New Year, New You?

It is New Year’s Eve, or for some of you over-zealous individuals, New Year’s Day. You have already made those resolutions to eat right, workout every day the Lord sends, love yourself more and etc. You’re cutting out bread and adding prayer, and cutting old friends and adding new foes. (lol). Regardless, you are making promises that you PLAN to keep. Emphasize PLAN, because let’s be honest, two weeks into that workout regimen, sleep is going to be more important, and the Wendy’s 4 for 4 will find its way onto your hips and forever on your lips. You’re gonna curse out your enemies and spy on Facebook with your bestie and her potential ex-boyfriend. You’re also gonna find reasons to skip leg day and add twerk night at the local pub.

So are we aiming too high for the new year? I’m all for lofty goals; as I would have it, I am starting a “No-No” diet. I don’t know if many have noticed, but I have gained roughly the weight of a healthy 6 year old. Call it societal anxiety or Instagram model envy, but I want a flatter tummy and more stamina on the treadmill. SOO, I am working out this year. But I’m not lying to myself (like I did last year and the year before) about how I am achieving this Janet Jackson glo-up. My No-No diet is a kickstarter to a healthier me. But health starts internally. I always say that mental health is wealth and this is true. I know that I love french fries and sopapillas and all that other wonderful, fattening, greasy stuff. BUT, the overabundance of my consumption of these things is debilitating my health.

So in the New Year, I am all about changing my thinking. Day by day, I plan to do good to myself by eating better (some salads, twinkies, kale, broccoli and fried chicken, ooh and we can’t cut out mac and cheese… Mac and Cheese is bae). Most importantly, I am being realistic with myself. I was supposed to start this No-No diet January 2nd, but I have been working out for the past two weeks. I have also been forcing salad alongside my cookies, and water instead of sweet tea (I will not give up coffee and if you try and force this, I WILL HURT YOU!) New year, new you? NO. Every new day is a chance for you to better yourself! Let’s take this time to reflect on where we’ve been in order to properly envision where we will end up. Aim high with these resolutions, but know with the rising of each sun that proper change can be implemented every minute of the day. You don’t need January to signify “glowing up”. Boss up tomorrow by changing your mindset today.

 

Have a blessed New Years!

Werk, Werk, Don’t Stop! No really, please work.

In the wake of “probate season” I first want to extend my congratulations to the expansion of the D9 org’s brotherhood and sisterhood. With that being said, I want to briefly touch on the expectations of new members.

You are just initiated into the sorority of your dreams. Your probate was so amazing that the founders themselves grinned in their coffins, you just received three “hey pham” texts, your mama’s crying, your daddy’s wishing his mother was alive to see you become her sister… You go about campus and life making fraternity references; everything is “ice cold” and “so sweet” and all that jazz. All the parties next semester have your name on them, and why not; you have known scarred since 2010 and you’ve just been inducted in 2015! Of course you must stroll on every occasion and wear peri from your head to you toes! I want that for you Neo! Be the most extra that you can be! Post all the pictures, do all the chants, and oh yeah, Do all the work!

Remember when you sat in that meeting in your oversized business suit, sitting slanted in order to hide the first run in your stockings, patting down your freshly flat-ironed natural hair, baring your soul as to convince these people in this organization that you aren’t a part of, but you KNOW you love it so much, that you are qualified to be a member? Remember how you claimed you wanted to start a non-profit and open up an all boys school, and oh my lord I just looooove kids and old people, and last year I pulled a car off a homeless person and please pick me I am a good person.. I know you remember those words and promises you made when trying to gain entrance into the sorority or fraternity. Remember the fervor with which you explained all of the work you would do, and how you didn’t need the organization, but the organization needed you. (I am trying to figure out how an organization that has been around 100+ years (not all of them) needs your little 23 years of 2 cents, but no worries, I thought my sorority needed me too). What my sorority needs is the same thing that all D9 orgs need; love (brotherhood and sisterhood), service (to all mankind ;), and business. Now hear me out, the business portion is something I’m not a fan of but I’m also a tree hugger so don’t let me digress…. My point is you were chosen for a reason. Yes you should stroll and chant and twerk and bark, throw up the dynasty sign, drench yourself in royal blue and wear purple and old gold, and dye your hair pink with a green bang! But always remember what you said from the beginning; you are a servant. So neos, you will continue to go to community services, and help cater to the needs of the disenfranchised and impoverished. You need to mentor young children. You need to respect your elders, and bend over backwards assisting seasoned members of the organizations, as well as the elderly in general. LISTEN when older members speak because they can provide a wealth of knowledge. Always be willing to learn more about your organization because information is limitless. And lastly, treat members with respect and love, no matter what circumstances they,or you entered the organization.

The list of expectations are endless, but what I want to reiterate is the importance of nurturing the love for your organization. The excitement and anticipation I felt on December 13, 2015 is still pulsating through my veins this very second. I had the pleasure of witnessing some new members initiated yesterday, and I was just as excited for them as for myself last year. I love my organization, and I strive to show it every day by serving and love all mankind!

Congrats; you played yaself!

So it’s been a while, and during my siesta from blogging, I have managed to gain roughly 15 pounds, relax my coarse, and lovely hair, reignite several friendship flames, consume a gallon of water a day (yet I have gained weight due to frequent taco bell runs) all while approaching graduation from my Masters program. All of these things aren’t wonderful feats, but they are a part of living.

I also had the pleasure of voting for Hillary Clinton two- weeks ago.. Well you know how that went. Any who, what I want to take some time to vent about today is the frantic panic that is sweeping our nation, based upon the election results. More importantly, I have some thoughts about the ways in which my university is responding to blatant racist attacks.

Apparently, about a week and a half ago, a black Baylor student was shoved off of the sidewalk with the remarks “now America can be great again”. The “shover” was a white male (no specific instructions were given as to his physical appearance). The victim posted a video via social media describing the incident, and her response to everything that happened. Now I will go on the record by saying that I did not watch the video in it’s entirety, but I did retweet it (yay social media activist Tonee). I also missed the gathering/protest/rally on campus walking the student to class (side-note: I’m a poor graduate student with a minimum wage job that cannot be missed).

Fast forward to this week; Baylor’s NAACP chapter hosted one final meeting centered around digesting this election and making plans to move forward. Was I at this meeting you wonder; no I was not; again, poor and working. Did I watch the video showing ignorant people of the caucasian population hurling insults at students whom attended the meeting; briefly. Ya see, I have a bad attitude and a sensitive ego, therefore I try my best not to consume things I know full well will incite me to riot.

What are these two incidents showing me? Nothing new. Call my parents bigots, or paranoid old black people, but they raised me to be on the alert for non-black people with bad intentions. I always knew that there were many white people, both old and young that were raised with an inherent fear, hatred, and distrust for black people. Which, although I don’t agree with these fears (duh I’m black and awesome), I do see the benefits of slavery and the residual affects of an oppressive group solidifying economic success for years to come. Yes, America was build upon the backs of black people, and we’ve been getting lynched ever sense.. but I digress. This post is not about bringing up slavery in America; it’s actually a warning.

I am not my father, nor my mother! I am not voting the democratic ticket because grandma says so. I am doing research on my candidates and deciding whether or not voting is worth it. Cause let’s be real; the president is merely a pawn; America is till ran by 8 old white trillionaires; hence why Hillary was doomed from the beginning (No uterus will ever prosper!!!) Jk.. But back to my original thought; I’m not taking the poison you force feed society, and newsflash people; there are other educated black people that feel the same way. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers and more are people of color. We don’t have to shuck and jive and twerk for two pennies anymore. We are also burning bras, stereotypes and even you if need be (cues knuck if you buck). So to all you old school and new school bigots and racists, know that the old docile, sweet negro will evaporate with the baby boomers. We have read Martin, but we are embodying Malcolm. We have seen the lies portrayed about the Panther Party, but reblogged pictures and images of those same panthers feeding the community and teaching self-defense classes. America, you can’t fool this new generation of black people. In the words of a negro I once knew “we aint with the sh—“.

If you think that the president or a couple klansmen with fresh sheets can scare black people back into oblivion, you have another thing coming. And I know why you’re angry; I would be frustrated too if I watched privilege slowly but surely slide from my fingertips (cues small violin). You’re afraid of the black person becoming autonomous and finding strength within our own community (we know this, hence why you burned down entire towns that were dedicated to successful black economics i.e. Black wall street and Rosewood).

Uncle Tom is dead, and if need be, Nat Turner can resurface if you continue to push us to that point.

America, don’t play yoself.

Transitional Joint

So at the tender age of 23, gainfully employed part-time in the campus dining hall, attending graduate school and unhappily single and thoroughly confused about life, I must say that I am at a crossroads. At a time in life where old classmates are two years into a career and a couple steps from walking down the aisle, I find myself having arguments with myself on the weekends about whether I should go out, stay in, or phone a friend for hours until I eventually drift into a steady slumber. You see they told us to go to college, but as far as the instructions for actual LIFE AFTER A BACHELORS.. well, let’s just say I’m still searching for those instructions..

So what’s a single 23-year-old graduate student, financially dependent on their parental units to do? What happens when you’re past the stage in life where you twerk all night with 19-year-olds, but not quite at the age (nor relationship status) to plan cruises with other married couples? I’m not sure honestly. Should I be patrolling the 21 and up clubs looking for a potential partner, or setting up my profile on POF and Blackpeoplemeet.com?

I know you giggled at that last question, because I certainly did. I am at a point in life that’s not too hot, nor too cold, but who likes lukewarm anything?! The only thing I know that is a requirement at ALL stages of life is seeking after God’s will. You’re never too old or young to enhance your relationship with the father. So I guess all of my worrying is moot when compared to all the great things God has planned for me and my future. So if you’re like me and worried if your student loans will outweigh your yearly earnings, you’re over the age of 30 and not married, or you’re simply just frustrated with the stage of life you’re at right now, take a breath, close your eyes, and send a prayer up to the father. He’s got good plans for you, but you have to be willing to substitute your worrying for listening.

-“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord. Plans to prosper and you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

Jeremiah 29:11

No Pain, No Gain

So up until this point in my life, I considered myself pretty mature. I’ve never had even one sip of alcohol, I never broke curfew in high school, I attend church services pretty much every Sunday that the Lord sends, and I pay my taxes. I could go on further and list every other thing in life that I believe, (well believed) that were things that made me a wonderful adult. But it really took losing something very important to me to make me understand that maturity is not indicative of criteria that can be checked off of a survey. Adulthood is about thoughts and actions. The bible speaks about thinking like a child, and acting as such.

Growth. Ahh good old growth. And I used to wonder why they called it growing pains.. Because sometimes it hurts to grow. It literally pains our souls to start completely over, or to lose a friend or lover, or even to realize that others are not who they claim to be. Prior to this year, I’d never experienced the pain of separation; the anxiety that comes with fear of the future. Simply put, I had grown comfortable. We are creatures of habit after all. But just because something is easy, does not make it right. I think maturity comes when you start to actually put thought into how you affect others, and how they affect you. With me being so emotionally driven, I validated my emotions, and my actions. Now don’t get me wrong, feelings are natural, and we are all entitled to them! You can’t help how you feel. But you can control how you act. And my actions were not indicative of the person that I really was.

I feel the growth within me, but I can’t lie; a lot of pain has come right along with it. And to be quite honest, a lot of bad things have happened to me lately in order to speed up this “awakening” that I have suddenly had. But I’ll tell you one thing, the day I realized that I was letting myself down, was the day I accepted the challenge to save my own life. So here’s what I have to say, and I hope you heed my advice so that you don’t have to learn the hard way: Life is what you make it.

For a long time, I was so angry and bitter about situations that had befallen me that I couldn’t stand up. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of my own pain and misery. And as I looked around, I was slowly but surely dragging those closest to me down with me; some had life vests, others had boats, and others almost drowned with me. I write today to tell you that you can get through it. I pray these days like I’ve never prayed before. I even asked God to remove everything from my life that was holding me back from what he had for me. He answered me by allowing someone so close to me to depart.

So back to this maturity and this pain. It aint gon be easy, but then again, if it’s easy, who really wants it? Allow yourself the grace and mercy to make mistakes. There’s no problem with the mistake if you learn the lesson. And my best advice is to rely on God by meditating over his word daily and PRAYING! Oh wow, the gift of prayer is so amazing. Tell him exactly what you need! Oh yeah, and be kind to yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so know that your empire of greatness wont be built in one either. Remind yourself to take every day step by step, minute by minute. Oh maturity, I’m comin for you. No pain, no gain!

 

The Breakup Prayer 

I have another personal story Id like to share with you all. A few posts ago, I told you all about my past relationship and how it affected me. Shortly, after posting that however, I somehow started to miss him. I oddly started to reminisce on old memories, conversations, and just our old friendship in general. Despite the bad I experienced, I couldn’t stop thinking of all the good we once had, so much so, that I ALMOST reached out. But just as I was about to act on my weakness, something just wouldn’t let me. And at the time I couldn’t realize why, but as always, God finally revealed to me what he was protecting me from. I could lie to you and say I shrugged it off and that it didn’t bother or hurt me….but it did. And my missing him just turned into anger, hurt, tears, and…

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DO YOU, BOOBOO!

Pretty cliche huh? Every year we find ourselves finding some new zeal for love, life and the pursuit of happiness, yet by mid-march we’re right back to the mediocrity mindset we had last year. But what if we really made a permanent change? What if we actually stuck to that new eating plan and exercise regiment? What if we did update our blog every week, and attended bible study like we’d promised countless times? What if we really changed for the new year?

I don’t know about you, but 2015 just about killed me. I mean it, I was literally fatigued in all aspects of life. My dog began to have seizures, I started a new graduate program that revealed to me that my professional writing level was equivalent to a fifth grader; oh yeah and I lost my heart and mind for about 16 weeks. There were mornings that I could not will myself to get out of bed and there were very few nights that weren’t accompanied with tears. Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, love hurts and realizing you never loved yourself hurts the most. But after losing someone I cared about, temporarily losing my sanity, losing sleep, gaining weight; I realized that I had gained a newfound outlook on life in general. 2015 revealed to me that I had some real work to do. After 23 years living with myself, I realized that I did not know myself. Yikes!  And how can you love something that you can’t even understand? (It’s really hard).

So yes 2015, you brought bouts of despair and depression, heart-ache and pain, tears and frustration, but you also taught me to appreciate laughter. You introduced me to the greatest sorority every created, and now I am officially a sister! In my vulnerability, you allowed me to embarass myself, but you awakened my love for art again. Because of the pain, I grew closer to my friends, and realized that although I had lost an integral part of myself, there were still others who saw me for who I truly was, in spite of my present actions. I had real friends to tell me, “okay crazy, get it together!” In other words, I was one step from Lynn Whitfield in the movie a Thin Line Between Love & Hate. Thankfully though, with time, God and more God, I began to keep my craziness under wraps. Lol

So to 2015, I say thanks, and you should too. Lets toast to new beginnings; new hairstyles, new friends, new love for life; a NEW YOU. And if you’re like how I was last year, waiting on someone to fall in love with you, than lets fall in love with ourselves this year. Like I literally mean DO YOU BOOBOO! Go out to dinner, the movies, an amusement park, do your homework, and pray to God daily, thanking him for life. All the hurt, pain and regret is a part of life, but in 2016, lets keep them to a minimum!

YOLO!