Is it just me, or does it seem like folk are hella pumped for 2016? I’ve been blessed to ring in 25 new years so far, and I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed the level of optimism and enthusiasm that I have this year. From people creating vision boards to sharing inspiring testimonies, I’m already loving the spirt of Sweet ’16. I think 2015 was the year a lot of folk — myself included — got legit schooled on life.
For many people, December 25th is a day for exchanging gifts, spending quality time with family, eating hella food for no apparent reason, and psyching kids out with that Elf on the Shelf craziness (where did this even come from???). To my fellow Christian folk, it’s a day to recognize the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (in the words of Brotha Kirk, “Santa ain’t got nothin’ on ‘dis.”). And for all my realist folk, it’s nothing more than a historical pagan holiday of merrymaking debauchery — Saturnalia — which the Catholic church adopted and simply renamed “Christmas” as an incentive for the Roman pagans to covert to Christianity (oh, y’all ain’t know that? Do ya research, boo). [Read more…]
Once I reach the 18th floor, I get off the elevator and pass by a few apartments before arriving at my destination at the end of the hall. The front door is already cracked open, but I knock first, then hesitate for a few seconds before entering. A tall, handsome gentleman greets me at the door with a friendly smile and one of those warm, good-cologne-smelling hugs. I do a quick scan of his place, which actually looks pretty dope from what I can see so far. The foyer — or Hall of Grind, as he likes to call it — is ornamented with a collection of artwork and accolades that hang proudly across the walls. One of which is a framed Game Changer jersey he received during a Pistons’ game ceremony, in which he was recognized for being a commendable community leader. The main living area, where we would be hanging out for the evening, was decked out in a cool, modern décor, complete with a cozy accent rug, a huge flatscreen TV (which almost took up an entire wall), a theater-style black leather couch, and a small area with gym equipment for his daily workout routines. Oh, and not to mention the gorgeous view of Downtown Detroit from the large windows stamped around his living room — simply breathtaking. [Read more…]
So Sunday, after I went off on my little rant about all the tomfoolery over Ayesha Curry’s tweets, I took a break from social media and went with a friend to go check out the new Spike Lee movie, Chi-Raq. When the trailer first debuted last month, the film received a ton of backlash over the title (which I’ll go more into later in this post). Many Chicago natives, including Chance the Rapper, vowed that they would not be supporting the film due to its controversial title and themes highlighting the ongoing gun violence in Chicago. [Read more…]
In case you didn’t know, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies hashtag made it extra special this year. For the past few days I’ve been bursting out in random spurts of ugly cackles as I witnessed all the hilarious but extremely accurate memes on my news feed. For your relentless lack of chill, Black Twitter, I am forever grateful.
Per usual, we had dinner at my house. But we didn’t have all the family over this year, so we actually still have enough leftovers to last us through the next week or so (’cause y’all know Thanksgiving dinner = breakfast + lunch + dinner for the next five to seven days).
Anyway, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of what it represents: family and gratitude. During this time, we often list off all the wonderful, important things we’re grateful for, like life, health, family, food, clothes and shelter. But I’d like to take this time to recognize the smaller things that I hold dear to my heart. So, here goes:
- Mint hot chocolate: Liquid euphoria. A warm, cozy blend of minty, milky, chocolaty perfection. I’ve never tasted anything so heavenly since…ever. To the sweet Asian lady who runs the coffee shop in my job’s office building, thank you for making each cup with love.
- My hairbrush and silk scarf: If you are a Black woman, you cherish these two utensils like gold. But we never really appreciate them until we decide to crash at a friend’s house after a late night out and realize we don’t have anything to wrap our hair with.
- Baby oil gel: Now that it’s getting colder outside, I need this more than ever. No matter how much lotion I throw on my legs and feet, once that Michigan wind hit them bad boys, it’s over. If it weren’t for Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil gel, my toes would be looking like snowball cookies.
- My car seat warmers: Aside from getting me from Point A to Point B, there is nothing I appreciate more about my car than my seat warmers. Some people need leather interior, some people need 24-inch rims. I need seat warmers.
- My multipurpose Tupac shirt: It works well as a nightgown or a cute top to wear with leggings and a leather jacket. And it has Tupac on it. #Thuglife
- Google Maps: Where would I be without Google Maps? No, but seriously doe.
- Uber: The world’s number one designated driver. The one thing that makes me feel like I’m Diddy on a budget. Thank you.
- The B-list Black movies on Netflix: My diamonds in the rough. They may be low budget, but they’re entertaining with a great story line.
- Black Twitter: For your relentless lack of chill, thank you.
- My favorite pair of boots: You know that one pair of shoes you can wear with anything? That’s these bad boys: the real MVPs.
For all of these things, I am forever grateful.
Yesterday I didn’t have to go to work since my job observes Veterans Day. For this — and more importantly, for selflessly serving our country — I wholeheartedly salute you, dear veterans (shoutout to my Granddaddy!). Still, I instinctively woke up at 7:32 a.m. because my body is so used to getting up at early, inopportune times of the day. Per usual, the first thing I did when I woke up was grab my phone and get on Facebook. This is bad, for three reasons: 1) Some of my Facebook friends have five-below-zero chill; 2) It’s so addictively entertaining and distracting; and 3) It’s distracting me from what I should be doing when I wake up — praying and meditating. Y’all keep me unfocused and laughing uncontrollably everyday. It’s your fault.
But instead of being welcomed by some crazy, out-of-pocket meme and/or status, the first thing that popped up on my news feed was another episode from my sissy pooh’s dope new video series #30DaysofErin. At the beginning of the month she decided to challenge herself to upload a video everyday of her discussing personal topics ranging from the pressures of graduating from college to her being a virgin and waiting until marriage (willpower on FLEEK!). In this particular episode, Erin discussed the importance of disciplining ourselves to make the most of our time. With yesterday being my day off, I so needed this. God knew. [Read more…]
Lately I’ve been on this serious “get to know random people who could potentially elevate your career” kick. Or networking, as most folk like to call it. Clubs aren’t even on my “what’s the move” radar anymore. For me, “the move” is attending events of substance that will expand my network in one way or another. Literally almost every week I’m at a mix ‘n mingle or happy hour or some artsy event that generally involves sipping overpriced cocktails while making random small talk with well-mannered, like-minded strangers who I might actually already be friends with on Facebook. Last night’s event came in the form of an intimate dinner party in Eastern Market, the new hipster haven of Detroit.
The event was put on by an up-and-coming young professional group called Clubhaus Detroit. In order to attend this event, you had to first apply to become a member of the group and then purchase a ticket to reserve your spot for the dinner, which had very limited seating. When I first heard about it, I thought, This sounds pretty cool. Why not. So I applied. Then I told my friends about it and tried to get them to apply — they didn’t. This left me with three options: A) Beg my friends to go until one of them broke down; B) Skip the event altogether since I had no one to go with; or C) Skip all my friends, buy my ticket, and go alone. [Read more…]
Today is awesome for a few reasons: 1a) I’m alive; 1b) It’s actually warm and sunny outside (Michigan weather be tripping); 2) I had court today — traffic, not criminal (before y’all start spreading rumors) — and my ticket got thrown out because the witness didn’t show up (I Hallelujah’d and shabached right out of that courtroom); and 3) Today is officially my one-year blogaversary! *cues Tony! Toni! Toné!*
It’s so crazy how God just turns things around. ‘Cause exactly one year ago today, my life was a hot mess. Forreal doe. I was dealing with relationship issues, my moods were constantly up and down, and I felt like no one could truly relate to anything I was feeling. While the majority of folk in my age group were busy getting engaged and/or married, popping out babies, and receiving job promotions, I was merely searching for some peace of mind.
There was a time when I thought Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now were one in the same.
That the next guy of interest who would be coming around the mountain just may be “the one” to climb it all the way to the top with a sista. That the next Godiva chocolate young brotha who just so happened to meet all of my criteria — Christian (but not super religious), intellectual with an artsy side (and a dash of street cred), confident with a sensitive side (but not too Drake-y), goal-driven with a solid plan of action (but still fun and spontaneous), family-oriented (but not a mama’s boy), and at least six feet tall (cause a shawty needs to feel protected in her 5-inch heels) — could be my future husband. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Because a lot of these dudes weren’t looking for any form of a commitment to begin with.
Before I proceed, allow me to break down the key differences between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now for y’all right quick:
- Mr. Right Now is a talker. Mr. Right is a doer. Mr. RN will tell you everything you wanna hear in order to get what he wants. Mr. R is a man of integrity and purpose who puts action behind his words.
- Mr. Right Now looks out for self. Mr. Right looks out for your best interest. If it doesn’t benefit him in some type of way, Mr. RN ain’t having it. Thus, he is very limited in what he does for you. Meanwhile, Mr. R will go out of his way to prove he truly cares about you and will do whatever it takes to make you happy.
- Mr. Right Now thinks short-term. Mr. Right thinks long-term. Mr. RN will take you home, but only to his bedroom — not to meet his mama. He is not looking for any type of commitment with longevity. However, Mr. R is — and again, he shows it through his actions.
- Mr. Right Now plays games. Mr. Right plays his cards correctly. Mr. RN will fill your head with a bunch of empty promises to get what he wants, and you’re never sure of how he feels about you. Mr. R will do his best to follow up and follow through every time, giving you clear, consistent reassurance through his actions.
- Mr. Right Now will stunt your growth. Mr. Right will cultivate it. One will distract you from your greater purpose while the other will encourage you to fulfill it.
Through plenty of trial and error — and heartbreak — I’ve learned that my biggest mistake was trying to turn Mr. Right Now into Mr. Right. That’s a no-no. It ain’t gon’ work, sis.
There was this one guy I kicked it with for a minute back in school. I was absolutely infatuated with this young man. He met all of my credentials, and then some. We hung out and had great conversations, were attracted to one another, and shared similar interests. I actually thought we we were perfect for one another, but Dude didn’t share my sentiments. He had no problem kicking it, but had no interest in committing (at least not to me). But instead of leaving the situation alone, I allowed myself to continue carrying on with this young man, settling for far less than what I really wanted. I hung onto every hint of affection he gave me as a sign of hope for a future together.
On top of that, I began doing things to try and win his affection. For instance, I knew he liked to watch animé and other weird adult cartoons like Adventure Time. So I did too. Anytime he would come over, I would turn it on or purposely bring it up in conversation to try and impress him. I figured if he could see that I was a weirdo just like him, he would know that we were meant to be together. I even surprised him by getting him tickets to one of his favorite rap artists’ concerts. I just knew I was gonna get promoted to wifey status after that one. He happily obliged, but I still didn’t get what I wanted.
It took Dude telling me flat-out that nothing was ever going to happen between us for me to finally wake up from my pipe dream and move on. It hurt, but I ultimately did it to myself. I had been seeking validation from a man who had shown no intentions of claiming me in the first place. I had long-term expectations for someone with a short-term purpose. I was trying to change a situation that was never, ever going to change.
I tried playing the victim role for a minute, but eventually I came to terms with the fact that I had set myself up to get played, and that Dude was just playing his part in all of it. I learned that rather than try to conform to a man’s interests, I should have been comfortable and confident in my own. Instead of settling and trying to change the situation, I should’ve chucked the deuces and waited until something much better came along.
I learned that Mr. Right Now can never be Mr. Right until he’s ready to man all the way up and be all the way down to play no games.
Remember when I told y’all about how I decided to go gluten-free after being diagnosed with this condition called dermatomyositis? Well a few weeks ago I had my six-month checkup with my rheumatologist (aka rheumy), which is a doctor that specializes in treating rheumatic illnesses such as myositis, systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other similar autoimmune conditions.
My usual checkups consist of going over my latest test results (I get blood work done every month to monitor my health condition) and summarizing how I’ve been feeling physically since my previous checkup. Thankfully, all is well. I’ve been off my meds for two years now, and that’s 100% due to my faith in God, maintaining a positive mindset and changing my eating habits. [Read more…]