Woe is Me

Have you ever had a complete moment of clarity, a defining instant in life if you will?

It happened to me one month into a new position my supervisor berated me for a decision she deemed “illogical”. Which led to a path of slight destruction for her and me. To be quite honest and to give some perspective I did come to an incorrect conclusion based on the information presented to me but illogical it was not.

I arrived the first day of work bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to start first adult position. (I had an actual office although it was shared I was excited about that fact) I was told to sit in on a scheduled staff meeting that morning. Before I accepted the new job I explained to The HR representative that I would need a few days off in early December because I was getting married,  without a honeymoon right away because we had to schedule the time off.

During the meeting many things were discussed most of which I was not familiar with being my first day and all. One bullet point that got screamed for my attention with curious interest was holiday time off. (I’m a Christmas Fanatic) This was a small college so the students had a break for that time. The President of the college went on the say “it seems the College will be closed from December 24rd through 26th but as staff we had to use our accrued time off for it.   Certainly that brought up concern for me, one I didn’t have any time off and two why would we have to use our time if the school was closed and we wouldn’t be able to work if we wanted to?

Weeks go by I asked Tiffany* the HR rep what can I possible do about the holiday I don’t have time to use for the days off. “Don’t worry about that we probably won’t have to use the time”. The discussion about the holiday was not brought up again by the President in the weeks that flew by.

I then decided to book my honeymoon for December 23rd through 28th taking advantage of the weekend after Christmas. Unbeknownst to me when the President of the College said the school was to be closed for the holiday that was not set in stone it was just a possibility. A week and a half before the holiday break it was decided that the college would NOT be closed. As the fresh faced newbie of the small staff I had no idea the school closing for the holiday was not concrete.

My honeymoon was planned, bathing suits were bought, and the flight-hotel were booked what’s a girl to do at this point? To not go on the honeymoon of my dreams was definitely not an option. Plus couldn’t let money go down the drain.

I made up my mind I had to go on the trip and talk to my supervisor about the situation at hand. Glenda* the finance director and my direct supervisor went on to shame me, question my ineptitude and say what I did by planning the trip was “illogical”. She thought I should have asked questions before planning, I sat stoic as she spewed insult after insult questioning if I was wrong. Why would they inform the staff that the school was going to be open the week before the holiday? If it was known that the school may be open why discuss the closing at the meeting? This can’t be my life!! Instead of saying any of those things I shook my head put a smile on and said “I made a mistake it will not happen again, but I do have to go on this trip since it is too last minute to cancel”.

That conversation began the extremely contentious relationship between Glenda and me. That led to my moment of clarity. I just wish I got the clarity then and not waste time.

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Life Without Social Media

One of our biggest successes and failures is social media.

Imagine the dismay of others when I tell them I do not utilize any forms of social media. A few shoot me looks of pity, others are left curious.  As if one’s presence online is the only thing that matters. For the people leery of me, don’t worry I’m not trolling you.

I had to break up with social media during college, when Facebook began to offer access to a larger network of people. At one point all you needed was an authentic college or university email address. I say I got out just in time. Here are my reasons why I choose not to use social media.

Okay I admit it I was a poser. During my time on Facebook I posed as a private eye detective, stalker, and crazy ex-girlfriend. There were pictures of me with red solo cups at the club and positioning myself as a model with my girls.  I was even tagged in some unflattering photos of myself stuffing my face in the café. While all of those depictions of me were accurate; they were not all encompassing of the person I am.  Anyone can arbitrarily present facts and lies on their own behave online.

Privacy is a main component for my distance away from social media.  As someone who craves a sense of anonymity networking sites can be daunting. We all know that perception can be reality. Very rarely do you get the opportunity to alter someone’s initial perception of you.  Many of us have not been given the opportunity to interview much less hired for a position to due to our social networking profiles. Some people have been even fired because if it. Let’s not forget the PR consultant Justine Sacco‘s infamous offensive tweet which led her dismissal in 2013. Being obsessively conscious of my surroundings is no longer a concern of mine. Words can easily be misconstrued online. I don’t have to the need to present the best of myself every day in fear of a tarnished image accessed by the wrong person.

Is it not a hassle to choose who to following and unfollow online? I don’t have feign enthusiasm for the coming and going of other people’s lives. Nor do I suffer from low self-esteem due disregarding my own seemingly mundane life in comparison to others.

Kissing face and peace sign are the only variety of selfie stances I can pull off. After a couple of pictures they are no longer cute. I have yet to perfect the Instagram filter and Photoshop enough to become an Insta model. Although I do have an appreciation for the before and after images of the Glo-Up challenge on twitter, I know that one’s true identity can be difficult to discern online.

In the past it was painfully brought to my attention that I should probably just talk to my crush instead of cyber hunting him down.  Not having social media has encouraged me to be more proactive. I am forced to communicate face to face. I actually have to call someone that I would like to speak to.

There are some things I sacrifice because of my lifestyle sans social media. I have to go out of my way to be current on media news, but even more importantly, I have to sacrifice my self-promotion. Websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can give you a chance to communicate with people you wouldn’t have the opportunity to in real life. In this line of work, that certainly can give a person great advantage among a person like me doesn’t. Undoubtedly there are positive usages social media but there negatives are so overwhelming that it just isn’t right for me.

Is anyone like me when it comes to social media?

Letter to My Hair-Pre Big Chop

Dear Hair

I know the Lord said you are my glory I apologize for not treating you as such. My obvious abuse to you took a gigantic blow to your self-esteem.

As I gently climb up each rung of recovery my first step is to admit I was your problem. Lifeless you stood without my hands. Too much manipulation left you weak. Pulling prodding utensils broke you off.  While the sadness showed in each glance in the mirror I ignored your cries. Unbeknownst to me your thirst simply could have been quenched with water. I am so sorry.

Lackadaisically I went through the motions without care. Sometimes not bothering to condition, I wasn’t aware of its importance. I should have went below the surface to deeply stimulate you from within. Never did I moisturize and sealed your ends. You were left for dead hanging just to show length. You had a high fever due to the harsh heat after each blow. As I restful slept on any given night, you tossed and turned naked without protection from dusk to dawn.

Once in a while I thought enough to treat you to a protein shake, still the damage was done. You were angry and rightfully so I should have took heed.

How dare I unhealthy compared you to others wishing you were something you’re not when I didn’t even know who you were? The essence of your true texture camouflaged by the cream.

Woe is me for I thought you too difficult to manage.  I claimed you were too tender to touch not knowing I made you so.

The braided extensions were admittedly beautiful in every style. I now claim that you can be beautiful alone. You have that black girl magic to show yourself in many ways.

I promise to… laboriously work hard on exemplifying your glory. Abundantly giving you the required H2O. Highlight your string suits coating words of aspirations. I love you through thick and thin. Your length will not take precedence. Your health is all I need.

I thank you for being who you are!!

Self-Inflicted Peril

 

It is okay to be vulnerable however most people don’t deserve your vulnerability. We have to learn to differentiate and discern who those people are. One thing we should not do is allow emotional immaturity to be the cause of our peril.

It is easy for me to perpetuate the image of a strong black woman because I am strong and happen to be black at the same time. What I am not is monolithic. While strong and unchangeably black at times I am fragile, and overly sensitive to criticism.  My muscles don’t protrude upon request, I stumble, and trip even fall a few times. Superwoman I am not… most of us aren’t. So why can’t we proudly represent our real selves?

I refuse to say I don’t need a man; I need a father for my children a husband for myself and someone to move the furniture around after I’ve watched too much HGTV. I can’t do it on my own I don’t know why anyone would even want to. When someone I care about ask me “how are you doing” I will not shrink and say fine if I am annoyed and in need of prayer. No more fake smiles and laughter to hide hurt and pain when nothing is funny. We have to get over our issues with vulnerability, insecurity and trust.

You will encounter dead end relationships that will crush you. Someone you call a “friend” will be duplicitous may leave you high and dry taking all your trust with them. But when we see past our emotional immaturity we trust again.  We find a new man to share our worth with. A better friend to call a 2 a.m. that will know how to hold water.

Value your own thoughts and opinions enough to be able to give them out to others without pretense. Don’t apologize for not being a SBW at all times, I don’t.

According to Brene Brown “vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence” and I have to say 100% agree. What say you?

The Break-Down

There is solace outside of the wreckage, and lessons to learn in the spill.

Sometimes we take for granted the trials of our lives. Those moments of clarity where we audibly hear our insides churning, may lead us to make moves we are uncomfortable with.

The situations that shake us up, make us shed a tear or two, and break us down are the situations we often times try to forget. Alas they don’t go away because we need them. Lessons can and should be learned because the spill.

The spill taught me I don’t have patience for a customer service centered fields. God had to exert extra energy when I worked in such a field and prayed for the 100th time not to insult a resident. (After being disrespected many times over) There is not enough money in the world for you to be unhappy every day. There is an acquired defense you build after the wreckage you now know how to shake that bad habit. The realization of the bad habit that left you below average not living up to your own potential almost destroying your person becomes clear.  Or is that just me?

Emotional maturation can start after a breakdown. Hiding your feelings will no longer be necessary with tact of course you can’t go about telling people about their mommas without consequences.

Let the break-down go as scheduled! It happens to the best of us.

Letter to College Me

Dear College Me

Think about the story you want to tell about yourself, and set out on that legendary path starting now.

A day will come when you will let go of your inhibitions pressing beyond your limitations.  Attempt to achieve greatness while everyone expects the contrary but not perfection that will never work. Perfection is discomfiting for it will leave you without a desire for something more. I know you rather be anything but ordinary but stop to remember that it is the details not the destination that matter the most.

Do not I repeat do not chase or beg college boyfriend he will not stand the test of time. When he leaves you let it go.  Remember he was at the epicenter of your heartache. There is solace outside of the wreckage. It is okay to be vulnerable however most people don’t deserve your vulnerability. You will not able to tame or keep up with him. The man you can run free in the wilderness with will come in Gods due time. Don’t fight and fuss over your hair you will big chop before natural hair is mainstream.

Be careful of what and how you eat the freshmen 15 + will take years to combat. Take heed to mother’s advice she is usually right on point.  Your life trajectory will be not apparent describe your own archetype.  Write with reckless abandon. Cultivate and hone your skills so that passion is illustrated through each and every word.  There is power in pen and keyboard. Simple phrases will inspire you so make note of them.

Do not be an apathetic bystander stand up for something or you will fall for anything. Strengthen yourself in defeat, study your surroundings including what’s in those expensive books, and take advantage of the uncomfortable opportunities that come your way. Philosophy is a fascinating class it will be one of your long lasting academic memories. Life begins at the end of your own personal comfort zone.

Ignore the preconceived notions about others and truly get to know them. Keep in contact with your genuine college friends you gain a few great ones.

Enjoy these years vividly capturing moments to live by. The harsh reality is that you applied for those student loans one day you will have to pay them back with interest.  Once you move that tassel from one side to the next you are on your way to the next journey take with you all the wisdom acquired from college.