No Cuss No Fuss

Yeah, so I’m still in the valley of decision about whether or not to curse on this blog. This seems like the STUPIDEST thing to talk about but it is a big issue for me. I’m going through my whole “settling into my true self” thing, and I gotta be honest: My true self has a foul mouth. I mean, FUCK! I just need to say it to get the aggression out. The crazy in me sometimes wants to just ram my car into the back of the person who just cut me off, or punch a slow-walking old lady in the face. I don’t, because jail time, social norms and blah blah blah– so can I PLEASE.JUST.CURSE? 

If I had a dollar for every time a guy told me that cursing is unattractive– well, I would still be pretty poor but I would have several more dollars. Can someone tell me why it’s so unbecoming?? I’m a single mother of two, I’m so fucking tired ALL of the time, can I just have the one thing?!! And on top of that, I still make an effort to dress nice, to do my hair, shower, exerc– ok, I’m not exercising as often as I should but you get the point. I used to wake up at 5:45 every morning, busting my ass to get two kids ready and myself out the door to commence one of the longest commutes in history. I almost killed about four people everyday trying to put on some fucking concealer and eyeliner while driving just to look at least half awake for the day. Life is shitty sometimes, I’m always tired– and YES, I said that again– but you mean to tell me that I can’t curse about it because it’s UNLADYLIKE?? I popped two kids out of my vagina, that doesn’t give me a little street cred among the ladies???

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And I’m good, you know? I curb the urge when I’m around my non-cursing friends. I just feel like I’m going to be stoned to death if I dare say “dammit” when I bang my toe yet again on some shit that’s ALWAYS on my messy livingroom floor. My six year old is the FCC and bad language vigilante. “Aww, Mommy! You said a bad word…”  My response, “Fuck! I did it again!”  So, I can’t even curse in my own home, I just want to be able to pop some shit loose on my very own blog for the love of someone’s love who is worthy to go into this sentence!

Then I think of my parents…and the respectable people who may relate to my basic views that simply just can’t stand the thought, sound or sight foul language. I think to myself, “Shit, I can’t talk like that, not even on my own blog.” So, for the sake of making blog life (not at all related to thug life) more palatable I will curb the cursing as much as possible. But be warned– I need the F word in my life. If I’m talking to you and accidentally let one fly don’t be obnoxious and comment on it. I’m trying 😦

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Image from: persephonemagazine.com

 

 

 

 

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Dialing It Back

 

Author’s Note: I wrote this entry awhile ago and didn’t have plans to post it so soon, but I think it is a great follow up to Black Women Don’t Cry. Sometimes the issue with reaching out to others is that I have a tendency to form co-dependent relationships. Everything in life is about finding your balance. 

I sat in my raggedy old car with my one year old in the backseat, and the thought occurred to me that perhaps I had gone overboard this time. It was 2am in the morning, but my man needed me– so I was there…70 miles away from my house…with a baby in the backseat…needing to be to work in a few hours.

That night I realized that passion is beautiful in increments, almost NEVER full force. I mean, I read and LOVED all the damned Twilight books but there was more than one moment when I thought to myself “Calm the fuck down, Edward. Just calm down.”

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Image from: screencrush.com

 It is one thing to be on the brink of jumping off of your balcony and calling the one you love so he can be there for you while you sob wordlessly on the phone– it is quite another to show up to his house in the middle of night just because he was having a bad day and you felt he needed you. Furthermore, you can’t call everyday to sob. You can’t text mental health updates when you wake up in the morning, you can’t spend the night clinging to his side in bed while he barely has room to breathe and you absolutely CANNOT steal the covers in the middle of the night (but perhaps that’s a separate issue). The point is: finding someone who embraces you and helps you to cope with your mental anguish and inner insanity is a gift that can be easily be abused. And personally for me, it is not what I need in order to thrive. I operate better when I draw strength from within and present myself as whole person, instead of someone that needs to be pieced together within a relationship. (I’ve learned through trial and error that I function better as an “I complete me and you complement me” kind of person.)

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Image from: pearlsofwisdomfromhenryselvocki.blogspot.com

 At the time, I had never felt a love so intensely so the most natural thing to do was to express it to the fullest of it’s power. Yeah…no. People like their freedom and no one wants to feel imprisoned by your feelings for them. Every one of us has that friend that is the neediest of all needies, bringing you down with just a downward eye glance and a heavy sigh. No, shut up…don’t be that friend! Being a mess is exhausting, but I have come to realize that it’s my burden to bear and not anyone else’s. I had to come to the realization that I don’t need to share EVERYTHING with the person I’m closest to. I know that there is something within me that makes me a bit melancholy every once in awhile. There is a gut-wrenching sadness that takes over me when the baby drops her pacifier and I’m carrying an armful of grocery bags up the stairs and I can’t pick it up. I want to drop everything and curl up into a ball and die. I am totally positive that there is medication for that, but there’s also growing a pair of balls and dealing with depression head on. (In addition to this, there is the fact that I don’t have health insurance at the moment– but that’s neither here nor there…)

 Anyway, the very recent decision has been made to dial back my intensity a WHOLE lot. I’m trying to be more deliberate in my approach to friendships, and in dating as my emotions begin to develop, especially since women are sometimes notorious for oversharing and leaving men with the WTF face. I have bad moments, but most of them are manageable and there is no need for me to stress out the people in my life who care most about me. It is always a blessing to have a support system in your life whether it be a friend, a significant other, a pet…but leaning too hard can wear relationships thin. Sometimes your dog wants to play fetch NOT hang his head in your lap while you cry AGAIN. And the craziness in life is that we often feel isolated and lonely but that’s not the same as facing your hardships alone.

I threw everything into my significant other searching for healing but it was self-absorption that only made for a lopsided and co-dependent relationship (among various other problems). I’m trying to get my emotions back on track again by dealing with the everyday little things on my own, and leaning on friends only when it’s absolutely necessary for me to get out of my head. The damsel in distress thing works for fairytales but after awhile it gets real old and Bella’s needy ass starts to work on Edward’s eternal nerves. I don’t want to be a Bella. Intensity is moving and passion is beautiful, but it’s also overwhelming. I believe romantic love and any kind of affection for a person is truly a gift but I realize because of my sensitive heart I can be a little too intense, and that’s certainly NOT everyone’s cup of tea.

I hereby resolve to dial things back. I need to spend some time out of my head and attempt to let life and emotions progress “normally”. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how everything goes 😉

 

Identity Series: Black Women Don’t Cry

 

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Image from: wblk.com

Exposure. This entire blog means so much exposure for me and that, is the single most difficult thing about doing it. I don’t mean positive exposure or gaining some sort of notoriety for my writing (which would be effing awesome!) I mean that I am spilling the essence of my entire self out onto these pages. A secondary reason that I feel I must do this is because I am too skilled at manipulating and controlling others impressions and reactions to me and I’ve grown tired of that song and dance. The primary reason for this blog is to stop being a chicken and speak out to an audience that I know may not want to listen. 

There are broken hearted single black mothers everywhere…I am fully aware that my story isn’t new or even all that interesting. But I do wonder how many of us have witnessed our mothers and our mother’s mothers suffer hardships taken in stride and have been influenced to do the same within our own lives. I finally reached a point where I had to realize that I am not my mother. Her resilience is something I certainly admire, but I cannot project her strengths onto myself. Maybe it’s finally time for someone to say, “This life is hard.” For me, there are times when I do need to be strong and do things as independently as I can out of necessity, but there also came a time for me to acknowledge when I needed a little help. 

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Image from: mandybanderson.com 

I was tightly wound. I had just lost my job and before I could grasp what had happened or why, I scored a full-time temporary job that wanted me to start the very next week. My career had fallen apart bringing into question my mental deterioration, I felt my love interest slipping away, I had lost my bond with my family after my divorce, I was drinking too much, I was phoning in motherhood. I was hustling and switching into so many different modes that I was losing traction fast. Finally one morning I woke up and realized that I had already fallen. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I couldn’t stop crying and I didn’t know how to call in “sick” to a job that wasn’t even permanently mine. My significant other at the time had to physically carry me to the shower and wash me, and all I really remember is that I was scared to death and I was so disappointed in myself.

 I no longer had the energy to try at life, and worse, I didn’t have the energy to fake the effort anymore. I have my children, I construct my thoughts carefully away from suicide but I still fight the desire to not want to live anymore. I used to watch the metro train approach my stop everyday and every single day I used to wish I had the courage to jump in front of it. Suicide is selfish. Eventually, I learned to curb my thoughts to the point where I only wanted to run away. I would get behind the wheel of my car and fight the desire to drive until I ran out of gas. I didn’t have a plan beyond that; I simply wanted to disappear. Life doesn’t allow you the opportunity to slow down to process and to recover. Things pile up and overwhelm– it is easy for me to lose control. That day, the anxiety built and overflowed. The levees had broken—my city was in ruins and I was drowning. How could this have happened to me? Black women don’t cry. 

Black women are supposed to be strong. We always take care of our kids, we always hustle, we always look good and you NEVER see us weak. We’re disrespected by society, abandoned by our men, hated on by other women but we never allow others to see the struggle of what we go through. Depression is not a word that exists to the black community, and it BETTER not exist to black women. If you feel sad or bad you just keep it moving. You swallow your hurt, you never slow down and never back down; let them see you angry but never let them see you crumble. I sat in that bathtub feeling the shower water rush over me and I knew that I was powder. I knew that my method of life was no longer working for me. I could no longer stuff down pain and zone out of life in order to cope with simply being alive. To my children I was a zombie. I no longer danced and I barely even spoke to them. Yes, I made their meals everyday but there was no love in it. Whenever I did get up from the couch they would follow me around, their eyes wide. They were waiting for some sign of life. I wasn’t showing them strength and resilience. I was showing my children that I had come undone.

The hardest part is not the fall, it’s the effort it takes to get up again. I struggle in some way every day and I try to be upfront about it as much as possible but I feel the shame. I look in the mirror every morning and challenge myself to rise above it. This is my story, I can’t change it and I shouldn’t want to. I suppose the ideal way to have done this would have been to start this blog once I had overcome all of these things. However, in being completely honest with myself I know that this is probably something I will struggle with for the rest of my life. I know I won’t suddenly get better overnight. I don’t want to take medication to numb things or try to make things go away—and that’s my personal choice. I choose to try within the strength of my higher power and the drive I have within me, to overcome this dark cloud that hangs over my life. In this decision I know there will plenty of tears and maybe a few more breakdowns along the way. In the end, I want my children to be able to look me in my eyes and know that I am struggling but I am constantly fighting to make it through. Maybe black women don’t cry, but I want my children to know that this one does…and that’s ok. 

 

Sex Can Wait, Masticate!

The new dulche de leche milkshake at McDonald’s is 850 calories of absolute ecstasy. I bought it for the first time and I sipped it, filled with delight each time a straw full contained about 3 tablespoons of caramel. Oh. My. God.

A side effect of struggling with depression, for me, is dealing with the weight fluctuation. I have ranged from hourglass, to Coke bottle, to 7Eleven Big Gulp way more often than I would like. I am not the iconic Janet Jackson, I cannot get away with this shit! The upside is that lately, I have a lot of time on my hands so I try to exercise at least six times a week—but I also struggle with control and discipline problems, so this does not always go well. I am positive that downward facing dog does not involve tears, and you’re not supposed to curse in between each sit up but I do my best to make it through.  The eating continues… 

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Finally, I was able to put my finger on it (mmm, chicken fingers…). My terrible eating habits can be traced back to sexual frustration rather than directly to depression. Once the kids go to bed I feel like sitcom jokes get raunchier, commercials get sexier, and I’m sitting alone on my couch (ok, futon) wide-eyed, eyebrows raised going “Well, ok then!” I held onto my virginity for dear life until I was 21 years old—why the hell can’t I keep it together now? The problem is that sex is so available. Sex is attainable to the one-eyed cat lady down the hall, it’s definitely attainable for me, and all of us for that matter. Most women (even my crazy ass) have at least 2 guys that are available for her to sleep with at any given time…but I’m a dreamer. I want more. I’ve been intimate with guys I feel nothing for and it’s just not that awesome. 

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There are a lot of bold broads out here that are ridin’ around and gettin’ it—you have absolutely no judgment from me. I actually tried to be like that and it didn’t last for long. This is so silly—but I promised I would bare all—I called this period of my life “Rumspringa”. For those who don’t know, Rumspringa is a period of adolescence in the Amish community when they let their teenagers essentially leave the community in order to experience the world for a certain period of time. After all the sinning is said and done, they get to decide whether they want the renounce Amish culture and stay in the world or go back to their religious lifestyle. Since I am clearly Amish, it made sense in my mind to participate in my own version of this, though I was way past the acceptable age for it.  

Needless to say, the first time I tried it I was about a month in before I was in love and three months in before I was pregnant. I should have learned my lesson from that experience, right? Not so much. After my new little baby was old enough and I thought I could handle dating again I decided to implement another Rumspringa. This perfectly sexy and random guy just kind of fell into my lap, just in time for my sexual awakening part II, BUT, due to a series of crazy schedules and miscommunications I never got to sow any oats, plant any gardens, spread any legs, WHATEVER.  I actually ended up getting to know him the old fashioned way, catching feelings for the guy and WORSE admiring the hell out of him. After two failed Rumspringas it is clear to me that I am not about that life. Hitch up the wagon, Mama, I’m coming home. 

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Image from: katekendallyoga.tumblr.com

I’ll carry this sexual frustration with me for God knows how long and hope I don’t need gastric bypass surgery before I find some relief. I don’t need to get to know a good burger with fried egg (yum!) or have the Defining the Relationship talk with an Oreo ice cream sundae before I hop into bed with them. I will wake up each morning, tasting the memories and humiliation of the night before on my tongue. I will throw on yoga pants and do the walk of shame from my bedroom to the DVD player to pop in an exercise video and cry. I will bear the burden of overindulgence. I am fully aware that my drive to work out is the equivalent of the smell of Altoids on an alcoholic’s breath but it’s a start. I would rather have my waistline suffer than play the dangerous game of sex with no feelings attached. 

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Image from:www.examiner.com

 

For Someone That’s Afraid to Love

In another life, I refused to be driven by fear and I experienced great suffering because of it. However, I was never quite sure how to live any other way. For all of my folly, for all of the devastation I have been so slow to recover from, I was never sure I would do things much differently. And therein lies the rub that contributed to my eventual demise.

For whatever reason I couldn’t release the hope in the feel of finally getting things right. I could almost taste the bliss of finally taking a chance and reaping extravagant reward from a person who understood and appreciated what it is I had to offer. Though I understood the concept of fear, I could never allow myself to be driven by it and I could never encourage others in it. I used to believe that in making ourselves vulnerable to one another we are able to find our freedom. I always wanted to dive in; consume and devour. I always wanted to taste, touch, feel everything, savor everything, believe in everything. I can’t do it this time—this time something has happened to me. I am naked and exposed, I’m no longer free in it. I used to be able to see the beauty and potential in most things, now I can only scout out inevitable pain.

It was a slow change that took place in me while I wasn’t paying attention to myself. A friend came to me asking for my unadulterated love advice; I looked at her, unblinking, and told her to run away. I told her to save her herself, protect herself and to run. The safest place for your heart is solitude. The words stumbled out of my mouth and came as a shock even to me. I once had an elderly woman I hold in high regard tell me that, “Men can only love up to a certain point,” to explain why I had been abandoned in a relationship. I rejected her opinion because I recognized that it came from that place of fear, of hurting, of self-preservation. Now here I am broken and selfish after one failed love too many—giving sorrowful advice with a look of trepidation in my eyes.

We should be more careful how we treat once valued love relationships before they come to an end, it can be too easy to snuff out whatever is left of someone’s already dimming light. My light is gone. Now I am fear and I am darkness—I don’t know how to emerge and how to enjoy something new and possibly great. I am stripped of my ability to fight for your affection.

I only wish you the will to fight for mine—if you think you have it in you.

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A Part of His Balanced Breakfast, Traci Turner, 2011
apurplepaintbrush.com

 

 

 

 

Identity Series: Everything to Everyone

The original idea behind this entry was to write just one to sort of shed light on my general difficulties and annoyances as a black woman… I quickly realized I have a lot of feelings about the subject and it’s just going to have to be a series on several topics that continues every couple of blog entries or so. I am calling it the Identity Series. Contrary to the belief of many of my friends, I actually am a black woman (rock music listening and love of hummus aside). I write about these race-specific topics not in an effort to isolate but to provide more understanding of my particular point of view. I know I am not regarded as a “typical” black woman but at the end of the day there are nappy hairs in my bathroom sink and plenty of brown on my skin to qualify for sharing this point of view.

I’ve especially had a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to dating. I think for black women especially there is kind of a lot of pressure for us to be everything to everyone. So, wait…I’m supposed to be highly intelligent, have small waist big booty, be approachable without being easy, AND just ratchet enough to drop it low on the dance floor everytime Juicy J comes on? My thighs hurt just thinking about it! I would much rather find my one selling point and stick to that thing. My mantra since high school has pretty much been: I’m a little weird so just deal with it. It’s easy to say now but it’s been a long time coming to finally own that mentality.

The hardest part of it all has to be finding the balance between what I want versus what I actually attract. And just to be absolutely candid—I love black men. As in, BLACK men. I like brown skin having, Hennessy drinking, Jay-Z listening, slang talking, weed smoking, gun toting, fresh outfit wearing black men. (But I’m almost 30 now so I’ve amended that to just having interest in kind of edgy dudes that still handle their responsibilities and have jobs and no court dates and whatnot). The good news is that I seem to attract this type of guy but once the initial approach is over they just don’t know what to do with me. I can count on 8 hands how many dudes have approached me and as soon as I opened my mouth kind of laughed at me and asked “Where you from? You talk proper.” (-_-)  I am hardly a dating guru, but if you have interest in a girl you should probably try not to make fun of her upon your first encounter. I let you call me “shorty” 6 times in a row, show me some fucking respect!

Anyway, needless to say, things usually spiral downhill from there. Soon I’m left feeling exposed because I don’t listen to the same music, I don’t smoke, I’m corny and we have absolutely nothing to talk about. It may sound snobby but I eventually got to the point where if any guy like this approached me I would just open with: “We have nothing in common, I’m sure,” and that would be the end of it. I am absolutely positive I came off bitchy but it’s way better than seeing that stupid puzzled look on a guy’s face when he just doesn’t fucking get you. It’s a tragedy to not be able to find your niche within your own race. Fortunately, there IS a section of black guys that listen to the same music I do, speak the way I do and want to sit on the couch and laugh at Arrested Development with me… the problem is that most of them prefer to deal with women of other races.

Sighhh, other races. Contrary to popular belief, I think a lot of black women do think about or are open to dating outside the race. However, it is a startling transition. We are used to the men who chase us down, loudly calling after us describing our outfits and calling us sexy in our local grocery store. These are the same guys who know the rules about not touching our hair and will happily accept big booty with a side of stomach. (I once had a guy accidentally bump my thigh and I watched his face light up with glee just to see it jiggle…never wonder why black women have so much confidence!) However, as far as I know and/or perceive, most other races want their women right, tight with no cellulite. I encounter single men of all races everyday–I’m just so sure that they’re not looking at me “that way” because of all the negative stereotypes about black women, because I may have an attitude, because of my big hips, because of my inexplicable hair. It’s hard to break the ice sometimes!

I have yet to figure it out. I wrote things out on this blog hoping I would come to some awesome conclusion or SOMEthing, but I got nothin’. I suppose I have learned that I can’t allow myself to follow a downward spiral of inadequacy as a result of others perception of who I am. It is nearly impossible to figure out how to be everything to everyone. (Open up your eyes society–Beyonce and Michelle Obama are NOT the same person!!) I fight against the isolation I feel in the dating world for not being black enough in some cases, and too black in others. Maybe the overall key is to stop searching for my niche within a race or culture and just to find it within a person who will accept all the crazy I bring to the table. There is no way to be everything to everyone BUT, I am completely willing to work on that dropping it low thing 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to My World

I need to do this…so here I am. Look at me, Mom! I’ve started a blog! (I’m kidding. I hope my mother never sees this…EVER!)

It was about two and a half years ago I sat in the waiting room of a mental hospital being handed a prescription for anti-anxiety medication that I realized that perhaps my life was not going as planned. I had NEVER considered myself CRAZY and certainly not crazy enough to admit myself into a hospital for it. I always thought I was cute crazy, like kooky and fun…but alas, after my reluctant departure from a marriage that was “ok” at best (I spent countless nights crying fully clothed in the bathtub or sleeping on the bathroom floor) and planning “mini” nervous breakdowns in the restroom at work– I realized that maybe I had gone from the fun friend at a party crazy to the wrist slitting kind.

At its heart, I do realize that mental health issues are no laughing matter. That being said, before the invention of all these anti-depressants, our ancestors were forced to just deal with this shit. Everyone is left to their own coping devices, and for whatever reason, I cannot bring myself to take mood altering medication. It is not a chemical imbalance that I have, but rather a severe ass kicking by life that has altered my outlook. I know in my heart I’m able to rise above. So, this blog is not me making light of mental instability, it’s me attempting to deal with my life the way I know best—by making fun of myself. I am a single Mom that’s just recently divorced, fired from my job (twice!), dating (sort of, I’m awful at it) and figuring out my life all at the same time. I’m tired all the time, I think too much, I like to be alone yet I’m lonely, there are bags under my eyes, love handles on my flesh—I NEED a way to deal! This is my creative outlet.

It is my hope to always be candid and fearless enough to say the things that most of us bury inside of ourselves for whatever reason. I have always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve; this blog is it. After seriously considering taking up a crystal meth addiction, I decided to do this instead–so READ IT, DAMMIT!

–Ur Homie