February 24, 2018

Eating Disorders & Fat Body Positivity

I was going to post this as a long Facebook status, but decided most of my friends on there couldn't care less. To be honest, I’m not vocal about fat body positivity. I should be. I’m not embarrassed, but I guess I never want to make people uncomfortable. Go figure.


Anyway, when I was around 7 or 8, I figured out that I could stick my finger down my throat and make myself vomit. At around this time the teasing at school had gotten pretty bad and I would sometimes make myself vomit so I didn’t have to go to school. When I was in 3rd grade, we were playing some kind of musical chairs game. I rushed over to the last empty chair and plopped down in it. My heart was racing because I didn’t want to be out of the game and I was proud of my quickness and agility to grab the last chair and stay in the game. My moment of happiness was shot down pretty quickly when the chair underneath me collapsed and broke. Of course everyone laughed and pointed. I felt like I wanted to die. I was painfully shy, my life was over.

After school, I didn’t tell my parents what happened. That day my mom had errands to run so she brought us sandwiches from Winn Dixie’s deli as an after school snack. I ate my snack in silence and as soon as I got home I went to the bathroom to ‘purge’. Back then I didn’t know that what I was doing had a name, I just didn’t want the food inside of me, I didn’t want to be fat. So stuck my finger down my throat to get it out of me. I purged again at dinner. The next day, I was truly very sick. I was vomiting uncontrollably and had diarrhea. I was sick for about 3 days and stayed out of school the whole time. My mom was convinced it was food poisoning from the deli sandwich, but I’m not sure if it was that or it was due to my purging.

On the third day of my absence, my teacher called my mom. Apparently, she told my mom about the chair collapsing and was wondering if I was sick or intolerably embarrassed. After their phone call, my mom asked me about the incident and I hated having to revisit the moment. I remember crying a lot, but I never told her about the purging. I went back to school the next day, and eased into my chair, scared that it would break, too.

After 3rd grade, I can’t remember purging anymore, getting sick made me change my mind about doing it. I’m fat body positive because I know our daughters/nieces/sisters/friends will experience body hate at some point in their lives. I know that they will be called fat by someone and will go to great lengths to not be fat (a form of fatphobia). They will stick their fingers down their throat to vomit, exercise so hard that they hurt other parts of their body and/or they will stop nourishing their bodies completely by not eating at all. All of these things, just to not be fat. Fatness carries this negative connotation and the “fat is unhealthy” agenda is pushed constantly. So much so that people (especially youth) believe it is healthier to be bulimic or anorexic. That it is healthier to punish your body through extreme exercise or denying your body the food it needs to thrive. That it is healthier to commit suicide because they are fat or can’t lose the weight. That it is healthier to be mentally ill rather than being fat. I’m fat body positive because the narrative about fat bodies and fatness needs to change. We are losing people, attacking people, harming people, denying people’s existence simply because they are fat and it’s not right. I will never understand why people believe that fat bodies deserve to be hurt, shamed and unloved.

I am specifically saying 'fat body positive', but that doesn’t mean that I’m being exclusive. All bodies should be celebrated, but fat bodies are oppressed, even by fat people. I do want to mention that transgender & disabled bodies are also oppressed, too.

I’m still learning to love and care for my fat body, and it is a process. I struggle with my ‘fupa’ and the fact that most people see it before anything on me. *eyeroll* Being fat body positive does not mean that I’m promoting obesity. It means that fat people should be able exist freely as they want to be. If they want to be fat and are happy, it is their choice. If someone wants to stay fat or gain weight, that's their business. If someone wants to lose weight or be more active, can't they love their bodies during the process? Being fat is not a death sentence, we aren’t “walking coffins”. I said all this to say, save space for your fat bodied friends and let’s change the connotation of and conversation about fatness.

July 23, 2017

Girls Trip Movie Experience

First of all: This is not a spoiler!

Last night my friends and I went to the theater to see the new movie Girls Trip. When the trailer first premiered several months ago, I was a little apprehensive. I thought it would be too much, too over the top and just inorganic humor. I was with a guy friend and the trailer came on, at the end of it he was silent and unmoved by the humorous clips. He didn’t get it. I immediately felt like I had to say what I said: “Oh that looks so extra!” and he agreed. I don’t know why I said that even though I found the trailer to be funny. One of my co-workers brought up the interesting point: When has there ever been a mainstream movie featuring 4 black women in the lead roles? Never. That closed the case for me. Plus, I saw a couple more trailers and it grew on me. I’m not going to spoil to the movie, but I just want to talk about the energy I felt at the theater.

The movie started at 7:30 and I arrived at 7:25, I’m always late! I ended up parking like a half mile away from the theater because the parking lot was just that full. All day I had been reading about how theaters across the country were quickly selling out of tickets for the movie. I sent my friend a text earlier in the day and asked her to buy my ticket so that they wouldn’t sell out before we could get our tickets. Luckily she did, because the showing eventually sold out! As I was taking the hike up to the theater entrance, I saw an array of black women making the trek with me. All of us were different, some were in small groups, large groups, family groups and some even had on matching t-shirts. At this point I was alone since my friends were already inside. I always take a visual note of my surroundings wherever I am. Somehow I felt that we (the ladies that were walking up to the theater) were all together even though we were all apart. We were spread out so there wasn’t any spatial closeness, it was different. I’m not saying it was spiritual, but there was an air of something. I felt that even in the parking lot. From old to young, light to dark, single, married, in heels, in flats and everything in between, we were just women coming together to see this movie.

Fast forward a bit...I eventually get to my seat with my friends (one of whom managed to sneak in Wendy’s but I’m not telling), the theater was literally packed with hardly any room to spare. My quick visual survey of the room revealed that 98% of the attendees were women and about 95% of them were black. After about 10 minutes of trailers (which I found enjoyable except for the Pitch Perfect 3 one, can those movies die already??!?!), the movie started. As soon as the lights went dim, I smelled a familiar scent--Wendy’s chicken nuggets. The movie is a comedy so of course there were lots of laughs, but it’s the laughter that’s different.

A woman’s laughter is of a different caliber, I’d argue. It’s a sound of freedom, in a world that wants us to be poised and put together at all times. It’s a moment of release and pleasure of the soul. I saw women throwing their hands up as if the screen had just delivered a room shaking sermon. When there was a questionable moment we all collectively said “Hmph, that’s what he said the last time”, when something angered us we shook our heads and turned to our friends in disbelief, when something so outrageously funny tickled us to death the “OMG I can’t believe how crazy funny this is” as we held our stomachs and opened our mouths wide to fill the air with that joyous sound.

Girls Trip is a great movie, but I think the energy of seeing it in the theater was the best thing of all. I cannot remember the last time I have seen a movie that made me feel so good inside. For me, one of the most important aspects of a movie is the viewing experience. Even if the movie is good, a bad viewing experience can change everything. Anyway, I’m so glad that this movie was able to bring women together in such a positive way. Seeing not only the four main cast members having a great and liberating time, but the extras and the supporting roles were women that looked like us. All shapes, complexions, backgrounds, it felt like we were watching our friends. The movie ended with the cast on screen dancing down the street in a second line and the women in the theaters started to dance right along with them. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that we are from Louisiana and maybe our bodies magically tune into the rhythm and start to dance, but still it was a collective effort. We all understood it, no one looked weird or stared in disgust, it was just understood. What’s better than just simply being understood?

If you haven't seen the movie in theaters, I highly suggest that you do! Don't forget to get your tickets early, because they sell out fast. It's an experience you don't want to miss. If you have seen it, how did it make you feel? Did you enjoy the movie? Did you notice any of the things I mentioned? What was your favorite part?

February 26, 2017

Why Hidden Figures Shouldn't Win an Oscar...

...For Best Adapted Screenplay.

This winter some of the most pivotal movies about the black experience came to theaters: Hidden Figures, Fences, and Moonlight. All of these movies grew to be culturally and historically important films. Out of these three in my opinion Hidden Figures was the weakest and most inaccurate. Frankly, it was a PR video for NASA. I dislike when oppressed people get a chance to tell their true stories but they turn into watered down events of what really happened. The movie was based on a non-fiction novel by Margot Lee Shetterly. Shetterly spent lots of time researching in order to write the story about the black women who had been pushed into the background. Here's where the translation gets watered down. The novel was then adapted for the screen by Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder. Both are relatively new screenwriters and between the two of them they have written/co-written 4 major films. Now that's not to say that due to their lack of film writing credits they're bad writers, but Hidden Figures was lacking. I think if you read the book by Shetterly, you'd be more inclined to agree with me. Earlier I mentioned that the movie seemed like a PR spin for NASA and most likely it was. Schroeder interned for the company and her grandparents also worked for NASA. Why would someone with such close ties to them want to be completely forthcoming about what was happening behind closed doors? I believe it would've been more realistic to have someone with fresh, unbiased eyes co-write the screenplay. I think they were too focused on making it a cozy movie rather than a realistic movie, which is a slap in the face to the people who endured it. I have to mention one of the most glaring inaccuracies of the movie came from the climax. (spoiler alert) Costner's character learns that Taraji P. Henson's character has to run a mile across the NASA campus just to use the 'colored restroom'. His reaction to this is to physically break the barrier between whites and blacks by tearing down the "whites only" sign. Maybe this really did happen for a day. But what about the next day? In Virginia it was illegal to have whites and blacks use the same restrooms. Do you think no one complained about someone going against the law? It just happened and everyone accepted it? Their biases about black people just went away as soon as that sign came down and they were all content. Hmm...

I have a bone to pick with you Pharrell and Hans Zimmer. Both of you are music veterans, yet the score for this movie was deplorable. The move was set in the 1960s, yet the music was fit for 2016. During the first scene, I leaned over to my friend and said, "Are you hearing this?" And I really hoped that it was just an opening scene attention grabber but nope! I think this took away from the movie and downplayed the tone of the time period. All in the movie was too docile, things just seemed to happened and everything that happened was resolved. No more discrimination, segregation, racism, sexism, it was all resolved because they put a man into space. 

I do think the acting was nice, but the writing and the score ruined it for me. The actors should not be penalized for those flaws. I think all of the actors did a splendid job but I don't see how Octavia Spencer was nominated for her performance. I want to see her do something else besides play the "mama" figure. In comparison to her performance in The Help, this performance was very lackluster. I thought Janelle Monae was an absolute standout and should've been nominated instead. I was glad to see Taraji P. Henson in a different role, she did an amazing job! I was also glad to see Mahershala Ali as her love interest. Kevin Costner was a great fit for his role, as was Jim Parsons. Kirsten Dunst surprised me because she looked so...much older and so bitter, which was fitting for her part.

I know the movie was an inspiration to many women, young and old. However, I cannot look over the fact that this was watered down to make us/the audience feel cozy. I just wanted better writing, deeper writing. It's not that I wanted everyone to feel disturbed or sad, I wanted the real experiences, I wanted to feel something more. I felt like there was an erasure of emotion, too. The only time the main women became emotional was when it dealt with something going wrong at NASA. Yes, we are strong, resilient but still human. Maybe I'm nitpicking....*shrugs* What did you guys think about the movie, specifically the writing?

January 7, 2017

Trichotillomania and Me

I want to start off by saying that this is something I’ve kept to myself for years and years. I’ve never really been open or vocal about it to anyone, not even my family. Over the past few weeks I’ve built up my confidence in regards to discussing it and hopefully I can help someone else. Here’s to strength and overcoming!

When I was 8, my family and I moved to a new neighborhood in a new part of town. I was happy but of course, I was a shy kid. My 3rd grade year at my new elementary school was fine, I met new friends, my classmates were really diverse and interesting, and I excelled academically. Still it was a unsettling experience to be somewhere new. The next year, I remember the teasing increased and my confidence decreased. I don’t remember the exact day I started pulling, but since then I’ve been pulling.

Trichotillomania is a disorder where you compulsively pull or pick your hair. Common areas are the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, arms, legs and underarms. It can be caused by many different factors such as stress, anxiety, depression or even just boredom. I believe I started pulling due to being teased and also being bored. I don’t remember the day I started pulling but I know it started at school. In order to ignore my reality and distract myself I’d pull. It gave my hands something to do, it gave my mind an alternate route, it gave me something to focus on besides my school reality. I’d pull my eyebrows and arm hair. I loved my scalp hair too much to even consider pulling it and I rarely pulled at home because my home life was amazing and I was never bored. My 4th grade school picture shows me with patchy, barely there eyebrows. A couple years after I started pulling at school, I started pulling at home because it was a habit. I was also a pre-teen and very hormonal so many things set my emotions off. My parents hid tweezers and fingernail clippers from me because I’d use them to pull my brows and lashes, but I still had my fingers! I’d still pull but I tried to hide it from them, even though it was noticeable. When I didn’t have brows, I would always try to beat people to the punch when it came to discussing them. I always make sure to mention the fact that I was browless so they wouldn’t notice or ask “Where are your eyebrows?!”

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was working with someone and we were talking casually. She mentioned the fact that she had trichotillomania. I had no clue that what I had been doing for years had an actual name or that it was a disorder. Once she described it to me, I immediately said, “I have that too!!”. I was so happy that I met someone who pulled just like me. I didn’t feel as weird or crazy. As I said before, I have kept it to myself because it is embarrassing. When I was pulling I felt invisible, I felt like I was in my own world, I thought no one could see me but of course that wasn’t the case. When I was in middle school someone confronted me about my pulling. She asked me, “What’s wrong with your brows? Why do you pull them? Doesn’t it hurt?” I felt like a Martian. I felt like that weird kid that everyone avoids because they’re weird. I realized that everyone could see me and I tried so hard to not pull anymore because I was 13 and the last thing I wanted to be was weird...Unless weird was cool. At the time it wasn’t. Note: School was the only place where I’d pull publicly. I’ve never pulled around my friends and I don’t pull publicly at all anymore.

When you mention “hair pulling” or “skin pulling” people are instantly repulsed. They start to get ideas about your cleanliness, your sanity, and even if you’re a good person or not. I’m not a psychopath, sociopath nor mentally unstable, I just pull hair. This is why I don’t talk about it. I’ve read the rude, insensitive comments and I’ve heard them in person. I have many other flaws and this one just added to the pile.

Fast forward to today, 12 years later. Due to the fact that my body produces extra testosterone (thanks body!), I have a little more facial hair than average. It’s not extremely noticeable but it’s there. If I just so happened to touch my face and felt a hair, I’d immediately start picking. About a month ago, I decided I wasn’t going to pull. I want eyebrows and I want lashes. I don’t want to pull or pick. I’m no longer in the place I was all those years ago and I do it now purely out of habit and still sometimes boredom. I used a hair removal facial cream to rid of all the hair on my face (excluding my brows and lashes) so I won’t pull them. I went cold turkey and although I have pulled a few stray brow hairs, I haven’t done a mass pull in a month. Everyday I look and the mirror and I’m in awe, I want to cry because I finally have brows, something I haven’t had since I was a child. It has taken *so much* willpower for me to get to this point and I am so proud of myself! I am surprised that I stopped pulling so quickly. It scares me because I don’t know what to do if I start to pull again. How do I get back to the place of not pulling? I’m just going to take it a day at a time and continue to pat myself on the back whenever I get through another day. I still pull my lashes, but I’m working on it. I definitely don’t pull my lashes as much as I pulled my brows. Still...

Although this is not all the complete details in regards to my trichotillomania, this is the meat and potatoes. As I said, it’s still a sensitive subject for me and going into the nitty gritty details would have me very uncomfortable.

If you’re going through trich, there are lots of support groups out there. There’s an Instagram and Facebook page and countless websites. I’d also be so happy to hear from you and about your experiences with pulling. I have heard that therapy and medication have helped but I’m not sure if there’s one true cure. Whatever the remedy may be, I think it’s all in the mind over matter. You’re only going to stop when your mind and body are ready and that’s okay! Way easier said than done, I know. I have a long way to go, but everyday I hope I’m getting closer to becoming an ex-puller.

October 25, 2016

The Science of Taylor Swift

I don't know what's more disturbing: The fact that I can still relate to 16 year old Taylor Swift or that I still wish I had an acoustic guitar to lay in bed and cry with. BTW - I couldn't come up with a catchy blog title, so it's random and weird, I know. 

It's hard to believe that it's been TEN years since Taylor came onto the scene writing about what it was like to be uncool, lame, and passed over by all the guys for the popular pretty chicks. 

The formula was nothing new, it has played out in numerous teen flicks and coming of age stories. In music though, many of the young stars were people you wanted to be because they were so beautifully cool and unattainable. Swift switched the game up to the point where you didn't aspire to be her, you were already her! She wasn't a perfect star or figure, she was below average just like the rest us dweebs. It was truly life altering for a lot of the teens my age back then. We were past the Disney Princess age and realized love wasn't as easy to gain as TV made it out to be. Taylor gave us hope and made us believe in real life fairytales again. That we, too, could end up with the great guy and live happily ever after. If Taylor could, so could I. The marketing science was quite genius! She was a mixture of Avril Lavigne (melancholy) and Carrie Underwood (sweet country twang). 

For a few years, I was a die hard Swifty. I have acted out her music videos far too many times in my bedroom. Oh, if my walls could talk! Now the times have changed and she's no longer the Taylor I fell in love with. Today, any new Taylor gets an automatic skip from me and after 2011 I swiftly gave up my Swifty membership. Adult Taylor grew up and became something else that I just don't care for. She's not a 16 year old anymore but I'm still stuck in a time capsule, per usual. Anyway, here are my favorite Taylor Swift songs:

You Belong With Me - At the end of the music video, Taylor takes off her glasses, puts on a fancy dress and wins the guy who she's been in love with forever. Can you say superhuman?? When I take off my glasses and I'm blind. If I put on a fancy dress my brother would look at me and ask "WTF are you doing?". 

Love Story - Taylor tackles Shakespeare AND Hawthorne, can we appreciate how literary and well read she is? Romeo, Juliet, and The Scarlet Letter wrapped up in one. Forget English class, the point is Taylor fought against her parents and society for her true love. Why did Bob Dylan win the Nobel Prize for Literature when there's The Swift? Seriously, I remember crying my eyes out when I first heard this song. The feels. All the teenage feels. 

Back to December - Truly her best song, in my opinion. It reminds me of autumn/winter and running away from relationships. Two of my favorite things! 

I'm still trying to master the legendary perfect single tear drop cry, but then I lose it...

October 24, 2016

Not Fitting In and Other Things I'm Good At

I’m in a mid-20’s crisis. I’m avoiding the word millennial in this piece because of the rampant controversy and judgement that comes with it. I digress...I feel like I’m 14 all over again because I don’t know where I belong in the world. If I had to pick a clique to eat lunch with, all the 20 somethings would passive aggressively flash their “You Can’t Sit With Us” coffee mugs at me during their conversations about intersectionalism and world peace. Once I became a true and seasoned 20 something this past June, I thought things were going to be sweet. I’d get to mingle at Trader Joe’s, peruse the aisles of Whole Foods while munching on exquisite cheeses from exotic places called Mozzarella, and buy one of a kind stuff from Etsy...But, broke! I have never set foot in a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and Etsy gives my non-existent bank account heart palpitations. Did I truly believe this would happen? Nah, but it was nice to dream about it.

I’ve tried to stop by Panera Bread’s drive through on my way home using my iPhone’s GPS (even though I already know the way home). I’ve tried to sit at home for hours on end binge watching whatever seemingly deep TV show on Netflix. Excluding Stranger Things, I binged watched that awesome shit, so what? I have tried pondering life while listening to NPR and feeling like a conscious intellectual. Honestly, it’s just not me. To be fair, these are all stereotypes, of course not all 20 somethings are like this, but many of the ones who I’ve met are. After a decently pleasant conversation I get, “So, do you watch Dr. Who? Are you on Tumblr? Anime??? NPR??? The Office???? Cats??? Mason Jars??? Obscure movie references??? VEGAN??????” and when I respond no, they seem disappointed.  I guess we don’t have much in common afterall. I feel bad, because then I feel subpar. I feel like I’m not as stimulating as other 20 somethings, I’m not up there with the elites. Oh, look here I am whining about my place in the world, another stereotype!

I love nerdy people, their quirks, their intricacies because I, too, am a nerd. But what kind of nerd am I? Eye.Dee.Kay. I just like being me. I like to sing and dance badly in my car, I like to make people laugh, I enjoy good, thought provoking conversation, I love learning, imagining, exploring people and ideas. I love my blackness, my hair, my speech. I like short fiction and essays, I can read a couple books per year and be content. I like ‘low class’ shopping at Walmart. I feel like many of the nerdy 20 Somethings have formed this force field against society. Nerdy adults were probably nerdy children who were deemed outcasts due to their lack of interest in popular things/hobbies. In order to protect themselves, they have created their own little world to be with like-minded nerdy people where they can be themselves and enjoy similar interests. As with all social groups, at some point the minority becomes the majority, even if it’s only temporary. I believe people have noticed this sub-culture and are beginning to latch onto it. The nerdy, quirky, Dr. Who-ligan is the average 20 something these days. People seem to be latching on to “otherness” to feel or seem unique, in reality, like I said, the minority is becoming the majority.

I said all that to say, I’m looking for a place to belong. People say it doesn’t matter about belonging and it’s ok to go against the grain and be an individual, but at this point in my life, I want people to relate to. I can’t say I truly want more  friends because that would mean maintaining relationships, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that commitment! I just want to be around people who are not like me and we’re ok not being like each other. Just because I'm not into something you're into doesn't mean we won't get along! Teach me about you and what makes you different, I LOVE THAT! Let's build relationships where we respect one another and don’t think differently of one another if we’re not on the same page. At least we’re still in the same book. Romantically, I’m always attracted to nerdy and corny guys, but I always fear I won’t be interesting to them because of all the reasons above. Sigh.

I know the young folks of America are an eclectic group, most of this in jest. Young people have a bad rep enough as it is, even though we are wonderful people. There’s so many different kinds of 20 somethings, I’m sure there are some that are like me and enjoy differences...I guess we’ll have to leave the comfort of our laptops and Netflix accounts to discover one another. Welp...

May 9, 2016

All Black Women Are Broken

A co-worker of mine sent me something called The Lemonade Syllabus. When I first saw the cover, which featured Beyonce and her signature blonde cornrows and furry top, I thought about how even though I am a Beyonce fan, this is just overkill. I always think a lot of the things involved with Bey are just too much until I really look into it and discover that it’s usually not. I think lots of people have associated her name with over the top-ness. Truthfully, she has one of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment industry, so usually it’s just a nice bait and hook. The Lemonade Syllabus is basically a composed list of artworks (novels, literature, music, film, etc.) that are about the subject of black womanhood. In the introduction, the writer ended with “To glorious healing!” which is reference to a line on the Lemonade album, a line that I found quite problematic.

When I looked at “healing” I immediately thought ‘to heal’ means that something is broken. I’m not broken! Or so I thought. When I thought of brokenness, I thought of a battered woman who has been beaten to the lowest physical and mental level of being. I thought about women who have been abused at the hands of a lover or a family member. I thought that brokenness stemmed from the hands of a person, brokenness is cut and dry. I was wrong. Upon further thinking, I realized that becoming/being broken is more than just being torn down at the hands of another person. It’s also being broken by a system, a belief, or a society. I am broken.

When I was younger, I would tell my mom that my skin tone was caramel. She would say “No, you’re black” and I would retort with “No, I’m caramel.” We didn’t argue  and she didn’t seem to be angry, she just seemed to drop it and I continued to call myself “caramel colored” for a long time. I never wanted to deny my blackness, I just wanted to deny that I was dark-skinned. I had an uncle who would constantly remind me that when most babies come from the womb, they’re really light colored or fair skinned, excluding me. He would always tell me how black I was even as a newborn. He would say it jokingly, but it affected my psyche. I didn’t want to be dark, why was I so dark? Even though my uncle ridiculed me for being dark, he didn’t break me. The idea that lighter is better or prettier has been reinforced for centuries. The media is set up to highlight lighter skinned women and worship those European features. We’re making progress but the damage has already been done.

In addition to colorism, there are other things that break black women including violence, lack of adequate healthcare, rampant black male incarceration, homophobia, lack of adequate resources, antipathy, anti-blackness/white supremacy, micro-aggressions, and the list goes on and on. Every negative issue that black people have to deal with falls on the shoulders of black women. We are the support systems, the mothers, the daughters, the aunts, the grandmothers who carry the burdens of everything this society throws at us. Black men often face the brunt of these damaging things but we are the ones to pick up the pieces and keep pushing. During most of our existence here in America, strength was the only tangible and valuable thing we had. Strength made us neglect ourselves to be strong for others. Strength made us self-harm, made us go to extreme lengths in order to have some sense of control and purpose.

All black women are (or were) broken in some way or another either from the hands of a lover or at the hands of oppression. We’ve always had to be three or four steps ahead of the losing game. We are resilient but resiliency can take it’s toll. No one is above being broken, the system founded by their fathers have us set up with dilapidated foundations. As a collective, we are all healing from things that have broken us whether it’s personal healing or from being broken by the heavy burdens we’ve been carrying all along. Let’s try not allow the struggle to continue make us bitter (easier said than done), let’s treat ourselves as if we are whole and nurse our wounds in the beauty of the glorious sun.

May 3, 2016

Introvert Thoughts (1)

I'm naturally interested in people, but one person always seems to hold my attention more than others. At any random moment in my life, I'm into someone heavier than just a simple friendship and this time is no different. I'm still wholly ruined by the Disney Princess Syndrome. My knight in shining armor is the one who has been there all along and I've been looking for him. It's going to be so obvious when I find him because that spark will light up your heart in a peaceful yet furious way. I guess. I feel things so intensely and I've been trying to convince myself to stop caring, stop feeling. Numbness is sometimes good for the soul.

I'm in my head.

"You're in your head so much, I worry about you"

I toss around minute ideas around back and forth all day and turn them into excessive (obsessive?) thoughts. My brain is a sculptor, an artist, an illustrator. It blows shit way out of proportion by painting images and carving things out into elaborate crazy ass masterpieces. How did we get here? I'm afraid to show and tell. My brain can paint an image to make even the most heartless and stoic being fall to his knees in emotional agony. I'm not heartless nor stoic.

He picked her over me. I don't care. He was never mine, he doesn't care. The rage of my jealousy did not manifest in anger or spite. I huffed and I puffed and I cried. But he is not mine, why waste tears on such? He picked her over me. Me. Who is attentive? Who is funny? Who listens? Who entertains? I care. Me. Who is not into TV, movies or obscure musical artists? Me. I love myself but I feel like I'm not well enough. It hurts when you wonder where lies the faults that make you unwanted. When Men, women or children, it doesn't matter. But I had been building this. My brain is not negative, it's a positive place, an amusement park. A Jazzland. I get these ideas of ideals. I thought he was different, I was different. The latter just not different enough. Don't convince anyone to like you--my life motto.

I'm not like her. We don't look alike but he prefers her features. Is it possible to be confidently insecure? I don't want to be her, but I want him to be the man I painted in my dreams, my thoughts. When will someone see me before they view me? I'm not sure. Life is not about men you fancy, women you fell for, the bars you hop or thoughts that never exceed your brain. I stopped looking for my fairytale a long time ago but faith proceeds knowledge and logic.

"Well how do you know he doesn't like you?"
"He said he likes her"
"But that doesn't mean he doesn't like you...You gotta tell him"
I'm not witty, immersed in culture, fictional characters are the last things on my mind and what Ph.D? Sips from my multi-colored squirt bottle.
"Yeah, you're right. We have so much in common!"
We were both alive today. Commonality. Soul mates!

I want to express to you these artistic things in my mind but I'm not good at show and tell. You fuel my anger and I smile. I ran away into the stacks, the trees...Oh God, why did you give me this gift?

March 3, 2016

Funky Dineva vs. Michelle ATLien (Straight From the A)

Usually I’m never really on Facebook especially if I’m looking for entertainment, but I guess the Nessa Gawds were with me last night. I am an avid and longtime fan of Funky Dineva (FD). I am even a contributing writer for FunkyDineva.com so my love for him is overly abundant. However, I am a writer and the integrity of my name is important to me so being honest and fair supercedes love and everything else. Hear me out. So anyway, I happened to see that FD posted a new blog post about Michelle the “ATLien”. Now I don’t know Michelle and I have never visited Straight From the A until this morning, but I have seen her on a few of FD’s earlier Youtube videos. They seemed to be close from the videos and I would sometimes see him mention her on his social media posts so I knew of her existence in FD’s life. Much like everyone else, I was quite surprised to see him posting about her being “bitter” and owning a “raggedy” townhouse.

One thing I have noticed about FD over the years is that when he goes in, he goes in, let’s have and gives you some sauce on the side. Going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Like I said, I had always believed that him and Michelle were close. FD delivered an umteenth page document that read like a legal deposition. He provided facts, figurines, and even a video about the stuff that went on between him and Michelle. FD posted a blog about specifically what made the relationship between him and Michelle turn sour. See it HERE! It came not very long after Michelle decided to get on Periscope and make a 13 minute video and a blog post about how FD left her rental property dirty and dingy. She also mentioned his alleged drug problem and how she wants to see all of her friends succeed. Personally, I found the post very tasteless. If that’s your friend, you don’t go on your gossip blog and out him/her. If she was really trying to help her friend and uplift her friend in prayer, then I think she totally went about it in the wrong manner. I could understand her staging some sort of intervention IF he was really cracked out. But if you’re truly come from a place of love and concern, you would surround your friends with loved ones and positivity. Anyway…

On Straight From the A, Michelle posted pictures of how FD allegedly left her rental property. Quiet as it’s kept, that lil couch was nice. I wish it would’ve been left on my block, cause it matches my drapes and valances. Michelle provided this ‘Open Post’ which was supposed to be a revealing her soul tell-all, but it fell flat. She seems to want to come off as Iyanla Vanzant. In response to all the accusations, as I stated, FD blogged about it with screenshots, pictures, and receipts. He acknowledges that he was wrong on some accounts for lack of communication, lack of funds after the passing of his mother, and taking advantage of the friendship situation. If his landlord had not been Michelle, things probably would’ve escalated a lot quicker than it did, but probably without all the extra public drama. Sometimes it is better to deal with strangers than friends, ‘specially in regards to business. FD acknowledges that and he totally understands that he owed her money, his problem comes with the pettiness, which he describes in the video. He admits to his faults, where as Michelle is seemingly trying to come off as peacemaker and victim. See FD's video HERE!

Now let’s backtrack a little bit...A few months ago rumors were swirling around that FD had a drug problem which is why he had stopped posting on his blog and making videos. I put being a fan aside and used my own logic. During this time period FD announced that his mother had passed away after a bout with cancer. As a child of a parent who succumbed to cancer, I can truly say I understood. I wasn’t sure if FD was his mother’s caregiver or not but still the diagnosis of cancer alone affects everyone involved. Some days you’re up and some days you’re down and don’t feel like doing anything stimulating. Many people were saying that due to his mother’s illness and consequent death he was using cocaine to cope. Now I can only tell you my experiences with cancer, however, everyone deals and grieves differently. I’m not a personal friend of FD and I’m not in his household on a daily basis so I don’t know what FD was or was not doing to deal with the stress of his mother’s illness. I didn’t believe that FD was abusing drugs, I think he was depressed as most people who are affected by cancer are. When the rumors appeared, FD paid them dust and did not address anything pertaining to it. To some, silence is confirmation. I just didn’t believe it because FD was moving and shaking behind the scenes, which is something I know for a fact. He is always coherent, organized, and professional when it comes to anything regarding his brand, even in the midst of his mother’s death.

As FD would say, “Never tear someone down without building them up first”.I love FD and everything that he does. He is truly talented, funny, wise, and inspirational. Especially for anyone wanting to be a part of the entertainment/gossip blogosphere. However, I want to pose these questions to everyone, as it seems to be the most popular thing people are asking about this whole fiasco. When you see your friend doing other people wrong and down right dirty why do you continue being their friend? When you hear your friend talking about the person who they were just giggling with why do you remain friends with them? When your friend does something that makes you question their morality, why do you remain friends with them? I struggle with this personally with one of my friends who I should’ve let loose a long time ago. FD read Michelle for absolute filth and dust with pristine brilliance, however, I just can’t understand why you would remain friends with someone who you know is crazy and messy. It’s human and not just a fault of FD, we’re all guilty of it. He did admit that she often paid for the dining expenses and also said she mentored him in regards to blogging. He could have been tagging along either for the monetary/gift perks or because he felt obliged to stand by her because of her help getting him started. Either way, often times in friendships, we see problematic things that upset us but it’s easier to say “That’s my friend, at the end of the day, I know her/his heart.” and yes we do their hearts, and sometimes the truth is, their hearts are very much tainted.

All in all, FD said that this is his first and last time addressing the issue. I haven’t been on the site since this morning to see her initial post, but as of now there’s been no response on her end. According to FD, Michelle’s hair is laid like Chicken of the Sea. Michelle’s hair is laid like Flounder and Tilapia. Michelle’s hair is laid like Joe’s Crab Shack. I’m not taking sides, but if you read through the fine print, you’ll understand my sentiments exactly. At the end of the day both parties were wrong to some degree, but how it was handled is what really tipped over the the teapot, literally. Anyway while we’re at it, just for fun...What else is Michelle’s hair laid like?

All jokes aside, what do you think about everything that’s transpired? Who do you believe?

February 27, 2016

If You Come to My Wedding [Short Story]

If you come to my wedding...

Please don't cause a scene.

Don't sit in the front row, I don't want to see you. Don't sit too far in the back because I don't want to think about you being in the shadows. When the priest says, "Speak now or forever hold your peace" I hope you remain seated and quiet, you've had long enough to stand and speak. When my burgundy stained lips meet my husband's and we are Mr. and Mrs. don't leave in disgust and frustration. I need you to see the consequences of your actions, why did you run away from me? Why did you set me up to fall for you?  

When we do the symbolic jumping of the broom, I need to hear your applause, your cheers. I need to hear those rough, thick fingers that once caressed me, slamming together with rigorous force. I need to feel your presence. 

As we both walk out of the church and down the long concrete stairway, listen to the church bells chiming a triumphant tune. The bells always sound so angelic, I hope my Heavenly Father is proud of me. As we slowly walk down the stairs with a constant flow of rice raining down on us, smile and be happy for me even if you aren't. If you see my mother, my father, or my brother who all still love you very much, hug them as you always do. 

If we're close enough in proximity, I will be cordial, but don't take me into your arms and embrace me like you used to. Don't make me smell that earthy yet sweet cologne that you wear all the time. I'd be fine with a handshake and a brief introduction to my husband, even during the bustling moment, I want you to meet him. "This is my friend that I told you so much about, honey!" and that's the honest truth. I couldn't stop comparing him to you and telling him all the intelligent things you've said to me. I still dream about you almost every night, I still randomly think of your witty jokes and you still make me laugh. He is an amazing man but even after all these years he's still not you. How could I lie on the steps of a church? We were never just friends.

Once we step off the final stair step and wave to the crowd, please wave back. Even in a sea of people you know I will see your face above everyone else's. Don't do that thing you do with your striking brown eyes, the way your pupils adjust, the way you dig into my soul, the way you penetrate me without physical contact. I know you can't help it because you don't realize the way you look at me, it says everything. When it's time for me to toss the bouquet into the waiting hands of hopefuls, I truly pray it misses you by a long shot.

Copyright 2/27/16, this published work is owned by me.

December 5, 2015

My Big Chop Experience

Sixth grade was/is such an awkward time because you're damn sure not an adult, you're not quite a teen but you're not a child either. You don't want to wear ponytails and barrettes yet you're too young for "grown styles" as my daddy would say. When I was in 6th grade the hottest hair style was a roller wrap. It sounds simple but I was so jealous that all the cool girls had their hair sleek, straight, and cut to perfection, while I was still wearing Shirley Temple curls. I practically begged my mama to straighten my hair and give me a roller wrap. Eventually she reluctantly gave in. Now I have always had relaxed hair, but I was never allowed to have it all hanging nor flat ironed, only curls, ponytails or half up styles. My mama bought a flat iron and some products and attempted to make me look like those cool girls at school. The evening she straightened my hair an episode of the TV show 'Girlfriends' happened to be on. After about 15 minutes she pointed to the TV with a rattail comb and said, "Your hair is gonna be like Joan's [Tracee Ellis Ross], it won't get straight for nothing, never has!". Although I thought Joan was gorgeous and I loved her big poofy hair, I wanted my hair to look like Maya's, Toni's, and Lynn's. Straight and sleek with a little curl here and there, like cool girls at school. I thought I was doomed. Who knew nearly 13 years later I would give almost anything to have hair like Joan!

On November 30, 2015 I big chopped and became fully natural. My last relaxer was on June 20, 2014, just a few days shy of my 23rd birthday. My plan was to transition for two years before big chopping. I never had a doubt about transitioning for my natural hair journey. Some ladies dislike the idea of transitioning and choose to big chop asap. I've had long hair my entire life and just imagining myself with not only short hair but a tiny 'fro scared me. Transitioning was also the best for me because I needed to learn my hair. Before deciding to go natural I started a healthy hair journey regimen to get a feel for my hair. 

It's somewhat embarrassing but I'm going to be transparent. My mom took care of my hair until I was 20 years old. I know, I know most girls start doing their own hair in like middle school, but not me. As a college sophomore, I still sat on the floor and let my mom comb, straighten, and/or curl my hair. However, I did wash my own hair, I should get points for that! No? Ok. Anyway, since my mom handled all of my hair affairs, I seriously knew nothing about my hair. After my mom passed away, I was forced to tend to my own locks. The quick and easy solution was to take a weekly trip to the salon. Although the visits weren't expensive they definitely added up and it only made me avoid the inevitable task of dealing with my own hair. My visits to the salon slowly went from 2-3 times per month to once a month and finally once every few months for relaxers only. 

I started learning how to use a curling iron and ponytails/buns became my friends. I used a lot of heat in my hair to keep my hair straight and what I considered 'cute' at the time. I'm sure my hair was damaged but my hair stylist was a magician who could even make damaged hair look amazing. Also when I would go to the salon I would get protective styles, such as goddess braids so my hair really grew a lot despite my mishandling. 

Even though I started only going to the salon once every 2-3 months, I was tired of getting relaxers. I have always hated relaxers, they are truly torturing especially since I have eczema in my scalp. I have cried several times during the relaxer process, it was terrible. It was anything BUT 'relaxing'. I started going on long relaxer stretches (18 weeks was my longest stretch), which decreased my salon trips even more, but also gave my stylist a headache because I didn't know how to care for my new natural roots, it would be matted and tangled by the time my stretch was over. After my 23rd birthday and during another relaxer stretch, and after watching several Youtube videos, I decided to go all the way. How hard could it be? 

The first 3 months of my transition was a breeze, I just cared for it how I always did. Between 4-6 months I wanted to try twistouts and braidouts but my hair was still too straight to really hold them well. I decreased my heat usage a lot but still straightened my hair once a month. By February 2015, I learned how to do beautiful roller sets and since then it has been my go-to style. Between February 2015 and November 2015 I have straightened my hair twice. 

I was really trying to push for two years even though I was very tired of dealing with the two textures. The shedding was ridiculously rampant and all in all it was annoying and repetitive. A couple of my friends encouraged me to big chop a few weeks back, but I just kept saying I wasn't ready. I still had about 3 inches of relaxed hair, and I wanted to keep my length. Looking back on it, keeping those dead ends was a mistake! However, I'm glad I big chopped on my own time, when I was ready to. 

I started cutting purely on a whim and mostly out of frustration. My wash days are usually either Saturday or Sunday but I avoided my hair all weekend because every time I thought about doing something to it, I got frustrated and tired just thinking about it. I arrived home late on Sunday, it was close to midnight and I was not about to start the long draining process of washing my hair, so I just decided to cut it. I grabbed my hair shears, went into the bathroom, sat in front of the mirror and started snipping the relaxed ends at the front of my head. At first it felt like a sigh of relief, then suddenly less than half way through the chop I put the scissors down and looked at my natural hair, my 'fro. WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING?! I couldn't believe I was actually doing it. I tilted my head and did a few poses in the mirror and realized that I looked really cute. I was still in awe that I was cutting my hair, but it made me feel a little better that it didn't look bad on me at all. I kept cutting and noticed that it wasn't as short as I thought it would be and I started feeling...Happy. After all of my relaxed ends were off I could not stop smiling! I was happy and my adrenaline was going at full speed. I think the best part about going natural was actually seeing myself. I know that sounds so cliché but it truly made me realize something. People tell me all the time how much I look like my mama and sometimes I see it but a lot of the time I don't. After I cut my permed ends off I saw her, I saw my mama in me. I see now that we are practically twins and I couldn't be more proud to look like the most beautiful woman in the world.

After I calmed down, took a few pictures, and texted a couple friends, reality settled in. I had no idea how to style it, but I knew I didn't want to just wear it as it was. My hair is 90% 4C and at the back there's a small 3C patch, about 10%. I can't give length measurements since I haven't measured it but if I had to guess I would say in it's stretched state it's about 5 inches long. I did a twist and curl as I would always do on my transitioning hair and went to bed. It didn't turn out that well but that was fine. When I went to work, a couple of my co-workers said they couldn't even tell that I big chopped, I'm still not sure if that's good or bad.

Now let's be honest here, I struggle to even consider myself a 'natural', because I feel like I'm still the same. During this whole transition I thought being natural would be like jumping the broom, trading my old life for a new beginning. In a sense it is a new beginning, I feel as if I have new hair and I'm excited to play with it and experiment, but I'm still the exact same person. I know it sounds silly to think you're going to miraculously change once you cut your hair, but if you haven't transitioned maybe you can't empathize. I feel like natural haired women are wiser or something...The holders of all hair wisdom. I'm not 'hair-wise', I have NO idea what I'm doing. It's only been four days, maybe my body doesn't know it's a naturalista yet?

All in all, I am happy with my big chop. Big chopping means different things to different people. For some it's just a haircut and for others it's letting go of all the traditions and beliefs about [black] hair, embracing your own self and breaking away from those old traditions/beliefs. In my family, long hair is very much treasured but not to the extent where my family would disown me for cutting my hair. I think the hardest part for me will be styling. My twist out failed, my braid out was ok for a day, and my puffs are cute enough. I'll be watching Youtube for more inspiration...

...Oh and about the annoyance that is Youtube let me tell y'all something...No, wait, I'll save that for another blog!


November 28, 2015

Is Adele Fat...?

...And do we care? When is It OK to be fat?

Last Friday (11/20) Adele released her third album entitled 25. The album has been on shelves for only just over a week but has broken music records worldwide. I'll be 25 next year and I haven't broken any kind of record, not even a vinyl. Much like fellow popular singers, Adele has a huge following and a "stan base". We all know Adele can sing the roof off of any given building and she is a radiant beauty. In addition to all of her beauty and achievements she is also plus sized...Or is she? I saw someone mention on Twitter the fact that she has lost some weight since her last album. In response to this several people came to her defense saying "That doesn't matter! She's beautiful". Some people don't even address the fact that she is plus sized like they do with other celebrities. Some people might even say that I’m wrong for mentioning her size when she’s so much more than her weight, but I’m still typing. Just a few months ago Rihanna showed off her body in a traditional Carnival garb during Carnival season in Barbados. She seemed to be a little bigger than normal and folks were saying how fat she looked and how the weight was unbecoming. When Tyra Banks put on weight a few years back and faced heavy criticism causing her to tell everyone to "kiss her fat ass" it was a problem. Similar things have happened with Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, etc. Those are tiny examples of how weight shaming is real, even with smaller sized celebrities.This year Tess Holliday became the first super plus sized model to earn a modeling contract with a major agency. She is beautiful, outspoken and graceful, yet with one glimpse of her Instagram you'll see comments like "You're too fat, you need to lose weight for your health" or the grossest popular one, "You're not going to live long enough to see your son grow up". The last and best example is the exuberant Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe, oh the backlash she faces for merely existing is so hateful and annoying. Yet with Adele her weight doesn't matter. Why?

I believe it's because Adele exists but she's not visible. Yes, she has a new album out and her face is all over magazines, blogs, and advertisements, but her body? Not so much. I saw a picture of Adele leaving some event and the caption read, "Adele in her signature black attire" which intrigued me. Black is a wonderful color and it also has a slimming effect. I can't help but wonder why black is her signature clothing choice. Usually when any celebrity (or even regular folks) have put on some weight and want to mask it, they throw on black from head to toe hoping to hide the bulge. Is it truly Adele's choice to wear black? The difference between Adele and other plus size celebrities is visibility. Adele is heard rather than seen and I'm not sure if it's her choice or not but it's working. She has mentioned that she doesn't want to look like the women in magazines, but she never draws attention to herself by wearing bold colors or a statement piece, because her voice commands all the attention and that alone is amazing. Which leads me to my initial question, when is it ok to be fat?

Fatness is ok in [American] society if you're invisible, funny, or a man. According to society, if you're in the shadows or if you are hiding your fatness it's fine. That’s not to say that invisible fat people don’t receive backlash and are “welcomed into society” but it’s basically if I don’t see it, it doesn’t bother me. Visibility is bothersome as with any group of people who are considered to be socially deviant.

Over the past few years I’ve noticed that a lot of comedians or comedic actors are overweight. For the longest time being fat itself was funny. The “I’m always hungry/eating” or “I will sit on you” jokes have been around forever, people make fat jokes nowadays without even thinking about it because it’s so common and accepted by the general public. Again, visibility. Of course when someone is standing on a stage telling jokes you can see that he/she is fat but the jokes are at the forefront and to a lot of people the fatness is a part of the joke even if the comedian didn’t intend it to be. Growing up my least favorite comedian was DL Hughley. My parents watched ComicView and for a while he was a regular on the show. His routine always included pointing and laughing at someone in the audience, especially a fat person. I’m sure after a while fat people refused to sit in the front section of his shows because it was expected to be made fun of. My mom went to a live comedy show at this club that my uncle owned. My uncle thought it would be a great treat to give my parents the VIP section in the front. My mom did not want to sit at the front and it was too late to switch seats. After the show my mom seemed a little upset, and later I found out it was because the comedian ridiculed her as a part of the act. I think it shows a true lack of comedic talent if one has to rely on the audience for material, but I digress.

Lastly, fat men are far more acceptable in general society than fat women. On most TV shows centered around a couple, the man is usually stocky/chubby while the woman is cute, thin, and petite. Fatness isn’t feminine or pretty in TV Land, I guess. There are exceptions Mike and Molly, Roseanne...but again they’re comediennes. I have yet to see a fat woman play someone’s serious love interest.

Fatness and visibility are two of the most important things when considering when fatness is acceptable. There are some exceptions as I have listed above, but even still no one wants visible fatness. I used Adele as an example, I’m not picking on her at all but seeing the “her weight doesn’t matter” idea specifically attached to her name is interesting. It’s special because this same kind of “pass” doesn’t seem to be attached to anyone else in the spotlight even if they are very talented. There have been other celebrities who have been given a “pass” and it’s simply because they don’t address their size. If Adele decided she wanted to make fast-paced dance-pop music and wanted to do choreographed dances in the style of Beyonce, I think things would be different. If she wanted to wear a bold bright neon green crop tops with the words “Fat Fine” across her bust, things would probably be different. If she decided to ditch her modest black attire and go with sexy deep plunging necklines and bold bright prints, things would probably be different. However, her talent isn’t related to her size and she has definitely emphasized that. She doesn’t model, she isn’t a dancer, and she’s not a sex symbol. Her voice is her talent and her voice is her gift to the masses, and who doesn’t love a beautiful gift? Forget dieting I just wish I could sing well...

November 21, 2015

Why Don't You Love Me?

Years ago, there were a few guys who I liked and the feelings were mutual, but I ruined it. This is going to be a short post, I don't want to drag this out anymore than necessary. Thanks for tuning in to Nic's super short post! Anyway, both of the aforementioned guys were extremely sweet and well... I was sour. 

I think about them both when I sit back and think about my past relationships/friendships. I often wonder how things would be different had I not been such a witch. Both situations started and ended almost the exact same way. The beginning was wonderful, interesting, and just pure bliss. Overtime, they went from being sweet compositions to disjointed improvisations. The final performance commenced with me screaming "leave me the hell alone!" just before waltzing off the stage with my baton in tow.

At the time, I didn't fully understand why I became infuriated with them. The first guy was always hanging on to my every word, the second guy would always stand so close to me, I could smell his not-so-minty-fresh breath. Those things were issues but they weren't the real issue. At that point in my life I hated myself so much I lashed out on those who tried to get close me. I figured it would be a waste, they couldn't really like me, blah, blah...I was angry that I didn't like myself enough to let my guard down to let someone else like me. It's weird and confusing yet it all makes sense. 

I think a lot of us use anger and 'lashing out' as a means to keep people at bay but it's truly the worst thing you can do to someone who cares about you, sees your beauty, and is willing to maneuver through all the treacherous channels to explore the deepest parts of you. I regret doing what I did to those guys because of my self-hate and pent up anger. I'm writing this because I think it's important for people to understand how the psyche of a person with low self-value affects everyone involved. Self-love doesn't just blossom when someone likes or loves you. Much like telling a person with depression to "just get happy and look on the bright side". It may sound encouraging but it won't cure their depression nor make them feel better. If anything it can agitate the issue and make things even more difficult.  I know, I know, you want me to quit with the 'Love thyself' cliches and anecdotes, but trust me, it's important and life changing. Oprah says so, too. 

November 12, 2015

What Do You Fear? Tag

In order to keep up with the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) challenge, I'm doing this tag for today's post! This tag was created by the illustrious James Colwell on Youtube. Please visit his channel! I challenge anyone reading this to complete this tag. You don't need to make a video or even have a blog, post it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media sites that you use. Share it with your friends and ask them about their fears. It could really lead to a fun and informative conversation. 

Do You Fear…

1. The dark

Sort of but not really...I don't like being in total darkness, but I wouldn't say I fear the dark.

2. Tunnels or bridges

Yes! The last time I drove across a bridge I was shaking. I actually don't mind crossing a bridge if someone else is driving across it. It's mostly because of my combined fear of large bodies of water and heights.

3. Large bodies of water

Yes, it makes me queasy, which is why I don't really like the beach.

4. Hospitals or doctors

Hospitals, no. Some doctors, yes. I like the optometrist and dentist!

5. Hotels or motels

Ugh, no?

6. Heights


7. The woods

Chile...Yes. There's bugs and animals and crazy ass people in the woods. No gawd. 

8. Airplanes, trains or buses

I have thought about flying and it just seems so scary but I've never flown. I'd rather drive or take a train. It's one of my life goals to take a train ride. 

9. Rollercoasters or other amusement rides

Yes, again heights!!!

10. Thunderstorms or lightning

Yes, thunderstorms. They're so unpredictable! You don't know where it's going to strike and it could cause so much damage and destruction.

11. Horror movies

I don't fear them but I would prefer not to watch them.

12. Public speaking

Yeah, I really hate speaking in front of groups, large or small.
13. Animals; and if so which ones?

Snakes and spiders. I just don't really like cats but I don't fear them.
14. Ghosts or apparitions

Hmm...Nope. Ghosts and spirits actually intrigue me. 

15. Death

In a sense, yes but in a sense no. I just would fear dying and not telling the people that I love how much I love them. I think I fear how I will die versus dying. 

Other things I fear: Fire, Getting Sick, and Hurricanes.

November 11, 2015

Catching and Confessing Feelings

I've never had to confess my feelings for someone who I liked. I've only truly had feelings for two people, so I don't catch feelings offen. The first one was this guy who I thought I loved. He hardly knew my name. I never wanted him to know that I liked him but watching several romantic comedies where the awkward girl confesses her love to the jock and they ride off happily ever after really encouraged me. After crushing on him for years, I asked my friend to tell him for me via Myspace. Smooth. She told him and of course he said something along the lines of "I'm interested in someone else". He even started avoiding me at school. Back then I was crushed but looking back on it, it really wasn't a terrible rejection. 

The hardest part about putting yourself out there is rejection. Then again, I guess how do you know if you don't try? Rejection is terrible but so is regret. I think the thought of dealing with regret is more appealing than the thought of dealing with rejection, at least in my mind. But regret lingers longer. After a while it starts to hurt, at least with rejection the pain is temporary, like the prick of a needle and after a period of time it's something you can laugh and/or reminisce about. The longer you hold on to your secret the harder it'll be to confess. Secrets get comfortable like a lazy Sunday afternoon in bed. Once they're tucked away in the comfort of your mind, it's difficult to wake it up and put it out there in real time. Trust me, I know. Would I ever confess my true feelings for someone that I'm into? I would choose not to if I could. Not because I think confessing feelings makes you vulnerable but honestly, it's just scary. I always envision my confession to go like this (This is totally fictional, by the way):

Monday evening, outside, dark blue skies, distant stars freckled across it as a cool December wind chills the air. 
Me: Hey wait, can I talk to you? Do you have time to stay for a little bit?
Pulls dark brown jacket tighter, crossing his arms.
Him: Yeah what's up?
Clears throat, and looks away for a moment. Suddenly both of our eyes meet. Starts speaking, pacing the words moderately quick.
Me: I think you're so amazing, you make laugh all the time and just being around you makes me happy. You make me think, you spend valuable time with me, you make me feel special, beautiful, and valued. Getting to know you has been the best thing that's ever happened to me, because through getting to know you, I learned about myself. You don't understand how much that means to me. *Speaking slows down, calmer tone* I never thought I would develop these feelings for you when we first became friends. I think about you all the time, you're even in my prayers and dreams. I realized I fell for you when I truly couldn't see anyone but you in a crowded room. World War III could've been going on outside and I would've been at peace because you were the only thing I could see and hear. You're never too much for me because I can't get enough of you. You're so not perfect and neither am I, but somehow I can see us both getting closer to perfection if we really came together. We're so different but I just really like you, I love spending time with you and I was hoping you felt the same about me.
Him: Uh...Yeah...That's very nice of you. I like you too, as my friend. You're like a sister to me. You're such a good friend, I don't want to ruin what we have.
Me: ...But you gave me signs. You spent time with me, you got to know me, we shared things, you're so nice to me...Buzzfeed videos and Google said those were "the signs"...
Him: I was being nice to you, I didn't realize that was a sign...I'm sorry, I was just being my normal friendly self. 
Me: Oh...Well...Have a nice life. *dies*

Truthfully, I don't like bottling up my feelings for someone. It eats away at you eventually, and when you see the person you either feel anxious to scream "I love you, please be with me!" or you try extremely hard to not let your feelings show. I'm an expert at the latter, but even if feelings aren't shown chemistry never lies and is more obvious especially to those around you. I never feel like it's the right moment to confess feelings, but is there really a perfect moment? 

I said all of this to say that I hope the love of my life is braver than I and will confess first. If not, I'm screwed.