Dating · Life · Positivity · relationships

Dirty 30: How Dirty Is It?

welcome-to-dirty-30-young-enough-to-party-like-a-20-something-wise-enough-to-pass-out-at-a-respectable-hour-d0429
That bottle of wine isn’t getting any easier.

I know that they say that women shouldn’t reveal their age, but I don’t really care. I’ll be 30 in December. I’m not so sure how I feel about it yet…don’t even know if I’m actually feeling anything at all, but I’m definitely becoming more aware of the arrival the closer it gets.

I’d like to think that my concerns are normal. Relationship status. Career status. Life in general status. There’s something about closing in on this decade that really makes me reflect on the past and hope for better in the future. It all boils down to time. I always worry about wasted time. Looking back into my 20’s, I can think of so many times where I gave time to undeserving things and people.

Welp. 30 is coming, and I don’t plan to do the same this decade around.

The same things that I sometimes worry about are the same things that I am grateful for. Yes, I’m very single but at least I’m not going into my 30’s wasting time in a terrible ‘relationship’. I sleep just fine knowing that I’m not worried about being hurt by a man. I may not have an six figure career, but I’m steadily working to better myself–even going back to school.

When I REALLY think about it, I’m not doing as bad as I could be. I count my blessings for sure. The real truth is that the standards of age mean nothing. We each have our own path. We each have a journey full of experiences that no one else can share completely. We each have our own pace–things are done just when they should be. I’ve learned to have even more trust in myself. As long as I’m moving towards progress, I’m able to snap out of my random pity parties.

I just wish I could get my metabolism moving the same way…

 

Life · Positivity

Ready or Not, Make a Move

ready-or-not

Ready:

1. completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use.

2. duly equipped, completed, adjusted, or arranged, as for an occasion or purpose.

How many times have you pulled back from doing something out of fear that you weren’t ready? Are we ever truly ready for any of the steps we need to take in life? To be honest, I have more questions than answers, but I’ve been able to make some sense of the dilemma. I’ve been on both sides of the fence: I’ve put things off and worried about my readiness, and I’ve leaped into things and worked them out as I went. It all boils down to how willing you are to take a risk.

They say that experience is the best teacher. Well, what if you don’t show up to class? How upset have you been when you weren’t considered for a position because you didn’t have enough work experience. “BUT THAT’S WHY I APPLIED!!! I NEED EXPERIENCE!!!” Isn’t that just so frustrating?? Well, I think that life works the same way except there are many opportunities where we can give ourselves more experience if only we take the necessary risks.

Risks are tricky; not knowing how something will pan out can be very worrisome. The results may or may not be favorable. You may end up two steps ahead or two steps behind. You may not see any change in your life at all. It’s okay to be hesitant about risk, but the most important thing is getting that life experience to prepare you for future things. I don’t think it’s possible to be completely READY for something, but you can at least take steps to prepare yourself. This preparation can be educational, financial, or just experiencing things that strengthen your maturity.

Are you ready for the next step? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean you should remain stagnant with doubt. Go ahead and take those steps for preparedness. Each experience gets you just that much closer to what you never thought you’d be ready for.

blogging · Life · Positivity

Blogging When Life Is Hectic: Where’s the Balance?

sleepy-duck
I’m just as tired, but not as cute as this little duckling

Sooooo…it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post–quite a lot has happened since then. I originally intended to only be away for a weekend because I knew that work would be crazy for those days but things seemed to take another direction.

 

Working in retail sales, September marks the beginning of our busy season. It is at this point that we are ending our third quarter and gearing up for the fourth quarter. You can’t really prepare for it, you just kinda deal with it as you go along. The hours and the stress of the customer-facing nature of the business create the perfect recipe for exhaustion, leaving the mind and body with very little energy for anything else. Since I’d been so excited about blogging in these first few months, I am saddened by how little I’ve been able to produce. I’ve even been upset with myself at times simply because the fatigue has clouded my mind so much.

This is no good. 

You ever been so tired that your mind feels like mush? You ever had days where you’re mentally ready to get back on the horse but your body knocks you back to the ground? That’s how these past 2 weeks have been. Writing has been tough, but I’d resolved to at least make sure that I kept my reading mission going (“F*ck Feelings” is still pretty awesome by the way) so I could have my mind focus on something.

I’m still working to find a balance for blogging when my real life is hectic, and I’m not giving up. I know I’m not the first to have these challenges, and I know I won’t be the last. I also know that I love blogging and really want to grow as a writer so I need the continued practice.

If you’ve ever dealt with this struggle, what techniques did you use to get closer to balance? Did you ever learn to balance blogging with the chaos of your real life, or are you just making it work? Leave me a clue, a sign, or something in the comments.

I definitely need all the help I can get.

Life · Positivity · Wellness

Just A Thought: There Are No Mistakes, Only Poor Choices

accountability

Recently, during one of my thought sessions, I thought about how much of life is based on cause and effect. I came to a bold realization: We don’t make mistakes, we make choices. (Yes, bold statement.) There are forces of nature that just a cause things to happen, of course these things are out of our control, but most of our lives can be chalked up to choices–this applies to both positive and negative experiences. I don’t know about you, but in being honest with myself, I can think of so many things in my life that could’ve been different had I just made a different decision.

Owning your decision-making is an ugly process. I mean, who wants to admit that they’re wrong? Admitting fault is a touchy thing, but it’s real. Saying “I made a mistake” sometimes sounds like a cop-out. Yes we’re imperfect. Yes we do things that make no sense. So many times we certainly misplace blame. I think that the more honest we are ourselves about how much power we have over the outcome of our lives, thethe morebetter better off we will be. It’s easy to blame someone else for why something has happened to us; it’s not easy to reconcile with the fact that we’ve made a poor decision. You can’t fix anything if you’re not honest enough to identify a problem. Well, if you’re not honest enough to realize that you’ve repeatedly made poor choices, then how can you become better at making the right choices?

I’ve put myself through so much unnecessary foolishness all because I made foolish choices. While some would blame others, I knew to blame myself. I STILL make stupid choices, but being honest about that has helped me move in better directions and avoid much more grief and heartache. This post is a representation of my thought process through it all. I’m learning to empower myself to create the life I want.

Here’s my challenge to you: Sit down and reflect on your own life.

How many times have you made things unnecessarily hard on yourself? How many times have you blamed others when the power was all in your hands? Do you TRUST yourself to make good choices? It can be painful, but the honesty can certainly help. Own your bad choices, and strive to make better ones in the future. You have more power over your life than you could ever realize.

blogging · Dating · Life · Positivity · relationships

Advice From Pretty Men

 

beautiful tina
I really had no intended photo for today’s post, so here’s a gif of my fave Tina Belcher courtesy of giphy.com

 

I’m not sure what happened, or even WHEN it happened, but there’s been a sudden rise in pretty men giving women advice. These men make videos and post statuses that tell women just why their relationships are unsuccessful, why their mindset needs to change, why they’re not attracting decent men, what men are looking for, and even telling men what they are doing wrong (women REALLY eat this part up it says, “Oh, he’s on our side!”). I’ve seen quite a few of these “attractive advisors”, and I’ve been left with questions:

Isn’t this common sense? Why are these women eating this up as if they’ve never heard of these basic concepts before? Haven’t they lived and experienced on their own to learn these things without having this pretty man tell them what’s up?

Nothing that I have seen or heard from these men has been mind-blowing. Hell, I’ve been saying some of the same things for years! I have friends who’ve said the same things! A lot of the ideas are just logical concepts on how relationships and human interaction work–LOGICAL. They’re just delivered by a handsome face and a smile. Are women incapable of understanding logical ideas unless their presented by a man?

I think women are VERY capable, which is why these men bother me and the women who follow them puzzle me. It’s bad enough that women are seen as “emotional creatures who can’t possibly make decisions based on logic or rationale”, it really doesn’t help to see these guys use emotional appeal to gain the female audience. They tell you how beautiful you are and appeal to your desire to have a man understand your plight in the quest for love. They even have you asking yourself, “Why can’t I find someone like him?”

That’s EXACTLY where the problem lies. Ladies, these men have no idea who you are so your chances with them are very slim. Of course everything looks and sounds like perfection, but would you listen if he wasn’t so handsome? No matter what these men tell you, unless you’re able to learn from your own experiences and be truthful with yourself in those experiences, you’re wasting your time hanging on their every word.

As I’ve said earlier, I’ve already realized everything that these guys say. I’ve either experiened it myself, witnessed and learned, or learned from friends. At the end of it all, I’ve still made dumb choices, ones that I have completely owned up to. Why do I own these mistakes? Because I believe in being honest with yourself, you’ll understand how dangerous it is to hang onto those pretty words instead of honestly learning from your experiences. I can’t even say that my mistakes were mistakes, I knew better and chose to do the exact opposite.

These guys are cool and all, but before this social media phenomenon there was always common sense. Be honest with yourself. Take time to seek wisdom outside of social media. Live and learn on your own terms and stop hanging onto the words of those pretty men.

Life · Positivity · Wellness

Breaking My Bad Habits: Divide & Conquer


I have some of the WORST habits. It’s not even the bad habits that are the problem, I seem to have the hardest time breaking them. I mean, I recognize them and may even know the fix for them, but I’ve failed in the execution. My bad habits are like a giant Pokeball–I’m getting captured all over the place. I may manage to break free from said Pokeball, but those habits are like, “Nah”.

Well, that’s all about to change. I realize now that I’ve been going about this all wrong! I’m going to have to employ the “divide and conquer” approach. Sometimes the solution isn’t to cut bad habits cold turkey, you have to create little good habits that will chip away at your bad habits. The end goal is to have turned those little good habits into bigger, permanent good habits and have those bad habits shrink and fall away.

Here are a few of the bad habits that irk my nerves (in no particular order):

Procrastinator: Master Level

daria procrastinate.gif

I’ll get that thing done. One of these days. I really don’t mean to put things off, but when I get into that procrastinating mode, nothing is safe.

The Heavy-Duty Snoozer 

homer snooze.gif

Oh. So that alarm thought I was just gonna get outta bed and hit the showers huh? I’m straight up disrespectful when it comes to alarms. Even with having 4 alarms set–mostly to accommodate my snoozing needs–I still find a way to inch past them all so that I can get up at the very last possible minute.

Ashy Keshia

ashy larry

I love lotion. I keep plenty of lotion. Unfortunately, I never take/make time to lotion my actual body. I mean, maybe if I could stop snoozing so damn long. The only parts of my body that actually make the cut every day are my arms. I need to get it together. I don’t need this black to crack.

Sleep Fighter

insomnia stewie

I already know that insomnia is my arch nemesis, yet I seem to love to help it out by not getting to bed when I KNOW I could actually go to sleep. I just HAVE to occupy myself with something else instead. This one is good and bad, because it’s how I get a lot of my posts written (or at least started) but I know I need to be getting more sleep.

 

Blowing All The Monies

TAKE MY MONEY

Look, when it comes to food I’m either gonna spend none of the money, or I’m gonna spend ALL of the money. There is no in-between. There is no try; only spend. If there’s food on the line, my swipe game has no bounds. Even chip reader can’t slow me down. Don’t make me break out my Apple Pay. My bank account has PLENTY bounds, but the food just calls to me.

Some of my bad habits are milder than others–this is also just a short list. When it came to my wine habit, I was better able to change that habit because I knew it was a BAD thing. I took time to understand WHY I was drinking so much and I made the changes. I need to work on my mindset in relation to these other bad habits too. I CAN break them, I HAVE to break them. Anything that is slowing me down and keeping me from doing the things I need to be doing to get ahead needs to be completely cut out. There are SO many things I’ve never finished because of these stupid habits. This can’t continue!

Mindset really is everything. Maybe I have no energy because my thoughts haven’t been energetic. This most recent rut came after a period of super productivity and positivity. I must turn that switch back on–it felt so much better than the alternative.

Bad habits are always going to be hard to break if you keep telling yourself that. Change the conversation.

All gifs courtesy of giphy.com

 

 

Current Events · Life

Black Girl Attitude

If you have 2 eyes and a social media account, I’m sure you’ve seen this meme:

image

 

The caption of the meme reads; “#Mysogynoir: When McKayla Maroney’s disappointment was adorable but Gabby Douglas’ disappointment is attitude”. To sum up my reaction to the meme, let’s just say that I was PISSED. I haven’t kept up with the olympics this year, but I still have not been able to escape the criticisms that Ms. Gabby Douglas has received this year.

I’m not just bothered by the fact that people seem to have forgotten how amazing she was at her first Olympic showing in 2012. Or about the fact that people don’t seem to be able to like both Gabby and Simone Biles because we can’t POSSIBLY celebrate two women from the same sport at the same time. For the sake of this post today, I’m bothered by the fact that this whole “black girl with an attitude” crock is still a thing!! I’ve seen more article about Gabby’s “attitude” than I have about what she’s accomplished at the Olympics. But they’re just gonna let Ryan Lochte and his rowdy swimming crew get a pass because their “just kids” whose accomplishments outweigh their behaviors.

As a black woman, I’ve had to deal with this foolish idea too many times. If I’m assertive and direct, I HAVE AN ATTITUDE. If I’m not walking around with a huge smile to show ALL of my teeth, I HAVE AN ATTITUDE. If I disagree with something, I HAVE AN ATTITUDE. If I BREATHE, I HAVE AN ATTITUDE. Like Gabby, if I’m disapppointed in myself because I haven’t performed to my own high standard, I HAVE AN ATTITUDE.

I’m not sure why in 2016, black women are not allowed to have facial expressions and emotions outside of extreme glee. It’s bad enough that women are generally considered “bitchy” just for speaking like our male counterparts–with authority. Black women have to bear that weight AND the weight of the negative perceptions attached to our emotional range. It’s disappointing. WE ARE WOMEN!!! WE ARE HUMAN!!!

Guess what!! I know this may come as a shock to some, but us black women are capable of expressing every emotion you could possibly imagine. (Woooow!! Right?) On top of those emotions, we have one extra layer–the one where we always feel the need to be conscious of our demeanor and our words for fear that we’ll be mistakenly labeled as that ANGRY BLACK WOMAN.

Welp. Today, I’ll be that ANGRY BLACK WOMAN. I’ll be that intelligent, eccentric, and emotionally complex angry black woman with my angry fro. ANDI’m going to let you know that we black women are finished and we are done with the negative connotations that come with the word “attitude”. There’s nothing wrong with being feisty, sassy, and having some attitude…unless you’re a black woman. I mean, that’s the message I keep getting–unless I’m missing something. Why can’t we be unimpressed like McKayla? Give us more credit and reducing our wealth of emotions to one thing because it’s more comfortable for you. We are not simplistic creatures, so you should learn to digest us as we are.

I could really go on and on about this subject, but I’ll finish with this:

This message isn’t just some angry message directed towards white people–like I said, I’m more complex than that–it’s meant for ANY and EVERY person who thinks it’s cool to reduce us black women this way. Yeah, I’m talking to you black men and women too–you can do much better than that. 

Life · Wellness

Sluggish


I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with my blog and everything else these days. Either I’m working my real job, or I’m struggling to get through a day off. 

A typical day off of work these days goes as follows:
I wake up around 9am, ready to have a productive day. Even though I’m awake, I haven’t actually gotten out of bed. The next thing I know, I find myself waking up again 2 hours later. I feel bad about wasting the day, so I get up and shower. I head to the living room so I can be away from my bed. 

I turn on the tv. I don’t have time to watch much during the work days, so I kinda binge on the days off. I still tell myself that productivity is on the menu–I at even begin working on something. The next thing I know, I’m waking up for falling asleep AGAIN. The cycle of me going in and out of sleep continues throughout the day.

Finally, it’s time for bed. I find myself fighting to stay awake-I don’t even think it is intentional. Because I just happen to be awake, I make an effort to have some late night productivity. Most times, I don’t get anywhere at all.

Needless to say, the whole situation is frustrating as hell. I have periods where I sleep “normally” and am not awake past midnight. It’s still hard to wake up and get my day started, but I’ve at least had sleep.

I’m over it. 

I’m tired of the back and forth cycles. I had to get to the bottom of the cause of my sluggishness and insomnia. I’ve always had insomnia issues, but that can’t be the sole reason for my sluggish behavior. If I weren’t getting up to go to work, I’m pretty sure that I would be home just going in and out of sleep and being mad at myself. I know that diet and exercise can play a huge role, so I’m resolving to see what natural things I can. My productivity is suffering considerably and something must change. 

HOW DO I PEP MY STEP?? 

Education · Life

Is College Worth It? Yes and No

is college worth it

Growing up, I never questioned whether I’d go to college. I’d always been about my studies at every grade level, so college just seemed to be the next step in the natural order of things. I’ve been to 3 different institutions. I’ve studied 3 different subjects.

I have one degree.

I didn’t question the value of a college education until I’d already gotten so deep in the process.  These days, I question my education more than ever–especially as I make my car payment for the car that I don’t have. (Too bad you can’t drive student loans.) Should I have gone to college? Is it still possible to get a position in my field of study? Should I just commit the rest of my life to finding a sugar daddy?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!!

Unfortunately, like Sway, I don’t have the answers. I’ve done a bit of research in my quest to answer the “Is college worth it?” question and I can’t say that I’ve gotten any real resolution. What I HAVE concluded is that a college education can be beneficial if you’re able to figure out how to make it sweeter. Studies show that degree holders earn more than those who only have high school diplomas–which I think kinda evens out when you think of the ridiculous amount of student debt in this country. HOWEVER, in so many cases, graduates don’t get jobs in their field of study which means they don’t necessarily earn more at all!! Long gone are the days of a degree guaranteeing a career. A degree just isn’t enough.

Degrees are amazing. Want to know what makes them even MORE amazing?

Networking.

NETWORKING IS KING!!! I’ll be the first to say: Networking has never been my strong suit.

It really is about WHO you know. The saying is as old as time, but I think that it means a lot more in today’s time. I sometimes have trouble maintaining connections with people, and if I’m completely honest, I’m sure that it has caused me to miss out on some opportunities (whether I knew about them or not). You’d think that networking is easier to do with so much technology around us–it’s not. You have to be very intentional in your networking. Networking can be a full-time job of its own.

No matter how frustrated I am with the overwhelming grip of student loan debt, I guess an education can be what you make it. I still don’t think that everyone needs to go to college–it’s ok to not want to attend. At the same time, I find it amazing when people pursue degrees beyond undergrad. I’ve also seen plenty of people make really good money without a degree. I think that it’s a bit easier to avoid these question-filled moments if you choose a degree and career path that has the most opportunity for graduate employment. There are ways out here to make whatever money and opportunity you need; you just have to invest the time to learn what it takes–even outside of the classroom. There is no one way to do it. There is no EASIER way to do it. The key to success is definitely knowledge: You can learn for free, or you can learn in debt.

Were my years spent in college worth the debt? It depends on which day you ask the question. Most days, I find that cons outweigh the pros so I may not be the best person to ask. Whether you’re a graduate who cringes at the thought of that monthly loan payment or you’re not even a student yet and are trying to decide whether it’s right for you, whenever the nagging question of the worth of college crosses your mind ask instead this question:

What result is necessary for you to believe that the struggle is worth it? A guarantee of higher income than those who’ve opted out of a college education? The idea of a career over a job? Little to no student loan debt? If you truly believe that a degree will give you what you’re looking for:

MAKE IT WORTH IT. 

Dating · Life · relationships

Online Dating: Rinse And Repeat

 

 

chocolatesEvery online dating experience starts the same way. I set up the profile and I just wait for the messages to start popping up. I’ll even waste time writing a decent bio as if someone will take the time to read it–what am I thinking? I’ll get a lot of flirts, “So-and-so wants to meet you!”, but I won’t get enough messages to match the superficial “swipe left or right” flirting. By the time I get my third or fourth “hey wyd?” or “wats up sexy?”, I’m poised and ready to deactivate my account.

Why the hell am I doing this again?

wyd 2Instead of deactivating, I press forward. I mean, how can I ever meet anyone if I can’t keep a profile for more than an hour? Ok, cool. I’ll actually strike up a continuous convo with about 2 or 3 guys. Next, I’ll get overwhelmed about the idea of entertaining more than one guy at a time–really stretching my player muscles. I may even exchange numbers, but I don’t save the numbers since I figure that I won’t need them past the first week. We’ll text up a storm–or drizzle rather–but we’ll never meet. I generally don’t meet the guy for one of two reasons: our schedules won’t match up, or I’m refusing a hookup of some sort. Before you know it, I’ve deleted the message threads from my phone.

I don’t feel like I’ve wasted time because I sometimes see the online dating experience as a welcome distraction from my usual grind. What DOES set me off is the fact that EVERY interaction ends the same way. I can only play “Ring Around The Text Message” for so long. I hate small talk.

The next step is deactivation. My patience has been depleted and defeated. After each experience, I’m left asking myself why I bothered in the first place, and why I keep giving online dating any time at all.

I’ve tried all the methods. I’ve held conversation after conversation. I’ve laid down my charm smackdown in the inbox. I’ve even taken it upon myself to approach the guy first in the hopes of actually connecting with someone I’m initially interested in. No matter what, NO DICE!!! I don’t get it.

I KNOW there are decent guys out there in the online dating world–I’m a decent woman whose been in that same world. I’m usually left concluding that those men either don’t find me attractive, OR I didn’t stick around long enough to catch one–not that they’re Pokemon or anything. I just need to understand how to make the online thing work for me, especially since it seems like that’s the only way to get a guy to talk to me in the first place. I’m sure that online dating can be a great thing, but I feel like too many people are just running amuck, so the experience amounts to nothing.

netflix

I know the whole world is not about to change for me, but what I need is physical energy. I need dating in the real world. I need to be around you in person. I need to be able to talk to you and not feel like I’m the one carrying the conversation. I need for you to not be 20 years older than me. I need for you to not Catfish me. If you’re down for some good ol’fashioned dating, then I’m all for it. I’m sure we’d have to dig into the ancient artifacts to find out what that kind of dating is, but that’s cool.

Am I asking for too much?? 

For those out there fighting that good online dating fight, I salute you. You have a patience that I have yet to master.

P.S.

I downloaded another dating app–I’ve been on there before a few times–and I have yet to even open it since downloading. I’m trying to muster up the strength to go forward. So far, I haven’t mustered nor ketchuped any strength.

(Get it? Mustard and Ketchup? LOL No? Maybe that’s why I’m single haha.)