Sunday, May 21, 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Significance of a Slow Dance

"I'm dreaming of a slow wine heavy on the bass with your hands around my waist. You can cup my behind as long as I can lay my head on your shoulders. When I inhale, the butterflies in my stomach make it hard to catch my breath because you smell so good. And when my knees get weak, you hold me and rock steady to the beat until I'm no longer conscious and our bodies become one."

Where they still do that at? Do people even dance like that anymore? The relationship I dream of is heavy on the music and a big part of that is a slow dance. Why don't folks slow dance anymore?! It's preposterous. Can I get a slow dance before you try to stick your tongue in my mouth?!

The only man that ever slow danced with me was a poet. He wooed me with his spontaneous prose lauding everything from my curves to my heart. He was smart. He quickly learned the way to my heart: Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and meaningful conversation. I found myself ignoring big red flags and getting lost in his words. Yeah. He used to slow dance with me. I'm about to be 31. I deserve a man who can and will rock nice and steady to a one drop beat or a soulful ballad. It's not that difficult. Come on guys!

"Slow Dance" by John Legend

Social Media Activism: What is it good for?

Social media activism refers to the practice of being extremely vocal and active about social issues on websites like Facebook and Twitter but doing nothing "concrete" about the actual problems. Social media activists are those of us who sit on our asses and share articles, argue in the comments sections and even try to shame others for what they did or did not post about a topic we feel is important but limit our involvement to the World Wide Web. There is no question that there is a lot of this going on these days and it can be sickening.

In the wake of the Paris Attacks in November 2015, there was a lot of talk about whose lives matter, the information we are fed by the media and what we care about as a result. The whole discussion exhausted the hell out of me. Of course, I had opinions about it, I always do. But I choose not to share them as often on social media because I don't want to deal with the time-consuming fray from my online community and their diverse opinions and backgrounds (that's a whole other discussion).

Regardless of what I think about how tragedy and loss are reported, the fact remains that there is an overwhelming amount of violence and hatred in the world right now. I'm sure most people would agree that this is not ideal. I'm a solution-oriented person above all. So the idea that we are all sitting on our asses arguing about whose lives matter while the world goes up in flames is extremely disconcerting to me.

BUT

I don't believe denouncing social media activism is necessarily the way to go and here's why...

Something is better than nothing.

How many of the people who are sharing and spreading information on social media would actually go out and do something about it if there were no Facebook? In other words, before social media became so pervasive and people didn't have access to it as a means of spreading information and ideas, were social media activists out in the streets getting results? I doubt it. It's more likely that they were not involved at all.

Yes, this is a new generation so many of them don't know the world without Facebook activism and it can, therefore, be argued that they could be learning social media activism as if it is a viable form of change. That is dangerous. But overall, I think that the number of people who are more likely to talk about shit and do nothing has not necessarily grown just because they've been given a platform on the internet and, if it has grown, it is not significant.

Think about it. 15 years ago, social media activists were the people who were reading the newspaper and arguing with their coworkers about politics. Or they were the ones who watched CNN 24/7 while on the phone with their relatives in other states arguing about the news (my stepfather still does this). The people who are most likely to talk about shit and not do anything are always going to be around.

As such, the people who are more apt to do things will always have that drive. Social media activists won't change that. If anything, social media gives voice to the people who may not have been heard before because they were just talking to friends and family instead of the World Wide Web. They serve a purpose. They create a buzz around topics. They give us greater insight into what the world is thinking about. The conversations that they create are, at times, invaluable. Even the worst kind, where people spew hatred and ignorance, gives us insight into how much work we have to do.

I venture to state that all of the people on the internet that we are tired of hearing from have always existed:

  • self-righteous black folk
  • self-righteous Christian folk
  • ignorant-ass white supremacists
  • misogynists
  • liberal-ass, guilty white people who think they know everybody's struggle
  • Clueless-ass white people who don't know and don't care about anybody's struggles
  • and the list goes on and on
The difference is just that we are hearing more voices now. These people have computers and smartphones and tablets. They have a stage. They have an open mic. They have a soapbox. When you sign into Facebook, what does it ask you?

"What's on your mind?"

You think that is coincidental? You think those fuckers really care about you? You think Mark Zuckerberg is trying to be your therapist? Hell to the naw! Facebook is set up as a big worldwide discussion. It's pretty ingenious actually. Over the years, Facebook has redesigned itself to go from a shallow social network where you could cyber stalk your ex or that bitch from high school that used to act like her shit didn't stink to a real-time worldwide roundtable discussion about whatever issues people deem significant. Look at all the things that they have put in place to facilitate these discussions.

Do you honestly think that this hasn't been engineered? Look at every online article. It gives you the opportunity to share via Facebook et al. I don't have to go searching for news anymore. Facebook is my primary source of information. You know how I found out about the Paris attacks? "Facebook Safety Check" told me that two of my friends (whom I didn't even know were in Paris) were safe. Naturally, I was like, "safe from what?" and I quickly found out what had happened.

Facebook has totally changed the way we learn about, comment on and react to the world around us. We can sit and argue about how that has affected our action or inaction but I think it's shortsighted and silly to blame social networks for the apathy that has existed among human beings since the beginning of time. Let's focus on how we can use the tools of social media to be better activists. After all, the word "activism," by definition, consists of action.

And while sharing, encouraging and denouncing things via Facebook is a sort of activism as it can help educate and arouse the population to make change, we all know that it takes more than discussion to truly address the problems we face. Therefore, how do we make the next step from social media activism to actual activism? How do we transition to physical action? Let's talk about it on Facebook, where I'll share this blogpost. See how I did that?

-November 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why am I so Angry?!

Today, somebody told me that they had read my blog and I immediately panicked. No, like seriously. I freaked out because I have just been dropping ridiculous bullshit on here for the sake of publishing something but I haven't written anything witty, deep, funny, poignant in a long time. So I opened up the page and looked at some of my recent posts and I am now MORTIFIED. It's much worse than I thought.

I sound like an angry, bitter, lonely bitch who is also a horrible writer. Great. Not exactly what I had in mind when I was pushing myself to blog to get my creative juices going.

Even worse, this person happens to be a gentleman that I like (oh don't worry. It doesn't matter if I admit it here cause I'm pretty sure he will never visit this blog ever again) so I can basically forget about the possibility of him having any more interest in me.  I mean, I wouldn't date the person who wrote all these bitter ass tirades.

The truth is, I haven't been nearly as angry and bitter as my posts sound but because I only seem to blog when something pisses me off or I have an existential crisis, I seem like a fucking basket case. Great. No wonder I'm still single.

Oh well. Can't dwell on what's done. I guess if this gentleman (and whoever else may actually still read this blog) is worth my time, he will take those bitter posts with a grain of salt and reserve his judgments. In the meantime, I gotta fix this shit. It's thoroughly embarrassing.

I think the problem here is that there isn't a theme (at least not one I planned or properly executed). Oh yeah, the unofficial theme is "angry black bitch ravings" but that's definitely not a complete representation of me. I'm actually kinda funny, sweet and inspiring sometimes. I know! After reading this blog, I find it hard to believe myself!

Anyway, I think I'll change this blog to a more anecdotal, light-hearted journal. One where I share the quick musings of my daily experiences. One where I can make you laugh and smile, not want to call a health-care professional. Howzat sound? Much better? OK. Obviously this starts tomorrow cause this post is totally not "on message."

*awkward laugh*

Black Girls Don't Shave Their Legs: American voters and the “cult of loyalty”

Does this still apply?



Black Girls Don't Shave Their Legs: American voters and the “cult of loyalty”: I wrote this on 2/17/08 when the Clintons were becoming more and more unappealing to me. Thank you Bill and Hillary Clinton for successf...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dear Mista-Man: Emoticons

Dating Notes from a 30-something year old hottie...

Dear Mista-Man:

You may think that my heavy use of emoticons is puerile but I only do it to compensate for the fact that you only initiate conversation via text message and I have a need to express myself as vividly as possible.

Who's the childish one now?



☕️

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Don't feed the foolishness!

Ok. So last year I was learning how to say "no" and this year I'm learning how to ignore. I'm still struggling with both. My main gripe is this: why don't people get it the first time? When I say "no," I usually have to say it 5 more times before people even start considering that I might be serious. Now, when I am clearly ignoring you, why the hell are you still texting me? It's like this, I told you where I stand many times. You decided to disregard that so I decided to disregard you! Who has time to tell the same person over and over again how to treat them? I am a very clear communicator. So, once I have been telling someone the same thing over and over again with no response, I know it's time to move on. No need for me to re-engage with you and have the same discussion for the umpteenth time. I'm not putting anymore energy into talking to you. I'm not going to feed into your foolishness. I'm done. So ummm, when are you going to get the message?

Friday, September 11, 2015

That Woman You Married...


You marry a woman who can't even spell sensual. You marry a woman who says you were her first (and she's proud of it?!). You marry a woman who doesn't like to go out at night. So that means she doesn't like loud music? She's never closed her eyes in a crowded room and let the bass vibrate through her chest? Head back, arms slightly spread, receiving the rhythm like a blessing of the Holy Spirit? Smiling, as the chills run up and down her spine and manifest on her skin as goosebumps?

No. 

She's never done that because...she doesn't go out at night. Music is not intoxicating to her. She doesn't live for a series of bright, colourful experiences with family and friends. Laughter and intensity are not prerequisites for her daily life. Any joy she feels must be accidental! How else could she experience life when she doesn't have any interests besides being your wife? You marry a woman who is the complete opposite of alive and well. She lives in black and white. She is most definitely turned down. She's so uninteresting that I don't even care to find out how or why she got that way because it's not an option for me. Never going to happen.

What's that you say? 

I will never find a husband if I continue to live like this? Why do I have to decide between having a family and living authentically? There must be a glitch or a misunderstanding. How could God make me so vibrantly dynamic and then require me to cover all that light to find an ideal mate?

And when you do marry that woman. You know, the quiet one who only speaks when spoken to and who always says the most appropriate thing. You know, the girl who is pretty but not gorgeous. The one who dresses nicely but never \ risqué. The one who doesn't yearn to be in 20 different places at once and has lists of all the experiences she's feels she’s missing out on. The woman who's not strategizing on how she's gonna get her happy back on a daily basis. When you marry that faded woman and you still spend time with women like me, it's like I'm a supplement. You choose to fill yourself up with empty calories. Each bite of your life full of nothing substantial; nothing that satisfies your soul. And then you want me to fill in the spaces. Why? Why am I not good enough to be the main course? 

I am just like you. 

I know what excites you. I know your dreams. The things that keep you up at night are the same things that drive me crazy. What about those qualities we share make you an amazing catch but me a confused, loose hussy, unfit for marriage? What is it about my values and the way I choose to live my life that's good enough to be your friend but not your wife? 

Isn't your wife supposed to be your best friend? 

I can't help but call it fear. Why else would you reject your natural mate? Are you afraid of being inadequate? Are you afraid that I'll find a more exciting man and leave you or worse, cheat on you? Are you afraid that I'll hold you to a higher standard than she will? That I'm too smart to believe and tolerate your foolishness? That you would have to work to be a better man all around if you married me? 

Those are normal fears! It's part of the deal. Marriage is a commitment based on trust. No one goes into marriage believing and knowing for sure that things are going to work out. But we step out on faith; knowing that we've chosen the best possible mate that we want to journey through life with.

There's a difference between a man who is happy because he knows his wife loves him and is not going to cheat on him and a man who is happy because he knows his wife doesn't leave the house so she can't cheat on him. It's like those dudes who date ugly women because they don't want to deal with the stress of dating a woman with options. Why face your fears when you can just eliminate them? So you would forgo real fulfillment and happiness for safety and security? Not gonna lie, it sounds about right. Most people around me are making that choice in their careers so why not in love? And here I am: caught out there. Single and unwilling to settle. Wanting to find my God-given mate but realizing that being the fantastic woman I am might very well drive his tired ass away. But I made a decision that I'm not dumbing myself down to make a man feel comfortable. I'm gonna be myself and hope that I meet a man who is ready for a future with me. A future with challenges and uncertainty but with the promise of everything beautiful that life has to offer. Even if I did want to settle, I’m too old and set in my ways now anyway.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Stubborn Musings

This recent hullabaloo over "Empire" has led me to realize something about myself that perhaps might have already been obvious to others: I am fiercely independent.

I don't like to do what other people are doing. I really want to see this show (although I'm pretty convinced that I won't like it) if not for anything else than to prove or disprove my instincts. But, I just cannot get myself to participate in something that everybody around me is already doing! Lol. It's this stubborn quality that I hadn't quite acknowledged fully until now.

I'm sure any man I've dated, my mother and my best friends are probably saying "duh" right now but I'm genuinely surprised and amused at how far I would go to not be a part of a trend. I'll probably end up watching the whole season by myself after it's over because I'm just ridiculously difficult like that, I guess.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou's final blessing

That's it. 

Last night I was emotional and I looked to God for some direction. Some confirmation of the path that I should pursue. That struggle did not start last night. For years, I've lived in fear of following my heart and my passions. Every time I try, I choke on self-doubt, confusion, depression, fear and a host of other negative things that keep people from pursuing their dreams. But on this day, as I mourn the passing of one of the most influential women I have known, I thought to myself "Who will take her place? Who will take on her work? Who will inspire and love?Who will teach?" And I've been lamenting this anticipated void that would undoubtedly be left. But then I thought, "Why not me?" If there's anything we should learn from Maya Angelou, it's that we should live life to its fullest, commit to our talents (all of them) and accomplish great things! Why shouldn't I strive to walk in her footsteps? 

"There were times when it was said that I had more determination than talent. This may be said of many. It may also be said that life loves the person who dares to live it."

-Maya Angelou

What better way can I honor her for blessing my life than by living her lessons? I hear you, God. Loud and clear. I hear you. I will rise to the occasion. I make this promise out loud. I will declare it so that I cannot shrink from my destiny one more time because tomorrow is not promised. I will make my declaration clear so that those who hear me can hold me to it.

I promise to write everyday. I promise to cultivate my talents. I promise to read and rediscover my zeal for learning. I promise to share my gifts with the world unselfishly. I will not be afraid to love with all that I am because love is creation. And finally, I promise to exercise the faith that I have claimed for so long in the most relevant and powerful way possible: by completely investing in my dreams. I have faith that they are not accidents. I have faith that there is a plan for me. I know that I was made for more than mediocrity. I step out on that faith and promise to work hard. In doing so, I not only honor God and myself but also the amazing women like Maya Angelou who have inspired me my whole life. 

Ashe!