...welcome to the musings of the flawless amour...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Do You Still Believe?

"Some say that I'm a dreamer 'cause I talk about it often..." --Common

For as long as I can remember, I've always been an emotional something.  I tear up at the sappiest of movies and the most romantic novels.  Anything where anyone is showing some form of genuine affection and you'll have to find the nearest wrench to stop that water works.  A bit much, I know, but, it's me.

Simply put, I'm a sucker for love.

Oddly enough though, I cannot recall a time where I sat and fantasized about being someone's mother and wife.  I may have played around with the idea a few times but it was never something I dreamed about like the women that came before me.

The idea of love to me is refreshing and once you think you're in it, the feeling is even more grand, especially if it's genuine but as I get older and am starting to really observe my surroundings, I wonder if marriage is something men and women of today really want.  I see marriage as one of the biggest promises of all time, one that canNOT be broken.  You're pledging your life, love, "and all that other shit" to the person you have decided to share your world with.  That's a lot.  Like, you really have to be in tune with your god and yourself to know that this person is for you.  At 23, I don't see how I could ever get to that point.  Hell, I'm still waiting on a good date worth talking about the next day.

According to the NY Times, 51% of women are living without a spouse.  So not even half of the us are married.  Does that mean we are complacent with just 'shacking up', allowing the cow to be ravaged of all it's milk at no cost?  If that is the case, I'm definitely not knocking another woman and her decision because I'm not completely sure I want to be married either.  Like I said before, it's a lot.  And not to mention, society has played a part in making it seem like a trap to me so it'll be a while before I say the words 'I do'.  But, is there any security in that?  How can you build a life with someone that you won't know will be there tomorrow?

The issue with this lies in my upbringing.  My grandparents have been married for at least 40 years and although I've witness disagreements between them, they still remain together.  I couldn't even imagine one getting up one day talking about, "I'm gone!"  It just doesn't seem likely for people at their age.  Not so much for my generation.  Just as quick as we are to get married, divorce comes even quicker.  I was brought up in the church so I understand that marriage is a covenant before God with you and your mate planning to love each other unconditionally and no matter what, work it out.  People my age don't seem to understand the severity of the situation though.  I've heard of couples divorcing for something as trivial as one wanting to stay out late nights while the other stays home.  Yes, it's unacceptable but no, it's not grounds for divorce in my book.  You're two adults.  Sit down and talk it out.

Maybe we just don't see the value in being married anymore.  I mean, a lot of us don't have any positive models to look after to show us how to do this marriage thing right anyway so how can we be expected to value such a gift?  Don't get me wrong because I would like to one day be in a fulfilling relationship. I may even end up married  (Mom wouldn't approve of me shacking up anyway...lol).  I just wonder where along the lines did our little girl dreams get so lost to the point where marriage is not even in the forefronts of our minds anymore.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garbage In, Garbage Out

My mother always told me whatever you feed your mind, be it good or bad, it will eventually come out.  As I got older, I saw the truth in her wisdom.  Prior to, I just thought she was trying to turn me off one of my favorite rappers, Common.  For days on end, I would blast his instant classic album, BE, deciphering lyrics, metaphors, & similes.  I would recite the lyrics proudly as if I had wrote them myself.  I could tell you what each song meant down to the T but I didn't realize that with some songs, I was filling my young, impressionable mind with images I wasn't quite ready for (i.e. one of his top singles, "GO!").

When people think of Common, in all his sexy splendor, they praise him for his positive messages as he penned songs encouraging people of color.  He's never been labeled (to my knowledge) as misogynistic or even negative and everyone around me was hip to this.  Everyone but my mom.  She still found fault, starting with the single mentioned above.  The lyrics celebrate sexuality, glorifying the freedom of expression and she deemed the whole album inappropriate.  Even went as far as to confiscate it.  The NERVE!

Needless to say, I got the album back and jammed on but I now understand what she was trying to do.

Fast forward six years and there's talk of the Illuminati and everyone involved.  I consider myself to be a pretty avid music listener with a growing collection, spreading from one genre to the next.  If seen out, you can bet I have my iPod on me; about 90% of the time, it's playing in my ears so there's hardly ever a moment where I'm not vibing.

When I was first introduced to the whole idea of the Illuminati, I was sitting in the congregation of my then church, staring in disbelief at the pulpit.  There was a guest speaker schooling us teens on Jay-Z's involvement with this "secret society".  I remember him playing Hov's "Lucifer" backwards (a method called 'backwards masking') where the whole congregation heard Jay's voice saying, plain as day, "Murder murder Jesus 666".  I was done at that point.  Didn't go as far as to erase him off the pod but I shuffled right past his songs when they came up.

Now, when I hear people talk about it (the organization) in amazement, I tend to distance myself simply because, it's one of those conversations where everyone has deemed themselves an expert on the topic, spewing "facts" that they've heard from someone else.  It really makes my head hurt.  This guy at work is actually the only other person I listened to outside of that guest speaker that day.  And surprisingly, he kind of made a little sense of it, although I'm still a little skeptical.

Basically, he stressed how money is the root of all evil and signs of that are evident, especially in this corrupt society we live in.  He said that what these people who are alleged to be apart of this organization do is sell their souls to the devil to reach a level of star power pretty much unattainable to the regular people.  As a result, in the case of singers/entertainers, they shoot to the top of everyone's chart and they're seen and/or heard just about everywhere.  He also stated how this is not just limited to entertainers but doctors and lawyers as well.  Virtually anyone seeking wealth.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it all boils down to subliminal messages and what you allow into your psyche.  Mom always told me to guard my mind and my heart and in order to do that, I have to make sure my spiritual man is intact.  If the Jay-Z track is in fact real, that message is seeping it's way into our minds, planting negative seeds that we may not believe will come to fruition.  If you don't agree, just think back to something like sex and how it's pretty much forced upon us daily.  Before you even knew what it was for real (or the people it was intended for), you were curious about it. Some even ventured out to explore.  The subliminal messages we were exposed to played a huge part in that.

I'm not here to tell you that the Illuminati is real nor am I judging the music you listen to but I am encouraging you to BE INFORMED to the best of your ability.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What does family mean to you...?

Because when I think of the word, my mind automatically takes me to a happy place...kind of like a family reunion type setting where all the kids are running around, playing with each other.  The adults are chillin' at the picnic and card tables with their choice beverages, laughing and reminiscing.  Music playing through the speakers and the sweet smell of barbecue being prepared.  In my mind, that word is supposed to generate happy thoughts.

Not when it comes to mine.

I know that everyone is not meant to get along with one another and yes, there will be differences amongst the bunch but, in the end, I feel like it should all be brought back together.  You know, kiss and make up.  If only it were that simple.  In the past few years, a lot of things have been revealed to me about my family.  A lot of which hurts my feelings, especially knowing that I am apart of a unit that could be this way.  Whereas some people who may not be as mentally strong would fall into a fit of depression, I am using this as a learning experience so I can know what to look for when it comes time to start my own family.  I'm learning that there are a few men in my family that I cannot look to as an example for what to look for in a potential mate of my own and as sad as that is, I'm (kind of) o.k. with it because in retrospect, they're teaching me what not to look for.  It's also sad because my two young brothers and cousin have no strong, positive males to model themselves after.  As a result, they are teaching themselves how to be men, desperately needing redirection.

But can we completely blame them?  Granted, they know right from wrong but if they don't see the positive outcome in front of them, why would they want to stray away from what they think is fun?  Just last night, I witnessed, by far, the toughest thing to date.  I will not go into detail or even tell what it was I saw but just know that it broke my heart, literally, into pieces.  All day, I've been going back and forth with my feelings as to whether I should feel sorry or play the tough love role.  The emotional Cancer in me is trying desperately to prevail but I know that this is something that had to happen and I'd rather it happen the way it did, rather than being left to the streets to be rectified.

Said incident has left a thick film of tension behind and I doubt if I'm the only one who can feel it.  I wish I could read everyone's mind here to see what they're thinking and who they're placing the blame on (although, I already have an idea).  Things have not been "happy" around here in a long time and as a result, it's pulling me further away from everyone to the point that I don't like being around anyone, other than my mom, for too long.  The place you call home is suppose to be a peaceful place.  A place where people can escape the foolishness of the outside world until tomorrow but, in the meantime, enjoy being home, with family.

I miss those family reunions and days where everyone liked being around everyone.

I feel like it's too late to start anew...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Reality Check

I don't know why I always thought we'd be here together, forever.

Now, that's not the case.  We're growing up (hopefully, not apart) and life is happening.  Maybe I'm the only one who hasn't made plans to make moves.  Or maybe I'm just too afraid to.  The dreamer in me does a great job at thinking up these grandiose ideas but when it's time to put a plan into action, I tend to fall back into that comfortable space.  Just yesterday, I wrote about stepping out of said space and I guess that would hold true for this instance as well.

As a recent graduate, I've given some thought to applying to grad school, simply because I'm not ready to fully "grow up".  Thought about staying in Chicago, which would be ideal for me to establish myself (a sign of obvious fear, in other words) but I also thought about going to the east coast.  The thought is exciting and scary all at the same time but that would be the ideal place for me to flourish as a journalist.  I would be throwing myself into adulthood because that would be new territory for me.  I'd be so far away from my family and friends and although I know my family would help, I would have to eventually support myself.  I guess, now that I'm thinking about it, I probably need that because I think that I rely too much on the people around me more than I do myself.  I look to them for help when, in reality, the outcome will directly effect me.

My best friend just informed me that she got accepted to a graduate program in Texas and I'm ELATED for her because I know how much she's wanted this but on the converse side of things, I'm sad.  Partly because she's leaving and partly because I feel like I'm stuck in the mud.  Maybe her acceptance will be the final push I need to go for mine.  Actually sit down and decide what it is I need to do and devise a plan to get there because I cannot stay in this dream-like state.  It won't pay the bills that are to come and it won't get me my dream job.

As I sit in this office, fighting with my emotions to keep it all together, I think about some of the actions that need to take place.  I need to gather the materials to this 1000 piece puzzle, also known as my life, so I can fit it all together.  Make some sense of this hazy picture I see of my future.  I need to start taking steps to break away from the nest.  Living with my mom is intended to be temporary.  As good a relationship as we have, I know that I don't want to live under her roof forever.

Time to grow up...

Sunday, July 10, 2011


...to the never-ending journey of my ever-evolving self.

With this blog, I hope to introduce people to who I am through my words.  I also want to use this as a way to help hone my craft as a budding writer.  I've learned that this is the new medium for journalists and I've followed enough blogs to have an idea of how this thing works (one of my faves being A Belle in Brooklyn by Relationships Editor, Demetria L. Lucas, from Essence magazine).

Just yesterday (July 9th), I turned 23 and I've been feeling a need for a change.  As cliche as it sounds to desire a change at the start of a new anything, it holds true for me.  I have always been somewhat of an introvert, especially in unfamiliar spaces but with the desire to be a journalist, I know that can't be the case forever.  At 23, it's long overdue for me to come out of the shell that I've grown comfortable in.  Not to say that I need to become someone so over the top that people can't stand to be around but still make myself seen.

About a month ago, my pastor hired me to write different assignments (is what we'll call them) for the church, one of which were three short 5-minute essays.  He told me they were for a speaker but did not specify who. My job, since I just graduated with my Bachelor's in English in the spring, was to structure the mini lessons so that they would flow smoothly because, whomever I was writing this for, had a problem formulating their thoughts coherently.  Cool.  Seemed easy enough.

But in the back of my head, I had an uneasy feeling.

My pastor can be somewhat zealous and my personality can't deal with a lot of that.  He's the type that if he wants something done, it WILL get done, by any means necessary.  In the time that I've been a member of his church, I've seen him pull many a person out of their comfort zone and I would sit in the congregation with my I-wish-he-would-look-at-me-face, praying that he wouldn't get the notion to have me do anything involving a microphone and/or me having to stand at the head of the church.  He learned through a few conversations with my mother that I was a behind-the-scenes type of person and I was under the impression that we had an understanding,  hence me not having to deal with his antics.  He successfully "pulled it" with me once and I vowed to myself, NEVER AGAIN!

This is how I knew he was up to know good when he assigned me the task of these mini sermons.  As soon as I was out of earshot, I turned to my mother and asked her, "He's not gonna make me read these aloud, is he?"  She played the dumb role but I knew better.  Obediently, I wrote and turned the assignment in on time.  He did the proud "father" thing and framed my work, posting it on the wall in the church and I was proud, for lack of a better term, because he can be hard to please.  Sat down and got ready for praise and worship and here comes the usher, passing out the responsive reading and offering envelope, as usual, and, lo and behold, one of my "assignments".  He comes up behind me.

"Ok.  You ready?"

blank stare

"I'm gonna have you read this after praise and worship."  He assured me that I'd do fine as I openly refused.  (No one refuses him but I was not going to allow him to yank me out of my comfort zone...not today!)  By  now, I'm fuming and he can see it.  I mean, throwing a full out, not acceptable for a 22-year-old, tantrum.  This man has completely detached me from my previously pleasant mood and ruined praise and worship for me. I'm PISSED!

Needless to say, the deacon read my work instead of me.  I had won!  Tantrum aborted.  I was perfectly fine with the essays being mounted on the wall for everyone's viewing pleasure.  My name was signed so if they wanted to know who it was behind the work, they'd see right there in plain sight.  I didn't see the need for them to be hanging there AND me having to get up and read them too!

On the ride home, and maybe even before then (during my tantrum throughout praise and worship), I realized that I could have very well read the essay.  Yes, I would have been nervous but I would have gotten over it.  I just wanted to be stubborn and prove a point.  I thought about how I would react if, at my dream job (working as a staff writer for Essence magazine), I was asked to make a presentation.  If I objected, I'd be on my way to the unemployment line.  And the semester I took that speech class.  If I would have refused to do the assignment, I would have failed the course.

This year, I plan to step out of my comfort zone, and make myself seen.  And not just with speaking to a crowd but with more informal interactions as well.  In the book written by my fave blogger/journalist, Demetria Lucas (noted above), I learned that, in a cliched nutshell, a closed mouth doesn't get fed so I can't continue to be "scared" to speak up or out.  I need to take the first step in getting what I want because, clearly, NOTHING is simply given to you.  There's work to be done and/or a price to pay.

So consider this my birthday resolution.  Hopefully, unlike the infamous resolutions of New Years, this one will come to fruition.