After I’m Gone

The poetry within me will make a grown man sing.

Sing, and then hang his head with dread,

because of the truth of what I’ve said.

The words within me will make a woman fly.

Fly, and then open her mouth to sigh,

because of the truth in all her men that lie.

The passion in me will make a little girl dance,

Dance, and then cut her movements short,

Realizing next time mommy will abort.

The sound of my voice will make a little boy run,

Run, and then fall so hard to the ground,

Remembering that daddy was never around.

Now don’t you see?

Both life and death are made in the tongue.

So speak life into your existence;

and remember me merely as a hero, unsung.

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“Skinny is Magic”

If you weren’t aware, I have shaved my head. And not the typical fade that you’ve more than likely seen me rocking, no ya girl is BALD, BALD. Like Michael Jordan scalp bald. Yes let that sink in. Any who, I will start by saying that I suggest everyone both male and female go bald. Aside from being super cold at night time, because apparently we lose like all our body heat through our head, being bald has been the most gratifying, COOLING (cause I’m from Texas) experience ever. I also can’t lie, I am continuously greeted by women of all racial backgrounds about “how beautiful I am”. Aside from the one woman at HEB who told me to keep fighting the good fight (she thought I had cancer) the reception of this #baldlife has been wonderful. And you know what’s most important, I love it.

But let me get to the point. The topic of discussion today is not my bald head, but in fact my weight. Now I have always tried to live my life by my own standards, march to the beat of my own trap drums. If I like it, who cares what you think.. That has been my mantra since I was a mere 14-year-old, because lets face it; I was definitely picked on. As previously mentioned, I was one of those girls who didn’t have the hair length to formulate a ponytail, with hang-time. Therefore, the pseudonym for my old Instagram was “baldheadscallywag”. Most people would read that and think it befitting, because I indeed am actually Amber Rose bald, but only those of you who truly know me are aware of just how lovely and painful my relationship with hair is.

Until now, I thought hair would be the thorn in my side. After so many years of internalizing that I was not attractive with short hair, imagine my surprise at legitimately being bald in my old-er age and bagging a guy or two with no hair (take that all of you people in my younger years who berated me and started this vicious battle with my self-esteem). YET AGAIN, I’m getting off track. I was always focused on my hair; that was my “eternal flaw”. But guess what guys, there’s a new threat on the block…. my weight!

My roommate and I spend the majority of our evenings post-work sitting on the couch and watching random shows on Netflix. We landed upon this random show titled “Insatiable”. We have not finished the entire season, but so far the premise of the storyline surrounds a girl who was fat her entire life, gets punched in the mouth because she wouldn’t share a candy bar with a poor person on the street, has her mouth sewn shut for (I believe) 6 months, and inadvertently loses weight and pursues a life in beauty pageantry. I don’t think we will finish because I for one find the show to just be completely ridiculous, but one thing that stuck out to me was her pageant coach, who was also a fat kid and struggled with that as a skinny adult told her three words “skinny is magic”.  Now being a black woman, and a woman who up until the last year or so realized that my BMI was in the morbidly obese category, I was never concerned about my weight. In school, I was bald-headed, “girl with no ponytail”, but I was also “girl with rather large back-side and itty-bitty waist”. I was pretty fine, and I never really worried about being heavy because, I was never heavy. When most girls were counting the calories of the cafeteria food, I was sitting with the O-line throwing back not one but two chic-fil-a sandwiches WITH THE FRIES, drinking two of the vanilla milk shakes, and managing to get to 6th period on time. I was never a fat kid, but I sho’ll ate a lot. My entire life my mother was on my back about all the food I ate, and even then, when I wasn’t struggling with weight, my mother was still making fat jokes. Now this is not a mother-bashing session; I love my mom and she just wants nothing but for me to live a long healthy life. I would like to point out, that I am on the other side of 230 pounds. Yeah, ya girl got two degrees, a nice car, SWAG out the ying-yang, and in the morbidly-obese category.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, my weight never bothered me, because it was never a factor. Even in college when I got my “woman weight” it still never phased me because I thought I looked good. My waist cinched in, and my hips and butt jutted out; and since Sir Mix-a-lot had approved that body-shape, I figured I was good to go.

Skinny is Magic; Insatiable Reference

So aforementioned tv show had a once chunky, now skinny character state “Skinny is magic”. And at first I thought to myself, people are so dumb; confidence is magic. Exercising five times a week is magic. Love is magic. Waves in your fade is magic; but taking up less matter is not magic. And then I began to reflect on the last year of my life. Since I graduated from my Masters program a little over a year ago, I have packed on about 15-20 pounds. What was once a cinched waist is now a cinched back because I got a little pot-belly in the front. Sure, I’m still coke-bottle, just liter size I guess lolol. Regardless, I have gained weight. I know it, my mother knows it, old people from my hometown know it, the lady at Student Affairs at my college knows it. But not once did I ever feel like being heavier was keeping me from being the boss that I am. I find myself very attractive, round face and all, but the more I watched this show, the more I realized that plus size is still an acquired taste of attraction.

Now let me back up here. I am in no way fat-shaming. I mean, that would be dumb because according to the scale and my BMI, I’m a fattie. But I am saying that perhaps I have been a bit delusional in my views and perspective of the worlds attraction level to sizes. Like I said, my thorn in the side was hair; once I got over that insecurity, I thought I was good. Perfect! Insecurity free! But, there’s the pot-belly. I don’t like it. But what I’m getting at is that I don’t like it because my lower back aches randomly, my calf’s burn if I walk for more than 45 minutes, and you can play tic-tac-toe with the stretch marks on the inside of my thighs and arms. My body is telling me in more ways than one that I am not supposed to have all this wagon that I’m dragging.. The fatigue, the low-back pain, the way my shoes cave inwardly, all of that is a sign that I can be smaller. So being smaller and getting healthier (i.e. occasionally working out, drinking water, less donuts more farm-raised fish) is why when I decide to get it together, I’m going to lose some weight. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, the “magical reasons” for the #skinnylife that surround outside peoples’ perceptions of smaller body sizes, not it, not happening, not at all why one should lose weight.

Disclaimer, I can list all of the things that I see wrong with my body from the rapid weight gain and still tell the truth by stating I look in the mirror and love it all. That’s right, as I mentioned, I think God blessed me with some great physical characteristics, whether they are stretched or shriveled, my self-esteem is where it needs to be. Meaning, skinny is not magic; our mindset is magic. If what you see when you look in the mirror repulses you, than maybe you should hit the gym and eat chicken and raw spinach out of a bag for lunch every day.. And maybe if you are repulsed by what you see in the mirror than maybe you should seek a counselor, God, friends, family, a journal and really self-reflect on what you don’t like. Is it something that can be changed or are you struggling with a deeper rooted issue?

Newsflash

Newsflash, we all out here struggling and trying to make it. I know that my struggle consists of wanting to be the best woman that I can be for myself, by myself, yet not really knowing what she looks like. I also can admit to eating my feelings and stress away for the last 13 months. I graduated from college, acquired a full-time job, was in a long-distance relationship, was questioning my walk with Christ, was actually questioning everything from the new style of wig I wanted down to the cut of socks I needed for work (we settled for tube socks. Tube socks rock! Yay Tube socks) In all of that I avoided the gym like the plague, became friends with little debbie like that bihh was my twin sister, and came home from work and literally laid in bed to scroll through my IG day and night. I fell victim to the art of comparison, the art of delusion, and the art of depression, because lets be honest, on social media everyone has it going on with a new boo, new do and new waist… And yet here I was slowly wasting away.

It was not until a month ago that I had to remind myself, everyone is out here struggling. Speaking of struggling, so is my waistline. I am going to spend these next months working on my body. Whether that looks like a keto-diet, working out two times per day, or just plain jogging 4 times per week, it’s gonna happen. I need to lose weight; but not for men to like me; not to be on the cover of a magazine; not to be treated differently; I need to lose weight because I am unhealthy. If you are in the same boat, start by acknowledging that there is something about you that needs to be changed. Once you identify these changes, stop and ask yourself if this is something YOU want to change, or is this something that someone else wants you to change. If it is the latter, keep doing you boo, because I’ma tell you something; changing for others will leave you frustrated and eventually alone. We are all out here struggling, so struggle to be the best you for you! Skinny is not magic; loving yourself is the key darling!

Be blessed!

I’m Terrified of Being Alone

Greetings lovely people!

It’s been a minute since I’ve updated the blog. I’ve been focused on a promotion, a brief summer break and recovery from a break-up; but mainly the recovery from the break-up has taken up the majority of my mental and emotional capacity. I am currently between Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows” and H.E.R. “Let Me Sing My Song”. While contemplating sitting outside my ex’s living space Indian style demanding a resolution, I decided it best to go for a long drive while blasting Kanye.(Any Kanye works in times of travesty because he’s always depressed and relatable.) I wished there was some lake to sit beside and smoke a cigarette and cry but alas, no lake and I don’t smoke.

Any who, thats the update. One year later and I find myself just as single and heart-broken as I was the beginning of undergraduate and the beginning of my graduate program. Although it was slightly comical, I almost fainted last Sunday when my pastor offered me to the opportunity to lead the Singles Ministry. I thought “Oh great. Why not solidify this non-married status by heading a group of other non-married people in the name of Jesus!” I am pending that response, but let me get to the point of this blogpost.

My entire life, I thought love was not just for fairytales, or Disney, but indeed just for regular folks like myself and you, whoever you are reading this. I just knew that I was going to find my fairytale love relationship and that all of my problems and shortcomings were just going to magically just float away. Of course, as you see, I am now 26, which is practically 30 years of age, which, God forbid not being married by 30 because 30 is supposed to be this magnificent age where all of our poo is supposed to be together… But let me not digress; I am 26, and I am single. No ring on my finger. But most importantly, I am 26 in a world where other 26-year-olds are two years into a fruitful marriage, engaged, in a functional relationship, or sewing their wild oats. I am doing none of these things, and it has finally begun to take control of my psyche. I preach daily about the importances of not comparing, but lets be honest. It’s 2018; and unlike Stevie Wonder, (no shade) I have eyes to see in real time and via social media others love lives surrounding my solitary one. And most days, it bites. Sure, the pop up engagements and babies are beautiful, but with each smile and symbolism of love, I find myself looking in the mirror with further disgust in myself for my position in life. Sad right? I know, but it gets worse.

In all my years of avoiding singleness, I ended up just that; single. And what’s my biggest fear, (and probably yours too) growing old alone and dying in a rocking chair and being found weeks later because I missed two games at the Bingo hall.. Okay, I’ll stop with the morbidity, but honestly, these thoughts flicker through my mind with every man that walks, crawls, runs, jogs, sprints out of my life. And instead of holding the door open and saying “deuces”, I tried to persuade someone to stay. You heard me, someone decided I wasn’t their cup of tea and I decided I was going to be the best Lipton/Bushes combo ever made. Sigh. Self-esteem check.

Self-Sabotage

In all of my relationships, I was always in some form or fashion, the pursuer. It didn’t matter who saw who first, towards the end, I was the one doing the chasing, pleasing, serenading, begging not to leave. Again, sigh… But it’s honesty hour and I’m trying this thing where I hold myself accountable for toxic traits. Though my relationship status is not ALL my fault, for it indeed takes two to tango, I have been the queen of expediting the ruination and damnation of situations. The moment I get that funny feeling way deep down in my soul towards a man, it’s Titanic from there; baby we going down because my thoughts take a turn for the worst. I start comparing myself to other women, I start ASSUMING the worst, I.e. you have a wife and kids in another state and each time you avoid a call or text it’s cause you’re muting me while you’re at your son’s T-ball game. Crazy right? And yes, there are people who have double lives and have other families, wives, side-chicks, side-chicks of the side-chicks and side- kids…. But none of the men in my life turned out to be those people.

If you tell yourself something enough, you will eventually believe it; this encompasses good things and bad. In my case, I had told myself so many bad things about the man in my life that he was basically scum. Yet I was too insecure to let go because I felt like no one else was going to deal with me. You heard that right? And so I built this wall of protection, and when the man in my life grew tired of trying to knock it down, he left.

Now logically you would think well yes Tonee, this is what you wanted right? Protection. But all that was left within those walls of insecurity that I had built was regret and isolation. I don’t care who you are, what you do, how much money you have stashed in your mattress, shoe box, hole in the ground or Wells Fargo Savings; NOBODY wants to be alone. I for one, did not want to be alone, yet every time I self-sabotaged, I pushed everyone away. I shut people out. And I barricaded myself in. But the comical, or I guess sad thing about my self-sabotage was that I expected the man for me to just knock those walls right on down. Newsflash: No one should have to fight to love you, care for you, like you. Relationships create enough problems of their own without insecure people making up things.

So here I am, 26 years of age, gainfully employed, and single. Single in my world has become some sort of a curse. Like an incurable disease; I tried so hard to avoid it that I ended up right here. And all of the words of encouragement from my friends just rolled off my back. How many times can you hear “you’re still young” “God will bless you with someone when you’re ready” “Relationships aren’t everything” “Focus on you”…  And I would hear these things and think, gee I bet you can give me this advice because you can go home to the person you love. You have a best friend, lover and confidante, someone to share your hopes and dream with; someone to grow with… Yet here I am still alone. And that’s the thing, no man is an island. But I think my issue is the fear of being single. And avoiding it at all costs put me in a sort of desperation mode when it came to relationships, thus even if the man for me hit me in the face, I wouldn’t know it because I wasn’t content within myself. I have heard talk show upon talk show speak about how relationships are not for completeness, but the joining of two people with new ideas, likes, interests, joys and passions. For me, a relationship was like that final checking of the box. All of my friends are married or happily dating, so I should be too. And thats the mistake we make; comparing ourselves to others. And sure, it’s hard to avoid looking around and seeing others, but one thing I’ve thought of lately is the concept of being content just where I am; single, not alone, but single. I thought a relationship could save me, as if being single was a danger; a threat. This, ladies and gentlemen, is flawed thinking.

Find a Passion and Make it Happen Cap’n

So if you read this and thought I was going to conform to society’s view about relationships, fooled ya. I still don’t believe that God is an ATM machine and he’ll “reward” you with a significant other when the time is right, or that the moment I can cook my own meals, meditate efficiently for 20 minutes daily, lose 60 pounds and take myself to concerts solo-solo once a month that a man is gonna magically sense my “wholeness” and make me his other half. I don’t believe none of that crap. However, I do have a book of poems that is long overdue. I have a job that I don’t abhor and requires more effort, and I also need to start financially preparing to move from my current city and see what’s outside of Central Texas. I am very much single, and that will have to be okay. I am also a great writer, dancer and actress. I love my Sunday school all girls class (heck nah I’m still not gonna lead the singles ministry) and my sorority; and I love interaction with people. They say there’s more to life than a relationship. I have no choice but to do great things while finding this out.

You, whoever you are reading this, I hope that you are working towards contentment. I hope that whatever phase in life you find yourself, I hope that you are working diligently to be your best self, whomever that is. For me, that’s creating, writing, dancing, acting and making clothes. It’s also building my relationship with the man above by praying and reading my word. It’s okay for you to not have the person, the job, the home, the success yet. Let us all just try our best to enjoy the journey.

Best Wishes,

Spoiled Black Gal

 

 

 

For those hard to love colored gals

My kinky hairDoes not mean I love God.

Or black people.

My dark skin

Does not equate to “woke-ness”.

I can be very much asleep.

My weave does not make me a sheep.

My full hips and large lips

does not mean you can penetrate my innocence.

(For I am innocent)

My non-ivy league degrees does not mean that I’m green.

I’ve seen piss in hallways.

Drove high-class cars.

Closed my eyes and seen God.

Opened them and seen my mother.

I am not your pioneer for the “angry black girl”

Nor am I the poster child for docility.

I am a black woman.

Not a monolith.

I am God’s gift.

In satan’s world.

More Rants About Nothing.

I am 4 am on your cell phone Professing my undying love

Even though the relationship has been deceased.

I am the reason you live,

And the reason you hate love.

I am your biggest fan

And your brightest star whom shines so brightly

To illuminate only your sky.

I’m mad for you.

And you care not because I was the one who did the choosing.
I wish that I was one of those alluring women

Who know just what to say

And exactly when to leave.

Instead of that brash woman.

Who says too much 

And not enough, especially when in love.
My timing is so off as well.

We used to be on time for church

But now the pew inside me is empty 

And I can no longer lie and say “oh we’re just friends”

That’s a lie.

I cannot be loved.

I don’t know how. 

I squeeze life out of everything.

I am not patient.

You are so slow to love.

And I am so quick to anger.
Yet here we are.

“THA LIST”…

Soo I’ll just jump right into it. I was having a discussion with a close friend about my relationship status. Ya know, the typical “Ima be alone forever, no one will ever love me, I should just walk around in a moo-moo during daylight hours and buy two pittbull puppies” talk. Totally self-deprecating and depressing. My friend allowed me to vent and then asked me the question, “Tonee, what do you actually look for in a guy”. Now y’all know me, so I said my “loves his mama, loves God, pays his taxes” spill. That’s sort of a joke, but kind of true. I figure if he loves his mother than he may have an idea of how to treat a lady, if he loves the lord than he’ll make a good husband and if he pays his taxes than he can provide for this imaginary family that I have concocted. Needless to say, my friend shot these three requirements down.

What do I really look for?

And…. I could not give him an answer. And as I write this I wonder is that weird? I’ll be 24 this year, finishing a Masters in May (we pray) seeking employment at a real job with benefits and a salary with 3 0’s.. I can recite All Falls Down and Get Your Freak On verbatim. I can write a poem about love in 5 minutes, describing why I can’t find it, why it hides from me.. Yet when asked what are my requirements in a significant other… nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I lied. There are things I want, but being the over-thinker I am, I second guess whether they are worthy of being put down. And there lies the problem, if you don’t know what you want, how can you possibly know when you have it? Or even prep to keep it? I know that I want to marry a black man, but will he be soft-spoken, will he be shy? Do I want a macho man (I don’t; I think he would thump me over the head and then my daddy would kill him). I know that I’m flexible on the height requirements, but I cannot bend on whether or not he is a Christian. Also, I’m 30. I’m not 30, but I am old as dirt, meaning men around my age have children. Now, I have a hard time tying my own shoes and remembering to put my durag on at night, let alone playing step-mother. It’s safe to say that a man without children is ideal. But are these the things that go on a list?

The point of this rant/random update is to suggest that perhaps we all should have a list. Another good friend of mine who is married and expecting his first child told me that in college he was so frustrated with dead-end situationships/relationships that he made a list of non-negotiable things he looked for in a woman. If upon meeting someone, they did something that went against the list, they automatically got crossed off the potential bae list. He found his wife literally because she met the criteria.

As I sit here, staring at this blank sheet, pen in my left hand, I challenge you all (whether single, dating or married) to make a list of non-negotiables. Perhaps the problem is not that you can’t find someone, perhaps you don’t even know what you’re looking for. You can’t go in Lowes looking for haircare products (I mean you can but thats dumb and you won’t get what you’re looking for * wink *wink) just like you wouldn’t go to Sephora looking for lumber. I don’t know about you, but I want a family one day. Lord willing I want some nappy headed children, a picket fence, two dogs and a hedgehog. We plan for all things in life; college choices, career, apartments, Tupperware and more. I suggest writing this list, meditating over it, and then praying that God sends you the help-meet you desire. “You have not, because you ask not”. Well I guess I have not because I don’t even know what I’m looking for. Please pray for me and this blank paper cause so far all I can think of is a man that doesn’t wear team jays.

Good night!

Because of the Internet, the World Crashed

I know you read this title and thought, “here she goes again being all crazy and conspiratorial”. And yes, at this point, there’s no room in the inn for my mental and emotional being, but as Kanye so poignantly puts it, “NAME ONE GENIUS THAT AINT CRAZY!”

Anywho, this post should be brief (lettuce pray). So I was having a discussion with a friend and I was telling this friend about my colloquium presentation that’s coming up. For my graduate program you have to do this extensive  presentation on a subject of your choosing that has to relate in some form or fashion back to social work. Well ya girl is an intern at a school, and has the pleasure of shaping beautiful, young minds. (I’m being dramatic, these kids cuss me out, call me bad names, cry on my shoulders and buy me gifts. Our relationship is very tumultuous but I know they mean well) Anywho, I noticed my children all have this insane attachment to their iPads (my students are literally BAD and BOUJEE because they cut up, but each have iPads). These iPads were implemented to help with in-class work and homework. They take tests on them, except when the internet catches the flu which is like every other week, and according to the 6th grade boys, they upload porn videos. (I really love and hate adolescent boys simultaneously) They send evil ass text messages to one another, for example: OMG did you see Sasha’s face. She looks like a cheetoh. Or Wow, how dare that b%^*# look at my boyfriend. We’ve been dating for 3 days; she should know better!

Essentially, all the dumb things we did at that age, they’re carrying the torch, only technologically driven. That note that you dropped in 6th grade that let the entire school know that you farted out of nervousness during your choir performance, and that you’re kissing Bobby  at 3:15 after school is now a text message on an IPad. You’re thinking, great! I sure wish I could’ve emailed Bobby from my iPad. WRONG! I see more students because of cyber bullying than anything else. I have girls come in my office in tears because their chest is flat and their hair is nappy. I even had 6 students of whom I visit with DAILY intentionally start a fight so that they could upload it to IG in the hopes to get famous. Every day I catch a student in a random hallway laboriously texting, checking IG, Snapchat (by the way what the HELL does a 9 year old need with Snapchat. Hey guys, look at the homework I’m about to do. Totally turning up this weekend at Urban Air. Ho, sit down!)

Okay this is a rant. 

So listen, my colloquium presentation is going to center around the negative impact the internet, as well as technology has on the human psyche. Y’all, we are BOMBARDED with images daily. I know for me, I check Facebook and people are married, getting married, dating, having children, going to PA school, juggling basketballs while singing Bad and Boujee synonymously, and I’m just over here tryna get both socks to match. That’s a hit at my self esteem. I log onto IG and there’s eyebrows on fleek, cheekbones on contour, bundles, boobs, abs, relationship goals! That’s another hit at my self-esteem. Side note, I quit Snapchat. I don’t wanna see your makeup from 12 different angles for 30 minutes and I don’t wanna watch you record a party that you’re obviously not participating in because YOU’RE RECORDING IT! I actually like twitter cause Issa joke er’day and I feel connected. But my point is this, as a society, we are being bombarded every minute of the day with information we don’t need! Why you think ole dude won’t main you? Prolly cause he got 7 other females in his dms and he simply can’t choose who will be the most idealistic. The internet gives us this false sense of reality. We think “oh if the internet says it, it must be true”. If bae likes her picture then they’re prolly together. Let me set a PR for this jump to this raggedy conclusion I’m about to make. I posted this bomb picture. Fade on fleek, lashes on, tummy sucked in, Jays’s pristine. Now I’m sweating like a stripper doing taxes waiting for the results (likes) to come back validating and affirming I’m a dope human being.

I could go much further in discussion, but I’ll save that for colloquium. Moral of the story is, put ya phone down, get from behind your laptop, in front of the tv screen and go see life. Stop tweet watching, it will lead to your demise. Admire ole girl for dropping 30 pounds on IG, but don’t become envious and idolize her. Adopt a workout program and hit the gym. Eat a fruit, and a cookie (I like cookies). Deactivate your FB if you need too. You know you want a relationship and a baby, don’t trigger yourself by logging on to something that may potentially remind you of everything you don’t have, but want. 

In bible study last week, we talked about Guarding our hearts. Well I’m hear to say, guard them eyes. Just like we eat and defecate, the things you feed your mind manifest in your actions. And I’m not here to bash the internet. I am literally using it as we speak. But too much cargo overloads the plane. Control what you see, and put out some positive things into cyber world. I want you to try this. Get yourself slayed for the Gods, go somewhere nice and have fun. Now you ready? Okay. DONT TAKE ANY PICTURES. None. Zilch. Nada. Not of your feet, not of the restaurant, not of Bae’s elbow. NOTHING. Let life happen and revel in the beauty of the moment. That’s why the internet is crashing life, because we’re so busy recording and pushing pause, we’re forgetting to live.

Kids are so dope because they are so pure. They have their entire life to figure how to lie, compromise who they are, compare themselves and more. Take your iPad from your child and play with them sometimes. There is something so beautiful and irreplaceable about human touch. We wonder why in a society so rich, mental health is at an all time decline. As Erykah badu once said “I can make you put your phone down”. Read this post, then go put your phone down and live. 

Peace and Blessings!