Tag Archive | Friendship

…And I Still, Haven’t Found, What I’m Looking For…

I love that song.  It’s something I play when I am going through a White Girl Angst type moment.  The message is, I’m still searching.  Even after everything I have been through, I’m still looking for that one thing to make every thing make sense.  Today’s blog is inspired by a late night convo with a frat brother of mine, and his requirements for his next relationship.  

The word he kept repeating over and over was Friend. “I want someone who wants to be friends first, then we can move on to something else.”  This statement prompted several very probing questions on my end {Yes, I’m Nosy} and made me think about Relationship Expectations from a Male Point of View.

I’ve already talked about Lowered Expectations vs. Having Standards when it comes to women looking for their perfect mate.  I hope by now, anyone reading my blog understands I don’t believe the perfect relationship exists. You can BUILD the perfect relationship for the TWO people involved, but you almost never just fall into something perfect for you.  In accepting this, you are committing to work to create the Perfect Relationship for You. If that commitment isn’t honored the relationship usually falls apart.

Some of the reasons relationships fall apart over time are listed here, here, and here. {Please peruse at your leisure} However,  those aren’t the only reasons some relationships don’t work out.  It’s mainly lack of communication and/or insecurities.  This comes from both sides.  Most times, women have a VERY specific and detailed idea of what they want in a significant other, & they aren’t afraid to tell anyone who will listen . . . except their partner.  On the other hand, men have absolutely no idea what they want, until they have to sit down and figure it out.

I’ve found that most of my male friends aren’t vocal about what they want, what bothers them, what turns them on, their pet peeves . . . things that most women would benefit from knowing at the start of a relationship.  Insecurities will cause people to be silent in their relationship because they don’t want to say the wrong thing, or ask for the wrong thing, or make it seem like they are complaining.

So it’s time to call out the men, who know what they want . .. but don’t tell us.

First Up: What Defines a Friend

According to Merriam-Websters Dictionary, a friend is:

friend

: a person who you like and enjoy being with

: a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)

How do you feel about that definition men? This could be the beginning of a good relationship.  Someone supportive and you enjoy being with.  Quite simple, but then you stick your wiener in them, and everything’s different.  That’s when the questions happen, at least on her part. Things come up in conversation like, ” How far does this friendship go? or “Are we still friends if we’re sleeping with each other? or “Are we still just friends if I know your whole family?” or ” Are we still just friends if we indulge in PDA on a regular basis?”

Sex complicates things.  It always has, it always will.  If you are looking for a friend, why do you complain about being friend-zoned by a girl you like?  Instead of taking it as a bad thing, why isn’t it looked at as a way to slow it down and take baby steps into something different? *At this point, it might be a good time to say this is a Blog for the Grown and Sexy.  This isn’t being written for people 25 and younger.  You still have some Heauxin’ to do.  You go and get your Heaux on, and come back in a few years.  This will all make sense to you then.*

Once you have established this friendship, and basked in it for some length of time that probably makes no sense to her, at what point does the friendship turn into a relationship? Women thrive on the definitive.  We need to know when, what, who, where, and why.  Being vague about the timeline is stressful for some of us.  If it’s not defined, it doesn’t exist.  

It’s not because we want to trap you into something.  In most cases, it’s because we want to behave accordingly.  This is where communication and/or insecurity come into play.  The woman who has to ask a man what they are, will forever question the solidity of her relationship.  Doesn’t matter how much you try to reassure her, that first doubt will always there underneath her skin.  

The Friendship ——–> Relationship Continuum

Introduction —->Basic Knowledge —-> Shared Interests —-> {Possible Group Outing} —-> Frequent Communication —-> Private Outing —-> Daily Communication —-> Dating —-> Declaration or Request of Monogamy —-> Declaration of Commitment —> Relationship.

If at any point during the completion of this continuum, you feel as though this person isn’t going to meet your needs, STOP TALKING TO THEM. It’s not fair to you or her to continue down this path, and one of you knows it’s not going to be forever.  A large number of Bitter Women are bitter because this happened to them.  They started planning for forever, and you (the Man) had already decided this was just going to be for right now. . .without letting them know something wasn’t quite right.  It’s just unfair guys, stop it.

Also, the current prevalence of Social Media brings even more questions a woman will have for you, on officially establishing/announcing your relationship to the world. These questions include (but are not limited to) “Are we still just friends if we post pictures of things that we have done together?” and “Are we still just friends if we subtweet each other every night?” and “Are we still friends if your friends have tagged me in pictures they took of us together?” Social Media is just like Sex, it complicates everything

So What Are You Looking For?

Let’s look at the TYPES of women,  men seem to be looking for {in my experience}.  I  created a very satirical version of this, but some of it was based in truth.  From what I have observed, there are 4 types of women that men seem to be looking for these days.

1) Professional/Educated Woman

Pros: This is the kind of woman who has a Career, not a job.  It doesn’t really matter who she works for, it’s more the fact that she works.  She isn’t depending on anyone to support her and/or her children. This woman usually has a higher education, and maybe even an advanced degree. She is book smart and able to hold a conversation with a group of mixed background without a struggle.

Cons: She is career-oriented.  She has a goal, and has already created her plan in which to acheive it.  Your entrance in her life is a surprise, and not something she was looking for.  This could mean your relationship is more than likely to come second.  Also, if she does have children, then your relationship is going to come in 3rd Place.

There are many men who can’t handle being in 3rd Place.  And if that’s a problem for them, they should vocalize it.  Not liking your standing in a woman’s life breeds resentment and bitterness.  This could lead to cheating in some shape or form.

2) Classy/Twitter/Instagram Heaux

Pros: She is gorgeous. She fits all the Black Twitter Criteria for #WouldYouPullOutOrNah. The proportions are exact, and her hair is always done.  She is the epitome of FAHN.  She has all the right outfits, and knows all the right people.  She has 3,000 plus followers who validate her beauty everyday.  Every person you know wants her, and those who don’t want her are just jealous.  Plus, she will make beautiful babies for you one day.

Cons: She has never had to work hard a day in her life.  She is used to being catered to.  She gets off on attention.  Usually, she is bringing nothing to the table that will enhance the relationship.  In fact, it’s probably not a relationship.  It’s more of a dalliance into her world, and have to be okay with that.

At some point, you won’t be able to provide the level of attention she needs (in any way/shape/form), and the interaction will fade.

3) Mother Material

Pros: She is quite sensible.  She was raised the right way.  She wants to bring forth life on this earth, and nurture the next generation of children who will change the world.  She is soft in nature, and makes choices that show you she is looking into the future.  She understands what’s important in life, and wants to impart that  wisdom to her seed.

Cons: Sexually, she might become conservative.  Once she has a child, she might look at herself as someone’s  mother, not your lover.  She might become more old-fashioned in her views.  Her main focus will be the children, and their activities/well-being. Her concerns are now fitting into a specific peer group, and the latest PTA Potluck.  The sexual side of her may diminish over time.

A lot of this depends on what HER definition of what a mother is, and should look like.  These potential issues could all be avoided through communication.  Before you impregnate her, make sure she is the kind of mother you want for your child. Ask questions, until you get the answers you are looking for.

4) Homie/Lover/Friend

A Homie-lover-friend, is what I’m looking for
She can relate to my sex drive,
Cuffing her booty while we dance, and she don’t mind.

She’s got everything, that a man could ever want and more,
And her sexy gangsta way, she’s got me all up in a day
Homie-Lover-Friend is what I need for always.

Pros: She’s down to earth.  You can talk about anything without feeling awkward.  She understands what you need/want/desire almost before you know you need it.  She’s probably freakier than you, and isn’t afraid to share that side of herself with you, when the time is right.  She knows exactly what needs to happen to make the relationship work.  She’s an ‘Around The Way Girl,’ the Girl Next Door, your Play-Cousin from up the street.

Cons: Because she is so down to earth, you have never really looked at her THAT way.  You fell like you know way too much about her, and the choices she’s made in her life.  IT would kind of be like dating your sister.

It’s my opinion that underneath every relationship that has weathered various storms, the friendship has been a lasting one.  When you’re mad about the toilet seat being left up, or they ate the last piece of bacon, you don’t stay mad for long. This is also the person who see’s a pineapple and laughs because it’s just a weird ass fruit. This is the person who knows all your secrets, and can still look you in the eye at the end of the day.

Which One do You Want? Better yet, which one do you need? Or even, Which one do you have in your life right now? If you can’t be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for, how can she trust you when you say you are ready for a relationship? Are you even ready for a lasting friendship?

I Just Ask the Questions . . . it’s up to you to know the answers. As Always, Thanks for Reading! Comments/Thoughts/Answers Welcomed.

Home is where the Heart Is . . .

You know how people say that, and it pisses you off because what the hell does that even mean?!?! Okay, is that just me? Maybe it is. Whatever don’t judge me, you don’t know my story. (I mean unless you read my blog then you probably know my entire life story.) Anyway, on my recent rip to Arizona, I’ve made some interesting observations that I would like to share.  Here they are . . .

1) I Am A Nomad.

This is a very important observation.  I don’t like being in one place for a long period of time.  I need a variety of scenery, and different things to do.  Without that variety, I get bored, and then I do dumb things.  More than just needing variety, I work better with a very precise set of circumstances.  I need a job that has a variety of responsibilities.  I need to be able to craft my life around my schedule, and not the other way around.  I need to have a readily available support team – be they family or otherwise – I can go to when I need something. As my Sorority Sister once told me, “You are consistently inconsistent.” That’s a very accurate portrayal of me.  I’m a flake, but I’m reliable when I’m not in Flake Mode.

2) Tell People They Matter, before you can’t tell them again . . .

When my Nephew Fred Lux died last month, the only thing I could think about was, “Did he know how much he was loved?” People need to know they are valued.  People should know you rely on them to get through your day.  At work, at home, when you go to the mall . . . Doesn’t really matter.  If you haven’t told them how important they are to you, assume they don’t know.  There were 500+ people at my Nephew’s Funeral . . . Standing Room Only.  People took time off their jobs, on a Wednesday, to make sure his family knew that he was important to everyone he encountered. Tell people they matter.  It’s not just about stroking their ego, it’s about touching their heart.

941299_10153386613930613_1059666991_n3) I will never NOT work with Kids . . .

Kids are the greatest thing ever in life. And not for a weird reason, but because they are the personification of innocence in a very messed up world.  The smile of a child is enough to change the direction of your day . . . If you let it.  I spent this vacation with children for the most part.  My nieces and nephews, the kids I used to babysit when I lived here, and even stopped by my old job.  The thing that struck me was that they remembered me.  Not all of them remembered my name.  But I made a lasting impact in some kind of way.  From a kid saying, ‘Hi Applehead’, to the little girl who couldn’t even speak, she just hugged me until I walked out of the door.  My reason for being, is to work with children.  To educate them, to be a friend, and to help them at whatever stage of life they happen to be in when they cross my path.  The absolute understanding of that concept was baffling to me when I was younger.  At 31, it’s a challenge.  Can I be what I think I’m supposed to  be. Can I live up to that standard? I’m not sure,  but I think so. I’m excited to see just how far I can go!

4)My Father Loves Me . . .

I know that sounds weird, but it has taken me a long time to accept my Father exactly as he is.  For years, I expected him to be what I NEEDED him to be.  Then, I expected him to be what I WANTED him to be. About two years ago, I came to the conclusion that I had been doing it all wrong.  Understanding  you will never be able to control another person’s actions creates a kind of relief.  You can stop holding them to the standards you have set for them.  When I left Arizona, I explained to my Father that I needed something from him, that he wasn’t able to provide.  But I wasn’t upset about it.  I just understood what I needed in my life at that time. But I love my Dad.  For every conversation where he tries to protect me from my own stubbornness, to his gestures of acceptance as weird as they might be to others.  I’m at the point in my life where I’m so GRATEFUL I have two Living Parents.  I can go to them in need of advice, and they actually respect my dilemmas/issues and give me solutions without Judgement.  Growing up is sometimes awesome.

5) True Friends are hard to come by . . . 

I’m not talking about people you see everyday.  I mean the people you don’t talk to for MONTHS, but one phone call makes it feel like they are right next to you.  My Best Friends all have “titles” – White Boy Best Friend, High School Best Friend, Lesbian Best Friend, etc. – But their Best Friend status is not based on their label/title.  It’s based on how/what/when/where/how they have been with me throughout my life.  I’m learning in my old age, friends are there when sometimes family chooses not to be.  I’m grateful for the people who call me friend. Those who listen to me talk about my life, and don’t judge me or my actions.  Those who might have a completely different outlook on life, but still embrace mine.  Friends who teach me how to make a new meal every time I see them, and who don’t judge me for late night texts/IM’s about my dastardly deeds.  I’m really blessed, and appreciative for all of you!

Thanx for Reading!

Picture it: Ohio, Summer of 2006 or . . . The Good Ole’ Days

Best Album of 2006

When this album came out, my life changed.  I don’t mean that in the metaphorical sense.  I mean my entire life changed.  I had just recently moved out of my mother’s house, and into my first apartment that wasn’t paid for my Sallie Mae.  I was living in a beautiful apartment, and I was losing a best friend.  The Summer of 2006 taught me what kind of person I should be, and who in my life was important.

The first time I heard this song I thought, “Well, that’s a new sound for Cee-Lo.” Then all of a sudden it was EVERYWHERE! Every commercial about a new product, every reality tv show, every radio station (white or black.) It was like the second of Christ for some people when they heard this song.  But the reason this album still means so much to me is the memories this song represents.  The moments where everyone told me I was being irresponsible with my time, and it didn’t seem to phase me. A time in my life where my biggest worry was working 4-9hour shifts at work so I could take half of friday off and drive to Dayton and/or Columbus.

These Two Ladies Saved My Life . . .

These Two Ladies Saved My Life . . .

I used to be (and kinda still am) the epitome of Living Paycheck To Paycheck.  I traveled every two weeks, on a Friday that’s I got paid.  I would spend about $300 in one weekend, then come back and take care of bills.  But it was worth it!  Keep in mind, this was before Facebook, (yes I’m that old) and all we had was MySpace. I wrote blogs everyday, and we sent emails during the work day to plan out our weekends of debauchery. For a while, it’s was just traveling the state of Ohio to attended various Pride events.  The real fun began during the 4th of July Weekend.

Please Notice the AMOUNT of liquor on the Entertainment Center

Please Notice the AMOUNT of 

liquor on the Entertainment Center

The Summer of 2006 is the last time I drank on a daily basis.  The amount of money we all spent on liquor and food was just . . . Thank God my Uncle was having his annual invite everyone you know BBQ.  So we ate for free that weekend . . . more $ for Liquor! When we weren’t having random photo shoots, we were walking around malls harassing strangers.  And the whole time, St. Elsewhere was playing in the background.

This is not to say there weren’t some dark times that Summer. There was that one time when this chick tried to kill herself and we had to call the cops to go find her. And in that same weekend, we all decided to get “Frivolous White Girl Tattoos.” That summer a marriage ended, and my roommate moved out leaving me alone with a $849 a month rent (because she was in love with her boyfriend). *it should be noted my former roommate is now happily married to this man*

Blogging about how much fun we were having . . .

Blogging about how much fun we were having . . .

The ups and downs of Summer 2006 are why I love thinking about that summer, because everyday brought something different. I think I wrote like 12 blogs a month.  I was in a place where everything meant something.  Every experience meant something life changing.  I was so damn EMO that Summer.  This was the first time I had to worry about money, and having enough of it.  I didn’t have my mom to borrow money from every other day. 

I <3 Cuz she cooks for me!

I ❤ Her cuz she cooks for me!

How can you hear that song and NOT want to make new friends in public.  While dressed provocatively. And slightly drunk.  I mean really. The majority of the Summer of 2006 . . . was FUN.  I mean like crying laughing type of fun.  For every tear shed in sadness, there were 1000’s shed while rolling around laughing on the floor.   It’s the summer I met The Girl, and she made me the greatest fried Chicken I’ve ever had. She is the reason (while 100% sober) I wrote this little song:

Ode to Chicken

(To the Tune of Ode To Joy)

Chicken, Chicken, It’s Delicious
Love to eat it everyday!
Chicken, Cook it, Fry It, Love It,
Chicken, eat it Everyday!

Chicken, Chicken, I love Chicken
Chicken, it’s been good to me . . .
Chicken, Chicken, Finger Lickin’
Chicken brings me Ecstasy!

You don’t know you are happy until you look back at it.  But MAN, I was so happy that summer.  I did what I wanted to do, without fear of what people would think of me.  In my mind, my actions didn’t effect anyone but me.  There was no such thing as a repercussion.  That’s the summer I learned that Love has not age limit or sexual orientation.  It’s just love. The usual end of Summer is celebrated Labor Day Weekend. And Celebrate it we did! The Blog Title for that weekend: Liquor, A Smelly Cat, 2 Bathroom Orgys, a Spanish Serenade, and  A Gay Chicken. *please click that, it’s worth the read*

I don't even remember TAKING this picture

I don’t even remember TAKING this picture

The most enduring part of Summer 2006. . . The memories I didn’t get a chance to write about, because I was having too much fun.  It’s the songs we sang at the top of our lungs while driving up & down the highway. It’s the outfits we coordinated the day after labor day, because they were all white, and we don’t give a damn about your rules.  It’s the fact that every picture we took that summer had us in the same order. It’s every mile we put on my leased car.  It’s every bottle of liquor we finished, that ended in laughter and merriment. . . And strangely, the Blog I wrote as a tribute to the people who made it so great still stands!

Shout-out to The Girl: For  making me get off my ass and go to arts and crafts.  For being such an incredible person, a loving person, and the Ambassador of Let’s Make it All okay.  People like her make it a better place in this world, so shout outs to you, for making an emotional breakdown not last as long as it could have . . .

Shout-outs to Aaliyah: Who refuses to back down, who lives her life the way she wants to, regardless. To love, in it’s many shapes and forms, in old pictures, and drunken almost fights, and passing out in Paris, and other random shit, to happiness.  To a love that will never die, even if we are separated for like 3 years cuz of stupid girls, you will forever be my little sister, and it will always be my right, do tell you what i think is best for you, lol. . .

Shou-tout to the Word FUCK: To being able to use it and express pure emotion, to making it work in any situation, to being able to yell it in a car, and make someone listen to the words you are trying to say to them . . .

Shout-out to Diamond: To giving the Best Damn Hugs EVER, even though they weren’t appreciated the way they should have been.  To knowing that things change, and people change, but fuck anyone else that doesn’t have your best interests at heart.  To hoping that she finds her happy place, inside her self, and to hoping that she knows that regardless of everything else that happened, will happen, or is happening right now, she will always be my wife . . .

When was the last time you danced?

Bad Religion

I sincerely hope this is the last time I ever write about this.  But it seems that it’s best I make this public so people can understand my current state of mind.

I allowed the same person to break my heart 3 times, in less than a year.  The first time, it came out of nowhere.  The Second Time, I actually expected it, so that wasn’t so bad.  But the Third Time, that is what broke me again.

It wasn’t that he was no longer there, it wasn’t that I didn’t get to see his face everyday, it wasn’t that I wasn’t happy anymore.  It was that he seemed to take such pleasure in slowly ruining the relationships around me.  The people I knew I was going to need to keep me sane, to help me fall apart in a healthy way.  That’s what he took from me.  And he did it so absolutely, I couldn’t do anything but watch from the sidelines. In awe and Horror, as people I had trusted with every secret thought and feeling became seemingly more loyal to him than they were to me.

I don’t use the term friend freely.  I definitely don’t call people family easily.  Hell, I don’t claim 1/3 of my biological family.  I have created the family I wanted, under the false pretense that these people I had chosen, had welcomed into my life, would never hurt me.  Call me naive, but as my intentions have always been to better people’s lives I felt that is how those people I choose to bring into my inner circle felt as well.

When I was 17, I lost my best friend because I introduced her to a boy I liked.  He liked her more than he liked me, and it ruined our friendship for at least 3 years.  Because of that, I never introduced anyone to each other.  I was quite adamant about not mixing friends/family/potential significant others.  At 29 (12 years later) I did the exact same thing, and expected a different result.  I don’t know why. I’m clearly insane.

I can accept the blame for watching things fall apart, and caring more about hurting other people’s feelings than my own.  But The Word that seems to be sticking in my head these days is Loyalty.  There will always come a point in your life, when you have to choose who you are going to be loyal to.  Even though I know most people don’t think like me, I’ve still been ridiculously hurt by people who told me one thing, and did another.

You would think at 30 years old, I wouldn’t be so extremely broken by what has happened in the last 3 months.  That’s not the case.  Someone told me yesterday that I’ve changed too much because of how things ended with MM. To that I say this: You don’t know how much I’ve changed.  You will never in your life understand how badly he hurt me, for months.  Why? Because I am too loyal to you to tell you.  Because I have always wanted to make sure that people had a good view of who he was.  I hurt myself trying not to hurt him.  That’s my fault.  So is putting my faith in anyone who needs me more than they are willing to admit.

In my life, there have been about 3 times when I have felt like this.  The first time, I almost didn’t make it. But I know I will make it this time.  Because I have finally decided to be loyal to myself. I’m going to put myself, and my dreams, first. My life is going to change next year. For the better.  Not because some magical potion is going to make it so, but because I am just fucking TIRED of the same things/people hurting me.

So I’m going to go on about my life, licking my wounds along the way.  Trying to forget the simple shit that always seems to remind me of the Happiest/Saddest time of my life.  From Harry Potter, to Genghis Grill, to late night phone calls, to car choreography, to late night epiphanies, to O Faces.

I’m Letting it go, just as the people who helped create those memories seem to have let me go.

Taxi driver, Be my shrink for the hour
Leave the meter running
It’s rush hour, So take the streets if you wanna
Just outrun the demons, could you

He said “Allah hu akbar”, I told him don’t curse me
“Bo Bo you need prayer”, I guess it couldn’t hurt me
If it brings me to my knees, It’s a bad religion

This unrequited love
To me it’s nothing but a one-man cult
And cyanide in my styrofoam cup
I could never make him love me
Never make him love me

It’s a bad religion

To be in love with someone, Who could never love you

I know, Only bad religion
Could have me feeling the way I do

Frank Ocean – Bad Religion

Confessions of a Single Black Female Vol 17: We All Want Love

First, let me start by saying, yes I’m still single.  For those of you who follow me on Twitter or FB, you might have seen me referring to my recent life situation . . . but let me assure you, I am single.

All that being said, let me also say I am still a Shirt Wearing Member of #TeamBreezy.  But I can appreciate a good Album, and Talk that Talk by Riri FiveHead is just a good ass album.  So good in fact, it’s inspired me to write this blog.  It could actually fall into Words and Sounds of Me, but this blog is more about relationships than the music. Now that that’s all out of the way, please press Play, and Let Us Begin . . .

I can pretend that I’m not lonely 
But I’ll be constantly fooling myself 
I can pretend that it don’t matter 
But I’ll be sitting here lying to myself

Sometimes, in our efforts to pretend that being Strong, Black {or Insert Your Race Here}, and Independent keeps us warm at night, we lie to each other.  “I don’t need the stress of a relationship, I’m trying to focus on my career.” We laugh with our girlfriends about how we see heauxs at the club, just trying to get chose.  “I would never have my ass hanging out like that, just to get a dudes attention.” But when we go home, and get into our beds, we secretly admit to ourselves how nice it would feel to get chose.

We all want someone there to hold 
We all wanna be somebody’s one and only 
We all wanna be warm when it’s cold 
No one wants to be left scared and lonely

For much of this year, I have been alone.  Not just lonely, but ALONE. None of my friends – my close friends anyway – live anywhere near me.  I saw ONE of my best friends this year, just one of them.  I haven’t seen my mother in more than a year.  I’ve lived this stressful year, alone.  So yes, I know what being lonely feels like.  I also know that most of my friends judge me for putting myself in my current situation.

So I guess I’m a fool, I’m a fool in love
But I’m willing to stay here, And bask in the glory of his heart
I guess I’m a fool in love . . . 
But I’m willing to look so stupid, ‘Till I’ve had enough.

When I wake up every morning, I’m happy.  I haven’t been able to say that for a VERY long time.  Yes, just 6 months ago, this same person shattered my world into like, a gazillion pieces.  But before that happened, I was HAPPY.  I know the difference between Happy and Content.  I’m going  for Happy right now, because Content is a LONG way away.  I’m learning, Love takes many different forms. A Mother’s Love is unconditional {in most cases}. It’s always going to be there.  No matter what dumb ass life choices you make, your mother is going to be there to help you pick up all the pieces.  {My} Father’s Love is solely based on whether or not I need something from him.  It’s there, underneath the clouds of smoke, and looks of disappointment, but if I was relying on it, I’d die.

You see a monster, I see a smile
You say it’s danger, And I’m in denial
But somehow I feel so safe right now

Your friends, the family that you have chosen just want you to be Safe and Happy.  They want you to make decisions that they understand, and they can justify.  Because I understand this, because I have felt the EXACT same way because of my friend’s life choices, I shouldn’t be hurt that no one understands mine.  But does it hurt, yes it does.  However, in real life, they aren’t here to hold me and keep me warm at night, are they?

Cause you know how to give me that, You know how to pull me back
When I go runnin, runnin . . . Tryin’ to get away from loving ya
You know how to love me hard, I won’t lie, I’m falling hard
Yep, I’m falling for ya but there’s nothin wrong with that

In trying to listen to all my friends thoughts/opinions, and worrying about what everyone else would think, I’ve stopped myself from being honest.  In real life, I go to sleep with his arms around me, and wake up looking in his face..  Nope, we aren’t dating.  Nope, I’m not in a relationship.  I’m just Happy.  And right now at the end of 2011 aka the Year From Hell, that’s enough.

I’m able to close my eyes, Yet my heart’s not so blind
I feel so entitled, LOVE OWES ME . . . I want what’s mine
And some say love ain’t worth the buck
But I’ll give ’em the last dime, To have what I’ve only been dreaming about.

Black Girl Pain – Life Support . . .

As part of my unofficial Dealing with Depression Series, I want to talk to you about Support Systems, and why they are so important to making you who and what you are.  This is going to be broken into sections, because my view of support systems, and what they consist of is based on my life and my life only.  I’m not a psychologist.  I’m just telling you what I know, what I think, and what I wish other people would understand.  Feel free to disagree with me, dialogue is important!

What is a Support System?

The people who have your back no matter what.  I’m not talking about the boys you go out to the club with, or your girls at work.  I’m talking about the people that keep you sane, and make you think.  The people that question you, and your decisions. Not because they think you are stupid, but because at the end of the day, they want to make sure you are going to be okay.

When I was younger, I thought everyone had a support system.  I thought every family was like the Henry Family.  A family that consisted of strong men, who wore suits everyday, and went to work everyday.  Men who graduated from college, and supported their family.  Women who were college educated, and made career choices based on their skill level, not just what was available.  Women who made sure their children got the best of everything, and understood their worth as individuals.  In the bubble that is the Henry Family, that was the STANDARD. Not the Exception.

Because my family was raised around like minded people, that is all I saw.  There were 5 or 6 huge families at my childhood church.  They all were raised in the same way, thought the same way, and lived their lives the way we did.  When I was younger, my whole life was Littlefield St and True Love Missionary Baptist Church.  I was extremely sheltered from the Real World, and as I get older, I am so pleased that I was.

The Real World . . .

is SCARY.  There are all kinds of people who are out there to hurt you.  So yes, I stayed inside my bubble that was cultivated just for me.  It wasn’t until I got to public high school that I found out that people who said they were your friend would actually stab you in the back.  I’m a very naive person, because I intrinsically believe that people are good.  Even though I know that bad exists, I was raised to be a GOOD PERSON.  I was raised to do the right thing, even if you don’t end up winning.

I Was Raised . . .

and not everyone was.  Your first Support System should be your parents.  They are the people that instill the first set of values in you.  Those core values, that you take with you for the rest of your life.  These are the lessons that should explain the ways of the world to you.  But what if your parents aren’t there for you? What if their priority was each other, or drugs, or alcohol? What if through no fault of your own, your parents just weren’t there?

Then you have had no form of guidance.  You have no way to figure out what is right or wrong.  OR, your perception of Right Vs. Wrong is easily viewed based on your survival. OR, your perception of Good and Evil is based on what you observed in your youth. You might do things that are not necessarily legal because you need to eat, or you have to take care of your younger siblings, or you need a roof over your head for the night. You might completely violate the boundaries of another person, and not understand why they are so upset.  How you see the world is most often based on the World You Have Seen . . .

Survival of the Fittest

Those who make it prosper, those who don’t will have a hard life.  This isn’t to say that everyone can’t make it.  But those that rise above to overcome usually have found a reliable support system.  Sometimes, your friends can be the family you never had.  Sometimes, your extended family treats you better than the people that should biologically care the most about you.

The point is, if you want to survive you will.  I recently asked a friend who his support system was, he could only think of one person.  He has been supporting himself for so long, he stopped relying on others.  Honestly, he’s one of the most well adjusted people that I know, except for one area of his life. But the area causes him the most problems, is based almost solely on the lack of a support system.

After You’ve Done all You Can

I have lots of friends, who feel that Jesus is the only form of Support you need in your life.  Feeling there is a higher power who has some input in the happenings of your life didn’t just start with Christians.  It’s been around for quite sometime.  Celestial Support Systems are great, if you are actually dedicated to them.

I’ve seen lots of folk who only ask for support during the bad times, and give themselves all the credit when things are going great. Whether you believe in The Secret, The Bible, Wicca, or the Qur’an: use that belief to lift people up and support them. Don’t use it to tear people down.

The Point of it All . . . .

is knowing that you NEED a support system.  System implies that there is more than one person involved.  I have some friends that I can tell everything and have no fear of being judged.  Some friends that I have to only tell certain parts of my life. I have the FaceBook 40 aka #FGSSUM07, a group of people that I would have never dealt with had it not been for the Internet.  I have Sorority Sisters and Frat Brothers, Twitter Friends and GChat Buddies.  I have friends that became family, and family that became friends.

I am truly grateful that I have a system of people that support me.  That worry about me, and want the best from me.  Yes, at times it can be a pain in the ass, but more often than the not, it’s a blessing.  Because even within my Support System I have friends who have never been as lucky as I am.

. . . Each One Reach One . . .

We often find it easy to walk away from people when things aren’t working out.  To end 10 year relationships because we aren’t getting our way.  Just remember, if that person was once a major part of your life, you might have been part of theirs. You don’t want to leave them rolling around looking for that Piece of Themselves that was lost in the fight. . .

Letters to Stupid People Vol 1.

So you know how you see people being stupid as shit and you really wanna just slide them a note letting them know that they are doing it wrong?…… No, just me?  Oh. Ok. O_o

And that’s fine….But instead of writing people notes, I’ve decided to just write them letters. This might be to you, so you have been warned.

Dear Christian Black Woman,

I know you think that God lead you to your fiance. I know, becuz you meet him at a church function it must be a God sanctioned relationship. I know you think that the sign of a real relationship is Struggle, Pain, and Unhappiness. But God wouldn’t want you to be unhappy. He also wouldn’t have you continue to doubt your relationship less than 6 months before the wedding. That’s not God hunny, that’s you making a fcuked up decision. Just thought I would let you know.

Sincerely, A Concerned Soror

Dear Twitter Friend,

Your wife is cheating on you. I know you don’t wanna hear it, and I know becuz we met via twitter I don’t really have the right to tell you your wife is a selfish slutty bicth. But someone needs to tell you. Just know, when you finally accept the truth, I’m here for you.

Sincerely, Your Faithful Internet Friend

Dear Ex Boyfriend’s Fiance,

I broke up with him for a reason. Sure the dcik was good but ummmmm he’s an idiot. I’m sure that you have seen his potential and its great that he has it. But that’s all it is. So good luck with that. You have my deepest sympathies.

Sincerely, The One Who Got Away

Dear Ebe,

We will always find you. Doesn’t matter how many times you change your twitter handle, your face (In all its Oatmeal Clowny Goodness) can’t hide. Just like you jumped out the bushes when you were stalking AK so will #FGSSUM07. In your mentions and in your heart. Forever reminding you of the credit you ruined and the money you still owe some of us. We ain’t going nowhere.

Sincerely, Most of my Timeline

Dear ComicBookNerds,

Some of us don’t care that in the first edition of XMen Xavier’s wheelchair was made of wood. Let us just enjoy the got damn movie. We almost don’t care that Optimus Prime couldn’t have died in the second movie because in the ORIGINAL cartoon he was invincible. Shut The Fcuk Up!

Sincerely, People in the Movie Theatre

Dear Rev Dr Man of My Dreams,

I tried really hard to convince myself that I didn’t think we would probably be great for each other. But I also know that becuz of your belief system you could never publically date me. Becuz Fcuk will always be a word that I use frequently and I’m always gonna speak what I feel about uberreligious people. That’s too bad, cuz I really like you.

Sincerely, That Little Tinge of Regret

Dear Alcoholic Friend,

I know that your life was hard. I know even though you wont admit it, that your childhood was completely fcuked up. But liquor isn’t going to make it go away. Your parents and others are really worried about your safety at this point. Every time I get a call from your number at 4 in the morning I’m praying its your voice that I hear and not the police telling me that they found you laying in a ditch somewhere. Rehabilitation is the answer,

Sincerely, BiscuitHead

 

Dear Guy who’s in Love with my Best Friend,
I know you love her. She’s worthy of your love, even if she doesn’t believe it. But don’t sell yourself short. You can’t love her into loving you. She needs to learn to love herself first. Take care of you.

Sincerely, Me

No, I really don't tho . . .

You may consider this cowardly or passive/aggressive. Again, that’s fine. But I mean every word…..so there’s that.

Black Girl Pain – My Lifelong Struggle with Depression

*The underlined words are companion pieces to this blog. They are Blogs I’ve written in the past dealing with Depression. Please check those out as well*

The first thing that must be said, Depression is real.  It’s an actual disease, that is affecting more and more young people.  The first time Depression entered my life, was just after my first break-up. I had lived my life, knowing that A Piece of Me was Missing, but not being sure if it was ever going to exist.  Suddenly, I met this person that made that all go away.  Then, after one argument, it was all over.  That happy place was shattered into a billion pieces.  I couldn’t explain that feeling to anyone, I just had to wake up everyday and face the fact that the thing that made me happier than I ever thought I could be was gone, and I didn’t ever see it coming back.

Honestly, I thought I was tired. It just made no sense to me to wake up and face classes, friends, life. My bed was just so much more comfortable.  I stopped going to classes, because when I was there, I wasn’t paying attention to what the teachers were saying anyway.  So why go to sleep in class, when my bed was right there?  I left my dorm every night at 6:oo pm for dinner with the Crew, then went right back to my room to sleep some more.  I honestly don’t know how no one noticed.  I did the bare minimum, for at least 6 months. At the end of that semester, my GPA was a 1.1427. Do you know how many classes you have to fail to get that GPA? 3, and get 2 D’s, and an A in choir.

My 3.7 GPA freshman year is the ONLY thing that kept me enrolled in the University of Dayton. I went from the 3.7 to a 2.0. Academic Probation was 1.9, I JUST made it.  I knew something had to change.  I was losing roommates, and friends because of my attitude and I really didn’t care.  One day, when I couldn’t stand to be in my room another minute, I went into the study carrols to write in my journal, and as I was writing, I noticed that I couldn’t breathe.  I fell to the floor, crying so loud the people in the dorm next door came to see what was wrong.  I cried for 45 minutes, listening to Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”.

I picked myself up off the floor, walked back to my room and swore to myself I would never let someone hurt me like that again. 2 years later, during a road trip with a Soror of mine, we were talking about relationships and how they can change the course of your life.  I told her the story of my “Celine Dion Breakthrough.” She looked me straight to my face and said to me, “You know that was depression, right?” I actually said to her, “Black People don’t get depressed, We don’t have time.” But once we started talking about everything else that was going on with me at that time, I started to think that maybe she was right.

I went to the Student Center, and talked to someone about what had happened, and they confirmed that yes, I had been suffering from Depression.  So it had a name, that overwhelming feeling of nothingness.  The thought that all my actions are leading me to a place that doesn’t matter.  The need to just be in my bed, under the covers, watching every movie I own.  When you hear about Depression, you never hear about that part.  You see that ladies surrounded by boxes of tissue, with runny noses, eating ice cream. The face of Depression is usually a White one.

Today, I had a conversation with my mother about Depression, and her realization that it might be a family issue.  I’ve only been in the “Celine Dion” Place one other time, and that was when I first moved to AZ. My mother knew, I think she could tell.  Usually, when I get near to that place she’s the first person to see it now.  When I was at school, no one understood what the hell had caused me to change that much, and no one ever said to me, “Maybe you’re Depressed.” It wasn’t a thought.

Because Black women don’t deal with Depression.  We don’t acknowledge it.  We really don’t even know what it is.  It’s the been labeled, “Some other shit that I need to deal with,” or “I was just having an off week,” or “It’s too cold to leave the house,” or “I’ll just go to work tomorrow.” It’s hard to put a name to something you don’t understand, know how to acknowledge, or sometimes want to.

Depression is the festering sore that picks at the psyche of Beautiful Women, until they can’t take it anymore, and you get a phone call asking if you have heard from So & So in a week?  Depression is one traumatic event after another, pulling you into an abyss that you can’t navigate.  Depression is “I’m just not good enough,” & “Why won’t someone love me,” & “Why don’t people see/hear/listen to/understand me?” Depression is sleeping the whole day and finding yourself buried in 18 months worth of bills. Depression is struggling to face everyday at work without bursting into tears.  Depression is hiding in your closet listening to Purple Rain at 5 in the morning.

Depression is a battle that some of my friends are losing.  Because we DON”T talk about it. We don’t want anyone to see that we don’t have a handle on this problem.  We, as Black Women, have so MUCH stuff to deal with, that we don’t have time to take care of our mental health.  But if we don’t talk about it, we are going to continue to lose ourselves.  In bad choices, and bad relationships, and situations that put our health/life at risk.  We will continue to lose ourselves to drugs, and liquor, and sex, and cutting, and suicide attempts, and everything else that comes from holding the pain inside.

I’m not in a bad place.  I’m actually in a great place right now.  But there might be someone who needs to know they aren’t alone.  Who feels like they can’t make it one more day.  This is for you.  To let you know that you can make it, as long as you acknowledge that you are having a problem in the first place. You are not ALONE in your fight.  Find someone to talk to, even if it’s a stranger.  Figure out the ROOT of your issue, and if you don’t know how {because you don’t watch Oprah and Dr. Phil enough} ASK FOR HELP. It’s only a secret if you hide from it. Depression don’t HAVE to be the end, it can be the beginning.

Once you can acknowledge the issues . . . You can start working on Filling the Gap/Closing the Gap.

Can I….Can I…..Save You From You?

Drake is real good for having one line in a song that just makes me want to cry. The title of this blog is that line.

I am a fixer. I haven’t always been that way. I used to be a follower, just kind of going with the flow. Until i started to spend the majority of my time taking care of people that were falling apart. Its like i started attracting messed up people. For a while, I was fine with that, because it gave me something to do. If i was fixing everyone elses problems then I didn’t have to focus on my own.

Recently, I see myself falling into that pattern again. The two most important people to me are slowly, in my opinion, falling apart. Its really killing me to have to see this happening to them, and not be able to make a difference. If you talk to both of them, nothing is wrong that they can’t fix when they are ready to, and all I want to know when are you going to be ready?

The companion piece to this blog – Fix Your Shit – wont be this vague. But tonight, I continue to think to myself “Tell me why, I always fall for your type?……Cuz I Believe in people like You”

The Aquarian in me wants to be Captian Save a Heaux and just take over. I want to do things the right way – my way. It frustrates me to no end that people can’t see things the same way I do. This internal knowledge that my way is the best, nay, only way is the reason I Hate My Father. So even though I want to fix people because what they are doing is something i think is wrong, I hate myself for judging people that I expect not to judge me.

Its that internal conflict, this fight to do what’s right in MY eyes that has me at odds with my current employer. It what keeps me awake at night trying to come up with solutions to my problems. It’s what has made me cut off friend for extended periods of time. Why wont you just take my advice?  Im trying to make things better not worse.

Yet, it doesn’t work. I don’t say what I want to say, or do what I want to do. Im still unhappy because as much as I want to change my own situation fear stops me. Adult responsibilities like rent and car notes and phone bills and student loans and health insurance stop me from saying what i want to say.

I can’t even save myself from myself, so who the hell am i to be trying to save you? But I really want to save us all….Because its enough for me to see someone else better themselves.

Its enough. If I could just get back to something being enough, and not too little or too much. But enough. “I’ve had ENOUGH to drink,” “I’ve had ENOUGH of sitting on my ass,” “I’ve had ENOUGH of being ashamed of my actions…”

So can I….can I…..save you from you? Or will you…will you…save me from myself?