Running On E

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you eat, purchase yourself, or exercise your way through you feel your energy is depleted. Everyone is withdrawing from your energy bank via conversations about themselves (I’m extremely guilty of this), things they need you to do for them (my boss is extremely guilty of this), or just your daily responsibilities and commitments to those around you. In a perfect world we could wake up when we want and accomplish what we want or don’t want to for the day, but in reality the show must go on no matter how you feel.

I say all of this to say that even though the world isn’t a perfect place we can all do our part by understanding that EVERYONE is going through something. Instead of constantly withdrawing, wouldn’t it be great if we made just one deposit a day into someone else’s energy bank? It could be as simple as a compliment, or taking the trash out without being told. If you’re a child, you could do your homework without resistance and clean your room without the slightest protest.

I’ve learned that the little things restore me. A simple, “I see you and I applaud your efforts to not be defeated” will keep me going all day. It’s better than coffee. Disclaimer: I don’t make new year resolutions but I’m always compelled to change things when I feel something isn’t right. This is completely coincidental that this epiphany is happening so close to the new year. Nevertheless, join me in investing in someone else’s happiness and I’m sure it will come back around ten fold. Hello 2014!

2014

Being HONEST Can Save Your Life

I’m a firm believer in honesty.  I feel like if more people were honest with themselves it would be easier for society to have NONJUDGEMENTAL open communication about the things that really plague us.  Today, like most days, I’d like to be honest and share my thoughts with the public.  It is HARD being a parent. I know some may be thinking, no sh-t Sherlock!  No matter if you are single or co-parenting with a spouse, relative or close friend -the bottom line is it is hard to dedicate the majority of your life to securing another’s safety, finances, health (mental and physical), happiness and more. 

The thing is, the truly devastating and overwhelming part for me isn’t what if I can’t do this, but what if I successfully do this and this little ingrate still becomes a high school dropout, meth head prostitute who abandons her own bastard children for the sake of the next high? I mean you get what I’m saying; it could be any circumstance that doesn’t fall into my perfect vision for her perfect life.  It’s the unknown.  When your baby holds your finger for the first time and cracks a smile while sleeping so peacefully, you don’t know what they’ll be bringing to your life. 

By default you think they will be bringing all the wonders of heaven because at that time they are pure and beautiful and can’t talk.  Then they grow and you start noticing mischievous behaviors that someone has come up with clever dismissive labels like “terrible twos” to ease your anxiety and to reassure you that you are not raising Satan’s spawn.  But how do you really know?  As the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20.  I’m sure plenty of parents saw signs early on of what their child was to become.     

The family in Ohio who recently returned their son to Child Welfare Services may be responsible for a paradigm shift in parenting.  They acted BEFORE it was too late.  Before children were murdered in their first grade class, before another high school was being featured on the news for a fatal school shooting, before parents lay dead from stab wounds to the chest because they said he couldn’t have the new XBOX for Christmas, before someone could ask where are the parents,  these parents spoke up!  They said he has shown signs that scare us and others.  We fear for our safety when dealing with our 9-year-old son.  We don’t know how to help him and rather than risk having blood on our hands, we want to be proactive.

Children today play games like knock out for fun.  Not even the new Grand Theft Auto can fulfill their quest for blood.  They are seeking the real thing.   It is a reality.  Why are kids crazier now than before?  Who knows!  Is it the media? Is it the music? Is it passive parenting?  Maybe.   No one can say for sure.  However, if you are being honest, and nonjudgmental, then you should be grateful that this family had the courage to speak up.  I don’t recommend we all go returning our kids to Child Welfare Services during the rebellious years, because as a parent it’s our duty to love even the meth head, prostitute daughter.  Nevertheless, if I ever fear for my life, my daughter will have to go. The only difference is it won’t be a surprise to her because she knows that already as we have these discussions on a regular basis.    

As I stated early, be honest with yourself.   

What Have You Done For “Trayvon” Lately?

While the world is all a buzz about the Zimmerman verdict, let me pose this question: What do you do daily to affect and effect positive change? It is tragic that a child was murdered. However, laws are in place for this very reason. How many people can say that they vote in mid-term elections? Attend school board meetings? Write their state representatives about issues in their community? It’s unfortunate that it’s not until it’s too late that most people pay attention.

The truth is most of us, myself included, go day-to-day consumed with self. If it doesn’t impeded on our daily comforts then we turn a blind eye to many signs of injustice and inequality. More importantly, minority cultures lean on others to do their bidding for them. When was the last time you supported someone in your community starting a neighborhood watch? Maybe that goes against the NO SNITCHING “law”. How about, when was the last time you decided to educate your own child and not rely on a failing public school system to ensure their literacy was on or above grade level? I do not believe there is a law against teaching your child at home first and using the school as reinforcement, especially in cases where so many public schools are not making adequate yearly progress.

The thing about change is that it’s usually a slow and grueling process that most people DO NOT have the moral capacity or discipline for. It’s always convenient to hop on the band wagon and say, “Well, I did my part, I voted for Obama!” “I changed my profile pic to black during the Trayvon Martin trial and hashtagged #justiceforTrayvon.” “I wrote an open letter to my Facebook friends that opened a discussion about race relations in America.” How ignorant we are as a society, how lazy, how disappointing.

If your heart is heavy because of the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case, let it be because somewhere along the way you realized that you lost sight of what it means to do the right thing, and I’m not talking Spike Lee. Please, if you know in your heart that you’ve done little to nothing to make your community a better place, if you can’t name your district representative, town or city mayor, school district superintendent and district attorney, step away from the mic. There will be a million more Trayvon’s and Zimmerman’s if the only thing we’re willing to do is talk about it on social media and continue the destruction of our own communities.

Daddy, Where Have You Been?

My guilty pleasures are the following: celebrity gossip, designer shoes and bad reality television.  Recently, two of my favorite worlds collided when semi-celebrity DJ Big Tigga invited Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s bad girl Mary Jane (stage name) on his show to discuss her very public, very steamy and very sexually fueled episode with a very publicly married man.  When she was asked why she engaged in certain sexual activities with this married man, her response was simple, “he took those vows, not me.”   *Gasps and grabs pearls*…No this b—- didn’t just say that!

As a single woman, this statement is scary for multiple reasons.  First, woman tend to think, no matter how lame, disgusting and deadbeat their guy may be, that you as the single woman are desperate enough to jump his dusty bones.  She just confirmed this theory.  Next, as a woman who plans to marry, it’s crazy to think that another woman will disregard the seriousness of the marital bond that I will share with my husband.  

But wait, she wasn’t finished.  “If he doesn’t respect his marriage, why should I?”  Things just got real. She continued, “My advice is for father’s to love their daughters.  I’m not condoning what I did or what I do but…”.  All of a sudden my chest tightened.  Immediately I thought of my daughters fathers lack of influence in her life.  Of course she has my dad to cater to her every need, but is that enough of a preventative measure to keep her from turning into a gold-digging, husband stealing, side-piece?  Am I underestimating the impact of his absence?

She’s at an age where questions are being raised on his where-a-bouts on a regular basis.  She often will say how she wishes he was here.  I’ve disregarded these things because I don’t fell like financially, her life is lacking.  However, it’s clear that she needs something  more.  She needs his adoration, his affection, his attention his presence.  As much as I hate to admit it, she needs him, just as I needed my father. 

I think I just had a break through. 

 

To hear the interview in its entirety listen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKHgzaFZapE 

Dust Yourself Off & Try Again

Like many, my past isn’t squeaky clean.  I’ve hurt people and I’ve been hurt.  Over the years motherhood has definitely changed my outlook on life.  Post baby, I’ve tried to be more considerate of others and live by the golden rule.  However, you can’t outrun your past and today my past came calling. 

I’ve remained in contact with this old friend off-and-on over the years but I thought it was an unspoken truth that we would never be again.  I was excited to hear from him and answered believing it to be one of our annual “catch up chats” but I could tell by the tone of his voice that the conversation would be more serious. He began to speak about the old “us” and I feared what was to come next.  Again, I’ve hurt people in my past life.

As I listened intently awaiting my verbal lashing about all the irritating habits or inconsiderate and selfish things I did (yes, I’ve had this talk a time or two before) he surprised me with compliments.  He told me how perfect I was and how over the years he hasn’t been able to replace me or escape thoughts of the old “us.”  He expressed his desire to give “us” another chance, to do it right this time.  He outlined all of the qualities that had kept him checking in with me over the years and for once I was the “the one that got away” (score)!

Although I don’t know what the future may hold for us, I needed to be reminded that I was a good woman and that I had things to offer.   Becoming a single mother was a nearly fatal blow to my ego.  Over the years I’ve put up with more than I ever would prior to having my daughter because deep down inside I felt I no longer embodied the fun, fearless female persona that kept me demanding respect, therefor I didn’t deserve to receive respect.  I was ashamed of myself at times and the men I dated preyed on my vulnerability.

Hearing him speak of all that great things I used to do and how I walked and talked, how confident and passionate I was reminded me of who I am.  Sometimes its nothing like a good ole trip down memory lane to help you regain your focus.  I’ve issued enough second chances to people who didn’t deserve the first one.  Thanks old friend for reminding me that I deserve to give myself a second chance too.    

It’s not illegal if she/he is 18…right?


Is it me or have we seen an influx in cases involving student/teacher relations?  As a parent I’m already questioning the fate of America’s public school system, I’ve begun to adapt to the idea that when my child is of social media age “cyber bullying” could be a problem for us, and by the time she reaches high school she could very well be carrying on a virtual affair with her teacher’s hologram! Nevertheless, today I’m torn about this situation.

On one hand it’s sad and unfortunate that this woman, her husband, and her children will have to endure such scrutiny on account of her unprofessional and sloppily executed fantasy fun. Haven’t we all learned that sexting and video recordings cannot be denied?  On the other hand, all parties involved were of age and agreed to engage in the said acts.  Does this make it right? Yes, I mean no, kinda?

Thoughts anyone?

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

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When I think of all of the social platforms available to express one’s self on or connect with like minds, at first glance the social allure seems quite tempting.  Whether it’s the little orange box lighting up at the bottom of your screen or the red box in the corner alerting you of mentions and tags, I must admit that the market of social media is almost impossible to resist and in severe cases, down right addictive. However, upon closer examination, I’m left to ponder, is social media all its cracked up to be and if so are these sites friend or foe?

Like any new relationship, the first three months of joining a new social site or following a new blog is pure bliss.  Every five minutes you’re checking your phone to see if you’ve received more of the witty updates about current events that drew you to the site or blogger in the first place, you get a direct feed for Fashion Week behind the scenes footage (you’re there in spirit), you reconnect with lost friends and family and you get to see all the fun times old classmates are having getting married, having children or dining with celebrities.  That’s all fine and dandy the first three months.  After all, this was the reason you joined right?

Then reality sets in; that awkward moment (that you didn’t know was coming) when you see the same types of posts you’ve always seen yet you find yourself annoyed and ready to fire back—“SYPH (shut your pie hole) PLEASE!  I don’t care that you’re extremely happy, I don’t care about your first hand account of liberal or conservative reporting journalism (btw, what school did you attend again?), and sorry Mercedes Benz but I will never be able to afford (or feel comfortable spending) 10k+ on a dress that could only be worn once if at all (as I am currently on a diet and I don’t know that I’ll ever fit sample sizes).”

Yep, just like that relationship that seemed like a match made, you find out that the same habits that once intrigued you are now annoying and dreadfully intolerable *sigh*.  So like the relationship you thought you wanted and realized it’s not something you needed, you begin to politely withdraw.  You stop responding to DMs, you post less and less and you start seeking newer, fresher sites that exercise tact and have settings that filter the unwanted posts, spam, and soliciting *insert Pinterest here*.  Let the cycle begin again.

All things considered, is social media really my friend or was it designed to keep me in a cruel cycle of seeking the unattainable: a simple place to see updates on things that I’m interested in, the news I need to know (A list celebrities covered only), and the exercise tips that I can do without much effort-for now we’ll leave friends/followers out of this. To the new social networking site and expert blogger, please state your business: friend or foe?