If you had showed 23 year old me a glimpse into the day in the life of Whiskey Girl I would be in a state of disbelief. Although, I suppose ten years is plenty of time to have morphed into a totally different person. Ok…well, I won’t be as dramatic as all that but I will say that I never expected to be living out this version of myself. The early teenaged me would be quite proud—and slightly puzzled that I have two children when I vowed to never have kids and to focus solely on my career (as an advertising executive because I was obsessed with the movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead). Anywho, the early 20’s me would be horrified. That version of me made the mistake of falling head over heels with a man and fantasized about a life of wifery on a daily basis. Who cares about education and life goals when you can cook, clean and cater to a man who barely even deserves it, right…?
We all know my story ends in divorce so let’s just hop right to it. That divorce was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to go through. I remember feeling so empty, depressed, lonely and unfulfilled throughout the whole mourning and separation process. Alas, I was a wife missing a husband to complete me and fulfill my purpose (barf!) Surely I needed a man in my life, in my household, in my presence just to be happy! Fast forward to the present annnnnnd—what I need a nigga for again?
Material World, Traditional Girl
I am aware that feminists don’t all the way like me because by today’s definition of the word I probably don’t really qualify as one. I like the part where I can sleep around and not be considered a hoe and attend marches but for the most part I’m a boring bitch who believes in the traditional gender roles. No one is angrier than I am when I have to carry groceries by my damned self, take out the trash or get an oil change. If I have a dude in my life why am I doing these things? I want to give great bjs and get my nails done while someone else worries about paying all the bills—but the way my single motherhood is set up; it ain’t happenin’! I am not hot enough (or motivated enough to hit the gym) for random men to be paying my bills so I’ve had to choose the life of a “for real” single mom. Like, work 9 to 5, pay all the bills and file my own damned taxes—there is no knight in shining Jordans for me.
Even when I lost my mind over some good dick and literally had a mental breakdown that culminated in job loss, I didn’t have time to dwell on unemployment and try to find a Sugar Daddy to help supplement the household bills. I ended up pulling money out of my 401k and taking a quick woosah before re-entering the workforce and finding a job to sustain myself and the kids.
Fast forward 5 years and I’m making $30K more than I made when I was fired and I haven’t asked my parents to borrow money in about two years now. (I HAVE asked my brother A LOT, but that’s neither here nor there). This is a story of triumph, my friends! I am holding it down, dropping kids off to school, helping with homework, doing hair, killing it at work, trying to kill it in the writing/poetry field—my life is FULL. My table is dope and I built the shit all by myself and provided all the food—I’m not sure what anyone else can bring to that table…
There’s the Rub…
So, here is where we have a dilemma: if I am already responsible for and happy with “holding it down” for myself and the kids then why would I be interested in adding a grown ass man to the mix who expects me to hold it down for him, as well? There was a time when I couldn’t wait to take care of a man and devote my life to his happiness. I wanted the bottom bitch fairytale where I helped a man come into his own greatness and as a reward he would never cheat on me and someday make me his wife. How lame is that? Especially since these days, men my age only seem to be offering pretty package relationships that look great on social media but lack any real substance outside of that. Can a bitch cuddle in your lap and shoot the shit about future dreams and past heartaches or nah? How are you going to support me? While I am doing this whole “submissive and supportive to my man” bit, are my emotions being taken care of/managed/supplemented? Are you emotionally supporting me, or just murmuring “For real, that’s crazy” every time I try to talk to you about what’s going on in my life?
I am not a doting housewife. I can’t absorb a partner’s emotional stress without being poured into and loved on in the way that feeds me, as well. If you aren’t giving me attention and affection then I could give a fuck about broiling your salmon or doing your laundry. Love is not enough of a motivator to have me catering to a man who is essentially bringing the same shit to the table that I am. When he walks in the door after a long day of work, I am walking in at the same time having worked the same amount of hours on top of a laundry list of household and Whiskey Girl things to handle before the day is over. My lifestyle is already overwhelming for my temperament and mental health, so the thought of adding another person to that list of responsibilities sounds downright stressful.
EVOLVE, MY NIGGAS
The success of black women is a topic of conversation these days, but men don’t seem to want to address what our evolution and our success means for them. Well, my niggas… I will tell you.
Emotional support is the new breadwinner. Gone are the days when you choose a woman and take care of all the bills while she stays home and runs the household like the CEO of your life. These days, women have full-time careers and are working just as hard as men—if not harder because of the multi-tasking and juggling that goes into childrearing (don’t get me started on entrepreneurialism!)— while bringing substantial money into the household to sustain it. To be the main person responsible for maintaining the household while making significant financial contributions is a bit much to ask. You don’t have the right to expect more of this woman, you don’t get to stress this woman or treat this woman as if she is not a real or enough or lazy because she doesn’t make a four-course meal for you every night like your Mama used to do for your Daddy. She is not that woman. She is a new breed of woman, and she doesn’t really need you in the same way that generations of men before you were needed.
I feel the hate and the weight of the world on a daily basis. I have to be a straight up thug almost every single day, so at the end of it I’m not really looking to cater to a man’s needs while forsaking my own desire for love and affection. I want us to come home and breathe life into each other. I want to take turns cooking meals and helping kids with homework and cleaning. I have no desire to be a super woman juggling it all and accepting a quick plowing at night as the only physical intimacy from my significant other. The days of phenomenal dick and half-assed conversation being enough are over—it’s time to step up the game, fellas!
I think black women have been more than generous with the excuses for why it makes sense for us to be the glue that holds the relationship together. The long term effects of the cruelty of slavery, history of family separation, generational curses, yes, yes, to all that—but also, no. For generations we are the ones who have been cheated on, abandoned, emotionally and physically abused by men who no doubt suffered from some very deep-sated mental health issues. We are known for our perseverance and strength in spite of these factors—if you are a man who desires to lead a black woman of such character it’s high time you started coming correct. Don’t nobody care about your degree or your air of self-importance because you’ve never gone to jail or gotten caught cheating. Accomplishing personal goals and being good to your significant other is shit you are supposed to do. In my opinion, the traditional role of the provider has been missing the emotional aspect for far too long. Nowadays, you’re bringing home the bacon to a table that already has a feast laid out on it—what else do you have to offer, my dude?
And to be honest, some of you aren’t even all that interesting. You treat us like we are a game to be played, or like a whiny inferior person whose “spoiled ass” you have to give in to just to shut her up. You show up to meet the friends and you pose for the selfie but you’re not really taking the time to know who we are as people. You express a mild interest in our daily activities but intimacy and connection never seem to be the ultimate goal. In my experience, many men don’t seem to bother making the effort to really connect on deeper levels beyond slow missionary sex and fun conversations about nothing. If you want a place at the table I would suggest you explore deeper. Barging into an independent woman’s life just to prove that you can get in is lame. If you fight your way in make sure you have a purpose there and please GOD don’t waste her time!
She built the table herself, yes, but there’s so much more to carpentry than furniture. Cater to her emotional needs; build the foundation that will sustain the table and any other beautiful thing this woman decides to create in all her strength and independence. I promise you, there is room for you—your presence, your admiration, your genuine love and your time. Those are all things I would welcome with no hesitation or questions asked.
But…Not All Men!
Of course it’s not ALL men—shut up! This is a blog post to offer you something to think about. If it doesn’t apply to you, that’s ok. And if you are a good dude that knows how to complement, respect and keep a woman happy, perhaps you should spread the knowledge to your friends instead of always commenting on how you’re a good dude to an audience who doesn’t benefit from the declaration.
Comments are welcome below. (Don’t be a dick, please)
Oh, white people it’s going to touch you
How much longer do you think you can ignore it?
You love your favorite basketball player, but the racism—you didn’t sign up for it
But it only starts with Lebron
It doesn’t end there…it goes on
It’s your boss, your neighbor—even your best friend becomes hate crime victim
While you sit idly by, still pretending there is no racism
I mean, what year is it?
You are above it
You voted Obama as president
You deserve the right to be passive and silent
I am just so curious
I need to know how long does it take to notice the elephant in the room has already had babies
And is raising an entire dysfunctional family
I am not asking you to fight for me
Just wake up and acknowledge that yo, you fucked up, B
Every nigger joke that you let slide—hell, every nigga lyric you rapped
Every all lives matter post you hashtagged
You don’t get it, and now you missed it
The revolution has already begun, son
And you have chosen Switzerland
Because of that we can’t be friends
I don’t have the luxury of ignoring social unrest
My mental is distressed
My brothers and sisters are dying
Please don’t say you don’t know why, because in the back of our minds we want to say fuck you
And your whole crew, too
We were brought here for your labor, allowed to stay for your entertainment
It feels like living in a zoo
And it’s cute when we have our rallies and marches as long as it doesn’t bother you
You are not neutral
You are lazy and apathetic
You are pathetic
And it ain’t right but I almost have more respect for the so-called “alt-right”, at least they had the balls to choose a side
Behind Facebook reposts and thumbs up on Kiana’s status
You don’t know what it’s like to live like this
It’s going to touch you
Better yet, hit you like a ton of bricks
And it will be too late to ameliorate this shit
“Black people should just stop committing crimes” is a phrase that echoes from your privileged lips
Tell me, who deserves to die from selling loose cigarettes?
Or for wearing a hoodie while carrying a Skittles packet?
Or from routine traffic stops
And take this moment to tell yourself the truth
You don’t care as much as you say you do
Maybe you fear the work involved and the loss of friends
Just remember, when you choose no side the evil party wins
It’s going to touch you
Creep into your soul; haunt your dreams at night
You Netflix and chillin while the rest of us are at war and we fight
I hope your grandchildren ask you your thoughts on fundamental civil rights
I hope they want to know where you were during the real emancipation
And I hope you give in and tell them something real
That you checked out because you just couldn’t deal
A “Fuck Trump” bumper sticker is as far as you could go
You didn’t know your voice could have a powerful impact
That you could do your part to pick up the slack and help bring decent humanity back
America is bullshit right now, for us it was never great
Your silence is not a worthy component to conquer all this hate
So sorry to wake you up out of your comfortable slumber
But are you grabbing a bucket or is this ship going under?
There is no fence to straddle
There is no grey, just black and white
Just wrong and right
…you gotta choose
Because my friend, it’s going to touch you
I have said it once and I am saying it again; I do not like talking about this stuff on the blog. The subject of race, politics, religion etc. is a minefield! As a practitioner and teacher of empathy I acknowledge that it is difficult to communicate with people in such a way that they not only come to an understanding of your personal plight, but also make the effort to change their way of thinking. Furthermore, addressing a group of people who consider themselves peaceful, non-combative and believe they are genuinely good people, free of bias and prejudice could perhaps even have me labeled as a bully. But it’s my blog, so here we are…
I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I live in Prince George’s County Maryland—one of the most prominent and prosperous black counties in the nation—and I have always worked in either DC or Northern Virginia. For those who don’t know, Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, DC is known as the DMV and is home to a unique culture in and of itself. We are a melting pot of different ethnicities and diverse backgrounds on top of including the nation’s capital where all the dirty politicians dwell. Because of our culture of political correctness I never understood the different levels of racism, prejudice and bias until well into my twenties.
As a teen in high school I didn’t understand why none of my white guy crushes liked me. When I entered into the workforce at 19 I didn’t understand why white people were so taken aback by how articulate I am, and I didn’t really understand that white people were capable of appearing woke as fuck, but more than likely went home to their white lives and immediately stopped giving a fuck. In the DMV area we are the nucleous. News stories have a deep impact here and if you are not talking about Kaepernick, insert-protest-march-here or Trump’s latest tweet then you are not a part of the conversation. Washingtonian white people are a part of the conversation because it is their business and in their best interests to be so. However, it took me longer than I’d care to admit to realize that being in the know is not the same as giving a fuck.
For me, the worst kind white people are those who immerse themselves in black culture and claim to not see color but do not consider themselves allies nor do they want to acknowledge that the need for allies exist. I sat in silence during the election season as I listened to my Republican friends say things like, “Ugh, I don’t know who to vote for– both Clinton and Trump are so awful!” It felt like a stab in the back to my face—if that makes sense. I thought to myself, “So you are ok siding with racism and misogyny because your loyalty is to your political party and not decency and humanity? Duly noted.” I didn’t purge as many friends as I probably should have, but I peeped the bullshit and I am aware.
I am aware of the white people in my life who remain silent or eerily neutral when the topic of racism comes up. I am aware of the white people in my life who are uber liberal arguing you down about feminist rights, pontificating about LGBTQ rights and debating you about the top ten hip hop albums of all time. But, I peep when those same people are passive, evasive and vague during group conversations about race relations as if they are too afraid or unwilling to say, “That is racist. That is unjust. That is not ok.” Period. I liken it to a silent gaslighting where I literally begin to feel like as if I’m crazy and I ask myself “Am I playing the black card? Was that shooting indeed a racist act of violence or am I overreacting?”
The kind of white person that quietly wonders to themselves why all lives don’t matter and loves black people but wishes we would chill and stop getting shot is fast becoming my least favorite kind of person. Maybe I am getting old, but I just can’t fuck with the duplicity like I used to. As tensions rise in our country, I am starting to treat silence as acquiescence. As much as I hate covering these kinds of topics I do it because it’s my life—and my life and my reality are not up for debate or opinion.
If you can acknowledge that fake news and sensationalism exists, then why can’t you admit that racism still does? Obama voted in as president does not magically erase the disturbing history of a country that was built on the backs of African slaves. Ignoring the existence of racism is a dangerous game—a weak one. It takes strength to dare to step out of your own delusion, admit that injustice exists and to check your own privilege and prejudices as well as those of your peers. It takes strength to make the decision to stand up to bigotry and hate when the safest move for your physical and mental health might very well be to try to remain neutral. The decision is not going to be easy, but you must decide.
If only people of color had the luxury of making such decisions.
I am late to the game—as I am with most things—so it’s not shocking at all, that I’ve only now splurged for the HBO add-on to my Hulu account to watch Insecure. It’s always been a show I’ve meant to watch, but close friends of mine are barely getting a text back from me so there’s no way I have time to sit and binge watch a show that already has 1 complete season and a couple of episodes under its belt. But alas, a bout with depression and an overwhelming desire to disconnect from the world took over me and I could skip insert-event -here, and catch up on every single episode.
Here’s a terrible synopsis: Issa made the mistake of cheating on her boyfriend of 5 years (after her needs were not being met for at least two of those years) at a time when her boyfriend was just on the cusp of getting his life together. He sat on her couch jobless, yet supportive of her endeavors BUT still not attentive or aware of how the responsibility of carrying the whole household while being careful not to emasculate him in any way was taking its toll on her. Yes, he turned down the hot girl (Tasha) who hit on him and asked him for a date.
However, I think it’s important to note that he also beamed at this woman’s compliments and, no doubt, somewhere in the back of his mind added value to this woman because she encouraged him. This woman is a stranger who finds it easy to see him as genuinely nice guy and hardworking man NOT as the uncommunicative, unemployed neglecter who has taken too long to commit to his girlfriend who has swallowed her feelings about the relationship for years to prevent irrevocable damage to his ego.
Upon discovering Issa’s affair, her boyfriend becomes angry, they break up, and he immediately starts fucking Tasha. Tasha, played by Dominique Perry who is now reportedly receiving real-live death threats over a totally fictitious story line for a television show! Come one people (-_-) I was triggered by almost EVERY topic covered in each episode of Insecure thus far, however I am aware that it’s not actually real.
But…I get it.
I mean, don’t we hate that girl? The girl who seemingly gets to benefit from all our hard work we put in standing by a man when he’s trying to build something and make some sense of his life…? So, we let him go through his depression, hang out on the couch, never take us on dates and complain about his finances because you know that one-day things will get better. You know this because he tells you and you believe it in your heart because people are generally good and getting cheated on, lied to and dogged out is for your 20s. Your 30s is when you meet someone real and you decide to enter into a partnership and take the time to build something. You don’t waste time in your 30s because everyone is too old for the game-playing. Yet, I have friends in their 40s that I see dealing with fuckery and it never ceases to boggle my mind. Somewhere, deep in the recesses of my thoughts I have concluded that men prey on women with high self-esteem, drain them of their resources to make themselves stronger, then feed that strength and consistency into another source that looks more like the kind of woman they wanted anyway.
And that woman (Tasha in this case) is just accepting the hand me downs of a broken man who still doesn’t quite have his shit together. In a perfect world, black men would take their asses to counseling to maybe delve into the real answers to the question: why do you need your woman to be weak in order for you to feel strong? Why do you need a woman to endure with you and deal with your excessive gas lighting and bullshit before you can finally label her as “the one”? Why do you get to walk around damaged as fuck, destroying strong women in your wake, then pretend to the new bitch like all of your exes were just crazy and it was never your fault that things fell apart in the first place?
Why is it that a woman can bend over backwards to meet your needs and deep down you know you don’t really fuck with her like that but instead of breaking it off you break her with your inconsistency? You start treating her like she is not doing enough for you by not validating her needs and by slowly tapering off your love and affection, replacing it with half answers and no-shows until she wants to rip her hair out in frustration. You cruelly do a slow withdrawal of your love until she is playing scenarios over and over in her mind and wondering how things got to be so awful and pondering what exactly it was that she did to deserve to be treated this way. So, when the relationship finally comes crashing down she is definitely left feeling insecure (ahh, see what I did there) and as if she will never be enough for anyone.
Meanwhile, he is considered blameless in this scenario AND if his lack of affection and desire to meet her needs results in her cheating on him then he is twice the victor because he gets to play victim. She ain’t shit because she cheated. But really, he ain’t shit because he wasted her time. But men aren’t expected to forgive cheating—no one is expected to forgive and endure a cheater (or a neglector, or gas lighter or asshole or abuser) like a black woman is expected to. That’s exactly the mentality that is meant to keep us weak.
Fuck Tasha. Fuck him. And fuck all of you weak ass niggas that don’t put the proper effort into a relationship and then want to act like victims after you pushed the one woman who was trying to hold you down over the edge. Frankly, I am tired of having my loyalty tested and my needs and desires up for debate or option.
When is it time for black men to do better? Enough is enough.
You look tired,” they say. Or, they are the first person to fix any hair out of place or tag sticking out of a clothing item. When you establish a boundary, they are quick to violate it then flip the script on you for being moody and unreasonable. They are a gas lighting, soul draining, vibe killing group of people and I don’t understand why their reputations are so protected and defended. To most people, these types are well-meaning and any feeling of disrespect on your end is a YOU problem. Me? Well, I just miss the days when I felt as if I were meeting and cultivating true friendships– not doling out the allotted attention that everyone seems to desperately feed on these days.
Respect the Introvert
Don’t get me wrong, I am a performer so I understand the whole “look at me, I need attention” factor. However, in friendships people are supposed to understand you a little bit more. Friends are people who actively choose to be in your life so they are responsible for maintaining a deeper level of respect. Because you care about your friends you don’t take your afraid of heights bff on a roller coaster or to climb the statue of liberty– just as you don’t try to seek unnecessary attention out of friends who are not interested in being your audience members.
Por ejemplo: I tell my work friends that I am not a morning person and I like my space. I am happy to do work and to answer work questions but I do not want anyone crowding into my cubicle asking about my weekend, attempting to pressure me into going to get coffee or chastising me for not eating the donuts that Harold brought in for everyone to share. When my five-year-old has a meltdown that derails my morning routine and I have to listen to the car radio on high volume–in hours of traffic–to drown out the sound of my squeaky brakes, I don’t want to TALK about it! I just want the time to switch gears from mom/road rage driver to co-worker/executive assistant. That’s right, I am an assistant so it is literally my job to pretend to care and fix problems all day. I am fine doing just that without feeling obligated to provide work banter/entertainment and dramatic reactions to the same work gossip we talk about all the time. I don’t want to do it anymore!
I have to find the energy to be the kind of person that engages on that level. Yes, it comes from weed (ha!) but mainly it comes from just being alone and staring at the wall or picking my nose or whatever. After separating from my husband (nearly ten years ago) all of the silence and alone time without him taught me that I don’t get bored easily and I enjoy my own company. If I am sitting alone or busy working on a project it makes me cringe when someone who knows me as a personal friend walks by and says “Aww, are you ok? I know you have a lot of work.” insert fake sympathetic face here. Before I really knew myself this kind of comment triggered my insecurities and I would find myself working extra hard to appear carefree and social—because these people are harmless and they only care about my wellbeing, right?
Generally Good People
…wrong! I had this conversation with my best friend not too long ago and we definitely had a difference of opinion on the topic. At the risk of sounding like a surly individual, I am of the belief that people are not “generally good’. Aside from it being biblical, I have seen it in action which is why we have phrases like “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Many of us would like to think that we are “good people” but most of us are selfish assholes. For me, the beauty of it all is that despite every single one of us being totally fucked up (consciously or unconsciously) we still want to be around each other. Human beings continually make the effort to see past another person’s ugly to get to all the beautiful stuff we like.
The ugly side of vibe killers is that they are selfish people—they want what they want when they want it and they don’t care how it affects the larger group. Sometimes it can be for the attention, controlling the topic of conversation, throwing shade at someone to make themselves feel better or doing the most out of a basic need/desire to be liked. The thing is, not everyone has to like you! (Personally, I think that realization is the key to self-actualization). If you are a high frequency/high maintenance person wanting to dwell in low frequency/low maintenance spaces the solution is simple: lower your frequency, homie. Simplify!
[I feel it’s important to admit here, that introversion has an ugly side and can also be rooted in selfishness. You can’t always expect others to adapt to your need to be left alone. If you made the decision to be out and about at the kind of event that calls for social interaction, the least you can do is not be an incorrigible asshole. Most are willing to make a comfortable space for quiet people and accommodations for shyness, but no one wants to tolerate meanness chalked up to “oh, he/she is just introverted”. That’s a copout!]
Who’s the Real Asshole?
Everyone! Ok, I am only kidding but in my opinion, the best way not to be an asshole is to realize that not everyone operates on the same frequency. I may sound like some kind of hippie astronomer but it’s simply a term I use to point out the fact that we all operate on different energy levels. Some have energy levels that function at a 10 (off the charts/life of the party/in your face) all of the time, while others function at about a 2 (why are people talking to me?/I could go for a nap/I would much rather be Netflixin’ and chillin, right now). If you are like me you can keep your level at about a 4 and pick it up to a 10 on special occasions or if the social setting calls for it. As a performer, I am ok boosting things up on stage then immediately dropping down to a 1 upon leaving the stage. As it turns out, this can make you seem like a murderer so I had to teach myself to keep my energy at an 8 until I am able to leave the event altogether. Whiskey the stage poet is probably a 15—she is ridiculous—while Naomi, (especially as I get older) is more like a 3 or 4.
As I have gone through the trial and error of trying to surround myself with good vibes I realized the simplicity of discovering your own frequency and choosing people that operate on those same levels. I am at my happiest engaged in witty back and forth banter, some kind of controlled or natural substance on deck and I am generally ok with long comfortable silences. I have since tried to gravitate toward other humans who enjoy the same things. This all sounds like a no-brainer but every day each of us meets people that we connect with and want to continue to build upon that connection. However, if you’re like me you get four hangouts in and realize that the person is a moody and unpredictable arsonist that kicks puppies in their spare time and has a raging cocaine habit.
I am a person with no discernment whatsoever, so I’ve had to teach myself to recognize the kind of person least likely to drain my energy. I pay attention to how people rate on my totally made up frequency chart, how people react to drama and gossip (which everybody likes to some extent, I get that) and how they regard me when I am not being my over-the-top stage persona.
The Power of Suggestion
I will add this last thought: the power of suggestion is real. As a creative that has to rely on networking and mixing with so many diverse personality types, it is not always practical for me to pick and choose people with similar vibes to hang out with exclusively. I often find myself thrown into social situations with people I would not normally choose to spend time with. I have had to learn to always speak affirmations in my head to constantly counteract negative speech and energy. There are plenty of well-meaning people on this Earth, but some just aren’t and are more likely to use their words to cast self-doubt inside of you and to feed on your insecurities.
“Wow, you look tired. Are you having a bad day?” they say–knowing that I have been experiencing a rough time and am actively working to overcome it.
“No, I actually feel GREAT!” I respond. Because I do– or at least I can if I meditate on that positivity. I struggle with mental health issues, so during my lowest points that kind of suggestive speech has had the power to damage me in the past. It’s the difference between being around those who want you to succeed and genuinely like you, versus those who benefit and/or are comfortable seeing you down. Negative speech isn’t always a result of malicious intent, it seems to all relate back to selfishness. When I am low, I am more likely to engage in gossip and to be sarcastic and cynical–sometimes that version of me is just more fun to certain types of people. I know of some who try to bring that out of me just for shits and giggles. However, when that person leaves it’s not fun for me to have to sit in that negativity. Lately, I have done my best to seek out mentally strong people who don’t let me dwell in those dark spaces.
Just the other day I was supposed to attend an event with a friend. I was flaking out on him because I’d had a rough day I called out of work and cried on my couch all day. I was on a downward spiral so intense that I didn’t even know how I was going to participate in my own open mic event that I had invested money and promotion into for months. I told him straight up that it was going to take me awhile to get into the head space to be social and make it out to events. His response was, “Take your time…but get there.”
I thought about that for a long time. Apparently, there are people that not only speak positivity into your life but also do not make time or room to enable your bullshit. There was no doubt in him that I could get there and his response let me know that there was empathy but also a desire to see me rise to the occasion. Surrounding myself with people who are of this mindset reinforces my self-esteem. High self-esteem makes me better equipped to protect my vibes when I am thrown into an environment of people who feed on negativity.
Lowkey, I feel as if this whole post is pretty stupid because most people know this stuff already! For me, this has been a journey and I have only recently been able to enjoy a lifestyle of positive self-worth because I realized that the kind of people you allow to take up space in your personal life can disrupt your inner peace. The more I take care of my introvert, form bonds with mentally strong people and reject negative speech, the stronger it makes me. Eventually, I hope to project good vibes wherever I go. If it comes from within me then I will never have to truly worry about someone “killing my vibe” because I will always be good with me.
In the meantime, I invite anyone reading this to remember to be purposeful in everything that you do. All of us should be mindful of the things we say to each other, the impressions we make and the reality that not everyone will like and appreciate all that you are. It is ok to let that shit go. While it is difficult to cultivate a peaceful vibe that fits all personality types, I definitely think there is a way to bring your own secure and positive vibes to the table and those that choose to eat, will.
I didn’t take a shower this morning. I did the calculations in my head and knew I wouldn’t have enough time. The 5 year old was up all night, although she thinks she slept. I was awake listening to her coughing and wheezing, alternating from sitting at her bedside to lying in my bed praying to get at least a few hours of sleep. I knew the morning was going to be a nightmare with me getting everyone ready to the soundtrack of her whining. Nails on a chalkboard…
So, she’s whining and I’m trying not to yell because everyone thinks a yelling single mom is angry because she’s heartbroken and alone– really we’re just so exhausted all the time. I made the decision not to shower because my mid-day workout includes a shower so everything would be fine. Then my mother called with the news that my sister had been rushed back to the hospital.
And that’s fine. Life still has to happen even if I want to ball up in a corner and cry and be scared. I saw her just yesterday and in the back of my mind I was thinking she didn’t look as well as I’d seen her before. But who wants to be scared and face those kind of thoughts? So we chatted and I left because life goes on. I hung up with my mom and shuffled the kids out of the door because life had to continue. I could take them to school and leave work early to pick them up. That’s fine. Everything is fine.
We rush downstairs into the freezing sleet, I ignore the hole in the five year olds tights because there was nothing I could really do about it at that point. I unlock the door and as they climb into the car I notice my back tire wet and sagging onto black pavement. It was completely flat.
I am amazing at survival mode. Something comes over me and I’m making decisions and getting shit done under pressure. I thrive in survival mode: I.am.supermom! I don’t know what happened this time. I told the kids to go back into our apartment. I sat on the couch, emailed my boss then stared into space. I took a shower.
I really wanted to cry but I feel like the tears are suspended and I would have to put in effort to release them. I’m just so angry that survival mode let me so down. I should be with my car insurance company figuring this shit out, but I’m on my couch writing this out hoping it will somehow release the tension in my body and let me get shit done. Life goes on! This is fine! Why can’t I move?
Fuck you, survival mode. You have let me down.
I didn’t make a vegetable to go with dinner tonight. I get home too late to really make anything decent, so hamburgers with a box of cheesy noodles just had to do. It was bedtime before they finished their last bites. I’m very tired.
But Beyonce says that having children gives you purpose. Perhaps I would feel that more if I had nannies to help me balance out my life. I’d have a car to bring them to me when I got off work. We would snuggle up and chill together when they got home because Chef would have already cooked and homework would be done. I would tuck them in and later that evening zip off to events. I’d have it all…
Perhaps my purpose is constant fatigue. Or maybe worrying that my sole purpose in life is single motherhood and doubt.
I made a pot roast that the 5 year old wouldn’t eat. Three hours of traffic every day makes me irritable. I don’t remember what it feels like to not be exhausted. Beyonce is having twins.
I don’t know what’s happening to me, surely I’m getting old! I was in my car listening to the radio station that my mom used to listen to when I was young—grooving to some Chaka Khan and Earth, Wind and Fire because this is the kind of music that moves my heart these days. In the middle of all this, the latest song by Joe (you know—I won’t stop having sex with you until I hear your mama scream, Joe) comes on and it sounds like it might be this beautiful R&B ballad that was about to knock my socks off. Well, I suppose it would have if I had not listened to the lyrics (-_-)
So I Can Have You Back in my opinion, is the old guy fuckboy anthem of 2017. Perhaps it’s not nice of me to describe Joe as “old” but what I mean is that as you get older the more complicated love becomes. R&B songs are no longer about “let’s dance at this club and let me love you” but more like, “Can I come over and have sex with you when you put your kids to bed? Also, please hold me after because I am still traumatized by my past failed relationships.” Hence the lyrics to the song:
Pictures and pictures of the smile I remember
This just can’t all be true
I hope he makes the biggest mistake
The unforgivable that makes your heart break
I hope you tell him “sorry is just not enough”
And it goes from good to bad, so I can have you back
Joe is a fuckboy. Joe is getting older and lonelier by the second, so naturally he starts looking through old pictures and makes the decision that he is suddenly in love with an ex-girlfriend. I assume he had years to build and grow with this woman but for whatever reason it didn’t work out. C’est la vie, welcome to the real world, that’s how the cookie crumbles…so on and so forth. Let it go, and let her go—sounds like she’s moved on and quite possibly, is even happy without you. Meanwhile, here you are JOE, sending negative vibes and bad juju onto her relationship all for the sake of your second chance. Sighhhhhhh, we’ve all dealt with this dude. Post a decent selfie and he’s there! He’s always there, stalking your social media for signs of distress OR attempting to re-enter your life because he misses your friendship. Dude, we were never friends.
I always make the mistake of thinking that there is an age limit cut off for fuckboys. Obviously, that’s a naïve thought process and it is entirely possible for a young fuckboy (18-32) to blossom into a strapping fuckman (33-50+). For example, a friend of mine in her late 30s decided to take a chance on a man about 15 years older than her. He was awesome! Old enough to be established in his career and willing to wine, dine and sweet talk. The only problem is that he wasn’t wining, dining and sweet talking with his long-term girlfriend who ended up calling my friend, identifying herself and explaining the situation that the seat on his face was taken (and had been for years). As it would seem, the guy was attempting to line up hoes in different area codes because he had the money and liked to travel. Nice! There are plenty of old guy fuckboy songs for that particular scenario—most of them apologies for cheating tunes.
You know what I would enjoy? Some old school “I love you so I’m not going to fuck this up ,” kind of songs. Maybe a, “Some bitch tried to throw herself at me but I rejected her because I love you,” song. Or EVEN, “We had a healthy adult relationship that had to end. I wish you the best and I will not text “I miss you” in the middle of the night six months from now or inbox any of your social media,’ song. (These are all working titles, of course)
R&B for millennials is worse. Bryson Tiller’s Sorry Not Sorry hook is:
Girl if you don’t get the fuck from me
I know you thought we had somethin’ special
But you don’t mean nothin’ to me
Girl I’m sorry, you not the one for me
Love is rough out on these streets! I suppose we should all just be grateful that fuckboys– young and old– may now be easier to identify by their taste in music.
For funny renditions of R&B classics remade for this day and age, click here. I got a kick out of it, I hope you will too!
I thought watching black man take his last breaths on TV screen
Was becoming too much for me
But then there’s something about this new thing
Pale open palmed hands raised in hatred and bigotry
The media really doesn’t give a fuck about me
I suppose neither does reality ~Whiskey
Sometime about six years ago I remember watching Erykah Badu’s Window Seat video and crying my eyes out. It wasn’t that the video moved me to tears, but the commentary of the other YouTube users. In my eyes, her body was nothing short of absolutely beautiful and similar to the body I saw of myself whenever I took a look in the mirror. According to white America—and the ridiculous shit show that is the YouTube comment section— she was disgusting.
Witnessing racists react to Erykah Badu’s body in that music video was one of those small things that stuck with me for a long time and drudged up a lot of feelings from my past. In high school, I hung with the white kids, attended local rock festivals and crushed on lanky, pale boys with bright blue eyes. The me now would hardly recognize that girl—pining over boys who would never accept me much less develop a romantic interest. I was developing into a woman—a BLACK woman—with big hips and ass and thick bones. As naïve as I was about a lot of things, I always seemed to be highly aware that none of these boys would ever want me. I carried with me the general belief that white people thought of the black body as disgusting. Of black people as disgusting.
The concept of white people’s secret condescension for us and our culture is a belief I held tough to for years. It was only maybe ten years ago—after entering the workforce and integrating with more diverse groups of people– that I began to think otherwise. White men are MEN, and most men just like and are attracted to women. White women are just WOMEN, and just because their hair is straighter and skin lighter doesn’t mean that they look down on me because I am not the same. I would ride the metro and look around at all the white people and tell myself to relax. We are all just people.
Fast forward today and that relaxation is nowhere to be found. I simply can’t do it– I feel just really sad…and tense when I look around at a sea of white faces. My black skin is an identifier but there’s no way for me to know the difference between friend or foe. Strange to say, but I think I am overall ok with blatant adversaries, it’s those who exist in the grey who make me weary. My empathy is spent, I can’t seem to muster any for the Trump supporters who feel so victimized and wounded. I feel displaced, severely disillusioned and betrayed without knowing whether those are even rational emotions to feel.
I’m not sure where I’m supposed to go from here. I haven’t seemed to complete the full spectrum of the stages of grief. I am in a vicious cycle, alternating between anger and depression.
No hopeful wrap up or conclusion. This post is just an update on my state of mind…
In spite of the whopping necrology list of celebrities gone too soon this year, the shit show of a presidential election and a constant state of empty pockets— I managed to eek out a pretty decent experience from 2016.
Unfortunately, there is no real way to speak positively about a year that’s kicked so many people’s asses in a way that doesn’t make you seem like a douchebag. SO, instead of writing some big, long end of the year wrap up I’m just going to list a few lessons that helped me grow and get out of my own head this year. I’m not sure if this will help anyone else, but I feel good about writing it all out and using it as a guide to get me through 2017.
Read with a grain of salt, comment about your favorite and I am open to additions!
Tips for Not Falling Apart Any Year—Let Alone 2016, 2017 and Beyond…
- Always stay in touch with reality and accept truth.
Social media kicked my ass this year! I find Facebook and Instagram addicting and fun and time consuming but most of all it is a huge buzz kill for me and my self-esteem. Toward the end of the year I even made the decision to shut down my personal Facebook account and operate solely from my Whiskey Girl page. I did so because I was having a hard time staying in touch with reality. People seem so different from the person they choose to portray on computer screen and I waste a lot of time feeling down and comparing myself to people who are essentially not even real.
Furthermore, truth is truth and that is inescapable. I support the idea of believing in your own hype but it’s also important to keep a grip on reality. Self-delusion leads to entitlement and something about paying my last $5 on an open mic I can barely afford the gas money to get to reminds me of what’s real. I am not a rock star writer with thousands of followers and a publisher. Should I be? Well—yeah, but I’m not and that’s not only real to me, but it’s also ok.
- Forgive yourself.
I wrote two chapbooks this year that dealt with a lot of past pain, confusion and frustration. It was a cathartic experience that helped me realize that on some level I was using pain as my claim to fame. I couldn’t stop writing about it because I couldn’t seem to let it go– I was harboring all sorts of guilt because for some reason I thought I was smarter than what I had allowed to happen to me. All of my life people have assumed that I am smart, so I went along with it thinking that intelligence somehow made me above making poor decisions in life and love. I carried so much bitterness because I was just mad at myself for being stupid enough to fall for weak game, weak dick and the lies and treachery of weak people.
At some point it finally hit me that it’s easy to forgive people for their wrongdoings but much harder to forgive yourself and let that shit go. People suck– it’s not unheard of to be duped and devastated by some loser on a mission to destroy the feelings of others to make up for their own insecurities. I got caught in the crossfire because I made very stupid but also very normal mistakes. I finally decided to forgive myself and let that shit go.
- Completely avoid drama!
Seriously, run. Getting into the business of others or any kind of dramatic excitement as part of your day that makes your heart beat a little faster and your adrenaline rush is a thrilling feeling. Until it’s clean up time and you find yourself losing friends, clearing up messes and fighting to protect your reputation all the time. It is an exhausting process. The older I get the less energy I have to chase that high– that’s what drugs are for.
- Steer clear of negative energy.
How granola of me, but however zen you are or aren’t most of us know when someone comes with a suitcase load of bad vibes. There are a few people I love dearly but I steer clear of them because their negativity brings me down. I fight depression enough on my own, I don’t need to surround myself with anyone that will add to it, whether it is their intention or not. At 32 I don’t spend a lot of time telling people about themselves or over explaining my actions– if I don’t vibe with you then I’m not fucking with you. Period.
- Jump all the way out there!
I’ve embarrassed myself a tiny bit this year, applying for jobs I had passion for but perhaps
not experience. I’ve sent my Electronic Press Kit to a few places that probably had a good laugh before deleting my email but at least I tried…
- Treat rejection as “not now” instead of NO
…and I received plenty of “no’s” that I refuse to take personally. I can’t accomplish all of the grandiose things that I would like to right this second but I still plan to in the future. The “No” only stands in my way for right now.
- Pay it Forward (Always!)
- Double Down on privacy
This year my private life, especially my romantic life hit a few rough patches. In recent years I decided to be more private about certain aspects of my life and I have doubled down on that action because I learned something about myself. While I think it’s normal and common to seek the advice of others I ultimately choose to make decisions based on my own desires and thought processes. I no longer feel the need to have someone else shine light on the dark spaces in my life to help me come to a conclusion about how I should personally feel or react to it. The happy and complicated and grey area things in my life I choose to hold closely to my chest. There is something special about keeping a few things to yourself in a world that promotes just the opposite.
- Remain unbothered.
By everything. As an overthinker I am bothered by too much, but I do my best to never let it show and to stay focused and busy!
- Staying busy is a perfectly acceptable coping mechanism.
I just need purpose and a goal to strive toward and I’m golden…
I’m really hoping that these are some things I can use in the future to help me elevate to the next level. I am grateful to have been able to accomplish Big Things in 2016– next year I can only work harder to take things to the next level. Who is coming with me?
Click here for a picture gallery of some 2016 highlights! See you next year– good vibes always!