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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Late Night Therapy Session

As of late, I've been feeling both constricted and restricted.  Like someone has actually placed me inside this box with dimensions so small that it's impossible to breathe as I'll take up needed space.  I don't like this feeling at all and the issue I have with that is the fact that I cannot seem to find a way to free myself.  In the midst of my newfound claustrophobia, I also feel exposed in many aspects.  I lack privacy and that is something I need to help maintain sanity.  Just some place where I can listen to my music and daydream uninhibited.  My current situation will not grant me that serenity and it's truly driving me insane.

Home is supposed to one's sanctuary; where they go to get away from the frustrations of the world.  In my case, it's the exact opposite.  I look forward to leaving for the day to rid myself of the frustrations here.  Today, on my way home from work, helped solidify my feelings.  As I got in the car, I found I had an instant shift in moods because I knew I was headed back to chaos for the evening.  It is as if I live amongst a pseudo-like family who pretends that everything is everything when really,uy we're divided.  You can feel it.

Oftentimes, I imagine myself being apart of another family but it never fully works out because I honestly wouldn't trade my mother for anyone in the world.  So, I guess it would be like my mom and me apart of another family...I don't know...That would be kind of selfish... I just wish that circumstances were different...Like, two weeks ago.  She always says that we're building our testimony and considering all that we've endured over the past 10-12 years, we're gonna reap one helluva blessing.  Is it wrong that I want to put in a rush delivery on that joint?

I try to remain faithful in all this and as long as my mother hasn't broken down or given up, I feel that I have no need or right to but I'd be lying if I said I didn't get frustrated.  So frustrated that there are things I want to say that I won't because of the people I know who read my blog.  (I learned in my media writing class that as a blogger, I should not tell family & friends that I have one; that way I'll be able to write freely.  Should've listened).

I've been trying to make my current situation my motivation to finally make a decision about my future.  I'm not 100% sure if it's working yet but it will.  I am thankful to God for being a provider for my family and me and I know he will continue to take care of us.  I don't want to say that I'm tired of waiting because that'd be rude but....

I commend my mother on her strength, determination, belief and faith in God because if I know if I were her, I'd have been a teary mess a long time ago.  Her resilience is like no other woman I've ever known and whether she knows it or not, she is teaching me exactly what I need to know to become the woman I am destined to be.

Ultimately, I just want to be happy again.  Haven't been feeling like myself lately.  For a long time actually.  No one should ever dread having to go home even if it is just to sleep and prepare for the next day.  My music and the words I share here with you are my little piece of sanity and as I am glad to have you as my sounding board, I don't want to bog down your shoulders forever with my tears.

Thanks for listening...

Monday, December 26, 2011

End of the Year Reflections

This year is coming a close and as 2012 approaches, I can't help but go back and forth with myself about what I want to see differently in the new year.  I'm not one for using cliches nor do I like to sit down to create a list of resolutions that will get lost in the every day happenings of my life.  I have pinpointed a few things in my mind though.  I graduated from college six months ago and have lounged around long enough.  I haven't been a complete bum though because I did land a job a month after being home for which I am very thankful.  Now, it is time for me to finally ease my way into adulthood.  Can't keep living with one foot in while the other is holding my spot at home.

I recently decided that I don't want to ever have to wonder 'what if' from here on out. For the past few weeks, I've been thinking about what direction my basketball career could've taken had I been more dedicated to the game.  I say the only reason I stuck with ball for so long was so that I could get my degree paid and I did that.  People couldn't understand why I didn't want to play past college.  My answer, similar to that of Monica's in Love & Basketball: It just wasn't fun anymore.

Over the weekend, my mom's friend asked how I got involved with basketball and my mom told her that it was something that just came natural to me.  She and her then boyfriend took me to DePaul's women's basketball game and they noticed how attentive I was and how I knew exactly what was going on on the court.  Her boyfriend suggested that mom sign me up for the park district and that's where it all began.  She said shooting and dribbling were like second nature for me.  From that point on, I played ever since...

...up until now.  Haven't touched a basketball seriously since the end of March.  I've shot around a few times but a full out game...probably wouldn't be good for my lungs at this point.  Times like these, I miss basketball. Wish I could go back and do it all over again from the time I started playing for Hillcrest High School up until I graduated from college (would have made things work at Grambling).  During those years, I was timid both on and off the court and I feel that hindered my progress in many aspects.  That time at Grambling was meant for me to test out adulthood and I got scared.  When the easy road was block with a succession of hurdles, I retreated back home, in search of another easy way.  I found it in Graceland along with free education but I often wonder 'what if I would have stayed and worked hard to solidify my spot on the team?'

Upon graduating from undergrad, I had very loose plans on attending graduate school in New York but once time got near, I got scared, thinking about loan money and living alone in NY.  At 23, I have never lived on my own whereas all of my friends have.  They know what it's like to make ends meet from one month to the next, figuring out how to pay rent among other bills.  I do not.  Hearing their stories both scare and motivate me because through it all, they still manage to make it.  I have been in church long enough to know that I need to start exercising my faith more as well as know that my family will be there to support me as long as I take care of business on my end.

My small group of friends are all making moves towards their future and I don't want to wake up one day and find myself left behind, still at home.  That can't be.  I have great dreams just like the next person but in order for them to become a reality, I have to work.  I have to work a lot harder than what I am right now.  Demetria Lucas said it best (can't remember if it was from her book or her blog) saying that you cannot be afraid of hard work.  Right now, that is me.  Anything that looks hard, I shy away from but I don't want to do that anymore.  I will not be successful in anything if I do.  The life I see for myself requires hard work and if I don't get over this fear, I'll be homeless in New York, trying to hustle up coins to get back home.  Once I leave here, I do not want to have to come back other than to visit.

I'm working on building a team of mentors for the new year that will help keep me focused on the goals I have and will set for myself.  Clutch Magazine actually gave me a great idea to create a vision board for my goals.  That way, they will always be in the forefront of my mind as they will be staring me clear in the face every time I'm sitting idly at home.

This coming year can be really bright for me but only if I put in the work.  I'm creating a reading list because over the years, I've become an internet/social media/tech junkie and I need to get back to my artsy side.  This blog is the closest thing I have to consistent writing these days.  My new position as a staff writer for Kids Health Club Magazine is a major accomplishment for me and I'm excited to see how it will flourish in the coming year as well as the many other opportunities it will open up for me in my young career.

I also want to work to feed my artist mind by enrolling in a beginners photography course.  I fell in love with photography the first time I watched Love Jones (is that cliche? lol) and have wanted to take a class ever since.  It's going on five years now that I'm still talking about taking a class.  And this Instagram app on my iPod doesn't make it any better, making me think I'm really doing something.

I have mentioned here before how I feel like I've received the short end of the stick when it comes to enjoying life.  Like, my time is somehow cut short and that I won't have the same opportunities afforded the generations before me to really experience all life has to offer.  But then I realized that this life is exactly what you make it.  I don't want to be an homebody any more with stagnant social skills.  I want to expand my circle of friends which will call for me to come out of this semi-introverted shell.  It's a task I know I can accomplish.

What're your plans for the coming year?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Random Epiphany

Within the last two hours, I finally came to grips with the fact that I just may be a socially awkward black girl (Shoutout to Issa Rae...love that chick lol. If you don't know who I'm talking about, Youtube 'Awkward Black Girl' and get familiar).

Let me tell you how I came to this conclusion.

After work today, I went to my first grown up networking event and even though I stayed for a very short time, due to no fault of my own, I can say that I enjoyed myself.  The semi-old me, who is shy and doesn't like to be watched as she walks through the room, would have clammed up and ignored the invitation all together.  But the new me, that is still under construction, did what I had to do and it felt good.

As soon as I opened the door to the M Lounge and stepped in, I had this weird feeling as if I belonged.  I greeted the bartender with a warm smile and proceeded to look for the person who invited me, all while taking in the ambiance.  I was in love.  Young, black professionals who didn't appear to be that much older than me, networking/fraternizing with each other in a very laid back setting specifically for this swanky group.  I was already trying to figure out in my head how I could be apart of this select group, joining them here as often as they met.

Anyway, met with my party and the intended person they had planned to introduce me to, did a quick walk through of the space and left (if I could've stayed until the end, I would have).  The whole ride home though, I was plotting on how I could get back in the same space with those people.  Got super excited thinking about the possibility.  They all seemed so comfortable among each other.

You see, I was the girl in college who played ball and people recognized me from that.  If I didn't hoop, I'd probably be recognized as a nerd or something on campus only because I was and have always been a quiet person.  I went to class, practice, ate among the common people and went back to my dorm.  I was typically seen walking alone, blocking out the world with my iPod (don't judge me.  I like my solitude).  Now, the last college I attended was not the most ideal place to become a social butterfly but I did attend Grambling State University for a short time and had I been strong enough to stick it out, I would have my English degree from there and not Graceland University.

I digress.  And thankful for that full basketball scholarship.

Grambling is a historically black college/university and an ideal place for me to come into my own.  I was excited to learn that I would be attending such a historic institution and on the inside, I was ready to venture out and explore within my moral means.  But when I got down there and realized I had to rebuild the name I had back home because no one knew me down there, I clammed up.  I would always play the background whereas the rest of the student body was busy networking.

I allowed my shyness to rob me of that chance.  Don't get me wrong; I had a group of friends and we were starting a very strong bond.  I still talk to these ladies today.  I attended Gram over 3 years ago.  I was just the one to always keep a low profile.  I didn't like the attention.

Fast forward to the end 2011 and remnants of that person is still here today.  Was just discussing this with my best friend, telling her how I want to become like her (she swears she's shy.  I don't believe that shit lol).  She agrees that I should rid myself of that shell.  Do something out of the ordinary like (tastefully) flirt with a cutie I may happen to see in the street.  Enough to let him know that I'm interested and that it's O.K. for him to approach.  I've actually tried it a few times and it's quite exhilarating lol.

You guys may or may not know this about me yet but I HATE cliches.  In every sense of the word.  The one I just may hate the most is the whole "My New Years Resolution...".  People say the same shit year in and year out and hardly nothing ever changes.  I can't remember the last time I made one and hadn't planned on it until....

I heard about what I like to call the Glorified New Years Resolution, a.k.a. The Vision Board.

I think they're super cool although it's nothing but a collage full of your goals.  I want to do one as a project with my girls (be a good bonding experience for us) and add personal goals for myself that I will plan to accomplish within the coming year.  Having a full social calendar will be on there!!

I love the people that God has placed in my life but I want to expand my circle, specifically with those young, black professionals at the M Lounge and wherever else they gather.

What would you put on your vision board?  Do you consider yourself to be socially awkward in a sense?  Talk to me. =)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Late Night Musings...

I've told you all before about how I feel on the subject of marriage and committed relationships and each day, my feelings are validated in some way.  There are times when the emotional Cancer in me adores the little attention I get and then other days, I feel like a Gemini and my attitude has done a complete 180.  Like, I turn into a COMPLETE asshole.  Ignoring text messages and calls and if I do decide to answer a text, it is usually with a one word answer that sends the message that I don't want to be bothered.

At first, I just attributed it to me being over this monotonous thing called my life but then I figured out that I'm actually an asshole.  Like, deep down past this inviting exterior lies a somewhat evil, lightweight heartless person.  I yearn for some excitement in my life.  Just a new wave of people I can start anew with (not to say I want to do away with the current people in my life).  Just....expand (there we go, that's the word I was looking for) my circle a bit.  I tend to get bored quickly and a lot of people don't know that about me.  And when they finally figure it out, it's usually too late for them.

I was discussing this with my best friend a few days ago.  We're almost like soul twins or something.  It's crazy how much we think alike.  We discovered that neither of us can see ourselves married any time soon, if at all.  I wouldn't go as far as to say that we don't want to be...it's just hard to picture right now.  Wait.  I take that back.  The jury is still out on if I want to be married.  But that's a post for another day.

Bestie has had the luxury of being in a long term relationship that started back in high school.  Me, on the other hand, have not.  Don't worry.  I'm over it.  She's been in love and I made her tell me all about it (she's probably still cursing me out lol).  I asked if she thought she'd ever get back to that point again and she basically told me,

"Hell no!"

Only because that whole process is so time consuming and the energy that goes forth into something that real is a lot.  I definitely feel where she is coming from but at the same time, I want to experience that uninhibited type of love.  The random e-mails throughout the day talking about nothing and everything at the same time.  I want the benefit of having my best friend and my man be the same person.  I can't see that happening with anyone in my life right now.

She feels that she doesn't have it in her to give that same time and energy to someone new at this stage in her life.  We're both in the same place.  Patience is as thin as Wiz Khalifa.  No time for fuckery foolishness.  What we want is simple:  Consistency in most, if not all areas.  And common sense!!! (Jesus please be a CLUE to help them understand).

Even in the midst of my asshole-ness, I love the idea of love.  It's beautiful if done the right way.  And I do want to experience it in all of its glory.  I love the idea of meeting a guy and taking the time to cultivate a friendship before things move into more.  It's so true that things get complicated when the physical aspect of the relationship comes before everything else.  Judgments are clouded and decisions are made prematurely.  I don't want that to happen with me and my future HomieLoverFriend.

*I wanna do that*

In a nutshell, I just want someone to change my mind and make me believe that having this love is not impossible for me.  If I'm not in a committed relationship, what's the alternative?  Friends with benefits??  I'm too emotional for that sketchy foolishness.  I need stability as well as a lowered risk of contracting a virus.  Don't think that I have completely given up on love because I haven't.  It's just that this world around me is making it hard for me to believe I can have such a thing.  

Somewhere along the way, it has seemed to have lost it's value and I want to know how to get it back.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lazy Daze

Anyone who knows me knows that I am what most would call a cerebral being.  I spend a lot of time lost in my thoughts, opting to stay to myself instead of engaging in conversation.  Don't take that to mean that I'm incapable of such...just my preference most of the time.  I don't have a problem being this way.  It allows me time to sort through my many complexities.

Today, I got lost in those complexities.  Ended up being a semi-productive day for me.
I had every intention of waking up today and OD'ing on blogs and I fulfilled just that.  Yesterday, I discovered two new blogs and writers that I can definitely see myself growing to admire.  I think these discoveries are essential for me, especially in my young journalism career.  I need as much insight and *e-mentoring* as possible.

I'm sure you all have heard of writers or poets that have so much talent that they make you want to throw away whatever mediocre chicken scratch you've scribbled in a notepad.  Yea, they, along with a few others, make me want to do that.  It's the effortless way in which they string words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs that makes me want to just....ugghhh.  It's almost disgusting how good they are.

Sorry.  In my excitement I haven't even mentioned the names of these wonderful women.  The first blog I stumbled upon yesterday at work was Riva Flowz.  This young lady is the one who makes me want to toss out everything I've ever written (or at least hide it from the public) and start all over.  And to know that she's only a year older than me got me amped up.  She writes beautifully and about a lot of the things I feel but can't put into the words the way I want.

The other lady is clearly a vet in this journalism game, having written pieces for Essence, Vibe, Clutch, as well as many other publications.  I found her while checking out Riva's twitter timeline.  BenĂ© Viera is dope to me in every sense of the word.  She has a track record that is both commendable and impressive and it is definitely one I can learn from.

Both of these writers had the same affect on me as that of Demetria Lucas (you already know how I feel about her) upon first read.  I know none of them personally but I feel like I do after reading.  I want to have that same affect on my readers.  I love how personable they are, taking time from their hectic lives to interact with admirers via social networks like Twitter (I'm @neosolrkstr btw).

Discoveries like these make my heart smile and I'm glad that I found these two writers when I did.  Anticipating what I can learn from them either directly or indirectly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Letter to a Wayward Soul

I never thought you would ever experience what it is you're going through right now in your life.  I mean, how could you?  Raised by a mother who did everything in her power to provide both your wants and needs even if it meant sacrificing her own.  There was no way you could fail.  At least in my mind.  But you did because you allowed yourself to fall into the trap.  One I thought you were smart enough to avoid.

Your lack of judgment and common sense worries me...a LOT.  It scares me actually, simply because you have NO idea how deep a hole you are digging for yourself.  Either that or you just don't care.  If that's the case, we have an even bigger problem on our hands.

I often wonder if I could have done something different to influence your decision making and every time I begin to beat myself up for your actions, I stop because they are just that--YOUR actions.  You are your own person and it was you who decided to make the choices you've made.  Can't save anyone who is not ready to be saved.

I'm all for having fun and enjoying life just as the next person but I'm also an advocate of being smart and using my head.  Some may think that's me living life too safely and that's fine.  I'm perfectly OK with that.  I only wish you could adopt the same attitude.  Instead, you're too consumed with what people perceive you as and your appearance.  Artificial things that won't mean anything within the month.  Isn't it exhausting trying to keep up with the Joneses?  Why not have people wanting to keep up with you?

I didn't want this letter to become some cliched motivational pick me up but all the cliches that are associated with a wayward soul are appropriate.  You could be tired of hearing them but some repetition could do you some good.

Do you realize the wedge you are drawing among your family?  The unwanted stress and hurt you are causing your own mother?  What will it take for you to finally get it?  Is this space you're occupying now NOT rock bottom enough for you?  I need answers.

You are slowly but surely exhausting all of your options.  You don't plan for the future.  Instead, you live for today and believe that that is enough.  Once you mess up one place, you think it's simple to find another solution.  You will soon learn that your theory is flawed.

I advise you to start listening to people who have been here before you.  Listen to the ones with enough common sense to spare you since you have obviously put yours on reserve.  And if this is rock bottom enough for you, don't feed the people around you with BS about how you're going to change and what you're going to do.  Just do it!  Let your actions speak for themselves.

Things could be so much easier for you if you'd just let them.  BE the man that you are supposed to be and leave the boy that is hindering you behind.

With love...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1st is World AIDS Day...Do You Know Your Status?

I have always heard how important it is for us as Americans to know our status when it comes to HIV/AIDS.  I can remember when BET started their campaign with the many 'Get Tested' commercials, pushing how critical this issue was and still is.

It is currently assumed that there are well over one million people living with the HIV virus and approximately 1,142,714 people have been diagnosed with AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic.  African Americans make up almost HALF of that number at 42.6%.

I just recently (like 30 minutes ago) found out that TODAY, December 1, is World AIDS Day, thanks to http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/ (probably thee funniest blog in my RSS reader.  Follow her on Twitter too @luvvieig).  Even though she is side-splittingly (made that word up) hilarious, she does have a serious activist side to her and I admire it.  She is co-founder of a non-profit organization called The Red Pump Project whose mission is to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.

She posted a video on her blog that inspired this post today.  I decided to share with you all in hopes that it would inspire, enlighten and encourage you to know your status as it has me.  Click link below to check out Luvvie's post and video.

World AIDS Day

Ignorance is NOT bliss people.  Get tested.  Know your status.