wasn't interested in doing because I just knew I would wind up looking stupid. I wasn't thinking about the fact that men need to feel wanted & needed. By not being open to sharing my emotion and passion with men, I actually had feelings for, I'm pretty sure I cold-shouldered my way down a continued path of singletude. Leaving the door wide open for women who were willing to say and do what I didn't know how to allow myself to.
Now that I've begun to address this piece of me, will I be able to change the way I operate going forward? The honest truth is that I don't know. I can only hope that these million little pieces somehow, someway, some time soon come together and leave me with a fuller self that is more focused, confident and willing to take a chance. Only time will tell
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I don't know if that statement is true or not, but I believe it's befitting for this post. Have I ever told you all the story of my date with the married man? I feel like I did but I don't have the patience this AM to go search for it.
Many, many years ago when I first moved to NYC, I was riding the 1 train from Harlem to work and a man got my attention by commenting on the book I was reading: Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Nobody strikes up conversations with strangers during the morning commute on the NYC subway, so I was intrigued to say the least. He wasn't physically my type but I said, what the hey and we exchanged info.
After a couple weeks of plotting to get together, he invited me out for drinks. A couple drinks later, some laughs and good conversation and we get down to the nitty gritty of it all. We begin discussing relationships and he asks me what it is that I'm looking for in a man. A big sigh and a few seconds later, I respond with "honesty". And in true, straight from a movie fashion, he responds, "well since we're being honest I need to tell you something". Naturally my eye brow is raised at this point and I'm checking for my exits(just in case a quick escape is needed) because what in the world could you be feeling the need to be honest with me about already??
I do believe my jaw hit the bar at that point and my eyes got wide as I processed my date's moment of truth. "Did he just say he was marrried? Why are we on this date then? What? Just... why!?".
He proceeds to explain how he's been married for all of four years to an older woman and as his words get drowned out by white noise, the only question I can muster up is, "where's your wedding band?". "I threw it in a fight and it got lost. That was actually my second one". What kind of man gets mad at his wife in a fight and throws his wedding band? Is what I wanted to ask but kept my lips sealed as my date, now the married man, went on the explain how we could still go out together and he could take me on weekend trips. We could have "fun"... o_0 Maybe in some alternate, parallel universe this would have sounded like a good idea, but definitely not in my reality.
Aggressively feeling sick to my stomach, the date ended abruptly with him continuing to talk about us getting together for future engagements. Future... why? I walk home feeling confused, disgusted and discouraged. And also feeling bad for this man's wife. After a mere 4 years of marriage your man is out tipping around with single women. Buying them drinks and chatting them up in a way that only a man with no formal attachments should. Your husband is a cheater with no shame or remorse. But, why?
Fast forward to last week. I'm chatting with a girlfriend about a date she just went on earlier that evening. "Which do you want to hear first? The okay, the bad or the worst?", she asks. Oh Lord here we go. After lamenting about her date discussing his previous dates/situations with other women with her and his decision to go dutch on a $40 bill, she gets to the kicker... the worst. All night she had noticed a ring on his finger, he too must have noticed that she did because half way through the date he fidgets around for a bit under the table and his hand reappears ringless. This man, her date, is married. In later conversation he admits to being married but wanting to continue to get together with her in the future.
What part of the game is this?? Obviously too many woman have been willing to overlook a man's married status just to have someone to show them attention and now these selfish a-holes are under the impression that dating outside of a marriage is cool. I want a husband someday, but not someone else's. At what point did we start taking marriage so lightly? Do only men do this? Not cheat, obviously, do married women go out on dates with single men? I can't say that I've ever heard one of my guy friends talk about taking a married chic out on a date.
Monday, September 19, 2011
The Spelman woman in me says that I shouldn't even be using the term "heaux" or "ho". But when did that ever stop me from doing anything? Should I call them "women who prefer a more promiscuous lifestyle" though? Hmmmm, #details. Anyway, no matter what term we use, this post is addressing what seems to be the motto of 2011, "Heauxs be winning".
Every time I turn around I'm either reading or hearing, "2011 is the year of the heaux" or like I stated before, "heauxs be winning". But my question is, why? What makes a man decide to lock it down with a woman who is known to get around? It seems like many a self-prescribed "good girl" have been quoted as pondering this very notion. I decided, why not find the answer.
One reason and what I think is the biggest reason heauxs win, aside from the fact that society has no shame anymore, is because heauxs love hard and unapologetically so. Much unlike "good girls", who are often afraid to trip fall and land flat on their face in love due to past experiences/let downs. We want love to be perfect or else we know how painful it can be, so we often hold back pieces of ourselves from the guy we like as a way to protect ourselves. If there's one thing we know for sure about heauxs, it's that they don't hold back a damn thing, I mean isn't that what makes them a heaux in the first place? I believe that the same theory they apply to sex, they use for dealing with men in general.
Heauxs are natural risk takers... use that how you want... and in love you have to take risks. They don't fear the possibility that the guy they're pursuing may just drop them on their ass. And if he does, what do they have to lose? Heauxs are fearless, remember that.
Secondly, men are sexual beings. Point. Blank. Period. So, he might not put a ring on the heaux's finger (he actually probably will) but amazing sex and stellar bedroom tricks can totally leave a man stupified. Before you know it, he's wanting to spend time with her actually with their clothes on and even claim her in public. Of course the good girl who's been watching this all go down doesn't know what happened, and honestly, neither does he.
Thirdly, maybe heauxs are really super heros and we all know super heros win everytime. Or maybe they're mystical creatures, like fairies and they cast love spells through their chochas... Anywhoo, no more blogging with moscato.
But my last point is, why shouldn't heauxs win? No seriously. They're people too. I know some really nice and considerate heauxs, I'm sure you all do too. Is it that a woman's sexual history should keep her from reaching her happy place? I can't necessarily agree with that. And we all know, it never stopped a man from doing so.
But then again maybe this is all Timbaland and Nelly Furtado's fault. I mean, who didn't like this song??
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Historically(I'm saying let's go back to slavery), black women have been looked at as nothing more than a sum of our parts. Breasts, hips & asses. We've been ogled at and been made spectacles of, all due to the curvaciousness of our form.
Exhibit A: Hottentot Venus, Sarah Baartman*
Our sex has been used as a commodity, both against our will and with it. These bodies have made many a man person rich. And it seems like once we came to the conclusion that we could get rich off our own bodies, it all went downhill from there. We fooled ourselves into thinking that we were taking control of our bodies & sexuality by becoming the ones to own our exploitation. We got up on poles, undressed ourselves in music videos and pussy popped, not necessarily on handstands, for crowds to see, all at our own command. But I have to wonder, what exactly have we gained from all of this?
Not much if you ask me. I guess it sounds powerful to some women to be able to "own" their sexuality by putting it on display; by being able to sex just as freely as they love. But I've always seen this as a double edged sword. Women should no doubt be able to own their own sexuality, but why does owning ones sexuality usually end up translating to being able to sex the world with no judgement. Can women also own their sexuality by withholding it?
This is something I've pondered over the past year or so: can a woman feel just as powerful in her sexuality by choosing not to have sex? My curiosity on this topic challenged me to try it out for myself. Yes, celibacy.
All jokes aside...
One of my New Year's resolutions was to remain celibate AT LEAST until I landed in a committed relationship. I spent enough time learning the hard way that "free" sex was just not for me. It can be liberating I guess, but at the end of the day it was leading to way too much emotion for me. And emotion just winds up being extremely awkward when it pops up in situations where it was never invited in the first place. I've come to learn that actively choosing not to have sex has given me more power in my sexuality than ever before.
I didn't really think about the powerlessness I felt until I had a conversation with a friend. They asked me what I missed most about having sex and my response was "intimacy". But after pondering my response, I realized how lacking in intimacy my experiences had actually been. I had been cheating myself by continuing to be in situations that were full of action but very little feeling. And while I couldn't tell in the moment, I now saw how much power over myself and my body I actually lost in doing so. By choosing to step back from sex and taking time to evaluate my experiences I feel as if I'm able to step into the next chapter with a clearer vision on what I want my sexuality to look like. I didn't do it to gain respect from men or to get a seat on the express train to heaven; I did it for me. And honestly, I have come to feel more empowered by "keeping a nickel between my knees" than I ever did by spreading them.
I don't think celibacy is the answer for every woman out there who feels the need to own her sexuality, but neither is passing out the cookies like you're a Girl Scout at the peak of the season. Sometimes you just have to completely shut out what society thinks you should & should not do and figure out what works best for you.
*Sarah Baartman was a woman from the Eastern Cape of S. Africa, who was made famous/infamous by being exploited by her slavemasters and exhibited as a freak show attraction in Europe during the 19th century. Was made popular due to her "unusual bodily features".
Sunday, August 14, 2011
What do you get when you cross June Cleaver and bell hooks?
To this day, what do you think most people's impressions of feminists are? That they are all rough around the edges, hairy armpit having, man hating lesbians? That might sound pretty harsh but the truth is that's what many people think of when they think about feminists.
I won't lie, several pieces of that description were my own, once upon a time, feelings about feminists. But as I've grown up over the past couple years, I've realized that much of who I am agrees with feminist ideologies. I'm as pro-woman as can be, but without being anti-man. Is that possible? I think so.
I'm as much about making sure that I have the instincts and skills it takes to raise a family as I am about having the determination and confidence it takes to eventually own my own business. I love to cook and bake and take care of my toddler niece, but should that make me less a feminist? As I stated above, I think feminists are too often looked at as being anti-man. Can't I be for one thing without being against another? Why can't the two coincide? I'm not saying that it's easy, but I do think it is possible.
The struggle between being pro women's achievement & progression, while realizing that men are still going to be men, is part of the issue I believe we're having in trying to foster romantic relationships between one another in modern society. There's no denying that black women are achieving at levels unparallelled by black men. That has made us feel that we have a certain power and control in a relationship where traditionally we had very little. I can now, as a woman, be the breadwinner and financially provide for the family justas/more than a man can. I can "bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan". But what happens when that makes men uncomfortable?
While we may be evolving as women, men for the most part are fundamentally staying the same. We may be getting degrees and becoming CEOs, CFOs, and presidents of companies but men don't want us to lose that soft edge that characterizes femininity. Just because I dole out commands at work doesn't mean my man is going to be happy with me trying to tell him what to do all the time. Not being in total control in the home, doesn't make us any less powerful and that's something we need to realize.
Men like to be men and do manly things, that's not going to change. Men like their egos stroked - FACT. And keeping their egos stroked helps keep the balance, the peace. Have you all heard the saying, "the man is the head of the household, while the woman is the neck"? It embodies the idea that women have control, we just don't have to throw it in a man's face. When we do that, that's when we lose balance and men begin to think of women who have achieved as power hungry b*tches who think they have bigger cahunas than the men in their lives. Is it so wrong and anti women's progression to believe that while women are achieving by leaps and bounds, it's still just as important to recognize a man's need to feel like a man?
As a woman who considers herself a feminist, my opinion may not be a popular one. What does a woman who is about female empowerment, look like slapping on an apron and getting down in the kitchen??
This is what she looks like ----->
Behold the apron wearing, heels in the kitchen, aspiring housewife feminist. I may be rare, but damnit I'm a movement.
**Look out for Pt. 2!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Last Saturday, I turned 26. It's definitely not a milestone birthday but it does mean that I'm over the mole hill also known as 25. So now what? How about an update on where I am now versus where I was a year ago at this same time?
Booooooy, was I a mess. Living in NYC, working for America's Department store and wanting for, yearning for, more. Crying in my pillow all the time, OD emotional because I was trying to make one of the most difficult decisions I EVER had to make in my whole life. If you all have been peeking in on the blog since I started it, you know exactly what I mean. I was in a love/hate relationship with everything that was going on in my life.
On one hand I loved NYC, it was the city I had always dreamed of living and working in. But on the other hand I felt used and abused by a city that so many people love but rarely gives you any love back. I was tired of living in an apartment with 3 chics(even though I love you guys!), not having a car, being in an overpopulated neighborhood, having my blood pressure rise everytime I rode the train etc etc. I was also tired of slaving for the man and not feeling like it was getting me anywhere. I had put in 3 trying and stressful years at Macy's and didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. So what did I do? I quit. No job, no concrete plan, nothing. I took a leap of faith and hoped the landing would be soft.
And honey let me tell you, it wasn't. The months that followed after leaving New York were some of the most depressing ever. My initial dream of going to culinary arts school for pastry work and opening a dessert truck all but melted away. I got into two programs and did research on trucks, even got my food handler's certification, but I was losing sight of who I was and why I had make the decision to move back to DC.
I got all but comfortable working a job that made my social life disappear. I love retail but working store-line?? Never the hell again. I couldn't spend time going out with my existing friends and meet new people because nobody understood not being able to come out and play until after 9pm and rarely ever on the weekends. I lost friendships, some that meant a lot to me, all because I felt lost in a place that I thought would lovingly embrace me. This was home; so why wasn't I happy?
And let's not forget to mention that my love(less) life didn't help the situation any. Remember how happy I was when I went to that house party back in the fall shortly after moving back to DC, and saw that young people down here were getting married and buying houses together and all that fairy-tale shyt?? Well, let's just say I encountered quite a few experiences that left me feeling like I was back in New York. Men here still weren't ready to be in relationships, at least not in ones with me(I'll probably write about this some time in the near future).
Everything was stressing me out. I lost 20 lbs, 15 of which I believe occured over a 2 month span. And it wasn't because I was working out or on a diet; I just wasn't eating. Ever had your mother threaten to have you put in the hospital so you could get an IV and be dead serious about it? Yeah, I'm getting real here. Essentially I had gotten to a point where I was so low, I was letting all these outside forces to break me down.
And so once I was broken down, how did I get up? Not to get preachy here, but I had to rediscover how to lean on faith. God would never give me more than I could handle and I had to remember that. All of those small things that were chipping away at the focused, driven me that decided to leave my 'city of dreams' and build something concrete here in DC, needed to be reevaluated and kicked out of my life.
So 369 days after reaching the quarter life summit, I feel stronger and more positive than ever. I may not have that food truck or that dessert business right now but I know that if I really want it, it WILL be my reality. If not next year, maybe in 3 years, maybe in 5. However, patience, love and faith will get me there.
Woooooo! Writing this felt good. Thanks for continuing to read and travel with me on this thing called life.
**Click the pic, it'll expand so you can see it in all it's glory. Of course I drew this masterpiece. I call it: The Roaring 20's. Ha!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
This particular evening, he must have been in the mood to chat about the girlfriend because he started talking about how him being in a relationship doesn't mean he can't have female friends and go out for dinner/drinks and party with them. Okay, I see your point here. I've always been a believer in the theory that a person is single until they say 'I do'. As he continues talking, a couple questions start to pop up in my head and I have to break my silence and speak up. The biggest question being, "How long have you and your girlfriend been together?". His response, "almost two years". 0_0
Let's back this story up and explain the reasoning for the wide-eyed emoticon. This guy and I, I believe his nickname should be Napoleon for the purpose of this entry and those going forward, have gone out a few times. Partied together pretty often and even had the "what are you looking for?* conversation". Remember how I said we've only been friends for almost a year, and he's been in a relationship for almost two years? Yeeeeeah 0_0 once again. For someone who's had a girlfriend for nearly 2 years, Napoleon sure has been spending a decent amount of time with a single woman. Make that WOMEN. While I've never ever met the girlfriend, I have met other single female friends of his who he hangs out and parties with. I just figured he was a successful single guy who enjoyed spending time with attractive women, which honestly never bothered me but it did dumbfound me. How could Napoleon have all these single attractive women around and not want to make something serious out of at least one? Well, I guess the answer was that he already wifed one up, she was just sitting at home.
Now let's press 'real time' and get back to the conversation from the other night. In speaking about his girlfriend, Napoleon proceeds to explain to me his relationship and how having been the controlling boyfriend before in an insecure relationship, he now believes that while he may be involved with someone that doesn't mean he can't hang out with and entertain friends of the opposite sex. In my book, having friends of the opposite sex is A-OK. But aquiring new single friends of the opposite sex and hanging out with them when your significant other isn't around is somewhat of a different story. Seriously, I didn't even know this woman existed until a couple months ago.
I would never consider myself to be the jealous type, I'm very open minded about the parameters that should exist within relationships, but this situation seems a bit iffy. How would you feel as the significant other on the other end of that relationship where your man/woman has friends of the opposite sex that they hang out with that you've never even met? I know that my intentions here with Napoleon are harmless, we're nothing more than friends, but I know every woman can't just want to be this guy's friend. And that I believe is what can put such situations in the danger zone. Of course when I asked him if it was okay for his girlfriend to have guy friends and go out with them and party with them as he does with his female friends; what was his response? No. Go figure.
What do you all think? Should a person in a relationship hold friendships with people of the opposite sex unbeknowst to their partner? Let me know what you think.
*Please reference my previous entry: "What I'm Looking For" from 11/10 which chronicled this conversation with Napoleon.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I'm afraid because I find it hard to believe that there's someone out there who could genuinely care about my feelings more than they care about their own right now. Someone who wants to see my character before they see what's beneath my clothes. Someone who's willing to take a leap with me and see if we could build something together once we land.
I don't want to be the first one to call, the first one to text, the first one to ask "where could you see this going?". I don't want to put myself out there and let him know that I'm "digging you like a grave"* when really I may not be anything more than just another chic riding his bench waiting to get put in the game.
Being in this "quarter life" stage, so much of who I am and what I'm doing is in a state of limbo. So adding the vulnerability that comes with opening up to a man to the rocky road I'm already trodding on, can sound like more than I'm willing and able to handle. I've gotten to the point where I'd almost rather nip the possibility of seeing where things could go with someone in the bud at the very beginning, rather than taking the chance of getting my heart stepped on. I do all this talking(typing) about wanting to take the steps to find the guy for me but am I really ready to receive him? If I know nothing else, it's that love and fear don't mix.
So now that I've taken a deep breath and admitted my fear(s), what do I do now? How do I get past this? Maybe you all have some advice, because on this one, I surely don't.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
But with that long anecdote aside, what exactly is "the spark"? And when do you feel it? Is it that warm feeling that you get when you first meet someone that you're attracted to? Is it something that you can feel for several people? I've had a couple conversations over the past week, discussing possible answers to these questions, and the conclusion that I've come to is that what most people refer to as "the spark" is most often nothing more than lust.
My dad reads the Date Lab* column in the Washington Post magazine every Sunday and it never fails that week after week couples who admit having a great time with one another end the column by saying "there just wasn't a spark". So you enjoyed this person's conversation, they made you laugh, you had things in common but because you didn't feel "the spark", you won't go out on a second date with them? Am I the only person that's confused by that?
It's kind of like, we've gotten so into the instant gratification aspect of the 21st century that we forget that some things, ie. genuine lasting feelings, don't always hit you as soon as you meet someone. I like to think of good relationships like I do my friendships. I have some friends that when we first met, my only thought was "who the hell does this chic/dude think she/he?", but because there was something about them that peaked my interest, a friendship was able to form and blossom.
Too many people think good potential relationships have to begin with an instant spark of sensual feeling; like if I don't think I could sleep with you love you right now, I definitely won't in a couple months or years. We've become so side tracked by lust, which I definitely think is more of an instant and often fleeting feeling, that we no longer seem to have the patience it takes to form successful relationships. Can we really then be surprised by the high divorce rates and relationship failures of today?
I may just be speaking out of my ass but let me know what you guys think. What do you all think, is "the spark" real or just a figment of our adult imaginations?
*Date Lab is a column where The Washington Post sets up singles of all colors, ages & orientations on blind dates and then reports on their experiences for our entertainment.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
- 32% of Black adults were married (compared to 56% of Whites)
- 72% of Black women giving birth were unmarried (29% of White women)
- 52% of all Black children under the age of 18 were living in a single parent household (in comparison, 74% of white children live in a two-parent household)
- 44% of Black adults feel that marriage is becoming obsolete
Sigh. Don't these statistics make you cringe, juuuust a little?? I'm particularly disturbed by the one about 72% of Black women giving birth being unmarried. But anywho, that's not what I came on here to discuss. What I want to write about today is what I think is going on with Black folks and marriage. However, I wouldn't be surprised if that statistic finds it's way into my impending argument.
Let me begin by saying that I fully believe in marriage. I grew up seeing positive, successful marriages; not only from my parents, but from many of my friend's parents as well. I've also seen marriages that were dysfunctional and broken and thus, I ironically also believe in divorce. Just because two people decide to get married, that doesn't mean they decided to get married to the right person. Sometimes things just don't work out. If the existence two people have created together is constantly bogged down with misery and marital counseling doesn't help, they may need to view divorce as an option.
I don't believe that these stats are saying that Black people don't want to get married anymore. I think Black people do want to get married, we just struggle with trying to figure out how to love one another in a healthy way. I've heard too many young people lamenting about how they don't trust men/women and I think there lies the source of our problem. How have we allowed ourselves to be so scarred by our prior experiences that we've lost all trust in one another?? And once you get to a point that you find it hard to trust the opposite sex, how do you come back from that and begin to trust again?
Another reason why marriage has become such a challenge for us is that men and women no longer see eye to eye on gender roles. As black women continue to attend college at a greater rate than black men and stake their place in corporate America, we no longer are satisfied with simply playing the role of wife and mother. That's not to say that black men haven't made strides as well, because they have, just not at the same rate as black women. So what happens when Ms. Independent meets Mr. Traditional? An epic clash of egos, that's what.
We are also products of our environment. According to the above statistic, 52% of all black children under the age of 18 are being reared in single family households. How can we be expected to know how to be in successful relationships that result in marriage if we didn't grow up seeing them? It really just becomes a vicious cycle.
Why else do I think marriage in the black community is on the decline? Black women and our tendency to accept whatever we're offered while we secretly hope to one day get what we actually desire from our partners. 72% of black women who gave birth were unmarried, not because we are oversexed and careless, but because too often we've gotten ourselves in deadend relationships that offer up babies as consolation prizes. Most of us really do want to get married and have nuclear families but when the men we're with ask for our patience while they get themselves together, we sit back and allow the years to pass and everntually get stuck in situations of complacency. That guy may not be giving you what you want but you'd still rather be with him than spend your nights and days alone.
All of the above are viable reasons why marriage may be on the decline for black people, but I can't end this post without acknowledging that marriage and what it means for our society is changing for everyone. No longer are we feeling like we HAVE to get married, have two and a half kids, a dog and the white picket fence to be considered successful at life.
Do YOU believe in marriage? Why or why not?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
After a while does your ability to successfully be in relationships go bad like old milk?
I've been asking myself all these questions, plus many more, after several conversations I've held with male acquaintances over the past couple months. It never fails that I meet a guy and one of the first questions he asks is, "when is the last time you were involved with someone?" After the twitch in my right eye subsides and I've mulled over whether to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I reveal an answer which apparently is quite unbelievable. It never fails that once I explain my situation, I'm met with looks of disbelief and a gamut of related questions that I often have no answer to (ie. but why have you been single so long?).
For all of you all who read my blog, you know I've been single for a long ass time. Longer than I think is reasonable but hey, it is what it is. But what I really want to discuss here is whether there is a length of time that just seems ridiculous for a young, attractive, sane person to spend with no serious object of affection?
And what about serial monogomists? I refuse to leave them out of this conversation. I know a couple people(all women) who can't seem to be single for longer than a couple months. You know the ones; every time you turn around there's someone new that they are absolutely smitten over. Dependency issues much? Isn't something just as odd about that?
I'm honestly used to hearing my girlfriends talk about being single for extended periods of time, so it's not an odd thing for me to hear. I'm actually more surprised when I meet groups of women who are in actual relationships. That may sound dramatic but I figure it's just a consequence of being a professional woman living in a major city where men often find the odds in their favor.
What's even more interesting to me to me is that nobody is surprised when a man says he's been single for a long time. A dude could be like, "I don't even remember the last time I had a girlfriend" and people would just be like "oh". For a woman to say the same thing is totally taboo. All of a sudden there must be something wrong with her; why is she fighting something that comes so natural to her. I figure this is because societal norms catagorize women as being relationship seekers while men are expected and encouraged to play the field for as long as humanly possible.
With that said, is the length of acceptable time spent in the "single zone", before people think something MUST be wrong with you, different for men and women? Should it even matter how long someone has spent riding solo?
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
But anyway, since I haven't been doing much writing(that's a lie, I've started 4 drafts since my last post, just haven't finished any), I have been doing a lot of reading within the blogosphere. The following are two articles I came across that I figured you all may like to read as well.
This first one is from the Village Voice and is pretty dear to my heart and experiences, for obvious reasons. Even though it's specifically mentioning women in NYC, I think young single women in many major cities have similar experiences.
"Dear Single Women of NYC: It's Not Them, It's You" http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-02-09/news/dear-single-women-of-nyc-it-s-not-them-it-s-you/
The second article is "The No-Boyfriend Zone" written by Alysha P. Reid from Clutch Magazine http://clutchmagonline.com/lifeculture/feature/the-no-boyfriend-zone/.
Ironically enough, both of these articles take an introspective look at female singletude. Maybe that's what attracted me to them. But anywho, take a look at them and let me know what you all think!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
A couple weekends ago I went to see No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman; however, long before I saw the movie I had been wanting to write a post about the topic of 'friends with benefits' arrangements.
Whether you call them friends with benefits, sex buddies, cut buddies or whatever else, long story short, I don't believe in them. In theory this concept seems like a homerun, but most of the time it ends up being a recipe for disaster. Let me break down for you guys.
Why this situation doesn't work for women:
I've heard women, some of them my own friends, say that they can be in relationships that are purely sexual & have that be a-okay with them (-_-) Let's be forreal. As women, we aren't wired to seperate sex and emotional attachment. I'm not saying we fall in love with every man we have sex with, but we definitely form some type of weird bond with them. Especially if we've had sex more than once with the guy. At the end of the day, I don't think men who once viewed you as a form of sexual enjoyment can take you seriously as anything else. I know that's a blanket statement and that sometimes something more does spring from these situations, but that is so rare. So why would you willingly want to engage in a relationship that more often than not will lead you on a long & possibly emotional journey to nowhere land? Do you really want to only get "I want to see you" calls at 1am?? Never be taken out on a date by this guy? Never be introduced to his close friends and family?? I doubt it.
Why this situation doesn't work for men:
I really think you men out there think you hit the jackpot when a woman "agrees"(most of the time not verbally, but just by going along with it) to a FWB situation. You see it as getting the booty and not having to worry about the drama that comes along with romantic relationships. Well, let me tell you this; you also put yourself at risk of aquiring what I like to refer to as the Stage 5 Clinger. Ever had a girl that you were simply having sex with want to start getting more involved in your life? Maybe she wants to go out in the daylight, meet your friends, your mama even. Or better yet, maybe she's called you 5 times back to back and left some scathing voicemail once she's noticed you aren't picking up? That my friends, is a Stage 5 Clinger.
Let me reinerate that most sane and stable women will not be okay with a FWB situation for very long. If she likes you enough to be sleeping with you and maybe even letting you spend the night and drool on her pillow, she probably likes you enough to try and see if she can some how, through sex voodoo, convince you to take her more seriously. It's a problem we women sometimes have of thinking we can change men's minds and thoughts in order to have them align with our own.
So ladies, please save yourselves and your friends too from the headaches and men, save yourselves from Stage 5 Clingers by just saying "NO" to friends with benefits relationships.
Do you guys agree or am I just speaking from a one sided point of view?
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Maybe I should forget that we ever… even… met
I should sit and pretend that the pain lying within is a figment of my wildest imagination
As if all that time wasted was merely a misguided, mythical creation
Like a dream or better yet a nightmare that was only meant to scare, me into waking up and making the right decisions
An inception meant to lead me in the opposite direction; away from you
Maybe I could replace your face with an empty grey space while working to erase any trace that you’ve left behind
And in your place I would plant memories of laughter and happiness pulled from the corners of my mind
Save myself the “should have, would have and could haves”
Because I didn’t and wouldn’t and couldn’t have acted any differently than I did back then
I just hate having to rehash this thing again… and again
Playing it all back in my head like for some reason, this time, things will come to a less bitter-sweet end
So maybe instead of merely pretending I never met you I’ll take the steps to forget you
I’d rather do that than have to confess and say
That I regret the day I ever met you, let you in and hoped you’d stay
Saturday, January 8, 2011
One of my friends (Hey Kourtney!) brought up a topic which I definitely thought was interesting enough to write about here. To paraphrase, she heard someone saying that they felt that you are who you attract and that if you desire to be in a relationship but are entering the situation with fear and/or limited confidence those feelings will manifest themselves.
At first glance, I didn't agree with this but once I reeeeeally thought about this, I felt like the aforementioned is dead on. Whether we realize it or not, we sense each other's emotions/each other's auras if I may dare to have a "flowerchild" moment. For example, if someone has a weak aura that lacks confidence, they will more than likely draw in people who not only also have weak auras but lack that same confidence and thus the two will spend their whole relationship feeding off of each others insecurities.
I don't agree with the theory that opposites attract; they do attract but rarely are they successful at staying together. The same goes for people who are exactly the same; eventually someone is going to get tired of looking in the mirror everyday. I do however think that in successful relationships, the two people need to compliment each other. Kind of like puzzle pieces; the two entitites are different but they end up fitting together because one piece has the missing parts that the other needs in order to be completed.
Looking at the successful relationships that I know, this is most often the case; my parents included. My mother has a more outgoing, somewhat in your face personality while my dad is much more subdued and laid back. They both needed each other to balance themselves out. Somebody has to be able to calm my mom down and someone needed to be able to save my dad from spending every waking hour reading newspapers and magazines. I guess my theory is akin to that of the yin and yang.
I also thought about myself here. I believe that I would totally enjoy being in a relationship right now but honestly, that's probably not the aura I currently give off. I think about my recent response to being asked THE question, "Why are you single?" and my immediate response (aside from a mini tantrum in my head) was that I'm focusing on figuring out what I need to do and where I need to go with my life. Thinking back on that answer, I really had to question the fact that that actually came out of my mouth. How can I say I'm ready and willing to work on getting to the point where I can say I want to be in a relationship with someone if I don't even have me together?
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think I have to be completely settled and together to be with someone, but if I'm giving off the vibe that I'm not ready to spend time exploring what it would be like with someone else, how can I hope to attract a guy who is ready for that? I think about the past couple guys I've talked to, they were all good, possibly great guys and one day they will make someone very happy but none of them were ready to be in a real relationship. For a while I wondered if it was me, maybe I was doing something wrong. But after spending time thinking about this theory, I now see that it isn't "me" in the sense that I need to improve on my personality or change my look, but it is "me" in the sense that my aura is all wrong.
No one really wants to be in a serious relationship with someone who's life is in limbo. I know I would have my own reservations about it, so how can I expect someone to look at me with my life in somewhat of a quarter-century life disarray and say, "hey, I'll take on the challenge". Granted, that would be great, but most guys and people in general don't have that much patience.
So since we all know that you are what you eat, maybe I'll go ahead and get on a "focused and optimistic" diet.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Welcome to 2011 folks! It sounds crazy just to say that. Of course with the arrival of December 31st, came the outpouring of resolutions and vows we have promised to keep over the course of the year. So many of us make these outlandish resolutions that we know we probably have no plans to keep.
Let's be serious, we are probably making the same promise, just in different verbage, that we made to ourselves and failed to uphold last year. "I'm going to lose 15 lbs." "I'm going to stop smoking/drinking so much." "I'm going to be a nicer person." (-_-) That was the "side-eye" face just incase you aren't in the know.
I've decided that instead of making a resolution that I know I have no intentions of keeping just because it sounds good to say, I would make one that really means something. Here it goes:
I resolve to be the best me for not just myself, but also my family & friends. Honestly, I love this resolution and I love it because it truly is so general that you can't help but accomplish it. I've even further broken it down into several sub-goals that would help me satisfy this year's goal. Truth is, I may not fulfill all of these and sometimes I may be lead astray but if I can just keep these in my head I know I'll at least be on my way.
On Christmas morning just past, I spent 3 hours volunteering in the DC Central Kitchen. I had never heard of this organization until I went in search of a good deed to perform for the holidays. DC Central Kitchen prepares hundreds of meals each day for the city's homeless and needy; however, it's not your average soup kitchen. Volunteering at this org. didn't mean ladeling soup and passing out turkey. I along with my syblings and fellow volunteers, chopped meat and vegetables, picked greens and even helped to actually cook some of the items that were going to be served. After having such a positive experience here, I've decided that once I obtain a position that frees up my weekends, I will spend at least one Saturday morning a month volunteering there.
2. Minimize my "woe is me, I miss New York" antics
Yikes! This will probably be the most difficult hurdle for me to jump over, so if it takes me until about May or so to do, don't say I didn't warn you. DC is not New York, it never will be. But I suppose that's the beauty of the DC (see how I gave that a positive spin, I'm really trying here). Back in August, I made a tough life decision and the truth is that I actually don't regret it. I do however think that my expectation for how quickly I would feel settled and have my new life up and running were quite unrealistic. I haven't lived in DC fulltime since 2003. The city has changed, my friends have changed, my family has changed and most of all, I've changed. So for me to expect that things would simply fall back into place was unfair to me and this experience as a whole.
3. I will not let men cloud my judgment
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I'll admit that at times, I allow the wool to be pulled over my eyes. But don't get it twisted, I know when it's happening and I'm not stupid. I'm a single woman who has lonely moments and sometimes I just like to play along. I am promising myself that I will no longer allow those men who are sometimey and full of air to have any place in my life. Such actions put me in a bad headspace and a bad mood, thus effecting my ability to be the best me possible. If you never check to see how I'm doing or initiate conversation with me, like to play games, want to treat me like a yo-yo, or practice any other foolishness akin to the aforementioned, you have officially been erased. Buh-bye.
4. Try something new
I would love to travel abroad, go skiing, go skydiving, take Samba and pole dancing lessons, sing infront of a crowd and learn to speak fluent Spanish with Rosetta Stone. The likelihood of all those things happening in the next 358 days is highly unlikely. If I do just oooone of these things I really feel like I can check this one off. Experience is not just the best teacher, but it also helps you grow. I want to try new things in order to broaden the scope of who I am.
5. Curb my spending habits
I'm not going to say that I'm going to stop shopping cold turkey, because quite frankly I'm not. However, I will vow to shop less. The more digits I see in my bank account, the happier I am. This may mean that that Alexander Wang bag I've been eyeballing at Barney's Co-op may just have to stay on the shelf (at least until it gets marked down, ha!).
6. Be a better blogger :o)
I, Diana, do so solemnly promise to be a better blogger. I will try my best not to go on any more month long hiatuses and keep my posts updated and fresh. If there's something you all would like to see me write about or maybe you wish I did something on here differently, just let me know. I'm always open to suggestions.
So this is my New Year's resolution broken down into pieces. What's yours??