Poetry

Hope for the New Year

We’ve made it to 2019. Can you remember what you wanted to happen December 31st, 2017 for the new year? I do, and even though it didn’t come to me the way I expected, it was necessary for my growth as a woman.

I prayed for knowledge and wisdom…and with the things that had taken place in 2018, God supplied me with my request. I was broken down last year, (feels weird to say you know, since last year was literally a few days ago) only to hopefully be built back up in the year of 2019. I have learned so many lessons, realized the inadequacies in my personality, and tried to alleviate pain that has been caused by past trauma or hurt that still gets a reaction out of me.

This year, I do continue to pray for knowledge and wisdom (maybe in a less aggressive fashion), but I also am adding on a few other things.

  1. I pray for organization. I pray that I set a plan and that I stick to it.
  2. I want my faith in God to grow. Not to get all preachy, but without him, I would not be where I am now. In 2018, I didn’t rely on the Lord as much as I should have. I didn’t pray as much as I could have. I guess I progressed from 2017. For most of that year, I thought God hated me, which was a ludicrous thought of mine now that I think about it.
  3. I want to read more. I used to love reading, and I want to reconnect with the positives that I used to exhibit.
  4. I want to manifest my goals, dreams, and aspirations more. I got started towards the end of the year, and I want to make sure that I bring the art of manifestation with me in the new year.
  5. I want to write in my journal daily. Writing is my personal form of therapy. Most of us don’t have a psychologist at the ready, but a pen and a piece of paper might be more accessible. I couldn’t wait to scribble on the pages, but I bought a yellow notebook for the new year to write down my thoughts, dreams, grievances, and my endless rants on things that will probably mean nothing in about a year or so.
  6. I want to move forward in everything that I am apart of. I work at my school news station, as well as being involved in NACWC (National Association of Colored Women’s Club Incorporated), and this here blog. I want to work harder and move up the ranks in my positions. When it comes to blogging, I want to write more. I feel like my posts are a bit sporadic, and going back to me wanting to be more organized, I hope to create a posting schedule.
  7. I want to start doing yoga and going to the gym. I need to get my exercise regimen together for this year. Exercise releases dopamine, and my 2019 needs to be full of all that.
  8. I want to learn how to sew and cook. My Mother called me down earlier today to look over some old birthday, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day cards. I found one that I gave to my Mother. I was eight-years-old, it was homemade…it wasn’t the prettiest, but it had a lot of heart. It was a Mother’s Day card, and inside it was me singing high praises to my Mother (as I should because my Mother is the most amazing person on the planet). In one of the lines, I say that I want her to teach me how to cook and sew. These are two things that my Mom knew how to do that I admired. Since I was thinking about learning, and I saw my younger self wanting to learn more…I think that this would be the perfect year to pick up a new hobby.

Of course, I have a whole list of things I want to happen this year (I may post the full list later on) but ultimately, the main thing I want is happiness. I guess I really didn’t have to list all eight of those New Year’s resolutions…all of them result in happiness on my end.

I want to be the woman my ten year old self never thought I would be. If you have read any of my other posts, I am a big fanatic of self love and self care. I started getting that into the end of the 2018 year, and I want 2019 to be full of it. Now, with that being said, 2019 can’t just be self care. I will continue talking to a therapist. There are some things that I still have to work out, and I’m not just going to just throw it under the rug and let it fester. I don’t want the progress that I’ve made to go to waste. I can feel it…2019 is my year.

 

 

Standard
Journaling

And I’m Holy…By My Own

Give me today my daily bread

Help to walk alone ahead

Though I walk through the darkest valley

I will fear no love 

Oh my smile, my mind reassure me

I don’t need no one

I’m not lonely…. I’m alone

And I’m holy, by my own 

Those are some of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, Holy by Jamila Woods. I was thinking about this song recently after scrolling through my social media. Social media can be an escape from boredom, but it has plagued my life all too much, and I really need to cut back from it.  It’s great to get a good sense of reality. I glimpsed and spotted a Snapchat story from a man….excuse me…. boy I used to talk to. At the time, I had feelings for this person, and I guess after this little incident, some still linger. I saw his video; him angling his phone as if it was the prequel to the Blair Witch Project, making hand gestures to some G Herbo song, with a slim thick, pretty girl perched on his lap. He was kissing her neck; she was grinning from ear to ear, deepening the dimples in her cheeks. First off, I’m wondering why I am still following this person’s Snapchat. Why do I have his number? Why does this person have a way of accessing my life again? Anyways, I couldn’t help but ponder how he went about approaching this young lady. Was he a gentleman? Did he take her out on dates? Did he open her car door for her? Did he respect her from the beginning? I internally asked this because when I conversing with this guy, he didn’t do any of these actions. Every conversation that spurred resulted in a sexual conclusion. Initially, it was him practically begging me give him the goods like I was some X-rated grocery store (that was a lot more clever in my head). At this time, being the insecure and self-conscious sister that I was, I thought that this is how I deserved to be treated by a person. There was no respect in anything that he did for me. He saw me as this sex toy; an object of his personal desire. I was thankful at this time that he wanted to pay attention to me. I couldn’t fathom that someone would want to be with me in any type of way. Before I began my third year of college, I had a brief fling with him again (stupid….so stupid). I was holding on to a fantasy of him; what he could have been. If it isn’t a reality, you need to be moving on with your life. Don’t dream someone up a certain way when they’re doing the exact opposite….WAKE UP! Welcome to the real world. I should have paid more attention to his actions, but like I said, the fact that he wanted to be around me was enough at the time. He used me as his potential cheap thrill, meanwhile getting into a serious and meaningful relationship with someone else. It hurt my feelings, and when I expressed them to this person, he flat-out did not care. He didn’t even have the decency to really listen to me, and he sure as hell did not apologize. I wanted to blame him for everything; all the pain that he caused me, the lies he told me, and so on and so forth. However, at some point, I did have to take accountability. I let him do me that way. I didn’t think that I deserved to be respected and treated like the QUEEN that I am.

I feel that men have been walking all over me. I put up with too much and I settle for less. In my first and only relationship, I did everything for that kid. I paid for his movie tickets, his bus fare, his food, and catered to his needs (well, whatever needs a seventeen year old thought they required). Not to sound braggadocious, but I was the best girlfriend that he has had thus far. I’m going to be the better person and wish him the best of luck. This person was not faithful to me, he demanded quite a bit of me, and he was way too focused on having a sexual relationship with me instead of an emotional and spiritual one. This began the countless unfortunate events that I have had with the opposite sex. I’ve gotten lewd text messages from guys that had an interest in me and vice versa, starting off the conversation with sweet nothings until it melts down to the real thing that they are in it for. I had a friend that I have known ever since I was 11 (he was 19 when we first met) admit to me that he wanted to do some pretty provocative things with me…before I was of legal age to do it. Because this person had been in my life for so long, I didn’t really know how to go about the conversation. To be honest, I wanted to call Chris Hansen and ask if he could make a pit stop to his location. The messages became awkward, and I was hurt. I knew him for years. He was a mentor and a confidant, and he still saw me as this sexual opportunity.

Recently, I was talking to a “friend” that I had met on the social media platform Twitter. A few nights prior, I had Facetimed him and had a conversation with him. I was wearing a robe; a fuzzy, pink robe. Out of all the things to rev up a person’s engine, I wouldn’t think that a robe would do that, but hey, I do not know everything. He had let me know that I looked “delicious” on video, and that looking at me ensured that he would masturbate to the thought of me later on. I didn’t even know what to say. My mouth was agape. Did he really just say that? I had to read the message over and over again. That was the last straw. I couldn’t believe that a person thought that they could say that to me. I thought it was extraordinarily disrespectful. I was tired with putting up with this.

Since so many men were comfortable with treating me like a little play thing, obviously there’s something that I’m doing wrong. It’s apparent that I am doing something to attract this toxicity into my life. While evaluating the guys that I talked to, I also had to evaluate myself. When I’m with a person that I have feelings for, I will do anything for them. I remember walking across campus in twenty degree weather, late at night, in the snow, to go and visit someone in their dorm room. I bought a guy chicken noodle soup and orange juice when he was sick. I gave a guy medication when he had the sniffles. That same guy owes me a hundred dollars….why? Because I lent it to him like a dumbass. I was so afraid of this person leaving me, that I did whatever I could to make them stay. Sometimes they would ask me for these favors, but a lot of the time I would do it for them because I wanted to. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? They used me because they could. The saying is as old as Jesus Christ, but will always be the truth. They saw my niceness and they took this for granted. If I would confront them on how they were acting, they would gaslight me and tell me that I was out of my mind! That it was further from the truth. Oh really? Why are you trying to get into a serious relationship with someone else, but texting me to come over at one in the morning? Something just doesn’t seem right.

One thing that I learned about myself is that my self-esteem needed a total 360. A man would be happy to be with me. I have a big heart, I’m adventurous, loyal, and I’ll treat my partner with the utmost respect….but only if they reciprocate it. I’m tired of being “wifey” to men who only see me as the homie, or even worse, the girl that they can sleep with. I have had pieces of my heart stolen away from me, and I will never get them back, but I can fill them with the parts of my personality that I need to build on:

  • love for myself
  • respect for myself

I need to start putting my foot down more and set stricter boundaries. I need to stop being afraid of people leaving my life that don’t need to be there. At the time, I might want them to be present, but God is removing them for a reason. I need to stop being afraid of being….lonely.

Loneliness is crippling, but what I am is not lonely. I’m alone. Those last two lines of those lyrics to Jamila’s song are words of wisdom that I had to learn the hard way. I’m not lonely, I’m alone. I might not be in a room full of people, but I know whose got me, and I’ve got them. Loneliness and being alone I use to think was the same thing. Loneliness is a feeling; being alone is a state of being. I might be the only one here now, but I know that I have my friends, I have my family, and I have God. During the darker times in my life, I wrote off and forgot about them being there. Depression and sadness can plague a person and make them forget who’s in their corner. Even when there is no one in your corner, you’ve got yourself, and until you build that relationship between you and your soul, that’s all you’ll ever need.

Sometimes being alone can bring a lot of things to the forefront. When I was by myself, I was able to self reflect and cleanse myself of past pain that I have experienced. What did they do? How did it make me feel? Why did it hurt me? What did I deserve in that moment in time? How can I prevent myself from going through this again? Is having that companionship worth being disrespected? I had to ask myself those things. There was anger. There were tears, but this is all apart of the process when it comes to moving on. I’ve got to move on. A man is not going to guarantee my happiness, especially one that doesn’t do anything to benefit me. I am not going to be that person that is content with the fact that I have a man, and let him treat me like shit. A relationship would be nice, but it isn’t worth it if it’s going to be giving me heartache.

Help yourself first. Treat yourself first, take yourself out on dates! Learn to be respectful towards yourself. You know what you want for yourself, and if you don’t, take some one on one time to figure it out. It may take a while, so don’t grow impatient. It’s like a courtship. How can you have a wonderful relationship with someone else, but have a faulty one with yourself? You can’t.

Standard
Poetry

In Me

Do you see beauty in me?

In Oklahoma

Seminole

Sunshine’s smooch

Mother Nature’s soul

Brown sugar

Emerald green

The hues inside my skin

The orange-ish reddish undertones

My moonshine distilled lips

Family

Grown in Jackson

Born Biloxi

Build them healthy

Cornbread

Collard greens

History

Chitlin circuit

Wrinkled hands

Do tell their take

But haven’t sold my legacy

Cracklin’ oil

Pops strumming

Guitar groans

Intertwine the tone that comes along

Through the Louisiana bayou

Your past lies too

No handwritten

Spoken fiction

Uptown heartbreak

Rhythmic lymphnodes

Teach me the code

Reach coast to coast

Your sister’s stories

Your mother’s prayers

Crest fallen goals

That I will break

And carry on

Let me add my verse

To the song

To the hymn

I’ll make it my own

Standard
Journaling, Uncategorized

Three Podcasts for the Black Girl’s Soul

The internet can be a marvelous and intriguing place. The endless opportunities to be connected to one another bring about the sharing of different experiences, stories, and information; enlightening ourselves about the world around us and the people inhabiting it. There are so many modes of sharing on the world-wide web; video, print, and audio. It gives people who crave to express creativity an outlet.
Through different avenues of media, I was able to educate myself on the perils that come with mental health neglect, as well as how many people in the African diaspora fall victim to not getting the help that they deserve. I’ve read psychology journals about black mental health and read novels about one’s journey to find themselves and better their thinking. I’ve scoured the internet and watched countless YouTube videos on young women and men sharing their experiences with mental health and professionals trying to give their expertise on how to heal deep wounds. However, I never really ventured into media that was solely audio.
I hadn’t started getting into podcasts until earlier this year. A friend of mine and I were having one of our weekly conversations about working through certain issues. Although she is around the same age as me, I see her as a mentor of some sort. Our emotions sync up like a menstrual cycle (sorry for the comparison). We will feel the exact same thing around the exact same time. Past trauma? If I’m thinking it, she’s thinking it as well. Ex-boyfriend trouble? There she is feeling the same pain. As we sat and sipped hot chocolate, she asked me how I was doing. With some people if I’m asked the same question, I’ll just lie and say, “oh yeah, I’m good.” With this girl, I am able to tell her how I’m really feeling, and nine times out of ten, she’s felt the same way at some point. I was pouring out my heart to her, talking about all the feelings that were trapped in my head waiting to exhale. She told me that I needed some peace of mind; that sometimes it was okay to sit down, breathe, and listen. She then mentioned these podcasts that she had started listening to earlier in the week that had really given her food for thought.
Therapy for Black Girls
This podcast is hosted by Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D. She’s a licensed psychologist and breakup coach. The fact that she is a black woman in the psychological field promotes representation in this community. There are black psychologists, and there are black women in the field. The first podcast I listened to of hers was on mindfulness. All of her topics are about a wide array of topics such as “slaying” your anxiety, setting boundaries, and healing intergenerational trauma. With each episode, I took out a pen and paper wrote down what really stood out to me. In the mindfulness episode, she was talking with Shawna Murray-Browne, a LCSWC, about her journey to mindfulness and how she teaches others about it as well. As a healing justice consultant and mind-body medicine practitioner, she is the best person to ask when trying to get some peace of mind. One thing that she said really resonated with me and my situation, and I’m pretty sure it would spark a nerve in anyone who listened. It was a powerful statement, yet so simple: focus on what you can change. Whew! That hit me like a ton of bricks. That made me re-evaluate the importance of my thoughts. She was saying how stress destroys the body and destroys are health, and I am pretty sure the thoughts that I was allowing to infiltrate my brain were slowly killing me. I need to listen to that one again, because the mind is a stubborn instrument. Another one that I enjoyed was her one on setting boundaries. Implementing the popular HBO show Insecure into her lesson caught my attention, and helped me envision a better mental picture because I love the show Insecure, and sometimes it’s hard to picture me in certain scenarios. Setting boundaries is something everyone could probably improve, including myself. Put yourself first is basically the point that she was making, as well as not going back on your word. Listening to this podcast has really put some of my problems into perspective. I have more power than I think. Healing starts with yourself. It starts with how you think. The mind is so powerful…I tend to forget that.
2. Inner Hoe Uprising
I love this podcast so much! It is so real, raw and unfiltered. Four black women talk about themselves, the news that they have seen, and their love lives. Sometimes it’s just a discussion amongst themselves, and other times they interview people who are experts in whatever topic that they’re talking about. This podcast is one of the most open podcasts I’ve heard. They are not shy when it comes to expressing sexuality. They do not shame anyone for the sexual practices that they enjoy (unless they are unethical). It gives four different perspectives about love and lust. They educate others on sex and sex workers, as well as reasons why we enjoy certain things that we do. This is the only podcast that I found on my own, and I am so glad I did. They say what people think, but are too bashful to speak out loud. As black women, I feel there are certain things that the community is taboo to talk about, and sex is definitely one of them. When women talk about sex in general, it is taken as a negative. The stereotype when it comes to sex and black people is that we are over-sexual, so talking about sex in the black community may seem taboo. Talking about sex, sexuality, and sexual behavior is normal and very healthy.
3. Shades of the Soul Meditation Series
After a poem, a quote, and daily mediation, I feel at peace and at ease. Her voice is therapy within itself. In Give thanks for the blessings, she almost made me cry with the words that she cast into the atmosphere. This podcast is perfect to do early in the morning as the sun just comes up (or whenever you decide to get out of bed). Faith Hunter’s demeanor is so calm and positive. In the most recent episode that I listened to, it detailed what I really needed to tackle in my daily life: my trauma is not my life. The unfortunate circumstances that I have gone through are not my sole defining factor. There is so much more to me. In this case, I was able to let my thoughts run wild and free. At first, some of them were scary and negative, but the more I listened to the podcast and meditated on her words, those thoughts slowly melted away. They were replaced with positive affirmations.
After listening to these podcasts for a few weeks, I came back together with my friend and discussed what I learned from them. Comparing notes and pinpointing lessons that we learned throughout the shows let me know that there is strength in numbers. Knowing that there are other people out there who have gone through what I’ve gone through, made it out alive, and are helping others get over their pain make me hopeful for the future. One day, I hope to be able to do the same

Standard
A Few Of My Favorite Things

October/November Favorites: What I Was Obsessed With

October and November were here one day and then gone the next it seems like. October was definitely a noteworthy month, as it is every year to me. Although I am a June baby (Geminis represent!) October has to be one of my favorite months out of the year. The weather begins to transform from balmy, sweltering heat to the crisp, cool air that is…Fall! November I always see as a month of togetherness.

I wanted to do something different with this post. Although these months came with a lot of stress, it came with a lot of growth…as well as some enjoying some of the events and festivities that the emergence of the season brought. Within October, I wanted to pinpoint the items that helped ease some of my stress throughout this month, as well as give me a little bit of self care.

1. Vera Bradley Iconic Glenna Satchel

Walking around on campus with this on my shoulder instantly brightens up the atmosphere around me. Even though it looks more spring like, on rainy dreary days it lightens and brings life to your mood. Stuffing a five section binder, a notebook, and a planner inside probably stretches the maximum capacity for what fits in the bag, but I do it anyways. What can I say, I’m stubborn.

Price: $88.00 (mine was on sale for $69.00)

2. Ban.do 2018-2019 planner

I bought this in October even though I really needed it when the school year began in August. This planner has gotten me and my life together. The planner comes with stickers and is full of positive affirmations and confidence boosters. I have a hectic schedule, and being greeted with a nice message can brighten up my day even if it’s just for a little while. I write my school work, homework, events, work, and appointments in there. My planner is so important to me, my life is in there!

Price: $20.00 (I got it on sale for $18)

3. Grace Eleyae Satin Lined Beanies

Grace-Eleyae-slap-c(photo not taken by me)

This is perfect for the natural haired people out there. I love the look of beanies, but the ones that I had would pull my hair and wear away at my edges. The satin lined beanie was a brilliant idea for people who want to be stylish and warm while preserving their natural curls. I have a black and a grey one. It’s perfect for a fall look. The other day, I had just gotten my box braids done. I slapped the black beanie cap on my head with a burgundy shirt, dark blue jeans, and black combat like boots. I felt like the embodiment of Fall itself. I am very happy with my purchases!

Price: $24.00 (I bought them on sale buy one get one free)

4. AYM Vivi Long Sleeve Top

AYM_vivi_mini_two_piece_set_with_long_sleeve_top-3_800x (photo not taken by me; in black )

People will always ask me, “why are you wearing that shirt again?” I always give them the same answer… because I love this top! I bought this shirt back when the boutique was still called Boom Boom the Label, and I have been waiting patiently for the weather to fall to colder temperatures so I can wear this beautiful article of clothing. Yes, it is just a plain black shirt, but not to me. It is sturdy and soft; it’s breathable. It is sleek and sexy. The neckline plunges, but it gives off tasteful cleavage. I can dress it up with a skirt and some heels, or dress it down with a pair of jeans and some Converse. I absolutely adore this top. I have it in black, but you can also get it in four other colors (nude tan, pine green, ivory white, and blush pink).

Price: $35.00

Standard
Poetry

Autumnal Equinox

*originally written on WeHeartit*

Window pane

Window pane

Why do you mimic my sorrow?

At nature’s end

It feels so sweet

Scattered autumn leaves

And willow trees

Bid me well

Til’ then

Bid adieu

My arduous ardent hour

Mid July

August sweltering heat

Beach bound bruising

Sun burns will always lose

Me and my perspired solstice

Hot and heavy

Heavy, humid, but lovely

The atmospheric pressure above me

Soothes it out

Tones it down

Into an environment of peace

I am in my element

I radiate

I’m me again

Splintered sun

Between the leaflet pattern

Foliage magnolia

Shone on the sidewalk

When I talk

I sculpt this

Little autumnal picture

It’s envisioned in my head

Red, orange, brown

Yellow dream

Cider sky

Auburn spice

Cinnamon swirled and nutmeg accents

Transcends thy might

The nicest flavor

The warmest feelings

The greatest color

My memories rebound

To the forefront of my mind

Of innocence

The younger years

Cavity ruined sweet teeth

And face paint

Late October afternoon

Molar chiclets

Bite down and get a quick fix

Of the sugar rush

I’ve had enough

But I’ve forgotten the meaning of stop

Times have changed

Been through a lot

But through my thoughts I can escape

My youth in fall

My future in Autumn

The sensation stays the same for me

The goosebumps still are evoked

I begin to feel whole

The corners of my mouth begin to defy gravitational pull

The earth spins slower

Longing still

My depressive state has gone

Flowed away

Gone solo

For the autumnal equinox has come

And I already know

The universe connects with me

It latches on to my soul

I will never let it go

Not for a single minute

I will not let it go

I will cherish it forever

Forever

In this three month moment

Standard
Journaling

Bryant Giles is an alleged rapist and abuser

To not get accused of libel, I will add alleged in there. I have my opinion. I think he’s as guilty as they come, but I can not state anything true that has not been proven true in the court of law. So I will just post this here for anyone who cares to read it. I used to go to school with the both of them, and the fact that it hits so close to home makes me want to do whatever I can to help get the justice that the survivor deserves. I will write a more in depth post for Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, but I just needed to spread the message.

Standard